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Emails to Congress / President / Govt.

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One of the things I have decided to do is to email politicians about bills/laws.

Such emails may not be acknowledged, or may get a standard reply. Maybe an aide will usually look at the email, add it to a tally ("for" or "against"), and archive the original. On the other hand, my election-time vote might be 1 in 1,000,000 (or more); but, on any particular issue, my email might be 1 in 10,000 (or less). It is low-impact activism; but it is easy activism.

Such activism only makes sense if it takes a minimal amount of time. I recently discovered the Congress.Org site . It tracks what Senators and Congressman are doing and what Bills are coming up. It makes it easy to enter one's details one time, and then send emails out every now and then with very little effort.

All that one has to do is come up with a simple message for the email. All I need is a single subject line: "Thank You for Voting against Eminent Domain", and perhaps one or two additional sentences in the body of the email. That ought not to be hard. I figure that the bulk of the effort will actually be in checking to see what's going on in Congress.

I figured that it would be even easier if the research part was shared. So, whenever I do send an email, I'll post a copy here, in case anyone else wants to send something similar to their rep. I'd ask that if anyone else sends an email to a rep about a bill, they could do the same: post the text here. Again, for me, this particular strain of activism is not about making arguments, but about "being counted", so to speak.

Any substantial letter -- one that presents an argument -- should not be posted to this thread, but as a separate thread in the "Letters" sub-forum.

A final point: if someone disagrees with any email posted here, then let's discuss the substance of such a disagreement in a separate thread.

PS: Telling a legislator that one liked his vote on a bill does not imply one's wholehearted support for the bill, the mixed-economy, or anything else the legislator might be up to.

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Okay, here goes... my first email... they're probably too busy campaigning (and chewing their fingernails), but what the heck ,I'll send them a reminder again sometime :dough:

Topic: Stem-cell research (Senate H.R. 810)

See how your senators voted: here.

Subject: Thank you for supporting Embryonic Stem Cell research

Thank you for keeping religion out of government, by voting for H.R. 810

Subject: Please support Embryonic Stem Cell research

Please keep religion out of government. I am disappointed that you voted against H.R. 810

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Here is an email I sent to Karl Rove. (Click here for a list of White House officials)

This year, many of my votes did *not* go to the GOP, and I thought you might be interested in reasons:

1. In Iraq, Bush did not stand up for individual-rights and against religious governments on principle, Instead, his half-hearted war has created a religious government in Iraq.

2. Bush has a religious agenda, with his stance on stem-cells and partial-birth abortion. The government must stay out of these areas.

3. No-child left behind was worse than Democratic "do nothing", because it makes schools focus on "passing grades". i.e. on poorly performing kids, at the cost of the kids who do well.

4. Medicare: Bush took a step toward socialization of medicine. The Democrats will now use that to extend its scope.

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Here's the latest email.

SUBJECT: Oppose: Bring Back the Military Draft or other type of "service" requirement

I oppose bringing back the military draft. I also oppose any type of mandatory "service" requirement. To force people to serve is to make them slaves to society -- it is wrong.

Click here to send one too. It's real easy!

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It's a good way to weed out those who are your friends, and those who are your enemies. I recently emailed Mel Martinez (FL) regarding my hatred of the minimum wage proposals, and got a reply back why he thought it was a good idea. I immediately scraped him out of my hero list and put him on my '$h!t' list. He has yet to answer my email response explaining in gory detail why minimum wage will put a damper on the economy.

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My e-mail on the draft:

I oppose bringing back the military draft.

Each person is the sole owner of his own life, and the government has no right to dictate how he should live it.

A government which controls a man's life controls everything, and cannot pretend to grant its citzens liberty any longer.

Men who are not free to choose are not free at all.

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There's a bill that was introduced in the house a while ago, but I decided to email my Congressman anyway. Basically, what the bill says is that someone who wins certain categories of court cases cannot get their attorney fees reimbursed. The types of cases covered are those where the winner successfully shows that the government is not respecting the separation of church and state requirement.

Subject: Oppose: Public Expression of Religion Act

I am opposed to the so called "Public Expression of Religion Act" because it gives special status to a religious organization like the Boy Scouts of America.

Usually, I support Republicans in the hope that they will encat better economic policies. However, I find that the Democrats are the only one's keeping the religious right at bay. I am disappointed that you have voted with the religious right on this issue.

