BISBEE WIRE/legal cowpie/tech/money/politics /#34 December 2018

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

Hello,


The firehose of information continues to flow unabated. A few of the many worthwhile things to read, depending of course on your bent. Besides whatever weekly national debacle caused by Trumpie we got some turmoil in our city.  I went to the last council meeting and stayed for what I thought was a routine matter of approving the contract with the county attorney's office for legal services to the city for another two years. Not so routine as it turned out. In a prolonged rambling discussion some members wanted to "see what's out there." Cost was mentioned as was a concern with the legal advice on the Jacobs contract. (No other problems with legal services in the past 3 years were mentioned.)

After some back and forth with the city manager, the mayor, various council persons, the thrust of the discussion was that some council members wanted more time to explore options. However there was no motion to table the agenda item; a parliamentary blunder by two experienced council people Anna Cline and Gabe Lindstrom. (Considering this was the first full council meeting for the two new {virgin? unsullied? untainted?} members it is understandable that they did not make that motion.) That mistake by Cline and Lindstorm, has led to a very serious problem detailed below. Consequently after a couple exasperated entreaties from the Mayor about what the four objectors actually wanted to do and getting no motion in response, an irritated Bill Higgins made a motion to approve the contract. That was defeated 4 (Lindstrom, Giacomino, Johns, Cline) to 3 (Smith, Hansen, Higgins) so the new contract was not approved .

The mayor then said they would put out an RFQ which subsequently has been done. Two days later, the county attorney's office lead attorney Britt Hansen, wrote a  letter withdrawing the county's application for a new contract and requesting negotiations about terminating the current contract early. The contract expires June 2019. (Either party could do that according to the terms of the contract). There was no stated reason for doing so. The council rejection of the contract is a seriously poor decision. The county attorney's contract for $60k a year gives the City a great deal. The city basically gets a 'team' of attorney's (three lawyers and a paralegal) to consult with, full time legal aid, and people that are familiar with the City and the myriad issues that require legal assistance. Historically, the City, has either had an attorney on the city payroll or contracted with an attorney for part time legal advice. This arrangement was not satisfactory and three years ago the council voted to contract with the County Attorney's office to provide legal services. Since the county attorney's office has been contracted they have provided at least 30 hours a week and often 40 or 50 hour weeks in legal advice to the City.

The City's cost for part time legal services-generally about 20 hrs a week or lower- is outlined below for the past seven years. This does not include funds spent for outside legal help. I'm don't know where to find those figures in the budgets.

$98k FY2011

$48k FY2012

$47k FY2013

$47k FY2014 $66k FY2015  (there was a shift this year from a contracted single attorney to contracting with the county attorney.)

$60k FY2016 Even at a extremely low rate of $100 per hour for an attorney or attorney's office, and at a minimal amount of 30 hours a week, it is $3000 a week, $12,000 a month and $144,000 a year. In addition to the outlay of dough, there is the distinct possibility of ignorance of the unique problems of Bisbee (outside counsel) and of having to bring whatever legal help up to speed (outside or local). I may be wrong, but it seems the four council people have basically voted to double or triple legal fees. Additionally this decision could quite possibly threaten the cooperative relationship with the County that has been helpful to Bisbee.  I would hope that the City will go and see if the CA's office is willing to reconsider. It would be most helpful if the four councilpersons wrote a letter, did some hail Marys, beg for mercy, and ask for a do over. Well, obviously that is not going to happen. But there could be a negotiations team with one or two of the recalcitrant council people along with the mayor and city manager and the CA's office to talk about what could be done to obtain legal services from the county. It all feels so....so.....unnecessary.

I'll be putting out the monthly economic issue in a few days, am waiting to get one more report from the city. fred

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ PLEASE TAKE THIS HEALTH CARE SURVEY/COCHISE COUNTY

This is an important opportunity to give factual info about your experience with health care in Cochise County. Takes about 10 minutes to fill out. It is your chance for to get your criticisms on record, closes at the end of the year.


Our health dept. needs your help to gather information about access to healthcare in Cochise County. We are asking residents to complete a short survey, which will help to identify the gaps in and barriers to healthcare in our communities.


https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LGVPQCH

.......... TECH

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ APPLE I've long been a user of Apple products. My first bad computer experiences were with the completely counter intuitive command line interface Leading Edge and the DOS operating system in the early 80's.  In the mid 1980's was hired as a California organizer for an anti-pesticide group, introduced to the Apple IIe series and the GUI (graphic user interface). Since that time I have never looked at PCs again as a computer choice.  (you can find a chronology of computers through the decades here: https://dfarq.homeip.net/90s-computer-brands/)


Steve Jobs made an important decision that was derided at the time but now has turned to prescient; controlling not only the production of the hardware but also the software. That is the reason that Apple products generally are better made and the software has fewer bugs as well as is more difficult to hack.

Through the years they have added very good product support, more devices, introduced off device storage in the form of the 'cloud', and opened retail stores. So I have long been part of the Apple universe of products with their stated goal of seamless use flowing between all their products.

To get to that point which we all want-few people want to be a techie in order to figure how to work a device or access information-they use an increasing amount of social control. Although they collect less personal information than say, Google, and there is a modicum of more control over your personal information, there still has to be some predictability of use and that can only come from information collection about how/where their devices are used. The retail part of that universe is described in this article.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/03/claps-and-cheers-apple-stores-carefully-managed-drama?utm_term=RWRpdG9yaWFsX0d1YXJkaWFuVG9kYXlVUy0xODEyMDQ%3D&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUS&CMP=GTUS_email


................ POLITICS

PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE TRAINING Basically a boot camp for candidates seeking office. The six day course covers:

  • What It Takes To Run For Office and its impact on families and friends  

  • The Nuts & Bolts of Running For Office  

  • Framing Your Vision & Values Message Development & Delivery

  • Campaign Planning  

  • Developing YOUR Campaign Plan  

  • Campaign Financing 

  • Cultivating Donors and Raising Funds

  • Voter Targeting and Contact  

  • Marketing  “Hot” Issues  

  • Q&A with Elected Officials


Go here for info: https://ywcatucson.org/clc-early?utm_source=CCDP utm_campaign=6ed1b3aa40EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_12_15_05_16_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1f07afac19-6ed1b3aa40-8082059 @@@@@@@@@@@@@@

REPUGNICAN LEGE WITHOLDS FUNDS FROM CHARTER OVERSIGHT


One of the important tasks for public education advocates next session is to ensure that the lege fully funds oversight of the charter school/voucher program known euphemistically as Empower Scholarship Accounts. They have underfunded oversight  to the tune of millions of dollars over the past several years. Consequently some charter schools are poorly run scams and some parents getting voucher money spent it on other stuff. Fortunately with hard work by Save Our Schools, and the wisdom of the electorate the money grab on the November ballot which would have expanded the whole program was soundly defeated. This whole program of $75 million a year stiffs public schools. The wet dream of voucher advocates is to privatize the program so there is no oversight of public funds. Perhaps with a democrat the head of public ed it may be different.  Read about it here: https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2018/12/21/douglas-legislature-shortchanges-school-voucher-program/ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@

TAX CUT...ONE YEAR LATER

https://itep.org/tax-cuts-and-jobs-act-one-year-later/ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE OF TRUMP COMPLICITY https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-if-we-already-have-the-mueller-report/

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ALL 17 TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS...FORTUNATELY NOT FAKE NEWS Wired mag has summarized the 17(count em!) known investigations into Donald Trump. It is a useful guide in making sense of the almost daily revelations about him, his family, his organizations. Among the investigations are; Russian interference, Wikileaks release of stolen emails,  Russian Trump tower, payoff dough to two women, foreign lobbying, Russian spy babe, Tax schemes, Emoluments clause, Trump foundation. https://www.wired.com/story/mueller-investigation-trump-russia-complete-guide/


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ MONEY$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

YOUR LOCATION DATA SOLD EVERY 21 MINUTESThousands of apps collect and sell your location to advertisers. Ya gotta pay attention and opt out when you can. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy-apps.html"These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds seeking insights into consumer behavior. It’s a hot market, with sales of location-targeted advertising reaching an estimated $21 billion this year." $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$IRS GUTTED....CORPORATE TAX CHEATS RAMPANThttps://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-irs-was-gutted $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ THE TIPPING DILEMMAhttp://www.grubstreet.com/2018/12/restaurant-tipping-returns.html $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$FORGIVEN MEDICAL DEBTS https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/nyregion/medical-debt-charity-ny.html

