Monday, August 6, 2012

Re: Take the Wheel, Not the Phone

In response to Olivia's editorial, Take the Wheel, Not the Phone my response was:

Recently, I just came back from a trip to the beach and driving on the highway was scary because most of the other drivers were talking or texting on their phones. They were not paying attention to the road or other drivers and I felt endangered by them.

Technology has become integrated into our lifestyles and it has come to the point where some people cannot put the phone down and focus on driving. I agree with you that the laws need to become more strict when it comes to texting and driving. There does not need to be any accidents because a driver was carelessly fumbling with their phone. But why not expand the law to people walking while texting when crossing the street? People can just be as careless when they are walking while texting. They bump into other people and don't pay attention to their surroundings. Those people are just as liable as the people texting while driving. But for now, Texas needs to be more even more serious when it comes to texting and driving.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Concerns About Housing Near UT

Recently a new amendment has been proposed by the Central Austin Neighborhood Planning Advisory Committee to make it difficult for co-operative (co-op) and Greek housings to build in areas close to the University of Texas at Austin. Their main concern was the value of single-family homes value would decrease due to co-ops and Greek housings. The vote on this ordinance will occur August 16, 2012.

I oppose this amendment because a lot of my friends at UT depend on the co-ops and Greek houses to live in. They are close to UT and may be generally cheaper than living on campus. Co-ops can provide a great sense of community to the students attending UT and is very diverse. I live 20 minutes away from Austin but taking the bus would take about an hour to get down to UT, and in the future if I cannot live anywhere close to UT because co-ops are not available then I might as well live at home rather than live in a co-op that is farther away from UT. Co-ops and Greek houses are ideal to live in if they are close to campus, and no one has to worry about making it to class in time if they live 5-10 minutes away by bus.

Though it is understandable that permanent residents living near UT do not want to have to deal with students traipsing over their lawns and having disturbances on a Friday night, I do not see how this is going to stop it from happening. There will still be drunk students somehow finding their way onto their lawn at 2am and making a mess. Though it would probably occur less often, it would still happen.

 Students renting the properties are not invested in the neighborhood and it brings the value of the single family homes down. But wouldn't this affect the housing co-operatives whose members are most likely invested and committed members of the neighborhood? Even though it is the association proposing this amendment, what do non-members of the association invested in homes think of this amendment?

The voting should be delayed because students should have a voice in this matter. The voting is before classes begin and most students will not be back in Austin to voice their opinion. Even though Austin is a home to the invested residents, Austin is also a home away from home for the students attending UT.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sexual Assault

In response to Natalie Craik's post, sexual assault does need to be stopped and is not tolerable anywhere. The fear of reporting a sexual assault is not only occurring in the military but also in everyday citizens. In my opinion, sexual assault could be prevented if our country was more informed on the dangers and publicly expressed that it is not something that should be ignored. I agree that the military could be trying to reach out to the public for help, but how can the public help if they cannot prevent/report the sexual assaults that occur to them? The public looks up to the military, and follow by example. So the military could start ads running around the military bases, and follow Europe's ads about sexual assaults.

"A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words"

Texas passed a law that required voters to have a photo ID when they vote but the Justice Department blocked the law from passing, citing that the law is hindering minority-voting rights. Texas lawyers argue that people who can vote have a photo ID or can obtain one easily.

In my opinion, I think that Texas should have this law. Most Texans carry a photo ID with them. Even though not everyone who votes has an ID. Some could be elderly and have difficulty trying to get an ID, while others may live in rural areas and would have to drive long distances to acquire a photo ID. Having a photo ID when one votes should not be causing such a huge fuss over. Even though voters over the age of 65 can simply mail in their votes, they do not have to show a photo ID when they vote and they could be already decease.

There is also the suspicion that this new law is a way to hinder the minority rights, especially the growing Hispanic population in Texas. Wouldn’t this law go against the Voting Rights Act of 1965? Is it not enough to have a registration card when one goes to vote instead of an ID? Not everyone carries their registration card on them at all times. But states like Georgia and Indiana have passed this similar law and have found an increase in minority voting.

The count on the number of voters in Texas is important. With a photo ID, we would know if that person is who they say they are and not simply someone else posing as a possible decease person trying to get more votes in. Photo IDs would make the number of voters more accurate. 

So why not? I'm all for this law being passed. "A picture is worth a thousand words" and I'm ready to say cheese and vote.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More jobs but less pay?

Is every new job a good job? is a editorial from the Burka Blog is aimed not only at the citizens of San Antonio but also the citizens around the state of Texas. The author (Paul) uses a news article from the San Antonio Express-News written by Brian Chasnoff to explain San Antonio's problem with new jobs being created.

In the editorial it explains that San Antonio has no problem creating new jobs, but the only issue is that the jobs are usually minimum wage. San Antonio's goal was to produce higher paying jobs, and this is going in the complete opposite direction. Paul states that San Antonio has the highest debt in credit card in America, averaging to be $5,177. There is a quote in the article from an economist from San Antonio blaming that the problem is not low paying wages but the unskilled workers. Paul is concerned that San Antonio is going no where in their fight for higher pay jobs, and remembers back in the seventies when San Antonio politics would try to bring high paying jobs to the city.

The author of the blog is credible and I find it as an interesting perspective on the deal about the new jobs in San Antonio. Texas politics is all about building new jobs and boasting about it's boom in the job market, but the trade off is the low paying minimum wage jobs. I agree with this editorial that it raises questions if this deal is worth it. Creating minimum wage jobs that can barely support a family of four is nothing to boast about in my opinion. What the government should be striving for is to create more jobs with a higher pay and they should have accomplished that years ago, instead they are going entirely backwards when they should be moving forward.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Critical Thinking on Hold

Re-thinking the GOP Platform is an editorial from The Daily Texan. The editorial is aimed at the students that go to The University of Texas at Austin, and opposes the Republican's way of thinking. The Republicans reject the idea that critical thinking programs and "Outcome-Based Education...challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." The Daily Texan has been around since the 1900’s to inform the students, staff members, and anyone who happens to be on The University of Texas at Austin’s campus what is going around the city and in the government.

In this editorial, the Daily Texan claims that the Republicans are against students developing their own political opinions and instead to adopt what is taught in the classroom or their parent's political beliefs. The Republicans want to "educate our children" yet they are against Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS), and proposes to bar it. The party is planning to repeal the Top 10% rule, where out of state students and foreigners have a chance to enter the Universities of Texas, and have more Texas students enter the Universities instead, barring any free or new ideas from other places.

I think it is quite logical for the Daily Texan to oppose the Republican Party on this position. The newspaper is run by the University of Texas's students and critical thinking programs that bring new ideas to the students are greatly welcomed. The Universities across Texas are building the future leaders and why would the Republicans want to halt that development of the future?

I agree with this article and think that new programs such as HOT would benefit students across Texas. New ideas, means innovation and hope that the next generation of leaders. Students reading this article could oppose the Republican plans and bring those programs to the schools.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Article Introduction

After reading the article Perry: TX Won't Implement Key Elements of Health Reform, from the Texas Tribune, it made me a bit skeptical of Perry. Though I am against Obamacare because it forces on my religious beliefs that I need to have contraceptive methods instead of giving me the choice if I want it or not. If Texas' makes their own healthcare and it doesn't work out in the end, not only are we going to create a bigger financial burden on our state but also on the government when they have to implement their healthcare on Texas.

In the article, Governor Rick Perry states that he will not establish a health insurance exchange and will not expand Medicaid. He believes that the expansion of Medicaid will not change anything in Texas. Also the insurance exchange is not something that Perry cannot deny, either Texas has to create their own insurance exchange or the federal government will step in and implement one on the entire state.

If Texas does not partake in the expansion of Medicaid, the centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services will take a hit, because Texas has the "highest percentage of uninsured residents." But Perry is adamant in leaving no room for negotiation, especially when if comes to Obamacare.

I think this article is worth reading because this is about the health insurance of Texas, and it is going to affect the residents of Texas. It is best if we are informed on this issue that has been the hot topic for quite sometime now and begin (or further develop) our opinion on this matter.