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Talk of the Town


Boston quote speaks for itself

THIS IS A direct quote from my 23-year-old son, who lives in Boston not far from the explosions that occurred April 15. When I asked him how he was doing: “I can’t even feel angry like I usually do (after events like this). I saw all of these people in person and watched them run and cheer and then saw their blood on the street.” What more is there to say.



Obama salary cut no big sacrifice

THIS IS A bit late, but I have been thinking about this for a while:

I am so proud of our president for his sacrifice in giving 5 percent of his salary back to the government to be in solidarity with government workers who will be furloughed due to the sequestration. I’ll bet he feels particularly sacrificial when he leaves his rent-free house, goes to his free sedan with a driver paid by the taxpayers — those he is in solidarity with — then into his free helicopter to go to his free airplane — both crewed by the military and paid by the taxpayer — that will take him to one of his many vacations.

I am sure the workers really feel a kinship and appreciate his sacrifice, especially since they will be unable to take a vacation because they have to pay utilities and rent or mortgage on their house, make car payments or at least pay to buy gas and maintain their vehicle on a reduced paycheck, not only due to the sequestration — which was the president’s idea — but also due to increased payroll taxes.


Angel Fire

White House tours should continue

THE PRESIDENT of the United States has determined that despite his campaign’s slogan “Yes we can!,” a pitiful decrease in budget increases spurs the president to say, “No you can’t. There will be no White House tours because of the GOP’s sequester. Never mind that sequester was my idea!”

As a taxpaying citizen of the United States, my question to the editor and readers of the Journal is simple. When will the White House tours resume? It is beyond belief to this writer that despite a $3 trillion budget, with 40 cents of every dollar of spending borrowed, the smartest man on the planet can’t manage to make a budget adjustment to allow taxpayers to tour their house.

The White House was bought, paid for and is maintained by citizens of the United States, not the president. The president stated on the Dave Letterman show his math skills did not improve beyond the seventh grade. I accept the president’s lack of math skills, but isn’t there anyone in his administration who could figure out how to adjust expenditures to enable White House tours?

How long will White House tours be suspended? Will White House tours be suspended for the duration of this president’s term? If White House tours are suspended for the duration of this president’s term, why?

Please don’t trot out the, “It’s the Republicans fault jive.” If the president cared remotely about United States citizens, his first order of business would be to make adjustments so the people can tour their White House, and chant “Yes we can!”



Fire all political leaders, start over

THANKS TO our congressmen: (Martin) Heinrich, (Tom) Udall, (Steve) Pearce, (Ben Ray) Lujan, and anyone else who has served in the last five years for their complete insanity for governing our country.

These are two prime examples. Our government requires that every citizen prove they are insured … but not everyone must prove they are a citizen. And now, any of those who refuse, or are unable to prove they are citizens will receive insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens. What hypocrisy!

And even worse: an able-bodied 21-year-old who doesn’t want to work can get approved for food stamps in 30 days, sometimes sooner. A 21-year-old who just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he put his life on the line daily, applying for veteran assistance will take over 200 days to process. These are just two of the many reasons we should fire all of our political leaders and start over.



Obama’s vacation time relatively little

RE: LETTER by Lorraine Collums in the April 9 Journal: Collums believes that President Obama has taken too many “lavish monthly vacations.”

One need only do a simple Google search to find that Obama took 131 vacation days during his first term. At that rate, he will have taken 262 days by the end of two terms. By contrast, President George W. Bush took a total of 1,020 vacation days during his two terms. Roughly one-third of his total time in office. Ex-presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush also took more vacation time than Obama.

The previous two Democratic presidents took fewer days of vacation than Obama. I looked at several websites to find this information, and all agree on these facts. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan said it best: “Presidents don’t get vacations — they just get a change of scenery. The job goes with you.”

Collums also seems to believe that Obama advocated for “letting the air out of tires to save on gas.” What he actually suggested, and what the U.S. Department of Energy states on its website, is this: You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but facts are facts.



Social Security is not an entitlement

THERE THEY go again – President Obama and the idiots in Congress keep calling Social Security an “entitlement” program. It is a trust fund capitalized by every employer and every worker in the U.S. and raided by the past several presidents and Congresses. I guess in Washington-speak, telling the same lie over and over makes it fact.

And when are they going to pay back the billions they stole to balance the budget — Clinton among others — for the past several years? Fat chance. Let’s deduct it from their pay and pensions instead.


Santa Fe

Comic strip disturbs, alarms rancher

WE GET THE Journal online because we live on a ranch. I am a fervent supporter of the First Amendment and would never ask to censor anything in a newspaper. I do want to express my surprise and disgust at “9 Chickweed Lane,” and caution fans of the “funny pages” to read it with skepticism.

The “9 Chickweed Lane” repulsive storyline started weeks ago with the veterinarian telling how the farmers had beaten a cow with baseball bats. Now, the farmer is going to use a front-end loader to move the cow. I am a 61-year-old, fifth-generation rancher and I have never seen, or much less done, anything depicted in the revolting thread of this “comic” strip.

Cases of animal cruelty may happen in agriculture, but are extremely rare. For this “comic” strip to make it look like animal abuse is common in animal husbandry is an insult to agriculture, and as far as that goes, it is also an insult to veterinarians. It is illegal, as well as unethical, for a vet not to report animal cruelty.



Spanish legal language in N.M.

JUST TO CLARIFY the issue of speaking Spanish at a sports event in New Mexico by an athlete. When New Mexico petitioned U.S. President Taft in 1912 to become a state of the United States of America, the petition included Spanish as a constitutional language equal with English in New Mexico. We are the only state in the United States that has Spanish in its Constitution as a legal language. Check it out.


President, New Mexican Hispanic Culture Preservation League


Duke City deserves better bus system

MY HUSBAND and i are disabled and he is a veteran and we rely strictly on our Albuquerque bus system for transportation. Both of us are unable to run, so keep this information in mind as I continue.

There are so many ways that our taxpayers’ hard-earned money can be utilized wisely in this so-called city, and we should really concentrate on our bus system.

We are at Kathryn and Louisiana Boulevard SE and can never seem to get our northbound bus connections at Central to transfer buses. It seems either that people have to run and/or jaywalk to catch the bus or either of the Rapid Ride buses. Or you just barely get to the door of the bus and the driver shuts the door in your face and pulls away without you, which is a completely different letter.

We also have no transportation on federal holidays. I’m sure that there are plenty of drivers who would volunteer to work holidays, even on a Sunday schedule for the extra money, and we are not the only people who suffer because we have no transportation.

Even on Veterans Day, a day that our veterans, and especially our disabled veterans, would love to celebrate accordingly. And Christmas, a very family oriented holiday, leaves us no way to share this special day with family or friends, or even get to work — there are people who are required to work holidays. Not having transportation leaves our working-class folks at a tremendous disadvantage regarding promotions and extra money.

If the city wants to improve anything, they should concentrate on the bus system: A good transportation system makes the city like a well-oiled wheel and is important to keeping the city of Albuquerque running smoothly,



Mental health key to deter shootings

EXCELLENT! “MASS SHOOTINGS” factor may lie with mentally ill youths” (Anne Michaud, April 11) points toward a much more effective way to treat the plague of mass shootings in schools and colleges across the nation. Identifying the problem is halfway to a solution.

Mental illness among school children is a precursor to mental illness among those who return to schools to kill both students and teachers. Rather than trampling Second Amendment rights to bear arms, the national focus should be in identifying and treating kids before they grow up to kill others, whether in schools or malls or theaters. Perceptive teachers can and should recognize the symptoms of mental stress and refer their students for professional treatment. Schools should be giving students the help they need to grow into mentally healthy adults.

Of course taxpayers must foot the bill. They should do so willingly to save lives and keep their Second Amendment rights intact. Lest you write this off as a left wing rant, I’ve been at least a RINO (Republican in Name Only) for over 50 years. This is about solving a serious problem.


Los Lunas

Minimum wage — no way out

I WANT TO address a myth about minimum wage that I see lately. It goes like this — “Minimum wage isn’t meant to be enough to live on. You just get minimum wage until you learn basic skills, and then you get a better job.”

This is only possible during boom times, like the 50s, or in a factory setting, where you stay in the same job for years as an apprentice, journeyman and master.

We are not in boom times, and most people now work in retail or service, where there are 10 or more employees under one manager. The only way to advance is to be the one person who gets to be manager, and there aren’t other jobs to go to. Once you learn how to run the register and do retail, where do you go? All the other entry-level jobs are filled, or at the same salary, and the management jobs open up seldom. When they do, there are 10 applicants for one job.

Like it or not, the salary situation in most jobs today is a pyramid, and those on the bottom level don’t have much of a path up. The idea that you just “get a better job” once you learn the basics doesn’t match reality.




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