Lawmaker proposes concealed handguns in schools

NewsNM (Swickard) The mantra of no guns in schools wants us to believe that keeping people with no evil intent who are trained in the use of a weapon from having access to a weapon while in a school will somehow keep people with evil intent from bringing and using guns to schools. Leaving schools with no protection plays into the hands of those of evil intent. What conceal carry provides is the doubt in the minds of those who would do wrong that someone, anyone, could shoot back. Gun free zones foster violence because people of evil intent count on no victim having a weapon.

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - Guns have long been taboo in schools, but a state legislator wants to change that in New Mexico. A proposal Rep. Zach Cook, a Ruidoso Republican, would allow people licensed to have a concealed handgun to take their weapons into schools and preschools, on college campuses, bars, state parks and buses. Cook said he offered the measure to address complaints from his southern New Mexico constituents. "There are a lot of people who have concealed carry permits that have to leave their gun in their cars to take their kids to school, which creates a burden on them," Cook said in a recent interview. "I would rather that gun be on the body of the responsible person who has met all the requirements for having a concealed carry permit than sitting in a car unattended." But the measure faces plenty of opposition. "Just the idea of having unlimited access to weapons on a school campus is alarming," said Tom Sullivan of the New Mexico Coalition of School Administrators. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who has a concealed handgun permit, opposes people carrying concealed weapons in schools and bars. Read more

Hundreds who lost gas demand answers

From - It was supposed to be a forum on federal assistance for those who were left without natural gas for seven days. But a crowd who packed into the Mission Museum in Espanola on Thursday seemed more interested in hearing from the New Mexico Gas Company directly, and began shouting when they found out gas executives had not shown up. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development went through several grant and loan programs aimed at helping people who have lost live stock or had their houses damaged because of the cold. But many took turns venting their frustrations, one man yelling that they didn't want loans, they wanted results. An hour into the meeting one man demanded to know why New Mexico Gas officials were not in attendance to answer questions and was told company had been invited but did not show up. Taos Mayor Darren Cordova began to address the crowd, speaking out against the New Mexico Gas Company and vowing to "hold their feet to the fire," and "make them pay." Read more

Bill prohibiting driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants tabled on party line vote

From Capitol Report New Mexico - House Bill 261, introduced by Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque) was tabled on a 5-4 vote in the House Labor and Human Resources Committee, with all five Democrats voting to table the measure and all four Republicans voting against tabling, essentially killing the bill at its first legislative stop. The thrust of the bill would have rescinded the state’s practice of granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. New Mexico is one of just three states (Utah and Washington being the others) that allow undocumented aliens to legally drive. Read more

Swickard column: The Spender Generation will stop spending

by Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - We are the Spender Generation and there is no amount of money we cannot spend. All that constrains us is how much we can borrow.So when future generations look back, I am sure that there are a few things those generations from now will know. They will know that we, The Spender Generation, were the most selfish and self-centered generation in all of history. Perhaps they will refer to us as the Spender Generation, or something worse.How we will get that moniker is that our generation has spent all of the money we ourselves had and then spent much of the money from the future generations. What did we spend it on? We spent it on ourselves. They will know that we did this. Read Column

Unconstitutional? Make Them Hire Lawyers!

