Put it on the List? Sports Attendance is Way Off

Jim Spence
For all you conspiracy buffs it seems almost like we have a conspiracy of silence in professional sports. Nobody is talking about terrible attendance. The last few road trips we have taken to large metro areas, we could not help but take note of dreadful turnouts at various sports venues. And being hopeless sports junkies, we have also noticed empty stands on television in virtually every ballpark except the places where people live like sardines (New York and Boston). Could it be that most professional sports franchises have finally priced their product out of a large portion of their markets? It’s possible.
Arizona Diamondback Coaches
Take the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Coyotes for example. While the Diamondbacks have struggled mightily the last two seasons, the Coyotes made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011. Still, both organizations are suffering from woefully light attendance. And last fall we noticed that there were more television “blackouts” in the NFL than we can ever recall. Television blackouts come only as a result of the home team failing to sell out its tickets prior to the game. Could it be with high gasoline prices, high ticket prices, and government protections in place for every obscure “species” except job-seeking humans, that even the seemingly unassailable professional sports franchises are finally suffering from joblessness and bad government energy policies?
Phillies Pitcher Cliff Lee
These days ESPN watchers take note of the gyrations in the NFL and its so-called dispute with the player's labor union. At stake in the skirmish is the question of whether owners or players will get to keep more of the fan's bottomless pile of money. As a lockout/work stoppage looms, a working stiff has to laugh. Are these people living in the real world? Or perhaps they realize schmucks like us will always pay up to go see a live professional sports event when we visit the metro areas. Oh yes, on a nationwide basis, visits to the metro areas are still way down too. Pardon me while I wipe away the tears for the sports franchises and players. However, it is somewhat curious that the national media's reporting of the attendance dilemma is pretty darned light. Maybe they are collectively hoping that nobody will notice?


Roswell: 750 Rally Hoping Fish and Wildlife Bureaucrats Listen

Steve Pearce
Roswell, NM (April 28, 2011) An estimated 750 New Mexicans attended a rally tonight in Roswell to oppose the listing of the dunes sagebrush lizard as an endangered species. The listing threatens to have a devastating effect on the oil and gas jobs in New Mexico. The rally was organized by a grassroots effort in southeastern New Mexico. Congressman Steve Pearce, who was the keynote speaker at the rally, has heard an outcry from constituents over the proposal. The Fish and Wildlife Service has communicated an utter disregard for the economic impact of such a listing, and has released conflicting information on the listing’s effect on jobs. “Fish and Wildlife is making economic claims without facts,” said Pearce. “My office has asked for data from Fish and Wildlife on how jobs will be impacted, and they claim they don’t have the information.
Most of the oil and gas jobs in southeast New Mexico are at risk. Irresponsible, unbalanced overregulation limits the amount of energy produced, which kills jobs, causes severe budget problems in the state, and increases costs to citizens. In this time of high unemployment, we can, and must, do better.” Congressman Pearce has a consistent record of working to find a commonsense approach to conservation efforts. He recently introduced legislation to restore the logging industry after it was nearly destroyed in New Mexico by the listing of the spotted owl. He has also worked to protect farmers and ranchers from burdensome regulations that came as a result of listings of the Mexican gray wolf and the delta smelt. Since his time as a state representative, Pearce has worked to ensure that extreme political agendas do not interfere with American jobs and the American way of life.
Steve Pearce at Rally in Roswell
Pearce emphasizes the importance of conservation, but advocates an approach that will protect both jobs and the species. He has supported Candidate Conservation Agreements as an alternative to an endangered species listing. These agreements engage both public and private stakeholders in an effort to protect the species while addressing the needs of all affected parties. By moving to list the lizard as endangered, Fish and Wildlife is completely disregarding the time, work, and expenses already spent by local businesses in acquiescing to these agreements. “It is alarming that Fish and Wildlife seems to have already made their decision while the public comment period remains open,” said Pearce. “My constituents have a legal right to a voice in this matter, without prejudice or bias.”
Immediately after the rally, participants marched together to voice their concerns at the public hearing held by Fish and Wildlife on the listing. While the verbal comment period closes today, constituents are strongly encouraged to write Fish and Wildlife and contact their office to voice their concerns. More information can be found at www.pearce.house.gov.