ANIMALS

WHO KNEW? Smuggling for underground bird singing contests?????? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/13/jfk-airport-live-finches-hair-rollers-smuggled

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HOSPICE FOR DOGS? https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/well/family/the-end-of-a-dogs-life.html?action=click&module=Discovery&pgtype=Homepage

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THE MOLE RAT WARS

Survival of the fittest on display. Ain't Science interesting? “They have mole-rat wars to determine who’s going to be the queen or who’s going to breed with the queen. We’re hoping things will calm down a little bit now.” In fact, it was kind of a bloodbath: the new colony transported to the National Zoo this summer was made up of 17 adult mole-rats. There are only 13 adults left. “Yeah, they’ve been fighting and killing each other,” .... https://dcist.com/story/18/12/17/after-bloodbath-the-national-zoos-naked-mole-rats-finally-choose-their-queen/ Take a real time look at the Naked Mole Rat Cam

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams/naked-mole-rat-cam

+++++++++++++++++++++++ THE KING OF STINGS

YouTube phenom subjects himself to stings of increasing pain. I dunno but somebody tell me the value here... https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/josephbernstein/coyote-peterson.................................

EVERYTHING ELSE

OPIOID ADDICTION VISUALIZED https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/us/addiction-heroin-opioids.html @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

CLIMATE CHANGE STATS

If you go to this site you will find the National Climate Assessment. (The one that made all the headlines for a minute-released at the end of the day after Thanksgiving.) Once there click on chapter 25; the Southwest to read what will be the future of this region. It's enough to make you move to....whoops, there is no place to hide, no place is unaffected. https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/

I've mentioned this before but f you are a data freak, and/or want actual facts to ponder this is your place:

https://usafacts.org/?utm_source=EM&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=climate @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

PEW RESEARCH SHOWS GENDER BIAS ONLINE

Pew Research Center does some interesting stuff.Check them out.  Here is one of their studies showing deliberate institutional bias in how images of women are projected in different professions online. Visual representatives of different professions were, depending on the profession, more likely to be male.

For example, 71 percent of real-world bill collectors are women, whereas only 20 percent of the images in a search for “bill collectors” are of women.


http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/12/17/gender-and-jobs-in-online-image-searches/ +++++++++++++++++++++++

FOOTBALL FREAKS; PLAYOFF PROJECTIONS FOR EACH TEAM https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/23/upshot/nfl-playoff-trees-week-17.html?&action=click&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Article&region=Footer&contentCollection=Sports

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HISTORICAL BURNS

Sometimes ya just wanna shut someone down; ya know a Burn. Most often I get that feeling when reading some dumb comment online. Alas I don't have an adroit mind or the verbal jujitsu to do it. But here are some wonderful historical responses to criticisms, insults, or rudeness; aka Burns (for some reason now called clapbacks a version of comeback that makes no sense.)


James Joyce

Fan: "Mr. Joyce, may I kiss the hand that wrote Ulysses?"

Joyce: "No, it did a lot of other things, too."


Oscar Wilde

Lewis Morris: "There's a conspiracy against me, a conspiracy of silence. But what can we do? What should I do?"

Wilde: "Join it."


James McNeill Whistler

Oscar Wilde, after Whistler made a good joke: "I wish I had said that."

Whistler: "You will, Oscar, you will."


Winston Churchill

Lady Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd put poison in your coffee."

Churchill: "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."


Ilka Chase

Actress: "I enjoyed reading your book. Who wrote it for you?"

Chase: "Darling, I'm so glad that you liked it. Who read it for you?"


Calvin Coolidge

Woman at White House Dinner: "Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you." Coolidge: "You lose."


Mohandas Gandhi

Reporter: "What do you think of Western civilization?"

Gandhi: "I think it would be a wonderful idea."


Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln, after being called 'two-faced': "If I had two faces, do you think I'd be wearing this one?"


Mozart

Admirer: "Herr Mozart, I am thinking of writing symphonies. Can you give me any suggestions as to how to get started?"

Mozart: "A symphony is a very complex musical form. Perhaps you should begin with something simpler."

Admirer: "But you were writing symphonies when you were 8 years old."

Mozart: "Yes, but I never asked anybody how."


Pope John XXIII

Pope John, when asked "How many people work in the Vatican?": "About half."


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