Friday, April 29, 2016

Go To

It is quite apparent that the go to Newspaper in New Mexico is now the Santa Fe New Mexican.  In an incredible story today the Department of Human Services has admitted in Court that  it doctored the applications of poor people who applied for food stamps to make them appear ineligible to receive them. The Magistrate Judge in the case stopped the hearing after telling administrators that they should lawyer up and maybe plead the 5th amendment and stop implicating themselves in committing a crime.

This story is about a lot of things.  First and foremost it is about the Susana Martinez administration's right wing dogma rolling down hill to affect the very poorest people in the state.  That would be hungry children and mothers.  It is an indictment of the very morals of Martinez and her minions.

This is a back page story in the Journal.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Full of It

As a former State Land Commissioner I can attest to the fact that our current Land Commissioner, GOP fundamentalist Aubrey Dunn, is full of it.  Dogma that is.  His dogma is that any protection of large swaths of watershed and natural places will cause school buses to explode.

He is now stating that a small piece of state land being enveloped within a proposed wilderness area in northern New Mexico will cause a reduction in revenues for the Permanent Fund.  What B.S.  The area is already designated as the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

That 1250 acres is providing maybe $1000 a year in grazing fees.  If there are any mineral properties under the land worth spit, they would have been developed long ago.  In my estimation that 1250 acres being protected as a small part of a larger area, will produce more revenue than anything else through added tourism.  Oh, and the cowboys can still run their cattle in there.  And the state will be able to swap out the land for other federal lands.

So Dunn is doing what rightwing republicans in the west normally do, they are screaming the sky is falling when it is not.  This Commissioner has the vision of a brick wall.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

GOP Blues

The infighting in the GOP on all levels reminds me of that great ego, Ralph Nader, and his tearing down of the Democratic party some years ago.  Of course that led us to the reign of bush/cheney and the rest is history.

Except in the case of the GOP today their travails will lead to some years of competent and qualified leadership whether you like Clinton or not.  The machinations of Cruz and Kascish against the Donald is almost slapstick.  Third rate political intrigue rolled out for the media and twitter.  It is stranger than fiction.

And then there is the fight over the post for GOP National Committeeman in New Mexico.  The GOP's anti Martinez/McClesky cabal will attempt to remove Pat Rodgers from  that post.  Oil Mogul Harvey Yates Jr., a guy I have always enjoyed gouging on this blog, will try and take over Rodger's job.  I hope he does.  As much as I have criticized Yates for his bankrolling oil friendly GOP candidates, I know him to be a reasonable person on a few issues.  Taking down the extreme right wing of  this party would be a good thing.  And in doing so, maybe some hint of bipartisanship  can be returned.

During the current GOP era, it seems that New Mexico is on the top of every list  for bad news, and on the bottom of every list for good news.  Our latest bad news list is being in the top three for having children with parents in prison.  

Monday, April 25, 2016


Ted Cruz won't compete in New Mexico's primary in June.  I was hoping he wouldn't  show up with his fundamentalism.  Suddenly though, NM is in the game with its late Primary.  That means our failed Governor will be on Fox News for an evening.

Former Department of Public Safety head Darren White who quit his job with Governor Gary Johnson is now promoting his new medical marijuana business.  White left Johnson because Johnson wanted to legalize drugs.  White says marijuana helped him deal with pain from old injuries and he now realizes he was wrong in his views.  More likely he realized he was wrong in how much money he could make pushing the herb.  This kind of points out the fact that the GOP and right-wingers really can change, as long as there is money to be made.

I decided I would run for Mayor again.  I want to pass a law to allow confiscation of loud motorcycles and cars that exceed a certain decibel level. The noise yesterday on Central Avenue near the Aquarium and Botanical Gardens was terrible.  A lot of young men showing everyone they have big motors while making life miserable for the rest of us.   Just kidding about running for Mayor.  Life is too short.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day Guy

One of the original founders of Earth Day, along with Senator Gaylord Nelson, is a native of New Mexico and long time activist in Albuquerque.  That would be the guy in the brown beret in this photo which graced the cover of Life Magazine so many years ago.  His name is Arturo Sandoval and he runs a non profit group in Albuquerque called the Center for Southwest Culture.

