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Columns

  • Don't vote for disaster

    The failure of the Congressional Super Committee to reach a “deal” on cutting the future national budget deficit proves one thing — no one should vote Republican in the upcoming federal elections.
    Yes, there are some fine people running as Republicans, but this admonition has nothing to do with individuals and everything to do with survival for everyone who is not part of the super rich who are consistently favored by the actions of elected Republicans.
    Recent PBS reports on economic inequality in America, and how the Great Recession happened as detailed in the book AFTERSHOCK by Robert B. Reich, document some startling facts.

  • Who gets the prize?

    I spent a week, well, actually five days filling out a form. Every night I had to fill in the title, the author, and the amount of time spent reading on this form.
    It was called a reading log. It wasn’t my reading log, it was my kindergartner’s.
    But, since my K-Kid couldn’t write yet and I wasn’t about to take the time at the end of a long day to teach him how to fill out this form - I did it. Every night “we” filled it out. I lie.
    There were some nights that we didn’t read. So I faked it. Sometimes we got busy and by the time it was bedtime, I felt it better to get my kid in bed rather than read and of course I was the reader. So, I fudged sometimes.

  • Liberal fairy tale embraced

    Words matter.
    This week we consider 17 words from Sen. Tom Udall. We will consider what he really said (not much), his being wrong, and his continued embrace of the liberal Democrat fairy tale that is a huge obstacle to dealing with the coming national financial disaster.
    Note that conservatives have their fairy tale — no tax increase at all — but it’s Udall for this column.
    Udall was commenting on a proposal to change cost of living adjustments on federal entitlement programs to a chain-weighted approach. In early November he told the Albuquerque Journal, “While I would consider reasonable changes to the cost-of-living adjustment, pushing our seniors into poverty is a nonstarter.”

  • Removing thorns of uncertainty

    New Mexico’s unemployment numbers are looking a little better. So why is it still so hard to find a job? Why is our economy in slow motion while surrounding states rebound?
    “We’re not adding jobs,” said Beverlee McClure, president of the Association of Commerce and Industry, during a talk last week to business leaders.  
    Employers aren’t willing or able to do much hiring. (Unless they’re in Artesia. An ACI member there told McClure, “If you can fog a mirror, we can put you to work.”)
    McClure’s message: “If we’re not talking about jobs, we’re not talking about the right thing.”

  • No justifying abuse

     I recently read an article about a stray dog found at the Berkeley Marina in California that had been shot with a pellet gun 38 times.  
    The dog was treated by Berkeley Animal Services and survived.  
    Can you imagine what type of lowlife would find it amusing to shoot an animal thirty-eight times?  
    In Long Island, a man got into an argument with a woman who was walking her 1-year old Dachshund.  
    He grabbed the dog and threw it 10 feet into the street.  (Little Coco was injured but is okay.)  
    Again, what type of lowlife defines his manhood by how far he can javelin toss a 12-pound dog?  
    Can people be more despicable?

  • Hooray for Thanksgiving

    Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.
    One of the reasons is that Americans still remember why we celebrate it.
    Thanksgiving isn’t just another holiday to which we give not one thought other than that it is a day off work.
    Nearly all of us truly remember to give thanks and truly celebrate the holiday.
    Unlike Christmas, there is no stress around giving and receiving presents.
    The purpose of celebrating Thanksgiving is very simple and very easy to observe.
    We’re told that all cultures observe some sort of day to give thanks.
    It seems to be a basic human need to back away from trouble,  stress and daily commotion and reflect on one’s blessings no matter how meager they may be.

  • Folks, we're on a roller coaster ride

    If the times we’re living through could be anymore consequential for the future of this Republic, it would be hard to imagine.
    Iran is working to get a nuclear weapon, Israel makes noises about making a pre-emptive strike against them, and America’s current ability to influence an outcome for the benefit of preserving peace is clearly impotent.
    Greece is headed toward a financial default, which will set in motion further disruption and adverse impact on international financial markets, including ours. And it doesn’t help matters that the United States government continues its reckless spending and adding to its record deficit.

  • Insurance for people you shouldn't have to insure

    The things that drive small businesses crazy don’t only come from government. This story involves the confusing interplay of insurance, regulation, and lawsuits.  
    A friend who runs a small business called me to ask about this: Her business uses the services of professionals on a contract or consulting basis. Her insurance company has just informed her that she must pay workers’ compensation premiums for the consultants. The insurer is going to do her a favor and start the premium increase this year. It could have demanded premiums for last year also, on the theory that it was exposed to claim costs last year.

  • Can occupiers survive without a song?

    My wife and I were watching the Country Music Awards last week when we realized that country music has gone the way of almost all other forms of music — single octave shouting, with the same words yelled over and over.
    We wondered what students do on bus trips these days. They can’t sing popular songs because there are few words and no melodies.
    Guess they just vegetate while listening to their smart phones play music.
    That led to a discussion of what all the kids, camped out in parks these days do for songs.
    We remember the 60s and all the great songs of that protest movement, recorded by top stars on top labels. It was easy to sing those.

  • Paying a political price

    From the campaign trails to state legislatures, wherever you cast your gaze in this benighted nation, you’ll likely find a bit of illegal-immigrant bashing at work.
    During their campaigns last year, two New Mexico politicos, each in her own way, played the undocumented-worker card so effectively as to help them become the highest ranking women holding public office in New Mexico today.
    Since then, the political payoffs Gov. Susana Martinez and Secretary of State Diana Duran sought from their tough-on-illegal-immigrants postures have proved modest at best.
    Twice in the past 10 months at two sessions of the legislature, Martinez failed in her efforts to repeal a law allowing illegals to apply for driver’s licenses.