Sloan: You can influence perception, too

My book-of-the-month summary for April is “Get Anyone to Do Anything: And Never Feel Powerless Again” (St. Martin’s Press, 2000) by David Lieberman. The 180-page work offers strategies for avoiding being manipulated, ending verbal conflicts, influencing and motivating others, winning friends and changing how others perceive you. Tips: • Deal with complaints by listening and […]

Stevens: Majority rule root of discrimination

A fictional fellow with a political agenda walked into a newspaper editor’s office with a letter he wanted published. The letter was 301 words long. The editor told him the word limit was 300. “How about we take out one word?” the editor asked. “No,” the fellow said. “Can we change ‘unexpected surprise’ to ‘surprise?’” […]

Important that tax problem be sorted soon

Two lawsuits contend the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department is sitting on refunds — years of them — that rightfully belong to immigrant taxpayers as a means to further Gov. Susana Martinez’s supposed anti-immigrant agenda. The state Taxation and Revenue Department says in turn that the only returns being held up are those that […]

McDonald: Pro-pot voters may sway election

Last week I wrote about how Gary Johnson, the probable Libertarian Party nominee for president, and how he has a shot, albeit a long one, at actually getting elected this time around. (You can read it at gazettemediaservices.com; click the Dispatch New Mexico link). I failed, however, to mention upon his advocacy for the legalization […]

Secrecy, despite intent, no good in government

Elected officials make decisions for all of us. They cannot make those decisions in secret — even if they say their intentions are good. Two recent incidents have caught our attention. Both are long-time traditions, we’re told, and both need to stop immediately. The first is Clovis City Commission’s routine of voting on committee appointments […]

Sloan: Make kindness your default mode

After beginning a satirical column about ISIS selling space on their clothes to advertisers — such as: “Come to Our Big Sale at Sloan’s Autos: We Are Blowing Up Prices!” — I received word that a professional acquaintance, 31, had committed suicide. That ISIS column is now on hold. His final Facebook post at 3:41 […]

Wilson: Life, news has left me conflicted

This last week has me conflicted, for various reasons. • No statement fills me with more internal conflict than, “Mr. Wilson, your insurance should take care of this today, but if there is a balance we will just bill you the difference.” So I’m free to go … as long as I don’t check my […]

New Mexicans get very little for tax bucks

In the world most law-abiding New Mexicans live in, when there is too much month at the end of the money, residents first look to where they can become more efficient and where they can economize. They do not usually look first to where they can get a fast buck. But the latter is how […]

McDonald: Libertarians have best shot ever

In this year of tumultuous political uncertainties, a viable third-party candidate could easily emerge —perhaps in the form of our own Gary Johnson. Johnson, New Mexico’s former Republican governor, is hoping to run for president for a second time as the Libertarian Party nominee. With his adopted party’s national convention less than two months away, […]

FBI website does well teaching beliefs vs. actions

A coalition of groups is calling on the FBI to shut down its “Don’t Be a Puppet” anti-terrorist website, claiming it targets American Muslims and establishes a thought police in schools. If anything, “Don’t Be a Puppet” goes out of its way to differentiate between “extremist thoughts (which) are not against the law” and those […]

Sloan: Hankins leads scrapbook-worthy life

Every resident at Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales could be the subject of a can’t-put-down book. Hank Hankins, 88, actually is the subject of one — a scrapbook of photos with captions his daughter Linda created. In the activities room where residents play Scrabble, Skip-Bo (a card game) and dominoes — a game in […]

Stevens: Put your sleuthing skills to the test

So you’ve watched 1,000 TV crime shows and you’re pretty sure you’d make a good police detective. OK. See what you make of this case: Dennis Huggins and Art Ferro were in the same place at the same time, around 2 a.m. Tuesday. That’s about all they agree on. Here’s what Huggins had to say, […]

Firing guards for escape is scapegoating

So the Corrections Department may can the two officers who were on duty 14 1/2 hours straight when two violent inmates escaped from a transport van on March 9 — it would have been closer to 20 hours when they reached their destination. Officers Taracina Morgan and Michael Ortega are on paid administrative leave and […]

McDonald: P is for press, municipal newbies

Last month, after municipal elections were held around the state, a bunch of fresh faces took their oaths of office and became city and town councilors, trustees and mayors for their first time. To help prepare them for their job, the New Mexico Municipal League, in its March newsletter, set out to educate them. Randy […]

Hansen: Past campaigns have been worse

This year’s presidential campaigns have been called the dirtiest in history. Well, if you don’t count the Richard Nixon campaign in 1972, the Lyndon Johnson campaign of 1964, or numerous campaigns in the 19th Century, this year’s gloves-off slugfest is probably pretty bad. Nixon’s “dirty tricks” squad, spawned by the eerily named CREEP (Committee to […]

Nabbing bad lease-holders vital to state

All it takes are a few bad actors to ruin the show. An apparent one, Siana Operating of Midland, Texas, which provides oilfield well-water disposal services, has drawn the attention of State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn for spills and environmental damage at an injection well site southwest of Eunice. That, in part, has caused Dunn […]

Sloan: Volunteering a good experience

Inspired by Portales resident Elliott Stollar’s three-plus years of volunteering, I have been spending time on Sundays visiting and playing games with the residents of Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales. My most notable contribution has been adding Scrabble to their dominoes and Skip-Bo card game. When I began a couple of months ago, I […]

Wilson: Movie-going solo perfectly OK

No doubt, the list is much longer. But there are two qualities I’ve inherited from my dad. First, I’m the worst person to shop for because I buy what I can afford and convince myself I don’t need what I can’t afford. The family learned to buy gift cards a long time ago. Second, I […]

Graduates who earn recognition should get honor

“When everyone’s super, no one will be.” — The Incredibles That line from Pixar’s animated movie about a villain who plans to sell his inventions so superheroes are obsolete is a reflection on society, where all too often everyone gets a ribbon and average is celebrated. It’s a mentality that hasn’t been present in Rio […]

McDonald: We should be safe this side of line

There aren’t a lot of people living in the southwestern corner of the state that borders Arizona and Mexico, known as New Mexico’s Bootheel. But that didn’t stop hundreds of area residents from finding their way to Animas earlier this month for a meeting about border security. Area newspapers reported that more than 600 people […]