Previous month:
July 2009
Next month:
September 2009

August 2009

Ted Kennedy - May he rest in peace

By Joy A. Kennelly

I have been watching the memorial for Ted Kennedy and loved hearing even though he might have passionately disagreed with someone as they debated an issue, he would still be able to go out and share a drink after forgetting the issue they'd been arguing about.

Apparently he had that rare ability to reach across party lines and maintain friendships with people even when they didn't see eye-to-eye. A man after my own heart. That's what I strive to do in certain respects. Even though we may not agree, it doesn't mean our friendship can't be just as strong and vital as those who think like you. It just takes a little more understanding and effort.

Those who don't have the time or willingness, then bye bye, but if you can see both sides, then let's chat. Oh, and for the record, I generally don't talk politics when you meet me unless you bring it up because I'm sure to have a differing opinion than you on many issues just by virtue of my faith. Why fight?

However, in the virtual world, I love a lively debate on Facebook because I've added a wide variety of people who then chime in which makes it more interesting than listening to myself talk all the time. Plus, I don't feel like arguing in this blog because it's not the reason I write here. Just isn't. So deal with it. Comment on other people's blogs about your politics because to be honest, as a publicist, I'm just sharing one person's views. Just the facts and news.

That's all.

In the middle of uploading pix from my Social Network Live mixer, but wanted to take a break to acknowledge the death of Senator Ted Kennedy because I respect the influence he's had in so many respects. Not that I agree with him on everything, or even anything, but he has been a figure of history and it must be hard on the family to lose two people so close together.

Thanks for reading. I'll be posting pix here soon on my event.

Goodwill Hunting at the Goodwill

By Joy A. Kennelly

Wrapping up the end of my community service finally which feels good. The first place I volunteered didn't offer very many hours a day and because everyone was so efficient we finished early all the time. I was sick, had my bike accident, relatives visiting, two funerals to mourn and job hunting which didn't help get my hours in either.

However, just started at Goodwill and am so happy only a few more hours to go. Time flies when you're having fun is true. This has truly been an interesting experience to observe human nature and work with people I would normally not associate with which is always good - gotta expand your comfort zone or get stagnant I say.

My first gig included working with someone who had gone to prison for shooting at his girlfriend and her lover seven times earlier in his life and was working off some traffic issue (I think a DUI since he had so many hours). Nice enough guy, but not someone I normally would ever meet or work with which was a little uncomfortable. Nothing personal, just stating my feelings.

The others were there for DUI's, and other minor traffic stuff just like me. What was fascinating at that place is the sense of entitlement one of the women had about stealing food from the charity. Hello, what part of this is community service, not they serve you, don't you get?

She was so ignorant she ended up getting another traffic penalty right when she was supposed to be finished and now has even more time to work off. Guess she didn't learn her lesson, right? LOL I know I have because once is enough.

The irony of this is that whenever I'm about to make a huge career leap I always have something like this happen which causes me to take time out of my life, slow down and evaluate what I want out of life. Fortunately, it doesn't happen too often because once I learn a lesson it's learned. Then I move forward more focused on my future plans.

What has been really enjoyable about my new gig is the people I'm working with at the Goodwill Store actually appreciate my work ethic and are constantly complimenting my efforts which is such a contrast to the last place. These co-workers kept asking me where I'd worked before because I guess not all volunteers work the way I do.

Not to brag, but just stating a fact because I was so demoralized after the last gig where it seemed like if you were a slacker, played up to the morbidly obese supervisor, stole food in front of everyone, and basically did what you wanted, you were rewarded. There were some really good workers too, don't get me wrong, but there were a lot who took advantage of the situation too.

I don't work well in that type environment. Tell me what my parameters are, what you want me to do, how you want it done, be respectful and honest and we're all good. That's what impressed me about the Goodwill right away.

They actually held an orientation to explain what was expected, how they liked things to be done, and a code of conduct was provided which I signed to indicate I would abide by their rules.

