Shared from the 6/8/2019 Houston Chronicle eEdition

LETTERS

Outrageous behavior

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Mark Mulligan / Houston Chronicle

HISD board members had concerns about a community activist, center.

Spotlight on activist

Regarding “Activist sues HISD after ban from school district premises” (City/State, Thursday): A self-proclaimed community activist has regularly attended HISD board meetings where his uncivil behavior has been so outrageous that he’s been barred from future meetings. Imagine my surprise when I read further in the article that board member Jolanda Jones appointed the activist to a committee reviewing special education policies! What was Ms. Jones’ rationale? Will he be able to restrain himself from violating confidentiality laws and attacks on those who disagree with him?

HISD’s kids and teachers deserve better.

Michael M. Peyou, Pasadena

Options for housing

Regarding “Class-action case could upend residential real estate brokerage business” (HoustonChronicle.com, June 3): The article is missing key context for how multiple listing services (MLSs) compare to systems used in other countries and how the MLS system benefits small businesses and consumers.

Residential real estate markets vary widely from country to country, making comparisons between U.S. practices and those of other countries is a strictly apple-to-oranges association.

Fee arrangements in other countries differ because those consumers don’t enjoy the pro-competitive, highly efficient market created by the MLS system. MLSs yield the maximum number of qualified buyers who may be interested in the sellers’ property. And MLSs give buyers the greatest amount of information and housing options in one place while working with one broker.

In places such as London that don’t have an MLS, sellers lack a single marketplace for all potential buyers to see their listing. Such a fractured market means buyers are much more likely to miss out on properties they would like to see.

Similarly, small business brokers and entrepreneurs benefit from the MLS system because it creates a level playing field with the same information available to them — and their clients — as to the larger brokerages.

Courts have consistently validated the U.S. MLS system, and it is the foundation of the American dream of homeownership.

John Smaby, president, National

Association of REALTORS®

Clinical view of abortion

Regarding “The Jewish position on abortion debate” (Outlook, Thursday): Let’s leave theology out of the abortion debate and turn to genetics.

The rabbi tells us that the fetus is a part of the woman's body. All parts of her body have the same genetic makeup. The fetus is genetically distinct from the mother. Half of its genes came from the father. Therefore, it can not be a part of her body.

It is a genetically unique human being which has temporary residence in her uterus. Therefore, abortion is the killing of a unique human being.

If the pregnancy threatens the mother's life, it may be medically and morally justifiable to terminate the pregnancy, but it still involves a killing.

Robert H. Smiley, Friendswood

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