Home > Uncategorized > Corporate personhood wins big in US Supreme Court

Corporate personhood wins big in US Supreme Court

[Guest post from Democracy Unlimited.]

Yet again the U.S. Supreme Court has sided with the ruling elite against the interests of the American people. Today in Citizens United vs. FEC they overturned the flimsy federal campaign finance reform laws afforded by the McCain-Feingold law. Corporations can now to spend unlimited money in buying our elections. The Court has legalized corporate bribery of our elected officials.

So if you were already disgusted by the fact that over $5 billion dollars was spent in the 2008 election, watch out. Because the floodgates are now wide open!

And once again, the Court relied on the illegitimate legal doctrine of “Corporate Personhood” in order to justify this profoundly undemocratic decision.

Corporate personhood is the notion that a corporation can claim to be a person, and therefore entitled to basic human rights—also described as political and civil rights—and have courts overturn laws.

As this decision clearly demonstrates, corporate personhood is not an inconsequential legal technicality. Consider this– the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation was a “legal person” with 14th Amendment protections before they granted full personhood to African-Americans, immigrants, natives, and women.

And literally hundreds of laws—perhaps thousands—of local, state and federal laws that attempt to protect our environment, our elections, our safety and health, our right to organize have been overturned as a result of this erroneous doctrine.

The world is being destroyed, the federal government is engaged in unending war, and we live in an unjust, unsustainable and undemocratic country.

It’s time to take ourselves seriously– both about what is at stake and what it will require to actually assume and democratically exercise real power. We must address the reality that the federal courts have made real democracy impossible.

It’s time to follow the lead of the American Revolutionaries, the abolitionists, the suffragists, the trade unionists, and the Civil Rights activists and to build a broad-based, multi-partisan democracy movement in the United States.

It’s time to amend the U.S. Constitution to make it clear that only human beings can claim to be “persons” with constitutional rights.

Are you with us?

1) Go to the website http://www.MovetoAmend.org to announce that you are joining the growing national movement.

2) Contact us at Democracy Unlimited at 707-269-0984 to organize locally to make the promise of democracy a reality!

Move to Amend is a project of the Campaign to Legalize Democracy,

a new coalition coordinated by:

After Downing Street

Alliance for Democracy

Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (DUHC)

Center for Media and Democracy

Independent Progressive Politics Network

Liberty Tree Foundation

Program on Corporations Law and Democracy (POCLAD)

Progressive Democrats of America

Reclaim Democracy

Ultimate Civics

Velvet Revolution

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

. . . and growing . . .

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  1. Mr. Nice
    January 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    This is absolutely nuts. Now the incumbent, well-connected, party-line candidates who launder campaign donations through campaign fronts will face a challenge from pro-business, pro-jobs, independent candidates using transparent finance sources. Rulings like this make me think we had some kind of crazy law in this country which guaranteed the unlimited right to say whatever you want.

  2. January 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm
  3. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Buy products from the corporations that best match your political interests and write letters telling the corporations how you expect them to vote on issues. Treat corporations as your representatives because that’s what they are. Your pocketbook is your ballot.

  4. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    The blue canton within the flag is not big enough to hold all those icons that will represent money and power interests.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  5. January 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Shows the meek just who is in control, oh how they flaunt it on their owned media!
    This is why when you vote, you get a stick in your ass- the entire system is rigged, owned, and outsourced. When you vote, you partake in The Lie.
    Nothing good can ever come from government, and the constitution has been again proved to be a worthless piece of trash, unable to stop tyranny.
    The funniest part is they’re bankrupt and it’s starting to show!
    The future is looking beyond forced control, and to embrace Self Ownership, the system failed us- it’s time to move beyond government and taxation, embrace a Free Market and Liberty.
    It’s a matter of days until it crumbles down, not years- our roots as a Nation are in Revolt against King and Corporation!
    Taxation is slavery!
    No Free Man is a slave!
    Recall the US Constitution!

  6. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Black Flag, how much food and water do you have stockpiled?

  7. ThinkOfTheChildren
    January 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Alan Grayson has a package of bills aimed at mitigating this latest craven give-away to corporate influence. If you don’t know who Alan Grayson is, well, google is your friend.

    I can’t find anything as funny as this whine from Rose over at her hate site, that describes this decision more perfectly

    The sad thing in this race is he might actually make a good Supervisor. He’ll certainly be a good candidate. But he is surrounded by some of the worst people for this County. The kind who want something in return for their support.

  8. January 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    The Supreme Court had leveled the playing field. Soros funded 527s and Tides Foundation/Fenton Communications sham groups no longer have free rein to punch their targets without them being able to fight back. That’s what this really means.

  9. January 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    And, 2;07 – I have seen first hand what is expected in return for Salzman’s support – and the price Cleary will pay if he doesn’t toe the line. He doesn’t know, or doesn’t believe it, yet. He will find out.

  10. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    yup, those poor ol’ corporations didn’t have a fighting chance.

  11. unanonymous
    January 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I believe outrage at corporate bought politicians is common ground between progs and those you call tea baggers.

  12. ThinkOfTheChildren
    January 21, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    No Rose, you clueless tool, what it means is that corporations no longer have any limits on how much money they can spend to buy shitheel politicians of the sort you support. They also don’t have to divulge how much money they have spent to spew lies about political opponents, although they do have FOX news to do that for them. It means Rose, that the political process you claim to care so much about has now been given the right to purchase our government.

    Even that odious tool Rehnquist recognized that allowing corporations limitless power to spend whatever they wish to foul the electoral process was a quick road to losing what little electoral integrity was left in the process.

    “Even former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist once warned that treating corporate spending as the First Amendment equivalent of individual free speech is ‘to confuse metaphor with reality.’ Today that metaphor won a very real victory at the Supreme Court. And as a consequence some very real corporations are feeling very, very good.”

    So to you Rose, and to those who despise our nation as much as you, fuck off you willfully ignorant cocknozzle.

  13. Mr. Nice
    January 21, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    The Supreme Court had leveled the playing field. Soros funded 527s and Tides Foundation/Fenton Communications sham groups no longer have free rein to punch their targets without them being able to fight back. That’s what this really means.

    Exactly. Before this went down, a candidate had to launder their contribution money through front groups. This gave an advantage to incumbents who have been playing that game for years and had all the connections in their party. Now, any challenger can be financed without hiding the money.

    I don’t see the problem. This is transparency. How is that “undemocratic?”

  14. Mr. Nice
    January 21, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I believe outrage at corporate bought politicians is common ground between progs and those you call tea baggers.

    Tea Party supports transparent campaign financing. We oppose taxes and government spending. Corporations being able to openly finance candidates is not outrageous.

  15. January 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    I guess we just don’t get it, Mr. nice. Only environmental ORGs and the super rich like Soros should be allowed to contribute to political campaigns. Dontcha know?

    I wonder if “ThinkOfTheChildren” above has ANY idea the extent of Ol’ Mr. Soros’ funding? Probably not.

    I do like hearing our elected officials calling Free Speech “Anti-American.” Very revealing.

    In related news, the privately funded Air America is bankrupt. Guess their message just never caught on.

  16. Mr. Nice
    January 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I’m going to miss Montel Williams on Air America. He was a good host. I never listened to the rest of them as I don’t like to torture myself.

  17. ThinkOfTheChildren
    January 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Actually Rose I do, and I, like all other lefties, am on his payroll you blithering snotbucket. Wasn’t it Soros who pushed the Swift Boat liars, well, Rose, wasn’t it? Oops, that’s right, lying shitsacks who call themselves Republicans have never, ever been able to use a 527 to lie about political opponents, and now they don’t have to worry. Sheesh Rose, you make hihatdickwad seem reasonable.

    It’s not a free speech issue Rose, it’s a spending issue, then again, someone as easily flippant with facts as you are, I understand it’s difficult to get truth through your skull.

    Corporations are not people and should be granted no rights guaranteed to individuals. Funny how the Bush court ignored precedent in this case, because we all know that jesus-blowing Cahtholic warrior Nino Scalia would never violate precedence to make a political point.

  18. January 21, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Money does not (always) win elections. Many have learned that lesson. Give the people more credit.

    Wow, ThinkOfTheChildren, think of the children who might read this blog – and make an effort to pull yourself together.

  19. ThinkOfTheChildren
    January 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Oh fuck off Rose, you’re a tool and we all know it and that’s why you get nothing but insult hurled your way. Don’t come crying when your Supes, your Assembly and state Senate and your federal officers are bought and paid for by Halliburton. That’s what that scumbag Scalia and his toady Roberts have done, Read a fucking history book before you start spouting off about political history and why there were stringent regulations put in place. I’ll give you a hint you dipshit, it was to keep the likes of Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch and the rest of the lying jackasses from hijacking our political system. Think of the children indeed. Go back to obsessing over Gallegos because we all know that in addition to being an expert in electoral politics and the laws that govern them, you’re also an expert on law.

  20. humboldturtle
    January 21, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Ya gotta love “blithering snotbucket”, Rose.

  21. High Finance
    January 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    What a silly piece of hysterical crap.

    Corporate personhood is responsible for “The world is being destroyed, the federal government is engaged in an unending war, and we live in an unjust unstainable
    and undemocratic country”??

    McCain/Feingold helped solve nothing, Obama shattered all previous campaign spending records by spending almost 1 billion dollars. Let me repeat that, Obama spent almost 1 BILLION DOLLARS.

    All McCain/Feingold did was give Democrats an advantage by excluding some of their key contributors.

  22. humboldturtle
    January 21, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    fuck off…toady..jackasses…dipshit…it’s ThinkOfTheChildren! Thanks, Heraldo!

  23. High Finance
    January 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I wish that “Thinkofthechildren” would.

  24. Mr. Nice
    January 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Pssssh, Rose at least doesn’t insult herself unlike your wack comment.

  25. humboldturtle
    January 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I guess our post-earthquake unity is history, ’til next time.

  26. January 21, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Yeah, HumboldtTurtle, I guess I need a “raves’ Section, huh?”

    I wonder if TOTC actually READ any of what the Justices said today.

  27. humboldturtle
    January 21, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    well, dear, you do have the rants.

  28. January 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Yep.

  29. January 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Think of The Children wrote, “what it means is that corporations no longer have any limits on how much money they can spend to buy shitheel politicians of the sort you support.

    Unions don’t have any limits now, either. What’s the problem? Or are you still pissed off about Measure T, which allowed unions unlimited contributions but disallowed businesses to do the same.

    I’m guessing you supported Measure T because you wanted unions to have the advantage?

  30. walt
    January 21, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    To depart from the Ad Hominem discussion for a moment, the Court has actually done us a favor by sweeping away any doubt about who is in control of this country. (Shudder!) I have to agree, in part, with Black Flag: our government is as corrupt as Somalia’s, or Haiti’s. Voting really is an exercise in futility, at least at the state and federal levels. Corporations have powers real humans can only dream of. . .they are the Nietzschean supermen. The only way to correct this, REALLY correct it, would be with a constitutional amendment that specifically said Corporations ARE NOT persons. And with the crooks we have in Congress, making millions off the status quo, that’s not going to happen soon. Learn to love and obey Your Corporate Masters.

  31. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    We love you Rose, don’t let the foul mouth insults hurt you!

  32. January 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    In Humboldt County we don’t have to worry about Halliburton buying our Supervisors, TOTC. That’s the “progressives” job.

    And, Walt, voting IS and exercise in futility when you have an organization like ACORN/Project Vote. Doesn’t have a damn thing to do with this SCOTUS decision.

  33. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Rose,

    I have to say this about local politics and Supervisors,

    there are those that “buy”; there are those who “group-up”; AND, there are those who APPOINT!

    If I missed any one entity, I apologize.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  34. 06em
    January 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Oh the futility when more people vote! How dare they! People should know their place.

  35. January 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Walt wrote, “The only way to correct this, REALLY correct it, would be with a constitutional amendment that specifically said Corporations ARE NOT persons.”.

    Are you willing to apply that to unions, too, Walt? Corporations represent a lot more people than unions do.

  36. January 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    So, you running, Jeff? Rumors that you took out papers true?

  37. walt
    January 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Yes, Fred, I’d apply that to unions. In the old days neither the unions nor the corporations had anywhere near the kind of money they do now, nor were they able to buy votes on anything like the scale they can now. Just look at the money being spent on congress as they diddle with “healthcare” and mandatory insurance. Look (Opensecrets.org) at how much Mike Thompson gets, for example, from the wine industry, and compare that to his salary (including congressional insurance coverage), and then tell me who he works for. For guys like Joe Lieberman, it’s not even close. . .and that was BEFORE the Court decision. We’ve been bought and sold already, and now the selling just got easier.

  38. January 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    It’s really very simple, and there’s no need to hurl insults back and forth.

    If we lived in a society where you could buy the use of the people’s very own airwaves for $50/hour, we’d all have “free speech.” But we’ve decided to license those airwaves to very wealthy companies, and they now charge very large amounts to sell moments on it back to us.

    Let’s not pretend that broadcasting does not convince people; our entire economy is based on the ability of television advertisers to convince people that they need, well, everything, and more of it, right away. Remember how upset the tobacco companies were when they were told they couldn’t advertise on the teevee?

    So now, thanks to Mr. Scalia, the more dollars you have, the more votes you can buy. If everybody started with an equal number of dollars, or even a roughly equal number of dollars, you could say that Mr. Scalia has just given us a level playing field.

    But we don’t, so he didn’t.

    Instead, he completed our former country’s change from one-man-one-vote to one-dollar-one-vote. More money means more airtime; more airtime means more votes.

    Sure, it’s not inevitable that the candidate who collects the biggest corporate contributions will win. It’s just a very good bet, not to mention a FABULOUS new investment opportunity for our business community.

  39. January 21, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    NO, Mitch – it supply and demand. There aren’t enough “airwaves” to go around, so you can’t sell ’em for an even fifty bucks. Some times are more desirable, and thus worth more – and the more people want to buy them, the more valuable they become.

    And you guys have no room to bitch unless you denounce Soros and all his many influencing entities – from Media Matters on down.

    Do THAT – and we might have some even footing.

  40. January 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Rose,

    They belong to the people, remember? It would be perfectly legal (and appropriate) to insist that free airtime be provided to all candidates for public office.

  41. Anony.Miss
    January 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    And who will pay??

  42. 421
    January 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    well, you had air america but nobody listened to that.

  43. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    I wonder how much longer we will have net neutrality. I heard that it will take about ten years for corporations to have complete control of the legislature.

    “There aren’t enough airwaves to go around.”

    When the price of advertising goes up Soros will be competing with Walmart and Exxon. Unions have shrunk to 12% of wage and salary workers as of 2008. If unions could outspend Walmart, union numbers would be growing.

  44. January 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Anony.Miss,

    Airtime doesn’t cost money. Corporations don’t own the airwaves, they are granted licenses to use them. As far as I know, they don’t pay anything for the licenses; if they do, it certainly falls far short of their actual value. So there’s no reason that the people, via our government, can’t say to General Electric: “we’ll let you use these airwaves except you need to provide forty hours of time at these hours to every candidate running for public office.”

    This is the same sort of situation as mining on public lands. Somehow many people have become convinced that the corporations have a right to mine public lands or cut down public forests. They don’t; this land belongs to the people of the United States, who, through our representatives can decide what is a legitimate use.

    Controlling the airwaves is unique, though, because having control over television effectively means control over the political process. So, once you control television time, you control everything else that is owned by the people of the United States.

  45. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Air America didn’t have the corporate money behind it which limited its ability to reach into that many markets.

  46. January 21, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Corporations and unions are different. People in unions mostly work for a living.

    This 200 plus year experiment in a democratic republic is over.

  47. High Finance
    January 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    So Rose, I don’t live in the 5th district & don’t know much about Cleary. Before I send my campaign contributions, I need to know, is Cleary a Salzman tool?

    If so, who on earth would be a reasonable conservative to back in the 5th district? Please don’t tell me its Jeffrey Lytle!

  48. Anony.Miss
    January 21, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Everything like that that requires equipment, licenses, and locations actually has got to cost money, doesn’t it? Someone has to give up their time as well.

  49. Mike W
    January 21, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Olbermann’s special comment tonight was good..

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/vp/34985508#34985508

  50. January 21, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    That’s right! The Constitution is a worthless hunk of trash that can’t protect us from tyranny.

    It’s time for something new, it’s time to default on the national debt, disband the military, and hunt down bankers for crimes against humanity- on top of all that we need a value based economic system.

    1) Government should not be allowed to own land, armies, or demand payment from anyone.

    2) Post Constitution society must be VOLUNTARY- no part of it may be forced on any Sovereign, no demands for payment may be forced from any Sovereign.

    3) Government is never allowed to have an interest in a Sovereign’s Business or Affairs.

    4) Government may pass no law, tariff, assume no debt, and may have no opinion as to any Life of a Sovereign or their Affairs.

    Just a thought as we move closer to the fall of empire- years ago people never could imagine Soviet Union would fall. One night people went to sleep, when they awoke Soviet Union was a chapter in history, how is YOUR life any different?

    Maybe the future holds a return of Jefferson State?

  51. January 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    KGO AM 810 Newstalk Radio, San Francisco is pretty liberal talk radio – a bit of balance – but it is a very successful model – and they are strong enough to survive in the REAL world, unlike Air America.

  52. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Well maybe Air America should have confined its market to San Francisco. Could have called themselves Air San Francisco.

  53. January 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Anony.Miss,

    Again, the airwaves belong to the people in common. The people choose to offer licenses to some entities. The people can place whatever conditions they wish on the licenses. One of the conditions can be that you provide us access to your facilities for use by candidates for public office.

    No, no one has to give up their time. The broadcast license to broadcast using a particular frequency does not have to include unlimited time. Instead of being granted 24/7 use of a transmission frequency, companies would be granted only nearly 24/7 use.

  54. walt
    January 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    BF: you’re right about the constitution having been eviscerated. Once upon a time, the idea was to have the governement be in three pieces to keep it from being tyrranical. Like the idea of free market capitalism, the IDEA, mind you, where people competing on a level playing field would keep each other honest. And, once upon a time, the Governement broke up trusts (like Standard Oil) to keep them honest. But now, when corporations rule the executive and legislative (and apparently the judicial branch as well), the corporations have BECOME the government. As Cheney and his friends showed, the constitution is “quaint”, and people like David Addington can use or discard it as they please. But without the constitution to protect us, what do we have? He with the biggest guns wins? And who has the biggest guns?

  55. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Who has the biggest guns? The ones that spend the most money on Washington lobbyists and from now on spend the most money on elections. Its a partnership.

  56. walt
    January 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Right. Tick tock, the game is locked, and nobody else can play. No, I mean REAL guns, like nukes and depleted uranium. We KNOW who has the biggest guns. . .but what can we do about it?

  57. January 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    “over $5 billion dollars was spent in the 2008 election…”

    Totally lovin’ the post, but you kinda’ said “dollars” twice.

  58. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I don’t think that the partnership is going to give up its control of our airwaves. The legislature will need to be advised and will bring in executives from FOX, CNN, and MSNBC before legislating any laws regarding licensing. FOX, CNN, and MSNBC can make a politician look good, or bad, 24 hours a day. And their board of directors sit on the boards of a multitude of companies that can withhold and redirect campaign funding.

  59. January 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Mitch, you don’t seem to grok why Air America failed.

  60. January 21, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Rose, KGO in San Francisco is owned by Citadel Broadcasting and they also just filed bankruptcy.

  61. January 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Why did Citadel fail? They are still on the air but have failed none the less.

  62. January 21, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    They have failed because they have been bought and sold too many times. Each time, money is taken out of the company to pay for the purchase. This is also the main reason newspapers are failing. The internet has a lot to do with it but are not the primary reason.

    Because of the Supreme Court Decision, corporations will do more of this. Then only a few companies control the message. Goodbye net nutrality.

  63. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Goodbye environmental protections.

  64. michael
    January 21, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Corporations tax (charge) consumers to provide excess profit/overhead with which to buy legislation forcing us to consume from them. People who fail to recognize that corporations and greed, controlling the political process, are what has destroyed America……………Do people really believe unions (who are often horrid) and a few rich progressives come close to matching the corporate spin cycle???

  65. January 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Wow, Tom, very sorry to hear that. They were a phenomenally successful model, with both liberal and conservative talkers, top flight topics and discussions. I hope they pull through.

  66. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    After seeing Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow speak about this Supreme Court decision, I held my head in despair.

    Then a thought struck me that cured my headache on the spot.

    We have no reason at all to fear that the Supreme Court’s decision hands control of America over to the corporations! None!

    Because, think about it my friends, corporations already DO control America. Their destruction of real health care reform (single payer) proves the corporations already run America!

    So it can’t get any worse than it already is.

  67. January 21, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I had the same thought.

  68. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 22, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Hey, they could save themselves a lot of money if they would just consolidate to one party and call it the Corporate American Party.

  69. Walt
    January 22, 2010 at 5:41 am

    And what if we quit paying politicians altogether and let them live on the corporate BRIBES they already get? Think of the money we could save! Make THEM buy their own insurance. . .if they can. The amount we pay former politicians, even incarcerated ones, is astronomical.

    And speaking of saving money, look at the British election system. They have 6-week campaigns, rather than two to four years. Why do WE need to be lied to and manipulated for two to four years?

  70. Emperor Norton
    January 22, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Good point Walt. Our campaigns cost millions and millions and go on for two years and at the end the electorate is generally still ignorant of the facts and casts it’s vote on the basis of good looks and silly jingoist slogans and soundbites.

  71. January 22, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Rose,

    As I expect you know, Air America is/was a cable channel, not a broadcast channel. Cable offers C-SPAN and its kin, in the public interest. We could talk about C-SPAN, if you wish. Does broadcast offer anything similar on the public’s airwaves?

    I just think the public should have access to what everyone acknowledges it owns. Isn’t that all about property rights?

  72. January 22, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Anonymous 11:43,

    Sadly, 50+ years of exposure to American politics has shown me one thing: it can always get worse.

  73. Walt
    January 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Mitch: I tend to agree, but just for the sake of argument HOW can it get worse? The people get no representation, banks and insurance companies call the tune in Washington and Sacramento, and we pay for it until we run out of money. Our elected officials are mentally-challenged sex workers and the CEO class gets richer. I’m serious. . .other than sending us all for an extended stay at Gitmo (yes they kill and torture people there, but at least it’s warmer and they feed you), how can it get worse?

  74. January 22, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Walt- the bankers main weapon is the US Military- which runs on Chinese ball bearings and has been defeated on two fronts by angry people in tennis shoes with 7.62*39 and 7.62*55- dated weapons have wrecked the “greatest” superpower. Seeing how the right hand of the banks is in ruins, what can they do to stop a People’s Will?
    Shut down the roads and government will starve in 3 days…

    There are more angry peasants than government operatives- when they wake up to find the “federal” reserve has taken a zero from their savings to pay this “debt” our nation “owes”- we shall see what people are made of, I guess.

    Revaluation is coming- can’t you feel it?

  75. January 22, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Walt,

    How can it get worse?

    1) We are at war. The government declares martial law.

    –or–

    2) A scapegoat group is chosen and rounded up.

    –or–

    3) The government lets money inflate by 1000% a year, effectively eliminating all private pensions and savings.

    All of these things have happened in other countries. Why is ours special?

  76. January 22, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Absolutely right, Mitch.

  77. DBF
    January 22, 2010 at 8:55 am

    All of you who think that a corporation should be treated and given the same rights as a citizen are clueless as to the impact. Wake up! Oh, it’s already too late. The instant George Bush was reelected, the cause of the founding fathers was lost. The American people have fallen to the propaganda of Fox News and the right wing, which are nothing but corporate shills. Keep voting against your own best interests tea party fools and right wingers. You have destroyed us all. America is living proof that democracy too will always in the end bow down to kings of corruption.

  78. 421
    January 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    you guys must think everybody else is too stupid to think for themselves. i don’t see how this changes anything, just different people bringing the money to the table now. the unions and finance industry donated tons of cash to Obama and they were handsomely rewarded with our tax dollars via the bailouts. also, if we are giving rights to orgs, unions, illegal aliens, and enemy combatants, why not corporations?

  79. January 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

    421,

    The corporations and finance industry are able to get back every dollar they invest in political bribery as $20 worth of tax credits, subsidies, special exemptions, etc… ADM gets huge government subsidies. Goldman Sachs had the government cover its bad bets to the extent of billions, so that it could pay bonuses to its executives. OK, non-profits are tax-exempt, regardless of their affiliations. What tax credits, subsidies, special exemptions, etc… have the unions, illegal aliens, and enemy combatants received?

    I don’t think people are stupid, 421, but I do recognize that our entire modern economy is based on the mind-control technology of advertising (especially TV advertising) which has been perfected over the past fifty years by the corporations.

  80. Big Al
    January 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I think BF could be arrested under the patriot act.
    funny how the word “riot” is the bigger half of the word “patriot”.

  81. is it just me?`
    January 22, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Anon@2:03 pm,

    It seems that the basic element that black flag is lacking is that of oxygen, leading to fuzzy thinking and vague hallucinations of a mystical fantasy world that has never been.

    The ultimate result of this theory of human behavior puts corporation in the drivers seat. This does nothing to advance personal, individual liberty.

    Having a theory of life can be a guiding help or a constraining burden. One should never let a theory get in the way of reality.

    Is it just me or is the ebony banner (self-)limited to only one solution for every problem (not to mention one problem to explain every circumstance)?

  82. January 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Although I am sorely tempted to say I told you so, I think it is a much better exercise to offer to join others in imposing donation caps for ALL donations, regardless of the source. The ACLU says they would support such a move as long as it applies to candidates and not initiatives.

    This Quixotic dream of passing a constitutional amendment to refute corporate personhood is delusional.

  83. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 22, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Just heard that within 3 or 4 years the Supreme Court will make it legal for corporations to fund political candidates directly and that Republicans overwhelmingly support yesterdays Court’s ruling.

  84. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Unions = 51.5% +/- registered Union Members work for…………………………….

    THE PUBLIC SECTOR

    Hmmmm, so public employees have to be protected from their public employers (superiors – Respondet Superior – not tax payers) too – public employers who lobby to set rules for employment practices and standards; yet, break the very rules they enforce upon the private sector? So, are “unions” being used between government(public sector) and the private sector to choreograph a transformation to create something they are yet to reveal to the general public in so far as the type of economy methodology to be used to save the buttox of this country and it’s debt obligations?

    Unions do not “realistically” allow for equal rights to work for ALL citizens. Many Corporate Unions play the favortism game. Sorry, but the truth is this – as individuals, if you can’t stand up for yourself against defrauding employers, then don’t work for them, find employment elsewhere – you should not have to pay into a “protection fund”!!!!!!!!!

    Trusting another to truly know your soul and feelings over employment related issues is like trusting an unattended kid in a candy store to not eat the candy for which you said not too.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  85. January 22, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Chris Crawford Sr Sr is right. The United States will never extend voting rights to women.

    Chris Crawford Sr Sr Sr is right. The United States will never extend voting rights to blacks.

    Chris Crawford Sr Sr Sr Sr is right. The United States will never end slavery.

    Chris Crawford Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr is right. The divine King will never be bound by law.

    etc…

  86. January 22, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Whatever you do, don’t try to change things. That’s delusional.

  87. Anonymous
    January 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    The only one negitively empacted by this are rip off’s like Cobb. Now every group has the right to speak not just NGO’s and shadow non profits. Soros will still get his money to Cobb and paykeeper types. This levels the playing field on that legal issue.

  88. Not A Native
    January 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    In a perverse way, this might partly be a good thing. The abuses and outrage it will eventually cause will also energize the effort to promote that constitutional amendment that Crawford dismisses so cavalierly.

    But thats long-term thinking. In the short-term political outcomes will become more dependent on well funded lies, smears, distortions, and innuendos.

  89. michael
    January 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Initiatives also need limits on money in their promotion. It is well known that cash is all a person needs to hire an army of the poor to qualify an initiative. Limiting lobbying of all kinds to only volunteers might help. Rich folks of course have more time and resources, and churches can (tax-status be damned) mobilize hoards of volunteers; but good policy, well explained, might stand a chance.

  90. Reinventing The Wheel
    January 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Amazing to read today how Right-wing republican Mitch McConnell is, “….fighting to protect the First Amendment rights of unions…”. Surely, if unions represented 50% instead of 12% of U.S. workers he wouldn’t be offering such blatant hypocrisy.

    Congress enabled 5 corporations to control 80% of U.S. media, opening the spigot to unbridled 11th hour political advertising at $1 million a minute, making 3rd party candidates even less visible.

    “…you cannot give the same rights to a flea and a lion and call it freedom…”, (Russian defector Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn).

    Every historic tyranny has had its supporters, exemplified by some of the postings in this blog. Those who support the court’s decision underestimate the role they play in this growing tyranny. Once their afterglow fades, and they begin to wonder how Chinese corporations can increase their influence over U.S. politics and policies, a splendid irony will unfold! After all, Communist centralization has much more in common with interlocking U.S. corporate directorates and their CEO’s revolving door to top government posts, than the highly promoted deception about “free-markets”.

    The U.S. Founders in 1791 would have seen this interpretation of their First Amendment for what it is, an end-run by aristocrats to consolidate power. The U.S. Constitution was written for the people, not the people’s immortal legal fictions!

    Regulating the excesses of capital is nothing new, but the left and the right must work together to accomplish it.

  91. Humboldt Politico
    January 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    At least the Senator from Exxon, or G.E. or Halliburton will no longer need to hide. They can put it on their business cards.

  92. January 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Or plaster decals on their suits, like at NASCAR.

  93. January 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    If corporations are deemed to be persons under the law then we can certainly pass a corporate death penalty for serious corporate felonies.

    A corporate death sentence would liquidate all the assets of the corporation and distribute the proceeds to the people. The shareholders would get nothing.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  94. Big Al
    January 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I will second that…

  95. A-nony-mouse
    January 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    All Hail, King Black Flag. We bow to his will. He’s the ONLY one who knows how to rule wisely, isn’t he?

    What a load of crap to say Corporations are people with all their rights. Next thing you know, Congress will demand the same rights!

  96. robash141
    January 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    right wingers like Rose who cheer this decision Most of them
    would be utterly furious at the idea of any non-citizen casting a vote or receiving any kind of public subsidy whatsoever.

    But they have absoulutely no problem handing over control to our electoral process to wholly owned foreign corporations.

  97. January 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Amazing how many roll over while the whole society is taken over by the wealthy. Their job is to load the ovens. Til that’s done.

  98. robash141
    January 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    What the ‘bagger numbskulls and people like Rose don’t realize is that it’s the end of thier freedom as well.
    Sure the corpos may pander to the wingnuts in the short run while they are in the midst of consolidating thier power but once they’ve outlived thier usefullness ..
    Let them show up at a politcal rally in the new Corporate States of America with an AK-47 and see what happens to them.
    My bet is that they get thier heads promptly vaporized by the Secret Service.
    Let Rose try to talk a bunch of smack about some wholly corporate sponsered public official like she does about Gallegos.
    It won’t be pleasant for her I’m sure about that. She’ll get ruined.

    And who will raise a fuss about that????
    Certainly not the corporate media.

  99. High Finance
    January 22, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    What does it feel like to live your life in perpetual fear with the attitude of a permanent victim, robash/moviedad/mouse/mitch/bill/big al/politico and reinvent?

    I must admit I don’t have any empathy for people who feel such a state of total powerlessness.

  100. Big Al
    January 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I was feeling pretty empowered after we elected Obama…

  101. mresquan
    January 22, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Don’t worry hifi,once health care reforms and other taxation methods are placed on businesses….err….corporations,and the corp is then taxed in the name of its person,you’ll see more and more corporations looking to ditch its personhood.
    It’s beyond me as to why Fred or Rose would ever support such a concept as corporate personhood.Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get that explanation.

  102. January 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I’m with Mitch – glad that people before me didn’t think it was delusional to fight injustice – especially the women and men who came before me and fought 75 years for the right for women to vote in this country. I personally appreciate that they ignored the cynics and naysayers who didn’t have enough vision to join them.

    MoveToAmend.org has collected over 25,000 signatures in less than 48 hours. This is a petition of people who don’t just opposed the Citizens United ruling, we’re calling for a Constitutional Amendment to Abolish Corporate Personhood!

    Please sign up if you haven’t yet! http://www.MoveToAmend.org. Tell your friends, spread the word further!

    Stay tuned for information from Democracy Unlimited about what we’ll be doing locally. Most of Congress (Democrats and Rebpublicans) are already bought by big corporations so we have no illusions about what’s required to win this fight – this will be a grassroots campaign with local action taking the forefront. And Humboldt County will continue to lead the charge. Contact us (http://www.duhc.org) if you want to be involved.

    And heads up to all June & November 2010 local candidates: This will be a campaign issue so start thinking about what your stand will be now.

    Yours for democracy,
    Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
    Democracy Unlimited

  103. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Rose and Fred support the concept of corporate personhood because THIS IS AMERICA WHERE AMERICANS FOUGHT AND DIED FOR OUR FREEDOMS. But the orgs and unions and the SOCIALISTS are trying to redistribute wealth and stop growth and what we need is a level playing field because the media is all owned by liberals and they are trying to take over our Country, so they are glad that there is still a branch of government who can still read the original document and divine its true meaning so that this country is put back into the hands that made it what it is today, corporations. Cause the business of America is business.

  104. Anonymous
    January 22, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    We’ve got a smart one on our hands folks

    Thanks for the laughs Country Dude

  105. robash141
    January 23, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Where’s my country Dude is either a brilliant satirist or a very sincere moron.

