A VISIT WITH PRESIDENT BUSH
By Bruce Vincent, Libby, Montana
For those who may sometimes have doubts about our current President, here is a heart warming personal appraisal from a man who visited the White House in 2004 to receive a Preserve America Presidential Award. It is worth every minute it takes you to read it. He writes:
I've written the following narrative to chronicle the day of the award ceremony in DC. I'm still working on a press release but the White House press corps has yet to provide a photo to go with it. When the photo comes I will ship it out. When you get done reading this, you'll understand the dilemma I face in telling this story beyond my circle of close friends.
Stepping into the Oval Office, each of us was introduced to the President and Mrs. Bush. We shook hands and participated in small talk. When the President was told that we were from Libby, Montana, I reminded him that Marc Racicot is our native son and the President offered his warm thoughts about Governor Racicot. I have to tell you, I was blown away by two things upon entering the office.
First, the Oval Office sense of 'place' is unreal. The President later shared a story of Russian President Putin entering the room prepared to tackle the President in a tough negotiation and, upon entering, the atheist muttered his first words to the President - and they were “Oh, my God.”
I concurred. I could feel the history in my bones. Second, the man that inhabits the office engaged me with a firm handshake and a look that can only be described as penetrating. Warm, alive, fully engaged, disarmingly penetrating. I was admittedly concerned about meeting the man. I think all of us have an inner hope that the most powerful man in our country is worthy of the responsibility and authority that we bestow upon them through our vote.
I admit that part of me was afraid that I would be let down by the moment - that the person and the place could not meet the lofty expectations of my fantasy world. This says nothing about my esteem for President Bush but just my practical realization that reality may not match my 'dream‘.
Once inside the office, President Bush got right down to business and, standing in front of his desk, handed out the awards one at a time while posing for photos with the winners and Mrs. Bush. With the mission accomplished, the President and Mrs. Bush relaxed and initiated a lengthy, informal conversation about a number of things with our entire small group.
He and the First Lady talked about such things as the rug in the office. It is traditionally designed by the First Lady to make a statement about the President, and Mrs. Bush chose a brilliant yellow sunburst pattern to reflect 'hope.' President Bush talked about the absolute need to believe that with hard work and faith in God there is every reason to start each day in the Oval Office with hope. 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.
After about 30 or 35 minutes, it was time to go. By then we were all relaxed and I felt as if I had just had an excellent visit with a friend. The President and First Lady made one more pass down the line of awardees, shaking hands and offering congratulations. When the President shook my hand I said, “thank you Mr. President and God bless you and your family.” He was already in motion to the next person in line, but he stopped abruptly turned fully back to me, gave me a piercing look, renewed the vigor of his handshake and said, “Thank you - and God bless you and yours as well.”
On our way out of the office we were to leave by the glass doors on the west side of the office. I was the last person in the exit line. As I shook his hand one final time, President Bush said, “I'll be sure to tell Marc hello and give him your regards.”
I then did something that surprised even me. I said to him, “Mr. President, I know you are a busy man and your time is precious. I also 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.” I told him that my step-Mom was at that moment in a hospital in Kalispell, Montana, having a tumor removed from her skull and it would mean a great deal to me if he would consider adding her to his prayers that day. He grabbed me by the arm and took me back toward his desk as he said, “So that's it. I could tell that something is weighing heavy on your heart today. I could see it in your eyes. This explains it.”
From the top drawer of his desk he retrieved a pen and a note card with his seal on it and asked, “How do you spell her name?” He then jotted a note to her while discussing the importance of family and the strength of prayer. When he handed me the card, he asked about the surgery and the prognosis. I told him we were hoping that it is not a recurrence of an earlier cancer and that if it is they can get it all with this surgery.
He said, “If it's okay with you, we'll take care of the prayer right now. Would you pray with me?” I told him yes and he turned to the staff that remained in the office and hand motioned the folks to step back or leave. He said, “Bruce and I would like some private time for a prayer.”
As they left he turned back to me and took my hands in his. I was prepared to do a traditional prayer stance - standing with each other with heads bowed. Instead, he reached for my head with his right hand and pulling gently forward, he placed my head on his shoulder. With his left arm on my mid back, he pulled me to him in a prayerful embrace.
He started to pray softly. I started to cry. He continued his prayer for Loretta and for God's perfect will to be done. I cried some more. My body shook a bit as I cried and he just held tighter. He closed by asking God's blessing on Loretta and the family during the coming months. I stepped away from our embrace, wiped my eyes, swiped at the tears I'd left on his shoulder, and looked into the eyes of our president. I thanked him as best I could and told him that me and my family would continue praying for he and his.
As I write this account down and reflect upon what it means, I have to tell you that all I really know is that his simple act left me humbled and believing. I so hoped that the man I thought him to be was the man that he is. I know that our nation needs a man such as this in the Oval Office.
George W. Bush is the real deal. I've read Internet stories about the President praying with troops in hospitals and other such uplifting accounts. Each time I read them I hope them to be true and not an Internet perpetuated myth. This one, I know to be true. I was there. He is real. He has a pile of incredible stuff on his plate each day - and yet he is tuned in so well to the here and now that he 'sensed' something heavy on my heart.
He took time out of his life to care, to share, and to seek God's blessing for my family in a simple man-to-man, father-to-father, son-to-son, husband-to-husband, Christian-to-Christian prayerful embrace. He's not what I had hoped he would be. He is, in fact, so very, very much more.
Verification by Snopes [http://www.snopes.com/politics/bush/vincent.asp ].
Official story of the awards presentation [http://www.preserveamerica.gov/firstPApresawards.html ].
AF CLASS VISITS WITH THE PRESIDENT
By Norm Conant
Forwarded by p38bob, who noted, “What a great get-together of the President’s old Air Force pilot class.”
It was an incredible two days. The occasion was the reunion of former Air Force student pilots in UPT Class 70-04 here at Moody AFB. President George W. Bush was one of those students, and I was their T-38 Flight Commander for the six months they were in that phase of training. They were gracious enough to invite me and a few of their other instructors and training supervisors to share their reminiscences of days gone by.
Tuesday morning, April 4, 2006, Bud Kendrick, who drove up to DC from Gainesville, FL, picked me up at the Metro in Bethesda, and we drove out to Andrews AFB for a tour of Air Force One. After going through security to make certain we were who we said we were, they led us into one of the largest hangars I've ever seen. It can hold both of the Air Force One 747's and the smaller Air Force One Boeing 757, and still have room for a few more aircraft of somewhat smaller dimensions. One of the 74's was in Wichita getting mods, so we only saw one of the 747's and the 757, which we didn't board.
Colonel Tillman, who is the President's pilot, had some of his co-pilots standing by as well as many of the other crew members who man the various sections of AF One, and maintain it on the ground.
Off came our shoes for the walk through. Everything is absolutely spotless. They showed us the entire aircraft and explained how each section works while in flight. The tour took over two hours. When asked how often they are requested to go through this exercise, Col. Tillman said only about once a year, so we felt very, very privileged.
Yes, I sat in the Presidents office chair, AND, in the pilot's seat. After so many years of “round gauges” this panel looked more like a video game.
Tuesday evening we arrived at the White House gate at 1815. After going through security we were met by the President and Mrs. Bush at the front door - Awestruck Event #1. # 2 was when the President took my hand and said, “It's great to see you again, Norm.” (It's nice to be remembered by the powerful).
After drinks, chat, etc., it was to their private dining room for dinner. Since there were 33 of us, including the President and Mrs. Bush, they had set three tables. GW was at #1, Laura was at #2, and #3 was “hosted” by Bud. I was seated directly across the table from Laura; what an honor. She is a real beauty, relaxed and as easy to talk with as any of your closest friends; both of them are.
The menu was delicious, and the conversation beyond description. I'd certainly like to own their wine cellar, too.
After dinner the President and Laura gave us a tour through their private quarters, giving us a lot of history behind architectural features, portraits, furniture, various rooms, etc.
Then GW asked, “Would you guys like to see the Oval Office?”
When he opened the door and I walked into THE ROOM - Awestruck Event #3. Folks, this just wasn't really registering with me by that point. I felt as though I was floating above it all and observing this take place outside of my body. Maybe the fact that I'd had no sleep since early Monday morning didn't help the situation, either. NO, I did NOT sit in THE CHAIR. After all, some things are sacred. However, I did walk behind it and place both hands on the back of it. The thought occurred to me that there had been many a high level butt chewing issued from this exalted side of the desk. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall. (No, I would have had to pass on a few of those infamous moments during the previous administration.)
For me this, in many respects, was the high point of the evening. For an hour or so we had a one-on-one discussion and cabinet level policy and situation briefing by the President of the United States in the Oval Office.
We asked questions, got answers, made various personal observations, got replies, and, in short, got a better insight into the President's strategic thinking, policies, hopes and ambitions, than you could get from any other source available today - thanks to our liberal media. He replied to personal points of view and our specific opinions. He was relaxed and candid with his remarks, and displayed the intelligence, grasp, and self-assurance that we all hope that our President possesses.
He also told of Condi's great talent for international affairs. One such incident he mentioned was her very firm encounter with the leader of one of a foreign nation with whom we were having a problem concerning their internal injustices. In short, she laid down the law to him.
The President is reverent, dynamic, articulate, passionate, and very emphatic about his concern for the safety of our nation, the rest of the world, and his hope that all oppressed people will be able to gain the liberties that are their God given right. He also believes that it is our national destiny to help them achieve this. He made observations and specific comments I would not care to discuss in a public forum, as the media would cut and splice to their agenda.
