Fare Thee Well…Ruthie: We loved you so.

21 April, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

The Qualities of Glue: “What’ll you have Hon?” On Saturday evening (April 20), I received a phone call from Pauline, saying “Ruthie passed at four o’clock.” Pauline said Ruthie’s kids would be home to visitors this week. After cremation she’d be laid to rest beside her husband at the Veteran’s Cemetery, later, in Santa Fe. Pauline had called earlier in the week to tell me Ruthie was on hospice and I could visit but I missed out. Pauline Martinez is one of ...

The Sucker Punch: Desperate Times Call for Cool Heads

27 March, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

"But he and establishment, unlike his former self who put Mobsters’ “rats” and “hitmen” and, who also put the bosses in jail, but around the politicos…a charade and façade and what? Will he surprise us? “It’s never happened.” March 22, Taos Friction, Bill Whaley There is no joy in Mudville, like Mighty Casey, Mueller struck out. I don’t mind saying that the excerpt from my column above about the state of political corruption on March 22 was prescient. On the other hand, like ...

Election 2020: A Symbolic Reading

27 April, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

So far, no single democratic candidate appears strong enough to beat the incumbent president. The Trump crime family and its combination of hoi polloi and elite supporters form the bedrock of a 40% floor and can capitalize on republican uppers to maintain control of the status quo. The two statistical favorites among democrats, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, the Neo-New Dealer and the Wall Streeter neo-liberal (Clinton-Obama redux) zero in on the income gap (Bernie) and the so-called rust-belt white-person gap (Biden), but neither represents the new democratic persona of the future. Bernie and Joe seem incapable of adapting to the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the voter’s needs and identities. Neither knows how to address women and minorities. Bernie is like your older kinder uncle, slightly out of touch despite his FDR lineage. The accounts of Uncle Joe’s most recent blunder, ...

The Mayor, Manager, Chief Roadie

13 April, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

Why do elected officials resent the community? I toured a portion of Kit Carson Park “inside the wire,” where the Town of Taos is constructing a barrage of metallic and concrete sculpture, honoring the metal gods of rock and roll while cutting off the organic history—the roots and limbs—rendering trees if not lifeless then dying. Perhaps the Council has been inspired by the example of the Kachina Lodge overseer who “clear-cut” the old-growth on main street. We hear the Town plans to chainsaw the trees on the Plaza, nature’s sculpted nichos of time immemorial because they got a grant for “beautification.” But it should not surprise us that a populace, which selects an outsourced mayor (Barrone), who nominates Rasputin (Bellis) and Roadie (Miller) as factotums to do the dirty work of a professional tree killer and noise polluter, the people, concur with ...

“Fake News” but not here! An aphoristic—apropos polemic!

22 March, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

Friends have touched base and wonder if I'm ok: Here's my answer. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.” —William Butler Yeats, Second Coming “Witch-hunt…”—the Trump Crime Family In my lifetime: “Vietnam, Malcolm, Martin, JFK/RFK, The Chicago Seven, Freddie Hampton” et al—The Living Dead In the last election, progressive TV and radio praised Hilary, debunked but focused on Trump, and Ignored Bernie. “Bernie told the Truth” about “Billionaires." Tax breaks for the rich followed in Trump’s wake. Evangelicals support the wolf in sheep’s clothing: he’s pro-life (but not for your brown children). The establishment protects their own: Nixon’s demise, Reagans” Iran-Contra, Clinton’s Peccadilloes (anti-poor, black, imprisonment for crack, not for powder), Obama’s “hope and change” but not for whistle-blowers or citizen’s sans due process (assassination or help for bankers, not homeowners). In other words, the “status quo” prevails. (Preserve the ...

Fare Thee Well…Ruthie: We loved you so.

21 April, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

The Qualities of Glue: “What’ll you have Hon?” On Saturday evening (April 20), I received a phone call from Pauline, saying “Ruthie passed at four o’clock.” Pauline said Ruthie’s kids would be home to visitors this week. After cremation she’d be laid to rest beside her husband at the Veteran’s Cemetery, later, in Santa Fe. Pauline had called earlier in the week to tell me Ruthie was on hospice and I could visit but I missed out. Pauline Martinez is one of those people in Taos who keeps the news and glues the community together. She calls from time to time to check on her cousin Gene Sanchez. Pauline baby sat for me and Susie when we lived on Valverde St. in the early 70s and used to call me when things got out of hand in the early 2000s. Somebody, Pauline? ...

