City Purchases Last Patch of Private Bosque
"I think it was a bargain price"—D. McCall
It's settled. Last week, city officials and developer D. McCall closed a deal on the sale of what has become, in the past 14 months, one of Albuquerque's most famous plots of land.
Hardy har-har. Oh, God, it's so painful. On New Year's Day, the Albuquerque Journal published their Cowchip Awards, an "annual rundown of the weird, wacky and only-in-New Mexico stories of the past year." What's "wacky" is that they gave a cowchip award to Dr. Sam Slishman of Endorphin Power Company—the same guy we named an “Albuquerque All Star” one week earlier.
The Magical Mystery Voter Tour
Your never-ending election nightmare
It ain't over 'til the last vote's been counted; or, shall we say, recounted. At least, that's what the folks at Help America Recount proclaim. Now, you might be confused, because you thought that all the votes were already counted, and possibly already recounted after much of the post-election hype. But that's where you're wrong. That is, unless you think that imaginary votes should be counted along with real votes, and that, in some cases, real votes shouldn't be counted at all.
Blind in Baghdad
The United States still does not comprehend the nature of its adversaries
Last November the United States began its pre-Iraqi election offensive with a full-scale assault on Falluja, then said to be the center of the resistance to the coalition occupation and the Iraqi interim government. With newly trained Iraqi government troops showcased in the attack, U.S. commanders intended to break the back of the resistance. Instead, Falluja furnished additional evidence that the United States still does not comprehend the nature of its adversaries.
This MLK Day
Pay attention to King's radical analysis
People who once branded King a threat to the nation will march in MLK Day parades. Cities around the country—even places where King battled segregation—name streets after him and put up statues. People of all colors invoke his name, legacy and memory in support of racial justice. No doubt this signals an improvement in race relations. But to make King a symbol acceptable to most everyone, we have stripped him of the depth and passion of his critique of white America and its institutions. We conveniently have ignored the radical nature of King's analysis, and in doing so we have lost an opportunity to see ourselves more clearly.
Make Infill and the Planned Growth Strategy Work
The Albuquerque Journal took aim at the Planned Growth Strategy (or PGS) recently in a three-part series that explored the explosion of growth outside Albuquerque. Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties have seen their populations double since 1980 while Bernalillo County has only (only!) had a 33 percent increase, according to the paper.
Odds & Ends
Dateline: Russia—Russian lawyer Vladimir Osipiv has staked a claim on all the world's clouds. According to reports in the Russian media, Osipiv has now posted a legal claim to the world's clouds in 150 separate nations. The 48-year-old lawyer is hoping that he can sell the clouds to environmentalists, who will then take legal action against governments that allow clouds to be polluted. Osipiv is using the same law that allowed an American man to claim the moon. In 1980, Dennis Hope staked a claim on the moon and has since sold plots of land there to more than two million people. “It is probably incomprehensible for the vast majority of people that clouds can be privatized,” said Osipiv. “However, I am absolutely sure that I will get support both in Russia and in the international community.”
Although I completely disagree with him, I'm pleased that Devin O'Leary fessed up to one thing in his "Phantom" review: Of all the critics who have slaughtered the film, he at least had the honesty to admit he thinks the musical is "crap." It is obvious in their writing that all the critics who write overwhelmingly unfavorable reviews have a prejudice against Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joel Schumacher, or both, but at least O'Leary had the guts to admit it. I appreciate his honesty. I'm one of the millions of people who have seen the show and the movie and find them both sublime (sorry, Devin, guess there's just no accounting for taste). I could spend this letter rebutting most of the points he makes, but I'd rather reiterate an excellent one that he does make: though he may think it's crap, he admits, "you'll probably find plenty to enjoy." I hope some of you reading will see the movie and form your own opinions about it, regardless what the snarky critic (him) or the indignant, overzealous "phan" (me) say.