THANKS FOR THE ARTICLE
Thank you so much for covering the story about my new children’s book, “Tommy Brown Misbehaving” in July. Your decision to feature it on the front page was a welcomed surprise. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you; the correspondent, C.J. Johnson; and The Tribune.
LOVE THE FREE STUFF!
I won tickets to Renfest from the Tribune Club and went during their Celtic Christmas weekend. Thank you so much for offering those tickets! We truly enjoyed ourselves … especially their foods!
PROGRESS NEEDED AT HOUSTON WATER
When I moved to Kingwood in 1995, I paid my monthly bills by writing a check and sending that check in a stamped envelope. Today I pay all of my bills online. I have a savings account and a checking account with Ally Bank (an online-only bank), and I got my credit card through Ally. Ally’s savings account now pays 2 percent per annum; it’s checking account pays 1/10 of a percent, so I keep money in the savings account until I need it in the checking account. My telephone company and Reliant electric automatically charge my credit card each month without charging a service fee to do so. CenterPoint Energy automatically deducts my monthly gas-bill amount from my savings account. I recently tried to set up with Houston’s Water Department and Lowe’s Home Improvement company the same arrangement I have with CenterPoint Energy. Neither one offers that option. Houston Water will automatically deduct my monthly water-bill amount from my checking account, but not from my savings account. Houston Water also will automatically charge my credit card or debit card, but it charges a service fee to do so.
If anyone who reads this letter works for Houston’s Water Dept., please tell them that they should add to their automatic payment system the ability to deduct the funds from a savings account. As far as I know, all that is required to do so is a routing number and the savings account number.
I pay my Harris County property-tax bill online with an e-check. Unfortunately, Humble ISD does not offer that payment option, but it should.
WHITE WOMEN, AGAIN
I have been thinking more about Michael Eheman’s letter printed on Oct. 30 (“It Wasn’t A Trial”) in the aftermath of the general election. Again, white women were being blamed by some of our pundits for the fact that more Democrats weren’t elected. Here is Texas, white women voted for Ted Cruz over Beto O’Rourke by about 3-to-2. Showing that Latinas went for O’Rourke by the same margin and black women went for O’Rourke by a whopping 19-to-1 is used to show how much better informed women of color are. One post-election comment that went out said ‘White Women. I swear to God. Y’all are infuriating. It’s not enough to be “not racist.” You must be anti-racist.’ Being anti-racist for white women means voting against Republican, white candidates. So, you are to judge someone by the color of their skin after all, if the person is white. Nothing shows the state of America’s racial situation today quite like this topic.
JOHN CHAU AND THE NORTH SENTINELESE ISLANDERS
North Sentinel is a Manhattan-sized island in the Bay of Bengal under the national jurisdiction of India and home to an uncertain number of descendants of travelers from Africa that arrived perhaps 50,000 years ago. The Sentinelese are one of the few remaining groups without effective contact with the modern word. Based on their very hostile reaction to visitors, they like it that way. Recently, American missionary John Chau wanted to spread the Gospel to them and was unsurprisingly killed for the effort. Chau felt very deeply for his mission, but he knew contact was illegal, and with very good reason. The islanders have no natural immunity to modern diseases. They could easily be wiped out by something for which they are not vaccinated. Further, no one knows how to speak their language, so I wonder precisely how Chau thought he would be able to even communicate. Assuming that the Sentinelese could be contacted and somehow managed into modernity, is this really a good idea? Do we have the right to bring this culture into the modern world? I think not. History shows this situation ends badly for the contacted. In 2000, Author Adam Goodheart wrote an article on the Sentinelese called “The Lost Island of the Savages” for The American Scholar; he wrote of formerly ‘lost tribes’ that the “Yanomamö … prostitute themselves to Brazilian gold miners, while the !Kung San are chased off game reserves to make way for ecotourism in the Kalahari Desert.” There is no going back when things go awry during integration with modernity. It is too bad that John Chau was killed, but his was a very foolhardy mission. Here, separation remains the right answer.