Carols necessary Christmas sound

Recently I read a brief bit of information that explained how Christmas carols were invented to tell the story of the Nativity to people who couldn’t read. I had never heard it described quite that way before, but it struck me as very plausible. While I have always enjoyed Christmas songs, I’m talking here about […]

McManigal: Slavery can be red tape or chains

Most people think of slavery as an evil from the past, at least in America and other “first world” places. Yet it’s still all around us, only in slightly modified form. Libertarians are the modern-day abolitionists seeking to change this. Is slavery OK if you believe the slave would die without being owned and controlled? […]

Collaboration crucial for competent rural health care

Getting health care access to rural/low-income New Mexico requires creative collaboration. It happened when psychologists were given prescribing privileges like their M.D. psychiatrist colleagues. And when Gov. Susana Martinez put together incentives to attract more nurse practitioners. And when various provider groups embraced telemedicine. Because expecting throngs of doctors and dentists, specialists and oral surgeons […]

Yes, Virginia, Santa remains alive and well

The New York Sun in 1897 published its most famous editorial in response to a question from a reader. Dear Editor— I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there […]

Christmas is about the experiences

By Tom McDonald State columnist In terms of pure economics, our biggest national holiday is, of course, Christmas. I read somewhere that Halloween comes in as a strong second, but I’d be surprised if it’s anywhere close to the money we Americans spend for the yuletide. Perhaps that makes me a little off the mark, […]

Greetings: Wendel’s Christmas newsletter

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist Apparently, Christmas newsletters are for bragging. Since my accomplishments have been negligible, mine may not qualify. In January, my great-nephew whipped me in basketball. It was inevitable, but I didn’t expect it to be on a three-foot foam goal after he’d just turned 18 (months). In my defense, he was […]

Wishing all a safe, Merry Christmas

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher When Sony Pictures announced it was canceling the movie “The Interview,” a whole new form of terror and blackmail opened up. In my personal opinion, the premise for the movie looked stupid, and was not a movie I was going to, but that is not the point. What happened represented the […]

New Mexicans win with Valles Caldera transfer

One of New Mexico’s magnificent pieces of public real estate is a winner in legislation President Obama is expected to sign. By extension, New Mexicans are winners, too, gaining more access to the breathtaking Valles Caldera for recreation and economic benefits from increased tourism. Since 2002, the 89,000-acre preserve located inside a volcanic caldera in […]

Caution against techno-thieves bears repeating

’Tis the season to be cautious. We have recently learned about scams designed to extort their victims, thinking they’re securing a vital service, into paying the wrong people. In it, the fraudulent callers tell intended victims their power bill is overdue. Then they threaten to turn off the power if the targeted victims don’t fork […]

Enjoy celebrating your own way

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Maybe I’m sappy, but I love Christmas and the festive atmosphere surrounding it. If you do too, and like for things to come together the way you hope they will, be grateful for voluntary individual actions. Part of the magic of Christmas is its voluntary nature and its decentralization. The […]

Military will use what gets results

By Rube Render Local columnist If you Google Senate Intelligence Committee, you get the following hits: “Senate Committee’s Report on the C.I.A.’s Use of Torture,” “Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture,” and “Here is the CIA Torture Report.” The actual title of the report is “Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the […]

Important WIPP stay closed until good plan made

The New Mexico Environment Department got tough with the feds to the tune of $54 million in civil penalties. And for good reason: a leaky drum of nuclear waste packed for shipment at Los Alamos National Laboratory that contaminated nearly two dozen workers at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad and resulted in closure […]

Depence on fickle oil, gas no fun

By Tom McDonald State columnist It’s almost laughable the way Americans just can’t win with gasoline prices. If they go up, it’s money out of our pockets, and if they go down, it’s money out of our investments. Poor folks couldn’t care less about how it affects the financial markets; they’re all for the cheaper […]

Public education improvement focus appropriate

Report cards for teacher colleges? You bet. “Nothing in school matters as much as the quality of teaching our students receive,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said recently. With that in mind, the Obama administration is pushing forward with regulations to require states to issue report cards for their teacher training programs. Under the plan, programs […]

Humor makes point easier to take

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My December book-of-the-month summary is “The Comedy Thesaurus” by Judy Brown, purchased for a quarter at this year’s Portales Public Library sale. The 480-page book’s 3,241 quips and quotations illustrate how humor makes subversive points more palatable. Here is a sampling: • “The KKK adopted a highway. The joke is […]

Tourism generated by advertising

By Tom McDonald State columnist Since moving to New Mexico a decade ago, I’ve had a lot of family and friends come out for a visit, and they’re often quite curious about this land and its people. On such occasions, I like to play tour guide, taking my visitors around to see various historic and […]

If at first you don’t succeed, recount

By Rube Render Local columnist New Mexico has a colorful history of recounting ballots, to say the very least. Stories are told of finding a ballot box in Dona Ana County that caused George Bush to move from leading in the vote count after the polls closed on Election Day to losing the election after […]

Protecting from mistakes misguided

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Human beings will always make mistakes. It would be nice to protect people from mistakes, but that desire is often misguided. You can warn people; some might even listen. Some won’t and you’ll watch as they suffer consequences. Some mistakes will be fatal. That’s reality, and there’s no way you […]

Congress must do all possible to help veterans

When some veterans come home from the war zones, the war often comes back with them. Too often, the war that lingers makes them one more casualty. The suicide rate among veterans is about triple the average rate for the general population, and 22 of our veterans commit suicide every day. Government may not be […]

There’s been enough bashing of Brumfield

And so it continues. Former Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield is taking another public, proverbial bashing from her loud-and-proud political opponents. Once again, City Commissioner Randy Crowder wonders if maybe she should not sit on the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority because she was not elected and she does not work for the city. Crowder […]