Letters to the editor: Dec. 15, 2017

    Dec 14, 2017
Trees are covered are covered in snow in Bastrop County on Dec. 8. Nell Carroll/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Re: Dec. 9 article, “Surprise snowstorm in Austin brings havoc and joy.”

Snow storm accidents on our roads? It’s no wonder. The drivers in this area have trouble driving safe on a summer day when all is hot and dry.

The results, year-round, are another example of a state that “gives” driver’s license away by the millions at the Department of Public Safety and on their website without requiring any testing — neither driving nor written test are required for the drivers moving here.

I encourage the state to go back to the old ways of testing when someone transfers their driver’s license to Texas. Requiring written and drivers test. I would also like for the state to have driver’s licenses expire. Requiring a continued education program for everyone with hands on driving and a written test every five to 10 years depending on age.

BILL HOGLAN, GEORGETOWN

Re: Nov. 29 article, “How much does the Trump family have to gain from GOP tax bills?”

PolitiFact recently rated a statement by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett as “Half True.” The comment by Doggett was regarding the vote that he had just cast against the House Republican tax bill. Instead of rating him on the vote that he had just cast, PolitiFact rated the Congressman on what might happen to the bill after it emerges from Conference.

Let us test this rating system, shall we? Suppose I stated that in 2016, Donald Trump said that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a single vote. Using the rating system that PolitiFact used to judge Doggett, PolitiFact would need to consider that, well, Trump has not yet shot anyone on Fifth Avenue, and we do not know what the consequences might be if he did. PolitiFact would, therefore, rate my statement as “Half True.”

Maybe Trump didn’t say what he said.

STEVEN MEDLOCK, AUSTIN

If the Supreme Court decides that Christian bakers can refuse to make wedding cakes for LGBT couples, will the court allow them to refuse cakes to the divorced? Will the court extend this right to bakers at grocery stores, or to other religions? What about the cashiers? Can Jews refuse to ring up sales of pork, Muslims refuse to ring up sales of alcohol, and Hindus refuse to ring up sales of meat? Will this be extended to people at restaurants and convenience stores? How will this work?

It won’t. Like many other right-wing ideas, this one is wrong and unworkable. The solution to the cake dilemma is simple: If a person can’t do their job because of their religion, they should get another job.

ROBIN MCMILLION, AUSTIN

Re: Dec. 10 commentary, “Trump should leave Rosa Parks’ name out of his mouth.”

Maybe I need to get a life. Just having finished reading my least favorite editorialist, Leonard Pitts, remark on latest dislike for our current leader, I have a question: Does this guy get big bucks for his weekly gripes about “The Donald”?

How do you compare the bravery of Rosa Parks in the 1960s to the actions of Colin Kaepernick this year? Colin has his values. That’s fine. I feel that his actions were out of place and showed disrespect. He was on the field to earn a living. He was not told to give up his seat on a bus. I would not have done what he did on “company time.”

Nobody will convince me that his actions will solve our problems in society. His actions have done little to solve anything. Many, like me, will find new ways to spend our time; Colin will seek a job; and little will change.

MIKE EDGAR, AUSTIN

I read that Republican Senator Ted Cruz says “Money can absolutely be speech,” and that Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has a $41 million campaign fund.

Both Democrats and Republicans have super PACs that pour money from unknown sources into our political races, an abomination we have been unsuccessful in stopping. Maybe we should ask for reports on which candidates get the most campaign contributions that can be identified as coming from individuals. We could call it the “Fair Vote Index.”

I know that when I hear a Republican governor has $41 million in campaign funds at a time when our Republican-dominated Congress is trying to pass a tax bill that gives most tax breaks to corporations and the very wealthy, a big, fat money stash is a big, fat flashing sign that says we should put our votes somewhere else.

MARY LEY, AUSTIN

Why is Congress attempting to subvert the will of more than 70 percent of Americans on every major issue?

Here are a few examples: Energy policy that supports clean air and water and reduces climate change. Social Security and Medicare. Respect and equal treatment for all Americans. Financial regulations that prevent predatory banking. Tax policy that benefits all Americans. A free and open internet.

It makes no apparent sense that Republicans are on the wrong side of every one of these issues. Follow the money — and everything becomes crystal clear. These politicians are bought by a tiny fraction of the very wealthy with demands contrary to the majority. The past year has brought this grim reality into stark focus. Elections can have terrible consequences. Start voting for candidates who care about the whole country, not just a few at the top.

GORDON TURNER, AUSTIN