"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Debates and Speeches - A Citizen Questions

Here are some questions that have been on our mind for some time –

Does a media conglomerate (TheFundamentals calls these companies “Hollywood”) have the right to hold a presidential debate (primary or general election) and interrupt it with commercials? In effect we are asking if it makes sense for a media conglomerate to produce and present a forum which is an essential part of a democratic process and make money off it.

At present, the answer is, obviously, an overwhelming Yes. Because it is occurring. Is the next step to commercialize tonight’s state of the union address as being presented by Frito's or General Motors (of course, there is some truth to the latter sponsorship?)

We find that there are many things occurring that are not right; that simply do not make sense. Not the least of which is the massive debt built up by the current president and congress and his predecessor and congress.

Which brings us to the next question.

Why isn’t the moderator(s) who is a paid employee(s) of the media conglomerate (Hollywood) asking the republican primary candidates about the massive debt buildup and their specific commitments to levels of debt in the future, if they were to become president? They are not bashful about asking the candidates about gay rights or their own personal behavior? Or a series of other questions that require some thought and analysis from the candidates. Why don’t these media employees wish to focus on debt? Could it be that their employers actually benefit from high levels of government debt?

At least we can be certain that the president will directly address debt tonight and be very specific in setting goals for all of us that will limit future debt increases inasmuch as his own military chief has told us that the debt of our country is our number one national security threat.

Here are some other questions that might be posed. Why should a prospective employee of any employer be required, in the United States, to join a union in order to be employed? Isn’t that, de facto, a restriction on any citizen’s freedom? And isn’t that restriction particularly onerous because it impacts their ability to earn a living? Does that make sense? We thought free and open employment was actually a concept that the federal government supported? We have an EEOC but no agency that says a person should be able to work anywhere with no conditions. Given Mr. Obama's laser focus on jobs, we are also sure he will address this "right to work" issue.

Or how about this question which gets back to the debt issue? “Should any congress or any president be able to create debt for any spending program that will benefit current citizens and leave the debt for citizens who are not even born?” As we recall, when a person dies, by law, their debts are not conveyable to their heirs. Isn’t that a legal concept that is being violated by the current congress and president and upheld by the judges who do not even address the situation? As a matter of fact and law, aren’t the debts of a deceased either paid from that person’s estate or extinguished? Ergo, why should a newborn arriving in 2012 have any legal responsibility for debts created in 2011 or before?

Here is one more question – the current supreme court docket (which is their agenda of cases to be heard) includes cases about tracking citizen’s automobiles (US v. Jones); about government involvement in employment decisions in religious organizations (Hosanna et.al. v. EEOC) and about a prisoner’s health care in a privately run institution (Minneci v. Pollard.) But nothing about debt? What is the greater threat to America? Debt or tracking a citizen’s car? Debt or meddling in whom a church gets to hire or fire? Debt or prisoner health and legal remedies? Are we the only ones who think it may make sense for the court to prioritize addressing massive and destructive levels of debt before lesser issues?

Last question/comment. What does government of the people, by the people and for the people really mean? Does that mean that the people can only address any of the questions raised in this essay through their representatives and the courts set up by these representatives? What if their representatives and the courts set up by these representatives don’t deal with these issues? Then what? Doesn’t that mean that the government is not of, by and for the people? What do you do when the government is not of, by and for the people?

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