in the next town up from mine (population 1500), there was a public "listening session" today hosted by 4 sitting United States Cabinet Secretaries (Veterans Affairs, Labor( my favorite), Health and Human Services and Agriculture. It was held in the National Guard Armory and attended by a SRO crowd of over 5000 with tons of Secret Service and the unusual (for us) protesters..
Everyone was polite, we all joined in for the Pledge of Allegiance and then cheered the fact that our LA State National Guard would be leaving from this same building in a few weeks to serve our Country in Afghanastan
The Secretaries spoke very little, but open the floor to questions and actually listened while their staffs took detailed notes, what the concerns were of small town Americans regarding various issues
it's very nice to see upfront and personal, American Democracy at work
I agree, and it'll be even better if they actually listened to you, and actually put into action some of the suggestions that I'm sure they got from the great majority of the people in attendance. We have a congresswoman who has get togethers in local churches to "hear what her constituents are thinking about", and occasionally she actually does what we ask her to! Truly amazing.....
I'd have come down myself were Janet Napolitano to have been there and maybe she could have explained something.
My sister in law is from Great Britain. Although not a citizen she lived here for five or six years and following marriage to my older brother, had two daughters here. They then moved to the British Isles and had another daughter.
My brother and his wife moved back a couple of years ago to be near their eldest daughter and both my brother and his wife went back to work after obtaining her green card (which required driving 200 miles each way and putting out a small fortune in fees). Okay, the government has her "biometrics" (whatever the hell that is) and has all the info on her passport as well as all necessary forms on file relative to her green card.
They went to London this summer for the marriage of their middle daughter. While there, their rental car was broken into and everything was stolen. Although inconvenient of course, they got their passports back BUT my SIL also had her green card stolen. Thankfully phone calls were made to Homeland Security from the Embassy in London and the two were welcomed with wonderful service and attention when they landed in Chicago. Boy did things change when they got back home.
She has yet to get her green card reinstituted even with the help of a Congressman (after writing numerous letters to Homeland Security and not even receiving the courtesy of a reply), and now she's hearing that maybe she won't get another. But wait, this gets even better. She had to pay to have another set of "biometrics" completed and you know why? Because the Homeland Security where they live doesn't have electronic capability with the Chicago office (which is where they initially landed upon return)?!!!!???!!!
Here we have an English subject who has previously lived in this country and who has had two children born here, who has returned to this country and followed all the rules and due to no fault of her own is without her green card and Homeland Security can't even verify she had one?!!?
I'm not kidding you. This is basically what she's been told.
And yet America knowingly has over twenty million people whom we know absolutely nothing about (governmentally speaking), nor do we know where exactly they're from, who have no identification and to whom Congress has just decided to give unlimited medical care and also for whom some local government agencies have instituted a hands off policy even following their arrest for violent acts.
Yet this poor middle aged woman is being treated not much better than a terrorist and is truthfully on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Todd..I hear you..it was interesting today to hear the incredible stories from Veterans trying to receive basic health care that they were promised for serving our Country and being wounded, the incredible stories about working folks not being able to find or afford health coverage, farmers suffering, people who have lost jobs and are over 50 and now trying to compete in this tight job market
our Country is in very challenging times..many folks today say "but for the Grace of God go I"
If we are blessed to be able to afford to go on a cruise every once in awhile, we have very little to complain about
There is a way that those Americans needing help and deserving help can receive it. There is also a way where our Veterans can receive the medical, moral and financial support they're certainly due. While yes, it will involve most of us digging deeper into our pockets and I'll be the first to reach into mine. I am not what they used to call in the forties, an "America First" type. What I am, however, is an 'Americans First" type.
My point is that we absolutely have to stop being all things to all men. We haven't even started the really important things such as helping our Vets and we're already virtually bankrupt! I find that situation nothing less than abominable.
We have a local congresswoman who has regular "meetings" with the public but they amount to her talking for thirty minutes and bashing the democratic party and then leaving. A waste of time.
BTW: She is from the political party I'm affiliated with and I still think it and she are a waste of time.
Todd: Have your SIL check with her homeowners insurance. Friends of ours had their rental car broken into in Germany and their passports, and other things, stolen. Their homeowners insurance covered the cost of replacement.
It may not help with the hassle but it could offset some of the costs.
__________________ Cruisemates Community Leader/Moderator
"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me