Austin American-Statesman - - VIEW POINTS - Maria Wells Austin Wil­liam H. (“Tosh”) Mcin­tosh Austin Alan B. Kirby Gran­ite Shoals

Per­sonal prop­erty rights

Re: Dec. 8 ar­ti­cle, “City, home­owner in fight over trees.”

Charles At­tal was ac­cused of cut­ting down trees on his prop­erty and is threat­ened with a fine and the re­quest of re­plac­ing said trees on his prop­erty. First of all, no one has the right to tell Mr. At­tal what to do on his prop­erty; se­condly, we should all be grate­ful to him for tak­ing care of an is­sue, much ne­glected by the city of West Lake Hills, to pro­tect us from the fire haz­ard that is a con­tin­u­ous threat in our area.

Drive up and down West­lake Drive and see the dead, dry trees. They can ei­ther cause a fire or fall on you car and crush you to death. So far from giv­ing him a fine, we should all thank him. On my part, thank you, Mr. At­tal.

Why pro­tect water users?

Re: Dec. 8 ar­ti­cle, “City, home­owner in fight over trees.”

Call them ju­nipers or cedars, it’s a sci­en­tific fact that they are ground­wa­ter­suck­ers. We live on the edge of the Llano Es­ta­cado, oth­er­wise known as the Great Amer­i­can Desert. Pe­ri­ods of ex­treme drought have gripped the area for eons. We have an in­sa­tiable lust for pop­u­la­tion growth, which cre­ates an in­ex­orable in­crease in the de­mand for water. The law of cap­ture is an out­dated con­cept to­tally at odds with our mod­ern knowl- edge of how un­der­ground water is de­pleted and re­plen­ished. Our wa­ter­ing re­stric­tions and build­ing codes are a schiz­o­phrenic mix of dou­ble­s­peak. Wild­fires are an ev­er­p­re­sent dan­ger with the po­ten­tial for cre­at­ing dis­as­ter in our densely pop­u­lated com­mu­nity. And now we have the quintessen­tial lu­nacy of West Lake Hills. You can’t re­move dead trees with­out a per­mit, and you have to re­place any re­moved water-suck­ers with an­other one. Maybe it’s just me, but you have got to be kid­ding.

Democrats caused cliff

Repub­li­cans are push­ing the coun­try over the fis­cal cliff? Really? I thought Amer­ica’s fi­nan­cial mess was caused by four years of the Oba­ma­na­tion, and, Democrats (ex-U.S. Rep.) Bar­ney Frank and (exU.S. Sen) Chris Dodd in 2006, say­ing that Fan­nie Mae and Fred­die Mac were in good shape, just be­fore the real es­tate mar­ket tanked and took Wall Street with it. The idea be­hind the two-party sys­tem is “checks and bal­ances.”

If the Repub­li­cans rolled over and played dead, we’d be in worse con­di­tion than we are now. Vot­ers gave Repub­li­cans con­trol of the House this very rea­son. Democrats have a good chance of los­ing the Se­nate in 2014 — they al­most did in the pre­vi­ous elec­tion.

The true ‘job cre­ators’

Re: Dec. 11 let­ter to the ed­i­tor, “Obama plan black­mail.”

The end of the world

A Robert Frost poem be­gins: “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice.” I be­lieve the an­swer is fire (fi­nance, in­surance and real es­tate), the fastest grow­ing part of the econ­omy. Ac­cord­ing to one hedge fund man­ager: “The money that’s made from man­u­fac­tur­ing stuff is a pit­tance in

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