New Mexico Might Declare Pluto a Planet

What the hell? New Mexico Might Declare Pluto a Planet (Via Slashdot.)

“Wired and others are reporting that for New Mexico, the fight for Pluto is not over. Seven months after the International Astronomical Union downgraded the distant heavenly body to a ‘dwarf planet,’ a state representative in New Mexico aims to give the snubbed world back some of its respect. State lawmakers will vote Tuesday on a bill that proposes that ‘as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico’s excellent night skies, it be declared a planet.’ The lawmaker who introduced the measure represents the county in which Clyde Tombaugh, Pluto’s discoverer, was born. For many of us old timers, and those who had the honor of meeting Clyde, this just causes a belly laugh and is pure fun. Not to mention a bit of poking a stick in the eye.”

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Ignition Interlocks In New Mexico

The State of New Mexico has take one more step to proving that were a bunch of slacked jawed yokels. The House of Representative passed a bill that will require every vehicle sold in the state to have a breathalyzer installed as a ignition interlock. Whether you have been convicted of DWI or for that matter whether you drink or not you will have to breath before you can start your car.

There are so many problems with this. Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. There are probably ways that can one can remove them from the car. Not to mention a whole bunch of civil liberties that are being violated. It will also effect our local economy as people will go out of state to buy vehicles (unless they pass another bill requiring any vehicle with a NM license plate to be retrofitted with one of these things).

I Previously complained about the hight amount of DWI related accidents in New Mexico. The Governor has has proposed some useful changes (PDF) to the existing laws that will go farther then the poorly conceived breathalyzer plan.

  1. My package dramatically increases penalties for killing or injuring someone while driving drunk
  2. It toughens the penalties for multiple DWI offenders who kill or injure
  3. Multiple DWI offenders, and those who drive drunk on a suspended or revoked license, will also forfeit their vehicles. We?ll take the weapon out of their hands
  4. This package includes a new DWI child endangerment law, creating tougher penalties for those who drive drunk and injure our children, and
  5. I?m proposing a new law that makes it a separate crime to refuse a blood alcohol or breath alcohol test, closing an important loophole in our DWI laws.

Yet these changes haven’t even made it before the state legislator. These are the real changes that are needed.

This new bill still needs to make it through the senate and the Governor. This hasn’t yet made the national news but if it make is any further I’m sure everyone will be laughing at us.

[Update:] Here is some slashdot coverage. 

Did Ex-Intel Engineer Maher Mofeid Aid The Taliban?

When Ex-Intel engineer Maher ‘Mike’ Mofeid Hawash was arrested for having done bad things related to the Taliban I was skeptical. I thought that he was probably innocent. My girlfriend disagreed with me, as she usually does, asking, “Why would they arrest him if he didn’t do something wrong?” My argument was that the government was/is desperate to find bad guys so they will find someone who looks like they have done something wrong and try to make an example of them, or to better support the war in Afghanistan. Now he has “pleaded guilty to one of three charges that he conspired to aid and abet the Taliban”. He pleaded guilty either because he cohorsed into it or, more likely, the evidence against him was to overwhelming for him to fight it.

As of recent my thoughts about the government and the media have changed. I still think George Bush is a bad president and his administration is ran just as bad. I still think John Ashcroft is the closest thing to a antichrist that we can get. Mainly because I think the primary mission of the US government and the citizens is to protect and preserve the freedoms that we have. Taking away those freedoms to protect them is the wrong strategy. I have always been aware that the media puts their own spin on the news, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh being the most extreme examples of this. I never considered how much spin was put on even local news. A recent Q&A on slashdot with the DOJs IP Attorneys on piracy has also made me rethink who these government guys are and just how they are running things and that my “they don’t care about the public at large” attitude my be misguided.

I made my assumptions on Mr. Hawash’s innocents not on facts, since none was revealed, but more on media spin. I hope to do this less in the future. However I still don’t really know the facts and cannot be sure that he is really innocent or guilty at this point.