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The Galveston County Daily News : Letters To Editor

January 27, 2015

Letters To Editor

Monday 01/26/2015
Bring weekly column back

Regarding the recent pulling of David Michael Smith’s weekly column — I, as a reader of The Daily News, would like to know why the publisher decided to pull the weekly column. I thoroughly enjoyed Smith’s viewpoint and responses to the conservative viewpoint in articles by Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay (Three Musketeers), and other articles.

Comments (1)
Column sheds light on community issues

It is shameful that in response to the attacks and baseless slander of a few readers, the column by Dr. David M. Smith has been removed from your newspaper. If bringing current community issues to the people’s attention makes someone feel uncomfortable, then the vast majority of people are guilty of that. Steel workers protest the lack of agreements between workers and management, guilty; not including ethical standards for city employees, guilty; commissioners proposing the purchase of cameras for police to promote transparency, guilty; and many more situations. All these have been aired in your newspaper. But then, why is Smith victimized?

Comments (1)
Sunday 01/25/2015
Private advisory panels cause for concern

Am I the only one concerned about the role of the private advisory panels appointed by the newly elected lieutenant governor (“‘Citizen’ board of wealthy Texas donors will help lawmakers,” The Daily News, Jan. 15)? Shouldn’t these panels be required to publicize their topics of discussion and recommendations?

Comments (5)
Weber just gave his opinion

I saw nothing wrong with what congressman Randy Weber put on Twitter (“Lawmaker apologizes for tweet comparing Obama to Hitler,” The Daily News, Jan. 13). He did not call President Barack Obama a communist. He merely said Adolf Hitler thought some things more important than Obama does.

Comments (24)
No justification for ending weekly column

It is outrageous that Publisher Leonard Woolsey has ended David Michael Smith’s weekly column. I have been keeping up with Smith’s columns and everyone who wants to read a quality local newspaper should be disturbed by Woolsey’s censorship. There have been many letters of support for Smith’s writings and the importance of different views. Critics of his columns have mainly engaged in personal attacks, character assassination and McCarthyism. I guess the truths that Smith discusses have really frightened the local powers that be, but Woolsey should not kowtow to them. That’s toadyism, not journalism.

Comments (25)
Friday 01/23/2015
Marxist views are a dime a dozen

Regarding the various letters supporting David Michael Smith: Having spent over four decades in graduate school and as a faculty member in several universities, I find it amusing that some readers are concerned about Smith’s free speech rights. Marxist academics such as Smith are a dime a dozen, and are in firm control of virtually every United States college and university.

Comments (23)
Column appeals only to lowest informed

Bill Sargent, Mark Mansius and John Gay (Three Musketeers) once again skip through 400 years of history, cherry picking facts to justify their support for the dominion concept of correctness of permitting the 1 percent upper class owning nearly half the world’s wealth (“Reaching our dreams through self-reliance,” The Daily News, Jan. 19). Back to history, their favorite concept uses ideas conceived during the feudal era that had already began to crumble in the modern 1600s application of free men. They failed to mention the Jamestown slackers were the 1 percent of the era, gentlemen and their manservants, who did no manual work. The colony only started returning big money after the first 1614 harvest of tobacco. Nothing like self-reliance on freedom with an addicting drug. The capitalist illegals irritated Pocahontas’ relatives enough they periodically killed them with their stone-age weapons.

Comments (4)
Mummers need your support

Please join my wife, Sue, and I in supporting the Mummers Quaker City String Band for Mardi Gras with a donation. Any amount would help.

Comments (3)
Tax-Aide to provide services in Texas City

I am a volunteer with AARP Tax-Aide, where we provide free tax preparation for low-mid income and/or senior citizens. We will again provide these services at our Texas City site at Carver Center (in Carver Park), 6615 Park Avenue, West Texas City. We will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday beginning Feb. 1 through April 15. Everyone must bring a Social Security card and a photo ID, and a Social Security card for each dependent that can legally be claimed on the tax return.

Comments (0)
Readers would like an explanation

Del Kilgore’s and Linda Wilson’s recent letter (Why no weekly column?, The Daily News, Jan. 17) discussed a huge problem at The Daily News — Publisher Leonard Woolsey’s cancellation of David Michael Smith’s weekly column. I agree with Kilgore’s and Wilson’s criticism of Woolsey. I am also very upset by this decision. Smith’s columns provided a counterpoint to all the conservative and Republican columns. His columns also had many more facts to back up his arguments and were easy to read. Woolsey owes readers an explanation about why he — not the editorial department, but he — canceled Smith’s weekly columns.

Comments (16)
Weber a man of conviction

Plenty of Republicans run for Congress as conservatives, only to succumb to Beltway Fever once reaching Washington. The most common symptoms among GOP politicians is an irresistible desire to hike the debt ceiling and spend more of other people’s money. U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, however, was vaccinated against Beltway Fever with a dose of grass-roots conservatism.

Comments (31)
Freeport PD actions proactive

Regarding Michael A. Smith’s editorial on the Freeport police department’s decision (“Quanell X should not be doing a detective’s job,” The Daily News, Jan. 19): I guess we need a polemicist from the left, but I am pretty disappointed in your column. You start with feigned ignorance of the reasons for the Freeport decision. Then you announce that you have such a treasure trove of arguments that you are having trouble picking from the list. We get two silly observations that Quanell X isn’t a forensic expert or a grand jury. Your finale begs the question with the statement that the decision didn’t benefit anyone or the community. Last, you are alarmed that Quanell X is now “activizing out” instead of “activizing in,” thus benefiting the police. Huh?

Comments (6)
Wednesday 01/21/2015
Letter missed all the numbers

Some people do not want to look at all the facts before jumping on the rampant racism wagon. Obviously Mary Fike’s assessment (“Many fail to recognize racism” The Daily News Jan. 12) reflects the convoluted and twisted view of some who feel the arrest and incarceration rates are grossly skewed.

Comments (3)
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers

On Jan. 14, our son, Tommy Duke, went home to be with the Lord after a long illness. At 8 a.m., I tried to wake him to let him know I had to go to my appointment and that his meds and juice was ready for him to take at 9 a.m. He wouldn’t wake up. I called my husband and he came to help me. We called 9-1-1 and the operator was very helpful and stayed with us until the ambulance came. She walked Davied and I through CPR until the EMS and the police arrived.

Comments (0)
Thanking our Veterans Project

Heights Elementary School third grade students and teachers are excited to begin their project “Thanking our Veterans” in February. The project was funded through the Texas City Independent School District’s Foundation For The Future.

Comments (0)
All talk and no action

An improvement to Stewart Beach? What would that include?

Comments (0)
Censorship is alive and well at The Daily News

Daily News publisher Leonard Woolsey should be ashamed of himself for dropping Dr. David Michael Smith’s column, “From the Left.”

Comments (8)
Kyle Janek should resign his position

Caught up in a scandal which is being investigated by public corruption prosecutors and the FBI, Kyle Janek should resign as Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner.

Comments (4)
Is the sky still falling?

Where the heck were our Three Musketeer friends and their long-winded lectures on Constitutional trivia and quaint 1800s philosopher quotes when we could have really used them?

Comments (28)
Tuesday 01/20/2015
Isle should re-evaluate mass transit

In order for the trolley to regain its rightful place, the city will have to re-evaluate its management approach to mass transit. Galveston has already attempted to operate the buses and trolleys as part of one entity, but the established bus routes took priority and, for good reason, income. The University of Texas Medical Branch paid the city to ensure that their employees got to and from group-parking areas on the Island and on the Mainland in a timely manner. Add to that, the mundane process of shuttling cruise passengers to and from remote parking lots three to four days a week, and you have an understaffed department, tired equipment and an overworked group of drivers.

Comments (5)
History says a lot about COM board, president

Comments (8)
Trolley issue long-standing for island

When trolley issues were first discussed, before a trolley car even existing and the rail being set, I was beginning my career at the University of Texas Medical Branch. I imagined seeing a 43-year-old nurse with her purse and plastic bag, containing a lunch, board the trolley. Oops, she doesn’t live by a popular tourist stop.

Comments (0)
Saturday 01/17/2015
Why no weekly column?

Publisher’s note: David Michael Smith’s columns have not been canceled. The columns will be published on a monthly basis. 

Comments (19)
School districts should ban students having cellphones

Regarding the article “Dad: Video of scuffle in LMHS classroom just part of the story” (The Daily News, Jan. 15): I had the unfortunate opportunity to read the article, as well as review the video on The Daily News website. School districts should ban students having cellphones at school. The teacher in the video’s safety and the safety of other students in the classroom was obviously in peril as a result of the student’s attack on the teacher. Instead of the students using the phone to get help for the teacher, in an effort to de-escalate the matter, the phone was used to exploit and entertain. 

Comments (10)
Friday 01/16/2015
Trolley issue raised on Facebook

Galveston Island is not what it was before Hurricane Ike and the trolley system should evolve to the new environment, as well. “When life gives you lemons … .” Lemons suggest bitterness and the operating deficit of the trolley system’s former life was a bitter pill. However, we could be making the sweetest lemonade with the ingredients we have and can obtain. A fully functional trolley system opens doors of opportunity for advertising placement to underwrite the operations.

Comments (7)
Pappous defending Ken Clark?

“Rats and termites” may not have been a good choice of words, but Michael Smith’s editorial about Ken Clark was well justified (“Texas Ethics Commission should serve the people,” The Daily News, Jan. 9). Regardless of the fine being ridiculously low, guilt was established. The Ethics Commission chose not to pursue one matter, waited out the statute of limitation in another, but — even though it just slapped his wrist ever so lightly for it — did find fault with Ken Clark. Yet Clark tragicomically declared himself vindicated. Is he also innocent of having thrown his staff under the bus? That may be legal, but ethical? Is popularity of a politician a shield against criticism?

Comments (18)
Veterans Day coat drive a success

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, Goodwill Industries of Houston’s San Jacinto Job Connection Center celebrated those who sacrificed so much to serve this country. This job connection center exclusively serves veterans and provides education, training employment opportunities and other services needed to successfully transition into the labor market after military service.

Comments (0)
Thursday 01/15/2015
Where’s the fair taxation?

The one thing the Republicans really excel in doing is moving money around. This talent goes all the way back to the last Bush administration, when the cost of the Iraq War was hidden by back-seat accounting. The party somehow manipulates money that’s supposed to be used for one purpose and skillfully directs it to something else. I think they call this “the shell game.” And since we have become a Republican state government, I would like to see less big state government and local government.

Comments (2)
Galveston will benefit from trolley service

I believe the trolley system is an asset. It’s unfortunate that its past operation was not more integrated into Galveston’s mass-transit system and it ran on a haphazard schedule. Granted, the tracks limit the ability to adjust the routes, but other historic cities operate trolley routes successfully, both as an integral part of their mass-transit system and as tourist attractions. One only has to look to New Orleans and San Francisco for positive examples.

Comments (2)
Could Weber be that uninformed?

U.S. Rep. Randy Weber (R-Friendswood) apologized for a tweet in which he linked President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. Part of his apology states “ ... I now realize that the use of Hitler invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate.” (“Weber takes heat for Obama tweet that references Hitler,” The Daily News, Jan. 14)

Comments (7)
Kudos to the letter writer

Regarding the letter written about David Michael Smith (“Time to move on,” The Daily News, Jan. 11): Viva! Debbie Gremillion.

Comments (0)
Wednesday 01/14/2015
Muslim issues should be addressed

I was surprised as Kenneth Shelton brought up that David Michael Smith excused Russia and China as having no problem with freedom of speech (“Columnist speaks utter nonsense,” The Daily News, Jan. 12). I bet even he wouldn’t go railing against leaders and policies in their public squares.Our close ally, Saudi Arabia, just sentenced someone who blogged — mocking that country’s ban of Valentine’s Day and then making disparaging comments about religions in general — to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes — incrementally to be applied weekly — and $250,000 dollars. The United States is taking a stand against the decision.

Comments (3)
Grocery store at the mall would be good for business

Editor’s note: Friendswood attorney and developer Jerome Karam has an earnest money contract on the 451,000-square-foot Mall of the Mainland property in Texas City with plans to revive the shopping center.

Comments (0)
Bring the trolleys back

I read with great interest an article in The Daily News regarding the trolley situation (“Feds urge council to make decision on rail trolley return,” The Daily News, Jan. 9). Most interesting was the fact that City Council has been sitting on $3.78 million since 2010 that were meant for the restoration of the trolley system. Galveston has the opportunity to recapture one of the signature aspects of our city, and in so doing, remind tourists and city people that we share a nearly unique trolley system with cities like New Orleans and San Francisco.

Comments (7)
Freedom of press should be upheld at all times

Comments (0)
Tuesday 01/13/2015
Tourists want trolley service

I work at the Galveston Railroad Museum, and year after year, visitors to Galveston Island and the museum ask “When are the trolleys going to run again? We miss the trolleys more than anything.”

Comments (0)
Ethics reform is needed

Regarding Michael A. Smith’s editorial (“Texas Ethics Commissionshould serve the people,” The Daily News, Jan. 9): If I get a ticket in my big truck for one taillight out, the fine is over $200 dollars. If you break three ethics laws, it’s $100.

Comments (0)
Donation pushes fundraiser over halfway mark

A recent $5,000 donation from the Alice Taylor Gray Foundation to Galveston Community Pool has pushed the fundraising effort over the halfway mark. Better Parks for Galveston and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department appreciate the contribution toward Galveston’s first ever public pool. Jeff Wind, a representative of Frost Bank, which is co-trustee of the foundation, said, “It was Mrs. Gray’s wish to benefit the children of Galveston. A public swimming pool where all children will have the opportunity to learn to swim and participate in healthy swimming activities would have pleased her.”

