In response to my selection as “Best Spokesperson for the Junk-Science Contingent” [cover, July 24: “Best of Santa Fe 2013”]: “Junk science” is a term for science that is inconvenient for corporate polluters. Polluters with pockets deep enough to buy the truth. Cigarettes won’t hurt you, right? Fracking doesn’t pollute groundwater. Global warming isn’t happening. Microwaving your brain is a good idea. If it was profitable enough, people would still believe the earth is flat.
In 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency, after doing “junk” science for two decades, drafted microwave radiation exposure guidelines that would probably have made cell phones illegal. But the cell phone industry, under the leadership of Tom Wheeler, lobbied Congress to prevent this from happening. Language was suddenly added to the 1996 Senate appropriations bill barring the EPA from regulating this type of radiation. Language mysteriously appeared in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibiting states and local governments from regulating cell towers on the basis of health. And all during 1996, the industry began
to build a network of towers across the country, secure in the knowledge that it was now illegal to tell your government that they were dangerous.
Seventeen years, and hundreds of thousands of cell towers (and billions of cell phones) later, this industry has the public more addicted to cell phones than to cigarettes, and it has people believing another big lie, a lie that the Reporter keeps repeating but doesn’t ever bother to investigate. For the damning science, which the industry and the Reporter say is not there, keeps on piling higher and deeper, for anyone with the courage to look at it.
And now, President Obama has nominated the same Tom Wheeler, the person most responsible for creating a permanent cloud of radiation over the United States, to be the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He will make good and sure that the radiation remains unregulated, and that discussion of it in the halls of government remains illegal. Arthur Firstenberg
Sweet Exhortations In response to the June 24 letter to the Reporter by Elmer Maestas [opinion, July 24: “Food For Thought”], he is right, I am not an historian. I have never claimed to be. My sources of historical reference are probably much the same as his, so this “sad telling” of conquistador history he refers to, ironically, comes from Spanish records.
I have worked as an activist for many years and over time, we have had many actions: street protests, symposiums, conferences, community meetings. Often, Mr. Joe Sando’s name would be brought up by the Hispanic community, as proof that the collision of indigenous and Hispanic cultures was not as bad as history portrayed. I’ve wondered what made Mr. Sando do this, though Marty Chaves bestowing on him a lifetime achievement award and contracts during Albuquerque’s tricentennial celebrations may have had something to do with it. The fact is, Mr. Sando was not a credentialed historian.
Mr. Maestas wrongly states that the “Pueblos” (I abhor the Spanish label) are the last to retain the language and religion as compared to other tribes. Maybe he should speak to representatives of the Lakota, Seminole, Pawnee, Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfeet and so on. These beautiful people would have something to say about it, I’m sure.
No, I did not know King Charles V prohibited slavery of the Indians, nor do I care. I do know in a letter from King Phillip II to Oñate, he cautioned Oñate to…”endeavour to attract the natives with peace and friendship and good treatment…” We all know how both turned out. Many times throughout history, sweet exhortations have not matched the actions. Their words are meaningless.
In a few days, we will see the city go nuts in celebration of what many see as offensive. Why do we allow ourselves to be subjected to this? We are part of the USA. Is there not something referred to as the “separation of church and state”? Are we using public funds to “celebrate” what matters to only one part of the city’s population?
As for my statement of 90 indigenous city-states here at the time of the Spanish invasion, versus 19 today, I got that from Alfonso Ortiz’ Handbook of Pueblo Indians. Another of my many sources is David Standard’s American Holocaust. If you read only one chapter, read the third chapter, “Pestilence and Genocide.”