  106. January 23, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Oh, how many of you are just fucking idiots! You believe the left/right paradigm and look like the piles of garbage you really are.
    What type of clueless fuck-off thinks that your vote matters and government changes when you vote on their party line.
    Your thoughts and reactions are given to you by Madison Ave, you are no different than jocks rooting for blue team vs. red.
    I’m not sure what the biggest enemy is- government or the mindless wastes they rule over!
    The country has been dead since Roosevelt when the banks took over and stole the Constitutional money- yet you stupid fucks rally for the Council On Foreign Relation’s black smokescreen and take it all for real. The best thing trash like ya,ll can do is kill your television and stop paying taxes to offshore banks who tell you it runs your country.
    Government is a tool of oppression, those who support it can fuck off!

  107. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 23, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Maybe I’m a very sincere moron, because when I add up the branches of our Federal Government I come up with a number greater than three.

  108. January 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

    It’s amazing that some of you are sitting there promoting, denying, idealizing the actions of the Wealthy elites. They are the “Corporations” look at the politicians, look where they live. those people in those communities have illegally taken over the country. Radicals like Black flag, and other “Tax=Slavery” proponents are speaking the truth. The house-slaves don’t like it, because they’re cowards and they always look to the “Masters” to protect them from the justified outrage of their fellow citizens. God I get tired of hearing how Bill Gates and I are on a level playing field. Jezz, don’t you get tired of listening to these anti-American traitors defending other traitors. The wealth-class founded the country to get out of paying taxes. And finally the gloves are off, and the same families have now put the burden of the infrastructure on the working man, while they have stolen the manufacturing base, And enslaved our children to life-long debt.
    Everything is changed.

  109. January 23, 2010 at 9:09 am

    High Finance wrote,

    What does it feel like to live your life in perpetual fear with the attitude of a permanent victim… I must admit I don’t have any empathy for people who feel such a state of total powerlessness.

    We already know that you feel no empathy, High Finance. That’s your personal sadness. Speaking only for myself, I don’t live my life in fear, perpetual or otherwise. As one simple example, I don’t believe Pat Robertson’s sky god will strike me down for my bedroom behavior.

    I do have considerable concern and anger about what has happened to our country. I know that democracy is fragile, and as I look around, I realize that our own democracy has taken a beating over the past 30 years.

    It offends my sense of justice when I see that our government sends our young men and women off to a war of choice against a country that was uninvolved in 9/11, while continuing its alliances with Saudi Arabia, the country that educated and raised the 9/11 bombers.

    It leaves me worried about our democracy when I see that a substantial minority of our voters think that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, when it is clear that none were.

    I don’t feel that wealth makes right, and it disturbs me that the top 1% (not to mention the top 0.01%) makes more than the bottom 90%. Personally, I don’t believe a bank executive, especially one who has supervised what would have been the destruction of his bank and our economy both, is entitled to earn more in an hour than the average garbage collector earns in a year.

    I feel that most objective observers would say that our current political system is seriously damaged by a history of legalized bribery, with revolving doors between politicians and agency bureaucrats and the executive suites of the corporations they are supposedly regulating.

    I feel that our Courts have been delegitimized by Mr. Scalia’s one-time-only oval office pass, issued to Mr. Bush in 2000 despite his electoral loss.

    So, yes, High Finance, like most humans capable of feeling empathy with those whose lives are damaged by injustice, I live with some considerable anger and stress at what we’ve allowed to have happen to the country I love.

    I don’t, though, feel like a victim.

    I know I’ve benefited enormously from the work that was done over the fifty years preceding the last thirty. For starters, I’m alive, and not in a Nazi oven (Jewish, gay, left politics). I’m not at risk of being arrested for my sexual orientation, thanks to the work of gay activists over many years. No one can legally deny me a job just because I’m Jewish, even though you’d probably argue that’s an imposition on their right to run their business as they please.

    I live in a country that still has all the infrastructure that taxpayers once paid for — safe water supplies, passable roads, beaches that are relatively clean, national parks that are within a few hours, a national system to ensure that our older citizens have some money and some access to health care.

    I know that the right wing has not yet been able to completely dismantle our public education system, our public fire services, our public health system that watches continuously to make sure epidemics are spotted early and acted on.

    I’m aware that, unlike in the third world, if I go to a hospital emergency room, the medical staff will be obliged to treat me even if I run out of money. It’s not like it would be in the UK or France — the trip here might leave me bankrupt, while it would be free over there, at less cost to taxpayers than we are already paying to private bureaucracies — but it’s better than it would be in the very odd-sounding country you’d probably like us to become.

  110. robash141
    January 23, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Isn’t there some way That these Justices can be impeached. I don’t just want to see them impeached ,but disbarred disgraced and have all thier assets seized as well. leave em with nothing

    I think the best thing for traitors like Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy Thomas and Alito would be to be forced to live out the rest of thier lives in grinding poverty. It’s a fate to which they gladly sentanced countless other of thier fellow Americans.

  111. The Monitor
    January 23, 2010 at 10:03 am

    How much does a corporate person eat? How big is their house. What size lot does the house, garage, play area for the kids, require? I do know that when they get sick it means a 900 billion dollar emergency room visit.
    How friendly are they toward their relatives and neighbors? How big of a jet does it take to get them around to meet with their corporate buddies.
    What does a corporate person from the hood look like? I am sure some of you have a good description, so we can be on the lookout.

  112. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 23, 2010 at 10:04 am

    I just googled conservative think tanks and it pretty much confirms what I’ve been thinking and what Mitch touches on. Here is a paragraph I stole:

    “Think tanks are funded primarily by large businesses and major foundations. They devise and promote policies that shape the lives of everyday Americans. Social Security privatization, tax investment laws, regulation of everything from oil to the internet. They supply experts to testify on Capital Hill, write articles for the op-ed pages of newspapers, and appear as TV commentators. They advise presidential aspirants and lead orientation seminars to train incoming members of Congress.”

    Most of them were started in the seventies.

  113. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Homeland Security was a huge piece of legislation signed into law that directly out of a conservative think tank.

  114. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 23, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I meant to say The Patriot Act.

  115. Plain Jane
    January 23, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Mitch at 9:09 gets my vote for the best post of this thread. When corporations are held to the same standards of justice as individuals; i.e. they can be imprisoned or executed for their crimes and not just fined, they may deserve equal rights. As it stands today, they have all the rights of individuals without the same consequences for criminal actions. With amplified political “speech” due to their virtually unlimited ability to contribute (at the expense of their employees, shareholders and product consumers) they can buy the prosecutors, judges, local, state and federal politicians and “we the people” will have lost our country. This is fascism – government of, by and for the corporations.

  116. mresquan
    January 23, 2010 at 10:44 am

    BF wrote,”The country has been dead since Roosevelt when the banks took over and stole the Constitutional money-”

    Well the country was never truly a country as we were created as basically a satellite,along with Canada for the monarchy.One of the biggest untruths told is that we won the revolutionary war,when it’s more likely that the fighting just stopped when the bankers backing it got enough of what they were after.

  117. Walt
    January 23, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Monitor and WMCD: We need to be clear in separating “corporations” from CEOs and employees. The latter are “persons”, just as politicians are. A corporation is non-animate: it doesn’t eat, sleep or shit, doesn’t die, can’t be punished. It has no physical presence. Real people may form corporations, may work for them, etc, and THOSE are people covered by the Bill of Rights. If corporations are persons, so are pickup baseball or soccer teams, elementary school classes, or groups of people on a sidewalk. The physical people exist, but the fact they happen to be in the same place does not create ANOTHER person.

  118. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    No argument, Walt. I just want to point out how corporations have taken control of our “representative government” through their boardrooms and foundations. These boardrooms are a revolving door for people with government, military, insurance, media backgrounds and fund conservative think tanks that write legislation, fund grass roots political movements, provide talking heads for MSM and lobbyists to push their political agenda. The recent Supreme Court ruling was part of that agenda.

  119. Anonymous
    January 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    The Boardmembers, executives, employees of corporations are people. Corporations are are legal constructs. A corporation has no brain with which to think, no soul to guide it, no punishment it can feel. It is not a person.

    Whether one corporation or all corporations are good or bad isn’t the question.

  120. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 23, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    The Supreme Court has to take legal person status away from corporations before they can reverse corporation’s right to spend unlimited money in campaign elections. Am I on the right track?

  121. Anonymous
    January 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Demonizing all corporations is not the same thing as women’s suffrage, Kaitlin. Your disgusting tar-and-feathering of local activists is just as disgusting as when you told Greg Allen from the ACLU that he must have supported slavery since he opposed your ridiculous Measure T initiative which turned out to be such an epic FAIL.

