cannabisnews.com: Drug Use and The Candidates










††Drug Use and The Candidates

Posted by CN Staff on December 31, 2007 at 21:22:19 PT
By Stanton Peele†
Source: Wall Street Journal†

USA -- In his 1996 autobiography, "Dreams from My Father," presidential candidate Barack Obama admitted using alcohol and drugs in high school.He was unusually frank compared to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- to name just two politicians reputed to have used drugs.
Mr. Obama raised the issue again in November in Manchester, N.H. In response to a request by Central High School's principal that he reveal his "human side," he discussed his high school years in Hawaii: "I was kind of a goof-off. . . . There were times when I got into drinking and experimented with drugs." He added that he had righted himself to become a "grind" by the end of college.Then an influential New Hampshire Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, Bill Shaheen, said Mr. Obama's drug use made him vulnerable to attacks from Republicans. Mr. Shaheen quickly retracted his remarks, but voter attention was directed to the candidate's teen behavior just weeks before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses and Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary.Are there many other prominent people who used illicit substances when young? Messrs. Bush and Clinton are likely only the tip of the iceberg. According to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey, in 2007 about half of high school seniors had used an illegal drug. More than seven of 10 seniors had consumed alcohol, and 55% had been drunk.In fact, 44% drank alcohol in the past month.These figures rise and fall over the years: In 1980, the spring of Mr. Obama's 18th year, two-thirds of seniors had used an illicit drug and more than 70% had consumed alcohol in the past month. There has been massive drug and underage alcohol use by Americans over the years -- more than 110 million Americans, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, have used illicit drugs.Yet the overwhelming majority of them -- like Messrs. Bush, Clinton and Obama -- have grown up to be productive citizens.Some believe there's no need to know about their youthful misconduct.Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney takes this one step further. "It's just not a good idea," he said, "for people running for president of the United States, who potentially could be the role model for a lot of people, to talk about their personal failings while they were kids, because it opens the doorway to other kids thinking, 'Well I can do that too.'" Well, this is not the whole story.Neural research indicates that adolescent brains program kids to try risky behaviors.It is unlikely we will soon prevent large numbers of teens from drinking and using drugs.Yet, subtracting the approximately 20 million current drug users from the 110 million plus people who once used, almost 100 million Americans have left drugs behind.Perhaps it can be good for young people to learn that as they mature they can, and will, straighten out and fly right? This is the opposite of the approach of nearly all school drug education programs. Here the logic is to troop in people who have ruined their lives by their drug use and drinking, as object lessons in the evils of sin. But there are reasons to believe that kids reject negative messages from figures like these, and that purely scare tactics don't work. Research on effective drug resistance programs finds that the best ways to prevent substance abuse are for kids to develop skills, feel good about themselves, have positive peers, and look forward to their futures.From this perspective, Mr. Obama's message that he briefly stumbled but then righted himself to achieve success may be just what the doctor ordered. Note: Mr. Peele is a psychologist and addiction expert, and the author of "Addiction-Proof Your Child" (Three Rivers Press, 2007).Source: Wall Street Journal (US)Author: Stanton PeelePublished: December 31, 2007Copyright: 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.Contact: wsj.ltrs wsj.comWebsite: http://www.wsj.com/CannabisNews Justice Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/justice.shtml

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Comment #36 posted by rchandar on January 06, 2008 at 20:42:16 PT:
elfman420
sorry to counter your argument and your enthusiasm. of course, ron paul would make a good President. still, i think you're presumptive about Obama. The most important thing about a Presidency is not the platform on which s/he is elected, but what actions are taken while in the Oval Office. A chief executive is supposed to develop, find himself/herself, choose, modify, negotiate his/her thinking (unlike Bush, who was completely etched in stone from the beginning). I guarantee Paul would have a tough time putting through legalization; he would have to campaign for it several times and develop a working set of solutions. Obama, because he is black, is necessarily a tightrope-walker. He has to reach out to the "middle America" which is mostly conservative and doesn't like change all that much. That being said, I too wish he didn't pan MJ or anti-Iraq: that doesn't mean as President he couldn't pull off something remarkable that we didn't expect. Or, you could be right, he could end up being Don Obama, successor to Don Clinton. Alright, but for many of us the job is to encourage decrim or legalization possibilities in as many candidates as possible, creating a discussion and an activism which will survive the election, after which special interest and privileged groups try to enforce "status quo" determinations of policy.JFK said he was going to legalize MJ in his second term. And Congress in 1972 recommended something close to that. And Carter introduced the only standing bill to Congress in 1978. Since then, it has never reared its ugly head in our consciences.--rchandar
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Comment #35 posted by Max Flowers on January 05, 2008 at 15:13:47 PT
dankhank
Nope, I had never heard of them before the day of that post. I was just parroting something I saw, like a dummy. I learned my lesson.
 
