Letters to the editor: Oct. 9, 2017


While America searches its conscience to find a reason for the tragedy in Las Vegas, it may be helpful to search even deeper — into the consciousness of our culture to find the ultimate reason. That reason would be, in short, a lack of empathy.

Our culture has so evolved over the years that its members feel increasingly cut off from one another. We don’t identify anymore with our neighbor and her or his plight. If the shooter, while looking down on the concert crowd, had stopped for a moment and realized that his own brother could be among those he was about to shoot, the massacre might not have happened.

CHRIS HINES, BASTROP

Let’s admit it: We don’t give a damn about firearm deaths and mass shootings in this country.

If we did, we would elect people and support policies that prevent them. As a society, we have an obsession with firearms and violent behavior. War movies, gangster movies, shooter games. The endless fetish with cops, robbers and murderers. An almost pathological devotion to the military industrial complex. We love violence. It is baked into our consciousness.

Yet, after every one of these so called “events” there are the same heartfelt platitudes and a society in crisis asking collectively, “Why? How?” We are all in denial and full of it.

MATTHEW BRACHT, AUSTIN

It is really sad how money and the need for power can change the narrative in an individual. Lamar Smith, the House Representative for District 21, introduced a bipartisan bill to support the spread of hybrid electric cars citing global warming as one of his concerns.

He has taken more than $700,000 in contributions from the coal and gas industries over the course of his career — and has become a large opponent of climate change and all the data that scientist have proven about climate change. Unfortunately, he holds the chairmanship of the Science, Space and Technology committee. He has been bought. We need to replace him for the good of our grandchildren.

KAY SMITH, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 26 commentary, “Dell Medical School delivers on promise of healthier city.

Does Dell Medical deliver?

In the commentary, the dean claims Dell serves low-income areas and that the number of “medical residents” providing care has increased 32 percent since 2012.

Search “Travis County CommunityCare health centers” on the web. Note their location relative to low-income areas and read the comments of those served. A small percent of centers is in low-income areas. One large area has none. There are positive comments, though the negative comments are distressing and hint at a shortage of doctors and skilled personnel.

Three Statesman articles since January 2017 point to a problem: “Critics accuse the UT medical school of misspending local tax dollars.”Central Health budget hearing sparks debate over medical school funds” (84 percent of Dell salaries/compensation are paid with taxpayer dollars.) “Travis County commissioners can protect taxpayers and poor” Enough said. You decide.

DOUG GOODGAME, AUSTIN



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: Alabamans should do right thing on Roy Moore problem

The allegations and evidence against Senate candidate Roy Moore are piling up to the point of indefensibility. To the Washington Post’s extensively sourced story accusing him of misconduct toward girls as young as 14, recent days have added news of an additional accuser and a report from a retired police officer saying Moore was unofficially...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 21, 2017
Letters to the editor: Nov. 21, 2017

On Veterans Day, entering the grocery store I noticed “The Star-Spangled Banner” playing. Tables were set with finger sandwiches, chips, dips, and cake was being distributed by store personnel dressed in patriotic gear. As I shopped, the anthem kept playing on a loop. After the fourth repetition, I explained to a store employee when the...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 20, 2017

Re: Nov. 13 commentary, “Wear: MetroRail station late and costlier? Yes and no. Maybe.” Apparently, our local transit planners have never heard of “connectivity.” Pieces of our transit system don’t connect. The Capital Metro downtown rail station is blocks from both the Megabus terminal and the north-south 801 and 803...
Commentary: How Texans suffer without office of minority health
Commentary: How Texans suffer without office of minority health

During the past legislative session, Texas lawmakers canceled funding for the Office of Minority Health Statistics and Engagement (OMHSE) beyond Sept. 1, 2018. In effect, this means Texas could soon become the first state in the nation without an office of minority health. This is a bad decision by our lawmakers because Texas institutions continue...
Commentary: How NAFTA, immigration influence Texas’ economic future
Commentary: How NAFTA, immigration influence Texas’ economic future

Future challenges faced by the Texas economy with trade, immigration and border governance policies were the focus of a recent symposium convened by UT Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and its Texas 2030 Project. Some eye-opening facts emerged. Today’s Texas economy depends heavily on international trade and is built around technology...
More Stories