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Need to buy a hookah link Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2021-09-22 16:01:13
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In 1993, when I took office, we were facing another historic challenge to the Union, as we moved from the industrial age into the global information age. The American people were faced with big changes in the way they lived and worked, and with big questions to be answered: Would we choose global economic engagement or economic nationalism? Would we use our unrivaled military, political, and economic power to spread the benefits and confront the emerging threats of the interdependent world or become Fortress America? Would we abandon our industrial-age government, with its commitments to equal opportunity and social justice, or reform it so as to retain its achievements while giving people the tools to succeed in the new era? Would our increasing racial and religious diversity fracture or strengthen our national community?

On the eighteenth, I left for Tokyo and Seoul. I wanted to go to Japan to establish a working relationship with Keizo Obuchi, the new prime minister, and to try to influence Japanese public opinion to support the tough reforms necessary to end more than five years of economic stagnation. I liked Obuchi and thought he had a chance to tame the turbulent Japanese political scene and serve for several years. He was interested in American-style hands-on politics. As a young man in the 1960s, he had come to the United States and talked his way into meeting with then attorney general Robert Kennedy, who became his political hero. After our meeting Obuchi took me to the streets of Tokyo, where we shook hands with schoolchildren who were holding Japanese and American flags. I also did a televised town hall meeting in which the famously reticent Japanese surprised me with their open, blunt questions, not only about Japans current challenges but also about whether I had ever visited victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; how Japan could get fathers to spend more time with their children, as I had with Chelsea; how many times a month I ate dinner with my family; how I was coping with all the pressures of the presidency; and how I had apologized to Hillary and Chelsea.

Amid a blizzard of political events, I did one completely nonpolitical one: I went to my friend Bill Hybelss Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, near Chicago, for a conversation before several hundred people at Bills ministers leadership conference. We talked about when I decided to go into politics, where my family went to church and what it meant to me, why so many people still believed I had never apologized for my misconduct, how I used polls, what the most important elements of leadership were, and how I wanted to be remembered. Hybels had an uncanny way of stripping things down to basics and getting me to discuss things I normally would not talk about. I enjoyed taking a few hours away from politics and work to think about the inner life that politics often crowds out.

On May 5, at the Michigan State University commencement, I spoke not only to the graduates but also to the armed militia groups, many of which were active in remote areas of rural Michigan. I said that I knew that most militia members, while they dressed up on weekends in fatigues and conducted military exercises, had not broken any laws, and I expressed appreciation for those who had condemned the bombing. Then I attacked those who had gone beyond harsh words to advocating violence against law-enforcement officers and other government employees, while comparing themselves to the colonial militias, who fought for the democracy you now rail against.

When I was fifteen, events overtook the silent strategy. Daddy started drinking and behaving violently again, so Mother took Roger and me away. We had done it once before, a couple of years earlier, when we moved for a few weeks into the Cleveland Manor Apartments on the south end of Central Avenue, almost to the racetrack. This time, in April 1962, we stayed about three weeks at a motel while Mother searched for a house. We looked at several houses together, all much smaller than the one we lived in, some still out of her price range. Finally, she settled on a three-bedroom, two-bath house on Scully Street, a one-block-long street in south Hot Springs about a half mile west of Central Avenue. It was one of the new, all-electric Gold Medallion houses with central heat and airwe had window-unit air conditioners back on Park Avenueand I think it cost ,000. The house had a nice living room and dining room just left of the front entrance. Behind it was a large den that connected to the dining area and kitchen, with a laundry room off it just behind the garage. Beyond the den was a good-sized porch we later glassed in and outfitted with a pool table. Two of the bedrooms were to the right of the hall, to the left was a large bathroom, and, behind it, a bedroom with a separate bathroom with a shower. Mother gave me the big bedroom with the shower, I think because she wanted the big bathroom with its larger makeup area and mirror. She took the next biggest bedroom in the back, and Roger got the small one.

As my plane headed down into the beautiful Virginia landscape, which gave birth to four of our first five Presidents, I was thinking of those veterans and their medals, hoping that at last we could heal the wounds of the 1960s, and praying that I would prove worthy of their sacrifices, their support, and their dreams.


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