Thursday, July 31, 2008
I did a little research on the Bernalillo County website yesterday to see how much taxes my north valley neighborhood pays to the MRGCD. Our 320 homes in the Thomas Village/Meadows on Rio Grande pay approximately $150,000 to the irrigation district and we receive absolutely no services other than some questionable drainage and flood protection. In fact, I wish some enterprising reporter would go start some research on what portion of the District's budget the non irrigators are paying. I will bet it is 75%. You would think that those irrigation canals that run through the urban areas could be spruced up a bit and then improved as trails. But no, the Board told everyone to take a hike. There attitude is, "Give us your money and leave us alone."
Every one of those board members should be voted out of office and replaced with more imaginative and cooperative members. Most of the senior staff, who control the board with favors, should also go out the door.
I know of some legislators this morning that are upset. They just might be planning a final solution for the District that includes the dissolution of the agency into another more responsible level of government. Maybe the State should take it over and let the legislature carry out the responsibility of the Board. Or maybe the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments along with representation of the Tribes could set up a new governance system. The time to act is nearing.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The mainstream media's hubris at following up on these gems is astounding.
I do think that there needs to be some law enforcement presence in the Bosque and that having them armed is okay. Doesn't it make sense to fund the Sheriff's offices in the four counties the District serves to carry out the work? They are qualified to do this kind of work and the District is not. You wouldn't want the Sheriff's offices doing field wildlife and conservation work and irrigation and flood control work along the river so why ask the District tax payers to fund its own police force when others can be paid to do it professionally?
The thinking over at MRGCD must be muddled due to the fact that the board and management is somewhat dysfunctional. Still, the rank and file employees have improved the place over the years.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
We owe him a debt of thanks for the vision of his company and his providing so many jobs here. He will now continue to do some work with Eclipse in Europe. But be assured that this man was the heart and soul of Eclipse.
He has fallen victim to something that is normal in the business world. His enterprise just outgrew him and moved to a new level. People should not think this is a bad thing because it isn't. His legacy will prove that.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Now apparently there are not enough bike racks on city buses. That probably is a good sign that more people are taking time off from cars to commute. This lack of racks won't be to easy to solve but I bet someone, somewhere in the world has figured it out.
Speaking of bikes, I am an avid walker on the trails along the bosque. Five or six time a week I am out there with the Beagles. I have noticed a lot more bike traffic on the bike trail and I stay off of it with the dogs as much as possible. The trail is narrow and needs some work and widening. Usually I will walk the dogs along side the trail on the road along the ditches but they are beginning to sprout goat head weeds at an alarming rate. That will force legions of dog walkers back onto the paved trail. The city sprays the goat heads along side the pavement, but the MRGCD does not spray them along the road. The other day I saw one guy walking five dogs kicking the little immature weeds out of the soil, but with in a week the roots sent up new shoots. So it causes congestion on the paved trail as those little painful stickers mature in August. If those folks and board members at the MRGCD would stop suing each other and spend just a little effort at fixing this problem I would feel the $500 a year I pay to them as a taxpayer that doesn't use irrigation water would be easier to handle.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Here is what you might see on TV in September. Martin Heinrich has never held a full time job. That is false. Martin Heinrich tried to get a $300 million dollar Trolley car just for his city council district when he served as city councilor. That is false.
Well, you get the picture. This is what we are in for as the right wing crazies try to keep power in this country. One thing we know for sure is that this sometimes works and Heinrich really needs to shoot back with both barrels.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Of course many people right now in this country have no idea where Iraq is on the map, or very many other countries. But it would be nice to have a president who knows where these places are. McCain is old enough that the education he got probably did include geography classes. We all had at least a few years of that along with Civics courses where we were expected to learn about our form of government. Right now, any naturalized citizen knows more about or Democracy and its history than most Americans. It is a wonder.
So, if McCain did take Geography why doesn't he know where country's borders are. Especially when we are in a war in those countries? Has he got a memory problem? Of course he does, just like most of us over the age of 60. But this is one part of the world he should really be knowledgeable about since he wants to keep our troops at war there.
Monday, July 21, 2008
It would really be interesting to know how many political leaders will take the time to read this document. How many legislators? How many county commissioners or city councillors? How many Congressmen and Senators? Because Congress will play a role too, and an important one.
