Letters to the editor: Dec. 22, 2017


Re: Dec. 18 article, “Word guidance at CDC alarms health experts.”

I’m writing regarding the restrictions on terms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can use in its budget.

Words like “science-based” and “evidence-based” are crucial to a scientific organization’s ability to convey scientific conclusions as well as proposals to the public. Words like “fetus” are used specifically to describe research into diseases like Zika that directly damage developing human fetuses. “Transgender” and “diversity” are used to discuss and tackle health issues specific to groups of U.S. citizens.

I find the censorship of these terms confounding and troubling. I hope Trump would not attempt to censor science and make specific groups of its citizens invisible. Censoring the very organizations working to maintain and better the health of its citizens is barbaric. I will remind you, Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, that this type of censorship in the past led to the downfall of nations.

ADDIE EMBRY, SAN ANTONIO

Re: Dec. 14 commentary, “Two Views: CodeNext will test Austin’s talk about community inclusion.

Niran Babalola makes some salient points, but building “six-plexes” as a tool to combat displacement of neighborhood residents needs clarified.

If a single-family or a duplex lot gets rezoned to allow a “six-plex,” the value of that lot will rise because of the increased construction entitlement. A higher property tax, the biggest factor in family displacement, will follow. Zoning for “six-plexes” in single-family or duplex neighborhoods is a bad idea.

DAVE PIPER, ZILKER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, AUSTIN

The turkey that the Republicans plan to bring to the table this Christmas is nothing like the fragrant and savory bird that grandma makes.

The Republican tax reform bill is an odoriferous piece of legislation stuffed with sweetheart deals for big donors and the wealthy. It is rank with goodies for favored special interests. It takes a bilious detour to attack the Affordable Care Act and convolutes the doctrine of separation of church and state. Anyone willing to partake of this garbage will swallow anything.

I can smell this gaseous turkey a mile away and tell that there is nothing in it to make my middle-class Christmas merry. I’m heading to grandma’s.

RICHARD MARTIN, AUSTIN

For those who are wondering whether the GOP tax bill is good for them, just look at Texas to see whether Republican politicians can be taken at their word.

The greatest fraud ever perpetrated on Texans is that Republicans lower taxes. The truth is Republican lawmakers in Texas build their budget around ever rising property taxes. In 2017 and 2018, property tax increases baked into the state education budget are 7.04 percent and 6.77 percent, respectively. While homeowner taxes are going up, corporate taxes are going down, thanks to deliberate maneuvering on the part of Republican lawmakers. Has it produced jobs? Evidently not.

Texas has been sliding toward mediocrity in terms of job creation under Republican rule.

MIKE COLLIER, KINGWOOD

God help America. We have a president who denies the Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election.

He doesn’t believe the total agreement of American intelligence services that Russia tampered in that election. Their interference was a threat to our democracy. It was an invasion of our country, an attempt to control America. It must never happen again.

Trump refuses to accept the Russian interference. He doesn’t believe it. He claims it’s a Democratic trick.

Trump hasn’t ordered an investigation into the Russian invasion, nor any protective plans to prevent it from happening again. He pretends there is no danger. He ignores his job to protect and defend our country. He is a failure.

Congressional Republican members agree with him. They too are failing to protect and defend our country from the Russians.

Trump is a failure. Congressional Republican members are a failure. God help America.

JO ANN FARABEE, AUSTIN

Re: Dec. 16 article, “Probe into child abuse attacks Catholic celibacy.”

As a “Cradle Catholic,” I firmly believe that implementing this idea would open a can of snakes bigger than Medusa’s hair. Having known abused altar servers, plus homosexual and heterosexual priests, I know firsthand that obligatory celibacy already is not working. Unless the removed celibacy restrictions are strictly defined, it could lead to unlimited homo-and heterosexual encounters, as well as increased pedophilia.

As Pope Francis is gradually modernizing Catholic dogma, I pray the he will instead allow married deacons and other married laymen to become priests without waiting to become widowers first. The best priests we have in Austin’s diocese are the Episcopalian priests who converted to Catholicism — all married, with children.

The problem regarding the “seal of secrecy” in the confessional is a separate issue for pedophiles and murderers. The church needs to stop its habit of keeping horrifying criminal acts an in-house secret.

DENISE HUERTA, AUSTIN



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