FEEDBACK
Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to mail@austinchronicle.com. Thanks for your patience.
Browse by Week:

Same Reaction?

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 21, 2017

Dear Editor,
    If Don Zimmerman had ever browbeaten and otherwise abused any of the other council members, as Greg Casar did last Thursday, you'd have called for his immediate discharge from the Council. This would be especially true if he'd reduced Delia Garza or Ora Houston to tears. You would not care if that seat sat empty for an extended time, just so the abusive party was removed. So, many of us are out here watching, to see what the Chronicle has to say. Will you let Casar skate, on the basis that CM Troxclair is not a liberal, hence a free target, or will you react to him just as you would to Zimmerman? You have many folks out here waiting for your comments.
Keith Batcher
   [Editor's note: See "Council: Robert Rules, OK?" Daily News, Feb. 20.]

For the Record

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 20, 2017

Dear Editor,
    In his article on my report on UT Dell Medical School [“Dell Med School Debate Over Use of Funds Continues,” News, Feb. 17], Michael King states my "report does not attempt to analyze – or even consider – the clinical programs or direct benefits reported by the medical school in its work with local patients." If Mr. King had called me or read the report carefully, he would have understood that the Medical School keeps NO records of the specific clinical services it provides the poor for its $105 million from Central Health. My report analyzed the Medical School's personnel records, because those were the only pertinent records available. Those records showed the exact number (which is many) of Medical School fundraisers, accountants, communications staff, admissions officers, business managers, clerical and other non-clinical personnel paid for with our tax dollars intended for, but not going to, the poor for health care.
Fred Lewis
   [Michael King responds: Because I indeed read his "report" carefully, I saw no reason to call Fred Lewis – again – while reporting his reiterated claims that he first made in his November report, repeated in this extended February version, and delivered to Travis County Commissioners Court, the UT board of regents, and to various local publications, including the Chronicle. As I reported, none of these declarations make the slightest attempt to consider the extensive and expanding clinical services to poor clients already provided by Medical School staff, although they have reported that work publicly and summaries are readily available online (dellmed.utexas.edu). And curiously, Lewis apparently has made no attempt to "call" or otherwise speak with Medical School or Central Health personnel, while widely disseminating his inflammatory and irresponsible charges that they are misappropriating Central Health funds and violating state law.]

Selective Silence

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 20, 2017

Dear Editor,
    When Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, there were no protests, peaceful or violent. Citizens went about their daily routines. At Donald Trump’s inauguration last month, more than 200 black-clad individuals wearing masks to hide their identities were arrested in Washington, D.C., alone for destroying storefronts, torching cars, and hurling rocks and bottles at police officers. Six officers were injured. The vast majority of Democrats were silent in the face of this criminal thuggery. So when Louis Black writes that the “damage you are now so cheerfully greeting and enthusiastically championing,” [“Page Two: The U.S. Swings Like a Pendulum Do,” Feb. 17] is he absolving or ignoring the criminal element in the Democratic Party? Is it politically correct to violently protest only the election of a white president?
Jim Irish
Bastrop, Texas

Try This Approach

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 20, 2017

Dear Editor,
    In the otherwise informative article, "Enemies of the State," [News, Feb. 17] Joseph Caterine seems to have a failure to appreciate the free speech rights of peaceful protesters who hold icky opinions, or saw how his editorial choices might come across to the more moderate readers of the Chron. The article talks about a Trump supporter holding a "Fuck Your Feelings" sign at an anti-Trump march toward the state Capitol on Nov. 13.
    The article then quotes Josh Pineda, who said the protester was "intentionally there to disrupt," as if that was something outside the scope of civil society. Of course, the people marching toward the Capitol were also intentionally trying to disrupt (aka "protesting") the upcoming Trump inauguration.
    The article continues: "Somebody knocked [his] hat off," said Pineda. "Some people took his sign and ripped it up." But "absolutely nobody," he said, waged any bodily assault on the man.
    Note that earlier in the article, it mentions that several of these people not-bodily-assaulting this lone protester were wearing masks, and the picture accompanying the article shows an example of those masks, someone wearing a red mask emblazoned with the communist hammer and sickle, with, in bold print, a quote from a spokesperson for those Red Guards: "We don't seek to come to power through elections. We believe in armed struggle with mass participation."
    The article then implies that it was uncalled for when those witnessing this act went to nearby state troopers to ask them to intervene (with the subsequent overuse of force that one might realistically expect from armed agents of the state).
    Perhaps this article might have been given a much different take if this thought experiment had taken place by the Chron's editorial staff before publishing: "If a bunch of radical right-wingers were marching on the state Capitol to protest, say, Obama's 2008 inauguration, and a lone Obama supporter was holding up a sign saying 'Fuck Your Feelings,' and a scrum of the marchers, some masked and wearing neo-Nazi emblems on the masks, converged on the person and knocked off their hat and ripped up their sign, but they hadn't yet gotten around to bodily assaulting this person – would that be OK? Should bystanders placidly accept this violent response to a peaceful protester?"
    The point of the First Amendment is to protect even odious speech we vehemently disagree with – saying stuff that everyone agrees with doesn't need 1A protection.
Jim Henshaw

It's Personal

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 20, 2017

Dear Editor,
    Thanks to Michael King for his insightful essay ("Point Austin: Living in Emergency," Feb. 17) on our current state of the union and how it has gotten personal – especially in Austin and other sanctuary communities under attack for scrutiny of a policy applied too harshly and indiscriminately. The words of the famous Holocaust poem run through my mind quite often now … First they came for the immigrants … What can we as individuals do? The truth is this all comes down to individual choices and right actions guided by wise thought, views, and intentions. There has not been another time in my lifetime where “We the People” has meant so much and come with such an awesome responsibility. TSA officials, government employees, voters, neighbors, policemen, federal agents, acting attorney generals, and you and me – we must decide what action is wise when we are asked to do something we know is not right. Something we know harms our neighbors, our schoolmates, our co-workers, and ultimately ourselves. Take up the charge of moral responsibility and nonviolent protest like never before – the true ideal of “America” really depends on it.
Elizabeth Page
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)