I have a slight issue that I would like to clarify in response to Jerry Ortiz y Pino's article [RE: "Sniffing out the Reagan Legacy," June 24-30] about the mania surrounding President Reagan's death. The article states that he wasn't actually in the armed forces during the war. I happen to know, through my grandfather, that he was in a special unit of the Army, known as the First Motion Picture Unit. It was comprised of Hollywood actors and behind the scenes journeymen, like my grandfather. Their mission was to help war bond drives and lift the morale of the American people by going to public appearances, acting in propagandist movies, and doing shows for the men in uniform. The camera men also recorded the war to show in newsreels.
There is no denying that Reagan had flaws. Some of his policies led to bad outcomes, but I think most everyone is judging Mr. Reagan's greatness based on his public speeches and feel-good rhetoric. There is no way W. can compare to him in that respect. There are some days that I think the current president does well to remember to put his pants on in the morning. In the interest of full disclosure, I voted for him, because I figured he was the lesser of two evils, but I didn't feel like my vote even counted after the Supreme Court fiasco.
My own personal experiences in Iraq may be clouding my judgment, but I think it is time for a change, starting at the top and working down. I think it is despicable that Bush II and the GOP would use Reagan's death as a way to boost their showings in the polls, and I can think of no better reason to send them all packing.
Joe Hughson Albuquerque
My name is Kent Dagnall, I'm the chef at the Blue Dragon Coffeehouse and I'm sorry to say I am unhappy with my options for advertising with the Alibi. The Dragon is a multiplicity, we're a natural food pizzeria and a live music venue. Stop me if you've heard this before: We've been doing live music every night of the week with never a cover for over five years. For a long time [owners] Bill and Lise advertised with you but now I'm a partner and so is Norm Everett, our music coordinator.
We want to advertise our music venue in your pages because Alibi is, in this respect, cutting edge. But here's my problem: Because the Alibi groups into "entertainment" all manner of sleazy porno/strip club shops, my family restaurant (smoke free, booze free, literally all ages, and safe for kids) has to share half a page with TD's, the Icehouse and El Portereno. As a visual and culinary artist I take insult to lumping hardworking singer songwriters and bands in with strippers and the porn industry.
It hurts that the Albuquerque sleaze industry continues to thrive (and offer nothing in return to our local economy except another predatory shakedown of our uprooted urban working classes) while "another good idea" like the Dragon forever teeters on the brink.
Please relegate your adult entertainment to your already numerous sex pages. They don't bother me way in the back and they have just as much right as me. But please respect the enormous difference between what musicians and artists do and what strippers do (and don't do).
I'm sure us small businesses can take up some of the ad slack as soon as we get some respect. Thanks.
Chef Kent Albuquerque
Hitler for President
The Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces. The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.
Bush and his backers would be better served listing his achievements the last four years. Come to think of it, maybe all they really have is mud slinging and name calling to boast about W.'s term as appointed president!
Larry Ratliff Albuquerque
The Bush/Cheney Website Video
I hope editors will be as enraged as I on seeing the video on this website. To compare the actions of free speech and the democratic process to the brute fanaticism and self interest of Hitler is not only morally reprehensible, it's totally off the mark. I would rather hear the shouts of enraged citizens any day, than wonder what goes on in quiet behind the closed doors of this administration. George Bush and his cronies are a threat to the growth of civilized societies globally. The unilateral decision-making, the ignorance and lack of respect for cultures other than our own, and using the deepening crisis of the Iraq war to further justify its continuance, has got to stop.
Our country's future depends on developing our strengths by investing our population--both young and old--in the ideas, resources and technologies that promise stability and growth, not by focusing our every waking moment on fear and force. The Bush/Cheney administration is not interested in international cooperation or in a domestic economy that is focused on more than developing escapes for those already at the top of the ladder. It's definitely time for a major change in the coming election.
Mina Yamashita Albuquerque
War Profiteering Scumbags
Sen. Domenici and his Republican conspirators recently betrayed the taxpayers of America by voting down an amendment that would start to make government contractors more accountable for robbing citizens of our collective money.
Domenici voted with his Republican cronies to stop an amendment by Sen. Patrick Leahy that would have attempted to reduce war profiteering. I personally find it morally reprehensible that companies profit from war and the poor conditions to which the current administration subjects our troops. Republicans have consistently handed our money over to sleazy corporations under the code name of reducing government. From Enron to Halliburton to the contractors who tortured Iraqis, we as taxpayers are enriching an elite few, who then give a percentage of that money back to Republican campaigns to ensure that they will continue to feed upon the labor of the American citizen. Let's put a stop to this robbery by holding corporations accountable for theft of taxpayer money, and send the politicians who help in this robbery packing.
Erik Peterson Albuquerque
[RE: "Coverage You Can't Count On," June 24-30] How elastic are facts? How prone is Darren White to hyperventilation? Check the comments he made several years ago during the arrest in T or C of David Parker Ray.
Then, as state public safety director, he predicted multiple murder victims, tales of torture, "worse than Dahmer," he said. Investigators and prosecutors never found as much.
Jeff Frye Albuquerque
Wilson's Big Government Plan
I would like to agree with Gwyneth Doland's trenchant comments on Representative Heather Wilson [RE: "Why Heather Wilson is the Kind of Politician I Hate Most," May 20-26]. (I was prompted to write after I received a form letter from Wilson on June 23.) Wilson informs us that on June 28 she will be having a meeting in Albuquerque to visit with employees and owners of small businesses "to learn about their jobs and issues that are important to our community." To do this, Wilson has scheduled an entire one-half hour. This probably isn't enough time to exchange banal pleasantries with all the interested parties, let alone learn anything substantial about their interests.
But what are Heather's interests? She is glad to tell us, on a card enclosed with the above letter. They are: "winning the war on terrorism, securing the jobs we have and growing new jobs, improving public education for our kids, protecting Social Security and strengthening Medicare with a prescription drug benefit, [and] tax relief for working families."
Let me tell you my interests, Rep. Wilson. Actually I have only one, and it is bringing about a drastic reduction in the size and power of government. All of your proposals will at least keep government at its present size and power, and probably lead to an increase.
Everyone knows how the war on terrorism has strengthened government so there is no need to explain that. Securing jobs and improving education will only lead to more government interference in these two areas. Protecting Social Security and strengthening Medicare will probably require a tax increase and the enforcement of additional regulations concerning prescription drugs. Note that Wilson calls for "tax relief," not tax reduction. All this will do is shift the tax burden from one area of society to another—not exactly a way of reducing the size and power of government. Some of Rep. Wilson's priorities may actually be laudable. I am merely saying they will do nothing to reduce the size and power of a government that is already far too large and far too powerful.
Steven Dapra Albuquerque
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