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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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Protect Our Freedom, Legalize Pot

RECEIVED Tue., July 10, 2012

Dear Editor,
    It's time the Texan and American people woke up to what's happening in our state and country. The Republican-controlled Supreme Court has sold out our country to the highest bidder. The Texas Legislature, like others around the country, is trying to suppress a woman's right to abortion by enforcing invasive procedures to discourage her from exercising a constitutional right. These people, including the Republican governors, are also trying to suppress the voting rights of the minorities, including the poor. If the state governments are saying our citizens can't vote without photo IDs, then the states, not the poor, should be forced to pay for them. This should be done before the election, or the laws should be repealed until the states have provided every citizen who needs it with a free voter's ID. If not, our government should stop calling itself a democracy and end this farce. Past dictators would be happy with the way we are trying to end what's left of the freedoms we have.
    As a last thought, we should not increase the number of police officers we have; we should legalize marijuana. Have the police force go after the real criminals. Personal use of marijuana by adults is a freedom that law enforcement has not been able to suppress regardless of the penalties (in Texas, this can include life in prison). The industrial use of marijuana would help our farmers instead of forcing consumers to import it. Medical marijuana, which has been used safely by people for tens of thousands of years, is suppressed by pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists to ensure they make billions of dollars in profit, instead of helping people. (A side note: Marijuana was made illegal in this country so that the chemical and forestry companies could cut down our forests instead of using a higher-quality paper made from hemp.)
Julian Ward

GOP Is a Proven No-Winner

RECEIVED Tue., July 10, 2012

Dear Editor,
    Perhaps being too arrogant, waving a redneck mentality, and blatantly not caring about the majority of Americans will seal the GOP’s doom in the upcoming November national election. After all, “stupid is as stupid does.”
    The GOP doesn’t even have the sensibility to pretend it gives a damn about the majority of Americans. Just say you care and then after you win go on with the usual idiotic platforms and policies that will alienate more Americans from the once-proud party of Dwight Eisenhower through to the modern time of Ronald Reagan. The GOP today doesn’t have a clue on any meaningful direction to improve an ailing America.
    The GOP doesn’t care about public education, improving economic times for all Americans, or providing affordable and quality health care to Americans who need and want it. How could such an out-of-touch party win the 2012 presidential election? It could win only if the majority of Americans are as stupid and mean-spirited as the leaders of the current GOP are.
    The GOP is a proven no-winner and it will continue to lose in November 2012.
Peter Stern

Savlov Doesn't Get Comic Book Movies?

RECEIVED Mon., July 9, 2012

Dear Chronicle,
    We all can agree that film is a subjective form of media. However, when it comes to comic-book movies, you can pretty much trust critics will have no sense of them. Most tolerate, but are disdainful, considering them empty fare compared to the works of von Trier, Fellini, Allen, Truffaut.
    Comic-book movies when executed correctly (see Nolan's Batman trilogy, the first Iron Man, The Avengers, and [although, it is flawed in retrospect] Superman, circa 1978) can represent the best of how movies can intellectually and visually stimulate us.
    But most critics are reluctant to acknowledge that, as it would be beneath them to do so. Especially your critic Marc Savlov. Now, to his credit, Mr. Savlov did give a good review of The Avengers [Film Listings, May 4].
    However, in the same breath, this is the same critic who criticized The Dark Knight for being too dark [Film Listings, July 18, 2008]. Mr. Savlov is someone who clearly doesn't get it in regards to this type of genre. If most people do a little research, Batman is supposed to be dark in the comics. It's not supposed to be South Park.
    I found it hilarious that Mr. Savlov makes a similar analogy when it comes to The Amazing Spider-Man [Film Listings, July 6]. He praises Tobey Maguire's subtlety and accuses the current character of being a douche. Well, guess what Mr. Savlov? Maguire's "subtlety" is bad acting. He has done one of the worst executions of Peter Parker ever to grace the screen.
    Not to get all comic-book guy from The Simpsons, but most real spidey fans felt disappointed with Maguire in the role. Peter Parker isn't wimpy. Sensitive, sure, but not a doormat. He also has a sense of humor which the Sam Raimi films failed miserably to show. In the early Spider-Man comics written by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, he is portrayed as a sour loner. So the film's depiction of him being a jerk is actually spot on.
    Mr. Savlov, to write film criticism means having an appreciation of all types of genres. Comic books and fantasy clearly are not your forte; as you are never familiar enough with the background behind them to give a constructive, informative review. Stick to watching pretentious overblown arthouse movies and let someone that actually has a passing knowledge of comics review the film versions of them. Because it's clear that you do not. Or maybe do some real research the next time you review a comic flick. Like actually reading some comics.
Sincerely,
Michael Thomas
   [Editor's note: Marc Savlov's critical viewpoint can be legitimately questioned, but not up for debate is his background as a voracious reader of comic books.]

Who Won the Aztex Contest?

RECEIVED Mon., July 9, 2012

Dear Editor,
    The Chronicle got the Austin soccer community all excited about a contest to guess the final score of the Euro2012 Championship game, July 1, and then failed to announce in the Chronicle the winner, or "no winner," with the correct final score [“Soccer Watch,” Sports, June 29].
    The contest was for free tickets to the last home game for the Austin Aztex, July 6. Nobody guessed the 4 to 0 outcome.
    Thanks to the Chronicle for awarding tickets to some entrants, perhaps based on how close the entrant came to the 4-0.
Yours truly,
Paul Birdsall
   [Editor's note: Since no one won the contest we didn't post the "winner." But we did award tickets to those who came close. Like Paul, who predicted a 3-1 Spain victory over Italy.]

Criminals Not Castle Doctrine To Blame

RECEIVED Fri., July 6, 2012

Dear Editor,
    In the July 6 issue, in News Headlines there was a comment on the increase in the number of justifiable homicides by private citizens in the state of Texas (36 in 2006 and 48 in 2010). In the first place, I would rather the “unavoidable deaths” be those of criminals and not the innocent family members being attacked. Secondly, because the justifiable homicides committed by law enforcement officers increased by the same amount (28 in 2006 and 47 in 2010), the problem lies in more violent criminals and home invasions, not because of the enactment of the Castle doctrine (stand-your-ground laws) which only affects private citizens.
    In the same section, it was noted that the traffic-fatality rate for six months in the city of Austin was 42, whereas for the same time period last year the number of deaths was 30. Using the same reasoning, the cause of the increase was the enactment of the new traffic safety initiative.
Mary Skiles
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