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Reading, politics
beer, meetmeme, Backyard
I am reading Al Gore's Assault on Reason. I am about 100 pages in and he has some flaws in his explanations of history and oversimplifies a few points, but thus far it is a good read.

I wanted to call out two quotes from the book, both from former presidents (p87-88):
On corporate power:
"...whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages, or whether the money and power of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions."
-Andrew Jackson, continuing a theme that Thomas Jefferson discussed in 1821.

"As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
-Abraham Lincoln, 1864

This is very much happening now, both in the form or Special Interest/Lobbying directly at the representatives and the control by major corporations of the infotainment and punditry that passes for "news" that is shown on TV and heard on radio.

The election, which is still over a year away, already has winners and losers based on how much money they can raise, because that will ultimately mean how many sound-bites they can purchase. Plus, of course, the swift-boater type organizations, which pretty much have free reign to lie in their ads.