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By Syed M.Aslam
Mar 26 - Apr 01, 2001

*** " . . . THE QUESTION OF DEMOCRACY is perceived differently in a Third World country. What do people prefer? The right to vote or free access to schools, health care, housing and food, as is the case in Cuba."

(Norwegian parliamentarian Hallgeir Langeland nominating Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Cuban people for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize hoping that his initiative would 'start a debate on the creation of a fair world, where capitalism does not rule')

*** "ARE THESE STUPID voters? Or is it a stupid voting system? There is certainly evidence here that these were not stupid voters."

(University of California-Berkeley Professor Henry Brad claiming that former vice president Al Gore would have won the recount in Florida to win the Presidency)

*** "THESE WERE such big forces that he took on. This little country argued with the United States over Vietnam, with Israel over the Palestinians, with South Africa over apartheid."

(Mourner Agnete Carelson after laying a rose at the spot in Stockholm where Swedish prime minister Olof Palme was shot dead 15 years ago)

*** "THEY DON'T CARE what you think about his grammar, they care about what he's going to do that affects their lives."

(White House counsellor Mary Matalin defending President George W. Bush's verbal gaffes which are deplored by a US columnists as 'a third-grade grammatical error)

*** "STOP GIVING him your curriculum vitae because they go straight into the waste basket. That was our agreement."

(Philippines President Gloria Arroyo warning job seekers not to use her husband Mike as a possible route to her)

*** "WE SHOULD hit back with all our might and recapture Pakistan. Not only Pakistan, but all other neighbouring countries which were part of India."

(Gopal Godse, the reviled brother and co-conspirator of Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse, advocating and aggressive India)

*** "POWELL SHOULD know or should realise that (Israeli) occupation is the real terrorism. There is no comparison between the fascist occupation and a people's uprising."

(Marwan Barghouti, the West Bank Palestinian leader, denouncing US Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit for a totally biased policy which entirely favours Israel)

*** "IS THERE some blue-collared Texan innuendo about blokes using the same toothpaste?"

(Guardian columnist Vicki Woods criticising US President Georeg W. Bush for saying that he and British Prime Minister Tony Blair used the same toothpaste when asked by a reporter what he and British Prime Minister had in common after the two met at Camp David)

*** "WE HAVE A LONG TRADITION of puppet leaders . . . The real powerful person does not take on the top job at the surface. He remains the man with the power behind the scenes."

(Professor of Politics at Hakuo University, Masayuki Fukuoka, attributing a weak democratic system for Japan's inability to play a greater global role and that Japanese prime ministers are expendable figureheads sacrificed to public opinion by those in the backrooms with real power)

*** "TRUSTING YOU are all well and wishing you all a happy new year. Will write in a day or two. This is the first time postcards have been issued in Queensland."

(Postcard mailed by Colin Wardrop to his sister on January 4, 1889 delivered to his granddaughter in New Zealand recently)

*** "A COMBINATION of my thoughts and ideals."

(Jeweler Lam Sai-wing explaining that building the 24-carat gold toilet worth $ 4.9 million at his shop in Hong Kong was inspired by Lenin who wanted to make gold toilets for the public. The toilet is fitted with two 24-carat gold commodes and the toilet bowls, wash basins, toilet brushes, toilet paper holders, mirror frames, wall-mounted chandeliers and even wall tiles, doors and floor are made of solid gold. The ceiling is decorated with ruby, sapphire, emerald and amber)

*** "THEY ARE VERY HIGH in protein and very low in fat. They have a higher percentage of protein than any meat or fish that we commonly eat."

(Designer-turned-chef, Todd Dalton, promoting his baked and chocolate coated ants, crickets and scorpions at upmarket London stores)