Letters to the editor: Sept. 22, 2016

There may be traffic jam with orcs from Mordor

Re: Sept. 19 column, “Wear: Austin gondolas surface again as an alternative to rail or buses.”

I think a gondola system in Austin would be a great idea. They could take us to Gondor, so we could visit Minas Tirith, or to Gondolin for a sojourn with the elves. We could visit Gondwanaland and see the dinosaurs. Maybe they could even take us to Venice for a gondola ride on the Grand Canal with a singing oarsman.

Hurry up and build it. I can hardly wait.


Methadone treatment only sensible solution

Re: Sept. 15 article, “Lawmakers see synthetics as growing drug abuse challenge.”

The primary challenge is treating the addicts, not controlling drug supplies. Addiction is a contagious disorder: Isolated, disparaged, depressed and traumatized patients, bored “lost sheep” who lack meaning in their lives, and other vulnerable people usually learn using opioids from untreated addicts.

Detoxification rarely works, is dangerous and destroys families. Opioid addicts need long-term maintenance treatment. Methadone (in mild addictions buprenorphine) works like nicotine patches — decreasing cravings, allowing patients to function normally while receiving treatment. Some addicts may need long-term residential treatment.

Drug abuse prevention starts with helping poor pregnant women and struggling mothers: Children need homes with loving, functioning parents. Schools must teach children to appreciate learning: sciences and arts for their inherent value, and job skills. Young people then must find their personal culture, values and meaning in life; emotionally troubled people need treatment. And methadone maintenance must become readily available, everywhere.


Smith’s school defense ignores need for reform

RE: Sept. 19 commentaries, “Glenn W. Smith: Prospects for Texas school privatization schemes” and “Matt Mackowiak: Seizing the school choice moment.”

Glenn Smith’s tirade against “private” schools and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick advances the same old tired liberal arguments: Throw more money at it. He ignores the fact that private church schools, for example, have done a better job of educating children with a lot less money. He also takes the opportunity to inject other liberal complaints, such as chastising the Republican-controlled Legislature for not supporting increasing the minimum wage.

Smith must realize that a system that has personnel who are unionized and are essentially government employees needs reform. Personnel in the charter school system are not burdened with these liabilities. On the same Viewpoints page, Matt Mackowiak’s column clearly shows the success of the charter school system.


Help Johnson get voice at presidential debates

Regardless if you’re undecided, or dead-set on voting for ClinTrump in November, please answer “Gary Johnson” if you are contacted by a pollster. You can go right back to supporting your candidate, but please don’t contribute to locking out another voice. But what about Johnson’s Aleppo gaffe? That’s the establishment media letting you know they’re fearful he might be a credible threat to the Republicans and Democrats and won’t stand for an outsider who’s not on anyone’s payroll. Also, Gary Johnson doesn’t have a daily national security briefing, like what’s provided to the two major party candidates. More importantly, I’d rather have a candidate not know what Aleppo is than the candidate who wants to intervene, invade and bomb them. Gary needs to go from his current 13 percent to 15 percent to be allowed onto the debate stage, so please help make it happen.


Two-party system is father of our gridlock

Re: Sept. 14 Mallard Fillmore comic strip

It is ironic that it took a duck to ask “how we ended up with these choices for president.” Party-based politics is why and it has always been with us. Washington warned of its “baleful effects.” Jefferson called party politics “the last degradation of a free and moral agent.” Adams and Madison expressed similar views. About two-thirds of the people think both nominees present a dismal choice or support one because the other choice is worse.

The duck should have asked if anything can be done at this late date. There is a policy basis for real Republicans and Sanders Democrats to form a coalition with Libertarians who seem to be reasonable people. It probably won’t happen because most of the two parties’ pros are more aligned with the party interests, not the country’s. So we end up with four years of name calling, discord and deadlock.


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