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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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Open the Presidential Debates

RECEIVED Wed., Sept. 7, 2016

Dear Editor,
    Do not accept the exclusionary “either/or” agenda for the upcoming presidential debates. As different as Clinton and Trump may be, they are still more of the same. More frequent and intense disasters of all sorts both natural and man-made. The two-party candidates are two sides of the same coin. If we want a future, we need real change. We need new faces who will not sacrifice our future for their wealth.
    If there is a lesson to be learned from Sanders it is that reform of the DNC is futile. OK, to hell with them. We may never get everything we want, but we can get what we need by electing Jill Stein as our president. But first we need national exposure, and that means opening up the debates.
    We all know Clinton was preselected from the get-go by the DNC. Their only interest in Bernie supporters was to determine how many voters to purge, how many e-voting machines to disable, how many provisional ballots to issue and how many superdelegates to enlist for Clinton.
    The DNC created the current Trump disaster to force us to vote Clinton. The first, second, and third reasons to vote Clinton have nothing to do with her merits or promises that no one believes anyway. They are the Fear of Trump. Had we the people been permitted by the 1% of the DNC to nominate Bernie as our rightful candidate, there would be no Fear of Trump. Unfortunately, as the lowest 99%, we do not have that privilege … or do we? Do not be held hostage by the DNC and their RNC bedfellows in the presidential debates, and insist the Green and Libertarian candidates be included. Break the chains of fear; visualize President Stein and make it happen.
Til Chamkis

Weird, Huh?

RECEIVED Tue., Sept. 6, 2016

Dear Editor,
    When Austin was weird, the real weirdness wasn't contrived by theatre, music acts, or the foodie industry ["What We Talk About When We Talk About Weird," Sept. 2]. For instance:
    Never mind Hippie Hollow; Austin's nude beach was a movable feast found at any lakeshore, river cove, or apartment pool where the skinny-dipping impulse and mutual agreement came together. The participants included moms, dads, kids, and the family dog, and no one gave a rat's patootie if you were fat, thin, or buff.
    We didn't bother to lock our houses or roll up our car windows, or need to. How weird is that?
    I could stick my thumb out at Lamar and 12th every morning before daylight and reliably be at work at Austin State Hospital within 20 minutes – and enjoy a good conversation on the way.
Don Taylor

You Guys Suck!

RECEIVED Tue., Sept. 6, 2016

Dear Editor,
    I enjoyed reading the "Classic Cuts" letters to the Editor [Sept. 2], as I'm sure many did. I was surprised, though, that it did not include even one of the countless "You guys suck because you never review my band!" letters printed over the years. Yes, they were practically a weekly feature back then, but they never failed to bring a tear to my eyes. The old days!
John Silberberg

Bad Practice

RECEIVED Sat., Sept. 3, 2016

Dear Editor,
    In 2008, I wrote (and you printed) a letter that got me fired from my nursing job at Brackenridge Hospital. Basically, it described Seton's practice of favoring insured patients over uninsured in emergency surgical situations during the ROT Rally. I didn't give a shit; it felt real good because my patients were suffering at the time and I was pissed.
    In 1994, I wrote (and you printed) a letter that described the lies Seton administrators were telling the City Council in order to get ahold of Brackenridge Hospital, which was up for sale at the time. (They didn't really care about the adult portion; it was the Children's Hospital that was the big money-maker.) I didn't get fired because I faked the name, but man, they were looking for that goddamn big-mouthed nurse who almost torpedoed the negotiations.
    I have many old nurse-friends who work there still and are telling me that Seton/Brackenridge is using flimsy excuses to fire nurses who have been working there for upwards of 40 years, so they don't have to pay them their retirement benefits. These women have put in decades of backbreaking, compassionate bedside care, been yelled at by arrogant, narcissist doctors, nickeled and dimed by ignorant administrators who only care about their bottom line and never the patient … and now these "Catholics" are going to screw some of the most dedicated workers in any profession? I know for a fact that St. David's has been doing this to nurses for a while, because, once again, it's happening to my dear friends.
    Obviously if you print this, I won't get fired. But I'd better not get sick in this town either.
Tom Bowman RN

Ask for an Interview

RECEIVED Fri., Sept. 2, 2016

Dear Chase Hoffberger,
    First I cannot believe that you would do a piece on a highly decorated and respected member of APD without once taking the time to ask for an interview ["APD's Lone Female Assistant Chief Retires," News, Sept. 2]. Your innuendo that Chief Robledo left prior to her appointment date could not be further from the truth. Get your facts straight before you tarnish the 30-year work of a proven leader within the executive staff of the APD. Chief Robledo has a 30-year distinguished career with APD. She did not "bypass" the level of Commander but instead had already promoted to Commander prior to being named Assistant Chief. Chief Robledo, as with many retiring personnel, are allowed to use their accrued vacation time, thus your nefarious interpretation of "being largely inactive" is poor journalism on your part. Frankly, rather than conjecture, why would you not ask for an interview or, at the bare minimum, get your facts straight? Do not tarnish the impeccable time and leadership that the men and women of APD do each and every day for the citizens of this community. Do not denigrate one's life's work in the way in which you have clearly chosen to do.
Erin McCoy
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