RADIO CALL – TAPE #737
Q: Mark Russell Bell
M: Mr. KABC, host of “Ask Mr. KABC” radio show in Los Angeles
R: Rob Marinko, KABC traffic reporter
A: taped station announcer
F: first caller following Thursday call
S: second caller following Thursday call
(X): location of unattributed sounds heard on tape of broadcast
He works cheap but he’s no bum Better than most, not as good as some Mr. KABC rules the airwaves Well if he knew every answer that you wanted him to Do you really thing he’d be talking to you Mr. KABC rules the airwaves All no topics, no screeners, no guests, you see It’s just you and Mr. KABC Mano a mano and one on one Come one everybody let’s have some fun If you’re looking for a cooking show it’s not the one No kid callers — call back when you grow up some Mr. KABC rules the airwaves
M: Seven minutes after ten o’clock on Talk Radio 790 KABC. I am the beloved Southern California radio icon Mr. KABC here every weeknight from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. here to take your phone calls to answer your questions on a show that has no guests, no topics, no screeners, goofy sound effects, pre-recorded comedy, scripts, planted callers or contrived viewpoints. I do, however, have tonight’s Mr. KABC three quiz questions but you’ll get them after the — well you’ll get them at 11:30 and the answers right after the 11:30 news. That’s our halfway point. If you’d like to preview tonight’s Mr. KABC three quiz questions, go now to kabc.com, click on the Mr. KABC quiz and you’ll get a preview but the answers you’ll have to wait til after 11:30 tonight. (X) There’s a lot of stuff in the news today. You know, I — Thursday night I devote an hour to California’s bogus power crisis and we’ve done it every Thursday night since January of 2000. Is that right? January of 2000? No, January of 2001. Yeah (or “YEAH”). So it’s been about 18 months that we’ve focused on the bogus power crisis. And one of the things I recognized early on that the (or “THE”) — there’s an aspect to it that I didn’t really focus a lot of attention on because I sort of figured that that market would work itself out and that was the natural gas market but everyone I talked to said, “You really only need to know two words to understand why there was an out-of-control wholesale market for natural gas.” And the two words was — were El Paso. There’s a pipeline that comes from El Paso Corporation and, basically, it’s pretty clear. Anyone who’s looked at the situation knows that El Paso Corporation had kind of a — they kind of had this pipeline that they had a monopoly over and could basically fix prices. (X X) So the news comes out today the senior vice president and treasurer of energy company El Paso Corporation was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This is deja vu all over again. Charles Dana Rice, 47, who worked for the energy company for 25 years — Rice was found shot to death at his home Sunday afternoon. Now the police are calling the death a suicide. Again, I’m just incredulous at how quickly the (X) — how quickly the law enforcement in Houston can deem something a suicide. They did the same thing with J. Clifford Baxter. That’s the guy who, (X) earlier this year — the Enron executive who left before the company collapsed; he committed suicide as the scandal surrounding that company widened. You know me, I’m not one for conspiracy theories (X) but I’m just amazed at — usually when they find a body and a gun — you know, they don’t — police (“NEL”) — they don’t — they want to wait til the medical examiner goes through the body and they — it sometimes can take weeks before they label something a suicide. In Houston, they can do that in a couple hours. They did that with J. Clifford Baxter. Within two hours of finding him and his body, they ruled — in his Mercedes — they ruled that a suicide which just it — I didn’t — I don’t know. I still have trouble with that. Not that I have any information that it’s not. Not that I have any information about Charles Dana Rice, the senior vice president and treasurer for El Paso Corporation. Also it should be noted that El Paso Merchant Energy, a subsidiary, (X) was also involved in the round-trip selling and reselling of electricity that contributed to California’s bogus power crisis. In a filing with federal regulators, the company set 125 pairs of trades, which I think would be 250 trades, conducted by El Paso Merchant Energy, a subsidiary in 2000/2001 were of the round-trip variety. These companies have acknowledged — companies like Dynegy, Reliant, CMS in El Paso have all acknowledged that using such trades which boost the company’s trading volume but bring in no income — that these were (X) designed to, according to federal regulators, trade to falsify and inflate volumes or prices. (X) Last week, El Paso announced it would sharply reduce its energy trading activities and focus on its core natural gas business as part of restructuring. The company said it would eliminate about 300 jobs. So make of that what you will. But I mean two guys—high-ranking, two different companies—both commit suicide, both by gun and both have the — (X) have the police in Houston calling it a suicide within hours. (X X) I don’t know. All right let’s go to the phone lines. We’ll start taking your calls. (gives number) I’m sure will (X) delve a little bit more into this on Thursday night’s power hour. Also, a little heads up. There was a small scoop in the L.A. Times yesterday. The newspaper acquired an eight-page memo written by Enron lawyers in late October 2000 describing the company’s potential criminal liabilities. Now the reason why this should have been on the front page is that it means Enron was fully advised of the illegality of its actions at least a month earlier than previously disclosed. So we had a guest on Thursday night’s power hour, Professor Zeiker — Benjamin Zeiker and, you know, he was of the belief that there’s just no evidence (X) that anything that Enron did was illegal. Well even Enron’s own attorneys were talking about the potential criminal liabilities of their actions. (X X X) All right, anyway, with that all said, let’s go to the phone lines. We’ll start taking your calls. (gives number) is the toll-free number to dial and let’s start with you. Hi, welcome, you’re on with Mr. KABC. Good evening. (no response) Hello?
M: This person doesn’t know they’re on the air. (BEEP) How about you? Do you know?
Q: Yes, Mr. KABC.
M: All right. Welcome, sir.
Q: I had a question about unemployment insurance.
Q: I don’t understand the purpose of (X) the Employment Development Department (X) asserting I — that I’m not eligible to receive unemployment benefits for five weeks because someone in the bureaucracy disagreed with me as to what a good cause is for turning down work. This was after 20 years of employment. (X) And I made it clear in my telephone interview that, one, I had to take my mother to the hospital (X) that day. And the job that I was offered (X) through the temp agency was one that was against my (X X) spiritual beliefs.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: DURING THE CONVERSATION, I HAD FORGOTTEN I RECEIVED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN 1993 WHEN THERE WAS A HIATUS IN FREELANCE ASSIGNMENTS FROM PARAMOUNT.)
M: Which was what? What were you being asked to do?
Q: I was asked — it was from a company I hadn’t worked for before because I had registered (X X) with different temp agencies. And they wanted me to go to an aerospace company with military contracts.
Q: And —
M: You’re a pacifist? (X)
Q: That’s what I told them. That’s exactly what I told them.
M: Yeah. Something tells me that they’ve heard that one before. (“BUT IT”)
Q: No, but it’s more than that. It’s ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill.’ I mean we should at least make an attempt —
M: (small laugh)
Q: I mean look what we’re doing in Afghanistan. I mean excuse me. I mean you can’t pay me my (X) piddly (X) $125 a week (X) benefit? I mean come on.
M: Well clearly these weren’t the only jobs that were available to you, right?
Q: It was. I mean well, see, I —
M: The only jobs that were available to you were jobs as a —
Q: No, as a temp worker —
M: — as a temp in a military subcontractor?
M: That’s the only job — in Southern California —
Q: That was the only job I was offered.
M: — those were the only jobs?
Q: That was the only call. That was the only one I had been offered.
Q: And so what I usually do (X) when something — like this week, for example, I’m registered here in the valley, the San Fernando Valley. And I had a call from one agency saying, “We want you to go to work in Hollywood (I meant Beverly Hills) for Larry Flynt.”
M: (laughs) (X)
Q: No, I mean it’s just craziness and so what — when I have a good —
M: It didn’t have to do — cleaning out bedpans or anything, did it?
Q: It was something with data entry.
Q: God only knows what.
Q: But I mean it’s just — I mean insanity — so what I think is a good cause —
M: I would’ve taken that.
Q: — so what I think is a good cause —
M: That actually sounds like a good job.
Q: Well maybe for you, Mr. KABC.
M: All right, well, I guess so.
Q: But no — but what I think is a good cause. I mean some paper push(er)—
M: By the way, you know, Larry Flynt’s magazine Hustler is one of about a hundred magazines. He publishes a — he publishes magazines for laptop computers. No pun intended. All kinds of technical magazines. You’d be amazed what comes out of Flynt Publications.
Q: Well, no, but my question has to do with —
M: I think he’s got like a wine and spirits magazine. He’s got all kinds of wei(rd) —
Q: Well no but that’s —
M: — like stuff that you would never —
Q: — but that’s not even — that’s not even what — what I wanted. (“I”)
M: All right.
Q: What I really wanted to find out — what is the basis in the Constitution or wherever, where they can say that some —
M: I don’t think you have a constitutional right to unemployment benefits.
Q: Well no but what they say is what is a “good cause” and so their —you know, this individual who was doing the interview —
Q: — has certain parameters.
Q: And who knows what the agenda is there.
Q: Because I mean I, myself, have been in the position of working with the government —
M: Well I think the agenda is to get you to work.
Q: No, I think their agenda is to save themselves money.
M: Well that too.
Q: I mean because I’ve never had — (“YOU KNOW AA” “AA”) for twenty years, I haven’t — this is the first time I’ve really applied for unemployment insurance.
Q: And, (“I”) for example, I don’t want to work for (X) corporations with shareholder(s). I’ve done that already.
Q: And I’ve learned it’s just not for me. I mean —
M: So Greenpeace is — we’re pretty much down to Greenpeace as the — Greenpeace and the Sierra Club are the only two organizations you’d be comfortable working for.
Q: Well I know I’m not the most — (X X) I’m not an ordinary case by any means.
Q: But —
M: What industry were you in that you no longer work in? What were you — who were you working for before you were let go?
Q: Well it wasn’t so much that I (was) let go. I basically had (“MM”) a religious experience and I decided not to work in the entertainment industry.
M: Oh wow, yeah. (X)
Q: And so (or “AND SO”) basically. And then I tried sharing —
M : My guess is the religious experience kind of was — the impetus for the religious experience was that you were kind of a low-level guy in the entertainment industry. (X)
Q: Not at all.
