Good Books/Important Books

THE UNITED STATES OF FEAR by Tom Englehardt, long-time book editor –now manager/editor of TomDispatch (a wonderful on-line political cultural commentary site).
An historical review and current summary of the way the Pentagon and a combination of crazed right-wing ideologues and corporate interests served us up two unnecessary and criminal wars; and how a national security state, in league with the CIA and the Defense Dept. has progressively swallowed up American freedoms– Strangelovian but true details of the great cost; in money, lives and to our basic freedoms of our military empire overseas and our “security” empire here at home.
Tom is a journalist par excellence and writes with style and passion.

CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE, Why They Have More Rights Than You Do and What You Can Do About It by Jeffrey Clements (with a foreword by Bill Moyers). Clements is a former Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts and one of the founders of Free Speech For People– a group dedicated to overturning the Citizens United Decision–I urge everyone to join.

This is a wonderful review of the Supreme Court’s history re: cases involving the rights and privileges, AND limitations of corporations, especially as they impact our political process. The review goes back to the beginnings of the Republic (The Founders were very very wary of corporations and their possible contamination of our democracy). The book also has a very clear and well presented current history (1970’s to the present) of just how (which cases and justices) turned the court against equal expression of democracy and toward protecting the “free-speech rights” (!) of big corporations.
(One of my favorite current saying online… ?I?ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.?)

You will never find a better argument, both factually and morally, for overturning Citizens United and for reclaiming the ideal of equality and one person-one vote.
Mr. Clements also makes it very clear how we, THE PEOPLE, can disrupt this current Corporate-Government love affair. The main, and probably only viable way left, is a Constitutional Amendment. The good news is that it has been done several times before during the last one hundred years and now city councils and state legislatures are moving quickly to push for such an amendment.
I will aslo add that Mr. Clements writes with great inspiration and expressiveness– and he makes his case clearly and concisely–maybe the legal training.

The important point to remember, in the midst of all this depressing corruption and selfishness, is that we, you and I, are actually the fourth branch of government. We can amend the constitution when the other branches have lost their way in the dark woods of money and power.

– Mike Feder (New York City – February 2, 2012)

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