Archive for September, 2010

Blurred Distinctions

by John Weckerle

As the silly season progresses, and the attack ads grow more desperate, we find that perhaps not everybody is as the campaign ads suggest.  For example, Congressman Martin Heinrich is portrayed as a tax-and-spend Pelosi devotee in recent ads for challenger John Barela.  Yet according to this press release from Mr. Heinrich’s office, he has proposed to make the Bush tax cuts for the middle class permanent and let the cut for the top 2% (by income) expire, with the revenue to be used for deficit reduction.  According to the same press release, “Rep. Heinrich cosponsored legislation that reestablished the statutory “pay-as-you-go” (PAYGO) requirements that helped turn deficits into surpluses during the 1990s under the Clinton Administration.  He also cosponsored the SAFE Commission Act, which would help balance long-term spending and revenue for the nation, and the Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act, which would eliminate wasteful and unnecessary government spending.”  This article in the New Mexico Independent  indicates that at the same time that Mr. Barela has been touting his opposition to stimulus-type programs, he has been benefiting financially from exactly that sort of program. Now, we don’t fault Mr. Barela for taking advantage of these programs, but we do think it just a little disingenuous for him to attack his opponent as a “tax-and-spender” while both collecting from and promoting programs involving such spending at the State level.  We also think he should answer the New Mexico Independent’s questions.

We’ve made it pretty clear that we don’t have much use for campaign ads as sources of information, and the examples above perhaps underscore that point. We acknowledge, with both resignation and disappointment, that most voters are probably going to be picking up a lot of their information from such ads and from sound bites presented by the media.  For those looking for more information, there are other sources to consider.

»» Blurred Distinctions

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

by John Weckerle

No, really…

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain!

Would You Like Some Apples With Those Oranges?

by John Weckerle

The “debate” (such as it is) does some less interesting form of raging this week in the Mountain View Telegraph as Valerie McElligott of Moriarty responds to a letter by Patty Walsh which raises the issue of whether all Christians are terrorists because Timothy McVeigh, the key figure in the Oklahoma City bombing, was a Christian – an issue we brought up in our September 2 article on the subject.

Now, this is not why all Christians are terrorists.  All Christians are terrorists because discredited, fraudulent blogger Andrew Breitbart has been unable to procure video footage of each and every Christian not being a terrorist.  The lack of video evidence, creatively edited or otherwise, is damning in the eyes of at least a few, and far be it from us to argue.

All kidding aside, though…

»» Would You Like Some Apples With Those Oranges?

Public Service Announcement: Free Annual Permaculture Gathering At La Resolana In Edgewood Next Saturday

by Christian Meuli

Saturday, October 2, 2010

12:00 PM    Site Tour
2:00 PM        Potluck
3:30 PM        Bruce Noll — Keeping within the Poetry of Nature

This free permaculture gathering will include a site tour of rainwater cisterns, gravity as a resource, woodchip berms, swales, sponges, and tools I find useful.

La Resolana is the new name of this place in Edgewood. La Resolana is a place on the south side that harvests the sun and is shielded from the wind: a fertile place for dynamic sharing, creative thinking, and dialogue for what is possible.

Please bring interested friends and children, a favorite dish that you will enjoy sharing with others, and your finest sun hat! Please car pool and leave pets at home.

Bruce Noll will recite his favorite poets, including Walt Whitman, and his own wonderful nature poetry. He will share poetry that inspires insight within nature and within ourselves.

Take I-40 to Exit #187 in Edgewood (25 miles east of Albuquerque and 8 miles west of Moriarty). At the end of the off-ramp, go south two blocks to the stoplight at the intersection with Highway #333 (Smith’s Grocery will be on your left). Go straight up the hill on Edgewood Road #7 and turn right in ½ mile onto Moriarty Road (gravel). Go ¼ mile to #24 and turn right into my driveway or go straight ahead down the hill and park on your left.

I will have Brad Lancaster’s informative books on rainwater harvesting available for review and purchase (see his extensive website at

I look forward to seeing everyone and meeting new friends! If you need a map or a timely update, please call me at 281-4871.

Got Rain?

by John Weckerle

It’s 6:20 a.m. here at New Mexico Central headquarters, and it’s raining.  It’s been raining since some time since yesterday afternoon.  Just a little while ago, your editor grabbed a flashlight and popped out to check the rain gauges, which currently hold 1.8 inches and 2.2 inches.  Even though we’re on a community water system, we harvest rain for various purposes, here; we have five 100-gallon rain barrels and two 1,550 tanks.  A cursory examination reveals that even the previously empty rain barrel next to the office door is completely full, suggesting that the others probably are, as well.  We’ll wait for the mud to dry up a bit before we go and check the big tanks, but we anticipate that a good bit (maybe as much as a thousand gallons) may have found its way into the tanks.  This is a welcome respite from the long, warm dry spell we’ve experienced in recent weeks, and we’re grateful for it.

Got Detail?

by John Weckerle

Just a few days ago, we posted an article on Jon Stewart’s upcoming Rally to Restore Sanity, to be held on October 30 in Washington, D.C.  We found the CNN opinion article on this quite enjoyable, and thought we’d pass on the link.

We’ve been decrying the combativeness of this year’s political silly season, and are calling for candidates to drop some of the rhetoric and give us specifics on their proposals.  In short, we’d like to hear about their proposals, and we’d like to hear specifics.  We don’t mean vague statements about jobs, corruption, and so on, but the actual approach candidates intend to implement.  These are important jobs, and many voters would like to know not just where candidates stand on issues, but how they intend to be effective in performing the duties to which they are elected.

»» Got Detail?

Oh, What A Beautiful Morning…

by John Weckerle

Photo: Sunrise Over Central New Mexico

This Morning's Sunrise

Creeping Socialist Casserole

by John Weckerle

Okay, we admit it, this is not about creeping socialists; it’s a recipe.  Ever since your editor read that phrase on the East Mountain Tea Party web site, though, it keeps popping into his head and cracking him up.  We want to be clear: this is is one of the most ridiculously paranoid combinations of words we’ve run across in a while, but it’s so ridiculous that it’s kind of funny, and we can imagine that the ghost of Vladimir Lenin is slapping George Soros’s knee over it, too.  I guess you could say that the zucchini and yellow squash represent the ultra-left-wing vegetarian peril lurking beneath the veneer of American “sausage,” pepper and onion patriotism – and then take it a step further and take the that the “sausage” is also some cynical, unauthentic, Socialist-Marxist exploitation of our meat heritage.  And don’t get me started on the liberal cheddar cheese conspiracy.

At any rate, Sunday found us not wanting any of the food we had ready to eat, and a bunch of summer squash with which to deal, so your editor decided to go off the map and do something unusual.  Here’s how it went:

»» Creeping Socialist Casserole

Setting The Standard

by John Weckerle

Once in a while, now matter how much we like our own local scenery, we need a change of it.  With that in mind, last Friday we set out for a spot of dinner in Albuquerque, and decided on the Standard Diner as our destination.

The Standard Diner was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drives, and Drive-Ins last year, and the video is available on the restaurant’s web site.  Located at 320 Central Ave SE, the Standard Diner is located “just east of Downtown Albuquerque” and just a bit west of I-40.  The building was originally a Texaco station built in 1938, and was converted to the current restaurant in 2006.  Little, if anything, remains to suggest that the structure was originally a service station.  The decor manages to convey a certain elegance while retaining some reminders of the “old diner experience,” and the combination of booths and appropriately-spaced tables allows diners to enjoy their meals without living in each others laps.  From the acoustic standpoint, another common issue, the Standard does not disappoint; it is possible to have a quiet conversation in which all participants can hear the others speak. The establishment sports plenty of windows, providing natural light and, in some cases, a look out at a relatively attractive street scene.  The menu provides plenty of vegetarian and seafood selections – enough to make it difficult for non-meat eaters to make a decision.  Meat eaters have nothing to worry about, either; there’s plenty on the menu, and of course the Standard’s Bourbon Butter Burger was specifically featured on the food network.

»» Setting The Standard

World Music Festival in Tijeras Next Weekend

by John Weckerle

The Tijeras Arts Market will host a World Music Festival Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The festival will feature a variety of international music and dance styles, including but not limited to African and Irish music; flamenco dancing; Jewish/Gypsy/European music; African dance; Mexican/Chicano music; New Orleans-style “gumbo;” belly dancing; and – according to the web site – even a whirling Dervish.  Admission is free.  For more information, including the schedule and description of the entertainment, see the Tijeras Arts Market web site.

