LETTERS: Government needs reform

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has allowed the House to function much as a dysfunctional union. If she decides she doesn’t like an issue or action, she whines her disapproval and either has the members act out or walk our. Our government has failed the American people and we need to take it back.

I guess the first step is to vote out incumbents in favor of some reality-based new blood. The second step might be to set term limits. Then we need to review campaign contributions and lobbying regulations and get some control over wealthy and powerful overlords who rule for their personal and special interests.

These actions may give the people more control over their government, but it remains an uphill battle.

Peter Stern, Driftwood

Menchaca fought for independence

Texas history has long forgotten Antonio Menchaca, who fought for Texas independence at the Battle of San Jacinto. Menchaca was a personal friend of Col. Jim Bowie, so he happily agreed to organize a fiesta for Davy Crockett’s arrival in San Antonio at Bowie’s request. Although Lt. Col. William Travis did not believe Tejano reports of Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s army marching toward San Antonio, Menchaca did and asked Travis for permission to move his family to safety. Menchaca did not fight at the Alamo and would live to fight another day. At Gonzalez he rejoined Capt. Juan Seguin’s reorganized company of Tejanos and was elected to be 2nd lieutenant.

Since Menchaca was fluent in English, he became the company’s translator. When Capt. Seguin was informed by Gen. Sam Houston that his Tejanos were going to guard the sick and baggage at San Jacinto, Seguin through Menchaca explained that their fellow Tejanos died at the Alamo and they wanted to be part of the battle to defeat Santa Anna.

Unlike the Billy Bob Thornton movie about the Alamo, Seguin’s Tejanos marched in Col. Sydney Sherman’s company, although the Tejanos were the best horsemen in Houston’s army.

Texas independence was won at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

After the war, Menchaca served in the Texas army as captain and commanded the local militia against Mexican General Adrian Woll’s invasion of San Antonio in September 1842, suffering a leg wound. Menchaca, along with Seguin and 18 other Tejanos, in 1875 petitioned the state comptroller about discrimination against the Tejanos that denied them their rightful pensions that were given to Texans who fought alongside them for Texas independence.

Independence was achieved with the many accomplishments and contributions from Tejanos like Antonio Menchaca.

Jack Ayoub, Harlingen