Saturday, November 29, 2008

Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Part 2

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. Commerce Secretary-Designate Bill Richardson also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

Among the political influence-peddling firms in the United States, “Mr. Kissinger and his associates are by all accounts the most successful of this new breed of former senior Government officials,” according to the April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, titled “Kissinger Means Business: Corporate America is eagerly seeking Henry Kissinger’s insight and celebrity.”

The “Kissinger Means Business” article also implied that the motive of these former and current senior Government officials for moving back-and-forth between U.S. foreign policy-determination roles and private influence-peddling positions was generally a mercenary one, since “many of these former Government leaders asked themselves, why not capitalize on our stardom, international contacts and insider knowledge to make large incomes on our own.”

In 1986, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former colleagues at Kissinger Associates—Kissinger, Scowcroft and Eagleburger—peddled their special influence to 25 to 30 corporate clients in exchange for payments from their clients that totaled $5 million in Kissinger Associates gross income. Each political influence-purchaser paid Geithner’s former employer between $150,000 and $420,000 per years for its services because, as former New York Times national security correspondent Leslie Gelb observed in 1986: “The super-star international consultants were certainly people who would get their telephone calls returned from high American Government officials and who would also be able to get executives in to see foreign leaders.”

When I telephoned the Kissinger Associates office in Manhattan in early 1991 to ask who some of its clients were at that time, a spokesperson for Kissinger Associates replied: “That’s all confidential.”

The April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, however, indicated that besides the Kuwaiti government-owned Midland Bank of Britain, the Kissinger Associates client list at the time Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner was employed by Kissinger Associates included H.J. Heinz, American Express/Shearson Lehman, Fiat, Volvo, ASEA, L.M. Ericsson of Sweden, Montedison of Italy, the International Energy Corporation, Atlantic Richfield/ARCO and the Fluor Corporation.

Although Henry Kissinger was the sole owner of Kissinger Associates when Geithner was employed by his firm, former National Security Affairs Adviser Brent Scowcroft and former Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger each received hefty salaries when they worked as Kissinger’s partners in influence-peddling prior to assuming their influential posts in the Bush I Administration in 1989. To further attract foreign government-owned corporations like Midland Bank of Britain as influence-purchasing clients, Kissinger Associates established a board of directors that included the following international corporate establishment figures around the time that Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner was employed by Kissinger Associates: former U.S. Treasury Secretary William Simon; former Citibank Chairman of the Board Edward Palmer; former U.S. Under-Secretary of State William D. Rogers; then-S.F. Warburg Chairman Lord Roll; then-Atlantic Richfield/ARCO Chairman Robert O. Anderson; then-Volvo Chief Executive Office Pehr Gyllenhammar and former Japanese government foreign minister Saburo Okita. (end of part 2)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

`Let The Big Banks Fail'

Let the Big Banks fail
And put the bankers in jail
It’s time to right the wrong
And not save those who committed fraud

Wall Street ripped off investors
And made billions from sub-prime loans
Yet when their housing boom turned to bust
To Washington, the bankers did go.
The big bankers they purchased
The Congress and the White House
So Democrats and Republicans
Are eager to bail them out.

They say they have no money to give welfare for the poor
Yet "Lehman-Goldman Sachs" get $700 billion more
They say they have no money to provide jobs and free health care
Yet AIG and Merrill Lynch are given Corporate Welfare.

(additional verses)
If a tenant can’t pay his rent
A landlord will evict
But if a Big Bank can’t pay its debt
Its government will give it cash.
If a worker can’t do her job
She’ll get fired for incompetence
But if a banker wrecks his bank
His government gives him a blank check.(

If a homeowner can’t pay his mortgage
He’ll lose his home and get foreclosed
But if Wall Street can’t pay off its creditors
It gets another big government loan.
If a store loses its customers
It will soon be forced to close
But if Big Banks steal from consumers
They’re given billions in loans.
(bridge) (chorus)

They’re all for a free market
When their profits are rolling in
But once they start losing money
The free market ain’t for them.
If you can’t pay your student debts
You’ll get harassed by their government
Yet when Wall Street banks owe people money
The government lets them off the hook.

So if you don’t think it’s democratic
For Wall Street’s government to rule over you
Then just take over CNN
With the help of your labor union.
The bankers’ names might be Pritzker
Or Rubin or J.P. Morgan
Yet they all don’t want regulation
So they can rip off the people again.

The "Let The Big Banks Fail" folk song was written in recent months.

To listen to "Let The Big Banks Fail" and other protest folk songs, you might want to check out the Columbia Songs for a Democratic Society music site link at: )

and at

Monday, November 24, 2008

Treasury Secretary Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Part 1

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. A leading candidate for Commerce Secretary, Bill Richardson, also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

An expose, titled “The `Kissinger Affair’: A Look At Henry Kissinger’s Kuwaiti Connection,” which appeared in the March 27, 1991 issue of a Lower East alternative newsweekly Downtown, began with the following quotation from the April 20, 1986 issue of the New York Times Magazine about Kissinger Associates during the years that Treasury Secretary Designate Geithner worked there:

“It is very difficult to pin down what Mr. Kissinger and the others are really doing in the business end of their lives. None will say for attribution who their clients are or discuss the specifics of what they do, although they do talk about their work with the understanding that they not be identified…Kissinger Associates requires a clause in its contracts stating that neither the firm nor its clients will divulge a business connection…”

In 1991, T. Jefferson Cunningham III, according to Moody’s International Manual, was on the board of directors of Treasury Secretary Designate Geithner’s former employer. That same year Kissinger Associates Director Cunningham was also a director of the Midland Bank of Britain and 10.5 percent of Midland Bank’s stock was owned by the government of Kuwait. And coincidentally, Geithner’s former boss at Kissinger Associates, Henry Kissinger, was not reluctant to use his special influence on behalf of his Midland Bank/Kuwaiti government business associates after August 1990 to push for the January 1991 Pentagon high-technology military attack on Iraq that led to thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties.

In the April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, titled “Kissinger Means Business: Corporate America is eagerly seeking Henry Kissinger’s insight and celebrity,” the Times then-national security correspondent, Leslie Gelb, reported that the Midland Bank of Britain was also one of the special influence-purchasing clients of Kissinger Associates that paid Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former employer “slightly more than $150,000 yearly for varying services.” Gelb also noted that “The other top members of the firm” were “Lieut. General Brent Scowcroft, President Ford’s National Security adviser, and Lawrence S. Eagleburger, who was an Under-Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration.”

In the early 1990s, Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s Kissinger Associates colleagues, Scowcroft and Eagleburger, were both high officials in the Bush I Administration. Scowcroft, a former Santa Fe International director who received personal payments from the Kuwaiti government-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) subsidiary in 1984, 1985 and 1986, was Bush I’s national security affairs adviser. And Eagleburger was Bush’s Deputy Secretary of State.

According to a profile of Scowcroft that appeared in the Times on Feb. 21, 1991, it was the presentation of Geithner’s former Kissinger Associates colleague at a National Security Council meeting on Aug. 3, 1990 “that made clear what the stakes were, crystallized people’s thinking and galvanized support for a strong response” to the Iraqi military occupation of Kuwait, which had led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians from either Pentagon military operations or U.S. economic sanctions since January 1991.

Kissinger Associates was established in 1982, four years before Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner joined the firm, after Henry Kissinger secured a loan from EM Warburg, Pincus & Company, an investment banking firm and when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner worked for Kissinger in the late 1980s the Kissinger Associates Manhattan office was located at 350 Park Avenue on the corner of 52nd Street—in the same building as Chase Manhattan Bank’s Commercial Bank of Kuwait subsidiary local office.

The building’s lobby at that time contained a computerized building directory of all the building’s tenants. But, according to New York Times then-national security correspondent Gelb’s April 20, 1986 “Kissinger Means Business” article, “Punch `K’ and you will not find Kissinger Associates, for Henry A. Kissinger still receives threats, so, for security reasons, you have to be invited to learn what floor his firm is on.”

Kissinger Associates also had an office in Washington, D.C. of three researchers and four clerks which was headed by Scowcroft when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner worked for the firm. According to Times correspondent Gelb, only about 25 people then worked in both the Manhattan and Washington, D.C. offices of Kissinger Associates, “including Mr. Kissinger’s bodyguards” and Geithner.

In 1991 a Kissinger Associates spokesperson told me in a telephone interview that Geithner’s 1980s employer was “an international consulting firm.” But, according to the April 20,1986 New York Times Magazine article, “Kissinger Means Business,” although “these consultants are not lobbyists in the strict sense of the word,” some of them “are involved in selling their influence at home and almost all do so abroad.” (end of part 1)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oswald-CIA Connection?

In Chapter 1 of the Report of the President’s Commission On The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, titled “Summary and Conclusions,” the Warren Commission stated that “All of the evidence before the Commission established that there was nothing to support the speculation that Oswald was an agent, employee, or informant of the FBI, the CIA, or any other government agency.”

Yet in a 1990 book Spy Saga: Lee Harvey Oswald and U.S. Intelligence, a Southeastern Massachusetts University Professor of Political Science, Philip Melanson, stated the following:

“Lee Harvey Oswald spent nearly all of his adult life working for U.S. intelligence—most likely for the CIA—as agent-provocateur. He did so in both the domestic and international arenas, right up to his involvement in the assassination.

“Oswald is enigmatic partly because he spent so much of his life in the shadowy, compartmentalized world of U.S. intelligence…He maintained a fa├žade of leftism…In contrast, his associations and contacts were decidedly right-wing and anti-communist…False information was purposely created about Oswald…

“This analysis will reach a conclusion about a conspiracy in John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It will demonstrate that Oswald’s movements were still being choreographed by his handlers in U.S. intelligence—however fringe or renegade they may have been—at the time of the assassination…Persons who knew his background were fabricating…evidence of his guilt in the assassination. Such activity…constitutes conspiracy…

“In Oswald’s case, the conclusion that he was a U.S. intelligence agent is not a footnote to the crime of the century but rather a window onto the conspiracy behind President John F. Kennedy’s assassination…”

Professor Melanson also asserted in 1990 that “The CIA has continuously obstructed pursuit of the truth about Oswald” and “The mainstream media remains captive to decades of secrecy and disinformation regarding Oswald; much of it emanating from the CIA.” Spy Saga: Lee Harvey Oswald and U.S. Intelligence noted that “Intimations by CIA officers that the only missing piece of the Oswald puzzle and the only valid question of conspiracy related to the Soviet Union was endorsed on Jan. 7 1990 by the New York Times..”

(Downtown 6/23/93)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

U.S. Attorney-General Designate Holder's Law Firm & "The Superior Bank Scandal"

U.S. Attorney-General Designate and Columbia University Trustee Eric Holder became a law partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling after serving as a Deputy Attorney General in the Democratic Clinton Administration until 2001. (See the following link: )

But as the Covington & Burling web site at, Holder's law firm "represented Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation in government inquiries and civil litigation regarding the failure of its subsidiary, Superior Bank, fsb, the largest bank failure in recent years."

Coincidentally, the 2008 Obama presidential campaign's national finance Chair, Penny Pritzker, sat on the board of the Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation whose special corporate interests U.S. Attorney-General Designate Holder's law firm represented before U.S. government regulators and in federal court.

As the Feb. 6, 2002 Office of Inspector General's report noted:

"Superior was orginally established in 1988 when the Pritzker and Dworman interests acquired Lyons Savings Bank...The corporate structure consisted of Superior being wholly-owned by Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation (CCFC), the holding company, with the Pritzker and Dworman interests each owning 50 percent of the holding company..."

Yet the Office of Inspector General's Feb. 6, 2002 report also observed:

"Oftentimes the line between poor business judgment and fraud and abuse is difficult to draw. Nevertheless, based on our review of the failure of Superior Bank it appears that some of the decisions made by Superior management rise to the level of insider abuse...

"As early as 1996, Superior submitted Thrift Financial Reports that were inaccurate...

"Questionable management practices were evident at Superior for many years...

