Friday, June 29, 2007

So Funny

This kid is unbelievable. You have to watch this.


I wonder what would happen if every illegal immigrant in the country were to go on a two week strike. It is sad that they can't afford to do it since so many of them have a hand to mouth existence and the care of their families comes first. I think if they did stop working that this country would be in big trouble. Food supplies, construction projects, dining out, landscaping care, housekeeping, health care and about a million other things would just not be tended too. Check out the movie "A Day without a Mexican" when you get the chance.

And then there are the worst nightmares coming true with our new radical Supreme Court. I was telling my friend Ned yesterday that I hoped all of the Justices stay in good health for at least the next two years. If one of them dies then bush gets to put another right wing Christian fundamentalist on the court. I want the right wing justices to stay healthy for at least two years because if they die then another one will be appointed who will stay around longer. I hope you get my drift.

I think we need to stand back and look from a far vantage point at what is happening in our country. bush, cheney, war, regressive supreme court decisions, religion in government, large deficits, public apathy and money soaked political campaigns are killing us.

So, to forget it all for a few hours this evening Bobbi and I will dine on buttered popcorn and diet coke while watching an epochal movie about a rat who wants to be a chef. It might be the least surreal 2 hours of this week!

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I will be participating in a national phone news conference today along with other high ranking land managers about the destruction of America's private and public lands by Off Road Vehicles (ORVs). The news conference is being put together by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Without a doubt ORVs are cumulatively causing more damage to our watersheds, wildlife and riparian areas than just about any other use. They are over stressing local law enforcement and medical rescue entities because of the injuries they are causing to mainly to many young kids who have idiot parents who let them drive these dangerous vehicles. My sister in law Jan Baca call them "Donor Vehicles." She is a surgical nurse.

Not all ATV drivers are bad, but there are enough of them who do flaunt protected areas and cause long lasting damage to our fragile western lands. They are enabled by corporations like Honda and Yamaha who build these machines and market them with commercials showing them tearing through streams and wild lands.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One of Many!

Arturo Sandoval threw open his great back yard for a fundraiser for Martin Heinrich last night. On the hottest day of the year we had forty good folks show up to listen to the Congressional candidate give his positions.

I am hopeful that Martin will draw not Democratic Primary opposition so he can save his money to take on Heather Wilson. It will be a big task to raise the money to match Wilson's millions of dollars from the defense industry and oil and gas. Martin is already working very hard and has a fundraiser every night this week. If he raised $2500 or more tonight you can figure how far he has to go. I am hopeful he will be able to report a good war chest accumulating in July when reports are due.

I have added a new link to a blog from a New Mexican in California, called Oh Fair New Mexico. I like it. Rodger sent me a good laugh for politicians and cat lovers too, look at this.


My good friend Arturo Sandoval and I are doing a little fund raiser for Martin Heinrich this evening at Arturo's house at 604 15th N.W. That is just a block north of Lomas. We hope you can come around 5:30 or 6:00PM. Martin is running for Congress against Heather Wilson, our very own booster of a new class of nuclear weapons. Just what we need. Why don't we just use that money to pay off the nation's student loans so our kids can buy homes some day? This is a picture of Martin on the roof of his house with his newly installed solar panels.

This morning at Starbucks my son and I spotted a new pickup there that had a hand painted sign on it saying, "Don't impeach bush, Arrest him." That truck owner has courage given the ire of bush supporters. I have 'ire' too when ever I see a vehicle with a bush/cheney sticker on it. Mainly, I just cant believe some people still have them pasted to their bumper. Most of them have disappeared, but there are a few who haven't seen the light.

It is becoming apparent that bush's legacy will live on in a right wing Supreme Court. Life is to short. But those Justices seem to live forever.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Kids

We had a great weekend with the kids being home. Lots of family came over for dinner on Sunday and we won't all be together again until the holidays. Noelle left last night to go back to work in Chandler, Arizona at Intel. Justin will hang around until Wednesday when he returns to Syracuse, NY to start his work on his Masters in Public Administration. (High level policy wonk stuff) He will also get married to his girl Karly in October. We will travel to Olean, NY for that.

Justin and I went to HELLO DELI! for his favorite breakfast burrito this morning. It was so nice to sit there with him and talk about the state of the country, world and where it is all going. Justin is a true progressive and, like his sister Noelle, smart and animated.

It was sad to see the Albuquerque Journals in the Deli with the headline about the young man from Los Lunas who was killed in Iraq with just a couple of weeks left before coming home to see his soon to be born daughter for the first time. It made me want to cling even more to our kids, which I have a tendency to do, which drives them crazy. Bobbi always tells me to chill out on this stuff.

