Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sacrifice is the currency of commitment

There is a rather direct correlation between one's commitment
to a principle and the sacrifices they are willing to make
to defend it.

In-actions speak louder than words.

One can say they are committed to an issue, but
an attendant unwillingness to make meaningful sacrifice
to back up what they say,
speaks louder than their words. 

There are nearly always opportunities in life to make a personal sacrifice in defense of a principle.

There are fewer opportunities to stand together with others of a similar belief acting as one; exercising the Constitutionally protected human rights to assemble, and speak freely and petition their government.

One such, occurs next Wednesday evening at the APS School Board Meeting.  There will be a public forum.  There is an opportunity for those of a mind, to stand together.

But on what principle would people be willing to stand together?

How do you feel about character education in public schools?

Do you feel strongly enough for or against it that you would
be willing to make a sacrifice in support of your belief?

It's not much of a sacrifice

All you have to do is
go to the school board
meeting, sign up for the
public forum, stand up
when your name is called,
and then tell them that
you are standing in support of;

a public meeting wherein 
character education in the APS will be discussed;
past and present efforts and, their future plans 
to effect positive character development in students
APS' impact on character growth in children is an important issue.

Whether your position is that character education could be
salvation or anathema, character education is worthy of
open and honest two-way communication between the
leadership of the APS and the community members they serve.

Is it not?

Does it really make no difference whether the leadership of
the APS is willing to show students what it looks like to embrace
honest accountability to higher standards of conduct than the law*?
*The law being the lowest standards of conduct acceptable to civilized human beings.  They are the standards that all higher standards are higher than.
Will you stand up for what you believe in for two minutes?
Or does it really not make that much difference whether
we teach children about character and courage and honor?

photo Mark Bralley

Friday, May 30, 2014

BCSO Tellez investigation creeps into fourth month

Three months ago, the buck stopped on the desk of Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston.  His commitment (implied) to the people was that he would get to the bottom of allegations that one of APS inner circle of leadership had committed a felony betrayal of the public trust.

The Sheriff, by and through his image maker, says they're waiting on a third party that they won't identify to produce information that they won't describe with any specificity.

This all makes more of a difference if the "third party" is also working on the taxpayer dime and more so still, if the third party happens to be working for the leadership of the APS and therefore an interest in delaying the production of what ever it is they won't produce.  What could they be waiting on at this point, that is of so great a consequence and can't be proved in any other way, that they can just get on with it?

The people have a right to know how their trust and treasure are being spent.

Perhaps the delay can be justified ethically.  The truth I suspect, is that if it is legitimate by any standard, it is legitimate only under the law; the standards of conduct that all higher standards are higher than. If it's "legal" it's alright.

Whether the people are getting jerked around by the Sheriff or by the third party is important information in election season.

I'm little surprise that nobody else seems to care that we can't seem to get the truth out of anybody about felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

There is really only one really to hide the truth unethically
and that is to escape the consequences of the truth becoming known.

While it may be human nature to try to escape consequences;
it is not acceptable conduct in politics and public service.

The root cause of incompetence and corruption in politics and public service is our abject inability to attach swift and certain unacceptable consequences to every instance of public incompetence and corruption.

If there was no chance of them getting away with it,
if they were punished for engaging in it, politicians and
public servants would stop behaving corruptly.

How much simpler can it get?

photo Mark Bralley

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Staring corruption in the eye

If we limit ourselves to times relevant; there has been corruption in the leadership of the APS since 2006.  That's when APS Police Chief Gil Lovato got caught, link.  The corruption just took down the last Chief, and maybe the one in the middle.

The constant in all of the corruption
is Steve Gallegos.  As a member of
the leadership of the APS Police force,
he knew, or should have known, about
the corruption and incompetence in the
leadership of the APS Police Force.

He knew or should have known about
the ongoing incompetence and corruption in the leadership of APS' publicly funded private police force, that has now taken down three, maybe four, link, of the last four Chiefs of APS Police.

Gallegos was personally responsible for investigating the corruption of his boss Gil Lovato.  It is utterly inconceivable that his investigation of the Chief was not at the same time, an investigation of the Deputy Chief Steve Tellez.  His findings could not be other that that Steve Tellez was complicit, complacent, willfully ignorant or abysmally incompetent.

The public records of his investigation, and the truth; the whole truth and nothing but the ethically redacted truth are still being hidden by Winston Brooks, the school board, and by their new Chief Steve Gallegos.

Deliberately not knowing about the standards and accountability crisis in the leadership of the APS Police is called willful ignorance.  Knowing and not reporting is called guilty knowledge.  A criminal prosecutor might call it aid and abet.

APS Supt Winston Brooks and the
gang have promoted Gallegos to
Chief where he can continue to help
cover up the cover up of felony
criminal misconduct involving senior
APS administrators.

Gallegos has been made Chief in
relative secret; the Journal gave it a
well buried few inches, KRQE has
as little coverage as can be
imagined, link, and I am sure I saw
something short on KOB, but there's no link.

The press of the powerful, the monied, and the influential know among other things, that;

  • Steve Gallegos cannot produce any record that he can "qualify" consistently with the pistol he carries into schools and classrooms.  
  • They know that he and Tellez were both given votes of no confidence by the rank and file.
  • They know that statutes of limitation have expired while the evidence and testimony from 2006-7 APS Police scandal, evidence that would have indicted and likely would have convicted senior APS administrators, was never turned over to the DA for criminal prosecution.
  • They know that every single word of every single public record of every single investigation of corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS is being hidden from public knowledge in violation of their own code of ethics and often in violation of the law.

And still, the establishment's press relentlessly refuse to investigate and report upon corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS and their publicly funded private police force.

It cannot be explained except by their complicity in the cover up.

Brooks photo Mark Bralley
Gallegos photo ched macquigg 

Monday, May 26, 2014

The highest honor that can be paid for service and sacrifice is not a salute

It is I think, to actually exercise the rights that
that service and those sacrifices have protected for your use.

Imagine coming home from a tour of duty anywhere,
there defending the rights of human beings to speak freely,
assemble freely and petition their government freely,
and then going to a public forum and finding it unused.

Someone else first concluded;

Just because you cannot do every thing at once,
does not mean you cannot do some thing at once.
Honor service and sacrifice by doing something at once.

Make use of the rights you have.   Enjoy the free exercise of
your Constitutionally protected human rights to assemble,
speak and petition your government, in honor of those
whose service and sacrifice made it possible.

Honor service and sacrifice by standing up and speaking up
every chance you get.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

"nee nee nee nee nee nee nee nee"

If you do a Google search for the spelling of the theme music from the Twilight Zone, wikilink, that's what you get.

Imagine walking up to a group of people and trying to inform them about some approaching calamity and they apparently can't hear you.  You stand right in front of them and point to the problem and they ignore you, like not only can they not hear you, they can't see you either.  Even if you wear an elephant mask.

You dare not reach out and touch one of them lest  they
make a complaint that you have invaded their personal space.

Look! a cover up of corruption in the leadership of the APS and their publicly funded Police force.

(no response)

"nee nee nee nee nee nee nee nee"

Once upon a time, there was a corrupt and incompetent Chief of APS Police

The time was up to and including 2006.

The incompetent and or
corrupt  Chief of APS
Police was Gil Lovato.

His Deputy Chief was Steve Tellez.

When Lovato was sent packing,
Tellez stepped up as interim chief
and was in charge when the APS
leadership self-investigated their
corruption and incompetence.

The person who actually conducted
the criminal investigation was
Steve Gallegos.

Steve Gallegos watches as Monica Armenta orders officers under
his command to eject me from a school board meeting;
something she had absolutely no authority to do.  Ironically,
Gallegos eyes were closed as I snapped the photograph.
Gallegos findings were never turned over to the DA for criminal prosecution of senior APS administrators who had committed felonies; making him golden.

The investigation of the corruption and incompetence of a Chief of Police cannot help but be a coincidental investigation of the corruption and or incompetence of the Deputy Chief.

Steve Gallegos investigated the character and competence of his boss Steve Tellez.  He could have found only two things;
  1. Tellez had guilty knowledge or willful ignorance of the corruption surrounding him, and was therefore corrupt himself, or
  2. Tellez genuinely had no knowledge of the corruption swirling around him and was therefore manifestly incompetent.
Nevertheless Tellez was promoted to Chief in secret, link,
and Gallegos and his body map were promoted to Deputy Chief.

Now Tellez has been fired and guess who gets to be Chief.
If you guessed; the guy with the body map, you have guessed correctly.

There were any number of more qualified candidates for the job.
Gallegos got the job for a reason. 
The search for and, the selection of a  new chief were kept secret for a reason.

Tellez leaves.  Gallegos becomes Chief.

And a candid, forthright and honest accounting still has not been given for the incompetence and corruption in the leadership of their publicly funded private police force. 

Public records are still being hidden from public knowledge.

APS police officers standing between me and the public forum;
"just following orders"; Esquivel and Tellez' Banning Letter

If this is not the appearance of impropriety what is?

If the credentialed press' coverage of the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS is not Journalistic malpractice, what is?

photos Mark Bralley except as noted.

New APS Chief of Police promises honesty. And unicorns. And faeries ...

Under normal circumstances the newly minted Chief of APS' Praetorian Guard, Steve Gallegos would not make so bold a promise as to be(come) an honest APS Chief of Police.

It's rather like standing in front of burning building promising you'll never light another one on fire.

The leadership of the APS; school board members, the superintendent and senior administrators, have been nothing but dishonest about the corruption and incompetence in the leadership of their publicly funded private police force.

According APS' award winning website, link; Gallegos says;

I plan to create a culture of honesty ...
If ever there were anyone singularly incapable of creating a culture of honesty it is someone who is manifestly dishonest.

If there ever were a person incapable of telling the truth in the future, it is someone who is unwilling to tell the truth about the past.

The board and superintendent have yet to be honest about even one of the many investigations into felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of their police force.  Not one word.  Even in the most blatant and egregious defiance of the spirit of public records law.

APS friend KOB TV ran the story about Gallegos late on a Friday and as far as I can tell, is providing no link to their report. The Journal ran it this morning, deeply buried.

The credentialed media and those who credential them
are part and parcel in the cover up of a cover up of felony
criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.

If there is another explanation, I cannot imagine it.
And so far, no one of them has articulated any other
explanation at all for their relentless refusal to investigate
and report upon credible evidence of public corruption
and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.

Journal Editor Kent Walz and his counterparts in the broadcast media suffer the same problem as Gallegos when it comes to any credibility in the future.
How can you promise to be honest in the future without first being honest in the present about the past?
How can any of them report credibly on the corruption in the leadership of the APS, without first reporting credibly on their failure to report credibly heretofore?

photo ched macquigg

Saturday, May 24, 2014

APS doubles down on coverup - promotes insider

The Albuquerque Public Schools has a police force;
not a police department, a police force.

It is a publicly funded, private police force.

Whatever other good they do, the force is also employed by the leadership of the APS in the capacity of a Praetorian Guard, wikilink

APS' police force has been rocked over the years by an unending series of scandals in its leadership, link.

It is important to draw a distinction between the leadership and the rank and file in APS' police force in terms of the manner in which the police force is being used to serve administrators and school board members by ordering individual officers to do things they wouldn't do, except that they are "just following orders", link.

When former APS Police Chief Steve Tellez was sent packing for allegedly helping himself to a felony amount public property, APS Deputy Chief Steve Gallegos stepped into the breach as Interim Chief.  He has now been made Chief.

Thus goes the "life cycle" in the leadership of APS' Police force.
  1. the Chief is caught criminally abusing the public trust and
  2. is sent away to a quiet place with a lot of money he doesn't deserve while
  3. the then Deputy Chief, soon to be Interim Chief, soon to be Chief, completes an "internal investigation" 
  4. whose results are made known to a handful of people in the leadership of the APS and then
  5. are hidden from public knowledge and anyone else.  In recognition for his help
  6. he is appointed Chief
  7. in a hurried process that
  8. completely overlooks any number of better qualified candidates.
Steve Gallegos investigated the criminal misconduct of his Chief Gil Lovato.  It was supposedly a criminal investigation.  Gallegos should have written a report.  Where is Gallegos' written report on the findings of the investigation he conducted personally into Gil Lovato's public corruption?

Is there a person on the planet with more guilty knowledge of the corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS than Steve Gallegos?

Another name for guilty knowledge is body map
As a member of the leadership of APS' Police force, one becomes privy to information that if it became public, would adversely impact power people.  The more buried bodies one knows about, the more powerful they become.

When Gil Lovato was trying to extricate himself from the trouble he was in, he got himself off the hook with APS  by suggesting that when he got to court, he would lay his body map out for the world to see.

APS lawyer Art Melendres told the Journal that Lovato's lawyer
Sam Bregman had told him, Melendres, that after Lovato testified,
there wouldn't be a single senior APS administrator left standing.

Gallegos has other contra-indicators, among them;

  • Gallegos doesn't have the support of the rank and file.  He has already failed in a vote of no confidence, link.
  • Gallegos cannot produce a record of regularly qualifying with the pistol he carries, link.

Gallegos is good for one thing.  He will do what ever he can do,
to make sure that the truth about the felony public corruption and
incompetence in the leadership of the APS is never produced to public knowledge.

Oddly, unfortunately, he will be helped
in that endeavor by the editorial staff of
the local newspaper of record.

Kent Walz and the Journal relentlessly
refuse to investigate and report upon
the ethics and accountability scandal
in the leadership of the APS.

They refuse relentlessly, to expose corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS.

They are helped in their endeavor Walz and the Journal's counterparts in the broadcast media. Walz out of his personal loyalty to school board members and superintendents; they out of the influence of former school board heavy hitter and President and CEO of the NM Broadcasters Association Paula Maes.

Maes actually announced during a meeting, that she; would never agree to any audit that individually identifies corrupt or incompetent administrators.

There is only one reason to hide the findings of investigations into allegations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.  It is to escape the consequences of those findings becoming known.

The leadership of the APS are getting away with it because the "credentialed" press and those who "credential" them, are in cahoots in an effort cover up the cover up of felony criminal abuse of the public trust by senior APS administrator and school board members.

Either that or what, exactly?

Seriously, how else do you explain what they are doing
right in front of your eyes?

The photo of Gallegos was take by me a few tens of minutes before I was ejected from the Gubernatorial Debate at El Dorado High School by Gallegos and a handful of their Praetorian Guard.

else, photos Mark Bralley

Friday, May 23, 2014

Actor Steven Michael Quezada plays "chairman" role; bombs miserably

When it came time for the public forum at APS regular school board meeting Wednesday last, it was School Board Member Steven Michael Quezada who was in charge.

One of the most important responsibilities owned by those who preside over public fora is, to get people to stop talking when their time is up.

One cannot very well stop speakers at exactly zero, for the same reasons one can't cite drivers for going a half a mile an hour above the speed limit.

As matter of common courtesy, speakers can be allowed to complete their thought; get to the end of the paragraph.

At the very least, a speaker should expect to be able to finish their sentence.

Last Wednesday, despite the fact that speakers had already been robbed of half their time in order that the leadership of the APS could get out of the meeting early, Quezada was cutting people off in mid-sentence.  He cut me off in mid-sentence.

Had I completed my sentence;
In words that any student can understand,
why are students expected to model honest accountability to
the Pillars of Character Counts! and school board members are not?
I suggest that Quezada cut me off because he didn't want to hear the end of my sentence, because he doesn't want to answer the question.

It's OK, there will be other school board meetings and
there will be other public fora; and there will be other
opportunities to ask legitimate questions about the public
interests and about their public service.

photo APS' award winning website

My voiced cracked a little; ergo I'm dangerous.

Defendants Marty Esquivel and Winston Brooks need to convince a federal court judge that I am so mentally unstable that I am dangerous to board members and senior administrators.  They are justified therefore, in banning me for life from school board meetings that have a public forum.

A federal court judge has already ruled against them, but they have nothing but time and an unlimited budget to fund their cost is no object legal defense.

One of the things Esquivel and Brooks like to point to, is that sometimes when I am speaking at a public forum, emotion creeps into my voice.

This was the forum where the APS board decided that they would rather cut into speakers allotted time than into their own free time.

They do everything they can possibly do, to make people feel uncomfortable speaking up at a board meeting, and then they hold it against you if it works.

If you've an interest, click on link
find the May 21 2014, Meeting
click on Video
fast forward to 1:28:50

photo Mark Bralley

Thursday, May 22, 2014

APS Board gives petitioners the shaft

A lot of people showed up to speak at the public forum at APS' school board meeting last night.

So many in fact, that they each forfeited half of their Constitutionally protected human right to petition their government; face to face at a public forum.

APS School Board enforcer, KRQE lawyer,
(Journal lawyer?) Defendant Marty Esquivel,
who did not attend the public forum last night nor the one before it, will point out that according to the law, in which he is expert, the people are lucky to get a public forum at all.

The law; the lowest standards of conduct,
the standards that all higher standards are higher than, does not obligate the school board to offer the people any forum at all.

We should be grateful for our minute and quit our bitching.

I worked two hours at least, trying to pare down to two minutes; a philosophical argument surrounding their abdication from role models of student standards of conduct; a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethics; higher standards of conduct than the law.  That isn't easy to do.   I know others worked just as hard trying to fit their petition into two minutes.

School board candidates make a solemn promise before they run;
they have the time to do the job.
School board members last night, did not make time for the people.

The people made time for school board members to get on with whatever else they would be doing if they weren't sitting behind a bullet proof dais (how much did the people pay for that?) listening to the people
  • and working on their laptops, and 
  • carrying on side conversations, and
  • playing with their smart phones, and 
  • who knows what else.

photo Mark Bralley

No "photos Mark Bralley" inside APS School Board Meeting last night

Mark Bralley didn't take any photographs last night.  Not from inside anyway.  Bralley is still victim of another "banning letter" from Marty Esquivel and the rest of the leadership of the APS.

APS (lawyers) have managed to delay justice in Bralley's complaint by refusing service for a couple of months.  They are now in receipt of an order from a federal judge, requiring them to accept service.

Taxpayers and students are out many thousands of dollars in legal fees.  And all they got for it was two months of unearned grace for Marty Esquivel et al.  Esquivel would like to be off the board when the hammer falls on his several civil rights violations.

photo Mary Ellen Broderick
Bralley makes his living in part, off his growing collection of photographs and videotape of people and things, that people want photos and video of, and are willing to buy.  He is a professional photo journalist.

He was deprived of a target rich environment last night; the mayor was there, a city councilor or two, Rob Perry and, who know who else.  They were celebrating Brad Winter's retirement.

And the fact that Winter was able to retire from APS before the truth comes out about their spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd, or about the felony public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS' publicly funded private police force, right under Winter's nose.

like I said, no photos Mark Bralley

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nothing changes; APD will continue to hide the truth

In the Journal this morning, link.  My goad was got when I read;

Police declined to comment on the arrest, saying that it was a “personnel matter.” 
They also would not comment generally on police training relating to seizing cellphones or striking suspects in the groin.
On the first; the phrase "personnel matter" is a term used by politicians and public servants who have a truth to tell and don't want to.  They can't just say; I don't want to tell you the truth, so they say, I "can't" tell you the truth and thereby deflect the blame.  It's not something they want to do, it's something they have to do.

There are some truths about the public interests and politicians and public servants public service that should remain secret from public knowledge.  There are good and ethical reasons to secret some of the truth from public knowledge.

Never mind those truths.  Never mind the "good" truths as well.  We pay public information officers tens of millions of dollars every year, to tell us the truth that makes politicians and public servants they work under, look good.

The truth in point is the truth that enjoys no real exception under open government laws, and which makes a particular politician or public servant appear to be incompetent or corrupt; the inconvenient truth.  At that point, the law allows them to self-redact the record of their own public service by claiming "personnel matter".  "It's a personnel matter" is the equivalent of calling "King's X", link, for politicians and public servants who are about to get caught hiding public records from public knowledge illegally.

The fundamental flaw in open government law is the assumption that the truth belongs to the government and the people, in order to see it, must first prove their right to see it (in court).

"Proving" that right in court is process that is tilted heavily in favor of politicians and public servants and their need to hide records and close meetings.  Not the least of their advantages is unlimited budgets for litigation in their own interests and lawyers who are bound only by the same (lack of) ethics as their clients.

Witness the money APS Supt Winston Brooks and the board are spending right now trying to hide public records of felony criminal misconduct in the leadership of their police force.  Every word of every finding of every investigation of felony public corruption and incompetence in the APS is still secret because the law allows them to claim "personnel matter", spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars in litigation, and then suffer no penalty personally when the records are finally produced.

It is time to redefine the exceptions to open records and open meetings.  That redefinition being the prerogative of the people, not of their servants.

