Letters to the editor

Editor, the Advocate:

In response to the letter “Open carry of firearms is not meant to make our country great’, Mr. R. Diggs, you are correct. Open carry of firearms is not meant to make our country great. Open carry of firearms is to make it safe. Being safe is what makes this country great. You stated you have friends who are terrified at the sight of a gun, I get that. Are they then scared each time there is a law enforcement officer or security officer with an open carry firearm? I was truly fine with your position on this matter until I read the last part. The beginning I can respect.

Your lack of knowledge of the State of Texas Election Code baffles me. By your comments, it is quite evident you have zero understanding of the Open Carry Law and the Election Code of Texas.

I have served as an election clerk and my wife is an election judge. So I do know what laws and rules govern a state polling site. Poll watchers are not authorized to carry or be in possession of a firearm within 100 feet of a polling site. Furthermore, no one else can either, with only two exceptions. The election judge (inside the polling site) and a peace officer who is called to the site to respond to a situation needing police assistance. When a peace officer comes to vote, they have to leave the firearm at home or in the car. To call a poll watcher “questionable intelligence and untested mental capacities” is ludicrous. A poll watcher has to be trained on what they can and can not do at a polling site. They have to be certified and listed on the Election Database as certified and authorized Poll Watchers. No one can just walk up and claim to be a poll watcher. Sir, you may have the right to vote, but you need to research more on facts. So sir, why are you scared of a poll watcher?

In general, only wrong-doers run and get scared when they see authority. The authority of a person is not based on the possession of a firearm.

Kevin B. Bright, Hallettsville

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Mike Gomez

Biden’s demands were decided by the Obama administration and our allies.That happened in 2015 with no objection from the GOP..Trump on the other hand withheld congressionally approved aid to Ukraine for political dirt on his political opponent, Joe Biden. That’s why he was impeached.

It doesn’t matter what Thompson calls the insurrection of January 6 or whatever the media decides to call it.The DOJ is prosecuting the offenders and the Jan 6 committee findings will label the domestic terror attack. Antifa will have nothing to do with it, that’s just another whataboutism.

C Droost

Sorry Mr. Bright, but the Advocate’s website isn’t allowing me to thread a direct response to a comment here, so I’m having to use your space for this.

Mr. Thompson — I appreciate your response, but it’s leaving me hanging a bit. And I’m trying really hard to at least get one of each of our feet onto the same rock so we can talk using the same references. You stated that:

“… we on the "Right" have had to find other sources of information, ones that have sworn to be truthful, and who we have tested at every turn. I have watched the "left news" and after watching their garbage I have always come back to our sources knowing that what they say is the truth. This is what we have to present to you as our sources.”

I mean no offense here, but I really have a problem with these statements: they just don’t say anything. You haven’t presented your sources at all — either here or in any of your previous posts over the last few days since you got active on the Advocate. All you’ve done is bash everyone else’s sources. So, in order to achieve some clarity …

Please provide your top three sources of credible information. I assume I can easily find their statements promising to be truthful. And although I’m confused on how you’ve tested their truth telling, since you’ve been so emphatic on their veracity, I assume I’ll be able to figure that out for myself as well. I’m hunting for print (hard copy or digital) sources here, Mr. T. If someone is too lazy to write it down (or publish transcripts or their broadcasts) and sign their names to it, it’s not worth my time. Then it’s just “shadow reporting” (kind of like our current “shadow docket”). To start us off, I’ll give you my sources — the Victoria Advocate for local news, and the Associated Press and Reuters for national and international news. I also read the UPI and BBC feeds, but that’s more out of habit than anything. Whenever I find a story that I think needs clarification, I always go to a local source for amplification. As far as I’m concerned, locals are often the best for accurate, consistent, on-the-ground work. After all, they have the most to lose if they imperil their reputation for truth. Because, if I ever see evidence of a lie that isn’t immediately retracted as a mistake in reporting, I consider that “source” — whether a person or an organization — to be untrustworthy and absolutely not worthy of any more of my time. Again, I’m only asking for your sources, Mr. T, not necessarily why you believe they’re truthtellers (although you’re welcome to provide some of that evidence as well to save me the hassle of doing the research).

Lastly, your premise of “If you can only accept your left sources …” is patently false. I’m open to all sources of the truth, regardless of how it’s told —although I have to admit that I *really* have a hard time getting around the *way* some facts are presented — as long as it remains the truth and not just some collection of “alternative facts.” Given that, I don’t actually believe that you’re going to “take your toys and go home” … because there *is* a need to continue our discussion, we *do* have a lot more to say, and we are *not* at the end … just because you say so. So, I look forward to your response and our future interactions. Maybe after this stupid virus is under control, we could even enjoy a leisurely conversation over a cup of coffee somewhere too. Or not.

Quincy Thompson

Mr. Droost, sorry about the delay, I had some things that had to be done but I have been thinking about your challenge and am going to try and clarify things for you. First I approach news differently than you do I think because I would have never dug up the article about someone taking a picture of a count tally board. I really don't care because it doesn't alter the count or outcome of the election and I wouldn't have made a big deal of it. I'm sure that I have gone down Navarro over the speed limit at some time and if my 5mph excess didn't cause a wreck I just say oops and slow back down. I tend to gather information and mull it over and digest it and think in larger terms. For example the picture was no big thing but the surveillance tape showing the lady continuing to recount the same stack of ballots over and over is huge and is important. I also don't read a lot of written news. I have the Advocate and I read it for local news, sports and obituary information and sometimes the last page gets the most attention. I feel that I get enough of the other media sources with the editorials that it brings in and that I read. I listen though and Fox or News Max are on most of the day and if something gets my attention I watch and listen. If there is something that I want to dig in further I would probably go to The Daily Wire and search out information on the topic. You said cable doesn't meet your standards and I'm not sure if this is what you meant. If I had to pick a national newspaper to cite it would probably be the NY Post because of some of the things it has researched and written about in the past. I also love to listen to the nighttime lineup with Tucker, Sean, Laura and Shannon. In addition I like to stream Fox Nation for points of interest. As you can see there is not a spot of the "mainstream media" as is normally referred as. I usually get enough of it when it is shown on these shows. How Joy Reid on MSNBC is allowed on the air amazes me but I'm sure the Left doesn't like Sean. You said that if a source or person lied to you that you would write them off. This is what I have done with them. Example, for over 4 years they said Trump lied about everything, was involved with Russia, had a quid pro quo, blew the COVID situation and much more. The truth is the exact opposite. Biden and Harris have lied, there was no Russia tie just lies Clinton paid for, Biden had quid pro quo and bragged about it on the news and he has blown the COVID situation, and in addition totally blown situation in Afghanistan and caused the deaths of 13 due to it. The response from the media is crickets on most of it.

I will agree with you that I want the truth! I can handle that no matter what falls, but I want it on Both sides. My comment was that if I had to only use your sources then there is no reason to go any further because I don't believe much of it, I don't trust most of it and if that was the only basis for discussion then there is no reason to continue. Example, I have a relative that is a great guy but left of left and we have gotten to the point to where we don't talk politics it just causes problems. I really love to talk, as you can tell, but I meant that if you cannot take my sources as my sources then there is no room for debate and I am to old to bang my head against a wall and it is just not worth it. I have left this discourse before and I could take another break. I really do like coffee though.

C Droost

Hmmm … it appears to go without saying that you lean far, far, far right. So, I’ll say up front that I don’t. Not even close. Two things here:

Sometimes I’m a little slow, so I was at first confused at your opening re. “…taking a picture of a count tally board …” and then “…. the picture was no big thing but the surveillance tape showing the lady…”. Then I realized you were commenting on issues I had directly addressed to Mr. Bright and Mr. Chandler. Okay, no big deal. I’m back on track now. Regarding the tally board: you’ll note that Mr. Bright was laying a case about poll workers’ training. What I took from his letter is that poll workers are smart, reliable, ethical. For the most part, I definitely agree with that. My anecdote, however, provides a counter to that, as does Mr. Gomez’ citation. But further, I want to make sure that this event isn’t forgotten. You see, the man who had taken the picture has run for both the Republican Party County Chairman and for a Victoria School Board trustee seat. My hope was that people would re-reference the article and cement the event into their minds, as I believe he will run for another position in the future. Hopefully, people will re-reference the rhetoric around his GOP county chairman run as well. Smart? Reliable? Ethical? Sometimes - and I want to stress *some* not *all* times - I think not. As for the picture at the opening of TheThinkingConservative web page, let me reiterate … once there’s a lie, I question everything else. But, now I’m off track again: “… the surveillance tape showing the lady …”? That TheThinkingConservative webpage had no reference to a surveillance tape. Yeah, I know what you’re probably referring to (which has been repeatedly debunked). But you throwing it out here in this manner just feels like a diversion, Mr. T, and I really don’t have the time or energy to deal with that.

Which brings me to the topic upon which I *thought* you and I were actually engaging, i.e., trying to figure out how we could have a debate by finding a referee (source of information) that both of us could respect. Unfortunately, it appears to me that there isn’t one. I’d *never* accept any of your sources as being credible any more than you seem to be willing to accept mine (because they’re all in print and are, therefore, mainstream and are, therefore, discredited?). So, if we continue, we’d just end up like you and your relative. Quite a shame. But there is one good takeaway here, Mr T. If we don’t agree on anything else, we do agree (at least in theory if not in substance) on one thing — that facts matter.

Like you, I’m too old to bang my head against a wall. But unlike you, I believe that continued civil debate to find the truth, even when it’s hard, is critical. Of course, the hardest thing about civil debate is telling the truth while being civil. In fact, the method of delivery is one of the things (but only one) that turns me off to *all* of the info sources you’ve cited (including Joy Reid). Cable broadcasts, blogs, political webpages, social media posts are all designed to incite a reaction. Good or bad — doesn’t matter. Truth or lie — doesn’t matter. Just get the click, or the like, or the righteous indignation response, or the donation. Anything. Just get people riled up and engaged with your medium. All of which is one of the reasons why I don’t rely on any of those media for the facts.

The lying incivility of those broadcasts/blogs/webpages/social media incitements has also led to an ugliness in today’s world that ends up with people believing that Sandy Hook didn’t really happen, the Twin Towers were felled by bombs planted by the FBI, Italian space lasers changed votes in 2020, it’s okay to plan and almost execute a kidnapping on a governor, a horse dewormer prevents Covid, or January 6th was just another peaceful tour day at the Capitol. Or believing that Trump didn’t lie about anything, hadn’t been involved with Russia, didn’t elicit a quid pro quo, and handled the Covid situation perfectly. Repeating an untruth over and over and louder and louder doesn’t make it true. It just makes it an ugly, repetitive, really loud lie. Whether it’s told by someone at a rally, in a news broadcast, on a website, or in the comment section of a local newspaper. Sister Celestine would have had my butt for resorting to lies so as to incite an emotional reaction and failed me on the spot. I wouldn’t have tried getting away with it in school. I won’t do it now. And I will do my best to always call out those that do … citing my sources. You are, of course, welcome to do the same.

In closing, you said “… if you cannot take my sources as my sources then there is no room for debate.” Again, your premise is wrong — I most definitely can take your sources as your sources. I just don’t understand why you would think I, or anyone else who works to think critically, would take you or your sources seriously.

This would have been much more enjoyable over coffee … or a vodka … or three. I'm tired ... I’m done. I hope you are too.

Quincy Thompson

I just read this and as usual I disagree with most of it but I agree with one point in that it would have been more enjoyable over a drink whether it was coffee or vodka or possible scotch my favorite.

Quincy Thompson

I actually read this tonight to suggest that you watch the schedule of my programs that I like tonight and get your response as I thought that they were great programs. I guess that this won't happen after reading your post. I will tell you this, Sandy Hook happened, the twin towers were felled by Muslim terrorist, there were no Italia space lasers in 2020, but there were issues, Trump doesn't talk in a political manner but I have never caught him in a lie, and Jan 6 was a political protest and nothing more. Antifa burns buildings down and it is a "mostly peaceful protest" and Americans protest what they believe is an illegal election and the media says they are trying to overthrow the government. There is one point that you have never commented on however. Biden and his interview on the quid pro quo that he had to fire the prosecutor. Trump did nothing, did Biden do a quid pro quo

C Droost

Mr. Bright — I have to take issue with two points in your letter:

1) “Open carry of firearms is to make it [our country] safe.” Neither the Texas Municipal Police Association nor the Texas Police Chiefs Association supported open carry as it was winding its way through the legislature. Throw in opposition from city police departments like Dallas, Plano, Fort Worth, El Paso, Austin, and Houston; tack on reservations from a local firearms vender and firearms safety instructor just to round things out; finally, add in a 59% disapproval of open carry by *all* Texans, and it seems that your contention that ‘open carry = safe’ has some serious naysayers … me among them. Further, the whole bad-guy-with-a-gun/good-guy-with-a-gun argument is now pretty moot when it comes to law enforcement determining which is which in the heat of a situation. Safety seems to be in a back seat now.

2) “A poll watcher has to be trained on what they can and can not do at a polling site.” Yes Mr.Bright, training is required. And I, for one am glad that there are citizens like you who take it seriously. But whether one complies with their training depends on something else entirely — one’s own belief in the validity of an issue, or one’s own personal integrity and ethics, or perhaps, one’s own cognitive abilities, i.e., intelligence — I guess. Why, right here in Victoria, we’ve had problems with compliance. Margetta Hill, the Victoria county elections administrator, reported (https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/premium/victoria-county-elections-board-address-concerns-clarifies-rules-for-poll-watchers-ahead-of-mays-elections/article_d93672fc-998b-11eb-96eb-273792ee72c2.html) that, during the Nov 2020 election, someone “… had taken photos of election returns as they were posted on a large board in the room, which qualifies as a Class C misdemeanor.” That person, a member of the ballot board, later said he “did not realize the photos he was taking were illegal.” I’m not a poll watcher, but even *I* can (and do) read election law … and **respect** it. Training doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else does. It only means they *should.* Besides … like Mr. Gomez so aptly cites …

Glen or Janice Ullman

Thank you and sign me up Mr. Droost. . A lot of people are scared of guns and react to them like a pandemic, they stay home in stead of voting, especially the ones that can’t afford a gun…Glen

Quincy Thompson

Excellent, clearly stated description of the situation at hand Mr. Bright. Mr. Diggs likes to throw the race card out there at every opportunity which is becoming tiring, and Mike will go to the "Fake News", NY Times in this instance, to find some support for him. Oh Well things never change. Very good write however thank you.

Mike Gomez

You are correct Mr. Diggs…GOP poll watchers are there to intimidate “ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/01/us/politics/republican-pollwatchers.html

James Chandler

And Democratic Poll Watchers are there to help cheat: https://www.thethinkingconservative.com/democrats-caught-cheating-in-philly/

C Droost

Mr. Chandler — I don’t know how others verify information, but when I’m interested in a point, I hunt for other sources … in **print** media or mainstream (not cable) TV. Print media and mainstream TV news are subject to slander and libel laws. Blogs, social media, TV interviews are not (remember Cory Lewandowski’s admission in Congressional testimony that he didn’t have to tell the truth earlier because he wasn’t under oath?). So, I’m having some problems trying to validate your “conservativethinking” citation. Could you please provide a credible source? Surely you haven’t just been lead by the nose down an allowable-because-it’s-not-a-real-news-source, lying path.

Quincy Thompson

Mr. Droost I don't want to take Mr. Chandlers thunder but I pose this to your question. If we were talking 25 years ago I would agree with you because the media at that point would have printed the story about the cheating found in Phil and anywhere else. They would have not only printed but investigated it. Today this doesn't happen in the "Mainstream Media" because they are so invested with the "Left" that it would have looked bad and would wouldn't have been covered, or at best buried in the back of the last section of the news. I believe I can guarantee you that the "bastion of the free press" the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos personnel blog, wouldn't have covered it. So you are requiring that it be covered by a media that wouldn't cover it, at least properly, and state that since it wasn't covered by them the coverage stated isn't acceptable. .VERY INTERESTING! May I pose to you that we on the "Right" have had to find other sources of information, ones that have sworn to be truthful, and who we have tested at every turn. I have watched the "left news" and after watching their garbage I have always come back to our sources knowing that what they say is the truth. This is what we have to present to you as our sources. If you can only accept your left sources then we really have no need to continue our discussion because I, and I believe we, have nothing else left to say. We are at the end!

C Droost

Mr. Chandler — You might want to reconsider referencing thethinkingconservative as a credible source. The image at the start of this “news article” was grabbed from a Twitter post by Mike Roman and has been identified as manipulated media. Once caught in a lie … well, there it is. Ref: https://twitter.com/mikeroman/status/1323629214839513090

Mike Gomez

Lol….Thinking conservative is about as much confirmation bias as you could hope for

Glenn Wilson

True, as is thinking liberal. Hardly anyone, especially anyone who identifies with a political party, engages in critical thinking anymore. If what they're told agrees with what they already feel, not think, then for them it's the truth, no doubt about it. No logic required. The presence of a link to substantiate a statement is no guarantee of truth. We The Sheeple are constantly being played by politicians and their media stooges, to their advantage of course.

Quincy Thompson

Glenn, there is a loud ring of truth in what you are saying.

C Droost

"... played by politicians and their media stooges ..." Yep. LOUD ring of truth.

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