Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On the Road

I will be in the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the next couple of days.  Our Wyss Foundation will be doing its good work in protecting landscapes and watersheds in the western U.S.  These are always exhilarating meetings where decisions are made that actually get results.


Isn't it time for the Governor and her economic team to start dealing with the upcoming loss of federal jobs in New Mexico?  Are they just deer in the headlights?  Are they planning any sort of strategy for what will happen to the labor force in this state when the cuts start coming?  Which military bases will be closed?  What will our response be?  How do we create more high wage jobs when the feds cut the workforce in New Mexico?  We have not  heard anything from the Martinez administration on what they might be doing.  Should she at least convene a group of business people to start some discussions on these potentially devastating cuts?  If 20,000 federal and military jobs are cut in our state that also has a multiplier effect on another 30,000 jobs.

Shouldn't it be a crime for parents allowing their young kids to get into boxing and full contact sports?  A story in the Journal this morning about a young girl's quest to be a boxer just amazes me.  She is being trained by a relative to enter the ring and risk repeated concussions and injury.  If that same person was to slap her around continually he would most likely end up in jail.  This is nothing but child abuse in my book.  Innocent kids trying to please their superiors and not really being told of possible consequences or being able to understand the consequences is shameless.  I know there will be vehement disagreement with me on this, but think of the pain these kids endure in hoping for acceptance. No one under the age of 14 should be allowed in boxing and full contact sports.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ground Game

Brian Sanderoff's poll in the Albuquerque Journal today pretty much indicates to me that the Albuquerque Congressional race now hinges on the ground game, as I mentioned last week.  (It won't mean much for Marty Chavez who is too far back.)  Michelle Grisham Lujan's excellent media brought her a long way.

And so, Eric Griego's disastrous TV ads and less than inspiring aired debate performance, while not good, might not be the deal killer.  The only thing that needs to be done now is getting voters to the polls and my observation is that Eric has that game under control.  If Eric does win then the Democratic Party and other democratic candidates will need to insist that Eric get new media help.  And do it immediately.  His performance will help or hurt the rest of the ticket.  His whole campaign management team might need some tweaking should he win the primary.

Certainly, Martin Heinrich should look into offering a little advice.  He looks to be a sure thing in winning his primary against another good candidate, Hector Balderas who wasn't quite ready for prime time.  Once again, Hector has a good future but he needs to figure out a way of getting more support in areas outside of the northern  central part of the state.

Meanwhile, early and absentee voting is about half of what it was in the last two elections. GOTV is everything.

Friday, May 25, 2012


The Albuquerque Journal continues its quirky crusade to insist on all levels of government posting  the salaries of all public employees.  It is bizarre to need to know what a janitor makes at UNM, but they think it is important.  They basically think the need for people to know this rests on the case that government controls information and power and that we ought to know what those denizens all make in the way of wages.

So, once again I call on the Journal to make public the wages of all of their employees, right down to the janitors(unless they have given that assignment to the beat reporters.)  After all, they control the flow of information and power too.  Don't give me that fluff about it not being government and not being required.  Their right wing stands make them a better case for knowing who makes what.

And they don't even do their real jobs.  How can they have a front page story on the Governor's little crash landing without knowing  that the private pilot had another incident just a year or two ago?  Will they at least look into it?  Or is it up to the bloggers?  Oh, and on a final transparency note, I make no salary or advertising revenue from my blog.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fire Someone

Time for the Governor's chief of staff to fire someone for allowing the Governor on that plane that landed with the gear still tucked away.  And if this was a political event then her political manager should be fired.  Amateurs!  Apparently, this same pilot crashed another plane a year or two ago.  Will the media investigate how she was allowed to fly with this guy?

Cheated Death Again

Thankfully, death was cheated last night when the plane carrying Governor Martinez and her husband landed 'gear up' at the Santa Fe Airport.  It could have been disastrous.  The Piper Malibu single engine plane (shown above) was being piloted by a non professional pilot.  He forgot to lower his landing gear again after one aborted landing due to high winds. This is why it is good for the state to own safely maintained and professionally piloted aircraft for the Governor and other employees.  Even if she has a political event to go to the state can be reimbursed for the costs from a campaign.  Flying around with weekend pilots is irresponsible for the Governor to be doing.  Of course her tirade against state executive aircraft got her into this position.  All because it was an easy issue to score points against Governor Richardson and Lt. Governor Denish.  All because of her right wing advisors.  They could have killed her with their little mud slinging culture war against state owned airplanes.  They are true idiots.

Speaking of cheating death, I received a safety report done by DOT on the cement truck that hit me a few weeks ago.  From what I can tell there was at least a dozen safety violations on the truck.  Some very serious.  I got lucky like the Governor.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Not far outside our bedroom window we have a new landscaping feature.  Keith Sowers built us a water fountain.  It is his 940th piece of art and it turned out beautifully.  And not very expensive either.  He got all of this done in two days.  Really fine work.  I would recommend him to anyone who wants a gurgling water feature, lilly pads and a few gold fish in their back yard.

Crunch Time

The Albuquerque Congressional democratic primary is entering the end game of momentum.  Former Mayor Marty Chavez who started with a 90% name i.d. and no where to go but down has apparently done that.  Eric Griego's godawful TV commercials have put him into real jeopardy because of Michelle Grisham Lujan's superior  TV ads.  She has the momentum with the election just two weeks away.  Once again the ground game might well be the deciding factor in who wins the race.  This might favor Eric's organization since they supposedly are better prepared to get out the vote and have a good field operation.  So at this point it is still hard to call a winner in the race and it all comes down to get out the vote.  The bad news for everyone is that early voting turn out is very low compared to the watershed turn out over the last couple of elections.

The Albuquerque Journal is doing everything the can to keep Eric Griego in a negative light.  Today they ran a story on unpaid traffic tickets and resulting warrants from years ago.  If only they had done such stuff when bush/cheney started a war based on lies.

I saw a Heather Wilson ad last night and my first reaction was, "Oh, her again."  Then I got angry when she talked about needing a balanced budget.  She was in lockstep with bush/cheney on tax cuts while starting a war.  She is irresponsible in my book.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


What now?  The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force says PSA tests for prostate cancer in men don't mean much.  I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer three years ago after a PSA test showed elevated results.  I then had a biopsy that showed minimal cancer cells and my wise Doctor said to just watch and wait.  The last PSA test showed stabilized numbers and he told me to call back in a year for another physical examination.  I assume the PSA test will not be part of it.  All of this is leading to lots of confusion for men.  Should one even get a biopsy based on elevated PSA numbers.  Biopsies are pretty invasive.  Glad I didn't opt for surgery.  It must all be pretty confusing for Doctors too.

Yesterday as we were playing golf at the UNM South Course the amount of military training flights coming in and out of Kirtland AFB was heavy.  Those ridiculous and dainty Ospry aircraft that resemble flying food blenders, C-130s, BlackHawk choppers and Hueys were all over the airspace.  Burning more fuel that most of us would use in a lifetime.  Think of the cost of the aviation fuel alone and how that might rebuild whole transportation systems in our own country.  And so I am a little put out about why my favorite Senate candidate, Congressman Martin Heinrich, opted to vote for the republican defense budget bill.  I know there are certain political realities in New Mexico politics where the defense industry wields so much power and can influence votes via their secret contributions to super pacs.  This bill even allows the military to use propaganda domestically.  Very scary stuff and I am very hopeful that Martin is just using a sucker punch here.  Of course, there is always the alternative to Martin.  That would be Heather Wilson who was an enabler of bush/cheney wars and tax cuts and torture and the list goes on and on.  Really, the choice is so easy in the end.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012

I thought the world was supposed to end this month.  So far it hasn't or I wouldn't be writing this inane entry but what I really wanted to do was show my pictures of the full solar eclipse.  I used my Nikon d90, some window tinting material(five layers) and my 300mm lens.  It was all pretty neat from the foothills arroyos.

We took a pizza up to our friends Tim and Judy's house and had a good time.

I took pictures of them and Bobbi in eclipsed light.  Maybe that will turn them into vampires.

Speaking of Vampires and solar.....here is an interesting article on the solar economic issue of the day.

Congressional Debate

Right after the Congressional debate last night on KOAT TV between Eric Griego, Marty Chavez and Michelle Grisham Lujan the station did an unscientific call in poll to see who voters liked the most.  Michelle won with over 50%.  However, after the first four hours of polling the Griego and Chavez campaigns fired up their  faithful and over took Lujan.   It tells me that the people who actually watched the so called debate preferred the lady candidate.  So much for unscientific polls.

As for the TV appearances by the candidates I was struck by the naiveté of all of them thinking they could hit the ground running and get things done.  As freshman democratic congress members they would be lucky to have someone show them where the rest rooms are.  That is just the way that system works back there.  Even if the Democrats pull off a miracle and win the house back from the Tea Party nut cases.

