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Maybe he can’t say no. Despite all the feel-good spin, Muhammad Ali’s recent string of speechless public appearances—the Atlanta Olympics, Oscar night, even that Chicago Bulls game—served mainly to water down the Greatest’s own trademark. OK, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee have been replaced by walking like a mummy and shaking like a leaf. And no doubt about it, Parkinson’s disease really is so much less surmountable than Sonny Liston or George Foreman. So then, absolutely, we’re all really mortal. Now can we move on? Well, no, at least not until after tonight, when Ali sits in with writer Thomas Hauser to promote a book officially authored by both, Healing: A Journal of Tolerance and Understanding. At 7 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $25. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Dave McKenna)