McManigal: Making laws much like littering

I always try to leave my surroundings a little better than I find them. If I see a problem needing to be fixed, I do my best to fix it. Sometimes leaving the world better means picking up litter, or hooking a loose seat back on a swing for the kids. Other times there’s not […]

Render: Doctors next targets for gender suits

While surfing around the web recently, I stumbled on a site called Dell Youth Learning. This site informs one that gender refers to whether a word is masculine, feminine or neuter. The site further states that nouns and pronouns have genders, whereas other parts of speech do not. To aid young inquiring minds along in […]

Important that tax problem be sorted soon

Two lawsuits contend the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department is sitting on refunds — years of them — that rightfully belong to immigrant taxpayers as a means to further Gov. Susana Martinez’s supposed anti-immigrant agenda. The state Taxation and Revenue Department says in turn that the only returns being held up are those that […]

McDonald: Pro-pot voters may sway election

Last week I wrote about how Gary Johnson, the probable Libertarian Party nominee for president, and how he has a shot, albeit a long one, at actually getting elected this time around. (You can read it at; click the Dispatch New Mexico link). I failed, however, to mention upon his advocacy for the legalization […]

Secrecy, despite intent, no good in government

Elected officials make decisions for all of us. They cannot make those decisions in secret — even if they say their intentions are good. Two recent incidents have caught our attention. Both are long-time traditions, we’re told, and both need to stop immediately. The first is Clovis City Commission’s routine of voting on committee appointments […]

Sloan: Make kindness your default mode

After beginning a satirical column about ISIS selling space on their clothes to advertisers — such as: “Come to Our Big Sale at Sloan’s Autos: We Are Blowing Up Prices!” — I received word that a professional acquaintance, 31, had committed suicide. That ISIS column is now on hold. His final Facebook post at 3:41 […]

Wilson: Life, news has left me conflicted

This last week has me conflicted, for various reasons. • No statement fills me with more internal conflict than, “Mr. Wilson, your insurance should take care of this today, but if there is a balance we will just bill you the difference.” So I’m free to go … as long as I don’t check my […]

Tough to balance victim, accused rights on campus

Institutions of higher learning, including the University of New Mexico, are between a rock and the proverbial hard place when it comes to balancing the rights of those who claim they have been sexually assaulted or harassed and those who are accused of a range of … something. Title IX of the federal Civil Rights […]

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 […]