What would George Washington say?

February 18, 2019

As we celebrate Presidents Day, we can learn valuable lessons from George Washington’s farewell address. Delivered in 1796, it portends the challenges we face today. And the elegance of Washington’s prose should not distract us from the severity of the dangers which he forewarns.

He said domination of one faction over another, “sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated to most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism … [inclining] the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction … turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”

George, meet Donald, the despot you envisioned.

Patricia L. Hopkins

Santa Fe

Changing our ways

I write to you fellow New Mexicans with my jaw hanging open. The Democratic Party, and the spotlight-seeking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., should be embarrassed. The Democrat-Socialist party is advocating in its Green New Deal to drastically cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture.

Ocasio-Cortez advocates for high-speed rail (making airline travel obsolete) — across the oceans? Are you kidding us? How many of you in the Four Corners want to shun natural gas production, give up airline travel and drive a ridiculous electric car in three feet of snow?

These politicians are either laughing stocks or dangerously ignorant. I believe this is an attempt to control our behaviors and lifestyles. They want to play with our lives, while they attempt to manage our decline as a nation.

This Green New Deal would bankrupt us as a nation and put us back in the Stone Age. Perhaps she should try her scheme in Venezuela.

Brad King


Good news for bad knees

This letter is for all of you who have delayed knee joint replacement surgery for years, like I did. Ignore the terrifying rumors.

I am not an athlete. I’m 78 years old. Just be strong enough to lift yourself out of a chair with both arms, and you’ll be fine. My surgeon was Dr. Michael Archibeck at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. After surgery, he showed me an X-ray of the new joint in place. How beautiful it was! I was out of there and on my way home 24 hours later. Six days after surgery, I was walking around the house with a cane, with very little pain.

I would recommend my team at Presbyterian without reservation. I would not say this for every team I visited prior to surgery. We are fortunate that Presbyterian is one of the top-notch orthopaedic centers in the U.S., and Dr. Archibeck one of the best there.

Claude Phipps

Santa Fe

Emotions matter

Beau Thedford (“Leave emotions out of wildlife management,” Letters to the Editor, Feb. 8), says in defense of foothold traps on public land, “Emotions have no place in wildlife management.”

Think about that.

Compassion, empathy, love of the natural world, thoughtfulness for one’s place and duties in life, none of it matters; none should be considered as we make public policy.

I have to wonder where else Thedford finds “emotion” irrelevant. The other elements of Thedford’s letter are without merit, but it is his dismissal of emotion that especially disturbed me. Without emotion” in its best sense, we are not human.

David Kitts

Santa Fe