Opinion


Herman: Mission accomplished for Austinite’s plans for Iceland monument

For several years, dating back to 2012, this newspaper has offered periodic updates on Austinite Jim Lux’s tireless effort to get a monument built in Iceland. It’s an effort that has made him, best as I can tell, the only local resident involved in trying to get a monument built in Iceland. I’m happy to now report that Lux now is the only local resident, also best as I can tell,...


Grumet: Austin’s MLS stadium numbers aren’t as strong as they look

Grumet: Austin’s MLS stadium numbers aren’t as strong as they look

If you’re a city looking to bring some fancy new thing to town — like, say, a Major League Soccer franchise — there’s basically one way to make money. You’ve got to bring in new dollars. New spending, by people who otherwise wouldn’t be here. I’d be happy to see the Columbus Crew SC come to Austin. My family and I would go to some games, and in time my husband...
What readers are saying about family separations at the border

What readers are saying about family separations at the border

The national conversation in recent days has focused on the separation of nearly 2,000 immigrant children from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border as part of a new U.S. Department of Justice policy. Much of that conversation has taken place on social media, including comments from American-Statesman readers reacting to the news. Here’s a sample of what people are saying about the Trump...
Herman: Schumer, leave the Texanisms to Texans

Herman: Schumer, leave the Texanisms to Texans

I’m always happy when Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, is held up to public ridicule. My animus toward Schumer is apolitical. It’s based on something more tribal than that — high school. Schumer’s a graduate of James Madison High School in Brooklyn. I attended, until I moved to South Florida, Midwood High School in Brooklyn. Midwood and Madison are rivals, though please understand...
Young: Cruel separations at the border expose ‘zero tolerance’ folly

Young: Cruel separations at the border expose ‘zero tolerance’ folly

Crossing the street on foot the other day, a terrible thought crossed my mind. It was a vision, actually: of my offspring broiling in a remote tent city under the blazing Southwest sun at the behest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. You see, I was committing a crime at the time — jaywalking. Sure, it’s just a Class A traffic infraction, but I’d better stop it anyway. Based on the...
Editorial: Families seeking asylum deserve compassion and due process

Editorial: Families seeking asylum deserve compassion and due process

As we honor the love and contributions of our fathers this weekend, we cannot forget the horrific scenes at our nation’s borders, where infants and children are being taken from their parents’ arms by U.S. government agents. President Trump’s assertions to the contrary, there is no law mandating separation of families. We urge the Department of Homeland Security to immediately cease...
Commentary: The problem with De Niro’s F-bomb wasn’t the vulgarity

Commentary: The problem with De Niro’s F-bomb wasn’t the vulgarity

The problem with Robert De Niro’s using the F-word against President Donald Trump isn’t the word itself - it’s the absence of underlying content. Indeed, even Trump himself seems a bit confused by the meaning of De Niro’s weekend outburst. As if the actor hadn’t reached a wide enough audience, the president decided to weigh in while flying back from his Singapore meeting...
Editorial: Manley will be judged on whether he moves APD forward

Editorial: Manley will be judged on whether he moves APD forward

As a longtime Austin Police Department veteran takes the reins as police chief, we urge Brian Manley to embrace the most challenging part of his new job: to be an instigator of change. Manley’s Austin roots and 28 years of service to the department, including the past 18 months as interim chief, fueled the push by many to give him the top job. He has deep ties to the community, listens to the...
TWO VIEWS: Ruling on wedding cake a victory for business owners

TWO VIEWS: Ruling on wedding cake a victory for business owners

Despite what you may have heard about the recent ruling at the U. S. Supreme Court regarding a same-sex couple and a Colorado business, there two clear winners: Christian baker Jack Phillips — and religious freedom. There were essentially two questions addressed by this court decision. First, does the First Amendment and its long history of related court cases apply to the belief that marriage...
TWO VIEWS: Why America should practice what the framers preached

TWO VIEWS: Why America should practice what the framers preached

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 7-2 decision in favor of a Colorado baker’s refusal to bake a cake for a gay couple held in part that government has no role in deciding whether a religious belief is sincere or not. However, to reach their decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case, the Court found the objectivity of commission officials, who ruled against...
Commentary: Don’t donate blood just when tragedy strikes

Commentary: Don’t donate blood just when tragedy strikes

In celebration of World Blood Donor Day, the city of Austin has proclaimed June 14 to be “We Are Blood Type Local Day.” Today we celebrate our local blood supply, a precious community resource we all depend on — and have a stake in — regardless of whether we think about it on a regular basis. If you or someone you know has ever needed blood, chances are you’ve at least...
Commentary: An economic argument for Mexican-American studies

Commentary: An economic argument for Mexican-American studies

Our nation is undergoing a cultural evolution as a result of a non-European white, ethnic population explosion. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017 Hispanics, Latinos, and mestizos had grown to over 55 million — larger than Canada’s estimated 35 million total popilation — and are projected to reach 119 million by 2060. Much of this growth will continue to come from natural...
Commentary: Why parents should talk to their kids about racial bias

Commentary: Why parents should talk to their kids about racial bias

“Father knows best” — a saying so popular that a midcentury television sitcom was named for it — means something different today. Dads in this day and age tackle child-rearing, domestic experiences and tough conversations with their children more than ever before. But there are some issues that many dads know a lot about from firsthand experience and are hesitant to address...
Commentary: How to make a difference on World Refugee Day

Commentary: How to make a difference on World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is celebrated throughout the world on June 20, though most of us will go through our daily routines without even knowing or perhaps caring about this day. We have our very hectic lives filled with work and family and all the comforts of home. We have an abundance of food and fun and opportunity here in this country that we take for granted — and often complain about not being...
Herman: Gov. Greg Abbott really, really needs your money

Herman: Gov. Greg Abbott really, really needs your money

Gov. Greg Abbott’s back in our mailboxes with another attempt to get into our wallets. There’s no such thing as enough or too much when it comes to political money, even for an overwhelming, overfunded overdog who has lots more money than the underwhelming, underfunded underdog. The most fascinating part of Abbott’s latest direct-mail fundraising appeal is the envelope that contains...
Herman: The rest of the story of Walter Seaholm’s political demise

Herman: The rest of the story of Walter Seaholm’s political demise

As regular readers of my typing are aware, I take requests. Today, I’ll tackle one from Austinite Buddy Garcia, who wants to know more about Walter E. Seaholm, the former longtime city official for whom the Seaholm Power Plant was named. I told you last Sunday that the plant was named in Seaholm’s honor in 1960, five years after he was fired as city manager. Why, reader Garcia wants to...
Commentary: Why a private soccer stadium is not a good deal for Austin

Commentary: Why a private soccer stadium is not a good deal for Austin

As soccer fans prepare for the World Cup, few Americans seem to care. During the last World Cup in 2014, 86 percent of Americans said they knew little or nothing about the World Cup. But here in Austin, Precourt Sports Ventures, the owners of the Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew, who are contemplating moving the team to Austin, commissioned a survey that found that 84 percent of Austinites were...
Commentary: What ‘equal opportunity’ in education really means

Commentary: What ‘equal opportunity’ in education really means

When teachers wave a fond farewell to our students at the end of the school year, a few leave a lasting impression because they have worked so hard to get to a point where academic excellence is even possible. Our institutions have a hard time both measuring that kind of success and valuing it as it deserves. Schools need to do more to create meaningful access to quality higher education for all Texans...
Opinion: Trump was outfoxed in Singapore

Opinion: Trump was outfoxed in Singapore

It sure looks as if President Donald Trump was hoodwinked in Singapore. Trump made a huge concession — the suspension of military exercises with South Korea. That’s on top of the broader concession of the summit meeting itself, security guarantees he gave North Korea and the legitimacy that the summit provides his counterpart, Kim Jong Un. Within North Korea, the “very special bond&rdquo...
Commentary: Ghosts and silence in West Texas

Commentary: Ghosts and silence in West Texas

There is a time machine hidden in the vast desert of far West Texas. As one drives south on U.S. 180, just where the turnoff for Carlsbad Caverns is nestled in a forest of tacky Whites City billboards, a shimmering ridge of rock rises like some wall in a garden of the gods. It parallels the road and then curves in the distance to form a towering pair of peaks: El Capitan and Guadalupe Peak, the most...
Herman: Austin Council Member Leslie Pool to colleagues, ‘I am a zero’

Herman: Austin Council Member Leslie Pool to colleagues, ‘I am a zero’

To make some Austin City Council sessions an even odder experience, Mayor Steve Adler has adopted a digital system to measure council members’ intensity of support for an item or idea. This is not newfangled digital as in computers. This is oldfangled digital as in fingers, as in hold up none to five to indicate intensity of support. The system was used Tuesday at a council work session on CodeNext...
Young: EPA shirked long view in scrapping rules after West explosion

Young: EPA shirked long view in scrapping rules after West explosion

The explosion didn’t destroy the small Texas town of West. It only destroyed 120 of its homes, its nursing home and three of its schools. Add to that tally the deaths of 15, including 12 first-responders who showed up to a fire alarm, not knowing they were about to be vaporized. More than 150 were injured in the town of less than 3,000. Witnesses compared the 2013 detonation at the West Fertilizer...
Commentary: Why Travis County needs a public defender’s office

Commentary: Why Travis County needs a public defender’s office

Every day, thousands of people of color are trapped in Travis County’s criminal justice system. We are disproportionately stopped, arrested by the police, and held in jail at a higher rate than our white counterparts. We are on the receiving end of longer prison sentences. After arrest, we are more likely to plead guilty, to spend a longer time in jail before conviction and receive a longer...
Letters to the editor: June 12, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 12, 2018

It seems we want to honor our Confederate forefathers but are uncomfortable acknowledging why they fought. Should you feel guilty about slavery? Of course not. You never owned slaves. But you should be aware of the effects of slavery that persist. Consider accumulated family wealth. The G.I. bill enabled soldiers to buy homes, but banks refused to grant loans to blacks. Then, there is the wealth accumulated...
Behind the Latino appreciation for Anthony Bourdain

Behind the Latino appreciation for Anthony Bourdain

Notes, photographs and flowers are left in memory of Anthony Bourdain at the closed location of Brasserie Les Halles, where Bourdain used to work as the executive chef, Friday in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Among the many tributes and condolences pouring in Friday for Anthony Bourdain, Scott Kelly’s surely came from the rarest of experiences...
Herman: The passing of a political force and a tar salesman

Herman: The passing of a political force and a tar salesman

Today I want to report on a couple of recent deaths worth mentioning in the newspaper. One is of note to anyone who’s been around Texas Democratic politics for more than a few minutes. The other is of note perhaps only to me and to anyone who’s heard me speak on the local civic club circuit. Carrin Patman died May 22 at age 86. She was a longtime force in the Democratic Party, including...
Grumet: City Council could do a lot of good with a little tax break

Grumet: City Council could do a lot of good with a little tax break

You know it’s coming. Your property tax bill next year will be worse than this year’s. But tune in on Thursday: The Austin City Council could make it hurt a little less. Council Member Ellen Troxclair has a proposal to increase the homestead exemption to 10 percent. Austin’s current homestead exemption knocks 8 percent off the value of a home when calculating city property taxes...
Letters to the editor: June 10, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 10, 2018

Re: June 6 commentary, “What 1984 could teach us about CodeNext.” This article is one of the most honest critiques of CodeNext that I have read. As an Austin native, I have seen many mayors and City Councils come and go. We used to trust and have confidence in our mayor and council to be open, fully informed on issues, communicate all the information and to look out for the best interests...
Letters to the editor: June 9, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 9, 2018

Picture this: Starting in kindergarten, children learning skills of citizenship, such as civil communication, tolerance for others’ beliefs, nonviolent conflict resolution and “good citizen” practices — voting, financial responsibility, building community. Currently, middle-school students who did poorly on the STAAR test in math, for example, must take two periods until they...
Castillo: Here’s a solution to intolerance that we can call agree on

Castillo: Here’s a solution to intolerance that we can call agree on

When I was reporting on the human toll of U.S. immigration policy back in the early 2000s, I was at first blindsided by the viciousness of some of the reader mail I received after writing these stories. These letters and emails typically did not dispute the facts behind the reporting. No, they downright ignored them, reacting instead with an anger striking for its lack of humanity. Some readers did...
Editorial: We’re still missing the full score on McKalla soccer stadium

Editorial: We’re still missing the full score on McKalla soccer stadium

We now have a sharper picture of the benefits a Major League Soccer franchise could bring to Austin, particularly in terms of jobs and sales tax revenue, if a privately-financed stadium is built at city-owned McKalla Place. But two recent reports — an analysis by city staff and a detailed pitch by the owners of Columbus Crew SC — still leave many holes in calculating the costs for Austin...
Commentary: How border policy creates more mess for foster care system

Commentary: How border policy creates more mess for foster care system

I work in Austin at the SAFE Alliance, a nonprofit agency with a vision of a safe and just community free from violence and abuse. Every day, we work with people who are seeking safety from violent and abusive homes – an arduous, complex, and sometimes dangerous process. Take for example the woman currently living in one of our shelters with her young daughters who came to us after fleeing a...
Commentary: Texas must be better prepared to battle extreme weather

Commentary: Texas must be better prepared to battle extreme weather

Having grown up in Puerto Rico, I’m more familiar with hurricane season than I’d like to be. Every year, we would brace ourselves for what might be. The entire island would go on alert, and emergency plans would be put into effect at the first sign of an approaching storm. I know the importance of emergency preparedness firsthand, and I agree that individuals and families must have safety...
Commentary: Why Trump is an easy patsy for China’s charade

Commentary: Why Trump is an easy patsy for China’s charade

Despite the hoopla over whether Donald Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un, the possible summit is a sideshow. It is only an entertaining distraction from what is most important to America’s future. China’s leaders have made it clear that they believe their country is ascendant and should dominate Asia and eventually most of the world. China’s strategy is to be patient, plan carefully...
Commentary: Texas border a flashpoint in humanitarian crisis

Commentary: Texas border a flashpoint in humanitarian crisis

Those of us living in the Texas-Mexico border region have front-row seats to a rapidly intensifying Greek tragedy. Families fleeing deadly cartels, vigilante mobs and campaigns of “ethnic cleansing” are arriving at our gateways, hoping to find asylum here — or, at the very least, to save their children’s lives. Our laws and treaties are designed to protect them and forbid the...
Commentary: How some aging populations can help communities thrive

Commentary: How some aging populations can help communities thrive

In a recent commentary, two University of Texas professors urged us to begin planning for care of our elders as they increase proportionally within communities. This is a cautionary tale well worth noting — but it is otherwise empty of guidance. I urge the authors, Jacqueline Angel and Andrew Scoggin, to direct research into communities that have prospered with the incorporation of large numbers...
Letters to the editor: June 8, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 8, 2018

I’m stunned when I see the next — and the next — wrongful shooting by police when customary justification is “it looked like he had a gun in his hand.” I’m equally appalled we have NFL football players taking a knee in disrespect to our flag and what it represents. As a war veteran, it is disturbing to see people — including our president — who have...
Commentary: How Trump’s critics help him talk his way out of trouble

Commentary: How Trump’s critics help him talk his way out of trouble

Communication scholars have documented that language does indeed matter. They also understand that rhetorical analyses often provide important insights into the current political landscape that may not be possible via more traditional historical, political, scientific or journalistic accounts. Case in point: President Donald Trump’s ongoing and accelerated response to the Russia investigation...
Commentary: How bitcoin technology could help Austin’s homeless

Commentary: How bitcoin technology could help Austin’s homeless

As bitcoin prices soared last year and cryptocurrency markets created new millionaires, a young man huddled under an Interstate 35 bridge in downtown Austin. It was an unseasonably cold night, and his asthma was flaring up. The day before, his backpack had been stolen — an all too common occurrence for someone living on the streets. In that backpack were his inhalers, as well as his ID and other...
Herman: The great public works project named for a fired city employee

Herman: The great public works project named for a fired city employee

Sometimes, sadly, the stuff named for people becomes more well-known than the person for whom the stuff was named. Local case in point: Can you name the great municipal public works project in the news named in honor of a fired city of Austin employee? My colleague Elizabeth Findell recently told you about the latest ambitious plan to convert the waterfront intake facility at the old Seaholm Plant...
Young: There’s a serious case of parasitism in the executive branch

Young: There’s a serious case of parasitism in the executive branch

John Dean famously warned Richard Nixon of a “cancer close to the presidency.” The diagnosis today would be that the presidency has a tapeworm. That would seem to be the assessment of Adam Serwer, senior editor of The Atlantic. He writes to empathize with those flustered as they attempt to connect the dots between the varied outrages and scandals associated with this president. Russian...
Commentary: Why Texas should reject proposed changes to Title X

Commentary: Why Texas should reject proposed changes to Title X

Access to contraception is one of the nation’s most important public health achievements over the past 100 years, contributing to better-timed and spaced pregnancies, which tend to be healthier and safer for mothers and babies and improves the economic status of women and their families. But if newly proposed federal regulations take effect, millions of low-income people — including nearly...
Commentary: What 1984 could teach us about CodeNext

Commentary: What 1984 could teach us about CodeNext

It has been 34 years since Austin last adopted a new zoning code. That was the year the Apple Macintosh was introduced; yearly incomes averaged $20,000;, home prices averaged $100,000; the Dow Jones hit 1,200; and the cost of gas was a buck a gallon. The 1984 code had been drafted over a four-year period by a California consultant. It started with a diagnosis report that recommended abandoning the...
Facebook comments: June 22, 2018

Facebook comments: June 22, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Johnathan Silver, state Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, criticized Gov. Greg Abbott for not taking a stand against the federal practice of separating immigrant children from their families at the border. “What is happening on the border tonight is an affront to humanity and to all that we as proud Americans hold dear,” Villalba told the American-Statesman...
Letters to the editor: June 22, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 22, 2018

Re: June 16 article, “Austin among final 5 candidates for Army’s high-tech Futures Command site.” Austin is known for being a progressive, open, creative, peace-loving city. It is not forward-thinking to consider placing an Army Futures Command center here. Let Austin’s innovative talent in medical, engineering and academic fields continue to address the civic and global challenges...

Opinion: GOP moderates fold to Trumpism

WASHINGTON — “Moderate Republicans are the people who are there when you don’t need them.” It was one of former Rep. Barney Frank’s many devastating zingers, and it certainly applies to the fiasco unfolding in the House of Representatives on immigration. A headline last week on Roll Call’s website might have been channeling Frank, the acerbic Massachusetts Democrat...

Opinion: Trump and the invasion of the West

“It is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” says former first lady Laura Bush of the Trump administration policy of “zero tolerance,” under which the children of illegal migrants are being detained apart from their parents. “We need to be … a country that governs with a heart,” says first lady Melania Trump. “No one likes this policy,&rdquo...
Letters to the editor: June 21, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 21, 2018

Re: June 16 article, “Owner’s plan for Lake Austin site: elevator tower, restaurant, marina.” The proposal by the developer is vastly inferior to the 1986 approved plan for the property that included up to 64 single family homes. The developer is wanting a change that will create a commercial and residential development that will add about 300,000 square feet of commercial development...
For summer vacation, the best audiobooks are about long, strange trips

