McManigal: Too many offended by free speech

Once upon a time, people would hear someone say offensive things and life would go on. Now, every word that offends someone gets brought before some authority. All too often, authority coddles the overly sensitive and punishes the speaker. Freedom of speech has never been less popular. Universities protecting their students from hearing — or […]

Render: Time to stop IRS activities is now

Televised congressional hearings used to involve gangsters or suspected communists. You could always count on a litany of, “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer on the grounds that my answer may tend to incriminate me.” The public generally thinks of this as saying, “I cannot tell you the truth without admitting […]

Violent criminal belongs in jail, not honor farm

It’s incomprehensible that a felon with a long and violent criminal history “walked off” to a few hours of freedom just five days after he was assigned to the honor farm at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas. Corrections officials are scrambling to figure out how and why that happened, as well […]

McDonald: Pot issue reaching critical mass

Last week, nearly two-thirds of Ohio’s voters rejected a measure that would have legalized marijuana. That doesn’t mean the move toward legalization has hit its peak; instead, it signals another battle on the horizon, over control of this burgeoning legal industry. Gallup polls have been showing for three years now that a majority of Americans […]

Trees cut for private ski run selfish act

You would think that people who enjoy schussing down slopes of virgin snow would be great lovers of the outdoors and wilderness areas. But to judge by damage left behind by what many suspect were rogue skiers, some skiers apparently want to make the mountainsides their own. Santa Fe National Forest officials report that at […]

Sloan: Time for rational gun law talks

At the risk of getting shot, is it possible to have a rational exchange about gun violence? Of course, those opposing common-sense laws cite the Second Amendment with the fiery rhetoric of an Abrams tank’s muzzle flashes engraving a stone tablet with: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, […]

Wilson: Many lessons learned from cooking

“Stop bringing cookies to work,” my coworker exclaimed. “I’m sorry,” I responded, “but I can’t eat three dozen cookies on my own. I have to share them with the office (also friends, neighbors, and the football team managers, but I digress).” There’s always the idea that I don’t have to make cookies, she said. Sacrilege. […]

More spending not a cure all for education

Gov. Susana Martinez wants an extra $10 million next budget year to bolster a data-driven program for struggling readers in 60 of the state’s lowest-performing schools. New Mexico Reads to Lead more than doubled reading growth in 12 districts in its first year. Since then, the program has expanded to 88 of the state’s 89 […]

McManigal: Nature of government no shocker

I’m not a political libertarian. I don’t believe it’s possible to change government in any helpful way with political action, including voting. Political libertarians believe they can change government by becoming government. If this works, let’s all rush to join the Islamic State and the KKK so we can change them from the inside, too. […]

Render: State still has some military heroes

On Nov. 11 each year, we honor all veterans who have served our country. This Veterans Day will see the groundbreaking ceremony for a New Mexico veterans cemetery at Fort Stanton. This culminates more than a decade of hard work and lobbying. Nov. 10 is the 240th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps and on […]

State needs too much to keep budget on track

New Mexico needs an additional $85.2 million next year to cover the Medicaid expansion it signed up for. It needs an additional $277 million to address a years-long backlog of prison infrastructure repairs and $12 million to pay more prison guards better, as guards now make around $13.65 an hour and work 64-hour weeks. It […]

McDonald: College, middle class linked

Politicians like to talk about how the middle class is struggling, and for once they’re right. Earlier this year, the non-partisan Pew Research Center reported that while middle-income households have remained steady since 2010 (when the U.S. was emerging from the Great Recession), they’ve been on a 40-year slide. Middle-income families comprise about 51 percent […]

Moving beyond labels good day for education

An era in education could be ending — perhaps. President Barack Obama told the country last month that educational testing had gone too far — and recommended that students only spend about 2 percent of classroom time taking a standardized test. As with most recommendations coming from Washington, there’s even an acronym for the recommendation: […]

Sloan: Dying owed right to end suffering

Tuesday’s Portales News-Tribune carried an Associated Press article by Russell Contreras about the New Mexico Supreme Court deciding whether the state will allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with doctor-prescribed drugs. Assisted suicide is legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont. A few days before I had heard Barbara Vigil, chief justice […]

Wilson: We’re to blame for dumbing habits

Kevin Wilson

While nursing the world’s worst shaving cut that morning, I reached for my secret weapon. By the time the bleeding let up, I looked at this $2 investment the labeling called a styptic pencil. I searched for the phrase, and got, “a stick of a stypic substance.” Great, but what’s styptic? It’s an antihemmorhagic substance, […]

McManigal: Positive action always good idea

There are things you need to avoid doing if you don’t want to be a terrible person. Don’t use violence (including laws) against people who are not harming anyone else, and don’t violate the property rights of others. It’s simple to not be awful. If you stop there, no one can have any legitimate problem […]

Render: Hillary masterful performer, liar

Major news outlets covering the Benghazi hearings all agreed on two things: Hillary Clinton’s testimony was a masterful performance and no new information was provided to the committee. While her performance may have been masterful, had they listened to the hearings or read the transcript rather than watching the movie, they may have discovered some […]

Opinion: Curry County thumbs nose at transparency, again

The New Mexico Open Meetings Act Compliance Guide, published by the state’s attorney general, contains 48 pages of guidelines — all intended to help make government transparent. Of those 48 pages, four are specifically focused on closed meetings — state laws that must be followed before public officials can meet privately in a group. AG […]

Plea agreement for Duran soft, disappointing

Secretary of State Dianna Duran, leaving office in shame, did not go gently — despite resigning in the middle of the night on Thursday. Her news conference on Friday, after a plea deal was discussed before Judge T. Glenn Ellington, has further tainted her reputation. Rather than express sincere remorse and apologize for being caught […]

McDonald: We’re in for brutal, extreme winter

We’re still a couple of months away from the first official day of winter (Dec. 22), but forecasters are already saying it’ll be colder and wetter than normal in New Mexico, so be prepared to bundle up. It’s another El Niño year, which means the ocean-to-atmosphere interaction of temperatures, especially in the Pacific Ocean near […]