Swickard column: Windy boy windy for New Mexico

Columbia loaded for trip home- George Swickard
© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  After college my first professional job was in television production. The Albuquerque station had a weatherman who was interesting because he was not from New Mexico. The annual spring winds upset him. In fact, when you asked about the next day’s weather anytime during the year he answered, “Windy boy, windy.”
            And it is time for New Mexico’s annual spring winds. Some people are quite upset with them while the rest of us usually shrug and go about our business. Sometimes we even find humor in the winds.
            A tourist from back east pulled up to a restaurant at the same time as me and was having trouble keeping ahold of his hat. “My God,” he exclaimed with a look of horror at the dust and debris flying by, “Does the wind always blow like this in New Mexico?”
            “Nope,” I said and smiled. “Sometimes it comes from the other direction.” The man was shocked by the violence of the dust. I could not resist. “But the wind right now isn’t blowing enough to pick up scorpions and rattlesnakes so you should be fine. Watch out when the wind really picks up, they can drop right out of the sky.”
            The man could not get out of New Mexico quickly enough. Our Chambers of Commerce hate it when we play with the tourists. And in March and April each year there is plenty of wind to play with tourists. The truth is that if you were born in New Mexico and the winds in spring start blowing dust, you will not have a surprised look on your face.
            One bright spot if you are heading east. A couple years ago I went from Las Cruces to Roswell almost not using any gas in my truck. I felt pretty good about the wind until I drove back to Las Cruces and almost used a tank of gas.
            I feel bad for high profile vehicles since the wind often plays the devil with handling and sometimes even just keeping all four wheels on the ground. Some of the roads in New Mexico are closed in bad dust storms because there can suddenly be zero visibility with the possibility of a big wreck involving many vehicles.
            One of the almost lost stories of wind in New Mexico involves the only time when a NASA Space Shuttle landed in our state. More to the point, what is rarely referenced is the windy day before Space Shuttle Columbia landed.
            In 1976 Northrup Strip was selected by NASA as a Space Shuttle training and backup landing facility. We now call that facility the White Sands Space Harbor at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. New Mexico was halfway between shuttle landing areas at Edwards Air Force Base in California and the Shuttle Landing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
            STS-3 was launched in March 1982 as a seven-day mission but excessive rain in California flooded the landing area there. So the Northrup Strip at White Sands Missile Range was selected. However, it was spring wind season. On the scheduled landing day, it was a nasty dusty day of high winds and low visibility.
            The network news programs showed a New Mexico straight out of a Chamber of Commerce nightmare. It looked like a hurricane except it was dust instead of water. One reporter opined that the Space Shuttle Columbia might never be able to land in New Mexico.
            Not so. The next day at about nine in the morning it was a glorious New Mexico morning as if there had never been a dust storm. About twenty thousand people were at the landing strip and millions watched on television as Columbia landed. So we rarely mention the Wind Hall of Fame day that proceeded the landing.
            Best way to deal with the wind is to expect the coat of dust and not get too worked up about it. We have been having these dust storms in New Mexico for the last two-hundred and eighty million years, come next August so don’t be surprised.
            My advice: get yourself a beverage and stay inside with a good book. It’s going to be windy boy, windy.


The rise of fascism

© 2016 Jim Spence -  Webster provides a simple definition of fascism. "a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government"

