Oil is the source of so much pain in the world. Around the globe, wherever oil is extracted, people suffer a constellation of injuries, from coups and dictatorship to pollution, displacement and death. Pipelines leak, refineries explode, tankers break up and deep-sea drill rigs explode. The thirst for oil disrupts democracies and the climate. Not far from the burgeoning fracking fields of Colorado, Frederic "Rick" Bourke sits in a minimum-security federal prison. His crime: blowing the whistle on corruption and bribery in the oil-rich region of the Caspian Sea.
What do a half-billion eggs have to do with democracy? The massive recall of salmonella-infected eggs, the largest egg recall in U.S. history, opens a window on the power of large corporations over not only our health, but over our government.
While scores of brands have been recalled, they all can be traced back to just two egg farms. Our food supply is increasingly in the hands of larger and larger companies, which wield enormous power in our political process. As with the food industry, so, too, is it with oil and with banks: Giant corporations, some with budgets larger than most nations, are controlling our health, our environment, our economy and increasingly, our elections.
When the Fraser Institute celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2004, media coverage was ebullient. The Province was typical when it proclaimed in an editorial “we're all 'right wing' now” and ended by congratulating the institute for “daring to dissent. May it do so for another 30 years.”
This piece was reprinted in the Ottawa Citizen and the Windsor Star. National Post columnist Lorne Gunter reported that “the Fraser Institute is so highly regarded that not only was the room chock block [sic] full of prominent provincial and national conservative politicians, organizers, consultants, academics and volunteers, it was also full of financiers of conservative parties and causes.”