Letters to the Editor (03/03/2012)

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NMT shouldn’t give up its focus
Editor:
Regarding Raymond Gallegos’ letter to the editor (El Defensor Chieftain, Feb. 2, 2012), the second time I worked (first was 1970-79 for TERA, now EMRTC) at New Mexico Tech was 12 years, ending in 2000. When I began with financial aid, there were no Socorro High School graduates enrolled — I quit counting when we shortly reached 100.
Tech has a general studies degree that offers a wide range of options or can be the beginning for completing a degree in a preferred major offered elsewhere. (Or, the student may want to competitive shoot elsewhere and finish a degree at NMT.)
New Mexico Tech should not give up the focus on science and engineering, nor sacrifice the international ratings that list this institute in Forbes and other magazines.
Continuing effort to reach the Socorro community has included recognition of early donors of land and other local contributions to support the school. NMT is a major contributor to and supporter of community activities and the Chamber of Commerce.
I keep in touch with many Tech grads — all the way to Japan. One computer science major is sent all over the world by his company. Tech degrees continue to serve grads well through changing times — positions pay exceptional compensation. NMT grads remain goodwill ambassadors (I’ve met second, third, fourth and fifth generation students.)
One NMT grad alerted authorities about the abuse of retired research chimps in Alamogordo and is now a veterinarian in Texas. And let’s recognize the recent return of a caring Tech grad (Mindy Treybal with her husband Louie) and both serve the medical needs of our community.
Whatever happened to the Bienveniedos I grew up with in Tucson and Nogales?
Andrea Blodgett
Lemitar
Parents to blame for unruly kids
Editor:
Do you remember the time when there was no need for a police presence in our school system?
It wasn’t that long ago. We went to school — elementary, middle school and high school — knowing that if we behaved in a disrespectful, violent or in a morally irreproachable manner there was without a doubt instilled in the crevices of our brains a knowing that consequences of our actions would be dealt with swiftly, without the hesitation that appears to be the normalcy in today’s society. We received an allowance for actually performing some sort of task or chore instead of like today.
In closing, I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the parents, parent or wards of the children that commit these horrendous acts on each other, and blame also should be shared with the liberal agenda that is being ram-rodded down the throats of our youth by our inept educational system.
Karl Hennies
Lemitar

Women have the right to choose
Editor:
In her letter to the editor, (El Defensor Chieftain, Feb. 18), Paula Sichler states that insurance companies offering coverage of contraceptives for women amounts to an attack on the First Amendment to the American Constitution. Furthermore, she says, “… government is interfering with the religious rights of Americans.”
Ms. Sichler is reaching. The First Amendment says, regarding religion, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. Assuring that healthcare coverage enables women to access the birth control measures they want is not violating the above amendment. Women are free to exercise their religious beliefs as they see fit. It is their choice and their freedom to live their lives as best they can given the culture we have. Yes, they have to fight men to do that — sometimes with painful results.
Sichler states that there are those who have taken a stand against the use of contraceptive measures. That, she says, “is the real issue at stake.” Among these is the Catholic Church. Churches, with their medieval and older views, are free to take such a stance. The First Amendment says that women don’t have to follow suit. That’s the real issue. Women can take whatever contraceptive measures they find workable. That’s as opposed to being dictated to by an establishment of males sworn to celibacy (not always with success) in dogma generated thousands of years ago by a church that sees women as second-class persons unworthy of participating in church doctrinal affairs. It’s nothing to do with the government.
There’s a concerted Republican effort to attack anything related to President Obama and to defeat him at any cost. At any cost, including the demise and reversal of America. That’s a position publicly taken by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. This cheap, dastardly approach is what challenges our future and our rights. No one in the government is trying to take away the Bill of Rights. It’s low scare tactics that attempts to frighten impressionable, conservative Americans. A conservative is someone to whom new information has no value. Using race and religion to win elections is an affront to our Constitution.
Republicans generally don’t join the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU has only one mission: To defend the Bill of Rights. Republicans defend the Bill of Rights only when they can say who will benefit from those rights. Usually white men. They think that’s the same thing.
Herbert Myers
Socorro