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April 16, 2015

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Joan Gibson Joan Gibson

What’s Death Got to Do with It?

April 16, 2015 is National Health Care Decisions Day. It is a day when we are invited to take stock of our health status, ponder what matters to us medically, and discuss this with those who need to know.

On its website this grass roots initiative describes the problem it aims to solve:

“Despite recent gains in public awareness of the need for advance care planning, studies indicate that most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves.”...

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April 14, 2015

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Emanuele Corso Emanuele Corso

Children and Society as Fair Game

What is with the anti-children political agenda going on across the country? What do Republicans have against children? Why do they push laws to force women to have children then pass laws to harm those children—not just at the state level but at the national level as well by cutting funds for education, food stamps, health care, and anything else of social value? 

To have witnessed a revolting fist-pumping celebration by a New Mexican Republican legislator for his victory over third-graders who aren’t ready to learn to read by third grade was an eye-opener. If someone had told me adults would celebrate such a victory I wouldn’t have believed it—but I saw it with my own eyes! At the moment, 3rd grade retention is an iconic right-wing red-meat political issue, part of a larger strategy to privatize public education nationally...

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April 14, 2015

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Ursinine Behavior

Which is, admittedly, not very close. A bear’s scent shades more acreage than a solar eclipse. If you could hear a bear’s odor—and I’m not saying you can’t—it would sound like busted speakers playing Tom Waits on a dubbed cassette tape through the PA system in the Astrodome.

But I still came close enough to uncover that holding a black bear cub is a real, honest possibility for a journalist with friends with sedatives. Mere weeks ago, a newspaper that runs this column featured a piece about precisely that. (The paper must remain nameless, lest the paper’s Editorialista regret not reassigning the story to me)...

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April 14, 2015

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Margaret Randall Margaret Randall

Thank You, Eduardo Galeano

Brilliant thinker and writer Eduardo Galeano died of lung cancer yesterday (Monday, April 13, 2015) in his native Uruguay. He was 74. Throughout Latin America his books defined generations. Here he may best be remembered for having written The Open Veins of Latin America, the book that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez stepped forward and placed in Barack Obama’s hands during the latter’s first meeting with the continent’s presidents in 2009...

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April 07, 2015

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Bill Jordan Bill Jordan

Tax cuts, a special session, and the budgetary storm that’s brewing

Since the legislative session concluded without the passage of a capital outlay bill—money for public works projects like building community centers—there have been rumblings about the need for a special session. Amid this din, the Executive Office has indicated that it would also want tax cuts to be considered. A special session should be called, but the Legislature should limit their agenda to passing the public works projects and not even consider handing out more tax breaks...

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April 07, 2015

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold: Grammar Sutra

I may have been a bit presumptuous last week when I declared my bottomless wealth via baseball card collection. My cards apparently require a bit more appreciation before I’m invited to spend the rest of my carefree life on Trillionaire Island. Lucky you, because I’m still here to talk about sex!

Actually, I’m here to talk about grammar. But by incorporating sex, I got you to keep reading. Numbers can be made to show that reader engagement increases by 152% if a first paragraph suggests free-range body parts and nothing at all about grammar.

The same fact is true for dating, incidentally. You typically should not discuss grammar on any date, from the very first one until death do you part...

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April 04, 2015

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Nicaragua, Part 4: Safe places are the most dangerous

A quarter century ago, my wife and I were winding up our travel through a clutch of West African countries with a visit to Cameroon, my favorite of the dozen African countries I’ve seen. At that time (much has changed since, but alas, the president remains the same) it was lush and green, relatively prosperous and sophisticated, at peace with the world and itself. Feeling good about our successful journey in a difficult part of the world, my wife and I relaxed, wanting only to melt into the local scene and recover our energy for the trip back to our base in Niger...

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April 04, 2015

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John J. Hunt John J. Hunt

Remembering the Battle of Valverde

Most of us don’t think about the American Civil War being fought in New Mexico, but this past February 21 marked 153 years since of the Battle of Valverde. Below Peralta, a short throw from Hwy 380, not far from the Owl Bar, there is an area on the Rio Grande called North Ford. It is also called Valverde—“green valley”—a rather picturesque name that does not quite tell the true story of this bloody bend of river.

Valverde was the first engagement in New Mexico between the forces of the Confederacy and the Union in what was then called the War of the Rebellion...

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March 30, 2015

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Zach Hively Zach Hively

Fool’s Gold: Tax Bases

America’s most famous holiday is nearly here! But no need to panic. With two whole weeks until Tax Day, you still have a dozen restless nights before self-appointed experts slam you with opinion columns like “How to Make Past Years’ Charitable Donations Today,” “Smuggle Yourself to an Offshore Tax Shelter with These Perfectly Legal Steps,” and “What If My Extension Lasts Longer Than Four Hours?”

I will have you know that this column is different. I have never ordained myself as an expert—the label adheres itself to geniuses (like me) who invent brilliant ideas (such as mine) for not paying taxes...

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March 28, 2015

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Wally Gordon Wally Gordon

Nicaragua, Part 3:  Blessed and cursed by geography

During our trip to Nicaragua, we spent a night on Las Brasiles, a narrow 5-mile-long barrier island off the northern Pacific coast. The island is entirely owned by its only inhabitant, an eco-hostel called Surfing Turtle whose mission is to help endangered turtles survive.

Employees aided by volunteers and guests rescue, feed and protect baby turtles and then set them free en masse on the beach for their march to the ocean. It is a trip for people and turtles alike. We had to help steer the tiny babies toward the ocean when they periodically lost their direction and wandered in circles...

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