Letters to the editor: Sept. 25, 2017


I think many Americans feel that air travel is already quite nerve-wracking: Arriving at airports hours early to submit to extensive inspections by the Transportation Security Administration, suffering weather and mechanical delays, being on-edge about airlines’ computer failures and flight cancelations, and worrying about being “bumped” from our seats by airlines. These all contribute to the anxiety and frustration travelers feel with commercial air travel.

For many of us that fly frequently, the moment we can relax during air travel is when the wheels finally do leave the ground and our aircraft are guided by Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Control. Once those wheels come up, passengers can appreciate that we in America are far safer than any other flyers in the world.

I hope that lawmakers will move very carefully with changes to our air travel safety. What they want to “fix” seems to be the only part of air travel that isn’t broken.

GALE WILSON, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 18 commentary, “What Trump’s erasing of Obama’s work says to people of color.”

In response to Hector W. Soto’s commentary, the author does injustice to vitally important issues when he fallaciously bookends his argument with direct comparisons between the undoing of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Affordable Care Act to apartheid-era South Africa. It is this sort of carelessness of thought, of ideas, of language that leads to even more dangerous division and polarization.

After all, isn’t that what we discovered last November?

Soto is right in stating that so much of what Trump has done is “antithetical to American principles.” But so is marshaling resistance with an incendiary tone and making duplicitous and hyperbolic arguments. Instead of a thoughtful and reasonable response to the issue, Soto’s article reads and argues like a Trump tweet.

We don’t beat Trump by being Trump. We’re going to have to do better than this.

ANDREW BOOTH, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 16 article, “Ken Paxton makes unfounded claim that Barack Obama used DACA to ‘unilaterally confer’ citizenship.”

Ken Paxton certainly deserves the “Pants on Fire” rating, but so do most Republicans running Texas, since lying, disenfranchising voters, refusing Medicaid expansion, and constantly ignoring the most vulnerable have become GOP priorities. Several times in the last six years, for example, courts have found that the Texas GOP passed intentionally discriminatory voting laws, which Paxton heartlessly defends.

Good leaders — like President Lincoln — implement fair policies that heal and strengthen society from the bottom up, not via unfulfilled “trickle-down” promises. But by doubling down on their self-righteousness and hypocrisy, the GOP has truly enlightened Americans concerning how dangerous, out-of-touch and anti-American today’s GOP has become. Now that the truth is so overwhelmingly evident, we caring Americans can change society and make America great again. And we will, via virtue, not via GOP fear, greed and ignorance.

GARY L. WIMMER, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 18 article, “Austin Shakespeare finds timely political message in classic play.”

The author of the theater review suggests that the Austin Shakespeare’s “The Crucible” concerns “authoritarian attempts to destroy the nature of truth itself,” and implicates the current administration. I think any administration tries to control what is considered true and false, and that includes the previous administration. Whether it was the hiding/deleting of emails, or the botched attempt to describe the “raid on Benghazi,” the Obama administration worked overtime to obscure the truth.

For the last few months, we have seen cities and colleges removing statues and changing school names because they decided it was “true” that the names of Robert E. Lee, or other Confederates, necessarily represented pro-slavery and anti-black sentiments. For most defenders of the Confederate viewpoint, I think that is a false conclusion. Thus, I think this an excellent contemporaneous example of an authoritarian attempt to destroy the nature of truth itself.

DAVID GOODWIN, AUSTIN



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