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Lectures The Mangled (Poetry) Environmental Welfare
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Soothing Waters of Ohio - by Jack Byrom
I moved to you feeling jumpy, dusty, and nerves shot.
Jack Byrom is a Central Ohio Green Party member and community activist. He is attending Capitol University. He lives with his wife in Clintonville. More of his poetry can be accessed here: http://home.ix.netcom.com/~rhonjack/poetry-JB.htm
|The Poetry of
Michael Eckhardt's poetry has been on display recently at the 853 gallery and currently at the coffee table. Michael is a longtime community activist for the causes of peace and justice.
in the growing absence
of ceremony and ritual….
driven by icons and
toward a state of apathy
we are faced with
way too many choices
many finding they are
to choose at all
as the storm clouds
an inhumane political
falsely projected by
who would divide and
from each other
and all of us
from the rest of the
those who would have
and use it all
continue encouraging us
to sit this one out
consistently inviting us….
to remain silent
in the growing absence
of ceremony and ritual….
the commander in chief’s order
lieutenants in concert
to justify the means.
coordinated press releases
the media as the secretary of state
us the struggle will be long
contractors once again
built by us, years ago
a carefully executed plan
the evil charade.
we ever fail to set up the enemy
those pension plans
in a cloud of dust
yet another, set up.
of the american dream
among the ruins
once the worlds policeman...
earth may need a rest.
You know the tune...
the yield burns
the flames . . . howls.
There is an American flag whipping
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Good book sources: http://www.commoncouragepress.com/
and: The Apex Press www.cipa-apex.org
DSA booksource: http://www.dsausa.org/books/books.html
The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution
The Apex Press www.cipa-apex.org
(This is an excellent resource that should be read by every activist and citizen! Copies are available from the AFSC office in Akron if interested for $15 plus postage.)
The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution Describes
Shadow Corporate Government… will forever change the way its readers follow
New York, N.Y. August 25, 2003, -- The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution, by George Draffan
A new book from the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD),
goes behind the veil of giant corporations –Enron, Bechtel, Halliburton,
Monsanto, Pfizer, and others making our daily news – to show how the
"system" really works.
Draffan describes how corporations leverage power through think tanks and business groups to form an undemocratic system of governance over citizens. He outlines the normal, everyday ways these institutions shape the national investment and political policies, portraying how a shadow system of corporate power effectively governs.
The corporate agenda is served equally by conservative, liberal, and libertarian philosophies, according to Draffan. Corporate power, he writes, descends from the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court grants of “personhood” and Bill of Rights protections to corporations.
Unlike muckraking books about scandals in one industry or another, Draffan focuses on the mechanisms of power wielded by the entire network of corporate players.
“Today's corporate leaders received a head start from the men of property who wrote the Constitution," Richard Grossman and Ward Morehouse, cofounders of POCLAD [www.poclad.org] wrote in their foreword that succinctly summarizes
the book’s analysis.
The Elite Consensus names names. It reads like a playbill of actors on the stage of domestic and foreign policy who “wield the Constitution” to their own ends. It gives profiles of those players – think tanks, business groups and nonprofit organizations -- whose “experts” are regularly quoted in the media promoting corporate agendas with no reference to their corporate backers. A valuable guide for activists, citizens, journalists, scholars and students, the book reveals the interconnections between these organizations and their revolving-door relationships with government. Interestingly, the book includes the Brookings Institution -- a tax-exempt think tank commonly considered liberal or centrist --whose board includes corporate CEOs from AT&T, Chase Manhattan, Kissinger Associates and Bank of America, a former director of the World Bank Robert McNamara, and directors and trustees of major foundations.
“Corporate-driven think tanks and educators enjoy the prestige of university appointments where corporate agendas are developed and disseminated,” writes Draffan, Executive Director of the Public Information Network, Seattle, WA.
“Corporate foundations decide which charities and which environmental groups get funded. Investment bankers control more money than the World Bank and their unregulated speculation in national currencies has plunged Latin America and
Asia into financial crises. Governments have become mere salesmen promoting multinational corporations, which are the ‘muscle and brains’ of the global economy.”
The Elite Consensus traces corporate funding of think tanks and organizations like the Business Roundtable, Chamber of Commerce, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO),
International Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Foundation, Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute, United Nations, and other nonprofit corporations.
Draffan describes how a single corporation—General Motors-- affected the economies of both Mexico and the U.S when it laid off 99,000 U.S. workers between 1992 and l996. He said General Motors became the largest private employer in
Mexico by moving its operations south of the border. U.S. union workers were replaced by lower-paid contract and temporary workers making Manpower, Inc.--a temporary employment agency--the largest employer in the United States.
The political cartoon on the book’s cover by nationally noted political artist Matt Wuerker illustrates the book’s theme: the conflict between "We the People" and corporate power. His caricature of the Capitol building and Washington
Monument shows a billboard hiding the buildings of corporate organizations whose power rests on the U.S. Constitution, supported by the building blocks of the 1st and 14th amendments.
Constitutional amendments meant for citizens are the “rights” corporations use for themselves in the courts, as the book details. Wuerker, whose cartoons can be seen on the POCLAD website, can be contacted at www.mwuerker.com.
