In My Orbit…

6 06 2012

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The political junkie in me is totally strung out today–too much news to discuss, so I’m hitting the larger themes.

Winners and Losers

I am not hiding the fact that I am thrilled, thrilled! at the victory of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker over the Union-backed recall effort to oust him from office. I would feel this way for any leader of principle who merely sought to deliver what he had promised to his constituents upon winning the election, then suffered a temper-tantrum from the Union strongholds, who were merely being asked to sacrifice like the rest of the state, but chose to instead mount a campaign to oust him. Well, the Unions lost spectacularly, and spent a lot of money doing so.

Both sides of the aisle are spinning it for their advantage, and the Left in particular is crying foul, “democracy died“, and blaming outside money and the 7-1 overspending of the Republican and Tea Party machines. I thought the Tea Party was dead?–psyched your mind!

It is interesting that those same liberals and leftists are not decrying the SuperPACs campaigning and collecting money for the Obama 2012 re-election or the deep pockets that President Obama is courting to contribute to his re-election coffers… but I digress.

For this transplanted Midwesterner from the freakishly blue state of Illinois to an even scarier blue state of California (both union strangleholds), this is just a huge coup. Signs of sanity are even evidencing themselves in Cali’s local elections: in a landslide vote, both San Jose and San Diego citizens approved ballot measures to cut pensions for city workers–so you know the dam is breaking. Now if it will only burst forth and wash Los Angeles in its reformist wake. I continue to hold out hope.

But back to Walker: that a leader says what he means, means what he says, and actually follows through with action is a rare thing to behold. But the greater fact that other people of principle rewarded Walker’s consistency, courage and stick-to-itedness by keeping him in office says volumes. And he won by a larger margin than he did in 2010! That’s something you aren’t hearing from the mainstream media outlets. Jonathan S. Tobin said it best: Courage Rewarded. Give it a read.

The Weekly Standard echoes this as well, but places the victory squarely where it belongs:

“Walker turned a $3.6 billion deficit into a $154 million surplus. Unemployment is down. So are property taxes. Businesses, even with uncertainty about the U.S. economy, are optimistic about the direction of the state. Even with the political divisions, it’s hard to imagine a more successful 16 months as governor.

“Results matter. And that, more than anything else, explains why Scott Walker won.”

No matter what pundits have to say, it will have a resounding effect on the November elections and the political process at large. My sweet home Chicago Tribune attests to this in an editorial today:

“On Tuesday, a majority of the voters who for a year and a half have spent the most time weighing those sorts of numbers reaffirmed that they think their Wisconsin governments had grown too elephantine, too expensive.

“There’s another elephant in the room: Act 10 ended the compulsory collection of union dues by government employers. It turns out that when workers have a free choice of whether to keep paying, many decide that it isn’t worth the money. We were surprised last week by a Wall Street Journal report that Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees plummeted from 62,818 in March 2011 to 28,745 in February 2012. At the American Federation of Teachers, 6,000 of 17,000 Wisconsin members have walked away.

“Drop-offs that stark have implications not only for the unions, but also for politicians who rely on union donations to fund their campaigns.” (emphasis mine)

Unions will be less of a piggy bank for political causes, because the very workers who fund their efforts will now have more of a voice on how their dues are used; and in some cases, will be able to choose to not retain union membership. That’s a big deal.

He’s Baaack!

Because certain Angeleans continue to be useful idiots, the city will once again be subjected to a near traffic shutdown with yet another fundraising visit from our President. I continue to be thankful that I no longer work anywhere near the West side. Let the NIMBYs in Bev Hills and Brentwood have what they deserve!

I just love these Hitler videos. Speaks to both of my musings quite nicely.

 





In My Orbit…

28 06 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So my worlds have collided in a good way. I taught my first C-1 class at CorePower Yoga Sherman Oaks. It was a good experience, and I hope the students felt the same. And I get to do it again next week! How cool is that?

Starting this Friday and through the month of July, I will be subbing a Yoga class for my friend Patty Rae at Santosha Space in Atwater Village. If you’re in the Los Feliz/Silverlake/Atwater Village area and want a good workout, come on by! Class starts at 10:30 am for those who like to sleep in.

I also completed my Yogis of Faith series on Examiner.com. If you have not read or commented lately, I invite you to join the conversation–and if you enjoyed the articles, please “Like” them! It does so much for my Google rating.

This evening, it’s off to CAAN Connect, an annual event hosted by Columbia College Chicago’s West Coast Alumni Association & Network. Now in it’s fourth year, this event connects entertainment alumni with industry insiders who can open doors and introduce us to key connections in the industry.

I found it an invaluable experience to polish and present my pitch, not to mention the great contacts I acquired. I plan to volunteer this time out, but there’s still the opportunity to schmooze, no matter what I’ll be doing!

One of the contacts I made at the previous CAAN is the lovely Jenny Januszewski, artist extraordinaire. Jenny will be pitching the short film she directed, The Shadower: a 3D Film about Love and Circumstance.

Above- and below-the-line talent from five film schools and nine countries were represented in the project, and everyone donated their time for this vision. Financial backing is needed to complete the film, so if you love film and love supporting independent vision, consider giving at the The Shadower‘s Kickstart website, or “Like” the The Shadower Facebook page.

For a “behind-the-scenes” look at the film project, go to the Kickstarter site or the Facebook page and click on the video.





In My Orbit…

17 05 2010

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So Arizonans are fighting back against the boycotts and talk of boycotts by California cities, and San Diego has become the primary target.   With border scariness of their own, you would think officials in San Diego would not have rushed to judgment.  But they went there, and as a result, Arizonans are now canceling their typical vacation plans to the region.  A pull quote:

“In many of the e-mails to the visitors bureau, Arizonans bluntly expressed their displeasure with San Diego’s stance on the illegal-immigration law and said that staying away was the best way of registering their protest.

‘So you see when people in government start to boycott it goes both ways,’ said one e-mail. ‘You just lost our visits to our favorite places in your city and the $3,500 we had in our budget to spend there.’ ”

Now, San Diego’s tourism board is attempting to do damage control:

“In a draft letter yet to be approved by visitors bureau and hotel association leaders, Terzi sought to clarify the city’s position on the immigration law while stressing the respect the region has for Arizona’s visitors.

‘While immigration is a complex and sensitive issue for our nation, we believe it needs to be addressed independent of actions that would harm our economies and hardworking residents,’ states the letter. It implores prospective visitors to ‘look past the political posturing and make your travel decision for all the right reasons.’ ”

And this local official wins today’s prize for the “Too Stupid to Run a Mile” category:

“ ‘It’s sad that people would cancel their plans to come here in reaction to that, but I still think we did the right thing,’ Jackson said. ‘Certainly, we know how important tourism is to San Diego, and it wasn’t my intent to impact the tourism trade.’ ”

San Diego, welcome to the law of unintended consequences.  Some in Arizona canceling trips to S.D.

A potential runner-up for the “Too Stupid…” category is Nancy Salas, a UCLA student who disappeared last Wednesday after going for a morning run through Chevy Chase Canyon in Glendale.  A manhunt lasting through the night was mounted, producing no telling evidence except that she had not been enrolled in UCLA since 2008.  Salas turned up in Merced, California–265 miles NORTH of Glendale–claiming she had been abducted.  This does not pass my smell test, and Glendale police are not satisfied with the story either, because they are still investigating.  Stay tuned.  Glendale woman reported missing found safe in Merced.

And here’s a California group that could potentially get Arizonans’ money: Recall City Hall.  This grassroots organization is seeking to gather enough signatures and money to throw the bums out–not just Smilin’ Tony–the entire clown posse that is the City Council.  According to LAist:

“The group needs to collect 243,000 signatures in 120 days total. ‘All we need is someone in Arizona who is angry enough to step forward with an independent campaign to help us out,’ said [David] Hernandez.”

The website is linked above, in the event that I have any Arizona readers who want to step up to the plate.   I’m going to pop some popcorn, now.

Group that Wants to Recall Villaraigosa Looks to Arizona for Donations.





In My Orbit…

15 02 2010

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lindsay Lohan and Jesus Christ.  Sound like an improbable combination?  On my Examiner page, I talk about how the twain have met and what it means for Hollywood: Jesus and Hollywood: not so mutually exclusive.

Connecting Voices has published “Desperate Time Call for Different Measures” an article I wrote about Tuesdays with Transitioners and CareerCampLA–give it read…

And if you are a part of the Los Angeles community, The Valley Rescue Mission is having a rummage sale this Saturday, March 20 at the First Presbyterian Church of Granada Hills at 10400 Zelzah Avenue in  Northridge.   This is the first of three fundraisers to generate money and awareness of the Mission’s work in feeding, clothing and housing the San Fernando Valley‘s homeless population.

Donations and Volunteers are gladly accepted!  You can drop off donations at Granada Hills Presbyterian on Friday, February 19, after 5:00 p.m.  Volunteers are needed to set up Friday evening and to help out on Saturday.

If you’d like to participate, contact Gye Di Capua, Volunteer Coordinator at gyepower@sbcglobal.net.








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