SELECT title FROM cont_articles WHERE id='' LIMIT 1 Santa Fe Reporter

Booze with a Taste of the Place

Broken Trail distillery serves up New Mexico-inspired spirits

Food WritingWednesday, October 26, 2016 by Gwyneth Doland

The label for Broken Trail craft distillery’s Holy Ghost vodka is a pale green topographic map. The first time I saw it I wondered: Is this named for Holy Ghost Creek? Some of my besties have a cabin on Holy Ghost Creek, near Terrero, where it pours into the Pecos River, and I’ve spent many a summer evening sipping cocktails and listening to its gentle burbling.

Broken Trail’s co-owner and head distiller, Matt Simonds, says his corn-based vodka is indeed named for the creek, where he likes to go fishing. All of the distillery’s products are named for places in New Mexico where he and his team go hiking, biking and fishing. The Horsethief rum alludes to two different places: a mountain bike trail near the Taos Ski Valley, and a meadow in the Pecos Wilderness.

“A lot of people don’t realize what an amazing place we have,” says Simonds, a native New Mexican. “Everything here, the environment, the people, the culture, the history, I love every part of it.” That’s why he wanted to incorporate a sense of place into the business.

The Holy Ghost vodka is made entirely with New Mexico-grown corn. The Horsethief rum isn’t made with local sugarcane—because duh—but Simonds created a variation called de Pacana that is made by steeping the rum in shelled pecans.

The result is better than you’d think. The pecans add only a faint aftertaste of the nut’s flavor but the steeping serves to mellow and soften the last of the rum’s sharp edges.

The distillery opened in an industrial area of Albuquerque in 2015 (originally it was called Distillery 365, named for a trail in the Sandia Mountains). Last fall, bottles of the rum and vodka started showing up in retail stores, including Susan’s and Liquor Barn here in Santa Fe and Kokoman in Pojoaque. This year the distillery opened a tasting room in the Green Jeans Farmery, a shipping container development not far from the Whole Foods at Carlisle and I-40 (at 3600 Cutler Ave. NE in Albuquerque).

Simonds has a background in chemistry and has long dabbled in home brewing. Years ago he decided to try his hand at home distilling. “I got a little barrel and I put it in my crawl space,” he recalls. “A year later I pulled it out and I got about a shot glass of the best bourbon I’ve ever had.” Evaporation had claimed nearly all of the rest.

But about five years ago, the idea came up again, and he started doing test batches. He makes a bourbon called Tres Pistolas, also with locally-grown corn, but it is still aging in its barrels and won’t be ready until 2017. There’s a gin in the works (named for Taos’ Bull of the Woods meadow), but it’s based on the distillery’s vodka, which has been so popular that there hasn’t been enough for Simonds to play with. And he still needs to tweak the gin recipe. So that may be another year off.

Meanwhile, a bottle of the Holy Ghost vodka or Horsethief rum would be right at home on your bar. Here are some ideas for what to do with them.

Bloody Mary

At the tasting room they make a custom bloody mary mix, but Simonds is very fond of Bloody Maria, a green-chile-tinged New Mexico-made mix. It’s available in grocery stores, liquor stores and behind the bar at restaurants like Coyote Cantina, Radish & Rye and Dr. Field Goods Kitchen.

  • 2 ounces Holy Ghost vodka
  • 4 ounces Bloody Maria mix

Pour the vodka and mix into a cocktail shaker with 1 cup ice. Shake and pour into a tall glass with a salted rim.

Pacana Prairie Bomb

At a recent tasting in Santa Fe, the folks from Broken Trail met the folks from Oklahoma’s Prairie Artisan Ales ( and had a “Your chocolate got in my peanut butter!” moment. Bomb! is an imperial stout aged on coffee, chocolate, vanilla beans and ancho chiles (look for it on tap at Rowley’s Farmhouse Ales and in Whole Foods stores).

  • Heavy 1/2 pint beer
  • 1 1/2 ounces de Pacana rum

You remember how to make an Irish car bomb, right? Fill a pint glass about halfway with the stout. Pour the rum into a shot glass and drop the shot glass into the pint glass.

Hot Buttered Pacana

Bartenders at the tasting room came up with this bone-warming drink last winter. Feel free to experiment with the spices. Apple pie or pumpkin pie spice works here, as does the addition of more adventurous flavors like coriander and cardamom.

For the butter mixture:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

In a small bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and spices. Put the mixture in a resealable container and keep refrigerated.

For the drink:

  • 1 heaping tablespoon butter mixture
  • 1 1/2 ounces Horsethief de Pacana rum

Drop the butter mixture into the bottom of a mug and pour the rum over it. Add 6 ounces hot water.


“There are only so many lemon drops you can make before you go insane,” Simonds says. This unusual, savory cocktail was designed to capture some of the idea of New Mexican food and to bring out the ever-so-slight corn flavor in the vodka. “It’s a little bit out there,” he says, “but I like it.” Chivato was one of Billy the Kid’s nicknames but it also hints at the fresh chives that flavor this martini.

