Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Politics not Patriotism

The latest" wrap yourself in the flag" Congressional Constitutional Amendment is over flag burning or rather, prohibiting the burning of the flag,--the political symbol--of our country. A few years back the Supreme Court held that burning or desecrating the flag was/is a form of political speech was covered by the First Amendment (Texas V Johnson, 1990).
The Flag Desecration Amendment is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate by week's end; it has already passed in Congress. Once again, this appears to be a political, not a patriotic action: meant to obscure what is really happening by chipping away at the Constitution.
One of the things the flag stands for is for our Constitutional Rights. Isn't it ironic, that this symbol is being used to squelch non-violent dissent?

Friday, June 23, 2006

More on Hypocrites

Our Congressional representatives serve not only with high pay, but they also get the best health care insurance/program. They do not have to worry about any illness or prescription costing them too much, bankrupting them.
Unfortunately, 46 million Americans have no health care coverage (one in six people). 29 million people are currently in medical debt--even those who started with health insurance and 70% of these people had health insurance): having to pay 20% of medical costs is costly!

Some propose to link health insurance to jobs and amount of pay...talk about taking away a worker's freedom to change jobs or allowing bosses to hold the threat of dismissal over a worker's head. What of those people not working for wages (how we value people)--stay at home parents, students, etc. do they not deserve adequate health coverage?

If we want productive citizens, we need healthy citizens. Universal Health Care is imperative!

Demand that your representative work on this issue, not the ones they have been debating lately that affect only a very few such as excluding Estate Tax on the first 5 million Dollars.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Minimum Wage for Hypocrites!

The Federal Minimum wage has remained at $5.15/hour for the past nine years--that's $10,700 for a fulltime worker--which the majority of minimum wage earners are, and most are also over the age of 25.
This means that most workers can not afford housing-- a quick survey of rental units (non-senior housing) finds most apartments rent from $590 up on both coasts; the cheapest apartment on the Gulf Coast was $350, and in Iowa it was $540. Where are these workers supposed to live?

In those same nine years Congress has voted itself over $30,000 in raises including $3,300 this year (see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/13/AR2006061301123.html for the story) --that means that they are making $168,000 per year. They probably can afford housing.

While states may raise minimum wage, many have not. So until everyone has a m

p.s. The President makes $400,000/year and gets his housing for free....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

"No Divorce for Hets"

Last Saturday in his weekly radio address, George W. renewed his call for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to a man and a woman, thus banning gay marriage. This action caters to the Religious Right and to the social conservatives. It also takes our focus off of more important issues such as the economy, the war in Iraq, Osama Bin Ladden, health care. . .
Fortunately, the Senate failed to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment, so discrimination will NOT be written back into the Constitution. But the Republicans pushing the ban on same sex marriage vowed to continue their work and take the fight to the states "in order to protect marriage."
If its marriage protection they are truly seeking, then I suggest they are focusing on the wrong group, and using the wrong tool. If anything the same sex couples who have married in Massachusetts have had far less cases of marriage interruptus (separation) or marriage dissolution (divorce) or serial marriage than opposite sex couples ....[The latest figures are that less than 1 percent of the same sex couples married have separated or divorced; that is far less than the heterosexual couples married in the same time period (20 percent).]
So, as Alix Olson said if its marriage you really want to protect then the law you should be advocating is "No Divorce for Straights."
But, methinks, it is not marriage that the President et al are out to protect, but it is fear of gays and lesbians gaining the rights of all citizens-- it is gays' and lesbians' second-class citizenship they are out to protect.

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