Monday, February 24, 2014


I've quickly became hooked on a baby Albatross cam.

It's a Laysan Albatross. They nest almost exclusively in Hawaii and are common there. Adults have a 6 1/2 foot wing span and live primarily on cephalopods (octupus, squid, cuttlefish) but will also eat fish, crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, etc.) and other invertebrates. Pairs mate for life, and this pair made its nest near someone's house, and then the homeowners got in touch with the bird cam people.

The little one is being called Koloakula, which I presume is Hawaiian for something. I haven't found out what.

The little guy was born January 27, so is almost a month old. The parents are rarely there, being off hunting, someone on the twitter feed said, so it spends most of its time alone, and much of that sleeping. It's spent several nights alone.

So little happens that I began taking screen shots when something did. I sit staring at the screen for a long time with one finger on the mouse button. It was very exciting when it stood up for the first time and flapped its wings.

When Dad came back and fed it it was very, very cool.

I came home from working on the truck this afternoon and it wasn't there. I freaked out. In reading up on them, I'd read that they can be subject to predation by various animals, so that's always in the back of my mind. It sits out in the open -- perhaps in a place its parents instincts tell them is less likely to be happened upon, but who knows?

It was sleeping near the nest. I was greatly relieved when its breathing caught my attention. It appears to breathe heavily when it sleeps. I then saw on the twitter feed that it had been exploring out of the nest. This evening it had some trouble getting back into the nest, but I missed that. There are many people watching it, and they keep each other posted via the twitter feed on what's happened.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The New Mexico Delegation And The Environment

The League of Conservation Voters ratings for New Mexico's federal legislators. This is what pops up when you look up New Mexico on their nice clickable map.

I'd think Steve Pearce's 4% score has to be the result of a conscious effort to vote against the environment every chance he gets, but there are more than a few members of congress with 0% scores.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Capitalism Beware

I recently bought another truck. This one has a sleeper berth. I want to try that kind of trucking.

I took this picture while I was putting the required letters and numbers on the side doors this past Sunday. I haven't reached the point of having a logo and getting it reproduced on those decals that you can stick on the doors. I use vinyl letters and numbers from Home Depot. A friend of mine, though, has been playing around with a logo design.

The mighty Albuquerque Cartage LLC fleet. On the right is the original 2007 International. On the left is the new addition, a 2006 Freightliner. The International is actually a 2006, too, but for some reason it was titled as a 2007. I only learned this after I'd had it awhile. It was manufactured in February, 2006.

The Freightliner has fewer miles, and is in overall better condition, I think, but I'll soon find out for sure. It's an automatic. I'm a little leery of automatics in semis, but they have been in service in semis for ten years or so now.

I've been doing this for a year now -- owning a truck, operating it as a business, filing seven different kinds of quarterly taxes, hiring people, meeting the myriad state and federal regulations, dealing with breakdowns and other problems. I'm not sure why I haven't written about it more than I have. Probably because I don't quite know what to think about it. It's a lot of trouble, but it's profitable, or has been so far.

I'll say this. One, you can make money without having to take it out of the pockets of the people who work for you. You don't have to be stingy. Two, the tax system is nothing but a racket designed by business for business, for the befefit of business and to screw people who work for wages.

Tax breaks basically will pay for the second truck. You can argue that it created a job -- I'll have to hire someone to drive it -- but that's not exactly true. I could have done it anyway. The tax system helped me do it sooner, perhaps. That's about all you can say. You can say that whoever I hire will be spending money in the economy sooner, and you can say, perhaps, that more businesses hiring more people sooner will have a leverage effect.

But nothing would have happened if the American consumer didn't have enough money to buy the things I haul and didn't want or need them. The American consumer created the jobs, is paying for the trucks and salaries and the fuel and the permits and insurance, and the taxes I file.

I'd wager that the economy would have improved even more quickly if businesses were paying their fair share of the cost of government, which would mean that working people didn't have to pay the entire cost of government, and if businesses were paying more in wages. Those two things would give the American consumer a lot more money to spend, and instead of coughing and sputtering the way it is, the economy would be rolling along.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The People Fight Back


A tweet from New Mexico's Senator Tom Udall is first among the "notable tweets" shown on a web page at The Day We Fight Back, where statistics are shown of an effort last week to use the internet to marshall the people's political power to stop NSA spying - such as the number of phone calls to congress, the number of tweets sent, the number of web sites that displayed the effort's banner. (As did I - the link is still on the post below but the fancy floating banner disappeared after that day.) Udall's tweet mentions a bill he's co-sponsoring to curtail domestic spying and also mentions The Day We Fight Back effort.

Besides Udall, several other prominent politicians, media outlets and organizations who tweeted about the effort are also listed.

The Day We Fight Back was put together by the people behind the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been leading the struggle to preserve the internet as an unrestricted communications tool. EFF-organized efforts have beat back several attempts by the large internet providers, like Comcast, and their handmaidens in congress and the White House to privatize the internet and turn it into a two tiered system, where those who pay more can to get their message out, and we the people are put in a slow lane and can't reach everybody on the same footing as corporations. As the internet is configured now, my blog has just as much chance of being seen as Boeing's or Concast's web sites, and it downloads at the same speed, but Capitalism wants to change that.

