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12/31/2003 Archived Entry: "Happy 04!"

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to one and all. I have a good feeling about '04. And that's despite my choice of cartoon to feature: Don Wright's "Baby 2003."

Hooray to Dave Barry's 'year in review' column! Barry advises, "2003 is finally, we hope, over. But before we move on, let's put our heads between our knees and take one last look back at this remarkable year."

For more sobering commentary, try David Martin's article, which begins, "On December 13, when U.S. forces captured Saddam Hussein, President George W. Bush not only celebrated with his national security team, but also pulled out his pen and signed into law a bill that grants the FBI sweeping new powers. A White House spokesperson explained the curious timing of the signing - on a Saturday - as 'the President signs bills seven days a week.' But the last time Bush signed a bill into law on a Saturday happened more than a year ago - on a spending bill that the President needed to sign, to prevent shutting down the federal government the following Monday. By signing the bill on the day of Hussein's capture, Bush effectively consigned a dramatic expansion of the USA Patriot Act to a mere footnote." Martin's piece is entitled "With a Whisper, Not a Bang." This is, of course, a reference to T.S. Eliot's 2nd most famous poem, "The Hollow Men," which concludes "This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper." The poem is as powerful a statement of 2003's mood as I can imagine.

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