Dump the Humps
[RE: "On Assignment," Feb. 10-16] Thank you for your article, "Humping in Four Hills," about our unexpected speed hump invasion. As we learned the hard way, the city can bypass its own procedures if enough influential citizens (say, a city councilor, the mayor, and his mom) want humps in their neighborhood. To prevent this from happening to other areas, the Albuquerque City Council will soon vote on an amendment to ordinance O-05-97 that would require notification of all affected residents prior to installation of speed humps, as well as ensure that humps will not delay emergency vehicles more than 30 seconds. I urge all Albuquerque residents to ask their city councilor to support that amendment.
[“Book Review,” Feb. 24-March 2] I wanted to take issue with two statements which you put forth in your book review regarding The High Times Reader.
One was that you simply reiterated the ONDCP line about pot's "addictiveness" without question. I think if you were to research this a little, and subtract those individuals who attended treatment for marijuana addiction who were compelled to attend by drug courts, you would find that the actual free-will attendance is at or near zero. Actual research shows that pot is not addictive in the classic sense of the word, in that it causes no withdrawal symptoms.
On the other hand, it is a medicine, which the ONDCP also refuses to acknowledge. Recent studies from Spain and Israel have shown that it stops the deterioration of the brain chemistry known as Alzheimer's (see http://safeaccessnow.org for cataloged news articles, which I would be happy to forward to you). It also has been shown to be of use in a number of other neurological, inflammatory and pain treatments, including cancers. Advances in vaporization technology have made "smoking" it quite unnecessary as well.
The other statement which you made without adequate research was, "You could do a lot better with The High Times Reader than sitting at home with your favorite cable news show." As the host of the local cable news show, "Ragnarock & Roll," I take that somewhat personally. The producer/director and I have been putting good news out now for almost two years, and have been at the forefront of reporting many issues which later made it into the mainstream media. Our viewers seem to be quite pleased with our product, so much so, that two of them offered to rent out the Guild movie theater to us for a special BBC documentary, The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear, at no charge. To see a synopsis of this chilling documentary, visit our website at http://pvnm.org, or check out our TV show on cable channel 27 at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.
On a number of occasions, our show has brought up articles in the current High Times, as well as Cannabis Culture from Canada. I think that our show would be a better use of an hour in any given week than reading The High Times Reader, not because our stuff is any more factual than theirs, but because ours is fresh news.
The excellent article in the March 3-9 Alibi by Christie Chisholm, about the virtues of Dual-Language Schools in Albuquerque, deserves not just a regional but a national audience.
I hope the Alibi will have the author write a companion piece re-emphasizing the word "dual," pointing out that one of the dual-languages should be English. Internationally, most literate countries already stress dual-language skills. Our country has been slow to grasp the concept, but having a common language is what binds the states into one union. For example, in one geographically small, ski-oriented county in Colorado, students in the elementary grades currently come from families speaking 26 different languages in their homes. A common language is a necessity.
Around the globe, English is most often the language of commerce and is the dual-language most often taught. In our Southwest, Spanish/English is the dual-language of choice. In Louisiana and states close to Quebec, French/English is the dual-language of choice. It is important for families to maintain the language of their roots, while the benefits of dual-language skills for helping students achieve literacy, as described in the article, cannot be overstated. Thank you for a great article.
Read Red Whine
I agree with Jim Ridout's "Fine Red Whine" letter in the Feb. 24-March 2 Alibi, but I think he misses the point in only criticizing the Republicans for whining about activist judges. He makes a fine point: that the percentage of President Bush's nominees stopped by Democrats is just 2 percent. Debate, as he points out, is what the founders of this system of government wanted, believed in and promoted. However, I don't think they ever envisioned an opposition as spineless, weak and ineffectual as is the Democratic Party today.
Our good opposition party has approved 98 percent of Bush's nominees. Our Blue Heads didn't oppose Bush's sad invasion of Iraq (for reasons not supported by the known facts drawn from CIA intelligence); they did not oppose the torture of Afghani and Iraqis imprisoned as suspects (suspects, mind you, not known terrorists), and they even said nothing when Clinton dropped cruise missiles on innocent Iraqis. Granted, political opportunists, red or blue, don't want to level criticism at the head of their own party, but this failure to point out Clinton's mistakes is indicative of the failure of most Democrats to have any principles. Kerry never had a chance. He's the same as most Democrats.
The Democrats have nothing to offer us in terms of protecting our liberties and freedoms. They have consistently supported changes to our laws that severely curtail our freedom of dissent, and of habeas corpus. They have supported efforts to open all of our homes to wiretaps, to secret searches of our homes, to seizure of our property before trial, and a myriad of other laws that blatantly violate the Constitution with its Bill of Rights, and defy the Declaration of Independence and more than 200 years of struggle to protect the rights of all.
Of course, the president and his buds can promote their own agenda while stifling dissent in the name of liberty; they have no opposition. What do most Democrats want, after all? They want solely to get elected. They have no guiding principles that they have recently defended; they have nothing to offer, and we all sit back and expect them to "win" our country back? Ha!
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