Photos are in every newspaper: Peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights (freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition) being pummeled by federal troops in American cities. Isn’t this the scenario for which the National Rifle Association of America and its supporters have been waiting decades? Isn’t this how U.S. citizens validate their collections of military-grade assault weapons? Isn’t defending states’ rights what tea party members advocate?

Where are y’all now?

Our federal government has employed old-school military tactics on its citizens the past couple of years: amaze, dazzle and stun the population with an outrageously audacious action and just as a citizen may shake her head clear of what cannot possibly be, jump out of the melee and into the moral right, denying anything occurred. Should one fight? Nah, illegal and only causes great bodily pain. Flee? This choice causes problems for those family and loved ones left behind. OK then, freeze? This seems the go-to response of our citizenry and by the time we shake our head of the shock of what we see our federal government doing, the perpetrators bounce away from the scene, only to later pop-up elsewhere in the country in another guerrilla warfare tactic against its citizens.

But to the question of where our defenders of assault weapons and state rights are during this time of peaceful protest and vicious federal response: what say you? The lack of response in any manner suggests you to be all mouth and no heart. Or, perhaps you have followed into the fourth category of human response to adversity — assimilation by the entity trying to cause you harm.

Karan Northfield

Santa Fe

Praise for the clerk

Milan Simonich can’t seem to get over the grievous personal injury he suffered at the hands of City Clerk Yolanda Vigil, who failed to give him the results of our last election at the demands of his personal deadline (“Mayor reinvents the wheel, spins it as ingenuity,” Ringside Seat, July 24).

A couple of years ago Vigil was walking through her office and noticed that I was struggling to stay awake at the microfilm reader after an hour’s searching for the minutes of a City Council meeting that took place in 1997. She stopped and asked me about my search, then invited me to sit near her desk, found the minutes in record time, printed them out for me, and sent me on my way. Her behavior that day was typical of the clerk and her staff, who are consistently cheerful and helpful when the public comes in with a request or a problem.

Did it occur to Simonich that on the evening of an unprecedented election Vigil might be kind of exhausted after what must have been weeks if not months of overtime? Did he recall Vigil’s warning that preparing for ranked-choice voting would present her with huge problems? Did he notice that in fact she did bring off the election without a hitch? That Vigil had made a huge and successful effort to explain how ranked choice works and how to understand the ballot? Did it occur to Simonich that the failure here might have been with his sympathetic imagination?

Instead he continues to criticize a city employee who, in my experience, is outstanding and who exhibits behavior that should be a model for all of her colleagues in City Hall.

Mac Watson

Santa Fe

Presidential misconduct

Under coercion from the U.S. Supreme Court, President Richard Nixon released subpoenaed White House recordings — suspected to prove his guilt in the Watergate scandal — to special prosecutor Leon Jaworski.

The same day, the House Judiciary Committee voted a third article of impeachment against the president: contempt of Congress in hindering the impeachment process. The previous two impeachment articles voted against Nixon by the committee were obstruction of justice and abuse of presidential powers.

Susan Davis

Santa Fe

A better union

I suspect that, like Jim Jones’ death cult, President Donald Trump will offer us a fake vaccine in late October that comes in any flavor that Kool-Aid markets because, without an election, he will cease to be president at noon Jan. 20.

That would create a most opportune moment to execute a plebiscite in the many states which care to have one to secede to a new republic whose Constitution actually guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, ends slavery (a property right), and provides for one person, one vote.

Dr. Gerald M. Rosen

Santa Fe

Test first

In Nueces County, Texas, where Corpus Christi is, 85 infants under the age of 1 have tested positive for the coronavirus. It is clear that children can get this disease. The disease has little-known effects as well. It is been found to cause brain damage and we don’t need our children to get a disease with no symptoms that may affect future brain function.

We require children to have vaccinations before going to school. I believe it is essential that we require all school students and all school faculty and staff to be tested for coronavirus before going back to school. There is no reason that any children who might have coronavirus, but no symptoms, should go to school and possibly infect someone else.

This should apply to all public and charter schools and all universities as well.

Richard Fagerlund

Las Cruces

Correction, Aug. 12, 2020: An earlier version of this story included a letter, "Test first," incorrectly attributed to Lucinda Nelson.

(23) comments

Lee DiFiore

These letters and comments are 10 days old? What's up?

Richard Reinders

It’s the papers attempt to keep stirring the pot to incite the crowd in the name of the mighty dollar.

Khal Spencer

Dang. I got here late for the morning food fight. Any mashed potatoes left to tosss?

I see a lot of ad hominem, exaggeration, and inaccuracy on the letters page and comments all the time (and have regrettably added my own on occasion).. Things are grim enough already without making s**t up.

And as far as taking posts down, Jim. we all need to take a time out and recall that line from the Sermon on the Mount: " Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

And I raise my glass to David for posting the Niemoller piece.

Khal Spencer

For example, to my knowledge (correct me if I am wrong), the President has not sent Federal troops into cities. The folks who quite clearly were misused in Washington DC were civilian law enforcment, right? Likewise, no national guard units have been Federalized. The folks sent in looking like paramilitary units were from civilian cabinet agencies such as DHS.

So while saying they "looked like jack booted thugs" and in the case of the Buffalo P.D. when it knocked an elderly man down and caused him a serious brain injury one can assert they are acting inappropriately and in that case "looking like jack booted thugs" while inflammatory, conveys a message and a vision. But let's be careful. There is enough polarization already and recall that police don't hire themselves. Civilian governments on the state and local level control cops. Ultimately, we are responsible for what our police look and act like out there. I note in Santa Fe, things don't look so bad.

