THE ARTISTS THANK YOU
On behalf of the Lake Houston Area Artists, we want to send you a great big “Thank You,” for your support and energy that you have given to our group. You have opened new doors to the Kingwood community for all artists in every level and medium, from amateur to professional, as well as to many other businesses. As the Community Art Relations person for the board, it’s been a very tough road to get anyone’s attention to be one of our sponsors. With your help, we now have the opportunity to have many sponsors who will allow us to show and sell our art. Through these sales we are able to give scholarships to a Lone Star College art student and to have ongoing art education in the Kingwood community. There are so many artists in Kingwood who now know something about us and I look forward in meeting many of them in the near future. We give all of this credit to you, Cynthia Calvert, to The Tribune and to your highly respected and valuable reporters. Thank you again.
AFTER THE SUPER BOWL
I am not a fan of professional sports in general, but I want to make a short comment in the aftermath of the Super Bowl. While neither Gladys Knight nor Maroon 5 are my cups of tea for music, I am glad to see they ignored the howls calling for boycott and performed instead. I saw both performances on the Internet. Knight nailed the National Anthem, and Maroon 5 … well, as I said not my cup of tea, but they get points for showing up. So, the boycott was in support for Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling during the anthem played at games to protest. He has paid for it, losing his contract and not being picked up by other teams. But is that a surprise? Kaepernick, as all Americans, have the right to make their views known. I am doing that now. Thank you for reading this, by the way. But, I am not at work. I am writing this on my own time in the late evening after enjoying an evening margarita at an outside table at Chachi’s as I put my thoughts together. Now, I am banging away at my keyboard in my dwelling before I turn in. Kaepernick made his views known on his employer’s time, and his employer rightly fired him. I would be fired if I used my employer’s resources to compose the letter or interfered with company business just to express my views. You would be, too. Shame on the NFL for buying peace by caving amidst the protest and donated millions of dollars to whatever community causes they were presented with by the player’s union. If Kaepernick had pursued his political activities on his own time, he’d still be doing the job he wants.
MEXICO HOUSING MIGRANT CARAVAN
Is Mexico unable or unwilling to enforce its supposed sovereign southern border? If neither of those, then one can only conclude that the government of Mexico is complicit in the caravans’ motives. Caravans seem to walk into Mexico with impunity and travel freely northward with no consequences except an ever building bottleneck at the northern border. An immigrant in the latest caravan was quoted as saying the (caravan) organizers promised them papers to get them into the U.S. Such promises are cruel beyond words and exploits the least among the migrants. Who are those organizers and what are their motives/goals anyway? Who is funding them?
Robert L. Gabler
MR. BROAD’S ARTICLE
“Humble red-light cameras fund trauma centers” was lacking detail in that red-light cameras are still not backed by Texas state laws. As all of us know, due process is waived by the use of these cameras. They have been proven unconstitutional in most states. You do not have to pay these tickets. The nonprofit recipients of this cash are worthy recipients. Donate directly, take a tax deduction, and keep the city out of it.
NOT A WALL FAN
I don’t favor open borders, but I’m anti-wall. Some of my reasons are: First, the U. S. has north, south, east and west sides. Should we build a wall on all 4 sides? Second, the middle of the Rio Grande River divides the U. S. from Mexico. A wall will not be in the river; it will be on U. S. soil many yards inland from the river’s bank. Once one who is coming to the U. S. passes the river’s midpoint, he is in the U. S. So no wall will keep persons from Mexico from entering the U. S. Once they reach the wall, they can go over (ladders or a helicopter), under (tunnel), around, or through it (e.g., TNT). Third, any child born in the U. S. (but on the Mexico side of the wall) is a U. S. citizen. No wall will stop those births. Fourth, much U. S. land along the 1,954-miles of the U. S./Mexico border is privately owned. So the U. S. will have to take that land through eminent domain. Doing so will take many years. An Indian tribe (Tohono O’odham Nation) owns land that the Rio Grande splits into two plots. Surely that tribe will fight mightily to keep a Trump-style wall from being built on their tribal land.
IN RESPONSE TO BAILEY AND SEGUIN
First, I applaud Messrs. Bailey and Seguin for replying to my earlier piece on James Watson with, well, intelligence. Both comment on the difficulty in defining intelligence, and this is a valid point. Yet, beauty is also hard to define, yet most people have a general sense of what is beautiful and what is not. Thankfully for objectivity, intelligence, defined as cognitive ability, can be measured. Seguin writes that “IQ testing is highly selective.” That is precisely the point. Arthur Jensen determined in “Bias in Mental Testing (1980)” that IQ tests were an accurate and largely bias-free measure of cognitive ability, and his work was undertaken in response to charges that said tests were biased against African Americans. They aren’t. If IQ tests results showed that there was no difference in IQs across races, quite obviously, they would have shouted from the mountaintops.
Many scientists disagree with James Watson’s views on intelligence, and the PBS documentary gave them air time. PBS did honest debate a great disservice by not interviewing any scientist who agreed with Watson. One example of someone who would is Richard Lynn who, in the second edition of his work “Race Difference in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis (2015),” reviews scores of intelligence tests that repeatedly illustrate a relationship between IQ and race. While nurture can’t be ruled out, Lynn presents IQ study results illustrating the role of nature or genetics. When white families adopt black or Asian children, the children retain the IQ range of their race. Mixed-race individuals have IQs that average their parents’ races. There are measured differences in the size of brains; Asians, with the highest IQs, unsurprisingly have the largest brains. No studies show that environment alone accounts for differences in IQs across races. I recommend Lynn’s book unreservedly. It is well-written, well-researched and persuasive.
As many of you know, my colleagues and I welcomed County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia to Commissioners Court this month. Although I look forward to working with my new colleagues, I want to recognize the contributions of Judge Ed Emmett and Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman. For more than a decade, Judge Emmett presided over Commissioners Court with expertise honed from years as a public servant. He led one of the nation’s finest emergency operation centers through multiple natural disasters. He ended his tenure on a high note by leading the county through the most devastating rain event in the nation’s history, despite suffering a minor stroke only weeks before Harvey struck. Many of us will remember Judge Emmett as a leader with boundless energy who fought to end the cycle that brought so many with mental illnesses through our jail system. Today, the Judge Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center keeps low-level, nonviolent offenders with a history of mental illness out of our jail system to reduce overcrowding and help those with mental illness receive proper treatment. Thank you, Judge Emmett, for everything you have done, are doing, and will do! Serving with you remains a true honor, and I wish you luck in your new position at Rice University.
I also appreciate the energy and leadership Commissioner Morman brought to Commissioners Court. Although I will miss having him by my side as commissioner, I welcome him to the Precinct 4 team as a special projects coordinator for our Capital Improvement Projects Division. As a commissioner, Jack Morman worked with the Harris County Toll Road Authority to begin the single largest public works project in Harris County history – the Beltway 8 Ship Channel Toll Bridge. This $900-million project doubles capacity on one of the most heavily trafficked segments of the toll road system.
During his tenure, Morman formed partnerships with each of the 15 cities in Precinct 2 to not only provide additional mobility and flood control projects, but also to expand access to Precinct 2 parks and amenities. This great experience will now benefit the residents of Precinct 4. As our new elected officials take office, I will work passionately with them for our precinct’s focus on flood mitigation, mobility and quality-of-life improvements. I wish you all a happy new year, and I look forward to continuing to serve you, the wonderful people of Precinct 4.
Precinct 4 Commissioner