Memorable quotes, notes of 2006 revisited

By Ned Cantwell: State columnist

Old Mother Hubbard’s got nothing on me. Old Clueless Columnist went to the cupboard to find his year-end source material and found it empty.

“Quotes” reads the label on the yellow legal file. In it I place things New Mexicans say that are outrageous, or profound, or silly, or stupid, or wise, or funny. Perhaps no one in New Mexico said anything provocative this year. More likely, I wasn’t listening.

Alone in the file was a single quote I placed there after hearing the founder of being interviewed on television. Why is it just Hillary Clinton you are trying to stop, wondered the interviewer? There are other Democrats out there hell bent on taking America down a more liberal path, so why pick on just one of them?

Hillary, he said, and this is the lone quote that earned its way into my 2006 file, is “calculating and ambitious.” Oh. Calculating and ambitious. Might that phrase also be attributed to George Bush, Dick Cheney, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, and, in fact, any politician who is, as they say, “honored to serve this great, great nation.”

There can be little more flattering than being perceived as having such power that an organization will spend millions to “stop you.” Any column haters out there who want to launch, please let me help you publicize it. is dedicated to “Rescuing America From the Radical Ideas of Hillary Clinton” and divulges this shocking “Did You Know” tidbit: “Hillary Clinton was the only U.S. first lady to keep an office in the West Wing among the president’s senior staff.” Hussy.

Looking back is fun at year’s end. Magazine and newspaper lists of best of this and best of that afford the opportunity for comparisons to our own choices.

The book I couldn’t put down this year was J.R. Moehringer’s “The Tender Bar,” a memoir of a young man’s shaky start, the significant role of a Long Island tavern called Publicans, and his rise to become a recognized and respected journalist. Trust me. Good stuff.

The book I couldn’t keep picking up this year was chosen by the New York Times as one of the best 10 of 2006. It is Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower. Subtitled “Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,” this is an important work, and one you should read. After having done so, you should then write a summary of the final 100 pages and e-mail it to me.

My personal “best of” list includes those folks who have taken time to respond to the column, each of whom is most appreciated. But it is Callum Buck who gets the prize. Callum is not his real name, as the following explains: “Inasmuch as I don’t want to discuss the subtleties of morality with the righteous nutjobs of northern New Mexico at 3 a.m. in the morning because I am listed in the phone directory, please call me Callum Buck.”

With the observation that it is encouraging to learn that all the state’s nutjobs are not confined to the south, let me share with you Callum’s advice to me:
“If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one.

“If you don’t like guns, don’t own one.

“If you don’t like cockfighting, don’t go to one.

“And keep your idiot, irrational, baseless morality out of my face!!!”

Happy New Year to you, too, Callum. I hereby resolve that in 2007 I will not get an abortion, buy a gun, or attend a cockfight. I may have some trouble with that last part about keeping my idiocy and irrationality to myself. Sorry. is not a real Web site. But Ned Cantwell can be contacted at: