Dispatches > Quotables

Quotables

Memorable things they said

Issue: "Hurtling toward havoc," Aug. 1, 2009

"We can't pretend anymore that SSNs can be kept secret."

Peter Swire, chief counselor for privacy during the Clinton administration, on a study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University that found in some cases a person's Social Security number could be guessed by knowing the person's birth date.

"I wouldn't approach the issue of judging in the way the president does."

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, during a confirmation hearing, on whether she agrees with President Obama's view that judges should employ empathy in determining decisions. "We apply law to facts," she said. "We don't apply feelings to facts."

"Although the Bible says, 'the truth shall set you free,' prison authorities shouldn't think that means the Bible is a security risk."

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Eric Rassbach, national litigation director at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, after officials at the Rappahannock Regional Jail in Stafford, Va., extensively cut a letter to a prisoner from his mother, deleting passages that quoted the Bible.

"I'm de Tocqueville compared to Schwarzenegger."

Leftist actor Alec Baldwin, who is considering a campaign for Congress from New York, on whether he's qualified to run for office.

"I thought somebody had bought Europe with my credit card."

Josh Muszynski of Manchester, N.H., on finding that his credit card had been charged $23,148,855,308,184,500, or $23 quadrillion, for a pack of cigarettes he bought at a gas station.

"I ran on '30 years of dedicated service' and he ran on 'Change.'"

Robert Fava, 71, mayor of Alligator, Miss., after Tommie Brown, 38, who used to mow Fava's lawn and work in his general store, defeated him by 10 votes to become mayor. Brown was the first black to run for mayor in the largely African-American town 90 miles south of Memphis with a population of 220, and said he was inspired by the example of President Barack Obama.

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