The Weekly Sedition

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Albuquerque’s Own Mad Dog Party

Filed under: Comedy, Economics, Entertainment, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 10:31 PM

Current mood: amused, cynical

Recently, I wrote an article about the recent public-employee-union protests against government spending cuts, labelling them the “Mad Dog 20/20 Party.” So far the Wisconsin protests have been the most striking example of this sort of behavior. Well, on Wednesday, 2 March 2011, the Mad Dog 20/20 Party came to Albuquerque.

I first found about the event here in Albuquerque when I saw a call for a counter-protest on Craigslist:


Click the picture to enlarge

So that morning, I went down to the intersection of 5th and Lead SW, as specified in the posting copied above. I arrived at 11:00 AM, figuring that there would be lots of people there, as with the 2009 and 2010 Tea Party rallies in Albuquerque. Wrong – the intersection was deserted, so I killed 45 minutes with a fruit cocktail (non-alcoholic) and iced tea at the Cafe Green, while reading this month’s issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.

At 11:46 AM, I left the Cafe Green and went outside. The Cafe Green is on the northwest corner of the intersection. On the southwest corner of that same intersection is Albuquerque’s Social Security Administration building, complete with concrete buffers along the curb to stop any potential Timothy McVeigh copycats from parking too close. At around this time, the Mad Dog Partiers started arriving in ones and twos (mostly just ones at this point). By 11:53 AM, there were all of 17 people in attendance. One guy in a light blue shirt and dark brown tie spent a good bit of time on the cell phone, one hand holding his sign, the other holding the phone to his ear.


Click the picture to enlarge

At 11:58 AM, some guy wearing a tan shirt with the SSA logo on the front came up to me and asked “Who are you?” He identified himself as a “retired SSA employee” after I told him that I’m a freelance writer (true – unless someone wants to give me money for this? Hint, hint – I’ll be happy with Federal Reserve Notes). He asked me if I wanted any “facts and figures,” I told him “No,” and he told me to “make it good.” Ha Ha Ha.

Anyway, this guy told me that of 500 people who are employed at this particular SSA building, 80 had signed up to be present for this event.

I should point out that although the Craigslist post called for a counter-protest, complete with signs, I was the ONLY person present there who was so inclined – thus I stayed on the north side of Lead Avenue and didn’t raise any stink – there was ONE of me, about 80-100 of the Mad Doggers by 12:15 PM, and well, the union crowd has been known to be physically aggressive at times[1].

There were a few signs for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the New Mexico Federation of Labor (NMFL), and one or two from the Communications Workers of America (CWA). I didn’t see any signs from Carter Bundy’s AFSCME, nor any other unions that have local affiliates in Albuquerque.


Click the picture to enlarge

On several occasions, vehicles painted in the colors of the “Federal Protective Service”, operated by the Heimatschutzministerium der Vereinigten Staaten, passed by on what appeared to be routine patrols. Funny how they didn’t seem to mind me (or anyone else) taking pictures and making video recordings of the marchers – they’ve established a bit of a reputation for arresting people for doing just that, and being rather obnoxious about it, to boot[2].

Or maybe such photography didn’t constitute a “security threat,” however they make that determination (outside of whatever’s convenient for the U.S. Attorney’s Office?) – there was a guy with a professional-grade camcorder and matching tripod who set up his gear for several minutes, and went about his business unmolested. Or maybe this demonstration had the under-the-table support of the GSA and FPS supervisors?

By 12:09 PM, there were about 60 people in attendance. Some of those driving through honked their horns. Around this time, the guy with the camcorder went over to them, chatted a bit, got some close-up shots, that sort of thing. My first guess is that he was from one of the local TV stations, but don’t they usually show up with a vehicle painted with the station’s name and logo on the side? Yet nothing has shown up on the web about this event, aside from this short PR piece from the AFGE.


Click the picture to enlarge

At 12:11 PM, some of the gathered started singing “Solidarity Forever.” [YAWN] Again, no visible counter-protest was evident – I was it where those supporting limited government and fiscal responsibility were concerned.

Some of the signs held up by the protestors included:

  • R U 1 OF THE 80 MILLION WE SERVE

    No, I’m one of the 230 million who get ripped off to pay for this racket.

  • Hands OFF My Check!!

    Hey, toots, how about YOU get your hands off MY check for a change?

  • Keep us working!

    What were these people supposed to be doing besides standing outside this building holding signs? Did this have the support, overt or under-the-table, of their supervisors? If they did, does this constitute tax-supported activity?


Click the picture to enlarge

At 12:20 PM, two teen-aged skateboarders were passing through the Cafe Green’s parking lot and were accosted by the Mad Dog Partiers. The kids responded with “Get the fuck outta the way.” So there IS hope for the up-and-coming generation, after all.

At this time, they started chanting, “Workers – united – will never be divided,” a few times, before splitting up into groups and going around the SSA building. [YAWN]. Was lunch time over? I left at 12:23 PM, as another round of chanting was dying out.

QUESTIONS

  • Were these people off or on the clock while conducting this picket?
  • Why weren’t the roving FPS patrols harassing and arresting myself and the guy with the camcorder? After all, the event was in front of a federal building.
  • Did this event have any kind of official support? Did they use premises of the SSA building to organize it?
  • Did they have the proper permit from the City of Albuquerque? Back on 17 July 2009, Albuquerque Police Department chased the Tea Party away from the curb outside Tom Udall’s office on 3rd and Central for “not having the proper permit.”
  • Since it seems that this event didn’t merit any media coverage, nor any coverage amongst the local unions on their sites[3], what was the point of it all?


NOTES


  1. Union thug at Atlanta moveon rally 2-26-2011
    MoveOn.org Protester Teamster attacks Tea Party member 2-26-2011 at Sacramento Capitol
    Madison police detain union operative who tried to destroy Tea Party sound system


  2. Upholding the Law: Photography Rights are Routinely Ignored
    Photographer and Civil Liberties Group Sue Department of Homeland Security


  3. Google search: SSA protest Albuquerque
    Google search: “SSA protest Albuquerque”
    Google search: “SSA protest”

  4. Reposted –
    1. Personal blog
    2. KCUF Media
    3. Tyranny Response Team of New Mexico
    4. Darth Mike
    5. New Mexico Liberty
    6. Patriotic Resistance


Copyright © 2011 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++

Coffee, Tea, or Mad Dog 20/20?

Filed under: Comedy, Economics, Entertainment, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 3:39 PM

Current mood: amused, cynical

First came the Tea Party movement[1], sparked by massive, peaceful protests in American cities. (2009 / 2010) The name comes from the Boston Tea Party of 16 December 1773, where the Sons of Liberty “disguised” themselves as Indians, boarded British cargo vessels docked in Boston Harbor, and threw the tea in those ships’ holds into the harbor.

What are the Tea Party principles? Here they are, as best I can determine:

  • Individual rights
  • Constitutionally-limited government
  • Fiscal responsibility in government
  • Free market economics

That sounds familiar! Wait a second here – Bill Koehler and I have been pushing the very same ideas on The Weekly Sedition since 1998. That’s thirteen years, off and on.

In response to the “unseemly” and “disrespectful” tone that many Tea Party protestors showed towards Congresscritters who supported ObamaCare, the “Coffee Party USA” was started. Its stated premise was (still is?) that “government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

If there’s any doubt that “Coffee Party USA” is the Obamaton answer to the Tea Party groups, feel free to check out their mission statement or their “about us” page.

I don’t know about you, dear readers, but that sounds like Borg-speak to me – “Resistance is futile” and “Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant.”

Anyway, see just how the “Coffee Party” takes America by storm!

In a civil, non-confrontational manner, of course.

And then there’s the last protest movement to arrive on the American political scene. This one hit just recently, as public employee unions get all worked up over possible pay cuts, layoffs and furloughs due to budget shortfalls. Let’s call this one, for lack of a better name, the “Mad Dog 20/20 Party.” It’s named after the infamous low-end fortified wine named, of course, “‘Mad Dog’ 20/20.”

After all, they’re getting upset because the never-ending gravy train that they were promised seems to be running out of steam. More precisely, it’s running out of piles of FRNs, taxed away from Productive Class private citizens, that can be thrown willy-nilly into the “boilers.”

The difference here is that when some private citizen chugs a bottle of good ol’ Mad Dog, only one person gets drunk. But in the current situation with the public employees, while they get to run amok like drunken sailors (I know – I’m defaming drunken sailors, who only blow their own cash), it’s the rest of us that get that reeling, room-is-spinning feeling as we see the public debt (that somehow we are expected to repay?!) explode to new heights, and the value of each FRN these clowns leave us with drops correspondingly.

The most disgusting thing about the Mad Dog 20/20 Party is that some of its crowd have had the nerve to refer to themselves as being akin to the protestors in Egypt, who recently caused the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. Let’s see – the Egyptians were protesting about police brutality, corruption in government circles, election issues, and the economic malaise caused by the Mubarak regime.

In contrast, the Mad Dog 20/20 Party complains that they might be out of work, and after all, who will process the welfare handouts while they’re off the job? That’s when they’re not protesting possible cuts in pay.

I think that We the Taxpayers would make out much, much better if these people were actually drinking massive amounts of cheap alcohol on the job, as in they wouldn’t be as able to intervene in the economy as much, and there might be some “leftover” FRNs at the end of the year.


NOTES

  1. Often confused with the Boston Tea Party, established in 2006, re-established in 2008.
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blog
    2. KCUF Media
    3. Tyranny Response Team of New Mexico
    4. Darth Mike
    5. New Mexico Liberty / Patriotic Resistance


Copyright © 2011 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Thanks, APS, For These Results

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — weeklysedition @ 1:05 AM

Today as I was driving home from work, I was switching through the radio dial — 94 Rock was doing their daily Five O’Clock Fourplay with Nirvana songs in honor of Kurt Cobain’s birthday today. I decided to engage in a bit of masochism and tuned into the Jim Villanucci show on 770 KKOB-AM. One of the topics that Jim was covering was the response by Albuquerque Public Schools “students” to the decision by APS administrators to take options for elective classes from students who score poorly on state-mandated standardized tests. I thought it was a bit of a joke, considering the content of the letter that Villanucci was reading on the air.

When I got home, I read the editorial page of today’s Albuquerque Journal. To say that I blew up over this is an understatement — at one point, I advocated placing loops of det-cord around the necks of every APS English teacher and administrator, as these kids apparently met the system’s standards concerning language performance. But after a while, I calmed down a bit. Still . . .

What follows are the “letters” that these kids wrote to the Journal, unedited by either the Journal staff or myself —

First Letter — THE ARTICLE was called “All work, no play.” Are teacher read this article on Monday and I and other kids in are class wasn’t very happy about it. We heard that we had to pass the ABS in eEighth grade or that we had to get a extra class and they toke out are elective. I didn’t like that they toke out are elective because I heard that there was really good electives in High School. It would be different with out electives because some people go to school just for their electives and if they take that out there will be more drop outs then before. I think that you Shouldn’t take out are electives.

Second Letter —

I AM WRITING about
your artical on “All Work, No Play” and i think that this is a good
thing too do for these children because if the children fail the S.B.A
test why would they get a elective when they dont deserve one! Getting
an edication is far more importent then playigng sports or cooking!

I also think it is a good idea that if the children fail they have to
take two corces of that class again so that they can learn it all over
again so when the next S.B.A test is taken they will be able to pass!

So yes i thingk this is a good idea for the school and the children!

Third Letter —

I DONT think you
should take our electives away because we should have fun during school
and having a elective is doing what the kid wants to do. You should
take the electives away from bad kids that just go to school to get in
trouble and dont care what they do.then you would take all of there fun
activitys away and flush them down the toulet. What if you were a
chalenged student and you got a 45 percent out of 100 percent on your
s.b.a. test.

Fourth Letter —
I THINK thats not
fair to the kids that are chalened in those euents because what if they
dont get a good score? What if you were that kid would you wont to have
your eletive tooken away. I know I wont wont my eletive tooken away.
wht about the sped kibs? Hae you thought about that!

Fifth Letter —

THE “ALL WORK, NO
PLAY” artical was a pice of crap. What is your problem? As a high
school students we deserve to have your elictives we do not deserve to
have them taken away from us. I dissagree with your oppion. If students
dont have there electives we will have no reason to come to school. And
if kids start not coming to school it will be your fault.

Sixth Letter —

ABOUT THE “All
Work, No Play” article, I disagree with the run artical on how if the
students do poorly on the standard based test then they cant have an
elective. I feel bad that you feeled on the test.

Seventh Letter —

YOUR STORY on “All
work, No play.” This idea of yours is not such a good plan. Its unfair
because schools can be very hard on us kids we need a class to be not
so hard on us. Classes are already hard enough as it is already I mean
espesialy the homework.

If we have to do even more we are in trouble and so will our grades.
Electives are a needed class in my opinion. Just imagin schools with no
electives kids will just go crazy. All of this will effect so much like
our families, grades, and well our lives. So im asking you please
please dont go with that plan it just isn’t a very good idea.

Just think if you were a kid again what would you want? Comeing from a
kid myself belive me this wont help us, if anything it will get us more
confused haveing to do like two math clases if we dont get such a good
grade on that part of the test.

So once again please consider not doing this because it is so not fair.

Eighth Letter —

I AM WRITING to
you on behalf of the whole student body. We are appalled by the words
that were written in the article, “All Work, No Play” stating an act to
give us no hope or opportunity to look forward with school and make us
drop our electives.

I personally believe that those words were not only going to influence
our students to practically care less and might lead to more high
school drop outs.

Having this effect me in the up coming years will be awful. It not only
is going to be a bad use of money, but is not awarding the students who
performed at certain levels or above. See our electives depend on
filling up open positions. Without the students being placed in these
classes and only around 40 percent being allowed to have an elective
most electives will be dropped. This will lead to less electives and
truly be belittling the students who are at the appropriate levels.

I am not stating that something shouldn’t be done about the young
adults that are not at the required standard, but how can you and
anyone else think this will help the student body as a whole? I
disagree with what was written and I hope this is noted and respected.

Anyway, I’m still laughing at those attempts at writing by those students. I’m betting that each of them is rather proud of getting a letter printed in the paper — “Look, dey put mine in!” Anyone who’s the slightest bit literate would be ashamed of writing this sort of drivel.

Here’s a line from Ellen Bernstein, the head of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation —

“Education should
be about acquiring life skills that include problem-solving, teamwork,
creative thinking and developing an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Look at what a wonderful job that Albuquerque Public Schools have done in teaching kids these life skills. Every so often, APS gets audited by the state or federal agencies that provide piles and piles — dumptrucks full — of Federal Reserve Notes. And every time, APS comes up short where performance is concerned. Somehow, that doesn’t stop the state and federal agencies from sending those dumptrucks of FRNs, as APS receiving those piles of cash is supposed to be dependent on APS performing up to standards.

Remember that every time an APS bond issue comes to the ballot, APS asks for millions to construct new facilities, higher salaries for teachers, a huge increase for the Superintendent’s salary, more computers, and the list goes on, ad nauseum. Remember what kind of funding APS asks for when a candidate for the Legislature or Governor’s Mansion tells you that electing that particular critter to office will provide “more money for education.” What has the cash that you’ve already sent in via the PIT-1, 1040 and your property taxes gotten you?

MEANWHILE, the kids being homeschooled and going to private schools are far outstripping the kids in the public schools. The only chances in Hell for the disaster zone otherwise called APS to improve is if the school board sends the parents of kids in the system a bill for the FULL cost of that kid’s educational expenses for the year (an itemized bill would be nice) AND if APS ceases to tax people who don’t have any kids in their clutches. BUT that’s not likely to happen. Still, each and every one of the English teachers on the APS payroll needs to be given an immediate pink slip, as the kids who wrote those atrocious letters above were passed through the system uncorrected.

And WHY IN HELL should the APS Superintendent get the piles and piles of cash that they’ve been getting every year? When Peter Horoschak was the honcho, he got 90,000 FRN a year. Then the drunken and drug-addled Brad Allison took over, getting 130,000 FRN a year. When his contract was up, he demanded 150,000 FRN per year, when the School Board was only willing to part with 140K. Then Elizabeth Everitt took over, getting that 150K, and they’re talking about jacking up the Superintendent’s salary even more, so that APS can be “competitive” with other districts.

If you have your kids in the public schools, then you need to face the fact that you’ve been “tooken” for a ride.