Sunday, May 13, 2007

Seems the Geez outed some judges

Seems the Geez outed some judges


Stinky things been doin' in Snohomish County Courts.

Records kept in the Administrator of Courts, not in Clerks office.
Records deemed to be "administrative" and kept only 6 months, instead of six years
Records charged for as "real" court records, even though they claimed them to be administrative. They should have been charged for at "public records" rates, of a buck or two, not $25 each.
Records anointed as "not to be used as court records", yet the same court accepted them as court records.
Money for payment of copies (CD's) not receipted with numbered receipts--violation of state audit rules, and only cash taken
Handwritten petty cash fund checks written for "picnics", "camp fees", and "Nike athletic shoes", none of which is a legitimate expenditure of your hard earned tax dollars.
A commissioner's wife is the Court's public disclosure officer, and custodian of the CDs. No appearance of conflict of interest there, nosireebob.

Their response:

Ok, you caught us, we will move them back to the Clerks office and keep for six years.
No, we are not going to turn ourselves in for destroying court records without permission, and prematurely, tough.
We changed them back to be "real" court records.
We went neener-neener, and turned off the recording devices in the Commissioner's Courts, just for spite. No public policy reason, or no reason at all, or rationale, was given for letting the expensive recording equipment gather dust, instead of recording the public's business.
We have no concern about the appearance of conflict of interest in having the commissioner's wife be the public records office, and keeper of the CDs.
Important to note that they DO record Juvenile and Mental Health proceedings in front of Commissioners, but NOT family court.

Save for traffic tickets, the majority of Joe and Sally Sixpack's doings in the court are in family court. Yet your elected politicians will not engage with the great unwashed masses (me) in dialogue about their court administration, but instead send me to their patronage appointee who is the Court Administrator. He is accomplished at shoulder shrugging, and throwing his predecessor under the bus, but fairly worthless as to answering questions otherwise.

Do we not expect our friggin' JUDGES to follow the law? And to be accountable for their actions, and protect the public interest, by recording their courtrooms like thirty-seven out of the thirty-nine counties do?

I guess that is too much to ask.

Full letter to the editor published in the Everett Herald today, reproduced below.

The Geezer

Proceedings are no longer recorded

Jim Haley's excellent article on the issues in South County courts is only a part of the problem with Snohomish County courts. (Wednesday, "Court workers make discontent public.")

The same attitude is found at the Superior Courts, too. The Washington Civil Rights Council noticed that Commissioners Courts records were not being kept by the county clerk and were being destroyed after six months instead of six years, as required by law.

Several years ago, over Judge Wynne's signature, the court recordings were removed from the custody of the clerk to the court administrator's office, and deemed by fiat "administrative records" instead of the court records that they rightfully are.

When the Civil Rights Council brought this to their attention, the judges rightfully turned them over to the county clerk and pledged to keep them for the mandated six years.

The last few years of records were destroyed, contrary to state law, but the court is not concerned with this, according to a conversation we had with court administrator Bob Terwilliger.

In what appears to be retaliation, Judge Wynne turned off the recording machinery in the Commissioners Courts last month, leaving the good people of Snohomish County severely restricted in their ability to appeal the decisions made in Commissioners Courts. Upon inquiring of the judge why he did this, he did not have the courtesy to admit to receiving our communication.

Their hubris and lack of respect for folks who put these politicians in office, and their desire to keep their rulings in the dark and unavailable to the citizens, is repugnant and indefensible.

When added to their failure to issue numbered receipts when taking cash, as required by law, and their payment of public funds for disallowed uses such as picnics and athletic shoes, we also have serious doubt as to how these courts are run.

The Geezer

Director, Public Policy

Washington Civil Rights Council


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Everett Herald lies about gender pay differences, AGAIN

So, a year or so ago, the Everett Herald spins that tired old story about wimmin' being paid less than men.

I went after them, they finally tell me that since it was a Job Fair section, it was advertising, not news, and that the content was written by Everett Community College.

Sheesh. So, they blow the Geez off, fine.

Now again, they see the AAUW report in the link above, and start salivating all over again.

Editorial opinion is opinion, fine, but I do expect those folks who buy ink by the barrel to do some research before forming their opinion.

So, the Geez takes electrons on fingertips, and writes some eloquent sheyt, as he is prone to do from time to time, to smack them down.

The editorial editor says, no, Geez, we have very important op-ed pieces coming up, and so you have to write a 300 word letter.

Their very important op-ed pieces included a verbatim Governatrix press release, which is spun daily and available on the Guv's website and a breast-beating puff piece by the Prez. of the Edmonds Community College. Either he is an illegitimate son of someone down at the Herald, or has some mighty fine pix of their dalliances, because he sure gets his oar in the water with his self-serving crap.

So, I write the publisher, who doesn't even give the courtesy of a reply. Just get a reply from the editorial editor that says you were way over in words.

Well, hell.

So, I thought you may enjoy that note to the publisher, which is below.


The Geezer

Sent: Monday, May 07, 2007 9:16 PM
To: Allen Funk
Cc: Bob Bolerjack; Carol MacPherson; Elisa Teague-Cooper
Subject: Editorial policy at the Herald

Hello, Allen--

First, my bonafides.

I have been reading the Herald since there were block letters on top of the building, no Sunday paper and a row of VW Beetles out in front. Cruise the hallways, and you will see the picture still hanging in your building.

Second, you should know that I have been certified as a political gadfly by the King Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Occasionally I have a lucent and cogent thought.

The other day, after reading your editorial about women making 75 cents to a man's dollar came out was one of those times.

I fired off a smarmy letter, as is my habit, to Mr. Bolerjack, who, apparently in need of a round of verbal sparring, was considerate enough to ring me up.

As is my style, I suggested that his, and yours, by extension, analysis of the AAUW report was wrong, misleading and downright the result of drinking too much Kool-Aid from the misandric and hate-filled Wimmin's Industries.

I offered to write an op-ed, and was told, no, no, booked far in advance with too many very important articles for that. He did invite me to write a letter, which is very constricted to try and develop the issue. Nonetheless, I enlisted my colleague from the Washington Civil Rights Council, Elisa Teague-Cooper, and we knocked one out. It was not published.

I noticed over the next week that those very important pieces he had scheduled included a darn near verbatim press release from the Governatrix (new press photo here), which is available daily on the Governor's website and another breast-beating puff piece from Jack Oharah, who must be a stepson of someone down there, or if not, I want to see those pictures he must have of someone in your company!

Not what I would consider urgent issues of the day.

This is the second time the Herald has printed that (un)factoid. The first time was in a Job Fair supplement shortly after Ms. Iverson came on board, and when I tried to track that one down, the ad department didn't want to respond, and when they did, through Ms. Iverson's assistance, the deferred responsibility because that article was written by ECC folks. Of course, no where in the tab was there a disclaimer that it was a production of the ad, rather than news department.

So, turning smarmy mode off for a moment, hoping you are still reading, and understanding my warped sense of humor, let’s analyze that AAUW article that was used as the basis of your corporate opinion.

First, let’s apply Mark's acid test, shall we? If true, that you can pay a woman 75 cents to get the same work product you would pay a man to do, why hasn't an entrepreneur fired all the men, hired only women, and by the labor savings kicked the competition's ass?

Because, it 'taint true, Mr. Funk!

Now, running down the article, I offer the following, some of which I stole from those more articulate than I.

Equal Pay Day has become one of our annual rites of spring. This year the gender victimologists came armed with a new report from the American Association of University Women, Behind the Pay Gap, which purports to show that one year after graduation, women are paid 80% of what men earn.

The AAUW’s press release featured this startling statement: "Women earn less even when working in the same career field, likely due to sex discrimination." So no surprise, you trumpeted the 80% figure like it was revealed truth.

But women who are familiar with the AAUW’s long-standing gender agenda began to question the study.

Mary Kay Ham sardonically wondered why she, as a highly-educated columnist, should be paid less than a dime-a-dozen brain surgeon. To settle the issue, I suggest you download the report and see for yourself. I quickly noticed that the 80% figure is deceptive because it doesn’t take into account differences in work hours, occupational choices, commutes, danger (hence pay) of the job and other key variables.

When you do that, the wage gap shrinks dramatically. As the AAUW report finally admits on page 39: "The regression analysis of earnings one year after graduation for the combined sample of women and men shows a gender pay difference of 5 percent, controlling for educational and occupational choices as well as demographic and personal characteristics."

But it turns out the AAUW study omitted a number of important factors in its analysis, so even the 5% figure is exaggerated.

For example, many men coming out of high school enter the military and later go to college. These men command a bigger paycheck upon graduation. Likewise, men tend to accept big-city jobs with longer commute times. But the AAUW glossed over those facts.

Of greater concern is how the AAUW shoe-horned the many thousands of jobs into 11 broad occupational categories.

For just one example, take the medical profession which is evenly divided between the sexes, compared to nursing which is overwhelmingly female. The AAUW lumped all doctors and nurses into the same "medical professions" group. So you guessed it -- doctors are paid more than nurses, and that’s discrimination!

And women who major in business administration gravitate to HR, while men often specialize in finance. Employees who manage a corporation’s financial lifeblood tend to be paid well. But the AAUW put both groups into the "business and management" category. Yikes, more discrimination!

This isn’t the first time the American Association of University Women resorted to smoke-and-mirrors research to further its political agenda.

Back in 1992 the AAUW published the report, How Schools Shortchange Girls. The report purported to show that American schoolgirls were being kept down by the ever-present patriarchy. Man, they make those guys sound so powerful, I want to go to their meetings, and join up, but I just can't find them anywhere.

Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education, took issue with that conclusion, saying flatly, "The AAUW report was just completely wrong. What was so bizarre is that it came out right at the time that girls had just overtaken boys in almost every area."

To redeem itself, the AAUW finally came out with a second report. Gender Gaps: Where Schools Still Fail Our Children had to admit that "National data indicate that girls consistently earn either equivalent or higher grades than boys in all subjects at all points in their academic careers."

But that oops-I-goofed document could not reverse the hysteria generated by the first report, which fueled the passage of the Gender Equity in Education Act in 1994, a law that contributes to the boy crisis I first saw near the end of my 13 year service as a school board member, and that we’re now seeing fully developed in education.

Again, this pay gap myth is perpetuated by your editorial, as it was with the Job Fair insert. You demonstrated the same tactic that the misandric and hateful Women's Industry always uses, repeat the same lie, over and over, and eventually it becomes accepted as the truth.

See: Superbowl Sunday, Rule of Thumb, Hospital Emergency room admissions, the whole Title IX issue, and the like.

Is it too much to ask that you take more care in analysis and conclusions in your editorial positions?

And I know you buy the ink, not me, but is it unreasonable to expect that when a local boy has facts and figures that shine some light on the darkness of your conclusions that you do not print even a letter to the editor? A letter signed by me and my colleague from the Washington Civil Rights Council?

Thanks for listening.