Monday, October 28, 2013


As New Mexico and Albuquerque have grown, so our national ranking
in various categories (and there are many)
 has changed, almost always for the worst. 
 This last June we finally kicked Mississippi
out of 50th place for "child welfare,"
 and proudly assumed the title.
The Absolute Worst State in America for Kids.
Boy, what a place.
We rank in the bottom 5, of 50 states, in so
 many categories, it's obscene.
We let Mississippi keep the highest teenage 
pregnancy rate, but we're hot on their trail in
a close second spot.  It makes you want to weep. 
And a lot of politicians, bankers, developers, and other misguided folks -
the hopelessly lost, the eternally clueless -
would have us GROW!  Let's have more, NOW!
Where are those Italiano folks with all the nice agua?
The idea is hideously stupid.  What drew people to New Mexico in
the first place is now quickly becoming a piece of the past.
We don't need to grow.  We need to get a handle on what's
happening here, and make a sincere effort to do something
about quality of life issues, and forget about more
subdivisions, convenience stores, malls and meth.
We need to get a handle on things before we
completely ruin this place.  Right in front
of us, it's quickly becoming what many
people would call a "shithole."
Grow?  Why, for more of this?
Tap the San Augustin aquifer,
so a bunch of developers, politicians, and
 foreign "investors"
can make mountains of cash?
And in the process,
 this dump can get bigger?
Are you nuts?
Wait a minute, are you on meth? just make it.  I see. 
So you're pro-growth. 
Well....of course.
What else would you be.
Yesterday four cops got shot in Albuquerque
when some maniac with an AK47 decided
to make war on law and order.
Some pathetic little fifteen year old
kid was going to court this morning,
the one who gunned down five family members
 this past winter.
Daddy was a preacher man.  Shot dead.
The boy said he was upset with his mom.
Shot dead.
Poor little tyke.
Too many nutsy video games I guess.
And the craziness is there,
 on every local news channel,
every morning, noon, and night.
It's just a question of degree - 
better? worse? the same?
It just goes on, and on, and....
It's no wonder that many people from
the rural areas of the state just stay home.
It's bad out there.
Yeah, and now it's breaking bad
 just about everywhere in
The Land of Enchantment.
We're the "riskiest" state in the Union.
New Mexico last in child well-being ranks
Posted at: 06/24/2013 6:43 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

“Thank God for Mississippi” is a phrase well-known to many New Mexicans. That state has historically been dead last on every important quality of life list – but not anymore. Mississippi has moved up to 49th on the national “Kids Count” list, while our state has dropped to 50th.
New Mexico now ranks as the worst state in the nation when it comes to the well-being of our children. The “Kids Count” data-book ranks our state at number fifty, with low scores for things like education, health, and economic security. True, New Mexico never has ranked above 40th, but 50th place really hurts.
It’s not that we’re doing so much worse than we did last year. It’s just that Mississippi has made giant strides in things like the rate of kids attending pre-school. In fact teachers and school administrators say early education is the key to overall improvement in academic performance. 62 percent of New Mexico kids don’t attend pre-school, one of the lowest rates in the country.
“When we receive our kids and we see what it is that they’re lacking, they’re already behind the 8-ball,” said teacher Sonya Romero. “It makes it harder for us as teachers to catch them up in such as limited amount of time and with such limited resources that we have.”
Joan Baker owns and operates “My Happy Place” pre-school in Edgewood.
“The amount I’m able to pay my teachers, for the most part they can go make more working at McDonald’s or Arby’s,” Baker said. “At Smith’s being a bagger they can make more money. I have a high turnover and it’s hard for the kids to connect and learn when that teacher is gone in a few months.”
“This state lags behind in early childhood education,” said Albuquerque school superintendent Winston Brooks. In kindergarten we’ve got kids who can read just ten sight words and we’ve got kids who can read a novel. I think we have to really do a much better job with that.”
New Mexico got worse in the last year with almost one third of the kids living in poverty and 43 percent now in single parent families.
In fact most of the categories where New Mexico improved are in education, and most where the state got worse are in economic well-being. This last place ranking is yet another defining snapshot of just how devastating the recession has been in our state.

The Most Dangerous States in America

You might think that going to California, Texas or New York exposes you to a lot of crime.
But in fact it was Tennessee that had the nation’s highest violent crime rate last year.
The FBI’s latest statewide statistics offer a snapshot of the underside of the 50 states: where violent crime is most likely to occur. According to the FBI, violent crime includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the states with the highest rates of violent crime in the country.
While violent crime rose just under 1% nationally in 2012, the trend for the past 20 years has been steady decline. Crime peaked in the late 1980s, fueled by the crack cocaine epidemic. Beginning in the early 1990s, crime began to decline. Although the exact cause remains unclear, experts have pointed to factors such as better policing, demographic changes, higher incarceration rates, a drop in cocaine use and the introduction of a variety of social programs.
In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Urban Institute senior fellow John Roman pointed out that the crime decline has not been uniform. It has improved markedly in some large cities, like New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C. However, the decline has been less impressive in cities like Baltimore and Detroit, where economic and racial segregation limit the ability of the poor to move into the middle class.
The more the population is integrated, Roman explained, the greater the chances of sizable crime declines. Most crime is committed by people at the bottom of the economic totem pole, he said.
The apparent relationship between low income, low education and higher crime rates has been well documented, although identifying the cause and effect is still a matter of debate. It is clear, though, that these states for the most part match the national trend. Of the 10 states with the highest rates of violent crime, eight have lower rates of adults with bachelor’s degrees, and most of them had median income levels below the national figure in 2012.
To read the entire article, go here:
We've edited for brevity sake - obviously what concerns
us is the national ranking below.
4. New Mexico
 Violent crimes per 100,000: 559.1
 Poverty rate: 20.8%
 Pct. of population with bachelor’s degree or higher: 26.1%
 Property crimes per 100,000: 3,600.7 (4th highest)
For many Americans, New Mexico is Taos, Santa Fe and the big nuclear laboratory at Los Alamos. It is also a poor state. Its violent crime rate is the fourth worst in the country; its forcible rape rate is also fourth worst. It has among the highest rates of drug use in the country, which is known to encourage criminal activity. Its burglary rate is second worst. “We dare not pretend this does not have an effect on our economy or our overall quality of life,” former New Mexico legislator Dennis Kintigh wrote in the Albuquerque Journal earlier this year about the levels of violence in the state.
And here's an interesting fact:

 A former state representative,
 who's also a former FBI agent and police chief,
 says New Mexico isn't sending nearly enough
 of its violent criminals to prison.
Dennis Kintigh crunched the numbers.
He says New Mexico has more murders and
 violent crimes per capita than any other
state in the southwest.
New Mexico also sends fewer of those
 violent criminals to prison than any other state
 in the southwest.
Kintigh says that's a failure
of the judicial system.
See the entire article here:

Breaking Bad” actor complains about crime in ABQ; prepare for media explosion     

By Rob Nikolewski on April 11, 2012
Aaron Paul portrays one of main characters in the TV show
 “Breaking Bad,” which is set — and filmed — in Albuquerque.
In the past, Paul has said some nice things about the city but
 after becoming a crime victim for the second time, he took to 
Twitter yesterday (April 10) to vent:
From TIME Ideas:

Breaking Bad Normalizes Meth, Argues Prosecutor

And they chose Albuquerque for the location.
Perfect.  It really is.  People not unlike people you meet
in the show are all over the place.
It's as though "Central Casting" got asked to
find the perfect "methhead" - but not a character,
An urban complex that embodies
the stupidity of the drug itself!
The politicians, city planners,
developers, lawyers, dealers, hustlers -
they're all part of the milieu here -
this dimwitted, short-sighted, fast buck,
head-up-your-ass approach to life.
All the bigger places, the cities in the region,
 have this disease.
But Albuquerque is by far the dumbest -
the true idiot child of the urban southwest.
And it affects the entire state, to one
degree or another.  It's contagious.
And these days, it can even be fatal.
In Albuquerque,
there used to be certain zones where you find stuff,
and there still are, generally.
However, those lines are changing, boundaries
are expanding. 
 And it ain't just meth, and it sure as hell
isn't limited to "bad" areas of town.
Oxy and Cocaine roll downhill from the Sandia Foothills
to the adobe palaces of the North Valley
 and Corrales.
But there they're connected and seemingly protected. 
 The well-to-do.  Los patrones.
Yet there's no actual safe or untouched zones, not any longer.
Just neighborhoods that like to think they are.
Gated places.  Rent-a-cops.  Guns.  More guns.
"Our kids don't do drugs."
Well, maybe some of yours don't lady, but one hell
of a lot of people here DO, including a lot of kids.
The drugstore is open...all over town.
Pot's blase.  Anything that mild isn't even cool,
unless it's high grade, and high ticket.
The show of money is always....well, "awesome,"
as the kids know, or think they do.
But murder and mayhem are possible anywhere.
Druggies, as we can all see now (if we didn't
 know this before watching the series)
 are neither dependable, nor predictable.
The cops are outnumbered and overwhelmed.
APD has serious manpower problems.
And the drugs just keep on rollin'.
The poison has spread cross the state, with no
regard for legal, historical, or cultural boundaries,
with no regard to "your place" in life,
or your job, if you have one,
or your future.
Albuquerque really is a sort of
I was born at St. Joe's Hospital,
 and have spent time in The Duke City off and on
over the years.  I went to college there with Tom Swisstack,
today the Mayor of Rio Rancho, that slice of
misguided Americana, with all the cookie-cutter houses,
 and those abominable New Yorkers who saw
 the Rio Rancho ads in The New York Times
 many years back. 
  And then she said:
"Morty, look at this!  And the prices are giveaway!
We could live like kings for the same amount
of money as we throw away here!
Morty, the air's clean and there's hardly
any blacks, just some injuns and messycans,
and they have pueblos and barrios and all that.
You could play golf nearly every day!
Morty, are you listening to me?
I hear you Maya, I'm
But of course Rio Rancho has a lower crime rate
now than most areas of the state.
INTEL is there, and they have jobs, though large
numbers of their new employees are always
 from out-of-state.
They also USE A LOT OF WATER .
But there's no real economic security here.
INTEL'S facilities could be a ghost factory
five or ten years from now.
Things change.  Like markets.
Like the world.
Like Rio Rancho.
Naturally, the foreigners, via Michel Jichlinski,
have made a DIRECT effort to lure Rio Rancho
into their scheme.
Jichlinski made a special presentation to the
staff from the Rio Rancho Observer
last Spring.  The article
that resulted -
 is interesting.
Jichlinski is as good a snake oil salesman
as you'd find preachin' off a wagon
anywhere in the West.
And there's a lot of 'em. 
 Always have been.
But we actually got the last word here.
And the last word on:

Sunday, October 20, 2013


From the book BLUE GOLD
by Maude Barlow & Tony Clarke
As one of the cardinal features of the Washington Consensus,
the private takeover of public institutions and enterprises has become the
prime instrument for the commodification of water.  Public services like
the delivery of water, traditionally by municipal governments in
most countries, are taken over by corporations,
often foreign owned, in the interests of making a profit. 
Through this privatization process,
water is turned into a commodity, priced, put on the market, and sold,
usually on the basis of ability to pay.
Water privatization generally occurs in one of three forms.  First,
there is the complete sell-off by governments of public water delivery and
 treatment systems to corporations, as has happened in the United Kingdom.
Second, there is the model developed in France, whereby water corporations are
granted concessions or leases by governments to take over delivery of
the service and carry the cost of operating and maintaining the system,
while collecting all the revenues for the water service and keeping the 
surplus as a profit.  Third, there is a more restrictive model, in which
a corporation is contracted by the government to manage water services
for an administrative fee, but is not able to take over the collection of revenues,
let alone reap profits from surpluses.  While all three forms contain the
seeds of privatization, the most common one is the second model,
often referred to as "public-private partnerships." 
And here's the beginning of Page 5 of the LLC website:
A Public-Private Partnership.

Every year, New Mexico municipalities spend millions of dollars purchasing water rights in controversial offsets. None of these purchases deliver any actual water to the cities. Infrastructure stills needs to be built and every year, millions are spent on energy costs necessary to pump, treat and deliver the water.
The Bureau of Reclamation has spent significant funds throughout the year to increase stream flow in the Rio Grande. For example its 2012 budget includes over $6 million for the “acquisition of supplemental non-Federal water, and pumping from the low flow conveyance channel into the Rio Grande
during the irrigation season”.
In spite of all these expenditures, the river is running dry and public officials are sounding the alarm: “The pressures on the Rio Grande now and other rivers of the state in the future are great. If we didn’t have the storage in northern New Mexico reservoirs and the San Juan-Chama project, the Rio Grande would be dry right now. That’s a pretty shocking thing . . . Where are we going to get the water?” 
 Senator Tom Udall,
 Annual Water Conference,
 Las Cruces, August 2012.
The value of the water rights at the benchmark prices New Mexico municipalities are paying exceeds the estimated construction cost of the Augustin Plains Ranch project. Operation and Maintenance costs of the project are significantly below current costs to the municipalities since no expensive energy is required to convey the project water to the Albuquerque Metropolitan Area.
.Our proposed Public Private Partnership will supply 54,000 Acre Feet of water every year to the Middle Rio Grande, at no additional costs
 to the citizens of New Mexico.

Here's the link to the entire page from the website:
  The graphic illustration below is  how they
see the "stakeholders," though it's interesting to
note that the LLC isn't included in the graphic.
The LLC being of course the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC,
otherwise known as "the foreigners" - Bruno Modena
and his son Vittorio, from Milan, Italy, the multi-millionaire
father-son team, and unnamed as yet other investors.
The would-be water thieves.

. defines "stakeholder" as
"A person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization..
Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organization's actions, objectives and policies. Some examples of key stakeholders are creditors, directors, employees, government (and its agencies), owners (shareholders), suppliers, unions, and the community from which the business draws its resources."
If they were included in the graphic, it would
certainly be represented as a giant leech,
disguised like a big oval bladder, called "OWNERS" -
 with tentacles attached everywhere, sucking
blood, money, and water from "The People."
  They ought to be represented in the graphic.
They'll be getting the water, and all the damn money
that will come to them as a result of their theft.
In most respects, they've got the biggest stake.
Potentially, a huge fortune rides on the outcome here.
And the people of Catron and Socorro Counties,
and the people of New Mexico in the big picture,
 have the most to lose.
And, without wanting to sound inhospitable,
or lacking basic human charity,
 the following needs to be said:
The little that's known about these people is
either very bad, or worse.  Check the early blog posts
about their financial adventure in Maine.
It was a whole new form of extortion.
Everything else is hidden - no financial statements,
no tax returns, no nothing.
From all appearances, (and this is just appearances),
they're international mobsters of some sort,
 very secretive, very closed
 They don't want anyone to know ANYTHING about them.
If they did, they'd have put up a financial profile
that was somewhat believable. 
Who they are.  Where all the damn money comes from.
 They never have put up any info - it's just
 a Santa Fe or New York lawyer's office
 as an address.
They sure as hell don't come out to western
New Mexico, announce who they are,
and invite everyone over to a Bar-B-Q.
 They're off in Norway, Germany, or maybe Italy,
or visiting Ukraine, Moldova, or Israel.
Or God Knows Where.
[Editor's Note 10/15
Those countries, along with the U.S., compose
the Top 7 world audience for hits on the blog.
United Kingdom is coming on strong as
a new contender at #8.]
These are international operators,
why else would all these people be interested?
This can't all be hits from kids in college 
"World Business Ethics 310" classes.
I see a family portrait in the mirror.
But, obviously, the less people know, the better,
as far as the Modenas and their organization
are concerned.
It's nice to know folks watch us though.
There's a snake in the grass.  Beware.
But quien sabe, who knows, maybe they're in the
hospitality business.  Or maybe they are simply
trying to figure out how to launder a ton of cash,
and make a Sultan's ransom in the process.
These are NOT the kind of people you want
to do business with, especially WITH WATER. 

  You should note that while there are
numerous claims about "costs" in their web
 copy, there are NO figures - NONE, NADA.
No proof, just "take our word for it."

Their Project Director is a liar and thief from
the Louis Berger Group, a federal contractor
working in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere,
that got hit with the largest war-time fine
for a federal contractor - in U.S. history.
This LLC Project Director, Michel Jichlinski,
was President and CEO of the outfit during the period 
 that the whisleblower's evidence covered. 
He's not American, he's a foreigner, 
carrying passports from....
It was a massive fraud scheme via
 exotic accounting overbilling practices,
and where bribes to ANYONE were common,
which the company called "grease money".
 The entire company, the Louis Berger Group,
was called "a culture of fraud" by the whistleblower.
The FEDS believed him, obviously,
 after they saw the evidence.
The biggest fine ever for a war-time contractor
 - 69.3 million dollars - included both civil
and criminal penalties.

But Jichlinski didn't go to jail,
though a few others did.
 It'd be no surprise to find out that
 he's got big connections on the Beltway.

Congressman Scumbag and he probably shoot a
few holes at Bethesda, when they're
not busy counting their money,
or working on a western water project.
As we all know, in Washington, money talks.
Sometimes a little too loudly.
"You know Congressman,
 it just requires a little bit more grease money,
and then we'll have it in the bag.
And of course we'll recognize your great efforts
on the behalf of our investment group,
who have so generously put up an offer here, 
an offer you couldn't refuse.
Above: Michel Jichlinski, Project Director
of the WATER GRAB.
Below is a link to an article about the issue
from the McClatchy Washington Bureau - a
well-respected investigative newspaper/web outfit.
Below that is a link to a story about how
the Louis Berger Group went on to win
even more contracts.
  They have much more on the issue
 if you're interested.  Search it.


Take his word?
You've GOT to be kidding!
This guy's anti-American. Period.
You ARE if you steal from us.
And this guy STOLE MILLIONS!
He's a foreign OPERATOR. 
Mob connected?  Probably.
It hardly matters.  HE'S A PIG!

A federal contractor who lined his
pockets with U.S. cash by fraud -
milking millions and millions of your taxdollars
in illegal profits, on projects in war zones
in Iraq and Afghanistan - by fraud,
 by cooking the books, as they say.
We should take him to a gathering of
New Mexico combat veterans to pitch
his plan.  Could he live through it?
When pigs fly.

And now we continue where we left off with
Shifting from public to private systems introduces, of course,
a completely different set of commercial imperatives into water-service
delivery.  Although the water industry insists on "full cost recovery" in
taking over a concession, this usually includes profit margins.
After all, the owners and shareholders of the privatizing corporation
are driven by demands for profits and dividends, which in turn,
are generally redistributed for investment globally in other divisions
of the corporation's overall operations.  Maximizing profit is
the prime goal, not ensuring sustainability or equal access to water.
Management of water resources, therefore, is based on market dynamics
of increasing consumption and profit maximization, rather
than on a long-term sustainability of a scarce resource for
future generations.  As a result, the price that a corporation is
prepared to pay for a water concession depends on the revenue
and profit-generating stream that can be
expected from the deal.


"In 1999, Pickens formed Mesa Water and began to

accumulate water rights to sell to thirsty cities such as El Paso,
Lubbock, or San Antonio.  But as time passed, Mesa Water focused
on the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex.  Already the state's largest
water user, DFW's population was growing quickly in the midst
of a worsening drought.
Many of Pickens's neighbors were alarmed by his plan to
privatize the groundwater, treating it as a commodity like oil or gas,
to be sold to the highest bidder.  Some of them rallied against him
and threatened lawsuits; others joined Mesa Water, hoping to profit.
As water supplies are stretched thin across the country,
this scenario is becoming increasingly familiar.
For much of the nation's history, Americans have fought
over surface water - who gets to use how much of lake or river water -
but most of those disputes have been settled; today the
biggest water wars are over groundwater."
Alex Prud'Homme
The Fate of Freshwater in the 21st Century