Letters to the editor: May 16, 2018

Re: May 12 commentary, “CapMetro uses traffic woes to disguise its bad ideas.”

Gerald Daugherty’s analysis of Cap Metro is the best I have ever read. We need more — many more — like him.

My thanks to Daugherty and those who put him in office. Rail is a 19th-century mass transit solution. It wasn’t bad when there was no highway system and virtually no one had an automobile. It is not a viable solution now, no matter how romantically attached to it various groups are. Cap Metro is an anachronism that sustains itself by bleeding funds from approaches that might actually help.

They rely on special interest groups and antiquated ideas to maintain and grow their power base. The best apparent solution is in the ever-changing capability of automobiles, be they gasoline, diesel, electric, hybrid, manual, semi-automated, fully automated, privately owned or corporate-owned. We should take advantage of what we have now: new advances, including automation and completely new approaches.


“Rail Fever” happens when a transit system is taken over by corporate officers who think that mass transit should be a cool thing. In their fever, they see shiny trains running through rich neighborhoods and envision themselves as the rock stars of the transit world. I hate to burst their bubble, but mass transit in a big city is like the sewer system; it is critical infrastructure, but it will never be cool.

In the 18 years that I drove for Cap Metro’s service for the handicapped, I watched as they repeatedly turned away from those who desperately need the system in the hope of attracting the hipsters who will never use the system. Those acts betrayed why Cap Metro gets our tax dollars.

Austin’s growth demands that we have a flexible transit system, but putting rails down on a city street is the most rigid transportation system that exists.


President Donald Trump is the ultimate hotelier with his name emblazoned in gold across the facades of many luxury hotels.

As commander-in-chief, America’s massive military complex is under his rule. It’s a strange title for a man whose only combat experience is his combativeness, some of it directed at Sen. John McCain, whose time as a prisoner of war was ridiculed because he was “caught.”

The president’s fascination with the military is odd considering he took five deferments to evade the draft.

The opulence of Trump Tower reflects the president’s soft life in every gilded mirror and every bit of tinsel bedecked with his moniker. The reflections seen in a multitude of ornate mirrors show President Trump a winner. That is, if his military disservice is not in the reckoning of his worth.

Many grand hotels define the president; only one hotel defines the senator: The Hanoi Hilton.


If the governor and others in Texas who claim that voter fraud is rampant — a baseless charge, according to most analyses — then the least they could do is to cough up the funds — or persuade the legislature to do so — to buy new, unhackable voting machines.

These machines should read paper ballots, leave a paper trail and print out a paper for the voter to check to see that the machine recorded his or her vote, as intended. The machine should also print out an easily verifiable final count.

These safeguards should help halt any claim of nonexistent voter fraud dead in its tracks. Any day without such machines is a day lost in assuring that the vote is not compromised. Or, perhaps the governor wants to maintain the claim of voter fraud — and support for the very repressive voter ID law — to whip his base into a frenzy.


There is nothing conservative about the Republican Party.

Conservatives do not mock the disabled.

They don’t create massive out-of-control deficits.

They don’t make jokes about those dying of cancer.

They don’t violate or ignore the laws of our country.

They don’t tolerate sexual abuse.

They don’t tolerate family violence.

They don’t interrupt people while talking.

They don’t call people names.

They don’t say racist things.

They don’t refer to Native Americans as “Pocahontas.”

They don’t make fun of other people’s language.

They don’t call people of color “rapists.”

They don’t call Muslims “terrorists.”

They don’t endorse hate groups, the KKK or white supremacy.

They don’t disrespect elected officials.

They don’t lie. Every. Single. Day.

They don’t walk around with loaded assault weapons in public.

And they don’t tolerate those who do. Those who say they are “conservative” either do not know what conservative means.


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