The American God
I like July Fourth. It is the one day that I honor that which is truly American. Like many of us, I party outdoors at a picnic with friends and family—a festive and goodhearted community gathering. On July Fourth I celebrate the best of the American sociopolitical experiment, and I easily sweep aside, for just one day, the fact that our current crop of politicians are mostly self-serving money-grubbing scum. As usual, "White man speak with forked tongue."
Certainly, there exists a substantial chunk of the American ideal that is off the rails. Steel is scraping steel and the sparks are flying. The people are divided, the politicians are divided, the judges are divided, and all sides spout 95 percent propaganda and bile ... and frankly, my dear, I'm fucking sick of it.
As soon as Obama was elected, the right went quite mad: Neanderthal bigotry; proud racism; leering, drooling misogyny ... THIS ... this is the dark side of the Republican agenda, an agenda that when peeled down to its magic underwear, is most assuredly not the American dream. I see none of the current right-wing spittle and froth and doublespeak in the words of our Founding Fathers.
Obama is half white. Our country might be further along in this recession if Obama possessed, not the physical features of an African-American, but the physical features of a 50-year-old Clint Eastwood. The right wing might be able to compromise with a half black Democrat who looks like Clint Eastwood.
Virtually every lower-echelon right-winger and many Republican politicians and businessmen have "taken Jesus into their own heart." The result of this kind of right-wing smokescreen Christianity is centuries of terrorism, mayhem and murder, in the name of God. Today, God is a tool of the right-wing agenda. For the right, God is the ultimate justification system.
Health Care Piranhas
[Re: Opinion, " The Guv's Crusade of Destruction," July 19-25] I generally enjoy reading Jerry Ortiz y Pino's comments, which are often sound and sensible. I am, however, perplexed by a point made here on health care. He declares that the Affordable Care Act, resisted by Gov. Martinez, is "New Mexico's best opportunity in decades to actually do something about unmet health needs." Surely, this statement is a change in thought on his part.
Several years ago when then-Gov. Richardson was considering a health care program for the state, Mr. Ortiz y Pino was quite verbal in expressing his views against it in an article in the Alibi. If memory serves me, he rightly claimed that the proposed program would simply be a financial boon for the for-profit insurance companies rather than a benefit to the people it would supposedly serve.
Is the mandatory Affordable Care Act, in essence, any different from former Gov. Richardson's proposal? Does it, too, not cater to, fully embrace and generously benefit the coffers of the very same for-profit insurance industry of piranhas at the expense of ALL citizens? This new mandate is way over the top as it's NATIONAL.
Federal Red Ink
Mr. Ozimek correctly says I noted "some departments" (three of them) that if eliminated would reduce the federal budget by $168 billion. I did not introduce these departments. In his Alibi interview [Feature, “Righter Than Right, Lefter Than Left,” July 5-11], Gary Johnson specifically said he wanted to eliminate these three Cabinet departments. (They are Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, and Education.) I was merely pointing out that eliminating them would not make much of a dent in the $1.3 trillion budget deficit.
In the interview, Johnson said he was "promising to submit a balanced budget to Congress in the year 2013." In the decidedly unlikely event that he is elected, Johnson has less than a year to prepare his balanced budget, and his mere $168 billion isn't going to do the trick.
Mr. Ozimek says I “fail to account” for the “enormous cost savings” that would result from what amounts to ending the war on drugs and from bringing all U.S. armed services home. Taking drugs first, the 2011 budget for the Drug Enforcement Agency is about $2 billion. Eliminating this agency isn't even a drop in the ocean of federal red ink.
With respect to defense spending in general, the defense budget is currently about 20 percent of the federal budget. The budget of the Department of Health and Human Services is about 60 percent of the federal budget. Oddly enough, Mr. Ozimek has overlooked the gargantuan HHS budget, as well as overlooking Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These latter four are the big-ticket items, and if the federal budget is to be balanced, these four must be brought under control.
Ladies, Ladies, Ladies!
In nearly every debate about reproduction rights and child rearing [Opinion, “What a Way to Make a Livin’,” July 12-18], adults are more concerned about his/her own rights more than what is best for the child. Let’s try focusing on the only innocent person caught up in these disputes.
Many women think they must choose between a career and child rearing. Not true. There is a way to avoid having to make that decision. It is called marriage. If the woman had a partner to share responsibilities, the two would be able to divide the work so that they can both have careers and children can still be raised appropriately. Study after study after study makes clear that a child does best with a mother and a father in the household.
Adair-Hodges also states that a man does not have to decide between a career and child rearing. Perhaps that is part of the problem. Child rearing needs to be a partnership. It is not a task for a sole person. A responsible man stands up and takes responsibility. A responsible woman is careful to not become pregnant by an irresponsible man. A responsible woman or man should not think that she/he can raise a child alone—it is simply not fair to the child.
Last time I checked, pregnancy is nearly always a voluntary condition. It takes two to “make” the baby. It should take two to raise it. Only two. The employer bears no responsibility here, and should not bear the cost of a personal decision an employee makes.
Ladies, you cannot have it both ways.
[Re: Letters, “An Inquisition,” July 26-Aug. 1] A review of history might be in order (the author will no doubt try a "no true Scotsman" defense).
1) The expulsion of Jews from Britain
2) Charlemagne's extermination of 4,500 "nonbelievers"; they believed—just not in Christ.
3) The torture and murder of followers of Ásatrú by Saint Olaf
4) The Trail of Tears
5) The attempts by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to make all Native Americans Christian (exterminate a religion by indoctrination of the young)
6) The extermination of Native Americans in California after 1849 and the discovery of gold
7) The Holocaust
8) The Bosnian/Serbian war was mostly about ethnically cleansing an area of Muslims by Christians (perhaps culminating in Srebrenica).
9) The various Pogroms of Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
They say you can know a man by his actions. Perhaps that would hold true of a religion as well. And this list is by no means exhaustive.
Stand Your Ground
[Re: Opinion, “One Nation, Under Gun,” Aug. 2-8] Oh my, where to start? From the top:
It has happened. People carrying concealed weapons have fired their weapons in crowded places and saved lives more often than they have hurt people. A slim chance is better than no chance. Good stuff.
Stand your ground laws are a good idea when done right. N.M. is a stand your ground state and it works fine here.
Your spin of the U of P study is BS; it doesn't say what you said. There are 6 million people who legally pack concealed weapons in the USA, and they are not four times as likely to be shot as people who don't. Neither are the 20,000 licensed in NM. The people who are more likely to be shot are criminals, and those who abuse drugs and alcohol, whether they pack or not.
I do think the cops have gotten a bit too military. There is a time and place for helmets, assault weapons and body armor, but they over do it.
Mo Money, Mo Problems
[Re: News Feature, “Cash Out,” Aug. 2-8] So, the so-called "cash money" is equipped with electronically scannable data-strips, enabling tracking of every transaction which passes through a check stand. Every bill tracked, and instantly identifiable. Your so-called "accounts," comprised of tallies of imaginary Federal Reserve Notes, are vulnerable to instant evaporation, as your so-called "dollar" is reduced to a third-world joke, a ticket to Chinese slavery. Did you notice the policy of direct yen-to-yuan trading? China is boss. Congratulations on your American self-indulgence.
Correction: Last week's feature article [“Shoot.” Aug. 2-8] misreported the number of criminal counts against Rick Reese and his family. Rick Reese faced three of the 28 total counts. We regret the error.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.