A Non-chain Chain
[RE: Punch Line, “Food for Thought,” April 20-26]
I support Eric Griego's idea about creating a restaurant row in central Albuquerque. It could be interesting and, finally, a destination in this town to be proud of. Sadly, however, Albuquerque is in love with sprawl and has been for a very long time. We have some very good, non-chain restaurants spread throughout the area. Perhaps some of those restaurants could open second locations in the restaurant row. In time, this restaurant district could see other types of businesses open up, and perhaps we could stroll along the avenue on a warm evening under pleasant lighting and not be afraid. It's been done in other southwestern cities, why not here? It seems to me there was a time when this sort of thing existed, but as so often is the case here, it was left to decline and people got the hell out—moved to another part of town. There seems to be enough public transportation along the corridor, plenty of vacant street-front buildings and some develop-worthy parking lots to get things started.
I wish there was more civic pride, that governments would refurbish instead of tear down only to rebuild something ugly and cheap, and that we could really redevelop the Central corridor. It seems to be happening to an extent, but again, people seem to get stuck or sucked to areas of vast, big-box wastelands. But this is another, although related, topic.
Now This is Mental
How ironic that the most recent issue of the Alibi carried a letter by Jose Ramirez that ended with "How can we, as Americans living in the most powerful and richest country in the world, turn our backs on our closest neighbor?" Then, a mere 10 pages later, there is the feature article about mental health care in New Mexico, indicating that the closure of Lovelace Health Systems’ outpatient behavioral health services facility will affect 7,000 people. That same article states that we rank 51st—dead last—in the nation for per capita mental health spending.
My question is: Why should we be surprised that we can turn our backs on any neighbor, close or far (as in Sudan), when we turn our backs on our own citizens? How can we be surprised after what happened in New Orleans? Does anyone really believe we went into Iraq for any reason other than money? Oil shortage when the oil companies have been making record profits for the last year or so? Please!
In this, the most powerful and richest country in the world, there is no good reason, only poor excuses, why anyone should be hungry, without shelter or without medical care of any kind. We have lost our humanity! It's not at all about people anymore, it's all about money ... it's all about greed. You'll notice that Ms. Wilson, Lovelace's spokesperson, said "... the decision to close wasn't easy, and was made for a variety of reasons, but ultimately the closure made the most sense for the forward direction of the organization." Translation: It's too expensive. I, for one, want my country back. I want back the respect and humanity that has been lost—no, thrown away—in the last six years. I want people to give a damn and demand that our elected officials give a damn, too! It's a good thing the revolution of 1776 didn't happen today ... no one would show up. It's time for each of us to take a stand and say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"
Mayor Red Peril
Just wanted to drop a quick note to thank you for printing Mike Blessing's delightful letter [“Eric the Red,” April 27-May 3].
Mr. Blessing's misidentification of former Council member Eric Griego as mayor cheered me greatly, and his view of tax breaks for locally owned businesses as equal to advancing socialism as a state religion made me smile.
Further, his evocation of both the communist red peril and armed violence in response to an op-ed piece about taxes and restaurants in Albuquerque, N.M., made me laugh out loud.
Mr. Blessing's histrionics demonstrate clearly why the Bernalillo county Libertarian Party has such a robust and dynamic role in New Mexico politics.
[RE: Letters, “Eric the Red,” April 27-May 3]
I am writing to warn you that Mike Blessing may be masquerading as a Libertarian. It is clearly Mr. Blessing's intent to give people the impression that Libertarians haven't read a newspaper since Joe McCarthy's day. His anticommunist rhetoric ignores that there are only three communist regimes in the world, and we have strong words for the two tiny ones and many thanks for the big one buying all our debt.
If you see Mr. Blessing, calmly back away and do not risk antagonizing him by pointing out that, left unregulated, the sacred Market will work you to death, pay you nothing and sell you products that don't work but kill you. Do not mention that the self-professed antigovernment "starve the beast" crowd has given everything to their corporate masters while funneling money to evangelical causes and claiming unlimited authority.
To waste a single breath against communism or socialism today is to be completely out of touch with the times. Where are the Libertarians against American Christian Fascism? Where are the Libertarians against the national debt? Where are the Libertarians against the politics of fear and loathing? Anti-communist? Where are the anti-Republican Libertarians?
Mark Justice Hinton
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