Real professional. I have really enjoyed this new experience immensely. Helps to work with fun people and meet quirky characters too to help the time fly. My first day there, a homeless woman named Carol arrived around 11am and ended up staying until I left at 6pm. We let her hang out because we're really there to help people like her after all.

She had the absolute worst smell and would walk around the store wearing a jacket she had selected off the racks all the while trying on hats, touching everything, and pulling out pieces of clothing which she would display on the racks above the rest of the clothing the entire time.

Since my job was to put all the clothes away it became a little frustrating to deal with and I asked her politely to put things away once she was done not sure if she'd understand enough to comply, or what since I've not had any previous experience with homeless people and find them to be crazy.

That's my judgmental/non-Christ-like side raising it's ugly head, hate to admit it. I realized once I began communicating with her God had brought her into my life to teach me patience and compassion. The first time she explained to me that she was displaying the clothes to make up her mind on which item she would select to purchase later.

Isn't that cute? Especially since we all knew it would never happen.

She also explained she used to live with a man who ran a Goodwill and loved the Goodwill. I treated her like a normal person which I could see made her feel good. It was sad to watch her try to communicate with other customers because it was obvious they were just tolerating her and she was making no sense to them whatsoever.

She kept pulling out clothes throughout the day and again, I politely asked her to put them back when she was done. This time she explained she was a seamstress and was admiring the way they were sewn. She was extremely polite and well-mannered which made me wonder what her life had been like prior to becoming homeless.

She smelled exactly the way the back of the cheap African taxis had smelled when we had traveled throughout Kenya alongside all the native Africans - unshowered, no deodorant, packed like sardines, and so bad smelling you could barely breath. I had completely forgotten about that part of our African experience, but her scent created a flashback to my seventh grade year which was pungent and haunting.

Carol kept us entertained throughout the day, but she wasn't the only crazy to pop in that day. Another woman, who looked completely normal mind you, came to the checkout counter and began talking crazy talk about the Tweety Bird Conspiracy. I've never heard of that. Have you? LOL

When the cashier attempted to give her back ten dollars change she refused to accept it saying it was contaminated or some such nonsense. Thank you for your donation crazy lady. Oh dear, being judgmental again, aren't I?:)

Another guy seemingly had changed the price tags on an item and then threatened to sue when the manager checked to make sure the right price was given. The overweight, sweaty man became very belligerent and demanding over something that cost only $2.99!

Interesting study of human nature again is all I have to say. If you're stuck on characters for your script, or novel, go volunteer at your local Goodwill. I assure you your writer's block will be broken because of who you will observe shopping. Not everyone is out-there, but there are enough that are which makes it fun.

My 21 year gay co-worker is a real trip. I've had a lot of fun goofying around with her (as my good friend Ara likes to say. Love you Ara, but you crack me up sometimes girl!)

I told her I'd write about our experience so it's cool. When I told her about signing up for some dating site she said she didn't believe in commitment, was against relationships and everything they stood for. Now do you see why sometimes people wonder why gay marriage is such a big deal? I know, she doesn't represent everyone in that community, but still, I think a lot of gay people feel that way if they were to ever admit it out loud.

Not to get political because I'm not in the mood to argue, just stating an observation.

We kept holding up cute skirts telling her they'd look good on her and she played along like a good sport joking right back even though she's really jonsing for a pair of black Levi's 503's she saw. I made the mistake of telling her I thought a customer was hot and she embarrassed me to death by speaking loudly about my comment saying I should grow some and tell him!

Even though people have a hard time believing it, I can be very shy, especially around men I'm attracted to. I don't think I've blushed that red in a LONG time! It was really funny. My other co-worker Liz, when I told her what had happened, shared she'd gotten up her courage to talk to a guy she liked when he shopped at the store and she ended up dating him for three years.

Just goes to show you...

I was surprised there were so many attractive men shopping there, but it's a total hipster place to shop after all. Apparently vinyl records are what some of the guys look for, others just like the inexpensive clothes.

Not used to being there since I normally never shop for second hand anything. The last time I was at this particular store was with a friend who loves thrifting, almost to an obsession.

