Monday, April 28, 2008

On A National Health Policy

Unfortunately, most nation states have taken “health policy” to mean “medical care policy.” Medical care, however, is only one variable in a nation’s health equation. The article describes what the main components of a national health policy should be, including (1) the political, economic, social, and cultural determinants of health, the most important determinants of health in any country; (2) the lifestyle determinants, which have been the most visible types of public interventions; and (3) the socializing and empowering determinants, which link the first and second components of a national health policy: the
individual interventions and the collective interventions.

Vicente Navarro - What is a National Health Policy? (pdf)

4/28/08 or "Nobody knows....."

Here's an interesting view of the "tax stimulus" that Georgie is breaking out. Again, raising the minimum wage by $1 would be more helpful in the long run. So would progressive taxation. Come to think of it, so would Universal Health Care!!!

But I may be overstating. But the richest guy in the world things this will be a long and deep recession. Add to that the global food insecurity and we're in pretty bad shape. Not to mention if it is causing food riots in various countries and impacting health of poor people in industrialized countries. How bleak can it get? It doesn't have to get that bad, this is an opportunity. Now we can work on food gardens, getting people to get out and walk, push for better wages, progressive taxation, etc. Let the candidates know what you think.

# # #
Over the weekend La Raza Unida and Cambio held a May Day fundraiser. It was great there was entertainment and a panel of speakers. The opportunities that people felt were available in these tough times (and the tougher ones coming up) were issues of mutual aid, localizing, unionizing, and combining services with long-range policy and organizational development.

People seemed to get that third parties were useful for the working-class and were able to talk about the reality that in the US "liberal" and often "progressive" are often still center or right-of-center.

There wasn't a working committee or anything that came from that, but there is a chance to do follow up. We registered some people LRU and will be working it after June 3rd's Democratic primary.

So a quick recap, gas prices going up, food availability going down, housing values going down, unemployment going up, health care costs going up, progressive politics... well that's up to you!


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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Politics in Albuquerque

Wow. So awhile back I had heard that someone working for Senator Shannon Robinson was parked outside of Tim Keller's house and Tim saw this person drive away as he opened his garage door. I thought that was a little creepy, but probably part of normal politics.

At a funeral for a community leader recently Shannon talked about being challenged for his seat on the State Senate. Not sure how cool that was, but seems like a standard politician again.

This week he showed up at an event an very few people in that particular group knew who he was. Mainly because lots of people don't see him around in the neighborhood. He sometimes talks about his area being impoverished and forgotten, but he also doesn't mention that there is a world of difference from his house and three blocks away. Three blocks away on Indiana SE there are four signs for Tim Keller, why? Because those people have met Tim and most don't know who Shannon is.

This Friday Senator Robinson approached someone who is on the literature for Tim Keller and was asking why they were allowing themselves to be used that way. She told him, "well bring your sign down by my house and we'll put it up." She was told to be careful.

I was just asked about being on Tim's literature and I said, sure! Then I was told "we don't want to jeopardize any of your community work." My response? "What's going to happen? Where I live is going to STILL not get any redevelopment, I'm a Raza Unida voter so it's not like I can get punished for party disloyalty." Third party stuff is always interesting, people try to avoid it. Campaigns suck on the fact that there's no way around it that the point is to WIN. I think some more progressive individuals have moved into office lately. I really appreciate the work being done on that.

The only thing next to actually make systemic change that will allow people to have power. Even while the US was "leading" the world it was still behind social democratic countries in health care, workers' rights, open democratic institutions, social equity, etc. I heard a Democrat this week say the only way we are going to get real change in affordable housing is through deep policy change or through a socialist government. Well the policy changes are laid out - universal health care, public financing of higher education, pro-union policies, progressive taxation, living wages, and so much more.

Tomorrow morning on KNME the Unnatural Causes documentary continues. So does a special Extreme Home Makeover for a home done in Trumbull. Maybe Vicente Navarro is right - we're still falling short on health care reform but maybe we just need to go a little bit higher up the tree to the political system...


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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

Started Yoga yesterday at Endorphin Power Company (509 Cardenas SE). My leg has been getting better, and I have been stretching. The difference with the yoga though is much better.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 08

Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

There is a talk at Self Serve tonight - Toxic Toys & Green Machines. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

4/17/08 Random Tidbits

Unnatural Causes will be showing on Sunday morning at 9am on KNME. This is a very important concept and documentary. Though I know only about 5-9 people visit the blog per day hopefully people will watch. I will propose screening this through all the organizations I belong to - just so you know how serious I take this.

* * *

Yesterday was my homegirl G's birthday. Didn't talk with her, but did send her some messages. She has been depressed, I wonder if she's feeling old? Maybe just because, like most of us, she's fluffier than before. Who knows - actually I might, but it's more fun to ponder.

* * *

El Sistema - Venezuelan Music Program. Thanks R for the info!

* * *

I think I'm just feeling like I do all the reaching out. Gets tiring. I don't think it is true necessarily, but sometimes your feelings are signs of reality. Or at least signs of when you need a break from things. For example, it is good to stop lifting if you really feel burned out - it is usually a sign of overworking.

- - -
The police raided a place across the street last night. The person they were looking for may have gotten away. They ended up trying to catch someone who was on the roof for awhile. The streets have been quieter. Let's see how the summer goes.

My son says he thinks its too much stress for me to live in the "ghetto" - maybe he's right, but I ain't moving. For some reason he thinks its OK for him to live there though!

My leg is much better, I may be working out again next week.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

May Day Events for 08

At Out Ch'Yonda * 929 4th SW

La Raza Unida and Cambio Present:

May Day Fundraiser
Saturday April, 26, 2008, 5-8pm
Speakers and Entertainment!!!
We will be honoring International Workers' Day (May 1) with
poetry, dance and a conversation about Worker Power vs. Corporate
Please come and show solidarity with workers!
For more information: 505-255-9312 or 505-301-6622
* * *


4:30– 8 PM
WHERE: Tiguex PARK 17TH & Mountain

CALL el Centro de Igualdad y Derechos
at 246-1627 or visit
* * *
And according to Self Serve - May is Masturbation Month!!!
Thursday, May 1st there will be a talk:
Shop Talk:Wanker-A History of Masturbation as a Medical Problem
at 7:30pm
* * *
How the hell does this all fit together? Think hard....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Day 08!

Glad my taxes were done. I'm hoping now for the incredibly small "economic stimulus" check. Don't get me wrong, but compared to the billions in tax breaks for the rich, this is a ridiculously small check.

My family is a little more stable. My son turned 18 on Thursday and he seems to be doing better than usual. My daughter's car made it to the shop. She's having some problems with her work check that I'll take care of in a few.

# # #
In the meantime Snoop Dogg accuses Obama of getting money from KKK. And Alicia Keys talks about the Rap Conspiracy. All this and more, in another edition of "To Hell in a Handbasket..."


Monday, April 14, 2008

April 14, 08

Today would have been my father's birthday. I think he would have been 58, which means my mom would be 59 now. My parents had issues in their relationship(s) and I'm slowly starting to figure more things out there. After having been married 18 years, some people come to me for advice. So I think about relationships a lot.

I've also been listening to KISS FM in the mornings as that's what's set on my alarm and the last two weeks have been the female DJ ranting about "how can women cheapen themselves with casual sex" or how to know when a man is cheating, etc. Then I have another friend who asks me "how do I reclaim my sexuality?" I didn't have an answer directly, but stumbled across an article with a similar name... "Women Want Their Sexuality Back"

I don't know if this is what my friend was looking for, but it was interesting reading. I also remember recently talking with a friend who is a member of a big activist organization in Albuquerque and how people there were very freaked out by sexuality differences.

I didn't even talk with her about relationship differences - well in passing. We talked after I went to a sex positive health class at Self Serve. But I'm sure that if "progressives" are assuming that someone who is bi is promiscuous because of that identity - I think the word used was "swinger" I'd hate to see if the discussion of monogamy and other relationship styles comes up.

Teens have such a different life than when I was a teen that all of this goes through my mind a lot as I think about what advice to give them. Also as my friends go through awful relationship stuff. The good feedback was that this woman said it was important for her to have a "leader" (I won't even get into my feelings about THAT) that understands sexuality in a more open way.

I used to catch hell at UNM by some of the "hard core" Chicanos for being too nice to "the gays." I'm serious.

April is Phthalate Awareness Month. So if you gotta buy toys, buy green ones!

As Funkadelic said, "Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow!"


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Urgent Action Alert 4/9/08


Please Disseminate Widely
and e-mail him.
The Deadline for response to the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Complex Transformation Supplemental Program Environmental Impact Statement (SPEIS) is this Thursday, April 10th. As you most likely are aware, the NNSA held hearings around the country and in New Mexico last month. Their plan is, in short, to make New Mexico a nuclear sacrifice zone by consolidating the facilities necessary to make nuclear weapons in New Mexico from uranium mining and enrichment - to pit and warhead production - to testing and dumping - all here in New Mexico.

