Thursday, June 30, 2011

Media Crap

Yes, Crap!  All of a sudden Obama's troop withdrawal in Afghanistan is being criticized because some crazies attack a 4 star hotel in Kabul.  As if we are leaving too early.  Actually, we are not getting out fast enough as far as I am concerned.  The crazies got exactly what they wanted here with an obliging American media.  Publicity and confusion.

Why hasn't anyone in the New Mexico media named names on the fireworks legislation that was passed that makes it difficult to ban fireworks.  Who sponsored the bill?  Who were the funders of the lobbyists?  Who were the lobbyists? How much money did they give to legislators?  Blah....blah....blah.....

I paid my 6 month subscription to the Journal yesterday.  If they haven't turned the corner on all of their right wing editorials, like today's attacking Obama for the oil and gas boys, then I am really out of there for good.  They need to give current and potential readers a reason for thinking they are fair.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My friend Rodger Beimer said about the closure due to fire dangers hereabouts, 

"Since Albuquerque / Bernalillo County Open Spaces are closed, does that make the headline “Closed Open Spaces” or “Open Spaces Closed”?

He often ponders these big questions.

I see Marty Chavez is getting into the Congressional race.  He has a good a chance as any of winning it, however I was surprised that he was talking about the importance of balanced budgets when he did anything but that as Mayor.  I am also surprised that he is running.  Marty is a lot of things and smart is one of them.  He must know what a miserable existence this two year cycle is for congressional politics.  Maybe he is bored.  I will vote for him if he is the democratic nominee if we can extract a few real environmental promises from him.

We are getting ready for our first grandchild's first visit to New Mexico for a week.  Our kids will all be here along with cousins, in-laws, fiances, and others.  Let's hope it will rain on our picnic!  If it does I am just going to go stand in it.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Current Events Over Canned Food


It is hard for me to believe that Governor Susanna Martinez can't ban fire works.  She says she cant do so because of a lack of power due to legislation passed by the fireworks industry.   And yet  she will use her executive powers to make it harder for undocumented workers to get driver's licenses, which is legal.  I guess she thinks her frequent trips to stand in front of TV cameras at the Los Alamos fires will inoculate her from coming down on the pyrotechnic industry.  Poor leadership here, or at least a total lack of common sense.  I would like someone in the mainstream media to track down the lobbyists for the fireworks industry and ask them if they think it is smart to be selling fireworks this year.

The Governor, and a lot of western right wingers like her, seem to be very concerned about forest fires.  They wring their hands and emote strongly about it.  I guess actually seeing something happen in front of their faces makes them appreciate these ecosystems.  Yet at the same time they totally dismiss the opinions of scientists world wide on the issue of climate change caused by fossil fuels.  Since it isn't happening quickly and in front of their faces it is to be suspect!  Oh, and they wouldn't want to upset their handlers/donors in the oil, gas and coal industries.

Monday, June 27, 2011


The Albuquerque Journal has its new website online.  It is okay.  In the Sunday print edition it was stated that the website is not meant to replace the newspaper, but rather to enhance it.  That might have been the wrong thing to say.  Enhance what?

For the umpteenth time the Journal rehashed, on the front page, its story of alleged financial investment misdeeds of the Richardson administration.  Nothing really new.  Just more evidence of the Journal's obsessive compulsive disorder.  They have been on this for three years now and I am still waiting for something new to happen.

Like coming up with some reasons to keep from going out of business, which would be a blow for New Mexico.  No one talks much about it, but the newspaper still does not appear to be regaining any financial stability and the current leadership is sticking with the same old formula that has absolutely no potential for brining in new readers  to its print or web editions.  Maybe it is just time for a leadership change in the highest offices of the publisher and news side staff.

Then again maybe newspapers as we know it are just doomed.  I know many young people and not one of them ever gets newsprint ink on their fingers.  One of them said today, "I am just fine with the Huffington Post."  But of course the HuffPost aggregates their information from newspapers too.