Barack Obama has been a disaster for America. But most of us did not know that the kind of damage he would inflict would go far beyond some of the most insane public policies ever enacted.
Jim Spence
Obamacare has forced tens of millions of Americans to look for new coverage each of the last three years thanks to cancellations. In New Mexico we are down to two bad choices. Our annual deductible has risen six thousand dollars. We have less coverage than we had before Obama and the Democrats made insurance more “affordable.” 
Then there is the trillion dollars of debt added over the last seven years. It is more debt than all previous presidents ran up COMBINED. 
Sadly, there are dozens of other public policies that have literally shackled or destroyed companies and/or entire industries. Many companies that are bare survivors of Obama’s anti-business oppression
now offer poor service thanks to regulations that keep them serving power hungry bureaucrats instead of their customers.
America now has hundreds of Obama cronies receiving new forms of corporate welfare. Each cash transfer to a crony is a scandal.
Still, each of these truly regrettable policies pale in comparison to the damage Obama has done to the way Americans see themselves and their country.
You can begin the tracing of the sudden and startling rise of fascism in America to revelations that United States government border agents were killed with guns given to Mexican drug cartels by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. It appears to have been a bone-headed scheme designed to help unravel the 2nd Amendment. But rather than enforce the law, Obama stonewalled. While Holder was eventually censured by Congress for blatantly lying under oath about the deaths of two agents, he was never prosecuted.
Consider all of the provisions of Obamacare that turned out to be completely stupid. Rather than allow any formal amending of the law, which might be viewed as an admission that it was flawed, Obama simply refused to enforce provisions of his own signature legislation. In fact, he bragged that in effect, he had changed the law without a vote in Congress, creating waivers and non-statutory exceptions out of thin air.
There is Obama’s intentional laxity in border control that has left America with tens of millions of people here illegally, tens of thousands on expired visas, and many of those from countries that hate America. Obama simply chooses not to enforce the law.
 And perhaps the most insidious sign that fascism has been woven into the very fabric of the nation was the handling of the IRS scandal. The Obama IRS, acting as if it were the Soviet Union KGB, used the awesome power of the agency to squelch the voices of the opposition during the 2012 election season. When Lois Lerner, the person found to be on the point in this criminal enterprise was called to testify, she took the 5th Amendment. And despite smoking guns everywhere, the Obama Justice Department chose to stonewall the prosecution of Lois Lerner and others, rather than enforce the law. Lerner retired fat and happy on a gigantic pension courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers with no consequences for her actions.
Of course America has always relied on a strong and independent watchdog press to hold elected officials accountable to the rule of law. But thanks to an intense interest in more socialism, the press has become political. The New York Times and Washington Post are nothing more than unofficial Democratic Party propaganda machines. ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and NPR put their loyalty to Democrats ahead of fundamental truths. Fox does the same for the GOP. Nothing is fundamentally true anymore.
There are two telltale signs that the cancer of fascism has spread. The first sign being that there is no rule of law. If you consider how many Department of State and Defense Department employees have done serious jail time for far less than what Hillary Clinton did with highly sensitive information, and you couple this situation with all the other Obama administration refusals to enforce laws, you understand that in the highest offices of the land there are no laws, only discretion by the dictator and his underlings.
The second sign, which is even more alarming, is that the U.S. population has come to accept that fascism is the new reality. Democrats and Republicans have gotten so conditioned to accepting the rise of fascism, we seem prepared to watch the country go off the cliff without even knowing a cliff is there.
Consider the rise of Donald Trump. What Trump said in just the past couple of days about libel laws illustrates the point. Trump said he was going open up the libel laws and sue the hell out of the press when they printed or ran stories he deems to be false. 
Use lawyers to control a once free press?
Why not?
Are Trump followers flabbergasted? Nope. They have seen the IRS use its powers to intimidate those opposed to Obama without consequence. They have seen Eric Holder’s DOJ run guns to drug cartels and Holder perjure himself under oath, without being prosecuted. They have seen Mrs. Clinton’s emails that instruct her staff to commit crimes while she was Secretary of State. Mrs. Clinton goes unpunished. 
Why shouldn’t Donald Trump go after the once free press with an army of lawyers as a way of gaining greater control of what they report?
In 2016 America, we see that no Constitutional Amendment is sacred. We see that the supposedly independent press recoiled in horror as Trump suggested this press would have to start spending resources to defend its 1st Amendment rights.
A question should be asked. Where has the supposedly independent press been while all of the other gross violations of the U.S. Constitution and oaths of office have taken place over the last seven years?
Once a society and its free press accepts the rise of fascism because it would be inconvenient to hold their partisan favorite accountable to basic fundamental truths, truths that should be universal to all Americans, you know the malignant cancer of fascism has metastasized on the nation.
America needs radical surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy on the awareness of the citizens of the vital importance of the U.S. Constitution. As the left has found it fashionable to ridicule the discipline required to follow the Constitution, and looked the other way on all of this horrible president’s outrageous transgressions…….they have paved the way for Donald Trump. 
He who lives via fascism, dies via fascism.

Once I “Had” a Dream......Too

© 2016 Jim Spence -  When we were growing up, the generational gap on race was wide. I remember the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. Though I can’t say I fully understood it back then, I knew that there were some deep-seated prejudices in the white community towards blacks that needed to become taboo. They have.

