Sean Penn, Friend of Dictators

Sean Penn

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Trigger Warning: Abuse of cancerous collectivists

Trigger Warning

It’s time for freedom-loving individuals to oppose the collectivist ideology that has infected our government. Public employee unions spend millions of dollars on campaign donations. Once their chosen legislators are in office, unions negotiate labor agreements with administration officials who are friendly to “the cause.” And once an agreement is reached, legislators who were elected with union money vote to ratify the contract. This conflict of interest is a cancer on our Republic.

Less than half of union members — some say it’s between 30 and 40 percent — vote Republican. Most unions do NOT represent the viewpoints of this minority group; and most unions promote ideas which are actively hostile to conservative voters.

The mere act of entering a public building which has been organized by a public workers’ union can elicit feelings of fear and loathing. Conservative union members, and members of the public, need to be warned.

Get your Trigger Warning signs here.

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Obama: ‘Notes on my May 11 weekly remarks’

When I read President Obama’s weekly remarks today, I couldn’t help wondering how he and his speechwriters arrived at the final copy. And just as I was heading out the door to enjoy the marvelous spring weather, the following transcript miraculously arrived in my mailbox. Thanks to whoever sent it.

Speech Notes
Hi, everybody. My top priority as president Our top priority as a nation is reigniting the true engine of our economic growth — a rising, thriving middle class. And few things define what it is to be middle class in America more than owning your own cornerstone of the American Dream: a home. “My top priority” rings hollow. Everybody knows I haven’t made economic growth a top priority. But nobody disagrees that it should be #1 “as a nation.” (Stay away from “pivot”)True is the opposite of false. Since we’re not telling the truth as we see it, make sure to use the word “true” wherever possible.
Today, seven years after the real estate bubble burst, triggering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and costing millions of responsible Americans their jobs and their homes, our housing market is healing. Sales are up. Foreclosures are down. Construction is expanding. And thanks to rising home prices over the past year, 1.7 million more families have been able to come up for air, because they’re no longer underwater on their mortgages. Remember, we bailed out hundreds of thousands of irresponsible folks who bought homes they couldn’t afford. Use the word “responsible” to make everyone feel good.

Nice extended metaphor! Air vs water! Good! (Give Cody a pat on the back.)

From the day I took office, I’ve made it a priority to help responsible homeowners and prevent the kind of recklessness that helped caused this crisis in the first place. Again, focus on “responsible” homeowners. It gives the irresponsible ones credit, and satisfies those who are footing the bill. Use “helped cause” but don’t say what’s reckless. Let people hear what they want.
My housing plan has already helped Mmore than two million people have refinanced their mortgages, and they’re saving an average of $3,000 per year. Mortgage rates are down regardless of any “plan” but take credit anyway.
My new consumer watchdog agency is moving forward on implementing protections like a simpler, shorter mortgage form that will help to keep hard-working families from getting ripped off. Always use “new” to fight the unspoken “old” Bush = Backward. Obama = Forward. (Love it! Who came up with that again? Pat back.) “Simpler” sounds good, even though nothing is actually simpler. Nice way to combat the hideous complexity of PPACA.
But we’ve got more work to do. wWe’ve got more responsible homeowners to help — folks who have never missed a mortgage payment, but aren’t allowed to refinance; working families who have done everything right, but still owe more on their homes than they’re worth. Recent polls show voters think I work hard for what I believe, so “more work” is better.

Add “working” to jive with union tagline “working families.”

Last week, I nominated a man named Mel Watt to take on these challenges as the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Mel’s represented the people of North Carolina in Congress for 20 years, and in that time, he helped lead efforts to put in place rules of the road that protect consumers from dishonest mortgage lenders, and give responsible Americans the chance to own their own home. He’s the right person for the job, and that’s why Congress should do its job, and confirm him without delay. Everybody knows Congress sucks. Can’t we leave out the fact that he was in Congress? OK. Mention “the people” that Mel represented.

Responsible again! Good! Great add!

Mel did his job for 20 years, now the do-nothing Congress should do theirs.

And they shouldn’t stop there. As I said before, more than two million Americans have already refinanced at today’s low rates, but we can do a lot better than that. I’ve called on Congress to give every responsible homeowner the chance to refinance, and with it, the opportunity to save $3,000 a year. That’s like a $3,000 tax cut. And if you’re one of the millions of Americans who could take advantage of that, you should ask your representative in Congress why they won’t act on it. Responsible. Yeah, yeah. Ad nauseum, but it works.Figure out how to use the words “tax cut” (pat on the back for Cody).

Should I mention the IRS scandal? (Cody and I agree. No.)

Remember to demonize Congress.

Our economy and our housing market are poised for progress — but we could do so much more if we work together. More good jobs. Greater security for middle-class families. A sense that your hard work is rewarded. That’s what I’m fighting for — and that’s what I’m going to keep fighting for as long as I hold this office. Thank you. And have a great weekend. I can fix America all by myself, but that doesn’t resonate. Add “togetherness” – but Hillary’s “it takes a village” is just too much.

We’re not rewarding actual hard work (see use of “responsible” above) but I can’t say that. Hmm … “sense” works.

