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    Letters To The Editor
    February 14, 2012

    New ‘No Label’ movement says ‘no work, no paycheck’ for Congress

    My name is Michael Eylerts, I am a student at the Florida State University.  I am writing to you today to inform you about a growing problem that has been plaguing our country.

     I speak of hyper-partisanship and the inability of our elected officials to do their jobs effectively. The Constitution states that Congress has one job above all: deciding how much money the government takes-in and how much it spends.  

    Congress hardly every does this job on time.  It has been 14 years since Congress has passed the federal budget on-time and this year, we have already gone over 1,000 days without a budget.  How can we help fix this clearly dysfunctional political system?
    In today’s environment, in which centrifugal forces of personal and institutional belligerence drive us ever farther apart, a new political movement has emerged.  This new force in politics is “No Labels.”  http://www.nolabels.org

    Founded in December 2010 by a large and diverse group of highly regarded political partisans representing the entire spectrum of Republican, Democrat, and Independent leaders (including Jacksonville’s very own David Walker) “No Labels’” goal is to find common ground and common sense solutions to our critical (and worsening) economic and political challenges while, at the same time, maintaining vigorous debate at all levels of governance. 

    “No Labels” is not non-partisan, nor does it seek to establish a third political party.  Very simply, it is built on the notion that we have only a limited amount of time to cure our political and economic ills before we shrink to the status of a “once great power.”

    Now, thirteen months into its existence, “No Labels” observed its first birthday in December 2011 with announcement of its platform of initiatives (all of which may be found online at www.nolabels.org

    ) that are designed to restore civility and accountability to our federal government.  Foremost among its proposals is the “no budget no pay” plank. 

    This proposal requires that Congress must each year adopt the federal budget by its October deadline or see its paychecks stop until it does so.  No more continuing resolutions.  No more kicking the can down the road.  No more pay for non-performance of its primary responsibility as Representatives and Senators.  Who, after all, should be paid for not doing his or her job?

    Legislation implementing “no budget no pay” has been filed and is pending in this Congress.  HR 3643 and S 1981 have bi-partisan sponsorship and, remarkably, S 1981 is scheduled for a full Committee hearing on March 14 in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator Joe Lieberman. 

    Clearly, there are many members of Congress who fear the loss of their paychecks and who will only support this measure if they fear a constituent backlash in the next election.

    If you are tired of the status quo; if you are fearful for your and your family’s economic future; if you are uncertain what the future holds for America; if you or those you know are experiencing the anguish of joblessness or foreclosure; if you believe that Congress is not fulfilling the responsibility that we have hired it to fulfill, then you are a supporter of HR 3643 and S 1981.  By enacting this measure, we the people draw a line in the sand and begin to restore our great Nation to its rightful place as the shining city on the hill.

    Please contact Senators Nelson and Rubio and your representative respectfully to inform them that we expect that they will set aside their personal partisan and financial interests in furtherance of the Nation’s interest by agreeing to co-sponsor and committing to support “no budget no pay” legislation.


    Michael Eylerts
    Tallahassee, Florida
    February 04, 2012

    FSU Student fights serious illness with Valentine’s Day dinner and theater event

    Brian Jackson, a senior at Florida State University, was afflicted with Dystonia in 2005 at the age of 15. Brian and his parents, Erwin and Stefanie Jackson are hosting a Dinner and Show on Valentine’s Day. The net proceeds will benefit the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation as it searches for a cure to this debilitating disorder.

    The dinner will be held at the University Center Club Futch Ballroom on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2012. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. The show is entitled “THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AMERICA (abridged)! The Boston Herald said, “What the “Daily Show” would be like if hosted by the Marx Brothers!”. The New York Times called this show “INTELLECTUAL VAUDEVILLE … Breathlessly paced, slapstick merriment.”

    In 2004, Brian was enjoying high school and active in several sports. One afternoon he complained of a sore back after playing basketball. During the next nine months Brian was consistently misdiagnosed by doctors in Tallahassee and Gainesville.

    Each doctor falsely concluded that Brian had scoliosis. Finally, after a four day stay in a Miami hospital Brian learned that he had Dystonia. By this time Brian had lost the use of both hands, was unable to walk, and was forced to drop out of Lincoln High School.

    Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder that causes muscles in the body to contract or spasm involuntarily. The symptoms may affect a specific part of the body or be generalized throughout many muscle groups. Dystonia affects an estimated 300,000 men, women and children in North America.

    Brian’s condition was unresponsive to current medicine, and finally agreed to have brain surgery in hopes of regaining control of his arms and legs. Brian now has eight electrodes in his brain and two batteries in his chest. Within 48 hours following his operation he was able to walk unassisted and was again able to feed himself. I

    Brian will graduate from FSU in May and hopes to secure a position in the medical field that will allow him to work with individuals who suffer from Dystonia.

    Although there is currently no cure, research advances are being made. Dr. Pradeep Bhide and fellow researchers at the FSU College of Medicine currently have a NIH grant to study Dystonia in search of a cure. Brian and his parents have been asked to share their personal experiences about Dystonia with the FSU medical school in March 2012.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS CONTACT: JESSICA ROSSOW (850) 645-5693 OR .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Erwin Jackson
    Tallahassee, Florida
    January 27, 2012

    Prevention is the only cure for a Brain Injury

    I would like to give my opinion as Traumatic Brain Injury survivor and registered votor of The State of Massachusetts I support Legislation in Congress where I support punishing states who dont pass motorcycle helmet laws Seat Belt Laws and Bicycle Helmet Laws seventeen and under and reward states for passing motorcycle helmet laws seat belt laws and bicycle helmet laws for children seventeen and under.

    I hold President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, the Republican Party asleep at the wheel on preventing traumatic brain injury in the United States of America if nothing is done on this issue.

    Medicard and Medicare costs will go up treating traumatic brain injury survivors.

    I ask that you remember Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords while she is getting brain injury rehabilitation I hope she will get better and be back in Congress soon. Motorcycle riders only want choice but dont think about the consequences of traumatic brain injury.

    This is American issue not a local issue. Prevention is the only cure for a Brain Injury.

    Robert S. Edwards
    Wellesley, MA