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.”
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.”
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.
It is estimated that 90 million eligible votes will sit out this election. While there are small handfuls that articulate principled stances against voting, the overwhelming majority is part of an epidemic of indifference or self-imposed impotence.
I am writing to ask that you speak a public truth: that the 2004 Presidential Election was stolen. I request, Senator, that you speak this truth out loud in public before the 2012 election. I’m inspired to write you this open letter after reading the words of David Swanson, who wrote on this subject recently:
“If anything disgusts me more than the false charade of democracy distracting most of my fellow citizens from the struggle to develop actual democracy, it is death bed confessions. I don’t want to ever hear one from John Kerry. I hope that he may live many more years. But when he dies, I don’t want to hear any Robert McNamara-like truth telling spilling out of his horse like face. I want to hear it now, this week, prior to the 2012 election. I want it out there preemptively. I want people prepared to look for election fraud. And I want candidates prepared to point to it if it appears, big as life, staring us all in the face as it did eight years ago.”
Why speak out about 2004 now? Because there is growing evidence that Mitt Romney is planning a Bush –Cheney like power grab by defrauding voters and stealing the election. As Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman report:
“Despite an almost total blackout from the corporate media, the Romney family has a personal ownership (through the investment firms Solamere and H.I.G. Capital) in Hart Intercivic, which owns, maintains, programs and will tabulate alleged votes on machines in the critical swing states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Colorado. Despite various official disclaimers, the election could be decided on Hart machines producing ‘vote counts’ with little connection to how 18 million people actually voted. It is inconceivable that the Romney chain of ownership in Hart Intercivic will not influence how that goes. … [T]here is no legally binding way by which a professionally rigged electronic vote count can be overturned or even definitively discovered except through the use of unabridged but legally inconsequential exit polling. Scytl, a Barcelona-based e-voting company, has been contracted to count votes in 26 states through the easily rigged Federal Overseas Voting Program. FVAP is ostensibly geared to let military and other overseas Americans vote absentee by electronic means. But Scytl is positioned to intercept and redistribute such overseas electronic votes as needed through its spyware sister company, CarrierIQ. In a close race, these ‘votes’ can be distributed at will to make the difference in critical swing states. Other key voting machine companies, such as ES&S, Dominion, Command Central and more, are controlled by major corporations, some of whose owners are outspoken in their support for the Republican Party. … Republicans hold the governorships in the nine critical swing states of Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico and Arizona. They also hold the secretaries of state offices in all of those states but Wisconsin. Electronically flipping the vote count in any or all of them, with Hart Intercivic, Scytl, Dominion or other technologies, can be done quickly, simply and invisibly, with no public recourse.”
For most people the idea that elections could be stolen here in the United States, a place we like to think of as the beacon of freedom and democracy for the rest of the world is purely relegated to the world of koo-koo banana tin foil hat conspiracy theory territory. However, as you well know, in 2004 the votes of 300,000 Ohio residents were flipped in the dead of night. A 4% Kerry lead turned into a 2% Bush victory.
Senator Kerry, you should know that I did not vote for you when you ran for president in 2004, I voted for Ralph Nader.
Now don’t let that cloud your judgment. And don’t feed me that “Ralph Nader is the reason Bush –Cheney won in 2000 and the whole world went on the fast track to the end of times argument.” Ralph Nader did not take my vote- or anyone’s vote away from Al Gore, in 2000. Ralph Nader earned my vote. And Al Gore, as charming as his Saturday Night appearances were, never earned it. But that is beside the point, isn’t it?
Because the 2000 election was stolen. No one should know that better you Senator Kerry, because in 2004, the election was stolen from you. What is it, exactly, that is keeping you from telling the world what you told investigative journalist Marc Crispin Miller back in 2005, that you knew the 2004 election was stolen from you? Is your silence and acquiescence now part of what makes you a “good Democrat”?
As you well know, by 2000 the Democrats and the Republicans had already conspired to squelch debate and consolidate power. After the League of Women voters allowed Ross Perot on the debate stage (remember Ross Perot?) –the duopoly that you fully embrace and protect entered into a Faustian bargain with the Commission on Presidential Debates – and so now independent and third party candidates don’t get heard, real issues don’t get addressed, and the American Empire is now engaged in spending its final chapters upholding the façade of democracy, liberty and freedom.
Senator Kerry, you have had a long career. You lack not for material wealth. Do the right thing. Tell us your story – before the 2012 election- of how the 2004 election was stolen. You could choose silence on this matter and prove something far worse: that you are protecting a system that props up a United States that is as interested in preserving, advancing and championing democracy as Hitler was interested in preserving, advancing and championing Hanukkah.
We have the capacity to communicate . And that capacity just expanded dramatically. Because we now have a film of our own.
This is not amateur hour. This is a movie as well made, in technical terms, as any Hollywood blockbuster with Pentagon funding. But this is a movie with us in it. I don’t mean our little group of activist friends. I mean us, the people of this country, our stories, our hardships, our triumphs, our injustices, our tragedies, our humor. This is radically different from what you’ll see at your local movie theater. (emphasis mine)
In addition to submitting this to various film festivals, I have decided to make the entire feature length available for free. If you enjoy it, please share it.
more at www.Occudoc.org
written, directed & produced by Dennis Trainor, Jr
Associate producer, co-editor, graphics & titles, Aj Russo
ABOUT THE FILM
What would a world look like that had a culture and an economic system that places human need above corporate greed, and how do we bring that world into being? Who cares what it is called. Call it Socialism, Call it Real Democracy Now, and Call it Chunky-Monkey-Cherry Garcia. The world needs to change radically, it needs to change dramatically, and it needs to change fast.
