Monthly Archives: January 2010

Worst Case Scenario @ The US Supreme Court

In what I think may be their worst collective decision ever, the Supreme Court of these United States today decided that “government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.” The ruling takes the position that freedom of speech extends to corporations which they treat as individuals. (See the concept of corporate personhood.) So it now seems that any corporation can spend freely to push their political agenda as they please. Whereas you and I have a limit on our donations, they do not. This decision overturns 20 years of campaign finance regulations and allows corporations to wield unprecedented control over our elections.

Haven’t we had enough proof of the power of the corporate purse in watching the disgusting way health reform has been dealt with because the pharmaceutical and insurance industries own so many of our politicians? Now corporations unhappy with the way any candidate votes may throw their vast fortunes behind their opponent, essentially taking the power of our votes away. To quote Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) : “The bottom line is this: the Supreme Court has just predetermined the winners of next November’s elections. It won’t be Republicans. It won’t be Democrats. It will be corporate America.”

Now we really need to push for campaign finance reform from the Congress. There are those that say this is a done deal, but if the framers of the constitution really thought corporations should have this power, they sure had a strange way of showing it. A brief history of the corporation in American from reclaimdemocracy.org:

Initially, the privilege of incorporation was granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals. Enabling shareholders to profit was seen as a means to that end.

The states also imposed conditions (some of which remain on the books, though unused) like these:

* Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.

* Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.

* Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.

* Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.

* Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.

* Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

Now the people on the right are crowing about this being a victory for them. “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, serves as an affirmation of the constitutional rights provided to Americans under the first amendment,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele in a statement. But how would the founding fathers look on this decision? All those that have of late wrapped themselves in the flag and claimed to be the real patriots (yes, you tea partiers, I am talking to you) should be up in arms at this. The idea that government is not working for the people has now been validated by this Supreme Court, and I for one am ready to take to the streets. And I hope this decision wakes a lot of slumbering actual people to the reality of the corporatization of not just the US, but the world.

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News of the Weird

It was inevitable and shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but really?

Sarah Palin to Contribute to Fox News

Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska has signed on as a contributor to the Fox News Channel.

The network confirmed that Ms. Palin will appear on the network’s programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ms. Palin will not have her own regular program, one person familiar with the deal said, though she will host an occasional series that will run on the network from time to time. This person would not elaborate…

…The Fox News deal, however, would not seem to be all encompassing, and would appear to give her room for other pursuits, as well…

Full article here. But the question is, “Is this how you run for office in 2012?” Does she or do her handlers believe that becoming a Fox News “contributor” will give her the kind of exposure that will make her more acceptable to the electorate? Seems like more preaching to the choir to me. And just what does this say about Fox News and their respect for truthful journalism? (Okay, maybe I’m being a bit facetious with that one.) Will they have her on script or will they just let her go rogue? It is going to be a train wreck, I’m sure, but there will be many who won’t see it that way. And I think that is the thing that keeps me up at night. We are a massively divided country when we can all see the very same thing and come away from it with diametrically opposing views. God help us.

I would love to be a fly on the wall in the room with her handlers. You know they are orchestrating her life, her every move with a long-term plan. Could it be that they really believe she could be a viable candidate or is she just the conservative celebrity du jour? I’m hoping for the latter, but fearing the first. However, her “independent” streak may be her undoing. As hard as the McCain people tried to manage her, she still took every opportunity she saw to assert her true self. And I believe that super-size Palin ego may prove too much for even the best handlers to wrangle. God help us, really!

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Happy 2010! Now what?

The world is at such a volatile place right now that nothing that may happen could really surprise me. In my mail box since the turn of the decade are a slew of newsletters predicting one thing or another, various wishes for a better future and a lot of craziness. Here are just a few tidbits:

From my newest newsletter writers over at Guns & Patriots comes the following, penned by Susan Dale whose expertise seems to come from being a “former George Washington historic interpreter” :

One would think that dignity is an easily understood concept, an equally easily understood word, and to retain one’s dignity an easy thing to do, as it is a self-determined activity.

Will someone please explain this to our fearless, Ivy League over-educated, leader?

She goes on to list the many instances where she sees Obama being less than dignified, including trying to get the Olympics for Chicago, giving the Queen of England an iPod, and ignoring an invitation to dinner with the president of France. (Yes, the very same people who were pushing Freedom Fries and pouring out French wine are now dissing the President because he bowed out on dinner with the French.) She goes on to say:

Since there are more of us than there are of them, every once in a while they have to pay lip service to the fact of America’s greatness.

Okay, the us and them. The us is patriots and the them is Obama and all of us on the left. She seems unaware that the majority voted for him for president. She goes on to list all the other things he has done like the “czars”, that bogeyman that the right has invented of late to scare the B-Jesus out of their flock complete with the talking points given out by Rush or Glenn or whoever.

This group consists, of: let’s see, we have the charming Chavez admiring FCC czar, Mark Lloyd; the lovely self-proclaimed activist pederast, Kevin Jennings, as our ‘safe schools’ czar; John Holdren, our brilliant science czar, who is an able advocate of forced abortions and sterilization of women (as the great Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up), and so many more of the like that it stuns the 21st Century mind, much less that of George Washington.

Full text is here, but suffice it to say, she can find nothing in the present administration but treasonous villainy and most of the comments are right there with her with their guns and ammo at the ready.

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Then from the ridiculous to the even more ridiculous I read in The Guardian this headline:

According to the article:

Writing in the New York Press, Armond White claimed Avatar “misrepresents the facts of militarism, capitalism and imperialism” and described it as “a guilt-ridden 9/11 death wish”. This view is echoed by John Nolte on his Big Hollywood blog, who dubbed it “a Death Wish for leftists; a simplistic, revisionist revenge fantasy”.

I am not a fan of the movie. I saw it in 3D even and I think it has a very weak script, but this makes me want to see it again just because I can. 😉 My review is here.

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Then finally coming from The Omega Institute, a new age clearinghouse for all things groovy came this:

In 2010, the energy of the planets will accelerate, with some of the most energetically packed planets aligning with the cardinal points Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. The last time we experienced anything vaguely resembling this was the summer of 1969: Woodstock, the moon landing, and much else changing not just the world, but our cosmology. The coming year will make the 1960s look like a walk in the park. Our survival is at stake, and we need a creative approach to facing our personal challenges and those of humanity in order to make the world a better place.

So 2010 will be like the end of the sixties? I do think we’re in for a lot of upheaval. The right is on the war path and the left may just get some gumption at last, so anything could happen. Stay tuned. (And have that exit visa ready.)

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