Connect with us


A Break From The Ordinary



Thank you, Jonathan Lehrfeld

I know this is a little something different, but Carson mentioned one of my favorite speakers earlier today.  Not Carlin, although he was certainly different, but rather Randy Pausch and a lecture he gave at Carnegie Mellon on September 18, 2007.  It has nothing to do with time management or real estate, but it is an inspiring look at a life well-lived.  You can download it from iTunes U if you’d like.  It’s an hour long, I know, but well worth the time spent – and an interesting look at how our childhood dreams play out – whether we sometimes realize it or not – as adults.


Killing the Killer – Giving the Death Penalty the Needle



His object all sublime
He will achieve in time —
To let the punishment fit the crime —
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

— from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan

A Good Week For The Death Penalty

lethal injectionThis week the Commonwealth of Virginia put the DC Sniper, John Allen Muhammed, to death by lethal injection. His accomplice and fellow trigger guy, Lee Boyd Malvo,  gets to live out his days in prison.  He was too young to get the needle. Not quite 18. But for a few months, he would have been killed, too.

In Ohio, the State is playing around with the idea of switching from the the three drug “cocktail” to a single drug protocol that can be used by stabbing the needle into a muscle if a good vein can’t be found.  It seems like the Ohio executioners couldn’t find a good vein after 18 attempts on Romell Broom and the Governor had to call off the execution.

It seems that both Ohio and Texas are trying their damnedest to catch up to Texas as the States who kill the most criminals.  It’s an uphill battle.  Texas kills a lot of criminals. And pretty damn fast, too.

The Death Penalty Doesn’t Work and Doesn’t Even Feel Good

I’ve heard of two reasons why the death penalty exists at all:

  1. Retribution – this is the “eye for an eye” argument
  2. Deterrence – if murderers know they will die it will make them less prone to murder

Sure, it feels good to call for the head of high profile killers.  Most certainly, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, will be facing the death penalty. The 9/11 terrorists that are about to go on trial in New York are facing the death penalty.  For these folks we, as a society, want justice to be swift and severe.  Well, we’ll get severe. Swift is another story.  The court martial of Maj. Hasan and the trials of the 9/11 terrorists will go on forever providing vicarious thrills for thousands of cable TV viewers and fodder for the “fair and balanced” network screamers.

In the end, though, it’s always a little bit anti-climatic.  Once the criminal has been put down we quickly forget what it was all about and move on to the next high profile atrocity. More to the point, it doesn’t “undo” the crime.  Killing the killer doesn’t bring the dead back to life.  It rarely heals the broken lives of those the murders affected.

Deterrence is a joke.  You can watch the news any night of the week to listen about drive-by shootings, gang-related murders, drug deals gone wrong or wronged boyfriends going nuts and killing their lovers and, sometimes, the whole family. The death penalty does not deter nut cases, whack jobs or people who just plain crack up in the moment and happen to have a gun handy.  It doesn’t deter teens and young adults starving for attention, love and validation from doing what it takes to get attention either from the gang or from the media.

In short, the death penalty doesn’t work and it should be abolished.  I won’t be holding my breath.

On The Other Hand…

… it’s perfectly OK to remove any semblance of reproductive choice from women who have no access to affordable health care.  It seems that the “‘Just Say No’ to Everything” party is pulling out the old chestnut — abortion — to kill health care reform.  They couldn’t kill it with all the scare tactics about the ‘Public Option”. God forbid, one dollar of government money be used to assist poor or even moderate income women with access to the full menu of health care options.

Of course, it’s a nice trick to kill health care reform.  Women of means can always find a doctor who can help terminate a pregnancy and pay for it. It’s the poor and lower middle class who will bring children into their world of financial hardship with limited or zero access to good health care even for the child, lack of educational opportunities and general hardship. No matter whether the pregnancy was bought on by rape, incest or just plain sweet talk from an older man promising love and security but leaving as soon as the fun’s over.

Of course, poor women don’t have high-powered lobbyists on Capitol Hill.  Poor women don’t have lots of money to line the campaign coffers of candidates.

Big Pharma wins.  Big insurance companies win. Politicians win. People most in need of access to affordable health care….sorry.

Continue Reading






I was sitting in a RE/MAX Company meeting eight years ago today. One of the agents cell phone was getting blown up with calls from his son in D.C.  Jim got up and left the meeting. When he walked back in, he set his radio in the middle of the conference room table.

Nothing was said.

Everyone got up and left.

My daughter pulled into the parking lot as I was pulling out. I rolled down my window and said, “Go home.”

“Mom, what is wrong?”

“Just go home”…I could not speak.

We made it home in time to see the second twin tower attacked and come down.  Like most of us across the United States we were in shock and numb. My younger children were in school.  I wanted them home.  No one knew what would come next.

It took a terrible event to show again the greatness of the American heart. Let us never forget that same courage, generosity, and kinship still pulses through us.

Today as we reflect on our memories of that day, where we were, and what occurred on 9-11, let us stop and remember and pray for all the families that lost loved ones that day.

Let us reflect on the unity we felt as a Nation as together we set aside our political differences and really were One Nation Under God.

Photo Credit

Continue Reading

Conference Coverage

Inman’s Got Enough Money. Let’s Give Some To MFFO



It doesn’t get any better than this – you can actually get Inman Connect Tickets and help a charity at the same time!  I was the lucky winner of Inman Real Estate Connect Registration Passes and with the creative help of some friends (thanks @tcar and @andykaufman) decided to auction them for charity.

Inman Connect San Francisco
I’m sure @jbern had no clue what was going to happen when he started the competition: What’s Your Tweet Worth? ….between Jay Thomson’s raffle and this auction, there are some creative minds at work to help our colleagues as well as great charities.

So here’s what I would love for you to do –

1.  go place a bid

2   spread the word  **tweet it! facebook it! email it! **

3. check on the bid

4.  spread the word again **tweet it! facebook it! email it! **

The highest bidder will win full registration to Inman Connect San Francisco (both Inman Connect and Blogger’s Connect passes) and proceeds will go to Mothers Fighting For Others (that’s a $939 value).  What are you waiting for??? Go Bid!  We will be announcing the winner before the weekend.

**thanks for the tix Inman!!  Let’s see how much money we can raise**

Continue Reading

Our Great Partners

American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!