Blogroll addition

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I’ve tossed some new linkage over the on the New Mexico blogroll: DemFemme. Maggie Toulouse is our writer, a career “political activist” who blogs on the progressive side of things in New Mexico.

Maggie appears to be taking a break this weekend, but she has some excellent coverage of last weekend’s Democratic Party convention:

Why is this a story? Well, I guess it’s maybe because we haven’t had much in the way of a real platform for so long that people are finally starting to take notice. Republicans are having a field day with it, of course. Apparently, in the article, Republican state party chairman Allan Weh waxes eloquent about what “mainstream Democrats” believe. As if he has the first clue? No offense, but he is about the last person on Earth who should try and speak for Democrats of any kind. But I digress again…

The fact that this is the big story out of the convention is both good and bad. If you believe Weh’s take on the thing, a crazy mob of lefty freaks passed this unconscionable amendment giving mainstream Democrats a bad name. The truth of the matter is that I think what we are really seeing is that the Democrats are tired of not standing for anything.

So, got check out DemFemme, and spend the weekened catching up!

I should have done this yesterday

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Just wanted to send some props to my friend Amanda over at Pandagon. Regulars around here know how much I respect her writing on women’s issues. However, you probably don’t know how much of an impact she’s had on me, as a blogger and person.

I’ve had my share of friends in life, but Amanda was somebody who, when I first sent her an e-mail, was instantly responsive to my questions. Sha had no idea who I was, and had no reason to get back to me, except she’s a great person. And now, from a thousand miles away (or something like that), this person I’ve never actually met has become one of my best friends. She’s always there for me when I’m stressed, and always has the best insight in things going on in my life.

To boot, she’s a kick-ass blogger: witty, thorough, and passionate.

I doubt she know’s it, but I was reading Mouse Words before I started reading Pandagon — it wasn’t until she moved to her new cyber-home that I became a loyal minion of the Panda. I think the move was a good one, and think Pandagon is better for it.

Anyway, she’s celebrating two years of blogging this weekend, so, Happy Birthday Amanda. I hope there are many more in the future.

D.C. Trip review

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Flying Star DowntownSo, a little bit more about my trip. I awoke early last Thursday to grab a bite of breakfast with Jim Baca. We met at the Flying Star Downtown, which is a great building with some delicious blueberry pancakes. Props to the gang there!

Jim and I talked about politics, mainly here in Southern New Mexico, and about the future of news media. Specifically, we discussed the ways newspapers might have to change in the future, and how blogs have developed over the last few years.

After taking a lengthy drive around the Albuquerque area in search ofGail Chasey a Best Buy, I met up with Joe Monahan. We grubbed at Yanni’s on Central, which is apparently quite the politico hangout. Our discussion focused on many of the same issues I had covered with Baca in the morning: media ownership, blogging, local sports coverage. It was a good discussion, and I’m glad I had an opportunity to finally meet the guy. He also introduced me to a few folk who were eating at nearby tables, including N.M. Rep. Gail Chasey and Barry Bitzer, Abq. mayor Marty Chavez’s chief of staff.

After lunch, I caught a flight out to Chicago. The flight was a bit delayed, but all that meant was I had no layover in the Windy City. From Chicago I was off to D.C. I grabbed a pulled pork sandwich from the Capitol City Brewing Co. in Shirlington, Va., along with a pint of ale with my mom.

V for VendettaOn Friday I met with a few friends up on Capitol Hill to shoot the breeze, and then it was time to help my sister move. We got most of the big stuff piled into her Dorchester House apartment on Friday, leaving us free for dinner and movie after. We watched V for Vendetta, (see Pajiba for their review). I was entertained, though the editor could have been more useful. Still, a timely theme, and the Wachowski Bros. are still able to turn out a decent flick.

Saturday we slept in, and then my mother, sister and I all drove down to the Potomac Mills outlet mall in Virginia. It’s been three years since Aislinn had her own place, so we hit up the JC Penney’s and bought her a set of dishes, cooking utensils, mixing bowls, and iron and a toaster. We next stopped at Fuddruckers there, ate a burger, and headed home.

Aislinn went to get a few things from her old place, while my mom and I watched Head in the Clouds (another movie that needed an editor). Aislinn joined us, and we ended up staying in and watching a second DVD, Domino (which, again, ran too long).

Sunday was a treat. We moved the last of Aislinn’s things, including a chest that had been at my mom’s, and then stopped at the National Zoo to see the new panda cub. The cute little thing had climbed a pine tree and was lazing around for the photogs who were there early to beat the crowds.

Flying Star DowntownAfter, we drove downtown to the Corcoran Gallery of Art for breakfast. They feature a brunch buffet and Gospel music every Sunday, with entrance to the gallery included in the admission price. We all gorged ourselves on the excellent waffles, omelets, fruit, French toast and other fare, listened to some beautiful music, and then toured the gallery. The Corcoran is featuring a retrospective on Robert Bechtle which was simply amazing. Wow. In addition, the gallery was showing a series of prints from David Seymour, the renowned photojournalist.

From there, it was off to the airport. You can read more about that in the post below.

OOTO again

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Well readers, I must apologize, but I’m leaving for the weekend. My sister found a new apartment in Washington D.C., and I’m heading up there to help her move. For now, I’ll direct you to the LFSC Forums.

I’ve only hosted the discussion board for a week, but we’ve already got one thread started. Hopefully, by the time I return on Sunday, you’ll have all sorts of posts on all manner of subjects going. Don’t let me down.

Also, if you have technical problems with the board, send me an e-mail. The board is young, and still buggy, but I’d rather get all these problems fixed sooner rather than later.

I’m meeting with two fellow bloggers tomorrow in Albuquerque: Jim Baca (who’s also running for state Land Commissioner), and Joe Monahan. I’m hoping to pick their brains about blogging (they’ve been doing it longer than I have) and New Mexico politics (same thing).

I’ll try and log in from D.C., but no promises. Effectively, you’re on your own. Take care, and have a good weekend.

KNFT’s new owner: working to win the hearts and minds of listeners (really this time)

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I spoke with Ted Tucker this evening regarding my earlier post on KNFT, and he questioned the version of events I outlined. Tucker assured me that neither he nor his father, Ted Tucker Sr., placed a phone call to CATS to request that the video of the Morning Show’s last airing be removed from circulation on the network.

According to Tucker, John Brooks, an employee of Runnels Broadcasting, made the call. Incidentally, Tucker is NOT the owner of the stations (KNFT-FM, KNFT-AM, and KPSA) — he is operating the stations under a time brokerage agreement with Runnels Broadcasting.

Tucker said the only negative feedback he’s received regarding programming on KNFT-AM was one day last week when Rush Limbaugh was off the air due to a technical problem. He said the station received about 500 phone calls from listeners wondering why Rush had gone off the air.

According to Tucker, the Morning Show was pulled from the lineup because of consistently poor ratings, and because it lost money.

He also challenged my claim that he is an “anti-community, bottom-dollar businessman.”

“If I am, I haven’t been eating my Wheaties.”

He said he’s contributed money to the Mimbres Region Arts Council and has sponsored a Little League Team, all during a time when cash-flow is not stellar.

“I’m doing everything I can with the resources I have.”

In addition, Tucker said he had asked the Daily Press to hold off on publication of the story concerning KNFT’s sale because he was not the owner, and that anything he said would have contributed to speculation.

Finally, he said that he had not removed the only local programming on the air waves. Tucker said Mike Rowse holds a community talk show on Saturday mornings. He said prominent community members have appeared on the show, and that U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman will be a guest on the show this Saturday at 9 a.m.

So, my apologies to Mr. Tucker. While I still don’t believe he should have cancelled the Morning Show, which I view as something of a Silver City institution, I was wrong about several aspects of this situation. That being said, the information I received this afternoon (which I also confirmed with other people this evening) came from sources I trust, and I did convey that during my conversation with Mr. Tucker.

I hope that he is in it for the long haul in Silver City and Grant County, and that he holds true to a commitment to community. From what he’s done thus far, it appears that may be the case.

I must also apologise to you, my readers, for not getting both sides of this story before typing up a blog entry. I assumed, from limited interaction with Mr. Tucker in the past, that he would be unreceptive to speaking on the record. That was an assumption I shouldn’t have made, and, even still, I should have provided him with the opportunity to say “no comment.”

Personally, I think this experience has shown that, even though this site is not a “news publication” per se, I cannot abandon my journalism skills or principles in the pursuit of providing personal commentary on news and events.

Give to Neiwert

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My boy David Neiwart is looking for scratch (fundraising) this week, and I thought I would point you in his direction. David is simply the best guy out there reporting on the hate, fearmongering, and trickery that is so prevalent in Wingnuttia. While the subject matter he blogs about is usually beyond the scope of New Mexico, he’s commented regularly on the Minutemen in the Southwest, among other things.

He’s won several Koufax awards for blogging (if you don’t know, the Koufax awards are given to the best of lefty bloggers) for his series “The Rise of Pseudo-Fascism” and “Rush, Newspeak and Fascism.” He’s also published several books — his latest, “Strawberry Days” concerns the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. He mentioned that internment in a recent post, highlighting the way FDR failed to live up to his own words:

Yet Roosevelt himself, as we’ve seen, was prone to believing many of the same fear-driven stereotypes of Japanese immigrants promulgated by the haters. That bigotry translated, during a time of great national trauma — when fear of the Japanese was being whipped into outright hysteria — into his own failure to distinguish between Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans in signing Executive Order 9066, which in the end became a great blot on his record as president.

It was also a clear failure on FDR’s part to live up to his own admonishment. Obviously, refusing to succumb to “fear itself” is easier said than done.

Yet I have often thought that, in today’s post-9/11 environment, progressives would do well to arm themselves with FDR’s old slogan. What better rebuke to the Bush administration — and the conservative movement that, as Tom Tomorrow’s cartoon beautifully illustrates, is nowadays positively driven by fearmongering?

After a steady diet of:

“9/11!” “9/11!” “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” “Bin Laden! Bin Laden!” “Boogadah boogadah!”

I can think of no better reply than this:

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

David is an incredible writer, and offers the best coverage of right-wing shenanigans (the evil kind) that I have ever seen. So, definitely read his blog, and give him some money as well.