The Sucker Punch: Desperate Times Call for Cool Heads

27 March, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

"But he and establishment, unlike his former self who put Mobsters’ “rats” and “hitmen” and, who also put the bosses in jail, but around the politicos…a charade and façade and what? Will he surprise us? “It’s never happened.” March 22, Taos Friction, Bill Whaley There is no joy in Mudville, like Mighty Casey, Mueller struck out. I don’t mind saying that the excerpt from my column above about the state of political corruption on March 22 was prescient. On the other hand, like any sports-politics fan, I was sucker punched by the Mueller report. Hope springs eternal. But we lost the super bowl of politics. Just as the New Orleans Saints got screwed in the play-offs by a “bad call,” similarly, the unholy Mueller-Barr cabal effectively anointed the tyrant as legitimate. Now he’s coming for your health care. As David Brooks (a moderate-conservative) of ...

Film Fest Shocks Viewers

14 March, 2019
By: Contributor

THE TAOS ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019 OFFICIAL SELECTIONS The Taos Environmental Film Festival is celebrating its 5th edition beginning on Thursday, April 18 to Friday, April 22. The film festival prides itself in presenting beautiful, thought provoking and award winning films by professional filmmakers who seek truth and scientific knowledge regarding our natural environment and all its inhabitants. This year the festival is excited to present films that explore and search for inner and outer peace while also exploring various natural environments, its diverse inhabitants and the challenges posed to the world’s biodiversity.With nuclear proliferation resurfacing and a resurgence of military spending it is important that we honor the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner, ICAN (international campaign to abolish nuclear weapons) for their work to help our endangered species. Each year that passes it has become apparent that humanity must find ...

The Bacon Effect: A Response to the NYT

24 February, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

 A Vision for TSV (An apologia re: the opposition) The best thing the Blakes did, besides develop Taos Ski Valley was sell to Louis Bacon. As Mickey Blake said, “We couldn’t afford the upgrades.” I’ve been skiing in Taos since 1965, first as visitor, then as employee at the St. Bernard, then as peripatetic ski instructor, and skier ever since I first saw the mountain. For the last twenty years I haven’t skied much until last year when my granddaughter inspired a return to the slopes. Bacon’s purse kept the mountain open with snowmaking during the 2017-18 drought. This year the gods rewarded us all with snow. And I have seen the way he developed the potential of the mountain: grooming, endless glades and tree-skiing in the bumps, over rock and stump, extra lifts for efficient use of the terrain. Above the ski ...

The Resistance Reacts: A Movement becomes a Peaceful Revolution

18 January, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Pelosi’s Voice, Movements, Scapegoats While my favorite radical political writers have predicted blood in the streets as citizens fought back against the billionaires and powerful elite money changers, I believe today’s headlines mark the beginning of a new and transformative revolution. In the Halls of Congress, a once weak and equivocating democratic party, beholden to Wall St. has found its voice in the steeled backbone of girl from Baltimore and the woman from San Francisco (Pelosi), in the cocksure wit of a twenty-something from the Bronx (Ocasio-Cortez), in the articulate reasons challenging Wall St. hegemony from Massachusetts via Oklahoma (Warren), in the eloquence of Parkland’s own historic cry against the sacrifice of America’s own children ...

A fighting chance: Demo Women Take to Congress

1 January, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

While the FBI’s Javert-like Robert Mueller pursues the Trump crime family, Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, the daughter and granddaughter of Baltimore mayors, who manages the House, counts votes and looks askance at the President, a wacko New Yorker. Look for Nancy and her troops to out-maneuver the Turtle in the Senate and the Fat Man in the White House. President Trump is currently “wanted” for crimes against nature, climate denier; crimes against humanity, kidnapping and the abuse of migrant men, women and children seeking asylum, as well as the neglect and deaths of American Puerto Ricans; treason, Putin Puppet; and fraud, violations of emolument clause; crimes against non-profit foundations; money laundering; pay-offs to porn-stars; etc. He and his criminalized cabinet secretaries are destroying 80 years of New Deal progress in human rights. Never have so few family members focused on so ...

The Buzz and the Bittersweet: Sex and Love at the Studio?

15 December, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

    Ten Days of Taos Begin Sat. Dec. 22.   (Above artist Georgia Gersh has wisely addressed the voluptuous nature of the Bee Queen without commenting on the dangers of the imagination. Or has she?)   Unlike the Horse Fly, designed to sting and provoke, the Bees, especially one of the “To Bee Or Not to Bee” bees at Studio 107B’s home to art ambrosia, suckle and seduce. On the north side of the Plaza (former home to Ramon’s Room, Living Room, Tano’s Fernandez de Taos bar which served a different kind of nectar), Maye’ follows in the footsteps of Mom, Cecilia’s New Directions gallery and her Grandfather Martinez y Salazar’s “Arcade,” which sold fodder for the mind and sustenance for the spirit and soul. Maye’s studio-gallery concentrates on the sweet effects of sensual beauty that turn the eye upwards as the "corpus delighted" ascends ...

“Death” Celebrates the American Establishment

7 December, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather (Fredo ended up supine beneath the fishes in the 1500 foot depths of Lake Tahoe.) A Legacy of Thuggery From time to time I give in to my addiction for the Washington D.C. melodrama, now featuring DJT, Fred’s boy from Queens, who arrived at Little League games in Daddy’s Limo. Later, thanks to Dad’s money and the tutelage of McCarthy’s fixer and Black List agent, Roy Cohn (right), the Donald grew into a Reality TV star even as he modelled “marketing” and created his own crime family. Now he serves as the Black Sheep chair of America’s first families but his betters aren’t pleased by his behavior: they have sent the Deep State FBI agent and ...

“May you live in interesting times.” Old Chinese Curse

4 December, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

In Taos the natives and newcomers are restless. Due to tactics of “bait and switch” we Taosenos are reaping the whirlwind of “good intentions,” whether from Water Settlements, the Manger’s plans for social engineering at Kit Carson Park, or even the plans for acquiring a “new” mayor. The Abeyta—Taos Pueblo Water Settlement The “Buffalo Pasture” agreement currently tests whether this or any community can withstand the influx of “unfunded mandates,” aimed at maintenance and repairs of complex mitigation wells and pipelines. The mandates force complexities on Mutual Domestic Water Associations and historic Acequias in Taos Valley and bedevils folks of good will trying to understand and implement the BIA-DOJ juggernaut rising out of the defense of the “Buffalo Pasture.” Perhaps one can view this event as poetic justice, given the “conquest” and retaliatory “massacre” of 1847. Today Taos Pueblo, under Gov. Gilbert ...

Stocking Stuffers: Water, Sex and Flying, A Gentle Job-Seeker

30 November, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Books by Local Authors Kay Mathews: ¡No Se Vende! Water as a Right
 of the Commons
 By
 Kay Matthews
. Book Reading and Signing
 Saturday, December 1, 4:00 pm
 Cultural Energy, 112 Civic Plaza Drive, 
Taos, New Mexico Fred Fair: SURVIVING MYSELF: The True-Life Adventures of a Lucky, Risk-Taking Voluptuary” Catherine Naylor: Working My Way Home, A Taos Story Kay Mathews All the authors above are friends of mine whether they like it or not. I admire Kay, the activist extraordinaire, enormously for her dedication to all things La Gente in El Norte, whether tales of acequias, forest encroachment by enviros, or her knowledge and expression of the complex Abeyta and Aamodt Settlement issues. Unlike the politicos, or other vested interests, Kay brings a scholarly neutrality to the facts and worldly experience to complicated topics in a clear and eloquent voice. You’ll learn much from reading ...

Ranchos Under Siege by Toxic Chemicals, dangerous uptick in traffic, and generally repugnant consumerism

25 November, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“Nostros Pueblo, NO Se Vende” — A sign of Victory in the 1980s Valdez Condo Wars Our neighbors in Ranchos are under siege by Dollar Stores, the latest plague spawned by right wing capitalism, wherein the elites want to pick the pockets of poor people. Vecinos in Ranchos are fighting back unlike the Mayor. In the last mayoral election during a forum, the incumbent Mayor bragged about his notion of “economics” and mentioned how he purchased the goods for the weddings of his two sons at the dollar store emporiums in Taos. While we believe in the lumberjack’s semi-organic sawmill operation, we also think his short-sighted support for “economics” signifies the ignorance of goods sold, originating in China, where lax regulations suggest “all is permitted.” Now comes another dollar store to Ranchos de Taos: whether fodder for hold-ups or cheap goods for ...

MEMO: ERASING MULTICULTURAL HISTORY: “PULPED AND PICKLED “

3 November, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

TO: • SENATOR CARLOS CISNEROS • Email: carlos.cisneros@nmlegis.gov • REPRESENTATIVE BOBBY GONZALES • Email: roberto.gonzales@nmlegis.gov FROM: BILL WHALEY, bwhaley@newmex.com (575-776-4115) DATE: 11/3/2018 RE: UNM’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS AND FORGOTTEN PEOPLE Dear Carlos and Bobby, Yesterday I experienced a bittersweet moment at UNM Press’s warehouse in Albuquerque,” thanks to an ultimatum, a “buy and protect order” or we’ll “pulp and pickle” message delivered to Rick Smith at Brodsky Books in Taos by UNM Press. Rick generously bought the following books and I delivered them to his storage unit in Taos. To wit: Over 400 volumes of “Taos Indians and the Battle for Blue Lake,” 114 of David Witt’s two volumes of Taos Moderns and Modernists, and only 30 of 370 “Spirit Ascendant: The Art of Patrocino Barela.” (Rick’s funds are limited.) All these legacy books, originally published by Red Crane (Michael O’Shaunessy), which rights were passed on to New ...

Dirty Politics: KCEC Endorses Pearce for Governor

24 October, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Coal is not Sunshine and Bresnahan Does Not Speak for KCEC or Members Below are excerpts from emails and Steve Pearce press releases obtained from Robin Collier at KCEI. Apparently KCEC CEO who speaks for the “rubber stamp” board endorsed Steve Pearce for Governor. Trustee Bresnahan denies this but in the words of Emma Gonzales, I call it “BS.” Pearce, a loyal member of the Congressional Freedom Caucus is a Trumpean-Koch Brothers candidate, who would reverse New Mexico gains and take the state back into the dim recesses of historical fossil fuel era along with attendant repression of tolerance and progressive politics. Not many KCEC members know that, according to sources, KCEC is a member of ALEC  as dues paying members of the national rural electric cooperative association. The Koch Brothers American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is an organized lobbying group that has ...

America: Despite Regress and Abuse, the Spirit Renewed

22 September, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

You may avoid the news and why not? For it’s my job to tell you that Job survives. Despite the rise of the anti-Christ, I have faith and hope in the Human spirit aqui en Taos. See below but first: Note that the Rise of Trumpism indicates that excessive Capitalism appeals to the deadliest sin, greed, the omnipresent stimulant of viral growth and earthly doom. For human beings (see the Carolinas’Florence) have fouled the nest that once gave them birth and nourishment. Now a unified approach by Republican operatives, in support of the rich, includes stacking the courts, the congress, and the federal agencies with powerful figures who aim to reverse human rights for all and roll back the promise of the New Deal, a legacy so prevalent in our frescoes and our heritage in Taos. In their predatory attacks on children, ...

Farmhouse Menu Features Villalobos’ aromatic images

12 September, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

  For the next month, from 8 to 4, you can dine on local and organic dishes made with love at the Farmhouse Café (Overland Sheepskin building) while you look at Deb Villalobos mixed media images, prints, collages, assemblages, and cards handmade. The farm-to-table eatery says it all starts with a “seed.” Similarly, Ms. Villalobos art begins with an organic seed but from the imagination, or “found stuff,” an aspen leaf or leaf from autumns past, perhaps an old piano, the three watch-faces of Tres Hermanas, originally inspired by both an old friend (Butchie) or the three senior sisters who attend Deb’s classes on fitness and health care at the Senior Centers in Taos and Chamisal. Deb’s art captures the local flora and fauna, the forest, desert, the creepy crawlies who leave their skin behind among this and that abstract form though concrete ...