LEADERSHIP, DISCIPLINE, AND DEMOCRACY IN OUR MOVEMENT
Some leaders of Wisconsin Move to Amend have just publicly announced that they are dis-affiliating from the national Move to Amend organization, and they are forming a new organization which they are calling “United to Amend”. The reasons for this action are not clear to me, and the reasons that I have been given are, on their face, not sufficient to fragment this so important, strong and growing non-partisan, truly grassroots Movement, which has such widespread public support. (more…)
The MOVI Group and the DNC are actively promoting this summer (in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin this week, and throughout the United States) a Constitutional Amendment that waves the flag, “Money is Not Speech“ before our eyes and the media cameras, but has completely disappeared the flag, “A Corporation is Not a Person“. Yet our non-partisan Movement of the People, based on both of these principles and demands, has been growing and strengthening for years (despite a near complete corporate media blackout). (more…)
For a pioneering revolutionary document that established a democratic republic ten or 12 generations ago, it is surprising how little the U.S. Constitution explicitly talks about “the People”. This founding document shaped the clear outlines and principles of a new and independent government that was to be of, by, and for the people, while hardly mentioning the word, “People”. The key word “People“ appears once in the single ringing sentence known to all as the Preamble. And then it appears only one more time in all of the seven Articles which follow the Preamble sentence. (more…)
On the historic occasion of Independence Day and Juneteenth, 2014, with honor and deep respect for the U.S. Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the Abolition of Slavery, the Equal Rights of all Persons, and the Planet of our birth which has nurtured life and beauty for so long, here is submitted a statement of truth bearing importantly on the evolution and development of government that is of, by, and for the people. May we today be equal to the great task now before us of ensuring that that government shall not perish from the earth. And may we also, and thereby, become equal to what is likely the most dangerous challenge that humankind has ever faced thus far during our entire existence on Earth – a challenge that we ourselves have created, through technology and civilization – the consequences of our own cleverness and industry.
Instead of the absolutely corrupted election process that has evolved in Wisconsin and the nation, selection of state and federal legislators by lottery from among qualified electors would far better serve our state and country. (more…)
The corporate controlled government, those in charge of both corporate controlled political parties, and the corporate controlled mass media, all continue to refuse to even make a pretense of discussing publicly, much less seriously considering, the obvious, clear and simple solution to the health care crisis in America. (more…)
Corporations and the super-rich now control both political parties, and all three branches of government in the USA, both state and federal. The two parties have established and enforced rules and legislation, which give them an exclusive monopoly, but which also prevents the people from obtaining government that represents and serves us best, even though we the people should be sovereign in a democratic republic. The two party lock permits complete corporate control of government simply because all that extremely rich and powerful corporations and individuals (and their associations) have to do is control those two parties. And that is exactly what they do.
“Corporations v. Persons : The Struggle that Will Define the 21st Century”
Actually, the struggle is even more serious than that.
It is corporations v. life as we have come to know it on Planet Earth.
It is corporate rule v. democracy and a bright future.
The central objective of “Move to Amend” is to amend the U.S. Constitution to establish that:
(1) Corporations do not have Constitutional rights – a corporation is not a person in the meaning of the U.S. Constitution; and
(2) Bribery will no longer be legalized in the USA – Money used to influence government policy, actions, officials, and elections is not protected as “free speech” and can be regulated.
Certain groups and individuals have attached to this Movement of the People, while simultaneously diluting and compromising it by instead asserting that the objective is to “defeat citizens united” and to “get money out of politics”. They seek to return to the status quo and restore certain inadequate “campaign finance reforms” that existed prior to 2010. That objective can do no more than return America to the corruption, the legalized bribery, and the corporate control of government that already prevailed then, and had long been frustrating our best efforts. (more…)
A Note of Respect and Gratitude to Debbie O’Dell Seneca, President Judge Emeritus of the Washington County, PA. Court of Common Pleas, for her Ruling in a Case involving Damages Suffered by Families due to “Fracking” (Extraction of Natural Gas) done by a Corporation:
Please accept my congratulations for your recent courageous ruling that a corporation does not possess Constitutional rights, and for asserting that, if corporations could claim Constitutional rights, then corporations would become a “… legal fabrication superior to the law that created and sustains it”.
I share with many people a deep concern about the struggle that will define the 21st Century – Corporations v. Persons. I have studied and, from time to time, written about this struggle for more than a decade, and a little over two years ago I finally felt impelled to personally dig into the tap root of the problem and closely examine an underlying question: “What, specifically, is in the U.S. Constitution that would allow a Supreme Court Justice to conclude that a corporation legitimately possesses the rights that are defined there as being the rights of a person?” I found an answer that has been overlooked for too long, and to our peril.
A proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1) to establish that a corporation is not a person, in the meaning of the Constitution, and (2) to establish that money is not equivalent to Constitutionally protected speech, and (3) to protect the sovereignty and the unalienable rights of the people under this Constitution.
One of the two key citations in the Constitution bearing on whether a corporation is a ‘person’ under the Constitution is the 14th Amendment, which contains four sentences employing the word “person[s]” – (the two sentences that constitute section 1, and the opening sentences in each of sections 2 and 3). The 14th Amendment was cited in the preface to an 1886 Supreme Court case. This preface was later exploited to massively rewrite corporate law using the unjustifiable legal theory that a corporation is a Constitutional ‘person’.
Is there any truth in the legal theory that a corporation possesses, by authority of the U.S. Constitution, any of the inherent, unalienable rights of a person? (more…)
What is Occupy Wall Street and the growing Global Occupation all about? In three words, I’d suggest that in the United States it’s about, “Wake Up, America!” It is up to the 99 percent to get up, stand up – take back our rights, our lives, the future, and all that we cherish.
“Who are the leaders of this protest demonstration and what are their demands?”
Have you ever wondered what possessed members of the Supreme Court to determine that a corporation is a “person”, according to the Constitution? Which passages in the U.S. Constitution (including Amendments) could certain Supreme Court Justices have construed to support their determination (in contrast to common understanding and general usage) that a corporation possesses the rights that are explicitly defined for a “person” in the Constitution? Having researched and written about the consequences of this determination several times over the last decade, I became interested and finally compelled to get to this root of the problem. And so I once again studied the Constitution and its Amendments. But this time, I searched in particular for an answer to the question of how in the world anyone can conclude that a corporation possesses the specific Constitutional rights that are described there as belonging to a “person”.
I began by locating and highlighting certain words in the text (such as “corporation”, “company”, “person[s]”, “citizen[s]”, and “people”). Then I studied the context in which those words appear. My search was productive, with results that were startling, informative, and actually simple to comprehend and to share with you.
My ol’ huntin’ partners, Sid D. Complex and Jesse B. Simple, and I were enjoying a couple beers together this Spring. Jess had just boggled my mind with one of his astute observations on the human condition. So I was trying to appear calm, and in full possession of my faculties while feeling more than usually uncertain and unbalanced.
Sid handled the silence that followed by deftly changing the subject. ‘Know what?’ inquired Sid. ‘The word “Person(s)” appears in the U.S. Constitution 22 times. And that same word pops up 27 times in the Constitutional Amendments (which is more than once per Amendment). I know because I counted. But, the word “corporation(s)” doesn’t appear even once in the U.S. Constitution or in any Amendment. What the hell is all this noise about the Supreme Court declaring that a corporation is a person? That’s just plain nuts. A corporation doesn’t bleed, it can’t have kids, a corporation ain’t a person, anybody knows that.’
Smart-as-a-whip Jess came right back, without even pausing to take a deep breath or whet his whistle. (more…)
The “Citizens United Inc. v. Federal Elections Commission“ ruling in the first month of 2010 represents “Strike Three” called against the U.S. Supreme Court.
The current proposals for health care reform that the Congress is considering are fatally flawed due to the massive harmful influence of the for-profit sickness industry conglomerates, including the insurance corporations. These corporations have controlled and dictated the reform legislation being considered by the Democratic Party. And these corporations have also fueled and controlled the virulent organized opposition to any meaningful health care reform that continues to be mounted by the Republican Party.
What has happened with regards to the deepening health care crisis is a symptom of what is deeply wrong with governance in America. Politicians of only two political parties occupy virtually all elected offices in state and national government. And corporations, with their PACs, simultaneously flood both major parties, and elected officials of both parties with massive campaign “donations” and, on top of that, billions of dollars, annually, for lobbying “access” and pressure on government officials.
The problem with that is that the two major political parties in the United States are in thrall to huge corporations and the super-rich, and have decided to depend, first and foremost, on their money and support.
In return, the corporations and the super-rich expect BOTH parties to defend and advance corporate interests.
And they understand and expect that the two parties will jockey for political advantage while doing so.
All of the grassroots efforts for the substantive, effective health care reform that is so needed by American families, have been attacked – for months, for years, and for decades – by insurance corporations, by their corporate allies, and now by crass strategists within both major political parties. Much of the lavishly funded incessant attack has been stealthy and subliminal. A health care crisis has thus materialized and been getting worse fast.
The words “public option”, have received overwhelming public support in national polls (be sure to see this article analyzing those polls) this year when contrasted with the status quo in health care. However, the proposed public option plan(s) proved vulnerable to certain attacks from the professional spin-meisters who are working to derail any substantive health care reform. Here are three of the most effective PR attacks recently made on “public option” health care reform efforts. The response that is necessary concludes this essay.
The President made an excellent and moving speech to the people and a joint session of Congress on September 9. However, following the money appears to be the only way to find an explanation for certain failures, omissions, and commissions in the President’s otherwise inspiring speech, in the speech and actions of the great majority of “our” legislators of both major parties, and in the news “coverage” by the mass media.
Probably the same sort of person who is not certain what the future holds for her family, or who worries at times about the fine print in whatever health insurance policy currently “covers” them.
There are 3 serious consequences of the huge mistake or betrayal made by “public option” spokespersons, exemplified locally by Wisconsin Citizen Action, and nationally by Move-On, among others, when they declared that the single-payer solution was “off-the-table”. (more…)
The healthcare your family needs is based on medical necessity, as determined by health professionals chosen by you, without interference from health care system administrators.
The healthcare your family member deserves (in today’s lingo) is based on the fine print in a contract with an insurance corporation, the business decisions made by an employer, and the money, status, and family assets remaining that are available to the person needing health care.
The question facing us is, “Should America’s health care system provide health care to families that they need, or should it provide health care that individuals deserve?”
Administration and management of our health care system by insurance corporations, based on business decisions made by employers, is irrational, inefficient, wasteful, and costly. It results in unnecessary suffering and loss of life. (more…)
There are 5 prevalent myths we need to overcome, and 3 basic principles on which we can agree, in order to stand solidly on the high ground while defending our health care rights. It’s now up to you and me. No one else will do it for us. We owe it to our family, our country, and ourselves. (more…)
The Wisconsin state legislature will have many contested elections in November. Three out of four Assembly seats will have more than one name on the ballot and be worth voting in, and nine of the 16 state senate seats listed in the general election will have more than one name on the ballot. In particular, the counties of Ozaukee and Washington, long dominated by the Republican Party (and long conceded by the state Democratic Party) have a unique and historic campaign season and election ahead. Fully SIX of the state legislature seats currently occupied by The Ruling Party in Ozaukee and Washington counties are being challenged in the general election. We haven’t had this kind of choice for generations. This is more than merely newsworthy. It is historic. What is fueling this upset of the status quo?
Let’s spotlight two cases where the U.S. Supreme Court legislated from the bench and violated common sense and our shared values. Next we’ll see what our state legislators have (or have not) done recently to arrest and restrain the government corruption that resulted. We’ll look at where the problem is most festering. And there is one important legislative step that is needed right now. Let’s get er done. By the way, there’s a scoop here, too, with news of three grassroots candidates for election to the state legislature, working to expose and unseat some of the very worst of the “Public Enemies” to be described below.
