Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's The Middle of My Weekend and...

...I have not yet had one single drop of bier or a zombie or a shot or anything with alcohol goodness in it today! My son might have something to say about that because yesterday he bought me a case of Franziskaner Weissbier (wow was that a nice surprise).

In my defense, I figure there must be something wrong with me. It could be the small knot I got on, and the aching I have in, my head today is affecting me. I stood up from weeding earlier today and forgot I was under a tree limb that was just lower than top of my forehead high - ouch. I can fix that though - a shot and a bier and I am sure I will feel better.

Beware the dangers of gardening on the weekends!

All the best,
Glenn  B

Another Example Of Twisted Media Reporting

Read the headline that accompanies the video, then read it again. There is no other text, just the headline so it won't take you long to read it even three or four times. Think of exactly what it means then read I again. Then watch the video. Man was that headline absolutely wrong or what? While it may not seem important to you that the headline was incorrect, while you may say: Well they tried to do what it said and came close to achieving it so wasn't it okay for the headline to say what it said, while you may think this an unimportant piece of news and wonder why does it matter if the reporter(s) who wrote that headline to describe what happened were not factually correct - it is a sign that the media is somehow seemingly compelled to input its own twisted version of events into how they report news events to us. I mean, if they could not even get it right, in a case like the subject of the video headline in question, how will they ever get it right when it comes to reporting the news that is critically important to millions if not billions of us.

Here is a link as I seem to be having a problem embedding the video:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/2497404934001/heroes-catch-girl-who-fell-from-5th-floor-window/?playlist_id=922779230001

Whoever wrote that headline and whoever approved it needs to retake Journalism 101 or maybe watch a rerun of Dragnet in which Joe Friday says: "All we know are the facts..." for them to realize what is important in reporting the news.

All the best,
Glenn B

A Law To Force Federal Employees To Testify Before Congress - Is it Needed?

There is currently a push in Congress, the brainchild of Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, to compel federal employees to testify before Congress if granted immunity from prosecution. See: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/23/bill-would-fire-federal-employees-who-refuse-to-testify/. Thus, circus events like the recent appearance of Lois Lerner before Congress, when she pled the fifth amendment and refused to give further testimony, would be avoided. Remember that she had been in charge of the IRS division that allegedly was illegally targeting conservative groups related to tax exempt status.

On the surface it may seem like a great idea to those Americans who are sick and tired of seeing the government abuse its authority while government workers get away with murder (figuratively) doing whatever they or their bosses want them to do, including blatant violations of U.S. laws, and then not having to account for it. In addition, wasn't it the current administration that promised transparency. So why wouldn't it be a great idea to enact a new law to that effect.

The reason that we do not need additional legislation to muddy the waters any further or to waste the time of our representatives and draw them away from handling more important issues. One could see this all this as a congressman doing nothing other than playing politics or as being a very poorly informed congressman who is overreacting. Why? Because federal employees like Ms. Lerner already can be compelled to testify about employment related matters and it is a well known aspect of federal law that allows for her to be forced to do so while providing her immunity from federal prosecution. The question we should be asking is not whether or not we need a law to make folks like her answer inquiries fully and truthfully but why the government has not compelled her to testify in the first place or fired her if she refused to testify.

All that needed to be done was to have had federal investigators advise her of a set of administrative proceeding rights known as the Kalkines.  Those rights would have been an advisement to her that she had to testify or would face punitive action up to being fired from federal employment. In essence, those rights would inform her:

She is the subject of an administrative investigation.

She would be asked questions specifically about her official duties and she MUST answer them.

Refusal to fully answer the questions may result in disciplinary action including termination from employment.

Her answers and any information obtained from them can be used against her in administrative proceedings.

Her answers and information obtained as a result of those answers cannot be used against her in criminal proceedings unless she made false statements.

The Kalkines were in essence established by the Supreme Court, they will stand the test of judicial review. So, Ms. Lerner could have been compelled to answer to Congress or at least to administrative investigators; that is of course had a minion of the Obama Administration been willing to investigate her for administrative violations and read her the Kalkines. Now that I think of it, I suppose is not going to happen unless the government is not trying to protect someone (like the president), is not covering something up and is being honest and forthcoming about the current investigation into the alleged IRS scandal - at least not without a lot of pressure from a knowledgeable public for the government to force her to testify in that manner.

I guess maybe Congressman Brooks is onto to something good after all. It seems we may well need that law passed in Congress because I imagine that transparency is not going to happen under Obama and that means that no one in his administration is going to open an administrative investigation against Lerner or the IRS without approval from the top and thus no one is going to read Lerner the Kalkines anytime soon. After all, I have not heard one mention, from other federal agents, let alone any other type of federal employee, about the fact that she already could have been compelled to testify. The Kalkine Rights are a well known issue among federal agents if not all federal employees and it amazes me that this issue has not been raised, as far as I am aware, by others as of yet.  It is apparent that no one wants to, or has the chutzpah to, rock Obama's boat.

All the best,
Glenn  B
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