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April 19, 2014

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

Semana Santa or Holy Week in Spain

Suddenly the lights go out in the whole town. We’re in pitch black darkness. The crowd is silent. Then with a great creaking sound, the enormous wooden doors of the cathedral slowly open.

We’re in Caravaca de la Cruz, a small town in the little known region of Murcia in southern Spain. It’s midnight and this is our first Semana Santa or Holy Week experience. Frankly, we have no idea what to expect...

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April 18, 2014

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Elizabeth Jacobson Elizabeth Jacobson

Weekly Poem: The Girl in Her Head

This time she is in front of the mirror
plucking at the few white eyelashes growing
among the other dark ones, above one eye
only.  She wears a long grey robe, her hair
pulled off her face, she wonders if she never
moved from in front of this mirror would there
be a point when she stopped seeing this self
or another self...

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April 17, 2014

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Submitted Anonymously Submitted Anonymously

International Superstars

When I moved to Albuquerque many years ago, friends and family were confused. They had no idea where this strange sounding place was--east of Alamut? west of Shambala?--and couldn't believe it actually existed outside the imagination of some crazed, inbred descendant of Zane Grey. But then the Albuquerque Police Department helped my friends and family by landing their brand new helicopter in the Krispy Kreme (TM) parking lot. Remember this was before twitter and memes, but the news rapidly spread around the world. The APD truly protected--their supply of donuts--and served--to give Albuquerque international fame...

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April 17, 2014

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John J. Hunt John J. Hunt

Word War

Let’s face it, I’m at war with words. Every battle is important. Some people crack under the strain, like soldiers at the front. Fine print, Orwellian transpositions, heroic hyperbole of all sorts; these are a few of the tactics words use against us.

I have no respect for words, they’re spineless; they lie to us all the time. Like prostitutes, they don’t care who uses them. They’re duplicitous, and they work against our happiness—but what else do we have? What can we do? We’re besieged by words, assaulted, that’s why a writer’s task is to defend us, to hold words at bay...

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April 16, 2014

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Margaret Randall - International Raconteur Margaret Randall - International Raconteur

A Review: The Day of Shelly’s Death

On October 11, 1981, the second day of what was to have been several months of joint fieldwork in a remote region of the Philippines, Renato Rosaldo’s wife and companion anthropologist, Michelle (Shelly) Rosaldo, fell from a precarious trail to her death 60 feet below. These are the facts. Suddenly, the woman he loved was gone, their two small children motherless, their immediate and long-range future dramatically reorganized.

In The Day of Shelly’s Death (Duke University Press, 2014), Renato Rosaldo calls on his most painful memories and all his skills—as poet and social anthropologist, as husband, father and someone who sifts through time and feeling in multi-faced testament—to give us the finely woven layers of a tragic event and the people who inhabited that event...

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April 15, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Who is to blame for the APD scandal?

The U. S. Justice Department investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department had three tasks. The first was to determine if APD habitually uses excessive force. For this, it gets a grade of A: In 46 damning pages, it detailed in gruesome and horrifying detail the misdeeds of APD, ranging from shooting and Tasering to kicking and punching civilians, many of them unarmed, elderly, handicapped or mentally ill.

The second task was to determine why the cops are so violent. For this it gets a grade of C: It looked carefully at the internal APD factors promoting “a culture of aggression” at APD but failed to examine the external factors.

The third task was to describe how to fix the problems. For this it gets a grade of Incomplete:..

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April 14, 2014

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Gerry Bradley Gerry Bradley

At tax time don’t forget how corporate income tax breaks impact your tax bill

In mid-April, as we prepare our income tax returns, it’s likely we equate the amount of tax we owe with how much money we make and how many deductions we can take. In truth, what we pay in all taxes, including income taxes, is dependent on many other variables, such as how much—or how little—profitable corporations are paying.

Corporate America is very good at lowering its income tax bills. It has been so successful, in fact, that corporate income taxes (CIT) make up a much smaller share of total federal tax revenue than they did 60 years ago. In the 1950s, CIT made up almost 30 percent of all federal tax revenue. It’s been about 10 percent since the 1980s...

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April 11, 2014

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

A Pig named Melissa

Yeira pulls back a strip of chicken wire and points into the little pen. There is Melissa, a tiny pig. She had been given to Yeira and her family by Pastor José Antonio Galván, the founder of the nearby mental asylum, Visión en Acción where Yeira’s grandmother, Elvira once worked as the cook. They, in turn, were going to fatten Melissa for a birthday celebration for me next January. This is not only an extraordinary gift from this impoverished Juárez family but a new insight into the role of animals here...

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April 11, 2014

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Stevie Olson Stevie Olson

An Attempt to Understand Protest

On the way to work Monday morning, I turned on the radio hoping for music, but the morning show host was discussing Sunday’s protest. I am usually irritated by talk radio, but I found myself interested because I was at the protest the previous night. By the time I came to the first stoplight, one caller had ranted about how the “riot was out of control.” The host agreed saying, “the protest definitely picked up some riffraff as the day went on.” Another caller said the “delinquents were taking over the city” and “deserved to be thrown in jail.” Waiting for the green arrow to turn left, I pushed the radio off. A sinking feeling told me these perspectives dismissed the movement I had witnessed, but I too struggled to articulate what had happened...

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April 11, 2014

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James Burbank James Burbank

Daddy Don Offers The Cure for Citizen Rage

As a diligent student of the great Donald Rumsfeld, I think because this human trash keeps getting in the way of APD bullets the best thing to do is to do the same thing we always do whenever whatever we do does not work, which is to say, we do the same thing all over again, but we spend more and more to accomplish the same result, which is a comforting big fat zero, but there is ever more money in the game, more and more profit potential.

“Cover the same old bases to cover your ass.  Gun ‘em down if they’re powerless and homeless, or they get in your way. ” That’s what Daddy Don used to say...

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