Road To Somewhere?

News New Mexico perused the City Council's agenda for Tuesday July 6th and ran across the following item:
(16) Resolution No. 11-012: A Resolution Approving a Deviation to Chapter 32 of the Las Cruces Municipal Code (Design Standards) for (1) an Alternate Cross-Section for Public Right-of-Way Improvements to a Segment of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard from Peachtree Hills Road North to Arroyo Road; (2) a Delay in Public Right-of-Way Improvements to a Segment of Arroyo Road from the Intersection of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard West to the Entrance of a Private Golf Course; (3) a Numerical Deviation of 26-feet from the Required 50-Feet for a Permanent Private Road And/or Access Easement Known as Sierra De Luna from Thurmond Road North to the Entrance of a Private Golf Course for the Purpose of Access to a Commercial Development from a Public Roadway (Thurmond Road); and (4) a Deviation to the Minimum Standards of a Minor Local Roadway for the Purposes of Minimum Access Improvement Requirements to a Roadway Segment Known as Sierra De Luna. Submitted by Sierra Norte Land Holdings, Inc.

Could it be that the City Council wants to change this road (above) from a road leading to nowhere to a road to this beautiful golf course? Job-seeking citizens should be listening closely to the thought processes of the Las Cruces City Council. Will councilors cast a pro-job vote that brings huge gross receipts taxes into the city coffers?
We'll let you know.


Lawyers & Statistics

A few weeks ago the Albuquerque Journal weighed in on the first television attack ad on Las Crucen Susana Martinez from the Denish campaign:

"Denish's campaign used numbers provided by the state Administrative Office of the Courts to determine conviction rates. But the numbers provided by the AOC do not accurately show conviction rates for prosecutors because they do not reflect such factors as prosecutors dismissing and refiling murder charges for the same crime — which would count as two cases, with one failed conviction in the AOC numbers — or the death of a defendant, for example.

Arthur Pepin, AOC director, said that the numbers provided by his office every year are to track the caseloads of each judicial district, backlogs and other data related to how busy the court systems are. "We do not specifically set out to track conviction rates or anything like that," he said."

    The implication by the Journal's finding are that the Denish campaign extrapolated caseload data to attempt to arrive at a preconceived politically-motivated conclusion.
    The great irony of the accusations by the Denish campaign is the sheer volume of lawyers involved in funding its campaign coffers. A quick perusal of the website shows that Diane Denish has received campaign contributions from more than 450 different attorneys in the last two years.  One has to wonder how many of these attorneys represented DUI defendants? And how many of the lawyers that have contributed to the Denish campaign used every expensive legal tactic at their disposal to extract plea bargain agreements from District Attorneys trying to choose their battles carefully based on limited taxpayer-funded resources.
    Despite having a good fundraising month in June it will take quite some time for the Martinez campaign to come up with the cash to compete head-to-head with television ads in response to the Denish campaign cash generating machine.

Only Four Months Ago

Four months ago President Obama pointed the proper direction for U.S. energy policy. We cannot help but be reminded that in just fifteen years France shifted away from foreign dependence on imported oil (1973-1988) and converted to a country that now gets nearly 80% of its power from nuclear energy. Getting past all the political posturing related to the gulf oil disaster, we see battery technology leaping ahead. Plug in cars are just around the corner. It will take a reliable source of electricity to charge battery-powered automobiles. One can only wonder how long it is going to take before all Americans encourage our president, regardless of party affiliation, to unite behind the only practical long range national energy strategy available. Read more:


Linda Chavez - Facts Not Fiction

There is plenty of hysteria regarding the issues related to border security and illegal immigration. Columnist Linda Chavez weighs in with her views on the subject focusing mainly on crime rates and illegal immigrants. Read her column here:

