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