Monday, June 30, 2014

Just Say No

I can't think of a time I have been much more outraged as the Supreme Court has taken the country backwards once again.  But, there is a way to fight the corporate/religious partnerships in this country.  Just boycott them.  Screw Hobby Lobby and the folks like them who put the teaching of that famous fantasy book the Bible in front of women's reproductive rights.  Surely, the women in this country can bring down that company over time.

What is next?  It will be something just as damaging as this as long as the religious right has a majority of the Supreme Court kneeling before them.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Too Clever

When I saw that the minions of Governor Susana Martinez had filed lawsuits against the folks who uncovered emails that showed government business being conducted with private email accounts of the, you guessed it, the Governor and her minions, I thought it was a clever way of making the transparency issues disappear.  It was of course aided by the media, and especially the Albuquerque Journal who usually cares about transparency of the government.  They all quickly changed the story from corruption and smoked filled rooms into someone's whistle blowing actions being suspect.

But the more I think about it, this cleverness may end up in a giant backfire that could reach much further into the machinations of the Governor's administration.  They have sued some pretty smart hombres when they take on Private Investigator Michael Corwin and flamboyant and successful attorney Sam Bregman.  Yes, he is the Chair of the Democratic party but mostly a successful strategist in the court room.

If Susana's minions continue down this path and additional discovery is allowed in these highly suspect emails that were meant to be secret, then the whole house of cards might tumble.  Probably not in time for the election, but certainly in time for future aspiration of the Governor and her neocon handlers.



Friday, June 27, 2014

Dorothy Explains it All for Your

Archbishop Sheehan has run a successful pogrom against the more liberal Dominican priests at the Aquinas Newman Center at UNM in Albuquerque.  He told them to get lost.  The new handpicked conservative priests are reportedly moving the altar from the center of the chapel to an elevated, 'looking down on you" dais.  Of course that will make the 700 upset parishioners less likely to stick around.

Here is a poignant photo.

 The latest survey from Gallup that says the number of unbelievers is at an all time high.  No surprise there.

They Said

Ahh, political coverage today!  Tit for Tat.  He said, she said, they said.  No facts please.  Just regurgitate the  TV commercials.

There is more ink and airtime showing what the latest TV ads are between the Governor's candidates than anything else.  When will an enterprising journalists do an in-depth story on New Mexico's dismal economic standing and sit the candidates down to find out what they plan on doing about it?  Is that so hard?  Surely, the Governor can't escape this forever, can she?  I am pretty sure Gary King would do it as he needs all the exposure he can get as he is buried in a mudslide of commercials from right wing PACs.

I watched the Channel 13 newscast at 5:30pm yesterday.  Then hapless anchors just sat there an narrated six or seven unimportant crime stories only because some of them had dash cam like video.  Channel 13 has done a good job on the APD controversy, so you know they could break out of the mold and do some real reporting.  It is pretty obvious that the station will have a new anchor soon,  the able Dean Staley.  They are spending a lot of money on promoting him.  Maybe he could turn that around on them and pressure the news director and producers to let the staff do real work.

Probably it would fall on deaf ears and he will just become a symbol of modern day TV news.  What will he think of his career in 20 years?  Will there even be TV local newscasts then?  I am betting there won't be.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


The Justice Department needs to send in an overseer of the Albuquerque Police Department.  That person should have the power to fire bad leadership and bad cops.  The decision making at the Department, from the Mayor, CAO and Chief is unfixable.  The Mayor should fire the CAO and the Chief and start over.  If he can't do that then he needs to man up a little.

I watched Channel 13 last night conduct an interview with CAO Perry about the decision to have undercover cops photograph APD protestors.  He looked like a sniveling idiot trying to explain why it was done.  Really, stop and think about this decision.  Did he really think that he and the Chief could get away with not having these guys recognized by the legally protesting citizens?  How stupid could one be to think that?  And then Perry's lame excuses that everyone was taking photos and videos anyway made it valid!

Logic goes out the window with this crew and the Mayor hides behind added security at City Hall.  The only one more invisible than this is former City Public Safety Chief Darren White.  Many blame him for much of  the problem after he went into tell the cops, "We are taking back the streets!"  That was a big signal to the cops that the shooting gallery was open, despite that fact that crime had been falling for years.  White must have seen himself as a hero in at TV crime drama.  And now he is invisible.

Life is too short.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hunkering Down

The Mayor's Office has added more security to its floor at City Hall.  Call this a hunkering down by Mayor Berry and his bunker mate CAO Rob Perry.

In fairness, this all started with Mayor Marty Chavez who decided he needed full time policemen guarding him everywhere he went.  Well, I guess he felt more important then.  But at least Chavez was willing to sit down and meet with people, unlike our current Mayor and Governor who seem to be very picky about who gets in the door.

When I was Mayor I never had a security detail. I did have a button I could push in my office to call the police, but the one time I did it as a test, no one came.  It was kind of funny.

 Our office was open to the public and if there were an angry group we just brought them into the conference room and met with them.  What a novel idea!  But it doesn't seem to work that way these days.  Fleeing controversy seems to be the plan. Oh, and taking pictures of protestors who don't agree with you.

While out on my bike ride last night around the neighborhood I stopped to talk with an old friend who was lamenting the fact that no one can get into see the Governor.  He represents a large business association and they have been insulated from the Susana Martinez by her Iron Curtain of neo cons who think she shouldn't rub shoulders with anyone.  This association is a conservative group, but apparently she fears them.  What does she do all day?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Democratic Legislative Campaign Funding

The Journal's Sunday front page story on the silly shell game of funding democratic legislative candidates was a fair story to go after and report on.  The system of moving money around from one PAC to another to get around campaign funding limits is just another example of a broken system.  Now, lets see how the Democrats differ from the republicans in this game.

The GOP and Governor's PACs just  don't see a necessity of sending money to the individual candidates.  They just spend unlimited amounts of money in so called 'independent campaigns' to help their legislative candidates.  It  makes the amounts the Democrats spend look paltry.  I would assume that the amounts spent in these GOP campaigns are high multiple times more than the money trickling in to the Democrats.

Just look to an example that exists today.  The amount of dollars supporting  Governor Martinez's  reelection campaign that never runs through her own campaign accounts is huge.  And the reporting requirements for where those PACs get their money are incredibly weak.  But, I am sure that the Albuquerque Sunday Journal will do a front page expose on that real soon.  Right?

Sunday, June 22, 2014


If we are to be fair we will have to rename the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.  Our highly revered slave owning founding father, Thomas Jefferson, wrote the following in the Declaration of Independence in reference to King George of England.

"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

This must put him right up there with that complex Indian Fighting New Mexican, Kit Carson.  Surely we must expunge Carson's name for being a man of his times.  The Albuquerque Sunday Journal's state page feature on the Kit Carson debate in Taos was excellent in setting forth all sides on the issue.  But the activists just didn't convince me that the Kit Carson Park in that city should be renamed.  The stampede by the city council is typical of knee jerk revisionism.  Big Brother would have been proud.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Let's pretend that all of this turmoil in Iraq over the last two weeks had been totally ignored by the Obama administration.  Say they just never talked about it in press briefings, State Department briefings and refused to allow reporters to ask questions about it at any time.  That would be pretty unbelievable wouldn't it?  

But that is exactly what is happening on the fourth floor of the New Mexico State Capitol Building.  And know one seems to care at all.  New Mexico is ranked second to last in job growth in America.  But Susana Martinez ignores it, and reporters don't call her for statements on this disastrous performance.  Martinez rolls merrily along as our system of making elected officials somewhat answerable for their competency just evaporates.  Made possible by corporate money of course, and failed journalism.  Oh, and most importantly, the people who never vote.

Friday, June 20, 2014


One-A was my draft designation back in the Viet Nam war era.  Although I was in University and had a deferment I knew that  I would get drafted sooner or later.  As it turns out the war dragged on past my graduation and so it was good I joined the New Mexico Air National Guard and US Air Force as a still photographer and cinema photographer.  I served as a Staff Sergeant.

At least I got a job I wanted. I ended up doing over two  years active duty starting in 1968 after our unit of F-100 fighter bombers were sent to Viet Nam.  We had been put on active duty because of the Korean "Pueblo Crisis".  But they really wanted planes, pilots and mechanics for Viet Nam.  The unit lost three pilots.  Many were sent to Korea to live in tents, and about a quarter of us were sent to duty at bases around the U.S.  I ended up at Luke AFB in Phoenix where this photo was taken in August 1968.

Back to the draft.  This week during all the golf games everyone was lamenting dick cheney blabbing about the situation in Iraq and his feeling we should send troops there again.  This was the guy who got half a dozen deferments during the Viet Nam war because, "I had better things to do."  He really said that.

Most of the groups I golf with during the week are about 75% former service men.  We all agree that the draft has to be reinstated so that everyone has to serve the country.  Options should be given for military or civil service, but no one gets deferred.  And of course we all dream that every Senator's and Congressman's kids or grandkids will have to be in front of the line, just so the hawks on Capitol Hill know there is a personal price connected to them shilling for the defense industry.  Whether it is serving as a soldier, or emptying bedpans in a Veteran's Hospital, everyone would serve.  And that includes the one per centers.  That way people like cheney might be better human beings.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Job Requirement

The perfect job candidate requirements for a campaign manager these days might be the following.

1. Never has been involved in social media.
2. Was born in a manger.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

No Looking Back?

There used to be some sage advice on not looking back too much.  Now in politics that is all we seem to do.  Democratic Governor Candidate Gary King's new campaign manager lasted only hours in his job because of some tasteless but minor comments of his that were found on Twitter.  Another victim of social media.

If you are going to use social media then  just be prepared for all of it being hacked and exposed.  Tweets are now hidden weapons of mass destruction for anyone who participates in quickly commenting on issues of the day or inane personal thoughts.

I say some pretty crazy stuff on my blog sometimes, but I am doing it in my retirement  years where I don't have to worry about it being thrown back at me. As a pol, I was known for being blunt sometimes, but  I wouldn't advise any young politically ambitious person to say what they really feel in social media these days without gentrifying it.  Political correctness now reigns in this country more than ever.  And honesty goes out the door.

Some think I am ultra liberal, but I am not.  I don't think the extreme left of center crowd does themselves any favors by pointing out every single flaw in any candidate or political operative.  No one is perfect and we all say things we wish we hadn't.  The politically correct crowd is destroying any chance of getting slightly flawed but worthy progressive people into office because of OCD on finding messianic candidates.  The GOP uses this effectively, as do Democrats, in trying to gut the other side.

And when you see a candidate like Gary King running so scared that he publicly hangs an employee of 24 hours, then you know things are out of hand.  It also points out once again that King needs to show some 'fight' in his persona.  Right now he just flees controversy and that is not the kind of Governor we need.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Governor Martinez's former campaign manager took a plea bargain and is now a convicted felon for stealing the Governor's emails.  When will the NSA be given a plea bargain for stealing all of our emails?   One wonders what is going on with this deal where the sentence was pretty much a slap on the wrists.  Could the former disgruntled manager have made a deal to testify on other things he might know?  Time will tell.

And how about those allegations that the Martinez campaign used the Dona Ana law enforcement apparatus to identify political opponents via the Motor Vehicle Department data base?  Will that stay out of the media who helps Martinez more by the stories they don't do, rather than the ones they do?

There was a little story today in the Journal about the fact that the Dept. of Interior's Bureau of Land Management is unable to inspect half of all drilling operations on public land because they are not funded to do so.  Do you think that Congressman Steve Pearce and his oil and gas puppeteers have anything to do with this poor funding?  You bet.  It will end up hurting soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Not One Arrest

Remember when the anti government rhetoric spun out of control with the heavily armed crazies and we had an entire federal government office building in Oklahoma turned into rubble filled with corpses of working folks and children from a day care center?

Recently in Nevada and Utah heavily armed 'anti government militias' set themselves against public land agency employees because ranchers don't want to follow the law or pay their bills like most Americans.  Assault and sniper rifles were aimed at these employees because they were carrying out their duties.  It was good to not let the situation get out of control, but now what is going to happen?  Will a group of BLM or Forest Service biologists, archeologists and scientists be rounded up and killed by government hating and gun toting lunatics?

It could happen, especially since the White House and the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture seem to have said to employees,  "sorry about those machine guns aimed at you, but we don't want to upset anyone by arresting them and even prosecuting them.  We will see if the DOJ might help."  Once the escalating crisis on the scene was defused the feds should have followed up with arrests of everyone threatening those employees.  So far the arrests equal zero.  And two of the Bundy wackos went on to kill two police officers and an armed civilian in Nevada.

I can't imagine what a BLM range conservationist must think when he sees these people not brought to justice.  The employees must feel like they don't count for anything.  Can you imagine a bunch of NRA inspired crazies marching into the West Wing of the White House or the Capitol Building with guns drawn and then not being prosecuted?

This lack of action will embolden the federal government hating crowd as they see any criminal or civil actions against them fade into the labyrinth of the Justice Department.  I hope these government employees organize and send a message to Congress and the President saying they also count for something  in their public service careers.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Could it Be?

Could it be that the journalists in this town don't care about the shooting of the guy in a dumpster because he allegedly shot a police dog?  Someone commented that I seemed to be the only one that cared about the so called suicide of that thief.  But he was a human being and I am not yet convinced, although I could be, that he deserved to die.  Police say it was a suicide, but no gun powder residue was found on his clothing or gloves.

Much of the stuff I get on facebook these days is about lost dogs being found.  Cute cat videos(I watch them) fill half the servers on the planet.  I even had one friend say they were proud that they only gave money to animal welfare groups rather than other charitable endeavors.  Talk about a loss of priorities!

So, I am hoping that someone in the ranks of our modern day underpaid journalists will take the time to ask to see all evidence and police reports on this case of the wounded K-9 and the subsequent death of his assailant.  Let's get some outside experts to review the material and then give us an independent opinion.  Because I have to say that the APD story and OMI reports haven't convinced me that this whole incident has been truthfully told.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Autopsy Questions

The Office of the Medical Investigator has released a report of the guy who died after shooting a police dog.  It says he shot himself.  But in a strange statement the report says

"On the left chest, 45 cm below the top of the head, 2.5 cm to
the left of the anterior midline, and 5.5 cm superior and lateral
to the xiphoid process, is an entrance gunshot wound consisting
of a 0.9 cm round defect with an up to 0.1 cm wide
circumferential pink marginal abrasion which is widest at 11 to
2 o’clock position. Thermal injury, pink discoloration from
possible carbon monoxide, soot, unburned gunpowder particles
and gunpowder stippling are not visible on the skin surrounding
the wound.
The hemorrhagic wound track sequentially perforates the skin,
subcutaneous tissue, left anterior 4/5 rib, pericardium, right
ventricle, interventricular septum, left ventricle, left liver lobe,
stomach, spleen, and left posterior intercostal space. The
missile comes to rest in the soft tissue of the left lower back.
Associated injuries include left hemothorax (1600 mL), a small
left pneumothorax, and a mediastinal shift to the right. No soot
or unburned gunpowder particles are visible on the hands nor
on the gloves overlying the hands."

How can there be no evidence of gunpowder burns at that range?  What kind of clothing would resist it?    There might be good explanations, but this report should be reviewed by the Department of Justice, because it just doesn't ring true.

He also had broken bones in his face from bean bag hits, and dog bites.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Big Misc

There was another condemnation of the Mayor in the media today, even the Journal.  After a Judge granted $6,000,000 to the family of one of their shooting victims, the family said they had asked first to just sit down with Mayor Berry to see if APD could be improved.  The Mayor never responded.

Eric Cantor losing to an even further rightwing immigrant hating wacko could be looked at in two ways.  It will either marginalize the GOP into a silly entity, or it will paralyze the House of Representatives even more with fundamentalism from the fringe.  Hopefully the first.   But in the meantime the country will suffer and demonizing of immigrants will continue.  In about 200 years or so this vaguely disguised racism of non white immigrants will cease, because we all will be brown.  But will the country survive that long?

The Bernalillo County Commission did the right thing by saying voters will decide on the proposed increase in gross receipts taxes to fund open space purchases.  Usually, I would vote for such a tax but I need to be convinced they know what to do with the money.  I haven't seen a plan.

The Albuquerque Journal did a cool thing the other day by giving free digital subscriptions to the Washington Post for a year.  It looks like they are trying everything now to make themselves more viable.  Mostly it helps, but it won't be fully successful until a new editor is found who will return the publication to a more even mannered editorial stance. And, they need to keep the editorial page opinions from leaking into the news coverage, or non coverage.  But I will say their editorial this morning was more even handed when they condemned APD from gagging officers from talking with the DOJ investigation.  The one thing the Journal doesn't like is gag orders.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I have never used the Veteran's hospital system even though I qualify.  We have private health insurance and medicare.  I know some folks who do use the system even though they are wealthy and could seek help in many other ways.  Last night on CBS there was great lamentation that 57,000 Vets were waiting long times for an appointment.  Another 6 million got their appointments.  I think the real system flaws here are people using the Veterans healthcare despite other alternatives, and the ridiculous 'bonus' system that made lying profitable for system administrators.  Those folks should be fired.  Oh, and maybe we should forgive the student loans of any Doctor who chooses to work at the VA facilities for at least 5 years.  Oh, and george bush, dick cheney and don rumsfeld should be indentured to empty bed pans at a VA facility for the rest of their lives for sending so many young folks into a system that is understaffed and underfunded. Along with the CEO's of every major defense industry who were not underfunded at all.

Governor Susana Martinez has her great economic development coup for the year.  A new tortilla factory in Las Cruces.  She says the average wages will be $37,000 a year plus benefits.  I wonder if some one in the media will check that out.  Seems unrealistic.

Gary King showed signs of life with his new TV ad retaliating for Governor Martinez's mudslinging TV ads.  This is good.  The next step is to get a new Democratic Party Chair.  And soon.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Death of a Thousand Cuts

Tax chicanery is afoot.  Bernalillo County wants an increase in the gross receipts tax to buy open space.  Mayor Berry and the city council just passed a stealth tax tacked on to the garbage rates to maintain city medians, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District just passed a tax hike with no effort at publicizing it to the district taxpayers.  A death of a thousand cuts.

In fact the Conservancy district is really providing another subsidy for the agricultural community.  As those in the district know, it is the homeowners and businesses that pay most of the costs of the irrigation system while not getting to use the water that it provides.  The media and press know and care little of this agency which has been mired in corruption and dishonesty for years.

The problem with the city and county is that they keep relying on the gross receipts tax to make ends meet.  This regressive tax lets the rich off the hook while really putting it to the poor and middle class.  This simply has to stop.  Along with the automatic 3% property tax hikes by the county and others that hit the retired seniors so hard every year.

In the beginning of another long torturous saga, democrat Gary King has begun his journey of watching millions of dollars being spent to turn him into an ogre by rightwing money provided to the coffers of Governor Susana Martinez.  The GOP Governors are spending more in one week of mudslinging TV commercials than Gary has in is entire bank account.  This is going to be a long and embarrassing trek for King, unless some miracle happens.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Body Count

Will UNM Professor David Correia, who has been leading protests on the APD body count problem, be charged with a felony for 'bumping' a police officer who arrested him?  If so, can we assume that is going to be how all protestors might be treated?

This is ridiculous.  And if the charges stick then just look for more trouble for our invisible Mayor and cowed City Council.  And what will UNM do about their public dissident?  They damn well better support him in the tradition of institutions of higher education leading the way in social change.  Remember Viet Nam Protests and Kent State?

