A new video campaign from the Move To Amend Coalition highlights the negative aspects of Corporate Personhood and the influence of money in politics. Written by Lee Camp and Dennis Trainor, Jr., Directed by Trainor, Jr.
Nearly 300,00 people have signed the Move To Amend petition, which states:
“We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.”
The tax deadline is upon us, that wonderful time of year when people all over the United States get their financial house in order, file their taxes and pay a fair share to a common pool so that our society can do things that benefit everyone: pay for public schools, social services for the poor and elderly, and let us not forget the very expensive Department of Defense, whose offensive efforts worldwide contribute directly to a global economy that helps keep dark skinned people in far off lands impoverished enough to accept the slave wages to manufacture the plastic gadgets, clothing and electronic devices that serve as the very objects and emblems of our entire way of life. That is an expensive tab, and it is a good thing that regular everyday people like you and me also have corporations to thank for chipping in their fair share to this common pool that benefits us all.
And yet, I’m not breaking any news to remind that the bigger the corporation- the less likely that they will have to pay any taxes. Take Exxon Mobil, for example- the 2nd largest corporation in the world. They have been in the news of late, some of their pipelines have ruptured and have turned Mayflower, Arkansas into a toxic carcinogenic cesspool – not that we can really get the full story, because the corporate control of our lives has reached the point where journalists trying to get the real story are given a phone number managed by Exxon to get information and threatened with arrests if they try to get the real story, kids who claim illness at school are told by Exxon doctors that everything is AOK and every politician up to and including the wall street tool in the White House is not only willing to look the other way, they are ready to give their approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would pump the dirtiest oil in the world through pipes that will burst because that is what pipes do, under US soil from Canada to the gulf of Mexico. And Exxon, for hastening the destruction of the planet not only paid ZERO in taxes in a recent tax year, they were given a tax refund of 953 million dollars.
What about Goldman Sachs? The corporation that, thanks to reporting of Matt Taibbi, many now understand, but remain impotent to do anything about, Goldman’s “unprecedented reach and power (which) have enabled it to turn all of America into a giant pump-and-dump scam, manipulating whole economic sectors for years at a time” in a cruel game that drove many into poverty or out of their homes and took the entire economy to the brink of collapse all for the pornographically obscene profit of a few psychopaths that are lionized by our sick culture as alpha males grabbing what they deserve, rather than a more appropriate treatment such as drawing and quartering them in a public square. In a recent tax year Goldman not only paid ZERO in taxes but also was given a refund of 785 million dollars.
And last- but certainly not least* we have General Electric. GE, one of the worlds largest weapons manufactures, was also, until very recently, a majority owner of NBC universal- and was instrumental- as Glenn Greenwald reported, in silencing the anti-war voice of Keith Olbermann because – while Olbermann was good for ratings, the worldview embedded in his popular rants could have hurt the interests of weapons maker GE. Which brings us back around again to that pool of money people and corporations chip into every April in the form of paying up their taxes so that we can have things that benefit us all- like schools, roads, and keep a strangle hold on the world economy so that dark skinned people in far off lands will remain impoverished enough to accept the slave wages to manufacture the plastic gadgets, clothing and electronic devices that serve as the very objects and emblems of our entire way of life- a common good for which GE not only paid ZERO dollars in a recent tax year, but was refunded by you me and everyone you know who did pay taxes to tune of 3 Billion dollars.
President Barack Obama is set to arrive in Israel next week- and has set the bar for peace about as low as it can get, saying that he won’t be carrying in a grand peace plan for the middle east when he arrives. So, the Obama visit is a low expectations game of international charades that, depending on how cynical your point of view, is either a solidification of allies before world war three ensues or a simply friends helping each other tread water in the sea of status quo that – in the powder keg of the middle east, is as untenable as David Hasselhoff’s sobriety.
It is hard to imagine lower expectations for a presidential visit to Isreal. But our Nobel Peace prize winning Drone in chief could be, in the words of Thomas Freidman, ” the first sitting American president to visit Israel as a tourist.”
