Letters to the editor: June 9, 2018

Picture this: Starting in kindergarten, children learning skills of citizenship, such as civil communication, tolerance for others’ beliefs, nonviolent conflict resolution and “good citizen” practices — voting, financial responsibility, building community.

Currently, middle-school students who did poorly on the STAAR test in math, for example, must take two periods until they “get” very often impractical higher-level concepts. This prohibits them from taking an extra elective — foreign language, music, tech, business — as other students do.

Instead, picture this: Students in middle and high schools are given the choice of elective classes to better serve careers and personal development. They can explore careers and learn applicable skills. In high school, they will be ready for suitable trade schools or chosen careers.

Picture this: Students have hope and self-worth. Having hope and relevance in society will also reduce gun violence in and out of school.


It will be interesting to see what, if anything, will move our representatives to get out of step while following President Trump.

With their tacit approval, young children are being taken from their mothers with no indication of where they are going and with whom. That should be a big red flag.

Would our elected officials be bothered if a large part of Big Bend National Park was allowed to be developed or drilled? Would they be concerned if Padre Island and Galveston were in danger of exposure to off-shore oil rigs?

There are so many catastrophes looming, but the most heart-wrenching — with definite, long-term scars to be faced later — are the traumas being delivered each day on the children being taken by our government.

What will it take to get our representatives’ attention?


Re: June 2 article, “‘Abominable’: Texans fight border family separations.”

A new U.S. Justice Department policy takes children away from their parents even if they are seeking asylum. Attorney General Jeff Sessions projects the inhumane mentality of our government. This mentality seems to run the same course as Faust’s did, and Sessions now, wagering his soul with Mephistopheles, a worker for Lucifer.

This demon that possesses parts of our federal government has sold its soul to the devil.

It’s time to be very mindful of the qualities of the person you will select for your vote. I pray that these families will soon be rejoined.


Capital Metro strikes again. Those car-damaging, punchbowl-sized concrete obstacles lining some bike lanes are bad enough — but have you folks seen the new bus routes?

Hundreds, if not thousands of people, many of whom are disabled, will have no way to get to work or stores, while others will have to go a much longer distance to get a bus.

Example: The No. 300 no longer goes down Rogge Lane, but now goes down 51st Street, so the folks that ride that bus are out of luck. As always, the upper crust comes first!


Since current efforts cannot seem to keep guns out of the hands of disturbed people or drunks from behind steering wheels, maybe we should enlist the help of technology.

Promote smart gun technology, so that only authorized individuals could fire the weapon. Make Breathalyzers standard equipment on all new cars. These are not cure-alls — but like seat belt technology, perhaps they could save thousands of lives each year.


While visiting my son and his family in Austin last month, we went to Cheddar’s for dinner. We ordered an appetizer of onion rings that turned out to be a mammoth serving.

Soon, an older gentleman appeared at our table with a paper napkin. “You’ve probably never had this happen to you at a restaurant,” he said, “but my wife [he nodded towards a lady across the room who was waving timidly] sent me over to see if you would let her try an onion ring. They look delicious.”

Our son invited him to help himself. When we asked for the check, our waiter told us that it had already been paid by that couple. “He even paid the tip.” We were so surprised. Because the waiter was honest about having already received a tip, we gave him another. We all left that night with warm feelings of gratitude.


Re: May 27 commentaries, “We’re finally talking about mass shootings. Now let’s act” and “3 hardest words in English language: ‘I was wrong.’”

Both the Sunday editorial and Leonard Pitts articles last week referred to the availability of guns as the main culprit in the many shootings over the last couple of years.

I don’t care for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, but his comment — “It’s not about the guns; it’s about us” — brought disdain from both columns. If it is not about us as a society, then laying the blame on the availability of guns is lame.

When I grew up, my father’s guns were not locked up. Students brought rifles in their gun racks to school. Most anyone could obtain a gun if they wanted to. Back in the day, 100 guns plus 100 people did not add up to violence. Today, 100 guns plus 100 people adds up to some highly disturbed person is going to wreak havoc. What happened? The guns did not develop a warped mind. People did. Why and how?


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Young: Cruel separations at the border expose ‘zero tolerance’ folly
Young: Cruel separations at the border expose ‘zero tolerance’ folly

Crossing the street on foot the other day, a terrible thought crossed my mind. It was a vision, actually: of my offspring broiling in a remote tent city under the blazing Southwest sun at the behest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. You see, I was committing a crime at the time — jaywalking. Sure, it’s just a Class A traffic infraction...
Herman: Schumer, leave the Texanisms to Texans
Herman: Schumer, leave the Texanisms to Texans

I’m always happy when Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, is held up to public ridicule. My animus toward Schumer is apolitical. It’s based on something more tribal than that — high school. Schumer’s a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn. I attended, until I moved to South Florida, Midwood High School in Brooklyn...
Facebook comments: June 19, 2018
Facebook comments: June 19, 2018

In a recent commentary for the American-Statesman, University of Texas professor Nathan Jensen pointed out some issues with Precourt Sports Ventures’ plan to bring Major League Soccer to Austin. “Sports stadiums, even without any subsidies, are not an economic benefit to the city,” Jensen wrote. He cited a survey of economists at...
Letters to the editor: June 19, 2018
Letters to the editor: June 19, 2018

Re: June 14 article, “Willie Nelson on immigrant separation at the border: ‘Christians everywhere should be up in arms.’” A Christian follows the law. You may not like the law. You cannot choose which laws you follow. If everyone did that, we would have anarchy. You should work to change laws and policies you don’t agree...
Opinion: The lesser cruelty on immigration

Let’s start with the easy part. The policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border, delivering them into a bureaucratic labyrinth while their fathers and mothers await trial or petition for asylum, is the wickedest thing the Trump administration has done so far — and you can tell exactly how wicked by observing...
More Stories