This young mans death in Iraq won't even cross the minds of bush and cheney today. They just go about their daily routine of living in denial about what disastrous leaders they really are. They must be truly oblivious to the suffering of the families involved. Meanwhile, Governor Richardson's enhanced insurance for New Mexico GI's killed in the line of duty will at least help this young mans family. Richardson led the way for the rest of the country with that program which provides close to $500,000 for surviving family members.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fickle Finger of Fate

I had my annual physical exam today. Everything is still functioning and I lost a little weight from last year, but not as much as I thought I would have. This cold of the last three weeks cut into my exercise pretty badly, and I sort of pigged out too. You know, feed a cold, starve a fever. I endured the prostrate exam and got a vaccination for shingles. Dr. John Baca said he has been seeing patients over 60 years of age with shingles about every two weeks. It is painful and can scar you. He said it is the old chicken pox virus that has been hanging out in us since we were kids, whether you ever contracted it or not. He highly recommends that everyone over sixty get the shot. So I did. He also brought out the liquid nitrogen and burned a thingy of my face.

Meanwhile, Justin and Noelle arrive home for a few days. It will be great to have them around. Summer days are here......for some reason I keep thinking back to when we were kids and one of the big events every summer day was the milkman delivering milk. He would always give us handfuls of ice from the truck. Lots of brain burns but refreshing.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


So, I was reading in the paper this weekend that there are some pretty good websites out there for us baby boomers to use to strengthen our brains. Yes, our brains apparently need exercise need exercise. (That was an unintended typo that I saw on first edit. I left it to make the point.) It turns out that mine especially does after taking some tests at

In fact, I have been on a real downer since taking the trials. Alzheimer's at 62? Damn. Things were not all bad though. I did increase my scores after a little practice and I decided to pay a three month fee to take their full course of brain exercises. I had started doing a couple of cross word puzzles every night, but that obviously isn't enough.

On another matter, if you didn't read columnist Ned Farquhar's piece on Pete Domenici in the Albuquerque Journal this morning, you missed a pointed critique of the Senator's anachronistic energy and climate beliefs. I don't think I have ever seen someone take on Pete this way and I am happy this column was carried by the Journal.

At the same time I think my favorite editorial cartoonist, John Trever of the Journal, went over the top with his cartoon this morning showing our Governor waving a flag of surrender. I guess Trever doesn't like the Guv's get out of Iraq plan. Fourteen more American soldiers died in the last 24 hours, along with a lot of Iraqi civilians.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


"Miscalculation...a wrong action attributable to bad judgment or ignorance or inattention".

I have to admit I am surprised about Mayor Marty Chavez miscalculating the reaction to his smoking ban on all city property. (Remember his cigar smoking parties?) While I might agree with him on keeping second hand smoke away from innocent bystanders this sudden edict left little room for logistical matters. I heard that the day after the 'fatwa' went into effect that the rent a cops at the airport were hassling arriving passengers outside the airport about their smoking. Even though there were still ashtrays all around and no signs saying smoking wasn't allowed. One cop even went up to a woman in her car and told her to put out her cigarette. Unbelievable! Same thing on the golf courses and balloon Park? I also got an email today from one person with a petition to sign to recall Marty. That will probably go nowhere fast and I wont sign it, but it shows some crumbling of Marty's image.

Another miscalculation by an elected official occurred this week when State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons told the Albuquerque Journal to never call him again. He was upset that they would dare to question him getting even more campaign money from a land developer in Las Cruces that he did a sweetheart deal with. Pat Lyons is now toast with them and I have a feeling the stories on his 'pay for play deals' will keep coming. Even in all my past fights with the Journal Editorial Board when I was Mayor I never told them to never call again.

Another stupendous miscalculation is that of Ben Luce, a renewable energy leader, for attacking Governor Richardson's legislative renewable energy package. Luce was a proponent of it but now, months after its passage, he says it is flawed. All at the same time he is opening a new non profit organization aimed at lessening corporate influence on government. That is a worthy cause but I can't think of a worse way of starting it up than his rant against Bill Richardson's leadership. I won't be sending any checks to this new organization for quite some time.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Time Travel-Travel Time

We had a nice laid back 30th Anniversary celebration this weekend. A nice dinner Friday evening and then we watched the U.S. Open on TV. That golf course sucks, really big time. When the world's best golfers cant do better than 5 over par, then there is something wrong with the course. I am glad the working class guy from Argentina, Angel Cabrera, won. I liked his ability to walk up to the ball and just whack it with out a lot of fretting. He knew what he wanted to do and just stuck to his tempo.

I am finally about finished with the Lincoln book "Team of Rivals" that I started some time ago. I think the book should be required reading for anyone thinking about running for office. I sure as hell wished I had been able to read it before I entered the political arena. I could have learned a lot and would have been a lot better at it.

