Letters to the editor: July 14, 2018


Re: July 9 article, “Central Texas suspensions of young students raise concerns.

So, those who advocate banning suspension of misbehaving kids in second grade and under, for most situations, “warned that suspensions caused students to fall behind in their classwork, to be disciplined more in the long run and to be ostracized by their peers.”

Someone doesn’t understand the idea of causation. The bad behavior — not the suspension — is the true cause of every one of the inevitable consequences.

Maybe it’s not a bad lesson to learn at a young age: There is an immediate price to pay socially — and otherwise — for acting a fool and disrupting the activities of your group.

We have enough trouble keeping teachers in schools without forcing them to let spoiled brats make teaching impossible.

SAM PRATER, GEORGETOWN

Re: July 5 article, “Austin museum urges visitors to rodeo across Texas.”

Thanks to Michael Barnes for his fun and thoughtful review of the new Bullock exhibit. But there was even more color in the history of Texas cowboys — hang onto your hats folks — there were, and still are, black cowboys.

Many ex-slaves had cattle-tending skills and were able to use this experience to get jobs after the Civil War. The exhibit could have used a photo or two from the excellent 2016 book “Cowboys of Color” by Don Russell. It shows contemporary black men — and women — of enormous strength and dignity. It’s a harder road for these cowboys to get sponsors, but Clarence LeBlanc was 1983 and 1990 International Professional Rodeo Association World Steer Wrestling Champion.

BILL METZ, AUSTIN

To Congress:

We the people are happy to see that Scott Pruitt has stepped down — or asked to resign — after more than a year of absurd spending of our tax dollars, putting our environment at risk long-term, and putting his own backroom deals as a priority above his own job description.

Please speak up and speak out to demand that President Trump does not permanently replace Pruitt with Andrew Wheeler, former coal lobbyist, or anyone else who is more motivated to take our country backwards for their own personal gain than forward with the rest of the environmentally responsible countries worldwide.

Surely, you are aware that our air quality has improved since the Clean Air Act was enacted, and the Environmental Protection Agency has been responsible for enforcing regulations.

I compel you to act with your conscience and demand that President Trump chooses a replacement for Pruitt who actually cares.

TARA PAUSTENBACH, AUSTIN

President Trump’s comments at a rally show how far the Republican Party has fallen. Mocking former president George H. W. Bush’s phrase “a thousand points of light,” Trump asked a cheering crowd that was waving Make America Great Again signs, “Thousand points of light. I never quite got that. What the hell was that?”

The first President Bush, who was widowed three months ago, was talking about community organizations “spread like stars throughout the nation, doing good.” Bush was appealing to Americans’ sense of volunteerism and civic duty. He was calling on us to honor our nation’s values of decency and compassion.

That’s why Trump didn’t get it.

ROBIN MCMILLION, AUSTIN

I am a conservative — and it angers me greatly at times while reading the letters to the editor section. Liberals lump all conservatives together as bible-toting, immigrant-hating racists. It couldn’t be more far from true.

That would be like calling all liberals god-hating, sexually confused people on welfare. It’s not true.

I am for personal responsibility and not blaming others for your decisions in life, and I can’t get a like-minded elected official by voting Democrat.

I’m sorry, but there is a big difference in many good ways about voting Republican. Yes, there is a lot of negative right now, but it is now on both sides.

MIKE HANLON, AUSTIN

Thank you for drawing attention to Austin’s mental health crisis and the terrible difficulty it imposes on first responders. Approximately 30 percent of those who are chronically homeless have a serious mental illness, while two-thirds have a substance use disorder or other chronic health condition, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. If that’s correct, then law enforcement begins every day overwhelmed and undertrained for one of the most common problems they face.

City budgets and bond elections always involve priorities, and I can’t understand why mental health isn’t high on the latest list. The state won’t help our city much with this one, friends; it’s up to us. We depend on the City Council to see and address the issue, and that likely means moral courage and bond money.

JACK ALLEN, AUSTIN

I was interested to see that Scott Pruitt was finally forced to resign because of the mounting ethical scandals that have dogged his tenure. But with his exit from the post, the damage he has done by dismantling the safeguards on the quality of our air, water and climate will not be undone any time soon by his successor.

What’s becoming increasingly clear is that we can’t rely on regulations to reduce the risk of climate change, as regulations are vulnerable to the whims of whomever holds office. We need to instead encourage our members of Congress to enact bipartisan legislative solutions, like Carbon Fee and Dividend, to ensure our climate protections endure this tug of war between the parties.

SUSAN ADAMS, AUSTIN



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