Re: Feb. 18 article, “Playing to an audience of one, Dan Patrick doesn’t need your approval.”
The article did a good job capturing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s lack of interest in good policies for our communities that government is supposed to oversee, like public education, transportation and water resources
Instead, Patrick just wants to be the religious dictator telling us all how to live our personal lives. That’s exactly what the founding fathers were afraid of when they decided to separate church and state. They had seen the ill effects of mingling the two in European countries.
Patrick has the right to believe and live by whatever religious notions he wants to — and so do I, as long as we all obey the rules of civility, like following traffic laws and respecting each other’s rights. Maybe someone needs to tell him he wasn’t elected God; he was elected to help manage and direct our common public services.
SARA SPEIGHTS, AUSTIN
In regard to the city of Austin’s new policy on sick leave: I am neutral; neither for nor against it.
But it is very ironic that Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are so adamant against what the federal government tries to tell the state of Texas what it can or cannot do and then turn around and treat the city of Austin the very same was, trying to tell the city what to do.
LEO O. MUELLER JR., AUSTIN
Thanks to the recent indictments from Robert Mueller’s investigation, we now know that there indeed was a concerted effort by Russian actors to disrupt our 2016 election.
Leaving aside the question of whether that interference influenced the results, Congress must now do all it can to ensure no repeat of that interference in the midterm elections, since President Trump is uninterested in doing anything to protect our elections. Since we also know that the Russians also were able to gain entrance to the electoral system in at least one state, we should do all we can to ensure they can’t manipulate votes that have been cast — even going to paper ballots if necessary.
Surely these suggestions can’t be controversial — or are those in this country who actually want a hostile foreign power picking our leaders for us?
RICHARD HARTGROVE, AUSTIN
Re: Feb. 17 letter to the editor, “School names chosen for work after Civil War.”
If you read the other 958 pages in Ron Chernow’s “Grant,” besides the one page mentioning the Confederate draft, you will discover whole chapters telling what happened after the Civil War ended. White gangs across the South used campaigns of terror attacks to undo the Union victory, take away the rights African-Americans fought for as Union soldiers, and restore white supremacy to power.
Erecting statues of Confederate traitors and naming schools after them were done as a pledge to white supremacy and renunciation of the fact that all people are created equal. Anyone who pledges allegiance to the United States and all it stands for must demand the removal of these idols to the false god of white supremacy.
NATHAN G. HARDEE, AUSTIN
Re: February 11 article, “Infrastructure plan may ignore climate change.”
Infrastructure planning has been critical for health and safety of U.S. citizens. It is encouraging that lawmakers are faced with addressing a proposal to rebuild, restore and modernize nation’s aging infrastructure.
But if climate change impacts are not made part of this plan, we will end up building “wrong thing, in the wrong place, to the wrong standards” per studies from Arizona State University. Rising temperatures, flooding and drought are effects of climate change that must be accounted in designing infrastructure projects like airports, railways, military bases, bridges, roads and storm water structures.
There is lot to gain by using the scientific and engineering studies that use climate change data and its effects on infrastructure. Funds will be spent wisely without wasting money on either redesigning, rebuilding or maintaining new infrastructure. Local and state governments are experiencing it every day. A long-term sustainable plan is the most prudent path.
KALPANA SUTARIA, AUSTIN
The president has the unfortunate habit of using imprecise and inaccurate words. He says Democrats who refused to applaud him are “treasonous.”
Robert Mueller has now indicted 13 Russians for illegally interfering with our 2016 election. “The consent of the governed” is among the most fundamental concepts of democracy, and when it is undermined — as Mueller asserts the Russians attempted to do — it threatens our very existence. If the president, whose National Security Adviser has proclaimed Mueller’s evidence of Russian meddling incontrovertible, takes no action, I believe this is treason.
CAROL SANDER, AUSTIN
Another senseless slaughter has brought another round of the usual debate regarding gun control with the usual result: Nothing is done. Why not try a different approach? You may own all the firearms you want, but no ammunition.
Ammunition would be available for purchase on a monitored quota system. The ammunition, or any related items used for the personal production of ammunition, would have a modest tax. This tax would be used to fund anti-violence programs and emergency room fees for gun related injuries.
Yes, people being people, an underground market would arise. However, any ammunition found without appropriate tax stamps would be confiscated — and those in possession of it subject to fines and incarceration.
Going down the same old worn road, both pro and con, is pointless.
RICHARD CREED, BELTON