Wednesday, December 30, 2015

White Wash Payola

The City of Albuquerque is getting ready to start a process for renewing the franchise for Comcast's cable TV and Internet Services.  They want you to take a survey that can only be described as a sweetheart exercise for helping Comcast remain a monopoly in our City.  Click here for the survey.

They ask some good questions about quality of service and customer service.  If you are a cable television subscriber.  But there are no questions on the quality and pricing of high speed internet services which is really the only important thing we should be concerned about.

Where are the questions on the outrageous price hikes on internet and TV?  Where are the questions on whether we would like to see the franchise awarded to some other provider that has better pricing and service?  Where is the question on whether we want to keep Comcast providing  us service as the blood sucking corporate money machine that they are?  Where are the questions on whether our citizens want to open up competition against Comcast?

And finally, do you feel you get value for the money you pay?  How can this white washed survey be taken seriously?  Those questions need to be in the survey.

Demand of your city councillor and the Mayor that they pull this survey and rework it.  If they don't then you know they are pretty much in bed with Comcast in return for a few PSA's they allow each of the pols to do free of charge.  It is nothing more than paying them off with free advertising.

I am not a fan of Comcast in case you wondered.

Happy New Year

Have a wonderful New Year.  We will be off for a few more days as we mourn the loss of Dave Miller.  The family is gathering and we will eat Peeeeetza on New Years Eve.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Dave Miller

Some of you may have known my brother in law Dave Miller.  He died suddenly yesterday of natural causes.  Dave was a Navy Veteran and active in Veteran Affairs and the American Legion Post 72.  He had served as the Albuquerque Sunport Safety Officer for 15 years.  He was a life long bachelor who enjoyed good wine and a good party.  He was close to his sisters Bobbi and Caryl and his niece and nephews.  We are in mourning around here for a while.  Dave ate dinner with us a couple of times a week and came around for weekend coffee.  We will really miss him.

Sunday, December 27, 2015


I am in the middle of a SCIFI trilogy titled "Nexus" by Ramez Naam.  It is a great read and essentially is about the next evolution of man brought on by science.  Essentially, it is about how some people always try to stop progress because it will take them out of power and wealth under the latest version of humans.  Think the GOP and fossil fuel boys here.  It makes an interesting point that while some people feel sorry for the Neandrathal Man being overtaken by Homo Sapiens, it was all for the best.

It is funny that as I was enjoying this book that this Robert Kennedy Quote hit the social media.  It is so true.

Now, in the New Yorker magazine this week is a great article about what  Miami Beach is facing as water levels rise.  And to think we still have US Senators, republicans of course, trying to eradicate spending on climate change research.  One really could argue that they are enemies of humanity.  Don't you think?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Of Course

The Albuquerque Journal did their editorial today about Governor Susana Martinez's atrocious behavior.  Of course there was a section dedicated to Governor Bill Richardson in the editorial.  WTF?  But, on second thought, I am told that anything that compares Big Bill with Party Girl Susana just drives her crazy.  So maybe it is okay.

And of course a Happy Holiday to everyone, friend and foe.  Have a good time with family and friends and a respite from political junkie status.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Metaphor for Remaining Martinez Adminstration.

The Santa Fe Police Department belt buckle recording is truthy.


NASA released this profound photo of Earth rising over the moon.  It is beautiful, fragile, tiny and vulnerable.  So why put some one like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in a influential position on our planet.  Yeah, I am politicizing a photograph of our home.  Just can't help myself.

So Much for Union

I just keep marveling at the TV commercials I see.  It really makes the United States look like it is fracturing into little tiny pieces like a dropped 1000 piece puzzle you have been working on.

Let's see.  There is Christian Mingle dating service which indicates most Christians looking for a partner could be limiting themselves to delusional fundamentalists.  And then there is which has video of hot farmer girls there for the choosing at the honky tonk western bar with the kicker being, 'city folks just don't get it.'  And then there are Jewish dating sites.  White supremacists dating sites,  on and on and on.  And when these couples, who don't get divorced, start having kids they will be sure to raise their kids into the most narrow minded home schooled future citizens of our cracking Union.  Even if only half the kids stay brainwashed....that is a lot.

I bring all this up because I was happy to see that the League of Women Voters has decided that Charter Schools are hurting the overall quality of education by siphoning off funds from the regular schools.  They have called for a moratorium on any new such schools.  I have to agree and I often looked at these Charter schools as another way of not letting students mix because it might give them a different point of view.  Or as a way of separating the rich and poor, black and white, etc.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hard Hats Recommended

No word yet if the Governor and her staff will be attending.

Off the Hook

Quietly under cover of the Governor's Xmas party our new Secretary of State, Brad Winter, will show  up in Santa Fe to start his one year stint at raising his retirement paycheck, er, I mean enforcing campaign election laws.  He is off the hook from any media heat as the Piiiiiizza party continues to resonate.

No matter that Winter was picked over much more qualified people who wanted the appointment.  One wonders why the Governor picked him.  Could it be her close friendship with Brad Winters's wife, Nan?  Maybe, but I am betting on the penchant for the Governor to be in complete control as we enter next year's election cycle.  After that she is a total lame duck and doesn't have to worry about who is watching GOP campaign shenanigans, because she will be in rehab.....oh, no wait, she will be trying to recover her reputation as a sober pol, so she might be able to make waves on the national scene.

Will our state's newspapers chime in with some editorials on the Governor's behavior?  They should start appearing on Tuesday.  I can't wait to see what the rightwing protector of the Governor, the editor of the Journal will do.  They fairly reported the story, but will they take a stand on her outrageous drunken behavior?  You just can't pretend that those audio tapes don't exist and that she doesn't deserve a little comeuppance.  Rumors are that some reporters had already been asking knowledgeable persons about her drinking habits.

For us political junkies,  last week was a really cool holiday gift!

Timely Quotes

"It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth." 
-George Burns

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." 
-Ernest Hemingway

"Alcohol is a very necessary article. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning."
-George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, December 20, 2015

An All Around Crappy Week

Feds seek records from Gov. Martinez's time as DA - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Local News

Xmas Chatter

Our friend's annual Holiday Party last night, an annual Frito Pie extravaganza, is a yearly fest of talk. Gee, what was one of the main conversations last night?  That isn't to hard is it?  Clue, it involves Piiiiizzzza.

If one has never witnessed the power of social media before then this Pizza/beer bottle/ snowball thing would let one see how powerful it really has become.  My favorite entry is above.  Just read the comments on our governor in the comments section of the New Mexican and Albuquerque Journal newspapers!

Pushed to the bottom of the news by this nuclear meltdown of Susana was the dismal unemployment ranking in New Mexico.  Yeah, it hit number one in the nation.

Friday, December 18, 2015


What is the velocity of a beer bottle thrown off a Santa Fe Hotel Balcony attached to the Governor's Room?  Say 5th floor?  Can some physics major tell me what that would do to a skull of an innocent bystander?  And this was her bad news day along with NM being listed as having the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

Disgraced Secretary of State and Governor's buddy Diana Duran should thank fate that this happened as she will have been moved off the front page and lead TV News story as she is perp walked into the Santa Fe County jail.  Gee, it is almost like it was planned by McCleskey!    And, was it a New Mexican craft beer?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Little Math--updated

Here is how the good ole boy system works for Brad Winter who was just appointed Secretary of State by our do nothing Governor.  Brad has been a city councillor for about 20 years.  He gets to pay into PERA as a city councillor.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But now his reward from the GOP can be calculated.  These are approximate numbers.  If he retired with just his city council retirement pay he would get about $18,000 a year from PERA.  He deserves that.  That would be for his average high three years salary as a councillor, which is about $30,000.  He gets 3% a year, hence 60% of $30,000.

Now he goes to a job for two years at $85,000 a year, plus his $30,000 a year because he won't resign from the city council. Now his final high three average will be two years of $115K a year plus one year of $30k.  Adds  up to $260k divided by 3 and that makes his final high three average about $86k a year.  Hence 60% of that equals $51,000 retirement annually.  This may or may not be combined with his other retirement as a retired educator from APS.

You can see why he is not wanting to abandon his city council seat.  It would cost him quite a bit.  This is milking the system for all it is worth thanks to the Governor.

If any of you retirement experts disagree, please send a comment.  Please see comments for a different take on whether he stays for one year or two.


Lots of criticism on Diana Duran's 30 day jail sentence.  A longer one should have been handed out, mostly for her voter suppression policies for the rightwing Governor, her best buddy.

Hector Balderas will regret not recommending jail time.  The Attorney General will be badgered in his next election, mostly by republicans because he did not throw away the key on republican Duran.  The democrats will likely forgive him.

The first scifi book I ever read was Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End."  We watched the SCIFI channel's version of it last night.  I gave it a two stars, but the meat of the story was there.  I am surprised the religious right did not ask their followers to boycott the channel.  It pretty much did for religion what the book did.  That was cool.  And we watched the first episode of "The Expanse", which looks like a winner.

Other good cold weather TV is as follows.   "Fargo" was great.  Netflix's "Jessica Jones" is entertaining as is "Master of None".  "River", a UK cop show about a schizophrenic cop whose dead female  partner is always with him is great.  Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" was well worth the time.  Upcoming for binging is Amazon's "Transparent" and "Mozart in the Jungle."

It is all better than watching republicans yell at each other.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Just Minutes to Learn Something Important.

Please read this.  It really is incredible.

Stop the Rip Off

Reader View: Update royalty rate charged for drilling federal public lands - The Santa Fe New Mexican: My View

Easy As Pie

If Susana Martinez ever sits in front of a Senate Confirmation Committee, think how easy it will be to dismantle her highly propped up resume.  Think of the charts one could put on an easel for the Senators to see.  You could start with one on comparing New Mexico's High School graduation rate with the rest of the country.  (That would be number 50.)  Or you could show New Mexico's ranking on job creation, poverty, population decline, corruption, and oh so many more things.

And if she decides to run for the US Senate, just think of the TV Commercials you could make.  You could just show those charts, pictures of her political advisor Mccluskey, and her good bud Diana Duran doing a perp walk into the local lockup.

The real question is, what happens in the next two years?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


When I took office as Mayor in December of 1997, the Albuquerque Police Department was a centralized and somewhat fossilized bureaucracy.  There were lots of problems and I had run  on a platform of bringing some new ideas to the department.  Specifically I was interested in Community Policing.  Here is an article link about the Police Chief I hired to bring it about, Jerry Galvin.

Subsequent administrations dismantled the Community Policing we set up and the bunker mentality returned to the Command staff at APD.  And now the the current administration seems to think Community Policing as something proposed by our hapless Chief Gordon Eden is a great idea.  It is laughable that we have to start this all over again.

More of the Same

After my post on Congresswoman Michele Grisham Lujan's do nothing meeting on gun violence yesterday, she mailed this appeal out to her democratic supporters.  On the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre of children, she can't even get specific in her plans to her supporters about what it is she is proposing.  Does she want a ban on gun show sales?  Does she want a ban on assault  rifles?  Does she want a registration program on all firearms owned by Americans? (We have to register our cars.)  Or does she just want to pretend.  And in fairness our other Democratic Congressman Ben Lujan Jr. needs to come out and tell us what he thinks.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Eye Strain

I got a major dose of eye strain this weekend by reading "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis.  I had been meaning to read it for some time, but with the movie coming out I thought it might fill out the characters a little better.  We will see the movie next week while everyone else is viewing "Star Wars".

The one thing I learned from this book, and it is frightening, is that seemingly intelligent people can wander into disaster by not fully understanding that  the actions they take guarantee the disaster.  And that got me to thinking about Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and the rest of those GOP Presidential candidates.  We could actually end up electing one of these very dangerous men whose only view of reality and the world is their own ego and fundamentalism.

Our regular group, known as the 'gang of eight' had dinner last night here in our home.  Three hours of political discussion and then we all gave up and wandered into a discussion of what makes a battery work and what is inside it.  That might be profound, but I don't know exactly how.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Doing Nothing

This post from Congresswoman Michelle Grisham Lujan is almost a stereotype of many democrats discussing gun violence.  Have a meeting.  Can't we all get along.  Let's trust each other.  Blah Blah Blah.  I mean, really read this and you can see the fear of the NRA.

Friday, December 11, 2015


I demand, as a true Pastafarian, that our symbol be displayed next to all Christmas Trees on public property.  Sure, we will throw in some Teddy Bears for kids.  And we will waste just as much time as everyone else in debating whether a decorated tree is a religion.  

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Another List!

Albuquerque's Mayor Richard Berry can feel good about our city being number one on another list.  Not.  It turns out we have the worse housing market in the United States.  Read it here.

If he was half as good at fixing up economic development here as he was arranging a parade for Holly Holm, then maybe we could get somewhere.  (I wonder how many tax dollars went into that parade?  Police and fire overtime? Street Management?)  An expensive photo op for the Mayor and Governor.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


Governor Martinez is fiddling like Nero again.  She is diverting attention from our disastrous economic condition by insisting that we have courts monitored by citizens to make sure good sentences have been handed out and that crooks don't get out on bail.  She is asking for the umpteenth time to have a 'crackdown' on drunk drivers.  She is demonizing the folks who do  your landscaping and replace your roofs so they can't get drivers licenses.  And she is aided and abetted by our largest daily propaganda instrument called the Albuquerque Journal.  I have written this rant for the umpteenth time too.

There is more talk about using the State Permanent Fund for education.  Tapping into this 14 billion dollar savings account might finally be a good idea now that we are really in a rainy day scenario for which it was meant to be used.  But beware, because if we tap into that fund there must be some solid language that general fund and other monies going to education are not lessened.  Supplanted that is.  It would be a way for Governor Martinez and her rightwing mascots in the Legislature to give another tax break to their rich bankrollers.

Monday, December 07, 2015


Every time Donald Trump says the words 'Muslim', 'them' or 'they', substitute the word Jew and see who it sounds like.

The Supreme Court has declined to review lower court ruling on local jurisdictions ban of assault weapons in their communities.  Of course that will mean absolutely nothing to the likes of our New Mexico leaders and elected officials.  It is an open door and none of them will have the courage to walk through it.  Probably because they will remember what happened to me when serving as Mayor.  I tried to stop concealed weapons being allowed in ABQ.  I held a news conference with UNM Emergency Room Doctors and the NRA sent heavily armed goons to the event.  It was against the law to have weapons on the Campus but they came anyway and surrounded the physicians.  

The Santa Fe New Mexican had an OpEd to day that is a primer for anyone who might have to run against Susana Martinez in the future.  It is a reference tome for constructing her record on TV Commercials  You can read it here.

Saturday, December 05, 2015


Ignorance is bliss for Governor Susana and Mayor Berry.  After receiving state funds for workforce training and tax relief, the bio tech firm NanoMR is pulling out of New Mexico for California.  You know, that place with higher taxes and more regulations.

The question  here is, did the Governor or Mayor even know this was happening?  Did they ever make one effort to go to the new owners, sit down with them and just make a case for staying in an economically devastated New Mexico.  (thanks to the lack of leadership of the Mayor and Governor.)

How much longer can this kind of ignorance is bliss attitude last in our state's leadership?  Probably a long time.

At the same time in today's Journal the paper reports that fossil fuel energy sector workers are having a tough time. Yes, they are and it  is sad.  But the Journal hasn't said much about their own workers being laid off and replaced by cheap labor in another state.  Couldn't they make a comment about those customer service employees being slammed?   Just asking.

Friday, December 04, 2015


It is laughable really.  Our City Council is considering a bill to make street side panhandling illegal because it is a public safety matter.  And it is.  But the last time I checked the panhandlers had not engaged in mass killings with assault rifles.

But where are our gutless Mayors, Governors and City Councils on the issue of reasonable gun control.  Well, they are hiding in the bushes because they are frightened by the NRA and its resident and numerous gun nuts.  I would advise these elected cowards to read "Profiles in Courage" by JFK.  It heralds those brave public officials in history who opposed popular sentiment to  make our country great.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Thoughts and prayers

This is so true.


Corrupt pols who get caught always seem to have a fallback position, or should I say fall down on to the knees position.  Disgraced republican Secretary of State Diana Duran said she fell down on her knees to ask god to relieve her of her gambling addiction.  I am pretty sure she did that to gain sympathy from our god fearing constituencies in NM.  She doesn't want any jail time after pleading guilty to violating campaign laws, the very ones she is supposed to enforce.  After all, how can she spend her pension money if she is in jail?

I am not sure it makes any sense to spend significant amounts of money on keeping her in prison for her crime.   But I think 90 days in the cooler is required just to show other pols that there is a price to pay for corruption.  I don't think justice is served by giving her only probation.  As I recall all of our democratic office holders who were found guilty of crimes were in prison for a lenghty time, as they should have been.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Earthlings Should Read This


My brother Tom and eleven of  his fellow Huey pilots are in Vietnam for a 10 day search for their youth.  They all managed to survive the madness and are being given a grand tour of the country by one of their former adversaries in that sad war.  This is my brother's third trip back to that country.  You can watch a documentary about Tom and his buddy Jack Swickard(in the green shirt) on a famous mission they flew.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


There can be no better indictment of the abysmal leadership of Governor Susana Martinez and Mayor Richard Berry than their total silence on the Climate Change meetings in Paris.  We live in one of the best situated landscapes in the world for producing solar and wind power, and yet they have sent no one to these talks to help move us towards a more healthy planet.  Many governors and mayors from around the country and world are in Paris.

Have the Governor or Mayor, or any other elected officials, done one thing in this state to drop our dependance on fossil fuels.  And don't think they cannot.  For example, State and City building codes could be modified to demand solar panels on every single new structure built in this Land of Enchantment. Has anyone in the legislature or city council even attempted to bring this up?  It will be cheaper in the long run to do this than picking up the pieces from an over heated Earth.

This speaks to the absolute cowardice in face of fossil fuel money funding campaigns in this state.  Somewhere there must be a pol willing to take them on.  But they sure are not residing in most of the Governor's or Mayor's offices around  New Mexico.


We went to see the movie "Trumbo" yesterday.  For some reason all I could think about during the feature was today's GOP.  Mainly I was thinking about Trump, Cruz, and the rest of that clown posse.  They would  have been right at home on the House Un American Activities Committee.  They would have been champions there for the persecution of free speech, writing and dissent.  Damn, I really don't like these characters.  Do yourself a favor and go see this great entertainment.  You will be in a theater with mostly white haired people.

The Albuquerque Journal editorial on the importance of giving taxpayer money to businesses to stay here or locate here got me thinking how upside down things have become. I recognize this is a necessary thing to do, but what is occurring here is that is all the Journal and its GOP owners want to do.  They don't want taxpayer money funding safety nets, food assistance, and health insurance for our fellow Americans.  They just want subsidies for American Corporations.