Town Defers to Experts and Mendacity

2 June, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

In an April 24, 2019, letter to Ms. Azalea Gusterson of the “Guardians of Taos Water” re: : INVITATION TO MAY 1 PUBLIC FORUM AND ASSOCIATED QUESTIONS,” Mayor Barrone (aka Balone), in a ham-handed excuse to avoid thinking and communicating with constituents, sent a ghostwritten epistle from his Minder, which begins by stating in an opening paragraph of some 145 words, a list of any and all agencies contiguous to and continuously involved in the Abeyta Settlement, denoting the “lengthy ...

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 ...

I Object to Torturing Children: It’s a Crime Against Humanity

24 June, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

So, I’m reading Vaclav Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless” (again) as antidote to the hopelessness of post-American Democracy, to whose practice I object because guilty of Crimes Against Humanity. Havel, the poet, playwright, dissident and political prisoner, who became President of the Czech Republic, says “speaking truth to power” will effect change when enough people catch the virus. We are both victims and supporters of the corrupt system. Further Havel advises creating a “parallel polis” in the community culture, based on standards of reason, individual responsibility, the moral imagination and ethical action. His old-fashioned notions felled a totalitarian regime. In part, the circulation of the subversive “samizdat” or underground literature destroyed the iron curtain the same way word of mouth praises and condemns local business and local pols, especially those who claim to help but, in reality, commit crimes against ...

What is the Failed Mueller Report?

14 June, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

“We come here to bury, not to praise Caesar, but who is Caesar?” 1. Whether due to the liberal orthodoxy of the American Dream or the reality of white privilege, the Mueller Report (Report) reflects the “cognitive dissonance” (inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, as related to behavioral decisions and changing attitudes) of the pundits, political factions, and the partisans. Ironically the Report contradicts itself in both the introductions to Volume I (Investigation of Russian Interference) and Volume II (Obstruction of Justice). 2. In Volume I, the Report says on page 60 of the Washington Post edition, April 2019 edition, “”that the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Then the report goes on to list contacts between the Campaign and the Russians (many of which have been reported ad nauseam by ...

Celebrate the Lives and Generations of Los Sanchez

4 June, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

Saturday June 15 from 4 to 7 at Don Carlos Lounge So, the time comes, turn back the clock. If you’re reading this you’re invited to join the brothers Sanchez, Cory, Jim, and Zack in a celebration of life featuring Geno and Jules, Grandfather Joe and Mary, and Great Grand Father Filemon. For didn’t both Filemon and Joe used to sneak away from the hubbub and their wives to enjoy a moment's grace with George Trujillo at Don Carlos’s lounge on the eastern end of the Canon by-pass? Perhaps Filemon and Joe discussed the Mitote with a fellow loungers like our departed vato loco, Richard Trujillo, or Cosme Trujillo,  Andres Vargas, and Patrocino Barela, all friends from Canon. (Will I ever forget Filemon’s stepdaughter Mar-Lu?) Indeed, an open bar and buffet, punctuated by the songs of the “Ship-Shape Zack Gray Singers” will entertain ...

A. Eugene Sanchez (May 4, 1935—May 11, 2019)

24 May, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

“An Honest Public Servant” (A memorial Sanchez celebration will be held Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Gene's grandfather Filemon's favorite Canon watering hole, Don Carlos Lounge from 4 to 7. Gene's three sons, Cory, James, and Zack say they will celebrate Joe and Mary, Gene and Jules, Filemon et al in a send-off over the sunset.) Geno, as he was known to his intimates, was one of the few if not the only entirely honest public servant i.e. elected official I have known in Taos. He might have made mistakes but did not err out of conscious malediction. Even the semi-saintly ones I’ve known occasionally indulged in a twisted movida as means to serve a problematical end. But Gene’s refrain, “It’s the law,” spoke to his integrity. And it was his honesty, his wife Jules said, that underscored her love for him. Of ...

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 ...

Town Defers to Experts and Mendacity

2 June, 2019
By: Bill Whaley

In an April 24, 2019, letter to Ms. Azalea Gusterson of the “Guardians of Taos Water” re: : INVITATION TO MAY 1 PUBLIC FORUM AND ASSOCIATED QUESTIONS,” Mayor Barrone (aka Balone), in a ham-handed excuse to avoid thinking and communicating with constituents, sent a ghostwritten epistle from his Minder, which begins by stating in an opening paragraph of some 145 words, a list of any and all agencies contiguous to and continuously involved in the Abeyta Settlement, denoting the “lengthy and extremely complex document that encompasses the legal results of years of litigation and rulings”…(ad nauseam). Throw it all on the wall and hope something sticks. In a display of “Trumpism,” or an excuse to neither read nor study the Settlement, the Mayor’s Minder suggests only the “experts” can understand the issues and your local elected officials don’t qualify to comment ...

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 ...