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Old 08-15-2005, 11:36 AM   #91
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Yet, had the United States not abandoned South Vietnam in the early 1970s, it would still be an independent country today with a standard of living and democratic government on par with South Korea.
of course it would have had to endure 30 years of military dictatorhips -in the name of freedom- ,but that and the sheer number of american soldiers it would've required to defend the south in the 1970s seem to be irrelevant to the cause. no, if the united states hadn't ignored ho chi minh's plea for help following ww1 the whole situation could have potentially been avoided.
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Old 08-15-2005, 12:26 PM   #92
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Antiwar sentiment gets champion

Cindy Sheehan's vigil outside Bush's Texas ranch brings focus to a protest movement that's been largely unseen and ineffective.

By Brad Knickerbocker and Kris Axtman | Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor

ASHLAND, ORE., AND CRAWFORD, TEXAS - In her high-profile vigil outside President Bush's Texas ranch, Cindy Sheehan has brought the face and the heart of the antiwar movement to the world.

The plain-spoken words and image of a mother carrying a wooden cross to commemorate the son she lost in Iraq have suddenly brought focus to what has been largely an unseen and ineffective protest movement in the US.

To be sure, this is still not Kent State in 1970. For a variety of political and practical reasons, today's antiwar movement may never approach the ardor of a generation ago. Moreover, many conservatives criticize Ms. Sheehan for being co-opted by the broader political left - itself a reflection of the crosscurrents of the time.

Yet the mother, hoisting her plaintive signs and vowing to stay in Crawford until she gets a one-on-one meeting with Mr. Bush, has become a potent personal symbol of opposition to a war now stretching into its third year. More important, her crusade comes at a time when doubts about US engagement there are clearly growing.

"One keeps hearing that the number of queries coming into conscientious objector advisory groups are on the upswing," says retired US Army Colonel Dan Smith, a Vietnam veteran now working for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobbying group. "College campuses are stirring. Facts suggest a rising antiwar sentiment is in the making."

The depth of America's ambivalence is reflected in the polls. A CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll this month, echoing other surveys, shows that Americans by a 55-44 majority now believe the US "made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq." Some 56 percent say some or all US troops should be withdrawn now.

The hardening sentiment hasn't gone unnoticed in Washington. Many Democrats have become more vocal about the need for a definitive timetable for the withdrawal of troops, and they have been joined of late by some Republicans. The recent special congressional election in Ohio - where the Democrat was an Iraq war vet who nearly won in a heavily Republican district - has added to concerns about the war in some GOP circles.

Within the military, some senior commanders have talked about a timeframe for starting to bring home troops. But late last week, Bush tamped down any expectations of a quick withdrawal, saying it was too soon to say when the number of troops might be reduced.
This is no Vietnam era

Still, for all the concern about Iraq, the antiwar movement today isn't likely to reach the levels of Vietnam. For one thing, there are fundamental reasons why this war is distinctly different: the lack of military conscription, a relatively low level of American casualties (at least compared to Vietnam, where more than 30 times as many US soldiers were killed), and the absence of a self-conscious youth culture.

"What made the antiwar movement so powerful during the Vietnam War was its close connection to the movement of millions of baby-boomers through college," says national security analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va. "Away from home for the first time and insulated from military service by student deferments, many of these adolescents were acutely aware of their susceptibility to the draft once they completed college. Opposition to the war became part of a generational identity, particularly among middle-class students in universities."

Today, some of the not-so-silent minority worried about the war includes military veterans and their families. Jan Barry, a founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, says that when his group posted a statement of opposition to the Iraq war on a website shortly before the conflict started, it was signed by some 4,000 vets and family members, many of whom were retired. What surprised him, though, was the number of second and third generation military who signed up - including many World War II vets.

Activists say the grumbling about the war extends to some in the active-duty ranks. Even though there is no draft today, they note that the war has stretched on long enough, and has involved enough multiple deployments of many older National Guard and Reserve troops with family and work responsibilities back home, that misgivings are surfacing.

"We don't have a 'conscription draft,' as we say, but we have an economic draft [recruiters increasingly targeting poorer high school students], a backdoor draft with the National Guard and Reserves [who now make up more than 40 percent of US troops in Iraq], with the stop-loss program and the calling up of the Individual Ready Reserves," says Steve Morse of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, which offers counseling on a "GI Hotline" at 13 locations around the country.
Where the soldiers stand

The group Iraq Veterans Against the War was launched a year ago. Yet like its Vietnam counterpart in the 1960s and 70s, it remains a minority voice.

In a survey of service members earlier this year, readers of Military Times publications agreed that the US should have gone to war in Iraq by a 60-21 percent margin. The University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election Survey last fall found that 64 percent of military personnel sampled (compared to 45 percent of the general population) said the situation in Iraq had been worth going to war over. Among those who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan, however, that dropped to 55 percent.

In any case, GI's seem to take a realistically sober view of the war. The Military Times survey found that about half thought it would take 5-10 years for the US to achieve its goals in Iraq. A plurality (47 percent) thought the media should publish or broadcast news stories "that suggest the war is not going well," and 65 percent said "it should be OK to publish photographs of flag-draped coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base from Iraq."
'Camp Casey'

On the road outside Bush's ranch, the view is even more sober - and the anger more prevalent.

"I have a feeling that a lot of people have found their voice in her [Cindy Sheehan]," says Hadi Jawad, an activist in Dallas who helped found "Peace House" in Crawford near the Bush ranch. "She is articulating what is in their hearts."

About a dozen military families have arrived to lend a hand in the Sheehan protest. They come from Alabama, California, Georgia, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Texas - and most have lost a loved one.

"We are here for all the soldiers who don't have a voice anymore," says Sergio Torres, whose son Army Sgt. Daniel Torres was killed in February when a roadside bomb hit his unarmored Humvee.

At what's called "Camp Casey," after her son who was killed, Sheehan is shepherded from interview to interview, sometimes using a protester's van to take media calls on a cell phone. Outside her tent, supporters have placed flowers and signs.

Since arriving Aug. 6, she has endured Texas thunderstorms, jalapeño heat, and unfriendly stares from some local people. "Last night I had fire ants crawling all over me," Sheehan says. "Physically it's very uncomfortable, but I think of all the soldiers in Iraq who, when it's too hot or too stormy, can't go into town for refuge. As bad as we have it here, it's nothing compared to how bad they have it over there."

The president's motorcade passed by for the first time on Friday, on its way to a Republican fundraiser down Prairie Chapel Road. But even if she doesn't get to meet with him, Sheehan says, "I've accomplished a lot by putting this war back on the front page where it should be."

At that moment, a counter-protester appeared with a sign that read, "Your son is a hero, not a victim!" Sheehan was whisked away before the two could meet.
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:49 PM   #93
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of course it would have had to endure 30 years of military dictatorhips -in the name of freedom- ,but that and the sheer number of american soldiers it would've required to defend the south in the 1970s seem to be irrelevant to the cause. no, if the united states hadn't ignored ho chi minh's plea for help following ww1 the whole situation could have potentially been avoided.
As evidenced by the peformance of the South Vietnamese Military in defeating the 1972 North Vietnames Offensive, it would have only required a small number of US troops and advisors as well as air support to keep any further North Vietnamese offensive at bay. Within 10 years, South Vietnam would be able to defend itself independent of any US military intervention.

While the political situation in the South would still have to develop, it would be far better than anything the North offered in the years following their brutal occupation of the South. Business trade, with the USA and others, and the end of North Vietnamese attacks, would spur both economic and political development there.
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:50 PM   #94
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[Q]Cindy Sheehan's Sinister Piffle
What's wrong with her Crawford protest.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Aug. 15, 2005, at 11:50 AM PT


Here is an unambivalent statement: "The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."

And, now, here's another:

Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel. Am I stupid? No, I know full well that my son, my family, this nation and this world were betrayed by George Bush who was influenced by the neo-con PNAC agendas after 9/11. We were told that we were attacked on 9/11 because the terrorists hate our freedoms and democracy … not for the real reason, because the Arab Muslims who attacked us hate our middle-eastern foreign policy.


