Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

In Danger

It is almost comical and tragic at the same time.  There was a story in the Journal this morning about the impact of broken elevators at Carlsbad Caverns in southern NM.  The problem is costing the region a lot of money because people are passing on a visit because they can't ride down.  It is adversely affecting a big economic engine for the region.  It shows the value of public land assets other than oil and gas.  It is something that will be there long after the oil boys go the way of steam ships.  Even Congressman Steve Pearce, a man who would sell public lands to the highest bidder seems upset.

Ironically,  the Antiquities Act will now be in great danger from people like Pearce.  President Obama used it yesterday to protect large swaths of public land in Utah and Nevada.  Read about it here.  This article was written by former Washington Post staffer Tom Kenworthy who sits on the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Board with me and other rabble rousers.

The designations of these new National Monuments will bring out the worst in the Clive Bundy crowd and their GOP western Congressional delegations.  They will try do undo these designations and then go after the Antiquities Act which has been used by almost every administration since Teddy Roosevelt to protect great American Landscapes and special places.  This roll back will be done in the name of profit for the fossil fuel boys.

This is one worth manning the barricades for!  Some bad behavior will be needed in the home towns of every Congressional member who thinks this repeal is needed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pay the Tax

Twenty Years ago I suggested to the Legislature while serving as Mayor that big internet retailers needed to collect the gross receipts tax on their sales and send them to the cities and state.  Of course I was highly criticized for worrying that the fall in revenues would be a disaster for the cities.  Now, an effort is underway to finally craft such a bill, as Utah has done.  The facts are that our local small business men and women are required to collect taxes, but corporate monsters get away with not doing it, and that puts them at a great economic advantage.  Meanwhile the mom and pop stores fade away.

A lot of people don't want to see this of course because they think a magic dragon poops out money for the governments to fix streets, hire police and firemen, and mow the grass in the parks.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Repetition

I have been writing missives on my blog for 13 years.  One of those early adopters of this medium.  I went back to 2005 and started reading some of the 4000 posts I have made to Only in New Mexico.  It is all very repetitious. Things don't really change, except in a glacial way.

I  have been struggling with posting lately, because everything sounds used up.  And shrill.  I have thought about retiring from my ever shorter blogs because I think I have said it all before.  Between now and the New Years I will decide, not that anyone cares.  It is something to do everyday.  My readership is still fairly good.  What to do?

But trump and susana are still here and provide grist for the mill.  And the next round of elections will be fun to comment on.  Tune in for further notices.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Acres

Many people are saying the electoral college just works because the large cities and coasts shouldn't determine who is elected. So, the trump folks now think that acreage is the way to elect the president, instead of one man, one vote.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cabinet Portrait

Rick Perry, fundamentalist wacko and former Texas Governor is shown pictured on the right holding a cudgel for destroying the Department of Energy which trump has placed him in charge of running.  Don't forget that includes the nuclear stockpile.  This serious photo of him and other cabinet members was taken early this morning.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Crazy

I missed my chance a few years ago to make America great.  We were on a great cruise through Spain, France and Portugal.  We had stopped for an excursion into Seville to tour the great city.  On board our ship was a contingent of extreme right wingers that  were holding symposiums on board.  One of the star attractions was  that crazy  man know as John Bolton, bush and cheney's man at the UN.  A true nightmare of a human being.

We were waiting to cross a busy boulevard as traffic raced by.  I looked at the guy next to me and it was Bolton.  I saw a bus barreling down the  right lane of traffic.  I thought, "Should I?", "Should I?"

Well obviously I didn't, but maybe I missed a great opportunity to strike a blow for truth and justice.  Now Bolton is back claiming that  Obama is really behind the Russian hacking for Trump.  A 'false flag' as he calls it.

Chaos theory at work.  

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Resign

Governor Susana Martinez should resign. For the second year in a row New Mexico has been cited has having the worst run government in the nation.  Also, as President Frank at UNM fights back against the Regents I suspect that one of the Governors Regent appointees has leaked information to make the President look bad.  If that is true then you will know her dislike for UNM is stronger than her concern for our state.  We had a trump all along here on the fourth floor of the capitol.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Beautiful

What a beautiful pile of dog crap President Obama has handed to trump.  The decision on the pipeline will force trump into a two front war on fossil fuel pipelines if you take into consideration the especially dirty Keystone project.  Double trouble for trump, in more ways than one.

