Eclectic quotations accumulating in Hell's Kitchen, NY, USA.


"The first act is always too long. Usually about 20 minutes. Actually, if you think about it, all of show business is about 20 minutes too long."
-- Peter Stone, three-time Tony award winning book writer, who died last Saturday, as quoted by Michael Riedel in the New York Post.


"When ranking bad American governors, it’s wise to set aside literal corruption: So many of them have been thieves that it’s useless to single out any particular governor for stealing money... The better and more compelling standards are irresponsibility and incompetence. It’s here that George Pataki is distinguishing himself. Pataki’s behavior in the current state-budget impasse is a unique political lab experiment: Can a man be reelected governor and then simply refuse to do his job without suffering any real consequences?"
-- Chris Smith,Voodoo Economics, in New York Magazine


"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."
-- Senator Rick Santorum, Republican, from the state of Pennsylvania, the 3rd Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate.


"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."
-- Alfred D'Souza


"I think there's going to be skepticism until people find out there was, in fact, a weapons of mass destruction program..."
-- George W. Bush


"Attitudes are the forerunners of conditions."
-- Eric Butterworth


"My age is none of my business."
-- Eric Butterworth, who died last Thursday at age 86.


"It's time for Mr. Pataki to stop acting like a politician running for office. He won already. Now he needs to buckle down and start helping a very troubled state and a very needy city. Hard times have landed on his watch, and he will be remembered by how he copes with them... This budget year is as crucial to Mr. Pataki's reputation as it is to the communities and city that depend on him. This is his moment, for better or for worse. He will be remembered either as the man who led the state through one of its toughest times or as the blank slate who preferred his photo ops while New York crumbled."
-- Editorial, New York's Lost Leader, in The New York Times.


"Mr. Bush's willingness to take big gambles, to push for what he wants no matter the consequences, are likely to leave an imprint on America far beyond his tenure in office. We hope that he's successful in the fight against terrorism, and that he brings about a more stable Mideast and a democratic Iraq. But on the domestic front, almost every success cripples the nation's ability to move toward a happy, prosperous future. This is one war we hope he loses."
-- Editorial titled The War at Home in The New York Times.


"Violence towards women is unapproachable... It is the most disgusting act, to me."
-- Scott Peterson, recently arrested for the murder of his wife and their unborn child.


"War on Iraq was optional for George W. Bush... He could have easily chosen not to have it, in which case it wouldn't have happened, but when he decided to have it, that was it: we had it. The President's ability to decide when and where to use America's military power is now absolute. Congress cannot stop him. That's not what the Constitution says, and it's not what the War Powers Act says, but that's how it works in practice. The U.N. cannot stop him. That's not what the U.N. Charter says, but who cares? And who cares what America's allies think either?... Even more amazing than the President's pragmatic power over military resources is his apparent spiritual power over so many minds. Bush is not the only one who decided rather suddenly that disempowering Saddam had to be the world's top priority. When Bush decided this, so did almost every congressional Republican, conservative TV pundit and British Prime Minister. In polls, a large majority of Americans agreed with Bush that Saddam was a terrible threat and had to go, even though there had been no popular passion for this idea before Bush brought it up. You could call this many things, but one of them is leadership. If real leadership means leading people where they don't want to go, George W. Bush has shown himself to be a real leader. And he now owns a bit of history to prove it."
-- Michael Kinsley, in The Power of One in Time, this week.


"New York City is the glittering jewel of American municipalities. It was attacked by a foreign enemy on Sept. 11, 2001, and it has suffered since then, as have other cities and states, from the effects of a bad economy and dreadful fiscal policies in Washington.

Eventually some help will come from Albany, but it won't be nearly enough and the deterioration of this splendid city will continue. Mr. Pataki's intransigence in the face of a genuine crisis is symptomatic of the reluctance of conservative officeholders to invest in the crucial services that help individuals, and thus a nation, to thrive.

Next year the Republican Party will hold its national convention in New York City, and it will go out of its way to exploit the powerful emotions evoked by ground zero and the memories of Sept. 11. The mayor of New York City, the governor of New York State and the president of the United States are all Republicans.

With that lineup you'd think this city, after all it's been through, could get a break."

-- Bob Herbert, in A City on the Ropes in The New York Times today.


"The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?'"
-- Bette Davis


"The situation of Iraqis is as if one eye is crying and one eye is laughing."
-- Sayid Hashem al-Shamaa, a Shiite leader, at the Kadhimiya shrine in Baghdad; as quoted by The New York Times.


"You've got to give credit to the humanity of those Iraqi soldiers for returning the P.O.W.'s... Given all the atrocities we've seen, we feared the worst. Our hearts were lifted today."
-- Capt. Neil. S. Murphy Jr., a Marine spokesman, as quoted in The New York Times.


"A country's identity, its value and civilization resides in its history...If a country's civilization is looted, as ours has been here, its history ends. Please tell this to President Bush. Please remind him that he promised to liberate the Iraqi people, but that this is not a liberation, this is a humiliation."
-- Raid Abdul Ridhar Muhammad, an Iraqi Archeologist on the looting of The National Museum of Iraq, as quoted in The New York Times.


"It's untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."
-- Donald H. Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense, on lawlessness and rampant looting in Iraq, as quoted in The New York Times.


"There is no question the regime has lost control, and that represents a great turning point for the people of Iraq as the regime is gone..."
-- Ari Fleischer, White House Press Secretary


"The game is over."
-- Mohammed Aldouri, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, in The New York Times.


"It's hard to smile when there's no water. It's hard to applaud when you're frightened. It's hard to say, "Thank you for liberating me," when liberation has meant that looters have ransacked everything from the grain silos to the local school, where they even took away the blackboard."
-- Thomas L. Friedman, in an editorial titled Hold Your Applause in The New York Times.


"I don't know if he survived... The only thing I know is he's losing power."
-- George W. Bush, in reference to dropping four "Bunker-Buster" bombs on a restaurant in Bagdad where Saddam and his two sons were reported to be in attendance. As quoted on Today.


"President Bush flew into Belfast tonight for a war council with his principal ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, as allied advances on the ground in Iraq underlined the urgency of settling trans-Atlantic differences over the conflict's aftermath."
-- Warren Hoge, reporting for The New York Times.


"The message... is to in a way put a bit of an exclamation point on the fact that coalition troops are in the vicinity of Baghdad... and demonstrate to the Iraqi leadership that they do not have control... It was very clear to the people of Baghdad that coalition forces were in the city. That image is important."
-- US Major-General Victor Renuart, as quoted by the BBC.


"The problem with the urban fight is not the good guy or the bad guy, it is the noncombatant... If all the noncombatants are out of the city, it is just a fight. With noncombatants inside, it can be an absolute mess."
-- Retired US Army Col. Johnny Brooks, an expert in infantry tactics, as quoted in The Washington Post.


"Having traveled hundreds of miles, we will now go the last 200 yards."
-- George W. Bush


"We are just real proud that they risked their lives to go in and save our daughter and we hope all the rest of the troops come home safely too."
-- Greg Lynch, father of Rescued POW Jessica Lynch in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America.


‘‘In 11 days, coalition forces have taken control of most of western and southern Iraq... In 11 days, we’ve seized key bridges, opened a northern front, achieved — nearly achieved complete air superiority and are delivering tons of humanitarian aid... Many dangers lie ahead. But day by day, we are moving closer to Baghdad. Day by day, we are moving closer to victory.’’
-- George W. Bush