DNC Convention: Thoughts and Highlights from Last Night

Being a political junkie, I was glued to my TV last night watching the DNC Convention on MSNBC. Here are a few highlights and thoughts about what I saw:


Senator Cory Booker- Wow! What an amazingly powerful speaker. He emphasized love and unity. Although his speech set the room on fire, it was void of any real substance.

He motivated the crowd with catchy phrases like, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” He also called Trump a “twisted hypocrite” who would never let another man treat his wife and daughter the way he treats women. Overall, I think his speech was a success.


Sarah Silverman- What can I say? Sarah did not look comfortable onstage last night. Her jokes were forced and she could not hide her obvious contempt for the Bernie or Bust faction in the crowd. She broke down and told the Bernie or Bust faction that they were being ridiculous.

Al Franken attempted to ease the tension by using a goofy line about building bridges, but Sarah was visible irritated and was removed from the stage. Not a great move by Sarah when the overall theme of the DNC Convention is “unity.”


Rep. Joseph Kennedy III- I just have to say that I was surprised at Rep. Kennedy’s complete lack of charisma or speaking ability while onstage. It was awkward watching him introduce Sen. Elizabeth Warren.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren- Her speech was very toned down compared to the other speakers. (Although she did make fun of people who wear hats) I think that the most important take-away from her speech was her repeated use of the phrase, “rigged system.” I know that she was using it in the context of our economic system, but some part of me felt like she was calling out the DNC and the rigged primaries.


First Lady Michelle Obama- I will have to admit that there were a few moments when the First Lady almost brought tears to my eyes. I really liked how her focus was on children and the future.

To me, her most powerful message came when she said that she realized that “She wakes up every morning in a house that slaves built.” She went on to mention how her daughters played on the White House lawn. It was a strong and passionate statement of how far America has come.

Unfortunately, First Lady Obama attempted to talk about how much Hillary loves and supports children. She forgot to mention that Hillary called for the deportation of children from Central America. I am not buying the whole “Hillary loves children” talking point.


Bernie Sanders- I am a Sanders supporter. Secretly, I was holding out hope that Bernie would shock the World and withdraw his support for Hillary. I was hoping that he would announce that he was running against her in the general election in November.

But…I understand reality. Bernie has been doing this for a long time and he knows what is best. I was happy to hear that Hillary worked with Bernie to adopt many of his political ideas.

He announced that their plan is to allow children from families who make under $120,000 per year to attend 4-year public universities tuition-free! He also said that their plan would drastically reduce student debt.

He discussed the public option for healthcare and the $15 minimum wage platform. I was impressed because he was the first politician to actually discuss specific plans while onstage.

He did have a few moments that made me cringe (including when he said, “I’m with Her). He said that Hillary was going to work to implement a new Glass-Steagall Act. It seems that he may have forgotten that Hillary’s husband, Bill, was the one who repealed it in the first place.

Also, Bernie talked about how Hillary was going to go after Wall Street and big banks. Let’s be real! Hillary is supported by big money and her daughter is married to a hedge fund manager (they own an entire city block on Madison Avenue in NYC). I respect Bernie, but I do not appreciate being treated like a fool. Hillary will never go after those entities.

I will miss the Bernie campaign and I have strong doubts that the revolution will continue after November. I enjoyed Bernie’s detailed speech, but I cannot help but think of what an amazing President he would have made.


MSNBC- I am not naïve. I know that the media loves Hillary Clinton and MSNBC is not an objective news source. Yet I cannot help but laugh at how silly they are. Here are a few moments that had me shaking my head:

  1. After Bernie’s speech, MSNBC decided to “interview” a few Bernie supporters. All 3 of the women said that they would not vote for Hillary. The commentator’s were so condescending towards these young women and said that they should check back with them in a few days. Way to belittle young, intelligent women MSNBC!
  2. One reporter told a young woman that she had to pick either Trump or Hillary…she only has 2 choices. The young woman said that there were more than 2 choices and she was going to vote for the Green Party candidate (Jill Stein) MSNBC commentators quickly responded that Bernie did not support Ralph Nader when he was the Green Party candidate.
  3. MSNBC attempted to turn the rumor that Russia was behind the DNC leak into a fact based story. Even though WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange denied that there was any proof that Russia was the source of the leaks, MSNBC cited nameless “cyber security” experts who support the Russia rumor. What would Mr. Assange have to gain by lying about Russia? Why didn’t MSNBC interview a few of these so-called “cyber security” experts? CONSPIRACY THEORY: Is mainstream media using this Russian non-story to cloud over the fact that the Democratic Primaries were rigged?


The DNC Convention is a show and it will go on. As one of the young women stated, it is a “Hillary Clinton Love Fest!” Please feel free to share your thoughts or opinions about the Convention or this article. Also, feel free to click on the links to watch parts of the DNC speeches!

Are Most “Americans” Heartless?

artesia_deport hate

When will we stop hating? Haven’t we learned from our past? Is history doomed to repeat itself?

In 1939, the United States turned over 900 Jewish refugees away and sent women & children back to Europe to die in the Holocaust. Why? They were turned away because “American’s” were afraid that they would take their jobs, bring disease, and many more ridiculous reasons.

The president, FDR, said nothing & did nothing. Almost 66% of “Americans” supported turning them away. They justified their hate and ignorance by believing that they needed to “take care of their own people” and that these desperate refugees needed to “go back where they came from.” They turned their backs on the refugees and sent them to their deaths.

“Americans” would never repeat a horrific act like that again…would they?

artesia_front of march

In Artesia,NM, hundreds of big-hearted people marched to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to show support and love for over 500 women & children being detained there awaiting deportation.

The women & children in the detention center traveled thousands of miles, risking their lives, to flee dangerous circumstances in their home countries. They come from counties that have been devastated by US policy and interference. Many of these countries are collateral damage of the US war on drugs and communism.

They are fleeing from countries that are torn apart by violence from drug cartels. The cartels make money by feeding America’s never-ending appetite for drugs.

They come from countries that are exploited by global corporations that devastate the local economies. Small farmers and local businesses cannot compete with the mega-corporations. They do not have very many options to make a living.

To make matters worse, severe droughts in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador have destroyed crops and hurt fishing and livestock.

How could anyone blame these families for leaving a completely hopeless situation? What parent would allow their children to grow up like that?

The parents brought their children here hoping to give them a better life. Instead, they are forced to live in prison-like conditions and treated like the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. They are held without formal charges and treated like they are sub-human.

artesia_no human being illegal artesia_truck

The protestors do not want to see history repeat itself. They marched in a “Campaign of Love.” Hundreds of people peacefully marched from Martin Luther King, Jr Park to the FLETC fences.

Police officers lined the street dressed in bulletproof vests and military uniforms. The marchers sang songs to the families and let them know that they were not alone.

The detainees cheered and joined in the songs from behind the fences. The police became agitated and demanded that the marchers leave. They claimed that the detainees were “rioting” because of the marchers.

How is joy and love considered “rioting”? They were just happy to find out that people in the US care about them. They were happy to be treated like human beings for a short period of time.

artesia_police vehicles artesia_miltary police

But the police did not like that. They slowly began to surround the marchers and used intimidation to force them to leave. They followed the marchers back to the park and observed them as they peacefully dispersed.

artesia_police watcher 1 artesia_police watcher 2

The day was both beautiful and disturbing. A handful of hateful anti-immigrant protestors attempted to agitate the marchers by yelling extremely hateful words. But the marchers were there to spread love, not hate. The marchers ignored the hateful words and remained positive.

It is clear that the US government put the women & children in a remote facility hoping that they would be “out-of-sight & out-of-mind.” It is an attempt to make these brave people irrelevant to the average “American.” By doing this, they can send these people back to the violence, famine, and poverty that they attempted to escape.

The world MUST pay attention to what is going on. We cannot repeat the past.


artesia_statue of liberty

Inscription on the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, Tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

KOB News: Police:It’s the largest protest Artesia has ever seen http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S3535123.shtml?cat=516#.U_GY8VbfZ0s

Will Obama Grow Some BALLS & Stop The Massacre In Gaza?

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What will it take for President Obama to remove his head from his ass and finally denounce the genocide taking place in Gaza?  Apparently the inhumane slaughter of 398 Palestinian children is not enough. Nor is the murder of 207 Palestinian women and 74 elderly. How about the destruction of 10,000 Palestinian homes and the displacement of 450,000 people? Nope… that hasn’t worked either. Maybe the 53 daily cases of viral meningitis occurring at the overcrowded Palestinian “safe” shelters will make him denounce the massacre. Nope he doesn’t seem to care about that either.

