• Changing the world with an orange cone

    It entertained me all afternoon, that single orange cone.

    No one knew just what to do with it. It was just sitting out there in the middle of everything. It didn’t belong there, but everyone who came upon it believed it had a purpose so no one picked it up and moved it. Those who encountered the cone had to determine how to navigate around it because it was there. They had no choice but to recognize it and change their path accordingly. But I am a little ahead of myself.

  • Seeking asylum is not a crime

    In recent years, the U.S. typically welcomed about 1,000,000 legal immigrants, 70,000 refugees and 23,000 asylum seekers per year.

    President Trump’s statements and evolving policies will greatly reduce all these numbers, and threaten the approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants already living in this country, many for decades.

  • Capitalism, socialism and dishonest debates

    The other day, while on a drive, I did a little radio surfing and bumped into a “Christian” radio network with some no-name talk show host decrying the evils of socialism.

    There’s no such thing as independent thought on such programs. The format was little more than a lecture with commercials, with a few seconds of “conversation” with a caller or two as the host made sure the subject remained focused to his talking points for the day.

  • Downing 74 hot dogs

    How can they do it? How can any person wolf down 74 wieners in the Coney Island competition held each year in the Brooklyn borough of New York

    I ask that question because even the thought of gorging oneself — with wieners or anything else — makes me queasy.

    For the uninitiated, let me explain that there are such hot-dog-eating contests in many places around the country. The best known is at Coney Island.

  • Reading for justice in Palestine

    It is easy to be swayed by individual views on the very complex Palestine-Israeli conflict, my thoughts as I read the commentaries appearing in the Optic on the recent violence directed toward Palestinians by the Israeli military during Gaza’s Great March of Return.

    Palestinians want to return to their ancestral homes in Palestine from which they or family members were evicted by Israel.

  • State needs to stand up for Anton Chico

    The following editorial was recently published in the Guadalupe County Communicator.

    A recent petition opposing the transfer of water rights to a wealthy oilman who bought a ranch upstream from Anton Chico should get the governor’s attention, if she isn’t in someone’s hip pocket already.

    Gov. Susana Martinez has been a friend to the oil and gas industry since before she was elected in 2010 — and no wonder.

  • America’s identity found in shared values

    This column originally published in the Optic on June 30, 2017

    When George Washington became this nation’s first president, it was a fractured nation. Even more than we are today.

  • Men who risked it all to create America

    If you want to start a revealing conversation ask the question, “If you could witness only one event in the history of mankind, what event would it be?” Many events jump into my mind, such as watching Jesus perform one of his miracles or being present when Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address.

  • This week, we celebrate a champion

    My heart skipped a beat when I learned that Dolores Huerta was named the Grand Marshal for our Fiestas Parade on Saturday. I have been a huge admirer of Huerta ever since I heard her speak at my daughter Sarah Urech’s Women Leadership Center in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

    My es-teem only increased after seeing “Dolores,” a riveting documentary. Actually I saw the film twice at our very own Indigo theatre. Thank you, Elmo Baca.

  • Dividing up California — and the rest of the nation

    We might or might not want our salsa to come from New York City, and we might even think California is too flaky for our traditional values, but the reality is, those are the places where most national trends get started.

    Moreover, on the West Coast, we have a bellwether of sorts when it comes to political trends — thanks to California’s infamous ballot initiatives.