American Autumn: an Occudoc is an invitation for you to participate in that positive change.
With interviews and insight from key organizers, thinkers and activists including Medea Benjamin, David Degraw, Dr. Margaret Flowers, Lee Camp, Naomi Klein, Nathan Schneider, Ashley Sanders, Vlad Teichberg, Sgt. Shamar Thomas, Dr. Cornel West, Kevin Zeese and many more, writer/ director Dennis Trainor Jr weaves commentary and a fearless style that often puts the viewer right between police and protesters.
The film includes an original score by Goldi (an OWS occupier himself and key member of Guitarmy) with additional original music created by Mike Lawrence-Yanicelli.
The legendary punk band FUGAZI supplied additional songs.
This morning, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that the 1996 law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman – the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional because it deprives gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples.
Oh, how I do enjoy the culture wars where victories mean we don’t have to kill people – like in actual wars – we just get to kill knuckle dragging, regressive ideas.
If you are among the minority of people who feels that marriage (as defined legally) should consist of a union between a man and a woman, know that public opinion is shifting so fast on this issue that soon enough you’ll be forced into the closet with your views.
And in the closet you can stay.
If it gets too lonely in the closet, you might occasionally venture out, under the cover of night where maybe you can cruise the park and find other hate mongers to commiserate with, and the anonymous, fleeting nature of your exchange might save you from the ridicule of your peers, who have jumped onto the wave of progress and are threatened not by the intimate acts and lifelong commitments between consenting adults.
If your argument for denying rights to homosexuals rests on any scholarship found in a book of laws written by an all knowing creator of the universe, then fine- bully for you- I’m sure there is a club of like people in your neighborhood where a man in a dress who has taken a vow of celibacy (alter boys don’t count!) will join you and yours in holy matrimony- and that is just great- nobody is taking that blessed event away from you.
But after you do your thing in the church, it isn’t legal until you go to court and sign a contract.
The argument that if Adam and Steve can be openly and legally married will somehow tarnish the integrity of their neighbors hetero marriage is part of a broader picture wherein people cling to an idealized picture of the world that recalls Norman Rockwell, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and the smell of moth balls. It was a simpler time, right before the 1st season of MAD MEN, where women did what they were told, and men did whatever they wanted and gay people did their best to become invisible. Sure, some of had an aunt Edna, who moved away and lived with her “friend” Alice but they never went anywhere as a couple, did they?
There are many who were killed because they were gay. Matthew Sheppard was beaten, tortured and strung up on a fence and left there to die because a real man was so enraged that he was gay. The defenders of the defenders of marriage act may never give physical agency to that kind of rage, but their brand of hatred springs from the same putrid, poisoned well. If you are infected with this rage, if you are foolish enough to defend the defense of marriage act my advice to you is keep it in the closet.
Imagine if John McCain had won the 2008 election and a New York Times article revealed that McCain was sitting in the oval office lording over collection of mug shots and bios, not unlike a baseball card collection or a high school yearbook, that amounted to a kill list? A list of targets, among them teenagers and several American citizens, that the president was personally signing off and ordering their execution. These subjects have been charged with no crime, and would never receive a day in court, but with the stroke of a pen from the President, the most powerful military in the world would now draw a bull’s-eye on your back where it would remain until you were pulverized and rendered food for worms.
If those actions could be attributed to a President McCain, Nancy Pelosi would be bum rushing every MSNBC show she could get herself on apoplectic with indignation, Mike Meyers would host Saturday Night Live and do a rendition of McCain as Dr. Evil and Moveon.org would have the entire slacktivist universe signing e-petition after e-petition. A few people might even take to the streets.
President McCain, however, is guilty of no such crime, but President Barack Obama is. Even the stunning May 29th New York Times report by Jo Becker and Scott Shane would surely have taken a more condemning tone had the president been a Republican. Instead the report seems to credit Obama for finding grey areas and legal loopholes wherein he can twist rhetorical knots that both please the moveon.org crowd and leave room for him to act like gang lord whose silent nod would send hit men out into the night to snuff out a rival.
These legal grey areas are so convoluted that the White House can claim that collateral deaths, (or to put a finer point on it: innocent people killed by drone strikes in a country that has not attacked us and poses no threat to us) are in the single digits because Obama, the legal expert, has redefined combatant to mean any male of legal age within striking distance of the target. That means if Obama wants you dead, and our drone strike kills you and the ten people around you, whoosh – all of those corpses are classified as combatants, so sleep tight with a clean conscience y’all because no innocent civilians died in the never ending war on terror today.
I can’t wait to see the Presidential debate on foreign policy. Romney is gonna have to promise that the US will save the world from the impending intergalactic invasion of the Transformers, or go all defcon 5 to outdo Obama, who – on matters relating to the global war on terror- has mindfully charged well to the right of the homicidal idiot from Texas whom we all thought was as bad as it could get.
MyFDL is the community site of progressive political blog Firedoglake. Anyone can participate by writing a diary, commenting on others’ diaries, or joining groups to find other people in your area. Content posted to MyFDL is the opinion of the author alone, and should not be attributed to Firedoglake.