Swickard: Helping Downwinders injured by the Trinity atomic bomb test

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “In answer to the question: was the development of the atomic bomb by the United States necessary? I reply unequivocally, yes. To the question: is atomic energy a force for good or for evil? I can only say: as mankind wills it.” Lt. Gen. Leslie Richard Groves who directed the Manhattan Project to create the first atomic bomb.
             President Barack Obama was in Hiroshima, Japan this last week and said in a ceremony, “We stand here in the middle of this city and force ourselves to imagine the moment the bomb fell. We force ourselves to feel the dread of children confused by what they see. We listen to a silent cry. We remember all the innocents killed across the arc of that terrible war and the wars that came before and the wars that would follow.”
            The man who made the decision, President Harry Truman wrote in 1946, “I knew what I was doing when I stopped the war that would have killed a half a million youngsters on both sides if those bombs had not been dropped. I have no regrets and under the same circumstances I would do it again.”
            Over the decades the debate continues about using the atomic bombs. President Obama stirred the pot by visiting Hiroshima near Memorial Day which commemorates American men and women who died in the service of our country. To families of WWII dead and injured it was the wrong week to visit Japan.
            And I have a small part in that history since I am a New Mexico Downwinder. We were injured years later by the downwind radiation left by the first test of the nuclear bomb since it was exploded in New Mexico. We who were born and lived downwind of the Trinity explosion in New Mexico didn’t know the deadly effect.
            People argue the issues of using atomic bombs, especially against civilians. But we Downwinders are civilians injured in this enterprise. Our government has turned its back on us and our injuries. A politician’s representative in exasperation years ago stated, “We beat the Japanese, what do you want?”
            I immediately said, “I would like to not have gotten cancer from that effort. Lacking that, would you help me and other Downwinders deal with our injuries?” The representative said that Congress has no will to help us, though they did help the Japanese who were injured by America’s use of atomic bombs to end WWII.
            To the issue of President Truman using the bombs, everything I have read points to that decision as saving perhaps a couple million lives, both American and Japanese. Operation Downfall: the planned invasion of the Island of Japan was massive as was the will of the Japanese to resist.
            The two operations, Olympic and Coronet planned to use millions of American soldiers and we know the Japanese military along with their civilians were set to fight to the death. Also, I have friends who were on troop ships headed to take part in those operations. They perhaps escaped combat death by the use of the bombs.
            President Obama said, “We may not be able to eliminate man’s capacity to do evil, so nations and the alliances that we form must possess the means to defend ourselves. But among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.”
            This doesn’t seem possible with aggressive nations and even terrorists having nuclear weapons. The notion of Mutually Assured Destruction is all that keeps us from being attacked. I fear both atomic weapons and a world where we have none while our enemies have some.
            President Obama might not have used the atomic bombs to end WWII. Thank God for President Truman. I feel the use of those weapons were justified in 1945 against Japan. Unfortunately, I do have to live with the results of our country exploding a nuclear device here in New Mexico.
            We are left with the question: should Downwinders get help for our illnesses? We can debate the use of nuclear weapons, but first take care of those Americans injured the last time America did so.


Rattled leaders, jury trials, and unrepentant liars

© 2016 Jim Spence  
There are so many strange things going on it is difficult to choose a topic for a column. This week I decided to simply write a random stream of consciousness and point out some of the oddities of three topics: The latest Freddie Gray trial, Trump’s rattling of foreign leaders, and the Inspector General’s report on Hillary Clinton.

Last week a black Baltimore judge acquitted a white Baltimore police officer of any wrong doing regarding the Freddie Gray arrest. In this situation, it is extraordinarily ironic that the U.S. Constitution provided this officer with the right to a trial by jury. Trial by jury is a specific right written into our Constitution to protect us from biased appointed servants of the king, who might lock us up in jail and throw away the key for capricious reasons. Unfortunately, we Americans have learned all too much about juries of our “peers” in recent years. It is sad how little some juries can be interested in….“justice.” The O.J. Simpson jury is a shining example. This group of people exhibited far too many of the characteristics that are plaguing America. None of these jurors regularly read a newspaper. Eight of the twelve O.J. jurors regularly watched tabloid TV shows. Five thought it was sometimes appropriate to use force on a family member. And each and every one of the O.J. jurors was a Democrat. The result is the O.J. jury let Simpson walk away from the commission of a brutal double homicide…..because they didn’t like white cops. 

