Re: Jan. 14 photo, “Sharing a message of P.I.E. (Peace Includes Everyone).”
Please accept my compliments on the photograph by Jay Janner of the American-Statesman that appeared on the front page of Metro & State section on Jan. 14. I think it’s a remarkable picture of two celebrants visiting at a table.
Their expressions are so genuine — and it’s obvious that they are enjoying their conversation with each other. The photo seems a perfect match for the message of peace and unity. Thank you, Mr. Janner. Your photo made my day!
GARY BRANTLEY, CAMERON
Re: Jan. 14 article, “A trapper’s life: Pursuing animals and the outdoors.”
It was disappointing to see the Statesman publish a fluff piece on the inhumane practice of animal trapping. There is nothing romantic about steel jaw traps or the pain and fear inflicted before being shot in the head. Trapping is a 19th century solution in search of a 21st century “problem.”
You would be better off reporting on the recent decision by Travis County Commissioners Court to cancel the contract with Texas Wildlife Services. This follows the city of Austin’s 2015 action to do the same. Austin and Travis County now employ a humane and ethical public information program that teaches people avoidance techniques along with hazing. Hazing is the practice of reinstilling the fear of humans into coyotes that have become too bold. It is effective and avoids the killing of nontargeted pets and wildlife. Travis County residents wanting to learn more can visit austintexas.gov/department/coyotes-central-texas for more information.
DAVID LUNDSTEDT, AUSTIN ANIMAL ADVISORY COMMISSION CHAIR, SPICEWOOD
I’m shocked that Congress continues to support a vulgar, reckless man in the White House. Where are their standards, morals and integrity? Where would Jesus stand on this issue? I am sad that our country has become a circus run by sarcasm, hatred and put-downs. Why won’t Congress do their jobs and stand up for decency?
The president’s repugnant statements last week succeeded in taking attention away from the actual policies. Instead of debating the flaws or merits of the deal, the press have been focused on yet another White House sideshow.
We must turn our attention to ensuring Congress does its job: taking care of business, international affairs and constituents. Sens. Michael McCaul, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn must stand up for what they know in their heart is the right thing to do. Call this president what he is, and let’s restore respect and decency to our highest leadership position.
FRANCINE GALKO, AUSTIN
Years ago, before Rand Paul or Donald Trump ran for president, ophthalmologist Rand Paul took a medical mission trip to Haiti and Central America to perform cataract surgery on hundreds of Haitians. Paul says Donald Trump was a major financial backer of those mission trips, and that Trump cares deeply about the Haitian people and wanted to help restore their vision. A racist or white supremacist would never do that.
Some countries are disastrous places filled with rampant poverty and stagnant economies, often run by dysfunctional, corrupt government regimes. Islamic State and other terrorist organizations often take hold in these countries. In Trump’s salty and rough language, he was referring to these countries’ glaring problems, not to the color of anyone’s skin. Trump was asking why the United States takes so many immigrants from these problem-ridden countries. The left hates facts and always plays the same tired race card. Trump is no racist.
LESLIE KEY, AUSTIN
Re: Jan. 15 article, “White House: Trump misquoted on Kim.”
Did President Trump say “I” or “I’d” have a great relationship with Kim Jong Un? White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Trump claim it was “I’d.”
Sanders routinely lies and accuses the press of fake news. I have listened many times to both the White House and press recordings of Trump; it is clear Trump said “I.” Yet, with a straight face, they both claim it is “I’d.”
But of course, they live in the alternate-facts universe. I would love to have recordings of all Sanders and Trump meetings to hear how they concoct their alternate facts. “I” or “I’d” isn’t really a significant difference — other than it confirms the consistent lack of truth from the Trump administration.
GREGORY L. CESHKER, DRIPPING SPRINGS
Open question for Donald Trump: Why would anyone want to emigrate from Norway to the United States?
The United States has higher murder rate, higher incarceration rate, higher infant mortality rate, lower life expectancy, lower average wage, longer average work week, higher national debt per person, lower gross domestic product per person, higher inflation rate, and a larger trade deficit. Just sayin’, Mr. President.
ROBERT BAUMGARDNER, AUSTIN
A column published Sunday, Jan. 14 about the movie “The Post” incorrectly stated the number of days The New York Times published stories about the Pentagon Papers before a federal judge blocked it from further editions. The Time published stories for three days before being barred.