Thursday, February 20, 2020

Thursday Thirteen

Virginia is in its legislative session. None of the things I am discussing here have become settled law and may not. Until the governor signs off on it, nothing is a done deal, and even then, it can be undone.

People around here are freaking out because those horrible "ultra liberal" Democrats are in control this session. You'd think demons from hell had risen up and taken over the government the way people are acting. This is crazy thinking and people really need to get a grip on both sides of the aisle. We're all human beings with common causes and common needs. Figure that out and things will go along much more smoothly.

1. For 20 years, Virginia was under Republican leadership. They had an agenda. Now the Democrats are in control and all I hear are Snowflake Republicans crying, "The Democrats have an agenda." Of course they have an agenda. The Republicans had an agenda. Grow up. Learn to compromise.

2. Nothing that has gone forth legislatively to control guns is extreme nor will it impede on anyone's beloved 2nd Amendment rights. When did someone else's right to carry a gun become more important than someone else's right to life? The lines in the declaration are "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness," not "shoot, defend, and fuck the rest of you." I am a gun owner, by the way. I don't feel infringed upon in the least except for when I'm in public and see some crazy scaredy-cat numb-nuts open-carrying his gun, "because he can." Then I feel scared because how am I supposed to know this person's state of mind?

3.  The Republicans oppose increasing the minimum wage in this state. According to my own state senator, only 1.3 percent of the Virginia workforce currently makes the Federal Minimum Wage or less (I guess those are restaurant servers, who don't fall under the Federal Minimum Wage), so what is the big deal? If it's that small of a number, why the opposition? It can't affect that many businesses if the number of workers is so small.

4. The Virginia Senate is looking at a tax on gasoline to pay for the roads. This is bad, the Republicans say. They seem to think it better to pay to have your tire fixed when you hit a pothole than it is to pay a small tax to keep up our infrastructure. I'd just as soon pay the gas tax as be inconvenienced by a blown tire or shattered shock absorbers.

5. The state Senate is also looking a "green new deal" - the Republicans apparently are allergic to "green" except for where it concerns money - and this is bad because it could (likely won't) increase the cost of electricity. There are so many "could happens" in the language my state senator uses to talk about this that it makes my head spin. He makes the worst-case scenario sound like it is the only outcome. But it isn't.

6. A tax on plastic bags. This only affects certain localities in Northern Virginia as an immediate tax and apparently other localities (like my rural area) get to decide for themselves as the bill is currently written. I don't have a problem with carrying my own tote bags and used to do that. My only issue with those tote bags is that the baggers load them down so heavily that I can't lift them. I have back problems so I stopped using them since I couldn't keep the baggers from stuffing them full. I would simply go back to using the tote bags and maybe I'd have to ask for help loading them into the car. That would become the grocery store's problem then, unless they can teach their baggers to listen when someone says, "Pack it light."

7. The Republicans also oppose a mandate for sick leave, which requires employers of 15 or more people to let people stay home when they have the flu. Frankly, I'd just as soon people stayed home when they have the flu. I shouldn't have to scan the check-out clerks at the grocery store to see which one is sneezing and coughing so I know who to avoid. People go to work sick because they can't afford to lose the money they are docked if they don't show up. This spreads germs and illnesses and drives up the cost of healthcare. I'm all for letting folks stay home when they're germy. Yuck.

8.  My state senator voted against a cancer bill for first responders. Firefighters and first responders are exposed to all types of carcinogens, time after time. This bill looks like it is going through, but no thanks to my representative. I do not appreciate the fact that he attempted to take this away from my husband and his brothers and sisters in the fire departments. Jerk.

9. Another senate bill allows localities to remove, relocate or do what they want with monuments or memorials for war veterans located in its public space, regardless of when it was erected. I think localities should be able to do what they want with their public space so long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's rights. The monuments in many cases are art and if moved should be preserved somewhere, I suppose, like the local museum. We are a very white county and our Civil War monument is an obelisk with inscriptions of the fighting companies. Does it offend our small black population? I don't know. It has never been an issue. It's been there so long I think most people ignore it. I don't like the canon that sits beside it, but then as a pacifist I wouldn't. However, I am not making any noise about it. The courthouse will soon undergo extensive renovations; some of those items may need to be removed anyway for these changes, and maybe then reinstalled - or not. The courthouse renovations are still under study.

10. Removal of the 24-hour waiting period for abortion is something that I applaud and I hope this goes through. I am tired of men legislating the personal lives of women. Do we make them wait 24 hours to get a vasectomy? No. Are there any laws that legislate the personal health care of men like they attempt to do to women? I can't think of a single one that is strictly male-oriented. Can you?

11. There is also the potential for the removal of "informed consent" language regarding abortion, which means that the 14-year-old raped by her uncle or her father can have an abortion without telling her parents. That poor girl is going through a hard enough time without the state's intervention.

12. There is also the possibility of the repeal of a photo ID requirement for voting. I don't have a problem with this, either, because voter fraud is not the big problem that Republicans want it to be. They've spent years trying to infringe upon voting rights and this simply rolls things back to the way they were.

13. There is also an effort in the Virginia House to allow Virginia's 13 electoral college votes to go to the national popular candidate instead of who Virginians vote for. I would like to see a study on this issue, one that ultimately does away with the electoral college. The electoral college was put in place to ensure that only "the right" people are elected. Until there is a national study underway to determine how voting should be best done in this country (fairly, freely, and hopefully one vote per person with mandatory voting), I'm not sure about this particular issue.

I think the verbiage that my Republican House of Delegate and my Republican Senator shared in my local newspaper this week in their "weekly updates" is revealing. That's where I took these items from, and I didn't do follow-up research to see exactly where the bills stand, so I am basically simply arguing against the way they worded these issues.

Their priorities are business, not people. Virginia is known as a great place for business. I'd rather it be known as a great place for people to live. I mean, what is our happiness rating? We're not ranked in the Top 10 and we live next door to West Virginia (and some folks want to join West Virginia), which is ranked at the bottom.

I want to live in a happy place. Can't the best place for business also be the best place for its people?

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Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 644th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday. Or so sayth the Blogger counter, anyway.

3 comments:

  1. Oh, don't get me started. Can I quote you: Republicans apparently are allergic to "green" except for where it concerns money. I'm more scared of open carry militias with military weapons than the need to revolt against the government. But under Trump, who knows? Who are the snowflakes now.

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  2. In California, stores charge 10 cents to 25 cents for each bag they use. I've noticed both the paper and plastic bags are well-made again. When my mom was studying for her naturalization test in the 1960s, she was asked what political party would she join. "Democratic party, because they care for the poor people."

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