Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Freedom’s Fall

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Freedom's Fall

I cannot help at be shocked at the discussions I read, as we near Election day here in the US. The disconnect is absolutely incredible in the ranks of those involved in the marketing of a President. But what goes on is fairly predictable none the less. WE did not get to this place overnight. Remember that word as you read down: “we”.

“You can’t sustain a democracy in an oligarchic state”- Chris Hedges

I distinctly remember the election of Barack Hussein Obama. I have clear memory of my reasoning, as well as a hope in what he purported to be, and in turn, I had been cautiously enthusiastic about the return of the Oligarchy in this new Administration.

The campaign assured me, and indeed all of us, that they would “do the right thing” which is pretty much the foundational tenet of the Democratic Political platform, as well as a foundational Philosophy within the structure of the Electoral process, contained in the US Constitution.

I recall wondering how it was, that after the damages and crime of the Bush Administration, we had a man who was a Constitutional Attorney to champion the restoration of our Democratic Republic? Of course I would “vote for hope”.

However in the back of my mind was the Pragmatist. His was that of the CEO, the Leader, who had experienced  coaching by Civil servants on crime and prevention in Corporate structure. That guy whispered this. “What if you are wrong? What if this man has a pathological problem, in a similar vein to the Con men which you have seen endeavor to ply their trades in some of the companies you have run? What then?”

Well, as it turns out, Mr Obama betrayed his oath of office and did so in an increasingly bold and brazen fashion, as his term unfolded. He reinforced and built upon the degradation of Civil Rights guaranteed under Federal Law, which was begun under the Bush Administration.  He did so with the assistance and acknowledgement of Congress. The Chief Executive wedding his purpose with that of the Legislative branch, in a locking down, and repression, of the American people.

In the meantime, the Globalists which preside over many of the worlds largest Economic entities watched the events unfold and waited, hedging their bets, waiting to see if the world’s largest imperialistic power could be undermined, and brought under global economic control.

Below is a link which tutors on a malady called Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  A local businessman had pointed out the existence of this malady, which he stated was prevalent in many holders of Political office. Indeed we had experienced it in stark illustration within our own City Government, with the rise and fall of a seriously defective City Manager.…

We likely have that in our Presidential Officeholder.

Below is a series of articles. which explain what we have going on in the Presidency today, if taken in contextual entirety.

The last link is an audio file from a radio show where a Father speaks of the loss of his son at Benghazi.

This is going to change. But people must determine what complicity really means to them, in their choices. Because ignoring or failing to examine, is a pointed decision, and makes one a partner in this regime. That is despicable.

You can choose evil. That is what this is really about.

The death of Chris Stevens and our people at Benghazi was evil. Our Admin had been possibly watching, in real time. It is only one example. Many exist.

Have a look at these three articles-links. In them lie a pointed look at the Presidency and a reasonable explanation is there,  for what we have today.…

I have said repeatedly that our Intelligence is complete regarding US bases of operation. It will continue to be. We are good at what we do, waging the processes developed by our Military Industrial Complex.
None of this is about Red or Blue. Our system of checks and balances has been severely compromised.

Own your mind. Choose wisely. Learn vigilance. Reject division.

Because when it all fails, what the American people need to recognize, is that they will still be planted with their fellows, on US soil.

Here is an in depth look by Chris Hedges.

Here is a brief summation of our existent process, which we can change by removal of this President, as a first step. But that is only a small step. The Globalists have hedged their bets in Congress and within the context of this Presidential election. No reason exists yet for them to alter the plan.

” We are seeing the creation of a feudal society. An Oligarchy. And the reduction of two thirds of this country to a subsistence level, similar to a Feudal Serfdom” – Chris Hedges

From where I stand the only thing which matters today, is pushing to restore the shattered legal foundation of our Constitution which began to accelerate post 9-11 and grew in the depth of it’s destruction under the Administration of Barack Obama. Elect that? We should be impeaching it, just as we should have with the prior Administration.

Without an accurate and valid foundation, no solid legal structure exists for the maintenance of a traditional Democratic Republic system of Govt. here.  So unless we hold our Govt to account, all the other “stuff” the public is being fed, is just so much white noise.

I hope that in the process of all this theater, the American people as a body realize that their Politicians are not the Govt, and certainly not their Country. The heart has been severed from the body. This place needs a surgeon, not another clown. Our freedoms are not being guarded by the current system. They are intentionally being stripped and the ones who seek to preserve liberty, are being slaughtered in every manner imaginable.

That should never be an acceptable choice for any human being.




Talking Story

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012


When I was very young, my Father explained to me how history was documented in Hawaii. He told me that it was passed along from Father to Son, and that if the chain was ever broken, that the family History could be lost as time passed. So I grew up with the concept of the story being a  relatively sacred thing.

As my career in imaging grew, it was based on the telling of stories in the context of my image creation. I would always, no matter how surreal the work became in expression, root the piece in  aspects of Historic Truth. The exact timbre of the truth communicated was always, by design, supposed to correspond as closely as artistically appropriate with the subject.

This week I had a fairly rare occurrence. Someone posted a video on my Facebook wall, and asked that I watch it. At the end of the half hour piece, I was heavily impacted by the message of the film. I sat in front of the monitor and pondered how I felt. The person was asking me to pass the film and it’s message along.  To both tell and verify their story by my assent to that act.

I thought awhile, and did not share it. With a sigh, I realized that something did not seem right to me. A close friend of mine, a Deputy District Attorney once took me aside after my company had experienced a couple episodes with Con men (short for confidence) in our retail stores and factory. He said that if something ever struck one as being “too good to be true” that in all likelihood it really was a lie of sorts, based on what we wanted to hear. Frequently, he said (and I found this to be very accurate in perspective over the years) that the Con man himself really believes what he is saying, or at the very least, maintains his aura of confident assertiveness in the telling of the tale.

So I began the process of vetting the truth of this film. It just seemed all too perfect, emotions manipulated neatly in a seamless combination of perfect production values, that belied great skill, a lot of time and as I know first hand, a substantial budget to cover the phases of production, post production and distribution.

That film on my Facebook wall was Kony 2012.

So for two entire days, I looked into the aspects of the history of an age old conflict in Uganda, which the story loosely and creatively chronicled, and began to look more closely at the manner in which the story was told. The closer I looked, the more appalled that I became. As I point by point dissected the film, unraveled my emotional entanglements, figured out the why, when, where, who and how of the film, I was appalled, but really not that surprised, that in essence, at it’s core, I was being conned.

As a last point of vetting, I rang a colleague up. L’s warm voice came on the line and in the background I could hear voices and commotion. “Hey L, where are you?” “In Washington at a  National Journalism Convention. How are you? What’s up?” I offered to ring him back later but L said that he had a 7 minutes, so I said simply: “Kony 2012″. L was silent for a few seconds then responded. “What do you want to know?” “Everything”

So L stepped outside the conference and used his 7 minutes to tell me what he KNEW. Not what he thought. Journalists are great that way, the real ones. The details he described showed me a methodical background check that led all the way from various NGO long term aide workers on the ground in Uganda, right to the fund raising efforts and disbursement of funds in the NGO which the film fronted and talked story for. As we rang off, L promised that he would send me a link to someone he respected who was on the ground in Uganda, so I could read firsthand, that person’s story. And we said goodbye. 6 minute phone call. The link arrived and I posted it into my vette document.

I would not be posting that video on my Facebook wall, but I would talk a little about the value of correct Philosophy in storytelling.

There is an age old saying about the past and it’s documentation, which illustrates the importance of not just good intentions, but purity of heart. “History is always written by the winners”

Ethically, without an embrace of the truth in a matter, there is no real purity of heart, and that story telling experience which ensues, well, that can alter History, and affect the manner in which a culture moves forward to great negative affect.

Storytellers therefore, have a somewhat sacred trust to maintain and abide by.

I have seen a lot of subtle lies in film and media. Sometimes they are blatant, as in Stop Kony. Frequently they are more subtle, as in the rewriting of MOH Michael Monsoor’s death account to suit the storyline, in the recently released film, the doco turned feature “Act of Valor”. The lure of a “good story” is always there to tempt the storyteller to bend or weave truth, according the their own reality.

EVERYONE struggles with the truth, in media and content development. Myself included.So many voices exist, telling so many tales and frequently something that sounds reasonable gets passed on and becomes a part of a bigger work. That is the architecture of deceit. This is how it comes and creates a reality that can deceive many. It is true, that saying: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.

I know a lot of Film Makers, Directors, Writers and various Creatives. The bulk of the ones with professional standing have a high bar for Truth, especially the ones whose careers burgeon under the label of being an “artist” .


So maybe as Social Media accelerates rapidly forward, we ought to hold people accountable a little more often. What you see or read or hear may be a lie. Everything you read is NOT true, but may be someone’s version of a lie wrapped in the guise of Truth. It is not all grey out there. Really. Truth matters.

Each one of the images in this blog tells a story. Each tale is rather pure. I like the fact that life is often much stranger and more beautiful than fiction.

I am outraged by the insult that film maker issued with Stop Kony. I want to simply type these words as my message to him.

      Fuck You

But here is the deal. No one wins in that. Not really. Because outrage must transform into education, and forward progress, or my own story telling itself, will become darker, and filled with less light.

So I will refrain from a long diatribe and simply ask people to think about what they are being told. Is it sounding too good to be true? If so, just do a little something. Turn the light on. Our Society and Culture need that.

Then go tell your own story. I am sure it will be wonderful.

Lastly, here is a fantastic piece about Jeff Skoll, on storytelling, in one of my favorite reads, Daily Good.

Pursuing Happy

Saturday, November 5th, 2011
Happiness Is

Happiness Is

One of the things that always strikes me about Bali and the Balinese is the degree of happiness which exists.

Some may say that being happy is a choice. Well it is, sort of. But not the type of selection one may suspect. Happiness is in the choices open to you as an individual and member of a Community, and in the case of a Citizen of the US, the pursuit of it, is a National Guarantee.

Here is a fantastic read on Happiness, by Dr William B Stewart. Take close note of what he says about the US Bill of Rights and Constitution.



I very recently returned from Bali, a supposed “Third World” nation, to Ventura California. A place that by all rights and history, should be a bastion of freedom and happiness, seeing it was founded on the backs of settlers who became ranchers, farmers and  oil field workers. One would call those, “salt of the earth” types. People whose families and existence were based on the pursuit of happiness.

However, (and I write this with great reluctance) a cancer moved into my Community in the past decade. Lubricated by money and the pursuit and love of it, a Socio-Political faction obtained control of the town through the City Council and hiring of a dis-re located City Manager to run the town, which proved to be at the expense of the freedom and happiness of the township, which is a Corporation.

Repressive Disconnect

Repressive Disconnect

As the US economy spiraled into a new abyss, those people engaged in a philosophy of  City Governance one would at best call repressive, and at worst Totalitarian. The irony of course, being that most of the empowered are rather well paid at Taxpayer and Community expense.

Red Light Traffic cameras were installed, as a means of obtaining a new source of income. Parking pay stations were installed in the Downtown as a means of controlling traffic and the populace, under the guise of progress, killing it, at the expense of 1.8 million dollars. Only two City Council members resisted fairly consistently, Jim Monahan and Neil Andrews.  City  Mayor Bill Fulton, City Manager Rick Cole and the other Council members,  pushed for all of it,  on occasion, shouting down and conspiring against any who disagreed with the repressive and money losing attempts to create a “Sustainable Urban development” out of what is really a sprawling village.



I have long been involved in Ecological Study and Rules development and the more foot to the ground aspects of Environmentalism and Progressive development. I have never seen such an obvious attempt at Greenwashing and false flag flying under the guise of Sustainability, as I have seen by the leadership at large in Ventura Ca. Look into the backgrounds of the various members of City Governance and their allegiances, and you will find development companies and interests. You will find six figure salaries. You will find  a potential for corruption that makes Indonesian Govt look like a school for choir boys.

In Sustainable Systems, architecture demands that needs be met with available assets, thereby perpetuating the system itself. What Ventura has gotten shoved down it’s throat by these well compensated individuals is the opposite of that. It is the definition of Parasitism, where eventually the foreign entity kills or severely damages the host.

For this Community to thrive, the drain on it  must be removed.

Ever hear of the term “Proactive Zoning and Code Enforcement”? That is where the City Zoning and Code enforcement people show up at the door, flash a badge (They are actually NOT Law Enforcement) and ask to enter your home under the guise of A) Having a complaint lodged by some mystery person or B) Just wanting to make sure that your property is “safe”.

Then, IF the homeowner is gullible enough to let the inspector in, that CITY EMPLOYEE cites the occupant of the home (citizen) for anything that they can find and fine them for. Cannot pay it? No problem. The City of Ventura leins the home and it goes on the list for collection by the County Tax Assessor and sale later, by the County of Ventura if you still cannot pay. No kidding. Approx 148 homes are currently on that list and the Institute for Justice in Washington DC sent a letter to the City (watch their video on the 14th Amendment!), saying it was in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Not one of these homeowners was offered time payment plans or a hardship application.

A once proud heritage

A once proud heritage

So there is a City Council Election next week in Ventura, and three seats are being contested. The incumbents have made clear choices about their and the City’s future happiness. The challengers, (With the exception of candidate Cheryl Heitman, who moved to Ventura from Thousand Oaks this year) are long term members of the Community. Some have at great personal expense, fought against what has been done to their town. One of them, Ken Cozzens, is a retired Sheriff and local business owner (both highly qualifying vocations to have represented in office). Another, Carla Bonney, even went so far as to acquire nearly 12k Citizen signatures that would place the parking pay stations on the ballot, only to have her community building efforts be halted by City Attorney Ariel Calonne, who had been informed of the efforts all along. What he did looked very bad. It may have been what it looked like. It may not. But in any event, the people who all thought they should get the opportunity to VOTE on the changes rammed down their throats by the Mayor, City Council, Rick Cole and the Downtown Ventura Organization, were denied that opportunity.  Get the picture?

There is more. Much more.  I HATE dirty laundry, and my town like many, has skeletons which maybe ought not be exhumed. Or maybe they should? Ever read about our town Cemetery that was turned into a dog park illegally? Today, dogs walk where bodies still lie interred, the area scraped of grave markers, which were dumped in Hall Canyon. The City uses the issue to distract the public from the real issue: this large Midtown section of the city is the only section that has no real parks, so people continue to fight over the use of a cemetery. Legally, that is exactly what it still is. People’s families and the History of Ventura are buried there! No park for you, but here, have this cemetery. The dead won’t mind. After all, they are dead. The act violates all manner of State and Federal codes as well as the basic conventions of humanity in every culture of the earth. To make matters even more onerous, one James Sumner, a Medal of Honor holder, is also interred there. Ventura just wanted a park. Parks are happy places. Cemeteries are about something else. The bodies lie there still. Understand?

Goal of Governance

Goal of Governance

Now don’t get me wrong. Politics are dirty business and politicians seldom are leaders of any real sort. They typically only follow the money trail. So why expect Ventura to be different?

Because Venturans live there. And for that reason this tract of Coastal Land could possibly be one of the most vital assets in California. But only if Venturans determine the direction and application of Law, Civil Liberty, and Development. We must pursue Happiness. We must seek it out, architect it, and make it work for our future generations. There is smart growth in that. Anything less is just demise.

As the Occupy Movement and  crime in high places, struggle together for control, the only real chance for happiness, is for the community to assume control of it’s destiny, and in doing so, be allowed the opportunity to pursue liberty and happiness. It is why I will not expatriate, much as I love the peace that exists elsewhere in the world. It is why I am and remain, an American. That is my choice. I am not paid to be here. I want to be here.

Want to see a happy future for your children? Occupy your town. Take it back from those who are there to milk it for personal gain. You and I must do this. There is no one else with that responsibility, who will do it for us.

I hope things change, yes. But regardless of who is in a City Govt position, we all have an investment in our Communities, and must believe it to be worth all of the struggle to restore, and must understand, that eventually, the townships of America will be occupied by the Citizens, and not prurient interests hiding behind false flags.

Icon of  Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Icon of Ventura Justice: Judge McGrath's home

Seems like a prudent thing to me: the pursuit of happiness. For everyone. It is why our founders wrote it into the Law.

My son Josh produced this. A young man who is an idealist rooted in the realism of our National Socio-Political condition.  A Venturan.  No Substitute.  He gets it. So should we.

Love your family. Cherish your Community. Occupy. Take your town back. Make it YOUR homeland. You restore our Country by doing so.

That is an honorable thing.

Light Fantastic: Happiness

Light Fantastic: Happiness


Wednesday, August 17th, 2011



One of the linchpins in the success of my imaging career, has been the ability to recognize and communicate beauty. Sounds simple. The reality is far from that. The reason being, is that beauty is a complex subject, and really has little to do with obvious and apparent physical attributes.

Take the image above. Pretty girl. I made her prettier with my skills as a photographer. But what makes this beautiful, is understanding. Me taking the time to understand who and what she is, made me want to pursue working with her.  Jentry is the daughter of two  remarkable parents. She is a dancer with discipline, talent and creative vision, and has what I like to call: “purity of motivation”.

In other words, she “gets it”. That makes her inspiring. This translates to real beauty. You cannot forge beauty. It may be counterfeited to those who only see in the superficial tones  communicated in today’s highly compromised value systems. But true beauty will always be above corruption.

That is probably why I attach myself to the Ocean so willingly. It is difficult to corrupt that. It goes on. Powerful and Beautiful in it’s intricate workings and purpose. Water is life and carries within it the energy signature of the universe.  When we experience beauty, it resonates in the human heart in much the same manner as a string plucked or stroked on a musical instrument which vibrates and exudes sound.  Beauty is like that: pure in tone and motivation.

Blue Pulse

Blue Pulse

My phone rang early yesterday morning. I was online and engaged in a written conversation with Dr. Ed Brenegar about corruption in our culture. Ed is a very educated member of a global leadership community. He always seems to be on point and is generally writing what I am thinking .

The voice on the other end was my friend George Orbelian, who was ringing to speak with me regarding an event being put on by Tre Packard of the Japanese based Environmental action group, Pangea Seed.

Pangea is putting on an Art event in SF, and had sought some help in promoting it. I had suggested Tre speak with George, who is a loved and connected member of the SF Community, and heads a plethora of Organizations.

George is a busy man. He always gets right to the point. “David, what can you tell me about Pangea?” I went straight to the heart of it. I knew what George was asking. “They endeavor to change the perception of Japanese culture through Art and Inspiration, George. Being Japan based, they understand cultural tenets and know that in order to implement real change, the head on approach to Environmental Activism that we use in American Culture is ineffective. Pangea has what I would call a very pure approach. They communicate the beauty and importance of preserving sharks and other marine life, in building a healthy ocean and country. They get it.”



“That is perfect. Okay I know what to do”. George is like that. We all should be. One needs to check behind the facade these days. For often, what appears to be beautiful and pure, may be something else by the time you see it, than what it was when it was born.

I asked my friend a question. “George, are all Environmental Govt agencies and NGO’s corrupt? I mean, is that just the way things are today? ” (George heads up Project Kaisei, an NGO Environmental entity).

I gave him a brief account of a locally based NGO that was founded on the premise of serving the poor, and what I had recently learned about the leadership, one of which is paid a 200K annual salary.



“Let me tell you a story” George quietly launched into an account of some close friends of his, who had gone to India to do some humanitarian work. In process they found themselves in the facility of a world famous organization headed up by a global religious figurehead. What they saw there perplexed and alarmed them.

In the facility was a large  room being used as a nursery. Against one wall of the dirty room was a huge pile of toys apparently discarded and untouched. In cribs throughout the room where infants. Grimy, marginally cared for. George began to choke up and explained that this was difficult to talk of. He went on.

“As my friends began to pick up and meet each child, they realized that the children were being left in there. They were never taken outside. They tried to make a difference in caring for them. But it was obvious what was going on. (George describes in intimate detail what those aide workers saw. Chokes up more)

“Thanksgiving was a few days away. They figured that maybe they could help by easing the lot of the women in the religious order, who were a part of the operation. So each member of the party picked something to cook and on Thanksgiving, they brought the people at the orphanage a beautiful traditional American Thanksgiving meal.

As they brought it in, one of the workers there, realizing that the group was trying to do a good thing, took them aside and explained something. The people of the Religious order ate like that every day. A prestigious Hotel chain catered all of their meals. They also told them this: “And you see some of those unkempt babies? Those neglected, discarded children? Some of them were born to the members of the order.”

In tears, George explained “Everything goes this way, they are all bad. But they generally do not start out that way. It is just the process that organizations go through.”

In tears as well, I got it.

Beauty is an honorable state of being. The pretty face of the warm fuzzy thing you thing you feel compelled to “save”? Well, you may have just fed something corrupt. In not looking, and not endeavoring to see, you may have contributed to something evil.

No one wants to abuse babies.

People are what matter.

Be the solution.

Seek beauty.




When we do this, if we do this, we take the lead, and engage the creative process, rather than becoming a part of the destructive process, also known as entropy. That should matter greatly. It cedes to accountability and responsibility. Our organizations need this.

Click on any of the images below to toggle through as a slide show.


Monday, December 7th, 2009


Our lives are a lot like that of a wave, in how we roll through the sea of life, in an ocean of existence, headed for some place. But unlike a wave, we have choices we can make that determine our final destiny. Those choices determine who, and what we are, because we learn from them. Hopefully making for a somehow “better” you and I. The ability to choose is what makes us human. The desire to select by principle, can make us something else.

In the Gospel there is a key saying that has always spurred me when I needed it: “Faith without works is dead.” I sometimes need the spur to be taken to me. My friends and subjects are generally quite happy to oblige.

A simple e mail had dropped into my G mail in box mid week. It was from Venturan Steven Schleder, someone I had met in the course of our recent city elections. The crux of the message was: :”Are you still going?” The letter was in reference to a Memorial service for Col Lewis Millett. A man who had dropped everything and come to Steven’s aid several years ago in a quest to restore a desecrated graveyard in Ventura. You can read a little about that here via K38 Rescue’s blog. My home town did something vile in it’s past. Many believe that honor dictates the desecrated graveyard be restored somehow. Steven had been the sole man to charge up that hill. The city understandably, sought to marginalize him.  Now there are many more behind him. The number swells as our honor bound friends hear the sordid tale.

When I agree to shoot something, I know that my simple “yes” means anywhere from 2-5 days worth of work. In this case I had said yes 6 days prior and promptly shelved the affirmation. (I had forgotten about it.) Steven also asked if I could maybe shoot motion. Imagine a slot machine and all the little icons whizzing by.  Ding ding ding! That was my psyche the day I realized that my own word had snared me. Okay I would shoot a film now, in addition to stills.

A quick e mail to my partners and colleagues asking for someone to step forward, brought three responses from three men. Tyler Swain and Rob Dafoe would do it if there was no other. Aaron Marcellino said that though he had just arrived back in town by train that day, and was moving into a new house, he would be at my door at 6:30 Saturday morning with his motion kit. We have a good group. Any of us would come at a moment’s notice for another’s project. Each person has mad skills.

Aaron and I arrived at the Riverside Memorial which stands overlooking March AFB at 9:30 am and dragged our gear a 1/2 mile or so and without a word, fell into our separate production roles.

What passed before my eyes remains burned into my psyche. It will make for a great short film. I look forward to completing it. You can read more about Col Millett here.

If you have never been to a Military memorial, please take some time and look at these images. We made them to honor Col Lewis Millet: Medal of Honor holder, but much more than that, a man of God who earned his repose in a dedication to country, family and honor, out of love for his fellow man. No, the irony does not escape me. It enforces just how important this country and a true moral compass heading are.

This beautiful piece was sent along by my old friend, Terry Irwin. It says a lot about the human condition.

As we head towards Christmas, maybe ponder a little bit about sacrifice, love and strength. Have you made a choice about who and what you will follow? What shore you will wash up on?

Here is a beautiful piece about Christmas and small honors leading to great things.  Think about the beat of the snare as you see the casket headed for the dirt of a cemetery. Now think about someone bulldozing the thing. My town did that. They made it into a dog park. Bad choice.

Howitzer detail. Grave field.

Howitzer detail. Grave field.

Shawn Alladio.

Shawn Alladio.

How will your epitaph read?

How will your epitaph read?

From Drew Kampion:

A Song for Occupations
by Walt Whitman


Will you seek afar off? you surely come back at last,
In things best known to you finding the best, or as good as the best,
In folks nearest to you finding the sweetest, strongest, lovingest,
Happiness, knowledge, not in another place but this place, not for
another hour but this hour …

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.