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Corporations Rule America: Democracy is Dead

By willy scanlon

There used to be a popular saying, “It’s a free country” and it meant that individuals were free to decide for themselves what they wanted to do with their lives, what they wanted to wear and eat and where they wanted to live.

It was a statement recognized worldwide, which brought those seeking independence and opportunity to our shores. We’ve seen with Barack Obama’s time in office how corporations now dominate Washington, DC. Our current president is a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate America. We are no longer the land of the free, nor the home of the Brave. Nor are we any longer a “Government by the People and for the People.” Obama and his predecessor G.W. Bush saw to that.

The health care “reform” turned out to be a re-enforcement of the insurance company dominated health care industry. In fact Obama was on their payroll before he was even elected. He had to get the insurance Corporations’ permission to even get any health-care reform passed in a Democratic controlled Congress. Big Pharma has been writing checks to Obama since he was a first-term Senator. And finance reform had to get the approval of Wall Street executives and the Federal Reserve before moving forward.

Corporate welfare programs, the weapons industry — coal, nuclear and oil — all have continued or even grown under Obama. The housing crisis which should have ended with the bailout of Wall Street is getting worse, with record foreclosures last month, the highest in more than 30 years. It’s being reported that more than 44-million Americans are living below the federal poverty level of $15,000 dollars a year. As many as 2.3 million Americans are now considered homeless — almost 8% of the population — and 1.5.19 million of those homeless are children.

In essence, Democracy in America as we know it has died. We have even lost our most basic right to “free speech” in America. On September 14, 2005, the House of Representatives suddenly passed by a margin of 223-199 the federal “anti-hate” bill, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005. This bill will now allow a centralized power structure like a Corporation to determine what is and what isn’t “hate speech” or a “hate crime,” which is akin to a tin-pot dictatorship. It means that there will be a broad overarching definition of what kind of speech is against the law according to which federally protected groups become offended by the opinion of others.

Christian activists may be committing hate crimes by simply reading from the Bible. Indeed, this has happened on a local level in Philadelphia. the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, creators of the current anti-hate legislation, enforced hate laws against 11 Christians on October 10, 2004, who were preaching at a gay pride rally. Possible penalties were up to 47 years in prison and $90,000 fines each. The case against them was thrown out by a higher court; yet, if the hate speech legislation been in effect then, maybe they wouldn’t have gotten off so lightly.

The same can be applied towards progressives who oppose people like Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck. Negative terminology and speeches about them could be viewed as hate speech and the neocons would have options for putting liberals behind bars permanently. This bill also has the support of the current White House Administration — another betrayal of progressives. Put into more perspective, the bill directly violates freedom of religion as well in this sense, as it declares moral disapproval to be unacceptable. It condemns all religious beliefs. The federal hate bill effectively equates such beliefs with the racist views of White supremacists, Nazis and Klansmen. This means a hell of a lot of people are going to be determined to be “hate criminals,” including this writer.

The public’s right to know is one of the central principles of American society. The framers of the U.S. Constitution resented the strict control that the American colonies’ British rulers had imposed over ideas and information they did not like. They determined that the power of knowledge should be placed in the hands of the people. To insure a healthy and uninhibited flow of information, they included freedom of the press among the basic human rights protected in the new nation’s Bill of Rights.

The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution of the United States became law in 1791. The First Amendment says, in part, that “Congress shall make no law” abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. That protection from control by the federal government meant that anyone — rich or poor, and regardless of political or religious beliefs — could generally publish whatever he or she wished. So much for that freedom. The deal today is getting published.

In today’s America, a vast majority of all media outlets are Corporate owned. Therefore, Freedom of the press now belongs to those who own the press. While many newspapers were controlled by wealthy individuals such as William Randolph Hearst, who influenced the content of the news in his papers, a kind of journalistic “Hippocratic oath” seemed to prevail across the country for reporters and publishers at small papers. The very news stories that we are fed by the mainstream media are manipulated to mirror the public relations campaigns of companies that operate nuclear plants, sprawling theme parks that gobble up wetlands, defense contractors, oil companies and even Saudi Princes.

Remember the old “Outer Limits” TV shows where the announcer says “We control everything you see and hear, the vertical, the horizontal,” etc? The corporate-controlled news media controls all you see and hear. Freedom of the press is effectively dead. Sinclair Lewis wrote a book about the U.S. turning into a Corporate dictatorship entitled, “It Can’t Happen Here.” Well, it is happening here, and it’s happening now!

Author’s Bio: American that works at a university in the Middle East. I am also a geo-political free lance writer and blogger.

Original Content

September 18, 2010

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Categories: Business/Markets, US News
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