Cruising on Taxpayer Dime

From kob.com -Two government employees are under investigation by their respective departments for cruising on clock after a KOB Eyewitness News 4 investigation.  KOB followed one driver in a City of Albuquerque vehicle for 45 minutes starting in downtown.  After a big loop through the east side of the city, the driver completed the meandering 18 mile route at the city’s Pino Yards near I-25 and Paso.  Google Maps shows the driver could have taken a more direct route that would have been just less than eight miles.After an inquiry with the city, KOB found the city vehicle should be used for striping projects and that there are no such projects scheduled along the documented route.  More News New Mexico

Artistic masterpiece tarnished by scandal: Lack of state oversight, nearly $500k missing

From KRQE-TV.com - Inside a towering fortress on the grounds of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, museum patrons will find both an artistic masterpiece and a government scandal involving hundreds of thousands of misspent taxpayer dollars. Santa Fe artist Frederico Vigil spent nearly a decade creating a 4,000-square-foot fresco mural depicting centuries of Hispanic culture and history. But the fresco itself is not controversial. The money behind it is. "There's a right way and a wrong way to spend taxpayer money," said Rick May, secretary of the New Mexico Department of Finance. "This project was the wrong way." A Larry Barker investigation discovered almost half-a-million dollars in state tax money earmarked for Vigil's work of art was illegally diverted by a former high-ranking state official and inappropriately spent by a private foundation. "This could be test case of how government is not supposed to work," May said. State legislators funded the fresco project with $812,500 in appropriations. Because the fresco was to be part of a state museum -- the National Hispanic Cultural Center -- the state Department of Cultural Affairs was in charge of the money. That's where the trouble began. Instead of accounting for the money, former Cultural Affairs Secretary Stuart Ashman simply gave it away to the Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation, a private organization. The foundation is the fundraising arm of the Hispanic Cultural Center. "This transaction ... was not by the book in any way shape and form," May said. "It was completely, completely the wrong way to use taxpayers' money." Veronica Gonzales, current secretary of the cultural affairs department, agreed, saying she can find no records indicating the money was properly spent. In addition, she said the transfer of the $812,500 violated state law. "This money should have been safeguarded through the Department of Cultural Affairs' oversight and accountability," Gonzales said. But it wasn't. Read more from KRQE-TV.com

Swickard: Shell Oil and I abandon hope for America

From NM Politics.net - Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - Last week Shell Oil abandoned four years of work and a $2 billion investment in the potentially oil-rich waters in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. Delay after delay plagued the project. The final deal-buster by the EPA’s environmental appeals board was Shell could not drill 70 miles off shore because of a village of 200 people that could be impacted by the diesel exhaust emitted by an ice-breaker boat. One boat (yes, one boat) working 70 miles away would so foul the air that the village could not survive. Shell decided the answer would always be no and walked away from the whole project. At stake was about 27 billion barrels of oil that could make more than a trillion gallons of gasoline. That represents around 7,000 gallons of gasoline for every American household. And the money would stay in our country. This is not an enemy of our nation smothering us; it is our own government. Consider the difference in keeping this energy wealth in our country or sending it to other nations. Read column

Biofuel Bandits Steal Fast Food Grease

From kob.com -Soaring gasoline prices have spawned a new kind of crime in Albuquerque - grease theft, as in restaurant grease. On Monday, Albuquerque police arrested 45 year old Darin Espinosa after watching him pump grease from another company’s dumpster into the grease tank on his truck. The episode occurred at Sadie’s Restaurant, a popular North Valley eatery featuring New Mexico cuisine. Brian Stafford of Sadie’s said the restaurant saves vegetable oil from its fryers to sell to biofuel producers, but this was from the dumpster reserved for animal fats, like grease from hamburger.  More News New Mexico

