Global News Blog: Twitter in Venezuela

December 1, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Stuart Fisher

Twitter is one of the most powerful social media sites in the world right now, and even with severe censorship, Venezuela has been taken over by the social media site.

Unlike what most Americans are used too, Venezuela severely restricts and censors any media in the country. President Hugo Chávez even wanted to censor social media sites and internet; however, surprisingly, Chávez joined Twitter in April 2010.

Chávez represents the most followed person in Venezuela with 250,000 followers. BBC News reports that around 18% of his messages are hostile, and he employs over 200 people to read and follow up on his twitter. Many criticize his time spent on the social media site instead of tending to the immediate needs of Venezuela

Luckily, college students do not have people policing time spent on Twitter, or we would all be in trouble.

Campus News Blog: Health Care Reform and Texas

April 18, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Kathryn Sharkey

An article on BBC news talked about the health care reform debate and how Texas represents both sides of the debate well.

The article states that “Texas has the dubious distinction of being home to the highest number of uninsured people in the country: 25%, compared with a national average of 15%,” showing that many inhabitants of Texas stand to gain from a plan that would extend coverage.

However, Texas also has a substantial group of opponents to the bill as part of the Tea Party activists, who say the bill is unconstitutional and fiscally irresponsible.

What the article does not mention is that there is one big reason Texas has such a strong showing for both sides of the debate: its racial and ethnic diversity.

Many immigrants, many illegal from Mexico and Central America, come to Texas, which partially accounts for the high uninsured rate. These immigrants are mostly coming from situations of poverty, so they lack the education and ability (legally) to obtain the kind of jobs that would offer them health care.

In Texas, the health care debate can’t help but be wrapped up in the immigration debate.

Another thing the article did not mention, which a blog post on The Huffington Post addressed, is that Texas currently has a public option “suggested by and administered by the office of the Texas Attorney General, to provide a reasonable cost option to parents who are now mandated to provide medical care payment in Texas.” This is similar to the public option that was removed from the federal health care reform bill.

It seems that Texas is hopelessly bipolar when it comes to health care reform.