What this proved is that activism and in your face attitudes of unpopular projects that add to climate problems just won't be tolerated.  The will is there for people to rise up against this kind of immoral corporate profit over good mentality.

Of course, this old time civil disobedience will work on many other issues as well, and I fully expect to see a lot of it in the next few years.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Despicable

Recently I learned that NM congressional influence was helpful in getting a new contract for Corrections Corporation of America to imprison undocumented immigrants in the Cibola County Correctional Center that CCA owns.  Apparently the news of the closing of that for profit incarceration company human warehouse in that  depressed city was to much for some folks.  Sure, it is a large employer in the area, but at what cost to human morality?  The facility housed women for many  years, but was deemed unneeded.

I cant think of anything more repugnant than private prisons.  And yet we have locally elected democrats representing us in DC that see this as a vote getting mechanism.  Not to mention the amount of possible donations they may get from CCA.  And now we learn that CCA doesn't want pot legalized because they will lose business.


Thursday, December 01, 2016

Buggy Whips

State Land Commissioner Dunn is bringing on retired Senator Domenici as an advisor at the Land Office.  Dunn is also pitching enhanced drilling for fossil fuels to fund early childhood education.

These guys just don't get it.  Domenici never saw an oil well or coal mine he didn't love.  And Dunn is not any better on pushing of fossil fuels over anything else.  They are like buggy whip manufacturers expanding their plants as Model T's roll off the assembly lines.

They just don't see the future.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Liquor Licenses and trump

I spent the hardest three years of my life trying to reform liquor license issuance and corruption back in the late 70's and early 80's.  The ABQ Journal's Jessica Dyer revisited the issue today on the business page in a well written piece.  Back then we were somewhat successful in getting beer and wine licenses and starting a process to do away with privately owned licenses that were worth up to $800K.  Much of that was undone by Bruce King and the legislature ten years later.  It was ironic that Bruce signed the bill because he was the Governor who let me do the reform efforts a decade before.  The liquor lobby got to him.

This whole situation is a metaphor for the incoming trump administration.  He is part of the corporate corruption that sways against the public good for personal greed.  It is a machine that never goes away. It is just like how the coal and oil boys will lobby and corrupt efforts to save the planet from climate disaster for a few extra bucks.  And trump's conflict of interests will be ignored.

Thinking

I can't stop thinking about what lies ahead under our national leadership.  trump tweets outrageously about illegal voters, of which there were none.  He treats a Secretary of State candidate like a whipping boy on his reality tv show.  Can you imagine how he will treat foreign leaders?

He must be resisted in this craziness.  In every way possible except for violence.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Turkey

Lots of Turkey stuff going on this week.  trump and his scary picks for Cabinet and White House appointments mostly.  But we head north for a few days with our grand daughters in Fort Collins, Co.  Bobbi and I wish you all a great Holiday with family.  If any of them voted for trump, give them special spiked appetizers that put them to sleep.  That way no arguments over all the fixins.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Susana's Labyrinth


Yes, its the NMMVD trying to make life miserable for citizen and non citizen alike.  Thank you to the administration of Susana Martinez, our rightwing and not very intelligent Governor.  She has decided the most visible thing she can do is just make life miserable for people trying to renew or get a drivers license.  This will be her legacy.

The Journal had a fine story this morning on just what a frustrating and stupid experience most New Mexicans are in for when they go to MVD offices.  All because of an immigrant baiting politician.

Maybe this is one more reason no new jobs are appearing in our state, no one wants to bring a company  here when you can't even get a drivers license in a reasonable and efficient manner.  How on earth do we survive another two years of this failed leader?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dream

I had a dream last night that trump was appearing before the United Nations and gave one of his campaign speeches on how many plans he had.  Then he announced to the world that Susana Martinez would head up economic development efforts.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Whole Equation

Did you see the news that the Navy's new Zumwalt Destroyer artillery shells will cost $800k each?  The news makes the Navy look pretty stupid for trying to design such a piece of work, right?  But wait a minute, as usual there  is another side to this equation.  That would be the defense contractors who talked them into it and saw such a great profit to be made.  Yes, it is corporate America screwing the taxpayer again.

It is the same with healthcare in this country.  So many people are angry at the Affordable Care Act for costing so much.  That  cost is driven by an ever more greedy insurance and medical care industry.  They are pretty much to blame for this scenario.  They are the ones who set the costs.  So, stop blaming the Act that is providing coverage for 22 million Americans and their kids.

As it turns out Eisenhower's great fear of the Military/Industrial Complex was a model for the Insurance/Medical Care Complex.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

It's official: the United States is a Third World country



From my friend Dennis Jett for Univision

http://uni.vi/YfFt100oQA0

 www.univision.com


Whose President?

This talk that many are saying that trump isn't their president is silly.  He is  your president.  What you should be saying is 'man the barricades' and protect yourselves and your planet.  Can he rise to the occasion and moderate?  It really wouldn't work even if he did.  After his spewed hatred towards minorities to get elected he will go down as our biggest American mistake.

Civil disobedience can be a good thing.  As I recall it worked in the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the LGBT movement, and it can work again.  It will take courage on the part of young people to make it work.  We white haired folks can't do it by ourselves.




Thursday, November 10, 2016

Environment

The Journal Editorial is horribly wrong in one instance this morning As it lists things that must be fixed in the country, it never mentions climate change. That is the one thing that affects us all, right or left or center. But the Journal's long term love affair with the oil and gas and coal boys and their planet killing profits will never go away. Are they already warming up the keyboards in the editorial offices to support planet killing pipelines and fossil fuel subsidies? You bet they are!

The real action on environmental issues now must be on the legal side. I am hopeful the country's charitable foundations will give with abandon to the funding of legal actions against any attempts to roll back protections for our landscapes, oceans and atmosphere. That is where I will be putting my efforts.

I don't know where trump will come down on the environment issues. As far as I can tell he never said much about it, except for vowing to reopen coal mines to provide jobs. In fairness, Hillary didn't say much either. But there is real war coming on this front and you can look to that fight to define whether people have courage to act out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Life in America


This will be reality for the next two to four years.  Hunker down and figure out a way forward in the Senate and House in two years.  It is our only hope for redemption.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Relax

No pol stuff today.  Just relaxing before the election day.

For me that includes taking our puppy Mercury to the Rio Grande.

This little guy is just over five months old and I think he is smarter than the whole GOP.  Oops.  There is that pol stuff.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Odds

No, I am not talking about trump and his supporters.  I am talking about who I think will win.  It is looking better for Clinton but still not in the bag.

The sad thing is this election isn't over on Tuesday.  I keep seeing a crazed guy in a giant four wheeler racing up and down Rio Grande Blvd with a huge American and Confederate flag flapping off the bed of his guzzler.  He is one scary dude and the election will never be over for racist psychopaths like him.  The take over of the GOP by non grown ups has enabled people like him.

It is their responsibility that they couldn't put up serious moderate candidates.  No, they pretty much put up candidates that  only the KKK, underachievers and such could support.  They could have waltzed into the White House over Hillary with a good candidate.  They  are incredibly stupid.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Land Office Gift

That fossil fuel mascot, republican State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn is giving away school money to the oil and gas industry.  He is forgiving rent payments due to the Land Office because of low oil prices.  That takes money directly away from the schools.

Want to make a bet that  those same oil and gas companies are pouring money into right wing PACs right now to make sure that they elect candidates like Dunn who will do anything they ask of them?  Will our Attorney General step in and protect the School's interest?  This might just be unconstitutional.

Will the state's beleaguered journalists find time to investigate this sweetheart deal and do a little investigative work on who gets these breaks and how much money their executives and owners have cleared for political donations?

On another matter, I stumbled on this thoughtful series on Netflix from 2012.  Yes it is Richard Dawkins on religion, but if you stay watching it long enough you will see the current election in clear terms.  https://www.netflix.com/watch/80136610?trackId=14170286&tctx=0%2C0%2Cd9b41b20-0b44-483f-8905-5a129483de9e-64140382

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Seriously

Seriously, there is no more powerful emotion from a sane person than their protective instincts when it comes to parenthood and taking care of grand kids.  So, I can only ask every grandparent out there who supports trump, would you leave your grand daughter alone with trump?  Because if you say you would trust him with her, then we know the reason why you are supporting him.  And that would be you are not very good at critical thinking.

Right now most people I know are aghast at the fact the the Louisiana Supreme Court has said it is okay for priests to not rat out pedophiles who have confessed.  In other words, if these folks have an imaginary friend who lives in the clouds, they get a pass on prosecution.  Think about that.  If  you were a parent in New Orleans, would you feel comfortable in living in a state where the floodgates have just been opened for pedophiles.  Is this situation a bridge to far for them?  I sure as hell hope so.

The Tax Break

The Journal did a confusing editorial this morning on the issue of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe disciplining a priest for telling his flock to essentially vote against Hillary because she is pro choice.  I think the Journal tried to say it was indicating a slight change in the hierarchy's stand on abortion.  But maybe not.

The real issue here  is whether the Santa Fe County Assessor will now charge property tax against this priest's church or if the IRS will declare them in violation of non profit status.  They should.  I have always felt the exemption to property tax for people with gods has been a little suspect.  Yes, the church does some good charitable deeds, but does that forgive them for paying taxes to maintain the infrastructure that  supports their institutions?  Nah.

Dream on if you think any pol would ever take this one on.  When I was Mayor I was upset with some mega churches for taking business away from the Convention Center.  It was a money maker for them.  I said so and was immediately accused of being the devil's spawn.

"There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings."
― from "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"

Monday, October 31, 2016

This is the One


I have been trying to think how this Presidential election could be depicted in a painting.  This is the one.  Dali's Persistence of Memory.  I figured the time vortexes around this never ending theater were represented here.  I think that is Trump's hair on the ground.  Mabye, hey?

Maybe that fog rolling in from the sea represents the uncertainty of our democracy, no matter who wins.  It is borne on winds of ignorance?  Gahhhhhh!  I am going crazy.

Basics

Sometimes I just don't pay enough attention to the basic things that make life fun.  We spent the weekend up in Fort Collins for our grand daughters second birthday.  Of course to us they are very special little girls because they beat so many odds at surviving an extreme early birth.  Alex and Katy spent 12 weeks in the NICU and later Katie had open heart surgery.  She is also dealing with a case of cerebral palsy but she is doing well.  That is Katy with the hat on, and Alex with the curly hair.


Because of Katy's valiant fight and the demeanor of Donald Trump when he made fun of a reporter with cerebral palsy,  it was easy to see just what a danger this psychopath was to our nation.  I have to say his view of the world would put Katy in great peril.  And many others.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Black Star

Put another black star next to Susana Martinez's name.  We have now learned that New Mexico's school kids have a lower than basic score in science proficiency.  While I am pretty sure that there may be a lot of factors that got us here, nonetheless it seems like something could be emanating from the Governor's office besides right wing TV Commercials against Democrats.

Please, don't forget this Land of Enchantment is home for two national science and research labs.  Wouldn't it be great if we were turning out a lot of kids who could compete for those jobs?  Of course it would, but there are all those subsidies and tax breaks for Susana's right wing corporate cronies  to take care of first.

I am certain now that  history will treat  this two term Governor as the disaster that she is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Governor

She is overseeing the greatest economic meltdown in memory for the Land of Enchantment.  Highest unemployment rate, worsening bond ratings, highest child poverty, and lack of bipartisan efforts at fixing things.  But she can concentrate on defeating democrats by using extreme right wing PAC money.  And she is voting for Donald Trump.

Two more years of this spells real disaster for our beloved State of New Mexico.  The legacy of Susana Martinez, mascot of the right wing.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mercenary

Mayor Berry is hard at work to set up a mercenary police presence in Albuquerque.  It is the most irresponsible thing a politician could do and he actually got two city councillors to support him.  So, are Brad Winter and Pat Davis now in the stupid column?  This is the most atrocious monumental and colossal privatization of government responsibility I can think of.

This group of police will be governed not by you as a citizen, but by corporate interests.  They will be comprised of retired police officers who would no longer answer to government officials, but rather to some profit gouging CEO.  Supposedly they will do the work of the present police aides that the city employs, but this is just  the beginning of a Robocop scenario.  Think the Blackwater mercenaries in the Duke City.

