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Opinion

  • I did well in school until the year my dad’s transfer moved us from southern California to Las Vegas, Nev. It was in the 1960s, with over-crowded schools, busing issues and the Viet Nam war on the nightly news.  

  • SANTA FE — What sort of governor should New Mexicans try next? If you are a Republican, you have a very wide range of choices available on your June ballot.

    When it comes to how each of the five GOP candidates would run state government, the differences couldn’t be more extreme.

    Former GOP state chairman Allen Weh seems to be the front-runner. He has now sunk $1 million of his own money into the campaign; most of it for a very large TV buy.

  • While it appears to be popular in this political season to take pot shots at the Rail Runner, Mark Mathis in his recent op-ed missed the boat. Mathis claims that the original cost for the Rail Runner project was $122 million with the final cost at “nearly four times this amount.”

  • SANTA FE — Former Gov. Gary Johnson is confounding national political leaders and pundits just as he did in New Mexico for a decade.

    Since leaving office in 2002, Johnson evidently has had enough adventures climbing mountains, skiing and hang gliding to want to try another political adventure. This time, he’s behaving very much like a presidential candidate.

  • It’s a rather hideous phrase — The Final Solution.

    It triggers memories — though fading — of Adolf Hitler’s evil plan to eradicate not only Jews from his Reich, but others he deemed less than worthy to live. Gypsies, certain Slavs. Others.

    But more than anything else, the Final Solution tends to stir thoughts of death. And not just death, but premeditated, vile death.   

  • Fools rush in where angels fear to tread and the inhospitable climate of Antarctica would dissuade even the most foolish among us. With temperatures dipping to 50 degrees below zero and frigid winds chewing the landscape, the only sign of life you might expect is that of a colony of penguins.

    Well, that and perhaps a German fluid dynamics research team studying the “rectal pressures necessary for penguins to project their poo over a distance of 40-52 cm.”

  • Have you ever thought about where you would like to have your cancer? No! I don’t mean which part of the body (I think we’d all choose one that was easily diagnosed and treatable, right?) I mean, where you would like to be living at the time.

  • Kudos to Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) who has put his intellect and energy behind the push to reform, at long last, the archaic rules of the United States Senate.

    As matters stand, a minority of U.S. senators (41 to be exact) has the ability to block a majority of their colleagues (59) from so much as debating a legislative proposal. We’re not talking here about enacting legislation. We’re talking about debating a measure — weighing the pros and cons ­— before a bill even goes to the Senate floor for a vote.

  • I thought that things would change under an Obama presidency, but the war continues in Iraq, we ramp up the war in Afghanistan, hand billions to Wall Street, health care reform is marginal, Guantanamo is running as usual, Colombia is practically a US bastion with seven of our new military bases and the Obama administration was instrumental in preventing a real climate change treaty in Copenhagen.

  • Several of the candidates at the council Q&A session talked about the need for affordable housing in Los Alamos, evincing what to me is a basic ignorance of economics.

    The cost of housing is based on the cost of its economic inputs; that is, land, labor, materials and capital. The price of housing is established in an auction market between a willing buyer and a willing seller.

    As the run-up and collapse of the recent housing bubble illustrate, the two are only loosely linked.

  • In the last month, we have seen dramatic steps toward the emergence of a national consensus on our nation’s nuclear security strategy and the investments needed to support it. That is good for our nation and for New Mexico.

    In April, the Obama Administration released its Nuclear Posture Review. In addition to outlining the investments required to maintain the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear weapons stockpile without testing, it elevates efforts to combat nuclear terrorism and prevent proliferation to the top of our security agenda.  

  • If you live in the mountains or a river valley, you’re probably a scenery snob. Admit it. You speed across the High Plains until you reach a place with more varied topography.

    Next time, slow down and take a better look. Once you marvel at the vast, level distances, you’re inclined to look up, and the great bowl of sky out here never disappoints, with its cloudscapes and palette of pastels. Ranchers here say they like to see the weather coming.

  • Normal people do not run for high political offices such as governor, senator and member of congress.

    Think of it. These candidates are expected to know everything. An ability to interact with others is essential. Candidacy is more than a full time job. A day off? Get real. New Mexico’s size brings yet another challenge — Alamogordo one day, Roy the next.

    A candidate is a product. A candidate also is stuck with being a person. Some candidates can’t function in both worlds.

  • SANTA FE ­— Arizona’s immigration law will likely have much the same effect on Major League Baseball as its rejection of Martin Luther King Day had on pro football.

    Here’s the history. When the St. Louis Cardinals relocated to Arizona, in 1988, the National Football League wanted to hold a Super Bowl in Phoenix as soon as possible.

    In 1989, the Arizona Legislature approved the state’s participation in the Martin Luther King federal holiday. But opponents of the holiday collected signatures to put the matter on the 1990 Arizona ballot.

  • On Tuesday, County Council will conduct a hearing on proposed Ordinance 555.  

    This Ordinance would require a vote on an addition to the County Charter in a special election to take place in September.  

    That, in addition to the Charter, Section 705, would require that any Capital Improvement Project (CIP) costing $1million or more would  be put to the voters in an annual election at a set time each year.  

  • SANTA FE — The New Mexico State University and University of New Mexico men’s basketball teams made New Mexicans proud this past weekend playing in the NCAA tournament.

    Both were out of the tourney by the time the weekend was over, but they fought hard and received favorable recognition for their efforts and fan support.

  • Many New Mexicans are asking whether Governor Bill Richardson will line-item veto the reimposition of the local portion of the food tax that was passed during the recent Special Session.  

    However, once they learn the story behind the food tax’s passage, New Mexicans are more likely to ask instead: “Why wouldn’t Richardson veto the food tax?”  

  • Must be a lot of sore backs out there, what with the Legislature balancing the budget on the backs of working people, or on the backs of poor people or on the backs of people who eat tortillas.

    The Left and the Right both found much to dislike in the compromise, so maybe it’s not too bad, after all. Let’s take a look in the glass half full.

  • When a film crew visits Los Alamos, we can’t help but notice. The trucks and trailers park along our streets and in our parking lots. Sometimes they reroute traffic or take over a store or building. In a few cases, they even set up right outside your front door. That was the case last week, when the movie “Knockout,” brought trucks, trailers, cameras and crews to the end of Los Pueblos Road and our neighborhood. Overnight, we inherited new neighbors with a fascinating business. Councilor Wheeler had a front row seat.

  • If you are ever cut off from supermarkets and electricity due to a natural disaster (or because like some of us idiots you choose to go camping), you will be especially interested in this news. And even if your only interest in daily life is eating well, read on for the glad tidings that’s coming about how we will soon better process and store food in this country.

    For about 200 years we’ve canned food in much the same way, putting it in cans (hence the name) and heating it under pressure for long periods.