By Syed M. Aslam
Sep 02 - 08, 2002


*** "THE TRAFFIC DATA of the whole population of the EU — and the countries joining — is to be held on record. It is a move from targeted to potentially universal surveillance."

(Editor of Statewatch, an independent human rights watchdog, criticising a proposal allowing the EU governments to store records of personal communications, including all e-mails and telephone calls for at least a year)

*** "WHO NEEDS WAR PLAN? We need family therapy."

(New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd's icy comment on the serious rift within President Bush foreign policy hierarchy regarding invasion on Iraq)

*** "WE SEIZED on the opportunity, since US products are being boycotted by Saudis."

(Director of fizzy Iranian soft drink "Zam Zam Cola" expressing joy at the enthusiastic reception of the product in Saudi Arabia)

*** "WE WILL DO WHAT IS RIGHT and not what is legal... They have to use community toilets, their children play in human waste... Yet the government is paying them 70p a day to paint buildings so that world leaders will see a different Johannesberg."

(Spokesman of Indaba Social Movement showing its determination to go ahead with the protest march to one of the UN Earth summit in Sandton, South Africa to express frustration to world leaders attending the summit despite the fact that the march had been declared illegal by the government)

*** "HE COULD DO the Jerry Springer subjects because he was, in a sense, living a Jerry Springer episode."

(Director of Syracuse, New York, Centre for the Study of Popular Television commenting on possibilities of former President Bill Clinton hosting a talk show. The former president has reported discussed such deals for $ 30-50 million a year)

*** "54 per cent"

(Number of Britons who want to emigrate from the country according to a survey conducted by a local pollster. Rising cost of living and terrible weather are the two top reasons attributed by the people for their desire to leave the country)

*** "HE'S A VERY AFFABLE fellow, very good humour, speaks English better than most Americans."

(White House spokesman Ari Fleischer's`patronizing comments on Saudi Arabian ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan who was hosted by US President George W. Bush at his Texas ranch. The US President also called Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah in an attempt to lessen the harm done by scorching anti-Saudi comments made by a Rand Corporation analyst recently)

*** "FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY, we hired Enron's accountants to figure out just how old you are."

(Quip showing a smirking accountant sitting over an adding machine in a birthday card inspired by scandal-hit US energy giant Enron)

*** "THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH seeks to uproot people's lives, outside the public eye, and behind a closed door. Democracies die behind closed doors."

(Ruling given by US federal appeals court judge, Damon Keith, in Detroit. The ruling said that the Justice Department violated the US Constitution by holding secret hearings of an Arab national after the 11.9 attacks)

*** "6.6 million"

(Number of people behind bars, on probation or parole in the US as reported by the Justice Department. One in every 32 adults in the US was behind bars, or on probation or parole by the end of last year)

*** " ... I sat next to two KGB agents on an aeroplane and erased their floppy disks with the power of my mind ... Do you remember when they were negotiating the nuclear arms reduction in Geneva? I was there bombarding the Russian envoy's head with peaceful thoughts, transmitting: 'Sign, sign, sign'"

(Controversial telepathist and famed spoon-bender of the 70s, Uri Geller, recounting some of his 'works' for the US intelligence agency, the CIA)

*** "8.3 billion"

(Expected population of the world by 2030)