I liken the #MeToo movement to the Black Lives Matter movement. For many years, blacks were not just second-class citizens in this country; they were no-class citizens. In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court (in its Dred Scott decision) held that no black of African descent could be a U.S. citizen. The 14th Amendment was adopted to right that wrong. The status of blacks in this country definitely has improved, but further improvement is needed. In my opinion, that is the message that the Black Lives Matter movement and Colin Kaepernick’s decision to “take a knee” during the national anthem convey. Police brutality is just one facet of the mistreatment that many blacks have encountered and still encounter in this country. Not until 1920 (the 19th Amendment’s adoption) were women allowed to vote in the U.S. Many women still are paid less than men for doing a task. An egregious example arose recently where Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million to reshoot his scenes in a movie while his costar Michelle Williams reportedly was paid less than $1,000 for reshooting her scenes. Women are sick and tired of being victimized by men, and I don’t blame them. That no male award winner at the recent Golden Globes awards announced publicly his solidarity with the #MeToo movement surprised and disappointed me. But times are changing, and it’s long overdue.
Cactus Jack, not so fast!
While Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle’s flood control improvements for 2018 are commendable [The Tribune, Jan. 17], why has his office repeatedly declined to repair a very hazardous section of walkway on Harris County-owned property in Kingwood? The subject walkway is just before the bridge over a county flood control ditch that connects Kingwood Place Village and Trailwood Village. That walkway is used daily by young school children going to and from Foster Elementary, their parents, bikers, joggers and elderly walkers. While the repair costs would be minimal, the potential for injuries by the users cited above remains high! C’mon, Jack, fix it for the safety of all!
Robert L. Gabler
What Cactus Jack has been doing
Turn around, don’t drown! Be nice, don’t drive on ice! We’ve embarked on a new year in 2018, and already we must remember new slogans to keep us safe. I’m so proud of our Precinct 4 crews who worked 12-hour shifts to keep our Road and Bridge Department running 24 hours per day during the icy weather. Together, they worked to sand more than 300 miles of bridges spanning more than 2,700 miles of roadways so we can drive safely. The trucks you saw sanding bridges are the same trucks that cleared trees before Hurricane Harvey, served as rescue vehicles for residents as the waters rose, and then hauled away storm debris in the storm’s aftermath. I’m also proud to announce that the more normal aspects of road construction
are under way. Woodland Hills Drive now connects directly to Beltway 8, thanks to a partnership between Harris County Precinct 4 and Precinct 2. This major transportation project improves the lives of many Atascocita and Humble residents and proves just how much local government can accomplish when we combine resources. We also strive to provide more programming at the popular Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. Less than a year ago, Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve opened and has become a top recreational destination in Precinct 4. I encourage everyone to participate in some of these programs and experience the preserve’s beauty firsthand.
Jack Cagle, Commissioner
Harris County Pct. 4
Making America first again
President Trump is exactly right about NAFTA being unfair to the U.S.A. (as are most of our trade agreements) and must be corrected or canceled. There is no wonder American automobiles are being outsold in our own country with the deal we made with foreign auto companies building inside the U.S.A. Under our current arrangement, these companies must use at least 62.5 percent of material made in the U.S.A. Sounds like a lot, but what this allows them to do is to supply the very expensive components such as transmissions, computers, audio and electronics, then exaggerate the cost of these items that allows them to retain added profit in their own country plus lower the profit that is made and taxed on each auto sale in the U.S.A. Because U.S.A. autos are taxed on total profit from each sale, their margin is less and quality is sacrificed trying to compete in this unfair market. A prime example of this is the loss of many American brands of cars such as Mercury, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Plymouth. Additionally, these same countries that are flooding our automobile market with their brands have very strict regulations and taxes that prevent U.S.A. manufacture or sales of U.S.A. autos in their countries! Japan outsells every American brand auto in America, but you would have to look far and wide to find an American automobile in Japan or any other Asian country. What administration agreed with a deal like this and what Congress approved it? The Trump Administration should examine every trade agreement we currently have in place and demand that they be made fair or canceled. The easiest way to do this would be to cancel all trade agreements and establish a policy that all U.S.A. trade with each country would have the same restrictions placed on them as they have on the U.S.A. The manufacturing boom in America would be deafening.
Sid B. Nice