Published Letters & Op-Eds
by G.E. Nordell

Page One

busy writing away...

on this page: Letters To The Editor, etc. from 2016 forward

Letters To The Editor, etc. 1965 to 2008 {on Page Two}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2009 {lower half Page Three}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2010 {upper half Page Three}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2011 {lower half Page Four}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2012 {upper half Page Four}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2013-2015 {Page Five}

News Stories (from 2006 on) about G.E. Nordell Page


"The battle against ignorance and apathy and magical thinking is a full time job." — G.E. Nordell


Letters To The Editor, etc. 2017
Op Ed News postings for 2017

No More July Fourth For Me   [13 June 2017]
click here to read

ENERGY: Ethanol Breakthrough at Oak Ridge   [12 February 2017]
click here to read

     www.working-minds.com
     author / philosopher / revolutionary G.E. Nordell lives & works in rural New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 16 Nov 2017
Opinion Section [page 4-A]

A bridge is needed
       Let me get this straight: BNSF reported their first quarter 2017 profit to be $838 million on revenue of $5.2 billion (profit up 7 percent, revenue up 9 percent), which computes to a nifty 6.20 percent. Repeat: $838 million profit in just three months.
       Yet BNSF is whining about the rail crossing down in Jarales and are asking cash-strapped New Mexico and/or Valencia County to pay for an overpass there so that BNSF can add two more tracks and increase traffic and therefore increase profits even further.
       Such a bridge would cost a mere $5-6 million and would maintain access to the Jarales community, which has existed since the 1700s. The cowardly Valencia County commissioners act as if BNSF – and other corporations such as Facebook and WalMart – are King Kong.
       Well, if the county commission ever decides to act like adults, they will find that *we* are King Kong in these matters: If BNSF wants construction permits for their new tracks, they better build the Jarales overpass bridge with their own money first — no bridge, no permits.
       What’s BNSF gonna do, leave town?

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 2 Nov 2017
Opinion Section [page 4-A]

Forget prayer, we need an airlift for Puerto Rico
       The island of Puerto Rico is, they say, obliterated by Hurricane Maria. Electrical power and other utilities will be unavailable in some areas for six months.
       Lots of people have prayed that the people of Puerto Rico would be safe from each new hurricane. Doesn’t help: the hurricane goes where it wants and survival is very much a matter of luck.
       Most of the church buildings are gone, also. Can’t light candles if there aren’t any.
       Politics in America has become a divisive and hostile affair, largely caused by the fascist Oligarchy and their manipulation of the Republican Party.
       But back in 1948, Americans were proud of our success in World War II, and already clear that Russia was a threat to democracy. So when East Germany closed all access to Berlin, the Western allies organized an airlift, sending 278,228 flights to Berlin from June 1948 to September 1949. The cost of the airlift was shared between the U.S.A., U.K., and Germany and is estimated at $225M to $500M (which would be $2¼B to $5B in today’s inflated economy).
       It actually doesn’t matter how much a modern airlift might cost, we have got to do something or we will know that who this country is is Trump’s not-very-great America.
       The population of Berlin in 1948 was 2.4 million; the Puerto Rico population pre-hurricane was roughly 3.5 million. The United States is moving too slow while real lives — American lives — are in the balance.
       You know the drill: Call both Senators and your Congressperson.
       Say anything, but include the phrase ‘Puerto Rico Airlift’. [Visit] callmycongress.com or callyourrep.co.
       And also call your local television and newspaper companies to let them know that this solution should be covered by them.
       And pre-emptively, tell your backward Republican in-laws that it is their party’s fault that action has not been taken in Congress.
       American lives are in the balance.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

"The Bulletin" Magazine of American Mensa, Ltd.
August 2017
Letters [pages 12-13]

Tax on Net Worth
     There is a saying (sometimes used facetiously) that ‘great minds think alike’. Maybe so.
     Dr. Gaygen’s article in the July Mensa Bulletin on an ‘equal tax’ to replace the income tax is quite similar to Reason-Based Taxation, with the big difference being that Reason-Based Taxation is an income tax and it is not equal.
     Reason-Based Taxation has recently gained traction here in New Mexico, with both U.S. Senators, two Congresspeople, and several state legislators working to enact elements of the Reason-Based Taxation proposal. The website www.reasonbasedtaxation.info includes the four-page proposal document with all the details, which readers can download and-or print.
     It would be too easy to cheat on Dr. Gaygen’s equal tax – just don’t file. Reason-Based Taxation consists of several rates computed on reported income for individuals and of different rules on reported revenue for corporations. Profits up to ten percent of revenue for corporations are tax free, while profits and executive pay above certain levels are taxed at 50% to the corporation. Thus, corporations are encouraged to practice actual capitalism in place of our current system of piracy by Wall Street tycoons.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, NM

Albuquerque [NM] Journal
Tuesday 1 August 2017
Letters Section [page A11]

Police discipline better in Denver than here
       THE JOURNAL left out another significant reason that people move out of state: Cops in Denver and other cities don't shoot homeless people and residents and tourists nearly as often.
     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 13 July 2017
Opinion Section [page 4-A]

Some are brainwashed
       I am an American and I love the country that I was born in. But that country no longer exists.

       All three branches of the U.S. federal government are now controlled by fascists. Congress is controlled by Republicans who sold out to the The Koch Brothers and A.L.E.C. to Wall Street banks, to Southern (and Northern) racists and hatemongers, to Rupert Murdoch’s Fox channel and its fake news propaganda, to religious fanatics, and to climate change-denying polluters.

       The U.S. Supreme Court is controlled by fascists (five to four). All five are members of the federalist society and signatories of P.N.A.C. (the latter being a violation of their oath of office, if not both). Loose cannon billionaire sex offender Emperor Donald Trump violated his oath of office as president the moment that he spoke it and is still in violation of the Constitution’s emolument clauses. His entire administration believes that lying alters reality. And there is now enough evidence of the crime of obstruction of justice to impeach emperor Trump whenever the Constitution gets revived.

       The U.S. Constitution is a hollow shell; it was placed on life support (metaphorically) in January 2010 when Justice John Roberts issued the ludicrous Citizens United v. FEC decision declaring the United States to be a fascist government. The U.S. Constitution was finally killed when Emperor Trump took over the White House and the executive branch with the help of (per evidence since revealed) dictator Vladimir Putin of Russia.

       Fascism was defined by Benito Mussolini in 1926 as when “the corporations and the military take the government away from the people”. He later said that he should have called it corporatism, because that is what it is.

       Everyone in emperor Trump’s cabinet is either a general officer in the military (active or retired) or a right-wing billionaire. Other officials in the Trump White House include failed TV reporters, incompetent members of the Trump family, and lobbyists and politicians sworn to dismantle the very department or bureau that they now head.

       I, long ago, gave up celebrating 'pagan holidays' — Halloween is the obvious one, but so are New Year’s Day, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. That leaves Memorial Day and Veterans Day and Labor Day, which no longer have cultural meaning and are basically excuses for three-day weekends. MLK Day, Gay Pride Day, Mothers Day, and Fathers Day are irrelevant to my situation, so that left only Independence Day on July 4 as a holiday that mattered to me.

       A group of wealthy, white males signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and their defiance of the British monarchy and business interests put each of them at great risk. The last phrase of that immortal document states that they “mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor”.

       Today’s United States government has no honor. None.

       Emperor Trump decreed withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement so that our corporations can freely pollute and thus increase profits. Congress is slashing head start and Medicare and Medicaid and cutting $5 billion from public education and cutting further billions from the budgets of the EPA, the IRS, the CDC, the SEC, and from the departments of Health and Human Services and Housing and Urban Development so that corporations can wreak havoc without regulation.

       The Department of the Interior will be selling federal land and mineral rights to the lowest-bidding polluter. And there will be no job creation programs through infrastructure repair or renewable energy or economic stimulus — better to keep the peasants living in fear.

       Here is a clue for the clueless: Privatization is fascism. Every time. Period.

       So there is really nothing to celebrate on July 4 this year. We, the people, are displaced, no longer free and independent individuals basking in a world of choice and prosperity. We are peasants living under the control of the same divine right aristocracy that we broke with in 1776.

       And at least half of the people in America (and in New Mexico and in my Valencia County) have been brainwashed into believing that that is a good thing.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Community View newsletter ezine {of Rio Communities, New Mexico}
edited by Clarke Metcalf
Issue #43 dated 30 April 2017 - Citizen Opinions Section

EDITOR: LETHAL POTHOLES
       Two LETHAL (to motorcyclists) potholes on Manzano Expressway near the Presbyterian Church, one on each side, plus one soon-lethal pothole closer to Highway 47 on the westbound side.
       Two options:
       1) Take action ASAP
       2) Pay for wrongful death lawsuit from dead motorcyclist’s family
       The clock is ticking.

       Submitted by G.E. Nordell on April 23

Community View newsletter ezine {of Rio Communities, New Mexico}
edited by Clarke Metcalf
Issue #40 dated 15 March 2017 - Citizen Opinions Section

EDITOR: DARK THOUGHTS
       The recent citizen complaints about the lack of night lighting in the R.C. City Hall parking lot is a 'tempest in a teacup', except that the situation is potentially dangerous.
       There is a simple solution: Home Depot sells a Heath Zenith 180-degree White Solar Powered Motion Detection Outdoor Security Light for only $82, which is well below the city’s allowed expenditure threshold. All it would take is a willing worker, a ladder, and a screwdriver. Put three or even four. Problem solved, happy residents, safer City Hall grounds.
       HOWEVER: what we can expect from our R.C. city government is no action whatsoever, because safety and other resident concerns are not their concern. The people figured this out, and thus the low, low attendance to City Council meetings.
       So I’m putting the RC city government on the spot here. This is being sent out as an email on Thursday, March 2nd and I am predicting that nothing will have been done in six months. Wanna prove me wrong? Take action.
       The clock is ticking, and the residents are watching.

       Submitted by G.E. Nordell on March 2

V.B. Price's 'Mercury Messenger' weblog
Monday 13 February 2017
my comment about the essay "Sabotaging The Golden Rule: Bullies, Bigots, Narcisists and The Philosophy of Selfishness"

       First, I'm going to guess that V.B. Price has read neither "Fountainhead" nor "Atlas Shrugged"; both are available as movies. Price's diatribe is misinformation trying to refute the misinformation about Ayn Rand that seeps out of the Republican propaganda machine.
       Lots of folks get Ayn Rand wrong: Ron Paul, Paul Ryan, even radio host Thom Hartmann. The Objectivist philosophy is a very good match for the Golden Rule, so any claim otherwise misses the mark. Ayn Rand kicked the Republicans out of her 'circle' in New York in 1968, and she kicked out the Libertarians the next year. The Republicans especially stand on the word 'selfish' and say they love Objectivism but give themselves permission to lie and cheat and steal to win elections. Any claims to Objectivism by Republicans and Libertarians are untrue.
       The ecomonies of the United States and Europe are not and never have been capitalism. Robber barons are not capitalists, but they get away with a lot by flying that false flag. Capitalism is the creation of jobs and products and services.
       Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy is correct in the existential sense: it matches objective reality. Theough the philosophy is correct, Ayn Rand made one very large mistake, one which has caused a lot of mischief.
       Ayn Rand was born in Petrograd, Russia in 1905; she experienced both of the revolutions of 1917; the Bolsheviks took away her father's pharmacy and her family suffered reduced circumstances there-after. She hated communism for the rest of her life.
       You can see videos of Ayn Rand from the late 1970s, mostly from televison appearances, and they are a lot of fun. What is remarkable there is that even at age seventy her Russian accent was pronounced. (She moved to America in 1926, died in New York City in 1982.) It looks on these videos like she thinks in Russian and then speaks in English. That is the source of her major mistake. The term 'selfish-ness' as used in her novels and her newspaper columns and her collected works is not really what the philosophy intends. The proper word would be 'selfhood', which leaves the Republicans out in the cold. A lot has been lost in that mis-translation.
       One must become a (capital-S) Self in order to practice Objectivism. A Self is responsible for his/her actions. A Self has no interest in pressure to conform or to surrender to altruism -- altruism is putting the interest of real or abstract strangers before the interest of one's Self or loved ones. A Self chooses and lives from his/her values without agreement being necessary.
       So-called Social Darwinism is also a false concept. Darwin used the term 'survival of the fittest' only once in his books, and that was a quote of someone else. What Darwin said was “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Mankind's failure to adapt to the reality of climate change has our species destined for extinction in about thirty years. Conservatives use Darwin to justify raping and pillaging the planet -- just as they use Objectivism to oppress regulation.
       One of the items on my Lottery List (what I'll do when I win the Big One) is to obtain the rights for "Atlas Shrugged" and edit a version with the word 'selfishness' replaced by the word 'selfhood'. While the Ayn Rand estate sells 3 million books each year, in large part to college students, those readers give up the tough road to selfhood partly because the vocabulary in Ayn Rand's books is inaccurate. There is also the 24/7 pressure of the Culture Structure to believe all the crap that recently put a fascist in the White House.
       Being a Self provides major advantages in dealing with a sometimes-hostile and often-irrational culture. You and your readers should try it.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico


Letters To The Editor, etc. 2016
Op Ed News postings for 2016

Voter Suppression 2016   [6 November 2016]
click here to read

Explaining Flat U.S. Job Growth   [23 October 2016]
click here to read

Civilization Is Imploding   [9 October 2016]
click here to read

     www.working-minds.com
     author / philosopher / revolutionary G.E. Nordell lives & works in rural New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 29 Dec 2016
Opinion Section [page 4-A]

Our lives are on the line
       Lewis Green’s letter printed on Oct. 6 about not using the missing Valencia County hospital mill levy expresses his viewpoint, but is incomplete.
       While the politicians and residents are blocking the construction of a hospital anywhere in Valencia County, emergency patients must be transported by ambulance the 40 miles to Albuquerque, at great expense and at serious risk to the emergency patient’s life.
       With a hospital in existence here, E.M.T. personnel will have as a first option transport to our local E.R. facility, saving both lives and costs – each E.M.T. ambulance is a wonderful thing, but none include all that an emergency room does.
       As for veterans, the only current option for heart attack or stroke or other emergency events is the 40-minute ambulance ride to the Albuquerque V.A.
       Medical solutions are one thing, but then there is the paperwork.
       The V.A. operates by classifying enrolled veterans among eight categories. Mr. Green says that he is 100 percent disabled, which puts him at category 1, 2, or 3; I am category 5 (honorable discharge, no service-related conditions), and category 8 is for people who are wealthy and can afford to pay for their own medical expenses.
       Category 5, for example, includes co-pays for anyone earning more than $12,000 per year, so I pay $100 a year for each VA-given prescription medication. Since my Social Security income puts me just above that dollar-limit, I am dealing with the $1,100 bill for my second ambulance ride to E.R. at Albuquerque V.A.
       What the non-existent hospital in Valencia County will provide is saving lives of veterans and other county residents. After such medical treatment, the still-alive patient will have to fight the various H.M.O., Medicare, Medicaid and/or V.A. billing bureaucracies, as applicable.
       Build the damn hospital, save lives, billing is the least of concerns.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Community View newsletter ezine {of Rio Communities, New Mexico}
edited by Clarke Metcalf
Issue #33 dated 30 November 2016 - Citizen Opinions Section

EDITOR: SOLAR REBUTTAL
       The letter in CV’s Issue 32 from fellow resident Rex Newkirk is a pack of falsehoods derived from right wing propaganda.
       I installed ten solar panels in my back yard in 2008 at a cost of $18,000; they produce up to 1800 watts of power at any given daylight moment, depending on cloud cover. During the average day, my electricity usage is less than my electricity production, so that at the end of the month, I usually receive a 'this is not a bill' zero balance notice instead of an electric bill from PNM.
       PNM sends me a check when the electricity PRODUCED BY ME exceeds my usage; PNM is required to pay producers at the same rate that they charge me and my neighbors; PNM cuts a check only when the net amount is over $20.
       I produce electricity; PNM subtracts my production from my electric bill; my excess production is SOLD TO MY NEIGHBORS by PNM, for which I receive payment.
       There is NO 'subsidy' in this commercial transaction. Mr. Newkirk is completely misinformed.
       (For other readers, the panels now cost about one-third what I paid and produce 50% more power; labor to install remains about the same.)

       Submitted by G.E. Nordell on November 15

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 3 November 2016
Opinion Section [page 4-A]

Everyone needs to vote
       A recent OpEd in the Albuquerque Journal chastises Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg for expressing her opinion; that attack is censorship.
       While such comments are rare from federal judges, Ginsberg is in full compliance with her First Amendment right to free speech.
       The Journal’s editorial policy will, of course, continue to absolve the fascist members of the U.S. Supreme Court from their many impeachable offenses. The secret Powell Memorandum of August 1971 spelled out how to take control of the federal government and that plan is just about fulfilled – except for the pesky matter of citizens still being able to vote. (The millions of dollars spent by the Republican Party on voter suppression is an effort to solve that problem.)
       Counting the recently-deceased Justice Scalia, the Fascist Five on the Supreme Court are all members of the Federalist Society and all are signatories to P.N.A.C. (the Project for the New American Century) – each of which alliance is a violation of their oath of office. (It also happens that all five are Catholic, but that is not a crime.)
       In addition, Justice Thomas worked for Monsanto Chemical for four years, and yet will not recuse himself, saying nothing in court and voting for Monsanto. He is married to conservative lobbyist Virginia Lamp Thomas, and misses every opportunity to recuse himself whenever issues that she is working on come before the court. Justice Thomas also appears at Republican political fundraiser events.
       Justice Scalia served on the Supreme Court for almost 30 years, doing all sorts of damage to civil rights issues. His son, Eugene Scalia, is a Washington, D.C., lawyer who has argued before the court; Scalia did not recuse himself on those occasions.
       Scalia has messed up the court’s decision-making even in death, since the Republican Party violates their oath of office by refusing to hold hearings to replace Scalia.
       Justice Roberts committed perjury at his confirmation hearings, over the issue of “stare decicis” (an important judicial term that means ‘bound by precedent’). More importantly, his execrable decision in Citizens United v. FEC declared the United States to be a fascist country.
       Aside from the wrongness of that decision, he was able to support the decision only with ludicrous legal citations. Any law student knows that citing a dissent in a homework assignment can get you a failed grade; Roberts cited 25 such dissents in Citizens United v. FEC, which makes the decision worthless.
       But then, here we are. The implementation of the Powell Memo plan has delivered a fascist Supreme Court and Congress, and there is nowhere to seek redress of grievances. The Republican-controlled Senate will not take even the first step toward impeachment of anyone on the Supreme Court (nor of folks like Mitch McConnell within Congress), so the only avenue left to the American citizen (short of violence) is to vote and vote and vote, until Citizens United is reversed.
       The national election for president looks like a big win for Hillary Clinton, but congressional and state contests are less certain. Equally important is for every eligible voter to show up for every local election, from city council to school board to dogcatcher.
       Your vote matters. If it did not, the Republican Party and its dark money PACs would not be spending millions of dollars to take it away from you.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

response to my Letter of November 3 above {by email at 3:50pm}

       Mr. Nordell --
       I saw a great op-ed in today's News-Bulletin - looks like it came from you.
       Just wanted to say THANK YOU for pushing that important message.

     Patrick Davis
     Executive Director, ProgressNow New Mexico
     {Pat Davis also serves as a member of the Albuquerque City Council for District 6}

Albuquerque [NM] Free Press Weekly
Wednesday 2 November 2016
Columns/Opinion Section [page 8]

Facing Down The Fascist Threat On The U.S. Supreme Court
       A recent OpEd in the Albuquerque Journal chastises Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg for expressing her opinion. That attack is censorship. While such comments are rare from federal judges, Ginsberg is in full compliance with her First Amendment right to free speech.
       The Journal’s editorial policy will, of course, continue to absolve the fascist members of the U.S. Supreme Court from their many impeachable offenses. The secret memo [of August 1971] written by eventual Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell spelled out how business could take control of the federal government. That plan is just about fulfilled – except for the pesky matter of citizens still being able to vote. (The millions of dollars spent by the Republican Party on voter suppression is an effort to solve that problem.)
       Counting the recently-deceased Justice Scalia, the Fascist Five on the Supreme Court are all members of the Federalist Society and all are signatories to P.N.A.C. (the Project for the New American Century) – which constitutes a violation of their oath of office. (It also happens that all five are Catholic, but that is not a crime.)
       In addition, Justice Thomas worked for Monsanto Chemical for four years, and yet will not recuse himself, saying nothing in court and voting for Monsanto. He is married to conservative lobbyist Virginia Lamp Thomas, and misses every opportunity to recuse himself whenever issues that she is working on come before the court. Justice Thomas also appears at Republican political fundraiser events.
       Justice Scalia served on the Supreme Court for almost 30 years, doing all sorts of damage to civil rights issues. His son, Eugene Scalia, is a Washington, D.C., lawyer who has argued before the court; Scalia did not recuse himself on those occasions. Scalia has messed up the court’s decision-making even in death, since the Republicans in the Senate violate their oath of office by refusing to hold hearings to replace Scalia.
       Justice Roberts committed perjury at his confirmation hearings, over whether he would follow precedent. More importantly, his execrable decision in Citizens United v. FEC declared the United States to be a fascist country. Aside from the wrongness of that decision, he was able to support the decision only with ludicrous legal citations. Any law student knows that citing a dissent in a homework assignment can get you a failed grade; Roberts cited 25 such dissents in Citizens United v. FEC, which makes the decision worthless.
       But then, here we are. The implementation of the Powell Memo plan has delivered a fascist Supreme Court and Congress, and there is nowhere to seek redress of grievances. The Republican-controlled Senate will not take even the first step toward impeachment of anyone on the Supreme Court (nor of folks like Mitch McConnell within Congress), so the only avenue left to the American citizen, short of violence, is to vote and vote and vote, until Citizens United is reversed.
       The national election for president looks like a big win for Hillary Clinton, but congressional and state contests are less certain. It is vital that every eligible voter show up for every local election, from city council to school board to dogcatcher.
       Your vote matters. If it did not, the Republican Party and its dark money PACs would not be spending millions of dollars to take it away from you.

     Philosopher and author G.E. Nordell left California because there was nowhere to park. He is very, very retired and has lived atop the East Mesa in Rio Communities since 2005.

Community View newsletter ezine {of Rio Communities, New Mexico}
edited by Clarke Metcalf
Issue #29 dated 30 September 2016 - Citizen Opinions Section

EDITOR: ABOUT THE PHONE SCAMS
       If you write down the time and date and phone number (from Caller ID) and something about the content (“Rachel from credit card service”, “URGENT from the IRS”), you can report spam callers to the Do Not Call website at http://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintchec.aspx.
       I keep a 3x5 pad next to my cell phone & charger, and when I get 3 or 4 notes, I go to the www.DoNotCall.gov website, and report them, which happens about every week or ten days.
       If you have not already done so, the same website allows getting on the Official Do Not Call List, and you can add the landline numbers of your relatives, etc. as needed.
       I now get very few sales calls, since I’m on the list; the calls I do get are from crooks who don’t obey the list, so they very much deserve to be reported.

       Submitted by G.E. Nordell on September 16

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 15 September 2016
Opinion Section [page 4A]

Parks in Rio Communities
       I have lived here for 11 years now, and am quite content in my retirement.
       I especially like the dry weather, though that may soon become a thing of the past. At least there will be no 9-foot storm surges like in Florida this week, nor 24-inch rain dumps like in Louisiana. (And even if such did happen in New Mexico, I am on top of a ridge, so flooding won’t be much problem.)
       Soon after I moved in, there was lots of news about the new hospital, which would in fact be about a mile from me. Ten years later, the dunderheads of the Valencia County Commission have dithered away all momentum, and surely lives were lost or damaged (I have had two hour-long trips by ambulance to the V.A. emergency room), and the best guess is that a hospital might show up here in two years.

       National politics is a depressing circus on both sides — the choice is between an idiot fascist and a power-seeking plutocrat — so I turn myself to local political wars.
        Merrie Lee Soules has the numbers to beat meathead Steve Pearce for New Mexico District 2 in Congress; I plan to work on behalf of her and other Democrats as the November election approaches.
       Meanwhile, the 3-year-old city of Rio Communities is paying for the one-officer police department (five shifts per week out of 21 shifts); this only took three years, and might be an improvement over the distant and underfunded Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, but folks here do not really feel that much safer.
       The city of Rio Communities has now decided to consider creating parks. The problem is that the Rio Communities’ leadership is imitating the Valencia County Commission by studying the matter to death, probably for the next three-to-five years while our children and teens play in the dirt or in the street.
       I sent the suggestions below to the mayor and city councilors; only Councilor Sais perceived the possible benefits.
       Citizens of Rio Communities who want parks before their children graduate high school need to put pressure on our city bureaucrats to take action before winter arrives. (Attendance at public city meetings is quite low, so the bureaucrats feel no pressure on any of our local issues.)

       1. Whenever I drive up or down Manzano Expressway, I am offended by the bare dirt vacant area that used to be a nice park. We need parks for several reasons — the kids, the adults and the property values.
       2. Parks should be constructed in phases, at perhaps six or eight or 10 locations around Rio Communities (then the next phase).
       3. Phase 1: Plant grass and trees; make one park level enough and big enough for youth soccer; trash cans. Perhaps the fire department can have practice sessions and spray water all over the grass and trees now and then.
       4. Phase 2: Dirt parking areas, heavy chain and post boundaries, signs, sprinklers, fire hydrants (more fire department spraying practice). Maybe local green thumb people will beautify by planting long-term flower beds.
       5. Phase 3: More trees, paved parking and walkways, drinking fountains, picnic tables, riding mower.
       6. Phase 4: Tin roof on a slab structures (like at the park across the river), restrooms. Emptying trash cans would be a part-time job, such as by a hired maintenance department employee; same as for mowing.
       7. With a phased plan such as this, bids could be taken for the first phase, and construction could begin in a month or two. After the parks are in existence, the city can have a contest for naming them.

       While all this is happening, the planning and zoning and the economic development committees can draw all the pictures and maps and flip-charts that they want, they can take multiple surveys, they can take trips to visit nice parks elsewhere, and they can peruse any number of playground equipment catalogs.
       While the Rio Communities’ bureaucrats are dithering, the grass and trees in all 10 parks could be growing.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Community View newsletter ezine {of Rio Communities, New Mexico}
edited by Clarke Metcalf
Issue #26 dated 14 August 2016 - Citizen Opinions Section

EDITOR: BUILDING PARKS
       Here are my ideas for [parks in] Rio Communities:
       1) Whenever I drive up or down Manzano Expressway, I am offended by the bare dirt vacant area that used to be a nice park. We need parks for several reasons: the kids, the adults, and the property values.
       2) Parks should be constructed in phases, of perhaps 6 or 8 or 10 around RC (then the next phase).
       3) FIRST PHASE: Plant grass and trees; make one park level enough and big enough for youth soccer; trash cans. Perhaps the Fire Department can have practice sessions and spray water all over the grass and trees now and then.
       4) SECOND PHASE: Dirt parking areas, heavy chain and post boundaries, signs, sprinklers, fire hydrants (more Fire Department spraying practice). Maybe local green thumb people will beautify by planting long-term flower beds.
       5) THIRD PHASE: More trees, paved parking and walkways, drinking fountains, picnic tables, riding mower.
       6) FOURTH PHASE: 'Tin roof on a slab' structures (like at the park across the river), restrooms. Emptying trash cans would be a part-time job, such as by a hired Maintenance Department employee; same as for mowing.
       7) After the parks are in existence, the city can have a contest for naming them. With a phased plan such as this, bids could be taken for the First Phase, and construction could begin in a month or two.

       Submitted by G.E. Nordell

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 11 August 2016
Opinion Section [page 4A]

Boycotting Hobby Lobby
       The recent full-page paid ad from Hobby Lobby-Mardel Stores printed in the Albuquerque [NM] Journal, the Peoria [Illinois] Journal Star, the Valdosta [Georgia] Daily Times, and other newspapers on July 4 is a bunch of hooey.
       The corporation has a right to publicize their viewpoint (in print or otherwise) and they appear to be accountable only to their stockholders, while pretending to be accountable to some non-existent deity. The First Amendment guarantees free speech, but it also states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” This Constitutional provision is often violated by religionists.

       There are at least three major failures displayed by Hobby Lobby-Mardel’s grandstanding paid ad:
•      The first failure has to do with the Judeo-Xian Ten Commandments, which include the instruction “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” i.e. don’t lie. Thus the dunderhead executives at Hobby Lobby-Mardel prove themselves to be hypocrites.
•      As to the second failure, there is no requirement to be fair and balanced in paid ads, so here are a few quotations that the Hobby Lobby-Mardel ad failed to include:
       “I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.” — Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826]
       “Church and state are, and must remain, separate.” — Ronald Reagan [1911-2004] {during a speech at Temple Hillel in Valley Stream, New York - Oct. 26, 1984}
       “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” — Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] {in the ‘Letter to the Danbury Baptist Association’, Jan. 1, 1802}
       “The Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” — Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, which was unanimously ratified by the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by President John Adams.
•      Thirdly, Hobby Lobby-Mardel intentionally offends Native American, Jewish, Orthodox Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah’s Witness, and non-religious readers.

       Anyone not already boycotting Hobby Lobby-Mardel because of their ill-treatment of employees (especially female employees) now has ample reason to boycott Hobby Lobby-Mardel and never set foot in their stores because of their publicly displayed religious intolerance.
       (The battle against ignorance and apathy and magical thinking is a full time job.)

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

response to my Letter of August 11 above

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 7 September 2016
Opinion / Letters [page 4A]

Don’t encourage intolerance
       I am responding to G.E. Nordell’s comments regarding Hobby Lobby.
       With all due respect, sir, it seems to me that these situations occur when the customer goes into any store with the intent of being offended by anyone or anything. I can go into a store and be offended if I desire to do so, because there are T-shirts with sayings on them that really bother me.
       I can go into a specific store in any large mall, and be offended because the philosophy of that merchant may not meet mine. So, guess what! If I am offended by any store for any reason, I do not patronize that particular store!
       It is suggestions such as yours that has caused our country to become less tolerant of each other. It has become so easy to criticize the Christian’s beliefs, when in fact, sir, you have apparently not had the opportunity to enjoy what the Christian life has to offer, and to know and understand how it changes one who has been torn apart by brokenness, and to have gone through a time of depression from which no medication was able to cure.
       Believe what you want. That is your right, and I respect that right. Please understand that there are thousands of people who do not share your belief, and who do believe in a risen Savior.
       That is our right, and all we ask is that you respect us and not encourage intolerance of us and those rights that we hold dear! My suggestion to you is to do what I do, and not go into a store that offends you!
       I do agree with you that the battle against ignorance and apathy and magical thinking is a full-time job!

     Sandy Eyman
     Los Lunas, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 2 June 2016
Opinion Section [page 4A]

