Sharp Machete

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[Re: Toons, “El Machete,” Sept. 20-26] Eric Garcia is right on point when he points out Bush‘s latest deception. Staying the course in this war is like driving in the wrong direction on the wrong road and expecting to arrive at your planned destination. Meanwhile, violence is rising in Iraq, both for our troops and for innocent Iraqis. We need to end this war and bring our troops home. When will we learn to use diplomacy instead of bombs to settle our differences? It saddens me to see another unnecessary war being fought in my name.

Because, as Americans, whether we like it or not, this war is waged in our names and I think of this war’s casualties as my brothers and sisters. We must bring them home.

No Quick Fix

President Bush has a clear plan for victory in Iraq that begins with training Iraqi forces so they can defend their country and fight the terrorists. We are making tremendous progress toward this objective. Withdrawing from Iraq, as Democrats in Washington propose, would send a dangerous signal to our enemies that we cut and run when the going gets tough. President Bush is offering a clear strategy to win, not a political quick fix.

Red-Light Running For Life

I just want to add my humble two cents worth in the ongoing red-light camera nightmare. While I am honestly unsure whether I fully support the cameras or not, I am aware of an issue that has left me somewhat baffled. One of my adult offspring works as an EMT for Albuquerque Ambulance on an emergency response unit (as opposed to a unit that strictly transports patients from one facility to another). As an EMT-Basic, she is partnered with a paramedic; therefore, when they have a patient in the unit the paramedic tends to the patient while my daughter drives. Here is the dilemma: While on a “code call," meaning the patient was in enough distress to require the unit to run with lights and sirens, they approached an intersection and the traffic light was red for them. Following procedure, my daughter approached the intersection with caution, turned the siren off, blared the horn, and when all traffic was stopped she proceeded, against the traffic light, with caution. The patient was safely delivered to the hospital and my daughter and her partner went about the business of the remainder of their day.

One week or so following the day of the call, my daughter was informed by her supervisor that her unit had been photographed by a red-light camera for "running the light.” My daughter and her partner explained the circumstances at the time the picture was taken. The response she got was that, regardless of the circumstance, it is the City of Albuquerque’s policy that the ticket be paid and it is the policy of Albuquerque Ambulance (which is owned by Presbyterian Health Services) that it is the responsibility of the EMT driving the unit at the time the ticket was issued to pay the fine out of her/his pocket! What a pisser!

This is what pisses me off: If all company policies and procedures were followed appropriately and a ticket issued, it seems to me that Albuquerque Ambulance/Presbyterian Hospital would "man up" and either appeal the fine or just pay it outright. However, the City of Albuquerque and our illustrious Mayor Marty "I’ve never met a camera I wouldn’t gladly mug for" Chavez should handle cases like this differently.

So, Mr. Mayor, had my daughter and her partner been transporting your loved one, I feel certain you would prefer they not stop and wait for the light to turn green before proceeding to the hospital! Does the City of Albuquerque need my daughter’s $100 badly enough to jeopardize the health and quite possibly the very lives of those patients they transport?

I would hope not! Mayor Chavez, Chief Schultz, Albuquerque Ambulance/Presbyterian Health Services: I hope you all place a value of more than a lousy $100 on the lives of your loved ones, or any other person’s loved ones for that matter.
Give me a break!

Aps Packin’

The Albuquerque School Board recently made a decision that would once again spend school funds poorly by approving armed police officers within APS schools. Despite the fact that numerous parents, APS students and opponents spoke out against this fear-laden ruling, the APS board chose to ignore the blatant facts about the negativity of guns in schools. It was an ignorant decision to try to counteract potential violence in our schools with an aggressive armed police force that supposedly would be there for the students’ protection. Yet various students voiced their opinion at the meeting, saying they would feel less safe with an armed police presence. Rather than address the issue of problematic students and use school funds correctly to hire more counselors and create intervention programs, the school board made a decision that doesn’t address the underlying issue at all. This issue should have been discussed more in-depth with the public before the vote was made.

Overall, it was really disappointing to see that there were APS students brave enough to step up and speak in front of a large crowd, only to have most of the APS school board dismiss their views, despite the fact that they [the students] will be the ones most affected by this ruling. We need better role models on the APS school board who will improve our schools instead of turning them into an oppressed state that’s hardly, if at all, conducive to creating a positive learning environment. An officer gaining access to a lethal weapon within a school setting does nothing to contribute to this process.

Just So Blah

[RE: Blog, “No More Same”] Our bland mayonnaise society has trouble embracing new stuff. Outside-the-box thinking has long been scorned and mocked. If someone is doing something different and original, it is usually considered dumb or insane.

Help, Help! I'm Being Oppressed!

[RE: Blog, “The Latest in Burqa Beachwear”] Those poor stupid Muslim women can’t seem to comprehend that they are oppressed, can they?

If the point of concealing their bodies is to prevent men from being tempted by sexual lust, why are the old and ugly women still forced to cover up? Just to keep oppressing them I guess.

Free To Choose

[RE: Comment by Debaser, Blog, “The Latest in Burqa Beachwear”] Since you seem unaware: there are millions of Muslim women who actively choose to wear the burka as an emblem of religious faith in the same way other women once chose to wear miniskirts as a symbol of liberated womanhood. While there are also millions of women who have little or no choice in the matter, that’s not the whole story and it’s disingenuous of you to portray it as such.

The burka is a symbol of modesty, privacy and morality. It doesn’t exist to "prevent men from being tempted by sexual lust"; this is an ignorant interpretation of a culture that many in the West fear and demonize. In actuality, it’s not just Muslims who have rules about this; many branches of Christianity preach (and in some cases dictate) modesty in dress and action to the female members of their congregations (the Mormons, the Amish, the Mennonites, many fundamentalist churches, etc.).

Western culture oppresses women through media and advertising images that portray women’s bodies in sizes which only a small percentage of women naturally conform to. As a result, millions of women harm their health and bodies to achieve this "ideal." Maybe you should write a guest article about how women in American culture are too stupid to comprehend this oppression? At least then you’d be giving your misogyny fair play.

BTW, if you are so disgusted with the content of the
Alibi , why don’t you stop reading it?

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