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Step off, old man!
Friday, 28 May 2004
Bill Clinton duped by Iran, pardons child molester
Just imagine if Bill Clinton was president and he was duped by an Iranian spy like Chalabi into starting a war with Iraq. Then imagine he pardoned a couple convicted sexual molesters and his son-in-law. What would that make him? A Republican, apparently.

This comes from a news article about Republican Rep. Bill Janklow, recently freed from prison after a vehicular manslaughter conviction. Turns out old Bill Janklow pardoned a bunch of people, none of whom was apparently responsible for what they did.

Notice the typical Republican spin. Not one of the people involved says they're sorry for what they did; instead, they're all sorry that the news got our about what they did.

The party of personal responsibility strikes again!

Oh and look out for the "the vicious sharp-tailed grouse." HA!

Here it is:

"Sexual contact with a child, indecent molestation of a child, rape and manslaughter are among the crimes secretly pardoned by former Gov. Bill Janklow, according to documents released today.

Janklow also secretly pardoned his son-in-law's drunken driving and drug crimes, records show.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson today released 218 pardons dating to 1984. Until today, the pardons were sealed from public view.

Janklow said today that he has taken worrisome phone calls from some of those who had been pardoned.

"I'm just heartsick of the hurt that I've caused people that got pardons," Janklow told the Associated Press this afternoon.

"I've been a lawyer since 1966, and I had never, ever looked at the (pardon) statutes," he said.

"All the processing and paperwork was done administratively by others," he said. "That doesn't excuse me. I bear the responsibility. I never looked at the mechanics. I looked at the substance ... on whether or not a pardon should be granted."

The release of the pardons comes three weeks after the state Supreme Court ruled that the pardons must be made public.

The case began when the Argus Leader requested names of all people pardoned since 1995 after Janklow said he signed an undetermined number of the documents.

Included in the list is Dallas Wayne Thomas, a Tabor man whose 1984 pardon erased a conviction for indecent molestation of a child.

"I guess I can go find my pardon in the drawer and tear it up and throw it away," said Thomas, 55, who served six months in the South Dakota State Penitentiary more than 20 years ago for molesting his family's 15-year-old female baby sitter.

"My family has suffered, and we thought this matter had been put behind us. A lot of these people (on the list) have businesses, lifestyles, grandchildren - and they've tried to get on with their lives."

Thomas said he quit drinking after the incident, which occurred while he was driving the baby sitter home.

"I was under the influence, but I didn't actually molest her," he said. "I quit before it went that far. A light came on and I realized, OThis is wrong.' "

Still, Thomas was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

In April 2002, Janklow authorized a pardon for another man arrested on Aug. 4, 1980 for sexual contact with a child under 16 in Davison County, according to one of the pardons released today. Other details are not included in that man's pardon.

They are among nine sex crimes that were erased by Janklow's pardons.

Also among the records released today is Janklow's July 17, 2002, pardon of William Gordon Haugen II, who is married to Janklow's daughter, Shonna.

Haugen was cleared of drunken driving in Brookings County in 1983. The pardon also cleared him of a 1993 Lyman County marijuana possession conviction and a 1997 Minnehaha County drunken driving conviction.

Janklow told the AP that he pardoned Haugen after he promised that he would go straight.

"My son-in-law did things when he was a younger person that he paid for. He came to me and asked if I would clean things up because he wanted to go to law school. I said, `Is this all behind you?' and he said, `So help me God, it's behind me.' I said, `Are you ever going to embarrass me or anybody else?' He said, `Never,' and so I did it, and he's just finished his first year in law school and is a very good student."

One of the most notable names on the list is Jerus Campbell, a former chief legal counsel for Janklow who was in charge of the governor's pardons program.

Campbell, who works for Valley Bank in Sioux Falls, was pardoned for two separate offenses.

He was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Hand County in 1981 and of disorderly conduct in Tripp County in 1997.

Campbell's father, Ron, a lawyer in Miller, also received a pardon from Janklow. He was convicted of DWI in Hand County in 1982.

In December 2002, Charvin Harper Dixon was pardoned for a disorderly conduct charge he was sentenced for in Tripp County on May 9, 1995.

Dixon, 49, was the lawyer for the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners for 17 years. He resigned in April of 2004 shortly after an Argus Leader investigation that found the board rarely disciplines doctors. Gov. Mike Rounds called for a review of how the board does business. Dixon did not cite a reason for his resignation. He resides in Brandon.

