No Sitting, Bathroom Or Food Are Why The Inhuman Rules Of Filibustering Are In Dire Need Of Change

No Sitting, Bathroom Or Food Are Why The Inhuman Rules Of Filibustering Are In Dire Need Of Change

No bathroom breaks. No eating breaks. No sitting. You think you have what it takes?
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I was on Facebook the other evening when a video caught my eye. It was telling the story of the Democratic filibuster on gun control that happened last year. I dug a little deeper to find out that the filibuster (a tactic used in the U.S. Senate to block or delay action on a bill) lasted an astounding 15 hours led by Connecticut Senator Christopher Murphy and 39 other Senators. It amazed me that politicians would go to such lengths to stop a bill or pass one.

I read another story about the Texas Senator Wendy Davis. She filibustered for 13 hours to stop Texas's anti-abortion bill from being passed. She was on her feet the entire time. She was not allowed to use the bathroom. This is a rule for all filibusters. Instead, Ms. Davis used a urinary catheter on the Senate floor. Another rule for filibusters: you can't eat anything except hard candy, water and milk. Ridiculous? I know. I was thinking the same thing.

I went on to read 10 other filibuster stories involving politicians on both sides of the political spectrum. Whatever they believed in, they all had to follow the same absurd rules. No bathroom breaks unless another senator "allows" you to go, because he or she has yielded the floor to make a note. No eating except candy (because that apparently keeps stamina up). And no sitting.

Whoever came up with the rules for filibustering obviously took the phrase, "Stand up for what you believe in," too literally. The idea of filibustering makes sense — you get a hold of the floor for as long as you'd like to talk your colleagues into siding with you. But the fact that you get a hold of the floor until you pass out from fatigue or a cloture happens is inhumane.

Instead, there should be other rules in place. For example, for every five hours of your filibuster, you get a five minute washroom break. The rule of eating nothing but candy and milk is also useless. A person has to have all of their strength if they're trying to put up a fight for what they believe in. They need real food, like a sandwich. Plus, while standing gives you authority and power over the audience, standing for hours on end can cause fatigue. Government should not be a fight for who can physically stand the longest. It should be about reaching an agreement like sane, logical human beings.

Sure, rules should be implemented, like you have to talk while you have a snack, but the Senate shouldn't just outright ban food on the floor. Senate should give a two minute sitting break every couple of hours. Senate already has the power to close a filibuster with a cloture, so at least give the filibustering Senator a real chance to convince others of their side. If they're sweating, starving and really have to go to the bathroom, what chance do they have to make a convincing argument?

Don't get me wrong. Senators have succeeded in their filibusters in the past. Wendy Davis did. That doesn't mean the rules of filibustering should be brutal. The point of the filibuster is to really get the attention of Senators to prove that the filibustering Senator really believes in what they're trying to pass or inhibit. While the rules should be strict in order to maintain the fact that filibusters are difficult and should be used as last resorts, they should not be detrimental to the Senator's health.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Should Serial Murderers Face the Death Penalty?

After killing multiple people, why does their life mean more than their victims?

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I recently had to write a paper on this topic for my Psych of Criminal Behavior class and it really intrigued me. The death penalty is such a controversial topic; some people don't believe in it while others think it's an acceptable punishment. There is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to sentencing someone to death, such as the severity of the crime.

Recently, I have been binge watching "Criminal Minds" and most of the cases implicate some kind of serial murderer. The crime scenes often show violent, heinous crimes that often involve a form of torture, rape or mutilation. More often than not, they either die in a cop shootout or end up in prison. I believe they should be put to death.

Here's why…

People who kill multiple people do not deserve to be alive; therefore, they should be killed. Serial killers usually enjoy killing, feel the need to keep killing, or can't stop killing for some other reason. Since they have taken more than one life without really caring about the people they have murdered or the families they have destroyed, they shouldn't be afforded the opportunity to live. Being alive is a privilege that serial murderers do not deserve, even in the confines of jail. Plus, prisons provide food, recreational time, healthcare, and a place to sleep. All of which is more than the people they have killed have.

Giving serial murderers the death penalty keeps them out of the prison system. Overall, it may not cost less because of the required judicial reviews, but why should taxpayers be paying for these people to stay alive? Instead, they can pay for them to die. Rather than using expensive execution techniques, serial murderers can be forced to suffer through the cheap version.

Even though prison is for rehabilitation and some serial murderers have psychological issues, I don't believe that they should be sent to a mental institution or be given the time, or resources, to try to change from their past actions. Whether or not they have a mental illness doesn't change the fact that they killed someone. It might change the circumstances of the murders but not the murder itself.

In terms of whether or not the death penalty is enacted, I think that the family of the victims should have a say in what happens to the murderer. If they want the murderer to be sentenced to death, then death should be given. If they want them to rot in prison, so be it. Even if they want the murderer to be tortured for their crimes, it should happen.

Even though the death penalty is one option, I do see the other side as well. The death penalty represents the code of 'an eye for an eye' and that is not always a reasonable code to follow; thus, the death penalty is unreasonable.

Since serial murderers committed such atrocious crimes, they deserve worse than death; they deserve to suffer. Death can be seen as the easy way out and suffering can prevent them from achieving bliss and ending their pain. Saying this, I don't think that being put in a normal prison is enough. Not to mention, prison hierarchies that allow certain prisoners to gain a higher status and get what they want. If these murderers are going to suffer, they need to be put in conditions that are going to provide an adequate amount of suffering. That may include infinite solitude or even torture. Given the 8thAmendment, worse circumstances might not be constitutional.

Innocent people are wrongly convicted for crimes that they haven't committed which means they end up dead for no reason. Therefore, if they had been in prison rather than sentenced to death, they would still be alive. To correct this, I feel like there has to be DNA evidence linking a murderer to the crimes they are accused of because there have been more and more DNA findings that prove convicted prisoners are in fact, innocent.

All in all, the death penalty is a tricky subject that requires a lot of attention. I can definitely understand why people are against the death penalty because there are many factors that play a part but when it comes to serial murderers, putting them to death seems like a reasonable option.

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