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Opinion

  • There’s quite a bit of concern among residents in Mora and San Miguel counties about a potential increase in property taxes for grazing land. In a time when we hear more and more about the common sense of healthy, locally grown food products (for example, beef), our state government seems to be pushing small livestock operators to the edge of extinction.

  • If you want to drive to Camp Luna to visit, we live on the northwest corner (almost). But if you’re a dog-dropper-off-er, we’ve moved to Honolulu.

    Let’s vary the statement somewhat: If you need us, we’ll be at home. It follows, then, that if you don’t need us, we’re elsewhere.

    We covered this iffy kind of conditional mood a couple of columns back, implying that people’s intentions determine the physical location or even the name of the other person.

    Let me explain:

  • SANTA FE — The 2010 U.S. Census badly undercounted New Mexico’s population, according to a recent study released by New Mexico Voices for Children.

    An undercount of almost 36,000 individuals shortchanged New Mexico by $110 million in funds for eight federal programs. Of those individuals, over 30 percent were children.

    The study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a professional consulting firm, noted that the undercount for Hispanics and Native Americans was higher than for the overall population.

  • It could hardly get worse for Republicans. With President Bush in the White House, his party will suffer as the result of an unpopular war in Iraq and a declining economy at home.

    Still, Sen. John McCain of Arizona could prevail as the GOP’s standard bearer this year. He’s a maverick that could win swing voters in battleground states such as New Mexico.

  • SANTA FE Might this be a year when independents determine the outcome of some of our top federal races? It could happen.

    Whenever there are open federal seats, independent and third-party candidates come out of the woodwork. This year, in addition to having four congressional vacancies in New Mexico, there also is no incumbent president.

    At the presidential level , expect to see more than two candidates on your ballot next November. Along with the usual selection of anonymous lightweights will be a couple of candidates approaching the middleweight class.

  • The waiter at a Santa Fe restaurant greeted us with the usual spiel: “My name is Brian, and I’ll be your waiter for the evening.”

    There are only two ways to respond to this kind of greeting: “That’s nice!” and “My name is Art, and I’ll be your customer for the evening.” But rather than poke fun at a formality which at least shows, well, formality, I was struck with the non-sequitur that followed.

  • Many of you remember my father, Charles McDonald, since he lived here for a while serving as interim pastor of First United Methodist Church in Las Vegas. He’s back in Arkansas now, where he spent nearly all his life, but I know he made an impression on some people here because people ask me about him, and my mother, on a regular basis.

  • NORTH FROM TAHITI — We’ve now completed our tour of the South Pacific island paradises. Three years ago, some will remember, my wife and I toured the World War II battlefields of the South Pacific.

    Conditions were still primitive in places like Guadalcanal and New Guinea. We expected they would be very different in Fiji, Samoa, Rarotonga, Bora Bora and Tahiti. But we were surprised to find everything much the same.