Letters to the editor: Sept. 2, 2017

    12:00 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 Opinion
Jay Janner
An empty House chamber at the Capitol on Aug. 16, the morning after the special session ended. JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Re: Aug. 20 article, “With rejection of special session core agenda, is GOP civil war next?”

In response to losses in his special session, Gov. Abbott opines, “Texas remains the model for governance in the United States of America.” Really? Does Abbott truly believe this?

One can only assume that Abbott is talking about our economy. U.S. News and World Report ranks the Texas economy at sixth overall, just a few states below California. But Texas ranks at the bottom tier in equally important criteria. Criteria such as education, health care, opportunity, public safety and infrastructure. In order of the above, our state ranking is 41st, 30th, 45th, 34th and 49th.

Clearly, our Texas government is failing us. Gov. Abbott may be proud of cutting meaningful services, but model governance is not just a balanced budget. It also includes policy that helps its citizens be educated, healthy and safe.

MICHAEL HOVIS, WEST LAKE HILLS

Many are criticizing the removal of Confederate statues as being an affront against “our forefathers” and “our freedom.”

I ask these individuals, who are the “our”? Certainly not the majority of Americans.

How symbolic it is that in order to view a statue, one must bend one’s neck to look up. Statues should be perpetually relevant.

The solution: Topple unbefitting statues into pieces and – as with the Berlin wall – sell the remnants, specifically to Confederate descendants. All proceeds would go to the design and construction of more apt representatives of American history: a nameless African-American slave with a baby on her back working the fields; a Chinese immigrant using a pickax to build railroads; Sonia Sotomayor being sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are hosts of other honorable subjects.

We must honor our whole history, even if it stings the most fortunate. Such statues I would want to look up to and honor.

CAROL DUNCAN, AUSTIN

I have visited all seven continents as well as every state in our union. For me, travel is a highway to learning. Sightseeing has given me a depth of perception to learn from architectural masterpieces and works of art. Statues of historic personalities bring alive stories engraved in stone.

A place known for its art appreciation becomes a place to be revisited and enjoyed. If a work of art is destroyed because of intellectual poverty, its site loses its attraction. If its citizens are ignorant and careless about their own history, why should visitors (tourists) bother to go there? I will spend my tourist dollars in towns where history is intelligently and respectfully preserved.

ROBERT F. REYNOLDS, GEORGETOWN

Terrorism has no religion. I believe that the only motivation behind a terrorist attack can be a twisted interpretation of the religion. The terrorist attack in Charlottesville followed by the attacks in Barcelona clearly show that terrorism feeds on egos and has nothing to do with religion.

What these extremists don’t realize is that conducting such heinous attacks will only defame their religion. The true Islam that I follow offers a peaceful solution to the hatred and chaos in today’s world. The solution is to respect all religions and the views that other people hold. My community, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a sect within Islam, is determined to spread the message of true Islam and tolerance among religions through dialogue.

I hope and pray that the world comes to realize the imminent danger of spreading hatred before its raging fire engulfs us all.

NADIA PASHA, ROUND ROCK

It is obvious Trump’s pardoning of the Arizona sheriff is only the first step before he pardons all of his campaign personnel, including himself, for any wrongdoing they may have done. He can do it right now even before there are any convictions.

We need to join together as Republicans and Democrats and demand the Congress immediately pass a law that does not allow a president to be a dictator and pardon people or themselves. We do not want a dictatorship. Pardoning must be done in another way and not left to presidents or governors.

We should tell Congress that they will be fired by us unless they do it rapidly and overcome any attempt by any president who tries to do it. If we have to, we must fire every one of them so they will learn that the people rule in this nation. If we do not fire them, a dictatorship will emerge.

JIM DENTON, GATESVILLE

Question on right-wing talk radio today: Why is the history of South and the Civil War, whether we like it or not, suddenly being obliterated?

Trump, in his short period in office, has destroyed America! He has brought chaos with his hate speech, which is turning into a full-fledged revolution. He threatens nations around the world and has no clue about diplomacy. Just preaching to his far-right-wing base.

Like the destruction of history and artifacts in Iraq, our history is being destroyed! We learn from history, but this president opened a can of worms.

Very strange times.

MEG HILLERT, DALLAS

Thank goodness there is a Republican in the White House to respond to Hurricane Harvey quickly.

Recall Obama’s vengeful dithering in 2010 delaying the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill because Louisiana and Texas didn’t vote for him.

It took James Carville on national TV embarrassing him for Obama to kick into gear.

Trump will take care of all Texas citizens in need.

JOHN HOOPINGARNER, LAKEWAY

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