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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Elementary economics for Legislators

    We should have a mandatory economics class for legislators – not the inputs and outputs I slogged through at UNM but a nuts-and-bolts class on how local and state economies work.  

    This legislative session I tried to call attention to economic engines – golden geese – because when revenues drop and budget cutters look for targets, they can hinder economic recovery if they’re not careful or stoke those engines that create the jobs we need.

  • Tsunamis coming and the drinks are free

    SANTA FE — Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to experience an earthquake, a tornado and a hurricane. My mother always was embarrassed when I would mention it in polite company. My wife just ignores me. There are other things that bother her more.

  • A gem of a compliment

    A scientific friend I work with paid me a compliment last summer that still rings in my little head. She said the garnet earrings I had on that day looked good. It was true (I modestly admit), but that’s not what impressed me. She next asked if I had found the garnets myself.

    Now that’s the way to make geologists really appreciate you as a human being.  Give ’em credit for a good find!

  • Have a spot of tea

    Both the Democrats and Republicans would do well to listen to what the Tea Partiers are saying. They might seem like a group of angry people, but they have real issues. They are concerned about jobs, income, wars and sense that Washington doesn’t care about them.  They are also concerned about same sex marriage, abortion and that man in the White House.