Americans like to think that our elected officials are beholden to Us, The People. We have spirited elections, and if we don’t like Candidate X, we can vote for Candidate Y. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it.
Then why does the FAA have a “no fly zone” over Mayflower, Arkansas being overseen by Exxon Mobil? “In other words, any media or independent observers who want to witness the tar sands spill disaster have to ask Exxon’s permission.” I don’t recall anyone electing Exxon as overseer of our skies. And a technicality has spared Exxon from having to pay any money into the fund that will be covering most of the clean up costs.
How does Congress quietly pass, unbeknownst to most, even those who voted on it, a secret provision to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 which protects the manufacturers of genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health concerns, such as inflammatory bowel diseases? And check out the waiver Monsanto makes farmers sign.
Most observers believe Monsanto is likely to win a Supreme Court case which one must read to believe; that Justice Thomas, former Monsanto lawyer lawyer, doesn’t recuse himself is typical Clarence behavior. Now, if Vermont’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act passes the state legislature, requiring manufacturers to label modified food products as such, Monsanto has threatened to sue the state. Meanwhile, food safety advocates have called out President Obama over his broken promise to label GMOs.
Or, as I mentioned before, how do copyright holders given quasi-governmental powers to cut off Internet service?
The answer, my friend, is money. Money in politics. The ‘Revolving Door’ lobbyists have helped create the corporate betrayal of America. Check out The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secret website. So that is how one could have an anonymous! member of Congress slip something into a bill that protects the corporations.
None of this is news, exactly – see the FDR quote – but seems to have become both more pervasive and more perverse. So what are we going to do about it? I was watching this TED talk on Arthur’s blog, and it got me to think that there are many people on the political left and the political right who have a common agenda: a sense of fairness. Money trumps fairness, inherently.
I think the Tea Party and the ACLU (or other odd bedfellows of your choice) should get together and think of some strategy to address this issue. It may have to be outrageous.
Let’s face it: governments chug along doing the things they do, often in a self-serving manner, until the people get a bit uppity and sit at a lunch counter where they are unwelcome, or refuse to sit in the back of the bus. Not sure what action it is should be yet, but as they say, it could be epic…
As my friend Dan wrote, in response to the post cited above: “No corporation… has any right to enforce anything. If our government leaders give them that kind of power then we the people have every right to defy their bogus powers…”
“For someone the right wing press likes to call a socialist,” Obama’s regressive record makes Nixon look like Che.