President Bush has a lot of frustration toward the media. He told us how our forces had been able to eliminate much of the terrorist's top leadership, and how close we had been to nailing bin Laden. We have the technical ability to track the bad guys electronically. If they as much as picked up a phone to make a call, ordinance was immediately directed to the site placing the call. It was just a matter of time before bin Laden was the one to collect the inbound.
When the media leaked the methods we were using, the terrorists immediately stopped using electronic communications and started using runners. In spite of this, the President promised that we will get bin Laden, and we will cross any national border to do so. Another concern he has is the growing desire among some people in this nation to revert to a policy of isolationism.
My own personal view point on this has always been: If you aren't a member of the “club”, you can't do anything to help solve the “club's” problems. Isolationism is not the answer, as tempting as it might seem at times.
Wednesday AM, we were at the helicopter pad on the White House lawn to see him off to CN where he was to give a speech. He called out to us to behave ourselves and that he'd had a great time the night before. This was followed by a tour of the rest of the White House we had not seen the night before, guided by Mr. Oliver Hensley, a member of his White House staff. This fellow should teach history in a university when he retires from his government position; he's a storehouse of White House history and detail.
Wednesday evening, we had a dinner at the Army Navy Club followed by a panel concerning GW's AF and Guard experiences. This was organized and led by the staff of Ghost Wings Magazine, Adam and Brian Makos. A few of us had worked with them earlier when they commissioned a painting commemorating the President's pilot training days at Moody AFB. Their magazine is a beauty and should be well received by all who are interested in aviation history and the heroes who helped shape it.
The President and Laura Bush are easy to talk with. He is articulate, passionate, and absolutely convinced that we are doing the right thing regarding terrorism. As I mentioned to him, there is no quick solution as it may very likely take at least three generations to change the radical Islamic mind set. He agreed, and stated that he is willing to take all the time necessary. As he put it, we are still in Korea after fifty years, helping those people guard their freedom. It is very noticeable that he does not bash his opponents in either public or private conversation - a point that is mighty refreshing in today's American political environment.
When asked of his personal reaction when he was first told of the attack on Twin Towers, he said his first thought was, “What kind of an idiot pilot gets so fouled up that he hits a building by mistake.” But when the next one hit, he knew we were at war.
At that time AF One didn't have the capability for the instant communications he needed to speak with his Washington staff, so they landed at Barksdale AFB where he had access to the military nets. AF One now has the equipment required to do anything while in flight that can be done on the ground. Also, he was worried about the possible dangers to his family back in DC. He also told of his conversations with the national leaders of some of the Islamic nations. He told them, to pick sides in the fight against terrorism, RIGHT NOW!. If they weren't with us, they were against us, and they would suffer the consequences. A very decisive stand!
Rest assured, we have the right man in the Oval Office!
To be able to sit around and talk as we did years ago in a completely different situation was really wonderful, and a privilege. The President and his classmates all seemed as full of the camaraderie as they had shared over a third of a century earlier. It was great to see this interchange, and to know that you had been, in a small part, a participant in their road to success. (It seems that I've had a hand in the initial training of darn near half of this nation's cadre of airline pilots.)
It was a jammed packed couple of days, and I'm certain I will think of many other little things said and done as time goes by.
By Oliver North, on TownHall.com, Friday, September 29, 2006
Forwarded by William Thompson
“I worked hard to try to kill him. I authorized a finding for the CIA to kill him. We contracted with people to kill him. I got closer to killing him than anybody has gotten since.” — William Jefferson Clinton, Sept. 24, 2006.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Now there's a passage for the next edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations!
It was a stunning, blatant confession — made in the midst of a heated exchange on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace — that as president, Clinton sanctioned the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
To put this little piece of braggadocio in context, it should be noted that no other American head of state — sitting or former — has ever before admitted to such a serious violation of law. Though assassination is specifically forbidden as a course of action open to U.S. officials — including presidents — no one seems to have taken notice — perhaps because they were so caught up with the theater of what was happening on the screen — and not listening to the words being said.
Over the course of the past week there is hardly a talk show in America that hasn't run the tape of the Clinton tirade and then proffered instant analysis of the former president's performance. One jabber-jawed host even asked a guest after playing the clip, “Who won that exchange between Wallace and Clinton?” as if he were interviewing the judges at the Friday Night Fights.
Yet, not one of the “experts” has, as yet, observed that in all of this, the biggest losers weren't on screen — it's the American people. The tape of a former president, arrogantly proclaiming on international television that he personally authorized the killing of a foreign foe may be great stuff for the screenplay of “Rambo V” — but it's specifically forbidden by U.S. and international law. Over the course of fighting the jihad being waged against us, Clinton's intemperate words will come back to haunt us many times over. And of course, he won't be the one to pay the price.