Rachel Pulaski
 Much controversy has been surrounding NewsNM the past few days concerning the actions of Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima at a City Council meeting held on February 7, 2011.   The topic of interest was the sale of guns at a Lion’s Club Gun Show within the city limits.  A concerned citizen wanted to know what steps the City was taking to prevent criminals from buying guns at the Lions Club Gun Show and shipping them to Mexico. The video for the City Council Meeting can be seen here (Fast forward to )  NewsNM reported meeting minutes taken by contributor Jim Harbison (audio of the show can be listened to here and here ) which relayed the following information: “Police Chief Williams commented that these sales are regulated by Federal Law and the ATF and that the city has little authority over them.
Jim Harbison
Mayor Miyagishima wants to pass a resolution to require background checks on all individuals who purchase guns.  City Attorney Connolly stated it would be unconstitutional because the NM Constitutions says cities have no right to interfere with the Second Amendment right to bear arms.  Mayor Miyagishima said "Of course we could always do it ourselves and let someone challenge us on it ."” Shortly after reporting this information the Mayor called the show in an effort to defend his actions. You can listen to that segment here.  Today we had Jim Harbison as a guest to speak on the topic and defend the allegations made against him by the Major which can be heard here.  In my personal opinion after watching the video several times, I would say that Mr. Harbison was truthful and accurate in his account of the meeting. 
Ken Miyagishima
I believe the underlying issues have been overlooked which is the blatant disregard for the rule of law and our constitutional rights by our elected officials who want to perform illegal acts under the guise of “knowing what is best for us."  Not to mention the blatant arrogance on behalf of Major Miyagishima to disregard the state constitution and force the taxpayers to be burdened with the cost to fight for their constitutional rights in court.  Mayor Miyagishima defended his actions by stating “It is my job to protect the citizens of this city” and that he wanted a level playing field for complying businesses like Wal-Mart and gun dealers at a gun show.  The fact is, all licensed gun dealers MUST perform background checks AT GUN SHOWS. There is no "loophole" for guns shows.  Private transactions between citizens who are not licensed gun dealers are not covered under the law at gun shows or anywhere else for that matter.  There are many of us who do not wish to give up our freedoms for better security or to have our state constitution overlooked for the “greater good”  This is one instance in many where the end does not justify the means.  I invite you to watch the video and listen to the audio to judge for yourself.


AZ Countersuit Against Obama Administration

Jan Brewer
From -Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has had enough of the ineptitude of the federal government when it comes to the immigration laws. She declared today that she will countersue the Federal Government on 5 counts: 1/ failure to achieve operational control over the Mexico/Arizona border…2/ failure to protect Arizona from invasion and Arizona says invasion not just limited to other countries to invade but applies to people and secured border…3 / failure to enforce immigration laws….and their failure causes national security risks…abuse of discretion that Fed only enforce the law they want to and they should enforce all……4/ declaratory relief about reimbursement for Fed govt’s failure to pay for incarceration of prisoners (illegal)….5/ under 10th amendment..powers not delegated to the Fed, are reserved to the people and while control of border is fed responsibility, when criminals cross border illegally and commit crimes, it is a state responsibility and the Feds are interfering with the state to fulfill its responsibilities.  More here

Williams: F.D.A. - Killer Agency

Walter Williams
Townhall - Sam Kazman's "Drug Approvals and Deadly Delays" article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (Winter 2010), tells a story about how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's policies have led to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. Let's look at how it happens. During the FDA's drug approval process, it confronts the possibility of two errors. If the FDA approves a drug that turns out to have unanticipated, dangerous side effects, people will suffer. Similarly, if the FDA denies or delays the marketing of a perfectly safe and beneficial drug, people will also suffer. Both errors cause medical harm. Kazman argues that from a political point of view, there's a huge difference between the errors. People who are injured by incorrectly approved drugs will know that they are victims of FDA mistakes. Their suffering makes headlines. FDA officials face unfavorable publicity and perhaps congressional hearings. Read full story here:

A Drop in the Bucket

Washington Times - The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday announced deeper budget cuts than earlier proposed - a move intended to stem criticisms that House Republicans would renege on a top campaign promise. Chairman Harold Rogers promised to cut $100 billion from President Obama‘s fiscal year 2011 request. The cuts - about $58 billion, compared with last year’s budget - would be included in a bill to keep the federal government running once the current funding authority expires March 4. “My committee has been working diligently to go line-by-line in every agency budget to find and cut unnecessary spending to reduce our deficit and help our economy thrive,” the Kentucky Republican said in a prepared statement. Mr. Rogers‘ announcement came a day after he said he would cut about $74 billion from the president’s budget plan, or $35 billion compared with last year’s budget. House Republicans campaigned in 2010 on a promise to cut $100 billion from Mr. Obama‘s request for domestic agencies - a pledge many conservative House Republicans pressed their party to stick to. Read full story here:

