Breaking News: Wednesday (1.21.15) Afternoon

21 January, 2015
By: Bill Whaley

  Taos Plaza The Town broke out the dust blowers and street cleaners on Taos Plaza or so it looked to me earlier this week. Bravo. Now for the snow shovels. Here’s to Mayor Work Gloves. Don’t miss the meeting on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 6 pm. The Town claims they want your ideas. If you have one…give it to them…Eh, Ranee? Sipapu FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2015 Media Contact: Stacey Glaser, Marketing Director (505) 414-1550, Sipapu Picks Up 7.5" of Snow, Opens Biggest Terrain ...

Governance rightly understood

16 January, 2015
By: Bill Whaley

“Character teaches above our wills. Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Today, the art of politics and politics of art compete for attention from 5 to 7 at Town Hall on Camino de la Placita, where the community celebrates its own master cartoonist, Bill Baron, while just across the street on Civic Plaza Drive, the Town Council will consider ...

Taos: County and Town: the Macro and Micro versions

28 January, 2015
By: Bill Whaley

Revelations Below: County Culture, Abeyta Issues, Farmer's Market  (Sorry about the length but it was a long day. Here are the highlights.) County Ramble: Historic News for HCC On Tuesday, Jan. 27, the Taos County staff hosted a work-study session for commissioners to discuss the general financial health of the County with Finance Director, Leandro Cordova, as the star witness. He and his staff, ably assisted by elected officials and their staffs, have provided Commissioners with a tight budget, conservative projections and a policy aimed at keeping the county solvent. Though I don’t have the figures in front of me, basically, expenses have declined and revenues increased. Due to tight management the county is in a sound fiscal condition. As Leandro sat there discussing the various county departments and responsibilities, including the tight management of the Senior Center, which the County rescued from chaos only a ...

Dangerous Potholes, Talk, Action, and Kid Gloves

24 January, 2015
By: Bill Whaley

While Mayor Barrone and Manager Rick Bellis in Taos have seen to sweeping up the daily deposit of snow or dirt in town, they somehow neglect the potholes, which are growing larger and expanding beyond mere bounces and jounces. Councilor Fritz Hahn, during his campaign repeatedly emphasized the dangers posed by potholes to small children on bicycles. While Councilor Hahn has made a name for himself as a hardheaded advocate of social justice issues in the Red Willow matter, his constituents are disappearing into black holes. On Thursday night, Jan. 22, your functionary here attended the town meeting where the Mayor, Manager, and Council gathered to hear the community’s concerns. The mood was civil. The mayor, manager, council, and audience all behaved. Initially, Chief Weaver, who said he could “talk paint off metal” went on to prove his point while discussing issues ...

Bellis Sings Kumbaya But Where are the Work Gloves?

19 January, 2015
By: Bill Whaley

“Our role as citizens seeking responsive, informed and effective government does not end on Election Day. Picking the right leaders is just the start.” ——Rick Bellis Below, Town Manager Rick Bellis sends out his thanks to the citizens for saving his job. Last Friday night folks showed up for what amounted to a melodramatic community catharsis. Councilor Judi Cantu withdrew her motion to terminate Mr. Bellis. Many of the vocal attendees were not necessarily voters or residents of the Town. According to Mr. Bellis’s note below, which is filled with appropriate sentiments and sensible propositions, all would be well if we could just find it in our hearts to cooperate for the purposes of the community. He says, “on January 22nd at 6 pm at the Council Chambers we will be holding an important community-wide meeting to talk about the future of ...

It Happened Last Night: The Friday Night Fights

17 January, 2015
By: Bill Whaley

Baron Last night the Baron show of recent political cartoons opened at Town Hall to the amusement and applause of local political aficionados. Seen as enlarged prints, the ‘toons have even more impact than they do in The Taos News. Those who have been honored by being depicted should especially see the show, despite the painful memories. You can buy one or order one for only $20. This is the bargain of the New Year. Silva Over at the Guadalajara Grill, during dinner, we sat with Bea and Larry Silva, the mayordomo of southwest El Prado, where it merges into the Town of Taos. Silva, who sells tires, and used vehicles, stimulates the local economy by offering fair rents to tenants and providing long-term jobs to employees. Despite his ninety plus years, he’s spry as a jackrabbit, still makes long-distance drives to pick ...

The American Politics of Provincialism

12 January, 2015
By: Bill Whaley

By ignoring the Paris rally for “Je suis Charlie” on Sunday, the American Executive and Congressional Leadership displayed a parochial way of thinking: self-interest selfishly understood. France supported the American independence movement and presented the USA with the statue of liberty. Most Americans love French fries. Allegedly, Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris but didn’t march. Ambassador Jane Hartley, pictured on the right, better known for appearing at opera functions than at foreign policy meetings, marched. At least she had the courage of her office. Pictured on the left, is an ordinary man, a shop employee, and a man of courage, Mr. Lassana Bathily, who worked at the Kosher Supermarket, where hostages were taken by one of the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. He hid several customers in a cold freezer, turned it off, and slipped out a back door to find help. ...