I do think it would be very interesting for some polling to be done on how television news watchers vote versus Albuquerque Journal readers.  My gut feeling tells me there might  be a big difference.  It would be a really interesting cross tab to read.  If it is ever done by the stations or newspaper itself we would probably never get to see that information.  So much for their demands on transparency!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Art in the Bosque

Rick Santorum and his ilk might look at this first picture and deduce that it was arranged by satanists and witches.  Occasionally this tree fork in the Rio Grande Bosque gets some creativity forced on it.  I took this picture last weekend.

Of course, these things do seem to take on a life of their own after a while.  I took this picture today.  Personally, I think it is a sign from extra terrestrials to their spies on earth that the invasion is called off due to climate change.

Friday, May 18, 2012


I am on the Board of the Latino Sustainability Institute.  We have completed a questionnaire of Senate and Congressional candidates on public land issues.  Please see it here.

This all comes as the fossil fuels industry continues its quest to destroy the quality of life on our planet so they can reap windfall profits. I will never understand what makes these people tick.  They must have really mutated brains.   Now they have turned their sights on Senator Jeff Bingaman's attempts at a vigorous growth in renewable energy.

 I am reading a rather dystopian novel right now called "The Drowned Cities."  It is written by Paolo Bacigalupi who is one of the newest and finest scifi authors around.  I am reading all of his books.  Start with his "Windup Girl" and then "Ship Breakers."  His books show a grim future for our planet and does it with great story telling.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Blood Suckers

Yesterday five letters appeared in my mail box.  All of them were from blood sucking and ambulance chasing lawyers trolling for me to sue the cement truck company that caused our traffic accident.  It is pretty disgusting and really points out how desperate the people in this profession must be.  I also had a phone call from a chiropractor named Dr. JC insisting I come in to have my injuries treated.  Even though I am on the do not call list.

All of this is precipitated by the completion of the police report of the accident.  The cement truck company was cited by DOT for violations on its brake system.

This law suit happy country is like chewing off your own arm because you are hungry.  These people disgust me.  I am a good democrat but disavow the Trial Lawyers support of the party.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Off for early golf today.  Voted yesterday.  All the Super Pac money and candidate money being spent on TV is now wasted on me.  I voted at the County annex on Lomas Blvd at 10AM.  There were only two voters present and about 10 election officials.  All very quiet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Any member of congress who votes against any stronger regulation of the banking industry should be made to put all of their retirement funds into derivatives handled by JP Morgan bank.  And also any funds of any of their donors.  President Obama should not sit on the sidelines while this lack of movement on greed in America's banking system continues.  It is a ready made campaign issue and it is the right thing to do.

The saga of Sunland Park in southern New Mexico continues.  I suggested two months ago that the town's administration be taken over by the state Department of Finance and Administration.  They have now started moving in that direction.  It can't happen soon enough.  Perhaps someone could drop a load of valium into the city council's water pitchers just before the next council meeting where for the 4th time an attempt will be made to select a Mayor to replace the one elected a couple of months ago who now sits in prison on countless corruption charges.

I saw in the paper this morning that Albuquerque's bus ridership is up again to record levels.  In 1999 when I was Mayor and fighting for a transportation tax  to increase bus service the republicans on the council fought it tooth and nail.  We ended up with a successful vote of the public to raise the tax.  Now it is paying off.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Early Vote

I plan on voting tomorrow.  Then all of the inane commercials by the Democratic congressional candidates will be wasted on me.  Eric Griego's are just plain bad.  I will vote for him anyway.  Even some liberal types who like him a lot told me at breakfast this a.m. that they were terrible.  His campaign just doesn't get it.  Or I don't.

Michelle Lujan Grisham is winning the yard sign war as far as I can see.  Her commercials are the best.  She could actually win this after all.  Who knows?  Marty Chavez might well end up on the ash pile of overly familiar pols.  I will make space for him.

Martin Heinrich is pretty assured of winning and is showing real capabilities in running his first statewide race.  His opponent Hector Balderas has a good future especially if he doesn't spend all his money in a futile attempt to catch up.

I will vote for Cynthia Hall for PRC.  There are a couple of good candidates in that race but she is without a doubt the most qualified and has no baggage to carry in to the office except for honesty and hard work.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


State Land Commissioner Ray Powell is absolutely correct in his assertions that the lessees of the Dixon Apple Orchard do not  have a right to profit from the sale of the lease to another party.  This would amount to a rip off state educational funds.  My heart goes out to the operators of the orchard which has been devastated by fire and flood. It is a place I have visited since childhood, but the fact of the matter is that they do not have any right to sell a property interest that is not theirs.  Their predicament is mainly a cause of their own foolish decision to not buy insurance on their operation.  Now they want the state to bail them out of an already sweetheart deal given them by a corrupt former land commissioner.  I hope Ray Powell sticks to his guns.

No apples today for congressional candidates Eric Griego or Marty Chavez.  As I predicted the Albuquerque Journal gave their endorsement to Michelle Grisham Lujan.  The editors don't like Griego's progressive agenda and they don't like their once favorite pol Marty Chavez because he misled them on facts surrounding his live in girl friend who allegedly embezzled millions of dollars from a Santa Fe Hospital.

The Journal did give apples to Senate candidate Martin Heinrich. It was a strong endorsement for a primary.  Another endorsement for Martin came from the Las Cruces Sun News.  A good one for sure.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Hermes and Ajax are lovers.  Not in the sexual sense because we had their testicles removed when they were kittens.  (That whole mandatory neutering thing upon adoption at the animal shelter.)  But they are lifelong partners for sure.  They comfort each other often and share food and play.  No North Carolina constitutional amendments banning their relationship so far.


The only time I have seen the Albuquerque Journal expend much ink on fat cats before is never.  But this recently deceased kitty that weighed 30 plus pounds got an above the fold headline in today's paper.  Maybe next week they could do a story on fat cats in the oil industry continuing to get subsidies from underemployed Americans.  Names would be nice.  Fat chance on those fat cats.

New Mexico's jobless figures went up again.  It is time for Governor Martinez and the legislature to give us a program that would put people to work.  Martinez should at least beef up her economic development team.  It was good to see that the Tres Amigas power grid interconnect project will locate its operations center in Albuquerque.  That was a project that was highly supported by Governor Bill Richardson.  Tres Amigas will be a junction for the nations three power grids.

Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton says she has not seen that Super Pac flyer that attacks her primary election opponent.  Why does that make her seem even a little duplicitous?  She says she doesn't want to see it.  Honesty would have worked better here.  This Super Pac bullying for political parties is the kind of thing that leads to us having a republican governor.  Susanna Martinez started life as a democrat but was seemingly not welcomed and then morphed to the dark side.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Hooray for Obama's definitive statement on same sex marriage.  Soon, no one who is against this will be around to whine about it because they will be dying off.  Back in 1998 or so when I was Mayor I extended city employee benefits to same sex couples.  Health insurance and such benefits that traditional couples would have had.  The bible thumpers said I would roast in hell and be forever damned in the eyes of the public.  I can tell you I have never been accosted on the street by anyone for taking that position.  I might have been a little ahead of the game but I never thought it was a bad thing to do.  After all, who would want anyone to go without health insurance?  Oh yeah, just every republican tea party type in this decade.

The attacks by a democratic/union controlled Super Pac on the primary election opponent of state legislator Sheryl Williams Stapleton makes my stomach turn.  The Independent Source Pac says Cara Valente Compton's campaign consultant Steve Cabiedes is a republican operative.  What a load of crap!  And who would care about a consultant anyway?  I know Steve and he is about as republican as Franklin Roosevelt.  This Super Pac is like all the rest.  Full of lies and innuendo. I thought this PAC would be smarter.  Anything they might do is now suspect to me.  They should use their money against the right wing....not against center left democrats.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


North Carolina is off my tourism list.  Just like Arizona.  I wonder if there will be many places left to go visit in this country for a guy like me.  I had actually thought about going to North Carolina because I heard they had some really nice golf courses and I had never been there.  Their biblically inspired constitutional amendment against gay marriage relegates them to a state of hate.  In the name of Jesus.  Hanging around New Mexico looks better and better.  Other than our Governor's xenophobia on undocumented workers we all seem to live and let live around here.

And then there is West Virginia.  They gave a convicted and imprisoned felon 40% of the vote in the Presidential Primary yesterday.  Keith Judge ran against me in 1997 for Mayor.  He got 50 votes.  I guess he knew better than to stick around the Land of Enchantment and he took his snake oil ministry east.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


We have friends who regularly deliver for the "Meals on Wheels" program in to Albuquerque's South Valley.  This program delivers food to senior citizens who may or may not pay for the meals.  Many do not because of the poverty they live in.  The descriptions of the living conditions of some of the elderly recipients is horrifying.  If they did not receive these meals they would certainly not survive long.

Governors, Congressmen, Senators, Legislators and all other elected officials should be required to deliver these meals into poverty areas at least three times a year.  It might be the only way they can see for themselves that there is a whole forgotten segment of our population that lives from day to day. (I know Congressman Martin Heinrich has done this.)   And they only live a few miles from where the more fortunate folks live, but invisible xenophobic lines keep them from knowing what life is like on the other side.  I would say there are people who have lived in Albuquerque for decades that have never taken a ride down Isleta or Arenal roads in the south valley.

Meals on Wheels delivers all over the city.  There is poverty in all parts of Albuquerque.  There are needs for good nutrition everywhere.  Our politicos need to see it first hand and I challenge Governor Susanna Martinez to accompany some folks delivering into these areas.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Goes Around

For most of his political career former Mayor Marty Chavez enjoyed a mutual admiration society membership with the Albuquerque Journal.  He could do no wrong when he was sprawling the city and feeding the raw materials into the upcoming mortgage/banking meltdown.  He did it unknowingly but he did it to keep his backers and the Journal happy.

Today the scales tipped the other way with a front page investigative story into his relationship with a woman who has allegedly embezzled several million dollars from a hospital in Santa Fe.  This happens in the middle of his attempt to win a democratic congressional primary election.  Apparently his relationship with her started earlier than he had indicated in prior stories in the paper.  Thus, the Journal feels it was lied to and that is one thing you don't want to do with those editors.  Goes around....Comes around kind of thing.

Now the Journal will have difficulty in endorsing Chavez.  If they don't endorse someone in this Democratic Congressional race between Chavez, Eric Griego and Michelle Grisham Lujan, then they fall right into the lap of those who accuse them of being anti democrat.  They won't be endorsing Griego unless the world starts spinning backwards.  That leaves Michelle Grisham Lujan hoping for nod from the right wing paper.  It could happen.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang has always been an interesting concept to me about the natural way of things.  I have always seen the wisdom in it.  Hermes and Ajax were snoozing on our new summer bedspread and it reminded me that after a not so great week involving a car wreck that something positive is now due.  I will be buying a lottery ticket today.  And playing golf.  And we will have dinner with friends.  That should even things up.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


You gotta love cats and French 60's Cinema to appreciate this.  Thanks to my sister Carlota!

Cheating Death

Just a little car wreck involving a fully loaded cement truck coming down the I-40 ramp westbound at Rio Grande.  Hit the Honda behind me and it hit me throwing me into the intersection.

I got the young lady out of her car.  Thank fate she did not have a baby in the back seat. We both really had our bell rung but declined hospital e.r. drama.  We both left pretty sore.

We were at a stop light.  He didn't stop.  Don't know why.  Cheated death again.

Her rear windshield is stuck in his grill.  My Highlander needs a new rear bumper.  She will get a new car at least.

The owner of the concrete company came to the scene.  He never asked about our well being.  He was just concerned about his truck.


The biggest misnomer in the Federal Government is the Agriculture department's Wild Life Services.  They are a tool of the ranching industry that seeks out and destroys wildlife on western public lands.  It is another shameful subsidy to an industry that doesn't deserve it.  Coyotes, bears, mountain lions are targets for eradication.  Many times eagles, family pets and innocent animal bystanders get offed too.  I fought with this group for many years as State Land Commissioner.  They were a rogue outfit answerable to no one.  They would invade state trust lands in their killing sprees with out even asking permission.  I put the lands off limits but they ignored the ban.  I really can't believe these guys are still in business in this day and age.

Wild Earth Guardians in Santa Fe has filed suit in federal court to stop the carnage and subsidies.  I fully support that move.  I fully understand that sometimes removal of problematic animals is necessary.  But their 'kill em all' attitude is just to much.   They are the carpet bombers of the west.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


The Obama machine, which I sent a donation too last week, sent out a missive to bloggers today coming down on the oil boys.  This is after the White House forced the resignation at the request of Oklahoma oil Senator Inhofe of the EPA administrator for this region.  All because of a poorly chosen metaphor he  uttered over two years ago.  This is the kind of crap that keeps me from being jubilant about Obama.  If the administrator had other problems then I understand the decision, but a metaphor?  Maybe this time a highly qualified person for this post to take could get the job. That would be former New Mexico Environment Secretary Ron Curry.  He was runner-up to get this post three years ago.

County Commissioners, in reference to Commissioner Weiner's strolling a red light district in the Philippines, says elected officials must be ethical.  This is after they voted to give Lowe's Home Improvement Center a giant tax incentive while the corporation was blatantly dissing the American Muslim Community by pulling advertising from a Muslim American Reality show at the request of fundamentalist Christians.