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My Suggestions for Congress

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Recently the owner of OpEdNews.Com asked for some positive suggestions on what we would like to see this 110th Congress do. I have some ideas that I would like to share with you, our loyal and supportive readers. I've been thinking about this all day, and even asked my wife to give me her ideas. They turned out to be the same as mine, except for one thing that I didn't think of, but now that she has mentioned it, I'm 100% behind it. I also think that it's important, so let's start with my wonderful wife Sueanne's idea first. Repeal the Patriot Act. It's repugnant and smacks of fascism. Even the name "Patriot Act" is typically what George Bush's Administration does with almost everything. The "Clean Air and Water Act" has nothing to do with clean air or clean water. Almost every environmental bill that this President has been behind ends up being the exact opposite of what it purports to be. I don't believe that the Patriot Act has anything to do with Patriotism. It's just another tool for big government to creep into our everyday lives. The few good ideas that are embedded in the Patriot Act could be left on their own. Americans don't need a complete rule book on government intrusion.

The second thing I would like to see this Congress do is raise the minimum wage to $7.50 and six months after that, bring it to $8.50. This would enable people that work two jobs in order to pay their rent and put food on their table to actually come home with a "better than nothing" paycheck. At the present time, with the cost of gas and car insurance and even public transportation, at $5.15 workers are lucky to be able to pat for their transportation to and from work. Congress has given themselves three pay raises in the last seven years, while the poorest workers in America haven't gotten one. That is shameful. Last year a pay raise made it out of the House, only to have an elimination of the Estate Tax thrown in as a rider. That in effect said yes, we'll give the poor folk a raise, as long as the rich don't have to pay the taxes on Daddy's estate when he dies. That is disgustingly shameful. There is no Republican majority to pull a stunt like that. You have no wiggle room congress people.

The third thing I would like to see is the repeal of the Military Commissions Act that stops the prosecution of war criminals that engaged in torture. It also effectively repealed the writ of Habeas Corpus, which allows the person or persons being detained to know what they are being detained for and why. It also allows for "suspected terrorists" to be tortured and to be held as long as this government sees fit. I believe that in itself is cruel and inhuman punishment which is against every principle this nation stands for. This too smacks of fascism as well as the old soviet style of imprisonment. We shouldn't be so afraid that our fear makes us act like our enemies. When a people sink to the same level as people that they call "savage", it becomes very hard to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. I was raised to be a "good" guy. Somehow, I don't feel like that anymore.

The fourth thing I would like to see are sulphur emissions in coal plants dropped by federal law. These emissions are adding mercury into the oceans and large fish are becoming inedible due to their large mercury content. I would also like to see a law passed to stop drag line fishing. It is scarring the ocean floor and ruining the habitat of many sea creatures that are gradually becoming extinct. Already we have scarred an area the size of the USA on the ocean floor, where no sea life can live. This will eventually kill our oceans and humanity with it.

The fifth and final thing I would like to see this Congress do, is to stop the funding of this war. There is 70 Billion dollars left from past appropriations. Use that money to bring back our troops. If we leave Iraq, then what happens there will be decided by the Iraqi's. We have absolutely no right to decide what type of government they should have. We are claiming that we are trying to bring democracy to them. I would like people to know that democracy isn't a panacea for nations. Some nations, especially ones with a myriad of ethnic diversity, do not do well under democracies, especially if it is forced upon them against their will. We have absolutely no right to interfere in another countries internal affairs. I believe some kind of law should be passed on that also. We have been involved in too many operations against too many governments that we don't happen to approve of. It's not the right of the American government to approve or disapprove of another nation's form of government. That should be put in writing.

These are five suggestions to Congress. I believe that they are important. I don't want to waste a moment in bringing our troops home. Would you like to know that your son or daughter was the "last" American soldier to die in the Iraqi War? We don't need them there. The Iraqi people did not harbor terrorists before this war, and I doubt if they want any foreigners in their country after what we have done in "democracies" name. When Congress gets done implementing these five things, I'll suggest five more. Sure.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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