Owned and published by UMHB, The Bells is a biweekly publication. This content was previously published in print on the Opinions page. Opinions expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the staff or the university.

Why I’m voting Democratic

By Ella Rowand I consider myself a moderate Republican. Nevertheless, I am voting for the Democratic candidate. Mitt Romney, like any politician, has his good and bad policies and ideas. However, I feel that as a presidential candidate, he has more of the negative than positive. The biggest reason I am voting Democrat is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ObamaCare. The controversial legislation, while not perfect, has many benefits for me and my family as well as millions of others around the nation. For example, millions of young adults are covered under their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 or married (myself included). Abortions have dropped 62% since the birth-control mandate went into effect. I could continue on and on about the benefits of this bill. Romney wants to “repeal and replace,” meaning he will distribute waivers to the states while he works on repealing the bill and then leave it up to the states to deal with the issue. Each state would have its own laws and policies regarding health care. The problem with this is that it puts us back at square one. If the states had been taking care of the issue all along, ObamaCare would not be necessary. The Romney campaign says that the ACA will take money from seniors, raise taxes by an exorbitant amount and add to the deficit. However, rather than taking money from seniors on Medicare, Obama is reducing overpayments that have been being made to providers. The bill does raise taxes, but not in the way Romney suggests. And while there is much debate on whether or not ObamaCare adds to the deficit, in the long term, the bill is meant to reduce health care costs across the board. This is not to say Romney does not have any good points. For example, his Social Security reforms are a solid step in the right direction. Closing loopholes in the tax code is a smart and long-needed reform. But saying that lowering taxes and cutting regulation will create jobs just is not true. A lack of regulation is part of what caused the recession. While Obama has been president, he has worked diligently to lower the unemployment rate. Since the peak of unemployment in 2010, the rate has steadily declined under the Obama administration. Romney says he has a great plan to jump-start the economy, but he has yet to state any real specifics about this plan. On his website and during the debate, he touts his “5-Point Plan”: energy independence, emphasis on higher education and job training, trade reform, eliminate the deficit and encourage small business...

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Why I’m voting Republican

I am Republican because I believe in addressing problems and solving them. Conservative principles in which Republicans firmly believe have been at the core of our nation and its governmental history since its founding. As a conservative Republican, I care deeply about the nation’s moral state, having a free market economy, and taking responsibility for our own actions. The killing of the unborn is an atrocity that is depriving America and the world of lives that could be making societal differences. It is wrong to take the life of an innocent human being, regardless of his or her age or stage of development. Merely calling the baby a fetus does not excuse murder. Furthermore, throughout history, Democrats have claimed to stand up for the rights of the underprivileged and those who have no voice. Why are they not protecting the rights of the unborn? Unraveling the fabric of the traditional family, which has been the basic social unit through which American ideals are taught for centuries, by encouraging homosexuals to marry has caused moral, social, and health related problems. Studies suggest that children adopted by homosexual couples develop related psychological problems. Republicans, in large part, believe in proactive problem solving as opposed to thoughtless reactive measures. Creating jobs and using our own natural resources is the solution to economic problems. Giving Americans jobs is what keeps the economy functioning properly. Outsourcing work to foreign countries will not help the plight of U.S. citizens. Many Americans are insulted and appalled at how dependent the United States has become on foreign governments. Borrowing outrageous sums of money from nations, subjecting our great country to the wills of others is a far cry from the liberty and independence the United States was founded on. As Republicans, we believe personal responsibility, governmental accountability and financial planning are what keep the economy healthy. Raising taxes does not work either. Historically, this approach only slows the economy because customers spend less when they have less money. What will rescue our economy is using the resources this nation has been blessed with and hiring Americans to manage and operate the companies that extract, refine and market those resources. Conservatives, throughout history, have upheld the fundamental standards on which America was built: independence, economic freedom, and morals taught by the traditional family unit. I will be voting Republican because it is obvious that America needs a dramatic change in course. We need a competent administration with sound character and integrity. Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a statement at the Oct. 11 debate that demonstrated the integrity America needs. “I don’t see how a person can separate...

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American icon going European

The well-known Ford mustang is possibly getting a European style makeover. While still only a concept, it is scheduled to arrive in 2014 at the New York Auto Show as a 2015 model, which is coincidentally the 50th anniversary of the pony car. According to autoguide.com, Ford said that the Mustang will be more modern because of the previous announcements about their One Ford global model policy. This means that the Mustang will be exported to markets outside of the U.S. Ford has been tight-lipped about the new pony, but the rumor mill is flooded with insider reports that it will be smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient and feature less of a retro look than the current car. Foxnews.com said that Ford is so diligent about its overseas expansion that the company will even offer a right-hand-drive version of the two-door coupe in the U.K. Some fans aren’t sure, though, that going global is a good idea for Ford. “It doesn’t seem like it’s an American-made car anymore, and that’s what people want. And that’s what I would think about when I heard ‘Ford Mustang,’” sophomore Christian studies major Ryan Morris said. The European style is very different and unique from the “classic” Mustang, and yet, it is high-class. Ford seems to be marketing to the upper class and not as much to the younger generations. As for the body of the car, junior nursing major Tim Phillips knows about the body of the muscle car. “The new style is interesting. Like so many other car manufacturers, they are trying to be on the brink of innovation and style. And the Mustang being the original pony car, they are not about to be left behind in this race. It is simply put a slim and sleeker body than the current models. They say it may end up a little shorter than current models as well,” he said. No doubt the Mustang has come a long way since 1961 when Lee Iacocca, vice president and manager of the Ford division came up with the idea. In 1964 the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line. The biggest change to the car; a new fastback model was made in 1965. It became the basis for Carroll Shelby’s GT350. The Mustang is, of course, one of Ford’s most classic and well-known vehicles, making it an American classic. Ford seems to be going over the top with this new design, possibly to compare to the new style of cars that are beginning to evolve, like the Fiat. With the new European look to correspond with the rest of the world, it is possible...

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Muslim film plays key role in world riots
Oct02

Muslim film plays key role in world riots

There is an old English proverb; “The mob has many heads but no brains.” In the last two weeks there have been a series of brainless mobs in the Muslim world protesting a blasphemous film. Many of these protests have turned violent and resulted in several deaths The film is called the Innocence of Muslims. Along with being offensive to Muslims for referring to Muhammad as a pervert and many other blasphemous things, the movie is also an affront to anyone who has any respect for the art of cinema. The film appears to have been shot entirely on green screen, ad-libbed and done all in one take. It seems ridiculous for anyone to protest such a frivolous movie. But once you consider the power of an unruly crowd, then you realize how easily rational people can be driven to do irrational things. Most people have been involved in the social phenomena of a crowd. Whether it is in a school cafeteria or a sporting event, the herd mentality is visible in the crowd. Even though groups consist of different individuals often with different motives, they tend to move in the same direction. In order to fit into a crowd or group, people may choose to do things that go against their better judgment. This is fine as long as a crowd is coerced into doing something silly, but when a group is persuaded to do something dangerous, the outcome can be scary. The 2011 riots in the U.K. are a prime example of a crowd turning into a chaotic and violent mob. This tragedy began with an angry protest over a perceived injustice. A crowd in Tottenham gathered around a police department and demanded answers for the shooting of a suspect. The relatively peaceful protest became more unruly. The police were heavily outnumbered and completely unprepared for the crowd. As soon as the crowds realized this, they slipped into unfettered chaos. The looting and general violence that took place was senseless and irrational. It had nothing to do with the protest and only existed because of the irrational behavior that was masked by the herd instinct. The Tottenham riots were leaderless and random. The riots in the Middle East were organized by political leaders. In Egypt, the film was heavily publicized on two Islamic TV stations, and in other countries, Islamic clerics publicly denounced the movie. For the leaders of Pakistan, it is politically profitable to defend the honor of Islam so the government of Pakistan organized a national holiday and a protest. When the protest got out of control, it caused the death of 19 people. Under...

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New rule: faster speed
Oct02

New rule: faster speed

Staff Editorial Lead-footed drivers in Texas will soon have a place to legally entertain their need for speed when a new 41-mile stretch of toll road opens between Austin and San Antonio. Approved by the Texas Transportation Commission, it will boast the nation’s highest speed limit of 85 mph. The development, however, comes with both potential benefit and harm. Some drivers across the state are looking forward to what the increased speed will mean for traveling near the normally congested area, viewing it as a great way for people who live in a city known for its traffic, like Austin, to be able to reduce their travel time during their day. Another possible benefit of the road’s fast pace is a potential decrease in speeding violations. Hopefully, fewer people will break the law when they can legally drive fast. Some people argue that 85 mph is not a safe speed limit, but drivers are still reaching similar speeds regardless of traffic laws. If drivers are going 85 mph legally, they will be less distracted, not being on the lookout for police. But, this may be continuing a dangerous trend. As new laws are set, people try to find out just how far they can push the envelope. This is why we are raising the speed limit even higher than ever before. What was once fast, is no longer. It makes sense to have an 80 mph speed limit on a sparsely populated Interstate 10 out in West Texas, but not an 85 mph limit in the heart of the state. In Austin, drivers are not modest with their gas pedal, and most will risk speeding by five or so miles per hour. They draw the line at reckless driving, which in Texas is 10 percent or more over the speed limit. Ten percent of 85 is 8.5, meaning drivers will be flirting with a speed of 93 miles per hour. Thrill seekers will consider Texas 130, Texas Autobahn. Law Enforcement better spare a few cruisers to watch this stretch of highway. Safety, of course, is the biggest concern in regard to speed. The faster vehicles move, the greater the chance of fatalities. As much as we all like to test the limits of our car’s engine, the increased speed will probably do more harm than good. Soon after being declared the fastest highway in the nation, it could potentially be declared the deadliest as well. The concerns, however, may be overlooked because of the financial benefits of the road. It seems that by posting the speed limit so high, it is merely an incentive to getmore people out on...

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Opinions vary for voter ID law
Oct02

Opinions vary for voter ID law

Bipartisan controversy over voter ID laws has many legislators and voters engaged in heated argument. Voter fraud and speculation of illegal immigrants casting ballots in states such as Arizona have added kindling to the fiery debate. Those opposed to the legislation say that the laws would disenfranchise the poor and other demographic groups. It is ridiculous that customers have to show their IDs for insignificant transactions, such as buying liquid paper, but not for the right of voting, for which precious American lives have been sacrificed. The most recent event linked with the controversy occurred when a federal court in Washington, D.C., struck down a law proposed by Texas legislation. The trio of justices on the court’s panel rejected Texas’ plan, saying that the bill was the strictest of its kind. Sophomore political science and theology major, Zach Craig has been keeping up with the court decisions and said, “You’re restricting a lot more people than you’re actually stopping from voting illegally.” Senior cell biology major Jake Bowen believes voters should be required to show an ID. He said, “I think that’d be a good idea. They should have a photo identification of somebody before they voted. You know by their name, and by their looks that they are that person.” According to the New York Times, the panel said calling for a form of identification combined with redistricting of electoral maps violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The opposition to voter ID legislation argues that it is too difficult for some citizens to obtain picture identification, despite that five different forms are accepted. Dr. Janet Adamski, professor of history and political science at UMHB said, “There are five forms of ID acceptable in Texas. A driver’s license, a passport, a concealed handgun license would be acceptable. One of the things that the court was pointing to was that some places are either making a free form of ID available, or they’re allowing multiple forms of ID.” The problem concerning the unpaid election ID is the requirement of a birth certificate. If they’re missing that document, they have to request a copy for $22. Adamski sees a common goal through the rhetoric. She said, “I think one of the things both sides would agree on is nobody wants folks to vote who shouldn’t vote. I think where they might disagree is on the scale of where that’s...

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