Tuesday, February 27, 2007
It's refreshing to see some works of genius like BUD's Super Bowl and Christmas ads, the works of art Nike's agencies have done over the years or even the utter lowest common denominator brilliance of Go Daddy (once is funny, however twice is tired there folks).
The last round of Volvo selling has come at the expense of a family character some would like to make dispensable. I won't mention any names, though I'm quite happy to command the readership of every feminist nonprofit organization celebrating dad dumping in Western Washington right now.
Glenn Sacks is calling to action folks to speak their mind on this subject. You can voice your opinion here
Monday, February 26, 2007
Please don't make me start watching CSPAN to find out what is happening in DC.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Finding Neverland (w/ J -Depp) is the rare exception of a movie with an awesome script and moving story. It's rare these days to find a movie that moves- Finding Neverland is probably in the top 5 movies to have been released in the past few years.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
There’s a fine issue here with regards to innocent until proven guilty [or the other way around]. The homeless guy was more or less arrested (and convicted in the court of public opinion) based on not terrible circumstantial evidence and later rightfully cleared. On the other hand, the Duke team gets to hang in the wind while the prosecutor grasps for some remote possibility that the woman isn’t fantastically guilty of extortion.
However if the Olympia guy had been brought in on a date rape or DV charge- he would be guilty of a felony based only on victim testimony. State prosecutors are actually seeking to FURTHER lower the bar for felony convictions because medical / forensic evidence and witnesses to a crime are too tough to get- they want convictions based only on the accusation. The domestic violence strangulation bill heard this week is a good example of public officials behaving as though they are from another planet where logic and reason just don't exist.
If you were accused of a crime, wouldn’t it be nice if they actually had to show SOME SORT OF EVIDENCE that you actually committed it? “Sir- she said you did it and although you say you didn’t- we can and will convict you because she said so.”
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Does this make my assertion as true as the accusations of abuse their legal department puts on requests for protection orders?
- Did the YWCA send a paid employee to lobby against a bill with clear protections for abused women and children? Yes.
- Was this person an authorized representative for the YWCA? Yes.
- Does the YWCA tell its donors and potential donors that they oppose a bill which protects victims of abuse AND gives all other kids the right to two parents? No. In fact if it weren’t on record with the state and this blog, no one would know.
- Does the YWCA disclose how much of their resources are spent on influencing legislation? Not even close to accurately. The person sent to testify was not their public policy employee and given the opportunity to elaborate on their lobbying practices they have declined to answer (and I’m not the only person asking).
- Will the YWCA elaborate on why they oppose shared parenting when no abuse is present? No.
- Will the YWCA elaborate on specifically which/how protections fall short? No.
- Will the YWCA do ANYTHING to unhinge their concerns of abuse from the larger bill? No.
- Will the YWCA continue to oppose any bill that gives children more access to both parents? If they do- you'll be reading about it here.
- Is the YWCA using substantial and undocumented amounts of internal resources to oppose this bill and engaging in other lobbying in the same manner? Multiple indicators point to YES.
Ah! The icky feeling that comes from sparring with the underbelly of the divorce and domestic violence industry. If this blog seems caustic- it's because of organizations like the YWCA creating a money train through the destruction of family. This is largely your tax money folks.
Update: The Zero posted an article about the tough transition off of welfare for single moms. You’d think the YWCA would be very interested in getting a dad involved when there is no abuse and for making the protections in the shared parenting bill viable when an accusation has been made, right?
This perspective makes their opposition to shared parenting even more dubiously misaligned with the Y’s alleged charter.
Even with spending far beyond what any fiscal conservative should feel good about, the Bush tax cuts have been largely successful. Bush has proven again what Reagan showed us in the 80’s: Tax cuts help the economy.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
ANSWER: A set of private investing opportunities so awesome that only politicians with zero business or investing experience can appreciate the vision
I can see the need for SOMETHING in Lewis County given the mine shut down and the lack of alternative jobs- but that SOMETHING needs to be SOMETHING that makes or produces SOMETHING of value. An indoor equestrian center is not it.
If these deals were so sweet, private investors would be pounding on the doors, not the other way around.
Allowing our legislature to pretend to be Hong Kong investment bankers is like allowing chimps to play with loaded pistols.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Please note that public records requests are still in progress. Hopefully the Zero will resume scrutinizing this still developing issue as the county ducks and dodges a pretty major screw up on the civil liberties front.
Following a report on the county’s practice of pick pocketing those arrested for 100 bucks being a violation of due process I followed up with the county to see what the status was of returning these booking fees.
There are a couple of angles (probably more) that I was initially curious about.
1- Whether all booking fees will be returned, since collecting them was a violation of due process. As it turns out, there is an appeal on this verdict.
2- How many had their money returned so far (those not convicted). This is about 800 of 21k arrested in Thurston.
3- Whether those not convicted and not pounding down the county’s doors were getting their money back or not. This is where the county gets extremely nervous, cagey and unresponsive.
By cagey and unresponsive I mean border line crooked. It was sort of like catching a thief walking out of your house with your stereo and listening to them deny they are holding a stereo under their right arm. Their first response to this inquiry was to not respond. Then I threatened a not so light public records request which got them to deny that the booking fees had been overturned at all- by semantics of which court heard the case (State vs Federal). Not a response from an agency with nothing to hide or a response from an agency priding itself on transparency.
In the latest round it comes up that there have been about 21k arrested since the higher booking fee. This means the county has about a 2 million dollar liability if it turns out the collection was indeed a violation. This is significantly higher than the 600k the Zero originally reported. Curiously and conveniently the Zero has removed the original article, but it is referenced several times in the blogosphere and even on the local left handed Olyblog. The Seattle Times link to the original alive also
In this latest round, the county is claiming it has no idea how many of those arrested have been convicted. In other words they would have you believe the Thurston County prosecutors office nor the Superior court have absolutely any record of the most basic metrics as to what they have been doing for the past few years without going through each of the 21k dockets one by one.
This should have been a simple response- it is fast turning into a lawsuit which is already underway in a manner of speaking via the folks in Spokane who first took this to court.
Why should I care? I have never been arrested, nor have I been accused of anything described below. Ahh, but I am a crusader for family law reform and here is where the plot thickens: as the original case in Spokane points out, this violation of due process is one of several in the line up of a deep dark pit of civil liberty violations and generally standard procedures with domestic violence accusations in which various county agencies fleece the accused and coerce them into a state of not-innocent and never proven guilty. I’ll stop on that line lest my soapbox crush from the weight.
If you’re concerned about the issue of civil liberties and due process with wiretapping suspected terrorists and your blood isn’t boiling about this kangaroo court process, please go check yourself into the nearest mental institution.
Monday, February 12, 2007
In looking through the list of opponents to SB5234, many fit the nonprofit category and are persistantly in violation of the tax code for non-profits when it comes to lobbying activities. That is they have individuals with job classifications for lobbying on public policy. This is a violation of the tax code. This year the Pierce County YWCA joins that list.
There is a fundamental problem here- these organizations get charitable contributions to do X and then spend the contributions to do Y. So if you thought you were giving to the YWCA to help women down on their luck, you were really financing one of their staff to come to Olympia to oppose a bill that would give children access to both parents in the absence of criminal wrong doing by the parent. That's called tax fraud.
Over 57% of The Pierce County YWCA's funding is from State and Local Governments. I have sent email to the YWCA with regard to their policy on lobbying and whether the individual testifying at the hearing was authorized to do so, did so on YWCA time and what their specific issue is with this legislation and how it might be addressed.
My next line of contacts is the private YWCA sponsors which includes the United Way.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I've never watched more than 2 minutes of a grammy, emmy or narcissistic award show of TV folks congratulating each other so I’m not sure if the awards are given on the actual quality of the work of an artist or on some other criteria.
This year the awards must have been based on how much you hate the president. This was the Dixie Chicks worst album ever and I’m reading that they cleaned up. While I sort of enjoy their earlier work, (independent of Natalie behaving like a bipolar stripper on crack) this album really sucked.
Knowing the “Chicks” hate our President, our troops and our country makes it that much easier to turn the station when they’re on the radio and I’m not even a fan of how Bush is running the war (as the posts below articulate).
When entertainment is politicized, it ceases to be entertaining. It’s getting really tough to find entertainment these days.