Archives for February 2018

Silly Time in Hollywood: ‘Oscars’ Changes Name To More Gender-Neutral ‘Jessies’

The “Oscars” are Sunday night, but since white males who have had sex are not wanted at the event, I will protest and not watch—there is a marathon of NCIS re-runs instead.  Hollywood has disinvited the winner of the Best Actor Award last year, Casey Affleck, he would normally have presented the Best Actress award this year.  But, someone no one knows or remembers, without any proof made scandalous comments about him—so he is no longer welcomed in Hollywood.

So in the spirit of bigotry and wanting to show there are NO sexes, the “Oscars have been renamed “The Jessies”.  A sexless name that a boy, girl or someone who hasn’t decided yet to go the full mutilation route can accept without tearing down the ceremony.  We have seen the NFL, Olympics, Golden Globe ratings all go down big time.  I suspect the Jessies will also lose a lot of viewers—after all, how many times can we watch a Bernie Sanderista/Hate America/Love Illegal aliens rally?  What will you be watching Sunday?

Oh, while this is satire, for now, Hollywood may actually do this—after all, they can not be supporting males, even in name only.

While James Franco is no longer welcomed at the Jessies, I bet Bill Clinton would be welcomed with open arms!  After all which Hollywood star would not want to be abused by him?

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‘Oscars’ Changes Name To More Gender-Neutral ‘Jessies’

Babylon Bee,  2/28/18

 

LOS ANGELES, CA—Responding to the rapidly changing cultural tide, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday, just days before its 90th annual Academy Awards, that the event known as the “Oscars” has been rebranded and would henceforth be known as the more gender-neutral “Jessies.”

“We’ve got enough on our plates already—we don’t want to be perpetuating the Patriarchy on top of everything else,” AMPAS president John Bailey told reporters at a press conference announcing the change. “‘Jessies’ has a nice ring to it anyway. ‘Oscar’ makes people think of a grouchy, trash-can-dwelling monster, or a quiet Dunder Mifflin accountant.”

“Jessies” reportedly narrowly beat out “Caseys” and “Jackies” as the new name.

According to Bailey, they will also be creating new, “less masculine” trophies for next year’s Jessies, as they didn’t leave themselves enough time to have them designed and finished for this year’s event. Pressed about specifying the sexual orientation of the new “Jessie” mascot, he abruptly ended the press conference and fled the scene.

Is SDSU Trying to Make $$ From “Impeach Trump” Class?

 

I love the free market—the people decide what succeeds and what fails, not government or special interests.  But San Diego State University has decided a quick and easy way to make a fast $8,000—hold a one day course, “Trump: Impeachment, Removal, or Conviction?,”

 

The good news is that conservatives are not stupid enough to pay $221—the better news is that the Sanderista’s (Bernies supporters) will do anything and spend anything to get rid of Trump—The class needs two people—a professor teaching the class and a shrink evaluating the sanity of those spending $221 for the class.

“The course itself seems to be a dry going-over of all the ins and outs of impeachment, probably with a heavy legal basis.  It uses as a textbook by lefty legal scholar Allan Lichtman, who, whatever your opinion of his politics, has some substance.  It’s not complete idiocy being looked at in this case.  According to San Diego State, the course will go over 19 instances of impeachment.  (There were only two presidential ones in U.S. history: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, with Nixon exiting before an impeachment vote could be held.  Likely, the far less relevant cases of lower officials being impeached, which would seem to be outside the scope of Trump, will also be discussed.)  For angry lefties out there obsessed with impeachment of President Trump, the course would show how hard it is to legally do this, and it might get a few of them to stop screaming.  At least they’d learn something about the law for a change.”

A great scam by the government college!

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image2562817

With its ‘Impeach Trump’ course, SDSU plays the lefties like a fiddle

By Monica Showalter, American Thinker,  2/28/18

College campuses are awash with radical left-wing courses designed to indoctrinate the Millennials, yes?  No doubt about it.  Now a new course at San Diego State University, titled “Trump: Impeachment, Removal, or Conviction?,” takes the cake, right?

Maybe not.

It’s quite possible that Campus Reform, which has done such good work on exposing the pervasive leftism on America’s campuses, and was the first to expose this issue, jumped the gun.  Rather than another case of the eggheads shoving down another Marxist indoctrination course, this one looks like a case of the university marketers playing the lefties out there like a fiddle to extract some profit.

The only reason I write this is that I have experience with some of these courses, and I actually looked into this one.

This is a short, weekend-long course put on not by San Diego State University, but by its extension, meaning, that it is open to anyone, with one college credit available, for those who wants to track that down to add a degree.  It costs $221, and it has spaces for 39 students.  If they all pay, it will earn the university $8,619 in revenue.

It’s not part of the regular university curriculum; it’s one of those pop-up courses that get quickly developed because there’s public interest or a public need (such as worker retraining).  Community colleges and state college extensions specialize in this kind of nimble course development; it’s one reason why they are different from much slower, more entrenched regular universities.  If the college extension thinks it can persuade 39 people to cough up  $221 a pop for a course they want, it will offer it.

The Campus Reform writers express skepticism that no taxpayer funds are used in this apparently Trump-hating course, and they are probably correct in that some indirect funding is used – perhaps for use of campus space, or for marketing materials, or maybe for campus bureaucrats to approve the course.  But by and large, the program is self-sustaining, which is why it needs to be sold to the public.

The course itself seems to be a dry going-over of all the ins and outs of impeachment, probably with a heavy legal basis.  It uses as a textbook by lefty legal scholar Allan Lichtman, who, whatever your opinion of his politics, has some substance.  It’s not complete idiocy being looked at in this case.  According to San Diego State, the course will go over 19 instances of impeachment.  (There were only two presidential ones in U.S. history: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, with Nixon exiting before an impeachment vote could be held.  Likely, the far less relevant cases of lower officials being impeached, which would seem to be outside the scope of Trump, will also be discussed.)  For angry lefties out there obsessed with impeachment of President Trump, the course would show how hard it is to legally do this, and it might get a few of them to stop screaming.  At least they’d learn something about the law for a change.

What it isn’t is indoctrination, which is a key problem with left-wing-controlled education, or activism, which is the other problem.  That makes it far less pernicious than the average rubbish being put out by angry left-wing academics.  It seems to be just informational, based on the reading of one legal scholar’s arguments.

So how could a school, which has to turn a profit on these courses in order to offer them, get someone to register for such a course?  It’s such a dry, dull course on legal technicalities, and the knowledge imparted would be useful only to a handful of lawyers in Washington, D.C.  Solution: Put Trump in the title.  Trump excites the lefties and may get some to register.  They will want to take the course in order to get new ideas about how to get rid of the president, but it’s far from certain that they will get the tools they want.  They may enjoy talking about it, perhaps.

What really appears to  be going on is that the SDSU course designers know this is a malleable bunch, and their Trump-rage makes them easy to manipulate for dollars.

Whether Trump should be put in the title is another question, given that SDSU insists it’s not a course on getting rid of President Trump, but it seems that with Trump in the title, the universities are displaying their course offerings with an eye toward marketing them, particularly the unsubsidized ones.  It’s not at all different from journalists using SEO to maximize reader interest in their pieces.  That may be questionable, but clickbait is what drives profits in the internet age, and apparently that is as true for universities as it is for the press.

I’m inclined to believe this even more based on a bit of looking into who’s teaching the course, John Joseph Cleary, who seems to be this person, is a 1964 graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, with a record of practicing law, uncontroversially and without sanction, in Florida.

For what it’s worth, a commentator using apparently his real name and place of employment on the Campus Reform site says he knows Cleary and contends he expects Trump to serve out his term.

This, if true, suggests even more strongly that the course title is just a marketing tactic, not a real sign of San Diego State going overboard.  What would be useful would be for the university to consider how to exert more accuracy in its course titles, and perhaps more offerings to placate the other end of the political spectrum, such as a course on the case for prosecuting Hillary Clinton.  Capiche?

 

Eber: “A choice not an echo” for Public school education

Congressman Tom McClintock likes to say “what makes Ford great is General Motors.”  The idea of competition allows the consumer, in this case of education, the choice of programs that work for them, not the masses.  Education is mass producer, but the consumer is an individual.

“Supporters of Rocketship, who specializes in taking kids from low income households and turns them into top flight students in five years,  provides a welcome alternative to the often failing traditional  approach to education as practiced in the Golden State. There is so much excitement about Rocketship in Antioch that it already has a waiting list of families trying to get their children enrolled in the school.

Rocketship Public Schools, which has branches throughout California, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Washington D.C., places its emphasis on students learning English, Math, and Science first.  Physical education and recess time are limited with their aggressive academic agenda.  Such a rigorous schedule often means students eating their lunch in the classroom and a school day which is a couple hours longer than traditional educational models.”

While government schools throw money at their facilities, charter schools, like Rocketship, throw hard work, challenging curriculum, discipline (no restorative justice at Rocketship or other charter schools).  Give minorities and those in low income households and opportunity for a great education—one that is best for the child, not the masses.

No Rocketship

“A choice not an echo” for Public school education By Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views,  3/1/18

February 23rd was a joyous occasion in Antioch California. Utilizing bonds from the State, ground was broken on the construction building the new home for Rocketship Charter School. It was all smiles as Mayor Sean Wright and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Richard Pagono led the brigade of gold shovels celebrating the new campus set to open this fall.

Supporters of Rocketship, who specializes in taking kids from low income households and turns them into top flight students in five years,  provides a welcome alternative to the often failing traditional  approach to education as practiced in the Golden State. There is so much excitement about Rocketship in Antioch that it already has a waiting list of families trying to get their children enrolled in the school.

Rocketship Public Schools, which has branches throughout California, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Washington D.C., places its emphasis on students learning English, Math, and Science first.  Physical education and recess time are limited with their aggressive academic agenda.  Such a rigorous schedule often means students eating their lunch in the classroom and a school day which is a couple hours longer than traditional educational models.

Where does this extra time go?  The two additional hours spent at Rocketship are primarily used in computer labs where learning is done individually at the pace of how material is absorbed by each individual.  This blended learning time outside of the classroom is supplementary to what is done there.  As such licensed teachers are not supervising every aspect of the lab sessions.

This is one of the main criticisms that the California Teachers Association has for the Rocketship model of education. With them, results are often less important than the teaching methods utilized.  Even more important to the union is that most teachers at Rocketship do not belong to their group.  This point of contention provides a great deal of friction because Rocketship consistently outperforms its competition in public schools in producing students who are set up to be successful in the middle grades, high school, and beyond.

In addition to the emphasis on academics, Rocketship also puts pressure on parents to participate in their children’s education.  Volunteering is encouraged although it cannot be demanded by law.  As part of their jobs, teachers regularly visit their student’s homes to meet with families and build the bond between the kids and their schooling.

As such the Rocketship approach is not for everyone.  Reading, math, and the developing of critical thinking take priority over everything else.   As it is a public school where no one is forced to attend, this Charter School does not feel compelled to be like the rest of their competitors. Rocketship is the very essence of school choice that Antioch wants to offer to their community.

Fifteen miles down the road in Concord, things are much different.  The Mount Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) with strong backing from the CTA, has opposed to Rocketship from the start.  When they applied with the District three years ago to put in a campus that catered to Hispanic kids from disadvantaged households, the MDUSD pulled out all the stops to prevent them from setting up shop.

They hired heavily academically qualified experts that tried to refute Rocketship’s high test scores as not representing real learning skills.  Criticism of special education, lack of arts, and developing well rounded individuals, were topics of discussion at public meeting at the District, County and State levels.

In fact in blocking Rocketship’s application with the County, school teachers protesting while wearing yellow shirts which read, “No Rocketship” This same group used the same tactics and attire while unsuccessfully blocking the charter school, when they gained approval from the State Board of Education to open a branch in Concord.

In 2016, barely 100 students were enrolled in Rocketship’s inaugural class.  The MDUSD, following their minimum legal responsibilities, placed them in a location that made it difficult for parents to delivery and pick up their children.  Using attorney’s to do their talking; the school district was accused of denying the new charter access to common playgrounds and cafeteria facilities that first year.

Despite these handicaps word of mouth spread in the Hispanic community. Increasing enrollment has transpired to where it is estimated over 350 students will attend Rocketship for the fall of 2018. They hope to soon reach the 500 level of enrolment and eventually build their own facility like Antioch has done

Apparently, some families prefer academic achievement for young kids as opposed to allegedly having more life skills, diversity, and transparency that the school district offers.

Outside of being non-union why is the Teacher’s union and their progressive allies opposing Rocketship and many others Charter’s so vigorously?   The basic reasons are:

  • The achievement levels are much higher and make school district and their teachers look foolish and less effective by comparison
  • Money is being diverted from the district to charters they don’t control. The CTA believes this weakens public education in general even though a similar amount is spent per capita for each student.
  • Concerned-involved parents are putting their kids in charters which dilutes the quality of families attending conventional schools
  • The performance of Rocketship is a mirage where teaching is focused on obtaining high test scores rather than real academic achievement

These same arguments are used to discredit almost all charter schools throughout the state. Curiously enough, advocates of school choice have never said their path of education is what everyone else should be following.  This is countered by anti school choice people saying that it is selfish for parents to want their own kids to attend better schools at the expense of others.  Such thinking pushes forth the notion that education funds belong to school districts rather than families who are served.

And so the battle rages on where the CTA continues to say “We are in it for the kids” when their conduct tells us a different story.  If everything was so great in California, why is the achievement level so low that 90% of public school students in the United States end up having better learning skills than in the land of high tech, diversity, political correctness, and restroom choice?

The contrast of experiences in Antioch and Concord are typical of what goes on throughout the entire state of California from San Diego to the suburbs of Sacramento. Fixing such a sad state of affairs will not be easy especially with a legislature that is a virtual captive and shill of the Teachers Union.

Next week why does everyone hate Betsy Devos and why is education a blue versus red issue.

Black Student Union, pro-choice group to co-host ‘racist roots of Planned Parenthood’ event

Planned Parenthood was founded on the theory of eugenics—getting rid of the weak, the infirmed and black people.  In its history, it has killed more black babies that the plague, heart attacks or shootings.  The number one cause of death among blacks in America is Planned Parenthood.  Now, some black groups have decided to note this.

“One of the biggest skeletons in Planned Parenthood’s closet is that its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a racist who promoted abortion to kill black babies. It’s a subject left-leaning progressives and pro-choicers have long ignored or dismissed.

But two student groups at the University of Florida are ready to take that issue on as part of a Black History month event set for Wednesday.”

“Decolonizing Sexual Health,” co-hosted by Planned Parenthood Generation Action UF and the UF Black Student Union, will offer “a panel discussion on the racist roots of Planned Parenthood,” according to its Facebook event page.

How do you keep blacks down in America—discrimination and Planned Parenthood—too bad we do not look upon Planned Parenthood as we did Jim Crow laws.

Planned Parenthood Abortion Pro Choice

Black Student Union, pro-choice group to co-host ‘racist roots of Planned Parenthood’ event

Jennifer Kabbany, The College Fix,  2/26/18   

One of the biggest skeletons in Planned Parenthood’s closet is that its founder, Margaret Sanger, was a racist who promoted abortion to kill black babies. It’s a subject left-leaning progressives and pro-choicers have long ignored or dismissed.

But two student groups at the University of Florida are ready to take that issue on as part of a Black History month event set for Wednesday.

“Decolonizing Sexual Health,” co-hosted by Planned Parenthood Generation Action UF and the UF Black Student Union, will offer “a panel discussion on the racist roots of Planned Parenthood,” according to its Facebook event page.

“Our subject is addressing the racist roots of the birth control movement, specifically pertaining to the influence of eugenics. Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, is a controversial figure in this conversation because despite her devotion to reproductive rights, she also had beliefs, practices, and associations with eugenics that we acknowledge and denounce, and work to rectify today,” the event page states.

One pro-life group has already heralded the event as a step in the right direction.

“As they say, admitting you have a problem is the first step,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said in a prepared statement Monday.

“However, acknowledging the racist roots of your organization is meaningless unless you also acknowledge that the racist practices of Planned Parenthood continue to this day, since Planned Parenthood continues to target black and Hispanic babies for abortion by the placement of their abortion vendor locations in minority neighborhoods, and unless you address the disparity of abortion, which takes proportionally, so many more lives of infants of color,” Hawkins added.

As The College Fix has reported, since 1973 abortion has killed more African Americans than any other cause –- including health- and homicide-related deaths.

 

California’s pension fund managers are at odds with activists and some union leaders over divestments

Under the law, those running a pension plan or system have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize profits and revenues, within the law.  If The Sanderista Democrats have their way, several countries like Taiwan and Israel, industries like oil, guns or anything not politically correct.  For instance will CalPERS have stocks in Fox?  Of course not?  CNN or NBC?  Probably.  Instead of assuring assets needed to pay retirement checks, CalPERS and CalSTRS prefer to invest based on ideology—which is why they have billions in “green” stocks and planning to invest in social justice stocks—money losers, but makes them feel great.

“Lawmakers and activists have sought to use these investments to achieve a political or social end. They have lobbied CalPERS and CalSTRS to sell off investments in industries they consider detrimental to the public good. Sometimes these divestment demands are very specific. In other cases they are very broad. Here are some of the actual or proposed divestments made in recent years:

  • tobacco
  • firearms
  • fossil fuels
  • privately run prisons
  • securitized home rental properties
  • Turkish government bonds
  • companies doing business in Iran and Sudan
  • companies helping build the Dakota Access Pipeline
  • companies furthering the boycott of Israel
  • companies potentially helping to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico
  • Trump Organization properties.”

This pick and choose based on ideology is both illegal and a crime.  Of course the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra loves law breakers—so watch as these systems collapse, due to politics.

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California’s pension fund managers are at odds with activists and some union leaders over divestments

Mike Antonucci, Los Angeles School Report,  2/27/18

The California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teacher Retirement Systems (CalSTRS) handle a combined half-trillion dollars in assets. The decisions of their fund managers on where to invest have repercussions not only for retirees, but taxpayers and private businesses.

Despite these vast sums, both pension funds are on shaky ground. As of last year, CalPERS liabilities were only 68 percent funded, CalSTRS only 64 percent funded. The legislature took measures to increase funding to the systems, but their overall health is inevitably tied to the performance of their investment portfolios. These portfolios cover the entire spectrum of U.S. and international business and government enterprises.

Lawmakers and activists have sought to use these investments to achieve a political or social end. They have lobbied CalPERS and CalSTRS to sell off investments in industries they consider detrimental to the public good. Sometimes these divestment demands are very specific. In other cases they are very broad. Here are some of the actual or proposed divestments made in recent years:

  • tobacco
  • firearms
  • fossil fuels
  • privately run prisons
  • securitized home rental properties
  • Turkish government bonds
  • companies doing business in Iran and Sudan
  • companies helping build the Dakota Access Pipeline
  • companies furthering the boycott of Israel
  • companies potentially helping to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico
  • Trump Organization properties.

In response to these efforts, both CalPERS and CalSTRS instituted divestment policies. To say that the pension fund trustees oppose divestment would be an understatement.

“Divesting appears to almost invariably harm investment performance,” reads the CalPERS divestment policy, “such as by causing transaction costs (e.g., the cost of selling assets and reinvesting the proceeds) and compromising investment strategies. In addition, there appears to be considerable evidence that divesting is an ineffective strategy for achieving social or political goals, since the usual consequence is often a mere transfer of ownership of divested assets from one investor to another.”

The CalSTRS Divestment policy is similar: “The Investment Committee opposes any divestment effort that would either implicitly or explicitly attempt to direct or influence the Investment Committee to engage in investment activities that violate and breach the Trustees’ fiduciary responsibility.”

“Taking us out of a particular company has zero impact to that company,” said CalSTRS chief investment officer Chris Ailman. “Somebody else buys the shares. It’s literally like a boycott of two out of thousands.”

Both pension funds prefer a policy of engagement – using the weight of their shares to effect change in the targeted industries.

The people most directly affected by divestment decisions are retired public employees and the unions representing them. But they come down on both sides of the issue.

Recently a group of California Teachers Association representatives petitioned CTA to direct CalPERS and CalSTRS to divest from Geo Group and Corecivic, two private firms that manage prisons. However, the union’s board of directors rejected the idea and endorsed the pension fund strategy of engagement instead. The union also invited Mr. Ailman from CalSTRS to address CTA’s Retirement Committee, where he revealed CalSTRS had lost $5.8 billion because of divestments.

CalPERS estimates it has lost more than $8 billion due to divestments. The fund’s trustees were upset enough by this that they announced they would reconsider their divestment from tobacco stocks.

Public employee unions try to avoid outright battles with each other over divestments but there are clearly two camps: politics and money.

“We all understand the need to make profitable investments but fossil fuels pose a threat to everyone,” said SEIU Local 1000 president Yvonne Walker. “We’ve learned this lesson before – placing dollars over principles is one of the key factors in today’s income inequality. We can’t change the past, but let’s make the right decisions for our future.”

Other unions disagree. “It’s time for CalPERS to re-evaluate their investment strategies and focus more on improving their investment returns and less on ‘socially responsible’ investments,” said Steve Crouch, the director of public employees for the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Two aspects don’t often arise in these debates. The first is that divestment only applies to direct investment in the targeted companies. It does not apply to market index funds that are tied to groups of stocks in the Dow Jones, S&P 500, NASDAQ and other indices. If, for example, a pension fund divests from ExxonMobil, it does not necessarily mean that it has zero money invested in ExxonMobil.

The second issue is that the lost billions in investments have to recouped elsewhere. The only other sources of revenue for CalPERS and CalSTRS are contributions from taxpayers and public employees themselves. That makes divestment decisions the concern of all Californians.

 

Walters: Democratic convention shows disconnect with voters

The Democrat Party in California is actually two Parties.  One the Democrat Parts of tradition and Hillary.  The other is the Sanderista party of Bernie, DeLeon and San Fran.  Imagine, the California Democrat Party thinks Dianne Feinstein is too moderate!  Kevin got 54% of the 2791 votes and Dianne only received 37%.  This is truly a Party of the Mensheviks vs. the Bolsheviks.

“The voting results, moreover, showed that the gathering of liberal activists probably signifies little or nothing about how real Democratic voters are leaning.

De León easily bested Feinstein in the delegate polling, 54 percent to 37 percent, but the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll, conduced in January, found that 67 percent of likely Democratic voters back Feinstein’s re-election, and just 19 percent opt for de León.

As Walters mentions the California Republican Party, of which I am a delegate in little different from the Democrats—our Party is run, literally by proxies—about 400 at a convention, with less than 1,000 votes.  Continue the proxies and your control the convention.

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Commentary: Democratic convention shows disconnect with voters

By Dan Walters, CalMatters,  2/28/18

One should never – repeat never – judge the true tenor of a political party by what happens at its convention, and last weekend’s Democratic gabfest was a case in point.

The Democrats’ state convention promised more than the usual banality of such events because there are spirited contests this year for the state’s highest offices, governor and U.S. senator, with the prospect of Democrat-vs.-Democrat showdowns in November in both.

The noise from the podium and in the hallways of San Diego’s cavernous convention center was mostly directed at retelling the world that the state’s Democrats loath President Trump.

On those rare occasions when they weren’t excoriating Trump and a Republican Congress for their secular sins, the principals were sniping at each other.

“This race isn’t personal,” insisted Kevin de León, the state Senate leader who’s challenging U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein – as he essentially accused Feinstein of being out of touch, foolish and weak.

“I’ve never been fooled into believing that Donald Trump can be a good president,” de León said in one of several jibes at Feinstein, who is seeking her fifth full term.

Feinstein did not reply in kind but made an unfortunate gaffe as the auditorium’s music was turned up to signal that her allotted time at the podium had expired.

“I guess my time is up,” she said. “Your time is up,” de León’s more numerous cheerleaders in the crowed began chanting.

The four Democratic candidates for governor also took indirect potshots at each other, with Lt. Gavin Newsom, clearly the crowd favorite, playing to the large Berniecrat presence with his call for “bold leadership, progressive policies” and chiding rivals Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang for not fully embracing the left’s current cause de jour, universal health care.

“My opponents call it snake oil (Villaraigosa’s phrase); I call it single-payer,” Newsom declared.

Villaraigosa, the former mayor of Los Angeles, was equally snarky, calling for more efforts to end the state’s highest-in-the-nation poverty and suggesting, without naming him, that Newsom is an elitist posing as a populist.

“I know the other California because I grew up in the other California,” Villaraigosa reminded delegates, implying that Newsom learned about poverty at “a panel at Davos” – a high-level international economic seminar.

All of the palaver was aimed at influencing delegates on the party’s endorsements for the June primary, and in the end, none of the top office hopefuls garnered the 60 percent support they needed.

The results in the four-way contest for governor were equally skewed.

Newsom topped the quartet with 39 percent, but scored 32 percent of Democrats in the PPIC poll. Villaraigosa, a former union organizer who’s considered a traitor by most public employee unions for his battles with teachers, came in last at just 9 percent, but is tied with Newsom in the PPIC poll.

Treasurer John Chiang has just 14 percent Democratic support in the PPIC survey, but came in second at the convention with 30 percent, and former state schools chief Delaine Eastin finished third at 20 percent in San Diego, but is dead last in PPIC’s poll at 6 percent.

Thus, it appears that rather than being representative of the party, convention goers are out of touch with their own voters, by huge margins. And, by the way, the same could be said of a Republican convention.

 

Unions prepare to lose in the courthouse and strike back in the statehouse

By the end of June the nightmare of workers in America will have ended.  The unions, for two generations forcing workers to pay them bribes in order to work—then using the money to raise taxes and make it more difficult for companies to operate, will end.  The Janus decision will have been made by the Supreme Court and by end of Summer it is possible that one-third of all union member will vote with their feet—no bribes to work.

“Predicting they will lose in the courthouse, California union leaders have begun fighting back in the statehouse. Last year, they successfully lobbied for a new state law that requires government workers, upon being hired, to go through an orientation session with union representatives.

“That is going to be a great boost to allow us to at least access the people and ask them to join,” said Dave Low, executive director of the California School Employees Association.

“Once Janus is decided, and we feel very much that it is going to be decided against us, we will be moving other legislation.”

That is right—on taxpayers time, workers will be forced to hear a union orientation session, where they will be bullied to pay the bribes, if they want to keep their jobs without harassment.  The union should pay the taxpayers for this abuse of our time—what do you think?

Union

Unions prepare to lose in the courthouse and strike back in the statehouse

By Laurel Rosenhall, CalMatters,  2/27/18

 

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on a high-profile case that could slash the power of public-employee unions. But California labor leaders are already planning to push for new state laws to blunt the impact of an unfavorable ruling.

The case argued before the court Monday, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, challenges whether public-employee unions can collect fees from workers who choose not to join the union. California is one of several states that allow unions to collect so-called “fair share fees” from workers who benefit from services such as contract negotiations but don’t want to pay for their union’s political activity.

Plaintiff Mark Janus, a state child support specialist in Illinois, contends that all union activity is political when the workers’ boss is the government. He argues that requiring him to pay the fee infringes on his constitutional rights to free speech and association by essentially forcing him to support a group that advocates positions with which he disagrees—in particular, its push for boosting worker salaries in a state facing a budget crisis after reportedly mismanaging its pension program.

AFSCME, the nation’s largest union for government workers, argues that without the fees workers would get a “free ride,” enjoying job protections the union secures without paying the associated cost. In a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of California, the state’s Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra argues that changing the status quo would unnecessarily disrupt California’s dealings with its public-employee unions.

The court is likely to rule this spring, and given its conservative majority, many observers expect the unions to lose. That would slash the amount of money public-employee unions can collect from their workers—and, over time, could shrink membership. Those changes would shake up politics in California, where organized labor has long enjoyed enormous clout in a state dominated by Democrats. The Janus case is backed by a network of conservative groups whose funders also support Republican candidates.

“The threat to organized labor is a threat to all of us, in particular to the Democratic party,” Alma Hernandez, executive director of the Service Employees International Union in California, said to a roomful of union activists at the California Democratic Party convention. The mood was a mix of doom and defiance.

“And make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, they’re coming after us.”

Predicting they will lose in the courthouse, California union leaders have begun fighting back in the statehouse. Last year, they successfully lobbied for a new state law that requires government workers, upon being hired, to go through an orientation session with union representatives.

“That is going to be a great boost to allow us to at least access the people and ask them to join,” said Dave Low, executive director of the California School Employees Association.

“Once Janus is decided, and we feel very much that it is going to be decided against us, we will be moving other legislation.”

The legislation is in early conceptual stages and it’s too soon to say whether, if approved, it would cover all unions or just those in the public sector. But union-backed bills under consideration, Low said, include:

  • giving union members “release time” from their jobs so they can recruit other workers to join the union
  • shielding union members’ contact information from the public to make it harder for anti-union groups to reach them
  • allowing unions to charge non-members who use services such as arbitration or a labor representative to help them through a disciplinary process

Taxpayer advocates would likely oppose bills that would shield contact information or give union members release time from work, said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. But overall, he said, a court ruling in favor of Janus could relieve some pressure on California taxpayers.

“It will perhaps result in our elected officials being able to pursue policies that have more the public in mind, and not just the public employees,” Coupal said. “They will be less likely to cave to public employees in collective bargaining in terms of salary and compensation.”

Labor unions are a major influence in California’s Capitol, spending money to help elect Democrats and then lobbying them to pass new laws. In just the past few years, unions here have successfully advocated for laws granting overtime to farmworkers, making paid sick days mandatory and increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Labor has shaped many other decisions in the Capitol, from which car companies can get electric-vehicle rebates to how much money school districts can hold in reserves.

That kind of influence is costly. Labor unions spent at least $16.3 million lobbying the California Legislature last year and, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, more than $123 million on California political campaigns in the last election—money that comes from dues paid by union members.

About 2.5 million public- and private-sector workers in California are union members, according to the California Labor Federation, and another 110,000 government workers here pay fair-share fees to unions they choose not to join.

An unfavorable ruling from the Supreme Court could diminish union membership in California by between 5 and 30 percent, depending on what other laws are in place, predicted California Labor Federation spokesman Steve Smith. It’s unlikely to strike an immediate blow to how much unions spend on political campaigns in California this year, he said, though it could have some impact. The real change will be felt over time: If the ruling leads to a decline in membership, unions will have less money to spend on politics.

“If we have less money as labor, we’re going to be spending less money on Democratic candidates, we’re going to be spending less money on things like ballot initiatives,” said Jessica Ulstad, political field director for the California Federation of Teachers.

“We will all have to look at our budgets and say, ‘What is it that we absolutely are going to spend money on, and what are we not going to be able to do any more?’ ”

California Cities Sue State, Allege Secret Discussions of Water Project

Are we seeing a repeat of the story told in 1974 in the movie “Chinatown, by the rapist Roman Polanski?  From Wikipedia, “Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the California Water Wars, a series of disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century, by which Los Angeles interests secured water rights in the Owens Valley.”

In 2018, Jerry Brown is acting like the sneaks in the movie—secret meetings, deals that are approved without public comment and worse.  Maybe Polanski could do the new version—maybe James Franco could play Jerry Brown.

“The petitioners, led by Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, have uncovered public records that they claim prove that State Water Resources Board staffers discussed technical reviews and other documents regarding the California WaterFix with the project’s lead agencies.

“Evidence revealed in response to a recent request under the Public Records Act demonstrates deliberate obstruction, and possible collusion by the Department of Water Resources, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and [water board staff],” the complaint filed in Sacramento Superior Court states.

The Delta tunnel is a $16 billion project—and few want it—except for the special interests and unions.  No one knows the status, many expecting a press release from Brown, going around the legislature and the public, with a starting date of this boondoggle.

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California Cities Sue State, Allege Secret Discussions of Water Project

NICK CAHILL, Courthousenews,  2/28/18

 

SACRAMENTO (CN) –Over a dozen California cities, water agencies and environmentalists sued the state late Tuesday, alleging that state regulators have been secretly plotting and discussing a contentious $16 billion water project.

