January 14 Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

It appears that Alpine City Council has shot the messenger because they didn’t like his message. Former Alpine City Attorney Rod Ponton told the council members what they didn’t want to hear –– that Alpine police officers were making bad arrests, resulting in criminal cases being dismissed at an alarming rate. As city attorney, Mr. Ponton owed his client, the City of Alpine, a duty of truth, candor and advice, even, or especially, when the truth hurts. The City of Alpine is in danger of being sued for a lot of money when its police department makes bad arrests, and Mr. Ponton bluntly told them so. They fired him for doing his job.

Dick DeGuerin



Dear Editor,

I wonder, does anyone still believe in American exceptionalism?

If so, maybe they can explain how it is exceptional for the president of the U.S., the president’s son and the president’s personal lawyer to incite a mob of supporters to breach Congress, trash congressional offices, steal personal and government property and kill a policeman who was trying to do his job protecting those facilities. Or how exceptional it is for a United States Senator like Ted Cruz of Texas (who has sworn to uphold the Constitution) to continuously repeat the lie that an election is illegitimate when the results have been confirmed by all 50 states. Or how exceptional it is for the Attorney General of one state (also sworn to uphold the Constitution) to think he can file suit over the election results in other states, like Ken Paxton of Texas did, knowing the suit had no merit. Or how exceptional it is for a Republican U.S. Representative like Louie Gohmert of Texas (also sworn to uphold the Constitution) to file a lawsuit against the Republican Vice-President of the U.S. in an attempt to force the overthrow of legitimate election results?

Even before the teargas dissipated in the Capitol, arch-hypocrites like Senators Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz and many other elected Republicans, who either encouraged or ignored Donald Trump’s four years of conspiracy mongering, were decrying the violence that either their own rhetoric or their passivity had helped induce. Is that what American exceptionalism means? Is that the new normal: encourage violence, then condemn it? Or do you think those people pried their lips off Donald Trump’s…agenda and had their come to Jesus moment where they suddenly found common sense and patriotism? (Fat chance!)

I’ve never been a fan of the phrase “American exceptionalism,” but the events of January 6, 2021, proved whatever it is supposed to mean no longer exists – if it ever did – and everyone either provoking or participating in the violence must be held accountable. And that list starts at the top of our government.

Fred Gossien



Dear Editor,

I was shocked, but sadly not surprised, as I watched on January 6  as our sitting president incited and inflamed a violent attack on our government. President Donald Trump is an embarrassment to our nation and those who have remained his supporters have become an embarrassment to themselves, especially after he declared – even before the voting began – that he would not accept the election results if he lost. Surely many ended their support when hearing his reckless lies and witnessing his treasonable actions. I can only assume if you were a Trump supporter you are now hanging your head in shame.

The same can be said for supporters of the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who led an unfounded and legally ridiculous suit against five other states’ election processes (calling into question if he would have honored the votes of millions of Texans if the vote had turned out differently here) and especially Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who led the deceitful and ill-fated attempt to derail the ceremonial counting of the Electoral College votes on that shameful day in a disgraceful attempt to take the reins of Trump’s seditious base.

Observing the attack on the Capitol that day, I saw many insurgents carrying American flags, including the violent removal of our nation’s flag hanging in the rotunda only to be replaced by a Trump banner; proving that the mere display of our flag is a pale display of patriotism in comparison to the integrity of one’s intent and action, including the willingness to think critically about how one votes.

I’m not sure which is worse –– the inability to find objective, honest and credible information and news sources upon which to base one’s opinions and actions, or knowing the difference between truth and fiction and still choosing to vote for dishonest, self-serving and tyrannical leaders. I hope this dark chapter in our nation’s history will cause some to wake up and become more enlightened, responsible, courageous and selfless voters in the future.

Bob Schwab



Dear Editor,

Quick note to thank whomever or whatever entity in Marfa had a hand in the reconstruction of the bridges over the ditch east of the schools:

For lots of years, it has always been safer to walk in the street instead of using the old bridge and making it worse for the parents and traffic to have to watch for those of us not using it. As a Marfa native and graduate of MISD, a big thank you to those that had a hand in designing the beautiful bridges and extra sidewalks, WITH NO STEPS, I might add for us walkers and runners in town. Finally, something everybody in Marfa can use and enjoy.


MJ Webb