Author Archives: petervburrows

A Common Sense Proposal to Increase Safety at New Mexico’s Schools

A Common Sense Proposal to Increase Safety at New Mexico’s Schools, by Peter Burrows 3/14/18 – 

Last month’s horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, elicited the usual storm of hysterical cries to “do something.”  Most of the “somethings” proposed would in fact do nothing.  

Not all, however.  The common sense notion that teachers should be armed is gaining ground.  There are many who think arming teachers is anything but “common sense,” and those people are wrong.  Let’s look at some facts. 

1)  Crazy people are crazy, not stupid.  I should rewrite that at least ten times, because it is an important, crucial fact that gun control advocates just don’t get: The killers are crazy, not stupid.  

2) 98 percent of all mass shootings in the United States happen in placers that are legally designated as “gun free zones.”    

3) Almost all schools are gun free zones.  

The linkage between the above three points should be obvious.  Try to imagine you are a twisted little psychopath who wants to go out in a blaze of infamy.  You approach Stout Elementary during school hours and you notice a sign, a BIG sign, above the door that reads:  ALL EMPLOYEES IN THIS BUILDING ARE PERMITTED TO CARRY CONCEALED FIREARMS.  

I believe the typical psychopath would read that and decide to wreak mayhem elsewhere.  Maybe he’ll go down to the Silco Theater, confident that he can shoot the place up and escape out the back, undeterred and still on the rampage.  

He gets to the Silco, however, and notices a sign, another big one, that reads: LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT HOLDERS –  HALF PRICE.  I’m betting he reads that and heads to Walmart, where the sign on the door says firearms are not permitted in the building.  

Yes, indeed. That’s the place to kill lots of folks, unless of course, there’s a lawbreaker on the premises who might shoot back.    

The bottom line is that it is not the psychopath who is stupid; it is the advocate of gun free zones.   

Thinking that an armed guard is going to solve the problem is also stupid.  Didn’t work in Lakeland, where the guard was either incompetent or cowardly. Doesn’t make any difference which, because any psychopath with an ounce of intelligence will know that the guard is the first and only person he has to take out to then have a risk-free killing zone.  

The beauty of having armed school personnel is that not every teacher has to be armed, maybe not any. But the psycho won’t know who’s armed.  Could be the janitor. Could be the little old lady helping to teach kindergarten. Could be the kindergarten teacher.   

You get my point, I hope.  

As a practical matter, this does not eliminate the mass-shooter problem, it merely changes the locale. True, but it does keep the kids safe, which is the objective.  

Implementing this plan would be simplicity itself: The New Mexico Legislature passes a law that requires every employee of our public schools pass the background check required to buy a handgun.  (Not a bad idea, guns or not.) If they pass, they get a concealed carry permit, good for as long as they are employed by the school, which allows the employee to carry a concealed weapon at the school, or anywhere.  

Any employee can carry a weapon, but no employee is required to.  Training should be available for those who want it, but not required, because we don’t want to identify those who may be armed in any way.  The schools could sell weapons wholesale, but on a strictly confidential basis, for the same reason. 

Even if nobody in the school was armed, something I hope would never happen, the psycho would see the sign, ALL EMPLOYEES IN THIS BUILDING ARE PERMITTED TO CARRY CONCEALED FIREARMS and go elsewhere.  

Any supervisor who objects to that sign should be fired. What that person is doing is maintaining the invisible sign, easily read by the psychopath, that reads: THIS IS A GUN FREE ZONE. NOBODY WILL STOP YOU FROM KILLING OUR CHILDREN. 

Stupid.  Really, really stupid. 



Straight up stupid

“Straight up stupid” by Peter Burrows 3/5/18 — 

Somebody once described the Republicans and the Democrats as “the stupid party and the evil party.”  That’s a little unfair to the Republicans, as there is plenty of nonpartisan stupidity to go around, but last week the Republicans owned the title. No contest. Two examples: 

First, Republican Lt. Governor John Sanchez visited Silver City to talk to local officials about the Air Force’s proposed Gila Wilderness flyovers.  He then spent an hour or so with local Republicans.  At that meeting, he lamented to some of us about what a money loser Governor Bill Richardson’s Rail Runner had proven to be.   

He also mentioned another money-losing Richardson folly, the Spaceport. (I note that quite a few Republicans put on their stupid hats and supported Richardson’s Spaceport idea.)  New Mexico has spent $250 million on a facility that was supposed to start sending rich people into sub-orbit starting in 2010. That’s right, 2010.  Flights to date: Zero. 

Surprisingly, the recent budget bill has $10 million for a new hangar at the spaceport, and when I asked Sanchez if that was going to get a line item veto, I got the strong impression that it would not. Sanchez told us the Spaceport has new management that is “really professional” and will sell the locale to aerospace companies around the world and the new hangar will facilitate that and blah, blah, blah.  

Besides, the Spaceport, like the Rail Runner, can’t be sold because nobody will buy it. Gee, I said, why not try to GIVE it to Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, a couple guys who might know how to make a buck down there?  

(Bezos and Musk are billionaire entrepreneurs operating their own space cargo/travel companies. I doubt if either would want a facility located in the middle of nowhere, but it would be worth a try.)   

Sanchez looked at me as though I had lost my mind. He was probably thinking, “What a crazy Old Fart. The Spaceport cost a quarter of a billion dollars and he wants to give it away!”   

Does Sanchez really think the state can hire a bureaucrat who will do a better job than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos? Is he that stupid? More likely, Sanchez has been a member of the political class for so long that he can’t bring himself to admit that the State of New Mexico has made two of the most colossal, straight up stupid investments ever made by a state government.   

That we won’t shut them down or give them away illustrates the sunk-cost fallacy, in which previous investments, the sunk costs, compel people to add to those investments even though it doesn’t make economic sense to do so.  Here’s a great definition I found on the web: 

Sunk costs “are investments which can never be recovered. An android with fully functioning logic circuits would never make a decision which took sunk costs into account, but you would. As an emotional human being, your aversion to loss often leads you right into the sunk cost fallacy.”    

From another site: “The sunk cost fallacy is sometimes called the Concorde fallacy —- a reference to the construction of the first commercial supersonic airliner. The project was predicted to be a failure early on, but everyone involved kept goingTheir shared investment built a hefty psychological burden which outweighed their better judgements. After losing an incredible amount of money, effort and time, they didn’t want to just give up.” 

Sound familiar?   

Exercise of the fallacy is commonly called throwing good money after bad.  Those of us with an MBA in finance have a more technical term for sunk costs: Spilt Milk.  

The state should shut down both the Rail Runner and the Spaceport because doing so will save New Mexico money.   It won’t recover the investments made or the obligations incurred. Those are sunk costs.  

There is no hope under any realistic scenario for the Rail Runner, but there is a slim chance the Spaceport could become viable if it was given to private investors with the promise it would be a tax-free zone — forever.  Do not hold your breath waiting for that to happen.  

I can forgive New Mexico’s Republicans for succumbing to the sunk cost fallacy concerning Richardson’s boondoggles, but it is unforgivable not to make political hay out of them. These are two examples of Democratic stupidity that voters should be reminded of — constantly. Not to do so is even more stupid than continuing to pour money into them. Damn RINOS. Might as well be Democrats. 

The other great stupidity of last week belongs to President Trump.  He proved his Republican bona fides by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, following in the footsteps of president George W. Bush, who imposed steel import tariffs in 2002.  

The President of the Peterson Institute, economist Adam Posner, said on CNBC that Trump’s tariffs were “straight up stupid,” a wonderful phrase now a part of my lexicon. He also said Trump’s move was “fundamentally incompetent, corrupt or misguided.” Yes, indeed.  Dictatorial, too. Obama-like.   

I don’t know if there is such a thing as “trade deficit fallacy,” but there should be, right alongside sunk cost fallacy. Trump doubled down on his stupidity by saying “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.” I wonder if there is an example in history where a nation “won” a trade war?    

The effect of tariffs ripples through the economy in ways most people don’t see.  A good example, close to home, is Trump’s import tariffs on solar panels, a move opposed by our Senator Heinrich, a Democrat, who urged Trump to “look at the bigger picture,” that being that solar panel manufacturing is a miniscule portion of the solar industry, and the increased cost of panels would hurt demand, effecting installers, inverter manufacturers and so on.   