M: No(t) — really? Well what —
Q: No, I would — (“I”) I would — (“I”)
M: What were you doing in the entertainment industry?
Q: Oh it’s all — (“IT’S”) but that’s really not what I wanted to get out of you but —
M: I know but I’m cur(ious) — I’m just curious. For my own idle curiosity.
Q: I basically would tell the media — (“WH”)
Q: — how to perceive movies.
M: You were a publicist. You were a movie spin-doctor.
Q: And —
M: And you found that work not rewarding? Why?
Q: Well I just — no, after my religious experience (X) —
M: What was — what exa(ctly) — you keep referring to the religious experience? What exactly happened to you?
Q: You know — (“WELL”) you can just — I would just tell people to go to my website testament.org for that.
M: Oh please — no no no no no no, we’re not going to websites. Just tell me in a sentence what happened to you. “I was walking down the street and I saw the face of God.” Okay, I’m there. (X or first of a couple occasions that evening when Mr. KABC thumped on his desk)
Q: Well, no, it’s just that God revealed Themselves to me.
M: And how did God reveal Himself to you? (X)
Q: Through (X) synchronicity.
M: What? (“THROUGH” X)
Q: Through (X) people’s subconscious (X) minds.
M: Uh-huh. (X)
Q: Through genetics. (“YEAH”)
M: You realize that what you’re saying makes no sense? (“WELL”)
Q: That’s why I’m — that’s why I have my testament.org website.
M: Uh-huh. (X) All right. I get the sense that you’re more interested in just giving out your website than getting legitimate information.
Q: No, I’m not. I want an answer for my question. I want an answer for my question about — I mean first of all the Constitution —
M: I don’t know what the rules are but, you know what, I think as someone who’s paid in to unemployment, you have a right to a explanation or documentation of those rules so that when you call up and you say, “I don’t want to take that job for religious reasons,” they have to document that that’s just not a valid reason not to take a job.
M: Or maybe it is. I don’t know. That’s a perfectly reasonable request to make of your — of the person that’s handling your file.
Q: Right. Okay (X) because I do plan —
M: “I want documentation that shows what is and is not within the guidelines of acceptable refusal to work for a religious or other ethical” — you know, (“YEAH”) he can’t ask a Catholic to go work in an abortion clinic.
Q: Well I asked that of the person who was (X) doing the interview.
Q: And I just didn’t feel that was a good — a dependable answer because I know (“THAT”) —
M: What’s not a dependable answer?
Q: The person doing the interview really —
M: Okay, well that’s why you have a right —
Q: Yeah, they give you an appeal process.
M: Well you have a right to know what the parameters are. You have a right to know, yeah, in writing what is and is not an acceptable explanation for reasons that you wish to not pursue employment.
Q: Right. Okay, well I might mention (X) that in my appeal.
M: I don’t know that you have to mention it in your appeal. You should go get that information so you have it now.
Q: Well they — in the letter it —
M: It’s not a secret.
Q: No, but it comes down to what constitutes a good cause.
M: And what I’m trying to get — the point I’m trying to get across to you is they need to document what is and is not a good cause. You need to know the parameters.
Q: I don’t think they do.
M: Well they have to. What do you mean you don’t think they do.
Q: I mean in terms of —
M: You think they just make it up as they go — that you’re the first person that’s ever said, “I don’t want to take a job because I have moral or ethical . . .”
Q: Well I mean I think that — I don’t know if they break it down any more than that in the actual (X X) written laws. (“WH” “AH AH AH”)
M: I don’t know why you’re even arguing the point. You’ve got to ask. (“UM-HUH”)
Q: Oka(y) —
M: Go pursue that.
Q: Yeah. (“LIE”) Another good question —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: THE EVP/SPIRIT MESSAGE THAT SOUNDED LIKE “LIE” ON MY RECORDING OF THE BROADCAST SOUNDED LIKE “RIGHT” ON THE MICROCASSETTE RECORDING I MADE OF MY PHONE CALL.)
M: It’s one phone call.
Q: — about the Constitution would be: (“IS”) “Why is there a Senate in the first place?”
M: It’s — all right. Okay, go find out the answer to this and then call me back because I’d like to know too.
Q: Okay. (or “OKAY”)
M: All right?
M: Good luck.
Q: Okay, bye.
M: All right, (line disconnected) bye-bye. It’s 10:21 on Talkradio 790 KABC back for more of your calls right after we check the latest news — I’m sorry it’s the latest traffic with Rob Marinko.
R: All right, Mr. K, we have a KABC traffic alert —
M: You had a religious experience this weekend, didn’t you?
R: Uh beg your pardon?
M: I don’t know. Never mind.
R: Hey, you know the Baxter suicide?
R: You know the first one?
M: J. Clifford Baxter. Yeah.
R: J. Clifford Baxter. You know, (X) it was the (X) county coroner who ruled it was a suicide. What happened about a month later is the local sheriff’s department said, “No” — the reporter who asked them what’s going on with this case — was it just a simple suicide? And they said the clay — the case is open still.
M: Well there’s some — you know what? It was — I remember just afterward there were a lot of questions like — one of the questions was about he had (X) glass — broken glass in his shirt. (X X) Well now how do you have — remember (or “REMEMBER”) — do you remember that one?
R: No, I don’t.
M: There were a couple weird inconsistencies —
R: Yeah. (or “YEAH”)
M: — with that story but, again, it doesn’t mean — you know, it’s like — there were weird little inconsistencies about the JFK assassination but it doesn’t mean (X) that, you know, Lee Harvey Oswald wasn’t the guy from the sixth floor of the Texas schoolbook depository.
R: I’m like you. I’m not a conspiracy nut but —
R: — these two par(ticularly) — like you said — it’s the funniest thing you brought this up tonight because it was my exact same sentiments when I heard the story that (“THEY”) they had ruled this thing a suicide. It was just hours later.
R: And that’s almost never done.
M: Well that’s — it struck me as odd but then again they have a different way of viewing justice in Texas than they do — or in, specifically, in Houston than they do here.
R: (small laugh) There (or “THERE”) — there has to be a thorough investigation. Especially when you’re a high-profile person, you know.
M: Well a high-profile person that’s under investigation for, you know —
M: — federal fraud charges.
M: You know, when you’re the senior vice president and treasurer of El Paso. El Paso Corporation — huge. (X)
M: Huge. Billions. Multibillion-dollar company. (X) So —
M: — which, by the way, maybe I ought to suggest that that guy who just called a couple minutes ago maybe contact them because apparently they’ll have an opening.
R: That’s terrible. (small laugh) It was strange that — I saw a little bit of TV coverage of it. This latest suicide.
M: Yeah. (“THE”)
R: I’m not saying it’s a little, no, suspicious but the homicide investigator at the scene made a brief comment. He said this is a suicide and then he got in his brand new Ferrari and drove away.
M: (laughs) Yeah.
R: But that’s . . .
M: Yeah, that is suspicious.
M: Yeah, I looked (X) into that.
R: Okay. (X) KABC traffic alert . . .
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: AFTER THE TRAFFIC REPORT AND COMMERCIALS, THE BUMPER MUSIC WAS “RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW” PERFORMED BY JESUS JONES. AMONG THE TOPICS THAT FOLLOWED WERE FOLDING THE NEW $20 BILL TO SEE THE WORLD TRADE CENTER AND PENTAGON IN FLAMES & THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PYRAMID ON THE $1 BILL; CONTROVERSIES ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT, HIJACKERS AND THE ACTIONS OF THE CIA AND FBI IN CONNECTION WITH 9-11; PROPOSALS FOR MORE THAN A TRILLION DOLLARS IN NEW DEFENSE AND HOMELAND SECURITY SPENDING; THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE HUMAN MIND AND AN INDIVIDUAL’S VOICE; SUSPICION ABOUT FIRES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY BEING THE RESULT OF TERRORISM; AND FURTHER ADVICE ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: “I WOULD GUESS THAT THAT PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL MAY NOT, AT LEAST WHEN HE PRESENTED HIS CASE TO THE PERSON WHO INTERVIEWED HIM, PROBABLY DID NOT PRESENT A COMPELLING REASON.” THE CALLER ALSO MENTIONED THAT THERE WERE CASE DESCRIPTIONS AVAILABLE AT THE EDD WEBSITE. ANOTHER CALLER WHO HAD UNDERGONE THE APPEAL PROCESS SAID, “MY OPINION IS HE DOESN’T REALLY WANT TO WORK AT ALL BUT THAT’S ANOTHER STORY.” THE CALLER SAID THE REALLY THOROUGH INFORMATION REGARDING UNEMPLOYMENT IS IN THE CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS AND THAT THE PEOPLE WHO WORK AT THE EDD DON’T KNOW THE CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS; THEY ONLY KNOW THE INFORMATION THAT IS GIVEN TO THEM BY THEIR EMPLOYER, THE EDD, WHICH IS A DISTILLED VERSION OF THE REGULATIONS. I CALLED MR. KABC AGAIN ON THURSDAY, JUNE 6, AFTER THE SHOW’S POWER HOUR. CALLING DURING THE COMMERCIALS, I WAS SURPRISED WHEN MR. KABC ANSWERED THE CALL AND ENQUIRED ABOUT WHY I WAS CALLING. I REMINDED HIM OF MY CALL ON MONDAY NIGHT AND THAT HE HAD ASKED ME TO CALL HIM BACK SO HE PUT ME ON HOLD AND I LISTENED TO HIM TAKE OTHER CALLS UNTIL HE WENT TO MY LINE. UNFORTUNATELY, THE MICROCASSETTE MADE OF THIS FOLLOW-UP CALL WAS BLANK—APPARENTLY THE LISTENING DEVICE NEEDS REPLACING—SO THE FOLLOWING TRANSCRIPT IS FROM THE TAPE THAT I MADE OF THE BROADCAST.)
A: 790 KABC.
M: With Mr. KABC and your phone calls til 1 a.m. Ten minutes away from the three quiz questions. Preview them now at kabc.com. Hi, welcome. You’re on with Mr. KABC. Good evening.
Q: Hi, Mr. (X) KABC. (X)
Q: So after the Monday night call, I did look at my notice of determination from the Employment Development Department.
M: Well let’s refresh people’s memories about the reason why you called. You called because you were — you’re on unemployment and you went to — (“I”)
Q: Yeah, I — on my form I said I turned down work.
M: Right. You turned down some jobs because they were morally and ethically opposed to you — you were morally —
Q: I told them — I said — I said, exactly — I said I’m a pacifist.
M: You’re a pacifist and so you have a moral and ethical dilemma — or not dilemma but an opposition to working for —
Q: It was a —
M: — a aerospace contractor or —
Q: It had military contracts.
M: Military contractor or for Larry Flynt.
Q: Well that came in later.
M: Oh okay.
Q: That was after that (X) but —
M: All right. And I told you what you need to do if you’re going to appeal this, you need to find out what the law states —
Q: Right. Well . . .
M: — about what is and is not an acceptable reason to not accept work.
Q: Yeah and to be entirely honest too. I also specified in my form that I had not been entirely available that week because I had to take my mom to the hospital.
M: Okay. And — but so what did you find?
Q: Well, anyway, (“OKAY”) on my (X) notice it did state (“THE”) code sections (“UU”) under the California Unemployment Insurance Code. In this case, it was 1257 so I went around on the Internet and I (X) found it. And it said basically under ‘b’ (X) simply: “He or she, without good (X) cause, refused to accept suitable employment when offered to him or her, or failed to apply for suitable employment —
M: Right. (or “RIGHT”)
Q: — when notified by a public employment office.”
M: All right but, again, we’re back to square one with you —
Q: Yes, exactly.
M: — which was there must be some guidelines —
M: — as to what can and cannot be accepted as a reason to reject job offers.
Q: Well in the letter it (X) does say that there’ll be a hearing eventually after I send in my appeal. (X) So pretty much this conversation is going to help me in terms of what I say. Basically —
M: I don’t — you haven’t done anything to help yourself.
Q: Well no but —
M: You need — you don’t —
Q: — I’m going to tell them . . .
M: You still don’t — wait a — hold on a second.
M: You still don’t know what is and is not acceptable reasons to reject work.
Q: But it is (X) not defined more than that (X) in — under the code.
Q: I mean this is all that is specified under the code so it becomes individual choice —
M: Well no, it’s not —
Q: — interpretation.
M: — well it’s not subject to individual interpreta(tion) — you mean the person reviewing can say, “I don’t believe you so therefore I’m saying that you could’ve taken that job and you decided not to and therefore I’m going to say that you don’t — you are going to be denied benefits.”
Q: Apparently . . .
M: No, that can’t be right. That can’t be right. There has to be some delineation. There has to be some specifications as to what is and is not acceptable.
Q: Well it’s like the regulations are no longer tools. They’ve become a means for oppression.
M: Well that’s your interpretation. (X)
Q: Right, exactly. (X)
M: Well but that’s —
Q: I mean in terms of no one tried to get to any truth —
M: — to me your statement of it’s a means for the government to oppress you is really you saying, “I’m not willing to do the legwork to find out what is and is not acceptable.” There are acceptable reasons (X) why someone can deny —
Q: Well of course there are.
M: — and reject a job. Well what are they?
Q: I don’t believe that they’re going to be anywhere in writing.
M: Well, of course, they have to be in writing. We’re talking about governmental — that’s all bureaucrats do is look at the code, see what is and is not acceptable.
Q: This is the code. I read you the code.
M: Well that — there’s more to — you read me a code.
Q: That’s the code —
M: There’s more to it than this.
Q: Well it’s a very long code.
M: There has to be more to it than this.
Q: But no it said — it says —
M: All right, you’re not willing to do the work so you’re going to lose. You understand that?
Q: Well I’ve done the work. I mean that’s the code that they even specify in the letter.
M: Okay. I don’t accept your answer. I think you haven’t done the necessary work to find out the answer to this question and so when it comes time to be reviewed my guess is you’ll lose.
Q: . . . No, when I go to the hearing, I’m just going to . . .
M: You’re going to lose. They’re going to look at you and say, “You base this on what?”
Q: Well that’s why I’m — that’s (X) probably why I’m having this experience — to show everyone how completely out of touch —
M: No, you’re not going to show anyone —
Q: — people are.
M: — No, all you’re showing us is how lazy you are in trying to make a political point. Your political point is, “I shouldn’t have to work for a military subcontractor.” Fine. Show me where in the law it says that you can reject work because it is in opposition to your morality.
Q: Our whole country was based upon freedom of religion.
M: Okay, that’s fine but you’re not — this is not a court of constitutional law that you’re debating this in. It’s not the Supreme Court. It’s the Employment Development Division of the state government. Go —
Q: You’re naive if you think that there’s going to be any more to the Insurance Code than what I just read to you.
M: Okay, well when you lose, you call me back and say, “Hey Mr. KABC, you’re right. I didn’t do the legwork necessary to prove —”
Q: Well no, I mean I did the legwork.
M: No, you haven’t. (X “BI[D]”)
Q: This is the code.
M: You haven’t. Find someone else who used the code to prove that they were able to reject a job based on a moral dilemma.
Q: No, it didn’t — it comes down to “good cause.”
M: Or an ethical — what?
Q: It just comes down to what is “good cause.”
M: Well and how are you going to prove that?
Q: Well all I can do (X) is state the truth and see —
M: No, it’s not — that’s not enough. You know, if you were to go into a small claims court and you said — because you and I were involved in a traffic accident in a parking lot — and you said, “Well Mr. KABC put his car in reverse and slammed into my car.” And I have witnesses and pictures and everything else that (X) shows that what you’re saying is not correct. (X) And all — and the judge says, “Well what do you have to show that what you’re saying is true?” You say, “Well I just think it’s the right thing. I just think I know what happened.” Who do you think’s going to win the lawsuit? You or me?
Q: Well you still have to — (“I ME” “WW”) it still comes down to — (X) to what’s true for you.
M: No, it isn’t — it doesn’t come down to what’s true for you. It comes down to what you can prove.
Q: Right but I’m just telling you that the insurance code is very vague.
M: No, it’s not very vague. It’s only very vague because you haven’t done the legwork necessary to find where other people have used similar arguments and prevailed in receiving their unemployment. You haven’t done that.
Q: Well I have no idea where else to go.
M: Well then why didn’t you ask me that question?
Q: Well I — it says (X) in the letter — it mentions this code in the letter.
M: All right. For whatever reason, this is falling on deaf ears. You’re not used to being challenged I guess.
Q: No, I’m just (X) telling you that it says here this is the section of the code that the letter referred to.
M: You’re really — you know, you’re failing to think critically and I don’t understand why.
Q: Well what it seems to (X) me. Let me give you my impression.
M: No, I’m not interested in your impression. We’re only interested in what you can prove and what you can demonstrate in writing to this board that’s going to be reviewing the letter that you send saying there’s a reason why I didn’t take this job and why I’m entitled to my benefits. Not what you think or how you feel or what it should be or what the Constitution says. None of that matters to this board that’s going to be reviewing it. . . .
Q: . . . they have no sense of history. (X)
M: Okay, and again, they’re — you’re not there to teach them history. You’re there to get your benefits.
Q: Right, but if they just want to keep people from getting any kind of money to free up money (X) for companies like the Carlyle Group and what-have-you —
M: Okay, here’s what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to stop seeing yourself as a victim of this big bureaucracy that’s out to get you. What is really happening is —
Q: But these people don’t think. They don’t think.
M: No, these — well that’s why you have (X) — that’s why you have to do the thinking for them. And the way you do the thinking for them is you show them that other people were able to make these arguments and retain their benefits: “That’s why I deserve to retain my benefits.” But the more you say things like, “Well I need to teach them history and it’s the right thing (“WELL” X) and they’re a big bureaucracy —”
Q: When I was (X) interviewed . . .
M: — you’re going to lose.
Q: . . . during the phone interview, I said, “Would Martin Luther King have accepted a job at an aerospace company with military contracts?” (X) That’s what I told the person who was doing the interview.
M: I’m sure those were very powerful arguments and I’m sure it was swaying them in a great deal —
Q: Oh she didn’t care. She was too busy chomping on her gum.
M: — of course, she doesn’t care. Of course, she doesn’t care because it’s irrelevant what Martin Luther King would do. It’s only relevant what other people have done successfully that you can demonstrate that you have those same criteria by which you can argue that you still deserve your benefits because you are saying you don’t want to take those jobs for a moral or ethical reason. You have to show that they — that you have that right.
Q: Okay, well I can prove that those are my true moral and (X) ethical reasons.
M: That — you’re not hearing a word I’m saying.
Q: I am hearing but . . .
M: I don’t care what you’re . . .
Q: . . . what I’m hearing is very naive.
M: Okay, good luck to you. Hi, welcome, you’re on with Mr. KABC.
F: That was a tough one, Mr. K.
M: Sure was. (X X)
F: Did you hear about (X) the brownouts coming this summer?
F: I heard on TV yesterday afternoon an official from the Department of Water and Power says, “Expect brownouts this summer.”
M: Well now wait a minute. The Department of Water and Power or the Department of Water Resources?
F: I think it was the Department of Water and Power.
M: Well that would be very interesting. The Department of Water and Power is for L.A. — the city of L.A. and they have a surplus of power that’s — in fact they were selling power to the rest of the state at very high prices. At the market prices.
M: And they’ve been roundly criticized for that because they’re a nonprofit entity. They’re just there to, you know (or “YOU KNOW”), maintain their customers and to —
F: Yeah, that was last summer.
M: Right. So I would be very surprised to learn that the DWP in the city of Los Angeles would be running into a problem where they wouldn’t have enough power to satisfy demand. That’s very interesting.
F: Yeah, well you’re probably right. One more thing, if I may.
F: I believe you were sprayed with carbon tetrachloride which freezes the area — didn’t have to cut down to a nerve (ingrown toenail). You see I had a carbuncle years ago right under my knee (“IN”) in the joint between my leg and my —
F: Yeah. No, below the kneecap on the inner (X) part of my leg. It was the size of a golf ball.
F: And they sprayed it with carbon tetrachloride (X) to freeze it and that’s probably what they did to you.
M: Could be.
M: All right, sir.
