To end the month of July, here's a way to show who you think should top the 2010 Corporate Hall of Shame (courtesy of Corporate Accountability International). Please vote, then go over to my little polling gadget at the top of the right margin and let me know...anonymously of course...who is your "favorite".
Our country is no longer controlled by, and for, We the People, but instead by, and on behalf of, international banking and multinational corporate interests. While the gradual, almost imperceptible takeover of our government by this corporate fascism has been evolving by design for many decades, it is a coup d'etat nonetheless and has been disastrous for the vast majority of Americans. This blog is an exploration and discussion of how this occurred, and the damage it has done to our democratic processes.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration, should know a little about government and how it creates money. On Tuesday he came out with a bombshell of an article -- one of those tales that sends shivers down your spine as you think about the ramifications and consequences of his words. Like his predecessor, "[t]he Obama regime has made war the business of America.", and it's costing us plenty. How much is plenty? Well, let's just say we're down to our last trillion and some change.
As Mr. Roberts opines, "[a]ny necessary reason for the war has to do with the enrichment of narrow private interests and with undeclared agendas." Who are those "private interests", you might ask, and what are their "undeclared agendas"? Well, the first part is easy. Yes, you guessed it! -- the unscrupulous international banking syndicate, most likely, along with several fronts of the MNC gang. And their agenda? That's a tricky question because, other than profit, what else could be driving this unquenchable machine? How much is enough? What else is there? Is the behavior exhibited by the largest corporations not unlike the path that a cancerous growth takes, killing its host-body until it eventually will succumb itself? You tell me because I'm not sure. I can't understand the lunacy and irrationality.
Is this what happens when sociopathic...no, psychopathic, behavior rules?
If you're still not convinced corporations rule and own your very soul, read the following article from OpEdNews.com.
Posted by Jefferson's Guardian at 7/29/2010 04:20:00 AM
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
WE BELIEVE that the rights of personhood — as manifested in the Bill of Rights, the Fourteenth Amendment, civil rights legislation, and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights — are among the hardest won and most valuable possessions belonging to all human beings.
WE BELIEVE that the word “person” in the Constitution means human beings.
WE BELIEVE that the word “person” in the Constitution was not meant to include corporations or other artificial entities. Corporations are not mentioned, described, or given any rights in the Constitution.
WE BELIEVE that the Supreme Court in 1886 had no moral or legal authority to give the legal rights of persons to corporations.
WE BELIEVE that corporate personhood has damaged democracy, the environment, society, and citizens in the United States and around the world, benefiting only giant corporations and the wealthy few.
WE HAVE SEEN corporations claim the First Amendment right to free speech in
order to use large sums of money to influence our electoral and legislative processes and to advertise destructive products to our citizens.
WE HAVE SEEN corporations damage the environment when they use the
Fourteenth Amendment to contest government regulations and the Fourth
Amendment to avoid government inspections. We eat genetically modified food without our knowledge because the First Amendment protects corporations’ right not to speak.
WE HAVE SEEN small, neighborhood businesses crushed, despite our efforts to
save them, because the “civil rights” of giant corporations prevent communities from “discriminating” in favor of local stores. Our attempts to prevent the invasion of cell phone towers and giant chain stores are also ruled to be illegal discrimination against corporate persons.
WE KNOW that a corporation is not a person. It is a legal abstraction without
conscience or moral capacity.
WE KNOW that We the People, through our state governments, create corporations. It is, therefore, the right and responsibility of We the People to instruct corporations as to what they may do and how they may do it.
ON BEHALF OF THE PLANET AND ALL LIVING CREATURES ON IT, we pledge
to abolish corporate personhood and thereby protect the rights of human beings everywhere.
