Wednesday, February 23, 2011


WHEN DID IT START: For those of a Bible reading kind of mind, it probably started in the pre-existence, when Lucifer rebelled against God and Jehovah and the plan for us to come to earth and gain a body. On that line of thought, it continued when Cain killed his brother Able. And it hasn't really stopped since. So, I will not detail the many rebellions that have happened down through the ages. As if I could. Lets just get to the present day. Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, just to name a few. And it continues. Even here in the good old U.S. of A. In Wisconsin. State legislatures that don't like the law some are trying to pass, left the State in so that the bill couldn't pass, for lack of majority. Other States legislatures are threatening to do the same thing. New Mexico hasn't made the news on that front yet, at least not the national news, but there have been rumors floating around the State, that they could do that if the Republicans and the Republican Governor insist on passing laws they don't like. Well, I thought this was supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people. So I guess the PEOPLE need to rebel and tell the elected officials that they were elected to go to the State house or wherever they do their business, and do the business they were elected to do. If they want to pout and play childish games, then vote them out and vote for someone who wants to take care of State business. Or Federal business, for that matter. And That's The View From The Ditch Bank

Saturday, February 19, 2011

So, What's Next

THIS HAS BEEN QUITE A WEEK: Not a complaining type of week. Just somewhat different than I have had in quite some time. I haven't made it a habit to blog about myself or family. But this week, I think I will. So, for the few of you that actually read my drivel, you have been warned.
About three years ago, the man who I go to for my haircuts, ( OK, you can finish this when you quit laughing, ) ask me when I was going to retire. I, being over 65 years old at the time, said probably in a year or two. The barber, being more than a decade older than me, said, well, let me know when you decide, and I will retire with you. Two years ago I retired, he didn't. Said he had nothing to do if he wasn't working.
Now, to this week. Monday, last, I went back to work. In a mine, doing the same type of work I retired from, but with a contractor, rather than the mining company. The work is so familiar, that the first day was like being back to work after a long vacation. Oh! guess it was. On Thursday, February 17, my wife and I reached a milestone that few people reach. We "celebrated" 50 years of marriage. To each other. The day didn't go like I had envisioned the Golden wedding year would. I said "celebrated" because I, having just started a new job, went to work. My wife stayed home, feeling ill. We will celebrate later, after I retire again. Which definitely will not be 40 years. Nor even 40 months. Then this morning I went to the barber for a hair cut. A new barber was in the shop. My old barber had retired February 1st. Not cause he wanted to, but cause diabetes had taken so much of his eyesight, that he finally had to quit. Many people, like him, and myself, work way past the current considered time to retire. Work is a necessity of life. Even if you are financially healthy. But so is play. I just hope many of the younger generation realize that and combine the two, and not just get hooked on the thought of being able to play all the time. And That's The View From The Ditch Bank

Friday, February 11, 2011

For Richer or Poorer

IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY: My last blog was just a tongue in cheek type of blog about a situation that happened in this State last week. You can read that blog to see what I wrote. This blog is a little more serious follow up on that blog.
A lot of information has come out since my last blog. The natural gas service was cut off to several small towns in the northern part of the state, and service was curtailed to several others. With temperatures in the below freezing to as cold as below zero in many places, a lot of those families were without heat. Even after the "problem" was solved by the gas company, it was still several days before these people got their gas turned on. Governor Martinez called out the National Guard to assist with getting the gas turned back on. Police and fire department personnel from other cities also were called on, or volunteered, to help with this. The gas company officials could only say, they were doing the best they could. Result, frozen and broken water pipes, damaged gas lines and furnaces, due to the cessation of normal gas flow. FEMA has sent personnel in to asses the damage and if the State has more than a few million dollars in problems, they can offer assistance. In one of the affected towns, the people were told they could qualify for loans to help them. They said, "We don't want loans, we want answers". They might get the loans. So far, they aren't getting answers. Noted, most of those affected are some of the poorest in the State.
I have long voiced my opinion that Government's, local, State and Federal, need to cut their budgets and live like normal people have to. I have blasted, in this blog, those tics that bloat themselves on the blood of the people. I am still of that opinion. Now, I read in the paper this; "Obama to propose cuts in heating aid". The article said that the President wants to propose a cut of 2.5 Billion dollars in the fund to assist the poor with heating. In the coldest winter on record in many years. Once again. Who will this affect. The Poor. Again I say. Government needs to cut spending. But to do so at the expense of those most dependant is wrong. It seems to be the way, though. Of companies and governments. Why? Cause the rich can afford services and they can holler loud and long enough that the tics listen. Large cities and big business can do the same. So a gas company can turn off the gas of the poor, and get away with it. Well, the officials are trying to defend themselves before the New Mexico State legislature, starting today, and they are squirming. :-) Our newly elected governor is demanding answers, and is not playing patty cake with them. I don't think they like it. And she has publicly stated that if they can't prove what they say, they will pay. What do they say? It isn't their fault. The fault lies in Texas. If so, why? See previous blog. Maybe more truth than fiction there. And that is the View From The Ditch Bank