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and chives
  • 4 ounces Holy Ghost vodka
  • Garlic salt

Put the herbs into the bottom of a pint glass or cocktail shaker and smash them with a muddler or long-handled spoon. Add the vodka and fill with ice. Shake and strain it carefully into a martini glass rimmed with garlic salt.

Where to find Broken Trail Spirits

Kokoman Fine Wines & Liquor
34 Cities of Gold Road, Pojoaque, 455-2219

Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits
1005 S St. Francis Drive, 984-1582

Liquor Barn
2885 Cerrillos Road, 471-3960

Try This on for Size

Even more music-themed costume ideas

Music FeaturesWednesday, October 26, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Every year around this time I get pretty excited because I can do my annual music-themed Halloween costume suggestions column. First off, it’s fun to think about and I truly enjoy mulling over the ideas. Secondly, I don’t have to talk to any local musicians or promoters or venue people, and that’s always a huge plus in my book. Anyway, here are a few easy ideas for becoming one of your favorite musicians this year. Enjoy the oohs and aahs.

Michael Franti

You’ll want to start this as soon as possible, but if you already hate washing your hair that’ll be a good head start. Franti’s got the dreads, but you can possibly braid your hair, too, in case you don’t want to commit or are grossed out by dreads. Hone an obnoxious sense of peace and justice that might come from a good place but ultimately comes across like you think you know how the world should work better than anyone. Get a knit beanie to wear even if it’s a thousand degrees at whatever party you attend, some camo cargo shorts and a tank top that says something like “Listen to Bob Marley.” Ditch your shoes and carry a ukulele. I don’t think he’s known for the uke, I just think that would be funny.

David Bowie

It kind of depends on what era Bowie you’re going for, but we’d suggest either Goblin King from Labyrinth (you’ll need a serious-ass crotch bulge and perhaps a fake baby), Ziggy Stardust (fashion a ginger mullet from either your own hair or a number of wigs and then get yourself some face paint and an eye patch) or, for extra ease, super-fashionable end-of-life Bowie á la the video for “Lazarus” from his final album, Blackstar (black sweater, black pants, an eerie sense of calm about the infinite nothingness that lies beyond the veil of death OR nightgown and face bandage with buttons sewn over where your eyes would be). Whatever you choose, you’ll be popular and look cool as hell.

Andrew WK

Maybe he’s just on my mind because of my recent interview, but you can pull this off by getting a long wig (or already having long hair), dressing like you work on a crew that paints houses and smashing yourself in the face with a brick. WK also has that pizza-shaped guitar, but carrying a slice of pizza with you everywhere you go is not only close enough, it’s good life advice for all of us.


This one’s a little trickier, so pay attention—work out long, blonde tresses that cascade down your back like a goddamn golden waterfall and then somehow wordlessly convey yourself to be the most gorgeous and talented goddess on the fucking planet. Also wear a one-piece gold lamé swimsuit covered in shiny, sparkly sequins. Be confident.

Anyone from Green Day

The Bay Area punk trio’s Revolution Radio debuted at #1 on Billboard’s charts this month, and to become Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool or Mike Dirnt takes only a couple easy steps. 1. Get a dirty suit. 2. Wear it constantly and don’t clean it. 3. Slather on eyeliner and other makeup to hide the haggard factor. 4. Mess up your hair. Boom. You win Halloween. Sort of.


Get a weird dress, throw your bangs in front of your eyes, slap a gigantic fucking bow on your head, case closed.

Twenty One Pilots

Easy. Just grab a friend and start sucking at music super hard—and we mean hard—and pretty much anyone cool will know what you’re trying to do. Bonus points if you can get mainstream radio to play your songs often enough to drive people up the wall and curse the day they were born. Extra bonus points if you can somehow be considered the suckiest thing about Suicide Squad, which is really saying something.

The Arrivals

SCUBA’s Outer Local is a crossroads for New Mexico origin stories

Art FeaturesWednesday, October 26, 2016 by Jordan Eddy

“This was a play on the pop cultural references of New Mexico,” says Sandra Wang. “You know, pickup trucks and aliens!” At her feet is a little white box full of soil sourced from a streambed in La Cienega. There’s a tiny silver truck marooned in the dirt, with green aliens peeking through its windows. Wang and her partner Crockett Bodelson, who create and curate art under the moniker SCUBA, made 360 sculptures from local adobe and clay when they moved to New Mexico from San Francisco in 2011. They called the body of work Why Does It Matter, and their creative process became a method for literally feeling out the landscape.

“For SCUBA, this piece was about getting to know our new home and playing with local materials,” Wang says. “In my case, I was experiencing New Mexico from an outsider’s perspective. Because Crockett’s from here, he got to see it from a renewed perspective.” From Oct. 19 through Nov. 19, SCUBA presents an exhibition of 10 New Mexico artists at David Richard Gallery called Outer Local as part of the space’s Santa Fe Art Project exhibition series. Titled after the extraterrestrial pickup truck at its heart, the show challenged its participants—newcomers and natives alike—to reexamine their home turf. Last Saturday, Oct. 22, the curators convened several of the artists for the first in a series of public discussions of the show.

Albuquerque photographer Jessamyn Lovell steps up first to address the audience. Her images in Outer Local are outtakes from a project called No Trespassing, a body of work that chronicles Lovell’s hunt for her estranged father. “I feel like [Outer Local] offered me permission to be more free in interpreting what place meant to me,” says Lovell. The images in the show reconstruct an emotional and symbolic context that exists apart from strict chronology. The artist, who is originally from Syracuse, New York, sees her interactions with the New Mexico landscape in a similar light.

“We all kind of insert our own narratives,” Lovell says. “When I drive I-25 from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, I have a very different experience than someone who grew up here. I’m always going to be an outsider New Mexican in a way, until my history and my son’s history starts to become more rich with this place. I don’t know if I’ll ever look out and see a roadrunner, and not feel like it’s super exciting and exotic.”

Kristen Roles, who also hails from Albuquerque, is up next. She’s working towards her MFA in photography at the University of New Mexico, where Lovell is a lecturer. “I’m thinking of local materials in terms of their proximity to our bodies,” she explains, gesturing to a series of images printed on temporary tattoo paper fluttering on the wall. The abstracted images on the paper are the warped residue of a past life: Roles had planned to move from Tampa, Florida, to New Mexico last year with her partner, but he tragically died.

Roles boldly discusses the process of exploring the New Mexico landscape, while conducting a simultaneous journey into her past. “Being embedded in this landscape has been an escape in a sense,” she says. “Even on Central Avenue, which is a mess of cars, I can glimpse the mountains over the top of the Walgreens and it’s this astounding moment.”

SCUBA ushers the crowd into another room, so artists Derek Chan and Parker Jennings can round out the afternoon. Chan is originally from San Francisco, and moved to Roswell from Chicago in 2012 after completing his MFA at the University of Illinois. He did an artist residency in Roswell, and developed a profound affection for the little town.

“It’s a very mundane, agricultural town that is fueled by oil, but there’s also this sense of awareness around aliens and the metaphysical and the spiritual,” Chan says. “I feel like I always carry that balance in my work.” After his stint in Roswell, Chan moved to Santa Fe, where he’s been creating handmade books, large-scale paintings and videos that investigate the New Mexico landscape and culture.

Aside from Bodelson, Jennings is the only artist speaking at the event who grew up in Santa Fe. He works as a carpenter at the Santa Fe Opera, and despite his native Santa Fean roots, he’s always felt like an outsider in the art community. “This is the first show that I haven’t had to come and hang my work myself,” he says. “I guess this puts me closer to being in the art world … but focusing on more subversive work has been really important to me.” The plywood wall sculptures he made for Outer Local, with geometric cutouts and spray painted patterns winding across them, are certainly the show’s scrappiest and most experimental work.

Outer Local Artist Discussion
3 pm Saturday Oct. 29. Free.
David Richard Gallery,
1570 Pacheco St.,

SFR Picks: Dream Team

Get your dance on

PicksTuesday, October 25, 2016 by Alex De Vore

Kevin Barnes likes to dance. And the frontman for indie-pop band of Montreal’s kinetic affinity is extra present in the hip-shaking beats and ethereal melodic progressions on their newest effort, Innocence Reaches. “I was working in a studio in Paris,” says Barnes, “and basically they only had drum machines and synthesizers, so it sort of forced me in that direction and I found it really inspiring and really exciting to get back to that.” The synthetic toolset pushed Barnes to create in a more percussively dominated milieu—perfect for dancing.

The band sprinkles psychedelic rock and ’60s funk into their synth-pop, which doesn’t suffer from tedious melodic repetition—a killer of many of their electronica brethren. Barnes coos through postmodern ideas, breaking gender roles and the fluidity of attraction and relationships, and hearkens back to those who could pull off being wonderfully weird and magnetically androgynous (think David Bowie or Prince).

Seeing of Montreal perform live is beyond simple music performance. Shows are theatrical affairs with skits and costumes, but Barnes says he’s not just acting out his lyrical stories on stage. “It’s more connected to the sound, to the music,” he says. “I am trying to enhance the energy of the song through the theatrics and visuals.”

The music videos tied to Innocence Reaches are loud parties full of diverse, beautiful people, balloons and glitter with a platinum wig-wearing Barnes as the star. Some of them even look like they could have been filmed right on the stage of Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return, where they perform this Wednesday night.

“Certain [songs] are more exciting or translate better live,” Barnes tells SFR. “Songs like ‘Let’s Relate’ and ‘It’s Different For Girls’ feel really good.”

Innocence Reaches may sound and look like a total ball, but Barnes says it was the same labor of love that feeds all of their albums. “It’s always a challenge,” he says. “It’s equal parts frustrating, and fulfilling, and exciting.” (Maria Egolf-Romero)

Of Montreal
8 pm Wednesday Oct. 26. $25.
Meow Wolf,
1352 Rufina Circle,

‘Cause This is Thriller

Uriel Valentin
As Halloween draws near, the b-boys and b-girls of local breakdancing crew 3HC:Holyfaith come together for a spooky night of breaking, costuming and safe family fun dubbed the 3rd Annual Thriller Jam. “We’ll have a youth battle and an adult battle and a well-known artist/b-boy named Ian Arston from Style Elements crew will be teaching a workshop,” organizer Alejandra Avila says. “And don’t forget the costume contest—we’ll be handing out prizes for the most scary, the most funny and the most creative.” So there you have it: a perfect event no matter your age. They’ll probably have candy, too. (Alex De Vore)

3rd Annual Thriller Jam:
Dance workshop: 1 pm; Event: 5 pm Friday Oct. 28. Free.
Warehouse 21,
1614 Paseo de Peralta,

The Walking Dead

Courtesy Teatro Paraguas
Teatro Paraguas’ focus on cultural diversity means the small grassroots theater is the perfect space for a Dia de los Muertos celebration in collaboration with Santa Fe Danceworks. Dance, poetry, music from Hispano folk trio Lone Piñon and a teen performance called Doña Sebastiana about a death figure who drags a cart and collects the souls of the dead are but a small smattering of the two-day celebration. “It’s a way for us to reach out to the community,” theater founder Argos MacCallum says. “It’s a way for people to not only honor their family members who have passed on to the next world, but to celebrate life.” (ADV)

El Día de los Muertos Celebration:
7:30 pm Saturday Oct. 29. $10.
Teatro Paraguas,
3205 Calle Marie,

Let’s Talk About Sex

Courtesy Shontez Morris
“I know sensuality and sexuality can be a little taboo,” curation newcomer Shontez Morris tells SFR of Alluring Oddities, her upcoming Halloween show of erotic artwork. “Everyone experiences these things at some point in their lives,” she says, “and the human body is nothing to be ashamed of.” According to Morris, it’s more about empowerment and beauty than sex itself. “It starts with self-love, and these things don’t have to be distasteful,” says Morris. Several artists are already onboard and Morris says she’ll have even more by the opening. It should be … titillating. (ADV)

Alluring Oddities:
7 pm Monday Oct. 31. $7.
139 W San Francisco St.,

Smoke gets in your eyes

An old Santa Fe flame

Blue CornWednesday, October 26, 2016 by Robert Basler

A concept we have to get our minds around if we live in these parts—in addition to remembering to say “in these parts” as often as possible—is the notion of the “prescribed burn.”

That’s when experts decide to start a forest fire in order to help prevent forest fires. I hope I didn’t oversimplify that too much. Look at it like this: These trees will never burn down by accident if we burn them down on purpose first.

One thing that bothers me about this is the use of the word “prescribed.”

“Mr. Basler, your house is overrun with chipmunks, so I’m going to go ahead and write you a prescription to burn it down.”

A few days ago, my wife told me first thing in the morning that she had closed every window during the night, because, you know, lots of smoke, and because she wasn’t able to get my lazy ass out of bed to find out what was burning.

Curious, I drove downtown through particulates so thick I was reminded of traveling in some of your more polluted areas of India. Clearly, this wasn’t just a thing happening in my little neighborhood.

I found some news stories about what had caused the problem, and they informed me that officials had halted a prescribed burn “after air quality monitors … indicated unhealthy levels of smoke.”

Unhealthy? You don’t say! You’re telling me that driving through the set of Mad Max: Fury Road might not be good for me? It was pretty much like starting a big, crackling piñon fire in your kiva, and then closing the flue.

One story quoted a press release explaining, “Afternoon and evening winds were less than expected, and an inversion kept smoke over the city.”

It turned out the Forest Service decided to stop the burns after consulting with the New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico Department of Health, two groups maybe they should have consulted before bringing in a team of enthusiastic arsonists with flame throwers.

According to one story (and I am not making this up), “anyone experiencing health effects from smoke exposure should take extra care to stay inside or get to an area with better air quality.” You mean, the level of air quality we had before you guys got started?

But here was the best news nugget of all: “Fire crews … started the burn Wednesday with hand ignitions, and aerial ignitions were launched Thursday.”

“Hey, Carl! Get over here with your Zippo and the lighter fluid! That’s all we’ve got until tomorrow, when they call in the Napalm strike!”

I do understand that forest fires aren’t a laughing matter around here, and that these are people with our best interests at heart.

But when I was a kid we had a saying: “Just wait’ll your mom gets home!” If the nature of whatever you had done was such that your mother could detect it with one of her five senses when she walked through the front door, there might be a US Army recruiting office in your future.

And yet, here we are, in Santa Fe, being told that because of the deliberate actions of others, maybe we shouldn’t breathe the air in our own homes for the time being. Or, perhaps we’d like to visit Colorado for an unscheduled stopover to inhale.

Is somebody’s mom going to have a word with the prescribed burn people about this?

Robert Basler’s humor column runs twice monthly in SFR. Email the author:

Savage Love

Seven Nights

Savage LoveWednesday, October 26, 2016 by Dan Savage

I love my wife, but I have a lot of resentment, disappointment, and insecurity over our sex life. After four years of marriage, huge angst remains that I have yet to get a handle on. Right now, with kids and our busy lives, she’s content with sex once a week or so, and I need relief pretty much every night to help with my insomnia. What’s more, I really don’t enjoy porn at all, but if we aren’t having intercourse, there’s pretty much no other way for me to get off. Blame it on my fundamentalist evangelical upbringing, but I fear my porn use becoming an addiction. It makes me feel dirty. I would love a solution to this problem that doesn’t involve me jerking off in a dark room by a computer screen after my wife falls asleep every night. All I want to do is feel close to my wife, orgasm, and sleep. I think she does sincerely care and wants to help me, but is just so tired and busy with her career and our kids. And yes, I have talked and fought with her countless times. In weaker moments, I’ll admit I have also guilted her for her more “active” sexual past (with prior boyfriends) and for her current “neglect,” which I know is unfair and unhelpful. I just don’t know what to do.

-When Orgasms Enable Sleep

You’ve been married four years, you have more than one child, you both work—and if you divide household labor like most couples, WOES, your wife is doing more/most of the cooking, cleaning, and child care. But even if you were childless, living in a hotel suite with daily maid service, eating only room service, and throwing your underpants out the window after one wearing, WOES, it would still be unreasonable to expect PIV intercourse every night of the week.

Frankly, WOES, once-a-week PIV is more sex than most young straight dads are getting. And if you’re demanding PIV from your wife as a sleep aid—“ask your doctor if Clambien is right for you”—it’s a miracle you’re getting any sex at all.

And the limited options you cite—it’s either PIV with the wife or masturbation in front of the computer—aren’t doing you any favors.

Consider PIV from your wife’s perspective: Her husband fucks, comes, and falls asleep. She lies there for a while afterward, tingling, and may have to go to the bathroom once or twice. The PIV that puts her husband to sleep after a long day? It puts her sleep off. And if she wanted to get it over with quickly—because she was exhausted—there wasn’t much foreplay, which means she probably wasn’t fully lubricated (uncomfortable) and most likely didn’t come (unfair). That’s a recipe for resentment, WOES, and resentment kills desire. (Or maybe you should think of it this way: If your ass got fucked every time you said yes to sex, WOES, you wouldn’t say yes to sex seven nights a week.)

If you expanded your definition of sex, WOES, if your options weren’t PIV or nothing, you might not have to masturbate six nights a week. Because if your definition of sex included oral (his and hers), mutual masturbation, and frottage—and if these weren’t consolation prizes you settled for, but sex you were enthusiastic about—your wife might say yes to sex more often.

Still, you’re never going to get it seven nights a week. So make the most of the PIV you’re getting, broaden your definition of sex and get another night or two of sex in per week, and enjoy porn without guilt the rest of the week. And if you’re concerned about the amount of porn you’re watching, try this trick: Lie on the couch or the floor or the guest bed, stroke your cock (even if it’s soft), and think dirty thoughts. Your cock will get hard, I promise, and you’ll get off. It’s how most people masturbated before the internet came and ruined everything, WOES, and it still works.

When I met my partner of three years, I thought I’d hit the jackpot: a Dom who packs a wallop but knows how to listen and loves group sex (which is kinda my jam). It’s hard to let go of my memories of the early days. We have had some rough patches, especially since he has had increasing financial trouble/underemployment, whereas I am back in school and have too many jobs. The biggest issue as I see it is he always makes me explain at length why I am busy—not just what I am doing (e.g., midterms) but whether that is “normal” (yes, every semester). I am tired. I care about my partner a lot and feel very close to him in some ways, but I also see him taking advantage of me financially and demanding endless reassurance on top of this. So my desire is to DTMFA. But when I talk about my feelings in the relationship, he argues with me—about what my feelings are or should rationally be. I am really ground down by this. The prospect of breaking up feels like it will be an ordeal. I feel trapped. I don’t think I can stay with him, but I also don’t want to have a conversation about leaving.

-Sincerely Troubled Under Constant Kriticism

We need someone’s consent before we kiss them, suck them, fuck them, spank them, spoon them, marry them, collar them, etc. But we do not need someone’s consent to leave them. Breakups are the only aspect of our romantic and/or sexual lives where the other person’s consent is irrelevant. The other person’s pain is relevant, of course, and we should be as compassionate and considerate as possible when ending a relationship. (Unless we’re talking about dumping an abuser, in which case safety and self-care are all that matters.) But we don’t need someone’s consent to dump them.

That means you don’t have to win an argument to break up with your boyfriend, STUCK, nor do you have to convince him your reasons are rational. You don’t even have to discuss your reasons for ending the relationship. You just have to say, “It’s over; we’re done.” It’s a declaration, STUCK, not a conversation.

Thank you so much for all of your advocacy—of both sexual and political persuasions—through the years, Dan. Like MADDER, the mom whose letter you ran in last week’s column, I have used Trump’s past and current behavior to help further discussion about the concepts of consent and body awareness, safety, and respect with my young daughter. There’s just one thing I wanted to add: Parents should not restrict the “Trump Talk” to their daughters. Our sons need to be told that words and actions that objectify, demean, and damage women are not what being a boy or man is about. My son is only 3, so he’s a little young as of yet. But I will definitely have the Trump Talk with both my children.

-Sons Need Trump Talk Too

Thanks for writing in, SNTTT, and you’re right—we need to have the Trump Talk with our sons, too. But I would add another reason to your list: While our sons absolutely need to be told not to objectify, demean, and damage women, our sons also need to be told that they, too, have a right to move through this world unmolested.

Parents have sex, too! Or so say the hosts of One Bad Mother on the Lovecast:
@fakedansavage on Twitter

3 Questions

with Kasandra M

3 QuestionsWednesday, October 26, 2016 by Alex De Vore

When did you know you were psychic?
I don’t like to say psychic, because I think there’s a weird stigma attached and people freak out when they hear that. I call myself an “intuitive;” it’s being really in tune with your inner voice and higher self. I was young. I was always the girl who knew how many jelly beans were in the jar in elementary school or when certain people were going to pass away.

What does a typical reading consist of?
I don’t work with regular tarot cards, I use fortune cards. They’re symbols on 36 cards and certain combinations mean certain things. I do a general nine-card spread, which is past, present and future, and there’s really nothing dark or scary about it, but I do make people cry occasionally. For the most part they’re happy tears. It’s kind of like I’m having a conversation and information is being downloaded into my head at the same time, if that makes sense.

Do you deal with a lot of skeptics?
Oh, skeptics are my favorite. But I’ve never had a complaint and for the most part they get this feeling of relief or release. I think I’m very relatable; I can put myself in your shoes and get on your level and usually something in my reading resonates with them. People are conditioned to feel fear, but there’s nothing here to be afraid of.

Force-Fed Junk Food News in the Age of Clinton vs. Trump

Compare and contrast the content of corporate media

FeaturesTuesday, October 25, 2016 by Terelle Jerricks

Seven years after the launch of Project Censored, in 1983, the founder of the media research, education and advocacy initiative, Sonoma State University professor Carl Jensen, added the Junk Food News component.

If you’re going to publish a yearly list of the stories most-censored by corporate media, and if corporate media’s annual denial argues that there’s always more news than there is time and space to report it, then the next logical step is to compare the quality of the stories that were reported with the stories that were not.  

Jensen found that the news peddled by corporate media had about as much fiber, protein and minerals as a bowl of children’s cereal.

Just this month, Seven Stories Press, released Censored 2017: the Fortieth Anniversary Edition, a work researched, written and edited by Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth, with help from student researchers from five California colleges.

The researchers gave the lay of the media landscape of this past year, noting that while the press is about as well regarded as Congress, the public still trusts its information about key issues of the day.

Project Censored also cited studies showing that the millennial generation is more accepting of censorship of offensive content than previous generations, while the corporate media has continued to frame storylines to serve power.

Additionally, Project Censored researchers zeroed in on social media emerging role in keeping Americans informed and perhaps uninformed. Meanwhile, governments and corporate interests censor and propagandize information.

Referencing the work of analysts such as Sean McElwee whose writings in Salon explored why working and middle class Americans vote against their own self-interests, Censored researchers noted that while analysts tend to focus on the Democrat versus Republican binary of media bias, they totally miss the bias that results in reporting that matters to the rich rather than reporting on matters that affect most Americans.

Project Censored researchers noted that the nature of news abuse and preeminence of junk food news is that it emphasizes the spectacle of the circus rather than the substance of the issues involved.

Junk Food News

Project Censored writers noted that Donald Trump has appeared in the book at two different times. The first was in the 1990s, in the story, The Marital Woes of Donald and Ivana Trump and the second time was in 2015 when he became a presidential candidate.

Corporate media coverage of Trump’s run for president has been treated as a reality show that almost blacked out the Sanders campaign completely.

Trump’s feud with Megyn Kelly displaced stories such as Common Dreams: As of Today, Humanity has Exhausted its 2015 Supply of Natural Resources and Choking to Death in Detroit: Flint isn’t Michigan’s Only Disaster.

The coverage of hand and penis sizes, and the attractiveness of candidate wives overshadowed the Foreign Policy in Focus story on newly released documents that exposed how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, provided arms to Saudi Arabia.

Trump stumps in Albuquerque.
Steven Hsieh

The corporate media fawned over how “presidential” Trump was beginning to look following his primary win in New York rather than fact checking his victory speech-which included 71 inaccurate, misleading or deeply questionable claims.

Project Censored took particular note of how the Internet creates, discusses and shares junk only to be picked up and circulated by the traditional corporate press. Ted Cruz, the Zodiac Killer was a primary example. But others included the bird that landed on Bernie Sanders podium before his speech in Portland this past March. That garnered more attention than the report on Israeli army medic executing a wounded Palestinian suspect.

News Abuse

Corporate media inserted themselves into stories to distract the public from their hijacking of the democratic process, including censoring reporting on the role of dark money on the corporate media itself.

In a relevant example, Project Censored noted that MSNBC and CNN edited out several lines from a video where Sanders attacked the corporate media for failing to fulfill its role in reporting all important issues in the election, including the issue of corporate media biases.

