Issue 02 – February 2010

Current Affairs Essay
The United States of Corporate America: From Democracy to Plutocracy  By Rodrigue Tremblay
Featured Books
Last Words: A Memoir  By George Carlin with Tony Hendra
The Assassination of Julius Caesar  By Michael Parenti
Sunshine Assassins  By J. F. Miglio
Recommended Reads
The Friday Night Club  By Jacob Nelson Lurie
The Entrepreneur Guide U.S. 2010 Edition  By Owen O. Daniels
Golden's Rule  By C. E. Edmonson
A World Away: The Quest of Dan Clay  By T.J. Smith
The Harrowing Escape: The Quest of Dan Clay (Book II)  By T.J. Smith
Winter  By Maneesh Sharma
Soul's Infarct  By Diamela Eltit & Paz Errazuriz
A Worthy Legacy  By Tomi Akinyanmi
Dangerous Liaisons  By Michael D'Ambrosio
Shroud of Beckoning  By Deb Woody
Shadows and Not  By Sara Brown
America's Suicidal Statecraft  By James Cumes
The Handkerchief  By Julian Stark
The End of the 19th Century  By Eric Larsen
Up Close: A Mother's View  By Fiona Yaron-Field
Secrets Revealed  By Sheshena Pledger
A Case of Wild Justice  By Yvonne Jerrold
What Can We Do Next? TheAdventures of Lexi and Lolly  By Toula Magi
The Survivors  By Derek Laurens
Lizard's Lair  By Derek Laurens
My Angels Are Come  By Art Stump
Ghost Tango  By Janeen Ledford
The Declaration of White Independence:
      The Founding Documents of Transudationism
  By Kyle McDermott
The Naked Earth  By Jonathan Adam DeCoteau
Awaken and Arise!  By Arthur Earl Jones, Ph.D.
One Time in Paris  By Wade Stevenson
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder  By Vincent Bugliosi
The Eye of Icarus  By Michael D'Ambrosio
Prodigal of the Pecos  By C.E. Edmonson
Dolphins Under My Bed  By Sandra Clayton
Hermetica  By Paul Kiritsis

Recommended Reads

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,” click here.

 

The Friday Night Club
By Jacob Nelson Lurie


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
An irreverent coming of age story of a young man who must choose between continuing his hedonistic lifestyle or settling down and getting married.

The Entrepreneur Guide
U.S. 2010 Edition

By Owen O. Daniels


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Comprehensive book filled with information and answers about everything one needs to start and maintain a business.

Golden’s Rule
By C. E. Edmonson


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Compelling story about a modern-day girl battling cancer who finds inspiration by reading the diary of a 14-year-old slave girl from the 1800s.

A World Away: The
Quest of Dan Clay

By T.J. Smith


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Exciting story in the tradition of The Chronicles of Narnia about a young man and his three friends who embark on an out-of-this world journey where they are hunted by savage beasts along the footpath to a demonic castle.

The Harrowing Escape:
The Quest of Dan Clay (Book II)

By T.J. Smith


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
The saga continues as Dan Clay and his companions continue their quest to locate Dan’s brother in a parallel world filled with savage beasts and half-man, half-serpent creatures.

Winter
By Maneesh Sharma


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Fast-paced thriller about a predator with otherworldly talents who has a penchant for killing women and stealing fine art.

Soul’s Infarct
By Diamela Eltit & Paz Errazuriz


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Unique and penetrating examination through text and photographs of love among marginalized individuals in a notorious Chilean psychiatric hospital.

A Worthy Legacy
By Tomi Akinyanmi


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Touching and lyrical account about a dying Nigerian man and his practical wisdom for living life to the fullest.

Dangerous Liaisons
By Michael D’Ambrosio


www.amazon.com
(Science Fiction)
In this action-packed sequel to The Eye of Icarus, Lieutenant Will Saris and his new bride are caught in a web of treachery where no one, including the Space Fleet, can be trusted.

