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Today's Opinions

  • Budgets share the same pain

    Few New Mexico lawmakers walked away from the Roundhouse enamored with the state budget they were leaving behind to Gov. Bill Richardson’s tender mercies after adjournment of last week’s special legislative session.

    It had been a textbook case of the state Legislature at work on a budget grievously out of balance: bickering and complaining while the difficult decisions were being made, followed by the obligatory post-session congratulatory platitudes when it was over.

  • We’ve been fooled on climate research

    I read through Chick Keller’s defense of climate research (“Climate Research Lament,” Feb. 2) in the Monitor, because I know him personally and respect his broad scientific background and commitment to science. We have both worked in the energy/climate field, and although his credentials in climate science are much broader than mine, I have some credibility as a scientist and data analyst as well. Like Keller, I attach a great deal of credibility to peer-reviewed papers, respected journals and reputable scientists’ work.

    He and I have been snookered.

  • L.A. can grow food year ‘round

    Ever since Gary Paul Nabhan (“Coming Home to Eat”) and Barbara Kingsolver (“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”) urged their readers to help the planet by buying food grown within 250 miles of home, many of us have been trying to notice where our food is grown. Awhile ago, Wendell Berry proposed the idea that everyone should have a garden for food. But here on our high-desert mesa in Los Alamos, with little water and lousy soil, these ideas seem impossible.

  • In politics, always check your change

    NAPILI BAY, MAUI — Rep. Benjamin Rodefer, D-Albuquerque, wants to see a joint House-Senate caucus called to work out a budget for next year. The freshman representative says current discussions aren’t even close to representing the will or intent of either Democratic caucus.

    He’s right. A similar situation occurred back in the 1970s and 1980s when a liberal Democratic group called the Mama Lucys ran the House. One of its leaders was former Rep. David Salman, D-Mora, who recently passed away.

  • Ethics bills reveal paranoia

    We made progress on ethics reform this year, in a roundabout way.

    An ethics commission is probably the single most important step. After years of weak excuses by legislative leadership of both parties, of ethics bills bottled up in committee, we finally got to the root of their reluctance: They feel a big target painted on their backs and the higher they are in the pecking order, the bigger the target.

  • We need more revolutionaries like Gates

    When George W. Bush replaced Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense with Robert Gates in 2006, I was just glad that the man who didn’t fire anybody after the Abu Ghraib and Blackwater scandals was gone.

    But after three years of watching Gates operate in the bizarre world of the military-industrial complex, he’s become my latest government hero. We need more radicals like him.

    Gates has put armor on the vehicles our men and women are driving around Iraq and Afghanistan now, instead of on weapons systems for future wars that may or may not happen. 

  • Virtual worlds can be a problem

    Back in college, one of my classmates (let’s call him Brian) was an addict. He was hopelessly and totally addicted and there was little his parents or the doctors could do to help him. Brian couldn’t function without his daily fix and before long he was spending the majority of his day searching for others similarly addicted. Each day, Brian’s addiction got worse and eventually he stopped going to classes. His addiction ruled his life.

  • Make road through White Rock short

    I don’t live in White Rock, but like others I pay state taxes and am, thus, a shareholder in N.M. 4.

    White Rock residents can do as they please off road, but not with the road and its right of ways. There are lots of non-White Rock residents that have a voice in this matter.

    For laboratory employees who live off the hill, White Rock is a place in the road where they can get gas and a refreshment on the way home. Having to go around in circles to do so is not what they expect nor for why they pay taxes.