She shall remain nameless, but those of you who know me, know who I might be referring to I'm sure. LOL God love her, but there are people who throw garage sales and donate clothes to charities and those who shop them.

I'm of the latter camp.

However, after sorting clothes and items for hours on end I could see why people enjoy it. Target and other companies donate here regularly which means some items are new and very inexpensive. Speaking of which, this next week-end August 28th and 29th all the clothing is only $2.00 at all Goodwill stores.

All sales final. No return or exchange on sale items. Not valid with any other offers. No other discounts apply. Apparel currently priced at less than $2 remains at the lower price.

Just thought I'd give them a little plug because they're such a worthy charity and are trying to achieve a sales goal of one million dollars this month. Help a homeless person out and shop!

Gotta run. More later. Just getting approvals. Thanks!

Hotel De Anza, SES Conference Keynote Clay Shirky, Resume Bucket review

By Joy A. Kennelly

Today, I made my ResumeBucket tech friend Paras' day Paras when I gave him one of the Facebook promo cards worth $50 in ad space on Facebook and one of the orange t-shirts they were giving away at the recent San Jose Search Engine Strategy Conference held last week. (He's my Starbucks "office mate". lol)

(For those of you who don't know, "Search Engine Strategies (SES) is the leading global conference & expo series that educates delegates on search engine marketing (SEM), including optimization (SEO) and advertising strategies, tactics and best practices. SES Search Marketing Events provide instruction from the industry's top Search experts, including representatives of the Search Engines themselves.")

Back to Paras and his t-shirt. This is bad, but my mind just went blank on what the t-shirts were promoting! You know the one don't you? It says, "No Magic, Just Method". Remember? Sorry company, but know Paras is wearing it proudly in the tech community within Los Angeles so you're getting some buzz down here even if it's not on this blog. :)

I, personally, am loving my "best of the web since 1994" t-shirt that Best of the Web Directory was giving away. If someone doesn't read the back where it gives the company name I kinda wonder if people think I'm a porn star or something else to earn this title.

Oh baby. LOL

In any case, on a more serious note...

I was so happy my good friend Erica suggested I attend this tech conference because I finally felt like I was around "my people". There were people blogging during the sessions, walking around tweeting, talking on their phones, checking email, social networking on Facebook and LinkedIn, you name it, they were doing it and it was great to see.

All my professional career as a public relations specialist I've always focused more on a client's online presence - helping them create websites, blogging about their activities, making press releases Search Engine Optimized, and everything else this conference discussed as part of Search Engine Strategies.

The only problem is I was doing it in a vacuum. I didn't have any tech people to compare my experiences to and didn't realize it was a viable pursuit. I knew what I was doing was helping my clients, but because I was billing myself as a traditional publicist where media relations is king, not someone with diverse tech skills and background like I have, it was always frustrating.

When I would talk to other publicists their world revolved around getting hits in mainstream media and it was like we were talking a foreign language. They didn't get what I do and I didn't want to do what they did. I loved the challenge of spreading my client's name throughout the web organically through social communities and all the other ways I use the web to increase Search Engine Optimization.

I would be thrilled when I got my clients to the top ten searches of Google (every single time) and yet they wouldn't understand (or appreciate) the value. To be honest, perhaps I didn't either back then, but I still knew it was good. I just didn't understand how I made it happen, but after attending this conference now I do (which I'll go into in more detail later.)

Everything I've been doing intuitively because I understand the tech side of marketing on the web was affirmed by the speakers of such a well-respected tech conference. Finally learned there are actual interactive agencies that specialize in this style of marketing. I finally feel like I'm not crazy for valuing a service I was offering to clients that they rarely valued!

If only I knew then what I know now! So as I told Erica, it was worth attending the SES Conference just to gain this affirmation that I wasn't crazy. It felt really good to be around smart, like-minded people, learn new things and have other information confirmed that I was doing it right even when I didn't realize it.

