Education Secretary DeVos needs to go

January 30, 2019

It’s difficult deciding which of Donald Trump’s wretched Cabinet post selections was the absolute worst choice. My selection for most insidious is Betsy DeVos, She’s unqualified to be involved in Department of Education policies due to her limited experience with educational issues, flawed thinking skills, lack of empathy and elitist and unreasonable politics.

Her current outrageous “pet project” makes it more difficult for students seeking justice. Shortsighted Betsy makes it harder for law enforcement to investigate sexual assault. Schools wouldn’t be required to investigate allegations unless students reported to Title IX on-campus staff and wouldn’t require schools to investigate off-campus incidents, where, coincidentally, most assaults occur.

Her repressive policies mandate going back to the “bad ol’ days” by discouraging victims’ reporting, seeking help and preventing future assaults. DeVos is miserably out of touch with the insidiousness of sexual violence. She should resign (or be fired) for her incompetence.

Barbara F. Goldman, Ph.D.

Santa Fe

Night sighting

Astronomers use a trick of comparing photographs from different times to find objects that are moving. Objects that are not moving stay in the same place from photo to photo. Moving objects blink.

Maybe we could have a city employee take a photo or photos every night of the city lights, then comparisons of the night to night photos could reveal lights that have gone dark (“Santa Fe streets going dark,” Jan. 27). Or maybe there is a satellite service that can provide overhead photos of the city at night.

Jeff Ferris

Santa Fe

Seeing, feeling, writing

I read the letter by Martin Perea (“Freedom rings,” Letters to the Editor, Jan. 26). He had a touching experience seeing a hearse with a car following. Most of us have seen a funeral procession and paused, perhaps prayed, perhaps became annoyed at the delay. I would hope most of us were respectful and introspective, knowing we are all part of mankind. As John Donne said, “Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” Life is precious. No exceptions.

Carol Kelley

Santa Fe

Living proof

I am writing to take exception with the letter from Michael Collins (“Know something about responsible gun ownership,” Letters to the Editor, Jan. 27), in which he dresses down S.K. Wertz (“Ammunition tax would serve to deter,” Letters to the Editor, Jan. 19), for daring to propose an ammunition tax. I am sure Collins does an admirable job of firearms instruction. However, as much as he would like to believe otherwise, he cannot prevent irresponsible gun use among a minority of trainees, given the public-carry law.

Last summer, an ex-Marine followed me into an empty post office over a perceived slight outside. He got in my face, demanded to know if I had “served” my country and bitterly regretted having left his gun at home. Otherwise, he would have been free to bully me at will, at a minimum. Yessiree, a Marine, just like Collins. I reminded the man he wasn’t in Iraq anymore, nobody was shooting at him and to calm down. He left grumbling. It was a relatively peaceful ending for one reason only — no gun.

Barry Hatfield

Santa Fe

Taxes hurt seniors

The state now has a budget surplus of more than $1 billion. One would hope some of this surplus would be returned to the taxpayers. However, the new Democratic majority wants to do just the opposite by proposing a massive tax increase on top of the huge budget surplus. Tax increases on gasoline, car registration, individual income and capital gains are being proposed (“House eyes gas tax hike,” Jan. 22). This is unwarranted and unfair.

I, like most seniors, have worked hard all my life and have made sacrifices in order to save for retirement. Of all the tax increases being proposed, the almost doubling of capital gains taxes would be the most unfair. It would hit seniors the hardest as lifelong savings withdrawn for living expenses are often taken as capital gains. This giant tax increase is just wrong.

I urge all New Mexico taxpayers to contact their legislators and request they vote no on the huge tax increases contained in House Bill 6.

Steve Childers

Santa Fe

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