Friday, April 6, 2012

Can't Ask, Won't Tell

Trey Smith

You can’t be outraged by — or fight back against — what you don’t know. At least that seems to be the theory behind a spate of new government-backed efforts to help corporations prevent inconvenient information from ever reaching the public domain. In states across the country, as in Washington, D.C., lawmakers are helping companies keep secrets in everything from factory farming to fossil fuel exploration to home foreclosures.

In five states, for instance, so-called Ag Gag laws are now on the books. Iowa just passed legislation that “criminalizes investigative journalists and animal protection advocates who take entry-level jobs at factory farms in order to document the rampant food safety and animal welfare abuses within,” according to the Atlantic’s Cody Carlson.

The impetus for such laws is obvious: After a series of damning videos of factory farms abusing animals, Big Ag faced a consumer backlash. But rather than make its facilities more humane, it has opted to spend its cash on lobbyists and court cases aimed at preventing the public from ever seeing the atrocities in the first place.
~ from States Shush Corporate Critics by David Sirota ~
It was just yesterday morning that I shared with you Sirota's previous column which dealt with the lack of real journalism in today's mainstream media. So, if we can't seem to learn what's going on from the mainstream press, then it would seem that the responsibility would fall to the alternative press and various activists...except that government is working diligently to shut off that avenue as well!

I hope you are able to see the pattern here. While laws keep getting passed that provide government with the legal capability of prying deeper and deeper into what use to be our protected civil rights, the powerful and the government itself concurrently are making it next too impossible to dig up ANY information on what they are up to! We citizens are losing the legal ability to keep almost ANYTHING private, while the ruling elite are gaining the legal ability to keep almost EVERYTHING private.

These initiatives do not bode well for a robust democracy.

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