Perspectives

"I didn't go down shooting like a Rambo GI Jane."
Former soldier Jessica Lynch, to a House panel investigating inaccurate reports about both her 2003 capture in Iraq and the death of Pat Tillman

"I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who had a 9 percent approval rating."
Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, responding to criticism from Vice President Dick Cheney that Reid's comment calling the war "lost" represents "defeatism"

"Make no mistake about it, the Democrats want to put us back on defense."
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, who said his rivals would weaken U.S. military presence abroad

"My partner and I look forward to taking full advantage of the new law."
Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, of New Hampshire, on his state's legalization of civil unions

"I am a transsexual sportswriter."
Mike Penner, of the Los Angeles Times, who announced his plans to return from a vacation as "Christine Daniels" in a column for the newspaper. Penner did not say whether he will undergo gender-reassignment surgery.

"He was doing gold-medalist gymnastics in zero G."
Zero Gravity Corp. CEO Peter Diamandis, on astrophysicist Stephen Hawking's ride on a modified plane that simulates weightlessness with steep dives. Hawking was the first person with a disability to perform the feat.

"Science will tell you that Phil Spector was not holding a gun in the decedent's mouth."
Defense lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden, in her opening statement at the record producer's murder trial. Spector is charged with killing actress Lana Clarkson.

"It's like a Thomas Hardy tragedy, because she did so much good, but something she did long ago came back and trumped it."
Leslie C. Perelman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on Marilee Jones, the school's dean of admissions. Dean served in the position for 10 years before stepping down last week after it was revealed that she had fabricated her academic credentials.

"This individual was a major dealer of anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs whose clientele was focused almost exclusively on Major League Baseball players."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Parrella, on Kirk Radomski, 37, a former batboy for the NewYork Mets, who pleaded guilty last week to distributing steroids to dozens of ballplayers between 1995 and 2005

Reader Phyllis Landis of Los Angeles submitted this quote:

"I didn't think there was anything illegal about skinning a dead 'gator."
Tampa, Fla., man Benjamin Hodges, who was arrested for skinning a dead alligator he found floating in a river. After transporting the animal home in a shopping cart, he began skinning it on his lawn before police arrived; he said he was going to use the hide to make a new belt.

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