With Impunity

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A few weeks ago Jerry Ortiz y Pino correctly wrote that Albuquerque police officers are "getting more out of control … with impunity." [Ortiz y Pino, “Law and Order: Patriots, Big Brother and APD,” June 1-7] He followed that up with the observation that when an officer is accused of misbehavior the "system will form tightly around the accused policeman to protect him from anything resembling objective public scrutiny."

Sure enough, as if the U.S. Supreme Court reads and refutes the
Alibi , on June 15 Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for himself and four other Justices appointed by Reagan or a Bush, formed the system tightly around police who admittedly violated the Constitution. The decision said that police forces, rather than getting out of control, are displaying "increasing professionalism." Justice Scalia used this dubious increasing professionalism as a reason that, contrary to what was the law until these judges got hold of it, prosecutors will be allowed to use evidence that the police got illegally.

It’s also noteworthy that in order to confer this new impunity on the police, the Court had to delay its decision until an old-fashioned Republican, Sandra Day O’Connor, left the Court and was replaced by a neo-Republican activist judge, Samuel Alito.

To Ann, With Love

I’m a left-winger and I wish Ann Coulter were my sister. I am hoping Ann’s suckerpunch journalism is only the beginning of a no-holds-barred melee. Political correctness died on 9/11. Ann Coulter uses that cold fact as a bludgeon, coming down hard on left-wing whiners. Nice job, Ann.

Neo-Free Press

Having worked in public television back in the ’60s, and seeing the impact that the visual word picture can make, I am very disheartened to see the current administration threatening to slash spending for public television and radio again. Currently, I sit on the board of directors of our community radio station, KUNM, and I know the good community and public broadcasting it does. Apparently, more than a million and a half people also know this, as Congress is being flooded with angry Americans who do not understand this mentality. I truly believe Americans trust public broadcasting more than any other source of news. This is an attack on our free press.

Age Of Aquarius?

Lately, it seems the hot topic in Washington is the same-sex marriage amendment. This is just sad. If reasons other than religion or just plain prejudice were given for this, I may reconsider, but so far, those are the only reasons I’ve heard.

I think one thing should be straightened out here and now: The founding fathers of this country had neither intention nor desire for this to be a Christian nation. I know there will likely be lynch mobs hunting for me because of that statement, but it’s the truth. If you don’t like this truth, then go join the Taliban since you seem to be so keen on the idea of a theocracy. The First Amendment was put there for a reason, and it clearly states that no laws are to be made “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” If one insists that the meaning of this statement is debatable, then take a look at Article 11 of the Treaty with Tripoli, 1797 … quite soon after the First Amendment became official: “The Government of the United States of America is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion.”

The Christian religion does not hold the monopoly on the idea of marriage—it is a joyous institution shared by a variety of religions and cultures. It is also recognized and performed by the government, which, constitutionally speaking, suggests that the government would have to recognize and perform marriages for all beliefs, not just along the ideals of the Christian faith … and not all religions hate homosexuals.

I suppose that perhaps I’m a fool for trying to speak rational thoughts to howling fanatics, though. I wrote e-mails making similar points to our senators as well as to Heather Wilson, but got form letters back from Wilson and Domenici expressing their support for the amendment, expressing no other reason than, “it is right.” Why would that be? Did the Age of Reason suddenly disappear while I had my back turned for a few seconds?

Puppy Power

Thank you, Councilor Sally Mayer, for having the guts to right a wrong concerning animals. If a person truly cared about animals, this ordinance would be welcomed and celebrated. This retaliation against Councilor Mayer is a disgrace to our justice system. The unnecessary killing of innocent animals has to stop. How we treat them is a reflection of how we treat others in our society. Our children learn compassion from us. We must come together and show them that animals are valued and not disposable unfeeling objects to be neglected, exploited and made money from. This ordinance being passed shows the commitment and hard work Councilor Mayer puts into her job in serving and improving our communities. If you’re not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.

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