Rural electric power to the people!

Monitoring Co-Op Democracy

Question: How have autocratic REC boards gotten away with openly stiffing their owner-members and flaunting the fundamental democratic principles of co-op organization? Answer: Unlike unions, charities, and ... Read more...
Choctaw Electric’s annual meeting in 2015. Photo courtesy of Stan Hammons

The Battle of Choctaw Electric Co-Op

For a gross example of corruption, deceit, and rigged elections by a co-op board and its manager, Oklahoma's Choctaw Electric Cooperative was a grand-prize stinker. Though CEC is owned by the lower-income popul... Read more...
A power line tower viewed against a purple-sky sunset

What if you owned your own power company? (Many Americans already do!)

Co-op electricity has transformed rural America, but the co-ops offer something even more electrifying: democratic power. Despite the strength and popular appeal of the co-op approach, RECs in regions where they are large and numerous have hardly been models of dynamic progress. Even when they face stagnant economies and widespread poverty, many co-ops charge exorbitant rates and cling to a toxic legacy of coal-fired power plants spewing pollutants. What happened?
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A blue/red movement

You might expect such liberal bastions as Boston, Madison, Boulder, and San Francisco to call for an end to corporate electioneering, but this is a nationwide blue/red movement, including the people of these co... Read more...
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The protest spreads

In order of the date of passage, here are the 16 states that have already petitioned Congress to let their citizens vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s edicts: Hawaii, April 2010... Read more...
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Citizen Snowden: Why he matters

A special double issue Who knew that 1984 was a how-to manual? Of course, George Orwell did not intend for his novel about life in a dystopian, totalitarian society to be a blueprint for a secret surveill... Read more...
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Senate and House “intelligence”?

In January, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the intelligence committee, teamed up with her House counterpart, Rep. Mike Rogers, to do a version of the old Joe McCarthy Red Scare shtick. Without offering an i... Read more...
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Do the three hop

To see how easy it is for millions of innocent citizens to get caught up in NSA's vast electronic web, consider the "Three HOP Analysis." It's a dance of search-and-seizure that begins with NSA's know-all metad... Read more...
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Are drones watching you?

Find out here. Are your local or state police using drones? Which ones? How many? At what cost? For what purpose? Do they have rules for preventing abuses? MuckRock.com is a useful new open government webtool t... Read more...
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Mitt’s Millionaire Club

During his infamous, surreptitiously videotaped, $50,000-a-plate fundraiser in Florida, Romney was full of disdain for poor people "who pay no income tax." He didn't mention, however, the most interesting fact ... Read more...
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The Rachel alternative

"Michiganistan" is a huge national story with profound consequences for America's historic ideal of being a self-governing people, the very essence of our nation's governing ethic. So, where's the national medi... Read more...
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Et tu, Obama?

On Feb. 7, Barack Obama jettisoned his principled opposition to the Court's elevation of Big Money over people by okaying the creation of his own SuperPAC, Priorities USA Action. His rationale was that he could... Read more...