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LarryNaselli.com
Friday, June 4, 2004
Campbell Hits The Bullseye

Colorado Senator, Ben Campbell's Denver Post Guest Commentary (see link below) is not a fabulous piece of writing, but it is a great distillation of the moment of truth in which America now finds itself.

John Kerry called the Iraq War a moment of truth, and he was right -- for all the wrong reasons. This moment of truth is not about whether the United States will kiss ass at the United Nations Security Council, as Kerry would have it, but about whether Americans will realize that our nation is at war, and unite accordingly. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Unfortunately, the Democrat Party Leadership has made -- what is the phrase? -- "a quality decision" to divide America over the War on Terrorism, because Democrats are out of power, and the Party Leadership will pay any price, bear any burden, to get that power back.

In a way, George W. Bush probably brought this division upon us 1) by his "new tone" trust of the Democrats' brief pretensions to be with him in the WOT, and 2) by denying the Dems their signature election year bludgeons of Education, Healthcare and Social Security. After all, the only real way to get Liberal Democrats to go in for national unity is to let them win.


Read Sen. Campbell's Guest Commentary at http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E158%257E2190738,00.html

Posted by larry_naselli at 8:09 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 14, 2004 1:39 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 1, 2004
The Final Mostaccioli

Like a sword of Damocles above a crimson lake,
the final mostaccioli dangles high above my plate;
though hardly superstitious, still I'm tempted to believe
that this doughy delectation has some mischief up its sleeve.

So tenuously skewered on my fork, that noodle writhes,
unwilling, like his fellows, to be swallowed up alive.
I might have seen it coming, had I been on the alert,
and parried this assault by putting on a darker shirt.

But that reluctant pasta has escaped my forked grasp;
I watch it (like slow-motion) plummet toward a saucy splash.
There isn't time to dodge it, nor to move aside the platter
as, to my horror, marinara on my shirt is splattered.

I ought to know by now to take appropriate precaution;
aware it's hopeless such a stain will come out in the washin',
O' how many speckled garments will it take to demonstrate
that the final mostaccioli's better left upon my plate?



Copyright 2004 by Larry Naselli, All rights reserved.

Posted by larry_naselli at 6:01 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 28, 2004 5:02 PM CDT
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Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Mr. Excitement

I was languishing in the Atlanta Airport last Friday, waiting for the storms in Chicago to abate sufficiently to permit our plane to take off, when the following remark distinguished itself to my ears, amid the continuous droning of CNN on the waiting room television: "If Kerry decides not to make his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, it could rob what little excitement is left to political Conventions these days..." I couldn't help but laugh aloud at the idea that anybody's excitement would be diminished by John Kerry not making a speech.

Posted by larry_naselli at 11:41 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 11:50 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Why was this waste made?

Why was this waste made of costly perfume?
The smell of such squandering's filling the room.
It could have been sold to help out the poor,
but now its just making a mess on the floor.

So say the blind guides and ambitious men,
presuming to speak for the One Who has said,
"it is a good work to pour out your best,
to sit at My feet, to lie on My breast."

For those who most love me, most gladly obey,
and bear an abundance of fruit on the way.
Remember your first love -- your heart's been misplaced
if you think spending time loving Me is a waste.

Why was this waste made? To pour out a heart
too much overflowing to want to depart
from worshiping Jesus in fervent embrace,
without a concern for the time or the place.



Copyright 2004 by Larry Naselli

Posted by larry_naselli at 8:54 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 8:32 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Honor and Context

Last week ABC's Nightline spent an entire program showing photos of American military personnel who have died in Iraq. It was an exercise that did nothing to honor those Americans, because it lacked reference to the true context of their sacrifice.

Perhaps Nightline could devote an entire program to showing photos, and reading the names of every U.S. city in which there has not been a terrorist attack since President Bush made the decision to take the war to the terrorists turf, rather than continue the Clinton policy of making a token response, then waiting around for the next attack.