The Denunciatory Ethic Part I

This is the first of a three part series from News New Mexico on an American phenomenon known as the Denunciatory Ethic.
Jeremiah Wright
We recall reading defenses of the rants of Reverend Jeremiah Wright  (left) prior to the 2008 election. And after watching President Calderon of Mexico bash Arizona while being interviewed on CNN by Wolf Blitzer a few weeks ago, See video of the Blitzer - Calderon interview here: we recall a piece we read two decades ago.     It was former Wall Street Journal editor Paul Craig Roberts that offered a poignant explanation of the brand of philosophy known as the “Denunciatory Ethic.” According to Roberts, the United States has been influenced by this philosophy and has been steadily moving from an affirmative view of itself to a denunciatory view. Supposedly the nightmare experiences of Vietnam and Watergate played a role in accelerating this process. And not surprisingly, a new state law in Arizona has provided a fresh impetus for its re-emergence.
Paul Craig Roberts
    According to Roberts (right), the “Denunciatory Ethic,” prefers that Americans be generous in their views of the actions of non-Americans, but very critical towards itself. Eugene Rostow also described this mindset:
  “We tend to blame ourselves for everything that goes wrong in the world and to assume that other nations share our good intentions and will follow our good example. We take pride in self-flagellation, and seize every opportunity for excusing or ignoring the faults and short-comings of others.”
    Several questions arise. Is self-induced shame a useful tool for achieving change? Or would a bill to correct a perceived deficiency in the federal immigration law be better? Is national self-flagellation a blueprint for enlightened leadership? Is stressing the highlighting America’s past shortcomings rather than building on past achievements and successes right?
    In Texas there has been a bitter battle over text book composition. The Denunciation Ethic is at the center of this battle. On one side proponents interested in stressing America’s virtues want more balance. On the other side the denunciation ethic is preferred. Which approach will result in better education?
   No fair minded individual can deny that the U.S. government has made many policy mistakes since its inception. It is also true that America is the most charitable nation in human history. Is it a good idea for any nation, even America, to attempt to engage in a conscious effort to suppress recognition of its collective achievements?
Louis Farrakhan
    Two years ago Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s sermons tried to make the case for the denunciation ethic much as Louis Farrakhan has on many occasions (left). On videotape (watch here) from his pulpit, Rev. Wright offered many premises that he felt could enable him to blame “white” America for deaths caused by radical Islamic suicide bombers. Repeatedly denouncing America, (especially white America) was the common thread connecting the messages conveyed in that Chicago church.
    Strangely enough, when the nuances are stripped away, denouncers are found attempting to sanction the process of the U.S. engaging in a war with itself. There is an unmistakable pattern of duplicity in the way a denouncer evaluates churches. Greater fault is found with Pat Roberson’s pro-life church sermons than with Pastor Wright’s “Goddamn America,” curses. Apparently denouncers simply cannot bring themselves to condemn both the cursing of America and the pro-life stance, and be done with it. One is condemnable and one requires further explanation. Is there a good working definition of a denouncer? The definition of a denouncer was defined by Paul Craig Roberts as follows:
   “His (or her) commitment to society is conditional upon pushing through the changes in institutions and policies that he thinks are necessary to bring about desired improvements. Therefore his allegiance at any point in time is weak; to satisfy his desire for progress, he feels he must remain an opponent of existing society. He does not see his country’s gifts of foreign aid as attesting to its moral sense, but the insufficient amount is evidence to him of an immoral foreign policy. He justifies foreign nationalization of his fellow citizens’ property as a necessary remedy for neocolonial exploitation.
    Do we see signs of the disrespect of American society in the words of denouncers? The denouncer’s mindset is not new. However, Robert’s simple definition sheds a great deal of light on why some people can so easily accept America bashing. And Roberts’ definition of a denouncer also helps explain why some people actually find it difficult to say they are proud of their country.
    The framework of the intellectual game the denouncers play is an approach that implies that all self-defined American “patriots” possess a basic lack of “objectivity.” And by contrast, the denouncers own willingness to be openly “anti-American” should be automatically accepted as a positive connotation.
Felipe Caleron
    How could some members of Congress give a standing ovation to a outgoing Mexican president while he bashed America? For several decades denouncers have routinely encouraged U.S. citizens not to be troubled by anti-Americanism. They believe the embracing of the contradictory views of Calderon on border issues makes sense because it represents a core opposition to imperialism, neo-colonialism, racism, sexism, commercial exploitation, pollution, poverty, inequality, and yes, even “war.” Accordingly, denouncers find it easier than ever to embrace the language of President Calderon despite his explanations of Mexico’s immigration policies with its southern neighbors.
  Denouncers are very comfortable embracing expressions of anti-American philosophies. Somehow they seem to feel this implies they are in possession of more “broadmindedness.” At its very core the Denunciation Ethic, is routinely characterized as “nuance” by its practitioners.
Eric Holder
    In the words of Roberts, denouncers want to be “perceived” as uniquely capable of transcending the narrow interests of their country. This explains why U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (right) would have our country borrow money to sue Arizona. He among others carefully crafts a self-image so as to insure that others think they represent the world, humanity, and only mankind’s best impulses. The foundation of this posture implies that a bash America philosophical viewpoint represents an incontrovertible claim on the moral high ground. Attempts to set themselves apart from those they feel wish to remain “insensitive” to America’s past mistakes is at the core of the denouncers psyche. And disdain for those that quickly jump to the defense of their country are branded as the parochial thought processes of hopelessly misguided, bitter, one-dimensional patriots who are incapable of attaining a higher quality of “objectivity.” In Part II we will dig deeper into the political underpinnings and media role in the Denunciatory Ethic.

Where President Obama Gets His Advice

Eighteen months after a government spending spree the likes of which mankind has never seen, the U.S. economy is shedding jobs. And nearly every job-creating small business person we speak to is shaking in his or her proverbial boots thanks to the fact that the U.S. has now borrowed nearly $238,000 on behalf of every taxpaying couple in America. Tax increases are automatic in 2011, Congress does not even have to vote for them thanks to bad policy years ago. Partisan economist Paul Krugman has the solution. Government needs to keep borrowing and keep spending. Read his reason here:

Commentary - The Case Against Talk

From - by Conor Friedersdorf - Few humans accomplish as much as Lech Walesa, former president of Poland. Actions he took during the Cold War to oppose his nation's Communist regime earned him the Nobel Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Time Magazine's Man of the Year, even knighthood in multiple countries. The wisest words he ever uttered? "Words are plentiful; deeds are precious." Put less elegantly, talk is cheap. And its supply is only increasing. President Washington's initial State of the Union address was just 833 words. President Jefferson submitted his annual update in writing. In contrast, modern presidents are prone to interminable orations. One evening every January, 45 minutes deep in bromides, the state of the Union is "bored." How could it be otherwise? We are awash in talk as never before. This moment the tabs open on my laptop include a YouTube address by President Obama, more than 700 lectures given at TED conferences on "ideas worth spreading" and the 411 archived episodes of This American Life. Writing about politics is my livelihood, and even I find it hard to listen to POTUS given the quality of spoken alternatives available.Its other symptoms are annoyance at talking heads on TV, talk radio hosts who rant about investment opportunities in marked up gold coins, and especially political candidates whose automated campaign calls plague every last American who hasn't switched from landlines to a cellphone. As a nation, we're online chatting with our spouses, text messaging friends to make dinner plans and e-mailing colleagues. What makes aspiring pols think we want to listen to them on our voicemail? Unfortunately, neither the cheapness of political talk nor impatience with it has stopped us from inverting President Walesa's formulation: On matters of the utmost importance, we too often ignore deeds and focus on a pol's words, despite the experience of "Read my lips..." and "I did not have sex with that woman" and "Iraq's weapons of mass destruction" and "We're going to close Guantanamo." Read more

Aggie to Play in Texas Collegiate League All-Star Game

    VICTORIA, Texas - The Texas Collegiate League announced June 30 that New Mexico State Aggie Zac Fisher will be the starting catcher for the North All Stars in the 2010 TCL All-Star Game to be held Monday, July 5, in Victoria.
    Fisher, a native of Fontana, Calif., plays for the East Texas Pump Jacks and is hitting .310 in 22 games played. He was named a third team All-American by Ping!Baseball News. He hit .350 on the year while playing in 38 games as a freshman. He did even better in league play hitting .417 (20-of-48) against Western Athletic Conference foes. Fisher tied for the most home runs on the team in conference play with six. Senior Chris Auten also had six homers against WAC opponents. On the year, Fisher finished with eight homeruns. In his first season with the Aggies, Fisher started 28 games behind the plate and came up with 11 doubles and 33 RBI. He posted a .634 slugging percentage and a .423 on-base percentage.

Maureen Dowd - "The Bitter Distraught of Helplessness"

Serial Bush-Cheney basher Maureen Dowd seems to think the gulf oil spill has changed the "feeling" around the White House.  She suggests, "the fairy dust of hopefulness" has been replaced by "the bitter distraught of helplessness." We hope she is wrong. 

If Dowd is right, it is likely because there has been too much "feeling" and not enough "thinking" going on.  "Feeling" that government can do anything is suddenly crashing headlong into the reality that stuff happens.  And when stuff happens (Katrina - Oil Well Explosions), it might be a good time to start "thinking" that government is the last thing to rely on if you need something quick.  And not coincidentally, it seems to be amazing these days how often we need something quick.

Unwittingly, Columnist Dowd does what James Carville and now Frank Rich have done (see above).  She joined the chorus of those who want to blame the White House for whatever is bothering them.  This gulf oil disaster is not Obama's fault.  And while there are certain things that could be done better, our president is, after all, trying to motivate a government bureaucracy to run when crawling is its specialty.  Read more: