Friday, September 08, 2006
Issues Column: America Came Together after 9/11
Barbara Ann Radnofsky candidate for the US Senate
September 8, 2006 Honoring the anniversary of 9/11 Americans stood in line to donate blood, long after they were told no more blood could be stored. And they still stood in line. Americans wanted to give, they wanted to give of themselves. Everyone wanted to help. We still stand ready and willing to be called upon to help.
Americans are ready to serve their nation in this time of crisis and turmoil. Americans stand ready to help with implementation of a national energy policy that will free us of foreign oil dependence. We stand ready to step forward for our country’s safety and security.
Our government must recommit to our military and veterans' needs, including protective equipment on the battlefield and medical care when our soldiers return. These common sense steps will strengthen our ability to recruit and rebuild our military, and will enhance our military’s effectiveness as a deterrent.
We must honor our commitment to first responders, emergency personnel, and health care providers, and we must build a health care system able to respond to natural disasters as well as man-made attacks. The existence of such a health care system will deter bio-terror, reduce loss of life in a disaster or attack, and build a stronger, healthier America.
America came together after 9-11, and we can do it again.
Barbara Ann Radnofsky US Senate 2006
Barbara Ann Radnofsky US Senate 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Report: Texas failing in higher education affordability
08:56 AM CDT on Thursday, September 7, 2006
HOUSTON - Sending a student to a public university costs low- to middle-income families in Texas almost half of their annual earnings, according to a report released Thursday.
Full report (highereducation.org)
The nonprofit, nonpartisan National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gave the Lone Star State an "F" for higher education affordability. The state also received low grades for its college enrollment numbers and degree completion rates.
"Texas' underperformance in educating its young population could limit the state's access to a competitive work force and weaken its economy over time," the report card concluded.
For state legislators and education leaders, the report echoes what they already know.
"It's a very real threat to the state," said Ray Grasshoff, spokesman for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which advises the Legislature. Without an educated work force, the state will see personal incomes and quality of life drop, and demand on social services jump, he said.
Other findings of the report include:
-- 14 percent of students complete a certificate or degree; Texas' higher education graduation rate is lower than those of the Czech Republic and Hungary
-- a third of high school students are likely to enroll in college by age 19, an improvement for Texas but still low when compared to other states
-- adult whites are more than twice as likely to have a bachelor's degree than nonwhites; this is one of the widest gaps in the country
-- 36 percent of young adult whites are enrolled in higher education, versus 26 percent of nonwhites
"The good news," Grasshoff said, "is that it's not a secret and we're out there doing some things."
The state, for example, created the Texas Grant program for needy students who take college preparation courses in high school. However, Texas doesn't have enough money to award every student who qualifies, so this year, it started accepting private donations to the fund, Grasshoff said.
Texas has made progress in enrolling more students in colleges and universities, but it hasn't made much progress in the numbers of Hispanics, the largest minority group in the state, Grasshoff added. "That's a very big concern across the state."
Democratic Sen. Royce West, who serves on the state Legislature's higher education subcommittee, said he was very disappointed in Texas' performance.
"What it comes down to is whether we're going to prioritize higher education, not just in words but also in our deeds," said West, of Dallas.
The state hasn't kept its promises to make college more affordable. hasn't aligned its high school and college curriculums and hasn't figured out why students are dropping out, he added.
As the population changes, higher education has to change with it, West said. If minorities aren't represented in universities' leadership it will be difficult to understand the perspectives and meet the challenges of minority groups, he said.
Terry's Comment: Most everybody knows about this situation, but the Republicans that control most all the state offices are too busy lauding their education programs for our youngsters to take any time to check out actual facts of how things are going in Texas education.
I just discovered another thing our Republican Legistlature and Governor piled on us while patting themselves on the back. CBS 42 found out a convicted sexual predator was not allowed to register with the Hutto Police Department. It seems the legistlature wrote, and, the governor okayed, a law that convicted sexual predators who move here to Texas from another state do not have to register.
Terry D. Barhorst Sr.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
September 6 1972 -- Islamic Terrorism
I just want to make the point that terrorism by Islamic groups is nothing new. Nixon was already embroiled in Vietnam and did little about the Black September group in 1972, though messages were intercepted that American airplanes were to be blown up.
Terrorism can never be destroyed or completely defeated because it isn't a place, or a nation, it is individuals and small radical groups that decide they are going to hurt the huge entities with which they disagree.
Please read the document to the left of my words. It was written exactly 34 years before I decided to write this small essay.
Terry D. Barhorst Sr.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
U.S. & Coalition Deaths In Iraq
Extended Brigade Suffers Casualty
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
Tue Sep 5, 5:07 PM ET
WASHINGTON - The Army brigade whose year-long tour of duty in Iraq was extended by the Pentagon last month just as the soldiers were beginning to return home has suffered its first death since taking on the extra duty.
The Pentagon on Tuesday announced the death of Staff Sgt. Eugene H.E. Alex, 32, of Bay City, Mich. He was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade, from Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
Click here to read the rest of article.
Terry's Comment: The Republicans can now truthfully say that military personnel sent to Iraq are not being sent to a Vietnam type war. In Vietnam, if you made three-sixty-five alive you were on your way back to the world.
Terry D. Barhorst Sr.
Former soldiers begin anti-Bush demonstration in Washington
Former soldiers begin anti-Bush demonstration in Washington Tue Sep 5, 3:06 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Former soldiers and parents of Americans fighting in Iraq opened anti-war, anti-Bush "Camp Democracy" in the heart of Washington, a demonstration planned to last several weeks.
After spending early August near President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and the end of the month at his family retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine, the protesters set up camp in the US capital between the Congress building and the White House.
Started by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, "Camp Democracy" will welcome pacifists, Democratic lawmakers, union leaders, environmentalists, feminists and those fighting for immigrants' rights.
Five tents will be open until at least September 21 for panels, protests and press conferences.
Click here to read entire article.
Terry's Comment: Every day it's deja Vu for folks 50 and over. It seems like Americans like to pitch tents in Washington D.C. when they're trying to get a war stopped where Americans' deaths accomplish little and our troops are looked on more as occupiers than liberators.
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