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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

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

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  1. Joe Loomer

    September 11, 2009 at 9:01 am

    Amen Missy. I was in the NCO club at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey that morning, and it was just after six a.m. “Bump” – a Senior Chief – walked in from the adjacent room and stated someone had just flown a plane in to the Twin Towers.

    About 40 of us Chiefs were in the middle of mashing some Chief Selectees, and everyone thought it was like that light aircraft that hit the Empire State Building some time earlier – causing minor damage. Bump was adamant that the “s**t was serious, shipmates!” So we wandered into the other room to see what he was all upset about, just in time to watch live as the second plane hit.

    We knew instantly we were at War, we knew who did it, and we knew we should have been at war a year earlier after the USS Cole.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Missy Caulk

    September 11, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Joe, you are right had we taken action after the Cole perhaps this wouldn’t have happened.

  3. Brandie Young

    September 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks, Missy.

  4. Gwen Banta

    September 11, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Missy, I’m too emotional to say anthing other than, “thank you,” and God be with those who suffered so much loss.

  5. tomferry

    September 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Missy …. I felt compelled to say “thank you” for this post as well. You already know my story on where I was … what a day we all experienced.

    No matter where we were or what we were doing, time stood still … differences didn’t matter and we as a collective group found the strength to take care of one another.


  6. Matthew Hardy

    September 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    We lived in Maryland, near Washington, D.C. at the time. We discussed another attack and the possibility dangerous clouds coming towards our family as we listened to reporting from my wife’s brother who lives in New York City.

    We talked to our neighbors more than we every had.

    I miss the unity.

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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.

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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**

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Riding the REBarCamp Wave




If you have not attended a Real Estate Bar Camp and you are in the industry – I have one word for you:


The first one was in San Francisco right before Inman Connect in June of last year and the masterminds behind it were Andy Kaufman and Todd Carpenter (they are both kind of a big deal btw)….together with the help of a few key people like Brad Coy, Mike Price, and others who are welcome to smack me if I didn’t mention them.  They thought …. why not grab the original bar camp concept and apply it to the real estate industry?  If you have not noticed, our industry is talked about quite a bit in the blogosphere because we have immersed ourselves in new media and we are getting results.

Since REBarcamp San Francisco in 2008 these have taken off like wild fire!  From Denver, to Philly, Charlotte, Orange County, Boston, and many more …..Chicago going on right now. (check out a list at the rebarcamp site – each one has their own site)

What is an REBarCamp?

Straight from the ReBarCamp site –

RE Bar Camp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees.

and from the REBarCamp/Orange County (scheduled for June 25th, 2009)

The most interesting thing about a BarCamp is that it is user/attendant created: the program is developed by the attendees at the event, using big whiteboards upon which a schedule is hastily put together, that can be rewritten or overwritten by attendees to optimize the days’ events.  The goal of BarCamp is to reach out to new people who will increase the common intelligence about new technologies, and to create opportunities for cross-fertilization between people and new ideas.

Why so many, so quick?

Obviously, many of us are not lucky enough to be able to travel across the country to attend these one day “unconferences”, so involved locals have taken on the role to organize these in their home towns and throw their own flavor into the events.   I have had the pleasure of attending 3 of them (SF, NY and Philly) and couldn’t wait to get one started in Miami, not only to learn from my peers and network in my backyard, but also to be able to share Miami with the people I’ve learned to love in this business.

How are REBarcamps put together?

It takes one person to raise their hand and make the decision and then grab a group of volunteers and find sponsors.  It is a free event (although there has been discussion about paying to attend).  Sponsors make the event possible by covering expenses incurred.  For REBarCamp Miami for example (scheduled for September 14th, 2009) – it was David Gibbons from Zillow that asked me on Twitter “when are you doing REBarCamp Miami?”…..and the ball started rolling.  So many people are involved in the back end organizing venues, giveaways, websites, logos…..

Make sure you take a look at the BarCamp’s schedule for your area and make it a point to RSVP and attend!  The information offered is priceless and the fact that they are hands on workshops where you can participate and add your grain of salt is what makes REBarCamps so powerful.   I personally find these events to be invaluable and getting super excited about Miami in September **there were rumors of renaming it “MOJITO CAMP” or even better:

REBarcamp Miamism

but the rumors are not true….this is not about me people! it’s about coming together in a great place to learn from eachother, with or without mojitos! UGH! 🙂

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