Her knack for PR doesn't make her argument persuasive

The first statement comes from Maureen Dowd, in her New York Times column of Aug. 10. The second statement comes from Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq last year. It was sent to the editors of ABC's Nightline on March 15. In her article, Dowd was arguing that Sheehan's moral authority was absolute.

I am at a complete loss to see how these two positions can be made compatible. Sheehan has obviously taken a short course in the Michael Moore/Ramsey Clark school of Iraq analysis and has not succeeded in making it one atom more elegant or persuasive. I dare say that her "moral authority" to do this is indeed absolute, if we agree for a moment on the weird idea that moral authority is required to adopt overtly political positions, but then so is my "moral" right to say that she is spouting sinister piffle. Suppose I had lost a child in this war. Would any of my critics say that this gave me any extra authority? I certainly would not ask or expect them to do so. Why, then, should anyone grant them such a privilege?

Sheehan has met the president before and has favored us with two accounts of the meeting, one fairly warm and the other distinctly cold. I have no means of knowing which mood reflected her real state of mind, but she now thinks she is owed another session with him, presumably in order to tell him what she asserted to the Nightline team. In pursuit of this, she has set up camp near Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and announced that she will not leave until she gets some more face-time with our chief executive. This qualifies her to be described by Dowd as "a 48-year-old Californian with a knack for P.R." Well, I think I have to concede that if Dowd says you have a knack for PR, you have acquired one even if you didn't have one before. (I am not entirely certain, for example, that the above letter to ABC News would count as a delicate illustration of the said "knack.")

The president has compromised by sending his national-security adviser, Stephen Hadley, down that Crawford road to meet the PR-knackish Cindy. Not good enough, exclaims Dowd. Hadley was pro-war and has even been described as a neocon! Clearly, then, the Sheehan demand is liable to expand the more it is met. President Bush must either find a senior staff member who opposes the war and then send him or her down the track to see if that will do. Or else he must, like the Emperor Henry of old, stage his own Canossa and attend on her himself, abject apologies at the ready. After all, we mustn't forget that we are dealing—as was that emperor in his dispute with Pope Gregory—with "an absolute moral authority."

What dreary sentimental nonsense this all is, and how much space has been wasted on it. Most irritating is the snide idea that the president is "on vacation" and thus idly ignoring his suffering subjects, when the truth is that the members of the media—not known for their immunity to the charm of Martha's Vineyard or Cape Cod in the month of August—are themselves lazing away the season with a soft-centered nonstory that practically, as we like to say in the trade, "writes itself." Anyway, Sheehan now says that if need be she will "follow" the president "to Washington," so I don't think the holiday sneer has much life left in it.

There are, in fact, some principles involved here. Any citizen has the right to petition the president for redress of grievance, or for that matter to insult him to his face. But the potential number of such people is very large, and you don't have the right to cut in line by having so much free time that you can set up camp near his drive. Then there is the question of civilian control over the military, which is an authority that one could indeed say should be absolute. The military and its relatives have no extra claim on the chief executive's ear. Indeed, it might be said that they have less claim than the rest of us, since they have voluntarily sworn an oath to obey and carry out orders. Most presidents in time of war have made an exception in the case of the bereaved—Lincoln's letter to the mother of two dead Union soldiers (at the time, it was thought that she had lost five sons) is a famous instance—but the job there is one of comfort and reassurance, and this has already been discharged in the Sheehan case. If that stricken mother had been given an audience and had risen up to say that Lincoln had broken his past election pledges and sought a wider and more violent war with the Confederacy, his aides would have been quite right to show her the door and to tell her that she was out of order.

Finally, I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.


Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair.

[/Q]

He is missing the fact that Casey REENLISTED knowing he would be going to Iraq.
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:33 AM   #95
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The simple fact is that Cindy Sheehan has every right to stage her nonviolent antiwar protest as given by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The President, out of a sense of moral leadership, should be willing to meet the mother of a young man who lost his life in service to his country. (even though she briefly met him before)

This would the best demonstration to the American people (who are losing their belief and support for his Iraq policies) that he is a compassionate conservative.

It would win him brownie points galore with the American public. So why hasn't he done this?

Because Mr. Bush would not be able to answer sufficiently the questions Ms. Sheehan has to ask him like:

1) where are the WMD's?

2) why did you lie to the American people about them?

3) what is your strategy to get the other young soldiers out of Iraq before their mothers become grieving parents like me?

Bush would choke on the answers to those questions because he knows that his Iraq policy is corrupted by Halliburton dreams of profit and the Bush family's personal vendata against Saddam Hussein.

THE GUILTY CAN NOT LOOK THE INNOCENT IN THE EYES.

They know that they have no words to counter the truth in the grieving mother's tears.

They run for cover, but there will soon be no place for them to run.

Because everyday more American people watch the callousness of this government and are not pleased by what they see.

Even Laura Bush has not chosen to meet with this woman - mother to mother - because she also can not counter the pain in Cindy Sheehan's eyes.

My heartfelt opinion as a mother and as a Christian.

Not an attempt to debate.
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:42 AM   #96
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Her husband has filed for divorce, the media will have a field day w/ that one

I would assume there might be other issues/troubles in that marriage


"her husband's divorce petition cites "irreconcilable differences" for the demise of the couple's 28-year marriage (the Sheehans, the document states, have been separated since June 1)"
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Old 08-16-2005, 09:45 AM   #97
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STING2, how much do you know about today's Vietnam? The country is thriving, compared to its neighbors. In fact, the economy is booming. It isn't an "Aisan Tiger" like China, but it is on a upward growth scale. It has business and political ties with us. Today, in places that were scenes of horror for American troops, tourists sit and drink martinis. The younger generation is happy and relatively prosperous. People under thirty know nothing of the war and could care less. They're too busy making money.

And regarding Mrs Sheehan..a couple days ago, I predicted in this thread that she would suddenly have personal and mental problems. See, I was right. But I didn't have to wait even a week! My God, I can't believe how right I am. I'm just waiting for the next phase of my prediction to kick in! Heck, if she was a spotless paragon of virtue, they'd probably plant drugs in her home or car or something, just to invent something to tarnish her with. It's all so predictable, and it's been done before.

But it will be fruitless. Like I said, today, it's one mother. ten yrs from now, it'll be thousands.....
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:05 PM   #98
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someone ran over the white crosses there w/ a pickup truck just lovely..


Dear Friend,

Casey Sheehan was born May 29, 1979, the first born child of Cindy and Pat Sheehan. It was a long labor. Fifty-one days after Casey was born, our first child, Wade was born, also after a long labor. They started school the same year, played the same games, watched the same television shows, loved the same country. On April 4, 1996, three weeks after going to Washington as a winner in a national contest about what America meant to him, Wade died in an automobile accident. On April 4, 2004, eight years later to the day, Casey, who loved his country enough to wear its uniform, died in Iraq. Cindy and Pat's hearts broke, as had ours.

We teach our children right from wrong. We teach them compassion and honor. We teach them the dignity of each life. And then, sometimes, the lessons we taught are turned on their heads. Cindy Sheehan is asking a very simple thing of her government, and she and her family, and most particularly Casey, have paid a very dear price for the right to ask this.

Cindy wants Casey's death to have meant as much as his life - lived fully - might have meant. I know this, as does every mother who has ever stood where we stand. And the President says he knows enough, doesn't need to hear from Casey's mother, doesn't need to assure her that Casey's is not one small death in a long and seemingly never-ending drip of deaths, that there is a plan here that will bring our sons and daughters home. He doesn't need to hear from her, he says. He claims he understands how some people feel about the deaths in Iraq.

The President is wrong.

Whether you agree or disagree with every part, or any part, of what Cindy wants to say, you know it is better that the President hear different opinions, particularly from those with such a deep and personal interest in the decisions of our government. Today, another voice would be helpful.

Cindy Sheehan can be that voice. She has earned the right to be that voice.

Please join me in supporting Cindy's right to be heard.

I grew up in a military family. My father and my grandfather were career Navy pilots. I saw what it meant to live a life every single day when the possibility of an honorable death is always there, at the dinner table, on the playground, at the base school. Will someone's father not come home tonight? And I didn't just feel the possibility, I saw the real thing, and, believe me, it stays with you, it changes you.

