Letters to the editor: Dec. 1, 2017

Re: Nov. 26 article, “Mayor Adler: Landing Amazon’s HQ2 could push Austin to find solutions to some key issues.”

Your interview confirmed my long-held suspicion: Our mayor is the loopiest thinker since Dr. Strangelove.

Regarding affordability: How will adding 50,000 well-paid people to the community improve affordability? Does he not understand the law of supply and demand?

Regarding mobility: How will 50,000 more commuters anywhere in Travis County improve traffic congestion? Does he secretly want true gridlock?

He expresses hope that Amazon will have some magic wand to wave that will undue all the quality of life crises that he and his council have directly caused in recent few years. He really doesn’t have a clue about how that might happen, although he is worried about Austin “values.” Time to drain the Austin swamp.


Re: Nov. 22 article, “Austin looks to mitigate MoPac toll lanes’ collateral damage to Chavez.

I guess the problems created on Cesar Chavez Street by the MoPac toll lanes are another example of the toll commission’s excellence in engineering, along with the loss of the Winsted entrance lane headed south.

As my wife mentioned, the toll lane does little for state workers and most people who work downtown, since it forces them to go all the way to Cesar Chavez at the lake to get on or off. Apparently, it was impossible to provide an additional entrance and exit at Enfield Road, as well as to provide adequate space at Far West Boulevard for people to safely enter and exit across three lanes of traffic.

I guess you have to be a traffic engineer to appreciate the toll lane’s design; mere drivers have more practical concerns.


Re: Nov. 22 article, “Almost 60,000 Haitians can remain in U.S. only till 2019.”

Some of these Haitian refugees were born in the United States, so they are U.S. citizens. The U.S. government has no authority to force a U.S. citizen to leave the United States. Congress should grant U.S. citizenship to the parents of these Haitian refugee children, so these children will not be separated from their parents.

Returning the other Haitian refugees to Haiti will condemn them to poverty or worse. There are no jobs or housing to accommodate these refugees in Haiti. Congress ought to provide an adequate income for 20 years to any Haitian refugee who voluntarily returns to Haiti.


The Senate tax plan cuts taxes for the wealthiest while doing nothing for the poorest.

This bill repeals the safeguard of the alternative minimum tax, which ensures the very wealthy pay a fair share in taxes, regardless of deductions. The estate tax now affects individuals with a net worth over $5.49 million. This bill would raise that to $11 million, protecting even more vast fortunes. The bill lowers the corporate tax rate while raising the lowest tax rate, saving money for big business while costing more for those that can’t afford it. It gives an expanded child tax credit to those making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year while not offering that same help to those in poverty.

This bill adds $1.5 trillion to the deficit, so the already very wealthy can be wealthier. I urge Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to vote no on this bill.


Re: Nov. 21 article, “Second woman accuses Franken of sexual misconduct.”

I’m thankful for all the women who have come forward with their allegations since Harvey Weinstein. They are helping a movement and creating awareness about rape culture in our society by encouraging other women to step forward as well, which has helped uncover what lies beneath the tip of the iceberg that is sexual harassment in the workplace.

As a woman, I knew this happened. But I still find myself surprised that there are always more. Her, too? It just makes me think of all the women who have remained silent.

However, with cases like these that include politicians, the admiration for the women who have come forward is especially incredible. I can’t imagine the courage it takes to come forward with allegations against someone in the government. I hope they don’t pay attention to backlash and know there are many women who stand with them and believe them.


Re: Nov. 26 letter to the editor, “All rights government gives are privileges.”

The writer of a recent letter states all rights our government provides are privileges to reason that heath care is a right.

This statement could not be further from the truth. The people of the United States allow the government to govern us. The Constitution is a document of negative right, telling the government what it can and cannot do.

Rights are endowed by our creator and can never be taken away. This is what makes our Constitution unique in the world. The government does not allow us the right of free speech, free assembly and unwarranted searches as the writer states. We the people tell the government it must make no law taking away our unalienable rights. This reasoning reflecting rights as privileges shows the lack of proper education of our founding and how our republic works. The privilege is that we are all citizens of this great nation.


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