Politics

UNM gets shameful distinction of schools with anti-Israel protests

Fringe Hamas-supporting radicals on college campuses are continuing their crusade against Jews, with their anti-Israel campaign of hate sweeping across the country at institutions of higher learning.

On campuses, such as at New York University, anti-Israel protesters formed a human chain, which led to the intervention of the NYPD. During the protest, chants like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” were heard, a bigoted chant wishing for Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth. 

A terror leader who is taking charge of these college campus protests even admitted support for Hamas, saying, “There is nothing wrong with being a fighter in Hamas.”

According to the pro-Hamas newsletter, “Prada,” New Mexico’s own University of New Mexico made the list, along with other institutions of places where so-called “Freedom Flotilla” protests are happening, being organized by radicals such as “Code Pink.”  

Other institutions, including Columbia University/Barnard College, the University of Rochester, Harvard University, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Rutgers University, Vanderbilt University, and Virginia Tech, among many others, totaling at least 40, “as of 6.32pm, Monday, April 22,” per the pro-Hamas blog.

Among protests are encampments being created by the anti-Israel cadre on campuses such as the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, and the University of New Mexico.

“By Tuesday afternoon, a few dozen students, alumni and community members were gathered at UNM’s Duck Pond under two tents with tables, signs and camp chairs,” reported KUNM.

According to organizers of the UNM protest, protesters are demanding the “ the university to look into and address any investments it has that benefit Israel or Israeli companies.” 

“A UNM spokesperson said UNM PD will continue to monitor the situation and manage it in the same way,” the outlet reported. 

Gun permit scandal in New Mexico: Over 700 citizens affected

Six months ago, Santa Fe resident Bob Clark invested significant time and money, over 15 hours and $400, to obtain his license to carry a concealed weapon in New Mexico. However, a recent audit by the state’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) revealed that the credentials of his instructors and others were expired, leading to the suspension of over 730 licenses.

The DPS has found that 27 concealed carry instructors had failed to renew their credentials, prompting an immediate suspension of their permits. As a result, those taught by these instructors, including Clark, have been instructed to retake their training courses. While the courses will be offered without tuition costs, participants will still need to cover ammunition and range fees.

Expressing his frustration, Clark argued that the responsibility unfairly falls on the students who complied with all requirements. “The only people who didn’t screw up were us, the students who paid the money,” Clark told the Journal. “We’re the only ones who didn’t do something wrong, yet they’re putting the burden on us to correct it.”

DPS has issued a 90-day deadline for affected licensees to complete a new training course and submit a new certificate of completion to maintain their licenses. Failure to meet this requirement will lead to the suspension of their licenses, although they will have the opportunity to reapply later.

DPS spokesman Herman Lovato explained that the oversight was discovered during a routine audit. {DPS cannot advise students to carry concealed weapons without meeting the requirements established in law,” Lovato stated, addressing the legality of the previously issued licenses.

This issue has also prompted Clark to question the reliability of DPS’s system for verifying instructor compliance, which he believes should ensure that instructors listed as certified on the DPS website are actually qualified. His concerns were underscored by the fact that he had initially verified his instructor’s credentials through the state website.

Additionally, Lovato noted that the audit was triggered when an employee noticed that an instructor had not renewed their license. DPS is now implementing a new protocol to notify instructors 30 days before their permits expire to prevent similar issues in the future.

Clark has voiced his dissatisfaction with the need to repeat the training, emphasizing the inconvenience and additional costs imposed on students due to the department’s oversight. His experience has led him to call for an investigation to ensure such errors are not repeated, highlighting the potential implications for public safety and civil rights.

As MLG refuses to act on crisis, Border Patrol works with NM border DA instead

Last month, over 137,000 illegal immigrants were intercepted trying to cross into the U.S. at non-designated entry points along the border near El Paso, Texas. Doña Ana County District Attorney Gerald Byers has entered into a cooperative agreement with U.S. Border Patrol to address this issue.

The purpose of the agreement is to enhance the safety and security of border communities by increasing prosecutorial actions. This collaboration comes in response to growing safety concerns for both residents and Border Patrol agents in the area. 

The move also comes after open-borders Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pulled all New Mexico National Guard personnel from the border early in her first term and said, “I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border.” She also dubbed the crisis as a “charade of border fear-mongering.”

Mount Cristo Rey, a key landmark and cherished monument, has become one of the primary locations affected by the scourge of illegal immigration. Border Patrol agents were caught telling a Fox News reporter the sacred mountain was “theirs” now, referring to the Cartel. Despite the crisis, Lujan Grisham will not work with federal authorities to alleviate the effects of the invasion, not even during the special session she has called for July 18, which is supposed to deal with public safety.

 “Mount Cristo Rey has a history here. It was built by El Pasoans, so a lot of people have made their pilgrimages,” explained Ruben Escandon, Jr., a representative of the Mount Cristo Rey Restoration Committee. Escandon also noted the monument’s recent challenges with migration, recalling times when the area saw significant crossings. “Even years ago, when we had smaller groups that would go, we would escort a church group of maybe 60 to 70 people, and there would be 90 to 100 people come down,” he stated.

Crime has escalated in the area, making it riskier for individuals visiting alone. “When people are isolated up there, there [were] a lot of robberies going on, a lot of events that would happen,” added Escandon, who now advises visitors to participate in organized group events for safety.

The new pact with Border Patrol was initiated by the agency itself, which expressed concerns about the local community’s safety in southern Doña Ana County, as well as that of its agents. Byers emphasized that the agreement is geared towards enforcing state laws against criminal activities detected by border officials, focusing on public safety rather than immigration issues. “If the message is brought to those folks who would attempt to cross illegally, that Doña Ana County is not the place to do that because of safety hazards to themselves and prosecution because it violates public safety, then that is more incentive for people to go through the port of entry,” Byers stated.

Moreover, Byers highlighted that border towns such as Sunland Park, Santa Teresa, and Anapra have been particularly affected by heavy trafficking and illegal immigrant crossings. The focus of legal scrutiny under this agreement will include crimes such as breaking and entering, harboring a felon, extortion, human trafficking, and other severe violent offenses.

DHS Sec. Mayorkas has bad news for Gov. Lujan Grisham over pot seizures

The U.S. Border Patrol continues to use its authority over marijuana shipments, including state-licensed cannabis, including in New Mexico, where it is legal. 

Despite the state’s legal market exceeding $1 billion in sales, many cannabis transporters report being detained and their products seized at Border Patrol checkpoints, according to the Associated Press. These checkpoints are typically situated about 60 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, primarily to screen for illegal immigrants and illicit drugs.

This issue has escalated to the point where far-left Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham discussed the matter with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

“Secretary Mayorkas assured the governor that federal policies with respect to legalized cannabis have not changed,” stated Michael Coleman, a spokesperson for the governor.

Moreover, the situation has prompted marijuana business managers to seek intervention from New Mexico’s fully Democrat congressional delegation, hoping to secure safe passage for their shipments and address financial losses due to federal seizures. “We request that operators who have had product federally seized should be allowed to either get their product returned or be monetarily compensated for the losses they’ve sustained,” the group wrote in a letter.

Leftist Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich criticized the Department of Homeland Security’s priorities, suggesting that they should focus more on stopping illicit drugs like fentanyl rather than targeting state-compliant cannabis suppliers. 

“Stopping the flow of illicit fentanyl into our country should be the Department of Homeland Security’s focus at these checkpoints, not seizing cannabis that’s being transported in compliance with state law,” he stated. Heinrich, however, does not appear to care about the flow of fentanyl across the border, though, as he opposes measures to secure the wide-open border where the killer drug is seeping through.

The U.S. Border Patrol reaffirmed that despite the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in many states, under federal law, which classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, its sale and distribution remain illegal. 

TV reporter humiliates Lujan Grisham with this one question 

On Wednesday, far-left, ant-gun Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico announced a special legislative session to address growing public safety issues in the state while refusing to add the border issue to the docket. During an interview with Action 7 News reporter John Cardinale, the governor detailed her observations and the motivations behind her decision.

Lujan Grisham shared her personal experiences that underscored the urgency of the situation, saying, “I’m continuing to see an escalation of risk in our communities. I go to the grocery store, and I go to the pharmacy. I don’t think I’ve been once in a year and a half where a theft is not in progress. It’s outrageous.”

In response to these concerns, the governor outlined key legislative goals for the upcoming session. One of her primary objectives is to implement tougher penalties for felons found in possession of firearms. “If you just got out and now you are possessing a firearm illegally, you are not rehabilitated. You are a risk and a threat to my public safety,” she stated. “If I can hold you in there for five more years, maybe you don’t get rehabilitated. But I’m safer for those five years.”

Additionally, Lujan Grisham advocated for changes to pre-trial detention policies, suggesting the adoption of a “rebuttable presumption” model. This would require defendants to demonstrate that they do not pose a danger to the community before being released. “It works in the federal system. It mitigates risk in the community. I don’t know why we’re not replicating it here,” she explained.

When Cardinale asked if “crime was the worst she had seen it in New Mexico,” she replied, “This is a hard thing to answer because I don’t want viewers to think that I’m trying to sidestep your very pointed, productive question. It’s more visible than I’ve ever seen it, and it feels to me a little more brazen,” she said. Lujan Grisham elaborated on the adaptive nature of criminal organizations, stating, “What I see is that the really bad organized actors find a gap and move into it. Then we deal with that gap, and then they move into another one. I want them to stop being able to go anywhere. I want bad actors in jail where they belong.” The word salad answer shows just how out-of-touch Lujan Grisham has become on the issue of crime.

The special session is scheduled to commence on July 18, when lawmakers will convene to discuss and potentially enact these new public safety measures. It is unclear what, if any, anti-gun bills Lujan Grisham will attempt to ram through.

Even leftist Santa Fe school board fed up with governor’s ‘unfunded mandate’

Santa Fe Public Schools is facing a daunting budgetary challenge as it adapts to a new Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham administration mandate requiring 180 instructional days per school year without significant funding increases, Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez explained during a recent school board meeting in the leftist school district.

Describing his experience, Chavez said, “This has been the most difficult year to figure out what your budget’s going to look like, what the school calendar is going to look like and meet all the requirements. [It] almost feels like it’s a moving target.”

As the district begins its budget planning, there remains uncertainty around state funding levels, as the New Mexico Public Education Department has not yet finalized student enrollment counts for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year. These figures are crucial as they directly influence the financial support the district receives from the state. The district must submit its finalized budget, which last year was nearly $315 million, by May 28.

The implementation of the 180-day requirement, set to begin in the 2024-25 academic year, complicates matters further. Santa Fe schools will need to extend their academic calendar by four days, including two days designated for parent-teacher conferences. The challenge, as outlined by district Chief Financial Officer Robert Martinez, is that the state’s funding formula, which is projecting a modest 3% increase to about $6,442.55 per student, does not adequately cover the cost of these additional days.

Board member Kate Noble highlighted the financial strain, noting the increase is “one of the smallest … in recent memory.” The minimal funding boost is expected to cover a mandated 3% salary increase for educators but falls short of addressing the costs associated with the added instructional days. “The 180-day rule is unfunded. It’s an unfunded mandate,” Chavez stated, emphasizing the lack of financial support for the expanded calendar.

During the process of finalizing the rule, a vast majority of those who spoke at the New Mexico Public Education Department meeting were in strong opposition to the mandate, including parents, administrators, teachers, and even teacher’s unions, which are usually in lockstep with the far-left Lujan Grisham regime. 

Further complicating the budget outlook is the upcoming expiration of federal COVID-19 relief funds in September 2024, alongside rising needs for academic and behavioral support due to learning disruptions caused by the pandemic lockdowns. Noble described the situation as “a kaleidoscope of complexity.”

Board President Sascha Anderson underlined the board’s commitment to maintaining employee benefits, combating chronic absenteeism, enhancing mental health services, bolstering special education, and ensuring effective staff recruitment and retention. These efforts, she believes, are essential to improving the district’s proficiency rates, which remain a major concern.

“We are all concerned about our proficiency scores; not a person in this room is not concerned about our proficiency scores,” Anderson declared, as reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican. “The way that we get those up is through quality instruction.”

Lujan Grisham officially declares special session

Far-left Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico has declared that she will convene a special legislative session on July 18 to address so-called urgent public safety concerns within the state, although she has said she refuses to address the border crisis, as all other border-state governors have. This decision follows what the governor described as incomplete efforts in the regular session to bolster the safety of New Mexican communities. “While we made some progress toward a safer New Mexico during the 30-day day session, we agree that we must do more,” Lujan Grisham stated.

The Governor emphasized the necessity of this special session to implement critical legislative measures to diminish the threats facing residents daily. “The special session in July will enable us to deliver additional statutory changes that reduce the danger and risk New Mexico communities face every day,” she elaborated.

Lujan Grisham also mentioned that she is open to suggestions on how to enhance the state’s safety laws, inviting lawmakers to propose effective solutions. “The best proposals for making our state safer will be under consideration, and I welcome input from my colleagues in the legislature,” she added, refusing to give specifics. 

The session, which marks the fifth special session called during Governor Lujan Grisham’s administration, is expected to be brief. “Based on discussions with legislative leadership, the governor anticipates that the special session will be completed within several days,” her office disclosed in a news release.

Recently, the governor sat down with “New Mexico In Focus” on PBS to talk about the potential of a special session.

She told the program, “It’s a decision I can make. I have the authority to do that as governor [of] the state of New Mexico, so why not just decide? You know, part of it is I want to be successful for the public.”

She added, “We have a lot of public safety issues that still require, in my view, immediate and dramatic attention. And what I want is these strategies to get through a very narrow, very tight, special session.”

In the New Mexican’s report, the governor claimed she was leaning “80/20” in favor of calling a special session. Previously, the governor called a special session in 2021 to ram through a bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales in the state.

Woke Meow Wolf laying off an eye-popping number of employees

Four years after its significant layoffs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meow Wolf, an increasingly woke arts corporation known for its immersive experiences, is facing another major workforce reduction. 

CEO Jose Tolosa announced in an internal company email, which the Santa Fe Reporter later obtained, that the company will cut approximately 10% of its expenses and reduce its workforce this Wednesday, April 17. Tolosa described the decision as part of a “reorganization” aimed at resizing the business to fund growth and drive future success.

The impending layoffs will impact 165 employees across Meow Wolf’s locations in Santa Fe, Texas, Colorado, and Nevada. This includes 111 employees from both the exhibition and corporate teams, as well as an additional 54 bargaining unit positions from the Meow Wolf Workers Collective union in Las Vegas.

In his communication, Tolosa emphasized that “Expansion is still an important part of our business strategy, and these changes will enable us to continue to grow in a way that is smart and sustainable.” He acknowledged the difficulty of saying goodbye to team members who have significantly contributed to the company’s achievements. Tolosa reassured that Meow Wolf is committed to supporting the affected employees through this transition, promising to disclose specific details of this support soon, thereby demonstrating the company’s empathy and care for its workforce.

The decision to downsize follows a series of challenges and controversies, including a bigoted staff refusal to work during a concert by artist Matisyahu at the Santa Fe location, which stirred debates and possibly contributed to decreased demand and financial strain. The antisemitic employees did not want to staff the Jewish musician’s concert

Back in 2020, Meow Wolf attributed its layoffs to the financial pressures unleashed by the pandemic, although leaked audio later revealed plans for reductions were already in place due to unsustainable rapid growth. Jim Ward, one of the then-CEOs, was recorded stating, “We knew we were going to hit our financial wall in June. The company grew too big, too fast, without a clear view about what is truly core to us, what core contributions we must make to our projects, and how we should organize our projects.”

Amidst these changes, the company has been actively engaging with the Meow Wolf Workers Collective, the employee union formed two years ago. However, the union has previously accused the company of engaging in unfair labor practices. Employees laid off in 2020 were reportedly required to sign non-disclosure agreements that included a non-disparagement clause to receive their severance packages.

A union member hinted that the Meow Wolf Workers Collective plans to issue a statement regarding the current layoffs, but legal constraints prevent them from doing so until Wednesday. 

Guilty ‘Rust’ armorer who called jurors ‘a**holes’ gets max sentence

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the armorer involved in the tragic 2021 shooting on the set of the movie “Rust,” has been sentenced to the maximum of 18 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The sentence was handed down after intense deliberations, where Gutierrez-Reed’s legal team had pleaded for probation based on her lack of prior criminal history and youth. However, prosecutors argued for a severe sentence, citing her “extreme recklessness” on set.

During the sentencing, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer emphasized Gutierrez-Reed’s critical role in the incident, stating, “You alone turned a safe weapon into a lethal weapon,” and highlighted the profound loss caused by her actions: “But for you, Ms. Hutchins would be alive. A husband would have his partner, and a little boy would have his mother.”

After she was found guilty, “she blasted jurors as ‘idiots’ and ‘a–holes’ for convicting her of involuntary manslaughter,” as reported by the New York Post:

“She referred to the jurors as “r—-ds,’ ‘idiots’ and ‘a–holes,’” [prosecutors] wrote as proof of how she “continues to deny responsibility and blame others.”

“She calls the jury r—-ded. ‘When they say jury of your peers they mean f—in r—-ds,’” the filing states, saying that the armorer also called the judge “terrible.”

Gutierrez-Reed, appearing remorseful, addressed the court, expressing her sorrow for the impact of the incident on Hutchins’ family, friends, and colleagues. “My heart aches for the Hutchins family and friends and colleagues, as well,” she said. Despite her plea for leniency, she acknowledged her responsibilities on the “Rust” set, “When I took on ‘Rust’ I was young and I was naive. But I took my job as seriously as I knew how to, despite not having proper time, resources and staffing, I just did my best to handle it,” she added, “I beg you, please don’t give me more time.”

The court also heard from Hutchins’ friend, Jen White, who expressed her ongoing grief and the void left by Hutchins’ absence. “I still look for her. I still expect to see her. I still wonder what adventures she’s on … then my heart drops through my feet,” White conveyed. Asserting the need for accountability, she urged the court, “I beg you to impose the maximum sentence.”

Supporting the prosecution’s stance, White argued that if Gutierrez-Reed had adequately performed her duties, Hutchins would still be alive, emphasizing the preventable nature of the tragedy.

The issue of gun safety and protocol on set was a focal point throughout the trial. Prosecutors highlighted that the mishandling of firearms under Gutierrez-Reed watch was a direct violation of industry standards, contributing to the fatal outcome. They argued that her failure in this crucial role warranted the maximum sentence to underscore the seriousness of her negligence and the irreversible consequences it inflicted.

This case has stirred broader discussions about safety protocols in film production, highlighted by the ongoing legal proceedings against actor Alec Baldwin, who also faces charges related to the incident. His trial is set to commence in July, further continuing the legal examination of responsibility and safety on movie sets.

As Cartel conquers NM land, MLG shuns state action for federal help

Far-left open-borders Democrat Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico has decided against convening a special legislative session focused on border security measures despite the border catastrophe, with the Cartel taking over New Mexico land. The governor punted the issue to the federal government despite neighboring states like Texas working with federal authorities to protect the homeland.

In a statement, Lujan Grisham said, “While I share my Republican colleagues’ concern about border security, calling a special session doesn’t give me federal authority over the border.” This response came after Republican senators penned a letter to the governor early in the week, advocating for legislative action to mitigate the impact of illegal crossings at the southern border. 

House members were not asked by the Senate GOP to sign, although the only bills proposed to fix the border crisis in the last two years came from House Republicans, with Rep. John Block (R-Alamogordo) leading the charge, including a measure to finish the border barrier between New Mexico’s approximately 50.3 wide-open miles of border.

Despite Republican concerns over fentanyl, human trafficking, and human suffering, Lujan Grisham reaffirmed her stance that border security enhancements would require intervention from Congress rather than state-level actions. She urged New Mexico legislators to support federal efforts to improve border management and address immigration issues comprehensively, another refusal by her administration to aide federal authorities. Early in her first term as governor, Lujan Grisham removed New Mexico National Guard personnel from assisting border authorities, claiming at the time, “I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border.” She also dubbed the crisis as a “charade of border fear-mongering.”

She is now taking a 180-degree turn in policy, although refusing to alleviate the crisis. She even admitted on a recent podcast the concerns of Hispanic and Latino voters that illegal aliens coming into the country unvetted is unfair.

“The same issues are expected to be addressed here, and Hispanics and Latinos both want that. For example, if I had to wait in line to come here, then other people should too. But they also recognize you can’t get a visa anymore. They recognize that all of the drama about all the nefarious activity at the border — they recognize that more of that nefarious activity is organized crime at ports of entry,” she told Greg Sargent of “The New Republic.”

Her interview highlighted what many see as a pattern of failing to address the tangible crisis at the border — a crisis amplified by her early actions as governor, which directly contributed to the current state of affairs.

“We need to beef up border security, and that requires additional funding and policy changes from Congress,” the governor stated in her recent press release, encouraging a deal to manage the migrant flow and overhaul the asylum process. It is unclear how the governor defines “asylum.”

As discussions continue, the governor’s office, through Michael Coleman, the communications director, hinted that a special session is likely, with Lujan Grisham being “85 percent sure” that it will be convened. The special session, if it takes place, would deal with panhandling. 

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