In Baltimore last week it became clear that this particular white cop’s lawyers had long ago figured out the danger of obtaining justice for a white cop in front of a jury that would not be all that different from the one O.J. had. The cop’s attorney opted to roll the dice with a black judge instead. And this black judge, as he should, quickly and unceremoniously tossed out the absurd charges levied against the officer. It is also worth noting the Democrat district attorney is a woman who has a built her career by the stoking of racial paranoia in the black community just as Mr. Obama has.

Speaking of Obama let’s consider his statement earlier this week regarding the views of foreign leaders when it comes to assessing Donald Trump. Obama said, he has spoken to many foreign leaders who are…..get this….rattled by the emergence of Donald Trump. Now anyone who is a regular reader of these columns knows I am no fan of the Donald. The breeder of my dog had named him Trump. And four years ago, long before Trump became a presidential candidate, I chose to change my dog’s name. I felt like it would be better if he had a more likable handle then Trump. But I digress.

Consider what happens every day in the world. Virtually all forms of transactions are negotiable. Trade agreements must be hammered out and complied with. Military protection must be shaped and then paid for. Bilateral immigration policies must be negotiated and enforced. Sanctions against offenders of previous agreements and/or international standards of decency must be coordinated. No country involved in negotiations with Mr. Obama has ever been rattled by anything he does. The only possible exception is our ally Israel who Obama has betrayed repeatedly. The latest betrayal is an insanely naïve agreement with Iran. The truth is we now have one way agreements with a roster of nations so long it would take ten pages to list them all. China and Iran are only the first that come to mind.

In the dark recesses of my mind I remember the last time Democrats suggested that an opponent was “dangerous” to international stability. It was during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980, which also happened to be an election year. The man who supposedly terrified the international community, according to Democrats, was derisively called Ronald Ray Gun. Reagan was a war monger for sure, or so we we were told. Of course Reagan won the election in November of 1980. And in January of 1981, the rattled Iranians released the U.S. embassy hostages. It was the same day Reagan took the oath of office. Ironically, the Soviet Union disintegrated without a shot being fired a decade later. Apparently both Iran and the U.S.S.R. truly were “rattled” by Reagan in 1980. Maybe every now and then it is good when nations taking advantage of the U.S. get rattled instead of emboldened. Sometimes foreign leaders remind me of children who get rattled because they are afraid they might have to pick up the dog poop and clean their rooms before the U.S. taxpayers give them their allowances.
The inspector’s general released its findings on Hillary Clinton this week. Essentially what was said in the report would put anyone else in jail. It proved that everything Clinton has ever said about her gross violations of important national security laws was utterly false. The woman is an unrepentant liar. In the meantime, there was another story on campaign finance investigations suggesting that that the Clinton Foundation is nothing more than a thinly veiled money laundering operation. Though Bernie Sanders has been a ward of the state his entire adult life, living off the taxpayers the whole way, we do share his outrage that both the Clinton’s behave like slimy dictators in lawless enclave. 
How sad it is that the hallmark of the last eight years of governing in America has been selective law enforcement……while Obama was making sure any adversary is ever rattled…..except American business people.


Swickard column: Who profits from our problems?

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  “If you want to understand any problem in America, you need to look at who profits from that problem, not at who suffers from that problem.” Dr. Amos Wilson
             A comedian once said the hardest job in the world is to be a funeral director at a million-dollar funeral. Hard to look glum with the mourners. That’s the problem in our world. Many of the problems that plague us are so profitable to other people. We should look to see who profits from our misery.
            Take poverty: if we just handed the money to the poor we would save money instead of the millions of poverty administrators who make a good living on the poverty bandwagon. It’s an industry unto itself where money is given from Washington to the states and the states employ workers in their state to carry out the aims of the program.
            The War on Poverty is a fifty year jobs program for government workers. It has been wildly successful at spending money on the administration of programs and giving political power to people. Sadly, we have as much if not more poverty than when we started. But we are not looking at who profits.
            Former president Ronald Reagan said, “We should measure welfare’s success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.” Consider: who profits? First, politicians who promise to help those on welfare. Second, all of the government workers administering welfare.
            Our country did not have a described drug problem until the end of prohibition when all of those in the legal areas were about to be thrown out of work because alcohol was once again legal. So they latched onto illegal drugs, slowly at first but it is an industry that is scared of legalizing these drugs because it would put them out of work.
            They sanctimoniously claim they are just protecting us from ourselves but in reality if all drugs were legal and we treated drug use as a mental illness, the army of law enforcement officers would no longer be needed. So rather than look at who is injured by drugs, we know why we have the problem because of who profits from it.
            Likewise, Congress spends much of its time talking about protecting us from bad Congressional decisions. Namely, we are upset when companies move off-shore but we don’t hold Congress accountable. Why should we? Because most companies would rather be in our country but the rules out of Washington leave them no choice but to leave.
            Companies in the United States pay a thirty-five percent corporate tax. Their competitors for the same markets pay much less in corporate taxes in their countries. So our companies move to those countries. We know who suffers: American workers and our economy. Who profits? Congress who raises lots of money for themselves talking about the evil companies who leave.
            But they left because of the actions of Congress. What is the chance that Congress will lower the corporate taxes and make it easier to do business in the United States? Exactly zero. There is no political money to be made doing what is right for Americans.
            Our public education system has been administered to death with the mania for political accountability. The testing companies are profiting and so are the administrators but the students themselves lose in an environment of learn an answer, be tested on that answer, learn an answer, etc. There is so much profit that our poor students must suffer a lesser education to provide a huge profit to administrators and testing companies who of course provide political money.
            The decisions that have lead us into this valley of stupid are made by elected officials who do not personally suffer for their stupidity and misaligned priorities. Every election the same solutions are offered and the citizens suffer so that the politicians can prosper.
            Dr. Thomas Sowell said, “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”
            What is worse is putting those decisions in the hands of people who profit by us suffering.


The Obama and Chavez legacies crystalizing

© 2016 Jim Spence “If you like your health insurance you can keep it.” 
In 2016 every citizen, whether Democrat or Republican, now knows that this statement, which Mr. Obama echoed repeatedly as he pushed for the government takeover of healthcare, was nothing but a bald-faced lie.
Still, if you talk to Democrats, they will shrug off the Obama lie. Obama Democrats remind me of the Nixon Republicans. I have spoken with many Nixon defenders. Like Obama defenders they manage to shrug off corruption too easily. Most often Nixon defenders said of such deceit, “Everyone does it, everyone lies.”
Well there you go.
Kristi and I have had our health insurance policies cancelled three consecutive years. We know many others who have had theirs cancelled too. Essentially we have already spent dozens of hours the last three years shopping for third rate policies. Since Obamacare went into effect, our out of pocket maximums have skyrocketed from $500 to $6,500 and our prescription coverage has gone from good to terrible. The good news is post menopausal Kristi does have maternity coverage thanks to the one-size-fits-all mandates imposed by the Democrats running the government and healthcare.
Of course the real problem with America is ignorance..........ignorance perpetuated by Democrats. Consider how many times the government has seized control of something and ruined it. This is not a new phenomenon. Think about air mail service, which was taken over by the federal government shortly after Franklin Roosevelt took power. The Democrats did not like the “profiteering” going on with mail service, so they demanded that the government be put in charge to replace greedy private contractors. Dozens of plane crashes later (and poor service to go with it), Mr. Roosevelt admitted that the private sector needed to run air mail service. Nobody admits these things today. We double down instead.
Riots in Venezuela
There are so many examples of the government overpowering the private sector and then screwing up important areas of life that would be better served by the private sector, you can’t count them all. Obamacare is but another large scale example. Why are we surprised it is a disaster?
This week there are two more examples of how poorly things get run by government. These examples are rearing their ugly heads and making headlines. It seems that government control of everything is finally going mission critical in Venezuela. And there are such profound shortages of basic essentials like food and water that the people there are rioting. It seems that Hugo Chavez’s handpicked socialist successor, Mr. Maduro may well start to fear for his own safety. People get kind of hostile when the wait in line while their bellies are empty.
Do you think America has learned that government being in charge of everything is always a disaster? Think again. Bernie Sanders won the Oregon primary last night pitching Venezuelan solutions to problems that have already made worse by big government for decades. Young people love Bernie. Young people who love Bernie are stupid.
TSA security lines
Speaking of waiting in line, the other story in the news this week is the federal government’s running of security at the airports. In Chicago, a city on the verge of bankruptcy on its own thanks to big government, is now suffering at the hands of the federal government’s TSA. It seems the TSA has told Chicago airline passengers to arrive at the airports......get this,.....THREE HOURS early, so they can stand in line to get past government run security. It seems that thousands of people missed flights thanks to the TSA last week.
The TSA is another signature situation that illustrates what happens when Americans hands over its precious liberties to bureaucrats. 
What is ahead? Well, we do have to buy sub standard health insurance or be fined by our federal government. This is a constitutional law according to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who sided with the Democrats on the constitutionality of Obamacare.

