New Calif. Poltical Controversy

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Under the dome of California's State Capitol problems are plentiful. But, as CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports, could the solution lie in the ancient Chinese art of feng shui?

Assemblyman Leland Yee has introduced legislation encouraging the use feng shui - the belief that interior design can promote the flow of positive energy.

"Maybe if the early designers of this Capitol had some understanding of feng shui, we might, in fact, be getting a lot more done," said Lee.

Assemblyman Ray Haynes is positive the legislation is a waste of energy.

"In California, our houses cost too much, our freeways are overcrowded, we're running out of electricity, we're running out of gasoline, we're running out of water and we're worried about applying the principles of feng shui," Haynes said.

Feng shui consultant Steven Post says those who don't understand the art don't appreciate its power. He says that when a trucker rammed his rig into the Capitol three years ago, it foretold the recall that threw Gov. Gray Davis out of office.

"Rather than being wacky, I think it is one of the most cost-effective things the state can consider," Post said. "That truck struck the position of the Capitol connected with leadership. And then – the removal of a leader."

Yee says his bill won't force feng shui on anyone, Blackstone reports. But Haynes worries that the state would be compelled to make mystical decisions about energy flow.

"It really does constitute an order to the Building Commission that they will apply the principles of feng shui," he said.

If the resolution passes, some government agencies would see likely candidates for a feng shui makeover; the Department of Motor Vehicles is not always known for its positive energy flow. But the changes can be simple, Blackstone reports.

"Some life energy in the form of trees and plants would help," Post said.

Not everyone agrees with Post.

"It sounds like a bunch of crap," said Michelle Marcilus, a DMV client.

However, some among those in the stuffy DMV waiting room do see the potential of a little feng shui - more light, fresh air, soothing colors.

"If you're happy about what you're doing and your surroundings, it's going to make the day go better," said Scott Lehman, another customer at the DMV.

But at the State Capitol, where harmony is seldom a priority, the future of feng shui remains uncertain.
  • Joel Arak

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