Re: July 2 commentary, “Two Views: Ruling helps fight Austin’s restrictive STR ordinance.”
Texas courts may have said “[t]he right of individuals to use their own property as they wish remains one of the most fundamental rights that individual property owners possess,” but that is clearly not true.
Federal courts have consistently upheld restrictions on use of property based on laws for endangered species, historic sites and plain old zoning. Indeed, in this case the court did not invalidate the deed restriction; it simply said — with logic that defies understanding — that the use of the property for short-term rentals was not in conflict with those restrictions.
Perhaps, someday, there will be a case challenging homeowners-association restrictions on the use of property — painting the house purple and chartreuse, never mowing the lawn, or decorating the yard with old refrigerators — but until then, property rights are not king.
WALTER PUPKO, LEANDER
In a speech in Montana on July 5, President Trump said, “A thousand points of light, I never quite got that one. What the hell is that?”
It is no surprise Trump doesn’t understand the metaphor. After all, it requires intellectual curiosity.
The phrase was spoken by George H.W. Bush in his 1988 Republican nomination acceptance speech. It was the same speech in which he said, “I want a kinder and gentler nation.”
This also is a concept lost on Trump — because it requires compassion, civility and maturity.
DAVID BROOKS, AUSTIN
What a nation of lost souls we have become.
Determined people are doing whatever they want, which is to create chaos and to bring down our government. While our government is a mess, it’s still the best in the world. These are crazy and dangerous times, and we need to work together to resolve our urgent issues. All this impeachment nonsense, the misinformation on immigration and other issues do is divert our attention elsewhere and allow the chaos to continue.
Wake up, people! We are American citizens first, and everything else is secondary. Please realize this.
I am not a Democrat, nor a Republican, but I am for common sense and recognize that we need to stop antagonizing each other and try to work together to resolve the issues.
It’s our nation.
PETER STERN, DRIFTWOOD
Someone please tell me how Christian evangelists can continue to support President Trump?
This is a man who by any standard of Christian values is not a Christian. He in no way follows the example of Christ, who brought love, compassion and forgiveness to the world.
His behavior is of one who shows bigotry, hatefulness and a complete lack of compassion for the poor and disenfranchised — the very ones Christ most cherished and served.
Do Christian evangelists overlook all of this because they hope to receive the holy grail of a Supreme Court ruling that takes away a women’s right to choose abortion?
LONNIE HAZLEWOOD, WEST LAKES HILLS
I was outraged, appalled, and deeply saddened to read about the “zero tolerance” policing event carried out by the Bastrop County sheriff’s office on June 23.
After being pulled over for offenses as dangerous as failing to signal a lane change, seven people have been deported. These family members and friends have been yanked out of our community. Now, they’re just gone. This sounds like something out of a dystopian novel. But it’s not. It’s reality. And we’re supposed to believe this is for our safety?
I’ll feel safer when people like Cook and organizations like Immigration and Customs Enforcement aren’t allowed to terrorize the vulnerable and tear apart families and communities. But the only way that will happen is if we work together to end this. That starts by recognizing that just because someone has power doesn’t mean they should — and just because we feel powerless doesn’t mean we are.
REBECCA FRYER SAWADA, AUSTIN
Estimates suggest that by 2043 white people will be a minority in the United States. Racists are probably concerned about this.
The racism festering back to the surface in America is a reaction to what many may feel to be an ultimate loss of identity and control. Those most terrified and most dangerous are the most aggressive in making their racial preferences known. Having held, exploited and abused power for so long, many whites might now be bracing themselves for an unfamiliar role as a minority.
However, I believe that in 2043, Americans will not be divided by race but whether people of any color can embrace tolerance and compassion. This, along with the realization that the American Experiment has always been a fragile construct, unfettered to race or ancestry, grounded in the sanctity of human equality, constantly in need of renewal and the passionate conviction of its believers.
PHIL SCOTT, AUSTIN