Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Bush Effect: The Activist Supreme Court Judges, Indiana and California, and Gibson, Tippecanoe and Alameda Counties

The title bar isn't really long enough. I should add to the title list: Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past. Still, that's not enough either. A title bar should, as briefly as possible, explain the article to follow and it's not long enough to do that. And, it's all because the Supreme Court's decision on January 21, 2010 turned the world you live in on its head. On that day, the Supreme Court said Corporations are human. They (corporations) have freedom of speech and can say and do anything they want in political campaigns and political proceedings, including smear a candidate, such as in the Hillary: The Movie, – anywhere. And, if you don't like it, they will bury you with their money. If they now have freedom of political speech, what's next? Will their lawyers go after the “truth in advertising” laws? Or, will they go after “truth in lending” laws, saying they have the “freedom” to do and say anything they want when lending you money?

I guess that if you voted for G. W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, or you generally vote Republican, then you're okay with the decision. I guess, too, that if you regularly pray the Prayer of Jabez, the so-called “Gospel of Prosperity” prayer, then you're okay with the decision because that prayer is prayed to become rich, to increase your holdings; the typical belief of corporate Christians. Republicans, as a general rule with few exceptions, haled the decision; they like that corporate money in their campaigns and from those lobbyists. Democrats, generally, disagreed with it; they believe individual citizens should be behind candidate contributions. I'm sure Presidents Reagan and Bush I agreed, too.

The 5-4 decision: Chief Justice Roberts (Bush II) and Justices Alito (Bush II), Kennedy (Reagan), Scalia (Reagan) and Thomas (the nut appointed by Bush I) wrote: “Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy – it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people – political speech mush prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence...” There's more, but this essentially gives corporations the right of free speech. Do you notice that all of these judges were appointed by Republican Presidents? Do you notice that G. W. Bush appointed the most recent two Justices and one is the Chief Justice? The Bush effect will live with us for a long time. Hey Massachusetts, dear God, who did you vote for? What was that? A brain fart?

Nobody can disagree with the statement Kennedy wrote, but who in their right mind will say that corporations “are human?” Corporations are “pieces of paper,” a document submitted to a state that “charters” a company. It is not born. And, who in their right mind will ever believe that a corporation will hold politicians “accountable.” That's a joke! A corporation has only one thing in mind: making a profit. It doesn't care about politicians' accountability and in fact usually takes advantage of corrupted officials for their own “profitable” benefit. Corporate lobbyist “use” easy politicians they can buy.

President Obama said: “With its ruling today, The Supreme Court has given the green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans... That's why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders and develop a forceful response to this decision.” I hope he can, but he's a David against a Goliath and everywhere he turns he has corporate interest against him. He won't win unless we, the people, get behind him. The “party of 'No'” likes the corporate money.

If you haven't thought the court's decision through, you may overlook who owns the corporations. Take British Petroleum (BP) for example. Do you like the idea that a British owned corporation now has the freedom to be in your political business? If BP wants an oil field in Iraq or Afghanistan, do you like the idea that BP lobbyist will give money to your congressman or woman to vote for war in those countries. What about Halliburton who makes billions from war? Do you like the idea that Halliburton's lobbyist will be giving money to your congressman for a vote for war? Did you know that Halliburton's headquarters is now in Dubai and Arabian Sheiks own large chunks of it? More than likely on its Board of Directors? How many non-citizens do you believe are on corporate boards who will now pressure your Congress members to do their will? A lot.

I'll bet you think the decision only effects national politics. Do you have a Toyota or Suzuki manufacturing plant nearby, in your state, county or city? Indiana and California and Gibson, Tippecanoe and Alameda counties, where I and several of my family members live, do. Who gave the money to the County Commissioners' and Council campaigns? And who pays for their perks, diners, trips to Japan, vacations to resorts, rental cars, and for union busting, etc.? Probably a corporation. Probably Toyota and Suzuki. Likely a corporation owned by foreign citizens or countries, such as the King of Saudi Arabia, or Chinese or Japanese billionaires. How do you like their nose in your business? Good luck with persuading them about American freedom, living wage, or even a job. The latest news on that is: They don't care. All they care about are laws that help them make money.

Corporations and their lobbyist have a huge advantage. The only way to come close to limiting corporate influence on our lives is to join a union and/or a political activist organization such as, or make your own activist group in your church and community. We will need to get a whole lot smarter about who is behind political advertisements and whose agenda we're following. We will have to boycott the company store that attempts to deceive us. This ain't our country anymore. It's corporate owned. A populist revolt might get it back... if we have enough money. We, you and I, are going to have to pay to fight back. And, for God's sake, stop voting Republican.


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