Letters to the editor: Dec. 21, 2017

Re: Dec. 15 article, “Austin council votes to send police contract back to negotiating table.”

I was ashamed and embarrassed by the verbal assaults on Austin law enforcement by representatives of so many so-called worthy organizations and concerned citizens at the City Council meeting where it discussed the Austin Police Department contract.

By disparaging the police, they seem to hope to grab a share of the tax dollars at stake for their own purposes. I hope those purposes are scrutinized as thoroughly as has been law enforcement’s intentions before redirecting any tax dollars. I think they will be found wanting in comparison to what Austin gets from its police force.

City Council, do your duty and represent our best interest. Hand-wringers, get in line and make a formal proposal for funding of your special interests.


Re: Dec. 6 article, “Austin report: Reduce car lanes, add bus and bike lanes to Guadalupe.”

The plan to convert the Drag to a single lane in each direction will make a bad situation worse, especially if this traffic cannot be accommodated. Speedway is already closed, and the last bond package sought to restrict flow on San Jacinto Street. Making Nueces a two-way street will not help.

The only party to benefit is Cap Metro, who’s contributed to the problem. It already planted bus stops in the middle of the Drag and dedicated lanes towards the river. Now, it wants to squeeze traffic from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to 29th Street. Rather than helping alleviate congestion, they seem intent on making it worse.

The only viable long-term solution to mass transit in downtown Austin is to get off the streets. Cap Metro should invest in boring equipment to build an underground facility to provide a real solution to the traffic mess this city can expect as it continues to grow. I’d vote for that.


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

I remember growing up in Bastrop in the 1950s and early 1960s, and driving to Austin looking at billboards lining both sides of the highway every few hundred feet.

It was appalling. Now, it looks like that camel has its nose under the tent again.

Why must we relearn the lessons of the past every few generations?


The Republican Party is wracked by internal contradictions that may be more important than we can guess. The Federalists, backed by bankers and businessmen, were suspicious of the common man and frightened by immigrants (look up the Alien and Sedition Acts). They promoted secular civil celebrations that mirrored religious practices and encouraged financiers and speculators. Long after their political demise, their influence was still felt through the rulings of the Supreme Court under John Marshall.

The Whigs destroyed themselves through the effects of competing ideologies within their party, including pro- and anti-slavery factions and nativist (anti-immigrant) tendencies against the Irish and Germans.

Does any of this sound familiar? Actual conservatives have many good and workable ideas. Perhaps those remaining should start a new party and call it the New Conservative Party.


Re: Dec. 11 article, “Ted Cruz does what Texas Legislature could not: expand ‘school choice.’”

Sen. Ted Cruz obviously values a good education — for those who can afford to invest in a 529 account for their children.

We are fortunate to have a public education system that could empower every child, if sufficiently supported instead of catering to those privileged few. Unfortunately, 263 million children worldwide are unable to access education. The Global Partnership for Education helps countries create a plan for their education systems that will put all their kids in school. This is a wise investment for our foreign aid dollars. Our senators and representatives should express their support for the partnership by cosponsoring Senate Resolution 286 and House Resolution 466.

There is untapped potential in every child.


Our country was attacked — and Republicans are only interested in covering for President Trump and his administration. They have no interest in protecting our country or putting it before party. I call that treason. Republicans in Congress are actively trying to undermine our justice and legal system. Never before in our history have we had lawmakers, legislators and media conglomerates intent on undermining the rule of law.

Our founding fathers never even entertained the idea that a Congress and a press would actively assist a hostile foreign government with the destruction of our democratic republic. Everyone one of them needs to be held accountable for his or her role in undermining our Republic — for the division they promote and the inequality they propagate. Our Constitution is under attack, and Republicans, who are in control of all branches of government, are responsible for allowing it to continue.


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