Friday, January 31, 2014

Misc.

I am tired of this whole 'hero' thing in this country.  Everyone is a hero, especially if they are wearing a uniform.  Today, I saw an article comparing Justin Beiber to a US Marine.  Who do you think the hero was?  The Marine of course.  He was wearing a uniform.  But believe me when I say that anyone who ever served the country in a uniform knows for sure that some soldiers are heroes and some are not.  Some are just as twisted as little Beiber.

As a great watcher of weekend golf tournaments I have to marvel that uniformed service members are now holding the golf flags at the 18th hole.  Just once I would like to see a member of the Peace Corp be given that honor.  But a uniform trumps all.

The big news event in all the media in New Mexico today is the fact that Colorado seems to think it has the best green chile in the world.  This is front page news and lead story stuff.  Okay, it is humorous and some times that comes first.  But while this is the big news I would like to see it followed up with a thorough story on how Colorado is kicking our New Mexican butt on job creation and economic progress.  But that would take work on the medias part.  Silly me.  And it might make the republican Governor and Albuquerque Mayor look less than competent.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kilroy

This is where Ajax hangs out at every meal.  Seriously, he just stands up and looks up at us snacking or dining.  I always think of the "Kilroy Was Here' graffiti from World War II.

Ajax is pretty persevering in this pose.  Today I was eating a little carne adovada.  This pose will end once a morsel is thrown onto the floor.  Especially if it is Salmon.  Or a french fry from Lota Burger.  He really pigs out on those Lota Burger delights although he only gets just one.  We split that order of fries three ways since we know they are so bad for us.  Our other cat, Casper, would rather go out at dinner time and eat a spider of something.

Blameless

It is this way everywhere I suppose.  Corporations are never blamed for the problems they cause.  The blame is always shuffled elsewhere.  There is an interesting story in the Times today about how the mafia in the Naples region of Italy are being accused of burying and illegally burning up to 10 million tons of toxic waste.  Cancer and a ruined environment are the result.  But while the mafia gets the finger pointed at them the Corporations who created this toxic brew escape relatively unscathed.

Just like in America.  Our corporate boards and bosses fight safety regulations and oversight so they can cut safety, and the well being of their communities and employees.  Then when a disaster hits, like the poisoning of 300,000 people's water supply by a coal company, the consensus is that the government is to blame.  It is a perfect system for those corporate ogres.  They get away pretty much unscathed.

Could Americans ever take to the streets to demand reigning in of corporate control of the government?  Maybe someday.  But after watching a documentary last night on the famous editorial cartoonist Herblock,  one wonders.  He had the same fears in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and it has only gotten worse.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Misc.

You could almost hear all of the sphincters tightening out in the western United States last night.  After the President said he would unilaterally protect public lands, without even mentioning the underlying Antiquities Act, a lot of the 'lords of yesterday' in the fossil fuel, mining and livestock industry must have felt some puckering.  One of those areas will hopefully be the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks proposed National Monument.  Get those cards and letters in to the White House.

The City of Albuquerque will send off another $8 million from the city's internally financed risk fund to deal with another cop shooting settlement.  It might have been a good settlement given what a jury might have awarded.  But, of course, that money comes from taxpayers and they should be pounding down the doors wanting reform at APD.  Now what happens is that all city departments will be assessed more funds to be paid into the risk fund over the next few years which ultimately cuts into their programs.  If the largely invisible on this issue Mayor holds regular weekly department head meetings like I used to do, then he will probably see some real animosity aimed at the APD Chief.  Some enterprising reporter should look into how this risk fund will be replenished.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Newman Center

The parishioners at the Aquinas Newman Center at the University of New Mexico have gathered the signatures of just about everyone connected with the church asking the Archbishop to reconsider throwing out their Dominican priests and salting the campus parish with more conservative priests.

The parishioners have received no word from the Archdiocese according to people in the know there.  But I am told out he will send them someone to negotiate who has some experience with enforcing dogma.

Guns in the Capitol

I am glad to see Senators Peter Wirth and Brian Egolf publicly worrying about guns in the state capitol building.  They want to make it illegal for yahoos to bring their assault weapons to committee hearings.  Makes sense.  Everyone wants to be safe.

But, why does it make sense to let these neurotic folks bring guns to the local pizza parlor, movie theater, football game....etc. etc?  Should our lawmakers be concerned about more than themselves?  Of course, but I think there is some method to this madness by those two left of center legislators.  Could it be they are setting  up a situation where only elites get some added protection from the shooters?  Might they think this is a good way  of making more progress later on?  What is good for the goose is good for the gander?

As an aside, yesterday I went to sell my sporting rifles and shotguns at a local gun store.  I don't use them for hunting anymore and they are quality stuff.  The local gun store manager commented what beautiful condition they were in and what they were worth.  But they didn't want to buy them because they didn't fit their market.  Looking around the place I could see what they meant.  The walls were covered with assault rifles of every kind.  The other type of prominent gun in the store was the semi automatic pistol.  Essentially, this was a gun store for people killing weapons.  Not sporting or sharpshooting.  Times change for sure.  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Primary Obsolete?

Polls are showing more and more party faithful switching their registrations to independent.   The lack of bipartisan work in Congress and legislatures is probably one reason.  The other is the sheer radicalism of the GOP which sets a stage for everyone to not want to identify with a political party.

Whatever the reason, this should give pause to the legislature to do something about our system of political primary elections.  They will soon be obsolete and meaningless.  The danger is that fewer and fewer people will be putting candidates into general elections and most likely those candidates will be more and more fringe.

Someone, without a vested interest, should start working on a revamped system for Primary elections.  Is there some brave legislator out there that would be willing to take this one on?  Surely one out of 112 could take this on.  Perhaps the legislature could set up a commission to look at different Primary systems that work around the U.S.

Maybe a start would be to let independents vote in our Primaries in New Mexico.  This would be better than a closed primary where only specific party members could vote.  An open non partisan election might be the best in the long run seeing as the parties are dying on the vine.

Even as a life long democrat I sometimes think about crossing into independent territory, except for the fact that I would be denying myself a vote in the NM primaries.  I feel it is a system that must change although I could never vote for the types of republicans currently in office and the Koch funded pipeline of corporate serving conservative candidates.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mall Shooting

The American media is something.  The NRA and gun manufacturers have them by the throat.  Think about it.  The print and broadcaster editors have been talking constantly about perceived dangers at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  They are reporting obsessively on 'possible violence' at the games.  Nothing has happened there, although it could.

Switch back to America.  If one were being balanced then every editor should be doing stories and coverage every day on possible violence in America because of readily available guns with no background checks.  But they don't.  They wait until it actually happens as it did today at a Maryland mall where another well armed crazy person wasted innocent shoppers.

If we put as much effort into protecting innocents in this country as the Russians and International community are doing in Sochi to protect the games, then I would feel good.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Divide

We have seen what the GOP has done with the confirmation of President Obama's appointees.  It is a criminal lack of due process on advise and consent.  Now, the same thing is happening to Governor Martinez in the NM State Legislature.   Call it bipartisan malfeasance separated by the Mississippi.

Over coffee this morning we were debating whether anyone even gives a damn about the fact that 133 of the Governor's appointments to confirmable positions have not been heard by Senator Linda Lopez's Committee.  She isn't getting the job done and it is not a great thing to put on ones resume for her gubernatorial run.  But does anyone care?

Or, does anyone care that every legislator gets a little slush fund to use in his own district every session.  That half million dollars apiece might be okay during good times, but right now that nearly $60 million might best be put forth in major projects for the state in education or infrastructure.  This haphazard doling out of money is silly given the needs in this state.  It doesn't make sense to have bridges and roads falling apart in favor of bringing home the bacon for dubious projects.

And does anyone care if the State Democratic Party Chairman is in a war of words with Democratic Senator Michael Sanchez over the conservatism of Democratic Senator John Arthur Smith.  I doubt it.  As I recall the Democrats are supposed to have a big tent.




Thursday, January 23, 2014

Misc.

Now we understand why Governor Susana Martinez is the way she is.  Right wing that is.  She is submitting to Congressman Steve Pearce in her own southern district homeland.  Seriously, it is truly a marvel that a guy like Pearce can exist in office with these kinds of beliefs.  His biography in which he believes women should submit to their men is just over the top.

The Albuquerque Journal had it wrong again this morning in their story about the dwindling Severance Tax Permanent Fund in New Mexico.  The fund, which is in jeopardy of disappearing from over spending, was compared to the Land Permanent fund for the amount of tax revenues they brought in.  The reporter needs a civics lesson and he fell into what the oil and gas boys love so much.  The land permanent fund recieves royalties, not taxes.  Those royalties are payment for publicly owned resources.  It is not a tax.  But the oil boys want you to think it is so they can beat their breasts about how they pay for everything.

The Serverance Tax fund revenues are a tax that also fund a permanent fund and the legislature has been spending just about every nickel of the earnings of that fund.  They need to let some money stay there so the fund can grow for when the resources run out.  It is good there is a movement to do this.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Footage

I spent the morning looking over old 16mm news film from the early 1970's.  It was footage that I saved from some of my favorite stories at KOAT TV.  It may be the only footage left from those days and there is not much of it.  Some time ago I lamented that the film library from Channel 7 that was given to the state archives was all misplaced, destroyed or lost.  They still don't have an explanation for what happened.

At any rate I am going to get to work on putting together some clips for the former staff of Channel 7.  So if any of you worked there in the late 60's and early 70's you might be in some of the party scenes we filmed.  Buck Battin, Steve Finnell, Kathi Schroeder, Dick Knipfing, Rodger Beimer, Conroy Chino, and others will enjoy looking at this.  It will be a while before it is done, but just be patient.

I have no comment on the opening of the legislature yesterday except to say it is less interesting than ever.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

XGR

The New Mexico State Legislature opens today.  Back in the day when the broadcasters used to have real news departments, we would extensively cover the legislature.  Up on the assignment board would be the lineups for daily assignments for legislative reporters like Rodger Beimer and sometimes this blogger Jim Baca.  The slot was labeled XGR which was short for legislature.

These days we can assume that when the TV stations cover the lawmakers it will be about personalities or the outrageous happening of the day, rather than something really important.  Here are some suggestions from an old time broadcast journalist for coverage this year.


  1. Find out if any committees have followed the impact of the tax cuts for the rich that the Governor and Legislature enacted last year and if not, why not.
  2. Ask and report on the costs of private prisons for the state of New Mexico and if they have any positive impact on recidivism.  Should private prisons who require prisoners for profit stay in business in NM?
  3. Find out if the legislature is interested in mimicking any of the great best practices of other states in innovative programs in government.
  4. Ask the leadership of both houses if they would support legislation limiting the use of surveillance drones by both law enforcement agencies and private sector concerns.  (This could be called the backyard hot tub bill.)
  5. Who will sponsor a bill to stop the practice of forgiving gross receipts taxes on newspapers in this state since most publications are nothing more than large conservative corporate p.r. machines.
Well, maybe some of these aren't too important but they would be informative.  Speaking of which this is a must read for anyone who has fallen victim to myths about America.

And then if this doesn't scare you, nothing will.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Phone Book and the GOP

Guys are running around delivering the Dex Phone Books.  I decided the books are like the Republican Party.  Irrelevant now and in the future and only useful to really old conservative luddites.

Cranes

This gaggle was hanging out on the riverbed in the Bosque this morning.  They were pretty unconcerned about nearby dogs and people who stopped to take a look.  At first I thought they were Blue Herons, but after going on the bird sites I am pretty sure they are Sand Hill Cranes.  Beautiful creatures.

Failure to Launch



Will the legislative session that begins on Tuesday be reminiscent of the famous first attempt by America to launch a satellite?  Remember that?

Will there be any sort of effort by legislators to do something innovative to light some economic fires in New Mexico?  Will a leader emerge to rally enough smart and caring legislators  in a bipartisan effort to get this state out of the pits of hell economically?  There has to be someone that can do it, right?

Or will we just watch silly efforts like the tax cuts given to corporate big shots that have done exactly zero in creating jobs?  Of course time will be spent by the Governor on her drivers license bigotry and other wedge issues.  But it will be at her own peril as I am sensing her fall in the polls as being real and possibly accelerating.  Even if the Journal tries to protect her in their daily editions.

Here is a fascinating story I heard.  When Jay McCleskey, the Gov's political rightwing advisor, heard  that a poll by the respected Research and Polling Inc. would show her with a 14% drop in favorability he immediately commissioned a poll that showed her still sailing high.  That poll was completed at 10pm in the evening and appeared in a Washington Post article less than eight hours later. This gave the Martinez supporters some leverage to have it included in the Journal story on the poll for Common Cause that Research and Polling conducted.

If I were the Journal I would stick with the guy that does their own polls.  His track record is second to none.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Amending the Laws of Robotics

Isaac Asimov came up with the famous laws for robotics.  A guy named Larry Hart and others on David Brin's blog commented a reworking of those laws to benefit mankind.  Here is what he came up with.  It is perfect really.

"First Law: A corporation may not harm a human being/human community/life-sustaining environment or by inaction allow a human being/community/life-sustaining environment to come to harm .

Second Law: A corporation must act to fulfil the mission for which it was incorporated to the extent that such action does not violate the First Law.

Third Law: A corporation must maximize its profits to the extent that such action does not violate the First or Second Laws."

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Cafeteria is Closed

I spent two thirds of my life while a student at UNM hanging out in the Aquinas Newman Center.  While I was already drifting away from religion I found it to be a great center of intellectual debate on all the issues in the 60s.  My friends hung out there.  They had a great little cafe where one could get breakfast and lunch pretty cheaply.  There was always a card game to be had and I fell in love with three or four good Catholic girls there.  The center was staffed by Dominican priests who seemed pretty darn liberal even in those days.

Now the Archdiocese of Santa Fe under the iron fist of Archbishop Sheehan has told the Dominicans they have six months to get the hell out of the parish, in so many words.  This came as a complete surprise to the 750 parishioners who attend services there.  A 'go screw yourself' moment from the rightwing Archbishop.

I asked one of my good friends who is active at the Newman Center what the reason was for this unilateral move from Sheehan.  Here is his quote.

 "His biggest concern is that we're "Cafeteria Catholics" because we don't campaign against abortion and even worse, we're Pope Francis Catholics. He's also mad that we let women speak from the pulpit."




Friday, January 17, 2014

Decisions

Should I continue working on my taxes or go play golf?  If only all of life's decisions were this easy.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Invisible

The Governor's latest favorability numbers are down.  Susana Martinez's vulnerability is up.  And her democratic challengers are invisible.  There is so much to do and so little time that one wonders why some of those folks aren't making a little more noise right now.  That noise could be heard even if the oblivious media won't help.

The only thing I have received from any of the candidates via email and phone calls are requests to become a delegate at the pre-primary nominating convention, or an appeal for money.  Sure that  has to be done.  But where is the social media and internet communications on the sorry state of our economy and dwindling hope under the leadership of the Martinez administration.

There are more than a few issues one could beat up on.

  1. People moving out of New Mexico instead of moving in.
  2. Our state's dismal economic status compared to our neighbors.
  3. The failure of Susana's administration on helping lift children out of dangerous situations.
  4. The lack of adequate training for the State Police which culminates in opening fire on a van full of children.
  5. The obvious lack of a plan to deal with job development in NM.
  6. The existence of a non state employee running the governor's office in the form of Jay McCleskey.
  7. The failure of the Governor's tax cuts to do anything but enrich the rich.
The list could go on and on but these are some basic things the candidates should be screaming about.  The candidate in the primary who can intelligently and effectively debate these issues has my vote.  But they need to get off their butts and start doing so right now.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Misc.

Watching the Governor emote on the tragic school shooting in Roswell was nauseous.  I think she sincerely felt bad about it, but the only time we see this Governor is when she sets the stage.  Did anyone think to ask her about her NRA affiliations?  Well, maybe it is early for that but certainly she is going to have to defend her mutual admiration society status with those folks.  I wonder if she was carrying her gun at that news conference.  None of our reporters would think of that these days.

The internet service providers are about to have us by the throats.  A federal court decision yesterday guarantees higher prices and poorer services.  This country is already in the crapper for the quality of its internet speed and cost.  This will make it worse.  There is a solution and that is for the FCC to declare that internet providers are utilities.  Our congressional delegation better get to work on that and force the FCC to make that designation.

This is a comment I got on my blog yesterday from Vicki.  It is concise and true.

"The airport is just mirroring the lousy economic environment in Albuquerque.  Yesterday's newspaper had more depressing news about the economy here. The Four Hills shopping center is rapidly becoming a ghost town as we are losing Albertson's grocery store next month (along with 3 other Albertson's in ABQ), the United Artists' movie theater closed last month, even he Burger King is closing inn thos area.  Baillo's in Santa Fe is closing and so many restaurants are going under with this bad economy.  The rural arras are particularly devastated.  Governor Martinez, how are those tax credits thingies doing? "



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Misc.

We are back from the visit to our kids and grandkids.  Our flights were cancelled at the last minute and we got an extra night with them.  Jet Blue was an experiment we probably won't repeat out of Albuquerque.  They couldn't get us out for two more days because of their problems so we had to pay for tickets on another airline and now I will spend hours on the phone trying to get a refund from Jet Blue.  I wish the media would look at Albuquerque's deteriorating air service.  Fewer flights, longer days and wait times, and much higher prices.

There were a few stories that caught my eye while out of town.  One was the arrests of former firemen and policemen who received bogus disability payments costing taxpayers millions.  The government swooped down on them quickly because they deserved it.  But stop and think for a moment, why was the same thing never done to the bankers and criminals who put our nation's economy in the crapper for the last six years.  They were thieves too. The  more you steal the more you can get away with it I suppose.  I hope those con artists, both wage earners and bonus divers go to prison for stealing.  If you rob an Allsup's convenience store clerk for $50 you will spend lots of time in jail.

I was happy to see the Albuquerque Journal finally do some work on the Governor's handler Jay McCleskey and his pimping for the casino operators at the NM Expo facilities.  His performance reminded me a little of Governor Christie's minions in his traffic terrorism against his political enemies.  The real difference is that Christie fired his minions when they were exposed. Christie is finished for sure though because you don't screw with commuters.

 I don't see the Martinez administration taking such striking personnel action.  I wonder why?  These political leaders always set the bar for their staffs.




Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christie

Watching this thing with Governor Christie is an awesome thing.  Stop and think about it.  He isn't in trouble for GOP rightwing policies.  He is in trouble for screwing with commuters.  So, he is not only messing with the unemployed and downtrodden, he is also messing with those who have jobs.

This will go down as one of the all time classic self inflicted demolitions of a political career.  Right up there with Nixon's resignation.  I can assure you if you crawled into Christie's head right now you would enter the 7th level of hell.  It would like being entering another dimension where there is no longer a sense of up and down.

History in the making.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Red Eye

We flew the Jet Blue red eye into New York Wednesday at midnight on the heels of the polar vortex.  A visit to our new grandson, Finn, is in order.  Looking forward to seeing his brother Simon to have conversations in full sentences with him.

Last evening I had to marvel at the republicans in congress trying to pretend they care about poor people and the radical division of wealth in the USA.  You just know that Karl Rove and the other GOP manipulators have been studying their polls and know they must do some fancy footwork to show people they 'care'.  It is surreal.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Outside View

I got an interesting comment from a former New Mexican.  I thought I should put it on the main page.  I guess I like it because it agrees with me.

"Jeez, Jim.  I just read your blog.  Why are the Big Shots in the Roundhouse and the Mayor's Office so completely out of it?  Why are the people of NM just letting this all happen?  I remember hearing, when I first moved to NM, that there was some kind of a "Patron Hacienda Priest" syndrome in NM, where the people believe the leaders can't be challenged and must be allowed to make the decisions and do what's right for them, and maybe it will all trickle down.  I thought it must be horseshit.  But how come people won't fight back?  How come there aren't leaders who say (like Richardson did, really, even though he was a Patron Deluxe) "I am going to fight, really fight, for good jobs, good education, and a good future for our people"?  That graph last week showing how much the NM recovery was behind other Mountain states was revealing – even with all the oil and gas boom, the NM economy is in the trash.  I wish it was better in NM.  It is a state full of hardworking people, with great resources and a totally unique identity – it could be the southwest version of Vermont, which has 4.1 per cent unemployment right now.  Just get the "Made in New Mexico" thing going, quit relying on the Federal largesse alone, build up a stronger community.  Why are they cutting back on lottery college scholarships?  The state needs educated kids.  It is such a failure of leadership. " 

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Economic News

Irate union workers in France have released their managers at a Good Year Tire plant after holding them hostage.  One wonders if this is something that would be more common in the future as workers feel the frustrations of ever increasing workloads and lower pay.  (French workers are sort of over the top though in their demands.)  It is just nice to see some civil disobedience.  Pretty soon it could spill over to consumers taking hostage CEOs in America's most villainous corporations.  Let's start with the airlines.

Home prices fell another 2.3% in the Albuquerque area.  Just another bang of the hammer into the nail sealing the coffin of Albuquerque's economy.  Meanwhile the Mayor and Governor concern them selves with non economic growth issues.  They do that because they  have absolutely no plans in operation to fix things.

The Senate passed another extension of unemployment benefits.  That is a pretty good indication that Albuquerque and our state continue to rely on federal dollars.  It is one more proof of the Governor's and Mayor's ineffectual leadership compared with the states around us.  Of course, the corporate media we depend upon says nothing that would harm the GOP.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Dunces

It is never-ending.  The far right went apoplectic when those trashy duck dynasty guys outed them selves as homophobes and extolled  sixteen as a good age for marriages for female.  The were pissed because they were criticized.  Free Speech they said should not result in their bearded reality show from being dissed.  (Even though their critics were just being into the free speech thing themselves.)

Now we find that a long time gun advocate and Guns and Ammo magazine columnist has been fired at the behest of the gun manufacturers for saying the U.S. Constitution doesn't mandate a lack of gun regulation.  He lost his job and the far right is being silent.  It is one of those sweet moments in time where the nut cases back themselves into a corner.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Native Intelligence

I  used the term 'Native Intelligence' yesterday in my post about Democratic Governor candidate Alan Webber.  I don't want to leave the impression that he is not intelligent, because he is.  That term, coined by former Albuquerque Journal political reporter David Steinberg some 25 years ago, refers to an understanding of the complexity of New Mexico's political make up.

And that make up is changing in some ways.  Yesterday I had a discussion with an astute observer who said they recently attended a meeting of the Santa Fe County Democrats.  Apparently the party up there is no longer a hispanic power center, but rather much more wide ranging with non hispanics pretty much in most of the official positions.  Of course, that doesn't mean the county is any less democratic.  It probably means it is more left of center.  Additionally, our extreme right wing republican governor enjoys the support of many of those hispanic democrats.  Otherwise she would not be the Governor.

So, will they support her again next year?  The northern part of the state has always been mired in poverty, but now it is more severe than ever.  Could a democrat go up there and take those votes?  I think they are there for the asking, but who can get them in the democratic party?  That is the real question.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Governor's Race

It is like everyone has been asleep and are now just awaking to the fact that the democrats in New Mexico will elect a candidate in about six months who will take on our right wing republican governor, Susana Martinez.  Her big accomplishment so far in four years is having a protective media that no longer does their job or, as in the case of the Albuquerque Journal, goes out of their way to keep her safe.

So the democrats will have to choose wisely in June.  I am beginning to think that no matter how much favor Martinez and her handler Jay McClesky get from the media, the abysmal economic meltdown in our state will make her more vulnerable that anyone thought.  But only the strongest candidate with a knowledge of New Mexico, a strong background of economic development and some experience in maneuvering our states multiple and sometimes weird constituencies can win this race.

I have said before that Lawrence Rael and Alan Webber were the ones that could win the primary election next June.  Now, I am beginning to see that Webber may not have the wide ranging native intelligence required to pull this off.  So, here is an idea at this late stage.  Maybe he should consider running for Lt. Governor.  It would help in that he would give a good financial backing to the Governor's and Lt. Governor's races by being on the team.  Rael, with his superior knowledge of New Mexico and Webber with his successful business background could mount a solid challenge next November.

Things can't remain quiet much longer.  Since the media are incapable of dealing with current economic issues the candidates are going to need to innovate ways of getting out their message.  It can't wait.


Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Left of Center Mostly

It should be no surprise to anyone that I am left of center.  But not so far left that I fall into extremes.  For example, I am disgusted with the amount of people in this country claiming Social Security disability, and I am tired of the government giving them benefits for the rest of their lives.  That is killing the real safety net for senior citizens.  This has to stop.

Although I hate assault rifles and concealed weapons, I don't object to guns for sport and home protection.  The far left would gather up every gun in the nation and melt them down, but of course you would never get them all and the whole process would be a joke.  You could pass effective laws on military style weapons and the repeal of concealed weapons would be possible if lawmakers were reasonable.

And,  12 months of unemployment benefits should be a top limit.  Sadly, many people will not find the kind of job they used to have or will they be able to stay in their field.  Sometimes, you just have to start over and a year is probably enough time to do that.

The one place where I might be called an extremist is in the area of people's religious dogma messing around in government and my life.  A New York Times piece today suggests that the republican party is falling deeper into the abyss of religious fundamentalism.  The good news is that in 20 or so years those fundamentalists will mostly be in 'heaven'.  So will the GOP if they don't cast a wider net.  It is truly amazing to watch a one time respected party melted down by extremist dogma.

Happy New Year!