Monday, September 26, 2016

Hard

It has actually been very hard to write any posts lately.  It just gets repetitive and nothing really changes.  The political leadership in NM is still failing miserably.  We still have a psychopath carrying the GOP banner for president, and he could win.  We still have cops shooting way to many people, most of them black or homeless or insane.  We still have bankers stealing from hard working citizens.

Bobbi and I will be leaving for a 16 day tour of Northern Spain.  We will see about 2k paintings of Christ on  the Cross and we will see many magnificent cathedrals built on the backs of the easily conned.  But they are something to see.  A tribute to early engineering and design.

I will post when possible from that beautiful country.  Our bus has WIFI.  It will be interesting to see what they  think of the campaigns in America.  I am sure  they will be sympathetic, but also rolling in the aisles with laughter at the dumbing down of America.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Skull

Envision a skull and crossbones over Susana's face.  She is turning a much needed special session into a culture war bereft of ideas and solutions.  Yes, she wants to put the death penalty on the call.  She is unfit as a leader.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Front Page

Get into the mindset of the Editor of the Albuquerque Journal.  Look at today's front page and see the right wing Editor at work.

Top of the fold, a peculiar headline about Wise Pies being 10K behind in state taxes.  Was this newsworthy?  How many companies are behind 10k in taxes in NM?  Yes, they got naming rights for UNM's Pit. Is this placement just because editor Kent Walz wants to embarrass  the leadership of UNM, whom the Governor doesn't care for?

Top of the fold.  Teacher effectiveness drops.  The editor sees it as another opportunity to make teachers unions look bad by insisting they defend themselves against questionable test results.  In his right wing freakishness he wants to make the Unions squirm.

Top of the fold.  An unreachable bond amount for the murderous mom is raised from $1 million to $1.5 million.  A reason to bury the story on APD's alleged failure to clean up its act?

We have to depend on this daily newspaper and we are being let down.  It must be very hard to work there.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cat Videos



Facebook has picked New Mexico as a central depository for cat videos.  It only took $30 billion in perks from State and County Government to make the deal.  50 permanent jobs for $30 billon.  Wow.

But, I am glad it is happening although I am conflicted about it's high price tag into the future.  But that is the way things happen in economic development now.  Bribe the Corporation to locate here.  Yes, it is a bribe.  But I would rather bribe a modern industry than the old ones New Mexico bribes, of course that is the fossil fuel boys.

That right wing Rio Grande Foundation leader Paul Gessing said he was concerned about the bribes too.  But for some reason he has never rallied against the subsidies for the oil and gas industry.  Gee, I wonder why that might be.

This SciFi classic may not be so far from the truth about how local governments survive in the future.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

So True

From my old classmate Ambassador Dennis Jett.

Whether one finds Donald Trump appealing or appalling, there is something about him on which everyone can agree – he has a way with words. Actually he has so many ways with words that getting a clear sense of his position on anything is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. The hapless Matt Lauer clearly demonstrated that in his recent interview of Trump.

Because of his ways with words, the media spends its time attempting to decipher Trump’s off-the-cuff remarks. Here are a few imponderable examples. He has a secret plan to defeat ISIS and knows more about the terrorist organization than the generals, but one of his first acts as president would be to order the military to come up with a plan in 30 days for victory over ISIS. He would sink an Iranian boat for any “ improper gesture” so he is apparently ready to go to war if their sailors give our sailors the finger.

And after getting his first intelligence briefing, he claimed he could read the briefers’ body language so well he could divine the fact that they were unhappy President Obama had ignored their recommendations. Perhaps with a few more briefings, Trump will figure out that intel analysts don’t give policy recommendations. They provide information and leave policy to the politicians.

With so many remarks that are as ridiculous as they are extemporaneous when Trump reads a prepared script from a teleprompter, the media usually finds it too boring to be newsworthy. That’s unfortunate because his carefully crafted statements are often as bad as spontaneous outbursts.

Take for instance a recent national security speech where he said the following: “We should work with any country that shares our goal of destroying ISIS and defeating Radical Islamic terrorism, and form new friendships and partnerships based on this mission.”

Tin-pot dictators of the world take note: All you have to do to get in bed with America is say the magic words “radical Islamic terrorism.”

