You say: let­ters to the ed­i­tor

Austin American-Statesman - - VIEWPOINTS - Sharon H. Locke Austin Jack Stroobandt jack­stro@ver­i­ Ge­orge­town John Keo­hane keo­ Ron Lowe Har­lin­gen Cather­ine Hil­ton Austin Ham­mond Peter Stern Drift­wood con­tact us Robert Scott Austin

Abor­tion plain speak­ing

Re: Dec. 10 ar­ti­cle, “Abor­tion foes have big plans for 2013.”

Is it pos­si­ble for adult fe­males to speak about the is­sues in­volved in abor­tion? How many chil­dren are enough? When is mod­ern medicine’s knowl­edge al­lowed to be ap­plied to a life-of-the­mother sit­u­a­tion? Whose health and pain is more im­por­tant: the mother or the 20-week-old fe­tus? Ex­actly where does the opin­ion of strangers en­ter into the de­ci­sion-mak­ing? Plain speak­ing may not be “gen­teel,” but it is sorely needed at this time.

Fed­eral spend­ing cri­sis

Our pres­i­dent and Congress must make the tough de­ci­sions to cor­rect their his­tory of bad fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions. The com­bi­na­tion of the “fis­cal cliff” tax and the Af­ford­able Health Care tax in­creases should be an awak­en­ing call that Amer­ica has to get its fi­nan­cial house in or­der and start paying down its debt. They can no longer post­pone our debt prob­lem by ask­ing our cred­i­tors to loan us more money to pay them what we al­ready owe them. That is the same as if you would max out your Visa credit card and then take out a MasterCard to pay Visa.

The pres­i­dent tells us that those that earn more than $250,000 must pay more. I do not dis­agree with this. Our prob­lem is not rev­enue, it is spend­ing. The rea­son they do not want to solve this prob­lem is they do not want to lose your vote.

City park­ing pro­posal

Re: Dec. 12 ar­ti­cle, “Austin may end re­quir­ing num­ber of park­ing spa­ces.”

Over­heat our build­ing boom. Add to traf­fic con­ges­tion as more peo­ple cruise around for park­ing. Cre­ate less healthy air, and less safety for all, es­pe­cially bi­cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans. Crowd neigh­bor­hoods like Tar­ry­town, En­field, Travis Heights and Zilker with lots of non-res­i­den­tial park­ing. Starve down­town busi­nesses that don’t get their traf­fic from down­town res­i­dents. As peo­ple avoid down­town, con­trib­ute to ur­ban sprawl. I think that this pro­posal is a very bad idea. Coun­cil should vote “no” and bury this one deeply.

Cell­phones are track­ers

The de­vice in your jacket, jeans or purse that you think is a cell­phone? Guess again. It is a track­ing de­vice that hap­pens to make calls. Let’s stop call­ing them phones. They are track­ers. Thanks to the ex­plo­sion of GPS tech­nol­ogy and smart­phone apps, th­ese de­vices are also tak­ing note of what we buy, where and when we buy it, how much money we have in the bank, whom we text and email and more. Cel­lu­lar sys­tems con­stantly check and record the lo­ca­tion of all phones in their net­works. If some­one knows ex­actly where you are, they prob­a­bly know what you are do­ing. That be­ing said, big deal; let “them” waste their time.

We love or hate th­ese de­vices, but it would make sense to call them what they are so we can fully un­der­stand what they do. It’s a trade-off. If you’ve lost or mis­placed your phone, you know how valu­able they are.

Com­mu­nion is Chris­tian

Re: Dec. 8 ar­ti­cle, “In­creas­ing aware­ness of our com­mon hu­man­ity.”

The Rev. Joseph Moore is right when he says that ev­ery­one is spe­cial and that self-right­eous­ness has no place in the eyes of God. How­ever, when he speaks of Com­mu­nion, he says to take it remembering words from the Jewish Tal­mud, omit­ting the fact that it is a Chris­tian ob­ser­vance and Chris­tians are to take it in hu­mil­ity and in­tro­spec­tion, remembering not the Tal­mud, but remembering that the “lit­tle bread and lit­tle juice” rep­re­sent the body and blood of Je­sus Christ!

Ed­u­ca­tion and busi­ness

Re: Dec. 13 ar­ti­cle, “Fewer tests for STAAR pro­posed.”

Why is Bill Ham­mond con­stantly viewed as “the guru” on pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion? The guy has no back­ground in pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion and in fact is pretty un­e­d­u­cated on the topic. In fact, Ham­mond is the one who was a pro­po­nent of in­creas­ing class sizes and to cut the num­ber of teach­ers as a means to save money in ed­u­ca­tion. All the stud­ies show that is a ridicu­lous op­tion and it would hurt chil­dren even more. Ham­mond and other busi­ness peo­ple sim­ply want to use their busi­ness meth­ods in ed­u­ca­tion in­stead of rec­og­niz­ing that you can’t have suc­cess­ful learn­ing out­comes that way. Busi­ness is busi­ness and ed­u­ca­tion is ed­u­ca­tion ... two sep­a­rate en­ti­ties.

Facts on firearm vi­o­lence

Re: Dec. 12 ar­ti­cle, “Fed­eral court strikes gun law.”

In light of the fact that Illi­nois was the only real hold­out in terms of al­low­ing con­cealed carry, I’m sur­prised this didn’t hap­pen sooner. At the same time, I’m a lit­tle cu­ri­ous. Is the pro­lif­er­a­tion of firearms ac­tu­ally re­duc­ing gun vi­o­lence? In light of the in­creas­ing fre­quency of ac­ci­den­tal chil­dren’s deaths by firearms, as well as the shoot­ings in Ore­gon (with an ad­mit­tedly stolen ri­fle), how could any­one make such an ar­gu­ment? I’m a lit­tle cu­ri­ous as to how the num­bers might com­pare: lives saved by pri­vate ci­ti­zens de­fend­ing them­selves or oth­ers with firearms, as op­posed to lives trag­i­cally im­pacted by peo­ple not liv­ing up to an in­cred­i­ble re­spon­si­bil­ity. I think we’d all be bet­ter off know­ing. 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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