Thanks to this change of strategy, our military has been destroying the terrorist threat at its source, and many brave American warriors have given their lives in that effort. The State Departmet recently released statistics recommending the value of those sacrifices: the number of terror attacks against Americans is at a historic low; moreover, no attack by terrorist networks has reached U.S. soil, since our armed forces took the fight to the enemy following September 11, 2001.

Interestingly, it vexes Ted Koppel that Americans are not disrupted in their daily lives by the War on Terror, so Koppel has appointed himself Designated Disrupter, and displayed the faces of America's war dead, as if they were victims, rather than the heroes whose courage and devotion have allowed most Americans to continue living in peace and safety.

On the night of 9/11/01, who would have guessed that two and one-half years later life would be normal in the United States? But, unharmed American cities, and the American people going about life as usual are the images that give proper meaning to the casualties of this war. Those who have died gave the last full measure of devotion to protecting the liberty of their countrymen, and the right way to honor them is for those of us who still walk in that liberty which their blood has vouchsafed, to rededicate ourselves to finishing the noble task for which these men and women gave their all.

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:07 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 7, 2004 10:06 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Supporting the Troops

If you are one of those Americans who believe the war in Iraq and subsequent occupation are immoral or criminal acts, but you still claim to support our troops, I have a question for you: do you support the troops who abused Iraqi POW's? To be consistent, there is no reason you should not support those troops, unless you differentiate that the rest of our troops deserve our support because they are only following orders.

In a way, it would be refreshing to hear you say so, since you would then be admitting that the abuse of POW's is an anomoly and a violation of American policy, rather than the norm. On the other hand, that answer places you in the unenviable position of having to defend the Nazi guards at Auschwitz, on the same basis of "only following orders" - not merely defend those guards, mind you, but assent to the proposition that all German Citizens owed them their support.

For those of us who believe in the goodness of America's mission in Iraq, supporting the troops is simple. I wholeheartedly support the activities of our troops in Iraq, and by extension I support the troops themselves. I do not support the activities of those troops who participated in violations of their code of arms, therefore I do not support those troops themselves. By contrast, the anti-war crowd has staked out a tough position to defend. They claim to support our troops, while opposing the activities of our troops; therefore anti-war Americans, who claim to support our troops generally, have no grounds on which to not support those troops who abused Iraqi POW's.

The fact is that those who do not support the activities of the troops do not support the troops themselves, and indeed insult all those who serve honorably. The only reason the anti-war crowd insists that they do support our troops is that they know it is politically damaging to say otherwise. To accomodate the political needs of anti-war partisans then, the word "support" has been emptied of meaning, so that those who denigrate the mission of our troops can claim that they "support the troops." They are hoping nobody notices how ridiculous that claim is.



Posted by larry_naselli at 1:41 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2004 7:17 AM CDT
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Monday, May 3, 2004
New Democrat Strategy: Win One For The Griper

One year ago President Bush announced the "end of major combat operations" in Iraq, and congratulated our Military for toppling Saddam Hussein in a remarkably short time. As he spoke to the crew of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, a banner behind the President declared "Mission Accomplished." That banner, which congratulated our troops on the liberation of Iraq from the grip of an evil dictator, has now become the focal point for criticisms of President Bush's war leadership.

In their weekly radio address Saturday, the Democrats trotted out an American veteran, returned from duty in Iraq, Army National Guard 1st Lt. Paul Rieckhoff, who passionately complained about the lack of foresight by the President and his war advisers; about their putative inflexibility in the face of changing or unexpected circumstances; about the lack of international support for our efforts in Iraq, and about the disappointments of soldiers who expected to go home, then were ordered to remain in Iraq.

This speech, delivered by a military man who was there, is the most compelling attack the Democrats have brought against President Bush so far. Most of the Democrats' criticisms of Bush's war leadership are a big hit with the anti-war Left, which now defines the mainstream of a Democrat Party that is steadily losing market-share, but to the majority of Americans those attacks on the Commander in Chief and on our mission in Iraq have a repulsive anti-American ring, and convey a sickening glee over American setbacks.

Finally, some bright consultant at the DNC recognized the problem, and sagaciously determined to paint a military face on Democrat criticisms of the President's handling of the War on Terror. Leftist anti-war radicalism, after all, may win friends and influence people in the Media and Hollywood, and it may be a necessary rite of passage to the Democrat Presidential nomination, but it is a ticket to oblivion in a general election. So, the Democrats have a new message: "the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was a tolerably positive event, but Bush is handling it all wrong - and Democrats would handle it right." This approach is as clever as it is disingenuous; and yesterday's radio address was illustrative of both.

On behalf of the Democrats, Rieckhoff complained of soldiers' hardships in the War on Terror. Democrats are frustrated that the Bush policy has placed the weight of the hardships of war upon our Armed Forces, and not upon the American People generally. Why does this frustrate Democrats? The White House, Senate and House of Representatives all are controlled by Republicans. The Democrats are out of power, and need a political upheaval in order to regain power. A war that causes widespread suffering at home is the kind of war that can deliver such political upheaval, and restore Democrats to power. President Bush has declined to give Democrats such a war.

Instead, the central feature of the Bush strategy in the War on Terror is that America has taken the fight to the enemy's turf. Therefore, American casualties and other hardships are concentrated among those who have volunteered to face danger and hardship in the defense of our Country. The Left's attempts to market the American fighting man as a victim just haven't played, even in this Oprah-fied age. America's warriors are just too tough and too noble for the victim image to take root.

Notwithstanding, amidst our proud and devoted military men, there have always been, and always will be Gripers. They are, thankfully, the exception that proves the rule, but Gripers invariably erode troop morale at the margin, so leaders with victory in mind are careful not to indulge them. The novelty of Saturday's Democrat radio address is that a major political party chose to give a microphone to a Griper, in a time of war: when morale matters most.

Even coming from an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, the complaint, that the U.S. is "going it alone," and we need a greater "international presence," sounded like the Left's favorite broken record (although this record got precious little airplay when President Clinton led NATO to war, against the will of the U.N. Security Council). The simple fact is that not every nation agrees with America's objectives, therefore some nations will disagree with our policy. It may come as a surprise to Messr. Kerry & Co., but some nations want the United States to fail; therefore, the only sure way to gain the support of those nations is to adopt policies that are bound to fail.

As to the President imperfectly foreseeing the future, neither Presidents nor anyone else has the benefit of knowing the future when it is time to make decisions. The President's critics have the luxury of hindsight, but we should recall just how poorly those same critics have done at predicting the future themselves, before we grant them credence. The anti-war Left told us that our troops would be unable to cope with the battlefield conditions in Iraq, that our troops would be bogged down in the desert with inoperative equipment, that an assault on Baghdad would entail weeks or months of house-to-house fighting, and that the fabled "Arab Street" would erupt with violence in their indignation over a U.S. invasion of Iraq. Ah, but the beauty of being a Liberal is that when you are dead wrong about something, you simply ignore what you've said and shamelessly move on to the next complaint.

That George W. Bush and his team have made mistakes or failed to adapt to this or that tactical development is a given. Even the most successful wars are full of mistakes. What matters is that Bush's strategy is right, and his determination to win is right; and what we are asked to believe, on the other hand, is that John Kerry, the Democrats, and the U.N. will not only pursue the right strategy - a proposition that defies the official policy pronouncements of all the above - but that Kerry, the Dems and the U.N. will do a better job than Bush of executing that strategy. That's a tough sell, and with good reason. The American People may not be happy with the current difficulties in Iraq, but they instinctively recognize that the above proposition is preposterous.

This November, Americans will not be electing a fortune-teller, they will be electing a leader. Not someone who knows the future, but someone who will assess the past and the present, someone who has a clear vision for America's role in the World, and someone who is not afraid to act on his conclusions - with or without the smiles of the French and the United Nations. George W. Bush is just such a leader, but the Democrats have so far failed to put forward anyone who fits that bill, which leaves them with little to offer besides nitpicking and second-guessing. The fact that the Democrats have found an Iraq war veteran to do the complaining for them may gull the credulous, but offers no practical solutions to America's security.

