Letters to the editor: Sept. 3, 2018

Updated Aug 31, 2018
Beto O’Rourke, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, talks to supporters at a rally at Mount Sinai Baptist Church in Austin on Aug. 27.

Concerning the front-page article about the right to stand or kneel or anything during the National Anthem, the opinions are off-base. This is about the rights of the employer at his workplace.

I believe the employer should have the right to make reasonable rules concerning behavior at their workplace. The workplace is not for the employee to exert their constitutional right to free speech.

If you are on the clock (being paid by me), then company rules are in effect. If you want to sit on the ground during the national anthem out in a public setting when not on my payroll, by all means.

Beto O’Rourke: I cannot vote for Ted Cruz; but unless you clarify your position about it being a workplace issue, I cannot vote for you either.

JOE HAJJAR, AUSTIN

I, too, would like U.S. Rep. Roger Williams to have town-hall-style meetings.

Williams has touted his experience as a business owner, and the December 2017 tax bill, as a positive for working people.

I would ask the following related questions of Williams:

• Did his employees across the board receive a raise or bonus from Williams’ company this year?

• Does his company, as a benefit, pay all his employees health care? His employees’ spouses? Children?

W. SCHWAMB, WIMBERLEY

Re: Aug. 29 commentary, “The Army? Austin? Say hello to the odd couple.

The headline to Ken Herman’s column read, “The Army? Austin? Say hello to the odd couple.” And a local news station interviewed a CEO who said that landing the Army Futures Command center was “bigger” than getting Amazon’s headquarters.

Huh? If we win the Amazon decision, it will be a big deal for Austin, and hosting the Army Futures Command Center will be an even bigger deal?

Amazon answers customer complaints and inquiries, requests feedback and values its relationship with users. Its mission may be capitalistic, but it isn’t dangerous — and its proposal was discussed at public meetings.

In contrast, the U.S. Army is not known for its customer care. There was no public discussion on bringing a military complex here, and we’ll never see a “How are we doing?” survey from them. Its organization and headquarters will be a black box, with a dark output.

Please, let’s all become watchdogs on the Futures Command in Austin.

MARILYN FOWLER, AUSTIN

A recent article in the Statesman reviewed the effort of car manufacturers to provide electric driven cars. The article provided much information about anticipated performance, cost and miles before recharging. One item not mentioned was the all-important carbon footprint.

True, electric cars will reduce the carbon footprint on the roadways. But, where would the energy for recharging come from? Will all of the sun and wind energy providers be enough? Additionally, what about the scenic scars caused by solar panels and wind towers and the transmission lines from these sources?

Some of the carbon footprint will be transferred to the Fayette County power plant. Some in Austin want this plant shut down. Then where will they get the energy to recharge their cars?

Will electric cars really help the environment?

LEO O. MUELLER JR., AUSTIN

A passage I read today from Nathaniel Philbrick’s book “Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the fate of the American Revolution” stuck out: “What made Arnold unique was the god-like inviolability he attached to his actions. He had immense respect for a man like Washington, but Arnold was, in the end, the leading personage in the drama that was his life.”

And, so, I was reminded of President Trump.

RANDALL DUNAGAN, BURNET

Concerning the upcoming midterm elections: We who did not vote Donald Trump for president are being warned in his red wave pipe dream, that we are violent, un-Christian, un-American and betting on the wrong horse.

Funny thing about life though is surprise always exceeds expectation. One can still hope with their vote.

RUSSELL SCOTT, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 28 article, “Cruz, O’Rourke haven’t agreed on debate terms, but Abbott, Valdez have.

As the term “liberal” has been co-opted by the right to be a catch-all pejorative for anything that doesn’t have the Republican Seal of Dogmatic Approval, they sometimes forget what the word actually means.

In the article about the Greg Abbott and Lupe Valdez debates, Abbott’s spokesperson accuses Lupe Valdez of “being liberal with the truth.”

In this context, that would mean abundant, generous or lavish with the truth. As this is rare for a politician and unheard of from Abbott, how will she ever live it down?

MIKE LOOBY, ROUND ROCK