Letters to the editor: Aug. 7, 2018


Re: Aug. 1 commentary, “How America can birth a just and loving world.

I was deeply moved by midwife Paula Rojas’ stunning analogy of the current horrific refugee situation to a difficult childbirth. She says our country is in the middle of a difficult labor. We still have a long way to go — and it will get more intense before the birth comes. As with any labor, we must remember to stay in the moment, breathe and take one contraction at a time.

We must remember to keep our hearts open and not let ourselves go numb again. The pain of witnessing forced family separation must serve a purpose. We must use these moments of clarity to continue to build our collective people power.

Now is the time for strategic and constant collective actions — large or small, public or intimate — toward a fundamental transformation of our society. Yes, this labor is protracted; yet we will birth a just and loving world.

MARTHA ROGERS, AUSTIN

Hall of Famer Robert Brazile, discussing his postfootball career, said, “It was more difficult being a teacher.” I appreciate that.

After retiring from IBM, I became a teacher. It is the most challenging job of my professional life. And I used to develop flight software for the space shuttle and space station. I’ll let that sink in.

Those we cherish most, our children, are left with teachers for 8-10 hours a day, 180 days a year. Then, we casually treat teachers with the utmost disrespect. The average teacher salary in Texas is thousands less than the national average; the teacher attrition rate is 50 percent at the five-year mark; the pension program can’t support retirement; and now they’ve gone after health care.

This onslaught on teachers starts with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The effort to damage and discredit public education is a ruse to secure vouchers. It’s time to replace Patrick.

JOHN ADAMS, DRIPPING SPRINGS

As the senators representing Texas, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz should take very seriously the next appointment of a Supreme Court justice.

We cannot have a justice on the court who believes that the president is above the law and should not be held accountable for actions that undermine the Constitution that the president is sworn to uphold. We need a Supreme Court justice who will honor precedence and the rights of the individual. Kavanaugh is not that person.

Cruz and Cornyn should take a stand for their constituents and oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh for a place on the Supreme Court.

PAMELA OGLESBY, CEDAR PARK

Using the Federal Reserve to control the economy has always been a bad idea. Coupling rising interest rates with Trump’s tariffs is a recipe for economic disaster.

Tariffs have never been a good idea, no matter who levies them. In 1930, Congress passed — and President Hoover signed into law — the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. The idea behind it was to put the country back to work and get out of the depression. We all know how that worked out: The Great Depression lasted until the end of the decade. The current tariffs are exacerbated with a $12 billion bailout for farmers. Is this not madness?

This country needs to rescind the tariffs and let the free market do its job. While we are at it, let’s get rid of the Fed and go back on the gold standard.

RON BASELICE, LAGO VISTA

I waited in the Travis County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office recently, and waited many hours to pay a fee for car registration.

While I was waiting, I noticed that the system currently in use is quite inefficient and slow. There are significant gaps of time built in for simply waiting. Although it is nice that there are chairs for people who can’t stand, I suggest that an express line be added for those who can. That way, taxpayers present themselves immediately when the clerk is available without a five-minute lag.

If the clerk needs a break, another clerk can come to that station and relieve them. This addition to the current system would speed things up for everyone.

CARLA BAKUTIS, AUSTIN

An author of a best-selling book pointed out the genius of President Trump’s ability to brand out his messages using two words repeatedly. Using “fake news,” “lying Hilary” and “witch hunt,” Trump supporters can remember these phrases as truth, because they have heard it so many times.

Most people know that Trump is a dishonest person who is duping these poor souls. We need to use his tactics to fight back against his ruining of our democracy. I suggest we use “Con Man Trump” over and over and over. Might just work, fellows. Never say “Trump” again. “Con Man” Trump. Let it spread.

KAY SMITH, AUSTIN



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