We had an impromptu gathering of folks the other night in the neighborhood after Channel 13 ran a story meant to give the Mayor and Police some cover.  They were interviewing folks on whether or not the protestors are hurting their own cause by protesting.  Many of my neighbors thought they were as we hung around a burglary crime scene nearby.  It really made me think that the protestors are more important than ever because most people naturally rally around police, just like they do for soldiers.  And because of that bias we need people to stand up and say when something is wrong.  Remember My Lai?

Thursday, June 05, 2014


Maybe one of the most important races in this upcoming election will be the contest for New Mexico Secretary of State.  Democrat Maggie Tolouse Oliver needs to take home the prize there if we want to stop suppression of the vote by the likes of the Koch brothers and right wingers in this country.

Those radicals have run around crying voter fraud and cheating when in fact it really does not exist on any measurable scale.  They will use this approach to actually pass laws to suppress the votes of the poor in this country.  The current office holder,  republican Diana Duran, started down this path as soon as she was elected and you can be sure she will gather in plenty of corporate and oil and gas money to continue the effort.

This race might be the best investment for the long term politics in New Mexico.  My check is in the mail.  Go here to donate.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

King for a Day

Gary King won the primary election last night after votes were cast by 20% of the eligible democrats in the state.  Governor Susana Martinez and her neo con minions are having a good chuckle this morning because they will see King as a pushover in the general election.  They wanted him to win and he came in first or second in every county which which was hard for Alan Webber and Lawrence Rael to overcome.  No young people voted, but the silver hair crowd did which explains King's easy victory because of nostalgia for his dad Bruce King.

There are 600,000 democrats, 340,000 republicans and 200,000 independents and fringe party members in New Mexico.  One would think King could win this election, but the odds are terrible for him.  Martinez will start spending her 10 million dollars next week and never look back.  That is all money from the fossil fuel, Koch brothers, and right wing groups who just see this state as a giant well for climate killing fuels.

This race will be about how New Mexico should not be considered the 'Appalachia" of the Southwestern United States.  Our nonperforming leadership has let our economy spiral into a horrible decline.  That isn't just the political leadership, but the business community leadership too.  I am not sure if King or Martinez has the ability or talent to fix this.  But my vote will be with King because he is unlikely to let the oil boys run everything.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Children in the Mansion

When was the last time any school aged children lived in the Governor's mansion?  This was an interesting question an old friend of mine commented on yesterday.  I can't really answer that question, but it really is an important one.

Modern day parenting is probably even harder now that when Bobbi and I raised our kids in the 80's and 90's.  Anyone who is doing it now and being successful are to be respected.  But in looking at our current posse of governor candidates I think the only one with school age children is Lawrence Rael.  He and his wife Kim are modern day parents and if he were to win the Primary and go on to defeat Susana Martinez, then we would have children living in the Governor's Mansion.

That would be refreshing, wouldn't it?

Monday, June 02, 2014

The 300

Those three hundred jobs that have just been permanently lost in Questa due to the closure of the Chevron Molybdenum mine are another poke in the eye for New Mexicans.  Also another black mark against Governor Martinez.  Those boom and bust cycle kind of industries have been very dicey for our state.  Profits sucked out and hard working people abandoned.  And they are enabled by people like the Governor who has no economic stimulus plan what so ever.  Just what in the hell are she and her minions doing?  The only dedications she has been attending are ones set in stage by the Richardson administration.  And she still thinks that everything he did was wrong.

I suppose that means she doesn't like gross receipts taxes taken off food.  And lowering taxes for the poor.  And bringing in the Rail Runner and the Spaceport and the movie industry.  Every single day she looks weaker and the heart grows fonder for Richardson.  But, New Mexico electors are sleeping and the democrats will probably elect the worst possible candidate to take on Susana Martinez.  Yep, that is Gary King, a nice guy who does absolutely nothing.

Thoughtful Read

Fellow blogger Bubba Munster, a truck driver/philosopher from Albuquerque  has a must read entry today.  Do your self a favor and spend some time on it.  Read it here.