Letters to the Editor
Plein Air Painters had support
The Plein Air Painters of New Mexico have collected their artwork and left Socorro, but while they were here they had a wonderful time. Many people made this possible.
Mayor Ravi Bhasker and Pat Salome at the city of Socorro, Jennifer Gonzales and Kristin Beers at the Heritage and Visitors center and Terry Tadano at the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce helped us promote the event. Thanks for all your support.
Supermart provided great lunches at great prices and Walmart pitched in for beverages. Beverly Hansen and Jean Kondek were my right-hand women throughout the week. Dave Johnson and Al Hansen helped out as back-up drivers.
Margi Lucena and Natasha Isenhour provided exhibition space at the beautiful Curious Crow Gallery, hung the artwork and accommodated artists and visitors. Sharon Fullingim and Barry McCuan were our most-excellent judges. Old Town Bistro hosted our reception in the courtyard and Dustin Lima played guitar. Ronna Kalish was emcee for the Quick Draw and Jim Ruff provided technical assistance and both of them played music.
Thanks to all of you. Because of your effort many new visitors had a great time in our community. You put Socorro on the map.
Karyn DeBont, Paintout coordinator
Occupiers aren’t lazy people
Ned Cantwell’s Sat., Nov. 6, column, a follow-up response to one of his own that “pokes gentle fun at ‘Occupiers’”, makes sense: He says some people are “wanting to dismantle the system,” that stopping obscene profit-making doesn’t mean we should throw out capitalism, the “best bet for our country,” and that there will always be rich and poor because of human nature.
On capitalism I would demure: If it means encouraging and nurturing — by not undoing reward avenues — the natural human tendency to make things, innovate, create and produce, then yeah. If capitalism means allowing large dictatorships, a.k.a. corporations, to exploit all life on earth, then no.
He suggests that there is a better use of people’s time than sitting around in parks, waiting for the press to come. He suggests Occupiers help some poor people and then put up a sign: We’re helping the poor, why don’t you?
Cantwell’s down-to-earth common sense has missed some salient points about the protesters, about rich and poor and about the character of Occupy in general:
1. Occupiers go to a lot of trouble, Occupying in their spare time, traveling to the Occupied location. The non-affluent Americans doing this have to sacrifice a lot in their personal lives, just to be there. If I didn’t have to go to my Bible class, do crossword puzzles and watch football, I’d be there, too. (I’m tired of the perennial suggestion, by people over-steeped in status quo, that malcontents shut up and take up charitable works.)
2. If there will always be rich and poor, the species may not survive. The environmental imperative — not death per se — is the ultimate leveler. Every penny of legal tender is a token of a tradeable that came straight from the coffers of the resources of the earth. Last year the greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere increased 6 percent, the worst jump ever. Rich people are the ones who are taking the rest of us around that bend faster.
3. There is more to modern solidarity movements than sitting. The job they have before them is to begin to do the thinking and organizing towards the work that the government and industry — whose full-time (paid) job it is — should have been doing and failed to do, all these many years — getting vested interest out of government; reforming the monetary and financial systems so they don’t control the world; making our food, water, air and soil safe; fixing the dams and highways and building public transportation so there aren’t so many cars; redesigning our economies, technologies and cities; educating and training people for these urgent jobs. (See Noam Chomsky’s recent address to Occupy Boston.)
Dismantling the system, i.e., law and order, is the last thing we want to do: When governments fall, the people with the most guns and the least knowledge take over.
Change is critical; orderly change is more critical, but there is nothing unconstitutional — though it is sometimes mildly illegal — in people gathering to meet and work together.
However, they could use some portable toilets, so this is an excellent time for your damn charity.
Jan Deininger, Socorro