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Ralph Nader is one of America's most effective social critics. Named by The Atlantic as one of the 100 most influential figures in American history, and by Time and Life magazines as one of the hundred most influential Americans of the twentieth century, his documented criticism of government and industry has had widespread effect on public awareness and bureaucratic power. He is the "U.S.'s toughest customer" says Time magazine. His inspiration and example have galvanized a whole population of consumer advocates, citizen activists, and public interest lawyers who in turn have established their own organizations throughout the country.
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
For centuries patriarchal mayhem has exploited women in the workplace or the home. Raw power -- physical, economic and cultural, regularly, overpower the legal safeguards against wrongful injury, rape and torture, both in the household and at work.
Saturday, November 11, 2017(1 comments)
Public Cynicism Enables Costly Political Hypocrisy
Beware of crony capitalism -- it turns politicians against the taxpayers they allegedly represent in favor of unaccountable corporate interests. Don't let the "welfare kings" pick your pockets, by letting Congress wallow in cash register politics misusing the very power you have delegated to it.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017(6 comments)
Trump's War Against His Own Voters
As president, Donald Trump has declared war on regulatory programs protecting the health, safety and economic rights of consumers. He has done so in disregard of evidence that such protections help the economy and financial well-being of the working-class voters he claims to champion.
Saturday, October 21, 2017(3 comments)
Why is Nobelist Economist Richard Thaler so Jovial?
Thaler's skepticism helped him produce books and articles showing an obvious but powerful truth: that people are consistently and predictably irrational and will act in a way that undermines their own self-interest. And contrary to the dogma of mainstream economics, the market overall doesn't filter out such irrationality to avoid messy realities.
Friday, October 6, 2017(12 comments)
How Big Corporations Game Our Democracy Into Their Plutocracy
Remarkably, the artificial creation called the "corporation" has now achieved almost all of the rights of real people under our "We the People" Constitution that never mentions the words "corporation" or "company." Politicians use their ever-increasing corporate cash to saturate voters with deceptive political ads, and intimidate any competitors who have far less money, but may be far better representative of the public good.
Saturday, September 23, 2017(1 comments)
The Censorious Vortex of the "Flash News" Barons
The domination of "breaking news"-increasingly defined by episodes of violence, natural disasters and celebrity/political outrages and lurid scandals-is rampant. Sunday morning TV "news" display the same subject, the same invited guests that were in that week's newscasts. It has become almost impossible to introduce subject matter, especially fresh and reports, outside of this tightening circle of opinion oligopolists.
Saturday, August 12, 2017(4 comments)
Teaching Civic Skills and Action Should Be Standard in Schools
Education by civic practice and experience changes the present and improves the prospects for the future by increasing the number of lifelong civic leaders and the much greater number of part-time public citizens in every community of our country.
Friday, August 4, 2017(2 comments)
Will a Mega-Billionaire Rescue America from GOP's Insurance Mayhem?
In a country that spends well over $3 trillion a year on "healthcare," the GOP's various bills leave millions of families fearing loss of insurance, reduced coverage, larger deductibles, unaffordable co-pays and inscrutable insurance and billing fine-print trap doors. This is producing serious fear, anxiety, depression and in many cases absolute terror for sick children and ailing parents.
Saturday, July 29, 2017(25 comments)
Can the World Defend Itself From Omnicide?
Our present educational systems -- from Harvard Law School, MIT to K-12 -- are not rising to these occasions for survival. Our mass media, wallowing in trivia, entertainment, advertisements and political insults, is not holding the politicians accountable to serious levels of public trust and societal safety. Time for new movements awakening our best angels to foresee and forestall.
Thursday, July 20, 2017(1 comments)
Detecting What Unravels Our Society -- Bottom-up and Top-down
Readers think; thinkers read. That includes learning from the mistakes of societies throughout history that wrongly believed that they were impervious to crumbling from within. In our culture of virtual reality and Twitter-length propaganda, we all too often forget the valuable lessons of past mistakes.
It's About Bringing Your Congress Back Home, Citizens!
The large marches, in Washington, DC and around the country, calling attention to importance of science and focusing on the calamitous impacts of climate change had impressive turnouts. But the protests would have been more productive if they concentrated more -- in their slogans and signs -- on 535 politicians to whom we have given immense power to influence policies relating to those issues, for ill or for good.
