Old Town Scare

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In reply to comments in Council Watch (Dec. 25-31) by Dr. Ruth Weiner regarding the Old Town Missile—if anyone outside the pro-nuclear community had been aware of the true intent of the museum and this display, we could have recruited thousands of e-mails saying it sucks without scaring anyone.

But scaring people is what the nuclear industry is all about, isn't it?

Tasteless Humor Ok

{RE: Letters, “At Odds with Odds & Ends”, Dec. 25-31}: Long-time reader, first-time writer.

Love your news and reviews and most of your columns. Only thing I'd like to see more of is groovy humor … like items about people choking on fish and stuff.

Tasteless Humor Not Ok

What in the world were you thinking with your Santa Claus cover a few issues back? A little girl is depicted hiking up her skirt to catch the eye of an apparently smitten Santa Claus. I'm not the type that's easily offended; in fact I can appreciate many different forms of perversity. None the less, I found this cover to be exceedingly distasteful. Someone close to me grew up being molested, so maybe I'm overly sensitive to the issue.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making fun of Santa Claus. When you think about it, the Santa myth is perfect preparation for little children to grow up believing in the larger myths of Christianity (while, at some point, knowing deep down they can't be true). But humor involving pedophilia is tricky to pull off and this effort failed considerably. Best to leave that topic to professionals like George Carlin or Chris Rock.

Global Change Is Coming

George W. Bush and Rush Limbaugh tell us there is no such thing as global warming. This is one thing I agree with them on. The proper term is “global climate change” since some places are getting colder, some places hotter, some places wetter and some places dryer. But definitely, the weather is changing. It is a fact and it is not “bad science” as they like to phrase it. But you, the reader, who are you going to trust? Me, or the president? Certainly not Rush, whose 30,000 Oxycontin pills have certainly clouded his judgment. But George W. told us during the campaign that global warming was “junk science” and that what this country most needed was an energy plan. Unfortunately, his energy plan was done in total secrecy by Dick Cheney, with sections being written by energy companies that had contributed to the Bush campaign. The plan returned us to burning coal; a major source of pollution that causes global climate change. And you trust these men over my opinion? Why yes, because George W. is not directly making money off these deals, only his dad is. But don't you know that the family plan is to have the sons run the country for 16 years (add Jeb's eight years) and then they will inherit the father's newly developed fortune at the taxpayer's expense?

Cater To Clark

General Clark graduated first in his class at West Point and won a Rhodes scholarship. At Oxford University, he earned a master's degree in economics, politics and philosophy. After the Vietnam War, he taught economics and political science at West Point. In 1975 and 1976, he worked as a White House Fellow in the Office of Management and the Budget.

Clark is one of the most decorated soldiers since Dwight Eisenhower. He served and was wounded in Vietnam. He led combat troops in Vietnam and was honored for gallantry in action. Later he was promoted to Supreme Allied Commander and Chief of NATO forces in Europe.

His “résumé” is so awesome that George W. Bush would quake if Clark became the Democratic nominee for President. General Clark would overwhelm GWB in any debate from philosophy to critical thinking and especially one dealing with the military and/or economics.

To be sure, it would take a man with the courage, intelligence and fortitude of General Clark to begin to turn around the current economic and military failures of this administration, but someone has to step in. The gap between the rich and the poor here and all over the world, in no small part, can be attributed to the greed of the Bush administration and its wealthy supporters. We are all Americans. Our flag is ours not just the flag of the wealthy. We must take it back from their clutches and we must start to right the wrongs of this greedy and vindictive administration.

Wesley Clark can do the job. Wesley Clark needs our support.

Movie Mayhem

Movie goers beware! A local theater chain has replaced the soft music and on-screen quizzes with 20 minutes of tasteless content. This consists of four segments of advertising: TV shows, a trashy music video and various other trivia. Then comes Fandango, a car ad, Coca-Cola and others I can' t remember. My brain was numb. All of this before four to six previews and a blurb about how wonderful and caring the chain is. We left and got a refund after talking with the manager for whom I eventually felt sorry. Folks, either add 40 minutes to the start time of the movie or sit there and take it like the rest of the audience did last Friday night. I plan to arrive at 1:40 p.m. for a film scheduled at 1 p.m.

A Time To Ponder

I wonder why everyone loves trends. Why we all love to be so beautifully empty. I love how everyone calls it all cliché. The weak attempts to be clever, hah, and look at what I'm attempting. There's never enough to do in this town, if you're deemed a minor. I've never run into so many crooked people in all my life. Even the granola hippies seem to be diluted.

But I love Albuquerque because it's a city that's lost in the middle of nowhere. All the little worker bees surviving for definition. You can have conversations with needle goers and be considered new wave. Write some bad poetry about some bullshit experience you had on bus No. 66 and wait to be sized up in line at the Sunshine. Is this city even relevant I ask myself at times. We're all so free to be stupid. And I love it, everything, the Land of Entrapment. Right down to the needle whores.

Creative Intelligence Needed

In these days after the celebrated capture of a dazed old man hiding in a hole in Iraq, it's worth considering whether the deaths of nearly 10,000 innocent Iraqi civilians and over 400 Americans was the best and only way to overthrow this person.

The 400 Americans volunteered for dangerous service. The 10,000 Iraqi civilians were just trying to live their lives. Some will say that 10,000 civilian deaths pale in comparison with the death toll of innocents stacked up by Hussein over the years or what he might have done in the future. However, the United States has no right to kill more innocents on a speculative argument.

The image that keeps coming up for me is this—if Saddam had been standing in a field and put 10,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children between himself and U.S. troops, would our commanders have ordered the slaughter of the innocents just to capture the man hiding behind them? That is, in effect, what has happened.

You can argue that Saddam put his own people at risk by not surrendering on the first day of the war and you could argue his cowardice for having done so, but none of that justifies the U.S. decision to kill the innocents to make the capture. It is a moral outrage that should unsettle all Americans.

Pro-war pundits like to employ the phrase “evil persists when good men do nothing” (William Saffire the latest in the New York Times), to suggest that war against Iraq was justified to oust this evil dictator. In this application, the words “do nothing” mean “do anything but achieve your objective through war.” The international community was doing something to eliminate Saddam as a weapons threat to the world and, to this point, the evidence suggests the strategy was working, putting the lie to the administration's case for the occupation.

I would amend that often-used phrase to say that “evil persists when good men do nothing but make another war.” It is imperative that we replace the current administration with one that has the creative intelligence to fashion nonviolent solutions to the world's problems.

Letters should be sent with the writer's name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail 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.

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