It is time to restate the premise; the truth about the spending of the people's power and resources belongs to the people.  All of it.  It is up to the people to decide how the record is redacted and by whom; certainly not by the people whose record it is.

As to;
They also would not comment generally on police training relating to seizing cellphones or striking suspects in the groin.
"No comment" is not an acceptable answer to a legitimate question about the public interests.

There is probably an exception under the law that allows them hide public records regarding training police officers to kick people in the balls and then delete any video or photographs they might have taken of themselves being kicked in the balls.

It's a pretty important question;
why won't the leadership of the Albuquerque Police Department comment on whether they are training officers to keep their hands off people's cameras and contents?
except that they are not?

In particularly disturbing; the lack of reassurance a person can really feel, when an APD cop assures them; the encounter is being captured on the officer’s lapel camera.

No head ever rolled over the widespread administrative failure to enforce APD's own policy on lapel camera use.

If there is a singular universal aspect in culture's of incompetence and corruption, it is that heads don't roll over oversight failure.

Accountability and shit roll together and
they roll down hill.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Erasing clear lines opens a jar of Pandoras; always. Always.

Pandora's Box, should you not recollect the pertinent details, wikilink.

As much as I loathe them; an unsolicited illustrative personal anecdote in the midst of a philosophical discussion;

I was at one point in my teaching career, assigned to keep middle school students from cutting into the snack bar line by passing money through the chain link fence.  The fence had been installed recently, as the means of keeping kids from cutting the line.

I was forever telling kids to "get away from the fence" while they were forever trying to see how close they could get to the fence before I ran them off again.  There were no consequences then or now (I assume) for students who like to amuse themselves by pushing limits with no meaningful consequences.

One day, I had painted, a line on the asphalt about ten feet from the fence.  I told students to not cross the line.  Problem solved (the line was exceedingly narrow).
Discipline in schools has eroded to the point where misbehaving students, including chronically disruptive students, are holding back the education of other students.  Student discipline has eroded because adults have lost authority over students.  Students no longer do what adults tell them to do.  To the extent they do, it isn't out of any habit.

Ask any teacher; what would happen if they walked up on a fight and then told everyone else to leave? would they?

The most  honest answer is that it "depends".  It shouldn't depend.  If the answer to the question
do students respect the authority of their teachers and other adults at school, 
is anything but a resounding yes,
the answer means no.

This is no way to remove a line without inviting calamity.
If the conduct in response to removing the line
is to run out of control, where again can you dig in your heels?

The administration of the APS is all about blurring lines.

The administration owns the responsibility of enforcing discipline policies.  Whether or not they enlist or draft the assistance of teachers, the final responsibility for enforcing the rules is born by administrators.  The more powerful the administrator obviously, the more responsibility they bear.

APS Supt Winston Brooks
bears the greatest responsibility.
The ongoing failure to maintain
discipline is his failure.

He is the one hiding the data, link.

He is the person most responsible for
the fact that there is no useful data
to study, about how kids behave in
APS schools. If any was gathered,
it has been conflated with other data
to muddy the truth.

APS' data on bullying and vandalism were conflated.
For what purpose, except to blur the statistics on bullying
by mixing them with the more politically acceptable data on vandalism?

Theoretically, superintendents can be held accountable for a failure to control bullying; not so much for a failure to stop vandalism.

Administrators tend to blur clear lines because they want a wider variety of consequences from which to choose when dealing with rapscallion.  They have parents who get irked and make waves when their kid gets punished for something at school.

The lighter the consequences administrators employ, the more unlikely they are to be the subject of complaints about the consequences they employed and, and consequently, the more likely they will end their career in a comfy office suite at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

There are consequences of not employing adequate consequences while enforcing discipline problems.  Those consequences are felt by the relative handful of teachers and other staff members still trying to enforce discipline policies without adequate administrative support.

They have no voice, ergo they make no difference.

photo Mark Bralley

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Confucius averred; To see the right and not to do it is cowardice.

I have written and stated on a number of occasions, that there are only two reasons why the leadership of the APS is not accountable to the same higher standards of conduct as students; their lack of character and or, their lack of courage; individually and collectively.

The leadership of the APS hates to hear that.

In particular they hate to hear it from the podium of a public forum at a regular school board meeting.

I keep asking them for any other good and ethical justification for their refusal to restore the role modeling clause in their own standards of conduct, link.

I keep asking them to explain in words that students can understand, why students are expected to model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts! and their adult role models are not.

The leadership of the APS is yet to offer the reason they removed the role modeling clause from their own standards of conduct and will not put it back.  They steadfastly refuse to discuss openly and honestly and publicly; whether they will ever put it back.
In no case shall the standards of conduct for an adult
be lower than the standards of conduct for students.
If it is not their lack of courage and or their lack of character,
individually and collectively, what is it exactly, that prevents them from stepping up to actual honest accountability as role models?

What other reason keeps the leadership of the APS from holding themselves actually, honestly accountable to the same standards of conduct they establish and enforce on students?

Students, according to school board policy, are expected to model and promote the Pillars of Character Counts! link, a nationally recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct.

To model and promote standards of conduct means; actual, honest accountability to those standards.  Whatever the students standards are, whatever the adult standards are, the standards of conduct for the adult role models cannot be lower than the standards for students.

The board has two choices.  If they want to end the manifest hypocrisy of their expectation that students will hold themselves accountable to higher standards of conduct than they are willing to bear themselves;
1.  they can raise their own standards of conduct up to the standards they establish and enforce upon students, or

2.  they can lower the student standards until they are low enough that their adult role models can finally summon the character and the courage to hold themselves actually honestly accountable as role models of accountability to those standards.
There are two reasons why the "credentialed" press will not investigate and report upon the ethics and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS
1.  they lack the character and or

2.  they lack the courage.
If any one can think of a good and ethical justification for the abdication en masse of the entire leadership of the APS as senior most role models of student standards of conduct,

if any one can think of a good and ethical justification for Kent Walz and the Journal's abject failure to honor their obligation to investigate and report upon standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS, good or bad,

I would be more than happy to publish them.

I would be happier still, if people showed up at the next regular school board meeting, stood up at the public forum and asked for a candid, forthright and honest accounting of standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS.

Wednesday next, 5 pm.

The same request could be made of the establishment press,
the Journal, KRQE, KOAT, and KOB TV; an investigation and
then a candid, forthright and honest accounting of standards and 
accountability in the leadership of the APS.

If we really want students to grow into adults
who embrace character and courage and honor,
someone has to show them what they look like.

photo Mark Bralley

Friday, May 16, 2014

Brad Winter's Retirement with Honors Party next week

APS COO Brad Winter will be honored at APS' Regular Board meeting next Wednesday.

He will be retired with honors before Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston produces his findings in the criminal investigation of Winter's direct report; former APS Police Chief Steve Tellez.

He will be retired with honors before APS Supt Winston Brooks produces ethically redacted copies of two independent investigations of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators and the leadership of the APS.

He will be retired with honors before he produces a candid, forthright and honest accounting of the money he spent at 6400 Uptown Blvd.

He will be honored by APS and in the Journal before, and in lieu of, the Journal investigating and reporting upon any of his oversight failures.

Co-incidentally, that very same meeting will be the first time in four years that I will be allowed to return to school board meetings and to the podium and public forum from which I can freely exercise my Constitutionally protected human right to criticize APS school board members and or senior administrators and or their public service, individually and by name.

photos Mark Bralley

Divergence between KRQE and Alb Journal coverage over the same set of facts, should worry "the people"

My premises;

"The people" as in government of, by and for the people, depend upon "the press" for information about the spending of their considerable power and resources, in order that they can hold their politicians and public servants accountable for their public service.
KRQE is as legitimately the press as other broadcast media outlet, and

the Journal is as legitimately the press as other newspaper.
The facts; APS is remodeling a building, the old K-Mart at Louisiana and Lomas.

Depending on whether the people listen to Larry Barker and KRQE, link, or read Jon Swedien and Kent Walz' Journal, link, they will believe they are the victims of administrative incompetence or the beneficiary of their brilliance;
  • A $1.6M APS blunder (KRQE' headline) or a
  • New central kitchen at APS (the Journal's headline)
Journal APS reporter Jon Swedien; KRQE's Larry Barker, who got it right?

Depending on who they watch or read; the people will come away with diametrically opposite opinions of the "leadership" of the APS.

Kent Walz and the Journal of course, are into protecting the public perception of the APS and its leadership.  KRQE apparently, not so much.  The leadership of the APS was so pleased with the Journal's slant, they've posted it verbatim on the award winning APS website, link.

But let's back up a step; isn't it scary that two "trusted" sources offer such widely disparate reports on the same set of facts?

Leading to a question that we need to ask; which "press" can voters trust;
  • the "credentialed press" and the politicians and public servants who credential them, or
  • the non-credentialed press whose credibility is self evident and from whom, those same politicians and public servants flee?

photo Mark Bralley

APD lapel camera non use, whose head should roll?

Should any heads roll at all?

At least two things are readily apparent with regard to the use of lapel cameras by Albuquerque Police.

  1. Lapel camera use is clearly required, and apparently,
  2. there have been no real consequences for those who, even routinely, do not.
The consequences that befall those who break rules say something about the seriousness that the rule makers and enforcers attach to the misconduct they are prohibiting.

It stands to reason that those who commit serious misconduct should feel greater consequences than those who commit less serious misconduct.  By the same logic, the lesser the consequences, up to and including no consequences at all, the less serious must be the misconduct.

No matter how serious the policy makers (and enforcers) claim they are, about subordinates obeying a policy, the proof is in the consequences they actually provide for those who disregard their policy.

If a beat cop is told to use his or her lapel camera, and s/he sees that there are no meaningful consequences attached to ignoring the order, s/he will reasonably conclude that it really doesn't make any difference whether they employ their camera.

Someone in the leadership of the APD is personally responsible for sending a message that lapel camera use was optional despite countervailing policy.  Unless we missed it, that person's head did not roll.  Nor will it roll.  It's not the way they roll.

The same message was given to the leadership of the APD as they passed on to the rank and file; for some misconduct, there are no consequences and therefore don't take them too seriously.

Whether it is the leadership of the APD ignoring the non-use of lapel cameras or the leadership of the APS telling students they can't sag and allowing them to sag anyway, the permission of prohibited behavior teaches cops and students alike, that the behavior really isn't prohibited at all.

The most prominent characteristic of cultures of corruption and incompetence is a lack of consequences that correlates directly with power.  The more powerful one is, the less likely they will suffer consequences for their corruption and or incompetence.

For as long as powerful people are not held accountable for their failure to hold their subordinates accountable, cultures of incompetence and corruption will endure.

Hell, they will flourish.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Does being a "Career Administrator" help or hurt a candidate for governor?

Is there or is there not a such thing as; guilty knowledge?

knowledge of public corruption and or incompetence and choosing to ignore such out of personal and or political considerations. 
Doesn't there have to be guilty knowledge in career administration in government?  Aren't they synonymous in government in New Mexico.  How can one who has spent a lifetime in government not have guilty knowledge unless they remained willfully ignorant of the of manifest public corruption and incompetence around them in every level of government?

Should politicians, public servants and candidates for those positions,
  • not lie, 
  • not steal, 
  • not cheat, nor 
  • tolerate among them, anyone who does?
Can we concede at least that the candidates with the most guilty knowledge are the least desirable ones?

If the goal of public education is to create independent lifelong learners at the earliest opportunity,

why is it not the immediate objective?

If the creation of independent lifelong learners at the earliest opportunity is not the goal of public education, why is it not?

Who is still arguing that forming thought choirs;

children thinking and learning in unison for twelve years despite the fact that the choir members have nothing more in common really, than their age and a natural unwillingness to be pressed into conformity
or as teachers call it; cemetery seating, is the model for public education that will carry us into the third millennium?

Who wants to continue the relentless effort to standardize individual performance;
  • the people who will make money off the effort to standardize individual performance, and
  • the people who will get to wield all the power in the effort to so do.

Billions and billions and billions of dollars, untold numbers of school board members and superintendents wielding and spending enormous amounts of the public trust and treasure, all the while keeping a healthy chunk for use in their own interests.

The very best thing you can do for an learner of any age is to free them from unnecessary and unjustifiable restraint.  Else, it's like holding a long distance race and requiring runners to form up again every time the group crosses the start/finish line.  Even if you could do it, why would you want to?

Independent lifelong learning at the earliest opportunity, along with cumulative testing consistent with the need to demonstrate satisfactory learning and proficiency. Standards? hell yes.  Actual honest accountability? hell yes.  Diplomas and certifications that actually mean something? hell yes.

Herding kittens?  why?  even if you could do it, why would you want to?
  • unless you could make a billion or two off it, or 
  • unless you could get to spend the enormous power that the people entrust to an executive and administrative governmental oligarchy, or
  • both?
Think of the money and the children who will be saved.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BCSO says delay in Tellez investigation; not their fault

Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston, by and through his PIO, have indicated that the two month long investigation of allegations against former APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez is not taking such a long time because it works to the advantage of Houston in his upcoming election, but because;

As I (PIO Sgt Aaron Williamson) have previously stated, we are waiting for information from a third party before we can complete our investigation. Once we receive that information we will release our findings to the public.
That in response to my inquiries;
Sgt Williamson,
Is there progress to report on the Tellez investigation, or an estimated date of completion?
Will it be completed before the election?
In truth, Williamson had made no such statement to me.

Our previous exchange;
Sgt Williamson,
1. A simple yes or no, can you estimate a day for the conclusion of the investigation into the allegations against Steve Tellez?
2. You still have not answered my question; will you produce the findings of that investigation (pursuant to my previous and ongoing public records request) to me at the same time you produce them for the "media"?
 His responses made no mention of third party information;
1. No
2. Yes
Perhaps he has confused me with the credentialed press whose questions his addresses more completely. Williamson has not responded to my request for the reasoning that prevents him from being any more specific.