Bryan Bird

Khal Spencer

Sorry you missed the point, but these are civilian agents out of CBP, DHS, etc. No one from any of the service branches. When people say troops, it means military.

Ed Foley

Karan Northfield: Defining a ‘Karen’ perfectly.

Oh, and BTW, if you look at a bird from the rear, the ‘right wing’ is on the right side. The 'left wing' is under the tail.

Jim Klukkert

Ed Foley-

Moderators: This comment is a perfect example of a violation of SFNM Posting Guidelines. Please take it down. Thank you.

Lee DiFiore

"Peaceful protesters pummeled by federal troops"? "Fake vaccine"? And you lefties worry about the rest of us? But, as to the question "where defenders of assault weapons are", they are at home, locked and loaded.

David Ford


Let me be the first one to thank you for staying at home as is recommended for the sake of all citizens. And for those of you who think you are on the "right team", time for some Niemoller:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Lee DiFiore

We understand David. First they came for the statues. Then they silenced anyone who didn't march to their slogans or conform to their thinking. Then they attacked those wearing the wrong clothes. Then they defunded or disbanded the police. That's why we're locked and loaded.

robert lacha

Defunded means take military weapons away from police so they can't be used against citizens. Not get rid of the police. Your response was in bad faith but that is the norm for people who support our president*

Richard Reinders

Karan Northfield get a TV and watch the news commentators standing in front of businesses on fire and looted started by the protesters. The fence erected around federal building in Portlandia to keep protesters from burning it down and all injuries are on the inside of the fence boundaries mostly federal Marshal injured. Real peaceful , you need to take off the rose colored glasses.

David Ford

It still amazes me that you retrumplicans have a knack for spreading false information and outright lies, even though that is clearly the direction you get from your dear leader.

If you actually did any research Richard you would have found out that most of all the protests across this country were peaceful including the one in Lafayette Park at which trump's jackbooted stormtroopers used methods outlawed by the Geneva convention for wartime, to clear a path for your dear leader to stand in front of church and show his fake piety (because christians will believe anything) by holding a bible upside down.

You can easily misrepresent yourself but please stop misrepresenting the facts, it is unbecoming of intelligent discourse even if it is not your default mode.....

Jim Klukkert

David, I don't know where you find the energy to dialogue with these folks who will always see the sky is green, television is a great place for the news and up is down.

Keep at it, but stop long before it gets to you.


David Ford

[thumbup] Thanks Jim. I just invoke Twain and then leave them to their little bizarro world!

Jim Klukkert

Rock on David, you have this topic covered.

It might amuse you, if it was not so villainous, on the anniversary of another mass murder of Hispanics by a racist Anglo who is a self-professed member of the violent Alt-Right, a number of right wing racists commenting on Milan Simonich’s RINGSIDE SEAT column ‘Family reeling one year after Walmart murders’ use the occasion to hit on the very people most actively opposing the proto-Fascist machinations of the right wing POTUS, who has actively encouraged the very violence employed in El Paso.

These folks are either so opportunistically partisan that they do not see the Irony, or more likely just totally lacking in self-awareness.

David Ford

Probably a bit of both with some "lemming" thrown in for lack of accountability...

Judith Senda

“Don’t believe your eyes, believe what I tell you,” seems to be the motto of the left. Law enforcement officers blinded by laser? Those were just green flashlights. The police chief bloodied in New York, after being clubbed with a chunk of wood? It was his fault, because police presence makes people anxious.

People like David Ford who struggle to make an argument without adding cutesy insults like “retrumplicans,” are seeking to divide while claiming they want the country to unite. After all, the phrase is “divide and conquer,” not “unite and conquer.”

Don’t fall for his hate speech. Remember, he’s the guy wishing for others to literally die — he’s said it at least twice here in the SFNM comments — wanting those on the right to “thin their herd” through Covid deaths.

David Ford

HA. NO and again - facts please. What I actually said was that the retrumplicans (because there is no longer a republican party) seem bent on self-thinning their own herds and BTW thank you. It was a direct reflection of your worship for your dear leader and his "party's" refusal to accept scientific fact. I remember ya'll screaming with outrage about the SARS epidemic under the Obama Administration in which 12,000 people died during a 12 month period trying desperately to make some sort of positive spin or comparison for your dear leader. Well now we are at 150,000 deaths in 4 months and I am still wondering where your outrage is - fake or not

Khal Spencer

Retrumplicans doesn't necessarily equate to an insult unless as a Republican, you object to the Party having become almost a cult of the personality of Donald J. Trump. I think that is what David is getting at but he speaks for himself and I am interpreting. Conservatives like David French, Jonah Goldberg, David Brooks, Bret Stephens, and others have found themselves cast into the wilderness. Its a serious problem in my feeble estimation; as a lifelong registered Democrat, I am concerned that the GOP seems to have been detached from its roots and is no longer a serious check and balance on the occasional excesses of my own party.

Stefanie Beninato

You are repeating alt right false facts as usual as the federal storm troopers being injured to a greater extent than the harm and injury they caused protestors.

Khal Spencer

"federal storm troopers"? Moderators: This comment is a perfect example of a violation of SFNM Posting Guidelines. Please take it down. Thank you.

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