In watching the European Space Agency successfully land a satellite on a comet today, I feel so ashamed of this country of mine. This is the kind of daring space mission NASA wouldn't blink an eye at before trying. Now, we can't even launch a cargo ship without the rocket's refurbished Russian engines exploding.
Sure we helped them by letting them use our deep space radio antenna system, but in earlier days we were the whole enchilada, the entire mission would have been American. We stand and watch now.
Sadly, it looks like all the United States is good for anymore is borrowing money from the Chinese to reinforce the Welfare state we've made out of America.
The recent general election was marked by the usual political winners and losers. But, as usual, the big loser, the biggest loser of all, was the homeowner. And, as usual, every bond and spending bill passed with the safety of a well-inked rubber stamp. And this after the insult of a higher property tax bill arriving at our mailbox just days before.
Yet I would wager that three quarters of the people voting didn't have to pay one nickel of property taxes. No skin off their noses as we homeowners get another tax bill dumped in our laps to pay or figure out how to pay if we haven't enough month left at the end of our cash.
Having people cavalierly throw more taxes at us they don't have to pay is the most evil and unfair thing ever devised. (Hey, next time you're at a restaurant, toss your meal bill at the people at the table next to you and see what happens there.)
We've moved back to the days of taxation without representation. Ultra-liberal politicians seem to be the only ones getting elected in many city districts. Not that their concern for our predicament even exists. The tax-and-spend bug crosses over into the Republicans, as well. While you know Democrats want to spend everything they can get their hands on, the phony lower-taxes-smaller-government rhetoric of Republicans belies their actions in office. Mayor Richard Berry, for example, hasn't stopped spending money since he got into office although he quietly picks our other pockets by going after federal tax money.
Overtaxation on moral grounds falls on deaf ears here because our politicians have no morals. And if you don't believe that, look at our recent election where, after a pro-pot group couldn't gather enough signatures to put their decriminalization question on the ballot, our county commissioners rushed to the rescue by placing an advisory question for us to consider. Compare this to when enough petition signatures were presented to put an anti-abortion measure on the ballot and yet these same people fought that tooth and nail.
Even the Albuquerque Journal is of no help. After running a story earlier this year on high property taxes, come election time, there you were telling everybody to pass everything in sight. Thanks Journal. Your customers are made out of money.
Even the three percent CAP that was placed by our state legislature to try and stop huge increases in property taxes has morphed into belief by our local government officials as a number that can increase yearly, bond passages or not. This has become a tax-it-or-lose-it proposition for these backstabbers of ours.
We property owners need to band together to try and stop what's going on. We need to present some obstacle to this sorry situation. There has to be some argument that we can present via a class action lawsuit that even our state's Democrat Party Supreme Court can't ignore. We've got to get these people out of the government protection racket and back to the public protection business.
I guarantee you, if something is not done soon, we are going to be taxed into the hills like they've done in Santa Fe, stuck living in trailers, and working in the preposterously-priced city of Albuquerque, a place we used to be able to live in.
Normally whiny Democrats are at their whiniest when things don't go their way and Up Front columnist Winthrop Quigley, the apparent conscience of the Albuquerque Journal, proved it in his nasty, sour grapes article on the election. Starting out, he found the usual cadre of anti-Governor Susana Martinez complainers to fill the void that is this paper. They bellyached about the economy, jobs, and education.
What was not noted in this sermon was that here were about 290 THOUSAND New Mexicans who vote FOR Ms. Martinez yet Quigley couldn't find a single one, not one, to say something nice about Ms. Martinez. They simply vanished off the face of the earth.
Quigley then delved further into this gripefest by comparing the elated crowds gathered at the Martinez election headquarters with those huddled masses still waiting in line to vote as the day became 'chilly and dark'. I don't believe that line of baloney. Voting took place in LIGHTED and HEATED buildings. No one was left in the dark suffering from frostbite. As for long lines, there was ample opportunity to vote early or absentee and we heard of them on numerous radio and TV ads. I have no sympathy for stupid people.
Quigley then went on to grouse about the poor state of the economy and high unemployment in New Mexico (which, I might point out, has been going on ever since I was born). He conveniently omitted the fact that Republican Martinez had her hands tied by the Democrat Party which controlled both houses of the state legislature. And those Democrats worked their butts off to ensure we were kept in the same Welfare-coated abyss we were in when Democrat and former governor Bill Richardson trod the beer halls of Santa Fe.
I believe states are heavily dependent on the economic, monetary, and taxation policy set by the federal government and the ongoing Democrat/Obama fiasco in Washington continues to deprive us of opportunity and jobs. Martinez might be able to do a bit about this situation but not much and the needed help from our state legislature never arrived. Perhaps now that the Republicans control the state House there might be movement but, unless the Democrats in the Senate can read the writing on the wall, any efforts at meaningful reform will probably be stymied.
In writing this, I'd also like to air my disgust with the Journal's Democrat-biased endorsements including the disgraceful ode to Tom Udall praising his so-called 'experience and pragmatism'. Experience and pragmatism which gave us a behind-our-back midnight vote on the much-despised ObamaCare bill, 7 trillion dollars more added to the national debt under Udall, nothing being done on the flow of undocumented people into this country or to close our porous borders, no reaction while the EPA shut down power plants and coal mines which will eventually lead to brown-outs in this country, nothing being said or done about Ebola getting into America, and, like his colleague Sen. Martin Heinrich, displaying invisibility during his six-year tenure in office, virtually hiding from us and making us communicate with him via his Washington answering machine.
I've gotten this paper since the 50s and its reporting seems to be reaching a new low in both clarity and impartiality. Some day you should, like you raise your newsstand price, quietly change your name to the Albuquerque Democrat to more reflect the reality of its contents.
I mostly write humor: stories, novels, and stage plays; and do some crossword puzzle creation and radio plays. A lot of my work has been published in newspapers and magazines. Much of my humor work is also on Zazzle.com at http://www.zazzle.com/cja_the_humorist*