Dispatches > Quotables


Memorable things they said

Issue: "Profiles in effective compassion," Sept. 26, 2009

"I will not pay a penny."

Sudanese female journalist Lubna Hussein on receiving a $200 fine for violating a decency law by wearing pants. She could have received up to 40 lashings under Islamic law. "I will keep wearing the trousers," Hussein said. "I won't be affected by the court. This is my normal life."

"Winning the lottery has ruined my life."

Callie Rogers of Cumbria, England, on winning $3 million six years ago when she was 16. She says she spent her winnings on designer clothes, cocaine, and breast implants and that she has $32,000 left. "In the past six years I've sunk into a black hole," she said, "a black hole that at one point I thought I could never crawl out of."

"If I leave this country, if other people like me leave this country, who will come to Afghanistan? Will it be the Taliban who come to govern this country? That is why I want to come back, even if it means cleaning the streets of Kabul [for a living]."

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Afghan interpreter Sultan Munadi, writing this month on a New York Times blog following his return to Afghanistan after a year of studies in Germany. He was killed Sept. 9 during a British rescue operation that freed reporter Stephen Farrell. The Taliban had kidnapped Munadi and Farrell Sept. 5.

"While my body was asleep, I think my soul rode on a triangular-shaped UFO and went to Venus."

Miyuki Hatoyama, wife of Japanese Prime Minister-elect Yukio Hatoyama, claiming in a book published last year that she was abducted by aliens.

"Somebody has given the wind industry a get-out-of-jail-free card."

Michael Fry of the American Bird Conservancy on the lack of prosecution of the politically favored wind industry, even though wind turbines kill tens of thousands of birds each year. Oil and utility companies have faced fines under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for killing far fewer birds.

"Imagine sending your weekly grocery bill to an insurance clerk for review, and having the grocer reimbursed by the insurer to whom you've paid your share."

David Goldhill, in The Atlantic, on the "expensive and wasteful absurdity" of health insurance that takes care of routine visits.


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