Moments of Seeing the Signs at the Harwood, Magpie, Studio 107-B, and 203!

9 July, 2018
By: Bill Whaley

In our moment of frustration at the death of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” (see the extant fresco odes to justice upstairs in the old courthouse), due to the seemingly Trumpian triumph, borne of the tweet and supported by “resentment” (call it envidia), the slippery slope of despair and rise of hopelessness seems overwhelming. Yet at the moment when angered I remember this child’s parable, told by Stephen Vincent Benét in The Devil and Daniel Webster: “Till, finally, it was time for him ...

The Outrageous Chicana Presents a Real “Pistolera”!

14 June, 2018
By: Contributor

NEWS RELEASE Contact : Theresa Córdova, Ph.D. (575) 758-4020 Are you wondering what to give your dad for Father’s Day? How about treating him to a unique night of entertainment by world-renowned performers? Las Pistoleras Instituto Cultural de Arte (aka Las Pistoleras), 1219 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in El Prado, plays host to performance troupe La Pocha Nostra on Father’s Day, June 17 2018 at 8 p.m. The artists Guillermo Gomez Peña, Saul Garcia Lopez and Balitronica Gomez plan to offer their brand ...

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: or the web site: 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 ...