Sunday, February 14, 2016

Open Questions to ALL Presidential Candidates (With Update)

Hello Readers -

I do see I have been getting page views - so how about some comments and conversation?  Can't be that hard, can it?  Would mean a LOT...

This was originally posted on 10/12/2015, but I thought as we're fully into Presidential primaries and there are debates all around, that I would put this back up top.  And with an update.  Thought you all might enjoy reading about what the American Friends' Service Committee is doing with training folks to ask tough questions of candidates.  Now back to the original post:

I don't usually post so quickly after another post, but I wanted to keep this one timely and I believe the first Democratic Debate is tomorrow.

I was again stunned by an article I saw in The Guardian (though I'm increasingly wondering why I'm not even more cynical than I am).  The latest:  Bernie Sanders on drones .

Bernie, how could you (or anyone with some sort of conscience)?  This amounts to justifying extrajudicial killing which should be abhorrent to those who value the rule of law and the tenants of our Constitution.  Here's an article from 2012 which lays out the problems.  And here's another article about the drone strike memo, authored by the odious David Barron.  And a bit more:  Then Attorney General Holder " previously summarized the justification, saying that targeted killings — whether by unmanned aerial vehicles or manned aircraft — can be carried out if the citizen in question poses an imminent threat, cannot be captured, and can be killed without violating the more general laws of war. So far, four Americans are known to have died through the targeted strike program, including al-Awlaki and his son. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has estimated that over 3,500 people in total have been killed under the program."  What's the problem ---- well, many have pointed out that "imminent threat" is way to broad for one thing.  Also, there is way to little concern for civilian deaths; often termed "collateral damage" (a euphemism that we should not accept the government-military-industrial complex hiding behind).  Any wonder why I would like to see all drones grounded and destroyed for scrap metal?

The Guardian is running a feature via their Guardian Witness (probably by the time you read this the deadline will have come and gone), asking for folks to send in questions for the Democratic Presidential candidates. One reader already sent in a question very close to what my feelings were after reading the first linked article above.  --- "Will you stop execution by drone?" Good question.  There was another good one about addressing Citizens United. So what about a few more?  I can propose a few - and not for just the Democratic candidates, but the Republican candidates and any others, as well.

  • What would you do to restore a respect for human rights, to put an end to torture once and for all, and to hold torturers accountable?
  • What would you do to end mass surveillance and to restore a respect for privacy?
  • What would you do to end police abuses and end overly-militaristic policing?
  • What would you do to bring hope to the poor and the working poor?  How would you support the middle class - what's left of it?
  • What would you do to help heal the environment?
  • What would you do to fight against GMO foods?
  • How would you work for world peace? 
  • What would you do to ensure the rights of free speech, dissent and protest?
  • What would you do to bring Americans together - besides fearmongering or hatemongering?
Please share your questions in comments!

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