"...Examiners discovered that during the fourth calendar quarter of 2000 Superior sold loans at fixed prices to Coast-to-Coast Financial Corporation. This transaction violates various federal regulations by selling assets to an affiliate at a price less than fair market value..."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bank Failures And Presidential Transitions

During periods of U.S. Establishment presidential transitions in the past, U.S. commercial banks have sometimes failed. Presidential Transitions by Laurin Henry described what happened after the 1932 presidential election:

“In the final months of President Hoover’s term, the nation reached the bottom of the depression. Financial panic swept the country and paralyzed most of the banking system…

“In January 1933…a new wave of closings began. Failures led to runs and more failures. As fear spread, people stopped putting money in banks…

“In early February 1933, the situation became acute in Michigan, where about 200 banks had failed in the previous month. Two of the largest institutions in Detroit were in serious trouble…On February 14 the governor of Michigan declared a `banking holiday’…The Michigan closing shocked the business world, and panic ensued elsewhere, leading to more closings. By March 2, banking holidays had been declared in several more states…But as the reports of the day’s banking transactions began to come in during the afternoon, it became clear that the downward slide was out of control. The big New York and Chicago banks were about at the end of their rope.”

(Downtown 11/18/92)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Repressing Journalists In Africa Historically

Since events in much of Africa usually haven’t gotten much Big Media coverage, historically, many people in the U.S.A. may not be too familiar with the way some African journalists were treated in the 1990s by some governments in Africa. But in an article titled “The Press Versus The Law In Africa,” which appeared in the May 1993 issue of its Censorship News publication, the London-based Article 19 human rights organization reported the following:

“As the world marks Press Freedom Day on May 3, governments throughout Africa continue to employ direct repression to censor their independent critics…Janvier Africa, a Rwandese journalist, has been detained since September 1992, apparently for identifying security officials responsible for political killings. Another journalist, Stration Byabagambe, was murdered by a para-military death squad in October 1992.

“In March 1993 more than 30 security agents invaded the offices of a Nigerian magazine, The News, and seized 30,000 copies which were due for sale the following day…Earlier the same month security officials closed down the Kaduna-based newspaper, The Reporter, and detained its editor, Mallam Hayatu…

A journalist in Siera Leone, Roy Stevens, the former editor of The Chronicle, has been detained without charge since July 1992…

“Since presidential elections in September 1992, eleven independent publications in Cameroon have been suspended…

“Thirteen journalists currently face charges of sedition in Kenya. They include Pius Nyamora, editor of Society magazine, which has been repeatedly seized, Njehu Gatabaki, editor of Finance, who was held for 23 days in February 1993, and two editors of The Watchman charged in February with inciting `hate, contempt and dissatisfaction’ towards the President. On April 8, 1993 a group of more than 20 men identifying themselves as police raided the offices of Finance, armed with pistols, swords, knives, whips, axes, chisels and ropes. They seriously injured the computer operator, destroyed the computer and stole documents and cash.

“On April 15, 1993, members of the Togolese presidential escort raided the printing planat of the independent newspaper, La Tribune des Democrates, beating one of the printers who was later taken away by the police. Earlier the same day members of the presidential escort had stopped the paper’s main distributor from collecting his copies and abducted five vendors. In February, opposition journalist Leopold Ayiui was shot by unidentified assailants and went into a coma…

“…In Angola, South Africa, Liberaia, Somalia, Chad and elsewhere journalists continue to operate under the most extreme conditions of physical danger.”

(Downtown 6/23/93)

Next: Bank Failures And Presidential Transitions

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Secrecy And The U.S. Super-Rich

Many super-rich individuals are careful to keep a low-profile in the United States. As The Founding Fortunes book noted:

“Many wealthy individuals have chosen to lead lives of deliberate obscurity. They attempt to conceal their family ties and the extent of their wealth from everyone except other family members, close friends, and a few trusted business associates. With only a few exceptions, most of the members of the richest families in America are entirely unknown to the public at large…The scholar and the layman alike are often misled by news accounts that fail to disclose the true extent of inheritance within wealthy families…The major cause of such journalistic omissions is the financial secrecy maintained by almost all corporate rich families…Very little is known with certainty about most corporate rich families or their fortunes. The reason of course, is that the members of these families want all the advantages of being rich without any of the disadvantages of being famous. As a rule, the members of wealthy capitalist families refuse to divulge even the most rudimentary details of their wealth. In order to maintain their anonymity, the members of corporate rich families typically refuse to disclose even basic biographical information about themselves. Many of the richest Americans are not listed in Who’s Who In America, simply because they refuse to provide the editors of this directory with any biographical information. Some of the wealthiest families in America have achieved almost complete anonymity, despite the fact that they exercise enormous power.”

(Downtown 3/17/93)

Next: Repressing Journalists In Africa Historically

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big Media Racism In UK Historically

Historically, U.S. magazines like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Vogue, Mademoiselle, Details, TV Guide, New Republic, Harper’s Bazaar and The National Review have been staffed with British editors—often in preference to African-American journalists. Yet institutional racism in the British media world apparently was, historically, quite extensive. As Daily Racism: The press and black people in Britain by Paul Gordon and David Rosenberg observed during the 1980s:

“Black people are under-represented in the media industry as a whole and in print journalism in particular. A survey conducted by the Black Media Workers Association (BMWA) in 1983 found that black workers comprised only 0.7 percent of the total media workforce and the proportion of black workers working full-time on newspapers and magazines stood at less than 0.2 percent (Black people make up 4.5 percent of the total labour force in Britain.) It also found that there are several large cities with substantial black populations which had no black workers on local newspapers. From these statistics the BMWA argued that the predominantly white character of the media industry reinforced a white perspective in newspapers and they questioned whether the media in general could reflect the concerns of all sectors of society and black minorities in particular…”

The same book also stated:

“…Press racism is found not only in its printed product but at the level of recruitment and employment in the industry. There is a need for the media industry as a whole to eliminate and confront its own institutionalized racism and become, in its composition, more reflective of the society in which it operates, particularly in relation to racial minorities…”

(Downtown 1/5/94)

Next: Secrecy And The U.S. Super-Rich

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Heterosexism & The UK Media Historically

In an essay titled “Sexual Stereotyping In The Media,” which appeared in the 1986 book Bending Reality: The State Of The Media, Anna Durell and Andrew Lumsden offered the following criticism of the UK Big Media’s historic heterosexism:

“The `deluded children’ in charge of the bulk of the UK’s media know so little of the culture, history, or present lives of gay people (or if they do know, being lesbian or gay themselves, learn on the way up the career ladder to keep their mouths shut) that their `homosexuality’ (topic on an agenda) is rarely recognizable to me as my `homosexuality’ (experience).

“…Some steps can be taken to tease out what is exceptional about the gay condition in the media. We have been put to a very particular servitude, `we’ lesbian and gay people, not lesbian and gay media employees, though the bulk of the latter are forcibly enslaved to passing as straight. We aren’t regarded as existing in our own right. If we were, there would be `out’ reviewers, critics, interviewers and `name’ reporters scattered across quality and popular media alike in rough proportion to the numbers of us in media employment. We are subject matter, but are not, with the very rarest exceptions, permitted to be principals, writing or broadcasting in our real sexual persona. Journalistic objectivity is defined as the declared or taken-as read heterosexual experience…”

(Downtown 3/17/93)

Next: Big Media Racism In UK Historically

Saturday, November 8, 2008

`Time' Magazine's `March of Time' Link In Great Depression--Part 3

[Note: It was recently revealed that the Time-Warner Media Monopoly’s Time Inc. magazine subsidiary is expected to soon lay off 600 of its employees, representing more than 6 percent of its work force.]

Another March of Time newsreel disliked by anti-Establishment newspaper critics was the 1941 film short “Labor and Defense.” In its Feb. 8, 1941 issue, the U.S. Communist Party’s Daily Worker printed a review by David Platt, titled “Labor Is Target In Current Release of March of Time. Debs Is Slandered; Pegler and Hillman Are Glamorized.” According to the Daily Worker reviewer, The March of Time was “the most direct expression in the movies of the needs and demands of the big industrialists” and it was “therefore necessary to pay the strictest attention to what this organ of Wall Street has to say.” The Daily Worker film critic characterized the “Labor and Defense” film newsreel as “a dangerous anti-labor film whose chief purpose is to break up the labor movement.”

Despite such criticism of the political content of Time Inc.'s newsreel division by anti-Establishment writers, in 1937 a special Oscar was given to former Time Inc. Vice-Chairman Roy Larsen at the Academy Awards ceremony by Shirley Temple, in recognition of The March of Time’s “revolutionizing the newsreel.”

But according to The March of Time, 1935-1951, a researcher for the Time Inc. media conglomerate’s newsreel production in the 1930s, Mary Losey, described March of Time’s filmmaker, Louis de Rochemont, as “the first and, I think, most magnificent example of male chauvinist that I ever came across. I think he disliked women more than he disliked men, but he preferred men who kowtowed to him, and he was very destructive.” As The March of Time, 1935-1951 noted:

“In Louis’s shop, it was always the men who made Time march. There were women on the payroll, of course, but with a couple exceptions, none of them occupied decision-making positions in those days. Almost all of the researchers (called `checkers’) were women.”

The institutional sexism within Time Inc’s March of Time division reflected “the inferior position of women in all Time divisions” where “in those days only men occupied positions of responsibility and authority in the corporation,” according to the same book.

Other than Roy Larsen and Louis de Rochemont, most employees of Time Inc.’s March of Time division in the 1930s “received pitiful salaries” and “this was especially the case with editorial workers in the cutting room, upon whose effectiveness and skill The March of Time depended,” according to The March of Time, 1935-1951. Workers in the cutting room were required by Larsen and Rochemont to work “two weekends and every evening overtime for two weeks out of every four—without extra pay,” according to the same book.

(Downtown 1/29/92)

Friday, November 7, 2008

`Time' Magazine's `March of Time' Link In Great Depression--Part 2

[Note: It was recently revealed that the Time-Warner Media Monopoly’s Time Inc. magazine subsidiary is expected to soon lay off 600 of its employees, representing more than 6 percent of its work force]

Between 1935 and 1951, 205 March of Time newsreels were produced by Time Inc.’s film subsidiary. During The March of Time’s initial two years of film production, former Time Inc. Vice-Chairman Roy Larsen devoted himself wholly to the film production company and within “a year after its founding The March of Time was playing in more than 5,000 theaters in the U.S. and 709 in Great Britain, and its international monthly audience was estimated at 15 million,” according to Time Inc.: The Intimate History Of A Publishing Enterprise 1923-1941.

Anti-Establishment writers were not too pleased with the political content of The March of Time films during the 1930s. In March 1936, for example, The American Spectator published an article by Hy Kravif, titled “Behind The Scenes of March of Time.” Kravif observed that in the 1930s Time Inc.’s directors included J.P. Morgan & Company publicity man Martin Egan and the president of New York Trust Company (“a bank with Morgan and Standard Oil interests”), Artemus Gates. Also sitting next to Henry Luce and Roy Larsen on the Time Inc. corporate board in 1936 were Brady Securities & Realty Company President William Griffin—who also was a director of 20 other corporations—and Empire City Savings Bank Trustee Samuel Meek, Jr.. The American Spectator also noted that The March of Time radio show was sponsored by Remington Rand—whose director, Henry J. Fuller, was a partner with a Time Inc. director named Crowell Hadden III, in the early 1930s.

The American Spectator claimed that “March of Time broadcasts of recent years show that its pretended accuracy often conflicts sharply with the facts and reveals a Big Business bias.” Kravif defined Time Inc. in the 1930s as “a sort of triple propaganda threat what with (1) its movie and (2) radio versions and (3) Time magazine and Fortune, the latter having a circulation of nearly 100,000 with its $1-a-month price for glorifying Big Business.” American Spectator also warned that “Lest Time’s propaganda on three fronts be underrated, let me point out that the film is now shown regularly in hundreds of movie houses from coast-to-coast” and “to publicize its movie, March of Time reaches out to the classroom with its monthly Photo Reporter for students and a “Teacher’s Manual For Class Study of the Monthly News Magazine of the Screen, ‘The March of Time,” which boasted that “300 schools and colleges throughout the country use Time magazine as a text on current events.”

