Is High School Pointless?

Hi Friends,

I am doing some research on high school and education from a teenagers perspective for a book that I am writing called Lit! Really Bad Advice for Teenagers. I have created a survey with 10 simple questions. I would really appreciate it if you could share the survey link with any teenager that you know. Just cut and paste the link to share it with them (or you can have them visit this site and take the survey below!) Thank you so much. Here is the link to share:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TBV3KYX

Why Dr. Jill Stein Must Be President #Itsinourhands

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Should Dr. Jill Stein be elected as the first female President instead of Hillary Clinton? Is Dr. Jill Stein the best option for Bernie Sanders supporters? The Daily Loco believes that the answer to both of these questions is: Yes! (The Daily Loco also thinks that Socialist Gloria La Riva is a great option. More on her next week)

Today is officially #DemExit and people are leaving the Democratic Party en masse. They are fed up with the lies and corruption that permeate every crack and crevice of the Party. Hillary failed to win them over and they want another alternative. The mainstream media and Hillary supporters love to say, “If you don’t vote for Hillary, Trump will win. Do you want that?” During the Democratic Conference, a reporter told a young Bernie supporter that she had to choose between Hillary and Trump…she only had two choices. The young woman looked at the reporter and said, “I have more than two choices…I will vote for Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party!”

What does Dr. Jill Stein stand for and does she really have a chance? Here is a quick breakdown of her Power to the People platform from her website:

  • The Green New Deal: Create jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030 and by investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation
  • Create living-wage jobs for everyone ($15 minimum wage)
  • Strengthen and form unions.
  • Guarantee economic human rights: access to food, water, housing and utilities.
  • Single-payer health insurance
  • Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude.
  • Tuition-free public education (K-University)
  • School privatization
  • Democratize the Federal Reserve
  • End fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, and uranium mines.
  • Demilitarize the police. “Ensure communities control their police rather than police controlling our communities.”
  • Legalize marijuana
  • Abolish corporate personhood

These are just a few of her ideas, check out more at the Jill2016 website.

 

I absolutely love her platform. It is a very “feel good” utopian dream. It is an amazing ideal of what America should and could be.

A lot of people will point to her lack of political experience as a reason why she will not get their vote. If that is you, you should take a moment of your time to learn about her. She has dedicated her life to the People…she is a fighter. (Read her bio here)

Others will say that you are hurting Hillary Clinton and wasting your vote if you vote for a third-party. Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party do not have a chance! The will say…look at what Ralph Nader did to Al Gore.

This is America and everybody has the right to vote for the person who they support! The reason why third parties struggle is because the People are afraid to vote for them. The mainstream party followers and the media use scare tactics to convince people to use their vote for the mainstream candidates.

This is a political revolution and we must continue what Bernie started. We need to show the mainstream party and the media that we are not sheep. If the People really supported the candidate of their choice, third-party candidates would be the norm. It is time to say that we have had enough! If you supported Bernie, you should really consider supporting Dr. Jill Stein (or Gloria la Riva)

Strategically speaking, at least 13.2 million People voted for Bernie during the primaries. That does not include all of the independent voters who were unable to vote in the primaries. If the Bernie supporters move over to Dr. Jill Stein and the independent voters follow suit, Dr. Stein can beat Hillary and Trump. We need to remember that there is another third-party candidate for the Libertarian Party who is going to steal votes from Trump. (read more here)

Dr. Stein has the ability to win this and become the first woman elected to be the President of the United States! The only thing that stands in the way is us. If we ignore the scare tactics and unite behind her, she will be unstoppable. So, visit her site, sign up, share the message and let the Revolution continue! #JillnotHill #DemExit #GoGreen #VoteGreen @DrJillStein

 

Is Gary Johnson Worse Than Donald Trump?

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For those of you jumping on the Gary Johnson bandwagon, you may want to think twice. In some regards he may be just as bad or worse than Donald Trump.

I will admit, at first glance, Gary Johnson seems very appealing to voters who do not like Clinton or Trump. If you take a few moments to read through the “issues” section on his campaign site, you may find yourself shaking your head in agreement with most of his ideas. For instance, he proposes:

  • Cuts to military spending and to use more strategic means to “neuter” extremist organizations.
  • Legalization of marijuana
  • Lowering/ eliminating taxes and simplifying the tax code through a “single consumption tax” (VAT tax)
  • Create jobs by eliminating business income taxes. This will make America a “tax haven”
  • People should be free to do as they choose, marry who they want to marry and personal freedom should be protected at all costs (as long as no harm is done to others)
  • Reform the Justice system. Too many things have been criminalized in an attempt by politicians to look “tough”
  • Drug rehabilitation and harm reduction are more acceptable and successful than incarceration and arrests.
  • Immigration: Simplified system of work visas. (which sounds like a good plan until you read his other ideas in combination with this idea)
  • Eliminate Common Core and standardization in the school system (Eliminate the Federal Department of Education)

These are just a few of his talking points. Many of these ideas will appeal to voters who supported Sanders and those who dislike Clinton and Trump. Unfortunately, Gary Johnson’s website conveniently omits some of his (and the Libertarian Party’s) more controversial ideas. For instance:

  • Elimination of Federal minimum wage. Gary says that minimum wage is “much ado about nothing.” He wants to “let the marketplace function.”
  • He wants to privatize public education. The Libertarian Party believes that “parents should have control of and responsibility for ALL funds expended for their children’s future.”
  • The end to all laws prohibiting discrimination. Their platform states, “Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts and other free-market solutions.”
  • He calls for a privatized Healthcare system and the phase out of Social Security. The Libertarian Party believes that “retirement is the responsibility of the individual.”
  • Remove all barriers to “Free” trade.
  • Require all States to accept “Right to Work” to dismantle unions.
  • End government regulations on employer/ employee relationships.

Let’s soak these items in for a moment. Gary Johnson and the Libertarian Party want to ease immigration to allow more workers, end minimum wage, allow employer discrimination and remove all regulation on hiring practices, destroy Unions, privatize Healthcare, which will decrease access, and dismantle the financial safety net of the elderly.

His plan would basically legalize slavery and throw us back into the Dark Ages. These ideas are ridiculous. Does he or the Libertarian Party actually believe these ideas are a good idea? (This may be a silly question considering a candidate danced in a thong onstage at their Convention and another walks around with a boot on his head.)

Gary Johnson has moved away from some of the Libertarian Party’s more extreme ideas, but he is still representing their platform. Don’t forget, his VP choice is Bill Weld. Governor Weld actually joined the Libertarian Party 2 weeks before he was selected as Gary Johnson’s VP choice. Mr. Weld stated that 98% of the Libertarian Party’s platform is “music to [his] ears.” Really…98% of it? Has he actually read the platform? Governor Weld even mentioned that he is not a fan of Gary Johnson’s “single consumption tax.” He believes that it is regressive.

I realize that the two main party candidates are less than optimal choices. They are hard to support and a lot of people refuse to vote for them. That doesn’t mean we should jump on Gary Johnson’s bandwagon. Reinstating slavery, allowing sweatshops and child labor, abandoning the elderly and supporting segregation/ discrimination are horrible ideas. That platform sounds just as bad or worse than Donald Trumps! Would you vote for Gary Johnson?

NEXT WEEK: Would you vote for Dr. Jill Stein?

Loco Friends: Humans of New Mexico, Dr. Annette Rodriguez and Learners Chess Academy

New Mexico is full of amazing people and community organizations. Today the Daily Loco is going to take a few moments to recognize some of our friends: Humans of New Mexico, Dr. Annette Rodriguez and Learners Chess Academy.

 

Humans of New Mexico ( www.HumansofNewMexico.com )

 

For those of you who have not heard of Humans of New Mexico, I suggest that you take a moment to visit their site, follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook (they have already eclipsed 1000 likes!). They are a “Community project collecting oral histories from everyday New Mexicans.” I find it fascinating to read (or listen to) the stories of everyday people from our community. Everyone has a story to tell and Humans of New Mexico seeks “capture the complex issues that affect our communities and offer a platform to voice everyday practices of resistance to societal pressures.” This is an amazing project that deserves our support and recognition.

 

Dr. Annette Rodriguez

 

The Daily Loco would like to congratulate Dr. Rodriguez for winning the 2016 New Mexico Foundation for Open Government William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award (Education). The award is given “to individuals and organizations that advance transparency in the areas of law, journalism, education, government and business.”

Dr. Rodriguez fought the administration of Northern New Mexico College by using the Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act to expose widespread corruption and poor management at the College. The information was published on The Northern New Mexico College Study Group blog and the Daily Loco.

Dr. Rodriguez is a true champion of the People and proved that she truly cares about the students of Northern New Mexico. Thank you for all that you do Dr. Rodriguez!

The Awards Lunch will be held at the Embassy Suites on October 5, 2016. Tickets are still available. Visit their website for more information or to purchase.

 

Learners Chess Academy

 

Where to begin? Learners Chess Academy is a community blessing. The organization was founded in 2010 by Victor Lopez and has grown into a non-profit organization that provides after-school programs and chess camps for youth in Albuquerque. Visit their website to learn more (www.learnerchess.org)

Learners Chess Academy has had an amazing year so far! Coach Victor was honored as a  White House as a Champion of Change. He (and Learners Chess Academy) is definitely deserving of such high praise.

In addition, the organization just launched Learners Without Borders. The project just recently sent a group of high school students (with coaches) to teach chess in El Salvador. What a great opportunity for those teenagers!

Most importantly, Learners Chess Academy provides Need-based Scholarships. Here is the statement from their site: “At Learners Chess Academy, we charge a fee, when we can, for many of our classes, camps and programs. But we also strive to bring the joy of learning chess to those who cannot afford it by offering need-based scholarships for our camps and after school programs.”

Please take a moment and visit their site to make a donation. Any amount can help a child learn chess and provide an enriching after school program and camp opportunity. DONATE (you will be redirected to their donation page)

 

Thank you taking the time to read about the amazing accomplishments of some of my friends. Albuquerque and New Mexico are full of amazing people and organizations that seek to build a better world. I am proud of you all and proud to be a New Mexican!

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!

Should DWI Checkpoints Be Allowed in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Court of Appeals recently ruled that police sobriety (DWI) checkpoints are constitutional as long as the police “try” to publicize it. They keyword here is “try.”

In 2013, the New Mexico State Police sent a notice of their DWI checkpoint to a nonworking email address at a small radio station. Obviously the “notice” was never publicized.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque police DWI Sgt. Kyle Curtis said in a statement, “What the media does with the press release and or the media release is out of our hands.”

That statement is just ridiculous. The New Mexico State Police (and other Departments) know what they are doing. The Court of Appeals ruling will allow Departments to “try” and publicize notice in the most obscure ways possible.

I am not condoning Driving While Intoxicated in New Mexico. I cannot and will not condone drunk driving. DWI has destroyed far too many lives. If you must drink, have a designated driver or call an Uber to pick you up.

On the other hand, I cannot and will not condone illegal search and seizure. The Police are public servants and should be required to make a reasonable attempt to uphold the constitution. There should be a reasonableness test required when attempting to “publicize” the sobriety checkpoints. That seems like a fair requirement for Police Departments.

In the end, it may not matter one-way or the other because the Court ruled, “a lack of advance publicity, without more, is simply not sufficient to find that a DWI checkpoint constitutes an illegal seizure.

I guess we will have to wait and see if the New Mexico Supreme Court decides to hear the case. What do you think about this case or DWI checkpoints in general?

The Daily Loco is Back!

Dear Friends,

I have not posted anything over the course of the last year. My schedule did not allow the time to do so. I am happy to announce that the Daily Loco is back and I will begin posting regularly next week. I really appreciate all of you and hope to provide interesting, relevant, and important material. I am excited about the new year. I look forward to a rejuvenated Daily Loco. Check back soon!