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Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

America: Land of the free, the brave, way too many kooks, and people who stand up for what’s right.

Did you hear the one about the Colorado judge who ordered two teen-age girls to pay $900 to a woman who claims she was distressed the girls gave her home-made cookies adorned with paper hearts?

Or how about all the fuss about the remarks about war made by Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Mattis?

Finally, what were the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, The Mexican American Political Association, and the National Latino Law Students Association thinking when they vehemently opposed the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be the next U.S. Attorney General?

Let’s start with the Colorado “cookie caper” involving 17-year-old Taylor Ostergaard and 18-year-old Lindsey Jo Zellitte. The girls baked cookies as a surprise for several of their rural Colorado neighbors one day last summer and dropped off small batches on their porches, accompanied by red or pink paper hearts and the message: "Have a great night."

The girls had decided to stay home and bake the cookies rather than go to a dance where there might be cursing and drinking. Wow, what great girls!

But Wanita Renea Young, 49, filed a lawsuit complaining that the unsolicited cookies, left at her house after the girls knocked on her door, had triggered an anxiety attack that sent her to the hospital the next day because feared that she had suffered a heart attack. What a crank and what a crock!!

Six neighbors of Young and the girls wrote letters entered as evidence in the case thanking the girls for the cookies, but La Plata County Court Judge Doug Walker awarded Young her medical costs, although he did not award punitive damages. Old Judge Grinch justified his cockamamie ruling by saying he did not think the girls had acted maliciously but that 10:30 was fairly late at night for them to be out.

Gosh, odes that mean he gives the death penalty to kids who steal cars and ride them around late at night. PLEASE!!

But there is GOOD news as a result of the judge’s ruling and Flaky Wanita’s hypochondria.

Hundreds of people with their heads screwed on right have rallied to support the girls and have sent them thousands of dollars to cover the $900 fine. The girls have become examples of good American kids and are making the rounds of national television shows and that’s a real positive. They’re not afraid to do good deeds and tell the world about it.

Yet, this story wouldn’t be complete without some business trying to jump in on the action. The Otis Spunkmeyer cookie-making folks want to hold an event in Durango to, in their words, “set things right”. In other words, Otis wants to take advantage of the asinine antics of Judge Grinch and Whining Wanita.

Next, we have the Marine Colonel who talked candidly about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and his view of life on the battlefield.

To refresh the record, this is what Lt. Gen. James Mattis said: “Actually it's quite fun to fight them (Muslim terrorists), you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up (front) with you; I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

First of all, when you’re a gung-ho kinda guy speaking to a gung-ho kinda crowd, you run the risk of letting your words get out ahead of your brain. And that’s probably what happened here.

But in carefully examining the light bird’s remarks (a “light bird” is a term for a Lt. Col., whereas a full colonel is sometimes referred to as a “full bird”), you see he spoke the truth and is to be admired for that.

He is right that Afghanistan has been full of “guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil.” They are called the Taliban and many of our military have taken them out, with bullets and bombs, to free the country. They recently held national elections.

And Mattis is also correct that guys who slap their women around are “guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway.” Hey, I’d bet you dollars to donuts that some of the leadership of the National Organization for Women would have loved to put on a uniform and whack some of these “slappers” themselves.

Mattis was not disciplined for his remarks because his only real sin was to speak the truth within earshot of a television camera. War is hell, but there is a perverse, gallows humor type of “hell of a lot of fun” in taking out the enemy. It’s not pretty, but it is understandable.

Finally, we have seen history made by President George Bush in appointing two incredibly qualified people to his cabinet. Interestingly enough, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was ridiculed by some racist members of the press as Bush’s slave, or an Aunt Jemima.

And newly confirmed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was skewered by many Democrats as just a “token” appointment because of his Latino heritage. What an insult. Some of his harshest critics were traditional Democratic hack groups who couldn’t fight their way out of their own illogical bag of manure.

It is true that most Democrats were charging that Gonzales, as White House counsel, gave legal interpretations that led to the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq and mistreatment of detainees at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They also claimed that Gonzales' loyalty to Bush led to his defense of legal language that dismissed prisoner protections mandated by the Geneva Conventions.

There are, however, a number of organizations who saw Gonzales’ background as a big plus. Gonzales, 49, whose parents were migrant farm workers from Mexico, and who grew up in a home with no running water, was praised by Republicans for overcoming a background of few opportunities to achieve the "American Dream."

During his confirmation hearing, Gonzales — who grew up in Humble, north of Houston — spoke of his Texas upbringing, and his first job selling soft drinks at Rice University stadium during athletic events. The institution inspired him to attend the school, where he received an undergraduate degree.

He later earned his law degree from Harvard University, and became a partner in a HoustonTexas secretary of state, state Supreme Court justice and counsel to the governor. law firm, before being appointed by then-Gov. George W. Bush to serve as

Fortunately, although the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Mexican American Political Association, and the National Latino Law Students Association opposed Gonzales
the confirmation of Gonzales was hailed by Latino rights groups who called it a milestone for the minority community.

The League of United Latin American Citizens said it was time to set aside politics and focus on Gonzales' tremendous qualifications for AG. The National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Hispanic rights organization, endorsed Gonzales, saying his reservations about deputizing local police to carry out federal immigration law, and positions on civil rights, were important to the Latino community. The Hispanic National Bar Association and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials also endorsed Gonzales’ nomination.

Sen. Mel Martinez, a Florida Republican and Cuban American, spoke in Spanish from the Senate floor to praise Gonzales as a symbol of achievement for Hispanics.

Most people I know, including Latinos, are celebrating the ascension of Gonzales to be attorney general as a landmark event: the first Latino to hold one of the most powerful Cabinet positions in America.

Yet, even beyond the color of his skin, Gonzales earned his position and deserved recognition because of his legal record, his community involvement and his compelling life story.

Once again, what was most important was to look at his entire career.

Despite the whackos in America today, in the end, we usually do the right thing.