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.

Students miss autumn break

With roughly five weeks left in the semester, UMHB students are spending weekends and evenings deep in books or enveloped in projects, while other students all across the country are enjoying a couple of days of freedom and relaxation to refuel for school. UMHB did not take a fall break this year, so students were stuck in their studies instead of enjoying time off. The school usually has good ideas, but this is a bad one. Students have been working nonstop, often finding themselves with little or no time to sleep due to the amount of work required for classes. This is an acceptable scenario for a few weeks at a time, but after a while, the goal of learning becomes replaced with the goal of simply getting it done. With fall break gone, students have no time to recharge their batteries, breathe for a moment, reorganize and re-strategize. Was the break dropped simply so that we can get out for Christmas a day or two earlier? The university seems to be growing less keen on taking days off. Last semester, finals were scheduled to start the day after regular classes finished. How were students supposed to find the time to study for finals between getting out of their Wednesday night class at 9 p.m. and their first final at 8 a.m. the next day? Fall break, like dead days before finals, is a time for both students and faculty to enjoy life a little more, put aside the books and papers for more than a few hours and enjoy the company of the  people around them. Not only is it a time of refreshment and a time of regaining interest in chosen areas of study, but it’s a time to go home for a visit. For some students, such as freshmen, fall break is one of the first opportunities to return to their parents’ house to indulge in home-cooked meals and missed hugs. Taking away that chance to spend time with family from freshmen who have lived away from home for the first time ever is not good for these studious young minds. Students need to be reminded that life is about more than books, essays, labs and tests. More than diplomas, internships and grades. It’s about actually living life here and now and not preparing to live it eventually. Fall break is a helpful reminder of the reality of the world outside the college campus. Taking it away runs the risk of creating a false world where success is determined only by a letter and days are run on schedules of 50-minute increments. Not only is the...

Read More

Unlikely officer takes on cartels

Mention the word police chief, and what comes to mind? Older man with a belly, and we live in Texas, so probably a mustache too. Not a 20-year-old college criminology major who is also a woman and a mother. But Praxedis, Mexico, a quiet farming community near the Texas border, has just that since Marisol Valles Garcia took office. The reason she got the job: no one else wanted it. Her predecessor was shot in July 2009, and the town could not find a replacement for more than a year. Honestly, she’s nuts. No one else was interested in stepping up because the drug lords keep assassinating public officials. The former mayor was killed in June. Garcia claims she took the position to help people become less fearful. Does she realize she probably just added a lot more fear to the people’s lives? She’s a 20-year-old who stands in the way of the drug cartels. They kill people. Is she trying to be some modern-day Joan of Arc? Yes, someone has to stand up, and her courage is applaudable. Let’s face it. Half the men in Mexico probably wouldn’t take this job. But where are her parents? She’s an adult, but young and hardly ready for her new position. If this was some small town in Texas, it would be no big deal. But we are talking Mexico. More shocking is that she does not even know how to shoot a gun. But no worries because she will have two bodyguards. The first thing she should do is get a big gun and learn – fast. As awful as it is to say, she is going to have to watch her back. Or on the other hand, she might be fine because the cartel is probably laughing behind her back, thinking how much easier she just made their lives. Her approach is non-violence. And she wants to add more women to her force. Currently, three of her 13 officers are female. She wants the members of her forces to be unarmed. That is not a typo. She wants them to go around protecting the people of the town against members of the cartel without guns. Of course, no one likes violence, but Garcia may be sending the message ‘come out and shoot us. We won’t do anything about it.’ She needs to be at home with her husband and newborn baby, not out fighting  unarmed against the cartel. A Mexican man needs to step up and take the reins of his town from a naïve...

Read More

A generation without gentlemen

Twelfth century knights embodied courtesy, generosity and valor. Today, society has eliminated these values. Though people cling to the belief that men should display good manners and respect toward women, many men, including some Crusaders, have yet to understand or demonstrate this concept. Media and music today often imbue negative messages and images about women into the minds of men across the country. Derogatory terms aimed at women appear in various musical genres, especially rap. Most mainstream rappers use words with negative connotations to classify women. Some fans argue that this is just how the artist refers to women. Please. A derogatory term is still an insult—no matter the context. Hurtful words still carry their true meaning, even after people try to change the original denotation. As it becomes more common to use offensive terms to refer to women, the general respect for them declines. Constant exposure to pessimistic messages about women lower them in the eyes of men. So when a guy takes a girl out and he does not open her door or pull her seat out, it’s OK. This becomes acceptable behavior. Lately, singers have become obsessed with the “independent woman.” Though this seems harmless and even praiseworthy, it’s not. Flattering a woman because she pays for both meals on dates, makes her look independent but makes the man look like a moocher. This is just another way for men to deter becoming gentlemen. Independence is great and desired by both sexes. However, the idea that the attractive woman is the independent one eliminates the duties and responsibility of a true man. Everybody wants to be needed by their significant other —needed, not needy. Both sexes have a role and an important part they play in a relationship. This may sound a little traditional, but it’s significant. A woman cannot be the only giver. The man has to give, too. Real men open doors, pay for meals, work hard for their families or the future they plan to have with that amazing woman. They occasionally send flowers, too. These attributes stick out. Men who display them embody courtesy, generosity and valor. They are not only true men but 21st century...

