Tag Archives: United States Congress

Political Negativity


Yesterday, I spoke about negative attitudes toward religion. Today, I want to address the negative attitudes toward politics. Quite frankly, I have a negative attitude when it comes to politics. I have a quite simple reason for this: politicians are negative people.

Politicians love to tell people what they are against, but they rarely ever tell constituents what they are for. When they do tell people what they are “for,”. It’s generally a prohibition or a cut. They never seem to tell us, “I am for….” Instead, they tell us, “I am against….”

The political cartoon above is a prime example. (Thank you Sean for posting this on your blog Just a Jeep Guy.) Though it shows the negativity of Republicans, it could just as easily be any other political party in United States. The Democrats are not immune to negativity. It’s too often the role of the minority party to be the most negative.

I have been discussing political parties a lot in my civics and government classes the past few weeks. When you teach about a political party’s platform, and you list the many things that political parties are against, students will often ask, “What is the party in favor of?” When you say that they are for cuts in Medicare, food stamps, subsidies for farmers, keeping the minimum wage as is, etc., the smart kids in the class will ask, “Aren’t those all negatives as well?”

When I teach politics, I do my best to remain neutral. It’s the most difficult thing I have to do as a teacher, but I do my research so that I can present both sides of an issue. I believe in teaching my students that they should be informed citizens. If one is well versed in the issues and researches the politicians, then they are likely to be an informed voter.

I know that I am one voice among millions, but shouldn’t we take a more positive attitude in life and hold our politicians accountable for being more positive. If politicians only tell us what they are not going to do, then how do we know what they will do. Politics in the United States has become so negative about what they will not do that our Congress is in a constant state of deadlock. Isn’t it time we tell our politicians to be more optimistic.

I honestly believe that optimism can be contagious. Considering that most people dread Mondays, what better day to start with an optimistic view for the week. Let your optimism spread and maybe by New Years will be a more optimistic place.

Veterans Day


World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which had set the war in motion. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

The United States Senate refused the ratify the Treaty of Versailles that officially ended the war with Germany because it contained the League of Nations Charter. The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I with the Knox-Porter Resolution signed into law by President Harding on July 2, 1921. Congress officially recognized Armistice day when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. In much of the rest of the world, November 11th is still honored as Armistice Day or in the Commonwealth as Remembrance Day, renamed after World War II to celebrate and remember all veterans.

The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


Considering the main goal of this blog, I would particularly like to honor all the LGBT service members who have fought and died for our country. For most of America’s history you have served in silence, and often persecuted for who you were. Yet you strove to fight for your country. One of the earliest goals of the gay rights movement, under the leadership of the Mattachine Society in the 1950s and 1960s, was to allow the gay men to serve in the military without persecution. Today service members can finally serve their country as out and proud gays and lesbians. Yet we should never forget those who risked everything to serve their country in silence, even when their country refused to give them full equal rights.

The United States of Shame


I am ashamed of our government!

Brinkmanship is no way to operate a government!

Our country should not have to be held hostage by the Tea Party!

Those are just a few of my many negative thoughts right now about our government. The members of Congress are acting like a bunch of squabbling children who can only say “NO!” We are the United States of Shame, though not necessarily for the 50 reasons stated in the cartoon above.

I have said before that we need a strong third party. Republicans are moving further to the right, while Democrats are moving further to the left. It leaves out the moderates of this country. If we had a stronger third party for moderates, then we could force the current two-party system to compromise. However, compromise is not likely as long as the current members of Congress are in office.

The U.S. Constitution (Article I, section 9, clause 7) states that “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” In other words, Congress is mandated by the Constitution to pass a federal budget. It is one of the few expressed Powers given to the legislative branch. However, they have failed to pass a federal budget since 2009. Think about it, what would happen if you chose not to do whatever is the major part of your job for four years? For most of us, that is unconscionable. Yet Congress has done this, or in this case not done a damn thing but bicker.

I am disgusted with the way our government works. I have been studying the provisions of Obamacare for the past few days trying to wrap my head around the issues that the Tea Party has with it. I asked a friend, who I described as the most rational conservative I know, what is so wrong with Obamacare? Her answer was that she doesn’t like the government telling her what to do. I agree. I don’t like the government telling me I have to buy a product or pay a fine (or tax as SCOTUS declared it). However, is the world going to end because Obamacare went online yesterday. NoIn fact, I think many of the provisions of Obamacare are necessary. Is it a perfect law? HELL NO! So why shut down the government for something that you can’t stop? Because we are dealing with immature assholes (and yes, I know name calling is immature as well).

The more I study the issues and try to keep up with everything so that I can answer my students questions about what is happening, the madder I get. Before the government shut down I was already pissed off at the local justice system. As you know from my post Monday, I was supposed to return to court on the matter of my speeding ticket. I had called last week to gain a continuance because my witness and I were finding it hard to get off work. I was told by the clerk’s office that under no circumstances would a continuance be allowed because the trial had already been continued once. The assistant district attorney had originally set my trial for 1:00 pm on the day of the original hearing but had called and told me that the officer who gave me the ticket was out of town and could not be in court at one o’clock that day. Therefore, the clerk’s office informed me that since it had been continued once, it could not be continued again. However, I received a call from the district attorney’s office on Monday stating that the State Trooper who issued the ticket could not be in court on October 1 due to training and that the hearing had been continued again. This is simply not equal justice.

I am growing very weary of the government, whatever part it may be, saying one thing and doing another. Republicans claim they want government out of our lives, yet they fight to tell us who we can’t marry, what we can do with our own bodies, etc., yet when the Democrats pass a law requiring us to buy insurance, they go apeshit. Ignorance, hypocrisy, and arrogance are my greatest pet peeves. Politicians seem to embody all three.

Thanks for reading my rant today. By the way, I do think there are many government employees who do wonderful and necessary jobs; however, I’m not so sure about politicians. I hope that this can be resolved soon, as I feel sorry for the nearly one million federal employees who are going without pay. Our politicians should be ashamed of themselves.

By the way, I scheduled this last night. If by a miracle, the government shutdowns ends before this is posted, I will still be pissed off at our government.