Issue 9 – October 2004

Current Affairs Essay
Real Campaign Finance Reform: Only Solution For Fair U.S. Elections by J. F. Miglio
Recommended Reads - Independent Publishers
Wingbeat  By Marilyn Meredith
Crossing the Rubicon  By Michael Ruppert
The American Reichstag  By Kamyar Arasteh
When Leslie Left  By Jennifer Rankins
Not Guilty Every Time  By Charles C. Hagan Jr.
Rebirth of a Realist  By David Truskoff
Caso English to Italian Dictionary  By Adolph Caso
The Freedom Stairs  By Marilyn Weymouth Seguin
The Joy Ladder  By Chris Penney
Samuel's Sugar Baby  By Octavia Ruben Simien
When the Cold Maker Comes  By Beth Tigner
The Wall  By J.E. Hall
Singing an Epic of Peace  By Walter E. Harris III
Recommended Reads - Traditional Publishers
Chain of Command   By Seymour M. Hersh
Crimes Against Nature  By Robert Kennedy
Running on Empty  By Peter G. Peterson
What Would Jefferson Do? By Thom Hartmann
What's the Matter with Kansas? By Thomas Frank
Democracy Matters By Cornel West
Intelligence Wars By Thomas Powers
Critical Condition By Bartlett & Steele
No Debate By George Farah
Sore Winners By John Powers

Recommended Reads
If you are an independent or small press publisher and would like to submit your books for consideration to” Recommended Reads,” click here.

By Marilyn Meredith
(Fiction) Mystery involving “the wingbeat of an owl-a harbinger of danger; suspicious newcomers and a hidden marijuana farm… and death.”…Read Review

Crossing the Rubicon
By Michael Ruppert
(Non-fiction) ) Shocking look at “The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil.”

The American Reichstag
By Kamyar Arasteh
(Non-fiction) “A Psychopolitical Analysis of 9/11 and Its Aftermath.”

When Leslie Left
By Jennifer Rankins
(Fiction) Compelling story of domestic abuse “when love goes brutally wrong.”

Not Guilty Every Time
By Charles C. Hagan Jr.
(Non-fiction) An attorney’s view of “what it is like to try real cases in front of real juries.”

Rebirth of a Realist
By David Truskoff
(Non-fiction) Memoir of a progressive American’s view of U.S. social and political events in 20th century.

Caso English to Italian Dictionary
By Adolph Caso
(Reference) Comprehensive book of English to Italian vocabulary and definitions.

The Freedom Stairs
By Marilyn Weymouth Seguin
(History) The story of Adam Lowry Rankin, Underground Railroad Conductor.

The Joy Ladder
By Chris Penney
(Self Help) “An irreverent guide to living a joyous life.”

Samuel’s Sugar Baby
Octavia Ruben Simien
(Fiction) Compelling story of “a black man living in a white world and how he survived in both.”

When the Cold Maker Comes
By Beth Tigner
(Fiction) A provocative romance between a white girl and a Blackfoot Indian brave.

The Wall
By J.E. Hall

(Fiction) While driving through Kansas, an ordinary man encounters an extraordinary being called “The Keeper.”

Singing an Epic of Peace
By Walter E. Harris III
(Fiction) “A modern epic poem that encourages respect for various cultures.”


If you are an independent or small press 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
• Complete list of book publishers & publishing info
• Acqweb: Book acquisition site for librarians
• Registry of electronic publications
• Major book and publishing data
• E-commerce site for global bookselling
• 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
• 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
• Independent Publishers Bestsellers Hall of Fame: Title says it all
• Book Family of bookseller Web sites
• Independent authors from around the world
• Author Yellow Pages: Online author directory
• Dan Poynter’s Para Publishing: The Godfather of self publishing
• Global book club & reading group
• Over 90 pages of inspired marketing ideas for small business owners and self-published authors.

Take the Money and Shove It!
Real Campaign Finance Reform: Only Solution For Fair U.S. Elections

By J. F. Miglio

Probably the second worst Supreme Court decision in the last 30 years– we all know the worst– was the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision that equated freedom of speech with paid political advertising.

At the time, the Supreme Court was not as conservative as it is today; nevertheless, it rendered a judgment that sanctified the process for political candidates to package and sell themselves to the American public like Coca Cola or Pepsodent toothpaste– a great victory for Big Business in the Land of the Free and a historic reminder of how easily the Supreme Court could be bought by corporate interests to undermine the Constitution and the democratic process.

The judges in favor of the decision argued that paid political advertising was protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution that guaranteed freedom of speech. In other words, staging, shooting, and paying for an ad about a political candidate on television or radio, or in newspapers and magazines, was somehow equivalent to American citizens having the freedom to express their political or religious views in a public forum without getting persecuted or thrown into jail.

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, not only would he be appalled by the 1976 decision, but he would be the first to point out how the decision, in effect, laid the groundwork for our election process to be usurped by special interest groups and corporate money, rendering the process not only antithetical to free speech, but also making it nearly impossible for Third Party candidates to run successfully for public office.

If you are not familiar with the Buckley v. Valeo decision, or have not read the numerous articles and essays about it, don’t feel left out. The mainstream media never mention it, other than to state– as if it’s a priori knowledge– that paid political advertising is equivalent to free speech and protected by the Constitution.

Naturally they would say that, since the five megacorporations that own a majority of the mass media in the country today, including all the major television networks and cable stations, and most of the major newspapers and magazines, have reaped billions of dollars of profits in the last few decades from paid political advertising. Which is also why they have no qualms about running political ads they know are either false or deceptive, like the Swift Boat ads used against John Kerry.

God forbid they should apply some ethical standards and say, “Now hold on, fellas! We can’t run ads that are deliberately false or misleading– no matter how much money is involved. After all, we have an obligation to the American people to present the truth.”

Fat chance! Instead they hide behind the corporate rubric so nicely formulated during the Reagan years: Corporations are in business to make money– fuck ethics and social responsibility!

In 2002 the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law made an effort to at least take “soft money” away from political parties and make the election process fairer, but unfortunately, it left a loophole large enough for a big rig truck to drive through by allowing 527 groups (like the Swift Boat Boys or to spend as much soft money as they want on advertising for their favorite politicians.

Which proves that when it comes to campaign finance reform, trimming around the edges or advocating incrementalism doesn’t work, and the only way to make the election process truly fair and democratic is to take money out of the system altogether. How can this be done?

Three easy steps: 1) Support an amendment to the Constitution to repeal the Buckley v. Valeo decision. 2) Outlaw all paid political advertising in any election– from city to state to federal. 3) Give every serious candidate for office the same amount of free public airtime and news media coverage.
…Read More

News & Analysis

Top ten reasons to get out of Iraq

Leaving hostages to the wolves is not the answer

It can’t happen here– or can it?

Is the U.S. winning in Iraq?

Dan Rather is not the real story

50% of New Yorkers believe U.S. government knew about 9/11 in advance

Large corporations escape paying billions in taxes

Recommended Reads

If you are a traditional publishing house and would like to submit your books for consideration to “Recommended Reads,” click here.

Chain of Command
By Seymour M. Hersh

How the Department of Defense mishandled the disaster at Abu Ghraib.…Read Review

Crimes Against Nature
By Robert Kennedy

How the Bush administration policies have gutted America’s environment.…Read Review

Running on Empty
By Peter G. Peterson

How the Republican and Democratic parties are bankrupting the country, and what we can do about it.…Read Review

What Would Jefferson Do?
By Thom Hartmann

Examines what Jefferson and our Founding Fathers would do about America’s loss of civil liberty and freedom.…Read Review

What’s the Matter with Kansas?
By Thomas Frank

How conservatives won the hearts and minds of America, and why Americans vote against their own self-interest. …Read Review

Democracy Matters
By Cornel West

Explores democratic tradition, “from the radical iconoclasm of Socrates, to the tragically schizophrenic visions of the American Founding Fathers, to the exuberant and brilliant indictments laid down by hip-hop.”…Read Review

Intelligence Wars
By Thomas Powers

History of American secret operations from Hitler to Al Quaeda, including new analysis about the war on terrorism and Iraq.…Read Review

Critical Condition
By Bartlett & Steele

Premiere investigative journalists explain how health care in America became Big Business and bad medicine.…Read Review

No Debate
By George Farah

Revealing look at how the Republican and Democratic parties control and manipulate the presidential debates.…Read Review

Sore Winners
By John Powers

Humorous account of how conservatives in America are still angry, even though they are in power.…Read Review

Recommended Classics

The Last Days of Socrates
By Plato

The original guru of Western Civilization offers his final words of wisdom on truth and goodness.…Read About

The Prince
By Niccolo Machiavelli

The world’s most famous study of power politics.…Read About

The Manchurian Candidate
By Richard Condon

The original thriller about brainwashing and political intrigue.…Read About

If you are an traditional publisher and would like to submit your books for consideration to “Recommended Reads,”

click here.


Book submission deadline is
the 20th of each month.


Links For Progressive Publications & Organizations

• Influential democracy in action group
• The “Unconventional wisdom since 1865.”
• Air America Radio: “Unabashed liberal talk radio and humor.”
• Counterpunch: Hard-hitting alternative news and essays
• 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.
• National listener supported news and information.
• Pacifica Radio: Listener-sponsored radio featuring alternative news and community service.
• Greg One-man army of investigative journalism.
• From the Wilderness: Radical alternative news and essays
• Tom Alternative news and essays
• Mother 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
• 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
• People for the American Way

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