MOST THOUGHTFUL TAKE ON 9/11 "This is a world out of touch with itself, filled with people who have forgotten how to recognize and respond to the sacred in each other." Rabbi Michael Lerner
SMARTEST WORDS UTTERED BY THE NDP ALL YEAR "Osama is a Canadian name." Leader Alexa McDonough at the November NDP convention
THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM A PESTICIDE SALESPERSON "I'm not a toxicologist." Chemlawn technical adviser Gavin Dawson
BEST (AND ONLY) DEFENCE OF ANIMAL TORTURE "If I, and you, are capable of endorsing (by wilfully ignoring) the well-documented horrors visited on animals raised in grisly factory settings for slaughter -- tortured to feed our bodies -- why do I, and you, react with revulsion to the possibility that a domestic cat may have been tortured in the name of art? Tortured, in other words, to feed our souls." Gerald Hannon
BIGGEST STONEWALL Mike Harris on the stand at the Walkerton inquiry, under questioning from lawyer Paul Cavalluzzo
PC: If the risks were manageable, why were they never disclosed to the public in the government's environmental business plan?
MH: That was all information for decision-makers.
PC: Don't you think the public was entitled to that information?
PC: Can the premier point to a single document that says the risks to public health were manageable?
PC: Does the premier agree that the Tories' contention they were reforming the ministry "without lowering the current high level of environmental protection" was misleading?
WORST POSSIBLE THING TO SAY IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ISRAELI-ARAB CONFLICT "The Torah teaches that it's all right to desecrate the sabbath to make weapons to destroy our enemies." Rabbi David Schochet of Chabad-Lubavitch, at memorial for Ze'ev Kahane
MOST SELF-DELUDED EXCUSE FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY "The animals get fed pretty much all day long. They have three big meals a day. They're spoiled rotten." Alissa Zilio, Garden Brothers Circus
MOST PRETENTIOUS CRAP TO COME FROM THE MOUTH OF A FORMER NAZI "I thought I was living for this argument, this political perspective. But suddenly I got this perspective of what it would be like to live in a spaceship a billion miles from the Earth. It dawned on me that I was a slave to my DNA, this scared little creature crouching in a cave." George Burdi, on his conversion to Hinduism
BEST REMINDER THAT OUR CITY SERVICES SUCK "Our cycle paths are cleared of snow before roads. In Toronto, I am told, they put the snow on the cycle paths." Sarah Nilsson, director of a Swedish eco group, on a visit to Toronto
MOST COMPELLING REASON TO BAN PLASTIC BULLETS "I have a hole in my throat. I can't even make love. I can't get excited." Quebec City demonstrator Eric Laferriere
ANOTHER REASON WHY ROGERS BITES "Listen to me, you fuckers. I have sent you numerous e-mails with a promise of response and I have yet to receive anything. Are you assholes doing this on purpose? I am fucking waiting for a proper reponse. Don't you dare for one second think that you can treat me like a child by cutting off 'privileges' when I am paying you $100 a month." One of many e-mails for technical support sent to Rogers@Home by former subscriber Rhea Bischof
CRAZIEST WORDS UTTERED BY A FIRST-TIME CANDIDATE "What the hell are you doing running against me?" Bob Hunter to Green party candidate Peter Elgie
MOST PRESCIENT OFFERING ON 9/11 "It is likely to lead to harsh security controls, with many possible ramifications for undermining civil liberties and internal freedom." Noam Chomsky
BEST REASON NOT TO BE A CAUSE CELEBRE "They made money out of him. They fed on the faith and trust placed in them. They sucked the lifeblood out of him... and then, when he had outlived his usefulness to them, they threw him away." Court document filed by Mumia Abu-Jamal's new counsel against his former lawyers best reason TO be paranoid "Everybody's a target to the Americans. They like to suck everything in. There are a lot more reasons for them to be spying in Ottawa than people realize." Fred Stock, former officer with the Communications Security Establishment
BEST ADVICE ABOUT SWIMMING IN LAKE ONTARIO (BESIDES NOT SWIMMING IN LAKE ONTARIO) "I usually wear earplugs to avoid infection." Councillor Jack Layton
BEST PR PLOY BY ACTIVISTS "We are working with Parliament to enact strong teddy bear legislation to ensure that teddy bears do not fall into the hands of criminals." Press release issued by Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade after Jaggi Singh was arrested for catapulting teddy bears at police
BEST REASON NOT TO GET BUSTED FOR POT while crossing the border "Some inmates are kept alone in a cell 23 hours a day and only allowed out handcuffed and shackled, with a stun gun held against them." Graham Stewart, John Howard Society on Canadians in U.S. prisons
MOST PROPHETIC THOUGHT ON THE TALIBAN "We all operate on a very western time-line. The Taliban don't. They think in millennia. This is just a temporary setback." Ilana Kass, professor of military strategy, U.S. National War College
BEST ADVICE FOR PASSING YOUR TIME IN THE JOINT "I made lots of collect calls to the outside and developed a reputation in my block as a phone hog." Demonstrator Jaggi Singh
MOST SOBERING MOMENT of toronto's olympic bid "Are we getting paid for this?" One school kid to another at Nathan Phillips Square flag-raising ceremony
MOST ILL-ADVISED CHANT AT A PEACEFUL DEMO "Tonight we're going to fuck shit up." Black Bloc at Quebec City Summit
BEST KVETCH ABOUT CREEPING COMMERCIALISM "Burning Man has turned into an overpriced, fucking tame, controlled, over-regulated event with pigs rolling through camp busting people for smoking pot." Veteran Burner Bill Lee
BEST SLAG OF CORPORATE APPROPRIATION OF ART "People can look at a mural I did and say, 'That's crime.' But a corporate ad can take a graffiti-oriented logo and throw a Labatt Ice on it, and that's considered cool." Local graffiti artist Asesr
BEST REASON TO READ MARGARET ATWOOD'S SURVIVAL "The notion that Canada is a unique sort of place producing a parochial culture is waning. I think the Tragically Hip will be the last 'Canadian band.'" Richard Wright, Trent University, author
BEST ECO-ARGUMENT USED TO SHAME THE TORIES "We Canadians give advice to people all over the world on managing endangered species, and here we have one in Canada (Algonquin wolves) and we bow down to exploitative interests with a whole species at stake. I think it's a disgrace." Biologist John Theberge on Tory plans to allow hunting of Algonquin wolves
BEST EXAMPLE OF BAD SUPERPOWER HUMOUR "I had reached the point in life where I was short-tempered, intolerant, mean-spirited with those who disagreed with me. I said, 'Heck, I'd make a great CEO.'" U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney in a Toronto speech
BEST ATTEMPT AT POSITIVE SPIN "Instead of just seeing Aunt Jemima as a negative, people see a smart black woman who was doing what she had to do to support her children." Rosemary Sadlier, president of the Ontario Black History Society