I think I see the hand of William Payne here. Albuquerque has more than 90,000 students. It's the 32nd largest district in the United States. In 2005, a state legislative study recommended against splitting up the Albuquerque Public Schools district. In 2007, the state senate voted for splitting up the Albuquerque Public Schools district. Go ahead, say it. WHAT? Yep, a complete turnaround. It seems to me that splitting the district up would result in the poorer sections of the city getting less in tax dollars. Elizabeth Everitt, our school superintendent, said splitting up the tax dollars would result in the West side (poorer section) getting only 19 per cent of the tax base, but 94 per cent of the building funds. In other words, we'll build the schools there, but not be able to staff them adequately nor do the required maintenance. Senator James Taylor, (D-Albq.) the bill's sponsor, said: "This is something I've championed for a while." He didn't explain why he was in favor of making education worse for our lower income citizens, just that he's championed it. Now, actually doing something about alll the dead, useless weight that been entrenched in our school system is one thing. That should be up to the locals here. But to have a pompous Senator order any city to obey some state rule that would only compound the situation, smacks of hidden reasons. I wonder if he, or any of his friends or relatives, have been caught running red lights or speeding? That sniper picture up there may be more accurate than we know.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
It's been a while since I had anything to say about Dubya. But someone sent me this picture and said it was his general greeting to the South Americans. I have no idea if there is any truth in this at all. However, I am getting sick of the lack of veracity in the Valerie Plame exposure. (That wasn't meant to be a pun, but there you are.) (Ha-Ed.)
The thinking American public believes, now, that the order originated in the office of the Vice President. There seems to be a lot of evidence (maybe not good enough for a law court) indicating that it did. In any case, putting an agent's life at risk unnecessarily, by anyone, has to be a form of treason. Perhaps we should consider it as done deliberately in order to reach another conclusion. Not that our government would do that. At least not without good reasons. What reasons? Perhaps to cover up something else that we shouldn't speak of in public? Maybe to direct our attention away from some issue? Like the obscene profits the Military/Industrial Complex is making? Or the fact that Health Care is getting further and further out of reach of many homes? Or that our Federal Comptroller is warning that we are on the edge of the worst depression this country has ever seen? Maybe it's to direct our attention away from the lack of a real "git'erdone" general directing this war? Or that the EPA hasn't really done anything to keep us in control of global warming for many, many years? There are many, many other reasons available to those of us who wish to find them. It is just the matter of tying them all together. Of showing the connections. And I don't mean the crappola of writers inventing conspiracies to suit their own ends. The more I hear of the Plame affair, the more I wonder if Terry Tamminen shouldn't run for the office of President. I wonder how he'd handle it?
Thursday, March 8, 2007
The trouble with political jokes is that very often they get elected. - Will Rogers If I had a lariat, I'd be swinging little loop about now. It seems that one of our state senators William Payne, ( R-Albuquerque) by name) feels that Albuquerque is making too much money from our "speeder/red light runner" cameras. The standard fine is $100. Of that, $14 goes to the company that owns the equipment, $15.65 to the hearing office, $18 processes the fines, $36 pays for expansion, education and projects like the meth team (Albuquerque was declared the world capitol in meth labs just last year). And $16.22 to other costs. That adds up to $99.87. I have absolutely no idea where the other 13 cents goes. William Payne is the state Senator who wanted this city to put up flashing yellow lights (at a cost of $500,000 each) wherever there were cameras. Apparently the amber light means nothing to him. I know I was taught that it was a warning light in driver's ed. In any case, wiser heads prevailed in the House and the bill was tabled. Hooray. There is wonderful quote from William Payne, speaking of the $74 he wants: "If it's a safety issue, I fail to see the logic." If it's a safety issue? Well, duh, William. There are published reports showing the decrease in accidents, injuries and deaths at all the intersections where the cameras are installed. And William has trouble seeing it as a safety issue? (Please see quote at beginning this of this article for further clarification.) I have question or two for both Mr. Payne and Mr. Jennings: Is it possible that you have gotten a ticket or two at these intersections? Or your friends or family? After all, Senator Payne, you didn't respond to my email a couple of weeks ago. Remember? It concerned the "flashing beacons" you wanted installed? I'm prepared to print any email or comment you care to make to this article. As long as it's kept clean. Please feel free to comment.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Never mind Hillary, Obama, Richardson nor any of those other people. They're amateurs.
