Smoke and Mirrors

In a perfect world . . .

Category: War

13 years after

9/11, amy jarett, love, life, ISIS


It seems like eons ago that I was selling Steinway pianos for a living.
A musician/artist/writer will do just about anything to get by.
It was a gorgeous Tuesday morning on September 11th that I paused outside the door to work.
I looked at the bluer than blue sky, the shining sun, felt the cool but comfortable breeze on my face and thought,
“What a gorgeous day. Sucks but I have to work.”

It was around 8:50am that the phone rang in the store.
I answered it, “Hello, M.Steinert and Sons, how may I help you?”
It was one of our piano tuners calling to tell me he’d just heard on the radio that a passenger plane just flew into
one of the WTC towers in New York.
He thought it was strange and I agreed. We left it at that.
That CAN happen right?

The phone rang again at @9:05.
I answered again.
“Another plane just hit the other tower.”
Same piano tuner, more urgent.
“What the hell, dude,” I said.
It was at that exact moment that the world as I knew it had changed.
We were no longer the invulnerable United States, we were brought to our knees in front of the world.
An attack that could have and should have been avoided.

Are we safer today?
If we are, I don’t feel like we are.
We currently have an administration that has no viable/visible strength, united voice or ultimate power to
condone or publicly defile such despicable acts.
While I’m still ultimately proud to be an American, I fear for all that are out of our international reach.
These days the United States is powerless.
That is a sad truth.
My prayers go out for all those that were lost those 13 years ago.
I will keep Amy Jarret and her family forever in my thoughts.
As we still mourn, we will take comfort in the thought and hope that there’s something better for us out there.
An that maybe someday we will feel safe.











This isn’t the first time that I’ve posted this video/song and most certainly won’t be the last.
Although it was written in the early 70’s it is timeless and apropos for this most solemn of holidays.
It is a powerful statement regarding  American soldiers and the things that they carried.
We owe so much to these complete strangers that guard all of us 24/7, 365 days a year.
Thank you just doesn’t seem to be quite enough.
In the summer of 1970, I was 11 years old.
I had two things on my mind: baseball and girls.
There’s a friend of mine that’s a bit older.
He was in Vietnam fighting a war and hoping to see the light of day.
Far as I know he never asked anyone for a ‘thanks’ for what he did.
It was what it was.

He arrived home in ’72 and was for all intents and purposes shunned by 98% of the American public.
He was no longer a boy that left to help but a changed soldier trying to immerse himself in a way of life he no longer understood.
I asked him one day about the smell of napalm thinking of Robert Duvall’s quote from Apocalypse Now,
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

He looked at me and quite simply said, “It smells like death, bro.”
It was then that I realized just how disturbing the Duvall quote really was.

When you give up the life you know to serve your country, you deserve more than a thank you and a greeting card when you get home.
You deserve respect, compassion, understanding and anything else that this country can give you.
My thank and prayers go out today to all the men and women of our armed services.
Be strong, be safe and damn those torpedoes.
Closing with a link for my buddy.
He knows who he is . . . as do all the Patriots.


Welcome to Patriot Nation

patriots, Brady, Super Bowl, Giants


Welcome to Patriot Nation.
We hope you enjoy the game.
Win or lose, we still LOVE this team and #12. [+ #87, #83, #81, #75, #50, #84, #70, # OL]
We’re here today because we forgot to bring something home last time.
It’s P-Day, today.
Welcome to Patriot Nation.
Let us rumble . . .


A New Day

9-11, life, love, regret, sadness


Peter Hanson made a cell phone call to his father at 09:00am on 9.11.01

“It’s getting bad, Dad. A stewardess was stabbed. They seem to have knives and Mace. They said they have a bomb. It’s getting very bad on the plane. Passengers are throwing up and getting sick. The plane is making jerky movements. I don’t think the pilot is flying the plane. I think we are going down. I think they intend to go to Chicago or someplace and fly into a building. Don’t worry, Dad. If it happens, it’ll be very fast….Oh my God… oh my God, oh my God.”

[As the call abruptly ended, Hanson’s father heard a woman screaming.]

In the past few weeks I have had numerous hits on my blog and
70%  of them have been related to the tragedy of  9/11.
It’s a part of our history that will be told from a million different perspectives and from a million different hearts.
A sunny, beautiful and blue sky forever September day that changed the face of the United States forever.
The tenth anniversary of anything as monumental as this will have 99% of people scouring the internet for information regarding one of our nations darkest of days.
On the 5th Anniversary of 9/11 a website was born, dedicated to the writing of tributes to all those taken by this senseless and avoidable tragedy.
I thank Dale Roe for taking on the challenge.

I have written 3 tributes for the site thus far:

Amy Jarret, a stewardess on UA Flight 175
Bobby Minara, a NYC firefighter that was to retire in two months
Steve ‘Jake’ Jacoby, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77 that hit the Pentagon.

I decided to write another tribute on this 10th anniversary;
for Peter Hanson, his wife Sue and their 2 ½ year old daughter Christine.
The conversation you read at the top of this post was from Peter Hanson’s cell phone, a message left minutes before Flight UA175 hit the south tower of the
World Trade Center, the plane we all saw live on national TV (and the flight Amy Jarret was on).
My thoughts now are what was going through the mind of Peter.
You are on an airplane that is headed for a destination unknown and you know it’s not a good place.
Consoling a 2 ½ year old is trying enough without knowing that you are about to die.
The plane they were on was descending at 5 to 10,000 feet per minute towards the end.
You can’t explain that to a child.
You probably wouldn’t want to.
My heart broke reading about the final moments of their all-too-short lives.
In my heart, I know they were all together and died in each other’s arms,
a beautiful prayer of sorts.
To the Hanson family, I can’t even begin to estimate the size of your sorrow.
My heart breaks for all of you with the upcoming 10th anniversary on Sunday.
In my mind, I see three candles lit and burning brightly, piercing the darkness.
Three souls together.
Three hearts finally at home, albeit a bit too soon.
God bless you Peter, Sue and  little Christine.
You are all with the angels now.
Of that I am sure.

Maybe it’s time to turn the mourning of 9/11 into the celebration of the people that once were.
Thoughts of death and dying every year on 9/11 is futile.
It gets us nowhere.
Let’s look at celebrating the vibrant lives of all those lost, the unexpected heroes, the ones that gave all that they had, the ones that took a stand on UA Flight 93, a proud moment for Americans everywhere.
September 11th will never be a happy date but I feel it’s one that needs a serious makeover.
It’s been 10 long years of grieving and the United States of America has accomplished so much since.
I say it’s time we show the world just how strong we really are, and can be.
God Bless this land that we love . . .




Because they gave up their tomorrows, we can have our todays.
To all the men and women that have so unselfishly given of themselves, we offer a
prayer and a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all that you have done for our beautiful country.
Although some of our freedoms are being compromised by a government that has too much power and might,
your courage and willingness to serve will be forever remembered.
To all the living soldiers abroad and all those who have sadly passed away, we are remembering you.
God Bless all in harms way.
Happy Memorial Day, folks.
As you’re stoking up your grills and icing the tall boys, look to the sky and say a small, “Thank you”.




This is some awesome video with stuff blowing up.
Nothing like getting right to the point, eh?
It’s a guy thing so don’t ask me to explain it.
And I know, this has ‘cheat post’ written all over it.
You gotta admit, I keep it cool.
Click on the full screen and put on headphones for an Avatar-like experience.
Knuckles all around, boys . . .
Blow it up!

When you are a soldier

Posting this tonight for all the courageous men and women in Iraq and the world over.
Know that we pray for all of you and hope for your safe return.
I heard this song many years ago and it moved me to tears.
I’ve since found it to be a comforting song to listen to in times of need.
Sometimes I just want people to know about songs like this.
Tonight is one of those times.
I send this out to my niece Cait (I miss you dearly, kiddo)
and all those missing someone dear that is currently serving abroad.
Come home soon guys.
This song is by Steven Curtis Chapman.

*listen with headphones!


To futures lost . . . and futures won.
Never forget and forever honor the personal sacrifice of the soldier.
Remember, especially today.
A Happy Memorial Day to all


Regardless of where you stand on the issue of the U.S. involvement in
Iraq , here’s a sobering statistic.
There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths.
That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers per month.

The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 persons for the same period. That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capital than you are in Iraq.

The U.S. should pull out of Washington . . . or not


ps. tnx to HM for the email

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