The document that we were requested to comment upon is more than 1400 pages. During the hearing process multiple requests were made of the NNSA for an extension of the time to adequately review the document. After appeals from Senator Bingaman, Congressman Udall, and Ron Curry, the Governor, the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department, to extend the comment period for 90 days, the NNSA has refused. We have reached the deadline date.
We request everyone to please barrage Secretary of Energy Bodman's office and e-mail box with requests for a 90 day extension for the comment period.
Please help this effort if you care about the future of New Mexico

Sample Letter:
Dear Secretary Badman,
Please grant a 90 day extension for the NNSA comment period for the SWEIS.
After repeated requests from the leaders of the state of New Mexico. our Senator, our Congressman, our Governor, our Environment Department, our local Mayors and other community leaders to extend the comment period to the NNSA on the SPEIS for their Complex Transformation plan, Theodore Wyka has refused the request for the extension. We the people of New Mexico are appealing to you. This Complex Transformation plan will effect the lives and livelihoods of New Mexican's for generations to come.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Crazy busy! Will get back on this soon....

Friday, April 04, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about writing two things. The first was a revisit of my first column. I wrote for MECHA through the UNM Daily Lobo. I wrote a piece on why we should not get educated and rush out of the Barrio, but should get educated in order to help. Since I've heard so much about moving, I'm going to have to redo that with whatever new knowledge I've gained since then... I don't even remember what year it was, but it must be done...

The other was about relationships. People ask me for advice, and I'm far from perfect, but have stayed married 18 years. Jealousy is one of the things I wanted to write about. This comes from listening to my kids having such a hard time dealing with people liking more than one person, and just not knowing how to talk with each other. Now that all of this garbage has happened in my life apparently because of jealousy, it seems important to do.

Decided to have a BBQ at my house tomorrow to create good energy for the block. We'll see how it goes.

In Honor of MLK.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

4/2/08 Part 2

Well, my son is hanging out at home. It's good to see his smile, and feels nice to have my kids starting to feel safer.

So now I get to keep an eye on him. I thought I was going to be able to focus on work. But he's still impulsive and doesn't make connections between things as well as I would like. I'll be distracted, but I gotta let him figure things out.

It was nice yesterday. Had a work meeting in my front yard. Tim Keller came over again and he's coming back on Friday. He even brought me a Sub. My sister brought me a pack of smokes, which I sorely needed. Got into an interesting exchange on CPTED with a neighborhood activist.

Rey Garduño called and checked in. Got calls and texts from different people. Loretta, Riti, Gigi, Rudy, etc. Even one of my daughter's elementary school teachers came and hung out. Thanks to Bob Anderson.

I did accomplish getting a few extra patrols in the neighborhood. Not a lot. The girls in question are still out running around and my daughter not feeling safe. My son thinks that the stuff is between the girls and it is OK to hang with his buddies. He turns 18 next week and it worries me that he still don't get it.

My workouts are shot this week, but we will be having a BBQ Saturday afternoon to claim the street. Hopefully it goes well. People have been great. I'm exhausted and it is kicking my butt pretty bad.

Then there's the people still wanting me to move. I didn't ask for support in moving, I asked support in keeping from being isolated. Well, at least my sister Val is helping with my daughter, I appreciate that tons. My pops is watching my mijita's car. I haven't heard from any of the rest of my brothers and sisters.

I've been in the situation where my family can't, won't, just plain aren't there for me before and I had to just create family with who I could count on. I guess if I was having a baseball game I could get them to show up. And they have been there in the past, just noticing the decline in the last couple of years. So I'll have to create new family. It usually works out.

# # #
I'm trying to make the argument that this, and the general issues in my neighborhood, are not just individual situations, but environmental. The current level people can go with is the above mentioned CPTED. That works on site specific - housing project - level. I think it is great, but it is not enough.

There are even bigger issues. Social equity, mixed income communities, open space, and quality of housing. Beyond that is the issue of power. Unions, ballot access, etc.


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So much more to take care of and think about today.

Will write more later hopefully!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Letter to my Neighborhood Association

A lot of people are wanting to "fight crime" and so I thought I should encourage a focus on prevention. Obviously we need to deal with current things, but need to push more toward long-term prevention.

* * *
Hello Neighbors:
I think that we can easily get "responsive" to crime and end up with meetings like other neighborhood associations where 90% of the meeting is about crime. I think we need to stay proactive and focus on the prevention that will get us sound sleep and safe streets. Around many bases in the US are "ghettos."

This often happens because of the large scale building up cheap housing and economies where military money is the most secure and stable. Much of what we deal with - not all - has to do with the environment created. That environment was created by policies, or lack of policies, that are influenced by the priority of military expenditure, poor planning, racial and economic segregation, and other factors.

Equitable distribution creates healthier communities. Places like Vancouver where neighborhoods were consciously developed as mixed income has a much better quality of life than we do. Places with mixed income communities are often safer, and people healthier.

To me Weed and Seed never got around to enough seeding to be sustainable long-term. That was not the fault of the committee because the funding always leaned more to the weeding. Anyone knowing about gardening knows that if you clear a space and don't plant what you want, something you don't want will sprout up.

We need the redevelopment. We need housing redevelopment as much as we need the business redevelopment. We need to be comprehensive.

On the larger picture, the City needs to commit to equitable development for the entire City. We all know about rich people who commit crime and violence - income is not the determining factor. We all know about white people who commit crime and violence - race nor ethnicity are not the determining factor. We all know women who commit crime and violence - gender is not the determining factor. High crime areas grow out of communities that are economically segregated.

I think our goal should be continuing to bring assets and resources to our community. To build on the assets and resources we already have. And to reduce the low quality housing and infrastructure by replacing it with high quality mixed income housing.

People think CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environment Design) is cutting edge. I think it's nice, but is more of a bandaid than really commiting to revitalizing communities. I say we push for quality redevelopment of our neighborhoods. I say that we build off the work that already has momentum and transform our communities. Yes, we need some immediate help - and I'm in that boat. But a more sustainable and long-term change will come from quality redevelopment and investment. We do our neighbors no favor by allowing them to live in low-quality segregated housing.

When the City closes an apartment complex in our neighborhood we need to fight to keep it closed and build something new there. Some of these places have been closed and reopened over and over. At 417/421 when it is closed down, people still come out there and sell. People that obviously don't live in the boarded up building. 500 Indiana is prime gang turf apparently. It has been closed and reopened.

We probably need to push for these places to be torn down quicker and fight for faster redevelopment. Doug seems to be working really hard, but there is no one else doing the same thing for La Mesa nor SSP.

Anyway, those are my thoughts this morning.

Have a wonderful and peaceful day!


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April 1st

My street is super quiet. The almost not good quiet. But I'll take it. My daughter doesn't want to come home because she feels she would try to go after the girls who jumped her.

We had lots of support. Sunday we had Rey Garduño drop by and Tim Keller. It is really helpful to have that kind of involvement with the City Councilor and the guy running for State Senate. Especially since my State Senator lives on the same street I do and I have NEVER seen him actually in my neighborhood. (I was once PTO president at the elementary school between our homes and never got him to come to a meeting or fundraiser. Come to think of it, I haven't seen him at his own neighborhood association meetings either!)

On Monday Miguel A, Bianca E, Irma H, and Clayton came by. Tim offered to come over but since things were so quiet I told him I wanted to catch up on sleep. I got emails and calls from lots of people also. Roberto and Tim are planning to come over today, and I had already scheduled some lunch time with Andru. Another friend, who was wanting me to move, called and offered to come over. I'll have to figure out how to talk to people who throw their fear and patronizing crap at me out.

Albuquerque Police Department hasn't done a damn thing up to this point. I'll give you the run down and if you have advice please give it.

The quick rundown - my daughter knew some girls were upset with her over her ex boyfriend. My daughter drives me to the airport Friday at 1pm. Later in the afternoon she is jumped by three girls. The police are called and asked to step up patrols. Later in the evening the girls send a younger boy to ask for my daughter. She doesn't come out and the girls proceed to do $5,000 in damage to my daughter's car. The police are called.

30 minutes later no police. My wife, my son, and my sister are out in the driveway and the girls walk by. My wife asks them "what are you thinking" - they mumble something and leave. They return and break two windows out of my car and run off as the police finally show up.

My kids are staying at their aunts. I was out of town. I returned at 11pm Saturday evening and have spent a great deal of time in my front yard. I spoke to some of the neighbors on Sunday, asked them to call the police as much as possible.

I'm working on a plan to help my kids feel comfortable at home. We'll need to have a family meeting and decide. I'm going to need to make a long term commitment to hanging out in my yard - a lot!

It will be worth it.



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