Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Morning – hope all’s well in your world.

In two weeks, we have the opportunity to go to the polls and elect our officials. While most Americans start to be cynical about even wasting their time going to elect a bunch of so-called crooks and people out of touch with their communities, I stay optimistic.

Look at what’s going on all over the world. People would kill to have the opportunity to choose their own leaders without someone holding a gun to their heads. And here, most people can care less.

This election is going to be one of the tightest in recent history. Odds are that the House will flip to the Democrats and that the Republicans will hang onto a slight edge in the Senate. But what does that mean for us? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Honestly, I don’t know. All I know is that everyone should wake up and get off the couch and go be a part of the process. Some people say that it is your right to vote as an American. I look at this as a privilege. People are dying for this opportunity that we have and yet, millions of Americans are apathetic and just lazy.

Here’s a crazy idea for you to ponder; if someone of voting age hasn’t voted in the last five years I think they should go serve with our military in Iraq for a while. Maybe after seeing what they are going through, they can turn the television off and put down their drinks and go vote.

There are a few races I will be watching involving people I have become friendly with. The first is Senator Jim Talent from Missouri. He’s a Republican that the Democrats are going after because he is a state where races are always close and they label him as a person that always votes with the President, which is not true. He votes for Missouri and his conscience. He is a very good man and someone we want in the Senate fighting for us.

In Georgia, Congressman John Barrow is a Democrat being targeted by the Republicans. He is running against the man he beat two years ago, Max Burns. Barrow is a very good man and is leading slightly.

Why do I pick these two races to share with you besides the fact I know and respect both men? They are being targeted by the opposition party and tons of money is being dumped into races for the chance to gain a seat. There are millions and millions of dollars being wasted by both sides that could be put to use for a ton of things to help people and our country, but hey, no big deal.

I write checks to politicians and I do my part to help, but it drive me nuts to see how much money is spent on elections. While it’s great to have a wonderful democracy and the opportunity to get involved in the process, there are still many issues with the process that we need to fix.

I don’t have the answers, just questions. But I promise you this, if you don’t vote, in my mind, you don’t get the opportunity to ask these questions or complain about ANYTHING. In my mind, you are wasting your opportunity that people are dying for and need to go be reminded of the people who came before us and gave us these opportunities.

It’s a privilege to vote and be part of this great country of ours. I don’t care what side you are on – pick a side and vote. Me, I vote for people, not party. Will never vote party again – the party’s are the reason we have such a mess to begin with.

Speaking of messes, Bill Parcells just created one in Dallas with his quarterbacks. Giants are on a roll – anyone wanna get on board the bandwagon??? Space available…

Monday, October 16, 2006

Giant weekend in Atlanta ...

Great weekend here. Had Scott Ranzman in town for the weekend and we went to see the Giants play yesterday. Even got to write a flavor piece for Giants.com. Check it out - pretty funny stuff.

Anyway - hope all's well. I will write more tomorrow. Big politcal week - saw Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana last night - he's going to be a very serious candidate for President in 2008. Going to a fundraiser for Sen. Joe Leiberman of Connecticut on Thursday. Should be fun.

Happy Monday!

P.S. - AIPAC Political Director Rob Bassin is coming to town and I am having dinner with him on Tuesday. Are you happy now Jeremy???

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy, happy .... joy, joy...!!!

Good morning campers! Hope all's well in your neck of the woods.

I'd like to start by saying that we had a great weekend in Atlanta. First off, we had dinner Friday at a friends house. They have five kids and are just wonderful people. Everyone played well but the noise level was just classic. We have met these friends through a Jewish Studies course called the Wexner Heritage Foundation and was started by Leslie Wexner.

Les started this program to educate Jewish leaders and it is a phenomenal opportunity to learn with the best of the best teachers and leaders. Take a second and read about it ... it's worth your time.

Saturday, my wife and I dropped the kids off and went on a day trip to Athens to see the University of Georgia play the Tennessee Volunteers. We had a party bus pick us and 15 others up at 3 pm for a 745 pm kickoff.

Suffice to say that we felt pretty good by the time we got to Athens. We then tailgated and watched the sites and sounds of a college atmosphere. And everything was going perfectly ... until Georgia actually had to play the game.

But even then, for 26 minutes they were rocking. They were up 24-7 with four minutes to go in the half. Tennessee drove the ball and scored with 40 seconds to go to make it a 10 point game. My wife and brother-in-law look at each other and go, "uh-oh." They knew what was to come.

Georgia came out and got the ball in the second half, but held it for a few plays before Joe T III turned it over and Tennessee scored a touchdown. From there it got worse with other turnovers and a blocked punt in the endzone for a touchdown. Final 51-33.

So Georgia was outscored 37-9 in the second half at home for the most points allowed ever in Athens. Glad I could be there for that great night.

Mark Richt, to me, is now the most overrated coach in college football. It used to be Mack Brown, but he won a title finally. Problem with Richt is that he is a nice man and a good recruiter, but he is a horrible game coach. For a guy who was supposed to be an "offensive genius" at Florida State, the only thing offensive is his play-calling. Which of course we can blame the offensive coordinator ... oh wait, that is Richt's job too.

Think it's time for Richt to pick someone who can be his offensive genius - because he isn't it.

I know Michigan State lost, but what else is new. But the big news of the day is the Yankees are gone!!! GOOD FOR YOU TIGERS! Thanks for killing the Evil Empire! It's a beautiful day when all those damn New Yorkers are quieted down. Someone in town last week had a great line, "rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for the sun to rise." Well Pinstripers, ya ain't gonna be rising to the top of the pile this year. Figured for a 200 million dollar lineup, you could find a better Game 4 pitcher than Jared Wright. Hey Mr. Cashman, how's that ARod deal workin' out for ya??

Then comes Sunday and of course in the Barkan house ... it's time for the New York Football Giants. We hosted the Washington Redskins... and played good. Eli lead us to a 19-3 win and a 2-2 record heading into their game in front of the city of Atlanta. On top of which I won a bet with a dear friend of mine, Julie, who is a die-hard Redskins fan. Loser had to post a nice note about the other team on their blog ... I WIN!!! Check out Julie's World to read her Ode to the Giants!

I am very excited to have them coming here this Sunday and I cannot wait to go to the Georgia Dome to watch them. First time in my tenure in Atlanta that they are coming to town and I can't wait to watch them up close so I can BOO when we have three false starts!

Did something yesterday that I have never done before, I rooted for the Filth-A-Delphia Eagles. Can't root for a clown like TO. Great fans of Philly welcomed him to town with a chant of "OD OD OD." Those people are funny as hell!

Been a great weekend... got a crazy week before my friend Scott comes to town to see the kids and go to the Giants game with me. Three kids from Fort Lee, N.J. will be together for the first time in a long time in Atlanta to watch the G-Men - with two of us now living here. Who in the heck would have thunk it?

Next thing you know, I'm going to break into the Redneck National Anthem and sing Sweet Home Alabama.

Maybe, but not on Sunday. You can take the boy outta Jersey - but can't take the Jersey out of the boy...

Go Big Blue!