Anyone who was affected by the recent power blackout, lost a pension in a corporation that went belly up, or lost a job in a company whose work was sent to a country with cheaper labor, will want to read this book. Public indignation
at the Enron and other corporate scandals indicates the public is hungry to know more about what is going on behind the scenes.
The Elite Consensus: When Corporations Wield the Constitution
About the author: George Draffan is a forest activist, public interest investigator, and corporate muckraker. He is the author of The Elite Consensus, A Primer on Corporate Power, and co-author of Railroads & Clearcuts and Strangely Like War. For the past fifteen years he has provided research services and training to citizens and public interest groups that are investigating and challenging corporate power. Some of his work can be found at Endgame, a project of the Public Information Network (www.endgame.org), which he directs.
A dozen activists formed POCLAD (www.poclad.org) in 1994, to research and write about constitutional, legal, corporate, and people's movement history and since then has held over 200 "Rethinking the Corporation, Rethinking Democracy"
public meetings. POCLAD continues to develop vital research and analysis for the years ahead: reading lists, pamphlets on critical issues, a thrice-yearly publication By What Authority, an anthology on corporations and democracy [ Defying Corporations/Defining Democracy] videos, PowerPoint presentations, and workshops for activists engaged in struggles with individual corporations.
POCLAD's "Rethinking the Corporation/Rethinking Democracy" retreats are incubating nation-wide citizen efforts to curb the “corporate usurpation of citizen rights”. POCLAD's work provides a framework and historical analysis of the
Constitution and the role it has played in the political struggle between "We the People" and corporations. The Elite Consensus is the latest addition to the
POCLAD body of publications. POCLAD principal Karen Coulter, an ecological and social justice activist since l980 who founded Oregon's Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, conceived of The Elite Consensus as a manual for activists and
recruited Draffan to write it.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT POCLAD:
“POCLAD’s thought-provoking work on the questions of corporate power in a democracy goes beyond redressing a specific wrong to ask what can we do about it in a large sense.”
-- Molly Ivins
“The first step in solving a problem is learning more about the problem, and how and why it grew. POCLAD is giving us U.S. history like it’s not usually taught in schools. Hooray!”
-- Pete Seeger
Note to Editors: Formal publication date is November 24, but advance copies are now available.
Contact Judi Rizzi (1-800-316-2739) if you would like a copy for review.
The Apex Press, 180 pp. 2003.ISBN 1-891843-14-1 (softcover)
1-800-316-2739; 1-914-271-6500; email@example.com; www.cipa-apex.org
The Apex Press
PO Box 337
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520
Judi Rizzi - 1-800-316-APEX  • 914-271-6500
Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD) www.poclad.org
PO Box 246, South Yarmouth, MA 02664-0246
Tel: 508.398.1145 * fax: 508 .398.1552
Contact: Mary Zepernick – S. Yarmouth [above]
Mike Ferner – Toldeo: tel. 419-729-3205
Carolyn Toll Oppenheim-MA: Tel. 413-540-0145
The Velvet Coup / by Daniel Lazare (review by Verso Books)
According to the media, the 2000 election debacle
was a once-in-a-century fluke. But, in this riveting new polemic, political
analyst Daniel Lazare argues that such events are increasingly likely to become
the rule rather than the exception. After more than two hundred years, America’s
antiquated government is in a state of chronic breakdown. A constitutional
overhaul is urgently needed to update the machinery in line with the needs of
modern democracy. With an amending clause that requires approval by two-thirds
of Congress and three-quarters of the states, such change is extremely difficult
to achieve. As a result, the United States has entered the twenty-first century
with an eighteenth-century government. Not only will breakdowns like the one
that occurred last November grow more frequent, they will grow more serious as
Lazare contends that nothing less than a democratic revolution is needed to rescue American politics from growing paralysis and decay. A constitution supposedly drawn up by “we the people” that cannot be amended by the people is patently absurd. A new arrangement for governments is required, one which abolishes such pre-democratic vestiges as the electoral college, equal representation in the Senate for all states regardless of size, and an all-powerful Supreme Court. Rather than a constitution that chains them to the past, Lazare argues that the American people need a constitution over which they can exercise control and which can set them free from the shackles of the past.
"His knowledge of American history is as persuasive as his wit." — New York Times Book Review
"A brilliant polemic that subjects American political arrangements to the kind of analysis from which they are usually exempt." — Michael Lind on The Frozen Republic
Daniel Lazare has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Village Voice, Harper’s, Dissent, Le Monde diplomatique, and New Left Review. He is the author of The Frozen Republic and America’s Undeclared War. He lives in Manhattan.
Clarity Press, Inc. is pleased to announce the publication of CAPITALIST PUNISHMENT: Prison Privatization and Human Rights, edited by Andrew Coyle et al. Bringing together a group of the most accomplished writers and activists on human rights and prison privatization, this book examines the historical, political and economic context of private prisons, and how privatization is connected to the war on drugs, the criminalization of poverty and 'tough on crime' politics. It offers a glimpse into the transnational spread of privatized incarceration, creating important links between neo-liberal policies locally and their effects globally. For more info: http://www.bookmasters.com/clarity/b0020.htm
"A valuable contribution to the debate on this important subject. "
Sir Nigel Rodley, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. [ Top of Page]
Lectures Books Poetry