Eve Babitz: Crossing Boundaries

1 January, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

Prose and life Recently, while reading about new books in Harper’s I came across a review of Lili Anolik’s Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A. Similarly, this morning, the New York Times featured a piece on Anolik’s book. In particular Babitz has been praised for capturing the spirit of L.A. in the sixties and seventies, in both Eve’s Hollywood, a novel and a non-fiction novella, Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, And LA., both of which ...

A Christmas Story: Trumpian Symbol “Flynn” Rebuked by Judge

19 December, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

According to the news, Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Reagan appointee, told the former National Security advisor, Mike Flynn in court that the former national security advisor had “arguably sold his country out.” Flynn a three-star general, retired, had confessed to lying to the FBI but in a pre-sentence filing, whined about being entrapped, statements he walked back when questioned by the Judge. The Judge, however, had access to the nefarious blacked-out portions of the court documents, filed by Special Counsel ...

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
 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 ...


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 ...

Signs and Poles: NYT’s anonymous source? Flavio Back from D.C.

7 September, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Taos and the Rest Part I: Who Dunnit It? As the local and national media recently focused on the “Costilla Meadows Muslim 5” (AKA Amalia Compound), mainstream fugitives arrested and charged for conspiracy to commit “faith healing” and “gun violence,” so the pundits this week speculate on the anonymous agent, who has roiled White House by dint of an unsigned editorial in the New York Times, which act added to the apoplectic angst of MAGA’s chief. The exposure of WH Doings by insiders coincided, ironically, with the appearance of longtime Taos custodian, Flavio, who briefly made an appearance under leaden skies at the intersection of Taos Plaza during the noon spectacle. Flavio said he had watched a local pole dancer look-a-like, an apparent representative of the “Beautify Taos” movement, confront the Taos Sign Man, which resulted in battery charges for the dancer and ...

Think…Sacrifice…Resistance…Fighting Terrorism

4 September, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Think…Sacrifice…Resistance…Fighting Terrorism “Think” by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin from The Blues Brothers encapsulates what we must do as we move forward toward in an attempt to recapture the ideals of a nation. Symbols, ideals, and the founders say this nation was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the idea that we citizens and inhabitants of America, are created equal under the aegis of moral imagination. We can honor John McCain’s sacrifice as a hero in war even if his subsequent ignominy as a Senator sticks in the craw. Though he voted against repealing health care he supported tax cuts for the corporate state.  Will natural goodness triumph over the corporatization and commodification of virtue? Or will we welcome the tired, the poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free? The next election will serve as one more referendum on the hospitality ...

Judges Reprimand DA, Enforce the Law. Amalia Three Free

30 August, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Karl Marx Taos readers of the Friction are familiar with about 18 years of misdeeds at the DA’s office under Donald Gallegos: to name a few, the blown investigation of the Ma Barker Gang robbery of KCEC (200 grand), the Plumber’s Crack Case (50 mug shots on front page of Taos News), the unsolved execution-style murder of Earl and Clarissa Gonzales (see below), the Red River Rape case (despite a grand jury indictment and an extraordinary investigation by then Marshal Jerry Hogrefe), the Memorial Holiday Red River Motorcycle Massacre (two deaths, two survivors crippled for life but no consequences for the DA’s “la buena gente), and so on, ad nauseam. Course at the recent “Amalia Compound” hearing mentioned below, the DA was MIA, whether preparing for his preferred life as hunting guide or ...

Justice and Media Aqui en Taos: Clothes Hanger Rescinds Decision, DA Misses Deadline, Georgia Drops Extradition, Defendants Still in Jail

24 August, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Truly the local media, which sensationalized the “Amalia Bust,” along with Taos County’s Red River Sheriff, and the usually incompetent DA, and along with my old friend Judge Ernie “The Clothes Hanger” Ortega have all joined in on creating a Cluster F**K Aqui En Taos. Meanwhile, the tabloid audience, Fox News, NRA and local yokels in the Taos County, who attacked and threated Judge Backus owe her Ladyship an apology. Yesterday, according to an Albuquerque Journal North story (8.23.2018, 1:42), “lawyers say that prosecutors missed a 10-day deadline to hold preliminary hearings for the incarcerated defendants to determine if there is sufficient `probable cause’ to proceed to trial, and that the child abuse charges therefore should be dismissed against Lucas Morton, 40, Subhanah Wahhaj, 35, and Hujrah Wahhaj, 37.   Further, the Journal story says, “Officials said Thursday that Georgia is no longer ...

