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Today's Opinions

  • What gets measured

    By the sheerest coincidence, I have just read two books that turned out to share a theme: the power of statistics. “Moneyball,” by Michael Lewis, is about major league baseball.  

    “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” by Tracy Kidder, is about the physician Paul Farmer, who revolutionized medical care in rural parts of Haiti and other remote places.

    Both books describe revolutions in the practice of a discipline because of a revolution in what gets measured and somebody’s bull-headed insistence that it is critical to measure the right things.

  • Raising Fearizona

    Greek playwright Aeschylus is recognized as the father of tragedy.  He once noted: “He who learns must suffer.  And even in our sleep pain, which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”  

    Oh yeah, clearly this guy wasn’t big on comedy.  He did however recognize that true understanding is often super-glued to a swift kick in the head.  Who wants wisdom if you have to listen to that darn dripping noise of common reason all night long?

  • Government intrusion sprinkles into NM homes

    What do Scottsdale, Ariz., and Chapel Hill, N.C., have in common?

    If you said, “rich people,” you get partial credit.

    But the answer we’re looking for today is: Both require that homes in their communities be built with fire sprinklers in their ceilings.

    Fire sprinklers. Like the one’s Bruce Willis used to save the giant building in the first “Die Hard” movie.

    The do-dahs countless kids, one suspects, have tried to turn on with a lighter.  

    Or perhaps that’s an urban myth.

  • What’s up with Airport Basin Site name change?

    The County Council decided to change the name of the Airport Basin Site?

    Why?

    What was so bad about the name “Airport Basin Site” that it had to be changed?

    Who determined that it needed to be changed?

    Who approved the idea?

    If the name “Airport Basin Site” was so bad that it needed changing, why was it named that in the first place?

    How does the person that named the Airport Basin Site in the first place feel about being told the name wasn’t any good?

    How much is it going to cost to make the change?

  • Different funds for different folks

    When the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corp. formed in 2001, its founders envisioned the organization directly owning minority stakes in a large number of small New Mexico businesses that had received federal loans from the Small Business Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture. While this seemed like a good idea at the time, it was a challenge to implement.

  • Immigration ills

    When she was two years old, “Maria” crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico on her mother’s back. She grew up as an American, graduated from high school in New Mexico, married a Navajo man and started a family.

    She’s now alone in a rundown apartment in Juarez, one of the planet’s most violent cities, far from her husband and children. Part of the price of trying to obtain legal residency is to first leave the country and wait for the immigration bureaucracy to creak forward. She speaks poor Spanish; to her, Mexico is the foreign country.

  • NM fuel tax increase could ease fiscal pain

    For many years New Mexico citizens have seen gasoline prices bounce up or down by 5, 10 or more cents per gallon.  

    Sometimes there were several price changes each week.  

    Service station operators, fuel distributers and the general public easily handled the constant price changes.  

    Nor have we seen any major negative economic impact or complaints from the general public concerning these constant price bounces.

  • Cuts and consequences

    Those angry growls you hear are likely emanating from employees of state, local and county governments around these United States, and their fury is approaching the level a roar. Two years into the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression, there’s barely a state where declining tax revenues haven’t produced budget shortfalls the likes of which haven’t gripped state and local governments in decades.