Ralph Nader : Time For The Left And Right To Coordinate on Prosecution of Corporate Crooks and NSA Snooping

Picture: Don LaVange (CC)

Picture: Don LaVange (CC)


Ralph Nader writes at CounterPunch:

This week, my new book is coming out with a daring goal. It is to break through the corporate imposed gridlock that prevents those on the left and right from realizing they actually agree on and can activate new directions for our country. The book’s title – Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State – reflects the direction of this desired action-driven dialogue.

Appearing on C-SPAN last Sunday, a widely syndicated columnist for the Chicago-Tribune – Clarence Page — said that he’s “writing a lot these days about left/right coalitions.” He was referring to such coalitions for prison reform, a review of the war on drugs and the passage of legislation in numerous states regarding juvenile justice reforms.

But there are many more long-overdue redirections of our nation that receive left/right convergence at various stages from the verbal to parallel activities to outright coordinated action. In defiance of their respective political leaders, Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a large combination of Republicans and Democrats came stunningly close (217 to 205) on July 24, 2013, to passing through the House of Representatives a ban on NSA dragnet snooping on the American people.

A comprehensive whistle-blowing bill protecting federal employees who want to speak out on waste, fraud and corruption overcame corporate opposition with an overwhelming congressional vote in 2013. The formidable lobby of corporate contractors delayed the bill’s passage but, in the end, left/right convergence made this reform possible.

Public opinion polls regularly reflect left/right concurrence. From 70 to 80 percent of the people support a restoration of the minimum wage to reflect the erosions of inflation. Higher percentages want the “too big to fail” big banks to be broken up. Even higher numbers object to the non-prosecution of corporate crooks, especially those responsible for the Wall Street crash of 2008-2009 that drove the economy into a severe recession, cost savers trillions of dollars and led to a huge taxpayer bailout.

Called crony capitalism by the right and corporate welfare by the left, there is a rising tide of revulsion against the rich and powerful freeloading on the backs of ordinary taxpayers.

A left-right majority consensus has emerged in the past decade directed against Empire and unconstitutional wars. Conservative members of Congress such as Rep. Walter Jones, former Congressman Ron Paul and libertarian Cato Institute leader Ed Crane are strong in opposing this imperial overreach and the corporate interests profiting from such costly aggressions.

Read more here.

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  • BuzzCoastin

    what Ralph seems to not notice is
    the government of Duh Homeland is already centered
    on the interests of the government’s owners and their money

    • Oginikwe

      He’s known that for decades. That’s the whole point of his existence.

  • 5by5

    This is one of the areas that EVERY American no matter their partisan political alliances should agree on. I don’t want to live in a Stazi-run East German clone. If you do, I invite you to fuck straight off. You’re too much of a coward to call yourself an American.

  • kowalityjesus

    Ralph Nader is a FUCKING HERO

  • Oginikwe

    Yes. Read Edward Bernays “Propaganda” from 1928. I’d post the link but it never gets past Disqus. Google it: it’ll come up. NPR also did some good programming on Bernays whose links won’t post. This guy is the father of public relations and laid the groundwork for it. After that, read “Toxic Sludge is Good For You!” and “Trust Us. We’re Experts,” both by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton and you’ll have a very good picture of why we are where we are today.

    • misinformation

      “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the
      organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in
      democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of
      society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling
      power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our
      tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard
      of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society
      is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner
      if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In
      almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics
      or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are
      dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the
      mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull
      the wires which control the public mind.” – Bernays

      He was a real piece of shit. Goebbels loved him.

      • Oginikwe

        He was something else. He was always injecting himself between elites (he thought he was one of them) and the elites didn’t like him much but found him useful. I first heard about him in a documentary titled “PsyWar.” I tried to post the link to it here about two months ago and it wouldn’t go. It’s very interesting and has all the major players in it.

        • misinformation

          “PsyWar”

          If you haven’t seen them, all of Scott Noble’s films are sweet (actually, I think there’s one I haven’t seen)…meta-noia films

          • Oginikwe

            Well, some of them are a little “out there” and some of them are tedious, but some of them ring true, which is, of course, the whole point of propaganda. PsyWar caught my eye because of the citations. Give the info I need to make up my own mind and I’ll keep coming back and work hard to support those suppositions.

      • Oginikwe

        Yes, Goebbels did love him. Before Nazi Germany, propaganda didn’t have the negative connotations it does today. I wonder what Freud would have thought of his nephew and what he spawned.

    • overdone

      When posting links leave out the www and spell (dot) in parenthesis that works most of the time.

      • Oginikwe

        “But the American voters soon found that without organization and direction their
        individual votes, cast, perhaps, for dozens or hundreds of candidates, would
        produce nothing but confusion. Invisible government, in the shape of
        rudimentary political parties, arose almost overnight. Ever since then we have
        agreed, for the sake of simplicity and practicality, that party machines should
        narrow down the field of choice to two candidates, or at most three or four.”

