Letters to the editor: Sept. 8, 2018

Sept 07, 2018
Tamir Kalifa

Re: Sept. 4 article, “Austin apartment complexes throwing doors open to short-term rentals.”

Your article conspicuously omits one key stakeholder group: apartment dwellers in buildings leasing units to short-term renters.

Sharing your community with a constant rotation of drunken strangers is both a nuisance and a hazard. Building owners do not disclose their short-term leasing to their full-time tenants, who are left to discover the fact through experience.

Picture a young woman walking her sick dog late at night. She gets on the elevator with a dozen drunken strangers staying next door for a bachelor party. The building’s security protocol consists of the doorman calling the police. Now picture that scene repeating weekly.

Hopefully, Texas courts will award massive judgments against owners and leasing companies in the cases that will inevitably follow such irresponsible activity.

MARK MCCORMICK, AUSTIN

I must weigh in on this manufactured controversy about players taking a knee during the anthem: The Orange Tweety Bird has made it a question of respect for the flag and for veterans. It is not that.

I am a white, decorated Vietnam combat vet now dying from a condition caused by exposure to Agent Orange. I think I have earned the right to call myself a patriot, unlike some on the radio and television who wrap themselves in the flag but do not serve and have not served.

I consider the players’ kneeling a protest to the different treatment given to black citizens by police. I would take a knee with them — if I had help getting back up — to protest that same issue, and to expand it to the current designating of all persons of Islam faith as terrorists, hence the hate crimes against them.

RAY HOOKER, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 3 article, “States win ruling against ACA.”

The ruling is great news for taxpayers and a huge win for Attorney General Ken Paxton, who challenged the constitutionality of the law

Readers were provided many quotes from local college professor William Sage that were critical of the ruling — but they weren’t told that Sage was a member of Hillary Clinton’s task force on universal health care in 1993, which collapsed after scrutiny of the group’s liberal and unsustainable proposals. Sage has a long history of donations to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren and many other liberal Democrats. It’s not rocket science to conclude his criticism of this constitutional victory is politically motivated.

MATT WELCH, AUSTIN

As a lifelong Texan, I will definitely vote for Beto O’Rourke, a fourth-generation Irish-American who gained his nickname at an early age.

When first exploring O’Rourke, I felt pleased when he wrote: “Starting with this election cycle, I plan to no longer accept PAC contributions.” This decision frees O’Rourke from obligations to any political action committees.

O’Rourke also impressed me with his honesty. When an individual at a political rally indicated disgust at the NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem, O’Rourke did not take an easy out. Instead, he explained that these players demonstrated nonviolent, peaceful resistance to the treatments and deaths of black citizens. Like the 1960s peace march in Montgomery, Ala., these players demonstrated peaceful resistance to discrimination.

Basic honesty in the face of controversy and O’Rourke’s resistance to contributions from PACs both seem critically different from politics as usual.

BARBARA FRANDSEN, AUSTIN

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