Tabloid Hysteria: Uncivil Behavior Abroad and at Home

22 August, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Amalia Cover-up   “I am the grass.   Let me work.” Carl Sandburg “Pray for Us!” (Pope Francis) The Cover Up Uncovered: Taos County I Between the screaming headlines, “Judge Releases Amalia Five” and calls by the Red River Sheriff to keep the “Muslims” and “Extremists” jailed; and while the DA “appeals” to “somebody” including the NM Attorney General to help; while the local and state news has exemplified both solid reporting and muddled editorials; and while TCSO demonstrated “physical courage” but rather superficial investigative” techniques in the Amalia Bust, the citizen can only mark the fiasco off to “aqui en Taos.” According to the Taos News, a "stop order" was issued Aug. 7 for the Amalia property where the compound was located, bearing the signature of a Taos County building official.” Further, according to news reports, in what can only be considered the ultimate admission of defeat, ...

An Elegy for Jules

15 September, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

The Sanchez-Ciukowski families, husband Gene, and his sons, Cory, James, and Zach, her sisters Jo Anne and Lee, welcome you to this celebration of the woman we all loved, Julienne “Jules” Ciukowski-Sanchez on September 16, Sunday at 2 pm at the Kachina Lodge Hopi Dining Room. A power point will be followed by the eulogy, anecdotes, and a sly performance from the Zack Gray Shippers, one of Jules’ favorite Cruiser groups. Gene’s oldest son, Cory, said: “Jules and her sister were a Godsend to the family. Jules, created the energy that brought the Sanchez family closer together. My grandparents, Mary and Joe adored Jules and her sister Lee. If Jules and my father had never met, I do not believe the home in Taos would have stayed intact after the passing of my grandparents.” “My boys Michael and Jason felt close to Jules and saw her ...

El Mitote, Culture, Politics, and Evidence?

15 August, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Clarification As Taosenos squirm under the bright lights of national media attention, the social media response to the “Amalia Bust” of “child abuse” illustrates the disconnect between the culture of law enforcement and the local commentators as well as deep-seated prejudice, fostered by the Trump administration about “Muslims.” First, the Taos County Sheriff’s office should be congratulated for the peaceful apprehension of adults and removal of children to foster care. Despite the presence of weapons and ammunition, an AR 15 close at hand, nobody was shot or injured in the bust. The children are being fed and housed by hospitable Taosenos. Second, Judge Sarah Backus at a bail hearing courageously followed the evidence presented by the TCSO and DA’s office and decided on the “facts” as opposed to “hearsay” about preparations for a school shooting. She disallowed the notion of “prejudice against black ...

Spike Lee “Does the Right Thing”

12 August, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

In a review of the movie, the NYT’s A.O. Scott’s piece is headlined: “Spike Lee’s ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Journeys Into White America’s Heart of Darkness.” Black and white racial issues, which seemed personal and particular in Lee’s brilliant 1989 film, “Do the Right Thing” with Danny Aiello, become epic and historic in his newest film, BlacKkKlansman (winner of Cannes Grand Prix). Just as they were suckered by a true-life black Colorado Springs detective, Ron Stallworth, on whom the late 70s story is based, so David Duke and the Klannies will want to rush to see how they are portrayed as dangerous but representative caricatures. Who can resist Hollywood’s silver screens? The Klannies, in fact, are presented as one-dimensional human beings, reminiscent of Jean Paul Sartre’s character in “Portrait of an Anti-Semite” wherein pitiful individuals blame the “other” for their own short-comings but hold ...

Resident Holy Man Preaches “Reconciliation”

9 August, 2018
By: Contributor

(Editor's Note: Historically, "Padre Martinez," (the outlaw priest) according to "legend" shares some of the blame for the 1847 Bent Massacre and subsequent massacre at Taos Pueblo by American troops. In an effort to right historic wrongs,  David Fernandez, below, preaches a seemingly unorthodox message, "Reconciliation," while acknowledging the strange confluence of violence and a well-wrought monument to historic mis-steps.) BLESSING RECONCILIATION OF THE 1680 PUEBLO REVOLT By David Fernández de Taos                          8.8.18 Our Northern cultural and spiritual landscape including Taos and Santa Fe and its Pueblos and towns and villages was forged by tremendous and cataclysmic circumstances that we now proudly profess and claim as our unique and profound heritage.   In a few days’ time the commemoration of one such defining historical event that shaped how things are now will be taking place, namely, that of the August 1680 Pueblo Indian Revolt against the Spanish Royal Dominion.   On a clear beautiful summer day now ...

The Good Taoseno/Taosena laughs to keep from crying!

7 August, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

On a Personal Note So, Jules Sanchez, my landlady, who, along with her husband, Gene, gave me shelter from the storm these last four years, died on Sunday at 6:20 pm in her sister’s house down in Albuquerque. Diagnosed with the Big “C” in January, she worried first about her husband Gene and sister Lee, the effects of her sickness on the living. Until she ran out of energy, she cooked for Gene and tended to the cat and dogs who tended to her. She made the TV run on time for Gene. A voice of moderation, Jules never took mine and Gene’s conversations about local politics too seriously. She laughed with us at our foolishness. Jules spent her formative years as a first generation Polish Catholic, part of the eastern European enclave, whose various ethnic groups filled alternating blocks in Joliet, ...

The Devil’s Spawn and the Exorcist

28 July, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” (William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming) Thanks to print media, digital communication, and broadcast television, we Americans and the world of human beings watch as a horror movie unfolds in real time. Color the protagonist orange and the antidote or exorcist as the quiet man, the detective described by Raymond Chandler, who said, “Down these mean streets a good man must go who is himself not mean.” The foundation myths of east and west or narration of symbolic truths, whether of art, scripture, poetry, or spiritual practice are being tested in practice as the melodrama of good and evil plays out whether in Helsinki or at the once and future “White House” (now in the hands of Brujas and Brujos). Yesterday, Putin’s puppet presided over a meeting ...

Red, White, and Brown

20 July, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

At Maye’ Torres gallery, STUDIO-107-B, on July 21, Saturday, during Fiesta from 4 to 7, your hostess presents “Red, White, and Brown,” a Taos commentary on the visual arts from the artists, named below. In effect, Maye is injecting the “Soul of the Southwest” with a necessary reminder of identity on the historic Plaza, El Corazon de Taos. The visual arts manifest the spirit of what Heidegger might call “essential strife” wherein the object embodies the repose and motion of earth and world that emerge in a work of art. Essential strife might also characterize the funky authenticity of Taos. Just as Taos Pueblo has emerged from the earth in its architectural adobe glory among these historic peoples, so the art work below reflects the resonating spirit of nature and the cosmos, whether in the play of surface and color, the ...

“Mueller Time, “Act Two: Trump as Putin’s Boy”

18 July, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

I went home with a waitress the way I always do How was I to know she was with the Russians, too?— Warren Zevon Back on 21 February 2017, I wrote a piece under the headline, Deep State Set To Dump Trump. To wit: “As the security services gather evidence and subvert the triumphant Trump, it appears that the American establishment, media and governing classes, including the permanent American bureaucracy, are preparing to `Dump Trump.’” Historically, I have not been a fan of the FBI: remember Cointelpro aimed at the anti-war protesters and Black Panthers, all revealed in the Church hearings? Similarly, J. Edgar Hoover kept a “dossier” on presidents, elected representatives, and saw dissidents as “communists in every pot.” Whether it was Craig and Jenny Vincent up in San Cristobal (think: Salt of the Earth) or hippies at New Buffalo, J. Edgar’s ...