This trip was such a spur of the moment decision I ended up driving up to save money and was happy to have my car to explore once I arrived in San Jose. The first couple of nights I stayed at a bargain hotel, but then I was treated to a night at the Hotel De Anza which made all the difference in my whole experience.

When you're in a conference listening to speakers all day, walking the expo floor and attending parties, your hotel room becomes a haven from the real world. This hotel was no exception. Allow me this small detour before I get into the body of the conference because this was a special treat and deserves some attention.

If you've never been to San Jose, CA, it's a completely different experience than San Francisco. It also has the beautiful old architecture intermingled with modern, but there's just a different feel to the air that's hard to explain - kind of like "brains grown here." People are relaxed and casual, but also extremely smart. (At least the ones I met.)

Granted I was attending a conference, but even exploring the city prior to the start of the conference gave me that impression. I arrived around 8:30pm and by the time I found Santana Row, a popular shopping experience complete with numerous nice restaurants and Hotel Valencia, I was bummed to learn all the restaurants closed at 10pm!

That was the only downside of my trip because I was looking forward to a really nice meal that night after driving so long, but had to settle for a roadside diner (which shall go nameless to prevent anyone else from ever going there. Yes, it was that bad. lol)

Which is why it was such a treat to stay at the Hotel De Anza. Pure class. Private and intimate, just the way I like it. That's what you get when you stay at a hotel built in the 1930's. I loved all the special touches and art deco art work displayed elegantly throughout.

Here's some pix to give you an idea why Paul McCartney has stayed here twice and numerous other celebs have too (too many to list actually! I was really surprised on one hand, but on the other... this really is a haven from the world):

Hotel DeAnza PCT FountianPenthouse Living RoomIMG_7197 

My Tour Guide, Stephen. He's been at the Hotel De Anza for eleven years which is rather unusual in the hotel industry, but as he explained, he's held a wide variety of jobs here.There's always something new to learn he said which I appreciated.

IMG_7200 IMG_7201

IMG_7203 IMG_7202

IMG_7207 IMG_7204 IMG_7224 IMG_7177 IMG_7179 IMG_7182 IMG_7184 IMG_7185 These pix are a mix of the Penthouse suite (can you tell which ones are the Penthouse and where I stayed? I'm not complaining though, trust me!) and my room which I lazed in all evening rather than go out like all my friends. I needed some chill time and this was perfect.

If my hair hadn't been so mussed from my jacuzzi tub experience and my robe so comfy, I might have wandered downstairs to the free pantry that was open from 10pm till 2am if you want a late-night snack. Isn't this the coolest architecture and decoration? I just love places with a history. IMG_7212

IMG_7209  IMG_7211  IMG_7213 IMG_7214 IMG_7215 IMG_7216 IMG_7218 IMG_7220 IMG_7222 IMG_7225 Some of the pix are from the jazz club area which apparently is very popular. Again, relaxing in my room and missed it.:) This hotel is very popular site for weddings and the Penthouse is often used by the bridal party. Can you see why? They also host a lot of special events.

However, what I like about their hosting special events vs. a larger hotel like a Marriott (where I've never had a good night's rest due to their thin walls, loud guests, and uncomfortable beds), this is a boutique hotel which makes the guests a little more inclined to privacy and discretion.

In case you're looking for a conference room to host a private board meeting, check this one out. IMG_7226 There are others downstairs of varying sizes which are nice too. What's great about this place is that it's only a few minutes away from the HP Pavilion, which apparently is the number one indoor arena in the country where the San Jose Sharks play.

Lots of good concerts and sports coming up so check it out! Hotel De Anza is also offering quite a few special weekend getaways including one in the wine country. I highly recommend staying here if your travels take you to San Jose. And if you're curious about their history - shoot me an email and I'll send over the pdf to you. Fascinating slice of Americana.

Now, for the techies and those curious how I do the things I do with the web, here's some highlights from the SES Conference for your reading pleasure.

What I liked about this conference was the fact that a lot of the seminars and keynotes were open to everyone attending, not just the people who had paid for the entire conference. Also, they had special side tracks that they allowed everyone to attend which I found extremely interesting since some of them dealt with social networking of which I am a huge user.

I have to admit, really, really, really enjoyed Keynote Speaker, Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, because in my mind he nailed it when he said right now everyone uses the internet "in the public, but not for the public" meaning my blog is for my readers, but not really for everyone in the world, they just happen to find me and read it.

Here's a cool link where you can read another person's highlights, although I don't think they capture exactly the essence, but it will give you an overview and an example of a cool tool:

Here's another blogger's take from a previous conference, but on the same topic with Clay which will give you a deeper understanding called the Fast Forward blog. Oh, and here's one where they interviewed him after his keynote to discuss the shift in Web 2.0 user behavior which is presented by Deon Designs.  And here's another business overview by Search Engine Guide.

What I'm finding interesting in all their coverage is that our perspectives on this keynote speech are completely different. From my perspective, as someone actively involved in social media (over 2000 "friends" on Facebook now, almost the same on MySpace, and almost 500 connections on LinkedIn) and blogging (having been a blogger for over five years), I heard Clay's message as someone who is a user, not just a marketer.

As a result, different things resonated with me than I'm finding do with others who are looking at this from a clearly clinical viewpoint. Back to my point of "in the public, but not for the public"... In addition the examples Clay gave mentioned by others, the one I enjoyed and totally related to, was the young fashionista in Asia who normally blogged about fashion.

However, when her country experienced a take-over that the government was trying to keep quiet she began posting pictures of the uprising which drew international attention because she was one of the few covering this "news". To her, it was just part of her life and she was just sharing it with her friends.

When she got bored with the uprising, she posted a picture of her newest Hello Kitty (I believe that was the reference, correct me if I'm wrong) accessory and completely ignored the uprising because she was over it. 

Well, that angered her new readers who demanded she post more pictures and news since she was one of the few sources actually sharing information at that point. Clay then posted an image of her blog where she rants about this being her blog and her doing whatever she pleases with it (or words to that effect.)

I had to laugh out loud over that one because I know some of you reading this are waiting for me to blast Obamacare some more, talk Hermosa politics, or discuss my feelings about the Six Man Volleyball Festival, but tonight, I don't feel like writing about that and since this is my blog....:)

Clay totally gets the mentality that we're not writing for others, we're writing for ourselves. As a result, we're going to write about what pleases us, not our readers (much to the chagrin of marketers everywhere.)

He gave this perfect example of a review of the t-shirt- Three Wolves Howling at the Moon. Read the link to hear the story - great explanation and well worth the read.

However, the way I look at it, it's more authentic and real this way which draws readers who will read whatever we write about because they know they're going to hear our truth even when they don't agree with it.

That's one thing about politics and other issues that I may not agree with. I ALWAYS want to hear the other side which is why so many of my previous boyfriends and current friends are DEMS. I'd rather have the intellectual stimulation (even though I probably will never change to their side and vice versa) than only hang out with people who are just like me.


Granted, I've just said how wonderful it felt to be around all the techies this past week, but I'm sure if it was the only environment I experienced 24/7 I would get bored real quick. I love being around like-minded people for the support and understanding, but I crave challenges and interesting new things too much to stay put for too long.

Back to the conference.

One of the things that really surprised me when I arrived at the conference is all the education offered in social media. You can actually get a certificate now on social media tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc and I had to laugh at that because to me it's bogus and contrived.

Social Media is all about the person's persona, voice and relationships. It's not something you can learn unless you're simply learning how to use the tools, not how to actually function organically. I had to ask Clay's opinion on whether or not he felt there needs to be certification to "legitimaze" someone's social media experience.

He totally agreed with me that in this stage of the game, it's way too early since it's still evolving. To me, it's kind of like kindergarten for internet newbies. You feel better because you have a certificate, but do you really know how to use what you've learned?

Does this make sense? Not to get all philosophical on you, but I hate to think I have to go to school to learn what I and so many others do naturally - build a community.

