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Columns

  • Living through the unthinkables

    We think we know where we’re going. But do we, really?

    The world has changed a lot in our lifetimes, and I’m not just talking to the old fogies out there. A lot of unthinkable things have happened, and they linger in the news and in our lives — often as unexplainable events.

    For example, violence has taken some incredible turns in recent years. When I was a kid, there were occasional reports of airplanes hijacked by desperate criminals or revolutionaries with political agendas.

  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Sept. 22, 2017

    GET LICENSED OR GET OUT

    Roofers who won’t provide estimates — or who skimp on time, materials or follow-up plans, who aren’t properly credentialed or who aggressively and mysteriously solicit work — aren’t welcome here.

  • Executing ‘The J.D. Slam’

     Work of Art

    A simple act of closing a car door inspired this column. Even I find it hard to have so many memories conjured up from this basic action.

    Let me explain: Cars built this century generally have door-closing mechanisms that require only the slightest bit of energy to assure a tight seal. Cars built last century ­ ­— and that covers a wide span — often failed to close completely on the first try.

  • Needing an enemy

    By Mark Shields, political analyst and commentator for the PBS NewsHour since 1988.

    Eric Hoffer, a San Francisco longshoreman and philosopher who died in 1983, the year President Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, could have been analyzing contemporary American politics when he wrote, some 66 years ago, that “mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”

  • Mother Teresa: Small things with great love

    Just a Thought, by Rick Kraft

    Twenty years ago, Mother Teresa’s selfless earthly life ended on Sept. 5, 1997.

    She changed her address and went to be with the God, Whom she had faithfully served throughout her life. Mother Teresa lived her life modeling the scripture from Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you neglected to do unto one of the least of these, you neglected to do unto me!”

  • Plenty of blame to go around in a disaster zone

    The following column is by John Stossel, author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails ­— But Individuals Succeed.”

    “How many once-in-a-lifetime storms will it take,” demands “The Daily Show” comic Trevor Noah, “until everyone admits man-made climate change is real?!” His audience roars its approval.

  • Equifax: Too big to fail, but not too big to be held accountable

    The following editorial was recently published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    The most disturbing thing about the data breach acknowledged last week by the credit reporting agency Equifax is not that 143 million people’s personal data may have been exposed, nor that there’s not much those people can do about it. It’s that Equifax probably isn’t going to suffer for it, at least not much.

  • Thumbs Our high country lowdown on the news - Sept. 15, 2017

    THUMBS UP: DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS

    Tomás E. Salazar has made the northern New Mexico community proud. The native of the tiny community of Chapelle is in his fifth year of service as Dist. 70 state representative. This year, he is being honored as a Highlands Distinguished Alumnus. In addition to service as dean and faculty member at Highlands University, Salazar has taught at Fort Lewis College in Durango and in high schools around the state.

  • In crises, humanity always rises to the top

    So much in life depends on our perspective. The glass can be half-empty or half-full, depending on how we choose to see it.

    Hurricane Harvey is one terrible example. It destroyed lives and property, and yet in its aftermath, humanity came to the rescue. In one place along, more than 600 miles away, an estimated 40,000 pounds of water and food were raised in a matter of days, and tons of bread in a matter of hours, simply because a few people put out a call to help.

  • Work of Art: A great memory for names

    One of my dreams as a teacher was to be able to greet students years after they’d moved on, and to be able to address them by their names, not just “Hi, there.”

    That lasted through the first week of my 8 a.m. class at Highlands University.

    As hard as I tried, there’d always be a set of twins with almost identical names and looks, or a Señor Muy Tarde who either failed to show up most of the time or signed his name illegibly or failed to articulate.