One wonders when Roberts and the other useful fools on the Supreme Court will rule that all of us must fly…….if we want to travel. Perhaps this will be the case according to Obamatravel. Stay tuned.


Swickard: Practical ideas for public schools

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.  When I make suggestions to public schools I usually get two rejections: one for that idea and another for whatever I think of next. It doesn’t stop me. In fact, here are two rejected ideas from the last few years.
            The simpler one is to add table tennis to public schools. While teaching at Albuquerque High School in the 1970s we started an afterschool table tennis team which had about seventy regular members. The rules had to be followed but there were no academic requirements.
            Students could play table tennis in a sixteen team league. At the time I was a tournament table tennis player so I was good, having learned the game at age seven in Japan.
            Here’s the pitch to my local school district: it doesn’t require language, gender, size or ethnic origins. But it does require that participants not drink alcohol or take drugs. The eye/hand requirements are such that participants cannot play when impaired.
            I found with the team at Albuquerque High that those students were very competitive but for behavior or grades or lack of sufficient ability could not traditionally compete. In table tennis they found something they could master fairly well in a few months and then could compete with others in their same skill level.
            It kept kids in high school. Years later when I tried to get my local school district to start it in elementary school and continue through high school, I was told it wasn’t football so forget it.
            Another idea. Back in the 1950s as a small child I was living at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. I witnessed the Air Force Thunderbirds come over at about 500 feet and several hundred miles an hour.
            As I looked up with five-year-old eyes I thought, and still do, flying is wonderful. Then I was able to get deeper into this realm when America decided to put men on the Moon. John Glenn orbited the Earth three times. I built models of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo craft and breathlessly followed.
            One of my suggestions a few years ago to my local school district is that they start building the dream of flying for students. Consider that we, as a nation, are running out of private pilots because young people are not going into aviation as they have in the past.
            This last weekend members of an experimental aircraft association took several students up flying which is great. What I have pitched a couple times and got rejected was in fourth grade to introduce flight simulator software with inexpensive yoke and pedals to students who are interested.
            Microsoft make a Flight Simulator that teaches flying nicely. The yoke and rudder petals are cheap so there is not much investment in each classroom.
            If students start in fourth grade, by sixth grade they can join Civil Air Patrol where they will learn lots about aviation and probably get some rides in airplanes. By eighth grade they can solo in a glider and get a glider license to fly. Finally, by the time they are sixteen they can get a pilot’s license. Wow! Almost before they get a license to drive they can be flying.
            A former squadron commander of Civil Air Patrol liked the idea and thought that he and his colleagues would be glad to help teachers learn the flight simulator and how to help students learn from the program.
            The people in the public schools rejected this because flying is not on the accountability tests so it would take students away from doing better on tests. Really? Right now many students are bored out of their minds with the mania for testing: learn an answer, give an answer, learn an answer, etc.
            How would it change a generation of students who want to experience flight? It would be a motivator to learn math and other concepts that flying use. Further, no one who flies sees the Earth the same as they did before they flew.
            Both table tennis and flying would add lots of sizzle to the school day for interested students but are rejected as activities for not being on the accountability tests. Perhaps practical interesting things should be.
 Email: drswickard@comcast.net - Swickard’s new novel about New Mexico, Hideaway Hills,is now available at Amazon.com


