Friday, October 18, 2013

What to do when you feel like giving up

A friend asked: "When humans keep proving themselves stupid and greedy and justice is nostalgia what do you do? Seriously, don't you ever feel like giving up? And if so, what do you do?"

The corporate interests are happy to exhaust you.  You are looking at the half empty cup with a hole in the middle that can never seem to fill up.  That's why you are exhausted.  Please, sister M, look at the cup half full.  We will fix the hole in the middle if we all work together. 

The public is generally disgusted with the Republican extremists, but they are likely to forget very soon, likely before the next congressional election.  One of our jobs is to keep the public apprised of the extremist BS so they don't forget.  I'm reading “Brave New World” right now.  The public can all just take some Soma and sleep with propaganda quietly playing in their dreams. 

What keeps me energized is my love for humanity and my strong sense of justice.  I assume it is the same for you.  I am repeatedly shocked at how corporations and governments can wantonly and brazenly break all the laws, and no one takes them to task for it.  For example, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act is still a law on the books, but no one enforces it anymore, and so we have "too big to fail."  Another example, the MERS database records real estate transactions electronically, but the County Recorders never receive the recording fees.  Yet, I can't find a single law that legally shifts the mandate to record RE transactions away from the County Recorder.  MERS just took the liberty, and county recorders just let it happen.  I guess they were just complying with an order from above. 

The Constitution talks about several different types of persons.  It talks about We the People, citizens, people, and persons.  The Court has clarified that of these 4, corporations are legal persons but not included in We the People, citizens or people. 

To me, one way to fix the hole in the middle of the cup is to take constitutional rights away from corporations.  In addition, all elections should be publicly funded and limited time, i.e. 6 weeks of campaigning, and corporations should be barred from campaign donations the way it used to be.  What changed is that corporations have patiently spent a century eking out human rights under the Constitution, every one granted by the Supreme Court.  The first human right they won was Due Process of Law in 1886.  The corporate lawyers argued that since everyone knows that corporations are “fictional persons” under the law, then the Constitution says in both the 5th and the 14th Amendments that every person has the right to due process of law.  So aren’t fictional persons also persons? the corporate lawyers argued.  And so a non-living aggregate of capital designed to maximize profits achieved their first human right. 

Over the years, corporations have been granted more and more human rights.  You can get a PDF timeline corporate rights here:  Interestingly, the corporate Right to Privacy was struck down by the Supreme Court because they distinguished between “person” and “personal.”  The Court reasoned that personal privacy was something only a human could have, but fictional persons were undoubtedly “persons.”  So now, although corporations have the Rights to Free Speech, to Right to be Indicted by a Grand Jury for crimes, not twice in jeopardy for the same crime, nor witness against itself, the Right to Speedy trials, Jury Trials, nor be deprived of Life, Liberty or Property, Equal Protection of the Laws, but NOT the Right to Privacy.  Pretty soon a corporate person is going to run for office! 

What we need to do is create a groundswell of public sentiment in favor of a constitutional amendment that makes it clear that only NATURAL PERSONS have Rights under the Constitution, and that money is NOT Free Speech.  Such an amendment will cut the root of corporate abuse.  Next (or simultaneously) we need another amendment that makes all elections to public office be publicly funded and limited to 6 weeks; and bar outside funding and partisan election commissions or partisan electronic voting machines. 

Right now, Move to Amend is doing a canvassing campaign called We the People Listen, in which we are going door to door in our neighborhoods and asking people what their biggest issues are and if they have noticed corporations impacting their lives?  We are asking rather than telling.  I’m excited to do this.  This is how we create coalitions in our neighborhoods.  This is how we create the groundswell of sentiment and keep people awake.  Http://

Cutting Government Spending

Some people say they want to cut government spending to solve the debt crisis?  So I ask them, what would you cut?  Road repair?  Government pensions?  Public health?  Meat inspection?  School nurses?  The salaries of our elected representatives?  The NSA?  The military bases all over the world?  The Pacific Fleet?

Normally, balancing a budget and paying down debt involves both cutting spending, AND increasing revenues.  The government is supported by import tariffs, fees, and taxes.  We have a system of taxes in which giant profitable corporations not only don't pay their taxes, but use tax loopholes to get $Billions back in rebates.  They put their former executives upon the government corporate regulatory boards, and change the laws to favor corporations over People.  They avoid paying taxes on their ample income by hiding it in offshore tax havens, like Penny Pritzker, our President's Secretary of Commerce.  Unfortunately, we cut the budget for the regulatory boards in order to cut spending, so that now there aren't enough investigators to indict these treasonous tax evaders.  Instead, they are elevated to positions of power in our government. 

