International Grownup Field Trip Day

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Remember field trips? Those glorious days at school where you went somewhere fun and didn’t have to stay cooped up in a classroom?

Sure, you were *supposed* to be learning, but mainly, you were hanging out with friends, goofing off in the bus, and having a great time.

Somehow, when we get older, the whole idea gets forgotten. Until now…

International Grownup Field Trip Day is a day to honor those great trips by taking a day off ourselves. A day of fun, of goofing off, of just being a kid again.

Are you in?

Join us on International Grownup Field Trip Day!

Currently set for the last Friday in August, the plan is to organize regional get-togethers, where we celebrate by having fun and just being kids – and still being home in time for dinner!

Tell a friend, and join us on Facebook!

Creative Services

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efccslogo-300x225Edited For Clarity Creative Services

Your message is important.

No, that’s not a voicemail cliche. It’s a fact of business communication. Your success depends on getting your message out cleanly, concisely, and powerfully.

Whether it’s a speech you need to present for a conference, a presentation for a potential client, brochures, menus or even business cards, what you say is as important as how you say it.

Edited For Clarity Creative Services lets you access over 20 years of professional copywriting experience.

Our services:

  • Marketing Copy
  • Brochures
  • Press Releases
  • Web and Print Article Creation
  • Speech Writing
  • Presentation Design
  • Video Production
  • Photography

…and more.

Our rates are based on the size of the project and turnaround time.

How We Work

We have developed a process that works to guarantee your project addresses your needs. It starts with a phone, email, or Skype consultation where we get the information from you about the project. There is no charge for the consultation.

Be prepared with as much information on your project as you can gather. We will be asking many questions with one purpose in mind – crafting communications that will get your message across to your target audience.

Once we’ve gathered the information for the project, we’ll send you a quote with a price and a proposed time frame for completion. Once we’ve received a signed contract*, we’ll start work on the project. If the time frame needs to be moved up, we can arrange for rush delivery at an additional cost.

All projects include a minimum of three revisions. Longer term projects or recurring projects may include additional revisions in the quote, and some projects may include unlimited revisions.

Need recurring services? Retainer-based services offer the best value, with tiered pricing based on the average volume of work required.

Do you have questions we haven’t answered? We’re more than happy to answer them. Give us a call at 657-200-1876, or email us for more information.

Let Edited For Clarity Creative Services craft the message that’s important to you!

Appearance Information

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If you are interested in appearing on the show as a guest, we’d be happy to hear from you.

We’re currently looking for artists, musicians, bands, writers, humorists/comedians – creative folk in general to feature in our arts segment. This is a 7-10 minute segment where we feature the guest’s work, and can include audio and/or video. Writers should send a sample of work.

We cover a wide variety of topics each show. Our guest needs vary from week to week, so we’re always looking for individuals or groups with solid information. Our show is focused on cutting through rhetoric and spin, so be prepared to be fact-checked if you are coming on to discuss hot button topics.

If you are interested in appearing on the show, we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to with your information, and we’ll have someone get back to you as soon as possible.

Before appearing on the show, you will need to fill out a Guest Clearance Form to give us the permission to use your likeness and voice on the show, as well as any materials. You can download the form here and email back to

Once we have set a date for your interview, we will send you some basic questions that we will use a starting point for your interview. This does not mean we will stay on those questions, but gives you an idea where we can start, and the conversation can progress from there.

We look forward to hearing from you!


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The story garnering headlines in Southern California – other than rain and hail – is that of the former cop who has decided to go on a killing spree as revenge for his firing from the LAPD. To date, he has already killed three and injured others. He’s hellbent on exacting his revenge on the LAPD, their officers and their families. And he’s got the skills to do it.

But here’s the part that gets a little scary (from NBC4LA):

Several Facebook pages have appeared in support of Dorner, who has allegedly shot three officers, killing one. He also allegedly fatally shot the daughter of an LAPD captain and her fiancé.

The online support seems motivated by an anti-police attitude that the ex-officer espouses in his manifesto.