In the September 3, 1935 issue of the anti-Establishment magazine, New Masses, Peter Ellis was also critical of March of Time, following its August 16, 1935 release of the “Croix de Feu” newsreel which, he charged “was the signal for The March of Time to unfurl their true flag: the swastika.” According to the left-wing New Masses writer, “the political status of The March of Time” was “no longer a matter of speculation” but was now “open and brazen fascism.”

( Downtown 1/29/92)

Next: `Time’ Magazine’s `March of Time’ Link In Great Depression—Part 3

Thursday, November 6, 2008

`Time' Magazine's `March of Time' Link In Great Depression--Part 1

After Time magazine began publishing its initial weekly issue in March 1923, its Big Media executives were able to increase the magazine’s circulation by utilizing U.S. radio and movie theatres around the world to promote both Time magazine and the politics of the special U.S. corporate interests which Time Inc. served. According to The March of Time, 1935-1951, “As early as 1924, former Time Inc. Vice-Chairman Roy Larsen had brought Time into the infant radio business with the broadcast of a 15-minute sustaining quiz show, entitled `Pop Question,’ which survived until 1925.” Then, according to the same book, ‘In 1928…Larsen undertook the weekly broadcast of a 10-minute program series of brief news summaries, drawn from current issues of Time magazine…which was originally broadcast over 33 stations throughout the United States.”

Time Inc. executives next arranged for a 30-minute radio program, titled The March of Time, to be broadcast over CBS radio, beginning on March 6, 1931. Each week, its The March of Time radio program presented a dramatization of the week’s news for its listeners. As a result of this radio program, Time magazine was brought “to the attention of millions previously unaware of its existence,” according to Time Inc.: The Intimate History Of A Publishing Enterprise 1923-1941, and this led to an increased circulation of the magazine during the 1930s. Between 1931 and 1937, The March of Time radio program was broadcast over CBS radio and between 1937 and 1945 it was broadcast over NBC radio—except for the 1939 to 1941 period when it was not aired.

In 1934, The March of Time Inc. film production corporation—separate from, but under the control and ownership of Time Inc.—was established. As president and treasurer of The March of Time Inc., former Time Inc. Vice-Chairman Larsen “chose subjects” and “assisted in the editing and in the marketing of the 13 two-reel issues of The March of Time” films issued each year, according to the 1950 edition of Current Biography. A then-35-year-old filmmaker named Louis de Rochemont was hired by Time Inc. to make these March of Time film newsreels, which dramatized news events on film. The first March of Time newsreel was released in February 1935.

In his book, Propaganda On Film: A Nation At War, Richard Maynard described The March of Time as “a popular, journalistic, short-subject series on contemporary news events which lasted throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Often, the reporting of these episodes was slanted towards the views of Time-Life Inc. (moderate liberal, Republican, internationalist, etc.)” Prior to the release of the first March of Time film short, The March of Time was heavily promoted by Time Inc.’s Time and Fortune magazines. (end of part 1)

( Downtown 1/29/92)

Next: `Time’ Magazine’s `March of Time’ Link In Great Depression—Part 2

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nader's Open Letter To U.S. Commander-in-Chief-Elect Obama

On November 3, 2008, the 2008 independent anti-war and anti-corporate presidential candidate Ralph Nader apparently wrote the following open letter to U.S. Commander-in-Chief-Elect Barack Obama:

Dear Senator Obama:

In your nearly two-year presidential campaign, the words "hope and change," "change and hope" have been your trademark declarations. Yet there is an asymmetry between those objectives and your political character that succumbs to contrary centers of power that want not "hope and change" but the continuation of the power-entrenched status quo.

Far more than Senator McCain, you have received enormous, unprecedented contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests and, most interestingly, big corporate law firm attorneys. Never before has a Democratic nominee for President achieved this supremacy over his Republican counterpart.

Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?

To advance change and hope, the presidential persona requires character, courage, integrity-- not expediency, accommodation and short-range opportunism. Take, for example, your transformation from an articulate defender of Palestinian rights in Chicago before your run for the U.S. Senate to an acolyte, a dittoman for the hard-line AIPAC lobby, which bolsters the militaristic oppression, occupation, blockage, colonization and land-water seizures over the years of the Palestinian peoples and their shrunken territories in the West Bank and Gaza.

Eric Alterman summarized numerous polls in a December 2007 issue of The Nation magazine showing that AIPAC policies are opposed by a majority of Jewish-Americans. You know quite well that only when the U.S. Government supports the Israeli and Palestinian peace movements, that years ago worked out a detailed two-state solution (which is supported by a majority of Israelis and Palestinians), will there be a chance for a peaceful resolution of this 60-year plus conflict. Yet you align yourself with the hard-liners, so much so that in your infamous, demeaning speech to the AIPAC convention right after you gained the nomination of the Democratic Party, you supported an "undivided Jerusalem," and opposed negotiations with Hamas-- the elected government in Gaza.

Once again, you ignored the will of the Israeli people who, in a March 1, 2008 poll by the respected newspaper Haaretz, showed that 64% of Israelis favored "direct negotiations with Hamas." Siding with the AIPAC hard-liners is what one of the many leading Palestinians advocating dialogue and peace with the Israeli people was describing when he wrote "Anti-semitism today is the persecution of Palestinian society by the Israeli state."

During your visit to Israel this summer, you scheduled a mere 45 minutes of your time for Palestinians with no news conference, and no visit to Palestinian refugee camps that would have focused the media on the brutalization of the Palestinians. Your trip supported the illegal, cruel blockade of Gaza in defiance of international law and the United Nations charter. You focused on southern Israeli casualties which during the past year have totaled one civilian casualty to every 400 Palestinian casualties on the Gaza side.

Instead of a statesmanship that decried all violence and its replacement with acceptance of the Arab League's 2002 proposal to permit a viable Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in return for full economic and diplomatic relations between Arab countries and Israel, you played the role of a cheap politician, leaving the area and Palestinians with the feeling of much shock and little awe.

David Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator, described your trip succinctly: "There was almost a willful display of indifference to the fact that there are two narratives here. This could serve him well as a candidate, but not as a President."

Palestinian American commentator, Ali Abunimah, noted that Obama did not utter a single criticism of Israel, "of its relentless settlement and wall construction, of the closures that make life unlivable for millions of Palestinians. ...Even the Bush administration recently criticized Israeli's use of cluster bombs against Lebanese civilians [see for elaboration]. But Obama defended Israeli's assault on Lebanon as an exercise of its 'legitimate right to defend itself.'"

