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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 Letter to an Open Letter

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 11, 2020

Dear Mr. Moldenhauer,
    Your letter [“Open Letter to Sen. Cornyn,” Jan. 31] chastising and mocking Sen. Cornyn is so short of reason/merit it’s laughable. And for a man who states that you “follow politics and have done so since [your] teens” makes one with a JD degree wonder what course of study you allowed you to have obtained that Ph.D. Your comments are even more alarming inasmuch as you, as a Holocaust survivor, would, perhaps more than anyone, be able to correctly identify where the hatred and tyranny in this country is coming from. To be clear … it is not coming the Republican Party.
    You make unsubstantiated charges that McConnell is corrupt and Trump “cannot be challenged by any argument, logic, or evidence.” What you fail to understand or don’t want to admit is that the House, through Schiff and Nadler, failed miserably in its impeachment proceedings. Their failing to allow Trump to interview the whistleblower (and any witness really), call rebuttal witnesses, and really participate in the House proceedings made a joke of the impeachment action. Notwithstanding the fact that both of the above claimed they had an ironclad case, they then asked McConnell call other witnesses and issue subpoenas. What they wanted to do via the Senate trial isn’t the way it works. As an educated person should know that.
    It is clear which side you’re on in the battle for America’s future and frankly, one would think after your living through the tyranny of Hitler, you’d appreciate the Republican Party, for it stands for liberty and freedom. Sadly, it is apparent that though you possess a Ph.D. you know very little. Regardless of your slender wallet, neither Sen. Cornyn nor President Trump will let America succumb to socialism/communism. As a former military member, I will honor my oath to the Constitution.
Don Rose

Not So Down With LDC

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 10, 2020

Dear Editor,
    Your recent reporting on the LDC rewrite is clearly one-sided. Mr. Barbaro’s opinion piece claiming a lot of harm that will come from the new LDC did not include any factual citations. His “news” article this week lists the “good” and the “bad” of the latest draft, according to him, and picks out one corridor to critique that is in his neighborhood. Mr. Slusher’s “news” article contains no facts about the current LDC rewrite but rails against members of our community who support it. (He also doesn’t seem to understand the difference between token seats by people of color and community members having a seat at the table.) Mr. Clark-Madison’s opinion pieces do not support the rewrite; frankly, his intent is unclear. Only Mr. King has shown some balance in the past, and he has been silent on the latest LDC draft.
    If your goal is to rile up your base, you are succeeding; but you are increasingly losing the respect of the many community members who support the LDC rewrite. Saying that you are “progressive advocates” doesn’t cut it since the progressive label applies to people on both sides of this debate, and I would argue that it is more progressive to embrace change than to consistently resist it.
Susan Pantell
   Publisher Nick Barbaro responds: We picked the Duval corridor for the print edition because it’s been the most discussed, and is the best example of both extensive transition zone mapping and the scaling back in the new draft. As noted, though, there are similar treatments of six other notable areas of town with the story online. [“Mapping the Land Development Code Madness,” News, Feb. 7]

Thank You Sarah!

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 10, 2020

Dear Editor,
    Thank you Sarah Marloff for your brilliantly researched and deeply troubling report “Balance of Justice” [“Will to Survive,” News, Feb. 7]. To hear this is your swan song on the Chronicle is sad for us all but we wish you the best … our loss is the gain of your next venture, your kick-ass reporting gifts and creative Qmmunity coverage. D.C. certainly needs you now.
    We would all love it if you sent an occasional report from D.C. just to keep in touch? And thank you Kimberley Jones for your beautiful tribute!
Pamela Ellen Ferguson

Donald “Mr. Smith” Trump

RECEIVED Sat., Feb. 8, 2020

Dear Editor,
    Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a heartfelt story of a newly elected congressman on a mission to save a boy’s camp from a proposed dam. How quickly he learns that tenured legislators have a contrary predetermined outcome.
    One would hardly compare Donald Trump to Jimmy Stewart’s character, but the principle is the same. Donald Trump is there to get things done, including pointing out many of the present, tenured legislators are the same players we see on tapes from 22 years ago! At that time they were defending Bill Clinton’s acts. Need one say more?
    Today, they’re cooking up or have cooked up something good for themselves, and Donald Trump isn’t invited. Who’s the whistleblower? What whistleblower? Ha-Ha.
    Daresay, Hollywood isn’t coming close to any relevant, authentic movies. Pray tell, many of today’s movies don’t even have a moral overtone … like Mr. Smith aka Donald Trump.
    Thank you, Frank Capra. You captured 2020 in your 1939 film.
Fred Stewart

Ah, Socialism!

RECEIVED Fri., Feb. 7, 2020

Dear Editor,
    Ah, Socialism!
    Guess Socialism is pretty good business and marketing tool these days. Will Bernie give up his own millions if he wins and Socialism rules? For that matter, will the other Democratic Socialists do the same? Extremely doubtful.
    And what will happen to our nation when private businesses leave to build their companies elsewhere? Who will pay for the avalanche of taxes needed for Socialism to take root?
    These and other questions will never be answered because the U.S. is still and will remain a mostly Capitalist nation. We already have social programs for those who qualify and need it.
Peter Stern

Significant Disparities

RECEIVED Fri., Feb. 7, 2020

Dear Editor,
    In the article “Going Nowhere Fast” [News, Feb. 7], writer Austin Sanders reports on significant disparities between traffic stops/arrest rates for Black/African American drivers and white drivers. His argument would be even more compelling were he to interpret his statistics correctly. If Black people make up only 8% of the population of Austin but 15% of all traffic stops, then they are overrepresented by almost 88% (87.5%, to be exact) in stops. Similarly, since white people make up 54% of Austin’s population and only 47% of the traffic stops, white drivers are underrepresented by 13%, not just 7% as Sanders states.
    Later in the article, OPO Director Farah Muscadin suggests that (my quotes) “the rate of stops and arrests is double that of a particular demographic’s share of the population.” Her statement is supported by an analysis similar to that above, but not the (inaccurate) analysis Sanders provides.
    Note to ed.: If Sanders misinterpreted similarly the stats for arrests stemming from stops, then the 25% of arrests being Black people (Sanders’ 17% plus the population rate of 8%) constitutes an overrepresentation of that minority by over 300%! In the same manner, white drivers composing 31% of arrests (the group being 54%, minus the 23% “underage” Sanders cites) constitutes an even larger underrepresentation of that group, close to 43%.
Sincerely,
Michael Crecelius
   The News team responds: Thanks for writing in, Michael. We goofed and mixed up percentage points with overall difference in percentages. Your interpretation of the data is correct, and we’ve updated our story to reflect that. In the meantime, Austin is signing up for a course on statistical analysis to prevent this from happening again!
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