January 9 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

We’ve come a long, long way. Democrats used to march against US wars, now many are their staunchest proponents. Democrats used to understand that the “Intelligence Community” was involved in assassinating left wing leaders such as MLK Jr. and infiltrating left wing social justice groups to disrupt and destroy them. Further, Democrats on the Church Committee understood the IC had used Operation Mockingbird to infiltrate news organizations, offering up acceptable ideas that we the people were allowed to know about. No more.

Mr. Covington is representative of the new Democrats who have done a 180 on what their party’s ordinary membership used to stand for. For Christmas he would like the US to sell weapons (I forgot the part of Jesus birth story where the wise men brought weapons to Jesus as a gift so he could grow up to take out some people) to the Ukraine so they can make a proxy war with the Russians.

In truth, in 2014 the US participated in a coup where we picked the new “leader” for the Ukraine. This isn’t speculation, there are intercepts showing what happened. We allied with, not just neo-Nazis but actual Nazis, decedents of those in the Nazi party from WWII in the Ukraine.

“On March 16, 2014, more than 80 percent of the voters participated and some 96 percent favored rejoining Russia…” (Ann Wright, Consortium News”) Because our news is tightly controlled, thanks in part to IC interventions such as Operation Mockingbird, most US citizens have not heard of US involvement in a coup installing Nazis in the Ukraine while the reality that people in the Crimea actually voted to stay with Russia is nearly unknown to us.

The US has some very dirty hands, at home and abroad. This is certainly true under the reign of Trump but it did not begin there. It will not end there either.

We must end our desire to arm and make war on the world. Democrats just helped give Trump the largest war budget in US history, creating a new space force, weaponizing space as well as the planet.

We ALL need to stop participating in the death cult of war and violence. We must organize our nation around the protection of this earth and its many people and other life forms, not by weapons, but by working for justice with honesty and what MLK Jr. called soul force.

Justice cannot come from belief in lies, in history abandoned nor by the desire for the US to be the arms dealer to the world. It can only come from a will to knowledge and truth, wherever that truth may take us. These are the underpinnings of justice.

We don’t have much time to choose another way, a way of peace and justice and truth. Please choose this way.

Thank you,

Jill Berkana

Ft. Davis


Dear Editor,

One of the points made at the town meeting held at The Sentinel just before Thanksgiving this year was made by panelist Rick Flores, who described an analogy that seems to fit the current situation facing people who are aging in rural Far West Texas. The analogy is that of an emergency aboard an airliner that causes the oxygen masks to deploy from the overhead compartments. We face the same situation in our communities as an adult faces when traveling with a child (or an elderly dependent). The flight attendant is correct, he said, in advising each of us to attend to our own oxygen supply before turning to assist others who may not be capable of helping themselves. The message is clear. If each of us doesn’t pay sufficient attention to our own survival, none of us survive.

The fact that small towns in rural America are faced with a shortage of young people to take on the role of caregivers within our families and neighborhoods suggests that aging adults in these areas must rely upon professional caregivers. A second sobering fact brought out by the panelists is that remote rural communities like Marfa, Fort Davis and Alpine just don’t have sufficient populations to attract, or pay professionals what they deserve and expect.

Panelist Linda Molinar described growing up in Presidio, where she saw friends and neighbors stepping in to help one another when the need arose. Clearly, each of us can be a better neighbor or friend to someone not directly related to us. But another question is whether we, as older adults ourselves, actually have the capacity to extend a helping hand to someone living nearby.

The capacity to help someone outside our immediate circle of family is a capacity that depends upon our own health and wellness. I was reminded of this recently when my own primary caregiver and partner in marriage was temporarily debilitated by surgery. Even though the laparoscopic incisions were not very invasive, and though she was able to walk with minimal assistance from the hospital the day after the procedure, she was told to avoid the complication of hernia by not lifting anything over ten pounds during the six weeks needed for her full recovery. I soon discovered that this was a wakeup call to me. Plants needed watering, wild birds needed feeding, our pets needed to eat, firewood needed to be carried into the house, and my elderly Aunt Dixie still needed help with just moving around. While I didn’t resent taking on these chores, they nevertheless demanded more than was expected before my wife’s operation.

Fortunately for us, my ability to assist was helped by my own attention to diet and exercise. My dear wife is still able to deliver nutritious food from our kitchen, but carrying the groceries from the store to the house is now on me, and my daily walks and efforts to stay in shape are paying off. The question remains, however. If seniors like myself (age 76 and counting) want to continue to enjoy the beauty and serenity of this part of the world; if we want to stretch the time we have left on this planet, shouldn’t we be discussing associations with each other for the purpose of supporting a daily walk outdoors? The tiny expense of annual membership dues may be all that we have to give up other than the lethargy that comes naturally at this age. Please call if you’re interested.

Contact Jon Johnson at 432 386-5099.

Jon Johnson



Dear Editor,

“Constitutional Government”

2018’s election was telling. Republicans enabled a corrupt Executive. Voters couldn’t stomach Trump costing the GOP House majority.

He denied; notwithstanding legal admissions. Obstruction continued, ordering federal employees not to testify and/or produce documents. GOP eyes wide-open lied in the face of disproven, pro-Russian conspiracy theories, all the while pandering to our unfamiliarity with the process. Interestingly, not a word was uttered favoring Trump’s incorruptible character!

His ethically challenged methods screamed: “Impeachment!” Blue Tsunami Democrats responded, “The oath of office mandates Impeachment!” Nonetheless, TX 23rd (R) Rep. Will Hurd voted “No.”

Frequent letters to the editor demonstrate I am not pro-Trump. Yet, I had no joy once the votes were announced. These are difficult times.

Will there be enough GOP Senators with an oath-driven compass? Public pressure may force Majority Leader O’Connell to hold a fair trial calling witnesses instead of delivering his pre-determined White House coordinated outcome!

Truth and justice shall prevail! We’ll have that hard-won constitutional government we deserve when abiding by our fundamental principles.

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah