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Today's Opinions

  • Seducing Independents

    Early this year Gallup pollsters released a survey showing fully 42 percent of American voters either “lean,” or are registered as Independents.
    Only 31 percent of those responding to the poll said they are registered Democrats. Even fewer, 25 percent, were registered Republicans.
    Much has been made of these numbers.
    Some political onlookers find it ironic that members of Congress from a political party with only a quarter of nation’s registered voters are consistently able to block key legislation to the point of nearly shutting down the government. Others wondered how, in congressional elections two years ago, a mere 25 percent of registered voters managed to get enough of their fellow Republicans elected so as to have an outright majority in the U.S. House capable of blocking such legislation — especially since analyses of 2012 election returns reveal that fully 1.1 million more voters nationally cast their ballots for Democratic congressional candidates than Republican candidates?
    Questions of that sort vex politicians and strategists in both parties and the answers vary. Some say Republicans are more apt to vote than Democrats, and that may be the case — especially in off-year elections.

  • Facts about water in Los Alamos

    Third of a series

  • Even better shopping through math

    John Dienes’ suggestions using the TSP (Traveling Salesman Problem) and the Held-Karp algorithm are interesting, but they are only unproven theories which ignore the fact that Smith’s Marketplace is operated by Master Marketers using us as experimental animals in a giant maze.
    They are using the 2(MM+ DC=GS) X CM with the proven polynomial factor showing that, with Master Marketing, the Distance Covered increases the number of products seen, thus producing Greater Sales, times the number of customers traveling the Maze, of course.
    You will notice that the partitions, shelves, interior wine store with its guardian knight, plus the fruit and deli delights are positioned at odd angles to increase the traveling time through the Maze. Eye candy, (look at the clothing and china displays), incites sales.
    The solution to the shopping problem is therefore 2(PMP+KB)= EE2 where PMP signifies Practice Makes Perfect plus Knowledge of Bargains equals double Enjoyment and Exercise! One must use repeat visits to learn the Maze locations, resist the eye candy, knowing we are being manipulated, but enjoying the bargains such as the 50 cent ice cream cone, (which is half the price of one at the Golden Arches), and the beautiful view as you eat it at an umbrella table on the canyon-side patio.

  • Right-To-Work laws

    Mixed in with Paul Gessing’s op-ed in Wednesday’s Los Alamos Monitor regarding whether it is good policy to offer $500 million to Tesla, a policy which people of all political persuasions may question, were statements about how “right-to-work” was not “anti-union” and that lowering “corporate taxes” to zero would be a great idea.
    Let’s be clear about right-to-work laws. They sound reasonable, but they are definitely “ANTI-union,” because as federal labor law currently reads, all employees at a business receive the same benefits obtained under a union contract, whether they belong to the union or not. The result is that under right-to-work laws some employees will receive the benefits of a union contract without joining the union or paying dues.
    With fewer workers in the union and fewer resources from dues, the union has less bargaining power, reducing the ability of the union to obtain the best contract, ultimately lowering employee wages and other benefits, and increasing the owners’ profits.

  • Carbon pollution limits can help save lives, improve health

    Few things are more frightening for a parent than racing to the hospital with a child who can’t breathe. Few things are more difficult for a physician than telling a family that a loved one will not recover from an asthma attack. We work with people who know those experiences far too well and — because of those experiences — support reducing carbon pollution.
    The American Lung Association and the American Thoracic Society members and volunteers understand the impact of polluted air. We know that, as a nation, we have to do more to protect the ability of people to breathe, and that requires us to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
    It isn’t enough for physicians to educate patients about the health risks of air pollution, and for parents to keep their children with asthma indoors on bad air days. We must reduce pollution before it takes a further toll on our children and families.
    As a nation, we have cut air pollution by more than 70 percent since 1970, but today more than 147 million Americans (nearly half of the U.S. population) still live where the air is unhealthy to breathe. Warmer temperatures from climate change will make it even harder to reduce air pollution in many places, and increase the likelihood of drought, wildfires and other threats to our health.

  • Water solutions at an affordable cost

    Second of a series
    One of the major issues in this town is water: do we have enough to keep this a green community, at an affordable cost?
    Contamination Threats and Mitigation
    Laboratory operations since the 1940s resulted in a wide array of chemical releases, often in effluent discharged from wastewater treatment facilities. Many millions of dollars have been spent to monitor and remediate the environmental contamination caused.
    Reactive contaminants, including plutonium and other radionuclides, tend to adhere to solid surfaces, so they usually have not moved very far in groundwater. In fact, wastewater effluent (now treated to strict standards to prevent further contamination) is used to irrigate vegetation holding soil in place to keep previously deposited surface contamination from spreading.
    Non-reactive contaminants, including hexavalent chromium, tritium, nitrate and explosives components perchlorate and RDX, have traveled farther in our groundwater, in some cases reaching portions of our aquifer. The presence of these contaminants above naturally occurring levels has not been detected in our water supply wells, but unless carefully monitored and properly remediated, they could threaten our water supply.

  • Protecting pets from predators

    As caring pet owners, we do everything possible to keep our pets out of harm’s way. However, with more wooded and natural areas being developed into neighborhoods and businesses, wild animals have fewer places to reside. Birds of prey, such as hawks and eagles, can pose a serious threat to cats and other small animals, and depending on where you live, coyotes and mountain lions may also be a danger. Since we share our habitat with wild animals, learning how to prevent an attack can make all the difference.
    Supervising your pets when they’re outside is an effective way to deter predators. “Even in local outlying neighborhoods, hawks, coyotes, and other predators can harm pets,” said Dr. Stacy Eckman, lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Stay away from nesting predators such as owls and hawks if you know where their nests are and keep your pet’s area clean and free of debris or plant material that predators can hide in.”

  • Water takes center stage

    First of a series