“Forgotten Bomb” at Moby Dickens, Sat. January 10, 7 pm

10 January, 2015
By: Contributor

Erich Kuerschner  writes: For those interested in nuclear weapons, and in particular, the myths surrounding these weapons and LANL’s role in promoting these weapons, there will be a showing of New Mexico’s Bud Ryan’s film, ”The Forgotten Bomb”  (no charge) at Moby Dickens Bookstore 124A Bent Street, Saturday, Jan. 10 from 7-9 pm.  The film producer, Bud ryan will be in attendance to answer questions. The film’s website is here: Facebook is here: The 2:09 minute trailer is here: Steven Okazaki, Director, White Light, Black Rain, has called this "The best big view of the subject I've amazing piece of work." I concur, as this is one of the few films that give a sense of the secrecy, censorship, and misdirection the late Stewart Udall called ““the most long-lived program of public deception in U.S. history.” [“Myths of August”, 1998, p. 321]  In the same book he ...

Taos 2014: the Year that Was!

31 December, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

No. 1. Story (a tie): Taos Muni Elections Despite attacks by Mayor Darren Cordova’s broadcasters and their vitriolic factotums, who slimed the candidates and supporters on the Mayor’s DMC radio stations during the 2014 muni elections in Taos, the challenger, Mr. Work Gloves, Dan Barrone, and candidates Fritz Hahn and Judi Cantu ran away from corruption and won the municipal election in what will be long remembered as an old-fashioned “ass whooping.” The former mayor laid off his shock jock (who we hear laid off her wife) and the sometime entertainer also closed his restaurant. Councilor Rudy Walmart was never heard of or seen again except for when Alex appeared and was taken for his twin brother. The new administration cleaned up the streets, watered the flowers, lit up the Plaza and threw several community parties to celebrate the return to sanity. ...

The U.S. Government and Universal Human Rights

18 December, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men 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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” The Declaration of Independence “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Amendment VIII In this time of turmoil and chaos, when, as Yeats said, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity,” I find it comforting to review the founders’ mission statement i.e. the Declaration of Independence, excerpted above and the 8th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a document meant to implement the mission. More than other nations, the United States of America was founded on ...

The Unjust abroad and at home

11 December, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

While writing about social and political issues during my second sailing in Taos from 1998 to 2009, I discovered that the stimulus for scribbling, as George Orwell says, “is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice.” —Bad Gringo “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.” — Declaration of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal: The Torture Guys: When did they figure it out? In Andrew Rosenthal‘s NYT post, 12 Dec. 2014, the pundit quotes Dick Cheney: “What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation, and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” Mr. Cheney said in a telephone interview. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The ...

Cops and Prosecutors Serve Elites

8 December, 2014
By: Contributor

From the Desk of Chris Hedges ( Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to launch a pilot program in New York City to place body cameras on police officers and conduct training seminars to help them reduce their adrenaline rushes and abusive language, along with the establishment of a less stringent marijuana policy, are merely cosmetic reforms. The killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island was, after all, captured on video. These proposed reforms, like those out of Washington, D.C., fail to address the underlying cause of poverty, state-sponsored murder and the obscene explosion of mass incarceration—the rise of the corporate state and the death of our democracy. Mass acts of civil disobedience, now being carried out across the country, are the only mechanism left that offers hope for systematic legal and judicial reform. We must defy the corporate state, not work ...

Hands Up: Don’t Shoot!

1 December, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

Now comes “Hands-up, Don’t Shoot,” a protest featuring Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Tre Mason, the receiving corps of the NFL's St. Louis Rams, who reminded fans about the killing of Ferguson’s Michael Brown. It takes moral courage to stand up in corporate America for what’s right in the face of the overwhelming power of the state. Now these players belong in the Hall of Fame that counts. Precedents for Black American athletes include Tommie Smith and John Carlos, Mexico City, 1968 Olympics, who raised their fists in solidarity with their brothers and sisters; Lebron James and the Miami Heat (below), dressed in hoodies, in a gesture of support for Justice in the Trayvon Martin wrongful death. Folks always forget that a Black American, MLB player Curt Flood of the St. Louis Cardinals, sacrificed his career ...

Get Your Turkey at the 8th Judicial District

26 November, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

A Difficult Thanksgiving According to tradition we thank our creator, family, friends, the gods, the Sacred Mountain or life itself for blessings on Thanksgiving. As we utter these words of humility and comfort, I shall cross my fingers. Given the failing state of civil society across the Mid East, in Mexico, and here in America, it seems there is less hope and little change for the better: see Ferguson, see Albuquerque. In an effort to keep the rabble mindful of their duty to their corporate masters, the rule of law has been turned out of the House of Justice. Like some abandoned outlier, the law is used now to serve judicial careerists, cops, judges, and prosecutors, agents of the National Security State and the militarization of government. We all live or die in Ferguson and Albuquerque. By shooting the black man or child, ...

Suazo’s “Taos County History Carved in Stone” and Egri’s “Flight of the Wind”

19 November, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

The Preservation of the “Forgotten People” When history is made and/or acknowledged, it’s a rare thing. Most of the participants in the event are not conscious of the story, a story that begins long ago in geologic and Paleolithic time. Through bumps and burps, a people emerges, the indigenous ones who hunt, gather, and grow crops alongside the mountains or on the streams that flow down from the mountains and feed the modest fishery of the Rio Grande. Others arrive as acequia builders or farmers as well as the ones who record history and interpret it whether as painted images on canvas, or in photographs, and, occasionally carved in stone. Then in a climactic moment the real history, the history of the human race or the people of the valley in this case, recognized and represented becomes part of reality. The history ...

Earth, Air, Wind, and Fire

13 November, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

Recently one of Manby’s sons, a member of the United Realtors of Taos, “implied” in the excellent local weekly that I allowed my readers to write and say outrageous things about the proposed airport expansion project. I do. Due to his run-on periods and unclear syntax, he also conveniently implied that I condoned the remarks. Similarly, a week or two ago, the Taos Bark and Bite person accused me of saying “hateful” things because I summarized in a brief paragraph and posted the complete findings of the NM Veterinary Board in the Stray Hearts Animal Abuse case. Though I didn’t say hateful things, I suggested the responsible parties shouldn’t cover up cruelty to animals. When residents get shut down by the censors at the corporate media or don’t have the wherewithal to profit from Manby’s legacy, I make space available for the ...

Injustice and Inequality: No Mas!

12 November, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

Mexican Politicos, police, and narcos conspired, reportedly, to murder 43 students who were incidentally in the way of a party planned by the Mayor’s wife of Iguala in the state of Guerrero. When a Mexican Official dismissed concerns, citing fatigue: “Ya Me Canse (Enough, I’m tired), protestors turned the remarks around and redefined government inaction from a populist POV: Yo Me Canse (Enough. I’m tired.) Thanks to Cesar Chavez and the first Obama campaign, Americans revived the notion of “Si Se Puede” (Yes we can). Now we might simplify and identify with the great Panamanian fighter, Roberto Duran, who, when out-boxed by Sugar Ray Leonard, finally said “No Mas.” Let us say “no mas” to injustice, the official liars of the state and the wealthy lawn mowers searching for public tax dollars between the blades of grass. After you say no to ...


5 November, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

Sign Man Sighted On November 4, 2014, the Sign Man was back on the streets, exercising his First Amendment Rights, claiming he was no longer smitten with Smith's, who has smited drivers and is selling gas for high prices. Lines at the pumps were light during election day. There's an Elephant in the House Apparently, the Republican party capitalized on the sour mood of voters. Nationally, the Elephants swept Governor's, Senator's, and Representative offices. While democrats made in roads into Pennsylvannia, or held on to some seats in demo Donkey land, voters bucked the trends in  Taos County and sent republicans packing, including longtime politico Virgil Martinez, who lost to Demo Mark Gallegos, Mayor of Questa, by a couple hundred votes. Gallegos will be the new commissioner in District 2. Congratulations to Mark "the giant killer." The holiday season is upon us and it's ...

Your Last Chance to Vote

4 November, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

The rightwing tilt of American politics today, pro-cop, anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and the voter suppression of disagreeable Democrats, should tell you something about what to expect from Republican extremists, funded by billionaire descendants of the John Birch era back in the fifties and sixties, who are coming to power. The Taos News and the Santa Fe New Mexican elites have joined the party at GOP headquarters on the fourth floor of the Santa Fe Roundhouse, where Gov. Martinez circles the legislature like a predatory coyote. Hometown newspaper? Not likely. Still, some of my best friends are Republicans and I urge you to vote today for Virgil Martinez as Commissioner and Ron Montez as Taos County Sheriff. Taos Republicans from the grass roots era of New Mexico shoulder a tradition that is more populist and leftward leaning than Democrats in my home state ...

Around the World and Taos, Too

29 October, 2014
By: Bill Whaley

(See:  for stunning documentary footage.)   (International) “US relations with Israel have plunged to new depths of bitterness and hostility as senior officials in the Obama administration decried Binyamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit prime minister”, “coward” and a man more interested in his own political survival than peace.”—From The Guardian (National) Thanks to Ebola and “lone-wolf” attacks on Canadians and threats from crazies, the National Security State is cracking down and pandering to America’s sense of insecurity. Here come the foot soldiers of the “inverted totalitarian” state, more laws, more guards, and fewer civil rights. (State) Reversing a national trend, wherein cops shoot people of color nationwide and the homeless in Albuquerque, the cops from Santa Fe are shooting each other. We get our tragedies all upside down in El Norte. (El Norte) According to Forbes Magazine, Louis of Taos Ski Valley is bringing ...