2007 Quotes of the Year

According to one Fred R. Shapiro of the Yale Book of quotations as cited in this story, here are the top 10 quotes of 2007,

1. “Don’t tase me, bro.” — Andrew Meyer, a senior at the University of Florida, while being hauled away by campus police during a speech by Sen. John Kerry. [I wonder if reaction would have differed had this happened during a John Cornyn speech…]

2. “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and [the] Iraq and everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.” — Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton (below, yes the one on the right).

caitlin-upton

The quote was Caitlin’s response during the Miss Teen America contest, after she was asked why one-fifth of Americans cannot find the U.S on a map. [I believe Ms. Upton might have written a book about her experience, see below]

the-iraq-bit-jpg.jpg

3. “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.” — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at Columbia University in New York. [And in Saudi Arabia I understand they don’t have thieves]

4. “That’s some nappy-headed hos there.” — radio personality Don Imus, referring to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. [Had Imus been a rapper and dropped this line in a “song” this would have been a non-story]

5. “I don’t recall.” — former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ repeated response to congressional questions about the firing of U.S. attorneys. [Perhaps Roger Clemens should dump Rusty Hardin and hire Gonzalez]

6. “There’s only three things he (Rudolph Giuliani) mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11.” — Sen. Joseph Biden, speaking during a debate for Democratic presidential candidates. [Wait on it…]

7. “I’m not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, referring to Vice President Dick Cheney. [I wonder what Harry thinks of Congress’ current approval ratings?]

8. “(I have) a wide stance when going to the bathroom.” — Sen. Larry Craig, explaining why his foot touched the foot of an undercover police officer in an airport men’s room. [I had a friend who shared with us that he also had a wide stance yet he never had the Senator’s problem]

9. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” — Sen. Joseph Biden referring to rival Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. [Biden is my “Person of the Year” for making it on the list twice, wonder if Sharpton would have ignored such a comment from a Republican?]

10. “I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.” — Former President Jimmy Carter, referring to the Bush administration. [Is the man who handed Iran to Khomeini really going to critique other Presidents?]

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Man shot down by Houston Police

While the title of this post seems to indicate that an injustice has taken place, the course of the investigation will bear this out. To be sure though, any loss of human life must be viewed as a tragedy.

The Houston Chronicle ran a story on this unfortunate incident,
“HPD officer shoots, kills naked man who chased him”

After reading the story, I noticed some characteristics of police shootings (in Houston at least).

1) The perhaps understandable picture of outrage of the family of the deceased
311xinlinegallery.jpgHouston Chronicle

The picture of course shows the ones stand the most to lose, the kids.

2) The victim is a black man who was first tasered then shot

  • some actually think that the police have nothing better to do than to go around tasering and/or shooting black people for no good reason; given the history of race relations in this country I don’t blame them but their reactions makes me think of the boy who cried wolf.

3) Quanell X is somehow involved

  • Enough said. Though in this case his involvement is a head-scratcher given that there is no suspect who Quanell can convince to turn himself in so Mr. X can collect the reward money. I say this because Quanell, not to mention his Hispanic counterpart, Rodolfo X were uncharacteristically silent after Officer Rodney Johnson was killed in the line of duty by an undocumented immigrant.

4) An eyewitness (or 2 in some cases) has an account of the events which differs or contradicts the official police statement, which by the way, the people in the dead man’s community aren’t buying,

“You’ll have to come up with a better story than that!” one person shouted… Relatives at the scene Thursday afternoon were skeptical of the police officer’s version of the events.

5) The paper strangely left out the fact that the dead man (who was acting rowdy) weighed almost 300 pounds.

  • I’m not sure how much the police officer weighed but how do you control a non-compliant and naked 270 lb. man when even the taser doesn’t work?

6) Friends and family of the deceased are shocked that he would do any of the things in the police’s account (in this case getting undressed and chasing the police officer)

  • This from a cousin,

“Every time you saw him he had a smile on his face and he always wanted to give you a hug,” said Evelyn Swan, the slain man’s cousin. “He is not a rowdy person.”

  • From the man’s father,

Smith’s father, Raymond Sr., said he could not explain his son’s behavior as it was describe by police. He said that his son did not have a history of mental illness and was not on any medications.

7) The fond memories family members have of the deceased tend to ignore or conveniently forget the man’s past criminal record and/or prison time.

Court records show Smith had a criminal record dating to 1995–eight convictions, half of them on drug charges… and served almost all of a two-year prison sentence, records show.

  • I realize that the man’s history does not make the police’s account true, but it does not make it outrageous either. I like what the father said about medications in the face of his son’s most recent charge in 2003,

He pleaded guilty in June of that year to the manufacture an delivery of less than a gram of a controlled substance

I guess a controlled substance isn’t really medication?

While this is a sad, sad story it is one more reminder of a good rule of thumb: If a cop asks you to do something, do it.

Don’t get naked (allegedly), don’t run away (allegedly), and for sure don’t start chasing the cop (allegedly).

Remember, there are a lot more of them than there are of you.