Sunday, November 30, 2014


Former City Councillor has Pat Baca passed away.  I always thought he was one of the best local elected officials ever in the City of Albuquerque.  He was tough, compassionate and bipartisan in his approach to city issues.  He was always willing to discuss his positions and work out compromises.  And he was a very honest guy.  He will be missed.

I also will miss Sam King of Stanley, NM.  Sam was Governor Bruce King's older brother and was a guiding light for that King family.  I got to know him well when I was Press Secretary for Governor King, helped run his second campaign and then served under him as the Alcoholic Beverage Control Director.  Sam was interesting in that he was the only King brother that would have an occasional drink.  I think he also got Bruce to go along with the reform of Liquor laws back in 1980.  He was a smart guy and very charismatic guy.

The Albuquerque Journal Obituary Page has write ups on both of these great guys. Thanks to Mark Bralley for the Photo of Pat.

Monday, November 24, 2014


We are off to Fort Collins for Thanksgiving and to see our new twin grand daughters again.  Alex and Katy are gaining weight rapidly after being born 11 weeks early!  Their dad and mom, Luke and Noelle, are in training for sleep deprivation.  They will probably come home in six weeks or so.

I know for the most part, only people who are close to the family can truly appreciate photos like these.  But these girls are a couple of real fighters!

Our house sitter has new weapons and alarm upgrades to keep those bad guys away.

Friday, November 21, 2014


The lunatic fringes that rail against all things Obama or all things progressive can really get a person down.  But sooner or later they will most likely be dying off in droves because they are aging fast.  They just don't seem to understand the younger generations have a whole different take on how things should be.  Think Gay marriage here.

At the same time younger generations need to ramp up some real civil disobedience to address the great right wing tilt of our congress.  It will happen when the division of wealth in this country widens even more, if that is possible.  I hope I am around to see it.

The actions of the President yesterday to push back on immigration might signal the start of a great push back.  It is the kind of fight that might just get the republicans into a corner and force them to become the moderates they once were.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014


The republicans are forecasting Armageddon if President Obama issues an executive order giving certainty to the lives of millions of immigrants.  President Reagan and President bush did the same thing.  So weird.

Governor Martinez intervened in a case to help a young Mexican boy get surgery in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the removal of a large tumor.  (a nice gesture).She asked immigration officers to allow him extra time in this country.  At the same time she supports not letting his parents have a drivers license or immigrant status to help with his recovery.  So weird.

I had a dream last night that a fire fight broke out amongst different medical practices over who would get to use their favorite solutions for my prostrate cancer.  Some wanted to cut, some wanted to radiate and some wanted to do numerous biopsies and hormone treatments.  They were all chasing me because I had good insurance coverage.  Really, I did have this dream.  So weird.  I have decided what to do and I am confident in my providers.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Thanks to Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall for their votes against the Keystone XL pipeline. It was a courageous thing to do but also common sense ruled their decisions too.  It is a project that we just don't need.

And thanks to former Interstate Stream Commission Director Norm Gaume for his diligence in keeping the current Commission and staff on notice that they can't do incredibly stupid projects along the Gila River.  His law suits have held the Commission accountable for questionable and illegal actions in trying to get the boondoggle on the road.  Now, if we could get some serious journalists to look into who is pulling the strings on this issue and why they are doing so.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Get back in your 'wayback' machine to 1986.  After the general election that year Democrat Brant Calkins came out 800 votes ahead of his republican opponent Bill Humphries in the Land Commissioner race.  A few days later a transcription error was found in the San Miguel County vote totals that completely turned the race around giving the win to Humphries.  Humphries was not a bad guy, he was an old time republican who was conservative but not a wacko.  My advice to Ray Powell is to park some sharp people in the Secretary of State's office to make sure she does a proper job of recounting the ballots.  Because you are not out of this yet.

