World could use injection of sense

By Ned Cantwell

It may get a little stuffy in here, so patience, please.

If a kid has to pee, a kid has to pee. Here’s the problem. Standards-based testing is now under way in New Mexico. Some school officials are wringing their hands over the restroom break issue.

The tests last 50 to 60 minutes. Can a third-grader hold it that long when the urge hits? Should he be allowed to go to the bathroom, even though the rules say that once a student begins one of these tests, he is not to leave the room?

A no-brainer. When little Billy begins to wriggle in his seat, send him off to the potty. He should be allowed to go, and his teacher shouldn’t have to seek permission from some higher authority.

Moving on to the national scene, this message to all newspapers and television networks: We don’t care about Michael Jackson. He is a despicable fellow and you don’t have to follow his every move.

Mr. Jackson is accused of molesting kids. So prosecute him. And if he is innocent, let him go. And if he is guilty, deal with him harshly. In the meantime, spare us the daily picture of the creepy guy crawling out of his limo. When it is all over, a two-paragraph announcement of the verdict in the briefs on page eight will do the trick.

Speaking of publicity, get off Gov. Richardson’s back. There are some who think he purposely cozies up to the camera. A couple of years ago, Big Bill’s picture was featured in a 70-foot wide billboard in New York’s Time Square. Then there was the New Mexico Scenic Byways posters showing the governor, all decked out in black leather, straddling a Harley.

We are indeed fortunate to have a chief executive who gives so much of himself to the state. You might think the governor will one day say, “enough, there is only so much of me to go around!”

Actually, there is quite a bit of the governor to go around, but, nonetheless, this is one unselfish guy. He has undergone camera scrutiny once again, this time by climbing on his horse for the poster promoting the Billy the Kid Trail Ride in Lincoln County. “LET’S RIDE,” is the invitation above Bill’s picture astride Sundance.

The governor is a master politician who plays the media like a fiddle. His national counterpart, maybe even nemesis, is Karl Rove, so-called boy genius who is the brains behind the political success of George Bush. Makes no difference the president refers to him as “Turd Blossom,” Karl has been promoted to White House deputy chief of staff.

Does it bother you that, according to Newsweek, there is a Karl Rove Web store that sells a $10 thong emblazoned with his photo inside a large pink heart? Newsweek is sloppy in leaving open the possibility that Rove authorized the site. He is not above crass commercialism, having sold “private briefings” for $4,000 each during the campaign. But take a look at and you’ll realize no one in public life would sanction such trash. Except maybe Michael Jackson.

You were warned it would get stuffy in here. Blame it on the weather. It’s grumpy season.

Ned Cantwell is a New Mexico columnist living in Ruidoso. He won’t let anyone peek into his thong drawer. Contact him at: