Swickard: The radical I have become

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. Ronald Reagan explained he did not leave the Democrat party, the Democrat party left him. The principles he embraced when he joined the Democrats were no longer being embraced. Reagan had three choices: first, try to change those core values back to what they were when he joined the party. Second, he could belong to a party not representing his principles. Or third, he could leave, which is what he ultimately did.
     Reagan became a Republican and the rest is history. His core principles stayed the same, but his political label changed. What party would Reagan join today? His core beliefs are central to neither major party.
Lately I am seen as a radical for my core beliefs. What beliefs? That we Americans are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Further, that with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we Americans mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor in defense of our country.
     My beliefs in God, the U. S. Constitution and my right to protect myself were mainstream in the society to which I was born. I still pray to God each day and view the Constitution as the guiding principle for our nation including my right to have and use a means to protect myself.
     Know this: the God of my birth is still my God. The Constitution of my nation’s birth is still my Constitution. My right to protect myself, a right I had at birth, is still paramount. Read full column

Abortion debate heats up in NM

The abortion debate could be moving from Texas to New Mexico
A group in Albuquerque, Voices for Family Values has started a petition to put an ordinance on the November ballot that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
 Chris Donnelly of Voices for Family Values says this ordinance would bring "common sense" legislation regarding abortion laws. 
The group has until July 25 to get 15,000 signatures to get the ordinance on the ballot. According to the city, if the group does get the signatures, the city will put this on the November ballot. If it does pass, it would be challenged immediately because the state law already addresses abortion rights in New Mexico
Currently, the New Mexico law bans partial birth abortion.


Powder found at Santa Fe Courthouse not dangerous

Authorities say a suspicious substance found in mail sent to a judge at the Santa Fe Courthouse isn't dangerous. 
Santa Fe Fire Department Assistant Chief Jan Snyder said Wednesday that preliminary testing identified the white powdery substance as sodium bicarbonate, commonly considered baking soda. Additional testing will be done at a laboratory in Albuquerque
The courthouse was evacuated for several hours but it's reopening for business in the afternoon. Chief Judge Raymond Ortiz said 20 people in the court clerk's office were isolated after a worker found the powder in an envelope addressed to District Judge Stephen Pfeffer.