Alibi V.19 No.19 • May 13-19, 2010 


Weak Wording

John Bear’s editorial [Opinion, “Don’t Get a Tan in Arizona,” May 6-12] is well meaning at best but misleading and inflammatory at worst. Let's be clear: I find any police officer who stops or harasses any person of color to be repugnant. But Bear's “ ... immigration bill that allows law enforcement to to stop people suspected of being in this country illegally and make them prove otherwise" or "he could be stopped and hassled all for looking 'too Mexican' ” are both absolutely false and instantly discredits Bear as a serious writer.

The new law allows police officers to question a person’s status only after a LEGAL stop, detention or arrest. Period. In other words, in the course of normal police work. Shallow, knee-jerk writing like Bear's is one of many reasons New Mexico lags behind most other states in all areas, and it misleads his readers who also do not bother to read in detail.

Trace Schlemeyer


News Editor’s Response—The Arizona Republic wrote that SB 1070 requires Arizona police to enforce federal immigration laws. The key word there is “requires.” The bill itself says when law enforcement comes in lawful contact with someone “where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made [emphasis mine], when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.”

The Business of Being Born

Dear Alibi,

Thank you for your excellent article about midwifery in New Mexico [Feature, “The Art of Baby Catching,” May 6-12]. You highlight one of the very special aspects of this state—its fantastic midwife community! My wife and I have been under the care of extremely skilled midwives for our two home births. There is nothing more encouraging and nurturing than giving birth to a healthy baby in your own home, and having caring and loving birth attendants who are our good friends.

I am a surgeon at the University of New Mexico Hospital, and my wife and I felt so happy to have found that New Mexico's community of midwives is so strong and capable. One of our midwives is even now working with Medicines Sans Frontiers (Doctors without Borders) and taking her incredible skills to help teach and treat women in the Sudan and other international locations.

Exploring the links between healthy birthing and midwifery is the future for empowering this nation's women. I would recommend that you check out a movie that Ricki Lake produced about her experience with pregnancy and and home birth. It is entitled The Business of Being Born.

Thanks again for the feature article.


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If Only I Had Known

Dear Alibi,

[Re: Feature, “The Art of Baby Catching,” May 6-12] About this situation and the program for non-nurse midwives—I worked for years as an LPN, and the best of those years were in company with a wonderful family practice physician whose view of birthing was exactly as yours! He was a skilled and dedicated man who shed a tear or two at every one of his deliveries that I participated in. He was a great teacher and I ended up being “over qualified” for my license. I loved labor and delivery, especially working with patients who came in fearful and stressed and easing them over to relaxed and confident! Perhaps you will understand if I say that I seemed to have a “gift” for laboring-patient assessments—sensed something wrong at times before I could give the physician a reason for my concern (they learned to listen)—and as a mother of three (”concrete block” was a very good analogy; read: shoulder dystocia), I could really relate and coach with “authority.” Wow, this wonderful article brought a rush of great memories and some large regrets! I would have found a way to relocate to New Mexico.


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Fascism Is a Hard Right Philosophy

Dear Alibi,

[Re: Letters, “Illusions of Liberalism,” April 29-May 5] Sorry, but you're either blissfully ignorant or blatantly untruthful. Everyone knows that the Nazis weren't socialists, despite the name. Any more than G.W. Bush's "Clean Skies Act" had anything to do with making the skies cleaner. The Nazis were fascists, a HARD right philosophy that seeks to govern with corporatist values. They believe that a country requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.

And if you want to talk about a Ponzi scheme, the Bush tax cuts filtered massive amounts of wealth from the middle-class to the upper .5 percent! That's pretty much the definition of a Ponzi scheme! The income of the top 400 families TRIPLED over the last 10 years, while income for the middle class actually declined for the first time since WWII! There's your Ponzi scheme!


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