Alibi V.28 No.5 • Jan 31-Feb 6, 2019 

Letters

Get Educated

Dear Alibi,

If you plan to have an honest and productive discussion, you should at least get the basic facts straight. In the education discussion between Glenna Voigt and Barbara Petersen [v28 i4], you lumped charter schools together with private schools. This taints the discussion and perpetuates the misinformation pushed by anti-charter school entities.

Charter schools are public schools. Period. What they provide is an alternative to traditional public schools that have trouble reaching some students. These students can be high achieving students that are being held back by the system or low performing students that the current system cannot reach. In fact, most charter school students are minority students and students from poverty. They are not some elite private school kids using public money outside the system. Intrinsic government responsibilities can be met within government but outside the one size cookie cutter model. And for the record, charter schools operate with less funding than regular public schools per student.

Teacher Unions are opposed to charters. Charter schools are not opposed to teacher unions. Unions are free to organize at schools if they choose to do so. However, charter school teachers are not interested in joining unions. They enjoy their work and the freedom to innovate and tailor their teaching within an accountable student centered environment.

If you want detailed facts and numbers to back them up (assuming you truly want the real facts), contact the New Mexico Coalition for Charter Schools.

Ronald Toya

NMCCS Board member

BS!

Dear Alibi,

Comes a time when left-wing BS becomes too ridiculous even for a left-winger like me. That's why your letters page is facing a shortage. You challenge no lies and print every untruth as if it were fact. It's good to know there are still people who demand more than you are willing to deliver.

Al Vincent,

Albuquerque

Editor’s Response

Dear Al,

The point of a newspaper’s Letters page is not to challenge the readers and refute their opinions. That is, arguably and more appropriately, the point of an Editorial page. Letters, in contrast, is an opportunity to provide readers an open forum to discuss whatever topics they see fit. And in recent months the Alibi has seen a host of letters calling us to task for printing unchallenged right-wing opinions from conservative, Trump-backing readers. For example:

Upset

Dear Alibi,

I too was upset by the right-wing letter writers demanding a wall to protect America from all the “criminals” trying to enter our southern border with Mexico with the sole purpose to tear down our country. These “patriotic” Americans from red states like Oklahoma and Virginia would rather our government shutdown over Trump's demands for funding of the wall, then to allow Congress to vote on the issue (hopefully based on what their constituents want).

The 2018 midterm elections in our now blue state show that the majority of the people don't favor a wall (the monument to racism). Remarkably, they see the cost of billions of dollars might be better spent on education, infrastructure, health, transportation and a move toward green energy jobs to protect the environment.

Referring to the mass of immigrants on our border, those people are here for asylum because their country has been overrun by gangs of the illegal drug/gun trade, a sad result of our country’s war on drugs since the Bush administration. Instead we see children separated from their parents and caged like dangerous animals, some have died. Is this the America our Constitution was written for? With the shutdown, asylum seekers cases are not being heard. We have grave moral-issues at hand, and hatred from the conservative side's POTUS is allowing the shutdown to continue indefinitely. We should all work for peace and justice as our goal. But without justice, there will be no peace.

Mark Nolan,

Albuquerque

Local Response

Dear Alibi,

I am a local (of over 30 years standing) and would like to do my part to contribute to the Alibi’s letter to the editor. I’ll reply to th “editor’s Response” to Ralph Wrons’ letter, to Wrons’ letter and to the three letters that aroused Wrons’ ire (Alibi, Jan. 2 and Jan. 10).

The Editor referred to “conservative, Trump-loving Republicans.” Speaking historically, conservatives have wanted limited or less government, a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility in general. And they have had a healthy skepticism about foreign adventurism. Has Donald Trump done anything to reduce the size of government? Has he balanced the budget or shown any fiscal responsibility? How can any (so-called) “conservative” Republican love Donald Trump when he has pointedly ignored two of the three hallmarks of historical conservatism?

Historical conservatives would not want the United States participating in any foreign adventurism, including advisory actions (such as in Nigeria).

In his objections to the Jan. 2 letters, Mr. Wrons refers to something he calls the “Ultra Right Wing.” As the political spectrum moves from left to right it moves from 100 percent government to sero percent government—or at least a minimum of government. The Jan. 2 letters from Coalgate, OK and from the “Disgusted American-Mexican” wer a lot of fulminating with nothing about reducing the size of government. This is not the Ultra Right Wing.

The Conservative Caucus letter about building a border wall says President Trump “should use every instrument provided in the Constitution to get the wall built.” What instruments are these? The closest the Constitution comes to saying anything about immigration or border control is Article One, Section Eight, authorizing Congress to “establish an [sic] uniform rule of naturalization.” The president has no constitutional authority to do anything pertaining to immigration or controlling our national boundaries. The president is to “take care that the laws are faithfully executed.” Since Congress hasn’t legislated a wall, how can the president execute anything pertaining to one?

The Constitution says no money may be withdrawn from the Treasury unless an appropriation is made by law. Has any appropriation for a border wall been made by Congress? The president has no authority to arbitrarily spend money on a border wall (or anything else). To implement the “Conservative” Caucus’ wall proposal would violate the Constitution and increase the president’s power, not limit or reduce his power.

Finally, the Disgusted American-Mexican claims that Rules For Radicals (by Saul Alinsky) is “a book dedicated to Lucifer—read it sometime.” Well, I read my copy of Rules, or at least I read the germane front matter. On page ix (not numbered, but that’s the page number), Alinsky makes an “over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical … Lucifer.” Not a dedication, an acknowledgment. Rules is dedicated “To Irene.”

Steven Dapra,

Albuquerque
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. 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.