The recent Wisconsin Supreme Court election holds great portent for the integrity, impartiality, and independence of the judiciary, not only in Wisconsin, but throughout the country, in both federal and state systems. Anonymous phony issue ad groups have dominated recent Supreme Court elections and appointments. These groups have found a loophole that defeats and makes a mockery of laws intended to prevent the courts from becoming partisan political battlegrounds, and intended to prevent big moneyed interests from determining who can become a judge in America. (more…)
The April Fool 2008 Wisconsin Supreme Court election campaign was publicly conducted as an anti-criminal crusade. The contest was framed as between a law-and-order challenger and a liberal, criminal coddling incumbent. But honest, intelligent people across the political spectrum who have closely observed recent Supreme Court elections know that the real contest was about something else.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court election Tuesday, April 1, pits incumbent Justice Louis Butler against challenger Judge Michael Gableman in a critically important election. But it’s being smeared with distortions and misrepresentations. And secretive groups with very deep pockets threaten to take control of justice.
Do you know whether your state legislators voted (or intend to vote) to protect the integrity, independence, and impartiality of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and its decisions? This brief article has answers.
Sid. D. Complex was skinning and butchering the deer carcass that had frozen while hanging in his shed, when I stopped by for a visit, and that perennial sheepshead champ, Jess B. Simple, was being careful not to needle him for his procrastination.
“So,” I opened, deftly avoiding controversy, “who d’ya wanna see win the elections this year?”
All people need health care to achieve, maintain, and (if necessary) restore health. Health insurance is not health care.
The problems we have with our health care system (high cost, and gatekeepers that deny treatment, restrict choice, and discourage proper care) cannot be corrected with our current health insurance apparatus.
Just as private mercenary corporations have no incentive to prevent or end war, and private prison/security corporations have no incentive to reduce crime and recidivism outside their walls, so private health insurance corporations have no incentive to approve needed health care. The primary competitive incentive of the health insurance industry is to cut costs and increase profits by restricting and denying health care to those that will or do need it.
We can no longer afford, private health insurance corporations controlling health care and deciding who can and cannot get what treatment, when, and from which doctors. Keeping the insurance apparatus we have results in the U.S. having by far, the highest per capita cost of health care, and the worst health care outcomes in the industrialized world. It’s incredible, but true, that we all pay more than universal comprehensive health care would cost, in order to let the insurance and managed care corporations “just say no” to needed health care. Letting those profiteering gatekeepers say “No” to health care for some doesn’t save us money. It costs us money – and it harms our health.
It’s about values –
marketplace values and the value of certain investments, versus human values, family values and the value of life and health. Which side are YOU on?
The Wisconsin state Assembly budget proposal cuts needed services while simultaneously increasing the state deficit, compared with the Senate budget proposal. The Assembly increases taxes on individuals, at the same time it disdains an opportunity to save Wisconsin businesses and individuals over one billion dollars annually while mounting a significant reform to correct the health care crisis. (more…)
“It never ceases to amaze me, the amount of energy that can go into a project just to avoid doing the right thing… But follow the money and you’ll find why the politicians don’t like it.”
Jack Lohman, retired Wisconsin business owner and author.
The proven fact that single-payer comprehensive universal health care costs LESS than does our current method of administering and managing health care carries an important and unsettling implication. Those who oppose single-payer universal health care cannot claim they do so on the grounds that we can’t afford it. Politicians and media pundits who imply or state that are either inexcusably ignorant (and they should be tossed out of the responsible job they have), or they are simply lying (and should be imprisoned for fraud).
F. James Sensenbrenner has been a professional politician since college. He’s been a state senator and our Representative from the 5th Congressional District since then. And he has accumulated a personal fortune of more than ten million dollars. He has very large holdings in drug and insurance companies, as well as in banks, military contractors, the oil industry, and media conglomerates. His largest holdings, not counting Kimberly-Clark, are in three giant pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute introduced its latest citizen survey with a big bang. Only 5% of Wisconsinites now believe that the ethics of our state legislators is better than in the past, while 42% believe that our state legislators ethics have gotten worse. Only 6% of Wisconsinites believe that elected officials represent the actual interests of their constituents, while 87% believe that elected state officials represent their OWN interests and/or what WPRI termed “special interests”. The percentages represented by 5 and 6 percent have never been so low, and the percentages represented by 42 and 87 percent have never been so high. The report concludes, “Unfortunately, Wisconsin citizens are clearly saying that they think lobbyists have much more influence than they (citizens) do, and that is negatively affecting the ethics in state government.”
From 1970 thru the turn of the century, the United States economy more than doubled, adjusted for inflation, while the population increased less than 40%. For each dollar generated per person in the 1970 economy, about $1.40 was produced in 2001. In spite of that, the average family today does 20 more weeks of paid labor than it did in 1975, and eighty percent of America did not get ahead during the last three decades. A person under 25 years of age at the turn of this century made about $2 less per day, on average, than someone the same age did way back in 1973. (All comparative figures in this column are adjusted for inflation.) Over the last 30 years, the average American salary has just kept pace with the official rate of inflation. So what’s going on? Where did that 40% per capita increase in the U.S. economy, that productivity go?
Taxes are a compelling topic for most of us…First, who got the bright idea of cutting taxes, just when the budget is leaping deep into deficits, the economy is bouncing downhill, and hundreds of thousands of American troops are committed to worldwide preemptive war? Tax cuts during wartime? That’s a new one. This idea was obviously not concocted by a fiscal conservative, unless he wandered through the Looking Glass after winking and cooking the books at Enron or Harken.
The solution to the problems I outlined in Part I that confront Americans regarding our medical care system is simple and proven. We need Universal National Health Insurance that is:
(1) Universal – all Americans would be fully and uniformly covered; no tiers for “commoners”, the elite, and the uninsured.
(2) Portable – coverage stays the same regardless of changes in employment, residence, age or marital status.
(3) Accessible – medical services would be covered from any provider anywhere…no “preferred” providers.
(4) Comprehensive – no denial of care for “pre-existing” conditions, no “pre-approval” of treatment, no exclusions, no cut-off ceilings.
(5) Publicly administered – Oversight of effectiveness would be provided by public scrutiny, the democratic process and medical professional review, rather than by corporate CEOs, accountants and their desire to maximize profits, dominate the market and rake in millions in bonuses, stock options, and golden parachutes.
Since “free trade” policies got rolling, and the World Trade Organization, run by and for trans-national corporations, has taken powers formerly reserved to elected governments, the quantity of international shipping, by train, truck, plane and ship has skyrocketed. Ships can be owned by anyone, but even most of those that are owned by American corporations are not inspected or documented by the United States. This of course is because it costs more to comply with U.S. safety and pollution and labor regulations than it does to register a ship with a “flag of convenience” nation.
We have been taught since childhood to disrespect governments that hold meaningless elections, marked by intimidation, in which officials are unopposed for “re-election”, there is only one viable political party, and the citizens, especially the youth, are fed monochromatic propaganda and are never exposed to a vigorous debate on the important issues of the day. When this situation obtains in other lands, we call it a sham of democracy and a hallmark of despots. What about when it occurs here in Ozaukee County?
Most people working for a paycheck assume that whenever money changes hands, it’s taxed. Each dollar of wages is taxed at least three times before we even get it – once for payroll tax, once for federal income tax, once for state income tax. Businesses pay tax after expenses are deducted. Workers pay tax before expenses. Most expenses a worker has are not deductible, and those that are deductible are computed at a lower rate than business expenses. For example, farmworkers are not allowed to deduct work related travel expenses to follow the crops, while corporate directors and executives can deduct lavish expenses for meetings in exotic settings. That’s downright mean policy.