Spark up the debate and inhale

The movement to reform the country’s marijuana laws already was well underway when Bob Randall smoked legally supplied government-rolled joints in a Capitol hallway before testifying at a legislative hearing early in 1977.  19710000-zig-zag-Breland-HallI stood nearby that day in Santa Fe trying to breathe deeply, but today I’m reaching for the keyboard instead of another brownie. Yeah, marijuana use shouldn’t be a crime, but peddling pot legalization the same way we did the New Mexico Lottery as a source of tax revenue for good purposes just promises another cash stream ripe for perversion. (Funny how university tuition outpaces lottery sales to the point the pyramid scheme verges on collapse, no?) Continue reading

Mom and Krauthammer

My mother and I view the world differently, which is not surprising.  Her birth came barely a year after the end of World War I and a week into the failed 12-year political experiment in alcohol Prohibition.  I arrived on the anniversary of Prohibition launching a massive criminal underworld and a few months after Chinese troops chased us out of North Korea during the Korean War.  (Funny how this country measures time by its wars, but that’s another topic).

Mom’s attempts to keep me on the straight and narrow began early, kept me from becoming a derelict or a Democrat but not a free-thinking journalist and continued last Christmas with the gift of columnist-pundit Charles Krauthammer’s new book “Things That Matter” (Crown Forum, New York, 2013),Krauthammer-cover a collection of past writings from the psychiatrist who morphed into an inside-the-Beltway espouser of all things conservative.  He’s a regular on the pages of the Albuquerque Journal, which plops daily onto our gravel road, and his screeds mesh with the paper’s conservative/libertarian/antiunion editorial slant that flavors not only its opinion pages but taints its news columns as well.  To oversimplify Krauthammer but a little, his columns in recent years sum as: conservatives good, liberals bad, Obama is the antichrist. Continue reading