Tag Archives: Koch Bros.

How Does the Corporation Offend Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

The country is in a terrible state and we activists are run ragged trying to deal with endless permutations of corporate abuse and government corruption, running around like the proverbial headless chicken after all the assaults on our civil liberties, human rights, the environment, workers’ rights, the social safety net, women’s rights, a free and open Internet, and on and on.  There is, however, one overarching source of these problems which encompasses all the others, ties them together, and once one understands its significance, explains what otherwise would be an overwhelming array of separate, disparate, insoluble predicaments over which we might throw up our hands in despair.

Regardless of the concern, all of them are traceable back to the corporate “personhood” abuse of our system and subversion of our democracy.  Take any issue you like from foreign policy to food production and we can see how the corporate world has monopolized and controlled it for the purpose of amassing enormous wealth at the rest of our expense.  How has it managed to do this? By utilizing the misbegotten legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech” that came in through the back door by way of the Supreme Court’s being taken over by some old corporate attorneys back in 1886.  This precedent, set by what was actually a clerk’s summation of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, has been wreaking havoc ever since.

Let me give you an example.  Pretend for a moment that you are a poor, beleaguered billionaire who owns a pharmaceutical company and say you have this nifty new drug you want to foist on the public and there are all these pesky regulations that require you to actually test it first to make sure that it doesn’t cause birth defects, cancer, or premature death.  What do you do?

Well rather than wring your hands in desperate frustration, you get to work and go out and lobby congress, bribe some politicians, buy a few elections in key districts, gobble up some tv stations and start disseminating disinformation about how safe and wonderful and life-enhancing it is, place some corporate shills in some key agencies like the FDA, get a few judges in your pocket, corrupt some research, patent some human genomes, challenge whatever laws or regulations may be on the books or slipped through congress that are cramping your go-getter, capitalist style and go to court under the commerce clause and argue that your “right” to make obscene profits off of people’s suffering is being hampered, and voila, you’ve got your drug approved!

If all of that doesn’t work, go to court on the basis of corporate “personhood” and argue that your “rights” under the Bill of Rights have been infringed upon and that you should be compensated by the taxpayers for all your pain and suffering at outrageously being required to actually do business legitimately!  That will show those do-gooders and bleeding hearts that corporations are people too and your feelings are mightily hurt!

Now if we actually had a free press rather than a corporate-owned press, journalists could challenge this kind of propaganda and corruption, but once again, because of corporate rule and undue influence allowing them to dictate and even write many laws, impact policies of government agencies, not pay taxes, get government subsidies (i.e. corporate welfare) so they can amass billions, these corporations, owned by the 1%, can buy up all the news media they like and monopolize the message and go to court endlessly and challenge every law, regulation, and restriction until they get what they want. Case in point:  the Koch Bros. are trying to buy the Tribune now (in addition to elections and politicians).  As if Rupert Murdoch controlling the flow of information were not enough!

The corporation has been allowed to run amok, enabled by an increasingly corrupt government, becoming so enmeshed, that more and more the corporate world and government are indistinguishable from one another. In addition, the press has been taken over by the 1% and commandeered to be nothing more than corporate copywriters dispensing its pre-approved messaging, rather than doing its job of challenging and exposing this merger and sabotage of our democratic process.

Corporate “personhood” is the root cause of how nothing is working any more, like it did when FDR was President for instance, because it is a cancer that has metastasized throughout our entire political system and mortally infected it by eliminating all the safeguards and checks and balances on the abuse of power.  It is as if the immune system has been disabled so that there is no longer any effective response to the opportunistic disease of corruption–a system that was previously capable of throwing off illness is no longer healthy enough to do so.

The patient has succumbed and is in its death throes unless we intervene and pass a Constitutional amendment to restore our democracy by excising corporate “personhood” and money as “speech,” the only remedy to this dire situation.  We can no longer afford to offer the patient palliative relief by chasing symptom after symptom (though that billionaire big pharma owner would love us to do so).  We must go for the all-out cure because democracy is all-but-dead and our Constitutionally-protected right to a government of, by, and for the PEOPLE, not the CORPORATION, is null and void if we do not.

There may be a plethora of problems, but fortunately the solution is elegantly simple:  stop chasing the symptoms and attack the root cause of corporate “personhood.”

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My Two Cents on “Consistent Messaging”

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Many people decry what is seen as “inconsistent messaging” with people who are left of the Hitleresque radical right, pointing out how they don’t think, speak, and vote as a block and aren’t as rigidly inflexible on what is called “principles.”  Firstly, let me point out that to my way of thinking, self-interest, greed, and meanspiritedness towards anyone less wealthy or powerful is not “principled,” it is naked, unmasked aggression with the goal of complete domination and willingness to annihilate anything or anyone in the way.  Principles, on the other hand, are values like kindness, compassion, truthfulness, and generosity of spirit, all incredibly lacking in the fanatics in Congress who will not bend the tiniest bit on the fiscal showdown, claiming “principles” as the ‘reason,’ for their intransigence.

My problem with “consistent messaging” is how close this is to actual brainwashing, a coercive technique, something the advertising industry, as well as the CIA, Fox News, Karl Rove, the Koch Bros., and the Republican Right know a lot about.  The 2008 Obama campaign, as well, did a great job at this; in fact the simplistic message of “hope and change” coupled with his odd, halted delivery had what is known as a hypnogogic effect by creating a kind of repetitive “patter,” and lured a glazed-eyed, ardently loyalist following who still cannot acknowledge what a neocon he is, despite his continuing all of the Bush Administration’s illegal wiretapping and torture, instituting a “kill” list, attacking civil liberties, and persecuting whistleblowers.

While a few simple, consistent messages (if they’re based on truth!) are fine, inducing hypnosis and perpetrating brainwashing create the opposite of what we want in a democratic society where no one is ruled or turned into an unthinking robot, repeating the same lines over and over, but who can think and speak freely and engage in thoughtful reflection and debate.  People on the left don’t speak alike because they still can think! The fact that the radical right acts and thinks as a block is nothing new, and is reminiscent of every fascist group, ruled by an authoritarian elite, and is nothing to emulate.  Just my two cents . . . .

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Obama, The Wealthy Power Elite

Global Warming: the Real, “Physical” Cliff

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While representatives in Washington debate the  “fiscal cliff” of their own invention, we are edging ever closer to a real, physical cliff:  extreme weather due to carbon emissions.  After almost entirely avoiding the issue of climate change and the need for pursuing alternatives to fossil fuels during the presidential debates, Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance to drive the point home how critical the situation is and I credit it with playing a role in defeating Republicans this November, particularly Romney.

Despite Sandy and the increasing urgency for action, the naysayers and dimwitted demagogues in Washington pretend that their made-up budget deadline is more important than attending the Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar.  Sen. Inhofe, true to form,  is reportedly questioning why anyone should attend the conference as the White House and Congress are embroiled in budget so-called “negotiations” (going nowhere as usual) and are conspicuously absent. Though the developing nations of India and China now are producing huge amounts of CO2, the U. S. remains the most flagrantly unrelenting in its refusal to ratify carbon reduction agreements, even though it has had the worst historical record of carbon emissions, and its inattendance severely thwarts worldwide efforts to change course.

I wonder if the moronic Inhofe is still declaring climate change a “hoax” in the wake of Sandy.  His state of Oklahoma has been experiencing record drought, like the rest of the Great Plains states: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado, but this hasn’t previously phased him.  It is curious to note that all these same states, with the exception of New Mexico and Colorado, voted for Romney, a climate denier, in the last election.  Perhaps the residents of these states, along with the disinformation-pushing Koch Bros., need to take a tour of the eastern seaboard, and witness the destruction firsthand so that they might be shaken awake, as every coastal state, from Maine to Florida, was affected, along with other northeastern states like Michigan and Wisconsin, as the storm traveled clear across the Appalachians.

Corporate agriculture, enabled by global-warming scoffing Republicans like Inhofe, will increasingly be attempting to profiteer off tragic disasters like megastorm Sandy, as Naomi Klein outlines in her book, “Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.”  You can bet that they will be pushing more and more GMO crops, hormones, and pesticides in order to try to circumvent nature rather than correcting the problem of burning fossil fuels.  This is equivalent to what the pharmaceutical industry does in pushing drugs that fool your body into thinking its ok rather than going after the cause of the illness and curing it.

We cannot look to our plutocratic government to lead nor can we hope for any solutions from the greed-driven corporate world.  As always, we the people are the ones who will effect real change by direct action and demanding that our government do what is needed, e. g.  institute serious emissions reduction, pursue clean alternatives to dirty energy,  and preserve tropical rainforests.  We must also end corporate “personhood” and money as speech, and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership as they figure into this largely:  corporate “personhood” is the root problem behind all the others and the TPP would institute global corporate government and permanently hamper efforts to slow global warming or protect the environment.

Bill McKibben, who heads up 350.org, has been doing a “Do the Math” tour to help raise awareness regarding heating of the planet because of CO2 emissions and resulting climate change.  He has been encouraging students to pressure their college boards to divest themselves of big polluters, which has expanded into an effort at schools across the country.  This is how we get things done!  For more information on these issues, check out these links:

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/fiscal-cliff-worries-overshadow-qatar-climate-talks-84588.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-cope/president-obama-to-attend_b_2114201.html?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

http://news.yahoo.com/climate-change-threatens-long-term-sustainability-great-plains-130100922.html

To Fight Climate Change, College Students Take Aim at the Endowment Portfolio – NYTimes.com

http://www.350.org/nyt?akid=2535.725965.OzWAg4&rd=1&t=4

http://gofossilfree.org/companies/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtqSIplGXOA&feature=youtu.be

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Filed under 2012 GOP Candidates, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Corporate Personhood, Environment, Nature, & Health, GMO's, Hormones, Pesticides, Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, Tropical Rainforests