That's the kind of thing I'm so sick of though---having to research every website and organization to figure out whether they can be believed or not because they might be some disinfo operation.
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on January 03, 2008 at 20:23:13 PT
dankhank
I hope they noticed. I think the whole world will notice. 
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Comment #33 posted by dankhank on January 03, 2008 at 20:11:07 PT
thinking ...
about America and two points ...Last congressional elections we as a people, and Minnesota in particular ... elected the first Muslim Congressman...and now are prepared to possibly have the next president with the name of "Barrack Hussein Obama."Think the Muslim people have noticed?
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Comment #32 posted by Dankhank on January 03, 2008 at 20:04:11 PT
Max
It's hard to imagine you not knowing who Judicial Watch was and the fact that they got more than 7 million dollars from Richard Scaife Mellon.Judicial Watch was the organization that went after the Clinton's originally. They are responsible for the pogrom, I spoke of on another thread, aimed at the Clinton's for a decade or more.suggests to me that you favored the Clinton harassment ...?and didn't look too close who was screaming ...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_Watch
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Comment #31 posted by FoM on January 03, 2008 at 11:45:06 PT
Max Flowers 
I really understand what you are saying. I do a lot of reading news online and I think for myself and I'm not influenced by what isn't important to me personally. I guess I mean we should analyze how we feel and what we believe and we should stand on our own two feet because we are adults. One more explanation. We really are individuals and we should think as an individual.
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Comment #30 posted by Max Flowers on January 03, 2008 at 11:35:09 PT
FoM
Worse still, now I just read somewhere else that judicialwatch.org is connected to FOX News! This is getting crazy! I can't keep track of the players anymore. That's one big downside to the internet---it's way too easy for people to set up disguised as being loyal to one camp or cause, and in reality they're pulling a disinformation op.I feel stupid, I'm keeping my mouth shut from now on. It's too easy to get tricked.
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on January 03, 2008 at 11:13:11 PT
Max Flowers 
I understand. 
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Comment #28 posted by Max Flowers on January 03, 2008 at 11:09:31 PT
Candidates
Okay then, sorry about that. I just found about about it and it sort of blew my image of him. Yet, he still seems the cleanest of the democrat candidates outside of Kucinich.I trust more a candidate who has done drugs in the past and admits it than one who we know has probably done them, but will not admit it.It seems particularly important this time around that we really find out who all these people are (to the extent that is possible). Won't get fooled again... or at least I'm trying not to.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on January 03, 2008 at 10:43:29 PT
Max Flowers 
I went ahead and took a look and knew that a long time ago. 
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Comment #26 posted by Max Flowers on January 03, 2008 at 10:27:13 PT
Obama
Be brave, FoM, and look at the entire picture. Look past the well-groomed image and the smooth personality... inquire a little deeper...http://judicialwatch.org/judicial-watch-announces-list-washington-s-ten-most-wanted-corrupt-politicians-2007Definitely got me to take a second look.
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on January 03, 2008 at 05:49:14 PT

elfman_420 
We really aren't suppose to promote any candidate on CNews and we all have our own choice that we prefer. So let's keep it to our topic and please don't knock other people's choices. Thank you. 
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Comment #24 posted by elfman_420 on January 02, 2008 at 23:25:56 PT

Speaking of the candidates...
There is a candidate who wants to end the war on (some) drugs...There is a candidate who has stated that HE WILL REFUSE to allow the federal government to prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries if he were to become President...There is ONE candidate who wants to abolish the DEA...There is one candidate who wants to leave Iraq immediately...There is a candidate who voted against the Patriot Act...There is one candidate who wants hemp and cannabis legalized...He is a Republican...His name is Ron Paul...I urge you to join the revolution!!I hate to say it, but Obama is a pro-war neocon... google obama neocon for yourself... read his speeches to the Council on Foreign Relations... Kucinich is a great guy, but does not have the momentum or the ability to reach the broad segment of pro-civil rights groups that Ron Paul gains support from.Tomorrow is a big day!!

http://www.ronpaul2008.com
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on January 02, 2008 at 14:02:38 PT

Hope
I'm glad you understood what I was saying. That's a hard one to put in the right words. I believe that LSD back when it was legal or newly made illegal there was a spirtual searching going on when using LSD. It wasn't necessarily a drug to get high but one to help a person perceive life in a whole new relm of consciousness. Peter Coyote was one of those people who I believed gained a lot from that type experience.
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on January 02, 2008 at 13:27:06 PT

Comment 20
I really do understand what you are saying. I've known people who had experiences like you speak of. It's definitely a true phenomenon that the experiences they had and tried to understand did actually benefit their everyday life and thinking.Of the absolute geniuses I've met and known in my life... I thought it very interesting that these people seemed to share a common interest in Acid, more than those of people who weren't going to be or were scientists, chemists, and doctors. Consuming substances shouldn't be a matter of law and government, in my opinion. But those who desire to run other people's lives for them seem to vehemently disagree.
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Comment #21 posted by E_Johnson on January 02, 2008 at 10:05:16 PT

This is the Wall Street Journal?
Wow, I actually feel dizzy reading this. Rupert Murdoch really has made some changes in that paper. 
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on January 02, 2008 at 07:25:42 PT

Hope
I guess what I mean about someone who is a reformed drug user is that when under the influence of drugs you see the world differently while under the influence. You question why. Neil Young has a song called Music Arcade and here is a portion of it.When you look in those vacant eyesHow does it harmonizeWith the things that you do?That's how good I felthttp://www.metrolyrics.com/music-arcade-lyrics-neil-young.htmlMany famous people have been involved in hard drug use and quit for their own reasons but they gain a special type of wisdom from the experience.
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on January 01, 2008 at 21:18:52 PT

Runruff, Toker00, FoM, Celaya
"Pleeeeeze oh pleeeeeeze think about the children!" I DO think of the children and I'm so worried for them! They are always being tested and suspected and forced to stay in line... Harshly... and there's something wrong about it. It's not right. Not everyone can march in formation that well. It's really cruel, cold, harsh, and even, inhuman. I just hate it the way it is, so much, for them. I do. It's rough the way it is, and nastier and meaner than it has to be. And your so right! What we have now is working well? Why does prohibition of this substance mean that if one found oneself in need of the substance, one might have better luck asking one's friends' teenagers, where one might obtain some of the prohibited substance, than asking one of the friends. Nothing about he war on cannabis is right. Nothing.Comment 8. Every word so utterly true, Toker00. Yes, I know a woman... not me, I assure you, who might have been better off not overestimating her capacity for fine liquor and wine one evening recently. She puked. In the car. In the new mega expensive purse her husband had just bought her as a gift. In his fastidiously kept newish sports car. In the door wells. On the upholstery. A sad story that ran on in to the next day.Comment 10, FoM. Every word true. Well except about the being more of a questioner having had a hard drug experience. For me, anyway. If I was any more of a questioner it would just be scary!Now, I did question "Why?" when I took that HARD antibiotic type drug that nearly, in my opinion, killed me. It hurt me bad. It changed the way I think about some things and the way I perceive some things. I noticed it. Big time. It was not fun... and it was a life changing drug. I'll say that. Nearly a life ending one. It hurt. It hurt bad. I nearly tremble at the remembrance of the experience.Celaya, Profoundly true. "One of the images of the American Inquisition that sticks out most in my mind is that of a "drug task force" celebrating a marijuana eradication mission around a table of beers." I feel exactly the same way. Images. All the dead people. All the torn apart families. Raids on people's homes and businesses. Flashbang grenades. Undercover government agents. All the people in our prisons that shouldn't be in prisons. There are a lot of bad images associated with the current "American Inquisition".Runruff, again, so true. "As for the kids. I just want it to be understood I'm not cynical towards children I don't have anything against kids. My sarcasm is directed toward the blatant exploitation of children by the prohibitionist to shamelessly promote their cause.My attitude toward children, having once been a child myself, is that kids will be kids." 
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Comment #18 posted by BGreen on January 01, 2008 at 20:58:29 PT

re: Posts #11 and 12
Exactly! Let's even examine another element of your equation.Cannabis is consumed at an average rate of less than 5 grams per person/day. Other agricultural products are consumed at the rate of several ounces per serving. There is no way to know how much cannabis is produced, but it's easily far more than advertised because there is so much of it being grown in people's closets and basements, and those people aren't even a part of the black market.Happy New Year to everyone!The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on January 01, 2008 at 20:39:02 PT

There are some amazing posts
on this thread. So right and so true.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on January 01, 2008 at 19:36:24 PT

nuevo mexican 
Happy New Me? What's that mean? LOL! Happy New Year. I don't know what anything means anymore. I just go along for the ride these days! 
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Comment #15 posted by nuevo mexican on January 01, 2008 at 19:05:51 PT

Does this portend an Obama/Kucinich ticket?
Happy New You,FOM, and Happy New Me!2008 looks like the year is shaping up early to quickly end the lies about cannabis, and all of the lies of the last 7 years, so I'm Happy! I would think Dennis would convince Obama that Nuclear Energy is not the way to go, and gays are okay, I'm sure!Kucinich Backs Obama in IowaThe Nation -- Barack Obama got a boost among progressive Democrats in Iowa today when Dennis Kucinich announced that he was asking his supporters to back Obama in the second round of voting at the caucus.http://news.yahoo.com/s/thenation/20080101/cm_
thenation/45264482
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 01, 2008 at 18:00:26 PT

ekim
Did you read about Dennis Kucinich's endorsement? He's a good man.
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Comment #13 posted by ekim on January 01, 2008 at 17:56:20 PT

fyi
Beginning on Tuesday, January 1 at 3:01 am EST, MySpace will invite
its community to participate in the first MySpace Presidential Primary at:
http://impact.myspace.com . Taking place just prior to the Iowa Caucus
and the New Hampshire Primary, the largest online community will be the
first to choose their candidate for the nationís highest office. Polls will close Wednesday, January 2 at 11:59 pm EST. The MySpace community will make their voices heard by choosing their preferred candidate for President. Let's make that Candidate Dennis Kucinich! 
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Comment #12 posted by runruff on January 01, 2008 at 16:04:22 PT:

Yea and..........
How much corn does America eat every year? How many bushels of apples and how many bushels of grapes. How about broccoli, oranges, or even wheat for bread?United States Bureau of agriculture reported that the largest cash crop in America in 2006, 2005, was cannabis.In California, in Oregon, and Washington state and in other states around the country they're state bureaus of agriculture have reported that the largest cash crop in their various states has been cannabis.It's going to take a lot of people to consume that much product. So many in fact I don't think that we can guess but to say that the numbers could be in the 50 millions or even hundred millions is not too far-fetched when you consider the thousands of metric tons that are imported and cultivated every year. Of course they are underestimating the amount of users in the country.As for the kids. I just want it to be understood I'm not cynical towards children I don't have anything against kids. My sarcasm is directed toward the blatant exploitation of children by the prohibitionist to shamelessly promote their cause.My attitude toward children, having once been a child myself, is that kids will be kids.
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Comment #11 posted by Celaya on January 01, 2008 at 14:57:58 PT

The REAL Message Here....
.... is found in these lines:"subtracting the approximately 20 million current drug users from the 110 million plus people who once used, almost 100 million Americans have left drugs behind. - Perhaps it can be good for young people to learn that as they mature they can, and will, straighten out and fly right?"The 20 million figure is made up. No one knows for sure, but, from all indications, there are at least 30 million current consumers of marijuana alone. It could be much more.Apart from this dishonest minimizing of the scope of the issue, the idiotic line is drawn in the sand that those who do not cast marijuana into the well of "youthful folly" are not "straightening out and flying right."One of the images of the American Inquisition that sticks out most in my mind is that of a "drug task force" celebrating a marijuana eradication mission around a table of beers.This just shows how Americans have been pushed into, and easily acquiesce to, lazy thinking. As long as we have to fight against encouraged, willful and widespread ignorance and bigotry, we may never do the right thing.  

