It’s cliche, but everyone has a story

By Wendell Sloan Local columnist It is a cliché, but — patronizing stereotypes to the contrary — everyone has a story. I have known Matt Hillsman, 78, since his 1986 arrival on the High Plains from Connecticut to pursue a master’s in archaeology — joining son Ian in college. “It’s nice you are here,” Ian […]

Enjoy your political power now

By Ned Cantwell State columnist A lot of us more seasoned New Mexicans, i.e., old people, have had a bellyful of you young folks who think you run the world. Well, you don’t. Look no further than state politics. Just days ago there was a primary election. If its turnout mirrored history, citizens over 50 […]

Everyone should have a say in who wins

Curry County’s new sheriff was not selected by a majority of residents or even a majority of voters. Wesley Waller was the overwhelmingly choice of only those registered to vote as Republicans who participated in the 2014 primary election. He has no opponent in November, unless a minority candidate signs up for a miracle run […]

Ideals didn’t change, Americans did

By Kent McManigal Local columnist How did the ideals America was founded upon — even if they were always imperfectly implemented — become so misunderstood and reviled by the majority of Americans? How did these principles become “radical,” “extreme,” and frightening? Or even “terrorism?” How did false safety and socialistic collectivism become the default position […]

Small business loans good use of tax dollars

In this political high season, if you ask the average New Mexico voter or politician what the state’s economy needs, jobs, as well as support for existing small businesses, will be high on all the short lists. But ask them for specifics on how to achieve either, and you’ll be lucky to get much beyond […]

People care more about their wallet

By Tom McDonald State columnist The big news on the energy front this week is about the Obama administration’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants by 30 percent by 2030. The intent is to clean up our air in an effort to combat global warming. That’s a critically important issue, especially for […]

Political rhetoric must give way to reality

By Tom Philpott Military Update In shaping a 2015 defense authorization bill, Congress has decided to protect the prized commissary benefit from the most worrisome budget threat to base grocery stores in decades. But military personnel are not likely to escape other key compensation curbs to include a second consecutive annual pay raise cap in […]

Less government means more opportunity

We won’t tell you how to vote on Tuesday. But here are some suggestions for finding candidates who favor less government control of our lives. • If a wanna-be public servant comes to your door and asks for your vote, ask what kind of public service they do now. If the answer is meals-on-wheels or youth […]

In good company if I die on Plains

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist For my final nap, I intend on returning to my east Texas roots. If fate disguised as an irritated reader intervenes and my final breath is on the High Plains, I will be in good company. Since 1982, I have attended funerals of far too many who awed and inspired. […]

Fly, but don’t lose your way home

Tom McDonald

By Tom McDonald State columnist About this time every year, parents all over New Mexico swell with pride as their daughters and sons walk across the graduation stage — and wave goodbye. The walk is ceremonial; the wave, at least for small towns, is figurative. As the urbanization of America continues, fewer of these young […]

Taxpayers must be considered in SunZia deal

The Department of Defense is offering up a reasonable compromise that could allow the SunZia electricity transmission line project to proceed while protecting the national security mission at White Sands Missile Range. It’s important that in the end taxpayers are protected, too. The proposed $1.2 billion privately owned 515-mile electricity transmission line would take renewable […]

Restricting liberty leads to tragic results

By Kent McManigal Local columnist As soon as I heard about the Santa Barbara, California, murders I held my breath and waited for the anti-gun advocates to start dancing in the blood — I didn’t need to wait long. Six innocent people died — three of those shot to death. All because one person (who […]

Nature offers sensory symphony

By Kitsana Dounglomchan Local columnist Cassandra, our two dogs and I drove six hours northwest from Clovis to camp near Lake Isabel in Colorado. We were excited to smell the quaking Aspen and blue spruce trees. Cassandra assumed the temperature would be comfortable in late spring.  And she confirmed this by checking the weather report for […]

Veterans group’s tactics offensive

By Tom Philpott Military Update This month marks 20 years of writing Military Update. I’ve used it three times to editorialize about news events, including President Clinton’s sex scandal while commander in chief and President George W. Bush’s worrisome plan to invade Iraq a month before it happened. This week I do so again to […]

State deserves better teacher evaluation system

Is 99 percent of your workforce effective? Is 99 percent of any workforce effective? Exactly. That’s not necessarily a question of how hard those employees work, or how much they try, or how nice they are. It’s a question of how productive they are and what kind of results they deliver. And now, 102 years […]

Open house hopefully sign of things to come

Over the weekend, I believe there was a cosmic symbolism between the Cannon Air Force Base air show and all the pouring rain. Here’s what I mean. Many of us were awakened early Saturday morning to the crackle of lightning, the roar of thunder, and rain drops pelting our roof tops. I was happy. Rain […]

Free-speech prayer ruling comes with cost

The Supreme Court says public prayer before city council meetings is OK. That’s got to be a victory in the culture wars. But, will people who are deeply religious be happy with the notion of prayer as a form of free speech? The subject of prayer before governmental meetings wouldn’t be contentious except for one […]

No headline here — silence is golden

There are few members of the American Civil Liberty Union in the conservative communities this column appears. They might well conduct their meetings in a phone booth. (Note to younger readers: “Phone booth” is an ancient call box invented in 1889. It was a glass-enclosed contraption just wide enough and tall enough for your grandpa […]

Fabricating quotes hurts credibility

Most of us love the freedom of speech we enjoy in the United States — unless we disagree with those exercising it. If we do not slander others, we can say whatever we want and the worst that can happen is we get attacked with words. (There are exceptions, of course, like being too outspoken […]

Viewpoint: West fire has lessons for everybody

In retrospect, we often come to understand   that many tragedies could have been prevented if only certain procedures had been followed or a few safety devices had been in place beforehand. We gain clarity by looking back, but the clarity is wasted if it doesn’t lead to a meaningful attempt to prevent a similar tragedy […]