My stockbroker gives frequent seminars on how to avoid paying taxes.  To me, if I love America, then it is patriotic to love paying my taxes, because that is what will provide me with paved roads, safe meat, clean drinking water, an educated electorate, and elected representatives competent to administer these public services for me. 

Yet these unpatriotic tax evaders want to convince the public that our national debt is caused by too much spending!  Yeah!  Too much military and NSA spending!  Our military is destabilizing the world.  It is all about trashing The United States Constitution and relegating it to memorabilia for the bread & circuses while they create the Corporate States of America and exploit all the natural and human resources to depletion for private profit.  To pass time until they find another habitable planet to colonize, they will profiteer on cleaning up the mess left behind from their original exploitations.  Like Halliburton: one division tears down the infrastructure, and another division is hired to build it all back up again.  Like betting on both puts and calls.  You can't lose! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fascism has spread like a domino effect

From today's New York Times:
"It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."
Vladimir V. Putin  

This quote brings to mind Obama's recent speech in which he referred to American Exceptionalism. 

I don't know much about Russian politics, but fascism has spread like a domino effect.  From the USA to Britain to Israel to Chile to Myanmar to Indonesia, and on and on.  The fascists are taking over the world.  Whatever euphemisms you want to call them: lobbyists, special interests, corporations, big banks, big oil, big pharma, big agra, war profiteers, neo-cons, neo-liberals are currently in power and the Constitution has been relegated to memorabilia. 

The fascists plan to gain as much power and wealth as is possible and exploit all natural and human resources to depletion without regard to havoc they will wreak.  The elections are bread and circuses to keep the public pacified as they "privatize" all the public assets.  Now is the time to choose sides and act!  Fight the fascists or become a whining victim! 

We who fight use non-violent weapons.  The fascists would love us to start shooting, because that would justify their using their mighty military and intelligence to eliminate us.  No!  We fight with PEOPLE POWER!  Get educated about the issues!  Educate your friends and neighbors!  Take control of your local governments.  GET INVOLVED!!!  Join the political action group of your choice.  Unite with like-minded other groups and communities. 

Liberty is not free.  The price we pay for freedom is participatory democracy.  It isn't a sacrifice to march in the streets or visit the office of your elected representative, it is our obligation as sovereign citizens of a democracy! ACT NOW!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Corporations have more constitutional rights than humans

We have reached a point in history in which aggregates of capital (corporations) now have the inalienable human rights described in the Bill of Rights, i.e., Free Speech, petition the government for redress of grievances, unreasonable searches and seizures, due process of law, and a speedy trial. These "Rights" have all been granted not by Congress, which makes laws, but by the Supreme Court, which refines laws made by Congress.

In the wake of the Civil War, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery, and the 14th Amendment defined who can be a citizen. The 14th Amendment then goes on to state that "...nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law...." Clever corporate railroad lawyers decided to exploit the 14th Amendment in order to increase corporate power and wealth. Corporations have been considered "fictional persons" since English Common Law was codified in the 12th century. The legal fictional of corporate personhood facilitated their being taxed by government and sued in court.

In 1886, in Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, the court affirmed the right of a corporation to get due process of law under the 14th Amendment. Although it may be clear to you or me that the 14th Amendment was intended for freed slaves, the fact is that the term "person" was not defined. It didn't say "black persons" or "natural persons" or "fictional persons;" it just said "person." So corporate lawyers argued that corporate persons are to be included, and the Supreme Court let it happen. Now, more than a century of legal precedents have been built on that fateful case.

The State of Vermont passed a law requiring that all Vermont dairy products be labeled if they contain Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), a product manufactured by Monsanto. In 1996, the Supreme Court struck down that Vermont law in International Dairy Foods Association v. Amestoy (the VT attorney general). The Court ruled that the right to Free Speech also implies the right NOT TO SPEAK! And so the Supreme Court awarded an international dairy food association more rights under the U.S. Constitution than the citizens of Vermont!

Right now, several states are running campaigns to label GMO's in food (more Monsanto products). Yet, based on the 1996 SCOTUS precedent, corporate persons have the right NOT TO SPEAK; therefore, no GMO labeling law will survive judicial review as long as corporations have constitutional rights.

Members of Congress have been bought and paid for by corporations due to our current system of privately financed election campaigns. The amount of money spent on election campaigns is obscene. Therefore, we can't expect Congress to correct this error. Anyway, Congress can't overrule the Supreme Court, although the Supreme Court CAN overrule Congress! The way to correct this 127 year old misappropriation of justice is with a constitutional amendment driven by We the People.

A dozen or more amendments have been proposed in Congress to correct what is often framed as "the damage done by Citizen's United." The system was broken long before the 2010 Citizen's United decision, so this framing of the problem is a distraction from the real issue. Overturning Citizen's United will only return us to an era of inadequate campaign finance regulations. Regulations don't work because the regulatory boards are always staffed with industry insiders who weaken regulations in favor of corporate profits over the health and well being of the People.

H.J.Res 29, the amendment proposed by Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota, is the only proposal that eliminates ALL corporate personhood rights under the Constitution.  It is the first and most fundamental step in erecting a Wall of Separation Between Corporation and State. 

In order to rescue democracy in the USA, please demand that your Representative in Congress co-sponsor H.J. Res. 29, the We the People Amendment. Move to Amend

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Do Private Contractors Really Save the Nation Money?

It is not news that the NSA is collecting terabytes of data on everyone in the world; I have been writing about it for almost a decade. I keep thinking about the utility bills taxpayers are paying to keep cool, giant banks of servers where the mines of data are stored. I even mentioned it to Rep. Jared Huffman a couple of weeks ago at at Town Hall at the Ukiah Senior Center, and he stared into space like it wasn't anything he wanted to talk about. But that was before Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA. Snowden said something that made me think.

He said he had a job as a national security private contractor that gave him a "large paycheck." And I began to think about the thousands of young security analysts collecting large paychecks, as well as profits for the corporation they contract with, and the overblown compensation of the CEO's, all on the taxpayer's dime.

We are told that private is always more efficient than public servants. I disagree. I would say that the main difference in public and private is the overblown compensation charged by the private vs. the union workers of the public. It is not a case of efficiency, except how efficiently the kleptocrats are bankrupting the US Treasury and increasing our national debt while we keep the wool over our eyes slowly boiling like frogs.

I wonder if the same principal applies to Bank of America, which privately contracts with Mendocino County to manage our money for us?  Using the policy of Fractional Reserve Banking, BOA loans out multiples of their underlying reserves causing the money supply to magically grow for further investments.  BOA makes lots of money by holding our money for us.  If we had a Public Bank of Mendocino County, our own bank could do the same thing with fractional reserves and the revenues would go to enrich the County General Fund.  It is time to keep the County's money in a public bank and let the People's money work for the People. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Issues that are too distatesteful to mention: slavery

The topic in this week's meditation class was sexual misconduct.  The teacher mentioned trafficking on her list, and rape.  I wanted to bring it home to our compassionate meditators and mentioned how the euphemism of "trafficking" takes away the impact of what it truly is, SLAVERY.  The sex slave market has exceeded the drug market at the Mexican border.  Having had a sex slave and her unwanted issue as patients while I worked in the Obstetrical Dept at the local hospital, I had done a study on the subject of modern day slavery. 

The NY Times did an extensive expose on it January 25, 2004, "The Girls Next Door" By PETER LANDESMAN
There are more slaves in the USA today than there ever have been in history.  And, should they become pregnant, their child will be sold into slavery as well.  The women are abducted off the street, especially in Oaxaca.  Girls from Europe think they are going to an au pair job in the USA.  They abduct runaways and children.  After their brutal indoctrination in Mexico,  San Diego High School boys are paid to drive them across the border into the USA where they are distributed to slave markets all over the nation.  This is one of those unpleasant stories that is distasteful for people to think about.  Like the Pope being a pedophile.  More than one Catholic priest is known to have kept a sex slave boy. 

And as far as rape, except for the time of Saint Patrick when a virgin could walk across Ireland without being molested, rape is less now than in the last couple of millenia.  I spent 5 years in India, and there wasn't one woman that I spoke to who had not been raped.  Every house servant in India can expect to be raped by the master or his sons.  What can she say? She needs the job.  And if she goes to the police, they will rape her.  And her doctor will rape her.  And her guru will rape her.  That's why girls are married as soon as they start menstruating because having been raped by whatever man had his way with her, now they want her child to be that of her husband.  The real news in India is that there are so many girls now that HAVEN'T been raped! 

Even when you read Isaac Balshevis-Singer, he describes the 19th c. Polish Catholic peasant society in which any man could have his way with any woman he wanted including his own daughter and his neighbor's daughter.  Girls grew up expecting to be raped.  Throughout the 1000 years of the "Middle Ages" aka the Dark Ages, when Catholics had a stranglehold on the entire culture, basically any thug or knight could have his way with any female he wanted.  And the king and his lord could certainly have whatever woman they wanted.  We are alarmed by rape, and we certainly should be alarmed!  But in an historical perspective, what makes it alarming is that thankfully it isn't so commonplace as it used to be. 

By the time all this spilled out of my mouth, the meditation teachers face was twisted in a tortured mask, and several people were crying.  I cry too.  But now I am taking action to foster in a new era of social and distributive justice.