Friday, October 31, 2014


Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Abraham Lincoln - The Gettysburg Address

The civil war this time is being fought on the political front. It has already gone on for eight years. And it is once again over the rights of black citizens. A whole group, the GOP, do not believe a black man has the right to be president. And step by step politicians have handicapped the country so nothing has gotten, or can ever, get done again for the good of the people.

Because the politicians involved do not care about the good of the people. They care only about continuing to hold office so they can get supported by lobbyists. Oh, some may care about turning our country into a theocracy.  And a few more want to legislate women back to the days of caves and slavery. The ideal of Hobby Lobby.

BUT nobody cares about the people of this country. No, it is not a democracy any more. I have doubts it ever was. It is now clearly a corporacy. All for the good of the corporations and 1% of the "citizens united" who have moved all their corporations to tax shelters in foreign countries.

I find myself on the eve of this latest election wondering how this country would have looked if we had lost the Civil war. Or if upon winning we had refused to let the south (home of the Tea Party GOP) re-entry into our fragile federation.

I, like so many of my friends, find myself wondering what would it be like if we broke the US (too big to fail?) into five smaller countries. And we all kept our resources and water and politics to ourselves.

Yes, I will vote Tuesday. But, I do not believe in this country any more. I think we are losing this test and this nation will not long endure unless we hold a constitutional convention and change all that is horridly wrong.

One citizen and one vote no longer counts for anything in this country.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Will the Next Civil War in the US be About Water?

Chamisa Blooming

There is something about the open plains and a totally straight line of highway for mile after mile which frees the mind to think. On this trip back from Trinidad I was thinking of so many other trips across the plains in the last few years and the difference rain can make. I want to use the word lush but so many in the east will not understand that used in this context.

The grass, already beginning to go gold because of night temperatures looked so thick and so long in spots you almost felt it would be difficult to walk through. And indeed a lot of the locals were not walking. One of this herd of buffalo got up when I walked (waded) to the fence line. The grass was up to my knees and almost up to their bellies. They definitely looked well fed.

Buffalo on the Vermejo Park Ranch

Even the post rut Pronghorn Antelope were too stuffed to move much. A rather nervous animal in the best of times this one even allowed me to get out of my truck to get a better angle. He was not about to move from his patch of long green grass. And one can hardly blame him. In his lifetime it has been difficult to find. This spring as I drove through this area I wondered it it would ever recover. I was not just grass grazed to nubbins but bare earth in large expanses.

And all the stock ponds and catch basins and streams were dry. We all laughed about the Canadian River. Bridges seemed to be unnecessary, another government boondoggle. All the fishermen in my valley complained about the water being released from Eagle Nest lake per water rights owned by ranchers, and treaties with other communities and states. Eagle Nest is at about half capacity. And even with the monsoons more seems to be going out than coming in.

Draining the lake has been going on for at least four years. The drought in the plains a bit longer and the water we trapped was the survival for the plains. So the stock pond below was a cause for celebration. I apologize for the power lines. I took this photo primarily for my sister who was last here when this body of water was not.


And there was water in the Canadian River and Ponil Creek. And many more stock ponds dotting the eastern plains. The rest of the world is all upset about ISIS and Iraq and Iran and Israel (what is it about I's), but few of us here in New Mexico care much. We do have Weapons of Mass Destruction because we built them in Los Alamos and the other states of the United States have shipped their atomic wastes and weapons of war here to our "wasteland" to store.

Here we are excited about grass and water. We are angry at politicians from the east for ignoring climate change and letting Phoenix (a desert community which gets at best 4" of rain) mist their sidewalks with water which came from the peaks of Colorado, also in a drought. If water is to be expended it should be to grow pasture, not lawns, to feed livestock and native residents both two and four footed. We measure the water used and the height of the grass, not the strokes on a golf course.

Standing guard

Those hot spots that begin with the letter I had their rights ignored too for too long. Nations decided borders and policy based on what was true of the G8. And the politicos in Washington decide what they think is right for the states with the biggest electoral votes. But it is the lessor folk that built this nation and we are getting upset at being ignored. There are 30 states in the US with petitions to leave the union. Nobody will miss our electoral votes but they might miss our produce, water, and those stored nuclear weapons.

Wars have fought over water and war will be fought over water again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Note: This blog is about political issues I really care about. It was actually my first blog. I began Creative Journey for business and Sidetracked Charley for lighter approaches to subjects which can be as sensitive as those covered here. This blog is no holds barred.

