I was dismayed by the feature section "Sex Offenders." [“Survival Guide 2011: ABQ DANGER MAP!” Aug. 18-24] The Weekly Alibi is supposed to be a progressive newspaper looking into issues open-minded and factually. Instead this article promotes fear and hysteria. The Sex Offender Registry represents the single greatest human and civil rights crisis in America today. The politicians and media have decided to "sell fear" on the backs of millions of Americans who committed a wide range of mistakes. 750,000 registrants and millions of family members, wives, children and even victims are now considered sub-citizens, and punished long after the debt has been paid. The registry was built on the lies of "stranger danger" and "high recidivism." As a result, we are left with bad public policy that torches the Constitution, denies effective criminal justice and decreases public safety while redirecting resources away from 97 percent of sex crimes!
Our country is in serious trouble, some would say in a state of decline. It is time to have some hard discussions over policies this country has engaged in, and the real costs of those policies. That includes misdirected criminal justice that research simply does not support. I sincerely hope that the Weekly Alibi will focus on misdirected public policy and leave the fear mongering for the ratings of other media outlets that we expect it from.
For further information, or to learn how to get involved please visit rsolnm.org.
Lloyd Swartz President Reform Sex Offender Laws New Mexico
A Nation of Immigrants
[Re: Letters, “Trouble Ahead for Stafford Loans,” Aug. 18-24] The economic troubles have gotten the author’s attention. No matter what your position on illegal aliens, people must choose what they want. The cost of sustaining an underground population such as illegal aliens is enormous. Many costs are: signage and government documents printed in two languages, school classroom sizes increase, law enforcement and incarceration, medical and drug, housing, food, clothing, transportation, and other government handouts. These handouts are all paid by the taxpayers.
These illegal aliens made a choice to come to the U.S., and broke the law doing it. That choice proves they will do anything to get what they want at the expense of others and paid for by others. Our government is making a feeble attempt to get the budget deficit under control. No discussions of cutting legal citizens’ benefits should occur until the situation with illegal aliens is resolved. Many months ago a Native American wrote to the Alibi complaining that the U.S. government was not fulfilling its health care obligations. Now someone is complaining about student loans being cut. Choices have to be made. We can’t have it all despite those that will tell you we can.
I am writing in response to a letter in your Aug. 11-17 issue [“Troubled Toons”]. Todd's objection to the El Machete cartoon is unjust. Israel is an apartheid state because they are occupying Palestine. The U.N. has recognized this for years. So it does not matter that the 20 percent of Arabs (about 1.7 million) that live in Israel get to vote. What about the 4.7 million Palestinian refugees displaced by Israeli occupation? Or the fact that Israel bulldozes Palestinian homes and structures to make way for more settlements? The continued prevention of supplies from entering Palestine? Or the building of a wall to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel to see their families? Fact: 32 percent of Palestine, prior to the creation of Israel in 1948, was Jewish, living peacefully in Palestine. The whole point of the comic was to point out that $3 billion per year of our tax dollars fund the military infrastructure of Israel and the continued occupation of a people. Arabs and Jews are both Semitic people too, so I want no "anti-Semitic" labeling stupidity.
Waxing on Haiku
[Re: Blog, “Words vs. syllables,” Aug. 21] This is the problem when thinking we can write the same way as a Japanese haiku writer. We get confusion over this 5-7-5 number and what it means.
The Japanese use several language systems, none of them contain alphabets or syllables, and use pictographic and other sets of characters in their thousands, whilst in the West we just use one language system called the alphabet, and only 26 letters, against 4,000 characters (not letters) in the Japanese language systems.
Japanese haiku are often 17-on or 17-ji where on or ji are counting systems for the number of sound units in a text.
The English-language equivalent would be around 12 English syllables.
If you want to know if a haiku is a haiku then it should have the three Ks: kire, kireji and kigo.
It should have a strong cut, have a strong seasonal reference, not merely repeating the name of the month or season, and have two clear sections that don't repeat each other but create a juxtaposition or a disjunction.
I wish haiku was as easy as merely being 5-7-5 words or syllables.
Alan Summers Comment from alibi.com
[Re: Letters, “Two Thumbs Down for ‘Breaking Bad’,” Aug. 11-17] As the article stated [Feature, “Raising Hell in the Land of Enchantment,” Aug. 4-10], they were originally going to film this show in rural California but the film incentive program made them move it here. As far as Aztlan goes, it's mythical—not real, as in made up, folklore. Spiritual crap, God, whatever—that's all bullshit. Meth is a nationwide problem. This show doesn't say anything in particular about New Mexico. There are meth labs in Iowa and Nebraska too. And it's just a TV show. If you don't like it, change the channel.
RussellUpsomgrubb Comment from alibi.com
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