I think if you're a marketer, you're a marketer and it's something you're born with. It's your personality type. You either get it, or you don't. It can't be taught. Otherwise, it comes across as false and that doesn't ring true in this new age of internet community.

Okay, I'm ranting, but this really is something that bugs me which is why I'm raising this as an issue to think about. Oh, and want to know why it's taking me so long to write everything I've learned? Because I'm very thorough and there's an internet PR workshop one of my traditional PR organizations is offering this Thursday that I pitched myself to as a speaker.

Why should I give away everything I know and have learned to have picked up and shared by those they have invited to speak? I know one man in particular reads my blog because I took his new media class at UCLA Extension a few years back. Maybe he's not a regular reader any more, but still. Got to protect some of my expertise. LOL

So, do you feel comfortable and like you understand Clay Shirky's idea that we're living in a socially connected world which you either join in and participate in appropriately, or move out of the way as others who get it take over?

I hope so. More to come I promise. Just bear with me because it takes me hours to write these blogs and I am job hunting which is also very time consuming.

Enjoy your night!

Jeff Duclos for Hermosa Beach City Council - He gets it, unlike others running...

Hermosa Faces the Future

JEFF DUCLOS announces candidacy

Rejects costly taxpayer funded city "perks" (unlike Michael Keegan who feels he deserves them. Just telling the truth - can you deal? lol)

Neighbor, I view representing and working for you on your City Council to be among the highest forms of public service.   

And if I earn the honor of your support I will always remember that I serve you.

Public Service, or Public, Serve Us? 

Voters Decide 

"Public Service" means a representative puts the concerns of Hermosa residents and businesses above special interests every time.

As your Councilmember, I will do just that.

Putting you first requires me to reject the costly "perks" given city council members at your expense. I will not accept:

  • a taxpayer paid automobile allowance
  • a taxpayer paid health insurance plan
  • a taxpayer paid retirement benefits package

In this time of diminishing resources our community faces both tough choices and opportunities to restore our potential as a great little city. Your input can guide positive reforms at city hall.

When questions of balance arise, you can rely on me to seek input from all sides and apply fair, long-term solutions.

We craft better solutions when we work together. And everyone deserves a seat at the table where decisions get made.

So please keep in touch with me. 

Invite them to learn more and get involved.

Here's my phone number, 310 374-6921, and my email address, jeff (at) jeffduclos (dot) com.

I'd love to hear from you. 




Jeff Duclos for Hermosa Beach City Council - local news first and then....



Hermosa Beach, CA  Hermosa Beach Resident and Award-Winning Environmentalist, Jeff Duclos has pulled papers as a candidate for City Council for the upcoming November 3, 2009 General Municipal Election. During the last Municipal Election (11/6/07), Duclos was narrowly eclipsed for a seat on the Hermosa Beach City Council by incumbent Pete Tucker by a mere 95 votes.

 A staunch critic of the City’s redevelopment project for Upper Pier Avenue and advocate for a more open and transparent city government, Duclos is compelled to run again to ensure all aspects of the community are fairly represented and to tip the scale against prevailing special interests in decision making. An award-winning environmentalist and dedicated community volunteer, Duclos has a pulse on Hermosa Beach’s needs and issues.

 A 29-year resident of Hermosa Beach, Duclos first ran for City Council in November 2005 where he was the highest vote-getter not elected in a field of 10 candidates. He eventually was forced to run in a June 2006 Special Election when re-elected Council members Michael Keegan and J.R. Reviczky refused to appoint him, as highest un-elected vote-getter, to a vacated Council seat.

Among his endorsements for the 2006 Special Election were the Hermosa Beach Firefighter's Association, Hermosa Beach Police Officers Association, Hermosa Beach Teacher Association, California Teamsters Local 911 and the Daily Breeze.

A former member of the Board of Directors of the Surfrider Foundation, Duclos led the effort to get the city to institute a "Pesticide Free Zone" within the Green Belt. For his work in eliminating an unnecessary health risk in one of the City's most heavily used open space areas, he was named recipient of VOICE's (Volunteers and Organizations Improving the Communities Environment) 1999 Environmental Hero Award. Duclos is also the recipient of the Surfrider Foundation's 2006 Board of Directors Award for his many years of distinguished service in protecting our coastal environment.