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:47 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 6, 2004 7:20 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 29, 2004
Last Gasps

If the seething hatred and crazed outbursts of hostility in Fallujah, Najif & Karbala are evidence of a last gasp by Jihadi fanatics, who see their prospects of wielding power about to be snuffed out for good, then how shall we explain the seething hatred and crazed outbursts of hostility by Kennedy, Kerry, Gore, Lautenberg, Kerrey, BenVeniste, Begala, Couric et al?

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:51 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, April 29, 2004 10:00 AM CDT
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004
UN Priorities and US Presidents

The one theme on which John Kerry is utterly consistent is in recommending that the path to a successful conclusion of the Iraq War lies in putting the United Nations in charge.

Kerry evidently forgets that it was deference to the U.N. that stopped the 1991 Persian Gulf War with Saddam Hussein still in power, and the compromise-oriented U.N. that has left us with a half century-old battle line on the Korean Peninsula.

Besides this record of ineptitude, the United Nations is simply not motivated by America's national interest. The fact that John Kerry is comfortable with making the U.N.'s priorities the guiding light of American policy makes Kerry unfit to lead America to victory in the War on Terrorism.

Posted by larry_naselli at 5:49 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 5:53 PM CDT
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Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Ashcroft set to become a Verb

OK, so the Democrat partisans on the 9/11 Commission couldn't nail Condi Rice, so they will settle for Attorney General, John Ashcroft. The latest buzz is that 9/11 is all John Ashcroft's fault, and the Democrats on the Commission are sharpening their teeth in preparation of transforming the current Attorney General's surname into a verb, like "Bork."

Why, if John Ashcroft had followed the Justice Departments priorities of Clinton/Reno, not only would 9/11 have never happened, but the Bush Administration would have identified and brought the awesome power of the United States military to bear upon . . . a religious cult compound, and our Commando strike teams would have been deployed to pounce upon . . . a Cuban refugee boy.

What a joke. This will make great Democrat National Committe Direct Mail fundraising, but how stupid do the Dems think the American People are?

Posted by larry_naselli at 11:29 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 11:31 AM CDT
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Another Vietnam?

Ted Kennedy has declared the American mission in Iraq "George Bush's Vietnam." The Senator has been dutifully echoed by a bevy of Liberal journalists, reporters and pundits, who always seem most exultant when entertaining bad news for the United States of America, without much regard for the facts, but with a flush of excitement for the good old war protest/free love/pot party days of their youth.

If there is any genuine similarity between Vietnam and Iraq it is the attitude of the American Left. Liberals then and now are offended by the projection of American military power to advance American interests, and sympathize with America's enemies.

Another Vietnam? Not on the ground in Iraq, where the United States and its Allies have liberated 25 million oppressed people from a decades-long tyranny of stunning brutality, but surely on the American Left, where Ted Kennedy and his ilk still consider America to be the problem, not the solution.

Posted by larry_naselli at 9:09 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 8, 2004
The Best Defense

In her testimony before the 9/11 Commission today Condoleeza Rice remarking upon the difficulty of preventing terrorist attacks through defensive measures alone, said, "we have to be right 100% of the time. [the terrorists] only have to be right once."

That comment made me think of one of the favorite Liberal objections to the Strategic Defense Initiative: since Missile Defense is not guaranteed to intercept 100% of incoming missiles, we should not invest in it.

So, it is remarkable that the proposed Liberal solution to Homeland Security against terrorism is to pour our national resources into defensive measures, in the nearly impossible effort to intercept 100% of terrorist attacks.

The Bush Doctrine, by contrast, is to invest in defensive measures certainly; but first of all to go where the terrorists train and plot, and kill them; that is, to disrupt and destroy their operations at the source, and to eliminate foreign governments that facilitate terrorism, so that the War on Terrorism is fought primarily on the enemy's territory.

The upcoming election should be about how America will answer the threat of terrorism, according to the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption, or according to the Democrats doctrine of catch the raindrops and identify the bodies.


Posted by larry_naselli at 4:26 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2004 5:19 PM CDT
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Swatting Flies

Condoleeza Rice, testifying before the 9/11 Commission, explained that President Bush's phrase "I'm tired of swatting flies" referred to the President's demand that the United States formulate a strategic policy to confront terrorism, to replace the decade's-old U.S. approach of responding piece-meal, or not at all to terrorist attacks. As she spoke, Commissioner Bob Kerrey shouted her down, demanding "what flies did [Bush] swat?" Kerrey then refused to allow the witness to respond, evidently not wanting an answer so much as a sound-byte for the evening news.

Perhaps this is beyond the capacity of the partisan thinking of professional politicians like Bob Kerrey, but George W. Bush, as an American citizen, identifies himself with The United States of America. So that the past two-plus decades of U.S. response to terrorism - sagaciously described as "swatting flies" - is what we Americans had been doing heretofore about the problem, and what Bush was tired of doing. As you might say, "I'm tired of not responding to these terrorists attacking our troops in Iraq with bombs and RPG's," even though you have not personally been in a position to do anything about it. As an American you identify with our nation's efforts. President Bush, at last in a position to shape policy, acted to change what we Americans would do henceforth.

For those who think of themselves first by Party affiliation, and only second, third or fourth as Americans (ranked after, according to individual, after Citizen of the World, Race, or Ethnic Background identifiers), the significance of the phrase "I'm tired of swatting flies" eludes understanding entirely.


Posted by larry_naselli at 12:06 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2004 5:19 PM CDT
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Bob Kerrey Plays Both "Good Cop" And "Bad Cop"

9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey eventually got tired of playing "good cop" to extract a confession of "mistakes were made" from Condoleeza Rice, and when his patience expired he shifted to playing "bad cop," browbeating and interrupting the one person whose testimony, we were told, all the nation waited breathlessly to hear.

Dr. Rice aquitted herself admirably both in substance and in her unshakable poise.


Posted by larry_naselli at 11:30 AM CDT
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Can Dems Reverse Field Now?

By now, does anybody doubt that the Democrats are against the U.S. effort in Iraq? Our lightning fast military victory allowed Democrats to emerge from the uncomfortable position which they had briefly assumed, wrapped in the American Flag, while our boys were fighting on TV. Once major combat operations were ended the Democrats returned to their natural posture of gainsaying the effective projection of American military power. But now that the bullets are flying again in Iraq it is hard for the Dems to reverse field and pretend to support our troops again - their momentum in the opposite direction is just too strong.

Not every voter will be able to articulate it, but people watching prominent Democrats remark upon the war in Iraq will have a gut feeling (possibly unidentified, but still real) that Democrats are against America -- that Democrats wish America ill. Any salesman knows - as Bill Clinton certainly knew - that people buy on emotion. Now, what emotions will the foregoing produce in the American electorate? The voters will demonstrate in November that The USA is not Spain.

Posted by larry_naselli at 8:17 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, April 8, 2004 5:26 PM CDT
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Wednesday, April 7, 2004
Poll Questions

Here are a couple of poll questions that deserve to be asked:

"Do you think that Democrats are rooting for American success or American disaster in Iraq?"

"Do you think that Democrats are rooting for success or disaster in the U.S. Economy?"


Posted by larry_naselli at 2:29 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004 4:30 PM CDT
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Bring It On

The current uprising in Iraq is the answer to President Bush's "bring it on" remark. As such, the current fighting is welcome. How much better for the future of Iraq to deal with these scum now, while the U.S. military is on hand, than leave them to fester and subvert Iraqi democracy in the cradle.

The main problem our Armed Forces have with our enemies in Iraq is finding them. Since these Islamist and Saddam-ite "militiamen" are now coming out of hiding, they will be in the right position for our boys to kill them.

Pretty, no. Better than the status-quo ante, yes. Bring it on.