The GOP's war on women is totally unacceptable. More moderate leaders of the Grand Old Party will tell you the attacks on women's rights to control their own bodies is the political agenda of just a small segment of the Republicans. Blame it on the Tea Party. But in truth the Tea Party is just the front dogs of the attack. The old "Run it up the flag pole and see who salutes" approach. It is a tried and true strategy. Nixon used Agnew for the same thing.

The truth is all the talking heads, be they the "leaders" or the 40 Tea Party members of congress, are just puppets of the real leaders of the Republicans: The fundamentalist religious right and their agenda to turn the United States into a Christian theocracy. This goes against the very core of the foundation of our government - Separation of church and state.

And this campaign is not new. It first appeared in the 1950's when Under God was added to the pledge of allegiance and to our money. (I frankly find that latter significant as money is their god.) Barry Goldwater left the Republican party in the late 1960's because he said allowing the Religious Right a chair at the table was the biggest mistake the leaders of the GOP would ever make. But the Religious Right and its Moral Majority founded in 1979 ruled the roost in the 1980's. It was dissolved in the end days of that decade only because it was no longer needed. They were the Republican Party. Make no mistake, the Republicans are a religion.

It it was religion that brought you the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witchcraft Trials and the Klu Klux Klan and the blowing up of churches in the south if they were black churches. And religion, in the mask of the Republican Party, has brought you our current do nothing for this country Congress.

The Democrat's biggest mistake, and this is huge, is thinking there can be a dialog and negotiation to move the country forward. The only forward the GOP will agree to is their agenda: The United States of America One Nation Under their Christian God.

And that means no rights for women. Maybe even a resurgence of public burning of witches in town squares. Goldwater was right about the unholy marriage of Republicans and the Religious Right. Jefferson and the founding fathers were right to demand the separation of church and state as a key aspect of the Constitution of the United States. We are no longer the country of 1776. We fought then against taxation without representation. Given that the GOP supports no taxes for the rich 1% (which they belong to) can you honestly say you have been represented in the leavening of taxes you currently pay?

Time to say not one more step down this path we have been lead on by the Fundamentalist Religious Right. They are not moral and they are not majority.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Not a Chance

I have a friend who just dusted off her political blog. I admit to the fact that mine has been lying dormant for some time. And not for lack of issues I could blog about but that the GOP has made them all so funny why bother.

But the latest news about the Fukushima Reactor in Japan has generated a lot of interest. And a lot of guessing because Japan has made it criminal to report on this issue. Even all the photos are taken from far off shore it seems. I love Google images and really how secret can a nuclear power plant really be.

I have included a diagram of one of the four reactors because I thought it was very interesting that in an earthquake prone area the spent fuel pool is above the reactor. BTW I think "spent" is wishful thinking. One bit of news to hit lately was that the enormous amount of these spent rods in reactor number three of four were going to be moved over a period of time. Very Carefully one hopes. Nobody says where but, that sent me to an overview of the entire facility and the question just where are the stored rods from reactors one, which exploded, and four which was at one time on fire? Judging from the aerial photos two is in the best shape. Three is the one currently steaming because they believe there is still sea water leaking into the wet well or heaven forbid the pressure vessel.

Voice of Russia led their most recent article with the headline 89 TONS OF DEADLY RADIOACTIVE FUEL COULD REACH US IN 2 DAYS. California is already getting measurable amounts of radiation in its rain. No reports as to whether or not the fish glow in the dark. US news seems to be ignoring everything west of our coast as if it will go away soon. Not a chance.

And there is also not a chance that we can do anything about what is happening. With the aid of hurricanes we have already proven we are incapable of evacuating our major cities like say Los Angeles. So why panic the population along our western coasts. How far inland the 89 tons go depends on whether it is coming by sea or air initially and which way the winds are blowing. I do not think there is any good news on that front. And there are those missing fuel rods from the other reactors which have been doing their think already.

My sister asked just how long I planned to live anyway. Watching above ground nuclear tests in Nevada as a child and being downwind from Los Alamos may have already done it for me. Do you suppose I have become resistant?

I admit to not being all that overly concerned about my home in the mountains until a friend that works for emergency management asked me about the major fault lines in New Mexico and how stable Carlsbad Caverns were.