Jeff Duclos is a former member of Hermosa Beach's Green Building Committee, a forerunner of the current Green Task Force; a Board member of Hermosa Beach Art Walk and  Leadership Hermosa Beach; and member of the City’s Volunteers in Policing (VIP) program. In addition, he was a member of the City's original Leadership Hermosa Beach class.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego, Duclos holds a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA. He currently teaches in the Journalism Curriculum at California State University, Northridge. His wife, Christine Duclos, has taught in Hermosa Beach schools for more than 20 years. Duclos is a homeowner and his two children were raised in this community. He and his wife reside in Hermosa Beach.

# # #


Obamacare sucks and I'm not the only one saying it - Gary Bauer, AARP, American people

By Joy A. Kennelly

Lately I've stayed away from writing about politics on my blog, but kept it primarily to my F/B account because then I can control who accesses my views. That said, this bugs me so much I can't stay quiet on it. The people have spoken out LOUDLY and STRONGLY AGAINST THIS and for some reason gov't officials don't get it. So, just to be clear, here's a few bits of information for you to know about just to know how much this is being shoved down your throat.

Like him, or hate him, Gary Bauer speaks the truth:

Liberals Literally Buying Support

One of the more frustrating refrains used by liberals looking to denigrate the popular outrage against ObamaCare is to dismiss the protests as “Astroturf” or the “Brooks Brothers Brigade.” Both suggest that opposition to socialized healthcare has been artificial or bought and paid for, that it’s not a genuine grassroots uprising, but “manufactured anger,” as the White House press secretary recently put it. Everybody knows that the Left has a lock on popular opinion, right? After all, Obama won the election, so you angry mobsters just need to sit down and stop talking!

The charge is patently false. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The Left has a history of using “rent-a-mobs” like ACORN’s “muscle for money” program. Now there is more proof that liberals are literally having to buy support for ObamaCare. Sunday, the RedState blog posted links to Craig’s List ads looking to hire activists to promote ObamaCare for $11-16 per hour. Meanwhile, Rich Lowry of the National Review writes that the drug industry has cut a deal with the Obama White House and will spend $150 million this summer on ads promoting ObamaCare. And we know the labor unions are spending millions on ads and turning out their supporters too.

With Big Labor and Big Business in bed with Big Government, it’s amazing this bill has been slowed down at all. But who is looking out for average Americans? You are! You are not being fooled by the double-talk and slick rhetoric. You know Big Government’s track record of wasteful spending and inefficient bureaucracy. And you don’t want it getting in the way of the healthcare you and your family need.

The People Are Speaking Up!

Democrat John Dingell of Michigan is the dean of the House the Representatives. He’s been in Congress since 1955 and is the longest serving member of Congress today. He also happens to be the lead sponsor of the nationalized healthcare bill, a cause he has been fighting for since 1955. Every two years, Dingell is reelected by wide margins, and Barack Obama carried 66% of the vote in Dingell’s solidly Democrat district.

Last week, Rep. Dingell held a town hall meeting on healthcare reform, and the Washington Times was there to cover the meeting. Consider these two statements from folks who attended:

  • “It seems to me this is a push to nationalizing everything. The government has put us through so much financial stress. It’s burdensome on all Americans, and the middle class will be squeezed out, for sure. I’m not in favor of it. I’m very angry."

  • “I don’t want government deciding if I can have a hip replacement or whether I should just be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. …This is Big Brother. And to hear Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi talk about a mob scene at these events. There are no buses out there. People are so mad, but our elected officials are not listening, so this has become festering frustration. I fear if we don’t do something, this is going to be shoved on through.”
The first quote does not come from a wealthy business executive, but from a 63 year-old retired social worker – not your stereotypical Republican voter. The second quote is not from a conservative activist, but from a retired elementary school teacher and union negotiator, and a registered Democrat.