An even more cynical view was taken in a New York Times piece by Professor Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University that harshly criticizes Obama’s policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Toward the end of his first term, Mr. Obama essentially abandoned his already modest peacemaking agenda in exchange for a lull in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign for war with Iran. Palestine was again sacrificed, this time to bribe a belligerent Israel for temporary good behavior.
Obama will stand in front of the cameras in Israel and say the “Two-State Model” for Israel and Palestine is the only acceptable model for cohabitation and yet still pledge unyielding loyalty to our friend- the Apartheid occupier of state that is Israel. Friends should not let other friends colonize and brutally suppress and entire people, but perhaps the USA fears being the pot calling the kettle black if we dare get serious about the Imperial reach of Isreal.
If Obama were to live up the honor bestowed upon him by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, a group who – like US foreign policy- now seems to strike preemptively- he would not simply make his trip to Isreal a tourist trip with little or no consequence- he would say in ways public and private something along the lines of the following: Hey Bibi: Imagine a Free Palestinian people, and now make it happen- reverse your settlement drive in the west bank, Military might does not make a moral right- end the occupations now. A great mind and a deft politician of the likes we like to pretend Obama is, was or could be may even find a way to leverage this bold move of ending the Israeli occupations for a lasting peace with Iran.
What is that, I hear you saying, a nuclear-armed Iran would be catastrophic for the region and world peace? Perhaps- but putting aside the hubris of the only country in the world to ever get all Hiroshima and Nagasaki up in this joint on legislating the military morality of when where and who can swing their nuclear tipped disco sticks in the air like they just don’t care- the fact is that the claim that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability has as much merit, and is being pushed by the same fabricators and interpreters of so called intelligence as the “Iraq HAS Weapons of Mass Destruction” lie.
The death of Hugo Chavez has done little to soften the scorn lavished on him by the main stream media here in the United States- a few examples of editorial bias in recent days include the headline Death of a Demagogue” on Time’s home page March 6. As FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting) notes: “If world leaders were judged by the sheer volume of corporate media vitriol and misinformation about their policies, Chávez would be in a class of his own.”
On March 5 CNN host Anderson Cooper declared it was “the death of a world leader who made America see red, and NBC Nightly news Brian Williams said “The words ‘Venezuelan strongman’ so often preceded his name, and for good reason,” while on ABC World News (3/5/13), viewers were told that “many Americans viewed him as a dictator.”
The Boy Scouts of America’s leadership are considering whether or not to allow openly gay members within it’s ranks.
While it is not officially decided yet, the leadership of the organization will meet on Tuesday in Dallas where they are expected to approve a proposal that will allow local troops to decide for themselves whether or not to accept homosexual members or to continue to keep a chair firmly nudged under the doorknob of the closet it is currently keeping its gay members in.
Here is hoping that the Boy Scouts can not only find the moral fortitude to risk the financial backing of church and religious groups, but finds the courage and the wisdom to tell churches that they will not, in good conscience be able to accept money from religious groups who spread homophobia, hate and intolerance.
Among the gladiators hurling themselves across the field and at each other with a ferocity that will shorten expected lifespans- there will be a player who, in the privacy of his own home, has sex with other men.
Millions of Americans willfully suffer under the illusion that religious faith brings health, wealth and- I kid you not- Super Bowl victories. A recent study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that one-third of the United States believes that God plays a role in determining which team wins the Super Bowl.
Also, a majority – more than one in two- believe that God rewards individual athletes who are faithful to God with success.
In the age of the DVR and the internet, Super Bowl Sunday is America’s High Holy Day for advertisers. On no other day during the calendar year are more people in the United States sharing in the same common experience. Last year, 71 % of households who had a TV turned on were tuned into the big game. In an age with 9 thousand channels on your boob tube plus the endless nooks and crannies of the Internet, to produce a communal experience like the Super Bowl is a marvel. With so many people watching – and watching the commercials, what can we learn about ourselves by what advertisers are trying to sell us, and the tactics they use to get us to identify with their brand?
Right now, nearly 200 countries begin meetings in oil-and-gas-rich Qatar for annual talks on slowing global warming- and no, I am not quoting the Onion, I am quoting the AP, which goes on to sum up the effectiveness of the UN Climate Change conference by saying “The two-decade-old talks have not fulfilled their main purpose: reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are warming the planet.” (emphasis mine)
Why that qualifier still? It’s not as if, when describing a satellite picture of earth, the AP would say here is a picture of earth, which scientist say is not flat.
There is a scientific consensus on this. Human behavior is causing global warming. And I not talking about those lazy days when you get the Styrofoam cup at dunkin dougnuts instead of brining your canteen for them to fill up – it is the sheer volume of dunkin doughnuts in strip malls serving syburbs populated with big ass houses with cars that drive to many places to buy shit that we don’t need shipped in fropm all over the world at low low low basement bargain prices kept that way by a domineering military enforcing a global economic system of Imperialism and disaster capitalism.
Now, I don’t claim to be the brightest bulb in the world, but hosting a Climate Change conference in a country whose wealth depends on the global addiction to the greenhouse gas emitting, global climate crisis creating black sludge seems to be a bit counterintuitive, no? In actuality, the UN Climate Conference is in no hurry to slow global warming; instead one of the main stated goals of this year’s conference will be raising climate aid for poor countries at a time when budgets are strained by financial turmoil.
Tim Gore of Oxfam said developing countries, including island nations for whom rising sea levels pose a threat to their existence, stand before a “climate fiscal cliff.” And said “So what we need for those countries in the next two weeks are firm commitments from rich countries to keep giving money to help them to adapt to climate change,”
In summary: The parties to the conference have committed crimes against the environment that have and will continue to cause devastation of the ecological, moral and financial variety to the quote developing countries who have not the infrastructure to contribute in soddam gamora shit that us developed countries are visiting on the planet, so we will pay them reparations. We all agree that we owe them reparations, but we developed countries, lead by the United States– in addition to destroying the ecosystem are also straining to hold up the house of cards that is the global Hypercapitalist financial system, and we are thinking that things might get down right scary in a mad max kind of way so we might not prioritize helping the victims in developing countries who suffer or will suffer the homicidal side effects of our lifestyle.
Question, and again, I’m no expert on the subject, but is it possible that to save the planet the developed nations actually need to become, well, less developed?
Setting aside the statistically significant portion of those who would defend Israel’s Rumsfeldian named “Pillar of Defense” who think that the Old Testament is a real estate deed, those attempting to answer the question of whether Israel should be considered a terrorist state fall into roughly 3 categories:
1. Those who support Israel’s right to um, “defend” itself.
2. Those who think Israel should vacate their occupations and settlements and allow Palestinians the right to self-determination
3. Those who just think that violence is all so awful and it should just all go away.
A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza — beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably ‘defending itself’ — is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all. The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does.
Should you swim against the main stream and sympathize with the people in Gaza, Gilad Sharon, the son of former prime minister Ariel Sharon, wants you to consider this:
We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too. There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing.
One must tip their cap to the sophisticated rhetorical device Sharon employees in equating the way forward for Isreal with the grandest and most dramatic expression of US foreign policy. How can flattening Gaza be wrong, if Hiroshima and Nagasaki were so right? Flattening Gaza could even be viewed as humane, the way one kills a horse with a broken leg, by the portion of the world’s population that already accepts as matter of fact and morally justified the slow asphyxiation imposed on the 1.6 million Palestinians by Israel.
In the new global landscape, as in Israel’s occupied territories and the United States’ own imperial projects in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, massacres of thousands of defenseless innocents are labeled wars. Resistance is called a provocation, terrorism or a crime against humanity. The rule of law, as well as respect for the most basic civil liberties and the right of self-determination, is a public relations fiction used to placate the consciences of those who live in the zones of privilege.
What is happening in Gaza is not a war. You can call it apartheid, genocide, and you could certainly, and correctly in my book, call Israel, as they defy International law and almost 100 UN security resolutions calling for them to withdraw from occupied land — a terrorist state.
You could, and perhaps you should, go further in labeling the United States as not only as the Alpha terrorist state herself, but as a sponsor of the state terrorism of Israel for supplying military arms, aid, and a philosophy of Imperialism that gives birth to a double speak turning offense into defense quicker than the Israeli defense forces turn Palestinian children into corpses.
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