Sunday, January 8, 2012

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: Adventures in Email Land

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Jan. 8, 2012

As a political reporter, a good chunk of my email consists of announcements of government meetings or political events, people criticizing or, less frequently, praising something I've written, a few scattered tips for stories, political organizations indignantly pointing to the outrageous misdeeds of their opponents or politicians asking for money. 

But I also get my share of interesting stuff. 

Such as the email in the Turkish language I got Monday with a color photo of red and green serrano peppers. It's apparently an ad for some kind of weight-loss product. 

To quote from that email, 

Samandag biberi Hatay ilimizde yetisen zayiflamaya etkisi muthis olan bir biber turudur. Unlu tv sunucusu MESUT YAR bu biber sayesinde ( gün 3-4 adet tuketerek) toplamda 40 kilodan fazla kiloyu cok kısa bir zamanda vermeyi basardı.

I'm not sure how I got on this list for this product, except maybe the fact I've written about legislators taking trips to Turkey. 

Or maybe someone who saw me at the Turkish-American friendship dinner I covered a couple of months ago thought I needed to lose weight. 

On Thursday I received an unsolicited email appealing to my status as a white man. 

Usually when people start talking about "white pride," I start sniffing for swastikas. But whoever sent this didn't appear to be an overt racist, though he's far more concerned than I am about what he calls "a subtle bias against whites." 

The email was hawking an e-book by an author named William McGaughey for 99 cents, billed as a "moderate white man's race manifesto" that "proposes a way that persons of the white race can regain their dignity without becoming an enemy of others." 

"What it means to be white in America has never been adequately considered. For the past fifty years, there has been a consensus based on historic injustices perpetrated by the white race against other peoples. Politically correct strictures have been imposed upon white society, brooking little dissent. However, this situation is starting to change. Barack Obama's election as President has opened up new horizons for white as well as black people." 

Well that's good. I'm tired of all those other races putting me down because I dance like a goofball. 

You thought the "birther" movement was dead just because President Obama produced his birth certificate last year? Think again. A frequent sender of emails to me (and other New Mexico reporters as well as various national conservative pundits) on Thursday forwarded a request he'd sent to Secretary of State Dianna Duran. 

"On or about December 13, 2011, I wrote to you requesting that your office provide me with some direction and/or guidance that would assist me in getting President Obama removed from the New Mexico 2012 presidential primary election ballot over allegations of fraud because I now believe that there is a preponderance of indisputable evidence, which I also shared with you in my letter, that collectively prove that he in fact is ineligible to hold the office of President of the United States and Commander-In-Chief of our armed forces." 

(I asked Duran's chief of staff, Ken Ortiz about that. " ... we would need a court order to remove someone from the ballot" after a candidate is certified.) 

My correspondent wrote a similar email the same day to Gov. Susana Martinez saying, "This disturbing issue literally keeps me up at night ..." 

I believe it. 

Some of the email I get might seem weird to some people, but it's definitely not crazy. A few days before Christmas I got an email from the spokesman for Allen Weh, a former state Republican chairman and unsuccessful 2010 gubernatorial candidate. I don't know if Weh is running for anything these days, but he sends occasional emails with his views on issues. 

But this mail wasn't political. It was one of his cooking videos — this one for a delicious looking soup called Caldo Gallego. Weh did a few cooking videos during his campaign. It's one of the few things I miss about that election.

 Here's that video: