With the end of the old year, I need to get a few other odds n ends off my mind:

• Regarding the controversy over a UNM professor appearing in some S&M context. I agree the professor has some right to what we used to call privacy — we need another term for intimacy that we now casually flaunt in public. I’ll even allow that S&M may not be cruel, sadistic or violent but, in ways hard for me to imagine, an act of love. (Often, in other human contexts, when one person has power over another, love is not involved.) However, I’m disappointed that no one else has raised this question: Was a student involved? Though teachers and students have many rights, education ethics requires restraint — and not those made of leather. Teachers may love their students, but not fuck them. Teachers may discipline their students, but not physically.

• Regarding the UNM golf course controversy. I’m all for keeping it as open space. I’m also in favor of shutting down the golf course. Like all desert golf courses, it is a hideous waste of water. Turn it into a real park, saving water in the process and opening it to more visitors, as well.

• Regarding Darren White’s run for Congress. I hope people will recall that DW was Duhbya’s NM campaign manager in 2004 (& 2000?). That should be reason enough to deny him a seat in Congress. If anyone needs more, then recall that during peaceful demonstrations against the War Without End, White said, in effect, ‘let me at them’ concerning demonstrators.

• Regarding the 2008 Election in New Mexico. Thank god, Saint Pete is leaving. (Though I wish him well.) I hope the Republicans choose Pearce to run against Udall and I pray Udall crushes Pearce. In the meantime, accent on meanness, the duel between Pearce & Wilson is going to be fun to watch. mjh

PS: I’m clearing out my queue of drafts. If the next few entries (below this one, ie, earlier) seem random, they almost are; I meant to do more with them at one time.

Sandoval Easy Express

The Observer Online — County extends bus service to Cochiti Lake, Jemez Springs, By TOM TREWEEK/OBSERVER STAFF REPORTER

Sandoval County … officials kicked off two new bus routes, dubbed the Sandoval Easy Express, that will run from the Rio Rancho Wal-Mart into the rural areas of the county.

Route 4 runs to Jemez Springs, with stops at Zia Pueblo, San Ysidro, Jemez Pueblo and Cañon. Route 22 heads to the village of Cochiti Lake, stopping at Santa Ana Pueblo, Algodones, San Felipe Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo, Peña Blanca and Cochiti Pueblo. Both routes make stops at the Presbyterian Medical Center on High Resort Boulevard and the Sandoval County Rail Runner station in Bernalillo. County officials are also planning a route to Cuba. …

Service … runs from Monday to Friday each week.

The first bus leaves Jemez Springs at 6 a.m. and the last bus returns at 7:05 p.m. The first bus out of Cochiti Lake takes off at 6:20 a.m., with the last bus arriving at 6:45. The buses will be run by the Santa Fe-based All Aboard America, which also operates the Park & Ride bus service. …

There will be no fares for the first two months while the county finalizes the rate structure. According to county Public Works Director Phil Rios, the fees will likely be no more than $3 and will be based on the length of travel, similar to the zone system now used by the Rail Runner Express.


Two seasons pass in our world. The longest day starts the unraveling of all we have done. The stores groan with the harvest. Bellies are full and chores forgotten. Nature draws within itself, dropping all concerns but endurance. With the cold, we retreat to our dens for long conversations leavened with thick mead. The longest night is the end of our sloth. With each lengthening day, we weave new order and push the pegs back in line, as the poet sang. Life organizes out of nothing, surging towards the light and the longest day. The cycle is renewed, as we imagine it always was and always will be. mjh

Happy Solstice

Happy Solstice, Everyone!

