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December 8, 2010     Hays Free Press
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December 8, 2010
 

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THEY REALLY SAID THAT? Page 4A "He ,was here trying to get his life back together. He just anted afresh start." -Tamie Fuston, mother of 16-year-old Ramon Zapata, who was struck and killed by a train last week after moving back to Kyie Hays Free Press December 8, 2010 EDITORIAL COMMENT of Medicaid fix our problem? GeoOVemor Rick Perry and the newly lected majority of Republican fficials in Texas have a great idea - let's get out of Medicaid. A quick look at the latest Hays County statistics, May 2010, shows there are 12,817 local residents in the Medicaid pmgram. Of those, 9,733 am children or teenagers. The remainder fall in various categories - disabled and blind, foster care children, newborns, medically needy, various adults, and the aged. In general, statistics showthat Texas pays for a little less than 30 cents out of every dollar spent on Medicaid. The remainder is covered by federal funds. Legislators and the Governor can claim that, sure, a lot of those federal funds are paid in by Texans. But, if we decide to pull out of Medicaid, that doesn't mean we won't have to continue to pay into the federal government. Let's looks at the upside though, of pulling out of Medicaid. That means most of the elderly in nursing homes will get to move back in with their families. What? You don't want to take care of grandparents and par- ents? Your family can't live off just one salary, while your spouse quits his or her job to take care of your elderly parents? Oh. Because when you look at the nursing homes here in Hays County and across the State, you find that two-thirds of their residents' care is funded by Med- icaid. Some of the most vulnerable citizens - elderly, children and disabled- would be without medical cam. Those who cannot care for themselves would have to depend on their families- if their families are able - to do all the hard labor of caring 24 hours a day for their family members. "Back in the day" families did, in fact, take care of their own. "Back in the day" when most families had a major brcad- winner and a stay-at-home person who "kept the kids" also took in the elderly. But, with the economy as it is now, there are few families who can take on that responsibility. Sure, Perry doesn't mean that the elderly would be dumped on the streets. Sure, he thinks there is another way for Texans to take care of the medically frag- ile who happen to need nursing care. But if he has an idea on how we can possibly take cam of all of those on Medicaid on the 30 percent of the Texas share of our Medicaid budget- or even, let's be optimistic, on 40 percent- then let's make that suggestion to Congress, to the Health and Human Services Department. Texas would be the hero! We would have saved the system!We would save the federal government billions! The likelihood of folks here in Texas having thai kind of magical ability is slim, though. Several other states have already taken their chance, decided to pull their system out of Medicaid and found that the experirnent was a disaster. Texans am a proud people. We take care of our own; we walk with pride; we balance our budget. One thing we really do not want to see are the faces of the elderly without proper care. A vision of the poor during the Depression comes to mind. The blank stare. Think of Maw sitting in her rocker on the back of the open truck in the movie, "The Grapes of Wrath." It's not something we want to repeat. Don't pull out of Medicaid. Fix it or tweak it. lust don't think that we can pull completely out of the system without having a devastating problem on our hand. Now that the last sliver of turkey is gone and the leftover red cranberry sauce has spots of green and white mixed in, I have offi- cially declared it is Christmas season. That's right, I used the term"Christ- mas" and if anyone has a problem with my use of that word, come out to the Crow's Nest so I can robber you with myYule log. 'Round these parts, foils still celebrate Christmas, unlike our neighbors in Tmvis County with their "Holiday Tree" in Zilker Park and the now defunct Trail of Lights. Over in Buda, we have our own Trail of Lights. I'm planning to go once the temperature drops out of the 80s, and I bet there's a Christmas tree some- where along the trail. I understand there are numerous residents of a non-Christian faith re- siding here in Central Texas, and I fully respect your religion and traditions, but please let us Christians celebrate our holiest holiday with traditions that our forefathers brought to this country. So ifI wrap Christmas lights around a rusty old Chevy truck with four fiat tires and a squirrel's nest un- der the hood, enjoy the sight. IfI turn a dead cedar into a festive, twinkling Christmas tree, don't complain. And if I place my plywood cut-out of Santa wearing cowboy boots and a Stetson, appreciate this fine Texas art form. If these Yule time displays offend you as you drive by our ranch, then