I know…lets ask the US Legislative branch to help out. With so many elected officials in office, somebody has to care about this tragedy. Nope… they don’t care either. The Department of Defense released a stockpile of weapons for Israeli use on July 30th. The weapons include 120mm mortar rounds, 40mm hand grenades, ammunition, and undisclosed weaponry. On top of that, the Senate voted unanimously on July 16th to send $351 million to Israel to support the antimissile system and has agreed to spend $30 billion on military aid to Israel through 2018.

President Obama publicly released a statement denouncing the killing of 3 Israeli teens. He stated:

“As a father, I cannot imagine the indescribable pain that the parents of these teenage boys are experiencing. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms this senseless act of terror against innocent youth.”

Now, I am not in any way minimizing the tragedy of these teenagers deaths, but I cannot understand how our President can make such a strong statement against the deaths of 3 Israeli children and ignore the slaughter of thousands of Palestinians. To date, there have been 1,712 Palestinian (mostly civilian)deaths since this conflict began almost one month ago. Lets put that in perspective, in the last 13 years of the Afghanistan war, there have been just over 2,100 U.S. military casualties.

This morning, the New York Times reported that Israeli forces struck a United Nations school sheltering displaced Palestinians. 10 people were killed and 35 more were wounded. The massacre continues and our President and leaders continue to look the other way. Why? When will the blind allegiance to Israel end?

CNN claims that Israel is just defending itself against an onslaught of rockets fired from Gaza. Many people claim that Hamas blindly fires crude rockets into Israel and causes terror amongst the Israeli people. Let’s take a look at that claim and assess its validity. Over the course of this conflict, there have only been 59 Israeli deaths (56 of them were Israeli soldiers). That means that the “terrorist” group has only killed 3 Israeli civilians during the entire conflict. Hamas denied any involvement in the killing of the 3 teenagers, yet Israel declared that they will “pay a price” for them.

Why should we care what happens halfway around the world?

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr famously wrote:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

gaza 5

On August 2nd, hundreds of thousands of concerned people gathered around the world to condemn Israel. There were protests in Ireland, London, and all across the United States. Thousands gathered in front of the White House in hopes that Obama will hear their desperate pleas. Unfortunately, nobody was home. President Obama was conveniently out of town that day.

Hundreds of New Mexicans gathered together in Albuquerque for a protest and march organized by the New Mexico ANSWER Coalition. The day began with a group protesting at the opening of Senator Tom Udall’s new office in Albuquerque. Despite his claims to be a progressive democrat, Senator Udall is just another lemming falling off of the Israeli support cliff. He blindly voted to support the Israeli killing machine. The people gathered to say that they have had enough and demand that he denounce Israel once and for all.

Next, the group of concerned people met at the corner of 1st & Central in Downtown Albuquerque. They occupied all four corners of the street holding signs and saying protests chants like:

“Not another nickel, not another dime, not another penny for Israeli crimes!”

“Israel, Israel, you will see…Palestine will be free!”

gaza 2

After nearly one hour of protesting, they gathered peacefully and marched down Central Avenue towards Downtown. The crowd stopped in front of the Kimo Theater to hold a die-in on Central Avenue to symbolize the needless massacre in Palestine. The APD was confused and did not know what to do. They frantically communicated back and forth trying to determine what should be done.

gaza 7

The protestors only conducted the die-in for roughly 5 minutes and then continued their march to Civic Plaza. Across the street from Civic Plaza is a building that is home to Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin proudly boasts:

“Lockheed Martin is supporting the warfighter by providing a wide variety of highly effective and reliable weapons systems to ensure that the right weapon is available for each situation that they may face.”

“Lockheed Martin has a long history of successfully providing its customers with missile and missile systems that are affordable, proven, and in production.”

The protest continued for quite some time, but remained peaceful and powerful. The protestors wanted to remind everybody that Palestinian children bleed red too. They wanted to educate the public on the use of U.S. tax dollars that fund the massacre of so many innocent Palestinians. They wanted to call out for an end to the bloodshed that is unanimousily supported by our elected “leaders” in Washington D.C.

So President Obama, Senator Udall, and unconcerned public members… grow some balls and demand and end to the Massacre in Gaza!

Nob Hill Residents Blasting Mad About Pipe Bombs

   photo-4      From the left: Scott Cameron, Rep. Gail Chasey, concerned parent

Residents of Nob Hill gathered at Monte Vista Elementary to voice their concerns about a nearby State Parole & Probation Office. The Town Hall meeting took place in the cafeteria and was attended by more than 50 parents, residents, and concerned citizens. The citizens are upset that the Department of Corrections has not moved the office to a new site despite repeated requests from the district. The latest pipe bomb incident at the office put the school into a shelter-in-place and was the last straw for most residents.  Scott Cameron, a parent, organized the Town Hall meeting to show the city and the state that the citizen’s are fed up and want action.

