Letters to the editor: Oct. 15, 2017

    2:20 p.m Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 Opinion

Re: Sept. 24 article, “Is Austin the landlocked surf capital of the world? Some say yes.”

A recent Statesman article highlighted an inland surfing park in Austin that doesn’t rely on boats. It would be great if all the wake surfers on Lake Austin were to take their sport over to the surfing park.

Wake surfing relies on really big wakes generated by large boats, often weighted down in back with tanks called “fat sacks.” The big and powerful wakes are causing erosion of the shoreline, and potentially damaging piers and boat docks.

It’s a public safety issue too. The waves can swamp canoes, kayaks or standup paddle boards, catch swimmers unaware and in the worst case lead to drowning. Because it’s a public safety issue the city should seriously look at some regulations and since there are alternatives like the surf park, consider banning wake surfing on Lake Austin altogether.

KEN PFLUGER, AUSTIN

Re: Oct. 11 letter to the editor, “Without Columbus, no America as we know it.

The writer remarks that without Columbus we’d have none of the modern conveniences we take for granted.

Think about it! No modern medicine, no computers, no air conditioning. And most horrific of all — no cellphones? OMG!

Pity the indigenous population of Columbus’ time.

Without Columbus, the European kingdoms might not have invaded the new world, charging forth with God’s name on their lips and avarice in their hearts.

If the natives only lived to be 50 — according to the writer — it’s probably because the invaders didn’t give them much of chance, wiping out millions of the indigenous population by force of arms and pestilence.

Let’s keep Columbus’ effects in perspective.

ROBERT ELLIOTT, KYLE

I find myself wondering how many of those who scorn athletes who kneel in protest while our national colors are being honored are the same ones who vilify those who urge the removal of statues of those who were even more egregious —like waging war against their countrymen — in their disdain for the same banner.

F. BROWN WORD, RETIRED NAVY CAPTAIN, AUSTIN

Re: Oct. 10 article, “Jones: ‘Disrespecting’ flag not allowed.”

I will be supporting Jerry Jones’ decision. There are superior ways to protest. Our flag and our anthem stand for rights for all and nondiscrimination. The fact that we are not fully there is no reason to disrespect representations of what we strive to be.

Donate to appropriate causes, march, engage in civil disobedience, speak out early and often against discrimination, do so peacefully. Engage in dialogue with those who would suppress freedom, and if they hold office, campaign and vote them out. But the flag and the anthem represent the good we strive to accomplish as well as the aspirations of freedom and respect for our servicemen and their sacrifices to allow us to maintain those rights and aspirations. We can and should criticize our country when it falls short of its ideals — but we should continue to respect those ideals and the symbols that represent them and work harder to achieve them.

CECIL R. REYNOLDS, AUSTIN

Like many other subjects, people on both sides of the “kneeling” protest seem to have forgotten some very important facts. The American flag is a powerful symbol that represents the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Without those, it is simply a piece of cloth.

What kind of free nation would we be if started taking away people’s basic freedoms and locking them up? Soldiers don’t fight and die protecting a piece of cloth; they fight and die to protect the freedom that that piece of cloth represents. The kneeling protestors are not protesting wounded and dead soldiers, nor the flag itself and what it stands for; they are protesting social injustices and a widening racial divide perpetrated by an insensitive, misinformed president. They are protesting because the freedoms the American flag represents are rapidly being stripped away from certain citizens because of their race or religion.

JAMES HARRIS, AUSTIN

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