Celebrating the ADA
People across this country will celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act on Friday. Since being signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, the law has helped reduce barriers preventing people with disabilities from achieving their goals in life. Much more needs to be done to achieve the equality dreamt of by Justin Dart, who led the decades-long effort to bring the act into law.
A recent U.S. Senate report found that the act’s promise of integration and equality is not being met for many Americans with disabilities. We need to honor the anniversary of the ADA by redoubling our efforts to give people with disabilities a chance to experience the same dignity and freedom as every other citizen. If each of us would be a little less reluctant to help people with disabilities, and others in need, the world would be a much brighter place.
James C. “Jake” Billingsley
More water, higher bill
I read that the city of Cedar Park is considering raising water rates about 9 percent on everyone to offset the loss in revenue anticipated with water restrictions. I get the impression that they are more concerned about lost revenue than reduction in water usage. And, I find no mention of any associated cost reduction as the city uses less water? If no water is used, you mean there are no cost reductions? And, where is even a mention that there will be consideration for affordability?
It seems more reasonable that the city actually target the water rate increases to those using most of the water. Those who demand more water should pay a little more. Why do we all have to pay if we are doing our part? I suggest an average or benchmark usage amount and then a surcharge for amounts beyond that.
Re: July 22 commentaries, “Unit saves time, money on special prosecutions” and “Lehmberg case begs overhaul of biased unit.”
Of the two commentaries written about the Public Integrity Unit, the one written by Sam Biscoe had facts and figures about cases that it is involved in. The other, written by Terral Smith, had no facts or figures and only complains that the unit was a run by liberals. I would suggest to Smith that instead of complaining, bring some facts to the table and let people decide whether it’s being a functional entity or not.
Clarity on Obamacare
Re: July 22 articles, “Egypt begins working to amend constitution” and “GOP still has no alternative to Obama’s health care law.”
The articles underline the principle that democracy depends on an educated electorate. Egyptians are bemoaning the election of Mohamed Morsi. They thought he would be different. And, Republicans admit that they do not have a plan for health care; their goal is only to repeal Obamacare.
Elections based on misinformation, lies, distortion and “feelings” are not democracy. It is government by the best advertiser — think “Mad Men.” Do the voters not know that without Obamacare there will be no affordable health insurance for those working part-time (yes, those Wal-Mart employees), working in small businesses, start-ups, artists, self-employed? They and their children will be condemned to continue being treated at exorbitant cost in emergency rooms. Is this what you wanted, Texans? If not, then stop voting for Republicans. Try and keep that in mind for 2014.
Audit, recall Cruz
Is it just me or does it seem incredibly arrogant to everyone else that a first-term senator who has never held prior public office is already campaigning for the 2016 presidential election? Sen. Ted Cruz says he is just getting a national perspective on issues by visiting other states like Iowa and Rhode Island. It’s so transparent and insulting. Cruz was elected to represent Texas. How about some road trips around Texas where he can get our perspective. It’s obvious he doesn’t really want it. And just who is paying for these road trips? I propose an audit and a recall. Texans aren’t getting our money’s worth.
Guns, hotheads don't mix
In 2008, I attended an Obama/Clinton debate rally. Most signs were for them, but there were a few for other candidates. Suddenly, someone bumped a woman, who bumped a man carrying a Ron Paul sign. He got in her face, yelling that he had a right to be there. What if she had not shrugged, but said that she, too, had rights? What if they’d had guns? And don’t tell me they could have defended themselves. For all we know, they were lousy shots and would have killed others. Plus, do we need guns when we’re upset?
Too many people are spoiling for a fight, and when the state lets them pack heat in public, senseless tragedies occur. George Zimmerman got his acquittal, but he did not advance the cause of gun rights. People who carry a gun to “stand their ground” are bullies and cowards. The rest of us are on to them.
Police too costly
Re: July 24 Ken Herman column, “To protect and serve up a fake traffic cop.”
In Ken Herman’s column, he writes about the Austin Police Department using a fake cop in parked patrol car 8620 as a method of slowing traffic on Bolm Road. Perhaps the department could have more officers if the taxpayers did not have to pay the highest rate for officers in the state of Texas. Clearly, the idea of paying more has not lured enough officers to the city. Paying less would allow room for more officers under the same budget. The taxpayers should not be held hostage by trading unusually high rates for public safety. The taxpayers have been required to do more with less in city services and at their own jobs. The American-Statesman has written about both of these issues in the past.