Thursday, August 30, 2007
Today they lose me as a customer as I switch over to Satellite TV. At least there is some competition there. I will be saving about $40 a month by dumping Comcast, although I will keep the cable modem for the time being. That will go up $25 a month since I will no longer have their TV. That is wrong too. Oh, and if you want to talk to a live person at Comcast they now charge you for it. So if they provide bad service and you need help, they now charge for it.
I think a candidate for Mayor next election could win on the strength of a promise to open up the city franchise for cable services so that the Comcast monopoly no longer oppresses us.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
So, I am having a hard time believing what Craig is now saying about his incident in a men's room stall in the Minneapolis Airport. But, after breakfast with Ned and Arturo today we came up with some more believable things for him to say than I am not really guilty.
1. I was listening to my I-Pod and just tapping my foot.
2. I was trying to get out a really big one.
3. There was a cockroach running by and I was trying to squash it.
4. I have restless leg syndrome.
5. I was practicing my tap dance for the Senate talent show.
6. I was trying to get that guy to tie my shoe laces.
7. I thought I was in a shoe shine stall.
There were more suggestions for him but I bet readers of this blog would have some good ones. Put them in a comment.
If Larry Craig is gay, I really don't care. What disgusts me is his hypocrisy. He says he is sorry for putting a 'dark cloud' over Idaho. No one should mistake that it is a dark cloud because he is gay, it is a dark cloud because he is a liar.
Bernard de Mandeville
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
So, it is happened. Just like everyone in the media expected sooner or later. The Albuquerque Tribune will close up shop and we will be left with one daily paper in the Duke City. Tommy Lang's Albuquerque Journal is the last daily standing here and it will probably be around for a long time yet, if they start modernizing and get a crisper look. Will their circulation continue to be in the crapper too?
They have only a small amount of control over that but a nicer looking paper would help them. Pictures are worth a thousand words you know. Here is a lot of information on the Journal.
Note to the Journal Comic Page Editor! Get those comics from the Trib into your paper asap. They are so much better than most of the ones you have. Hopefully, you will move fast and efficiently.
Note to the Tribune staffers! You are a bunch of good people and professionals. I have known many of you for years. Except for your disastrous editorial reversal on the road through the Petroglyph National Monument, I always liked your editorial stands. (P.S. I hear there may be some PIO positions open in State Government.)
Note to Journal staffers! You are all alone now in providing us with something other than stories about burning pickup trucks on the freeway. (ie, TV News) Maybe now you can get a raise.
The Tribunes demise was a sure thing sooner or later. It is the trend for PM Newspapers across the country for years now. The last nail in the coffin was the Internet. All those people that used to wait for the afternoon delivery just switched over to blogs and Internet news services.
I hope there are newspapers around for a long time. I love getting ink on my coffee cup in the morning. That newsprint makes me sneeze and clears me up every morning. Oh, and I love reading a well written and informative story.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
They live at the base of the cliffs near the ruins of the "Chaco Phenomenon." We learned a little of the history last night in a lecture by a Dendrochronologist at the Visitor Center. The beams that held up the roofs of Chaco's buildings have helped write a history of the West when combined with other tree ring studies.
It is hard to describe the mystique of Chaco Canyon. I have always been attracted to the place ever since we first took Justin and Noelle there about 1990.
I took some really good photos there during Saturday night's sunset and then again at sunrise on Sunday morning. Despite screwing up my focus program, I still salvaged a few. See them here.
Friday, August 24, 2007
My sister Carlota sent me this paragraph out of a mystery novel she is reading. It is set in Venice.
“…After a long pause, Marvilli said, “I don’t know that the judge is from this city. But I know there is a warrant. We would never have done something like this without one – not here and not in the other cities.”
A friend of mine who is a republican sent me these bumper stickers that have been seen around the country. Funny.
2. 1/20/09: End of an Error
3. That's OK, I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway
4. Let's Fix Democracy in THIS COUNTRY, First
5 If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran
6 Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.
7 You Can't Be Pro-War And Pro-Life At The Same Time
8 If You Can Read This, You're Not the President
9 Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant
10 Hey Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?
11 George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight
12. Impeachment: It's Not Just for Sex Anymore
13 America : One Nation, Under Surveillance
14 They Call Him "W"! (So He Can Spell It)
15 Cheney/Satan '08
16 Jail to the Chief
17 No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade?
18 Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap
19 Bad president! No Banana.
20 We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language
21 We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them
22 Is It Vietnam Yet?
23 Bush Doesn't Care About White People, Either
24 Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Hand basket?