Arturo is currently organizing and setting up business operations for small organic farms through out New Mexico.  The farms are employing people in areas with high unemployment and they are making use of good arable land that has gone fallow.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Speech Again

Okay, so some jock ESPN guy gets fired for his comments on social media about transgenders using restrooms.  Although this guy in my opinion is a complete idiot, does he deserve to be fired for  using speech to voice his opinions?  This is all a slippery slope.  Interestingly, limiting free speech is being exercised most by corporate America.  They fear loss of profits.  Other than that do they really care what someone says?  Maybe, or maybe not.

This is different from the commendable actions of some corporations in attacking fundamentalist legislator freaks in North Carolina for making discrimination legal.  This is a basic question of fairness and equality, not freedom of speech.

Even as a left of center guy, I think the left is often overstepping its credibility on wanting people harmed for exercising their right to voice an opinion, no matter how stupid it is.  Don't forget, some people on the left also say stupid things.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


This chart pretty much sums up why Bernie Sanders has done so well.


I received an insight today as to why the Albuquerque Rapid Transit plan by Mayor Berry and the City Council won't work.  And that reason would be the City Council.

The main idea around ART is that it will lead to high density housing along the Route 66 corridor that  the system will follow  But, will that  really happen when the neighborhood associations start looking at such development?   Here is what will happen.  The densification will be fought tooth and nail by  those associations and the parochial city council members along the ART route will cave in to demands that dense housing not be allowed.  Even after they have used denser housing as the reason for supporting the system.

Traditionally, city council members are cowards and so far as I can see it hasn't changed much, except in rare cases.  

Monday, April 18, 2016

New Maps

They New York Times had a great piece Sunday on the suggestion that America should draw a new map of itself to reflect its reality.  We have really morphed into a country that depends less on state borders to define itself.  It really is now a region based nation, from the deep south, the east and west coasts, the Rockies(including the Colorado Plateau), and the great and growing urban centers.  It has been my opinion that the rural America that people love to emote over is really a thing of the past.

Some 20 years ago during my short reign as the Director of the Bureau of Land Management I often bridled at the stupidity of the Agency's organizational chart.  Every public land state in the west had its own BLM fiefdom that existed mainly for the sitting politicians in Congress and the Governor's office.  They could apply political pressure for their funders, the coal, oil and livestock boys who Charles Wilkinson referred to as the "Lords of Yesterday."  I have always recommended that every pol and lover of the outdoors read his book, "Crossing the Next Meridian."

I have always thought the BLM should be organized much like the Park Service and Forest Service.  Those bureaucracies base their management on regional concerns.  It would make sense for the BLM to do likewise.  For example, the Colorado Plateau encompasses an area that covers four states.  NM, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.  Yet there are four separate offices trying to deal with the management of a connected landscape.  Ridiculous!

Maybe now that the fossil fuel boys are rapidly approaching their fall from kingmakers to bankruptcy status, we might see some movement to reorganize that BLM white elephant.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Some native Americans are upset with the seal of the University of New Mexico because it shows two guys who are a part of history and fought with indigenous people. Yes atrocities happened on both sides.  

Maybe some effort could be better spent on economic inequality that keeps kids from getting educated at all. This is a waste of time and energy and is really another attempt at rewriting history. This is so typical of base level politics....get people to hate each other for something that happened hundreds of years ago and was caused by people you never knew, or would want to know. Kind of like the Middle East isn't it?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Effort Welcome

Intel is most likely laying off thousands of workers next week.  I drove by their Rio Rancho plant this week and was shocked by the empty parking lot.  There are still 2300 people working there, but what will happen to poor New Mexico's manufacturing job base after next week?

Probably the last person to know right now is Governor Susana Martinez.  She is out and about hoodwinking the media in New York and Florida.  There is not a lot wrong with working for your political party, but maybe she could call back home and ask the Lt. Governor or some business people if they might travel to Intel HQ to see if there is anything that might be done to save jobs in one of the poorest states in the nation.  That ranking is her responsibility after all.

History will take care of Susana Martinez's horrible record as Governor in New Mexico, just like it is taking care of Donald Trump and the rest of the wacko GOP presidential candidates that she will work at getting elected.  But in the meantime, very bad things are happening.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

At the shooting range

22-250 100 yards, call me an eagle eye.  Five shots...all in the paint.  And for all you right-wingers this proves you can enjoy shooting sports without being an NRA lackey!


How can reporters who works at the ABQ Journal feel when they see the front page of his news paper  every morning?  Like today for instance in which the Journal Editor Kent Walz puts a picture of our failed Governor at the top of the fold and says the GOP world has put a spot light on her.  But then, this is the party of Trump and Cruz and in someways befriending her to those scary folks might be appropriate.   Maybe the GOP should put a spotlight on her state's economic plight and job situation.

Meanwhile,  at the bottom of the fold the reporter Lauren Villagran has an emotional story on the death of a mother and her children.  It is almost a metaphor for schizophrenia in a newspaper.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Mayor Berry's budget is proposing a cut to the groups who serve as oversight watchdogs at the Albuquerque Police Department.   The Mayor says they can ask for money later if they  need it.  But this action really shows the disdain on the 7th floor at City Hall for putting together a fully functional police department.  You really wonder if anyone thinks very hard there.

Congressman Steve Pearce cancelled a secret round the world flight attempt in a single engine aircraft because of bad weather.  He said he kept it secret because terrorists or kidnappers might come after him if it were public.  Paranoia runs deep.  Pearce would not have been missed in Congress over the recess period.  All he does when they are in session is vote no on every single bill.  He is the Mitch McConnell of New Mexico.

It is almost hilarious to see the republican legislator bad  boy Nate Gentry raking in the dollars from the marijuana industry.  A few years ago he and his ilk would happily throw young people in jail for ten years for smoking a joint.  It really shows how money is the only motive for moving legislation in Santa Fe by the GOP.  I wonder if Gentry will ask the Governor to release all prisoners who are in jail for using or  trafficking the weed.  Oh, but that would cut off donations from the private prison sector!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


I am troubled by the UNM Medical School forcing a student to recant some stupid remarks he made on Facebook.  They were really stupid remarks actually, but he has a right to make them.  In fact, those remarks about ProChoice people being worse than Nazis should follow him throughout his career, should he ever become a Doctor.

Many left of center pols in this country, of which I am a member, has gotten into an uncomfortable habit of stifling free speech.  They cause cancellation of campus speeches and try to stop anyone from being heard if they disagree with them.  They seem to think that everyone can't figure out for themselves whether to believe some idiot who is spewing nonsense.  Sure, some people are intellectual zombies and will be suckered, but they  have always been around as a percentage of the population.  Think Tea Party Trumpers here.

I let most people who comment on my little blog post regularly, but some I don't and that  is because they seem to add nothing that forwards a discussion.  They seem to thrive on hatred and profanity.   

Saturday, April 09, 2016


The Mayor's new trails in the Bosque are anything but helpful.  The pathway was supposedly to be made of crusher fine gravel so it would drain.  But, what ever it is that the City applied there is nothing more than a slippery concoction of dirt and clay.  We went for our walk this morning after the rain and had to stay off the trail because it was too slick to walk upon.  The older non 'improved' trails were in much better shape.  

Misty Bosque ABQ


Friday, April 08, 2016

That Pope

When I was a grade schooler we were told we would burn in hell for eating meat on Fridays.  Our Dominican nuns loved telling us about hell.  One summer day when we were all swimming at the iconic Coronado club on Sandia Base I ordered a hot dog for lunch.  My sister reminded me it was Friday and walked off.  I ate the hotdog with mustard and relish and did so with a clear conscience, because god would not want me to throw a way a perfectly good tube steak while there were kids starving in China.  It seem logical.  And then the Church, succumbing to the National Beef Council I assume, said it was okay to eat meat on Fridays.  And the Friday night fish filet selection at the old Sigeler's cafeteria became a thing of the past.  They were only good for the delivery of Tartar sauce anyway.  And all of the people who went to hell for eating meat on Friday?  I don't really know what happened to them.

Then years after leaving the church and belief in the white bearded guy who lived in the clouds, I learned that all those babies who died without getting baptized didn't really have to spend their whole eternity in Limbo.  I guess there was some kind of mistake and the Pope heard that they had all really gone to heaven.  Innocents, except for original sin.

Now the Catholic Church is flipping off the more rightwing believers in Opus Dei by saying maybe it  is okay for divorced people to take communion.  And also for Catholics not to be judgmental about gays.  Which is a good thing since as I remember things, half of the priests were gay.

Don't get me wrong.  As a non believer I still like many things about the Catholicism I grew up with, except for that whole guilt thing.  The basic message of kindness and charity was always a winner.  But this other stuff was just politics gone wild.  This new Pope is a likable guy.

Thursday, April 07, 2016


During the 1970's Television News departments used to cover politics pretty well.  City Council meetings and the Legislature were always in play with great reporters like Rodger Beimer, Bob Barth and Ernie Mills.  They understood how the systems worked and were there for the long haul.  Their stories hinged a lot on policy debates and legislative process, unlike today where the only news done is a 'he said, she said' kind of story.  This happens mostly because today's TV reporters are rarely trained journalists.  Rather they are Communications Majors, whatever that means.  They understand little about the intricacies of government.

Of course there are some bright spots on local news some times.  Generally, the coverage of APD and its problems have been fair, although the Mayor and Chief are continually insulated by corporate republican oriented news directors.

I have come to the conclusion that the abysmal state of Journalism won't change on local TV.  In fact the National News Networks are moving toward the local model.  Think the making of Donald Trump.  The only thing left to us are independent news sites on the Internet.  Like the Free ABQ Press, NM Political Report and NM in Depth.  But they only last as long as their last grant of money from a foundation or sugar daddy.  They are journalists sustained by charity, not ad revenue.  I send them some money every once in a while.  But they are like ships passing in the night, soon to be seen no more.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Brainless in Santa Fe

The financial giant Pay Pal just announced that they would not locate a new large facility in North Carolina because that state has passed legislation making it legal to discriminate against Gay folks.

So a disaster for those fundamentalist pigs in NC, but an opportunity in NM maybe?  Of course you would need someone with brains and moxie in the governor's office to get on the phone and say, "Hey, we pride out selves on being multi cultural in this Land of Enchantment.  We would welcome your facility in to our state because we don't discriminate against Gays.  What can we do to make this happen?"

But, don't hold you breath that anyone has that sharp a mind in Santa Fe, including high ranking legislators.  They are all asleep, while other smart leaders in other states jump into action.

Monday, April 04, 2016

TV News in Hell

NM Political Report has a good story on KRQE gagging their own reporters.  It is worth a read.  As an old time TV newsman this shows just how awful things have gotten. During my career in the 60s and 70s we might have been encouraged to do a short story on the opening of a new store, but if the store was ripping people off later on there was never any attempt by management to put pressure on the news room to kill the story. Most of the News Directors in TV now are just corporate clowns that know little about journalism or even care. You actually can see the only time they get on their high horse is when there is a government scandal. But since business and corporations are off limits we mostly see lapel camera video and lost dog stories with an occasional Larry Barker story on a government employee abusing per diem.

And as you know, TV is a visual medium that used to value photo(Film) journalism. Now it is all fuzzy Skype interviews or over the phone audio, unless there are cute puppies or kittens rescued then it is full on 4k HiDef video.


The media continues to make a big deal out of many District Court Judges in Santa Fe recusing themselves from the Senator Phil Griego corruption case.  They seem to be trying to intimate that the recusals are somehow corrupt themselves.  But in fact the recusals really show the Judges are ethical and honest in dealing with the case.  The fact is they are recusing because there may be an appearance of a conflict of interest.  Yes, in the political arena of Santa Fe they all know the Senator or have some past communications with him.  And for  that very reason they are acting as they should.

Mayor Berry is in the ABQ Journal today with a kid to promote 'Lemonade Day' as an entrepreneurial event.  And that is the big economic development news in ABQ this week.

This all occurs as response times worsen for 911 calls to the ABQ Police Department. One wonders if APD can ever be fixed.  The current elected office holders from the Mayor to the City Council seem to be totally ineffectual in dealing with the situation.  And frankly, the Police Union is overplaying their ranting on more and more pay raises.  That is just a part of the solution.

The whole mess can be symbolized  in the recent letter of congratulations from Chief Eden to the Police Lieutenant who shot up a fellow officer during a drug bust.  The congratulations was for the Lieutenant's marksmanship trophy from the firing range.  The letter went out after the shooting.

Saturday, April 02, 2016


We had services for Dave Miller, Bobbi's Brother, at the National Cemetery in Santa Fe yesterday. Davey had a nice honor guard and ceremony. Dave was a Navy man and served on the USS America during the Viet Nam War. Dave's loved ones were there. Justin and his family, Noelle and her family, Bobbi's sister and husband. Adam Valentiner and his girls. My brother Tom, sister Carlota and Bobbi and me.