While the idea of someone with Dorner’s training running around with a vendetta is frightening, the idea that people are supportive is even scarier. Sure, I myself have entertained the idea that there may be more to the story, that there are investigations that need to happen into his allegations. But in no way would I support what he is doing.

For example, why kill before going to the media? Why didn’t he go to them first? Obviously, this is related to his state of mind. But again, his story and his actions aren’t the scary part. It’s that there are people that are supportive of his actions.

Now add the growing number of anti-government, paranoids who insist they must be able to own any weapon imaginable because they have to be able to “resist tyranny”. How long until one of these guys decides he’s going to follow suit? How long until this is more than just one man’s vendetta against the LAPD? How long until innocent people lose their lives because Dorner is suddenly turned into an anti-hero?

Our society is all too fond of making heroes out of villains, of glorifying people who kill because they’re against the establishment. Whether it’s a drug dealer who gains “respect” by killing his competition, or an unbalanced former cop who is going after his former colleagues on a murderous rampage, neither deserves respect nor admiration.

Dorner has already stated that he expects to not survive this. But what about that next guy?


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The new year started off with some minor excitement – a visit to the ER. Never a fun experience, but it’s made even more stressful when they come and tell you that your Medi-Cal coverage is no longer active.

Medi-Cal covered a large portion of my bills last year, but had an enormous “share of cost” – the monthly portion that I have to pay before Medi-Cal chips in a dime. How enormous? More than $1500 per month. In fact, that was a big reason why I was back in the hospital. My blood sugar had gone dangerously out of control. My body had started shivering violently, and it felt like I was getting ready for another heart attack. Turns out I was luck I didn’t fall into a diabetic coma.

So how was the share of cost a cause of this? I have no primary care doctor. I can’t get one because they won’t take patients with such a high share of cost. They’re on the hook for all the charges until the share of cost is met. At the time, I was getting about $2200 a month in disability payments, and paid $1225 of that in rent alone. this meant that there would be virtually no way for me to meet that share of cost. And no doctor to get the medications I needed to keep the blood sugar in control.

I tried for months to find someone. Even the “free clinics” were a problem. Why? They want to know if you have any insurance. They asked for my social, so they could run it against the Medi-Cal system. When they saw I did have Medi-Cal, I no longer qualified for the “free” services.

But since then, I have gone back to work. The irony is, I now have a gross of only $1500 a month at best, and bring home about $1100-1200. I have had to move in with my brother, sharing a room with my daughter and paying $600 a month in rent. Surely, with my income cut in half, the share  of cost would be reduced.

I reapplied for Medi-Cal. Today, I got the word – my share of cost has been reduced – to $775 per month.

Let’s do the math here: I bring home, at best, $1200 per month. $600 of that goes to rent. Any groceries, gas for the car, phone bills, car insurance, the regular costs of living day to day come out of the remaining $600. But somehow, I’m supposed to pay $775 a month in my medical bills before I get any assistance whatsoever. Oh, did I mention about $100 a month in medication? Also not covered until I pay the $775.

I’m not a moocher. I work and work hard. I do my best to raise my daughter under trying circumstances. But the “assistance” I get is essentially non-existent. I can’t meet the share of cost every month, unless I have a catastrophic incident that lands me in the hospital. Then, and only then, does that share of cost get met. And I’m still on the hook for it.

This isn’t assistance. My health is quite literally in danger because I can’t get assistance that makes a difference. And I’m not alone. Here’s how it’s calculated:

Income – maintenance need level** – applicable deductions = SOC

** The current maintenance need level is $600 per month for a single adult. The level increases with each additional adult and child living in the household (i.e., $750 for one adult and one child, $934 for a family of three, etc.).

So, according to Medi-Cal, I have to pay the difference between my income and the “maintenance need” level. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know a household of 2 that can survive on a total of $750 a month gross income. And therein is the real problem. The “income” levels on which “maintenance need levels” are set are woefully behind the times. Moreover, they are generic and don’t take into account variations in the areas in which people live. There may be some places where a family of 2 can live on $750 a month, but they aren’t in Orange County, CA. Or most of Southern California for that matter.

