Thursday, October 29, 2015


THIS WILL BE THE SECOND TIME that I have written about this.  So, does that qualify it as a rant?  Since it is politically motivated, perhaps it does. So, before I get much further into this rant, let me give a little back ground information.  In 2005 our federal government passed the Real ID Act.  Since our "esteemed" governor at the time thought it necessary for those entering the country and the State illegally should have a New Mexico drivers license, the federal government said it would not honor New Mexico drivers licenses as a valid form of identification. The powers that be in this State ask for an extension to "fix" the problem and that was granted. For a while.
Then a new governor, Susana Martinez, was elected and one of her campaign platforms was to get rid of these illegal drivers licenses. She has tried every year since she has been governor to get the legislature to fix this problem. They refuse to do so. All they do is ask the feds for another extension, and so far they have been getting that extension.  And every year the State Legislators keep the law that says those who are here illegally can have a valid New Mexico Drivers license. 
Now, the latest extension runs out on January 11, 2016. And there is no extension approval this time.  And our legislature don't meet again until January 19. So after the 11th, residents of New Mexico will have to have a pass port to board a plane, enter a federal facility that requires a valid ID, and many other things that drivers licenses are routinely used to identify a person. They will no longer be valid. Period.  When a legislator, was recently ask why they had not fixed this, she said she said she was trying to be sympathetic to the needs of the thousands of people who have made their way to New Mexico to make this their home. Well, what about being sympathetic to those of us who already live here, and have for decades. One just has to ask,   What exactly is it about our elected officials that they don't seem to understand about the term  "illegal".  What about that word is it that they fail to understand. 
So, I feel that we as New Mexicans need to inundate our legislators with e mails and phone calls every day until they fix this problem.  Either that, or we move to Arizona, Texas or Colorado. And THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I JUST HAVE TO ASK.  40 years ago, while I was still a young man, relatively speaking, and working full time, and raising a family, I was paying into the Social Security system.  I wasn't ask if I  wanted to pay into the system, I was just told that I was.  In fact, I have been paying into the system since the late 1950's and continued to do so until just about 3 years ago.  Even though I "Officially Retired" in 2009, I continued to work part time here and there and continued to pay into the system.
Now, back to the 40 years ago thing.  In 1975, the government put into place a rule, or law or whatever they called it, that when the cost of living went up, so would the social security payments. And for the last 40 years they have done so, with an average increase of 4%. Except for 3 years in that 40 years.  And all three of those years have happened since 2010. And the years we did get an increase since 2010, it has been less that 4%. So, how can this be?  Well, it is in the way the law, or what ever it is, was wrote.  It's based on the CPI.  And when the economy is good, the CPI will go up and so will the social security payments.  Well, in 2015, most indicators went up, but the price of gas came down, so that "offset" the other, according to the powers that be back east. However, the government mandated health care system that is now the "law of the land" has risen out of sight, so we, the old and the infirm, are going to have a large chunk of said social security taken away to pay for the higher costs.  Well, if health care is up, food costs are up, housing costs and insurance costs are up, and if I don't drive any where to use the lower fuel costs, it would seem to this old curmudgeon that the system I paid into for 55 + years could afford at least a small increase in benefit payments. Or at the least, not penalize me for getting old and infirm.