Bloomfield Says No Drivers Licenses for Illegals

From daily-times.com -Bloomfield city officials are trying to prohibit illegal immigrants from obtaining driver's licenses.  Councilors tabled a resolution Monday that mirrored a recent bill that would revoke and deny illegal immigrants driver's licenses in New Mexico. Though championed by Gov. Susana Martinez, it was turned down by the House of Consumer and Public Affairs Committee in February.  The measure, though controversial, is within Bloomfield's scope of authority.  "If they want to opt out they can," said S.U. Mahesh, spokesperson for New Mexico Taxation and Revenue.  Because Bloomfield's Motor Vehicles Department is state-contracted but operated by the city, Bloomfield has the right to refuse to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. State-run departments, such as Farmington's Motor Vehicle Division, are not entitled to deny such a service.  More News New Mexico

Audit Says Four NM School Districts Have Major Compliance Issues

From capitolreportnewmexico.com- An audit conducted by the state’s Public Education Department (PED) shows at least four school districts out of 34 across New Mexico have “major compliance issues” that need to be addressed.  The audit comes after a marked increase in what’s called “funding units” in schools across the state. These units determine how much money districts receive, based upon factors such as the number of students enrolled in special education, poverty in a given district and teacher experience.  Over the past year, the number of funding units increased by 116 percent, but the number of new students increased just 1 percent. The discrepancy resulted in a larger than expected spike in expenses and, given the difficult economic times, that meant budgeting for education spending in New Mexico will come under even more pressure.  More News New Mexico

Environmental Groups Endorse Heinrich

Martin Heinrich
From the dailyjournal.net -Environmental groups are giving an early endorsement to Democratic Congressman Martin Heinrich in the race for New Mexico's U.S. Senate seat. The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and the Conservation Voters New Mexico announced their endorsement of Heinrich on Tuesday.  Since taking office in 2009, Heinrich has a 100 percent rating by the League of Conservation Voters for his pro-environmental voting record. The national group's political committees made nearly $119,000 in independent campaign expenditures in support of Heinrich's re-election last year.  More News New Mexico


Social Compacts and Adult Conversations

As America transformed itself from a colonial backwater to the country with the highest living standard on the planet, a couple of basic principles applied in our society. First, the vast majority of adults willingly helped their neighbors when genuine basic needs went unmet. Second, if adults chose to have children, the adults (and their extended families) understood implicitly that it was THEIR responsibility to provide for all children. Until the mid-1960’s most Americans thought long and hard about the implications of taking on the expenses of having children prematurely. Americans who chose to have children before they had done what was necessary to acquire valuable job skills were virtually assured of having severely limited living standards. And they knew it.
Suddenly as some of our leaders try to face the realities of getting our financial house in order, we are hearing the phrase, “Social Compact.” Is compact the right word? Compacts are agreements. And as we hear this phrase, we are led to believe that somehow we all previously “agreed” to this vague notion of a social compact. We are also led to believe that somehow if government doesn’t raise taxes or borrow more money, we will all be “guilty” of violating a “sacred” compact.
Let’s put the phrase “social compact” in proper historical context. With partisan majorities in both houses of Congress (sound familiar) LBJ believed government should underwrite many of the negative consequences of adults making poor life decisions. The benefits of pursuing the sequential stages of job skill development where supplanted by an easier path involving less sacrifice and less difficulty. “I have an entitlement to more creature comforts right now,” became a socially acceptable mentality to embrace. The beginning of what President Obama now calls a sacred “social compact” began with these false promises made by a few under completely false premises.
Today’s focus group experts who counsel politicians will never tell us that Lyndon Johnson actually created a deadly economic trap for American society. And slick demagogues who rather enjoy experimenting with the development of new government programs routinely use phrases like “social justice” or “the fight for seniors and working families,” to justify their follies. Unfortunately, while duplicitous phrases can win elections, they can’t change economic realities. And the reality is far too many Americans have been led to believe they can skip the job skill development stage of their lives and simply become content with ever-increasing entitlement base lines. And too many middle aged Americans are being told once they reach 65, their government will have the means to take care of them.
With this historical perspective in mind the proper reaction when you hear President Obama use the phrase we must not “violate the social compact,” is to know it is code for something else. Our president is hell bent and determined to PRESERVE the entitlement mentality rather than encourage us to put an end to it. His hope is to continue to preside over an increasingly dysfunctional society where the act of seeking government assistance is becoming the more popular alternative to drive, energy, and ambition.
There is another phrase we hear these days. It speaks of having an “Adult Conversation” about entitlements. Maybe we should form a social compact and reject the idea of allowing our elected officials to make false promises based on false premises before we completely destroy what it actually means to be an adult. Then we can have grown up conversations about lots of things.


