Ruminations on Assholery
Instead of passing judgment on the driver of the truck in your "Nice Parking Job, Asshole" from the April 21-27 edition, take a closer look. The white car is actually over it's line causing the truck to shift over. And you call yourself "Albuquerque's only good newspaper"? I'm sure you passed judgment on this driver because they owned a truck and not a Obamacar (Prius).
Ruminations on Beer Geekery
[Re: Food, “Beer Springs Eternal,” April 28-May 4] I can't help thinking that a true beer geek wouldn't let a 12-mile drive deter him or her from visiting one of the best brewpubs around. I live one block from Turtle Mountain and I have still managed to make my way to Marble, Chama River, La Cumbre, et al.
I'm looking forward to visiting them again soon to try all of the new beers mentioned in the article.
HANDS—We enjoy using our hands to work, to garden, to play musical instruments, to prepare and eat meals, to pleasure our genitals, to make love with others ... if we pay federal income tax, we pay to destroy other people's hands in war!
EYES—We enjoy seeing flowers, sunsets, trees, mountains, written words, loved ones, attractive bodies ... if we pay federal income tax, we pay to blind people in war!
SKIN—If we pay federal income tax, we pay to severely burn babies and to rip open the flesh of grandmas and grandpas!
FEET—We enjoy walking, running, dancing ... if we pay federal income tax, we pay to tear apart the feet of children who will never run again!
HOME—We enjoy having here our favorite clothes, treasured photos, special keepsakes, protection from the cold and storms, a place to feel safe with loved ones. If we pay federal income tax, we pay to bomb other people's homes!
This is what Lockheed Martin, Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia Weapons Labs, Los Alamos Weapons Labs and federal income tax are about—the maiming, mutilation and murder of multitudes of our sisters and brothers abroad.
The main purpose of the U.S. empire is to make sure that most Americans, especially the large corporations and filthy rich elite, keep stealing and hogging the wealth of the world. The U.S is less than 5 percent of the world's population but consumes 25 percent of the world's resources.
The United States routinely supports bloody regimes that bow to Wall Street and the U.S. Pentagon—allowing U.S.- based corporations to rob their nations' masses of their resources and labor.
The United States has deliberately supported brutal, rotten regimes in a dozen nations: Egypt, Afghanistan, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Zaire, Fiji, Ethiopia, Rhodesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Brunei, South Vietnam, Argentina, Liberia, Honduras, Paraguay, Panama, El Salvador, Indonesia, Taiwan, Greece, Brazil, Portugal, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Colombia,Peru, Philippines, Cuba, Haiti, Chile, Guatemala, South Korea, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Mexico. The U.S Empire is the enemy of genuine democracy, justice, freedom and human rights.
The best way to refuse to pay federal income tax to rob, terrorize, paralyze, cripple, blind, torture, make homeless and murder our sisters and brothers—with no fines and no threats from this government—is to live simply, below the federal income taxable lived. I lived WELL for all of 2010 on $4,126—less than one-half the federal income taxable level of $9,350 for me as a single person. I have paid NO federal income tax for war for 32 years and I pledge never to do so the rest of my life.
I have no right to pay tax to do to other people what I do not want them to do to me.
On the Death of bin Laden
Now that Osama bin Laden has passed, I believe we face a time of opportunity similar to the time after 9/11. Now as then, we have the opportunity to act in love and compassion and true vision for a new world, or we can continue the cycles of war, death and conflict.
After 9/11, we had the opportunity to enter into dialogue with Middle Eastern people who felt oppressed and disadvantaged because of our actions in the Middle East. Instead of prioritizing our retaliation and vengeance, we could have spent time and money in helping the nations of the Middle East to experience a better life. This could have been accomplished through building schools, parks hospitals and other infrastructures, especially in the poor Palestinian areas as well as in the needy nations. We also could have called for discussions and dialogue around religious differences to seek a better understanding.