25 You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.
26 When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46
27 The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century
28 2004: Embarrassed 2005: Horrified 2006: Terrified
29. Frodo was wrong! Bush has the Ring!
30 Bush: Proof that God's got a sense of humor!!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
It is all very scary and hard to take in but it is a reality. Life means nothing to these "warriors' as long as they feel God condones their actions. They take passages from the Bible and Koran and use them as reasons for slaughtering each other. Their beliefs are hard and unrelenting. Yet, they all can show very human sides. Parent and Spouse one day and then a religious terrorists the next. All in the name of God.
On another issue, I keep wondering when someone might seriously take on Pete Domenici for next year. He is actually vulnerable for a host of reasons. So far some political unknowns are announcing they will do it but they have no political connections in the state or the Democratic Party. The nomination is there for the taking, especially when one must have the adequate amount of delegate votes in the next preprimary nominating convention. The legislature changed the law clandestinely last year and now if you want on the ballot you can't rely on nominating signatures to get there. The only way is to get the required amount of delegate votes. That means someone with Democratic Party contacts will have the advantage over anyone else.
Given Domenici's unusual vulnerability there will be money available from national sources to help a moderately string Democratic candidate. It is there for the asking.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
There were two young women sitting next to me who were given tickets. They were probably around 18-20 years old. One of them asked me if I knew what the movie was about. I told them and they seemed disappointed that it was not an action picture. They sat through the movie however and were glued to the screen. Leonard DiCaprio might have helped, although you see very little of him. I think the young women really were awakened. The purpose of the movie, according to DiCaprio, is to make people more aware and it sure worked with them.
It is sad it isn't working with some elected officials. It looks like the plan to burn New Mexico's Pinon/Juniper forests for a power plant in Torrance County is back on track. So, we are taking trees that scrub the atmosphere of Carbon while providing Oxygen, and burning them for electrical power. Does this sound right to you? New Mexico State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons approved a no-bid contract to provide these trees off state land. Why hasn't the legislature or the media taken this on? It is shameful and damaging to future generations. It is wrong, wrong, wrong!
It is just the kind of thing that '11th Hour' condemns. Using reasoning that says the economic value of a few jobs at a power plant are more important than a climate meltdown.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The picks include Ned Farquhar who is the Mountain West Energy/Climate Advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council. I was glad to see Ned get appointed because he worked hard on the passage of this bill. Essentially, the Authority will be responsible for developing the towers, lines and other infrastructure that will carry renewable energy from their sources to market. This Authority is the first of its kind in the nation. It will have a big task ahead of it as it seeks to build this asset and at the same time protect wilderness and park quality lands in the west. There will need to be compromise on the routing of these powerlines.
Tonight Bobbi and I will go to a preview showing of "The 11th Hour" which is Leonard DiCaprio's documentary concerning the environmental crises caused by human actions and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity. You know people are starting to pay attention when documentaries such as this, and Michael Moore's movies, start drawing impressive audiences. It used to be the domain of television to do such documentaries like this. It is something Edward R. Murrow would have done. The major Networks have pretty much checked out on shows like this. Now you have to pay to go to theaters to see them. I wish we could take entire high school classes to these films.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
He was interviewed in the New York Times magazine this morning and said something profound. It had to do with writing a new novel, "Spook Country", which I saw on the racks yesterday.I will wait for the paperback. It is not science fiction but is about the present and current world we live in. The novel sets a dark mood for the world. When asked why he had not written a novel like this before he said it would not have been possible. He said if he had gone to a publisher with a story about earth's climate melting down, terrorists flying airplanes into skyscrapers and then bush and America invading the wrong country because of it, he would never had sold the idea.
Think about this for a moment and marvel.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Justin and Karly got their marriage license yesterday in New York State. They will take their vows on October 6th in Olean, New York. We will travel there for the festivities which are spread out over three different locales in upstate New York. Bobbi, Noelle, my sister Carlota and I will represent our side of the family.
Justin is currently working on his Masters of Public Administration at Syracuse University. Karly just got her Masters in Social Work this Spring and has started her first job. Justin and Karly have been together for five years or so. After Justin gets his advanced degree next summer they might move to Washington, DC where Justin aspires to being a policy wonk and Karly will find work to do good deeds.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I named my blog 'Only in New Mexico' for good reason. Things happen here that defy logic. Here is the latest example. The County Commission in Otero County has decided that the White Sands National Monument should not be declared a World Heritage Site because they don't want the United Nations to have any power over the area. Of course, that means all those people flying around in black helicopters bent on world dominion. New Mexico already has World Heritage Sites. They are Taos Pueblo, Carlsbad Caverns, and Chaco Canyon. Other noteworthy sites in America are the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. The last time I checked they had not been taken over by the UN. The incredible diversity of the sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization can be viewed here.
But, the County Commissioners in Otero County see nothing but threats in such a designation. So much for enlightened government in that beautiful landscape. Sometimes, it is just to hard to take in this stuff. I for one would love to see this declared a World Heritage Site. That National Monument does not belong to a few backward county commissioners in Otero County. It belongs to all Americans.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I got a copy of this News Release today from them and I think it is a real plus for Governor Richardson.
1. Journal--The GOP wants the Police Department in Albuquerque to arrest all illegal aliens on the spot and ship them out. Oh, are their spouses and children to be notified? I guess that might just be an annoyance to the GOP.
2. The bush administration will make sure that cancer victims continue to suffer in New Mexico by threatening to arrest state employees who carry out the will of the Governor and Legislature by providing medical marijuana for them. So the state employees, fearing prison, understandably will not do it. This is the result of bush's compassionate conservatism.
3. Federal Appeals Court Judges listened with frustration and anger as the bush administration tried to convince them it is okay to spy on Americans with out court supervision.
4. Nicholas Kristoff's Column in the New York Times paints a frightening picture of global warming progressing much faster than expected while the bush administration sits on their campaign contributions from the coal and oil and gas industry.
I think I am getting to be an obsessive/compulsive type over our nation's leadership. I seem to be harping on this stuff way to much. I just cant help myself I guess, so I am OCD! Soon I will get to be that way over our new Democratic Congress if they don't start getting a lot more aggressive over this stuff.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I had never really looked around the MySpace website. I was really astonished at the amount of information that people put in there about themselves. It sort of makes the federal government's spying on its own people kind of easy.
On another matter, I had the opportunity to have coffee with a couple of city councilors in the last week and they independently have said the same thing. They say that the Mayor has pretty much checked out of his policy role at city hall and that he is spending most of his time traveling. I can't blame him much. After his last six years of being Mayor he has to be in shell shock. It is a tough job and baggage always mounts. His recent spats with the council show his growing frustration. I really don't think he will be running again for this job. The city budget is about tapped out with six years of double digit increases that both he and the council let get away from them. It may be coming back to roost soon. The ten or so people who will run for Mayor will face what I did in 1997 after Mayor Chavez' first term, a busted budget after double digit increases for four years. They won't be having much fun as this city faces severe cutbacks.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Since it takes a total of 36 years to send and then receive a message from the aliens, and vice versa, it is a pretty slow way for the races to learn about each other. And then the aliens decide to send their entire genome sequence to Earth. Along with it comes technology for growing a couple of the aliens who would be reared by earthling parents. Then everyone could understand each other better.
It is an ingenious idea since traveling 18 light years is just not possible. If we ever do make contact and decide to transmit the human genome across space I just hope someone like bush, cheney or rove aren't involved. That might end things for future communication right there.
Speaking of cheney, look at this interview from 1994. What happened?
Monday, August 13, 2007
I have an idea for the next chapter. How about an all expenses paid trip to the Hague, Netherlands for a war crimes trial. Rove says he was proud to put the bush administration on a 'war footing' along with others in the administration. Rice, Wolfowitz, Powell, Cheney, Rumsfeld should all join him on his 'next chapter adventure' as soon as they are able.
This is an evil man. He says he asked a lot of his family. Did any of them get blown to bits in Iraq? I don't think so.
This is funny. And it is close to the truth.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
This is a picture from the rest area along I-25 between Las Vegas and Springer. Bobbi and I ran up to Colorado Springs and Denver for the weekend to visit her sister and husband, Caryl and Wayne, and attend a house warming near Denver. I will say one thing, New Mexico highways make Colorado's look really bad. It is obvious Governor Richardson's Grip program is working. Next time you drive over the border to our north, you will see what I mean.
Wayne and Caryl are good liberal Lutheran Ministers. When we visit them we get up early on Sundays to have a nice breakfast before they go tend to their flocks.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Pray that it doesn’t rain because there will be no one to put a new roof on your house. Thinking about conserving water? Forget it because there will be no one to come and do the xeriscaping on your house because there will be no workers there either.
Thinking about a nice Caesar salad for dinner tonight? Forget it; there will be no one to pick the Romaine lettuce in the fields. Hoping those street improvements get finished soon? They wont because there will be no one to lay the asphalt.
Well, you get the picture.
It is Déjà vu for me. I see in the paper where Mayor Marty Chavez wants to have lunch with three councilors every week to see if he can smooth over his differences with them. The media is saying the two warring factions should work together. That is true. At the same time the system is set up to have constant friction between the two bodies, which is probably good.
