Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Thoughts

I think I have told this story before but it wasn't in blog format.  Every year, as Memorial Day approaches, I'm reminded of this event.  Surprisingly, given the fact that my son is no longer here, the memory isn't painful but pleasant.  It's something Christopher and I did together that meant far more to me than it did to him at the time. I carry it with me now.

In May of 1992, when Christopher was 7 years old, we lived in Leavenworth, Kansas.  Since I worked for the federal government, Christopher got to go to school on Fort Leavenworth.  He came home one day that May with a flyer from the school inviting people to come to the base the Saturday before Memorial Day and help place American flags in front of the grave markers in the national cemetery on Fort Leavenworth.

Being prior military myself all I could think of was "What an honor to be able to show respect and gratitude to the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for us all."  I jumped at the chance.

That Saturday morning dawned somewhat cool but sunny.  We drove over to the cemetery where we found about 100 other volunteers and boxes upon boxes of small (8x12) plastic flags on sticks waiting to be planted.  I don't remember the exact instructions but I believe they told us to place on flag in the ground 12 inches from the headstone (it may have been 10) and centered.  And every stone in the cemetery was to get one.  I don't know how many headstones there were in 1992 but in 2005 (the only statistics I can find right now) there were 22,679 people interred there.  I have no idea how many people they bury every year but I'm guessing there were at least 10 to 12 thousand markers at the time.

Everyone was given a bundle of flags and a row to do.  When you ran out of flags you went back for more. When you finished a row you went on the the next one.  It took most of the morning to place all the flags in front of all the headstones but with each completed row the cemetery took on a different, more patriotic and reverent look.  And when I stepped back and looked at the entire scene, it was beautiful.  All of us, including Christopher, were pleased and proud to be a part of something so wonderful.  It was such a small effort on our part to say thank you to those deserving people who gave so much for us.

I have this great memory to look forward to every May.  I'm still very proud of what we did that day and if I ever get the opportunity to do it again I will.  It is a privilege to be able to pay homage to those who died in service to us all.

Wishing all of you a happy Memorial Day and hoping, at some point  in the day, you stop and contemplate its meaning and its depth.  Thank you, once again, to all who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country and thank you to all veterans who are still alive and to those who are still serving.  America would not be America without you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Narcissism At 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue...

I read a very interesting article the other day by a man who believes, as I do, that President Barak Obama is a narcissist of the worst kind.  The article, “Understanding Obama: The Making of a Fuehrer” was written several years ago by Ali Sina.  It has been sent around the internet attributed to Israeli Psychologist, Sam Vaknin however, Vaknin did not write it.  And Ali Sina is not a Psychologist but an activist who broke away from Islam in the 90s and has been outspoken against it ever since.  He is a leader of Faith Freedom International, an organization dedicated to fighting the injustices of Islam.

I’m not sure why Sina wrote the article but I have to say I agree with much of it.  President Obama has always come across (to me that is) as a man who thinks he is not only better than other people but a walking legend.  He is the definition of “Do as I say, not as I do” and the phrase “leadership by example” is completely lost on him.  Here is the article.  I recommend reading it to see what I’m talking about.

I also read, again, an e-mail containing speeches of George W. Bush and Barack Obama on the occasions of capturing/killing Saddaam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.  While Mr. Bush was humble and did nothing but praise our military and intelligence services, President Obama patted himself on the back for the actions taken by those same military and intelligence services.  The two speeches are completely opposite in the context of who gets the credit for what happened. 

Here is the speech that President Bush made:

“Good afternoon.

Yesterday, December the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive. He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit, in a swift raid conducted without casualties.  And now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions.

The capture of this man was crucial to the rise of a free Iraq. It marks the end of the road for him, and for all who bullied and killed in his name. For the Baathist holdouts largely responsible for the current violence, there will be no return to the corrupt power and privilege they once held. For the vast majority of Iraqi citizens who wish to live as free men and women, this event brings further assurance that the torture chambers and the secret police are gone forever.

And this afternoon, I have a message for the Iraqi people: You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again. All Iraqis who take the side of freedom have taken the winning side. The goals of our coalition are the same as your goals -- sovereignty for your country, dignity for your great culture, and for every Iraqi citizen, the opportunity for a better life.

In the history of Iraq, a dark and painful era is over. A hopeful day has arrived. All Iraqis can now come together and reject violence and build a new Iraq.

The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq. The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate 'em.

I also have a message for all Americans: The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq. We still face terrorists who would rather go on killing the innocent than accept the rise of liberty in the heart of the Middle East. Such men are a direct threat to the American people, and they will be defeated.

We've come to this moment through patience and resolve and focused action. And that is our strategy moving forward. The war on terror is a different kind of war, waged capture by capture, cell by cell, and victory by victory. Our security is assured by our perseverance and by our sure belief in the success of liberty. And the United States of America will not relent until this war is won.
May God bless the people of Iraq, and may God bless America.

Thank you.”

President Bush used the word “I” four times during his speech.  He said:

“I have a message for the Iraqi people: You will not have to fear the rule of Saddam Hussein ever again.”

“I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate 'em.”

“I also have a message for all Americans: The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq.”

There are no self-serving words in the entire speech.  All credit was given to our intelligence agencies and to our military.

Compare President Bush’s speech with just three paragraphs of President Obama’s speech concerning the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  Mr. Obama’s speech was almost three times as long and midway through it he managed to give himself the credit for the mission five times just in the three paragraphs excerpted below:

“And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.”

President Obama couldn’t help but praise himself during the speech:

“ I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority…”

“ I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.”

“I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information…”

“I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action…”

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound…”

The President said everything except “Today, I went over to Pakistan and took Bin Laden out.”  In my opinion this is simply more evidence of Mr. Obama’s narcissism and his need to present himself as superior to others (besides the fact that he wants to be re-elected in November.)   His followers praise him for Bin Laden’s death claiming Mr. Obama is “the one who got him” – all the while ignoring the fact that the intelligence used was gained through policies and practices (including water boarding) set up by the Bush administration.  I didn’t hear any thank you’s to President Bush for that.  But then – that would mean admitting President Obama isn’t the hero they like to believe he is.

I personally believe no one loves President Obama quite as much as he does.  When he’s not blaming everyone and everything else for the problems in the country he’s patting himself on the back for things that were accomplished during his Presidency, even if he really didn’t have much to do with it.  The things Mr. Obama said in his speech may have been true but was it really necessary to praise himself rather than those who actually did the job, as Mr. Bush did?  In my humble opinion the main difference between President Obama and President Bush can be summed up in one word – class.  Mr. Bush demonstrates his on a regular basis by remaining quiet and out of the spotlight since he left office.  He hasn’t once criticized President Obama nor gone public with any comments concerning Obama’s performance, even while being blamed for the problems on a regular basis by the current President, even three years after leaving office.  President Obama spends much of his public time whining about all the reasons the country is having problems while never once taking responsibility for any of it.  He believes he is above blame, above failure.  And he is wrong.

Hopefully, in November, enough Americans will understand Mr. Obama’s shortcomings and vote him out of office.  He had his shot and has proved that he’s not the right man for the job.  The other candidate might not be the best either but I’m willing to give him a chance to turn things around.  I’m hoping for change in Washington.  I’m tired of hype and blame.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lights, Camera, Colonoscopy!

Years ago, The Miami Herald’s hysterically funny syndicated columnist, the great Dave Barry, reached the age where he was due his first colonoscopy.  He agreed with the doctor and several relatives that he needed to schedule it – then put it off for another 10 years.  When he finally gave in he decided to write about the experience from beginning to end (no pun intended) and the result was a very humorous description of this unfunny and very distasteful medical procedure.  I say distasteful because while I know people who don’t mind having it done, I don’t know anyone who looks forward to it.  I certainly don’t.

So, in the spirit of Mr. Barry, I would like to tell my own tale and hope it turns out even half as funny as his.  I have included the link to his column just in case my story is a failure…

I’m 54 and this is my second colonoscopy.  My mother died of colon cancer in 1992 and I should have had my first one at 50, without fail, but I put it off for about a year.  It was really easy to put off – anything took precedence over having a doctor stick an eight foot long tube up my butt.  I mean, come on!   And because of my mother’s history - my siblings and I are very lucky to get to have this done every three years instead of every five, even if each one of them is clear.  How’s that for fortunate?

I finally scheduled it and they gave me my prescription for some stuff called “Go Lightly,” which was the most misleading name they could have given it.  The late, great George Carlin once did a bit about laxatives and said “I don’t want a gentle, overnight laxative when I’m constipated.  I want a bomb!”  Go Lightly is that bomb.  It should be called “Go Until Your Colon Falls Into The Toilet And Then Go Some More!”  It came in a gallon bottle.  All you do is add water and flavoring.  (I added two flavor packets because I knew it was going to be awful.  And it was.) 

You begin drinking this stuff at about 5pm the day before your procedure.  You’re instructed to drink it all.  I don’t think I drink a gallon of anything in one day, let alone in a few hours, but I gave it my best shot.  I think it began working about an hour after the first dose.  (I had loaded up the bathroom with magazines and matches just for the occasion.)  Unfortunately, once it begins to work you are still required to keep drinking it. 

The one thing that worked out in my favor was that I had followed the instructions they gave me.  Two days out I began eating nothing but vegetables and salad and the day before I religiously stuck to the recommended clear liquid diet.  So the cleaning out process wasn’t as painful and debilitating as it could have been.  It was all over around midnight, or maybe 1am.  Oh - and the “Go Lightly” container is great.  It’s a heavy duty, plastic, one gallon jug with a handle on it and I currently use it as a reservoir for my spare change.  If I fill it up I think I can take a cruise…!

I must say the best part of the actual procedure was the medication they give you to help you relax.  They told me I’d most likely sleep through the entire thing and that didn’t happen, but by the time they wheeled me into the room they could have had their way with me.  I was feeling pretty good.  (Katie Couric had hers done on national TV a few years ago to promote colon cancer awareness after it killed her husband.  After the drugs they gave me I would have volunteered to do the same.)

They set up the video monitor next to the gurney I was on so I could watch.  (They actually told me I could watch if I wanted to.)  I do remember the entire procedure and the only part that hurt at all was when they were removing the scope.  As it exited my transverse colon I cramped up for a few seconds – very painfully.  But it passed quickly.

They wheeled me back to the recovery area where my sister greeted me pleasantly.  I informed her I was awake for the entire thing and that it wasn’t terrible but I didn’t really want to do it again.  The doctor came in to give us a report (now I know why they wear masks) and that’s the last thing I remember until they told me I could get dressed.  I slept through the entire report the doctor (fortunately) gave my sister.  No polyps, no masses, no lesions – see you in three years.  Or so my sister tells me, anyway.

Fast forward three years…

I’ve now had my second experience with the ongoing cycle of colon invasions.  As I was scheduling it on the phone, I told the nurse on the other end (in response to her question) that yes, I had one three years ago but because of my mother’s history they wanted me to do it every three years.  She understood and said, in response to my noted apprehension, “Don’t worry.  Everything will work out fine in the end.”  I couldn’t believe she actually said it and she didn’t even realize what she said.  When I brought it to her attention she said “Oh, no pun intended.”  I have to admit – it was kinda funny.

They went over a few things with me on the phone and mailed me a prescription and instructions.  Things have changed.  I got a prescription for “Movi-Prep”  – which is the newest and latest stuff they use to clean you out.  Movi-Prep comes in two 1 liter bottles, which means I have much less to choke down.  

Unfortunately, rather than drink it all the night before and get it over with I now had to drink the first bottle starting at 5pm, let it work overnight, and then drink the second one at 5am the morning of the procedure.  So it’s not bad enough I have to be cleaned out the night before – they make you go through the whole thing again the next morning!

Just how much more fun can they make it??!!  Just for laughs I decided to find out.  I asked the nurse on the phone if I could mix the Movi-Prep with vodka, just to make it more interesting.  She said “No.  Alcohol thins your blood and you would have an increased risk of bleeding.”  Sure – be practical.  That’s why she’s the nurse giving instructions and I’m the one who had to choke down two liters of Movi-Prep, straight up.  But at least it’s only 2 liters now and I got a break in between each one.  Then again, it’s two liters and I had to take a break between each one instead of getting it over with in one shot.  I wonder how they’ll change it for next time?  Oh, the joy of getting older…

I went to the grocery store and stocked up on chicken and beef broth, apple juice and even got some Jello.  I hate Jello but when your stomach is empty and you can’t have anything but liquids, at least it’s something.  And you can almost chew it.  But I couldn’t have anything red so my choices were limited.  And the lime flavor and lemon flavor I hate worse than the others.  So I settled for peach.  It was peach color and tasted fairly good. 

The day before the procedure I had coffee for breakfast, Gatorade, beef broth and apple juice for lunch, and chicken broth and Jello for dinner.  Arden asked if I wanted anything else and I couldn’t resist telling her “No, thank you.  I’m full.” 

I started the wonderful Movi-Prep at 5pm, as instructed.  It tasted like a sweet, citrusy, flat soda – that’s the best way I can describe it.  It wasn’t as terrible as I expected it to be.  I think part of the dread of drinking it is knowing what it’s going to do to you.  I waited.  I waited some more.  It took almost two hours for it to do anything but then, when it did - kaboom!  I spent almost six hours dealing with the results of the first bottle and I still had a second one to drink in the morning!  I decided to get up at 4am instead of 5 so I could get it over with. 

I got a little sleep but was awake before 4.  Dutifully, I got up and started drinking my liquid gold, hoping it would work quickly since I should have been completely empty by then.  It still took almost 2 hours to do anything and my appointment was for 8:30am.  The Movi-Prep was still working when I left the house so I had to go to the bathroom as soon as I walked in the door to the clinic.  There was the needed room, at the end of the waiting room, with a big sign on it that said “OUT OF ORDER”. 

I went to the desk to check in and informed them, very politely, that giving a patient Movi-Prep for breakfast and having a bathroom out of order was really not a good thing.  She asked if I needed to go and said she had a bathroom she could let me use.  As you can imagine, I was ever so grateful. 

When I came back out of the bathroom I had to fill out the usual forms – the same ones you fill out every time you see a new doctor.  (I honestly think the first doctor’s office should simply give you copies of everything that you can hand carry to each new doctor.)  Then I had to wait a few minutes before they came and got me for my adventure.  They told Arden she could come back and sit with me after they did everything they needed to do.  They led me to a gurney behind a curtain and gave me the ever popular hospital gown to put on.  (They actually told me to put it on with the opening in the back but I think I’d have figured that out on my own considering what I was having done.)  Then three different staff members descended on me.  One began hooking up ECG leads to my chest.  Another was applying identification bands to my right wrist while a third was sticking an IV needle in my left. 

When that was done it was time for another trip to the bathroom, IV and all.  Nothing like walking down the hallway trying to hold your gown shut while also trying to keep some dignity.

Once back to my little gurney, the anesthesiologist arrived to ask me some questions and give me some medication to relax me.  He stood up by my head and had me roll over on my left side.  I warned him that the Movi-Prep wasn’t finished working and he said “That’s why I work on this end.”  I couldn’t help but smile.  The guy giving me drugs was a comedian.

Arden came in and then the doctor arrived a few minutes later.  He introduced himself and said he does about 300 of these procedures a month and that if there are any polyps he’ll remove them.  He reminded me of the old actor, Red Buttons, and said he trained under the man who invented the colonoscopy.  So I knew I was in good hands.

Then it was time to get it done.  I said my goodbyes to Arden and they wheeled me down the hall and around the corner.  The medication they gave me was working – I was calm and enjoying the ride.  When we got into the room the anesthesiologist said he was going to give me some more medication to put me to sleep.  That’s the last thing I remember until I woke up back in the room where I started.

Once I started waking up I felt great.  I had a buzz like nothing I’ve ever experienced before – except I couldn’t move.  I tried to sit up and my body would not move off the gurney.  I mentioned that and someone said “Now you know what Michael Jackson was trying to achieve.  You got the same medication he did.”  I just decided to enjoy it while it lasted.  Arden says I was a bit talkative.  I thought I was just being social. 

The doctor came in and said everything was fine.  He said he found one polyp and took it but he’s 100% sure it will test benign so not to worry.  “See you in three years.” 

Eventually the medication wore off enough that they let me get dressed.  I literally staggered to the car being escorted by one of the nurses and we headed toward lunch.  The only real problem was that my colon was so full of gas I felt like a hot air balloon.  If someone had put a fire under me I think I’d have flown into the sky!  Arden said “Just let ‘em rip, Baby” but I wasn’t going to do that.  I suffered in silence until we got to the restaurant.  At least their bathroom wasn’t out of order!  I made several trips back and forth during the 40 minutes we were there.  If anyone was paying attention they would have wondered what was going on.

As hungry as I thought I was, I could barely eat anything.  I ordered breakfast – all the good things – eggs, potatoes, biscuits and sausage gravy, but took about 5 bites and had to quit.  Arden had an omelet with spinach and Feta cheese.  She was the sensible one.  We took mine home in a container so I could eat it later if I felt like it.  Once we got home I laid on the bed and fell asleep almost immediately.  I napped for most of the afternoon, waking up when Arden came in but going right back to sleep when she left.  It was a light but very pleasant slumber.  And apparently I “let ‘em rip” while I was sleeping because the gas was gone when I woke up a few hours later.   It was time to eat again and this time I ate it all.  It was great!

So that’s my story.   Not nearly as funny as Dave Barry’s but interesting, I hope.  Once again the worst part of the entire things was the prep.  I wish they could just give you a pill that you take the night before, it works gently overnight as you sleep and then, just before you go to appointment you explode.  Is that too much to ask?  I’m thinking it probably is but I’ll see what happens in three years. 

Follow the link to Mr. Barry’s column.  His is much more fun to read than mine.  Enjoy.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Did You Know?

I don't know where this came from but I got it in an e-mail this morning and thought it was worth sharing.  There will be those that disagree but hey - this is my blog and my opinion.  If you disagree with this post, feel free to not read it.

(I hope the pictures open properly.)


As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in The middle who is facing forward with a full Frontal view ... It is Moses and he is holding The Ten Commandments!

As You enter the Supreme Court courtroom, The two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower Portion of each door.

As you sit inside The courtroom, you can see the wall, right above Where the Supreme Court Judges sit, a display of the Ten Commandments!

There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the federal buildings and monuments in Washington , D.C?

James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, known as 'The Father of Our Constitution', made the following statement:  We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.'

Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.

Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies.

Thomas Jefferson worried that the courts would overstep their authority and instead of
interpreting the law would begin making law an oligarchy the rule of few over many.
How then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 220 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?

Let's put it around the world and let the world see and remember what this great country was built on The Holy Bible and belief in GOD!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hijabs In Court For American Women?

Civilian lawyer Cheryl Borman, a defense attorney of accused Sept. 11 co-conspirator Walid bin Attash who wears a hajib to court every day, has requested that all women attending the trial of her client wear “more appropriate clothing” in the courtroom out of respect for her client’s religious beliefs. Borman, who is not Muslim herself, says that the women who are not properly covered in the Islamic tradition are a distraction to her client who, by Islamic law, must avert his eyes from said women and has requested the judge order all women attending the trial to respect the religious views of her client.

Let me say that again just to be sure we all understand it. Civilian lawyer Cheryl Borman, a defense attorney of accused Sept. 11 co-conspirator Walid bin Attash who wears a hajib to court every day, has requested that all women attending the trial of her client wear “more appropriate clothing” in the courtroom out of respect for her client’s religious beliefs.

So Walid bin Attash is on trial for killing 3000 people in a deadly attack on America on September 11, 2001, without regard to their religious beliefs, families, culture, etc., and he and his attorney are demanding that his religious beliefs be respected? It seems some lawyers will say or do anything for money and/or fame.

When I first read this news this morning I was so angry and disgusted I wanted to scream. I realize attorneys are supposed to represent their clients to the best of their abilities however, in a court in the United States of America, when a non-Muslim attorney dons a hajib for court, then demands all other women do the same thing to show respect for her client that, in my unimportant book, is going too far. Can you imagine if an American was on trial in Iran, let’s say, and a female, civilian lawyer walked into the courtroom in a business suit with her face and head uncovered, as well as her legs from the knee down, and demanded that all other women dress in the same way out of respect for her American client? She’d be removed from the courtroom and probably executed – all in the name of the “religion of peace.” (Is there such a thing as a female lawyer in Iran?)

Fortunately, in this case, the judge has already ignored Borman’s request even though she has made it twice. In all likelihood, if her client is convicted, this will be come a point of appeal. And if the right liberal judge is in the Appellate Court then Borman just might have a chance. She’ll simply say “Your honor - my client couldn’t successfully assist with his own defense because he was too distracted by the slutty American women.” 

I lived in Denver years ago when the trial of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols was underway. One evening I was at the airport and happened to see McVeigh’s lawyer, Stephen Jones, returning to Denver for trial after a weekend off with his family. His son was with him. If you’re familiar with Denver International Airport you know they have a train that runs from the terminal to the gates and back. I was standing right next to Mr. Jones on the train and recognized him right away.

Out of respect for the man and his son I chose not to say anything to him. However, if I had spoken to him my words would have been “I don’t like what you’re doing at all, but I do respect you for doing it.” Stephen Jones took a lot of heat from people for defending Timothy McVeigh but he did what he believed was right for his client. He never once, however, asked (or demanded) that anyone attending the trial give up one of their rights as Americans, as Ms. Borman is attempting now.

Non-Muslim, American women are not required to wear traditional Muslim garb for any reason, unless they choose, of their own free will, to enter a mosque. To have a defense attorney demand that American women wear traditional Muslim garb to show respect to her accused client is an outrage. What will be her next request – to try them according to Sharia law? To Ms. Borman I would say “In the spirit of justice I respect what you’re doing but I am completely disgusted by the way you’re doing it.  This is America.”

I’d say America has bowed to Islam enough already. These defendants are accused of attacking the United States, in the name of Allah, and killing 3000 innocent people. They now need to face American justice, be it civilian or military, and deal with the realities of the country they attacked. Women here wear what they want and don’t much care if some men don’t like it. As it should be. And if these pansy terrorists can’t handle looking at real women it’s their problem. Maybe Lady Gaga can attend the trial wearing a costume made out of bacon….

I hope the judge stands his ground and that these five 911 defendants are convicted. I also wish they’d be executed but that’s probably not going to happen. And Ms. Borman should really look at the possibility of a future in the law in the Middle East. It seems that’s what she prefers….

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In The "Spirit" of Decency....

Over the last couple of days I’ve read several accounts of a story involving 76 year old Marine veteran Jerry Meekins, of Clearwater, Florida. Meekins, also a Vietnam veteran, suffers from advanced esophageal cancer. He purchased a ticket to fly from Tampa to New Jersey to be with his daughter while she had surgery. After he purchased the ticket, Meekin’s doctor told him his condition was too precarious to fly since he would be exposed to a closed environment and the chance of infection was far too great. It could kill him. Mr. Meekins cancelled his plans to fly to New Jersey and requested a refund from the carrier, Spirit Airlines. The ticket purchased by Mr. Meekins was apparently non-refundable – regardless of the reason. It sounds, however, like Spirit didn’t really care much about the reason because they refused to refund the $197 to Meekins because, as a spokesperson allegedly put it, “Spirit will not make customers who follow the rules pay for those who don’t.” Most airlines I’ve heard about make exceptions, even to the “non-refundable” rule, because of certain conditions, such as a death, illness, etc. Apparently Spirit Airlines doesn’t make exceptions for catastrophic occurrences, such as “if you fly in your medical condition it could easily kill you.” Obviously Mr. Meekins is simply a selfish individual who thinks his irrelevant status as a Marine veteran who happens to be a dying cancer patient should earn him special consideration from the airlines. The nerve of the man! How could a company such as Spirit Airlines be expected to refund the huge sum of $197 simply because the man’s doctor told him flying could kill him? The nerve of some people who want something for nothing! Oh, wait… he doesn’t want something for nothing. He wants to be reimbursed for a ticket that he had to cancel through no fault of his own and for something he did not expect. OK, I realize if Spirit refunds this man they may be asked to refund money for other, selfish customers – like when someone dies and can’t use the purchased ticket and their 80 year old spouse would like a refund because they’re living on a fixed income and could barely afford the ticket in the first place. I can understand how something like that could bankrupt the company. So let’s never give refunds regardless of the reason. That way you never have to make a compassionate decision. Whatever happened to compassion in business? Whatever happened to keeping your customers happy? What Spirit Airlines obviously doesn’t understand is that their refusal to refund this man’s money is hurting them far more than the $197 it would lose for the ticket. Several veterans’ groups are considering a boycott of Spirit Airlines and the negative publicity their already getting has gone nationwide. I’d like to believe this decision, and the accompanying (alleged) statement of the spokesperson, were made at the bottom level and that the company executives will prove that Spirit Airlines really does have a heart. We shall see. I can’t recall ever flying Spirit Airlines but I can tell you that if this isn’t resolved in a positive manner for Mr. Meekins, I won’t be doing so in the future. Any airlines that shows so little compassion to a dying man won’t be one that I give any money to. Spirit Airlines – you have the chance to do something good and right. Please do so. We are watching….