Monday, February 28, 2011

Superintendent Winston Brooks Hiding Unacceptable Cost from the Taxpayers

Even the Governor understands that the Superintendent of Albuquerque Public Schools has something to hide when it comes to his over the top administration expenses. He would cut classrooms first before cutting into his top paid administration. He would refuse to hand over the facts and figure of the budget to the public for fear of cuts to his mushroom style administration. Well Mr. Brooks the head on that thing has gotten far too heavy for the system to bear and now even republicans can see that it is time to cut at the top.

Governor Martinez would be wise to demand a full accounting of the facts and figures of the APS budget before she approves any budget cuts for that system. It would look very shady of her if she was to meet with the Superintendent and then change her tune about how the cuts are made to this school system. Without the public having more information on if the money is being spent wisely how can any taxpayer be comfortable when it comes to this issue. APS should be open to a full audit by the state auditor and they should be forced to put their checkbook on-line in a sunshine type portal so that the voters can see firsthand what our dollars are paying for in the first place.

Taxpayers should not be finding out from the local news that our school system is paying for high priced public relation employees when we cannot afford to provide teachers and teacher’s assistants for our children in the classrooms. One does have to wonder what other types of expenses Mr. Brooks is hiding in his budget.

With more accountability comes the responsibility for the government to start spending our school funding for the classrooms and not the boardroom. Our children need more classroom supplies and more teachers not more public relations representatives.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Investment in Education / Are Legislators Drinking on the Job?

Ask any business leader in this country how do you increase the bottom line and make your company more successful . The answer will be invest in the company so that they can produce a better smarter more competitive produce in a effective manner. Yet when it comes to education states are deinvesting in the system. Only companies that are going bankrupt get ride of assets and pay their employees less while paying their administration more.

Is our nations educational system bankrupt? Have we failed to provide enough investment in the correct areas in order to grow our educational system? Will public education for all be a thing of the past due to corruption in top educational administration and the state legislature? Why is the top educational administration in this state being protected by state legislators while our children pay the price?

Top educational administration is out of control and their lobbyists are buying the drinks that feed our state legislators their breakfast. Maybe we should require state legislators to take a breath test before they can cast a vote on DWI and educational issues on the roundhouse floor or in committee for that matter.

Lets see if State Senators Tim Jennings and John A. Smith can pass that test before school children have to face passing exams with over crowded classrooms and fewer supplies. Our children do not need legislators who are drinking their dinners and breakfasts with the enemy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Slave Labor and Slave Wages

If the republicans have it their way then unions will be a thing of the past and we will be back to slave wages for the working poor and the middle class. Work environments will become dangers and in some cases life threatening just in order to cut cost of production. In many states right now labor union members are taking to the streets to protest the republican’s uses of a corporate created financial crisis to force unions to give up rights hard won by our fathers and grandfathers.

Our parents and grandparents gave up their safety and in some cases their very lives in order to secure a more perfect Union where workers had rights to a safe work environment and a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work. Now republicans would do away with those rights in order to balance state budgets on the backs of the workers while giving huge tax breaks to the very rich and large corporations who created the financial crisis in the first place.

Main street voters have now taken to main street avenues to protest for the freedoms and the rights won long ago. The republicans call union workers rich yet they are the ones receiving the tax benefits from corporations and the wealthiest voters in this country.

It has long been common knowledge that educators in this country are forced to take a pay cut in order to teach in the first place. Retirement benefits were the only saving grace that a teacher could look forward to after spending twenty to thirty years at a below industry wage. Now republicans are pointing out that industry employees do not have those same benefits yet they say nothing about the gap between what teachers are paid now and what people out in the industry are being paid who have the same level of education and the same number of years in a position. They don’t show graphs of the different between the amount earned over a working life time for teachers and people with the same level of education and work experience who work in the industry.

Voters need to ask themselves who created this mess and what is their reasoning for attacking the people who educate our children. Why are non-labor union employees in the U.S. industries forced to have no retirement benefits at the same time that large corporations are raking in millions of dollars in profits? Why are large corporations hording huge profits while employees go without jobs in this country? Are we really going to continue to allow republicans to destroy the American dream just to balance the current state budgets at the expense of the middle class and the working poor all the while the rich just keep getting richer?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Give the Republicans a Balanced Budget at the Cost of the American People

Why fight it just let the republicans balance the budget on the backs of the American middle class and working poor. Let them do away with every single social program in this country. When young babies and mothers start turning up dead on city streets from starvation and exposure then maybe the people will rise up and take back control of our country. Let them do away with social security so that old people die from lack of food and shelter. Republicans know that without heat in the cold winters or cooling in the hot summers that old people will just die off and therefore there will be fewer voters at the polls for the next election.

Let the republicans do away with public education so that our country becomes the largest third world country in the world. When will people understand that without a good education our children have no hope of getting good jobs? Maybe we should just let them bring back children labor and do away with all labor laws so that they can pay them pennies on the dollar for their work.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

”Freedom of Speech” is not for Government Employees?

Government institutions where it is federal, state, or local are among the largest employers in the state of New Mexico. The local news services have been reporting that Mayor R.J. Berry, the mayor for the City of Albuquerque and an elected official, along with his administration is having a crisis. An employee using “Facebook” which is a social media internet site to express personal views toward his job that are not supported by the mayor or his administration is causing the mayor some public pains. The Firefighters are putting stickers on their uniforms that say “FMB” but the meaning of those stickers is unclear since union leaders say it means one thing while the rank and file says it means something else.

