Hobby Lobby – a Case of Corporate Rights vs. Human Rights

The Hobby Lobby ruling by the Supreme Court today is illustrative of just how urgently we need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution as well as an amendment to abolish corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.” This ruling graphically displays the need for these two constitutional amendments as it empowers corporations’ so-called “personhood” while ignoring the actual personhood of 51% (!) of the population. It demonstrates how far the current court is willing to go to enshrine corporate constitutional rights while emboldening religious fanatics and stomping on the human rights of women. It is the perfect example of religious oppression and tyranny masquerading as religious “freedom” and the corporate 1% using any excuse to minimize costs and maximize profits.

The radical religious right has infested the Supreme Court in addition to Congress in the persons of particularly Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, and Antonin Scalia, who in turn were enabled by the other right-wing male members of the court. What is unbelievable is that the anti-abortion fanatics like Hobby Lobby have now gone after birth control, revealing their hypocrisy regarding abortion given the fact that birth control prevents abortions, which is no surprise to those of us who have always known their agenda. They are not the least bit interested in “life,” caring nothing for the lives of women, only feigning angst for non-viable zygotes, gametes, and fetuses because what they are actually interested in is invading and negating women’s bodily sovereignty, privacy, autonomy, and agency so that women have no freedom or control over their lives.

The attitude of fundamentalist fanatics is not only sexist, but male supremacist; women are seen as nothing more than sexual commodities, brood mares and chattel whose bodies are property to be allocated and controlled. These Christian fascists think they have the right to dictate to women their most intimate decisions about their bodies and their sexuality, an outrageous discrimination against only females as women are the only persons who use prescription birth control or need abortions and because procedures like vasectomies for men are not excluded. Their goal of female enslavement and bondage through forced childbearing is abundantly clear.

As Ginsburg warns, this decision will be applied broadly and open the floodgates for corporations to claim all kinds of exceptions to abiding by the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, whether it be certain procedures such as pap smears, mammograms, or even denying women equal pay. If it’s ok to discriminate against women in one way, why wouldn’t it be in another? This is just the beginning in terms of lawsuits to give corporate “persons” the right to openly discriminate against real female persons, an expansion of rights for artificial entities stolen from our Bill of Rights intended for natural persons, and these kinds of rulings will continue until we pass a 28th and a 29th amendment to the Constitution to end discrimination based on sex and to end corporate personhood and money as speech.

NOW, AAUW, and PDA are among the groups working for the passage of the ERA.  To speak out about Hobby Lobby, go to:

Undo Hobby Lobby!  and #JointheDissent on Twitter.

For more info see:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/us/hobby-lobby-case-supreme-court-contraception.html?_r=0

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/10-blistering-highlights-justice-ruth-bader-ginsburgs-hobby-lobby-dissent?akid=11975.950734.0rtxF9&rd=1&src=newsletter1008624&t=5

Net Neutrality: A First Amendment Right

Net Neutrality is a First Amendment right issue and fundamental to a democracy that is supposed to be of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE.  We cannot allow the FCC to adopt rules that allow corporations to exercise ever more control by imposing a “pay to play” mentality on Internet use.  If the new pay-for-priority rules are allowed to stand, it will allow Internet Service Providers to discriminate against smaller users, impose new fees, and even proscribe content.See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/15/fcc-net-neutrality_n_5331278.html and http://www.salon.com/2014/05/15/fcc_passes_proposal_to_create_rules_on_net_neutrality_in_a_3_2_vote/

It may surprise some to know that it is the DEMOCRATS on the FCC who, while questioning the repercussions and noting the public outcry, have voted for this rule.  We are living in an ever more Kafkaesque world where what actually is true is the opposite of what appears to be true. While proclaiming his support of Net Neutrality, President Obama appoints a former telecom lobbyist to the FCC, who in turn vows to protect Net Neutrality, while doing precisely the opposite.This dark irony is intensified by the fact that Wheeler replaces the former FCC Chair, Michael Powell (a Clinton appointee), who now works for NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) in a corporate/governmental revolving door so typical of corrupt Washington politics.

The FCC ruling is another clear expansion of corporate rule and related to the abuse of the Bill of Rights by the application of the fallacious legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.”  If net neutrality is destroyed, we lose our last bastion of free speech and free press:  the free and open Internet.  We must not allow this to happen.  In order to have true Net Neutrality, broadband needs to be reclassified as telecommunications and the Internet as a public utility so it may be appropriately regulated and big cable and telecom companies don’t monopolize and control it.

It’s Time to Defend Net Neutrality: Tell the FCC What you Think of its Proposed Regulations

How Does the Corporation Offend Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

The country is in a terrible state and we activists are run ragged trying to deal with endless permutations of corporate abuse and government corruption, running around like the proverbial headless chicken after all the assaults on our civil liberties, human rights, the environment, workers’ rights, the social safety net, women’s rights, a free and open Internet, and on and on.  There is, however, one overarching source of these problems which encompasses all the others, ties them together, and once one understands its significance, explains what otherwise would be an overwhelming array of separate, disparate, insoluble predicaments over which we might throw up our hands in despair.

Regardless of the concern, all of them are traceable back to the corporate “personhood” abuse of our system and subversion of our democracy.  Take any issue you like from foreign policy to food production and we can see how the corporate world has monopolized and controlled it for the purpose of amassing enormous wealth at the rest of our expense.  How has it managed to do this? By utilizing the misbegotten legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech” that came in through the back door by way of the Supreme Court’s being taken over by some old corporate attorneys back in 1886.  This precedent, set by what was actually a clerk’s summation of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, has been wreaking havoc ever since.

Let me give you an example.  Pretend for a moment that you are a poor, beleaguered billionaire who owns a pharmaceutical company and say you have this nifty new drug you want to foist on the public and there are all these pesky regulations that require you to actually test it first to make sure that it doesn’t cause birth defects, cancer, or premature death.  What do you do?

Well rather than wring your hands in desperate frustration, you get to work and go out and lobby congress, bribe some politicians, buy a few elections in key districts, gobble up some tv stations and start disseminating disinformation about how safe and wonderful and life-enhancing it is, place some corporate shills in some key agencies like the FDA, get a few judges in your pocket, corrupt some research, patent some human genomes, challenge whatever laws or regulations may be on the books or slipped through congress that are cramping your go-getter, capitalist style and go to court under the commerce clause and argue that your “right” to make obscene profits off of people’s suffering is being hampered, and voila, you’ve got your drug approved!

If all of that doesn’t work, go to court on the basis of corporate “personhood” and argue that your “rights” under the Bill of Rights have been infringed upon and that you should be compensated by the taxpayers for all your pain and suffering at outrageously being required to actually do business legitimately!  That will show those do-gooders and bleeding hearts that corporations are people too and your feelings are mightily hurt!

Now if we actually had a free press rather than a corporate-owned press, journalists could challenge this kind of propaganda and corruption, but once again, because of corporate rule and undue influence allowing them to dictate and even write many laws, impact policies of government agencies, not pay taxes, get government subsidies (i.e. corporate welfare) so they can amass billions, these corporations, owned by the 1%, can buy up all the news media they like and monopolize the message and go to court endlessly and challenge every law, regulation, and restriction until they get what they want. Case in point:  the Koch Bros. are trying to buy the Tribune now (in addition to elections and politicians).  As if Rupert Murdoch controlling the flow of information were not enough!

The corporation has been allowed to run amok, enabled by an increasingly corrupt government, becoming so enmeshed, that more and more the corporate world and government are indistinguishable from one another. In addition, the press has been taken over by the 1% and commandeered to be nothing more than corporate copywriters dispensing its pre-approved messaging, rather than doing its job of challenging and exposing this merger and sabotage of our democratic process.

Corporate “personhood” is the root cause of how nothing is working any more, like it did when FDR was President for instance, because it is a cancer that has metastasized throughout our entire political system and mortally infected it by eliminating all the safeguards and checks and balances on the abuse of power.  It is as if the immune system has been disabled so that there is no longer any effective response to the opportunistic disease of corruption–a system that was previously capable of throwing off illness is no longer healthy enough to do so.

The patient has succumbed and is in its death throes unless we intervene and pass a Constitutional amendment to restore our democracy by excising corporate “personhood” and money as “speech,” the only remedy to this dire situation.  We can no longer afford to offer the patient palliative relief by chasing symptom after symptom (though that billionaire big pharma owner would love us to do so).  We must go for the all-out cure because democracy is all-but-dead and our Constitutionally-protected right to a government of, by, and for the PEOPLE, not the CORPORATION, is null and void if we do not.

There may be a plethora of problems, but fortunately the solution is elegantly simple:  stop chasing the symptoms and attack the root cause of corporate “personhood.”

Habeas Corpus is Like Car Insurance

Habeas Corpus is like car insurance—you don’t worry about it much until you have an accident; or, in the case of habeas corpus, until you get arrested for peaceful protest and hauled before a military tribunal.  Sound preposterous?  Isn’t this the United States, the land of the free?  Well, no, actually.  Not anymore.  Not since the Patriot Act, the NDAA 2012 (and 2013) Act, and the Trespass Bills (HR 347, S 1794), AKA the “anti-Occupy bills”.

Now, in the United States of America, U. S. citizens can be indefinitely detained, without charge or trial, for a “belligerent act”.  What is that?  Well, no one quite knows for sure.  Want to stage a protest at the Democratic convention, or question your representative on where your tax dollars are going?  Be careful, you could be guilty of “knowing” you are entering a government building or within proximate space of someone guarded by the Secret Service (if they aren’t in their hotel rooms with prostitutes), and therefore in violation of a federal crime that could land you in prison for ten years, in which case I guess at least you wouldn’t have to be paying taxes!