Apparently neither violations of law nor increasing the vulnerability of the American people seem to matter much to Clinton, his political cronies or his allies in the media. The silence has been deafening from the barons of bombast and political potentates who went nuts last year when Rev. Pat Robertson suggested that Venezuela's tin-horn dictator Hugo Chavez should be “eliminated.” Then, there were calls for an investigation of Robertson. Not so for Clinton.
For the record, Clinton proudly claimed to have broken a long series of U.S. law:
- Executive Order 11905, signed Feb. 18, 1976, by President Gerald Ford in response to the Church Committee. Section 5(g) of that order states, “no employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.”
- Section 2-305 of Executive Order 12036, signed by President Jimmy Carter on Jan. 24, 1978, broadens the prohibition from “political assassination” to “assassination” generally.
- Executive Order 12333, signed by President Ronald Reagan on Dec. 4, 1981, specifies that assassination is against the law and contrary to U.S. policy. Section 2.11 of the order, labeled, “Prohibition on Assassination” says “no person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” The next section (Section 2.12) states, “no agency of the intelligence community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this order.”
Without hubris, I must acknowledge that I wrote, “staffed” and presented EO 12333 to President Reagan for his signature. I was asked then — and have been many times since — if I thought such a prohibition was important. I did then and I do now. And since no chief executive has ever rescinded them, it seemed as though they did, too — up until Clinton's petulant outburst.
Ordering the assassination of a foreign national is arguably more important than lying about a tryst with an intern in the Oval Office. So where is the “shock and awe” from human rights standard bearers who still complain about the so-called abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay? Do they not care that Clinton ordered an assassination?
Where are John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Arlen Specter and Colin Powell now? If we want the world to know our prisoners of war are accorded protection under the Geneva Conventions, don't we also want the world to know we don't engage in assassination?
And since presidential findings — orders for the CIA to conduct covert operations — are all highly classified, shouldn't those who reveal them be held accountable?
Ah, there's that word again — “accountable.”
It doesn't apply to Clinton.
Copyright © 2006 Salem Web Network.
BUSH - GRAND STRATEGIST
By Tony Blankley, The Washington Times - Feb 11, 2004
The Boston Globe — the respected, liberal newspaper owned by the New York Times — ran an article last week that Bush critics may wish to read carefully. It is a report on a new book that argues that President Bush has developed and is ably implementing only the third American grand strategy in our history.
The author of this book, “Surprise, Security, and the American Experience” (Harvard Press) to be released in March, is John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett professor of military and naval history at Yale University. The Boston Globe describes Mr. Gaddis as “the dean of Cold War studies and one of the nation's most eminent diplomatic historians.” In other words, this is not some put-up job by an obscure right-wing author. This comes from the pinnacle of the liberal Ivy League academic establishment.
If you hate George W. Bush, you will hate this Boston Globe story because it makes a strong case that Mr. Bush stands in a select category with presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and James Monroe (as guided by his secretary of state, John Q. Adams) in implementing one of only three grand strategies of American foreign policy in our two-century history.
As the Globe article describes in an interview with Mr. Gaddis: “Grand strategy is the blueprint from which policy follows. It envisions a country's mission, defines its interests, and sets its priorities. Part of grand strategy's grandeur lies in its durability: A single grand strategy can shape decades, even centuries of policy.”
According to this analysis, the first grand strategy by Monroe/Adams followed the British invasion of Washington and the burning of the White House in 1814. They responded to that threat by developing a policy of gaining future security through territorial expansion — filling power vacuums with American pioneers before hostile powers could get in. That strategy lasted throughout the 19th and the early 20th centuries, and accounts for our continental size and historic security.
FDR's plans for the post-World War II period were the second grand strategy and gained American security by establishing free markets and self-determination in Europe as a safeguard against future European wars, while creating the United Nations and related agencies to help us manage the rest of the world and contain the Soviets. The end of the Cold War changed that and led, according to Mr. Gaddis, to President Clinton's assumption that a new grand strategy was not needed because globalization and democratization were inevitable. “Clinton said as much at one point. I think that was shallow. I think they were asleep at the switch,” Mr. Gaddis observed.
That brings the professor to George W. Bush, who he describes as undergoing “one of the most surprising transformations of an underrated national leader since Prince Hal became Henry V.” Clearly, Mr. Gaddis has not been a long-time admirer of Mr. Bush. But he is now.
He observes that Mr. Bush “undertook a decisive and courageous reassessment of American grand strategy following the shock of the 9/11 attacks. At his doctrine's center, Bush placed the democratization of the Middle East and the urgent need to prevent terrorists and rogue states from getting nuclear weapons. Bush also boldly rejected the constraints of an outmoded international system that was really nothing more that a snapshot of the configuration of power that existed in 1945.”
