Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Comment on a colleague’s work #2

In Big Tex Rules' post, Its a Bow`t Time, they discussed how as of March 18th Austins City Council member unanimously voted to pass a no kill plan for its Town lake Animal Shelter downtown. This is my response to what they had to say:

I'm glad to hear that Austin is instating a no kill plan. It's good that they're easing into it, things like this take time. They need to be able to account for additional space and money the need to take care of these animals. I had no idea Austin was taking an average of 8,873 animals' lives each year. I'm not an animal person at all, I actually like animals to stay as far away from me as possible and that still bothers me. I just hope this plan works out. "Animals are innocent and deserve to live." You absolutely right, just because they are animals doesn't mean that we have the right to kill them, if they were humans this would most certainly not be happening.

As for you suggestion of a requirement that all first time pet owners take a class, I think it's asking a little too much. It wouldn't be possible to make sure everyone take such a class and you have to remember that some pet owners get their first pet from people selling puppies and kittens in cars in parking lots. It's a nice idea but I don't see it happening. The good thing is that there is unlimited of information online. First time owners can get advice and learn anything they need on the computer. Things are starting to look up for these shelter animals.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Original editorial or commentary #2

The public has majorly distrusted Austin’s transit agency, Capital Metro, for sometime now. Austin and its surrounding areas for a metropolitan are of 1.6 million people, they definitely need a good public transit service. Austin doesn’t trust it yet it needs it. Something needs to be corrected in this equation or the two are going to have problems with each other.

Austin’ major problem is that they view the Capital Metro as incompetent. They are not handling money very well; in fact they are handling the money carelessly. The agency used to have plenty of money in their budget account. Somehow they went from $200 million to $4 million in fall 2009. The drastic drop is too much to explain just by declines in sales tax revenue. The audit on Capital Metro exposed the reason for this drop and the reason for other things that didn’t add up from the knowledge the public has received from the agency.

The agency has kept the public in the dark on a lot of things that they are doing, which is why many things don’t add up. One such thing the audit showed the public is that they have been paying some retired working more than triple the cost they should be receiving as pension each month. Another thing the audit has proved is that Capital Metro spent more money than was need, and planned, on the MetroRail project. Not only were they not cost efficient in creating this rail transit; they aren’t producing the money for it as they should. They aren’t charging seniors or people with disabilities fares to ride and they make up about 30% of the people commuting on the rail and they don’t want to.

All that being said, Capital Metro has a new governing board that is taking ownership for their mistakes. The agency is working on correcting this problem. They spending money on the things they should be and earning back the public’s trust. According to an article by the Statesman, money has “increased to $16 million since he took over — and restoring fiscal management and public trust, he said.” Things with Capital Metro have taken a turn for the better and they need to continue to do so because Austin need to able to trust them because they need w well working public transit system.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Comment on a colleague’s work #1

The Lone Star State blog makes a good point in their post, “Census is the answer for the prays of How to get the government to allocate money to the states.” They claim that the census is an important factor, the most important factor, to come up with a reasonable way to allocate, or give, money to each state. The census allows the government to count the population and make a assessment on how much money each state should get according how many people it is to cover.

As The Lone Star State blog says, this money would go towards building and up keeping highways and schools and improve medical care. We have a census every 10 years so that as population changes the government can change in order to accommodate these changes.

The Lone Star State blog is right in saying that ideally the census is great, but in actuality it falls short due to the fact that people don’t turn in their census papers and therefore many people go uncounted. These uncounted people not only skew our numbers but they skew them enough to effect the money the state gets. As they said, Travis County is behind the nations average, and it is right to assume a lot of this has to do with the fact that there are a large number of college students. College students, especially freshmen and sophomores, go back home during breaks and aren’t there all year long. They are also more preoccupied with school and don’t care enough to turn their papers in. There are also a lot of homeless people that are unaccounted for, and illegal immigrants who fear being exported.

Nationwide we miss a large number of people; we just need to try our best to find other ways to count as many people as we can. Everyone needs to be aware of this issue and to understand that the government just wants to count us for our own benefit.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Original editorial or commentary #1

Perry to Republicans: "Just say no"
Me to Perry: "Go Fuck yourself"

Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry at a three-day Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans tells GOP presidential candidates to just say no to President Barack Obama and no to anything that makes Washington relevant to the American People.

Now there's a true leader for you, just say NO. Obviously he learned that from Nancy Regan but what he failed to realize is that she was talking about drugs and not governing the country. The GOP is lost in a sea of democracy without a captain. The GOP needs to realize that to get anything done, you first have to have an idea and then you need to actually need to participate in governing all the people and not merely a select few. They also need to realize that they lost this past presidential election because the majority said so, and due to the fact that the first eight years of this decade, while a Republican was in office, they lied cheated and deceived the people of this country, so why should we believe they have an answer for anything when all they know is "No".

Its time we put a Democrat back in office as Texas Governor. According to the USAToday 2008 presidential election results. Barack Obama received over a million more votes than Democratic candidate John Kerry in 2004. If Texans keep that trend up in 2012, we'll have a Democrat back in office. First time since Carter in 1976.

Critique an editorial or commentary from a Texas blog

Off the Kuff blogger Charles Kuffner discusses the current debates surrounding the new health care and how Texas is being effected by it in his post: More arguing over health care costs. The issue at hand is how much this health care reform is going to sot us Texans. Tom Suehs estimated that it’s going to cost Texans more than $27 billion. That’s more than $20 billion that the expected cost fro all the states combined. That number is outrageously high and much higher than the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate by Henry Waxman of $1.4 billion. Suehs says that Texas has “a higher population of uninsured than most states have total population.”

Kuffner says that it is pretty early to begin to predict the budget when it won’t even begin until another five years from now and it is something that is going to be going for about 15 yrs. Plans can change, there are likely to be changes in how our country is going to be dealing some of the costs ten years down the road or so. Kuffner even argees that’s it’s possible for Medicaid to have been reversed by then.

Kuffner say that the cost is high and Texans are going to have to pay but what we’re paying for is health. This will allow citizens to be healthier and live a longer and better life. It is definitely something worth paying for.

Kuffner’s last agreement about these costs is that this is even thought the states haven’t been the ones paying for these health expenses someone else has been paying. This is just going to give a lot more people coverage and it will be spreading out the expenses and burdens much more equally. This is a good thing and it is much needed according to Kuffner.

Kuffner’s right, there is no way to predict how much it is going to cost right now but is most likely not going to be as much as Suehs is estimating. It is gong to bring coverage to many more people and it is something that is worth the cost. We need to have health care, and we need to take care of that. His reasoning is simple and hard to argue with.

Texans have the right to know what this health care is going to cost them and what it’s going to do for them. This is going to provide better and healthier lives for them and everyone should know and understand what they’re paying.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Commentary/Criticism #1: Editorial:Austin trustees should give school superintendent authority to run the budget

Editors of the Statesman say Superintendent Meria Carstarphen is doing right by those involved by asking the Austin school of trustees to declare the district in financial exigency in the editorial, Austin trustees should give school superintendent authority to run the budget. Filing for exigency would give her the power to make cuts where she sees fit such as non-classroom positions and laying off some people. The process can get messy quick and they may be dealing with entanglements and legal battles with employees. The board worries about letting people go with the economy being the way it is in today’s times. Carstarphen points out that the school children always come first and they have greater needs in other areas to better their education. In the Northeast district of San Antonio did the same thing, they filled for exigency so that they could help the financial problems of the district. They wanted to restructure it so that they could help the children of the district have more money for better programs that would be more beneficial. I think that the editors of the statesman have a good point. They’re right in saying that filling for exigency would be beneficial to the district. It would allow Carstarphen the power that she needs to help the most important people involved, the school children. This would allow her to carry out what she thinks is necessary to make the district a better place without having to make tax payers pay even more than they are now. This way taxpayers will also see more positive results and outcomes for their dollar.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

UT to spotlight border walls, human rights; peace conference at Southwestern

I thought something with UT and humans rights in the title would get your attention and interest you to read on. So to the real matter... the article I read has nothing to do with either really, it's about energy, our environment, and our community. The article I'm actually discussing is Council urged to pass renewable energy plan

The Austin City Council has proposed a plan that would change the way Austin would get a vast majority of its energy. Coal usage would go down in a lot and Austin would be replacing the coal with more electricity instead. Yes, electricity would cost a lot but coal prices are too increasing. Using more electricity would open up more jobs and not using coal as much helps preserve out world.

In the article Marty Toohey says, "Members of Clean Energy for Austin said Austin Energy's proposal would help the environment, attract jobs and protect the city from sharp increases in the cost of coal." Those are three big problems we're having in our society. We could knock all three out with this one more. Some are hesitant and some flat out say no because they believe that the electricity would be too costly. The Clean Energy for Austin say that the proposal is not set in stone. They are just trying to play with this possibility to find a good solution to the problem.

Renewable energy is really important in our world. Global Warming has become a big issue in the past decade and it is important that we do something to help prevent it. There is also a large number of unemployment and this proposal would solve both problems. It is good to know what we are trying to do to solve these problems and possibly take the proposals and come up with a actual solution that can be put to action and bring with it the outcome that we need. Knowledge is power and the more we know the more we can do.