Vacation time for Reality Check

-By Vince Johnson

Over 240 issues ago REALITY FACTOR came into existence as a commentary letter published about 30 times a year. After more than eight years it seems appropriate to take some time off to see if anyone will notice. For the most part, this endeavor has been a lot of fun. However, there are aspects that were extremely frustrating. Example:

I used this publication to ask three questions in behalf of all Students Attending Public Schools in the USA. These questions were:

1. Please explain the ethics of borrowing trillions of dollars from underage citizens without their knowledge or consent.

2. Is it fair that Congress has passed laws that will require these citizens to make payments on this debt as long as they have taxable income or face years of imprisonment should they fail to do so?

3. Why have over 3,000 young Americans lost their lives protecting the territorial integrity of the Iraq border along Iran and Syria while we are almost totally ignoring the territorial integrity of the border between the USA and Mexico?

In February and March 2007 I sent the above questions directly to President Bush and others as indicated below:

Presidential Candidates: Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Edwards, and Rudy Giuliani.

Senators: Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, Tom Coburn, Elizabeth Dole, Dianne Feinstein, Orin Hatch, Edward Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, Joe Lieberman, Patty Murray, Charles Schumer, Gordon Smith, Arlen Specter, and Ron Wyden.

Major Newspapers: New York Times, Washington Post, Atlanta Constitution, Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times.

TV Commentators: Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly.

News Columnists: Dave Barry, David Broder, Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Paul Krugman, Rush Limbaugh, Dick Morris, Peggy Noonan, Bob Novak, and George Will.

Several Colleges and Universities including: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Whitman, Gonzaga, Portland State, and Princeton.

Two respected Schools of Journalism: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

The response was ZERO! All that work. All that postage. And not one single response!

This leaves me with two obvious conclusions:

1. None of the above care about the oncoming generations who will inherit the bill for all of our wasteful addictions and a national ego that requires us to maintain a military presence at distant points all over the planet as well in orbit all around it.

2. There is no way an ordinary citizen can communicate with those who govern or report to us, nor educate those who govern or report to us. We can ask, and ask, and ask, but it has reached the point where honest answers to certain questions are politically suicidal.

On the other hand, maybe nobody sees anything wrong with forcing our kids to pay for such things as:

1. $25 billion in funds for which auditors cannot account for. The government knows that $25 billion was spent by someone, somewhere, on something, but auditors do not know who spent it, where it was spent, nor what it was spent on! Source: 2003 Financial Report of the United States Government issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

2. Millions in tax revenue lost when Halliburton moved its corporate headquarters from Huston, Texas to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The same city where the Bin Laden family corporate offices are located!
Nobody cares that we fund our wars by borrowing from minor children then train thousands of them for mortal combat as soon as they are old enough to vote. Those realities are among a variety of reasons I’ve decided to take a month or two off. All I want are some honest answers. I’m not getting any. I have to think about that.

Vince Johnson welcomes comments. Please send them to,Vince Johnson(
Vince Johnson welcomes comments. Please send them to,Vince Johnson(
See Vince in the new book Americans on Politics. Policy, and Pop-Culture.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001