In pot debate, helping people should win out

Too much energy is being spent rewriting rules for the distribution of medical marijuana in New Mexico. The state Department of Health, rather than devising cumbersome rules that make it harder for patients to get the medicine they need, should streamline the process. While the latest version of rules is an improvement (anything would be) […]

Render: Censorship amnesia spreading

At a Dec. 19 press conference, President Obama made the following comments about Sony Corporation’s decision to cancel the release of the movie “The Interview:” “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” Obama said. “Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out […]

McManigal: Control is in government’s nature

“If men are good, you don’t need government; if men are evil or ambivalent, you don’t dare have one.” — Robert LeFevre, libertarian businessman One common argument for government is that people are evil, greedy, and cruel, so government is necessary to protect people from each other. This seems to ignore the fact government is […]

Death penalty can’t fall short of standards

Those people and institutions opposed to the death penalty — this newspaper, for one — might ordinarily be encouraged by the year-end report on executions in Texas. After all, the number of people put to death by the state is the lowest in 18 years. Ten people died in Huntsville’s death chamber last year, one-fourth […]

Immigration mixed message lost in translation

The Obama administration’s tough public message that young illegal border-crossers would be detained, then sent home, apparently was lost in translation. Or it was just a PR stunt to begin with. Of the detainees — mostly unaccompanied teens, and Central American mothers and young children — who were housed at a temporary immigration center in […]

Good time to look back, forward

By Tom McDonald State columnist It’s all a matter of perspective. The year 2014 might have been a great one for you. Or it could have been hell. I hope for your sake it was the former, but either way it’s a good time to look back — and forward. Politically, it was a rough […]

It’s that time of year for predictions

By Robert Arrowsmith Publisher It is that time of year … the new year. New Year’s Eve tends to be a time to look back, to reflect, and yet also a time to make those resolutions and predictions for the upcoming year. Being a constant forward thinker, I do tend to look back, but typically […]

New Year’s resolutions achievable

By Wendel Sloan Local columnist My New Year’s resolutions may not be challenging, but at least they are achievable. • I failed to accomplish everything I intended in 2014, and I resolve a repeat in 2015. • There were times this year when I upset, offended or angered readers. I promise to continue that in 2015. • I […]

AG’s office should focus on real issues

The excuse that New Mexico is a poor, rural state with limited resources and an uneducated public hardly justifies giving the state’s imprimatur to fishing expeditions by out-of-state personal injury law firms angling for a big payday. Yet that essentially is what Attorney General Gary King would have everyone believe, according to a recent New […]

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 […]