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Opinion

  •  The raw material from which able decisions are shaped is information. Ignoring the tradition is a recurring story. The trials and tribulations of data have endless forms, some as large as national politics and others as small as a dozen-person panel or a small-town issue.This column about a  panel in 1975 first appeared in the Monitor on April 2, 2000. In the last 35 years, I fear public forums large and small have lost too much of a  vital strength: a broad sense of data exchange.  

  • The May 2, 2010 editorial, “Ordinance threatens to hamstring future councils,” does not include important information about funding capital projects. Prior to the conversion of LANL to a privately operated laboratory, large capital projects were funded through elections in which citizens approved an increase in the property tax rate to fund the projects. Essentially citizens were voting for or against a project and voters approved the swimming pool, the library and the senior center.

  • Our beloved New Mexico has never fared well on those infernal lists used by publishers to grab readership. The best place to live, the worst place to get drunk, the city with the cleanest neighborhoods, the most likely place to get mugged on a Sunday afternoon at the park.

  • I recently read an article citing a study which claimed that obesity isn’t caused by food, but is in fact the result of endocrine disruptors run amok.  

    I never was very good at biology, but I do appreciate food science.  Manic metabolic endocrine disruptors lacing our bodies with layers of supersized love handles? I love it when medical experts give me an excuse to suck down another slice of cheesecake.

  • SANTA FE -" The Republican gubernatorial contest is getting really serious. It’s so serious, in fact, that the state GOP chairman has jumped into the fray.

    Chairman Harvey Yates of Artesia created a three person committee, including himself, to review the negative ads flying back and forth between frontrunners Allen Weh and Susana Martinez.

  • I rather enjoy making fun of so-called serious topics, recognizing the simple truth that most efforts in life are futile gestures and that we waste far too much time arguing the morality of dung beetles and the semantics of bingo games.  

    But as Memorial Day approaches, I take a more serious stance. I believe we need to take a hard look at what is really being commemorated on this holiday.  We need to remind ourselves what it means to “remember” the heroics of the faceless and nameless.

  • During a recent conversation about Arizona’s new law requiring proof of legal residency, I heard two statements which, I am sure, are being mindlessly echoed by too many Americans.

    “Ninety-five percent of crime in Arizona is committed by illegals.”

    Illegal immigrants are an estimated 7.9 percent of the population of Arizona. The assertion that they commit 95 percent of the crime in that state is a statistical improbability, if not impossibility.

    “Illegals smuggle drugs.”

  • There seems to be a growing move to name public facilities after deceased folks who have made some contribution to the facility or to the activity that has occurred in or at that facility. It is my opinion that honoring of the deceased is indeed appropriate when there is sufficient evidence that such an honor is deserved.

  • I found the display of servility by the U.S. Congress recently in front of the President of Mexico absolutely disgusting.

    Dave Carver

    Los Alamos

  • Mexico is a mess. More than a mess, really.  

    It’s a burning high rise of a nation.

    It’s on fire from top to bottom — from border to border. North to south.

    Mexico’s mix of corruption, crime, wealth, and poverty should make any thinking person north of the Rio Grande shudder about its future. And ours.

  • There ought to be a law, we sometimes say to ourselves when frustrated about something.

    Once in a while, we even pass a law. Maybe not quite the appropriate law, but hey.

  • In an earlier Monitor, Chick Keller lamented that an awesome pushback had been mounted against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) triggered by the revelation that extensively manipulated datasets had compromised fundamental temperature inputs to the climate modeling supporting the man-caused global warming argument.

  • By concentrating on the subject material, council once again chose to look at the proposal in a manner, which avoided directly dealing with the underlying issue. The subject matter of any ordinance initiative or referendum initiative is but the tip of the iceberg.  

  • SANTA FE — Are lieutenant governors really necessary? State Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, a Democratic candidate for the position, notes that the job description isn’t very interesting.

    Preside over the Senate, break tie votes and stand in when the governor is out of state, the senator said, adding that one should not dare do anything serious. Just stay ceremonial, he says.

  • In my household, we’ve faced the budget-busting, savings-emptying need to reroof. Twice. Each time there was a lot of Spanish spoken up on the roof and Mexican pop tunes wafting into the neighborhood.

    Did we inquire whether those workers were legal? Nope. Are you kidding? For American roofers, the costs would have been even higher. If you’ve stayed in a hotel, bought a house or eaten in a restaurant, you too have benefited from cheap ­— and probably illegal — labor.

  • The good news is that we have a budget to vote on. It was arrived at throughdiscussions that were a few  times at policy level and were more than a few times at very detailed levels. We looked at funds, departments and capital projects.

    Some of this detail is needed. However, I want to present a higher level perspective on the budget that will manifest some challenges and some questions, that both council and staff need to find answers for in the near future.

  • SANTA FE — And the race is on. As predicted here a few days ago, narrowing the Republican gubernatorial race to two candidates  has meant they’re pulling out all the stops.

    Both Allen Weh and Susana Martinez  surely had been doing internal polling to determine approximately how their campaigns were faring,

  • Tweeting Dum and Tweeting Dee agree to have a battle. For Tweeting Dum tweeted Tweeting Dee a tweet that twit his trattle.  

    I am typing on my computer. My dog just walked into the room. I am drinking a cup of green tea. A car beeped its horn outside. I’m typing some more.

  • WASHINGTON, DC — Alongside rivers and lakes, on ocean shores and tidal bays, nearly 63,000 metric tons of high-level radioactive waste — which remains dangerous for longer than recorded history — sits in “temporary” storage. In some cases, it’s been there for decades. And it’s almost certain to remain for decades longer, scattered around 33 states.

  • In this time of financial downturn, our educational system threatens to become stripped of anything but the very basics — reading, writing and arithmetic. The perception is that everything must be taught right at the desk.   But I’d like to challenge that idea.