Department of Student Activities or Department of Leftist Activities?

For some time now, the weekly email updates sent by the Texas A&M Department of Student Activities to the leaders of student organizations have contained an overwhelming amount of leftist events and programs.  The StuAct Weekly email sent today (click to see pdf) was no exception and even included a Coming Out Monologues Submission FormMost of the organizations receiving student fee money lean-to the left, and the adherence to viewpoint neutrality by the department is questionable.

Fortunately, our organization should be able to have events included in these emails in the future, and we hope to help bring about a balance to the activities students are urged to take part in.

Two weeks ago the Department of Student Activities sponsored and pushed “Social Justice Week” which included events such as “White Racial Frame, Past & Present” and leftist speakers like Jessica Pettitt.

Some highlights from this week’s email include:

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Reagan’s Birthday Celebration

The Texas Aggie Conservatives spent the day before President Reagan’s 99th Birthday handing out fliers, giving away cake, passing out Reagan pins, and celebrating the life of an amazing conservative.  Hundreds of students came by the event in the historic Academic Plaza at Texas A&M University.

The fliers informed students of the increased living standards, economic growth, job creation and charitable donations during President Reagan’s time in office. Students got a kick out of the event and enjoyed the free sugar boost on a grey Friday afternoon.

Watching the underclassmen members of the Corps of Cadets eating their cake sitting in the chairs we had around was particularly enjoyable; cadets are not allowed to eat standing up until their senior year. The passersby were happy to witness an Aggie Corps of Cadets tradition, and it put a smile on everyone’s faces.

The event introduced students to Reagan, and they learned how conservative policies improve the lives of all Americans!

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Hopenhagen Socialism: "Change the f***ing system"

One would think that the agenda for most of the activists at COP 15 (the UN Climate Change Conference) was to “save the planet” from “global warming”.  However, that’s not why tens of thousands gathered to protest on December 12, 2009.  For the leftist activists, COP 15 and the protest was about changing the system (aka ending capitalism). Climate change is merely an excuse to collapse capitalism and switch to socialists economic systems.

You don’t have to take my word on this…  I’ll let you hear it straight from the lion’s mouth.  This video was taken during the protest in Copenhagen.  WARNING: this video does contain some graphic language.


The chant “Take action, take action, and change the f***ing system” could be heard from several groups during the protest.

Many of the mass distributed posters had sayings such as “CHANGE THE POLITICS NOT THE CLIMATE” and “PLANET NOT PROFIT” showing the true purpose of the global warming movement.


If that wasn’t enough, the “Never Trust a Cop” crowd posted the following video.  “Never Trust a Cop” was made up of mostly members the Black Bloc – an extremely radical (and violent) group (these are the people that got arrested during the protest).  They believe that COP 15 actually promotes capitalism! More on this group in future posts.

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Fall 2009 Election Guide

Vote YES to END Red Light Cameras!

Vote YES to END Red Light Cameras!

Red light cameras are not the only important issue in this election. On November 3, voters will be able to influence policy at the local, state and national level with their votes on key issues. We encourage you to vote as follows in the upcoming election, and to bring this guide with you into the election booth:

Proposition 1: NO

This constitutional amendment would allow the state and local governments to raise taxes to build support infrastructure to military bases. This measure is justified by supporters as a way to keep military bases in towns, but it is really just an excuse to raise taxes. Military bases are in the domain of the federal government, as are any roads and infrastructure necessary for their continued operation. This amendment will raise property taxes if passed.

Proposition 2: YES

This constitutional amendment allows the legislature to prevent cities from increasing the taxable value on land when residence is not considered the “highest and best use” of said land. For instance, if a corporation were buying up land in a city for gentrification and increasing neighborhood land values, they would not be able to drive people off of their property by radically increasing the taxes paid by property owners. This amendment would provide protection to property owners in Texas.

Proposition 3: YES

This constitutional amendment would ensure that smaller jurisdictions in Texas valued their land in a consistent manner. Currently, counties or other tax appraisal districts use different metrics in determining the taxable value of property. A uniform standard across Texas would provide protection to taxpayers.

Proposition 4: NO

This constitutional amendment would give $513 million to a National Research University Fund. This fund would attempt to increase some Texas universities to Tier 1 status. Texas A&M and the University of Texas would be banned from receiving these funds. We oppose this amendment not because it would give Tier 1 status to competing universities, but because it is a waste of the taxpayers’ money. Colleges should receive as much money as possible from donors and tuition. It is also a mistake to change the focus of Texas universities from the goal of education to that of research.

Proposition 5: NO

This constitutional amendment would allow two or more adjoining tax appraisal districts to merge into one unit. This is detrimental to the citizens of those jurisdictions because it removes the burden of accountability from the members of the appraisal review boards. This is to the disadvantage of the taxpayer.

Proposition 6: NO

This constitutional amendment would allow the Veterans’ Land Board to write more public debt to fund low-interest loans for military veterans without approval from the state legislature. While we support measures to help the veterans who serve so selflessly to protect our freedoms, we do not want to grant the VLB the power to write public debt with no oversight.

Proposition 7: YES

This constitutional amendment would allow members of the Texas State Guard and other active military force organized under state law to be civil servants and hold government jobs. While we do not support the expansion of government jobs, we do not want to unfairly prevent qualified men and women from holding those jobs simply because they have chosen to join the military.

Proposition 8: NO

This constitutional amendment would authorize the state to appropriate money to VA hospitals in Texas. For obvious reasons, we are against the state government appropriating any money to entities of the federal government, including the VA.

Proposition 9: NO

This constitutional amendment would strengthen the Open Beaches Act. This act has allowed the Texas government to seize the property of anyone whose property, due to forces natural or otherwise, is a certain distance past the line of vegetation on the Texas coast. This act was directly responsible for the loss of many homes in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. The law needs to be struck from the books as soon as possible; this amendment might enshrine it in the state constitution forever.

Proposition 10: NO

This constitutional amendment would allow the governing boards of emergency service districts (for instance, hospital districts) to serve for up to four years at a time, an increase from the two years they serve currently. Since these boards have the power to increase taxes, any increase in term length would weaken the accountability they have to their voters and taxpayers.

Proposition 11: YES

This constitutional amendment would protect landowners from the increased powers of eminent domain recently conferred upon local and state governments by the Kelo v. New London Supreme Court decision. Under this decision, governments have the power to seize blighted land because the new owners would raise more property taxes for the city. This amendment would remove that power and, in so doing, provide protection to landowners in Texas.  This amendment strengthens private property rights.

Red Light Camera Referendum: vote YES to ban red light cameras

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Chet Edwards Town Hall–August 26

From our perspective, the town hall was an enormous success. Even though printed signs and recording devices were banned, we made signs in line at the event and ensured that the voices of those who do not want the government to take over our healthcare system were heard. The questioning was carried out fairly and honestly; by our count, of the twenty questions asked, 13 were explicitly against the H.R. 3200 bill, 5 were for it, and two were undecided or asked questions that were not directly related to the bill.

Obama supporters hold up supposedly banned printed signs

Obama supporters hold up supposedly banned printed signs

Congressman Edwards himself showed up right on time but was not greeted by a standing ovation as has been reported elsewhere. It is true that many supporters stood to greet him, but they were the minority of those attending. In the minutes leading up to the event, our group and other concerned citizens held up signs and a “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. These signs ranged from criticisms of “Chedwards” to criticisms of the reform package in general (“Obamacare is assisted SEIU-icide”). Edwards answered most of the questions as we expected: he dodged many, twisted some statements into things they were not, and used the entire thing as a campaign event. He must have mentioned the VA clinic in Bryan that he has “saved” after every election about ten times. When asked whether he saw himself as a delegate or a trustee, he answered that he was a “representative.” He kept his cool until near the end, when he was visibly angered at the accusation that he was “allowed” by Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to vote against Cap & Trade. While we would like to take him at his word, it is very suspicious that he was the second to last person to vote on the bill. Had the bill’s passage rested on his vote, would he have voted differently?

Chet Edwards insists that he has not yet decided how he will vote on this bill. He also made it clear that he had not yet read it during the town hall. Now is the time to make calls and pressure him to vote now. You can call his Brazos Valley office at (979) 691-8797. Make it clear that if he votes for this monstrosity, you will not vote for him in November of 2010.

Obamacare is Assisted SEIU-icide

Obamacare is Assisted SEIU-icide

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No printed signs, no video recording, will there be free speech?

While Chet Edwards has agreed to three town hall meetings in the coming weeks, it is questionable if these will allow constituents to fully express their opinions about healthcare reform.

On Edward’s website, it states that:   “No printed signs, electronic or recording devices will be permitted.”

If Chet Edwards is so confident, why is he not allowing recording devices?  Might someone ask a question that he can’t answer?  Will someone expose him for what he is: a liberal democrat career politician?  What is he so afraid of that constituents can’t record a government official at a program paid for by the public?  Seems like Chet is at it again to limit your rights.

Edwards told KBTX on Aug 21 that he has not yet made up his mind how he will vote on this bill.  Common sense citizens must show up at these meetings to let Chet know that HR 3200 is not what District 17 wants.

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Three Myths About Health Reform

One thing all Americans can agree on is that it is important for health care to be affordable and accessible to the maximum number of people. Since the Obama Administration and Congress began work on health insurance reform, there has been a vigorous debate about the best way to cover the maximum number of people. Many facts and ideas have been advanced by both sides that have little basis in reality; here I attempt to find the truth about three issues in this important national conversation.


47 million uninsured Americans?

According to the Census Bureau’s 2008 figures, the number of Americans who do not have health insurance is now 47 million(1), an amount that has been steadily rising over the past few decades. Many proponents of reform point to this number as evidence of a serious health problem in this country, but it does not tell the whole story. Over the past ten years, 90% of the growth in the number of uninsured has been among non-citizens, mostly illegal immigrants(2). Furthermore, it has been estimated that 25% of America’s uninsured are already eligible for existing public coverage (ACORN should really work on signing these people up) and 20% are able to afford health insurance but choose not to buy(3).

We cannot assume uninsured noncitizens, who account for 9.7 million of the uninsured(4), do not fall into either of the two above groups. This means that there are really anywhere between 16.2 and 25.9 million uninsured US citizens who do not have access to coverage.

Health insurance is a necessity?

One often repeated fallacy in this debate is that in order to be healthy, one must have health insurance. This is not the case. If a person has enough money to pay for any health issue that arises, he should not have insurance at all. On an infinite timeline, a person will pay more to an insurance company than will be spent on his own health, since the company wants to make a profit. Even the government, which does not work for a profit, will have to spend extra money on administrative costs. We buy insurance because, in the real world, most people do not have that kind of money and only have 78.1 years to live(5). An insurance company spreads the risk of a catastrophic accident among a large group of people so that, instead of a few paying exorbitant sums for chance occurrences, everybody pays a guaranteed smaller sum. Unfortunately, modern health insurance has moved away from that concept and toward total coverage of all health expenses, even routine doctor visits. By definition, an expense that is “routine” should not be covered by an insurance company! This would be like having car insurance that paid for the gas bills.


One real solution to rising health costs would be to encourage plans that only cover catastrophic expenses. A young, healthy student who does not smoke might only be charged $29 per month for such a plan(6). Of course, the plan would have a very high deductible, but it would encourage people to shop for the best deals in primary care and routine visits without having to worry about going bankrupt after being diagnosed with cancer. Indeed, many doctors’ offices give lower rates to people who do not use insurance because they do not have to spend time filing with the insurance companyvand because patients can negotiate for lower rates(7).


Incidentally, the House health reform bill would make all individual, private insurance plans, including high-deductible, catastrophic care plans, illegal(8).


Tort reform will decrease costs?

In conservative circles, the establishment of caps on the award judgments from medical malpractice lawsuits, also known as tort reform, has been advanced as a solution to high health costs. In some ways, this is a good idea. Civil courts exist for the sole purpose of the redress of grievances; to include punitive damages in malpractice judgments unfairly skews the court system in the favor of plantiffs. If a doctor does damage to a person that costs a million dollars to repair, the doctor (or his insurance company) should pay a million dollars to the plantiff, plus court costs. It would be unfair to award the plantiff three million in punitive damages, but it would also be unfair for a law to limit the judgment to $500,000.


While common sense would dictate that low award caps would decrease the cost of medical visits since doctors have to charge more to cover malpractice insurance, experience shows that this is not the case. The cost of medical malpractice suits only comes to half a percent of overall health spending(9). According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 1.5% of cases of negligence even lead to a claim, and there is “no statistically significant difference in per capita health care spending between states with and without limits on malpractice torts”(10). The real problem with torts is the high legal expense. The most effective reform would be a “loser pays” rule: it would discourage people from filing frivolous lawsuits, but decrease awards by allowing lawsuit winners to keep the entirety of their awards.

Sources:

  1. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/567737

  2. http://www.ebri.org/pdf/notespdf/EBRI_Notes_08-20081.pdf

  3. http://www.healthaffairs.org/RWJ/Dubay2.pdf

  4. http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/07/20/daily34.html

  5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

  6. http://www.studentdoc.com/affordable-health-insurance.html

  7. http://www.insure.com/articles/healthinsurance/haggling.html

  8. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/07/16/ibd-individual-private-health-insurance-illegal-under-house-bill

  9. http://www.slate.com/id/2145400/

  10. http://www.justaskourdoctors.com/statistics-detail.asp?id=11

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