Don’t Waste a New Year’s Wish on World Peace

by Diane Dimond on December 29, 2014

World Peace - Sadly, Not in Our Lifetimes

World Peace – Sadly, Not in Our Lifetimes

Don’t bother wishing for world peace in the year ahead. It is never going to happen.

There will always be pockets of turmoil and terrorism. Innocents will continue to lose their lives in places like Syria, Pakistan, South Sudan and, yes, here in the United States – in the violent, gang controlled neighborhoods we’ve ignored for too long.

For 2015, I’m going to wish for smaller miracles, things that could actually happen if we could only find the resolve to fix our problems.

I hope in the coming year law enforcement officers find themselves in fewer circumstances where they feel the need to shoot their weapons. A vast majority of officers are dedicated, honorable people driven by the desire to keep us safe and without them we’d have anarchy. Overzealous cops who shoot and/or kill should stand trial to help restore community trust in the system. Ditto for protesters who resort to looting.

Give a Focus, Not a Prison Sentence

Give a Focus to Teens, Not a Prison Sentence

I wish for more people to embrace the idea that incarcerating non-violent teenagers is not nearly as effective as helping them find a focus in life. The petri dish of poverty and lack of education is where crime flourishes.  A kid with a purpose gets caught up in building a career not a rap sheet.

I hope we find meaningful ways to treat the mentally ill, including a system to keep them away from guns. There are too many who are homeless. Too many with nowhere to go for treatment. Failure to treat them now translates to a larger prison population later. And, too often, it results in senseless murders at their hands.

I wish family courts would revamp so couples aren’t financially bled dry while waiting for a resolution to their divorce and custody battles. The system, nationwide, has devolved to a shameful state.

I surely hope the massive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures’ was a wake-up call for both our government and corporate America. This is the new warfare, folks. Increase computer security — or else. The FBI says North Korea’s Kim Jong-un ordered the mega-hack as an infantile overreaction to a slap-stick Sony movie about a plot to assassinate him. What if the unstable dictator’s next attack is on our power grid or national defense computers?

Are We Ready If He Targets Our Power Grid?

Are We Ready If He Targets Our Power Grid?

In 2015, I hope the Pentagon seriously reconsiders portions of its re-cycling program known as 1033. It is one thing to give used military equipment to cash-strapped police and sheriff’s departments. It is quite another to give M16’s and grenade launchers to public schools and universities as they have in the past. There are enough guns on the streets.

I wish President Obama and bi-partisan leaders from Capitol Hill would lock themselves in a room and not come out until they devise a cohesive immigration reform bill. No more stalling in Congress, no more divisive (unconstitutional?) executive orders from the White House. Politicians: Do the job voters sent you to Washington to do!  Decide on a plan that’s good for the country and make sure our borders are secure.

After that’s done repeat the process and rework our lousy, tainted tax system so that it’s less complicated and more equitable.

Is it too much to wish for a resolution to the Guantanamo Bay problem? All these years after the 9-11 attacks the U.S. still holds 132 prisoners at that Cuban compound. As war combatants they may not have any legal rights under U.S. law but this is not the American way.

I hope lawmakers stop passing laws to control the way Americans live their lives. I don’t smoke cigarettes but don’t tell me I can’t. I watch my calorie and salt intake so don’t force restaurants to do it for me. And, figure out a way to keep air travel safe that doesn’t include making me feel like I’ve been strip-searched at the airport.

Frivolous Lawsuits Comical If They Weren't So Serious

Frivolous Lawsuits – Comical If They Weren’t So Serious

Lawyers who make a living filing frivolous lawsuits on behalf of marginally aggrieved clients should face consequences. I wish the American Bar Association would find the guts and the means to slap serious sanctions on their charlatan colleagues. They give all lawyers a bad name.

Most of all, I wish for an America full of citizens who can be proud of our country. People who contribute to the community and work hard instead of waiting for a government handout. Honest folks who help their neighbors, know who they are voting for and who instill good character in their children and grandchildren.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for there to be world peace too. But, sadly, it’s never going to happen.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Dimond December 30, 2014 at 10:16 pm

ABQ Journal Reader Joe Stehling writes;

“Diane,
Great article on “…World Peace…” that appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on 27 December. I thank you for using the term “cohesive” immigration reform instead of “comprehensive”. A couple of years ago, I wrote Tom Udall asking him why everything the Congress does has to be comprehensive instead of piecemeal since the Congress seems to screw up everything they do that is comprehensive. I suggested several examples of an approach. I received from him form letter number something or other that did not answer or even address my basic question. On another note, FYI, I wrote BR Lujan on on some subject a while back. The form letter I received was completely on another subject. Our congress in action.

Also, when you talked about income tax reform I would have liked for you to push instituting a Fair Tax. That way there is limited opportunity to cheat; we could get rid of most of the IRS, and drug dealers and other under the table paid workers would pay taxes.

Finally, the congress should stop breaking their law by not conforming to the normal budget cycle where appropriations and authorizations are done in the appropriate committees in time for the President to sign prior to the start of the fiscal year.

Of course way out of the question is Term Limits.

Happy New Year.

Joe Stehling

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Diane Dimond December 30, 2014 at 10:22 pm

ABQ Journal Reader writes:

“A good explaination of why and how the poor innocent victims out there in the ozone are picked to be harassed by the police.
Maybe it could be called Harassment 101.
Police Harassment – Very Clever/funny
This is worth the two minutes it takes to read:
Recently, the Chula Vista, California Police Department ran an e-mail forum with the local community (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, “Community Policing.” One of the civilian e-mail participants posed the following question:

“I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”

From the “other side” (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor replied:

“First of all, let me tell you this…it’s not easy. In Chula Vista, we average one cop for every 600 people.

Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “patrol”) where we do most of our harassing. The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents.

At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty.

So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass.

This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring.

What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follow:
PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment.

“My neighbor is beating his wife” is a code phrase used often. This means we’ll come out and give somebody some special harassment.
Another popular one: “There’s a guy breaking into a house.” The harassment team is then put into action.
CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver’s licenses and the like.

It’s lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light.

Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours to determine why they didn’t want to talk to us.

STATUTES: When we don’t have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called “Statutes”; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc…They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.

After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them.

Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there’s this book we have that says that’s not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It’s a really cool system that we’ve set up, and it works pretty well.

We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to “harass” some people.

Next time you are in my town, give me the old “single finger wave.” That’s another one of those codes. It means, “You can’t harass me.” It’s one of our favorites.

Hopefully sir, this has clarified to you a little bit better how we harass the good citizens of Chula Vista.”

Reply

Diane Dimond December 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Reader Harold Maio writes:

” >>>
• I hope we find meaningful ways to treat the mentally ill, including a system to keep them away from guns.
It is interesting that you see us as a “them.” Clearly you do not know us.

We are a broad and diverse demographic. We earn to the millions, hold every university degree and every professional, white, and blue collar job.

I invite you to know us fully.

Harold A. Maio, retired mental health editor”

Reply

Diane Dimond December 31, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Facebook Friend Janet Turner writes:

“Diane….my New Year’s wish of world peace ended a long time ago. For this upcoming year I would love for you to be able to write about good things…although…I am always up for a good debate….!
I want to see our boys and girls come home and protect the U.S. for a change. I want Congress to get their act together…they can’t be divided and run a proper country. I want to see term limits.
I want bullies banished. ..I probably have a better chance of seeing world peace….
I would like to see all the frivolous lawsuits be dropped too. Lawyers are not as they used to be…they are all about the money.
I am not a political person per se…I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am Mom to a soldier. I want the government to protect him the way he vowed to protect them. I want my granddaughter to grow up in a racially blind society…wishing alot but still wishing.
I hope that the New Year brings you, Diane, peace and joy and love. Time of reflection with your wonderful family. Oh….and grandkids if you don’t have any. They make any day bright.”

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