Trumpism and Bad Neighbors in Taos

15 July, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“Have you no sense of Common Decency?” Today in America, the “Donald,” forges an unholy alliance among the spiritual descendants of McCarthyism via the guidance of his erstwhile attorney Roy Cohn (restless in the grave), seen this week in the retrograde “House on UnAmerican Activities” holding hearings on the Department of Justice and FBI” i.e. similarly to the way the McCarthyites attacked the U.S. Army in the fifties. For they who would make common cause with the American enemy and totalitarian Russian Putin are also making war on the principles put forth by the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. As Lincoln said, “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” The DOJ and FBI indictment of 12 Russians and so-called Americans ...

Taos Flim Flam: twas ever thus!

6 July, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Town Punts on Locals : Outsources decisions to Outsiders Having successfully alienated local natives with the “Strong at Heart” gambit, the Town Council, Mayor and Manager are doubling down on more “itinerant professionals” (outsiders) as facilitators in the never ending attempt to resolve existential angst by “revitalizing” the Mainstreet in Taos, a Mainstreet where motels are closed, historic hotels (Taos Inn and Hotel La Fonda) are for sale, shop windows vacant, the decision due, no doubt, to the lack of political courage, for example, wherein the Town Council could not choose a “landscape plan” for the Plaza. Still we give the Mayor kudos for finally removing the moribund white fir tree, these many months later, even if he hangs on to KCEC’s green electrical sockets that disfigure the Cottonwoods and the interminable signs and posters up and down the paseo that disfigure ...

A Father’s Day Homily on America’s broken promise to La Familia

17 June, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Today Democratic Christendom in America breeds heretics, named Trump, Sessions, and Sanders in the White House. Yet, Socrates, Jesus, and Hillel whisper in our ears. Below we humanists remind the reader of our Greco-Roman Judeo-Christian heritage and the rich tradition of the moral imagination. For the heretics have forgotten (Luke 18:15-17) that “they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples [Trump supporters] saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them [ICE, Trump, Sessions, Sanders] unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” The “Right to Lifers” today stand with “ICE” as the praetorian guard rips babies ...

Elegy on a Country Coop

10 June, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Saturday, June 9, 2018: Annual Coop Meeting Adios Mis Muchachos! (Au Revoir Mes Enfants!) Yesterday I downloaded the Kt Carson Electric Coop’s “2016” IRS 990 form, which shows the increase in debt: liabilities beginning at $116 million and ending at $158 million; net assets dropping from $41 million to $28 million i.e. huge losses. In 2016, several local members intervened and spent the year protesting KCEC’s requested rate increase at PRC hearings. That same year KCEC committed members to the $37 million Guzman-Tri-State buyout and assumption of an annual estimated $200,000 in maintenance costs for distribution lines. And the Coop retroactively billed and "allegedly" tried to cheat members out of an additional $250,000. The Taos News never mentioned the latter fraud, though the PRC ordered a rebate. Electricity rates skyrocketed. I don’t know if “Capital Credits” of approximately $37 million was included on the 2016 ...

State and Local Elections: You Choose

4 June, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Exceptions to the Rule KCEC Trustees Attempted Coup Scheduled for Sat. June 9 at 10 AM For Governor Taos Friction urges democrats to vote for change: Jeff Apodaca’s unique experience and vision offer New Mexicans a chance to change the culture of failure. By investing 3 to 5 % of the $23 Billion state reserve fund in schools, infrastructure, and public-private partnerships, Apodaca, the son of a former governor, offers New Mexicans a chance to reverse the brain-drain and interminable culture of poverty inspired by generally poor education. His opponent Michelle Lujan-Grisham offers more of the same old, same old (like Hilary Clinton). Vote for experience, professionalism, and new ideas: vote for Apodaca. With a couple of exceptions, Taos democrats who vote for the incumbent office holders will reaffirm quasi-stable local government. County Commissioners Fambro, O’Donnell, and Gallegos should be re-elected. One can ...

BYĆ at Bareiss: Graffiti Tag and Touch Artist Recyles

16 May, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

  Internationalist Sales Benefit CAV Geometricalist Met Graffiti-ist at Art Fair Miami O’Connor and BYĆ, Taos et Lausanne So the Swiss disappears behind the image with Stencil and Spray, political allusions and allusions to justice, reeking of Mickey Mouse and Heinz, promoting a different view of Le Carboard, the next best low-income home. [caption id="attachment_12288" align="alignleft" width="300"] BYC at Bareiss. May.18.18 (Communication gobelet (diptyque)_preview)[/caption] BYĆ  hovers over the multi-million dollar art world, and upstages old Masters and the high-priced status sale at Sotheby’s or Christie’s with a “free viewing” : coming to a wall near you…The Super Simple promotes a Super Savings of energy and time by recycling; the notorious and frugal Swiss, where spies and safe deposit boxes live among fugitive revolutionaries (Lenin), carves up explosive ideas in graphic language: the antidote to Davos. For BYĆ dives into democratic compulsion and leaves you laughing, crying, and ready ...

Genocide in Palestine, Apodaca in NM, Drought in Taos, Politics

15 May, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Nakba Day 2018: Palestinian Right of Return On Tuesday Santa Fe folks are marching to save Palestinians from Jared and Ivanka’s morality play in Israel. They’re talking “Peace” while Israelis slaughter Palestinians, 67 dead, 2700 casualties, killed by snipers from afar. Lawlessness, joined at the tip between two corrupt leaders, being investigated by respective police in two virtual police states...Nakba: Palestinian "Undefeated Despair!" (John Berger) State Candidate for Governor Jeff Apodaca has a plan: spend 5% of the 23 Billion emergency fund on New Mexico. He’s got answers. Michelle Lujan-Grisham's got a career and the mainstream "do-nothing" demos. Local Water Emergency in Taos Yesterday, get your head around it:  the Town watered the walls and bricks for 25 minutes in an alley for no particular reason. They can't find the plant life just as they couldn't find the White Fir. According to Flavio, who empties waste paper ...

Taos Summer Culture and Writing courses announced

12 May, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Taos Institute of Studies and Taos Historic Museums (THM) Announce: Summer Culture Class II and Writing Workshop. Museum Members receive Ten Percent off. Ten Percent of tuition fees benefits Taos Historic Museums.   Culture Class II. The Taos Native American Focus   Length: 8 Weeks June. 12—July 31, 2018 Day: Tuesdays from 6:00 to 8:00 pm Place: Blumenschein Museum, 222 Ledoux St.   Culture Class II will focus on the identity of the people and place of Taos Pueblo. Lectures and discussion will consider three important works: David Stuart: Anasazi America (UNM Press), 2 Weeks. (Anthropology) (Books are plentiful and inexpensive.) Frank Waters: The Man Who Killed the Deer (Swallow Press/Ohio University Press): 2 Weeks (Fiction). (Plentiful and inexpensive.) Severin Fowles: An Archaeology of the Doings, Secularism and the Study of Pueblo Religion (SAR): 4 weeks (Archaeology. Limited and Expensive book. Jump on it and/or share costs and ...

The Politics of Melodrama: Putin y Puto?

9 May, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

[caption id="attachment_12288" align="aligncenter" width="300"] BYC at Bareiss. May.18.18 (Communication gobelet (diptyque)_preview)[/caption] “A melodrama is a dramatic work in which the plot, which is typically sensational and designed to appeal strongly to the emotions, takes precedence over detailed characterization. Characters are often simply drawn, and may appear stereotyped.” Wikipedia Given the reductive nature of media reports, whether social, print, broadcast, or El Mitote (gossip), surely the critic can forgive the consumer of information for misunderstanding the difference between facts, information and the fact-value interpretation as an act or expression of the moral choices required when confronting social conventions. As Emerson reminds us in Self-Reliance, “The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion.” Critical thinking is in decline. Today, the credibility of the national and local political dialogue has degenerated into the concept of “he said, she said.” Rumor, due to the attack by propagandists ...

Art Connections: Taos to New York (via L.A.)

7 May, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

The recent opening at Vivian Horan Fine Art at 35 East 67th Street in New York, Thursday April 26, called TAOS: 1960'S-PRESENT, included 16 Taos artists, who currently live and work here or RIP, their spirits still present as reminders that life is short and art long. Included in the exhibition were: Marc Baseman, Larry Bell, Lynda Benglis, Kevin Cannon, Walter Chappell, Ron Cooper, Ronald Davis, Dennis Hopper, Debbie Long, Agnes Martin, Paul O’Connor, Ken Price, Hank Saxe, Jack Richard Smith, J. Matthew Thomas, and Sasha Raphael vom Dorp. (Photo above: Paul O'Connor) (For an account of the opening see Lynne Robinson’s at: http://taostyle.net/2018/04/taos-in-the-house/ or the web site: http://www.vivianhoran.com/exhibitions for a tour of objets d’art.) The art world including aficionados, collectors, and cooperating dealers, apparently took notice of the fine work. An unusually crowded opening, according to those who were there, also ...

Town Assault on “Green” Means White Fir Tree…Dead

4 May, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Why Inertia is the Rule: It takes a Town to kill a tree. Inertia or doing nothing in Taos is always better because the politicians will screw “it” up 9 times out of 10. The community has a record of enabling public works disasters through their elected officials. Local government began an assault on the Historic Plaza in the early 70s and the old girl never recovered from the first attempt nor the second remodel in the 90s. The assault continues a la mish-mash. It's why locals would rather Town's Strong at Heart Program Leave well enough alone! Now the current Barrone-Bellis administration attempt at “landscaping” could result in the final blow to the Historic Plaza.  As flagstones were replaced with brick elevations and a variety of tchotchkes installed during the decades, so current town policy makers and employees, per the itinerant professional, Bellis ...

Town of Taos: Self-laceration

24 April, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

From time to time Taos Friction addresses the issue or theme of “place.” Why does local government insist not only on “clutter” but on interfering with the sight lines of Historic Taos? Anachronistic architectural features include cables, signs, bric-a-brac, and electrical add-ons in order to create an unsightly mess that interferes with the view and the art and the architecture. Below Taos Friction presents a photo essay that speaks for itself on the way the Town of Taos engages in abusing local culture. See the Faux Victorian lamps and lamp posts below from which fine art posters hang? More KCEC green scars on trees. Cutting off Padre Martinez's sermon on the plinth. Course the trail of wires leaves no paving stone or alley, entrance to Plaza or Shops on Bent St. untouched. You get what you vote for in Taos: chaos, ...

El Norte’s “Forbidden News”

14 April, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Since the primary season began, I’ve received a few phone calls and thought I’d share my ideas and impressions aka “data points” with my dear readers. Still, one must ask oneself why the excellent local “snooze” experiments with soft features aimed at “lifestyle” or “consumerism” but has eliminated hard or soft news from its pages except for the obituaries. Can’t Chris and the Gang find some Viagra? Two weeks ago, a front-page story about “Strong at Heart” featured inches of print but nothing about issues or facts other than somebody was quoted as saying that Taos should be made safe for children. The rest of the story was constituted by meaningless phrases and no facts. Similarly, this week the “Snooze” featured a story about Angel Fire citizens who complain about KCEC’s high electricity rates, yet no facts were mentioned. Where was the info ...

What Taos has in Common with Facebook

11 April, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Facebook Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder testifying in Wash. D.C. : "Here's what everyone's been trying to tell you today, and I say this gently: Your user agreement sucks," said Kennedy.  "The purpose of that user agreement is to cover Facebook's rear end. It's not to inform your users about their rights. Now you know that, and I know that," he continued. "Tell your $1,200-an-hour lawyers they're good, and no disrespect. But tell them you want it written in English, and not Swahili, so the average American can understand it," he instructed. "That would be a start." Abeyta A week ago, Monday night we wrapped up our Monday night culture class re: Taos with a discussion of the Abeyta-Taos Pueblo Water Settlement Agreement. As instructor I had dutifully marked the complex bits about pipelines, mitigation wells, ...

Beauty (Posters) and the Beast (Abeyta)

29 March, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

Good News on Beauty Ok. So, I’m wrong about my predictions re: the “Poster Art” reproductions hanging from lamp posts in Taos. Taos is now a four-letter word for Art. I love the posters except for the “safety” factor. It’s difficult to read some of the names (except Zoe’s) on the horizontal sides of the images, while driving by oneself. Congratulations to Janet Webb and her coterie of supporters. Now how about the clutter beyond the posters? The Beastly Bureaucratism of Abeyta For the antidote to Magical Thinkers and Science Deniers I offer into evidence the driest winter I have seen since I first visited Taos in 1965. Now comes the Abeyta-Taos Pueblo Water Settlement Agreement, which threatens to further demoralize farmers and parciantes as the pen replaces the shovel. The real work today of preserving and protecting the acequia culture comes down to ...