Shroud of Beckoning
By Deb Woody


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Thought-provoking supernatural tale about a four-year-old who is possessed by a demonic spirit.

Shadows and Not
By Sara Brown


www.amazon.com
(Poetry)
Soul-searching poetry anthology that illuminates the human condition.

America’s Suicidal Statecraft
By James Cumes


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
Well researched and documented examination of the self-destructive policies of the United States.

The Handkerchief
By Julian Stark


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
An intimate and probing love story that examines the breadth and depth of love and passion between two people.

The End of the 19th Century
By Eric Larsen


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Imposing lyrical epic about a Midwestern family’s journey through time and space.

Up Close: A Mother’s View
By Fiona Yaron-Field


www.amazon.com
(Nonfiction)
A touching and meditative memoir of a mother and her disabled daughter told through pictures and commentary.

Secrets Revealed
By Sheshena Pledger


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Gritty crime noir tale about a notorious crime family’s feud with its biggest rival.

A Case of Wild Justice
By Yvonne Jerrold


www.yvonnejerrold.com
(Fiction)
An intriguing story about a group of senior citizens who fight back against crime and vandalism in their neighborhood by becoming human booby traps.

What Can We Do Next? The
Adventures of Lexi and Lolly

By Toula Magi


www.ToulaMagi.com
(Fiction)
Delightful children’s story about the adventures of a little girl and her imaginary friend.

The Survivors
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Fast-paced sci-fi adventure about the crew of a space cruiser that lands on a distant planet inhabited by savage humanoids.

Lizard’s Lair
By Derek Laurens


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
The novella prequel to the sci-fi adventure, The Survivors.

My Angels Are Come
By Art Stump


www.clumsyducks.com
(Nonfiction)
Insightful and candid day-to-day journal of how the author dealt with and survived prostate cancer.

Ghost Tango
By Janeen Ledford


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Intriguing account of a female teacher in a male prison for violent felons.

The Declaration of White Independence: The Founding Documents of Transudationism
By Kyle McDermott


www.amazon.com
(Fiction)
Controversial examination of race, religion, and spiritual evolution.

Awaken and Arise!
By Arthur Earl Jones, Ph.D.


www.planetaryascension.net
(Autobiography)
Fascinating, mystical life journey devoted to spirituality, self-discovery and planetary ascension.

One Time in Paris
By Wade Stevenson


www.amazon.com
(Memoir)
&nbsp An engaging and passionate account of a young man’s adventures and romances in 1960s Paris.

The Eye of Icarus
By Michael D’Ambrosio


www.publishersdrive.com
(Science Fiction)
Exciting story of an ambitious young officer who embarks on his first space mission that sets off a chain of events that not only changes his life but much of the universe
as well.

Prodigal of the Pecos
By C.E. Edmonson


www.pecosbooks.com
(Fiction)
Gritty Western tale about a man who returns home after many years to find the land of his birth embroiled in a bitter and deadly
land war.

Dolphins Under My Bed
By Sandra Clayton


www.dolphinsundermybed.com
(Nonfiction)
Inspirational memoir of how two baby boomers transform their lives by quitting their jobs and living on a sailboat.

Hermetica
By Paul Kiritsis


www.paulkiritsis.com
(Poetry)
Thought provoking collection of personal myths, legends, and poems centered on Egyptian and classical mythology.

 

If you are an independent, small press, or traditional publisher and would like to submit your book(s) for consideration to “Recommended Reads,”

click here.

 

Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.