We have seen this movie before and it did not end well, especially for Latin America. During the Reagan administration, the ambassador to the United Nations was Jeane Kirkpatrick. An ardent anti-Communist, she gave her name to the Kirkpatrick Doctrine, which said the United States should embrace any autocrat that shared her antipathy for Communism. And the corollary was that any left-wing leader who would not be an ally in the Cold War had to be opposed and undermined even if elected.

That kind of thinking is what lead the Nixon administration to help overthrow Salvador Allende in Chile and to support Augusto Pinochet, the military dictator who took his place. It also inspired Oliver North, the convicted felon and Fox News commentator, to think selling arms to Iran to fund the Contras in Central America was a swell idea even if illegal.
The CIA also paid the Argentine army, that had just wrapped up murdering thousands of its fellow Argentines in its dirty war against terrorism, to train the Contras in its tactics. If the Reagan administration had been honest, it would have, at that point, added the United States to the official list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

The embrace of human rights violators required by the Kirkpatrick Doctrine was justified by the need to win the Cold War. While ISIS and other terrorists are a threat, the average American has as much chance of dying in a terrorist attack as they do from being killed by their furniture falling on them. To institute the Kirkpatrick Doctrine 2.0 would not only make a mockery of the values this country supposedly stands for, it would also be an absurd overreaction that would embroil us in more unwinnable wars. And it would inspire more terrorism than it eliminated. So no, we don’t need to be friends and partners with any country that claims it will help in the fight against ISIS.

Nonetheless there are those politicians who continue to shout that the jihadists are coming and that everyone should run for their lives. They even claim terrorism is a threat to the continued existence of America. Who knew the world’s only superpower could be eliminated by a few thousand fanatics thousands of miles away?

Since those same politicians have never put their lives on the line for their country, maybe they are simply incapable of calculating the risk of terrorism. Or perhaps they think they will win votes by using the fear of it to paralyze the brains of the voters.
Dennis Jett is a former American ambassador who joined Penn State's School of International Affairs after a career in the U.S. Foreign Service that spanned 28 years and three continents. His experience and expertise focus on international relations, foreign aid administration, and American foreign policy. He was dean of the International Center at the University of Florida for eight years.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ominous

Mark Lautmann, the respected NM Economic Seer, says our state might be in an economic death spiral.

The Bond Rating Companies are considering down grading NM State Government Bonds because revenues are falling and no one is doing anything about it.

The right wing Albuquerque Journal editorial board did a courageous thing in hinting in an editorial  this morning that any number of tax hikes might be needed. They think everything is on the table.

The worse Governor in New Mexico History is nowhere to be seen or heard from on our state's precarious future.

This is all unprecedented in my lifetime.  Now we need some real leaders in the Legislature.  Are there any?

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Bobble Heads

The group that wants a huge increase on the alcohol excise tax reminds me of those bobbleheads on a automobile dashboard.  They just keep nodding.  They think this can solve the state's fiscal problem.  Really, it is a silly notion.

First off, while alcohol no doubt costs society a huge amount of grief and money, right now it pales in significance to the addiction to oil and its effects on climate change.

So if we want to solve some state fiscal problems we just need to do a couple of common sense things.

1. Raise the gasoline tax 15 cents per gallon for the next five years.


2. Legalize marijuana sales and tax them for a hefty shot in the arm to state revenues.


3.  Okay, if we could do those two thing first, then raise the excise tax on booze.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Revelation

New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment.

Earthquakes?  Nope
Hurricanes?  Nope
Rising Sea Water? Nope
Tornados?  Hardly ever.
Biblical floods?  Not since dinosaurs sailed Noah's Ark.

What have you got to lose?  Move yourself and business to New Mexico and Live Longer and Better.

I have had a revelation, of the political kind.  Susana Martinez is actually trying to get some economic development in New Mexico.  It is a long term plan.  She is making sure  that  the fossil fuel boys get everything they want in New Mexico and elsewhere. Then,  climate change will force everyone with high salt water invading their space to consider a move to the Land of Enchantment.  Also, she figures we can get all those Oklahomans and Dakotans to relocate because of those fracking induced earthquakes.   And as those hurricanes and tropical storms spin up, well everyone on the Gulf Coast and Southern states might look more favorably on living in the high desert.