Most baby boomers are proud our generation was on the forefront of ending the dividing of people along color lines. Still, things were different in the 1960's. Most black kids I grew up with lived in two parent homes. However, just as the influence of racism was coming to an end, the trend of two parent homes in the black community changed. It happened at the exact same time the federal government, under socialist Lyndon Johnson, decided to "fight poverty" by subsidizing single parent homes. LBJ did not fight poverty, he encouraged it. 

These days most black kids grow up in single parent homes. It is a direct result of government providing real incentives for young women to have babies out of wedlock. The poverty rate among married whites is the same as it is for married blacks. It is too bad that so many young black mothers are not married. They take the government bait, get hooked on it, and languish in poverty the rest of their lives.

In the 1960’s and early 70’s the vast majority of whites in the baby boom generation bent over BACKWARDS to make sure that any black we encountered in any walk of life knew that their skin color made no difference to us. We taught our kids these same fair-minded values and our grown children embrace these values today. As we aged, we figured that with the next generation prepared well, racism in the white community would pretty much disappear. We were right. It has pretty much disappeared. Of course you can never completely eliminate racism….but it is pretty much a thing of the past.

What isn’t gone is how cynical Democrats are in doing everything they can to stir racial divisions in America at every turn. Many high profile blacks like Mr. Obama, the Congressional Black Caucus, and entertainers like Spike Lee take every opportunity to stoke the tiny embers of racism that remain under rocks, and pretend those dying embers are national infernos. The result of promoting a false narrative has been a catastrophe. There has been an incredible rise in racism among blacks. Thanks to Mr. Obama and his devotees, Democrats have facilitated a huge increase in antagonism towards non-socialist whites that grows more alarming with every passing day.

While Democrats conjure up images of “white privilege,” in states like Illinois, it is actually illegal for the government to hire our firm to manage public funds…..because we are white men.

The dream of a color blind society has become a nightmare. Despite the truth about what the baby boom generation did to eradicate racism, it is a matter of routine for every Democratic candidate to accuse all Republicans of being racists. Racist accusations have become the modern version of the Spanish Inquisition. Race-baiting is now the primary tool of Democrats to hang on to 90% of the black vote. Within no other ethnic group in America, do anywhere near 90% of the people vote the same way. This suggests not only that stoking racial paranoia has worked, but that Democrats need racial paranoia in the black community just to survive.

There are many blacks who cringe at the facts regarding the horrific practice of race-baiting. Brilliant men and women like Thomas Sowell, Star Parker, and Walter Williams, along with hundreds of others have vehemently protested the way Democrats con the black community and preach a message that somehow the system is rigged against them….based on skin color. Sadly, the voices of these blacks, people who should become more influential as time passes, are stifled instead. Rarely are any of these profoundly intelligent and insightful men and women given forums at NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, NPR, or in the nation’s leading newspapers. Instead the “news” outlets choose to infer that a handful of race-baiting pimps like Al Sharpton speak for the entire black community. And accordingly, the big lies of the race pimps spread like cancer. Blacks are led to believe that somehow they have unique “issues” that are substantially different than all other Americans. The truth is, if the media did not provide a forum for pimps to fan the fears of racial paranoia, what you would find is there is no difference in what blacks and all other Americans care about. We all care about our families and our ability to support them.

Once upon a time, when I was young, I had a dream. The dream was that people would someday be judged by the content of their character, instead of the color of their skin. It was the dream of most Americans and personified by Martin Luther King Jr. That dream actually came true. But these days Democrats deny the reality of that dream being fulfilled. It is a national disgrace that they will go so far as to accuse people who fought against racism of being racist, simply to stoke the fires of division and secure the black vote.

The realization of one of our nation’s greatest dreams has been high jacked. These days dividing our country instead of uniting it is the goal of the Democrats. You can expect Hillary Clinton to use the race card again this year in an effort to get blacks to hate the GOP nominee. And she will do so more fervently than ever. It is pathetic how she will behave. Reprehensible in every way.


Swickard: The magic wand of work

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” Thomas Edison
            The New Mexico Legislature has ended and there are people in our state who were wanting those politicians to change the sad plight of New Mexico, which is last in almost every category in our nation. They are disappointed that despite the politician promises at election time New Mexico remains poor.
            If past performance is a predictor of future performance it is a good bet that New Mexico ten years from now will still be last in most categories. Why, because the Legislature does not have a magic wand to wave over the Land of Enchantment to bring wealth to every citizen.
            Yes, legislation can help citizens who want to lift themselves out of poverty. Legislation can make New Mexico more attractive for businesses. But the heavy lifting of changing the fortunes of New Mexico must be done by the citizens themselves.
            It starts with a work culture. New Mexico suffers from a culture of not working. Right now more New Mexicans are not working than are working. The poverty programs in our state make it hard to take a job for pay when the pay will nullify benefits. And the state does nothing since the poverty programs employ many people and give power to the leaders.
            Question: when do most people who get a job do so? The week after their unemployment benefits end. Or, and this is important. They get a job almost immediately after losing a job. One or the other. I’m painting with a large brush, but we have two cultures.
One says “I work proudly.” The other rides government programs until they end and then despairs. Those who go for a year between jobs while milking the system find it hard to get a job when benefits run out.
            However, some sectors such as the Agriculture Industry are full of proud workers. If they do not like a job they hunt another before moving on. The Oil and Gas Industry have men and women who do not watch the clock, they get the job done.
            But as an employer myself and manager of hundreds of workers over the last forty years I find many young people are not taught to work. No, not that you need a 13/16 socket to take out a spark plug. They do not know you must be on time always. In fact, be five minutes early so if traffic snarls you are not late.
            This all starts in public schools which should not propagandize but should provide many examples of enjoying work. The magic wand, if you want to think of it as such is attitude. Thomas Edison looked forward to going to work each day because he liked to work. Those people who enjoy being employed are important.
            Many people in New Mexico think that wealth comes from the government and all you have to do is have one of your relatives get elected to some office and the wealth truck will make regular deliveries. And in our crony corrupt state that is more true than not. But it cannot and will not last.
            What happens to these people when their relative is caught and cannot provide any more loot? Then they turn to drugs for quick cash. Some New Mexicans have no Social Security benefits because they never have worked officially.
            The attitude that is important is to find things about the job that prepare you for the next job. We hear so much about minimum wage jobs but most people only make the minimum wage for a few months and then are promoted beyond it if they apply themselves.
            If it is easier to float on the government programs than actually go to work this will come to the end at some point. At some point the problems of our budget and debt will intrude. We are spending money that we do not have.
            Who will ride out the hard times the best? Those who can hunker down working at any job and being satisfied with making money rather than having it given to them. They have the magic wand of work.


Mean-spirited, selfish, greedy, or stupid?

© 2016 Jim Spence - A well known pundit summarized the difference between Democrats and Republicans quite well. Democrats think Republicans are mean-spirited, selfish, and greedy. And Republicans think Democrats are stupid.
You can understand why this is so. If you listen to the language of our Democrat family members the insinuations of their moral superiority due to our excessive greed drips off nearly every phrase during discussions of current events. And of course we hear them embrace big government like the govbots they are….ever ready to keep doubling down on socialism regardless of the fact it has been an utter failure throughout human history.
And it matters not that our charitable donations dwarf theirs, nor does it matter that we pay more in federal, state, and property taxes to support their precious government than they do.
Though we pay more towards the support of government in a year than they pay in a decade, in their estimation, what we cover is not close to enough.
Nope, there is little room for middle ground. Because we favor free enterprise to simply giving the keys to the means of production to big government bureaucrats, either we are mean, selfish, and greedy or they are stupid.
Still, you have to wonder about GOP primary voters in New Hampshire and South Carolina these days. As they try to sort out the choices for President, they must consider that after seven years of disaster under Obama, many things need fixing. The good news is since 2012, we have witnessed a period that has seen voters increasingly turn away from Obama’s Marxist solutions to every problem. And the GOP has a golden opportunity this year to regain the White House and keep control of Congress.
But instead of taking the layup win GOP voters are being mesmerized by a circus clown.
Donald Trump’s resume is not complicated. He inherited hundreds of millions of dollars from his daddy. He borrowed billions of dollars on four major projects. Each project was a monument to the Trump self-promotion ego with his name plastered all over them. On each project he wound up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and stiffing people he made big promises to.
Trump is without a doubt, a clever man. He shielded his sizable inheritance from each bankruptcy proceeding, while also managing to skim millions of dollars away from each project for his personal benefit. Though Trump surrendered a large portion of his “equity” in each project, in effect he took more equity out than he ever put in to each project with his financial shell games.
Why did Trump’s projects fail? First, he has no managerial ability. Second, he never hesitated to borrow other people’s money recklessly. 
Again, dissecting the Trump biography is NOT complicated. However, what Trump has been able to do, thanks to millions of hopelessly gullible people in the nation, is to create the myth, that he is some sort of business genius and negotiating wizard. Trump may be a wizard when it comes to using other people’s money (beginning with his father’s), but he is no business genius.
Trump has set his sights high in the latest “deal.” These days he chases the highest political office in the land and manipulates the national press with the greatest of ease. At his disposal, should he win, is a bloated federal bureaucracy that is desperately in need of more efficient management, hardly Trump’s strong suit. But even more daunting is the idea that Trump will gain access to more borrowing power at lower interest rates than anyone can possibly imagine. Should his latest con work, Trump will be taking over a situation that needs two things he does not have, managerial ability and financial discipline.
Why don’t GOP voters see Trump’s biography for what it is? Two thirds of them do. But in a crowded field it seems that there are just enough dummies in the GOP primaries willing to fall for Trump’s latest con job. It is true that slowly the also-rans are dropping out of the race. The question is will enough of them get out soon enough to stop the madness of falling for the Trump con? Only time will tell. Personal ambitions are tough to curb. If the GOP voters settle on Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz they are layups in a race against Hillary Clinton. They are also much more likely to give America intelligent public policies, smaller government, and more fiscal discipline.
While Republicans think Democrats are stupid, the early primaries show there are more than a few dumb bunnies voting these days. It is a pity. Getting mad is one thing. Getting stupid is another.