Many of the people on the list said they never requested a pardon from Janklow or anyone else.

More than 60 of the pardons were for drunken driving, and 61 were drug charges.

Some of the crimes could be considered minor ones. Those include a 1985 pardon issued by Janklow for Gregory A. Kleinsasser, a farmer, for operating a combine after dark.

Another man was pardoned by Janklow for shooting a Hen Pheasant during the 1982 Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt.

Thomas Theobald mistook the pheasant for "the vicious sharp-tailed grouse and upon which he fired in what could only be described as self-defense," his pardon states.

Janklow also pardoned Carolyn Sue Haddenham, who was elected mayor of Box Elder in April.

Haddenham's pardon was for possession of a controlled substance in 1998.

"I wasn't part of it. I was just charged with it," Haddenham said of the crime.

"This is stuff that happened in my home that had nothing to do with me directly," she said during a telephone interview today. "I had some people renting a room here."

She said she didn't know Janklow.

Ronald Wesley Wheeler, who was was both commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the state transportation secretary under Janklow, was pardoned for drunken driving.

Wheeler was arrested in December 2001 after a breathalyzer test showed a blood-alcohol level of .14, over the legal limit of .10 at the time, documents state. He was pardoned in November 2002.

The pardons released today are those that were issued by the governor but did not go through the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Janklow sealed the most pardons - 91 - in 2002 during his last term as governor, records show. Sixty-one of those pardons came in his last four months as governor.

450 pardons were filed with the Secretary of State during this time period. 232 of these pardons will remain sealed as allowed by law and ordered by the governor who issued the pardon. Those are pardons that followed the proper channels of public notification when they were signed.

Earlier this month, Janklow completed a 100-day jail sentence for second-degree manslaughter in the August traffic death of a Minnesota man. Janklow resigned from the U.S. House in January after the conviction.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:20 AM EDT
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Thursday, 27 May 2004
It wasn't the rain; it was the Coors
This was an e-mail sent to

"From the White House press release:

"President Bush took a spill during a Saturday afternoon bike ride on his ranch, suffering bruises and cuts that were visible later on his face just two days before he was to deliver a major prime-time speech on his Iraq policy.

The president was nearing the end of a 17-mile ride on his mountain bike, accompanied by a Secret Service agent, a military aide and his personal physician, Richard Tubb, who treated him at the scene, said White House spokesman Trent Duffy.

"It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose," Duffy said. "You know this president. He likes to go all-out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes."

Soooo... it's been raining a lot in Crawford, we are told. Here are the recent precipitation levels from Crawford:
May 22: 0"
May 21: 0"
May 20: 0"
May 19: 0"
May 18: 0"
May 17: 0"
May 16: 0"
May 15: 0"
May 14: 0.03"
May 13: 2.79"
May 12: 0"
May 11: 0.15"
May 10: 0"
May 9: 0"

May 13th saw some serious rain, but other than some sprinkles on the 14th, Crawford saw nothing but sun. In the last week alone, the temperature was in the high 80s the entire time.

So rain on the 13th and (barely) 14th was blamed for a Bush fall on the 22nd. As everything else, it wasn't Bush's fault. Nothing is Bush's fault. Ever.


This is our leader. A man whose mortal enemies include a pretzel and a bicycle.

Posted by brettdavey at 4:56 PM EDT
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Suspicious timing
This came from Keith Olberman's "Countdown" last night. It's the kind of news you wish you could get from the major outlets but of course, you can't.

"And speaking of time, if you are of a suspicious mind, you will have already noticed the timing of today`s announcement in the context of developments in Iraq and the president`s declining poll numbers. That is all speculative. But, one timing question may be a lot more substantial. Though he was not at the Mueller/Ashcroft news conference this afternoon, Homeland Security director Tom Ridge had already taken center stage this morning, fielding questions about the new alert on all the major talk shows. But, during the midday White House news conference, and Bruce--news briefing, rather, one reporter had noted that the secretary had yesterday attempted to get himself booked--unsuccessfully attempted to get himself booked as a guest on those very morning shows. Whether or not the logical fallacy is in play here, the chronology is unquestionable. The morning shows turned Mr. Ridge down, Tuesday afternoon. The leak about the credible threat hit the wires literally, Tuesday evening and the secretary wound up on the morning shows this morning."

Why teach an old dog a new trick when the old one works just fine?

Posted by brettdavey at 2:17 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 26 May 2004
The Onion rocks
This story comes from I'm sure the person who doesn't think Jon Stewart is funny won't think this is funny either, but The Onion does rock.

Bathroom Too Disgusting To Shit In
AUSTIN, TX--The men's bathroom at area rock club Emo's was declared too repulsive for the emptying of concertgoer Max Risdy's bowels Saturday night. "The floor was covered with water, there was toilet paper and garbage everywhere, and it smelled disgusting," Risdy said, wincing at the memory Monday. "It was really not the kind of place you want to leave a big pile of digested food matter after squeezing it through your rectum from the depths of your bowels." Risdy added that the area near the music venue's stage was too loud and crowded.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:53 PM EDT
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United States of Iran
The more I think about the Chalabi mess, the more sick I get. Why isn't this the story of the year?

You had Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz dying to attack Hussein.

You had Chalabi providing them with false information.

You had the previous group acting as compliant stooges for Chalabi, willing to accept any excuse to attack.

You had Chalabi acting as a spy for Iran, a country that wanted nothing more than to see Hussein deposed.

The US attacked Iraq because certain members of the Administration were willingly duped by a guy who was not only acting on behalf of Iran, but was also being paid more that $300,000 a month of your money to make up these lies.

So, in the end, US soldiers were carrying out a mission for Iran. No problem.

Four more years, right?

Posted by brettdavey at 7:54 AM EDT
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The prison scandal is Monica's fault!
Every Monday, has its list of Top Ten Conservative Idiots of the Week. Here's what they said about Rush, who made number 7 this week.

"Does Rush Limbaugh really have complete and utter contempt for the intelligence of his audience? I guess so! Rush claimed last week that the Abu Ghraib torture scandal is all the fault of - hold on to your hats - Bill Clinton. You just knew that was coming, didn't you? On his radio show the vulgar pigboy said, "the Democrats are claiming this is a chain-of-command thing, and they're trying to get this linked all the way to Bush ... If Bill Clinton were still in office, I could accept the notion this might come from the top and, in fact, depending on the age of these soldiers over there they may in fact be. How many stories have we had lately, oral sex is a great way to stop teen pregnancy? That oral sex is a great way to have safe sex, just had one this week. Who popularized oral sex for the nation? And who was defended day in and day out royally for doing so? Bill Clinton. And who defended him? The Democrats who now find all kinds of atrocities in these photos coming out of Abu Ghraib prison." Lord almighty, does Rush really believe that his listeners are this stupid? Bill Clinton "popularized oral sex?" You're kidding me. But there's more: "the very people who have defended the sexual revolution and have championed the so-called sexual revolution, who defended any kind of sexual perversion in the Oval Office when it was going on there when Bill Clinton was - those same people are now the ones who are raising holy hell themselves about how sick this is and how disgusting this is and how perverted this is." So there you have it. And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go bash my brains out."

Posted by brettdavey at 7:48 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 25 May 2004
US duped by Iran?
This comes from the Guardian newspaper in the UK. I hope it's not true, but wouldn't be surprised if it is.

"An urgent investigation has been launched in Washington into whether Iran played a role in manipulating the US into the Iraq war by passing on bogus intelligence through Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, it emerged yesterday.
Some intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the hawks in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighbour, and pave the way for a Shia-ruled Iraq.

According to a US intelligence official, the CIA has hard evidence that Mr Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions.

The CIA has asked the FBI to investigate Mr Chalabi's contacts in the Pentagon to discover how the INC acquired sensitive information that ended up in Iranian hands.

The implications are far-reaching. Mr Chalabi and Mr Habib were the channels for much of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons on which Washington built its case for war.

"It's pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner," said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. "Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi."

Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: "When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy."

Mr Chalabi has vehemently rejected the allegations as "a lie, a fib and silly". He accused the CIA director, George Tenet, of a smear campaign against himself and Mr Habib.

However, it is clear that the CIA - at loggerheads with Mr Chalabi for more than eight years - believes it has caught him red-handed, and is sticking to its allegations.

"The suggestion that Chalabi is a victim of a smear campaign is outrageous," a US intelligence official said. "It's utter nonsense. He passed very sensitive and classified information to the Iranians. We have rock solid information that he did that."

"As for Aras Karim [Habib] being a paid agent for Iranian intelligence, we have very good reason to believe that is the case," added the intelligence official, who did not want to be named. He said it was unclear how long this INC-Iranian collaboration had been going on, but pointed out that Mr Chalabi had had overt links with Tehran "for a long period of time".

An intelligence source in Washington said the CIA confirmed its long-held suspicions when it discovered that a piece of information from an electronic communications intercept by the National Security Agency had ended up in Iranian hands. The information was so sensitive that its circulation had been restricted to a handful of officials.

"This was 'sensitive compartmented information' - SCI - and it was tracked right back to the Iranians through Aras Habib," the intelligence source said.

Mr Habib, a Shia Kurd who is being sought by Iraqi police since a raid on INC headquarters last week, has been Mr Chalabi's righthand man for more than a decade. He ran a Pentagon-funded intelligence collection programme in the run-up to the invasion and put US officials in touch with Iraqi defectors who made claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

Those claims helped make the case for war but have since proved groundless, and US intelligence agencies are now scrambling to determine whether false information was passed to the US with Iranian connivance.

INC representatives in Washington did not return calls seeking comment.

But Laurie Mylroie, a US Iraq analyst and one of the INC's most vocal backers in Washington, dismissed the allegations as the product of a grudge among CIA and state department officials driven by a pro-Sunni, anti-Shia bias.

She said that after the CIA raised questions about Mr Habib's Iranian links, the Pentagon's Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) conducted a lie-detector test on him in 2002, which he passed with "flying colours".

The DIA is also reported to have launched its own inquiry into the INC-Iran link.

An intelligence source in Washington said the FBI investigation into the affair would begin with Mr Chalabi's "handlers" in the Pentagon, who include William Luti, the former head of the office of special plans, and his immediate superior, Douglas Feith, the under secretary of defence for policy.

There is no evidence that they were the source of the leaks. Other INC supporters at the Pentagon may have given away classified information in an attempt to give Mr Chalabi an advantage in the struggle for power surrounding the transfer of sovereignty to an Iraqi government on June 30.

The CIA allegations bring to a head a dispute between the CIA and the Pentagon officials instrumental in promoting Mr Chalabi and his intelligence in the run-up to the war. By calling for an FBI counter-intelligence investigation, the CIA is, in effect, threatening to disgrace senior neo-conservatives in the Pentagon.

"This is people who opposed the war with long knives drawn for people who supported the war," Ms Mylroie said.

Posted by brettdavey at 11:25 AM EDT
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Friday, 21 May 2004
Perle on the money
I love how the neo-cons are divorcing themselves from Chalabi now. "Uhhh, hardly knew him."

Yeah, right. Damn if that guy wasn't sitting right behind Laura Bush at the State of the Union Address. Now, we hardly know him, right?

Just to show how wrong these jackasses were that led us into war, here's something from about Richard Perle.

"Here are a series of quotes from Richard Perle. Richard Perle is widely credited as the "intellectual architect" of the Iraq invasion. But with the clarity of hindsight, it's clear that the former Defense Policy Board member trafficked in more than faulty intelligence; he also put forward a number of prognostications that turned out to be, well, off target.

"Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance, the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will."
--PBS interview July 11, 2002

"We are not talking about a massive invasion along the lines of 1991. We're talking about a much more modest effort in which the United States would assist Iraqis in freeing their country."
--Washington Post interview, August 22, 2002

"UN weapons inspectors are being seriously deceived. It reminds me of the way the Nazis hoodwinked Red Cross officials inspecting the concentration camp at Theresienstadt in 1944. The SS even organized a phony concert to show what a wonderful new home the Jews had. But Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has MORE evidence of secret weapons dumps."
--Writing in the News of the World, February 23, 2003

"The predictions of those who opposed this war can be discarded like spent cartridges. You remember them? We will kill hundreds of thousands. We will create thousands of new terrorists. The Arab world will rise up and set the region aflame. Tony Blair and George Bush knew better."
--Writing in the News of the World, April 13, 2003

"Relax, celebrate victory."
--Writing in USA Today, May 2, 2003

Way to go, Dick.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:54 AM EDT
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Thursday, 20 May 2004
Jon Stewart's Commencement Address
This is a transcript of the Commencement Address delivered at William & Mary by Jon Stewart (he was class of '84 at William & Mary) from The Daily Show.