I also saw, then and more recently as I campaigned across this country and spent time with courageous military mothers and wives, how little attention is paid to the needs and the voices of military families. It has to change. The sacrifices that our military men and women make assure us that we have the strongest military in the world, but the sacrifices that their families make are too often ignored. The President's cavalier dismissal of Cindy Sheehan is emblematic of a greater problem. This is a mother who raised her son to love his country enough to serve. This is a mother who lived the impossible life of a mother of a soldier serving in Iraq, unable to sleep when he sleeps, unable to sleep when he is on duty, unable to watch the television, unable to stop watching the television.

And when the worst does happen, when the world comes crashing down and she puts the boy she bore, the boy she taught, the boy she loved in the ground, what does that government say to her? It says we'll do the talking; we don't need to hear from you. If we are decent and compassionate, if we know the lessons we taught our children, or if, selfishly, all we want is the long line of the brave to protect us in the future, we should listen to the mothers now.

Listen to Cindy.

Join me so Cindy knows we believe she has earned the right to be heard.

Elizabeth Edwards
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Old 08-16-2005, 01:57 PM   #99
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Jamila, no one's doubting her right to protest. I'm not saying she's an idiot but as an example, I thought the HP book-burners were idiots but didn't doubt their right to do it.

I'm sure Bush's guys made an effort to find some dirt on her (the divorce), but I don't think they made it up. That just wouldn't work, he'd come out and say it was a lie.

I feel bad for her, but she's met with the president once, that's what everyone else gets. Of course from a PR standpoint, Bush should really just meet with her again already.
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:18 PM   #100
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Because everyday more American people watch the callousness of this government and are not pleased by what they see.


speaking of callousness, check out this silver-foot-in-mouth quote from Bush:

"I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life ... I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy. And part of my being is to be outside exercising. So I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so."
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:45 PM   #101
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Well, Roosevelt (and Churchill) managed to fight the Second World War without being so obsessed with their exercise regimen.

And Bush described himself as 'the war President'

Go figure.
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:57 PM   #102
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STING2, how much do you know about today's Vietnam? The country is thriving, compared to its neighbors. In fact, the economy is booming. It isn't an "Aisan Tiger" like China, but it is on a upward growth scale. It has business and political ties with us. Today, in places that were scenes of horror for American troops, tourists sit and drink martinis. The younger generation is happy and relatively prosperous. People under thirty know nothing of the war and could care less. They're too busy making money.

And regarding Mrs Sheehan..a couple days ago, I predicted in this thread that she would suddenly have personal and mental problems. See, I was right. But I didn't have to wait even a week! My God, I can't believe how right I am. I'm just waiting for the next phase of my prediction to kick in! Heck, if she was a spotless paragon of virtue, they'd probably plant drugs in her home or car or something, just to invent something to tarnish her with. It's all so predictable, and it's been done before.

But it will be fruitless. Like I said, today, it's one mother. ten yrs from now, it'll be thousands.....
I know the brutal communist take over of Vietnam cost millions of South Vietnamese their lives. As to the current situation in Vietnam, I think you should take a look at these raw facts from the United Nations Human Development Report.

Vietnam is currently ranked at #112 compared to other countries in standard of living and yes that is higher than Cambodia at #130. But notice that the Occupied Palestinian territories are at #102, well ahead of both Vietnam and Cambodia. If the Communist dictatorship is adopting the same reforms that China has by throwing out their old Communist systems and embracing American capitialism, certainly the standard of living will improve.

As of right now though, your better off in the Occupied Palestinian territories than Vietnam.
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Old 08-16-2005, 03:59 PM   #103
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"I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say. But I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life ... I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy. And part of my being is to be outside exercising. So I'm mindful of what goes on around me. On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so."


He's so out of touch.

When is he going to start subsidizing the rest of us to take weeks off in order to be able to go outside and exercise after we come home from job #3?

Get real.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:40 PM   #104
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Well, Roosevelt (and Churchill) managed to fight the Second World War without being so obsessed with their exercise regimen.

And Bush described himself as 'the war President'

Go figure.
Whats wrong with keeping fit, a healthy body can improve mental vigour.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:59 PM   #105
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Yeah, Bush's little "getting on with my life" comment kind of put me off.
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