YOU SAY: letters To The editor
Tweak Texas voting
The race is now over, but I’m still complaining regarding the winner-takes-all approach Texas chooses for allotting its Electoral College votes. Although eliminating the Electoral College itself would be desirable, our constitution is difficult to amend. Instead, our state Legislature has the power to improve on this situation. The best solution would be to distribute Texas’ votes proportionally based on the popular vote.
Republicans hardly needed the votes of their followers to win all 38 votes, and a voter who favors the Democratic candidate is hardly motivated for a futile endeavor. Neither side has incentive to vote. A Republican-controlled Legislature may not feel inclined to share any of Texas’ 38 electoral votes.
But with rapidly changing demographics, perhaps, it would be in their best selfinterest for Republicans to share now, so their votes will still count when they are no longer the majority.
Fort Hood delay
Re: Dec. 4 article, “Judge out in Fort Hood case.”
Along with the recent plethora of letters to the editor and commentary complaining about judges here in Texas, I would add this one.
It’s been reported that the military judge in the case of the Maj. Nidal Hasan murder spree at Fort Hood has been dismissed, which I fully support. The slaughter of the soldiers at Fort Hood was put on the back-burner while the judge wrangled with whether Hasan — a Muslim — wore a beard or not. Sure, maybe it’s against military regulations, but so is murder, and Hasan should have been dishonorably discharged from the Army long ago. Who cares if has a beard? The evidence against him is overwhelming and will be shown to be beyond a shadow of a doubt. And he’s shown absolutely zero regard for military protocol by his actions. This delay in justice has been inexcusable. Get on with it.
Fight climate change
Re: Dec. 3 article, “Sediment buildup cuts capacity of lakes.”
I was alarmed to read about how our reservoirs are losing capacity due to soil runoff. Factor in a November without a drop of rain and a December off strong with record high temperatures, and it’s enough to drive a person to despair. The hotter it is, the more moisture evaporates from the soil, the more runoff you get when you do finally get rain, the more dramatic the storms when they do happen thanks to the extra moisture in the atmosphere, the more dirt they carry off, and so on.
But we can put the brakes on climate change right this minute, and push our policymakers to get the ball rolling by leveling a revenue-neutral fee on carbon at the source (well, mine, border), returning the proceeds to Americans to help offset costs. What other signs do we need?
House the homeless
At no point do we know as much about our citizens as we do when they enter our societal institutions. As people enter and then exit our institutions like our youth aging out of foster care, or exiting our shelters or leaving our jails and prisons or leaving our hospitals and mental health facilities, or when our service men and women exit military service, they should be discharged only into a safe housing environment.
By embracing this moral/ ethical tenet, discharge no one into homelessness, we encourage our facilities and our social workers to assess the housing needs of our people and then to respond. If they are only able to say that they don’t have enough resources, then so be it. But that can be our first blow in the battle to prevent homelessness. Learn more at www. HouseTheHomeless.org.
Learn from train tragedy
Re: Nov. 19 article, “Parade used route for 3 years.”
The horrible train/float collision in Midland on Nov. 15 that killed four disabled war veterans revives a sad almost similar occurrence that happened in our city more than 25 years ago. On a Sunday morning, a high school teacher and her mother were on their way to church. As they attempted to drive over the railroad tracks (minus an overpass at the time), they were struck by a fast-moving northbound freight train. They died upon impact.
I, then chairperson of a very active South Austin neighborhood council organization, sprung into action, requesting the City of Austin and Texas Highway Department, in conjunction with railroad companies that traveled on these tracks, to build an overpass on this major thoroughfare. A few years later, the request was realized and the overpass at this dangerous railroad crossing was finally built. Unlike most holiday season offerings, wishes don’t cost anything. Do you have a wish for something that would make this year special? Why don’t you share it with the rest of our readers? We’re soliciting your holiday wishes for this year for publication on Dec. 25. Please limit your submissions to 150 words. Send your submissions by Dec. 14 to letters@ statesman.com or to: Letters to the Editor PO Box 670 Austin, Texas 78768 Please put “Christmas letters”in subject line of emails or on the envelope. The Austin American-Statesman encourages email and faxes from readers. Please include a full name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers.We edit letters for brevity, grammar, style and clarity. Edited letters address a single idea and do not exceed 150 words.Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters become property of the Austin AmericanStatesman. Send emails to letters@ statesman.com. Mail to: Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 670,Austin,TX 78767.