Letters to the editor: Oct. 16, 2017

    12:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 Opinion

Barbara Jordan was the chair of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform from December 1993 until her death in 1996. She said: “Immigration, like foreign policy, ought to be a place where the national interest comes first, last, and always.”

In 1995, testifying before Congress she said: “To make sense about the national interest in immigration, it is necessary to make distinctions between those who obey the law, and those who violate it. Therefore, we disagree, also, with those who label our efforts to control illegal immigration as somehow inherently anti-immigrant. Unlawful immigration is unacceptable.”

“Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave.”

If you don’t remember, she was a Democrat, appointed by Bill Clinton to chair that commission. She sounds like a Republican more so than a Democrat of today. What’s changed?

PAUL MINSHEW, ROUND ROCK

Re: Oct. 10 commentary, “America’s peeling back Obama administration red tape.

This commentary sounded like a Trump fundraiser and rally.

The regulations costs billions of dollars and will increase electric rates, the authors claim. Funny, our rates have come down over the past two years. The reported millions of jobs lost must have gone to solar and wind power jobs, since our unemployment rate at record lows. Obama’s job-killing regulation have smothered the economic growth in Texas, just take a look at Austin.

All of these Obama-era rules and regulations must go so our economy can return to the Bush administration era and an unemployment rate at more than 10 percent. The good ol’ GOP days!

MIKE HENRY, SMITHWICK

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

A letter in the Statesman stated that were it not for Christopher Columbus stumbling onto a Caribbean island there would be no America, assuming that no one else could possibly have stumbled onto this great land mass we live on today.

The author writes, “the Americas would not have electricity or modern medicine. We wouldn’t even have the wheel.” The writer also credits Columbus for his eyeglasses along with a full refrigerator, air conditioning and antibiotics.

Had I only known of Columbus’ far-reaching achievements, I might have been able to overlook his enslaving of a native population and the deaths of over 3 million people who were forced to work in mines under his rule as viceroy and governor of the Indies. I would suggest that the letter writer and the rest of us look around for someone a little less genocidal to celebrate.

DENNIS PRATT, GEORGETOWN

Re: Oct. 3 article, “Severe power failures in Puerto Rico, across the Caribbean spur interest in renewables.”

Thanks for the excellent article on rebuilding of Puerto Rico’s electric grid. It’s hard to imagine not having power for four to six months. But that is what the 3.5 million people are suffering from at this island, combined with a shortage of food and clean water, piles of debris, lack of fuel and little communications connectivity. The devastation is heart wrenching.

With increasing risk of powerful storms like Hurricane Maria, it makes sense to reconsider reinvestment that includes wind, solar and battery storage, along with smaller “microgrids,” instead of a centralized grid that brings the whole system down. We have to rethink how to plan for future infrastructure, building projects that are resilient, energy efficient, and have simple modular designs, which can be assembled quickly to help put lives together.

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have adequate sun and wind for renewable power to supplement nonrenewable sources, and reduce air pollution.

KALPANA SUTARIA, AUSTIN

Re: Oct. 4 article, “Silas leaves Capital Metro board after flap over remarks on race.”

One would think that Beverly Silas, an African-American and now ex-Capital Metro board member, was in a unique position to help improve race relations in the Austin area as she saw them and assist whomever was selected. But instead, she presented a mind-boggling stance to oppose considering an African-American to head the transit agency.

For eight years, she served as a board member with the transit authority and might have felt herself, overlooked or “slighted.”

ELAINE COCO, AUSTIN

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