Swickard: The real learning comes after graduation

Kindergarten graduation a long long long time ago
© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   “People in school today can expect a lifetime in which knowledge itself will radically change, not only in its details but in its structures; so that the mark of a truly educated person will no longer be how much or even how variously he knows, but how quickly and how completely he can continually learn.” Richard Kostelanetz, 1986
             Having been born in 1950, this is the 65th year that I have not been asked to speak at graduation. And I have some thoughts since I graduated from kindergarten, eighth grade, high school, a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and a Ph.D. So I have listened to graduation speeches a few times.
            At my high school graduation in 1968 the speaker told us that we were the leaders of tomorrow so we must go out and take charge of the world. The next day I was hunting a job and was not selected to take charge of anything. The big liar.
            It was also mentioned that the older generation watching us graduate in 1968 were ready for us to take over the management of the world. Nope, that would be thirty years later. But it sounded good that night and we felt great as they called our names and we got our diploma.
            I was thinking of graduations past because it is graduation time at New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico. I am an alum of both institutions and have also worked for both. At the graduation ceremony there will be that long wait and then the short walk across the stage.
            Almost twenty years ago I got a Ph.D. That graduation they did the advanced degrees last. So Swickard is late in the alphabet. There was only one person behind me when the people noticed that the ceremony was coming to an end.
            My name was called and the entire audience yelled and clapped. My Aunt Shirley later remarked I had lots of friends. No, I assured her, it was just the ceremony had gone on a couple hours and they were glad it was over. But I digress. What I want to talk to this graduating class about is the never-ending learning they must do.
            As the quotation by Richard Kostelanetz in 1986 points out: these graduates will have a lifetime in which knowledge will radically change, not only in its detail but in its structures; so that the mark of a truly educated person will no longer be how much they know but how completely they can continually learn.
            Often we paint a picture of graduates as wise men or women come down from the ivory towers to take their places in the work-a-day world. Most of us in college spent long hours on subjects which have little relevance to the world, but in doing so we have learned to learn, and that is a great thing.
            The employers will some of these graduates. Quickly though, it is what they can learn to do on the job which will impress people. It can be called, “Just in Time Learning.” Very quickly graduation will cease to be mentioned, the focus will be on what they learned that week.
            The college graduates are celebrated now for an achievement called graduation. The real celebration is for their ability to learn. So I have two messages for the graduates, congratulations on getting this far, and, more importantly, keep on learning!
            But there is more. Some will learn to build wealth; some will always be in debt. Some will find a partner in life and face the world with someone by their side while others will not. The most satisfied and successful people will be well-rounded and will learn how to live life well.
            None of this happens by accident. You must take charge of your life and understand the financial side of life so that in your 50s you can retire if you so desire. With a secure wealth, not flashy money to throw around but debts erased and money socked away you can try your hand at other things rather than work until you drop.
            You can be free of the debt chains if you are disciplined financially.
Email: drswickard@comcast.net - Swickard’s new novel about New Mexico, Hideaway Hills,is now available at Amazon.com


Mitt Romney - picking up his marbles and going home

© 2016 Jim Spence You have to hand it to Mitt Romney. He is very upset because he sees a wave of “populism” sweeping through the GOP.
Mitt Romney is a paradox. When Governor of Massachusetts he made dumb deals with Democrats every other day to hold power. His explanation was that because he is a businessman, he is "flexible." Some of the Romney contradictions were very stark. Accordingly, the GOP voters noticed during the 2008 election season. Ultimately and equally as foolish, the GOP primary voters rejected Romney in favor of John McCain in 2008.
John McCain was and still is a war hero. That is pretty much it for him. McCain voted against intelligent policies that catapulted America back from the recession that set in at the end of the Clinton presidency. John McCain also voted against tapping oil reserves in the federal government’s mosquito infested frozen swamps near the Arctic Circle. McCain is a dumb big government Republican.
Perhaps a bit of economic history is in order. America has been saddled with three terrible economies since the end of WWII. John F. Kennedy inherited the big government over-taxed malaise of the FDR era that was continued under Truman and Eisenhower. JFK slashed personal income tax rates across the board and an economic boom quickly ensued.
Ronald Reagan took over an economy that was in terrible shape after LBJ, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter all increased taxes as well as the size and scope of government. Reagan slashed personal income tax rates across the board and an economic boom quickly ensued.
George W. Bush inherited an economy that went in the tanks after the tech bubble burst and the 9-11 attacks smashed the global economic environment. Bush slashed personal income tax rates across the board and an economic boom quickly ensued, America experienced the fastest rates of economic growth since the Reagan and JFK tax cuts.
After four nightmarish years of Obama anyone with half a brain knew he was fundamentally destroying America. By 2012 virtually half of the country (47%) was not contributing a dime in federal income tax to support Obama’s fat and more bloated/over-extended government. Romney addressed this problem in a speech during a private fundraiser. With the help of the media, the parasites in the Democratic Party called foul. Democrats and the news media feel it is unfair to point out the fact that half the nation is freeloading. Instead of re-iterating the truth about freeloaders, Romney chose to backslide and pretend he meant something else. It was at this moment that most of us knew how flexibly corrupt Romney was capable of being. Of course we voted for Mitt Romney anyway as we knew another four years of the American version of Fidel Castro was unthinkable.
Please fast forward to 2016. These days Mitt Romney is very upset. Why? It seems that another flexible guy, just like Romney, has won the GOP nomination. The problem is the nominee isn’t the one Romney supported. 
Personality-wise Donald Trump is certainly no Mitt Romney. Trump likes pretty women, lots of them. Romney is a one-woman man. Trump even likes to brag about his female conquests while Romney brags about his grand kids. However, much like Romney, Trump is rich thanks to the tremendous boost of inheriting hundreds of millions of dollars from his daddy.
The main difference between Trump and Romney is that Mitt Romney is slick and Donald Trump is coarse. It seems that Romney is somehow astonished that there is so much “populism” out there in America. Populism of course is a form of political appeal that includes grains of truth, something Mitt is all too familiar with. Romney was OK with the truth too…….sometimes. Now he says he won’t support Trump because of his high standards. Hmmmm. What about those of us who made the same sacrifice when we voted for him?

