D.C. is the ‘Coolest’ City in the U.S.

Washington, D.C., is the coolest city in the U.S. according to Forbes.com.

Forbes relied on Sperling’s BestPlaces to measure and determine a city’s “cool” factor:

To compile our list of America’s Coolest Cities, Sperling’s helped us calculate entertainment options per capita in each metro area. This metric essentially measures ways you might spend a Saturday, quantifying the availability of professional and college sports events, zoos and aquariums, golf courses, ski areas, and National parks, among others. It also factors in art and cultural options, measuring the presence of theater and musical performances as well as local museums.

As a denizen of the D.C. metro area, I can definitely attest to this. Yes, this area attracts egomaniacs and bureaucrats–yet you can be above the corruption and lead a normal life here. There are so many cool things to do, places to see, and great food/entertainment options to enjoy.

Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that this metro area is fascinating.

Hail to the Redskins

This morning, it was revealed that the U.S. Patent Agency cancelled the Washington Redskins’ trademark because the name is “disparaging” to Native Americans.

This doesn’t come as a surprise. What government agency hasn’t tried to ban speech or ideas that don’t fit their big government mold?

 

As a result, I felt inclined to respond to the hysteria on Twitter.

Then several of us were prompted to troll the #NewRedskinsName Twitter hashtag, so I contributed several tweets to it:

Where’s the left’s priorities? Facts? Clearly they’re nowhere to be found.

Additionally, government has no right to determine “right” speech or ideas.

But but but, the Redskins name is so offensive? Only 17% of people in this country think that way.

Shame on the U.S. Patent Office for cancelling the Washington Redskins’ trademark. This is a very bad precedent that emboldens government to control and discourage private businesses.

Not surprised…50 Democrat U.S. Senators recently wrote a letter to the organization pressuring them to change their name. (Because, priorities!) Anything that doesn’t fit the big government mold is deemed offensive. (Yay to restricting free expression!) I don’t know anyone here in D.C. who feels distraught over the Redskins name, except for few thin-skinned “progressives” who complain about everything. (Even an AP poll from January found that 83% of people approve of the Redskins name.) Might as well rename them as the Washington Whiners or the Beltway Barnacles to better reflect D.C…

Historically speaking, the Redskins name was chosen to honor Native Americans and their bravery in battle. How does this disparage them? How are their rights being undermined? Might as well be consistent and rename the Cleveland Indians, Florida Seminoles, Oklahoma, Minnesota Vikings, and all other “culturally-insensitive” athletic teams?

But hey, America is weak here and abroad. Who cares? The cause of fighting imaginary bigotry must continue! (Sigh.)

Those who disparage the Redskins are nothing but a bunch of tyrants. As a resident of the DMV, I will continue to support the Redskins and their name.  Hope others continue to do so too.

#HTTR

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Get Ready for the March for Life

marchforlife

Photo Credit: March for Life (Facebook)

Today marks two months until the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, DC. The march will be held on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014, at the National Mall.

It is the premiere pro-life event in the country. Most recently, the event attracted over 500,000 people from all 50 states.

This January, I was able to attend my first march. It was a beautiful and uplifting event. I highly recommend everybody attend it.

If you plan to come, be sure to RSVP here. Hope to see you there!

‘We Are the Storytellers”: Verily Magazine Launch Party in Washington, D.C.

We Are the Storytellers Invitation

This past Wednesday, my sister Anna Maria and I had the pleasure of attending Verily Magazine’s D.C. launch party at A Bar Lounge in Foggy Bottom.

Verily is a new magazine catering to strong, virtuous, empowered women. It seeks to set itself apart from mainstream women’s magazines that spout off radical feminist, hypersexualized platitudes. Its tagline reads, “Be less of who you should be, more of who you are.”

(You can read my Townhall.com column about it.)

The theme of the occasion was “We Are the Storytellers.”

Esteemed guests  were Fox News Contributor Kirsten Powers, The Transom’s Ben Domenech, and American Enterprise Institute’s Christina Hoff Sommers. Countless young professionals from conservative organizations and fashion blogs also gathered to hear and learn more about Verily.

Below are some pictures from the event:

Me holding a copy of the June/July issue of Verily Magazine.

Me holding a copy of the June/July issue of Verily Magazine.

Anna Maria (L) and I (R) pictured with AEI scholar Christina Hoff Sommers.

Anna Maria (L) and I (R) pictured with AEI scholar Christina Hoff Sommers.

Verily co-founders Kara (L) and Janet (R) discussing why they started Verily.

Verily co-founders Kara (L) and Janet (R) discussing why they started Verily.

Delicious cocktail at the Verily Magazine launch party in D.C.

Delicious cocktail at the Verily Magazine launch party in D.C.

verily girls

Made some new friends at Verily Magazine’s launch party!
From left to right: Amy, me, Tiffany, and Anna Maria.

If you haven’t checked Verily out yet, get on it! I’m happy to lend my support to their efforts. I encourage every woman to subscribe to it and read it.  Visit verilymag.com.

Attend Maryland Conservative Action Network’s “Turning the Tides” Conference- January 12, 2013

TTT2013All conservatives and libertarians in the DC metro should attend Maryland Conservative Action Network’s “Turning the Tides” conference in Annapolis, MD.

Here’s what will transpire on January 12, 2013:

Join us for frank discussion about where we go from here. Topics will include what to expect from both Washington, DC and Annapolis, improving our ground game, national security, the left’s war on the suburbs, how “green energy” schemes are hurting our national and state economy, and more.

Yours truly will be a youth panelist. I will give a talk about my activism coupled with my family history. Hope you come and hear from me and countless other speakers:

  • Dan Bongino
  • Brad Botwin
  • Brandon Cooper
  • Myron Ebell
  • Pamela Geller
  • Gabby Hoffman
  • Stanley Kurtz
  • Steve Milloy
  • Mark Newgent
  • Neil Parrott
  • Richard Rothschild
  • Jim Rutledge
  • Ken Timmerman
  • Blaine Young
  • and more.

Registration details:

Sponsorship opportunities and vendor tables are available. Please contact tonya@mdconservatives.com for details.

If interested in media/blogger credentials (space is limited), please contact jjamitis@mdconservatives.com.

The DoubleTree Hotel has set aside overnight rooms at a special conference rate of $99/night for Friday and/or Saturday.If you would like to book a room, please call 1.800.222.8733, and ask for the Conservative Action Network block (group code: CAN).

Online registration is being handled through ShowClix.

Register by December 12 and get the discounted early bird rate of $50!

After December 12 the regular price of $75 takes effect and walk-in registration on January 12 will be $100.

A student rate of $25 is available for anyone with a current high school or college ID!

Visit http://www.mdconservatives.com/ for more details.

Golden State No Longer: A Disaffected Californian’s Thoughts on Escaping from America’s Greece

I recently trekked back to California to visit my family and enjoy some downtime after two months in the District.  I certainly needed some R&R to recharge and relax. (The political arena is a hectic albeit wonderful sphere to be immersed in. I’ve learned that any getaway you get shouldn’t be taken for granted.)  I had the chance to see some friends, visit my extended family, and finally went to  the Ronald Reagan President Library in Simi Valley, CA. It was a much-needed trip!

Now, I’m back in Northern Virginia and ready to resume my job.  I’ve got wonderful Field Representatives working with me, and have connected with many eager and bright students excited to shake things up on their campuses. I’ll be traveling up North soon and will be sure to chronicle each trip I make (when time permitted).

With this recent trip back home, it dawned upon me that I will not be back to CA for a very long time. While I’ll miss my home state, I have no regrets moving to the DC-metro area. Yes, it’s muddled with corruption – but it’s full of life and culture unseen on the West Coast. I will always be a proud yet disaffected Californian, and certainly one for the right reasons. Some will accuse me of betraying my roots for fleeing the state. (Mind you, there are no jobs for young people – or any Californian – given the dismal economic and moral state it is in.) I seized an opportunity to work for a conservative nonprofit – Leadership Institute – and took it.

As a California refugee taking shelter in the Commonwealth, I have some interesting observations about my home state now that I no longer live there. Here are the reasons why I’m happy I left:

- Outstanding, high state government debt: As of August 28, 2012, California’s debt rests at $617 billion – the highest total state debt in the entire country according to State Budget Solutions. Need I say more?

-Democrat-controlled state legislature: Both the State Senate and Assembly are controlled by Democrats who  have ushered in radical and arguably anti-American legislation. For example, legislation includes the multiple parents bill, gay history in K-12, abortion carried out by mid-wives/nurses,  DREAM Act, bans on open carry of handguns, and more.

- Endless call for more taxes: Since the return of Moonbeam (Jerry Brown) as Governor, there are more calls for taxing wealthy individuals in the Golden State. Brown and his allies are pushing Prop. 30 on the November ballot, which would “increase California’s sales tax by one-quarter of a cent for four years. It calls for an increase in state income tax on taxpayers who earn more than $250,000 a year for the next seven years,” according to CBS L.A. AEI president Arthur C. Brooks writes in “The Road to Freedom” that when presenting the moral case for free enterprise, it is important reduce spending, not add more taxes, when solving budget problems.

-Welfare state: Yahoo!  reported in December 2011 that California, the largest welfare state in the U.S., “has one-eighth of the nation’s population but one-third of all welfare recipients.”

-Too much spent on education coupled with corrupt teachers unions: Total expenditures (plus state bonds) for education in Fiscal Year 2012-2013, including K-12 and higher education, totaled 35.7 percent of California’s state budget,  or $39,575,109 for K-12 and $10,050,905 for higher education as of May 2012. Tuition hikes plague the University of California and California State University systems, and administrators continue to receive high salaries. (As someone who recently graduated from a UC school, I see the problem beset in education, much like the state budget, in refusal to gut waste and deny tenure/pensions to professors undeserving of it.) Another problem plaguing education in California is corruption in the California Teachers Association and similar teachers unions, whose bosses and members are too concerned about their salaries and benefits – not the welfare of their students. (California is in great need of school choice legislation. It would diminish teachers unions and dramatically improve education there.) When a sex scandal hit LAUSD last year (think worst school district in the nation), the teachers unions – in true fashion –  refused to address the issue and supported the defeat of a bill that would have tackled it, according to CNN:

While senators overwhelmingly voted in support of Senate Bill 1530, it was met with strong opposition from the powerful California Teachers Association.

The teachers’ union says that Padilla’s bill would have eliminated essential legal protections for teachers and that it believes the current system is an appropriate process.

Additionally, the CTA protects bad teachers thanks to tenure. It is also a big political player in Sacramento.

(There’s a lot to discuss regarding education in California, so I’ll detail it in a future post.)

-Illegal immigration: Illegal immigration has proven to be burdensome to the Golden State. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed the California DREAM Act – AB 130 (private scholarships)and AB 131 (public scholarships). This gave children of illegal immigrants and young illegal immigrants access to tuition regardless of their citizenship. Another crippling move that has emboldened illegal immigration is the DMV’s plan to issue drivers licenses to approximately 400,000 young illegals. Talk about oy vey…

There are many problems facing California – too many to list in a single blog post. It pains me to see my home state falter and become like Greece. I’ll even go so far as to call it a state riddled by Marxist and La Raza interests. Unfortunately, the Golden State must collapse and build anew. Otherwise, I’ll maintain that it is a lost cause.

Although I rag on California often, I will admit this: I’m glad I spent my formative years living there. I learned right from wrong, learned who to trust/who not to trust, enjoyed the beaches and nice weather, got my political start, was surrounded by family, and got to see leftist abuses at work.

“You can take the girl out of California, but you can never take the California out of the girl.”

Eagle Forum Collegians Summit – July 19-20, 2012 – Washington, DC

Conservative in college? Want to hear from movers and shakers? Attend Eagle Forum’s Collegian Summit in Washington, DC this July 19-20, 2012.

I highly suggest you attend this conference. I had the honor of being one of ten youth panelists at last year’s summit. I got to hear Paul Ryan, Allen West, and many other remarkable speakers. I also got to meet other like-minded college kids and see some old friends.

If you’re looking for a great networking opportunity in an intimate setting, this event is for you!

Here’s the promo video:

Also, here are Allen West’s thoughts on college conservatives:

 

Register for the event here. Students in the DC metro area can attend the event for free. Those residing outside of the DC metro area can apply for scholarships here.