In their own words

Lock it up in Guantanamo!

“Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security” — Headline in New York Times, August 9.

User pays in danger?

“It’s perhaps not the best in our system of democracy, where it means you can get better access to a minister if you can pay for it.” — Robert Needham, head of Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission, planning to look into the practice of paying for time with politicians.


“I’m comfortable making use of all volunteers within the ALP.” — Anthony Chisholm, secretary of the Queensland ALP. The “volunteers” were employees of lobbying firms assigned to help with the Labor state election campaign.


“We are very keen to talk to business and listen to what they have to say.” — NSW Liberal Party director Mark Neeham, offering businesspeople the chance to meet with shadow ministers for $4000.

Only sober sailors need apply

“There’s this assumption that everyone was like drunken sailors passing out money without regard to the consequences or without giving it any thought.” — Robert A. Profusek, a lawyer with a firm representing major US banks, defending the payment of bonuses of more than $1 million to around 5000 bank executives and traders in 2008.

No one left to sack?

“The labour market, like the overall economy, is beginning to stabilise, with the expectation that job losses will approach zero by the end of the year.” — The president of an economic advisory company, taking comfort from the fact that “only” 247,000 jobs were lost in the US in July.

Or take out to stop them saying it?

“‘How many people do you bring in before the Afghans say, “You’re acting like the Russians”?’ said one senior military official, referring to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. ‘That’s the big debate going on in the headquarters right now.’” — Wall Street Journal, August 10.

No segregation in cemeteries

“Iraq has advanced the cause of full integration for women in the army by leaps and bounds.” —  Retired US Army Colonel Peter R. Mansoor.