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Peaceful thoughts won’t battle nukes

ONCE AGAIN, a writer with little knowledge of how nuclear deterrence worked (“Nonviolence confronts evil,” Aug. 10) writes about the evils of nuclear weapons and those who profit thereby, making several accusatory claims without a shred of evidence proffered. He then states that nonviolent resistance will turn the tide and save the day. All he needs, he says, is the cooperation of billions of people. Billions. With a “B.”

This reminds me of a chap who once stood at the Wyoming gate of Kirtland AFB, holding a large poster during the evening rush hour. It said:

“Resist your enemies nonviolently, like Jesus, Gandhi and King.”

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And I wish to this day I had mustered the courage to join him with my own poster: “And die violently at the hand of your enemies, like Jesus, Gandhi and King.”

GARY L. HOE

Albuquerque

Picnic area brings back family memories

I WOULD LIKE to thank Nancy Tipton for writing about something my father was key in bringing into being in the days of the Civilian Conservation Corps (“Haven in the Hills,” Aug. 6) – or the Juan Tabo Picnic Area.

My father, Marvin J. Johnson, was the Forest Service foreman who ran the job of building the Juan Tabo Picnic Area. He was the main architect for the Rock House and essentially all of the structures at Juan Tabo Picnic Area. He also engineered the La Luz Trail smoothing and drainage – the same La Luz Trail that so many use today to hike to the top of the Sandias.

If you look closely near the parking area for the Rock House, you will see a very unique fountain that he made over a small, artesian spring that has since gone dry. We used to drink from it when I was very much younger – cold, sweet water.

The Rock House was also a place where we had beer busts in college, though I wouldn’t advise that now! I always insisted that there be zero damage done to any of the facilities and all the trash picked up and hauled out, especially because I knew who had put so much effort into building it. I hope that people using the facilities do the same now, too.

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That was many years ago. Thanks to my father for his skills and vision for that area. And many thanks to the young kids from the cities back east who came out to New Mexico scared, homesick, and just youngsters, but who went home – some staying here – with many skills and appreciation for the outdoors that they would never have received had they stayed home and stood in soup lines.

Thanks Pappy! I miss you so much.

MARVIN K. (KIM) JOHNSON

Albuquerque

THE SAL ALINSKY recipe for transforming a nation to a socialist state, one of the main ingredients is to take total control of health care. Everything should be based on a single payer type health care, where everyone pays even though you may think you’re not.

The Affordable Care Act is the manipulating tool to get total control of the health care system to achieve Alinsky’s dream. As we watch price steadily increase, and taxes going higher forcing companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield to either increase their prices, merge with another company or just go out of business. What eventually happens is all private companies are knocked out of the business, forcing all of us to depend on the government to decide your medical care matters.

So, the cost of health insurance increasing should not surprise anyone; it’s all in the plan! Just what (the late) Sal Alinsky and our current president want! Just an ingredient in the recipe for transforming the nation to a socialist state.

RON THOMPSON

Albuquerque

It was a Q-and-A, not an actual debate

HOW CAN a plain old question-and-answer session be described as “A Feisty … Debate” (Aug. 6)?

Is it an insult to our intelligence for a major television network to describe a session with 10 respondents answering questions from three inquisitors as a debate? For any readers who have participated in speech classes, taken debate or actually observed a real debate, the political question/answer sessions are improperly named, labeled and advertised.

The session on Fox featuring the 10 Republican presidential candidates was not a debate. It was a fielding of each candidate’s responses to interrogatives aimed at only one candidate in particular.

It was more a solicitation of position statements with each candidate responding to an inquiry.

In a real debate there is formal discussion with each participant given a set amount of time to put forward opposing arguments and carry-on a dialogue for or against a statement. Such interaction was totally lacking in the Q&A session misnamed a “debate.”

Will all the candidate forums be called debates despite the lack of opportunity for each candidate to pursue the pros and cons stated by opponents?

Let’s call such sessions what each really is and not mislabel and mislead viewers and readers!

WALT PUNKE

Albuquerque

Keep your nose out of our politics, Journal

IN ANSWER TO your editorial “The Donald wearing thin” (Aug. 5), may I say it is the Journal that is wearing thin.

Every time we have an election, instead of providing good, accurate news coverage, there you are sticking your noses in our business as to how and who we pick as our candidates and how we decide questions on the ballot. This especially goes for who is chosen to represent Republicans. You people at the Journal should spend your time working to elect the Democrats you really want to see in office rather than trying to pick candidates for other parties.

As for Donald Trump, it’s none of your business who we the people vote for, listen to, support or despise. For one, he’s told the truth when he’s called trespassers into the United States exactly what they are – illegal aliens. My God, why should Americans be apologizing to people who are breaking our laws?

Besides, I’ve seen the politicians Journal people want in power. Certainly, the last election got your endorsement favorite, Tom Udall, back into the Senate where, along with (President) Barack Hussein Obama, he is now working hard to raise electric rates. I’m sure you can afford a bigger bill to run your presses and I hope you enjoy a little less in your pockets. The rest of us New Mexicans sure will.

