Thursday, October 8, 2015

Guest View-Diane Peters: Vice-Mayor Lou Waters vs. Freedom of Speech

During our sign staking event in last week in the right of way ("ROW") outside Mayor Hiremath’s office, Vice-Mayor Lou Waters suddenly appeared and began taking pictures of us. I approached Waters and said, “You do realize that we’re just exercising our First Amendment Rights - Freedom of Speech.”

He replied that we were on private property and that Hiremath had to close his dental practice because he got word that we would be staging a protest that day. I told Waters that Hiremath was misinformed since he could clearly see that all we were doing was staking signs in the ROW. I told him that we had an official present from ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) to ensure that our signs were legally placed.

Waters Gives Shifting Reasons for being there
I then asked him why he was there. He replied that Hiremath was his dentist and he was there for a dental appointment. I reminded him that he just told me that Hiremath had to close his practice today due to the “protest.” He then became very flustered and denied ever having said that.

Waters then switched gears and claimed he was there as a journalist. Then his famous ego kicked in. He said, “Do you know who I am? I’m a world-renowned journalist! I worked for CNN!” I told him that was in the past. I continued trying to ascertain the real reason for his presence.

Uncivil, turbulent Waters
Waters danced around the questions and then accused me of “twisting everything.“ Next, in a highly agitated voice, he said, “YOU ARE SO POLITICALLY DENSE!” Ahhh, name-calling. The last resort of the person who’s run out of anything intelligent to say.

I especially enjoyed that exchange since Waters, Hornat, and Snider have a website called, “Stand for Civility” where they purport to have the market cornered in the civility arena.

Insults, Lies, and Videotape
I continued asking him why he was there, since we had established that it wasn’t for a dental appointment since the office was closed. Below is the part of the exchange where Waters contradicts himself. His contradictions are highlighted in green.

Peters: You said you were here as a photojournalist.
Waters: No, I didn’t. I said I was here to have an appointment WITH MY DENTIST!!!
Peters: No, that’s what you’re saying NOW. You completely changed what your saying.
Waters: You twist everything. You don’t have a truthful bone in your body.
Peters: How can you have an appointment with your dentist if you just told me that he closed
his office for today? How are you here for an appointment that doesn’t exist?
Waters: What??!!!
Peters: You just told me that he had to cancel all of his appointments today.
Waters: Yes, he canceled all of his appointments, mine included.
Peters: And yet when I asked you why you were here, you said you were here for an appointment.
Waters: I’m here because I’m passing by here to say hello to my friend, Satish Hiremath. 
Peters: He’s here?
Waters: You’re a real piece of work, you know it? Keep it up.

World-renowned journalist? Not!
I couldn’t help but notice the dazzling commentary from the self-proclaimed “world renowned journalist.” He sounded sophomoric to me.

 “You don’t have a truthful bone in your body…You’re a real piece of work…You are politically dense.” Can you imagine Tom Brokaw or Bob Schieffer behaving this way? All I wanted to know was why he was there and all I got in response was tap-dancing and insults.

Recap: So what was Water’s doing there?
  • I have an appointment with my dentist.
  • He canceled all of his appointments, mine included.
  • I’m here as a photojournalist.
  • I’m here because I’m passing by here to say hello to my friend, Satish Hiremath.
When he finally realized that he couldn’t keep up with my questions and his constantly changing reasons for why he was there, he walked away and threatened to call the police. Of course, he never did, because what would he have told them? “Officer, there’s some people staking signs in the ROW, they have a State official with them, and one of them is asking me questions that I’m completely unprepared to answer.”

This might explain why one of the demands the incumbents had at the Sun City Candidate Forum was to be given the questions in advance. It’s clear that, Waters at least, isn’t very adept at answering questions when he’s put on the spot.
Diane Peters has lived in Oro Valley since 2003, moving here to escape the humidity of the East Coast. Combining her love of animals and writing, she wrote her first protest letter at the age of 12 to the Canadian Prime Minister in support of ending the annual baby harp seal hunt. Years later, she flew by helicopter to the ice floes off the coast of Newfoundland where she was able to pet baby harp seals recently born on the frozen tundra. Her other interests include reading, nature photography, traveling to National Parks, Native American history, art galleries, museums, and following politics. In her past life, she worked in medical research at various University Hospitals in New England, including coordinating Oncology Clinical Trials and preparing manuscripts for publication in medical journals.  Her husband is an Army veteran who served in Germany and South Korea. A former hippie, he attended the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Upstate New York.

No comments: