Solitary should only be used when necessary

Solitary confinement is “a tool that needs to be managed appropriately,” said New Mexico Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel. After spending 48 hours in solitary at the State pen, New Mexico’s top prison guard now has some personal experience to motivate him to carry out his vow to reduce the hundreds of inmates in segregation, which […]

Imposing law violates others’ rights

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Not a day goes by I don’t witness a complaint by someone saying their freedoms are being trampled on and legislated away. Almost everyone can point to something they enjoy that has been regulated into illegality — or severely restricted — by government edict. Yet, if you question most of […]

Grouse threatened listing no solution

By Jim Constantopoulos Guest columnist Fish and Wildlife Service seems confounded by the negative response to listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. In designating the lesser prairie chicken as threatened, a step down from endangered but warranting specific protections, it had provided assurances that no additional federal regulations that might have an […]

Americans need more inspiration at ballot box

L ines of voters once again stood patiently, waiting to vote in the Afghanistan runoff election over the weekend. At risk to life and limb, the citizens of that war-torn country demonstrated that they understand the importance of voting. Such regard for the ballot is something Americans have lost. A primary election during a non-presidential […]

More non-VA care could backfire

By Tom Philpott Military Update A report by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general and a separate “access audit” of appointment scheduling practices across VA healthcare facilities confirm system-wide abuses to distort wait times for care. It shows patients have been put at risk and shaken confidence in how VA hospitals and clinics are […]

People deserve full details on Bergdahl case

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by the Taliban, in exchange for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, raises a number of issues that should be addressed separately. First, it is a good thing that an American soldier who has been held by enemy forces for nearly five years is free. Regardless of […]

Father much cooler, smarter now

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My father, Guy Sloan, died in 1990 at 71. After working around asbestos for 25 years as a carpenter at an east Texas steel mill — an 80-mile round-trip from my hometown of Mt. Vernon — he spent his final years coughing so hard his ribs would break. Otherwise, he […]

Thankful for last talk with my uncle

By Kitsana Dounglomchan Guest columnist My Uncle Dennis — nicknamed Uncle Den — served as a battalion chief for 30 years in the Alameda County fire department in California. My aunt once told me a story about Uncle Den jumping from the roof of a burning building before it caved in. He never talked about […]

State’s education excellence drive should continue

Finally. New Mexico made it to the top of an education ranking. The state’s high school graduation rate increased faster than any other state from 2007 through 2012. That’s excellent news for the state, its students and its schools. But despite boosting its rate of seniors graduating in four years by 15 percentage points over […]

Civilization exists in spite of government

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Power, organization and direction. Many people seem to feel these are good attributes to always be encouraged, but they miss the destructive potential these same qualities possess in many situations. Think of tornadoes, for example. Tornadoes have plenty of power, organization and direction, but are lacking both wisdom and ethics […]