I've just read the Gila WoodNet article ("Seeing
the Forest for the Trees," March 2006). It's a fine
piece of work. I think you have captured the spirit of what we are
trying to do better than anyone has. I've taken the liberty of sending
the article far and wide around the country to other forest restoration
and community forestry advocates. Return reviews are very good.
Thanks for taking the time to create such a thoughtful article. It's
a pleasure to have such a high-quality publication in our community.
Center for Biological Diversity
Making New Mexico Safe for Democracy
Your editorial ("30-Day
2006) appalls me. As a rule I admire your insightful wisdom, backhanded
praise and bad jokes, but now I must speak out.
Install democracy in New Mexico as our country has in other places???
You jest. I ask you, sir, how could our poor state afford to feed all
the troops that the Federales, I mean the White House, requires to enforce
democracy in such far-flung places as ours? These are growing American
teenagers we are talking about, and they eat a lot. It would be an absurd
burden, especially since they probably won't eat as many chiles as is
healthy for them.
Then there are media coverage problems. The imposition of democracy
on unwilling people being a newsworthy event, all the international media—BBC,
NBC and ABC and the others (Fox probably wouldn't bother)—would be forced
to learn where New Mexico actually is, and who will fund that?
Does your hard heart consider their plight?
Furthermore, you lament our existing (semi-democratic) governing body
meeting in secrecy, yet I submit to you that making these meetings public
would require massive changes to the public indecency laws, as nearly
everything they do seems to be fairly disgusting. And, if all these august
lawmakers were defending themselves against charges of public indecency
they wouldn't have time to hum our official cowboy song (chosen without
an open competition, I would like to point out).
Perhaps, since Virgin is so enamored of New Mexico, and seems to know
where it is, we should simply look at getting them to tender a corporate
takeover. Much simpler and eliminates all those nasty taxation issues.
And why pay salaries to both the governor of the state and the CEO of
Virgin when they so clearly are pursuing the same thing? At least that's
what they tell us. All we ask is a fully funded 401(k) for every citizen.
Traveling Ed Teja
After the Storm
Your article "Storm
Surge" (March 2006)
was excellent. We are extremely grateful for your efforts, as well
as those of Matt Shaw, Sergeant Jim Lee and the New Mexico National
Guard, in getting our story and our needs out to the public. We have
come to realize that without caring people like you, our recovery would
not be possible.
On behalf of the Plaquemines Parish School Board, I would like to sincerely
thank you for sending assistance our way during these trying times. Recovery
is slow, but we are confident in our ability to rebuild our schools and
Presently, more than 3,000 of our 5,200 students
have returned to attend classes in one of the three remaining schools
in our system. Our efforts to rebuild are well underway and we hope
to reopen three additional schools in August. We hope that your article
will generate interest in our efforts to reopen and refurbish our schools "down the road," as
we say in Plaquemines. We will let you know the results.
Again, we commend your article and appreciate your help. We ask that
you keep us in your thoughts as we continue to work towards rebuilding
our school district.
James C. Hoyle
Superintendant, Plaquemines Parish Schools
Belle Chasse, Louisiana
As someone planning to move soon from southern
Massachusetts to southern New Mexico, I received the February issue
of Desert Exposure at
an interesting juncture of several issues of the Cape
The Times articles were about the significant number
of cases of childhood cancers manifesting here in mid-Cape— the Sandwich,
Mashpee, Falmouth areas. Several years back, there were similar articles
about the significantly higher levels of women's breast cancers in
these exact same areas.
After many, many years of secrecy, neglect and outright environmental
abuse, the local military center, Otis Air Force Base, was proven to
be the cause of an enormous destruction of central Cape's groundwater.
Gigantic plumes of chemicals were found to be emanating from those airfields,
with thousands of gallons of drinking water, loaded with toxins and carcinogens,
radiating southward and westward in the Sandwich-Mashpee-Falmouth area.
Suits were filed, protests staged, and publicity mushroomed. Only then
did the military superiors face the issues confronting them.
As I read your article, "Have
Spacesuit, Will Travel," I
saw something far, far different than the smiling millions of dollars
about to crash-land onto southern New Mexico. I saw the hundreds of
thousands of gallons of toxic and carcinogenic fuels that will be burned
in those clear blue skies in the ensuing decades of space-shots at
play, eager for sex in a vacuum, as they become existential cartoons
in a Dizzy-ny World all their own making. The tons of fuels to be burned
at take-offs. The fuels spilled. The crashes and chemical explosions.
The consummate waste of precious and precarious fuels, and the deluging
cancers of children and women soon to formulate.
A space adventure that your article suggests is
humbling, spiritual? How's about just plain dumb? It is one more repeat
of the classic Euroamerican mania, How the West Was Won, redundant
with the mythic myopia of civilization (from the Latin civitas,
city, i.e., city-based culture), a shallow and anemic culture of I-me-mine
and up-yours, whose motto is, "If
we can do it, we will do it." The
last thing it ever asks itself is: Should we do it? Will it benefit
humanity? Is this in harmony with the natural order?
Deficient in situational awareness, the city-zation paradigm is utterly
devoid of contextual consciousness. Lacking any comprehension whatsoever
of an organic cosmos, of an interactive holism, it is now merrily trashing
space, the moon and other planets. Clearly, civilization is a culture
of cosmic aliens.
Certainly, the pattern of its pathology is consistent. When Christopher
Criminal was busy discovering America, shooting, raping and enslaving
the gentle Arawaks, his thugs chopping off the heads of young boys just
for the fun of it, wrote eyewitness Bartolomeo de las Casas, guess what
was going on all over Europe? The state-sponsored building of insane
In the significant words of a Cree prophecy, "Only
after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has
been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then
will you find that money cannot be eaten."
To which I would add, "Only after the last
desert has been expunged."
Max Redfire Wheeler
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