Tag Archives: USA

Congress saves itself from further ridicule

On Wednesday September 27, 2023, Congress voted to clarify that politicians should wear “business attire” when they’re on the floor of the chamber.

Here are excerpts from THE HILL:

The Senate voted Wednesday night to require that business attire be worn on the floor of the chamber, following backlash from both sides over Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) move to relax the dress code last week. 

The resolution, from centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), comes just over a week after Schumer announced he would loosen the Senate’s dress code, a move that was seen by some as a way to accommodate Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), who is often spotted on Capitol Hill wearing shorts and hoodies instead of suits. 

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike criticized Schumer’s decision, with some calling it disrespectful to the upper chamber. 

The vote came in the midst of both chambers racing to avert a shutdown at the end of the week.

The resolution seeks to “clarify the dress code” for the Senate floor. It requires men to wear a coat, tie, slacks and other long pants.

Speaking with The Hill last week, Fetterman denied he was the driving force behind the rule change. 

Manchin told The Hill last week he spoke with Fetterman directly and told the Pennsylvania lawmaker he thought he changes to the dress code were “wrong” and that not wearing a traditional suit and tie on the Senate floor “degrades” the chamber. 

“And I think it’s in keeping with that spirit that we say we want those who serve inside this room, in this hall, to show a level of dignity and respect which is consistent with the sacrifice they made and with the beauty of the surroundings,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on the floor Wednesday.”

Fetterman responded to the vote on X, formerly known as Twitter, with a meme photo of Kevin James.

Memorial Day – Freedom is not Free

This article by Marine WO2 Sherman Gillums, Jr. is worth an educational read:

Defenders of Freedoms Ultimate Sacrifice

Posted on  by TheLight

Marine WO2 Sherman Gillums, Jr.May 2019

This is a picture the Defense Department has never let the public see until now. This is a behind-the-scenes look at Dover Air Force Base where the bodies of fallen service members are prepared for burial. That includes being properly dressed, all the way down to the smallest detail.In this picture, Staff Sgt. Miguel Deynes is making sure the uniform is just right for a U.S. Army pilot who was recently killed in Afghanistan.

There is a very specific process once a fallen service member is returned home. The bodies are flown back to the United States on a cargo jet. A team of service members wearing white gloves carry the flag-draped coffins to a white van that takes them to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner.

The remains are washed, hands are scrubbed clean, and hair is shampooed. If necessary, the bones are wired together and damaged tissue is reconstructed with flesh-toned wax. Sometimes, they will use photos. Sometimes, they just intuition to recreate the wrinkles in the faces and the lines around the mouth or the corner of the eyes.

“It has to look normal, like someone who is sleeping.”

Once the body is ready then the uniform is prepared. That includes putting medals in the proper order on the ribbon rack above the uniform’s breast pocket.

During the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 10 to 20 bodies were arriving every day.

The embalmers often worked all night to get the bodies home on time. This can take an emotional toll on them, so the mortuary has a large gym to allow workers to blow off steam. Many say they are haunted by how young the fallen soldiers are and by how many of them leave behind small children. That’s why Sgt. Deynes says they are advised not to do research into the backgrounds of the soldiers.

“If I knew the story of every individual who went through here, I would probably be in a padded cell.”

The dress uniform being prepared in this particular case will be in a closed casket. Even so, it will be perfectly tailored, starched and pressed. Everything will be checked down to the last detail.

Sgt. Deynes says, “[The family is] not going to see it. I do it for myself. It’s more than an honor. It’s a blessing to dress that soldier for the last time.”Memorial Day is about these service members and the families they left behind.

Memorial Day 2022

2022: For many, the pain, strength, and pride of Memorial Day is very personal and real.

CW-2 (Apache Pilot) Kirk Takeshi Fuchigami Jr. of Keaau, Hawaii.

EOW: 20 Nov 2019 Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Takeshi was a BYU-Hawaii student and worked at Laie Ace Hardware.

Here is McKenzie Norman Fuchigami – a very young and strong widow’s post – on Facebook:

“McKenzie Norman Fuchigami is with Takeshi Fuchigami at Memorial Day.

Another Memorial Day in the books, and another day without him. Of course I want to take this opportunity to remember his beautiful soul.

Takeshi proudly served his country and I know he would not hesitate to do it again even given the outcome.

But I also cannot help on this day to remember what was lost.

It’s daunting and frankly SOUL CRUSHING thinking about living the rest of my life without him. Never hearing his voice again or seeing his face light up, making my heart whole. What’s worse? Knowing I missed my short chance of making him a Dad, sharing a family with him. I’ll never be able to get that chance back, something my brain knows, but my heart just won’t accept.

Memorial Day is a painful one, thinking about all of the thousands of lives that are forever altered.

The high price of freedom I’m reminded by daily. And even though it’s painful, I will take this day and every day to remember his irreplaceable presence, and the life we could have had.

To those who will always have a permanent hole in their heart, I hope this Memorial Day reminds you of the love that we got to have even if it was short lived.”

SCOTUS: Justice RBG Seat Now Occupied by Amy Coney Barrett

October 26, 2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed on October 26, 2020 Monday night by the US Senate voted 52-48. It was strictly along party line. None of the Democrats casted a vote for her. Susan Collins (R) from Maine opposed.

After the ceremonial oath of office, Barrett declared the following statement:  

“The oath that I have solemnly taken tonight means, at its core, that I will do my job without any fear or favor, and that I will do so independently of both the political branches and of my own preferences. I love the Constitution and the democratic republic that it establishes, and I will devote myself to preserving it

Putting the partisanship aside, Justice Barrett’s advice to young women during the hearings is memorable and applicable to all:

“You shouldn’t let life just happen to you. Make a deliberated decision of what you want to be.”

Here are a few of my personal takes of the nomination process:

  1. There was an overload of partisanship and showmanship. So many were playing to the camera and their targeted audience rather than focused on the subject matter at hand. I watched part of the process on C-Span to escape those relentless talking heads from both parties.
  2. There is no guarantee that the 48-years-old Justice Barrett will live to be 87 years old. Or she may live longer than that. Will she retire early? Who knows? Who can see into the future?
  3. Remembrance of history could tame some divisiveness. Did the nomination process seem fast and unfair today? Blame it on Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada who was Senate Majority Leader in 2012. Reid championed the rules to prevent the minority party from slowing passage of legislation and nominations. The table turned in 2020 for the Republicans.
  4. It’s not surprising that a sitting POTUS will nominate a Justice who reflects his ideology. The opportunities to nominate have opened to both Democrat and Republican Presidents.
  5. Supreme Court Justices have proven that they can “surprise” legal observers with their decisions. After all, their job is to implement the rule of law and the US Constitution.
  6. This is not easily over-turned. Roe vWade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. How can we as a Society help our women improve their social and economic standing to prevent unwanted pregnancies?
  7. Whether we agree with Justice Barrett or not, her scholarship, intellect and keen recollection of cases and laws are noteworthy and remarkable. The American Bar Association (ABA) has rated Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett as “well qualified,” based on her integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament.