Posted January 12, 2007 11:49 am - Updated January 16, 2007 02:56 pm

While We Were Sleeping

Did you get a good night's sleep last night? I hope so, because it may be the last one any of us get in a while. "Why?" you ask. Because things in America are headed down an uncertain path. No. I am not debating the issues regarding the war in Iraq although they are extremely worthy issues and concerns. I am, however, sharing an unsettling attempt by the United States Senate to prevent American citizens from knowing what they are doing in Washington, D.C. and anywhere else they roam around "on our behalf." It's entitled: "S.1 To provide greater transparency in the legislative process". "Transparency". Interesting choice of terms. Here is some of the language for defining grassroots lobbying according to this proposed bill: "(17) GRASSROOTS LOBBYING- The term `grassroots lobbying' means the voluntary efforts of members of the general public to communicate their own views on an issue to Federal officials or to encourage other members of the general public to do the same." Well, we certainly can't have that - now can we? Is it my imagination or wasn't is the original intention (ahem, perception) that senators and congressmen are elected by American citizens to represent those very citizens as their "public servants"? That is to say they serve the public, right? Correct me if I'm wrong here. However, it appears that these very senators that have been elected by the public - to serve the public (not to mention that they are paid by the public's tax dollars......ahem....minor detail, mind you...), [back on topic] well..... they don't like it when We, the People, find out what all they're doing and no longer want us to be told about it because they are tired of all of our emails and generally disrupting their day. Imagine that? Wonder why that is? So. They got together and decided that they would write up a little ol' bill (Senate Bill 1, Section 220) that, if passed, would prevent the mass notification of the public about their decisions and goings on. In other words, the U. S. Senate has somehow forgotten [?] (for lack of a better term) that they don't have a choice but to be held accountable by the very public they serve. Well, they can't exactly deny the information (though they do a great camouflage job - er, "transparent" job) - but they definitely want to make it difficult for Americans to find out about what all they're doing on the job - knowing that most American families are working day and night to take care of their families and make ends meet and generally don't have a great deal of extra time left over to check up on Washington. (Convenient, huh?) So if they can stop organizations like Focus on the Family and the American Family Association and others like them from keeping America informed - well, there's just no telling what all they could accomplish without having to respond to emails, letters and whiny, demanding phone calls from, who else? We, the People. Question: Could someone explain to me what the difference might be between the American Family Association and others like them notifying you and me about our government's work and, say...... The Augusta Chronicle reporting it, or The Washington Post or even CNN? Or are they all next on the bill writing agenda? If you aren't outraged at such a notion and attempt - you need to check your pulse. This is a huge red flag (among many) waving under every American citizen's nose this very moment. Would it be so terribly bad for all of us if 2007 becomes the year that "serving the people" returned to the job descriptions of those in public service? Want to know more? CLICK HERE to go to American Family Association's information about this bill. CLICK HERE to go to Focus on the Family's petition against this attempt by our elected senators. CLICK HERE to contact your senators. To do nothing will only continue the subtle chipping away of our Constitutional rights while we're all sleeping. UPDATE: An admendment to this bill has been introduced by Senator Robert Bennett and co-sponsored by Senator Mitch McConnell that would strike Section 220 and remove it from the bill. The amendment could come up for a vote on the floor of the Senate as early as next Tuesday. Please call your U.S. senators and urge them to support the Bennett amendment (amendment 20) to S. 1. Harriette Jacobs South of the Gnat Line HT: Leslie