The longest night of the year is the true New Year’s Eve. The seasons are never-ending — on a human scale, unless we’ve really wrecked the planet — so you can pick any point on the cycle to celebrate, as we all should. Tomorrow, the day will be a little longer as the pendulum starts to swing 47 degrees the other way again. Climatic inertia brings still colder days, just as the hottest days dog the summer solstice, but we see distant light at the end of the tunnel. This is the earth’s silent night, holy night. Tonight, we have hours in our dark nests. Dream of peace and wake to find a world in which peace is more than a dream. mjh

Conservative Cage Fighting

I’m always delighted to see conservatives attacking each other. Beyond the entertainment value, internecine battle shows just how ugly and mean the most out-spoken conservatives can be, as well as the chaos Duhbya/Rove/Cheney have left the Republicans. So, Paul Greenberg made some less-than-reverential reference to the Jester of Bloviation, Lush Limbaugh, and, of course, got attacked by a proud dittohead. Of course, that’s the conservative way — attack, defeat, conquer — our warrior caste.

Greenberg defends himself as “more conservative than thou” — counter-attack is the only self-defense, it seems. Yearning for civility long abandoned by Conservatives, Greenberg wields his pen like a stiletto, as he explains he is a true conservative, not some brutish right-winger. But he exhibits the same binary mind of his cohort: he is true, others are false. There is only black and white in conservative eyes. Pity. Ironic, too, that the reverence for the past doesn’t include an effort to preserve the analog perspective with its infinite gradations. Conservatives despise subtlety; sophisticates like Greenberg eschew nuance.

Why do Conservatives believe they can pick and choose what to conserve? Not only is change clearly inevitable, but much of it is for the best in the long run and most of it is probably as much a mix of good and bad as anything human. When would Conservatives roll back time to and freeze the clock? Was our golden age the Fifties? (Not the Sixties, certainly.) The Raygun Error? The late 1700s? (A great time for white males with land and guns.) When was everything perfect and how much of what we have today would Conservatives give up for the goodle daze: the Internet, modern medicine, civil rights, the wheel? mjh Be a Conservative::By Paul Greenberg

Dear Dittohead,

It was wholly a pleasure to hear from you, even though yours was not exactly a fan letter. But we learn most from our critics, and you gave me a chance to think on what it is to be a conservative in these raucous times. It seems I’m not a true conservative by your lights because I dared criticize Rush Limbaugh in passing, specifically his brash, take-no prisoners approach to political rhetoric. …

Do I have to praise Rush without reservation, vulgarity and all, to avoid being read out of conservative ranks? …

Irony is a pleasing enough style, one among many others, but all-irony-all-the-time is poisonous. It crowds out any real meaning. Much the same could be said of bluster, anger, ridicule or any other popular substitute for reasoned thought and time-tested principles.

The object of political rhetoric should be to raise the level of public discourse, not lower it. Our politics ought to be something more than a mutual exchange of insults between left and right. It ought to have a higher, more thoughtful level. [mjh: ROFLOL. Paul, you are hilarious. Remember the opprobrium you just heaped on all Democrats-cum-traitors?]

Conservative Viscious Nonsense

I am appalled by Paul Greenberg. It is beyond mere rhetoric to slander all Democrats as wishing for defeat in Iraq. I’m used to conservative ignorance, deceit and petty meanness, but this is too much to bear.

I can’t speak for all Democrats, but I assume we all hope for one thing: the end of the Bush Error, er, Era. We can’t wait, though we’ll have to. As for Iraq, no one wants death, no one wants destruction — well, no one but a war-monger, profiteer or zealot. We want the war ended. mjh Specter of Victory::By Paul Greenberg

A specter is haunting the Democratic Party. The long-awaited defeat of American forces in Iraq, on which so many critics of this administration have built their fondest hopes, seems to have been delayed again and – unsettling thought – may not even materialize. Even the dreaded word, Victory, is being whispered. …

The turnaround in Iraq, aka The Surge, is proving embarrassing for the kind of critics of the war who dare not admit being embarrassed. To do so would be to entertain the unthinkable thought that they might, just might, have been wrong. [mjh: Did I miss someone — anyone — on the Right admit anything going wrong in Iraq before now? Admitting being wrong is indeed unthinkable — to the Radical Wrong.]

This is no time for critics of the war to go wobbly. Their outward confidence in American defeat must be preserved, at least till next November. …