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!


Report on Push to Re-Organize State Govt.

Steve Terrell
Santa Fe New Mexican - The idea of streamlining and reorganizing state government became a hot topic when New Mexico found itself in a financial crisis. In the past two years, two separate task forces studied the idea. Two successive governors have gotten behind the basic concept. And both Democrats and Republicans sponsored bills to implement some proposals. And yet, when the dust settled after the most recent session of the Legislature, no bill to reorganize state government and consolidate or eliminate state agencies ever made it to Gov. Susana Martinez's desk. In fact, the vast majority of the reorganization bills died in committee without even making it to a floor hearing in the House or Senate. News New Mexico

Cartels: Los Zetas Not Just Mexico's Concern

Washington Times - The signature crimes of the most violent drug cartel in Mexico are its beheading and dismemberment of rival gang members, military personnel, law enforcement officers and public officials, and the random kidnappings and killings of civilians who get caught in its butchery and bloodletting. But this disparate band of criminals known as Los Zetas is no longer just a concern in Mexico. It has expanded its deadly operations across the southwestern border, establishing footholds and alliances in states from New York to California. Just last year, federal agents tied a cocaine operation in Baltimore to the Zetas. “Those of us who live and work along the border know they’re already here,” said Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., whose Texas county lies on the Rio Grande 50 miles southeast of the Zetas’ stronghold of Nuevo Laredo. “There’s already been killings and many residents here are living in fear.”
Sheriff Gonzalez, whose Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition sought help from the federal government to control growing violence along the border, said the rising brutality of Mexican drug gangs, particularly the Zetas, “never stops shocking me.”
Trained as an elite band of Mexican anti-drug commandos, the Zetas evolved into mercenaries for the infamous Gulf Cartel, bringing a new wave of brutality to Mexico’s escalating drug wars. Bolstered by an influx of assassins, bandits, thieves, thugs and corrupt federal, state and local police officers, the Zetas have since evolved into a well-financed and heavily armed drug smuggling force of their own.
“The Zetas are determined to gain the reputation of being the most sadistic, cruel and beastly organization that ever existed,” said George W. Grayson, professor of government at the College of William & Mary and an expert on Mexican drug gangs. “Many of Mexico’s existing drug cartels will kill their enemies, but not go out of their way to do it. The Zetas look forward to inflicting fear on their targets. Read full story here: News New Mexico


Geithner Credibility Downgraded to JUNK Status

Tim Geithner
Bloomberg - by Jonathan Weil - Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question: “Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?” Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.” “No risk?” Barnes asked. “No risk,” Geithner said. It’s enough to make you wonder: How could Geithner know this to be true? The short answer is he couldn’t. All you have to do is read the research report Standard & Poor’s published on April 18 about its sovereign-credit rating for the U.S., and you will see it estimated the risk of a downgrade quite succinctly. “We believe there is at least a one-in-three likelihood that we could lower our long-term rating on the U.S. within two years,” said S&P, which reduced its outlook on the government’s debt to “negative” from “stable.” There you have it: Geithner says the chance of a downgrade is zero. S&P says the odds it will cut its rating might be greater than one out of three. So who are you going to believe? Geithner? Or the people at S&P who actually will be deciding what S&P will do about S&P’s own rating of U.S. sovereign debt? It would be one thing to express the view that a downgrade would be unwarranted, or that the chance of it happening is remote. Either of these positions would be defensible. Geithner went beyond that and staked out an absolutist stance that reeks of raw arrogance: There is no risk a rating cut will occur. He left no room for a trace of a possibility, ever. Read full story here: News New Mexico