NM FBI Public Corruption Hotline

From therepublic.com -The New Mexico FBI's weeks-old public corruption hotline has received complaints about everything from high utility bills to problems with Internet orders. But so far, a top official said, it hasn't gotten anything he would characterize as "the juicy, insider phone calls" that could lead to prosecutions. That doesn't mean the FBI thinks the state, which has had its share of public corruption scandals over the years, is now free of them. More likely, people just aren't aware of the hotline, might not know what public corruption actually is — or aren't reporting it because they're involved, the agency said. "Public corruption is kind of one of those unique violations where if everybody's happy, if everybody's making money, there are very few complaints," said Rodney Miller, assistant special agent in charge of the criminal branch in the FBI office in Albuquerque. "As everybody's kind of benefiting from public corruption, there's no need to report it unless there's a falling out or we develop some great sources."  More News New Mexico

Pearce: Ignoring Violence Won't Help New Mexicans

Steve Pearce
From kfoxtv.com -Rep. Steve Pearce expressed concerns Tuesday to President Barack Obama that the administration missed an invaluable opportunity to meet with his constituents in border communities in New Mexico, whose lives are tragically affected by our lack of border security.  “The president continues to talk about border issues from El Paso and Washington, while turning a blind eye to the lack of security only miles away. The violence and trafficking of drugs, weapons and human beings continues to plague my constituents. We cannot possibly address immigration without first facing our border security problems. It is unfortunate that the president missed an opportunity to hear from my constituents about the need for serious measures,” said Pearce.  More News New Mexico

Death of a Progressive Hero

Matthew Rothschild
Progressive - A political buddy of mine died this week. His name was Ben Masel. He was one of those great characters who’ve so defined Madison, Wisconsin, over the years. This bearded, soft-spoken, yet defiant man truly believed in our Bill of Rights, and he exercised those rights more vigorously than anyone I’ve ever known. He could be counted on to attend just about any rally or demonstration for peace and social justice, but the two issues that animated him the most were the legalization of marijuana and the upholding of our civil liberties. I remember him walking into the office of The Progressive magazine one time just reeking of pot. And he was, for many years, the chief organizer of the annual legalize-marijuana rally here. But that was just part of his freedom-loving activity.
For instance, he put together one of the first demonstrations against the Patriot Act here. And he was never afraid of getting arrested. In fact, his was a self-funding operation. Knowing his rights, he would stand his ground, get arrested, and then sue the police successfully and win substantial awards. That’s how he got to keep doing all that he did. He was ingenious. I last saw Ben at one of the huge rallies in March against Gov. Scott Walker’s assault on collective bargaining. He pulled me aside to let me know that he’d been diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, and that it was incurable. He also said the doctors advised him not to go to the rally but he told me had to be there. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Former Governor Has "No Comment"

Bill Richardson
Capitol Report New Mexico - While I was out of the office mid-day (May 10), colleague Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican spied former Gov. Bill Richardson bugging out of the room that people use for satellite interviews at the Roundhouse. Naturally, Terrell asked Richardson for his reaction to the news from last Friday that the State Investment Council has filed federal and state lawsuits against former Richardson political appointees and cronies, charging them with taking kickbacks and ”pay to play” schemes with public funds. Read full story here: News New Mexico

The "Education Mantra"

Thomas Sowell
Townhall - Many Third World countries have turned out so many people with diplomas, but without meaningful skills, that "the educated unemployed" became a cliche among people who study such countries. This has not only become a personal problem for those individuals who have been educated, or half-educated, without acquiring any ability to fulfill their rising expectations, it has become a major economic and political problem for these countries. Such people have proven to be ideal targets for demagogues promoting polarization and strife. We in the United States are still in the early stages of that process. But you need only visit campuses where whole departments feature soft courses preaching a sense of victimhood and resentment, and see the consequences in racial and ethnic polarization on campus. There are too many other soft courses that allow students to spend years in college without becoming educated in any real sense. We don't need more government "investment" to produce more of such "education." Lofty words like "investment" should not blind us to the ugly reality of political porkbarrel spending. Read full column here: News New Mexico

Are you an Ostrich, Chicken-Little, or the Wise Old Owl?

Jim Harbison
We are all familiar with the children’s stories about the above “birds”. Each describes a particular type of behavior that characterizes of much of society today. We are fortunate to live in a nation whose Constitution allows the individual to think freely and participate in society without significant constraints. Intellectually and socially, we are not prohibited from drawing any conclusion and expressing it freely and often we do so at peril to our reputation and credibility.
Our political system encourages public participation. What each of us thinks and does can impact political decisions across the nation. How you choose to participate is a personal decision but it does have consequences. In my opinion you can be either part of the problem or part of the solution. I view lack of participation as part of the problem. I choose to be part of the solution. Some people choose to emulate the “ostrich” by burying their heads in the sand as a method of avoiding social, political, and personal responsibility.
After all they can’t be responsible if they were unaware of it. They choose to hide from reality and thus are uninformed and unaware of the many factors that impact their daily lives. They do not have to take unpopular positions or make difficult decisions. They allow others will make decisions for them. They will never be leaders or policy makers but are simply followers. Their apathy and inability to accept responsibility prevents them from getting involved in political solutions anywhere along the political continuum.
Nancy Pelosi