Read More
Polls predict victory for GOP
Nov02

Polls predict victory for GOP

Today marks a monumental day in the course of America’s history. All summer long, incumbent politicians have been sweating in anticipation. It’s Election Day. The 2010 midterm elections are held across the country today. All of the seats in the House of Representatives, 435, are going under the knife. Thirty-seven of the 100 seats in the Senate will be decided. And 38 state and territorial governorships have the potential to change. In the 2006 and 2008 elections, Republicans took major losses. They gave up the majority they had held in Congress since 1994. After the public’s dissatisfaction with George W. Bush’s administration rose to its boiling point, a Democrat was elected to the White House. President Obama will not be up for reelection quite yet, though, to the dismay of conservatives. However, they have bragged all summer that the GOP is going to take back control of the Congress. Will their hopes and dreams prove true? The polls say yes. According to Election Projection Online, as of Oct. 31, Republicans could acquire 62 seats in the House of Representatives. This is the tipping of the scale many voters have anticipated. It would confirm the optimistic anticipation of many conservatives and give the GOP the majority in Congress. They would hold 241 seats, while Democrats would occupy 194. In gubernatorial races, more of the same is expected, according to EPO. Republicans are projected to take 30 governorships, an increase of six, with the Democrats controlling 19 after the election. Gains in the Senate are still predicted for the GOP, but they are not as significant as those in the House. Republicans are expected to gain eight Senate seats, which would give each party 49 seats (EPO). Two seats are currently occupied by independents and are not expected to change hands. This shift of power in Congress can be attributed to several factors; however, the current condition of the nation’s economy is the most prevalent issue with voters and candidates alike. Voters have taken the wool off of their eyes. They are no longer blind to the effects the Obama Administration’s policies are having on the country. Health care, bailouts, taxes and deficits are the menacing behemoths looming between people and a vote for Democrats at the poll booths. People have not forgotten the “accomplishments” made while the Democrats controlled Congress, as the party had hoped. The polls confirm that many people are upset with the leadership of the country and the direction in which it is moving. America is ready for a change, this time in the direction of conservatism. Voice your opinion....

Read More
Is there freedom to grieve?
Oct19

Is there freedom to grieve?

Thank God for dead soldiers. Those are the words written on protesters’ signs outside of many military funerals. “Thank God for dead soldiers” when mourning the loss of a son, daughter, mother, father, brother or sister. In Topeka, Kan. members of Westboro Baptist Church frequent funerals to bring awareness of what they believe is God’s punishment of Americans for allowing homosexuals. God is punishing America by letting soldiers die for its sin, they say. Using poster boards and markers, these people are robbing families of their last moments celebrating the life of a loved one. How can they be allowed to do that? The U.S. Supreme Court is asking the same question and seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. This is not an issue of freedom of religion; Westboro Baptist Church members have the right to believe in whatever doctrines they want, even if they are misinformed and detrimental to the image of Christianity. The issue is freedom of speech, found in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. When protesting, the people stand in public areas, but their words travel into the funeral services through the hearts and minds of those grieving. They follow the procession to graveyards, but their hurtful words are often not buried with the fallen one. Some families of soldiers who have died believe there should be restrictions on when and where these people can protest. They don’t want their last memories of the person they lost to be tainted with images of people thankful that their son or daughter died to prove God’s hatred of homosexuals. The Supreme Court heard the case on this issue Oct. 6. Their verdict could be a landmark in American freedoms. If they do nothing, they disrespect the families who have been hurt by the protests and who lost someone in protection of the freedoms the court upholds. If they set limitations on free speech, though, they draw a line that is not supposed to exist. Once drawn, the line is difficult to erase. Should there be different laws for military families and funeral processions? A case relating to this issue arose in 2009 concerning the media’s use of flag-draped coffins. Was it right to show pictures of a coffin on the evening news? There is, after all, a person underneath that red, white and blue. After review, the United States Defense Department lifted the ban on media using the photographs. Now, it is up to families to decide whether they want press there or not. Unfortunately, the other issue is not as simple to resolve. No one asks protesters to come....

Read More

Recession still far from being over; job creation must be part of efforts

The economic recession is not over. Despite what guests on various talk shows have been optimistically stating for months (without substantial quantitative data to support their claims), the fiscal state of country is still in a slump. In fact, more than 1,200 NASA employees who have worked on the shuttle program since it started in the early 1980s will be laid off on Oct. 8. Even though Congress recently passed a $19 billion budget for NASA, it is not enough to keep the agency from laying off its workers. Even more ironically, 85 Minnesota job counselors (people whose jobs are to help others find jobs) were laid off last week when stimulus money used to pay their salaries ran out. The national average for unemployment is currently at about 9.5 percent. To bring down these numbers, the president and the federal government have been trying to force jobs into the economy with the stimulus program. As is the case with the job counselors though, many stimulus-funded jobs are temporary at best. With enough stimulus money, the president could give every person in America a job. The government could pay everyone to count how many clouds are in the sky every day. The cloud counters would all earn enough money to support their families. Many jobs created by the stimulus program are “cloud-counting jobs” that is, they are filler jobs created for the sake of providing someone with work. They do not have a real benefit to society. If these jobs don’t serve a purpose by meeting a demand in society, once the money to pay the salaries runs out, the jobs are gone, leaving people unemployed. How then can jobs with substance be added to the economy? According to The Washington Post, “It turns out that entrepreneurship (essentially: the founding of new companies) is crucial to job creation.” Real jobs come through supply and demand. Entrepreneurs create a demand for a product or service and then create specific  spaces to be filled by employees. According to The Post, older companies create jobs too, but they also lose them, such as when a company goes out of business. Jobs added and lost by existing companies basically cancel each other out. “All the net job increases occur among startups, finds a study of the 1992-2005 period by economists John Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland and Ron Jarmin and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau. The article went on to say that, because most startups are necessarily small, these tinier firms have a statistical edge against bigger businesses, but the effect entirely reflects the impact of new business. If the administration...

Read More
Page 48 of 64« First...102030...4647484950...60...Last »