June 14, 2018 500 AM
Congressman Will Hurd’s press release last week was an insult to everyone who tries to keep up with current events. It was a meaningless piece of puffery which, I suppose, was intended to make us think he is actually doing something in Washington. Yes, he voted for the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which nearly every congressman votes for nearly every year. Big deal. I can’t help wondering, though, since Trump invoked national security in order to impose trade tariffs against Canada, if Hurd checked the fine print to see if the bill included military bases along the Canadian border or a wall to protect us from the Canadians. Hmm, maybe the bill was a big deal. Seriously, there are much more important issues for Hurd to comment on and take a stand on – you know what they are – but, like almost all other Republicans, he continues to abdicate his obligation to his constituents and to the the nation, for fear of political retribution. When Gina Ortiz Jones defeats Hurd in November I suspect her press releases will deal with substance, not puff. Before I forget, if you have a pre-existing condition on your health insurance, guess what: you are about to lose that insurance coverage. Check it out. It’s part of the Trump version of LBJs War on Poverty, which in 2018 is to stomp on the poor while they are down, not help them get up. That’s what Hurd should be talking about but isn’t. Finally, in reference to George Covington’s column last week: During the summer of 1960 I was a 13 year old regularly attending a Southern Baptist Church. Until, that is, the minister began preaching about the evils of electing a Catholic (JFK) president of the United States. His stated reasoning was that the country would be ruled by the Pope if a Catholic were elected. Even at my young age I felt there was something fundamentally wrong with preaching politics from a Baptist pulpit. Shortly after that I succumbed to my duty as a rebellious teenager and refused to attend that church, ultimately becoming a “none” (no religious preference) as Mr. Covington put it, and have never looked back. There is no doubt that today there is a huge divide between what the Trump supporting Religious Right stands for and morality, truth and any notion of compassion for those less fortunate. Why is that?
In case nobody noticed (and I think most everybody has) our air quality in the Big Bend is going down fast. The hot air and opaque skies tell the common-sense story, but today some empirical evidence: Alpine’s low-level ozone (the stuff that produces smog) is 55, worse than Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. Midland-Odessa ranks No.5 today nationally (119) after Pahala-in-the-Lava on the Big Island, two Puerto Rico cities on the back side of a tropical depression and the perennial loser, the over-fracked Ute Reservation in Colorado. Meantime, every joint, every valve, every pipe, every flare, every tank, every truck is leaking hydro-carbons in the Permian. And the TCEQ is AWOL. Drilling permits with the TRC are up 5000% over the last 3 years while the TCEQ budget is down 35% – an oil man’s dream. Governor Abbot – you are failing the people!
In America’s Name This Administration violates the Constitution at the southern border by forcibly separating children from parents and not communicating where the other is unable to contact them. Unfortunately most Americans are unaware the 5th Amendment’s “Due Process” clause applies to ALL persons on our soil. We’re also unaware that “illegal” findings and ramifications occur only with entitled due process in immigration cases, as well. Are we like those ‘good’ Germans ‘struggling to believe’ their Nazi government’s many abominations – a Sgt. Schultz “I know nothing, nothing” approach as a soothing balm for feigned ignorance? We may need to be forced to look at it just like the Allies did, marching civilians through newly liberated death camps; the stench of the crematorium’s smoke and ash rising up the stacks wafting their way for years. Indeed, whatever it takes to gain a sense of things and a moral compass. As a career prosecutor I’d have indictments filed for Endangering the Welfare of a Child given the emotional abuse suffered. The average person “gets it” recalling childhood and/or parental experiences. At trial those in custody describe the process when terrified preschoolers are ripped from screaming, unwilling arms. ICE and contract employees, disgusted by it all, share orders from superiors and depict children crying themselves to sleep in the ‘warmth’ of their cages. In no uncertain terms; transcript page by page of painful details, experts define the psychological terror for exactly what it is – child abuse! Offenders; from “President 45”, AG Sessions to field agent/contractors, are subject to the International Court at The Hague for crimes against humanity, the UN already taking notice. The post-WWII Nuremberg War Crimes Trials eliminated the defense of “I was just following orders”. “Guilty!” verdict duly recorded for injustices committed in America’s name. Respectfully submitted,
Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah