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Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
U.S. Supreme Court Nails Down the Coffin of Democracy
January 22, 2010
The majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices see no difference between citizens and corporations when it comes to the Constitutional right of free speech, and they did nothing to change the legal precedent that equates "speech" and "money." With their ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 5:4 majority of Justices has cleared the decks for unrestricted corporate campaign donations and political advertising. Individual U.S. citizens can no longer have a hope of competing in political influence with cash-rich organizations, corporations and unions.
To build their case, the Supreme Court relies on wrong-headed precedents it set during the robber baron age of this country, when the Court was the handmaiden for powerful corporate interests. It perverted the intent of the Civil War-era Constitutional Amendments designed to free and empower former (male) slaves, giving those persons short shrift while elevating corporations to "citizenship" status and according them the rights and privileges thereof. From that point on, corporations ran roughshod over this nation until they were brought to heel (somewhat, anyway) following the Great Depression.
Prior to the robber baron era, corporate charters in the U.S. were granted by states for particular purposes for limited time periods, and the corporations served at the pleasure of the states. They have come to be permitted to exist in perpetuity, extending their activities to as broad a scope as they wish, and expanding (or contracting) pretty much at will. Today's corporations have no patriotism or loyalty; they operate all over the world, avoiding taxes and regulations wherever they can. Corporations that operate within the U.S. but are registered elsewhere (Panama or Bermuda, anyone?) surely cannot be considered "citizens" of the U.S., yet the Supreme Court does not differentiate among these footloose entities when according them U.S. citizens' rights. In the past year alone, so-called American corporations relocated to Bermuda (ex. Accenture) and Switzerland (ex. Transocean) and Dubai (ex. Kellogg Brown & Root). How then can the U.S. Supreme Court deem corporate "citizenship" across the board to be equal to that of individual citizens, thereby granting them all the rights without the responsibilities inherent in citizenship? Worse, the U.S. Supreme Court, with this decision, is freeing corporations to use their "speech" to influence not only the public's buying habits, but their voting decisions, thereby granting them de jure control over our democracy. Bad enough when it was de facto control; now their outsized influence is blessed by the highest court in the land.
As individual citizens, let us encourage the Senators and Representatives who comprehend that this U.S. Supreme Court decision must be overturned by the Legislative Branch through strict laws regulating corporate entities' influence on our imperiled democracy. And let us also send a powerful message of outrage to the Corporatist Senators and Congresspersons who are celebrating this legal decision. Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams,Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, all adherents of Republicanism as the desired form of government of these United States, would be even more angry than we are at the perversion of the meaning of "Republican" by those calling themselves Republicans in Congress today.
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This story was published on January 22, 2010.