Saturday, January 30, 2010


The disastrous recent Supreme Court ruling that knocked down McCain-Feingold rests on the foundation of a single idea -- the idea that corporations are persons. This concept which has bedeviled this nation in many ways for many decades. As near as I can see, the only way to destroy that idea is via constitutional amendment.

There's a movement underway to rectify the situation. Start here and here.

I think this proposed new amendment will have surprising across-the-board populist appeal. Besides, won't it be fun to see the right-wingers try to come up with pseudo-populist arguments designed to convince you that corporations are persons? As you know, strained rationalization is my favorite form of humor.
Joseph, I checked those organizations and they do not go far enough. An animal, a tree, rivers and mountains do not have constitutional rights. Their rights and protection are limited to what the legislative branch has granted them. I want the same for corporations. I want an amendment that clearly states that corporations are not persons, but entities with limited rights as spelled by law, not the U.S. Constitution. I will support a movement that goes along with my views. Corporations giving money to politicians is only part of the problem.
I agree that much care needs to be taken with the wording. Obviously, we can't have an amendment which can be construed to deny a corporation in the media business its right to free expression.

In other countries there is a distinction in law between an "artificial person" and a natural person. A corporation is an artificial person, in that in can be be sued, it pays taxes and so forth. However, natural persons have more rights than do artificial persons.

I think that is the direction in which we should head.
I think this is wrong-the logical next step is to start a movement to demand full human rights for corporations-including the right to marry a corporation .

It's terribly unfair and most likely against some god's wishes that all these money drenched corporations have to live their perpetual lives in splendid solitude and I for one would be more than willing to be a happy and loving spouse to IBM or Microsoft-well I always attract dysfunctional corps. so more like GM-but I think we need to accept progress and move forward and let people know that corporations are now just as human as you and me.
I agree. I thought the SCOTUS ruling was obscene, even if legally correct [which is the argument I keep hearing]. In fact, I thought one of the better moments during the State of the Union Address was the President's remarks on the ruling. I don't give a fig if it was bad form or not and was glad to see Alito squirm. The last thing we need is the floodgates opened to multinationals. The whole idea of corporations having "personhood" is repugnant. This recent ruling seems a grotesque extension of that. It needs to be stopped.
Just in case this amendment idea goes nowhere, which will probably be the case, how much do you suppose it costs to set up a corporation?
I've been talking about us being in the midst of a White House Coup for a long time. This is only another step in their plans. Realize that this Coup is similar to what happened in 1933 with the Business Plot only that time it failed. The Coup in large part is being paid by the sale of major durg distribution sales Wold Wide.

Marty Didier
Northbrook, IL
This looks dangerous. I'm with the first Anonymous on this one.

Second petition states:

"Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights."

But if a citizen's money is no longer speech, the effect of this amendment would be to limit free speech for people.

This kind of petition is a hack-job that was not thought through properly.

Good intentions are welcome, but they are not sufficient.

-3rd Anonymous
Moore has dug out of a South Carolina archive a piece of film buried away 66 years ago because it threatened to rock the foundations of the capitalist system as Americans now know it.

President Franklin D Roosevelt was ailing. Too ill to make his 1944 state of the nation address to Congress, he instead broadcast it by radio. But at one point he called in the cameras, and set out his vision of a new America he knew he would not live to see.

Roosevelt proposed a second bill of rights to guarantee every American a job with a living wage, a decent home, medical care, protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness and unemployment, and, perhaps most dangerously for big business,
freedom from unfair monopolies.
He said that "true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence".

The film was quickly locked away.

"The next week on the newsreels – and we've gone back and researched this – they didn't run that," said Moore.
"They talked about other parts of his speech, the war. Nothing about this.The footage became lost.
When we called the Roosevelt presidential library and asked them about it they said it wasn't filmed.
His own family told us it wasn't filmed.
" Moore's team scoured the country without luck until they were given a tip about a collector connected to the university of South Carolina.

The university didn't have anything archived under FDR's speeches that fitted, but there were a couple of boxes from that week in 1944.

"We pop it in.
It was all there. We had tears in our eyes watching it.
For 65 years not a single American saw that speech, not one.
I decided right then that we're going to fulfil Roosevelt's wishes that the American people see him saying this.
Of all the things in the film, probably I feel most privileged that I get to share this. I get to give him his stage."
It's a powerful moment not only because it offers an alternative view of American values rarely spoken of today – almost all of which would be condemned as rampant socialism – but also an interesting reference point with which to compare the more restrained ambitions of the Obama administration.

sorry for the big cut and paste, and the somewhat off topic, but this is huge. Hope Joe can make a blog entry out of it, it deserves spreading.
Corporations are definitely not white people. So if we don't allow them their full personhood, then we're racists, right?

And WHO does Barbra Streisand think she is?


Corporations who are people,
Are the LOUSIEST people in the world
Non- persons, nasty fat non-persons
And looking for a place to hide
Hide all the loot inside
Acting more like non-persons than non-persons
Corporations are very special people
They're the lousiest people in the world
They're one person one very special person
A feeling deep in their soul
You get hunger and thirst
But NOT corporations who are people
Corporations who are people
Are the lousiest people in the world.
A Constitutional amendment will take too long, since it could be lobbied and advertised against with billions of dollars, potentially, all along the procedurally required steps.

I think some of the legislative fixes are necessary in the meantime, and may be sufficient.

I doubt there are many corporations of enough size and clout to do this that do no contract with the US government, for example. Creating a new statutory rule that any corporation contracting with the US government cannot do these kinds of advertising ploys would go a long way.

Is there a reason you did not post my comment when I first made it? is there a problem? Do oyu disagree that strongly?

"With all due deference to the separation of powers," Obama said, in his SOTU, “the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests - including foreign corporations - to spend without limit in our elections"

Obama should know about floodgates opening from both special interests and foreign sources in American elections. Heaven only knows he received a lot of money from overseas in his bid to win the White House. Some people and corporations who donated online had mighty strange names like ‘mgvfrn ry,’ etc. This is a classic pot calling the kettle black. (is that racist?) This is pure classic Obama.

The amendment idea is not a bad one. It would be very difficult to achieve, especially given the make up of Congress. But I think we the people should try. I am all for trying to make Congress the people’s house once again and throwing out all the money lenders.
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