Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

This week I listened to an interview given by a soldier who had been injured in Iraq… in fact he’d been wounded twice. Shot in the face the first time, lost both his legs the second time if I recall correctly.

His name is Sgt Major Brent Jerguson and he’s at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It was amazing to hear someone speak so articulately and boldly about what he believes – especially about a topic that is becoming more divisive every day. Even more unbelievable was the “matter-of-fact” style he used to describe his injuries.

When he was first injured, a round ricochet off his M-16 and hit him in the face. He fought for 30 minutes after he was hit. After the fighting subsided he was attended to and got the heck out of where ever he was. 4 months later he CHOSE to rejoin his unit. 3 weeks away from the end of his tour his patrol was hit by an RPG killing one and taking off both of Sgt Jerguson’s legs.

After this second injury he still says he’d go back. He has no regrets. His family supports him. Sounds pretty matter-of-fact doesn't it. That's called conviction.

He believes the United States public has attention deficit disorder. Most of the country was supportive of the efforts of the military after 9-11. Emotions were high, but now people are ready to give up because the press is bad and the fight is growing long.

On Memorial Day weekend 2006 I think it’s appropriate to remember the sacrifices our soldiers make on behalf of their country. Politics aside, good things happen when people sacrifice themselves for something other than themselves.

If a military man or woman live up to the oath they take at induction, they aren't interested in politics. General Douglas MacArthur reminded cadets at West Point during his last visit that the military man shouldn't be interested in the politics of the day... others will debate the issues. His (or her) job is to do his duty.

Thank you every military man and woman for your service. God bless those families who had a loved one not return from any war, engagement or assignment wherever it may have been.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Cigarettes are Litter... Butt-Head

It is amazing to me that there are people in this country that still smoke cigarettes. How many more people have to die before tobacco is banned from human consumption? Duh. When a product has this on it's label:

"This product will kill you" I suggest that you not smoke it or chew it. Enough said. The fact is millions of people smoke. Despite the warnings, the social stigma and the SMELL millions of people are still smoking. Fine - die.

There is another more insidious challenge associated with smoking. Litter. Yes those little cigarette butts are litter... BUTT-HEAD.

Have you ever been driving behind or along side of someone and they flick a butt out their window? Have you ever wanted to RAM their car and push them off the road. Maybe their car would fly over a cliff, do a few twirls, and the nasty smoker would meet their fiery death? (Can you tell this bothers me? Not the smoker - the litter-er.)

Have you ever pulled up into the left-hand lane at a traffic signal only to look down and see this on the ground:

Disgusting huh... how is it that people don't think that throwing this crap out of their window is not littering? The fact is they know it's disgusting - that's why smokers who smoke in the car have the window down even when no one else is riding with them. They don't want to smell it and they don't want the nasty little butts in the car either.

I had my roof replaced recently and the roofers were smokers... guess what they did when they were done smoking up on my roof? Yep - they tossed their butts all over my front, back and side yards. They didn't throw their Burger King wrappers in my yard - just the cigarette butts. Guess what I wanted to do with all of those little gems I found on my property? I can't write it here - my wife reads this once and a while...

I own some real estate in Scottsdale with my friend and business partner Ron. We paid well over a million bucks for prime property in a very exclusive part of the valley so our investment would do well and our team members would have really nice "digs" when they came to work. One day I was walking to my car and someone who had been smoking used the hand railing on the second floor to put out their cigarette and then just sat the butt on the railing... like they were going to come back for a second hit later in the day. Butthead.

What's the answer? Prosecution. Hard Time. Torture. Sounds tough? Look at those pictures again... or better yet, just look outside on the ground.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

West Wing Ends...

Sunday marked the end of seven seasons of the West Wing. This was a great television program. Why? Because it obviously had a liberal spin and I’m a conservative republican... and I loved this show!

Here are the Top Ten Reasons I enjoyed the West Wing:

1. It seemed VERY REAL. The set, the issues etc. They spared no expense making this show look right.

2. Martin Sheen. Despite his liberal bent, Sheen was very presidential and it worked – he’s the president liberals haven’t had since JFK... and never will have again.

3. The dialogue. The script writers for this show were awesome. Again, I didn’t agree with the politics, but the dialogue was quick, intelligent and thought provoking.

4. The situation room. This was war game heaven and full of smart people who always knew what to say and what to do. It was perfect for our form of government. The Commander in Chief, a civilian, democratically elected official, telling career soldiers what they would do next.

5. Toby – I hated Toby and I watched just to see what he would say or do so I could hate him even more. He was the epitome of everything I despise in liberal thinking. I really liked the episode where his ex-wife, who was pregnant with twins (by him), didn't want to live with him (in a house he just mortgaged his life for), because he was too depressing. BINGO.

6. Air Force One. What an incredible plane. I enjoyed every episode that had Air Force One in it… the ending was a strong and thoughtful way to bring the show to a close.

7. CJ… she made the job of every future press secretary in the White House almost impossible. No one, not even CJ could speak that well without a script. How did she get the second to the last send off in the series. (If she didn’t work in the White House what was she doing in there?) Liar!

8. Donna – is this a great country or what? She goes from a temp who wasn’t getting paid a dime when the show started to the chief of staff of the first lady. This show was so real...

9. Only one left after this… Hmmm. Let’s say John Spencer. I really felt something special (seriously) when Jed pulled out the napkin. Leo was a tough manager and I liked that… he knew what his mission was and he attacked it every day. I liked this character and I liked Spencer as an actor.

10. DVD. I watched every episode of this show on DVD until the closing episodes of this season. I just purchased season six at Best Buy and cannot wait to watch it. When I needed quality entertainment (on my time), I put in a disk of the West Wing. As each season came to a close I was truly bummed out.

11. Okay Bonus Reason – I loved the way Martin Sheen put on his coat. That was cool.

This show really was something special. For me it ranks up there with shows like St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, and LA Law. Like West Wing – all NBC programs.

Perhaps the best proof I have that this show was a hit with other people came to me after I decided to put Season 1 through 5 up on eBay… One night around 1am I had all of the episodes posted. Before Noon the next morning every boxed set was gone.

Enough said.