Letters to the editor: 3-26

Mayor applauds drama students

On March 18, I attended a theater performance of “Oliver” at the Portales High School Auditorium. The packed-house performance was the third of four held that weekend. The cast consisted of Portales students of all grades. The music was performed by the high school band. Equally important were the sets, props and costumes, all designed, constructed and tailored by the high school drama class and their teachers.

The performance was wonderful! In fact, it ended to a standing ovation. I was very impressed by the acting, musical performances and stage crew, all consisting of our young people. I felt very proud of our students for the quality of the show they put forth. It was very evident that much time was committed to preparing for this play — I’m sure it was in the hundreds of hours from students, their teachers and volunteer parents. Hollywood and Broadway should be scouting for talent in Portales.

I look forward to attending more great performances and encourage everyone in the community to do the same. I also look forward to attending performances at our soon-to-be-renovated Yam Theatre on Main Street. Maybe, we’ll see our student productions go on tour at the Yam. We welcome it.

Orlando Ortega, Jr.

U.S. not fighting for freedom

I am saddened every time I hear someone say the brave U.S. soldiers in Iraq are fighting to “protect our freedom” in the United States.

The soldiers are to be admired because they are doing exactly what they were asked to do, which is to go to a war zone and fight for U.S. interests. The tragedy is that it is not our freedom they are fighting for. Iraq was never a threat to the freedom of the U.S. in any way. No Iraqi was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks; Osama bin Laden has no affiliation with Iraq.

The threat to the freedom of the United States is right here in our own country. The Patriot Act is a direct attack on the Bill of Rights. President Bush’s unwarranted surveillance of U.S. citizens is a direct threat to personal freedom.

I contend that the greatest threat of all to our freedom is voter apathy and lack of attention to the issues. As our citizens refuse to read, think for themselves, or vote, such legislation as the Patriot Act gets passed and our freedoms diminish.

The brave soldiers are in Iraq doing the job they were sent there to do. It is not our freedom they are protecting, however. They are fighting for the interests of a government that is diminishing our freedoms here at home. The sadness overwhelms me.

Geni Flores