Government shutdown fix — no pay and no going home

January 6, 2019

I think that I might have a fix for all of these government shutdowns. All members of Congress and the president stop getting paid when the government shuts down. They stay in Washington, D.C., and work (without pay) until the problem is resolved. Instead, too many take year-end vacations to exotic places while the working people of the government are expected to do their jobs without pay. You’d think that an elected senator or representative making $175,000 per year, full retirement benefits and the best medical care available, could get the job done.

David G. Zlotnick

Santa Fe

Character check

Take a moment — as a parade of new elected officials begin serving in some of the most important jobs in the nation — to ask yourselves:

Does he show real compassion and empathy for those who are different from himself? Does she show an ability to laugh at herself or does she laugh at others, instead? Does he denigrate the opposing party or even members of her own party? Has she had personal or professional failures to surmount, and has that strengthened her character — or has it led to defensiveness and the blaming of others? Does he show a keenness of mind and a willingness to seek truth and justice? Has she the ability to self-reflect? Does he have good personal relations with those around him as well as those of differing opinions?

If we can begin to consider these questions, we have started on the road to free ourselves of the shackles of partisanship. The result might well give us people who reflect the very best in all of us. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Will I see you at the polls in 2020?

Joseph Cosby

Santa Fe

Housing children

Our governor wasn’t even sworn in before she was sounding like national “leaders” — a term I use advisedly — more focused on dividing us than uniting us. Yes, two immigrant children died — but rather than await the type of facts that can only come from full investigation, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was demanding that “those responsible be held accountable,” words that by their very use, imply wrongdoing.

Years as a news reporter taught me that the first information about such events is often distorted — sometimes deliberately so — or wrong. Lujan Grisham must understand the brutal, dangerous work of U.S. Border Patrol, as they enforce border-protection laws on the books for decades. U.S. Border Patrol deserves a governor who will support them, pending investigation. New Mexicans deserve a governor trying to unite us, rather than divide us to whatever party’s questionable ends or motives.

Kathleene Parker

White Rock

Broadband reach

In a recent article published in The New Mexican (“Census: N.M. struggling for a good connection,” Dec. 25,”), reporter Teya Vitu brings up some important points as to why we are 48th in the nation for broadband connectivity. One of the main reasons is linked to the issue of poverty in New Mexico. The counties mentioned as having below a 55 percent subscription rate also have a high Hispanic population.

The state should work with all internet service companies who are already bringing broadband to rural areas, relax onerous regulations, speed up applications and create a competitive market allowing consumers several internet service options, thus lowering the cost of broadband subscriptions and creating the ability for low-income areas to afford a home broadband connection.

Alisha Catanach

Santa Fe

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