Poetic protest

Oh give me a home

where the horned lizards roam,

where the black bear and kit fox all play,

where seldom the news shows large machinery crews

and the pipelines are all kept at bay.

Home, Home on the Range,

where the pronghorn antelope play,

where citizens’ word by their government‘s heard.

and our quality of life won’t decay.

Where the air is so pure and the water flows free,

and the stars shine so clear all the night,

that I would not exchange my Home on the Range

for compressor stations loud and bright.

Home, Home on the Range,

where the pronghorn antelope play,

where citizens’ word by their government‘s heard.

and our quality of life won’t decay.

Cheryl Frances


Term limits

Politics is the debate or conflict among parties having or hoping to achieve power -- a line from the definition of politics by Webster's.  

The standoff between the Republicans in Congress and the President is hardly an aberration. It is simply a continuation of the trench warfare of the Republicans in Congress -- sounds like WWI.  

Conflict between political parties is not good government.

Trench warfare is not good government and is not in keeping with the job description of Congress.  

I am disgusted with Mitch McConnell and the Republican-dominated Congress. The futility, pointlessness and uselessness of officials elected to represent the American people seems to me to clearly reflect a failed Congress.  

Congress should be subjected to term limits. Congress badly needs to be churned and turned so as not to allow such norms as we have today.

Ken Whitley


Vote by mail

The following information is from the Secretary of State.

Who can vote early by mail:

Only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting).

You may request a ballot by mail if you:

1. will be  away from your county on election day and during the hours that

early voting is conducted;

2. are sick or disabled;

3. are 65 or older on election day or confined in jail.

You can mail the ballot or fax it to Berta Rios Martinez at 432-837-6217.

The ballot must be in county clerk's office by Feb. 29.

Thank you for voting.

There is a movement by some in the county, or at least in the Double Diamond area, to pass around misinformation

to discourage the elderly and sick from voting.  

The card asked voters to "Please throw away your recent ballot.”

Joyce Wright



My redacted reply to a note from Mattie Matthaei, executive director of the Big Bend Conservation Alliance:

Since the 1970s, Exxon knew fossil fuels contributed to global warming. The industry buried information and expended millions to counter such notions while maximizing revenues.  Americans have been divided upon a disinformation campaign.

We’ve gone to war to protect the industry’s thirst for Mid-Eastern oil at an enormous cost to veterans, deficits, decaying infrastructure and reputation. 

Trans-Pecos Pipeline intends to build a 143-mile pipeline through Big Bend to sell its products across the Pacific. 

We confront an industry whose main weapon stems from wielding undue political influence.

Their business model advances profit before other concerns. 

The biblical imperative “love thy neighbor” ignored. Citizens carrying signs opposing T-TP’s environmental impact hear: “Commies! Go back where you came from!!” 

Excuse me?

I’ve come from wherever any of us happen to be at the moment. My home is the planet Earth and I’m for her and everyone within her delicate, life-sustaining environment.

Lord, hear our prayer. My faith holds that all prayer is answered. Indeed, “the Lord helps those who help themselves,” thus my contributions to the BBCA and efforts on behalf of Defend Big Bend continue.

“May the new gods’ lust for money, power and influence – an insufferable contagion of greed – a planetary-wide genocidal madness – stop!  Let righteousness prevail.” 

At the Passover Seder Jews sing “Dayenu” celebrating God’s hand in fleeing from bondage in Ancient Egypt. 

The song proclaims that had God performed any single one of the many deeds for the Jewish people, it would have been enough to obligate us to give thanks.

My deepest gratitude to those of the BBCA, Defend Big Bend, its volunteers and supporters working to say “No” to the TPP! 

The Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah