Friday, May 31, 2013

Divide and Conquer

The Martinez Administration must be having a good laugh this morning as the news media is now chewing off their own leg in debating whose story is correct on the possible ongoing investigation of bid rigging in the awarding of the Albuquerque Racino license.  The highly respected Santa Fe Reporter has been attacked by KRQE'S so called news department for putting out a bad story on this whole mess.  The Reporter is demanding a retraction from KRQE and after reading political blogger Joe Monahan this morning I think Channel 13 has some soul searching to do.  The TV news operation seems to have some incestuous relationships with the Governor's gangs.

Once this gets all sorted out I hope someone will actually keep looking into the Racino issue.  The public has a need to know if this high stakes bid award was done properly or not.  I understand that whenever government is involved in one of these there will be allegations made no matter how pure the process was.  It has always been up the the independent press to figure out the truth.  Maybe the first solid step is the just announced indictment of the republican operative who leaked the emails that started this whole ball rolling.  Hang on for an ever increasing fast ride on all of this.

Of course the problem here is that there is little capacity left in this country and state for real journalism anymore.  I don't think little grant funded news websites can get the job done because they are only around for the duration of the grant.  And then the charges can always be made that the investigations are tainted by the grant makers bias.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Sometimes you just have to wonder what goes through peoples heads before they speak.  As an accomplished foot in mouth expert I know these things just happen.  Mayor Berry's statement that putting immobilizing boots on cars will help stop men seeking prostitutes is a gem.  Gee, why didn't anyone think of that before?  Do you think johns will maybe use the bus?  Or rent a car from Enterprise?  And really, shouldn't there be a trial first?  And of course would this really end those primal urges and the world's oldest profession.

Watch what happens here.  Everyone will try and get on this bandwagon so as to look strong in the fight against human trafficking.   In effect this is one of those useless laws that will be passed as a feel good measure.

At the same time I applaud Mayor Berry's and the County Commission's efforts to get a major grocery store located downtown.  This will help the tens of thousands of folks near by from having to climb in a car for a multi mile trip to buy a carton of milk.  This effort is a good band wagon to climb on.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Some Trade!

Wait, I get home from golf to read that China is buying our biggest pig farm.  And in return we  buy their defective solar panels?  Life is so strange.

Early Golf

Out on the course early.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Forward Thinking

I am still waiting to see some vision of the future of our city of Albuquerque from our Mayoral candidates.  So far not an utterance from the candidates on the "BIG PICTURE'. They only thing we see in the media is who is charging who with ethics violations and who will spend the most money on independent campaigns for the candidates.  This makes one think that the candidates have no ideas whatsoever.  But, we still have four months!  Maybe we will be enlightened?

There is a story and a lot of interesting comments in the Washington Post this morning about a squadron of F-15 fighter jets that has been grounded due to the budget sequestration.  It might just be the tip of the iceberg as I sense a real desire to cut back the excesses of the military industrial complex in this country.  We don't need to outspend the entire world on military spending any longer.  I welcome that.  But the question of the sequestration itself is a red herring.

Why stop spending money at all as the economy sparks to life once again.  Lets just reprogram it into rebuilding this nation's infrastructure and educational system.  Certainly, having third graders that can read at third grade level is a hell of a lot more important in this country that more weapons procurement.    And all of those defense industry workers?  They are skilled and talented and can be used in many different ways.

Monday, May 27, 2013


In the Memorial weekend spirit I went up to Double Eagle Airport to look at the WWII vintage Boeing B-17 Bomber.  I had always wanted to peek into one.  I certainly got a view of what flying into combat in one of these must have been like.  Just very thin aluminum between  you and the freezing cold and flak and cannon fire from fighters.  No protection at all really.  My brother Tom paid $400 for a ride in it.

 About 4000 of these were shot down in Europe with their ten man crews.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I had meant to mention earlier in the week that Larry Barker at Channel 13 had a good story on the failure of the Martinez administration to pursue a developer who ran up millions in bills before skipping town.  Today the Journal did the story and barely mentioned their favorite Governor.  When it comes to reporting on the Governor the Journal adheres to the term 'fair and balanced' as practiced by Fox News.

 Anyone who was born in the 40's or 50's should go see the road show edition of 'Jersey Boys' which is on a two week run at Popejoy on the UNM Campus.  The house was packed on Saturday night.  Talk about a nostalgia trip!  I remember the first record I ever bought was 'Sherry' by the Four Seasons.  I was in the 7th or 8th grade and had a crush on Sherry Brummel who lived down the street.  I wonder what ever happened to her.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Lead Story

The lead story on one of the so called TV newscasts last night was about a guy who has been regularly seen jogging naked in the Bosque.  Of course it was the lead since it smacked of something sexual with a little deviancy.  The Lead Story!  Now we all know about it and of course our lives must be better.

Now I am going to reproduce in full an email I got from someone wondering why a certain cop, who I am sure would be called undercover, is allowed to appear like this in front of cameras representing the APD.  And if he is no longer undercover because of this TV coverage then will he stop looking like the bad guys.

A friend of mine sent me this picture of an APD officer escorting the suspected child molester that was arrested a week or so ago.

Is this the face of APD under Richard Berry?  The guy looks more like a thug than a police officer.  Is this what APD has turned into?  Is this what the community wants from it's police department?  Is this why the DOJ is in town?  Schultz says no, but pictures speak a thousand words.

Also, who in their right mind does a perp walk anymore?  Didn't we learn anything from Lee Harvey Oswald?  Once in custody the suspect is to be protected by the police.  Other than for media PR when does it make sense to walk a child molester through a downtown crowd to the prisoner transport center?  APD was lucky an angry family member wasn't waiting.

The command staff at APD and the mayor's office is AWOL or they are just stupid.  No one at city hall is thinking about anything more than getting re-elected.  This place is a mess.

What do you think?  When you were mayor would you have an detective wearing a death head t-shirt in front of the camera?  At a time the DOJ is investigating?  Would you want this APD Detective working with victims?  Child victims at that!

 Berry is showing no leadership at APD.  This entire circus is a disgrace and disservice to the community and those who have proudly served APD.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Puttering Around

This picture could stand for the early morning annual golf match play at the ACC course I play at.  Golf is a mental game and if you are in the zone you don't notice much because of the concentration the game calls for.  The caption on the photo says the golfer is pretty sure his wife got out.

For the second year in a row my partner Ed Mahr and I, both 19 handicappers, fought against two real low handicappers.  Alas, we lost on the 17th hole after hitting good drives and crumby approach shots.  But it was fun since our opponents didn't think we would make it pass hole 11.

The picture could also stand as a metaphor for Archbishop Sheehan who disallowed that senior at St. Pius from graduating as the boy she has become.    The senior decided not to attend the ceremony.

Sheehan's  church is being consumed by bigotry and he doesn't even know it.  My guess is that just about every catholic under the age of 25 thinks the church is not worthy of their support or attendance any longer.  If they don't, they probably will feel that way by the age of 30.    And once again,  if he gets to wear gay clothes why can't anyone else?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


It seems to me the easiest way to force the construction of Tornado shelters in affected areas is for Insurance companies not to issue home policies unless there are shelters.  It just makes sense.

If Congress bends over for bankers and doesn't keep student loan rates from doubling then it might be time for some serious civil disobedience.  Not on campus.  In the CEO's offices of American Banks.  Be messy and rude.

I will start feeling sorry for the press in regards to the Obama administration's snooping amongst them to find security leaks when the press starts screaming for repeal of the so called 'patriot act'.  Our privacy is just as important as the editors of right wing newspapers and the folks at Pox news.  Yes.  They are a pox on us all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


American corporations are beginning to resemble vampires.  Apple Computer, a child of American entrepreneurship, pays no taxes and sucks the blood out of our public services.  Steve Jobs probably didn't envision this kind of corporate looting of the treasury, but his predecessors like how it looks.

Last night John Stewart was on the Veteran's Administration case because their new computer system doesn't work.  But that blame needs to be put mostly on the American corporations who said they could do the job for only one billion dollars and then delivered a non functioning system.  And this happens time and again with these information technology projects.  Yet the government gets all the blame.

A fertilizer plant in Texas blows up and the corporation that owns it seems to bear no responsibility even though people are dead and a town destroyed.  And when you get time go out and explore the abandoned mines and tailings pile left all over public lands by multi national mining firms.  But the government gets the blame.

And things wont change until Corporations stop funding elections to put in their mascots in the Congress and Senate.

Monday, May 20, 2013


It is just weird.  New Mexico is lagging behind the economic recovery in the region and nationally.  We are ranked low in the race to eradicate poverty.  We see little progress in attracting new jobs so young people can start their lives, pay off their usurious student loans thanks to our bankers, and have productive lives.

The state is being led by republican executives.  Governor Martinez and Mayor Berry are doing the worst jobs possible in getting the state and city back on their feet.  The only thing that they can point to are projects started under Governor Richardson.  Like him or not he was a mover and shaker.  His poll numbers are low and Martinez and Berry look invulnerable.  It is a paradox.  I have seen it so many times.  The less an elected official accomplishes the longer they are in office.   It is just a peculiar thing in our democracy and most of it is driven the the funding sources of campaigns.  And the inability of the media to do anything but attack government while ignoring  corporate America's predatory nature.

This is a blog worthy of visiting.  The charts on it will scare you.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ancient Curse

Uranium mining in New Mexico.  An ugly history no doubt, but now that we know better can it be done correctly?  In my opinion not as long as the ancient curse of the 1872 Mining Law remains in effect.  That law was passed during the Presidency of Ulysses Grant.  And it still allows miners the right to claim hard rock minerals on federal land as their own and not pay a dime for it.

The Journal reports a Canadian and Japanese partnership will come in to mine uranium once again near Grants, NM.  They will get all of it for free.  And there is nothing that can be done about it since the mining interests  block any reform.  Can you imagine what these foreign companies CEO's say over lunch?  Probably they say this, "those stupid Americans just give away their minerals under a century and a half old law.  Its too good to be true!"

In the meantime Congressman Steve Pearce lobbies to get more nuclear waste into the WIPP site.  This tail end of the process is controversial at least.  But storing that waste on rail sidings at power plants is even more dangerous.  But stop and think about this process.

The miners get the uranium out of public land for free and then the public has to pay big bucks for the waste storage.  How is that sensible?  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Alma Mater

Sometimes, most of the time, timing is everything.  Like yesterday when I received a fund raising appeal from my Alma Mater St. Pius X High School.  I graduated from there in 1963.  I liked the school and still have lifelong friends from my days there.  I was into the whole Catholicism thing back then, but I was never a fundamentalist.  And I moved on to my current status as a non believer.

But, I understand that is not the norm and I don't criticize those who still believe.  Except when it promotes discrimination and bigotry.  Which is exactly what the school administrators and the Archbishop are doing now when they wont let a transgender student graduate in the appropriately colored gown.  What is more astonishing is that they would even pick this fight in this day and age.  I can't imagine what the student body and faculty get out of this in a positive way.  It certainly makes the school look like a out of touch and isolated institution.  Or an ally of the official homophobes government of Russia.  Yes, the Russia they wanted us to hate as the center of global communism back in the 60's.

I won't be sending Pius any money or respect.  They just need to move on in to modern day society.

And if the Archbishop can dress like this why can't this student wear a certain colored gown.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


One giant OOPS for everyone of our legislators, cabinet secretaries, LFC, governor's staff and Governor.  I mean really, someone somewhere should have done a little more due diligence before presenting a faulty budget that will cost millions more in lost revenues than had been predicted.  And of course the Governor, unlike the President with his IRS problems, is given a complete bye in the media.

I know these kinds of things happen.  They are not planned deceptions by anyone like the Legislative leadership and Governor.  What is astounding is that no one caught it at the time.  The current head of Finance for Governor Martinez stood up and took the blame, but so should a lot of others whose scrutiny failed.  But, once again these things happen.  Now it must be fixed and my bets are that it won't be because it will look like a tax hike.

Another big oops today belongs to City Council Candidate Isaac Benton who still doesn't want to state his position on a Candelaria roundabout.  This extremely divisive issue here in the north valley deserves a statement from him one way or another.  He sent me an prickly email saying it needed to be studied for a longer time.  I am in a quandary here.  I feel like I can't vote for Benton, whom I actually lean towards, because he won't level with us, and I have a bad taste in my mouth that Councilwoman Roxanna Meyers is in cahoots with the sprawl developers, but at least has the courage to say she is against the project.  I am against the project myself, but I am not a one issue voter.  I just don't like pols who duck the issues.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Snoops

The federal government's snooping into reporters and editors phone and email should come as no surprise.  Ever since bush/cheney oversaw the demolition of privacy in this country a decade ago this practice of snooping is commonplace.  But now the Obama administration will get much of the heat.  And deservedly so.  I had always thought Obama would restore these issues of privacy protection but like all elected officials he was countermanded by the bureaucracy that really runs this country.  That being the law enforcement cartel of FBI, DEA, ATF, NSA, CIA etc. etc.

Having been an elected official I know how hard it is to crack the concrete facade that such people have developed with help from an apathetic public.  Yes, the career public servant can be just that, a servant.  But many times delusions of grandeur in the upper levels can rival the likes of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.  (The Joseph McCarthy of our times.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


My niece Sara has been married 19 years today to Jason Reeves.  They live near Missoula, Montana.  Back in 1969 I was visiting Dothan, Alabama where she was born.  My brother was stationed there as a Helicopter instructor pilot.  He  had me send a box full of New Mexico soil for him to put under the birthing table so she could claim being born in New Mexico.  I snapped this picture when she crawled up on my bed to say good morning.  Years later she and her sister Stephanie became our best baby sitters for Justin and Noelle.  Now, Sara has teenagers of her own.

Coffee Chatter

We had an hour of chatter this morning over coffee and vacillated over whether or not we really care anymore about what is going on in this country.  Of course, deep down we do care or we wouldn't talk about the stuff we supposedly don't care about.

We talked about the state of the media mainly.  Some of the group has decided that the national broadcast news shows now resemble more than ever the local TV news shows we have all grown to loathe.  Why are the big outlets constantly doing stories on murders, rapes and local violence?  Because they are finding it it cheap to do.  And then the stories that are easy to cover, like Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy, will consist mainly of talking heads for the next three weeks.  Well, we do need to keep abreast of these things I guess.

I can assure you that the people who got blown up in that Texas fertilizer explosion and those who lost everything might wonder why no one cares about their victimization at the hands of no safety regulations.  Now, if Angelina had been shooting a movie nearby then it would get attention.

We also lamented the deepening silliness of a visual TV newscast now essentially turning themselves into radio stations as more than 50% of their content comes from phone interviews with news makers and the other 50% from dash cam and security cameras.    Finding a job as a videographer must be tough these days.

And those reporters who never actually do journalism but rather rely on man on the street interviews than talking with  knowledgeable people....well what can I say?  Their teeth are white and lipstick bright!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sticking One's Neck Out

GOP and Oil

I have to say I am very impressed with the great position taken by the Mora County Commission some time ago. They said no to the Oil and Gas industry on drilling and  fracking in their county.  This takes courage since that northern New Mexico enclave has been economically challenged for so many years.  It is also a place of beauty with landscapes to die for!  And so it should be no surprise that the republican county chairman there is now complaining widely and loudly that the oil boys should get to do what ever they want.  Lest we forget that the GOP and the Oil and Gas Industry are one in the same.

Given our  historic drought and the frightening news on growth of green house gases the Commissioners in Mora look pretty damn smart.  They know that the long term health of their region is tied to water supplies and they have taken bold moves to protect them.  It looks even more impressive when one looks at the Martinez administration's failure to carry out inspections on drilling operations in New Mexico.  

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Where's the Beef

I had to chuckle when reading about the cowboys in New Mexico complaining that their assistance payments from the federal government are late.  Yes, they are all being hurt by our drought.  And yes they all get thousands of dollars in welfare checks from the government when times get hard.  And yes many think that the government entitlement programs for everyone else should be ended because those people are all freeloaders.  I have always been astounded at this double standard in rural America.  Even though most things they take for granted were paid for by the government.  Like the electrification of these areas by the government.  Like the dams and roads and subsidies paid for by the government.

I do respect these ranchers.  They do work hard and most of them are really decent people.  I just have problems with many of their industry's double standards.  I can't understand their opposition to extended unemployment assistance in hard times and then expect to get payouts for them selves as well as their grazing subsidies in the form of practically non existent fees.  And, when they elect people like Steve Pearce out in ranching country they should realize it hurts their credibility.  He is the poster boy for these double standards.  He never saw a tax break he didn't love for the oil and gas industry.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


Corporate America now wants to do away with sane City of Albuquerque campaign fund limitations so they can get their fingers into our Mayor's race.  This should come as no surprise to anyone.  They have filed a lawsuit to overturn the city's ban on allowing businesses with city contracts from donating to candidates.  A disaffected democrat, think former legislator Al Park,  has teamed up with right winger Mickey Barnett to put corporate CEO's in the funding drivers seat.  This will be interesting to watch.

It seems the only time Governor Martinez gets to brag about economic development is when she rides the coat tails of Governor Richardson.  This time it is the announcement that the Space Port that Richardson started has a new tenant that will test and further develop reusable rockets.  Well, it is still a good sign and Martinez hired an able person to carry on the work of the Space Port.

At the same time the Journal did a good story on the problems at the Licensing and Regulation department.   The philosophy at the department under a bad Martinez appointee is that enforcing regulations and standards is a bad thing.  Meanwhile, the fruit of that kind of thinking is borne out in the  ever increasing death toll in Bangladesh.  The collapse of the substandard built garment factory there has now caused a total of 705 deaths.  One wonders if Martinez knows how to fire bad appointees.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Protest and Prayer

I keep using that definition of  prayer, "How to say your are helping with out really doing anything."  Now I think that same definition might be true in many cases for modern day protestors.  Think about the "Occupy" movement that accomplished exactly nothing.  And now to top that off are the protestors who are objecting to burying the dead body of that Boston bomber.  What is the point?  It seems to be one of those things that cowardly politicians can't deal with for fear of upsetting some irrational voters.

Those protestors could use their time more wisely.  And also the media folks who blow these things out of proportion.  Why not stop worrying about one dead body and start worrying about some live ones.  Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and help build a home for some deserving people.  Or going to a veteran's hospital and helping out.  Or sit on a board of some organization that actually does humanitarian or conservation work.

This is kind of a preachy blog today but I am feeling guilty for spending $21 on tickets and $11 on popcorn to go see the worst 3-D movie ever last night.  I am talking about two hours of special effects interrupted by some actors mumbling to each other.  Yes, Iron Man III was awful.  I might have had more fun at an NRA convention.

Monday, May 06, 2013


The Albuquerque Journal has done one of those stories that makes a common practice seem like a crime.  They have singled out a guy in Las Cruces for making recommendations to Governor Richardson on who might make a good Judge.  Every Governor who has ever appointed judges has always relied on someone to scout out candidates for judicial appointments.  But in Richardson's case they try and make it look sinister.

Last night at dinner with friends we took a poll on how many of our children subscribe to newspapers.  Not one of the six of them do so.  They get their information else where.  And so you would think that publishers might find a way of attracting young folks to get newsprint on their fingers.  In the case of the Albuquerque rag, nothing of the sort is happening.  One of the folks at dinner last night just returned from several years in New Orleans.  Their newspaper recently cut down to publishing only three days a week.  She said most people didn't even notice.

Here is one way to exhibit some journalism at the Journal.  Conduct a 90 minute free wheeling interview with the Governor on the state of the state and publish it verbatim.  We all decided last night that she is really in over her head and does not really understand the issues in front of her.  She only conducts interviews on her terms and the media should take her to task for not showing her command of the issues and her visions to make our economy a more viable one.  I am betting she cant give an answer more than a 15 second sound bite for TV.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Worth Watching

Coverage Please

In the past the Albuquerque Journal would have sent a reporter to Mexico City to cover the meeting of the US and Mexican Presidents.  It is an important story given that our Land of Enchantment sits on the border with Mexico.  Given the immigrations issues, economic issues and so called war against drugs issues, you would think the editor at the newspaper could send down an experienced journalist to get us some insight.  But no, what we get is a wire story buried in the back pages on this historic visit of a black US President with a Mexican President.

Well, maybe they will pick up the story second hand and in a little more depth.  And maybe they did send someone who will file stories later.  Lets hope so because we are tied to Mexico in culture, business and family.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Praying for Rain

Remember that definition of prayer?  "How to say you are helping with out really doing anything."

Breakfast at the Grove

Bobbi and I went to breakfast at the Grove with Martin and Julie Heinrich this morning.  Julie and Martin introduced themselves to us back in 1997 when they showed up as volunteers at our Mayor's campaign office.  Julie worked for me as my press liaison during my term in office.  Martin must have caught the fever and went from running for city council to becoming a Congressman to becoming a Senator in just about 8 years.  Phenomenal.

They are getting ready to move themselves and their two sons to Washington, DC so they can spend more time together.  They will keep their home in Albuquerque as Martin will have to be here so much.
These are decent, honest and hard working people. 


I am off to play golf.  Here is a good read about an occurrence at the Albuquerque International Airport.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

County Property Taxes

As usual the Bernalillo  County folks have continued their practice over the last decade of upping the assessments on your home as high as the law allows.  That is now about 30% in ten years.  And don't forget how the value of your home plummeted.

This is why the Bernalillo County Commission needs to be changed into a Mayor/Council form of government.  Right now there is no one to take the heat on this outrageous hike in assessed values every year.  If you call your Commissioners they just shrug their shoulders and say "I am only one of five of us, what can I do?"  If there were a chief elected official in the county he couldn't use that excuse.  And don't tell me the assessor is the one to complain too, she just ups the assessment to match what the commission says they will increase the budget by.

Or better yet consolidate the city and county.  It really doesn't matter who feels like they win in that scenario, as long as all of the duplication and waste gets fixed.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I'll Be Sorry

I just don't get the P.R. juggernaut against the slaughter of horses in the United States.  Every day 100,000 cattle, 23,000,000 chickens, and over 300,000 pigs are killed in America for food.  And no one does front page stories on that.  But, even mentioning killing a horse turns one into some sort of ogre.  Because they are prettier  than other livestock?  It is a classic double standard.

I remember back in grade school at Our Lady of Fatima's Heights Catholic School that I made a bad lunch trade one day.  Roland Ghiardetti, who was Canadian I believe, offered to trade me his hamburger for a PBJ sandwich.  Thats a great deal I thought.  Half way through the burger he asked me if I liked the horse meat.  I did up until that point.  All I could think of was our crazed pet Arabian horse at my grandfather's in Pena Blanca.  I haven't had any since.

But I have munched on lamb, veal, and other species and never thought twice about it.  Now, I don't eat much meat anymore.  I am not a vegetarian but I just don't seem to like it much.  Although I will always eat some Bison.  Very lean.

The fact of the matter is that so many people have abandoned horses in the last  five years that they are suffering terribly.  That is certainly less humane than most other alternatives.

I'll be sorry I wrote about this.