The fortunate government and unfortunate governed

Commentary by Michael Swickard, Ph.D.
How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think. Adolf Hitler
     I would not like to live in a society with no government at all nor a society where the government acts with tyranny. Which would I prefer? That is like asking, would I rather be shot at sunrise or sunset? In-between anarchy and tyranny is where I want to live.
     In theory, that is where we are in this country. We have a functioning government and it does not use tyranny on us citizens. A Representative Republic is free of tyranny yet protects us from anarchy. In theory.
     The legitimate role of government in a free society is to provide government services like the military that is necessary. There would not be a country without our military to keep the dogs of other countries away. Take enough from the military and countries of evil intent will come after us.
     Government is good at some things. Still, I do not want government nosing into everything I do. Much is none of their business. More important is that my elected servants not command me. The role reversal where my elected servants tell me what to do is obnoxious at best and treasonous at worst.
     That balance is further complicated by the notion of public service. In theory the reason to be in public service is to serve and make our society better. In theory, if I am a representative by, of and for the people I believe in causes that are greater than myself. I should do my work for the greater good of the society and not just myself. President John Kennedy said, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Read full column

Newsbreak New Mexico 5 p.m. Webcast 2/12/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 5 p.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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NMSU Center for the Arts opens
DOJ hold community meetings in ABQ
Heinrich joins hispanic task force 

Waiver on NM class sizes set to expire

Temporary relief provided by the state during the recession enabled school districts across New Mexico to increase class sizes as a way to cope with reduced education funding from the state. 

 That relief is about to end unless it is extended by the Legislature, and that could mean additional costs for districts even as the state is restoring some funding. 
According to the Albuquerque Journal, preliminary figures indicate the Albuquerque district might have to hire additional 300 teachers to get under the pre-waiver maximums on class sizes.


Newsbreak New Mexico 12 p.m. Webcast 2/12/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 12 p.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Dona Ana County may allow fireworks
APD Sargent charged for beating wife
NM U.S Senators looking for U.S Attorney


Legislature disagrees on revenue outlook

The Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration are at odds over the state's revenue outlook.
 The Department of Finance and Administration reported Monday there's no reason to change the most recent revenue forecast calling for the state to have about $283 million available for budget increases and to offset any tax cuts in the next fiscal year.
 However, legislative staff has raised questions about the state's financial outlook and the Senate Finance Committee plans to make its budget decisions using estimates that revenue will be $24 million lower next year and $41 million lower in the current fiscal year. 
Having less money available for the budget will make it harder for Martinez to win legislative approval of corporate tax cuts she's proposed as an economic development incentive.


Compromise gun bill moves forward

A compromise bill on background checks for gun purchasers is now advancing in the New Mexico Legislature after initially being stalled.  

The bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee would require background checks for people buying guns at gun shows. That deletes the bill's original requirement to also require background checks for people buying guns in private transactions apart from gun shows. 
Currently, only people buying guns from licensed dealers must undergo background checks, regardless of the setting for those purchases. 
The bill passed the initial committee with bipartisan support on a 13-3 vote Friday night. 
The bill now must clear the House Appropriations and Finance Committee to reach the full House.


Newsbreak New Mexico 8 a.m. Webcast 2/12/13

Newsbreak New Mexico 8 a.m. Newscast with Vanessa Dabovich

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Compromise gun bill moves forward
Legislature disagrees on revenue outlook 
State class size waiver to expire