Friday, December 24, 2004

Mr. President – Let’s Get it Done!

Well the year is almost over and on Christmas Eve I’m thinking about my family, my friends and our troops in the Middle East.

I lived in the Middle East for a year as a young Air Force enlisted man and know what it’s like to be away at Christmas in a very strange place… but I’ve never known war. I cannot imagine the reality of what is happening in the battle zones.

I support the war on terror and I support containing or eliminating any one – or any group – that is part of terrorism.

However, we need to get it done. Enough time has passed that we should have taken care of business in Afghanistan and Iraq. You can debate troop levels, pre-war planning, post-war planning blah blah blah. If we were serious, the job would be done.

So we need to get serious and bring our men and women home. That means all out war and not precision war. I’d like to see January 1st bring terror to the terrorist’s door, and until this happens I want President Bush to do the following:

1. Stop Smiling – Until we get these folks home stop smiling, stop looking happy, and let’s see this war president GET IT DONE!
2. Admit his errors in judgment and make changes being suggested by people smarter than I am. No plan is perfect so let’s start making corrections.
3. Stop trying to please countries, politicians, media groups or any other entity that doesn’t agree with your policies or decisions. They hate you – they take your overtures of peace and middle ground and spin them against you. Tell more of them to get stuffed!
4. Stop smiling – oh – I said that.
5. Be laser focused on this direction and leave any other business to someone else!

Mr. President – Let’s Get it Done!

Merry Christmas


Saturday, December 04, 2004

Ex-Notre Dame Coach Nails Personal Accountability

This fall I accomplished a goal I’ve had for a couple of years… to see a Notre Dame game in South Bend. I put the whole thing together on a trip to Chicago and saw the Irish lose on the last play of the game to Boston College.

Truly and incredible college football game and experience – the pep rally the night before, the morning rain and constant storm clouds made for a lifetime of memories. The loss – it hurt.

I’m sure it hurt Coach Tyrone Willingham the most… as I was driving the wet Interstate back to Chicago I imagine the powers that be in Irish Football were making the only decision they could - Willingham was out and only a couple of wins including victory over SC could change that direction.

Harsh? Maybe, but winning at Notre Dame is not something that just happens – it’s a constant pursuit. If things are not progressing in that one direction then they are regressing, and that is where things stood the rainy afternoon of October 23rd in South Bend. After mass, the football gods got together and made the call - miracles or else.

Willingham is a class act. The other day in USA Today I read this quote and smiled. Tyrone Willingham had nailed the answer for why he was let go, and let go before his contract was over at Notre Dame.

Here it is:

“I understand that I did not meet the expectations or standards that I set for myself… and when you don't meet your own expectations, you make yourself vulnerable to the will of others."

That is accountability. No need to make excuses and I doubt he will do so in the future.

You know what’s great about taking 100% responsibility for your failure? This is it – you get to take 100% responsibility for your success. That is something we should all embrace.

Good luck Coach.


Sunday, November 28, 2004

Top 10 Holiday Movies

I'm a power Netflix user and there are times when it's difficult to pick out something new to view when you are a movie nut... so I check out the reviews.

Everyone has a list except me. That Roger Ebert guy has a list (have you seen him lately - he looks fabulous!) There are over 30 critics listed on Netflix... how many critics does one site need?

Anyway - whenever I go to an event where they do an "ice breaker" with the group and it involves describing what I would do if I could do anything I always say the same thing. I'd be a movie critic... number 31.

So here is my top ten list of holiday movies:

1. Trains, Planes and Automobiles - watch it Thanksgiving evening and skip the rental car scene
2. It's a Wonderful Life - Classic and Donna Reed is a babe
3. While you Were Sleeping - This a fun movie and not because of Sandra Bullock
4. Home Alone - Classic
5. Home Alone 2 - Better than the first (very rare)
6. Home Alone 3 - JUST KIDDING
6. You've Got Mail - This movie just dances around the holidays but it makes the cut
7. White Christmas - I know this makes me look like a freak but I love that movie
8. A Christmas Story - This movie killed BB Gun sales all over the country
9. A Charlie Brown Christmas - Remember when this was the bomb?
10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - this IS the bomb and there will never be anything close!

Merry Christmas!


Friday, November 19, 2004

"Usama Beat Me?" I call Bull%@#&

Have you heard the phrase... "I'm callin bull%@#& on that!" Well John Kerry said Thursday (November 18th), that the tape aired a few days before the election featuring Usama bin Laden cost him the election.

Kerry said "It was that Usama tape - it scared them" (referring to the American People).

Well I'm callin bull%@#& on that! Kerry lost the election for a number of reasons that the talking heads are still hashing out. The Clinton Team screwed up, Kerry was an inept leader, no one in the Kerry campaign knew what was going on, there wasn't a clear message. Blah Blah Blah.

My take - that tape made it clear to everyone who watched it that George Bush had failed to capture bin-lame-o and that Usama was obviously still on the loose with the ability to make home videos.

This helped George Bush? I'm callin bull%@#& on that!

For weeks I had predicted a major terrorist attack on the United States - the attack would take place two weeks before the election - it never happened. Thankfully... it never happened. If it could have - it would have - make no doubt about it.

Evidently the United States has thrown a big wrench into the finance and operations of Usama and his men, but anything that called attention to the fact that Usama was still in the picture helped Kerry - including this video.


Sunday, November 07, 2004

A Season for Peace

As the election season winds down and the "Sunday Shows" get that last lick in today on John Kerry and how he blew the election, why George Bush is still evil and how Hillary Clinton is only four years away from saving the world can we now turn to peace?

I certainly hope so...

Politicians and citizens in this country need to get to work on the challenges facing our great nation. This country deserves better representation and I hope the recent election purge that removed men like Tom Daschle from power and from the spotlight will help us move towards peace.

What peace? The peace that comes from knowing we live in the finest country at the best time in history. This is the time - this can be a season of peace. I'm not talking world peace, we have our troops committed to war around the globe. W. has told us there is a war on terror so we can't have peace right? Wrong! We need to embrace that peace that can come from unity among people.

Stop the hate, stop the accusations and stop the maneuvering for power. Show the world who we truly are as a country. Perhaps this appears a bit utopian but we have done it before.

Let's do it again. It starts with each one of us desiring a season of peace.


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

John Edwards' Dark Secret

The news is out... John Edward's father was a small business owner and a "consultant" too - a consultant for heavens sake!

This is unbelievable, and my Republican friends are shocked as well... BUT there is a concensus among us on this revelation from the Kerry-Edwards camp:

1. We're happy that the candidate's father actually "did well" (we like that success crap.)
2. We're not surprised that the millionaire lawyer didn't want his democrat base to know his father was ANYTHING other than a slave to the big bad mill owner (affluent democrats like that class warfare crap.)

Why would anyone focus on humble beginnings instead of eventual and lasting success? Because it sells with people who are humble and not looking to create success, but rather have it handed to them by people like Kerry-Edwards.

I'd like to know more about the senior Mr. Edwards. I don't know if he's living or passed but this would make an interesting show on "Biography."

If the man is still alive I bet he drives a Lexus and has a home on the beach. Like father like son - and I would be proud of both of them for their accomplishments.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Knowing What's Right

Have you ever thought you were doing the right thing and then someone hammers you and suddenly you're not sure of yourself? God gave me this gift of knowing what is right and wrong and I can't shake it! It's with me all the time... sounds good right?

The challenge is I don't always DO what's right - that's a tough place to be - knowing what's right and actually choosing what's wrong. I know that I am not alone in this challenge that I beleive all potentially successful people face. How do you get from potentially successful to successful? Start making that right choice - Duh.

Anyway, politics today must be eating potentially successful people ALIVE. Who do you trust with all of the negative information - too much - too often and too long since November is still a month away. I think I have the answer though - believe in yourself.

I just look at John Kerry and I know that he's Satan - can't you see it too - I know you can. This man will say anything, wear anything, go anywhere and DO anything to get elected. I can see it, feel it and hear it when he speaks.

It's not that he's a Democrat. That party has only themselves to blame for putting up crap candidates. I'd vote for a Democrat if he or she were an honest man or women - seriously. However this guy is dirty and he's bad for our country. Is it too late to scrap him and elevate John Edwards? He is so full of sunshine I think we can all feel good about him.

Bush... W. has his issues. He needs to admit mistakes and move on with his pursuit of freedom and the fight against terrorists. But he's not a fraud - you can feel it - I know you can. He's REAL and that means you'll get the truth. You may not like it or agree with it, but in the end - it's still the damn truth.

I don't care what Al Frankin says... I know I'm right.


Saturday, September 18, 2004

No Sign of John Kerry

I recently spent a few days in Germantown, TN and had an opportunity to walk, run and drive through that incredible town. The homes, the grass and the TREES make this Arizona native seriously jealous.

As I traveled the different streets of Germantown, it became clear that many of its citizens are quite politically minded. Prominent on every street are signs for various elected offices… everything from the local alderman all the way to the POTUS.

I didn’t recognize any names for the alderman race - but for president guess whose signs were everywhere and guess whose signs I didn’t see? That’s right – there were no signs for John Kerry and thus no sign of John Kerry.

Look what your missing Germantown...

Bush rules in Germantown and if this group of middle to upper class southerners is any indication of how the electorate is feeling this November – W. has got things handled.

Unfortunately this election is too close to call, but I can’t help thinking that this little town outside of Memphis will be an accurate weather gauge of the nation.


