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By Mac McKinnon
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I've been asked on a number of occasions to write something to remind
people to show up for appointments and to show up on time.
This is a difficult situation and you would think that people would be
courteous enough to show up when they have an appointment with somebody
and to show up on time or else call if there is a problem.
Doctors are particularly affected by this situation as most run a very
tight schedule. Of course, many people feel that doctors don't do their
part by keeping patients waiting, but most try not to do that unless
there is an emergency that can't be helped.
I've been told that, on several occasions, people with real serious
illnesses can't get in to see doctors because a doctor's appointment
book is filled up. But, then people who have appointments don't show up
and then the doctor is waiting when someone really needing to see him or
her could have gotten attention.
I've noticed a recent trend. Maybe it's everywhere and something new,
but it seems that any event scheduled in Pecos seldom if ever starts on
time. I always try to be on time - early if possible - because I believe
in strict time management. I want to use any extra time for my own
benefit. I guess that's selfish.
I've been known to show up at events on time. I'll wait for 1 to 15
minutes and if it hasn't started, I'm out of there.
The same thing with doctors. If I have an appointment, I expect to be
seen when they appointment comes around and - barring some reasonable
explanation - I'm gone within 10 to 15 minutes. Once, I even sent a bill
to a doctor for my time as I believe my time is as valuable as his or
hers. (Incidentally, I didn't get paid on that bill.) I don't make as
much as they do, but no one should take advantage of someone else and
treat them like they are not important.
My point here is to be considerate of other people.
Of course, being considerate of other people should be a way of life. I
don't always do this myself. Almost all of us tend to be self-centered,
but at this time of year, we should consider what the meaning of the
season is and use that as a road map for the coming year.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is editor and publisher of the Pecos
Enterprise. His column appears on Wednesday and Friday.
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A recent survey shows that students in the United States rated a
disappointing 28th in mathematics compared to students in other
countries. The U.S. students' science scores weren't much better - 17th.
The U.S. Department of Education doesn't seem to be too concerned with
these low rankings, calling them "insights into what needs improving."
It's not surprising that the folks at the Department of Education
downplay this news. If they were to draw attention to it, it would
question what good the Department has been doing for our children for
the past 19 years! The way the big government liberals talk, it's
amazing that any of us who went to school before 1977 (when the
department was created) ever received an education.
The administration believes that more money and more federal programs
can solve the education problem. Over the last 10 years, education
spending per pupil increased by 20 percent. Does that mean that our
students are 20 percent smarter? Unfortunately, no, The answer is not
just money. The answer is getting the money and power back to parents
The Department of Education bureaucrats are the only ones who think
that the federal government should have a major role in education. Even
though the Department of Education will spend almost $29 billion of your
tax dollars this year, Washington contributes only 6 percent of
education funding. However, Washington still wants to dictate education
policy to states and localities. Well, Washington doesn't know best;
parents and teachers do.
The administration and the teachers unions are content with the status
quo that's the way they keep power. The status quo and more federal tax
dollars are not educating our children. Americans are fed up with our
education program's failing report cards.
The power and control over educating our children should lie at home,
in Texas, not in Washington. Moving the resources and decision making
closer to parents and teachers puts the power where it belongs. Instead
of continuing to fund a bloated bureaucratic Department of Education,
our money needs to be sent directly home where it can do some good.
The administration is spinning its wheels when it comes to education.
How many bad report cards will it take to prove to them that more money
and more programs haven't given our kids a better education? It's common
sense that parents are more qualified than Washington bureaucrats to
make education decisions for their children. And as parents, we have a
responsibility to get involved in our children's education.
Our children are our greatest assets, but if we don't look clearly at
the record and realize what works and what doesn't, then they don't
stand a chance.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Henry Bonilla represents the 23rd Congressional District
in the U.S. House of Representatives.
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It is illegal except in a few narrow circumstances, such as with
parental supervision, for a person under 21 to consume alcohol. Yet
under current Texas law, a juvenile may legally drink and drive until
blood alcohol content reaches 0.07. This is a clear contradiction that
should be corrected when the Legislature convenes in January.
``Zero tolerance'' legislation, which would prohibit even trace amounts
of alcohol in a teen's system, would be an obvious and sensible cure to
the inconsistency, and lawmakers should get started mulling just such
laws. In the 38 states that currently have it, zero tolerance has
significantly reduced teen-age automobile deaths.
Another powerful reason for Texas to adopt a zero tolerance statute for
juveniles is that states that do not do so during upcoming legislative
sessions will lose 5 percent of federal highway construction dollars. In
Texas, that would amount to $37 million, and another $74 million by the
Nothing is simple, however. Some fear changes will give law officers
too much latitude in making juvenile arrests. Lawmakers will have to
debate the best course.
Sen. Royce West, a Democrat from Dallas who chaired the Senate Interim
Committee on Juvenile Driving While Intoxicated Laws, and Sen. Jane
Nelson, R-Flower Mound, are sponsoring separate zero tolerance bills
that would subject underage drinkers to fines, driver's license
suspension and possible criminal charges. Alcohol awareness classes or
community service could also be included.
There is no compelling reason to allow people under the age of 21 to
drink. And evidence suggests many are not yet mature enough to drink
responsibly. In passing tougher teen drinking laws, lawmakers should
hesitate only long enough to ensure that the new statutes are
enforceable, fair, workable and effective.
-- Houston Chronicle
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One of the greatest disasters of our time is our universal acceptance
of the word ~"tolerance" as a great virtue. It's lauded from the big
screen and little screen as well as in the print press: we mustn't be
judgmental, and we must be tolerant of other people and their points of
The reality is that all of us are intolerant of many things. For
example, should anybody be tolerant of the child abuser, the wife abuser
or the concepts of the Ku Klux Klan?
Should we really be tolerant of anyone's right to say and do anything
which they believe is right? Should we be tolerant of the views of the
Nazis or Communists or of those who believe we should all "do our own
thing," regardless of the damage to other people? I recently received a
letter from a gentleman who criticized me for my lack of tolerance, and
yet, his criticism of my lack of tolerance concerning a certain issue
revealed his own intolerance.
I believe the problem is our confusion between tolerance and an open
mind. I have an open mind as far as the acceptance of people and ideas
until it becomes obvious that their ideas are either illegal, immoral or
unethical. For example, I would not defend the rights of a pedophile,
and I hope and believe that your tolerance level would also be zero. You
would be tolerant of the pedophile's right to a fair trial but
intolerant of his right to continue to abuse children.
Message: Keep an open mind, be tolerant of the rights of others to
believe what they believe, but if what they believe violates the laws of
God and/or man, I encourage you to be intolerant. I will see you at the
When Holly,wood markets the worst and tells parents to do their best, it
is like shooting holes in the family boat and telling us to keep
plugging. There's a point at which you just sink." - The Boston Globe
EDITOR'S NOTE: Zig Ziglar is a motivational speaker whose column is
copyrighted and distributed by Creators Syndicate Inc.
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