Alibi V.17 No.9 • Feb 28-March 5, 2008 ››
Kudos to Marisa Demarco [Re: Thin Line, “Who Cares About the Killer?” Feb. 21-27] for pointing out the circus that follows mad shooters like the latest one, Stephen Kazmierczak at NIU. (Though I realize he probably won't be the "latest one" by press time, Feb. 28.)
These people get entirely too much publicity, glorification, dissection and examination, post-mortem. Of course, that's to be expected in our celebrity-hungry culture, and at this point it would be pointless to expect the press to ignore these people after they go out in a blaze of glory, their 1.5 minutes of fame.
Another bizarre aspect of this that Ms. Demarco didn't mention is the inevitable "police are searching for a motive" bit. What "motive" is there for these outbursts, and what explanation could there be, besides the fact that people do go off the edge? In a society where every maniac's right to own weapons of mass destruction is protected by cowardly politicians, we can always expect more of the same.
Nice to Meat You
The recent recall of 143 million pounds of beef by the U.S. Department of Agriculture should provide a loud and clear wakeup call that federal inspection is not adequate to ensure a safe meat supply.
This largest meat recall in U.S. history was actually brought on by an animal rights organization’s undercover video showing California slaughterhouse workers using kicks, electric shock, high-pressure water hoses and a forklift to force sick or injured animals onto the kill floor. USDA regulations prohibit sick animals from entering the food supply because of the high risk of contamination by E. coli, Salmonella or Mad Cow disease.
About 37 million pounds of the recalled meat went to school lunch and other federal nutrition programs since October 2006, and "almost all of it is likely to have been consumed," according to a USDA official.
Parents must insist that USDA stop using the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. The rest of us must learn to treat all meat, and particularly ground beef, as a hazardous substance to be consumed at one’s own peril.
I take issue with Jim Scarantino's "The Heinrich Maneuver" [Re: The Real Side, Feb. 14-20]. Rather than offering a critical analysis of Heinrich, Scarantino accomplished little more than a political hackjob in his thinly veiled endorsement of Michelle Grisham.
I find it laughable he takes Heinrich to task for embracing new, innovative policy approaches to the needs of low- and middle-income New Mexicans. Heinrich presents himself as squarely in the corner of working-class New Mexicans by pushing such incentives as the Central Avenue trolley car and minimum wage increase. I think we should rejoice we have found a potential public servant who is not serving his familial and political connections but instead the constituents who put him into office.
Scarantino attacks Heinrich's "résumé" vis-a-vis Darren White's. Again, it is more of the same. I, along with many other Americans, grow tired of hearing about someone's "résumé." A "résumé" is only as good as the person who shows up for the interview. Personally, Heinrich's absence from the Roundhouse and lack of connections makes him more appealing as a leader. He got where he was on his own merits, not who his cousin was or which governor appointed him to which position based on his contacts.
More and more, the American people grow cynical about our government and how much our elected leaders truly represent the people who put them into office. Nowhere has Scarantino shown how Heinrich would be beholden to special interests or would serve anyone other than his potential constituents. The choice is clear in a match-up between either Darren White or Michelle Grisham and Martin Heinrich: more of the same or an opportunity for real change for average, working-class New Mexicans.
The Immigration Debate
[Re: Letters, “Meet the Immigrant,” Feb. 21-27] I would like to start by saying that I have the utmost respect for the Pimentel family. That being said, I believe Mr. Pimentel is a little off the mark on some of his comments.
When my great-grandparents came to this country, they did everything possible to conform to American ideals. They learned to speak English, for one. They didn't fly foreign flags in their front yards. They didn't praise a country they left because they couldn't make a living. Don't get me wrong, people should be proud of their heritage, but when a child is born in the U.S. to immigrant parents, then grows up sporting a Mexican flag on his truck, there is something wrong with that (from an American point of view).
If, for example, I were to fly a German flag in my front yard, how many people would freak out and call me a supremicist?
My point is this: Immigrate to this country, then be a part of this country. Quit trying to force this country to adapt to you. You adapt to this country. For me it is not an issue of race or which jobs "rednecks" will or won't do. It is about doing what is right and fair. By staying here illegally, these people belittle the struggles of other immigrants who have changed themselves in order to be Americans.
CORRECTION: In the Feb. 14-20 edition of columnist Jim Scarantino's opinion article The Real Side, "The Heinrich Maneuver," the Alibi neglected to get a response from First Congressional District candidate Martin Heinrich on his employment history. Heinrich says he has had a number of full-time positions in the state, ranging from work at Phillips Laboratories (now Air Force Labs), to Americorps, to serving as the executive director of Cottonwood Gulch, to owning his own political, nonprofit consulting firm, the last two of which were mentioned in the column.
Additionally, while Heinrich did receive campaign contributions from Dave Foreman and Susan Morgan, co-founders of radical environmental group Earth First!, and has worked on the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance board with Foreman, Heinrich says this does not imply that he endorses Earth First!'s tactics or philosophies. The Alibi regrets any mischaracterization related to this association that appeared in the column.
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