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Run­ning from dan­ger?

Re: Dec. 10 ar­ti­cle, “We were lit­er­ally ‘born to run.’ ”

Pam LeBlanc’s Fit City col­umn was in­ter­est­ing but I pro­pose an alternative to our evo­lu­tion­ary abil­ity to run long dis­tances. It may not sound so cool and ro­man­tic but I pro­pose we used this abil­ity as a key to avoid preda­tors. We ran like hell. The idea that early man chased down his prey is not re­flected in the fos­silized re­mains of our pre­de­ces­sors. Lack­ing ra­zor­sharp teeth and long claws to grasp our prey would have been ma­jor dis­ad­van­tages. Plus hu­mans do not pos­sess a short gut to ef­fi­ciently process an­i­mal flesh. With our flat mo­lars and 20 feet of in­tes­tine, we are def­i­nitely in the prey rather than preda­tor cat­e­gory. Deer (prey) have beau­ti­ful sleek bod­ies for run­ning, too. Even if we all ran (in­stead of driv­ing) to McDon­ald’s for our quar­ter pounder, heart disease would still be our num­ber one killer.

Sub­sidy is needed

Re: Dec. 6 let­ter to the ed­i­tor, “Wind-power boon­dog­gle.”

The reader needs to un­der­stand two rea­sons we must con­tinue the sub­sidy for wind cre­ated elec­tric­ity. Fed­eral stim­u­lus in the 19th cen­tury made rail­roads the life­line of a dy­nam­i­cally grow­ing Amer­ica; the fed­eral government gave un­counted acres to the rail­roads that used some for rail lines but sold most to ex­pand. That fed­eral stim­u­lus was no dif­fer­ent from the stim­u­lus for wind and the new stim­u­lus we must have for so­lar. All cre­ated jobs and stim­u­lated Amer­i­can econ­omy. Nat­u­ral gas is not the sav­ior of our en­ergy prob­lem; we are raping the Earth with deadly chem­i­cals by frack­ing, and the gas we burn pro­duces meth­ane, a green­house gas.

Bro­ken le­gal sys­tem

Re: Dec. 3 ar­ti­cle, “Can ‘in­com­pe­tent’ at­tor­ney still prac­tice?”

The pub­lic owes a great deal of thanks to the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man for its con­tin­u­ing cov­er­age of our se­verely bro­ken le­gal sys­tem and the poor record of the State Bar As­so­ci­a­tion in polic­ing lawyer mis­con­duct in pro­tect­ing the pub­lic. There is no bet­ter ex­am­ple of this ex­em­plary cov­er­age than your ar­ti­cle con­cern­ing the lawyer who was “force” con­fined to a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion for fir­ing a gun in a con­fronta­tion with a U.S. cen­sus taker. The fact that this lawyer was al­lowed to prac­tice law while con­fined in a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion says a lot about the poor pro­tec­tion given to the pub­lic by the State Bar As­so­ci­a­tion. To al­low lawyers to po­lice them­selves through their bar as­so­ci­a­tion makes about as much sense as al­low­ing bank rob­bers to reg­u­late the bank­ing in­dus­try.

GOP and taxes

It ap­pears that the Repub­li­cans in Congress have drawn a line in the sand in­di­cat­ing where they will make their fis­cal cliff stand. They will fight to the death to pre­vent any tax in­creases on the wealthy. I can­not imag­ine any suc­cess­ful gen­eral choos­ing such an un­ten­able po­si­tion to de­fend. If the Repub­li­cans would ever stand up this vig­or­ously for the rest of us, the 98 per­cent, they would be a power to reckon with.

Re­li­gious ex­pres­sion

Re: Dec. 5 let­ter to the ed­i­tor, “Repub­lic of Texas.”

Me­thinks that the au­thor doth protest too much. She says she can’t pray in schools. Not true, she just can’t force her prayer on oth­ers around her. If she means that in her own busi­ness she can’t have a na­tiv­ity scene, I don’t un­der­stand why. If she works for a government agency that won’t al­low a na­tiv­ity scene, that is ap­pro­pri­ate, to avoid the ap­pear­ance of government sup­port of a par­tic­u­lar re­li­gion. Who is stop­ping her from say­ing Merry Christ­mas to a store clerk? She just shouldn’t ex­pect to hear that from store em­ploy­ees who have been told not to risk of­fend­ing cus­tomers who may not cel­e­brate that hol­i­day. It seems the au­thor is all for the “free­dom to choose re­li­gious ex­pres­sion” as long as it is her re­li­gion.

Chicken on the cliff

The fis­cal cliff drama is a huge game of chicken. Each side is wait­ing for the other to blink. Last year, a sim­i­lar po­lit­i­cal game re­sulted in the down­grad­ing of the debt rat­ing and will prob­a­bly cost tax­pay­ers bil­lions in in­creased in­ter­est ex­pense. The Repub­li­cans have again demon­strated that they would rather wreck the econ­omy than ac­cept any­thing less than full im­ple­men­ta­tion of their agenda. If they can­not ne­go­ti­ate with the op­po­si­tion to ad­dress the na­tion’s prob­lems in­stead of main­tain­ing ide­o­log­i­cal rigid­ity and hold­ing the econ­omy hostage, the vot­ers should make 2014 the op­po­site of 1994 for the Repub­li­cans. 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@ states­ 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@ states­ Mail to: Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor, P.O. Box 670,Austin,TX 78767.

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