This issue is also why I get annoyed (to put it mildly) when people complain about people “mooching” off the system or taking advantage of “handouts”. There is no handout here. If I don’t pay the first $775 of my medical bills, I am getting no assistance from Medi-Cal. None. I haven’t seen my cardiologist in nine months because I can’t afford the $150 office visit, not to mention the $144 every time they decide they need to run a blood test – which is every time. That’s nearly $300 for one visit, and it;s still not half of what I have to pay out in a month before I get assistance. So don’t tell me I’m a moocher. I get nothing there, other than a barrier to the health care I need.


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On occasion, we like to post other voices here. Especially when those voices have a story to tell that we think folks should hear. One of those voices is Scott Anderson. 

If you sometimes wonder why some folks get involved with a cause, then a story like Scott’s might just help clear things up.

I thought the days I spent working for next to nothing at the Boys Club in my town would have prepared me for the trails and paths I would take later in life. Couldn’t have been more wrong about that.

The wages I got once I settled into my position at the club came out to around three dollars and ten cents an hour. Since they operated as a not-for-profit organization this exempted them from having to pay at least minimum wage. Plus everyone was expected to give a portion back to the United Way as we received most of our monies from them. I had no idea this was illegal until later in life. As it all washed out, it was still worth the money.

Living on take home pay of about eighty dollars a week called for some creative bookkeeping. Roommates, macaroni and cheese, bulk chicken and generic beer were all staples of my early twenties lifestyle. I was able to pick up two midnight shifts at the largest health club in the area to get a little extra money and a free health club membership. I always told my friends that  resourcefulness was bred from need. While my friends all whined about their relationships, moaned about their car payments and complained about their bosses I was “livin’ large”. I drove cars that cost less than $500. My boss was great. We both knew the importance of what we did every day. And I wanted nothing to do with any sort of relationship. I wanted to work, work out, play ball and drink beer. Usually in that order. Females just would have made a mess of things.

Once winter came we would open our gym for adults to come and play basketball. Being in Indiana you’re raised knowing what Hoosier Hysteria was. Every boy and girl had a story or two, true or not, about something that they did during a pick-up game somewhere. Some of our greatest point guards learned to dribble on a dirt court with surface tree roots popping up in the strangest places . The Boys Club would charge three dollars a head for two hours of play. A couple times a week and we could fund a special project or two in the wood shop.

Through these pick-up games I met a couple of gym rats who played four or five times a week. Since I played volleyball in college and all that was around at that time was a class D co-ed league, hoops was it. (After all it was my third best sport.) I ended up playing on a Wednesday night with a bunch of guys belonging to an organization called the Jaycees. I had no idea who they were or what they did. I paid them twenty dollars for a year-long membership and got to play as much ball as I wanted. Deal. Just what I needed; something else to add to my schedule.

I was invited to a club meeting which took place in a back room of the local American Legion Post. Those were all fathers and uncles and grandfathers of the guys I hung around with. They’d spend their days playing Spades and drinking beer until the sun went down. Most of them left as it got hard for them to see after dark.

I was asked and since it has always been hard for me to say no to people I worked the annual Christmas for the Needy project. It was rather simple. We would buy or solicit donations of food, gather it, load it into large cardboard boxes and add a ham or turkey the day it was to be delivered. We would load up pick up trucks and ride in back, holding on to the light bar like we were kings of the moment.

Now I can’t say for sure but coming home from school one heck of a lot bigger and one heck of a lot badder gave me this feeling of invincibility. I felt like I was the greatest show on earth, well, maybe just Cedar Lake for the time being and then it happened. We had emptied two trucks and were on our last of the night. We crept into one of the lakeside subdivisions which were comprised of very small cottage-type homes. Cedar Lake was, after all, a summer retreat for the high rollers from Chicago. We had Midway Ballroom an old, decrepit rock and roll club that would host your occasional country band much to the dislike of the twenty-somethings. My partner knocked on the door and announced we were from the Jaycees and had something for the family. I had to turn sideways to slide through the opening to get into the kitchen/dining room. For such a small room my mind couldn’t comprehend all that went on before me. There standing before me was Chico Santos, a smallish nine-year-old troublemaker who made my life hell working at the Boys Club. His little brother Billy Joe was there as were his sisters. Our eyes met and he turned away as if the chink in his armor had become exposed. I looked around and then it hit me, making my stomach flip again and again. There was no sub-floor. The tile was worn away and dirt was showing through the floor. Dirt.

