There is something refreshing in the political atmosphere this fall -- a sense of hope that there are some true choices among the candidates for higher office and that we need not settle for another corporate hologram in the White House.
Typically at this point in a protracted political campaign between the liberal and conservative wings of our major party (at its core both parties are funded by the same interests), I have become inured to the calculated drone of the slings and arrows of aggressive attack advertising. Along with the tacit agreement to sweep provocative discourse on urgent issues under the rug, these dissipations are enough to make the simple act of voting repugnant to many, perhaps a majority. It's hard to choose among evils without feeling tainted.
Apparently the kingmakers of our land have decreed that no pretenders except the frat boy and the heir-apparent shall take part in the great debates. Such despicability is beneath contempt. Did our veterans risk their lives for a system such as this? What are they afraid of? Are they mice or men? Open the debates.
All my adult life I've been informed that I've wasted my votes on third or fourth party candidates who more accurately reflect my viewpoints and concerns. This seems related to the ongoing conspiracy among the mature to stifle any idealism or vision in the young. Low expectations keeps this top-heavy, short-sighted society from collapsing.
I am not used to feeling any enthusiasm over our political process, but I see real grassroots connections being made outside the parameters of our corporatocracy. It is the powerful who are the extremists redistributing the wealth and rewriting the laws. Use your ballot boldly. Your silence will not protect you.
Tire consumers ought not to be lulled into a false sense of security just because they've replaced their recalled Bridgestone/Firestones.
In 1969, five tire industry vice presidents, Goodyear's, Firestone's, Goodrich's, Uniroyal's and General Tire's (and they were also Rubber Manufacturers Association directors), concocted an organization dubbed, (laughingly, I'm sure) The Tire Industry Safety Council.
Sen. Gaylord Nelson and consumer advocate Ralph Nader had worked together in Nader's tire safety campaign to force the recall of 378,000 defective Goodyear tires.
The stellar-appearing TTISC (hmmm... even the acronym sounds tongue-in-cheek), approved by all five of the tire mega-companies' presidents, worked diligently to discredit the do-gooding duo's charges of unsafe tires.
Nader didn't give up his public safety crusades, though. The RMA's ploy only turbo-charged his determination. In 1971, Nader founded Public Citizen, a nonprofit citizen's research, lobbying, and litigation organization based in Washington, D.C.
Since 1982, Joan Claybrook has served as Public Citizen's president with moxie and integrity. After testifying against Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Company at the Senate Commerce Committee on Sept. 12, Sen. John McCain told Claybrook, "We will be working with you and Mr. Ditlow as we put this into legislation." Clarence Ditlow, executive director at the Center for Auto Safety (another Nader-founded group), had also testified before Congress against Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford.
Nader, Claybrook and Ditlow have long-maintained the only way to stop company executives from fraudulently withholding and covering -up evidence that their products have caused injuries or deaths to consumers is to impose criminal penalties upon them.
Remember 1969 and TTISC -- don't be lulled! Hey, whatever happened to TTISC, anyway? Tsk-tsk-tsk ...
With farm commodity prices in a shambles, it's time to send a farmer to the State Capitol. Paul Koering, a dairy farmer, is a candidate for the State Senate seat in District 12. It's up to all of us dependent on farm economy to elect Paul Koering on November 7!
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