Trans-Pacific Partnership hidden from the public
Feb25

Trans-Pacific Partnership hidden from the public

The attacks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement between the United States and 11 other countries. It is one of the largest free trade agreements the U.S. has ever been involved in. Pundits describe it as NAFTA on steroids. Unlike NAFTA, the majority of the American public is unaware of its existence or any of the concessions in the agreement. There has been some media coverage of the negotiations but it is incredibly limited because the negotiations have been done in secret. The website for the U.S. Trade Representative had a few press releases and fact sheets with scant information, but the working draft of the TPP remains classified to the public. Segments of the document have been censored from Congress. The most comprehensive source of information about the TPP has been from Wikileaks. Rep. Alan Grayson and Rep. Elizabeth Warren have both openly criticized the lack of transparency. Warren even voted against the nomination of Michael Froman as the U.S. trade representative ambassador. She said, “I am voting against Mr. Froman’s nomination later today because I believe we need a new direction from the Trade Representative–A direction that prioritizes transparency and public debate.” This document is a free trade agreement, and its transparency should not jeopardize national security. There is no justifiable reason for Congress and the American public to be kept out of the loop. In addition to being classified, the TPP has been fast-tracked, which means that Congress can only vote to approve or disapprove the bill. Representatives cannot amend any of the bill or even attempt a filibuster. The absolute duplicity of the executive branch of government is astonishing. They are attempting to fast-track a bill about free trade that they claim will open up borders while keeping the American public and Congress in the dark. Instead of elected officials exercising their constitutional rights, the USTR and advisory committees, consisting of representatives from different corporations, are determining the future of American foreign trade. Political commentator and activist Noam Chomsky described the TPP as an executive agreement jointly with multinational corporations. Information from the leaked chapters of the TPP shows that several provisions will be made to enhance the power of multinational corporations. One provision being discussed is extending medical patents beyond 20 years. Another provision is to increase restrictions on the fair use of intellectual property. There is no way the American public or even Congress would accept the TPP if they knew all of the included terms. This is why the agreement has been censored. Chomsky said, “This is being rammed down the throats of the populations of the world by...

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Baseball fever is back in Belton
Feb11

Baseball fever is back in Belton

Ben Shipp returns for his second season as head coach for the Crusader baseball team.  Shipp said he is eager to coach this young team after losing six seniors last year. “It’s a challenge, and there is so much to cover. However, I’m not concerned by the youth as much as excited about the talent this team possesses.” Shipp is thankful for his seniors, as they helped the new coaches adapt to the Crusader atmosphere. He said fans should keep an eye out for new players such as Tripp Reeves, Alex Smith and KJ Stark. He believes these three players have a lot to offer the team and is excited to see their future performance. Shipp is confident in the team’s speed and depth, and thinks it will provide Crusader fans with a different style of game due to the power behind their bats. He said, “The key to winning games this year will be consistency in pitching.” Junior left-handed pitcher, Ian Ekery, said, “This year’s baseball team is very young after the loss of six seniors last year, creating a learning atmosphere throughout the beginning of the season.” Although the team is full of younger players, Ekery believes it will be a lot stronger defensively. He is an exercise and sport science major and plans to pursue a career in physical therapy. Ekery wears the number 16 in honor of famous Yankee pitcher, Whitey Ford. Ekery prides himself on his change-up pitch. But he also has a number of other pitches that he has worked on in the off-season. Senior right-handed closer, Danny Horstman, believes he “should set an example in leading the young team” as one of only three seniors this year. Horstman wears the number 7 on the field in honor of his favorite player, Craig Biggio, a retired second baseman for the Astros. Horstman  also majors in exercise and sport science in hopes of pursuing a career in physical therapy after graduation. The two veteran Crusader pitchers believe the key to winning games this year will be the team’s defensive strength and ability to advance the runners. After finishing last season with an even 21 and 21 record, Shipp is confident the team will finish higher in the standings this conference season. The Crusaders, ranked sixth out of 12 in the pre-season conference, will take Red Murff Field in all new uniforms for their first home game Feb. 28, as they take on last year’s ASC champions, the Patriots of UT Tyler. The Crusaders are talented across the board but putting it all together will be the key focus for this year’s team. Last year ...

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Campus Police to install new safety equipment
Feb11