The petitioners, led by Sacramento and San Joaquin counties, have uncovered public records that they claim prove that State Water Resources Board staffers discussed technical reviews and other documents regarding the California WaterFix with the project’s lead agencies.

“Evidence revealed in response to a recent request under the Public Records Act demonstrates deliberate obstruction, and possible collusion by the Department of Water Resources, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and [water board staff],” the complaint filed in Sacramento Superior Court states.

The water board must assess and sign off on the project’s environmental review before construction can finally begin on the decades-old project. It finished the first phase of the permit review and is currently holding hearings on the project’s impact on fish and wildlife.

More than 50 cities, counties, water suppliers and environmental groups have officially opposed the state’s permit application and the WaterFix as a whole.

The project calls for two 35-mile tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The tunnels would funnel water around the delta to the state’s southernmost farmers and cities, including Los Angeles. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has signed off on the project and hopes to begin construction by the end of 2018.

In their 37-page complaint, the petitioners are asking the court to prevent the water board from continuing public hearings and force it to release all evidence of off-the-record talks between water board staffers and project stakeholders.

In the latest twist of the project that has been perennially delayed by lawsuits, design changes and money shortages, someone opposing the project filed a public records request requesting ex parte or private communications between the department of water resources and the water board.

In response, a water board attorney released a cache of emails in Oct. 2017, detailing talks and meetings between staffers and project stakeholders. The emails show at least 12 separate instances of private talks from 2015 to 2016, with topics ranging broaching “preparation of the final environmental impact report” to “modeling” that was eventually presented to the water board.

The records show that staffers were discussing the project privately with the stakeholders, not commissioners who vote on the subject matter.

But the water board is defending and downplaying the once-secret private meetings. It says the communications concerned technical matters and that staffers didn’t relay information to commissioners.

“Based on the evidence before us, we conclude that no off-the-record information was indirectly passed by water board staff from the department of water resources to us or to any other member of the water board,” states a letter signed by Felicia Marcus, water board chair.

The water board did not respond to an email request for comment late Tuesday. Sacramento County’s counsel Andrew Hitchings of Somach Simmons & Dunn said the staffers’ ex parte talks have tainted the public hearings. He says the petitioners have already filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and will be in court Friday morning.

Other petitioners include the cities of Antioch and Stockton, Yolo, Solano and Contra Costa counties and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance. They are asking for a permanent injunction preventing the water board from continuing hearings until the court weighs in on the ex parte communications.

The petitioners say the ongoing water board hearings are the “most significant water rights proceedings in the history of the state of California.” Among other things, the opponents say the alleged illegal backroom talks have prevented them from receiving a “fair hearing.”

The second stage of the water board’s review is expected to last through June.

Stockton “Anti-Gun” Protesters Throw Rocks at Cops and Cars

Temper tantrums by children in Stockton.

“Peaceniks” in Stockton are showing their real colors—no guns for you—but rocks thrown are OK—even if they are directed toward the police.  The bigger question is why only five arrests were made?  In San Fran, rioters from three years ago still have not gone to trial and the DA is hoping folks will forget it—so the criminals can be set free without a criminal record or punishment.  Will Stockton do the same?

“Police said the demonstrations became chaotic when about 100 of the 300 students tried to leave the school by jumping over a fence and other students created traffic problems by blocking off streets, according to Action News Now. The demonstrations proceeded to turn violent when students started throwing rock and damaged both police and citizen vehicles.

Five arrests were made, which included charges of battery on an officer, resisting arrest, taking an officer’s baton, and vandalizing vehicles.

Thanks to “restorative justice” the offending students will be welcomed back in class—any wonder students have no respect for government or authority?  Government and authority have no respect for themselves.

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Anti-Gun Student Protesters in California Turn Violent, Throw Rocks at Police Cruisers

BY: Cameron Cawthorne, Washington Free Beacon,  2/27/18

Hundreds of high school students from five schools in Stockton, California were participating in an anti-gun protest that turned violent when several students threw rocks and damaged vehicles.

The students staged the protest last Friday by walking out of class in the wake of the Feb. 14 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which left left 17 teachers and students dead in Parkland, Florida.

Police said the demonstrations became chaotic when about 100 of the 300 students tried to leave the school by jumping over a fence and other students created traffic problems by blocking off streets, according to Action News Now. The demonstrations proceeded to turn violent when students started throwing rock and damaged both police and citizen vehicles.

Five arrests were made, which included charges of battery on an officer, resisting arrest, taking an officer’s baton, and vandalizing vehicles.

One high school student said the protests were important because school shootings could take place anywhere.

“This is a very important thing to me and to all of us. Obviously, this matters. Yeah, it wasn’t in Stockton, but there has been shootings in Stockton just like the Cleveland shooting. This is important to every school. No matter where we are, this could happen. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Florida; it doesn’t matter if we’re in Stockton. No matter where we are there could be a gun on campus and someone could get hurt,” the student, Haley Wolfe, said.

Caslita Jones, a local college student, said she was on her way to classes when her car was hit by multiple rocks, shattering her rear windshield .

“I’m about to cry,” she said.

 

Tammy Bruce: Normalizing the chaos in California

The mayor of Oakland gave notice to 850 criminal illegal aliens, rapists, muggers, burglars, etc., that ICE was in the neighborhood looking for them.  So, while ICE picked up 150 illegal aliens over the weekend—the streets of Northern California have another 850 KNOWN criminals in the community.  That is 850 more chances for a crime against honest citizens.  Then you have the State of California nullifying Federal immigration laws, wanting to open up banks to compete with private banks—then you have “Community Choice” a back door effort to socialize energy in California by closing down PG&E and SoCal Edison—using tax dollars.