Oh Jimmy

© 2016 Jim Spence - Oh my Lord. The Democrats have re-discovered the U.S. Constitution.  Well part of it anyway.

After seven years of supporting utter fascism, the Democrats demand that the GOP be held to a very strict interpretation of what they think the rules are on the replacement of Antonin Scalia.

Control of the Supreme Court is so important to progressives the dead judge’s body was not cold yet before Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were indignantly calling for confirmation hearings of Scalia’s replacement…….appointed by King Obama. We want advice and consent they crowed, and we want it right now!

Politics has always been a messy business, but Democrats have managed to shed all premises that they were constrained by the U.S. Constitution under King Obama. Let’s take a quick peek at the Nixonian law and order Democrats.

Democrats have seen to it that Lois Lerner and other Obama supporters were allowed to use the IRS as a political police force to intimidate and block non-Democrats from engaging in the same political activities as…..Democrats. So outrageous and illegal was Lerner’s conduct at the IRS, that when she was subpoenaed to explain it, she invoked her 5th Amendment protections and refused to testify. 

Imagine the consequences of Lerner’s behavior. Yep, you will have to imagine them because the Justice Department let her get away with everything she did without any legal repercussions whatsoever. Why did Lois Lerner get away it? Because the law is very malleable. It doesn’t apply to Democrats.

Speaking of the Justice Department, Eric Holder, the person who should have nailed Lerner to the cross for her Gestapo like behavior, was actually censured by the Congress himself. Why? He ignored subpoenas to provide information on his own gun running operations that got several government agents killed. Holder was caught telling blatant lies to the Senate. He lied under oath without consequence. Why did Holder get away with it? You can break the law and ignore subpoenas if you are a Democrat.

Then of course there is Harry Reid, the grand master of Senate rule manipulating shenanigans. Reid broke every Senate rule so that Obamacare could pass in the middle of the night by one vote giving almighty government untold control of our lives.

We could talk about how the EPA has turned itself into a legislative body, essentially making law that destroys companies and industries under King Obama. Or we could talk about how the Energy Department makes loans to Obama cronies, loans that had no hopes of ever being repaid. This was all done under the guise of saving the planet. No consequences.

Now that Judge Scalia is dead the Democrats want to define precisely the time frame for the Senate’s advice and consent on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. Obama will no doubt have a nominee within a month in an effort to try to force the Senate to dance to his latest tune.

Sorry Charlie. Elections do have consequences and the GOP, which won elections to control the Senate, can and will take its sweet time vetting the latest Marxist who will no doubt be offered up for a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the land.

Just like the State Department has taken its sweet time in releasing all of the redacted versions of Hillary Clinton’s non-classified (top secret) emails she sent and received on an unprotected server, the Senate may never even get the nominee up for a vote. They are going to go slow.

