Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I see the President felt he needed to explain his Christianity to some Albuquerque people yesterday.  He did a good job of it but it won't change the minds of anyone who thinks he is Moslem.  I also noticed that yesterday the NY Times had an article about how miserably people fail tests about religion.  Even their own.  I took the test and got all but one question correct.

Most skeptics do well on the tests.  So do atheists.  I noticed that word atheist is never capitalized by the spell checker.  Now I have noticed that Lutheran is.   Is seventh day Adventist?  yes the last word is.  Is scientology? nope  Is Buddhism?  yes.  Is Catholicism? yes.  Is Baptist? yes . Is Methodist?  yes. Is Mormon? yes.  Just one of those little meaningless discoveries in life.

Today I throw the dice to see if I and my baggage can make it all the way to Cape Cod, MA.  I will be attending a Wyss Foundation Board meeting there and then I will travel to Syracuse, NY to see my son Justin and his wife Karly.   They just moved into a new home after leaving Washington, DC where he continues his work remotely for the Solar Energy Industry Association.  They will become parents in November and  Bobbi and me will have a first grandchild.  Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Why is it that we cant go see a speech by the President any more?  Ever since 9-11 it seems the only way to see the nation's leader speak is either on TV or at one of those small invitation only affairs.  I remember that every time Bill Clinton came to New Mexico he would hold a public rally where everyone could attend.  Now, as with Obama today, a very small and orchestrated event will take place in Albuquerque's South Valley.  TV will be there but the citizens wont.  This may be the doing of the Secret Service but I still think it further insulates the country's leadership from the people.

The Albuquerque Journal editorial this morning on the NM Air National Guard (The Tacos) seemed to indicate that the reason they have lost their mission and planes is that Pete Domenici and Heather Wilson are no longer in congress to protect them.  Maybe the Journal needs a longer look at that premise.  Frankly, the F-16 just is getting old and obsolete.  Having all these fighter groups around the country is needlessly expensive in the era of drone aircraft and pinpoint GPS and Laser targeting.  And I say this as a person who really likes Air Force fighters and as a former member of the Tacos.  I am kind of a freak for them.  At this point many of the Guard Units that are still flying will probably cease to do so in the next ten years as budget savings are sought out. Budget savings made necessary by bush, Domenici and Wilson's tax cuts in the middle of a war.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I don't think it matters a whole lot if a person running for office doesn't have a college degree.  What does matter is whether or not they fudge on the issue.  I remember when now disgraced Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil Giron said during a campaign that she had a college degree when she didn't have one.  It became the big issue in that race with the Albuquerque Journal and everyone else having a lot of fun with it.  Giron, who was a semester short of a degree, said she had it in her mind that she had one.  Whatever that excuse was supposed to accomplish is beyond me.

I noticed this morning that the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor and the GOP candidate for Secretary of State have no degrees.  Their democratic opponents both  have advanced degrees.  So what?  As long as a person is smart and honest you really don't need a sheepskin to prove yourself.

And then there is the GOP candidate for Land Commissioner, Matt Rush, who said he had an Associate Degree when he didn't.  Now that brings up the question of honesty.  Why do some people feel such a need to inflate themselves this way?  But it also exposed another problem.  He must be ignorant too.  Does he think he can get away with lying on a resume when running for political office?

Well, why not?  Because as we have learned from the Susana Martinez campaign it is easy to lie about your opponent in TV commercials even when independent watchdog groups have proven all allegations false!  And yet the commercials keep on rolling during every commercial break.  The thought being that you can keep Diane Denish's numbers down by continuing to keep up false attacks.  Even people who do not believe the allegations are somewhat moved by the negative hits.

Some people say Martinez is really not such a bad person.  If that is true how can she condone her right wing campaign handlers continuing the lies.  Victory at any cost I guess.  It defines her character to me.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Enchilada Memories

I was a member of the 'Enchilada Air Force' from 1966-1970.  I enlisted in the New Mexico Air National Guard in May 1966 and was discharged in June of 1970.

I spent two years on active duty including my training as a photographer/cinema photographer at the USAF Photo School at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver.  This photo is in my quarters at Luke AFB in Arizona.  My military service was mostly a great experience.  I left with the rank of Staff Sgt.  The technical and artistic composition training I received at photo school set me on a path to journalism and politics.

Andy House and I went out to the Air Guard today for an open house.  Sadly, the 150th Tactical Fighter Wing of the NM Air Guard will lose their last aircraft, the F-16 fighter in a few days.

Then they will search for a new mission.  The would like to get some F-22s like the one above, but they and other units like them might end up with no piloted aircraft as drones take over.

This old Photo is one I took back in 1966 of one of F-100F Tactical Fighter Bombers.  The F-100 was the first supersonic fighter put into service.

Other Aircraft in the Air Guard's inventory over its lifetime have always been fighters.  I remember as a child watching their World War II era P-51 Mustangs at the airport.

They had a few P-80s which Andy described as a plane that couldn't get out of its own way.

They then went to F-100s.  As a photographer I logged missions in the back seat of the F100F.

They flew the underpowered A-7s for a while.  The pilots I knew didn't like them much.

They then got into the really hot F-16.  It is hard to believe this aircraft now is deemed obsolete.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Congressional Race

The Congressional race between Martin Heinrich and Jon Barela has been a yawner so far.  I think that is good for Heinrich, but in this paranoid political season who really knows what it means?

Barela's campaign issues mirror the tired babble from the GOP.  No regulations on business and no taxes....ever.  This is old stuff and in this economic quagmire I am not sure it is a good bet.  Let us recall what no regulation has brought us.  The meltdown on Wall Street where the only survivors were the ones who caused it.  The oil platform disaster in the Gulf where oil industry types provided junkets and sex for lax regulation.  Countless recalls in our food industry because of poor inspection.

And now unregulated and secret political donations from national business groups to GOP candidates nationwide.  This will have an effect to some degree.

Jon Barela is not a bad guy, but his mantra in this political season is exactly what we don't need.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

In Front of Your Face

The most important story on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal today was the one about the closing of the long time Albuquerque employer General Electric.  They made jet engines for many years.  Several hundred hard working folks with good paying jobs are on the streets.  But it seems that job loss or gain is not big on the agenda of Susana Martinez.  She just wants to talk about tax cuts.  Diane Denish isn't so sure because I think she sees the trap here for these recently laid off good people at GE and others like them.  While they look for work in poor economic times they may need the support of their state government.  Can that be done without raising taxes when the stimulus funds dry up next fiscal year?  I don't think so.  But others might want to give it a try. Why would they want to support a bunch of people who don't want a job?  But just in case it doesn't work, shouldn't you leave an option open to take action?  Like Diane Denish has.

Or does GOP candidate Susana Martinez think she can just fool people by lying about this and then reneging when reality hits her in the face if she is elected.  As we know lying is a tried and true practice of the GOP.   Remember Weapons of Mass Destruction?  And Mission Accomplished?

Life is too short.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Horse Meat

Has it come down to horse meat?  Now we see both candidates for Governor in New Mexico severely underestimating the constituency that works to protect and nurture the wild Mustangs in the American West.  These beautiful creatures, whose numbers must be controlled, still have a place in our landscapes. Governor Richardson had planned on the purchase of a ranch with stimulus funds to enlarge a state park near Madrid, NM to provide a reserve for these magnificent animals.  But then Susana Martinez and Diane Denish decided it was a bad thing to do.  Why take this on as a policy issue that makes the front page? Both of them have erred in taking that stance.  Now things have been delayed in the transaction.   I  had called Denish's office to speak with her or a staffer about it, but no one returned my call.  I would expect such a policy from Martinez, but I have to say Diane took a wrong turn here.

I dealt with these wild horses when I was Bureau of Land Management Director under President Clinton.  Back then they had been treated terribly and sold to people who took them to the slaughter houses.  Those days are ended I think except in the minds of some campaign managers.  Maybe they should do a little research before taking such stands on these kinds of issues.  In fact such a state park for horses would be a good thing for the economy and would have a positive effect.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Presented for our viewing pleasure over the last two days was one deceased mouse and one departed lizard(partially consumed) on our kitchen floor.  Hermes and Ajax were proud and tired.


At one time my dad was a member of the Knights of Columbus in Albuquerque.  He didn't stay with them long as I recall.  They used to run around with swords and feathered hats and I think it was a little embarrassing for him.  This Catholic Men's group used to do some good works and defend the faith.  Now that organization's national arm is giving more money to fight gay marriage than it is to feed and clothe poor people.  What a crock!  Catholicism at work in the modern day.  That is why so many of my generation just don't participate in organized religion anymore.  It seems high on bigotry and low on good deeds.

Congressman Harry Teague has received some money from me occasionally for his campaign.  I did so because he was gutsy in supporting some environmental compromises on climate change.  But now that he is running against the great anti planet candidate, former Congressman Steve Pearce, I guess Teague needs to distance himself from land protection in Dona County and other areas.  I deep down understand his reasoning on needing to do this for reelection in that district, but I still am disappointed.  It is very important that Teague get reelected however.  He is a guy with a heart who came from humble beginnings.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sings of the Time

Someone found a bunch of old letters on an abandoned sign at the site of the old Trade Winds Motel at San Mateo and Central.  They could not pass up an opportunity for some word creation.  Click on the photos to read the signs.

I grew up just a few blocks from here and remember how robust these motels were in their day in the 50's and 60's.  There were no vacancy signs most of the time but now just vacant lots after tear downs by the city government.  It had to be done.

 I just thought these signs were cute and also true.

Frito Bandido

It is pretty easy to see now just how much right wing political hype is involved with the Immigration issue.  Governor Bill Richardson will be the only US Governor attending a border conference with Mexican State Border Governors in Santa Fe.  Apparently the other US border Governors, all republicans, don't think it is important to further understanding with their Mexican counter parts.  And yet, in varying degrees these same US Governors have mostly responded to the 'immigration' crisis foisted on the public by Fox News, Lou Dobbs, and scared Tea Party types.  The GOP US Governors are willing to use this as a divisive issue for reelection but it is not so important that they will take even four hours to show up and talk face to face with the Mexican delegates.  I know they are all busy with busted budgets and unemployment but these border governors have a responsibility to show international diplomacy.  This is somewhat of an insult.

After visiting Mexico City last week and seeing what a vibrant and exciting place that is, it just makes me wonder if these GOP Governors still see this powerful entity to the south as the "Frito Bandido".

Friday, September 17, 2010

Rotten Tomatos?

We all knew it would happen.  The political campaigns for Governor in New Mexico are grinding down to one big rotten tomato throwing contest.  I don't watch much TV news anymore in the Albuquerque market because it is so pathetic.  But watching last night I was astounded at the vile TV commercials.  Admittedly, the campaigns do them because they are effective and so it really is the gullible public who is to blame.  But still we are asking our candidates to be leaders and what we get are attacks on non issue items.  The ads are highly inaccurate and misleading but they will have some effect.

However, when it comes to non rotten tomatoes no one can do much better at growing them than my wife Bobbi.  We have had probably 75 pounds come off the vines and are still bringing them in.  I like eating whole raw ones like an apple because they have such great taste compared to what you get in the stores.  Some go in salads and recipes but most are slow roasted for six hours after being bathed in olive oil, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, fresh basil and rosemary from the garden and some oregano.  You then heat the outdoor grill to 250 degrees and leave the tomatoes there for six hours.  They come out like sun dried tomatoes and you bag them and freeze them for the worlds best pasta sauce base. Great all winter long.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

School Board Member

I don't think I have ever written about an Albuquerque school board member before.  After reading this morning's Journal in which one member, David Robbins, makes the assertion that the HIV virus can pass through pores in a condom I gotta say it is him versus science. I guess his advice is don't use condoms and don't let Doctors and patients discuss reality.  His campaign website also said he favored vouchers.    He doesn't want birth control advice given in school clinics so he comes up with something that is supposed to scare people so much that there is no support for such advice in the schools.  He doesn't care if girls get pregnant because of ignorance I guess.

