Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Ghost Town of …. Las Vegas New Mexico


Situated on the highlands of eastern New Mexico Las Vegas is a nice little city and one would not even consider it as being a ghost town.  Yet for a short time in the late 1700’s it was vacated and left to the winds of time. 

Settlers from Spain were traveling to the New World to settle and get away from the persecution in Europe.  Santa Fe was a northern capitol of New Spain and was a jumping off place for new arrivals to the America's. 

I have misplaced my notes, so the dates will only be an approximation.  The mid 1700’s a group arrived in Santa Fe from Spain to settle in the New World.  The families and stores were left in town and some men went into northern New Spain to scout a place to begin a new life. 

When the traveled over the mountains east of Santa Fe they come on the Highlands.  Her was everything they wanted.  Water, good soil for their crops and grass for the livestock.  Measurements were taken and the men returned to Santa Fe. 

Here in the Capitol city they filed their claim for a land grant from Spain.  They were granted their land and eastward the people began their trek. 

Arriving in the area of present day Las Vegas, the settlers began to establish their village.  Homes were built, crops were planted and pens for livestock were built.  Life was looking good for the settlers.

The local people did not like the invaders in their land.  The Indians began mounting attacks on the little settlement.  The newcomers were able to ward off the attacks with little loss but the Indians did not stop.  Over the years the attacks continued.  Some crops were burned, some livestock was driven off and the occasional settler was killed. 

After about 10 years the people gave up the battle with Indians.  They packed up and returned to the safer area near Santa Fe.  For years the little village lay in ruins.  Europe was in turmoil and in the first decade of the 1800’s, Napoleon forced the Spanish rulers, the Borbons into exile.  Napoleon's brother became the ruler of Spain and a puppet was sent to rule New Spain in Mexico City. 

Shortly after this, the Mexican revolution began.  Eventually the French were pushed out and New Spain became Mexico. 

img423 (800x544)

During this time more people were fleeing the turmoil in Europe.  Another party had arrived in Santa Fe to look for a place to settle.  They traveled east over the mountains from Santa Fe and found the New Mexico Highlands to their liking. 

Returning to Santa Fe the filed for a land grant.  This time the grant was processed through the government of Mexico and the Mexican government issued them a grant.  There was no cross reference with Spanish land grants. 

The people loaded up and went east to settle their new land grant.  This group was large enough that the Indian attacks were minor and they were able to easily fend off the Indians.  The little village of Las Vegas began to grow and prosper. 

There was more turmoil on the horizon.  The westward expansion of the United States soon had them at war with Mexico.  The Mexican/ American War ended in 1848 with the signing of a treaty.  Now the New Mexico portion of New Spain was a part of the United States. 

With the signing of the treaty, the United States agreed to honor all land claims.  People were pouring into Santa Fe with their land claims to file them with the new government.  The people that had the Spanish land grant came forth claiming their grant at Las Vegas.  There were people living there and they had a grant from the Mexican government.  The United States could not chase the later settlers out of Las Vegas.  So the holders of the Spanish land grant were offered other parcels of land in exchange for their Spanish grant. 

These 100,00 acre parcels given to the Baca’s in exchange of their Spanish land grant. These parcels stretched into northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.  One of the 100,00 acre parcels became a part of the Bell ranch in eastern New Mexico.  For the Baca;s immediately sold their parcels off. 

Someplace in the present day city of Las Vegas is a portion of the first little village settled there then abandoned. 


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Christian ….. Democrat ????



            It is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Christian and a Democrat.  More and more the Left Wing atheists attack various Christian Icons.  The Freedom From Religion, group is busy suing most every government group that displays any type of reference to God.  This group is a player in the power corridors of the Democratic party yet the Democrats that call themselves Christian silently sit by and let these things happen.  

            No longer does the head of the Democratic party stand in front of the cathedral after Sunday Mass for photo opportunities.  He is usually on the golf course or watching sports on television. 

DSCN4339 (800x597)

            This should not be surprising, for at the last presidential nominating convention, God was not in the Democratic Platform.  It basically took a floor fight to get God put into the platform.  When really all it would of taken was a comment from the sitting President to place God in the Platform.  He did nothing, so hear platitudes emanating from the White House about Christians should not be surprising. 

            Out side of foreign attacks on God, most domestic attacks on the Christian Church have flowed from the left wing of the Democratic party.  It gives the appearance that it is no longer acceptable to be a Christian and a Democrat.

            John Kennedy being a Roman Catholic got some flak for his religion during his election campaign.  His religion did not stop him from being elected and after election he did not mock the atheists.  Instead he wore his membership in his church with pride.  Under Kennedy it was the Age Of Camelot.  The country had decent moral underpinnings as was a prosperous nation under his guidance. 

            So being a Democrat and a Christian should not be and embarrassment and the Christians in the Democratic party can stand up for the values of God and should not be ridiculed. 


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The dying Worker



ABC News executive producer Ian Cameron is married to Susan Rice, National Security Adviser. 

CBS President David Rhodes is the brother of Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications. 

ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman is married to former White house Press Secretary Jay Carney 

ABC News and Univision reporter Matthew Jaffe is married to Katie Hogan, Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary 

ABC President Ben Sherwood is the brother of Obama’s Special Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood 

CNN President Virginia Moseley is married to former Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Secretary Tom Nides. 

And now you know why it is no surprise the media usually goes very easy on Obama's many errors. 

Ya think there might be a little bias in the news? 


 There are things that show up in the inbox that pique the interest.  This is one of those e-mails, not so much what it is, is obvious but what the undercurrent is.  This is probably one of the best examples of how Republicans shoot themselves in the foot.

Years ago, there was a limit on the number of media outlets a person/corporation could own.  There was competition amongst the media for stories and they did a decent job of riding herd on the government.  Investigative journalism was invested in by the large metro media outlets.  Not the consumer hidden camera crass sensationalism of today.  Because of this competition, reporting was fairly neutral. 

Then the rules were dropped for how many and what type of media outlets a company could own.  Thanks to the Republicans, media consolidation was underway.  The aggressive companies with a good cash flow began consuming all types of news outlets.  Today there are very few independent news out lets in the metropolitan metro-plexes. 

Years ago these giant outlets in the big cities back east were referred to as, Yellow Journalists, because of the slant they put on their political stories.  By today’s stories sounds pretty familiar.

Look at the e-mail, it is a Republican style of whine about something they created.  If the conservatives would of left the rules alone rather than having a lazziez faire attitude, there would of not been a consolidation of media out lets.   Bang, one bullet into the foot. 

The Democrats bemoan the consolidation of wealth under capitalism.  In this letter one can vividly see what the dems are referring to.  When the regulations were changed the rules of acquisition changed and the capital was consolidated into the hands of a few.  In this case it was liberals that were the big beneficiaries of capitalism.  The very thing the Democrats whine about was a benefit to their cause.  It is this wealth consolidation that the Democrats use in their spiel for wealth redistribution and more taxes to reduce the wealth of the few. 

The Republican attitude of less regulation is an oxymoron.  When regulations are removed to allow companies to acquire a group multiple companies, it creates a large communal environment, for the employee and employer.  Jobs are reduced to provide more benefits/pay for all.  Corporate bonuses become bigger, employee benefit programs are expanded as jobs are lost.

A good example of that is the pharmaceutical merger that Bush allowed his last year in the White House.  The economy was going downhill, yet Bush signed off on the merger.  5000 jobs went in the tank immediately and later more jobs were lost. 

Look back over history of the mergers of the big corporations.  New jobs were not created, instead jobs were eliminated.  The food industry is controlled by about 10 major corporations.  As these giant holding companies bought up more companies, more jobs were lost.  Now the capital of the food industry is controlled by just a few corporations.  They have basically become shot callers.   

Again there were rules in place so companies could not acquire other companies in a different business but related.  There were anti monopoly laws, fair trade rules…. Etc.  The Republicans allowed these rules to be altered and competition was reduced.  Bang another republican bullet in the foot.

Ronald Regan, the conservative icon, probably launched the deadliest bullet, when the banking rules were changed under his administration.  Many small banks were swallowed up into mega banks and others disappeared in the paperwork of mega mergers. The small banks that will do business with small business are few and far between.  Today they want big companies for the big loans, the high cash float and major investments. 

With mergers, jobs by the score were lost and the small person became not much more than a number.  No longer can the average person walk into a bank a see the president.  It is now a branch manager or something similar.  

How often can one walk into a store and know the owner, how often is the store owner on the premises. 

So the next time I hear a conservative whining about the media, I tell them to go look in the mirror for the problem. 

Even the Democrat can profit off of competition but the republicans’ have a hard time grasping that. 

Now look at the giants of corporations, they have employees to create wealth for themselves, very little trickles down to the man on the street.  As there is more and more consolidation, there is more and more a growing class of corporate royalty.  The very thing the Democrats harp about, the Republicans help to create, a peasant class for the royalty of corporate power. 

Odd as it sounds, when a politician goes to Washington DC, they in a sense become a prostitute to the big corps, for who finances their campaigns. 


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Vaughn New Mexico

Rather unusual to visit but for a railfan it is a destination.  For here in the High Plains of Eastern New Mexico two railroads cross.  It makes for a great place to railfan. 

There are also a lots of great old buildings to see.  Years ago the little town was cling to the edge.  There was some traffic from the crossing highways and the occasional traveler would stop and spend some money.  Otherwise it was the one railroad that generated most of the business for the little wide spot. 

Then the railroad mergers began and things were changing.  The other railroad changed its crew change point to Vaughn.  This was a small boost to the town.  A new motel was built for the train crews to stay at.  A new coffee shop was next door and there were other support jobs added.  It was a small boom for the sleepy village. 

Downtown had some really neat old buildings in various state of decay. 

img434 (2) (800x562)img434 (3) (609x800)img434 (6)img434 (800x546) (800x546)img435 (2) (800x530)

img435 (800x550)

Not sure what is there now but it was a fun town to wander through and watch trains and the look at the ancient ruins of the a fading town. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Government Terror Group

The government has mandated a new group to be formed.  They will be mustered out at Quantico for overt operations.  It will be radical right wing evangelical Christian terrorists. 

They will be trained in overt bible thumping and dexterous use of a double edged sword.  Upon completion of training they will be shipped in squads to the middle east.

There they will overtly work to convert muslins to christianity.  Muslins that do not convert will be stuck with the double edge sword and beheaded.  Bodies will be deposed in the sty of pigs.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Amache ….. Relocation Camp


At the end of the Arkansas River in SE Colorado is where the Japanese interment camp was located.  Overgrown with weeds the markers rise out of the growth.  Foundations and footers dot the land, that today is almost empty.  There have been numerous conversations about fixing the place up and recreating parts of the camp.  Yet that has been mostly it, conversation.  With the governments poor condition, money for projects like this is hard to come by and it takes lots of effort that few are willing to put forth.  So the prairie winds rustle over the land. 

Here is a link that will take you to a web site with numerous pictures of the area showing its size. 


Fear causes people to do many unusual things and sometimes there are regrets.

img431 (3) (800x571)

The day I walked the camp it was empty.  Few grasshoppers and the rustling breeze.  There were a few markers in the cemetery.  Most had been exhumed and moved to a family grave site after the war. 

For years, families lived out their lives in a military stockade.  There was bitterness and anger, among the residents and the neighbors.  Many of the local people did not want the camp to be in their back yard and there was the occasional conflict. 

Some of the locals had relatives that had been at Pearl Harbor and they carried lots of bitter anger.  There were some Japanese that had sympathies with the homeland and there were others that were some of the most Patriotic of Americans. 

img431 (4) (545x800)

Some of the Japanese descendants joined the military and fought during WWI in the European theatre.  Most lived out their time in the camp and tried to go back to their homes after the war. 

img432 (2) (800x566)

Out on the empty grass land of the prairie are conflicted memories, Love, anger, melancholy and a moment in time that stands. 

A ghost town in short duration.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Deertrail, CO


Interstate 70 sliced through the heart of east central Colorado.  In the process it sliced the life out of many of the small towns that dot the high plains of eastern Colorado.  The high speed slab was built over there and the old highway the main street of many a small town was amputated.  No longer much traffic, the little town businesses would fail and soon main street sidewalks were rolled up.  Empty stores dotted the once heart of the town and ghosts from the past were the only visitors. 

Deertrail was of those little towns that struggled to keep a business district going.  Very little success.  Numerous businesses have opened, only to close a short time later. 

DSCN9281 (800x600)

Deertrail was a railroad town built in the 1870’s and it prospered for a number of years.  Near by was a stage station and it was on the North Branch of the Smoky Hill Trail.  Its claim to fame, is the world’s first rodeo.  The town has a nice arena and they still have the rodeo. 

Set on the banks of the East Fork of the Bijou River, it is well wooded and a scenic location.  Deer roam the woods, hence its name and it great wildlife habitat.  Although the river flooded in 1935 and washed part of the town away.  The south side of the old highway is vacant and a parkway today. 

DSCN9285 (800x600)

The north side of Main Street is a classic western town, brick store fronts, elevated walkway and the store front porches.  Here was the newspaper office, the dry goods store, hardware, grocery,a hotel and a saloon.  All the fineries a person could want in the late 1800’s.  One of the vacant stores caught fire a few years back and was gutted.  The store front still stands and the broken windows reveal charred timbers. 

DSCN9280 (800x600)

Out on the Interstate, a couple of convenience gas stations have been built that catch an occasional traveler.  Few venture down to the old part of town.  Here the old saloon and restaurant are undergoing renovation and a few of the stores have been fixed up.  The junk dealers are pretty organized, there is a pizza place and a nice museum park with the old train depot, schoolhouse and log house.  Yet the old buildings on the old highway are the attraction.

DSCN9284 (1024x768)

Whoever is fixing up the old Brown Derby appears to have a bit of money and it make take this time.  Have not been through here since last year when I took these pics.  Yet when I drive the old highway, it is a fun place to pass through and ponder what it was like at the turn of the past century. 

DSCN9279 (800x600)