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Columns

  • The finger of blame points at We the People

    Since Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives a year ago come January, the American people have endured an unrelenting orgy of finger pointing.
    Divided government fosters that sort of thing. When one party controls the White House and the other party controls Congress, or a part thereof, deadlock is rarely far behind. And since no one wants to take responsibility for grinding the affairs of state to a halt, everyone starts pointing fingers of blame at everyone else.
    Witness last week when that so-called congressional “Super Committee” confirmed that the six Republicans and six Democrats on that panel had failed to find a way to reconcile their differences over how to reduce our horrendous national debt.

  • Give Congress a timeout

    Maybe you weren’t amused by all the snarky comments about candidate Rick Perry’s memory lapse.
    Anybody over a certain age has experienced those mental misfires.
    We can usually laugh them off unless we happen to be on national television as a candidate for president.
    Focus instead on what the man intended to say.
    To cut the deficit, Perry would eliminate the Education Department, the Commerce Department, and the Energy Department.
    The Energy Department? Ack!
    The DOE may not be a model of bureaucratic efficiency, but in fiscal 2010, the department spent $4.1 billion in New Mexico, more than it spent in any other state.
    Perry might as well have said, No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

  • Community newspapers find meaning, make money

    Professionally I grew up with newspapers, though not the dominant daily in the large market. (“Large” markets for me mean Oklahoma City and Albuquerque.)
    I only worked for the big guy once, a brief stint with the Daily Oklahoman. My experience started with the old Albuquerque News, a weekly shopper with real editorial content. For the publishing company I started as janitor and served in production, sales and administration.
    My affection goes to community newspapers, which is fortunate since community newspapers print this column. Fellow columnist Sherry Robinson and I believe that community papers have a valuable role doing things too small scale to interest the big papers.

  • 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.