Campus Police to install new safety equipment

You’re running down Crusader Way at 10 p.m. feeling pretty safe, because of the newly installed lights.  As you come to the end of your first mile, you see a shadowy figure reach out to grab you from the train tracks. What do you do? You could attempt to fight and run away, but where do you run? Before this happens, there are some preventative measures every student can take to be proactive in personal safety. The university is taking new steps to help protect students against campus crime. “If you do run by yourself, which we don’t suggest, carry your cell phone,” Chief of Police Gary Sargent said. “If you don’t take a cell phone, stop an officer on patrol or use one of the ten emergency call boxes.” Sargent said it’s also important to make yourself visible to others. “Definitely wear bright colored clothes so you stand out when you’re running in hours of darkness. Choose your paths, and stay in the lighted areas of campus with sidewalks rather than running on the streets,” he said. The university will bring a variety of new safety equipment to campus in the near future. “Our push right now is to install the interiors of campus with cameras that we can monitor,” Sargent said. “As we approach the end of the semester, we will probably have 128 cameras online.” The university has taken many steps to protect students from all matters of danger. Some of these measures include having police available 24 hours, and the installation of light poles around campus. Currently, the school is seeking to install card scanners on every building across campus. This is being done to help prevent individuals from gaining access to buildings in which they shouldn’t be. “We exist to reduce opportunities for crimes to occur on campus. We do that a lot of different ways — utilizing the technology and personal resources available to us,” Sargent said. “Our goal… is to put a card scanner on every building on campus. We are currently in the process of putting a card scanner on the Meyer Christian Studies Center. That installation is going to probably cost $20,000 or more.” Even with the presence of campus police, crime on campus still continues to occur. “The police have done a really great job at making our campus safe,” freshman music education major Stephen Price said. “From personal experience, I have had my Xbox stolen, and the campus police responded immediately. They helped me file a report and investigated the problem.” With the university continually growing, campus police face new challenges to meet the demand for public safety....

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Mother joins children to continue family education
Jan29

Mother joins children to continue family education

THE BELLS — It’s one thing to sit back, watch your kids walk across the stage, look directly at you and mouth “I did it, mom.” It’s quite another to personally hand them their ticket to adulthood. Denise Berg, UMHB’s admissions and recruiting coordinator, was able to be on stage and share the commencement moment with her daughter, recent alumna Sami Berg.   Throughout high school, going off to college is the dream of escaping from parents into a realm of independence. Going off to college with your mom, who also attends classes, isn’t quite as ideal for most. “I had always thought I’d go to school somewhere farther away, but honestly I’m glad I didn’t,” confessed Sami Berg. “I saw all my friends driving three to four hours just to see their family, wasting time on the road. I never had to. I was half an hour away from mine. Home really is where the heart is.” The mother-daughter duo have shared classes together, as has the son. “We had criminal investigations,” sophomore accounting major Andrew Berg said. “She sat right in front of me, but the class was normal. Sure, having my mom in my class might be weird, but it helped me stay focused.” As a college student, letting things slip away from you at school can hard to manage at times. Having someone, especially your mom, to help make sure to keep your head in the game and remind you what will be due, could be nice and save a little money on planners, if you’re into those kinds of things. “Going to school with my mom wasn’t too bad,” he said. “Actually it kind of helped to keep my head on straight and do my work.” Andrew wasn’t the only Berg who had a class with his mom. Sami Berg shared a class with their mom as well. “My mother and I shared a whopping three classes together last semester,” she said. “I know — holy Batman —  but it was great. My mom has always kept me together when I’m falling apart.” The siblings and parent shared a classroom on Tuesday nights last semester. Lined up like ducks in a row, they stayed focused together. Denise Berg is the admissions and recruiting coordinator for the university. She works the standard eight to five workday and her lunch break consisted of a New Testament class, a pack of gum and a water bottle. Denise expressed the life lesson that she has made for her children, using herself as the example to show them that there are better opportunities. Wanting only what is best for them,...

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A Letter from Student Body President Collin Davies
Jan29

A Letter from Student Body President Collin Davies

 Spring. New Year. Second semester. Welcome back to Mary Hardin-Baylor, or if this is your first semester, a special welcome to you as you begin your journey here. I am currently privileged to lead you and your fellow classmates as the student body president. This honor prompts me to think about students and this university now more than any other period of my education. For this I am grateful. There are many reasons to be excited about being a student here, and I would like to urge you to continue to make Mary Hardin-Baylor an exciting and transformative experience for future students. How should we make the most of our college experience? We quote scripture in times of excitement or deep sadness and claim the words as life, but how true the words of scripture are in all seasons. Primarily, prioritize a relationship with the creator and author of all things. May your identity be in Jesus Christ and your confidence in him. This will prepare you for success in college and beyond. You should also identify and pursue that which interests you most. There are many venues on campus that will develop you as an individual into a better-equipped learner and doer. Do not forget about the community. For many of us, the setting of UMHB was a point of examination prior to school selection. Be sure to explore all opportunities whether on or off campus, and begin to pursue your goals. Finally, invest in relationships. There will be very few settings quite like college for the remainder of your life. Use free time and the availability of others wisely. Continue to build old relationships and also begin new friendships. Learn to pour into relationships, but also learn from relationships. Unsurprisingly, as student body president, I am constantly being challenged and sharpened by individuals with more experience and knowledge than myself. For the university in particular, there are many reasons for my contentment. I am grateful for the present diversity. I am thankful for the relationships that shape and support character. I am excited for the new and eager for the future. I am indebted to the examples of leadership modeled on this campus by administrators, professors and staff members. Thank you for believing that I could lead the student body well and supporting me as an individual and the Student Government Association. Know that you are thought of highly, prayed for often and of interest to this university. ———————————————————————————- Davies offers encouragement to students with this verse: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so...

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