I decided that if I had a chance to travel backward in time that I would want to hover over Lincoln while he was in the White House. It must have been fascinating to have been a witness to his intellect and vision. I wish HBO would do a high quality dramatic miniseries on him that would follow this book so that more people could see the kind of leader this country once had. Will we ever have one like that again?

Speaking of travel. My son Justin will come home for a few days at the end of the week. He needs to chill out before starting his MPA program and Syracuse University in a couple of weeks. We fretted for a while about the cost of airline tickets this summer as everything is booked solid. Somehow he managed to find a good fare. Now we can see him for a few days, otherwise we wouldn't see him until his wedding in October. Anyway, when Justin sent his itinerary this morning he also sent a copy of the carbon credits he purchased for his share of the carbon emissions the aircraft would generate on his trip. Apparently now lets you do that.

Friday, June 15, 2007

30th Anniversary

Usually on a 30th Anniversary you give your wife pearls. Or so I am told. I gave Bobbi a string of pearls a few years ago. This year I will give her something else. My secret.Bobbi and I met in an elevator at City Hall in 1975 when I worked for Mayor Harry Kinney. She was a 23 year old intern in the planning department. This picture was taken circa 1976. Wasn't she pretty?We got married on our lunch hour in 1977 so we could buy a house. It wasn't possible to get a mortgage as a 'couple' so we figured that was a good reason to go ahead and get hitched. Three years later we had Justin, shown here circa 1980 or 1981.

This is Bobbi in 1984. We were in Hawaii and she was pregnant with Noelle. And Noelle thinks she has never been there!This is Bobbi introducing Justin to Noelle a few hours after her entry into the world. I could go on forever about their sibling relationship, but now they like each other a lot.

This is me carrying Noelle into our North Valley Home for the first time. No white hair on me yet some 22 years ago.

This is Justin, Noelle and I at White Sands. Our family had a great time on that trip. Circa 1988.
This is Bobbi and I on our trip just a few weeks ago to the eastern Mediterranean. She is still the only one for me.

Red Clay

You have all seen this. It is that great outcrop of red clay along I-25 near the Cochiti turnoff on La Bajada. I have always really liked this little place, ever since I was a kid. It is a mystical place to me and if it weren't for the roaring traffic close by there would probably be spirits or aliens hanging around it. I hope that any future highway improvement plans never touch this gem.

Tomorrow Bobbi and I celebrate our 30th anniversary. I will post pictures of us from many years ago.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wilson and Nukes, Martin and Sanity

Congress lady Heather Wilson is upset that the lab's budgets are being cut in the area of nuclear weapons development. She isn't upset that we are fighting a senseless war in Iraq, or that America's automobile industry is squealing about higher mileage standards, or that there are so many people without health insurance. No, she is upset that we aren't going to build new nuclear weapons. I think there are about six or seven thousand nuclear weapons in the stockpile right now, ready to go. And she wants a new generation of bombs ready to go. Madness.

Last night I went to a fund raiser for Martin Heinrich. There was a great turnout and he has now raised an impressive amount in his quest to topple Wilson from her war bird perch. He just needs to raise another $3 million or so. He may well do it and I hope you all will help asap. He gave a good speech last night that didn't sound like a canned group of talking points from the Washington Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. I hope he keeps it that way.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Conservatives and Immigration

Sunday there was a story on the front page of the New York Times about how radio talk shows whipped up so much opposition to the immigration bill. Yes it was a flawed bill, but the reason it failed overall was a submerged racism in this country. Especially when it comes to immigrants that aren't white, or from south of our border. That is the way I feel anyway.

And there is another reason which one of my weekend coffee buddies offers up. The right wing nut cases in this country see any immigrant being offered a path to citizenship as a potential Democrat or progressive voter. So, don't let them in and don't let them become voters. Actually, I would be willing to bet that any naturalized citizen in this country right now knows more about our government and its principles than most native born citizens. Our newly accepted citizens have to take a test to become one of us and therefore they are well versed in our Constitution and system of government. Maybe that is what scares right wingers most, that these people would understand civil liberties and fight to protect them from the likes of bush and cheney.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Want some insight on where this country might still be headed? Read this.

I wonder sometimes if these numbers are the same or different from 100 years ago. Of course, they might be just the same but it makes you wonder if there is any hope at all for this species.

Out of My Chair

I was one of abut 12 million people that came out of their chair last night thinking the cable had failed right in the final moment of the Sopranos. Maybe the earth shifted in its orbit because of it. Some people will hate this ending but I thought it was pretty good. We all knew either Phil or Tony would get snuffed. Phil did so that should satisfy as an ending right there.

I need to go to Santa Fe today for a Governor's Cabinet meeting. I hope I can sit through it as I am now in the final coughing and hacking stage of a severe cold that has lasted ten days. I think this thing is going around. I talked to a friend yesterday who has it and was truly miserable. He sounded horrible. He had the severe congestion and cough too, but to add to it he also was diagnosed with a hernia a couple of weeks ago so you can imagine his painful coughing symptoms.

There was a great cartoon in the Journal this morning. It showed a GOP elephant patting Libby on the back saying he would get a pardon. At the same time the elephant was telling an immigrant that he could not have amnesty because he entered the country illegally. Life is too short.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Paris Hilton and Chuck E. Cheese

Initially, when I read the first few paragraphs of the Albuquerque Journal's front page story on Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Parlors I thought it was a strange puff piece for a place that serves awful pizza. We used to take our kids there years ago and the place was really nice for birthday parties and after game get togethers. After reading the whole story after a few interruptions I decided it was a story worthy of front page attention. Apparently the store, who admits its "sweet spot" is kids 3-8 years old will start putting in more war and gun related video games. How can this be good?

I have become convinced that constant exposure to violence on TV and on video games does sort of deaden kid's view towards real violence. When I used to work in TV some 35 years ago I thought that wasn't true, but now I do.

The top news on a lot of news sites today is the fact that Paris Hilton got out of jail and will now serve her sentence under house arrest. Even I clicked on this story to see what it was about. I couldn't help myself, I wanted to know! At the same time I looked for news on the front page website of the Journal and New York Times for news of the latest violence in Iraq. I know there was some but I couldn't find it. Maybe we all have become deadened to that violence too.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

MRGCD Election

There was a less than 5% turnout for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy Board Election. That is bad news, but the good news is two incumbents have been shown the door. Here is what I think the newly comprised board should strive to do.

1. Get new management leadership that will modernize and bring efficient management to the system.
2. Work closely with other governmental entities to ensure a continued water supply for agriculture and other purposes in the Rio Grande Valley.
3. Convince the legislature to help shoulder the financial burden of the district taxpayers who pay for this system by themselves, even though its water supplies, recreational and environmental importance are an asset to the whole state.
4. Hire a new legal team that works full time for the district.
5. Move the election back to General Election Days so that more people can easily vote.
6. Be open and honest about the operation of the district.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hidden Voting

If you are eligible to vote in the stealth Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Election today please vote for Janett Jarrett in Valencia County, and Adrian Oglesby and Andrew Abeita in the other races.

Bobbi just called at 8am after trying to vote at the 4-H club at Menaul and 12th St. There were no signs up directing the public to the voting place and the actual voting place was on the opposite side of where the entrance to the building is. No indication that there was any voting going on. The voting machines are the old ones that don't leave a paper trail. I predict a less than 5% turnout again for this important agency.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Thing of Beauty

You may or may not like this kind of thing. At first I didn't get into it, but after about a minute I couldn't stop watching it.

Pre Sopranos Viewing

I spent the two hours prior to the airing of the second to the last Sopranos episode watching the CNN so called debate. I have a few impressions of the poorly managed, or should I say blitzed for Blitzer, debate.

1. Hillary Clinton just can't effectively explain away her vote to let bush start his war, especially after not reading a 90 page intelligence assessment that cast doubt on bush's reasoning.

2. John Edwards just can't effectively explain away his vote to let bush start his war, especially after not reading a 90 page intelligence assessment that cast doubt on bush's reasoning. At least Edwards can admit he was wrong.

3. Wolf Blitzer was catering to the so called front runners by giving them more time to answer questions.

4. Wolf Blitzer consistently interrupted Bill Richardson's answers.

5. Consistently, all of the candidates are a hell of a lot smarter and well read than bush and his neo cons.

6. I enjoy Alaskan Mike Gravel's rants which are full of truths and common sense.

7. I thought our Governor Bill Richardson did just fine.

8. It looks like Hillary had a face lift. Sometimes Bobbi and I think about getting one. Why not?

9. I predict that by the end of the year there will be four candidates left and that Bill Richardson will be one of them.

10. General Election day is still 17 months away and I wonder if any human being can keep up the pace these candidates are enduring.

Finally, I wonder if Tony Soprano will get killed next week.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wind Power and Iraq

There was an interesting story in the New York Times this morning about the dependence of the wind power generation industry on Federal tax credits to function. Those tax credits are due to expire next year. They would amount to about 2.5 billion dollars this year and some think that is too big a giveaway by the Federal government. How dumb is that?

This renewable wind energy industry is growing by about 25% a year because of those credits. Now, think about the money we are spending in bush's war in Iraq where the death toll of American kids now stands at 3473 and Iraqis at 70,000. We have spent almost $431 billion there so far to secure a polluting and non renewable energy source called oil. How can there be any question about continuing the wind tax credits?