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Opinion

  • Technology is defined as “the practical application of knowledge.” Well, that’s the definition anyway. Practical? Perhaps. Knowledge? It’s getting harder to tell. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Technology is practically ebbing into the crevasses of society and filling them with tar of obfuscation.

  • This morning, the wind blew a large plastic bag across the sidewalk. It fluttered like a butterfly in front of me and my dogs and then skittered away. Last summer I would have grabbed it, but 2010 has brought new insights.

  • This is in response to a Monitor story “Diamond Drive, Take Four,” on March 4.

  • The fundamental rule of the medical profession given to students early in their career is to “do no harm.”

    This general concept can be applied to different areas and different issues. Today we apply it to the perceived problem of Earth’s climate.

  • NAPILI BAY, MAUI — What’s happening in New Mexico? I leave it with one regular session of the Legislature expired but not finished. Two weeks later I hear you finished after a false start but didn’t get much of anything accomplished.

    You kicked the can down the road, as they say. You passed some minor cuts and some minor tax increases. But those cuts and tax increases may not be real. Gov. Bill Richardson may veto them or ignore them. So we don’t know if they’ve really happened yet.

  • With its Jan. 21, 2010, ruling on Citizens United vs. Federal Electronics Commission, the United States Supreme Court overturned a longstanding ban on the use of corporate profits to fund political advocacy – a ban spawned decades earlier by bald, wholesale corruption in politics in this country.

    The Court also unequivocally endorsed the value of transparency in elections as the first step to leveling the political playing field for individuals who want to counter corporate spending in elections.

  • Copyrights and trade secrets can protect two types of intangible assets that can be the basis of business success.

    Copyrights apply to original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. They can protect blueprints, computer software, jewelry, television ads and performances.

  • My subscription to the magazine Home Power has been feeding my dreams of an off-the-grid house that matches my sense of frugality, economy and efficiency. In the recent December/January 2010 issue was a striking article on energy efficiency, or lack thereof, of our national home. A. J. Simon wrote about the work he supports at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he and colleagues take a summary look at the energy flow of the nation from the point of generation to the point of consumption.

  • During his State of the Union address, the President assured us his fiscal policies would stimulate bank lending to help businesses expand and create jobs. Obviously, the right hand isn’t talking to the left hand, and if they are, they don’t speak the same language.

    Federal bank regulators, who failed to curb the excesses of the biggest banks, are now punishing the little guys. Your local community bank didn’t engage in the risky behavior that got us into this mess, but it’s now paying the price.

  • In the mid-1800s there was a smart geologist with a face as sharp as flint who worked in the American Midwest. In those days, the “Midwest” was quite close to the frontier of the country. It took some guts and imagination to live out there, and maybe Charles Whittlesey had both in abundance – for he clearly saw evidence of dramatic climate change in riverbanks and hillsides around him. For Whittlesey, the Ice Age was evident in almost every field and ridge.

  • SANTA FE — Some Democrats are destined for problems in the June primaries. There are certain taxes that Democrats just can’t touch. The first untouchable came along in 1935, during the Great Depression.

    Democrats had gained control of the statehouse by that time and devoted a major legislative session to fixing the state’s tax system. Many of our state’s tax laws date back, or refer back, to that 1935 session.

  • What the (expletive deleted) is wrong with a little (expletive deleted) swearing now and then? I mean, (expletive deleted) ... (expletive deleted) people can’t take a little (expletive deleted) joke? Who the (expletive deleted) cares about their (expletive deleted, reinserted, deleted again, rewritten back in French, translated to ancient Greek and then deleted again) opinion!!??

  • While the residents of the county have consistently shown support for environmental sustainability and conservation, the county council seems determined to ignore these opinions.

  • You may be wondering what happened to the ducks and geese at Ashley Pond.

  • SANTA FE -   Former Gov. Gary Johnson has been a busy guy. His website  “Johnson for America “ lists speeches and interviews for almost every day since the beginning of January. And the action will continue  —    for a number of reasons.

  • Few New Mexico lawmakers walked away from the Roundhouse enamored with the state budget they were leaving behind to Gov. Bill Richardson’s tender mercies after adjournment of last week’s special legislative session.

    It had been a textbook case of the state Legislature at work on a budget grievously out of balance: bickering and complaining while the difficult decisions were being made, followed by the obligatory post-session congratulatory platitudes when it was over.

  • I read through Chick Keller’s defense of climate research (“Climate Research Lament,” Feb. 2) in the Monitor, because I know him personally and respect his broad scientific background and commitment to science. We have both worked in the energy/climate field, and although his credentials in climate science are much broader than mine, I have some credibility as a scientist and data analyst as well. Like Keller, I attach a great deal of credibility to peer-reviewed papers, respected journals and reputable scientists’ work.

    He and I have been snookered.

  • Ever since Gary Paul Nabhan (“Coming Home to Eat”) and Barbara Kingsolver (“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”) urged their readers to help the planet by buying food grown within 250 miles of home, many of us have been trying to notice where our food is grown. Awhile ago, Wendell Berry proposed the idea that everyone should have a garden for food. But here on our high-desert mesa in Los Alamos, with little water and lousy soil, these ideas seem impossible.

  • NAPILI BAY, MAUI — Rep. Benjamin Rodefer, D-Albuquerque, wants to see a joint House-Senate caucus called to work out a budget for next year. The freshman representative says current discussions aren’t even close to representing the will or intent of either Democratic caucus.

    He’s right. A similar situation occurred back in the 1970s and 1980s when a liberal Democratic group called the Mama Lucys ran the House. One of its leaders was former Rep. David Salman, D-Mora, who recently passed away.

  • 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.