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  • Kids social media ban good start

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Apr 3, 2024

    The world as I know it has ended. I agree with Ron DeSantis on something. On March 25, the Florida governor and former mini-Trump wannabe signed into law a state ban for children ages 13 and younger from social media while also requiring 14- and 15-year-olds to get parental consent. Forget the fact that Florida’s new law will almost certainly be challenged in court, it’s still a step in the right direction. We’re facing a mental health crisis among our children, and social media has a lot to do with it. That and the COVID pandemic. Natio...

  • Lions and lambs have many origins

    Leonard Lauriault, Religion columnist|Mar 27, 2024

    Most have likely heard the phrase, “In like a lion, out like a lamb; in like a lamb, out like a lion,” regarding March weather. There’s much discussion about meanings, with some relating lion weather to harshness because lions are fierce, while others relate it more to the lion’s coat as giving a sunny or warm feeling. For the lamb, the harsh weather is related to the whiteness of snow indicated by the lamb’s wool, while the fair weather is related to the gentleness generally attributed to a lamblike disposition. Generally, the concept i...

  • Starting to feel the effects of getting older

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Mar 27, 2024

    Lately I’ve been thinking about old age, and for good reason. Two close friends of mine, one a few years older than me, the other about three weeks younger, have given me pause about my own future at this point in my life. My older friend died after a heart attack. My younger friend had a bad fall and must now retire into an assisted living facility. They are just two of many fellow baby boomers I’ve known who have either passed on or been overcome with illness or disability. There but by the grace of God go I. At age 68, I have a couple of hea...

  • Keep an eye on down-ticket races

    Walter Rubel, Syndicated content|Mar 27, 2024

    The geographic political divisions in New Mexico have become so entrenched that both parties have just stopped trying in areas of the state where the other side has the advantage. Of the 42 seats up for election in the state Senate this year, only 15 will be decided in the general election. Democrats will claim 17 seats and Republicans will win 10 without posting a yard sign, shaking a hand, making a campaign promise or kissing a baby. Democrats have apparently given up on the seat they held from 1989 to 2020 when John Arthur Smith was in...

  • Tax revolt is an encouraging sign

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Mar 27, 2024

    You’d never expect a tax revolt to start in the blue California city of Oakland. But a bunch of angry, over-taxed and under-protected local business people there have said, “Enough is enough.” The owner of a restaurant has called on other Oakland small businesses to stop paying local taxes until their city starts doing what it should be doing – protecting them from a recent wave of robberies and thefts. Big businesses like Tesla or Oracle can escape the madness and high taxes in California by moving to Texas, and they have. But the poor gu...

  • Truth about Abraham, Sarah surprising

    Gordon Runyan, Religion columnist|Mar 20, 2024

    In my regular Bible reading, I was back in Genesis the other day and here’s the thought that struck me as I went through the life of Abraham: Abraham and Sarah did not have the kind of marriage that a lot of evangelicals promote as ideal. Specifically, a lot of modern conservatives, such as the Duggars on television and those informed by material from men like Bill Gothard, advocate for a “biblical patriarchy” in which the husband rules over everyone else. He gets the final say about everything, over everyone, and things are ordered according t...

  • PED decision could mean good year for GOP

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Mar 20, 2024

    In the great red-blue divide that is America these days, we live in an atypical state. New Mexico is not as politically divided along rural and urban lines as other states. For years now, Democrats in New Mexico have dominated politics in enough rural counties to add to their “urban” majorities in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Meanwhile Republicans have held a grip on other rural area and many smaller cities, with a lock in the southeastern corner of the state, a region deep in agriculture and rich in oil and gas. Overall, however, it...

  • Katie Britt speech an embarrassment

    Elwood Watson, Syndicated content|Mar 20, 2024

    It was “The Stepford Wives” meets “The Handmaid’s Tale.” More than a week later, people are still talking about the State of the Union response given by Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, which has been widely mocked by politicians and pundits alike. It certainly didn’t require the skills of a futurist to realize her less-than-stellar efforts would result in a raw and ruthless parody on “Saturday Night Live.” One Republican pollster called Britt “creepy,” while a national Republican consultant told Rolling Stone, “I’ll give Biden this — He at leas...

  • Republicans need to go on offensive

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Mar 20, 2024

    Republicans are never going to impeach Joe Biden. I wish more Republicans would beat that fact into their skulls. Just as Democrats weren’t able to impeach Donald Trump because they didn’t control the Senate, Republicans are never going to impeach Biden for the same reason. It doesn’t matter how corrupt Biden and his family are, how he has allowed 8 million illegal immigrants to invade our Southern border or how mentally out-of-it he is. Biden will never be impeached and MAGA Republicans have already wasted far too much time and energy blust...

  • Bible has many repetitions of God's grace

    Leonard Lauriault, Religion columnist|Mar 13, 2024

    Probably every child heard their parents say something like, “If I told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times!” — usually because the child keeps repeating the same mistakes or outright acts of disobedience. As I heard John 1:1-3 read at church recently, I realized the Bible has a lot of repetitions. John 1:1-3 includes two repetitive concepts: 1) The Word (Jesus) was in the beginning with God, and 2) Everything was made through him and without him, nothing was made. Since all Scripture is God-breathed, originating from the Word himself...

  • GOP has lost a lot in following Trump's course

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Syndicated content|Mar 13, 2024

    Anyone hoping Republican voters around the country would use Super Tuesday to slow their party’s careening trajectory toward the Trumpian cliff now must face facts: It’s over. Donald Trump’s near-total sweep of Super Tuesday states, and challenger Nikki Haley’s subsequent campaign suspension last Wednesday, means that, barring some epic surprise, American voters on Nov. 5 will be faced with a presidential rematch that most don’t want. Even among the many Republicans out there who recognize Trump’s obvious unfitness for office, there will...

  • Christian nationalism trouble for Democracy

    Elwood Watson, Syndicated content|Mar 13, 2024

    Historically viewed as a fringe belief system, Christian nationalism has become a considerable force in American politics, particularly as it relates to the current Republican Party. A new survey from Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution revealed more than 50% of Republicans believe the country should aspire to become a devoutly Christian nation by ascribing to the fundamentals of Christian nationalism, or, at a minimum, identifying with such beliefs. Christian nationalism is the assumption the United States is a...

  • Republicans must fight hard to gain Senate

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Mar 13, 2024

    A miracle occurred last week in California’s U.S. Senate primary race. In a deep Blue state where Democrat voters outnumber Republicans 2-1, Steve Garvey, the former L.A. Dodgers star, ran against three Democrats and came in a close second to Democrat Congressman Adam Schiff. Garvey, a conservative Republican, finished behind Schiff in California’s crazy “jungle primary,” where voters are allowed to vote for any candidate regardless of party affiliation. That means in the general election this fall Garvey gets to face off against Rep. Schiff,...

  • Human rights endowed by the Creator

    Gordon Runyan, Religion columnist|Mar 6, 2024

    I made the mistake of watching some talking heads on a mainstream news channel the other day. When will I learn? My wife’s not holding her breath. Anyway, there was a panel discussion on the scary, new political faction on the scene. Religious zealots have arisen out of nowhere, apparently. The news has dubbed them Christian Nationalists. A pearl-clutching lady pointed out one of the horrifying doctrines of this group. These cultists think that our rights come from God, and not from any government. You may have to read that sentence again. T...

  • Photos are a little gift from the past

    Patti Dobson, Religion columnist|Mar 6, 2024

    I’m glad I grew up before cell phones were so much of a thing. I think the pressure of having every moment, good or bad, recorded for the world to see would be too much. I already have a blooper reel, in my mind, of all the less-than-smart things I did as a kid. Sort of like having a personal “Ridiculousness” of missteps, trips, and fails. I’m not a fan of having my own photo taken to begin with, especially when it’s for something goofy. Growing up, I would turn out my grandmothers’ jewelry boxes on my bed, and sort through the pieces and...

  • Sometimes just finishing is the achievement

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Mar 6, 2024

    Back in the 1970s, when dinosaurs roamed the land, I coached basketball in an inner-city league in Nashville, Tenn. Inspired by “The White Shadow” television show at the time, the Black teenagers on my team named themselves the Shadows because I was the only white coach in the league. We lost every game that season. Even though we had a standout team captain who worked the post and led the team with natural skills, a guy we all called J.C., we just couldn’t pull off a single win. Of course, we didn’t lose because I was white. Maybe “white...

  • Doubt Trump will appeal to Black people

    Elwood Watson, Syndicated content|Mar 6, 2024

    Being the ever-menacing carnival barker that he is, former president Donald Trump said the four criminal cases he faces have garnered him significant support from Black voters. Why? He claims due to the historic injustices Black Americans have endured at the hands of the criminal justice system, they can identify with his legal dilemma. “I think that’s why the Black people are so much on my side now because they see what’s happening to me happens to them. Does that make sense?” Trump said at the Black Conservative Federation Gala in Columbi...

  • Time for Nikki Haley to drop out of race

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Mar 6, 2024

    OK, Nikki Haley. Sing along with me, the Republican Party and the great Kenny Rogers: You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, know when (NOT) to run. It’s long past time for you to drop out of the race for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination. You’ve been called repeatedly and you’ve still got a losing hand. Donald Trump has humiliated your political butt in primaries across the U.S. But you still don’t know when to throw in your cards and just go away. Ron DeSantis was smart enough to...

  • Run like Sadie Hawkins after God

    Leonard Lauriault, Religion columnist|Feb 28, 2024

    During my junior high school years, we lived in south-central Kentucky about 15 miles south of the Dogpatch Trading Post, a tourist trap based upon the “Li’l Abner” newspaper cartoon series. The cartoon included a character named Sadie Hawkins, the homeliest girl on earth for whom Sadie Hawkins Day is named. To get her a husband, Sadie’s father initiated a race in which bachelors got a head start on being chased by spinsters. Like running from a lion, you needn’t be the fastest, but you wanted to be faster than spinsters in pursuit. Originall...

  • Haley nomination would lower the political temperature

    Tom McDonald, Syndicated content|Feb 28, 2024

    For years, I’ve been calling Donald Trump a snake-oil salesman, but that’s such an antiquated term. Then I heard about the line of shoes and cologne he’s now promoting, and now I’m thinking he’s a telemarketer. And, I must say, he’s good at it. I heard on NPR that his red, white, blue and gold sneakers are selling out. Like the Trump brand itself, they’re getting terrible reviews, but he manages to sell them to his salivating suckers anyway. Trump may be bringing down our democracy, but hey, he’s one of the best pitchmen out there. He also...

  • Future of current gen women positive

    Elwood Watson, Syndicated content|Feb 28, 2024

    It should probably come as little surprise that a majority of American millennial and Generation Z women identify as liberal. A Gallup Poll released earlier this month indicated the ideological gap between men and women across various generations has increased over the past few years, and that young women today are much more liberal than young men. Some of their findings: • Women aged 18 to 29 are now 15 percentage points more likely to identify as liberal than men of the same age group. • Young men are slightly more likely to identify as con...

  • 2024's major candidates both criminals

    Michael Reagan, Syndicated content|Feb 28, 2024

    The Democrats are trying to put Donald Trump in jail. The Republicans are trying to put Joe Biden in jail – along with the rest of his extended political crime family. Both sides think the only way they can win is by putting their opponent in jail. Is this what our beat up republic has to look forward to as we head for the election in November? The country is not just going to hell in a handbasket, it’s already there. I’m watching an invasion of illegal immigrants parading across the open border in Texas and crawling down the hills south of Sa...

  • Bible: You can have joy again

    Gordon Runyan, Religion columnist|Feb 21, 2024

    Psalm 51:8 - “Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.” Whatever you think of the Harry Potter books, the author created a creepy monster called a Dementor. It was meant to be the personification of clinical depression. Dementors are invisible, heartless, and relentless in their desire to suck all the joy and happiness out of a person. One victim said the monster’s effect was to make her feel like she’d never be cheerful again. Live long enough and you’ll come to a place where you fear death less than you fear...

  • Legislature says 'no' to prosperity

    Paul Gessing, Guest columnist|Feb 21, 2024

    As Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, told the floor as debate over this year’s budget wrapped up: “You’re not a poor state. Quit telling other people you’re a poor state.” He’s right. New Mexico is not poor. But what about the people of New Mexico? Among the citizens poverty remains high. According to World Population Review, New Mexico has the third-highest poverty rate in the US. Crime remains troubling and the education system is in dire straits. The state of New Mexico -- meaning the government itself -- has had massive surpluses in recent ye...

  • Society must re-examine notions

    Elwood Watson, Syndicated content|Feb 21, 2024

    From the Duchess of Sussex and actress Meghan Markle to former Harvard President Claudine Gay to Vice President Kamala Harris, Black women have been the target of severe attacks in recent months. The most recent example are the distasteful comments made by Republican Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas toward his colleague, Democrat Cori Bush of Missouri. Nehls, an acid-tongued conservative, took it upon his shamelessly arrogant self to refer to representative Bush as “loud” and “mouthy.” Nehls also referred to Bush’s husband, a man who served as a memb...

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