Thursday, February 28, 2013

Real men support the Violence Against Women Act

Speaker John Boehner did  the right thing today. He broke the "Hastert Rule" and allowed the Violence Against Women Act to pass. This means he brought a bill to the floor that was not supported by the majority of his party, but was supported by the majority of the House.

In other words, he set politics aside to let important legislation pass.

President Obama, Speaker Boehner, Senator Crapo (my senator), and the majority of Congress, thank you for your leadership on this issue. 1 in 6 women are raped and for American Indians, that number is 1 in 3, with far higher stranger & other-race attacker rates than the rest of the country. We need this bill, and we need the American Indian provisions that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor immorally stood against.

Unfortunately, Leader Cantor wasn't alone. He was joined by my senator, Jim Risch, and my congressman, Raul Labrador. Real men don't vote against the Violence Against Women Act. Here's a letter I just sent to Rep. Labrador:

Congressman Labrador,

You voted against the Violence Against Women Act today.

1 in 6 American women will be raped at some point in their lifetime. For American Indians, that rate is 1 in 3.

And yet you still voted against the Violence Against Women Act.

Not only did you vote against it, but I saw a quote from you criticizing Speaker Boehner for bringing legislation to the floor that has the support of the Congress and the American people but not your chamber's majority party. That means you're putting party ahead of democracy - shame on you.

I know you're far more conservative than me, but there's nothing wrong with that. Until now, I thought you were at least reasonable. Instead, it turns out you're an embarrassment. I am not represented in Washington, and you are not a real man. Real men don't vote against the Violence Against Women Act.

Nathan Empsall

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Not old, but older

I was driving in Virginia tonight and "My Next Thirty Years" came on. I've always liked this song, but it's sounded more like a man maturing as he becomes a father or a middle-aged guy in a midlife crisis (not that 30 is middle-aged, just the feel of the lyrics to a kid). A good song, but always about a distant and irrelevant part of life. Man, I might still be a few years off from 30, but tonight this song smacked me in the face like the bristle end of a broom. It sounded relevant, real, present, personal; not about life itself but about MY life. I've heard this number for 13 years but never like that before. It was like I was hearing an entirely new and different song. Just, wow. Don't blink.