Tag Archives: Senate

Silence in the Face of Political Aggression & Abuse

I have been silent here, not wishing to talk about the politics of the United States because, for the most part, our political leaders, Congressmen and Senators disgust me.

No more silence.

Thanks to Robert Reich who I loved when he was in Clinton’s cabinet and who I love still as a Professor, political commentator and author, I will begin to bring issues to the table that need airing. Like many of you, I have been silent, too long.

Here, without edit, is the Facebook post from Robert Reich that opened this door for me, again, and made me walk through it and begin to fight for the rights of all those in this, supposedly the most glorious country in the world, who do not have a voice, the power or the money to fight back.

I’ve been thinking about Martin Luther King Jr.’s admonition that we repent not merely for what the bad people say and do but also for the “appalling silence” of the good people.

We are at a point in American history when candidates for president of the United States are telling voters abominable things – justifying and legitimizing hate. Why aren’t the decent Republican members of Congress and Senate, or former members, or former Republican presidents and vice presidents repudiating this? Where are the news anchors and opinion makers – the Edward R. Murrow’s of today’s national conscience? Where are the priests and rabbis and ministers? The editorial boards? The university presidents? The foundation heads? Why do they remain silent in the face of this untrammeled public bigotry?

Where are they when a Republican candidate says Muslims cannot be trusted to be President, another says the current President is a Muslim and wasn’t born in America, and another that Muslims in America and other Western countries are creating “no-go” zones where Sharia law is practiced?

Why do they remain silent when a Republican candidate calls Mexican immigrants “rapists,” several candidates urge that undocumented workers be rounded up and “expelled,” and another asserts that Mexico intends to “merge” with the U.S. and Canada?

Why do they say nothing when several Republican candidates say women – even those who have been victims of rape or incest — should not be allowed to terminate their pregnancies, and one candidate says women who rely on government-assisted contraceptives “cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government?”

Why are they silent when several Republican candidates assert that public officials don’t have to sign marriage licenses for gay couples if the officials don’t believe gay couples should wed, one says homosexuality is a “choice” because “a lot of people enter prison straight and come out gay,” and another says being gay is like being an alcoholic?

The silence of good people in the face of such brainless intolerance only serves to legitimize it, and ends up debasing our entire society.

Reich asks at the end of this Facebook post, “What do you think?”

I think it’s time that we all get off our buts and start fighting to take back this country from bigots and bullies. I repeat, like many of you, I have been silent too long. No more.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under arm wresting, Death & Dying, Education, Inspiring People, Politics

Our Elected Officials — Still Doing What They Want

I was not surprised when I received responses to my email about labeling  genetically modified foods in grocery stores (see the email below from Senator Bob Casey).  So, per this Senator, they only voted to allow states to decide about labeling GMO foods.  What he forgot to mention was they defeated Bernie Sanders amendment.

As usual, I was disappointed.  

Our Congressmen and Senators have not, to date, represented the voice of the people who are paying their salaries on much of anything so I don’t know why I actually expect our elected officials to represent us and NOT Monsanto, Archer, Daniels, Midland and all of the other megalithic corporations.

I have to confess that our elected representatives did make some progress on a couple of issues related to big business, but they still managed to hurt the very people that most need their representation with votes like the one on nutrition assistance for hungry families.

So Pennsylvania’s elected officials pretty much joined all the other elected representatives to pass a doozie of a Farm Bill.  So what, you ask?  Here’s the down and dirty on the Farm Bill that our elected representatives and Senators did pass – read it and weep.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27654.cfm

As I mentioned, I emailed my elected officials before the vote.  Below are the text of my email and the response from Bob Casey.  I guess he thinks I flunked logic or maybe English is my second language and I will buy the pig in a poke he so aptly puts forward.

Sorry, Bob.  I read you loud and clear.  You should really be ashamed, not just for lying to me, but for lying to yourself.

Bernie Sanders, where are you?

My Email to PA Senators – Bob Casey & Pat Toomey

I am furious to learn that you voted against Sen. Sanders’ Farm Bill amendment to affirm states’ right to label genetically engineered food.

Nine out of ten voters agree that genetically engineered food should be labeled, but you had to side with Monsanto, no doubt because of money the company has contributed to your campaigns and spent lobbying for you.

According to OpenSecrets.org, in 2012 alone, Monsanto doled out $1,034,064 in campaign cash and spent $5,970,000 on lobbying.

If you want my vote, you should consider standing with the people, not the corporations.

From: Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. [mailto:senator@casey.senate.gov] 

Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 7:16 PM
To: XXXXXX
Subject: Response from Senator Casey

Dear Ms.XXXX:Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the Farm Bill. I appreciate hearing
from you about this legislation and the provisions that matter most to you.Roughly every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill, which governs federal
farm and food policy. The 2008 Farm Bill expired on September 30, 2012. Although the
Senate had passed the 2012 Farm Bill on June 21, 2012, the House of Representatives
did not pass its version of the 2012 Farm Bill during the 112th Congress. For this reason,
on January 1, 2013, as part of the fiscal cliff package, Congress passed a one-year
extension of federal farm programs based largely on the 2008 Farm Bill.

On June 10, 2013, the Senate passed its version of the 2013 Farm Bill. I voted for the bill,
which passed with a vote of 66-27. On July 11, 2013, the House of Representatives passed
on its version of the 2013 Farm Bill. As the Senate and House confer on these bills in order
to reconcile differences between the two versions, please be assured that I will continue to
keep your views in mind. I will also keep your views in mind should the Senate and House
consider an extension of the current Farm Bill.

I have made it a priority to keep Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry and our rural economies
strong to support Pennsylvanian families. I am working to improve the Farm Bill so that it is
more fair and equitable for Pennsylvanian agriculture. I will continue to represent the interests
of Pennsylvanians and urge the passage of comprehensive, forward-thinking legislation.

A number of Senators introduced amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill related to genetically
engineered ingredients or crops. The Senate voted on only one such amendment. Senator Bernie Sanders
of Vermont introduced an amendment that would have permitted states to require that any food
or beverage offered for sale have a label indicating that the item contains a genetically engineered
ingredient. Proponents of genetically modified crops argue that such advances help, among other
things, to combat disease, increase annual yields, keep food prices in check and improve freshness
and taste. At the same time, the significance of making genetic alterations to our food supply is a
serious matter. Foods produced from this process should undergo rigorous safety inspections and
other relevant scientific testing. I understand that some Pennsylvanians are concerned about
consuming foods which have been genetically altered. It is imperative that consumers have accurate
information about the foods they buy for themselves and their families. However, I voted against
Senator Sanders’ amendment because it would have preempted existing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
labeling regulations, which I believe is the appropriate authority, and also would have hindered
interstate commerce by creating a patchwork of state labeling requirements. The amendment failed
to receive the votes necessary to pass.

Please be assured that I will continue to keep your views in mind as the Senate continues to consider
the Farm Bill during the
113th Congress. As always, I appreciate your views, thoughts and concerns
as they assist me in understanding what is important to the people of Pennsylvania. Please do not
hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

Bob Casey

United States Senator

 

2 Comments

Filed under Healthcare, Home Ec on Acid, Life & Death, Politics