Photo of the Day: San Diego Skyline

I’ve just returned from a business trip to San Diego.

San Diego has a special place in my heart. I spent three years in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla at UC-San Diego and visited America’s Finest City on numerous occasions while growing up in Southern California.

Here’s a photograph I think you’ll enjoy. It’s a picture of the San Diego skyline from the Coronado Bay Bridge. Enjoy!

Proud to Be A California Girl


Salt Creek Beach – Monarch Beach, CA


T.S. Eliot once wrote, “Home is where one starts from.”

Last week, I ventured out to the West Coast to visit my first home in sunny California: South Orange County. I had been away from OC for nearly three years, so it was past due to pay my hometown area a visit.

Southern California will always be my first home. Having spent the bulk of my childhood in Orange County, one summer in Santa Barbara, and three years in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla, I had a well-rounded SoCal experience spanning 21 years. But like every wide-eyed, ambitious young American out there, I realized I had to leave OC behind to realize my full potential. Now I call the Washington, D.C., metro area my home.

“Back Home” by Andy Grammer is largely the inspiration behind this blog post about my trip back to Orange County, CA.

These lyrics resonate with me the most:

See, we won’t forget where we came from
The city won’t change us
We beat to the same drum

And no matter where we go

We always find our way back home

I found my way back home, but only for a brief visit. Nevertheless, I’m still proud to hail from Southern California.


First and foremost, no trip back home is complete without a visit to In-N-Out Burger.

In-N-Out Cheeseburger with Animal-Style Fries. Yum!

In-N-Out Cheeseburger with Animal-Style Fries. Yum!

Thought I’ve eaten Five Guys on numerous occasions, it will never compare to an In-N-Out Cheeseburger and Animal-Style French fries. It was great to bask in this deliciousness with my childhood friends. Proud to be friends with future dentists, chemical scientists, and academics!

I also paid a visit to Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Laguna Beach with some friends to eat some quality Mexican-Asian-Brazilian cuisine. (If you haven’t eaten at Wahoo’s, go!)

Afterwards, I paid a visit to Pearl Street Beach and snapped this view. Gorgeous, right?

IMG_6264I had plenty of opportunities to snap pictures of the surrounding beaches in Dana Point and Laguna Beach.

Marveling in one of my old stomping grounds, Salt Creek Beach!

Marveling one of my old stomping grounds, Salt Creek Beach!

We also met up with some of our relatives in Dana Point. We walked around the harbor and reminisced about good times.


Statue of Richard Henry Dana – Boston, MA politician, sailor, and intellectual who founded Dana Point, CA

Admittedly, this visit to my first home was surreal. Perhaps I’ve been aware for too long or have successfully acclimated to East Coast living. SoCal felt slightly different since my departure in September 2012. The political climate and social scene are still the same–now more assuredly Democrat and superficial, respectively. Barren, dry landscapes  were more readily apparent  thanks to the Sacramento-created drought. The same whiff of snobbery I loathed was still omnipresent. And yet, the tranquility that emanated from the Pacific Ocean (ironic, I know) temporarily washed my qualms about California away. It was a perfect week-long getaway!

California was once touted as the Promise Land. Alas, the Golden State is slowly but surely losing its golden hue. Full Democrat-rule in Sacramento, big government policies, Hollywood, among many things, have adversely impacted my home state–causing her natives to seek refuge elsewhere. It pains me to see California fall from greatness.

As a native Californian happily displaced in the Washington, D.C., metro area for three years now, I felt like an outsider from the inside. Everything was simultaneously familiar and distant. (I bet many of you have had ambiguous thoughts about returning to your hometowns.) While I enjoyed my time back home, it made me appreciate applying my California roots to a higher purpose here in DC today.

Yes, there are a lot of negative stereotypes about my home state, especially SoCal. Rich, privileged, spoiled, affluent — all adjectives come to mind about SoCal. However, it had many redeeming qualities. Thanks for expanding my food palate, molding me into a beach bum, and making be a rebel with a cause, California!

For those of  you who haven’t trekked out West before, listen to these songs to get a feel for California:

“California” by Kenny Chesney

“California Gurls” by Katy Perry

We don’t wear Daisy Dukes with bikinis on top, but we California girls are pretty unique. The Beach Boys did a great job of drawing everyone’s attention to that.

“Californication” by Red Hot Chili Peppers

RHCP is arguably one of the best bands to hail from California, and this song is reflective of SoCal in so many ways.

“Hella Good” by No Doubt

No Doubt was formed in Anaheim, CA. It’s one of the best bands to hail from SoCal–especially from Orange County. For those of us from California, hella is slang for “good,” “hell of a lot,” or “very.” Though its origins are from Northern California, many of us from SoCal have adopted the term into our vernacular too.

“Holiday From Real” by Jack’s Mannequin

Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate, spent a great deal of time in Orange County. His music is quintessentially Californian.

“California” by Phantom Planet

This song was popularized by the hit TV show, The OC. Though I never watched the show – I didn’t need a show to remind me about my hometown – the song stood out to me.

“Hotel California” by The Eagles

How can you be from California and not like this song? It’s a classic!

In Travels With Charley: In Search of America, John Steinbeck wrote“The Pacific is my home ocean; I knew it first, grew up on its shore, collected marine animals along the coast. I know its moods, its color, its nature.”

 Though I now reside in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, California – especially Orange County – will be my first home.  It taught me to value the finer things in life and to aspire to be successful in the future. It taught me to appreciate nature by facilitating my love of fishing and good beaches. It taught me to appreciate quality food–especially food of the Mexican variety. Most of all, it molded me into the easy going, spirited, independent conservative chick I am today.
Love you, California. Hope to see you again in the future!

Dear L.A.: Leave San Diego Alone!


San Diego, a.k.a. America’s Finest City, will always have a special place in my heart. I spent three years there during my time at UC-San Diego. Though I moved out of California several years ago, I fondly look back on my time in S.D.

I recently learned that UT-San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union Tribune (SDUT), was bought by the parent company of the L.A. Times. (Ugh.) Here’s more about the recent merger:

The day after the announcement of an agreement to sell the U-T San Diego to the parent company of the Los Angeles Times, the reaction among a variety of civic leaders struck a welcoming tone to the new owner, tempered with a cautious note of wait-and-see about possible changes in a newspaper that traces its lineage back 146 years.

SDUT always had decent commentary, especially with its conservative/libertarian-leaning editorial board. Its reporting is far superior to that of LAT’s “reporting,” in my humble opinion. (LAT is notoriously leftist.) I suspect UTSDo will adopt a more leftist bent following this deal. Truly sad.

This is not the only attempt to subvert San Diego or nearby counties to the whims of L.A. There is immense chatter about transferring Qualcomm Stadium in downtown San Diego up to Carson in L.A. (The Chargers would potentially share their stadium with the Oakland Raiders.) Additionally, the renaming of the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was perhaps the most idiotic move imaginable. (I don’t even follow sports that closely but found this move to be nonsensical since L.A. already boasts the L.A. Dodgers.) Again, L.A. has an encroachment problem.

Here’s more about the rivalry:

“There is a great rivalry going back to the late 19th century in terms of who would be the great Southern California metropolis, San Diego or Los Angeles,” said UC San Diego political science professor Steve Erie. “But then L.A. ended up getting the Southern Pacific railroad in 1873 because they were willing to pay more, and about a quarter of the San Diego business community high-tailed it up to L.A. believing that is where destiny smiles. In a sense, we have been in L.A.’s shadow ever since.”

Now don’t get me wrong–I don’t hate Los Angeles; I just prefer San Diego.

Growing up in Orange County, which is situated between these two metropolises, I had the luxury of traveling to both cities as a child, teenager, and college student. The L.A.-S.D. rivalry was widely apparent, and I always sided with San Diego. I always loved San Diego and knew deep down in my heart that I’d attend college there.

Suffice to say that L.A. is not an entirely horrible place; it’s just so overcrowded, leftist, and superficial. Several relatives live or have lived in L.A., so there were always frequent visits up to Santa Monica or Marina del Rey.  (Thank you Hollywood and decades’ long leftist policies in place for tainting this once-great city!) There are many wonderful things in L.A.–the food, the beach, great art museums, etc.–just not many attractive things available to convince me to move to the City of Angels. (Thankfully I’m out of California entirely.) However, here are just some of my observations as to why S.D. is more superior than L.A.:

  • Fewer, much nicer people – S.D. is home to friendlier people. It must be due to less traffic, proximity to beaches, and better standard of living.
  • Rich military history–Just about every branch of the military is housed in S.D. Navy SEALs are trained here. Plus, there’s the U.S.S. Midway.
  • Fewer taxes, more politically sane – The current mayor is a Republican, though he could benefit from being more conservative. It’s the eighth largest city in the U.S. and is more prosperous than L.A.
  • Nice beaches–Coronado, La Jolla, Encinitas, Carlsbad–need I say more??
  • Great brews, good food–S.D. is known for its variety of food and libations, especially its authentic Mexican food and craft beers.
  • Oldest city in California–S.D. was founded in 1769 and is known as the birthplace of California. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stumbled upon it about 200 years before its establishment. Top that, L.A.!

To my fellow California natives still residing in the once Golden State or residing elsewhere: what do you think? Do you think L.A. has an encroachment problem? Weigh in below!

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.”

Attend Eagle Forum of San Diego’s “Rise Up” Convention This June 1st

If you live in Southern California and are looking for an event to attend, then check out EFSD’s “Rise Up” Convention.

Speakers include Dinesh D’Souza, Brian Brown, Frank Gaffney, and more!

The event will take place at Skyline Church in San Diego from 4-9pm on June 1, 2012.

Register for the event here. Tickets cost $20. (Bring your children!)

If you’re interested in having a booth there, inquire here.

“Like” the event page and RSVP on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!

San Diego State U Promotes Blatant Secularism With Respective Class

I previously wrote about atheism and secularism here, and commented about “Atheist Awareness” Week at UCSD.

It appears that a growing trend towards secularism is being witnessed on college campuses nationwide. Religion, critics assert, corrupts people and makes them bigoted. As a result, atheism and secularism must succeed in order to combat the Judeo-Christian tyrannical stronghold in place in the United States! (Sarcasm intended).

In all seriousness, this trend signals a bad course in society. It is alarming that such “righteous” people are painting morals, Biblical teachings, and faithful people as boneheads, when they are the ones demanding special attention and conditioning programs to make us more accepting of their belief system.

Pitzer College in Southern California will be the first to launch this program. The press release elaborates further:

Claremont, Calif. (May 9, 2011) — Pitzer College will launch a Secular Studies Field Group in the fall 2011-12 academic year. With the creation of this department, Pitzer College will become the only higher education institution to offer courses and an undergraduate degree in secular studies.

The creation of a Secular Studies Field Group reflects an emerging interest in an awareness of the notable growth of secularity in America and elsewhere. For example:

  • Approximately 660,000 Americans join the ranks of those claiming no religion each year. Fifteen percent claims “none” when asked about religious affiliations, a doubling of “none” since 1990.
  • Twenty-seven percent of Americans currently “do not practice any religion” and 22% say that religion is “not a factor” in their lives.
  • The Secular Student Alliance – a college campus group for nonbelievers – reports 240 chapters nation-wide, up from 42 in 2003.
  • Almost 30% of Canadians can be considered secular and approximately 1 in 5 Canadians does not believe in God.
  • Fifteen percent of Australians claim to have no religious beliefs.
  • In France, 33% of the citizenry are atheists, while in Belgium, the percentage is 27%. Rates of unbelievers are even higher in the Czech Republic, Estonia and Slovenia.
  • Sizeable secular populations can also be found around the world including Israel, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea and Azerbaijan.

The Secular Studies Field Group will be headed by Pitzer College Professor Phil Zuckerman, an internationally renowned secular studies scholar. It will offer courses focused on various aspects of secularity from a historical, philosophical and sociological perspective. It entails the study of non-religious people, groups, thought and cultural expressions. Emphasis will be placed upon the meanings, forms, relevance and impact of political/constitutional secularism, philosophical skepticism and personal and public secularity.

Nevertheless, it looks like San Diego State will follow suit. KPBS reports the following about this development:

Southern California colleges are leading the country in the field of secular studies. Claremont college recently announced their latest bachelor’s program devoted to secular studies, UC Irvine now offers courses on Atheism and Secularism, and San Diego State University is debuting its first course on Atheism, Humanism and Secularism this Fall. We will be speaking with the SDSU professor who is instructing the course to discuss this recent trend in higher education and the field of religious studies.


Professor Roy Whitaker, SDSU religious studies professor and expert in the history of religion and irreligion; and African American religious thought.

Students and taxpayers should be alarmed at how their money is being appropriated by university administrations. Instead of focusing on these politically correct, quasi-Marxist programs, why not invest in real religious studies? Talk about the persecution of Jews and Christians in Muslim countries in the present day, along with the growing phenomenon of militant Islam and rising anti-Semitism. Why not talk about religious persecution in the former USSR and why the absence of religion there corrupted people? Can’t they dedicate one lecture to religion and its value in society, or is that too much to do? Why don’t universities give a fair account about history/religion/politics, instead of spewing leftist propaganda?

The crusade to combat political correctness will ensue. We must do all in our power to vanquish it once and for all.

Pro-Israel Conference to Storm SoCal!

The David Project is hosting a preeminent pro-Israel conference tomorrow April 3rd at UC-Irvine, which is home to the most virulent Muslim Students Union group in the United States.

If you want to go (last minute) or are going and want more details, read here. Taken from “Southern California Israel Advocacy Conference Facebook Page”:

For the FIRST TIME, UC Irvine Anteaters for Israel is proud to present the Southern California Israel Advocacy Conference. This is a great opportunity to network with the Jewish student leadership of Southern California. 


-Breakout Advocacy Sessions

-Keynote Speakers, Judea Pearl and Noam Bedein

-Viewing of Oscar winning film for best documentary short- “Strangers No More”

Make sure to RSVP to Allegra Weinstein at


**Please arrive half an hour early. Parking is free after reimbursement for non-UCI students!