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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rally based on nonsense that benefits . . .?

Applying rules

What would motivate a flyer that says?

“Councilmen are driving quality police recruits to other cities by creating an antagonistic and unsupportive (sic) climate. Police Staffing has fallen to a dangerous level. Crime is Up By Double Digits Two Councilmen are even suing the police  THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE! No more acrimony! Hire more quality officers Keep our standards high” (1)

Is it factual and accurate? Absolutely not. Therefore, we’ll examine its message from the perspective of three sets of rules, or guidelines that eschew truth in their processes.

Three rule sets to sample

Propaganda tries to mold public opinion by using appeals to emotion and repetition instead of facts and logical argument. And, Alinsky advocated “getting what you want” through “protest and threaten” tactics. (2) Lastly, the law firm for a number of police unions published a “playbook” to help police unions force government to comply with their demands. (3)

First, fact and fancy: Police staffing is challenging throughout the United States right now and certainly throughout Orange County. Petty crime is up in Costa Mesa and most neighboring cities, while early release of prisoners and unregulated drug and alcohol-recovery homes are bringing more unemployed and often criminal elements to the City.(4)

Correlation isn't causation, certainly. But the presence of increasing numbers of people who have committed crimes, many without permanent addresses, and most without jobs might be a major factor in our increase in larceny. The Councilmen have filed a suit against the Police Union for their alleged part in personal abuse of the Councilmen and their families – which differs greatly from “against the police.”
Further, raising police staffing levels improves investigations but doesn't deter crime, according to the applicable police science. (5)

Why bother?

Why hold a rally without a factual basis? Some rules that seem to apply:

Two propaganda techniques are Faulty Cause and Effect and Card Stacking.

If two events correlate it doesn't mean one caused the other or that both are caused by the same external factor; that's Faulty Cause. Card Stacking slants a message by picking favorable facts and statistics and ignoring contrary data.

(“Police Staffing has fallen to a dangerous level. Crime is Up By Double Digits”)

Playbook in action

The “Police Union Playbook” states:The message should always be public safety first.” And further advises: “Every (increase in) crime . . . should result in the association’s uproar . . . for not having enough officers on the street. . .

And further:  “Focus on a . . .  councilperson . . .  and keep the pressure up until that person assures you of his loyalty and then move on to the next victim.”

In a Daily Pilot article a Councilwoman (criticized) . . . what she called ’arbitrary’ staffing levels for sworn police officers.” She votes in opposition to the Council majority on police matters, and has advocated higher wages and headcounts since her last election – which was supported by union mailers. (6)

Alinsky weighs in

An Alinsky precept:” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.”

The anti-everything folks have disrupted a Commission meeting protesting a Fairview Park parking area. They are rabidly accusing and labeling a Councilman they think participated in leveling a path around an unmarked vernal pool in the park. And, those, along with the “rally,” are just the current foci of uninformed agitation in Costa Mesa.

What's it all about

Correlation doesn't imply causation. But if one hypothesized that a Police Union, which is presently under legal attack, while it’s preparing for next year’s contract negotiations, were trying to counterattack . . . Well, they'd be applying these opinion-manipulation tactics from the police union playbook, Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, and general propaganda principles adroitly.

(1) A Flyer: here

(2) Set of Alinsky rules: here

(3) One copy of the Playbook:

(4) Effects of prison realignment:  here

Also, Jails to be full: here

(5) Broken window theory: here

Problem Oriented Policing has been shown effective and is being applied in Costa Mesa: here

(6) Councilwoman supports police union unequivocally: here

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your reasoned analysis on these issues. Costa Mesa could should use more of it.