Get ready for howls of indignant pain.

There is an inherent problem in doing end runs around the U.S. Constitution for seven years. Eventually you have to punt. And it is a real shame when your opponents invoke completely legal ways to put stonewalling and delays into their own playbook.

There is a perfect analogy for all of this. The Democrats think of the U.S. Constitution like Jimmy Swaggert thinks of the Bible. It is a document they point to when they aren’t riding around with hookers in their limousines.  In the days, weeks, and months ahead Democrats are going to be prancing around stages all over America preaching to anyone dumb enough to listen, about the importance of “righteousness.”


Swickard: New solutions for poverty and illegal drug use

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.    Comedian W. C. Fields joked, "The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep." That is like the solutions our leaders have for America's problems of illegal drug use and poverty. Over the last sixty years our leaders have filled to overflowing our court system with non-violent illegal drug users. And our leaders have dramatically increased the number of people on welfare.
            Neither solution over the years has even started to eradicate the problems. Worse, it seems the best minds in our society can only come up with things that make the problems worse. We have more illegal drug use and more poverty now after spending billions of dollars.
            Tragically both leave lots of human carnage in their wake and lost opportunities for generations. It would be nice if we apply Thomas Edison's view of failure. He referred to inventions that didn't work by saying, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." In each case he tried something different.
            Our leaders cannot see different solutions for poverty and illegal drug use other than what we have been doing for sixty years. Albert Einstein said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
            Part of the problem is that crime and welfare are huge industrial complexes with billions of dollars to employ people. If you no longer need all of those police and prison workers do we have anyone who could fire a million government workers? Politically it is impossible. But it needs to be done.
            Poverty is not because other people are successful. Poverty is because people do not have the desired productive skills or inclinations to use their skills. Welfare stalls people from jobs because they lose benefits.
            Poverty doesn't cause crime. Criminal behavior and illegal drug use are mental illnesses. I am not saying ignore or release them because it is an illness. But before we find a solution we must correctly identify the problem. We must frame as mental illness the disregard of society's rules.
            Putting millions of Americans into the legal system because of their choice for themselves of taking drugs does not work. One approach is to view illegal drug use as a health problem rather a criminal offense. Portugal did so in 2001. The results are compelling.
            I am not involved in the illegal drug question personally. A few years ago a speaker said, "All you people from the sixties spent your time in college partying and smoking dope." I raised my hand and said, "Did not!" If drugs were all legal I would still only be medicated by coffee and green chile.
            The reason I am looking to Portugal along with twenty-five other nations is that over fifty years as a journalist I have watched our drug policies fail miserably. Drugs are as available now as fifty years ago, according to people who know.
            I believe that the correct direction for our country was mentioned by Herbert Hoover in 1928 as he was campaigning to be elected President of the United States. He said, "We have not yet reached the goal but... we shall soon, with the help of God, be in sight of the day when poverty shall be banished from this nation. There is no guarantee against poverty equal to a job for every man."
            Our nation can become great when we allow people to become more productive, to use their natural talents and abilities in jobs. Jobs are the great changer of a society. The free market is the engine of prosperity. The enemy of prosperity is government people who want to control the free market.
            Every rule or regulation that diminishes the ability of people to be productive moves people toward poverty. It is not something that can be legislated. Everyone is either moving toward poverty or not. Change the drug laws to treat it as an illness and not something to fund our vast law-enforcement/judicial/prison industries.
            I hope Winston Churchill was right when he wrote, "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." We've tried all those things that don't work, let's try something different.


Thanks public education and Hollywood

© 2016 Jim Spence - History is littered with the economic failures of socialism. Every American should know this. Too few do. This explains how Bernie Sanders can gather so many votes. 

And of course, the great irony is that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are socialists too. The only difference between Obama and Clinton, versus Sanders, is both Obama and Clinton are under the mistaken impression that Americans actually know that socialism does not work. Accordingly Obama and Clinton have never labeled their deep preference for socialist policies as “socialism.”

It is ironic that Bernie Sanders is calling for a political revolution of socialism when he is actually in favor of virtually every big government idea that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton ever conceived. Bernie Sanders has supported every curb on freedom that has already been foisted on the American people by Obama. Sanders not only embraces oppressive anti-freedom socialist laws like Obamacare, he embraces U.S. Constitution defying agency actions taken by the E.P.A.  Sanders has supported the dictatorship-like actions that have produced the results he now roundly criticizes.

While Hillary Clinton has resorted to praising everything about Obama in the hopes of capturing black primary voters, Sanders is railing indignantly at the status quo he has helped craft. This is some revolution he is promoting. The truth is both Sanders and Clinton are not only revolting, they are revolting against themselves.

Why don’t millions of Americans know any of this?
The answer is simple. The influence of public education and Hollywood has poisoned millions of minds. The great scandal of public education is that it simply refuses to teach students why free enterprise works and socialism fails. Public education is the most corrupt institution in America because it always goes back for more resources and is allotted more money to waste……from socialists. Public education has no incentive to teach Americans how to raise their living standards through free enterprise because public education raises its own living standards via a corrupt relationship with socialist Democrats.

What role does Hollywood play in insuring Americans don’t understand free enterprise? It is a great irony that the entertainment industry, while engaging in virtually unregulated free enterprise, cranks out one feature film and TV show after another that casts free enterprise as evil. It is the socialists who are the heroes in the pop culture carefully crafted by Hollywood.

Hollywood also makes sure minorities remain uninformed. Despite millions of examples of blacks and Hispanics climbing the ladder of free enterprise success in America, along with public education and pop culture icons, Hollywood continuously advances the false narrative that free enterprise rigs the system against minorities. It is the greatest paradox of all that Hollywood engages in free enterprise to destroy free enterprise.

How uninformed is the America we live in today? Few Americans know that Donald Trump is hardly a self-made man. Few realize his wealth came, not from his abilities or wisdom, but from those of his father. Most Americans think Trump is some sort of business genius. And few Americans know Trump stiffed thousands of people out of their money with several bankruptcy filings that left his inherited wealth intact…..while those who relied on his big promises got screwed.

In the end, it is pretty hard to undo what public education and Hollywood has done to America. Allowing public education to corrupt the minds of several generations of Americans has finally produced a nation that contains too many uninformed rubes. More than ever before Americans now know so many things that simply aren’t true.

Thirty-six years ago we temporarily fixed this increasingly dangerous situation when Ronald Reagan helped America understand that government….“Wasn’t the solution, government was the problem.” 

Sadly and due mostly to public education and Hollywood, we have unlearned the lesson about the dangers of big government all over again. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton want us to unlearn that tough lesson even more. 

Astonishingly, Donald Trump may be our only hope to reverse this pathetic trend.


Swickard: SJR 1 has a serious defect

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  "The prison-industrial complex and the military-industrial complex are here with us and are multi-billion dollar enterprises. We can make more money off the kid in Compton if he's a criminal instead of a scholar. It's business." Henry Rollins
             I have written many times about the prison-industrial complex in New Mexico and our nation. Millions of dollars go to law-enforcement and the judicial-industrial complex for justice. From the pettiest of crimes to the most pernicious, the judicial system rides herd over thousands of citizens.
            Then there are prisons with all of the staffing. Somewhere in all of this money come bail bondsmen. There is something aimed at them that is not a good idea.
            This session in the New Mexico Legislature a proposed Constitutional Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 1, involving bail reform doesn't mean what people think. The test is easy. Another bill with the same language except for one provision, House Joint Resolution 13, is being offered and is said to be dead.
            The news media and casual observers may not see what is happening but the attorneys in the Legislature certainly do and they are "game-on" for this windfall. What is the one provision?
            That if someone is arrested and goes before a judge instead of having to post a bond saying they will make their court appearance, they can be released if they are poor and are not violent. For them no bail will be required.
            The easy sell on both measures is that Judges will have more power to keep violent people in jail without any chance of being released before their trial. That is a big push for a safer New Mexico. Many people are injured because a violent offender reoffends while on bail. The second set of victims naturally feels that the offender should have been kept in jail. So that change in New Mexico Constitutional Law is needed.
            The "More money for defense lawyers" provision in SJR1 which is missing from HJR13 involves that some people are kept in jail when they cannot arrange bail. Sometimes bail is ridiculously low such as one hundred dollars. Jails spend more than that per day housing those citizens.
            What is not being said by anyone but the Bail Industry spokesmen is that most people who can get bail do so by their relatives or friends coming up with the money and property collateral. Who would put up their house for their child if the alternative is to refuse to do so and their child is released for being poor and unable to afford bail?
            When someone is bailed out there are two parties that work together to make sure that person makes their court appointments: the people who provided the money for that person's release and the Bail Bondsman. Both have a financial interest in that person doing the right things.
            If people are just released on their own recognizance, there is not that pressure. Further, the private enterprise of Bail Bonds is such that the risk is weighed on each individual. Some people cannot bond out because no bail bondsman will take the risk. That is good to know.
            Finally, the real push for this provision is to free up resources from the parents and friends for the defense lawyers. Right now they see the bail as taking money from them since the friends and relatives come up with that money. With no bail required that same money that otherwise would go to bail would be available as extra resources for the lawyers.
            With this provision in SJR1 the lawyers see a pot of money glimmering and they assume most people will not think this through. They will just react to the notion of a debtor's prison where people sit behind bars because they don't even have a hundred dollars.
            I would like to see HJR13 pass and be voted on by citizens in November but not SJR1. It is making a bad situation worse and funneling more money to lawyers while ending a private enterprise that minute by minute in our system looks at the flight risk of each person.
            Are their abuses? Of course. But that is no reason to make the system worse.


Swickard: Mosquitoes like the DDT ban

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." Voltaire
             The newest scare for Americans is a virus just making its way into our country named Zika. It is related to West Nile virus which we already are battling. The problem is we Americans have a cure for mosquitoes but for political reasons we will not use it.
            The way to deal with this epidemic is to kill all of the mosquitoes who spread the disease. While it seems hard to kill all of the mosquitoes, we have almost done it once before but politics gave the mosquitoes a chance to come back fully and kill millions upon millions of people.
            Several years ago two researchers had an article in Forbes, "Rachel Carson's Deadly Fantasies." This was published September 5, 2012. Dr. Henry Miller and Gregory Conko wrote that Rachel Carson's book, "Silent Spring" led to a worldwide ban on DDT use. Lacking DDT to kill mosquitoes is responsible for the loss of tens of millions of human lives, mostly children in poor tropical countries.
            They opine, "This remains one of the monumental human tragedies of the last century."
            The insecticide DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was first discovered in 1874 and in 1939 a Swiss Chemist found it had great insecticidal properties. It was used in World War Two to control malaria and typhus. After the war the use of DDT expanded.
            The discovery of DDT's usefulness won the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. Mosquitoes were controlled to the point that in just a decade they were seriously on the decline and therefore Malaria deaths were likewise on the decline.
            With no valid data DDT was banned and still is banned due to a political book by Rachel Carson in the 1960s. Malaria death returned and have stayed high. Mosquitoes have brought many other maladies of encephalitis and West Nile virus to the point that New Mexicans are injured or killed each year.
            It is a political campaign to keep DDT on the banned list when it has no known harm to humans and the presumed harm to raptors could not be replicated from Rachel Carson's book. Instead of telling people in New Mexico to put on mosquito repellent and to stay indoors, our government should kill every mosquito.
            Yes, the environmental lobby will not stand for it, but we could try. I have lost two friends to West Nile virus and have no patience for the environmental people who condemn our most fragile populations to death and diseases. If they, the environmentalists wish to die, so be it, but the great martyrs of our world did not send women and children into the wilderness instead of going themselves.
            Every death worldwide to malaria is an unnecessary death. Every death or illness from mosquito born viruses is not necessary. Millions are dying unnecessarily each year. Rachel Carson and her faulty research are responsible for millions of deaths.
            And we are responsible for those deaths because even by the early 1970s it was obvious to our scientists that the loss of DDT was far more harmful to human lives that we had realized before the ban. At that point there should have been an outpouring of information to reverse this ban. There wasn't because environmentalists are rabid about their agenda.
            In the 1950s, while I was living in Japan, early in the mornings the DDT truck would come down our street spraying the mosquitoes. We kids would often play in the mist to no harm other than ants refused to crawl on us for several days.
            Talking the truth gets people attacked because the environmentalists are political not scientific. If you join me in calling for the reintroduction of DDT all over New Mexico to protect our elderly and children you will be attacked. But the lives of our children are worth it.
            I'm all for setting up a Blue-Ribbon panel to investigate this controversy as long as politicians stay out of the way. They know nothing and only react to political causes. I always say to never use a political solution for a non-political problem.
            Mosquitoes are killing our citizens. There should be no politics as to the cure. It's DDT.