The peculiar hate of government jobs, the ones that pay well and provide benefits, continues in the Mayor's Office.  Mayor Berry thinks we depend on them to much.  Well, if he and his minions were doing a halfway decent job of economic development then they would just become part of a healthy mix.  In fact, if Berry was smart he would pursue the Federal Government locating more back office operations here in Albuquerque.  Much like the US Forest Service has done.  They moved nearly 2000 jobs here some years back and hardly anyone noticed.  But they are good jobs for our city and we could use more like them.

In a plus for Berry it seems he is making an effort at reviving downtown redevelopment that was abandoned by Mayor Marty Chavez.  Molina Health Care is moving 600 employees down there and the UNM/City/Business efforts there may pay off too.  Meanwhile the parochial minded city council can't give up little projects of their own to do one large one for the good of the whole city.  I still say a good multi purpose arena downtown would provide another great center for activity.  But that is big idea stuff that the council can't seem to embrace.

Speaking of Marty Chavez, he is now on the payroll of those who don't want to see internet neutrality maintained.  And he says he is representing Latinos around the country.  I kind of doubt that is true.

Monday, November 17, 2014


No, that is not a misprint of NIMBY, which as you know stands for 'Not in My Back Yard".  NIMBY was the title of the Sunday editorial in the Albuquerque Journal.  It took to task what they think are the rubes who live in San Miguel and Mora Counties for their attempts at keeping the fossil fuel boys from ruining their water supplies.  What do the locals know, after all?  Well they drink the water don't they.  The Journal made a silly reference to them freezing to death in winter because of opposition to drilling and fracking.  Gee, they have been around up there in the north for hundreds of years with out the oil boys already.  And they didn't freeze.

NIMFY to me means 'Not in My Front Yard.'  As in the Albuquerque Journal being thrown there every morning by our steady and true deliverer of the NY Times and Journal.  But honestly, I just can't live with out the insipid editorial pages and right wing editor kick starting my heart every morning.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


We were talking over coffee this morning on whether Governor Martinez, when she considers a run for VP of the USA, will again run against Bill Richardson.  It is the only thing she knows how to do.  She pretty much ran against him twice so far, while ignoring that great campaigner Gary King

I am getting really annoyed with TV commercials shot in slow motion.  Also commercials that show people doing yoga.  Or people doing stupid dances in celebration of chicken wings.  Or guys in three day beards celebrating the end of erectile dysfunction while smiling at their prancing wives.  In fact, every guy you see on TV commercial has a three day beard.  Damn!

If you are into SCI FI you might want to read Cixin Liu's Three Body Problem.  He is a famous Chinese author and the first book of his trilogy has been translated and published.  I read it in two days.  It is magnificent.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gila Monster

The harebrained idea to dam the Gila River and tributaries will give a new definition to 'Gila Monster.'  Close to a  billion dollars, environmental destruction, and profits for a few farmers will be the result of this Susana Martinez sponsored boondoggle.  And to top it off, the data that the Interstate Stream Commission is using to justify this project is being kept under lock and key with no peer review.  It is insane!  Right up there with the Keystone pipeline project that will take the world's dirtiest form of fossil fuel, tar sands, and pipe it through the USA from Canada to Houston for export.

I call on Senators Heinrich and Udall to continue running interference from the federal level on these destructive and future killing projects.

Friday, November 14, 2014


It will be interesting to see how Governor Susanna Martinez and her minions will handle the coming budget meltdown resulting from the drop in oil prices.  As the boom bust cycle reasserts itself in the oil patch with massive layoffs and curtailed drilling, then I predict New Mexico could go to the very bottom of almost all economic rating categories in the country.  Much of this will occur because Martinez and her neocon staff has done absolutely nothing to grow our economy in other sectors.  Two years from now she will be reviled for her incompetence and her political advisors will be run out of the state.  Of course, between now and then she may well pass the so called 'Right to Work Law' which will put downward pressure on living wages in New Mexico.  We are truly in dark times.

On the national level, with nothing left to lose, President Obama will finally do something about immigration.  Speaker of the House John Boehner said that the American people don't want these kinds of actions taken.  That was why the GOP took the Senate.  But actually they took the Senate because nothing was happening and government was broken.  Now something will happen on this issue that has been festering for years because of GOP inaction.  I am pretty sure the President will be breaking out his executive policy powers on any number of issues.  Good for him.

And the Senate Democrats continue to pander to the people who never support them by rallying around Senator Landrieu from Louisiana who never supports the positions of her own party.  Would the dems really support the Keystone Pipeline just to help her?  It really would not be worth it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good News

It was great to see President Obama take a strong stand on Net Neutrality.  It is hard enough to get decent service from a monopolized system like we have in Albuquerque where our internet service is pretty much limited to Comcast.  Recently, our neighborhood listserv has been full of complaints against Comcast.  Even though your bill goes up every couple of months, you get worse and worse service.

It was also good to see President Obama and the Chinese leadership make progress on climate change  mitigation.  Most see it as a step forward.  Now, the President needs to bite the bullet and kill the Keystone Pipeline.  This would show a real pushback against the oil and gas industry who value profits over planetary health.

In the not so good news department, I have a feeling that these plummeting oil prices will really smack down New Mexico's budget.  It is funny to see how Governor Martinez and her minions are always complaining that the Federal dollars being pumped into our state are bad because we depend on them too much.  But at the same time they ignore the immense amount of money from oil and gas taxes and royalties that keep out state afloat.  And don't forget the major portion of that money really is not a tax, but a payment for state and federal owned oil and gas on public lands.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Noelle's Selfie

Our daughter Noelle took a selfie and it almost looks like a classical painting.  She is holding one of her twins, Katy.  A Pieta.  A Madonna and Child.


Think of these guys as the General Managers of the four main TV stations in Albuquerque.  They did hit the Bonanza with over $13 million dollars in revenues for this last election cycle.  Think of their cook, Hop Sing back in the Kitchen, as the Albuquerque Journal who probably didn't clock a quarter million in ad revenue.  If that doesn't tell you where things are going in newspaper land then you are an aspiring print journalist.

This amount doesn't include cable TV and radio, so the number is much higher.

Of course most of this money was sent in by special interest groups.  

Monday, November 10, 2014


The republicans and the Journal are on the Voter i.d. issue again.  A non issue really, but what is the harm in it?  As you know I don't see any problem with it, but only if the proper infrastructure to make it easy to get an i.d. is put in place.  If any bill is introduced requiring these little pieces of paper, then every single county and city must make available a place to get the i.d. with little hassle.  They must have access to the birth certificate data base nationwide so a person can retrieve their certificates on the spot.  Same with the social security system.  A guaranteed wait time of no more than 15 minutes for anyone required to get these i.d.s should be put in place. If this is not done then no bill should be passed.  What will the paranoid republicans do if it actually costs money to their corporate sponsors via taxes?  Voter suppression costs would probably be seen as a good investment by those one percenters and CEOs.

I got a comment from the Aubrey Dunn campaign management team the other day via facebook.  It  said I should be culled from the human race. That is cowboy talk. Is this what we are to expect from his administration at the State Land Office?  Well, only if you are not from the fossil fuel, mining or livestock industry I guess.

Saturday, November 08, 2014


I wrote a note to a friend in Mexico City today to ask him if he has regrets about moving home and business there in light of the killings of those students in southern Mexico by corrupt government and drug gangs.  He says he is distraught but that this is a disaster for the gangs and the government because, like the James Boyd killing in Albuquerque, the dam has broke.  I certainly hope so.

We kill our students in this country in a different way.  Not violently or instantly.  We just kill their economic futures with our system of student loans and division of wealth.  It is just as tragic.  Why can I finance a new car cheaper than a student can finance a semester of school?  Because the banks and Wall Street run things and their tools, including many democrats, sit by and let it happen.  

Friday, November 07, 2014


I went to the first showing of the movie "Interstellar" last night.  If you are looking for a shoot em up space western, you wont like this movie.  If you are into time, relativity and gravity this is the one for  you.  And it has a good story about the climate slowly ending life on earth and the need to find a new place to live.  Dealing with some of the paradoxes in the movie is fun.

On a personal note it is time for me to start taking some treatments for my prostrate cancer.  We have been watching it for five years and the time has come to get more aggressive.  We will decide on a course of radiation therapy after we endure another biopsy next week.  Not time for panic yet.  Meanwhile, off to play golf.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Unintended Consequences

The election of republican Aubrey Dunn to the Land Office may have unintended consequences for the resource extractors.  The fossil fuel boys, miners and livestock folks may have shot themselves in the foot by heavily funding their tool.

Ray Powell was an honest Land Commissioner, but he was no firebrand or reformer.  He just chose to sit in that chair quietly.  Being there was enough for  him and it was his style of management.  He didn't rock the boat much so there was not much attention paid to the office in comparison with the notorious reign of republican Pat Lyons in that office.  Under his terms extractors got pretty much anything they wanted.

The environmental community did little in the way of watching the operation and maintenance of the Trust Lands while Powell was there.  Mostly because they knew Ray to be above board, if somewhat lacking innovative thoughts.

I have no reason to think Dunn is dishonest, other that the type of campaign his minions ran for him.  Once he gets into office and understands the fiduciary responsibilities he has, maybe he will rise to the occasion.  I certainly hope so.  But just the fact that he took all that special interest money will now shine a spotlight once again on the office.  The environmental community better pay attention to every policy initiative that comes out of that office.  Or they might regret it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Voter Turnout

The voter turn out and  participation was unheralded.   Thank the Supreme Court of the United States for increasing it.  Of course I am talking about the corporations who have become people and are able to fund their tool candidacies with billions of dollars of one percenter money.

My big disappointment was seeing Maggie Toulouse Oliver defeated.  And it was enabled by those who would suppress the vote.  Ray Powell has been most likely defeated by a liar and cheat.  Yes, he flat out lied with his commercials and the sap public fell for it.

Gary King?  Well, what can one say except that he gave it his all, which wasn't much.

As for the U.S. Senate and the NM House of Representatives going to the GOP, it won't mean much in the final analysis.  Little progress will be made, especially in Washington, DC.

My feeling is that in two years  both on the state and national level that things will change quite a bit.  Now that the GOP is in charge they can be the target of the suppressed rage on the division of wealth in this country.  I am counting on it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Ho Hum

There will be an overall dismal turn out in today's midterm elections.  People are so nauseated by  the special interest funded TV ads that it is all they can do to keep their dinners down after watching the news.  That goes for me too.

The Albuquerque Mayor and City Council are again a day late.  They are trying belatedly to keep more APD Officers from retiring.  This probably wouldn't have been necessary if they had reacted immediately to the poor leadership and morale problems in the force.  I worry that a lot of the good officers are leaving behind the chaos in order to protect their reputations and mental health.

I will watch election returns tonight out of habit.  I will sit with a laptop to see what is happening around the country.  I hope the local TV News operations will be given permission to break into the mindless reality shows to give us a report once in a while on the local races..

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Prayer and Taxes

The Department of Justice and the ABQ Police Department via the Mayor have agreed on a way forward to change the police department.  The Mayor thanked people for their prayers and the City Council President said the poorest people would have to pay the costs of changing the Department's culture.

As you know my favorite definition of prayer is, 'how to say you are helping without really doing anything.'  That is pretty much what happened for years in the Berry Administration's handling of the shootings of homeless and mentally ill by APD.  It is going to take more than prayers to see this through.  It will take constant monitoring by city hall and I don't have a lot of good feelings about their ability to do so.

And then the City Council President Ken Sanchez says we should raise the gross receipts tax to pay for the changes needed at APD.  Once again the solution seems to run to the most regressive tax available for funds.  The City Council could do us all a great favor and shoot this idea down.  Find the money elsewhere, like maybe giving up each councillors million dollar slush fund for pet projects.  The Council is almost as guilty as the Mayor in getting us into this jam by ignoring the shootings. Be creative please and show some mercy on the poor in not putting the burden on them.

The agreement seems to be credible but will take much more than lip service to bring to fruition.