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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

Now that Thanksgiving Day is over, let's examine some of the things we should be thankful for in the world of politics, religion, and in general, as Americans that you may have overlooked.

First of all, to those of us fortunate enough to have attended the APTRA Holiday Party at Cafe Tu Tu Tango in Universal City Walk, a tremendous thank you to Hal Eisner, party coordinator extraordinaire, for a wonderful night of fun, friends, music, and dance. The talent he secured was worth a lot more than the price of admission, especially Jimmy Demers' tremendous singing talent without a microphone. His voiced carried really well throughout the L-shaped room, and the songs written by his accompanist brother, Donny, were wonderful. Linda and Stephen Tavani gave us the powerful voices and look you only get from the pros. Watching a bunch of guys in their 50's (FULL THROTTLE) bring the music of the 60's and 70's back to life in style is always a winner.

Next, of course, we gave thanks to our troops for spending the holiday in some of the worst conditions possible in the world, and with the possibility of death or serious injury always on their mind. And we should remember to thank their families for their sacrifice not only on this holiday, but throughout the year.

A special thank you to the Marines for sticking it out in Fallujah, for driving out the insurgents, and for finding all those weapons, including the 168 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). If those IEDs had been detonated as roadside mines, they would have killed perhaps another 100 to 200 American military personnel. Many of you may know that I am partial to the Air Force because of my Staff Sergeant Son in Special Forces, but I have to say that there MUST be a special place in heaven for the Marines!!

Thanks to the voters who have shown that EVERY vote matters, as evidenced by the 42-vote victory of margin in the Washington state Governors race where more than 2.9 million votes were cast. After an official recount, State Senator Dino Rossi appears to have defeated Democrat Attorney General Christine Gregoire and thus, becomes the first Republican governor elected in this liberal state in more than two decades. You're probably wondering how small a percentage of victory that is and you'll find it is an infinitesimal 1.44827586 x 10-05. Yes, EVERY vote does count!

More thanks to the voters in Mendocino County, California where retired firefighter Jim Wattenburger came from behind to oust incumbent county supervisor Richard Shoemaker by only 5 votes out of 6,200 votes cast, or a razor-thin margin of .0008 percent.

And of course, we have to again thank the voters in San Diego who turned out to show their contempt with the status quo in the mayor's race and propelled a write-in candidate, Donna Frye, to the edges of winning the race.

Although a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters that challenged a decision by county election officials NOT to count write-in ballots on which voters wrote in Frye's name but failed to also fill in an oval mark next to the name appears to have failed, it teaches us a lesson. The impact of this write-in campaign will forever remind us of the fact that thousands of people made their intentions known by voting with their pen, even if they failed to mark the oval next to Frye's name. Frye and the voters showed you CAN make a difference in the world of government and politics even if you don't win.

Thanks should go out to the Indiana Pacers for showing us how the highly overpaid and undisciplined hoodlums they hired to bounce a basketball round the court can embarrass themselves and give the National Basketball Association another black eye. Now that we have all seen that despicable display of vigilantism by the a few of the Pacers to the unacceptable taunts and beer tosses from the crowd in the stands, we are reminded of the truth and accuracy of this loosely paraphrased axiom: "You can take the gangsters out of the mean streets, but you can't take the mean streets out of the gangsters."

The world of sports also gives us a chance to thank former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams for quitting the NFL because he wanted to smoke pot without the inconvenience of random drug testing and because he claimed he didn't need to make any more big money. At least he was honest about it. What a role model!! But now he wants to come back and play pro ball again. I guess he has either decided to give up his cannabis consumption, OR, it's a lot more expensive to smoke your toke than Ricky realized.

A million thanks to the techies and nerds who have worked hard to provide an excellent Internet alternative browser to Bill Gates' Internet Explorer with the official release of Mozilla's Firefox. WOW!! What a great tool. And its companion email client, Thunderbird, is more than Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express EVER dreamed of becoming. They're both available for free at It's not only important to thank them, but to support them as well, so they can continue to provide top-notch products to enhance our exploration of the Internet.

While the Internet has become a fairly inexpensive form of entertainment for many, I still recall with great fondness, the excitement of both the early days and the latter years of the late Walt Disney's great and successful experiment, Disneyland. However, I was later turned off to the Magic Kingdom when CEO Michael Eisner began his systematic dismantling of what made the place special. He stopped making timely repairs, he deferred badly-needed maintenance to save money, and he jacked up the prices beyond the reach of average Americans, especially those of working moms with single incomes. And while I am a huge believer and supporter of capitalism and rewarding business leaders for doing a great job, I was nauseated by the notion of Michael Eisner being paid a $200-million annual salary for defiling the great work of its founder. As a stockholder of Disney stock at the time, I was also infuriated.

That's why thanks go out to Disney directors Roy Disney (Walt's nephew) and Stanley Gold for fighting Michael the Ogre to return the Walt Disney legend, charm, maintenance, integrity and fun to the Magic Kingdom. The fight isn't over yet, but a battered Michael has agreed to retire by2006. Sooner would be better than later so many of us can end our boycott of Disneyland and return to relive our precious youthful memories.
Those of us who have spent any significant time in the news business should give a big thanks to Dan Rather for retiring, or better put, quitting before he was pushed out. The Texas wannabe "good old boy" had his best days three decades ago. More recently, he was an embarrassment to the news profession with his arrogance and political bias. He made us all look bad with his obvious anti-Bush stands and the debacle involving the 60 Minutes piece on Bush's National Guard service. Perhaps the best example of how off kilter old Dan was on this story is his comment after the fake documents surfaced. He told reporters who asked if he regretted the snafu, "Regardless of the issue of the documents, I KNOW he did it (George Bush avoiding his military servicecommitment)." Yeah, right. You NEVER showed us the proof Danny Boy and by the way, don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out to pasture.

Speaking of media, a big thank you to the TV stations across the country that refused to air "Saving Private Ryan" out of fear the graphic nature of the film would incur the wrath of the Federal Communications Commission. Their decision, criticized by many, made clear the point of the chill the FCC has created for the TV industry that's just plain WRONG. It's one thing to try and void any more disgusting situations like showing Janet Jackson's saggy, pierced teat. But it's an entirely different matter to create an atmosphere of fear that causes preemption of a highly acclaimed movie about a part of our history.

Finally, in the world of politics, thanks go out to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for shutting down the King/Drew Medical Center Trauma Unit before more people die. It's been an on-going problem and the incompetents running the facility should have been fired long ago. A few years back, King/Drew had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation, because it turned out that non-Latino and non-Spanish-speaking midwives' inability to communicate with birthing mothers was the primary cause of the baby deaths. At that time, the Board failed to swiftly addressthe problem. This time, it was a few adults who had to die before the liberals on the Board provided the necessary decisive votes to bring about change.
Speaking of liberals, great big thanks go out to the French for their vehement opposition to the notion that their elementary school students should be taught English. "Sacré bleu", they shouted! We CANNOT allow the American language to permeate our culture and schools. They fear their children might prefer to speak English and then their culture would suffer, they complained so vociferously. By the way, the phrase "Sacré bleu" is derived from the original "Sacré Dieu", which means "Holy God" in a swearing-sort-of-way. But because swearing was punishable in the middle ages by death, such substitutions as "bleu" became the norm and lasted for centuries. Leave it to the French to live a lie for so long.

Still, we should thank the French for their reaction to not teaching English totheir offspring. Really!! Such vacuous reasoning ensures that their children will go up in a competitive world and NOT be able to compete with the rest of the world. Not only are the French the Kings of Cowardice, they can now become the Counts of Incompetence in an ever-changing and evolving world.

You should know this little factoid to appreciate my reasoning. I have a younger sister with a law degree who decided teaching high school Spanish was more productive than playing lawyer. Many people thought she'd lost her sense of making a difference in the world. But it's funny how time can reward the kind of long-term vision my sister possessed.

She has been involved for a few years with a U.S. State Department program that employs language experts to teach three languages to the children of American Embassy executives and diplomats abroad. The local representatives of the United Nations and the World Bank in those far-away places also pay for their children to learn three very valuable tongues: English, Spanish, and Mandarin.

The French aversion to teaching another foreign language to their youngest students also flies in the face of a Los Angeles-area charter school that teaches those same three languages plus a fourth tongue to its students. The Academia Semillas del Pueblo (translated as Academic Seeds of the Community, it can be found at in the El Sereno section of East Los Angeles is seen by some educators as radical because in addition to English, Spanish and Mandarin, it also teaches Nahuatl-Mexicano, the most spoken native language in East L.A.

In addition, the children from grades Kindergarten through eight grades are also taught the culture of the languages. It is beyond words trying to describe the sight of little Latino kids learning the art of Tai Chi from an elderly Chinese master of the art in an elementary school setting. They also learn Danza Azteca, part of the school's goal of furthering their students' preparation for global citizenry. The presence of this linguistic diversity, school officials will tell you, adds depth and strength to the children's learning and to their future, which will be extremely bright since they can communicate in FOUR languages.

It is amazing how this charter school and the world's political and governing elite view the future of the world in those three languages. Of course, with almost two billion Chinese on this planet, along with a growing Latino presence, and the ever-dominant use of English, it is an obvious choice for those in power to want their heirs to be prepared to rule the future of this world. Except for the French, of course, who continue to give new meaning to the words "arrogance" and "cultural isolation" and will become less and less relevant to the world in the not-too-distant future.

Viva La France and viva the difference between us!!