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September 15, 2014

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Craig Barnes Craig Barnes

Bringing Democracy to Banking

Inequality has returned to the United States. Americans are now faced, not only with huge disadvantages in economic competition; politically, we are faced with the rise of a new ruling class. This year's elections will feature cascades of money from billionaires, dwarfing the contributions of individuals for whom politics used to be, but no longer is, a way to seek revival.

Community banks, locally owned banks, banks that had a direct relationship to the communities that they served, are becoming an endangered species while the big five banks no longer know the names of the families or businesses, the borrowers that they have packaged together in Collateralized Debt Obligations...

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September 15, 2014

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold: College Apps

As you college freshpeople, including my youngest sister, set off on your first college semester, there’s something you should know. Your parents (and other people who “just don’t get it”) may fail to treat you like the adults you are.

I get it. You have dreams, and you are going to change the world! You are spreading your fledgling wings, like young hawks coasting on a stiff nor’easter and tens of thousands of borrowed federal dollars. Yet the older adults in your life keep nagging. I recommend that you put up with them as best you can, because they have tender, loving reasons for their hovering, pestering behavior: they don’t trust you...

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September 15, 2014

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James Jimenez James Jimenez

NM might consider social impact bonds for expanding early childhood services

Dr. Arthur Rolnick—the keynote speaker at our 2014 NM KIDS COUNT Conference—made a compelling case for higher levels of investment in early childhood care and learning services. Many people in New Mexico agree that these kind of investments will help us improve the well-being of our children. Unfortunately, there has not been a consensus in Santa Fe on how to pay for these programs. 

Other states and countries are using a new financing tool—social impact bonds—to pay for preventive high quality early childhood programs like home visitation, childcare and early learning, and pre-K, which have a clear pay-off...

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September 15, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

The Fourth War

On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—attacks that launched the U.S. on three wars, against al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and the Taliban—President Barack Obama went on prime-time television to announce a fourth war. It says something about the uncertainty of this new war that the U.S. can’t even agree on the name of the outfit we are fighting: ISIS, ISIL or the Islamic State.

The goal, or at least the vocabulary, of this new war seems modest, in Obama’s words “to degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIL. It is those two words “degrade” and “ultimately” that are intended to differentiate Obama’s war from the bluster of his predecessor’s three wars. Whether that is a distinction without a difference remains to be seen...

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September 15, 2014

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

Love shines light on immigration crisis

Families and young people decide to flee the horrendous violence in their Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, arrive on our border after a terrifying journey through Mexico and surrender themselves to our immigration authorities. Suddenly we have another immigration crisis.

What happens?

Congress argues but does nothing. President Obama ponders and then defers until after the elections. Is anyone going to do anything this humanitarian crisis? Allegra Love from Santa Fe is one of the very few...

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September 12, 2014

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V.B. Price V.B. Price

Five Questions with New Mexico Authors – Malcolm Ebright, Rick Hendricks, and Richard W. Hughes

This week we ask historians and attorneys Malcolm Ebright, Rick Hendricks, and Richard W. Hughes some questions about their remarkably detailed and pioneering book Four Square Leagues: Pueblo Indian Land in New Mexico, which explores the intriguing and tangled history of the relationships between pueblos and Spanish, Mexican, and American governments over property rights to ancient tribal lands.

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September 10, 2014

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Dede Feldman Dede Feldman

“The Bully Pulpit” Holds Lessons for Our Time

I couldn’t put it down even though it was a heavy lift. For the past month I have been lugging around the 900-page Bully Pulpit by one of my heroes, Doris Kearns Goodwin.  Her account of Teddy Roosevelt, William Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism (the book’s subtitle) makes a great counterpart to today’s gilded age—and that’s why I read it.   One hundred years later—are there any lessons we can learn?

First, the amazing similarities—the near total control of giant corporations, the unchecked trend toward mergers and consolidation, a gap between the rich and the poor...

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September 10, 2014

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John J. Hunt John J. Hunt

Max Linder & the Roots of Film Comedy

I love books about film. Motion pictures. In The Silent Clowns, Walter Kerr—a playwright and theater critic—explores the roots of comedy in Hollywood films. Of course the French were a little ahead of Hollywood, as Georges Méliès, an illusionist and filmmaker, who could be called a special effects master, sometimes called a “cinemagician,” seemed to already understand the medium thoroughly. One of his best-known films, A Trip to the Moon, was made in 1902...

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September 09, 2014

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Because they are different

I have a 17-year-old black friend, let’s call him K., who, with his family, used to live in the East Mountains and then Albuquerque. Now he is a freshman at Chandler/Gilbert Community College, where he won a scholarship. On Sunday night, Aug. 24, a little after midnight, he was riding a scooter back from a friend’s home to his apartment. He was neatly dressed and carrying a daypack.

“I was riding on the sidewalk because there was no bicycle lane,” he told me later. “I wasn’t doing anything wrong.” A Gilbert policeman drove past him, apparently noticed he was black, then did a U-turn and came back. The policeman, who was white, stopped K...

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September 08, 2014

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Stephen Spitz Stephen Spitz

Interview with David Correia on APD’s nearly 30 killings since 2010

Albuquerque police have shot and killed nearly 30 mostly unarmed citizens since 2010.  With each killing, concern and protests grew.

Then, on March 16, 2014 the police shot and killed James Boyd, a mentally ill, homeless man, who had been illegally camping in the Sandia foothills. Unlike prior shootings, video footage taken by a police lapel camera was available and appeared to show that Mr. Boyd had been needlessly shot in the back while surrendering. The video immediately went viral and mass demonstrations ensued with the chant: “They say ‘justified’! We say ‘homicide’!”...

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