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Today's Opinions

  • January 2016: the U.S. becomes a global energy superpower

    Environmentalists like a good crisis. Spreading fear is a proven fundraising technique — with manmade climate change as the fear du jour. But, back in 2005, the “looming crisis,” according to the Kansas Sierra Club, was the end of cheap oil. The post concludes: “The end of cheap oil, followed by the end of cheap natural gas, threatens to cripple strong economies and devastate weak ones.” The author posits: “The world burns oil faster than new oil is discovered.”

    Today, slightly more than 10 years later, thanks to American ingenuity and initiative, the world is awash in oil and natural gas — with America being the world’s number one energy producer. As a result oil and natural gas are cheaper than anyone imagined just a few years ago when the price of gasoline, due to a “red-hot global economy and fears over dwindling supplies,” spiked to $4.11 a gallon in 2008. All time highest average gasoline prices of $3.60 in 2012 — during the last presidential election — gave credence to the “end of cheap oil” gloom-and-doom scenario. 

  • Big Brother vs. the Little Sisters

    The Obama administration’s lack of understanding of the spiritual depth and commitment of private religious charities is shocking. The callousness of the federal effort to compel a noble Catholic religious order — the Little Sisters of the Poor — to forsake its faith commitments shows the depth of the intolerance of the behemoth secular state under President Barack Obama.

    The story is one of courageousness on the part of the nuns of this religious order. Founded in France in 1839, the Little Sisters of the Poor has spread to many other countries, including the United States, with the charitable goal of giving aid and comfort to the poor. The sisters take the normal vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but also add hospitality, which they extend to some of the “least of those in our midst.”

    In March, the nuns will continue their long battle against the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its head, Sylvia Burwell, when the sisters and their lawyers come before the Supreme Court.

  • Letters to the Editor 1-15-16

    Thank you for
    continued support

    It is always a pleasure to return to Los Alamos and visit my folks because it is such a unique and generous community.  This year when I returned home for the holidays I performed a recital at Fuller Lodge on New Year’s Eve and was pleasantly surprised to have over 90 people come to the performance!
    I took up a free will offering for the Santa Fe Youth Symphony, one of the many ensembles in the area that was vital to my success as a professional musician, and I just sent them $250.
    For those of you who attended: thank you for your presence and generosity, and to the community of Los Alamos: thank you for your continuous support of the arts.
    Given the size of the community, the arts opportunities in Los Alamos are amazingly diverse which is completely driven by the people who participate and support the arts. Keep it up!
    Daniel Nebel
    USAF Band of the Golden West

    Musical supplies made possible by mill levy

  • Working sick is reality of new American economy

    In the back of the restaurant, out of sight of the patrons, an employee is trying to avoid sneezing on your dinner.
    He shouldn’t be there. He should be home in bed, but he can’t afford to stay home because his wages barely cover his expenses and his employer does not provide paid sick leave. Working sick is one reality of the new American economy.
    The movement to require employers to provide sick leave has not taken hold in New Mexico so far. Legislation on this issue is not expected in the upcoming 2016 session. What is expected is another attempt to pass right-to-work.
    Right-to-work is the principle that a worker employed in a unionized company or organization should not be required to join a union or pay union dues in order to keep his or her job. Supporters say the lack of right-to-work is holding New Mexico back because businesses won’t come to a non-right-to-work state. Opponents say that’s based on outdated information.
    There’s even a dispute about whether right-to-work is intended to damage or weaken unions. Right-to-work advocates say it isn’t. That’s nonsense. Intended or not, it will damage them.

  • The Romanian stonecutter: a refugee story

    BY DAN MCCARN
    Los Alamos

  • Letters to the Editor 1-13-16

    Thank you for the
    opportunity to serve
    as council chair

    I am writing this letter to say thank you to my fellow community members, and my fellow county councilors, for the opportunity to serve Los Alamos as the chair of the Los Alamos County Council for 2015.
    As most, but not all, of our community knows, Los Alamos is both a city and a county, effectively, under the New Mexico Constitution; the only such entity in the state. Accordingly, rather than have both a county commission and a city council for the same geography – and more importantly, the same citizens – our “forefathers” in the 1960s opted for one elected body, in the form of the hybrid county council. Each January, the council selects a chair.
    Many of the responsibilities of the chair are obvious – chairing the council meetings, officiating at certain community events – and some less obvious, such as setting the Agenda for the council meetings (with a rotating subset of councilors and senior county staff), and representing the community in the region and in D.C.

  • Millennial creatives fill ‘New Mexico Magazine’

    From its conceptual box of chile, art and opera for the January issue, New Mexico Magazine stepped to the millennial bright lights of arts and technology entrepreneurship.
    The issue, the magazine says, features “some of the creatives who are shaping 21st-century New Mexico culture (and the business incubators that love them)… Neo Santa Fe: America’s oldest capital city has an exciting new vibe (and) ABQ Awakening: New Mexico’s urban core is being reinvented as a hub of creativity and commerce.”
    New Mexico Magazine is the state-owned tourism and lifestyle promotion publication. The nmmagazine.com description is, “Functioning as an enterprise fund in state government, the magazine is self-sufficient with virtually no funding from the taxpayer other than office space.”
    The description sounds about right, based on my brief stint long ago as the magazine’s business manager. I also scored a cover story about the border, which was highly instructive to me. The other side of state ownership is jumping through incredible bureaucratic hoops to get anything done. My boss, publisher Bob Davis, had some inventive techniques for subterfuge.

  • Letter to the Editor 1-10-16

    Do right thing with incorrectly delivered mail

    To all postal patrons in Los Alamos (especially Western Area). As we all know mail delivery in Los Alamos is less than satisfactory and frequently we get mail that belongs to someone else. It mostly happens when our regular carriers have the day off, or is on vacation, that they assign routes to substitutes who are usually unfamiliar with the route or the “sorter” is not paying close enough attention to their job and puts mail on the wrong carriers route.
    If you are one who receives mail addressed to someone else do the right thing and either take it to the correct recipient, who is usually your neighbor, or put it back out on your mail box so the post office can deliver it to the correct person(s). Don’t just throw it away! These miss delivered items could be checks, bills, or other important items that are important for the intended addressee to receive.
    Need I also remind you that it is a federal offense to hamper the delivery of mail to its intended destination? So please do the right thing and make an extra effort to get the mail that isn’t yours to the correct destination. I know that I do.
    Robert Visel
    Los Alamos