The Fight Comes to Taos

By: Bill Whaley
19 September, 2017

According to the Daily News…

The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. Emerson

Oh yes, my Taosenos, the battle is joined as the Empire of Trumpworld seeks to despoil the very air and water, not only of the USofA and the world but also of Taos County itself. Comes now the great fornicator in the White House, real estate developer and urbanist, pussy grabber and white supremacist, and his agent of destruction, El Zinke, Secretary of Interior: they would, according to the news, erode the preservation and protection of the Rio Grande National Monument. She’s on the list!

For this place, this Taos Monument is the home of geo-volcanic origins, Native American hunting grounds and historic Hispanic grazing lands, habitat for Elk, Bighorn Sheep, and desert-mountain goats of varying forms, a place, where the flora and fauna, the human and the sublime embrace, where the semi-arid desert bakes and freezes beneath the sky above the earth even as the Rio Grande flows, watered by the Sangre de Cristos, blood of Christ Mountains.

For the Monument embraces multiple traditions and sub-cultures.

I did not think we were worth the candle up here in our isolated and remote land but Trump wants a fight. Like Churchill, who urged on the Brits against the Nazis, we must fight for every piece of Sagebrush and Pine Cone, the pinon and the vega, the watersheds and the valleys, the very homeland, this “Querencia” or the place where one feels safe, a place from which we, some of us, draw out strength and where, for better or worse, we feel at home. Light your candles and Smudge Sticks.

Ten days from now Taos Pueblo will host San Geronimo Day, where we can renew our vows with the historic peoples, who first made Taos home. According to archaeologists, the Winter People immigrated here in reaction to the Chaco encroachment more than a thousand years ago. So Taosenos are a “stiff-necked” people, whether anti-Chaco, anti-European conquest, anti-established Church, anti-Americano occupation, anti-war, and anti-corporate-state control.


Today the “inequality gap” accelerates as the gap grows between the haves and have-nots. Justice is for sale. Freedom is being privatized and citizenship commodified.

As the Black Man and Woman know, so the Hispanic and Native Americans experience tells us, the elite and their Corporatist organizations will stop at nothing to enslave not only people of color while they torture the innocent at Gitmo. The message sent embodies elite greed and lust for power. Remember the War of Manifest Destiny and Genocide in the 19th century.

Now the white working class has been targeted by corporate opioids as Watts fifty years ago was targeted by government purveyors’ corporate state Cocaine operatives. If the elites prevent our Mexican brothers and sisters from crossing the border to harvest the crops or work in packing houses, then who will rebuild Florida and Houston?

The elite corporate juggernaut can be seen today in the Republican attempt to (once again) undo health care, reduce taxes on the rich, and ignore the messages of Harvey and Irma, sent by Mother Earth to the naysayers. And the Elites will not be satisfied with stealing from the poor and historic people of color but as their appetites grow, they will gobble up the income from middle and upper middle class servants of their own banking and industrial houses. They have transformed a generation of college students into indentured servants. Oh, yes, they want it all.

In Vaclav Havel’s famous letter re: “The Power of the Powerless,” wherein he addresses the “post-totalitarian” state of the Soviet empire, he says in the late 70s epistle, “Do we not in fact stand as a kind of warning to the West, revealing to its own latent tendencies?” The ideological bridge or glue of corporate capitalism, like the Soviet ideology, built on a lie can be undone by speaking truth to power.

Alleged Christians on the U.S. Supreme Court turned a corporation into a person, despite the Biblical admonitions against placing human judgment above God’s. Right to lifers who demand the death penalty speak to their own lies and immorality. We can forgive those who know not what they do but who knows who is lying to whom?

Prior to today’s news release about the Monument, the Corporate-State sent a message to free riders at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. A Wall went up to prohibit visitors and vendors from engaging in the free market. Traffic at the Bridge has dropped by half or more. In Taos itself Signs announce that an “IHOP” and a “Starbucks” “are coming.” A fifth column of vendidos, purveyors of false consciousness, occupies positions of leadership in the community. Paving streets and preaching to solar divinities does not serve as an antidote to the loss of the Monument or liberty. Lie down with the “dogs” and get up with fleas.

As we have learned from the enduring people at Taos Pueblo: Everything is connected!

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