"If America's largest and most conservative corporations can own and influence big chunks of the American media," some have asked, "then why not our most established and respected unions?"
It turns out that unions can get into the media business - and one already has, creating what has recently become America's only operational commercial liberal talk radio network, officially introduced to the industry this month with a prominent ad in Talkers Magazine.
Are computerized voting machines a wide-open back door to massive voting fraud? The discussion has moved from the Internet to CNN, to UK newspapers, and the pages of The New York Times. People are cautiously beginning to connect the dots, and the picture that seems to be emerging is troubling.
In 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote a note to James Madison about the future possibility of a president who didn't understand the principles on which America was founded. "The tyranny of the legislatures is the most formidable dread at present," he wrote, "and will be for many years. That of the executive will come in its turn, but it will be at a remote period." The new so-called conservatives claim the power to violate citizens' private lives because, they say, there is no "right to privacy" in the United States. In that, they overlook the history of America and the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776. And they miss a basic understanding of the evolution of language in the United States.
Many Americans are suggesting that the Patriot Act (and its proposed "improvements" in Patriot II) is totally new in the experience of America and may spell the end of both democracy and the Bill of Rights. History, however, shows another view, which offers us both warnings and hope.
During this lull in the fighting between the 2002 election cycle Iraq conflict and the soon-to-come 2004 election cycle conflict, it's a good time to (anonymously) sit in a library or bookstore and browse "The Turner Diaries" and Gore Vidal's "Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace."
The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely reported in the corporate media. But the Germans remembered well that fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933. They commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens all across the world. It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack.
It's easy to vilify George W. Bush as a cynical warmonger, anxious to attack Iraq to repay the oil companies that funded his election campaigns. But to do so is to make a dangerous and fundamental error, and such a myopic view of the Bush administration's policies puts America's future at risk.
Santa Clara County, of all jurisdictions in America, should have known better. They could have started by looking at Florida.
They're hoping Americans won't notice. Indeed, in late February a "senior administration official" presented The New York Times with a masterpiece of obfuscation and avoidance of responsibility.
Maybe Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel honestly won two US Senate elections. Maybe it's true that the citizens of Georgia simply decided that incumbent Democratic Senator Max Cleland, a wildly popular war veteran who lost three limbs in Vietnam, was, as his successful Republican challenger suggested in his campaign ads, too unpatriotic to remain in the Senate. Maybe George W. Bush, Alabama's new Republican governor Bob Riley, and a small but congressionally decisive handful of other long-shot Republican candidates really did win those states where conventional wisdom and straw polls showed them losing in the last few election cycles.
While Nike was conducting a huge and expensive PR blitz to tell people that it had cleaned up its subcontractors' sweatshop labor practices, an alert consumer advocate and activist in California named Marc Kasky caught them in what he alleges are a number of specific deceptions. Citing a California law that forbids corporations from intentionally deceiving people in their commercial statements, Kasky sued the multi-billion-dollar corporation. Instead of refuting Kasky's charge by proving in court that they didn't lie, however, Nike instead chose to argue that corporations should enjoy the same "free speech" right to deceive that individual human citizens have in their personal lives.
The good citizens of Pennsylvania have done it again. Back in 1776, they hosted at Liberty Hall in Philadelphia a gathering of people radicalized by the predations of the East India Company. The world's first multinational corporation then held a virtual stranglehold on commerce and politics in North America, and brazenly used British troops as its enforcers. On the first week of December, 1600, when she created the East India Company, Queen Elizabeth I became the first CEO monarch, and by 1776 King George II was following in her footsteps with his sizeable holdings in and open advocacy of corporate rule.