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The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy
Author: Ted Nace
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Category: Business & Economics
The activist and founder of Peachpit Press reveals how the corporation has become the dominant institution in modern life, pointing to the dangers this situation holds for the planet and presenting a blueprint for restoring democracy. Reprint.
This easy-to-use guidebook offers an overview of American law that should find a place on the desk of any journalism student or professional journalist. The Journalist’s Guide to American Law provides an overview of major legal principles and issues in practical terms for journalists covering any aspect of the legal system. The book’s organization captures both the bird’s-eye view of the subject and offers an easy reference guide when the professional needs to understand a distinct legal concept. The areas covered range from professional concerns such as the First Amendment, cameras in the courtroom, Sunshine laws, and access to government documents to general legal matters such as the institutions of law and the lawmaking function of the judiciary, core constitutional principles such as separation of powers and judicial review, and the day-to-day functioning of courts. Equally at home on the desk of the general assignment reporter or the legal correspondent, as well as their producers and editors, the book equips the journalist with the knowledge required to translate complex legal notions into plain English.
Plunder examines the dark side of the Rule of Law and explores how it has been used as a powerful political weapon by Western countries in order to legitimize plunder – the practice of violent extraction by stronger political actors victimizing weaker ones. Challenges traditionally held beliefs in the sanctity of the Rule of Law by exposing its dark side Examines the Rule of Law's relationship with 'plunder' – the practice of violent extraction by stronger political actors victimizing weaker ones – in the service of Western cultural and economic domination Provides global examples of plunder: of oil in Iraq; of ideas in the form of Western patents and intellectual property rights imposed on weaker peoples; and of liberty in the United States Dares to ask the paradoxical question – is the Rule of Law itself illegal?
“This story is a tragedy, and not just because of what’s happening to the people of Kivalina. It’s a tragedy because it’s unnecessary, the product, as the author shows, of calculation, deception, manipulation, and greed in some of the biggest and richest companies on earth.” —Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet "Christine Shearer's Kivalina: A Climate Change Story is a fast and bumpy ride that begins with the history of outrageous corporate deceptions through public relations and legal campaigns, continuing with building of the coal-and-oil empire to fuel progress in the United States, leading to the horrendous politics of climate crisis, and finally arriving at its destination, a ground-zero of climate refugee, Kivalina—an Inupiat community along the Chukchi Sea coast of arctic Alaska. I was angry when I turned the last page. I urge you to get a copy, read it, share the story, and join the new global climate justice movement."—Subhankar Banerjee, photographer, writer, activist, and author of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land While corporate funded scientists continue their effort to spread doubt about global climate change, for one native village in Alaska, the price of further denial could be the complete devastation of their homes and culture. Kivalina must be relocated to survive, but neither the oil giants nor the government have proven willing to take responsibility. Christine Shearer is a writer, journalist, activist, and academic. She is the environment and ecology editor of Economy Watch, and managing editor of the online progressive magazine Conducive. She is also a contributor to Coalswarm, part of the online corporate watch website SourceWatch.
Disciplined Democracy, Big Business, and the Common Law
Author: Carl T. Bogus
Publisher: NYU Press
Judging by the frequency with which it makes an appearance in television news shows and late night stand up routines, the frivolous lawsuit has become part and parcel of our national culture. A woman sues McDonald’s because she was scalded when she spilled her coffee. Thousands file lawsuits claiming they were injured by Agent Orange, silicone breast implants, or Bendectin although scientists report these substances do not cause the diseases in question. The United States, conventional wisdom has it, is a hyperlitigious society, propelled by avaricious lawyers, harebrained judges, and runaway juries. Lawsuits waste money and time and, moreover, many are simply groundless. Carl T. Bogus is not so sure. In Why Lawsuits Are Good for America, Bogus argues that common law works far better than commonly understood. Indeed, Bogus contends that while the system can and occasionally does produce “wrong” results, it is very difficult for it to make flatly irrational decisions. Blending history, theory, empirical data, and colorful case studies, Bogus explains why the common law, rather than being outdated, may be more necessary than ever. As Bogus sees it, the common law is an essential adjunct to governmental regulation—essential, in part, because it is not as easily manipulated by big business. Meanwhile, big business has launched an all out war on the common law. “Tort reform”—measures designed to make more difficult for individuals to sue corporations—one of the ten proposals in the Republican Contract With America, and George W. Bush’s first major initiative as Governor of Texas. And much of what we have come to believe about the system comes from a coordinated propaganda effort by big business and its allies. Bogus makes a compelling case for the necessity of safeguarding the system from current assaults. Why Lawsuits Are Good for America provides broad historical overviews of the development of American common law, torts, products liability, as well as fresh and provocative arguments about the role of the system of “disciplined democracy” in the twenty-first century.