The senator is right. Of course, the REALLY big picture would include the subsidies the solar industry gets, the uneconomic realities of solar power and the stupidity of New Mexico trying to save the world from Global Warming. (Always capitalize a religion.) So, in this case, import tariffs might actually have a good effect, though not in the way intended.   

Stupid Republican thwarts evil Democrat.  Nothing to be happy about.  

The Case For Nuclear Power

The Case For Nuclear Power  by Peter Burrows 1/1/18

For over ten years, there has been a growing realization among environmentalists that the best way to both eliminate poverty and “save the world” from carbon dioxide emissions is not with renewable energy, e.g. wind and solar, but with nuclear energy.

You haven’t heard about this because it runs counter to the entrenched, well-subsidized solar and wind industries’ interests.  Nuclear advocates present an argument that is reasoned, scientific and compassionate, the latter meaning it exposes the unaffordability of solar and wind.  How novel, coming from environmentalists.  

The most visible nuclear power advocate is Michael Shellenberger, who is running for governor of California.  I wrote about him in my blog, “A Progressive Environmentalist I’d Vote For,” 12/26/17.  I don’t think he has much chance to win, but he will be campaigning on why nuclear power is better than solar and wind, and that’s a start.  

If you want to see him in action, he gave a presentation last November, before he had declared his run for governor, “Why I Changed My Mind About Nuclear Power,” available on You Tube, about 20 minutes: I’ll try to summarize his arguments, with only a little editorializing.

To put nuclear powered electricity at the front of preferred power sources, you have to convince people that it is SAFE.  For the typical consumer, the reliability and cost of electricity are the most important criteria, AFTER safety.  

I don’t think CO2 emissions are an important part of the equation, but they are to Shellenberger and other “atomic humanists.”  They can give the solar and wind folks a good whuppin’, something coal backers simply cannot do if CO2 is part of the argument. (I don’t think it should be, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend, don’t cha know.)

Shellenberger uses data from the two biggest nuclear power disasters in world history to show that the mortality from the resulting radiation was either extraordinary low, as in the case of the Chernobyl, or non-existent, as in the case of Fukushima.

Chernobyl is the biggie. It is the worst nuclear accident to date, and probably the worst that will ever happen. Nobody will ever again build such a poorly designed nuclear power plant.  It had no containment dome. When the reactor exploded, it rained radiation everywhere.  Twenty eight people died from acute radiation exposure, and over the next 25 years, another 15 from thyroid cancer.

That’s all. In fact, an increased incidence of thyroid cancer is the only serious consequence of Chernobyl that has been detected in the last 30 years. Of the 16,000 people who got thyroid cancer from Chernobyl, an estimated one percent, 160, will die from it.  This is not a trivial concern for those 160 people, but they are far, far fewer than the predicted fatalities.  

Chernobyl has been intensely researched by hundreds of scientists over the years. They have found no evidence of effects on fertility, infant mortality, birth defects, heritable defects or any increase in any cancer other than thyroid.  What is most surprising, “ there’s no evidence of any increase in non-thyroid cancer including among the cohort who put out the Chernobyl fire and cleaned it up afterward.”

One of the scientists Shellenberger cites claims that breathing passive smoke is almost twice as dangerous  as being a Chernobyl liquidator, and living in a big city’s air pollution is almost three times as dangerous.  He says all this data is available on the web, “but nobody knows it.”

Deaths from particulate matter and other air pollution such as passive cigarette smoke are suspect in my opinion, but they are always cited to oppose coal power.  If used to justify nuclear, I’m good with it. Shellenberger even quotes the sainted CO2 warrior James Hansen who says “nuclear power has actually saved 1.8 million lives.”  

His biggest surprise is when he shows a graph and says, “–look at how much more materials are required to produce energy from solar and wind compared to nuclear. As a result, solar actually produces 200 to 300 times more toxic waste than nuclear.”  This is all pollution from the hard stuff, no mention of carbon dioxide emissions.  

I won’t bore you with Shellenberger’s economic case for nuclear vs. renewables.  I do a better job of that in my blog, “Dear Public Service of New Mexico, I’m still waiting for an answer,” 11/30/17.

The fact that he thinks the economics of energy are important sets him apart from the typical apocalyptic environmentalist.  I suspect he is no longer welcome at The Church of Global Warming because an article he co-wrote in 2013 claimed that “energy poverty causes more harm to the poor than global warming.”

More harm than global warming? Yes!  No moral grandstanding for Mr.Shellenberger. He has traveled the world. He has seen a lot of poverty, and people trying to escape poverty by moving to the cities for jobs, education, opportunity.  He thinks such urbanization is a good thing, because it “allows the natural environment to come back.”

Modern urbanization means skyscrapers, which take “a huge amount of energy,” and he asks, “how do you get plentiful, reliable electricity without destroying the environment?”  By that I think he means, “How can we simultaneously reduce poverty AND carbon dioxide emissions?”

Wind and solar are NOT the answer.  They are too expensive, too unreliable, and even too polluting vs. nuclear.  Good luck, Governor Shellenberger!



A Progressive Environmentalist I’d Vote For

A Progressive Environmentalist I’d Vote For By Peter Burrows 12/26/17  –

Most “Progressives” I know suffer from a huge sense of moral and intellectual superiority. They are always right and they are better people, too. Protected by what Eric Hoffer called “fact-proof shields,” they can inflict great damage on the rest of us if we let them and alas, we are letting them.

The typical progressive refuses to recognize the dangers of Islam, black racism, economic populism, judicial activism and rampant environmentalism, to name a few of their sacred cows. Occasionally, one of them gets “mugged by reality,” and such a person deserves to be praised, whether they like it or not.

Michael Shellenberger is such a person. He is a 46-year-old environmentalist with impeccable liberal credentials. A life-long Democrat, he was on Time Magazine’s 2008 list, “Heroes of the Environment,” and coauthor of “Break Through,” which won the 2008 Green Book of the Year Award.

In 2003 he co-founded The Breakthrough Institute, which advocates higher levels of public funding to advance technologies that would make clean energy that was also cheap, just the opposite of current policies. He has been described as an “ecomodernist” and an “eco-pragmatist,” a couple of fancy words that are shorthand for: “person with common sense.”

Last year, Shellenberger resigned as president of the Breakthrough Institute and started a new organization, Environmental Progress, which has the following Mission Statement:

Environmental Progress (EP) was founded to achieve two goals: lift all humans out of poverty, and save the natural environment. These goals can be achieved by mid-century — but only if we remove the obstacles to cheap, reliable and clean energy.

Eliminating world poverty and simultaneously saving the environment. Isn’t that what “100% renewables” is all about? Those may be the claims, but the reality is that 100% renewable energy is so expensive it would dramatically INCREASE world poverty.

Shellenberger has spent a lot of time in poor countries, and he knows that standards of living correlate with access to electricity, cheap, reliable electricity. “Cheap” and “reliable” are simply not possible with 100% renewable energy. (See my blog of 11/30/17: “Dear Public Service of New Mexico, I’m still waiting for an answer.”) Shellenberger knows this.

“Clean” rules out the use of natural gas for true-believer carbon dioxide warriors like Shellenberger. What’s left is Shellenberger’s solution: nuclear power. I don’t think nuclear today qualifies as “cheap,” but it’s a helluva lot cheaper than wind and solar, so that’s good enough for me.

Advocating nuclear power pits Shellenberger against the solar and wind industry, a powerful, subsidy- sucking crony constituency that enjoys support of both political parties and is a huge waste of money. This may be Shellenberger’s political Achilles’ heel. Once a constituency gets entrenched, it is almost impossible to overcome, and they fight tooth-and-nail, with lots of bucks, to protect their turf.

Case in point: ethanol. Almost NOBODY, except a bunch of RINOs in Iowa, including two Republican Senators, supports ethanol anymore. Since Iowa is where the first presidential primaries are held, Iowa corn farmers can expect to get their butts kissed at least every four years, at our expense. As bad as it is, the ethanol lobby is chump change compared to the huge “global warming apocalypse” industry. 

When Shellenberger says we must “remove the obstacles to cheap, reliable, clean energy,” he means among other things, he wants to stop the emotion-driven closure of viable nuclear power plants. Wherever that has happened, the vast majority of the CO2- free nuclear electricity has been replaced with new CO2-spewing fossil fueled power plants. It’s happening right now in Germany and Japan.

Make no mistake: Shellenberger is a CO2 warrior. He’s also a decent human being who would rather reduce poverty than engage in the moral grandstanding so common among the environmental elite.

In early December, after watching an interview in which the famed New York Times columnist Tom Friedman planted lusty smooches on Governor Jerry Brown’s ass because Brown was shutting down more nuclear plants, Shellenberger declared his candidacy to succeed Brown as governor of California.

The centerpiece of his campaign will be stopping the closure of Pacific Gas and Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which currently supplies 9% of California’s electricity. He will point out that California’s CO2 emissions under the sainted Jerry Brown increased while CO2 emissions went down in the rest of the country, all because of Brown’s crusade to shut down nuclear power.

Shellenberger started his campaign to save Diablo Canyon in early 2016 and soon followed that with a campaign to stop Illionois from shutting down six nuclear power plants. Shellenberger’s pro-nuclear movement has been joined by a number of prominent environmentalists, most notably retired NASA scientist James Hansen, “The Father of Global Warming.”

Hansen testified to a Congressional committee way back in 1988 on what he saw as the danger of CO2 induced global warming. If you are a CO2 alarmist, there is nobody, NOBODY, more credible than James Hansen.

Shellenberger also claims the support of “the ecomodernist and atomic humanist movements.” (Atomic humanist!! No, I didn’t make that up. I’m not that good, but count me in: EL BURRO, ATOMIC HUMANIST. I think I’ll buy a cape.)

More important than his allies, Shellenberger has discovered renewable energy advocates who “were wrong, or lying,” corrupt unions, a clueless mainstream media, compliant utilities, and demagogic politicians. They’re all “progressives,” so what’s not to like when one of their own takes them on?

If I lived in California I’d vote for Shellenberger in the primary, even though he won’t win. The leading Democratic candidate is Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. He used to be Mayor of San Francisco and he’s real pretty. Plus, he’ll buss as many Lib/Prog butts as it takes to win both the primary and the general elections. I bet he’d support ethanol if he was an Iowa Republican.

In a future article, I’ll outline Shellenberger’s case for nuclear power. Most of it will be based on a 20-minute You Tube in which he lays out chapter-and-verse on why he became a nuclear advocate. It’s worth watching: .



Proof, please, Mr. Riva

On December 3, The Beat published a number of articles by Peter Riva, who writes the Beat column, View From The Edge. In the one titled, “Lies Pretending To Be Proof,” he wrote:

“American citizens all have a right to vote. No, not everybody does. With the cost of proof of identity running at $300 (original birth certificate or a $600 Citizenship Certificate proving you’re American – note in some states neither a US passport nor a driver’s license is accepted) – many poor or paperless people can’t register to vote. And the more poor or unpapered people are, the more likely the more conservative candidates will win.”

This would be an outrageous situation wherever it exists, but damned if I could find any proof that it exists anywhere. The most recent article I could find on the cost of voter ID was an October 8, 2014, article in The Atlantic, “Here’s How Much It Costs to Vote in States With Voter ID Laws,” which cited a just-released Government Accountability Office study, one that was reissued February 27, 2015.

The GAO study looked at the 17 states that required government-issued IDs at the polls, a driver’s license being the most common form of government-issued ID. The maximum cost to obtain a driver’s license was $58.50. Sixteen of the 17 states offered a free alternative to a driver’s license, or any other required form of ID.

I didn’t go to the trouble of determining if the $58.50 state was the one not offering a freebie. The Atlantic article stated that even in the free states it wasn’t really free since some applicants had to go to the trouble of getting a birth certificate, which “can cost as much as $25.”

Where, Mr. Riva, is “the cost of proof of identity running at $300,” and what can we do to correct this unacceptable situation?

The city of Albuquerque has required photo-ID to vote since 2005. Is Albuquerque one of those $300 places, Mr. Riva? If so, count me in at the Roundhouse rally protesting this manifest injustice.

From personal experience, I can attest that there is one form of personal identification that is way too expensive in New Mexico, and that is a concealed carry permit, a.k.a. Concealed Handgun License. The state charges a fee of $100 and requires applicants take a course in handgun safety, which can cost up to $100, plus pass a background check.

The background check requires a state-issued birth certificate. If you have a birth certificate issued by the hospital in which you were born, that is not good enough. I found this out the hard way when my hospital-issued birth certificate was returned to me.

The nice lady in Santa Fe said she would love to have me come to her office, take off my sock and prop my naked foot on her desk so she could check my footprint against the one on the hospital form. She would even bring a magnifying glass, but alas, that still wouldn’t be good enough. I had to get a copy of my official birth certificate from my state of birth, Missouri, which took a couple of weeks and cost me $15.

The whole rigmarole cost my wife and me over $300. In a growing number of states, if you can pass the background check when you buy a gun that is good enough to carry it concealed, no permit needed, no payment to state bureaucrats. Vermont has been this way for decades, Arizona as of last year. Will New Mexico ever follow suit?

When there’s ice in Hell.


Dear Public Service of New Mexico, I’m Still Waiting For An Answer

Dear Public Service of New Mexico, I’m still waiting for an answer.

By Peter Burrows, Chairman and Founder, Citizens for Electricity Justice and Transparency Now. – 11/30/17

Last May, Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) held a meeting in Silver City to get the public’s input on PNM’s plan to eliminate the use of coal by 2031.  I don’t know why they hold these meetings, it must be a legal requirement, because as far as I can tell the “public input” is inputted to PNM’s circular file, never to be seen again.

At these meetings, and this one was no exception, there are always environmentalists who claim that renewable energy is cheaper than coal.  This is absurd, and PNM knows it. My question, asked at the meeting and so far unanswered:

“What would my bill be if PNM generated electricity 100% from renewables?”

PNM should be able to answer this because they have been operating an electricity storage facility for over two years.   It was once heralded as “the nation’s first solar storage facility fully integrated into a utility’s power grid.” (Renewable Energy World, 3/2/15)

Why is this important? Because if PNM is going to provide all of our electricity from renewables, they have to be able to provide electricity at midnight when the wind isn’t blowing, i.e. when no electricity is coming in that is generated from solar panels or wind mills.

“Where does PNM then get the electricity?” is the first question environmentalists never ask. Answer: Stored electricity.  The second question they never ask is, “How much does stored electricity cost?” Answer: A LOT!

I have no idea why PNM doesn’t come up with a cost estimate.  Is the chairman of the board at PNM trying to shield her fellow environmentalists from reality? Does anybody at PNM actually know, or care, what the cost of 100% renewable energy would be?  After all, there’s a world to save. Let the little people worry about cost.

Well, fellow Lilliputians, since we’re the ones paying the bill, let’s generate a cost estimate on our own.

Elon Musk, the Tesla founder, has just completed a $50 million project in Australia called “the world’s largest battery.”  Tesla makes electric cars and is a company usually credited with having the world’s most advanced battery technology.

The $50 million facility will generate enough electricity to supply 30,000 homes for one hour. Repeat: One hour.  I am going to guess that there are about 15,000 homes in Grant County, so the Tesla facility would give us about two hours of electricity.  If we wish to have enough electricity to last from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM on the darkest night of the year, we would need six Tesla facilities for that 12 hours of storage which would cost $300 million. Just for Grant County.

A $300 million debt offering, amortized over the 10-year estimated life of the battery facility and at a 4% rate of interest, would cost Grant County denizens an average of $36 million per year. ($30 million amortization plus $6 million average interest cost.) That’s $2,400 per home, or $200 per month.

This is only for the cost of storage. The cost to generate the electricity to go into that storage is in addition. Furthermore, the above cost estimate is probably low even if my 15,000-home estimate is high, because more than 12 hours of storage would surely be needed, probably at least 20.  Plus, the amount of solar/wind capacity installed would need to be three or four times daylight peak demand, with the excess earmarked for storage.  Operating and paying for all that extra capacity, capacity way beyond what would be needed with coal plants, is not free.

