Eclectakids on the move – can you help out a budding filmmaker?

My son, Cameron, is working hard on his senior thesis film, Oculus, for his degree from Ithaca College in New York. In order to make the project happen, he’s doing what all film producers have to do for their projects: raise funding.

And that’s where YOU, my awesome readers, come in.

Here’s a note from the writer/director/producer/editor himself:

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, I’m currently in the middle of shooting my senior thesis film. It’s the capstone project for the cinema half of my major and will serve as the face of my film resume as I head off into the industry in the spring.

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Obama administration ramps up international efforts to protect the LGBT community

This is unlikely to get much fanfare but it’s big new for the fight to protect the LGBT community all over the world. It’s an Presidential Memorandum mandating that U.S. Government agencies step up their efforts to protect the rights and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people all over the world.

The memorandum directs agencies to:

  • Combat the criminalization of LGBT status or conduct abroad.
  • Protect vulnerable LGBT refugees and asylum seekers.
  • Leverage foreign assistance to protect human rights and advance nondiscrimination.
  • Ensure swift and meaningful U.S. responses to human rights abuses of LGBT persons abroad.
  • Engage International Organizations in the fight against LGBT discrimination.

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Flint’s new Emergency Manager starts off by violating the city charter, fires staffers, mayor & City Council

Buried in the lede of the news about Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown firing seven staffers and essentially firing the the Mayor and City Council, as well, is this little tidbit:

In his first orders as emergency manager, Michael Brown on Friday fired seven City Hall staffers — including the mayor’s second-in-command — and eliminated pay and benefits for the mayor and Flint City Council. [...]

Although the roles of the city ombudsman and Civil Service Commission are mandated by the Flint City Charter, Brown’s order removing Purifoy and Parker cited state law that says an emergency manager can remove any local government appointee.

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s poll numbers sinking like a rock

Today we get some unsurprising news: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s poll numbers are crashing.

Less than 20 percent of Michigan residents believe Gov. Rick Snyder is doing an excellent or good job running the state, a survey to be released Monday afternoon shows.

The Fall 2011 State of the State survey conducted by the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University found that only 19.3 percent of Michigan residents surveyed rated the governor’s performance as excellent or good, continuing a decline in popularity from 44.5 percent just after his election to 31.5 percent in the Spring, 2011 survey.

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US Government makes major investment in biofuels

The Obama administration is announcing this week that they are making an historic investment in biofuels by purchasing 450,000 gallons of drop-in biofuel made from waste cooking oil and from an algae-based system. The fuel is called “drop in” because it can be blended with the traditional fuels used now with no need for equipment modifications.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Announce Largest Ever Government Purchase of Biofuel
Biofuel Purchase Advances President Obama’s Energy Security Goals

WASHINGTON, December 5, 2011 — Today, U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) signed a contract to purchase 450,000 gallons of advanced drop-in biofuel, the single largest purchase of biofuel in government history.

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Tea Party mayor of Troy, Michigan thinks homophobic comments are “funny”

The mayor of Troy, Michigan, Janice Daniels, a proud member of the tea party, updated her Facebook status in June with this:

“I think I’m going to throw away my I love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married.”

She refused to apologize for this insulting public statement until this morning.

Daniels apologized for the comment on the Charlie Langton show this morning.
“I absolutely do regret it, I shouldn’t have used such language, and while I do believe marriage should be between one man and one woman, it was inappropriate to use that language…For me to have said it, it was a poke in the eye and it was inappropriate and I do apologize.
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Michigan state Rep. Dave Agema wants you to be afraid of Sharia law.

I got an email a couple of days ago from the Tea Party of West Michigan. This is the group with the comical and never-correct grammatical error at the top of every page of their website. The email, true to form, was hard to parse:

“Come join me at Dave Agema is speaking on Sharia law and other topics. on Tea Party of West Michigan”

Dave Agema is serious about this. He actually wants people to be afraid that Sharia law threatens Michiganders.

“The people who are angry about this bill obviously have ulterior motives,” says Agema, who is considering a run for Congress after he is term-limited next year.…
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Flint Emergency Manager eliminates pay and benefits for mayor and City Council, fires others

Newly-minted Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown got right to work last. On Friday (pdf) he fired seven staff members at City Hall and then eliminated pay and benefits for Flint’s newly-elected mayor and the City Council. The order says:

  1. Mayor Dayne Walling’s salary and all other compensation and benefits, including the accrual of post-employment benefits, are eliminated.
  2. Flint City Council members’ salaries and all other compensation.

Brown’s appointment as EM of Flint came the same day Mayor Walling was re-elected to his position as mayor. Walling issued a statement acknowledging and thanking the fired staffers for their service.

While the elimination of pay and benefits may appear a bit audacious, I think it’s at least more consistent than what happened in Benton Harbor where the City Commissioners continued to be paid for a job that Joe Harris made them incapable of doing.…

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