In My Orbit: Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day, and Happy New Year!

26 12 2013

Electronic Christmas Card 2013

Greetings, fellow turners. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas full of love and good food. I feel a day late and a dollar short over not posting an Advent or a Christmas post, but my sentiments are the same no matter what the time of year–may you be blessed, well, and fulfilling your life’s purpose!

My Washington Times Communities column is humming along swimmingly! I continue to beat the drum on Obamacare, its deficiencies, and its abject failure on delivering little of what it has promised. As a Christmas present(?) to Americans, the Obama administration hacked away at the individual mandate to help out those whose individual policies had been cancelled due to the new Obamacare regulations. Make sense? Didn’t think so, but not much does with this convoluted law. Give it a read: The Obamacare individual mandate death watch.

Over at Examiner.com, the ever-changing world of the film industry continues to stay in focus. I was recently asked by KCET to review a series called Bridge to Iran, and to interview its host Parisa Soultani. I gained insight and an education into a minority group that makes up a huge chunk of the Los Angeles population, yet remains shrouded in mystery. I hope that the review and conversation with Parisa removes a bit of that shroud. Give those a read, if you get a chance: Artist Profile: Parisa Soultani uses media to connect to a higher essence; and, TV Series review: Bridge to Iran spotlights Iranian filmmakers.

My holiday was filled with family concerns and family joys, but I count this as one of the best Christmases we have had in a long time. I pray 2014 brings you renewal and joy to your world.

 

 

 

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In My Orbit: Working for the weekend

8 11 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Girl’s week has been occupied with interviews of fascinating individuals.

Dr. A. David Matian used to be my primary care physician, and he was honored to be interviewed about his philosophy as a medical professional, and how the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare will affect his practice.

Omar Akram is a talented and accomplished New Age musician, who just released a new album called Daytime Dreamer. At his album release party, I got to cover the red carpet and met some accomplished musicians, authors, and fashionistas.

Shyra Sanchez, actress, singer, fitness coach, activist, and humanitarian sat down with me and her publicist at the Mandarette Cafe, and talked about her music, life vision, and why she will always stay connected to a metropolis.

Lance Lindahl and Credere Joseph met me at the Village Bakery and Cafe, and I got to see firsthand how this connected collaboration of old souls, music, and film helped create the delightful comedy, Hay Days.

Omar, Shyra, Lance and Credere will be featured at Examiner.com on my Faith & Community page. Dr. Matian will be profiled on Examiner.com, and some of his quotes may make it into an article on my Washington Times Communities “In My Orbit” column.

Speaking of of the WT Communities column, this week I discuss President Obama’s non-apology Apology.

“In an effort to get ahead of the narrative (too late), Obama did the one thing at which he is proven effective: he decided to talk. Yet this talk which supposedly included an apology did not express any accountability for lying over 29 times, the current mess those lies are producing, nor did he offer any real solutions to fix it.

If you actually listened to the President’s words, he kept emphasizing the “only 5 percent”, or “a small percentage” of the population that are receiving cancellation notices. By his consistent usage of “only” and “small”, Obama delegitimizes the anger and concern of the people whose policies have been cancelled.”

According to Henry Louis Gates, 388,000 Africans actually survived the Middle Passage and arrived in America to be used as slave labor. That’s less than half a million people. Did that make slavery any less heinous because it was such a small number?

Obamacare is fast becoming an albatross around the President’s neck. Give the rest a read over at the WT Communities site.

Hope you have a fun weekend!





The Obamacare Follies

29 10 2013

obama-then-i-said-if-you-like-your-health-plan-you-can-keep-it

The Girl has been covering the Debacle that is the Obamacare rollout over at my Washington Times Communities column. Click the links below and give them a read.

Will America survive Obamacare’s implementation? This was written two weeks before the October 1 implementation, and some of my commenters scoffed at me. One word: Schadenfreude.

Like comparing Apple to Obamacare. Week 1 of the rollout went exactly as I suspected, and the administration had the nerve to compare themselves to Apple! Cue the laughter.

This is not the Obamacare exchange you were looking for. No kidding… Two weeks later and still a mess.

The Obamacare exchange’s lack of security. If you’re an identity thief or a fraudster, the HHS has given you an open invitation with Healthcare.gov and the Navigator program to easily steal from people. Low-hanging fruit.

Conservatives on Obamacare: we told you so. Yeah… enough said.

Back in February, Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times reported on the seven million who would lose the employer-based health insurance under Obamacare. That was the CBO’s conservative estimate. Now that the biological waste matter has finally hit the circular wind conductor, liberals are now losing their minds, along with their health insurance.

CBSNews.com of all places is reporting that 2 million people with individual plans (read: self-employed) have been booted from their health insurance thanks to Obamacare:

“There have been estimates about hundreds of thousands of people losing coverage, CBS News’ Jan Crawford reported on ‘CBS This Morning.’ CBS News has reached out to insurance companies across the country to determine some of the real numbers — and this is just the tip of the iceberg, Crawford said. The people who are opening the letters are shocked to learn they can’t keep their insurance policies despite President Obama’s assurances to the contrary.

“The White House is on the defensive trying to explain it, after Mr. Obama repeatedly said, ‘If you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it.'”

Obamacare: more than 2 million people being booted from existing health insurance plans.

The New Yorker–another publication that could not be described as conservative, brilliantly mashed up the many times our dear President made this promise. Social media cuts both ways.

If You Like Your Plan-Supercut

You didn’t actually think President Obama meant that, did you? If you did, I have some beachfront property in Death Valley I’d like to sell you.

Debra J. Saunders of the San Francisco Gate reports that the head of Covered California estimates up to 900,000 Californians will lose their health plans on December 31. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

So it’s not just the conservatives and Republicans who are calling the Obama administration on the carpet for the lies, now average Americans who are being adversely affected by the implementation of this nightmare are screeching. Amazingly enough, the mainstream outlets are actually doing what Rush Limbaugh likes to call “Random acts of journalism”. Who would have thunk?

Health and Human Services Secy Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify before the the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday. While she planned to throw the technology contractors under the bus, these contractors stole her thunder by leaking to CNN a confidential report essentially saying that the administration had been warned that Healthcare.gov was not ready for primetime; but they charged ahead anyway. Hubris, thy name is HHS.

The Carney is doing his usual doublespeak and blame, but this time nobody is buying it. He has actually been getting tough questions from the White House press corps. Even the usual shills like Matthews and Co. over at MSNBC seem to be waking from their Kool-Aid hangovers on this one.

The plot thickens, and with Sebelius’ testimony, there will be much to write about. In the meantime, I leave you with two more videos that illustrate the lies, incompetence, and rank arrogance that characterizes this presidency.





In My Orbit: The Long Weekend…

24 05 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy Friday, and Happy Memorial Day weekend! Lots swirling around the universe today, particularly in the political realm. My Washington Times Communities column outlines the Scandalpalooza currently plaguing the Obama administration:

“President Obama continues to deny accountability over the crises affecting three major arms of his administration: the State Department, the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. Either the President is an incompetent leader or a dishonest one.”

Read the rest here: Obama’s incredible shrinking presidency.

Locally, the Mayor election is over, and we will soon swear in Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti. Frankly, I’m relieved–I’m no fan of Garcetti, but the amount of union money poured into Wendy Greuel’s campaign was sickening. If nothing else, the 22 percent of the Los Angeles electorate who bothered to vote (so abysmal) truly understood the stakes and voted accordingly. Bravo to you! To the rest, go live someplace else and take your apathy with you–we have a city that needs to be saved.

Another L.A. election that didn’t cross my radar was for the LAUSD School Board. Apparently Monica Ratliff, a 5th-grade teacher in the school district won, even though she was outspent 42 to 1 by her opponent Antonio Sanchez.

Sanchez was heavily backed by SEIU, LACFL, Villar-itardo’s Coalition for School Reform (What. A. Joke.), and even Nanny Bloomberg of New York to the tune of 2.2 million! The blogger concluded, “One political analyst described the result as proof the ‘allure of the candidates’ can negate the effects of big money.”

Yes, it can! Let’s get some good candidates who stand for something onto the local and national stage–we got lots of hacks with money of which to rid ourselves.

Okay, for many it’s a Holiday weekend, so I’ll get off the Poli-Junkie soapbox now, and put on my tech-geek hat. I read this great article on TechCrunch, “Why Does Hollywood Hate The Future?“:

“Where is the It’s a Wonderful Life set in 2150? Are a few scenes from Back to the Future Part II really the best we got?

Again, I think the answer is that we already live in a technological utopia of sorts. No, the world isn’t perfect, but the recent advances in technology have given us so much. And people go to the movies to escape reality. It’s just too bad that science fiction films have essentially become horror movies.”

I like his ending, and the rest is equally thought provoking. Give it a read.

I’ll end with my favorite Friday song from The Cure, as well as my favorite John Ondrasik tune in honor of our soldiers. To those who died in service to our country, I honor you this weekend. Freedom isn’t free.

Happy Friday!:

Honor a fallen veteran, and give a kiss to the one’s still leading the charge:

 

 





Epic Fail: Benghazi-Gate and Lying Hillary Clinton

24 01 2013
Words that will live in infamy. Courtesy of Right-handed Cartoons

Words that will live in infamy.
Courtesy of Right-handed Cartoons

Well, that was a waste. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave over eight hours of testimony, and all we discovered is that she is a consummate liar who gets lauded and praised for being such. To watch the fawn-fest that masqueraded as a Congressional testimony was at times too much for me to stomach. Thanks to the video embed on CSPAN, I could fast forward through some of it.

What is there to fawn over about this woman? She has effectively used the men in her circle as rungs up the political ladder. Married Bill and managed his Bimbo eruptions so she could finally get to the White House, used his influence to help her get elected Senator of New York, and in her run for the Presidency in 2008, she was effectively told by her party that she needed to step aside to let the Black man win. We all know Hillary Clinton was placed in the position of Secretary of State as payment for her loyalty to the leftist agenda. And what has she done in that position? If burning embassies, a more nuclear Iran, and an even crazier leader in North Korea are any indicator: Not much.

Benghazi will be her legacy as Secretary of State, and the Obama administration’s albatross. Four dead Americans deserve justice, and their families and the American people deserve answers. We got no closer to either after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony.

The Democrats did their best playing sycophantic lapdogs. One or two even expressed their excitement to see Hillary run in 2016. Seriously?

The Republicans weren’t much better. Senator Rand Paul, Senator John McCain, Senator Marco Rubio and a few others played the scold and the speechifier, but I didn’t see their questioning or their speeches any more effective than the panting of Secretary Clinton’s Dem fanboys and girls.

Senator Ron Johnson came off very effective, poking holes in the Obama administration’s and Secretary Clinton’s string of falsehoods after the Benghazi attack. The exchange is here:

“What difference at this point does it make?” is the most egregious thing she said in the entire testimony–and she said plenty that was egregious. It makes a difference, Madame Secretary, because you didn’t bother to read Ambassador Stevens’ cables requesting more security. It makes a difference, because you and Barack Obama went on record blaming a video for the attack, then had U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice posit the same story five times on national television. It makes a difference, because the creator of that video is still languishing in jail for doing nothing but exercising his First Amendment rights as an American, while the one credible suspect, Ali Harzi, was released for insufficient evidence–despite it being almost 200 days since the attack.

Senator Ron Johnson in this morning’s op-ed in USA Today personally answered Secretary Clinton’s egregious statement:

“To answer Secretary Clinton, it does make a difference. It matters enormously for the American public to know whether or not their president and members of his administration are on top of a crisis and telling them the truth.”

After this dog-and-pony show, we know for sure they can do neither. Personally, I’m rooting for an insider who will come forward and bring more evidence to support the truth, and expose the cover up. We are certainly not going to get anything from the Obama administration or the supposed FBI investigation.





Your 15 Minutes

21 01 2013
Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let’s be honest: enthusiasm for Oprah began to flag once she put herself out there to make Barack Obama our first “black” President. “A surprise: Oprah pays a real price for supporting Barack Obama” and “Oprah’s ex-fans trash her support of Obama over a woman“.

According to Ed Klein’s book, The Amateur, Obama, and specifically Michelle, have kicked her to the curb. “EXCLUSIVE: Jealous Michelle Obama’s ‘rage’ led to Oprah being shoved aside…” Oprah’s noticeable absence during the 2012 elections appears to give validity to this.

So Oprah has OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network), whose claim to fame is boring interviews with people who only interest The O herself, Lisa Ling’s Our America which is mostly fully of freaks, weirdos, and anti-Christian idiots, and reruns of past Oprah episodes.  Baby, the thrill is gone.

Now Oprah is seeking to regain her former luster with a Lance Armstrong confessional interview. But the Kansas City Star rightly surmises that this interview is less about Lance, and more about Oprah:

“The person to gain the most from this interview is not Lance Armstrong but Oprah Winfrey,” said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University in New York.

“Those who counted Winfrey out, even predicted the demise of her empire, likely spoke too soon, Thompson said.

“That the OWN cable channel hasn’t taken off in two year’s time is no surprise, he said. Even though everything Winfrey touches is supposed to turn to gold, cable stations can take several years to gel, he said.

“But its fortunes indeed need pumping up, Thompson said, and this event is exactly the vehicle to do it. Sports doping is huge news, and Armstrong is one of the biggest interview catches in years.

‘This is what it takes to get a cable channel going,” he said. “And it sends the message that Oprah is still relevant.'” “Oprah Winfrey, America’s confessor, is back in the spotlight“.

Ummm, not so fast. This “coup” is overshadowed by the Oxygen network’s (an earlier Oprah offshoot) greenlighting production on All My Babies’ Mamas, starring marginal rapper Shawnty Lo, and his 11 kids by 10 different mothers. The show’s concept makes Honey Boo Boo look like a “normal” reality show–if such a thing exists.

Outcry from black leaders, protests, and a petition with 40,000 signatures appears to have tanked this sorry effort, and rightly so. There is enough on the news and music videos that place a glaring spotlight on the immoral and unsavory aspects of Black culture; do we really need a reality show to reinforce this? “Sources: Oxygen to cancel new show ‘All My Babies’ Mamas, starring Shawnty Lo

We will see what the ratings bring from the Lance Armstrong interview, but I’m sensing a collective yawn on all my fronts. It doesn’t take much to knock someone out of pop culture consciousness–such is the brutality of a perpetually wired society.

Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University is betting Oprah could have a comeback, but my gut says the party is over.

Who will tell Oprah that her 15 minutes are up?





In My Orbit

17 01 2013
Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Too much swirling in the universe in general, and in my own world; so I’ll touch on the hot topic for the week: President Obama signing 23 executive orders in yet another step toward attacking the Second Amendment and trampling the Constitution. Ed Morrisey’s column in The Fiscal Times does a good job of pointing out the incompetence and pretentiousness of this latest action from the Smoke and Mirrors Presidency.

“The President also announced almost two dozen executive orders that he will sign to bypass Congress on gun violence, a threat that had civil libertarians outraged over potential abuses of power. Instead, the list is a demonstration of executive impotence, procrastination, and an approach that has little to do with the actual Newtown mass murder.”

Obama Thumbs Nose at Congress on Gun Control

On the other side of the spectrum, Gary Younge of the Guardian waxed eloquent about how principled President Obama is for doing something about this problem of gun violence and starting a national conversation:

“His address implied that, after four long years, he had finally worked out what both the office of the presidency in general and his presidency, in particular, were for. Appealing over the heads of a stubborn and gridlocked Congress to the nation at large, the president sought to rally the nation to both a moral cause and much-needed civic engagement.”

Excuse me while I yawn. It appears Mr. Obama is very selective about what rallies him to action. Why did it take the tragedy at Sandy Hook for the President to take action? Were the 532 homicides in his adopted hometown of Chicago in 2012 alone not enough of a clarion call?

Urban Grounds blog points out that Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation; yet, this does not prevent young black men from shooting other young black men on the regular, with young girls and teenagers caught in the crossfire. “10-year Old Daughter of a 24-year Old Mother Shot While Playing Outside on Chicago Street at 11:20 p.m.” and “Obama Visits Chicago, Gun Violence and Murders Drastically Reduced in the Presence of The Won“.

When has Obama sermonized, lectured, and vowed to do something about it? From my general Google search, next to never.

So much for sweet home, Chicago.

So while President Posturing did his dog and pony show with children in tow on Tuesday, Charles “Chuck” Hicks chose to use Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday to walk for Civil Rights and the Second Amendment. Courtland Malloy in his Washington Post column profiles this Civil Right’s leader and his dual stance that marching for Civil Rights includes marching for gun rights:

“‘The Klan would drive through our neighborhood shooting at us, shooting into our homes,” recalled Hicks, 66, who grew up in Bogalusa, La., and has been a civil rights activist in the District for more than 35 years. “The black men in the community wouldn’t stand for it. You shoot at us, we shoot back at you. I’m convinced that without our guns, my family and many other black people would not be alive today.'”

Malloy points out that Hicks and his family are under constant threat for their stance and presence in the Civil Rights struggle:

“In the current debate over gun rights vs. gun control, predominantly white pro-gun groups such as the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation cite oppressive British rule over the American colonies as the basis for the “right to bear arms.” The terrorism cited by black gun owners such as Hicks, however, is much more recent.

“Just last year, for instance, on the King holiday, arsonists burned a car that belonged to Hicks’s sister in Bogalusa and attempted to burn the home where she and their mother live. His sister is an outspoken advocate for civil rights in Louisiana. Last week, a car was seen circling the block around their home, parked, then suspiciously sped away when neighbors approached. The FBI is investigating both incidents.

“According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 1,000 hate groups are operating today in the United States, most of them neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, neo-Confederates and racist skinheads with a particular antipathy for black people.

“Infringe on the Second Amendment? No way, say 30 percent of African Americans (myself included), according to a recent Pew poll. No doubt many of them believe, like Hicks, that it’s better to have a gun and not need it than not have one and wish you did.”

Damn skippy–count me among them.








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