Monday, February 7, 2011

Out Of Gas

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT: Oh! that isn't exactly what it was. The headline in the irregular paper ( that's the local daily paper, except Sat. and Sun.) said "Governor declares state of emergency across New Mexico". What was that emergency. Well, I'll tell you, then we will explore the implications a bit. The emergency was, many places in the State had no natural gas service. That's the natural kind that is pumped from the ground. As a result, a few cities were cut off completely, and many more had gas curtailments, so that many citizens were with out any way to heat their homes. Result: frozen and busted pipes. Insurance claim amounts yet to be determined. But, how can that happen in a State that produces a hugh amount of the nation's natural gas and oil. That is the question that is now being ask by many of those serving in the State think tank. More commonly known as the legislature. The answer. We get our gas from Texas. And the Texas company that supplies said gas, said they had compressor problems, and couldn't pressurize the lines to get the gas to the State. So, in a week and a weekend that is the coldest on record in many places, ( extremely sub zero) and in others since way back in the 1960's, much of the State lost gas service. And many suffered. Even now, as I write this, there are still some areas of the state that is just now finally getting service returned to them. After many days of freezing. And living in shelters that have been set up by the cities involved. But as people lost gas service, they plugged in electric heaters, overloading the electrical circuits, causing rolling blackouts in some parts of the State, adding to the problem. And as many are getting gas service back, and pilot lights being relit, they are told, Oh! when the gas went off, it caused problems to your old furnace, so we can't light you up until you buy a new furnace. Cost! 4 to 6 thousand dollars. Lots of problems for many in the State. Due to a loss of gas. Why? Well,
lets explore this just a little bit. The good, the bad and the ugly. Oh! that's the title of a poor spaghetti western. Sorry. Just the bad and the good, then. As I ramble around this, you decide which is which. To start this exploration, the Green Bay Packers, won their division ( which ever one that was ) in football. The Pittsburgh Steelers won their division also. The division that the Packers didn't win. As a result of that, these two over paid teams met in the Dallas Cowboy Football Stadium to play in a bowl of Chili. Oh! not JUST a Chili Bowl, but a Super Bowl. One that produced a lot of gas, I would imagine. But I digress. The afore mentioned cold spell also hit Dallas. And it snowed there, and froze there. And the snow had to be removed from the roof of the Chili Bowl. And that takes a lot of heat. Not to mention heating it for the game. Which takes a lot of gas. And the fans that paid overly high prices to set in a warm seat and view the smash and grab. If they were lucky enough not to have one of the seats that was sold, but unsittable in. And where did said natural gas come from. Well, ummmm, lets just tell New Mexico we have compressor problems, and send that gas to Dallas, to heat up the roof of the chili bowl and get the ice and snow off it, and warm up those high priced fans seats, so they will want to come back sometime. Maybe even to root for the Cowboys. OK, so maybe I went a little too far with that one, but the real Cowboy fans can always hope. And for the good. If Chicago had won the division, ( which ever one it was ) instead of the Packers, then the Bears would have been in the bowl of Chili and the President and his family were going to attend. Yep, that's the one. You know, the President of the U.S. of A. But Chicago lost, the first family didn't attend, and the taxpayers won. Always some good comes out of disaster somewhere. And That's The View From The Ditch Bank

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

View From The Ditch Bank

IS IT DELIBERATE OR IGNORANCE?: I am posting today about politics. Mostly New Mexico politics, but not totally. So, having that warning, continue at your own risk.
As if such disasters as the recent flooding and now a cyclone bearing down on Queensland, Australia, the bitter cold and snowy weather in the United States, and the affect that has on millions of people in both countries, there is always the politics going on. And if that isn't enough, you have the recent events in Tunisia, and now in Egypt, and possibly expanding to other Arabic countries, the world political scene is almost boggling to the mind. Well, my mind, any way. I have enough trouble keeping up with what is going on locally, much less the national scene or the international scene. So, I'll get down to it.
Monday, Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, spoke to a group in El Paso, Texas. Her theme. Border cities are safer than people say they are. The reports of the danger are just political hype and should be stopped. That is not a direct quote, but a statement that took several paragraphs in the local paper to say. This statement was made just across the border from Juarez, Mexico, where 6,000 people have been murdered in just the last two years. And close to 30,000 in the last 6. Where drug violence spills across the border at times. Just like it has in Arizona, at times. Maybe she needs to talk to the family members of the U.S. citizens who have been victims of that violence. Napolitano quoted a lot of statistics, said a lot of money has been, and is being, spent on border security. Still, the violence goes on. Maybe if the Federal government would allow the States to practice illegal immigration enforcement, the U.S. of A wouldn't have to spend so much time and money trying to enforce a law that the federal government seems to be reluctant to enforce. Colorado is in the process of crafting a law modeled after, but different from, the embattled illegal immigration law in Arizona. They say they are crafting it so it won't get struck down. We will see.
Our own new Governor, Susana Martinez, has signed an executive order rescinding the previous governor's order that made New Mexico a sanctuary state. She also signed an order rescinding the former Governor's order, so that now Police Officers are allowed to inquire about a person's immigration status, if they are being arrested for a crime. Let me repeat that. They can ask IF THE PERSON IS BEING ARRESTED FOR A CRIME. The cannot ask it of a person who witnessed a crime, is a victim of a crime , or is asking for police assistance. They cannot ask if the person is stopped for a traffic violation. Only for the above capitalized reason. Yet; a civil rights group protested her order saying "New Mexicans should not have to fear that a broken tail light or other pretextual stop will lead to their arrest because of the color of their skin." This was said by a director of the ACLU. Read that statement, along with the statement by Napolitano, and then read the title to this blog. You just have to wonder. Are they really so ignorant? Or, are they trying to stir up trouble?
Has any one ever heard of Katie's law. Governor Martinez wants to expand that law in the State of New Mexico, by making it a law for ALL persons arrested for a felony to give a DNA sample to be entered into the national data base. I hope the Legislature passes that one. Mrs. Martinez is trying to bring back a lot of the stiffer laws and sentences that have gone by the way side in the last 8 years. She will have a hard row to hoe on a lot of this, with the State budget in the red and the State of the State unemployment. Still, she is trying. So far, I am behind her all the way. Stay tuned for future updates in the future. (Wouldn't it be funny to give a future update in the past). And that is The View From The Ditch Bank