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Comment #10 posted by FoM on January 01, 2008 at 11:17:29 PT

My Thoughts On This Article
From a woman's perspective I like the article because most woman don't want their children to wind up getting strung out on a hard drug. That's a natural part of mothering. I believe most women don't want their children to go to jail if they try drugs though. The good part of this article shows that kids that are being kids and experimenting with hard drugs can give it up and go on and make a great life for themselves and that keeps hope alive for them. Just my 2 cents. I also believe there is a wisdom that can come from trying hard drugs in our younger years. It makes a person question why more then if they didn't try hard drugs I think.
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Comment #9 posted by kaptinemo on January 01, 2008 at 10:59:39 PT:

The problem remains, though
And it's very simply this: the issue of drug prohibition's legitimacy is not being challenged. So long as that remains inviolate, courtesy of pols being given a pass on it by the media, the pols will never have the proper incentive to end drug prohibition. This little 'gentleman's agreement' regarding making a campaigning pol's past drug use a taboo subject serves to illustrate that clearly; the skeletons keep rattling in the closet, and the media feigns a selective deafness about why 'them bones' are there. The fact that they never needed to be there at all is never, ever mentioned.
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on January 01, 2008 at 09:56:47 PT

Happy New Year
Last year the United States celebrated the 75th anniversary of the End of Alcohol Prohibition. Prisons are filled today with the same innocents as those freed by ending THAT Prohibition of Liberty. Alcoholics walk, run, and drive freely, trusted to be responsible with their imbibbing. Bars, restaurants, hotels, casinos, and drive-through liquor stores provide them with unlimited brands and varieties. One drug and SSOOOOO many choices of strains and flavors. Now IMAGINE cannabis with the same Trust. Does anyone see people committing crimes of Hate or Spite or physical abuse after ingesting cannabis in ANY of it's (underground) brands and varieties and strains and flavors? Anyone dieing of sclerosis of the Liver? Anyone complaining of the vile taste of upchuck in the morning? If cannabis creates or enhances sexual passion, the acts will most likely be consensual and not date/rape. Can alcohol be used as a rehabilitation drug? Cannabis can.The positives of the risk factors far outway any negative arguement about child protection or preserving social order or any other arguement for Prohibition. Of all the pot that has been and is smoked daily, evidence abounds of cannabis's built-in safety controls and once the barriers of Governmental Lies is leaped over, cannabis is very much more socially compatible than alcohol. All that without even mentioning it's Medical Superiority over man-made substances. Trust us on this. Cannabis is safer than you think.Toke.  
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Comment #7 posted by RevrayGreen on January 01, 2008 at 01:48:46 PT

Happy New Year
Praise JAH for all those fighting 4 the smell of freedom, those released able to breath clean air again......and those locked up over this injustice for a safe return from inside(excellent take runruff).......
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on December 31, 2007 at 23:39:30 PT:

HNY to you all
Today has been really grand! 
A real pip! 
The cats pajamas!
The bee's knees!
Superduper!
A real kick!
Smashing!
The cat's meow!
Neat!It is soooooo good to be home.See you all next year!
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on December 31, 2007 at 23:23:38 PT:

But the children......
What about the children? Oh pleeeeeze, won't somebody please think about the children?The children might be sneaking shots from mommy and daddy's liqour cabinet.The children might be sneaking pills from grandma's medicine cabinet.[and have you seen grandma's stash?] She has drugs that date back to the premire of the Ford Edsil.
She may even have an old bottle of laudanum lying about.The children might be buying drugs in the restroom at school[but that can't be possible because drugs are illegal at school.]The children might be growing some white widow or skunk/northern lights cross in their back yard or in their closet.The children might be fermenting some homemade wine in an out building in the back yard or in the basement. [The recipes are on the internet.]The children might be doing LSD or shrooms at a sleep over at a friends house. Oh yea, shrooms and LSD are illegal so that ain't possible. Whew, thank god for the DEA who make such a thing impossibe to happen.The children, ah the children. At least with these sensable and effective drug laws in place we can sleep well knowing that at least our children are not altering there consciousness and having flights of physical and mental uphoria.Pleeeeeze oh pleeeeeeze think about the children!
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on December 31, 2007 at 22:08:08 PT

Happy, Happy New Year!
I'm counting on big advances this year towards the end of of this deadly and very, very ugly prohibition!Yay!Happy New Year!
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on December 31, 2007 at 21:55:17 PT

Dankhank
Happy New Year to you. I understand this article. 
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Comment #2 posted by Dankhank on December 31, 2007 at 21:46:17 PT

maybe ...
one hopes the trend will continue ...Happy New Year to all, 15 minutes till, here in the Central ...
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on December 31, 2007 at 21:23:12 PT

Happy New Year 2008
Yes the times might really be a changin'
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