Thursday, May 13, 2010

Doing the Right Thing on Immigration Issue

I have mixed emotions about Texas adopting an immigration law similar to Arizona. There is no denying Texas needs to do something to fix illegal immigration plaguing our state, but we need to be fair.

Arizona's SB1070 bill has good intentions. The state wants to stamp out the financial burden and crime caused by illegal immigration. However, this new law has civil rights violation lawsuits written all over it! The law specifically states it does not allow police to demand identification from individual without cause or to solely deport someone.....YEAH RIGHT! Who is Arizona kidding?! Whoever wrote that clause has clearly NEVER been racially profiled. This law gives police a free pass to harass any and all Hispanics fitting this description anytime they choose. For non-minorities who have never been harassed by a police officer having a bad day for only being Black or Hispanic, this might be hard to believe. This happens daily throughout the U.S. The profiling concern is one of the main reasons behind the outcry and boycott of Arizona. What this now means is everyone fitting that profile must have their immigration papers on them at all times or possibly be detained or deported. That is not right!

One of the arguements from those who agree with the Arizona law are complaining about paying for Medicaid and welfare for these illegal immigrants, but that is not exactly true. Remember, the most recent 'Texas on the Brink' update showed Texas ranked last in providing welfare to our residents, so the number can't be too outrageous for undocumented immigrants, that's a myth.

Additionally, I just flat out don't buy the argument that illegal immigrants are taking our jobs....really?! They are working the low-skilled, low-paying jobs our native born Americans are too good for. Let's be honest, American's are too good to work fast food, so you think they will work construction in Texas' 100+ degree?!

Yes, something needs to be done about this issue. All immigrants should know how to speak English, no one should be allowed to break the law and live here without paying taxes. But, let's do the right thing for undocumented immigrants in good standing who have been here for years, let them pay a fine and become legal, tax-paying citizens. Isn't Texas going broke...anything will help!

The last thing we need is another badly written piece of legislation. We need to fix the immigration system as a whole. It's old and broken and this issue can no longer stand to be put on the back burner. At the end of the day, we have to remember that these are human beings, just like our ancestors. How soon we forget, we are ALL decedents from immigrants.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Texas Lends a Hand to Gulf Clean-up

Texas is lending a helping hand to our Gulf Coast neighbors to assist with the oil spill clean-up. Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner, has been closely monitoring the spill and said Texas is ready to do whatever is needed to help. The spill was caused by a massive explosion from an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. As of Monday, 5/3/10, the damaged rig is leaking 5,000 barrels of oil per day. Efforts to manage the spill by controlled burning and attempts at plugging the main break before it hit the coast have failed. The oil slick is threatening hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's riches seafood grounds, with shrimp, oysters and other marine life. This potentially can harm human health, our beaches, and fisherman's livelihoods.
Patterson said the oil spill is not threatening Texas beaches, but Texas could possibly see small tar balls, which are not pretty, but it's not harmful. Our great state is sending in experienced oil spill clean-up crews and knowledgeable wildlife specialist.
This is great... I really like the fact that Texas is sending resources to help with this disaster. Texas just stepped right in without delay regardless of fault, whose picking up the bill, debating if drilling is right or wrong, Republican vs Democrats, or whatever else could be argued before actually doing something. I'm willing to bet that countless tax payers dollars will be spent on Congressional hearing, finger pointing, and blame placing on the cause of this disaster. But really, all that drama needs to be put on the back burner. Protecting our environment is a priority.
I'm proud of Texas for stepping in to help out with the clean-up. Just another reason to love our great state.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Health Care for Texans, why not?

I totally agree with Brittanie's idea that health care should be available for all Texans. Right now, Texas law mandated ALL Texas drivers carry at the minimum, liability insurance, so why not treat health care the same way. It's not like we are not already paying for those who don't currently have health insurance, we are paying, almost all in taxes. Tax-payers are paying for everyone who receives care in an emergency room (which is primarily how uninsured Texans receive care). Not having insurance and providing preventative care, only makes the bill larger for tax-payers on the back end. One in four Texans do not have health care, that's a lot of people, Texas has to do something.
Believe me, I'm not in favor of paying more taxes, but, where there is a will, there's a way. I remember voters being enraged when Texas passed the law requiring drivers to have liability insurance, but this law has actually been good, it's helped protect all drivers. Brittanie suggest mandating health insurance might lower the burden on tax payers, I agree. I think doing what we can on the front end to prevent illnesses, and protect and cover Texans will eventually bring down cost for the state & tax payers.
Are there any flaws with this? Yes, there are potential flaws in all things, but this would do more good than harm.
After all, we are in the United States of America...Texas for goodness sake, not a third-world country. If we can spend $1.05 trillion on the war in Iraq (to date), we can definitely find a way to pay for our citizens who are suffering and dying because they are not insured....that is just wrong.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pass Health Care and Die!

The Health Care Bill passed on March 22, 2010 to the dismay tons of disgruntled Republicans. Before President Obama could even sign the bill into law a , angry Republicans were on TV kicking and screaming, throwing temper tantrums like spoiled children whose daddy just told them they could not have a toy airplane from the toy store. This public display of disgust for the passage of the bill gassed up anti-health care supporters who then took it upon themselves to vandalize and threaten Democratic supporter of the bill. Representative Al Green, from Houston, received threatening phone calls at his district office after he supported Health Care. Some Legislators had death threats, bricks thrown in office windows, were spat on, and there was even an incident where a Democratic congressman's propane gas line was cut at what was thought to be his home. A few days after the raucous events, Republicans finally came out to denounce the violence, but it was a little too late.
Now, really, is it that serious? Republicans have been fighting public health care for over 60 years, when was the time going to be right?! There are always pros and con's to every bill, but for the most part, the pros really outweigh the con's:
1)The bill will cover 95% of legal US citizens
2)More competitive insurance industries
(can no longer hike up prices 35%-40%)
3)Insurance companies have to accept everyone(even with pre-existing conditions)
4)Cheaper prescriptions for senior citizens
5)It's reform (something is better than nothing)
There are con's to every argument, but when you look at it, this health care bill is a start. Health care has been on the table for years and NOTHING was done. While this issue has been over debated to death, millions of Americans have died. Enough is enough....this bill will save lives.
Republicans need to be weary, sometimes opposition can go so far before it turns and bites you. Being so vocal on a bill that will do so much good may end up harming the Republican party in November. Remember, Republicans initially opposed Medicare in 1965, but it ended up being one of the best bills ever passed.
Come on Republicans, I understand you don't believe in social reform, but trying to kill over passing a health care bill that one day might save YOUR life is a little too much.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where is the love for the children of convicted drug users?

We all know from Nancy Reagen's infamous anti-drug campaign "Just Say No To Drugs" that we should just say NO, however, today oftentimes, this is not the case. Drugs are so common that, you or someone you know is either somehow involved with, has tried, or is using drugs (even as we speak). This drug epidemic effects us all in some way, especially the children of drug addicts. That is the main idea behind the 2005 HB 946 bill passed by the Texas Legislature by Rep Miller. This law was designed to protect children by removing them from their care giver found using drugs.
The commentary claims the HB 946 law has not been researched before it was signed into law, and even now, 5 yrs later. He brings up the question of how many children have been effected by this law, and what are we doing to help them. Are we simply removing them or are we helping them. After reading about the law, I totally agree. The HB 946 bill a good idea? I would say "YES." A really good idea, children should never be exposed to drugs, especially from their parents. However, just writing a good bill without detailed research could possibly lead to more problems down the line for us all. More so, how we are helping these kids. In all reality, foster homes are a wonderful blessing, and a great idea, but, if that's all we are doing is placing them them in a 'temporary' home, we are not really fixing the issue. I'm not trying to down the whole foster care system, but, truth be told, there are some foster homes out there who are only out there for the extra money it brings in their household. Loving, nurturing, and caring for these traumatized kids may not be an option, therefore, society ends up paying a BIG price down the line when these ill-forgotten kids turn out like their parents.
I feel like our legislatures need to spend more time researching the ends and outs of all laws they pass, especially laws which effect our children. Someone needs to be the advocate for these forgotten children and try to stand up for a reliable solution. Taking them out of the home without a plan to actually fix the issue is only a train wreck waiting to happen.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Doing what we can to win

Today our great state is buzzing with the Texas Primary elections. A lot of folks have their theories on how things will end up, the scenarios are endless. This Houston Chronicle commenter spoke to a Houston couple who were playing the political block out game to try to vote Kay Bailey Hutchinson out the race. They were pretty confident Bill White would win the Democratic Party nomination, so, to vote for what they felt was a lesser evil, the wife switched parties in the primary race to abliviate Kay Bailey and get her off the ballot. In order to win, the writer is claiming Democrats are even getting in on the action and playing the numbers game, attempting to have a positive affect in November. The logic behind this strategy is brilliant, if enough Democrats show up in the primary to vote for the 'better' Republican, it could actually work.
I personally think this is a great idea, however, I would be voting for Kay Bailey in hopes of blocking out Rick Perry. He's had a free reign for 14 years! When will Texans finally wake up and say enough is enough. We can complain all day, but this is the year we can finally do something about it. Sure Kay Bailey may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but look at he opponent Rick Perry! Standing next to him, she doesn't look too bad. All politicians have a spotted past, but when we lay them all out, we know what Governor Perry is capable of, why not take a chance on someone else.
We will know the outcome of the Primary tonight. I can't wait to see if the Democratic stragegist who played the game today had any impact.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Will the 2010 Census put Galveston down for the count?!

Hurricane Ike hit our Galveston coast in September 2008, that's right, I said 2008...and it's still in the news a year and a half later?! Now that the U.S. Census is approaching, Galveston could possibly loose millions of state and local funding because the population is below 50,000. All these years later, this once popular Staycation spot is still totally devestated as if the hurricane hit just a few weeks ago! Loosing this money would almost guarantee the residence and business owners will never return to the island. Another example of how government at the local level has absolutely no control. I'm sure the local officials have been requesting federal funding for the city from Agencies like FEMA, but as history proves, waiting on FEMA is like waiting on winter. The U.S Census is saying they will not make any exceptions, even in this extreme case, which is sad. It's 2010, not 1900...why is it taking so long?!