Friday, August 30, 2013

It's Never too Late!

Everyone is putting the final nails in the coffin of Pete Dinelli in his bid for the Albuquerque's Mayor Office.  Well, it doesn't look good based on the first poll.  But it isn't really over yet.  Think Harry Truman's miracle over Thomas Dewey.

Really though, some sort of miracle is needed.  They only way of bringing it about is if Pete has saved all of his public financing money and uses it in some ground breaking way.  His commercials will have to be trail blazing.  I am not suggesting the bug-eyed ads that Gary Johnson did that made him go from a complete unknown to a winner in the mid 90's Governors race.  They were weird and they worked.

If there are any miracle worker types out there to think up some cutting edge stuff for a Democrat hoping to topple a frontrunner who is ahead two to one, then now is the time to come forward.  It can be done.  Don't ya think?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Woo Hoo

Our son Justin and his lovely wife Karly have a second son.  Finn Desmond Baca was born on Monday and everyone is healthy.  First grandson Simon has a new bro!

I love the new guys name.  Talk about an international handle that he can explain to everyone for the rest of his life.  But as Justin and Karly have figured out this is the era where it doesn't matter what one's back story is, but what they can add to society and humanity as a whole.

This is the same kind of picture I took about 29 years ago when Justin was introduced by Bobbi to his baby sister Noelle.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Brilliant Notion

The Guys

My Tuesday morning golf group is made up of Democrats and Republicans.  Some very liberal Dems, some moderately conservative Republicans, and all genuinely nice people.  We all get along pretty well and have intelligent arguments over the issues of the day.  Yesterday's post game refreshments had the usual mix of politics, golf stories, and debate.

None of us thought getting into the Syrian morass was a good idea.  At most, throw in a few cruise missiles and that is all.  Even that was distasteful given that the conflict has turned into a religious war between the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam.

The issue of same sex marriage never came up in the discussions.  It is really such a non issue to most folks that one has to wonder how out of touch some of our pols are when they oppose it.  And the Governor wants to dodge it all by saying the people should vote on it.  She is a coward who wont take a position on the issue itself.

They Mayor's race is discussed once in a while in our group.  It is less exciting than our friends hole in one the other day.  One of our group said yesterday that  Pete Dinelli had not given anyone a reason to vote for him.  And this is a guy who never voted for a republican.  Bad omen.

The book "This Town", which is about what Washington, DC and the politics there has become, is getting raves.  I will order it onto my Kindle today.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nothing Sticks

Mayor Berry is Teflon, the Teflon being applied by the Albuquerque Journal.  He says he has guided Albuquerque through tough economic times with a steady hand.  The Journal doesn't really question his lack of action.  Paul Heh, one of his opponents said it was 'bull shit' and pretty much lowered his expected vote from 5% to 2%.  Pete Dinelli didn't get in any killer shots in this last debate.  All of this is being fueled by incredible apathy on the part of the public who can't see that New Mexico and Albuquerque are falling further and further behind in economic growth compared to the other cities and states in the region.  So, we will get what we deserve where 'touchy feely' p.r. pumped candidates win elections.  All form over substance.

Dinelli tried to turn the race into a partisan one by touting his democratic party membership into an asset in front of the staunchly conservative and self serving NAIOP.  Those are the developers who love sprawl and erosion of the environment.  How did this help him?  Maybe it did, but I seriously doubt it.  While the Mayor is a republican supported by the right wing apparatus of the Governor, no one seems to know it or really care.

There has not been one really big original idea put forth in this race to lead New Mexico's largest city.  Dinelli wants to pump more money into the airport, but right after he announced that Frontier Airlines left.  Horrible timing that made Dinelli's campaign researchers look a little lacking.

And the Mayor?  If he has any sort of plan to help us climb out of our economic malaise he is keeping it a pretty good secret.  His like ability will soon disappear if he doesn't deliver some real programs.

And for all us cynics out there, one of my favorite authors, David Brin, opines for us.  Just scroll down to the section titled "an exercise for cynics.'

Monday, August 26, 2013


Memo to Governor Martinez and Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado.  As a reminder for you, many rest stops along the interstate highways were constructed as a necessary service to the traveling public.  They should be open every day.  This trip of ours up to Fort Collins, Colorado had no open rest areas on northbound I-25 from Santa Fe to Colorado Springs.  On Sunday, there were no open ones Southbound on I-25 from Colorado Springs to Albuquerque.  And there are no safe crossovers to use the ones that are open in this peculiar system.  That system is having potties closed to save money while at the same time giving tax breaks to corporate America when they don't even need them.

I have to chuckle at the drama over these forest fires in the west where the media loves to show fire fighters standing around watching every thing burn to a crisp.  Yes, they save an occasional structure, but mostly they have little effect.  And to my knowledge those $30,000 apiece fire retardant drops never ever stopped a forest fire.  Nature will pretty much run things during times of drought.  Meanwhile the Forest Service is cutting their budgets to the bone to support armies of fire fighters who can do very little.  The only things that stops these monster fires are rain and humidity.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Political Ad

They are starting. Political ads.  Today I got a mailer from city council candidate Roxanna Meyers.  It is a slick looking piece.  It says absolutely nothing on any issue.  Nothing about the economy, nothing about the police department, nothing on city finances, nothing about public safety, transportation or urban sprawl.  It is just a piece saying, Gee....I have a nice family.

The point is that most candidates will follow this lead with platitudes and touchy/feely kinds of ads.  They will all look soft and warm and nonthreatening and they all will ignore the issues of the day.  Unless they are negative ads put on by right wing and left wing political committees.  Those will twist the issues of the day based rarely on the truth.

We will travel into Colorado for a few days to see our daughter Noelle and her husband Luke.  

Thursday, August 22, 2013


This wholesale slaughter of New Mexico behavioral healthcare providers by the Martinez administration is starting to intrigue me a lot.  Especially the the secrecy surrounding the shotgun approach to dealing with some of the non profits involved.  Leslie Lithicum in the Journal this morning put a real human face on it with her description of the fate of Hogares, one of the providers.

Groups like Hogares have always been influential in politics.  They usually have champions in elected officials who protect them and whenever funding cuts loom, their political friends go into fight mode.  When I served as Mayor the non-profits that got money from the city had full time lobbyists in the form of city councillors.  So one had to be careful about reprimanding any of those groups who felt they were entitled to a supply of funding every  year.  It  had to be done surgically. There were some groups I thought weren't doing the job but the city council would fund them anyway.  Their sense of entitlement always rankled me.

What is surprising about the Martinez administration is that they bludgeoned all of these groups at once, which seems pretty suspicious to me.  And then the funding went to an Arizona group?  Very strange.  We all know the politics of Arizona leaders and this will end up being a debacle for those most in need in a very poor state.

I was glad to see Pete Dinelli come out strong on demanding an investigation into the Mary Han death. At the very least it will put some much needed scrutiny on APD, Darren White, Rob Perry and others.  This can't happen soon enough!

P.S.  The Journal got my memo the other day and started using oodles of photos all of a sudden.  And in color too.  It really makes the newspaper look much better.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I have decided to think harder on who to vote for in the City Council race in my district.  I have been unhappy with Isaac Benton because of his refusal to take an up or down position on the much debated Roundabout on Candelaria and Rio Grande.  It is a local issue that has gotten him in trouble with some folks, so much so that one of my neighbors donated $40,000 to a PAC to defeat him.  But this little issue pales in comparison with his ability to take a definite stand on the questions of women's choice.  He is for it and will oppose the referendum that will try and pass local controls (unconstitutional) on women's ability to control their own bodies. I just found out that his opponent Roxanna Meyers is also prochoice, which is good.   Meanwhile, the city clerk and Mayor just cost us close to a million bucks in additional election costs by not qualifying the petition signatures on the referendum.  That means another whole new election.

Meanwhile, Pete Dinelli will wade into the Mary Han case today during a news conference.  It is about time someone did.  I wish someone would hold the City Council accountable for the conditions in the police department too.  They really can't be considered just bystanders.  

And finally, Ajax the Cat and his metal friend have found a big boulder they like to hang out on in the back yard.  It stays warm all night and is a good early morning perch.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Natural Order

In our back  yard garden we have an interesting example of synergy in nature.  We have a volunteer tomato plant climbing up a corn stalk courtesy of a morning glory vine that is attaching all three plants.  All working together.  We get pretty blue flowers, some blue corn, and more tomatoes to be sun dried.

And then I think of the politics today in New Mexico.  Our Governor touts the fact that she and the duped legislature passed a corporate income tax reduction in order to help our economy.  But a little analysis makes that the worst case of claiming synergy,  ever!

The only ones who made out on this were the major corporations doing business in New Mexico.  The small corporate business and small proprietorships get nothing out of it because they have no profits whatsoever, and have had none for five years.  And yet the sap media and public probably look upon the Governor as a great economic leader, when in fact she and her enablers are nothing but shills for the CEO's and Boards of the ever more corrupt corporate America.  Include the Albuquerque Journal publisher and editor in that column too, and most of the GOP and too many of the Democrats.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mary Han

The Attorney General, Gary King, has ruled the mysterious death of Mary Han to not be a suicide.  He says the cause of the death is undetermined.  All because of misconduct of the Albuquerque Police Department.

Mayor Berry should suspend every single officer, regardless of rank, who were involved in mobbing the scene of Mary's death to take pictures and gawk at the body of their nemesis who was not fearful of taking on APD on civil rights violations.  Their misconduct most likely destroyed crucial evidence and that is now making them suspect.

This should get some special attention from the U.S. Justice Department as they wend their way through their investigation of  APD.


I feel that the Obama administration is correct in treading lightly on involvement in Egypt.  The middle east is a culture of violence, religious fanaticism,  and tribalism that never changes.  Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt may be ungovernable and we should not let the defense industry talk us into any sort of engagements there.  The people in the middle east will finally need to work out on their own whether they want to be part of the modern world.

Governor Martinez is slapping window dressing together for the media's enjoyment by saying a couple of million dollars of funding will protect our rivers and watersheds.  She knows that will do little to help restore some natural balance, or maybe she doesn't?  She should realize that you can't do much with that kind of money.  The problem in our watersheds is huge and this won't make any difference at all except for her p.r.

If she really wants to protect the state's water supplies then she needs to tightly control fracking to get oil and gas out of the ground.  It only endangers ground water.

Thursday, August 15, 2013


I wonder if the media might investigate the group from California who are in town to train locals to be radical anti abortionist.  Where do they get their money?  Name names.  And ask local religious leaders what they feel about such tactics.  Can this be condoned?

There was some spirited comments in my comments sections on this subject a few days ago.  One person called me a liberal.  I guess I am.  But no one should think I like abortion.  It is a last resort which is decided upon by a woman and doctor.  I wish they didn't have to take place.  But, sometimes they do.

  Here is an explanation of liberalism from Merriam's Webster Dictionary.

Political and economic doctrine that emphasizes the rights and freedoms of the individual and the need to limit the powers of government. Liberalism originated as a defensive reaction to the horrors of the European wars of religion of the 16th century (see Thirty Years' War). Its basic ideas were given formal expression in works byThomas Hobbes and John Locke, both of whom argued that the power of the sovereign is ultimately justified by the consent of the governed, given in a hypothetical social contract rather than by divine right (see divine kingship). In the economic realm, liberals in the 19th century urged the end of state interference in the economic life of society. Following Adam Smith, they argued that economic systems based on free markets are more efficient and generate more prosperity than those that are partly state-controlled. In response to the great inequalities of wealth and other social problems created by the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America, liberals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries advocated limited state intervention in the market and the creation of state-funded social services, such as free public education and health insurance. In the U.S. the New Deal program undertaken by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt typified modern liberalism in its vast expansion of the scope of governmental activities and its increased regulation of business. After World War II a further expansion of social welfare programs occurred in Britain, Scandinavia, and the U.S. Economic stagnation beginning in the late 1970s led to a revival of classical liberal positions favouring free markets, especially among political conservatives in Britain and the U.S. Contemporary liberalism remains committed to social reform, including reducing inequality and expanding individual rights. See also conservatism;individualism.

I was also called to task yesterday for forgetting I campaigned against Dave Cargo when I won the Mayor's race back in 1997.  I had totally forgotten that.  Cargo had almost beat Marty Chavez four years before, but he didn't do well when seven of us ran for the next term.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The military industrial complex at White Sands Missile range are acting as johnny-come-latelies in the effort to construct a new electrical transmission line to carry renewable energy to the western grid.  At the last moment they took up the banner of the fossil fuel boys. They say that the project would endanger them playing with missiles and drones on their range.  Even though the new line would be north of the range in a buffer area.  I am surprised at this move by DoD because they usually are pretty good on renewable energy usage.  They have been early adopters int he past.  But they are really throwing a wrench in the works at the last minute on this issue.   I mean ask your self, do we need more weapons or more renewable energy?  The BLM at the Interior Department should stand their ground on their approval of the project.

The religious fanatics who would control women's bodies are showing just what lunatics they are when they stage a protest at the Albuquerque Holocaust Museum.  They accused the museum as being as bad as Nazis for not allowing them to display their peculiar brand of porn that depicts aborted fetuses.  I have to say these folks are truly nuts and they have bullied the republicans in city hall into spending an extra $750,000 for an extra election on their issue of denying women their rights.  The Albuquerque City Clerk is incompetent for not getting signatures counted in a timely manner so this issue can go on the ballot in October.  They Mayor is complicit.  If one were to look at registration qualification on candidate petitions on the state level during election times you can see how quickly they get it done.  This is a definite conspiracy by the Mayor and others.  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Window Dressing

Three city councillors held a news conference to say they wanted to inject an extra $2.5 million into the police department to rebuild it.  Seriously?  That amount of money in APD might pay for the donuts, but it isn't going to rebuild the department.  This is all hype by councillors wanting to retain office.  If they really think $2.4 million dollars will do any good then they might want to invest it in a series of national searches to recruit a new cadre of leadership from out side the department.  Bring in some real stars and let them reinvent the place with good management and ideas.

And then there is the superbly boring Mayor's race where the only news is that the candidates might debate soon.  This whole thing is as exciting as listening to a dripping faucet.  There has been little in the way of exciting ideas put forth.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thanks Bill

I have read at least a dozen articles on Albuquerque and the TV series "Breaking Bad" in the last week or so.  All of the stories have great things to say about the Duke City.  The whole world seems to be watching to see how the series ends up, Bobbi and me included.

I had mentioned about a year ago that when we were touring Russia that the show was a big favorite in that country.  When Russians found out we were from Albuquerque they would ask all sorts of questions about our city.  All from a TV show!

Just a quick thanks to Bill Richardson for getting us into the movie making business.  Even the highly right wing Susannah Martinez, after want to kill the program, eventually decided it was a good thing.

Just think, if Obama's healthcare program had been in place then Walter White would not have had to turn into a meth kingpin to pay his cancer treatment bills.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bikers Again

A friend of mine disagreed with my blog on the Bikers story in the Journal as being nothing more than a hyped up story.  On reflection I think he is right.  Apologies to the Journal.  I come to this conclusion after reading up on a blog that is discussing this issue. Aging Rebel is pretty interesting in that it seems the bikers, or their supporters, are pretty sophisticated.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Run Away

The Biker war is coming to Albuquerque according to the Albuquerque Journal.  Two gangs here are supposedly out for blood over a recent shooting and the paper and others envision a dystopian battle right in the Duke City.

What better way to take of the heat off a failing economy from the Governor and Mayor.  The fluff stories in the media about an improving job market give scant mention that most new jobs are minimum wage level.  How is that supposed to help us?

The Journal had a good oped this morning comparing what is happening with airline seating and what is happening in the ever widening division of wealth in this country.  Essentially more first class and business seats are being installed at the expense of slave galley type seating in coach.  Jam them in and make it hurt.  I can attest to that after our last trip in which we flew in a pretty new Southwest Airlines 737-900 with their new seats.  After three hours in that 'new improved seat' I could barely walk off the plane because of a bruised tailbone.  It was like sitting on a wooden plank.  At least everyone suffered equally since Southwest has no first class.  I will not fly them on any flight over two hours from here on out.  Which is sad because I am hearing rumors they are getting ready to fly to Hawaii at some point.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Your Corporations at Work

In honor of the Koch brothers being in the area for a rightwing think tank meeting I would ask you to read this to get an idea of the work they are doing.  And they have their claws in our Governor.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Change and No Change

I spent some time this morning visiting the Albuquerque Journal Archives to print out some fifty year old pages from their June 7, 1963 edition.  That is the day we graduated from St. Pius X high school. We are holding our reunion in a few weeks and I thought it would be great to include some of these pages in a video I am making.

 It is remarkable to look at those pages and realize that while some things change, like the paper itself, other things remain the same.  The stories about strife, government, violence, taxes, business, sports and all the rest of it remain pretty consistent in their themes.  Things don't change much except perhaps in the economic division in this country.

The newspaper itself has changed tremendously.  The first thing that jumps out is the sheer volume of information packed into those old editions.  Orders of magnitude above todays paper.  Their wonderful use of multiple photographs in every section of the paper is astounding.  And the amount of national and international news is quite impressive.  Their editorial pages, while opinionated are certainly not skewed right wing or left wing.  Just thoughtful writing, unlike today's right wing columnists by the truckload.

Frankly, it was a much better publication fifty years ago.  Of course, it didn't have to compete with the internet, 24 hour so called cable news channels, cell phones chock full of information and a more apathetic public.  They were the chief advertising source in those days and the amount of ads, big and small, crammed into every daily paper would make people in the news industry today drool with envy.

I had to chuckle at the movie ad page.  It was advertising "Lolita" which the catholic church said was so evil that if we went to see it we would be damned to hell.  I saw it.

Also look at those ads for all the drive in theaters we had.  I could tell many stories about how we would sneak in to those theaters and rarely get apprehended.  One time we put sunglasses on my now golf buddy Lee Otteni and told the cashier he was blind.  It worked.  We felt a little guilty, but then just spent the money on refreshments so they got us anyway.  Click on the images for a bigger look.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013


I see a plot in the New Mexico Medical Board's rule making to make medicinal marijuana prescriptions hard to write for patients.  This is nothing but big pharma applying pressure to the Docs to make it hard to prescribe the low cost and effective herb to patients that qualify.  I mean if a few brownies take the place of outrageously expensive drugs then corporate profits will slide.   How much longer do we need to put up with this corporate manipulation of everything in our lives?   Am I being paranoid?  Or is having the munchies a threat to our way of life?

I like SciFi because so many current authors and movie makers are seriously looking at whether this is paranoia or if it is actually happening.  The series Continuum on SciFi channel says it is and it studies time travellers coming back to the present era to make sure it never happens.   The upcoming movie, "Elysium" will study the great division of wealth much as "District 9" by the same director studied racial segregation.

And we can all wonder at what kinds of political intrigue aimed at establishing stronger corporate control of government is taking place right now at the Tamaya Resort near Bernalillo.  That is where all those corporate CEOs and right wing pols are meeting in their annual get together.

Yeah, I am paranoid.  I wish more people were.

Monday, August 05, 2013


It was another great morning at sunrise out at the Santa Ana Golf Course.  You can forget about silly things out there.  Here are a few I forgot about a few hours.

First, down the road from where we played golf today sits the Hyatt Tamaya Resort.  This week  there is the annual super secret meetings of the nation's top CEO's occurring there.  You know, the ones who track your every move, control your government, and generally kill democracy with political donations.  The resort and golf course are closed down to everyone.  Top right wing politicians are there, one of them is probably Congressman Paul Ryan who was seen flying in to Albuquerque yesterday.  Fellow blogger Joe Monahan said Ryan indicated he was coming in to visit Governor Martinez.  So, can we assume she is there too?  As Sara Palin would say, "You Betcha!" 

Secondly, the idea of making our old killing ground at the State Penitentiary into a tourist attraction for the blood spatter crowd.  What a great thing to do!  Commemorating a killing spree in the 1980's riot at the Pen for good family fun.  Why,  they might even have sno-cones and cotton candy for the little  Dexter wannabes.  Score a big economic development idea for the Martinez administration.

Thirdly, the ham- fisted attempt by the Mayor's Office and Albuquerque City Clerk to not allow the ballot initiative on abortion on the the October Ballot.  Lots of foot dragging there and it will end up costing us big time for another election.  I guess the Mayor's handlers decided there was some downside to having this on the regular city election ballot. 

Friday, August 02, 2013


What is it about the fraction 3%?  Is it some sort of magical number that everyone can jiggle to their own purposes?  Right now an unknown group of greedy business operatives are trying to limit any minimum wage hikes to 3% via a referendum in Albuquerque.  At the same time those business folks want unfettered ability to gouge their customers and have a limitless increase in profit every year.  All made possible by their employees.

And then there was the strange Albuquerque Journal story about the 3% referendum in which they did not identify the folks involved in organizing this ballot initiative.  But they did manage to say that the new minimum wage was organized by 'left leaning groups.'  This shows how the Journal is almost 100% right wing wacko edited.

And then there is the automatic 3% increase in your property tax every year.  The legislature set that as an  upper limit and of course that is where our Bernalillo County Commission lands every year.  Do we feel there is a 3% increase in service?  Doubtful, especially for city dwellers in those counties.  And do you notice how county commissioners are never blamed for anything like the Mayor is?  They diffuse responsibility and attention amongst themselves 97% of the time.

And then there was the 3% automatic cost of living raises for government retirees that were done away with by the legislature.  It probably had to be done, but what happens when inflation goes to 8% a year.  Will there be any changes?  Don't hold your breath. 

I need to not worry about this and endeavor to spend more than 3% of my waking hours on a golf course.