‘Preening pretender with kingly ambitions’
This president is true to form: He accuses the press of lying — in perpetuating “fake news!” — while he lies on a well-documented daily (hourly) basis (“For press, a week of attacks from president,” Feb. 21). Amid a televised question-and-answer exchange with the press during shutdown negotiations, I heard this president say, “It’s only words.” Sad to say, whatever their context, those three words define his corrupt and mendacious presidency.
For this preening pretender with kingly ambitions, words are to be used and misappropriated on the basis of self-serving whims. He is a serial abuser of our Constitution, of our institutions and of common decency. Squinting unseeingly and winking at the world through the prism of his own fatally flawed character, language becomes “only words,” and his fellow citizens become mere pawns on a board game with no apparent rules. Our First Amendment freedom of the press is under siege but will not be intimidated into submission. This I know to be true.
Barbara Allen Kenney
Way of life
State Attorney General Hector Balderas seems to oppose counties declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuary counties,” and regarding this topic, his spokesman said, “Local officials must ensure the health and safety of their residents and should appropriately comply with state and federal law” (“Gun-rights ‘sanctuary’ status catches like fire,” Feb. 24). Meanwhile, the New Mexico Legislature is contemplating House Bill 195 and Senate Bill 196 that would prohibit state and local agencies from using resources to enforce federal immigration laws and would limit sheriffs’ and jails’ authority to hold federal immigrant detainees. Sounds like eating your cake and wanting it, too. If Balderas opposes Second Amendment sanctuary counties, he should oppose statewide sanctuary status for undocumented immigrants.
Asking for support
Adverse childhood experiences have been part of a national dialogue for decades. While public awareness has enhanced understanding of the socioeconomic consequences of ACEs and we are making strides in response to the crisis, we have yet to translate that effort into preventative action. We have an opportunity now to become a national leader in data-driven, community-focused action directed at combating the sources of adverse childhood experiences.
The Senate Public Affairs Committee has granted a “do pass” to Senate Bill 370, co-sponsored by Sen. Bill Soules, D-Doña Ana, and Rep. Gail Armstrong, R-Socorro, to establish the Anna Age Eight Institute at Northern New Mexico College for the study and prevention of childhood and family trauma. The institute gets its name from the book by Katherine Ortega Courtney and Dominic Cappello, who will serve as the institute’s leaders. We ask for your support. As state and community leaders, we owe this to our most vulnerable citizens and to our future health as a state.
Northern New Mexico College
I watched the 1989 movie Blaze recently, starring Paul Newman, about former Louisiana Gov. Earl Long’s 1959 affair with a Bourbon Street stripper. The banter about the nepotism, cronyism, graft and corruption of his administration is part of the charm of the movie. In New Mexico, nepotism, cronyism, graft and corruption should be no laughing matter, and the Legislature should keep its promises and enact a strong ethics commission, such as the proposal on the 2018 ballot that passed by 75 percent of the voters.
Legislators should support House Bill 4, sponsored by Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, because it is a workable model for a strong, fair, bipartisan and independent commission. Such a commission should be independent and have enough power to hold officials accountable. It should have the budget and tools to do its job — enforcement authority and subpoena power.
Not so radical
There’s talk of division in the Democratic Party, between the centrists and what some call the radical wing. It appears that most of the division is with politicians and donors, rather than rank and file. Existing social programs, like Social Security, or proposed programs like Medicare for All, are popular, even among Republicans. Programs can’t be both popular and radical at the same time. The Green New Deal would have been considered radical not so long ago. Not anymore. Polls show much support for this bill.
I believe in our state, it’s appropriate for our two senators to go on the record to support this bill. If you agree, please call Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Martin Heinrich. D-N.M., and ask for their support.
Ellen Lefkowitz, LCSW