Irene brings the importance of energy to light

Posted on 31. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Energy/Environment

“Coal is making us sick. Oil is making us sick.” So said Senator Harry Reid. As the entire East Coast faced a fierce Irene, the lunacy of Reid’s statement was brought to light. America’s energy is what kept people alive despite nature’s fury.

Over the weekend, the news was filled with clips of governors, mayors, and police chiefs begging people to evacuate and escape the storm, and shots of highways were filled with cars heading out. Reports warned that gas stations were out of gas and major power outages impacting millions of people could remain for as long as two weeks. Buried between the lines of “storm surges” and “wind gusts,” is an untold story of the importance of energy in saving lives.

One hundred years ago, the rate of death in America due to extreme weather was dramatic with 8000 people being killed in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Today, the death rate per million has dropped from 241.8 in the 1920s to 3.5 in the 2000-2006 period—a decline of 99%. The Death and Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events report indicates that better transportation and communication systems have played a major role in the decline of death rates.

Irene destroyed boats, boardwalks, bridges, and buildings. Despite the widespread devastation of the epic storm, at the time of this writing, less than 2 dozen deaths have been reported as a result of the storm. People heard about the storm through TV, Radio, and the internet. They got into their cars and drove away. Coal is keeping people alive—not making them sick. Coal provides the electricity for the communications. Oil is keeping people alive—not making them sick. Oil provides the gas for the transportation.

The role of America’s energy to keep people alive and well goes beyond hurricanes.

Over the past several weeks, much of the country has been facing near-record breaking heat that has strained the power grid as high air-conditioning demand nearly caused rolling outages. Despite the heat and the heavy use of electricity, few deaths have been reported and most of them are due to a lack of air conditioning.  Coal—the largest single source of America’s electricity—is keeping people alive.

With the vital role of American energy in keeping us alive and well, you’d think that exploration and extraction would be encouraged, that permits would be streamlined, and that power plants would be popular. Not! James Wood, deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy says: “New regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency mean a lot of coal-fired power plants will shut down soon. The approval of new rules for air pollution, water pollution and waste disposal could result in the retirement of between 35 and 70 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation nationwide, with EPA predicting much less and some analysts predicting much more.”

Megan Parsons, of the engineering firm Burns & McDonnell, said: “These days utilities aren’t coming to the company for help with developing coal plants. Instead, they’re looking at environmental retrofits—and studying whether it’s viable to even keep the plants open. A lot of utilities are retiring their coal units,” she said. “So if you combine that with what’s happening with shutting down coal and with the fact that we’re seeing a 10 to 15 percent demand growth by 2020, you can see that we’ve got a problem. We need to be installing some baseload-generation resources.” Combining the shutdowns with the projected growth, we’ll be looking at as high as a 35% reduction in electricity availability and mush higher electricity costs—which will impact the price of everything else.

So, what will we do with summer heat in an energy environment reduced by up to 35 percent? The administration seems to like only expensive, intermittent, and unreliable wind and solar power which has massive land-use issues that trouble environmentalists who then block the projects. Despite the fact that there is no replacement ready for the retired coal-fueled plants, the EPA is moving ahead with its plans.

A real-life picture of health in a reduced energy environment can be found in post-tsunami Japan. With their electric power cut by only 9% due to nuclear plant shutdowns, cases of heat stroke have quadrupled in the 95-degree heat.

As Tokyo tries to conserve electricity, the “setsudden” measures are making life tough. Air conditioning has been turned down, the lights are kept low, and at lunchtime, some companies turn off everything. The once bustling capital famous for its neon lights, has now turned into a city of darkened buildings and slower running trains. Many fear the power-saving drive will further slow a struggling economy. Japan had power reduction forced upon them due to a natural disaster. In America, a power reduction could cause a national disaster in both the health of our people and our economy. Japan’s energy crisis was involuntary. America’s is voluntary as long as our citizens sit by and accept the administration’s restrictions.

Coal and oil do not make us sick. They save lives in times of natural disasters—including hurricanes and heat waves. They are the foundation for a healthy economy. With Irene bringing the importance of energy to light, it’s time to release a national fury to change the direction of America’s energy policies.

This article was submitted by Marita Noon who is the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy. Marita’s twentieth book, Energy Freedom, will be released in October.


 

 

Monday’s Headlines from Around the State – Aug 29, 2011

Posted on 29. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in NM

The New Mexican Voice takes you there! To read these news stories, click on this headline and find the newspaper on the right and then click on it.

Alamogordo Daily NewsLive Firefighter Training

ABQ Journal Special Session to Tackle third Grade Reading

Artesia NewsArtesia Institution closing Its Doors

Carlsbad Current ArgusYouth Victorious at 32nd Great American Duck Race

Cibola County BeaconOfficers Remove Woman from Burning RV

Farmington Daily TimesEnd of the Line for Long Haul Busing

Deming HeadlightColumbus Struggles to Recover from Gun Scandal

Gallup IndependentAlex Seowtewa Named 2011 Ceremonial “Living Treasure”

LamonitorNNMSA Issues final SEIS for Nuclear Facility Part of CMRR Project

Las Cruces Bulletin Post Office to Move Processing to El Paso

Las Cruces Sun News Spicy Celebration: State Centennial Facilities Start Off on Flavorful Note

Mountain View TelegraphHowling Success

Portales News TribunePets on Parade at County Fair

Quay County SunMontana Woman Acquires Confederate Headstone for Great Great Grandfather

Raton RangeIn “Sync” with classic Songs

Rio Grande Sun Flash-flooding Prompts Rescue Mission

Rio Rancho ObserverCouncil Sets New Districts for City

Roswell Daily RecordRoswell Man dies After Wreck

Ruidoso NewsU.S. Hwy 380 Roadblocks Planned

Sangre de Cristo ChronicleAngel Fire Resort Plans Multi-million Dollar RV Park

Santa Fe New MexicanNavigating the Gold Exchange: Rules Tighten as More Cash In on Economy’s Brighter Side

Sierra County SentinelNMSA Board to Bolster Budget

Taos NewsTaos School Employees: No Pay Cuts, Increased Hours

Why ‘No New Taxes’?

Posted on 24. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Economy

Can someone – anyone – tell me why the Republicans in Congress keep saying ‘no new taxes’?

It can’t be because they think our economy is improving.  It’s clear to everybody – Democrats and Republicans alike – that our economy is wheezing and mired in a nearly four-year-long jobless recovery with still more than 29 million real unemployed workers.

It can’t be because of economic theory.  Economists are notorious for their disagreements, yet almost every single credible economist, including Republican favorites like Reagan economic advisors, Martin Feldstein and David Stockman, believes we need a combination of revenue increases and budget cuts to get our fiscal house in order.  Most also believe we need more – albeit this time much more effective – stimulus, to be paid for out of those new revenues.

It can’t be because they are trying to represent the will of the people.  Sixty-three percent of voters clearly support raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year (New York Times, 8-06-11).

And it’s disingenuous to suggest that it is better for the vast majority of Americans if we balance the budget without any new revenues from taxing the extremely wealthy and closing egregious tax loopholes, but rather only further cuts of Defense spending and more insensitive slashing of our nation’s core social programs.  Any honest analysis of respective tax burdens would show that we have so grotesquely distorted our once-progressive tax system that it now hugely over-benefits extremely wealthy individuals and multinational corporations.

So, how can any Member of Congress miss what the polls are saying?  The answer has to be – again – personal self-interest of the Member and/or his being beholden to the campaign finance largesse of the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers and multinational corporations, for no one else in the country benefits from this insensitivity.

Resolution of the “new revenues plus cuts” versus “only more cuts” debate is certainly not going to be found in whether or not one course of action is going to ‘double dip’ the Great Recession of 2007 and the other is not.  Even the ‘economic literalists’ who still look only to GDP growth as the only measure of economic vitality, rather than to the more meaningful measure of real unemployment, have to concede that, as The Economist recently commented (8-06-11), “Output has not regained its pre-Recession peak and the feeble recovery is petering out.”  In fact, over the past six months the U.S. has eked out annualized growth of only 0.6%, when 3.0 to 3.5% annual GDP growth is for our economy no more than stasis.

