Monday, November 29, 2010


On a pleasant walk along Taughannock Creek this weekend, Mark and I talked politics and life, and he mentioned that if he were able to turn the clock back, the number one thing he'd eliminate is corporate law--the notion that corporations are living, breathing entities with their own wants and needs. It's a notion that "Citizens United" only extends, and Frank Rich touches on one aspect of its damage in his article this week on the financing of politicians. It's the problem I have with BOCES and New York's teachers' unions--the fact that even an association designed to support other organizations or individuals can take on a life of its own and make decisions designed to benefit itself at the expense of or despite the needs of its constituent members--or in conflict with its purported raison d'etre, which, in the case of NYSUT, is "advancing excellence."

From constitutional republic to corporatocracy in just over two centuries. Ike warned us about this 50 years ago:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

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