(Sara Michele Crusade/Examiner.com) – Even as I withdraw myself to 50% participation in local politics to focus on finding work within my profession, I am bombarded with news in abundance; none of it pleasant. There is so much to process that I often feel like my head will explode, and I doubt my ability to be knowledgeable on all the issues of importance.
One such issue, not a local one, came to me from an email that a left-leaning business associate had forwarded. The email was an article written by John Cory of Reader Supported News. Apparently he and my associate are up in arms (figuratively – as they must necessarily oppose firearms to remain PC) because Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns apparently attached an amendment to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Law that Congress passed in May 2010.
This law requires all first responders to pass a background check before receiving medical treatment. The background check is run through the Department of Homeland Security (a department I do not necessarily agree with, but that’s for a different column) and is an instant check against the terrorist watch list. Of course, Cory doesn’t report that the background check is instant; rather, he inflames the reader by insinuating that medical care may be held up while the background check is conducted. It appears Cory didn’t do any of his own research, as the original article calling the amendment anti-American (such a farce coming from socialists) was written by Michael McAuliff of the Huffington Post.
I wanted to know the reasoning behind Stearns’ support of the amendment, so I contacted his office. Rep. Stearns’ press director, Paul Flushe, who was quick to respond to my query (if only local candidates and politicians were as forthcoming):
“After I offered this amendment on May 25, 2010, in the House Energy & Commerce Committee,the Chairman of the committee ,Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), stated, ‘I think it makes a lot of sense and I’m willing to support it.’ …When anyone, including first responders and members of Congress, buys an airline ticket, their name is checked against a terrorist watch list. Every individual seeking benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act will have his/her name instantly checked against a terrorist watch list. This protection is appropriate because under this legislation, workers, residents, students, passersby, and anyone who was in the vicinity on 9/11 can join first responders and cleanup workers in submitting a claim for benefits.”
According to Stearns, cleanup workers and maintenance workers who were in the area over a four-month period after the attack are also eligible for medical treatment. The amendment imposes no burden on those seeking treatment; the burden is on the U.S. government to ensure that no one on a terrorist watch list receives these benefits.
Stearns received no opposition to the amendment and it was adopted unanimously. Stearns stated the Senate made no effort to change the language of the amendment because it is a proper safeguard.
I imagine there aren’t many illegal immigrants from the area requesting medical treatment for exposure to the attack debris, as that would require contact with a government agency. But then, that’s just my supposition. It is nice to know both sides of the issue though, and not to be stuck inflamed by a belief that Congress acted un-American in treating 9/11 first responders.
We can now focus on all the real un-American stuff Congress is doing; like printing money, pushing socialized healthcare, and trying to grab guns away from law abiding Americans – yet again. Yes, the gunpowder smell hadn’t even lifted from the Tucson street corner before Lefties in office started calling for a reinstatement of the Clinton-era gun ban.
Here in our own Battle Torn state, hopes for swift and successful passage of legislation to allow conceal and carry of firearms on college campuses has hit a snag as the bill had a fiscal note in it, which sent it to the Finance Committee. Time will tell if this was a legitimate fiscal issue or something added to be a bill killer.
I can’t help but observe Nevada politics once again appearing to rise to the beat of freedom’s drum, only to lose potency in the most crucial moment. I’m reminded of a balloon that has been inflated to the bursting point with air and then let go, without being tied. The balloon makes a good show of flying around and making noise until the last moment when it fizzles out and collapses to the ground deflated.
With speculation that the U.S. economy may collapse in anywhere from five to 20 years; with gas prices on the rise along with the prices of all goods sold; and with dismal unemployment numbers here in Nevada, it is unfathomable to me that Las Vegans carry on as if nothing really needs our attention. Although statistics released in April for March present a decrease in unemployment statewide, from 14% to 13.2% (excluding business owners who lost business, those who lost benefits, and those who fled the state), the figure still represents an abysmal picture. Teen joblessness in Nevada is reported to be 32.9%!
And as if life in the desert was rosy, Las Vegans overwhelmingly supported Carolyn Goodman for mayor in the primary race; a woman whose plan to end unemployment is to bring Hollywood to Las Vegas. Yeah, more liberal freaks to run around espousing the increase of taxes and the decrease of constitutional freedoms like the right to self-defense.
In the year-and-one-half that I have lived here this go-round working in the trenches, I’ve seen good patriots leave the battle, worn out from struggling against a political machine that refuses to be tuned up. I’ve seen fresh, young patriots discouraged by affronts from the opposition as well as their own team. And I’ve seen more than my share of egos on the front lines.
There is a lot of work that must be done locally, at the state level, and nationally, if we are going to get back on track. From where I sit today, we have a Goliath-sized challenge ahead of us, and unless we genuinely pull together and make earnest sacrifices, we are going to lose the fight.
(Sara Michele Crusade is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has been published in the U.S. and Germany. She is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology. Email Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.)