The email I got today, with the link to the page with Udall's tweet, talks about the success of The Day We Fight Back and also about how the struggle will continue. Politicians are already using the internet and it's Social Media components as a way to increase and extend their power, but so far it's been largely a one way street. The peoples' use of the internet as a political tool is in its infancy, but you can see it evolving before your very eyes.

As it becomes more sophisticated and effective, expect politicians and corporations to try to co-opt the peoples' effort to use the internet to organize their inherent but latent power, and if they can't co-opt it to crush it, as they did Occupy, but so far it's something that we the people control. Udall and other power brokers can join in and help out and perhaps benefit personally, but are primarily only coming along for the ride.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Day We Fight Back

Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Reaganomics Reaches Its Logical Conclusion - And New Mexico Democrats Helped It Get There

"Is this as good as it gets? It increasingly looks that way," reads today's article from the Associated Press.

It talks about successive weak job reports, a slowing global economy (slowing again, as the Federal Reserve's pumping of money into the system called "quantitative easing" runs out of steam), slumping manufacturing, and "dispiriting" long term trends.

Job seekers in Dallas, January 22, 2014 - AP Photo/LM Otero
As wages continue to decline while stock markets and profits have set record after record, the transfer of wealth upward continues, with the open and brazen complicity of Democrats, especially New Mexico Democrats, who just joined Republicans to pass a budget that cuts federal spending more than the notorious "Ryan Budget" of two years ago. Who just voted -- every New Mexico Democrat did -- to cut food stamps. Who, all of them, let long term unemployment benefits expire for 1.4 million (and counting) Americans without uttering a single word of protest, and now engage in political charade pretending they're trying to re-instate them. Who have partcipated in throwing poor kids off Head Start, in cutting Medicare, and who are working now to cut Social Security.

New Mexico Democrats are making working people pay for bailouts and crises caused by the greedy, reckless rich, and pay the entire burden of a government emaciated by letting the rich get off without paying taxes. New Mexico Democrats take from working people to enable the disgusting level of wealth being enjoyed by the 1 percent.

The ruling elite agree on everything of substance. They posture, while MSNBC and Fox News work day and night to keep us divided, and meanwhile the goal of Reaganomics -- some call it Neoliberalsim, some call it Thatcherism, some call it by its new name in EU countries, Austerity -- has finally come to fruition. And Slick Willy Clinton, and Hope and Change Obama, and New Mexico's Democrats, have never done nor said a thing to prevent it, and in fact helped usher it in.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Found on Facebook

From Pee Wee Herman's Facebook page, under the title: "Wow! I loved the State of the Union speech!"

I'm trying hard to understand why this hasn't gone mega-viral. I mean, it's like I'm over here, and the rest of the world is over there.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Mexico To Promote Zionism?

I received an email "local alert" today from one of the more prominent groups that fight for Palestinian rights, Jewish Voice For Peace. I think it's the first such local alert I've received.

It concerns a resolution introduced into the current session of the New Mexico legislature by Republican Yvette Herrell of Alamogordo titled "A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE NATION OF ISRAEL FOR ITS CORDIAL AND MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES AND WITH THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO."

It's written in staunchly Zionist language and asserts Israel's right not only to the original land stolen from Palestinians in 1948, but to all of the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 war, and which the resolution, as do Zionists generally, refers to by the Old Testament or Talmud names of Judea and Samaria.

The resolution states that Israel has a "God given" right to the West Bank, which Israel has relentlessly gobbled up since 1967 by building illegal "settlements" on, after forcing the resident Palestinians from their homes, villages, fields and orchards.

Herrell, who entered politics in the 2010 Tea party wave, has gained notoriety for saying background checks for gun purchases are "stupid" and for introducing legislation seeking to transfer federally owned lands to state hands, one of several like minded bills being pushed by Southwestern state Republicans whose purpose is to make it easier to turn the lands over to oil companies. About half of New Mexico is federally owned land.

Herrell, who supported Albuquerque Mayor Marion Berry's referendum that would have outlawed many abortions, which was soundly defeated, often laces her language with references to God, as do many in the so-called "Christian Zionist" movement.

Her Zionist resolution is currently before the NM House Judiciary Committee, whose members and contact information were included in the alert and which I copy below.

Jewish Voice For Peace,  by the way, in many ways represents a divide among Jewish people when it comes to Israel. The divide was discussed in a Jewish Daily Forward article about a recent poll of Jews. While a 48 percent plurality of Jews are opposed to the occupation of the West Bank, fewer than that will voice their opposition to it.

On one side of the divide are Israeli advocacy groups like AIPAC and the Abe Foxman's Anti Defamation League. On the other are groups like Jewish Voice For Peace and the K Street Lobby, whose members tend to be, but are not all, younger and more secular than Israel's traditional Jewish supporters.

New Mexico House Judiciary Committee:

Rep. Gail Chasey, Chair (D-ABQ)

Rep. Georgene Louis, Vice-Chair (D-ABQ)

Rep. Eliseo Lee Alcon (D-Milan)

Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Carlsbad)

Rep. Zach Cook (R-Ruidoso)

Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe)

Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R-Belen)

Rep. Miguel Garcia

Rep. Nate Gentry (R-ABQ)

Rep. Emily Kane (D-ABQ)

Rep. Moe Maestas (D-ABQ)

Rep. Terry McMillan (R-Las Cruces)

Rep. Paul Pacheco (R-ABQ)

Rep. Bill Rehm (R-ABQ)

Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-ABQ)

Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-ABQ)