“The other factor is, of course, the social justice issue: “All the great social issues of American society play out in homelessness — inequality, racial injustice, poverty, violence, sexism. …” Never mentioned: idiotic and incompetent liberal leadership that destroys business and jobs; regulations, waste, fraud and abuse that leave human beings on the street because the theory of socialism is all that matters.

Fox News reported that 25 percent of the nation’s half million homeless live in California, the largest of any state. Why is California in such trouble? Todd Spitzer of the Orange County (California) Board of Supervisors “blames the problem on two issues: legislation signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown over the past several years that has eroded the penalties for drug use, possession and petty crimes to where police often don’t bother making arrests; and the change in a law so that treatment is no longer forced for drug abuse or mental health issues.”

For liberals, social chaos is their friend. They need it to prey on the emotions of others, while then using it as an argument for more government control of our lives.”

Let us not forget the $200 billion choo choo to nowhere, the $16 billion Delta tunnel and the almost passed $400 billion single payer—to make California healthcare mimic that of the failed British system.

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Normalizing the chaos in California

Unchallenged liberalism leaves homelessness, drug needles and garbage in its wake

 

By Tammy Bruce, Washington Times,  2/28/18

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Liberal policy failure is all around us and destroys lives every day. In California, the destruction of society and individual lives has become so overwhelming, the state’s liberal overseers now spend their time covering up where they can and normalizing the chaos as much as possible.

Since 2013, when now-liberal icon Eric Garcetti was elected mayor of Los Angeles, and the nation had just re-elected Barack Obama as president, Los Angeles’ homeless population skyrocketed 46 percent. During the Obama years, where unchallenged liberalism was pushed and accepted (wrongly) as the new normal, we saw the leftist economic menace rage through the entire nation, destroying businesses and the full-time jobs that went with them.

In California, the destruction is particularly acute. As the social structure in major cities continues to break down, the state focuses on banning plastic straws, whether to release from prison a mass murderer from the Manson family, while cheering at becoming as sanctuary state.

Just this week, the Los Angeles Times issued an editorial titled, “Los Angeles homeless crisis is a national disgrace.” Actually, it’s not — it’s a California disgrace. The editorial exemplifies the refusal of liberals to not just admit their responsibility to social destruction, but an inability to even relate to reality.

The Times editorial board chided, in part, “Today, a greater and greater proportion of people living on the streets are there because of bad luck or a series of mistakes, or because the economy forgot them — they lost a job or were evicted or fled an abusive marriage just as the housing market was growing increasingly unforgiving.”

They refer to the “economy” as though it’s a mean thing with a life of its own, and simply “forgot” people. There’s no need to consider the actual people in charge of policy and the economy. That lost job, or domestic strife, a mean housing market are all pointed at, as though they were all dropped on earth by Martians.

The other factor is, of course, the social justice issue: “All the great social issues of American society play out in homelessness — inequality, racial injustice, poverty, violence, sexism. …” Never mentioned: idiotic and incompetent liberal leadership that destroys business and jobs; regulations, waste, fraud and abuse that leave human beings on the street because the theory of socialism is all that matters.

Fox News reported that 25 percent of the nation’s half million homeless live in California, the largest of any state. Why is California in such trouble? Todd Spitzer of the Orange County (California) Board of Supervisors “blames the problem on two issues: legislation signed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown over the past several years that has eroded the penalties for drug use, possession and petty crimes to where police often don’t bother making arrests; and the change in a law so that treatment is no longer forced for drug abuse or mental health issues.”

For liberals, social chaos is their friend. They need it to prey on the emotions of others, while then using it as an argument for more government control of our lives.

As if living in those conditions is just another life choice, the ACLU tried to stop Mr. Spitzer’s effort to clean up a homeless camp of 700 people living along a riverbed next to Angels’ Stadium. He prevailed, but so dangerous was the environment, it took hazmat crews to clear out the encampment.

“Trash trucks and contractors in hazmat gear have descended on the camp and so far removed 250 tons of trash, 1,100 pounds of human waste and 5,000 hypodermic needles,” the report said.

The left has a history of working hard to hide their failure, malevolence and destruction of society. Years ago, this column brought to you the effort by San Francisco to move their homeless to an island. Now the story is about how the city spends $30 million trying to clean city streets of hypodermic needles and human feces.

“[An] Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco,” reported NBC Bay Area. Their “Investigative Unit photographed nearly a dozen hypodermic needles scattered across one block, a group of preschool students happened to walk by on their way to an afternoon field trip to city hall. ‘We see poop, we see pee, we see needles, and we see trash,’ said teacher Adelita Orellana. ‘Sometimes they ask what is it, and that’s a conversation that’s a little difficult to have with a 2-year old, but we just let them know that those things are full of germs, that they are dangerous, and they should never be touched.”

Congratulations, Democrats!

As Democratic leadership tries to normalize their degradation of society, others have had to adapt. One person created the “Human Wasteland” map that, according to the Daily Caller, “charts all of the locations for human excrement ‘incidents’ reported to the San Francisco police during a given month. The interactive map shows precise locations of the incidents by marking them with poop emojis.”

Having used needles and human waste on your sidewalks isn’t just a disgusting inconvenience, it’s a deadly biological hazard and an indicator of the breakdown of civil society. So the next time a Democrat tells you they know best, laugh and let them know your family deserves better than poo maps, hazmat homeless camps, and little girls having to avoid drug needles on the sidewalk.

  • Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.