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, follow this link, or email your letter directly to email@example.com. Thanks for your patience.
RECEIVED Tue., Jan. 22, 2013
Dear Editor, Wow!
I’m a born and raised Austinite … yes, born in Austin – and let me tell you something about that McDonald’s and Taco Cabana on South Lamar [“Postmarks
,” Jan. 11]. I remember going to that McDonald’s after going to Peter Pan’s Putt-Putt as a child. It was also our treat after going to see the Trail of Lights every Christmas. In high school and college, after a night Downtown, Taco Cabana was a life saver. My father used to buy us breakfast there before we spent the day at Zilker Park. Obviously, you don’t have children. Neither do I. But even more obvious is the fact that you didn’t grow up here in Austin, because then you would understand what some of those places mean to the people who have grown up in Austin and who hope to raise their own children here. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy every new restaurant and organic local eatery that has opened here in Austin. I love that Austin is in direct competition with big cities on the food level. I, too, shop at the farmers' market, compost, and buy organic. But don’t forget that South Austin was just as cool, vibrant, and cultural without every other restaurant boasting about their all-organic and local food. Austinites were living in South Austin far before any of those restaurants were ever open. About the only thing more annoying is people who aren’t from here and love to throw in other people’s faces how vegan and organic they are, and how insulting it is to use a plastic bag. … Get over yourselves! The people that actually grew up in Austin don’t need to justify themselves, they just live here and try to avoid people like you, Kevin. About the only thing that you and I can agree on is that Austin is a different place.
RECEIVED Tue., Jan. 22, 2013
Just got word from an old bandmate that Austin drummer Eddie Flores passed away this weekend. I first met Eddie at Ted Hall’s blues jam at Gino’s on South First about 10 years ago. He was the house drummer for Sunday’s "blues church.” I remember instantly feeling at ease the first time I got up to play with him. He had such a wonderful, natural groove and a boundless enthusiasm for playing music. As a musician, he made you feel at home every time you shared the stage with him, and his playing was so solid and expressive that you felt free to try anything because you knew for damn sure that Eddie had your back. It was truly an honor and a privilege to have played and recorded with him over the years. He was generous with his time, had a great sense of humor, and was an inspiration to those around him. He will be missed.
RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 21, 2013
Having averted the fiscal cliff, certain Republican Party neocons are now insisting that not only can we not cut Pentagon spending (I won’t dignify it by calling it “defense spending”), but that we should increase it. These clowns give the reason that we need to meet Red China’s expanding sphere of influence in the Pacific region.
So here we give the ChiComs most-favored-nation status so they can build up their economy, thus enabling them to expand their military, and at the same time causing the export of American jobs to them, which weakens us – but at the same time, we borrow money from them, at interest costs to us and enrichment to them, to expand our already bloated military (so-called “defense”) to counter ChiCom expansion in the first place.
That makes about as much goddamned good sense as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
I saw Dennis Kucinich on the tube not too long ago stating that there were all these reports gathering dust, detailing how we can cut the fraud, waste, abuse, and pork from the Pentagon without harming our defense in the least.
So, Dennis, where are you now? You should be forming a caucus in Congress to bring about these reforms in a very public way.
But don’t hold your breath that anything like that will ever happen. During the Reagan years of Pentagon waste, I did not see Teddy Kennedy, who sat on the Armed Services Committee, try anything to counter that testy, reactionary, and ignorant high priest of Pentagon waste, the pin-striped scalawag John Tower from Texas. I did see the right-wing senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, try to do so and fail miserably. How about you, Lloyd Doggett? Veterans for Peace? Anybody?
[Editor's Note: Dennis Kucinich is no longer a member of Congress. Having been redistricted out of his seat, he was defeated in the 2012 Democratic primary by Rep. Marcy Kaptur.]
RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 21, 2013
My sons went to Fran Keller’s day care [“Appeal Filed for Fran Keller
," Newsdesk blog, Jan. 14]. They weren’t abused. I refused to testify against her in court. I was sad to see she went to prison.
RECEIVED Sun., Jan. 20, 2013
Texas needs to stop electing public officials who make its citizenry look like provincial philistines. I’m thinking of that buffoon, Rick Perry, and now of Greg Abbott, who proposes that New Yorkers move to the boonies so they can pack heat in public.
Mr. Abbott, I gather that you have never been to New York City. Manhattan is a vast glittering island full of historical sites (some dating back to the American Revolution); restaurants (cheap to expensive, all nationalities); art museums; independent bookstores; imposing public libraries, skyscrapers, and bridges (the Brooklyn Bridge was an engineering masterpiece that became an American icon); concert halls; nightclubs; glamorous hotels and stores; theatres; and museums of science and history (subjects too many Texans don’t believe in). A civilized, reasonably educated tourist would find innumerable entertaining and fascinating things to do there.
I visited NYC last weekend and stayed in Harlem so that I could visit two old mansions. When I got on the subway at 125th Street, three men (young and black and not together) immediately warned me that my backpack was unzipped. At the top of the backpack was a nice set of headphones.
What would a tourist do in New York, Texas? Take potshots at prairie dogs? Count the dead armadillos on the highway? Eat greasy barbecue and drink light beer while watching sports on a big-screen TV? Experience the thrill of shooting at an annoying driver?
RECEIVED Fri., Jan. 18, 2013
I’m personally really glad that the city of Austin is not changing the name of the Lying Cheating Bully Bikeway. We should definitely keep the name, because we need a monument to massive hypocrisy. We need a shining beacon, framed with the beautiful scenery of our fine city, that reminds us all of the shame that emanates from the sick, corrupted power structure that siphons off all of our country’s labor and wealth to the big banks and the other thieves and cheaters who will do anything for profit in the name of greed. And a long strip of land named after a sociopath who makes a “confession” devoid of any remorse for his actions is an effective and awesome focus on that. Thanks, Austin City Council, and a tip of the hat to you! Please keep the name. All we ask in return is that we just get to keep calling it the Lying Cheating Bully Bikeway, and we get to think about that every time we ride our bicycles on it, as it will serve as a constant reminder that will help us all concentrate our collective energy against everything that is wrong with our plutocracy dominated by lying cheating bullies. I hope that more public events occur on the Lying Cheating Bully Bikeway, and that people from around the country and even around the world will visit our beautiful Lying Cheating Bully Bikeway when they come to Austin, and I hope that they will broadcast the superlative word of its beauty and splendor back to their communities. Maybe there can even be an annual candlelight vigil there to celebrate the power of the people triumphing over every possible vile and corrupt impulse that rapes our economy in service of money and power. I have a dream …
RECEIVED Fri., Jan. 18, 2013
It's about time Obama grew a pair and put the corporate gun-smokers in their places. The last thing we need is a bunch of gnarley old militia men running our country. Take a bath, get a haircut, and get cable TV. Jesus ain’t coming, and if he was, he wouldn’t be coming for you. And as far as that French, NRA ass-kissing LaPierre dude, he’d get his ass kicked if he walked down any street in France. That's why he comes over here and hides behind his guns. I say get off the Jesus crack and quit looking for accidents that ain’t happened yet. We’ve got enough real-live stuff going on, like all those dead school kids!
RECEIVED Thu., Jan. 17, 2013
“In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, I believe keeping our children safe is a public health issue.” ... Duh! [“Guns and Ammo ... and Austin Politics
," News, Jan. 18.] While we’re passing laws, we can make it illegal to own guns in Pakistan, since those guns are being used to kill Americans. If this is nonsense, so is regulation of devices when killings are perpetrated by people – people with no regard for the law, their own lives, or the lives of others. More often than not, someone knows that someone else is about to go on a rampage. Now that Colorado has been through this a few times, it’s occurred to people there to fix the mental health laws so that they can intervene. When we put our finger on the problem, perhaps we can close in on a solution.