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HE IS SO MUCH MORE

Bruce Vincent is the Executive Director of Provider Pals, a nation-wide urban/rural youth exchange program based in Montana. He was the recipient of a Preserve America Presidential Award, presented to him by the president in the White House. This is his account of an extraordinary moment between him and President Bush that occurred at the end of the presentation. I invite you to send this on to friends who may benefit from knowing the kind of man America is blessed with to have as her president. -JW Stepping into the Oval Office, each of us [the awardees] was introduced to the President and Mrs. Bush. We shook hands, received our awards with photo op and participated in informal conversation. He and the First Lady were asked about the impact of the Presidency on their marriage and, with an arm casually wrapped around Laura, he said that he thought the place may be hard on weak marriages but that it had the ability to make strong marriages even stronger and that he was blessed with a strong one. He noted that it would be a mistake to come to the Oval Office and entertain a mission to “find yourself.” He said that with all of the pressures and responsibilities that go with the job, you'd best know who you are when you put your nameplate on the desk in the Oval Office. He said he knows who he is and now America has had four years to learn about who he is. When we departed the I said to him, "Mr. President, I know you to be a man of strong faith and have a favor to ask you." As he shook my hand he looked me in the eye and said, "Just name it."

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Book Discussion: Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers

BOOK DISCUSSION : Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers (Random House, 2003)

It’s a great concept: A guy makes a killing on Wall Street, then drives a bright yellow Mercedes 152,000 miles around the world through 116 countries with his girlfriend (later wife), making interesting observations and giving you valuable investment advice all along the way.

Well, it’s a concept. This book is a real rough ride. There’s “take-home value” here that you can use for your portfolio’s benefit, but there are so many chuckholes, so many intellectual flat tires that the journey can be grindingly infuriating.

Rogers is one of

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THE AL QAEDA GRAVEYARD AND THE TRANSFORMING MIDDLE EAST

Nearly 4,000 American service members and about 100,000 Iraqis (most of them in the suicide bombings for which al Qaeda has become infamous) have been killed since March 19, 2003.  Has it been worth it? Iraqis apparently think so.  Last week ABC and the BBC released results of a poll conducted in Iraq last month.  In it 55 percent of Iraqis said their lives were going well, up from 39 percent last August.  Forty nine percent of Iraqis think the U.S. invasion was justified, up from 37 percent in August.  The Iraqis have been freed from an oppressive tyrant, and are the recipients of billions of dollars of economic aid.  But has it been worth it for us? The Bush administration had both short and long term strategic goals for invading Iraq; some publicly stated, some not.  All are on the verge of being met.

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THE REAL MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE?

When John Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April 1971, he admitted that he had probably broken the law by going to Paris and meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong leaders. (From page 188 of the hearing record: "I realize that even my visits in Paris . . . in a sense are on the borderline of private individuals negotiating, et cetera. I understand these things." The prohibition against private individuals negotiating--which has been on the criminal statute books since John Adams was President--is contained in 18 U.S.C. Section 953 and is a felony.)I was serving my second tour of duty in Vietnam at the time, and while I was painfully aware of the lies Kerry was telling Congress and the American people about what was happening in Vietnam (pretending to speak for "all" Vietnam veterans, calling us "war criminals," saying 60-80 percent of us were "stoned" twenty-four hours a day, and the like), I was unaware until recently that he was also involved in exploiting the families of American POWs in Vietnam.

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Dr. Jack’s Reading Recommendations for May, 2003

I could not suggest more strongly that you read Bernard Lewis’ latest book, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror (Modern Library, 2003).  Its compact 164 pages contain an abundance of revelations. 

We are so often told, for example, that a basic cause of the hatred radical Moslems feel for the West is the Crusades.  Yet, Mr. Lewis explains, the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099 was largely ignored by the main Moslem powers in nearby Damascus and in Baghdad.  After Saladin retook the city in 1187, the Moslem world forgot about it for 700 years, until

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HOW IS OBAMA ANY MORE READY FOR PRIME TIME THAN HIS ADVISORS?

The Not Ready for Prime Time Players are hilarious on Saturday Night Live, but not so funny in a presidential campaign, as Sen. Barack Obama has learned to his sorrow. Sen. Obama has the thinnest resume of any major presidential candidate in modern times.  He has not bolstered it with his selection of key advisors, most of whom share his inexperience on the national scene. That inexperience has bitten the Obama campaign hard recently.  The gaffes and exposures of four of his main advisors in just the last few days have people asking: How can the freshman Illinois senator be any more ready for prime time than his clearly not-ready advisors?

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REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD

All across America, Viet Nam vets are smiling. At last, perhaps they can bury their demons. These angry vets are demanding that this man who sentenced them to being shunned as criminals, tell the world that he was wrong and that he is sorry for what he did to them. Kerry must admit that he lied about them. For many, it would still not be enough. Satisfaction and hopefully peace will come when Viet Nam Vets see and hear John F. Kerry give his concession speech the night of November 2, 2004 with the knowledge that it was their votes that helped defeat him.

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Book Discussion : Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Book Discussion : Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Scholastic: 2003)

Like so many other kids, my son learned how to read by reading Harry Potter. He was five years old, and would sit next to me as I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to him.

He began picking out words as his eyes followed my hand moving down the page as I read. Then phrases, then parts of sentences, and by the end of the book, entire sentences. That was in 1997. When Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came out the next year,

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A MESS ONLY A REPUBLICAN COULD LOVE

Never before has a presidential nomination been determined by a do over.  This year there may be two.  And they may not be enough to prevent a bloodbath at the Democrat convention in Denver in August. Despite winning Rhode Island by 18 points, Ohio by 10 points, and Texas by 4 points, Ms. Clinton shaved only 12 delegates from Sen. Obama's lead, with 10 still to be allocated.  That lead is pretty narrow.  Sen. Obama has won 1,366 delegates in primaries and caucuses to date, compared to 1,222 for Sen. Clinton.  Mr. Obama needs 659 delegates more to obtain the 2,025 needed to win the nomination. Sen. Clinton needs 803.  But only 611 delegates are left to be won in the remaining primaries and caucuses, 158 of them in Pennsylvania's primary April 22.  That means the nominee will be picked by the 795 "superdelegates," who have been elected by nobody. It also means the primaries in Michigan and Florida are going to have to be held again.

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