The Rent Is Too Damn High Party

Jimmy McMillan, who founded New York’s Rent Is Too Damn High Party, was just a little ahead of his time. Raising the issue of skyrocketing rents, both before and after the financial crisis, McMillan has had the issue pretty much to himself. Now, urban activists are wondering why the issue doesn’t come up in presidential debates…

The study finds housing costs – particularly skyrocketing rents – are largely absent from the 2016 presidential campaigns…

“You would think that housing affordability would be the number one issue in this year’s presidential contest, in light of the concern candidates from both parties have shown over the plight of America’s middle class,” said Kotkin. “But nowhere amongst the campaign rhetoric do we hear anything about this nation’s very real housing crisis…

In the wake of the financial crisis, banks made it much harder to qualify for a mortgage. As a result, homes for sale went begging while consumers competed for rental properties. The increased demand sent rents soaring.

The real estate industry has also tried to call attention to the plight of renters. In 2014 Zillow warned that rental affordability was currently much worse than mortgage affordability, largely because rents didn’t experience the huge drop seen in home values during the recession. Instead, rents continued to climb. As a result, renters have continued to pay a dangerously high percentage of their income for housing…

Guest Post: Donkey Edition

Please welcome Daisy and Danny to my blog.

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This is Daisy:

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And this is her lover, Danny:


They were thrilled to be guests on my blog. 🙂

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(Daisy and Danny have been living together for years, so they don’t talk much.)

Hi, Danny, I can see how busy you are, so thanks for your time.

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(Note:  I will be translating for my donkey friends.)

Danny:  You’re welcome. Do you have a question?


Me:  You have a nice smile, Danny. I was just wondering what it was like, living the donkey life?

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Danny:  Do you think my shadow looks fat?

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Me:  Huh?

Danny:  Mostly our lives are boring, but we do enjoy sex once in awhile…

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Danny:  You know what I mean, right? Have you ever heard of donkey porn?

Me:  Excuse me, I believe Daisy wants to join the conversation…

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Daisy:  Don’t listen to that jackass, we haven’t had sex in a decade.

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Daisy:  But we love to play Scrabble for Donkeys.


Me:  Hey, Danny, what’s that ball of light? It looks like it’s made out of rainbows…

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Danny:  Did I forget to tell you that I’m your fairy godmother?

Me:  Is there anything else that ya’ll would like to share?

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Danny:  How about a kiss? You know, to better the relations between donkeys and humans…

Me:  Dude, that’s gross. Didn’t you tell me earlier that you wrote a poem?

Daisy:  I wrote the poem. Danny doesn’t even like to read.

Me:  Well, thanks again for being guests on my blog. This was fun! Now, the floor is yours, Daisy.

Her Liberty
By Daisy the Donkey

There once was a donkey named Daisy
Known in her day to be quite lazy
But in all honest truth
She rarely expended energy
Unless it was done
rather cleverly
And while she was enjoying
Her Liberty

Danny:  Wait, I have one, too!

When The Cows Came Home
By Danny the Donkey

There once was a donkey
from Albuquerque
Prideful and stubborn
and ornery

And then to his surprise
he found a weed growing wildly
and he smoked that shit
until the cows came home

Future Visit to Serenity Mesa Addiction Clinic

Fri, Jan 29, 2016 12:17 am


I have “enjoyed” reading your continual posts about me and my advocacy work and your “opinions” about me give me a good laugh now and then. You question my ability to fact check and to be labeled as an “expert” in addiction but maybe you should do your own fact checking. Numerous entries in your blog are incorrect. Your most recent blog post listed several quotes that you said I made (see below). I never made these quotes and have no idea who did. Maybe there is another Jennifer Weiss in Albuquerque or someone made those comments in my name but I absolutely did NOT make those comments.

You can talk about me, my deceased son, my advocacy work all you want but please do not start posting false information about me and making up things that I did not say. I also do not receive endless amounts of funding from the state as we are up in Santa Fe right now fighting for the little funding we do get. Maybe you should do your own fact checking before you publish inaccurate information with my name attached to it.

And, as it appears that you have an excessive amount of time on your hands, maybe you should come visit Serenity Mesa and I will give you a personalized tour showing you all of the evidence-based therapy we provide our young residents who suffer from heroin and meth addiction. Maybe if you saw the services we provide and the work we are doing you wouldn’t be so quick to judge. It’s obvious you have never been an addict, loved and addict or lost an addict so maybe you should try a little more empathy and a little less judgement for something you know nothing about.

Once again, the comments below were not made by me:

Jennifer Weiss · Top Commenter · Albuquerque, New Mexico

And one more thing. Since it looks like you hate cops, how many times has APD arrested your dumb butt for just being a jackass or slapping around your p*nis because no hooker in their right mind would ever touch you. So how many times have you been locked up?

Jennifer Weiss · Top Commenter · Albuquerque, New Mexico

Loretta Baca obviously you think your s*it doesn’t stink because you think violence begets violence. Wow, you’re more into death and destruction for your own gratification because your life is so boring and lacking of what is truly important. And you know what, I actually feel sorry for you. You are a pitiful excuse for a human.

Jennifer Weiss-Burke
Executive Director
Healing Addiction in Our Community &
Serenity Mesa Youth Recovery Center
(505) 363-9684


Tue, Feb 23, 2016 4:36 am

Dear Jennifer:

I’m sorry it took me so long to respond to your email, but if you follow my blog, then maybe you can understand the lateness of my reply. (Being disabled, poor, and powerless is no fun, believe me.) And if you’ve read my blog, then no doubt you are prepared for the type of response you would receive. (At least, I hope so.)

You may not believe this, but it was nice to hear from you. And it’s nice to know that I could give you a good laugh, even if it was at my expense. After all, I’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. 🙂

We’ll have to disagree about the Facebook comments you’re now disclaiming, because I think they were, in fact, made by you. However, there have been plenty of times when I’ve responded in anger and said things I didn’t mean, so let’s just forget about those comments for now.

It’s funny what some people use to claim the title of “expert” these days, especially in the addiction industry. Considering your background, you can’t be surprised that anyone would question your credentials. Maybe that doesn’t happen in the addiction and political industries? Or is this the very first time? Being rich and white is something I’ve never experienced, but I’m guessing the combination has been really helpful for you.

Maybe you can tell me why you think your experience — specifically in pain management — qualifies you for things like this:

“The council shall meet at least quarterly to review the current status of prescription drug misuse and overdose prevention and current pain management practices in New Mexico and national prescription drug misuse and overdose prevention and pain management standards and educational efforts for both consumers and professionals. The council shall also recommend pain management and clinical guidelines.”

“We will have a discussion on how opiates affect the brain, their addictive qualities and how prevention is a far better option than treatment. We will also offer ideas on how the dental community can help be part of the solution to an epidemic affecting so many people in NM.”

I can’t help but wonder if these are paid positions, and if so, which part of your work experience has qualified you for these positions? Maybe all you need is a college degree, like doctors who become addiction “specialists”?

You say you’re now fighting for more government funding (an endless task, right?), but you didn’t mention the funds you’ve already received:

And remember when you advocated to deny the approval of Zohydro?

I also have to wonder, what is your experience with Zohydro? Do you think that treating pain and drug addiction are the same thing? Do you also advocate to deny patients access to opioids like Suboxone, Methadone, and bupe?

And why doesn’t your addiction clinic accept Medicare/Medicaid?

With all your advocacy work on pain management and addiction, you must be aware of the crisis that millions of pain patients are experiencing. You must also be aware that even if your work helps thousands of drug addicts, at the same time, it is also part of terrorizing tens of millions of pain patients. So, with this knowledge, I assume that you also understand why I have felt compelled to publicly point out all the hypocrisy.

We might be fighting on opposite sides of the opioid war, Jennifer, but as a 30-year intractable pain survivor, at least I can say that I’ve tried very hard to understand your side. Can you say the same? Not in my opinion.

For all these reasons, I would be happy to accept your offer for a visit to Serenity Mesa. However, I don’t think it should be a scheduled visit, or include a tour given by the owner of the facility. And because of my current financial difficulties, as well as my disabilities, I don’t know when I’ll be able to plan this visit.

But rest assured, I plan on visiting Serenity Mesa in the future. And just like any stranger off the street who may have questions about your facility (and the treatments offered therein), I hope my visit will help me better understand addiction. After all, I advocate for access to all treatment options for all patients, not just for those suffering from chronic pain.

Now, Jennifer, what are you going to do to learn more about chronic pain?

Johnna Stahl
Executive Director of My Own Blog
The Disabled Community
No phone