Thursday, January 22, 2009


in my email from


More than 500 bills have been introduced in the House and more than 200 in the Senate in the 111th Congress. What is on the minds of Members of Congress that they feel need to be addressed?

Here are a few examples:

H.R. 15 creates a nationalized system of free health care.
My Comment: I guess by "free" they mean hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, etc. will be providing their services for free? Yeah. That's what I thought.

H.R. 414, the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act, requires cameras in cell phones to make an audible sound to alert others (such as in locker rooms) when a picture is taken.
My comment: Um, ok. I get the reasoning... but do we not have better things to be legislating?

H.R. 346 repeals the automatic payraises Congress receives.
My comment: It's about time. When they have fixed the messes they got us into -- i.e., when they have EARNED a pay raise, then they should get one.

H.R. 390 addresses "college football playoff games" while H.R. 187 says let Cubans play American baseball.
My comment: Um, ok. I get the reasoning... but do we not have better things to be legislating?

H.R. 227 states that human life begins at fertilization.
My comment: Danger! danger! danger! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! This is definitely NOT the type of thing that ANYONE should be legislating. Not likely to get passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress anyway...

H.R. 254 moves voting to the weekend.
My comment: Maybe more working people will take the time to vote??

H.R. 113 requires anything funded by an earmark to be audited. Perhaps things like H.R. 202, which creates a "Museum of Ideas."
My comment: this should not only require an "audit" but it should require that each earmark be voted on its merits and not be tacked on to any other spending item.

H.R. 116 ends political "robocalls" if you are on the "Do Not Call" Registry, while Senate bill S. 30 wants there to be caller ID honesty.
My comment: Um, ok. I get the reasoning... but do we not have better things to be legislating?

H.R. 126 would limit citizenship at birth only to those who have at least one parent who is a citizen or legal resident. H.R. 160 would limit Social Security benefits to only legal citizens or residents.
My comment: Absolutely friggin' about time for both these measures... but, again, neither likely to be passed by the socialist Democratic-controlled Congress.

H.R. 155 would ban taxes on unemployment benefits for two years, while H.R. 162 bans taxes on Social Security benefits.
My comment: Makes sense to me... it's not like people are getting rich on unemployment benefits.

H.R. 87 says "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is," and invites those who like to pay taxes to voluntarily pay extra taxes. Or how about just a "Fair Tax" as called for in H.R. 25.
My comment: Yeah... maybe Ashton & Demi would like to make this part of their Presidential Pledge initiative???

H.R. 70 would make it a hate crime to display a noose with the intent to intimidate. And H.R. 40 explores paying reparations to African-Americans.
My comment: This is always so friggin' preposterous. I didn't own any slaves. My family immigrated (legally) after slavery was banned. Besides, they have been receiving reparations for more than 40 years via minority preferences and quotas ... and any scholarships, grants, etc. paid to the African-American should be deducted from a "reparation". They should also have to prove they were personally damaged by slavery.

S. 213 would create an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights.
My comment: This is long overdue. I have said for the longest time that every airline ticket is a contract with an airline: I pay you to get me from point A to Point B within a reasonable time frame. If they can't do that, I should get my money back. Period. And it should be illegal to hold passengers on a grounded plane. If they did this off the plane, it'd be called kidnapping.

And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is back in the swing of things. He's introduced S.151, a bill to protect Indian arts and crafts.
My comment: oh, john, john, john.....

And just one other little note on the "Stimulus Plan"... what's the price tag now? $850 Billion? Let us do a little math. Mr. Obama says that this stimulus plan would "create or save 3 million to 4 million jobs over the next TWO YEARS. $850,000,000,000 / 4,000,000 is $212,500 PER JOB! Maybe we should just pay $50,000 to each unemployed American?? It'd be cheaper.

Also note, that at least 5 million jobs, and probably many more, will have been lost during this economic downturn. So even if the new Administration's most optimistic projections bear out, unemployment in December 2010 will still be higher than it was in December 2007.

Just sayin'.

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At 1/23/2009 8:35 AM , Blogger James said...

I didn't own any slaves. My family immigrated (legally) after slavery was banned.

You didn't own any slaves, and so you shouldn't feel responsible for what happened back then.

But you do benefit, every day, from the lingering consequences of slavery and discrimination. Just as the nation's blacks suffer, every day, from those consequences.

As for your immigrant ancestors (and mine), those immigrants almost always came to this country in search of jobs, and the opportunities they found were largely the result of slavery, even though slavery itself had ended by then.

These immigrants also arrived here to find a two-tiered system, in which they could, with hard work, talent, and maybe luck, achieve economic goals, education, and other opportunities denied to the nation's black citizens for a century after slavery ended.

I don't support reparations, but this is certainly an historic injustice which remains with us today.

At 1/23/2009 10:13 AM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

James -- I have no doubt that discrimination against blacks occurred. But slavery ended more than 100 years ago and the Civil Rights Act and the legislation enabling Affirmative Action have both been in place for a half century. How many more years should we encourage the reliance on the "victim" mentality? I know many successful people of color (none were actually born in Africa and some are actually offended to be referred to by a distant nationality... especially because some are Jamaican, Bahamian, etc.) These people are lawyers, politicians, doctors, ministers, military and business owners. None were born to privilege, but all utilized Affirmative Action to access schooling and employment opportunities -- which did not guarantee their success: they worked and studied to achieve.

And although my siblings and I did not qualify for Affirmative Action, we were "financially disadvantaged" (we were damn poor on the south side of Chicago), but we studied hard, worked hard, made our own opportunities and we achieved. The five women in our family were openly discriminated against, but we pushed and PROVED we could do it.

And frankly, I am tired of all in our population (any skin color, any nationality) who want to sit around and expect others to GIVE them success or pay for when they are not. We all have bootstraps available to us. Slavery and discrimination were horrible, but relying on it to justify your lot in life is ludicrous.

At 1/23/2009 10:22 AM , Blogger James said...

How many more years should we encourage the reliance on the "victim" mentality?

We should never encourage reliance on a mentality of victimhood.

Neither, however, should we pretend that because slavery is long over, and because we recently (in historical terms) established legal equality for blacks, that somehow the legacy of slavery and discrimination has been wiped out.

The fact is that blacks were dumped out into society with nothing after slavery was abolished. For the next century, blacks were largely prevented from getting ahead by official and unofficial discrimination which was often violent, and which largely kept blacks from all but the most menial jobs and the most rudimentary education.

How, since the 1960s, could blacks possibly have caught up to whites? To do so would require that blacks work much, much harder than whites, or be much, much more talented. For whites are trying to get ahead as much as blacks are.

I don't mean to suggest that individual hard work and personal responsibility aren't important. They are. But they aren't the cause of the problem, and they aren't the only solution.

The five women in our family were openly discriminated against, but we pushed and PROVED we could do it.

I'm sure it was hard. But let's be sure to acknowledge that it would have been that much harder if, on top of everything else, you had been black.

We all have bootstraps available to us.

Yes. Those bootstraps, however, are clearly harder for blacks to employ than for whites. Whites also, on average, start out in life with much more than blacks, as a direct result of our history.

At 1/29/2009 3:25 AM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Sounds good to me.


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