A man on a mission

If YOU were a Brazilian politician who had his own Tv show, how would you go about getting new material for your show?

How about committing murders, and then coincidentally being the first person to show up at the scene and get it all on tape?

Wallace Souza, who is also an alleged drug trafficker, may be doing just that, killing competing drug traffickers off, and then using the graphic footage to boost his ratings.

Talk about an entrepreneur. 

Check it out here. 


Poor Mr. Opossum

A poor little opossum was shot in Van Nuys. What kind of jerk would do this?

Luckily, they saved the guy. Here’s the story:


WOODLAND HILLS – It took two surgeons 3 1/2 hours to plug a 9 mm bullet hole through his head.

It may take another operation – or a total $9,000 worth of surgery – and months of intensive care to save him.

The victim: a Virginia opossum gunned down Saturday in Van Nuys.

“He’s really a lucky guy,” said Brenda Varvarigos, founder of Valley Wildlife Care in Woodland Hills, who is nursing the wounded critter. “I have a soft spot for opossums because people hate them, misunderstand them.

“Most people don’t realize that (we) would save an opossum.”

It took a village to save this one.

It was just after dark Saturday when a woman called the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services to report an opossum down in front of her apartment complex.

An adult male had a bloody hole in its head.

When West Valley shelter Officer G. Hartel arrived, she found the marsupial wrapped in blankets, defended by neighborhood children.

“Kids were standing around it; they thought I was going to harm it,” Hartel said.

Hartel, who has a penchant for diverting injured wildlife from almost-certain euthanasia, knew just where to take the wheezing animal.

At 10:30 p.m., she carried him to Varvarigos, a mother-of-three whose backyard rescue center rehabilitated 920 injured birds and mammals picked up by animal control officers last year….

Read the rest here

entertainment, news

Give up the yacht AND the personal trainer?

Check out LA Times’ Steve Lopez column….so funny:

WALL STREET CEO: Hi, honey, I’m at the office and I’ve got horrible news.

CEO WIFE: Oh, my gosh. Is Obama cutting back on the bailout?

CEO: It’s worse than that. He’s ordering pay cuts for Wall Street bosses whose companies get handouts.

WIFE: Is that even legal?

CEO: I think so, and I’m afraid we’re going to have to tighten our belts.

WIFE: What kind of a pay cut are you talking about?

CEO: Brace yourself. It’s $500,000.

WIFE: Well, that’s harsh, and Obama must not have any idea how hard you work. But I think we can get by on $10.5 million a year.

CEO: No, you don’t get it. My pay would be $500,000. That’s it. Honey? Honey, are you there?

WIFE: Yes, I’m here. I’m breathing into a paper sack.

CEO: Should I call 911?

……….see the rest here


No good deed goes unpunished

The CA Supreme Court ruled today that a civilian who rescues a injured or endangered person can be sued for nonmedical care.

The decision stems from a case in which a woman pulled a coworker from a crashed car, allegedly aggravating the victim’s vertebrae.

Lisa Torti of Northridge was accused of yanking Alexandra Van Horn like “a ragdoll” from her vehicle after it crashed on Topanga Canyon Blvd. Van Horn was rendered a paraplegic because of her injuries in 2004.

The three dissenting judges, however, argued that the decision would have dire consequences.

“Here, the result is that defendant Torti has no immunity for her bravery in pulling her injured friend from a crashed vehicle, even if she reasonably believed it might be about to explode,” said Justice Marvin R. Baxter for the dissent.

Living in a city where I have heard stories about a man being beat up on the street in broad daylight, while no one tried to help, or people are left in the dark to die, I am very disturbed by this decision.

While Torti may have messed up, this ruling could cause people to avoid helping others in need, regardless of the situation.

news, politics

The line outside the Times

It’s day three now, and the line outside the LA Times won’t let up.

by Spencer Weiner, LA Times
by Spencer Weiner, LA Times

As much as I’d like to believe these people are buying dozens of papers and plaques for their own pride in this monumental moment, EBAY tells me differently.

People are selling them.

And while I get that America was built on entrepreneurs and go-getters, there’s something kind of horrifying about this get-rich-quick scheme going on under my nose. I can’t quite explain it, and I admit that it doesn’t make sense that this annoys me, but all I know is that it does.

When the sales ladies across the hall are yelling about how one plaque went for $500 (I think they cost $10 downstairs), I get annoyed. I think it’s because–while this moments is HUGE–those papers won’t be worth anything in a decade.

I like to think that people are buying up the paper in bulk because they want a historical record of this moment, but I have a feeling most just want some extra cash in their pockets.

See comprehensive article here.


It’s the end of the world as we know it?

I’m usually an optimistic person….


It can be tough to stay that way when you are attempting to enter the job market at a time when the world may in fact be ending. Or so it seems.

Stocks are plummeting (not that I have money for stocks.) Banks are closing. Hundreds of people are being laid off in the business (and building) I want to work in. The county is a financial mess. And did I mention that whole chunks of the world hate us?

I have been subconsciously ignoring the major financial upheaval until today when I was sitting in the Times’ lunch room, I couldn’t help but hear the TV. I hate to say we’re screwed– but with nothing getting done in Congress, screwed seems like a pretty tame description.

I know we’ll recover. We have to.


News 21 Goes Live

The website for the News 21 Fellowship  I’ve been involved with for the last ten weeks finally goes live tonight. The stories range from Evangelicals, to new citizens to Native Americans and how their votes will affect the upcoming election. Each story has multimedia elements, including slideshows, video and maps.

I spent some time talking to Native Americans in New Mexico, and discovered that a handful of activists have been working for nearly 20 years to get Native Americans registered to vote. Their efforts are finally paying off this year, with thousands of New Mexico Native Americans mobilized to have a real influence over the outcome of the state.

New Mexico is a beautiful state–with blue sky for days and stunning cliffs–but the poverty of the people was tough to see. Here are some photos, and please check out the site.

Please feel free to check out the general site here:

And my page here.

news, politics


No one can say that Obama didn’t fight hard for this. And maybe we can be grateful for Hillary’s stubbornness because she made Obama really fight for this. Finally, he has reached 2,158 delegates, and he is the Democratic Party candidate.

Months ago, I was at an Obama rally in Los Angeles, where Michelle Obama, Oprah and Maria Shriver spoke in support of him. I felt at that moment that I was possibly witnessing something historical. Now I know.

news, technology

Citizen Journalism- The future?

Because my current project has a lot of interaction with Huffington Post’s Off the Bus, I’ve had some time to think about this idea of citizen journalism. The theory that normal citizens who don’t practice journalism as their career can report on the news because of their access to events that reports can’t reach.

While I am still apprehensive about the term, there is no denying that some great stories have been discovered this way. Take Obama’s “bittergate.” This was reportorted to HuffPo by Mayhill Fowler, who has never been a professional writer. She’s got an MA, her husband is a lawyer, she’s an open Obama supporter and she’s raised some kids. But her ability to get a story that no one else got is amazing.

Just the other day, she got a shocking interview with Bill Clinton, who goes on a verbal tirade about a Vanity Fair reporter. While Mr. Clinton is known to have foot-in-mouth syndrome, maybe he was more open with Fowler because she doesn’t have the usual reporter aura about her. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she got a great quote that many mainstream media sources picked up on.

So, there is a place for this type of truth-sharing. Granted, I don’t want my future job to dissapear before I’ve even got it, but I think we all benefit from this knowledge sharing platform. In this changing world of journalism, flexibility is the key. Time to go do my stretches.