At any rate, if there isn't a new approach at the Journal we could well end up with no morning coffee with the newspaper. And maybe only my generation thinks or even cares about it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Bloomfield, NM is getting ready to spend money on a couple of things that are totally unnecessary.  One is a monument to the Christian religions 10 Commandments on city property.  The other is to spend money on defending itself from a sure fire law suit by the ACLU.  I will send them $25 to help sue the city.  The city fathers in Bloomfield need to act responsibly and keep their religious beliefs out of their policy making and out of taxpayers pockets.

The word is that former Mayor Marty Chavez is going to get into the Congressional race for the seat being vacated by Martin Heinrich.  If he were to win it would be interesting to see if he can suppress his ego enough to work with the other 434 congressmen and women.  I have a feeling that he and Eric Griego will chop each other up in a primary.

I am on the road for a couple of days to Salt Lake City for a Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Board meeting.  They are always a lot of fun because we discuss real world strategies in protecting great lands in Utah.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I worry about getting old sometimes.  I will be 66 in a few months and fret I might start some sort of mental meltdown.  Kind of like Senator John McCain in Arizona.  Now, fanning flames of hatred, he is blaming Mexican and Central American immigrants for the forest fires in Arizona.

Well, maybe he isn't losing it, but just capitalizing on the paranoia and hate politics that right wingers love to use.  Maybe he could get together with our Governor and cook up some more conspiracies about the people who harvest our food, work on our landscaping, reroof our homes and everything else that we don't want to do.  I know, Martinez could say illegal immigrants used their drivers licenses to get to the forests to light the fires.

Here is a conspiracy that is real.  Politicians are scared to ban fireworks because the fireworks industry may not give them donations, or blame them for being unpatriotic.  I remember when I was Mayor the industry lobbyist dropped off two giant boxes for me in my office when I was at lunch.  I sent them back shortly thereafter with the note I couldn't accept them.  They supported my opponents in the next election.  Now, with this drought the Governor and Mayors should just put their foot down and say no to private use of fireworks this year.  Public displays are fine, safer and more awesome.

Back to the age thing. (Damn, my mind wandered) Actually, I still feel pretty good for being closer to 70 than 60.  I know some people my age that are in better shape than me, but a lot more that are in much worse shape.  Those who smoked seem the worse.  And those who drink to much.  Sadly, some athletes seem pretty bad because of old injuries and joint damage.

Most of the folks we hang out with are doing great though.  We have a lot of fun.  In fact, another day of golf today!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I played golf yesterday with a bunch of astute political thinkers and they all wondered why any progressive, like State Senator Eric Griego, feels like they can win a congressional seat.  I can only guess that it is Griego's wish to be lionized in a poem like the "Charge of the Light Brigade."  I like Eric and agree with him on many issues.  His ability to win this is suspect.  I would certainly vote for him if he is the winner of the Primary election.

At a time when NBC's leaving the words 'under god' out of the Pledge of Allegiance has caused a firestorm from the 'sky daddy people', one would think that common sense has really disappeared.  What did NBC think would happen when some producer decided this was a smart thing to do?  While I would readily try and get those words expunged, maybe this really isn't the right time to be doing it.  It is a culture war thing and before we get into it we should end the real war thing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I wonder how the Mayor and business community in Santa Fe are feeling right now after being knifed in a midnight attack by the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments.  That group unceremoniously dumped weekend rail service to Santa Fe after Los Ranchos Republican  Mayor Larry Abraham made a motion to do so.  I don't argue with the point that commuter service on weekdays is important, but $1.5 million a year amongst all these players is a pittance and cutting back this infrastructure is stupid.  The Mayor of Los Ranchos and his residents get all their services from the City of Albuquerque.  I wonder how they would feel about getting dumped with no notification on that front.  Not good I bet.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Here is a memo that may or may not exist.

To:  Chief, State Police
From:  Governor Martinez, Secretary of State Duran
RE:  Workforce

Effective immediately you are to send all uniformed and non uniformed state police officers to the Santa Fe Training Center for use as political tools by this administration.  We have delivered to you 65,000 voter records and instruct you and your men and women to find evidence of voter fraud perpetrated by Democrats.

All public safety responsibilities of these officers are now in abeyance until such time as proof of said voter fraud is found.  No matter how long it takes.

You are instructed to tell local and county law enforcement agencies they are on their own in crime fighting, domestic abuse cases, rape cases, murder investigations, DWI enforcement and other public service functions.  After all, what is more important than finding allegations against the last administration.

We know this is not what the officers signed up for but there is a new regime in place and they need to get in step.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Friend Dennis

Dennis Jett, my former grade school and high school classmate, has written another insightful column.  He is the former Ambassador to Mozambique and Peru and retired from the State Department.  He writes for the McClatchey newspapers.  Read on.

Pity the poor political pundits. They have to make a living regardless of whether or not there is anything worth opining about. With a 24/7 news cycle to fill that requires some creative writing. And that is why there is often so much ado about so little.

Take the recent debate between some of those who aspire to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. It was meaningless and not because there seemed to be no real winner nor any substance to the chatter. It was meaningless for two other reasons — who the nominee is won't affect the outcome of the election and who that nominee is won't be determined by a debate.

The actual nominee is unimportant because if the economy is on the upswing with some reason for optimism, Obama will be reelected. If it is not, he won’t. That is why Republicans are so desperate to cause a new recession.

It is not that they all flunked Economics 101. Nor is it that the same people, who said nothing as Reagan tripled the national debt and George Jr. doubled it, have suddenly gotten religion when it comes to the deficit. It is why they are playing chicken with the credit rating of the U.S. Government as they drag their feet on raising the debt ceiling. And it is why they refuse to confirm the President’s choices for a number of key economic policy decision-making positions.

Since it is the economy stupid, a debate also won’t matter. It won’t matter because party activists are the ones who chose the nominee and they represent its most extreme tendencies.

For that reason, Herman Cain will not get the nod.

Even before Obama, over 90 percent of African Americans voted Democratic for a reason. The anti-immigrant hysteria that is a staple of Republican debate has nothing to do with national security. It is because the party has written off the Hispanic vote in order to energize the white, male, southern base and the Tea Party crowd. The latter are a mob masquerading as a movement that is funded by billionaires and fueled by the conviction that any black man in the White House should be wearing gloves and carrying a silver tray.

Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin will also not be the nominee. The party that believes government should do next to nothing, but must make fundamental decisions for women about their reproductive health likes its women sassy, sexy and simple minded. That is why prominent conservative females, in politics or the media, are known for their looks and their bile, but not for their brains.

They are as factually challenged as they are glib because an intelligent woman would be too threatening. Sure, John McCain chose Palin as his running mate, but all that did was doom his campaign, make Tina Fey famous and prove his judgment is no better now than it was when he flew a perfectly good airplane into the Gulf of Mexico as a young pilot. So even conservatives are not going to make anyone who is Palinesque the most powerful person in the world.

Others who will not be the nominee are Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. They are both too reasonable. The former accepted being named ambassador to China by Obama and latter actually did something about reforming health care. They are also both Mormons, which won’t get evangelical Christians, another core Republican constituency, to the polls.

Newt Gingrich is too much of a serial marriage killer for the family values party and Ron Paul makes sense only about 40 percent of the time. Gary Johnson wants to legalize pot and Rick Santorum could not even hang on to his senatorial seat in Pennsylvania. And Tim Pawlenty has earned his obscurity.

So who will it be? While it is easier to say who it won’t be than who it will, it still doesn’t matter. What matters is whether the party can bring about another recession, better yet a depression, and succeed in pinning the blame on the Democrats. That is the key to the Republicans’ political success in 2012.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


My favorite blogging truck driver at Bubba Munster had a great political philosophical piece on Sunday.  I would urge you all read it for gems of truth embedded there.  He said that while American citizens are in decline, other country's citizens are rising up and that before long we will be asking them for help.  He may not be too far off the truth.  Probably the only difference is that in those countries the ruling families run things and in our country corporations are now running things.

I hope Congressman Weiner does resign today so the media can do something more important.  I just hope it isn't writing about what a comer Michelle Baachman is.

I see where the Governor flew over the forest fires around the state.  I thought she felt state airplanes were bad and useless.  So, maybe she was wrong and there is some utility for the fifth largest state in the US to have winged transportation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Food in Your Tank

The idea of putting perfectly good food, cereal grains, into your gas tank just got a longer lease on life thanks to the US Senate and our own Senators Bingaman and Udall.  They voted to keep the $5 billon subsidy to the farming community to turn grain into ethanol.  These farmers by the way are the same crowd that want no tax increases and urge their delegations to gut Medicare and Social Security.  Oh, they are also the ones who were brought into the modern era by Roosevelt's Rural Electrification programs.  And don't forget the other subsidies they get for other things they do or don't do.  Of course these days most farmers are large corporate conglomerates.

Politics is full of double standards.  There is no getting around it.  But this particular policy of causing food prices to rise because of the production of ethanol is just plain stupid.  And that ethanol doesn't make any real difference in our domestic fuel supplies.  Saying it does is like the mantra of the "drill baby drill" crowd at the oil and gas corporate offices.

Factoid.....The lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the target of the drill mantra, currently produces oil supplies equaling five days consumption per year in the U.S.   So, even if you doubled up on drilling it would make little difference, except for the destruction of aquifers and watersheds.  Who needs those anyway?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I showed up for an early morning Tee Time at Santa Ana Golf Course today.  Looking towards the Sandia Mountains one can believe that we have only 3% humidity.  The only green thing I saw was the golf course.  If it doesn't rain soon we will suffer more fires closer to home.

There was at least fifty people with a film crew at the Golf Course.  One of the course marshall's made a snide remark about them working there on taxpayer money.(state film incentives.)

I felt like dragging him off his cart to explain to him that the golf course he is working at mostly likely was heavily subsidized by the Bureau of Indian affairs (tax money) when being constructed.  Idiots piss me off.

At any rate there were a lot of people with jobs there who should be very thankful.  Finally, my golfing buddy said he subjected himself to the Republican presidential candidate debate last night.  He just could not figure out why so many people would gather in one place with nothing to say except we hate everything the President does.  This group obviously conspired to play nice with each other.

Monday, June 13, 2011

When is Early too Early

I am just not ready to see presidential candidates debate.  It is seventeen months until the next general election and anything they say now is probably not going to be what they will say thirty days before the November 2012 election day.  All this early stuff does is make sure that there is a good supply of mud and vitriol on hand to be fed to one's fellow candidate.  Friends will become enemies and the voting public will turn out in even few numbers before it is all over.

We can already see the stuff on the wall in the republican senate primary between Heather Wilson and Lt. Governor John Sanchez.  I am sure Sanchez has been doing a little research on Wilson at places like Huffpost.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pest Control

I  had been wondering why the pigeons on our roof had disappeared.  Bobbi snapped this photo with her phone and the mystery is solved.  Except now we are wondering how Ajax the Cat gets up on the roof.  Click on the pic to find him.

Folks in Washington kept asking me while I was there how our new Governor was doing.  They are very perplexed by the whole immigrants drivers license thing that she spends her time on.  I guess I am not alone.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


It is great in the upstate New York region.  The heat wave broke and it is in the low 70's.  My grandson Simon is so cool.  A happy kid.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


100 degrees in Washington, DC is about all any human should put up with. Damn!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


The sky was yellow last night at our house and ash was raining down like snow.  I tried to photograph it but I could not do it justice.  Today I will go out and wash down my trees and bushes from the residue of Arizona wildfires.  I usually wash down the trees once a week anyway, but an extra rinse won't hurt.  When I was a kid and spent summertime in my grandfathers Pena Blanca apple orchard of 800 trees I remember he would wash them down with a portable tank and sprayer if it hadn't rained in a couple of weeks.  He said it made better apples and I am pretty sure it did.

I have to head off to Washington on Wednesday for a couple of board meetings.  I haven't been there for a while and it will be interesting to pick up the mood on the Potomac.  Those moods last briefly.  Three weeks ago Obama was riding high on the death of bin Laden.  Now a bad jobs report has him falling in polls again.  It is the 24 hour news cycle.

One nice thing about the trip is that I will zip up to New York to see my son and his family.  I will get to hold our first grand child again.  Simon is cool and his dad Justin looks like he knows it.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Big News

The media is atwitter with news of Representative Weiner's email photos of himself to women.  This is what is important.  What is not important is the fact that yesterday five American kids died in Iraq.  That made news in one paragraph stories or ten second blurbs on the air.

Our news media is so worthless.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Just Ignore It

Headwater of the MRGCD at Cochiti Dam

The media is so incapable of public service any more that they are just ignoring the election on Tuesday for Board members of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District.  The MRGCD provides irrigation and flood control from the Cochiti Dam in the north thru Socorro County in the south. Anyone who owns a home, commercial real estate or  land within a mile or two of the Rio Grande is paying a whopping property tax to these folks.  Irrigators get cheap water because of the urban subsidies that pay for 90% of everything.  And then the Board secretly hide their elections on off years with little publicity.  Ergo, you get 3% turnouts and corruption continues at the agency.  The Albuquerque Journal is choosing to ignore the election big time with out even endorsing candidates this year for this most important agency that controls the water future of the region.  The agency is famous for feathering the nest of its manager and doing favors for the board members.  It never changes.

So, I will endorse the two people in the race who want reform.  John Kelley and John Avila will bring professionalism to the board and perhaps help the one or two other board members who want change.  Any one who lives in the valley should vote for these guys to change out the status quo.

I don't object to some subsidy of the irrigators.  I just object to the Board ignoring the bill payers.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Jobs....What Jobs?

Here is what I think might have occurred in a conversation this week between Governor Martinez and her Economic Development Secretary John Barela.

Gov..."Hi is the search going for attracting jobs into the state?"

Barela..."Well, not so good but I really wanted to talk to you about some more important things."

Gov...."What would that be John?"

Barela...."Well, I will tell you....I want to run for congress again.  I know Heinrich beat my butt just eight months ago, but now that he is running for the Senate, I thought I would try again."

Gov...."Wow, that sounds cool.  But maybe we should attract a few new jobs in to New Mexico.  A lot of people are hurting."

Barela...."Yeah, especially after your hassling the businesses that Richardson brought in.  Ha Ha!"

Gov......"So, anyway, maybe you could make a few calls today to some companies about helping them relocate here...."

Barela....."Well, I cant this week cause I gotta sit down with my political advisers and analyse the poll we are doing right now."

Gov....."Well, that sounds smart.  Try and get around to that jobs thing as soon as  you have time.  I am going to be busy with other things immigrants drivers licenses"

Barela....."Yeah, I will do that job thing real soon......."

Thursday, June 02, 2011

That's Life

The New York Times reported yesterday that a new life form was found living in solid rock thousands of feet under the surface of the earth in a gold mine.  An ugly worm with a nervous system.  This is really a wakeup call for all those that think humanity is something special.  It denotes that life forms all through the known universe can take any number of forms and will certainly outlive us hominids who hang out atop the earth's crust.

That worm, if it could reason, would probably think it is pretty safe down there in the hot rocks.  But, man in his thirst for gold for pretty bracelets has invaded its biosphere.  It is not enough that we are screwing our water and air up I guess.  That worm down there might be living on borrowed time.

Gila Wilderness New Mexico

Up here on the surface our political leaders are ruining our own biosphere in pandering the the extractive industries.  Oil, Gas, Coal, and now resurgent uranium again are running politics.  The Obama administration's move yesterday to deny decent protection for new wilderness denotes that they do not think that leaving 2% of American public lands in a natural and unfettered state is a good thing.  They are nothing but tools.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Screw Your Friends-Aide Your Enemies

The Obama White House, in an effort to make friends with miners, drillers and other generally bad actors on your public lands, has reigned in Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar efforts to protect lands for wilderness designation.  This is the true democratic way in DC.  It is shameful.

What does Obama think he gets?  More support in the west from the people that hate him and everything he stands for?  Does he suspect he can break 35% support in Utah?  He might if the Mormon church endorses him, but that is the only way.

And then there are the people who did work for him so hard.  Environmental and Wilderness Advocates used up their shoe leather for him in the last election.  Maybe this time they will just go visit a National Park prior to the electoral votes being counted.  What a show stopper.