Seeing the Maximum Security Establishment Denial System
David Ratcliffe, rat haus reality press, 23 Sep 2023

Fifty-four years ago, seeing, calling out, and mocking evil was front-and-center. In the 1970s, I’ll always remember a black-and-white magazine photo of a U.S. GI sitting in a jungle with the caption, “Why die for a piece of junk?” The double entendre of heroin and bankrupt U.S. policy was standard fare in journalism.

Since then, the steady erosion of a virile fourth estate, challenging the increasing reach of corporate state influence and power, has impoverished every facet of society.

Corporate Empire State: Greed Unbounded

In July, investigative reporter Paul Thacker[1] wrote about how “We must reform the law to force corporate documents into the public – Companies continue to hide evidence of product dangers by sealing off records behind corrupt court protective orders.” He was to attend a Toronto conference as part of an international group of academics and journalists focusing on ghostwriting in science and medicine. Enroute from Madrid, he found himself stuck in the Newark airport because of hundreds of flight cancellations. He ended up remotely giving his talk in a quiet corner: “Records entered into public courts belong to the public[2]

Thacker’s paper includes details of how, “Since a 1984 Supreme Court decision on rules of discovery, the courts have become more secretive and willing to keep documents hidden under seal, even if those documents show a product is dangerous.” Discovery is the process when each side in a lawsuit gets to see the other side’s documents, depositions, etc., “to explore if their legal opponent is being honest.” During discovery all such evidence is held in secret.

Citing the UCSF Documents Archive which contains litigation records from tobacco, chemicals, drugs, food, fossil fuels, pharmaceuticals, and opioids, Thacker points out, “These documents are critical to exposing harms caused by corporate products and the strategies companies use to fool people. Litigation is critical to uncovering evidence of dangerous products, but discovery documents are seldom made public, and are often sealed as part of settlements.”

Thacker summarizes a number of significant court cases where sealed documents caused unconscionable injury and death, including the recent, criminally intentional harm referred to as the opioid crisis.[3] He concludes his analysis urging promulgation of sunshine rules and laws in all states:

Texas and Florida have “sunshine” rules and laws that limit the sealing of health and safety records, but corporate lobbying has stymied federal sunshine legislation for decades. While pursuing a federal law to limit court secrecy, reformers should consider advancing similar state laws to ensure court documents, once entered into public courts, remain public.

Corporate historian Richard Grossman (1943-2011) was an extremely articulate, insightful, visionary and teacher, who as my wife has observed, was gifted in the art of listening.[4] He was steadfast and uncompromising in his challenging the disastrous rise of U.S. corporate governance.

You want sanity, democracy, community, an intact Earth? We can’t get there obeying Constitutional theory and law crafted by slave masters, imperialists, corporate masters, and Nature destroyers. We can’t get there kneeling before robed lawyers stockpiling class plunder precedent up their venerable sleeves. So isn’t disobedience the challenge of our age? Principled, inventive, escalating disobedience to liberate our souls, to transfigure our work as humans on this Earth.

Grossman’s analysis spans the timeline from creation of the original slavemaster constitution, through its initial replacement with the post-civil war nascent corporate constitution, into the 20th century and beyond. An excerpt from American Tragedy: The Codification and Institutionalization of Violence[5] on the “Clean Air Act” provides an example of his resolute perspective:

Bush Senior puppeteers staging their heroic drama propped up every scene with the USA’s “cult of divinities.” They, too, drew upon folk memory and folk history—but memory and history fabricated by generations of slavemaster and corporate manager operatives. How easy it was for them to act out a play called “Clean Air” while condemning yet another generation to breathing poisons! By then, it was a tradition. The nation’s poisoners and intimidators had long been engaged in play-acting—see how they camouflaged the rule of law which guaranteed the flooding of the South under toxic chemicals and usurpers.

Of course, very important people throughout our society had to pretend not to see as government and corporate gods drenched the South in poisons and denials of rights, as they drove their Dirty Air laws into the books. These men and women appeared to suffer not as they devoured their reviews, back-slapped at cast parties, accumulated honors, and lived the good life.

Today in Washington DC there is a new generation of tragedy choreographers. The actors’ masks may be different, but the violence is the same. And the corporate press, dressed for critical analysis, continues to fabricate swill.

Revealing the Violence of Present Day Tragedy Choreographers

The above was written in 2004. Coming up on two decades hence, the violence of present day tragedy choreographers is beyond comprehension for too many souls. This is primarily due to the heretofore unthinkable censorship by the U.S. federal government, led by the executive branch, directing big tech to delete all information, analysis, and debate not conforming to official increasingly-injurious-and-lethal dogma.[6]