Vacation an adventure in Arkansas

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My recent vacation through Arkansas was a tale of triumph, tragedy and astonishment. The latter happened in an east Texas eatery when lifelong friend Sid Hicks put Biblical scholars to shame by creating a self-serve ice-cream masterpiece surpassing the Tower of Babble in height and diversity. In Hot Springs, Arkansas, […]

No easy fix for immigration crisis

By Tom McDonald State columnist No doubt about it. Our great debate over immigration has an emotional side to it. And this time we’re talking about children — more than 50,000 of them and growing — who are risking life and limb to make their way into the United States. No matter how you look […]

Challenge filing deadlines need to be extended

The details are not too much to ask for. Especially if a New Mexican wants to serve on the powerful agency that regulates business and industry in this state — and be paid $90,000 a year to boot. In 2012, New Mexico voters approved three of four constitutional amendments to reform the Public Regulation Commission, […]

Governments pay lip-service to reasoning

By Kent McManigal Local columnist There are two — and only two — ways to interact with other people: You can use reason or you can resort to force. Reason is the civilized choice. The really great thing about most people is they almost never — on their own — resort to force. Rarely does […]

Central America immigration issue not that simple

More than 50,000 immigrant children, mostly from Central America, have crossed the U.S. border since last fall. President Obama hasn’t manned the border himself, welcoming these children with a firm handshake, though that’s the erroneous impression left by the president’s worst critics. Take Texas Gov. Rick Perry. On Sunday, the former Republican presidential candidate told […]

Compensation trends need examining

By Tom Philpott Military Update Military folks upset that recent defense budgets have targeted their pay and benefits have no reason to fear a new 358-page “interim” report from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission. The nine-member blue ribbon panel does present, in impressive detail, the full range of military and veteran pays, allowances […]

Politicians have no clue about classrooms

Wendel Sloan

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist In January, “Frustrated,” a fifth-year teacher in a lower socio-economic school, was transferred from fourth to first grade because a veteran teacher had had enough and quit to become a bank teller. Her 16 boys and seven girls included four Anglos, 10 Hispanics and nine African-Americans. Three lived with both […]

County jail staff must be held accountable

Nobody suggests it’s easy to run a jail. But most would agree it’s a bad idea to arm a murder suspect with an ax and send him out on a work detail with a lone, unsuspecting county maintenance man to keep watch. Yet that’s what happened Wednesday in Portales. Roosevelt County officials admitted, eventually, they […]

Patriotism shown in many ways

By Tom McDonald State columnist Patriotism isn’t one-dimensional. You won’t find it by wrapping yourself in the American flag. That really says nothing. And you won’t be saying much by shouting out that the U.S. is the greatest nation on Earth. That’s really just a matter of perspective. And while it’s important to lift up […]

Country’s religious freedom hanging by thread

If you like your religious freedoms, you can keep them. For now. The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled Monday that business owners with religious objections can’t be forced to pay for women’s birth control under the Obamacare law. The 5-4 opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, held that imposing the contraceptive mandate on closely held […]

Privacy violations won’t keep us safe

By Kent McManigal Local columnist You are being spied on. As you read this, hackers are getting into your computer, your other electronic information, your telephone, and possibly even watching you with cameras (including the webcam on your computer — even if it’s turned off). And the worst culprits, capable of doing the most harm, […]

Independence Day, not Fourth of July weekend

Rube Render

By Rube Render Local columnist Today is Independence Day. It is not the Fourth of July weekend or the Summer Sale Extravaganza. It is Independence Day and commemorates, “Action of Second Continental Congress, July 4, 1776.” I expect that sooner or later some far-sighted politician will introduce legislation denoting the first or second Friday of […]

Praise, criticism part of elected official’s job

Elected officials and the public servants they supervise can get awfully thin skinned. It’s understandable. After all, who wants to listen to speakers rip them from the podium during public meetings, with comments that can range from right on to ridiculous to patently untrue. Yet, in our system, that’s part and parcel of being a […]

Roth TSP offers many advantages for military savers

By Tom Philpott Military Update Military savers are discovering the special advantages a Roth-type Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) provides to them, given that their taxable income is dampened by tax-free allowances and periodic tax-exempt combat tours. The Roth TSP choice only became available in May 2012. TSP account balances so far average only $2,500 for […]

Cultural diversity still ‘American’

By Tom McDonald State columnist When I first came to New Mexico nearly 10 years ago, I had never been to a fiesta. Since then, I’ve been to more than I can count. I wish I could say it’s because I wanted to embrace the culture I had moved into, but really it was because […]

Green Tea Party for bare essentials

Wendel Sloan

Wendel Sloan Local columnist If I decide to run against David Lansford and Sharon King for combined mayor of Clovis/Portales again, it will be on the resurrected Green Tea Party (GTP) ticket. Our views do not strictly fit Republican or Democratic platforms, and the Tea, Libertarian and Communist parties are impractical. The Parrothead Party would […]

State should note Wisconsin youthful offender study

In 1995, the Wisconsin Legislature established a program to study and, ideally, cut recidivism among the toughest of its youthful offenders — those who had committed homicide. Of the group of 200 that was given a year of specially designed therapeutic exercises and games, as well as designated ways to consider the consequences of their […]

Limited government Utopian dream

By Kent McManigal Local columnist The siren songs of the next election season are already tickling your ears. One thing I notice a lot of people advocating is a “return to the Constitution,” which they believe would bring back “limited government.” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it didn’t work before, […]

King should look into campaign money scheme

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, one of the people specifically empowered to look into campaign finance violations, should take a break from his run to put the Democrats back in the Governor’s Mansion and investigate how around $128,000 was essentially laundered through a web of liberal political action committees before the June 3 primary […]

Feds have no business deciding what’s offensive

The nickname “Redskins” is indeed offensive to many. A good argument can be made that it’s time to move beyond it. That certainly will happen when fans quit buying tickets and merchandise. But the conclusion by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the Washington Redskins’ name is “disparaging of Native Americans” and it is therefore […]