Grouse threatened listing no solution

By Jim Constantopoulos Guest columnist The Fish and Wildlife Service seems confounded by the negative response to listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. In designating the lesser prairie chicken as threatened, a step down from endangered but warranting specific protections, it had provided assurances that no additional federal regulations that might have […]

Cantwell: Barney doesn’t get us; hard to blame him

There’s something about the sound of the ring. Maybe it is just acute intuition on my part, but I often just know I am going to pick up the receiver to hear Barney’s bark. Yep. It was him. My New Jersey friend was all in a dither over New Mexico politics. “Did your governor not […]

Sloan: Educated will seek out evidence

When this column was due, I was vacationing in Arkansas — caves, cousins, cabins, canoes — so I perused Facebook for inspiration. A few anti-education, anti-intellectual, reverse-snobbery sentiments caught my attention. One pejorative term was “overly educated.” Since I have a master’s degree, perhaps I am lumped in that category. My degrees at a blue-collar […]

Iraq war architects should consider sitting one out

Seldom have truer words been written: “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.” Trouble is, the words were written by former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Liz, about current President Barack Obama and his foreign policy. That the man who helped lead this […]

Solitary should only be used when necessary

Solitary confinement is “a tool that needs to be managed appropriately,” said New Mexico Corrections Secretary Gregg Marcantel. After spending 48 hours in solitary at the State pen, New Mexico’s top prison guard now has some personal experience to motivate him to carry out his vow to reduce the hundreds of inmates in segregation, which […]

Imposing law violates others’ rights

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Not a day goes by I don’t witness a complaint by someone saying their freedoms are being trampled on and legislated away. Almost everyone can point to something they enjoy that has been regulated into illegality — or severely restricted — by government edict. Yet, if you question most of […]

Responsibility can’t be delegated

By Rube Render Local columnist There is an iron clad maxim of leadership that while it is possible to delegate authority to someone other than yourself, you can never delegate responsibility. This principle has held true in the Naval Service from the earliest days of sailing vessels up to today’s nuclear powered carriers. Any number […]

U.S. knows how to deal with emergencies

So much of what is wrong in the world — poverty, famine, injustice or war — cannot be fixed in the short-term. Occasionally, though, the crisis arises that can be dispatched quickly. We would put the humanitarian mess taking place on the U.S. border with Mexico as a crisis that needs to be, and can be, […]

Jury duty is least citizen can do

By Betty Williamson Local columnist I was one of the 171 prospective jurors who reported to a packed session in Roosevelt County District Court last week for upcoming service. It looked like an impressive turnout until jury clerk Mary Diaz-Rodriguez shared the numbers with us.For this particular panel, more than 800 summons were mailed out. […]

Americans need more inspiration at ballot box

Lines of voters once again stood patiently, waiting to vote in the Afghanistan runoff election over the weekend. At risk to life and limb, the citizens of that war-torn country demonstrated that they understand the importance of voting. Such regard for the ballot is something Americans have lost. A primary election during a non-presidential year […]

You almost had me at free gifts

By Kevin Wilson Staff columnist First you get the gold card, and you feel great about your upward mobility on credit. Keep it up, and you qualify for the platinum card. I think I saw a titanium-level card once, but usually the metal game doesn’t start before silver, and stops after platinum. I’m guessing the […]

More non-VA care could backfire

By Tom Philpott Military Update A report by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general and a separate “access audit” of appointment scheduling practices across VA healthcare facilities confirm system-wide abuses to distort wait times for care. It shows patients have been put at risk and shaken confidence in how VA hospitals and clinics are […]

Immigration surge makes reform less likely

A tsunami of desperate Central Americans, many of them women and unaccompanied children, is washing up on the U.S.-Mexico border just as sufficient numbers of U.S. elected officials seem to have lost the political will to address immigration, likely closing any window of opportunity for reform at this time. Overwhelmed, government immigration enforcement agencies are […]

Letter to the Editor: Morality already being legislated

In Thursday’s CNJ editorial, a main point stated county commissioners “… can’t legislate morality.” Yet, government is often in the business of legislating morality — legislating against murder, child molestation and giving certain substances to children (tobacco, alcohol, heroin). And there are laws against lying — in court, to certain law officers, and to the […]

Wind power shouldn’t be ignored

By Tom McDonald State columnist Last weekend brought a rash of tornado watches and warnings over the eastern side of New Mexico, and more than a few tornados were reported. No one was killed — which is not only fortunate but typical as well, at least in the Land of Enchantment. I grew up in […]

People deserve complete details on Bergdahl case

The release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl by the Taliban, in exchange for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, raises a number of issues that should be addressed separately. First, it is a good thing that an American soldier who has been held by enemy forces for nearly five years is free. Regardless of […]

Father much cooler, smarter now

  By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My father, Guy Sloan, died in 1990 at 71.   After working around asbestos for 25 years as a carpenter at an east Texas steel mill — an 80-mile round-trip from my hometown of Mt. Vernon — he spent his final years coughing so hard his ribs would break. […]

Thankful for last talk with my uncle

By Kitsana Dounglomchan Guest columnist My Uncle Dennis — nicknamed Uncle Den — served as a battalion chief for 30 years in the Alameda County fire department in California. My aunt once told me a story about Uncle Den jumping from the roof of a burning building before it caved in. He never talked about […]

State’s education excellence drive should continue

Finally. New Mexico made it to the top of an education ranking. The state’s high school graduation rate increased faster than any other state from 2007 through 2012. That’s excellent news for the state, its students and its schools. But despite boosting its rate of seniors graduating in four years by 15 percentage points over […]

Society exists in spite of the state

By Kent McManigal Local columnist Power, organization and direction. Many people seem to feel these are good attributes to always be encouraged, but they miss the destructive potential these same qualities possess in many situations. Think of tornadoes, for example. Tornadoes have plenty of power, organization and direction, but are lacking both wisdom and ethics […]