Job Killers in Charge at Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Steve Pearce
Roswell, NM (April 27, 2011) Congressman Steve Pearce responded to claims by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that listing the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered will not kill jobs yesterday. Congressman Pearce was told by top officials in Fish and Wildlife that Fish and Wildlife does not have to consider jobs when deciding on this matter. These comments were made during a meeting with the office of the director of Fish and Wildlife last month. Fish and Wildlife has admitted that economic considerations do not play into decisions to list a species, which raises the question of their basis for making any economic claims. Nonetheless, Fish and Wildlife talking heads have chosen to publicly claim that no jobs will be lost by the listing, even while ignoring repeated requests for economic data.
“Fish and Wildlife is making economic claims without facts,” said Pearce. “My office has asked for data from Fish and Wildlife on how jobs will be impacted, and they claim they don’t have the information.” Fish and Wildlife recently contested claims that listing the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered would be a job killer, saying these statements are “absolutely not true.” However, the comments came not from economists, but from a spokesperson and an ecologist, who offer no economic data. Congressman Pearce has advocated for the CCA and CCAA—agreements by local private and public entities to work to preserve the species without an endangered listing. Fish and Wildlife has said that “economic development and conservation are not diametrically opposed concepts.” Congressman Pearce wholeheartedly agrees with this statement, which is why he has urged Fish and Wildlife to allow these agreements time to work. As Fish and Wildlife has made clear, once a listing is made, they will make no efforts to preserve jobs. Congressman Pearce therefore advocates an approach wherein all parties continue to work together to protect jobs and the lizard.
A 2005 working group document, to which Fish and Wildlife was a leading agency, acknowledged the devastating economic impact of an endangered species listing, and advocated other, voluntary measures, like the agreements advocated by Congressman Pearce: “Land management decisions that restrict or preclude full mineral development of certain state and federal lands thus affect the flow of revenues into local and state economies.” Furthermore, the document stated: “...ranchers who voluntary adopt grazing practices intended to benefit at-risk species should receive appropriate economic compensation, as well as protection from future additional regulatory burdens in the event of listing.”
It was based on these assertions that the CCA and CCAA agreements were established, to engage all concerned parties. Nonetheless, Fish and Wildlife has now reversed these claims and is acting with utter disregard for the economy of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. Furthermore, Pearce pointed out that it is concerning that Fish and Wildlife is speaking out in favor of the listing while they are still taking public comments on the issue and certainly before any final decision has been made. “It is alarming that Fish and Wildlife seems to have already made their decision while the public comment period remains open,” said Pearce. “My constituents have a legal right to a voice in this matter, without prejudice or bias.” Congressman Pearce will attend a rally to oppose the listing tomorrow night, Thursday, April 28, at the Great Southwest Aviation Airport Hangar in Roswell, NM at 5:00 pm, just before the end of the verbal public comment period on the issue. All concerned individuals are encouraged to attend.


NM Railrunner Express:Groundbreaking or Boondoggle?

From newwest.net -Riding the Rail Runner Express commuter train between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is a distinctly New Mexican experience. As soon as the train doors close with a Looney Toons-style Road Runner meep meep chime, the crew warns passengers not to snap photos out of the windows because the train will soon cross the Tewa Pueblo and other sacred Native American lands in the Rio Grande Valley. With a wave of GOP hostility toward commuter rail projects across the country, that experience is uncertain following the election last fall of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who has long questioned the need and cost of the Rail Runner Express, the first inter-city commuter rail project in the Rocky Mountain region. One of Democratic former Gov. Bill Richardson's most visible legacies, the Rail Runner Express connects cities in New Mexico's most populous region, ushering commuters from the state's largest city to the state capital. More News New Mexico

NM Small Business Agency Has Lost $9M

From capitolreportnewmexico.com -Chances are you’ve never heard of the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC). But back in 2001, the state legislature OK’d a plan that sends 1 percent of the Severance Tax Permanent Fund per year to the SBIC so that it can help small business create jobs in New Mexico, through micro-lending and equity programs for start-ups and Mom and Pop operations.
Now 1 percent doesn’t sound like a whole lot but when you consider that the severance tax fund is run by the State Investment Council, which manages some $15 billion in assets, well, suddenly that 1 percent is not so measly. On Tuesday (April 26), representatives of the SBIC appeared before the board of the State Investment Council (SIC) — including Gov. Susana Martinez – and a pointed conversation ensued in which some SIC members questioned the very nature of the SBIC’s relationship with the SIC while the SBIC’s chief financial advisor vigorously defended the agency.  More News New Mexico

Bureaucrat: "There's Just No Data to Support That"

These days being an unelected bureaucrat involves the wielding of enormous power. How so? First, YOUR job is among the safest on the planet no matter what you destroy. Second, you can burn all the fossil fuel you want driving around in your government-owned vehicle. Many bureaucrats burn plenty of gasoline every day while purporting to save our planet. Third, despite being a scientist in an unrelated field, if you are a government bureaucrat, you can actually make economic assertions at news conferences without having done any research to support your claims. And most of the time, the news media will print your claims without question let alone dispute. Accordingly, bureaucrats often enjoy the profound luxury of simply ignoring all of the little people while developing and implementing reckless economic policies. Defending the resulting destruction of other people's jobs becomes a involuntary reflex. A bureaucrat's power includes the ability to drive up the cost of energy as well as New Mexico's state budget deficit. Need some proof of these claims? Just take a look at the claims made in this editorial piece disguised as a news story. It ran in many of the New Mexico media outlets earlier this week.
No Data to Support That!
Here is the rest of the story. After using the spotted owl as an environmental ruse to destroy thousands of timber industry jobs in New Mexico a few years ago, the radical environmentalists in charge at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are at it again. This time their New Mexico industry target is the oil and gas business. And their "species du jour" is a lizard. New Mexico citizens are finally starting to push back. With jobs and energy revenues dwindling here, many people are finally beginning to make their voices heard. They are learning how the industry killing game gets played. And they know that these unelected bureaucrats don't even have to bother do any economic impact studies before they kill jobs. All they have to do is "purport" to save a type of owl, minnow, or lizard. Recently when confronted with the damage their radical agenda could do to oil and gas production in New Mexico, the unelected bureaucrat's response during a so-called press conference was predictable. "There's just no data to support that," said Charna Lefton, a spokeswoman for the wildlife service's regional office in Albuquerque. How wonderful it is to get paid to regularly to study lizards while leaving the desperate fighting for real jobs to somebody else. Apparently if you want to save your way of life from the vagaries and whims of a radical bureaucrat, it is YOU that needs supporting data, not the bureaucrat. Mel Brooks needs to do a new movie. It could be a dark comedy entitled, "It's good to be the bureaucrat."


Why I Oppose Ryan's 10 Year Plan

Joseph Farah
From wnd.com -While many conservatives and Republicans are holding up Rep. Paul Ryan's 10-year plan as the model for deficit reduction and a return to constitutionally limited government, I see it as capitulation to Washington business as usual. First of all, America doesn't need another 10-year plan to restore economic prosperity and responsible government. Washington needs to put the brakes on all borrowing now and start living within its means today – not 10 years from now. The old Soviet Union, which America is more and more resembling, was famous for its five-year plans – which never quite lived up to their rosy projections for turning around the command-and-control economy of that model tyranny. A 10-year plan in America is meaningless because it gives the opportunity for five new congresses and three new presidents to renege, reverse course, change priorities.  More News New Mexico

Brigette Russell: Pass a DWI Bill Next Session and Save Some Lives

Brigette Russell
From New Mexico Watchdog -When Scott Owens was acquitted of vehicular homicide last week, emotions ran high in Santa Fe, the outrage in the community palpable. He was drunk – with a blood alcohol content double the legal limit four hours after the crash – and four kids were dead. They were dead and he was drunk, but walked away a free man. The headline stunned me, but after I read the details, it made sense. The mechanic’s testimony made it impossible for the jurors to convict Owens of vehicular homicide. Had they done so, they would have been acting out of emotion rather than following the law. Prosecutorial overconfidence left them no choice, since there were no lesser charges on which they could have convicted him.  More News New Mexico

Group Urges NM Support For Presidential Popular Vote Plan

Tom Golisano
From timesunion.com -A national group is pushing for an elections change in New Mexico and other states to ensure the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide will occupy the White House. A proposal by National Popular Vote calls for New Mexico to enter into a compact with other states to award their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes nationally.  The group wants the New Mexico Legislature to consider its proposal next year, but it faces a tough assignment because GOP Gov. Susana Martinez favors the current electoral system. The governor sets the legislative agenda during 30-day sessions and Martinez's support is needed for legislation to become law.  Most states, including New Mexico, have a winner-take-all rule in which electoral votes are awarded to the presidential candidate getting the most votes in their state.  More News New Mexico

Obama's Regulatory Tsunami Worse Than Tax Hikes

Lurita Doan
Townhall - As Obama travels about the country, speaking of the need for “shared sacrifice” and the need to increase taxes, he doesn’t say a word about the tsunami of new Obama regulations ranging from light bulbs to ozone pollution to painkillers to foreign travel to vending machines that is about to hit America. Their impact will be huge and do serious damage to our economy.
Obama's regulatory tsunami began during his first month in office and has continued relentlessly since. Each week, new, more intrusive rules are rolled out, some through Executive Order, but many issued from federal agencies, often without any fanfare or publicity. In every month since his inauguration, President Obama has heaped regulations on unsuspecting Americans, non-profit organizations, large and small businesses.
You can argue that some of these new regulations are not destructive to our economy, but just look at the number of regulations. Their range, their grasp and their intrusiveness into American life is staggering. And to think, several thousand new pages of new regulatory guidelines and added bureaucracy are still being drafted by the Obama Administration as required by healthcare, recovery act, financial reform, small business and TARP legislation. These new regulations will be piled atop the Mt. Everest pile of regulations Obama has already produced. Here's a sample:
January 2009-Housing Voucher regulations - February 2009-PLA (Project Labor Agreements) forcing government contractors to provide bids that show union labor as a component. - March 2009-Stem Cell regulations - April 2009-Hedge Fund regulations - May 2009-EPA issues new fuel standards - June 2009-Regulations issued to influence Venture Capital activity - July 2009-EPA Training requirements for workers on building renovation projects - August 2009-E-Rule (electronic rulemaking) regulation - September 2009-EPA issues ozone pollution regulations - October 2009-Greenhouse gas reporting requirements - November 2009-Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) regulations - December 2009-Natural Gas Pipeline safety regulations - January 2010-Visa regulations - February 2010-Organic Foods Program regulations - March 2010-Credit Card regulations - April 2010-Residential Water Heaters regulations - May 2010-Coal Ash regulations - June 2010-Truth in Lending regulations - July 2010-Revised ADA regulations - August 2010-Bedbugs and Pesticide regulations - September 2010-Portland Cement regulations - October 2010-Truck regulations - November 2010-Perfume / Fragrance regulations - December 2010-CAFE standards, MPG regulations - January 2011-New Cuba Travel regulations - February 2011-"Conscience protection" rules for health care providers - March 2011-Menu and Vending machine rules issued - April 2011-Tougher Painkiller regulations - Read full story here: News New Mexico


High Gas Prices Leave New Mexicans Stranded

From kob.com -in the first few months of 2011, Triple A has seen a 21 percent increase in the number of drivers requesting emergency gasoline assistance because their tanks went empty. Officials say that’s because many are choosing to drain their tanks all the way because of high gas prices instead of filling up just when it gets low.  Jenny Hartzog was stranded last month when she ran out of gas, because she could only afford to put five or ten dollars in her tank.  More News New Mexico

ABQ Tortilla Co. sells for $8.8 million

From KOB-TV.com - The world’s biggest tortilla company has bought out Albuquerque Tortilla Company, owned and operated by a local family since 1987. Mission Foods, part of the multi-national Gruma Corporation, says it paid $8.8 million for the corn and flour tortilla portion of Albuquerque Tortilla’s business. The Martinez family will retain the company’s frozen food line under the Albuquerque Tortilla brand for now, but they expect to establish new brand names soon. The family thinks the future lies in the freezer. “ We still have the tamales, chile rellenos, all the chile, red and green of course,” said Chris Martinez. “A whole line of prepared foods for retal and food service.” The new company, called Authentic New Mexico, will aim for a national market for New Mexico food products. Read more

Pearce Seeks to End Wilderness Protection

Steve Pearce
From nmpolitics.net -U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., is backing a proposal that would end wilderness-like protections for about 32,700 acres of land in Doña Ana County, the Las Cruces Sun-News is reporting. The lands are currently designated as wilderness study areas and have all the protections for land granted the permanent wilderness designation – the federal government’s most restrictive. Mechanized vehicles aren’t allowed in wilderness areas, which is at the heart of the battle surrounding H.R. 1581. More News New Mexico

Ben Ray Lujan Says No to Senate Run

From newmexicoindependent.com -U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján has told state Democratic party leaders that he will not run for Senate in 2012, according to a report from Politico on Monday. The strength of Senate candidate, and fellow member of Congress, Martin Heinrich’s candidacy was a factor in Luján’s decision. New Mexico blogger Joe Monahan said Monday morning that Luján told Farmington Democrats that he would instead run for a third term in the 3rd Congressional District. The seat is considered a safe Democratic seat.  More News New Mexico

NM Searching For a Few Good Inmates to Fight Fires

From fox43.com - With New Mexico's fire season promising to be brutal and unrelenting, state forestry officials want to increase their firefighting crews -- with prison inmates. The state has trained five crews, a total of 60 minimum-security inmates, that can be called on to fight fires at any time, said Dan Ware, a New Mexico State Forestry Department spokesman. State officials plan to recruit more inmates for this season. "Using inmates allows us to have high-quality hand crews at our disposal at a moment's notice to aid in firefighting," Ware said. He said saving New Mexico money in hard economic times is one benefit of the inmate work program. Inmates are paid about $1 an hour, compared to state forestry workers, who earn around $17 an hour fighting fires. "One of the goals of the program is rehabilitation, to give inmates training so when they're released they have something to fall back on," Ware said.  More News New Mexico

Another assault in the War on Cameras: Police beating of Las Vegas man caught on tape