The “Chicken Little” types jump to conclusions and run around proclaiming “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” without fully evaluating the facts. They fail to investigate or do adequate research into what caused the event and form conclusions that often has no relationship to the actual facts. Their proclamations make them feel good or sound important but are not based on significant factual evidence. It is like some of our current scientific conclusions that are based on consensus rather than empirical data, research, and clearly demonstratable repetitive results. This group is more problematic because they are not afraid of jumping into the political process and advocating policies that cannot be substantiated by proven research techniques. 
Spotted Owl
They often make policy decisions based on “feel good” emotional issues and social factors rather than quantitative factual information. Their often reach “pie in the sky” solutions that are unrealistic and economically infeasible. Their solutions do not consider any social-economic equilibrium and historically have not solved the root cause of the problem they are trying to mitigate or resolve.
The “wise old owl” represents someone who diligently watches his area to determine the best possible alternatives. They are astute and cognizant of their surroundings. They do not make rash decisions or jump to false or inaccurate conclusions.
Fortunately, there are individuals of all political persuasions who have the wisdom and insight and emulate the wise owl. We need wise counsel all along the political spectrum to insure the decisions we reach are responsible, realistic, and fact based. Our Constitution provides an unprecedented level of freedoms not enjoyed anywhere else in the world. The Constitutional framers recognized that there cannot be absolute freedom because it can become anarchy. They constructed the Constitution so that we could enjoy the maximum levels of freedom as long as it did not adversely impact the freedom of others. It’s time for you to decide if you are an Ostrich, Chicken Little, or Wise Old Owl when it comes to protecting your Constitutional rights and freedoms?


13 Dead in Sunday Border Shootout

U.S. Coast Guard at Falcon Lake, Texas
CBS News - MEXICO CITY - Mexican marines patrolling Falcon Lake, which straddles the Texas-Mexico border, discovered a drug gang camp on an island, provoking a gun-battle that left 13 people dead, Mexico's navy said Monday. One marine and 12 suspected gunmen of the Zetas drug cartel were killed in the exchange Sunday on Falcon Lake, a dammed section of the Rio Grande which gained attention when U.S. citizen David Hartley was presumably chased and gunned down there by pirates last Sept. 30. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Security Levels Raised Around the World

John Cleese
NewNM note - The following piece has been attributed to John Cleese, the British comedian. - The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya and Pakistan and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years. The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides." The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose." Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels. The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy. Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level. Note - Cleese omitted Ireland, which some believe would go something like “#/*@%? English!!!” followed by “Oh it?s not the “#/*@%? English, we better discuss this over a pint or more."


PNM Seeks Huge $85 Rate Hike (11%)

KOB TV - PNM has requested an 11% rate hike which is the largest hike of its kind that the state has seen and if approved New Mexicans will see their electricity bills skyrocket. PNM had originally asked the state to approve a rate hike that totaled $165 million but it has since been scaled back to $85 million. Officials claim they need the extra money to keep up thousands of miles of new transmission lines, aging power plants and infrastructure across the state. PNM Vice President Ron Darnell told regulators that the rate increase was negotiated with customers in mind. "$85 million is a good compromise between the needs of the customer and the needs of the company," Darnell said. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Obama Values: Kill But Don't Waterboard!

Debra Saunders
Townhall - At the end of his "60 Minutes" interview, President Obama said of Osama bin Laden's death, "Justice was done. And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil didn't deserve what he got needs to have their head examined." The longer he serves in office, the more Obama sounds like George W. Bush. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd also has started to sound like Bush. In her Sunday column, "Killing Evil Doesn't Make Us Evil," Dowd writes that when Navy SEALs shot and killed bin Laden, it seemed like "the only civilized and morally sound response."
Nobel Prize
To review: Obama and Dowd long have claimed that it was morally reprehensible for U.S. intelligence operatives to waterboard 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Candidate Obama said that waterboarding was "never acceptable" because it contradicts our values. Obama even dished his now-Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, for having said in 2006 that she would authorize brutal interrogation measures to prevent a terrorist attack. Apparently, it is consistent with Obama's and Dowd's values to shoot and kill an unarmed bin Laden -- as long as you don't waterboard him to learn possible intelligence that might prevent a terrorist attack first. Read full column here: News New Mexico


Have We Slipped Into a Cultural Abyss?

Ronnie Rashid Lynn Jr. "Common"
The Daily Caller - Here’s an opportunity to relive your high-school poetry classes. First Lady Michelle Obama has scheduled a poetry evening for Wednesday, and she’s invited several poets, including a successful Chicago poet and rapper, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., AKA “Common.” However, Lynn is quite controversial, in part because his poetry includes threats to shoot police and at least one passage calling for the “burn[ing]” of then-President George W. Bush. Back in 2003, First Lady Laura Bush held a poetry evening, and she invited several poets to reprise the work of Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman. Although none of those poets had urged violence against a president, Bush canceled the event after left-of-center poets protested and threatened to disrupt the event. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Obama's Illegal Alien Nation

From washingtontimes.com -President Obama is in El Paso Tuesday to give a speech on what he calls “the broken immigration system.” He’d know because he’s the one helping break it. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Secure Communities program under which local law enforcement must turn over illegal criminals to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation. The agency estimates that local law enforcement arrests over 1 million people a year who are not U.S. citizens. Liberal officials in both Illinois and San Francisco last week announced that they will no longer participate in the the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program, preferring instead to allow criminal illegal aliens to roam the streets. While the White House has not responded to the immigration retreat.  More News New Mexico