A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

An additional four to six-week delay faces students who have already submitted their FAFSA for 2024-2025 academic year.
FAFSA Updates Result in More Delays
Amy Moore, Reporter • February 14, 2024

Where’s the Outrage?

With billions in subsidies going to the largest corporations in the country, unlimited corporate donations buying political campaigns, massive taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailouts, declarations of “Too Big to Fail” and entire industries of accountants, lawyers and well-paid people working tirelessly to hide record profits off-shore, there’s little doubt in any American’s mind that our government has been taken over by corporations.

Thomas Jefferson and other founders foresaw this problem. He fought ferociously to add an 11th Amendment to the Bill of Rights specifically to limit the size and power of corporations by outlawing any corporation to be chartered above the state level.

The amendment would’ve held the fruits of production close to home, instead of in the pockets of Wall Street opportunists the way Jefferson predicted.

This is the system. Looting is how it works. Consolidation and mergers are all part of the game.

You say, “That’s nonsense, the people elect the officials.” But who controls the people?

Mainstream media, consisting of a whopping five gigantic corporations, inform 95 percent of the nation’s 300 million-plus people. These corporations share board members and provide information to distract, entertain, manipulate, omit truths or flat-out lie to the people to steer them where plutocracy wants them to go.

Unfortunately our Founders predicted this as well. James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were also adamant about the need to protect our democracy by first protecting our natural rights to free speech and freedom of the press. Maybe that’s why they prioritized both rights, guaranteeing them in the First Amendment.

“Nothing could be more irrational than to give the people power, and to withhold from them information, without which power is abused,” wrote Madison. “A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with power which knowledge gives.”

With so much information out there, it’s either a tragedy or a farce that we allow the country’s corporate media to comprise and dilute public opinion. People act on misinformation everyday and the government is no different. Transparency is the new concept of the day, but it seems our government has other ideas.

On March 29, 2013 the Pegasus oil pipeline ruptured in Arkansas. More than 85,000 gallons of oil spilled into surrounding neighborhoods, creeks, marshes, streams and fields, polluting everything in its path. These things happen when you pump oil through pipelines and we shouldn’t be surprised or outraged. It was an accident and Exxon responded quickly to get it cleaned up. The major problem I see is that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has authorized a no-fly zone over the spill.

The press has zero access to film the spill or inform the masses of the impacts on the surrounding areas. Who knows who is affected if journalists are not allowed to do their jobs. This is outrageous, but you won’t hear that from Brian Williams on NBC.

Washington put it best when he said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

A no-fly zone above the spill is essentially the government green lighting corporations to lead Americans to the slaughterhouse.

How can a no-fly zone be representative of the people? Domestic policy says “Drill baby, drill,” and takes money from all taxpayers to make sure the oil industry exists in the first place. Our government now represents international corporate interests so much they will overtly and legally avert the people’s right to freedom of the press.

It’s an insane notion, but it’s our current reality. We are close enough to see inside the proverbial slaughterhouse, and yet Americans trudge blindly and docilely towards the butcher’s block. Worse yet, with the advent of corporate welfare, we’re literally paying the shepherd-plutocracy to lead us there.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” The corporate overthrow of America is in full effect, and because the mainstream media constructs most of our citizens’ reality, or at least their perception, the corporations get away with it.

Corporate media now effectively acts as paid advertisement for the richest and most powerful people and corporations in the new world order of economics. Regardless if it’s an oil spill or war, the media oligopoly is at the helm, not the people. You don’t see dead Pakistani five-year-olds and oil running down suburban streets in the news for the simple fact oil and war make a few people a lot of money.

If we truly listened and understood what our Founders said, we would decentralize information control, demand that the FAA get rid of this ridiculous notion that they can provide a no-fly zone to protect corporate interests, advocate for transparency in all things and force the free market of ideas to once again act in the best interests of all Americans.

About the Contributor
Drew Sheets, Staff Writer