I think a parent has a right to decide if an adolescent gets advice like this in their school.  If they want to stick their head in the sand and prohibit it, then their kids will suffer for it.  Get real.  Does anyone of these types of folks remember High School?  Pretty much one thing is on every teenager's mind.  And yet this school board member, in charge of education policy, is wrong on science and human nature.  Damn!  I hate it when that happens.

On another issue, is it my imagination or has the Albuquerque Journal pretty much glossed over the huge special interest donations to Susana Martinez's campaign?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tea for Two

How would one really compare the Tea Party participants in Boston Harbor with the Palin Tea Party participants of today.  Well, you cant.  Thank Fate!  These clowns will keep the Senate and House in Democratic hands.  Maybe there is a god.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I see where the NM Cattle Growers attempted and failed to quash a public hearing by the state on protection of rivers, wetlands, lakes and waterways.  You always have to be suspect when a corporate shill group like that wants to keep the public from commenting on environmental protection plans.  I have not said much about the livestock industry in the last few years, but they are still a major problem in the western United State's  water quality and health arena.  I have mostly spent time banging my head up against the oil and gas industry and its plan to keep us from renewable energy options.  Yes, that is what they do because it is in their own self interest.  And these public land users do all of this while receiving subsidies from the taxpayers.  It is enough to drive you crazy.

Meanwhile, those two industries along with the real estate and dairy folks are giving quite a bit of money to the republican State Land Commissioner candidate Matthew Rush.  He has easily out-raised Democrat Ray Powell and has a great advantage in money on hand for the last ten weeks of the general election cycle.  Since there will likely be a lot of ticket splitting during this election, Ray could be in trouble if he doesn't learn how to raise real money.  Mark my words, Rush will be getting a lot more in from these special interest groups in the next two months.

I have sent Ray Powell a little money but will send him more for the sake of our state lands protection.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I can't wait to get back to Mexico City.

 I had no idea what a great place it is.  Over 20 million people call it home.  The city was abuzz with preparations for the 200th anniversary of Independence.

 The city is prosperous.  It is full of trees on every street and it must be the world capitol for good food.  It is inexpensive and an American ex-pat population is living well there.  The Mexican middle class is growing again.  I heard the worse Sax player ever in the Zocalo!

My good friend Jim King's company has Mexican investors and his company is growing.

He was a great host and made me walk a good 20 miles in two days of sight seeing.

I stopped off in Phoenix on the way back yesterday to see my daughter Noelle and her boyfriend Luke.  The posed with their new puppy Stig.  Lola is the big dog and she is a sweetie!  Stig and Lola.  Sounds like a movie title.

And while I was gone the NM State Fair started.  Rodger Beimer sent me this pic of himself and Sam Donaldson who was the State Fair Parade Marshall.  Rodger said he got more cheers than anyone.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We visited the big square in Mexico City, the area known as the Zocalo.  The Basilica there is sinking into the old lake bed. It is awesome and you can see everything in this area that makes Mexico City so unique.  I got back into NM this evening and will post other thoughts later.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mexico City

This is a cosmopolitan world class city.  My friend Jim King and I spent the morning roaming around after breakfast at the famous Genevieve Hotel.  Here are a few photos.  There is a lot of work going on here for the upcoming Independence Day Celebration.  This is my first visit here but it wont be my last.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


I will be spending the next few days in Mexico City visiting an old friend and taking in the sights.  I am excited about visiting this historical city.  I have been many places in Mexico, but not there.  I will post photos if I can.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


I see where two political appointees, who serve at will of the elected Secretary of State, will sue her for their dismissals despite having no rights under the personnel system.  This is something that should be squashed immediately, or soon an elected official, no matter if they are competent or not, will never be able to hire or fire their own team.  I know this sounds counter intuitive but it is the way things should work.

