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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Organization founded for those displaced by statewide wildfires

    Déjà vu has never held a negative connotation to me, until June 26th, 2011, the first day of the Las Conchas fire.  
    Once again, I was at a distance while my friends and family wondered if their homes would be threatened by the flames.  Thankfully, this outcome was much different than that of the Cerro Grande fire, when my family and many friends did lose their homes.  

  • There's a big message in leisure pool defeat

    The resounding defeat of the leisure pool has correctly been noted in recent letters here as a disconnect between county officialdom and its citizenry.
    It’s a problem that, unless addressed, will continue I fear.
    We know the county is “awash” in (GRT) money.
    We know the county has many fine people working for it.
    We know on the other hand that this is a highly educated community and that it seems clear many feel their voice is not being heard (despite meetings held by various staff members.)

  • Council's disconnect goes beyond pool

    Dr. Kovalenko’s letter “Discovering the county council’s disconnect” in the Nov. 16 edition of the Los Alamos  Monitor provided an interesting perspective on local politics.
    However one felt and voted on the leisure pool project, the gross misreading of public sentiment by the Los Alamos County Council was remarkable.
    The fallacy is to believe that 50-70 ardent people showing up for a cause represents the public at large. I offer another example: the endless push for roundabouts on Trinity. Red flags galore have been raised about the entire idea.

  • 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.

  • We don’t want them to cry

    Recently I asked why my son wasn’t allowed to bring his Pokemon cards to school.
    Well, he is allowed to bring them for sharing, but not for recess or trading. This all goes along with some rule about not bringing toys outside for recess.
    I kind of understand the whole toys at recess, but I am really struggling with trading cards. In my mind I am picturing little boys huddled together in some corner of the playground in intense conversation, practicing hard-core negotiating skills.
    In picturing this scenario, the boys in question are wearing black shoes and little caps and shirts with buttons. It’s so Norman Rockwell.