Mail letters to Letters, Santa Fe Reporter, PO Box 2306, Santa Fe, NM 87504, deliver them to 132 E. Marcy St., fax them to 988-5348 or email them to the editor.

Bacist Issue?
Of all groups to complain about stifling expressive speech! You—SFR—have the monumental audacity to speak accusingly about the Bush creeps silencing freedom of speech?
In your annual racist issue, you implied that people who think there are already too many people in the country, ie, who oppose yet more people being here, ie, people who oppose mass immigration are RACISTS.

Unfortunately, this is not a new accusation. In the mid-1970s, those people who thought there were then too many people on our very PLANET were called RACISTS. Certainly a progressive and fruitful stance: The air is still less than optimal; there are still fewer "native" cultures; most groups we can name are still bumping up against their neighbor groups; our primate relatives are still disappearing; and the "homeland's" climate is still deteriorating. Yet, after all that, when was the last time any one of us heard a major environmental group even hint about human "over-population." That is called stifled—utterly stifled—freedom of expression. And, in my opinion, of the worst kind. And that, too, came from the left, not the right.

So, let's continue the trend—for the sake of screwed-up decorum. Brilliant strategy.
Michael Gallagher
Santa Fe

Forgotten fest

Reading through your Annual Manual, it was great to see mention of Southwest Roots Music's Ani DiFranco show at the Lensic Performing Arts Center and the photo of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a great old-timey ensemble we presented at GiG Performance Space. But how strange not to mention our biggest splash, one of NM's best loved events, the Thirsty Ear Festival? Our 10th annual takes place at Eaves Movie Ranch, June 12-14, and features Steel Pulse, Keb' Mo', Bela Fleck & Toumani Diabate, Richie Havens and dozens more folk, blues, bluegrass, zydeco, world music and roots rock artists on four stages all weekend long, not to mention a "Green Village" of sustainable energy and green booths, lots of kids' programming, local beers and wines, and much more. Hope we make it into the Manual next year. Meanwhile, you can get the scoop at
Mike Koster, director
Southwest Roots Music/Thirsty Ear Festival

Natural cycle

I've just come from the Disneynature film Earth, reviewed by the Reporter as "breathtaking animal cinematography". Indeed there are extraordinary moments of beauty and humor as filmmakers follow animals in their quest for food and water. In the narration, James Earl Jones tells us that rainforest is only 3 percent of the earth's surface but contains 50 percent of the earth's plant and animal species; he tells us desert is now 30 percent of the earth and growing; he tells us of the importance of the oxygen created by the boreal forest and follows a polar bear who dies because he is unable to find food in the too rapidly melting arctic.

But I wonder why you didn't mention that, though the narration tells of the warming of the planet, it includes NOT A WORD about the role human beings and our addiction to fossil fuels play in the havoc that has been wreaked on our planet. There is NOT A WORD about why the rain forest is so small and what it means to the planet, NOT A WORD about efforts to extract oil that has already destroyed part of the boreal forest, NOT A WORD about why the polar bears are endangered. Worse than that, there was NOT A WORD about what the viewers could do to make the future different! This was a remarkable opportunity for teaching and healing the planet that was squandered.

It may be a long-standing debate among naturalists whether to interfere in the inevitable "animal becomes food for another animal" dramas that are part of a natural cycle. But I was sickened to learn that this beautiful polar bear was actually allowed to starve to death while being filmed.

The Old Testament says, "Fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over…every living thing that moves on the earth." That just won't work anymore. It is time to create a new relationship with the earth in which human beings have the humility to see ourselves as part of the web of life and take active responsibility for cleaning up after ourselves.
Charlotte Taft

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