McManigal: Theft by any other name still theft

What do you call the act of taking property under threat of doing something unpleasant to any victim who refuses to comply? Obviously it is theft. What do most people call an identical act when committed by government employees? Taxation. Why the hypocrisy? Giving an act a new name doesn’t change its nature. Taxation is […]

Render: Time to face party train wrecks

Jonah Goldberg, writing in National Review, notes that nominating Donald Trump will wreck the Republican party as we know it. “Not nominating Trump will wreck the Republican party as we know it,” he also wrote. “The sooner everyone recognizes this fact the better.” Goldberg is correct. The Trump phenomena will bring change to the party, […]

New Mexicans get very little for tax bucks

In the world most law-abiding New Mexicans live in, when there is too much month at the end of the money, residents first look to where they can become more efficient and where they can economize. They do not usually look first to where they can get a fast buck. But the latter is how […]

McDonald: Libertarians have best shot ever

In this year of tumultuous political uncertainties, a viable third-party candidate could easily emerge —perhaps in the form of our own Gary Johnson. Johnson, New Mexico’s former Republican governor, is hoping to run for president for a second time as the Libertarian Party nominee. With his adopted party’s national convention less than two months away, […]

FBI website does well teaching beliefs vs. actions

A coalition of groups is calling on the FBI to shut down its “Don’t Be a Puppet” anti-terrorist website, claiming it targets American Muslims and establishes a thought police in schools. If anything, “Don’t Be a Puppet” goes out of its way to differentiate between “extremist thoughts (which) are not against the law” and those […]

Sloan: Hankins leads scrapbook-worthy life

Every resident at Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales could be the subject of a can’t-put-down book. Hank Hankins, 88, actually is the subject of one — a scrapbook of photos with captions his daughter Linda created. In the activities room where residents play Scrabble, Skip-Bo (a card game) and dominoes — a game in […]

Stevens: Put your sleuthing skills to the test

So you’ve watched 1,000 TV crime shows and you’re pretty sure you’d make a good police detective. OK. See what you make of this case: Dennis Huggins and Art Ferro were in the same place at the same time, around 2 a.m. Tuesday. That’s about all they agree on. Here’s what Huggins had to say, […]

Plutonium deal, WIPP fitness critical tasks

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeast New Mexico is the nation’s only permanent storage site for waste from nuclear weapons work. The repository is closed because of radiation contamination caused by a 2014 chemical reaction in a drum of waste shipped from Los Alamos National Laboratory. But when WIPP is reopened, the U.S. Department […]

McManigal: All have identical, equal rights

I see politics as a flawed attempt to get along with people you don’t like. Flawed, because using the violence of laws to try to make people do what you want leads them to pull the same stunt against you. It’s the ultimate “an eye for an eye” opera, which never ends unless one side […]

Render: Facility control a business right

For the first 70 years of my life, males were required to use the public restrooms or locker rooms labeled “Men” and females were required to use facilities labeled “Women.” Most people seemed to be content to take care of their business in the designated bathrooms. Public restrooms were provided by businesses for the use […]

Firing guards for escape is scapegoating

So the Corrections Department may can the two officers who were on duty 14 1/2 hours straight when two violent inmates escaped from a transport van on March 9 — it would have been closer to 20 hours when they reached their destination. Officers Taracina Morgan and Michael Ortega are on paid administrative leave and […]

McDonald: P is for press, municipal newbies

Last month, after municipal elections were held around the state, a bunch of fresh faces took their oaths of office and became city and town councilors, trustees and mayors for their first time. To help prepare them for their job, the New Mexico Municipal League, in its March newsletter, set out to educate them. Randy […]

Hansen: Past campaigns have been worse

This year’s presidential campaigns have been called the dirtiest in history. Well, if you don’t count the Richard Nixon campaign in 1972, the Lyndon Johnson campaign of 1964, or numerous campaigns in the 19th Century, this year’s gloves-off slugfest is probably pretty bad. Nixon’s “dirty tricks” squad, spawned by the eerily named CREEP (Committee to […]

Nabbing bad lease-holders vital to state

All it takes are a few bad actors to ruin the show. An apparent one, Siana Operating of Midland, Texas, which provides oilfield well-water disposal services, has drawn the attention of State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn for spills and environmental damage at an injection well site southwest of Eunice. That, in part, has caused Dunn […]

Sloan: Volunteering a good experience

Inspired by Portales resident Elliott Stollar’s three-plus years of volunteering, I have been spending time on Sundays visiting and playing games with the residents of Heartland Continuing Care Center in Portales. My most notable contribution has been adding Scrabble to their dominoes and Skip-Bo card game. When I began a couple of months ago, I […]

Wilson: Movie-going solo perfectly OK

No doubt, the list is much longer. But there are two qualities I’ve inherited from my dad. First, I’m the worst person to shop for because I buy what I can afford and convince myself I don’t need what I can’t afford. The family learned to buy gift cards a long time ago. Second, I […]

Judges should explain recusal from Griego case

It’s curious that seven district court judges would take a pass on hearing the criminal case against a former northern New Mexico state senator — and all but one did so without stating a reason for bailing. Judges in the Santa Fe-based 1st Judicial District who recused themselves from former Democratic state Sen. Phil Griego’s […]

McManigal: Liberty much like buffet choices

Buffets are nice. You get to choose what you like from all the glorious possibilities offered, picking and choosing your favorites. If you see something you find disgusting, skip it and move on to the next item. No single buffet can possibly offer everything, but no one can tell the buffets what to offer. Consider […]

Render: Automation already taking over

I graduated from high school when I was 17 years old and started work at the then-minimum wage of $1.25 an hour. The furnished room I rented cost $8 a week and the bathroom was down the hall. In the 21st century, where all things can be fixed by government fiat, California has moved to […]

Graduates who earn recognition should get honor

“When everyone’s super, no one will be.” — The Incredibles That line from Pixar’s animated movie about a villain who plans to sell his inventions so superheroes are obsolete is a reflection on society, where all too often everyone gets a ribbon and average is celebrated. It’s a mentality that hasn’t been present in Rio […]