Friday, May 14, 2010

RE: Bringing Public Eyes in Justice

My fellow classmate Tuyen Doan found some interesting information in her article on this topic, especially what the new law entails and what its consequences are. I'd have to agree with her outlook on the topic: It should CERTAINLY motivate abusers to stop. If any of these abusers were in their right minds (which I can't depend on, obviously... there's got to be something up if they feel battering their spouse or children is EVEN an option) they would be able to "weigh the scale" so to speak and see just how much hardship their actions can bring them. With a first offense fine of 4 grand, and up to a year in prison... Much less the two-to-ten year sentencing and up to 10,000 fine if the prosecutors choose to categorize it as a second or third degree felony. How can an abuser be stupid enough to think they won't eventually be found out? Seriously. Someone will have a bruise to show for what's been done to them, and guess what? Someone's going to ask: "what happened?" I know I would...

I completely agree with Tiffany's closing statements about hating these individuals that abuse women and children. Women and children are two of the things to be MOST cherished in this life. Only a truly weak individual would ever see harming them as an option. Idiots.

- Camron

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Police: Man pretended to be officer, stayed at woman's house

Haha! I was perusing the Statesman once more to find an interesting article to write on and came across this gold mine... A man arrested for impersonating an officer and his story. The story was covered by Isadora Vail for the Austin American Statesman, (published online on 4/28/10) directed toward anyone who thumbs through the general weekly news section. I found it pretty entertaining.

A 57 year-old man by the name Lance Henington was arrested last week for impersonating a public servant, (which is a third-degree felony) and was jailed with a 15,000 dollar bail. Ouch. The report says he arrived by taxi at a woman's apartment in northwest Austin, as she was speaking to police about her stolen vehicle. After they left, he convinced her he was an "undercover" cop working on a larger case that might lead to the retrieval of her stolen vehicle. He stated that it was a dangerous case and that he'd need to stay with her to ensure her safety. Yikes.

One of the funniest parts of the write-up was this:

One of the neighbors had become suspicious on the legitimacy of his identity and approached him about the case, trying to get more information. He merely stated that he was working for the CIA, and was above the law. Shortly thereafter, he asked for a beer. Hahaha! He stayed with the woman for a few days last week, until she became suspicious during one of his trips to the courthouse (with her rental car, nonetheless) to work on "paperwork" for the case. She called the police department and they interviewed him upon his return...

Turns out he was never an officer, or was affiliated in any way with the department. He was a convicted felon, charged with spousal assault in 2007. Luckily no one was harmed in this man's shenanigans.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Re: Religion in the Classroom

I've decided to comment on a colleague's work with a topic I have a pretty strong stance on. Thanks to a great article by Michael Armatino, I've got a good foundation to expand upon.

The article is about religion being taught in schools, and whether or not to use it. Obviously, this is a touchy subject, and I certainly don't want to "step on anyone's toes" so to speak... So, I'll merely give my view on the topic and include some of the counter arguments to help see everything for what it is.

I'll start by saying: although I value my mind's "perfect world" and everything that would go on if it were to play out as I wish it would, life truly doesn't work that way... and I would never expect it to. That said, I truly wish there were a way that religion could be taught in schools. I won't even go into what type or anything like that... It's merely the morality and virtue that a religion can bring to its followers (if they are truly dedicated) that I want the world to have and be more in tune with. In recent years, I've steadily watched the world decline over-all, to where decency and honesty seem to have become things of the past. We live in an indulgent, impatient society where instant gratification is a must, and things, more often than not, lack the values that our country was originally founded on. I suppose all I'm trying to say is that society in general could use a big shot of "goodness" into its meanderings to straighten it out a bit. Wouldn't you agree?

I have no idea why a Britney Spears lyric is screaming to be written here, as I'm certainly not a follower... but in one of her more recent songs you may have heard on the radio has this lyric in one of its verses: "Are you in? Living in sin is the new thing." And to be honest, it seems that this does tend to be how people feel these days. I think things could use a turn in the other direction.

That was my view on the subject. Of course parents and family members have the responsibility to bring up their children the way they feel is right, as Mr. Armatino said in his article. I'd just venture to say that it could do many some good to incorporate even more into the mix. School would be a great outlet to use...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

With Liberty and Health Care for All...

For this post, I decided to talk about my take on the new health care reform bill recently voted in by president Obama, and how it effects us.

