Big Dog at the Bushnell By Lori R. Price
I was thrilled to be able to attend, "An Evening with Former [and last elected] President Bill Clinton," Sunday, Dec. 2, 2001, at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, Hartford, CT. According to the program, "all proceeds to benefit Hebrew Home and Hospital."
I arrived over an hour early, expecting to face long lines for security checks. On my way there, I actually felt that would be the one "positive" aspect of Ashcroft's police-state - that Bill and Hillary Clinton would be safe whenever they make public appearances. Guess what? Not a SINGLE SECURITY PAUSE or CHECK FROM HOMELAND SECURITY! No camera bags/purses checked, no wands for weapons-searches, no display of ID.
I digress: We spend ten extra minutes at camp ESPN every day just to get through the Security checkpoints, even when folks step out for a cigarette and re-enter the building minutes later! On-premises vehicles checked for ESPN parking tags, names cross-checked off a "master list," mandatory display of color-coded IDs at all times! But, necessary security for President Bill Clinton? NONE!
This is not my anti-Ashcroft viewpoint coloring reality. Two people behind me, as we prepared to give our tickets to the ushers, observed, "I can't believe there is no security here." I turned, and, never to resist a political moment, uttered, "Yes, you would think in Ashcroft's fascist police-state, there would be some security here." They both LOLed!
The Bushnell was just renovated - and it is gorgeous performing arts center. I enjoyed being able to participate in a standing ovation for Bill Clinton! BTW, he looked great, and although his voice sounded a little raspy (allergies?) he sounded great to me, too!!! Bill Clinton's last visit to the Bushnell was in October, 1996, when he debated Bob Dole.
After the thunderous applause subsided, Bill Clinton talked about the beneficial deeds of Hebrew Home and Hospital, then moved on to the events of Sept. 11th and the bombings in Haifa on Dec. 2nd. He recalled the list of terrorist threats that his Administration prevented, and added that he attempted to close the money laundering loopholes that allowed terrorists to flourish, but congress defeated that proposal. Bill Clinton then expressed his wishes that he hoped the anti-money laundering bill would pass congress at this point.
The audience was politically astute. When Big Dog expressed that the U.S. would be victorious in Afghanistan (I think he is obliged to say that - the now-rightwing Hartford Courant already trashed him in this morning's edition and Big Dog hadn't even appeared yet) he received only a polite round of applause. Next, Bill Clinton listed ways that we could avoid going to war in the future - funding education, health care, and helping the environment in this country and abroad. He supplied details on how this was much cheaper, in terms of both saving money and human suffering - than funding a war. The audience applauded wildly when he discussed ways in which the United States could prevent terrorism and war. He noted that there would be 100 million cases of AIDS in a few years, which would take a tremendous economic toll on this country, in addition to human suffering world- wide.
The most applause Big Dog received was after he declared that he worked for a Mid-East peace plan on "the last day I was in office." Huge outburst of applause, as the entire audience knows that Bu$h, the Idiot Usurper, is marching us right into WWIII. His second-largest burst of applause in the speech occurred when Bill Clinton talked about global warming and how this country needs to take a leadership role in protecting and saving the global environment.
Bill Clinton remarked that when he assumed office in 1993, there were fifty sites on the World Wide Web. He noted, there are now 350 million websites! He mentioned a Peruvian economist's view and Nano-Technology that will benefit cancer research.
I digress, again: What a pleasure to listen to Bill Clinton. Think about what we have to endure day after day: The Idiot Usurper, Ari Fleischer, and Ashcroft. I really don't know how much more I can take. Why don't they just repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment? Geeze, they've revoked every other Amendment! Bill of Rights – out the door with the Calico cats! (Referring to John Ashcroft's remark that Calico cats are the work of the devil). Reminder to keep sending your photos of Calico cats to Ashcroft in Washington - new symbol of the Resistance Movement.
A moderator asked him a few questions at the end - no questions from the audience. He was asked about what influence his mother had on him? He said he was made to feel loved unconditionally, and told to never quit anything he undertook. Bill Clinton made the entire audience laugh when he noted that he thought about "quitting" a few times!
He was asked - where he would be in ten or twenty years? Big Dog said, after he paid a few bills - more laughter from the audience as we knew he meant legal bills - he and Hillary would devote 100 per cent of their time to public service. Audience erupted in absolute joy! Bill Clinton stated that he wants to "give back," as he has benefited from the experiences of being President for two terms.
The last question asked - with who would Bill Clinton like to play golf? He mentioned the founder of the game from 100 years ago - "just to see how the game was played one-hundred years ago." He also mentioned Babe Didrikson Zaharias (audience applause,) Tiger Woods, a couple of others - and Greg Norman, "because he likes to humiliate me." Lots of audience laughter.
After a second standing ovation, accompanied by sustained applause, we departed down a crowded staircase. I said out loud, for the few folks near me to hear: "OK, we went from discussions on Peruvian economists and Nano-Technology to 'you people misunderestimate [sic] me!'" Laughter erupts nearby.
I chatted with a woman at the bottom of the stairs, who expressed appreciation of my commentary. I added, "Yeah, September 11th. FEMA was in New York on September 10th. You tell me."
A serious expression overtook her smile, and she said, "What?"
"I mean... They knew..."
She turned to her friend, "Did you hear what she said? Tell her what you just said." I repeated the sentence, and explained about Bu$h's father's ties to the Carlyle Group and bin Laden. They were not aware of this information as the mainstream media fails to report these news items...
Another person noted that we're going to be stuck with Bu$h for another term.
I added, "Yes, as there will be no elections, due to 'circumstances beyond our control,' " at least that is what "they" will tell us...
Sigh... Temagami, Canada - you're lookin' better every day...