Letters to the editor: Aug. 21, 2017

Re: Aug. 16 article, “Confederate rally set for Austin on heels of Charlottesville outcry.”

It is hard to believe that after what happened in Virginia that Austin would allow such an event to occur.

There is no reason to honor Confederate heritage. This is a time in the South’s history that we should be moving away from, not honoring. You know that the neo-Nazis, the Klan and other white supremacist groups will be there — and their only agenda is to spread hate. How much longer and how many more deaths will there need to be before we stand up and say no more?

My father and my uncles, as did many others, fought and many gave their lives to end Nazism. Yet, today cities like Austin give a platform to these American Nazis. By allowing this, the city has brought Texas a little lower. As a fellow Texan, I am saddened that my state capital will allow this to happen.


I grew up in a small town surrounded by people who grew up with this legacy of hate and intolerance, my father being one of them.

My ancestors fought for the Confederacy. I never went to college but I listened to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. I heard what our priest said when he spoke of love and understanding. I devoured the music of the ′60s, which included lyrics such as, “Come on people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.” These things made sense; hate and intolerance didn’t.

We must stop the practice of passing the prejudice and hate we learned from our parents. It must stop with you.


My son Baxter is a rising eighth-grader at K12 International Academy (iCademy). Baxter has nonverbal autism, which effects his body, mind and behaviors. He communicates via an ABC letter board and the Rapid Prompting Method.

As a youngster, Baxter needed a level of full-time, sustained, one-on-one support with the letter board that his brick-and-mortar school couldn’t provide. For this reason, Baxter was enrolled in online school in sixth grade.

The transition has been life-altering. Baxter is receiving the high-quality general education he always wanted and needed. Baxter is striving toward his goal of typing. We hope that one day, he will live independently.

Without iCademy, Baxter wouldn’t have the opportunity to blossom!


The city of Austin has long been wrestling with affordable housing.

I believe that the market takes care of its self. It’s not the city’s business. You cannot force a developer to sell a house for less than what it’s worth. The city will allow a developer to build more houses on smaller lots if they are sold for less. That doesn’t work. That’s like Sam Walton telling you that if you allow him to put 14 eggs in a carton, then he can sell them cheaper. Crowding people is not good. Controlling the market is not the city’s business.

However, city leaders could deal with affordable property taxes and affordable utilities and providing plenty of parking spaces. Now that falls under the realm of their responsibilities.


Greg Kelley’s conviction looks like a complete breakdown of the justice system. From the Texas Rangers’ investigation of the case, we learned Cedar Park detectives targeted only one suspect and then made their case to fit that narrow agenda. The Rangers also commented on the jury’s failure to hold fast against pressure to convict, “so everyone could go home.” There is plenty of blame to assign to most every aspect of this miscarriage of justice.

However, blaming Kelley’s original defense attorney, Patricia Cummings, for pursuing the defense’s posture that both accusing children “told unbelievable stories, full of fantastical allegations and fatal inconsistencies” seems misplaced — like convenient Monday morning quarterbacking. One child did recant his accusations in court. It seems unbelievable that fact above all did not resonate with prosecutors and jurors alike.


When does an enabler become an accomplice? For months, I have written that members of Congress who fail to stand up to President Trump are “enablers.” This week, a new and significant line of accountability was crossed with the president’s news conference at Trump Tower.

It is no longer sufficient for Republican leaders to be outraged, saying they are “troubled” and “bothered” by Trump’s behavior; that communicates weakness of character, a craven desire for power and a lack of moral fortitude. Republicans must denounce Trump by name. And even more, they must stop talking to and working with the president, refusing to adopt his policies and enact his agenda. No legislative victory is worth the price of selling one’s soul. Failure to stand up in this decisive manner will transform Republicans from enablers to accomplices and co-conspirators — and history will not forgive or forget.


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