Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sun Zia


The Sun Zia renewable transmission line was approved by secretary of Interior Sally Jewel today at a ceremony at Sandia national labs. Sen. Martin Heinrich and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan along with the Secretary and Defense Department representatives announced the decision much to the chagrin of Congressman Steve Pearce who for some reason thinks renewable energy transmission will threaten our national defense.

This transmission line across hundreds of miles in New Mexico will inject close to 1000 jobs in construction and 100 permanent jobs upon completion.  The power transmitted will come from renewable energy sources, solar and wind, and will be sent to markets across the southwest.

The announcement was  held at the large solar complex south of the Sandia National Labs.  Between the bright day and reflected solar arrays....everything looked slightly blue to the camera.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Heinrich on the Keystone Pipeline

I would recommend everyone watch this Senate Floor speech by Senator Martin Heinrich today.  It is 16 minutes long and incredibly informative.  If  you ever had any doubts about stopping the Keystone Pipeline, this should clear them away.

Heinrich has really improved his speaking capabilities.

Misc.

I hear that the new Speaker of the House of the State Legislature, republican Don Tripp(a decent guy) had wanted to keep long time House Clerk Steve Arias on an advisory contract to help the new GOP majority run things properly.  Arias alleged said, "No Thanks."  The reason being that he had been treated so disrespectfully by Republican bad boy legislator Nate Gentry.  The result is yesterday's total confusion on now to handle committee reports on the floor.

APS School Board member Kathy Korte's latest outburst and bullying of an APS employee makes it seem that her serving on the board is more about herself and not the schools.  Many appreciate her pushing back against the Governor, but her juvenile fights with other board members and staff really hurt her credibility.  I was known to do that myself, it really is not helpful.

Playing golf with all my buddies and listening to their comments has led me to believe that the Bernalillo County Commissioners who voted for that gross receipts tax hike last week have finished their careers.  I have to agree.  These progressives turned regressive on the tax front.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tijerina

I was on active duty with the New Mexico Air National Guard at Camp Douglas Wisconsin in 1967 when Reies Tijerina  pulled off his courthouse raid in Tierra Amarilla in his quest to get Spanish Land Grants restored to northern New Mexicans.  (I doubt they would have agreed to go back in history a little more and give those lands to the original Native American residents.)

Governor Cargo had just visited our summer encampment and returned via Air Force Jet to 'manage' the crisis by sending anti aircraft tanks into the state's northern forests.  A bit much even in those days.

I always thought Tijerina was a mixed bag.  He seemed a loose cannon to me, although his charisma and rhetoric were impressive.  I ended up covering him as a news man a few years later, before his anti semetic era, and couldn't help finding myself admiring his skill in calling for social justice.

At one point Tijerina started something called 'Brotherhood Awareness Week.'  I was supposed to moderate a half hour TV discussion between Reies and the Albuquerque Chief of Police at the time. The tension was so thick in the studio between Tijerina's supporters and police officers that I thought there would be trouble.  We started the videotaped show and it was pure hell getting those two to say anything to each other.   After 30 agonizing minutes as the show was about to wrap up, a production assistant ran in from the control room and said, "We forgot to roll the tape!"  It was like being told we had to walk through the gates of hell for a second time.   It actually provided a little comic relief and when we started over again the words came a little easier for everyone.

Tijerina was a man of his times and one that continues to fascinate people to this day.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Invisible Happening

Tuesday the New Mexico State Legislature will convene.  Men and women from across the state will show up for this sixty day session with some ideas on passing new laws or repealing old ones.  They are all very busy but won't accomplish much because of special interest groups who spend money on friendly lobbyists who take said lawmakers to lunch everyday.  It has always worked that way, but now the influence of money is even more pervasive.

But the real issue here is that more than ever our citizens, even the 20% who might vote, will be mostly ignorant of what goes on there.  I think they just don't care or remember that the session is even occurring.  And the local media will only cover the hot button issues, like so called "Right to Work".  These are manufactured attention getters to keep people in the dark about other more important issues.  Those few journalists who are around that know how this all works will not be enough to keep us informed.

Speaking of journalists, a great has one died.  Eric McCrossen was an old-time reporter and editorial writer who believed in getting facts correct, being fair, and keeping the public interest in mind.  He always treated people with respect.  Something that is now rare at the Albuquerque Journal where he labored for so many  years.  In those days the opinion pieces, which he edited, stayed on the opinion pages and didn't leak over into the news pages.  But these are different times at that publication.

Eric was a genuinely good guy.  In today's brand of journalism there are fewer and fewer of his type around.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

bush cheney rumsfeld

Watching Saturday evening news can be enlightening for the mix of commercials you will see.  Laxatives, drugs that you should ask your Doctor about, hard-on enhancers, and veteran charities.  It is that last one that is the most disgusting.

Some redneck crooner is telling us to give money to the Wounded Warriors charity.  Another commercial is from a large law firm that wants to represent the veterans who want disability payments.(and the law firm gets a third.)  A TV News story features a charity run by a priest that makes veterans into bakery cooks.

What is missing here?  Any explanation on how bush, cheney, rumsfeld and their minions were able to spend one trillion on a war with out spending adequately on returning human wreckage from the 'war for profit.'  Why is the government relying on charity to to take care of veterans?  Because spending money on that doesn't give wartime profits to the defense industry and the likes of Blackstone mercenaries.

Watch those news commercials.  They are pretty revolting.

Friday, January 16, 2015

What?

2014 was the hottest year in recorded history.  As the oceans heat up they may be in danger of dying according to new scientific studies.  And the leadership of the Republican party sees the most important issues as building the Keystone pipeline and repealing health care insurance for Americans.

Where does this all end?  I ask this as our two new twin baby granddaughters get ready to head home after 82 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit in Fort Collins.  Science has done wonders for Alex and Katy after they were born 11 weeks early.  We can see that scientific research and development can accomplish much.

If only it could enlighten profit motivated politicians and corporations.  But, astonishingly it doesn't.  And so the only hope left are the enraged parents and grandparents of the world who see the decline in quality of life for their kids and grandkids. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Getting it done


We had a leak in the water main in front our our home.  The crews got on it within hours and are incredibly efficient and friendly.  I wonder if they would like to go run the Police Department and Mayor's Office.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Food for Thought

My friend Dennis Jett contributed to the New Republic Magazine today.  This is a must read if you have plans for seeing the Clint Eastwood movie 'American Sniper."

What is Worse?

I am having trouble deciding which was the worse news in governance yesterday.  Here are the candidates.

1. The Albuquerque Police Department has proven they really don't give a damn what  anyone thinks of them.  Their action, in throwing out from a police shooting  incident briefing yesterday, a representative from the District Attorney's Office because the DA charged  two officers with murder will go down in history as a 'Fuck You" moment.  Essentially they have said the law and legal direction applies to everyone but them.  I am flabbergasted that this could happen and if the US Department of Justice doesn't march in by the end of the week to take over the department, then we are in trouble.  What must the honest hard working beat cop think about this?  And where is Mayor Berry and the City Council?  Their first order of business this week is to fire the Chief and find someone who can run the department as a professional law enforcement agency.

2. The Bernalillo County Commission went to the most regressive tax, the sales tax, to make up for their incompetence in managing their budget.  The poor will pay and the rich will laugh.  And our sales tax will now be 7.25% in the city of Albuquerque.  Every commissioner who voted for this made a decision that they don't want another elective office in the next ten years.  Let's hope.

The winner between these two disasters in leadership has to be the APD descent into madness.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Misc.

Everyone deserves to be represented in court with the best defense available.  The APD officers charged with murder yesterday are no different.  One of them hired Democratic Party Chairman Sam Bregman to represent him in court.  A lot of people are upset, but that is purely a knee-jerk reaction.  Bregman is a master at getting the press to come to his news conferences to hear his over the top assertions of innocence for anyone he represents.  But that is his job.  So everyone should chill out.  Except one wonders why the media falls for his sucker punch approach to polluting the jury pool.

The Bernalillo County management wants a 3/8 cent increase in the gross receipts tax.  They and their commission have decided that bringing the sales tax to almost 8% might, or might not, be a good idea.  Well, it isn't because of the regressive nature of the tax and their mismanagement of their budget.  But one has to remember that the state legislature has added to this problem by making the cities and counties make up losses for the reduction in food taxes a few years ago.  After a phase in, the local governments are now really screwed.  And the state doesn't give a damn.  It affects Albuquerque too and maybe Mayor Berry, a former legislator, should park himself in Santa Fe during the session and fight for his city.

And then there is the fact that Albuquerque's Mayor and current council, along with a feeble amount of leadership in the  business community are over seeing our city's fall in rankings once again.  So of course at the NAIOP luncheon yesterday many of the developers and builders blame the lack of a so called 'Right to Work' law in New Mexico.  And the Albuquerque Journal spends no time asking for comments from these so called 'leaders'.

Instead they have a fact free and lie filled editorial today about the need for the Keystone pipeline in a time of plummeting oil prices and rising temperatures.