Thursday, 05 August 2010

MIKE CULLEN: SHOULD HE BE IN JAIL?

Ken Berwitz

Mike Cullen is the former Unemployment Insurance Director for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).  And, if the following story, from Todd Shepherd of watchdog.org is true, he should be in jail.

Read it and see for yourself:

Independence Investigates has obtained internal emails from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) showing that a software control intended to prevent the payment of unemployment insurance to unqualified citizens as well as to illegal aliens was shut off in early 2009.

The emails dictate that former CDLE unemployment insurance director Mike Cullen demanded Work Order 51662 be given top priority within the department. Completion of the work order would mean various questions asked of someone filing for unemployment regarding citizenship would effectively be ignored by a computer system.

The documents also show that several individuals within the department immediately raised the issue that the work order might be circumventing the law, specifically House Bill 06-1023. HB 1023 was passed in a special session of the legislature in 2006, and mandated that certain government benefits, such as unemployment insurance, be denied to illegal aliens.

In one email, an IT technician says, This seems to be a super fast slam dunk. Do we need anything in writing from [unemployment insurance director] Mike Cullen as this seems to be a violation of the law (HB-1023)?

Another email from a different IT technician predicted media fallout, saying, this aint all so hard to do, BUT we will effectively disabling the legislatures HB-1023 which is now state law. When Channel 4 news finds out, lots of people will be pointing finders [sic] and saying, it wasnt me.

Let me say again that I do not know for a fact that this is true, and have not heard Cullen's side of the story.

But if it is as reported?  Cullen deserves to be jailed.  For a long stretch.

And. since they are funding this robbery (what else would you call it), the taxpayers of Colorado need to know everyone else who was involved, so they can be held accountable too.

Isn't it bad enough that, in these times of 9 - 10% unemployment, illegal aliens are taking jobs from legals?  Do they have to be given a free ride to take tax revenues from the employed as well?


HILLARY'S GENEROUS GIFT TO THE FLOOD VICTIMS OF PAKISTAN

Ken Berwitz

This is going to be a very short blog, because you don't need me or anyone else to draw the obvious conclusions.

One week after running Chelsea's 3 to 5 MILLION dollar wedding, we have this blog from Christina Wilkie's at thehill.com:

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton texted a $10 donation to flood relief efforts in Pakistan on Wednesday, saying she is leading by example and pressing Americans to donate money.

 I just texted a contribution myself, because we know from our own experience, particularly in Haiti, small donations can add up to make a big difference, Clinton told reporters. Americans have always shown great generosity to people facing crises worldwide. So I urge Americans to join this effort and send some much-needed help to the people of Pakistan.

Clinton urged people to text the word SWAT to the number 50555, and reply yes when asked to confirm, in order to make a $10 donation to help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

The money will be put toward providing tents, clothing, food, clean drinking water and medicine to the more than 3 million people affected by the massive flooding in the Swat Valley, Clinton said.

It isn't often that words fail me.  But they fail me on this one.  Maybe you can come up with a few.....

free` I don't mean to sound crass but why on earth would anybody want to help people that would kill us the first chance they got? The fact that a rich liberal only sent $10 is not surprising, I have seen studies that show liberals donate the least to charity. (08/06/10)


WHY ARE SCHOOLCHILDREN BEING KILLED IN CHINA?

Ken Berwitz

Attacks on helpless young school children in China. 

This awful, and genuinely mystifying, phenomenon has been going on for months.  Why?  No one knows.

Here is the latest incident, excerpted from an article in London's Daily Mail: 

Three children and a teacher have been stabbed to death in an attack on a kindergarten in eastern China.

 

A man armed with a knife forced his way into the nursery at about 4pm yesterday by posing as a parent, as mothers and fathers were picking up their children, according to residents who live nearby.

 

About 20 pupils and staff were injured, two of the children seriously, in the attack in a suburb of Zibo in Shandong province, eastern China.

 

'Three kids died and another three were injured, and four teachers were also injured,' an employee at another kindergarten in the same district, who gave his name as Wang, said.

 

The attack is the latest in a string of assaults on schools that has raised public alarm about the government's grip on order.

 

The Zibo killings come just two days after a man in west Hebei province went on a rampage at the wheel of his earthmover, smashing vehicles and buildings and leaving 17 dead.

 

In May, seven children and a teacher were hacked to death with a meat cleaver in an attack on a kindergarten in north-west China.

 

After killing the five boys, two girls and their teacher, 48-year-old Wu Huanmin went home and committed suicide.

In April, 29 children were injured in an attack on a school in Jiangsu province.

Are these attacks in some way parallel to the spate of school killings which occurred in the United States years ago (and might not be over)?  It wouldn't seem so, since the children being attacked in China are younger, and the attackers are adults rather than fellow students.  But since we do not know what the actual causes are, we have to keep all possibilities open.

Let's hope that, whatever the reason(s), they stop immediately.


GAY MARRIAGE AND GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT

Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I promised to elaborate on my opinion that, other than the legal issues, government should not be involved in marriages - regardless of whether they are straight or gay.

Here is what I wrote about the subject in a blog from May of last year, which covers my position pretty completely:

Years ago I came to the realization that marriage is none of government's business, except for its legal implications.  From a governmental perspective it should be nothing more than a contract.  Marriage is a religious and/or social issue that should be the province of religious and/or social entities.

 

(Illustratively) if two people want to get married in the Catholic church, all fine and well.  They enter into a legal partnership and are married in, thus recognized by, the church.  End of issue.

 

Same with Jews, or Protestants or Muslims or Buddhists or Elks or Kiwanis or whomever.  Marriage has a legal component, which would be satisfied by the contract.  It has a religious and/or social component that would be satisfied by religious and/or social institutions. 

 

If a man and a woman, or two gay men, or two gay women wanted to be married, they would commit to the same legal contract.  It would cover their rights as a partnership, who got what in case of death or other dissolution of the partnership, etc.  That would, and should, end governmental involvement. 

 

Then, if a religious or social institution was agreeable to marrying them, so be it.  If different religious or social institutions recognized, or did not recognize it as a marriage, fine.  Either way, the legal contract covers the parameters of their partnership.

 

H. L. Mencken once said "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong".  True enough.  But sometimes there is an answer that is clear, simple and right. 

 

This is one of the times.

There you go.  Feel free to agree or disagree.  Your call.

J I agree with your assessment regarding marriage/legal contract. My opinion is of importance only when it affects me directly regarding this topic. Heterosexuals do not have a monopoly on morals in this situation! (08/05/10)


JULIE MURPHY'S LEMONADE STAND

Ken Berwitz

In the previous blog I talked about the charge that, in Colorado, illegal aliens have been getting unemployment benefits (incredible, and utterly appalling if it is true).

Now I would like to show you how legals are treated in Oregon.  In this case, the culprit - or victim, you decide - is a 7 year old girl named Julie Murphy.

Excerpted from Helen Jung's article at oregonlive.com:

It's hardly unusual to hear small-business owners gripe about licensing requirements or complain that heavy-handed regulations are driving them into the red.

So when Multnomah County shut down an enterprise last week for operating without a license, you might just sigh and say, there they go again.

Except this entrepreneur was a 7-year-old named Julie Murphy. Her business was a lemonade stand at the
Last Thursday monthly art fair in Northeast Portland. The government regulation she violated? Failing to get a $120 temporary restaurant license.

Turns out that kids' lemonade stands -- those constants of summertime -- are supposed to get a permit in Oregon, particularly at big events that happen to be patrolled regularly by county health inspectors.

"I understand the reason behind what they're doing and it's a neighborhood event, and they're trying to generate revenue," said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health supervisor for the
Multnomah County Health Department. "But we still need to put the public's health first."

Julie had become enamored of the idea of having a stand after watching an episode of cartoon pig Olivia running one, said her mother, Maria Fife. The two live in Oregon City, but Fife knew her daughter would get few customers if she set up her stand at home.

Plus, Fife had just attended Last Thursday along Portland's Northeast Alberta Street for the first time and loved the friendly feel and the diversity of the grass-roots event. She put the two things together and promised to take her daughter in July.

The girl worked on a sign, coloring in the letters and decorating it with a drawing of a person saying "Yummy." She made a list of supplies.

Then, with gallons of bottled water and packets of Kool-Aid,  they drove up last Thursday with a friend and her daughter. They loaded a wheelbarrow that Julie steered to the corner of Northeast 26th and Alberta and settled into a space between a painter and a couple who sold handmade bags and kids' clothing.

Even before her daughter had finished making the first batch of lemonade, a man walked up to buy a 50-cent cup.
"They wanted to support a little 7-year-old to earn a little extra summer loot," she said. "People know what's going on."

Even so, Julie was careful about making the lemonade, cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer, using a scoop for the bagged ice and keeping everything covered when it wasn't in use, Fife said.

After 20 minutes, a "lady with a clipboard" came over and asked for their license. When Fife explained they didn't have one, the woman told them they would need to leave or possibly face a $500 fine.

Do you think it this was really necessary? 

The truth is, as ludicrous as this sounds there is a viable argument in favor of her having the permit.  Little Julie may be sweet and sanitary, but the next 7 year old selling food or drink at this kind of event might not be.  Public health is more important than (what used to be) a child's innocent way of making a few dollars by selling lemonade.

But tell me this:  In a country where the current administration is making it perfectly clear that it will not secure our borders/will instead allow illegals to come into the country at will and work illegally (they have to be working illegally, since they are illegals to begin with);  in a country where - if the previous blog has accurate information - a state like Colorado had an idiot in a position of authority who broke the law to give illegals unemployment compensation.....

....can't we let a 7 year old sell a little lemonade?

You tell me.

J I do not see the connection between the little girl selling lemonade and illegals. The health permit was from a state regulator and the illegal question is a federal issue not only NOTenforced by the current POTUS but previous ones. Perhaps the new healthcare bill will address the issue of lemonade stands? (08/05/10)


THE TAKEDOWN OF CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 8

Ken Berwitz

As you probably know, yesterday a federal judge struck down California's ban on same-sex marriages.  This effectively invalidated Proposition 8, in which a majority voted in favor of adding the words "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." to the state constitution.

Not that it should matter, but you may also know that the judge, Vaughn Walker, is gay, and was appointed by President Bush (the first one) in 1989 (I would say the same thing if the Judge were heterosexual).

Here are the relevant facts, excerpted from today's article in the Los Angeles Times:

A federal judge declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional Wednesday, saying that no legitimate state interest justified treating gay and lesbian couples differently from others and that "moral disapproval" was not enough to save the voter-passed Proposition 8.

California "has no interest in differentiating between same-sex and opposite-sex unions," U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said in his 136-page ruling.

The ruling was the first in the country to strike down a marriage ban on federal constitutional grounds. Previous cases have cited state constitutions.

 

Lawyers on both sides expect the ruling to be appealed and ultimately reach the U.S. Supreme Court during the next few years.

It is unclear whether California will conduct any same-sex weddings during that time. Walker stayed his ruling at least until Friday, when he will hold another hearing.

In striking down Proposition 8, Walker said the ban violated the federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection and of due process.

Previous court decisions have established that the ability to marry is a fundamental right that cannot be denied to people without a compelling rationale, Walker said. Proposition 8 violated that right and discriminated on the basis of both sex and sexual orientation in violation of the equal protection clause, he ruled.

The jurist, a Republican appointee who is gay, cited extensive evidence from the trial to support his finding that there was not a rational basis for excluding gays and lesbians from marriage. In particular, he rejected the argument advanced by supporters of Proposition 8 that children of opposite-sex couples fare better than children of same-sex couples, saying that expert testimony in the trial provided no support for that argument.

"The evidence shows conclusively that moral and religious views form the only basis for a belief that same-sex couples are different from opposite-sex couples," Walker wrote.

Andy Pugno, a lawyer for the backers of the ballot measure, said he believed Walker would be overturned on appeal.

Walker's "invalidation of the votes of over 7 million Californians violates binding legal precedent and short-circuits the democratic process," Pugno said.

He called it "disturbing that the trial court, in order to strike down Prop. 8, has literally accused the majority of California voters of having ill and discriminatory intent when casting their votes for Prop. 8."

Obviously the US Supreme Court will ultimately rule on this decision.

My personal opinion?  Judge Walker is right. 

The only reasons people are against same-sex marriages, appear to relate to personal morality and/or religious beliefs - often both. 

I respect and support anyone's right to adhere to their morality and religious beliefs.  They have every right to feel as they do.

But that includes people whose morality and/or religious beliefs support same sex marriage.

If you don't think same sex marriage is moral, if you don't accept it personally, that's fine.  But it is not a reason to prevent someone else from feeling, and acting, differently.  If Male A and Male B want to become life partners through marriage, they are not forcing you to do the same, nor are they forcing you to like their choice.

It is called freedom, which is what this country is (supposed to be) about.

Congratulations to Judge Walker.  And I hope his decision is upheld.

One other thing:  I have written in the past about my belief that, other than the legal partnership aspects, marriage should entirely be the province of religious and social institutions, not government.  That still goes. 

I'm off to a meeting, but I'll repost my attitude about this later today or tomorrow.


THE VOTE THAT NETWORK NEWS IGNORED.....

Ken Berwitz

Remember that old philosophical question: "If a tree falls in the forest where no one can hear, does it make any noise"?

I have a new one.  "If a swing state overwhelmingly votes against Barack Obama's key legislative initiative and not one of the network news shows so much as mentions it on their broadcasts,........"  I'll let you end that one.  I have a feeling you'll use language that I generally do not like to put on this blog.

Excerpted from Brent Baker's blog at newsbusters.org:

In the first voter referendum on ObamaCare, Missourians on Tuesday overwhelmingly (by 71 to 29 percent) backed Proposition C which called upon the state to enact a statute to deny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance, an outcome the St. Louis Post-Dispatch described as rebuking President Barack Obama's administration. On Wednesday night, however, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts skipped the bad news for President Obama yet all found time to celebrate his 49th birthday.  

ObamaCare is disliked, bordering on despised, by the electorate.  And our wonderful "neutral" media respond by congratulating Mr. Obama on his birthday.

Are they biased?  That's like asking if the arctic circle is chilly.

Evidently, the only way these "journalists" (or is that "journolists") can protect Mr. Obama now is by not reporting the story at all.

What a disgrace they are.


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