        Paragraph five of “Propaganda.”

        • overdone

          I’d still vote for your dog. I can bribe him with pork chop.

          • Oginikwe

            That’s a direct quotation and since the original audience was the elites, of course that’s what he was saying.
            You can bribe my dog with anything: he ate our phone wires, siding off the house, a rubber boot, and a piece of bamboo. I worry about my car.

          • overdone

            He’s got my vote if I have to write him in……we’ll send him to Washington. Sounds like he’ the kind of politician we need.

  • Ted Heistman

    I can get behind this!

  • Ted Heistman

    I voted for this guy. Fuck John Kerry and has Frat Bro Bush.

    • Ted Heistman

      I think Nader is an actual viable alternative to this Phony 2 party system.

      • kowalityjesus

        He’s not as beaten back as Ron Paul. I don’t think Nader will ever try to shoot the moon like he did.

        Nader has a book called “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us” which is an incredibly interesting concept… there are plenty of super-wealthy individuals that could overhaul undesirable aspects of modern life. What if Warren Buffet started a political party?

        • Ted Heistman

          Well….Is there hope for America?

          I honestly don’t think there is. I think America is going to fall and fall hard. I think what We will end up with is something like Modern day Italy in comparison to the Roman Empire.

          I simply hold out hope that there will be some cool cities left to live in where Life goes on pretty much in a positive way, while other regions go completely to shit. I really don’t see what would actually pull everyone in the Nation together. Life, here, is just too out of balance.

          If I were the Mayor of a big city like Seattle or San Fran, or Boston or NY, this is how I would think. How can our city remain a great place to live and remain viable after the US goes to shit? That is the question I would ask.

          • kowalityjesus

            That is a fascinating analogy, Italy vs Ancient Rome. I am slow to subscribe to such negativity, although logic would not debase it. To be trite, hope springs eternal.

        • overdone

          .

          • kowalityjesus

            you have an interesting idea, although I don’t know why you are loathe to openly share it. I think most of the problem is the spend-thrift attitude of govt in general. Who wants to pay taxes into the gargantuan boondoggle of government spending. If there was less disingenuousness in bureaucracy, we could make headway against the fuckstorm of national debt we are faced with. We need charismatic leader, like Putin, to deliver us from such terrible time. lol, j/k

    • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

      yes you were not alone

  • overdone

    I wouldn’t mind seeing………..
    Jessie Ventura (pres.)and Ralph Nader(v.p.) win the presidency, name Noam Chompsky as a Secretary of State……..
    The super rich given a “over-abundance wealth tax”, which would tax the amount of income over what it cost to be considered rich, say incomes over $250,000 per year(take home/profit), could be taxed at 50% of the over $250,000 income level and so called performance bonuses at 75%, off shore, tax haven money, could be taxed at 90%.
    Corporations would no longer be considered as persons under the law, they would have no “rights” only priveledges. Corporate funding could not be used for anything outside of the corporate entity, such as advancing their position in politics and/or the courts.
    Free national healthcare coverage for necessary health care. Elective surgeries and healthcare, covered individually, whether by personal pay or insurance. Doctors could have an office, but must volunteer services of an hourly requirement to keep their license.
    Medications would be a part of the free healthcare coverage, no price gouging/fixing by drug companies, (proven research/production cost plus 15% max)paid by the “state”healthcare coverage. These drugs could be sold in pharmacies at a 25% over cost profit.
    The military would be used for national defense ONLY and not to police the world or our country. Wars could not be ‘engaged in’ without the vote of the people, except in the case of physical attack on our soveriegn soil.
    The country could buy resources and would not have to pay the largest military in the world, to steal them from other countries, murdering innocent women and children in the quest to make the war machine corporations richer.
    The national debt could be wiped out in 5 years and all of the crumbling ancent infrastructure could be made whole again, in the process, put millions back to work, paying taxes. Welfare for those in true need could be reinstated, build appropiate public housing, our fellow countrymen would not have to sleep in the streets or eat from garbage cans.
    The TV, Radio and internet would be returned to local county control, and the giant communications corporations would be broken up so as to have, the real news, free and unbiased, protected from political and corporate influrence.
    We could actually be respected in the world again, helping less fortunate nations like we used to.
    Ahhhh it’s nice to dream.

    • Oginikwe

      You got my vote.
      I had planned on writing in my dog.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    For some reason, I imagine my old boss reading the headline and then rolling his eyes as he whistles a merry little tune.

  • misinformation

    Waiting for the headline: “Time to stop putting people in small boxes and overcome simplistic, unsubstantial labels that only work to divide people who otherwise have far more in common than not”

    Yea, it’s probably too wordy to get past the editor.

  • Aidan Benelle

    Time for a new leader, unconnected to any party, to rise and mobilize people against the tsunami of corporate money that’s been plundering our courts and democracy in general.

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