Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Turn it Down, Way Down

That is rediculous! I am definitely on your side on this one. How does that realty phrase go again? Location, location, location?! Yea, I think that's it. If you don't like the location don't move there. Location does not only mean placement in a city, but also what is around in the area. And if you don't like clubs or live music why would you move anywhere near 6th St. That is what 6th St is. I don't know maybe they didn't get the memo. Or they're spoiled and are used to geting everything handed to them. I wonder if they threw a temper tantrom on the first night when the music was too loud. I guess Austin officials don't care about our status of live music capital of the world. We won't be able to keep that if no one can here they music, they'll just go to another city. I'm sure there are several cities and businesses that would love the income from tourists there to hear some live music, and actually be able to here it. I just hope that this doesn't too badly cripple our economy, because it will, the question is to what extent.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Price of Playing Battleship

In an attempt to attract more tourists to the area, Texas has spent more than $4 million in South Padre Island. The money has been used to try to sink a WWII battleship to create an artificial reef for divers to explore, due to chemical spills and sinking errors, the endeavor has become very costly. The most recent attempt to sink the ship resulted in it landing the wrong way so that divers are unable to get into the holes that were created for them. The problem now is how to fix this without adding more money to the already costly project.

Although it seems like a good idea to bring tourists to the area which would boost their economy and encourage growth, it is gone a bit beyond convenient and is now becoming a complete waste. It is hoped that the project, once completed, will bring in $30 million a year, if this is successful, hopefully some of that revenue will be used to better other areas and maybe support or fund another project. With the amount of poverty in Texas it just seems pointless to spend so much money repeatedly trying to sink a boat for tourists to play in. Wouldn't that money be better spent somewhere else? Perhaps if the operation had been successful the first time it could have had a positive outcome, but it is the fact that the money is available that is probably causing the mistakes. If there was only enough support for one attempt to sink the ship, a lot more effort would be put in to minimize mistakes, but because they can always just try again people are being careless and not worrying about all the money they're wasting.

Perhaps the city should have looked at other options for funding this project, maybe offering other tourist attractions in or around the ship or maybe the 200 students who took classes in the ship every summer could have put their studies to use and researched and figured out teh best way to sink the ship instead of having a few professionals with a large budget play trial and error to figure it out.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Safety in Public Schools

I don't know about you, but I don't really want to be stabbed. It reminds me of a stand up comedian, Nick, who said, "getting stabbed is not like getting shot. It's like your there the whole time. When you get shot your just walking along and then BAM, you get shot and your like man that really hurts, but if you get stabbed you can actually see it coming, and then you see it going. No thank you, if I can go through life without being stabbed, I win." Not that I really fear for my life when on campus, but reading your blog just reminded me of it. Anyway, I agree that campus security gaurds are a joke, especially in middle schools and high schools. Metal detectors are a bit extreme, and the problem lies closer to home. There is no question in my mind that the majority of the responsiblity of school shootings rests on the parents of that child or children. If a child were to grow up in a loving nuturing environment the chances of him/her bringing a gun to school is drastically decreased. Research shows that the majority of shootings are a result of lack of a parental rolemodel, drug abuse at home, or mal-nurtured kids. The best way to stop a problem is to cut it off at the source, and that is at the parental level, teaching parents how to be parents sounds like as adequate idea as to minimize school shootings.
Give a kid a hug, and save someone's life.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Baby Moses Law

Another child was saved this week thanks to the Texas Baby Moses law. The law states that mothers can leave an unwanted child up to 60 days old at a hospital, fire station or emergency infant care provider without facing abandonment or endangerment charges. This law was put in place after abandoned babies were being found in unsafe places and it has shown some success.
The Dallas Baby Moses center says that of 100 abandoned babies each year in Texas at least 16 will be found dead and an unknown number of them will never be found at all. After parental rights are terminated, the Moses babies are put up for adoption or into foster care. The article covering the story in the Houston Chronicle says the mother is not likely to face any charges in the matter.
Although some people might think this is cruel or wrong to allow or even encourage mothers to abandon their infants, many beleive it has lowered the abortion and infant death rates. Although it is not ideal, it was Texas lawmakers way of proposing a solution. A Dallas based site states that legislature provides no funding but it is all done by local hospitals. This is a great law that allows citizens to help eachother out. If a mother cannot take care of her child, then others, nurses, firefighters, CPS workers, foster parents, step up to help her out. This helps aleviate the stress of not knowing what to do that sometimes leads parents to harming or killing their own children. Hopefully in the future more laws like this can help lower the number of unwanted babies and help give children better, safer lives. For those who disagree, maybe they can be the ones to step up and propose a solution, or help save the abandoned babies.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Sex Laws in Texas

In response to the terrible crime committed in Florida resulting in the death of a young girl named Jessica, Texas has made some changes in how to deal with sex offenders. In Do tough sex laws help or hurt? the pros and cons of the new laws are discussed. Although the harsher sentences seem like a solution to the problem, some experts and victims say that it will not have the effect some are hoping for.

The laws are mainly effective against stranger molestation, when a child is harmed by someone they do not know, however 93% of the time this is not the case. Most commonly it is a family member and generally children or spouses do not want to testify against their own family, they just want an end to the abuse not to exchange one family problem for another. Another case the laws do little to change is when the abuse is between children. A child is defined as under 17, and the law allows for a “Romeo and Juliet” case where consensual sex between two over 14 who are within 5 years of age of each other is not considered a crime.

However, the laws do have many good solutions. Sentences for prolonged abuse or super aggravated assault of a child are set at a minimum of 25 years and repeat offenders could get life or even the death penalty. Some say that it is unsure if the death penalty will actually be used or if it is even allowed. It is not clear in the Constitution whether the death penalty can be given to someone who has left their victim alive.

Hopefully the new laws are just the first step in the right direction to making a change. With new laws and more education about it, the society as a whole can take a stand and stop child abuse together.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Vote to Change Voting in the House and Senate

On Novemeber 6 there will be a vote in Congress on Proposition 11. Propositio 11, if passed, would require that the votes of all of the members of the House and Senate would be recorded. Since 2005, both the House and the Senate have been recording all of their votes, so those that oppose the proposition state that it not necessary to change the Constitution if Congress is already doing it. However, under the current rules they can decide to stop doing it at any time. Proposition 11 would merely require the records to be kept so that Congress could not decide they do not want to keep records on this contraversial vote or another.
I feel that this is a necessary amendment to the Texas Constitution, as it has been to forty other states. Although it will cost tax payers a little more, roughly $125,000, knowledge is worth more than money, and that is a small price to pay for the increase in knowledge of our government.
The record of votes is the ultimate truth. If politicians were not notorious liars, this would not be necessary. However, we do not live in that Eutopia and we deserve to know what our officials have to say and believe. I, for one would like to know if the Congressmen are standing by the beliefs that they spoke so strongly about during their campaigns, and following through on them once in office.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Assignment 2

I read "Tort Reform didn't Work (And Won't)". This article is about Texas State regulation of insurance premiums. Texas does not regulate it and cannot regulate it. The legislation on state regulation was written and rewritten by insurance companies and they are able to maneuver around the laws so that they are able to charge what they desire, even though the government feels it is an inflated price. The insurance companies, such as Allstate and State Farm, claim that they need liquid assets for when, not if, Texas gets pummled with severe weather. In reality, the insurance companies' profit levels have increased dramatically.
As students at ACC this does or soon will affect us. Many of us will, if you don't already, have to start paying for homeowner's, medical, life insurance, etc. As of right now, there is no State regulation on insurance and is resulting in high premiums. If legislation is not changed, the number of uninsured Americans will continually increase due to the absense of affordable insurance.