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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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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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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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Conservative Coalitions of Yester-Year

They say History repeats itself, and this is best seen through the current events. They saw we were headed towards a great depression, and though this is bad for America, it created one of the best times for conservatives. This may be a very odd statement to say, but those “times that tried men’s souls” created urgency for conservatives to unite and stand against events that were occurring.

After the re-election of Roosevelt in 1936, he not only continued his already established new deal policy’s, btu began to form more. After his attempted court packing, many of his own party became disillusioned. These that strayed from the Fold were mostly Southern Democrats who found themselves without a side in the political battlefield. These were accepted into the Republican Party and created a conservative coalition. Led by a great conservative leader in Robert  A. Taft of Ohio, they stood up to Roosevelt and the new deal. Though outnumbered and beaten many times, the conservative coalition filibustered and fought as long as they could.

There were bad times when many conservatives were voted out, but they kept on the road. They were able to see till the rise of Reagan and the “Republican Revolution of ’94”. And though it may appear that the coalition has collapsed after the victory of Obama, I believe we are in a rebuilding mode. The base is solid as it ever has been, but we must build up support from those who straddle the fence to favor us.

The events that led to a conservative coalition being created are eerily similar to those that we are in: a liberal in president office, economic downturn, and excessive spending. These times of necessity demanded action, and the time has come for action today.

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Obama-Patient the New Doctor-Patient Relationship?

The most sacred and unique of all human relationships is that between the doctor and the patient. This bond is based on absolute, mutual trust and faith. Key ingredients are honest communication, reciprocal respect, moral principles, and, ultimately, truth. This relationship is the result of choice; one human freely and willingly chooses to seek medical help from another human, who must then agree freely and willingly to provide such service. In no other relationship does an individual so completely submit to another. In no other relationship does an individual so intimately enter into the body and soul of another. Which requires greater faith and courage, the patient that allows the physician to drill into his skull, filet open her flank, or saw open his chest, or the physician that precisely dissects the tumor from the brain, transfers a kidney from one human to another, or holds a heart in her hands to literally mend it?

While anyone can fill the role of patient, a rare few can fill the role of physician. American physicians have recently been demonized and disparaged by our new President and liberal federal government. Truth be known, physicians are among the most intelligent, hardworking, self-sacrificing, conscientious, innovative, compassionate, charitable, trusted, and faithful servants in our country. Physicians are motivated by good to serve others at great cost and sacrifice to themselves and their families. Physicians devote a minimum of twelve years after high school to education and incur almost insurmountable debt to acquire the required skill, knowledge, wisdom, and courage. Precious few possess the intellect, work ethic, value system, and other traits required to become a physician.  One might ask why any rational person would choose this profession; the answer is- it is a calling. Some of the best and the brightest feel called to serve others, and the primary goal is most certainly not financial gain. As with any profession, there are exceptions to the rule, and anecdotal cases exist of individuals who are not good physicians. Bad physicians are sanctioned or removed from the profession, and, most importantly, the patient has the choice to break the relationship and seek another physician at any time, at will. Conversely, the physician cannot freely leave the relationship at will.

Mr. Obama’s goal throughout his July 22nd press conference was to garner support for rushing through radical healthcare reform which will drastically increase government participation in healthcare. Mr. Obama stated that currently physicians can and will choose treatment for their patients based on financial reimbursement. He gave the example of the possibility that a physician who needed cash would choose to perform a tonsillectomy on a child rather than prescribe antibiotics for a sore throat. This is an appalling, unfounded accusation. Mr. Obama is not a physician and is not qualified to practice medicine. He is in no uncertain terms implying that his expanded government plan must be passed so that the government can dictate the treatment plan, because the physician might decide on treatment for the patient based predominantly on monetary gain. The government practicing medicine is a frightening and unethical prospect. It would be far better to have no healthcare coverage whatsoever than government controlled coverage, which empowers a group of nonmedical bureaucrats to dictate medical treatment. Mr. Obama might be surprised to discover that the Medicaid reimbursement to the surgeon for the tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy in a child is only $270.00 for a surgical procedure which carries the risk of hemorrhage and death. This absurdly low reimbursement most likely does not even cover the physician’s overhead. In fact, physicians routinely subsidize government insured patients with other income sources. While he is busy villainizing physicians, we are too busy, too overworked, and too perilously trusting to defend ourselves, naively clinging to the shred of faith that justice will prevail and good will conquer evil.  The very physicians he accuses of greed and targets to squeeze even further are routinely providing charity care to countless patients who are illegals or who simply cannot pay. Not only do physicians treat these patients without receiving any pay, in fact, we commonly have to come out of pocket to provide medical supplies such as sterile gloves, instruments, and suture to treat the uninsured. Physicians do this by choice as we seek to help the human in need, often at great personal sacrifice and medicolegal exposure. We do this of our own volition, because we are called to serve others. We are not primarily motivated by financial gain as Mr. Obama contends. Sadly, this is a concept foreign to many politicians.

