Letters to the editor: Sept. 10, 2017

    Sept 09, 2017

I am saddened by the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program decision.

As a teacher in Texas for close to 20 years, I can guarantee that I have had a hand in educating someone who is in the DACA program. It is tragic to me that they will be shown the door out to another country. This was an investment that we are choosing to waste.

These kids were raised as American citizens. They were in the band, played sports, excelled academically and had a home here. In registering for DACA, they took a risk. In that registration, they showed that they wanted to be law-abiding citizens. They had faith that we would do the right thing and recognize their contributions to our nation. That trust is gone. I think most teachers see these former students as our kids. And like all parents, I will continue to fight on their behalf.


Re: Sept. 3 letter to the editor, “UT in need of more faculty conservatives.”

I spent eight years at the University of Texas. I took courses from over 50 different faculty members and not once did any of them push their personal politics on me. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro teaching at UT is a gift. He has experience in the public sector and knows how housing and cities work. He has degrees from Stanford and Harvard, but UT should ignore that background because the guy’s a Democrat? Because his icky politics might be contagious? That’s laughable.

The idea that UT is just a place for “liberal Democrats” to “indoctrinate and intimidate” is ridiculous. Those who doubt me: Go to UT, sit in on a class or two taught by Castro — or any professor. What you’ll find in the classroom is just smart people teaching other people how to be smart people. That is what UT is all about.


Re: Sept. 3 article, “Can Beto O’Rourke lead Texas Democrats out of the political wilderness?”

Thank you for Jonathan Tilove’s in-depth reporting on Beto’s Town Hauling Across Texas Tour. The report is a masterful combination of interesting detail, quotations and the big picture. I was in the audience at Georgetown; yes, the crowd was enthusiastic — very.


So many concerned friends and relatives reached out to me this past week to make sure we were not floating down the Colorado River or surviving other calamities Harvey wrought. They just don’t realize how big Texas is — and that Austin is far enough inland that we were spared most of Harvey’s wrath.

What they did learn is that Texans have incredibly big hearts and strong determination. We owe a big Texas thank you to all of those who went beyond the call of duty to help their neighbors, strangers, and pets, in their time of need. In an era of divisiveness in our nation, it is truly heartwarming.


It should be no surprise that liberals in Austin want to target Lamar Smith. He’s been a conservative leader in Congress for a long time.

He’s been a national leader on immigration enforcement, border security, homeland security, NASA and ensuring that the Environmental Protection Agency provides reasonable protections for citizens without needlessly harming our economy.

He is currently chairing his third full committee, a sign of how well-respected he is by his colleagues.

He’s done this while ably representing the University of Texas, as well as a good part of Travis County.

A former Travis County GOP precinct chair, Republicans appreciate his service to our state and to the 21st congressional district of Texas.


In this past week, we’ve witnessed two extremes of human nature.

On one hand, regular people have given selflessly of their time and resources to help those they don’t even know in the aftermath of Harvey. Many have put their lives at risk to save others. Then, we saw fear possess people at gas stations in a “me-first” rush to gain advantage. This survivalist exercise of “individuality” is ironically self-defeating.

Time and again, experience has shown us the value for the individual of social cohesion in emergencies. The so-called “gas crisis” was a self-fulfilling prophecy that could have been avoided with the employment of common sense and the recognition of common purpose. But ever was it thus.


For millennia, hurricanes have pummeled Texas. But 350.org called Harvey an “unnatural disaster.”

Global warming probably didn’t cause Harvey — but it did make it worse.

And these “unnatural disasters” also occur elsewhere. During Harvey’s unnatural flooding of Houston, a third of Bangladesh was under water. Over 1,000 died from unnatural flooding there and elsewhere in South Asia. For the thousands of people suffering from floods in Texas and Asia, it is too late to stop global warming. But for millions, possibly billions of others, it isn’t too late to stop an increasing destruction from “unnatural disasters.”