No, the vitriol you used on Trump in your editorial is the same stuff you use against any Republican who threatens the amoral, atheistic, liberal way of life you and the rest of the Democrat media in this country are trying to shove down our throats.

And if there’s anything that’s grown thin, that tops the list.

GILBERT ARAGON

Albuquerque

Game Commission ruled by special interests

I TOTALLY AGREE with Wesley Leonard’s op-ed in the Journal (“Time to bring NM’s wildlife management into 21st century,” Aug. 7), especially his point that “Politics has no place in wildlife management.”

New Mexico’s Game Commission is nothing less than a political cabal set to cater to ranching and hunting interests, as Leonard points out. In a strongly worded admonishment to the Idaho State Legislature last week, Judge B. Lynn Winmill struck down the so-called “Ag-Gag” Law passed by the state last year. Finding that the new law violates the First Amendment and rights to equal protection, the court overturned the law that sought to criminalize whistle-blowers and undercover investigators who exposed animal abuses at Idaho’s agricultural facilities.

What about the First Amendment rights of the 96 percent of New Mexicans who don’t hunt or raise livestock? The California Fish and Game Department voted (Aug. 5) to ban commercial bobcat trapping throughout the state, expanding on a state legislature ban on bobcat trapping near state and national parks.

New Mexico Game and Fish Department has some good people working for it, but it is so dominated by special interests that it can’t do the job the people of this state demand. State Game and Fish policies discourage biodiversity, which is the key to a healthy environment.

VERNE HUSER

Albuquerque

Don’t overlook effects of La Llorona

(THE AUG. 6) Metro section features furry mascots as the new, improved way of keeping New Mexico’s kids safely away from ditches.

The Ditch and Safety Task Force shouldn’t dismiss the legend of La Llorona as an important teaching tool, however. Tradition can still play an important role here. The Weeping Woman was not a witch, by the way.

El leer y el saber es poder!

PEGGY MCLOUGHLIN

Bosque Farms

All New Mexicans use water resources

WHO USES NEW Mexico’s agricultural water? You do.

Every time you purchase locally grown tomatoes at the farmers market, or a sack of Hatch chile at the grocery store, or buy a gallon of milk from the area co-op, you are the end user of agricultural water. Farmers and ranchers utilize the water to grow a crop, but they’re just converting it into delicious New Mexico food products – for you.

And the good news is that our state’s famous crops, such as chile, pecans, peanuts and onions, only actually consume about 7 percent of the water set aside for agriculture. Water in our state’s reservoirs evaporates as it is being held for recreational use, or seeps into the river bed and surrounding bosques which nourish our beloved cottonwoods, or once a field is irrigated, the water percolates through the soil to recharge our groundwater reserves.

It’s not just our families that benefit from agriculture, the irrigation of fields and the stocking of water tanks on the range provides habitat, food and water for 75 percent of our state’s wildlife, including irrigated pastures where elk and deer coexist with cattle. Additionally, forage crops such as hay and alfalfa, so necessary for our state’s family dairies, do not require as much water as many presume, they are in fact fairly drought-tolerant.

Recognizing the importance of our water resources, New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers have made great strides to improve irrigation efficiency such as laser leveling fields and installing drip systems to prevent waste. We look forward to continuing this conversation with fellow New Mexicans as we identify solutions for the sharing of our precious water resources that are beneficial for everyone, across all industries.

CHAD SMITH

CEO, New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau

Las Cruces

Employees deserve to be treated fairly

THE RECENT ATTACKS on the Fair Workweek Act in an op-ed piece from Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce President Terri Cole and Vice-Chair Carlo Lucero (“Disaster of a bill must die,” Aug. 5) and in comments by Mayor Richard Berry do not reflect well on Albuquerque’s business community.

It seems that any attempt to ensure better treatment for workers is met with cries of impossible mandates leading to layoffs and business closings.

As it was during the recent campaign for minimum wage increases, the Chamber of Commerce is out of step with the people of Albuquerque. A prospective petition for the act to replace the council bill may soon show how out of touch the chamber is.

Tellingly, the Chamber of Commerce op-ed doesn’t once mention the problems of employees working without predictable schedules or sick leave. A recent University of Chicago study found that half of retail workers and about two-thirds of food service workers are assigned shifts on less than a week’s notice.

Until recently, several large American retailers were assigning shifts with only one day’s notice. Can you imagine what your life would be like if you had to rearrange child care, doctor’s visits and education classes on just a few days’ notice? Or if you had to choose between going to work sick or letting your child be sick, and losing your job? These are not issues the business community seems to care about.

Also notable is the effort to portray the bill as a threat to “mom and pop businesses.” Very few local businesses consist of just a couple of owners and a couple of employees. In fact, businesses with up to 500 employees and $6 million in sales are still considered “small” by the Small Business Administration.

Presumably large businesses would also be affected by this bill. I have to suspect that business hysteria over the bill is less about protecting those mythical “mom and pop” operations and more about protecting profits of not-that-small businesses.

Fair treatment of workers should be understood by the Albuquerque business community as simply another cost of doing business, and if it had been, then the Fair Workweek Act would not be necessary. If you really can’t afford to treat your workers as human beings, you shouldn’t be in business.

PETER ROGERS

Albuquerque

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