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Today's Opinions

  • New Mexico begins process of debating open primary law

    Last week, two Democratic members of the state House, Reps. Antonio “Moe” Maestas of Albuquerque and Stephanie Garcia Richard of Los Alamos, introduced a proposed amendment to the state Constitution making it possible for voters registered as independent to cast their ballots in state primary elections.
    Also last week Donald Trump, the bloviated New York billionaire and self-advertised “frontrunner” for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, pulled out of a Fox Cable TV “debate” with the other contenders in that race.
    Seems Trump declined to submit to questions posed of him by the moderator of that debate, Megyn Kelly, because he feels she doesn’t “respect” him. Fox News and Ms. Kelly, on the other hand, dismissed Trump’s tantrum with the suggestion that he doesn’t like difficult questions when he’s in the spotlight performing.
    You pick. My guess is both camps are probably correct.
    But Mr. Trump’s latest campaign stunt was at least a novel way to put on a show without the bother of putting on a show. It also underscores one of the chronic challenges associated with popular self-government.

  • Workshops help creatives learn business basics

    BY APRIL M. BROWN
    Marketing Director and Managing Director, WESST Enterprise Center

  • Donald Trump, National Review and the battle for the conservative mind

    The editors and writers of National Review recently did something extraordinary. They came out en masse against a Republican candidate during the primary. Their “Against Trump” symposium and accompanying “Editors introduction” offer up a barrage of attacks on Donald Trump’s surprising presidential candidacy.
    For the symposium, National Review assembled an enormously diverse group of conservative thinkers, from “movement conservatives” to more “establishment” types, to “conservatarians.” Clearly, this is no monolithic bloc. Yet there they are – an eclectic bunch of odd bedfellows making the same core argument: Donald Trump is not a conservative based on any meaningful definition of the term.

  • Finally, a new workers’ comp drug and alcohol law

    Warning to everybody who goes to work: New Mexico finally has a workers’ compensation drug and alcohol law that almost makes sense. If you are irresponsible enough to drink or use drugs at work, or before work, or you are an employer who allows that sort of behavior, it’s time to shape up.
    WORKERS: If you get injured at work, do not refuse to take a drug test. If the test shows you were drunk or stoned, your workers’ compensation cash benefits will be reduced. If you refuse to take the test, you’ll get no money.
    EMPLOYERS:  If you do not have a drug-and-alcohol-free workplace policy, you need one. The law takes effect July 1, but don’t wait to do this. Model policies are available online, or contact your insurance carrier (contact information should be in a poster on your wall that you should have put there). You can also check with the New Mexico DWI Resource Center (dwiresourcecenter.org).

  • Letters to the Editor 4-27-16

    Dannemann’s cost
    estimates not on track

    While as usual, Merilee Dannemann’s column shed useful light on the issue of having two engineers instead of one operating a train, she seems to have missed one concern and presented what appears to
    be a flawed calculation regarding cost.
    She states, “The cost of one more crewmember is trivial compared to the human and financial cost of
    a rail disaster.” While that is correct for one additional crewmember on one train, unfortunately, it is not the
    correct evaluation of the total cost of avoiding the single disaster. The full cost includes that of doubling the crew cost on all of the train operations that do not produce a
    disaster. The moral question is not calculable, of course, but the economic cost and value depends on the ratio
    of train operations that end disastrously to those that do not. Actual accident statistics are required to determine whether the cost of crew doubling is reasonable or
    excessive.

  • Letters to the Editor 4-17-16

    Democratic Party
    machine trying to
    pre-select president

    The term “Political Machine” evolved largely to describe iron-fisted control of the Democratic Party in New York City and Chicago in previous centuries. Now, a new Democratic Political Machine has appeared, and it encompasses the entire United States.
    Led by Party Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, the Machine is doing everything it can to pre-select the Democratic nominee for president.  Its bias toward Hillary Clinton is blatant. Representative Shultz has even introduced a bill that would seriously hamper Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Senator Warren is an outspoken supporter of much of Bernie Sanders’ platform.
    While seeming to champion the interests of individuals, the party’s acceptance of corporate money through Super-Pacs has made it cautious when venturing into areas where new laws and regulations may be imposed on those very donors.

  • Letter to the Editor 4-13-16

    Explosive ideas for Roundabout art

    First, dear county councilors, thank you for standing your ground on the new roundabout at Central and Trinity. It showed loyalty to our commuters.  It was the right and thoughtful thing to do.
    Second, this is about a plea – a recommendation – for utilizing the space in the center of the new roundabout.
    The question to be asked is, what do we want people to know about Los Alamos as they enter (or leave) the town?
    The recommendation is this: we want them to know that this town was central to building the weapon which ended WWII and put up the nuclear umbrella which has preserved world peace from then until now.
    And how? By placing in the center of that roundabout some artifact central to the mission of our town. Something(s) which unmistakably points to the great things which have happened here, and which are still happening here, and how important they are to the nation and to the world. It should be big, and inspire the imagination of all who enter this town concerning the greatness of our past and of our future.  Several Cruise missiles would be good! Or a missile launching pad with missiles, etc.

  • Letters to the Editor 4-1-16

    We all need to talk about nuclear weapons

    The current presidential race is chaotic, and the public doesn’t realize how close nine different world leaders are to their nuclear launch triggers.
    We all worry about Kim Jong Un’s plans, but we are not aware of what U.S. presidential candidates, if elected, could do with our nuclear arsenal.
    We, the people, have an opportunity to make our voices heard if we speak up.
    We can’t remain quiet in this volatile world. Why spend $1 trillion, as Obama has suggested, to modernize our nuclear arsenal, when that money could be used for education, renewable energy development, or diplomatic aid to other countries.
    We should push all political candidates to take a stand in favor of the elimination of all nuclear weapons. The thought that 15,000 massively destructive weapons can whisk around the world in minutes is much more terrifying than any candidate’s antics.
    Every American president going back several decades has tried to reduce our arsenal, and substantial progress has been made.
    But what worries me is that one doesn’t hear much from the current Republican and Democratic candidates.
    Make yourself heard around the world, and pressure the candidates to address the elimination of nuclear weapons.
    Chris Warren