Swickard: Understanding MLK’s colorblind world

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. They are words that will dwell in the hearts of mankind for centuries: “I have a dream…” At last week’s fifty year celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, I was disappointed that the occasion was partisan and worse, missed entirely Martin Luther King’s desire for a colorblind society.
     What made King extraordinary was that, like Gandhi earlier, he knew the oppressed minority could not by force of arms change their own status. Both men realized that only by appealing to the good people of the majority could any real change occur. That is exactly what happened.
     The 20th century was America’s worst and best years. Sadly, early in the century our Constitution had been changed but not the society. Men of color fought for this country and came back to a society still firmly in the grip of the race haters. We now realize that many of the majority population were on the side of minorities but needed a catalyst for them to make societal changes.
     In the 1950s Martin Luther King had a vision of a colorblind society. He did not want Blacks to oppress Whites any more than he wanted segregation to continue. It was difficult to change our society. As we saw in the years that followed, discrimination by the majority was eliminated. Yes, there are still pockets of haters on both sides and there are race baiters and those who make a good living dividing us, the United States of America. But we, as a nation, heard the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. We reached out and embraced his heart to ours.
     This nation now reflects a racial blend of heroes and leaders from President Obama to Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Cosby, Will Smith, Oprah. And the list goes on. Any child born today can be president or can rise to the top of Hollywood. Any child born today can be a general, admiral or Supreme Court Justice. Our society is becoming a racially blended society. Tiger Woods blends two races as does our President.
      We are told that we should not judge all Muslims by the actions of the few extremists. I would extend that argument to include not judging America by the actions of a few race haters. Let us be Martin Luther King’s colorblind America.Read full column


Alb business specializes in balloon repair

From KOB-TV.com - By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - ALBUQUERQUE -- With the Balloon Fiesta just 30 days away and counting, balloonists are starting to watch the calendar and prep their balloons. If those balloons are in need of repair or maintenance, there's a small Albuquerque business that has been specializing in these type of repairs for 30 years.
     Bob Healy was an engineer and says he got burned out from working in a cubicle. Bob was offered a job at Aerco fixing balloons.  "Fell in love and it's become my life's work. Here I am still 30 some years later," Healy said.
     David Eichorn, a retired 35-year Air Force aviator, bought the business a year ago. He said that it just made sense. He has an immense love for anything that flies. "Working here with customers, other people who love to fly. Balloon flying is different than flying fixed wing. So it's a different group of people. So it's expanding my community of friends," Eichorn said.
     Whether it's burners, baskets or balloons, they can fix it. They are a full service station. And there isn't a whole lot of competition in their line of work around town. Or anywhere for that matter, according to Eichorn. "There's one other repair station in town. But there used to be four. We're down to two. There's just not as many repair stations in the country," Eichorn said.
     Whether balloons need to be fixed or not, the FAA requires a 100 hour or annual inspection to fly. Aerco does a lot of those too. More

NM Health Dept. says get flu shots now

Health officials are reminding New Mexicans to start making plans to get flu shots. 

The New Mexico Department of Health says the flu vaccine is arriving in some doctor's office and pharmacies. 

And while it may seem early, Health Secretary Retta Ward says now is the time to make an appointment to get vaccinated. She says it is hard to predict how intense the next flu season will be, so New Mexicans shouldn't wait until flu season starts to get vaccinated. 

Ward says everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each flu season, especially children, pregnant women, people over 50 and anyone with special health conditions or other issues that put them at a higher risk.


NM SUPCO to rule on retirement pension case

New Mexico highest court will issue a decision over whether the state can cut cost-of-living increases for retired educators to shore up the pension system's finances. 
The state Supreme Court heard from lawyers Wednesday in a case brought by four retirees, who contend the state Constitution protects their pensions from reductions such as those required under a law enacted this year. 
There's no deadline for a ruling by the justices. 
The retirees say they have a property right in their retirement benefits, but the attorney general's office told the court that the cost-of-living adjustments can be changed to preserve the pension plan's solvency.
 Retirees saw their pensions increase by just under 2 percent despite the cuts implemented in July.


Los Alamos County issues same sex marriage licenses

A northern New Mexico county has become the eighth in the state to allow marriage licenses to same-sex couples. 
The Los Alamos County clerk's office issued a license Wednesday to a lesbian couple shortly after a state district judge upheld a decision requiring that to happen. 
Janet Newton and Maria Thibodeau were denied a marriage license last week and they filed a lawsuit that led to a ruling by District Court Judge Sheri Raphaelson that same-sex couples are entitled to be married in New Mexico
Dona Ana County's clerk led the way on the gay marriage issue Aug. 21 by deciding independently to allow marriage licenses for gay and lesbian couples. Other counties have followed, including Grant County, which plans to start granting licenses next week.