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December 19, 2014

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Louis Head Louis Head

Which Way for Cuban Sovereignty in the Wake of the Obama Opening?

The United States and Cuba are set to re-establish diplomatic relations. Someone pinch me. I didn’t expect this. I long ago concluded that it would never happen in my lifetime. I am elated that I have lived to see this moment.

Now then comes the really hard part, and I have two questions. Will the United States unilaterally end its draconian economic embargo of Cuba, in effect since the early 1960s and roundly condemned throughout the world? Or will it set unnecessary barriers to full normalization by demanding concessions from Cuba that are linked to the lifting of that embargo?...

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December 17, 2014

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

Artists in the Desert

The idea of art as therapy was established in the late 18th century when it was used as “moral treatment” for psychiatric patients. The term “art therapy” came from a British war artist named Adrian Hill who used to go out on patrols with his sketching kit in World War I and who later recognized the therapeutic value of art while he was recovering from tuberculosis. This concept grew with the establishment of the British Association of Art Therapists in 1964 and the American Art Therapy Association in 1969, as well as similar associations in about a dozen other countries and it is now a well-recognized form of therapy. For example, the Southwestern College here in Santa Fe offers an MA in Art Therapy, focusing on “the healing process of making art.”

But what if you have one hundred mental patients and no therapist or even an instructor and can only infrequently afford the necessary paint and art supplies?..

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December 17, 2014

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Tamara Coombs Tamara Coombs

The Home of the Brave: Americans and Torture

According to the latest Washington Post/ABC poll, 59% of Americans believe that our use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” was justified after September 11. Perhaps CIA Director Michael Hayden was farsighted when he said in 2007, “This is not CIA’s Program. This is not the President’s Program. This is America’s Program.”

But I have to wonder how many of those who offered their opinions have actually read the executive summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. It’s a quick read. The findings and conclusions cover only 18 pages; it is the documentation of the findings that takes over 500...

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December 15, 2014

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James Burbank James Burbank

Rio Rancor Public Schools: Doin’ the Inquisition Boogie

I’ve always thought, and I’m sure you’ll agree, that the Inquisition marks a highpoint in human history. When incidents such as what happened recently at V. Sue Cleveland High (see last week’s post) or public figures like V. Sue Cleveland herself, the Grand Superintendent of the Rio Rancor educational fiefdom who actually has a high school named for her, when this stuff burns itself into my frail synapses, I am reminded of the good old days when we used to roast disagreeable folks, or drown them and hope and pray they would confess to being minions of Satan...

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December 15, 2014

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold Returns: The Hobbit – Part… 4?; or, Here We Go Again

The final Hobbit installment is the most anticipated film to come out this particular Wednesday. Literally no one, not even director Peter Jackson, knows how it will end. Yet we here at Fool’s Gold have obtained the ultimate in sneak-peeking exclusives that no one in Hollywood wants you to know!

SPOILER ALERT: Reading the rest of this column will make your scalped movie tickets worthless. All the hours you spent crafting a costume? Toss ’em down the Cracks of Doom. You won’t be able to attend the midnight showing, because possessing these secrets will make everyone avoid you even more than your authentic hobbit foot odor. So proceed with caution, dearest readers. Caution!...

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December 13, 2014

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Dede Feldman Dede Feldman

Remembering Pat Baca – and Albuquerque Past

They prayed for adequate support for education.  They prayed for the  immigrants and strangers among us.  They prayed for the quality of life in our community and for strong families.

And they prayed for Pat J. Baca who died a few weeks ago, one of the area’s true public servants.

As if there was no alternative, Pat dove into public service—as a teacher, a principal, a councilor, candidate and commissioner.  His acts touched thousands who walk our trails in the Elena Gallegos, who look at exhibits in the Albuquerque Museum, who cross the river at Montano and Paseo del Norte, or who still have their first book, given to them by their teacher or principal, Pat Baca...

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December 10, 2014

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James Burbank James Burbank

A Little Story about Satan and the Rio Ratchet Schools

Have you heard about Katrina Guarascio, the former Rio Ratchet Cleveland High School teacher and poet whose real name is S-A-T-A-N? Satan, I mean Guarascio wanted to make the classroom a safe place where students could express themselves freely. Can you believe that?

In her creative writing class, Satan-Guarascio asked her students to take a fairy tale or legend and rewrite it for our own enlightened, forgiving, tolerant, and compassionate times.

One of the kids in her class compared the story of Jesus, the loaves and fish in the Bible to Jesus handing out medical marijuana to patients today...

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December 10, 2014

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John J. Hunt John J. Hunt

Reflections on Mary Jane

Okay, here it is: I started smoking pot in 1967, and I’ve continued to enjoy the Herb, on and off, since then. I’ve lived through it all. Mexican weed, which was the only kind you could buy, was ten bucks a can. A “can” was literally a 1½-ounce Prince Albert shiny red oval tobacco can, with a metal top, a lid, filled with their leafy “crimp cut” rolling or pipe tobacco.

The dealer would stuff one of these empty cans—a classic example of early recycling— with marijuana from Mexico, stems and twigs and buds and seeds into this can—a sawbuck.  Two fins...

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December 08, 2014

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold: Moolah Kalikimaka

You guys! I just got an Angebot I cannot possibly verpass! The email also said many other things in German, but the gist is that a kindly old woman wants to bequeath me six million euros. (That’s like Europe’s version of Canadian dollars.) And in return she wants … nothing at all.

I feel like I’m living in a medley of Charles Dickens novels. I started out as Pip, the poor soot-covered orphan who couldn’t even afford a real name. Now that I have a Generous Benefactress, I’m turning into Ebenezer Scrooge McDuck, a fabulously rich fellow whom everyone loves for his personality...

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December 06, 2014

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Sanders Moore Sanders Moore

Wind power benefits New Mexico

Though we are lucky here in New Mexico that almost every day is sunny, 2014 is on pace to be the hottest year on record for the planet as a whole, according to the latest U.N. analysis. Scientists say we are already experiencing the impacts of global warming, such as drought and wildfires.

None of us wants to leave the next generation a world where drought and wildfire are the new normal. To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, scientists are clearer and more emphatic than ever that we must cut our dependence on dirty fossil fuels in favor of clean, renewable energy...

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