Blog - Politics

Congrats to the Cubs – But It’s Time to Reset the MLB

So happy for the Chicago Cubs. Clearly they were the much better team and they deserved to win. It’s time for them break this drought. The country is cheering for you – Go Cubs!

Every year when the Dodgers collapse in the post season I always take a look at the salary table and contemplate the concept of how “dead money” works in the MLB. And this year more than ever I think that the Major League Players Association (the union) stranglehold on the flow of the 32 MLB teams money has got to come to an end. The players union is closer to an organized crime racket than any other union in America, even more than the Teamsters and that’s saying a lot.

Yes, it’s great that most players come up through the ranks and have to play at a high level for a few seasons to finally reach arbitration and then get big contracts – that’s a great thing within MLB – for instance, Corey Seager who was one of the Dodgers core stars this year got paid $510,000 – that’s it. But the fairness and work ethic structure ends there.

The Dodgers had more than $70 million spent this year on players on the DL or in retained salaries (released or traded.) What other industry allows this to happen? For instance, if you suck at your job (Carl Crawford) and then get FIRED and no other team wants your services, why should you get paid 100% of your salary ($21M)? This makes no sense. Literally it makes no sense – again, no other industry would allow such a scandal to occur (except for top tier CEO compensation packages.)

The 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers Payroll – Active Players, DL and Dead Money

It’s almost impossible to fix because the moment the owners or the league take steps to address this there would be a strike and an immediate walk out from the players. I think many of the players are whiny and unfair – sorry, but it’s true. Yes, we come to see them and not the owners but still, be reasonable.

I don’t care if it’s popular amongst players or not but I propose the following three conceptual changes and rules:

1.) If a player has an injury that is season ending they get no more than 50% of their salary (tough break, but that’s life)
2.) If a player is released due to poor performance, and no other team picks them up, they get no more than 25% of their salary (The Carl Crawford example)
3.) Once an MLB player get to Arbitration 3 (when big money starts to be on the table) all contracts should be incentive based – like Kenta Maeda’s this year – a solid base of $1M then layers upon layers on incentives (his reached over $13M this year which is more than fair and equitable) – that way there is more incentive for millionaire players to play their ass off. Let’s face it the hunger for a World Series ring just isn’t enough for 21st Century baseball players to play hard. It can’t be proven but I’m willing to say it’s a near certainty than when the majority of MLB players becomes millionaires that they loose a little bit of passion and hunger for winning.

Those three issues alone would completely change the dynamic of baseball and I think create a more competitive atmosphere by allowing teams to have more freedom to adapt when things don’t work out during the season.

It’s worth noting that I think this potential extra money that teams could have would NOT entirely go into owners pockets or profit pools but rather go into the general operating fund for flexibility. Sure, some could go to profit pools because I’m happy to say that I don’t think that Jason Schmidt (a few years back for the Dodgers) should have walked away with $40 million bucks for pitching 10 games. It’s robbery. Literally, free money. Why should he get than more than the owners for doing nothing for the team?

It’s complicated and controversial because we love the players and not the front office, sure. But the NBA and NFL both have structures that aren’t as rigid as the MLB – how the MLB got to this point is a long and windy history lesson. It’s bullshit and needs to end now.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 63 – Leah Pearlman

Leah Pearlman joins the IAH podcast to share the story of her life’s journey which is truly worth taking note of. It’s one of those stories that you perhaps hear a little something about but then forget to follow up on how it turned out. A bright, creative young woman leaves a dream job as an early employee at Facebook to set out on a spiritual journey that was inspired by death, addiction, Burning Man, self love and an overall desire to share the path of the heart with everyone! The manifestation of her journey and intention took form in the wonderfully profound and simple – talking to Leah about this, her journey and all it’s twists and turns inspired me and forced me to step back and take a look at my own journey. I hope everyone who listens to this finds something here that will inspire a little time to reflect and admire your own brilliance and to possibly make changes where possible. Leah is a wonderful shining light.

INTRO RANT – A look at the prospect that we are living in a simulation and why so many Silicon Valley minds find the “simulation hypothesis” a real thing. Check out The Guardian article here

Leah Pearlman drew her first comic in 2010 when her dad’s cancer went into remission. She drew a comic announcing the good news and posted it on Facebook.

A week later, after encouraging a friend to “follow his heart,” an image of someone literally following his heart popped into her mind. She laughed, and then put it on paper.

And so it goes. About once a week, ever since, she’s been moved by something or someone in her life. She illustrates the moment to celebrate it and the person who inspired her and posts the image online for anyone else it may touch. People often reflect that Dharma Comics have a deeply personal feel; that is because each one is deeply personal. They all have a story.

“Dharma” is a Sanskrit word, often used in Buddhism to refer to the teachings that offer us guidance in life. Dharma can also refer to one’s own purpose or path. Your “Dharma” is what you are meant to do.  Leah often says the name is twofold: Dharma Comics are comics about Dharma, but they have also proven to be her dharma, what she is meant to do.









It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 62 – Trevor Hall

Trevor stopped by the kitchen table for this truly inspiring episode of IAH. Trevor’s gift to the world is his song but what transpires through his music, being and soul is so much more. Like so many of the great artists who came before him, Trevor is thoughtful, smart, intuitive, aware and you get the feeling when talking to him that he’s seeing the world in the way that others are not. Our conversation ranged from his early days and upbringing, spirituality in life and music, why love really does heal all wounds and the quest to constantly explore and be a seeker. I’m somewhat of a late convert to Trevor’s music and am so grateful that I get to discover this well of brilliance at this point in life.

INTRO RANT – When did anti-intellcualism and the celebration of ignorance become the norm?


As an eleven year old, playing harmonica beside his father in South Carolina, music quickly became Trevor’s most intimate companion, guide and creative outlet. In his elementary years, he began to write his own songs and perform them locally. At sixteen he recorded his first record, and the following year he left South Carolina to study classical guitar at Idyllwild Arts Academy, an international boarding school east of Los Angeles. There, Trevor was introduced to yoga and certain spiritual practices found in India, which greatly influenced his music and his life journey. During his senior year, Trevor signed a record deal with Geffen Records and his career as a musician formally began.

Trevor quickly broke through the music scene, with such early accomplishments in his career as having a song recorded on the Shrek the Third soundtrack, as well as joining a series of sold-out tours with artists such as Steel Pulse, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Matisyahu, Michael Franti, SOJA, Brett Dennen and Colbie Callait. Trevor’s quick rise on the scene, however, was ripe with challenges that conflicted with his spiritual life and devotional practice. In order to parallel his life’s path with the messages in his music, Trevor moved into a traditional Hindu ashram in Southern California in 2008. When not on tour, he lived as a monk and devoted his days to spiritual practice and service. His involvement with the temple affected his music and his music quickly became his practice.














Blog - God Kirtan Me

Starting Next Week: Hanuman Chalisa Workshop

Please join me every Wed evening in October starting this Wednesday October 5th at Bhakti Yoga Shala. 



WHEN: October 5, 12, 19, 26 at 6:30 pm – 8:15 pm each Wednesday.

Facebook Event Page: click here

Cost: Suggested donation is $20 per class

Please join me as we uncover the magic, practice and power of the Hanuman Chalisa.

– Four Week Course
– Integrated Practice
– In Depth Study
– Philosophy and Music

This is for the student and spiritual aspirant who looks to go deeper into their personal bhakti yoga practice by incorporating the chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa into their daily practice.

Over the course of four weeks we will break down the Hanuman Chalisa by focussing on 10 verses per week – 40 in total plus the intro and outro (Doha)

We will learn and study the chant over one melody – the “Good Ol’ Chalisa by Krishna Das” (as heard on Live on Earth) in order to give every student an accessible melody that can actually be learned and played, even by a beginer musician.

In addition we will discuss the philosophy and meaning of this magical Hindi chant written by Tulsi Das and why it’s relevant even today.

What’s suggested:
– bring a harmonium (not mandatory)
– a basic understanding of kirtan
– a basic understanding of the Hanuman Chalisa
– attending all four classes

What’s provided:
– transliteration
– chord charts
– download for KDs “Good Ol’ Chalisa”
– philosophy and discourse
– one on one instruction

People don’t know – every line of the Hanuman Chalisa is maha-mantra – Neem Karoli Baba

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 61 – Conner Habib

Episode 61 features the wise, funny, bitchy, enigmatic, thoughtful and subtle genius that is Conner Habib. I stopped by Conner’s mid-city lair to do this podcast in the middle of a hot and sweaty Los Angeles afternoon. Conner occupies a very unique place in the world in that he is a Renaissance Man for modern times. Part porn star, part post modern philosophy intellectual, part writing coach and part activist. Our conversation ranges from me trying to understand his focus in the world to philosophical applications to living in the world around us. Conner is living on an edge that dreams of new living conditions and dimensions – one that I’d sure like to keep in touch with.


I’m an author, a lecturer, a porn performer, and a sex workers’ rights advocate.  I serve as Vice President of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee and am a member of PEN America.

My essays have appeared in dozens of print and online publications, including The StrangerVice, SalonSlate, and more.  I give lectures around the country about sexuality, spirituality, pornography, science, and art.  I teach writing one-on-one and in groups. For seven years, I was an award-winning gay adult performer, and continue, occasionally, to perform in adult film.  I’m the only person who has ever won awards for writing, teaching AND porn.


On October 30th be sure to check out Conners “Banishing The World: Postmodern Philosophy and The Occult” online workshop. Find details here. 













It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 60 – Philip Goldberg

When Philip Goldberg’s now seminal book “American Veda” came out sometime in 2010 I was immediately drawn to it in a way that I’m not drawn to most books. Finally there was something out there that put this entire scene I find myself a part of into a historical context. Phil stopped by the kitchen table to talk about this, the history of yoga in America, Emerson and Thoreau, taking a look at cultural appropriation, the evolution of yogic methodologies and so much more. If you practice yoga in America I highly recommend that you listen to this podcast. Phil’s wisdom, humor and straight ahead thoughtfulness will enlighten your worldview on not just your own practice but also to the practice as a whole.

Be sure to visit Phil’s site for a bunch of upcoming events including The Beatles Musical Journey to India and many other talks and programs.

Also, be sure to check out Phil’s amazing podcast Spirit Matters!

Philip Goldberg is the author or co-author of numerous books; a public speaker and workshop leader; a spiritual counselor, meditation teacher and ordained Interfaith Minister.  He lives in Los Angeles and blogs regularly on Huffington Post and Elephant Journal.

To pick up a copy of American Veda click here:
















Blog - Politics

Prop 64 and the Awkward Silence

Once again in this upcoming California election Marijuana is up for legalization. Last time around there was Prop 19 and it failed for a variety of reasons – some policy and some perception. Policy aside it did turn out that many voters were confused on the wording of the initiative and thus made the wrong choice in the polling booth. Policy wise, the bill didn’t do nearly enough for a state tax windfall or criminal justice reform. So in a way it’s good that it failed.

This time we have Prop 64 (or AUMA0 – a hefty 62 page bill who’s origins started under the stewardship of Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom. Right away this brings up much tension among the ultra libertarian stoner crowd who doesn’t want their government interfering with their pot. The very suggestion of government regulation hints at an Orwellian table setting that can only aim to bring “the man” even deeper into our lives and now even into our drugs.

There are several problems with this way of thinking. One, the tax revenue from the sale of pot is the only way that this will find mainstream support. And no matter who you look at that, it takes a pretty big bureaucracy to make that work. Two, if drugs have any hope of being legal they do need some regulation for safety, purity and the legitimacy of the sales channels. Three, the medical marijuana boom in California has been a disaster. Most people don’t like to admit that – but it’s not a good thing to walk down the Venice boardwalk and to come across men dressed in green jump suits that will give you a “pot” card for $40 if you say that you have anxiety. That is not a good thing – that undermines the entire integrity of the movement.

Maybe I’ve sold out or maybe I’m just a pragmatist but since we failed with the integrity of Prop 215.  I’m all for setting up a government endorsed structure that allows for pot to be harvested, distributed, sold and consumed in a way that is closer to alcohol than anarchy. Yes, 215 helped countless patients suffering obtain their medicine in an easy and cost effective way but Prop 64 allows for that to stay put while we fix the rest.

Again, there’s a lot of major liberal conspiracy mis information out there about how it’s over regulative by essentially just being a product of big brother thus it’s passing will only pave the way for Monsanto to get its hands on cannabis, as an example. Additionally there’s some fear that AUMA will destroy the medical supply chain already created by Prop 215. Both of these are not true.

Small farmers also seem to be uneasy about it because it sets provisions for local governments to still ban cultivation and sales as they see fit within their local communities.

None of this is explicitly true – dots can be connected on theory because AUMA does in fact completely re-arrange the Prop 215 eco-system mainly because it’s completely broken and needs re-arranging.

There is no question that AUMA is an overly complicated document that is extremely difficult for even a lawyer to get through (A GREAT RESOURCE) – even the DPA admits that. I admit, that’s not a good thing. It’s possibly an over burdening government web that will only create more Sacramento red tape for something that may be very simple.

What we have to work through and with is the idea that it’s a great place to start. Period. And from this we can build and refine as we go along. The time is now to stop the madness, to free thousands of inmates (if it passes) to put money back into the troubled communities from sales, to stop racial profiling of black and brown people because they may or may not have grass on them and to finally allow a 21 year old adult to think for themselves by making their own decision on whether or not they can walk into a store and buy a joint.

It’s 2016 – the federal political system is a mess, Trump may win, climate change is a real devastating erosion for our species, natural resources are in short supply, there is a global tension amongst Islam and non-Islam and there is an economic disparity that is threatening to create two classes of people for the entire planet that are very far apart from each other. And we’re still worrying about a fucking plant. Stop. Legalize it. Let’s move on and focus on what really needs focussing.

The SF Chronicle says “Prop. 64 would bring discipline and oversight to an industry that is operating in the shadows, to the detriment of public health, the environment and public safety. Vote yes on 64.”

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 59 – David Nichtern

The insanely wise and beautifully and talented David Nichtern comes to the podcast to discuss his new book “Awakening from The Daydream: Reimagining The Buddhas Wheel of Life.” Our conversation took place at Bhakti Fest out on a little patio surrounded by trees where the sound of mantras being sung is heard in the back ground. We spent about an hour talking about the wheel of life, why none of it is permanent, bhakti and buddhism and their relationship and so much more. David is truly a wise soul who has spent over 40 years traversing the landscapes of buddhism, meditation and rock and roll. Yes, he played with Jerry Garcia back in the 70’s too!

David Nichtern is a senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. This tradition combines a contemporary, secular approach to meditation with the ancient practices and philosophies of Tibetan Buddhism. David was one of the initial American students of renowned meditation master Trungpa Rinpoche and studied closely with him soon after his arrival in the United States in 1970.

To purchase Awakening from The Daydream: Reimagining The Buddhas Wheel of Life – click here: