Letters to the Editor – Politics, Texas schools, social media, population, paper labels

Think who to blame

Re: “Something to think about,” by Jimmie George, Nov. 14 Letters.

First, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Mr. George for the loss of his wife. While he complains about the current administration’s “failed policies,” he apparently fails to acknowledge that many people have died from COVID-19 because the former president downplayed the disease and many Republicans scoffed at the use of vaccines and masks.

These same prominent politicians claimed that it was against their rights and freedoms to be required to wear a mask, yet they took away women’s rights and freedoms to choose body autonomy. If you really care about kids, maybe think of the 30,000 kids in the Texas foster care system. Also, the maternal death numbers in Texas are abysmal.

Inflation is worldwide and we are not suffering as much as some and again gas prices are not dictated by any government but by OPEC. These problems will improve with this administration focused on all citizens and meeting goals like the infrastructure law. That’s the way you should vote.

Patricia Williams, Waxahachie

Why STAAR?

Re: “Texans want better ways to measure schools – Legislature has opportunity to improve accountability system,” by Brian Woods and HD Chambers, Sunday Opinion.

I’ve worked with a variety of students over the years, from those who were immigrants to the US and Texas, those with learning differences who struggled with math and reading, those who were several grades down, those who had severe absences, and even some very bright and talented students.

Students (and probably most adults) become anxious when the pressures are too great to pass. Imagine taking your first written or driving test or an entrance exam. There are adults who struggle and are anxious to pass the first time. In real life, it’s not a big deal and the adults go back and review the material to pick it up again.

Students are not emotionally capable of doing this. Students are stressed. I do not agree with having only one annual test for all students.

Schools and classrooms are not the same. One may have gifted/talented children and another may have students who are several grades below.

Students can enter college with a GED, private school diploma, and even through home schools. They do not need to take the STAAR exam.

Why should we require our Texas public schools, through the Texas Agency for Education, to do the same?

John K. Wright, Plano

Communications Reform Act

Re: “Conspiracy Theories Spread – Elon Musk’s Paul Pelosi Tweet, Suspect’s Online Story Shows Why We Need Social Media Makeover,” editorial dated Nov. 2.

The editorial was right when it stated that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be reformed to restrict the ability of social media operators to control content posted on their platforms based on their own personal philosophies.

Reform should start with a discussion between people on the right and left about how social media companies should be given protection from liability for what is posted. At a minimum, any immunity must be based on an obligation (rather than the discretionary right) of these companies to remove incitements to violence, genuine threats, deliberate and intentional harassment, and content that is illegal under the law, such as language that constitutes defamation.

Immunity should also be based on transparent standards so that it is clear what social media should and cannot allow. A list of prohibited types of speech with specific examples can be written in Section 230 to guide social media in complying with their obligations.

Reforming Section 230 would be an important step towards limiting abuse of free speech and building tolerance.

Raymond J. Termini, Dallas/Turtle Creek

The dangers of excess

I just heard that the world’s population has surpassed 8 billion. Perhaps a simple observation can help explain why we have problems with divisions, caustic social media, immigration, inflation, crime, hunger and energy shortages: too many of us have too much. Many of us have very little. And, both nationally and globally, there are many of us.

Ted M. Moore, Dallas/Preston Hollow

Get rid of paper labels

We received invoices from the North Texas Tollway Authority on two occasions last year for toll charges from vehicles with paper tags listed in our name. Both incidents were finally cleared up when going through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to clarify that we did not and never did own the vehicles in the photos taken at tollbooths.

In the past, permanent tags were obtained and placed on cars by the dealership at the time of purchase. Dealer tags were used by dealerships for demo and test drive prior to purchase. There were no paper tags.

It seems to me that the DMV needs to go back to the old system that worked before paper tags existed – no more waiting in long lines at tax offices to get permanent metal tags, no more fraud at toll booths, no more confusion or fraud in Regarding the validity of paper tags, no more chasing cars with fraudulent or outdated paper tags, and hopefully no more loss of life due to high-speed pursuit of paper tag violators.

Cecil L. Hale, Dallas North End

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Letters to the Editor – Politics, Texas schools, social media, population, paper labels

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