Now after the death of bin Laden we have a similar window of opportunity to achieve understanding and peace between our peoples. It is time that the nations of the West, including the U.S., be aware and sensitive that some of our actions of the past that have affected the Middle East have contributed to the political, social and economic disadvantages of the Middle Eastern peoples. Stating that fact, as well as our intention to bring healing and help to the region, would be an act of peacemaking. Immediately withdrawing from Afghanistan and Iraq would be a perfect first step. Similarly, it is also time for the religious fundamentalists of the Middle East to reassess their goals and strategies toward a new strategy of active awareness and communication of the needs of their people to the world, for peaceful negotiation and solutions. The days of the strategy of terrorism have passed and failed, and it is time for them to choose a new course.
The death of bin Laden can be the planting of a spiritual seed, which produces the fruit to herald a change in strategies for all of us. If the United States is to be the leader of the world, we must lead in spiritual values and actions for all. We must make the first step to peace.
Heather Wilson, who will be again running for U.S. Senate, criticized her House successor Rep. Martin Heinrich for saying that the president needs to begin a schedule of withdrawals from Afghanistan (before the bin Laden raid, BTW). Wilson said that issue needed to be decided by field commanders, not politicians. Her response is the stock cop-out she and other Republicans, along with President Bush, took when pressed on Iraq in 2006 and 2007; listen to the commanders on the ground. She and her ilk are totally ignorant of policy and hierarchy in the U.S. It is the president and Congress who decide policy; commanders just execute those priorities. The Pentagon does not set policy.
Her response is akin to saying Police Chief Ray Schultz sets Albuquerque's law enforcement priorities. It is the mayor who decides what is a top crime priority. Under Martin Chavez, the top police priorities were graffiti, any number of traffic infractions and nuisance properties. Under Mayor Berry, the top priority is property crime reduction. Schultz does not set the policy for APD; Chavez did, and Berry does. The chief serves at the will of the mayor, and commanders serve at pleasure of the president. Her cop-out is a way of avoiding having to take a yes/no stand on an issue, passing the buck to a political appointee who can be fired or reassigned if his assessment differs from what the president wants to hear or carries out a policy differing from one set by president. See MacArthur, Douglas.
Even as conditions in Iraq worsened and even when it was revealed much of the success of the surge was due to bribing Sunni nationalists to not fight against U.S./coalition forces, Wilson stuck on that same tune. Come Nov. 6, 2012, remember Cop-Out Wilson's excuses and failure to take a principled position or sheer ignorance of the policy apparatus of the United States. Her 10 years in the House was bad enough. Do we really want a rerun of Heather Wilson?
An Open Letter to APD
Dear Albuquerque Police Department,
It is unconscionable that you would allow an officer who shot another under questionable circumstances, and where there is clear evidence of what he perceives of the citizenry of the City of Albuquerque, back on patrol and carrying a gun.
This citizen lacks confidence in Mr. Trey Economidy’s judgment, integrity and intelligence. And because he has been placed back on the streets, this citizen also questions the judgment of the Albuquerque Police Department. Disregard for what is elemental humanity by considering any human being equivalent to “waste” is clear evidence, in and of itself, of an unstable and immature mind. And to associate his tax-funded employment as a servant to the citizenry of Albuquerque, as someone who “disposes” of such “waste” is clearly an individual incapable of providing the kind of service that this taxpaying citizen requires from her employees.
This citizen is beside herself with horror at the thought that APD would allow Mr. Economidy to pretend to “serve and protect.” This citizen doubts Mr. Economidy is aware that is what is job is all about.
It is clear to this citizen that Mr. Economidy should not be a police officer. Separating Mr. Economidy from any association with the Albuquerque Police Department would also allow him to separate from the human waste he has proven a clear contempt for, and possibly further serves to make our community a safer place.
Praise From a Master Scribe
Not only do I agree with everything thing the author writes [Guest Editorial, “Schmidly’s Salary,” May 5-11] , but it's a very good piece. I've read opinions by others ([Ortiz y] Pino and a grad student who does health stuff) who has had some exposure to academia. Their writing techniques don't hold a candle to this one. Congratulations.
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