It’s Our Party!
Happy Birthday! And many happy returns.
Happy Birthday! And many happy returns.
[RE: Commentary, “Shooting Holes in APS Security’s Call for Arms,” Sept. 20-26] If Ms. Trainor is still swatting people with rulers, maybe she shouldn't be in a classroom during school hours?
I agree that "our best defense against school shootings being personnel: teachers and students who can warn of violence before it breaks." However, the best response to school shootings is still an armed response, and the sooner the better.
The APS officers who have guns locked in their cars now are not "the same, unarmed security guards you'd see in a mall,” and they are trained to use and carry weapons. We can trust them as much as the armed APD officers that are next to them in some schools. We trust them to carry guns after class, and we trust them to respond with guns in an emergency during class. We should take the next sensible step and trust them to carry guns during class.
Editor’s Note: According to Michelle Beltran, spokesperson for APS School Police, there are three types of security on APS campuses--APD police officers, APD sergeants and APS security aides. There is only one APD officer and one APD sergeant on each campus; the rest of security consists of aides. Aides are trained to use mace and handcuffs but no other weapons. The measure that passed at the Sept. 5 school board meeting allows APD officers and sergeants, not security aides, to carry weapons on campus.
“Golf Courses In Danger.” I never read the newspaper article, but the title has stuck with me since I glanced at it on my way out of a 7-11 one hot afternoon. Why golf courses might be in danger, I have since imagined, almost certainly has something to do with water. Perhaps some vital tax or environmental break is going south? Never happen as long as Chavez draws breath. No matter, I wander the city observing cops harassing homeless guys, knowing they are not really allowed to go after anyone else, or I watch our national Democratic leaders rolling over like so many professionally trained seals, barking and jiggling on their flippers in a kind of Cirque du Soleil Felliniesque nightmare. NPR slides out of my speakers, as though it is a drug that erases reality on the ground ... a farmer in Ohio fixes his tractor and you hear the wrench turning a squeaky nut ... "Back in the old days, they used to call us peasants. It was more honest like that, you know." I can see the subsidized soy bean fields through the setting sun, and it makes me feel good about the salt of the earth.
And then I remember that NPR hasn't reported anything in more than a decade, except to remind me that Obama wants to invade Pakistan. Apparently, Lewis Carroll has come back from the dead to write the news. "The white boys who hung those nooses in the tree, they were just kidding around." "We're winning in Iraq." A guy gets tasered for refusing to stop asking Kerry a question, men and women get arrested for standing in an elevator while reading a list of the war dead, and the feds print money, oblivious of the laws of capitalism, debt rises and foreclosures are at record highs and Rush saying, "Why can't you guys just look on the bright side for once and stop haatiing America?" while the dollar plunges against the euro, and it's high time we sent back the Statue of Liberty, but now that Sarkozy, the one-man French fascist freak show is in, we'll take a rain check on that. It'll make us look better somehow, maybe in Lichtenstein, at least for a little while.
And, despite the posters, the legends, Che Guevara worked with the people rather than against them, and Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire revolves in my head, like the Lone Ranger, like the Daniel Boone, like global warming and where are electric cars? I drive from the Valleys to the Heights, and can't help but notice the increasing fear in the faces as I finally climb to the Starbucks on Juan Tabo, looking like a fortress, where everyone smiles in their retirement years, well dug-in, well-pleased with themselves as it has to be. It doesn't matter that I am everyone and no one, that I am playing out a role that has been played out a thousand times. Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Hugo foresaw the iniquities here in Albuquerque, are part of them, part of me, even while I stroll through Home Depot for my magical realism swamp cooler parts and get the eerie feeling that no one there, including myself, is actually alive.
[RE: Newscity, “Scientology Moves In Downtown,” Sept. 20-26] I've seen firsthand that the Scientology church in Clearwater, Fla., has kept the downtown area of that little city alive over the last 30 years. Without it, Clearwater would look like its neighbor, St. Pete, full of decaying pawn shops, secondhand stores and boarded-up empty shops. They help keep the downtown vibrant and alive.
Wherever they put a church, they spread out into the local community with outreach programs to help combat drug addiction, improve literacy and interfaith cooperation. Like Mormons, you may not want to do what they do or worship as they do, but you also know that they won't be trashing the place up.
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