"Thank you Mr. President, I had forgotten how crushingly dull these ceremonies are. Thank you.

My best to the choir. I have to say, that song never grows old for me. Whenever I hear that song, it reminds me of nothing.

I am honored to be here, I do have a confession to make before we get going that I should explain very quickly. When I am not on television, this is actually how I dress. I apologize, but there's something very freeing about it. I congratulate the students for being able to walk even a half a mile in this non-breathable fabric in the Williamsburg heat. I am sure the environment that now exists under your robes, are the same conditions that primordial life began on this earth.

I know there were some parents that were concerned about my speech here tonight, and I want to assure you that you will not hear any language that is not common at, say, a dock workers union meeting, or Tourrett's convention, or profanity seminar. Rest assured.

I am honored to be here and to receive this honorary doctorate. When I think back to the people that have been in this position before me from Benjamin Franklin to Queen Noor of Jordan, I can't help but wonder what has happened to this place. Seriously, it saddens me. As a person, I am honored to get it; as an alumnus, I have to say I believe we can do better. And I believe we should. But it has always been a dream of mine to receive a doctorate and to know that today, without putting in any effort, I will. It's incredibly gratifying. Thank you. That's very nice of you, I appreciate it.

I'm sure my fellow doctoral graduates--who have spent so long toiling in academia, sinking into debt, sacrificing God knows how many years of what, in truth, is a piece of parchment that in truth has been so devalued by our instant gratification culture as to have been rendered meaningless--will join in congratulating me. Thank you.

But today isn't about how my presence here devalues this fine institution. It is about you, the graduates. I'm honored to be here to congratulate you today. Today is the day you enter into the real world, and I should give you a few pointers on what it is. It's actually not that different from the environment here. The biggest difference is you will now be paying for things, and the real world is not surrounded by three-foot brick wall. And the real world is not a restoration. If you see people in the real world making bricks out of straw and water, those people are not colonial re-enactors--they are poor. Help them. And in the real world, there is not as much candle lighting. I don't really know what it is about this campus and candle lighting, but I wish it would stop. We only have so much wax, people.

Lets talk about the real world for a moment. We had been discussing it earlier, and I...I wanted to bring this up to you earlier about the real world, and this is I guess as good a time as any. I don't really know to put this, so I'll be blunt. We broke it.

Please don't be mad. I know we were supposed to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one we were handed. So, sorry.

I don't know if you've been following the news lately, but it just kinda got away from us. Somewhere between the gold rush of easy internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we heard kind of a pinging noise, and uh, then the damn thing just died on us. So I apologize.

But here's the good news. You fix this thing, you're the next greatest generation, people. You do this--and I believe you can--you win this war on terror, and Tom Brokaw's kissing your ass from here to Tikrit, let me tell ya. And even if you don't, you're not gonna have much trouble surpassing my generation. If you end up getting your picture taken next to a naked guy pile of enemy prisoners and don't give the thumbs up you've outdid us.

We declared war on terror. We declared war on terror--it's not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I'm sure we'll take on that bastard ennui.

But obviously that's the world. What about your lives? What piece of wisdom can I impart to you about my journey that will somehow ease your transition from college back to your parents' basement?

I know some of you are nostalgic today and filled with excitement and perhaps uncertainty at what the future holds. I know six of you are trying to figure out how to make a bong out of your caps. I believe you are members of Psi U. Hey that did work, thank you for the reference.

So I thought I'd talk a little bit about my experience here at William and Mary. It was very long ago, and if you had been to William and Mary while I was here and found out that I would be the commencement speaker 20 years later, you would be somewhat surprised, and probably somewhat angry. I came to William and Mary because as a Jewish person I wanted to explore the rich tapestry of Judaica that is Southern Virginia. Imagine my surprise when I realized "The Tribe" was not what I thought it meant.

In 1980 I was 17 years old. When I moved to Williamsburg, my hall was in the basement of Yates, which combined the cheerfulness of a bomb shelter with the prison-like comfort of the group shower. As a freshman I was quite a catch. Less than five feet tall, yet my head is the same size it is now. Didn't even really look like a head, it looked more like a container for a head. I looked like a Peanuts character. Peanuts characters had terrible acne. But what I lacked in looks I made up for with a repugnant personality.

In 1981 I lost my virginity, only to gain it back again on appeal in 1983. You could say that my one saving grace was academics where I excelled, but I did not.

