Friday, September 28, 2012


I was at the recent forum on the Rio Grande/Candelaria roundabout in Albuquerque, New Mexico which had to be held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center because the city has absolutely no place for people to meet. Ms. Debbie O'Malley, my non-representative on the Albuquerque City Council, stubbornly told us the city would be building the roundabout come hell or high water and the rest of us be damned. I don’t understand why, with this attitude, she didn't send Francis the Talking Mule in her stead.

We were forced to listen to whiny walkers,‭ ‬whiny horse riders,‭ ‬and whiny bicyclists yet not a word in defense of us common motorists.‭ ‬I'm surprised they didn't demand we apologize for driving on the streets.

But she said one thing which has stuck and bothered me more and more. She stated that if we didn't spend the money we would lose it. Really? This is not tax money coming back to us, it is not coming out of some pot of surplus federal money, it is an additional million dollars more of federal DEBT added to the 16 trillion dollar pile we already have. This is not good stewardship or representative government, it is pure irresponsible and selfish immorality. This is why this country is in the financial mess it is in.

If there's any law we need in this country, it's one that demands that not one penny come from Washington for state or local spending until the financial mess they've created up there is fixed. Many decry entitlements for Welfare and Medicare and Medicaid but no one has talked about the other entitlement problem we have a problem with, namely Government Entitlements. Ms. O'Malley, my non-representative on the City Council, well illustrated this when she opened her mouth. We are entitled to this debt money.

If you look through just a few pages of the Albuquerque Journal and its archive you see so many things funded by federal grants just in New Mexico which either should be paid for by us here in this state or are of highly dubious value other than to the people receiving federal grant debt money.

For instance, just last week we saw the Keshet Dance Company receive a million dollar grant. Hogwash! We don't need this pocket picking. If the Keshet Dance Company wants operating money, let them go to their patrons to get the cash or have car washes or sell candy bars but they shouldn't be using the federal treasury to do their fundraising for them.

In 2011, the Corrales Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a $94,050 federal grant for "operations and safety programs, including training, personal protective equipment, wellness and fitness, and health and safety modifications to stations and facilities". Again, this is spending that should be funded out of the wallets of the people in Corrales.

The Farmington Fire Department also took advantage of federal largesse by grabbing $170,000 in 2010 to use for operations and safety programs. Once again, this should be paid for in and by the people of Farmington.

Here in Albuquerque, some federal money was used to landscape Interstate-40 between Coors and Unser and to add color-changing LED lights. Given the aching federal bottom line, we couldn't live without these additions even if for a little while?

This year, Santa Fe scored a $1.92 million federal transit grant to buy six natural gas-powered buses. People of Santa Fe, buy your own damned buses.

In true grotesque fashion, the National Endowment for the Arts gave Theater Grottesco a $10,000 grant to remount its show, "This is Life as We Know It". And the NEA also coughed up nearly one million dollars in grants for arts projects in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Taos, the ten New Mexican recipients being everyone from Albuquerque's Tricklock Company to the Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces Foundation.

We are so helpless in enforcing our laws in this state that last year the New Mexico Department of Transportation had to be awarded a $142,192 federal grant to enforce seat belt safety laws. Other than the state happily pretending that their efforts are effective, you'll not find a nickel's worth of change in this area.

In the Bureaucrats Must Weep Department, this year Albuquerque lost half of a federal grant that paid for crews to pick up trash once a month in the Trumbull and La Mesa neighborhoods. Excuse me, this should come out of our water bill and there should be extra cash for the city given that they no longer have to buy expensive fluoride for our drinking water.

Last year, the Lovelace Clinic Foundation got a $102,000 federal grant to help hospitals and medical professionals select and purchase computers and other health information technology equipment. What, there are no computers in our hospitals already?

Also, last year, The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe got a $215,000 federal grant to help build administration offices, a conference center and classrooms. Like the pueblos don't have casino money sitting around that they could donate for this purpose?

Even mighty Gallup has gotten in the act by applying for $40,000 for a "smart toilet distribution". Under the proposed program, 150 properties would receive free toilets with installation parts, a low-flow showerhead, and two low-flow faucet aerators. Whatever happened to the homeowner paying for such improvements? Gallup must be flushing with pride.

Everywhere you look you see our local governments acting like unfed orphans grasping for any federal debt dollar they can find. However, if you ever want to honestly start dealing with our trillion dollar federal deficit you have to first shut off the debt pipeline flowing from Washington to all our state governments.

Welfare is not just for poor families anymore, it's the pot of gold at the end of the federal rainbow for greedy governments all across this nation, and Ms. O'Malley, my non-representative on the City Council, merely put a spotlight on that activity and that attitude.

by © Clyde James Aragon

from "Full Frontal Stupidity" -
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