Now that the extended jobless benefits have ended, it will have far-reaching ramifications for the 1.4 million recipients of the program. (See: “Families left in lurch as jobless benefits end,” Dec. 29”).
When the emergency unemployment was extended from one to two years, it created an adverse side effect for many — there was no incentive to pursue employment for two years, plus the fact they weren’t required to accept a job that paid them less than their last job.
Why not encourage putting these folks to work at lesser pay? It would put them back in the employed role, save money by only having to compensate the recipient the difference from what they will earn to what unemployment pays them. It sounds like a viable solution to a pervading problem for the unemployed.
— Fred Ream, Fort Worth
While supporters of Sweetwater’s “rattlesnake roundup” want you to believe that hunters using gas to capture snakes perform some kind of public service, flooding essential wildlife habitats with toxic fumes is a cruel and outdated practice that should be banned. (See: Proposal to ban ‘gassing’ of rattlesnakes in Texas ignites backlash in Sweetwater,” Saturday)
“Gassing” is already banned in dozens of states, including all the states bordering Texas, for good reason: underground dens provide important shelter for hundreds of species, including foxes, lizards, birds and invertebrates. In Texas, 20 endangered animals live underground and could be harmed by gassing.
The western diamondback rattlesnake that hunters target poses little public safety risk. Although venomous, more people are killed every year by lightning strikes and bee stings. Nearly all diamondback bites happen when people attempt to capture or kill the snakes. Roundups probably increase the risk of snake bites by encouraging people to handle rattlesnakes.
Sweetwater can raise money for charity without killing snakes. In Georgia and Alabama, rattlesnake roundups have been replaced with wildlife festivals where snakes and other wildlife are celebrated, not killed.
— Collette Adkins Giese,
Center for Biological Diversity,
Sex and driving
Abstinence-only sex education is like teaching a teenager to drive by telling them that the only way to stay out of a car accident is to not drive, and then tossing them the keys to a car that they’ve already been driving.
— Mark Stevens, Fort Worth
Big bang theory
In the Star-Telegram’s Jan. 8 edition, we were told: “The Hubble Space Telescope has peered back to a chaotic time 13.2 billion years ago.” Also: “Because light travels nearly 6 trillion miles a year, as telescopes look farther from Earth, they see earlier into the past.” (See: “Images offer a glimpse of the ‘cosmic dawn,’ Jan. 8)
The clear implication from this is that the Hubble has now seen objects 13.2 billion light-years away, so we are seeing space as it existed virtually just moments after the big bang (“cosmic dawn”). Yet there are already “galaxies” in existence.
Are we supposed to believe that the universe went from nothing but hydrogen atoms spewing away to formation of whole galaxies in some mere 0.1 billion years? Don’t the telescope’s pictures rather suggest that the whole star formation from big bang hypothesis is suspect?
And what if the Hubble’s images just keep on coming from farther and farther away? What will big bang theorists say then?
— Thomas F. Harkins Jr., Fort Worth
Once again, people seem to be confused by the U.S. Postal Service needing to raise mailing prices.
For a while, the Post Office was sponsoring such events as the Olympics and throwing elaborate conventions. But the real problem remains the same, and the Post Office has no choice but to comply.
In case you haven’t figured it out, then just look at the postage paid by those who send you all of that junk mail. It is your Congress that sets these ridiculously low rates. And the Post Office is required to follow the law.
So, the next time that you have a gripe about all of that junk mail or the rate increases, just look to your local congressman.
— Edward Lindsay, Fort Worth
Letters should be no longer than 200 words and must have a full name, home street address, city of residence and both a home and daytime telephone number for verification.
Letters endorsing candidates in the March 4 primary elections should be no longer than 150 words and must be received by 5 p.m. Feb. 23.
Regular mail: Letters to the Editor/Elections, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101