Avoiding Liability is Job # 1

SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez issued the following statement following Senator Harrison Schmitt’s decision to withdraw his nomination to serve as the State’s Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources: “Senator Schmitt is a former NASA astronaut who underwent a complete background check by the Department of Public Safety as part of his nomination process. “Senator Schmitt was willing to allow a private investigator access to his personal information, but he was not willing to waive that investigator’s liability for any improper actions or use of that information.
While one can understand Senator Schmitt’s concerns, complying with the Legislature’s request is necessary to restore public confidence in state government. That’s why I am requiring all of my cabinet secretary designees to comply with that request and this has led to Senator Schmitt withdrawing his nomination. “I wish Senator Schmitt the best in his future endeavors and I will work swiftly to find a qualified replacement to lead New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.”


Senator Lopez: Opposes Man Who Walked on the Moon

Linda Lopez
The following is a press release by State Senator Linda Lopez: "Three days ago, at his request, I met with the Secretary Designate of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Harrison Schmitt. Mr. Schmitt's reason for requesting the meeting was to inform me of his refusal to allow a Senate conferee background check, which is a check all designated cabinet secretaries and high level appointed officials undergo as part of the Senate's confirmation process. First, I sympathize with Mr. Schmitt's and all conferees' discomfort when it comes to the background check process. It is an extensive review that includes a search for any prior criminal convictions and of the Federal Civil Court Records; verification of appointees' assertions related to financial circumstances or improprieties such as bankruptcies, tax liens, and outstanding loans; and a review of disclosure statements related to potential conflicts of interest and ownership in business entities.
Harrison Schmitt
However, the New Mexico State Senate is constitutionally charged with confirming top state government officials because of the tremendous influence and authority and power provided to those individuals in their official government capacity.
The forty or so individuals we confirm to these top positions are responsible for expenditures in the billions of dollars, investing the state's multi-billion dollar pension funds, and promulgating regulations that impact citizens across the entire state of New Mexico.The New Mexico Senate adopted background checks in 2007. They are part of a procedure that all high-level appointees must undergo as they put themselves forward into positions of public service and public trust. The review process is in place to protect the public and to provide the citizens of our state with an increased sense of confidence in their government. As such, there can be no exceptions to the background review process. At the Senate Rules Committee hearing on Monday, February 14, we will discuss Mr. Schmitt's refusal to adhere to the confirmation process. This will not be a hearing of Mr. Schmitt's qualifications for service, nor to receive public input related to his appointment.  At this time, Mr. Schmitt's refusal to comply with the background check process has left me with no choice but to oppose his confirmation."


Nowata We Gonna Do? Record Cold in Oklahoma

Oklahoma was hit with the coldest readings ever measured this morning according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. In the town of Nowata the temperature was measured at -31 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is below the prior record of -27 set in Vinita, Oklahoma in February 1905 and Watts, Oklahoma in January 1930. Also on Thursday, the Bartlesville and Pryor’s Oklahoma Mesonet temperature gauges measured -28, which would have also been state records.
Sand Springs measured -11 degrees this morning, according to the National Weather Service. Those temperatures tie a record low of 15 years ago. What should policy makers do? In New Mexico, the leadership on the House Energy Committee feels strongly that it is time to support new EIB rules that will shut down a few more coal fired power plants and also drive more energy production across state lines. Also we must stop energy exploration and production at Otero Mesa no matter what the cost. There is no need to recognize there is zero evidence of any increase in global teperatures since 1997. The committee is preaching global warming "crisis." Apparently we must continue to understand that CO2 is causing global temperatures to rise to catastrophic levels. We must get rid of energy exploration - production jobs, drive our living standards down, and we must do it quickly before we all die.


NM Congressman Pearce Introduces "Healthy" Vet Bill

NM Congressman Steve Pearce
 Las Cruces, NM (February 10, 2011) Yesterday, Congressman Steve Pearce reintroduced H.R. 575, a bill that will improve healthcare access for veterans across New Mexico and nationwide. This legislation, entitled the Help Establish Access to Local Timely Healthcare for Your (HEALTHY) Vets Act, will allow veterans access to local healthcare facilities, saving them time, money, and physical strain. Currently, the federal government requires veterans to drive to VA hospitals for treatment. This is a major roadblock to healthcare for veterans in New Mexico, who may have to drive hundreds of miles to Albuquerque for medical attention. Congressman Pearce’s legislation would allow veterans to use local health providers in their own hometowns in Southern New Mexico. This saves both medical and travel expenses for veterans, allows them the convenience and comfort they deserve, and provides for quicker, less stressful treatment. Under the legislation, the VA Secretary will contract with local hospitals and doctors on a case-by-case basis to provide medical services, including primary care, for those veterans who live far away from VA medical facilities. Pearce, a Vietnam veteran, has made veterans a priority throughout his more than six years in Congress. 

How Should We Interpret the Constitution?

From -The Constitution is plainly written. It was intended to be easy to understand. The Constitution is also short. Why do we need a process for interpreting the Constitution? If we have such a process for divining the meaning of the Constitution, why should that process be secret deliberations of nine judges who are effectively unaccountable to the people? The issue, after ObamaCare, has become more than academic. Idaho has passed a resolution of nullification, which removes from the federal bench ultimate power to reject congressional actions as unconstitutional. The Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden advises that nullification is unconstitutional, but he has no power to prevent the Idaho Legislature from passing its resolution. What happens if a number of states pass similar resolutions? More here

Record Low Temps Shattered in Wichita and Elsewhere

Energypublisher - The images and news reports from Chihuahua, New Mexico and Texas were gripping. Last week's sub-zero temperatures grew sheets of ice on the walls of unheated homes. Water lines froze and burst, wells clammed up, natural gas shortages left towns without heat and the normal functioning of schools, business and factory production was thrown into chaos. On both sides of the US-Mexico border, governors issued disaster declarations and troops were called out to assist with emergency relief. "We can call this historic", said Dave Novlan, meterologist for the National Weather Service in the border town of Santa Teresa, New Mexico. In neighboring Ciudad Juarez, a city already battered to the bone by extreme criminal violence and economic crisis, 90,000 families were reported without water the first weekend of February. Next door, in El Paso, Texas, the city water utility took the extreme step of ordering residents not to shower, wash cars and clothes and otherwise restrict water usage until further notice. In Aldama, Chihuahua, nearly three dozen animals-parrots, snakes, crocodiles and a monkey, froze to death at a private zoo, while the epic freeze was suspected in the death of a $30,000 giraffe at a zoo in Clovis, New Mexico. Read full story here:

Elder: Reagan 100 Year Old Racist?

Larry Elder
Townhall - Ronald Reagan "tortured" blacks. Tavis Smiley, the PBS television host, once said this about the former president. NBC's Bryant Gumbel and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, among many others, consider Reagan a racist. "There they go again," as Reagan might have said. The economic lot for blacks and Hispanics improved far more than it did for whites after Reagan's steep tax cuts.
In late 1982, Reagan's second year in office, the unemployment rate for blacks was 20.4 percent. By 1989, his last year, the black unemployment rate had fallen to 11.4 percent -- a 9 percent drop. In late 1982, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 15.3 percent. By 1989, it had fallen to 8 percent -- a drop of over 7 percentage points. White unemployment, by contrast, fell "only" 4 percentage points. What about black-owned businesses? In 1982, according to the Census Bureau, there were 308,000 black-owned businesses. By 1987, the number had increased to 424,000, up 38 percent. The number of all U.S. businesses was up "only" 14 percent. Receipts for black-owned businesses went from less than $10 billion to nearly $20 billion -- a 100 percent increase. Read full story here: