August 26: Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I just read an article on NPR.org/Planet Money about a company called Pacaso. Although they take great offense at being labeled a timeshare company (we sell real estate, not time) they sure smell like a timeshare company.

It goes like this: they scope out fancy-pants real estate in what are considered desirable second home locations. They buy the property and turn it into an LLC, chop it up into eight separate “shares” and then sell the shares to anywhere from two to eight different people.  Each share represents a chunk of time per year, meaning that each property-sharing/time-sharing/share-sharing owner can stay for a month and a half or so per year, per share.

They’re gobbling up communities in California (Napa Valley is not happy), Colorado, Utah and Florida. In defending their business model, they claim they only deal in luxury properties, which brings to mind three things:

* Remember when Airbnb meant a spare bedroom in someone’s actual, owner-occupied house?

* A  falling-down lean-to with a hotplate is considered by many to be the ultimate MarfAuthentic luxury.

* Everybody and their bloated brother-in-law wants a chunk of Marfa

I therefore suggest we do whatever the heck we gotta do to keep these clowns from colonizing our speck of dirt.

Lisa Copeland

Marfa

Dear Editor,

Poor Greg Abbott. Really, he has my condolences. Not because he tested positive for COVID and has to sit around the governor’s mansion for a few days of isolation, but because he hasn’t been able to out-stupid Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.

It seems that the strategy among Republican politicians who want to run for president in 2024 hinges on who can put the most people in their state in the hospital with COVID-19 and/or who can have the highest death stats due to the virus. Of course there are some senators like Ted “Cancun” Cruz and Marco Rubio who also want to be president but neither have, so far, been able to get the spotlight away from Abbott and DeSantis.

But Abbott’s problem is that Florida has about 8 million fewer people than Texas but has considerably higher COVID hospitalization rates. On a per capita basis, Texas ranks a paltry sixth in the country while Florida is firmly in the number one spot. Abbott still has a chance though, because in actual numbers, Texas is behind roughly 17,000 to 13,000 hospitalizations but is increasing faster than Florida. So we’ll see.

Most intelligent, reasonable people would be horrified that these negative statistics would dictate who the so called pro-life party would see as their savior from those pinko Democrats, given that the policies of Abbott and DeSantis are actually killing people. But with the politicalization of common sense preventive measures like mask wearing and vaccinations, reasonable and intelligent are words that don’t seem to be included in the conversations or policies.

Regardless of Abbott and DeSantis, the solution to COVID hospitalizations and deaths remains with you and me. Will we follow the advice of doctors and scientists or be swayed by the political ambitions of those who don’t give a hoot whether we stay healthy or not? I’m curious though, those who don’t trust the doctors enough to get vaccinated, why would they go to those same doctors when they get sick with COVID-19?

Fred Gossien

Terlingua

Dear Editor,

History records

Subsequent to the February 2020 withdrawal agreement with the Taliban, while still president and before their August 15, 2021 victory, Trump and racist adviser Stephen Miller devised a means of stonewalling the exit visa process of Afghans assisting U.S. forces. Several years before they’d formulated “Zero Tolerance,” separating children from families.

A commonality was undercutting the means of escaping dire circumstances. The former, not wanting Muslims. The latter, communicating intentional cruelty, should brown-skinned people dare consider asylum.

For example, ICE/Border Patrol returned and/or pushed asylum-seekers back across international bridges. Matamoros, Mexico, tent camps held Brownsville, Texas, applicants awaiting immigration court hearings which Trump intentionally hobbled. Confronting hunger and disease, Gulf Coast summers and hurricanes, a humanitarian crisis exploded.

Consistent with a malignant narcissistic personality disorder, Trump’s pathology in operation. Mental health professionals, including his niece Mary, provided the diagnosis.

Trump’s “empathy” versus Afghan blood + four years defying “Rule of Law-Due Process” is the “chosen one” MAGA millions approve of. Condoning/endorsing such barbarism denies the sincerity of 40+ years “family values/pro-life” credentials.

History records a plea of “no contest.” Evil has been committed in the name of all Americans.

Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah

Alpine


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