Saturday, 07 February 2015

KITZHABER'S LAST STAND (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

The clock is ticking louder for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

First it was The Oregonian, Oregons largest newspaper - and long-time supporter of Kitzhaber - calling on him to resign. 

And now the Associated Press has taken it national.

Excerpted from Jonathan J. Cooper's article:

Oregon's governor is struggling to deal with allegations that his fiancee used his position to land clients for her environmental consulting business, claims that have drawn an ethics investigation and the scrutiny of the state's attorney general.

The editorial board at the state's largest newspaper, The Oregonian, called for him to resign this week, saying the controversy has become such a distraction that he can't effectively lead. Two advisers to the Republican he defeated last year took early steps Friday to begin a recall effort.

A series of newspaper reports since October have chronicled Cylvia Hayes' work for organizations with an interest in Oregon public policy. During the same period, she worked as an unpaid adviser in the governor's office. The spotlight on Hayes led to her revelation that she accepted about $5,000 to illegally marry an immigrant seeking immigration benefits in the 1990s. Later, she admitted she bought a remote property with the intent to grow marijuana.

Kitzhaber has repeatedly declined to appoint a special prosecutor, saying it's unnecessary.

Can Kitzhaber withstand this scandal?  Well, it all depends.

Now that the Oregonian is on record as demanding his resignation, there is little doubt that it will continue to investigate and report about his ethical depredations.  And now that the Associated Press has joined the party, it is more likely that other mainstream media will follow. That will make it a lot harder to do so.

Will he continue to try toughing things out anyway? Will it rip apart his personal life? Will his fiance wind up on trial? 

I'll stay on this, and blog further as events unfold.


ROSIE O'DONNYBROOK

Ken Berwitz

Remember when Rosie O'Donnell was referred to, by an adoring press as The Queen Of Nice?

If so, you have an accurate memory.  And also a good one, since that has not happened for a long time.

Ever since she decided to subordinate her considerable entertainment talents for politics and gay activism, Ms. O'Donnell's career has been in a tailspin.

The latest example of this descent is unfolding now...as she is again being disgorged from The View - a formerly blockbuster daytime show which is falling faster than wind-driven hail.

According to Aaron Couch's article at The Hollywood Reporter, "She will exit the ABC show next week to focus on her family, following a split from wife Michelle Rounds, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Next week will be her final on the show."  But it appears to be very well known that, since coming back, she has engaged in continuous clashes with long-time regular Whoopi Goldberg (among others).

Which, for Ms. O'Donnell in recent years, seems to be par for the course.

When Rosie O'Donnell had her own daytime show, the ratings were terrific, advertisers were thrilled and viewers - especially women - could not get enough of her.  But that was when she was providing enjoyable material, rather than angry indoctrination.  Since then?  One disaster after another.

As I have written in the past, everyone knew that Ms. O'Donnell was gay and, I suspect, most people knew her politics were leftward.  And just about no one cared; that was her personal business.  But when it overtook her professional life, and it became pretty much all she served up to her audiences?  Another story entirely.  She went from fun and entertaining, to angry and grating.  Exactly what her audience did not want.  The show's ratings collapsed and it was soon history.  

As her second attempt to be part of The View will apparently be.

I wish future happiness and success for Rosie O'Donnell...who, at this point, seems to be hell-bent on making sure she has neither.


GAY RIGHTS AND GAY HATRED

Ken Berwitz

If you read this blog, you certainly know my position on gay marriage. 

For those of you who don't, I consider it a matter of personal choice and personal freedom.  My, your or anyone's sexual orientation is nobody's business but mine, yours or theirs.  And if two people of the same sex want to commit themselves to marriage, I wish them nothing but happiness.

That said, as there is a truly despicable situation in progress regarding a gay marriage that you should know about.  But, in this case, it is not being perpetrated against a gay couple, it is being perpetrated by the gay community and its supporters.

You may recall the story of a bakery in Oregon, named Sweet Cakes By Melissa, which was (not is, was) operated by a devoutly religious Christian couple, Aaron and Melissa Klein.  Two years ago a gay couple asked that a cake be made for their wedding, and were refused on the grounds that the Kleins' religion considered gay marriage a sin. 

The gay couple could, of course, have gone to a different bakery, thus ending the issue right there (they get their cake and the Klein's maintain their religious position).  But one of the women who ordered the cake, Laura Bowman, decided to make a legal issue out of it.  She publicly condemned Sweet Cakes By Melissa, and filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. 

But that is far from all that happened.

From a May 31, 2013 article at theblaze.com:

While Aaron and Melissa told TheBlaze that the community initially rallied around them - a collective action that helped spark additional business - that support has since waned. In place of the extra business, the Kleins regularly receive (especially in light of renewed media coverage) virulent e-mails and phone calls.

From claims that Aaron should be shot to one apparent threat that he be raped, the hate and angst being thrown the Klein family's way is certainly serious in nature. Some have even wished for the couple's five children to be stricken with illness. Aaron and Melissa shared a number of the e-mails with TheBlaze.

"You stupid bible thumping, hypocritical b**ch.  I hope your kids get really, really, sick and you go out of business," reads one e-mail.

"Here's hoping you go out of business, you bigot. Enjoy hell," reads another.

But it's not just rhetoric that the husband and wife have encountered as a result of their refusal to provide the cake. They claim that their wedding vendors have been "badgered and harassed" until they refuse to do business with Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

Not surprisingly, this campaign of hatred against the Kleins forced the closure of their business. 

And that is not all. 

The Bureau of Labor and Industries has ruled against them (no surprise there).  And the penalty for refusing to bake a cake on religious grounds is .....you better be sitting down for this........up to $75,000 for both Aaron and Melissa. 

That's right.  It's no typo.  Not $75 each (total $150) and a warning, but $75,000 each (total $150,000)...for what they did at a bake shop that has already been forced to shut down, leaving a family of seven without their livelihood.

Over a cake.

Let me again assure you that I 100% support gay marriage. But I also support religious freedom, and I also support the concept that punishments should fit crimes. 

This is a sick perversion of the law.  It flies in the face of logic, common sense and understanding of any kind.

And it is an even sicker demonstrate of hatred;  hatred which, remarkably, is being piled on in the name of a population segment which well knows what it is to be hated. I hope they enjoy being the dispensers rather than the recipients of that hatred.

Note to The Bureau of Labor and Industries:  how about either forgoing the fine, or making it something nominal? Hasn't this couple been persecuted enough for their religious beliefs already?

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . This is what happens when Tyranny infiltrates the government. . . . . . . A fanatical group worms their way into the reins of power, and ruthlessly imposes their will. Aided and abetted by a shadow army of thugs who terrorize. They choose soft targets -- those without the resources to effectively oppose them. . . . . . . . . (02/07/15)


THE BRIAN WILLIAMS OUSTER SHOW: PART TWO Ken Berwitz


Part two of the Brian Williams show is (quickly) upon us.

Mr. Williams has announced that he has "decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days" to address the huge, and growing, scandal over the apparent series of lies he has told regarding Iraq, Katrina, and who knows what else.

Lester Holt will take over for Mr Williams during these "several days".

But somehow, I think Mr Holt will need a lot more free time than that.

Stay tuned for part three of the show. I doubt that it will be long in coming.


CYCLE FOR SURVIVAL Ken Berwitz


Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am a proud husband, father, and grandfather. But, proud though I usually am, I am even prouder today.  

We are currently at the Equinox Fitness Center in Summit, New Jersey, for this year's Cycle For Survival.

Our beautiful (in every way) daughter-in-law organized the team, and its members include, among others, both our sons and my wife. 

Over the past three years they have raised a great deal of money for this eminently worthy cause - finding cures for rare types of cancer.

I do not know of a more worthy cause, and hope that everyone reading this will do their part and contribute.  (No amount is too big, and no amount is too small.  Just go to cycleforsurvival.com to give what you can.)

As always, Cycle For Survival is a model of the way things ought to be. Every age group, every color and every ethnicity is represented - with the single common goal being to do something beneficial for humanity.  

Now you know why I am especially proud today.  Wouldn't you be?

One other thing:  a huge shout-out to the Equinox Fitness Center - a founding partner of Cycle For Survival - which, again, donated its entire premises to this cause...and to all the vendors - particularly Hoboken Farms - which provided Cycle For Survival shirts, food and drink at no cost to participants.  You are truly the best of the best.


THE BRIAN WILLIAMS OUSTER SHOW: PART ONE

Ken Berwitz

NBC apparently is starting a new show. Which I expect will be a mini series.

Excerpted from David Bauder's article for the Associated Press:

NBC News has assigned the head of its own investigative unit to look into statements that anchor Brian Williams made about his reporting in Iraq a dozen years ago, an episode that's ballooned into a full-blown credibility crisis for the network.

NBC News President Deborah Turness announced the probe in an internal memo on Friday. Williams has apologized for falsely saying on the air that he was in a helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while in Iraq in 2003, and Turness said Friday the anchor expressed his regrets to his colleagues for the impact the episode has had.

"As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired," Turness wrote. "We're working on what the best next steps are."

Questions were also raised about statements Williams made on coverage of Hurricane Katrina, which was one of his proudest moments at NBC.

Yep, they're looking into it.  As if they didn't know already. 

This is part one of a show;  one which you, me, NBC, and, I am certain, Brian Williams, already know the ending to.

The Brian Williams Ouster Show.

Don't expect it to be renewed.

Zeke . . . . . . . . . . . Clearly, the Obama administration should appoint Brian Williams as Secretary of State. . . .. . . . Hillary demonstrated the same skill in dodging sniper fire in Bosnia. . . . . . . . . . . . (02/07/15)


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