In police reform, citizens


have responsibilities too


Any discussion of police reform must also include a discussion of the role each citizen plays in not only preserving our own lives, but the lives of the officers sworn to protect us.


Everyone needs to understand that while we know we don’t pose a threat, the officer knows no such thing. We don’t have bubbles over our heads that read, "harmless teacher" or "armed felon." Officers have to walk a fine line between ensuring our rights and protecting themselves.


Sgt. Craig Johnson was killed in the line of duty in Tulsa, Okla., on June 30. Unfortunately for him, his murderer, David Ware, took advantage of his measured response. Johnson tried persuasion, a stun gun, pepper spray. His restraint cost him his life.


City leaders must make educating citizens about their responsibilities --including cooperation with officer instructions --a component of police reform and ensure officers continue to be able to protect themselves.


Laurie DeField, Austin


The question is raised:


Why is Trump running?


Re: July 2 article, "Results of Trump’s trade war with China."


Politifact concluded the July 2 article saying, "we found wide agreement among trade experts that he is losing."


Another leadership failure. President Trump’s attempts to make a deal with North Korea are stalled and he doesn’t seem interested in protecting Americans from Russian aggression. I have to wonder why he is running again. It can’t be foreign policy.


He has no plan to reduce our trillion-dollar deficits after the tax cut for the wealthy. Given that there is no plan to use the stimulus funds (necessitated when COVID-19 didn’t just ‘go away’) to create jobs in health care, infrastructure or jobs of the future — it can’t be fiscal policy.


The president has no plan to fix health care or protect people with pre-existing conditions if his lawsuit to kill Obamacare succeeds. Three years in, he has no plan for infrastructure or actual immigration reform. It can’t be domestic policy ideas.


Why does Donald Trump want to be president?


Tom Ellerman, Austin


Consequences of choice


shouldn’t harm others


At President Trump’s Oklahoma rally, attendees had to sign a document promising not to hold "Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global ... liable for any illness or injury."


Future events should require attendees to also sign a document promising that if they came down with COVID-19, they would not endanger any health care workers by seeking face-to-face medical attention.


Republican Gov. Kristi Noem addressed this issue when speaking about July 4 celebrations proclaiming that, "in South Dakota, we've told people to focus on personal responsibility. Every one of them has the opportunity to make a decision that they are comfortable with."


Indeed! Taking personal responsibility means not asking anyone else to suffer the consequences of your choices — including nurses, doctors and other hospital personnel.


And obviously, "A decision that you are comfortable with" can never be one that puts anyone else’s life in danger.


Barbara Chiarello, Austin


Medical expertise not


in Patrick’s background


Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says that Dr. Anthony Fauci "has been wrong on every time on every issue" and he no longer needs his medical advice.


Before fellow Texans accept this assessment, they should consider the backgrounds of both parties involved.


Dr. Fauci has served American public health in various capacities for over 50 years. He earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College, and was first in his class. And he is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 1,000 scientific publications, including several textbooks.


Dan Patrick has a Bachelor of Arts in English. He was once a sports bar chain owner, but had to go into bankruptcy, and is a former radio DJ.


There's definitely someone here whose medical advice i would be extremely reluctant to follow.


Joe Pastusek, Pflugerville


The president is leading us


down a dangerous path


The sinister, unstable and incompetent Trump is willful and knowledgeable about where he leads us. Supporters, enablers, and we the silent, are being led into a dangerous movement.


Trump is deliberately mean, and disregards decent, civilized actions and speech.


He demonstrates a divisive, hate-filled agenda with his refusal to address racial inequity in health care, education, economics, criminal justice and the environment. His inactions assure that people of color carry the brunt of COVID-19 infections and deaths.


Ignoring serious issues, he feeds supporters a steady diet of fear, division and hate, be it in the preservation of statues paying homage to dead traitors to our country, a flag that legitimizes white supremacy or a useless wall to keep out those "other people" of color.


He is leading us on a dangerous trajectory. He is unfit for the U.S. presidency.


Helen Walker, Austin