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Today's Opinions

  • Questions about butterflies

    Stories about butterflies are legion. There are scientific stories like the phenomenal 2,500-mile migration of some Monarch butterflies. The butterfly is often seen as a symbol of the soul (and indeed the Greek word for butterfly is “psyche”).

  • The wages of offshore drilling

    That off-shore calamity that erupted in the Gulf of Mexico 50 miles south of Louisiana has demonstrated anew humankind’s capacity for self-deception.

    Start with all those expressions of shock and dismay emanating from off-shore drilling enthusiasts and their political agents that such a thing could come to pass. Who’d-a thought!?

    My guess is that even such erstwhile boosters as the now-chronically agitated Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal knew deep down all along that not only could such a catastrophe occur but that it inevitably would.  

  • Incomplete analyses create misleading perceptions

    On May 27 in the Monitor, a commentary by Jeffry Gardner referred to President Obama as traitorous due to rhetorical remarks the President made in a welcoming statement to Mexican President Calderón at the White House. The president said in remarks, “In the 21st century, we are not defined by our borders, but by our bonds.” The president was talking about the increasing interdependence of nations, not inviting Mexican nationals across the U.S. border. Mr.

  • Terrorists continue to target the U.S.

    The recent attempted car bombing in New York City by Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American citizen who was born and raised in Pakistan, reveals the susceptibility of this country to acts of terrorism.

    Although the explosive devices planted in New York City did not work, this event serves to point out that New York City continues to be a target for terrorism. Other cities could be potential targets for Taliban and al Qaida terrorists emanating from Middle East countries or by a minority of U.S. citizens with loyalties to these groups.

  • Your mother has a smooth forehead

    Back when I worked at Bell Labs, we brought in a candidate for an opening on our database team.  Upon reviewing his resume, I couldn’t understand why my interview team had selected him for an interview. The guy had no relevant experience and his degree was in chemistry, not computer science. Well, it turns out that he had put “Klingon” on his resume as a foreign language in which he was fluent.  (Klingons are a warrior race in the 24th century, kind of a cross between an iguana and Dick Cheney).  

  • Hey candidates, what about the $716 million?

    The immediate attention of the next governor and, therefore, the attention of the general election candidates, should focus on a number: $236 million. That’s the difference between forecast general fund revenue for the next budget year, fiscal 2012, and the amount needed to maintain current service levels. (The general fund is the principal source of money for state government.)

    The $236 million figure was unveiled May 20 by Tom Clifford, chief economist for the Legislative Finance Committee. Clifford spoke to a conference held by the New Mexico Tax Research Institute.

  • A threat to the world’s wheat

    If you like eating hotcakes or bread (or my own personal favorite, huckleberry muffins), you might want to pay attention to a problem that’s looming over wheat worldwide. It’s a new type of “stem rust” caused by a fungus that cripples wheat plants.

    Throughout history, stem rusts have created major famines. Even in the United States, wheat harvests in parts of the country were hit hard by stem rust in 1903, 1905 and 1950-1954. Localized outbreaks affected American wheat as recently as 1985-1986.  

  • Applied and political science hook up

    Environmental progress begins at the confluence of applied science and political science. The more we know about each one and the mixture the faster the progress.

         In what ways do applied science and politics differ? What happens when they come together?

         The two paths of endeavor diverge by as little as word meanings. The end results are amazingly far apart.