Pearce doesn’t represent me
       The Republican New Mexico Legislature redrew the state’s congressional districts a couple years ago. Thus I am stuck in District 2, with meathead Steve Pearce as Congressman.
       But Steve Pearce does not represent me. Steve Pearce advocates racism and bigotry. He accepted money to give a speech at Liberty University’s week-long “Hate Camp” in Florida, and is not ashamed for doing so.
       Pearce repeatedly votes against solutions for veterans.
       Pearce is owned by the ranchers of Southern New Mexico, recently advocating that protected lands be turned over to those ranchers for over-grazing by cattle herds. (The prior territory has been over-grazed, so the greedy cattle barons need new land to despoil. Simple: Ask Pearce for help.)
       Pearce always votes in favor of pollution, specifically for allowing oil interests to pollute the disappearing aquifer of southern and eastern New Mexico with secret chemicals used in hydraulic fracking. (Until there is scientific evidence otherwise, fracking IS pollution. Period.)
       The second congressional district was redrawn with a 70,000 voter majority of Republicans over Democrats. So any Democrat running for this seat has a very tough row to hoe. Unfortunately, the options for all Second District residents and voters are democracy or meathead Steve Pearce.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Hobbs [NM] News-Sun Friday 29 April 2016

headline not verified
       The Republican New Mexico Legislature redrew the state's Congressional districts a couple years ago. Thus I am stuck in District 2, with meathead Steve Pearce as Congressman.
       But Steve Pearce does not represent me. Steve Pearce advocates racism and bigotry. He accepted money to give a speech at Liberty University's week-long 'Hate Camp' in Florida, and is not ashamed for doing so.
       Pearce repeatedly votes against solutions for veterans.
       Pearce is owned by the ranchers of Southern New Mexico, recently advocating that protected lands be turned over to those ranchers for over-grazing by cattle herds. (The prior territory has been over-grazed, so the greedy cattle barons need new land to despoil. Simple: ask Pearce for help.)
       Pearce always votes in favor of pollution, specifically for allowing oil interests to pollute the disappearing acquifer of southern and eastern New Mexico with secret chemicals used in hydraulic fracking. (Until there is scientific evidence otherwise, fracking IS pollution. Period.)
       The Second Congressional District was redrawn with a 70,000 voter majority of Republicans over Democrats. So any Democrat running for this seat has a very tough row to hoe. Unfortunately, the options for all Second District residents and voters are democracy or meathead Steve Pearce.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 21 April 2016
Opinion Section [page 4A]

U.S.P.S. has some work to do
       Somebody broke one of the doors on the postal 'gang box' across the street. So the U.S. Postal Service decided to replace it.
       Their plan, however, is designed to cause the most possible inconvenience to the postal patrons. (Thus suggesting that a large deposit of Belenium ore lurks beneath the Belén post office building.)
       Only one door needed fixing, so postal workers ripped out the old steel gang box and replaced it with a new one. (OK, doors have to be fixed at the factory or some regional post office facility; the gang box needs to be hard to open without a key, i.e. tougher than a crowbar.)
       But instead of replacing the 16 stainless steel locks from the old gang box, maybe an hour’s work in the field, the USPS workers took the old locks away and put up a notice telling the 16 postal patron households that they won’t be getting any mail for three days, which included the first (of the month), when some Social Security and pension checks get delivered, and requiring each and every affected postal patron to slog across the river to the Belén post office and wait in line to prove residence and get a new key for their mailbox. (The Belén postal folks pulled the same stunt a few years ago also.)
       On top of the inconvenience to postal patrons, each of the stainless steel locks costs maybe $20; these locks do not get recycled (can’t recycle government property) so the cost of each such gang box replacement is dozens of hours of civilian man-time and maybe $300 of taxpayer money and whatever the old gang box costs.
       Certainly explains why the cost of first class postage has gone up 1,000 percent since 1963.

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Community View newsletter ezine {of Rio Communities, New Mexico}
edited by Clarke Metcalf
Issue #16 dated 15 March 2016 - Citizen Opinions Section

EDITOR: GET UP, PLEASE
       The electorate of Rio Communities needs to get off its butt.
       Submitted by G.E. Nordell
       (CV response: Maybe it’s self-protection. It seems that every time we lift our derriere off the sofa, someone gives it a swift kick.)

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Thursday 13 January 2016
Opinion Section [page 4A]

Belenites are backwards
       The people and officials of the city of Belen continue to demonstrate their backwardness. The population of Belen is about the same as during World War II. The many empty store fronts and vacant lots along Main Street indicate local economic strength. Belen would be a ghost town were it not for the railroad. The teenagers of Belen shake their heads a lot and then move away after graduation. And the mayor is determined to spend taxpayer dollars on a losing battle against the U.S. Constitution.
       The city of Belen should change the city motto to reflect this reality. How about “Defending 17th century values for 300 years!”?

     G.E. NORDELL
     Rio Communities, New Mexico


on this page: Letters To The Editor, etc. from 2016 forward  { top of page }

Letters To The Editor, etc. 1965 thru 2008 {on Page Two}

Letters To The Editor, etc. 2009 {lower half Page Three}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2010 {upper half Page Three}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2011 {lower half Page Four}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2012 {upper half Page Four}

News Stories about G.E. Nordell (from 2006 on) Page

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