Home | About NaturalNews | Contact Us | Write for NaturalNews | Media Info | Advertise with Natural News

Welcome to NaturalNews
900,000+ unique visitors monthly
Source: Google Analytics

Health Ranger
Action Alerts

View all...

By topic:

Breast cancer
Prostate cancer
Heart disease
High cholesterol
High blood pressure
Weight loss

Food topics:

Hydrogenated oils
Refined sugar
High-fructose corn syrup
Soft drinks
Monosodium glutamate
White flour
Red meat
Mad cow disease
Sodium nitrite

What works:

Vitamin D
Omega-3 oils
Natural sunlight
Medicinal herbs
Chinese medicine

Health warnings:

Trans fats
Personal care products
Toxic chemicals

What's wrong:

Prescription drugs
Statin drugs
Organized medicine
Big Pharma
Drug advertising
Cancer industry


Health freedom


About Mike Adams
Contact us
Privacy policy

"Mike you are a true American hero. All of us are lucky to have you out there not only fighting for our rights but protecting us, informing us, educating us and making it a better place to live." - Gregory Kunin, Principal, Ola Loa / DrinkYourVitamins.com

"Mike Adams has brought his towering intellect and uncompromising integrity to bear in this truly important work." - Jan Eastgate, International President, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International

Banana Republicans: How the Right Wing Is Turning America into a One-Party State

by Sheldon Rampton, published by Jeremy P. Tarcher (2004-05)

Buy now from Amazon.com for $11.95
Amazon rating of 4.0 out of 5, Amazon sales rank: 307917

Editor's Review:

The bestselling authors of Weapons of Mass Deception expose how the "right-wing conspiracy," as represented by the GOP and its mouthpieces in media, lobbying groups, and the legal system, is undermining dissent and squelching pluralistic politics in America.

The U.S. economy is on the ropes, fear grips the nation, and we are embroiled in two overseas military quagmires with no end in sight. Outside its borders, the United States is hated and feared as never before.

For the first time in living memory, a single party-the Republicans-controls every major institution of the federal government: the White House, the Supreme Court, the Senate and House of Representatives-not to mention the "fourth branch of government," the mass media. How did this come to pass?

Banana Republicans reveals how the national GOP maintains its hold on power through the systematic manipulation of the electoral system, the courts, the media, and the lobbying establishment. The book examines:

* The legacy of the Florida ballot scandal, and how it has played out in the recall movement in California-and other states, where recall efforts are under way-and in the redistricting controversy in Texas.
* How a GOP echo chamber systematically spreads its views through conservative media giants-e.g., Clear Channel, Fox-and highly placed columnists, journalists, and opinion makers.
* How the Bush administration is loading the federal courts with a generation of demagogues, and smearing the names of legislators who attempt to stand in its way. * How House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has strong-armed traditional lobbying firms into exclusively hiring Republicans, so that even K Street is political, rather than merely opportunistic.
* How the GOP has equated dissent with treason-e.g., Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accusing war critics of abetting terrorism.
* How the Bush administration uses its power to punish dissent, such as the leaking of a CIA agent's name to the press, and unprecedented lawsuits against activist organizations such as Greenpeace.

Reader Reviews:

This is simply a must read for thinking Americans, a wake-up call and a political call to arms for those who still believe in the principles of open democracy. In BANANA REPUBLICANS, authors Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber describe the political system of a country that is barely recognizable as that of the Founding Fathers. In clear and highly readable prose, with countless footnotes and dozens of supporting anecdotes, Rampton and Stauber portray today's political system as the type our Founders fled from when they left Europe, the kind of system they strove to prevent when crafting the Constitution. Reading their book, I could only cry for what has been lost, for how far we have strayed from the grand democratic ideals I was taught were our heritage and our trust.

BANANA REPUBLICANS is a book that will have you shaking your head in disgust or despair every few pages. The book begins by examining the Right Wing think tanks funded by a few wealthy families: the Mellons, Koch's, Bradleys, and Olins, for example, as well as the Coors. These wealthy scions have literally purchased the "marketplace of ideas," filling the air so insistently with radical, unscientific, poorly-researched notions that their mere repetition gradually gives them credence. The authors then move on to address the Right Wing's creation of a media "echo chamber" so loud, so effective, and so little concerned with truth that any story, no matter how unfounded, becomes credible. They offer as examples the absurdly misreported story of Bill Clinton's infamous airport runway haircut, Clinton's so-called "bimbo eruptions" and paternity allegations, and the hyperinflated and grossly incorrect misquoting and reporting about Al Gore's role in the early development of the Internet as examples of not only how the echo chamber operates, but how it diverts attention from issues to personalities and trivia. As anyone knows who listens to Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity, et. al., they are masters of such ad hominem reductionism. Along the way, the authors also provide a well-deserved skewering of ABC's John Stossel, a reporter of right wing pseudo-science who has consistently hidden his agenda behind his audience's own lack of knowledge. Remember the Republican "outrage" over Clinton's use of the Lincoln Bedroom for political donors? Has anyone heard the issue mentioned since George Bush took office? Why not? The practice is as common today as it was during Clinton's Presidency.