Marty, I tried this same thing during my term as Mayor. Once a week I invited Councilors to lunch with me at the Petroleum club, now defunct, and we tried to talk through things. The fact is the luncheons were unproductive because it was really the desire of the then city council staff that things not get worked out. The big mistake was letting staffs from both branches attend the meeting. Don’t let that happen or the dynamics will be all wrong.
I had a very contentious council to deal with. Think of it. Greg Payne, Mike McEntee and Hess Yntema were all serving as hit men for the Republican Party in one way or another. Now Mayor Chavez is getting the same thing from the less conservative members of the Council. Probably, Marty’s ‘my way or no way’ attitude does not help. It is something the public does not see often and now some Council members are just fed up.
Things are unlikely to get much better.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
It would take courage for bush to have any sort of public meeting in Albuquerque. I remember when I was Mayor that President Clinton came to visit just a week after the Monica Lewinsky story hit the papers. We were asked to put together a rally on Civic Plaza downtown and I was frankly a little worried that the turn out wouldn't very large. Wrong! People started filing onto the Plaza hours before the President's appearance. He gave a great speech poking fun at himself occasionally. Have any of us ever seen bush do that?
The thing is, Clinton was a President that most people always did like, despite some of his lapses. Those lapses however did not include illegal and immoral wars where thousands die. That is why bush can't go out into public. All of his appearances have the look of a closed circuit teleconference where his 'rovian' handlers set the dialogs from the handpicked audience.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
We haven't found the leak in the pipe under the slab in the living room. Time for Plan B. Except we don't have a Plan B. We will wait over night with a hole in the floor to see if any water appears.
It may be the damage to the adobe wall is being done by carpet shampoos. I kinda wondered about that all along. You might notice we sacrificed Justin's Super Mario Brothers bed sheets for this excavation. Justin is now 27 and will be getting married in less than two months. Hard to believe.
This is my world today. The good technicians from Western Mechanical are seeking a leaking heating pipe under the concrete deck in the living room. It has been leaking a little for a few years and we just can ignore it anymore as it was starting to dissolve our adobe wall. I love the baseboard hot water heating system that we have, but this was bound to happen at some point. It gives a very even and comfortable heat and doesn't blow hot air around.
I remember when we built our house 13 years ago that they had to go in and fix some pipes at this location. It looks like it didn't work all that well. As of 10:00AM they have uncovered the pipe but haven't found the leak. Yet.
This is funny!
Monday, August 06, 2007
I think Hollywood may be catching on to this stuff. Bobbi and I went to see the latest spy movie "The Bourne Ultimatum" on Friday evening. It was a full house and the movie was about the CIA gone mad. It was a good movie with action from the opening seconds until the very end. No time to get up and go to the potty if you didn't want to get left behind.
Interestingly, the previews of upcoming movies included two that will be dealing with bush's rendition and curtailment of civil liberties. Can't wait!
And then we get home from a rained out Isoptope's game on Saturday night and watch the first in a series of SciFi specials on ABC. Yep, the first series entry is about an idiot President who won't listen to any one and ends up destroying the world, and then losing all memory of it. He has deluded himself in his underground bunker that everything is fine.
In these cases, Truth isn't stranger than fiction.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Mike and I worked hard together to do away with the New Mexico Primary Nominating convention which put control of the picking of candidates into a few powerful hands. Both Mike and I were victims of that system. Yet, I still won my first primary after all most being run off the ballot by the liquor industry retaliating for liquor law reform. The system is back now with a vengeance and is even worse than before.
The legislature eventually undid good stuff that Mike championed when he was a state Senator. The growing power of money in politics saw to that.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I had coffee with a friend this morning who was near the giant steam explosion last month in New York City. She said some of her colleagues told her that the steam system that runs New York City is over 100 years old and hasn't been replaced because money wasn't available.
We all see things that need improvement every day, from streets to aging power plants and distribution systems. But, it will all turn out badly with loss of life if we don't reinvest in our country. It won't happen unless America loses its "Warrior" mentality.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
So, they are making mountains out of molehills on whether or not a campaign can buy a computer for its obvious usefulness in a campaign. Well, they should get over it. They would better spend their time on how their bush team has screwed things up. The only good news, if you can call it that, is that fewer American kids died last month in Iraq, although Iraqi casualties soared.
Soon, bush will claim he coached the Iraqi Soccer Team! Oh wait, the team captain said the Americans should leave Iraq immediately.
Yeah, I know, this is all whining too.