Frankly, many will not read it because they are involved in the crisis of the day. There is no unified planning organization on the New Mexico State government level that can run with this in a sustained way. It is remarkable really, that State Government still has no "Planning Department." I have always felt that it doesn't have one because it could be the undoing of the pork barrel spending system so coveted by the lawmakers. A good planning process would certainly jeopardize that system.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
It was a solid story and I hope that New Mexico leaders will read the report in its entirety. Click on the images to enlarge.
July 20, 2008 —
Rapid change is enveloping the American West.
States in the southern Intermountain West—Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah—are experiencing some of the fastest population growth and economic and demographic transition anywhere in the country.
In fact, thanks to such maturation, the southern Intermountain West is well on its way to earning itself the title of the New American Heartland as its economy, people, and politics become more central to the nation. Politically, the Intermountain West could be home to several swing states in the 2008 election and in time play the storied “kingmaking” role the Midwest does now.
With its growth, the southern Intermountain West is also rapidly pioneering new urban forms. Most notably, the region is home to five emerging “megapolitan” areas—vast, newly recognized “super regions” that often combine two or more metropolitan areas into a single economic, social, and urban system. In the 1960s, Dallas and Fort Worth were clearly colliding, as were Washington and Baltimore by the 1980s. Now regions with more far-flung urban cores such as Phoenix and Tucson are exhibiting the same pattern, as are the urban spaces extending around Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque.
In short, an extraordinary new settlement pattern has come to characterize growth in the nation’s fastest-growing region.
Which is where this document begins: Prepared as part of the Brookings Institution’s Blueprint for American Prosperity initiative, “Mountain Megas: America’s Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper” describes and assesses the new supersized reality of the Intermountain West and proposes a more helpful role for the federal government in empowering regional leaders’ efforts to build a uniquely Western brand of prosperity that is at once more sustainable, productive, and inclusive than past eras of boom and bust.
Along these lines, “Mountain Megas” assumes that true prosperity is actually based on achieving those three interrelated dimensions of prosperity—sustainable, productive, and inclusive growth—all at once. Such balanced growth depends on the region assembling in its megapolitan areas sufficient stocks of the crucial assets that contribute to such prosperity: topnotch infrastructure, world-class innovation inputs, vital human capital, strong quality-of-place, and the necessary effective regional governance to put it all together:
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Of course, some people will fall for that kind of rhetoric. White wants to drill Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge and other valuable landscapes in the Inter-Mountain west. There are places that are appropriate to drill and places that aren't. He seems to want to go into delicate ecosystems on the basis that it will make gas cheaper. He really does think we are stupid if we take that one for a truth. Maybe he should insist on drilling the 1.2 million acres under lease in our state that have not been drilled and are being held back by big oil.
White is being strung along by his bush mascots and it is sad. He hasn't done a bad job as Sheriff, but now he is showing his real lack of independence by signing on to big oil and the GOP's tired old approach to energy issues.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I would direct the editorial writers to the web page opened by Texas Oilman turned renewable energy proponent Boone Pickens. He is a guy from the oil industry that really gets it and is looking further than the next quarter's bottom line. He is looking towards the good of the country.
I urge everyone to check this page out. Especially my good friends at the Journal Editorial Page.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
All this made me think of a silly idea. It is just three and half months until this country elects a new President and Congress. It is five and a half months until they take office. Seeing as things are going so badly wouldn't it be great if bush would just resign along with his VP and cabinet the day after the election?. That would give us an extra 11 weeks to try and sort things out and put this country on the right track.
Okay, this is silly but my point is there is absolutely no time to waste on setting things right. Things can get progressively worse in a very short amount of time as events snowball downhill. Every day counts.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Meanwhile, Bobbi is off for three days to a Jazzercise convention in New Orleans. She and 5000 other people will exercise together in the convention center four times a day. Then they will all go to places like Brennan's for the Bananas Foster. (The worlds best dessert.)
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Pearce is heavily involved in the Oil and Gas industry so he wants them to keep their subsidies and access to public lands. Even wilderness quality lands. Pearce wants everything opened for drilling. So, here are my questions.
Steve, do you or any of the companies you are involved with have any public land leases for oil and gas? If so, where are they and are they being produced or held for speculation?
Why do you want to open wilderness and conservation quality lands for development when there are over 1.2 million acres in New Mexico that are leased right now but have never been developed? Can you give me the reasoning on this?
Let's hope someone in the media asks Pearce these questions.
Yes, I know that Oil and Gas businessman Harry Teague, who is running for Congress as a Democrat in the oil patch, might be asked the same thing. So lets ask him too!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Meanwhile, the republicans and the oil and gas industry are putting on a full court press saying that more drilling should be allowed everywhere to bring down gas prices. Of course more drilling will not bring down prices because demand worldwide will set the price and demand will always outstrip production in the future, as Texas Oilman turned renewable supporter Boone Pickens knows. Even so, the call for more drilling makes no sense when it is already known that the oil and gas boys have millions of acres of land leased that they have not drilled yet. Maybe they are just trying to lock up supplies to drive up the price even further for their bonus packages.
Yeah, I sound like a conspiracy theorist but that might at least get some traction with the generally uninformed public about how this all works.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I noticed that the bush hand picked Congressional Candidate, Sheriff Darren White, is getting some criticism for spending money on rooster patrols rather than DUI patrols. The criticism is coming from other law enforcement officers. I had predicted that White would do the rooster patrols because the sucker media would cover that instead of the real pressing issues. Now, maybe White will understand that his real job is to protect residents from drunk drivers and worse.
Meanwhile, Martin Heinrich, White's Democratic opponent, is continuing a great fund raising quarter. He will be getting more of a boost from national donors since he has made the top 12 list for important and winnable Congressional races. We will be holding a little fundraiser for Martin on July 17th at our home. Send an email if you need more information.
Monday, July 07, 2008
The naysayers are already at it in the local newspapers saying a new arena is all a waste of money. Why, because it might not make a profit. If we follow that thread a little more, here are other things that don't make a profit for cities. Libraries, senior citizen centers, parks, community centers, summer day camps, after school activities......well, you can see where we would be if all we concerned ourselves with was what made a profit.
Sunday, July 06, 2008
It is somewhat uncomfortable but endurable. The cream I have to put on my face twice a day essentially will eat away all the sun damaged areas before it erodes the good cells, which as you can see are a minor part of my face. Just four more days of applications and then it will start healing, but will actually look worse for a week or two.
I am putting this gross thing on the blog to encourage others to get checked for these precancers. They are common, especially at this altitude with lots of ultra violet rays shooting around. Melanoma is not good
Friday, July 04, 2008
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Speaking of red meat, I think there may be some available to use against republican Senate candidate Steve Pearce, New Mexico's own version of Atilla the Hun. Pearce's philosophy of pillage is right up there with Atilla's, although Pearce isn't bringing any lasting cultural progress as Atilla actually did.
Pearce is insisting that more lands be made available for leasing for oil and gas. Now remember, there are already 35 million acres of public land that are already leased in the Western U.S. but have never been developed.(Does Pearce have any interests in these leases?) So, what is going on here. Simple really, its greed. Just like bush's friends in the oil industry getting leases in Iraq over the deaths of so many young Americans and Iraqi citizens. Just six more months of these people running things. Can we outlast them?
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
This was the scene outside the Rio Grande Blvd. Starbucks today. I have been seeing more and more cars with veterans plates on them, which this truck had, that are showing their intentions.(I didn't want to show the full license to protect the truck owner.) That should infuse a burning sensation in the guts of republicans this fall.
My brother Tom is a retired Army officer and he often gets together with other veterans who were Helicopter pilots in Viet Nam. I listen in. Five years ago they all, except for my brother, were bush supporters. Recently, all they can do when bush comes up in conversation is shake their heads, look at their shoes and then change the subject.
My weekend hiking buddy and I were into our three mile walk on Saturday when we decided to try and think of one thing that bush/cheney did right. I couldn't think of anything and my friend thought they did fine for the first six months after 9-11. Then it all went bad and stayed that way.
When you see scenes like the one above you realize it truly is sinking in to the general public. This inset was part of the plate where this Veteran added an additional editorial comment.