Politics with The Don
I shall vote for no one for president or for Congress.
I oppose all war. I oppose all weapons of war. I oppose anyone joining any nation's military to wage war. When I first moved to Albuquerque in June 1970, I was completing my two years of community service as a conscientious objector under the draft during the Vietnam War. I have paid no federal income tax for war for 29 years. I pledge never to pay federal income tax for war for the rest of my life.
So why would I vote for any candidate who approves war to be commander-in-chief of the U.S. military? I refuse to authorize any candidate for president or for Congress to commit mass murder in my name. I know of no past U.S. president who publicly repented and apologized for his atrocities before he died.
I vote against all bond issues. All government agencies could spend more wisely and stretch the dollars they already receive—even agencies that do good, such as fire departments and libraries. When I am spending my own money and when I am voting on government spending, I am far more conservative than any Republican I know.
For years, I was a registered Democrat. I switched to the Green Party in 1995. I switched to no party affiliation in 1999.
Many liberals, Democrats and Greens struggle to lift the American poor and working class to higher incomes. But to what purpose? So the poor and working class can consume more, pollute more, travel more, cause more global climate change and pay more tax for war?
I do not want a bigger slice of the rotten, stolen U.S. pie saturated with the blood, sweat and tears of poor multitudes worldwide, exploited and murdered by this empire's international terrorism and insatiable greed. The U.S. is less than 5 percent of the world's people but steals and hogs 25 percent of the world's wealth. I lived well in 2007 on $3,542 for my total expenses—rent, food, etc.—coincidentally, less than half of the U.S. poverty level for me as a single person under 65.
I vote my conscience every day by living simply to boycott greed and war.
I enjoyed reading Benjamin Radford's article “Logic 101: Mayor Chavez vs. Sex Offenders” [ Re: The Radford Files, April 10-16]. Radford provided a thoughtful and logical argument to explain the shortsightedness of Martin Chavez' policy banning sex offenders from libraries. I feel this policy points to a bigger problem that has been around longer. This is the tendency for people to focus their hate and vengeance on designated scapegoats.
It is socially acceptable to hate sex offenders in today's society. Before it became OK to hate sex offenders, it was OK to hate the mentally ill, before that gays or Black people or women. In China, it's socially acceptable to hate Tibetans. In Europe, it used to be normal to hate Jews. Hate is dangerous regardless of the circumstances. Hate is always counterproductive, no matter how good a reason a person has or how many people agree.
In the case of sex offenders, the reason may be that a sexual predator could hurt a child. It isn't right for a person to look at a child as a target for an uncontrolled sexual urge. It also isn't right for a person to look at a sex offender as a target for uncontrolled anger. In either case, society is made a more dangerous place for children to live in. I choose to look at a sex offender as a person who made a mistake. I also choose to give sex offenders the benefit of the doubt; that just like any other person, they are trying to become better to avoid another mistake.
Praise for Pacific
Contrary to your reviewer's reported experiences at Pacific Paradise Tropical Grill and Sushi Bar [ Re: Restaurant Review, April 24-30], with friends I have enjoyed the excellently prepared and presented food, the pleasant ambience, and attentive service on the many occasions we have dined there.
In the brief bio on the owner, Denny Deng, I wish mention had been made of the fact that he and his sister will be participants in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
I offer this as a balancing opinion.
Doing It Right—Bring It On
Dear Mr. Scarantino,
[ Re: The Real Side, “The City Hypocritical,” April 24-30] You fail to mention the three main issues: unconventional oil/gas exploitation in the poorest reservoir quality with the highest risk (not like the Permian or San Juan Basins), water usage and the highest density of archaeological sites in the country. If demanding that the appropriate studies are completed for informed decision-making prior to any exploration is your definition of “hypocritical,” then bring it on. Any commercial or private development that has taken place in this area over the years was/is required to do the stringent environmental studies; why should the oil/gas industry be exempt from such studies? There can be no “best practices” by the oil/gas industry without these stringent studies. Surely you want all New Mexicans in this great state to “do it right”?
Betsy Siwula Brandt
comment on alibi.com
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