“Corporate media’s refusal to delineate between fact and opinion, slant and bias, perspective and falsehood, allowed the election coverage to co-opt serious issues of equity and social justice including racial and gender prejudice, immigration, climate change, human right, sexuality and civil liberties,” Project Censored stated. “Furthermore, it allowed for political falsehoods to permeate the corporate media echo chamber.”  

Youth played a major role in primaries, but corporate media plants seeds of cynicism and apathy in the days leading up to the primary election by suggesting they not bother voting because the election was already rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton―this despite youth lead victories, which include Maine becoming the first state to abolish the use of super delegates in presidential elections.  

Project Censored editors argued that the Clinton campaign did not take the acrimony seriously. Instead, the campaign went on the defense with former President Bill Clinton, ignoring how his policies contributed to the present climate of discontent among the youth. The campaign blamed them for not voting to prevent the Republicans taking over Congress in 2010.

But corporate media got significant help from social media in planting seeds of apathy. A Clinton super political action committee and a lobbyist group wrote a pro-Clinton op-ed for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. He denounced Sanders, but the op-ed that had few facts.

In another instance, a Clinton super PAC, Correct the Record, pledged to spend $1 million to push back against Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and Instagram users who criticize Clinton.

The end result of these particular forms of abuse is the “coronation” of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee.

“The corporate media narrative that Clinton was the frontrunner became self-fulfilling after their coverage included misleading delegate counts, slanted analysis, a redefining of progressivism, censorship of a corrupted party committing state crimes against democracy and a premature declaration of her victory before the primary was over and the convention even held.”

Project Censored spent considerable time deconstructing how and why the Clinton campaign and corporate media interest worked so closely in constructing the narrative of the inevitability of Clinton’s primary victory, while simultaneously tearing down Sanders.

“Polling has found that 50 percent of the U.S. population has a negative view of Clinton, and only 22 percent of the population holds a favorable image of the former secretary of state.”

Gage Skidmore
To address this, the Clinton campaign spent $1 million on online trolls for the purpose of correcting the negative statements about her and maintaining her close relationship with the press — a relationship that goes back to the 1990s when she first lady.

In April 2015, before her candidacy was official, she met with members of the corporate media to discuss her talking points.

One of Clinton’s top financial supporters, Haim Saban, bought out the satirical website The Onion. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea is on the board of directors of InterActivCorp, a company that partially owns Newsweek, the Daily Beast and other news outlets.

Project Censored cited Clinton’s rapport with the press as having resulted in favorable coverage that hides or excuses her indiscretions. In one example, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that on the night of the first primary debate the corporate press unanimously declared Clinton the winner, though online polls, by margins as high as 65 percent, believed Sanders had won the debate.

The researchers cited Sanders appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews and how it became a debate on Sanders policies, while Clinton faced nothing similar. Project Censored suggested that that may have to do with Matthews’ wife being a financial supporter of Clinton.

Project Censored also identified an instance when CBS used a Harvard poll of millennial voters to declare Clinton had a 6-point lead over Sanders, but the actual poll said Sanders had the 6-point lead.

Researchers at Project Censored noted that polls on top of polls have worked to further the inevitability of Clinton winning the primary — even though those polls have often proven to be inaccurate and unnewsworthy.

Project Censored referenced a 2015 study in which Clinton amassed 80 percent of Democratic Party airtime. The study made a correlation between the poll numbers and the airtime, suggesting that the disparity in coverage favoring Clinton made her party coronation a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The media watchdog noted that the corporate media declared Clinton the victor well before all the votes were counted during election night of the primary, and Clinton went to great lengths to hide her anti-progressive bona fides, which include refusing to publicly release her paid speeches to Wall Street bankers and blasting electronic noise at her private events so that the press cannot hear her speeches to wealthy donors.

Project Censored also meticulously documented the alignment of corporate interest at the Democratic National Convention, noting super delegates supporting Clinton are corporate lobbyists paid by the private prison corporations, private healthcare insurers opposed to the Affordable Care Act and Rupert Murdock’s News Corp. Former Rep. Barney Frank oversaw the creation of the DNC platform, which they noted largely supported the corporate agenda.

In short, what is reflected in Project Censored’s analysis of the Clinton campaign coverage is the systematic cloaking of moderate Republicans as progressives and resulting in keeping civil discourse further right of center.

The most recent example of this phenomena was the fallout following the publishing of Kirsten West Savali’s article on Angela Davis’ keynote address at the “Black Matters: The Futures of Black Scholarship and Activism” this past month.

“I have serious problems with the other candidate, but I am not so narcissistic to say I cannot bring myself to vote for her,” said Davis, during her address. “Too much energy went into the struggle for voting rights not to go to the polls.”

In an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!, Davis said she has never voted for either of the two major parties before Barack Obama.

“I believe in independent politics,” Davis said. “We need a new party, a party that is grounded in labor, a party that can speak to all of the issues around racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, what is happening in the world. We don’t yet have that party. And, even as we participate in this electoral process, as it exists today, I think we need to be looking ahead toward a very different kind of political process. At the same time, we put pressure on whoever is running.”

What Carl Jensen and his successors at Project Censored have created is a service-learning program that has taught them abuses in the creation and dissemination of the news and that they have the power to stop and or undermine these abuses.

This new generation of educators, students and activists are in alignment with other contemporary youth-dominated movements including, Black Lives Matter, Fight for $15, Dreamers and others.

This chapter on Junk Food News concludes by noting that, “among the best ways the Project believes it is possible to promote democracy in action is through critical media literacy education.”

They called it the strongest means for fighting against censorship and propaganda in their numerous guises, while supporting a truly independent and free press.

© Random Lengths News  2016  Terelle Jerricks has been the Managing Editor at Random Lengths News since 2004.
Paul H. Rosenberg is Senior Editor at Random Lengths News, an alternative biweekly newspaper in the Los Angeles Harbour Area. He is also a regular contributor to He was also a regular columnist with Al Jazeera English.
Terelle Jerricks has been the Managing Editor at Random Lengths News since 2004.

Morning Word: Martinez Vetoes Education Funding Cuts

Morning WordTuesday, October 25, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Education Funding Cuts Vetoed
Most state government agencies officially have to slash their budgets 5 percent. On Monday, Governor Susana Martinez signed legislation requiring the cutbacks, but vetoed $22 million in K-12 education cuts.

Court Date Set For Teacher Evaluation Challenge
Teachers are headed to court, but not for another year, to challenge the Public Education Department’s controversial evaluation system.
The unions argue that the system, which heavily relies on student test scores to measure a teacher’s worth, violates the state’s School Personnel Act. The Public Education Department changed some aspects of the teacher evaluation plan without legislative approval. As a result, the state can use the evaluation system to fire teachers, the unions said. Lawyers for both sides agreed to the yearlong hiatus so they can include any new data or regulations that the Public Education Department may release.
Supreme Court Reconsiders Closed Primary System Rules
In New Mexico, only Democrats and Republicans are currently allowed to cast primary election ballots. But on Monday, the New Mexico Supreme Court heard oral arguments from critics of the closed system who claim the rule disenfranchises independent and small party voters. Supporters of the current process say “it ensures distinct ideological choices in general elections.”

School District Accused of Violating Open Records Law
The Albuquerque Public School District is violating state open records law, according to the New Mexico attorney general’s office. Even so, the mother of a student who was tased by school district police officers could still have to go to court to get incident records the district claims are covered by law enforcement and personal opinion exemptions.

Gila River Diversion Plans: A Costly Controversy
Laura Paskus has put together an excellent news package on problems with the plans to divert Gila River water.
Plans for the current diversion have been controversial, in part because there’s a gap between the tens of millions of dollars in federal money the state anticipates receiving and the cost of infrastructure that could capture and store even a portion of the water rights New Mexico wants to use.

Also, environmentalists say a diversion will harm the river, which flows out of the Gila Wilderness. Biologists fear its impact on the rare fish that rely on the river. And open government advocates have pointed to a lack of transparency in the state’s decision-making process.
World Series: Front and Center
This is great. Albuquerque Journal reporter Bob Christ found a New Mexico man who will be watching the World Series very closely.
Rio Rancho’s Allen Broyles, 82, will be front and center in his living room tonight when he watches the Cleveland Indians play host to the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the 112th World Series.

But no matter how close he puts his nose to the TV screen, he won’t have as good a seat as he had the last time the Indians won the championship, when he served as a batboy for the 1948 squad that featured Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Bob Lemon, Joe Gordon and Ken Keltner.

Morning Word: Campaign Finance System Upgrade will be Costly

Morning WordMonday, October 24, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr
Estimate: $1 Million to Upgrade State Campaign Finance Reporting System
Election officials estimate it’s going to cost the state up to $1 million to “replace an online campaign finance information system that has been widely criticized for obscuring sources and destinations of political spending.” Lawmakers are expected to consider the one-time funding request when they return to Santa Fe in January.

Vehicle Recharging Stations Planned
Look for new electric and natural gas vehicle refueling sites along state highways after the state receives nearly $17 million from a federal settlement with Volkswagen in a lawsuit claiming the company’s diesel engine emissions violated the Clean Air Act.

Immigrant Students in New Mexico Still Face College Barriers
Immigrant college students who attended high school in New Mexico are supposed to have access to in-state tuition rates and some kinds of financial aid, but not all higher education institution employees are familiar with the 11-year-old state law and students say that’s creating barriers for them.

Police Will Carry Overdose Reversal Drug
First responders and Albuquerque police officers will start carrying Naloxone to reverse opiate drug-related overdoses.

Ballot Selfies Questionable
If you want to take a picture of your election ballot and post it on social media, you may want to think again. New Mexico law prohibits voters from showing their marked paper ballot “to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents,” although the secretary of state’s office says the law is actually unclear about so-called "ballot selfies." 

Cubs Head to the World Series
If you were off the grid all weekend, you won’t believe who is going to the World Series. Yup, the Chicago Cubs, who haven’t reached the series in 71 years. If you're heading to Chicago, getting into a game is going to be pricey. Tickets to attend one of the games at Wrigley Field already cost more than going to a Super Bowl game.
Booze with a Taste of the Place

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