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 Thanks for your patience.
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Put Up or Shut Up

RECEIVED Fri., Nov. 16, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Nationwide, 85% of eligible Americans registered to vote, but only 49% actually voted in the 2018 general election.  A majority of votes determines who runs our governments, yet that majority represented only 21% of eligible Americans.
    If you didn't vote, don't complain about government policy. If you think all politicians are corrupt and you didn't vote your politician out of office, you are part of the corruption.
    Many nonvoters don't like to talk about politics or public policy.  This hinders our democracy's intention to represent the will of the people on issues like government services, environmental protection, taxation, jobs, economic prosperity, civil rights and personal safety. Nonvoters probably don't read letters to the editor either.
    Where can one go to have civil discussions about the public policies that affect us? We should create attractive venues, where expressing political opinions and hearing others' is a civic pleasure.
    Participation by informed voters is necessary to prevent authoritarian rule by rich bullies.
Bruce Joffe

Sustainable Meat

RECEIVED Thu., Nov. 15, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Whole Foods Corporation is currently using Cargill and Tyson corporations as their main suppliers of beef and poultry. Cargill and Tyson are two of the largest polluters of water in America, and collectively create almost 1/5 of the CO2. These are massively destructive corporations and industries and they are hiding behind the good image of Whole Foods, which is one of our most bright and shiny hometown name brands. We all want to feel good about Whole Foods, but this direct connection to such destructive companies needs to be illuminated by the press so that the buying public will demand a product that lives up to the name of Whole Foods.
    Texas is known as a beef-producing state, and the running of cattle has been done for generations here, but it's time for people to understand the massive climate change effect the industry is creating. The only logical answer is to reduce beef consumption. But this takes a sustained educational effort on the part of the free press. Whole Foods, the public at large, and the press must all take action to demand sustainable practices from the meat industry and a commitment to change their own eating habits. Only when all of us work together will there be an answer to the threat of extinction from climate change.
Martin Luecke

Music Poll Blues

RECEIVED Thu., Nov. 15, 2018

Dear Editor,
    I hate popularity contests, however I still fill out an Austin Music Awards ballot because I know others care and if that helps my friends get recognized then it's worth the cost. 
    That being said, in a city that at least was partially built on the many bands that played at the Rome Inn, Antone's, the Victory Grill, and has a statue to Stevie Ray Vaughan, I'm annoyed that you've chosen to group blues/soul/funk into a single category in the Austin Music Awards. This is even worse because you've gone out of you way to separate bluegrass/folk from country music, Latin music from world music, and separate rock, punk, and metal into three separate categories, all justifiably so. However, I'd say aside from the country scene, blues has a larger, more vibrant, and historically significant presence in Austin than rock, punk, metal, Latin, world, or perhaps even folk/bluegrass. When I fill out my ballot each year, I generally put a traditional blues band such as the Peacemakers (Greg Izor, Keller Brothers, Johnny Bradley, and Willie Pipkin) because I know that funk/soul will probably grab most of the votes in that category. However, I would still like to acknowledge the great funk and soul bands in a way where my vote would not come at the expense of the blues. In my short five years in Austin, I have made sure to comment on my ballot about how I would like to see blues as its own category. Obviously you never listened there, so I'm writing this letter to the editor so that head person can hopefully at least read my request.
    I hope this gets to you and if so, thank you for reading.
Thank you,
Matthew Brodnax
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