The venerable English pub has long been a place where everyone from the businessman to the housewife to the student, factory worker and vicar could meet as equals — a social commons that reflected the neighborhood and its idiosyncrasies. Over the past twenty years or more, however, large corporations have consolidated the ownership of British pubs so that some companies own thousands of them. The trend has accelerated in recent years, forcing hundreds of independent local pubs to close.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for corporations to enclose our democracy. The Court ruled that corporations must legally be considered “persons” who are thereby entitled to First Amendment rights. By this tortured logic, long-standing limits on corporate contributions to political campaigns constitute an unconstitutional infringement of free speech.
Funny, if corporations are persons, why don’t they have the same kind of affirmative moral and legal responsibilities that real people have?
A century ago, in 1905, there were more than 6,500 distinct varieties of apples to eat, reports Verlyn Klinkenborg in the New York Times. People had their own favorite apples when it came to cooking and eating. They would use different ones for making pies, cider and apple sauce. They could choose from an exotic array of apples with names like Scollop Gillyflower, Red Winter Pearmain, Kansas Keeper.
In a rare setback for McDonald’s, a court has ruled that the fast-food chain does NOT have a trademark monopoly on the prefix "Mc." Congratulations are in order for McCurry Restaurant of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ("Home Food, Away From Home, Tasty and So Goood!") The eatery spent eight years trying to establish that the San Diego-based purveyor of fast food, with over 30,000 outlets in 100 countries, does not legally own the Irish prefix "Mc."