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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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Setting the Record Straight

RECEIVED Wed., Oct. 13, 2010

Dear Editor,
    I did not "blast" any projects ["Point Austin," News, Oct. 8]. In fact, I suggested in a neighborhood presentation that more money is needed for Americans with Disabilities Act sidewalks. The city has been deficient in correcting this for some time. It should not, however, be funded by a transportation bond making it cost much more and called congestion relief, pollution reduction, and choice. It is none of these. Also, delinquent street maintenance should not be funded by such bonds and misrepresented as congestion relief, etc., etc.
    As Ed [Wendler] indicated, we should keep amenities such as boardwalks separate from necessities such as street mobility improvements.
Best,
Jim Skaggs

Fighting the New Civil War

RECEIVED Wed., Oct. 13, 2010

Dear Editor,
    You are known as a “cost center” to the corporations that control our government(s).
    Now is the time to decide for yourself, are you, as a human, an American citizen, going to allow a corporate entity, a legal creation on paper, to have the rights and liberties of a person?
    The Supreme Court majority overturned decades of legislation protecting personal freedom and sovereignty, which reigned in these fictitious “persons” and the damage they have done to all living things. You must see the film The Corporation to fully appreciate what we are up against: the behavior of a psychopathic criminal! Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States is an eye-, heart-, and mind-opener.
    Michael Ventura’s recent article [“Letters at 3AM: Where We Actually Live,” Oct. 8] highlighted the costs to the unlimited corruption of our corporate government: owned by corporate “special interests” like Monsanto, AT&T, Exxon, Goldman Sachs. Corporate welfare must end! Citizen priorities will direct our taxes not for foreign wars terrorizing people on the other side of the planet to control their natural resources via corporate greed. Rebuild America: schools, public drinking water systems, electrical infrastructure, and the restoration of our soils, rivers, forests, mountains, oceans, communities. We need a revolutionary shift from Agriculture Inc., the pestilence of petrochemical/pharmaceutical and GMO warfare – the cancer industry – to an agricultural system based on organic farming, like the good ol’ days when tomatoes were sweet, without frog-genetics added.
    So how do we regain what is ours? First, we have to take back our elections. Otherwise we can’t throw the bums out. The 1965 Voting Rights Act protects citizens from “hidden” vote counting: Tell the county commissioners at the public hearing of the Travis County Commissioners Court that you want open transparent verifiable elections – now!
Bill Stout
Green Party of Texas
Travis County co-chair

Worried About Toll Roads

RECEIVED Wed., Oct. 13, 2010

Dear Editor,
    On Wednesday, members of the Texas Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security held a hearing on the private toll road deals used to fund the unpopular Trans-Texas Corridor. Local state Sen. Kirk Watson, vice-chairman of this committee, will play a critical role in deciding the future of private toll road deals, which promoters have dubbed "comprehensive development agreements."
    Private toll roads offer a hard-to-resist "quick fix" for lawmakers facing big budget shortfalls. Without strong public protections, these deals are fraught with problems and typically cost taxpayers more money in the end. Their financing often involves the same leveraging of debt, conflicts of interest, and reckless shifting of risk that triggered the financial crisis. Road privatization places transportation policy in the hands of private investors seeking to maximize their profits through rising tolls, which they can collect for more than 50 years.
    Sen. Watson must protect the taxpayers of Austin, putting to rest irresponsible road privatization once and for all. If the state moves forward with any private toll road deal in the future, it will be the responsibility of Texas lawmakers, including Sen. Watson, to insist on the strongest possible public protections.
Emily Slatter
Texas Public Interest Research Group
Field associate

Obama Neither a Socialist Nor Islamic

RECEIVED Wed., Oct. 13, 2010

Dear Editor,
    To refer to Barack Obama as a socialist is more ridiculous than the claim that he is an Islamic African national. At least the president's name does consist of Arabic and African monikers. Those proclaiming Obama a socialist I confront inevitably fail to accurately define socialism, even by the most elementary standard. If Obama does indeed possess socialistic inclinations, they do not tend toward the worker. When public funds are distributed so as to rescue corporations such as those that initiated the current economic crises, that may be construed as corporate socialism – or render Obama capitalism's savior.
    I wager those that would paint Obama a socialist in 2010 are of the same ilk as those that were confident of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003.
Stephen Trapp

Glimmer of Hope

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 12, 2010

Dear Editor,
    I propose President Obama resign prior to the elections to give at least a glimmer of hope.
James Robertson

Is It Just Him?