I've discovered a new candidate for the job of Prez of these United States. He's got some interesting thoughts, too. __________________________________________Count Me In My presidential platform calls for clean air and no war. What about yours? By Terry Tamminen 16 Feb 2007 Grab hold of the political moment. The U.S. appears headed for a bumper crop of 2008 presidential candidates, most of which know they can't possibly win the nomination, let alone ever be hailed as the chief. So why do they toss in their hats? Many say it's to ensure the national debate includes their ideas for improving America. On that basis, I figured it was time I stop being coy and jump in too. I therefore declare my candidacy for president of the United States and, if elected, here's my agenda: 1. Apologize to the world and get out of Iraq immediately. If the oil companies want their wells protected, let them hire the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who are currently the victims of our invasion and inept occupation to become security guards. Save over $100 billion a year.2. While the recent U.S. House bill to reduce about $14 billion of oil subsidies is laudable, I would eliminate the other $100 billion too. Combined with my first point, that gives us $200 billion a year to work with on other priorities. 3. Apologize to the families of the 100,000 people who die prematurely in the U.S. each year from disease related to completely preventable petroleum air pollution (and the 6.5 million Americans who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases) for public policies that allow such legalized assaults. Use half of the $200 billion to provide health insurance to the 45 million Americans who have none, so at least everyone will get health care. It doesn't really matter if people are poor, slackers, or illegal immigrants. It costs us far more than $100 billion a year to deal with the illnesses of the uninsured, providing expensive reactive health care mostly in emergency rooms instead of more affordable proactive health care in a doctor's office. 4. Use $20 billion a year to replace every diesel mass-transit and school bus in the nation that emits more pollution than the cleanest engines on the market today. Then tackle the oldest, dirtiest trucks and locomotives. Replace these vehicles with ones that run on the cleanest fuels available, which today are biofuels, natural gas, and hydrogen. This program will not only reduce a significant percentage of the life-threatening air pollution that grips our cities, it will stimulate investors to build a nationwide fueling infrastructure for clean fuels. It will also cut greenhouse gases. And I would consider insisting that the replacement vehicles be mostly American-made, thus renewing the U.S. auto industry and its workforce. In The Same Vein One Nation, Under Terry An interview with California environmental adviser Terry Tamminen. Use the rest of the money to offer a four-day (32-hour) work week to any government employee willing to volunteer one day a week for public service, and encourage other employers to do likewise, with an emphasis on volunteering in local schools. People could make their communities better, safer places to live, and reduce crowding on freeways (reducing air pollution and lost productivity for everyone).Would any or all of these measures improve your everyday life? Better health care, less pollution and disease, thousands of new jobs, less traffic -- I suspect that would make a difference worth voting for. I have solutions for global warming, illegal immigration, foreign affairs, and the erosion of our education and justice systems too, but I'll save those for the rubber-chicken dinner circuit. In the meantime, look for me in New Hampshire and Iowa perfecting my baby-kissing techniques.And if you think you can do better, why not tell the world by declaring your candidacy and setting out a platform of your own?
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - - - - Terry Tamminen is the former secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency and is now a policy adviser and author. His new book is Lives Per Gallon: The True Cost of our Oil Addiction.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's not a joke. We need someone who can sort out the messes created by our most recent administration. I know, this guy is an environmentalist (no, Hillary, that is not a bad word) and far too many of us think that because right now it's colder than hades there is no such thing as global warming. That ain't the way it works. It sounds like an oxymoron but "global warming" also indicates this horrid cold weather. Read the reports. Google has them. New Hampshire and Iowa are too far away for an old geezer like me to travel too, but I hope he finds the voters there interested. Iowa should love him. That's where they grow the vegetables we put in our gas tanks.
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Many years ago my father got very, very upset about an action the federal government proposed to inaugurate. I had some trouble understanding his irritation. Those were the days when I was a devout liberal and actually believed in the goodness of politicians. On the other hand, many of them were truly caring about the people. People like Proxmire of Wisconsin, Dirksen of Illinois. "What," I asked, "is bothering you so much? What's got your ire up?" "Damn Congress," he stated. "Do you know what they want to do now?" Dad was a confirmed conservative Republican in those days. That translated into "the less government, the better." Visions of an added tax on businesses (he owned a small typesetting firm) swam into my head. "Uh, no. What now?" As a liberal, I felt that the gov needed to do more for the people. "Those (expletive) fools want to supply free milk to our schools!" He was very upset. My world was in a turmoil. What, I thought is wrong with giving free milk to kids who can't afford to buy it? I had bitten. He told me tersely and succintly. "Don't you see what is going to happen? If we allow the federal government to start this, they will take over our schools and we won't be able to control the curriculum nor the actual running of them. Some (expletive) unnamed bureaucrat sitting behind a desk in far off Washington, will be telling us what we should be teaching our kids and who we should let teach them. We'll lose all control over the entire school system." It didn't make sense to me. After all, a half pint of milk a day for poor kids and we'd loose control of our entire school system? What, I wondered made him think anything like that? "Dad," I asked innocently (I was gone, hook, line, sinker, fishing rod) "how can you say that? There are kids whose families can't afford it. It won't cost that much." "It is not the cost. After all, our state will probably supply all that milk (we lived in Wisconsin) It is what will going to happen to our children. Mark my words." Darn it, he was going to land me, too. " That doesn't make sense, Dad. How can a little carton of milk give the feds any control?" "I," he pointed out unarguably, "have lived under more Congresses and Presidents than you have. Take my word for it. The fed government will soon expand that program into supplying money here and there and in critical areas for the schools. Once they've made our schools dependent on tax money, then they will tell us what to teach, how to teach it and when to teach it. The Federal Government is not the friend of the taxpayer. Never believe they are." It has been a number of years since I remembered that conversation. It came to mind while I was talking to a former superintendent of schools. I told him about it. CH, as he preferred to be called, thought for a moment. "Your Dad," he remarked, "would have found an ally in me. Nowadays, neither you, nor I, nor any school board has real control over anything serious in schools. I had to constantly force teachers to follow the Federal "Guidelines" if we were going to get any money from them. It was better when the people could control what schools taught and how students would behave. At least," he pointed out, "we didn't have any Columbines." Ain't it something? The old guys knew what might happen.