 

Links For Independent Writers & Publishers

• Publishers Marketing Association (PMA): Largest non-profit trade association helping independent publishers
• Small Press Center: Non-profit organization designed to help small independent book publishers
• Press Release Services: Submit Press Release, Online Distribution Services.
• LitPitch: Place to read books online for free and for authors to pitch book ideas and get feedback.
• Bookwired.com: Author/reader resource for book reviews and news
• WriteLinks.com: Complete list of book publishers & publishing info
• Books-in-Print.com: Registry of electronic publications
• Bowker.com: Major book and publishing data
• PubEasy.com: E-commerce site for global bookselling
• Published.com: Informative and helpful site for independent writers and self-publishers.
• The Center for the Book: Book fairs & literary events
• American Booksellers Association: Organization for independently owned bookstores
• Business.com: Site listing book distributors and wholesalers
• Dowse: A list of e-book publishers
• Internet Publishing: Tips about online publishing from Piers Anthony
• Online Books Page: Listings of books online, news, & features
• Book Sense.com: Family of bookseller Web sites
• Nospine.com: Independent authors from around the world
• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory
• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing
• Bookcrossing.com: Global book club & reading group
• Newradiance.com: Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

 

The United States of
Corporate America: From
Democracy to Plutocracy

By Rodrigue Tremblay

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”
— Plato, ancient Greek philosopher

“The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”

— Alex Carey, Australian social scientist

“The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.”

— Noam Chomsky, M.I.T. emeritus Professor of Linguistics

Last month, the Obama administration got a kick in the pants from the Massachusetts voters when they filled former Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat by electing a conservative Republican candidate. The essence of their message was: stop dithering and start governing; stop trying to satisfy the bankers and please the editors of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, and start caring for the ordinary people.

Two days later, President Barack Obama seemed to have understood the people’s message when he announced a “Volcker rule” that will forbid large banks from owning hedge funds that make money by placing large bets against their own clients, using information that these same clients gave them. It was time. Such a policy should have been announced months ago, if not years ago.

On the same day, however, a nonelected body, the U.S. Supreme Court, threw a different challenge to the Obama administration. Indeed, on Thursday January 21 (2010), a Republican-appointed majority on the U.S. Supreme Court took it upon itself to profoundly change the U.S. Constitution and American democracy. Indeed, in what can be labeled a most reactionary decision, the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court, ruled that legal entities, such as corporations and labor unions, have the same purely personal rights to free speech as living individuals. Indeed, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”

The only problem with such a wide interpretation of the U.S. Bills of Rights is that this runs contrary its letter and its spirit, since it clearly states later on that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and reserves all powers not granted to the federal government to the citizenry or States.” The words “people” and “citizenry” clearly refer here to living human beings, not to legal or artificial entities such as business corporations, labor unions, financial organizations or political lobbies.

Such entities, for example, cannot vote in an election. Indeed, laws governing voting rights in the United States clearly establish that only “Adult citizens of the United States who are residents of one of the 50 states have the right to participate fully in the political system of the United States”. No mention is made of corporations or other legal entities.

However, with its January 19 (2010) decision, the majority on the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court is saying in effect that even if artificial entities cannot vote in an election, they can spend as much money as they like to influence the outcome of an election. Money is speech for them, and the more a legal entity has of it, the more it has a right to become powerful politically and control the political agenda.

In fact, what Chief Justice Roberts and his conservative Supreme Court majority have done is to overcome a century-old democratic tradition in the United States in granting a constitutional right to business corporations and to banks, (because they are really the ones with a lot of money), to use their enormous resources to not only participate in debates about public issues, but also, and above all, to de facto dictate the election of candidates of their choice to public office.

That’s plutocracy, not democracy!

Plutocracy is defined as a political system characterized by “the rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth.”

Democracy, on the other hand, is defined as a political system where political power belongs to the people. This means “a political government either carried out directly by the people (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (representative democracy). The terms “the power to the people” are derived from the words “people” and “power” in Greek.

This fundamental idea of democracy was well summarized by President Abraham Lincoln, in his 1863 Gettysburg Address, when he said that it is “a government of the people, by the people and for the people.” This is a definition that is based on the basic democratic principle of equality among human beings.

But now, the Roberts Court’s decision must have made President Lincoln turn in his grave, because that decision, in effect, transfers political power from the living “people” to artificial corporate entities, with tons of money to spend. If Congress does not act quickly to reverse this decision, legal entities will be able to spend freely in the media to support or oppose political candidates for president and Congress, and this, as far as the last moment of a political campaign. This is quite something!

By a stroke of the pen, the Roberts Court has thus abolished the laws governing American electoral financing and removed limits to how much special money interests can spend to have the elected officials they want. The government they want will largely be “a government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.” Truly amazing!

To reflect the new political philosophy of the five-member majority of the Roberts Court, the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution that says “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…” should, maybe, more appropriately be changed to “We, the business corporations of America…”

It is that much more ironic that the word “corporation” appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution or in the Bill of Rights. It is scarcely conceivable that the drafters of the Constitution had anything resembling corporate entities in mind when they drafted the Bill of Rights. But the Roberts Court majority does not seem to agree with Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Mason…etc. Because of their decision, the five conservative members of the U. S. Supreme Court of today have become the new Fathers of the U. S. Constitution.

For nearly a century, it has been assumed that the U.S. Bill of Rights protected persons, not corporations. Even if sometimes the courts have extended the rights of the14th Amendment banning the deprivation of property without due process or equal protection of the law to the property of corporations, it was never thought that the purely personal rights of the first Amendment of the Bill of Rights applied to corporate entities as well as to human beings.

This is understandable. Business corporations are created through legislation that gives them potentially perpetual life and limited liability to enhance their efficiency as economic entities. While such characteristics can be beneficial in the economic sphere, they represent special dangers in the political sphere. That is the rationale for not extending constitutional rights to purely legal entities.

But now, the five-member majority of the Roberts Court have said that such legalized artificial entities have the same constitutionally protected rights to engage in political activities as living individuals.

This is clearly revolutionary or, more precisely, counter-revolutionary.


Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal and can be reached at rodrigue.tremblay@yahoo.com. He is the author of the coming book “The Code for Global Ethics.”

 

 

Featured Books

 

Buy Last Words: A Memoir by George Carlin
Last Words: A Memoir
By George Carlin with Tony Hendra


Master comedian/satirist George Carlin takes us on a wild ride as he recounts his turbulent life and ground-breaking career with great candor and trademark humor.

 

Buy The Assassination of Julius Caesar by Michael Parenti
The Assassination of
Julius Caesar

By Michael Parenti


Award-winning author and scholar examines ancient Roman history from a populist viewpoint, arguing that Caesar was assassinated for being a champion
of the people.

A bone-chilling political
morality fable…

— Midwest Book Review

 

Buy Sunshine Assassins by John F. Miglio
Sunshine Assassins
By John F. Miglio
(Fiction)
Controversial political thriller about a band of democratic rebels and their attempt to overthrow the corporate fascist shadow government in the USA…Read Reviews

John F. Miglio is available for all types of speaking engagements. For information, click here

 

Busy? Try Book Summaries.

 

Keep your mind active with books that you enjoy reading.

 

Bestsellers













 

Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• PEN.org: “An association of writers working to advance literature, defend free expression, and foster international literary fellowship.”
• TruthDig.com: “Hard-hitting investigative journalism.”
• MoveOn.org: Influential democracy in action group
• The Nation.com: “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”
• Op/EdNews.com: “Progressive news and essays.”
• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”
• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays
• Buzzflash.com: Headlines and stories from dozens of alternative publications
• Democracy Now!: Complete and comprehensive presentation of alternative news and analysis with Amy Goodman leading the charge.
• Brad Blog: Up-to-date progressive news & opinions.
• Radio Power Network: Listener supported, independent radio streaming progressive music and culture from around the world.
• NPR.org: National listener supported news and information.
• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.
• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays
• Tom Paine.com: Alternative news and essays
• Mother Jones.com: Alternative and environmental news
• Liberalism Resurgent: Wealth of information on liberalism & politics
• The Foundation for Taxpayers & Consumer Rights: Loads of information about social and consumer issues
• TvNewsLies.org: A compendium of TV news lies
• In the Spotlight: Unsettling information about the voting process in America
• The Rest of Story: Alternative news on the media
• Judicial Watch: Legal watchdog information
• The Center for Public Integrity: Public service journalism
• PFAW.org: People for the American Way

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