Quotables: The Joint Chiefs, Zawahiri, Yew, Larry Carl, Mr. J, et al

Posted: May 11, 2006 12:05 AM

Hanging out some recent quotes on the clothesline. . .

Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit, 75, disclosing that 60 years ago he was sexually molested by a priest: "At some point (during a weekend cabin retreat, the priest) would start wrestling with one of us. Then he would be putting his hands into your pants . . . .I don't want to exaggerate that I was horribly damaged. It was not the kind of sexual abuse that many of the victims experience. . . . (Still, many victims) are intimidated, embarrassed. They just bury it. I understand that. I never told my parents. I never told anybody."

No. 2 al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in a video taunting President Bush following an air strike in Pakistan intended to kill him: "Butcher of Washington, you are not only defeated and a liar, but also a failure. You are a curse on your own nation and you have brought and will bring them only catastrophes and tragedies."

Singapore's former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew: "If terrorists succeed in forcing the U.S. and its allies out of Iraq, the jihadists will be triumphant and terrorism will spread worldwide. Osama bin Laden's and al-Qaida's objective is not to get Americans out of Iraq but to control Saudi Arabia and its oil - and after that, the world."

Yew, further: "The U.S. and Europe must discredit extremist ideology, which takes Koranic passages out of context, preaches hatred against non-Muslims, and seeks to spread Islam through violence. Muslims who want to be a part of the modern world of science and technology must confront and stop these Islamists from preaching violence and hatred. They must get the ulamas (Muslim scholars) and ustaz (religious teachers) to preach that Islam is a religion of peace, not terror, and that it is tolerant of other peoples and their faiths, as Muslim scholars have proudly asserted."

Trucker Larry Carl, 47, digging into an "animal style" Double-Double (two beef patties, two slices of American cheese, fried onions, sauce, lettuce and tomato) at an In-N-Out Burger location in Los Angeles, when asked whether he had heard about suits threatening the future of the 202-restaurant franchise legendary throughout the West: "Yeah, I heard about the court cases. I just hope they don't monkey with the menu."

All six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a letter to The Washington Post protesting a Tom Toles cartoon: "Using the likeness of a service member who has lost his arms and legs in war as the central theme of a cartoon is beyond tasteless. . . .We believe you and Mr. Toles have done a disservice to your readers and your paper's reputation by using such a callous depiction of those who have volunteered to defend this nation and, as a result, have suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds."

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (also depicted in the Toles cartoon), seven weeks earlier: "We've arrived at a strange time in this country, where the worst about America and our military seems to so quickly be taken as truth by the press and reported and spread around the world . . . .[The reporting is] often with little context and little scrutiny, let alone correction or accountability after the fact . . . . Government has to reassess continuously, and we do. So, too, it's useful, I believe, for the media to reassess."

Stephen Farrell of the Cooper Institute, a Dallas research center focusing on physical activity - on rising obesity among the young: "Kids are spending a lot more time in sedentary pursuits than they did a generation ago. If you drive around your neighborhood nowadays you really don't see kids outside playing. It seems they only play sports if it's part of an organized league. Kids really just need to go out and play more."

An observation by Thomas Jefferson, offered here in connection with the datum that President Bush never has vetoed any legislation reaching his desk: "I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be."