Debatable Skills

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For the first time in many years, I actually watched the presidential debates. I'm glad I did, because it's fascinating to witness the spin the corporate media has tried to put on it on behalf of our president. Already they are trying to portray Bush's truly embarrassing and utterly incompetent performance as “emotional,” but the truth is, Bush came off looking like a complete moron. Anyone who tries to put a good face on his shrill, angry performance is just as stupid as Bush himself.

Clearly, the man has no clue how to actually debate, either. Considering what a free ride he's gotten throughout his life, it's not hard to see why. He made no valid points whatsoever. He was repetitious, muddled, defensive and rambling. His long, awkward pauses were not for dramatic effect. If only! He simply couldn't think of anything to say.

He spoke of our “enemies” more than anything else and he talked about what hard “work” it is making all those tough decisions—but mainly his “message” was that we should all just shut up and trust him because only he knows what's right.

It's hard to believe that Bush's handlers didn't try to prepare him better to go head to head with the former debating captain. Kerry used Bush's own words, and even the words of Bush's father to condemn him. The man obviously did his research. That is what debating is all about, after all.

Clearly, Bush needs more experience speaking in public. Of course, the fact that Bush has had fewer press conferences than any president in history hasn't helped. Don't worry, though, the fawning, drooling United States press corps will do their job and try to pretend it was a draw—“no knockout punch” etc., but anyone who actually saw the debate can tell you that it was no contest. I just hope the rest of the world understands that Bush is an aberration, and that he too shall pass.

Problems Downstream

Joseph Crumb’s “Coming of Age” [Sept. 23-29] deals with a problem that has long received too little media attention, the threat from toxic and radioactive waste to our municipal water supply. I especially appreciate your being willing to print a story of such length and detail and hope that it will have promoted good attendance at the public hearings on Dec. 2.

One additional point can be made, however, one that needs to be known. Our current representative in Washington inserted a provision into the energy bill now before the Congress to exempt Sandia from being required to monitor the waste landfills. If the bill should pass with that addition, as seems likely, I wonder what constraints might be imposed on any proposals to deal with the problem. I do not believe that Heather Wilson thought up that idea herself, which suggests that upper management at Sandia may also be suspect. In the event of that restriction becoming law, I can recommend two alternatives for the rest of us, one quite serious and the other only somewhat facetious.

One, that we all move as far away as we can afford in any direction other than downstream along the Rio Grande, has some merit, but is not very practical.

The other, that we all vote against a congressperson not attentive to protecting our water supply, is far more doable.

Paseo Threaten No Shrine

Let's get religion out of the road bond issue! In 1990 when we got congress to create the Petroglyph National Monument they bought thousands of acres of land at tax payers' expense.

That park is a publicly owned park and not a church or a shrine. The road will not go through it but past two sections of it. That road was planned to keep [traffic] off of Paradise (a two-lane road built only as a neighborhood street to get down to Coors) which today is a disaster with many hours a day being “stop and crawl.” The traffic causes terrible fumes from idling motors and poisoning the air causing many health problems.

Paseo was plotted in the mid '80s long before any park was planned and the land was privately owned with many lots for homes to be built. In the late '80s residents were increasing in numbers rapidly in Taylor Ranch and Paradise Hills and they wanted to create open space and/or a park of some kind. So, after much study, many meetings and canvassing, we got together and joined forces with a few who were studying the petroglyphs. We took the idea to the city council, the mayor, state officials and finally Sen. Domenici who took it to congress. In 1990, the president signed it into law and the National Monument was created for the benefit of the whole country with the Paseo roadway included.

I was involved in the project for several years as a member of the Paradise Hills Civic Association Board. We were always aware of the interest in rock art and we included the small Petroglyph State Park into the boundary of the monument. We were also aware that some persons had various meanings for the symbols. If some Native Americans considered some of them sacred, fine with us. Get this: Whatever is there is protected securely for the future. No groups are needed to fight for them or protect them. So we ask all groups who have been fighting the road to accept the final plan of 1990. We also ask that no more opposition to Paseo be constantly flung in our faces.

We got the park for everyone! Enjoy it, use it. Nobody is going to harm it! So save your money, save the city unity and help us save a neighborhood from the misguided misinformed persons constantly attacking us (who got the monument for you!). Not one person has ever thanked us: not the people of Taylor Ranch, Paradise Hills, the city council of the time, not even Sen. Pete Domenici. So instead of constantly calling us racists and verbally slapping our faces, see us as good stewards of the land and wanting only to live as your friends and neighbors!

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