There just might be something wrong with our priorities when …
- The United States Supreme Court, the highest authority in the land, refuses to step in to protect voting rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, or other civil rights, but … they can find the time and energy to give a murderer the right to “be touched” during his execution.
- On Monday, a Boeing 737 crashed in China. I got the breaking news on my phone in the wee hours of the morning, but later on I had to search for information about the plane and its 132 passengers. There was, however, plenty of news about Justice Clarence Thomas being hospitalized for a non-COVID infection.
- The United States Senate found it in their little cold, dark hearts, to pass a bill making daylight savings time permanent, thereby screwing with our circadian rhythms for the rest of our lives, but they could not even consider passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.
Yo, folks … I think it’s about time we make our lawmakers, judges, and the media aware of what WE THE PEOPLE find relevant and important to our lives! In keeping with that, I have composed a list of my ten top priorities …
- Voting rights – We the People demand that every citizen age 18 and over be allowed to vote, regardless of income level, skin colour, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. The right to vote is the first and foremost basic brick in the foundation of democratic principles. If we restrict voting rights in any way, then we cannot in good faith call this nation a ‘democracy’.
- Education – We the People demand that schools teach facts … all the facts! We do not wish our children to be taught that one race is somehow superior to another, or that ‘white’ people have always treated everyone fairly. We want our children to understand their past so that they don’t make the same mistakes their ancestors did, and … AND we want them to be taught critical thinking skills – how to think for themselves, rather than to simply believe what they hear on Fox “News”.
- Healthcare – There is absolutely no reason that anybody in this nation should have to choose between taking their child to the doctor when he is sick or paying the rent. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed under the Obama Administration, is great but it has been chipped away at, and we have found the chinks in the armour that need to be patched. It is time that every single person, young and old alike, should be able to get quality healthcare for a reasonable price. WHY are some medications still so expensive, years after their R&D costs have been covered many times over? Why isn’t Medicare allowed to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies? Expand the ACA and stop chipping away at it!
- Taxation – Currently, the wealthy – the top 1% or so – pay a lower tax rate than the person who delivers your mail, serves your food in a restaurant, or picks up your trash! We the People demand that in our system of progressive tax rates, every person and corporation should pay their fair share. Get rid of the damn loopholes and other contrivances that allow the wealthy to thrive while the rest of us struggle simply to survive.
- Minimum Wage – The minimum wage in this supposedly wealthy nation has not been raised since July 24, 2009 when it was raised to $7.25 as approved two years earlier by Congress. How would you like to live on $15,000 per year, less taxes and other deductions? NOBODY can survive on that, let alone take care of a family. This Congress is the wealthiest in our history, and that explains why the rest of us are getting poorer … they are in cahoots with the wealthiest (see #4) in the nation. Once you rise to a certain point on the wealth scale, you seem to lose sight of those who aren’t as fortunate.
- Environment – Read the latest report by the Interglobal Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) … it speaks for itself. Congress must pass laws to end our reliance on fossil fuels and the clock has run out on time for debate – just do it! I rather doubt that any member of Congress has actually read the IPCC report, and obviously they are more concerned about whether to change the clocks twice a year than whether our great-grandchildren will have air to breathe, food to eat, and water to drink.
- Guns – Some 89% of the people in this country are in favour of some form of gun regulation. That includes members of the notorious National Rifle Association. And yet … Congress cannot (will not) pass even the most basic of gun laws such as requiring background checks on ALL gun sales, or a ban on assault weapons. WHY??? Because the gun lobby pays millions of dollars to members of Congress to buy their votes. Get rid of assault weapons, make carrying a concealed or unregistered weapon a federal crime, and establish a “one strike you’re out” law about guns. Do our lives matter in this country, or not?
- Women’s rights – Here is where the U.S. Supreme Court must step in and stop the individual states from sending women back into a virtual slavery to males. The right to make our own decisions about our own bodies is crucial, yet many states, particularly those in the south, are attempting to take those rights away from us. The claim to being “pro-life” is laughable, for the very people trying to send us back to the days of “barefoot & pregnant” could care less about the child that may result in depriving a woman of her rights – their only goal is to deprive the woman, to ensure she is dominated and controlled.
- Animal rights – Hunters who kill animals for sport are, in my book, the lowest scum of the earth. The animal has no chance against a high-powered, long-range rifle. Make the wanton killing of any animal a federal crime punishable by a severe prison sentence – say, life in prison, since they took away the life of a beautiful lion, deer, or other animal.
- Media – Any media outlet, whether mainstream, social or other, must be held to some standard. Yes, I realize we have freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and I support those wholeheartedly. But lies have consequences and as it currently stands, any fool can say anything on-screen. Since people aren’t always intelligent beings, violence is often incited and lives lost because of a lack of responsibility on the part of the media. The time has come to enforce the responsibilities that go with those ‘rights’. You hear that, Tucker Carlson?
Those are my top ten – what are some of yours?
Let’s get our priorities straight. Let’s demand responsible action from all elected and appointed officials from the local level all the way up to the presidency, including the Supreme Court and Congress. Let’s do our homework, research the candidates and the issues, and demand accountability.