From Capitol Report New Mexico - Late last year, a state employee got physical with Gadi Schwartz of KOB-TV for shooting video outside the PERA Building in Santa Fe, with the employee uttering the memorable and Orwellian words, “This isn’t public property; it’s state property.” Click here for that story. And in the most shameful moment of the most recent legislative session, the state Senate by a 35-3 vote passed a measure that requires members of the public who want to photograph or videotape committee meetings to first ask for permission from the committee chair and vice-chair. Click here for that story. And you can click here and here for a couple other stories of public employees going nuts when a citizen or journalist merely points a camera their way. Now, we’ve got another story. It happened in Las Vegas, NV when a man videotaped the aftermath of police bust in his own neighborhood. A policeman assaults the man, breaking his nose and then arrested the man on charges of assaulting a police officer (although he did not) and obstruction of justice. Read more

Understanding "Market Price Thinking"

Jim Spence
A few years ago a young couple I know wanted to buy a larger home for their growing family. They were thrilled to discover that the market price of their starter home had skyrocketed. However, cold water was tossed on their fire of "selling enthusiasm" when they began to look at the market prices of the homes they wanted to BUY. The great folly of the dialogue on improving our economy is too many Americans do NOT know how to properly think about MARKET PRICES. A perfect illustration of this point is in public discussions of the housing market. Here elected officials are constantly wringing their hands over falling housing prices. It is as if they would have us believe that constantly rising housing prices should be our goal and somehow we must establish market controlling polices to achieve this goal.
Of course, this approach ignores the fact that constantly rising housing market prices have plenty of negative consequences too. What about the prices young people and other first time home buyers must pay? Why aren’t more Americans concerned about the prices buyers of housing must pay? Buyers make up exactly 50% of the parties involved in every housing transaction. There is no balance in the attitudes Americans have about housing market prices. The opposite imbalance is true when it comes to the dialogue on the market prices of oil and gas products.
Elected officials are NEVER happy about rising oil and gas prices. However, when the market price of crude oil (and gasoline) plunges, nearly every political hack trumpets this as great news. Again there is no balance in market price thinking.
How did we ever become this naive? The answer rests in how we educate ourselves. Americans have been indoctrinated in the area of market price ignorance over several generations. Self perpetuating propaganda machines control the curriculums offered to each new generation of Americans. We are encouraged to be suspicious of rising oil and gas prices.
The brainwashing begins at an early age. Though America has not changed its oil and gas consumption patterns, a pernicious “dumb down” process has continuously discouraged several generations of Americans (and elected officials) from seizing the domestic opportunities associated with actually embracing the ownership of oil and gas production. Experiencing the damages done by ignoring the realities of market pricing when making public policies is relatively new in America. However, Eastern Europe, Russia and China are places with several generations of experience in the utter folly of public policies that encourage market price ignorance. Especially in China, the leaders have come to recognize that markets really don’t give a damn if their nation’s leadership cultivates and exploits for political gain, the widespread ignorance on market prices.
Here is a news flash. Ignorance is now costing Americans too. World markets couldn’t care less if Americans want housing prices to always go up and oil prices to always stay down. Global market prices obey the basic laws of supply and demand just as objects in the universe conform to the basic laws of physics. Accordingly, America is now at an economic crossroad in history. The Democratic majority in the Senate and the White House is firmly opposed to Americans learning how to think in a properly balanced way about market prices. And since they are in charge, instead of seizing the great opportunities market prices are presenting, just this week we saw new "commissions" being formed for the purpose of blaming an invisible boogie man for our declining living standards thanks to self-imposed ignorance on all aspects of market pricing.
Make no mistake. Radical environmentalists and global-warming climate change preachers are firmly in control now. Their hopes for retaining policy-making power rest mainly in the hope that Americans will become increasingly ignorant about the reality of market prices. It is ironic in the face of record cold temperatures in many parts of America and Europe earlier this year that reinvigorating the man-made climate change-global warming theories is the key to spreading the religion of socialism. Americans should be forewarned. Following the preaching of those who require ignorance of the truths of market prices is the economic equivalent of putting the Reverend Jim Jones in charge of our economy. Watch out for the Kool-Aid and have a Happy Easter!