So the question is dose the government as a major employer here in the state have the right to control an employee’s freedom of speech when they are not on duty? Do employees have the right to wear stickers and other items on their uniforms that express personal views while on duty?

Government as a large institution has the serious responsibility to uphold the rights of the America people when it comes to the U.S. Constitution. “Freedom of Expression” and “Freedom of Speech” are among our basic rights when it comes to what is spelled out in the constitution. Republicans “cry foul” when it comes to interfering in the freedoms of large corporations but when it comes to big brother controlling their own employees they can be some of the harshest managers. I do find it very funny that republicans support Freedom of Political Speech for large corporations but not government employees. Can we say double standard…?

Should there be limits to what and where employees can express their personal views? Yes, of course information should not be released on some sensitive issues or if it puts individuals in danger of physical harm but when it comes to personal feeling and emotions toward the job then employees need an outlet for those emotions.

Firefighters should be allowed to place stickers on their own personal vehicles and apparel even if the administration does not agree with it but maybe they should take them off their uniforms and caps. Facebook is a personal social media site and as long as it is not the Facebook site for the government agency in question then government managers should have no say on what is posted by an employee. Only if an employee reacts to a member of the public at work in the same manner as is expressed on the site and that it can be proved that he/she is guilty of violating standards set for an employee’s work performance should they be fired.

The government can say that they hold their employees to a higher standard but if you cut off all lines of expression to an employee then you invite trouble in the future that can only harm the public, government employers and government employees.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Public Education in this state is failing so Fire them all

Governor Martinez wants to shake up the New Mexico educational system. Maybe she should just fire them all and make the system private. She could then do away with the unions just by having no members in it. She could do away with the ERB since there would be no members. She could reduce every teachers salary to entry level since they would have to apply to privately run schools. Just think how many taxpayer dollars she could save by doing away with public education in this state. Privately run schools could make huge profits without having to provide a system that does any better then the current one and they could add more top paid administration to the system. They could spend all the money on themselves and make taxpayers pay more just to bail them out.

Of course the down side is that no teacher with any ability would work in our state ever again. Teachers would receive not benefits so they would have to apply for public assistance just to support their families. Major companies would move jobs to other states where there is a public educational system because middle class families care about their children‘s education which would reduce the tax base. Teachers would pay less in taxes because their incomes would be smaller which would reduce state wide revenues. Crime would go up because poor people could not afford to educate their children after the private schools raise their prices so it would be the only way they could make a living. Lawyers would sue the crap out of the state for failing to educate the public so the state would have to payout lots more money defending themselves for those lawsuits. We would have to build more prisons to house those children as they grow up in our state without jobs so that would cost taxpayers lots more money. Producing more ciminials would ensure more people die in this state from violent crimes.

So clearly the way to go is to do away with public education and make it private so only the richest of our state’s children can afford it in the first place. I would not want to live in this state if public education goes private would you?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All Big Gas and Oil a Big Mistake for New Mexico

Governor Martinez will have to face hard questions on the handling of first crisis in her new administration. Why was she not harder on the Gas Company of New Mexico from the very start of this crisis? Why after their total and complete lack of communication and their failure to plan correctly did she take their word that the problem would be fixed by last Sunday? Clearly this new governor has a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with large corporate interest and what they can deliver verses what they are willing to tell our state government.

Now, the question is will she see the need for our state to diversify when it comes to energy production? Will she stick with a policy of depending on gas and oil or will this change her views on how our state should provide energy to thousand that have been in the cold for over a week now? It is one thing to reject the science of global warming and a totally different issue to turn a blind eye to the fact that our state has all its eggs in one basket when it comes to how people heat their homes and businesses in this state. Will local businesses leaders demand a change in the future to protect their own interest?

Tao and the small cities up north in this state could turn to thermal energy by tapping into the volcanic energy that lies below their feet to heat homes and businesses. The energy produced by this method would be cleaner and much more reliable then natural gas from Texas. A garbage power planet just outside the City of Albuquerque could solve two problems at the same time. It could produce clean energy while doing away with the problem of waste disposal in this city.

We have two of the national labs in our state with leading scientist that could with a little encouragement provide a list of all the different ways our state could diversify its method of acquiring energy to heat our homes and businesses but will the governor even put the effort out to look at this issue and find answers to what could be a problems that just might lead to harm or even prove fatal to the elderly and the very young in this state.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vote in the School Board Election Today

Of all days of the year to have a snow storm. I just voted and my vote was number 81 which just goes to show that today will be record low turn out at the polls. Let’s hope early vote was a lot higher this year.

I voted for Cheryl Harris from APS school board because she will be someone who cares about our schools and our children.

I did vote for the bond issue since it is for repairs but we need someone who is willing to lead at the college level and be accountable to students and school staff. To ask people making less then $25,000 a year to take the same percentage pay cut as someone who makes $216,000 a year is just unacceptable. The time for change at all levels is now.

As Sigmund Freud once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If you reelect the same people then expect the same results so you better be happy with the current results when it comes to education in this state and this city.