Cruz also gets health care
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is asking those without health care to stop implementation of the Affordable Care Act by not signing up for government-provided health insurance starting this October. I wonder if Cruz practices what he preaches by denying the government health care afforded him and his family via his status as a senator. Or, is Cruz one of those hypocrites who believes in do as I say, not as I do?
Fire chief qualified
Re: July 25 commentary, “Let fire chief hire firefighter cadets.”
Finally, an editorial that has long been due and makes sense. Let the chief do the hiring process for the Austin Fire Department. Why did it take so long for the powers that be in the city to figure out that homeless people don’t make good interviewers and teachers don’t know as much as the fire chief? She’s an educated female from Arkansas and a firefighter as well, so it isn’t hard for me to see that she’s the best around to do the job without interference from those that obviously have no idea what they’re doing. You hired her to be the fire chief, so let her do the job. Who would know more about qualified cadets and diversity than her? The answer is, no one.
Pope not a friend of poor
Re: July 26 article, “Pope reaches out to Brazil’s poor.”
As long as they keep preaching to impoverished, uneducated people that they will be barbecued for eternity for using birth control, the pope and his minions are not friends of the poor; they are friends of poverty. Contraception is the only surefire method of reducing poverty in those countries.
Payment not deductible
Re: July 26 article, “Feds: Halliburton to plead guilty in spill.”
I sincerely hope that Halliburton is not going to be able to deduct the $55 million payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as a charitable contribution.
William Alan Jaeger
I-35 proposal welcome
Re: July 29 Ben Wear column, “Proposal for I-35 taking shape.”
Thanks to Ben Wear for devoting his column to the innovative proposal to Reconnect Austin (reconnectaustin.com) by burying a stretch of Interstate 35 from Cesar Chavez to 11th Streets. Benefits include the creation of new parkland, the restoration of East Avenue (once a grand boulevard unifying East and West Austin) and reduced noise and pollution from I-35 traffic. It would also have a positive impact on the re-envisioning of Waller Creek. These improvements would be a boon to Austin and reinforce its imprint as a city that welcomes creativity.
Circus elephants abused
The elephant handler for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus would have us believe that the circus elephants are treated as family, begging the question: Do you haul your family around chained by the ankles in sweltering railroad cars 50 weeks a year and force them to perform tricks for profit? There is no respite for these majestic and gentle giants. After walking from the railroad cars to the Erwin Center, they are again chained by the ankles and forced to endure the stress of Interstate 35 traffic and Brackenridge Hospital’s ambulance sirens.
It is heartbreaking to watch the elephants constantly tug at the stakes and chains, which bind them, and sway, which is stereotypical behavior indicating boredom and stress. Don’t contribute to animal abuse. Skip the circus.
No pity for homeowners
Re: July 27 article, “Drought hits wallets.”
Don’t cry for me, Lake Travis. Pardon while I pat my eyes after reading the article. So, the poor folks’ spirits up on Lake Travis with their $600,000 homes are down because Big T is doing what it’s always done and always will do. Lake Travis hit a record low of 614.18 in 1951 when the population of Austin was only 132,000 and there were virtually no high water usage industries. Today it’s close to 900,000, with thousands of businesses.
Let me remind the depressed what can and will happen. Remember Christmas 1991? Big T rose 33 feet in four days, putting it at a record high of 710.44. Remember December 2006 when it stood at 643.55, and six months later it was flooding homes at 701.50? Yes, it’s low, but history tells us it can and will fill up. It happens fast, so I’m waiting to read the follow-up story about all the poor folks up on Lake Travis who lost their docks to the next flood.
Juror was American
Re: July 27 letter to the editor, “Misusing the race card.”
It is my understanding that a person cannot serve on a jury unless she or he is a U.S. citizen; that is, the juror’s nationality is American. So I am puzzled as to what the letter writer meant by saying there were people of several different nationalities on the George Zimmerman jury. The implicit meaning seems to be that the Caucasian members of the jury were Americans, while those of any other ethnic group must be some other nationality. Surely not.