I snapped out of my daze when Mrs. Santos gave me a huge hug, both thanking me and blessing me at the same time. The key to this project running smoothly was speed. We had a window to maintain to get our food delivered. Luckily this was our last stop.

To be there in the same room with Chico at that time made me realize one huge flaw I had with myself. I was humbled that night. No matter what kind of hardship that would befall me after that fateful night seemed insignificant. I was changed. As was young Mr. Santos. All the relationships I had, the victories and defeats that shaped my character, the endless starry nights spent on the hood of my car at Crater Lake trying to count the stars in that limitless sky all changed in that instant.

Humility. Knowing and realizing that there is no single human that I was better than. Working my ass off to help them as much as I could. My list just got one item longer. “And that service to humanity is the best work of life.”

One of my best friends asked me why I spent so much time working on these projects that helped the people who needed it the most.

I simply said: “Somebody’s got to fight for them.”


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(Crossposted from

Affordable-Care-Act-Signature-300x199Yeah, I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but after spending two weeks in a battleground state and watching the ridiculous spin put on the SCOTUS decision to uphold ACA, I figured I’d just get my two cents worth in.

All the uproar has been about the “mandate” and whether it is a tax or not. Republicans have changed tactics, and instead of referring to the ACA as Obamacare, they are now calling it ObamaTax. Yup, they want to scare folks into thinking they will be paying more in taxes because of the ACA.

News flash – most won’t.

The mandate has a very simple purpose – to ensure everyone who can afford medical insurance is getting medical insurance. That’s it. It’s designed to minimize the number of people who are using emergency rooms as their primary care facility and putting the burden of paying for that on the rest of us. It’s about personal responsibility. If you can afford it, you should be paying your way.

And the brilliant part of this is – if you have insurance already, this costs you nothing. Not a freakin’ sausage.

But wait, you say, what about the poor folks?


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MittMe-300x225Over the weekend, Mitt Romney appeared to commit another verbal gaffe, stating that he believes we need less police, firefighters and teachers. The folks in Colorado might disagree with this, given that they are calling in firefighters from Canada to work the High Park blaze.

But the Romney campaign has doubled down on that “gaffe”, stating that the candidate did not misspeak, but that would be policy. Gaffe? Apparently not.

It’s not a gaffe when you actually believe it. Romney picked on firefighters, police and teachers because they belong to unions. And that, to Romney, is a mortal sin. So he believes we have too many cops on the street, too many firefighters saving lives and too many teachers educating our kids.

Romney comes from the conservative mindset that any money that does not flow into corporate coffers – and therefore his pockets and those of his cronies – is wasted money. They claim they want a strong defense. What they really want is lots of money flowing to defense contractors. If they really wanted a strong defense, they’d do more for active-duty military and for veterans. Instead, they make sure contractors in their home states get billions in contracts, fir which they are rewarded by fat contributions to their campaigns. They want to privatize services like law enforcement and firefighting so they can make a profit at your expense. They decry taxes, but by privatizing these services, your direct costs will go up, essentially increasing the burden on you, while allowing a private company to decide just what services you receive.

They want to privatize education, so that only those that can afford it can get a decent education. Too poor to pay for school? Sorry. Work harder.

Make no mistake, this was not a gaffe. This is exactly what Romney would deliver.


