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January 26, 2015

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Emanuele Corso Emanuele Corso

Susana’s Trojan Horse

Here we go again, more of the relentless pursuit of public education, public school teachers, and the future of New Mexico’s children. The Governor’s empty meme about ending social promotion is intended to appeal to an audience that knows nothing about teaching and learning. Holding kids back is not educating them—it is humiliating them and nothing more.  Public humiliation of children is not and never was, a proper or true pedagogical method...

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January 26, 2015

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Yucatán Journey, Part I: The most beautiful beach in the world

On a warm, bright morning, with high white clouds scudding over the dense tropical forest, four Frenchmen, four Germans, a Dutch couple, an American couple and three Mayas, jabbering in half a dozen languages, including Spanish and Yucatec, puttered slowly down a canal dug 1,500 years ago by residents of the Mayan city of Muyil.

For centuries their descendants stubbornly fought off the Spanish and Mexican governments with the result that the canal is still there and so are the Maya, as well as the magnificent ruins of their old city. Soaring above the jungle panoply, it is a victory over time and endless tribulations...

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January 24, 2015

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Morgan Smith Morgan Smith

Assimilation in Europe and the American Response

With the terrible killings in Paris, attention has finally turned to the thousands of North Africans who have not been assimilated into those societies, live separate lives, and do not feel that they are a part of the future of those countries. We saw it repeatedly in both Spain and France.

Europeans will talk about discrimination in the United States. This is understandable because our issues are open and public, always making the headlines. In France and Spain, however, the problem is much worse because it is hidden – or at least has been hidden until now.  Outsiders, whether they have come from Algeria or Morocco or are gypsies, are simply forgotten...

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January 22, 2015

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John J. Hunt John J. Hunt

Who Controls ABQ’s Public Airwaves?

Eighty-one years ago Congress passed the Communications Act of 1934, which stated that, “the airwaves belong to the people,” a syllogism that does not stand the test of time. Corporate ownership of the airwaves is a labyrinth of holding companies and monopolies that control almost all aspects of electronic communications in this nation.

In Albuquerque, for instance, there are very few viewers who can tell you who owns the local commercial broadcast entities, like Hubbard Broadcasting, Hearst Television, or Lin Broadcasting. Who are these media conglomerates? And what do they offer in return for permission to exploit our airwaves?...

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January 21, 2015

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Viki Harrison Viki Harrison

Anniversary of Citizens United is No Cause for Celebration

In his heyday nearly a century ago, Will Rogers made Americans smile with an observation that our country “has the best politicians money can buy.”

This week, on the fifth anniversary of what might be characterized as the Supreme Court’s initiative to help us buy better ones, it’s fair to say the justices have increased the cost of our politicians without improving the quality.

Since January 2010, when the court ruled 5-4 in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups have a constitutional right to spend whatever they like to influence elections...

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January 20, 2015

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Off the Charts

Until you REALLY master social media, #KeepingTabsOnYourFavoriteCelebrityIsTough. #IGetIt. That’s why you, my dedicated readers, deserve to hear it straight from me, with normal punctuation and spaces: I am a rock star.

You have likely not heard my greatest hits yet. That’s only because I’m not a MODERN rock star, selling out to any worthy cause with a benefit show. But I have all three primary qualifications for being a GREAT rock star...

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January 17, 2015

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Play Illustrates Idealism vs Reality in American Corporatocracy

“What laws ever made men free?” Henry David Thoreau asks in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, a thoughtful new production at the Adobe Theater in Albuquerque. If his question has more than a passing resemblance to the rhetoric of the Tea Party 170 years later, the parallels deserve close examination.

I have published a detailed review of this brilliantly acted and skillfully directed play on talkinbroadway.com and won’t repeat that here, but I do want to discuss further the idea of freedom that is the core of this play—and of much of the political debate in the U.S. today...

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January 16, 2015

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Emanuele Corso Emanuele Corso

The Skandera Loop

In computer programming loops are repetitive iterations of the same operation used to carry out specific tasks. The computer having no brain and no sense of monotony simply repeats the script ad infinitum until a particular condition is satisfied. The New Mexico legislature seems to be in some kind of incarnation of the loop phenomenon. We have been running the Skandera loop for going on five years now, over and over again and with the same result...

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January 15, 2015

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Karen Paramanandam Karen Paramanandam

PNM is Greenwashing their Plan for More Coal and Nuclear

“More Sol. Less Coal” is PNM’s latest spin in their “green” campaign, but what they aren’t telling you is that PNM is in fact adding more coal and barely scratching the surface in their adoption of “Sol”. Here is the truth…they are proposing to bring more coal, nuclear and natural gas into the mix at a cost to ratepayers of $66 million annually. This cost does not include any future carbon or coal regulations that might be incurred, nor does it factor future rises in fossil fuel costs...

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January 14, 2015

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Gerry Bradley Gerry Bradley

Why the poor pay the highest tax rate in New Mexico—and one step toward a fix

It’s widely agreed that the poorest among us should not pay the highest tax rate, but in New Mexico (as in most states) they do. State and local taxes—particularly sales and property taxes (shown in the light blue and orange bars in the graphic below)—take up a higher percentage of incomes at the lowest end of the scale. That’s because the smaller your paycheck, the more of it you spend just on day-to-day living expenses—most of which are taxed...

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