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Today's Opinions

  • Of gasoline and golf balls

    At the gas station, the customer tried to squeeze a few more drops into his tank and in doing so, some gas spurted out onto the pavement. And a little onto his pants.
    He screwed the gas cap back on, patted down his pants, and then demonstrated why there should be a test given to people before letting them vote.  He lit up a cigarette.
    I readied my cell phone for video mode. You know, just in case the police asked about the ball of fire running down the road. Either that, or to make a few bucks by selling the video to CNN.
    Yeah, you guessed it. I’m talking once more about the epidemic of stupid in this country.

  • Martinez testing her powers

    Perhaps it is inexperience. Or perhaps she’s simply insensitive to the give and take required in a system of state government where the authority to govern is apportioned between three separate branches of government, legislative, executive and judicial.
    Whatever it is, New Mexico’s neophyte Gov. Susana Martinez’s use of the line-item veto to accomplish legislative ends she sought but failed to achieve at the 2011 legislature has key state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle talking about hauling her into court for exceeding her authority under the state Constitution.
    There have been a number of instances where her veto practices have struck seasoned observers as constitutionally dubious.

  • GOP leaders holding federal budget hostage

    May 12, on the PBS News Hour, Sen. Mitch McConnell was being interviewed by Jim Lehrer on the upcoming debt limit vote coming up before congress. McConnell was stating that the Republicans would not agree to raise the debt limit unless at least $4 trillion in spending cuts were agreed to and that they would definitely not agree to any tax increases or lesser cuts as a compromise as has been done in the past.  
    He implied that without these cuts the U.S. government would have to default on its obligations.

  • Roundabouts work well on busy roads

    On Tuesday, the Los Alamos County Council will discuss Trinity Drive/N.M.502 Improvements.
    The public will have an opportunity to voice their opinions. Do citizens wish to make Trinity safer and more livable for everyone, including those who live off Trinity, or do we want to keep Trinity the way it is now, a four lane highway that bisects Los Alamos Mesa? I personally want improvements.
    Three evenings ago, I came extremely close to being T-boned by a blatant red light runner who was rushing somewhere. After I began my left turn on to Oppenheimer, I quickly stopped in the middle of the intersection when I saw the rapidly accelerating red Chevy truck barreling toward me. The truck barely had room to clear my car.

  • NM eases through financial crisis

    State government has gotten through its financial crisis reasonably intact. Revenue is showing some growth. There may be a little money left after the 2013 session of the Legislature. Huge challenges loom.
    This was the overall message from David Abbey, director of the Legislative Finance Committee, to the conference of the New Mexico Tax Research Institute. Abbey spoke in Santa Fe May 12 to about 75 of the state’s tax and policy professionals

  • Be prepared if 'The Big One' hits

    As events in Japan this past March showed us, Big Ones really do happen. Richter 9 is about as large as they come, an event so enormous it takes away the breath of even a geologist like myself.
    It’s no comfort to think that quakes of that same general size are likely along the western boundaries of the Lower 48 and also in the region where Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee come together. In short, major quakes here in the U.S. simply must be expected.  
    And there are other “big ones,” too. As we’ve seen this spring, tornadoes and flooding are most unfortunately a natural part of our world. And electrical outages sometimes shape the man-made landscape in which we live.

  • Insurance that doesn't insure

    We New Mexicans dearly love to take advantage of one another’s ignorance. It’s how many of us make a living.
    Title insurance, for example.  You are required to purchase title insurance when you buy a house. Since you probably buy a house once or twice in your lifetime, it’s understandable that you are not an expert on the legalities.
    You’re probably relying on your real estate agent and the other professionals who are supposed to be acting in your interest.  
    You may have thought that you were buying an insurance policy that would, well, insure you.

  • Don't let wild cats get comfy

    A decade or so ago, when my children were toddlers, a neighbor asked me why I let  my children play in our backyard on Walnut Canyon.
    She felt they were in grave danger of being attacked by mountain lions.
    I had already lived and hiked in Los Alamos for a long time by then so I told her that i believed the benefits of outdoor play were greater than the risk.
    A year or two later, there was a story in the news about a jogger in California who was mauled by a mountain lion.