Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Trust

Do you trust Governor Susana Martinez and Mayor Richard Berry to make a more successful effort at growing New Mexico's and Albuquerque's economy?  Again, today in the Washington Post, a story about all of the great economic growth in many south western states and cities.  We are not among them in any measure.  They only thing the local media can cover in the way of economic news are plans for more mini breweries opening and more mediocre call center jobs.  Hardly a way to affluence.

There was a story in the Journal this morning about a highly successful and now seeking retirement school teacher who got a poor ranking because of one of those new teacher evaluations.  I don't really trust those new teacher evaluations at all.  But there has been an effort made to measure performance at least.  How is it that we can not do this on the Governor's performance?

There is a group chartered by Albuquerque City Government called the 'Indicators Progress Commission' that every two years checks on our community progress in many key areas.  This latest report  shows abysmal performance on economic indicators.  (Download the PDF)  Read it and weep.  We need the same kind of report made on a statewide level on the Governor's performance.  Now go back ten  years to see how good things were in our community when measured during my term in office as Mayor.  I certainly don't merit all the credit, but back then we had more bipartisanship and a business community that was involved in working to grow opportunity here.  Now they just protect themselves.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

RANK

A new effort at putting together an index to rank all Congressmen and Senators on their bipartisanship is underway.  It is a good idea if it is done fairly.  I think that it might also be a good idea for some media watchdog group to do the same on newspapers and TV News operations.

I am pretty sure the Albuquerque Journal would rank near lowest in the nation for newspapers.  Fox News of course would hold down the anchor position.

Today the Albuquerque Journal ran a column from a republican legislator, Sarah Maestas Barnes,  who most likely had the piece written by the Governor's right wing mascots.  She essentially blames Senate legislative democrats for defense of child pornography.   This is a perfect example of how the Journal Publisher and Editor publish items that work at destroying bipartisanship.  And this legislator will have to go back into a chamber next time they meet and face these colleagues who all have children and might have some choice comments for her. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Managed News

I gave a plus to Channel 13 yesterday for uncovering the horrendous actions of APD in the case of the man who died in a storage container after wounding a police dog.

Today they get a giant F for Larry Barker's so called expose on a supercomputer system purchased by the state in 2008.  He had Governor Martinez on the air attacking former Governor Bill Richardson for allowing the system to fail.  She said there was no business plan to utilize the system.  Lets analyse this.  Richardson had the system for two  years.  She has had it for five years and yet she convinces Barker it was all her predecessors fault.

And Barker had her in front of the cameras and failed to ask her about her business plan for New Mexico.  There is an out migration of people, the worst roads in the country, the worst job growth in the country, the total lack of bipartisanship ever because of her hateful approach to politics, and generally a war on nature as seen in her vindictive efforts at eradicating wildlife such as the mountain lion and wolf in our state.  And Barker didn't even attempt to ask a question that her handlers might not have wanted him to ask.

When will some real effort be made by someone in the mainstream media to get her on the record on these failures?  How long can this sordid leadership be allowed to go unrevealed?  How can the media not have been allowed a free for all interview with her in five years that wasn't limited to certain questions as approved by her handlers?

The biggest failure here is the new corporate journalism's approach to do nothing that would hurt a rightwing GOP politician.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Remember

Remember when I was on a rant about a criminal suspect found dead in a metal container after the guy allegedly shot a police dog?   I talked about this for months because all of the attention was on the police dog, and not the death of a man surrounded by officers in a large metal storage container.  They said he shot himself but the autopsy report said there were no powder burns on his clothing.  No one cared because of the canine.

Well, I got nowhere getting anyone interested in this.  Now Channel 13 News has done us all a favor.  They have uncovered another outrageous incident that resulted from flawed APD and State Police procedures and leadership.  They actually mauled a man's body for hours after his death.  It is sickening and it is all on a video that APD said didn't exist.  And of course the Mayor and APD Chief are refusing to deal with this in front of the media.

The level of corruption in withholding information by city officials from the news media and other governmental entities  has reached a point where we seem to be living in the age of newspeak that George Orwell visualized in his novel 1984.  Black is white, yes is no, trust only us and not yourselves.

Perhaps the new City Attorney, Jessica Hernandez,  should turn much of her attention to this chaos.  She could be a real heroine if she did so.

Misc.

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, which exists to provide subsidies to farmers at the expense of city dwellers, will begin early voting for their board elections.  Voter turn out amounts to around 3% in their stealth elections.

I am hoping that incumbent John Kelley and Michael Sandoval are elected.  They will bring reality to this organization which has great impacts on property tax payments in a four county area along the Rio Grande.  I was manager of that notorious outfit for a year back in 1989.  It was traditionally corrupt and I got nowhere in trying to fix it.

We have some irrigated farm land in Pena Blanca on which we pay irrigation fees.  I also pay taxes on my home for so called flood control, but at this time it is nothing more than subsidy money for farmers growing alfalfa.  Over 90% of the cost of the district is paid for by city dwellers who get little benefit.  And so we need people on the board who will look after everyone's interest.  Kelley and Sandoval will do that.  There is value in having open and irrigated spaces, but one can argue that using water for agriculture in the desert is not all that wise.

Mayor Berry is proposing spending a million dollars promoting Albuquerque to be viewed as a "city worth investing in."  This is a soundbite effort at making it look like something is happening in the way of economic development.  It is also kind of a wimpy statement.  Who writes his speeches?  At the same time the City Council has grudgingly approved $4.5 million to have some outside consultant guide the police department to being a more non violent organization.  Add to that the increased self insurance rates and lawsuit payouts for wrongful police actions and you can see why there isn't much going on in the economic development arena.  There is no money to do it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Misc.


Here is a map provided by the Center for Disease Control that shows the most distinctive cause of death in each state.  Guess what ours is caused by?  "Legal Intervention."   That means death at the hands of the police. Nevada is in the same boat.  Click on the map to make it bigger.


Well meaning Bio Park supporters have decided that the poor should pay for the rich in supporting these great local facilities.  They are starting a referendum effort to raise the gross receipts tax to fund the Bio Park.  Of course this is the most regressive tax around and will hit the poor much harder than the rich.  We can blame this situation on the fact that Mayor Marty Chavez started taking the city's share of the property tax for operational purposes instead of using it to fund capital improvements through bond issues.  And of course Mayor Berry just continues to be an ineffectual leader in fixing anything.  I would vote for a bond issue to do this, but give a big thumbs down on a gross receipts tax, especially after the Bernalillo County Commissioners raised it because of their incompetence at being financially responsible.  We must stop making the poor pay for everything.

I don't mind paying taxes at all.  I just want the rich to pay a progressive tax.

P.S.  The new Max Max movie is the best of all of them!


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Governor Loses Mind

Oh Susana, you have truly lost your mind in not calling a special Legislative session to pass a much needed Capital Outlay bill.  You and your mascots are sacrificing the well being of New Mexico's citizens with your bizarre approach to government.  You hate government, but you are leading it in our state, and doing a disastrous job.  You are putting your national political aspirations ahead of our long term well being.  Even after economic development experts have taken state leaders to task on their lack of any aspirations.  You are the worst Governor in the nation in economic development. The worst.  And I for one hate being second to Alabama or Mississippi.

We are lost.  Adrift.  At sea.  And we will be until you and other right wing nut jobs are gone from our realm.  You are Looney Tunes and will soon be seen as such.  But it might be too late for our future.  Shame.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Golf and Religion

One of the things I like about golf is that it is a sport that attracts all kinds of players.  The rich and poor play in foursomes and usually have really good times.  Right wing and left wing also put away the axes and strive for pars and birdies.  Everyone is equal on the golf course which utilizes a great handicap system to even out the playing field.

I play golf with a one time Minister in a Protestant Church who after many years took off the collar and went forth into the business world.  He became very successful.  He also kept his faith.  We often discuss religion, me as an atheist and him as a believer.  Yesterday we were trying to figure out why more and more people are describing themselves as 'none' when asked about their beliefs.  I feel the internet and its ability to open peoples eyes to so many points of view is responsible.  He believes that the great scientific discoveries of the last few decades, especially in physics and cosmology are responsible.  I  think we are both correct to a certain extent.

No matter what we think the latest Pew Surveys show that people believe less and less in the dogma of the different religions.  That doesn't mean they aren't spiritual, just that they don't believe in the stories and fables surrounding religion.  I think this trend will continue but there will always be believers.

"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, and some on the golf course." - Adlai Stevenson


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Imagine

Imagine you are a economic development specialist sent to New Mexico to scope out the possibility of bringing a business to Albuquerque.  You pick up the Albuquerque Journal and start reading.  The first thing you see is an item about how New Mexico school teachers are leaving their profession because they are not paid enough.  And then  you read a story about how basic constitutional rights are being denied because the Public Defenders Office is underfunded and representation in court is doubtful.  Then you read that the Governor and divided legislature can't even pass capital outlay measures to fix roads and infrastructure, thanks to a right wing emergence in the House of Representatives.

You get back in the plane and report to the CEO that the Land of Enchantment isn't very enchanting.  No wonder we are not getting where we need to be in the economic recovery.  It just comes down to one thing, and that is a lack of leadership at all levels.  And the sap public sits and takes it.