Leaders should dump this idea and the politicians who ultimately support it.  Just go out and hire more police aides.  It is a good government supported training ground for future officers.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Behind

The Albuquerque Journal's right wing editor and owners are so left behind.  What are they to do in this election year when they may be one of the only daily publications in large cities to have not endorsed in the Presidential election?  The early vote is underway and many have voted.  Could it be the Journal is so befuddled that they can't make up their minds on what to do about Trump and Hillary?  Do they think they have no influence at all anymore by not stating their preference after weeks of voting have passed by?

Last night at a charity fundraiser one of the people sitting with us stated that he doesn't read the Journal any longer.  Not because of its political stands, but because of the poor editing and writing that just seems to be a common occurrence.  I am sure they are not as bad as my editing and writing, but I don't do this for a living.

My bet is that they might not endorse, or that they might do a throw away on our former stoner Governor Johnson.  But, anything is possible at the sociopathic editors suite.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bereft

One can only assume the GOP in New Mexico is bereft of any intellectual ammunition.  The fact they would send out a mailer telling party members they will be put on a watch list if they stay home from the polls is just plain stupid.  How could this mailer ever have come to be mailed?  Is everyone in the GOP office so ignorant that they thought  this was a good thing?  A high school Sophomore civics class could have told them otherwise.  This belongs in Ripley's Believe it or Not!

Maybe this is the mercy killing of the party that has been needed in New Mexico so that the remnants might rise like the Phoenix from it's ashes into a thoughtful conservative presence.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Back into the Soup

We are back from one of the best vacations ever.  I would highly recommend a trip along the Pilgrims route in northern Spain to Santiago de Compastela.

This is one of thousands of markers that shows the way to Pilgrims.  Whether you are a believer or not, it is a step into  a surreal time surrounded by beautiful countryside, magnificent structures and cathedrals, and a culture that could have done just about anything it set its mind too.

Spain is in a governmental crisis. They have not formed a ruling majority in over 300 days and are sort of living on a continuing resolution, much like this country does.  Their unemployment is still very high, but their economy is growing rapidly and the streets are full of people having a good time.

Strangely, no one ever asked us about Trump.  Our Presidential race was certainly in the news, but we never got any questions.  Maybe they just don't care, or they didn't want to embarrass us by asking about Trumpism.

Looking at the campaign from afar made us pretty happy to be away for a couple of weeks.  The first thing we do on Monday is vote.  And then get ready for the post election crazies arming themselves for insurrection when the Trump cries foul.  Just wait and watch the incidents happen.  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Salamanca

This is the view from our hotel room. A nice long journey today from Santiago. Very rainy and cool.

Vallodolid

Columbus was buried here. And we ate lunch at La Parilla de San Lorenzo. Rainy and cool here.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Choir

We had an extensive tour of the Cathedral this morning in Santiago de Calzada.  Our tour guide was great.  This picture in the Choir of the old church.  The guide explained that only 6% of Spanish citizens attend church these days, and that 80% of them are retired, and that 80% of them are women.
The nearby Cistercian Monastery has 28 cloistered nuns and that almost all of them are from Africa and Asia.  This is also where most of America's priests are being recruited from.  One gets the feeling the church is in an unrecoverable nosedive.  But they are leaving behind some great structures.

The Choir area was constructed in the 1500's and was made of Walnut polished with Beeswax.  They have never been refinished and still look brand-new.

Pilgrims

These pilgrims have about 350 miles left before they complete their journey to Santiago De la Compostela. Apparently, if they complete the pilgrimage they get a get out of jail card and go straight to heaven when they die. No matter what their sins were. Pretty good deal if you believe in that stuff.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Evidence


We took a really good ground tour of Sos Del Rey Catolicos today.  This photo shows the results of the Decree of Expulsion in 1492 of all Jews from Spain.  On this door in the Jewish quarter the Mezuzah was torn from the stone door sill and replaced with the Crucifix.

Our young guide told us that Catholicism is dying out in Spain.  Most of the church rehabilitations are being carried out with European Union money for historical and tourism reasons.  Some of the masses we have witnessed have more people on the altar than the pews.

Crypt at Levre Monastery


Had a interesting time here listening to Benedictine Monks chanting.  

Javier

Birthplace of the St Francis Xavier.