PS – Isn’t there a 527 out there that can pay someone in Germantown to put a sign in their yard to support Kerry. Do something – it’s embarrassing for our two-party system.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Resolve to Fight Terror

Lot's of emotions floating around today - sadness, anger, and for some, loneliness. It seems as if every American can claim one.

Here's another one - resolve...

Not everyone can lay claim to this one though, some have given up the fight and have actually politicized the matter. Who you say? Almost every elected member of the Democratic Political Party in the US House and Senate.

I don't have an issue with any individual who doesn't support the Bush Administration. That's your choice. However democratic politicians seem to fight everything that has been tried to protect this country simply because they are not in power. They are not going to get any credit, a bounce in the poles or a lift in any way.

If you lost someone on September 11th to terrorists I bet you'd do almost anything to bring them back. That's resolve... doing almost anything.

Democrats let's quit fighting, blocking, tearing down and bitching and start working together with this administration.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Whining at the US Open

What is up with Serena Williams at the Open? This woman is INCREDIBLE on the court and I'd rather watch her than anyone other than Agassi or Roddick.

However, the other night was beyond what I could handle. The bad calls she got from the umpire were nothing compared to her unforced errors and unprofessional conduct.

If you can't win at the Open don't WHINE at the Open!

Has anyone told her that those press conferences are taped? Does she really think there was some conspiracy on the part of the chair umpire?

Who is her Sponsor... The GAP?

As one of the top players in tennis she should show more maturity when things don't go her way. In life (and in tennis Serena), it's not what happens, it's what you do about it. After every bad call you still could have whipped JC's butt!

Let's get on that higher road Serena. And now that you have some free time, get over to Sports Authority and buy a decent tennis outfit!


Autism, Fathers and Hope

My youngest daughter Amanda is beautiful, physically strong and extremely loving. She is also Autistic.

I can't recall the first time I heard the word Autism or when a doctor first mentioned that Amanda might be Autistic, but I do know she has been special since the day she was born.

As a father, I often wonder what's happening around me in relation to my family while I try and make a living. So much happens at home while I'm traveling or just at the office during the day that it seems as though most of my children are changing and that I am missing it!That's not the case with Amanda...

Amanda Elizabeth Kauffman

At four years of age Amanda's progression has been extremely slow. She doesn't talk and has a difficult time expressing herself in ways that I can understand. She is saying something, asking for something - I just am not sure what that is!

At times Amanda will grab me by the hand and take me places, moving me in the direction of something she wants... a drink, food or something just out of her reach. Those overtures bring me great joy. In those moments she comes out of her own little world and interacts in my world.

That's the most frustrating part of Autism to me - I want to know where my daughter goes everyday! I want to know what she is thinking and who she's talking to when she rambles on verbally. Certainly someone is there when she makes hand gestures and looks at nothing like it's something.

Maybe it's God. She is certainly an angel and worthy of conversing with Deity...

One of my favorite moments with Amanda is when she is sleeping. When she is out like a light, after moving faster and farther than most humans can do in a 24 hour period (she's fast even when she is still) I see a normal little girl. No incoherent speech, no tantrums, no looking off in the distance... just an adorable little girl asleep, and a Father seeing his daughter as he hopes she will be one day - totally normal.


Saturday, September 04, 2004

Workin Man Blues... Not Really

There's a great tune by Merle Haggard called "Workin Man Blues" that I used to listen to when I was younger and heavy into country music. At the time I worked in construction, had served in the military and did more with my hands than I did with my brains.

After graduating from college my brains took over and my hands became softer. Thankfully, home ownership and a service driven mentality have helped me to keep my hands dirty enough to still consider myself a "workin man."

As such a man, it troubles me to hear John Kerry talk about creating jobs... or anyone else creating jobs - other than me! I wouldn't want to work at a job the government created ever again. The last one I had was in the military in which I made the least amount of money I've ever made in my life.

I don't want a government job... what I want is the government "off my back" as Arnold mentioned the other night in New York. Let me reach my maximum potential without restriciton.

Now I sometimes work in a shirt and tie helping others learn how to be successful and make more money. Here's the kicker - it's more fun than work.

So much for the blues...


I AM a Republican

With the Republican Convention wrapped up and Arnold S. (that's right, I'm not going to attempt it) stealing the show, that leaves just the "dog" and the "pony" doesn't it...

Arnold pegged me - I am a Republican. I stand for all the things he called out that make a man or woman a freedom loving, success oriented and goal driven machine! True freedom comes from no restrictions on your ability to acheive 100% of what you can earn, where you can go and what you can become. Give me some of that!

As for the dog and the pony - Kerry and Edwards will soon be off the campaign trail. Kerry will spend the next four years bitching about the SBV's and how they derailed his otherwise wonderful bid for the presidency, and Edwards will be a retired senator and can go back to suing corporations and driving up the cost of health care...

W. will take the day, DC will continue to be his solid right hand man and once the other changes in the company take place, watch out - George means business.