In numerous columns Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, strongly criticized the Israeli government's assault on civilians in Gaza, including attacks on "the heart of a crowded refugee camp... with horrible bloodshed" in early 2008.

Israeli writer and peace advocate-- Uri Avnery-- described Obama's appearance before AIPAC as one that "broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning, adding that Obama "is prepared to sacrifice the most basic American interests. After all, the US has a vital interest in achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace that will allow it to find ways to the hearts of the Arab masses from Iraq to Morocco. Obama has harmed his image in the Muslim world and mortgaged his future-- if and when he is elected president.," he said, adding, "Of one thing I am certain: Obama's declarations at the AIPAC conference are very, very bad for peace. And what is bad for peace is bad for Israel, bad for the world and bad for the Palestinian people."

A further illustration of your deficiency of character is the way you turned your back on the Muslim-Americans in this country. You refused to send surrogates to speak to voters at their events. Having visited numerous churches and synagogues, you refused to visit a single Mosque in America. Even George W. Bush visited the Grand Mosque in Washington D.C. after 9/11 to express proper sentiments of tolerance before a frightened major religious group of innocents.

Although the New York Times published a major article on June 24, 2008 titled "Muslim Voters Detect a Snub from Obama" (by Andrea Elliott), citing examples of your aversion to these Americans who come from all walks of life, who serve in the armed forces and who work to live the American dream. Three days earlier the International Herald Tribune published an article by Roger Cohen titled "Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque."None of these comments and reports change your political bigotry against Muslim-Americans-- even though your father was a Muslim from Kenya.

Perhaps nothing illustrated your utter lack of political courage or even the mildest version of this trait than your surrendering to demands of the hard-liners to prohibit former president Jimmy Carter from speaking at the Democratic National Convention. This is a tradition for former presidents and one accorded in prime time to Bill Clinton this year.

Here was a President who negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt, but his recent book pressing the dominant Israeli superpower to avoid Apartheid of the Palestinians and make peace was all that it took to sideline him. Instead of an important address to the nation by Jimmy Carter on this critical international problem, he was relegated to a stroll across the stage to "tumultuous applause," following a showing of a film about the Carter Center's post-Katrina work. Shame on you, Barack Obama!

But then your shameful behavior has extended to many other areas of American life. (See the factual analysis by my running mate, Matt Gonzalez, on You have turned your back on the 100-million poor Americans composed of poor whites, African-Americans, and Latinos. You always mention helping the "middle class" but you omit, repeatedly, mention of the "poor" in America.

Should you be elected President, it must be more than an unprecedented upward career move following a brilliantly unprincipled campaign that spoke "change" yet demonstrated actual obeisance to the concentration power of the "corporate supremacists." It must be about shifting the power from the few to the many. It must be a White House presided over by a black man who does not turn his back on the downtrodden here and abroad but challenges the forces of greed, dictatorial control of labor, consumers and taxpayers, and the militarization of foreign policy. It must be a White House that is transforming of American politics-- opening it up to the public funding of elections (through voluntary approaches)-- and allowing smaller candidates to have a chance to be heard on debates and in the fullness of their now restricted civil liberties. Call it a competitive democracy.

Your presidential campaign again and again has demonstrated cowardly stands. "Hope" some say springs eternal." But not when "reality" consumes it daily.


Ralph Nader

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nader Got 581,000 Votes In 1996

Of the minority (48 percent) of registered voters who bothered voting in the Media Monopoly-rigged 1996 U.S. presidential election, more apparently voted for Ralph Nader per campaign dollar spent in 1996 than voted for either the Democratic Party presidential candidate or the Republican Party presidential candidate. Although Nader’s campaign spent less than $5,000 in 1996, nearly 581,000 people voted for Nader—over 100 votes won for each campaign dollar spent. In California, for example, over 214,000 people voted for Nader in 1996, with 11 percent of all the voters in Mendocino-County, California casting their ballots for Nader in 1996.

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 11/20/96, 11/27/96, 12/4/96)

Time Warner/CNN/Time Inc.’s Post-1952 Political Influence Historically

Time Inc.’s C.D. Jackson, along with Time-Life’s European correspondent, Emmet Hughes, was loaned by Time Inc. Founder Henry Luce to the successful 1952 Eisenhower presidential campaign staff. Time-Life’s former European correspondent then served as U.S. President Eisenhower’s speechwriter for two years before returning to Time Inc. as a Fortune magazine staff writer, until he subsequently became former New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller’s political adviser. Luce had also contributed $13,000 [in 1950s money] to Eisenhower’s 1952 presidential election campaign.

During the 1952 Stevenson vs. Eisenhower presidential campaign, according to an article by Joseph Epstein in Commentary magazine’s November 1967 issue, titled “Henry Luce And His Time,” “the political bias of Time magazine “extended all the way down to photographs.” Epstein noted that media analyst Ben Bagdikian had pointed out that “in the 13 issues published during the campaign, Time printed 21 photographs of Eisenhower, all generally attractive, shaking hands, smiling that winning smile, looking altogether earnest and mellow and wise. But during the same period there appeared only 13 photographs of Stevenson…Four showed him in such infelicitous poses as eating, drinking and frowning.”

Although Time Inc. endorsed Richard Nixon during the 1960 Nixon vs. Kennedy presidential contest, Henry Luce was also a close friend of JFK’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, and Luce had utilized his media empire during the 1950s to transform John F. Kennedy into a media-star and Democratic Party presidential nominee. According to Henry R. Luce And The Rise of The American News Media by James Baughman, in the 1930s “Joseph Kennedy began a family tradition of winning allies in the fourth estate,” Luce’s publications “had usually treated Joseph Kennedy and his family admiringly” and Henry Luce wrote the introduction to John F. Kennedy’s first book, Why England Slept. The Henry R. Luce And The Rise of The American News Media book also noted that on “the night John Kennedy delivered his acceptance speech before the Democratic convention, his father watched the event on Luce’s television set in New York” and at JFK’s inaugural ball Henry Luce and his wife, Claire Booth Luce, “sat in Joseph Kennedy’s box.”…

A former Time magazine staff writer, John Tirman, in an August 1981 Progressive magazine article, “Doing Time,” recalled how former Time magazine Editor-in-Chief Henry Grunwald pressured his Time Inc. editorial subordinates to turn an article on consumer rights advocate [and 2008 independent presidential candidate] Ralph Nader into a journalistic hatchet job:

“Earlier in the week, I had been assigned a story on what had become of Ralph Nader…The senior editor of the Business Section, George Church, had left the story largely intact, and we were waiting word from the `top’ editors, the final judgment for all Time articles.