### Go with it! – Bo
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Business in California

The Chevron refinery fire of 2012

Thanks to the Sacramento Bee and PJ Media for the inspiration.

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‘Who gave the order to let his son die?’

If there’s any justice to be had, we’ll find out.

“High on a Mountaintop” – a tribute to the Heroes of Benghazi, by Chris Cassone.

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SEIU stands with ‘working families’ — but not its own employees

Just before the November 6 election, workers at the Raley’s-Nob Hill supermarket chain in Northern California went on strike over health care benefits. By the fourth day of the strike, politicians and labor leaders walked the picket lines and irony dripped from the skies.

Two days after California voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama and his health care plan — and for Governor Jerry Brown and his tax plan — the human resources manager for Raley’s told the striking workers that retired employees are at least age 65 and eligible for Medicare. “We’re just asking to switch them from the Raley’s benefits to Medicare,” she said.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union saw things differently. “Raley’s-Nob Hill is intent on undermining the medical coverage for active and retired members that has taken decades to build up along with reducing your take-home pay,” said the UFCW bargaining team. “They have continued to illegally bargain in bad faith.”

Yvonne Walker, President of SEIU Local 1000, agreed with the UCFW.

“We have been asked by the UFCW for support in their strike against Raley’s by not shopping at Raley’s or Bel Air for the duration of the strike, ” Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker said. “I would also ask that you adopt the Raley’s closest to you, volunteer support and stop by and give encouragement.  We need to show Raley’s management that Local 1000 stands with our brothers and sisters of UFCW Local 8.”

On Nov. 8, the Sacramento Bee reported, Walker joined the picket line.

Two Democratic Sacramento politicians, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, stopped by to speak to striking workers at the Raley’s on Freeport Boulevard in South Land Park. Yvonne Walker, president of Local 1000 of the Service Employees International Union, was also there, and Assemblyman Richard Pan was expected later in the evening.

But solidarity is only skin deep. Labor trouble has been brewing for months within SEIU Local 1000 itself.

A messy fight between California’s largest state employee union, SEIU Local 1000, and another union that has represented 160 of its staff has spilled into public view.

As they battle for those workers, the United Auto Workers is calling Local 1000 a hypocritical union-buster. An official with the National Labor Relations Board says SEIU, as an employer, has engaged in “unfair labor practices.”

The biggest issue, according to UAW Local 2350 — the staff union for SEIU 1000 and other affiliates — is health benefits. A few excerpts from the UAW 2350 web site:

According to people who work at SEIU 1000 and CSEA, UAW 2350 has been holding worksite meetings where Yvonne Walker is described as a “ringleader”, a “union buster” and “the Mitt Romney of California unions.”

Workers there have until November 30 to select a new health care plan during open enrollment, or be forced into the basic “catastrophic plan” against their will.

Meanwhile, the Raley’s strike is over, notes the national media, and Yvonne Walker is back in her Local 1000 office in Sacramento. A search for news about Walker’s own union-busting activities returns the lone story from the Sacramento Bee, back in September.

For Walker, the old adage surely rings true: No news is good news.

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Journalism is Dead. God help us.

Pejman Yousefzadeh has the Question of the Day.

Did the consulate request additional security prior to the attack on it – the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stephens?

That is, indeed, a good question, but I find the last sentence of his short post much more interesting.

If there aren’t additional questions regarding this issue during the foreign policy debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama – and if the president is not pressed to give specific answers to those questions during that debate – we will know that journalism is dead.

Journalism is dead. I’d like to know when that phrase was first used, because future philosophers and historians will reflect upon the state of civilization and harken back to the exact date that profession died.

In 1882, German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzche wrote that “God is dead” — a statement which still echoes down the years. Not that God is dead, of course.

… the ‘Death of God’ refers to the complete loss of belief in the accepted religious and metaphysical world-view along with the system of values it upholds, in particular its moral values. The ‘Death of God’ announces the advent of the age of nihilism, an age of cultural barrenness arising from this loss of belief, and which may well end in catastrophe as far as any truly human existence is concerned.

So. Journalism is dead. Which is to say that a cultural barrenness is arising from a loss of belief in journalism. We must build a new culture on the ashes of the old. To paraphrase Nietzche himself:

Journalism is dead. Journalism remains dead. And we have killed it. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become journalists simply to appear worthy of it?

Whether you believe in God or not, in Journalism or not, the Western world has shifted on its axis because journalism is dead. No longer — if we ever could, some would say – can we depend on journalists to demand truthful answers to real questions, and report their findings to the people.

Pat Caddell, whether you believe in him or not, recently gave a speech at an Accuracy in Media conference (transcript here, and video here) in which he said this:

I think we’re at the most dangerous time in our political history in terms of the balance of power in the role that the media plays in whether or not we maintain a free democracy or not.  You know, when I first started in politics – and for a long time before that – everyone on both sides, Democrats and Republicans, despised the press commonly, because they were SOBs to everybody.  Which is exactly what they should be.  They were unrelenting.  Whatever the biases were, they were essentially equal-opportunity people.

At the same time, Gallup released their latest poll on distrust of the media.

Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

Journalism is dead. God help us.

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