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 12, 2010

Dear Editor,
    Is it just me, or is Austin Police Chief Art "Adolph" Acevedo the worst thing that's happened to Austin since around 1836?
Robert Nagle

Not 'My' But 'The'

RECEIVED Sun., Oct. 10, 2010

Dear Editor,
    Re: “Page Two” [Oct. 8]: You misquoted Bob Dylan. If you listen closely to "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," you will find that the line is "And the best friend my doctor," not "And my best friend my doctor." This is typical Dylan brilliance, taking a phrase that we would find quite normal, "my best friend the doctor," and inverting it to something surprisingly fresh: "the best friend my doctor."
    (To be honest, if you listen carefully you hear, "An ah best friend my doctor," but it is certainly not "And my best friend my doctor.")
Bill Meacham

Leaving Vapid Austin Art Scene; Back to NYC

RECEIVED Fri., Oct. 8, 2010

Dear Editor,
    Having just recently moved to Austin after living in New York and then Europe as a working sculptor and painter, I was quite appalled, then disgusted, then totally disinterested upon reading your piece interviewing the five males making up the “Okay Mountain testosterone 'collective,'” bragging about their “amazing firsts” [“Collective Burgeoning,” Arts. Sept. 17]. (Hear gorilla banging on chest.) Scanning through to see if there were any females mentioned, I became totally disgusted and disinterested, tossing it into the recycling bin.
    But this is how I find Austin in general; the so-called most culturally progressive city in Texas still seems to have a long way to go. I find it oppressively chauvinistic and quite obviously phallic from its local publications to its advertising to its cars to its monuments and Longhorns everywhere. I'm glad they had a good time in New York City because that is all they will ever have – they will never be taken seriously with their composition as it is. Wake up guys, this is no longer the Renaissance or classical period, or 19th century France. Camille Claudel lives on, and you'll be behind bars for hiding her away and signing your name to her work. Overreacting? I don't think so. It's bound to happen as it bubbles up from the medieval artist mentality I see here.
    Sincere thanks, but no thanks, to this vapid art scene here. Back to NYC next month.
Respectfully yours,
Juliette Cowdin

Community-Supported Agriculture Pioneer

RECEIVED Fri., Oct. 8, 2010

Dear Editor,
    After selling for 14 years at the various farmers' markets, I left that scene years ago and went the route of only selling as a community-supported agriculture farm. Since over the years the common theme was what the grower was reselling. Since it is difficult for customers to find out where the produce is being grown, and why should I sell to customers in Austin who didn't have any connection to my farm made me relook at why I should support the farmers' markets managers just to sell my crops. After 21 years of selling, I can say that my farm is more profitable as a CSA; I drive less, grow more, enjoy my family life more, and have a wonderful following of customers with virtually no drop-off. Being certified organic all these years and having never pumped any aquifer water for my cropping and selling lately as a CSA, I realize that the local Austin media naturally overlooks me, especially Sustainable Food Center, Edible Austin, and The Austin Chronicle. In the times of customers who want to know where their food comes from, eating as local as possible is of utmost importance. The local farmers' market customers should all be grateful that a great core group of certified organic growers have persisted through what was found out in California. I am glad that I am one of those original certified organic growers even though I get no recognition from the local media.
Tim P. Miller
Millberg Farm, certified organic

Regularly Delusional

RECEIVED Fri., Oct. 8, 2010

Dear Editor,
    Moral and intellectual subjectivism is regularly delusional. This is a natural trait because we‘re all vain and ego-driven. Moreover, being popular and accepted by the clique of the day pushes everyone’s buttons.
    Most of the time this behavior is harmless. But it’s also the catalyst for tyranny, enabling genocidal terror as well. History is replete with clear examples; Louis Black is one of the harmless versions. But when his subjective, rudderless mindset becomes ignorantly credible in large, credulous numbers and falsely significant, liberty, America, and civilization are existentially threatened. That’s where we are right now!
    Subjectivism is the parent of utopian leftism, a moral and intellectual relativism offering no objective definition of good or bad or evil. The boss’ opinion is all that matters; individualism is decried. And combined with a virulent addiction to peer servitude, its brainwashing effect produces massive societal misery.
    This attitude justifies whatever myths are necessary to the interests of the tribe. Again, no individualism allowed. Class envy becomes a legitimate force of ideology and politics. Manipulation of data is used to propagandize and re-educate. Objective thought is not allowed if opposed to the group. Dissent is not tolerated; political correctness rules.
    “Many conservatives, Republicans, members of the religious right, and those who hate liberals in general and the Obama administration in particular have the bloodlust upon them as we approach the November elections” [“Page Two,” Oct. 8]. This quote from Black says it all. If you’re a leftist, this is hallucinated truth – regardless of the fact that it’s abjectly untrue. After all, the group is all that matters – subjective divisive rhetorical reaction is its weapon of choice.
    We must choose either prosperity-producing individual liberty and the objective moral and intellectual accountability it requires or existential subjective group-think servitude. The former means conservative Republicans; the latter defines leftist Democrats.
Vance McDonald
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