Swickard: Making our lives worse than they need to be

© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.    Maybe it’s me but it doesn’t seem that the citizens control our elected folks. There is talk about listening to the citizens but I see a different picture. Those we elect and hire often make more money than us, drive better cars, have better offices and a great retirement system. Our “servants” have a retirement system while most citizens do not.
            Who are the giving units providing benefits and who are the rulers commanding obedience? Did you think they are our servants? Silly to think that. We’re the burro putting the money into their coffers and they are the monarchs who rule us.
            Many, not all of them, can barely contain their contempt of citizens. And they are quick to offense when one of their subjects questions them.
            Over the last two decades I have been laughed at for wanting the main roads in my city to have their traffic lights timed. One elected representative asked if I needed my food cut up also. Another said timing the traffic lights was impossible.
            We sent men to the Moon. Timing the main arterial road lights would be a snap. They don’t want to because it isn’t their idea and they hate pushy citizens.
            I was thinking about drivers like myself who drive a block, get a red light; drive a block get another red light etc. It is a waste of resources to stop, get going and then stop repeatedly.
            What made me think of this is that the New Mexico Department of Transportation has been replacing a freeway bridge in Las Cruces over Missouri Avenue. The job has taken a year. Recently it was announced that work done to improve the safety of the nearby streets would be torn out by the city because the city did not agree that the state should construct safer intersections.
            We taxpayers paid to put the safety barriers in and we will pay to take them out and have less safe intersections. The state put in concrete curbs in the turn lanes of some intersections to prevent vehicles from going into the opposite lane thereby causing an accident. The City of Las Cruces apparently wants vehicles to be able to strike other vehicles unimpeded.
            My uncle, Ralph Smith, was for years the Safety Manager for the New Mexico Highway Department for District Two headquartered in Roswell. I grew up spending summers with him so I had a front row seat on someone who liked to talk highway safety.
            From that background I could see that the concrete curb barriers were done to protect drivers. So let’s connect the dots: I want timed lights because that is safest. Accidents happen when vehicles change speed. It is also a question of efficiency and not angering drivers. Get them all going the same speed.
            Likewise, over the years I have protested in several columns putting anything in the divided street medians because the medians are an emergency runoff area for when crap happens in the driving lanes. Imagine if you dart onto the median to avoid an errant car and BAM you run into a tree that is pretty, but it kills you.
            The city likes the beauty of the medians and they ignore the dangers if a motorcyclist was to wrap themselves around one of those median trees. A death here and a death there, I guess they don’t care.
            One more thing: it is foolish to make citizens mad while they drive unnecessarily. Because I live near the bridge project I noticed the traffic at the bridge intersection is typically backed up for blocks and blocks because there are single lanes and gridlock in the intersections.
            At times going East on Missouri under the freeway the gridlock is so profound that sometimes during two or three lights no one going East gets through because it is clogged by North and South traffic turning East.
            Recently it took around thirty minutes to get through the intersection and people were driving over curbs close to road rage. Is it unfortunate or is it no one in the city thinks they are our servants? The response from the city predictably will be: how dare I criticize them? Indeed.
 Email: drswickard@comcast.net - Swickard’s new novel about New Mexico, Hideaway Hills,is now available at Amazon.com