Saturday, December 20, 2014

Drones vs. Torture

It is amazing really.  More people are upset about drones flying around their neighborhoods than are upset about this nation's torture of enemies.  The polling shows it.  Apparently NSA spying isn't up there with drones shooting video of your neighborhood either.

Wynn Quigley's column in the Journal this morning was a keeper.  It is a must read about the average American citizen's tuning out.  People seem to only care about things if it involves social media.  Think about Korea hacking Sony Pictures instead of the CIA.  Remarkable.

I had a conversation with a friend this morning who said a long time democratic voter told him that she hated the negative advertising and the policies of the Governor Martinez, but that she just could not vote for Gary King because he was so despicable.  So the negative ads worked on her even though she hated them.  All is lost.


Anonymous said...

Did you see that the Police Officer Retention Bonus that the city council approved in November for officers, ended up being given to Chief Eden (he has been here a whole 10 months) and his entire command staff. When Eden and his high paid command staff realized there was not enough money to give officers and the command staff this bonus what did they do? Eden went back to the APOA and redid the MOU and took out the officers who have 17 years on. Yep, that's right, KOAT reported officers with 17 years on were going to get this bonus, but when it comes down to the command staff or officers getting a retention raise, well the officers didn't stand a chance.

Now get this, PERA told Mayor Berry that this bonus is a bonus and PERA is prohibited by law from using it to figure into retirement calculations. Let's not forget this officer retention issue was not a problem back in July when Berry and the APOA signed their labor agreement. It was not mentioned then. No it was dropped on the city council and PERA in November and Berry said it had to be acted on right now. PERA asked for a couple days to review, the city denied them. The city council was told they had to give Berry funds right away for the MOU. DCOP Roseman presented this to the council but he forgot to tell the councilors that the bonus was going to the command staff. Then two weeks after the council gives up the money to fund the MOU the city changes the MOU and doesn't notify the council. Then on December 19 the city asks for an emergency hearing in district court to force PERA to calculate pensions with this bonus. Oh and I forgot to mention, the bonus expires June 2015. Since Berry wouldn't put it into the APOA contract it is not regular salary. This gets better, the city has agreed to represent the APOA in court! I guess the APOA contract which prohibits city employees from doing union business on city time doesn't apply when Berry doesn't want it to apply. So will the city attorney be in court tuesday with the APOA? No, the city attorney has contracted this to a private firm (you can't make this up). And who is the outside attorney representing the city err APOA? None other than Nann Winter, City Councilmen Brad Winter's wife. Can anyone say conflict of interest? How much money is Berry going to waste on more lawsuits? The city is run by fools who are stealing our money to pad their pockets.

Bubba Muntzer said...

Mr Quigley is very clever, using the old radical to say things he'd better not say. He edges up to them during his column, but he leaves it at that, preserving his moderate voice of reason voice, and his job, and his ability to agitate another day.

Leaving it where he leaves it though makes it sound like an intractable problem, unless you consider how societal change takes place.

The masses are edged in a different direction as a result of several things. Quigley has taken on a particular role, as have you. Pointing out problems, making them understandable to other people who are interested. Conversing, dialoguing, stimulating ideas.

Change doesn't happen as a result of that, but it's an essential part of the process. There has to be mass demonstrations, sit ins, marches, Marches on Washington. These cause the politicians, corporate executives, the media, to take notice and begin talking about these things. That has to happen, too.

That, then, can take root in society and there won't be a big backlash because there have been people like you and Quigley agitating all along so that enough people understand, and the right kind of people understand and agree, people like opinion leaders and the people who, when topics come up at different kinds of gatherings, will have something to say.

But after the elite take notice -- the politicians and corporations and media -- laws eventually change, corporate practices change, ads change, TV shows and movies change, and the mass of people change, even if they don't really know why. Just as they don't really know why they're going in the direction they are now. They just one day know it's no longer socially acceptable to keep doing what they were doing.

There's another wave of demonstrations going on now. They come in waves. There was Occupy, now this round, still going on, but people are where the Civil Rights movement was for a long time before the 50s and 60s. They don't yet know how to be visible and effective in today's world, but when they figure that out, well, look what happened last time. The Civil Rights movement, which opened things up, raised peoples' consciousness, made people believe change was possible, and you had all kinds of movements and societal change coming along for the next two decades.