It is worth noting that John Kerry and the other Democrats' central criticism of Mr. Bush — the prosaic argument that he should have taken no action without U.N. approval — is rejected by Mr. Gaddis as being a proposed policy that would be constrained by an “outmoded international system.”
In assessing Mr. Bush's progress to date, the Boston Globe quotes Mr. Gaddis: “So far the military action in Iraq has produced a modest improvement in American and global economic conditions; an intensified dialogue within the Arab world about political reform; a withdrawal of American forces from Saudi Arabia; and an increasing nervousness on the part of the Syrian and Iranian governments as they contemplated the consequences of being surrounded by American clients or surrogates. The United States has emerged as a more powerful and purposeful actor within the international system than it had been on September 11, 2001.”
In another recent article, written before the Iraqi war, Mr. Gaddis wrote: “[Bush's] grand strategy is actually looking toward the culmination of the Wilsonian project of a world safe for Democracy, even in the Middle East. And this long-term dimension of it, it seems to me, goes beyond what we've seen in the thinking of more recent administrations. It is more characteristic of the kind of thinking, say, that the Truman administration was doing at the beginning of the Cold War.”
Is Mr. Bush becoming an historic world leader in the same category as FDR, as the eminent Ivy League professor argues? Or is he just a lying nitwit, as the eminent Democratic Party Chairman and Clinton fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe argues? I suspect that as this election year progresses, that may end up being the decisive debate. You can put me on the side of the professor.
BUSH - THREE PILLARS SPEECH
By Forbes S Tuttle, Legacy Wealth Coach. Forwarded by 1stAdmPAO
November 21, 2003 — On Wednesday, George W. Bush spoke before the British people and confessed to a tragic sin of omission: “Your nation and mine, in the past, have been willing to make a bargain, to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability,” the president said.
“Longstanding ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites. Yet this bargain did not bring stability or make us safe. It merely bought time, while problems festered and ideologies of violence took hold.
“As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient.”
These sentences rank among the most rueful, honest and reflective ever spoken by a Western leader - an acknowledgment that Western nations have not done all they should or could have done to help secure the blessings of liberty for others in the world.
They indicate the degree to which Bush, commonly considered among the most “conservative” presidents in American history, is actually a “liberal” in the classical sense of the word. He has declared that the pursuit of liberty and the defense of freedom across the world must be central goals of American foreign policy.
The peace and security of the world, Bush said in his extraordinary speech, now rests on three pillars. International organizations comprise the first pillar. The man long derided as a go-it-alone cowboy paid glowing tribute to multilateralism, from the United Nations to NATO.
But the importance of these institutions confers on them a responsibility from which they cannot flee. They must “be equal to the challenges facing our world, from lifting up failing states to opposing proliferation,” the president said. “The success of multilateralism is not measured by adherence to forms alone, the tidiness of the process, but by the results we achieve to keep our nations secure.”
The second pillar is “the willingness of free nations, when the last resort arrives, to [restrain] aggression and evil by force.” In some cases, harsh words and pronouncements will not suffice if we are to protect ourselves and others from aggression: “It is not enough to meet the dangers of the world with resolutions; we must meet those dangers with resolve.”
Bush gracefully acknowledged that disagreements over the use of force are legitimate. “There are principled objections to the use of force in every generation, and I credit the good motives behind these views,” he said. ” Those in authority, however, are not judged only by good motivations. The people have given us the duty to defend them. And that duty sometimes requires the violent restraint of violent men. In some cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world ruled by force.”
The third pillar is “our commitment to the global expansion of democracy.” In this address, which history will come to call “the three pillars speech,” the president spoke more broadly in terms of freedom and democracy than any Western leader ever has.
And he has a right to do so. After all, in the 26 months since 9/11, he has led the way in the liberation of more than 43 million people from the inhuman tyrannies of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Baathists in Iraq.
For speaking words and taking actions like these, protestors in London decided that he was no better than Saddam Hussein, a man who (by conservative estimates) murdered half a million people inside his own country. They pulled down an effigy of Bush that had been designed to look like the Saddam statue pulled down in Baghdad in May.
“Why do they hate you, Mr. President?” a British journalist asked yesterday during a press conference. “Why do they hate you in such numbers?”
After listening to Bush's speech and considering the views expressed by the protestors and others, I have one possible answer: They hate him because he calls their values into question.
The Bush-haters are moralistic poseurs. The man they hate is a moral actor. They condemn barbarity. He does something about it. They call him a monster, a villain, a Hitler. In response, he celebrates the fact that they live in societies that permit free speech.
He is a giant.
MEET THE REAL GEORGE BUSH
Forwarded by JerryDJ
It was the 8 am service at my church, St. Johns at Lafayette Square, across from the White House. I wanted to go early because I was going with Alice and Brent for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel in Manassas.
Much of the service was uneventful — nice, but uneventful — until it comes to the part of the service when the priest says, “Greet one another in the name of the Lord.” I turn to my right to exchange the peace with my friend, Amy Fox Smythe, who was on the other end of my pew. I then shake hands with the person in front of me, and turn around to say hello to the person behind me.
The person behind me was our 43rd President George W. Bush. I am not kidding. A small crowd was forming around him, and not wanting to delay the church service or bother him by waiting to shake his hand, I turned back around and sat down and talked to Amy. About 30 seconds later I felt a hand on my left shoulder and turn around to see President Bush with his hand extended. “Peace of the Lord,” he said and held my hand with both of his. “Peace of the Lord,” I replied, and held both his hands and smiled at him. I turned back around and was remarkably calm about the fact that the most powerful person in the world was sitting two feet behind me.
I could hear him flipping through his bulletin as the priest made the announcements. I loved the idea of him thinking, “Oh, there's a covered dish next Sunday.” We perched and when I stood up to go to the communion rail, he got up and walked down the aisle behind me. We passed a little old lady who said, “Mr. President, I pray for you every day.” To which he said, “That's a very special gift. Thank you so much.” We got to the communion rail and there were two spaces, one in front of us and one around the side of the altar. We both surmised for ten seconds and then I started off around the corner. He stopped me and whispered, “No, no. I'll go around” and motioned for me to take the closer spot.
The only exception made in the entire service was that the President was allowed to leave first and then the rest of the congregation followed.
With all sincerity, and partisanship aside I tell you: This is a special man! There is a peace and Godliness about him. It radiates from him. It is the only reason that I was able to remain calm. It was more than the adrenaline I've felt when I've met other famous people. A goodness flows through this man. He has more than my vote in November. He has my respect, my prayers, and my gratitude.
Whatever your political affiliation, and whether or not you agree with his decisions, you should take comfort in the fact that — despite recent press attacks — this is a man of integrity who makes decisions because he believes they are right, not popular. He makes these decisions with a heavy heart and through prayer.
I don't mean to go on, and on, but I truly believe this was a blessing from God that should be passed on.
Office of Senator Lamar Alexander
302 Hart Senate Office Building
Forwarded by JackMac
The debate continues almost unabated as to whether President Bush‘s ordering the NSA to monitor phone calls from or to terrorists is illegal, in that it is unconstitutional. Much of the major news coverage has been devoted to the illegality.
Here is a pro constitutionalist response. Some may think it is dangerously biased. Others may think it proves what they intuitively felt was common sense.
This won't still the debate, but if you are interested in looking at the pro side, HERE IT IS [http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pdupont/?id=110007823 ]:
PROTECTING OUR FIRST FAMILY
While KA has no way to verify the entirety of this forwarded article written by an unnamed former FBI agent, some of it is prior public knowledge on the Internet. The author prefaces these personal assessments with this statement:
“Regardless of their personal like or dislike of the individuals, these Secret Service guys/gals would take a bullet to protect them, so their opinions may be more credible than most.”
WHAT WAS - WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN - AND WHAT IS
Hillary Clinton was arrogant and orally abusive to her Secret Service security detail. She forbade her daughter Chelsea from exchanging pleasantries with them. Sometimes Chelsea, miffed at her mother’s obvious conceit and mean spiritedness ignored her demands and exchanged pleasantries regardless, but never in her mother presence. Chelsea really was a nice, kindhearted, and lovely young lady. The consensus opinion was that Chelsea loved her mom but did not like her.
Hillary Clinton was constantly rude and abrasive to those who were charged to protect her life. Her security detail dutifully did their job, as professionals should, but they all “loathed ” her and wanted to be on a different detail. She was hard work because she was so nasty and mean toward her detail. Hillary Clinton was uniformly despised by the secret service as a whole.
Former president Bill Clinton was much more amiable than his wife Hillary. Often the secret service would cringe at the verbal attack antics that Hillary would use against her husband, the then president. They were embarrassed for his sake by the manner and frequency in which she verbally insulted him, sometimes in the presence of the secret service, and sometimes behind closed doors. Even behind closed doors Hillary Clinton would scream and holler so loudly that everyone could hear what she was saying. Many felt sorry for President Clinton and most wondered why he tolerated it instead of just divorcing his “attack dog” wife. It was crystal clear that the Clinton's neither liked nor respected each other and this was true long before the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Theirs was genuinely a “marriage of convenience.”
Chelsea was much closer to her father than her mother, even after the Lewinsky scandal which hurt her gravely. Bill Clinton did in fact have charisma, and occasionally would smile at or shake hands with his security detail. Still, he always displayed an obvious air of superiority towards them. His security detail uniformly believed him to be disingenuous, false, and that he did nothing without a motive that in some way would enhance his image and political career. They did respect him, unlike his wife, but they did not particularly like him and nobody trusted him. He was polite, but not kind.
What Could Have Been:
Al Gore was the male version of Hillary Clinton. They were more friendly toward each other than either of them was towards former President Clinton. They were not intimate, so please don't read that in. They were very close in a political way. Tipper Gore was generally nice and pleasant. She initially liked Hillary but soon after the election she had her pegged and no longer liked her or associated with her except for events that were politically obligatory.
Al Gore was far more left wing and very hateful - not just politically opposed - to Republicans than Bill Clinton. Al Gore resented Bill Clinton and thought he was to centrist. He despised all Republicans. His hatred was bitter and this was long before he announced for the presidency. This bitter hatred was something that he and Hillary had very much in common. They often said as much, even in the presence of their security detail - to whom it appeared that neither of them trusted or even liked Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton did have some good qualities where Al Gore and Hillary had none, in the view of their security details.
Al Gore, like Hillary, was very rude and arrogant toward his security detail. He was extremely unappreciative and would not hesitate to scold them in the presence of their peers for minor details over which they had no control. Al Gore also looked down on them in disgust as they finally observed and learned with certainty on one occasion when Al Gore got angry at his offspring and loudly, in their presence, pointed at his security detail and said “do you want to grow up and be like them.” Word of this insulting and demeaning verbiage by the format Vice-president quickly spread and he became as despised and disliked by the secret service as Hillary.
Most of them prayed that Al Gore would not be elected president and they really did have private small celebrations in a few of their homes after President Bush won. This was not necessarily to celebrate President Bush's election, but to celebrate AL Gore's defeat. He was very disliked. Al Gore was not a good and kind person. That he could have been our President may suggest that God was “answering prayers” and looking out for the country with Al Gore's defeat.
Everyone in the secret service wants to be on First Lady Laura Bush's detail. Without exception they uniformly concede that she is perhaps the most nice, kind, and genuinely good person they have ever had the privilege of serving. Where Hillary patently refused to allow her picture to be taken with her security detail, Laura Bush doesn't even have to be asked, she offers. She doesn't just shake their hand and say thank you, very often she will give them a kind hearted hug to members of her detail to express her appreciation. There is nothing false about her. This is her genuine nature. Laura Bush really is this kind of a person and her security detail considers her to be a “breath of fresh air.” They actually love her as a human being. They joke that comparing Laura Bush with Hillary Clinton is like comparing Mother Teresa with the Wicked Witch of the North.
Likewise, the secret service agents consider President Bush to be a gem of a man to work for. He always treats them with genuine respect and he always trusts and listens to their expert advice. They especially like the Crawford detail. Every time the president goes to Crawford he has a Bar-B-Q for his security detail and he helps serve them. He eats with them, sits with them, and talks with them. He always asks about their family, the names of which he always remembers, and he of course knows each of them by their first name and calls them by their first name as a show of affection.
They believe that he actually loves his security detail and that he is deeply and genuinely appreciative of their service. They could not like, love, or respect anyone more than President Bush, and most of them did not know they would feel this way until they had an opportunity to work for him and learn that his manner was genuine and consistent. It has never changed in the three years that he has been president. He always treats them with the utmost respect, kindness, and compassion.
The secret service is still forming an opinion on John Kerry. They have nothing positive or negative to say that anyone is willing to share as yet. This notwithstanding, they already know what they have in President Bush and they don't want to lose a good thing.
The following letter from Robert Frank, of Henderson, NV. is in response to the article that follows, entitled, “What the President Should be Saying.”
His questions are so incicisive that I decided to share it with you in this article - one that he might well have sent directly to the White House to possibly give them some food for thought.
Hello again Jug,
Thanks again for your truly outstanding website!
Ref: “What the President Should be Saying”
The subject article is typical of your unique services. Well stated and written! But, it reminds me of four nagging questions:
1. Lack of Jewish Support of President Bush? Why don't all members of the Jewish Faith give 1000% support of President Bush and the Republican Party? How do they think that Israel can survive and/or totally block radical Muslim plans to destroy it using WMD in the 21st Century? Does anyone really believe that Israel was ever able to defeat the conventional ArLeague forces in the 20th Century without major American logistics, intelligence and other rear-area assistance? How long do they think Tel Aviv and its hundreds of thousands of residents would have survived if Saddam had obtained WMD delivery capabilities? And, why do they not believe Iran's cleric leadership when they claim to be intending to destroy both Israel and the US? Finally, after all of the hundreds of years of Jewish persecutions, why would any member of the Jewish Faith trust anyone other than the American President who alone acts to protect their interests, rather than just talk about “negotiations” with the forces of evil? Can anyone explain it?
2. Why Not Discuss The Likelihood of WMD Evacuations from Iraq? Why do the media and the Administration not talk about the obvious likelihood that the Russians, French and/or Germans helped Saddam REMOVE the WMD from Iraq during the UN inspection period and/or immediately before or just after the begin of war? It is obvious that it would have been far easier to remove WMD via cargo aircraft and or truck convoys than to hide it. And, for sure, the Russians and French would have been highly motivated to evacuate the stuff and not get caught red-handed with it in Iraq. Finally, why would the radical Muslims, socialists in all countries, and the sympathetic democratic party members be so adamant NOW about being deceived about WMD in Iraq, if they had not learned that the WMD had been safely removed beforehand?
3. Why So Little Understanding of Why US Has to Control Flow of Oil in Middle East? Why would any American not understand that our economy is totally dependent upon oil, and that failure to enforce free flowing of oil from the Middle East is a certain recipe for our disaster? After all that has happened, who does not understand that the radical Islamic clerics are capable of cutting off all flows of oil and thereby stimulating global economic disaster and allowing their own peoples to starve as an acceptable price for their winning the war against the US and other western democracies?
4. Why US Silent Majority Allows Radical Left (and Oil Cartel) to Block Our Widespread Use of Nuclear Power? Since everyone knows that we have to do something drastic to reduce oil consumption, and since it is so obvious we can not conserve our way out of the problem by cutting vehicle consumption, why don't the majority of voters in this nation demand that massive use of clean nuclear power until something better is found? Have they looked at France, Russia, other European countries, etc. massive use of nuclear power? Why would one seriously-flawed Russian power plant design and operations oversight be allowed to forever frighten the citizens of the free world's greatest power from saving its economy through nuclear power plants? Are we now such a nation of lemmings?
WHO WAS OUR FIRST PRESIDENT?
From firstname.lastname@example.org. Original author unknown.
Forwarded by Don Waterworth.
Who was our first president? I'm sure that George Washington was your best guess. After all, no one else comes to mind. But think back to your history books.
The United States declared its independence in 1776, yet Washington did not take office until April 30, 1789. So who was running the country during these initial years of this young nation?
It was the first eight U. S. Presidents. In fact, the first President of the United States was one John Hanson. I can hear you now - John who?
Don't start checking the encyclopedia for this guy's name - he is one of those great men that are lost to history. If you're extremely lucky, you may actually find a brief mention of his name. MSGT John Hanson, Peterson AFB, CO, knows. He is one of the great-great grandsons of that first President.
The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption of The Articles of Confederation. This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by Congress until November 15, 1777. Maryland refused to sign this document until Virginia and New York ceded their western lands (Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too much power in the new government from such large amounts of land).
Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the country. John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress (which included George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates refused to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution and an extremely influential member of Congress.
As the first President, Hanson had quite the shoes to fill. No one had ever been President and the role was poorly defined. His actions in office would set precedent for all future Presidents. He took office just as the Revolutionary War ended. Almost immediately, the troops demanded to be paid. As would be expected after any long war, there were no funds to meet the salaries. As a result, the soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and put Washington on the throne as a monarch.
All the members of Congress ran for their lives, leaving Hanson as the only guy left running the government. He somehow managed to calm the troops down and hold the country together. If he had failed, the government would have fallen almost immediately and everyone would have been bowing to King Washington.
Hanson, as President, ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as well as the removal of all foreign flags. This was quite the feat, considering the fact that so many European countries had a stake in the United States since the days following Columbus. Hanson established the Great Seal of the United States, which all Presidents have since been required to use on all official documents.
President Hanson also established the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, and the first Foreign Affairs Department. Lastly, he declared that the fourth Thursday of every November was to be Thanksgiving Day, which is still true today.
The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one year term during any three year period, so Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in such little time.
Seven other presidents were elected after him - all prior to Washington’s taking office.
- Elias Boudinot (1782-83)
- Thomas Mifflin (1783-84)
- Richard Henry Lee (1784-85)
- John Hancock (1785-86)
- Nathan Gorman (1786-87)
- Arthur St. Clair (1787-88), and
- Cyrus Griffin (1788-89)
So what happened? Why don't we hear about the first eight presidents? It's quite simple - The Articles of Confederation didn't work well. The individual states had too much power and nothing could be agreed upon. A new doctrine needed to be written - something we now know as the Constitution. And that leads us to the end of our story.
George Washington was definitely not the first President of the United States. He was the first President of the United States under the Constitution we follow today. And the first eight Presidents are forgotten in history.
It took eight years for us to establish a successful government!
Remember this when you hear or read the media blast that so little progress has been made establishing a government in Iraq during the past three years!