Monday, August 31, 2015


His racism against Mexican/Latino men, women and children should always be remembered in this famous quote.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) 

The Best Way

The APS Board bit the bullet and forced a resignation of the hapless new School Superintendent Luis Valentino.  He showed the good sense to get out of town with an unspecified buy out, which when he was hired said he would never ask for.  But, this was the best possible outcome.

Now Secretary of State Diana Duran should also resign, on her own, before her life becomes even more complicated than just having a gambling addiction.  She should do it immediately to save us all some tax payer money on further investigations.  Trust in the system governing voting and campaign reporting needs to be rebuilt.

And, Governor Susana Martinez had better get a wide ranging consensus on who she would appoint to serve out Duran's term in office.  For everyone's sake it better be a bipartisan appointment of someone who believes in getting people to the ballot box.  We will watch this closely.

And inquiring minds still want to know who ratted out Duran.  Perhaps a fired employee?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Deftly Done

Attorney General Hector Balderas handled the Secretary of State issue very professionally.  It would have been easy to hold a grandiose news conference to blindside the Governor on her good friend's problems.  But he called and briefed her.  Then he sent a news release out on a Friday afternoon about Diana Duran's stupendous alleged gambling and money laundering problems.  Then he left town so no one could get comments from him.  It was deftly done.

It should cut the republican party off at the knees on any charges of grandstanding.  

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Questions to Be Answered

Before I begin, look at the front page of the Journal today in which the alleged gambling fiasco and money laundering by the Secretary of State is so prominent.  At the bottom of the front page there is an ad for a casino.  An astounding thing.  Those casinos march on even after causing so much damage to gambling addicts.

Attorney General Hector Balderas's  charges against the Secretary of State Diana Duran are probably going to lead to all kinds of other issues.  Time will tell.  Here is a list of items that I think need some clarification.  Especially given the $450K plus money that was churned through slot machines and tables at our state's numerous casinos.

1.  Where did all the money she had come from? (She reported raising $356K for her last campaign)

2.   Was it all from siphoned campaign funds, or were there other sources?

3.  If she jiggered the campaign reports for herself, did she do it for anyone else?

4.  The Governor's muted response is weird and weak.  Is she somehow vulnerable?

5.  Who tipped off the AG?  That will be a story in itself?

6.  Will the media take a look at the GOP's bad week given the fines paid by Sandia Labs for Heather Wilson's illegal lobbying?

7.  And finally,  guffaw, will the Governor somehow blame this on Bill Richardson?  And will Maggie Tolouse Oliver say I told you so?

Friday, August 28, 2015

House of Slots

Remember earlier this week when, in posting on the APS disaster, that it 'just doesn't get any better than this."?  I was wrong.

Now our republican Secretary of State Diana Duran has been charged with 61 counts of using campaign money for  personal use, and it appears according to AG Hector Balderas, that she used the money in casinos around the state.

If this were a Netflix series it could be called "House of Slots."


The famous SCI FI novel, "Childhoods End" by Arthur C. Clarke concerns the arrival of aliens known as Overlords who will prepare the human race for its next jump in evolution.  The Overlords would never approach a civilization unless it showed respect and love for the other lesser species on their Planet.

The actions of Governor Susana Martinez and State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn in allowing the existence of leg hold traps to obliterate mountain lions and other wildlife is just too much believe.  This is the most cruel and inhumane action anyone could take against native wildlife.  These two officials, both extreme right wing republicans, have shown their true selves in allowing such actions.  We would fail to pass any test by the Overlords for advancement.

They may have a lot of people fooled into thinking they are acceptable public officials, but for many of us who love nature and decency, we know that they are totally lacking in morality.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Of course we can be assured that  the APS School Superiendent will now keep his job since the Chamber of Commerce announced support for him, as well as their bedmates at the Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board.  Now, I am convinced that the Governor's Office is involved in this mess because Susana gets what she wants from those two groups.  It seems logical anyway.

The Governor has just had a giant dent put in her armor, and she probably doesn't realize since she has done nothing.  I mean that the national animal rights groups could well descend on New Mexico because Susana's Game and Fish Commission has just approved the barbaric practice of trapping our indigenous mountain lions in leg hold traps.  This is repulsive to most everyone I know and the Governor just sits and does nothing.  It will backfire soon if she doesn't do something to stop it.

I went out to a shooting range today with a friend to practice long range marksmanship.  He shot at 600 yards, I shot at 200.  I did well with my sixty year old scoped .270 hunting rifle.  He had a state of the art long  range gun and grouped his shots in a four inch circle.I have always been shooting sports kind of guy.  I was a member of the NRA as a kid learning gun safety.  I was an avid upland bird hunter for years and a clay shooting enthusiast.  I got to be pretty good.  But then when the NRA and the unrestricted weaponizing of America took over, I just lost interest.  But as today showed, I didn't lose all of the skill.

We talked out on the range about what it would take to close loopholes in the gun laws.  I said that the shootings yesterday, since it involved journalists, might finally create some velocity on the issue.  Dead school children didn't do it, but pretty young reporters got everyone's attention.  And sure enough there are a lot of journalists crying for action now, rather than just reporting another murder.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Gun Sales

Another crazy disgruntled employee decided to off his coworkers on live Television.  The victims were young TV News employees.  Very sad.  The killer then attempted suicide.  Three dead and one wounded.

The winner in all this will be the NRA and gun manufacturers who will see a surge in fire arm sales.  But, maybe another winner could be a media who will wake up to the gun craziness in this country, now that some of their own are victims.

This whole situation is like being told you have lung cancer and that smoking more tobacco might help.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I don't see any real hard evidence yet that Governor Martinez and her hapless Public Education Head Skandera arranged the hiring of the APS school Superintendent.  But I am suspicious that they had their way there only because they are now blaming Bill Richardson for a lawsuit filed against them by the whistle blower at APS that was threatened by the Superintendent.  Remember the Super's email to  Skandera?  The sophomoric quote from them said, "These are false and unsubstantiated claims being peddled by a disgruntled APS employee who served under Bill Richardson and clearly has an ax to grind.” 

This juvenile rhetoric is the signature response to any thing that might harm the Governor's carefully constructed facade.  It is getting pretty nauseating.

And of course, the Albuquerque Journal has totally buried former GOP Congresswoman Heather Wilson's complicity in illegal lobbying for Lockheed Martin's Sandia Labs Management Contract.  It will cost the taxpayers $4.5 million.  If that had been a democrat  there would have been photos and condemning quotes on the front page for weeks.  It just shows how you can not trust the coverage of political news by the Journal Editor Kent Walz.  He is the GOP mascot for New Mexico.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Something the GOP Presidential Presidential Candidates Never Read

I am pretty sure I have violated every one of these.


It just doesn't get any better than this.  Now we find out that Heather Wilson, our former Congresswoman and stalwart GOP right-winger has cost us dearly.  Lockheed Martin, which exists on federal tax money paid by us folks, will need to pay a $4.5 million dollar fine because they improperly paid Wilson to lobby for them and get them a no bid contract to manage Sandia Labs.  Let's see if this story gets legs.  But she is the ABQ Journal's darling so don't count on it.  And the rest of the media is busy with orgasmic coverage of the APS meltdown to even think much about anything else.

And who can blame them?  If you wrote a novel about this it would get one star ratings on Amazon because no one would find it believable. But, truth is stranger than fiction.

And now we find out this recently APS deputy Superintendent Jason Martinez had even more problems that charges of sexual predation against children.  They include domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon causing injury.  The DA in Denver is thinking of revoking his bonds and throwing him in the slammer.  But first New Mexico AG Hector Balderas is being quick to say he needs to do an investigation too.

And of course the School Board is stretching out the agony of whether to fire the new Superintendent Luis Valentino.  They won't meet about it until next Thursday after a five hour Sunday meeting.  Odds are that he will resign by the since I am pretty sure he doesn't want to be seen in public....ever again.  Meanwhile teachers have to by their own school supplies.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Deeper and Deeper

The crap gets deeper and deeper at APS after a newly hired deputy superintendent was fired after it was discovered he was a child sexual predator up on charges in Colorado.  The three month tenure of the Superintendent Luis Valentino now looks pretty shaky to me, especially after he blamed his Human Resources Department for the mess, when in fact it looks like he was warned about the situation numerous times.

This has to be an eye opener for the School Board who have backed themselves into a corner by supporting their new pick to run one of the largest school districts in the nation.  The new revelation will weigh heavily on them in a meeting they have scheduled for today.

At the end of the day it is evident that the new APS boss just let it get away from himself as he tried to take over, but he has really blown his credibility and should be given a graceful exit.

In a comment on my post yesterday someone opined that this is why we should have looked for a local person to fill that job.  That is the same kind of thinking that got us Gordon Eden as the new APD police chief.  We can see how that has worked out.

So, if a new search is needed for someone to head the schools, don't just look inside New Mexico, but let everyone with qualifications have a shot at this most important post.  A line on a map shouldn't rule anyone out of the process.

And then we can all put our attention back on the well being and instruction of our students.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Heads Please

When government screws up it is usually no different than when private entities screw up.  Think the recession caused by America's bankers.  That  was a big one.

So is the hiring of a deputy school superintendent charged in Colorado with sexual crimes against children, by the new APS Superintendent.

It is time for heads to roll.  The School Board should find new leadership immediately.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jared and Josh

Corporate media and corporate America just love it.  Distractions that is.  Think about the amount of airtime and column inches given in the last few days to Jared Fogle of Subway sandwich fame and Josh Dugger of reality TV fame on their sexual crimes.  Celebrity is a two edged sword in modern America.  And that is the way the ultra conservative one percenters and their owned media want it to be.  It keeps people in ignorance in order to ensure profits.

Today there was a story on how 2015 will surely be the hottest year in recorded history.  Our scientists are worried that global heating is happening much faster that originally predicted.  And yet this story will get less attention than Jared and Josh.  And then there is Donald Trump to take up the slack.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fair is Fair

There are some republican legislators demanding that an independent group look at the long term problems that might occur with the release of hard rock mining waste into the Animas River by the EPA's screw up during remediation efforts.  That is a fair request.  But only if the same legislators demand the same kind of investigation into the long term effects of fracking for increased oil and gas production in the same regions of the state.  Will those Farmington legislators do the right thing in asking for this assessment?  Oh, Hell No, because that would involve profits.  The same kind of profit motives that lead to the mine waste and abandoned mines all over the Rocky Mountains.

Monday, August 17, 2015


I am an avid science fiction reader and my favorite authors include the regulars like Asimov, Clarke, Haldeman, Baxter, Robert Charles Wilson, Maria Doria Russell,  and many others.  I have read most of everything they written.

I have found a new author, Cixin Liu, a revered Chinese writer whose concepts of the future are bold and innovative.  I am currently on the second book of his beloved Trilogy in China that started with "The Three Body Problem."  In the second volume, "The Dark Forest", in which mankind is trying to prepare for an Alien invasion force that will arrive in four hundred years.  The aliens apologetically let earth know that they really need the planet since theirs has become unlivable because of a dying sun.  They are incredibly advanced are pretty sure they will walk over us.

Liu really lets one in on the the way the Chinese think in his books.  That is, the long term view of everything they undertake.   Not the way we are doing things in this country.  We look to the next quarters profits or the next election in which email is the main issue discussed rather than climate change or poverty.

One of his characters posits,

"The outcome of natural biological evolution requires at least twenty thousand years to manifest itself, but human civilization has just five thousand years of history, and modern technological civilization just two hundred. That means that the study of modern science today is being done by the brain of primitive man."

Now, that is pretty scary when you really think about it.  And one can only wonder if it is worse than that given the state of our politics and media.  Think Donald Trump here, and the news directors and producers of broadcast news.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Things Won't Work Out

There were a couple of stories in the Albuquerque Journal today that were more alike than not.  One concerns religion and the other concerns mine waste.  In both cases the taxpayers will end up paying because people think things will work out, when they won't.

In the mine waste category we are finally seeing the media stepping up to the fact that the good leaders of Silverton, Colorado did not want mine waste cleaned up under Superfund designations because it might hurt tourism and future mining operations.  They thought things would work out.  Things didn't, and astonishingly some of those leaders are still resisting adding these sites  to a cleanup list.  Real poster kids for the boom/bust cycle of western resource extraction.

And then there are the folks and elected officials in Belen who will use  taxpayer money to keep their religious beliefs front and center on government property in the form of a Nativity scene that is clearly unconstitutional.  They will fight a lawsuit by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, (I am a member), that would seek to keep Christianity in front of all other beliefs on public property.  Things won't work out here either no matter how hard they believe they are right.  So, a priest and a mayor will do everything wrong in pursuing this issue.

So we have a very few people making decisions both inside and outside of government that will end up costing the average taxpayer money and headaches.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Good for the Goose, Good for the Gander

The only time Governor susana martinez comes out on the side of the environment is when she gets to lash out at the federal government.  Her great  concern over the EPA foul up on trying to clean up abandoned corporate poisonous mill tailings is one more example.  Here is her quote from a press releases.

 “As the river begins to clear up, there are still many questions left unanswered by the EPA,” she said in a written statement. “New Mexicans deserve to know the long-term effects this environmental catastrophe will have on our communities, our agriculture and our wildlife.”

Okay, that 's fair.  But if it is fair for the EPA, why isn't she showing the same concern for foul ups by the oil and gas industry?  Or the coal industry?  Because she is a corrupt politician who takes care of her corporate campaign money spigots.  Of course, you will never see anything from the media that might show this.  They are too busy with their lost dog stories.

I did not make a mistake in not capitalizing the Governor's name.  I do this with george bush, dick cheney and the rest of that crew too.  It is just my way of showing  their ineffectual and disastrous performance as public officials.

Friday, August 14, 2015


While all of the republicans whine about Trump, or taxes, or wanting more wars, Hilary Clinton makes a move to get the young people to vote for her by coming up with a reasonable avenue for seeing kids who want college educations can get them.  She is certainly thinking about giving young people who might occasionally wander into a voting booth a little more motivation.  She caught all those other guys flat footed.

And then there are the bail bondsmen in New Mexico who want to make sure things stay just the way they have been in getting people out of jail.  It makes them huge amounts of money and they don't like the idea of reforming the laws that control issues around granting bail.  If the legislature fails to act, then we know exactly who runs the House and Senate Chambers.

Senator Martin Heinrich and Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona have introduced a bill to reform the 1872 mining law.  Good for them.  That that law lets miners take public hard rock minerals out of the ground and pay nothing for it.  Then they leave a mess behind with inadequate bonds to clean up the poison tailings.  It will be interesting to see if our hapless Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn will support the reform.  He is unable to get fair market returns on State Resources when he has to compete against the feds who charge nothing.  That  much revered Senator Pete Domenici always fought against such reform.  Now he has buildings named after him.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Land Office Malfeasance

Is the State Land Office under Commissioner Aubrey Dunn inching towards malfeasance?  One might think so as we watch Dunn stick it to the sportsmen and conservationists in this state.  He is attempting to raise the price for sportsmen to go on to state trust lands to hunt and fish.  A 500% increase has been laid down in order to increase the Land Office's revenue from such activities to around $2 million dollars.  There is no doubt that the Land Office must charge for such activities under the Enabling Act and Constitution.  500% is over the top.

Especially since Dunn  has made no effort whatsoever to raise the revenues that cowboys pay to graze their livestock on these same lands.  But Dunn fancies himself a cowboy and good ole boy, doesn't he?  The grazing fee has not been raised by any decent amount since I served as Land Commissioner back in the 80's and 90's.  The livestock boys really do own the land commissioner.  The total revenue gleaned from grazing is only $6 million a year on about 9 million acres of surface land.  And much of that is now in pretty good shape due to the wet spring and summer.  Think of it, 25 years with out an increase in grazing fees!  And in fairness, that goes for all of the Land Commissioners during that time period.  Commissioners who just did want the headache of extracting a fair market return on grazing lands because the cowboy's lobby is so strong.

And so for a few days of hunting the land office will gouge the Game and Fish Commission, while the real hard users on state land, the cowboys, get away with huge subsidies from the beneficiaries of the trust lands.  That would be the schools of New Mexico.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Trump Like

Our fundamentalist Cowboy State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has fired his Assistant Land Commissioner Jim Lane because of his past sexual harassment issues in government jobs.  Dunn said it was necessary because of 'dirty politics,"  according to KRQE News.

There was no apology by Dunn for his lack of due diligence in checking out Lane's background and reason for dismissal as head of the State Game and Fish Department.  There was no apology for putting the female employees at the Land Office in harm's way.  He was just concerned about 'dirty politics', which I assume from Dunn's standpoint as being revealing the truth.  

Monday, August 10, 2015


The reporters at the local TV stations need to read this to understand the mine waste in the Animas River.  At Channel 13 Larry Barker could sit the little toothy reporters and anchors down and give them a lesson on how this all works.

And of course the Governor should read it too, and then explain why she and her supporters would want to continue to support the 1872 Mining Law that caused all this.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Suspect Hire

Last February I blogged about Jim Lane who was mysteriously fired from his position as Chief of the Game and Fish Commission.  Then a few months later he was hired by State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn to design a system for slaughter of wildlife on state trust lands.  That ended up with Dunn welcoming the archaic and cruel trapping of wildlife on state lands.  That is something I banned back in the 90's when I was the Commissioner.

Now we find that Lane was fired for sexual harassment.  The front page story in the Journal today was pretty devastating for Lane and Dunn but not the Governor who probably knew what was going on with this guy.  So, the question is, did the Governor warn Dunn about why this guy was fired?  Did Dunn ask?  Are there any emails on the subject between the Governor's Office and Dunn's office?  Were there any conversations between Dunn and the Governor's office and the Game and Fish Commission on the hire?  Or was all this all good ole boy agreement to keep Lane employed or to keep him silent on other scandals at the Game and Fish operation? Or was it a shared religious fundamentalism between Dunn and Lane?

Will the Journal or any other media ask the Governor these questions?  Or Dunn?

Protection Racket

One can only assume the Albuquerque Journal is running a protection racket for the Governor.  Case in point is the surprisingly good editorial today against trapping of mountain lions.  It was a scheme cooked up by the Governor's appointees to the Game and Fish Commission.  But her name was never mentioned in the editorial, although that cowboy fundamentalist Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn took it on the chin for his cooperation.

And then there is the fact that the Journal is supporting the Governor's selective approach to environmental disasters in the state.  She is all over the EPA for their disaster on those mine tailings.  It is easy for the Governor to go after an federal agency, but when has she ever gone after someone in the oil and gas industry?  In fact the first thing she did when she took office was the eradication of the pit rule that the oil boys didn't like.  That pit rule protected water from oil and gas related pollution.  So, the Journal continues its favorable treatment of an anti environment Governor, except when she can attack an environmental agency for a mistake in trying to clean up polluters waste sites.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Pigs at the Trough

It is hilarious.  The right wing is all over the EPA for screwing up that clean up job of mine tailings near Silverton, Co.

Yeah, it was bad and a major screw up,  but everyone seems to forget that corporate miners left the poisonous tailings to be cleaned up by the taxpayers.  This was even after they probably got all the gold out without paying royalties because of a federal mining law passed in 1872 by President Grant.

And a rancher, who is subsidized to graze on federal lands said in the Albuquerque Journal, when he brings his cows down from federal pastures he won't be able to let them drink down at the polluted river for a time.  Science knows that letting cattle onto a river is an extremely polluting and debilitating practice for western riparian areas.  And he was quoted as saying if a private person had screwed up the river that they would be sentenced to ten years in jail.  Has anyone ever been sent to jail for such things....not in my memory.  Not ever.

So the resource extraction industries on federal lands continually screw the taxpayer, and then they blame all the problems on the people who try to clean up their disastrous policies.  It is just too much.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Did Not

I did not watch the GOP Clown Parade debate last night because I knew they wouldn't talk about anything important.  And they didn't.  No one mentioned climate change.  No one mentioned the division of wealth in this country.  No one really mentioned or were questioned on issues of importance to citizens.  Or so I have read.

14 more months of this shallow modern day campaigning coming up.  

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Google is pulling their drone research and manufacturing business out of New Mexico and sending it to California, a state that has higher taxes, more regulations, and higher wages.  Does this put the lie to Governor Susana Martinez's constant harping that we need lower taxes, less regulations and a suppressed minimum wage?

APD's Chief Eden says he isn't allowed to read police incident reports and the media said so.  But, has anyone found such a procedure written down in a policy document?  And don't forget that he must have read some reports when he said the gunning down of a homeless person was justifiable.  What gives here?

Dr. Werner Spitz, a famed pathologist, has stated the Albuquerque Police and State Medical Examiners Office investigation into the death of Attorney Mary Han was cursory, superficial, and incomplete.  Mary Han was a plaintiff's attorney who won millions from APD for wrongful actions.  When her body was found city officials and an army of police invaded the death scene destroying evidence.  I am sure this will provide more lawsuits for the city to defend.  It never ends.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


Police Chief Gordon Eden said on the stand yesterday in a court appearance that he had not read the incident reports regarding the gunning down of a homeless man in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains last year.  Did anyone take note of this?  Can it really be true that he has not read these reports of one of the most infamous police killings in the history of the City of Albuquerque?

Would not any leader of a police department be interested in studying these reports?  Is he that much of a failed leader?  How can the Mayor and City Council not demand his immediate resignation, or are they failed leaders too?  I am beginning to think they are.  Berry should fire him, or he should resign.  It would be best all around.

And then there is Governor Susana Martinez.  She is possibly a worse person than that lion killing dentist who is commanding the airwaves and newspapers, and she is getting away with it.  Under her guidance the Game and Fish Commission has approved the highly inhumane trapping of mountain lions in this state.

 This alone shows her lack of common sense and decency when it comes to the wildlife of New Mexico.  These traps inflict an excruciating death upon these indigenous creatures.  When will she get the attention she deserves for being inhumane.  A very poor leader indeed.  She is actually the one being lead around, by the cowboys and big game killing for profit crowd.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Photo Ops

Someone set off explosive devices in containers near a couple of churches in Las Cruces, and the Governor runs down there for a photo op.  This may or may not be a criminal act.  Exploded mailboxes and trashcans.  There wasn't even any damage to show in the paper, but for a few photos of people praying.  But the Governor is never one to shun spreading the fear, because that is how she and the GOP hope to stay in power.  Make every little thing into a big thing and scare the crap out of the wandering public.  And the media is right there filling up their ravenous search for the paranoia inducing stories.

Here is an idea for the Governor.  Visit a colonias on the outskirts of Albuquerque to see how the poor live and try to scratch out an existence.  That is a thousandfold times more important than exploded mail boxes.  That  is where the real fear exists.  But, for you to visit that place would be to admit that not all is well under your leadership and nonexistent economic policy.