By only cutting government expenditures, no less a profound expert than Mohamed El-Erian, the CEO of the market-moving bond firm Pimco, says that: “Unemployment will [now] be higher than it would have been otherwise, and growth will be lower.  Withdrawing even more spending at this stage will make [the economy] ever weaker.” (New York Times, 7-31-11)

It should be possible for Members of Congress – and for the President – to appreciate the gross insensitivity of a cuts-only approach to the current economic crisis simply by focusing on what we will lose as a nation and as citizens if we only cut further and don’t raise new revenues.

The specific responsibility placed on the twelve appointed members of the special Congressional committee is to find, between now and November, at least $1.2 trillion in additional net savings out of the federal budget over the next decade.  Yet some of the Republicans on this super committee have already declared their firm opposition to any new revenue from tax changes or reforms, so by the rules established for it, unless the Republicans moderate their positions this means further cuts only.

However, to put the prospect of ‘further cuts only’ into perspective, as the New York Times editorialized on August 6, the special committee could entirely eliminate (not just cut) the whole of the FBI, Pell Grants for college students, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health, and the Head Start program for at-risk young children and it would still not eliminate the $120 billion of government spending annually that is needed to aggregate $1.2 trillion of net savings over the next ten years.

Resolution must, quite obviously, therefore be found in some meaningful amount of new tax revenues.  The following summary of various federal tax rates and taxes under President Reagan after passage of his personal hallmark Tax Reform Act of 1986 and here now in 2011 clearly shows why.  (These figures were ably put together by my colleague Roger Smith, who shares my concerns – the highlighting of the estimated individual middle class taxes and tax rates are entirely mine.)

1986 2011 Change

Effective Corporate Tax Rate             26.8%              22.1%              <17.5%>

**********

Individual Maximum Earned

Income Tax Rate                                 50.0%              35.0%              <30.0%>

Dividend Tax Rate                              50.0%              15.0%              <70.0%>

Capital Gains Tax Rate                       33.0%               15.0%              <54.5%>

Estate Tax on a $10 mm estate          $4.76 mm        $1.75 mm           <63.2%>

Gift Tax on a $10 mm gift                 $3.85 mm         $1.75 mm          <54.5%>

**********

Pro Forma Middle Class Income    $42,000          $106,800            154.3%

Individual Middle Class

Income Tax Rate                                19.3%               17.8%             <7.8%>

Income Tax                                          $8,096            $19,063           135.5%

Individual Social Security                  $2,394               $6,622           176.6%

Individual Medicare                              $609               $1,548           154.2%

Total Employee Paid Taxes             $11,099              $27,233           145.4%

Estimated Individual Middle Class

Employee-Paid Tax Rate with

Social Security & Medicare               26.4%               25.5%             <3.4%>

Can’t responsible Members of Congress, not to mention our President, look at these figures over the last twenty-five years and see precisely what destruction has been wrought to this country’s tax fairness toward the middle class?  Destruction that has turned our progressive tax system on its head, to the benefit of the extremely wealthy and big corporations.  (See “The Tax Man Cometh — Just Not For Everybody”, Huffington Post, April 12, 2011)

Does not the imperative of sensitively seeking new revenue from tax changes and reforms resound and echo in these figures?  And echo as well in the analysis that shows that while federal taxes were 14.9% of GDP in 2009 and 2010 and an average of 18.2% during the administration of President Reagan (and about 18.5% over the entirety of the postwar period), they are this year – 2011 – likely to be only 14.8% of GDP, are estimated by the non-partisan CBO (“Bloomberg Businessweek”, 8-18-11).

What do the Republicans in Congress not see and hear when they say that we can’t and shouldn’t sensitively raise taxes now in order to stimulate our badly stressed economy?

How about if we start such reforms with the embarrassingly obvious step of eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the extremely wealthy and the various tax breaks which otherwise enrich them?  Included in this obvious step must be finally taxing carried interests in partnerships as the ordinary income which it is rather than as capital gain which it isn’t.  This reform alone would bring upwards of $10 billion a year to the Treasury (not the much lower $3 billion ‘scored’ by the Congressional Budget Office and others), and would cease the charade of investment professionals, who now earn what is in essence ordinary fee income investing other people’s money at no risk to their own capital, unfairly receiving the lower capital gains rate aimed at stimulating investment.

On the corporate side, Congress should immediately eliminate the massive subsidies now going to the oil industry while enacting incentives for American multinationals to attribute less not more of their profits to their foreign operations.  And as a matter of new law, accumulated overseas earnings should become immediately taxable whenever they exceed some reasonable percent of a company’s debt capitalization.

Congress should also consider cutting the corporate income rate to, say, 26% while (i) increasing the capital gains rate to 28% (the rate adopted in the Reagan-advanced bipartisan Tax Reform Act of 1986), (ii) taxing dividends as ordinary income, and (iii) eliminating unwarranted business tax breaks.

Most important for our long-term economic health, the administration and Congress should consider a value-added-tax or VAT on the order of 5% that reduces both corporate income and payroll taxes and includes thoughtful exemptions.  Perhaps more than any other single systemic initiative, this combination would spur investments, help America grow its way back to good economic health, and materially reduce the deficit.  Replacing growth-choking taxes with a modest VAT while eliminating the incentives to move production out of the U.S. would also be the basis of a new grand bargain between progressives, who must always oppose slashing programs that millions of Americans depend on, and pro-business conservatives, who seemingly always favor lower corporate and payroll taxes.

President Obama often says that we have to “retool our economy” in order to “win the future.”  A key pillar of any conceivable “re-tooling” must be truly progressive individual taxation (again) and a corporate tax policy that helps U.S. corporations grow and prosper, incentivizes job creation here at home, ensures that corporate America makes their fair contributions to the fiscal needs of our country, and encourages the kind of responsible corporate leadership that will allow this country to responsibly lead the worlds’ economies in the future.

This article was submitted by Leo Hindery, Jr. who is chair of the Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation and an investor in media companies. He is the former CEO of AT&T Broadband and its predecessors, Tele-Communications, Inc. and Liberty Media.


July Median Prices Up From June

Posted on 22. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Economy

The reported July median price for a New Mexico property is 6% higher than June’s median.  The median price for a New Mexico home sold during July was $178,000 compared to $167,900 in June.  This increase is due at least partly to fewer short sales in July and tracks national trends that indicate the number of short sales is going down and prices of non-short sales homes are holding their own, even rising slightly.

While July medians are on the upswing in a majority of New Mexico counties, the year to date median price of a home in New Mexico is 4% lower than the 2010 median year to date price for the same period (January through July).  During July, there were 1,166 total sales reported to the REALTORS Association of New Mexico.  Half the reporting counties showed an increase in sales numbers and half showed a decrease from July 2010 numbers, again emphasizing local real estate markets vary considerably.

Teresa Ramos, 2011 President of the REALTORS Association of New Mexico, reports that “While year to date sales numbers are down from 2010, they are slightly higher than 2009 numbers.  July 2011 numbers are up just over 3% from July 2010.  Stability is slowly returning to the market.”

According to RANM Executive Vice President M. Steven Anaya, “The housing market continues to feel the impact of news from Washington.”  Lawrence Yun, the National Association of REALTORS Chief Economist, speculates, “Even if mortgage rates were to rise because of the (bond-rating) downgrade, this fact is less important in light of the current overly stringent underwriting standards and the general lack of consumer confidence about the economy.  A 30-year fixed rate rising from 4.3% to 4.6% will not change the housing game that much, but a return to normal underwriting standards and a boost to consumer confidence will be the true game changer.”

The trends and numbers reported are only a snapshot of market activity.  If you are interested in buying or selling, consult a REALTOR familiar with your market area; he/she can provide information on specific trends in your neighborhood.

Statistical information and trends are based on information furnished by New Mexico Member Boards and MLSs to U. S. House Stats. Current reporting participants are: Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS, Las Cruces Association of REALTORS MLIS, New Mexico Multi-Board MLS (Artesia, Carlsbad, Clovis/Portales, Deming, Gallup, Grants, Hobbs, Las Vegas, Sierra County areas), Otero County Board of REALTORS, Roswell Association of REALTORS, Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of REALTORS, Santa Fe Association of REALTORS, San Juan County Board of REALTORS, Silver City Regional Association of REALTORS, and the Taos Association of REALTORS. Reports represent single family residential data only.  Information does not necessarily represent all activity in any market/county.  Figures based on reports run 8/17/11.  Visit www.nmrealtor.com (housing trends) for county and board statistics.

This article was submitted by the REALTORS Association of New Mexico. The REALTORS Association of New Mexico is one of the state’s largest trade associations, representing over 5,700 members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate market.

Obama Commerce Official Stresses Exporting

Posted on 19. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Economy

At a luncheon meeting today, Friday Aug. 19th at the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Obama Administration Department of Commerce Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez spoke about the increasing necessity for American companies to export. Drawing on impressive statistics that indicate a 17% rise in year-on-year exports, the Under Secretary painted an optimistic picture of increased employment if Free Trade Agreements that are working their way through Congress are passed.

Sanchez congratulated New Mexican companies that have stayed the course and persevered in their own export programs. Praising the Chamber, SBA, SBDCs and his own Department’s agency, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, the Under Secretary spoke glowingly of the many traditional and new markets open to small-to-medium sized businesses if only they will step up and begin the process of exploring them.

His comments were followed and echoed by those of Ambassador Michael Michalak (former Ambassador to Vietnam and now Senior Advisor to the APEC 2011 USA Conference) who underscored the opportunities that lay in wait for enterprising American entrepreneurs who will take advantage of the many programs available from the Federal Government for penetrating the Asia-Pacific Region of countries that make up APEC.

Both Under Secretary Sanchez and Ambassador Michalak were very appreciative of the invitation extended by President Alex Romero of the AHCC and his Head of the International Trade Committee of the Chamber, Mr. Adam Trujillo, to participate in the roundtable discussion and promised to keep in close touch with the Chamber and the individual participants, offering follow-up assistance through their respective organizations. Next stop on the agenda was a courtesy call on Congressman Martin Heinrich.

- Editor

 

 

Please Help a Starving Bear!

Posted on 19. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Energy/Environment, NM

Hunger kills. The drought that devastated much of New Mexico’s forests is not the fault of the creatures that inhabit them. We at the New Mexican Voice ask you for your compassion and to help keep a few more of God’s precious creatures alive – to give them a fighting chance to go back to the wild again.

Dr. Kathleen Ramsey, who works with the Wildlife Center in Espanola, is taking in starving bears and feeding them to release at a later date.  The New Mexico Game & Fish has for years taken young bears to her to rehabilitate.

She now has 19 bears including the starving 40-pound 2 year old bear found in the Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights that was recently shown on TV.

Ramsey is going through 150 lbs. of dog food a day! She buys  l,000 lbs. of food at a time. You can help defray the cost of providing this valuable public service for some fortunate cub bears.

If you can send something, make your check out to:

The Wildlife Center, PO Box 246, Espanola, NM 87532
Write ‘FOR BEARS ONLY’ on your checks.

Ramsey only has room for three more bears and will most likely need to expand the number of cages in this bad year for bears. Jan Hayes of New Mexico Bear Watch is looking for handy people who can help construct more chain-link metal bear cages, should the need arise. Please call Jan at 505/281-9282 if you would like to help her erect metal cages.

Ramsey’s bear/rehabilitation facility is north of Espanola along the Chama River. Thanks for helping the bears. If we do not care for the least of us, most of us will suffer.

- Editor

Headlines from Around the State – Aug 18, 2011

Posted on 18. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in NM

The New Mexican Voice takes you there! To read these news stories, find the newspaper on the right and click on it.

Alamogordo Daily News‘Dreams’ facility backs off

ABQ Journal Too green to pay up

Artesia NewsAFD working to mark fire hydrants

Carlsbad Current ArgusLincoln national forest lifts fire restrictions

Cibola County BeaconMain Street elects two new board members and reelects another

Farmington Daily TimesLujan to hold constituent meeting

Deming HeadlightPNM goes online with solar power locally

Gallup IndependentFamily remembers late Arthur Cometsevah

LamonitorLTAB tackles tourism downturn

Las Cruces Bulletin MVRDA may move to East Mesa

Las Cruces Sun News Scent of the season

Mountain View TelegraphHungry bears explore more

Portales News TribuneBusinesses seek Sunday alcohol sales

Quay County SunMaltese dog returns safely to family

Raton RangeFuture improvements for tourists and travelers

Rio Grande Sun Rodella’s revenge

Rio Rancho ObserverTurnout for redistricting meeting impresses

Roswell Daily RecordParent calls RHS north parking lot ‘dangerous’

Ruidoso NewsFormer village manager reminisces about Perry

Sangre de Cristo ChronicleTaos artist Ed Sandoval captures state’s whimsical quality in poster

Santa Fe New MexicanWoman charged with DWI after head-on collision

Sierra County SentinelCity Holds Quick, Productive Session

Taos NewsKit Carson Co-op fetes Taos broadband, new center

A Bad Week for Obama’s Policies

Posted on 18. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Politics

It’s only fair. That’s the principle I’ll be fighting for during the next phase of this process.” President Obama, August 2, 2011

What if you paid $38,000 to lease a house and were then told you cannot move in until some studies are done to determine if it is safe, but you do not get your money back? Years go by while the landlord is holding your money. That’s not fair! But this is exactly what the Obama administration has been doing to the oil and gas industry since May of 2010. The same Obama who is crisscrossing the country touting “fair.”

On Friday, a US District Judge, appointed by Obama, decided that the administration wasn’t playing fair.

In October 2010, the Western Energy Alliance (WEA), representing more than 400 independent natural gas and oil producers in the western states, filed a lawsuit against the federal government to force action on oil and gas leases that companies had already paid for. The leases had been purchased at Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease sales. But because of environmental protests and uncertainty over endangered species, the BLM has a backlog of leases needing additional examination.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 encouraged domestic energy development by allowing wells drilled from a site that had been used within the past five years, and already had a full environmental analysis, to proceed without repeating the expensive, time consuming, and redundant studies. Additionally, in areas with extensive energy development—and therefore environmental impacts have been fully evaluated—permits could be expedited. Extraction and jobs could happen more quickly—helping America’s debt.

In May/June 2010, in response to an environmentalist lawsuit, the BLM/Forest Service (FS) adopted new rules for interpreting the Energy Policy Act. The rules were aimed at slowing down development by increasing environmental oversight of drilling on federal lands.

The WEA lawsuit focused specifically on 118 leases for which companies had paid $4.5 million—an average of $38,000 per lease—though hundreds of leases and more than $100 million were impacted by Friday’s decision.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled that the BLM and FS had failed to follow the correct procedures when they issued a memorandum and letter, respectively, changing the application of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The Obama administration sought to introduce a screening process that would have increased environmental oversight. Turning down the administration’s argument that the memorandum/letter were “policy statements,” Judge Freudenthal said: “They are rules which bind the agency and impose or affect individual rights and duties”—as such, notifying the public and engaging in proper rule-making are required. She threw out the 2010 rewrite of Section 390 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and reinstated expedited oil and gas drilling.

“The judge’s ruling,” said Kathleen Sgamma, director of Government and Public Affairs for WEA, “is a victory for responsible American energy development, and holds the promise of new jobs and economic growth.”

The judge’s ruling was the second strike against the Obama administration in as many days. Just the day before, a three-judge panel—made up of one Bush appointee and two Clinton appointees—struck down Obamacare, ruling that Congress does not have the power to require all Americans to buy insurance.

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge, Martin Feldman ruled that the Obama administration was acting in contempt, stating that regulators acted with “determined disregard,” by lifting the offshore ban and then reinstituting a series of policy changes that restricted offshore drilling.

Just last month, Louisiana Senator David Vitter (R) begged the administration to allow “our energy industry to get back to work.”

In an economic crisis, with a president who has pivoted to jobs numerous times in the last year, his policies have turned even those within his own party against him. At long last the job destroying policies of the Obama administration and his czars is seen for what they are—and they are not “fair.”

OK, Mr. President. Let’s be fair. Let the tenants move into the house they’ve leased.

This article was submitted by Marita Noon. Marita Noon is the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy. Marita’s twentieth book, Energy Freedom, will be released in October.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whoops!

Posted on 17. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Social/Cultural

I noticed that I’m spilling more lately. Small morsels of various types of food have been jumping from my fork directly to my shirt to create an unintended kaleidoscope of colors, resembling a Vincent van Gogh canvas. Like a surrealistic map of the world where all the countries have been rearranged by a committee, my shirt contains greens from my salad, yellow from my butter, and the ever present red from my spaghetti sauce.

I suppose this is all part of God’s great plan for us as we grow older, but I am a bit concerned that I will soon run out of clothing to soil! That’s why I’ve decided to create a new line of senior clothing called, “Seniorflage” – a combination of senior styles (big buttons and Velcro) and camouflage in the form of pre-stained patterns from all four food groups.

This should have a universal appeal to all of us who know that we are inevitably going to soil our clothing but still want the upper hand. We decide the stains, not the stains themselves – total senior empowerment!  This is not to say that Seniorflage will not attract a following among young people. But before we go the Gap route with the kids, I think I’ll pursue those approaching seniordom, like the 50-60 year old crowd.  These folks know it will soon be their turn and may want to stock up while the introductory prices are low.  I’m not going to stop with clothing either. I think the world is ready for a whole new concept of senior products that both glorify age and demystify it.

Long ago at the dawn of time when man first crawled out of his cave we were taught that aging is something to be avoided at all costs. You’ve all heard that 60 is the new 50, that 40 is the new 30, etc. Plastic surgeons offices are now like the tire shop at Costco. Choose from our popular all-weather face lifts, Botox, nip and tuck features from our master book of the “New Improved You.” We’re getting hip replacements, knee replacements, organ transplants, hair plugs, uplifts and God knows what else in record numbers. Men’s cosmetics are experiencing a breakthrough of sorts, and we are all trying to be good friends with our children instead of good parents.

I don’t know what this says about our culture, but I suspect it simply reflects that we are being swept away by our own marketing and deposited in the new land called, Immortality ‘R Us. I don’t know when this change occurred either. It seemed to me that it was just yesterday when Charlie Ruggles, Cliff Arquette and Bob Keeshan, all resplendent with their white hair, held sway on TV, showing us an image of graceful aging. Today, Betty White has been ‘re-discovered’ and is the darling of  You-Tubers. I still remember her doing refrigerator commercials back in the early 50s when she was probably in her early 30s. Now there’s a woman to emulate.

For many of us, aging is not romantic. Most days are filled with some minor or even major pain. We’ve lost something that we just had. We can’t remember why we went to the kitchen, and most of all, we feel a bit cut off from the younger generation who are certain we are living relics from the Smithsonian and by some miracle of genetic manipulation have managed to survive beyond the insurance company actuarial tables. Seniorflage clothing is a reminder that matter never disappears, it just changes form… or location. Thank you Albert Einstein and Maytag. One of you is indispensable. Time will tell which is which, but my money is on Maytag.

- Editor


Monday’s Headlines from Around the State – Aug 15, 2011

Posted on 15. Aug, 2011 by Stephan Helgesen in Economy, Education, Energy/Environment, Healthcare, NM, Politics, Social/Cultural

The New Mexican Voice takes you there! To read these news stories, find the newspaper on the right and click on it.

Alamogordo Daily News – Students returning to NMSU

ABQ Journal – NM flights Costing $1.2 mill.

Artesia News – Council Approves New Zoning Along Richardson

Carlsbad Current Argus – Redistricting on County Commision Agenda

Cibola County Beacon – Commissioners Require Retraction Before Helping City

Farmington Daily Times – Veteran cop gets new post

Deming Headlight – DAC Jam Fest

Gallup Independent – SRP agrees to purchase Big Bo wind power

Lamonitor – Los Alamos: More than a science town

Las Cruces Bulletin – MVRDA may move to East Mesa

Las Cruces Sun News – NMSU campus alive with students and families

Mountain View Telegraph – NM 344 lane fix in place for now

Portales News Tribune – Drought leading to large number of cattle sell-offs

Quay County Sun – Officials break ground on Ute pipeline project amid protests

Raton Range – Tax revenue adjustment considered

Rio Grande Sun – Taxpayers stuck with rancher’s legal bills

Rio Rancho Observer – Council approves sign law

Roswell Daily Record – Nothing like a good old fashioned shoot out

Ruidoso News – Federal agents raid Ruidoso home

Sangre de Cristo Chronicle – Monsoons finally arrive but lose steam

Santa Fe New Mexican – AG locked in costly Elephant Butte water fight

Sierra County Sentinel – City Holds Quick, Productive Session

Taos News – Taos Kit Carson Trustees: $7,651 for attending rate hearings

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