For summer vacation, the best audiobooks are about long, strange trips

Need an audiobook for your summer road trip? Here are some ideas. “The Dog of the South” by Charles Portis Recorded Books. Unabridged, 8 hours. Published almost 40 years ago, “The Dog of the South” still remains the funniest American road novel ever written. It is the story of Ray Midge’s pursuit of his wife, Norma, from Arkansas down through Mexico to Belize. She has...
Letters to the editor: June 20, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 20, 2018

The policy that results in the separation of minors from their parents for no other reason than that the parents brought their children with them across the border into the United States to seek asylum is morally repugnant and reprehensible. It must be rescinded immediately — and those parents and minors separated must be reunited as soon as that can be reasonably accomplished. Such a cruel...
Facebook comments: June 19, 2018

Facebook comments: June 19, 2018

In a recent commentary for the American-Statesman, University of Texas professor Nathan Jensen pointed out some issues with Precourt Sports Ventures’ plan to bring Major League Soccer to Austin. “Sports stadiums, even without any subsidies, are not an economic benefit to the city,” Jensen wrote. He cited a survey of economists at the Chicago Booth School of Business that found that...
Letters to the editor: June 19, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 19, 2018

Re: June 14 article, “Willie Nelson on immigrant separation at the border: ‘Christians everywhere should be up in arms.’” A Christian follows the law. You may not like the law. You cannot choose which laws you follow. If everyone did that, we would have anarchy. You should work to change laws and policies you don’t agree with, not ignore those laws. It is well-known to...

Opinion: The lesser cruelty on immigration

Let’s start with the easy part. The policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border, delivering them into a bureaucratic labyrinth while their fathers and mothers await trial or petition for asylum, is the wickedest thing the Trump administration has done so far — and you can tell exactly how wicked by observing how unwilling White House officials are to defend...

Opinion: Can Republicans and Dems reach compromise on immigration?

Rep. Kevin Yoder has two daughters, ages 2 and 4. A busy schedule of political obligations requires the Kansas Republican to be separated at times from those precious little people. It’s a feeling many parents know. Those two girls were on his mind recently when we spoke by phone to discuss the fates of thousands of would-be immigrant children who have been physically yanked from their parents...
Letters to the editor: June 18, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 18, 2018

I’ve read stories about babies being torn from their mothers while breastfeeding — and children being taken away to bathe, never to return. I read of a father who hanged himself after being separated from his wife and three-year-old. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Rep. John Carter all claim to be Christians. They claim to represent family values. Do they really think that separating...

Opinion: Singapore summit was a historic snooker

The headline writers adore the word “historic.” It was ubiquitous in reporting on the April meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in. Kim shook Moon’s hand and then guided him over the military demarcation line to step onto North Korean territory. This prompted swoons. If that was a bona fide gesture of peaceful intent, time will tell. In the meantime, let’s assume it was...

Opinion: A quisling and his enablers

This is not a column about whether Donald Trump is a quisling — a politician who serves the interests of foreign masters at his own country’s expense. Any reasonable doubts about that reality were put to rest by the events of the past few days, when he defended Russia while attacking our closest allies. We don’t know Trump’s motivation. And we may never find out: If he shuts...
Letters to the editor: June 17, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 17, 2018

Father’s Day for me is sweet and bitter. I soak up the love and appreciation, the hugs and treats. But I also feel the father’s duty to protect my daughters from harm. We fathers are rapidly losing control over that. I feel for the California fathers whose children’s homes burned in wildfires last year. I feel for the Puerto Rican fathers who couldn’t save the thousands of...
Facebook comments: June 17, 2018

Facebook comments: June 17, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Arianna Auber, the so-called “can ban” has been reinstated in New Braunfels. Under the ban, people floating the river within New Braunfels’ city limits this summer will face fines if they bring disposable containers like cans and plastic water bottles; large coolers are also prohibited. Tubing companies, which reportedly lost about 50...
David Lynch writes a memoir — but reveals only more mysteries

David Lynch writes a memoir — but reveals only more mysteries

Mystery is important to David Lynch, explanation anathema. His films defy straightforward interpretation; he’s never offered any. About his own biography, he’s long been coy. His press kits used to read simply, “Born Missoula, Montana. Eagle Scout.” So “Room to Dream,” a memoir pushing 600 pages, may come as a surprise. Is the game up? Fans who share Lynch&rsquo...

Opinion: ERA began as a farce but has ended in tragedy

Karl Marx was no more mistaken than usual when he said that historic people and events appear twice, first as tragedy, then as farce. Today’s advocates of a musty fragment of the 1970s, the Equal Rights Amendment, are demonstrating that something that begins as farce can reappear as tragedy, because abuse of the Constitution is tragic. With Illinois slouching toward bankruptcy, its Legislature...

Opinion: High school learns censorship doesn’t work

Here’s an axiomatic truth: If you want to make sure people see or hear something, ban people from seeing or hearing something. That predates the internet, as any former teenager who ever hid under the covers listening to “Louie Louie” with the volume down can surely attest. We are talking about a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. If censorship didn’t work then on something...
Letters to the editor: June 16, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 16, 2018

The plight of the American teacher is all too real and affects our community. It’s been said the era of the lifelong teacher is over, and a career in the classroom is becoming unsustainable. Salary aside, the real scourge is a lack of respect and appreciation for those who choose to serve our communities children. All too often, principals, parents and students fail to recognize the sacrifices...

Opinion: ‘A jet-setting Jesus? I’m not seeing it …’

An absolutely true news item: Trying to explain why he asked worshipers to buy him a $54 million private jet, TV preacher Jesse Duplantis said: “I really believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey. He’d be in an airplane flying all over the world.” A few months from now, at the headquarters of Dassault Aviation in Paris...

Opinion: On Charles Krauthammer, my friend, mentor and lodestar

WASHINGTON — A few years ago, I was talking with Charles Krauthammer in the Fox News green room when the news that someone famous had passed away flashed on the television screen. Charles told me the way he hoped to go when his time came. His dream, he said, was to be assassinated during the seventh-inning stretch at a game at Nationals Park. He wanted to die in what he once called “my...
Facebook comments: June 15, 2018

Facebook comments: June 15, 2018

As reported by the American-Statesman’s Chuck Lindell, a special committee of the Texas Senate held its second hearing in two days on school safety on Tuesday. The prospect of arming teachers and administrators to counter school shooters drew a sharp response at the meeting. Much of the attention focused on the school marshal program. The school guardian program, which allows districts to designate...
Letters to the editor: June 15, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 15, 2018

Re: June 11 article, “Adventure Girls inject excitement into everyday life.” I applaud Pam LeBlanc for encouraging all of us to live an active life. But I cringed when I saw the photo of the Adventure Girls jumping off a cliff in May at Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis. I always caution friends and family about jumping into Lake Travis. There are jagged rocks and other hazards below the water&rsquo...

Opinion: Trump’s North Korean fantasyland

WASHINGTON — One of the costs of the Trump Era is that all opinions become suspect because, even more than usual, everything is seen through the prism of whether you are for or against the president. Consequently, criticism of Trump is regularly assumed by his supporters to be rooted in bad faith. The retort to any judgments against his statements or his policies typically begins with &ldquo...

Opinion: Behind Trump’s anger and exasperation

At the G-7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump described America as “the piggy bank that everybody is robbing.” In Singapore, Trump tweeted more about that piggy bank. “Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades … (while) the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting...
Letters to the editor: June 4, 2018

Letters to the editor: June 4, 2018

Re: June 10 commentary, “We’re still missing the full score on McKalla soccer stadium.” The Austin City Council needs to put the brakes on Precourt Sports Ventures’ demand for an end-of-June decision on building a soccer stadium at McKalla Place. One should never trust someone who sets an unrealistic deadline to pressure you into accepting a deal before all, or at least most...
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