Beyond the anecdotal evidence, numerous polls prove ObamaCare is not popular. Two weeks ago, I reported on five polls conducted in a 24-hour period that all measured broad opposition to socialized, government-run healthcare. Yesterday, pollster Scott Rasmussen released a new survey of likely voters. Here are the key findings:
  • 42% of likely voters support the congressional healthcare reform plan; 53% oppose it. Those figures represent a 16-point swing in the past two weeks against the bill.

  • The intensity of opposition to the bill is twice as strong as the intensity of support for it: 44% of voters strongly oppose the bill, while just 26% strongly support it.

  • Now get this: 62% of independent voters oppose the congressional healthcare reform bill and 51% strongly oppose it! Among senior citizens, 46% are strongly opposed.

  • 51% of voters believe that the quality of healthcare will get worse if this bill passes (26% think quality will improve), and 51% of voters also believe that costs will go up if this bill passes. Only 19% believe Obama’s argument that a thousand-page, trillion-dollar “reform” bill, full of government mandates, will make costs go down.
Politicians like Nancy Pelosi know full well what these polls are saying: The people do not want ObamaCare. They know the outrage at the town hall meetings is not manufactured, but very real as the intensity of strong opposition measured in these polls demonstrates. That is what makes the Left’s desperate attempts to dismiss the concerns of so many citizens so dangerous. Their statements about “Astroturf” are so obviously disingenuous that they invite further backlash. And labeling fellow citizens as “un-American” is just throwing gasoline on the fire.

At least one liberal is honest enough to admit it and is now calling for Pelosi to resign. We won’t convert Camille Paglia to a conservative crusader anytime soon, but many Independents are having buyer’s remorse and they are coming our way.

Speaking Of Costs…

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a very informative editorial about “The Truth of Health Insurance,” what Obama says he wants to do and what it will cost you if he succeeds. Here are some key excerpts:
“New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts have both community rating and guaranteed issue. And, no surprise, they have the three most expensive individual insurance markets among all 50 states, with premiums roughly two to three times higher than the rest of the country. In 2007, the average annual premium in New Jersey was $5,326 for singles and in New York $12,254 for a family, versus the national average of $2,613 and $5,799, respectively. ObamaCare would impose New York-type rates nationwide.

“…ObamaCare would impose on all 50 states rules that have already proven to be failures in numerous states. Because these mandates would raise the cost of insurance, ObamaCare would then turn around and subsidize individuals to buy the insurance that the politicians made more expensive. Only in government could such irrationality be sold as ‘reform.’”

Oh, and in case you buy into Obama's claim that AARP supports Obamacare? Check out this article from the CEO of AARP who disagrees:

AARP: Obama got it wrong

Or, as I like to put it  - OBAMA IS LYING THROUGH HIS TEETH. Okay, back to my wonderful conference, but this has to be exposed for what it is!

So happy to be out of the South Bay! San Jose is gorgeous!

By Joy A. Kennelly

When my friend told me about this tech conference starting tomorrow it took me all of 72 hours to decide to spontaneously make the trip up to SJC. Found an inexpensive hotel and then pitched myself to cover some of the higher end hotels which came through with the Hotel De Anza.

Drove all day up here which was very interesting and exhausting too. Then drove around some more night sightseeing. It's really pretty up here. I've never been to SJC as far I can remember and love all the old architecture and trees.

Tomorrow's conference should be very informative and hopefully good for my career too. Just nice to not be thinking about what's going on in the South Bay and have an intellectual, mental, and physical break from life down there.

I do have more thoughts on the issue of under-age drinking and excessive drunkenness that happens during the Six Man, but you'll just have to check back later. I will tell you though, that if a bar that makes a ton of money during Six Man is so disgusted by these kid's drunken and disorderly behavior enough to want to close next year to avoid possible legal troubles for over-serving because everyone's so wasted when they come in, then that says something.

(And if that last sentence doesn't make sense, it's only because I'm writing while sleeping.LOL)

And that's all she wrote. G'nite. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. I plan to.:)