Letters to the editor: Oct. 19, 2017

    Oct 18, 2017

Re: Oct. 16 article, “CodeNext: Is Austin doing enough to reach out to non-English speakers?”

Why translate? If anyone wants to live in the U.S., let them learn the talk of the country. Last I heard, here it was still English. If I moved to Mexico, do you think that they would print everything in English? Of course not. When my ancestors arrived from Germany, they learned to speak English. Why not others?


I grew up in Charleston, W.V., so I know air pollution firsthand. My uncle, Dr. Joe Skaggs, had a thriving allergy business in Charleston. In addition, heart disease and cancer were huge problems in our town with poor air quality due to the plants belonging to DuPont, Alloy, Carbide and my dad’s coal-powered electric power plant. I didn’t know the sky could be clear and blue until I went to college out of state.

I’m asking our Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Rep. Michael T. McCaul to please support the Clean Power Plan for the sake of our children.


Re: Oct. 13 commentary, “Why we should talk about toxic masculinity and mass murder.”

No doubt, boys are socialized to be concerned with power and respect, but this phenomenon has its roots in thousands of years of evolutionary adaptation. As recently stated by Robert King in Psychology Today: “Glib talk of toxic masculinity barely scratches the surface of what is going on,” and, “Status is exquisitely linked to male reproductive success … .”

Mass killings can be linked to aberrant status aspiration or reaction to sudden status loss. There is a significant amount of scientific literature in evolutionary psychology and social biology that supports this understanding of male violence.

Neurobiological differences are not necessarily the place to explain toxic masculinity. We should talk about toxic masculinity, but be careful not to imply that masculinity is inherently toxic. art of our “introspective look” should be directed toward the preference of women for male status and power in the long history of male reproductive success.


OK, oil companies, it is time you quit robbing Americans with your high gas prices.

There is plenty of gas — and all plants are up and running, so don’t try to use that excuse. Cut the price now. Better still, I hope Americans cut down to the very lowest they can in buying gas. Make it a hobby until you cut the prices. You are a clear example why we don’t want millionaire business people running this nation. Our democracy is built “for the people” and your business is built for the profit. Stop it now. Stop being un-American.


Harvey Weinstein’s amoral behavior was not about red or blue; instead, it smacked of green. The color of money defined his deportment as acceptable within the realm of filmmaking. Money’s power obviously blinds; how else did so many aspiring stars trade reading lines as fair sacrifice for their role of dupe?

So, why are politics being bandied about referencing this deranged, porcine facsimile of a male? Treat Weinstein like the pig he is, no matter your politics. His reputation has been ruined — and, hopefully, his career.

The courts can now serve up Weinstein like a slab of bacon to be devoured by his victims’ settlements. Justice, too, can be tasty.


President Trump is a distraction from our deeper malaise, a canary in the mine, mere foam atop the destructive breakers crashing on our shores. The forces impelling him are more deadly, more entrenched and more difficult to oppose than Hitler’s Nazism ever was. Our enemy is the legal sale of political authority by both parties and all levels of government to the highest bidders. The beating heart of democracy is being stabbed from within while maintaining the outward body of legal forms.

The physical opposition we use successfully with Nazism or Islamic State will not work here.