Dispatches > Quotables

Quotables

Issue: "Rolling the dice," Aug. 4, 2001

All of the sudden it happened.

Xue Donghua, after his wife, Gao Zhan, was convicted of spying charges in China and then released on "medical parole." Chinese authorities detained Mrs. Gao, a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, on Feb. 11. The couple was reunited at Detroit Metropolitan Airport last week. China often uses medical parole to deport high-profile prisoners.

This is a victory for common sense.

Virginia Attorney General Randolph Beales, after a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that a law requiring the state's public-school students to open each school day with a minute of silence is constitutional. "Because the state imposes no substantive requirement during the silence, it is not religiously coercive," Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote in the panel's majority opinion.

When I grew up, we said the Lord's Prayer every day and the Pledge of Allegiance. I turned out OK.

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Billionaire businessman and New York mayoral candidate Michael Bloomberg. Mr. Bloomberg, who is Jewish and a Republican, said he would not seek to require prayer in public schools if elected, but that prayer "reminds kids about more important things."

We can't keep enough in stock.

Arlene Mecko, store manager of Chicago's Fertile Delta, on the popularity of "lucky bamboo" imported from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. In Asia, lucky bamboo is thought to bring success, positive energy, and a long and healthy life. In America, some shipments of lucky bamboo have brought tiger mosquitoes, which have been known in Asia to carry viruses that cause serious infections. No infections transmitted by the mosquitoes have been documented in the United States, but the federal government and local pest-control agencies have treated all shipments arriving in Los Angeles County with pesticides.

Miss Cleo should have seen this coming.

Jay Nixon, Missouri attorney general, on the TV psychic against whom he filed two lawsuits for allegedly violating the state's new anti-telemarketing law.

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