Letters to the editor: Feb. 17, 2018


Re: Feb. 14 article, “Austin school board to vote on renaming schools with Confederate ties.”

This letter is in response to Austin ISD Trustee Ted Gordon’s statement that correlated low test scores with the name of a school.

If that was the case then wouldn’t students who attend Grant or Lincoln High School have the highest test scores? As someone who was in education for 35 years, not once have I ever seen any data that test scores are tied to a school name. There are many reasons for low tests scores that certainly should be addressed but perhaps Gordon should be investigating those instead of his own hyperbole.

Or why not just name all schools after Albert Einstein?

DAVID JAMES, LEANDER

In the book “Grant” by Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Ron Chernow, he writes that the Confederacy extended conscription to all white males between 17 and 50 in February 1864.

So, no Austin Independent School District school can be named for any white male who lived in the South and was 17 to 50 years old in 1864. They are despicable forever. That’s a pretty broad stroke. The schools were named for those men for what they did after the Civil War.

As Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens said, “We believed in those days we were fighting for the right — and it was a noble fight, for we were fighting for our sweethearts, our homes and our lives.”

Lucky for us Austin and Travis died before the Civil War so they’re OK … so far.

TOMMY RANDALL, AUSTIN

  • When the United States military is the largest in the world, more than the combined military budgets of the next four largest spenders combined
  • When the U.S. has a military presence in over 150 countries
  • When we hear of an ambush in Niger killing four American soldiers, prompting puzzled citizens to ask “Where?” and “Why?”’
  • When response is required from the whole nation to assist areas under siege of floods, hurricanes and droughts resulting from our planet’s increasing ecological imbalance
  • When states across the nation struggle to fund K-12 education and university students graduate with burdensome student loan debt
  • When millions in our country have no basic health care insurance
  • When our national debt is already in the trillion

It makes no sense to expand the military budget.

BETSY SINGLETON, SAN MARCOS

Re: Feb. 11 commentary, “White men sure to be biggest ‘HQ2’ winners.”

The authors lament the lack of diversity every place they look. They would rather have no jobs move to Austin than have the “wrong” group get the jobs.

There may be good reasons to not desire HQ2 in Austin, but the lack of diversity in high tech isn’t one of them. I bet that the gender studies field is less diverse than high tech. I did a quick count of the core faculty of University of Texas’ Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and it looks like there are 11 men among 69 core faculty members, roughly 16 percent. Hmmm? Why does that department discriminate against men? There must be hidden or overt biases. Perhaps the authors should analyze the diversity problem in the gender studies field? At least that won’t hurt our local economy.

JAMES GREENE, AUSTIN

“Pro-life” Republicans once again run away from their responsibility to protect our schoolchildren.

Republican politicians throw up their hands in the face of what Florida Gov. Rick Scott called “absolutely pure evil,” never accepting that by not passing common sense gun laws they are complicit in the horror.

“Pro-life” Republicans offer their thoughts and prayers, pushing aside actions that could stop this killing, injuring and traumatizing of innocent children. What if they only voted for people who valued life more than the uncontrolled spread of deadly weapons?

How many massacres must they witness before they are brave enough to put our children’s lives ahead of partisan politics and culture “wars?” How much longer will they fight with bitter rhetoric, leaving our children vulnerable to deadly bullets?

Since when did the NRA become their God?

BARBARA CHIARELLO, AUSTIN

I have a question: If as, President Trump says, Democrats are complicit in the crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, why aren’t Trump and the myriad of legislators and government officials at the national, state and local levels who refuse to even consider any reasonable restrictions on gun availability complicit in the horrific slaughter of innocent young people occurring with frightening regularity in our society?

JIM FURGESON, AUSTIN

Every week, it seems we read some article advocating revenue-neutral carbon taxes. We are never given details however, because that would expose the truth.

Carbon taxes would raise the price of gasoline, diesel, natural gas and coal. Not only would we pay more at the pump, we would, too, for everything delivered by truck. Also, your bills would go up.

Who calculates what it would cost each family? It’s impossible. Maybe we would get an “average” refund after the government takes it’s cut to cover “expenses.” Revenue-neutral is a lie designed to hurt everybody who uses and produces fossil fuel. Typical environmentalist tactics.

STEVE HUNDLEY, AUSTIN

Re: Feb. 12 letter to the editor, “Have faith in the party: Advertise your affiliation.”

The letter suggests that party trumps all other qualifications of any political candidate. I assume this implies that the writer would have not voted for Donald Trump if he had run as a Democrat or Hillary Clinton if she had run as a Republican.

Would the writer have voted for George Washington who deplored all political parties and pleaded with the new nation to do the same? Did we listen to Washington? Apparently not, and look at the mess we’re in now.

TODD CRICKMER, AUSTIN



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Letters to the editor: June 25, 2018
Letters to the editor: June 25, 2018

The Austin City Council voting on CodeNext dishonors the act of voting, the 2012 council vote for Imagine Austin and the individuals who sacrificed for voting rights and our form of government — veterans, first responders and citizens. It’s time to stop the process, otherwise the city’s goals set forth in Imagine Austin will go unfulfilled...
Opinion: Return of the blood libel

The speed of America’s moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we’ve gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages. What’s almost equally remarkable about this plunge into barbarism is that it&rsquo...
Opinion: On being decent

Not too long ago, I returned to my parked car and found a sheet of paper on the windshield bearing an expletive-laden message. The anonymous poster had obviously gone to some effort to make these flyers on his home computer — complete with color cartoon figures and such. It let me know what an (obscenity) I was. My sin was having parked my car...
Herman: Beto O’Rourke flashes star power at Texas Democratic Convention
Herman: Beto O’Rourke flashes star power at Texas Democratic Convention

Some takeaways taken away from three days with 7,500 or so delegates at the Texas Democratic Convention: In general, the Dems didn’t approve a platform with nearly the volume of nutty stuff the Repubs did at their convention. Oh, there’s plenty in the Dem platform that some folks won’t like, but there’s nothing approaching the...
Facebook comments: June 24, 2018
Facebook comments: June 24, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Johnathan Silver, Austin-based nonprofit Southwest Key Programs spoke out against family separations at the border after President Donald Trump signed an executive order ending the practice. The organization posted a statement on Facebook that said, “Southwest Key Programs does not support separating...
More Stories