Add to this the attacks on our privacy and free speech by the SOPA, PIPA, and now (again!) CISPA legislation, which if passed, would eviscerate our ability to voice our outrage and connect with one another on the Internet, and a frightening picture of a world dominated by Big Brother watching and controlling our every move begins to take shape.

These laws make a mockery of our Bill of Rights by violating our First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and whether you are a Tea Partier or an Occupier, your civil liberties are under assault.  We the people need to demand that these unconstitutional laws be rescinded before we find ourselves in Nazi Germany, or worse, living out an Orwellian nightmare.

Like car insurance, it’s a good idea not to let your constitutional rights like habeas corpus “lapse” because you never know when you might need them. 

Help us fight this unconstitutional attack on our civil liberties!  Write and call Congress and demand that these unconstitutional laws be reversed!

Hunger, Poverty, Homelessness

Due to the malfeasance of Wall Street banksters causing the mortgage crisis and the world economy to crash, and now the corporate puppets in congress insisting on austerity, we are experiencing an epidemic of hunger, poverty, and homelessness. Predatory banks have foreclosed upon people illegally, jobs have vanished, and we the people are being dispossessed.

Unchecked carbon emissions have altered the atmosphere and the resulting climate change is causing record droughts and famines. At the same time, our food supply is being threatened and controlled like never before.  Pesticide companies like Monsanto have patented genetically-modified seeds that can withstand toxic chemicals like the neonicotinoids research has identified as responsible for the destruction of bee colonies and are pushing Frankenfood onto consumers, without GMO labelling.

We are facing a worldwide crisis perpetrated by corporate giants who would extend their corporate rule through the abuse of our Bill of Rights by corporate “personhood” nationally, and globally by “treaties” like the TPP. Citizens, voters, consumers are the losers and we must join together and fight for our right to decent work at a liveable wage, affordable housing, and a safe and nutritious food supply.

world-austerity-report-pages

 

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“We the People Amendment” (House Joint Resolution 29) Introduced Today by Congressman Rick Nolan

Wisconsin Representative Rick Nolan introduced House Joint Resolution 29 today, for which Move-to-Amend has been garnering grassroots support  over many years.  The “We the People Amendment” is a simple, clear, unequivocal statement that corporations are not “persons” and money is not “speech,” in alignment with the intent of the U. S. Constitution, which does not recognize corporate “rights,” assigning rights only to human persons. Indeed, the Constitution does not even mention corporations and the framers were very aware of the abuses that could be done by corporations, instruments then of the 1% as they are today; hence their conspicuous absence from the founding documents.

Because of the 1886 Supreme Court clerk’s decision to include the misbegotten concept of corporate “personhood” in the header of the Southern Pacific Railroad v. Santa Clara County decision, we have been subjected to 127 years of corporate abuse of our Bill of Rights, as they have claimed first, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and 14th amendment rights in order to subvert our democracy and circumvent laws passed for the protection of the rights and freedoms of the citizenry.  We must reclaim our fundamental, sovereign, exclusive Constitutional rights and end corporate rule.  Call your congressperson today and urge him or her to vote for the “We the People Amendment”!!  For more information, go to:

https://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment

Habeas Corpus is Like Car Insurance

Habeas Corpus is like car insurance—you don’t worry about it much until you have an accident; or, in the case of habeas corpus, until you get arrested for peaceful protest and hauled before a military tribunal.  Sound preposterous?  Isn’t this the United States, the land of the free?  Well, no, actually.  Not anymore.  Not since the Patriot Act, the NDAA 2012 Act, and the Trespass Bills (HR 347, S 1794), AKA the “anti-Occupy bills”.

Now, in the United States of America, U. S. citizens can be indefinitely detained, without charge or trial, for a “belligerent act”.  What is that?  Well, no one quite knows for sure.  Want to stage a protest at the Democratic convention, or question your representative on where your tax dollars are going?  Be careful, you could be guilty of “knowing” you are entering a government building or within proximate space of someone guarded by the Secret Service (if they aren’t in their hotel rooms with prostitutes), and therefore in violation of a federal crime that could land you in prison for ten years, in which case I guess at least you wouldn’t be paying taxes!

Add to this the attacks on our privacy and free speech by the SOPA, PIPA, and now CISPA legislation, which if passed, would eviscerate our ability to voice our outrage and connect with one another on the Internet, and a frightening picture of a world dominated by Big Brother watching and controlling our every move begins to take shape.

These laws make a mockery of our Bill of Rights by violating our First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights, and whether you are a Tea Partier or an Occupier, your civil liberties are under assault.  We the people need to demand that these unconstitutional laws be rescinded before we find ourselves in Nazi Germany, or worse, living out an Orwellian nightmare.