Friday, December 9, 2011

In Response to "21 is less than 18"

I have to say that I disagree with the decision to allow the legal age of drinking to become 18 rather than 21. While your argument that at the age of 18 you can vote or fight for your country is valid, that doesn't mean we should automatically allow people that are hypothetically in high school still to drink. Your argument of drinking excessively at the age of 21 and up doesn't really stand up to the fact that if someone at the age of 21 is drinking too much, imagine what they would be doing if they were the age of 18? How do we stop someone from going to school function intoxicated? How easily would it be to stop a group of 18 yr olds at a dance to share or purchase alcohol with their friends from the JV cheerleading squad of JV football team? While you have made a clear point that people at the age of 18 can vote...that is a priviledge and is one that is to serve our country's democracy in a better and more educated manner. Giving 18 yr old kids the opportunity to go out and drink excessivly would ould harm the advancement in educating our youth and encouraging them to become more active in other roles of the community.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011's something that was instilled in me from a very young age. I went to school, we learned about our history as a nation, and we recited the pledge daily...standing up holding our hand over our heart looking at our nations flag. It came naturally and seemed to be normal. Apparently it's not something that is done everywhere however. I have read various news postings and blogs that reveal that in some states it's not mandatory and that it's seen as unconstitutional to require it to be done. This is somewhat insane to me. What is so wrong with taking just a moment a day to take recognition for our country? For the soldiers fighting daily for us? Okay fine...if this seems uneccesary to you...I can respect your opinion on the matter. Everyone has a different view of our nation I suppose.

I came across another news posting regarding a spanish class having to recite Mexico's pledge of allegiance and to sing their national anthem. There was one student who sat down and decided to not participate in the class assignment, and was in turn given another assignment once she verbalized how it was her right to not partake in reciting an alegiance to another matter if it was for a "school assignment" or not.  All of this is ridiculous! it's this simple, take a moment each day in school to play the anthem or the allegiance and have a flag displayed in every room...let the student decide what they want to do. However, we should always give the option to show patriotism on a daily basis and I feel if perhaps we had more encouraging programs going on in school then we would in turn have a more active young adult population getting involved in our government, and maybe have them participate in our community on a regular basis. Let's encourage them to be educated at an early age and after all it all starts with our nation and how much we have learned from our nation's past.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Response to "What Are We Really Fighting For?"

I am all for bringing home troops but it's not as though it was something they were forced to do. I have friends that eagerly joined the armed forces due to 9/11 and that wanted to go and fight the "good fight". All we can really do is say thank you. Yes, our tax paying dollars go toward the war, but if we were to start naming off where else our hard earned money went there are a few other topics I would point out that are far less important than the war against terrorism. What we can be thankful for is that our troops will be coming home shortly. It has been a long ten years and we have lost countless important lives over there, but those lost lives were fighting to protect us. It has to make you think, how many other almost 9/11 situations were disrupted and stopped due to the fight across the sea as well as here?

We are lucky enough to have people fighting for our very right to sit here and speculate on whether it was all worth it or not. I just hope that when our troops are back here aclimating to citizen life that they are treated with the respect they deserve. I only bring this up due to the fact that when soilders were brought back in caskets and all their families wanted to do was honor them and put them to rest they couldn't do so without interruptions. They were bombarded with hateful signs and ugly words! No matter WHAT we think about the war on terrorism, I hope all Americans have the decency to treat them as the heroes that they truly are.

So all in all, I agree with you to an extent. Our troops should be brought home, but I don't think it was for nothing. Go up and ask a soldier if he thought he had been wasting his time...I've asked my friends and although it may have only been four of them, each and every one of them believe they were there for a good reason.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Drug enduced hazes on the American Dime...

There has been discussion lately in the news about social welfare programs having drug screening done prior to government assistance. Florida most recently has been a focal point, for making people pay for the screening up front then getting reimbursed after passing it. Other states have made drug screenings necessary for unemplyment checks as well. Some say this is unconstitutional and unfair to put someone through however, I disagree. This is excellent news for a few reasons. First off I don't think it's fair for hard working citizens to cover the bills for someone if they have enough money to self prescribe on a regular basis. I also don't think it's fair to pay a percentage of someone's employment if all they are going to do is the bare minimum of the requirements in order to recieve said pay check. Secondly, this leaves room for those that, are in need of assistance to recieve it (hopefully a quicker response). Since July in Florida, 7,030 passed, 93 failed and 1,597 didn't turn in the required drug screen. Let's look at the math for that shall we? If each person were to recieve the average pay for one month based off Florida's law which is about $250, and we multiply that by the total of those who failed to turn in the drug screening and those who flat failed it then for that one month in Florida they saved  roughly $420,000 in tax payer dollars. WOW. 

I don't see anything wrong with creating a drug screen requirement to be eligable for government assistance. Doing so can increase positive results financially and quite honestly could help someone realize they need to make better choices for their life and their loved ones. Am I saying everyone with government assistance is addicted crack? Of course not! As shown with the statistics from Florida, for the most part it's not even an issue and I think it's wonderful that those who are in need of help can recieve it! However, there are a few who seem to slip between the lines and are recieving help without realizing it is suppose to be temporary help. People aren't suppose to live off food stamps their entire life. They aren't suppose to collect unemplyment checks for years either. If I have to pee in a cup in order to have a job, a job which taxes are taken out of my paycheck every week then why shouldn't someone have to do the same order to recieve a paycheck from the taxes taken out of citizen's hard earned money?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Food Stamp Rationing...without loopholes!

In Robert VerBrugger's End Food Stamp Feast commentary on National Review Online he replies to the federal government's desire to save money. VerBrugger believes one way of doing so is with a food stamp reform. Since funding comes from federal taxes, being able to control how food stamps are handled at state level would help cut down quite a bit as each state has different qualifications or loopholes in the system. It appears that while food stamps are needed for some, others are recieving the help without actual need for it. One instance occured with a man who won the lottery and distributed his money into investments which made it appear as though he had a low income, thus recieving food stamps. Another loophole used is to recieve help for utilities with as low as 1 buck written to their name which makes them eligible for food stamps as well. VerBrugger backs this up with statistics strewn throughout the article as well. So in controlling the eligibilty across the board (the entire country) we can save quite a bit of tax paying dollars that can be put to good use elsewhere.

I couldn't agree more with what Verbrugger is saying. I'll be honest just the other day I was in line behind a couple who were using the food stamp card. Once done with the transaction they continued with a seperate transaction, to pay for the clothing piled  up he opened up his wallet and pulled out a wad of 100 dollar bills. Clearly he wasn't hurting that bad if he was able to carry cash around like that. Now maybe I'm wrong for assuming he always has that kind of cash available but I can't help that the thought crossed my mind. Our taxes put in the food stamp benefit bracket should be used on those that really need the help, not those that found loopholes in our system. As I have said before I am all for helping someone in need but I do not want someone to use my tax paying dollars as a piggyback ride throughout life. It's important that we also realize that the money taken out of our checks is going to benefit more than one group as well...all in all let's help those who need help and make sure those that can be self efficient stay self efficient.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Meals...are the really needed?

I came across an article in the Washington Post by Eva Rodriguez that really struck something in me. Eva makes the argument that Texas revoking the traditional last meal for men before they are put to death is an awful idea. She explains that they made the decision after a inmate (Brewer, abused and murdered a man and dragged him down a road attatched to his truck) ordered two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, fried okra, a pound of barbecue, three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts...all of which sat there and were not eaten. This obviously irked a few Texas officials, who then pressed for the change in the system. Rodriguez explains that state officials shouldn't be surprised by these actions  from someone who murders another person. And further explains that we have become numb to inhumane things such as the the death penalty and not giving someone one last meal before doing so. Texas puts so many to death that it has become routine and mundane. Rodriguez believes we as a nation not just Texas should be concerned with this and make an effort to rise above what is wrong and reinstate the last meal, while also really focusing on how many we are giving the death penalty as well....

While I agree with Rodriguez that the last meal should be given, I don't think we should order that much food for one person...I'm sorry but the amount of food Brewer ordered is ridiculous....we are to treat them with a certain amount of humane behavior but we are not supposed to cater to inmates who have murdered someone. And yes, I do believe the death penalty is inhumane thing...make that person spend the rest of their life in prison because we should not be able to take a life of somone after we are punishing them for doing the same thing. Overall, Rodriguez is correct, we do need to make sure we rise above what these type of people do because we are supposed to be better than someone that can take another persons life and sleep in peace at night. We should be able to give a last meal to someone that is about to face death, but it shouldn't be a buffet line for one. And while in the article it says that Texas is not cutting it due to tax dollars, I think yes...the amont of food ordered should also be taken into account because of the tax dollars being spent. So go ahead and throw them a bone and give them a steak dinner before taking their life. It's the humane thing to do in a very inhumane situation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Illegal immigration hitting closer to home than you think...

What initially drew me to the foxnews article was the ID fraud charges. Upon reading the full article I was actually even more uncomfortable. The fact that there is basically an entire business built around stealing from an American citizen to give to an illegal immigrant is extremely alarming. This particular fraud scheme,(located in Mississippi) had a hierarchy to the "buisness",  from managers to runners (gathering information and sending it via cell phone). One example was of them selling a packaged deal of a social security card and matching identification card. 11 were charged, while at least 80 identities (yikes!) were stolen to create the false documents. Not all locations were released, however, Texas and Pennsylvania were mentioned.

I can stand behind someone wanting to be American and coming to our country and taking the correct steps in becoming a proud citizen. In fact, at my church they offer citezenship classes free of charge. However, I will not feel for those that are smuggled into our land without having the responsibilties of every other American. I think this a great article to read because living in Texas, we are clearly more vulnerable to a situation like this being so close to the border. Also, I think this might help others understand why some people are so worried about illegal immigration and the increase of it as of late. We worry about our economy and not having enough jobs for everyone yet there are people here working day in and day out and not paying one cent on taxes. I feel as though The US government should really continue to focus on illegal immigration as they did with this particular case as well as the Howard Raid.

Here's what happened days after the Howard Raid...