Letters to the editor: Sept. 7, 2018

Updated Sept 06, 2018
A horse-drawn caisson bearing the body of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., moves through the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy toward the cemetery after a service on Sunday in Annapolis, Maryland.

Sen. John McCain’s funeral honored a courageous maverick unafraid to speak truth to power — a public servant who placed people above partisan politics. He tackled climate change against his party line. Students repeatedly raised this issue in 2000, so he held hearings on climate change.

Scientific evidence made it clear action was imperative. He crafted bipartisan legislation for a price on carbon, and forced a vote that narrowly failed 55-43 in 2003. McCain had brought a conservative Congress closer to passing climate legislation than at any time since.

Today, congressmen must confront power with truth and stand up to President Trump, as McCain did, when Trump crosses the line with blatant lies or attacks on the media, immigrants, Muslims, the rule of law or climate change action. We voters must vote out of office any congressman who won’t.

BOB HENDRICKS, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 4 commentary, “Francis need not resign, but he needs to step up on ‘filth.’”

The writings of Ross Douthat often resonate with me, but not today.

He is calling for Pope Frances to clean up the “filth” in the church. Sexual misconduct has more to do with celibacy than perversion. It puts priests in an untenable position. Denial of sexuality intimacy and relationship remains the problem. Sexuality is unrelenting and eventually has its way. Being sexual is part and parcel of who we are as human beings. Deny one channel, and another will emerge.

Celibacy was supposed to aid purpose and devotion, but denying sexuality is like telling the lungs not to breathe. The church gets into trouble when it proclaims itself pure — untouched by the earthly, human passions — and would do well to reconsider the practice of celibacy. Then perhaps sexual expression would find its rightful place, and we would not have to divide the world into categories of “dirty” and “clean.”

JIM PHILPOTT, KYLE

Without health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, many Texas families will be forced into bankruptcy, or local communities will pay increased taxes for uncompensated care.

Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading an effort that will ultimately result in a group of citizens losing their ability to work — and therefore will be unable to contribute to the Texas economy.

Isn’t the presence of a pre-existing condition enough pain and suffering for a family to bear? Why must Paxton insist on causing more hardship on Texas families by denying what should be considered basic coverage in our already over-complicated health care system?

KATHRYN HOLLOWAY, AUSTIN

Every day, there’s a new attack by Ted Cruz on his opponent Beto O’Rourke. Funny, I thought race for U.S. Senate was about ideas on how to move Texas forward, fix our broken immigration system, and address the economy, education, our infrastructure and our fractured public discourse.

Cruz proclaims himself a defender of the lofty ideals of our country’s founding and likes to wax poetic about the noble concepts of liberty and freedom. Yet, he relies almost entirely on childish attacks on O’Rourke. His actual ideas are hard to find.

As a constituent I have a right to know the positions of the person I am voting to represent me. O’Rourke has been meeting with and listening to ordinary Texans all over the state, having serious conversations about how we can be and do better, and holding himself accountable. Looks like Cruz is right about one thing: He’s no O’Rourke.

CANAN YETMEN, AUSTIN

Most Americans understand that the climate is changing due to increasing greenhouse gas levels caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels. Increasing temperatures and intensifying storms are reliably observed, yet our national government fails to act. Individual conservation choices will help delay additional devastating impacts, but only by a little. We should be making fact-based policy decisions and spearheading the global transition to a sustainable energy economy, not lagging behind the rest of the world.

Please keep this in mind as you make your voting choices for November. Sen. Ted Cruz is well-known for his efforts to obstruct rational energy policy. He is among four senators who attacked an education program on climate change. In contrast, Beto O’Rourke is committed to enacting energy policy to conserve current resources while encouraging innovation, transitioning to a sustainable energy economy, and preserving global leadership in the energy sector.

KERRY COOK, AUSTIN

Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn should have postponed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing until the Senate got all the paperwork required to review his positions when he was in public office.

I believe Kavanaugh deserves a hearing, even though the GOP did not give Merrick Garland the same courtesy. The Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment. We, the public, deserve to know who our justices will be and what they represent in their rulings and work history.

YODARY URIBE, AUSTIN