Sloan: Thank electricity for easier lives

No one invented electricity. According to, for more than 2,000 years it was discovered and harnessed in incremental steps. Benjamin Franklin’s 1752 key-on-a-kite experiment only established the connection between lightning and electricity. Around 600 BC, the Greeks discovered rubbing fur on amber (fossilized tree resin) caused static electricity. In the 1930s, archaeologists discovered ancient […]

Cantwell: So, I underestimated freak show

His call was inevitable. Barney from New Jersey is both my friend and my nemesis. He thinks little of New Mexico or my journalistic efforts. He is a big fan of Donald Trump. “Hi, Barney, how’s the kiddos?” I chirped. “The kiddos left the house 30 years ago,” he growled. “You know why I am […]

Same standard should apply to all officers

The New Mexico State Police has been investigating the recent U.S. Marshals Service predawn raid that went bad and left a man dead. But its account doesn’t square with the account given by the dead man’s family. This is one case where lapel camera footage would have come in handy. Did the wrong guy — […]

McDonald: Municipal elections big deal to us

This week the national news may be focused on Super Tuesday, but here in New Mexico it’s the municipal elections that are making local headlines, with races being decided in cities and towns across the state. And since about half of all New Mexicans live in municipalities of fewer than 30,000 people, these local elections […]

Sloan: Let life, liberty, happiness reign

My book-of-the-month summary for February is a 1906 copy of “The World’s Famous Orations,” edited by William Jennings Bryan. The 272-page hardback (Funk and Wagnalls) fits in my back pocket. Excerpts: “May (our) country become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which […]

Wilson: Nice trophy … how’d you get it?

“I used to play sports. Then I realized you can buy trophies. Now I’m good at everything.” — Demetri Martin, “These Are Jokes.” I’ve reached an age where most friends don’t post their activities online, but those of their kids. One recent weekend, a high school friend posted a photo of her adorable daughter, and […]

Native son made great contributions to state, country

Extraordinary people like Miguel Encinias contributed mightily to the legacy of the “Greatest Generation” that lived through the Great Depression and served in World War II. And while younger generations might pooh pooh what they don’t know and never have had to experience, it’s hard to argue with the sacrifice and dedication of people who […]

SNAP changes will likely push small stores out

Should the federal government require clothing retailers, especially those that cater to low-income consumers, to carry bamboo fabric goods because they are environmentally sustainable and thus better for everyone? Well, no. Not only would that level of meddling presume government bureaucrats know the local marketplace better than the business owners who live and operate in […]

McDonald: Good-government bill will be back

One of the many bills to fall by the wayside in the just-past legislative session was House Bill 307, which would have reformed the way New Mexico funds its public works projects. It was a good-government proposal. It would have served the public interest better than what’s in place now. It would have replaced politics […]

Sad to see ethics bill gutted, pulled

State Rep. Jim Dines, R-Albuquerque, long a champion of transparency in government, did the unusual but ethical thing Tuesday — he pulled his ethics commission joint resolution from consideration in the Senate Rules Committee because protectors of the status quo gutted the transparency elements it contained. Pulling it took courage and common sense. Because why […]

Sloan: No chance I could be the big dog

Given the opportunity to participate in a presidential debate, my closing statement might sink my chances: My fellow Americans, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Partiers, Christians, televangelists and you three fraudulent voters, I ask for your support. Although I lack presidential looks, height and answers to insolvable problems other candidates pretend to have to unite our un-unitable […]

Wilson: Obama should choose judge, period

Kevin Wilson

As Barack Obama celebrated his inauguration in 2009, 15 Republicans met at D.C.’s Caucus Room steakhouse. As detailed in Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” meeting participants planned united, unyielding opposition to Obama, his appointees and his policies. They never realized Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell’s […]

Taxpayers out $90K for Duran’s political stunt

“This culture of corruption that has given all New Mexicans a black eye is unacceptable.” — Former Secretary of State Dianna Duran, 2011 Now who has the black eye and, in addition to a felony plea deal, will likely cost taxpayers more than $90,000 for that political pandering? Duran made the statement in announcing her […]

McDonald: Behavioral health issue clouded

Last week, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that he had cleared 10 providers of behavioral health care services of any criminal wrongdoing. Both politically and legally, this latest announcement gives new legs to an issue that took root more than two years ago and shows no signs of going away anytime soon. First, let’s recall […]

Sloan: Perfect, peaceful world a fantasy

“If tomorrow, everybody under the sun Was happy just to live as one No borders, no battles to be won But if tomorrow everybody was your friend Happiness would never end Lord, don’t you wish it was true.” —John Fogerty Please indulge me this one week to fantasize about creating my own sickeningly saccharine universe. […]

Wilson: I keep talking, but ball don’t lie

Eastern New Mexico Univeristy started its season off right Tuesday. The artists formerly known as the Zias grabbed a doubleheader sweep of Oklahoma Panhandle State University, the first to open a season in the program’s 20-year history. But the game was not without mistakes by the umpires and me. With a Greyhound on first early […]

Most bad laws created with good intentions

The best part about election season — the only part we like — is asking questions that baffle the candidates. Sure. It’s a character flaw. Last week, we asked Clovis City Commission candidates: What laws or ordinances should be repealed? They all responded with silence. Not one candidate, off the top of their head, anyway, […]

Jail, police staff deserve praise for good sense

The woman accused of vandalizing and setting fire to multiple Clovis businesses on Thursday night was released on bond just 24 hours after the nightmare. Her freedom lasted only 36 minutes, however, because, as Interim Police Chief Doug Ford told us, “somebody was just doing their job.” It seems a Curry County jail employee alerted […]

McDonald: Rubio could win New Mexico

We’re four months away from the primary elections in New Mexico — a lifetime in the world of politics. By the time New Mexicans get to vote for their choice in the already-dwindling field of candidates for president, the races will probably be down to two clear front-runners in the Democratic and Republican parties. Chances […]

One-size prison sentences do more harm than good

A one-size-fits-all sentencing policy has swelled the federal prison population to historic highs and is not giving taxpayers a good return on investment in terms of safer communities, reduced costs or better inmate outcomes. That’s the conclusion reached by the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, headed by former Oklahoma U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts. […]