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F: Fleetwood Mac, I Am So Afraid 
I Am So Afriad


     The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified December 15, 1791. Obviously, it was of great importance to our Forefathers as it was the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights and was passed fifteen years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Amendment states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
     Before a referee puts on the stripes to officiate a basketball or football game, he must know the rules of the game so that he can judge what is fair and what is not.

     It is the job of our judges to act as referees and officiate disputes that arise. The Supreme Court is the "law of the land," and lower courts interpret the laws that we live by. We look to our judicial system to define the terms and rules of the law and render fair decisions based on their interpretation of what the law means. For example, would we be prohibiting the exercise of religion if Reverend Moon's Unification Church was shut down -- if it was found to be using a form of brainwashing as part of its techniques? Or, would we be abridging Werner Erhard's freedom of speech if we stopped EST training -- if we found that EST was using a form of mind control on its graduates? Such decisions are made by the courts.

     For example, a Las Vegas court was asked to rule in a case against the government filed by a man who had been exposed to radiation. Because of the court case, the Department of Energy declassified this photograph which had been suppressed for seven years. The photo shows radioactive dust escaping 10,000 feet into the air from an underground nuclear blast. The reasons for not releasing this photograph are unexplained, but clearly was not a violation of the freedom of the press, it certainly was an unjust act against the American people, committed by the U.S. Energy Research and Development Agency (now the., Department of Energy). This photograph was taken December 18, 1970. The Los Angeles Times printed the picture, upon its declassification, on Page Two of the front section, on October 6, 1977.


     While it is crystal clear that the L.A. Times did not violate the law, a logical question arises: Why did the responsible editors decide to assign this major story to page 34-the back page of the news section. while the top headline on the front page was---"HIJACKERS OVERLOOKED GEMS." Also making the front page that day was "WATSON TOO SICK TO WORK, BOARD RULES" and a picture of Dusty Baker being congratulated by his teammates after hitting a grandslam home run.

     Our First Amendment is in grave danger of going up in smoke. It is not because the system does not work, rather,we're in trouble because we have not amended the rules to cope with the changes now confronting us. Simon and Schuster publishing house was purchased by Gulf and Western Industries in fiscal 1975. Gulf and Western (not to be confused with Gulf Oil), owns and operates Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television, Schrafft Candy, Consolidated Cigar Company, Madison Square Garden, The New York Knicks Basketball Team, The New York Rangers Hockey Team, and manages to dabble in automobile parts, agricultural products, air conditioning, zinc production, cement, chemicals,and paper products. McGraw-Hill which publishes books and over sixty magazines, including Business Week, recently filed a five hundred million-dollar lawsuit against the American Express Company for what it believes to be illegal and unfair tactics in attempting to acquire their company -- for an estimated billion dollars.

     Several years ago, the National Basketball Association amended its rules, without changing the game, by widening the three-second lane. This was done because (as the players grew bigger and bigger) there was an unfair advantage enjoyed by bigger players near the basket. The freedom of the press has kept this country free, but unless we amend our rules, the bigger businesses, and government agencies controlled by business, will take more and more control of what is printed, what is shown on television, heard on radio, and seen at the movies. Then the First Amendment will exist only on paper, and the freedom it was intended to protect will only be a nostalgic memory.


     There is big money in moving products which everyone uses. There are an amazing number of automobiles in the world, and almost all of them use a product sold to them by an energy conglomerate. Thus, with a high common usage, energy is a product that is both necessary and in constant demand. Food, too, falls into these categories. Almost everything living eats food, and a great many are willing to pay for that privilege. So, if the Arabs are lucky to have oil beneath their sands, certainly Americans are fortunate to have fertile land, suitable climate, and an advantageous geographical location.

     Thinking sensibly, if we were living sensibly, it would seem logical that the most valuable commodity sold in the world would be food. Would it be morally wrong to use food as a weapon of strength? We don't have to fret about such a dilemma. Giant conglomerates own much of the food grown in the United States, the land it is grown on, and retail outlets for distribution.

     For example, the following corporations own companies which sell these products:

     A.  INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH (ITT) owns Continental Banking, who markets Wonder Bread Products, Hostess Twinkies, Hostess Fruit Pies, and Hostess Cupcakes. In addition, ITT owns Morton Foods, Sheraton Hotels, and Hartford Insurance

     B.  CAMPBELL - Soups, Swanson Frozen Food, V-8 Juice, Franco-American Products, Recipe Dog Food, Vlasic Foods, Pepperidge Farm

     C.  PILLSBURY - Flour, Baked Goods, Tortino's Frozen Pizza, Green Giant Foods, Cook Industries, Burger King

     D.  RALSTON-PURINA - Chex Cereals, Purina Dog Chow, Purina Cat Food, Jack-in-the-Box

     E.  BEATRICE FOODS - Dannon and Johnston Yogurt, Swiss Miss Cocoa, LaChoy Chinese Food, Meadow Gold Dairy Products, Rosarita Mexican Food, Clark Candy Bars, Samsonite Luggage, Chemicals

     F.  GENERAL MILLS - Cereal (Cheerios, Wheaties, etc.), Betty Crocker Products, Hamburger Helper, Ship'n'Shore, The Red Lobster Inns, New York Steak Houses

     G.  GENERAL FOODS - Maxwell House Coffee, Maxim, Brim Post Cereals, Burger Chef, Sanka, Kool-Aid, Tang, Log Cabin Syrup, Shake 'n Bake, Cycle Dog Food, Gaines-Burgers, Top Choice, Prime, Gravy Train, Jello, Cool Whip, Birds-Eye Vegetables.

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     It is hard to say what they were really like. We have seen pictures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, and been told of their great contributions to America's beginning. Yet 200 years of history may tarnish the truth, leaving just an image, making it hard to know whether John Hancock was a great man -- or just another insurance company.

     Whatever their images, our Forefathers wrote the rules that have governed this land, the greatest place for humans to live, for over 200 years. A place where your freedoms are protected by law, and a home where, if you follow the written rules, you may spend your time doing as you choose. It is the ideal place for the development of the individual.

     While it was impossible for our Forefathers to foresee the changes that 200 years, 200 million people, and a century of technology would bring, it is remarkable that the government that they left remains capable of functioning in the way that they intended it to.

     Somehow if they could talk today, it seems they would be gratified by the system's durability and horrified by those responsible for maintaining it. The people and our representatives have combined to create an apathy and an impotence which has rendered government incapable of solving problems. While that is an opinion, we do have our Forefathers own words and signatures from this document:

The Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have, full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress,


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