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Congress is back and working, and I've received some replies to my earlier eMails. They're form-replies, so I won't bother posting them. I've already sent email about some of the issues in the Democrats "100 hour plan", so I figured I'd email about some older bill that might be revived in the new congress. i chose one Republican-sponsored bill that wants the government to expand their mutual-fund type activities, an extremely bad idea.

Subject: Social Security.

Please vote against the "SAFE fund" controlled by the treasury. Please keep the government out of the economy, not have the government control shares of private companies. These accounts would simply add government control in another form.

Instead, please support a really private approach. For a start, allow people to move some of their Social Security money to a IRA account, controlled by them, not by the government. Return control to individuals.

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With the IPCC report out, I thought the time was right for this.

Despite the media rabble-rousing, it is clear that there is no scientific consensus on global warming. Please do not let the US join the bandwagon by sacrificing it's economic future for hypothetical scare-mongering.

This Canadian newspaper article (http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/story.html?id=156df7e6-d490-41c9-8b1f-106fef8763c6&k=0) gives a good summary of the types of scientists who are not part of the supposed "consensus".

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One of the things I have decided to do is to email politicians about bills/laws.

Such emails may not be acknowledged, or may get a standard reply. Maybe an aide will usually look at the email, add it to a tally ("for" or "against"), and archive the original. On the other hand, my election-time vote might be 1 in 1,000,000 (or more); but, on any particular issue, my email might be 1 in 10,000 (or less). It is low-impact activism; but it is easy activism.

Such activism only makes sense if it takes a minimal amount of time. I recently discovered the Congress.Org site . It tracks what Senators and Congressman are doing and what Bills are coming up. It makes it easy to enter one's details one time, and then send emails out every now and then with very little effort.

All that one has to do is come up with a simple message for the email. All I need is a single subject line: "Thank You for Voting against Eminent Domain", and perhaps one or two additional sentences in the body of the email. That ought not to be hard. I figure that the bulk of the effort will actually be in checking to see what's going on in Congress.

I figured that it would be even easier if the research part was shared. So, whenever I do send an email, I'll post a copy here, in case anyone else wants to send something similar to their rep. I'd ask that if anyone else sends an email to a rep about a bill, they could do the same: post the text here. Again, for me, this particular strain of activism is not about making arguments, but about "being counted", so to speak.

Any substantial letter -- one that presents an argument -- should not be posted to this thread, but as a separate thread in the "Letters" sub-forum.

A final point: if someone disagrees with any email posted here, then let's discuss the substance of such a disagreement in a separate thread.

PS: Telling a legislator that one liked his vote on a bill does not imply one's wholehearted support for the bill, the mixed-economy, or anything else the legislator might be up to.

I think this is a magnificent idea! Thank you for sharing this convenient, timely and relatively effective way to amplify our political voices.

I recently emailed Mel Martinez (FL)
I am afraid that Mel Martinez is a religiously conservative neo-con who is too cozy with Karl Rove. But I will not e-mail him on this when I contact my Florida Congressmen.

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I am afraid that Mel Martinez is a religiously conservative neo-con who is too cozy with Karl Rove. But I will not e-mail him on this when I contact my Florida Congressmen.
I don't know about this guy, and am not exactly clear why you say you won't email him. I just want to suggest:
  • Email all your reps at some regular frequency
  • Email positives ("thank you for voting for") and negatives ("I am disappointed that you voted for")
  • Keep it short

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I don't know about this guy, and am not exactly clear why you say you won't email him.

I just realized that my statement was ambiguous. I meant that I would not e-mail him with a personalized polemic as I do not think that it will accomplish anything. However, I plan to e-mail him and my other elected Congressmen using the format that you recommended.

Edited by DarkWaters

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A new bill (H.R.800) has been introduced, with very wide Democrat support. It will allow unions in the workplace without the need form a secret vote by the workers. The opening text says:

...certify a bargaining representative without directing an election if a majority of the bargaining unit employees have authorized designation of the representative...
While the language might seem innocuous, removing the election requirement and falling back on a "have authorized" is a huge problem because there are many workers who vote against unions coming into their workplaces, but who aren't able to say "no" when a union rep and some other co-workers badger them into signing (and "badger" is the least of the techniques that unions use.)

This bill can have serious implication for the U.S. economy. If you have a Democrat representative, I strongly urge you to send him an email.

I am strongly against this H.R. 800. It betrays union members by opening them up to pressure from union bosses.

From the state of the auto companies and the airlines, it should be clear that managements that could not stand up to union-leaders have run their companies into the ground. Now, this bill seeks to erode the other check against unions: the conscience of the individual worker.

If union bosses really want to let workers vote their conscience, they should allow secret ballots. The idea of secret ballots for all sorts of elections is such an obvious check, that I am shocked that the party that calls itself "Democrat" would push a bill that dilutes the power of the individual worker, in favor of the union bosses.

With growing globalization, this is not the time to be further eroding America's competitiveness and undercutting a firm pillar that has supported many American workers in the free and uncoerced exercise of their freedoms.

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I've got an idea:

Why don't we all sent a copy of Atlas Shrugged to ever congressman and senator?

I think that would be more effective.

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Why don't we all sent a copy of Atlas Shrugged to ever congressman and senator?

I think that would be more effective.

Most of them do not have time to read most of the bills that they vote on! What makes you think that they would have time to read a 1200 page novel? :)

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Most of them do not have time to read most of the bills that they vote on! What makes you think that they would have time to read a 1200 page novel? :)

Yes, naive of me to even think that they who don't even read constituents' letters can't read a novel. :)

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Actually, letters are "read" by assistants. See the first post of this thread for an explanation.

Here's an anecdote. An Objectivist friend used to write to his Congressmen every now and then, and sometimes even attended the odd speech and asked questions. Once, he'd written a particularly rude letter about a particular topic. It did not contain insulting words or anything like that, but it was sharp nevertheless. Then, a few months later, he was at a speech and got a chance to ask a question. He asked about the same topic, very politely, but citing the same example as he had used in his earlier letter. When he asked his question, the congressman said something like: "Oh, you're the guy who wrote me that letter". Even the congressman's wife spoke up, saying something like, "That was very unfair, how could you hold him responsible for that instance?"

No, one cannot expect every letter to garner that attention. However, you can be pretty sure that an aide will go through the letter to at least check a box as "Yes" or "No" on a particular issue. Roughly, I'd say that spending more than about 10 minutes writing an particular email to a congressman is pointless, particular if one disagrees with him.

Finally, as unresponsive as your congressman may be, it is a mistake to think that every politician is completely corrupt and doesn't care at all about what his constituents have to say.

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If you don't want to compose a letter to your congressmen about the separation of church and state, you can use one of the ready-made ones here. Even if one does not agree with the exact wording, your congressman basically tallies the numbers: pro-religion, anti-religion.

In the light of the rcent SCOTUS decision. this is a good time to tell your congressmen that you want religion kept outside government.

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I sent a letter regarding the SCOTUS decision to the governor of PA and one of my representatives. I'm not sure how much one letter will help but I found it worth my time to write and send it.

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I sent a letter regarding the SCOTUS decision to the governor of PA and one of my representatives.
Thank you.

I'm not sure how much one letter will help but I found it worth my time to write and send it.
The key is to think of it somewhat like a response to a poll, rather than an intellectual argument. So, it's best to stand up and be counted, while spending as little time as possible doing so. For me, more than 10 minutes or so is too much.

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I sent a letter regarding the SCOTUS decision to the governor of PA and one of my representatives. I'm not sure how much one letter will help but I found it worth my time to write and send it.

Why don't you share it so other people can send it to their congressmen?

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The Senate recently voted on two bills concerning stem cell research: The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 and the HOPE Act. Now would be a good time to e-mail your Senators to indicate that you want them to keep religion out of government.

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Brief letter to the President, sent via Congress.org:

I am disappointed that you declared May 3rd, 2007 a "National Day of Prayer". The government should not sponsor and support religion.

Background: The President's proclamation:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2007, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

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I know I'm kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but Congress doesn't seem to be doing much (which is a good thing). Anyhow, here's my short email (link to Congress.org). It's a bill that Hillary is sponsoring, probably so that she can claim she reacted to the U.S. "housing slowdown".

Please do not support Bill # S.1078.

The tax code is complicated enough as it is, without the government making more exceptions for certain types of expenses.

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