Sunday, November 29, 2009
We spent the day at sea on Saturday and arose at 6am to watch our ship enter the Gatun Locks in Panama Canal. It really is a marvel and now we have been here. This is a pic of the gang of six, minus part of Connie. We took a cruise on the Chagres River and a walk in the rain forest. It rained there. Tomorrow we are on to the rain forests in Costa Rica.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Curacao is interesting because as you get off the ship you are in an area of markets and local stores intermingled with a lot of tourist traps. It is a pretty place that has humidity in spades. But it was endurable. Fresh Fish from the Caribbean and fruits and veggies from Venezuela which is just miles away. No sign of Hugo Chavez though.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Here is the Gang of Six, Rodger and Connie Beimer, Ed and Jolene Mahr, Bobbi and me after we demolished Thanksgiving Day Dinner onboard Zuiderdam. We toured Aruba all day and came back for dinner on the ship. Tomorrow we go to Willemstad for a day of walking the old city. Then on to Panama.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
We had a great beach stay at Half Moon Cay. It might be the nicest beach we have ever been on….anywhere.
Rodger and Connie thought about pedaling back to the Zuiderdam but they might have been identified as pirates and had the fire hoses turned on them.
I have to say I am disappointed in seeing Obama thinking of sending more troops to Afghanistan. How does the military industrial complex get to a buy like Obama? Maybe they all know something we don’t, but no one has ever brought order to that country and we won’t either. Like a leopard that cant change its spots.
Speaking of spotty….Martin Chavez showed his in his signing agreements on arbitration. I often wonder if it is even constitutional to give a way power to a faceless arbitrator in cutting contract deals with labor unions. That person is not elected. Shame on Marty.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I was worried that the new BLM Director, Bob Abbey, would not take action. He is a former career employee of the BLM and a favorite of Senator Harry Reid. I felt if he was appointed that he would not want to rock the boat with the BLM bureacracy. So far, I have been right. For the sake of our western public lands Abbey(a generally good guy) needs to take action on some of these directors. Not all of them, but certainly a few of them to send a message that there is a new ethic in the Interior Department.
It is all to often that Democrats in power help their enemies more than their friends. Can you imagine the bush administration or any GOP management team doing that? Right now the Obama administration needs to put the health of western landscapes and watersheds in front of the politics. A lot of folks worked for them to do so last year.
No, this is not the most important agenda item for Obama. He has his hands full. But the Interior department needs to cover him on this and do the right thing.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I don't charge much on credit cards anymore unless there is a large amount we want to get travel miles for. And that is on our Delta Cards. But once in a while you come across a place that doesn't take American Express so you whip out the old Master Charge.
Here is my message to Citi Bank. You can bend over too while I deftly insert my credit card into the receptacle. Screw twenty years of being a customer with never a late payment. You bankers are a despicable lot in most peoples eyes right now and will be for some time.
Monday, November 09, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The libertarians over at the Rio Grande Foundation have really showed their hand by coming after Lt. Governor Diane Denish. They are accusing her of improperly using federal funds that flowed to the state. This wingnut foundation also sent their mascot, James Scarentino, over to our office at the Natural Resource Trustee to do investigations into how money was spent during the administration of Congressman Martin Heinrich. Martin held this job for about two years before I returned to it. We got a request for public documents from the Foundation. After spending a lot of time and money in assembling them, Scarentino came over and spent 90 minutes looking over them before leaving with no copies. Just a big shoulder shrug. (Scarentino had been fired as executive director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance when Heinrich was on the board there.)
We can look forward to State Environment Department Secretary Ron Curry sticking around New Mexico for a while. The Obama administration sadly picked another Texan to run Region 6 of the Environmental Protection Agency. Ron was a very strong contender for this position. This administration is falling into the trap of bending over backwards to keep red states happy when in fact those folks will never ever vote for Obama. I plan on saying a lot about this kind of thing in the next few weeks and it won't be pretty.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
Let me give you some examples. Every city councilor wants a police substation in addition to area commands in their district. Every state legislator wants a state park or branch college in their sphere of influence. Believe me, it all adds up to whopping operational costs and jobs for local residents. These are recurring costs that only grow and never disappear. Understandably, these are job centers for these areas, but in this modern era of fast communications and transportation networks these are just drains on the budgets. Really, do we need as many public institutions of higher learning that we have for being such a small state? I know, this is scared cow stuff but it does point out the complicity of the legislative branch.
So, I just don't always appreciate the 'tuning up' of the executive by the legislative. Half the time it is not warranted.