In Sunday’s article on the Keystone XL pipeline, inches of column space were devoted to the particulars without any reference to the big picture. (See: “As oil pipeline inches closer, opponents turn up pressure”)
The reason so many people are willing to speak out and engage in civil disobedience about this pipeline is that it is a huge step toward climate disaster, expending incredible amounts of energy and pollution just to produce the tar sands that in turn will produce more of the gases that drive climate change. The pipeline has famously been referred to as “game over” for the climate, because of the massive boost it would give to greenhouse gas emissions.
To read your article, you would think this is only a spat between advocates of energy production and “environmentalists.” The article does not bother to educate readers about why this has been such a controversy. Perhaps the Star-Telegram is running scared of annoying its right-wing readership by even discussing the issue?
— Michael Smith, Arlington
Here’s a five-step fix for the United States:
1) Term limits for all elected officials. It works for the president, and it would work for Congress. It would eliminate the constant pandering for re-election that starts the moment someone takes office.
2) A flat tax. No more IRS 1,000-page tax codes that allow special exemptions for anything. You pay to play.
3) All laws passed by Congress apply to Congress. No exceptions, even with parking tickets and driving under the influence citations.
4) Re-institute the draft. You pay to play.
5) Move the United Nations to Bermuda. No more of the New York lifestyle. Maybe it would become a functioning entity again.
If even one of these ideas was ever enacted, the change in our country would be immense. Unfortunately, the very people whom these ideas would impact the most are the ones that would have to enact them. I don’t see that ever happening.
— Steve Stewart, Fort Worth
Your Friday article, “Texas facing huge gap between rich and poor,” sent me a powerful spine-tingling message: Income inequality in Texas, and specifically in Fort Worth-Dallas, is growing.
Economics professor Mark Frank and former state demographer Steve Murdock conclude that the gap is a manifestation of racial and ethnic differences, (a poverty rate of 10.8 percent for non-Hispanic whites; 24.8 percent for Hispanics). This gap also is a manifestation of education (non-Hispanic whites are three times as likely as Hispanics to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher).
Barack Obama challenged Congress to “do something” to address the widening gap or he will. The sad fact is that after five years he still doesn’t have a clue.
The key to successfully educating our youth rests squarely on the shoulders of committed parents, dedicated and competent teachers and successful educated role models, particularly educated minority role models. The government can’t and won’t do it.
— Vince Rios, Haslet
A mother’s decision
In response to Carol Guarnieri’s letter of Friday, I’m neither pro-life nor pro-abortion. (See: “Letters: Pulling plug on a pregnant woman”) I believe that the decision should be the mother’s and/or the family’s, not some politician’s.
Guarnieri writes that Marlise Muñoz should have been kept alive until the baby was born. We know now that the baby would have had disabilities and would have put a tremendous burden on the Muñoz family, especially since there would not be a mother to take care of the baby.
In the future, before you say let’s not let the baby die in the mother’s womb, think of the burden this would have put on the family mentally and financially.
This is a family matter and not an issue for our local, state or federal governments to get involved in, or any other party. Let the mother and/or family make the decision on whether to take the mother off life support.
— Stewart Weinstock, Mansfield
Raise minimum wage
The New York Port Authority said it will work to get JFK and LaGuardia airports’ lowest-paid workers’ minimum wage increased to $10.10 an hour.
Would you follow suit and increase our lowest-wage employees at DFW Airport and Love Field?
Better wages mean better employees, lower turnover, less training costs, less people on food stamps and safer, more efficient airports.
— Gabrielle Gordon, Keller
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