F: I’m glad you’re okay —
M: I am.
F: — because that could be very painful.
M: Well it is kind of painful. I mean I have — it’s not so painful that I need pain medication and I can’t scream at callers but (or “BUT”) — but it does cause me some pain and, you know, I’m playing hurt. You know me.
F: Oh yeah. I know.
M: All right, sir.
F: You’re a great guy.
M: I’m a tough guy. Yeah.
F: You’re both mentally and physically, I think.
M: There you go.
F: You’re pretty physical and I’m surprised that you don’t go into — you know, more about sports a little more.
M: Yeah, I know. It surprises everybody.
F: Yeah, it does but —
M: All right, sir. Glad to hear you’re doing well.
F: Thank you for your information, anyway.
M: All right. Thank you for your call.
F: Thank you.
M: Ba-bye. Let’s see here. Let me give you tonight’s Mr. KABC three quiz (X) questions and then we’ll continue with more of your calls. Hang on a second here. Line six, hello? Hello, line —
S: Hello? Hello?
M: Yeah, line six has been busted for three days. How did you call in?
S: I don’t know. I just dialed.
M: Just dialed the regular 800 number?
S: That’s right. Just about five seconds ago.
M: Oh that’s weird because this line’s been dead for two days and all of a sudden —
S: Well I opened it up.
M: Well you’re a miracle worker, sir. God bless you.
S: Can I ask you a question?
M: In a minute you can. I need to ask the three quiz questions and then we need to take some phone calls. All right?
S: All right.
M: So you stand by there on line six which has been bro(ken) — now line four. (dial tone) Yeah, line four now might be dead. Now how did that happen? Because all the other lines are filled up but line six was dead and now line four is dead. He (or “HE”) — he reviv(ed) — he revived line six but he killed line four in the interim. (X) All right. Here is tonight’s Mr. (X) KABC three quiz questions and the answers coming up right after the news . . .
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: DURING THE NEWSCAST, WHEN MR. KABC INTERJECTED, “IS THAT A SMART PLACE TO ROB?,” I HEARD AN EVP SOUNDING LIKE “HHH.” UNATTRIBUTED SOUNDS CONTINUED AS THEY SEEMINGLY CAN BE HEARD ON EVERY RADIO BROADCAST, INCLUDING WHEN MR. KABC COMMENTED, “THOSE PEOPLE KNEW [X] HOW TO ROB.” [X] DURING THE NEXT PORTION OF THE SHOW, A CALLER COMMENTED THAT I SHOULD GO TO THE LAW LIBRARY OR DO FURTHER INTERNET RESEARCH. I DID DO FURTHER INTERNET RESEARCH THE NEXT DAY USING A COMPUTER AT A LOCAL EDD ONESTOP BRANCH BECAUSE MY OWN COMPUTER WITH 8 MB. RAM HAS DIFFICULTY DOWNLOADING CERTAIN WEBSITES SUCH AS THE EDD WEBSITE MENTIONED. BEYOND THIS, MY PRIORITY AT THE TIME WAS FINDING EMPLOYMENT SO I HAD LIMITED TIME TO DEVOTE TO APPEAL PROCESS CONCERNS. THE POINT I WOULD’VE LIKED TO MAKE TO MR. KABC IS THAT, TO BEGIN WITH, THE DETERMINATION OF MY INELIGIBILITY WAS UNFAIR AND OBVIOUSLY THE RESULT OF A BUREAUCRATIC AGENDA. INSTEAD OF BEING REGARDED AS BEING A TRUTHFUL TAXPAYER UNTIL PROVEN OTHERWISE, THE EDD INTERVIEWER FACILITATED A DETERMINATION OF INELIGIBILITY THAT I EVENTUALLY DISCOVERED TO BE IN CONFLICT WITH BENEFIT DETERMINATION GUIDE INFORMATION. LATER IN THE SHOW, A WOMAN CALLED WHO WAS A RETIRED EDD APPEALS SPECIALIST AND DETERMINATION INTERVIEWER. SHE SUGGESTED, “BASICALLY WHEN HE HAS HIS HEARING, DON’T FUDGE, DON’T LIE BUT THE THING ABOUT SUITABLE WORK IS IT’S WORK THAT YOU HAD EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING FOR SO IF HE REFUSED A JOB THAT HE HAD DONE ANYWHERE ELSE BEFORE THAT’S A REFUSAL OF SUITABLE WORK . . . IF HE HAD DONE TEMP WORK BEFORE, THEN HE’S REQUIRED TO ACCEPT THAT AGAIN.” MR. KABC SAID, “EVEN IF IT’S AGAINST HIS PERSONAL MORALITY TO WORK FOR A MILITARY SUBCONTACTOR?” SHE REPLIED, “WELL YEAH BECAUSE EVEN CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS DON’T LIKE WAR BUT THEY DO GO IN AND DO NONCOMBATANT THINGS IN THE SERVICE, RIGHT?” AFTER FURTHER DISCUSSION, SHE SAID, “WELL, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES IN THE LAW AND THE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES, LIKE WHAT I DID, HAVE THE GUIDELINES AND THOSE ARE THE BENEFIT DETERMINATION GUIDES THAT ARE ON THE INTERNET NOW . . . THOSE HAVE DISCUSSIONS ON ALL THE CONCEPTS OF THE LAW AND IT EXPLAINS WHAT SUITABLE WORK IS AND IT GOES INTO ALL OF THAT. HE CAN GO IN AND READ THAT. BUT THE INTERESTING THING IS WHEN YOU GET BEFORE AN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE THEY ARE NOT BOUND ENTIRELY BY THE SAME RULES AND LAWS AS THE DEPARTMENT IS. THEY HAVE A LITTLE MORE LEEWAY.” THE FOLLOWING DAY, I SENT THIS EMAIL TO MR. KABC WHO RESPONDED WITH: “LET ME KNOW HOW THAT TURNS OUT.”)