    Public financing of public elections is a perfectly constitutional way of balancing the playing field — but then Democracy Unlimited couldn’t make money off of you by spreading these scare tactics, could they?

  122. January 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Demonizing all corporations is not the same thing as women’s suffrage

    Well, duh. Nobody said it was. But if people had given up on women’s rights (or civil rights) those rights would still be a far-off impossibility.

  123. Anonymous
    January 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Nobody? That whole bunch at Democracy Unlimited have repeatedly invoked slavery as justification for Measure T, or for this latest constitutional amendment which is about as likely as Rob Arkley getting elected Mayor of Arcata.

    FYI: Human bondage, torture and mass murder ain’t the same thing as griping about the McDonald’s or Walmart down the street. I don’t like big boxes either, which is why I don’t go to them. I have a choice; slaves didn’t.

    DUHC should be ashamed of appropriating that struggle for their obsession with corporations. Their apologists like Heraldo should be especially embarrassed of fronting their scams when real solutions like ranked choice voting, public financing and free airtime are legal and constitutional means of election reform which don’t involve silencing the voice of others.

  124. January 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Sweat shops have more in common with slavery than freedom.

    I don’t oppose “real solutions” but maybe your boogie man does.

  125. Walt
    January 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    DUHC is right, and I applaud them for taking on the Constitutional Amendment task. It’s HUGE, but it’s the only way “our” government can become ours again.It will take a lot of DUHCs to do it, but it’s the only way it can be done. Our bought and sold congress and (apparently) president aren’t going to do it for us. This round of slavery is the slow, gentle kind (unless you’re unemployed NOW) because a lot of folks DO have jobs, homes and food NOW. People like BF are right too. . .that’s going to change soon, because the road we’re going down with corporate personhood and corporatocracy is a dead end. It’s me today (enslaved or starving) and you tomorrow.

  126. humboldturtle
    January 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    robash at 9:43, yes they can be impeached. One Justice of the Supreme Court has been impeached, Samuel Chase in 1804. He was acquitted by the Senate.

    Impeachment happens if 2/3 of the House of Reps votes to impeach. After impeachment the official goes on trial in the Senate, and if convicted there by 2/3…well, it hardly ever happens. The foxes are guarding the chickenhouse.

  127. Anonymous
    January 23, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Heraldo, you know damn well that you can ban child labor without abolishing all legal protections for corporations and without gutting universal access to public speech about elections.

  128. The Monitor
    January 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    How big of a house does this corporate person have? Is it as big as Buckingham Palace, or a bit more modest ranch style 4 bedroom, three bath, and pool? Does this corporate person fly in a personal jet or 2nd class, wait in line, cramped seat flight. Does the shear size and power of corporate personhood make them gravitate towards polygamy? Power does make some just love to play around, and many of them aren’t even corporates yet. If they haven’t incorporated yet, you can bet their corporate law firms are working on it.

  129. The Monitor
    January 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    How big of a house does this corporate person have? Is it as big as Buckingham Palace, or a bit more modest ranch style 4 bedroom, three bath, and pool? Does this corporate person fly in a personal jet or 2nd class, wait in line, cramped seat flight. Does the shear size and power of corporate personhood make them gravitate towards polygamy? Power does make some just love a little foreplay, and many of them aren’t even corporates yet. If they haven’t incorporated, you can bet their corporate law firms are working on it.

  130. Anonymous
    January 24, 2010 at 2:28 am

    That evil ACLU, that wicked Sierra Club, that horrific Baykeeper. Those big bad corporations should be silenced next time an anti-gay or anti-environment or anti-harbor ballot initiative comes up.

  131. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Corporate persons don’t kill people. People kill people.

  132. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 6:29 am

    Not just nearly corporate personhood, but really corporate personhood.

    First Amendment: Tastes great, less filling.

    Four out of five doctors recommend First Amendment.

    Hey! You talkin’ to me?

    Sorry for this. I was trying to come up with a war cry, but could only come up with slogans.

  133. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Be all you can be: First Amendment.

  134. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 7:26 am

    What were Dick and Antonin doin’ in that duck blind?

  135. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Osama is back in the news today. I swear there has be trianglation going on between terrorists, teabaggers, and the Supreme Court to kill the health care bill.

    First Amendment: Its whats for dinner.

  136. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Our Government can’t even catch a terrorist when his own father turns him in. Here’s an idea – put Haliburton in charge.

  137. January 24, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Isn’t is simply a question of:
    Can you apply human rights to a conceptual construction?
    They say yes.
    I say no. We humans are held responsible for the things we do. We suffer our choices. We feel pain. We are vulnerable.
    A legally constructed association is not human. With unlimited power and riches it is a monster.

  138. longwind
    January 24, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Let’s not forget the legal links that bind slavery to corporate personhood. The Constitution’s 14th Amendment was written to guarantee the human rights of freed slaves. Those rights have been advocated before the Supreme Court–which was and is largely composed of corporate lawyers–more than 100 times since the 1870s.

    But a bare handful of those cases concerned ex-slaves. The Amendment written to free them was almost immediately arrogated to free corporations instead, from any and all societal control, while Jim Crow and ‘separate but equal’ kept the mere mortals in subjugation, with permission from the Supremes who had better places to assign their rights.

    I applaud DUHC and Measure T for taking up the historic challenge to this imposture, and not because I think they’ll win soon, or hope that HiFi or DiFi will support them.

    If slaves had high-paid lawyers who retired into Supreme Court seats, we’d live in a different world today.

  139. January 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Moviedad writes,

    Isn’t is simply a question of:
    Can you apply human rights to a conceptual construction?
    They say yes.
    I say no.

    No, it’s not, and until the left understands this it has no chance of making real progress on this front.

    I’m against corporate personhood. At the same time, I acknowledge that it rests on perfectly sensible legal logic, with which I happen to disagree.

    Yes, it sounds funny. But if all the left can do is come up with bumper stickers about corporations not being people, it’s not going to get very far.

    If you have rights, and I have rights, what is so bizarre about those rights existing in an entity that you and I form in order to accomplish a task?

  140. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Because that entity will win every dispute at the ballot box and in the courtroom. In the end you will have no rights.

  141. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2010 at 11:02 am

    So, which two corporations are marriage material for the anti prop. 8er’s?

    Corporate Personhood is fraud! Worse yet, TREASON

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  142. January 24, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Where’s my Country,

    Well, you’re getting at a more serious argument. But a lot of people will argue, with reason, that you should create your own entities to compete, rather than try to hobble the entities that you assert will win every time.

    (And, on a more practical level, if what you say is true than we’ve lost before we’ve begun. Read it back to yourself.)

    I think the appropriate argument is one of fairness on the playing field, and I like the talk I’ve begun to hear about corporate death penalties.

    I think corporations should have “free speech rights” only if they give up their limited liability. That is, if a corporation wants to exercise free speech, then EACH shareholder in that corporation should be FULLY liable for any debts the corporation assumes or crimes that the corporation commits.

    This would essentially eliminate the corporate structure, because limited liability is the raison d’etre for corporations. It has, at least to me, a much better ring than the argument that corporations are bad because they are evil.

  143. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Mitch,

    Why do you think it is ok if there is no limited liability? Corporations are not living people – the people that work for corporations are living people; and, they already have free speech rights.

    I WILL NEVER AGREE TO CORPORATE PERSONHOOD, but until the law changes, I must follow the constitution. It is economic and social treason at minimum, pure and simple – but again, laws on the books must change before this issue reverses course.

    For the Record – I was against Measure “T” because it was unconstitutional. This is where the fight shall remain for C.P. – in the courts; or, the consumer just needs to decide whether or not they spend their money in a non-corporate fashion. I just don’t see how this issue gets resolved without judicial processes. So, until then, money flows where money goes. Money buys everything, including debt.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  144. longwind
    January 24, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Mitch, you’re missing the rock-bottom issue. Corporate persons, unlike actual ones, are defined by case law as sociopaths that *mus* pursue maximum shareholder return to the detriment of all other considerations.

    Now, your counter-groovy corporations either couldn’t compete on that playing field you propose to level, or would compete with hypocrisy as great as our current corpo-persons use.

    And I admit that’s a winning strategy: The Natural Resources Defense Fund is as craven a serf of quarterly dividends as the Pacific Legal Foundation. This is obvious in their policymaking. Yet a simple ad and direct-mail strategy easily confuses NRDC supporters into thinking they act *against* the corporate interests that they in fact navigate into our brave new world of profits without products.

    This subject deserves research and reflection. The playing field will never be level as long as persons and perps are one and the same incorporated, but remain illegal incarnate. Please, think about it.

  145. January 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Henchman,

    Why not try this? Try reading about the Supreme Court decisions that established the legal fiction of “corporate personhood.” You’ll find that those who disagree with you are not stupid, they just disagree with you.

    If I have a right to do something, and you have a right to do something, and we get together and sign a contract establishing “The You and Me Group, Inc.” to do that thing together, it’s not obvious to me that “The You and Me Group, Inc.” doesn’t have the same rights that you and I have. It sounds funny when you call it a person, but that’s just shorthand for saying that our rights don’t end when we sign a contract with one another to collaborate.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. There are a lot of reasons to be against corporate personhood. I can understand that some people want slogans that will fit on bumper stickers. But if you’re trying to convince people with an intelligent argument, it might help to acknowledge that the other side has arguments as well.

  146. January 24, 2010 at 11:42 am

    longwind,

    I have thought about it, a lot, and I agree with you. I would just like, for once in my life, to see the left required to make solid arguments, instead of just getting in a circle-jerk and agreeing with itself.

  147. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Mitch,

    Huh? I never implied any one individual or group was stupid. As far as disagreement – political, economic, judicial, social and idividual disagreements CAN be tooling used to justify positions – positions which become baseless, unless any argument that “can be made to sound sensible” is made, regardless of the facts. This is what acknowledging other arguments does – it rationalizes a position based on facts presented and the non-facts being usurped into the arguments to justify that argument.

    Your post reads like I never have read anything about this issue before. I admit, I have NOT READ EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS; but, I have done my fair share of research and reading to understand the problem created by two unlike entities. We can agree to disagree – real individualism versus fictitious embodiments. Until the laws change, society is compelled to recognize the laws on the books and court decisions even though we disagree.

    Change the Law constitutionally or don’t spend your money – these are the minimal choices it appears.

    I am open to listening to any arguments supported by acknowledged or proveable facts, which is partly why I love to learn, read and write; and, write, read and learn – communication back and forth is constructive until manipulation becomes involved, then it is deconstructive. I am sure this issue will boil into the future.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  148. longwind
    January 24, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Hmm, I have to agree with you, Mitch. Could we paste the solid arguments to the Vasoline?

  149. January 24, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    longwind,

    BLOCK THAT METAPHOR!

  150. January 24, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Henchman,

    For what it’s worth, I agree that you never called anyone stupid. But I don’t think there’s anyone left on the planet who doesn’t understand the argument that “corporations are not living people,” so I’m not sure that re-asserting that argument is going to convince anyone who is not already convinced.

    For the record, I don’t think anyone who would argue for corporate speech believes corporations should have free speech because they are living people. They have OTHER reasons, and it might be helpful to investigate what they are and respond to them.

  151. January 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hey Mitch, I learned in Political Science 10, that there has never been a Supreme Court decision on corporate personhood. Until now.

  152. January 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    You learned wrong. Better tak Poli Sci 11.

  153. January 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm
  154. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Mitch,

    I whole-heartedly agree! Yet, where do all these arguments, that I am sure both of us have seen in some capacity, flow?

    I can tell you where these arguments flow – right back to that which they originated. History is always important!

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  155. January 24, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    This might be the first time in my memory that I’ve had reason to suspect that a Professor ever said anything at variance with the truth. I’m going to have to leave the conversation now, lie down, and sniff some smelling salts.

  156. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Here is a thought for corporate personhood thinking:

    economic versus non-economic

    Corporation as an economic tool = individual personhood

    each employee/owner of that corporation = individual personhood

    *************

    An individual = individual personhood

    An individual is not 100% an economic entity; rather, an individual is BOTH an economic entity AND a natural entity who should not be punished merely for existing as any human being could or would exist.

    Corporate Personhood punishes individuals, period.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  157. Plain Jane
    January 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    “If I have a right to do something, and you have a right to do something, and we get together and sign a contract establishing “The You and Me Group, Inc.” to do that thing together, it’s not obvious to me that “The You and Me Group, Inc.” doesn’t have the same rights that you and I have. It sounds funny when you call it a person, but that’s just shorthand for saying that our rights don’t end when we sign a contract with one another to collaborate.”

    Mitch, no one is saying that people who form corporations should lose their rights. That isn’t the issue. Corporations are property, not people. Giving property the rights of people without the same responsibilities is absurd. An immortal corporate “person” with limited liability but magnified political power is a recipe for disaster, as our founders knew well.

  158. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I’m feeling very uncomfortable. I do not hate corporations. I created a small LLC. It supports me. It does not provide me with more free speech than any one else. I do not like the inequity that the Supreme Court created with this ruling and I will join with others in an attempt to correct it. I understand that corporations are granted legal personhood and you can, by some logic, conclude that it has free speech rights. What I do not understand is how that logic is extended to include money having free speech rights. In any competition the biggest with the most is going to win. Democracy in this Country has been, to a certain extent, rigged by the amount of money involved in the election process. I know what is at stake. But, I agree, cynicism is not the answer.

  159. January 24, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Plain Jane wrote:

    “Giving property the rights of people without the same responsibilities is absurd.”

    I could not agree more. I think any movement to control “corporate rights,” if it is to have any chance of success, is going to have to focus on matching rights and responsibilities.

    That’s why I feel “limited liability” is where corporations can be challenged. If I make a promise, I am responsible for fulfilling it. If a corporation makes a promise, none of its shareholders have that responsibility, and neither does any single executive.

    If there’s no single person who has to pay for a corporate crime, and there isn’t, I don’t think the corporate entities should have speech rights.

    That’s a fault line that can be used, I think. I’d start with Union Carbide and Bhopal and work my way through the list.

    Most people think “corporation” = “business”. That’s false. There are other forms of business organization where full responsibility remains with individuals or partners.

    As someone pointed out earlier on the thread, if a corporation were a person, it would be diagnosed as a sociopath, interested only its own gain and willing to sacrifice anyone else or anything else for an extra dollar.

    I’ll extend that: any executive who tries to sacrifice increased profits for the “good of the community” will lose a shareholder lawsuit, and will be held personally liable for the shareholder’s “losses”. Those brave executives who have tried to do the right thing always need to camouflage what they are doing with a white lie: “this will get us goodwill, which will increase profits long term.”

    I understand that simplified arguments are necessary for bumper stickers. I just feel as though the simplified arguments are all we’re being offered, and I don’t think they are enough.

  160. walt
    January 24, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I think cynicism gets a bad rap. What really is the difference between cynicism and Realpolitik? The true truth, as Big Daddy Unruh used to say, is that money is the mother’s milk of politics. The babies who get the most milk thrive and those that don’t waste away. By creating a new class of persons who inherently have more power than the mere humans, you’re effectively disenfranchising the humans. The cynic says “That ain’t right, but I’ll admit it IS reality” where the teabagger says “He’s an SOB but he’s OUR SOB”. A third of the country think it stinks, a third says “It can’t be THAT bad” and a third says “Get Hillary.” Most of us in the first third know nothing is going to change (so what are Rose and Hifi worried about? They’re going to win regardless of what Heraldo and Co (LLC) think.) Doing real change takes a lot more money than the first third will ever have. Oh, we can whine and snivel (now), but it won’t change anything.

  161. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Many small businesses are LLCs. They are created to protect a small business owners home in a liability lawsuit brought against their business. My LLC does not have have publicly traded shares.

  162. loco local
    January 24, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    answering walt at 2:39 when he said “money is the mother’s milk of politics” here locally we know which are running on the big bucks: as in bankers and pharmaceutical reps and developers. shut them out. take control of your county.

  163. January 24, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    You better look it up Mitch. there is no supreme court decision. all there is one justice said that if the matter came before the court, that would be the likely ruling. Do you just like to argue or what? Now my college professor is wrong, and you’re the legal expert? sorry no. Better go back to school and don’t rely on wikipedia for an education. Did you also know there is no such thing as a “Right” to vote. Nope, voting is not a right.

  164. January 24, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    “Recognizing for the purposes of…” is not a decision on “Corporate Person-hood” It was accepted as a fiction for the case at hand.

  165. January 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Yep, moviedad.

  166. January 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Wikipedia is fine when it gives citations. Yes, I like to argue. Yes, college professors have been known to be wrong.

    Here’s Wikipedia on Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 1886. I’ve added boldface to the most relevant lines. But more to the point, the Court has proceeded since 1886 to act as if corporations are protected by the 14th amendment. That’s more than 100 years of precedent. I’d love to see it overturned, but it strikes me as silly to say it doesn’t exist.

