Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Staying Alert For Radiation

This is the current map from the Radiation Network web site. It has a couple relatively high readings in the Great Plains right now; one in western South Dakota and two in northern Colorado -- and scattered around them are readings in the 40s, along with some very low readings.



This is a current screen shot from weather.com's "weather in motion" time lapse map. Note the two bigger masses of clouds over the Pacific. The lower one is just rolling in place, but the upper one is moving quickly from east to west, i.e., from somewhere around Japan, across the Pacific, up into Canada and then down across the US Great Plains.


See it here live:

http://www.weather.com/weather/map/interactive/?par=yahoo&site=www.yahoo.com&promo=map&cm_ven=Yahoo&cm_cat=www.yahoo.com&cm_pla=weatherpage&cm_ite=Maps

That address will take you to the default view, of the US. On the left you can adjust the map to the "world" view. Across the top you'll find the "clouds" button.

The Radiation Network, shown in the top map, is made up of volunteers who have their geiger counters on and hooked to their computers, which are connected via the internet to the company that maintains the site (which also sells geiger counters - see links at bottom of Radiation Network page.)

I have a geiger counter made by that company, but the software you need to hook yourself into the network doesn't run on my Apple computer.

All the locations on the map are currently well within the safe zone. A reading has to go above 100 and stay there awhile before there's cause for concern, according to Radiation Network. Occasionally there are short-term high readings. Sometimes these are caused by a weather system passing over, or radiation on the volunteer, or on the geiger counter. Clouds seem to soak up radiation and if rainwater remains on your geiger counter it can cause extended high readings. Sometimes high readings are caused by radon gas that's not properly ventilated from a crawl space under a house.

The little "Alerts" link at the top of the Radiation Network page opens a page where alerts are logged and discussed. As you can see from the log of the most recent alert, 12/27/13, the site administrator works with the volunteer to try to determine the cause of the high reading, and they begin by trying to rule out false readings.



Monday, December 30, 2013

Americans Against Americans Against Obamacare



It's a bumper sticker. A few minutes ago I almost tossed the envelope it came in, thinking it was just a solicitation. I'd forgot ordering it some time back, by making a $5 donation to the national Democratic Party, during the height of the Obamacare Trouble, I guess it was. 

I look at it now, and think about it being on my bumper as I drive around Albuquerque. Obamacare sums up President Obama. They way he approached getting it passed was to go for the middle, not the top. He ruled out single payer and the "public option." He always does it that way. He goes for what he can get, that doesn't cost him politically.

I've read convincing articles that portray him as a political genius, that with what he's been up against, the economy, the entrenched interests in and out of government, the racism, he has deftly achieved remarkable feats. And he has gotten himself elected president of the United States twice.

But I heard someone quote him once as saying, when he was deciding what he could get in a certain situation, "The electorate just isn't there."

In other words, you have to figure out what the public mood is and design your strategy around it.

This to me represents the central flaw in, and the failing of the Democratic Party. Instead of trying to move the electorate, they adjust to where the Republicans have moved the electorate. They've been doing this since Reagan. It's why the political center is far to the right of where it once was. It's why you hear people say a Republican like a Reagan, a Nixon, an Eisenhower, couldn't win a Republican primary now. It's why you hear people say Obama and Bill Clinton are what "moderate Republicans" used to be.

It's why we're losing ground in wages and living standards. It's why in many measures, in things like education and child health and overall poverty, the US is becoming a third world country. It's why big business and the wealthy pay almost nothing into the pot while working Americans, who are paying almost all the tax burden now, are struggling to help each other get by and why we are turning on each other in many, many ways, large and small, and it's why the American Dream is almost dead.




Friday, December 27, 2013

Mr Heinrich Goes To Washington - Marty Stays In New Mexico

More than ever, the report needs to be declassified so those with a political agenda can no longer manipulate public opinion, Sen. Martin Heinrich said. 

I was astounded to see this quote by NM Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich prominently displayed across the top of an article in Mint Press about a Dec. 18 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the nomination of Caroline Krass as CIA general counsel.

At last week's Intelligence Committee hearing - Daily Kos
What's this? Do these people know a Martin Heinrich we don't here in New Mexico?

Heinrich was referring to a 6,000-page intelligence committee report on the CIA's use of torture, not a single word of which "has been deemed fit for the public and declassified," according to Mint Press, a Liberal web news site with a pretty big, growing readership, and here Marty is, right below the headline, almost in the headline.

More comprehensive coverage of the hearing at Daily Kos has even more of Heinrich. It has even more quotes and it has him lashing out at the CIA for claiming that the report contains factual errors, and it has him threatening to withhold his vote for Krass' appointment.

Recently Heinrich also bucked the administration and the Washington political establishment when he co-authored a NY Times Op-Ed with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a progressive liberal in all senses who has been at the forefront in fighting to keep the internet free and open, and Mark Udall (D-CO) that called for ending massive NSA spying on Americans.

Nothing I've ever seen that Heinrich puts out for domestic New Mexico consumption -- his happy newsletters, his happy Facebook posts -- ever even mentions these things. There's no lashing out. No anger at the plight of New Mexicans, who have been slow to come out of the Great Recession. All he and other members of New Mexico's democratic congressional delegation give us is happy photo ops of themselves standing at flooded or burned out businesses or the openings of businesses that are new and not flooded or burned out. They occasionally assure us that they're doing everything they can to fight for New Mexico's middle class families, which are absolutely meaningless words that commit them to absolutely nothing. If a press release mentions a bill they support, it has to have the word "bipartisan" in the first sentence and a few more times.

This is about them being re-elected, not about helping New Mexico.

They don't confront. They don't challenge. They want you to believe that bipartisanship -- which means giving up half of what the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for before they even sit down at the table -- will result in a happy, happy New Mexico.

Compromising with Reaganomics, with the Neoliberal, tea bagger Republican agenda of austerity for us and more piles of wealth for the rich, won't reverse it, which is what we need. To compromise with it means staying on the course the US is on to becoming a third world nation in living standards, wages, income inequality, infant mortality, education, and a variety of other measures.

It's encouraging to see Senator Heinrich stand up for what's right in Washington, but he's doing it only in committee hearings he knows won't get reported on in New Mexico, and in Op-Ed pieces he knows only a certain segment of his supporters will be aware of. He's not doing it here, not trying to influence and mold public opinion in the part of the US landscape he's responsible for. Here in NM he's just a happy gladhander, which means things will get only worse for you and me, and America.






Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Business Of Environmental Solidarity



This from a Power Point presentation made by Stratfor, the private intelligence company that does millions in business with corporations and US government agencies. It is part of a huge trove of hacked Stratfor documets handed over to Wikileaks that have been gradually being released.

The presentation was for oil companies on how to deal with their environmentalist opposition. It classifies environmental groups in categories and talks about their methods and how the oil companies can counter them. The chart below covers what Stratfor calls Radical groups. As Stratfor lays out in the presentation, some environmental groups overlap two categories, as indicated by where the arrow is pointed to.



The corporate strategy should vary depending on several factors, Statfor says. Are the groups gaining any traction? Do they have any power? Other leaked Stratfor files have shown that Stratfor, like the US government, spies on individual environmentalists and infiltrates environmental groups.

In the eyes of Stratfor, all environmentalists can be lumped together in the end, and are interconnected in that they stand in the  way of unlimited corporate power and profit. They think like George W Bush did when he said, "Either you're for us or against us."

Solidarity For Profit

One of the things that has struck me in my just under a year in operating a business, a Capitalist venture, is that there is a type of solidarity among businesses. It's not the type of solidarity where businesses people meet and figure out ways to keep down the working class, and it's not that businesses aren't competitive or cutthroat in their dealings with each other. But they draw a line when it comes to the right to profit. Businesses don't begrudge other businesses a profit. They know that another business person isn't going to do something unless there's a healthy profit in it for them. They pay without much question what other businesses charge them, recognizing that there has to be a healthy profit built into any transaction, and that these profits will be paid for by the consumer.

It's on this basis that the corporations who are Stratfor's customers are in solidarity, and on this basis that environmentalists, and all people, should be in solidarity.


Meanwhile my mighty fleet of trucks has just doubled. I bought a used truck that has a sleeper cab. The type of work I'm doing with my first truck -- which is what they call in trucking a "day cab," i.e. has no sleeper berth -- which is a fixed contract with one company, is hard to come by, but general freight, which goes through freight brokers, is fairly easy to come by, so I got a truck that can do both, hence the sleeper berth. I'll have to go through the whole permitting and registration process again, and buy a trailer, and find and hire someone to drive it.

2006 Freightliner Midroof, sometimes called a flattop


I've been in conversation with someone who I think can get good paying general freight loads for it, so I decided to do it now, because it's tax time. I got a glimpse, when I owned a duplex once, of how beneficial the tax system is for business in this country. I can tell you now that it's a full blown racket, set up entirely for the benefit of businesses and not for the masses.

You can argue that it helps me expand the business more quickly, and it does. I don't like credit and didn't use credit for my first truck, but the tax advantages of using credit were pointed out to me when I recently talked with an accountant. It amounts to a big discount on this truck. It will pay for the permitting and registration and buy the trailer. It helps me create one job.

But it's all underwritten, remember, by the US consumer, who supplies the demand that makes the freight I haul possible which makes the freight rates I receive possible, and who pay the taxes that I won't pay that pave the roads I drive on and repair the bridges all up and down I-40 that are being replaced one by one.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Yet Another

Another stupid police shooting has occurred since I wrote the post below. Some kids tried to steal some beer and as the police chased them through the crowded, busy West Side -- an unnecessary and very dangerous practice in itself which many police departments don't do by policy -- a cop standing beside the street shot at the kids, none of whom was armed, as they drove past him.

The cop didn't hit the driver, or hit a tire, and cause the car to careen across the centerline and run headlong into a family coming home from the mall. No innocent bystanders were killed, that they know of. No little kids had their heads blown off, that they know of. No babies were blown to smithereens while their mothers pushed them in their strollers, that they know of.

If you steal a six pack of beer in this town, the police will kill you.



Saturday, December 21, 2013

Albuquerque Cops Just Keep Blowing People Away

APD cops kill almost as many people as New York City cops. New York is 14 times larger.

This nine-minute video by the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Center in Albuquerque includes interviews with the parents and siblings of some of the people gunned down by Albuquerque cops. The people being interviewed aren't low life crack heads or serial criminals, they are people like you and me. They talk about their loved ones, their loss, and they all wonder why Albuquerque police don't try other ways to diffuse a situation before resorting to the gun. The King Center offers a level headed approach to finding a solution to the epidemic of killing.




Besides the King Center, a couple other local groups keep track of the killings. The Albuquerque Police Complaints site includes a list of the cops who have blown away people since 2009 and has begun to keep track of these officers. If you click on a cop's name it may list complaints filed against that officer. In some cases a cop has a long history of being reported for bad conduct.

As the video says, no one at APD has lost their job over blowing away an unarmed civillian.





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Police State Frontier

An unnamed 52 year old woman was stopped at the El Paso border crossing for a random search, taken to a hospital, given multiple body cavity searches and watched while she defecated multiple times. Nothing was found on her and she was charged $5,000 by the hospital.

This is the 2nd case like this we've had recently. The other was the Deming police. In both cases the victim was treated as less than human, as having no right to their person, their personal privacy, their bodily integrity, their human dignity.

But in treating other people like that the cops are just being human. Given the leeway and encouragement given to them, they will exercise as much power over other humans as they can. When the bounds of civilization are removed, when the social restraints on our behavior aren't there to give us pause, we will resort to our natural animal state.

We've got state cops shooting at vans full of kids, Albuquerque cops killing anything that moves. In a police state, being alive can be fatal.



Dow Soars Almost 300 On News Of Lottery Winner

We might not have bulging stock portfolios, we might not have political representation, Democrats might be cutting pensions and kicking kids off Head Start and cutting Food Stamps and Medicare and Social Security, but we can buy a lottery ticket.




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Budget Deal - Concessions Disguised As Compromise

The more the press has the chance to look into the details of the Murray-Ryan budget deal the worse if gets. It cuts federal workers pensions. It cuts Medicare. It throws thousands of kids out of Head Start. It immediately ends unemployment benefits for more than a million people with many millions more to follow as the deal fully kicks in.

Consider this statement:

"The Murray-Ryan budget deal will actually have less discretionary spending in 2014 than Paul Ryan's original budget proposal from less than four years ago when Republicans won control of the House--a proposal reviled by Democrats as the work of a budget-cutting maniac."

Because Democrats believe just as much in Reaganomics as Republicans, the so-called "out of control" federal deficit has been steadily declining, but this cuts it even faster, and again, it's entirely on the backs of working people, because this deal costs the rich absolutely nothing. No taxes, no closed loopholes. In fact they come out ahead because $20 billion of what's being taken out of our flesh is transfered to the bloated military budget, i.e., to the accounts of military contractors.

Think about it. Why would Paul Ryan agree to this? Why would House Republicans vote for it in droves?

Once again Democrats prove that when they aren't feeling any political heat, they march in lockstep with Republicans on economic issues. When they get the chance they side with the corporations. With the rich. With Neoliberalism, with Reaganomics, with Austerity. With the transfer of wealth upward.

If one only follows the daily political tit for tat, the score keeping, it's not hard to ignore what just happened with this budget deal. But if one looks at the long term, at the results, if one compares what Democrats say with the actual statistics, that show declining living standards, a disappearing "Middle Class," inequality of wealth and income that have returned to 1920s Gilded Age levels, it's mind boggling what the Democratic Part in the United States has become, and what they have gotten away with.


Details about the budget deal:

The Nation
Democracy Now (scroll down for transcript)
Socialist Worker






Monday, December 16, 2013

Bolillo Boy

New Socialist Cooking Tip

I haven't been cooking very much since I bought the truck. I haven't even had time to write about how busy it keeps me. I'm looking for another truck now, so I'll soon be twice as busy, I suppose.

When I do cook it's usually a steak. I get the nearly outdated ones and either cook them that day or freeze them, which kills off the bacteria that causes meat to go bad. I usually have my freezer compartment half full of nice steaks. (I wrap them in an extra plastic shopping bag to keep them from drying out. I do this with anything I freeze, practically, but my package of meat usually has a hole in it, because in the store, I poke a hole in the plastic with my finger to see if it smells bad.)

Not many people know this, but when you have a steak in a nice restaurant it's often been "aged." They just let it sit there in the cooler until it starts to get mold on it. Then they scrape it off and cook it.

In the supermarket people don't like to be seen looking over the old meat. It's their ego controlling them. I could care less. If people see me buying a pack of meat with a big red tag on it, good. Maybe next time they won't be so stupid. But if you want to stay away from that meat, that's fine, too. There will still be some there when I get there. It's the same thing with picking up money off the ground People won't do it. Good. Leave it there. I want it. It's money. You've got your self respect, and I've got my self respect and the money.

A Bolillo a day

Since I started living in New Mexico full time I've fallen in love with a lot of things here, the food for example, including the Bolillo roll. Sometimes I take my lunch to work. I usually use sliced deli meat and leaf lettuce and sliced tomatoes and always put it on some kind of roll - i.e., good bread -- and usually a Bolillo roll.

If you want try a toasted Bolillo you could use a toaster oven. I have one but don't like cleaning it, so the other morning I toasted a Bolillo on the electric burner. I've done this with a gas burner, too. (I have an executive chef friend who cooks steaks on a gas burner.)

Cut the Bolillo in half and spread a little olive oil or butter on it, which tastes nice but keeps it from sticking to the burner, too. One of those basting brushes works nicely, but I don't have one right now so I just put some olive oil on my hand and spread it on with my fingertips. It doesn't take much, but if you like you can put it on a little heavy, too.


keeps the blues away

Believe me, this is a good as a weekend in Phoenix with a pretty senora.

Well. That weekend. That senora.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Labored History

This iconic photo is often seen in internet articles about labor struggles. It's almost always used without saying what it's about.


The women are shirtwaist makers and members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Shirtwaist is an early term for blouse. The women are part of what was called The Uprising of the 20,000, a strike by 20,000 workers in New York City's garment district in 1909. They were primarily young, single, Jewish, immigrant and female workers who worked long days for $6 for a week under various kinds of harsh and humiliating conditions.

Often the picture is used in articles about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory's owners were not among those who signed the labor agreement that brought the Uprising of the 20,000 to an end. When two years later, in 1911, the factory caught fire, many women were trapped inside, as most of the exits were locked to prevent the women from taking breaks. Many jumped to their deaths from upper floors, and in all 146 women died.



A photo you don't often see reproduced is that of Clara Lemlich, above, who organized the Uprising of the 20,000. A Jew who had immigrated to New York with her family from the Ukraine, Lemlich was a prolific organizer. When she stopped working to raise her children she organized housewives, who staged some of the first rent strikes, and whose boycotts and rolling pickets of New York City butchers made them stop overcharging for meat in working class immigrant and African American neighborhoods.

Lemlich never stopped organizing, even organizing the workers in the rest home where she died. It could be that Clara Lemlich is never mentioned in most Labor histories because she was a woman, a strong and successful one, and a Communist.



(Note: The first photo is in a Library of Congress' collection of glass negative photos attributed to the Bain News Service, which was begun by photographer George Bain. There's no individual credit given for most of the photos, which are available widely on the internet including at the Library of Congress or at a Flickr site where they are more easily viewed. Among the photos, I recognized many of baseball players of the time I've seen here and there. It's quite a diverse collection, though, including many photos of old ships, battleships, dirigibles, celebrities and rich people.

The photo of Clara Lemlich wearing a shirtwaist is from the archives of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (of which she was an officer) at Cornell University. Lemlich is interesting also for the fact that was a forerunner of a type of feminist who don't downplay the fact that women are women. While doctrinaire male and female counterparts in the Labor Movement and Communist Party hierarchy criticized female workers for reading cheap romance novels and wearing high heels, Lemlich defended them, foreseeing the problem of class division in feminism for which it is often criticized today.

 


Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Ukraine

Senator John McCain is on his way to The Ukraine, which means its time to ask why.

Street protests in The Ukraine have been going on for two weeks. According to the mass media they are about the Ukrainian government's decision to halt plans to join the European Union.

It's Russia, we are told, holding the Ukraine back. Russia buys a large percentage of its food from The Ukraine, a former Soviet republic that is also rich in minerals, and is trying to prevent Ukraine from orienting itself to the West. At 46 million people, Ukraine is the largest former Soviet Republic that hasn't joined the EU or NATO. 

The US and its allies, of course, would love to get the Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence. There are plenty of old Cold Warriors, like John McCain, in US ruling circles who see Russia as a threat to US interests and global dominance.

And in large part The Ukraine is more of a struggle between the US and Russia, but it's Capitalism that provides the primary motivation for bringing the Ukraine into the clutches of the EU and its free market, free trade ideology.

There are two things at play in The Ukraine. One is an ongoing power struggle between the two main political factions. Both are corrupt and both represents the interests of wealthy elites. Both are made up of Ukrainians who were the beneficiaries when the nation's public assets were sold off and divvied up after the breakup of the Soviet Union. One, represented by President Viktor Yanukovych, represents the old guard, who stand to make more money if Russia remains as Ukraine's main trading partner. The other, surrounding people like jailed darling of the West and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, stand to profit more by European integration.

The Ukrainian People

The other part of the story, that the media is ignorant of or is ignoring, is what European Union membership would mean to the people of Ukraine. You might ask that of the people of Greece or Spain, or of Ireland or Portugal who have seen their economies bled dry by financial elites in London and Berlin who dictate the EU's laws and policies, which essentially amount to Reagonomics on steroids.

You can also ask the working classes of England and Germany. Those are the two EU countries whose economies are supposed to be doing OK, but it's not the people of England and Germany who are doing OK. It's like in the US. Those countries' national incomes are booming while working peoples' living standards are in a slow downward spiral.

Germany used to be the crown jewel of the Capitalist world. Its working class had a higher living standard than we did here, in the 1960s and 70s. No more. It has quickly become a low wage country, and its famed social safety net has been nearly demolished. Its advantage in wealth comes now from the East German part of the country and its Soviet era, highly educated, highly trained workforce that was integrated at low wages and provided a tremendous boost to the country's productivity, and didn't complain about wages when they started going down in western half of the country because they were already low.

EU membership does nothing for working people. What EU membership will mean for the Ukrainian people is that The Ukraine will be the next country to be bled dry by European bankers, industrialists and financiers, who names you don't see in the papers but who dictate the policies of the Angela Merkels and David Camerons we read about.




.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

You Mean You Can't Just Kill Them?

“You don’t use deadly force against someone who is not threatening you with deadly force.”
 That statement by Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico, in today's Albuquerque Journal, shocked many in the Albuquerque police department, who had no idea that this was the case.

