Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Misc.

Michele Grisham Lujan is amassing lots of money for her run for Governor.  She may well be the best candidate but  I am sensing some deja-vu here on her anointment as 'the one' by many Democrats.  Remember the hierarchy also anointed Hillary, and look where we ended up.  I am hopeful we will get a good contested primary where the debate is strong and we get a choice.  I could easily vote for Michelle, but I need to know if there are other worthy candidates who might be out there.  At the end of the election cycle I think we will have a Democrat as Governor.

Does one get that sinking feeling in looking at the real estate market here?  We are surrounded by states that are seeing good economic activity while NM and ABQ are still in the swamp.  Under republican leadership.

My stolen car has been recovered, but it is totaled after a high speed chase in Luna County as it headed toward Mexico.  Four people were arrested but three were released.  My car was in a gaggle of stolen cars headed south.  Now to negotiate with my insurance agent.  So far, they  have been responsive but I am already out thousands of dollars.

But, it is only stuff.


Monday, April 03, 2017

Cellophane

I must recommend a book I am reading called "New York 2140", by Kim Stanley Robinson.  This futuristic novel has great political and economic insights and good character and storylines.  Essentially it is about life in NYC after climate change has occurred.

One of the great metaphors in the book concerns the earth's atmosphere.  Think of a basket ball with a piece of cellophane tape on it.  The tape represents the size of the atmosphere in which all living things can exist.  And our fossil fuel lovers think it can absorb what ever they dish out.

Do you think trump has ever thought of fragility of our life zone?   Doubtful.

And then we have in the ABQ Journal today an oped by the flack for the fossil fuel industry, one Doug Turner by name, who savages a Native American legislator for wanting to ban fracking around Chaco Canyon and other New Mexico locales.  I am surprised at Turner's retreat from his usual decency.  But there is money in it I guess.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Misc.

I hope someone will start putting forth serious essays on whether or not the trump administration and its minions are committing crimes against humanity with their climate change denial agenda and actions.  I for one think they are.  How does one stop them?

Rep. Nunes from California has become the poster boy for the IQ level of the GOP Reps in Congress.  I always knew they were not very bright and this is one more example of the parochialism of that chamber.  If Ryan doesn't remove him then he is even worse.

The Bernallio County Commission will spend their next meeting sticking it to the poor and middle class with yet another increase in the gross receipts tax.  It would make more sense to raise the property tax, but since they max out their increase in that tax every year, there is no where to go for their spending sprees.  The only Commissioner objecting to the increase is running for Mayor in Albuquerque.  Maybe he should run on a platform of consolidating city and county services.  But no, that would make sense and cost him votes.  So by default Commissioner Johnson is just taking a bye on the vote.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Convergance

We are victims of the so called War on Drugs.  While we were sleeping Friday night a burglar came in through our doggy door, stole Bobbi's purse, grabbed my car keys, disengaged the overhead door in the garage and stole my Infiniti Hybrid SUV.  They were in the house and we didn't hear a thing.  But, this has been happening in our neighborhood a lot, and I figure the perps were some of those folks who have gone un prosecuted because of poor funding in the DAs Office.  Meanwhile, all the cops could do was shrug.  The insurance agents said it is happening a lot.  The drugs keep flowing and the users keep  using.  And the 'war on drugs' is a joke as it always has been.  This kind of crime would be cut by 90% if these addicts didn't need the money.  Legalization would cure that, along with funding for rehab services funding instead of putting money into Armored Cars for the police.  Here is another view from one of my neighbors on the list serve.

"First, the drug problem is simply a reflection of supply and demand.  As they explain in every economics textbook, whenever there is a demand for a product, there will be someone who will be there to supply it.  Even though we claim to have been fighting a "War on Drugs" for decades, that charade has never been more than a dog and pony show, brought out by politicians at election time to demonstrate that they are not quite as ineffective as they normally appear. 

Second, we as a country really haven't tried very hard at all to lessen the demand.  Here in New Mexico, there is virtually no adequate treatment for addicts who seek treatment for substance abuse.  You can't tell people who seek treatment to come back in a year, or when space opens up, and expect a drug treatment program actually to work.  In a word, the drug treatment we have is a joke, and a very sick, sad and intolerable joke at that. 
    
Third, we have done far less than we could have or should have to diminish the supply.  Take the case of Afghanistan, for example.  We have been at war there since 2001, we have spent something on the order of a trillion dollars fighting the Taliban and various and sundry warlords, and what is the result?  Well, Afghanistan's opium poppy production now goes into more than 90% of heroin worldwide.  Except for the initial year of the war,  Afghanistan has been the world's greatest illicit opium producer in every single year going back to 1992.  Opium production has risen every year since the beginning of the U.S. occupation.  More land is used for opium production in Afghanistan than is used for coca production in all of Latin America put together.  As if that weren't enough, in addiction to heroin, Afghanistan is also the world's largest producer of cannabis, in the form of hashish.  This is not to say that we haven't changed some conditions in the country.  For example, we have built some beautiful roads which have made it much easier for the Taliban to move the opium and other drugs to buyers outside Afghanistan,

Well, I think you get my point.  One can't say that we have really addressed the problem of the supply of opiates.  At the same time, we have done virtually nothing to address the demand for addictive drugs in this country, even with respect, I might add for soldiers like one of our best friends who came home to his wife and kids from Afghanistan not only with PTSD but also addicted to drugs, for which the Marines kindly gave him 30 days of treatment in a rehab facility near Camp Lejeune. 

So where do we go from here?  Well, the current national administration seems to want nothing more than to resurrect Betty Ford's "Just Say No" program of years past, something whose low cost would be equaled only by its ineffectiveness.  Our own Governor, and Mayor and other putative leaders all seem unwilling to even have a serious conversation about legalization (which we favor), never mind providing the funds necessary to address the problems that we face in a substantive way.  And dealing with the current situation will take money, and time, and most importantly the willingness to recognize the gravity of the problems, and finally the empathy required to care about dealing with them.  I'm sorry, friends, we can't wait for crude oil prices to rise, and the oil and gas industry to pour money again into the coffers of our state.  Oddly enough, our problems won't solve themselves or go away on their own.   However, intelligent, knowledgeable leaders, if we can find some, and money, and doctors, and nurses and caring will at least start us on our way.  It's not just our homes and our cars and our safety that are at stake.  It's our sense of honor, and the immense satisfaction of doing the right thing, that hang in the balance here as well."


Thursday, March 23, 2017

More

History is humankind trying to get a grip. Obviously not easy. But it could go better if you would pay a little more attention to certain details, like for instance your planet.

Robinson, Kim Stanley. New York 2140 (Kindle Locations 2300-2301). Orbit. Kindle Edition. 

trump and climate change explained

From Kim Stanley Robinson's new Sci Fi Book, "New York, 2140"  which is set after climate change.

"But okay, you can’t really imagine a catastrophe will hit you until it does. People just don’t have that kind of mental capacity. If you did you would be stricken paralytic with fear at all times, because there are some guaranteed catastrophes bearing down on you that you aren’t going to be able to avoid (i.e. death), so evolution has kindly given you a strategically located mental blind spot, an inability to imagine future disasters in any way you can really believe, so that you can continue to function, as pointless as that may be.  So, nice. Useful. Except when disastrously bad.

Robinson, Kim Stanley. New York 2140 (Kindle Locations 2206-2210). Orbit. Kindle Edition. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Misc

The Wilderness Society, whose Council I served on for 23 years, is using New Mexico as an example of state land being sold off to oil, gas and timber companies.  It is  true that 4 million acres were sold by corrupt Land Commissioners over decades.  These were the lands with timber, water, and other exceptional qualities.  In the 30's to early 80's the State Permanent Fund got ripped off, and some of the Land Commissioners took bribes and never went to prison.  That kind of thing would be unlikely in this day and age.  However, it does make the great argument against states fighting to get title to federal public lands.

The US Senate Republicans just passed a neanderthal roll back of wildlife conservation regulations.  It will allow twisted humans to kill, kill, kill all sorts of wildlife in inhumane ways.  Denning, steel leg hold traps, and other psychotic ways of killing will be  up to the states, and as we have seen from Susana Martinez and Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, they will allow it all in New Mexico.  Senator Martin Heinrich tried to stop the carnage, but the GOP majority party, possibly all animal haters, took the day.

All of the Albuquerque Mayoral candidates are under the thumbs of poorly paid and so called TV News Directors who serve up nightly orange jump suit pictures of accused criminals.  Everyone in this city has been so brainwashed by crime that the candidates think that being tough on crime is the only way to get elected.  I know, because I did some of the same stuff when I was running for Mayor. But will they talk about anything else?  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Neighbors

Neighborhood list serves can be a destructive device for uh, being neighborly and free speech.   Some of our enlightened people around the our north valley middle class environs are putting yard signs in their front yards saying no hate is allowed etc.  I ordered 50 yard signs that say resist and a number of my neighbors put them up also.

Some one went on to the list serve wondering where they could get some signs, and all hell broke loose. A micro view of what is happening countrywide.  There are a few people who don't believe in free speech around here and it started heating up, so the list serve commander started moderating comments.  Understandable really.  Sometimes we really don't want to know too much about who the right wing or left wing people down the street are.  In this case, I don't mind.

I put a pile of Resist signs on my porch and folks are stopping by to get them.  Mostly, people are going to be stating their positions strongly in this trump era and I for one want everyone around me to know where I stand.   

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Rage

From my friend Patricia

Immediately after the election Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller explained that Melania would be staying in New York because there was "obviously a sensitivity to pulling out a 10-year-old in the middle of the school year".

We have since learned that the cost of security for Melania and Barron to remain at Trump Tower is $183 million/year. There is also no indication that they will actually move to DC this summer. So in essence the Federal government is giving the Trump family a $183 million annual voucher so Barron can attend the elite private prep school of his choice.

Meanwhile, we learned that Trump's budget would completely eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA, with an annual budget of only $148 million, is able to provide seed money for arts programming in literally every Congressional district in the country. This would disproportionately affect underserved and rural communities hardest.

So, on the one hand you have a $183 million school voucher for a single 10-year-old at an elite private school. On the other hand you have a program that impacts arts and cultural programming throughout the entire nation, mostly to those in need.

NOT NORMAL. #Resist

Please cut, paste, and share.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Going Postal

Hissy Fit.  Losing it. Going postal. Schizo time.  Meltdown. Break Down.

Let me describe the ways our internalizing Governor Susana Martinez is acting these days.  Her flurry of vetoes of widely supported bills that would be good for New Mexico have ended up in the shredder for some bizarre reason.  She won't say why she is killing these bills.  She feels disrespected obviously, and will take it out on everyone in the state.  Yes, she really has lost it and one can only surmise she needs some downtime in the care of a good Doc.  Seriously.  Or possibly some time with an addiction counsellor for what ever is ailing her.  (Remember that Pizza Party?)

This is not good for the Land of Enchantment.  The Democratic and Republican leaders in both the House and Senate need to get upstairs to the fourth floor soon and dispense a little practical advice to this twisted Governor.  And I do mean soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Misc.

Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall have invited that paragon of intellect, DOE Cabinet Secretary Rick Perry, to visit our National Labs in New Mexico.  Of course it was Perry who suggested we close down the Department of Energy and the National Labs.  I for one would like to see him given a 3rd grade science  test before he is allowed inside those facilities.  Actually, the fact that trump gave him this appointment will stand as one of the mysteries of the ages.

The Legislature in New Mexico now has a chance to show they really care about our state's future.  For the first time there are bipartisan efforts to overturn vetoes by the Governor.  One of her vetoes, that would allow computer coding to be taught along with science, was supported by everyone.  She is truly an outlier politician, and not in a good way.