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Let’s get this straight right up front: What someone does as a teen is not necessarily a reflection of how they are 50-60 years later. there may be clues, but to flat out extrapolate from one to the other is just plain silly. That’s what folks are trying to do with this latest Mitt Romney flap. As written in a Washington Post article, Romney was apparently part of a bullying incident during high school where he and others pinned down another student and cut his hair, ostensibly because they believed he was effeminate and didn’t fit in. They were going to teach him a lesson.

This behavior is, without a doubt, reprehensible. But making the case that since he did it then, he’d do the same now – or even have similar tendencies – is simply ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Romney fan. But fair is fair.

If you want to see how the man’s character has developed, you need to look at more than just his high school years. He protested in favor of the Vietnam War, then got himself moved to France to avoid the draft. His time at Bain Capital, where he made his money buying, then dismantling businesses, pocketing the profits while moving jobs offshore and putting Americans out of work. Or his battle with and elimination of a Massachusetts state-sponsored group that worked to educate against gay bullying. You can look at his current focus at cutting the taxes on the wealthy, while increasing them on the poor. There are plenty of things you can point to that show where his thinking has “evolved”. You don’t need to extrapolate it from his behavior as a teen.

But there is a pattern here. And in that sense, there is some value to knowing about this incident. Romney has always been couched in privilege. And from that privilege comes arrogance and a sense of entitlement. It comes with the perception that those who are different must be made to toe the line. And that getting ahead, getting your own way, takes precedence over the welfare of others. In other words, he acts like a bully.

Today, that bullying is in the form of money. He will spend as much as it takes to get himself the nomination, and if he can, the Presidency. It doesn’t matter how awful things in his past might be, nor what the consequence to the average person is. This isn’t about class warfare, because Romney doesn’t recognize a different class. You can tell by his speeches, his statements – he truly believes that he is average, that everyone has the same opportunities he did. So he believes he is doing the best. And anyone who doesn’t have what he has is just lazy, doesn’t need help. Remember his statement about not being worried about the very poor? He thinks they’re ok. He thinks the fact that they have fallen into a safety net shows that the system works. Never mind the fact that they need a safety net is a prime example that the system isn’t working, and that he is supportive of removing that safety net and letting them fall. Same attitude as “Let Detroit Fail”. If it doesn’t affect him or his cronies directly, he really doesn’t care. But take away a penny of their income in taxes, and they scream of lost freedoms and war on the rich.

It’s the entitlement of bullies. They’ll bash everything around them if they are allowed. It gives them a sense of power, a sense of control. It’s the GOP brand. Case in point – today’s vote in the House on a Republican measure to restore military funding that they gave up in the debt ceiling deal. You’ll remember that in the deal, Republicans agreed that if a debt reduction deal was not passed by November of last year, there would be automatic cuts to the military. They agreed to that because Democrats agreed to cuts on the programs they favor as well.

Now, however, Republicans want to renege. They want to turn back the clock and not cut a penny out of the military. Instead, they want to make further cuts to social programs, like school lunches, health care subsidies, child tax credits and food stamps,on top of the cuts already agreed to. Typical bully behavior. Make the deal, then try to bash your way out of it when it starts going south.

Of course, this deal has no chance in the Senate, and even if it did, it would not get past the President. They made a deal, and they’re going to have to stick to it. But the reality is, they don’t care. How could they? Politically, in an election year, do you really want to pit the poor, children and the elderly against military spending? Do you want to remind folks that you made a deal, in an effort to reduce spending, and that you don’t want to keep your word?

Bullies don’t care.

Again, this isn’t about class warfare. This is about entitlement. They have the money, they want to keep it, and they don’t intend to give any of it away. So they’ll beat up whoever they have to toward that end.

So, no, Romney’s high school activities aren’t indicative of what he would do today. But they are a piece of a puzzle that shows that his sense of entitlement, his willingness to bully those he doesn’t agree with, has a clear progression from then until now.


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gordongekkoThe GOP mantra, the conservative rallying cry for “personal freedoms” is one that seems to be particularly hypocritical at first blush. When they demand to legislate what happens in a woman’s body or extend the right of free speech beyond the individual and onto a corporation with the same rights, it just seems all out of whack.

And then I figured it out.

