Tuesday, December 11, 2007
To Shoot or Not to Shoot:
I myself am a bit of a "gun nut". I don't necessarily feel that guns are only used for hunting because that would be ignorant. My guns, for example, are not intended for hunting bears in the wild, but for protection of my property, my life, and my family.
Now the question posed in this article is whether or not it's okay to shoot someone who is breaking into you're "neighbors" home. Legally, if this burglar is on you're property, and you feel threatened, you can shoot. This man was nice enough to give the burglars a warning, something of a nice gesture if you ask me. See, I've had my property stolen, in fact, since I moved to Austin, I have had my stereo stolen six times (in a year), had three windows broken, four textbooks, and a backpack....all gone because some juvenile jackass wanted a couple of extra bones.
But here's the deal: this is someone's home. When someone breaks into your, or your neighbors home, this is a whole new level beyond automobile theft. There are birth certificates, family heirlooms, pets, sometimes even sleeping children. Were these burglars also rapists? Were they petty thiefs or killers? You never know these things....and most importantly, are they armed?
When a situation like this arises, instinct to protect your fellow man can override thought and balancing out the effects. The truth is, it is only human nature to help, and though I don't agree with killing the burglars, (I believe in "below the waist" as opposed to "shoot to kill"), but was it this mans right to do it? Hell yes it was.
After all, the right to bare arms is not the same as ones right to grow fur on their shoulders.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Decibel level limitations don't sound like something that might effect a whole city, or it's economy, but in a city like Austin, these limits put on the levels of live music make a HUGE deal.
So a couple of rich people recently decided to buy condo space around the cities core venues, including Emo's, Momo's, Stubbs, and various other venues around red river, 6th, and Lamar. The richies decided that the loud music pouring from downtown was just too much for their precious crystal ears, and decided to take it to the city.
The city took a look at the situation and decided that live music isn't too important to Austin, so they proposed a change of decibel level current set by the city, from 85 decibels to 75 decibels. The ordinance would set this legal level of 75, and any club exceeding this level would be fined severe cash, we're talking 1500 bucks plus.
As a sound enthusiast I can tell you that ten points is a huge deal to clubs, their owners, and fans all over. Ten points is a 50% decrease in sound levels. This means shows will be harder to hear, venues will have to shut down if a drummer has a loudly amplified set or if a particular brand of amplifier pumps out more volume than club standards. Bands don't want to play venues where you're own equipment can't be used because of exceeding amplification.
The problem here is that the city is ignoring this and focusing on losing condo inhabitants who CHOSE to live in this particular area. Most of the new inhabitants also happen to be legislators that are purchasing space to stay when they VISIT Austin for their sessions. This creates alot of unfair political pull, not to mention the fact that these particular legislators won't even be living in the condos, but merely staying for three or four months!
Look, let's be honest...we've all been to shows and concerts, and sometimes it does get a little loud, but there's something shady in purchasing realty where music lovers gather for the purpose of enjoying the ear-blaster bands we all love, and telling them to turn it down.
It's as if the city were super conservative parents with loud metal head kids they can't seem to control. The problem is, the kids' music is successful, and brings in tons of dough...so I say, let them play as loud as they want....and if you don't like it...move to the arboretum.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
....I was enraged.
The Border Watch organization situation was an extremely interesting situation to comment on and it certainly made me consider how important it is to picket properly.
As I commented to her, (the author), it is dispicable how a group can claim to be so very American, yet chooses to protest people attempting to find work in any way possible. They are standing by the road down to their last options. Whether they are legal or not, they are human beings and embarrassing a few people in a group making efforts to get by, does nothing to further the Border Watch Organizations cause. What would be American is if these people focused on picketing at a courthouse, writing representatives, and voting. If they spend more time educating themselves and practicing their own so called "reglious values", perhaps the cause would go beyond dirty racist mudslinging between two cultures.
They commentary went on to point out the Religious aspects of the picketing signs....these imply an "anti-God" message on behalf of illegal immigrants, which is proposterous.
Jackie Marie also makes a great observation regarding the abrassive nature in their military styel approach. This makes the group seem more like a militia and less like a legitimate group of people concerned about a freedom being hindered in some way.
Great job. Interesting article.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Apparently my car had too many stickers blocking the back window. Are you kidding me? I was told that there are specific laws that involve keeping a stable view in your rear window. The thing is, I only have about six old stickers on my back window...and one has a cop joke on it.
