Monday, December 17, 2007

Blog Stage 6-Texas Aid

Original Post

Katrina had Rita were devastating hurricanes that affected millions. It’s hard to believe that this tragedy was over two years ago. Many people who were not directly affected by this disaster have seemed to put this catastrophe incident out of their minds, and the horrible aftermath this has caused to so many. We take for granted that we have a home and warm bed to go home to every night. There are still thousands of people without a place to call home. What is even more disgraceful is that the Texas housing agency has received more than $400 million from the Federal Government to help aid people affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but they have only helped four families, which came from the state auditor’s report, released Thursday. The Texas Department of Housing and Community affairs was awarded $42.6 million in grants to assist hurricane victims in buying or repairing their homes, and as of September 14, the agency had only built a mere thirteen homes, out of the 4000+ families that applied for aid.

The Federal Government gave Texas this money to help the thousands of evacuees who came to this great state. What these helpless people probably didn’t realize was that the Texas housing agency would take years, if you were the lucky one chosen, to help out. It amazes me that we have only helped out a handful of families, while everyone is in ignorant bliss, thinking that the government is doing its job in assisting these evacuees.

Former Beaumont Mayor Guy Godson, who was in office when Hurricane Rita hit in 2005 said, “We need to be able to distribute the funds faster and get contractors out working on the homes, because the damages accrue greater and greater as time passes," he said. "There's no one working on these homes, and I expect these people are living in acute living conditions that have worsened in the time since the hurricane." With the state making everyone reapply for an application to get assistance, this will only add to the lag time.

This is a disgrace, and I am appalled at the time it has taken to get these victims the economic assistance they need. They have already been through so much, and it is the American way to help others, but we are not doing that. Texas needs to live up to their saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas”, because I’m embarrassed to say that we’ve only helped out a few families out of the thousands affected.

Lea Lundin

My comments

I agree with the post on Texas State Housing on texasgovtevolution. It is sad that Texas has recieved so much in grants from the federal government; yet, they have failed to aid families that need assistance. It is understanding that the process would take sometime to get things processed, but 2005 was a long time ago and the fact that it will be 3 years since the disasters is unacceptable.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I agree with The Price of Playing Battleship

I completely agree with the The Price of Playing Battleship ( The article talks about how Texas has spent more then $4 million on trying to sink a boat for people to swim around in under water. Like the blog stated, its not that it was not a good idea; however, it was obviously not planned and a lot of money that could have been used to support other causes in Texas has been wasted. If an expert who says he can sink a ship has to keep trying over and over, who is to say that his expert opinion on whether or not the ship is actually stable enough under water to be explored by divers? I believe that Texas obviously went over board with this project and should have thought the process out before just going off of trial and error.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Republicans standing up against fencing the border

I have to agree with Republican presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani, on the issue of fencing the Texas/Mexico border's. Though there are some areas that a fence will make since and strongly assist in the fight to keep illegal immigration from occurring, we do not need to construct miles and miles of fences that make it seem as if we are saying “keep out”.

I do not fully agree that with-in three years immigration can be stopped; however, I do believe that we can reduce the amount of illegal immigration that occurs with more logical strategies.

By placing a fence along the border it gives me personally the feeling of keep out. There are a lot of ignorant people in America. I do not mean ignorant in a sense of stupidity or degrading. I mean ignorant in a sense of being misinformed, lack of exposure, or lack of communication. Whit this being said by placing unnecessary fences up it only provides fuel to a fire that is already burning between Mexican immigrants and ignorant Americans who feel that their opinion toward issues such as Mexican immigration is ok or even right.

Illegal immigration is a difficult matter to control; however, the American government should not create insulting fences to control the matter. American society should feel insulted and ashamed of the fact that we would use a method that comes across so degrading to fix a problem that at one point built are country.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Native tribes fight for casinos

Many Native American tribes in Texas have battle for the right open casinos in Texas. They have yet to win the battle; however, they have come close. Recently Rep. Norma Chavez, D-El Paso, received the Tom Diamond Award of Excellence for a close attempt.

Though I personally am not big on gambling I do believe that people have the right to do what ever they chose with the money that they earn. Native American Tribes in Texas have been fighting for the right to open casinos for a long time now and I feel that it is something that the Texas government should allow.

Many Texans spend big money to take trips to Louisiana, Del Rio and Las Vegas just to lose more money once they get there. It’s no secret that gambling is popular among many Americans, and though some may view it as being unethical it can be a way to help the economy as well. Some may look at the negatives that may come with opening casinos in certain parts of Texas; however, it’s no different then many of the other businesses that are already aloud in Texas.

