What Are We Celebrating?
It's that time of year when several holidays prompt us to be cheerful, thankful, happy, giving, spending lots of money and constantly singing. We are prompted with displays, lights, TV programming, food, special sales and blow up characters for our yards that show we are, in fact, celebrating something cultural, religious or American.
From Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, I count 31 days of remembrance, aka "holidays" that are memorialized by either attendance at church, temple or synagogue or at parties with family and friends.
In addition, November is National American-Indian and Alaska-Native Heritage Month as well as Latin American Month, and December marks winter solstice as well as International Human Rights Day, which is on Dec. 10. This day was established in 1948 by the United Nations to commemorate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The United Nations promotes universal ideals of human dignity, among other shared interests around the globe. It's a big deal that we know they exist and that they are not political. If I had my way, I would ensure every child in America had grown up learning about the United Nations and had been taught the articles of the Declaration of Human Rights, just as easily as they were taught the Pledge of Allegiance or the tune to “Happy Birthday.”
This "holiday season" I'm rejecting the hype, the window dressing and the pressure to act like everything is great. I'll be concentrating on the rhyme and reason of things that really matter, and will hopefully find some joy and satisfaction and regain the ability to sing at the top of my lungs. Somehow, though, I'm just not in the mood for celebrating bigly.
Shame and Compliments
I would be ashamed to watch a football game! I would be ashamed as hell to enjoy watching men brutally injure each other’s knees, shoulders, elbows, neck, brains … Many former football players suffer from concussion. They suffer severe headaches, depression, Alzheimer’s, alcoholism, other drug addiction, dementia, suicide, violence toward family and friends. The donated brains of 110 out of 111 dead former NFL players suffered serious brain disease. Is encouraging men and boys to play football less harmful than addicting them to cigarettes, booze or cocaine???
I compliment African Americans and other football players who conscientiously refuse to stand for the National Anthem. I compliment them for protesting massive social injustice! I compliment them for publicly opposing Trump, who was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan and many white supremacists.
Sadly, football fans cheer players injuring each other, but many fans damn those players demonstrating freedom of speech! Hell no to the football and all violent sports! Yes to healthy bodies and daily vigorous exercise! Yes to conscience and freedom of speech! Yes to affectionate body pleasure and romance men with men!
Citizens vs. Corporations
The Albuquerque working Group Against Citizens United has informed Senator Udall that we are very disappointed in the Joint Resolution S.8 that he introduced.
The gist of the Citizens United ruling is that money is speech and that corporations have the same Constitutional rights as do people. This ruling has resulted in corporations spending millions of dollars for ads in support of candidates—thus overpowering the ability of real persons to make their voices heard in the media.
Udall’s Joint Resolution S.8 says that “Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections” and that Congress “may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law.”
When we asked Joshua Sanchez, Sen. Udall’s aide, why Sen. Udall had introduced such a weak resolution, he told us that Sen. Udall did so because he thought that such a weak resolution had a better chance of being passed than a stronger one. Sanchez also admitted that Sen. Udall’s resolution was stalled in the Joint Judiciary Committee and that it wasn’t going anywhere.
We believe and suggest that it would have been far better for Sen. Udall to have proposed a strong resolution that Democrats could point to. The stronger wording that we back is found in the House Joint Resolution 48, the We the People Amendment (supported by Move On, Move to Amend, Common Cause, Public Citizen and People for the American Way), which asks that 2/3 of both Houses of Congress propose an amendment which includes the following words: “The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only” and “the judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.”
Please tell Sen. Udall that you too want him to introduce such a strong resolution.
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