And yet now I live in the rarified air of celebrity, of mega stardom. My life a series of Hollywood orgies and Kabala center brunches with the cast of Friends. At least that's what my handlers tell me. I'm actually too valuable to live my own life and spend most of my days in a vegetable crisper to remain fake news anchor fresh.

So I know that the decisions that I made after college worked out. But at the time I didn't know that they would. See college is not necessarily predictive of your future success. And it's the kind of thing where the path that I chose obviously wouldn't work for you. For one, you're not very funny.

So how do you know what is the right path to choose to get the result that you desire? And the honest answer is this. You won't. And accepting that greatly eases the anxiety of your life experience.

I was not exceptional here, and am not now. I was mediocre here. And I'm not saying aim low. Not everybody can wander around in an alcoholic haze and then at 40 just, you know, decide to be president. You've got to really work hard to try to...I was actually referring to my father.

When I left William and Mary I was shell-shocked. Because when you're in college it's very clear what you have to do to succeed. And I imagine here everybody knows exactly the number of credits they needed to graduate, where they had to buckle down, which introductory psychology class would pad out the schedule. You knew what you had to do to get to this college and to graduate from it. But the unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing about your life, is that there is no core curriculum. The entire place is an elective. The paths are infinite and the results uncertain. And it can be maddening to those that go here, especially here, because your strength has always been achievement. So if there's any real advice I can give you it's this.

College is something you complete. Life is something you experience. So don't worry about your grade, or the results or success. Success is defined in myriad ways, and you will find it, and people will no longer be grading you, but it will come from your own internal sense of decency which I imagine, after going through the program here, is quite strong...although I'm sure downloading illegal files...but, nah, that's a different story.

Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.

And the last thing I want to address is the idea that somehow this new generation is not as prepared for the sacrifice and the tenacity that will be needed in the difficult times ahead. I have not found this generation to be cynical or apathetic or selfish. They are as strong and as decent as any people that I have met. And I will say this, on my way down here I stopped at Bethesda Naval, and when you talk to the young kids that are there that have just been back from Iraq and Afghanistan, you don't have the worry about the future that you hear from so many that are not a part of this generation but judging it from above.

And the other thing....that I will say is, when I spoke earlier about the world being broke, I was somewhat being facetious, because every generation has their challenge. And things change rapidly, and life gets better in an instant.

I was in New York on 9-11 when the towers came down. I lived 14 blocks from the twin towers. And when they came down, I thought that the world had ended. And I remember walking around in a daze for weeks. And Mayor Guiliani had said to the city, "You've got to get back to normal. We've got to show that things can change and get back to what they were."

And one day I was coming out of my building, and on my stoop, was a man who was crouched over, and he appeared to be in deep thought. And as I got closer to him I realized, he was playing with himself. And that's when I thought, "You know what, we're gonna be OK."

Thank you. Congratulations. I honor you. Good Night."

Posted by brettdavey at 12:18 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 19 May 2004
Cancel that program... uhh, increase its funding!
Smaller government, Bush-style, unless of course the President's popularity is in a free-fall and he needs to use public money to boost his image. Of course, this flies in the face of the tough Commander-In-Chief who never changes his mind.

This comes from the NY Times:

"Like many of its predecessors, the Bush White House has used the machinery of government to promote the re-election of the president by awarding federal grants to strategically important states. But in a twist this election season, many administration officials are taking credit for spreading largess through programs that President Bush tried to eliminate or to cut sharply.

For example, Justice Department officials recently announced that they were awarding $47 million to scores of local law enforcement agencies for the hiring of police officers. Mr. Bush had just proposed cutting the budget for the program, known as Community Oriented Policing Services, by 87 percent, to $97 million next year, from $756 million.

The administration has been particularly energetic in publicizing health programs, even ones that had been scheduled for cuts or elimination.

Tommy G. Thompson, the secretary of health and human services, announced recently that the administration was awarding $11.7 million in grants to help 30 states plan and provide coverage for people without health insurance. Mr. Bush had proposed ending the program in each of the last three years.

The administration also announced recently that it was providing $11.6 million to the states so they could buy defibrillators to save the lives of heart attack victims. But Mr. Bush had proposed cutting the budget for such devices by 82 percent, to $2 million from $10.9 million."

Posted by brettdavey at 12:39 PM EDT
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