It’s not about “personal freedoms”. It’s about “personal” freedoms. What’s the difference? Everything, actually.

Most people, when they talk about “personal freedoms”, are talking about those rights that should be afforded and protected for individuals. We might actually call them “civil freedoms”. Those things to which we believe every man woman and child should generally be granted,, and protected from usurpation. Makes sense, right?

But that’s not how today’s GOP with their inexorable move to the right mean it. No, they believe in “personal” freedoms. As in, whatever works for them personally is ok, and anything that doesn’t is not ok. When you look at their positions in this context, it all starts to make sense.

Why, for example, do they want to control a woman’s right to decide what she can and cannot do with her body? In this new context, it’s very simple – the control. With that control, they can do whatever they want, and a woman must accede to it. A concrete example is that of Newt Gingrich. Conservatives rail about family values, want to legislate it. So why no real problem with Newt? Because, it’s his “personal” freedom to blow through marriages. He was adulterous and unfaithful. And yet, when he chose to go after Clinton in the 90′s, it was somehow a huge problem. Again, Newt could do that because it was his “personal” freedom to be unfaithful. And in the mind of these folks on the right, whatever you choose to do for yourself is fine, but if someone else does it, bring on the brimstone and hellfire.

Look at Mitt Romney. I believe he genuinely has no idea how disconnected he is with the average American. Why? Because he’s acted on his “personal” freedoms. He likes the idea of being able to “fire” people, because doing so is to his benefit. Cutting taxes on the wealthy while increasing them on the poor is fine, because it works for him “personally”.

Perhaps that’s the easiest way to translate the right’s obsession with “personal” freedoms. Just think of it as “it’s all about me”. If it helps them, “personally”, then it’s ok. To them, anything that helps others is pointless, unless they garner some benefit to themselves. Altruism does not fit into their views. They don’t see the point, because it doesn’t benefit them. Once you have that concept in your mind, it’s much easier to understand how they think. It’s also much easier to understand why they get supporters.

On the surface, everyone says they want to help others. But more and more, people pay lip service to this idea. They’re willing to help, unless it requires some sacrifice on their part. To be sure, the economy and hardships folks have faced have hardened them and forced them to think about their own situations first. But there has also been a steady move toward the idea that one takes care of themselves first. And as that moves farther, you add “and to Hell with everyone else.”

I think we saw this movement really start in the 80′s. I distinctly remember the movie “Wall St.”, and abhorring the Gordon Gekko character. His mantra “Greed is good; greed works” was particularly offensive to me. But the sad reality is, the second half of that mantra is correct: Greed does work. And I know far too many who to this day still see Gekko not as the villian, but a hero, a role model.

Gekko was right in that greed motivates. And once you get something, you naturally want more. And how dare anyone deny it to you. But we can’t all be Wall St. tycoons. That’s where the simplicity of greed meets the American Dream. Everyone wants to believe they can  be the tycoon, the multimillionaire. So, instead of acting on their best interests in reality, they fall prey to the dreams and fantasies of the rich. They’ll vote against their own interests to preserve the chance that someday, maybe, they might be there too.

“Personal” freedoms that they will never see.

And all the while, those with the money and the power will feed them that glimmer of hope, like the slot machine that pays out just enough to keep you pulling the handle. The odds are stacked against you the minute you walk into the casino, but you still drop the cash into the machine. And in the same way, the folks on the right keep feeding those dreams, while taking their livelihood. They’ll let you dream of keeping those taxes if you make it rich, while shipping your jobs overseas. They’ll give what you do pay to oil companies, then write the laws so those companies pay a fraction of what they should. Because it’s all in their personal interest. If they can get you to vote in their interests instead of yours, they win, and they won’t shed a tear for you.

Everything the right does is designed to help themselves, not anyone else. And the damnedest thing is, they tell people right up front – they want to be “personally free”, they want “personal responsibility”. All this time, you thought they were trying to tell you that you were irresponsible. What they were really telling you is that they don’t give a damn about you, they’re being “personally responsible” for themselves and no one else.