Bodies and Monuments: Why BLM!

2 July, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

(Editor's Note: Below the editor posts a powerful expression of identity and righteous heritage by caroline Williams that authenticates the justice of Black Lives Matters (et al). You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument The black people I come from were owned and raped by the white people I come from. Who dares to tell me to celebrate them? Caroline Randall Williams Ms. Williams is a poet. June 26, 2020 (NYT) NASHVILLE — I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living ...

Taosenos Must Play Defense

30 June, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

The Town of Taos is expected to expand an emergency order mandating “masks” today. Masks, social distancing, and good manners are our only defense against El Viro, given the lack of testing and the insidious nature of the invisible but powerful enemy. (Those individuals who ignore science based on conspiracy theories or the politics of denial should be shunned, including local businesses, who refuse to abide by the rules.) Yesterday, I witnessed a micro lesson straight out of Black Lives Matter and ...

White Jacobins Riot over Race

6 September, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Carson Valley (Minden and Gardnerville), Nevada As a black sheep Taoseno, I am compelled to share the following story from my home town, Gardnerville, Nevada, located in Carson Valley, northern Nevada. The valley was named for Taoseno Kit Carson. In Carson Valley the Sierra Nevada mountains tower over the verdant valley floor, mostly white-faced Hereford Cattle and Horses grazing adjacent to the West and East Forks of the Carson River. The artesian wells flourish, and each evening at six p.m. the six-o’clock dinner whistle blows. This whistle doubles during emergencies as a wake-up call for the volunteer fire department. But the signal was set up originally in the late forties or early fifties to send the local Washo Indians, vamoose out of town. When I was a kid, the Indians were only allowed to drink in bars owned by the Chinese ...

Reality Check: Gangsters in the White House.

20 August, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Mail Machines in Junk Yards Dead Men Walking Statesman Caveat: Mr. Obama, now out of office, has grown in stature, perhaps in response to that “Angel” on his shoulder, John Lewis, the civil rights leader who marched across the Edmund  Pettus Bridge in Selma and got whacked in the head for causing “good trouble.” At Congressman Lewis’s funeral, former President Obama delivered the eulogy but turned that eulogy into a plea for folks to vote and listed all the ways the feds and the republicans are repressing the historic franchise from which American democracy derives its authority.  It was the first time I heard him speak to specifics in a statesmanlike manner. Perhaps the example of Georgia peanut farmer Jimmy Carter, who also grew immensely after serving as president, as well as John Lewis, inspired Obama.  Further, last night President Obama, like Michelle on the first ...

John Lewis: Rest in Peace, “Bloody Sunday”

18 July, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

The Embodiment of “resenttiment,” a French term, characterizes the resentful and envidia-ridden, who see themselves left behind by the bourgeois or elite and educated classes.  The term peculiarly suits the character of Donald J. Trump, who currently leads the populist uprising of white power, armed and focused on the cult of death in America. Trump, like his GOP colleagues, aims to reverse seventy-five years of liberalism, prompted by FDR’s “New Deal.” Trump policies mix a stew of deceptive and cruel practices that capitalize on racism, as a method of “dividing and conquering” the working classes.   Were the working classes, black, brown and white to combine forces, they would quickly topple the Corporate Capitalists and their overseers, who have, during the last forty years, accelerated the income gap between the lower classes and the upper One Tenth of One Percent. Regardless of armed Trump ...

Town Plays Defense Against Invasive Species

2 July, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Town Throws up Barricades: No Mask, No Service  PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER - EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY By Proclamation of Civil Emergency by the Mayor of the Town of Taos And Town Council Emergency Resolutions 20-10 and 20-27 And Public Health Order of the Governor and Health Secretary of the State of New Mexico FACE MASKS OR COVERINGS REQUIRED All persons, age 4 and older, shall be required to wear face masks or coverings when in a public place; including stores, restaurants, offices, all for-profit and non-profit organizations, churches, medical facilities, streets, parks, playgrounds, schools, and public and private gatherings. This order shall apply to all businesses and their employees, all customers, tourists, and any person outside of their own home, dwelling or permanent or temporary residential residence, regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time, out of state or out of town residents. PHYSICAL DISTANCING REQUIRED All employers and all owners of any facility ...

Readers Comment on “Emergency Action Required”

27 June, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Red State Death Cult Re-enacts “Heavens Gate.” From Wales: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” —Dylan Thomas From Taos Pueblo, sign at gas station: No Shirt, No Mask, No Service From Taos: I agree with you completely and am asking for the same. (Town Councilor, Darien Fernandez From Colorado: “Every plane from Dallas to Aspen is completely full through July 7 ! We’re screwed!” From Nevada 1. Such a sad state of affairs ... NV governor put mandatory mask restrictions in effect today - 50% of citizens conforming at most (“no one is going to tell me what to do....”). I find myself constantly trying to explain the logic (without using the dirty “science” word) to the people, I cross paths with — tool belts, cowboy hats, “native” Nevadan’s, to no avail. Pathetic frustrating strategy. Try to see your breath (respiratory droplets) on ...

Emergency Action Required:Contact Elected Officials.

26 June, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

To whom it may concern: So far I believe Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s responsible supervision of the Covid-19 pandemic in New Mexico deserves kudos. She has exceeded other states and governors in her concern for the health, safety, and public welfare of New Mexicans. Unfortunately, neither Texas nor Arizona has joined in recognizing the dangers of the pandemic. During the last two weeks I have seen the acceleration of visitors from out-of-state, particularly the number of Texas license plates and the unorthodox behavior of visitors—unmasked and non-social distancing— at convenience stores, gas stations, and in public on the Plaza. I believe the sky-rocketing rates of confirmed Covid-19 in our neighboring states require emergency action. Just before the shut-down on March 13th, I witnessed irresponsible attitudes of said Texans at TSV just as I see it now with summer visitors. I support testing, quarantines, ...

John Koch 1944 – 2020: A Man who Matched the Mountains

17 June, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

“Koch was high above on the slopes, pop-out snappers and blasting caps in hand, dropping bombs and trying to get the upper hand on the mountain. Yes, Koch’s job today takes ten men and several howitzers.” (Gringo Lessons) JOHN KOCH 1944 – 2020 John Koch died June 12 at his home in Aspen after a short illness. John was born September 2, 1944, in Madison, Wisconsin. When asked where he was from, John said, “the west”. He lived in Montana, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico and Colorado. He loved all the things the west had to offer, most especially hiking and skiing. He attended college in Fort Collins, Boulder and Albuquerque. While in New Mexico, he ski patrolled at Taos Ski Valley and helped construct the tram at Sandia Peak in Albuquerque. (Aspen Times) Single-handed, John Koch, opened up the mountain, fleeing from ...

Friction Candidates in Local Primary

31 May, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

In the District 3 County Commission race, Talpa, Ranchos, Llano area, Darlene Vigil,former County Assessor, is an outstanding candidate, whose experience in County Government means she will hit the ground running. Friction Endorsement Reminders In the District 4 race, El Prado, Arroyo Hondo, Arroyo Seco areas, Willie Cordova, like Darlene brings experience to the job. County Clerk candidate Dolores Lujan also brings years of experience to the job as a veteran of the office For District Judge Melissa Kennelly has the background, experience, and outstanding credentials, credentials endorsed by the selection committee of the state, who appointed her, and praised by numerous judges (Caldwell, Nelson, McElroy, retired) and attorneys in the community “Keep Judge Kennelly.” For District Attorney Marcus Montoya deserves your consideration. He’s fair minded and believes in resolving cases in favor of justice, not in favor of personal animus or political persecutions. Keep Sara ...

Plus ca Change, plus c’est la meme chose

21 May, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

(The more things change; the more things remain the same.) Introduction Let us hope that we can take advantage of the pronounced changes society will undergo during the next weeks, months, years. Regardless of the direct causes, illustrated by the pandemic, changes will continue as globalism, pandemics, and climate change accelerate. We must think locally in order to defend ourselves against the chaos of what Naomi Klein calls the predatory corporate “Shock Doctrine,” wherein elites exploit vulnerable populations. The “factionalism,” feared by the founders of the American experiment, has migrated from Europe and the world to embroil America, driven by propaganda and public relations campaigns, promoted by “divide and conquer techniques” pitting sub-cultures against each other. Philosophy, religion, science, the arts, education, commerce, and culture have been politicized, trivialized, and muddled. The victory of the lingua franca or common language of conventional thinking casts ...

Friction Endorses Experienced Candidates in Local Primary

14 May, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Despite more pressing business, I am taking time off this morning to endorse local candidates with experience and the ability to govern with efficient and knowledgeable skills. In the District 3 County Commission race, Talpa, Ranchos, Llano area, Darlene Vigil, former County Assessor, is an outstanding candidate, whose experience in County Government means she will hit the ground running. Darlene know the county backwards and forwards from the corners of the Penasco to the outer edges of Costilla and Amalia. As Assessor she guided her office into 21st Century practices, finding untaxed properties and buildings right in the middle of town, while treating citizens with dignity and respect. She’s friendly, hospitable, and smart, exactly the kind of commissioner Taos needs. In the District 4 race, El Prado, Arroyo Hondo, Arroyo Seco areas, Willie Cordova, like Darlene brings experience to the job. Under ...

Knox Johnson: March 26—May 1,2020

4 May, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Knox Johnson, born and reared on Mottsville Lane at the J Lazy J Ranch on the west side, traveled round the world and spent much time at the family’s Lake Tahoe property but always said, “There’s no place like Carson Valley.” He liked to stop on Kingsbury Grade and view the Valley, especially during water season to keep an eye on his neighbors. The Nevada rancher, born March 26, 1925, died on May 1, 2020. He was 95, and one of the last members of D.C.H.S. class of 1943, which met monthly for more than 20 years. His classmates were sure to mention his generosity and charm, saying he was known for “picking up the tab.” Knox’s grandfather Chris Johnson, settled in the Valley as part of the Mormon contingent in the 1870s. He is preceded in death by his father, ...

The Coronation of the King…”Get Used to it…”

15 April, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be.” Donald Trump. "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." Richard Nixon You’ve got to appreciate the various aspects of irony exhibited by our dear leaders on both sides of the aisle as the Red King and Blue Queen spit and sputter at El Viro, alternately blaming China, WHO, Democrats, Republicans, Trump, Media, and Corporate Medical profiteers. The AG said you can’t just hide under your bed. (A local Taos realtor, one of Manby’s sons, advertised an adobe for sale in The Taos News, assuring buyers that it possessed “social distance.” Ha. Ha.) Caveat to friends: I am not a cynic, merely skeptical today of everything everybody says since everyone admits, nobody knows what’s going to happen, echoing Socrates, who ...

The Politics of Apocalypse

9 April, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Conquest, War, Famine…and Plague “The logic of the rebel is to want to serve justice so as not to add to the injustice of the human condition, to insist on plain language so as not to increase universal falsehood, and to wager, in spite of human misery, for happiness.” (Albert Camus, The Rebel.)   Today, we are watching on television the decline of the Republic as the Red and Blue grapple with the politics of death and life. Medical supply lines have been hi-jacked by the “alleged” free market, aka “gangsterism,” (some say the President’s own family) much to the mortal concerns of health care workers who suffer from “corporate-medical malfeasance.”   (We can see ourselves in light of Vichy France, post WWII, or America, during the Civil War. British leadership, circa WWII, neither the King nor Churchill wavered.)   Each day the highest leaders in the ...

Good Morning Taosenos! How Are We Doing? From The Center of the Universe…

29 March, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

1. For those who still read books, I shall publish advisories, not only mine for the very few, but from Taos Friction readers for a wider audience. Basically, I read for wisdom and insight, hence classic philosophy and literature in the western tradition, which is the tradition and language into which I was born, reared, educated. Mostly I re-read in the spirt of Yeats, who advised about poetry, “There is no reading, only re-reading.” Montaigne, the progenitor of the modern essay wrote, “To Philosophize is to Learn How to Die.” I hasten to gloss that in light of Epicurean notion of the present moment, if you get the mind right, you can experience death and re-birth in a moment spiritually, in a nano-second that seems to stretch into infinity. I like to sit on the bench and stare at the ...

Poetics and Polemics: The X Rated Chronicles

21 March, 2020
By: Bill Whaley

Anger and Practical Philosophy “Training for death is training to die to one’s individuality and passions, in order to look at things from the perspective of universality and objectivity.” (Pierre Hadot, Philosophy: as a way of life, Blackwell Publishing, 1995, a book about spiritual exercises re: spiritual death and rebirth.) The Epic Tale of the White Oaf and the Limp Pencel 1. The Horror. Pictures of Plague clog television screens (gurneys dressed in white, the body curled beneath the IV, ventilators and respirators gasping for “personal protective equipment.”) Kurtz comes home to share “the horror” at the cross roads of the west in NYC or is Kurtz (See Conrad and Coppola) the White Oaf, a thorn among roses at the White House? 2. Zombie Mitch brags this Sat. a.m. “We’re working” on the weekend (while sybaritic colleagues squirrel away plunder gained via stock, tipped ...