The meeting was attended by multiple public officials including:

Senator Cisco McSorley, (D) District 16

Rep. Gail Chasey, (D) District 18

Rep. Cheryl Williams Stapleton, (D) District 19

City Councilor Rey Garduno, District 6

Gilbert Montano- Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the City of ABQ

Officer John Sullivan-Lieutenant S.E. Area Command, APD

Scott Cameron explained that 530 parents at Monte Vista Elementary have signed a petition demanding that the Department of Corrections recognize that the safety of the children is being compromised and that the Department put the children ahead of cost considerations.  Senator McSorely stated that he was surprised that the APS did not send a representative to the meeting to hear what the parents and residents had to say. Sen. McSorley said that, “This shows how much they [APS] care about the children.”

The Office has been at that location for over 30 years and has only recently become the focus of intense feelings amongst residents. Over the last 9 months there have been two separate incidents in which Monte Vista has had to enact a shelter-in-place. In April, a woman fled the office after she was notified that she had failed a drug test. She ran across the street and entered the school. She was found hiding in the girl’s bathroom. Last month, 2 pipe bombs were thrown at the office during school hours. The children were released to their parents at a specific pick-up point after a few hours. The bombs were detonated after the children left the area. In response to longevity, one of the parents pointed out’ “you need to leave…we were here first.”

The Department of Corrections responded to the most recent incident by increasing security in the area. Armed Officers, carrying AR-15 Assault Rifles, began patrolling the sidewalks and streets around the office. School officials complained that the sight of the weapons was threatening and scared the children. The Department quickly changed its policy and the Officer’s no longer carry the weapons.

The Department of Corrections sent their Public Affairs Director, Alex Tomlin, to the Town Hall meeting. She stated that the Department has been searching for a new location for over 2 years. She claimed that moving the office is very challenging and noted that there are several criteria that must be met by a new location. She stated that the Department has evaluated 20 different sites in the last 2 years and only one of those sites, the Maya Plaza Downtown, is viable. Unfortunately, they have received resistance from the surrounding community and need to do further assessments. Community members pushed the issue by demanding that she give them a timeframe for a move. She said that it is impossible for her to know and that she cannot make any promises. The Department hopes “to move quickly” was her only answer.

Councilor Garduno bluntly addressed Director Tomlin about the lease and the true issues behind the reluctance to move. He stated that the Kapnison’s , who own Yanni’s Mediterranian Bar in Nob Hill, also own the building where the Office is located. He claims that they have a lot of “political sway” and that could be the reason why the Office is still located there. He reminisced about an incident when the building was cited for multiple code violations. He said that he was stunned when the violations were removed in less than 2 weeks. He said that the speed at which the violations were corrected was impossible and that something “strange was going on.” He called the building “gold plated.” Scott Cameron came to the defense of the Kapnison’s by saying that they want the Office out of their building as well.

Representative Gail Chasey included that the Office was not the only problem that the Department of Corrections faces. She said that New Mexico lags behind other states when it comes to alternative ways to handle Parole & Probation. She pointed out that North Carolina uses ankle bracelets that detect alcohol and drugs. The bracelet’s send messages if these substances are detected. Rep. Chasey believes that a system in which individuals in the system are visited at work would be much better and would eliminate the need for the office.

Senator McSorley agreed and added that the Parole & Probation Department in New Mexico has “been broken for more than 20 years.” He stated that New Mexico is last in the nation in putting money into the P&P system and that there are no rehabilitation services available. He said that judges have commented to him that they do not have any other choice but to send them back to jail if they violate their terms. New Mexico has the highest rate of recidivism. He said that it should not be a surprise that these individuals run from the office when they screw up. They know that they are headed back to jail.

All in all, it was a heated discussion that lacked any sort of resolution. Director Tomlin did not stray from her talking points and avoided the tough questions. She used words that made it seem like the matter was urgent, but could not give a definite answer that would provide the residents with some sort of hope. The state representatives were correct when they said that the Roundhouse has done as much as it can by providing money and support. The rest of the action is up to the Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections said that they need approval from the Board of Finance which holds its next meeting January. All community members are encouraged to attend the public meeting.

To contact the Department of Corrections: questions.nmcd@state.nm.us