My organization, Citizens for Electricity Justice and Transparency Now, would like PNM to include in every utility bill a range of cost estimates if PNM was 100% renewable.  This could include not just battery storage, but also the estimated costs for other forms of storage, e.g. compressed air, pumped storage, etc. This would give the rate payer a much better idea of what is at stake when people push for 100% renewable electricity, and it would be a real step forward in transparency.

Also, we would like the New Mexico Department of Revenue to tell us what the average income is of those receiving tax-credit subsidies to install solar panels on their homes.  We strongly suspect, but can’t prove, that those receiving these subsidies are WAY above average in state income and do not deserve to be subsidized by us poor folk.

Finally, you will note on your bill a renewable energy rider that INCREASES your bill, not a renewable energy credit that reduces it.  We believe electricity justice demands that those who advocate for renewables should bear the cost of renewables.  This could be done if PNM simply asked its customers if they support renewable energy, the current cost of which would be given along with the estimated effect on a person’s electric bill given various levels of renewable support.

All of the renewable rider costs would then be paid by those who want renewables, most of whom are probably upper income anyway. That’s only electricity justice, isn’t it?


Note to readers: Donations to Citizens for Electricity Justice and Transparency Now are NOT deductible. Libertarians do not believe taxpayers should subsidize special interest groups. For details on how to contribute, go to Cash is preferred.  ; ~)  



CAIR emails


CAIR somehow got my article/column that appeared in The Grant County Beat Nov. 13, “Dear Islamophobes.” They sent an email to the editor/owner of The Beat, and I suggested a response to that email and also wrote a tongue-in-cheek “news” story. The editor/owner wanted nothing to do with it. This is not the first time she has refused to post one of my blogs out of fear of offending Muslims. Repeat: Fear. It appears the campaign to shut down criticism of Islam has reached into the middle-of-nowhere New Mexico where it has effectively censored a little-read news blog. Oh, my. Here is the email exchange and the “news” article. 


ME: You may not want to go with this one. Maybe a disclaimer that, with the exception of the email from CAIR, this is a fake news piece that I was having fun with, exercising my First A rights and pulling a few chains at the same time.  

Editor/owner: NOPE. Not a chance. I don’t want anyone to know that CAIR emailed me. Just YOU, because it was in reference to YOUR column. And I don’t want to exacerbate matters! 

Local On-line Publisher and Columnist Honored by CAIR – Special to the Grant County Beat by Peter Burrows 11/14/17  

The Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR, sent the following email yesterday to the editor of The Grant County Beat:  

Date: November 13, 2017 at 5:53:24 AM MST”                                  From: Ibrahim Hooper <>                                                                           Subject: Do you also publish other racist, neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic columns, or just Islamophobic ones?   

The editor of “The Beat” couldn’t be reached for comment, but this reporter is aware that she is flattered that CAIR is among the vast viewership The Beat enjoys.  

Peter Burrows, who writes the Libertarian Leanings column that CAIR lauded, noted that when CAIR tries to shut down free speech, “you must be doing something right.”   

Burrows suggested The Beat respond with, “Just the Islamophobic ones. The Nazis, neo-Nazis, Jews, anti-Semites, racists, whomever, have not been ordered by their God to kill me for 1400 years.”   

He continued, “I am not surprised the editor did not take my suggestion She is a classy lady who does not want to get into a pissing match with CAIR. Besides, I think she’s smart to keep a low profile on this one, as CAIR’s next step could be to enlist the local ACLU to sue her for publishing a hate speech article.”   

When asked about the “racist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic” charges in the CAIR email, Burrows said he pleads guilty to being a racist, “if Islam is a race.” He added that the email did not call his article homophobic, misogynistic or xenophobic. “These guys are slipping.”  

Burrows cited other articles he has written that CAIR might also enjoy, especially “Slandering the Prophet,” written 4/26/15 and available at   

“My number one slander was: Muhammad loved the Jews. That’ll get CAIR’s knickers knotted. If that irritates them enough, maybe they could see their way to getting ahold of the Southern Poverty Law Center and having my blog declared a ‘Hate Group.’ They did it for Ann Corcoran’s fabulous blog, ‘Refugee Resettlement Watch.’  

“I know I’m not that good, but Hope springs eternal.”