Filibuster or Democracy?

Blog by Justice Promoter Sister Judy Morris, OP

It seemed so simple—create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly attack on the U.S. capital, and prevent future attacks.  Some of the same Republican Senators who hid in offices with furniture blocking doors, running through the halls and calling relatives, voted to block a bill that would provide facts and clarity on what went wrong.  They voted to ignore that Vice President Pence’s life was threatened, and rioters were going “to put a bullet through Speaker Pelosi’s head.”

John C. Calhoun would be very proud of these Senators defending the filibuster.  Robert J. Lacey, in LOGOS, writes, “The filibuster is institutional proof that the ideas held by defenders of slavery and white supremacy, including supermajorityism and states’ rights still haunt us today.  Our dysfunctional and anti-democratic Senate can trace its thoughts back to the founder of the Confederacy, John C. Calhoun.  The filibuster reveals itself to be morally and intellectually bankrupt.” It is not found in the constitution.

What is at stake if the filibuster continues?  The short answer is that many critical pieces of legislation will be defeated because 60 Senate votes are needed to pass any bill and only three to seven Republican votes are possible.  In addition, Minority leader, Mitch McConnell stated that he will attempt to defeat any legislation supported by President Biden.  Bipartisan efforts to pass legislation appear to be an anachronism.

Bills waiting in the wings for a vote include:

  • The George Floyd Policing Act. This bill provides a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the state, federal and local levels, and limits unnecessary use of force.
  • Voting Rights Act (Senate Bill 1).  The “For the People Act” addresses voter access, election integrity and security, campaign finance, etc.
  • The American Jobs Plan.  This bill will not only pay for the repair of bridges, highways, and upgrade ports, but will deliver clean drinking water where lead-filled pipes exist and deliver high-speed broadband to all Americans.

Barring a miracle, these bills and other important pieces of legislation will not pass unless the racist-initiated filibuster is eliminated. That takes many voices around the country urging Senators to rid the country of this obstacle to democracy. Your voice is needed!

 

Posted in Peace & Justice Blog

Peace & Justice Updates – 6.2.21

Attend Wear Orange 2021
We participate in Wear Orange events to remember lives lost to gun violence and to raise awareness about this public health crisis.  Every day, more than 100 Americans are killed with guns and more than 230 are shot and wounded.  These survivors are faced with a life-long process of physical and emotional healing.

Gun suicide claims the lives of over 23,000 people in the United States each year.  More than 14,000 people die in gun homicides.  The United States gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.

Firearms are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States.  Every year, more than 3,000 children and teens are shot and killed, and another 15,000 are shot and wounded – an average of nine children and teens shot and killed and 42 shot and wounded every day.

Fifty-eight percent of American adults or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.  Approximately three million American children witness gun violence every year.

Together, we can build a future free from gun violence.  Stand up, speak out, and participate in Wear Orange events to raise awareness.

Join us as we honor survivors of gun violence this National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange weekend from June 4-6.

Click here to find a Wear Orange event near you.

Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates

GOING GREEN IN SUMMER, Part 2

GOING GREEN IN SUMMER, Part 2

MEALS

  1. As you say grace before and after meals include thanking not only God but the EARTH and all who till and care for her, for the food you have.
  2. Use a cloth napkin and remember why you do so. Be grateful for the trees saved by not using disposables.
  3. Choose locally-grown foods whenever possible—shopping at Farmers’ Markets, or buying through a CSA or buying club. Buy responsibly grown fruits and vegetables, ethically raised meat, chicken, eggs, and fish.
  4. Plan your meals ahead. Increase plant-based items and reduce meat. Reduce processed foods, use leftovers.  Compost food waste.  Animal products use massive amounts of energy as do processed foods and foods shipped around the world.
  5. If you eat meals prepared by others—whether a food service, in-house cafeteria, or even a local restaurant, ask kitchen staff/manager to utilize fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Be sure to compliment them when they do—and eat heartily!
  6. Read labels—note country of origin, number of long-syllable chemical ingredients, whether it contains GMO ingredients (or proclaims that it doesn’t since the US doesn’t demand fair labeling), as well as looking for Organic items.
  7. Don’t buy products with excess packaging (eg. wrapped “single-serving” items) or use single-use paper and plastic ware, etc. Avoid Styrofoam always. If you must use disposables, take the time to locate recycled and compostable products—then do it!
  8. Barbecuing – Use propane which burns cleaner than wood or charcoal. a. If you’re wedded to charcoal try a more natural charcoal product. b. When you’re done grilling, use natural cleaning products such as an organic grill cleaner
  9. Perhaps consider a solar oven.
  10. Never use hot, running water to defrost frozen foods. Plan ahead and place frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave oven.
  11. Rinse vegetables and fruits in a sink or a pan filled with water instead of under running water.
  12. Share your meals and celebrate the gifts of the Earth.

 

LAWN/YARD CARE

  1. Use EARTH Friendly products on your lawn and garden. Run-off water with fertilizers contaminates the rivers.
  2. If installing a lawn, select a turf mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
  3. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass reduces evaporation. Leave grass clippings on your grass because it cools the ground and holds in moisture.
  4. If you’re still using an old mower that is spitting harmful gasses into the environment, it’s time to upgrade to a newer model, such as an electric mower, that spews fewer or no emissions and benefits the earth and increases safety and performance.
  5. Put water hoses in lawns, gardens, and orchards on timers and be sure they are in good working condition.
  6. Avoid using sprinklers if possible. If you must, adjust them so they don’t spray on sidewalks, driveway, or street.
  7. Don’t water the lawn on windy days. There’s too much evaporation.
  8. Never hose down your driveway, sidewalk, patio, or balcony, always use a broom or blower.
  9. Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass. If it springs back, when you lift your foot, it doesn’t need water. So set your sprinklers for more days in between watering or avoid watering it.
  10. Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
  11. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don’t water in the rain!! Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers.
  12. Use a rain gauge, or empty tuna can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly.
  13. Let your lawn go dormant during the summer. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three weeks or less if it rains.
  14. Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
  15. Best of all, convert all of your lawn (except areas used for playing, walking, or other outdoor activities) to native vegetation such as ground covers, shrubs, trees, and flowers.
  16. Buy solar lights for outdoor lighting of pathways or other areas.
  17. When the kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area where your lawn needs it the most.
  18. Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs it the most.
Posted in Peace & Justice Weekly Updates