Former Sheriff Darren White is embarrassing his new boss again.  Mayor Berry had to pick up the Journal this morning and see that White's tenure at the Sheriff's office was questionable when it came to proper handling of cash and property confiscated from criminals.  Maybe the Mayor can keep White off his self serving TV news appearances for a while.

I see where the vanquished GOP gubernatorial candidate Allan Weh will now have a private political committee that will support right wing candidates.  His funding will come I assume from his proceeds as a war profiteer.  One of the new committees goals is funding candidates who support a strong Defense effort.  Surprise, Surprise.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

That Picture Yesterday

The more I look at the Iphone photo of green chile lines yesterday the more I like it.  There is this current controversy about whether or not some Hispanic New Mexicans are pure in Spanish blood.  While I think it is unlikely and the debate rages on, everyone lines up for green chile.  They all have something in common and the rest of this drivel is unimportant.  I am off to play golf at Cochiti today.  Thursday, I will visit Mexico City for the first time and take in the sights.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labor Day/Birthday Ritual

I stood in line for forty minutes to get my three bags of medium hot chile roasted today.  The Fruit Basket on 12th Street near Candelaria is where I have done this for many years.  We will be sending back one bag with Bobbi's sister to Colorado Springs.  The rest is ours.  All ours.  A winter supply of green chile stew and gypsy stew are 'in the bag' so to speak.

Sunday, September 05, 2010


Monday I turn 65 and am covered by Medicare.  I guess in a republican's mind I am a blood sucking parasite.  Add to that I now get a social security check after working for 49 years and you could assume the GOP thinks I am what is wrong with this country.  And yet through their mouthpieces, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh and the folks who propagandize at Fox news, they seem to be successful in making black white.  My life may be 3/4 over, but I hope they lose credibility and favor before I leave.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Solar Gold

This is a damning report by the Associated Press on the performance of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on siting of renewable solar energy projects on federal lands.  Not one light bulb is being powered at this point by these projects according to this story.  One reason, the speculation on leasing of land near power lines by the likes of Goldman Sachs.  It is a game to them.  They have slowed things down along with the BLM so that nothing is getting done. While the bush administration approved 73,000 drilling applications, not one solar lease was approved.  I know that the folks inside the Interior Department want things to move, but BLM inertia combined with bush people left in the state offices have doomed the effort. So far anyway.

In the meantime I can proudly say that my brother Tom and I have done more to generate solar power that the entire BLM.  Last year I put up a 3.2 Kilowatt system and today my brother fired up his 3.8 kilowatt system.  So in the last twelve months PNM has paid me for power that I sell to them for every month except July.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Preparing the Way

The Fruit Basket Market is a mile away and I can already smell the green chile roasting.  That triggers a pavlovian response in me to defrost the freezer.  I do it religiously around September 1st.  I take out food and wrap it towels  and then put a hefty fan in front of it to blast it clear of a year's worth of frost.  Then this weekend we freeze two bags of green chile for the next year.  People who don't experience good green chile on a regular basis are usually unhappy sorts.  Maybe we should send green chile to the Tea Party HQ.

And then there is AJAX the CAT.  He has found the coziest place in the house.  Right next to a running computer.  HERMES the Cat hangs out behind the IMAC.


The Albuquerque Journal had an intriguing story on the fact that CNM in Albuquerque is having to turn away students.  CNM currently has an enrollment of around 30,000 students.  The population of a small city.  Now that is an issue that candidates should be talking about.  Think about it for a moment.  During the worst economic downturn since the 1930's Americans are flocking back to school to further their educations, but the schools say they can't take them on.  These people want to catch the next economic growth wave but it looks like they might get swamped on the beach.

One thing that has always gnawed at me is that CNM is funded by so few taxpayers in the state.  Bernalillo County residents pay the lions share of the taxes that support this institution with some money coming from Rio Rancho in Sandoval county, but in reality it is a statewide asset. The state's contribution has fallen. That needs to be fixed soon. Maybe some great thinking from our statewide candidates is in order.