Dear American citizens, do not believe what he is saying. It is not the truth. Why does he lie? He lies because he is incapable of knowing the truth. He is not a physician. He has never been the doctor part of the doctor patient relationship. The methods by which physicians practice medicine are completely counterintuitive to him, so there is no way he can understand that the physician will actually choose to do the right thing for the patient. The key ingredients for the doctor patient relationship are foreign to him: mutual trust and faith, honest communication, reciprocal respect, moral principles, and truth are as foreign to him as words from a language he has never heard spoken and therefore cannot comprehend.While he preaches hope and change, he is oblivious to truth and trust. The unquestioning faith a patient places in the physician, the bond, is not a bond politicians can relate to.  While a physician will provide medical care to patients for government established fees which do not even cover overhead, the politician or ruthless business person might instead choose to administer the anesthesia, crack the chest open, and then wake the patient up unanesthetized to renegotiate the fees before finishing with the surgery. The government must not be allowed to practice medicine.

The United States has the best healthcare system and the best physicians in the world. Medical miracles are performed and medical advances are occurring at exponential rates. Why are we recklessly changing the best healthcare system in the world and demonizing our doctors? Most Americans have health insurance, and most Americans are happy with it. Of those who do not have it, many choose not to or do not qualify because they are not United States Citizens. We are told there is a crisis: the system is broken and will bankrupt the country. In reality, the government run part is the part that is broken, in debt, and financially unsustainable. The privately run part is working and, in fact, is subsidizing the government run part. Why should we expand the broken part, the government run part? Medicare, Medicaid, Military Hospitals, and the Veterans’ Administration Hospital System are examples of the government run parts. Contrast Medicare, Medicaid, and the V.A. to the private insurance companies and, for example, the Mayo Clinic. It makes more sense to decrease or eliminate the broken, government part and expand the private part- the working part, the part that makes us the best in the world.

The inherent problem is that the physicians and the Washington bureaucrats cannot communicate. Their basic value systems and languages are different.  Which will it be? Care over cost or cost over care? Doctor-patient relationship or senator-patient relationship? Will the most sacred of all human relationships cease to exist as the U.S. federal government practices medicine? In this crisis driven pursuit of change for the sake of CHANGE, what do we HOPE to get in exchange for freedom of choice, free will, honesty, respect, morals, truth, trust and faith?  In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take away everything you have”. We must not allow the federal government to take over healthcare. If their consideration, understanding, and knowledge of their own bill is any indication of the way they will practice medicine, I shudder to think what will happen. Call and fax your congressmen. Act now.                                                                                                                               Sincerely,                                                                                                                                          Kristin Story Held, M.D.

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Obama Victory is a Call for Conservative Renewal

I’m just as disappointed as the next conservative about our country being taken in by a silver-tongued socialist. Class envy and white guilt ruled the day on Nov 4. I don’t want to hear anything about racism holding anyone back anymore.

But conservatives need to snap out of any anger or depression they might have and get to work. An Obama presidency and unified Democratic government is a golden opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the conservative cause. Probably a very painful one, but an opportunity nonetheless. This is our chance to communicate what real conservatism is, the movement that the Republican Party largely betrayed over the past 8 years for a variety of reasons.

How can we do it? Over the past year or so, I’ve come to realize that these elections and campaigns come and go, and much of the outcome is already predetermined by the political mood or culture of the country. It is up to us conservatives not only to change the mood and make the pendulum swing back but also to start now in laying the groundwork for cultural renewal. The American people may have regular mood swings as one party or another eventually abuses its power, but beyond these oscillations is the larger context of political culture. We must shape American culture in a more conservative direction.

How can we shape culture? The best answer is to ask how the Left has hijacked American culture over the last century or so. The Left took over the media, academia, and the arts & entertainment spheres of American life. These are the three great molders of culture. We conservatives have Christian churches on our side (for the most part), but that alone is not going to cut it if we want to see a conservative political future. So we need more conservative journalists, professors, teachers, writers, film-makers, artists, etc. These are the crucial “second-hand dealers in ideas” that Friedrich Hayek wrote about in the Road to Serfdom.

Culture is king. It precedes poltics. Change the culture and the politics will follow naturally. This is what the Left has known so well all along, starting with the Marxists. It is time we took a page out of their playbook and gave our conservative philosophy some institutional teeth.

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