Dispatches > Quotables


Issue: "Madness in the Methodist," July 25, 1998

I'll take my shirt off and beat myself bloody on the back with a whip if it would do any good.

Ted Turner, to the Television Critics Association on his embarrassment over CNN's retracted report that American soldiers used nerve gas on deserters in Vietnam.

We never could agree upon five commandments. It's not one of those cases you can settle on.

Jonathan Sasser, an attorney for Haywood County, N.C., on the lawsuit brought by an 87-year-old atheist against the local government because of its courthouse display of two marble tablets bearing the Ten Commandments.

To excite the right-wing flat-earth society.

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U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), on why he thinks House Republicans are pushing legislation that would prohibit the dispensing or distribution of a federally regulated drug for the purpose of assisting a suicide. Hearings on the bill last week focused on the measure's impact on Oregon's assisted-suicide law.

He disappeared in two seconds.

Portland, Conn., Burger King manager Jorge Ruisanchez on a foiled stickup of his restaurant. The timers on the microwave ovens scared off a gunman who thought they were security alarms going off.

House arrest? She can't go to Nordstrom's for a year?

California prosecutor Alex Karkanen on a judge's light sentence of a woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 3-year-old daughter during a failed suicide attempt. She jumped from the 10th floor of a hotel. Prosecutors contended she held the girl as she jumped, but the defense said the child climbed out the window after her. The chargecarried a maximum prison term of four years; Mr. Karkanen had asked for three.

He's a fine young man. What he did was wrong, of course.

Missouri state representative Gene Copeland, on a campaign aide's guilty plea to a charge that he bought votes in 1996 for the 19-term state lawmaker. Democrat activist Lester Bernard Gillespie gave away coupons marked "Thank you for your support!!!" that were good for a can of beer at a local convenience store.


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