Comments (0)
Trolleys are important to Galveston

I agree with Councilman Dr. Craig Brown that, “the rail trolleys are important to Galveston.” We should do all we can to bring them back. The rail trolleys are nostalgic and can be a tourist attraction. They enhance the historic feel of the island. They can help set Galveston apart and make visits to the island more memorable. Rubber tire trolleys are just buses. Buses are usually memorable for the wrong reasons. Buses are not romantic and the sound of a diesel engine is not as sexy as steel wheels rubbing along the tracks of a rail line. A bus was not named “Desire.”

Comments (0)
Monday 01/12/2015
Many fail to recognize racism

Bob Fields (“Political leaders have worsened race relations,” The Daily News, Jan. 8) is representative of the type of oblivious white Americans who fail to see racism, even when it is overwhelmingly obvious. Firstly, some of his statistics are wrong. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were over 11 million arrests in the United States in 2013, not a couple of million.

Comments (14)
Trolley system missing piece to island tourism

It looks like Galveston City Council has an opportunity to vote to bring the trolley system back to life (“Feds urge council to make decision on rail trolley return,” The Daily News, Jan. 9). I urge council members and our mayor to vote for trolley funding. We already have the federal funds in place.

Comments (0)
Let God lead in the New Year

Silently, with less noise than a shadow, the new year has come. What are some things we wish we could do to make it a better year? Are we willing to: Cease looking for someone to help us and devote ourselves to helping others? Forget what we have accomplished and meditate on what others have done for us? Ignore what life owes us and think about what we owe life? Stop looking for friendship and start being friendly? Enjoy the simple blessing of life and cease striving for the artificial pleasures of the day? Concentrate our lives to the service of an imperfect church and remember that Christ chose 12 imperfect followers to be disciples?

Comments (0)
Sunday 01/11/2015
Smith much like Karl Marx

This newspaper is a business that sells papers and nothing sells papers more than differing opinions. We have a former college professor who talked himself out of a job by his words and actions. Much like Karl Marx, who this professor claims is his idol and hero, Mr. Marx also earned his Ph.D., failed at teaching, then started writing for a newspaper. He outraged so many people that they literally ran him out of his country. It was from being in exile that this nice, educated person created the basis and guidebook for communism that eventually cost millions of lives worldwide, and failed in every form, in every country that it was tried.

Comments (0)
Alternative opinion a breath of fresh air

I was very saddened to hear about the termination of Dr. David Michael Smith’s column in your newspaper. Seeing an alternative opinion expressed in a landscape dominated by corporate-media mouthpieces was a breath of fresh air. Most of the vile and slanderous accusations against Smith that you have received from a small group of political Neanderthals, are so ludicrous they do not warrant any comment. I would, however, like to point out that rather than being un-American, Smith’s views are quintessentially American. America has always been a country of immigrants and people did not leave their progressive ideas behind at Ellis (or Galveston) Island.

Comments (0)
Smith a good friend to all

As a Navy veteran, and a former College of the Mainland employee, I’ve experienced a lot of politics. I’ve been on both sides of the story. Before I met David Michael Smith, I heard rumors about his agenda. But meeting him, I learned the rumors weren’t true. I’ve often observed David helping others. I’ve even experienced it. I didn’t realize how much he has sacrificed for the college and community until recently.

Comments (4)
Time to move on

I am about as sick of reading about David Michael Smith as I can get. I think over the course of all the opinions that have been offered in this section, we get the jest of how people feel on both sides. The Daily News has the right to print his columns if it chooses. That’s freedom of speech.

Comments (0)
Saturday 01/10/2015
How about a column for pet lovers?

Y’all have columns by various doctors, specialists, etc., miscellaneous columns all enjoyed. How about a column for us pet lovers? Select veterinarians to write columns and let us send in our questions ... sort of like our “Dear Tabby” or “Dear Gabby” (barking dogs).

Comments (3)
Who’s running the show?

Our city police department is requesting, with cause, more officers per an analysis completed in 2013 (“Ramping up the force,” The Daily News, Jan. 6). The dollar amount the chief of police is requesting to fill these positions should be a top priority to our city council and city manager. However, it doesn’t seem to be per the articles I’ve read in this paper. Or what am I missing?

Comments (0)
Why cancel controversial column?

I just Googled “Newspapers printing controversial material” and came up with some interesting results. One in particular caught my eye. It is a link to a transcript of a speech given to the American Newspaper Publishers Association by President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy said (and I am paraphrasing here) without debate, without criticism, no administration and no country can succeed — and no republic can survive. That is why our press is protected by the First Amendment — the real job of a newspaper is to arouse, state dangers and opportunities, lead, mold and sometimes even anger public opinion.

Comments (25)
Edit your own work first

After reading Our View this morning (The Daily News, Jan. 7), I had to comment on the article. I think before you edit guest writers’ work, you take note of your own spelling issues first.

Comments (0)