Excerpts from the Playmate Press: Amodei, Trump, Reyes, Mr. Geek

22 March, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“He was with the Russians, too.” Warren Zevon Politicos punish kid while President pinches the purse (Local)Failed Projects and Primary Candidates. “Where have all the [moneys] gone long time passing...when will we ever learn…” (Pete Seeger tropes on “The Lineman of the County.”) Taos County primary voters will get to choose between KCEC CEO Luis Reyes’s two candidates and incumbents in the Commission race: Daniel Cordova in the District 1 race v. incumbent Jim Fambro, and in District 2, Ronald Mascarenas of Peñasco v. Candyce O’Donnell. The Energizer Bunny keeps on keepin on despite election losses in Taos and Questa, financial losses at the Coop, Broadband, Call Center, Propane, Command Center, Guzman, and the record sums being spent on behalf of the unfettered “Traveling Trustees.” Note from Joseph McCarthy: "Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity. The modern ...

On the Occasion of Number “17”

15 March, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [human beings] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” (Declaration of Independence) Regardless of whether so-called “pro-life” factions can agree on whether life begins at conception or in the mind of a divinity, or whether the moral standing of institutional Christians has been undermined by pederasty or whether the peccadilloes of their chosen politicians undermines both faith-based morals and secular ethics, so a majority of Americans, surely still believe in the reasons for protecting their children and grandchildren, regardless of color, creed, or political persuasion, children who should be able to pursue their lives, liberty, and ...

Taos Local Political News

11 March, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

We Taosenos can be grateful that Dan “Work-Gloves” Barrone, Fritz “The Hammer” Hahn, and Pascual Maestas, “El Econo Hombre” won the local election. Whether consciously or not, Taos and Questa escaped the Trump-like fate awaiting them by rejecting the moribund trustees at KCEC, where CEO Luis Reyes attempted to take-over Taos County’s largest town and village by running several candidates. But neither Taosneos nor Questions were biting. Since Barrone and Hahn have revealed their backsides, we know who we’re dealing with and it’s not all bad. At least the Mayor and his Hammer (aka “The Betrayer”) wear their own hair. The longer the hair the more “moral” bald spots it covers per our President. Despite the re-election of the unchallenged and honorable Judge Chavez in Taos, a judicial “spectre is haunting” Taos County. The steady and judicious work of the Magistrate ...

Lord of the Flies: American Dehumanization

22 February, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

As industry and the politics of governing merge, fascism in America grows. Now Politicians protect the right to kill as a priority over the right to life. Regulations and the right to due process, as well as the right to life, all are being scuttled by Trumpism.     Faux Free Market Unleashed   Contrary to conventional notions of libertarians and the Milton Friedmanites at the Chicago School, Adam Smith believed that “moral sentiments” should set limits on the rapacious nature of free market trade due to human greed and lust for power. Today, as Trump and the Republicans finish the work of deregulating corporations, the results of centuries of moral and reasonable evolution and human progress are being cast aside. Notions of fairness and justice are being ignored as the nation descends into rule “by the stronger,” a process of dehumanization set ...

Chicano Chamber Endorses: Fernandez, Cantu, and Maestas

21 February, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

“How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless [politico]”—Shakespeare Full Disclosure: The Chicano Chamber no longer holds “official” meetings, due to a lack of quorum. So the internecine power struggle between the “Cordova” faction and “Sanchez” faction to take over the organization has failed to gain traction. Now the members merely ask and act on the rhetorical question: “What would Juma do?” (1942-2013). The Chicano Chamber, formed on the basis of “Confianza,” incorporates community customs or reciprocity among residents, wherein relationships are honored by extending especially favorable treatment to locals, kinship groups, and kindred spirits. In the vernacular it means do, not as los “vendidos” do, but do as los “vecinos” do. (Contrary to popular belief a “newcomer” like a “native newcomer” can join the fray as long as he or she does what Taosenos do. Some have the ...