Gentlemen’s Clubs, nightclubs, and even local bars can attract the same problems that casinos; however, none of these establishments bring in more hotels or tourist then a casino. To some it’s a matter of religion and morals; however, the government already allows a number of businesses that can already be viewed in that same category. Just because something that you feel is wrong exists doesn’t mean you have to use it or even support it in any way. I believe if the establishment has the capability of helping the economy then it should be allowed as long as it follows all the proper laws set up to keep it as safe as possible.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Special interest

When you have friends in powerful positions sometimes rules and laws seem irrelevant. “State Rep. Fred Brown of Bryan has called a special legislative hearing Tuesday in Austin to see whether the Texas Medical Board has been too aggressive in its oversight of the state's physicians.” This would not seem abnormal if it wasn’t for the fact that a business partner of Mr. Brown and a man who also donated money to his campaign did not have a disciplinary action pending before the board.

The article also talks about other doctors besides Mr. Brown’s business partner who feel that the Texas Medical Board is being too aggressive. One doctor, who is also a radio talk-show host, also believes that the board is being extreme on many cases. He claims that his drive came when the medical board accused, “Dr. William Rea of pseudoscience in treating patients for chemical sensitivity. Some of his treatments are potentially harmful, the board charged in August, including injections of jet fuel and natural gas.

It’s obvious that State Representative Fred Brown has a lot to gain if he is able to force the Texas Medical Board to lighten up. It seems as if this Texas politician is using his position to benefit himself. There may not be a law against what Representative Brown is doing; however, it doesn’t seem fair that certain people will be able to get away with almost anything as long as they have the money to keep friends in powerful positions.
Dallas Morning News

Friday, October 5, 2007

Older black communities hurt by family issues, appraisal hike, is an article about issues that are wide spread in black communities around America as a whole. The article discusses how many African-Americans are losing property that was handed down to them do to the influx in taxes.

This is a sad issue; however, the article makes it seem as if the tax collectors are at blame for this problem. It is very unfortunate that elderly people are being forced to leave a place that has not only been home to them their entire life, but one that has been home to generations before them. Lack of education of taxes and lack of discipline with money is the real problem.

One of the people interviewed did say that “I don’t have no one else to blame but myself”, which is for the most part true. Almost every person who buys or inherits a house knows that there are annual property taxes that have to be paid; however, there are some who have no clue about the consequences of not paying these taxes. There are a number of establishments that are set up solely in lower income communities and prowl on the lack of financial knowledge these communities have. Where I live now there are approximately 5 different banks with in a one block radius of each other; yet, there are no payday loan or quick cash stores anywhere in the neighborhood. I still get my hair cut on the east side of Austin and one day when I did not have any cash I went to look for a bank. I get my hair cut on 12th street and I went looking for an ATM. That’s when it dawned on me that I could only think of one that was on Airport Blvd. and all the others were on the other side of IH 35. They just recently added a bank not to far from where I get my hair cut, but the only reason it is there is because it is in the same area where the new condominiums are.

The people who are forced to evict people from there own home are only doing there job so that they can provide for there family. The same goes to the people who establish all of the cash advance, pawn shops and any other extreme interest rate establishment in the lower income communities. Even though it may not seem morally right it is not illegal. The first step to closing the gap between lower and upper America should be the restriction of these types of establishments. The second should be making classes that at least give you a base knowledge of different finical situations mandatory in high school and college.

Houston Chronicles

Friday, September 21, 2007

ONE WAY Judicial System

Do to the resent publicity of the situation that has occurred in Jena, LA. I felt it necessary to point out that situations like this still occur in the south even in Texas. On the radio the other day the host of a popular morning show stated that at least stuff like this doesn't happen in Texas (referring to the Jena 6 story). It is hard to believe that in 2007 there are still situations that occur where minorities are treated completely different the Caucasians. I'm not saying that people should not be punished for their crimes or that all judges still see only one color. Being of mixed race it upsets me when people make situations a black and white issue; however, it is obvious in some cases that it is a "black and white thing".

There are many cases across the south and in Texas where a person of African-American descent and a person of Caucasian descent were tried by the same judge, some for the same crime and some for different crimes, but the sentencing was completely different. In Paris, TX a 15 year old girl was sentenced to an indeterminate time not to exceed her 21st birthday in the Texas Youth Commission's juvenile detention facilities for shoving a hall monitor at her. I'm in no way saying that Ms. Shaquanda Cotton should not have been punished for her actions; however, I am saying that indeterminate time not to exceed 21 is extreme. School suspension, probation, even a week or so in bootcamp sounds like punishment for pushing someone. The same judge that sentenced Ms. Cotton also sentenced a white 14 year old girl to probation after she was found guilty of burning down her families house.

I'm not hoping for a 2007 civil rights movement, but i am hoping for a change in the system. Ms. Cotton's story is only one of many that have occured not only in Texas, but across America.

The Washington Post Shaquanda Cotton