• Just a Thought - What is your ‘coachability’ score?

    By Rick Kraft

    Are you coachable? Do you take instruction well? Do you listen to advice from others?

    Are you the smartest person who ever lived? Maybe a better question is, “Are you the smartest person you know?” If so, why would you need to listen to anyone else? If not, why wouldn’t you listen to others?

  • Work of Art: Repeating the same errors

    Don’t be surprised to discover that I’ve used this statement in several past columns: It’s a miracle that anyone learns English. I’m instantly reminded of the song Professor Henry Higgins blurts out early in the movie and play, “My Fair Lady.”

    The professor, a dialectician and grammarian, sings “Why Can’t the English Teach Their Children How to Speak?” as he laments Eliza Doolittle’s use of “aawww” and “gawwn,” a form of Cockney-speak people of that time and place had grown accustomed to.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - The Roswell Incident and pop culture

    Last weekend I experienced my first Cosmicon. That’s cosmic, not comic, aptly named for its interstellar flavor, which was inspired by an incident in 1947 that put Roswell on the international map.

    Cosmicon is an annual event alongside a science fiction film festival and the 20-year-old UFO Festival, which The Alien City puts on every year around the Fourth of July. And it’s all owed to an alleged UFO crash outside Roswell more than a half century ago.

  • Just a Thought - Regrets looking in the rear-view mirror

    By Rick Kraft

    Each of us has today. Each of us will have a last day. These are two certainties I believe both of us can agree on. Two days of significance, one known and one unknown.

    If you knew that today was your last day of life and you were asked by a stranger what has been the biggest regret of your life, what would you say? Honestly, what would you say?

  • Editorial Roundup - July 10, 2015

    Compiled by The Associated Press

    The Poughkeepsie (New York) Journal on improving the Affordable Care Act (July 4):
    Now that the Supreme Court has affirmed another vital aspect of the Affordable Care Act, federal officials should see the wisdom and imperative of improving this complex and important law. They shouldn’t let this matter fester until after the 2016 presidential elections, as they likely are apt to do.

  • Work of Art: Fiction is ‘made-up’ stuff

    I  find it irksome for people to define something only on the basis of what it’s not. Sound confusing? Let me explain.

    I remember way back in fourth or fifth grade at Immaculate Conception School when Sister Mary Espantosa ran us through the reading curriculum by telling us that books were generally divided into two classes: fiction and non-fiction.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - The latest chapter in civil rights

    Americans have seen a lot of civil rights advancements over the past half-century, with a launching point for other causes coming with the modern-day Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ‘60s.

  • Just a Thought - A country worthy of being blessed by God

    By Rick Kraft

    On the wall behind my desk at home is a print of Abraham Lincoln in the oval office. He is down on one knee by his desk. On the plaque below the print is a quote by him: “It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependance upon the overruling power of God. And to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proved by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

  • Editorial Roundup - July 3, 2015

    Compiled by The Associated Press

    The Dallas Morning News on public servants’ religious beliefs and same-sex couples’ rights (June 30):
    No one should deny government employees’ right to exercise religious freedom in their personal affairs, but there must be no ambiguity regarding their official responsibilities. They are constitutionally bound to uphold rights and provide government services without discrimination.

  • Work of Art: Being pelted with erasers

    The class of students that made perhaps the biggest impression on me was an eighth-grade language arts group I taught in a rural town in northwestern New Mexico. Because of a scheduling mixup on the first day, the 24 students I would have had became separated: Ms. Virginia Vigil takes all the girls; I keep the boys.

    That error became a brilliant move, not because of the unisex nature of the class but because of the personalities of the 12 boys.