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Letters to the editor: Jan. 14, 2017


Re: Jan. 3 article, “Chain-link fences along Redbud Trail cliffs soon to be removed.”

This was a bad idea from the beginning — and fabricated without any input from those of us who use this roadway on a regular basis. I traveled this route twice a day for about 40 years and never once was hit by a rock or escaped a close encounter, even during heavy rain events. Perhaps it was instigated by someone in authority with connections to the fence industry. What a waste of taxpayer funds!

Thanks to those who have restored the beautiful entry into our beloved hills west of Austin.

JERI PORTER, WEST LAKE HILLS

Re: Jan. 2 letter to the editor, “Americans should be giving Trump a chance.”

So we see that there was no thoughtful deliberation from this Trump supporter during the election, just two specious conclusions – “Hillary Clinton is bad” and “we need a break.” Unfortunately, enough people were duped by this narcissist that the unthinkable is about to occur; the next leader of the U.S. will be a fascist, surrounding himself by white supremacists. This is not hyperbole — these are facts.

Now this country is at the crossroads that Germany found itself at in 1934, except Trump is our Reichskanzler. The similarities are too eerie to ignore; misogyny, overt racism and xenophobia are trotted out as virtues to embrace. Today, Hispanics and Muslims are Hitler’s Jews and gypsies.

And I find it supremely ironic that the writer alludes to “clearing our complexion.” Trump and his supporters are all about doing that by making this country more white. We’re watching a tragedy unfold.

CHARLES ROSS, AUSTIN

Re: Dec. 18 article, “Scrubbing the swastikas, alt-right goes mainstream.”

In a textbook case of confirmation bias, the New York Times examined the alt-right movement and discovered — surprise! — white nationalists, or racists. How convenient. Bonus points for working “swastika” into the headline and highlighting some loser living in a trailer.

This caricature in no way resembles the alt-right I am familiar with, which fairly crackles with intelligence and sharp-witted, incisive commentary. This alt-right routinely generates some of the clearest thinking and writing to be found anywhere right now. Certainly there are cranks and misanthropes hovering around the margins, as with any movement. But so what?

The article did get one thing right, though: The alt-right movement is indeed a “grab bag” of interests, unified in opposition to the left’s silly obsession with political correctness and obtuse, uncritical glorification of all things multi-culti-touchy-feely. And what, pray tell, is wrong with that?

SCOTT SNELL, AUSTIN

Re: Jan. 1 letter to the editor: “Dump winner-take-all Electoral College plan.”

Some say that the U.S. Constitution considered slaves to be only “three-fifths of a person.” They are dead wrong. Here is the pertinent phrase in Article I: “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states … according to their respective numbers, [including] “three fifths of all other persons.”

Notice that the text reads “three-fifths of all other persons.” Not “three-fifths of a person.” In the Constitution, all humans are considered “persons,” including slaves.

The original U.S. Constitution is actually anti-slavery. The “three-fifths clause” was a compromise between those in the North that did not want to count any slaves at all and those in the South that wanted to count all slaves. The “three-fifths clause” actually limited the influence of southern slave states in Congress.

When the 13th Amendment was ratified, Frederick Douglass marveled that not a single word in the original Constitution had to be changed.

The Constitution is not racist.

B.G. SMITH, AUSTIN



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