[Re: Opinion, Ortiz y Pino, “Whose Waterloo Was It?” March 25-31] Whose Waterloo was it? It was ours, the American people's Waterloo, freedom's Waterloo, our once great country's Waterloo. America was once a great republic, a shining example of personal freedom in the world, proud and unashamed, and Americans were once independent, freethinking, freedom-thinking, self-reliant, bold, courageous individualists. How did we become a nation of sniveling whiners, demanding whatever we could get from our own countrymen? How did we go from the land of freedom and opportunity to the land of entitlement? We have lost our way and in so doing, have made a mockery of all that our forefathers fought, and died, for. We have undergone a sea-change from being the proud constitutional republic that we once were, to being an oligarchy ruled by a small group of elitist thugs. The only thing “bipartisan” about the health reform bill recently “passed” was the opposition to it; we are not even a democracy as every single credible poll that was taken showed that the vast majority of American people opposed this bill.
Congratulations. Welcome to the Nanny-state, take your place in line with the Euro-sheep Socialist flock, share the poverty, hold your begging-cup out for your “fair share,” and don't do or say anything that might be deemed offensive or politically incorrect, don't take chances. Don't stand out, don't excel, don't be successful; your hard-earned rewards will only be taken from you and given to those who choose to fail. The tragedy is that this once magnificent constitutional republic should meet her “Waterloo” not by some powerful invading army, but by a few smarmy, elitist, '70s Liberals. Proof positive, I suppose, that the most dangerous enemy of all is the enemy within.
I recently read a typical letter to the editor entitled “Hispanos in New Mexico” [Letters, March 25-31], rhetoric in which A. Michael Martinez supports his points as to why certain Hispanics in N.M. fail to refer themselves as Mexican-American, but rather Spanish. All this is fine and dandy some 30 years ago, when you could get away with this nonsense. Not anymore. New Mexico is becoming more and more Mexican-American; look around. Mr. Martinez quotes history as if Don Juan de Oñate took flight 1145 from Madrid directly to the Sunport. He was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, 1552 (New Spain), pendejo! Also Spanish explorers to El Norte were under direct orders from leaders of “New Spain,” for 300 years, to include all of its inhabitants—this includes New Mexico.
What you also don’t realize is that being Mexican is not a RACE as so many IGNORANTLY think it is. [Editor’s note: See this week’s ¡Ask a Mexican!, page 18, for more discussion on that.] We don’t speak Mexican, we speak Spanish. We have the same Spanish origins, if not more. I would go as far as saying that perhaps no country outside of Spain has kept more of its Spanish traditions than Mexico—i.e. bullfighting, rodeo, vaqueros, quinceañeras, etc.—and promoted them worldwide. Additionally, all those journals the Spanish kept, those are also in “museos” (that’s museum for our Spanish challenged Spaniards in N.M.) throughout Old Mexico. Additionally, a historian once wrote that food and culture are intertwined. Enchiladas, tacos, burritos, tequila and many others are all native foods of New Spain—Mexico for you non-historians. Oh yeah, the fine cuisine we now call New Mexican (made-up term) made it on the 12:30 p.m. flight from Cuernavaca back on 1548 via Joe the delivery boy. It’s all Mexican, unless you’re eating tapas, rice and raunchy seafood; then you simply are what you eat, Mexican.
[Re: Letters, “DNA Test,” April 1-7]. There is a project called the New Mexico DNA Project which has over 800 samples from New Mexican of Hispanic heritage. This project tests the Y-DNA (male line) and the mtDNA (female line). Some of the results are as follows:
There no such thing as a purebred Spaniard. Spain is the most genetically diverse country in Europe with the exception of Russia. A DNA study of Spain shows that Spaniards are a combination of Western European, Arabs, Jews, Nordic, Romans, Greeks and many other groups. These groups show up as distinct haplogroups.
The New Mexico DNA Project results show that 90 percent of the male line samples are identical to the Spanish DNA study, the other 10 percent being Native American.
Also, the New Mexico DNA Projects results show that 80 percent of the female line samples are Native American; the other 20 percent are the same Old World as the Spanish project. The conclusion that can be drawn from these results is that the Spanish brought very few women with them and that they took mostly Native American wives. This mixing started with the conquest of Mexico in 1521. Remember Oñate's wife was the great-granddaughter of Montezuma. The Spanish were in effect an army of men and they spread their Y-DNA from Argentina to Northern New Mexico.
This means that second-generation New World Spaniards were already Mestizos, half Spaniard and Native American. Most of Oñate’s expedition consisted of second, third and fourth generation Spaniards born in Mexico. For a list of Oñate's people and their place of origin, see the memorial in front of the Albuquerque Museum at 2000 Mountain NW or read The Origins of New Mexican Families by Fray Angélico Chávez.
There is also a Mexican DNA Project and they share data with the New Mexico DNA Project. The result being that New Mexicans have some very close matches with both the Mexican male and female lines.
There is also an Autosomal DNA Test, which calculated the percentage of European, Native American, East Asian and Sub-Saharan African blood. From the results I have seen, New Mexican results are generally scoring 55 to 70 percent European and 25 to 50 percent Native American with some New Mexicans scoring about 10 percent Sub-Saharan African or East Asian.
My opinion on the subject of New Mexican purebloods is that this myth began with the coming of the American to New Mexico. New Mexicans were trying desperately to convince the Americans that we were not Mexicans. Remember that America had just fought the Mexican-American War and that Mexicans were the enemy. If there is a consolation to New Mexican purebloods, it is that the DNA results of Americans show that it very hard to find a pureblood of any race. We cannot control who our ancestors had sex with and I believe DNA is a gift from God sent by him to crush racism.
March marked the seventh year since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a war resulting in approximately 4,500 American military deaths; 32,000 wounded; tens of thousands of other military and civilian casualties, including homelessness, and costing over a trillion taxpayers’ dollars. The Lancet and others find the official count below the war's actual totals, and they’ve documented much higher victim rates.
Seven years ago the eleven plaintiffs in the Lynn Buck et al. v. City of Albuquerque et al. case joined millions of people worldwide in protesting the invasion. Outraged by the lies of mass deception that were used to justify this war, I also joined peace protests in Arizona and Colorado. On March 8, 2010, a N.M. jury expanded the above list of warmongering results with its Buck v. City verdict.
I greatly respect our jury system and the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of our individual civil liberties. Those protected freedoms permit me to emphatically and publicly state my continued opposition to this disastrous war and disappointment at the Buck v. City verdict. Like the first Rodney King jury verdict in Los Angeles, this one deserves to be challenged. Like that 1992 case, the first jury acquitted three LAPD defendants despite overwhelming facts, including the (in)famous videotaped police beating of Mr. King. Those facts led to legal appeals and justice when two LAPD officers were later found guilty and served prison sentences, and Mr. King received a settlement of over $3 million.
Obtained from the trial and other public sources, the facts in the Buck v. City case do not support police actions in attacking community members (the Albuquerque Eleven plaintiffs) and obstructing their constitutionally protected rights to peaceful assembly and free speech. Indeed, several independent reviews, including appellate court decisions, have found in favor of the ABQ 11. Thus, as only one finding in a long legal process, this verdict clearly cannot hide important facts established during official investigations, court reviews, and at the trial itself.
For example, the investigation by Albuquerque's Independent Review Office (IRO) found that the APD failed to follow standard operating procedures and that some officers at the peace rally used unnecessary and excessive force (including some weapons not authorized or recommended for crowd control). The IRO concluded that the dangerous situation emerging at or near the demonstration resulted partly from poor decisions by high-ranking police officials.
Some appellate courts also echoed this conclusion (i.e., plaintiffs’ actions did not warrant the excessive APD force applied). The ABQ 11 charges against the APD have produced other appellate court decisions favoring the plaintiffs that already are contributing to the legal process. Some are being cited in 10th Circuit Court cases, including in New Mexico courts.
History has already proven that the ABQ 11 were right to protest the war and the lies used to justify it, and they were right to seek legal defense against the police attack on Constitutional rights. The ABQ 11 were right then and now, and they deserve justice—by publishing the facts about the case and, hopefully (like Rodney King), by vigorous legal challenge against one jury’s hasty verdict.
I enjoy Ari LeVaux's restaurant reviews, but he so regularly gives bad information in his "Ask Ari" columns and other food editorials that I just had to say something.
This week [Food, March 25-31], for example, he basically told someone who was worried that nuking his crystalized honey would "kill the good stuff" that this was a ridiculous concern. In fact, honey's medicinal and antibacterial properties all derive from its complex enzyme structure, and heat breaks the molecular bonds in enzymes quite easily. So, yes, microwaving honey probably will destroy the good stuff.
Another week, he told a reader afraid of bacterial contamination of his wooden utensils that he could soak them in a bleach solution. That's really dangerous advice. Bleach is highly toxic and becomes more so when combined with organic compounds. One should never treat any cooking tools, especially those made of porous materials, with bleach. Distilled white vinegar is a great disinfectant and won't produce dioxins.
Maybe you should keep Mr. LeVaux on the restaurant review track and get someone else for the food science and safety questions.
Ari LeVaux responds: If your honey is crystalized and you want to melt it, then you have to heat it—whether by microwave, stovetop or hot tap water. The hotter you get honey, the more enzymes get denatured—not killed, mind you, as the questioner had asked. Enzymes can't be killed because they aren't alive. But denatured they will be if you want your honey to melt. This will probably cut down on your honey's shelf life and antibiotic properties.
As for the spoons—please give an example (at flashinthepan.net) of bleach becoming more toxic upon contact with organic compounds. After doing some more research, aided by my degree in biochemistry, I can’t find any evidence. Thanks!