Waves Of Generosity

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The other day I was watching C-SPAN and a woman caller suggested that as a show of good faith to a majority Muslim area of the world that has recently been decimated Bush should cancel his inauguration party and donate the money to the relief efforts. This suggestion was met with retorts from conservative callers saying that “that part of the world needs to take personal responsibility for itself” and other equally ridiculous and (probably) racist statements.

The truth is that the national print media has recently reported that the price tag for the event will be around $40 million, a new record for this self-congratulatory party. Granted, much of the money for the inauguration comes from the $250,000 tickets. However, what an enormous show of good faith towards the Muslim world and an opportunity to truly be a uniter and not a divider would it be for Bush to not pat himself on the back for just one day, not flaunt the mandate he thinks he received with 51 percent of the vote in the last election, and donate that money to help people in more desperate need that this country has, fortunately, ever known.


After reading Michael Henningsen’s piece [RE: “Thin Line,” Dec. 23-29] in which he writes about Larry Ahrens “After 24 years of basing an entire AM talk radio morning show on never having any ideas of his own … ,” it should be of note to Mr. Henningsen that the opinion road runs both ways and I can argue that he and the Alibi staff seem to lack an original thought as well, appearing to parrot the Michael Moore/MoveOn.org/Chomsky mantra at the local level. This falls into the adage that those who live in glass houses would be best advised to not throw stones lest they be engaged in hypocrisy.

What does Mr. Henningsen base his assertion on, given that Ahrens pre-dates Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage and other talk radio right wingers? Is it simply an ideological beef and lacking any original attack material of his own, Henningsen has to say that Ahrens has lacked originality for 24 years and is the set-up guy for Limbaugh? If that is the case, then Hennigsen is simply a poseur and a fraud, given he makes this claim yet fails in the due diligence department and does not offer the substance upon which his claim is based.

This type of writing shows that Henningsen is simply the poor man’s version of Eric Alterman or Alexander Cockburn and has little in the way of originality in his own right, so he is the pot calling the kettle black.

Before Mr. Henningsen calls me a right wing dupe, I want to point out I am a Libertarian and believe in legalized drugs and prostitution and that I also have a degree in political science, a minor in English and it is not bragging if I can back myself up, something he seemingly cannot do.

Given Mr. Henningsen is a former music journalist, I also am doubtful that he could tell me who KK Downing is or who Conrad Lant is (both very important figures in heavy metal) but he could probably drone on and on about poseur hard rock bands like Audioslave and Staind.

Given this, why should anyone take seriously any attempt at commentary by this man about serious stuff?

P.c. For J.c.

[RE: “Ortiz y Pino” Dec. 30-Jan]. In your opinion piece you besmirch Christian Family Radio for motivating their contingency, “with marching orders … all laid out neatly for the obedient flock to set into motion.” I'll have you know that after every Presidential (and the vice-presidential) debate the DNC sent me, and thousands of others, e-mails complete with hyperlinks to newspaper websites telling us to vote that Kerry (and Edwards) won the debates. They told us to call radio shows, write to newspapers, and contact politicians. They told us exactly what issues to raise and how to state them. These were the marching orders all laid out neatly for the obedient Democrats to set into motion. This was, as you put it, “a blatant call to arms designed to manipulate public policy.” You besmirch FLR for raising the issue of gay marriage while not mentioning health care, minimum wage, etc. Yet, you admit that all your ranting is based on a radio spot that was a whole “five minutes long.”

Sir, surely you know that those mean and nasty Christians are not the only people who are against gay marriage. I therefore, triple dog dare you, or anyone at the Alibi, to write even one single sentence that besmirches any other religion that is against it as well. Or will you follow that first commandment of the politically correct movement, “Thou shall only bash Christianity?”

Nuclear Meltdown

I’ve heard a lot of “Happy New Year” wishes lately. Excuse me if I’m cynical. I can’t see any possibility of such a positive outcome with our government this year.

While our military forces are trying to dodge the resistance in Iraq and our industrial-military corporations are sinking our country deeper in debt each day, the National Guard isn’t available for floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and their effects here at home, much less for helping with natural disasters worldwide.

In Washington, our legislators, particularly Sen. Domenici, are stating they intend to push for further nuclear proliferation here in our state. After our nation’s use of nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with effects comparable to the natural disaster of the epic tsunami in the Indian Ocean, how can one be so callous as to think that nuclear bombs of any size are acceptable.

I resent the further use of our state (or any place) as a nuclear arms factory and repository for radioactive pollutants. Our labs should be focused on life-giving and life-sustaining technologies. Our nation needs to return to leading an international effort to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

If some kind of hope for a better year and peace is remotely possible, it will have to come from citizens demanding their legislators to enact laws that regulate and hold accountable the corporations whose goal and priorities put profit and dominance above our health, educational, environmental and human needs.

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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