I understand the need for health care... Things like illness and accidents (etc) happen in life. Health care provides a way to get the treatments and surgical procedures one may need should anything ever happen. However, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this statement, I DO NOT feel that it is right in ANY way to force the American citizen, (Texans in our case) to have to pay for it or face severe penalty otherwise. Information I've found online states that in 2007-2008 about 44% of Texas did not have health care. I'd deduce that 44% has a decent or valid reason for not paying the price of health care, wouldn't you? Whether it be barely making ends meet in the current economy, or what have you... many working class Texans struggle from month to month just to pay the rent. Now these people will have to pay for the Government's mistakes in the way of budgeting and spending by way of health care. I feel that it's an individual's choice how they are to spend their dollar, and the government shouldn't change anything or add any additional requirements to what we already have to pay. I feel behind enough, most of the time. The bill doesn't go into act fully until 2014, and one can only hope that by that time Texans will be prepared enough to undertake the new costs we'll have to face.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Counting Same Sex Couples...

For this assignment, I found a short, but interesting read from the "Off The Kuff" blog link above...The article's audience would be anyone interested in information on gay marriage, or the like. The topic is the recent inclusion of same-sex couples/marriages in the 2010 U.S. Census. A touchy subject, indeed. The author Charles Kuffner gave a pretty open stance on the topic in the close by stating that it's "just data" and doesn't really show any significance. I'd have to disagree with him here... It's got a lot more under-lying meaning, obviously, or it wouldn't have come about to begin with. The homosexual community are proud of the way they are, and want to be recognized as such. Putting it on the U.S. Census is one method to let everyone know how serious they are about what they do, and how they want to be acknowledged. Due to my stance religiously, I'm obviously against homosexuality as a whole... But, it's also not my job to judge this population or condemn them. If they want to be recognized in this way, they should have the right to. However, they are also the ones that must deal with whatever consequences it may bring to do so.

He also went on to say that he's glad there were no "professionally homophobic" entries from the Census Bureau to down-play it or remain ignorant on the topic. He felt that the Census Bureau shouldn't be in the business of telling people whether or not they are what they claim to be. This statement I agree with to some degree... The homosexual community is what it is and has become more widely accepted over the recent years. (Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your personal view.) People who are well informed on politics (and the government in general) follow ALL avenues and current topics... gay marriage being one of them, of course. Then again, some people simply choose to ignore or avoid the topic, which I completely understand as well. If you feel uncomfortable with a topic for whatever reason, be it religious or what have you, you are not required to participate in a discussion on it, or stand up against it. It's up to you as an individual how you want to follow (or not follow) politics.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

~Austin police take steps toward curbing use of force~

I found this interesting article today in the editorial section of the Austin American Statesman, and decided to write on it. The writer's name is unlisted, (and therefore I have no idea the credibility of his or her work) but I'd have to agree with the statements made in the article for the most part. This article is targeted to the entire Austin area, with a special emphasis on those who care about the Austin Police Department and its current affairs.

The writer talks about the recent adherence to 161 new suggestions by the A.P.D. as far as the use of "excessive force" or police brutality is concerned. In recent years, the department has gotten a definite reputation for being too harsh or excessively forceful in containing convicts... even to the point of being noticed by the Bush administration on a national level. In 2004 figures were made public showing that excessive force was twice as likely to happen to African-American citizens and 25% to Hispanics, which finally brought the issue to the forefront.

Although some officers (and citizens alike, for that matter) have attempted to down-play the truths of what was occurring, these 161 new suggestions that will be implicated into the current police code are a step in the right direction, most say. I feel that the statement made near the end of the article says it best: "No one is suggesting that officers not use force if there is no alternative." This I completely agree with. In some cases, if the suspect absolutely WILL NOT cooperate and is beginning to be a danger to those in the surrounding area, you have to do what is necessary to contain them. "Excessive force" included. A few scrapes or bruises on the suspect from a forceful take-down are immeasurably better than the possible loss of a loved one. I found this article quite interesting, check it out.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2/11/2010 State officials consider closing prisons...

I came across this article on the Austin American Statesman website today and thought it was a pretty insightful read on what could be in store for Texas:

The article opens by bringing to attention the fact that Texas has the largest prison system in the United States, as well as the reputation for being the most "law-and-order" in terms of sentencing and such. It then breaks the news that Texas may face what is possibly one of the greatest budget cuts in it's time... with an estimated 300 million in cuts this year is the prison system alone. Some great arguments/opposing views were presented in the article, one of which states: "We certainly can't compromise public safety, and I'm opposed to closing prisons just to save a buck." Definitely something to think about...