Letters to the editor: Sept. 23, 2017

Re: Sept. 20th letter to the editor, “Wrong to link Harvey to climate change.”

Thank you, Lamar Smith, for adding to the important conversation around hurricanes and climate change. I seriously applaud your assertion that we need to be data-driven when attributing hurricanes to climate change.

Your comment about frequency and intensity of hurricanes being flat sounds conclusive. However, from a Sept. 7 Washington Post article: “The science behind the U.S.’s strange hurricane ‘drought’ — and its sudden ‘end’ — offers a more nuanced view that suggests there’s a difference.”

My conservative, oil-backed Texan family hails originally from south Houston and has been significantly affected by Harvey. We don’t want climate change to make Harvey a more frequent occurrence and we’re not afraid to acknowledge its potential risks or afraid of its solutions.

As chair of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, please stay scientific and direct our scientists in the U.S. to look closer at that link.


Let’s get real. Both the House of Representatives and the White House have offered proposals that would make drastic cuts to programs that feed the poor, hungry children in our schools and to food assistance for the struggling working families in our communities.

Some cuts include $1.6 billion from the Community Eligibility Provision for school lunch and breakfasts in high-poverty schools, which affects about 3.8 million students currently benefiting from the provisions and blocks another 6.2 million students from access.

Converting SNAP funding to a “block-grant” funding structure that could mean an additional $150 billion in cuts to the program and $10 billion in cuts over 10 years to SNAP reducing food assistance to scores of children, low-wage working families, seniors and disabled members of our communities.

Keep writing, emailing and calling Congress!


I don’t live in Austin, so take this for what it is worth.

While traveling, I experienced a way to keep downtown traffic on the move. During certain hours of the day no left turns were allowed. If you wanted to make a left, you had to go past your street and take three rights to get to where you wanted to be — and that obviously is a downside.

However, the upside was no left turns kept the cars moving quickly with no delays at every intersection for those who wanted to turn left. Hours of the day when traffic was lighter, left turns were allowed. As far as I could tell it worked.


The latest, last-ditch effort — Graham-Cassidy — to deprive you of health care is being rushed through the Senate with no scoring from the Office of Management and Budget.

The Trumpcare bill that died last month – the one that would have thrown 22 million Americans off their health insurance — was extravagantly generous by comparison. The new bill is complicated, but basically:

• Pre-existing conditions do not have to be covered.

• Insurance companies can re-institute lifetime caps.

• Medicaid will be decimated.

• States will be able to use federal grants as they see fit, which means Republican legislatures will show the same level of compassion and empathy they always do and you, Texans, will be screwed.

Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and tell them to vote “no.” They probably won’t – but make it hard for them.


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Commentary: Austin’s plastic bag ban is rubbish. Go check the landfill
Commentary: Austin’s plastic bag ban is rubbish. Go check the landfill

As the Texas Supreme Court will soon make its decision regarding the legality of plastic bag regulations in Texas, this is a good time to revisit the arguments used to promote plastic bag bans. A review of the data shows that plastic bag regulations don’t reduce litter overall — and, in fact, they incentivize products that have far greater...
Opinion: How Trump gets into your bed

It’s not every day we start our discussion of current events with the president’s sex life. Well, actually, it’s gotten to be pretty frequent. But today we’re going to talk less about what Donald Trump does in bed and more about his efforts to interfere with other people’s intimate affairs. “When I ran for office...
Opinion: Trump is proving to be most pro-life president in history

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s critics were apoplectic last week when the president referred to MS-13 gang members as “animals.” Of course, no one should be dehumanized. Yet many of the same people expressing outrage that Trump would dehumanize vicious gang members have no problem dehumanizing innocent, unborn children. Trump...
Commentary: With shootings and small checks, why would anyone teach?
Commentary: With shootings and small checks, why would anyone teach?

The optimism of graduation season was mixed this year with the tragedy of another school shooting, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. Among the 10 victims were two teachers. While we mourn the loss of our nation’s youths to school shootings, we should also wonder how the prevalence of gun violence will impact college graduates’ decision to enter...
Commentary: Don’t leave it to just veterans to honor America’s fallen
Commentary: Don’t leave it to just veterans to honor America’s fallen

What are you planning to do this Memorial Day? What is the day for? Why was it created? Despite a long tradition of public promises that those who give their lives fighting for their families, cities and countries will live on in communal memory, human hearts and minds can stand only so much. Memories fade. When our society does not bear the burdens...
More Stories