Letters to the editor: Feb. 24, 2018

Re: Feb. 18 article, “Ellsworth Kelly crowns Austin with an artistic jewel.”

I read with delight the article about the new Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin.” I recognized and empathized with the opening statement, “Patches of color drip ever so slowly down the walls,” for I am the pastor of St. Austin Catholic Church, a short walk from Kelly’s “Austin.”

For over 60 years, our congregation has enjoyed just this delightful phenomenon of the play of the colored light streaming through our windows onto the interior, shell-stone walls. Likewise, at night the “interior illumination shimmers through the windows,” specifically the rose window facing Guadalupe Street. Of course, our windows do not have the artistic pedigree of the “Austin,” but if someone taken by the effect of the “Austin” would like to compare and contrast with another display of light, they are most welcome at St. Austin Church, and I dare say would also be welcome at St. Mary’s Cathedral for another experience of beautifully lit windows.


Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been spending a lot of his billionaire donors’ money on ads lately.

Patrick, Texas’ bathroom policeman, claims he is a “principled conservative,” which means he doesn’t believe governments should do much for the citizens, but does love giving out corporate welfare to big business.

He, along with the governor and other state leaders, do believe that the state knows better than citizens in cities what’s best for them. Time to send these bigots home. Be sure to vote, and don’t let then take away your right to vote.


It is time to enact the complete Second Amendment, including the first half, which most gun rights supporters ignore: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

I propose that everyone who now owns or buys a military-style weapon be required to attend monthly militia training run by the National Guard. Anyone who does not participate or cannot pass the physical would surrender their weapon, because they are unfit or unwilling to serve in the “well-regulated militia.” Those who do attend training will be required to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan before any current service member is required to deploy a second time.


Having traveled to Israel many times, may I respectfully suggest that representatives from each state travel to Israel to observe the security of their school system.

We have reached a point when the concept of “gun free zones” is no longer tenable. We could imitate Israel by having National Guardsmen guard our schools, as does Israel.

By giving National Guardsmen orders to guard the entrances and the interior of schools, these day could be used as credit to their active duty days.


Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies heralded the Russian internet invasion — occurring before and during our 2016 elections, and heading into 2018 elections. It’s easily the most significant invasion of U.S. sovereignty since Pearl Harbor. The U.S. Department of Justice indictments have named 13 Russians and three companies as conspirators in the cyber invasion.

The president’s No. 1 job is to defend our country. Instead of counter-attacking, he’s blocked sanctions on Russia. The president and his congressional lieutenants are not only not defending U.S. sovereignty, they are complicit in allowing the continuing invasion. Instead of spending millions on massive cyber defenses, the president’s grand defense scheme proposes a “beautiful wall.”

This subversive betrayal led by one single American — the president — has brought to reality the dreams that legions of Soviet spies and espionage agents during the Cold War could not.


The hair-on-fire mantra over “Russian meddling” is such a farce.

U.S. intelligence apparatus has trotted out the theory that about 100 people and a couple of million dollars constitute a dire threat to our republic and should occupy our national conscience for months.

When it comes to meddling in the affairs and elections of other countries, the U.S. is the undisputed king. The U.S. doesn’t just use cyber war. No, the U.S. drop things that explode and blow off body parts. If Russia is evil for meddling in our election, then the U.S. is downright demonic for the way it wages war on governments around the world.


Has the #MeToo movement unintentionally silenced victims of incest?

Those of us who have suffered from this form of sexual abuse may want to speak out, but since our circumstances and the consequences for coming forward are so different perhaps, we must craft our own forum.

Were some of us simply too young to know what had happened to us as it was happening? If we knew what to call it, did we dare tell an adult? Did our mothers believe us, or did they enable our assaulters? Did we know not to tell our teachers, friends’ mothers, or religious leaders because we feared that the truth would ruin our families?

Is that still the case now?

Do we continue to realize that all too often no one can fire a young girl’s father, uncle, brother, cousin?

Is it possible for #UsToo to have a #MeToo moment?



A guest commentary published Wednesday, Feb. 21 contained an incorrect figure for how much the federal government spends per year on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The program costs about $70 billion annually.

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