Posted by larry_naselli at 10:18 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004 2:22 PM CDT
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Changing The Tone

Ted Kennedy spoke at the Brookings Institute this week and claimed that President Bush has created the biggest credibility gap in American government since Richard Nixon. Among other things, this observation confirms speculation that Senator Kennedy was indeed in a drunken stupor throughout the 1990's, and therefore missed the Clintonian philisophical ponderings of the meaning of "is."

Moreover, President Bush polls quite well on credibility, especially for a man who has been continuously subjected to the most virulent vituperation and invective from the mainstream of the oppossing Party since -- well, since Richard Nixon.

Kennedy went on to compare our liberation of Iraq to the Vietnam War, and to lament the lost respect of unidentified allies (i.e. France and Germany), concluding that President Bush is himself America's problem.

Kennedy stands beside John Kerry, Al Gore, Howard Dean and Terry McAuliff, as mainstream Democrat leaders who have leveled the most extreme charges at the President: Crooked, Lying, Betrayal, Knew about 9/11 in advance, AWOL.

All this is further evidence that George W. Bush has succeeded in his goal of Changing The Tone in Washington. Since Bush was elected, the Democrats have changed their tone from vicious to rabid.

Posted by larry_naselli at 7:39 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2004 10:01 AM CDT
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Monday, April 5, 2004
Disappointed Durbin

This weekend Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, bewailing the price of gasoline in the United States, complained, " there has been no `oil dividend' " from the Iraq War. Now, who ever said there would be an "oil dividend"?

Durbin was one of a handful of Democrats who voted "No" on the Senate War Resolution in October 2002, setting himself against the Liberation of the oppressed People of Iraq, against a preemptive strategy in the War On Terror, and on the side of the Leftist "No Blood For Oil" career-protester bunch, who accused the United States of going to war to transform Iraq into an American Oil Colony.

Now that the United States has demonstrated that our intentions in Iraq had nothing to do with laying our hands on Middle East Oil supplies, Dick Durbin is disappointed that we didn't.


Posted by larry_naselli at 5:39 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2004 7:43 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 1, 2004
Embarrassed By America

John Kerry's MTV appearance yielded an insight that tells Americans all they need to know to realize that Kerry is not the right man for President. The most telling moment came when a questioner asked Kerry to identify contemporary Americans to whom young people can look for inspiration, as Kerry looked to John F. Kennedy when he was young. Kerry drew a blank.

What more needs to be said about Kerry's view of America? In a nation of victims and oppressors, as Kerry sees America, inspirational figures are so rare that he can't name one. In a nation of free men and women, pursuing their dreams, risking, sacrificing, doing good, the challenge is to narrow down the list of inspirational characters to fit the limited time allotment of the format.

What of our fighting men in the Armed Forces? What of the firefighters and police who gave their lives at the WTC to save the victims of the 9/11 attacks? What of the thousands of entrepreneurs who are taking risks, driving economic growth, and creating new wealth and a better standard of living? What about the Doctors and Nurses who help people and save lives every day? What about Fathers and Mothers who train their children to live upright lives and serve their fellow man? What of ministers who lead people away from sin and toward God? What of Joe Blow in Anytown USA, who brings blankets to the homeless every Winter? or Sally Sweet, the retired school teacher who tutors inner-city children in reading? or Bubba Bruiser the ghetto-kid who earned a zillion dollars in professional sports and now gives private high school scholarships to low-income students? There are thousands of inspirational stories like this, and anyone who wants to be President of the United States should know the American People well enough to seek out these tales and tell them.

The MTV question would have been a hanging curve ball for George W. Bush to knock into the bleachers, but that's because George W. Bush believes in America. President Bush believes that America is a great country, because it is a country of Free People, pursuing the gifts God has given them. George W. Bush is enthusiastic about America. John Kerry is embarrassed by America. Always has been, always will be; and that above all the other good reasons is the biggest reason that John Kerry is the wrong man for President.

Posted by larry_naselli at 10:24 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, April 3, 2004 2:51 PM CST
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