Letters to the editor

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Help needed for annual Christmas Eve dinnerEditor:The fight against hunger and the need for shelter continues for those in Valencia County. Hardly anyone I know can say they don’t know anyone or have not seen it for themselves.  For the past 17 years, we have been able to put a dinner together with the wonderful support of our community. The dinner is held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 24, at 1000 W. Chavez and 10 Street, in Belen. You can show your support by making a donation of a toy for children ages 1-13, gift certificates from our local market or a monetary donation to be dropped off at Ladyhawk Feed & Supply, 800 S. Main Street in Belen.This dinner represents the hope for those in need, but never forgotten, that those who face this problem will be supported and that one day hunger will be eliminated. Contact Yvonne at Ladyhawk Feed, 864-3336, for information or questions. Our gratitude goes out to a few of our supporters: Rutillo’s, Sopas, Henrietta’s, Sisneros Bros. and many thanks to all who have helped!Yvonne MaushundBelenBeing divorced doesn’t mean you’ll be lonelyEditor:I am not only shocked, but also appalled by The Little Red Hen’s lengthy opinion piece that ran in the Nov. 16 issue of the News-Bulletin.I am so appalled, in fact, that it has taken me several days just to regain my composure enough to write a response. I used to be rather amused by her columns when she spoke about the difficulties of living in a foreign country, and how her American-ness got in the way sometimes. However, this rant about the evils of divorce just went beyond the pale. Yes, I am divorced. No, it was not an easy decision or one taken lightly. I lived for nearly 20 years with my husband, and I prayed long and hard for at least 15 of those years to be a better wife, make the peace, do what’s best for the children, love my husband, etc. I went into a suicidal depression four years into the marriage that lasted five years, but even that was not enough of a wake-up call for me. It took 10 more years and a body that got very ill in order for me to begin to figure out that my marriage was destroying me. And what about all the sermons in church, praising the godliness of the intact family? Do you think that this doesn’t hurt a woman or man in the heart when they are doing their best to figure out what the hell went wrong in their lives that they ended up in a marriage that is killing their souls?It sounds from the column, that you, Ms. Smith, take a dim view of men in general. Well, I actually don’t. I believe that in the majority, men are decent and kind, and that they want to do the right thing for their wives and their children. I believe that most men are not lazy, non-participating, uncooperative or intent on making a woman’s life difficult. And furthermore, I believe that under the right circumstances, with the right partner, everyone is capable of being their best … or their worst. Divorce does not mean your kids will be jailbirds. It does not mean that they will be in trouble at school. It does not mean that the woman will end up trapped in loneliness. It can mean that the woman gives a good example to her children about how to stand up for themselves. It can mean that growth and change sometimes means we have to part ways with someone we used to love. It can mean that we grow stronger as a result. It can mean that we open ourselves up to healthy relationships with our authentic selves as well as with others. And it definitely means that the true self shows up during the process. I found out that my ex-husband really wasn’t the good father that I imagined he was. He found out that I was a lot stronger than he suspected. And I found out that I was also a lot stronger than I knew. I still believe that marriage is a good thing. We are social animals, and in many ways, we are designed to be partnered. It takes fortitude and patience and a good sense of humor to be married. It takes dedication, compassion and good communication. When those elements are missing, the marriage cannot last. But I can tell you, being divorced is not the end of the world. Sometimes, it can be the beginning. Ellen SantistevanLos LunasOWS talking about real problemsEditor:  October was a difficult month for folks in deep denial, particularly those who deny climate-change science and economic reality.The far-right Koch brothers, fossil fuel billionaires, helped fund a new study intended to prove that the world’s climate scientists were dishonest frauds guilty of sloppy research. Their new team started from scratch, collecting more than 1.6 billion temperature records. They labored mightily, but their results exactly match what NASA, NOAA and England’s Hadley Center have been saying for years. The Earth is heating up at an abnormal pace, and the temperature spike matches the spike in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by burning fossil fuels. But the Kochs’ propaganda arm, Americans for Prosperity, is still pouring big bucks into ads pooh-poohing climate science.Bill Clinton nailed the problem in a recent speech when he said, “Climate-change deniers make Americans look like a joke.”Economic deniers had a bad month, too. When tax experts looked at Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan, they found that it worked about like every other GOP “magic tax plan.” According to the bipartisan Tax Policy Center, Cain’s plan would give millionaires an average tax cut of $487,300. The other 83.7 percent of us would get a tax increase.The Occupy Wall Street movement has become the worst nightmare of the economic deniers. The deniers try to label protestors as lazy hippies, but the OWS just keeps talking about real problems that cause real pain for real people. No one speaks for the whole movement, but much of the protest is aimed at the way our political system since 1980 has funneled power and money away from “the 99 percent” and into the pockets of conglomerates and wealthy individuals. The financial manipulations have been endless and mostly ignored by the media.Deals such as George W. Bush’s 2008 TARP bailout used our tax money to pay off the debts of financial institutes deemed “too big to fail.” They got to keep their profits while we got cuts in essential services. The average 2010 salary of a U.S. CEO at an S&P 500 company was $11,358,445 dollars not counting stock options, about 343 times the pay of the typical worker. And that’s just the tip of the rip-off iceberg.At the same time, the system has steadily chipped away at the security of workers, going after pensions and benefits, busting unions, and attacking the minimum wage, even though it’s lower in real terms than it was in the 1960s.The attacks continue. In the Citizens United decision, the GOP majority on the Supreme Court gave corporations the rights of citizens but not the responsibilities. And GOP members of the 12-person “super committee” currently negotiating budget cuts want to trade a sprinkling of tax loopholes in return for doing away with the top income tax bracket completely. Gee, I wonder if the 200 corporate lobbyists bending the ears of the committee members had anything to do with that.Laura SanchezLos Lunas