    The court reporter, J.C. Bancroft Davis, wrote the following as part of the headnote for the case:
    “The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”[6]

    In other words, corporations enjoyed the same rights under the Fourteenth Amendment as did natural persons.[7] However, this issue is absent from the court’s opinion itself.

    Before publication in United States Reports, Davis wrote a letter to Chief Justice Morrison Waite, dated May 26, 1886, to make sure his headnote was correct:

    Dear Chief Justice, I have a memorandum in the California Cases Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific &c As follows. In opening the Court stated that it did not wish to hear argument on the question whether the Fourteenth Amendment applies to such corporations as are parties in these suits. All the Judges were of the opinion that it does.[8]

    Waite replied:
    I think your mem. in the California Railroad Tax cases expresses with sufficient accuracy what was said before the argument began. I leave it with you to determine whether anything need be said about it in the report inasmuch as we avoided meeting the constitutional question in the decision.[9]

  167. January 24, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    I’ll tell you what, moviedad. Ask any three lawyers, even Rose. (Yep.) If any one of them tell you there’s no legal precedent to treating corporations as legal persons for the purposes of the 14th amendment, Ill take it back.

  168. Walt
    January 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Yes, there is a mountain of precedent. For the moment, there is pressure to overturn it, but the ONLY way to do that is a constitutional amendment. And, realistically, if we couldn’t pass the simple Equal Rights Amendment, this will be a whole lot harder. The monster it created, the Nietzchian Superman, LLC, will make sure it doesn’t change, assised by their Blue Dogs and Fox News. Cynical? Reality? You decide.

  169. Plain Jane
    January 24, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    So Mitch, that sounds to me as if the SCOTUS justices did an end run around the constitution with a footnote by a court reporter that declared corporations persons without hearing any argument from either side related to that matter. Odd isn’t it?

  170. Plain Jane
    January 24, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I probably don’t need to remind anyone, but these justices are the same who ruled that women didn’t have equal rights under the 14th Amendment.

  171. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    “Constitutional amendment require a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and Senate or by a Constitutional Convention called for by two-thirds state legislatures. None of the 27 Amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by Constitutional Convention.”

  172. January 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks Mitch for validating my point.

  173. January 24, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Plain Jane @7:21,

    Yes. Very odd. But odd in 1886, and precedent since.

    I’ve never understood the attitude that maybe if you pretend something never happened you can make it go away.

    I’m all for eliminating the free speech protection of corporations. I’m sure there are excellent arguments to be made for eliminating it, arguments that legal scholars would find convincing.

    Using bumper sticker slogans may keep people’s bravado up, and it may actually be useful for that reason, but it’s never going to be sufficient to change things.

    My own opinion is that what is going to succeed in fighting the corporate takeover of government is a long, determined movement to withdraw consumer dollars from the corporations, starting with the worst and/or the easiest to boycott. I don’t expect that the change will happen via government; government action trails citizen movements, it doesn’t lead it.

    For example, I think it would be great to see volunteer greeters out in front of every Wal-Mart or other outlet for Chinese-made goods, with banners reading “Welcome To China.” They could dress in Mao jackets and wear little round Mao glasses, and they could have handouts showing how much of the money you spend at Wal-Mart goes to advertising, how much to Wal-Mart, and how much to the underage exploited laborers.

    As unemployment continues to rise, more people will “get it” when it comes to this sort of boycott.

    If 10% of consumers were to join in a boycott, the Senate would be shit-scared. If 10% of voters poll as wanting a constitutional amendment, the Senate would say “wake me up when you’ve got a 2/3 majority.”

  174. Plain Jane
    January 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Mitch, how can a court reporter’s footnote to a SCOTUS decision which never mentions corporate personhood make it a precedent on corporate personhood? The fact that subsequent courts accepted it? This REEKS of corruption.

  175. January 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Plain Jane @10:30,

    You ask, “how can…” and then answer your own question.

    There are two completely different questions: “should it?” and “does it?”

    “Should it?” I don’t know, probably not.

    “Does it?” Yes, because 100+ years of history shows it has. Unless you have a time machine handy, it’s precedent.

    Precedent gets overturned, of course, but not this precedent, not by this court, not unless Karl Rove personally makes the request.

  176. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    January 24, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    If a false argument or no argument is established; and, successive years down the road, more arguments are piled up or built on top of the original false argument or no argument, then obfuscation is what you have – the kind of chaotic, muddying of the waters that makes people forget or not want to re-discover the truth in most instances.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  177. January 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Henchman @10:38,

    What a perfect description of “history by the winners.”

  178. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 24, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    In many places your choice is Walmart or drive 20 miles to the next town. I read an article about a woman who’s cats died from eating the melamine tainted cat food she had bought at her local Super Walmart. It was a week before it became national news that many of the pet food manufactures were using the same Chinese company to manufacture their labeled brand. She swore that she would not shop at Walmart again, but because the other grocery store had closed its doors she had to drive to the next town to buy the bulk of her weekly purchases. That became cost prohibitive and she had to throw in the towel.

    Walmart owns its buildings and parking lots with a pretty large foot print surrounding those, so if you decide to be a volunteer greeter you will soon be talking to a full time police officer.

    I think the Supreme Court’s decision is going to be criticized on the blogs and on some MSM in the weeks ahead. The noise might be loud and sustained. It would be nice to see some angry legislators pick up the torch. There are still some that haven’t sold out.

    This fight needs to be met face on. Nipping at the heals of corporate LLCs when the fight is about corporations using their money to throw elections doesn’t seem like a very direct way to get what you want done. We need to let our representatives know we are very unhappy and continue to let them know. If it is sustained through letter campaigns and a continuous presence at the Supreme Court tied to some kind of large political statement, like what was pulled off in Massachusetts, then I think we might instill a enough fear in them to get a Constitutional Amendment. I will be happy with nothing less.

  179. Walt
    January 25, 2010 at 5:02 am

    I doubt whether they’re interested: they make too much money off the status quo to mess with it. I AM curious, though, to see if a national campaign to Throw Them ALL Out (TTAO) would have any traction with the Fox set. Throw out ALL Incs, left, right and center. How about it, HiFi and Rose? The slogan could be “How could it be worse?”

  180. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 25, 2010 at 6:23 am

    And it will take the Republican party forty years to come back, if ever. There is a lot of dissatisfaction among voters with both political right now. Congress can fix the Supreme Court decision. Walmart can’t and wouldn’t if it could. Besides, everyone knows about Walmart and it hasn’t changed their shopping habits all that much.

    We’ll see if this just dies away. There are some who do not believe that money as free speech is a problem. But, I think the majority do have a problem with it and feel strongly that the Supreme Court decision just took away their ability to participate in the democratic process.

  181. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 25, 2010 at 6:25 am

    …both political parties…

  182. Where's my Country, dude?
    January 25, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I certainly would support a campaign to “Throw Them All Out” if it is done in a way to focus the message on a Constitutional Amendment that would revoke corporate personhood.

  183. longwind
    January 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    As Tom Hanks gasped in *The DaVinci Code,* “I’ve gotta get to the LIBRARY!”

    ps: It was Abe Lincoln who let the corporate genie out of the bottle, in order to bury the South under cheap industrial materiel, railroaded to battlefields with the cannon fodder. He knew what he was unleashing, as the highest-paid corporate (railroad) lawyer of his generation, that ole railsplitter.

    It’s been seriously theorized that the authors of the 13th through 15th amendments had the vampire-personhood scheme in mind as they wrote them. Mitch is mistaken that corporate personhood only came up once, it’s been regurgitated more than 100 times in later Supreme Court cases. All the arguments are built upon that single, unattributed asterisk. Gee, why?

  184. Dave Doran
    July 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Campaign finance should have been done years ago, it should be and should always have been a “public”. Seems apparant that the American people still do not get it, when you give lots of dollars, it is fair to assume you want something in exchange….DAH! I swear we are our own worst enemy, god forbid we hold anyone accountable, vote out those who do for themselves first, the party second and the people last and as in Congress put together their own rules such as “one term, get full pension for the rest of their lives, design their own healthcare program which covers the whole family……and who knows what else! I sinceely believe that our lack of holding people accountable have allowed big business to run this country and Americans are too stupid to do anyting about it exccept complain.

  185. Enigma
    April 23, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Going off of what Walt said that “If corporations are persons, so are pickup baseball or soccer teams, elementary school classes, or groups of people on a sidewalk.” I will now attempt to demonstrate that corporate personhood and personhood for other such groups is impossible on mathematical grounds. It doesn’t matter how large a group of people is, it still can’t equal one person since mathematics holds that no number, no matter how large can equal another number. Ergo, groups of people, corporations or otherwise, can’t be individual people if you still believe in math.

    QED

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