It also shocked the many thousands of New Mexico and Albuquerque residents who are signing up at a Facebook page supporting a state cop who was fired for emptying his revolver on van full of children, and who are used to Albuquerque police killing anyone they feel like killing and fully support the idea.

It was also a shock to the Albuquerque Journal editorial staff and reporters who cover the police, who as fas as I know have never bothered to look into the use of deadly force and find out when it's supposed to be used and when it's not.

Nor have they ever learned how police coach each other on what to say after they kill someone. Nor are they aware of how internal investigators ask the cop who did the killing leading questions as part of the thin blue line's systematic coverup up of police killings of innocent, unarmed people.

 Police cover-ups happen all the time, in all kinds of police cases, especially drug cases, and murder cases. Thousands of innocent people are in prison and hundreds have been released when college classes went back and re-examined cases using DNA evidence, and were able to show that suspects were often railroaded into making confessions, or had public defenders who put no time or effort into their defense.

The first series I ever wrote as a reporter was on the use of deadly force. As a new reporter, they stuck me on the police beat, and one of the first things to occur to me was to look into the use of deadly force. It just seems like a natural thing for a reporter, or editor, to wonder about. Where has the Journal been while our police department was getting its national reputation and coming under Justice Department investigation for killing unarmed, innocent people?






Monday, December 9, 2013

A Scribbled Note In A Stack Of Receipts

IHOP I am, blinding lights, black girls, senoras y senors, and music that's long since dissolved the marrow from my soul.



.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Mexico Politics: A Fool's Game



Michele Grisham, New Mexico's First District congresswoman, in between fundraising soirées obviously, stopped to get her picture taken today pretending to be helping poor people by pretending to help sort food at a food bank.

Where does one even begin?

How about with we the people, who put up with this kind of thing and still vote for people like her? Us. Grisham knows how to get people to vote for her, or knows people who do. She was the top vote getter in Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, in the 2012 general election. And Grisham's Facebok page, where this picture was posted, is always full of adoring comments. Like these today:

  John J. Cordova Of course, you are an example for all of us and in the right job now. Love you. Love the Lujans.
  Sara Attleson Thank you Congresswoman Lujan Grisham for your work on behalf of New Mexico's working families.
  Carol Ann Espitia You rock Michelle!

Although there were as many, this time, who saw through the congresswoman's hypocricy:

  Speedy Baca If you were there to actually stack boxes of food you would be dressed accordingly not in heels! Thanks for the photo op.
  Thomas Tolbert MLG has done NOTHING but be an Obama puppet.
  Dennis Schlessinger Ironic that after a 50 year war on poverty, poverty seems to be the victor. A fine example of the "Great Society".
  Cliff Lopez Great photo...to do nothing 

But there were replies to those:

  Evelyn Alejandro To those who just have to stand on their soap boxes...just keep it to yourself!

Grisham never raises economic issues. Never. Never utters a word to counter the relentless barrage of free market trickle down propaganda the nation has been bombarded with for the past 30 years, that has led us to this end, where wages and living standards are in decline. Never stands up against her party's leadership as they cut deal after deal with Republicans to cut food stamps, cut Social Security, cut Medicare, cut unemployment benefits, and lower taxes one more time for the already filthy rich. Grisham never visits a union hall. Never visits a place where people work. Never visits a senior center. Never comes into contact with poor people, never touches them, would not recognize one if she ran one over with her SUV.

Grisham is just like every other member of New Mexico's Democratic delegation to Washington. None of them, Grisham, Ben Lujan, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, ever raise economic issues, will never say what causes there to be the need for food banks. Will never say that there are more people needing food banks now than ever. Will never point out that wages are in decline while stock market profits soar and the rich now rake in 90 percent of all the wealth our labor creates.

Here in New Mexico, we run neck and neck with a couple of Southern states for who is the worse off. Who has the most poor people, the most kids going to bed hungry every night, the most babies who die from lack of decent nutrition and medical care.

Getting back to the photo op at the food bank, and we the people.

Grisham, Lujan, Udall, Heinrich, all are the same. None will talk about the stark realities of life for New Mexico's working people and its poor, because it might cost them votes, and all will do anything to preserve their status and positions of importance, and the people who vote them in be dammed.

But they are that way because this is how politics is done here. It's we who cheer, vote them in again, and tell them how goddamn wonderful they are.