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Columns

  • Freedom of stupidity

    Freedom of speech is “the right to communicate ideas and opinions without government intervention.” There are limits of course. You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded room just for fun.  Public obscenity can land you a hefty fine. And I wouldn’t suggest that you crack jokes about having a gun while in an airport.

  • Reasons behind slow start

    Our state capitol is moving at a snail’s pace so far this year. It took over a week for House standing committees to be named. Almost three months after her election, Gov. Susana Martinez has not filled her cabinet and some other top appointments.
    But not to worry. There are good reasons for both. After losing eight seats to Republicans, Democratic House Speaker Ben Lujan was faced with adjusting the make-up of every committee to reflect the nearly equal balance between the parties.

  • Evil goes way back

    Lunatics will always be with us. Lunatics with guns will always be with us. So will evil.
    My reaction to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (and 18 others) in Tucson Jan. 8 starts with lunatics.
    I’m leaving aside the claims that Sarah Palin had something to do with creating the environment for the shooting. That’s idiotic. Also idiotic is the notion that we’ve somehow left a “nice America” that existed somewhere in the past.

  • Address issues despite option

    The Los Alamos Chamber has been engaged on behalf of member and business interests throughout the most recent Trinity Drive study as well as through several prior related initiatives that have looked at the issues with this important route.  
    Most recently, we worked with the county to be sure there would be good opportunities for the alternatives to be explained and business community input to be gathered.  I participated in many of those sessions and I want to offer a summary of observations from those sessions.

  • Trinity Drive: A business perspective

    Not much has changed over the 23 years that we have been doing business on Trinity Drive. Year after year we see the same trends with our customers.  
    We serve about 400 customers a day and the vast majority of them arrive via automobile.
    At lunch, most don’t travel very far, probably half come from within a two block radius. We are within two blocks of thousands of square feet of office space on the north side of Trinity.  
    But most of our customers choose to drive that distance. Why?

  • Small business needs relief

    Before it vanishes into the vapor, mourned by almost no one, let me tell you about the Small Business Regulatory Relief Act.
    Promising title, wasn’t it?
    It could evaporate this year. It’s named in a long list of things to be repealed in HB 29, the 89-page bill that creates the proposed new Department of Commerce.
    The Small Business Regulatory Relief Act was enacted in 2005 (HB 869; you can read it on the New Mexico Legislature’s Web site).

  • There's no free lunch

    It is easy to get caught up in the minutiae when it comes to economic policy. With the state facing a $400 million deficit and budget cuts in the offing, every special interest is busy coming up with their own economic analyses explaining why subsidies or regulations that serve their own interest will really benefit the public at large.
    The fact is that more often than not, simple logic is more useful than complex economic studies that are ultimately designed to justify a predetermined policy.

  • Analyzing Mental Illness

     Parts of medical science are highly developed areas where doctors can precisely nail down specific diseases and even sometimes eradicate them.
    The more vexing – and perhaps more interesting – pieces of medical science are those in which we still struggle to diagnose, let alone fully treat, major maladies.

  • Political misfortune

    With the massacre in Tucson we’ve discovered that progressives have something akin to a pathological disorder when it comes to evaluating free speech. Particularly speech that doesn’t paint progressives in glowing terms, it appears.  
    Everyone from the Democratic Tucson sheriff to liberals Keith Olbermann, Paul Krugman and Katie Couric to the New York Times accused Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin of all but pulling the trigger. Basically.   

  • Compromise is progress

    In 2010, a year that was bottom-heavy with bad news, we saw major progress in the stormy world of water.
    Three landmark cases that defied resolution and guaranteed lawyers’ job security were settled, and our congressional delegation, led by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, managed to wring funding from Congress.
    We also marked progress on the Rio Grande and in Ruidoso.