Of Public Record — quotes culled from recent days’ media


“It’s not like I was some social outcast… like I was an anarchist or somebody who just wants to destroy the world… No, I was a regular person.  And mujahedeen are regular people too.”

Canadian-born ISIS terrorist Andre Poulin (who in fact had a “violent threat” arrest record in Canada), in a video promoting jihad.  Mr. Poulin was killed in Syria last year at the age of 24.


“There’s a climate change establishment and I’m not in it.”

John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, on being shunned by his colleagues for contending that predictions of future global warming are greatly overstated.


“[I just like] those funny, funny names”

Joram Kamau, the owner of a matatu, or minibus, in Kenya, on his choice of “Hitler” as the name of his vehicle (painted on the windshield in 7-inch-high letters and stitched into every seat).  Mr. Kamau said he had never heard of the Holocaust.


“I have ‘chai’ tattooed on my body.  I will always hold Jewish traditions near to my heart.”

Cliff Freid, who has opened a restaurant in Manhattan that serves food made from, or with, ants, worms and other insects, on the disconnect between the fare he offers and Jewish law.


“I kind of phased things in. I started with keeping kosher and keeping Shabbos, but the dressing came about 10 years later.  I think I really did see it the way I’d say most people who are outside the Orthodox world look at it: ‘Why should I give up summer clothes?’ And I was very surprised to find out when I made the changeover that it’s nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be.  It’s not about making yourself ugly, it’s about focusing on the inside, not the outside.”

New Jersey lawyer Janette Frisch, who began to undertake Jewish observance in college, on how dressing modestly on hot days ceased to be an issue for her.


“You cannot read the Hebrew Scripture without encountering the idea that there’s a very strong covenant between G-d and the Jewish people,”

Pew Research Center director of religion research Alan Cooperman, in an understatement, on Evangelicals’ particularly high regard for Jews, revealed in a recent poll that showed Jews are the “best liked group” in America.  (Atheists and Muslims were the least liked.)


“I did not leave Morocco for France to be confronted by Morocco again in France,”

An unnamed Casablanca-born Jewish doctor, to French journalist Michel Gurfinkiel



Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, offering his judgment of Israel’s bombing of missile sites in Gaza, a judgment Armenians would, and accurately, apply elsewhere.


“We don’t need statements of regret from Israel.”

Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch, after Israel apologized for civilian casualties in Gaza.  He didn’t indicate whether or not Israel needs rocket attacks on its citizens.

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