So i'm feeling really smart about this point. Then the policia asks for my insurance. I hand him my Liability card, which is through a company called Santa Fe Auto. This is just the name of the insurance company mind you, it is actually based in Texas, in Laredo to be specific. The cop questioned the company and said he would have to look it up. Now although I have insurance, apparently they have a system now where they can dispatch someone to call up your insurance carrier. At eight in the evening, mine was closed. Because the police officer couldn't verify my insurance carrier by phone, I was then taken in, and my car was towed. A friend had to come pick me up and the next day I saw a magistrate, where they dismissed my charge (failure to provide **VALID** insurance), and I was given a list of new insurance laws in Texas. I was disgusted when the judge said my car was impounded and I would STILL HAVE TO PAY to get it out. Although I did have insurance, because it could not be verified, I had to pay 175 dollars. It was a valid insurance card too! So I did some research, and here's what I could find:
...The first link applies predominantly to how these new laws affect insurance carriers, with ample information on specific rules and regulations. The second link is important, it's pretty vital info on what to expect in EARLY 2008. It states that there will be a vehicle insurance data verification system implemented sometime in 2008, so what's going on now?
I've never had such a problem in Travis county...and In Denton county, there's merely a warning.
The state needs to get organized. Every county has it's own reputation for harsh or easy penalties, but it seems like some are breaking their own laws. What do you think?
Friday, October 19, 2007
This is the article in which he talks about getting rid of the house of representatives because he's sick and tired of special interest groups funding corrupt politicians to do their bidding.
Basically, one man decided to risk everything... (his job, life, sanity i'm sure...) to live the dream of a working-man party.
We (the average Americans) have the opportunity to send mr. Cox one hundred dollars of our money, and fill out an online questionnaire. We then have the option of grouping together with other anti-house hopefuls to pick out leaders. These leaders will represent us and work their way up to getting on the ballots come November 08. This sure does sound like the system we already have in place....except instead of interest groups controlling the financing...a mildly psycho guy with a dream of leading a revolution get's to distribute wealth he calls "donations"...which are actually 100 dollar fee's. By the way, no rich white men, or lawyers, are allowed to hold candidacy.
Okay...this man is incredible. It's wonderful that he's making an effort...and kudos for putting the idea out there...but we live in a money-fueled, politically corrupt, interest only system where rich people rule and normal people get to bite the bullet. But....I'd rather live here with a couple of flaws than in Russia or Palestine. Wouldn't you agree? I think that it's also a bit hypocritical to assume that just because someone is rich they are going to heed to interest groups. There are, believe it or not, successfull politicians out there who aren't corrupt, and why not use all this energy on working with what we already have?
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I for one had never been there until college, and believe it or not, not very many people know spanish. In fact, when you're born and raised in a place like San Antonio, or south Texas, it's almost like Northern Texas is a different state, far away from the border.
So it didn't surprise me when I read an article in Dallas Morning News regarding Immigration reform and the City of Irving, TX. Here is the article:
And here is my favorite quote:
"Our government has not kept to its oath to protect us from invasion," Ms. Towell said.
This was a woman referring to an invasion of Mexicans coming to steal all of the jobs away that she would probably never allow her children to work anyway. It reminds me of someone deathly afraid of a literal alien invasion....without remembering to think..."hey, these are people too..."
So basically there was a rally on a Criminal Alien Program that catches illegal aliens and if suspicious, they are then given to the feds. The article states that this is a controversial program has already turned 11% of it's criminals over to the federal government for suspicion of being illegally in the country. A few days prior there was a huge rally against the program and the following days there were phone calls from supporters in response. I think it's particularly interesting that at this rally saturday the few dozen supporters were waving American Flags, freaking out over an influx of people who (God Forbid) don't speak English.
The one important and positive aspect of this article is that the program it speaks of has already been on the agenda for years, we just haven't enforced it. I do give Irving props for working on programs that are already intact as oppose to wasting tax dollars on new programs Texans can't afford.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
The San Antonio Express News reported in this article:
that apparently two memos have surfaced that show white house approval for the use of torture tactics when interrogating terror suspects.
I have three major issues with this:
We live in a free society where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If we are then torturing terror "suspects" that are not yet proven guilty, technically speaking, the United States is torturing "innocent" people. I like to think I live in a much more developed country than one that would treat people as such before knowing the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, right?
Second, didn't we resolve this torture issue years ago? When Guantanamo Bay came under attack there was a giant "no torture" agreement that obviously has no meaning when it comes to our wonderful government.
Third problem, and uber disturbing piece of information found in this article was this little ditty:
"The memos were disclosed in Thursday's editions of The New York Times, which reported that the first 2005 legal opinion authorized the use of head slaps, freezing temperatures and simulated drownings, known as waterboarding, while interrogating terror suspects, and was issued shortly after then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales."
Drowning someone in a tank of water to gain information. That's great, let's give them potential brain damage, and then expect our suspect to give us legitimate, concise information. Are you serious? These are "Alias" style techniques that are unrealistic and sometimes fatal. I don't know what's worse....being waterboarded or having to listen to the pathetic excuses given by our politicians for why they do the sick things they do.