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What do I see? Take a walk with me…

Sunrise

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Sunset

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Cool license plate.

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I also saw a bumper sticker that said:  “I’m Catholic and I vote.”

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Another cloudy sunrise.

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It’s a bear riding a rocket (or a skateboard).

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A rusted brand.

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A tiny, new friend.

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My new friend is fast. Very fast.

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And he doesn’t like people.

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Expensive shoe on Sunday.

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Expensive shoe on Tuesday.

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Expensive shoes on Friday.

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When my son was young and we were living in California, during one school year he lost 6 jackets. One day, I finally had to put him in one of my sweaters. I couldn’t afford to buy another jacket. Then I got a note from his teacher that said, please put him in a jacket that fits him because the sleeves are too long and get in his way.

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I don’t know what this is, but I think the aliens put it here.

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May the weed(s) be with you.

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Last night’s sunset at Walmart.

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Rejoice, it’s Friday. Friday is the best day of the week.🙂

“the state some months pays out more in corporate income taxes than it collects”

Ah, Republicans. Always complaining about deadbeats who can’t live within their financial means and live off the government, yet almost every Republican-run state has budget problems. And how do they fix their budget problems?

http://www.governing.com/topics/finance/tns-new-mexico-budget-reserves-hit-zero.html

Falling tax revenues have left a $654 million hole in the state budget, and New Mexico lawmakers learned Wednesday that the reserve fund for day-to-day government operations is completely drained…

The Legislature is expected to convene next month in a special session in Santa Fe to transfer money to the operating budget from an account containing cash tobacco companies paid to settle a lawsuit…

The state government has done the same thing to money it’s made from the state’s medical cannabis industry (and patients) — sent the surplus to the general fund, while patients wait for months just to get a card because of a lack of staff.

Beyond patching 2016 spending, Martinez believes the budget for the 2017 fiscal year can be reset by cutting state agency spending. She has ordered a 5 percent budget reduction for departments under her control. Vacancy rates at many agencies, including the Corrections Department, already are at 20 percent…

The state Taxation and Revenue Department also reported that big data programs that analyze tax payments by companies are resulting in more refunds due to hundreds of tax credit laws on the books, and the state some months pays out more in corporate income taxes than it collects…

http://www.governing.com/topics/finance/tns-utah-west-jordan-facebook.html

A town in Utah that was competing to serve as the home of a new Facebook data center announced Tuesday it is withdrawing from negotiations with a subsidiary of the tech firm, leaving Los Lunas as the last known candidate for the site.

In announcing an end to their bid in a news release Tuesday, officials in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Jordan cited opposition among state and local leaders to offering a package of property tax incentives to lure the Silicon Valley giant…

The facilities would house long rows of servers and hard drives that store and process vast quantities of highly secure information powering everything from online shopping to streaming movies. While the facilities are an increasingly important part of the global economy, such data centers function more like giant walk-in refrigerators for computers that generally require few people on the ground to keep them running…

Water emerged as a chief concern among Utah officials opposed to the project. Data centers are known to use large quantities of water to keep computer servers from overheating. Authorities in Utah bandied about estimates that the facility would require anywhere from 5 million gallons of water a day to less than 1 million gallons.

Los Lunas Mayor Charles Griego recently told The New Mexican he has seen data indicating the center would require far less water than the numbers reported by Utah news organizations. But Griego would not say what numbers he has seen for water usage at the proposed facility…

Hey, Mayor Griego, did you know we live in the desert?

I guess this state hasn’t learned the Intel lesson — a company that got generous tax breaks and is now a ghost of its former self. And so is the City of Rio Rancho, where Intel is located (but not for long).

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Thinking of you, Victoria Martens

Lisa posted the story of Victoria Martens, a 10-year-old who was brutally murdered in Albuquerque:

http://www.lifeofanelpasowoman.com/2016/08/25/victoria-martens-a-10-year-olds-tragic-death-shocks-the-world/

In a statement, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) called the manner in which Victoria was killed “atrocious.”

“What happened to this little girl is unspeakable,” she said, according to media reports, “and justice should come down like a hammer on the monster who committed this murder.”

Governor Martinez (a former prosecutor and previous Democrat) has been making noise about bringing back the death penalty (for child killers and cop killers) even before Victoria Martens’ murder. I guess that’s the kind of talk Republicans want to hear.

Do you think if this state had the death penalty, Victoria Martens would still be alive?

If the death penalty really worked as a deterrent, I might be for it. But it doesn’t do anything except quench our thirst for revenge and cost a lot of money — just like making drugs illegal isn’t a deterrent to people using them and how the billions of dollars we’ve spent on the failed drug war has just been wasted.

Like in Victoria’s case, meth was involved here, too:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/couple-wanted-womans-killing-kids-kidnapping-arrested-231022653.html

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California couple wanted in connection with a woman’s killing and the kidnapping of her three children in the Los Angeles area were arrested Thursday in Colorado. 

Joshua Aaron Robertson, 27, and Brittany Humphrey, 22, were arrested without incident in Pueblo, about 40 miles south of Colorado Springs, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The couple was wanted in connection with the death of Humphrey’s half-sister, Kimberly Harvill, whose body was found with multiple gunshot wounds along a road in a remote area of Los Angeles County on Aug. 14.

Investigators said the couple kidnapped Harvill’s three young children, who were found safe Wednesday in a motel on the outskirts of Albuquerque. Humphrey is Harvill’s half-sister, and therefore the children’s aunt…

Harvill and her children had most recently lived in Fresno and were transitory, moving from motel to motel, sheriff’s Capt. Steve Katz said Wednesday, adding that they depended on panhandling to survive. Harvill was involved with methamphetamine, as were Humphrey and Robertson, Katz said.

The father of Harvill’s children, Kenneth Chad Watkins, killed himself by lying in front of a train last year, according to the Fresno County Coroner…

Three children, now without either parent. You have to wonder what these three kids will grow up to be.

See, Governor Martinez decapitated the mental health system in this state, falsely accusing a handful of providers of wrongdoings and refusing to pay them (in effect, closing them down). While these providers fought to clear their names, the governor gave contracts to out-of-state providers (paying back political promises) to replace them. I’ve read that a few of these out-of-state providers have already gone bankrupt, but I don’t know how many.

Which leaves patients without continuing mental health care, as well as having to deal with new providers, never an easy thing. What was Kenneth Chad Watkins being treated for before he gave up and committed suicide?

Statistics say that meth is even more popular than heroin in New Mexico (but not as popular as marijuana). I just read another study about the 17 states that have medical cannabis programs and how the amount of painkillers, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications have been substantially decreased in these states. But in New Mexico (as well as around the country), drug abuse and overdoses have increased.

I guess all the restrictions on my allergy medicine haven’t stopped the meth epidemic. The opioid war is obviously not stopping the heroin epidemic. Really, the DEA should be fired. Maybe Trump can take care of that.

The drug war isn’t the only reason that kids are being killed:

http://www.theroot.com/articles/news/2016/08/minn-man-accused-of-beating-7-month-old-to-death-after-discovering-he-wasnt-the-father/

According to the Washington Post, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said McMorris killed the infant after discovering he wasn’t her biological father. A paternity test had confirmed that fact about three days before the baby was killed…

Risk factors which exclude large number of pain patients from getting treatment

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/08/06/insurance-companies-clamping-down-on-over-prescribing-of-opioids/

Dr. Stephen Hull, director of Mercy Hospital’s Pain Center, said insurance company policies to reduce over-prescribing will be helpful, but more needs to be done to lower America’s reliance on opioids to control pain. There are no long-term studies that prove the effectiveness of opioids in controlling chronic pain, scientists say…

Anthem also will warn doctors when they see a patient seeking painkillers from an emergency department and will investigate doctors who are prescribing high doses of opioids, she said. Harrell said another program set to start this fall will notify doctors if a patient has previously been in a substance abuse treatment program or overdosed and gone to an emergency department, all warning signs that a patient may try to doctor shop…

Mark Slitt, a Cigna spokesman, said the insurance company launched a program a decade ago to identify over-prescribing, and has been adding to it ever since.

“The opioid crisis is a national tragedy. Cigna’s goal is to work collaboratively with doctors, as well as organizations like (the American Society for Addiction Medicine) to help find ways to fix the problem. Contacting doctors proactively regarding their patients’ risk factors is just one part of this effort,” Slitt said…

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/insurance-companies-and-the-war-against-pain-patients/

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/smokers-and-abuse-victims-at-risk-for-being-denied-pain-meds/

First of all, if opiates are to be used for chronic noncancer pain, physicians need to assess the patient for risk factors, which include a history of smoking, family or personal history of substance abuse, history of sexual abuse, and a history of psychological disease…

https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/screening-for-addiction-and-monitoring-for-aberrant-behavior-in-patients-with-chronic-pain/

Risk Factors for aberrant behavior

• Lifetime history of substance use disorder (alcohol, tobacco, illicit substances)
• Psychiatric co-morbidity
• History of pre-adolescent sexual abuse
• Family history of substance abuse
• History of legal problems
• Younger age (16 – 45)
• Increased functional impairment

Another awesome black woman

“Freedom is mine!” Pieces

There’s Alicia Keys, keeping to her decision to go without make-up. She’s so smart and such a lovely person. And can someone explain to me what the heck Miley Cyrus is wearing? Is that a new style? Finally, we have a 17-year-old who was bullied, yet stood up on stage and sang her heart out.

The song “Feeling Good” is perhaps best sung by Nina Simone. I recently watched the Netflix documentary about Nina, which I highly recommend. I didn’t know she was bipolar. And it was interesting to hear about Nina from her daughter and what it was like living with someone who suffered from mental illness.