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

Page Four

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on this page: 2012, working backward toward 2011

Letters To The Editor, etc. 1965 to 2008 {on Page Two}
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2009
Letters To The Editor, etc. 2010
Letters To The Editor, etc. - 2013-2015
Letters To The Editor, etc. - from 2016 forward

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

Letters To The Editor, etc. 2012
Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 29 December 2012
Opinion Section [page 4A-5A]
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Some of us don’t need curb-side trash pick-up
       The county-wide trash pickup contract is garbage because it fails two tests.
       First, the smell test. Whichever company wins the fake competition for the contract with Valencia County, the County Commission has been and will continue to kiss their patooties. The text of the contract is, for example, dictated by the trash companies.
       Second, the contract is unconstitutional, since it is effectively a land tax in disguise. There has been no mention of any grandfather or vacant property option, without which the contract fails the due process provisions of the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
       I have lived in Valencia County for more than seven years and have never paid for trash pickup, because I recycle everything. I repeat, everything.
       In fact, I gather material not my own – phone books, beer bottles, soda cans – and recycle them, so that I am 'negative to the landfill'.
       I have managed this while having to deliver my recycle materials to various locations in Los Lunas and Albuquerque. The new recycle bins in Belen are wonderful, even though the rules do not accept everything.
       But that still saves a lot of travel as I only have to drop off glass and tin cans in Albuquerque whenever I have future business there.
       I do not need trash pickup, period, and there are scores of residents (i.e. voters) in Valencia County who are similarly situated. Owners of vacant land or vacant buildings must be allowed to claim exemption, as well as serious recyclers.
       A contract requires two or more signatories, and the Valencia County Commission can sign any dubious deal with whatever contractor they finally choose. But I have not and will not sign any such contract.
       But maybe the county will luck out and Rio Communities voters will choose to become a city or village in the January special election, which will eliminate this portion of the county as customers under the bogus trash pickup contract.
       This just might be the issue that will tip the vote in favor of cityhood.
     Belén, New Mexico

V.C.N.B. Editor's Note: The Valencia County Commission approved entering into a solid waste contract last week with Waste Management.

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 24 October 2012
Opinion Section [page 5A]
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Republican agenda isn’t very good
       The Republican Party has put together an anti-citizen agenda, and their package stinks.
       Much of the Republican Party’s plans to increase control over 'We The People' by the Oligarchy – simple fascism – are hidden.
       The G.O.P. (‘greedy old plutocrats’) waves key words in the air that make the 'sheeple' (that is a word!) get all het up and salivate and march in circles.
       But raise your hand if you read the actual text of the official platform of the Republican Party for 2012.
       I didn’t think so.

       For the uninformed, the Republican (slash) neo-con (slash) T.E.A. Party agenda includes:
      • Nullifying a woman’s choice to make her own decisions, up to eventually cancelling a woman’s right to vote.
      • Cutting the minimum wage in half.
      • Eliminating the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Labor Department and other regulator bureaus of the federal government.
      • Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service (so that the Oligarchs can steal the $25 billion in the pension fund).
      • Shutting down Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare.
      • Privatizing Social Security (which is quite solvent – the Republicans are lying).
      • Further eliminating regulation of banks and the artificial and very unnecessary commodities markets (the deregulation of which are the root cause of the 2008 recession which has lasted four years so far, with no end in sight – thanks to Republican congressional intransigence).
      • Allowing corporations to take America’s natural resources and leave behind any pollution that they create. (Continuing the 'fracking' methodology for natural gas will eventually pollute America’s water aquifers, but the Oligarchs don’t mind, they’ll just sell us purified water in plastic bottles for more than the cost of gasoline.)
      • Allowing the folks who caused the Gulf Coast oil mess in 2010 to do the same in the pristine Arctic and in our national parks.
      • Turning the U.S.A. into a theocracy, like Iran and the Arab states – which will NOT be your religion, assume bitter Baptist fundamentalist taliban.
      • Ending Pell Grants and student loans and inner city schools – the neo-cons are against all actual education and for indoctrination [– i.e.] Fox News and the right-wing talk swamp.
      • Preventing formation and operation of labor unions – you know, the folks who risked their lives at Haymarket and Ludlow and since, so that you could enjoy a safe work environment and a 40-hour work week and paid overtime. Those guys.

       The Republican methodology is to incite the 'sheeple' with trigger words and concepts – guns, gays, God – as the smoke screen for their real purpose, which is a return to feudalism.
       But what readers and citizens of New Mexico and the rest of America need to know is that any vote for any Republican candidate is approval of every single agenda item above.
       You will vote this November for or against the complete package, and you will signify approval or disapproval of fascism in America.
       Paul Ryan and John Boehner have already stated publicly that if they receive a “voter mandate” of a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, then they will use the legislative process called ‘reconciliation’ and write every bill as a budget item, which means that it cannot be blocked in committee nor by filibuster and that it requires only a simple majority (them) to pass.
       Then Romney will rubber stamp each bill and the entire agenda will become law before Easter 2013. Won’t that be great?
       If the fascist Republican Party had anything of value to offer the American voter they would not have to lie and cheat and steal to win elections.
       Staying home or voting Republican this year is a vote for fascism and for the rule of the Oligarchs.
       Voting for Democratic Party candidates across the ballot will ensure that small-d democracy will survive in America for at least two more or four more years, at which time the battle begins again.
       Pass it on.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 26 September 2012
Opinion Section [page 4-A/5-A]
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Republicans will say anything for votes
       My last letter printed in V.C.N.B. on August 29 generated a telephone call from a local octogenarian Republican who took exception to my statement that “If the Republican Party had anything of value to offer the American voter they would not have to lie and cheat and steal to win elections”.
       Among the many false right-wing memes that that person offered was the long-debunked notion that President Obama inititated some conspiracy to keep records of his student loans secret.
       That story includes ludicrous details like Obama used a false name, that he applied “as” a foreigner, and so on.
       So after the phone conversation ended, I checked that one story out – Republicans never check with reality, very blind faith is sufficient – at, with quite satisfying results. (Go to and use their search box and the keywords “Obama occidental tourist”.)
       The Obama college records hoax began on April Fools Day – that’s correct! – in 2009 with a fake Associated Press news item email.
1. The fake AP email failed twice on the surface. First, it did not conform to AP practice, and second, it was written by a person without training in journalism.
2. Organizations mentioned in the email did not and do not exist.
3. Fellow students at Occidental College remember 'Barry' Obama very well, and kindly; no record or memory has been located of the spurious pseudonym Barry Soetero.
4. The source of the supposed tuition funding has never had a program for foreign students: American citizenship is required.

       So here is the problem for Valencia County residents and readers: These and other lies of local and national Republicans have not been discredited, at least, they are very comfortable in repeating such lies.
       These Republican lies float around Valencia County and Albuquerque and New Mexico like hantavirus.

       But here is what is now true:
       All who have read this printed letter can be certain of two things.
1. Anyone who has parroted one or more of these Republican neo-con lies in the past or does so in future is now known by you to be someone who lies without their conscience being bothered one whit.
       Republicans do not fact-check, Republicans will not issue corrections for their falsehoods, Republicans will blame you for questioning their blind obedience to the fascist oligarchs and to the Koch Brothers-funded propaganda machine.
2. You can truly never again trust anyone who has repeated the “Obama college records conspiracy” hoax. Never again, whether it be your employer or a neighbor or relative or some overpaid bilge-mouth pundit on the Fox Noise Channel.
       When they repeat this lie, you know that everything that they say is now suspect. And the same is true of the “Obama was born in Africa” hoax and the “Obama never went to Columbia” hoaxes.
       If the Republican Party had anything of value to offer the American voter they would not have to lie and cheat and steal to win elections.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 29 Aug 2012
Opinion Section [page 4-A]
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Read mail, vote early, and work for the vote
       The vote of each and every citizen of New Mexico and across America is so important that the Republican Party is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to take away the rights of enough voters in this critical Election 2012 to ensure that the Republicans can steal the elections in states and districts that they will not otherwise win.
       The 2000 presidential election was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in their egregious Bush v. Gore decision of December 2000. Skipping all those hanging chads, George W. Bush was allotted 537 more votes than Al Gore, Jr., giving Bush 271 electoral votes and Gore 266 – quite a squeaker.
       Had the Supreme Court not delivered their unconstitutional decision, Gore would have won Florida by a tiny several hundred votes and the electoral count would have jumped the other way: 293 for Gore and 244 for Bush.
       That Florida election was already skewed by the 12,000 voters wrongly categorized as convicted felons and prevented from voting.
       Here in New Mexico, our Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran has recently mailed out 178,000 postcards to potential expired voters. Her office made a really big mistake though in targeting Democratic voter Diane Wood, who happens to be a local officer in Common Cause, and a few other outspoken victims.
       Luckily for New Mexico voters, the New Mexico Legislature made the process harder to corrupt – our state procedure is notification by postcard, status change if postcard is returned by the U.S.P.S., and then removal does not occur unless the citizen does not vote in any election in the next two years.
       Ohio has been suppressing early voting by having polling locations in highly-Democratic urban precincts open only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday, thus preventing working citizens from voting.
       In Florida, the corruption goes much deeper. The Florida Legislature cancelled the right to vote for 100,000 convicted felons this year. Republican Gov. Rick Scott ordered Secretary of State Ken Browning to compile a list of “non-citizen voters” to be purged; Browning resigned, stating that the database was not reliable in that area.
       Browning’s successor compiled a list of 182,000 potential non-citizens registered to vote, along with a list of 50,000 supposed dead registered voters.
       A lawsuit against the secretary of state from plaintiffs that included the non-partisan League of Women Voters asked for a temporary injunction; that filing in a Florida district court was denied; they were told to just file a lawsuit for a permanent decision.
       Another district court judge then issued the permanent injunction against the state’s plan to remove voters who did not reply within 48 hours under threat of a $1,000 fine. The Department of Justice also issued a letter to the state of Florida declaring them in violation of federal law and demanding a halt to the biased voter purge.
       Further evidence of the fascist corruption of American politics soon followed. The Republi-can-owned national media reported that Florida 'won' twice in court and skipped the federal block of further action.
       So naturally, Republican governors used the false news reports to justify similar voter suppres-sion action – at taxpayer expense – in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Colorado.
       On the good news side, the governors of New Hampshire and Michigan vetoed similar voter suppression laws passed by their legislatures. These laws were modelled after unconstitutional text written by Koch Brothers-funded lobbyist A.L.E.C., who are adept at purchasing state and federal politicians, including several in New Mexico.
       What can you do?
       1. Read your mail closely.
       2. Vote early.
       3. Work locally to bring out local voters (any party) – call it anti-suppression.
       4. Raise hell via the media if you are wrongly targeted.

       If the Republican Party had anything of value to offer the American voter they would not have to lie and cheat and steal to win elections.

