Friday, March 15, 2013

I Just Love Politicians

If there are any politicians or wanna-be politicians out there, this is why we get irritated with you guys and ladies. I recently emailed my representative. He sits on a committee that is considering a piece of legislation that I am in favor of. It has the capacity to change things for the better IMO. So I write to him and say, “Hey, will you please support Bill 123 by pushing for it go to the floor for a vote? You could also co-sponsor it.” Then I outlined all the positives that I see in this legislation. So he (or probably a staffer) writes me back in less than 24 hours and says “Yeah, there’s a bill called Bill 123 out there about this. It’s in XYZ committee. I tell you what. If it comes to the floor for a vote, I’ll keep your thoughts in mind.” 

Um, way to be vague there. Way to be non-committal. So I write him back. “Hey, that’s nice. But *you* are in XYZ committee and could push for it go to for a vote. I didn’t elect you to sit passively and wait for good legislation and then think about it. Why don’t you cosponsor it? And if you have any concerns with the bill, I’d like to know what they are. Please tell me.”  I was civil. I was direct. And I really do want to know what his issues are with the bill. Obviously he must have some or he’d be pushing for it. I also found out that he promised, before he was elected, that he would cosponsor this bill once he got into the House. Uh huh.
Don’t get me wrong. If he got new information that made him rethink his position, I can understand that. And I’d like to hear it. Do you know what I’ve gotten in response to my second email? Crickets. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I was asking legitimate questions. And apparently because it doesn’t fit their nice little form letters, they’re not responding. 

Is it too much to ask for honest answers? Do they all just get there and decide they're going to do whatever they want? This is why people get up in arms and lose patience so quickly. We get lied to, we get the run-around, we get general crap from these people who are supposed to serve us. Over and over again.

So what am I going to do? Well, I plan to stay on my legislator about this and do all I can to push for this legislation. What's the particular bill? Well, I'll tell you in another post.  Stay tuned. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sandy Hook Hoax?

There seem to be a larger-than-you'd-think number of people who believe Sandy Hook was a hoax. I keep seeing articles being posted to this end. I'm not going to address whether the tragedy really happened or not. What I do want to address is the sad lack of trust we now have for the "other side" or our government in general. We so distrust each other that we now can't even take at face value when tragedies happen.

According to those who believe Sandy Hook was a hoax, the whole thing is just a ploy to push for gun control with the ultimate goal of disarming Americans. I'm just finding it such a sad state of affairs that we have this little regard for each others' integrity anymore. But it goes on on both sides. And honestly, this culture of deceit has been built over decades by the politicians who keep lying to us day after day after day. They tell us what we want to hear to get into office. Then they do whatever they want to do, vote for things that go against what they claim to stand for and then lie about their reasons for doing so in order to get back into office.

I love debating politics. But I find myself spending less and less time on political boards because it's mainly people yelling and belittling. Trying to prove they are right and the other side is wrong - dead wrong - stupid even. Meanwhile, what is accomplished with all this yelling and arguing and insulting? Well, trust continues to dwindle. People are demonized. Problems remain unsolved. In fact, the problems continue to grow bigger while we beat each other up.

What difference can one person make in such a nasty, negative climate? I don't know. But maybe it starts with refusing to be part of the problem anymore. I can stop wasting time shouting at people and insulting them, hoping to change their minds that way. Hey, here's a question. How many people's minds have you changed by insulting them anyway?

To paraphrase something my pastor recently said, when we are faced with so much evil and bad in the world, we can still choose to focus our energies on being a part of the good that is going on in the world. Find it. It's out there. Sure, it's easy to blast that person that you disagree with. But why not take the high road and for once look for something you can agree on? Spend time looking for answers instead of formulating great comebacks and nasty insults. Quit assuming the worst possible motives of people who disagree with you. Start having a little faith. Just a little. Give that person the benefit of the doubt instead.

Don't get me wrong. I totally believe the country is headed in a bad direction. But instead of getting mired in the bog and believing the absolute worst about everyone and everything, I choose to stop being part of the problem. I choose to be a positive voice. Or when I can't be that, to at least be neutral and stop tearing people down. We are NEVER going to get far if we don't start having just a little faith in each other. It has to start somewhere. I'm starting with me. Right now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why Politics?

I enjoy following politics and I also enjoy writing so a blog on politics just makes sense for me. I hope to be able to keep up with this blog. We shall see. It will probably sometimes just be my political rants, but others I hope to provide info on upcoming bills that I think are important.

One of the things I find frustrating about politics is how hard it is to get at the truth. Both sides stretch, exaggerate and leave out important pieces of information. It's hard to know if you're ever getting the full story. That's a big thing I want to address on this blog too. I enjoy digging and finding the truth. Or at least as close to the truth as one can find. Getting both sides, providing context and trying to get unbiased info. That's my aim. Yes, I do lean to one side more than the other. But I don't like to see purposely misleading information from EITHER side.

I'm going to just jump right in. For starters I'm going to address an issue I've seen making the rounds lately. People are calling Obama a dictator and saying that he is going to try to get a third term. In fact, there's legislation being proposed to do just that. Just more proof that this administration is evil and out for power, right?

Well, not so fast. First of all, you have to repeal the 22nd amendment for that to happen. You know the 22nd amendment - the one that Congress passed in 1947 that prevents a president from serving more than 2 full terms. That pesky little thing. Actually, it's true that there is legislation out there to repeal it. H.J. Res 15 to repeal the 22nd amendment was introduced by Jose Serrano on January 6 - yes that's true. But when you look at the context, you find that the sponsor of this bill has been proposing this legislation since Clinton was in office apparently. He inherently thinks that presidents need more than 2 terms to accomplish anything. And it's also important to note that he never gets any cosponsors on this so chances of it happening are nil, I'd say. There's some good info on this at Fact Check:

Third Term for Obama?

And more info about it at GovTrack:
GovTrack info

And here's an example of what the right says about it...

Red State's Take on it

 Here is Serrano's web site. I looked for an explanation from him on this legislation but found none.
Jose Serrano's web site

And this from Fox News:
  Serrano tries to alter constitution....again

Even Fox admits that this legislation has no chance. From the link above,

"However, the 12-term congressman likely faces long odds, as before, considering the resolution has no sponsors, never got a vote last year in the Republican-controlled House, needs two-thirds support in both chambers and ratification from roughly 75 percent of state legislatures.

Serrano, who represents south Bronx and is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has yet to respond to a request for comment.
H.J. Res. 17 now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.
Franklin D. Roosevelt is the only president to serve more than two terms -- his presidency, which lasted into a fourth term before he died, preceded the passage of the 22nd Amendment."

So, though technically there is legislation out there that if passed would give Obama a third term, chances of that happening are highly unlikely and not worth worrying about. Just more fear-mongering, in my humble opinion.