Letters to the editor: Oct. 24, 2017

    Oct 23, 2017

Re: Oct. 19 article, “Austin’s bid is officially in for Amazon’s giant HQ2 project.”

Could we stop with the dog and pony show regarding Amazon? It’s a done deal. Welcome to Austin, Amazon HQ2.

In Belton and Temple, everyone is rapidly building new housing developmentsand apartments, new roads are going in, new schools are being constructed and new small businesses are opening in anticipation of an influx of residents. The 130 toll road to Austin will soon be jammed with commuters.

Speaking of dog and pony shows, Formula 1 has returned to Austin. You call that racing?


Re: Oct. 18 article, “Old Settler’s Music Fest files suit against new Driftwood Music Fest.

I am very disappointed to learn that a former contractor with my favorite festival is organizing a competing festival in Driftwood the same weekend as the Old Settler’s Music Festival in their new Lockhart area location. There is only one word to describe such perfidy: mean.

This intentional, hurtful effort will drive me to Lockhart this spring and from here on.


Regarding the NFL players kneeling during our national anthem: I’m baffled by the White House’s framing this to be unpatriotic and disrespectful of our flag and our military. I see this as three of our First Amendment rights: freedom of speech, the right to peaceably assemble and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The NFL players are drawing attention to their grievance — police brutality against African-Americans.

I was raised to respect the First Amendment. My father was a lifelong Republican, a devoted Christian, a 33rd Degree Mason and retired Navy officer who served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. No one ever accused him of being unpatriotic. I’m not either. I support and respect the kneeling NFL players. I support and respect our flag and our military.


Re: Oct. 19 article, MoPac tolls spiking high, but the lane is moving.”

Ben Wear wrote an extensive column about the variable tolls on the new MoPac toll lane — but he failed to even mention whether all the tax dollars spent and all the aggravation that Austin has endured for these past years will actually ease the monumental traffic jams on the free lanes.

Wasn’t that supposed to be the reason for building the toll lane? I guess not, since the column detailed the miles per hour that were being achieved in the toll lane but failed, again, to mention what the miles per hour were in the corresponding free lanes.


The rash of hazing deaths that occur each year can no longer be swept under the carpet. Hazing is a ritual that spans cultures and is used to initiate new members into an organization, such as a military unit, fraternity, gang or sports team. If the prospective member is qualified to join and will contribute to the organization, why haze? It seems the psychology behind hazing lies in the reality that those who have power over those who do not will freely abuse that power for sadistic self-gratification. This, in turn, leads to brutal and dangerous ritual techniques.

Since hazing will continue, the only way to make it safer is to criminalize, without exception, rituals that are inherently illegal — like forcing underage alcohol consumption — and rituals that can reasonably be expected to lead to bodily harm, injury or death. Vigorous criminal prosecution and expulsion are essential.


Leonard Pitts has a regular column that is also printed in the Sunday edition of the American-Statesman. Because of this, I’m sure he has a loyal following that agrees with everything he writes.

However, as a “deplorable,” I must ask a few questions.

1. Why do most of his articles bash our president?

2. Are there not any other more important topics that really need his perspective and comments?


I hope Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz, and my representative, Michael McCaul, will listen to this.

Some politicians say, “Politicizing this terrible [Las Vegas mass shooting] tragedy is beyond disgusting.” So please stop doing it.

What is beyond disgusting is that our government chooses to let Texans die every day at the hands of high-powered weapons. It’s beyond disgusting that our so-called leaders allow the NRA to hold our people hostage. It’s beyond disgusting that parents live in daily fear that their children will be killed at school and that children are forced to learn strategies for avoiding being shot in case a mass shooter comes on campus and that our public universities allow guns not only on campus but also in classrooms. It is beyond disgusting that our elected senators do nothing about the constant mass murders in our country. Please stop being beyond disgusting and do something about it.