The sea of freedom

In high school civics courses, we were taught of a citizen’s rights, freedom and equality. We memorized it like it’s the back of our hands. Then something else happens: reality check says otherwise.

There’s constitutional prohibition on who among U.S. citizens could vote in presidential elections and congressional representation. It is limited to those who live in one of the 50 states. Understood the constitutional peculiarities.

But it simply fails protecting the rights of all U.S. citizens. It means that if you live in one of the territories, your right to vote in presidential election and U.S. congressional representation is denied. Equal protection is turned on its head. The issue gives prominence to geography over the rights of citizens.

You ponder, too, why the application of federal laws in territories when the full rights of citizens aren’t equally protected. Perhaps questions of rights, equal protection and freedom are part of the long march to freedom that culminated in “I Have A Dream.”

I don’t have a dream but subscribe to the seamless Sea of Freedom where each citizen’s rights are protected on an equal basis “from sea to shining sea.”

Core values: I’m a believer of Judaea Christian values rooted in tradition. My son believes it, though a bit more liberal. He challenges my view: Then why is Trump the president? Perhaps voters weren’t looking at ideology but a way out of the self-serving Washington swamp.

Trump has threatened the establishment that leeches on D.C. funds for its loot, the “lamestream” media who thinks it is the de facto president of the country and liberal progressives who have turned ludicrous and pointless vitriolic toxic stew into an art. Whatever happened to the basic tenet of the profession to “search for the truth” and verification of information?

The toxicity of the discussion led to the gunning down of Republicans at a baseball field. Interesting how they came together the next day and played ball. It was their way of saying tragedy inflicted by a deranged lunatic isn’t enough to derail civility and unity. Hope it stays that way!

Special interest: In both Capitol Hill in Washington and Capital Hill on Saipan, special interest groups have successfully infiltrated and shifted “we the people” representation to “we the sugar daddies.”

It may not be illegal but appalling how easily fiduciary duty is wholesaled when our people expect good governance. It has been happening here since four decades ago!

Once special interest groups have set the pay of their legislative lapdogs or their re-election out the window goes traditional representation of “we the people.” Need this be parroted here?

The trashing of the interest of ordinary folks led to the election of The Donald. He promised to end the continuing honeymoon of the D.C. establishment—lame media and the un-elected bunch whose collective focus are their pocketbooks.

Political pundits rake in their share of the loot quietly for brokering deals. The innocent is lured into the fray, paid some fee to vote like robotic slaves.

This mess would take some time to uproot from the electorate. It is the game of the “few” rich who wanted to ensure their lapdogs are well placed to guard their interests in policymaking.

Administrative State: Washington has become so powerful not of its own disposition but by allowing un-elected bureaucrats to write non-regulations that are considered regulations.

They are “found in the thousands of pages in the Code of Federal Regulations or in the interpretative advice found in agency opinion letters and policy statements. The agencies generally exercise their power in secret, and they’re barely accountable to anyone.

“With formal regulations there’s at least a requirement that public notice be given and comments welcomed before new rules are promulgated. But agencies often provide far more detailed handbooks or interpretations of the regulations, not to mention the advice they might give over the phone or in letters to affected parties, and none of this goes through an administrative review process.”

Influence: The most powerful influence known as the digital age is here. My son John aptly said that it comprises digital natives, digital immigrants, and digital cusps.

The natives are kids born into the digital age and are well rounded in the use of the internet and accompanying devices. The immigrants are folks who had to learn its use while the cusps are those who came in between. “It’s analogous to the Wild West.”

“Technology has totally transformed the character and structure of the modern societies and electorates with which the politicians, and their advisers, are trying to relate,” writes David Howell, a conservative politician, journalist and economic consultant. He is chairman of the House of Lords International Relations Committee.

Real shift: “Amazon is eating the world, one industry at a time. Last Friday, the gargantuan retailer paid $13.7 billion (£10.7bn) to buy Whole Foods in the U.S., an acquisition that threw the global grocery business into a fit of nerves.

“Then there is its significant cloud computing business. The cloud is a network of servers that the modern world is increasingly reliant on. As Tom Simonite of MIT Technology Review, wrote last year: “You depend on Amazon, Microsoft, and Google much more than you know. As businesses and governments move more of their underpinnings into the cloud, the three leading cloud providers are becoming the invisible foundation of daily life.

“We live in a world where we are consumers first and citizens second. We may have seen a resurgence of nationalism with Brexit and Trump but it is looking likely that the nation state’s day will soon be done and we will move toward organizing ourselves in communities centered on corporations. Technology giants, whose business is built on data, know far more about us than our governments do and are gradually making themselves an indispensable part of our lives.”

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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