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.
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Messing Up the Order of Wives

RECEIVED Wed., Aug. 6, 2008

Dear Bill,
    I am still overwhelmed with emotion but wanted to let you know that the piece you wrote about Dennis [Wilson] was by far one of the most honest and beautiful stories I've ever read [“The Mayor of Washington Boulevard,” Music, Aug. 1]. Thank you so much for your poetic portrayal of him.
Most sincerely,
Carole Wilson Bloom (wife No. 1)
   [Editor's note: The Austin Chronicle incorrectly stated that Karen Lamm was Dennis Wilson's first wife. Lamm was Wilson's third wife (whom he married twice). Barbara Charren was Wilson's second wife, and he was married to Shawn Love at the time of his death. The Chronicle regrets the error.]

Is Impeachment Vital?

RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 5, 2008

Dear Editor,
    "It has seemed pointless to belabor the procedure except as an exercise in hypocritical moralism. I frankly don't much care for symbolic politics unless there is some substantive goal in play – and handing beleaguered Republican incumbents a martyrdom card does not strike me as a useful public purpose" [“Point Austin,” News, Aug. 1].
    Thanks for your thoughtful piece on this vexing issue, Mr. King. I agree that the political realities on the ground make it unlikely that an actual impeachment motion will hit the floor of the U.S. House. And yet, and yet … I keep thinking of an episode last winter on the Bill Moyers PBS show in which two pundits – one a lefty from The Nation, the other from a right-wing think tank – both argued that it would be vital to impeach Bush and Cheney, not just to call them out for their misdeeds, but, more crucially, to serve as a warning to future chief executives not to claim the extra-constitutional prerogatives which have led Bush/Cheney to set aside habeas corpus, permit torture, etc. This would seem to me to qualify as a "useful public purpose." Given that the new Congress will be seated before Bush/Cheney leave office, perhaps the new Congress could at least pass a bicameral resolution to censure or some such?
Best regards,
Sam Braudt
Lubbock

Makes No Sense?

RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 4, 2008

Dear Editor,
    It's nice that Josh Rosenblatt is easily amused. He may feel thrilled by not knowing what's going on in Tell No One [Film Listings, Aug. 1], but I was just disappointed. It's the cinematic equivalent of a Rubik's Cube, and a more fitting title would have been Make No Sense.
Stan Wilson

We Were Right About Hillary All Along

RECEIVED Mon., Aug. 4, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I am flabbergasted at the nerve of he-who-shall-remain-nameless. Give Florida and Michigan a full vote? Pretty please do, Nancy Pelosi! Please give Hillary Clinton all the Michigan votes and the delegate seats in Florida and all the other states she earned. Then please accept my Hillary Clinton write-in vote. The current front-runner seems to be doing a pretty good job of lynching himself right now. John McCain is catching up in the polls quick, Nancy! Do you remember us telling you Clinton has a better chance against McCain? There were a lot of negative words about what McCain wants us to fear. It's things like that that create a rift in relations. Maybe it was Hillary that was taking all the low blows after all. I hope she pulls a Lorena Bobbitt and wins the election. That would win over Jesse Jackson.
Mike Homa

Austin for Austinites

RECEIVED Sun., Aug. 3, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Re: "City Hall Hustle" [News, Aug. 1]: Difficult choices indeed for Mr. Ott to keep the city budget in check. Cutting libraries' hours, increasing fees on us, freezing pay raises and employment reminds me of "The Ballad of Toby Futrell.” I suggest for him to weigh-in on pay raises for Travis Co. judges and commissioners already in line for 2009. Streamline low priority calls when EMS, fire, and police converge on grandma's call (it doesn't make financial sense). I have witnessed cops just pacing around after a woman collapsed, and I was assisting, three of them not knowing what to do. Get cops on foot in neighborhoods, force detectives out of their air-conditioned offices. What about slashing bloated retirement packages? Cut free money to developers and open a direct line with local businesses so they'll hire local people to increase the flow of money here. Another one: Where I live, people have to work two years to match one month of Mr. Ott's salary. I think government is becoming unaffordable already, and we need to start singing "Austin for Austinites.”
Paul Aviña

