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 V.14 No.44 | November 3 - 9, 2005 
Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic tea made from Brazilian jungle plants.


Brewing a Controversy

A New Mexico-based case over whether a religion can legally use a hallucinogenic tea has made its way to the Supreme Court

It all began in 1999, when federal narcotics agents stormed Jeffrey Bronfman's Santa Fe church, confiscating 30 gallons of a psychoactive Brazilian tea he planned to use in religious ceremonies. Now this week, after five years of litigation, the debate over the sacramental brew has reached the nation's highest court.

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Thin Line

Albuquerque Journal Plays Matchmaker

Perhaps Albuquerque The Magazine can be forgiven for their ridiculous October feature, “The Second Annual Hot Singles of Albuquerque Issue,” because, while laughable (the expression, ’hot singles,' itself is laughable), the local periodical is a lifestyle magazine. It serves the purpose of indulging readers in this sort of entertainment. So silly questions like, “If your ideal partner were a New Mexican dish, what would she be and why?” and likewise, non sequitur answers such as, “A combination plate, classy in public and adventurous when we're alone” are within the realm of reasonable editorial content.

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Mind the Gap

A recent study shows the U.S. gender gap isn't as small as we thought

I was dancing and sipping a caipirinha—you know, that fabulous Brazilian cocktail made with lime and sugar—when Leila nudged me to say that Nilcea Freire, the minister of women for Brazil, appointed by President Lula da Silva, was standing next to us. She wanted to introduce me. “I'd love to!” I shouted over the loud drumming.

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The Real Side

Send in the Twins ... and Chelsea, Too

An open letter to Sen. Hillary Clinton

Dear Hillary,

I've been meaning to write to you for some time. I see how you are currently the favorite among Democrats for the party's presidential nomination for 2008. You're already raising money around the country. But before you get to check what Laura Bush has changed while you've been out of the White House, if Gov. Bill Richardson gets an early Western presidential primary, you're going to have to face us lowly New Mexicans sooner rather than later.

So I thought I'd pop my big question now. Why should any Democrat support you as long as you continue to support Bush's war in Iraq?

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Scott Rickson

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Canada—Mr. Floatie, a community activist who dresses in a gigantic feces-shaped costume, has withdrawn his name from the mayor's race in Victoria, British Columbia. James Skwarok, the man inside the costume, told reporters that the city has taken issue with his candidacy because only real people can run for municipal office. “Of course I'm not a real person,” Skwarok said last week. “I'm a big piece of poop.” Skwarok has been appearing in public as Mr. Floatie for some time now in an attempt to raise people's awareness about the pumping of raw sewage into the waters off British Columbia's capital. No word on what Mr. Floatie might do now that his political dreams have been dashed.

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I agree with Jim Scarantino's opinion [RE: The Real Side, "A Painful Lesson," Oct. 13-19] that the living wage proposal lost because of a handful of unnecessary words. Unfortunately, it should have lost because it was trying to solve the wrong problem. Even if the proposal had passed, the people that it aimed to help would still be making the least amount of money for their labor that the law will allow. The proposal doesn't actually address the root problem. The proposal addressed the question, "Why can't people make a living off of the minimum wage?" when it should have addressed, "Why is anyone's labor worth only the minimum wage?" In effect, the proposal would have mandated higher pay for labor rather than increasing the value of labor. There is a subtle but important difference between the two. As Jim aptly put it: "Anyone who works full time should not have to draw on public resources to keep their families from malnutrition and homelessness." Anyone with a heart would agree that it is painful to watch someone work so hard for such little return. It brings up one of the harsh realities of life: Hard work isn't enough.

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EVENT HORIZON (Friday, Oct 9)

Ready. Aim. Fire! Squash?

20th Annual Punkin' Chunkin'

Punkin' Chunkin' is the traditional sport of hurling a pumpkin by mechanical means for distance and accuracy. Witness the power of pneumatic air cannons, catapults and more.
View in Alibi calendar calendar

EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Oct 10)

History's Overlooked Spaces

Outhouses: Underrated Icons of New Mexico History

Learn about how outhouses were introduced to New Mexico, their essential role in communities across the state and their continued presence as historical artifacts.
View in Alibi calendar calendar

EVENT HORIZON (Saturday, Oct 17)

Blow the Kids' Minds

Playground Build Day

Lend a hand to build a playground in just one day with local non-profit NewLife Homes. Food, drinks and music will be provided for registered participants.
View in Alibi calendar calendar
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