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Ralph Nader
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Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. He was born in Winsted, Connecticut on February 27, 1934. In 1955 Ralph Nader received an AB magna cum laude from Princeton University, and in 1958 he received a LLB with distinction from Harvard University. His career began as a lawyer in Hartford, Connecticut in 1959 and from 1961-63 he lectured on history and government at the University of Hartford. In 1965-66 he received the Nieman Fellows award and was named one of ten Outstanding Young Men of Year by the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1967. Between 1967-68 he returned to Princeton as a lecturer, and he continues to speak at colleges and universities across the United States. In his career as consumer advocate he founded many organizations including the Center for Study of Responsive Law, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, Clean Water Action Project, the Disability Rights Center, the Pension Rights Center, the Project for Corporate Responsibility and The Multinational Monitor(a monthly magazine).

Entries by Ralph Nader

Breaking Through Power: Join Together to Mobilize Against Wars of Aggression

(2) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 10:37 AM

Did you know that in the nine months leading to the criminal war of aggression against Iraq in March 2003 by the Bush/Cheney administration, at least 300 retired, high-level establishment military, national security and diplomatic officials spoke out against the looming invasion? The list included retired Generals Anthony Zinni and...

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Copp's Plea for You and Me

(9) Comments | Posted May 13, 2016 | 6:37 PM

The plain-spoken, public-spirited former Federal Communications Commissioner, Michael Copps, is indignant--and for good reason: The FCC is not enforcing the law requiring the "dark money" super PACs and other campaign cash conduits to reveal, on-the-air, the names of the real donors behind all political advertisements, which are now flooding the...

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The Need for Progressive Voices

(24) Comments | Posted May 6, 2016 | 4:47 PM

In 1961, President Kennedy's Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Newton Minow described television as "a vast wasteland." Perhaps nothing demonstrates that better these days than the rise of Donald J. Trump as a presidential candidate; now the presumptive Republican nominee. Trump's boisterous carnival barker persona has dominated the...

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The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders

(260) Comments | Posted April 29, 2016 | 6:59 PM

Senator Bernie Sanders has come a long way without other people's advice. The progressive lone ranger is now leading in the polls nationally as the preferred candidate to defeat Donald Trump -- ahead of Hillary in that matchup.

Now, however, Bernie Sanders is facing the verdict of closed primaries in...

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Breaking Through Power: Historic Civil Mobilization Now

(8) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 6:50 PM

Ever wonder why presidential and Congressional election campaigns fail to meaningfully connect with civil society? Candidate rhetoric is designed to attract voters and campaign contributions. Candidates go out of their way to ingratiate themselves to their corporate paymasters, whose monetized minds want nothing to do with the civil society. Civil...

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For Republican Survival -- Kasich Is Ready

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2016 | 6:43 PM

To avoid a historic tumble in the November elections, what should the Republican Party do at its July 18-21 nominating convention, if "Doubtful Donald" Trump and "Terrible Ted" Cruz cancel each other out?

Their best chance is to nominate the remaining man in the race -- Ohio Governor, John Kasich...

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Big Union Leaders Betray Sanders and Workers

(534) Comments | Posted April 8, 2016 | 4:39 PM

Around a conference table inside the large Washington headquarters of the AFL-CIO, a furious exchange occurred between labor union presidents. It was late February and up for decision by the Executive Council was whether the country's principal labor federation was going to make a primary season endorsement of Hillary Clinton...

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Don't Be a Financial Fool

(2) Comments | Posted April 1, 2016 | 1:27 PM

April is national financial literacy month and April Fools' Day is April 1st. On this occasion consumers should resolve to avoid being fooled and misled by banks, credit card companies and the financial industry. FoolProofMe.com offers useful information to help you improve your financial skills and to become smarter consumers.

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Uncontrollable -- Pentagon and Corporate Contractors Too Big to Audit

(41) Comments | Posted March 18, 2016 | 1:32 PM

The Reuters report put this colossal dereliction simply: "A law in effect since 1992 requires annual audits of all federal agencies--and the Pentagon alone has never complied."

All $585 billion and more, e.g., for the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, of your money--not just unaudited, but, in the sober judgment of...

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Who Owns American Skies - the People or the Skyjacking Airlines?

