Sympathy for the Convict
I am gratified that you ran a sympathetic article on prisoners rather than the common practice of focusing on the havoc they render their victims [Feature, “Don’t Hate the Player,” Sept. 1-7]. Why? Because in all candor, the criminals are the real victims.
Let me give you an example using my friend Erik. One day Erik was sitting at home, minding his own business, when he inadvertently drank three 40-ounce bottles of Colt 45 malt liquor. Erik explained to me that he thought that he was drinking lemonade. Ironically, all this drinking raised a terrible thirst in Erik when he noticed that he was out of liquid refreshment. He hopped in his new Escalade and sped down to his local store for a refill.
Sensing he wasn't at his best (he later tested at .28 BAC) he drove as fast as his SUV could go, hoping that by spending less time in transit, he'd have less chance of a mishap. Sadly, fortune wasn't with Erik that day. He hit three pedestrians—a 29-year-old mom and her two daughters, aged 5 and 8. Due to no fault of Erik, these females weren't nearly as robust as they should have been if they were to venture out in public, so they all perished.
This is where the story turns sad. Erik had to spend two nights in jail subject to institutional food such as canned green beans and freeze-dried eggs. He had to pay a brutal fine of $500 but the worst element was that the police department, which is a patriarchy dominated by white males, stole his new 'Sclade and auctioned it off. Erik is still making payments although he allowed the insurance to lapse.
So where is Erik today? Yes, he's reduced to riding the bus to work while paying off this now lost Cadillac and also saving for a new one. So I ask you—who is the victim here? Three irresponsible females who weren't nearly as robust as they should have been to be where they were, or Erik who made a simple mistake to confuse Colt 45 malt liquor for lemonade? To me, the answer is obvious, which is why I again congratulate your fine publication, which obviously agrees with me. Let's hear more sympathetic criminal stories.
A little bit of bungling in the Alibi last week—first in a letter and then in a sidebar.
The letter [“What ‘Small Government’ Really Means,” Sept. 1-7] bemoans some of presidential candidate Rick Perry's proposals for the federal courts. Writer McPhee claims that Perry wants to "tinker with the Constitution to make the courts weak." A good case can be made that the federal courts, and especially the Supreme Court, are far too powerful.
Congress can already reverse Supreme Court decisions, and it has done so. No legislation is needed for this. Congress can also limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. See the U.S. Constitution, Article 3, Section II. McPhee also complains that Perry's proposals would make the judiciary "blatantly partisan." The judiciary is already blatantly partisan, and this will be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention.
The sidebar blunder was not made by Marisa Demarco [News, “State in Church,” Sept. 1-7]. She was only reporting the news, not making it. Paraphrasing Peter Simonson, executive director of the New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union, she wrote that the U.S. Constitution "outlines that government officials can't endorse a particular faith while on the job ... and the state constitution has a comparable provision."
Even the most cursory reading of the U.S. Constitution will show that it does not outline any such thing. The Constitution says nothing about endorsing faith on or off the job. The New Mexico Constitution (Section 11) also says nothing about endorsing faith on or off the job. Simonson's assertions are not merely baseless, they are so silly they defy description.
Aim Higher, Albuquerque
I was (not too) surprised to see last week's [Sept. 1-7] winner of the Shutterbug contest was a picture of a man aiming a shotgun at a person reading. Albuquerque is loaded with people with anger management issues, voracious appetites for violence and others who carelessly misdirect their animosity at any nearby person they can victimize. People who come here from out of town probably think that everyone here has rabies or something. Worse, it appears a lot of people here—including those at the Alibi, obviously—are actually proud of this!
This is a dangerous and hopeless situation that's killing people's joy to live here. Please calm down and learn to control yourself, Albuquerque. Instead of aiming guns and anger at each other, we should be aiming to be polite, patient and fair. Everyone here deserves a peaceful and safe existence.
CABQ vs. AIC
The City of Albuquerque has declared war on the Albuquerque Indian Center (AIC), a public nonprofit organization, and its board of directors. Why you ask? The AIC has been providing vital social services to Indian and other clients for well over 20 years with a loyal clientele that would truly suffer if the city plot is allowed to succeed. The truth behind the deceptive ploy is a classic American scheme with roots in manifest destiny. The AIC has claim to a half a city block of land located at 105 Texas SE. Its title is held by the City of Albuquerque for the AIC Board. This relationship is similar to that of the U.S. government holding Indian reservation land in trust status.
This land is what the city fathers want to take in a modern day attempt to deny homeless Indian clients, and others, a place to get services including food, AA meetings, bathroom access, and counseling and support sessions.
In 1809 General Harrison was instructed by the president “to take advantage of the most favorable moment for extinguishing the Indian title to the lands lying east of the Wabash, and adjoining south; and the title was extinguished by the treaty of Fort Wayne—a little more money paid, and a great deal of land given up.”
Thus 202 years later, in Albuquerque, Mayor R.J. Berry and City Councilman Rey Garduño are working in concert to use deception—calls for “creating quality services for Native Americans”—to defund the AIC and force it into insolvency. That being done, they would rid the neighborhood of riffraff and act as potentates for the poor in the International District.
On May 3, Robert Perry, City of Albuquerque Chief Administrative Officer, told a group of UNM School of Public Administration Director’s Circle attendees that, “Mayor R.J. Berry is committed to the Albuquerque citizen’s continuing to receive social services.” This statement is totally flawed based on the actions by the mayor and his staff that are actively denying homeless and low-income Indians, and others, assistance through social services provided by the AIC.
I have stated on numerous occasions that local politicians want your votes and your personal monetary support, but when you need their help they disappear into their ivory towers not wanting to associate with ordinary citizens of humble means.
The public should not be fooled by bureaucratic minutia and would do well to recall a Russian proverb that states, “He who digs a hole for another may fall in himself.”
Hooray for Don?
[Re: Letters, “Don Schrader on Food and Shelter,” Sept. 1-7] I think as many people as possible should tell Don how wonderful he is! He keeps bragging how good he is— he must be looking for kudus [sic]! I suppose he's thankful he has a friend with a big house who is willing to share it with him. He's probably grateful he has neighbors with big houses and big yards to grow big fruit trees that he can raid for his free fruit. I bet he's happy he's living in a big city with big houses and nice roads and sidewalks he can make use of. I bet he's even thankful he has access to all the Dumpsters and raw foods he needs. You are soooo good, Don!
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