     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 18 August 2012
Opinion Section [page 4-A]
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Republican Party offers nothing
       The Republican Party across America has nothing whatsoever to offer the American voter.
       Thus their only recourse is to lie and cheat and try to steal the election.
       Traitor Karl Rove is buying politicians and candidates – including lobbyist Heather Wilson – and the media outright because they offer themselves for sale to the highest bidder.
       And the sheep[le] still have no clue that the United States was declared a fascist state by the Supreme Court on January 21st in 2010.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 8 August 2012
Opinion Section [page 4-A]
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ObamaCare will be helpful for all of us
       The July 18 article on the brain cancer hardships experienced by David Lopez points out why ObamaCare is necessary.
       If the Republicans had not delayed and chopped and watered down and restricted the Affordable Care Act legislation, then Lopez would not now be holding local fundraisers to recover from the economic impact of his disease.
       At least now, David Lopez can no longer be refused new health insurance based on his pre-existing condition.
       And let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of others who will likewise benefit as each element of the weakened ObamaCare law kicks in.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 13 June 2012
Opinion Section [page 5A]
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Hospital shouldn’t be built on river
       Another flash flood (May 23) down Camino del Llano off the West Mesa, dumping tons of water into the very catch basin where Belén city management plans to build our hospital.
       As Albert Einstein said, “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”
       I could hope that that city-sponsored site will never get built because they’ll never obtain insurance coverage, but business and geological reality is no proof that the fools running the town won’t go ahead anyway.
       Better that we all should go along with Mother Nature on this, and advertise Camino del Llano as a destination for kayakers, maybe attract some tourist dollars to Belén that way.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 9 June 2012
Opinion Section [page 4A-5A]
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Republicans are who are to blame for U.S.P.S.
       The guest editorial in the May 12 issue by Minnesotan Reed Anfinson sounds nice and is mostly accurate, but completely avoids mentioning the source of the fake 'crisis' at the U.S. Postal Service.
       All that needs to happen to restore the U.S.P.S. to fiscal viability is to undo the damage intentionally caused by the Republican Congress in 2006.
       When the Democratic 110th Congress was elected in November of 2006, and Nancy Pelosi was chosen to be the new speaker in January, the GOP-controlled lame duck 109th Congress quickly passed several laws that were kept under the radar, snuck thru the Republican Senate, and quietly signed by Republican President George 'Dubya' Bush.
       One of those laws 'reformed' the U.S. Postal Service by requiring that the quasi-governmental agency set aside $5 billion each year to a retirement fund until that fund had enough cash on hand to pay all expected retirement needs for the next 75 years.
       Now, ya’ll really need to understand the craftiness and cruelty of the intentional disaster. The U.S.P.S. was ordered by the Republican Party to set aside retirement funding for people who are not even born yet.
       The Republican plan, as always, is to damage an institution – F.E.M.A., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, national security (currently 50 percent outsourced) – then buy that institution for pennies on the dollar, and ultimately charge more for fewer services.
       (Privatization is the essence of fascism. The Republican Party is fascist, and cannot tolerate efficient government programs like the Postal Service and Medicare and Social Security. The fascist Republican practice is to destroy such agencies so that they can 'save' them – and make profits from 'serving' the people.)
       The solution to the cash flow problem at U.S.P.S. is so simple that Republicans scream in horror – reverse the damage done by the Republicans.
       The long-range prediction of reduced Social Security payouts in 2039 or 2045 (depending on how soon Democrats are able to build up the post-G.O.P. Meltdown economy) is also just too simple – raise the cap on Social Security contributions from today’s $110,100 to twice that and Social Security is fully funded and stable into perpetuity.
       The present 'Class War' is between Republican fascists destroying the American Dream and progressives committed to restoring America’s political and economic power.
       And it is sickening to realize that half the population in America – and in New Mexico and in Valencia County – are still voting with the Republican fascist destroyers.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 18 April 2012
Opinion Section [pages 4A-5A]
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Jesus wouldn’t do some of these things
       No problem here stipulating that there was an individual in history named Jesus, even that he was a carpenter in Nazareth.
       It is probable that he walked around Judea (where Israel is today) giving speeches, otherwise nobody in that illiterate society would have noticed him nor would versions of his speeches have been written down by the scribes.
       The supernatural aspects of the Jesus story are not stipulated here, and anyway are not rele-vant, except that millions of people are stuck in the magical thinking provided to them by the purveyors of magical thinking.
       There are probably not more than a handful of actual practicing Christians on the planet at this time. The word 'christian' is defined as someone who lives their life according to the principles of the New Testament character Jesus of Nazareth, who was given the title 'Christ' in that book.
       (Christ is the Greek word for 'anointed', meaning the same as the Hebrew word 'messiah', which really means nothing more than 'leader'.)
       Take care of the poor? The poor of today are not taken care of. The poor of today are exploited, with many governments allowing dangerous and inhumane environments, with token 'dollar-a-day' wages so they cannot be chastised for condoning abject slavery.
       Heal the sick? Modern pseudo-Christians prefer to dismantle Obamacare, which isn’t that good of a solution anyway, because the pseudo-Christians prevented and continue to prevent all progress in health care, women’s rights, safety in the workplace, food and drug safety, etc.
       Pollute the environment? Jesus would not do that.
       Maybe you should compare his Matthew 25:40 statement “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” with slavery in Africa and Asia, with Mitt Romney’s “I don’t care about poor people”, with poison 'fracking' fluids injected into the ground, with the billions of tons of garbage killing the Pacific Ocean, with cutting the minimum wage in America.
       What would Jesus do? Not that.
       Pre-emptive war? Constant saber-rattling about North Korea and Iran and Pakistan and Israel? Jesus would not.
       Even though Jesus never called himself the Prince of Peace, the actions and statements on record were all about non-violence, so anyone acting as a warmonger cannot call themselves 'Christian'.
       The historical Jesus ran the money changers out of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, a rare tale that is included in all four Gospel accounts.
       Compare that to modern pseudo-Christians who worship Wall Street – ticker reports on every news channel – and there is even a bronze bull on Wall Street as stand-in for the golden calf of the Israelites.
       Three of the Gospels relate the quotation, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
       Millionaires and billionaires are disqualified, according to the words of Jesus himself.
       It is also probable that the reason that magical Jesus has not returned is that the institutions operating in the name of Christianity have worked very hard to create a physical and moral cesspool here on planet Earth. Humanity at large does not qualify for that Kingdom that Jesus talked about.
       The Beatitudes were not about making it tougher for people to make a living, that would be economic Darwinism.
       The pseudo-Christians on the right insist on “survival of the fittest”, which in practice is the time-worn practices of the barbarians – might makes right, the oligarchy deserves to rule the planet by 'divine right', and anybody in opposition is beaten, killed or banished.
       Or would Jesus side with the progressive movement? “Everybody is better off when everybody is better off.”
       The record gives evidence that Jesus was about the rights of the people to assemble (the Romans and Pharisees felt threatened by his large crowds), the right of free speech, freedom of religion, collective survival (Loaves and Fishes, anyone?), and non-violence.
       But the pseudo-Christians will have none of that. Kill all the buffalo! Exterminate the homing pigeon and the whale and the tuna and the salmon!
       Set uniformed goon squads against peaceful Occupy Movement protesters! Foreclose on families who were sold usurious mortgages by banks – and by God protect the banks from any consequences or regulation! Steal elections across America. Buy politicians for further nefarious ends!
       Lie and lie again and loot and cheat and steal are not principles of anyone in the New Testament. Even Judas Iscariot had a conscience – eventually.
       The Declaration of Independence created a new model for existence, a new possible future for mankind. What made the United States special was the attempt by a people to be better than previous societies, to declare their right to give it a try, King of England be damned!
       The historical forefathers didn’t get it all right – slaves were accorded three-fifths the worth of free men, women demanded the vote and it took 150 years to happen – but the design was intended to capture and maintain and expand on the “unalienable rights” that were prevented by monarchies and despots and barbarian oligarchs.
       Freedom is an idea, it is a promise. Freedom is never guaranteed, it must be protected and nurtured like a flame against the whirlwind.
       Freedom is something that an individual or a group or a society can only be for or against. There is no middle ground.
       And the funny thing about rights is that rights exist only when they exist for everyone. Martin Luther King nailed it: “Until all are free, none are free.”
       The very sad thing about life in modern America is that half the population wants oppression, for themselves and for the world. They vote for fascism (under the false label Conservative or Republican), and they work very hard to destroy the teetering freedoms that provide the facade that the United States is a free country.
       Registered as a Republican? Jesus would not approve.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 7 April 2012
Opinion Section [page 5-A]
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There are ways to get around tax
       Terry Mehaffey’s letter of March 21 is quite correct in describing the foofaraw over estate taxes as a wasted conversation.
       1. The oligarchs are spending millions of dollars for lobbyists to spew propaganda that the listeners to right-wing talk radio repeat like the mindless puppets that they are.
       Those changes in the law are intended to eliminate taxes for only nine billionaire families in America, none of whom are based in New Mexico.
       2. Shortly after I moved here from California, I was told that the law in New Mexico levies no – repeat, “no” – tax on estates below $1 million.
       The recommendation was for me to file a “transfer on death deed” for my house, which I did.
       The cost was $140 for the lawyer and $9 to re-file at the county clerk’s office.
       3. In virtually every state, the oligarchs have an option that is so direct (though maybe not entirely simple) to avoid estate taxes that I’ve never understood why they have not made use of it. The common term is “family living trust.”
       Each couple or family group lists all the assets that they own, and everything on that legal document is exempt from state and local estate taxes.
       Lots of rules, but lawyers know the drill. Anything that is not listed in the trust legal document would be covered by separate “last will and testament” legal documents.
       Thus, the problem is actually moot, and the solution is available to everyone in America.
       Right-wing talk radio listeners are the equivalent of yappy little lapdogs, except that yappy lapdogs aren’t allowed to vote.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 22 February 2012
Opinion Section [page 5A]
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Planet needs all the help it can get
       Neighbor Gary Gibson’s letter of Feb. 1 is filled with opinion and invective and factual errors. That letter also constitutes libel in the legal sense.
       1. During the six-years-plus that I have lived in the Chamesa subdivision, I have never once added my personal trash to the public trash can next to the mailboxes.
       Not once. Not ever. Not one smidgen.
       What I have done is take trash out of the public trash can, for recycling. Thus I am even further ‘negative to the landfill’, i.e. my carbon footprint is reduced.
       What I take out of the public trash can is: aluminum cans (to be turned in for pennies per pound); pulp-paper drink-holders and such dumped there by fellow residents, and glass and plastic bottles as may also be dumped there. Especially prized are the occasional empty cardboard boxes and heavy-weight telephone books.
       2. Since there is no reason to sneak, I do not sneak.
       3. Property values in New Mexico are reduced from the Republican-caused economic melt-down, not because my front yard is a natural xeriscape.
       4. If Mr. Gibson wants to increase local property values, he can pave his dirt driveway (as I have done) and get rid of the derelict vehicles in his back yard.
       I aver that I am indeed a Champion Recycler because, to my knowledge, there is not one other person in Valencia County who is negative to the landfill.
       If any such persons exist here, please write to this venue and briefly describe your recycling practices.
       The planet needs all the help it can get.
     Belén, New Mexico

Letters To The Editor, etc. 2011
Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 31 December 2011
Opinion Section [page 5A]
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County should look at other options
       Well, building a hospital in Valencia County seems to be tabled for a while, at least until the three county commissioners up for re-election are replaced.
       The current 'hot potato' here is planning for the solid waste program with several public meetings that were scheduled during December.
       I moved to Rio Communities in 2005; and because I came from California, I did the work that it took to track down recycling options – rather tough to find in New Mexico, but they exist. I specifically did not sign up for trash pickup, and in the six years since I arrived, I have recycled all the same stuff that my neighbors pay to get trucked to the landfill.
       Really, I do recycle everything. My yard is bare dirt, so I don’t have to worry about greenery. The drought was so bad this year that even the tumbleweeds never sprouted in my back yard. I used to take basic recycle materials to the station behind Los Lunas Village Hall, but they stopped that a while back, so now I haul my basic recycle bins with me now and then as I slog up the freeway to visit Albuquerque. The city yard on Edith takes glass, cardboard, metal, and paper.
       Once a year, I stomp the aluminum soda cans flat and turn a large bag in for a dollar or two. Rags go to Savers on San Mateo.
       That leaves only eggshells and food scraps and a little packaging. So every week or so, I take a bag about the size of a soccer ball and drop it in the trash can where I buy gas. I take my extra plastic grocery bags and stuff them in the bin by the front door at Albertsons.
       But I take this even further and pick up soda cans and beer bottles and the occasional cardboard box or phone book and toss them in the back of my car. Those get recycled too, which makes me “negative to the landfill”.
       I recycle more material than actually crosses my threshold. I am a champion recycler.

       For the solid waste committee folks, there are three points:
       1. People who recycle, people who are off the grid, people who compost must be taken into account; any laws and-or contracts must “grandfather” them in. Without such consideration, the law or contract will be unconstitutional, in that we are not represented.
       2. I understand the gradual nature of modifying Valencia County’s present solid waste policies. But the eventual goal should be to make available recycling options for the residents of the county, and especially coordinating with Belen and Los Lunas and the other cities.
       One simple option would be to park the same yellow bins that are open 24 hours at the Albuquerque city yard, to park them at several locations down here, essentially piggy-backing on Albuquerque’s effective and efficient program.
       3. Part of what the solid waste committee looks at should be costs, of course. The central comparison is the cost per truckload to pickup and dump trash to the county landfill versus the actual cost of parking yellow bins around the county and hauling a truckload north.
       If the cost to haul and cover and manage the landfill is more than hauling recycled material, then the county would actually save money by doing the latter.
       If the cost of recycling is even with or just a hair more than using the landfill, then the benefits still come from the recycle program since the landfill will not fill up so fast, nor will there be so much toxic waste (plastic, metal, etc.) sent there.

       The City of Los Angeles is ranked top among the ten largest cities in America for recycling; and they are very near the state-mandated “50 percent landfill diversion” standard, i.e. half of trash goes to landfill, half is recycled.
       There is no reason that Valencia County and the cities and communities within its boundaries cannot aspire to the same standard.
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

response to my Letter of December 31 above

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 1 February 2012
Opinion / Letters [page 4A]

Champion of recycling
       Local letter writer G.E. Nordell attempted to paint a picture of himself in the Dec. 31 issue that reflects only what he wants you to hear.
       He’s obviously concerned the county will force him as well as many others to begin paying for trash pickup. Even though I may agree it could cost less, it beats the alternatives, which could be illegal dumping or burning of trash. Now, let’s get to the real reason I’m writing this response.
       Unlike Mr. Nordell, I’m a native of New Mexico, born and raised in and around good old Valencia County and I remember the days when trash pickup didn’t exist and people just did what they had done down here for as long as, well, as long as they can remember.
       Then trash pickup began and most balked, some complied and some never have. Mr. Nordell says he really recycles everything, but rest assured when he does, it’s on the back of everyone who pays the price to dispose of one’s own trash.
       He claims a lot of things, but one is that every week or so he takes a soccer ball sized bag of trash and disposes it in the trash can where he buys gas, but that’s probably only when he’s not sneaking out to the trash receptacle located next to our mail box area directly across the street from his house and burying his trash underneath the mail trash. I’ve watched him do it, many times.
       Mr. Nordell, do you really think it’s appropriate to dump your household trash where we get our mail or where you buy your gas? Do you even remotely think the trash receptacles are there for that purpose?
       He also states in his writing that his yard is bare dirt and it is, with a few exceptions. In his front yard, he stores his used cooler pads. In the spring, the tumbleweeds pile up against the east side of his house, which is not only creating a fire hazard for himself, but to his neighbors as well.
       I’ve seen them pile up as high as six feet. The same thing happens in his back yard. They pile up against his fences until they’re so high they will blow over into his neighbors’ yards.
       He probably looks at this as recycling too. But, I wonder if he’s ever considered what his property looking disheveled and abandoned does to all of his neighbors’ property values. Or how they feel about his weeds and trash contaminating the 'greenery' and landscaping on which they labor and he obviously holds in distain?
       He then goes on with his three points. In his first point, he’s clearly looking for just another entitlement, because after all, he is a champion and he deserves it.
       In his second point, he states Valencia County’s eventual goal should be making available recycling options for the county like Albuquerque’s program, you know the program that very efficiently loses money and has never been effective.
       Then last, but not least, there’s No. 3 where he educates us all. The man’s a genius, makes me wonder if the reason the city of Los Angeles has been so successful in recycling could have been because he lead the way.
       He must truly be the champion of recycling!
     Gary Gibson
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 21 December 2011
Opinion Section [page 4A]
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Letter writer doesn’t have the facts
       Local letter writer Robert Sanders is in a dark hole of unreality, and he continues to dig that hole deeper – and then broadcasts his ignorance and fantasies to the readers of this newspaper.
       His letter of Aug. 17 decried [elided: ad hominem] commentary, and the rest of that letter was mostly an [elided: ad hominem] attack.
       His latest letter on Nov. 26 is mostly incoherent, but can be described as another [elided: ad hominem] attack.
       Republicans do hypocrisy very well (and often). They have nothing to offer voters across America, and Sanders especially, since he presents no actual facts to back up his nonsense.
       For a year or more, I’ve been asking here for Republican readers to present their plan to create jobs and jump start the economy, and no such letters were sent to this paper.
       Meanwhile, Sanders continues to try to be cute or funny or something, with the statement 'Guess I must be wrong'. True, Sanders. You and the other [elided: fascist] Republican Party / Tea Party [elided: wingnuts] ARE wrong.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 12 October 2011
Opinion Section [page 4A]
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Republicans should take our criticism
       Being tag-teamed by local Republicans is not that exciting, but I suppose it is entertaining for Valencia County News-Bulletin readers.
       1. Is there no one, Republican or otherwise, who has a plan to pay off the Republican national debt of $25 trillion?
       The current Republican Party policy of “do nothing,” just hands that burden off to your grand-children, who have a tough enough future already, what with Republican-backed off-shoring and down-sizing and re-privatization of health care and voter suppression and pollution and elimination of the minimum wage.
       2. William Darcy (Letters Aug. 14) asks me to “admit” that I am a lefty, a weightless request.
       I am a progressive. But since that puts me to the left of Attila the Hun and the Koch Brothers and other fascist idols of the Republican Right, so be it.
       3. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were indeed created in 1978, and were just fine until the mortgage industry was deregulated by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of November 1999 pushed by Republican Sen. Phil Gramm and former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
       Two things to note here: Phil Gramm became a lobbyist for the Swiss bank U.B.S. in 2002, and all commodity and financial bubbles are caused by deregulation of speculative trading.
       4. Darcy complains that “Democrats have had control of Congress for the majority of the post- WWII period to present.” Well, except for the 1947-49 80th “Do Nothing” Congress, the 1953-55 83rd Congress, the 97th to 98th, the 104th to 105th Newt Gingrich Congresses, the 106th to 108th Dennis Hastert Congresses, and the last three Congresses where Republicans prevent Democratic legislation with record numbers of filibusters and permanent holds on legislative branch appointments.
       The critical matter is not who wields the gavel so much as the damage done to the commons and by whom. Republican placement of Alito and Roberts on the Supreme Court (and cowardice of the Democrats) led directly to the Federalist Society victory that is “Citizens United v. F.E.C”, which decreed the United States a fascist country in January 2010.
       5. Calling me a liar because I never heard of “cut, cap and trade” is severely-twisted anti-logic and only demonstrates Darcy’s lack of integrity.
       6. Robert Sanders (Letters Aug. 17) on the other hand accuses me of ad hominem comment-ary, which is then followed by Sanders’s ad hominem attack on myself. What’s the word for that? Oh, yeah: hypocrisy.
       7. True, I did not take calculus, nor do I need or miss it.
       8. George Soros is a straw man. If he was spending all the money that the Republican noise machine accuse him of, the Democrats would not be struggling for campaign money.
       The real danger to America is the fascist Koch Brothers who are spending multiple millions to fund the Tea Party wingnuts[,] to fund the very destructive A.L.E.C. in 50 states (mostly voter suppression), re-segregate schools, and legalizing your friendly neighborhood fracking pollutors.
       9. Privatization is fascism, period.
     Belén, New Mexico

response to my Letter of October 12 above

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 26 November 2011
Opinion / Letters [page 4A]

Is it the same letter writer or not?
       I like the headline in the News-Bulletin that pleads that Republicans should take “our criticism.”
       It leads another letter by G.E. Nordell. While surfing on the Internet on another matter I stumbled upon one Gary E. Nordell, a resident of high on the mesa in Belen. That Mr. Nordell describes himself as a poet, revolutionary, philosopher, author, and autodidact.
       Can it be he? On the web, his authorship includes letters to the News-Bulletin that are maddeningly familiar.
       Once again he claims ignorance of any redeeming value of any Republican. Still claims the Republicans are (solely) responsible for his imaginary $25 trillion dollar debt. And, Fannie and Freddie were lead down the garden path by, whom else, Republicans. Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are absolutely blameless.
       I especially like his comment that Justices Alito and Roberts are, apparently, single-handedly responsible for “the Federalist victory that is ‘Citizens United v. F.E.C,’ which decreed the United States a fascist country in January 2010.” Truly new meanings for federalist and fascist!
       Nordell complains that Democrats are struggling for campaign money. He is undoubtedly in contact with sources in outer space who lead him to this conclusion. It obviously doesn’t come from any media I’m aware of.
       Nordell’s penultimate parting shot is the funding of “Tea Party wingnuts” who would, paraphrasing, suppress voters and re-segregate schools.
       And, finally, privatization is fascism, period. This is the Nordell [that] I have read, not the Nordell philosophy of the Working Minds or the author of the detective novel, “Backlot Requiem”.
       Guess I must be wrong.
     Robert Sanders
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 24 August 2011
Opinion Section [page 5A]
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Media isn't owned by who you think
       The letter printed on Aug. 6 from Robert Sanders is a pack of lies. (One true statement “I was wrong.”)
       1. He parrots the right-wing demonization of the “liberal media”, yet “Thirteen newspaper chains own 54 percent of our country’s daily print media,” per Dennis Herrick, University of New Mexico. Those owners are not lefties.
       ABC is owned by Disney (not lefties); CBS is owned by conglomerate Viacom (not lefties), NBC is owned by Comcast and General Electric (not lefties), FOX is owned by über-rightie Rupert Murdoch; The CW is co-owned by CBS and Time-Warner (not lefties); TNT/TBS is owned by Time-Warner; ESPN is owned by Disney and Hearst ... and on down the line.
       Eighty percent of radio stations in America are owned by five chains: Clear Channel, Entercom, Citadel, C.B.S. Radio and Cox Radio – none of them lefties.
       Liberal media? A few channels such as CNN deliver reality-based news, but since the middle is to the left of all right-wing propaganda, anyone who disagrees with them is slandered as left, left, left.
       2. The $24 trillion of the Republican national debt disagrees with the official national debt figure because it is off the books. (Here’s a hint, Mr. Sanders: the government lies.)
       The official national debt is $14,465,000,000 (and may be $15 trillion by the time that this letter gets printed).
       Add to that the $5.4 trillion of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mess and the $2.7 trillion stolen by the Republicans Reagan-Bush-Bush from the Social Security fund, and you already have $22.6 trillion that the U.S. taxpayer gets to pay back someday.
       Those and other debts are off the books so that Republican fools can write letters denying the reality that your grandchildren will get the bill to pay for Republican misfeasance.
       3. No Republican has yet offered here or anywhere else a viable solution to paying off the Republican national debt of $25 trillion, which is why the current Congress is earning the title of “The Deadbeat Republican Congress.”
       4. Sanders’ non sequitur about “traditional values in the housing market” points to the traditional values supported by the Republican Party — greed, ignorance, slander, greed, oppression, war, and greed.
       5. Tsk, tsk, Mr. Sanders. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
     Belén, New Mexico

response to my Letter of August 24 above

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 14 September 2011
Opinion / Letters [page 5A]

Democrats have contributed to debt
       So Mr. Nordell once again rants against Republicans. Too bad he refuses to be intellectually honest.
       One needs only to look at individual media contributions for the 2008 election cycle, where donations to Democrats vs. Republicans was 15 to one in favor of Democrats. No bias there.
       To deny that Chris Matthews, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson, Keith Olbermann, et al, are not liberals requires a measure of naivete or complete distortion of the facts in monumental proportions.
       All of the above named are self-confessed liberals. It appears that Mr. Nordell’s denial of their leftist leanings is cause for embarrassment to him. Come Mr. Nordell fess up, are you really not a leftie? As to you’re assertion that only Republicans are responsible for our debt is a true whopper. Democrats have had control of Congress for the majority of the post WWII period to present.
       To hold them totally blameless is moronic as well as untruthful. I will be the first to disparage big spending Republicans as well as Democrats. Why can’t you be that honest in your assessment of our debt problem?
       You also state incorrectly that Reagan and the Bushes are completely responsible for looting Social Security. If you knew your history, you would know that the sacking of Social Security began in the Johnson administration.
       Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were creations of the Democrats by the Community Reinvestment Act of 1978 which was subsequently watchdogged by Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, who as late as 2008 assured us that both were solid.
       You have also chosen to not mention cut cap and balance, which is a path to fiscal responsibility. A lie of omission is still a lie, so please don’t lecture us on the truth.
       In closing, let me last visit your comments on the housing market. Mr. Sanders rightly points out that the markets will and should determine values. Only when the government interferes do we get bubbles. It has nothing whatsoever to do with your assertions.
       I know Bob Sanders to be an honorable and truthful man of great intellect. Before you try to smear someone look in the mirror.
     William C. Darcy III
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

second response to my Letter of August 24 above

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 17 September 2011
Opinion / Letters [page 4A]

Letter writer is still getting his facts wrong
       In my book, Mr. G.E. Nordell is a star! His letters are wonderful in so many ways.
       His most recent letter is a case in point. He lists correctly the nominal ownership of many of today’s media and concludes that none of them are 'lefties'.
       I guess Mr. Nordell never took calculus and learned about derivatives. He failed to take a second step and point out the degree to which the 'lefty' George Soros controls liberal media and tries to control it all.
       Soros has spent some $50 million dollars 'educating' young people to be journalists – you’re right, very left-leaning 'journalists'.
       I hesitate to call them that when they are so suborned by the cynical Soros.
       Nordell continues to report his own set of numbers, 'facts' he call{s] them, including the $24 trillion national debt. If he were to report the unfunded liabilities of his favorite entitlement programs he could report nearly $100 trillion debt.
       That’s a tenth of a quadrillion dollars, Mr. Nordell. This he calls Republican malfeasance?
       Continuing in like vein, 'the deadbeat Republican Congress'. I guess our two Democratic senators might disagree.
       I did learn something new from this comment: We now have a unicameral Congress. No Senate. I guess he can claim that he mis-spoke. The diatribe goes on and on ad infinitum.
       Well, as I said, Mr. Nordell is a star. No other writer to the News-Bulletin can compare!
       The use of the ad hominem argument, the outrageous manufacturing of facts, the attacks on our institutions, is simply without equal.
       Oh, yes. I almost forgot. Mr. Nordell is right again about one thing: the government lies.
       At least he is putting me in good company!
     Robert E. Sanders
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Albuquerque [New Mexico] Journal
Tuesday 16 August 2011
Talk of The Town Pages
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Pesky Reality Intrudes on Delusional
       The August 7 letter from Vern E. Jeffries is a pack of lies. The Social Security system is just fine, or would be if the Republicans would leave it alone.
       The money of the Social Security fund was stolen by the Reagan-Bush-Bush administrations, to the tune of $2.7 trillion. Ethical government would pay that money back, but the Republicans prefer instead to wipe their debt clean by destroying the program. As the current situation stands, Social Security is fully funded through 2039 or 2045 – depending on growth in jobs, i.e. the economy, during that time. No Ponzi scheme there.
       Progressives have already recognized and are promoting the obvious and very simple solution – raise the cap on Social Security contributions. When I worked at M.G.M. Studios in the early 1980s, Reagan’s tax changes created the result that the president of the company maxed out his Social Security contribution in the first week of January, while the rest of us were taxed through December.
       Nowhere does Jeffries lay the blame on the Republicans of the Reagan-Bush-Bush administrations and the Gingrich-led Republican Congress. The president inherited an empty Social Security piggy bank that was looted by them before Barack Obama was even elected president. The Republican Party has only one enemy: Reality. I hope that Mr. Jeffries will visit there someday.
     Belén, New Mexico

Albuquerque [New Mexico] Journal
Sunday 17 July 2011
Op-Ed Page [page B3]

Here Lies John Q. Public's Job
       The G.O.P. Economic Meltdown of 2008 continues to wreak havoc on the lives of New Mexicans. President Obama's first major business was the Stimulus Package, which was of course watered down by the Republican Party. The new Republican-led 112th Congress has in six months not produced one jobs bill, and in fact have de-funded 27,000 federal jobs.
       This newspaper ought to start a new weekly column: "Local & State Jobs Eliminated by the Republican Party's Economic Policies". Just list the businesses and the body count, or [it will] take up too much space.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 16 July 2011
Opinion Section [page 5A]
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The real problem is Republican debt
       Republicans, tea baggers, fascists, independents and other Americans lose all credence when they merely repeat right wing propaganda supplied by the oligarchy who own virtually all the
       What is particularly disgusting is that they actually believe that the objective facts are not available, and secondly, their repeated violation of the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” which makes them hypocrites. And they do this in the national media and in this local venue, for all their neighbors, co-workers, and family to see.
       Dennis Schlessinger’s letter of June 25 is filled with too many lies to count, starting with “Our country is broke simply as a result of decades of liberal policy.” Horse feathers!
       Ronald Reagan became president in 1981; the national debt was $1 trillion (which included the entire Vietnam War). After 12 years of Reagan-Bush, the national debt was quadrupled. Bill Clinton balanced the budget and produced a net surplus – something that no Republican president of the last 100 years even tried to do.
       George W. Bush became president with a national debt of $5.7 trillion. He left office having run up the most debt of any person in the history of mankind, handing Barack Obama a Republican national debt of $25 trillion.
       The G.O.P. economic meltdown began with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage bailout of August 2008, after which Barack Obama became the Democratic Party candidate. The Wall Street sub-prime mortgage bailout of October 2008 was signed by Dubya, and helped get Obama elected in November. The Detroit automaker bailout of November and December 2008 was also signed into law by Dubya.
       Then Barack Obama became president on Jan. 20, 2009.
       Simple choice: Republican lies or objective (and verifiable) facts.
       Nor has the $25 trillion Republican national debt grown under the Obama administration, partly because G.M. and Chrysler paid back much of their loans. The interest on the Republican national debt is at least a $1 trillion per year, and is basically extortion money handed to the oligarchy for nothing.
       The federal debt ceiling and the annual federal budget (with or without a deficit) matters little when the real problem is the Republican national debt that presently stands at 165 percent of G.D.P.
       I have asked repeatedly in these pages for a Republican to step forward with a plan to pay off the $25 trillion Republican national debt, and not one of them has done so. In the six months of this Republican-led Congress, they have produced not one jobs bill, and in fact keep proposing shutdown of departments that inspect food and drugs, protect the environment, and educate your children. Republicans are against the worker and the citizen, and they do the bidding of polluters, war profiteers, usurers, and slave mongers.
       Failing any plan put forth by the right, we will have to implement the only one on the table, which is the liberal, progressive, left wing agenda: Jobs, jobs, jobs. Children, children, children. Green, green, green.
       Unemployed? Under-employed? Losing your house? No health care? Ask a Republican for help.
     Belén, New Mexico

response to my Letter of July 16 above

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 6 August 2011
Opinion / Letters [page 5A]

National debt isn’t Republicans fault
       I thought the News-Bulletin had made a mistake and published the same letter by Mr. G.E. Nordell for a second time. I was wrong.
       Everyone who disagrees with Mr. Nordell is wrong, wrong, wrong. But, there may be hope for change.
       Mr. Nordell includes left-leaning media among those owned by “the oligarchy who own virtually all the media.” That surely includes the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, Huffington Post and a bunch of other news outlets, as well as Fox.
       Mr. Nordell continues to report a “$25 trillion Republican national debt.” If that were correct, we breached the current debt ceiling 10 years ago, and the current argument in Congress about raising it to $15 trillion or so is meaningless.
       According to Mr. Nordell, President George W. Bush came in to office with a national debt of $5.7 trillion. That is correct. He handed President Obama a debt of $10.4 trillion, an increase of $4.6 trillion at the end of Present Bush’s two terms in office. A really bad record.
       President Obama has increased the debt from $10.4 trillion to $14.4 trillion, an increase of $4 trillion in two years. A new bad record, one that no future president will likely worsen. These are the facts that Mr. Nordell continues to deny.
       It took about 30 minutes to get the facts online. Readers can do the same.
       So where is the lie, Mr. Nordell? Who is reporting the objective (verifiable) facts? Please, point me to a source where I can find verification of your $25 trillion Republicans debt. I’ll be waiting.
       You conclude “Ask a Republican for help” if you are unemployed or losing your house, or have no health insurance.
       You might better ask why President Bush and President Obama broke the bank with their profligate spending and outlandish increases in entitlements and destruction of traditional values in the housing market and everywhere else.
     Robert E. Sanders
     Rio Communities, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 25 June 2011
Opinion Section [page 4A]
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New hospital will save lives regardless of site
       The people opposed to having a hospital in Valencia County bring in all sorts of untruths, but mostly seem to wallow in willful ignorance.
       Mr. Metcalf’s recent letter, for example, contains several errors.
       1. Valencia County has roughly 70,000 citizens and no hospital. Let us hope that no patient in any reader’s family dies on the long freeway trek to Albuquerque before the new hospital opens for business.
       The ambulance ride may be 20 or 40 or even 60 miles or more. Any medical facility within Valencia County is a vast improvement over no facility, and there is enough ambulance business to keep two companies hopping.
       2. The land in Rio Communities is a donation (i.e. no cost), and the citizens voted 70 percent in favor of paying for the hospital’s construction.
       3. I repeat: In order to obtain (a higher reimbursement rate from Medicaid and Medicare) for such a hospital, it must be more than 25 miles from another (hospital with the same services); Los Lunas is too close to the V.A. in Albuquerque and Belen is the proper distance.
       4. Chili’s restaurant is not 'surviving', the parking lot is full from afternoon to quite late and all day on weekends. Where else is there to go for such social life?
       With an actual hospital inside Valencia County, why does anyone think that people in pain and suffering will transport themselves over the empty miles of Isleta Pueblo, and not drive across Belen River Bridge?
       5. The 'mule and Land Rover' remark about UNM-VC is pathetic, as anyone knows who ever tried to park there during the school year.

       Here’s a new question: How many trips and how many miles a year do the two ambulance services log taking emergency patients to Albuquerque? They probably will not want to provide a count for the year of the number of passengers who died en route or were D.O.A., but that would be a good thing to know.
       The Belen hospital, by whatever name, will save lives.
     Belén, New Mexico

The Nation Magazine Online
original article: "Reimagining Capitalism: Bold Ideas For A New Economy" by William Greider published 8 June 2011 as the 27 June 2011 edition of The Nation

Web Letters Page posted Wednesday 9 June 2011

Real Capitalism
       “Capitalism is the creation of jobs and products and services”, which you will notice has not recently been the American economic system. Ayn Rand said fifty years ago that America was never truly capitalist, and that we should try it sometime.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 16 April 2011
Opinion Section [pages 4A-5A]
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The hospital site has already been chosen
       1. More than 70 percent of Valencia County voters want a hospital here, and are willing to pay for it.
       2. The Valley Improvement Association is donating 62 acres of land next to the Belen River Bridge. (Donate neans free.)
       3. The folks who seek to prevent the hospital are deeply interconnected, and some of them hope to make money from land sales.
       So here’s what I want to know:
       A. How much has the anti-hospital group’s silly lawsuits cost the county and/or the district attorney?
       B. Is there even a 60-acre field anywhere on the west side of Belen? Criteria here include near one of the three freeway exits and far from the noise of the railroad.
       C. Which of the so-far-suggested sites are subject to flooding off the West Mesa   and which are not?
       When the anti-hospital faction offers 60 acres of free land, with all modern utilities already in place and no chance of flooding, then they will have standing in this discussion.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Saturday 19 February 2011
Opinion Section [page 5-A]
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Hospital has to be 25 miles from one
       James Rickey bloviates about the impossibility of a hospital sited in Rio Communities being economically feasible. What he really wants is for the new hospital to be in Los Lunas, merely because he lives there.
       Rickey dances around the one central determining factor: Potential government funding requires that any planned new hospital be at least 25 miles from any other hospital, specifically one with a functioning emergency room.
       Too bad, Los Lunas, your entire town is within the 25 mile restriction, i.e. too close to the Albuquerque V.A. hospital facility.
       The only land offered for free in the Belen area is the Rio Communities location, and that is also the only site with pre-existing infrastructure, such as water, sewer and cable communications.
       The next time that someone dies during the EMT dash up Interstate 25 to Albuquerque, the bereaved family should keep Rickey’s regressive anti-hospital stance in mind. He and the sorry anti-hospital petition and lawsuit gang might be candidates for a wrongful death lawsuit, based on their efforts to prevent and to delay building of the much-needed and voter-approved medical facility.
     Belén, New Mexico

response to my Letter of February 19 above

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 23 March 2011
Opinion / Letters [page 4A]
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Voters didn’t approve the hospital site
       In his letter of Feb. 19th (“Hospital has to be 25 miles from one”) one G.E. Nordell alleges that, in his words, “What he (James Rickey) really wants is for the new hospital to be in Los Lunas, merely because he lives there.”
       Hmm. In my letter of Jan. 26, I wrote in part “. . . a hospital anywhere in the county would fail financially within a couple years after opening.”
       In my letter of Jan. 29, I wrote in part “It will be hard enough scrounging up doctors for any hospital, much less the Rio Communities location.”
       I have never said or written that I favored any hospital in the county, including one in Los Lunas. The point of my recent letters was that no hospital would succeed in Valencia County. But one in Rio Communities would fail sooner than in other locations.
       My letters had nothing to do with an issue Nordell brings up in his letter about a require-ment about a new hospital having to be at least 25 miles from an existing hospital. I never mentioned that issue in my letters. The subject has no relevance to the content of my letters.
       Later in his letter Nordell writes: “The next time that someone dies during the EMT dash up Interstate 25 to Albuquerque, the bereaved family should keep Rickey’s regressive anti-hospital stance in mind. He and the sorry anti-hospital petition and lawsuit gang might be candidates for a wrongful death lawsuit, based on their efforts to prevent and to delay building of the much-needed and voter-approved medical facility.”
       Unbelievable. Comments like these will erode whatever support remains for a hospital. It will also hinder supporters of the hospital in 2014 when they will need to cajole voters to support a continuation of the hospital tax, if the subject is still active.
       Regarding his comment about “voter-approved medical facility,” in 2006 voters were faced with a referendum for a tax for a hospital for which, at that time, no sites had even been discussed. The site was chosen later.
       Yet hospital supporters crow about this vote, attempting to convince county residents that the vote for the tax (76.19 percent approval) was support for the Rio Communities site. Did not happen.
       Had any location been listed on the referendum, the tax would have likely failed and the architects of the tax proposal probably knew that.
       On the subject of where we live: it is worth noting that Nordell, who lives east of Belen, is only a two or three minute drive from the proposed hospital.
       If perchance a hospital is ever built it could offer some very useful services to residents, such as cholesterol and blood testing, and educational classes, such as anger management.
     James Rickey
     Los Lunas, New Mexico

Santa Fe New Mexican
Tuesday 8 February 2011
Letters To The Editor

Why act surprised?
       Why the pseudo-debate? The state already [gave] $100 million in tax breaks to the oil-and-gas industry, and Gov. Susana Martínez is attempting to offset that crime by cutting $25 million from New Mexico's film-incentive program, a program known to provide jobs in New Mexico. The Republicans continue the same job-killing Reagan-Bush-onomics that caused the worldwide economic meltdown, and everyone who voted for Martínez is to blame.
     Belén, New Mexico

MovieMaker Magazine
Winter 2011 issue, Letters, page 18

The Economics of Language
       In reference to Jennifer Straus's article "The Subtle Art of Speaking In Tongues" in the Fall 2010 edition:
       Americans resist all dubbed films, especially in the 'heartland' between the coasts. And English-language films with and without subtitles are often considered insults in certain sub-markets: "How come you don't make movies in Spanish?"
       The solution is Simultaneous Bilingual Film Production., which is economically smart and a tradition since early sound films. The "Garbo Talks!" ad campaign was about a film that she made in both English and German, Anna Christie. Count also Paul Kohner, Buster Keaton, Cantinflas, Preston Sturges, Hal Roach, and Sidney Lumet as having done the same.
       I discovered the phenomenon when I went to see a repeat of Claude Lelouche's And Now My Love. The original release was in French with subtitles, but the years-later second showing was a print filmed [not dubbed} in English.
       The economics are simple, and may even be as cheap as dubbing and-or subtitles.
     Belén, New Mexico

Valencia County News-Bulletin
Wednesday 2 February 2011
Opinion Section [page 4A-5A]
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There are no oligarchs in Valencia County
       It seems that Robert Sanders has only ad hominem attack as a strategy for fomenting fascist propaganda in his letters. His latest is another visit “Through The Looking Glass,” i.e. Humpty Dumpty’s comment that “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
       Sorry, words have objective meanings; Sanders has no clue (and just likes to use big words that he does not understand).
       Here are a few very important facts for readers who actually read for comprehension.

       1. The oligarchy is the top 1 percent of the population, USA and elsewhere. The word means “rule by the owners”. Since the 1 percent owns 65 percent of everything, and the wealthy class – the top 20 percent of taxpayers – owns 85 percent, those are the oligarchs.
       Aside from Wal-Mart and Warren Buffet’s B.N.S.F., there are no oligarchs in Valencia County, they live elsewhere. Sanders’ concept of a “liberal oligarchy” does not exist except in his fetid fantasies.

       2. The official unemployment rate is just under 10 percent nationwide. That means that the true unemployment rate is twice that, or 20 percent, with pockets much higher, such as around 25 percent in New Mexico and Detroit, and 50 percent on Indian reservations and among Afro-Americans under 25.
       The official figures are suspect because they are derived by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1,000 'random' phone calls made each month – real data is filed quarterly by states and employers. The calls are made to land-line numbers only, which leaves out the many who cancelled land-line phone service because they have no income.

       3. With 20-25 percent unemployment, all those folks and their spouses and their kids live below the poverty line. Sanders accuses me of being inaccurate, but that gives him the excuse to ignore the issue. Lyndon Johnson’s War On Poverty legislation cut poverty in half in America; the Reagan-Bush war on the middle class “doubled” poverty in America.

       4. Sanders doesn’t like the class war concept. Too bad: the class war is perpetual (and the revolution is never over). During the post-war boom era, 35 percent of workers belonged to unions and corporations paid 35 percent of income tax revenue – key word “economic boom.”
       Reagan busted the unions in 1982, and his anti-reason “trickle-down theory” economics is still in effect, foisted on the U.S. taxpayer by the pro-fascist Republican Party. Now unions are about 12 percent of workers (and those mostly low-income service workers), and corporations pay between 5 and 7 percent of income tax revenue – key word “deficit.”
       The middle class is working two jobs to keep their head above water, banks and oil companies announce record profits, and 40 percent of G.D.P. derives from day-traders of the stock market casino (which profits [are pocketed by the oligarchs]).
       The average American has lost 15-20 percent in real wages since 2000. In the last 10 years, the median income statistic shows a $5,000 decrease. Bushenomics was hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs per month when Dubya left office, and Obama’s efforts (thwarted by “Just Say No” Republicans) are just barely keeping net jobs steady.
       Now the Republican Party is proudly announcing that they will end Obama’s health care and reduce Medicare, they will take away Social Security, and they will cut the minimum wage in half.
       No Class War?

       5. Sanders calls Brian Colon a carpetbagger without evidence. Susana Martinez was raised in El Paso, went to college in Texas and Oklahoma, and moved to Las Cruces as an adult. (Colon was raised in Valencia County schools, went to college at NMSU and UNM, and he has accepted no bribes from Texas oil barons.)

       Not a class war? Sanders is deluded. Liberal oligarchy? Poverty not important? Climate change can be ignored?
       But what else would you expect of the self-appointed local apologist for the fascist Republicans and their owners, the oligarchy? Being pro-fascist is delusional by definition.
     Belén, New Mexico

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