Thursday, March 30, 2017(4 comments)
Crash of Trumpcare Opens Door to Full Medicare for All
Even without any media, and any major party calling for it, a Pew poll had 59% of the public for Full Medicare for All, including 30% of Republicans, 60% of independents and 80% of Democrats. Ever since President Harry S. Truman proposed to Congress universal health insurance legislation in the 1940's, public opinion, left and right, has been supportive.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017(2 comments)
"Making America Great" at Americans' Expense
Donald J. Trump was a builder of casinos and high-priced hotels and golf courses. Now he is a builder of a tower of contradictions for the American people that is making "America Great" at their expense.
Thursday, March 2, 2017(17 comments)
Breaking Through Power: It's Easier Than We Think
With President Trump displaying a revealing ignorance toward the role of governing, now is the time for the people to stand up and shape the future of their families and communities. We must demonstrate stamina and hold accountable those in power until they faithfully serve the interests of the people, and not a handful of corporate paymasters.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017(3 comments)
Restricting People's Use of Their Courts
Courts should not be places of case overloads and long delays. They should be welcoming temples of justice where judge and jurors engage in reasoned deliberation for the advancement of justice as part of a functioning democracy. The demands for justice are such in our country that courts should have more judges, more juries and more trials.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016(2 comments)
Tripwires for the Trumpsters
the Trumpsters have vowed to dismantle various government programs. They are determined to severely limit the protection of labor, replace public schools with taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, and drop regulatory protections in the health, safety and environmental fields, among others. Acting without the requisite legal authority is of little concern to Mr. Trump.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016(6 comments)
Trump Trumpets His Real Plans
Only if there is a superlative to the word "nightmare" can the dictionary provide a description of Trump's bizarre selection of men and women marinated either in corporatism or militarism, with strains of racism, class cruelty and ideological rigidity. Many of Mr. Trump's nominees lack an appreciation of the awesome responsibilities of public office.
Thursday, December 8, 2016(3 comments)
Divest or Face Impeachment: an Open Letter to Donald Trump
Supporters such as Rudy Giuliani contend that your holdings are so large that divestment is just unrealistic. But size does not erase principle. Self-enrichment is wrong whether an office holder is of modest or great wealth -- indeed, if anything, the greater the amount, the worse the problem. We should not apply the much criticized banking ethic of "too big to fail" in this circumstance.
Friday, December 2, 2016
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
In addition to lacking a mandate from the people (he lost the popular vote), the president-elect continues to believe that mere showboating will distract from his breathtaking flip-flops in his campaign rhetoric. Remember his last big TV ad where he blasted "a global power structure" responsible "for robbing the working class" with images of Goldman Sachs flashing across the screen?
Monday, August 22, 2016(2 comments)
Hillary's Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Why wouldn't Hillary tell the American people, whose votes she wants, what she told corporations in private for almost two years? Is it that she doesn't want to be accused of doubletalk, of "gushing" when addressing bankers, stock traders or corporate bosses? The Clintons are not known for answering tough questions or participating in straight talk. Dodging and weaving is what they do and too often they get away with it.
Saturday, August 13, 2016(2 comments)
Congress: AWOL and Out of Control
People know that Congress takes a lot of days off -- all with pay. Senators and Representatives work over 100 fewer days than average Americans do. Specifically, members were in session 157 days in 2015 and 135 in 2014. This year the House is scheduled to be in session for only 111 days, with the August recess alone stretching nearly six weeks.
Sunday, August 7, 2016(3 comments)
Wake Up: These Unneeded Instruments Can Wreak Mass Destruction
Rather than prop up deteriorating nuclear plants with a huge handout, New York officials should be focused on phasing out nuclear energy entirely. Nuclear power has been proven many times over to be unnecessary, uneconomic, uninsurable, unevacuable, unsafe and unfit for use in the unstable modern world.
Saturday, July 30, 2016(13 comments)
Hillary's Convention Con
An anti-Hillary campaign button sums it up. Imagine a nice picture of Hillary with the words "More Wall Street" above her head and the words "More War" below her head. That's where our nation's two-party political leadership is today. When will the vast left/right majority rise to take over and reverse the eviscerating policies and practices of this political duopoly?
Monday, March 28, 2016(1 comments)
Hillary's Latest Bow to AIPAC
With all her self-regarded experience in foreign affairs, Mrs. Clinton could pause to ponder why she is backing state terrorism against millions of Arab Palestinians trapped in two enclaves, surrounded by walls, military outposts, and suffering from deep poverty, including widespread diseases and severe anemia among Palestinian infants and children.
Saturday, February 13, 2016(4 comments)
Hillary Clinton Sugarcoating Her Disastrous Record
Hillary Clinton is not "levelling with the American people," when she keeps the transcripts of her secret speeches (at $5,000 a minute!) before large Wall Street and trade association conventions. Her speaking contracts mandated secrecy. Clinton still hasn't told voters what she was telling big bankers and many other industries from automotive to drugs to real estate developers behind closed doors.
Saturday, January 2, 2016(3 comments)
The Rumble from the People Can Work
With press report after press report documenting how big business stiffs millions of its consumers and workers, why is it that more of these victims do not externalize some of their inner agonies by channeling them into civic outrage? Why can't more people just shout out via telephone, letter, e-mail, text message, to anyone who could do something or at least spread the word.
Saturday, November 21, 2015(4 comments)
The One Question Reporters Never Ask Candidates
Regardless of their affiliation with either of the two dominant parties, politicians are so used to people being spectators rather than participants in the run-up to Election Day that they have not thought much about participatory or initiatory democracy. Too many of them, backed by the concentrated wealth of plutocrats, have perfected the silver-tongued skills of flattery, obfuscation and deception.
Saturday, October 31, 2015(9 comments)
An Open Letter To Chairwoman Yellen From the Savers of America
When it comes to the Fed, Congress is mired in hypocrisy. The anti-regulation, de-regulation crowd on Capitol Hill shuts its mouth when it comes to the most powerful regulators of all -- you and the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, Congress goes along with the out-of-control, private government of the Fed -- unaccountable to the national legislature.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
The Downsides of Cheap Abundance
I often wonder why there weren't a few classes about the real-life consequences of abundance, along with scarcity and people's material welfare. The present generation of internet technology is a proper subject of study within an economic framework. It might help us understand what is happening to our society.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015(9 comments)
Afghanistan and Iraq: Lessons for the Imperial
What changes are needed to get out of these quagmires and leave a semblance of recovery behind? Press those gaggles of presidential candidates, who war-monger with impunity or who are dodging this grave matter, for answers. Make them listen to you.
Monday, July 27, 2015(6 comments)
Sending Citizens Summons to Members of Congress
what happened to your votes and your trust in your elected representatives? They were nullified and replaced with ungrateful politicians who have forgotten that the authority lies with the people.Our five hundred and thirty-five Senators and Representatives need to be reminded that they were sent to Washington, DC by voters back home who entrusted them with the well-being of their communities and country.
Monday, April 20, 2015
For the Conference on the Israel Lobby -- Press Blackout at the Press Club
How about a little retrospective evaluation by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, AP and Reuters to make better judgments about providing balanced news the next time around. As for the "fair and balanced" Fox News -- well, what do you expect? Some of the mainstream media RSVP'd to attend this conference, but they did not show up or write anything about it before or after.
Saturday, November 1, 2014(8 comments)
Corporate Destruction of Free Markets Rules Us
What financier George Soros has called "market fundamentalism," is opposed to any interference with free markets. Yet, corporatism makes massive exceptions that rig markets and tilt the seller-buyer balance heavily in favor of the former who become bigger and bigger global corporations. The American people have enough evidence to abandon the ideological hypocrisy that corporatism uses to control them.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Piercing the Technology Bubble
This weekend, October 25 and 26, I will be joining leading critics, from the United States and abroad, of corporate-controlled technologies, who are also proponents of appropriate technologies for the people (Vandana Shiva, Anuradha Mittal, Helen Caldicott, Wes Jackson, Bill McKibben), convening at the historic Cooper Union Great Hall on "Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth".
Friday, August 1, 2014
Obama and the "Public Sentiment"
Abraham Lincoln once said that "With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed." Presumably, he meant Presidential action on popular issues can and should overcome influential interests.
At long last, the "public sentiment" seems to be aligning with some causes you are advancing.
Sunday, July 13, 2014(1 comments)
The Myths of Big Corporate Capitalism
Large corporate capitalism is a breed apart from smaller scale capitalism. The former can often avoid marketplace verdicts through corporate welfare, strip owner-shareholders of power over the top company bosses and offload the cost of their pollution, tax escapes and other "externalities" onto the backs of innocent people.
Friday, June 13, 2014(16 comments)
Can Progressives Learn from Eric Cantor's Defeat?
The stunning upset defeat of House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) by Professor David Brat, an economist from Randolph-Macon College, in Tuesday's Republican Primary has several takeaways for progressives besides envy and shame over why they do not directly take on the corporate Democrats.
Saturday, April 19, 2014(3 comments)
Fact-Based Empathy -- Boston and Baghdad
"Boston Strong" can be more than looking back on a tragedy with a stiff upper lip. It can nourish, from the cradle of the American Revolution, a rising sensitivity that tyranny abroad is a Washington export that defies our constitution and the better instincts of the people who stand against foreign wars for oil and an aggressive Empire unrelated to legitimate national defense.
Saturday, March 22, 2014(7 comments)
Obama to Putin: Do as I Say Not as I Do
As for sanctions deterring any unlikely future Russian moves westward into Ukraine, consider the following role reversal. If Russia moved for sanctions against the United States before Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and other attacks, would that have deterred either you or George W. Bush from taking such actions? Of course not. Sir, concentrate on America, whose long unmet necessities cry out from "sea to shining sea."
Saturday, January 25, 2014(14 comments)
The Fukushima Secrecy Syndrome -- From Japan to America
There is good reason why the New York Times continues to cover the deteriorating conditions in the desolate, evacuated Fukushima area. Our country has licensed many reactors here with the same designs and many of the same inadequate safety and inspection standards. Some reactors here are near earthquake faults with surrounding populations which cannot be safely evacuated in case of serious damage to the electric plant.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013(3 comments)
Can Right and Left Rally Against Walmart?
One of the most profitable corporations in America is having a holiday food drive. But wait... there's a catch. The food drive is for the company's own underpaid, poverty-stricken workers. You really can't make this stuff up
Friday, November 8, 2013(8 comments)
The Dynastic Hillary Bandwagon -- Bad for America
Does the future of our country benefit from another Clinton, almost indistinguishable from Barack Obama's militaristic, corporatist policies garnished by donors from Wall Street and other plutocratic canyons? Full Medicare for all, cracking down on corporate abuses, a fairer tax system, a broad public works program, a living wage, access to justice, citizen empowerment, clean election - these are what the American people want.
Friday, October 18, 2013(10 comments)
The Democrats Can't Defend the Country from the Retrograde GOP
There is another story about how all this gridlock came to be, fronted by the question: "Why didn't the Democrats landslide the cruelest, most ignorant, big-business-indentured Republican Party in its history during the 2010 and 2012 Congressional elections?
Friday, September 6, 2013(1 comments)
Stopping Barry O'Bombers Rush to War
Dear President Obama:
Little did your school boy chums in Hawaii, watching you race up and down the basketball court, know how prescient they were when they nicknamed you "Barry O'Bomber".
Little did your fellow Harvard Law Review editors, who elected you to lead that venerable journal, ever imagine that you could be a president who chronically violates the Constitution, federal statutes, international treaties...
Saturday, August 31, 2013(3 comments)
Obama: You Cannot Start a War by Yourself
Dear President Obama:
Before you decide to attack Syria, yet another Arab or Islamic country that does not threaten U.S. security, there are certain constitutional "niceties" that you should observe. Chronically violating the Constitution overturns the rule of law and can produce costly blowbacks.
Monday, August 5, 2013(4 comments)
Our corporate "friends" are all around us. They are dominating our publicly owned airwaves with their slogans, filling our skies with their logos on billboards, showing up on the sides of city buses, and collecting our browsing preferences so as to better appeal to us on the internet.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013(1 comments)
Toward a Living Legacy for Nelson Mandela Now
Nelson Mandela's exceptional and exemplary life has and will produce worldwide celebrations of his extremely unique blend of character, personality and resolve for broad-gauged justice. To truly memorialize his contributions, however, requires grand actions. Taking immediate recognition of the deep wellsprings of respect, affection and sorrow over the loss of his leadership to the people of South Africa and the world...
