In what has been called by some the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott, last week the Court ruled that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to elect and defeat candidates.

Writing the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy described existing campaign finance laws as a form of censorship that have had a “substantial, nationwide chilling effect” on political speech.

In the dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens described the decision as a radical departure in the law. Stevens wrote, quote, “The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation.” Stevens went on to write,  “It will undoubtedly cripple the ability of ordinary citizens, Congress, and the States to adopt even limited measures to protect against corporate domination of the electoral process.”

But corporate contributions have been part of the political process in this country for over a century — also a result of a series of Supreme Court decisions that gave corporations the same legal entitlements as “natural persons,” including protections under the 1st and 14th amendments.

This most recent ruling further codifies corporate personhood and opens the floodgates for their spending on political campaigns.

This week on Radio Provocateur we’ll talk about the troublesome history of corporate personhood and the implications of this landmark Supreme Court decision.

>>Listen to 1/26/10: The Corporate Citizen


As has been widely reported, last week Haiti was struck by a magnitude-7 earthquake that left it’s capital Port-Au-Prince in shambles. It is estimated that 200,000 are dead and many more are in desperate need of supplies and medical care. The scale of chaos and crisis happening in Haiti is almost incomprehensible — a disaster of epic proportions.

In light of the devastation, the Obama Administration announced on Tuesday that undocumented Haitian immigrants living in the United States have been granted temporary protected status. This means that any Haitian that was in the country before the earthquake struck will be allowed to stay for eighteen months and allowed to work. While the Administration should be applauded for taking this step, it is sad to think that it takes a disaster of this magnitude to keep ICE from tearing apart the lives of immigrants.

The fact of the matter is that many of the countries immigrants are fleeing are suffering similar scale disaster — whether it be on the political, economic, or natural level (and sometimes all three). The immigrants that flock to the United States are seeking a new life. Many risk their lives in the journey over. They follow in the footsteps of the millions that crossed New York harbor in the early parts of the 20th century and stared dumbfounded as the Statue of Liberty rose up over the fog with the City as her backdrop. The words of Emma Lazarus, inscribed forever at the Statue’s base, read “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Immigration policy in this country as it stands is a sad defacing of those words.

Tuesday on Radio Provocateur we’ll have three guests from the New Sanctuary Movement, an interfaith network of immigrant families and social justice activsts working to resist and reform the United States’ draconian immigration system.

We’ll speak to Fatoumata, a Senegalese immigrant who’s husband was deported by ICE in 2007. Since then, she has been struggling to raise her six children on her own with little to no contact with her husband. We’ll also hear from Fanta, Fatoumata’s oldest daughter — one of millions of American-born children facing the threat of deportation to a country they consider foreign. Diana Stewart, member of the Community Church of New York, who has been working with Fatoumata and her family via the New Sanctuary Movement also join us.

>>Listen to 1/19/10: New Sanctuary

Alex Kane’s appearance on Radio Provocateur is now up on the Indypendent’s blog for your listening pleasure!

The Indypendent » Radio Interview: Alex Kane on Gaza and Palestine

Dec. 27th marked the first anniversary of the Israeli attack and invasion of the Gaza Strip. And although the Israeli tanks have left, the complete closure of the borders continues. The Gaza Freedom March, organized by Code Pink, was an effort to show the residents of Gaza that the international community of citizens has not forgotten them, and as well a worldwide call of attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

In a controversial decision, the Egyptian government allowed only 100 of the nearly 1,400 participants in the March to cross the border into Gaza. While the general goals of the Gaza Freedom March were ultimately not met, Egyptian complicity with the Israeli blockade of Gaza was highlighted, especially in the Arabic-language press. The plight of the Palestinians in the world’s largest open air prison was kept in the headlines around the world on the anniversary of Israel’s brutal assault on the territory.

On Tuesday we’ll speak with Indypendent writer Alex Kane, one of the 100 to get into Gaza, and about his experiences in the march and in Gaza in general.

>>Listen to 1/12/10: Viva Palestina

Just wanted to pass along  an article of mine  recently published in The Indypendent based on my conversation with Jordan Seilier about the Public Ad Campaign on our first broadcast.

To the read the article on The Indypendent’s website, click here

Being that I’m enjoying Miami so much, there won’t be a show this week. You all in New York can suffer in the cold without my soothing voice to tide you over. Sorry, folks. See you next-next week!  -D.