In the absence of information, speculation is about as good as it gets.

My speculation is that for some reason they are waiting for a copy of Caswell II; an investigation completed by APS in house private detectives, Robert Caswell Investigations, more than two months ago.  If so, then it would appear that Caswell is dragging his feet in producing information, out of respect for his cash cow, the leadership of the APS.

All of the confusion could be eliminated by a public information officer who was interested in sharing as much information as the law will allow, as opposed to as little information as the law absolutely, unequivocally requires.

Unfortunately of course, PIOs like that are about as abundant as unicorns.

photo Mark Bralley

"Certain APS Defendants"' lawyer bows out

In my complaints against Marty Esquivel and APS, two law firm have been employed to represent the defendants; one for Mary Esquivel personally, and one for the rest of the defendants.  Their lawyer, link, is moving on.

Because all of their deliberations take place in secret, we will never know why.

I would like to believe we might have stumbled upon another lawyer with a public conscience.  Not all lawyers care where the money comes from as long as it comes; the more, the faster, the better.

Esquivel and the rest of the defendants will (continue to) be represented by Luis Robles, link.

When presented with photojournalist Mark Bralley's formidable 98 page complaint, I witnessed Robles' open delight at the thought of the number of billable hours it represented.

Although APS made an effort to mislead taxpayers into believing that they have spent only $250K on their legal expenses, the truth is they have spend far more; 3 times more at the least.

Taxpayers may save some money now that they're down to one law firm, but there are no guarantees.  What comes next is going to be very, very expensive for taxpayers.

photo Mark Bralley

KRQE shines penlight on APS waste; Journal underdoes them

KRQE's veteran investigative reporter Larry Barker has dug into the squandering of our treasure by the leadership of the APS, link.  He managed to uncover a million and half dollars worth of waste; roughly equivalent to stumbling into a forest and finding a tree.  The Journal coverage, link, was far kinder than Barker's; headlining the new kitchen while Barker headlined the (relentless) waste of tax dollars.

APS has never had an audit of their spending of our money, that did not have "findings".  The finding of inadequate standards, inadequate accountability to such standards as their are, and poor record keeping; the trifeca of corruption and waste.

Barker's piece featured the outgoing Chief Operations Officer Brad Winter.  You will laugh as you watch him try to spin the loss of a $1.6M as an overall savings of $9M.

A few years back, APS decided to abandon their digs on University Blvd and move into the "twins".  The made a commitment to taxpayers at the time; they would occupy half the building and rent out the other half to help pay the bills.

APS' edifice of the squandering of the public trust and treasure.
Then the stampede began, link, and now the building is budging with administrators, their staffs and their publicly funded private police force to keep the people out.

They have spent a lot of money in there.  On the board room alone, in response to a public records request, Brad Winter produced records of spending on their utterly unjustifiable new board room totaling nearly $400K. In stark contradiction, the Journal was reporting at the time, link, that spending was $500K over budget.

Winter still will not produce a candid, forthright and honest accounting of spending at 6400 Uptown Blvd, link.  KRQE will still not ask him for it.

The Journal has long since abandoned it's obligations to investigate and report upon the standards and accountability scandal in the leadership of the APS.

Korte, moments after attacking a blogger
School Board Member Kathy Korte appeared in Barker's report.

She indicated that APS really doesn't have this kind of money to waste.

They don't.

Never the less, last Wednesday, Korte and the rest of the board decided apparently, to not settle the complaints I've filed against them in federal court.  Their apparent decision is going to cost taxpayers a bundle in frank waste.

APS misled Rob Nikolewski of NM Capitol Report into reporting that APS had spent only $250K in defense of Marty Esquivel's ego, link

The truth is, they've spent three times that at the very least.  If they actually take this thing to trial, taxpayers will be out six times that amount by the time the dust settles.  They and taxpayers are headed for an ass handing.

Anyone who actually looks at the evidence and understands the law, cannot help but come to that conclusion; regardless of however much manifestly conflicted testimony they are able to assemble.

The APS School Board has a Code of Ethics, albeit, by their own admission, utterly unenforceable.  Their first ethic reads clearly and unequivocally;
Make the education and well being of students
the basis for all decision making
Yet the board will continue to spend in their own interests;
on their own "legal"defenses. The spend from operational funds; money that would otherwise be spent in classrooms.

And spend, and spend and spend without any oversight at all.
Not from KRQE for whom Esquivel works.
Not from the Journal run by APS and Esquivel's good friends.

There is a manifest need for an independent standards and accountability audit of the entire leadership of the APS; school board members and senior administrators alike.

If they had adequate standards, if they had honest, actual accountability to them, they would point to them proudly, not hide from questions about them.

The "credentialed" press has a clear obligation to investigate and report upon standards and accountability in the leadership of the APS either way.  It is manifest Journalistic malpractice; another utterly unenforceable code of ethical conduct.

photos Mark Bralley

Monday, May 12, 2014

Open letter to Ass City Attorney Wheeler

As I reported, link, Ass City Attorney Greg Wheeler sent me a letter to inform me that I would neither be considered for "press credentials" nor can I expect any opportunity to participate meaningfully in a mayoral press conference, ever.

I have responded;

Mr. Wheeler,

I am of course in receipt of this letter and your attached letter.
I write in response to your insistence in that letter, that all further communications take place through you.

I have some records requests. If if was not your intention to field those as well, please forward my request to the appropriate custodian of public records as you are required by law, who can then forward them back to you.

Request for public records
Charles MacQuigg

1. This is a request for all public records related to the process for credentialing the press; determining who is and who is not invited to participate in press conferences.

I am receipt of a response from "the city" indicating that there are no such records. To that extent this request is duplicative, it is only because "no records" smells like "arbitrary". As an expert in First Amendment law, surely you recognize the implications.

2. This is a request as well, for all public records considered by the city in forming assumptions and conclusions regarding what I may or may not intend to do at press conferences.

grateful for your time and attention


photo Mark Bralley

BCSD' Tellez investigation enters 9th week

Former APS Police Chief Steve Tellez is suspected of stealing public property.  It really doesn't make any difference how much the property is worth.

What makes a difference is that the second or third highest ranking cop in the city is alleged to have betrayed the public trust.  Reason dictates that in the people's interests, the criminal investigation enjoy some priority.

The delay could be innocent; it could be delayed by factors beyond the control Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston.  But unless those factors are shaming or indicting, it is fair to wonder why he won't share them with interest holders.

There is no money to follow here, so let's follow the players.  Who benefits from an unnecessary and apparently indefensible delay? 

Steve Tellez has as much to gain as anyone trying to stave off the day.  But frankly, it's unlikely he has the juice to delay a criminal investigation.  The lone possibility is that he has some dirt on some powerful people and is threatening to make it public.

When the last APS Chief of Police left in disgrace, APS' lawyer Art Melendres repeated Sam Bregman's boast that, when the truth got out, there wouldn't be a single senior APS administrator left standing.

No reason to think Tellez doesn't have a body map every bit as damning as former APS Police Chief Gil Lovato's map. If nothing else, Tellez' body map includes the cover up of the Lovato scandal.

Dan Houston has a personal interest in prolonging the release of his fact finding.  It was his lack of oversight that led to an administrative atmosphere in the APS that into led powerful people to believe they could betray the public trust without notice or consequence.

Houston is fully aware of the APS Police force's complicity in a cover up of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators.  If it becomes public knowledge before the election, it will cost him votes.  Don't be surprised if the investigation "can't" be completed before the election.  Be disappointed, again, but don't be surprised.

Tellez reported directly to Brad Winter
APS COO and City Counselor Brad Winter benefits from the delay.

His interest is in delay is to allow all of his retirement with honors parties to take place before the shit hits the fan over his personal oversight failure.

He was Tellez' boss.  Winter knows about the cover up; he is complicit or complacent; he corrupt or incompetent.

APS Supt Winston Brooks is fully aware of the cover up and needs therefore, to prolong it for as long as he can. They are his orders that are being followed by APS' lawyers in the efforts to hide public records like Caswell I and II from public knowledge.

He has ordered his lawyers at great taxpayer expense, to hide public records from public knowledge for no better reason than to continue to enable the cover up.

The law, at best, (and it is being litigated as we speak) allows them to hide the truth in Caswell I and II from public knowledge, it does not require them to.  If there is no ethical reason to hide the truth, then the truth is being hidden unethically; however "legal".

There is in the end, only one reason to hide the truth and that is
to escape the consequences of the truth being told.

Politicians and public servants, because they enjoy the trust of the people, are not entitled to help themselves to delays is sharing the truth about the public interests and their public service.  It is a betrayal of that very trust.

As to why the leadership of the APS feels no pressure to explain why they need to hide ethical redactions of Caswell I and II; the truth about felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators, see; Kent Walz et al., below.

Former APS School Board President and enforcer, First Amendment expert and Defendant Marty Esquivel has a great deal to gain in delay and the juice to make it happen.  If nothing else, he spends from an unlimited budget of operational dollars to use in his effort to litigate an exception for himself, from accountability to the law.

Tellez was supposed to be Esquivel's star witness in his effort to defame me into the forfeiture of my First Amendment rights.  Esquivel has also been fully aware of the cover up of the corruption in the APS Police force leadership.

When the truth finally comes out, his dream of running for Attorney General is in the crapper no matter how much free exposure he gets from Kent Walz' Journal.

Esquivel has spent or caused to be spent, more than $750K in the defense of his ego.  He and the APS School Board are apparently willing to spend yet another $750K in their "legal" efforts to escape the consequences of their misconduct.

It is noteworthy; KRQE is touting an upcoming Larry Barker expose of APS' mismanagement of fewer dollars than these, but won't report on KRQE's own lawyer Marty Esquivel's squandering in his own interests, far greater sums.

Kent Walz et al; KRQE, KOAT, KOB TV, benefit from public ignorance of the scandal.  When the scandal becomes public, people are going to wonder why they never read about it in the paper or saw it on the news.  Kind of like they're wondering how all the problems in the Albuquerque Police Department are coming as such "a big surprise".

Before Walz, or any of the rest of the "credentialed" press can report credibly on the corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS, they must first report credibly on their failure to report credibly heretofore.

photos Mark Bralley

Sunday, May 11, 2014

APD carry gun; whose call is it?

APD Chief Gordon Eden clearly believes the call is his.

Journal Editors applaud his decision, link, going so far as to call it "serious reform".  Are you kidding?

Serious reform begins with respect for stakeholders.

Neither one of them cares what the people who will carry the guns think about what gun they will carry.  Eden and the Journal don't disagree with the cops, they just don't give a rat's ass about their opinion.  On an issue as important as this, they never went looking for input of the people with the most to lose or gain.  It was a politically expedient choice made in utter disregard for the people who will be affected by it.

How is that reform at all, much less "serious" reform?

Eden didn't ask them for their input.  The Journal editors didn't ask for their input.  And they both are comfortable with the decision and by logical extension, the decision making process which failed to include stakeholders.

It is similar to the situation in the APS.  APS teachers have between them, nearly a hundred thousand years of current and ongoing teaching experience.  Teachers, like beat cops, are never asked what they think is wrong or how to fix it.

A privileged class cares so little about the opinions of the great unwashed, it never even occurs to them to ask for it, even though they fully intend to ignore it.

The process failed stakeholders.  The argument will center around caliber and other issues as a smokescreen for Eden's failure to allow cops to participate meaningfully in decisions that affect their interests.

To whom will Eden answer for his disregard for the opinions of his subordinates?

He will answer to the same people to whom APS Supt Winston Brooks answers over his disregard for the input of teachers; the media.  To be more specific; the "credentialed" press.

For all the good that has done.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Trouble at LBJ Middle School

Whatever the trouble is at LBJ MS, unless you are an interest holder at LBJ, the only thing you need to know about it is that it could have just as easily happened at any other school in the APS.

The only difference is that at some schools there is a lot of trouble and at some schools there is nearly none.

If you were curious about the school in your neighborhood, if you wanted to know if there was a lot or a little trouble at that school, you would be disappointed to learn that that information is not available.  Don't believe it? Go to their award winning website and search for any data at all about student discipline and or the effects of chronically disruptive students on the education of other students.

The data is secret because it's bad.

Either that, or they're keeping it secret because they don't want to make themselves look good.

They get away with it because the press who get press passes are passing on their obligation to investigate and report upon the historical, current and future administrative plans to manage student discipline in public schools.  And because the press who don't get press passes are not allowed to ask questions or inspect documents.

The school board and their administration are hiding the data, conflating it with other data (bullying and vandalism?) or just not gathering data in the first place.

The data will show that students are more or less in charge in every school in the APS.

It isn't the person who makes the rule who is in charge,
it is the person who decides to ignore it.

In charge; the person making a the final decision to follow or ignore a rule.

The very first rule is that you have to obey all of the rest of the the rules.

Draw the clearest and most unequivocal lines that you can.
Defend them ruthlessly, cruelly, mercilessly;
or suffer the consequences; children in charge at school.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Is power corrupting the Martinez administration?

Monahan reports this morning, link, on new scandal in the administration of Governor Susana Martinez.

If there is any corruption in the Martinez administration, it wasn't caused by the power she has handed over to her subordinates and the puppet master.  Power doesn't cause corruption any more than food causes overweight.  Temptation, and the opportunity to give in to it without consequence, corrupts.

Corruption is the child of temptation.
Without temptation there is no corruption;
there would be no reason for there to be.

Consider the corruption that occurs on a casino floor or the first floor of any bank.  There is none.

There is none because there is no temptation. There is no temptation because there is no hope of getting away stealing even a single chip or bill.

The opportunity to abuse power without consequence is tempting.  Ergo, it is corrupting.

How different would the city be, if for example, APD police officers had actually obeyed the existing standard on lapel camera use?

People yield to temptation because they believe they can get away with yielding.  Former APS Chief of Police Steve Tellez yielded allegedly, to the temptation of a free case of ammo.  If there had been a camera on the case and a Chief Operations Officer who would do something about what that camera recorded, Tellez would not have considered, allegedly, waling off with hundreds of dollars worth of public property.

The money takers at the Botanical Park who were helping themselves to cash all day long, and who were finally caught when cameras were installed surreptitiously, would not have taken the money at all, if on the first day their manager had told them; your job is to handle cash.  There is a camera over your head recording your every move.  Have a nice day.

There is a reason people pray for deliverance from temptation.

There would be no public corruption in government,
if it were not so damned easy to get away with it.

That it is so easy to get away with it is the fault of governors
and mayors and school boards.

That it is so easy for politicians to get away with it,
is of course the fault of the people,
who make it so damned easy for them to get away with it.

Actual, honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within public service ends temptation and corruption in one fell swoop.

Until the day they come up with;

1.  clear and unequivocal standards of conduct and competence, and

2.  a place or process where the least powerful can file complaints against the most powerful, and where those complaints will see timely due process.
    everything else they; the Governor's Office, the Mayor's Office, the Chief's Office, and APS come up with, is bullshit.  Bullshit concocted to avoid open and honest public discussion of their standards of conduct and competence and of their honest accountability to them.

    Thursday, May 08, 2014

    APD gun policy decision process illuminates a huge problem

    APD Chief Gordon Eden has decided that all his cops will carry 9mm handguns.  It is reported that his decision was based on a need for "uniformity" although the policy includes a lack of uniformity right off the bat; cops will get to choose apparently between two different makers.

    His real interest is in having smaller guns not guns that match.  He has some "problem" cops carrying enormous pieces and it doesn't look good having cops carry whatever they can qualify with, including I suppose; "the (currently) most powerful handgun in the world"; a Smith and Wesson Model 500, wikilink.

    The Smith and Wesson Model 500 and its baby brother; a Model 629; 44 magnum; a former most powerful handgun in the world
    The Model 500 is the most powerful pistol "in production".  You can get a 600 Nitro Express Pistol, YouTube, lmao
    I digress.

    The "uniformity" issue is cover for a political decision.  The FBI, I believe, decided the 9 mil was a tad light and decided that their agents would carry a 10 mil "uniformly".  Eden wants less powerful guns but won't come right out and say it.

    I'm not here to argue 9 mm or 10.  I would argue that the decision about the caliber and power of their handguns, should reflect the input of the police officers whose lives can depend on the gun they carry.  What happens when some politically correct chief decides they would all look more "uniform" if they all carried 22s, or BB guns, or rubber band guns?

    Ask the Chief and he will tell you the decision was "his call".
    Yesterday the weapon choice was theirs, today by decree, it is his.

    If his decision making process doesn't include the meaningful participation of the rank and file, nothing has changed.

    We will still be victim of a belief based on false premise, that there really are people who know so much more than everyone else put together, that nobody else needs to participate in decision making, even decisions affecting their interests.

    Government in general falls into disrepair for the same reason; an unjustifiable belief that you can find people who know more than everybody, and therefore can make the best decisions without input from anybody.

    Nonsense on its face.

    KOB TV report would be the height of irony;

    Former Mayoral Public Information Officer turned KOB TV "investigative reporter" Chris Ramirez doing an investigation and report on how PIOs obfuscate truth telling about the public interests including the public service of their bosses.

    It is newsworthy either way; either because after a fact gathering he can report that;
    • PIOs really are on the people's side, or
    • because they really are not.
    They could bill it as their "man in the mirror" interview.

    photo Mark Bralley

    APS' new top cop; can he shoot straight?

    Steve Gallegos, at El Dorado HS link
    APS' top cop Steven Gallegos, the guy in charge of the cover up of the cover up of felony criminal misconduct involving senior APS administrators and the leadership of their publicly funded private police force, is has trouble "qualifying".

    The "traditional media" have known about the problem since the 2nd, link, and could have found the records more easily than I.  They apparently chose to not ask.

    Qualifying for this post means; able to demonstrate on a regular basis, that he can shoot the weapon he carries into schools.

    The records are sketchy. Strike that.  The available records are sketchy.  This is a volume of records but they're given out one at a time.  The one person in the Sheriff's Department who could have produced a few more records or answered a few questions about qualifications, was not available at the time of our scheduled appointment.

    An appointment is required, because an apparently otherwise highly capable administrative assistant was paid by taxpayers to watch us inspect each record.  In order to inspect and or copy public records, public records that could have and should have been emailed to me, we had to drive down town, deal with dysfunctional parking meters, surrender our ids and be personally escorted to a conference room where we all sat around the end of an aircraft carrier sized table. It took us a couple of hours.  In fairness, our scanner was painfully slow.  In fairness, the Sheriff's high(er) speed scanner was available from the get go.  Rather than use it, we all sat around and chatted for a man hour.

    Again, this all could have been done with a couple of key strokes, and probably would have if I was one of the traditional press and if I were looking for evidence of public corruption and incompetence in the leadership of the APS and in particular, the leadership of its Praetorian guard..

    The records amount to shooting scores for every member of the APS Police force.  Each is apparently required to qualify 4 times a year.  Gallegos record is incomplete.  So is former APS Chief of Police and shootist Steve Tellez'.

    What the standards are and what the penalties for failing to meet standards are; they are obviously different depending on who you know.

    It helps a lot if you know the Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston.

    Houston is sitting on a criminal investigation of Steve Tellez while Tellez' boss and fellow republican APS COO Brad Winter slips off into retirement with honors and before the shit hits the fan.  It would help Houston's own re-election aspirations intact if the findings are found after the election.

    This is why police departments fall into disrepair;
    the abject failure of their "leadership" to hold themselves accountable, actually and honestly accountable the to the standards they establish, expect and enforce on everybody but themselves.

    This isn't just true in police departments, it is true in every aspect of government.  There is no actual honest accountability to meaningful standards of conduct and competence within their public service.

    The difficulty in holding powerful politicians and public servants accountable for their conduct and competence, is personified in public information officers.  Their job is to obfuscate the production of damning evidence against their boss or any of their bosses friends.

    Their job is to obfuscate the production of damning evidence against their boss or any of their bosses friends.

    If I wrote it three times, would it help?

    Their manifest first loyalty is to the politician or public servant they work under; not to "the people" and not to their trust and their treasure.  Their real priority could not be clearer if it were tattooed on their foreheads.

    APD PIO Janet Blair
    The Albuquerque Police Department has just solved a lot of their problems by hiring someone to help solve their problems by hiding the evidence of them.

    They will pay her $95K; more than we pay cops; more than we pay teachers, more than we pay a social workers; ...

    There is no legitimate agenda that does not move forward on the day that the truth about the spending of public power and resources becomes as easily accessible as it ever will be.

    There is no accountability in the absence of access to the truth.

    All reform rests upon a first and fundamental reform; truth telling.
    The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the  
    ethically redacted truth.
    If that standard is too high, then at the very least;
    the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
    "legally" redacted truth.
    A distant second but far better than what we have now;
    the politically redacted truth.

    Blair and Houston photos Mark Bralley