I think it's high time you discover an alternate route because once I figure out how to keep a strand of Christmas lights on my bull, you're gonna hate my manger scene. Like most folks, I love the Christmas season with all the decorations and music, although the songs tend to get old when they emanate from radios and stores' loudspeakers long before your lack-o'-lantern turns all mushy. I like going to small town festivals with vendors selling homemade Christmas decorations and delicious holiday vittles. I especially like the way people, even complete strangers, become so friendly during the Christmas season. This wondrous behavior often starts around Thanksgiving, excluding the wicked wee hours of Black Friday where I have personally witnessed the horrors of what a sign reading "75% Off" can do to normally sane women. I reckon the only part of the Christ- mas season that I don't like is the tradition of gift-giving. Now don't get me wrong; I love receiving gifts, and if any of y'all out there wish to drop off a thoughtful gift at the Crow's Nest, please do. What I don't like is shop- ping for others. I never know what to buy foils. Little kids are easy. I like go- ing to toy stores and checking out all the cool stuff, but put me in a Kohl's or a Dillard's and I'm as befuddled as a vegan at a meat market. I wander around glassy-eyed, trying tO find gifts that won't be returned to that same store on December 26. And, Lord have mercy upon my soul if I were to stray into the lingerie department. I don't know why, but I get all nervous around those scantily clad manne- quins. I don't even want to think what would happen if Maw catches me checking the price tag on one of those transparent nighties. Thanks to the internet, I am able to do my shopping at home. I don't have to risk getting run over at the Outlet Mall by a car with Mexico license plates, or venture into Barton Creek Mall and be subjected to obnoxious music-like tunes blasting out from shops staffed with teenaged clerks with scary body piercings and tattoos. Nope, I'll just sit here at my desk, sipping a holiday quaff in my Scooby Doo pajamas and shop at Amazon. com and other e-taller stores for my peeps. Unfortunately, there are always those family members who are just about impossible to shop for. Those guys who already have everything imaginable and don't need another flashlight or camouflaged underwear from Cabela's. I used to buy them something nice at Twin Liquors, but after a day out shopping and battling traffic in the big city, Uncle Bob's gift has been opened and drained well below the label. These relatives are the ones on m shopping list who cause me to add more hog to my egg nog. I bet lots of you guys have friends or family members like this, never sure what to buy for them. Well, after some extensive searching on the web, I have a few suggestions: 1. Although several web Sites listed a nose hair trimmer as the worst gift to give a guy, I personally wouldn't mind one. What guy wouldn't? I can't count the number of accidents I've had with Maw's pinking shears. 2. For the guy who has everything, or so he thinks, I just read that Lee Harvey Oswald's original coffin is up for sale, body not included. Oswald's body had been exhumed years ago for testing tobe sure the stiffin this coffin wasn't some Russian secret agent and was tossed into a new coffin later. Now this old, moldy pine box will be auctioned off, starting the bidding at $1000. I'm not sure what one would use this casket for. Maybe as a planter box It already has compost and worms in it. 3. For your friends who suffer with unruly body hair, there is a product called "Hairy Butt Wax2' lust slather on your cheeks, let it dry, then yank that unwanted booty bouffant right off. The label warns against applying the wax to your face. I think after the first application to one's buttocks, this jar and its contents won't get near one's face. 4. Has this ever happened to y'all: You are having a family get-together, perhaps a Thanksgiving meal; the din- ing room is crammed with relatives, in-laws and outlaws, when someone releases a rather foul emission from his lower G-I tract. You suspect who it is, but everyone just grimaces and acts like it never happened. Well, thanks to a company in Australia, there are some new drawers on the market that are made with some special odor-absorbing fibers that will capture ones flatulent faux pas, cor- ralling the noxious odor at the source of emission. What a wonderful gift for the man who has everything, includ- ing irritable bowel syndrome. I hope I was of some help to you Christmas shoppers out there. This being the season of giving, I find it appropriate to give you some right fine advice. Gift-giving makes me feel all warm inside, or did I use too much nog in this here toddy?Well, I must leave my home computer now and drive out to the city to get Maw a Christmas gift. Tractor Supply has a John Deere toilet seat on sale that she will absolutely love. Clint Younts works at a veterinary clinic while running cattle on his property. He likes giving his cuz advise on shopping right before they slip into the tractor shed for a nip of his special hooch. rockytop78640Oyahoo.com COMMENTS FROM THE WEBSlTE "Kyle may have grown, but this young man is part of the Kyle Nation, mean- ing that we have lost one of our folks. Regardless of the circumstances of the tragedy, he comes from a family that loved him and the better people of the community will respect the fact that they are undergo- ing incredible grief. We think of them. We have/ostone of our own." -- DONN BROOKS on "Teen struck, killed by train in Kyle" at haysfreepress. corn "This is very sad. I five in Kyle and I pass these railroads all the time. I have the deepest sympathy for his family. He looked like a great kid. He is in a good God Bless you and your family." -- JEN on "Teen struck, killed by train in Kyle" at haysfreepress.com aip_. re__g_e rees MANAGEMENT BARTON PUBLICATIONS, INC. Co-Publishers Bob Barton and Cyndy SIovak-Barton Office Manager Connie Brewer business@haysfreepress.com NEWS ROOM Editor Brad Rollins brad@haysfreepress.com Staff Reporters Jennifer Biundo Scan Kimmons Kay Richter Features Writer Brenda Stewart School Reporter Jim Cullen Community Reporters Sandra Gdzzle Myrtle Heideman Pauline Tom Sports Editor Jason Gordon Sports Reporter Mark Caul Columnists Bob Barton Bartee Haile Phil Jones Svea Sauer Clint Younts Donn Brooks John Young Brenda Stewart Darryl Jamail Proofreaders Jane Kirkharn Brenda Stewart ADVERTISING Tracy Mack tracy@haysfreepress.com CIRCULATION Clroulation Mgr Suzanne Hallam paper@haysfreepress.com CLASSIFIEDS Suzanne Hailam paper@haysfreepress.com Distribution Gigi Hayes Carolyn Harkins Pete Sizemore + Tsevee Texas Legislature convenes ry two years with their next ses- on starting this coming January. It is my prediction that they will amend current firearms laws and allow those in possession of a concealed handgun license (CHL) the right to carry on campus. A national student group called Stu- dents for Concealed Carry on Campus, advocates allowing law-abiding citizens the same right to defend themselves on campus as they are already allowed to do in such places as grocery stores, shopping malls, movie theaters, banks, restaurants, hospitals and churches. With the exclusion of schools, jails and courtrooms, CHL holders can even carry in all state and local government build- ings including city halls and the state capitol building. There is always so much focus on multiple victim shootings on college campuses but when you take into account just how many college and universities there are, this is thankfully a pretty rare occurrence. However, assault, rape, kidnapping, robbery and other violent crimes are not ram occurrences. These types of crimes happen daily on campuses across the country. Even still, crimes committed against students, faculty and staff as they are walking to or from campus do not get included in campus crime statistics as the crime technically occurred off campus. Those against concealed carry on campus believe that CHL holders can- not be trusted and will act irrationally if allowed to bring a firearm on campus. It takes a profound leap in logic to assume that 6he can act rationally in the multi- tude of places where it is currently legal to carry but when one crosses an imagi- nary line he or she cannot be expected to act rationally. Of all states, Texas keeps the most extensive database of all crimes com- mitted by CHL holders and the statistics show that CHL holders am the most law-abiding demographic in the entire state. This is pretty remarkable consider- ing that at least 1 out of every 60 Texans has a CHL. Firearms have been called the great equalizer for a reason. When a firearm is involved, it puts everyone on the same playing field to where strength and size have no bearing on the outcome. It doesn't matter if it's a 110 pound woman versus a 220 pound assailant, the elderly versus the young, a homosexual versus a group of gay-bashers or physically disabled versus able-bodied. There am a million different 'what-if' scenarios that someone can use to be against concealed carry but it is current- ly allowed on more than 70 campuses without a single 'what-if' scenario trans- piring. Spontaneous gun-fights haven't token out, students amnt distracted in dass from a concealed firearm and professors aren't any more afraid of their students than when they run into them somewhere off-campus. Two schools in the Westem Athletic Conference, the new conference Texas State University will be moving to in 2012, already have concealed carry on campus. Texas State University will almost surely be the third. Mike Guzman is a Teras State Uni- versity economics senior. He served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and is the former national president of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC). PRODUCTION Production Mgr David White Assistant Designer Jorge J. Garcia Jr. Hays County Commissioner Jeff Barton is a minority owner of the Hays Free Press Contact Us: HaysFreePress.com news@haysfreeprass.com business@haysfreepress.com BUDA 512-295-9760 KYLE 512-268-7862 METRO AUSTIN 512-262-6397 www.haysfreepress.com I[' lllUlllIIIlllllllllilllll[ I