Help For New Mexico Businesses

by U.S. Senator Tom Udall

This week, the Senate reconvened in Washington after the summer work period in our districts, and the first order of business was tackling a long-stalled small business jobs bill.

Believe it or not, all summer this commonsense bill was repeatedly blocked by a filibuster. Thankfully, after months of obstruction, we succeeded in overcoming the filibuster and passing this measure to help New Mexico’s small businesses create jobs and regain access to private capital.

Throughout the financial crisis, small business owners have continually told me, “I can’t get access to credit. And because I can’t get access to credit, I can’t grow.”

»» Help For New Mexico Businesses

Let’s All Use Our Indoor Voices, Shall We?

by John Weckerle

By chance, we happened to tune in on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart last night, and managed to catch it on an unusual night.  Mr. Stewart’s guest was former President Bill Clinton, discussing issues ranging from his daughter’s recent wedding to The Clinton Initiative to – you guessed it, the economy.  We were interested enough to go to the web site and watch both the broadcast and complete versions, and we highly recommend that those interested in the current state of the economy tune in and listen to Mr. Clinton’s discussion with Mr. Stewart on the issue.

Of additional information was an announcement on Mr. Stewart’s part: that he is organizing the Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30, 2010 in Washington, D.C.  The slogan: Take It Down A Notch For America.  We’ve been touting this for a while, and we’re with Mr. Stewart on this issue.  Mr. Stewart came out hard for this concept years ago on the CNN show Crossfire, telling the hosts that what they were doing was bad for America, and damaging our ability to have a serious debate on serious issues – the result of which was the almost immediate cancellation of Crossfire by CNN.  Now Mr. Stewart is back with the same message.

We do not know why it is that it takes a comedian to do what others cannot in restoring civility to political discussion, especially as topical a comedian as Mr. Stewart.  It worked last time for a little while, though, and we hope it works again.

It remains to be seen whether the Rally to Restore Sanity (aka the Million Moderate March) will bring about much needed quiet discussion, or whether the counter-demonstration planned by Stephen Colbert – The March to Keep Fear Alive – for the same day will prevail.  One thing is for certain – your editor wishes he had plane fare to get there, because it looks as if things will be interesting – and hopefully, not too loud.

Decision Made for Mountainair Ranger District Travel Management Project

The following press release was forwarded yesterday by Arlene Perea at the Mountainair Ranger District.

MOUNTAINAIR, NM – September 10, 2010 – Cibola National Forest Supervisor Nancy Rose has issued a decision for the Environmental Assessment for Travel Management on the Mountainair Ranger District after careful consideration of many public comments. The legal notice of the decision will be published in the newspaper of record, the Albuquerque Journal, on September 10, 2010.

The selected alternative 3 with modifications designates a system of roads for public motorized use. This decision will:

»» Decision Made for Mountainair Ranger District Travel Management Project

NM-Central “Outs” Anonymous Tea Party Spokesman?

by John Weckerle

Rats.  We had what could have been a great article in mind for this morning on the identity of the mysterious East Mountain Tea Party (EMTP) spokesperson “teapartynm.”  Based on writing styles and one particular hint from the web site, we were all ready to provide an exhaustive (and, now that we think of it, probably boring to most people) account of why we thought a particular person was the man behind the “nom de plume,” as it were.  Or, as it turns out, as it is.  Unfortunately, as it turns out, the Damage Control Subcommittee of the EMTP’s Public Relations Committee (okay, we’re being just a bit facetious there) appears to have gotten ahead of us and made a policy change requiring “teapartynm” to put his name on his articles – and after our most recent article on the subject, we might add.

»» NM-Central “Outs” Anonymous Tea Party Spokesman?

Public Service Announcement: Open House For Distance Ed GED in Mountainair

by John Weckerle

Checking in on our friends at Mountainair Announcements, we find that UNM Valencia’s ABE Program and Torrance County Distance Education Program will host a free open house at the Dr. Saul Community Center in Mountainair this Saturday, September 18, for adults interested in earning a GED.  For more information, see the Mountainair Announcements article.