Subject: Follow-Up To My Calls This WeekDate: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 19:37:06 -0700From: Mark Russell Bell < firstname.lastname@example.org>Organization: https://testament.orgTo: email@example.com
I did take your suggestion and found more background information about“good cause,” ( http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/uvq5tx.htm ) conscientiousobjection ( http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/usw90fftx.htm &http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/usw90rdtx.htm ) and suitable work andreligious/philosophical beliefs ( http://www.edd.ca.gov/uibdg/usw90.htm). I haven’t written my appeal letter yet this information does seem tosupport my position unless the judge determines that the conscientiousobjection is not genuine. I appreciate your interest and I will let youknow what happens. The notice of determination sent to me stated thatwhen my appeal is received, my case will be reviewed. If the decisionis still the same, the appeal will be sent to the office of appeals thatwill then schedule a hearing: “At the hearing, the administrative lawjudge will listen to you, examine the facts, and make a decision. Youmay have a representative or someone else help you.”
Thank you for your help.
Q: (speaking into tape recorder) Well I guess I should say that when I mentioned that about the gum I don’t think it was necessarily correct but it was her attitude. Her manner was carefree like that. Again, it’s people not taking responsibility for their own decisions but saying or doing something ‘for the company,’ ‘for the government’ or ‘for the military’ without really understanding that we each are responsible for our decisions. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tape that (interview) call because I was at the temp hospital assignment. I did tape my end of it and at the end of it I told her that I was sorry for her that she had to be the gestapo on this. (“SSS”) The hearing is going to be a travesty. Wait til they find out the temp job after that at the hospital I left after I found out that it was a corporation with shareholders because I was too ignorant to realize that before I was there. Well I guess it isn’t quite so simple as that. I just have to ‘take a job — any (non-shareholder company) job.’ I’ve prayed and I do have a few prospects. A new agency on Monday might lead to something or maybe I’ll take a guard job. I’ve been applying for suitable permanent jobs.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: HERE IS THE LETTER OF APPEAL THAT I SENT ON JUNE 10TH ‘TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN’ AT THE EDD.)
I want to appeal the determination that I am not eligible to receive benefits under California Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1257B.
During my recent interview with an EDD representative, I made it clear that the only temporary office assignment offered during the week ending May 18th was not suitable employment due to my conscientious objection to working for an aerospace company with military contracts. In fact, regarding the job I was offered by Valley Temps, I had already canceled an interview for a data entry position with the same aerospace company that had been arranged via another temporary services firm the previous week after I went to the aerospace company’s website and discovered the military contracts. The agency that had originally scheduled the interview appointment is the one that has brought me the most work in recent years, Select Personnel Services, and my profile with the company has a notation that I am seeking employment with nonshareholder companies such as small manufacturing companies (as my beliefs are such that working for highly corporate companies such as those with shareholders is morally wrong).
In my interview, I also explained that I was not available for work on May 15, 2002 as it was necessary for me to take my mother to the hospital for an operation.
When meeting with temporary staffing companies, I explain that I don’t want to work in highly corporate jobs in such professions as banking, insurance, law offices or pharmaceutical companies. Business as usual for such companies gives no credence to the commandments ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ and ‘Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor.’ At an aerospace company with military contracts, there is also a conflict with ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill.’ In highly corporate companies and military organizations, employees and soldiers often fail to realize that they are responsible for their own actions and mistakenly attribute their activities as somehow meeting the demands of their company or country although, in fact, the company and the country don’t exist beyond name only, name being a structuring method that may allow a continuation of wealth and/or power within specific groups or families while the suffering of disenfranchised people and the deterioration of the Earth’s ecosystem may go ignored.
A job at a company involved with sexually explicit photographic material would also be in conflict with my spiritual beliefs, as would be circumstances of such a nature wherein I would discover damaging social conditions; for example a hypothetical discovery that the labor for a company was being done overseas with people there being subjected to slave-like conditions.
I filed for unemployment when my regular temporary staffing company stopped offering me acceptable assignments as they had done in the past. I have only received benefits for a few weeks thus far and have used this time to look a position without the detrimental circumstances discussed in this letter. So far, I’ve had interviews for permanent jobs with a loudspeaker manufacturing company and a reservations center, which were among the numerous companies where I’ve applied for work that were not shareholder companies nor that I knew to be involved in activities I find morally and spiritually objectionable.
Mark G. Russell