Reprinted from, and special thanks to:
Reprinted from, and special thanks to:
1213 Race Street • Philadelphia, PA 19107 • 215.563.7110 • www.wilpf.org
Posted by Jefferson's Guardian at 7/28/2010 06:45:00 PM
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Dred Scott v. Sandford, commonly referred to as The Dred Scott Decision, was a decision by the United States Supreme Court that ruled that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants -- whether or not they were slaves -- were not protected by the Constitution and could never be citizens of the United States. The Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, additionally established that the United States had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories. Authored by Chief Justice Taney, the majority opinion also ruled that because slaves were not citizens, they could not sue in court. Finally, the Court claimed that slaves could not be taken away from their owners without due process. Dred Scott has almost unanimously been criticized as the most irresponsible and careless decision ever handed down by the high court...until now.
With the announcement of Dred Scott, "Abolitionists were incensed. Although disappointed, Frederick Douglass found a bright side to the decision and announced, 'my hopes were never brighter than now.' For Douglass, the decision would bring slavery to the attention of the nation and was a step toward slavery's ultimate destruction." Four years later, the country was in the midst of a civil war.
On January 21st our highest court adamantly reaffirmed, and confirmed, what it has established for well over a century -- that corporations, as artificial entities, are entitled to all the constitutional rights as natural persons in the landmark decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The similarities between this latest numbskull decision, and the one in 1857, are eerily similar. The latter forbade Constitutional rights to natural-born people of African descent; the former grants equal Constitutional rights to artificial creations (i.e., corporations), to the detriment of all natural-born people.
Like Mr. Douglas, maybe I'm more hopeful now, too. Now that the term "corporate personhood" was brought to the forefront of the national debate, and hopefully our collective conscience, possibly this is a positive step toward the elimination of corporate rule in our everyday lives. It won't be easy, or without hardship, but neither was the Civil War.
Listen to what Representative Alan Grayson, one of the few not bought-and-sold by the corporatist mentality of our congress, had to say in this video clip from Countdown. "If this decision stands, you can kiss this country goodbye."
Posted by Jefferson's Guardian at 7/27/2010 01:40:00 PM
Friday, July 23, 2010
If you don't think our economy is in dire straits, our way of life has been irreparably harmed and is in a downward spiral, then you either haven't been paying attention, are in denial, or you're part of the elitist two-percent living the good life at the top of the heap.
Please don't get the idea that our recent woes are purely an aberration of our previous and current president, although both certainly have accelerated the pace of decline with their corporatist policies and obvious disregard for the middle and working classes. This decline, as mentioned in my previous post, really has its roots in the successive court rulings giving corporations the rights previously only accorded real flesh-and-blood people, or more appropriately, natural persons -- like you and me. But the real tailspin, the one we're smack-dab in the middle of right now, started taking hold in the late 1970s when real wages started to flatten and stagnate, and productivity started its astronomical climb into the upper hemisphere. Corporations, the multinational ones with all the dough and all the lobbyists -- not Joe Schmoe's Engineering Company, or Jose Frijoles's Landscaping Services -- started really raking in the profits right about then, while John and Jane Doe starting to find it difficult to just make ends meet. To compensate, two-income families eventually became the norm while personal and private debt took off and has now reached record levels.
We're now looking precipitously like the early 1930s, when, as you recall, things started going from bad to worse. Back then, FDR had the guts and determination to initiate the necessary changes to put people on payrolls and back to work. He started works programs that built the infrastructure of this nation; roads, hospitals, schools and more, and didn't just extend unemployment benefits for those long-term unemployed. Fortunately, labor unions were a strong enough influence, being nearly 35% of the domestic workforce, unlike now where there isn't much of a push to reverse the current slide into the wastelands of economic purgatory. As Professor Wolff remarks, "As long as we let large corporations have the wealth that they have, be driven by profits as they are, we really can't be surprised if the things they do serve their interests and not the rest of us."
There's a crisis in America right now, and no matter whether you choose to ignore it, refuse to accept it, or try to escape it, you can't. It's going to take all of us to beat this, for surely it took most of us to allow it to happen. Please listen to what Dr. Richard Wolff (The University of Massachusetts at Amherst) says in this recent interview by Thom Hartmann, or read the transcript from Capitalism Hits the Fan.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Okay, so you've read my preceding post, and for whatever reason you've decided you can't read Thom Hartmann's book; there's no time, you can't find it at the bookstore, your library doesn't carry it (no surprise!), or you just don't care. Well, let me make it easy for you (unless, of course, you really don't care!). The following interview of Mr. Hartmann, conducted this past March, gets right to the gist of the matter; the reasons why subsequent court decisions have framed the judicial precedent as to why corporations are currently viewed as "persons" under the law. As fraudulent as it is, because as you'll discover it's based upon a lie, you'd think there would be rioting in the streets. But, I suppose, most Americans really don't care.
Please watch. Consider what this grievous lie means.
Corporate personhood is the root cause of most, if not all, of our social problems. We continue to throw money and resources at the symptoms, but to no avail, however the disease is corporate personhood. It's time to treat the disease. Once cured, the symptoms will disappear.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Many who know me realize I'm an ardent supporter of the anti-corporate personhood crowd. I've been adamantly against the legal fiction that corporate entities have been increasingly given those most sacred of human rights that our founders recognized over two centuries ago. With this blog I hope to explore, with your help, the concept of corporate personhood and all its insidious ramifications. Most people haven't a clue what the words "corporate personhood" mean, what it refers to, where it came from, or even how it affects them in their daily lives. With this blog I hope to explore these questions, and hopefully answer them with meaningful discourse and discussion. The following post, initially published on my friend Tom Degan's blog on September 9, 2008 -- literally days before the near-collapse of the investment banking sector -- is even more meaningful today.
"Tom, like you, I used to be firmly in the Democratic camp each and every election cycle, just knowing that if only the Democrats could retain power, all our social and political problems would be worked on, and would finally get solved. But, decade-after-decade, the same problems continued to persist. They actually got worse, not better. Aside from a Republican revolution that oversaw a dismantling of much of the New Deal era's strides to put society on a more equal footing, even when Democratic control was firmly in place the slide continued towards further degradation of human rights, and citizen needs, in favor of corporate and moneyed interests.
I, too, sincerely hope I'm wrong in my opinion about Senator Obama. I truly do. But the evidence is irrefutable. Thankfully, in 2002, which is the year Thom Hartmann's remarkable Unequal Protection came out, I picked it off the bookstore shelf and only intended to take a quick glance, but then couldn't put it down. I immediately bought it, and read it - more like absorbed it. Since, I've done extensive reading and research concerning corporate personhood through other areas, such as POCLAD.
That day things really started to crystallize for me. I understood that our problems weren't unsolvable through democratic action; they were only resisted by corporate entities that held far more power and influence than I did as a voter, and an agenda that was antithetical to mine, and most Americans. I learned that although I had the protections and rights granted to me through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, so did, underhandedly, multinational corporate and banking interests. Just as important, it became apparent that our elected officials, from both parties, were in the corner of their corporate benefactors; not mine, or yours, or any of the other millions of middle or working class people in this country. When I made that connection, I mean when it finally hit me like a ton of bricks, I understood that a slow-motion coup d’état had taken place right under our noses. It didn't take troops and tanks rolling through the streets; all it took was time and incremental steps. It worked, and sadly, most of America is oblivious to the fact that it happened. They know 'something's wrong' but they haven't figured it out. It was the most covert takeover of a people in history.
I'll probably never return to the Democratic Party, but it could happen. If, through some miracle, they adopted the same stance in their official party platform that the Green Party has regarding the elimination of corporate personhood, then I'll come back. The 'Greens' unabashedly call for 'legislation or constitutional amendment to end the legal fiction of corporate personhood.' This, Tom, would be the real panacea to true reform, and the return of our country to We the People. Without this, we're just pissin' in the wind."
Of course, since this post, the advancement of corporate personhood has made great strides in solidifying its position while concurrently overshadowing our democratic rights. As this short video makes clear, corporate rule is firmly in-place. Although it didn't begin with last January's Supreme Court ruling, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 5-4 majority invalidated many restrictions on corporate spending to influence elections.