When We Are Willing to Talk

A new U.S. farm bill comes along every five years or so and I am yet to witness a national dialogue or debate on it. Farm bills not only affect our national debt, but also what we eat and how much it costs. They determine the price of rice in Vietnam and the price of corn in Mexico.They make up our strategy for feeding ourselves. We, as a people, do not take time to talk about them!

Most of us, including our legislators, consider them boring, incomprehensible, and unimportant.

We don't have to be this way. We can educate ourselves. We can create bills that are much easier to understand and we talk-over the issues and our policy. When we find the bills easier to understand we will find them more interesting. As a result we may find ourselves giving our children a better chance to eat well.  

Our farm bill is important. We can benefit, for example, by putting our agricultural policy in better alignment with our health needs and our environmental needs. When we car enough we could make it easier to feed ourselves and our children higher quality fresh food with less poisons added. We could make sure that our farmers got fairer prices and fewer distorting subsidies.

When we get willing to talk with one another we can get our issues on the table where we can look them over.

Among people who are not slaves, it seems important to expand the circle of citizens who decide how we shall get the food we need and want.

Thanks to Michael for his inspiration.

 

by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill


An Active Citizen

You can start your life as a active citizen by taking one or more of the following actions. More may be better. You can find a couple that are truly easy (pizy).

Consider:

  • What an active citizen can do to help his/her school district, town, city, state. You might start at a local library.
  • Learning a little more than just a little about your county government.
  • Keeping politically humble, curious, and modest.
  • Making an opportunity to attend a couple of meetings of civic organizations.
  • Joining a political party.It is OK to change parties.
  • Registering to vote. It can be more interesting to register as a party member.
  • Getting a better understanding of an issue, a policy, a plank, or a specific bill.
  • Contacting the office of a specific office holder and asking what his or her position is on your issue of interest.
  • Calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard and telling them your zip code. They will transfer you to your Representative. Tell your Representative representative what is on your mind: ask your question or say what it is you want of him.
  • Writing to the office of your Senator. Check on line to see how to spell his name. Address your letter to him in care of the United States Senate, Washing DC 20515.
  • Writing to your Congressman/Representative by name at the United States House of Representatives, Washington DC 20515.
  • Sitting quietly foe awhile and letting what you have learned work itself around in your mind. You may be be beginning to cook a bit politically.
  • Remembering that nobody has to be a politician all the time.
  • Finding a finding a friend who seems to be politically knowledgeable or civically interested. Talk civics or issues of governance and like that.
  • Attending meetings of your city council or of your local school board. You ca just watch.
  • Keeping your sense of humor and having some fun as you remember that political often have seriously important consequences.

 

Thanks for reading citizen! If you are a citizen of Moldova, Bolivia, or elsewhere you can find some useful actions above. You can use the translation tool in the left hand column. 

 

by Richard Sheehan

for Mago Bill

 


Chief Justice

It is my experience that many U.S. citizens were not pleased with Earl Warren's time on the Court. In reviewing some of his history, I find it pleasing, and the character of the man pleasing.

Let me recall a bit of what I have learned:

His father was an immigrant from Norway. My paternal grandmother's parents had roots reaching back to Norway. That may make me kin to Warren. Hope that doesn't prejudice this account.

He spent much of his childhood and youth in Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield is a town on the edge of the desert I have called home. Almost a homeboy.

He seemed to have had a strong dislike for mob action. I don't like it much either

Earl W. was a young charter member of Local 268 of the American Federation of Musicians. I am not a musician, but I have seen value in unity.

Warren quoted president Lincoln as saying, "I'm a slow walker, but I never walk backward." I am not exactly sure of what that means, but it does not seem a bad saying for a politician.

Well, now I feel interested in what Mr. Warren did as Chief Justice of our Supreme Court. I have walked backward from time to time, but just now I feel like working up a little essay on Warren's doings as Chief Justice.

 

by Richard Sheehan                                                                                                      for Mago Bill