Crosses and law
This is an open letter to the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
I am not a Christian. But I am a retired patrol deputy from one of the largest and busiest police agencies in Washington State.
I tend to think that the type of law enforcement done in our three counties is more peaceful and easygoing than the type I did since there is less crime and a different attitude here in our rural areas than where I worked.
But the type of law enforcement done here is far more dangerous than what I did. My backup was usually 10 or 15 minutes away, rarely more, often less.
At any time a Brewster County deputy might suddenly be fighting for his or her very life with backup 80 miles away.
These people already have a ton of courage. But if they derive even a small amount more of confidence and strength from having a cross on their patrol unit, then let them have the cross!
What's wrong with y'all? Do you just not have enough to do?
The implication that a cross on a patrol car will change even the perception that you will be treated differently is ludicrous and reveals far more about you than the deputies who serve us all.
To those deputies I say: Semper Fi.
While serving as an election co-judge for our March 1 primary election, it was somewhat surprising to me that a number of voters seemed to be unclear about the basic nature of a primary election.
That purpose is for those who identify with each party to choose who will be their party's nominee to appear on the ballot in the general election in November.
Under Texas law one can only vote in one party's primary, not both. Come November, one can vote for any candidate on the ballot, which will include both the Democratic and Republican nominees.
It has not always been this way. For much of our history, elderly white males in smoke-filled back rooms, "the establishment,” selected party nominees.
The advent of the direct primary (a Progressive victory) opened up nominations
to the citizens, the voters who identify with the party. A stroke for democracy.
Party identification and loyalty is not today what it once was and Texas law provides that you become affiliated with the party of your choice for that election cycle simply by voting in that party's primary.
We do not register as Democrats or Republicans, though I believe that the states where that is the case have a better idea.
In Texas we select party nominees in the March primaries and fill the offices in the general election in November, when voters choose from those nominees who won primaries under a party label.
At our polling place it appeared that all were satisfied with the explanation and cast their ballots in whichever party they chose.
It should be noted that often that choice rests on whether one is mainly interested in national or local races, one reason for prominently posting sample ballots for both parties.
I am a big fan of Bake Turner. I first met him that spring after the Jet's Super Bowl win in 1968.
He was enrolled at Sul Ross to catch up on a few more college credits. You gotta know for a handsome guy with a big smile, a new Caddy convertible and Super Bowl ring, Bake was quite the celebrity.
Mr. Turner is more than a sports hero. To me, he represents dreams. I think dreams are important; they are the fuel that burns inside us.
Imagine a skinny little kid at small (class A) Texas high school. Same story all across this country: Someone gives the kid a ball and he plays outside in the dirt, but I promise you he watches his TV and he dreams of Peyton, Michael, Staubach and Unitas.
In his mind he scores that winning touchdown at the Super Bowl or the the 3-pointer that won the game. He stands on the highest platform at the Olympics, hits the home run in the bottom of the ninth -- that is the stuff of which kids dream.
And then there's Bake, nine seasons in pro football. Pro Bowler, had a 1.000 yards receiving in '64 and, yes, he has The Ring.
How many see that dream come true? One is a million? Probably one in 10 million.
For all the sweat and hours you spent training, all the extra sprints, long trips and the times you were told NO. You're too small, too slow.
Thanks, Bake, for never giving up, for always keeping that dream in front of you. And for coming back to Alpine and for sharing that dream.
Most of all, thanks for showing our kids that hard work and dedication are the fuel for dreams and dreams are the fuel for success.
With all the tree damage from this past winter’s ice storms a lot of Alpine citizens are still having to do some serious pruning or total removal of trees on their property.
As usual, when there is work to be had, a lot of people from other places flood Alpine. These out-of-towners take jobs away from our friends and neighbors who need the work and have good reputations as fair, honest and hard working.
They swoop in fast, make as much as possible, and swoop out again. Out-of-towners don’t care about a good reputation in Alpine because they don’t have to live here.
We would like to warn Alpine folks who may be finding it a challenge getting work done as fast as desirable.
Don’t hire someone just because you’ve seen them working hard and long hours on someone else’s property.
Wait until the job is completed. Then ask the property owner if he/she is pleased with the work done by that individual and if the worker was honest and fair with pricing and contractual agreements.
If a business card lists everything from trimming trees to building patios, BEWARE.
Remember, “Jack of all trades, Master of NONE.”
You may end up worse off than before you hired the fellow and need to pay someone else to fix his/her mess.
Alton and Gayle Lewis
On behalf of Glenn and myself, I would like to send a big thank you to all the high school students who worked so diligently alongside of us for two weeks of early voting and especially on election day, which was very busy and entailed long hours.
They were eager and quick to learn all that makes up the voting process.
We were very impressed with their professional attitude and willingness to participate in the various areas of the election and the interest they showed.
They treated the voters with courtesy and answered their questions and needs in a very adult manner.
I know I speak for all of us who were working these elections that these young people were first of all an invaluable help to us and secondly that they are a credit to their families and to the school.
Glenn and Kathy Ramsdale
Sen. Lindsey Graham, watching Donald J. Trump’s rise in Tuesday’s voting contests, now sees a colleague he reviles, Sen. Ted Cruz, as the lesser of two evils to save the Republican Party.
“Ted Cruz is not my favorite by any means,” Graham told CBS News late Tuesday, but he added, “We may be in a position where we have to rally around Ted Cruz as the only way to stop Donald Trump.”
I would remind Sen. Graham that so far Mr. Trump is the favorite of the “voter voice.”
In my view, Sen. Graham should sit down, shut up and get out of the way of the voters.
I think he should vote for Bernie Sanders as the far lesser of all evils.
The Republican Party is beyond salvation.
Saturday, Trump was in Orlando, Florida, asking the people to raise their hands that looked very much like a Fascist salute, and pledge allegiance to Trump that they will vote for him.
Abe Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said that Trump was leading thousands in “what looks like the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute.” Mr. Foxman told the Times of Israel that Trump is “smart enough” to know what he is doing.
Listen up, folks, Trump is foolish enough to set himself up as “another Hitler.”
Are you sure you want to vote him into the office of the president of the U.S.A.?
Glenn Beck was correct to put up a Nazi ballot on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “We should look at Adolf Hitler in 1929.” Beck added that “Donald Trump is a dangerous man. The Germans, Jews and other minorities also think Trump is a dangerous man.”
Trump is on the wrong side of a struggle between decency and bigotry, between democracy and something else.
I don’t want to say what “something else” could mean, for fear I may be right.