“At about 9 o’clock, Associate Editor Jim Grant came to my cubicle to tell me the Nader story was in trouble: The `34th floor’ wanted the story changed. Even to a Time neophyte the message was clear: The company brass presiding over Time Incorporated from the 34th floor, corporate editor Henry Grunwald had spoken.

“`What does Grunwald want?’ I asked Grant.

“`A hatchet job,’ he said.

“I hurried to Church’s office…Church paused, swallowed a mouthful of Dewar’s White Label, and sighed. `Henry Grunwald,’ he said, `just hates Ralph Nader.’ And that was that. Church went to work on the copy, shifting sentences, honing the ridicule. And the sharpened ax of Time did fall on Nader…”

(Downtown 1/29/92)

Nader's Solutions vs. Media Monopoly's Obama-McCain Ticket

Unlike the Media Monopoly’s current presidential ticket [of Barack “Send More Troops To Afghanistan” Obama & John “The War Hawk” McCain in 2008], if he were allowed by the Big Media to be elected president, the independent anti-war and anti-corporate presidential candidate [of 2008], Ralph Nader, would finally begin to solve the basic problems confronting folks in the United States. As long ago as August, 1996, Nader proposed the following solutions to the U.S. energy crisis, environmental crisis, housing crisis, health care crisis, transit crisis, economic crisis, political crisis and moral crisis, for example, in an August 19, 1996 speech at the Green Party Convention:

“Look at the basic problems. Energy: solar energy, energy efficiency—those are the solutions…Housing; There are pilot housing projects showing the way to go, so we don’t have this disgraceful, inadequate, decrepit, decayed housing stock, not to mention the homeless…Health care: we have the solution to health care…Universal health care, the single-payer Canadian system…Modern public transit:…Look at the work done in Northwestern University…on the subject and ask yourself why don’t we have…modern public transit that’s fast, reliable, that’s very close to zero pollution…Agriculture: instead of highly chemical-intensive agriculture…organic agriculture…How about the unemployment problem?...The jobs aren’t there because…billions of dollars of pension funds are being used for mergers and acquisitions and empire building instead of productive activity…”

As long ago as in his August 19, 1996 speech, Nader indicated why anti-war and anti-corporate folks in the United States who bother going to the polls [in 2008] should consider casting an anti-war/anti-militarist/anti-imperialist/anti-corporate protest vote for Nader or for a third party presidential and/or local candidate:

“Next time someone says to you, `Why are you building a third party? Don’t you know that a progressive third party will take votes away from the Democratic Party. Why are you being a spoiler?’ Well, the easy answer is you can’t spoil a system spoiled to the core.

"And another answer is that we are sick and tired and weary of being told every four years we have to choose between the bad and the worse, because every four years they both get worse. Because we don’t look kindly on two parties who…sign into law an increased child poverty legislation, where they literally throw out the baby with the bathwater, so-called welfare reform: no child care, no job opportunities, restricted food stamps, 350,000 disabled children off public assistance, and on and on. What’s the difference between these two?...The corporations are pulling both parties to the right, reactionary wing of American politics.”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 10/30/96)

Nader’s Air Safety Reform Program

In his 1994 book Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety, [2008] independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader stated the following:

“Reform is urgently needed to protect safety of the flying public…Throughout this book…we advocate these…reforms to improve aviation safety: 1. increasing the strength of minimum safety regulations; 2. releasing money from the Aviation Trust Fund to finance a growing Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and safety-related expenditures; 3. structural reform of the FAA; 4. partial reregulation of the airlines; and 5. vigorous financial fitness enforcement by the Department of Transportation and antitrust enforcement by the Department of Justice.”

In this same book, Nader and co-author Wesley Smith also noted:

“Did you know that you and a friend can buy a ticket on the same flight for the same price and be seated in the same section of the plane, yet one of you might be safer than the other in an accident? Why? Because one of you might be seated in a stronger seat that is better able to withstand crash forces. And guess what? You won’t know which of you has the safer seat because the airlines won’t tell you.”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 8/28/96)

Who Owned The Media Monopoly Historically?

Even before the Democratic Clinton Administration allowed Time Warner, Turner Communications, Disney, Capital Cities/ABC, CBS and Westinghouse to merge with each other [in the 1990s], these same conglomerates were historically owned by the same mutual fund companies and pension funds.

In 1995, for example, San Francisco money manager Melvin Tukman’s $2.3 billion portfolio at the Vanguard/Windsor II fund office contained enough media stock to make Tukman both the seventh-largest shareholder of Capital Cities/ABC and the fourth-largest shareholder in CBS.

Capital Research & Management Co., the first or second-largest shareholder of Time Warner in 1995, also owned four million shares of Capital Cities/ABC and nine million shares of Turner Communications. And State Street Research owned both 1.4 million shares of Time Warner and $50 million worth of Capital Cities/ABC.

Other owners of the Media Monopoly in 1995 included: 1. The Seagram Co. Ltd. (the first or second-largest shareholder of Time Warner); 2. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Capital Cities/ABC’s largest shareholder, with 13% of the shares); 3. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (the second-largest shareholder of Capital Cities/ABC, with 9.4 million shares); 4. Provident Investment Counsel (4.7 milliion shares of Capital Cities/ABC); 5. Bankers Trust (7.2 million shares of Time Warner); 6. Equitable (6.1 million shares of Time Warner); 7. Wells Fargo Institute (7.1 million shares of Time Warner); 8. Sun Trust Bank (7 million shares of Time Warner); 9. The California Public Employees Retirement System (316,000 shares of Turner); and 10. The College Retirement Equities Fund (516,000 shares of Turner). [Pensions & Investments 7/25/95].

