Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weighing the Issue of Texting and Driving

Although I agree that texting while driving is a major issue on the road, banning all cell phone usage while driving is going a little bit overboard in my opinion. Yes, it may lower road accidents and fatalities, but on the other hand, it just gives law enforcement more of a reason to pull people over, causing even more frustration and commotion.
Additionally, many people are not prepared to give up cell phone usage while driving, it will simply create a burden for people who are responsible enough to know when to use a phone while driving, especially in the event of an emergency call.
According to your statistic, "sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds." That right there shows that some people (mostly teenagers) cannot drive safely in the first place, and phone use makes them even worse drivers. Really, you shouldn't take your eyes off the road for two or three seconds at the most, and it must be reminded to notorious road texters frequently. Better technology may also be a solution. Advanced hands-free systems may prevent distracted driver tendencies.
In conclusion, there are already pretty strict laws in place targeting cell phone use while driving, risking hefty fines and punishment. Additionally, one can be charged with a high-degree manslaughter charge in the event of a traffic fatality.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Same Sex-Universities?

In a recent Ausitn American Statesman article, statistics show that students overwhelmingly agree that same-sex schools and student uniforms are a not in their best interest. Results were recorded in an online survey, which reported a whopping 81% of students against the proposed same-sex school segregation plan by district leaders in Texas, who had the projected to implement the plan as soon as the 2013-2014 school year. Students also rejected the idea of school uniforms in a similar 80% against the use of mandatory school uniforms. As of now, the feedback received from the survey is currently under review by the Board of Trustees.
My opinion on this subject is rather simple, why implement a controversial policy that carries more of a burden on the students than it actually helps them do better in school, exams, and getting ready for college? The main argument behind the segregation plan, according to Board of Trustees President, Mark Williams, "The challenge is, we have too many kids in that area who are dropping out, too many teen pregnancies," Williams said. "We have not been successful with the different (education) models." If you want to prevent teen pregnancies, educate the students about it instead of policing everyone, it a way better method of teaching students this lesson. If anything, segregation gives students a false sense of the real world, making them more narrow-minded than ever. In conclusion, we can see that the Texas education system is in a terrible state thanks to legislation and decisions that do more harm than good, evident by continuous poor performance by students in Texas. The solution is not what the Board of Trustees is trying to implement, instead, we really got to look in the mirror and understand that we need to make drastic changes in the education system. We've just got too be smart about it and make education more efficient. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Preventing a Massacre

Although I am a proponent for the possession of handguns and self-defense, I also believe that there should be tougher restrictions on the possession and sale of firearms and quantity of ammo as well as where you can bring weapons. Unfortunately, the NRA has quite the solid grip on current gun laws via the 2nd Amendment, making it near impossible to restrict guns any further. Never mind the fact that we are in Texas, where gun ownership is a way of life and conservative views are rampant.
Despite all this, even if we did somehow manage restrict gun laws, no matter what we do, as long as guns exist, tragedies will still occur. You can do all the psychological evaluation you want, people will still get ahold of guns one way or another. Just look at James Holmes, a smart, "sane" individual before the incident, up until something made him snap. 
My point is that even though we may not be able to prevent all gun violence, we can be smart about it as well as diminishing the chance of another massacre.


Friday, July 27, 2012

IBM blames City of Austin for ongoing billing problems

According to an Austin American Statesman article by Marty Toohey, IBM is suffering billing issues due to problems plaguing a computer system that processes bills for electric, water and trash service from the City of Austin and is demanding payment. If the $4 million demanded isn't paid by the City of Austin by the middle of this up coming week, IBM says it will start the "dispute resolution" process spelled out in the contract made between the two parties back in 2009 stating that it had finished its obligations under the contract. On the other hand, the City of Austin is saying otherwise stating, "The city intends to pay IBM the rest of the money it's owed only "when they complete the job and deliver a fully functioning system,"" 
The article goes on to describe the dispute and the ongoing delays to take action, which will eventually end up in decision of a council meeting.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Media Bias

In a recent article, liberal blogger David Feign talks about how the local media is siding in regard to the runoff elections. According to Feign, he states the Austin American Statesman is the lone supporter of Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz while other local papers such as The Houston Chronicle and the Dallas Daily News show support for David Dewhurst. Feign criticizes all these media sources, though, he also believes that  Republican David Dewhurst would be the better candidate because of his far superior qualifications because served in the Air Force, ran a business, has served as land commissioner, and as Lieutenant governor for a decade. for the support saying, "Cruz is exactly what Texas and the nation do not need, another politician who views compromise as a dirty word and is only content in stalemate or victory. Cruz represents the inexperienced and clueless Tea Partiers that thought the debt ceiling was a "blank check." The Chronicle editorial writers are right to be afraid of Cruz. Hopefully Texas wakes up and joins them."

Friday, July 20, 2012

Report card shows Texas colleges have some work to do

In a July 2012 article from the Daily Texan, author Bobby Blanchard says that Texas' higher education system received only an average grade when it comes to student performance and a failing grade in its openness to accept higher education providers according to a recent report by the Institute for a Competitive Workforce in a June study by Leader & Laggards (although above average grades were given to many other of the main categories.) The study's conclusion was composed of letter grades to rate components of higher education in Texas. Although the failing grade in its openness to accept higher education providers is not as dire, the average performance in student performance needs to improve. Not only is public education K-12 in Texas of lower quality, but now higher education is struggling? I completely agree with the article, we need provide better methods to improve education at all levels in order to provide for a better workforce in Texas. If we decide to improve this statistic, it will better Texas overall for the future.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Obama visits Austin

As the 2012 Election draws yet nearer and nearer, Austinites flocked to Austin Music Hall Tuesday to express their support, opposition, indifference, or indecision at Presidential incumbent Barack Obama's campaign visit. Austin American Statesman reported the scene Tuesday as hundreds people along with a plethora of signs declaring political beliefs, waiting for hours and hours in blazing hot sun just to see the President.
From opposition to abortion and Mexico's rigged presidential election, to an appearance by Occupy Austin, everybody had something to say, and they were saying it loud. The time will come soon to finally make the ultimate decision, and Texas has a big say in it.