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September 15, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

The Fourth War

On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—attacks that launched the U.S. on three wars, against al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban—President Barack Obama went on prime-time television to announce a fourth war. It says something about the uncertainty of this new war that the U.S. can’t even agree on the name of the outfit we are fighting: ISIS, ISIL or the Islamic State.

The goal, or at least the vocabulary, of this new war seems modest, in Obama’s words “to degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL. It is those two words “degrade” and “ultimately” that are intended to differentiate Obama’s war from the bluster of his predecessor’s three wars. Whether that is a distinction without a difference remains to be seen...

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September 15, 2014

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

Love shines light on immigration crisis

Families and young people decide to flee the horrendous violence in their Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, arrive on our border after a terrifying journey through Mexico and surrender themselves to our immigration authorities. Suddenly we have another immigration crisis.

What happens?

Congress argues but does nothing. President Obama ponders and then defers until after the elections. Is anyone going to do anything this humanitarian crisis? Allegra Love from Santa Fe is one of the very few...

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September 12, 2014

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V.B. Price V.B. Price

Five Questions with New Mexico Authors – Malcolm Ebright, Rick Hendricks, and Richard W. Hughes

This week we ask historians and attorneys Malcolm Ebright, Rick Hendricks, and Richard W. Hughes some questions about their remarkably detailed and pioneering book Four Square Leagues: Pueblo Indian Land in New Mexico, which explores the intriguing and tangled history of the relationships between pueblos and Spanish, Mexican, and American governments over property rights to ancient tribal lands.

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September 10, 2014

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Dede Feldman Dede Feldman

“The Bully Pulpit” Holds Lessons for Our Time

I couldn’t put it down even though it was a heavy lift. For the past month I have been lugging around the 900-page Bully Pulpit by one of my heroes, Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Her account of Teddy Roosevelt, William Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism (the book’s subtitle) makes a great counterpart to today’s gilded age—and that’s why I read it.   One hundred years later—are there any lessons we can learn?

First, the amazing similarities—the near total control of giant corporations, the unchecked trend toward mergers and consolidation, a gap between the rich and the poor...

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September 10, 2014

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John J. Hunt John J. Hunt

Max Linder & the Roots of Film Comedy

I love books about film. Motion pictures. In The Silent Clowns, Walter Kerr—a playwright and theater critic—explores the roots of comedy in Hollywood films. Of course the French were a little ahead of Hollywood, as Georges Méliès, an illusionist and filmmaker, who could be called a special effects master, sometimes called a “cinemagician,” seemed to already understand the medium thoroughly. One of his best-known films, A Trip to the Moon, was made in 1902...

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September 09, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Because they are different

I have a 17-year-old black friend, let’s call him K., who, with his family, used to live in the East Mountains and then Albuquerque. Now he is a freshman at Chandler/Gilbert Community College, where he won a scholarship. On Sunday night, Aug. 24, a little after midnight, he was riding a scooter back from a friend’s home to his apartment. He was neatly dressed and carrying a daypack.

“I was riding on the sidewalk because there was no bicycle lane,” he told me later. “I wasn’t doing anything wrong.” A Gilbert policeman drove past him, apparently noticed he was black, then did a U-turn and came back. The policeman, who was white, stopped K...

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September 08, 2014

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Stephen Spitz Stephen Spitz

Interview with David Correia on APD’s nearly 30 killings since 2010

Albuquerque police have shot and killed nearly 30 mostly unarmed citizens since 2010.  With each killing, concern and protests grew.

Then, on March 16, 2014 the police shot and killed James Boyd, a mentally ill, homeless man, who had been illegally camping in the Sandia foothills. Unlike prior shootings, video footage taken by a police lapel camera was available and appeared to show that Mr. Boyd had been needlessly shot in the back while surrendering. The video immediately went viral and mass demonstrations ensued with the chant: “They say ‘justified’! We say ‘homicide’!”...

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September 08, 2014

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold: Bushwhacked

Remember a few weeks ago, when people everywhere started dumping ice water on their heads to raise public awareness of people dumping ice water on their heads? Those folks bullied into the so-called Ice Bucket Challenge were required, according to entirely arbitrary rules, either to drench themselves in an arctic shower or to donate money to the ALS Association.

I, alone among humankind, refused the challenge when put to it...

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September 05, 2014

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V.B. Price V.B. Price

Five Questions with New Mexico Authors – Debra Bloomfield

This week we ask photographer and author Debra Bloomfield some questions about her transcendent, exquisitely beautiful book of photographs, essays, and soundscapes entitled Wilderness published by UNM Press this year.

New Mexico Mercury: What’s so exciting about this book is the total experience it allows a reader to have with its remarkable conversion of visual, audial, and intellectual experience of wilderness. How did you conceive the possibility of achieving such a total experience?...

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September 05, 2014

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James Burbank James Burbank

Governor Promises to Finish Off NM

Why is our governor always surrounded by elementary school children? There she is on the cover of the Albuquerque Urinal for the thousandth time, and the picture could have been taken when she was running for governor the first time, or last month, for that matter.  

In fact that’s not the governor at all but a stand in that has been hired to do all the gov’s kid shots while the chief exec. is off destroying the educational system, beating homeless food stamp recipients into the caliche, selling our social services to Arizona, ripped up environmental protections, etc...

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