(8) Comments | Posted March 11, 2016 | 4:55 PM

That's a question currently being asked by legislators in the halls of Congress. Without a muscular pushback from the public, the big airlines could claim the American airspace as their own to tax and regulate, without any significant compensation to the American taxpayer and no oversight from elected officials. Talk...

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What Will Many Bernie Sanders Voters Do After July?

(947) Comments | Posted March 4, 2016 | 1:20 PM

The hard-bitten, corporatist Democrats are moving Hillary Clinton through the presidential primaries. They are using "Republican-speak" to beat down Bernie Sanders as favoring Big Government and more taxes and they may unwittingly be setting the stage for a serious split in the Democratic Party.

What is emerging is the reaction...

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The Conundrums of Justice Scalia

(90) Comments | Posted February 19, 2016 | 4:12 PM

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Nino" Scalia evoked widespread commentary about how outspoken he was both on the Court and at law schools and other forums where he often lectured and sometimes tangled with audiences. Knowing of Justice Scalia's unusual expressiveness for a jurist, my colleague Robert Weissman...

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Hillary Clinton Sugarcoating Her Disastrous Record

(434) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 5:39 PM

Bernie Sanders is far too easy on Hillary Clinton in their debates. Clinton flaunts her record and experience in ways that Sanders could use to expose her serious vulnerabilities and disqualifications for becoming president. Sanders responds to Clinton's points, but without the precision that could demolish her arrogance.

For example,...

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What Did Hillary Clinton Say Behind Closed Doors?

(428) Comments | Posted February 5, 2016 | 5:41 PM

Last month as Hillary Clinton was leaving a town meeting in Manchester, Lee Fang of the Intercept asked her if she would release the transcripts of her paid, and very private speeches to Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street powerhouse historically deep in Washington, D.C., influence-peddling. Mrs. Clinton just laughed.

It...

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Hillary's Corporate Democrats Taking Down Bernie Sanders

(734) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 4:41 PM

Before announcing for President in the Democratic Primaries, Bernie Sanders told the people he would not run as an Independent and be like Nader -- invoking the politically-bigoted words "being a spoiler." Well, the spoiled corporate Democrats in Congress and their consultants are mounting a "stop Bernie campaign." They believe...

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The Devastating Cost of Monetized Elections

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 5:34 PM

Corporatized and commercialized elections reach a point where they stand outside and erode our democracy. Every four years the presidential and Congressional elections become more of a marketplace where the wealthy paymasters turn a civic process into a spectacle of vacuous rhetorical contests, distraction and stupefaction.

The civic minds of...

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Big CEO Pay Grab-Effects Beyond Greed!

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 4:40 PM

As the New Year gets underway, the highest-paid CEOs of many large corporations have already paid themselves more than the average worker will earn in the entire year! By the end of the first week of January, the highest-paid CEOs had already made as much as their average workers will...

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12 People Who Made a Difference (and You Can Too!)

(16) Comments | Posted January 8, 2016 | 4:13 PM

Can one person truly make a difference in the world?

Far too many people think not, and thus they sell themselves far too short. A wave of pessimism leads capable people to underestimate the power of their voice and the strength of their ideals. The truth is this: It is...

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The Rumble From the People Can Work

(66) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 10:18 AM

If only the people who engage in "road rage" would engage in "corporate rage" when they are harmed by cover-ups or hazardous products and gouging services, aloof CEOs would start getting serious about safety and fair play. With press report after press report documenting how big business stiffs millions of...

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Building a Renewable Energy Future

(48) Comments | Posted December 23, 2015 | 4:55 PM

The U.S. has some big problems that require bold solutions. Unfortunately, books about solutions to our society's problems are often given short shrift by reviewers or languish on our bookshelves. As I often say, this country has more problems than it deserves and more solutions than it uses. Now comes S. David Freeman.

In 1974 David Freeman, an energy engineer and lawyer, wrote much of and directed all of the research for the book, A Time to Choose: America's Energy Future, a comprehensive early inquiry into America's energy crisis. A Time to Choose offered ideas galore about how our country could use efficiency and conservation to benefit the environment and the economy and ushered in a new era of energy efficiency.

Freeman has also run several giant utilities including the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), the New York Power Authority (PASNY) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). After seven years at the TVA, he spent the next thirty advocating for and implementing environmentally sound and consumer friendly changes in energy policy. Mr. Freeman has been an innovator and leading authority on energy and environmental matters for a long time and knows what he's talking about, so when he speaks up about energy policy we should listen.

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In January of 2016, in collaboration with his coauthor, Leah Y. Parks, he will publish a new and important book about our energy future: All-Electric America: A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future. The book is scathing but optimistic, and manages to be bold while remaining pragmatic. Drawing on their combined years of experience, Freeman and Parks make the case for addressing the dangers of climate change with some concrete steps to counter our current downward spiral. Mr. Freeman argues that we will soon be able to power all of our energy needs with electricity generated completely by renewable energy as well as with increased energy efficiency in heating, cooling, lighting, transportation and our electric grid. The authors point out that:

Transforming our entire energy infrastructure to run on renewable energy by the year 2050 will require a larger effort than solely switching out our current electricity capacity. Investments in coal mining, oil and gas drilling and building new large coal, gas, and nuclear plants will give way to a massive increase in the construction of solar and wind power plants.

It comes as no surprise that this book rejects the indiscriminate "all of the above" approach (coal, oil, gas, nuclear, solar and conservation) to generating energy and argues that we have a leadership gap when it comes to developing a clean, safe and efficient energy policy that can boost our economy:

Rapid progress toward an all-renewables future is being stymied not by lack of technology, or even by cost or market demand, but by lack of vision on the part of our political and business leaders, and lobbying and persuasive advertising by the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear industries.

President Obama, environmentally minded political leaders and most of the major environmental organizations have been promoting both the "green revolution" and the "brown surge," supporting both renewables and the continued use of fossil fuels. They have failed to hammer home the message that a completely renewable future will be lower in cost, as well as necessity if we are to halt global warming, much less propose programs to make it happen. This is despite the fact that a long-sought bipartisan goal of U.S. energy policy has been to achieve energy independence. An all-renewable supply is the best way to do so.


By reducing emissions by 3 percent each year, the authors argue we would be capable of achieving a zero-emissions society in 35 years. The book manages to reconcile its lofty goals with sensible policy prescriptions. Big items on the agenda put forth in this book include:

Outlawing the building of new fossil-fueled electric power plants;

Creating a Federal Green Bank, which provides loan guarantees (not loans) for the financing of railroad electrification and for the construction of renewable electricity power plants;

Requiring that all new homes and buildings be Green House Gas (GHG) -free and existing buildings be retrofitted to zero GHG at time of sale or within fifteen years; and

Requiring all major auto, truck and bus manufacturers to reduce GHG emissions of vehicles by 3 percent each year, through a combination of improvements in mileage and lower GHG emissions.

The authors also note that big energy companies and their campaign contributions from the fossil fuel and nuclear industries have stifled sound, sustainable energy policies but how, with a little focused "civic energy" we can motivate industry and utility companies to adopt cleaner practices and policies that can make 3 percent annual emissions reductions not only feasible, but profitable.

The authors also challenge the notion that nuclear power and natural gas will eliminate our climate change woes and argue that renewables are a better financial bet for the consumer than oil, coal, natural gas or nuclear power for several reasons:

Nuclear power is a poor economic risk, requiring full government (taxpayer) loan guarantees, and also because no private insurance is available for an accident that causes billions of dollars of damage.

There are no fuel costs for solar and wind maintenance and it is thus virtually inflation-proof.

Renewable costs are going down while the price of oil fluctuates with an upward trend. The future price of natural gas is most likely to go up.

The savings in the indirect cost of renewables over coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power are profound. Some indirect costs include damages from environmental contamination, climate change, health expenses, managing the risks of nuclear power and military commitments--including deployments and even wars to safeguard oil from the Middle East.


When All-Electric America comes out in January of 2016 you will have a chance to make yourself knowledgeable about the real avenues available to us to transform our energy infrastructure for present and future generations by moving toward a new renewable energy economy with far more jobs, health, efficiency and security benefits than there are in relying on hydrocarbons and radioactive atoms..

To listen to my interview with David Freeman, visit

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