Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bad News for Print Journalists

This can't be good news for newspapers.  And their employees who are doing more for less.  If the publishers can't think of a way to garner more online advertising then newspapers as we know them will end.  Could we see them change to fewer issues a week?  Or do they go out of business altogether?  I wonder.  As much as I love the New York Times delivered every day, I just refuse to accept more price hikes. Right now it is $61 a month.  And I have a bill for  subscription to the Journal sitting on my desk for over $97.50 for six months.  What to do?

Bt then I think of the money I send to Comcast for Cable TV, Internet and Phone and those print subscription amounts don't seem so bad.  One benefit we get from Comcast is double duty as a cat warmer.

Friday, December 28, 2012


It is the law that in New Mexico you are not allowed to know who carries concealed weapons.  A nice reporter at the Journal sent me the following.

This is 29-19-6(B) of Concealed Handgun Carry Act:

Information relating to an applicant or to a licensee received by the 
department or any other law enforcement agency is confidential and 
exempt from public disclosure unless an order to disclose information is 
issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.  The information shall be 
made available by the department to a state or local law enforcement 
agency upon request by the agency.

I wonder if some competent Judge might take on a case making this clause unconstitutional?  Perhaps some good socially minded lawyer could do this pro bono.  It certainly would be in the public interest to have the ability to go online and see who is allowed to carry concealed weapons.  It is always helpful to know if someone is paranoid and armed.

The Journal ran an informative oped this morning lambasting this country's poor internet service which has been enabled by a corrupt congress and business community.  Think Comcast here.  They are an evil worthless empire and are putting profits first and service levels second.  Here is a long story by Bloomberg on our dismal internet in America.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson will resign her position.  She has been a strong Cabinet Secretary for Obama.  His challenge is now one of finding a replacement that will challenge him right back into moving on climate change issues.  Obama has a million things to do but if he doesn't get serious about this one planet killing problem then the other issues are meaningless.

I would love to see a westerner in the position.  Someone who understands our unique problems around watersheds, landscapes and natural resource extraction.  Some one like Ron Curry, who was recently appointed as EPA's Region Six administrator.  Ron was one of the best Environment Secretaries that New Mexico ever had.

I got a note from a long lost journalist colleague who recently returned to New Mexico.  I can't identify him but he seemed to agree on my characterization of our news media in the state.

He wrote, "I couldn't agree with you more. Since moving back to NM (Albuquerque) last year, I've been stunned at the steep decline in media quality. We may not have been great in my days as a reporter here - in the '70s and early '80s - but I don't believe we were this shallow, tendentious and lazy. There's doesn't seem to be any question that the low level of journalism is eroding the quality of political debate and governing."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


A New York Newspaper has listed the names and addresses of all concealed weapon permittees in its area of service.  This is a gutsy thing to do and somewhat in line with what I had suggested a couple of weeks ago.  The permittees are angry but I think it is a deterrent to 'bad guys' from messing with them.  They disagree and say more break ins to steal their guns will occur.  I doubt it.  Generally speaking these are very frightened and neurotic folks and you don't want to be bothering them.

It does bring up the question if such a list of permittees is public information in New Mexico.  We all know the Governor loves being recognized as a gun toting shill for the NRA, but do we all have a right  to know who else is?  Interesting question.  Will anyone in the media ask the question?  Can they pull themselves away from seeking out police dash cam videos long enough to ask?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Xmas Eve

The kids roasted marshmallows in the back yard last night.  The ones without jackets are from northern Montana.

Lots of posole, tamales and veggies.  We couldn't keep the luminarias lit in the wind.  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

The kitten Casper is looking forward to Christmas Eve.  His excitement is kindled by the thought of jumping into every luminaria bag during assembly.  He is shown here on Bobbi's lap after she fell asleep when we returned home from a tamale making party.

Down memory lane now.  I am 8 years old, a third grader at Our Lady of Fatima Heights Catholic School.  I am slated to serve as altar boy at the midnight mass.  I have a fever of 101 degrees from the flu or something.  I am forbidden to attend Mass.  Secretly, I am thrilled because earlier in the evening we were all allowed to open one present.  After a year of begging I received my dream gift.  A Marlin .22 caliber bolt action single shot rifle.  While everyone was a mass I sat there and dry fired that sucker for two hours.  I was so sick and so happy at the same time.
I attended firearm safety school in the basement of the Coronado Club at Sandia Base.  It was an NRA school in the days of that organization's emphasis on gun safety.  I was a member of the NRA and got their magazine for  young kids.  I always enjoyed it.

I kept that rifle for years.  It was my first gun and I have had numerous others since then.  But that little rifle that I shot .22 shorts out of was the best ever.  There wasn't an empty beer can or bottle that littered the foothills of the Sandias that survived.

I did not have any assault rifles and have never figured out why anyone needs one other than our military members.  But hey, things just went haywire with the NRA.

Have a great Holiday!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Sword

I had this weird feeling this morning while watching the NRA's CEO Wayne La Pierre on Meet the Press that the old adage, "live by the sword, die by the sword" has some relevance.  This guy and his group are really nuts.  It would be interesting to see how many members they might lose over this posturing.  

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Where are our cowardly NM Mayors?  As Rodger Beimer pointed out in his blog today many Mayors here have stood silent on the massacre and assault rifles.  Mayor Richard Berry of Albuquerque, Mayor Tom Swisstack of Rio Rancho, Mayor Larry Abraham of Los Ranchos have stood silent.  Look for your Mayor in this list of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition.

Friday, December 21, 2012

NRA Melted

Really?  The NRA solution is to put more guns in kindergartens?  They now have proven they are mentally incompetent and of limited mental capacity and should not be allowed near guns.  Just like religious fanatics.

However, I am now convinced that the theory of alternate universes is true.  The NRA leaked into our reality from the alternate universe of crazy.

People who cannot recognize a palpable absurdity are very much in the way of civilization. 
Agnes Repplier 

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I am making good progress on my knee replacement therapy.  I am now walking with out a cane or walker.

As I was driving out to my session this morning I saw a neighbor friend walking his dog.  He had a hip replaced about ten years ago.  He is doing great.  After my session I went over to Presbyterian Hospital to see my friend Brian Sanderoff. He got a new hip yesterday.  As I was walking in I met up with Rep. Mimi Stewart who stated she had two hips replaced.  She went in with me to tell Brian about it.  She was there to visit her close friend who was in the room next to Brian.  He had a total knee replacement yesterday.  So, I went in to tell him what to expect in the next few weeks.  And as I was writing this post I got an email from a good friend in Colorado who said he is now scheduled for a new knee in February.

Virtually every person I spoke with today, so far, has some new body parts.  I can't imagine not having this technology available.  I remember my maternal grandmother having bad hips.  She was crippled for a major part of her 90 years.  If she were alive today she would be active and have a good quality of life.  Our generation is lucky in that we can live pretty well with our implants.

The next religious fanatic that says the massacre of innocents occurred because we don't let god in our lives should be declared insane and kept away from guns.

I am reading a book, "Why does the World Exist?" by Jim Holt.  Deep and interesting stuff.  The basic question is 'Why is there something instead of nothing?'  He catalogs the many learned thinkers past and present who have tackled this question.  He quotes Schopenhauer who wrote, "The lower a man is in an intellectual respect, the less puzzling and mysterious existence itself is to him."  That is the refuge of religious fanatics I think.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

NRA and Manufacturer Registry

The NRA minions emerged from their slimy hole yesterday to give condolences.  None of these people are being forced to face any responsibility.  They are getting off scott free with profits from murder. If the media doesn't dog them to the end of their days then they are not worth a damn.  Perhaps it will be up to the internet bloggers to set up a registry on where these people live.  Kind of like a sex offender registry.  We have to keep our kids away from them.

They said they will announce on Friday how they will help make sure this latest massacre of innocents will never happen again.

Watch for tricks here.  If they concentrate on just talking about high capacity magazines then it is a phony solution.  If they promise to arm and train teachers to shoot shooters then it is absurd.  See this report.  

They can do nothing less than call for a ban on sales of all assault rifles.  The destruction of all existing such weapons.  And the Board and Executive staff of the NRA must all resign their high paid positions and publicly gather to apologize for their complicity in the murder of these children.

The media needs to identify all of these folks.  And the CEO and Board of the Cerberus holding company that owned the Bushmaster weapons manufacturer must not sell the company but dismantle it forever.  And then they all must resign their positions.

They are scum of the earth.

Worth Funding

I sent some dollars to this effort.  This documentary will be done by a good friend of mine, Ned Judge, and it will be great.  Please help with this innovative way of financing something that Big Pharma would not want you to see.  Especially watch the video.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An Opportunity

Soon we will be inundated with Mayoral candidates.  This gives us an opportunity to bring up an issue in a meaningful way for once, and that is what each candidate will do in regards to control and/or eradication of assault rifles in our midst.  And they cant just cop out about talking about ammunition magazines.  I mean the whole package needs to be debated.

And, our New Mexico Supreme Court needs to revisit gun control questions.  Those elected judges always cower before the NRA as they did when they struck down my efforts as Mayor to keep concealed weapons out of Albuquerque.  They acted like a bunch of sissies and just blew us off.

And then there is our legislature.  How many of them are willing to work on these issues and reform the concealed carry laws in this state?  Do we need them?  They certainly have never stopped a mass killing have they?  No, they are just there for a bunch of neurotics who want to feel more powerful.

Now is the time to strike on these gun issues.  The NRA is cowering in the corner.  They even took down their Facebook page.   

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Savage Nation

I have tried not to watch the news too much since the slaughter of school kids on Friday.  It is just to hard to bear.

And then last night the Caliber's Shooting Range and gun store ran a commercial on TV with some loopy guy day dreaming about getting an assault rifle.  Can you believe it?  What kind of proprietor would put that on TV?

Thirty one pro gun lobby Senators refused to appear on Sunday News Shows in the wake of the massacre of school children.  I want their names.

 I haven't heard a word from the NRA.  Their chief  Wayne La Pierre needs justice visited upon him soon.  Post his home address and see if he feels comfortable living there.  Most school children's parents won't feel comfortable Monday morning sending the little ones off to school, not as long as La Pierre's organization keeps reform at bay.

And how about the firearm manufacturers who profit from assault rifle sales.  Let's find the CEO of the maker of the Bushmaster AR-15 that was used to kill the innocents. He must face the dead children's parents and explain his actions.

And the next pol who gets on TV and says this is the greatest nation in the world needs to have his career ended asap for being a psychotic liar.  We will never be the greatest nation until sane gun control laws are passed.  All assault rifles should be turned in under penalty of five years in a federal prison for non compliance.  All sales must end immediately.  This would be  something that would make us look sane and set a tone for the proper sale of sporting arms and screening of firearm buyers.  I say all of this as an owner of guns.

This is a good read about the greatest nations on the planet.  We are not one of them.

Friday, December 14, 2012


The right wing wacko anti public land forces are making a run at trying to appropriate all federal public lands in New Mexico into ownership by the state.  State Representative Yvette Herrell from the oil patch is behind the effort.  This is the same lunacy that is being practiced on behalf of the fossil fuel and livestock industry in other states.  It is grand theft of the public domain.

Maybe Representative Herrell should read the New Mexico Constitution.  It is right there in the Enabling Act.


Act June
20, 1910, c. 310, 36 U.S.Stat. 557, 568— 579

Sections 1 to 18, inclusive of the Act of June 20, 1910, enabled the people of Territory of New Mexico to form a constitution and state government.

Second. That the people inhabiting said proposed State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated and ungranted public lands lying within the boundaries thereof and to all lands lying within said boundaries owned or held by any Indian or Indian tribes, …

One can only wonder at the ignorance of some of our elected officials.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


This is then NM Attorney General Jeff Bingaman and me testifying to reform New Mexico's corrupt Liquor laws back in 1980.  We were successful although the system has broken down again.  At least we still have the beer and wine licenses for the small eateries around the state.

Now, Senator Jeff Bingaman leaves the Senate in a few weeks.  Last night I saw him on the Colbert show.  He did his best to be funny and non controversial.  I think his agreeing to be on the show will cause the Universe to shift somehow.

We will miss his quiet leadership in the Senate.  Although he sometimes didn't move fast enough on some issues for many of us, he was an excellent Senator whose intellect and demeanor others should emulate.

His leaving the Chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be a loss for the west.  However, Senator Martin Heinrich will surely fill his shoes at some point as his seniority builds on that committee.  No one is more qualified to sit on that committee that holds sway over all public land issues in this nation.  And Heinrich understands these issues completely.  I think he will always come down on the side of conservation and protection of our landscapes and watersheds.  He certainly doesn't owe the fossil fuel boys a thing.  He will be fair but he won't be rolled over by those polluters.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Watching the news last night about a thief committing suicide in a car I got to wondering why there were more than 30 police officers there standing around doing nothing.  Well, they were collecting overtime.  It looked to me that half the officers were in army fatigues as if there were a war ready to start.  Even though the guy was dead, dead, dead.

This happens all the time.  It would be interesting to see what the overtime bill is for incidents like this.  When I was Mayor there were officers who were making well over $100K a year because they were so good at milking the system.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

War Against Workers

Another state, Michigan, has passed the so called "Right to Work"  law.  It is really a law aimed at the right to work for next too nothing.  It means to destroy organized labor.  I watched efforts for years when I worked for Governor Bruce King to pass this law in New Mexico.  He always fought it as did the democrats in the Legislature.

Now the New Mexico Restaurant Association wants to have the city council unilaterally change the intent of the new minimum wage law passed in Albuquerque.  Eatery employees make less than anyone before tips and this Association doesn't want to see any changes.  And they are telling the voters to "Go Frak Yourself" (thanks to Battlestar Galactica for the new verb).  I am willing to pay an extra buck at meal time to help cover this hike.  I think most people feel that way too or they would not have voted for this.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

GOP, Cows, Fossil Fuels

The Nation's Secretary of Agriculture told representatives of rural America that they are losing relevance because they are not being smart about their political fights.  I would second that big time.  They just aren't keeping up with the times even as their numbers decrease and urban America rules.  The rubes are no longer in charge.

And then I see where the New Mexico GOP once again elects its leaders from the rural areas of the state.  It is not that those folks are evil or dumb, because they mostly are not.  It is because the republicans keep ignoring the growing and vibrant power bases.  The new GOP chair is from Lincoln County.  Down near the oil patch where fossil fuel and livestock are the main economic drivers.  If one looks at the demographics it is easy to say that if an area is rich in public land and resources then the GOP is strong.  Whether it be grazing permits or oil and gas leases the resource extractors are there and are very conservative.  The problem for them is that their numbers are small and their philosophy of, "give us your land, give us your subsidies, and leave us alone" will take care of them in the end.

That is not necessarily a good thing since a decent two party system is generally a positive.  But the GOP itself is rendering that notion antiquated as they destroy their own party from the inside.

Friday, December 07, 2012


The Radio station DJ's who pulled the stunt on the Royal Family are taking a lot of heat now that a nurse has killed herself.  She was duped by the DJs into believing the Queen wanted to talk to the pregnant Kate.  But every single news director and news editor who made a big deal out of it are just as  guilty of driving this poor nurse over the edge. They are all criticizing the radio jocks when they should be pointing the finger at themselves.

Thursday, December 06, 2012


The Journal took on the Federal Probation Officers who went to see that great movie Lincoln.  The Feds did it as part of a leadership and training course.  Good for them.  Every reporter and editor and the Journal should go see this movie too so they can understand how politics in the real world works.  Sometimes Journalists are incredibly naive on how things get done.  When I was a reporter I certainly was ignorant of the finer points of compromise and coercion required in making progress.  So often Journalists see it as all evil, when it isn't.  As for doing a front page story on the Officers going to see this flick, certainly there are better things to do.

While I have been recovering from my knee surgery both Bobbi and I have been mourning the loss of our cat Hermes.  He was my most favorite kitty ever.  He disappeared a few days before Halloween when he never came home.  I kept hoping he would come back from his sabbatical, but he didn't.

So Bobbi went and adopted a new kitten at the shelter this weekend.  Our other cat Ajax was acting lonely in our minds.  We have named the new guy Casper. He looks a lot like Hermes.  Maybe even his ghost.  Although, now that we have him I halfway expect a bedraggled Hermes to show up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Governor Martinez and Mayor Berry sit in the shadows chuckling that we have such a lame news media.  The state and city economies are mired in a swamp.  That is reported by the media.  But they never seem to go get comments from these two political leaders about what they are doing to help us get unstuck.  If anything.  Last night I watched the police blotter news on Channel 13.  Cops and robbers all the way.  A reporter interviewed the Governor on some inane story.  She didn't even throw in a question about the economy.  Maybe the Governor only does these interviews with the understanding that no tough questions are allowed.  Well, maybe there would be no opportunity to air the answers anyway because 911 tapes and dash cam cop videos demand too much time.

And the Governor and Mayor just love that.  They have gleefully urged their cop shops to offer all the crime video they can get to the media.  Those news directors and editors.....they are so easy.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Presto-Change-O at the Journal?

Did I miss something?  Or was a Sunday Albuquerque Journal article the first public indication that long time publisher of the paper Tom Lang has been shown the door and replaced by his brother Bill Lang who has the title President and CEO?  The story announcing cooperation between the Journal and the Rio Rancho Observer had a quote from Bill Lang about the new arrangement.  Tom Lang's name is still on the masthead as publisher, but is he?

Rumor has it that the Journal staff was given some sort of statement about the changes.  A million questions arise.  Will the Journal take on less of a right wing stance on the editorial pages?  Will editor Kent Walz be given a different kind of supervision?  Will the new leadership be able to save the Journal as a major daily news paper?  This is all historic for this newspaper which has seen so much bleeding of staff and revenues in the last decade.  It is a great opportunity for it to remake it self into a publication for all of New Mexico, not just the right wing.  The problem has been the editorial stands leak into the news coverage.

Bill Lang is seen as a good business man and not an ideologue.

Maybe it is a new day!