Rampton and Stauber document the current Bush Administration's persistent manipulation of government studies and websites to fit its agenda, particularly in the area of scientific research. Chapter Five, "Block the Vote," is undoubtedly the most disturbing chapter of this book. As others have, the authors describe the Right Wing Republican agenda to subvert American democracy in the name of gaining and permanently holding political power. According to the authors, they have done so through fear and intimidation, disinformation campaigns, manipulating voter registration, suppressing black voter turnout, ramrodding off-year gerrymandered redistricting through state legislatures, and resorting to various forms of election fraud. Again, Rampton and Stauber support their case with numerous examples. In Chapter six, the last major content chapter, the authors illustrate how the current Administration, aided and abetted by the Conservative media echo chamber, has turned virtually all questioning and criticism of government plans, programs, and actions into "treason" or "traitorous behavior." So much for open debate in a democratic society, now just a memory among those of us old enough to recall it.

BANANA REPUBLICANS makes it clear that the Republican Party has not simply declared war on Democrats, they have declared war on democracy itself. The goal is a one party system with a marginalized second party for the sake of appearances. They can't afford for the United States to look too much like the old Soviet Union - it would puncture that rose-colored, idealized America they keep passing off as reality to Red Staters while they are busy subverting it. This is an eye-opening book for the uninitiated, well worth the little time it takes to read. If it results in feelings of outrage and despair over the state of our nation and our political system, well then, you've gotten the message.

This book is as scary as it is informative. While this book may look like it's some kind of pulp-fiction with its bright orange cover and its "cute" cartoon cover graphic, it packs a serious message that should be heard by the Americans that still desire democracy and the freedom to make an informed choice.

There are a few "reviewers" here that call it "bunk" because it makes the claim that the media is not as "liberal" as we have been spun into believing. Let's take a serious look at this for a moment and look at what Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and right-wing supporter, owns:

9 satellite television networks
175 newspapers
100 cable channels
40 book imprints
40 television stations
1 movie studio

*with an estimated total audience of 4.7 billion people that are receiving the message that he and his allies want.

The numbers that I have given are only a clue as to the fact that there is a dark hole in what the American public relies on for truth. If you want to truly see how powerful the gravitation towards this hole is and how deep the hole goes, please read this book and research its claims for yourself.

Since the word "liberal" seems to be being tossed around by some people as if it's an insult, let's review the definition from dictionary.com for a minute:

a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

Me, I believe in truth, justice, the US Constitution, and the protection of the American worker and economy. Does this make me a "liberal?" I guess so because the modern "conservative" calls me "liberal" since I believe these ideas should be applied equally and without prejudice.

One of my favorite quotes by a president:

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president ... right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Teddy Roosevelt (Republican), 1918

If ever there was a book that screamed the old clich? not to judge a book by its cover this is it. What were these guys thinking putting this comical and some might say juvenal cover on a book that begs to be taken seriously is beyond me. I read this book because of an accident, I picked up and read the authors other work on the Iraq war thinking it would be a sharply pointed stick in the eye of the Bush administration based on the doggy cover art. It turned out to be a well written and serious book. I then decided to give this book a try, hoping that this book would also fall in the must read category based on substance. It turns out I was lucky again, this book is a well written and adequately deep look at how the right wing of the GOP has taken over, step by step, many of the opinion making organs of the U.S. media and thought industry.

The book hits all the high points of the GOP grand plan, from a look at the gerrymandering that the Democrats have allowed to happen, to the ever increasing conservative media and the far right think tank machine that is mixing corporate and political access at an accelerated pace. Step by step the authors detail out what has happened over the last 35 or so years that leaves you with no doubt how we have come to this current political position. Reading the book you want to keep hitting your forehead and exclaiming Of Course. The one question I had at the end of the book was are the Democrats that stupid to sit back and let this happen to them or were the Conservatives just that smart. Either way the future is looking a far bit more dogmatic then most people might be comfortable with.

A nice book to accompany this one would be The Republican Noise Machine by David Brock. It covers many of the same topics as this book, but with more detail. The advantage of this book is that the authors really do try and keep the reporting as fair as possible. I have a read a good number of anti Bush rant books, and these authors steer clear of the cheep pot shots and name calling that even Brock succumbed to using. Overall I enjoyed the book. It comes across as an even handed and calm look at the topic. The authors could have gone deeper into the sections of the book, but the reader gets a good broad view with what is provided. If you are interested in the rise of the GOP to the almost total control they now have, this is a good starting point. Right wing think tanks set the agenda, the authors write. Foundations like Gates, Rockefeller and Ford have huge budgets dwarfing those of right wing foundations that subsidize the think tanks but they devote themselves to charity and education, while right wing think foundations concentrate exclusively on funding right wing intellectual work.

The Koch family funds the Cato Institute. The authors report a story from the mid-90's, where two teenagers were blown up in a butane gas explosion caused by a leak in a Koch industries pipeline beneath their Texas town. The company has caused innumerable oil spills and got fined 35 million dollars by the EPA in the 90's.. In early 2001, Koch was facing 97 counts of releasing 91 metric tons of the carcinogen Benzene from its Corpus Christi TX plant. Ashcroft's people let them off with a 20 million dollar fine. The company has assets of more than 25 billion dollars. Koch also funds Citizens For A Sound Economy(CSE).

A typical example of think tank intellectual standards. As CSE wrote position papers arguing against preserving Everglades land, Florida sugar growers that would loose land in such preservation were giving it $700,000;; it got $175,000 from ExxonMobil as it was dismissing Global Warming as "junk science"; a million from U.S. West as it argued for phone regulation, and so on.

. The authors write about the compromised relationship intellectuals like William Buckley and George Will had, serving as heavily paid informal advisors to the now disgraced reactionary Canadian newspaper mogul Congrad Black, while praising Black's books and public commentaries and not letting their association with him be known.

The authors go over the Bush administrations effort to suppress reports of toxic chemicals, which have caused respiratory problems in many, released into the NYC air after the WTC collapse and the industry "experts' they appoint for government oversight bodies. The authors quote the Health institute of the National Academy of Sciences that 18,000 people die unnecessarily each year in this country because of poor health care coverage.

The authors quote an episode where John Stossel in one of his documentaries showed a protest against inflated CEO salaries and criticized this on the ground that factory wages were up 70 percent since the early 80's. The authors note that Stossel did not adjust his 70% figure for inflation which would reduces the factory worker wage rise to three percent, while the Boss's income went up 360 percent. Then it appears that Stossel resorted to outright forgery in 2000. He claimed that no pesticides were found on tests of organic and regular produce and that organic food had a much higher concentration of E Coli than regular produce. The pesticide tests were never taken and the scientists who did the tests claimed that the bacteria tests they took were not equipped to show E-Coli presence.

The authors write that New York Times reporters concluded that James Baker's team in 2000 was able to have countedmilitary ballot and other ballots in counties where Bush had an advantage that were turned in late, didn't have the right signature, etc. Katherine Harris used the database company to kick off people from the voting rolls who had names similar to black felons, and numerous other eligible people. 54 percent of the names kicked off were black, though only 15 percent of Florida is. Majority black counties in Florida showed a high rate of ballot rejection in contrast to white majority counties. The report of the Center for opinion at the University of Chicago, which commissioned news organizations to count the ballots, found that in six of nine counting scenarios Gore would have won Florida.

The authors note the story of Ed Rollins claiming that he bribed democratic workers and black preachers not to get out the vote in the New Jersey governors race in 1992. . Rollins later claimed he was trying to have some fun with J. Carville but Whitman's brother Dan and a campaign spokesman implicitly confirmed this... In 1990, the Jesse Helms senate campaign produced leaflets in black neighborhoods claiming people would be arrested if they voted and had moved less than a month before and in a black neighborhood in Baltimore, leaflets were distributed telling people, the wrong day for an election and saying they would be arrested if they tried to vote and had overdue rent, outstanding parking tickets, or outstanding warrants. Republican polling place observers (like Chief Justice Rehnquist in 1964 in Arizona) have been known to stop black voters, take their picture and harass them. The authors quote racist caricatures of blacks that appeared in a Dartmouth paper when Dinesh D'souza edited it and in a college paper Ann Coulter once wrote for. Dinesh of course, wrote some really astounding things about matters such as segregation in "The End of Racism."

The authors point out how Republican sponsored redistricting in Pennsylvania and Illinois, where democrats represent the highest number of registered voters, has led the majority of congresspersons in these states to be Republicans. In Texas, the Republicans eventually prevailed in 2003 in getting a second redistricting scheme that favored them even more to replace the one implemented after the 2000 census. This was the first time in Texas history that a second redistricting plan was implemented between censuses.

The authors point how the Center For Public Integrity reported that Bush had wealthy campaign contributors' stay in the Lincoln bedroom. Republicans were silent about this in contrast to the holy uproar over the CPI's reports on similar violations by Clinton.
This book is, as others have mentioned, a well documented litany of organizations, supporters, schemes, scams, tactics and objectives of the neocon right. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of information presented requires considerable effort to digest. In addition, the book brings to light a large number of very unpleasant facts and exposes many unsavory characters. This is not an enjoyable book but it is an important book and should be required reading for anyone who still believes the Republican Party stands for strong national defense, fiscal conservatism and smaller government.
Learn more...

Explore more:

See also:
The War On Truth: 9/11, Disinformation And The Anatomy Of Terrorism

LaraBar Banana Cookie

Meltdown : The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media

This site is part of the NaturalNews Network ©2004,2005 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. has full ownership of and takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no health or nutritional products and earns no money from health product manufacturers or promoters. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.