Saturday, June 1, 2013(1 comments)
Kerry Should Get Israeli Peace Leaders Before Congress
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is outwardly going through the motions of supporting peace negotiations but demands preconditions and no cessation of expanding Israeli colonies in Palestine. Netanyahu knows how to play the U.S. government like a harp. He talks about negotiations for peace, but remains intransigent.
Thursday, May 23, 2013(4 comments)
More Exposes, Less Action
We are in a golden age of exposes, detailed revelations about out-of-control polluters, corporate tax escapees, corruption of government, cheating of consumers, abandonment of workers, freezing or reduction of wages, and a general hijacking of America for perpetual wars, militarism and profiteering.
Thursday, May 16, 2013(1 comments)
Patriotic Yardsticks for Unpatriotic Giant Corporations
Mega corporations have abandoned U.S. workers by entrenching "pull-down" trade agreements that make it easier than ever to ship jobs and whole industries to fascist and communist regimes abroad which keep their workers near serfdom. Having wages that go backwards into the future means workers cannot afford the basic necessities of life for themselves and their children.
Boston, Texas and Corporate Criminal Justice
The Houston Chronicle reported last week that for years before the explosion that destroyed the West Fertilizer Co. facility, "neighbors had repeatedly called state authorities with complaints about leaks, the odor of ammonia and concerns about a nearby middle school and nursing home."
Sunday, April 21, 2013
He Is Comfortable With Bush's Inferno
The lawless legacy of George W. Bush continues under Obama. The Presidential outlawry continues as a bipartisan dissolution of our constitutional system because the vast majority of "we the people" are not demanding our constitutionally sovereign power. For the first time, President Barack Obama claims to have the right to assassinate an American citizen in his sole secret judgment as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner.
Thursday, April 18, 2013(2 comments)
Time for a Sales Tax on Wall Street
Despite all the lasting harm caused by the casino capitalists, the big banks are now bigger, richer and more powerful than they were when they were bailed out in late 2008. The only ones who were punished were the U.S. taxpayers, who footed the $600 billion bill for the excesses of Wall Street. Brazenly, many firms still continue to gamble with other people's money.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013(9 comments)
America's Miserly Minimum Wage Needs an Upgrade
Poll after poll has shown overwhelming American support--70%--for increasing the minimum wage. All that is standing in the way is Congress. Thirty-nine House Republicans and 24 Republican senators voted to increase the minimum wage in 2007. The moral and economic reasons to increase the lagging minimum wage haven't changed.
Friday, April 12, 2013(2 comments)
The Fate of All Empires: Two Obamas, Two Classes of Children
When Barack Obama starts writing his lucrative autobiographical recollections, there may be a few pages where he explains how he endured this double life ordering so-called precision attacks that kill many innocent children and their mothers and fathers while mourning domestic mass killings in the U.S. and advocating gun controls.
Monday, April 8, 2013(3 comments)
The Cruelty of Big Business
We must address the reckless behavior of Wall Street and the excesses of big corporations by placing more cops on the corporate beat and giving them the resources necessary to do their jobs. The alternative is allowing the gamblers on Wall Street and the grossly overpaid CEO's of multinational corporations to continue to take, shred or stall the remaining regulatory system and run our country into the ground.
Thursday, March 28, 2013(8 comments)
How Big Corporations Are Unpatriotic
Giant U.S. companies are strip-mining America in numerous ways, starting with the corporate tax base. By shifting more of their profits abroad to "tax-haven" countries (like the Cayman Islands) through transfer pricing and other gimmicks, and by lobbying many other tax escapes through Congress, they can report record profits in the U.S. with diminishing tax payments.
Thursday, March 14, 2013(2 comments)
The Cruel Gap Between CEO Pay and the Stagnant Minimum Wage
According to a recent Gallup poll, over 70 percent of the American public support raising the minimum wage. Many economists agree that it would stimulate the economy through larger sales volume, not harm it. Large companies such as Walmart and McDonald's (who employ over two-thirds of low wage workers) have profited off the backs of the working poor for far too long.