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Subject to change by Rudy Yniguez: Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see

May 31, 2002

Imagine yourself onboard an airplane, ready to fly out of town on company business. Now imagine you get pulled off the plane and fired from your job as an attorney for a law firm that represents a large, local organization.

Wouldn't that be awful?

Now imagine you find out you've been canned because, without the knowledge or approval of your law firm, you discussed the possibility of working for the client as a contracts administrator, and then went so far as to suggest the client would also gain some legal expertise.

Surely something like that could not happen locally, ever.

No law firm would put money before their employees. In fact, no private business would ever do such a thing; employees are an employer's most valuable asset. Right?

Now imagine in your rebound to find a job, you do apply with the client for a job as contracts administrator. Imagine you are the best for the job, and after interviews you end up on the top of the list; the best-qualified. Now imagine that those making the final hiring selection are afraid of the law firm's attorneys or they have family members who have applied for the same job.

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Imagine further, that your former law firm, unsolicited, submits a performance evaluation that says you were a dirt ball despite getting the client an outstanding settlement in a recent wrongful death case of some local significance. Imagine also that the law firm does not know that in today's day and age the only information former employers should give out are the dates you were employed, the position you held and the description of the job you previously held.

One would think that a law firm would know enough to try to avoid the potential consequences of such actions. Then again, a company involved in as much "potential litigation" as this one would assuredly avoid such arbitrary decisions and, instead, would hire the person best qualified for the position regardless of what one's law firm thinks. One would think the organization would owe it to its customers to do just that.

Then again, this whole thing is a matter of fiction.

Right.

After the news broke about Sen. Dianne Feinstein's letter to the Imperial Irrigation District and the furor it caused, including remarks made in a news story by a locally elected official, a common theme that resulted is that Feinstein is a UNITED STATES SENATOR and, as such, should be treated with a certain amount of respect.

I happen to agree with that observation, and I want to say that I regret not having the intelligence or professional integrity to omit the words that some — though not many — have found so offensive.

Personally, I have a lot for which to thank the senator, and will try to list just a few of them here.

I would like to thank her for her stance on the private ownership of guns. Although the senator rails at every opportunity to take away guns from all law-abiding private citizens, I'm sure media reports about the possession of concealed weapons by her staff members are vicious lies resulting from a vast, right-wing conspiracy. I have no doubt whatsoever the senator's innate need to disarm the American public is what's best for the country; I mean what else would a politician of her stature do if not what's best for us all? You can rest assured I will immediately follow in the footsteps of a legend in his own mind, former president George H.W. Bush, and resign my life membership to the National Rifle Association.

Right.

Another thing I really appreciate about the senator is how hard she fought to keep open the military base at which I formerly worked. In fact, I am grateful to the whole Democrat Party for its support in keeping the base open, as well as the hundreds of military bases that were closed in the early 1990s. The closures led to precipitous drops in housing prices throughout the country, allowing less-affluent people to buy houses at bargain-basement prices.

I know that despite the Congress being under the control of Democrats at the time, as well as the White House, she and her party did what was best for me and the nation. The 6,600 people who had worked at the base quickly found higher-paying jobs and I was fortunate enough to go back to college, get a degree at a well-known liberal school and became a newspaper reporter and columnist. Without her help I would have lost my way.

Right.

There is so much more for which to thank the senator. For example, without her and the world's greatest deliberative body, Americans would be paying highway robbery fees for after-market television remote controls. Back in 1993, the Senate came to the people's rescue to ensure those holding box cutters to our throats and forcing us to pay for cable and satellite would not get away with forcing us to also pay too much for remote controls.

Right.

So it goes. There is so much for which to be grateful. If you say some or most of what I admire the senator for is old news, well, I have stopped tracking what she does. As her office might confirm, she was the recipient of many, many letters from me back in those days.

Here, now, I want to publicly state that I am a big admirer of the senator. She is such a statesman.

Right.

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