Dispatches > Quotables


Memorable things they said

Issue: "The Purge," Sept. 12, 2009

"They all declined the generous offer."

An eyewitness on the beheading of four Somalians after they refused to recant their conversions to Christianity. The four cared for orphans in Merca, where militants kidnapped them July 27. On Aug. 18 militants shot and killed another convert, Ahmed Matan, 41 and father of three.

"We are no longer at the point that it is acceptable to throw things at the wall and see what sticks."

Michael Snow, chairman of the board of Wikimedia, on the new Wikipedia policy of editorially reviewing entries about living persons.

"In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog."

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Theodore Dalrymple, the pen name of British physician Anthony Daniels, writing in The Wall Street Journal. Veterinarians provide care in Britain on a fee-for-service basis, while humans receive care under a single-payer system.

"Shaking hands during an election campaign is key, so this is pretty troubling."

Japanese politician Denny Tamaki, on his decision not to shake hands with voters ahead of an Aug. 30 election because of swine flu fears.

"I was really scared, but I had to hold it together as I was the only one who knew the way to the hospital."

Linda Corbett, of Brighton, East Sussex, on giving birth in a car with her husband delivering the baby and her father driving. Workers at the Royal Sussex County Hospital told her that they were too busy to send a midwife or give her space at their facility, sending her to a different hospital. A British report found that a lack of midwives and hospital beds forced 4,000 women last year to give birth in places such as elevators, cars, and restrooms. Corbett and her baby are in good health.

"He said he couldn't breathe-which was too bad for him I guess."

Kennet Santana, a teacher at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, Calif., on a former student whom Santana tackled and restrained on Aug. 25 after the student set off two pipe bombs. The former student was armed with 10 pipe bombs, a sword, and a chainsaw. No students were injured in the attack, and authorities say Santana likely prevented a massacre.


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