System children going into real problem

There are common, underlying reasons why two out of every 1,000 New Mexicans files bankruptcy annually, why not even a third of residents have an associate’s degree and almost a third of students don’t graduate from high school on time. And despite the conventional wisdom, those reasons have less to do with being poor or […]

All of us have same yearnings

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Scattershooting about things that puzzle me. I have a sense of humor about shaving my head. Rather than fight the obvious, I prefer the hassle-free look, and joke about it myself. What puzzles me are the constant clichés from (presumably) adults. While repeatedly having my hopes dashed of hearing something […]

State should follow pot producer’s lead

Kudos to Erik Briones for going where New Mexico’s Department of Health still refuses to go. The medical marijuana producer recently opened the doors of his Los Ranchos business, Minerva Canna, to highlight a recent $60,000 expansion, designed to make things more convenient for his clients and more conducive to his bottom line. Meanwhile, the […]

Violating individual rights inexcusable

By Kent McManigal Local columnist I’ve seen some amusing illustrations going around the Internet showing 1920s-era prohibition enforcers, or their freelance supporters, smashing barrels of stolen “contraband” alcohol. The photos compare and contrast the earlier alcohol prohibition with the current drug prohibition. The caption reads “Imagine how silly you’ll look in 10 years.” Silly, yes, […]

Democrat leaders make scary masks

Last year, some conservative (“tea party”) groups had a problem getting a tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. Perhaps they should change their names to “green” tea party. When the folks at the IRS see “green” they will immediately think these are some of Obama’s cronies, and grant them tax-free status. Obama’s latest stimulus […]

Gang affiliation has long-term impact

A recent study gives new meaning to “gang mentality.” Because, mentally, gang members — even short-timers — are more likely to become lifelong losers. The University of Washington followed 808 fifth-graders in 1985. The subjects were from 18 public schools in Seattle’s high-crime neighborhoods. After a 30-year study, some of the findings were obvious: Those […]

Appropriating Native images degrading, wrong

The fight to change the name of the Washington, D.C., professional football team gets much of the attention when discussing Native issues in the United States today. That battle, although not concluded, is basically won. One day — perhaps even within five years — the NFL team will not be called the Redskins, considered a […]

Easter time to think about forgiveness

By David Stevens Editor My favorite part of the Easter story happens a few days before the angel asks, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” I realize the resurrection was the most important part, that without it Jesus was just another innocent state-sanctioned murder […]

Column post gets preachy responses

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist On Sunday mornings I post my columns on Facebook. Here is a tiny sampling of responses — including rebuttals to other readers’ preaching. Where creationism is preached yet And evolution ain’t teached yet It can’t but strike me Are very likely Where evolution ain’t reached yet. — Robert Patrick You […]

Right decision made on welfare use restrictions

More than 16,600 New Mexico households depend on the federalTemporary Assistance for Needy Families program to make ends meet. Not, it should be clear, to place a bet, have a beer or get a lap dance. And so the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez has done in 2014 what Congress mandated in 2012, what the […]

Liberty maximizes prosperity

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Many times I have been asked some variation of the question, “I don’t understand; what is it you want?” Well, what is it most humans want? I think most of us want health, safety, and prosperity — let’s call this combination “happiness” — for ourselves and our loved ones. I […]

Budget environment threatens readiness

By Tom Philpott Military Update Military leaders lead. Politicians can lead too, of course, but usually not before sticking a wet finger in the wind to learn how political winds blow. The contrast was evident last Wednesday as top enlisted leaders delivered a kind of suck-it-up-and-punch-us message to a group of nervous senators. The armed […]

State employment system in need of major update

Would you wait 78 days for a job with the state of New Mexico? More importantly, could you? According to various news reports, almost half of Americans have more credit-card debt than emergency savings, more than three-fourths live paycheck to paycheck and 28 percent have no emergency savings. So unless you are fortunate enough to […]

Money just like speech, only louder

Ned Cantwell

By Ned Cantwell State columnist Last week the Supreme Court opened the door to even more influence by money in American politics. One of the arguments was that contributing money to a candidate is a First Amendment right, no different whatsoever from, say, a newspaper endorsing a candidate. Let’s look at how that may play […]

Nuclear stockpile maintenance deserves full attention

A highly critical audit of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex does not invite confidence in the agency’s ability to maintain our nuclear stockpile reliably. The Department of Energy’s Inspector General report on National Nuclear Security Administration’s facilities — including Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories — details just how lax official record-keeping has been. It’s […]

Not everything has its reason

Wendel Sloan

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Some say everything happens for a reason. That seems simplistic — even cruel. What possible purpose is there for 239 people to lie on the bottom of the ocean. Whether mechanical failure or deliberate act, the final moments of terror were incomprehensible. Vanished, ranging in age from 2 to 76, […]

Immigration control breaks law

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Government at every level throughout America needs to obey the U.S. Constitution — the highest law of the land — to the letter. All federal, state and local governments need to tightly control and regulate who is allowed to enter our country, and make sure those allowed in are complying […]

Result-oriented system better for schools

Washington, D.C., bureaucrats are arguing whether New Mexico should lose $34 million in federal special education funding because it didn’t spend as much on those students in 2011 as it did in 2009. Ditto for 2012. To be clear, this is a dollars-out-the-door equation with spending, not results, as the bottom line. The feds don’t […]

Savings, conservation start with small steps

In the annals of ideas to save taxpayer dollars, we liked one suggestion from a 14-year-old from the Pittsburgh area. His simple but brilliant idea? Use lighter type fonts and save ink. That’s it. The idea began as a science fair project. Suvir Mirchandani wanted to help his Pittsburgh-area middle school cut waste; so, for […]

Smarter to supply Europe coal than gas

Jim Constantopolous Guest columnist As much as we would like to use America’s abundance of natural gas as a political lever against Russia’s Vladimir Putin, uncertainty over the demand for relatively high-cost U.S. gas will likely force us to be more realistic about what we can accomplish. A better strategy would be to supply Europe […]