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Gus Ayer was a force to be reckoned with. (Aeolus was his tag name here)

He was a mentor to so many. He made us laugh. He put us to work.

I met him online. He hated that I always said that. But we met when he saw my post on Daily Kos when I ran for city council unsuccessfully in 2006. He immediately sent me a generous campaign donation and gave me lots of great guidance and advice. Our friendship was sealed during that campaign and in the many others to come.

He sacrificed his own re-election campaign in Fountain Valley to try and elect Debbie Cook to Congress. He was the mayor and a city council member in Fountain Valley.

I could always count on Gus to make me laugh and to cut through the bullshit and tell it to me straight. He was my mentor and in my innermost circle of friends.

I walked many many miles with Gus at Mile Square Park near his home in Fountain Valley. We strategized laughed and made many plans during those walks.

There is a great void in my heart right now.

This is a significant loss for progressives and environmentalists in Orange County.

Just to let you know what Gus worked on in the 2012 campaign cycle:
Sandy Genis elected to the Costa Mesa City Council
Jill Hardy elected to the Huntington Beach City Council
Diana Carey elected to the Westminster City Council
Helped to defeat Measure Z in Huntington Beach
Worked on the anti-Charter initiative in Costa Mesa
Worked on saving Coyote Hills in Fullerton and won at the ballot even though outspent 10-1.
Worked on defeating an anti-open space initiative in Orange and won!

Gus's last project was defeating the Poseidon desalination project in Huntington Beach and we will be carrying on that fight now with a vengeance and in Gus' memory.

I loved him and I am devastated.

He leaves behind a beautiful family—his wife Verna and his sons Eliot and Ethan and their wives. My love and thoughts are with them now that they can recover from this tremendous loss.


Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 10:17 AM PST

Kissing Up To War Criminals

by joeesha

(cross posted at OC Progressive.)

The Orange County Register's Eugene W. Fields interviews Torture Cheerleader John Yoo and asks all the tough questions, such as:

Q.  Have you done anything interesting since moving to Southern California?

A. I'm getting in shape, which everyone here seems to be in. I went and joined this L.A. Sports Club down in Irvine, and Kobe Bryant works out there.

The question I wanted to ask was, "Are you afraid to travel outside of the United States, knowing you might be arrested as a war criminal?"

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Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), claimed tremendous progress in his crusade against illegal immigration, and urged the Obama administration to continue the Republican economic policies that are sending Mexicans back to Mexico.

Rohrabacher spoke to reporters as Republicans celebrated their unanimous vote against the stimulus package:

"Some people claim the Republicans economic plans have failed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We needed to crash the real estate and construction industry to end opportunity for the illegal immigrants who were destroying our schools and health care. The Republican plan is working."

The millions who have lost the equity in their homes, or half their life savings, and the 3.6 million Americans who have lost their jobs in the last year are true patriots who are sacrificing for their country.

The last thing in the world we need is an economic stimulus plan which will put Pedro and his friends back to work."

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I know of no other person who has done for her community than Debbie Cook (CA-46) running against Dana Rohrabacher. I know she will get similar results in Washington.

Take a look at her new TV ad now running:
Debbie Cook Tv Ad

Right now, Blue America is running a contest. The candidate that gets the most votes will get $10,000 from Blue America. This will enable us to keep Debbie's ads up on TV longer. You can see from Debbie's ads and her bio, that she's kind of the Anti-Palin, a community organizer, PTA mom, but with progressive values.

All you have to give is $1! Here's the link. The contest ends at 12 noon, PST, today.

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I thought I would post an updated rerun of something I posted this summer of my experience as a tourist this summer on a cruise ship, being forced to leave the ship in Italy for medical care.

A quick update: Although all of my out-of-pocket expenses were supposed to be reimbursed, we fought the healthcare company for three months to get that reimbursement, because, we were denied three times. They said finally, that we had sent our forms to the wrong department each time. Actually, it seemed to us that they were playing a war of attrition. Finally we were reimbursed for about 2/3rds of the cost, the amount we paid out of pocket in Italy was not reimbursed.

I also want to say that my experience may have been atypical, as cruise ship's have agents in each port that help deal with these situations, although after putting us in a taxi, we didn't see the agent again.

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Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:29 AM PDT

Healthcare, Italian Style!

by joeesha

After a day of intestinal distress, the cramps started slowly just after 1 AM, then escalated, feeling like a knife stabbing me in the stomach. Finally at 2 AM, the pain was too intense to bear and I called the number given for medical emergences.

I was instructed to meet the cruise ship’s medical staff in 10 minutes in the ship infirmary and I staggered down the hallway and down the steps to the clinic.

They take food poisoning very seriously on a cruise ship and after getting some medication, the pain subsided and we felt as if the cramps were under control. For the next 24 hours I was to be quarantined - not allowed to leave my cabin – and my meals of oatmeal and chicken broth were delivered to my room.

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Conservatives can ridicule Al Gore and his Oscar-winning documentary all they want, but the fact is even in conservative Huntington Beach, changes in attitudes are beginning to take place.

"People all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis, it’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue," Gore said last night. "We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act, that’s a renewable resource, let’s renew it."

Well Huntington Beach has acted. The city joined Irvine and Santa Ana as the only Orange County cities to sign on to the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement. According to the Seattle Mayor’s website, there are more than 407 cities who have signed the agreement.

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Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 03:26 PM PST

What's Good for the Goose...

by joeesha

The nerve. Senate Minority Leader (I like the sound of that) Mitch McConnell is threatening to filibuster any House vote that attempts to stop or criticize the President's escalation in Iraq.

Sounds like the freshmen Republican congressmen who implored Speaker Pelosi to treat the Republican minority better. Even though the Republican majority shut the Democratic minority out of any real participation in passing legislation in the House.

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Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:32 PM PDT

A Little Blue in a Sea of Red

by joeesha

We have extremely vital and pressing issues in our country today including the threat to Habeas Corpus and our Congress and Senate endorsing torture. Unreal.

But I do want to give you an update on my run for City Council in Huntington Beach, CA.

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Tue Sep 12, 2006 at 10:19 AM PDT

Put a Kossack on the Council!

by joeesha

Hi fellow Kossacks.

I've written here before about my race for City Council in Huntington Beach, California.

It's exciting! My campaign manager is Laura Riechelt, who masterminded Marcy Winograd's campaign against Jane Harmon.
Everywhere I go, there is a buzz and energy about my campaign.

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Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 07:44 PM PDT

Drinking Liberally in the O.C.

by joeesha

The Orange County (California) Chapter of Drinking Liberally had its first Drinking Liberally event this past Thursday at the Memphis Bar in Loretta Sanchez's backyard, downtown Santa Ana (blue territory in a red county.)

It was a Democratic shmooze fest, with several campaigns, candidates and office holders represented, and the first ever meeting of many infamous bloggers of OC, which includes yours truly.

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Sun Jul 23, 2006 at 10:52 AM PDT

A Bake Sale for Change: Campaign Update

by joeesha

My name is Joe Shaw and I'm running for City Council in Huntington Beach, California.

Today some of my employees and friends donated their time and their cookies to throw a bake sale fundraiser for me, in front of my store in Downtown Huntington Beach.

The first person that bought some cookies donated $20 and said she'd read about my candidacy here on Daily kos. So I thought I'd give you a campaign update.

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