Shocked to Read Moser; Please Censor Him

RECEIVED Sun., Aug. 3, 2008

Dear Editor,
    After reading the continuing conversation between cyclists, motorists, and your “After a Fashion” [Aug. 1] writer, I would like to know, how is it that someone would think that hate mail is actually love letters? That is twisted. So is this: When Stephen MacMillan Moser wrote about his visit to Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop, where he got to rub elbows with Lance Armstrong, he described what a boon it was [“After a Fashion,” June 27]. He gets to come back and name drop and tell about how he also survived cancer. Coming from a bike shop that promotes urban cyclists commuting to work, he turns around and writes about wanting to plow his car through the Critical Mass demonstration ride.
   I was shocked to read this. What was he doing at the bike shop if that is how he feels about cyclists? Oh, he says he was joking, but every week he shows us more of his “love” for cyclists. Last week calling us children who should be relegated to the park only. I want to know what exactly his job as a writer is. As he boasts, he is doing his job when we care enough to read and reply. What is he doing for Austin when he makes threatening comments about killing cyclists with cars? How is the Chronicle serving the city by keeping him on staff when he blatantly shows his intolerance and hatred toward cyclists week after week? I object. I say he should go. I think his words are reckless and dangerous, fueling the already present mindset of some real motorists who think cyclist should be hit with cars. Austin and her cyclists do not need his brand of humor. And what is it about seeing an adult on a bike that turns people into mad dogs?
MacKayla Hawke
Dripping Springs

United States Art Authority Shouldn't Get Special treatment

RECEIVED Sun., Aug. 3, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Regarding the closing of the United States Art Authority [“United States Art Authority,” Arts, Aug. 1]: Do the owners of that business really expect to be shown special consideration because of their “cultural contribution[s]” to the city? Give me a break. What they fail to mention is that tapping into counterculture is part of their business plan, designed to make them money. While I have no problem with the making of money in general, I find offensive the implication that they deserve special treatment for “promoting the scene in [their] own small way.” Bullshit. What they're doing is running a business, and they should have the same constrictions as all other business owners.
Sam Tyler

Let's Avoid Sixth Street Blues

RECEIVED Sat., Aug. 2, 2008

Dear Editor,
    The people of Austin would do well to seriously consider the guest post recently printed regarding the undesirability of attending live music Downtown [“Reader Comments of the Week,” Aug. 1].
    For a case study, take the Deep Ellum district of Downtown Dallas as an example. On a recent trip to this once-vibrant art and music mecca, I was struck by the empty storefronts, darkened clubs, and sheer magnitude of drug dealers, pimps, and other undesirables shuffling through the streets devoid of revelers. According to friends in the area, it seems that the wrong kind of clubs brought the wrong kind of people to the area, several incidents of violence occurred, and the art and music lovers simply refused to attend. Now Deep Ellum is pure urban blight, populated by a small minority of hangers-on, attempting to weather the downturn. Most aren't faring that well.
    If Austin truly wants to revitalize and preserve our Downtown musical heritage, we should give strong incentives for live music and art, such as providing tax breaks and historical zoning, waiving noise violations in certain circumstances, and taking steps to control or subsidize ever-rising rents for established music venues. Perhaps steps could also be taken to discourage the turn-and-burn, 1-dollar-you-holler bars that bring the undesirables out of the woodwork while providing no cultural product to speak of, save drunkenness. It also wouldn't hurt to provide safe parking and transportation in the area. More arrogant, Orwellian, never-see-'em-again cops on horses won't solve our problems, but a few on foot near the I-35 bridge, at the bus stops, and a few veteran police assigned to permanent "business liaison" positions in consistent problem areas might just do the trick.
    Decades ahead of their time, the Grateful Dead sang, "the people in Deep Ellum got them Deep Ellum blues.” That's not the kind of blues we want on Sixth Street, is it? But that's just what we're gonna have if we don't take steps now.
Mike "Dub" Wainwright

Aren't We All Helping China?

RECEIVED Sat., Aug. 2, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I see that an American citizen has been arrested for helping the Chinese develop a cruise missile. This actually happened in 2005, and we are now just hearing about it. I have to wonder … since we had a $256 billion trade deficit with China last year, aren't we all helping China develop new military technology?
Steven McCloud

Texas Gun Laws Better Than California's

RECEIVED Sat., Aug. 2, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Mark Heinze sees "no logic" in "why more guns in the hands of citizens makes a world with too many guns safer" ("Postmarks,” Aug 1). I assume that if attacked by one of the hundreds of thousands of heavily armed gangbangers in his alleged gun-free Californian paradise – which has a significantly higher rate of violent crime than Texas, according to the FBI – Mr. Heinze will use his amazing logic to defend himself. He should be careful, though, since California somehow still appears to have just a wee bit of gun crime despite its unconstitutionally restrictive gun-control laws.
    Using his bulletproof logic, how would Mr. Heinze suggest the weak and elderly and disabled defend themselves against violent attack, especially in rural areas where law enforcement response time is measured in hours? Engage the thugs in a scholarly debate about how the nation's murder capitals always seem to be cities with rigid gun control?
    By all means, Mr. Heinze, stay in California where critical thinkers like yourself belong. Texas already has more than enough incompetent morons with California plates clogging our highways.
Jason Meador

Transit Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

RECEIVED Fri., Aug. 1, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Katherine Gregor's article "Who'll Take a Streetcar? 32,000 Riders a Day." [“Developing Stories,” News, Aug. 1] really intrigued me. Since I am handicapped and cannot drive, I have always been a mass-transit advocate.
    But this pie-in-the-sky proposal is dead on arrival for lots of reasons. The days of large federal payouts for mass transit are long gone. For the city of Austin and Capital Metro to waste their time even "planning" something on this grand scale is ludicrous. And to top it off, they propose streetcars in the very same week that they discontinue most of the Downtown 'Dillo routes for lack of riders.
    Unfortunately, the chickens have come home to roost on the efforts to bring every California and New York business to Austin. When we finally run out of room and reach total gridlock on the roads, will our leaders simply scratch their heads and say, "Aw, gosh, how did this happen?"
Bill Oakey

Beef Against Bicyclers in General?

RECEIVED Fri., Aug. 1, 2008

Dear Editor,
    It seems to me that Mr. Stephen Moser's description [“After a Fashion,” Aug. 1] of how Critical Mass ties up traffic (car traffic, he implies) is a little vague; namely, it could be of any typical day on one of the wonderful streets in this town. Mr. Moser, have you ever driven a car in this town, or do you just write fictional accounts about it? Have you been on I-35? Lamar? Guadalupe? If you have countless times been marooned in traffic, how many had anything to do with Critical Mass rides? Assuming any did, what is the difference between being stuck behind bicyclers, and being stuck behind motorists? It seems to me you have a beef against bicyclers in general. Why is that?
Patrick Jones

Tarr Is a Visionary Director

RECEIVED Fri., Aug. 1, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Thanks to Spencer Parsons for the great piece on Béla Tarr’s amazing Satantango [“Don't Fear the Devil,” Screens, Aug. 1]. Tarr is a visionary director whose works are sadly ill-distributed in the U.S. For those potential viewers who might understandably be slightly intimidated by Satantango’s 7½-hour length, Facets has made several of his other films available on DVD in the U.S. – Damnation (1988) and Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) are combined in a two-disc set, and Almanac of Fall (1985) is a solo release. All of these films illustrate Tarr’s art beautifully and are extremely satisfying and rewarding.
Larry Looney

Honor Dr. Pausch, Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer

RECEIVED Thu., July 31, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Although the news was inevitable, the passing of Carnegie Mellon professor Dr. Randy Pausch was devastating news to me and especially the pancreatic cancer community. Even as he was dying, he gave hope to others struggling with this dreadful disease.
    As an accidental celebrity, he did what no celebrity has done before – he spoke up to raise awareness for a disease that has been ignored for far too long by the public and the federal government.
    I am dedicated to keeping Dr. Pausch’s message alive by "making every day matter in the fight against pancreatic cancer." We are at a critical stage with this disease, and he stressed the incredible urgency of increasing the research funding needed to give patients a fighting chance. His philosophy of "every day matters" was a testament to his determination and strength.
    My father, Gene Howard, died of pancreatic cancer in 1977 at age 57. My brother and business partner, Hank Howard, died of complications of this disease in 2005 at age 61. An underwhelming amount of progress has been made toward early detection and cure for pancreatic cancer in the last 30 years.
    I am a volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Please get involved in the fight against the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, please visit www.pancan.org, or call 877/272-6226.
Thank you,
Robin Howard Moore

Savlov Insightful and Helpful

RECEIVED Thu., July 31, 2008

Dear Editor,
    This is in regard to Dan McAllister's critique of Marc Savlov's film reviews [“Postmarks,” Aug. 1]. He generally reviews the genres of film that are dear to me, horror and dark fantasy, and I think his comments and thoughts are insightful and helpful. Maybe this is more to your liking: Batman gud!
Respectfully,
Frank Anderson Jr.

Michael King Offers Real News

RECEIVED Thu., July 31, 2008

Dear Editor,
    When I used to think of The Austin Chronicle, one thing came to mind: free. That was until I read Michael King's “Impeaching the Empire” piece [“Point Austin,” News, Aug. 1]. Thank you Austin Chronicle, and thank you to Mr. King. Bush lovers and haters should appreciate the ability to report a story that others won't. These days, real news minus the crap is hard to find.
Christopher Chaudoir

Keeping Austin Expensive

RECEIVED Thu., July 31, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Let's face up to the facts here: Pandora's box has been opened and there is no returning to the "way things used to be" here in Austin, unfortunately. Let's look at the Enchanted Forest/United States Art Authority "zoning" debacle that has been going on. Is it really a surprise? Should we really complain, seeing as how we keep voting the very problem back into office time and time again? In what used to be the land of ideas, this town is slowly turning into a suburb of Dallas. It's amazing the amount of money the musicians and the art community of this city brings in, and yet the community gets continually squashed. The city likes to advertise that it's the "music capital of the world,” which is fine as long as it's really only that during the times of SXSW and the Austin City Limits Music Festival. I think the deal is this: be a musician or an artist or have a great idea as long as it doesn't interfere with the new corporate interest. Let's keep Austin expensive.
Justin Sweatt
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