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 11/13/96)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nader Reduced Auto Deaths By Over 50,000

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader has been serving people in the U.S. for many years. As Money Talks: Corporate PACs And Political Influence by Dan Clawson, Alan Neustadt and Denise Scott recalled in 1992:

In the early ‘60s auto safety was presented as depending entirely on safe drivers. Ralph Nader raised the heretical idea that perhaps cars were also a cause of accidents—and had the data to prove it…

“Did Ralph Nader’s campaign totally transform U.S. society and the power of business? No. Did it have any real effect on people’s lives? Absolutely. In 1965, for every 100 million miles driven, 5.3 people died in automobile accidents. If that rate had still applied in 1988, an additional 50,000 people would have died in auto accidents.”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 7/10/96)

Nader In 1974: `Review Corporate Tax Privileges Annually’

As long ago as 1974, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was fighting to cut government corporate welfare grants to transnational corporations. As Power Inc. by Morton Mintz and Jerry Cohen observed:

“…Commenting in late 1974 on the failure of tax bonanzas for the wealthy and private corporations to produce benefits for society as a whole, Nader said:

“`Given this unrequited subsidy, which directly burdens the small taxpayers why is there not an annual evaluation by the congress or the treasury of such special corporate tax privileges? The small taxpayers should be informed about what they are not receiving in return for their subsidizing of these companies through the tax system…Corporate executives are once again telling the White House that they need even more `tax incentives,’ as they call them, or `welfare payments’ as they should be described…’

“Nader…has touched on something that the newspapers, magazines, and radio and television networks seldom make truly clear to the broad public: tax `subsidies,’ `incentives,’ and tax breaks for corporations are giveaways and handouts on a lavish scale…”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 7/31/96)

Prez Candidate Nader vs. Union Carbide Historically

For many years, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader fought against the abuse of power by transnational corporations like Union Carbide. As the 1980 edition of Everybody’s Business: An Almanac recalled:

“In the late 1960s and early 1970s Union Carbide was virtually Environmental Enemy No. 1. Environmentalists called their Alloy, West Virginia, iron-alloy plant `the smokiest factory in the world.’…When Carbide threatened to lay off 625 workers in Ohio to offset the cost of pollution control, Ralph Nader called it `environmental blackmail.’”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 7/24/96)

Nader Warned Of `Downward Trend’ In Air Safety

In the 1994 book which he co-authored with Wesley Smith, Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety, [2008] independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader observed:

“Despite the official denials of the Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] and the airline industry…aviation safety is threatened on many fronts…Collectively, they pose a clear and present danger to existing safety levels. These issues include:

“…Pressure from the airline industry to increase capacity, which has caused the FAA to approve compromises in safety procedures…The aging of our domestic aircraft fleet…The growth of commuter airlines that fly smaller planes with less safety equipment…The need to…upgrade the crash survivability of…transport jets…Problems with…management…that adversely affect safety…The need to improve ground control technology to prevent accidents…while planes are on the ground…The underfunding of the FAA that has…rendered it unable to…perform its legal mandate.”

Nader also asserted that “consumers are going to have to exert their power as citizens and customers to reverse the downward trend in safety levels” and proposed “the creation of a broad-based consumer organization dedicated solely to advocating for airline safety,” the Coalition of Airline Passengers.

As long ago as 1973, Nader “asked federal district court in Washington to prohibit the FAA’s use of X-ray security checks at airports” because the FAA had failed to consider the environmental impact of such an operation, had failed to set minimum standards for X-ray machines, and had failed to allow an adequate period for public comment,” according to Consumer Protection 1976.

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 8/21/96)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nader Launched Non-Smokers' Rights Movement

Big Tobacco corporation executives have apparently contributed $30,000 to help fund the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama--who, until recently, was apparently a chain-smoker. And the 2008 Obama presidential campaign has spent over $190 million of the campaign contributions it has received from the U.S. corporate rich on purchasing campaign ad space from the U.S. corporate media conglomerates--to try to persuade non-smoking U.S. voters that the inexperienced Obama is more qualified than Nader to move into the White House oval office on January 21, 2009.

But 2008 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is also the person who launched the Non-Smokers’ Rights Movement. As Ashes To Ashes by Richard Kluger recalled in 1996:

“Ralph Nader launched what would become the non-smokers’ rights movement at the end of 1969 by petitioning the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ban the use of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes on all passenger flights, arguing that the smoke annoyed non-smokers, distracted the flight crew, and posed a danger to health and a fire hazard for all aboard…

“…The Civil Aeronautics Board…in September 1972 responded positively to a Nader petition to require separate passenger sections…

“A few weeks after his initial petition to the FAA, Nader called on the Interstate Commission to establish non-smoking rules for buses.”

Nader Called For `Semi-Regulation’ Of Airlines

Ralph Nader has also long believed that the interests and safety of airline passengers can be protected only if the airlines are `semi-regulated.’ As Rapid Descent: Deregulation and The Shakeout in The Airliines by Barbara Sturken Peterson and James Glab noted:

“A multitude of…critics…claim that only a new era of federal regulation could save…the flying public from further deterioration in airline service.

“…Ralph Nader in late 1993 outlined a detailed plan for what he termed semi-regulation of the airlines. In his book Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety, Nader advocated limited price regulation, using state regulation of the insurance industry as a model, to prevent price gouging and predatory pricing.”

The same book also recalled:

“Ralph Nader…the patron saint of aggrieved passengers…went after the airlines when he was bumped from an Allegheny Airlines flight on April 18, 1972…Nader’s lawsuit laid the groundwork for the eventual regulation of the airlines’ overbooking practices. But Nader saw this as just one piece of a broader pattern of industry abuses…”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 8/14/96)

As long ago as 1972, Ralph Nader was offered the vice-presidential nomination by the Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern. As Nader And The Power Of Everyman by Hays Gorey noted:

“When George McGovern of South Dakota did win the Democratic nomination and then had to force his original choice for running mate off the ticket he…suggested Nader run with him. But Nader said no…because he believes that `the more successful you become in politics the less effective you are, because you have to compromise yourself, you have to serve the interests that have helped make you successful...’”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 6/12/96)