Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Video for Climate Crisis Post

The Climate Crisis, The Towering Infernos, & What We Can Do to Stop the Madness

(Photo courtesy KTTV/FOX 11)

We've been warned that this may happen. We've been warned about the blazing infernos to come if we don't change our ways. We've been told that one of the nasty effects of the climate crisis may be an increased risk of wildfires, but not enough of us were listening. But now, the warning is becoming reality. And what we're seeing out in Santiago Canyon (and Malibu, Lake Arrowhead, Santa Clarita, and North San Diego County) may just be the beginning of this new threat of megafires being fueled by our inaction in stopping the climate crisis.

Don't believe me? Well, let's talk about it some more after the flip...

OK, so you want to talk? Well, let's begin with this report published last year on Science Daily:

In the most systematic analysis to date of recent changes in forest fire activity, Anthony Westerling, Hugo Hidalgo and Dan Cayan of Scripps Oceanography, along with Tom Swetnam of the University of Arizona, compiled a database of recent large western wildfires since 1970 and compared it with climate and land-surface data from the region. The results show that large wildfire activity increased "suddenly and dramatically" in the 1980s with longer wildfire seasons and an increased number and more potent wildfires. [...]

"The increase in large wildfires appears to be another part of a chain of reactions to climate warming," said Cayan, a coauthor of the paper and director of Scripps' Climate Research Division. "The recent ramp-up is likely, in part, caused by natural fluctuations, but evidence is mounting that anthropogenic effects have been contributing to warmer winters and springs in recent decades."

Now I can already hear nay-sayers scream that this is all "natural fluctuation", and that we really have nothing to worry about. However, let's take a closer look at what the researchers at Scripps and The University of Arizona are actually trying to say. It's not as simple as just "natural fluctuation".

The researchers determined that year-to-year changes in wildfire frequency appear "to be strongly linked to annual spring and summer" temperatures with "many more wildfires burning in hotter years than in cooler years."

They established a strong association between early arrivals of the spring snowmelt in the mountainous regions and the incidence of large forest fires. An earlier snowmelt, they said, can lead to an earlier and longer dry season, which provides greater opportunities for large fires. Overall, 56 percent of the wildfires and 72 percent of the total area burned occurred in early snowmelt years. By contrast, years when snowmelt happened much later than average had only 11 percent of the wildfires and 4 percent of the total area burned.

And so far, scientific evidence is showing us that increased global temperatures are tied to increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Come on, how much clearer can it be? So long as we allow the climate crisis to worsen, we will be seeing more extreme weather.

Today, I noticed this story in The Toronto Globe & Mail. It amazed me that I found some good perspective behind some troubling local news in a foreign newspaper. But whatever, at least they're willing to tell it like it is.

The short answer is that while some of the contributing factors are long familiar, two closely interwoven others - climate change and a steady U.S. migration to the western states - are not. Even by its own arid standards, the Golden State and much of the Southwest has just experienced an unprecedented summer heat wave, shrivelling crops and lawns and turning always-dry terrain into a blast furnace.[...]

Even more ominous, certainly for those who live in Southern California and the Southwest, is the evolution of a hotter planet, now manifest everywhere from the Arctic to southern Europe.

Compounding the threat is the fact that despite soaring temperatures, Americans continue to head south and west.

Since 1990, an estimated eight million new homes have been built in the western U.S. states, chiefly in areas described as "the urban-wild land interface," code for uprooted city dwellers, many retired, who live in big houses or near pristine forests and deserts.

Those eight million buildings house at least 20 million new western residents.

Oh yes, how can we forget that that we're still making this problem worse?! So long as we continue to ignore the climate crisis, and so long as we ignore possible solutions that can help us grow smarter and more sustainably, we'll only be providing more fuel for more deadly infernos in the future. If we want to save our community and our planet for future generations, we must begin changing our destructive behaviors NOW.

OK, so what does that mean? It means we start rethinking "development", and we start developing "sustainable communities" that are more energy-efficient, more pedestrian and transit-friendly, and less wasteful overall. It means that we stop living such wasteful lives, and that we live more efficiently. It means that we start thinking of new ways to power our lives and our world, and that we get serious about investing in clean alternatives to fossil fuels. It means that our society become more aware of our planet and its finite resources, and that our society becomes a better steward of these finite yet magnificent resources for future generations.

Now I know that it may sound difficult, but it's really not. In fact, it can be as simple as organizing a neighborhood carpool to take the kids to school and/or changing your old light bulbs with new CFC bulbs. It can be as simple as not buying so much bottled water and/or taking the train to work instead of driving. Really, we just need to start making simple lifestyle changes in order to begin the real, moumental change that must take place in order for us to save our planet.

How many more stories like this must we see in the paper before we wake up and smell the looming disaster? How much longer do we want to remain willingly ignorant of the real problem of climate change? How many more "megafires" must we endure before we understand the big factor behind these fires? And how much longer will we wait before we start to make change and stop this crisis?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Be The Change That YOU Believe In, Here in YOUR Own Community

At the end of the day, whats at stake in this election is a very simple
thing: whether we're going to live in a moral, fair and just America, where
everyone has a chance. Whether American is going to lead in a moral, fair and
just world.

To paraphrase Ghandi, you have to be the change that you believe in.
The idea that you can vote in the election and the next president, including me,
is going to solve all your problems is a fantasy. The truth is that the power in
America is not inside the beltway in Washington, D.C. The power in America is
in communities just like this.

That was Presidential Candidate John Edwards speaking at the Truman Dinner on Friday. And you know what? He's right. We must be the change that we believe in. Oh yes, and John Edwards is also correct in noting that the power in America is not just in places like Washington and Sacramento, but also in our own communities here in Orange County.

OK, so why am I talking about this? I want to talk about a commonly held misperception that we can't make change here in Orange County, and that Democrats make no difference in such "red" locales as OC. You know, there are actually ways for us to make a big difference here at home, a big difference that will ultimately not just be felt in our communities, but also felt everywhere.

Follow me after the flip for more...

Here I am at the Truman Dinner with two of my best friends, Gila and Giovanii. Of course, we all know my fellow LibOC co-blogger Gila as the Democratic Dynamo who always seems to be busy growing the Democratic party in South County. So often when folks here think of South County, they think of a region filled entirely by Republicans. However, this isn't true. And thanks to all the good work and all the organizing by South County Democrats, they're making their presence known.

Oh yes, and I shouldn't forget abolut Giovanii. He's been our fearless leader of Obama OC, the grassroots group of local people supporting Barack Obama for President. When others snickered at the thought that a Democratic Presidential Campaign could excite so many people in Orange County, the amazing folks at Obama OC organized locally and took action. And now that the Obama Campaign is ready to come in and organize throughout the county, they have something quite good to work with.

Here I am with Irvine Mayor Beth Krom. Now Mayor Krom had plenty reason to smile on Friday, as her colleague on the Irvine City Council, the legendary Larry Agran, received the Truman Award that evening. It's just mind-boggling to think that in such a supposedly "Republican" city like Irvine, the Democratic majority on the Irvine City Council (Krom and Agran, along with Suhkee Kang)
has been able to accomplish in protecting its natural resources, providing affordable housing for working families, and ensuring a safe community for everyone to enjoy. But of course, none of this could have been accomplished without a whole lot of grassroots campaigning. On Friday, Larry Agran talked about houses being turned into campaign offices, 6:00 AM literature drops, and all the rest of the hard work that led to victory on election day.

Here are two more of my best friends in the whole wide world, Paul Lucas and Mitch Star. Paul Lucas courageously ran for State Assembly when others thought that Van Tran couldn't be challenged. And while he may not have won a ticket to Sacramento last year, he gave Democrats in AD 68 a good reason to get fired up and going. Oh yes, and he also made great inroads into the various communities of West OC. He's now planning a run for Garden Grove City Council next year, and thanks to his great work last year, folks are taking him seriously.

Mitch Star recently moved back to Orange County from the Bay Area, and he's already making his mark "behind the Orange Curtain". He's now the Political Director for the Orange County Young Democrats, and he's a doing a great job in working with his fellow OCYD leaders to get more young Democrats in Orange County and get them more involved in the community. They've been awfully busy putting on terrific events, and I look forward to seeing what they will be doing in the near future.

OK, so why am I going on and on about the activist friends I saw at the Truman Dinner and all the good work they do for our Democratic Party? Well, I'd like to see more of them here! For far too long, we've been told that there are no Democrats in Orange County. And of course, this has resulted in Democrats hiding in "the political closet" out of fear of being "caught in the act of voting Democrat". Well, you know what? It's time that we all jump out of that "political closet", and start getting active in making the change that we want to see.

Believe it or not, there are brave Democrats that run for local office... AND WIN! It's been done in cities like Irvine, and it can be done in your community as well. Believe it or not, there are Democratic and progressive groups for you to join and work with! Join our local DFA. Join the local organization of your favorite Presidential Candidate. Join a local campaign for local office. Join a local Democratic Club. Oh heck, just take a look at the OC Weekly Progressive to find out what's happening in your community!

Oh yes, and there are plenty of opportunities to take action locally. On November 3, the national Democratic Party is doing a weekend of local grassroots organizing, and they're encouraging us to get out in the community, meet our neighbors, and talk to them about why we're Democrats. On the 3rd, there will be walks in Santa Ana and Irvine. And if you're not near these areas, why not create an event in your own neighborhood? OK, so you aren't too exxperienced at campaigning? No problem, just sign up for the next Precinct Captains training that will teach you how to build the Democratic Party in your own neighborhood!

Yes, we're still living in troubling times. Bush is still in office. The Republicans still seem "dominant" here in OC. However, we can put an end to these troubling times. If we ever want to see change happen here, we must be the change we believe in. :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Why Can't California Republicans See the Light on Climate Change?

On Friday evening, I had quite a unique opportunity to see
first-hand what Republicans are thinking about their own future. I
attended the Friday night dinner for the 2007 Western CPAC Conference in
Newport Beach
. Yes, believe it or not, I have nice Republican friends
who invite me to events like this. And believe it or not, I wanted to
see for myself what matters to conservatives. Well, now I have seen,
and I have to wonder why so many in the Republican Party are so willing to destroy their party's own future along with the future of this planet.

As you've heard by now, State Senator Tom McClintock (R-What Is He Thinking?) gave the keynote speech. He spoke about why we shouldn't worry so much about the coming climate crisis, but rather the "rabid extremists" pushing that "man made global warming nonsense". He also tried to claim that California's new efforts to curb climate change are forcing businesses like the Wonder Bread factory to shut down, and that the effort to save our planet and ourselves from the coming climate crisis is somehow a threat to "personal liberty". It was sad, really, to witness Sen. McClintock completely miss a good opportunity the GOP has to return to sanity.

I mean, come on! The Governator is giving them a real opportunity
to become productive in solving the climate crisis. Sure, I may not agree with everything Arnold does, but at least he acknowledges reality and he's willing to do something about it. He signed AB 32 last year, and this legislation has now put California on the forefront of finding solutions to climate change. This year, he's signed into law several bills that promote better energy conservation. Basically, Arnold understands that our state will ultimately benefit from thinking ahead and taking action on the climate crisis while there is still time to solve it. Not only are we allowing for our own survival, but we are also creating new business opportunities in producing renewable energy and creating energy-efficient products.

Well, Arnold sees the light somewhat regarding climate change. Why can't the rest of his party do so? Follow me after the flip for more.

So why can't more Republicans recognize the reality of climate change? What will it take for them to wake up and smell the coming crisis? Apparently, the smoke from the wildfires isn't waking them up. And no, neither is the storm surge from the hurricanes. OK, so what will it take? A complete electoral wipe out next year?

Why can't more Republicans see what Arnold is seeing? Why are they now focusing all their energy on smearing Al Gore, when they could actually be thinking of solutions to the climate crisis? For all their talk of "conservatism", they don't see why we must conserve this planet for future generations. For all their talk of "moral values", they can't see the real moral value of caring for God's creation. And for all their talk of "free enterprise", they can't see the new opportunities for enterprise in saving the planet. What's the problem here?

No, instead they opt for denial. And the more they deny, the less the voters take them seriously. And really, why should California voters take Republicans seriously if they continue to deny scientific reality on climate change? We're looking for solutions, not fantasy.

So perhaps, I should be glad as a Democrat that the Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot. Perhaps I should be glad that Republican officials like Tom McClintock and Chuck DeVore would rather deny reality and bash the reality based community as "extremists" than work on real solutions to climate change like their fellow Republicans on the Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and Aliso Viejo have. However, I'm not. I'm actually sad to see the party of Teddy Roosevelt lose its way on conserving our natural resources.

So what will it take for Republicans here to see the light on climate change? More natural disasters? More electoral disasters (for them)? A loss of business opportunities? Or just a reevaluation of what their "conservative values" really are? I wonder.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

What's So Wrong About Health Care for All?

Last Thursday night, local progressives gathered in Downtown Huntington Beach to protest King George the Clueless' decision to veto health care for poor kids. And fortunately, I was able to attend that protest. It is amazing how so many people understand the need for these kids to get the medical care they need, yet so many far-right wackos like our dear King George can not understand that healthy kids and healthy families mean a healthier nation for all. Even though over 30 OC denizens took time out of their busy Thursday night to protest in the cold Huntington night, and even though some 72% of Americans support health care for poor kids, King George just doesn't get it.

You know, all of this is making me think. It's making me think why so many far-right Republicans don't understand the value of a healthy society. It's making me think about why Republican leaders like George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger don't see the value of ensuring that everyone has quality affordable health care. It's making me think why so many of us are ready to take action, yet so little has yet been done.

Follow me after the flip for more...

When some of us are gravely ill, all of us are ill. When some in our society are sick, our whole society isn't all that well. It's really as simple as that. Businesses are not fully productive when their workers are all sick. Our schools can not prepare our kids for a successful future when they are too sick to go to school. Our hospital emergency rooms can't operate well when they overflow with patients, as many of these patients couldn't afford to take care of their health problems before they reached the point of grave emergency. Now what about this is difficult to understand?

We know we're facing a broken health care system that is leaving way too many Americans sick. But for some reason, the President vetoes health care for underprivileged kids. And for some reason, Arnold the Governator vetoes a bill that would expand health care coverage to over 3 million Californians. Why?

These Republican leaders say they don't like the idea of "socialized medicine". But for some reason, they have no problem with socialized police protection, socialized fire departments, and socialized military. There are many "socialized" services that are available for all the public to use. We all understand the value of keeping our nation and our neighborhoods safe. So why don't more Republicans understand the value of a healthy public?

We all understand that a national military is necessary to keep our nation safe. We understand that if we were to require each individual to defend oneself from all enemies foreign and domestic, that we probably wouldn't survive as a nation. That's why we pay taxes to the federal government to provide for a common defense to secure our nation. Now why is "socialized military" good, but "socialized health care" bad?

Stop and think for a moment. We allow for a common defense against foreign invading militias, but we can't get our state and national leaders to provide for a common defense against forces that are already weakening our society... Forces such as cancer, heart disease, influenza, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, and other nasty ailments. And when these forces attack those who can't afford the type of health insurance that covers all medical expenses, these people are taken out of work and out of school. And of course, all these folks out of school and out of work mean a less productive society for all of us. This is what I meant when I mentioned earlier that when some of us are gravely ill, then all of us are ill.

OK, so what can we do about our health care crisis? How can we fix this broken system? Well, we can start by telling our elected leaders that we want a working health care system that keeps our society well and functioning! If you'd like to send a message to President Bush that you won't allow for any children to go without proper health care, then you can work with MoveOn to host a rally for health care in your own community. And if you'd like to send a message to Arnold that he needs to join our legislators in taking real action to ensure health care for all Californians, then sign up with It's OUR Healthcare to find out what's happening in your community. After all, if we don't speak up and make some change, then we won't ever see the type of change we need to ensure quality, affordable health care for all.

By the way, many thanks to Miles Pendleton Images for all the great photos from last Thursday's rally in Huntington Beach!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Speeding Our Way to San Pedro... To Save Trestles

In case you haven't heard, there's some new news regarding the Toll Road to Trestles. First off, we have a report from staff at the Coastal Commision that isn't all that delighted to see a toll road built through San Onofre State Park...

The proposed Foothill South toll road would likely drive an endangered
mouse to extinction, wipe out vital habitat, shatter the peace of a popular
campground and even worsen global warming, according to a report by the staff of
the California Coastal Commission released today.

And now, we have the San Diego City Council going on record opposing the Toll Road to Trestles. Oh yes, and both of these events occurred just before the Coastal Commission meets next week to determine the fate of Trestles. So apparently, things aren't looking good for TCA's plan to build a toll road to Trestles.

So what can we expect at next week's Coastal Commission hearing? Will this be the final death blow to the toll road? Follow me after the flip for more...

OK, so now the Coastal Commission Staff Report is recommending that the commission reject TCA's plan for a toll road to Trestles. Why? Why exactly is the Coastal Commission Staff taking such a strong stand against extending the 241 to San Onofre? Perhaps they're actually paying attention to state enivornmental law, as opposed to TCA's complete dismissal of the law.

After all, Section 30231 of Article 5 of the Coastal Act couldn't be any clearer...

The biological productivity and the quality of coastal waters, streams, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes appropriate to maintain optimum populations of marine organisms and for the protection of human health shall be maintained and, where feasible, restored through, among other means, minimizing adverse effects of waste water discharges and entrainment, controlling runoff, preventing depletion of ground water supplies and substantial interference with surface water flow, encouraging waste water reclamation, maintaining natural vegetation buffer areas that protect riparian habitats, and minimizing alteration of natural streams.

So could that possibly be any clearer? If it hurts animal habitats and water quality, then it isn't happening. So how exactly does this apply to the proposed 241 extension through San Onofre? Well, how about those ELEVEN THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES THAT WOULD LOSE THEIR HABITAT FOREVER IF THE TOLL ROAD IS BUILT THROUGH SAN ONOFRE STATE BEACH? How about San Mateo Creek being named as one of the nation’s most imperiled waterways thanks to the threat of a noisy, dirty toll road running alongside it? This is beautiful coastal wilderness that would be destroyed forever if the toll road were to be placed in San Onofre. And judging by what the Coastal Act says, doing something like this violates California state law.

Oh, and the madness of this toll road to Trestles doesn't stop there! Not only is it illegal, but it's also impractical. After all, extending the 241 to Trestles would absolutely nothing to ease traffic congestion in South County. And if this proposed toll road to Trestles doesn't ease traffic in South County, then why build it?

And if the alignment for this toll road to nowhere is blatantly illegal, and it destroys one of the last great untouched beaches in Southern California, then why build it?

OK, so are yopu feeling outraged now? Angry? Frustrated? And would you like to do something about it?

Great, then we need YOU to attend the next Coastal Commission hearing in San Pedro! This will be our chance to speak out, and to demand that the Coastal Commision follow state law and deny TCA a chance to destroy one of the last great beaches in Southern California. See if you can make it next week, but if not PLEASE check out Save Trestles' page with a link to email the commission about Trestles. Also, go to Save San Onofre for all the latest updates on this effort to save this precious corner of the California coast for future generations to enjoy.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Still No Power

Jeez, I hope Edison fixes this soon. My grandmother can only take so much of a hot, humid house. Our food can only take so much of melting refridgerators. My mind can only take so much worrying about my family.

I hope the power returns to my house soon, or I won't know what to do next.

Monday, September 03, 2007

No Mo' Power

The house went dark. It's darkness all over. Dark and hot, kinda like the pit of hell. Dammit. I guess this means I'm sleeping in the car tonight.


Another Happy Beach Day

And all I have to say is this:


Enjoy your Labor Day... I know I am!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Happy Thought

Ah, I feel cooler and not so sticky now... It's a miracle!. : )

Hot Day

Today was a really hot day. I put out quite a sweat today. I worked at the DPOC Booth at the street fair, and I drank so much water that my tummy became an aquarium. OK, so I was an overheated wreck.

OK, and I was "overheated" in more ways than one. But don't worry, I'm fine now. I did something quite special after my shift ended, and I discovered a terrific way to "cool down".

So all is well now, and my hot day has come to an end. : )

Hot Week

It's been hot over these last few days. The weather outside has been nasty. But you know what? The emotions in my house have also been heated.

Ever since I found out where my mother was, and ever since my grandmother took a downturn with her health, it's been a frustrating week en la Casa de Andrés. My dad and I had been quite close to just making each other explode. I had been on a wild emotional roller coaster, shifting rapidly from despair to fury to depression to frustration to near total insanity. Last week was a rough week, and I'm glad to see it over.

Yesterday, I finally had a chance to be me again. I was smiling again. I even had a little "happy fun time" again. I was with a friend, and it was such a relief that as I was looking at this friend, I remembered that my life isn't all that bad.

I guess the heat still rages on outside. But at least now, the emotional heat has abated inside this house. My dad and I are OK again. He got answers to his prescription queries, and I'll get my laptop fixed soon. My grandmother is lying quietly on the living room sofa. My mother is at the assisted living home, hopefully getting some type of help. Life goes on, and a cool calm has finally settled down upon my house.

Finally, the heat is gone.

How Are YOU Being Affected by the Real Estate Slump?

Tell me all about it over here:


Now go, and make your voice heard!

Friday, August 31, 2007

From Sacramento to Hell... And Finally Back Home

Wow. How could I have ever known how crazy this week would be? How could I have ever known that I would be lobbying for universal health care on Monday, finding my mother on Tuesday and Wednesday, preparing for my grandmother's passing away on Thursday, and dealing with my computer's total meltdown today? Ah, the wonders of life!

Well, I guess none of us really knows what will happen to us next. We never know when our grandmother becomes deathly ill, or when our mother is in desperate need of mental health services, or when our family finances become so tight that we can't afford that monthly HMO premium. These were all reasons why I joined the Orange County chapter of It's OUR Healthcare on their lobbying trip to Sacramento on Monday. I just didn't know that over the next few days, I would truly come to realize why my lobby trip was so important.

Follow me after the flip for more...

On Monday, I did something that I had never done before in my life. I went inside the State Capitol to lobby members of the State Legislature. And on Monday, I had a very special message for them. I joined with other local Orange County health care activists to ask them to do something about our broken health care system.

We first stopped inside Assembly Member Jose Solorio's office, just to thank him for the great work he's doing on making health care more accessible and affordable for Orange County's working families. We could not actually thank him in person, as he wasn't in the office, but we were able to speak with one of his staffers. We then went on to talk to other area legislators about Orange County's health care needs, and in all cases we spoke with staffers.

And then, there was Lou Correa's office. Now we know that Senator Correa cares about working families in Orange County. It's just that he hasn't yet committed to supporting legislation that would make health care more accessible and affordable to Orange County's working families, so we wanted to talk to him about the real need for health care reform this year. Unfortunately the Senator wasn't in the office, but we did have a chance to speak with a staffer.

Oh yes, and we came bearing gifts. Too bad we couldn't give these directly to Senator Correa. Whatever, I hope he got the message.

Well, after this week, I think I got the message. Let's see, where do I begin? As soon as I retuned home, my dad had some important news to share with me. After several months of not knowing what happened to my mother, we finally heard that she had recently moved to an assisted living home. Now to make a very long and sorted story short and understandable, my mother has been suffering from mental illness for the past few years, but she refuses to admit it. And as just about everyone who loves her and cares for her comes forward to tell her this, she turns each one away. So now, we find out that she's been excommunicated from the one thing in her life she cared about most after they realized her true condition, and we must find out that she's all alone.

But then, we soon found out that my mother had recently moved away from her assisted living home. OK, so where is she now? My dad and I searched, but finally one of my mother's former church friends gave us the answer. She moved to another assisted living home in Westminster. We tried to visit her, but she didn't want to see us. Yesterday, I just had to leave a gift fro her at the front desk, as I was afraid to provoke her anger. Yesterday was my mother's birthday, but I couldn't even see her at risk of causing a total nervous breakdown for me and for her.

So at least now, I know that my mohter is being taken care of. But still, I don't know how she can afford it. I don't know if she is losing her entire life savings over this assisted living. And of course, I don't know if she's truly receiving all the mental health care she truly needs. It's scary, it truly is.

And yet, my mother isn't the only woman I'm worrying about. After all, my grandmother (my dad's mom) may very well be dying as we speak. Now my family has been on high alert ever since my grandmother's recent hospital stay, so I guess I should have seen this coming. Not only is her dementia worsening, but her liver is also failing her now. We don't know how much more time she has left.

So what can my family do now? We're hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. We're already planning for future medicine expenses... And hospital expenses... And funeral expenses. It's saddening, and maddening, and very frustrating.

And now, on top of all that, my dad must still worry about when he'll be getting his own prescription medicines. The pharamcy had been giving him a run around, and he must always grapple with the HMO over co-pays. And then to make things worse, we have house repairs to take care of. And now, to make things even worse, my laptop broke down today. And now, I wonder if my own sanity will break down as my computer fails me and the health insurance industry fails my dad and my grandmother's health fails her and my mom fails to recognize she needs help.

I guess this is why I went to Sacramento on Monday. After thinking about my fanily's own troubling experience with health care and all the costs realted to it, I know my family can't be the only one with these types of worries. There must be millions more families throughout California worrying about a relative who can't get mental health care, and a grandparent who's facing extremely high health care costs and a parent who's having difficulty paying for all the necessary prescription drugs for survival. There must be millions more in need of help, and this year may be our one chance to get these people some help.

We know that there's something wrong with this system. There's something wrong with people not accessing the care that they need. So why can't we do something NOW to right this wrong? Now, more than ever before, I understand this. After dealing with all my family problems, I know that my family problems aren't that different from the health care problems facing so many other families throughout Orange County, and thorughout California. And now, I want to do whatever I can to ensure that these health care problems are solved.

So can YOU join me and all the others who want to make our health care more accessible and more affordable? Go tell your own story here, and find out how to take action here. We know it's time to fix our broken health care system. Now, we need to get our elected leaders to wake up, smell the reality, and do something to change it.

What Do YOU Think: Should Laguna Hills Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries?

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

This morning, I found something interesting in The Register. Apparently on Tuesday, the Laguna Hills City Council approved the introduction of an ordinance banning the distribution of medical marijuana. Specifically, the city is afraid of seeing medical marijuana dispensaries open in town.

Now why would the city be afraid?

With the legal uncertainties and concerns that medical marijuana dispensaries might lead to loitering or crime, city staff has recommended that the council adopt the proposed ordinance. It prohibits any land use that would be illegal under state or federal law.

HUH?! Didn't California voters approve Prop 215 so that medical marijuana patients wouldn't have to face criminal penalties? And didn't SB 420 take care of allowing legal distribution of medical marijuana? Well, remember that even though the state recognizes medical marijuana as a legal medicine, the federal government does not. The state-federal conflict does muddy the waters here.

So what do YOU think Laguna Hills should do about the possible opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in town? Do you think they should follow through on their plan to ban all dispensaries? Or should they drop the proposed ban, and allow medical marijuana patients to get their medicine in Laguna Hills? And what do you think about these dispensaries? Do they lead to "crime", or do they provide a necessary medical service. I want to know what YOU think, so please go ahead and have your say.

Go ahead. Make my day. Fire away! :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

On My Way to the Airport

That's where I'm going now. I'll be flying to Sacramento. I'll be lobbying for universal health care. Thank goodness I'm feeling healthy enough to do this! ; )

Wish me luck! : )

Good Morning!

I'm up now! I'm awake. I'm ready for today... I think. ; )

Saturday, August 25, 2007

OK, It's Time Now...

I forced myself out of bed. I need to get up, and get moving. I have chores to do. I have things to do later today. I need not be lazy any longer.

Cooking Good, Feeling Better

OK, so the clouds still linger outside my window. Whatever. I feel better now. Nothing like a hot shower and a hot kitchen to make me feel better!

There's just something about cooking that's so therapeutic for me. As soon as I turn on the stove and fire up the skillet, my spirit is healed. And no matter what I cook, I always feel renewed after creating the perfect edible masterpiece.

Ah, the joys of cooking! Even a slow, dreary, cloudy day, I can count on my kitchen to get me going again. Now, I can truly face the day. : )

Dreary Morning

The clouds return. The clouds are everywhere. The clouds have descended. The clouds are here.

So now, I face a dreary morning. I have difficulty escaping my bed. I just want to stay inside, and hide from the lingering depression outside. I want to hide from the clouds.

So I face another dreary morning. I face another cloudy day. But no, I wish not to experience it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Good Night

I'm ready to collapse into my bed now. Good night to all. I'll talk later. : )

Sleepy Time Once Again

It's time for me to sleep. It's been a long day, and a busy week. Oh yes, and I want to be ready for what should be quite a happy day tomorrow. OK, time for bed.

Check Out These OC Democratic Weekend Events!

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Are you looking to make a difference in your community, but don't know where to go to do it? Do YOU want to make a change this weekend?

Well, I have a great list of Democratic Events in OC this weekend, and you can follow me down below to see all of them! :-)

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

Here's what's happening in OC. All events are here courtesy of DFA-Orange County's "OC Democratic Weekly" event calendar. Follow this link to subscribe to the weekly newsletter. Check out what's happening in your area, and get some ideas on how to get active in your community!


11 am-1 pm, Laguna Beach: Vigil for Peace at Laguna Main Beach PCH at Ocean Avenue. Bring signs or use ours Contact: (949) 499-3190

noon-2pm, Brea: Brea Anti-war gathering at the intersection of Brea Blvd. and Imperial Highway Contact Marcus Gourley runningdeeractivist@yahoo.com

25 Saturday 10:30am, Anaheim: You are invited to a Rally for Impeachment on the corner of Harbor and Katella in Anaheim, Calif. To be followed by free food and games at the Unitarian church at 511 Harbor Blvd. Contact: Ronald Vaught, 949-259-3218, info@angelhearttravel.net afterdowningstreet.org/ca

25 (2nd and 4th Saturday) 10am, Orange: OC Peace Coalition general meeting All interested people are invited, especially anyone who might represent one of our member organizations. at the Sisters of St. Joseph Justice Center, 480 S. Batavia. Directions: Turn into the parking lot from Batavia just north of La Veta Avenue, drive around to the left, to the south side of the complex. We meet in the last wing of the building on the south side. Look for directional signs. Contact: www.ocpeace.org, (714)637-8313.

25 Saturday 11am-2pm, Irvine: The 27th Annual SUFFRAGE DAY LUNCHEON honoring PAULA GARB of the UCI Citizen Peacebuilding Center, SUSAN KOPICKI of Democracy for America, JEANETTE MERRILEES of Save Crystal Cove, and CHARLOTTE SAMUELS and CAITLYN WHITNEY of Students Against Sweatshops at Cal State Fullerton. Advance tickets are modestly priced at $40. Tickets are $50 at the door. For tickets, please email Lori at womenforoc@aol.com or call Shirley at 949.854.8024. Recorded information will be available in August on our message line, 949.262.1001. University Club, 801 E. Peltason Dr., Irvine. From 405, exit Culver Dr. south (toward the ocean). Turn right onto Campus Dr. Turn left onto E. Peltason (the other side of the street is Berkeley). After several signals, turn right at the 4-way stop sign at Los Trancos, then left into the parking lot of the University Club. womenforoc.org/_wsn/page3.html

New 25 Saturday 7pm, Costa Mesa: Free Screening of "Ripple Effect" This newly released film surveys a wide range of evidence indicating that 9/11 was an inside job and not the sneak attack that we have been led to believe. Orange Coast UU Church, 1259 Victoria Street, Costa Mesa The Corporate Study Group, csg@ocuuc.org, 949-400-


12-1pm, Irvine/Huntington Beach: Enough! Every Sunday from noon to 1pm, more and more people nationwide are hitting the streets to publicly tell their neighbors, We've Had Enough! of this reckless, incompetent and criminal Administration.
Irvine: Please join hands with them Sundays from noon - 1pm at UCI. We'll be on the Watson walking bridge above Campus Blvd - the one linking UC Irvine with University Center - between W. Peltason and Stanford. Mike Myers 949.677.0016 (cell) mdamyers@uci.edu dfalink.com/group.php?id=2337
Huntington Beach: At Main St. and PCH S/W corner For more info. Contact, Albert afitguy@excite.com Dorrine quitetherebel@hotmail.com www.theyoungturks.com/section/Enough

1pm, Santa Ana: Food Not Bombs Santa Ana (http://www.foodnotbombs.net/california.html) at the Catholic Worker, 316 Cypress Ave Contact: (714) 970-8276

26 Sunday 1-3pm, Irvine: Newport Beach Bay Democrats (welcoming all Democrats) will meet at the Duck Club in Irvine located on Riverian Way. From the I-405 get off on Jamboree Blvd and go one block South toward Newport Beach. Turn right onto Michaelson. Go about 4 stop lights and turn right onto Riverian Way. Go about 1.5 miles until you almost reach a barrier in the road. Turn right and go about 25 feet down an incline and turn right into the parking lot. The Duck Club, next to the Audubon Society building is the building the furthest away from you when you turned into the Parking lot. Topic: Universal Health Care and State and Federal Legislation- Why private health plans can no longer work as a means of expanding health care coverage to everyone. Main Speaker: Don McCanne, M.D., Senior Health Policy Fellow, Physicians for a National Health Program with a website at pnhp.org. At least 2 other speakers to talk on Mass. Universal Health Care, ways to finance health care under the present system of health care in the U.S..

New 26 Sunday 1-4pm, Santa Ana: National Council Negro Woman Orange County Membership Luncheon supporting Hannah's Childrens Homes Country Garden Caterers 719 North Main St. Santa Ana 92701 contact Andree Weger 714-835-7972 or Eloise Boone 714-662-5705

New 26 Sunday 5:30-8:30pm, La Habra Heights: DNOC (Democrats of North Orange County) will host a Wine and Cheese Tasting Party as a club fundraiser. Event will be at the home of Jeanne Moffit, 1661 Agave Ave., La Habra Heights 90631. Come and join us in a lovely setting by the pool and meet other Democrats from the North Orange county area, including some local elected officials and OC Democratic Party staffers. Donation: $25.00 per person. Please call Jeanne Moffit (562) 694-4208 or Sharon Brown (562) 694-2457 to RSVP and get directions.

7-8 pm, Huntington Beach: "Visualize world peace, surf city style” at Main St. & Pacific Coast Highway, Bring a covered candle just help hold up the banner (no signs please; the banner says it all!). Contact: mtheriault@socal.rr.com.

So are YOU ready to make a difference in your community? If so, think about going to some of these events. This might be your chance to be the change you want to see happen. Believe me, you won't regret it. :-)

What Do YOU Think: Should Medical Marijuana Patients Get Their Medicine Back?

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

If police officers seize marijuana legally kept by a medical marijuana patient, should they have to give the property back?

This is what The Register wrote about today, and this is what I'm wondering today. After all, California voters chose to allow for the medicinal use of marijuana under Prop 215. However, many local law enforcement agents in California still arrest medical marijuana users and confiscate their medicine. So do YOU think law enforcement should return the marijuana to the patients once they have determined that these patients are legitimately protected under Prop 215?

Check out what happened to these two patients, and think about how they were treated:

Felix Kha of Garden Grove had 8 grams seized from him in June 2005 during a traffic stop. Criminal charges were later dismissed after Kha proved he had a prescription for the drug – which he uses for back pain.

Kha then asked a judge to make Garden Grove police give him back the marijuana. Orange County Judge Linda Marks agreed, and ordered the department to return it. [...]

Besides the Kha case, justices heard about what happened to Jim Spray of Huntington Beach. Police confiscated 5 ounces of marijuana from Spray, as well as his growing equipment in November 2005. He had a prescription for the drug, also for back pain. But Orange County Superior Court Judge Daniel T. Brice, ruled he shouldn't get his marijuana back.

"The people have spoken in their voting record for support of medical marijuana,'' said Spray, who also attended the hearing. "This vacillation from city to city and various judges shouldn't be happening."

So a local judge decided that Garden Grove Police needed to return the medical marijuana to Feliz Kha, but they haven't. Meanwhile Jim Spray asked that his medical marijuana be returned to him, but another judge denied him of his request. Is this a fair application of the law? Or should the 4th District State Court of Appeal overturn Judge Brice's ruling, and decide that all police departments must return the medical marijuana to patients should these patients show evidence that they had legal prescriptions?

I want to know what YOU have to say on this matter. So go ahead. Make my day. have your say.

Want to Learn How to Help Democrats Win in YOUR Neighborhood?

I know you've thought about it before. I certainly have. So what can we do to help progressives win in our communities, and build a Democratic base in Orange County? How about marking your calendar for September 22, when Steve Young's campaign will be hosting a campaign training session for everyone interested in making a difference for Democrats here in Orange County.

Want to find out more? Well, follow me down below for it...

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

So what will be happening on September 22? Well, here's some 411 for you:

This will be an all day organizing meeting for Steve's City Captains, Precinct Leaders/Volunteers, anyone that wants to join Steve's campaign, or organizers and volunteers working on other campaigns which overlay the 48th District. Coordinating campaigns through good precincts organizing benefits all our Democratic candidates. Let's work together to win in 2008. Please RSVP to Marion at 949-640-4400. A pizza lunch will be included.

OK, so where do we go? Go to Steve's NEW headquarters:

101 Pacifica, Suite 100
(downstairs from the old office)
Irvine, CA 92618
Here's a map of the location.

Come on, now. We know that the only way to build a lasting progressive majority in Orange County is if we build up our local Democratic Party here. So here's our chance to learn something about how we can actually build a lasting presence that will help us win. And yes, it's not just for Democrats in the 48th Congressional District who plan to work for Steve Young. It's open to ALL OC Democrats.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up, and start making a difference in your community. Trust me, you won't regret it. ;-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sleepy Time Again

And I have good reason to be sleepy. I did a lot of good today. OK, and something REALLY FANTASTIC happened to me earlier tonight. So yes, it was a good day all around. I did good, and the favor was returned. So I should go to sleep, and I'll get back to you tomorrow. : )

How About Our Health Care, Senator Correa?

Last week, a group of local community leaders a chance to talk with State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) about health care. They asked him what he plans to do in the Legislature to ensure that all of Orange County's working families have health care. And his answer? He said that so long as the Legislature fights over the state budget, there won't be an opportunity to do something on health care.

Well, guess what? The budget fight is over. And now, more than ever, we need our legislators to start working on health care reform NOW. And we know how much Lou Correa cares about working families in Orange County, which is why we need his help to get them the health care coverage that they so desperately need.

So can YOU help us remind Lou Correa that he needs to help in delivering real reform that will help Orange County working families afford health care? Follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

It's OUR Healthcare is working to make sure that Orange County's legislators focus on the real health care concerns of Orange County residents. So now that Lou Correa is saying that he wants to deliver health care for working families, we need to tell him that we want to see him make good on his word with real action. So can you help by calling Lou Correa's office, and asking him to stand up for OC's working families and support real health care reform? And while you're at it, can you also call the Governor and ask him to do the same?

Phone Numbers:

Senator Correa (Santa Ana) 1 866 535 1744

Governor’s District Office
Los Angeles 1 866 396 0812

Just ask them about AB 8 (the health care bill), and what they intend to do to make sure it works for our working families. Basically, AB 8 would give health care coverage to over 4 million people who currently don't have any coverage, create a statewide insurance pool, and stop the HMOs from denying any one coverage over pre-existing conditions. So yes, AB 8 is a pretty good bill, But still, there are some flaws, the chiefone being that there aren't enough cost-control mechanisms to ensure that health insurance is affordable and available to everyone.

So can YOU call the Governor and Senator Correa, and ask them to fix our broken health care system NOW by improving AB 8 to make health care more affordable for everyone?

Please consider doing this if you care about our health care, and please feel free to let us know in the comments how your calls went.

Diane Harkey Working for Dana Point... Or Diane Harkey?

"You know, I feel as if I'm talking to a wall. And I am tired of the apologists for unethical failings in our elected officials, who try to belittle and dismiss those who have had enough and are standing tall. If the majority on this council thinks this city is their personal property to do with as they please, and they're there to rule and not to serve, they'd better think again."

That was Dana Point resident Tony Cooke. Apparently, he's getting frustrated over the Dana Point City Council's habit of ignoring what's really wrong with Dana Point. And you know what? He has reason to be frustrated.

At last night's city council meeting, Mayor Diane Harkey stepped down from her "throne" to congratulate the city business of the month and to award certificates of recognition. She and the city manager waxed on about Dana Point's rightful place in surfing history. She talked about how a new "tri-city trolley" would help move the happy tourists from their lovely hotel rooms in Dana Point to the San Juan Capistrano train station and all the nearby tourist destinations. Oh yes, and she smiled down upon everyone when public comments began, and a few residents arose to sing Mayor Harkey's praises.

Judging by the first half of the council meeting, one would think everything was hunky-dory in happy Dana Point. But in reality, everything isn't "hunky-dory" and happy. Real residents have real concerns. And at last night's meeting, they had a chance to address them.

Follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

"I feel democracy is at stake."

That was Dr. Jim Seitz, another Dana Point resident who is frustrated with city government and its practice of ignoring the concerns of city residents. After all, the city has done nothing about Diane Harkey violating city policy to make campaign literature look like an official city newsletter. The city has done nothing to address the concerns of Dana Point residents over the "pay-to-play" corrupt politics that Diane Harkey has brought into the policy-making process. The city has done nothing to address the affordable housing crisis that is raising concerns at the state level. Basically, as city residents worry over these real problems, Diane Harkey and the council go on as if nothing's wrong.

"It's easy to call names... But let's think of facts."

That was Patrick Evans, an attorney working with mobile home residents on the outskirts of town who are simply looking for an affordable place to live. He noted that these people supported Diane Harkey because she promised to help them. But was she done since she was elected to city council? Nothing. These residents are still afraid of losing their homes, and what has Harkey done? Nothing. Apparently, Diane Harkey continues to act as if nothing is wrong.

And in the comments made by Harkey supporters, they angrily derided the recall supporters as rabble-rousers who are acting as a divisive force in the city. They called upon everyone to renew support for Harkey, and to rebuild a sense of unity in the city. But what facts did they have to show that Diane Harkey is doing a great job in Dana Point? None. They talked about how Diane Harkey was such a good friend to them, or about Diane Harkey answering their phone calls. But after all the happy talk, they didn't really address how the city government under Diane Harkey's leadership is doing anything to address all the concerns of local residents. So how exactly is Diane Harkey doing a great job for Dana Point?

Ultimately, our elected officials work for us. Their job is to serve us. We are the ones who hire them, and we are the ones who can fire them. So Diane Harkey and her supporters can talk all they want about the recall advocates "dividing" the city, but has Mayor Harkey given city residents a good reason to unite behind her? Is she working for Dana Point? Or is she just using her position to climb the political ladder? Dana Point voters hired Harkey to serve them. And if they don't think she's doing her job as mayor, they can choose to fire her.

Simple as that.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Happy Sleepy Time

OK, I'm tired now. I had a busy day today. It's bedtime. Good night! : )

Bolsa Chica, One Year Later

It's been one year. Tell me what you think:


: )

Sunday, August 19, 2007

End of a Lonely Weekend

Ah, yes. My lonely, "old maid" weekend is coming to an end. What should I think? Well, I guess I won't be spending so much time at home after tonight. But still, I guess I'll be happy about it.

Apparently, a certain special someone noticed my post yesterday on feeling alone. He said he was sorry to hear that. I was happy just to hear his voice again. And just for that, I'm ready to surprise him with something special this weekend.

I think I know what I'll be cooking for him for Friday. I think I'll also wear my lucky black underwear, just to ensure that something else heats up as soon as the kitchen cools down. Come on now, you know what I mean. ; )

Oh, and I'll be seeing more of my other friends this week. Yep, and I'll be back to traveling all over the place to see them. So yes, my insanely busy life is almost back. And guess what? Nothing could make me happier. : )

Slow Sunday

No, it really is. Not much is happening today. I guess that's why there isn't too much for me to say today. Whatever.

Random Sunday Thought

It's hot outside. I'm cramped up inside. I kinda woke up on my bad side. But slowly, I'm getting back to my good side.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Lazy Saturday Night

I'm in the house now. I was talking to my dad earlier about the history of the Christian Church. Later on, I'll probably do some research on local politics in Orange County. Yes, yes, I know. All of that doesn't sound like "fun things" that one is supposed to do on a Satuday night. Well, so what?

I feel kinda like an "old maid" right now. I have nothing better to do than stay at the house right now, and to find my entertainment at home. And you know what? I don't feel so bad about it.

No really, it's kinda nice to just be at home with the family for a change. Yes, they drive me nuts sometimes. But still, it's not like I experience it THAT often, as I'm usually out of the house for the most of the day. But today is different, and I'm just here with them.

I may be a premature "old maid", but for now I'm a happy one. ; )

Feeling Lonely

My friends are away right now. I miss them. My mom is gawd knows where right now. I miss her. Well, at least my dad isn't that far from home right now. I don't have to miss him so much. Basically, I'm feeling pretty alone right now.

Have you ever felt alone before? It sucks. No really, it sucks to be alone. It's saddening, and it's frustrating, and it's maddening.

Ah, it sucks to be alone.

Short Thought

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Night Random Thought

Grrrr! I've had a crazy day, so I don't know what to think right now. I've had good developments, and bad developments. It's been a wild day today.

Who's Impressed with Diane Harkey?

I attended the protest because I want people in my city government, even more in the state assembly, to act in a way which puts their constituents' interests first, and not their own. [...] The people she is supposed to represent play no role at all in her game plan for power. Tonight's fundraiser was her attempt to shoulder the cost of what she herself wants in life, as she wants others to pay for her personal egotistical ambitions. In return she will have promised the donors anything and whatever it takes to get their support. It's all about playing the game, and I hoped to be a small part in derailing that game.

If [Diane] Harkey is under recall in her own district, how can she run for higher office with any credibility whatsoever? If the people who know her best think she is worthless, we want others to know her just as well as we do. We have been subject to all of her blatant opportunism and disregard of the best interests of her constituents. And now, her recent actions seem to show she thinks that she even is above the law.

That was Tony, a Dana Point resident who was a part of last night's protest of Diane Harkey's big fundraiser in Newport Beach. He is someone who has seen Diane Harkey in action, and he is not particularly impressed with what he has seen. And guess what? He's not the only one.

Follow me after the flip for more...

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

Why should Robert be impressed with Diane Harkey? What has she done to address the affordable housing crunch in Dana Point? Look at this letter that the city received from the State Housing and Community Development Department. So far, the city has done nothing to provide any realistic solution to this very real problem. While the city has been busy adding new luxury developments like St. Regis and The Strand, they have ignored the needs of real people living on real fixed incomes. What's so impressive about that?

Why would Jim Lacy be impressed with Diane Harkey? He actually served with her on the city council from 2005 to 2006, and he has had a front-row seat to Harkey's brand of pay-to-play politics, as well as her overall lack of ethical standards. Oh yes, and as someone who helped formulate city policy on the city seal, he had to watch in horror this year to see Diane Harkey violate it in order to produce a campaign mailer masquerading as a "newsletter" to dupe Dana Point voters into feeling good about her. Oh yes, and as a conservative Republican himself, he doesn't just "dislike" her because she is a Republican. He's someone interested in good government, and he's someone who's not impressed by Harkey's lack of interest in practicing that.

Why should any of these good citizens of Dana Point be impressed by Diane Harkey? (OK, and yes, I was there with them!) What has she done to serve them and their needs? What has she done that's in the best interest of the city, and not just in the best interest of herself? What has she done to show that she cares more about the concerns of local residents than her own desire to run for higher office? What has she done to follow through on her duty to work for the residents of Dana Point? They made the choice to hire her, and they can make the choice to fire her.

Maybe these uber-wealthy GOP Machine donors are impressed with Harkey. I guess that's why this small group of power players decided to go to Newport Beach to give Harkey money for her Assembly Campaign. But still, it seemed like the power players inside were outnumbered by the concerned citizens outside who are ready to begin a grassroots effort to take back their city government. And no matter how much money Harkey can raise from her well-heeled friends, it may not be enough to withstand this effort of, by, and for Dana Point citizens, to take back their city.

Calling All OC Hillary Clinton Supporters! Get Your HillStar Training On!

Hey, you! Do you just love Hillary Clinton? Do you want to see her become our next President? And would you like to do something here in Orange County to help? Well then, why not sign up to become a HillStar and attend a special training session next week in Irvine to learn how YOU can help Hillary win in Orange County?!

Become a HillStar! HillStars are a group of 1,000 volunteers who are the backbone of Hillary's California field operation. This is a grassroots leadership opportunity to engage, inform, and mobilize supporters to be advocates for Hillary! Whether it be e-mailing your personal list of friends and family with campaign updates, contacting family and friends in other states about supporting Senator Clinton, hosting a house party or blogging - we encourage supporters to reach out to each other and take action in whatever form they can to spread the good word about Hillary. We are holding HillStar training in Irvine on this Tuesday, August 21, from 7:00 PM to 9:00P PM. RSVP to Connie Lee's attention at SoCalHRC@hillaryclinton.com or call (213) 908-0190.

So are you ready to sign up and become a HillStar? If so, then follow me down below for all the details...

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Conference Center 1st Floor
19900 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92612
General Area: On the corner of MacArthur Blvd & Jamboree Road

We are holding HillStar training in Irvine on this Tuesday, August 21, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. RSVP to Connie Lee's attention at SoCalHRC@hillaryclinton.com or call (213) 908-0190.

And all you need to do to RSVP for this training session is to sign up at the web site. OK< and if you'd rather not sign up at the web site, you can also call Connie Lee at (213) 908-0190, or email her at SoCalHRC@hillaryclinton.com. So are you ready to get up, get out, get active, and become a HillStar? Come on now, what better way to make history with Hillary than to get out and help her become our 44th President? ;-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Diane Harkey Should Consider Herself Warned... The Move to Recall May Begin Soon

UPDATE: Total Buzz is now reporting that the Dana Point City Attorney has NOT approved signature gathering yet for a petition ot recall Diane Harkey. Apparently, the City Attorney is still waiting for the Registrar of Voters to confirm that all the signatures on the request to petiton are valid. I guess we must now wait until Monday for a final decision.

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

H/T to Total Buzz for this (and the photo):

Just got a ring from attorney and former Councilman Jim Lacy, who said that the Dana Point city attorney gave him the go-ahead this morning on the petitions to put a measure on the ballot to recall Dana Point Mayor Diane Harkey. Lacy said he’s put an order in to the printer for 15,000 petitions with room for four signatures each and that the recall folks hope to start circulating them by this weekend. They have 120 days from today to gather the approximately 4,600 valid signatures needed to place the measure before voters.

So it looks like it's FINALLY happening [BUT NOT YET]. The petitions can now go out. The people of Dana Point can finally start to make up their minds. The campaign to recall Diane Harkey as Dana Point Mayor can now may officially begin soon.

So do you need to know more about what's happening in Dana Point before you can form an opinion on the recall? Well, why don't you check out our archives of Diane Harkey and the scandals swirling around her? This way, you can decide for yourself what's going on with the mayor. Also while you're at it, check out Recall Diane Harkey web site. Compare and contrast what Harkey says about herself to what the recall proponents have to say.

So I guess the real fun now begins. Diane Harkey may complain about "unholy alliances" between the federal government and the Crystal Cathedral, and she may complain about random people out to "get her", but she will ultimately have a much greater worry to complain about than these small conspiracies. She will now have to worry about whether or not her once "clear path" to Sacramento has now been complicated by a major roadblock at home.

REMINDER: Obama OC Meeting Tonight!

Hey, everyone! Remember when I told you last week about the Obama OC Volunteer Meeting in Irvine? Well, guess what? It's happening TONIGHT!

That's right, my friends! If you love your country like I do, AND you love Barack Obama like I do, then you need to be here tonight. We're open to EVERYONE in Orange County who would like to know how they can get involved in the local campaign to elect Barack Obama as our 44th President, and nothing could possibly make us happier than to see YOU join us for all the fun.

Come on, now! Don't you want to follow me down below to see all the details on tonight's meeting? You know you want to... ;-)

(Cross-posted at Obama OC)

OK, as promised, here are all the details:

The time has come for anyone interested in getting involved in Senator Obama’s campaign to step forward. Recently, many Obama OC members have spent the past few weekends getting trained on how to organize and run an effective campaign. Now we have the opportunity to share what we have learned with the hundreds of individuals in the Orange County area who have expressed an interest in volunteering for this historic campaign. Among the topics that will be discussed at the next meeting will be:

1) Overall Campaign Strategy
a. Nevada Caucus
b. Nevada road trips from Orange County
i. August 17th and 19th
ii. September 21st -23rd

2) California Strategy

3) Orange County Strategy
a. We will be dividing Orange County into congressional districts.
b. Congressional districts will be further broken down into precincts
c. Finally, a plan will be made to reach a specific number of voters in each area.

4) Finally, we will discuss opportunities for those volunteers who prefer to work behind the scenes in an administrative capacity.

Needless to say, there are a lot of details that we will discuss at the meeting to clarify our Orange County strategy. We hope that you can attend, and help us get the ball rolling in the OC.

Rest assured, you will not be asked to do anything without receiving training and proper materials.

101 Pacifica
Suite 240
Irvine, CA 92618

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.


Giovanii Jorquera

Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm
Duration: 90 minutes
Access: Public

So now, it's up to YOU. Are you ready to go out and "Barack your world"? If so, then I'll see you in Irvine tonight. :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sleepy Time Now

OK, it's bed time now. I'm sleepy. I'm calling it a day. Good night! : )

More Crazy Heat

This is just crazy. My dad told me that the thermometer near our garage hit 102 degrees (F). Whoa?! 102?! Crazy.

Happy Beach Day

It's hot. It's scorching. It's crazy. Thank goodness I have the Pacific Ocean so close to me now! Ah, I feel better! Nothing like that to turn a frustrating hot day into a happy beach day! : )

Monday, August 13, 2007

OK, I Swear Now...

I'm forcing myself to take a shower. And once that's over with, I'm falling into bed. OK, I'm signing out for the day. Good night! : )


It's not supposed to be sleepy time for me yet. But for some reason, I just want to sleep. I know, I know, my life is boring. But hey, I'm sleepy. Enough. Good night. : )

Healthy Skepticism Toward Climate Crisis Denial

Today, I noticed an article in The Register warning of YET ANOTHER HEAT WAVE striking us in Orange County this week. maybe for some people, this just means another chance to go to the beach or to throw a "BBQ by the Pool" party. But for me, I see more than just that. I see yet more evidence of a global climate in crisis that has already begun to affect us locally.

Yet Jubal/Matt Cunningham somehow had the nerve to post this a week ago on OC Blog:

It goes without saying that injecting any degree of skepticism toward the figures and findings wafting from the climate change industry will likely lead to being branded a "traitor" by the Mahdi of Climate Change, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. -- but it's still a free country in which we can voice such skepticism. In the old Soviet Union, dissent was treated as a form of mental disease -- which isn't too different from the way the EnviroLeft views any who don't unquestioningly follow the party line.

And that's my point -- we ought to be skeptics on this issue, especially since the policy solutions being pushed by the Left involve the expansion of government power over our lives. Barbara Boxer flies over a glacier and to her that's "proof" of climate change -- as if she needs proof -- the aggrandizement of government power inherent in the Left's "save the planet" strategies is enough for her to believe in global warming.

HUH?! What on earth is happening to those folks at OC Blog? I guess they haven't been able to wake up and smell the inferno the way the rest of us in the reality-based community already have.

Follow me down below for more...

(Cross-posted at The Liberal OC)

OK, first off... When did the far right begin to value dissent? After all, Matt has called all of us who oppose this disastrous occupation of Iraq "defeatists". So when did it become acceptable to question known science, but not bad foreign policy? Now I'd never want to take away Matt's right to question known science, but I'm just wondering why he has a problem with people like me who don't see any value in continuing Bush's failed war.

Next off, when did the real science of climate change become "a matter of controversy"? And when did it become "anti-business" to recognize that in finding solutions to this crisis, that new opportunities may arise? The science is real: Nearly all scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that we humans are contributing to this. Oh yes, and even most businesses today recognize that they need to be a part of the solution not only to survive on this planet, but to also survive in the global marketplace. I guess these right-wingers who want to continue denying reality are the ones who are truly "anti-business", as they don't want our economy to remain competitive against other nations' economies that have already adapted to the new environmental reality.

And finally, why must all of us who believe scientific reality be branded as "EnviroLeft extremists"? When did reason become "extreme"? When did science become "extreme"? And when did science denial become "normal"? I just don't get that.

Maybe I'll never be able to enlighten the folks at OC Blog who aspire to become the next Flat Earth Society in their extreme denial of scientific reality. Whatever... If they want to deny reality, let them. I just hope that we, as a society, never base public policy on the denial of reality. That's all.