Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Democracy In Decline

Thanks to the Corporate Cronies on the Supreme Court deciding in “Citizens United v FEC” that it is fine for Big Money to secretly spend fortunes on election ads, democracy sinks lower into its grave.

All is not lost yet, however. We the People are not entirely the foolish dupes that Corporatist Republicanism needs in its war against democracy. More of us are waking up to the true picture. As I reported in my last post the people are way ahead of the politicians and the bureaucrats on medicinal marijuana.

The people are also figuring out who is really represented in our anti-democratic Corporatist Republic. Guess what? It is not the people.

Last month a CNN poll showed most Americans think elections are bought by Big Money.

“Most Americans are cynical about the effect of money on politics in the U.S., and that cynicism is significantly higher than it was in the 1990s...” and “86 percent of the public thinks elected officials in the nation's capital are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive from campaign contributors.”

This is not news to most of us, and it is great that more Americans are waking up to this destruction of our democracy. This is why we advocate democracy-enhancing Constitutional Amendments to rescind corporate personhood and provide public funding for public elections. At this time the forces against democracy are too powerful for real change to occur. Perhaps the lesson that the struggle for democracy never ends will be learned by the new generation of Americans after all.

Here are some results of that poll:


June, 2011-
Elected officials in Washington are mostly influenced by what is in the best interests of the country - 12%

Elected officials in Washington are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive on issues from major campaign contributors - 86%

Oct. 1997
Elected officials in Washington are mostly influenced by what is in the best interests of the country - 19%

Elected officials in Washington are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive on issues from major campaign contributors - 77%

June, 2011
Elections are generally for sale to the candidate who can raise the most money 67%

Elections are generally won on the basis of who is the best candidate 30%

Oct. 1997
Elections are generally for sale to the candidate who can raise the most money- 59%

Elections are generally won on the basis of who is the best candidate - 37%


***

Who knows when this expanding consciousness will finally enlighten enough of the people to realize that there is class war against them, and their democracy? It is good to have such a glimmer of real hope.

181 comments:

free0352 said...

Constitutional Amendments to rescind corporate personhood

If corporations aren't composed of people, what are they composed of exactly? Or are you suggesting if you are somehow part of a corporation you aren't a person? If they are people, why shouldn't they have first ammendment rights?

Dave Dubya said...

Who said corporations are not composed of people? What makes you think I'm suggesting such nonsense?

A person is born. A corporation is an artificial entity drafted on paper. (If they were persons, maybe they'd pay their share of taxes.)

A corporation is not a person. You want to argue against that? Can you take its pulse? Can you put it in jail for crimes? Can you drink a beer with it?

My dog is more of a person than a corporation.

Come on, brother, you're slipping and losing focus again.

free0352 said...

You want to argue against that?

Yes, very much so.

. A corporation is an artificial entity drafted on paper.

Pieces of paper can't make political adds. Corporations are groups of people. The NY Times is a corporation, should they have no first amendment protections? What other other Constitutional Rights do you think they don't deserve?

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
Still want to argue?

Ok, but you are starting to sound ignorant and ridiculous.

The NY Times happens to enjoy the Constitutional right of a free press.

Where in the Constitution does it say a corporation is a person and has the right to bribe and buy politicians?

So how is a corporation a person?

You forgot to tell us.

John Myste said...

I think Mr. Free is still ringing his hands over the last debate. He is feeling belligerent and lashing out.

A corporation is not a person. It is made of people, a very select group of people. Giving human rights to the corporate entity, makes that entity a dictator, because he is a giant compared to the rest of us. Even McCain, version 1.0 favored campaign finance reform, which is a direct attack on this giant. One could argue that the presence of the corporate entity is capitalism in action. Once could also argue that this is an unforeseen consequence of our breed of capitalism. Or one could argue that a corporation is made up of businessmen, and is thus a person. Hopefully one would not argue such, though, as that should embarrass one.

free0352 said...

So how is a corporation a person?

No, it's person(s). Groups of people have rights too. But since in your world we only grant freedom of speech to the press or individual people... we'd better let MTV know they can't show any controversal videos anymore. They aren't press, and they are a corporation. Tipper Gore and the moral majority would love you - with your legal justification we can ban everything from the Beatles to any Michael Moore. After all corporations own part, some, or all of the rights to thier "art" and since we no longer protect corporation's speech in your world (or any of their rights for that matter... they aren't people after all... just paper) we can ban whatever we want because it might influence a political campaign. Certainly you could argue that it was a politically motivated film put out by Mirimax studios... a huge corporation after all... and Michael Moore more over is a rich guy! He's too powerful! He's using the Mirimax corporation and his wealth to influence politics and rob Americans of democracy with films like Sicko, Bowling for Columbine, Roger and Me, and Farenhieght 9-11!
What's even more insidious is... he's getting filthy RICH doing it!

I bet the goose stepping right wingers you complain about would love your idea. To me as much as I find Michael Moor and the crap on MTW garbage... those companies and the artists who work for them have a RIGHT to put that stuff out if they want, for what ever reason they want - even to enfluence politics.

So why if Mirimax can make a movie like Bowling for Collumbine can't Colt Fire Arms make a comercial against the film or in support of politicians that will reject Moore's arguement? Doesn't Colt get a voice to defend it's self? Not according to your logic Dave - to you they're ... oh how did you put it... The Michael Moores and Mirimax and Colt Fire Arms of the world are not a person. You want to argue against that? Can you take its pulse? Can you put it in jail for crimes? Can you drink a beer with it?

The truth is, you can't take one pulse, but many pulses. One for every employee and share holder.

free0352 said...

Where in the Constitution does it say

The part where it says

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Corporations aren't run by zombies or robots... they're run by people! From the CEO down to the janitor... all members of a group of people. And these groups are entitled to the same protections they've thrived under for 236 years at least the Supreme Court affirmed that's what it meant and so there it is.

I get it that you don't like it that big companies make a lot of adds, adds that might hurt your guy. Ok, fine. We don't like it when Unions do the same damn thing. Our difference is we tolerate the other side... you guys do NOT tolerate us.

Just the Facts! said...

free0352,
I just read your well thought out post about the legitimization of corporations. You really drove it home with your statement about a corporation being a group of people
Please give me your thoughts on the following:
If a corporation as a group of people is not given the same rights as one person, then why are their class action suites?
If a corporation as a group of people is not given the same rights as one person, how then can a Union speak as one for all it's members?

The Heathen Republican said...

I've never really understood the Supreme Court decision that said money = free speech, so it appears Dave that you've found a second issue on which I am persuadable.

What's not clear to me is what kind of system you think we would have when we take out the corporate money (I'm not trying to misrepresent... isn't that what you're advocating?). Are all dollars given to a candidate by a corporation used to "bribe" or "buy politicians" or are some dollars used appropriately?

If it's better to only allow individuals to donate to politicians and forbid giving by corporations, does the exclusion include any group of people who have a shared cause? Because if you want to allow groups of people, how do we distinguish between "acceptable groups" and "unacceptable corporations"?

Just the Facts! said...

[Madison, Wisc…] MNS …In the first eight days of July nearly three million dollars has been sent to Wisconsin by national liberal organizations and individuals, with more than two million dollars coming from large national labor unions.

Big Labor has now sent more than six million dollars to finance recall efforts in Wisconsin according to a review of campaign finance reports conducted by the MacIver News Service. The figures only account for disbursements reported to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board; these organizations do not have to report expenditures made for efforts to communicate with their own membership.

The contributions can come in the form of monetary contributions like wire transfers and checks or in-kind contributions. Wisconsin statutes define “in-kind” contributions as a disbursement by a contributor to procure a thing of value or service for the benefit of a registrant who authorized the disbursement.

All told, Big Labor has spent more than $6,419,000 in the recall efforts this year, having delivered $2.2 million to the state since July 1.

Damn those filthy rich corporations!

free0352 said...

I've never really understood the Supreme Court decision that said money = free speech,

He's talking about the Citizen's United decision by the Supreme Court holding that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited—because of the First Amendment. It struck down a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act prohibiting unions, corporations and not-for-profit organizations from broadcasting "electioneering communications" within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary election because it violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Citizens United (A not-for-profit corporation that makes conservative documentaries) sought to run television commercials during the 2008 campaign promoting its political documentary "Hillary: The Movie," which is critical of Hillary Clinton and the FEC prohibited them from doing so. The Supreme Court found that the FEC could not limit Citizen United's right to free speech, even 30-60 days before an election.

Dubya is maintaining that Citizens United does not have Constitutional Protection, and government can tell them when they can make films critical of politicians or supportive of others. I disagree, and do not think government has the right to tell anyone where or when they can exercise their right to free speech.

T. Paine said...

Dubya, this is one issue where I was admittedly more in line with your train of thought than Free’s… at first.

As I was open to persuasion on the issue in some aspects, I think JTF and Free both made some excellent points that are not easily argued against.

The whole speech is money thing does not sit right with me on a visceral level. That said, a corporation should have the right to respond to specific laws that hinder its legal business.

Further, JTF’s excellent points about progressive groups’ contributions for the recall of Republican lawmakers that simply wanted to help save taxpayer money in Wisconsin is something of which I would imagine you being quite supportive.

In the end, the logic and argument made against your original position (and mine) are more compelling from a constitutional standpoint.

Free, I am on your side on this one once again. I am sorry to have previously strayed away. I’ll bring another cup of coffee to you at your cubicle in apology.

The Heathen Republican said...

Free, I'm familiar with Citizens United. I was referring to the much older decision by the court to equate money and free speech.

It seems like that decision, both controversial and debatable, has led to much of the confusion and conflict around campaign finance.

Weaseldog said...

Free0352 says, "If corporations aren't composed of people, what are they composed of exactly? Or are you suggesting if you are somehow part of a corporation you aren't a person? If they are people, why shouldn't they have first ammendment rights?"

What you're saying is that if the Saudi Prince that owns our local mall, doesn't get to cast votes for each employee that works for his corporation, then the employees then those employees lose their rights under the US Constitution?

Is that how it works where you work? The CEO of the corporation votes for the employees? And only through the corporation do they get a voice?

Dave Dubya said...

JTF,
Tell us who has more money in politics, union or corporations?

HR,
If anyone, not addressing you, truly feels money and the power it buys does not corrupt, then I don’t have time to argue with them. I don’t want corporate OR union money in politics. People who read my blog know what I have been saying for some time now. The corporate media has a civic responsibility to inform the public without propaganda bought by candidates’ Big Money supporters. The broadcast media are licensed to use the public-owned broadcast spectrum and provide such service along with that privilege.

I’m sure just about everyone here would rather see the candidates speak for themselves on TV, radio and print than have to tolerate all the ideologically slanted and anonymous claptrap we see polluting the airwaves now.

The Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 was the fateful decision that turned corporate money donated to political campaigns into protected “Free Speech”. De Facto bribery was now legalized.

TP,
I would trust your gut a little more in this one.

“its legal business” is the operative word. Corporations are writing our laws and public policy with all that “free speech” money. This is antagonistic to democracy. That is the bottom line.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
That’s better. I’m a little more impressed with this effort than your last comment. Thank you for putting at least a bit of thought into it.

So you believe corporations have more rights than people, seeing as how they are not as accountable for their actions as individuals. They never go to jail. And here I thought you guys believed in a balance of rights and responsibilities. There goes that notion.

Where in the Constitution does it say ......We the corporations? We the people are all individual persons. That is what a person is.

Rights must belong to individuals or they are not rights. People are persons and persons are people. I know this is a simple truth, but as we all know, the Right loves nothing more than re-defining words. Where would they be without their “Liberal” corporate media?

What is a corporation? Is it really just a group of people? Let’s say we have a company picnic attended by every management person of a corporation. After all when you say “corporations are people” these are the people you really mean, the ones controlling the money. Are they a corporation at this time? Are they a person? What if some quarantine kept them isolated? So is the bunch providing goods and services that a corporation provides? No. Are they entitled to more “representation” than 99% of the public? Yes, you say.

Today’s lesson is the definition of “person”. (I seem to be your history teacher lately, don’t I? Looks like you need a language teacher too.)

My American Heritage Dictionary defines “person” as: 1. A living human being, especially as distinguished from an animal or thing. 2. The composite of characteristics that make up an individual personality. 3. An individual of some specified character. 4. The living body of a human being.

Now, back to history class.

A person has always been an individual human being. Then along came Big Money corporate lawyers, judges, clerks, stooges and lackeys. They unilaterally redefined a corporation as a person. There was no public consensus on their definition. Corporations were not called a person before 1886 when a former railroad executive made the assertion. Up to this point corporations were not allowed to influence the vote or elections. They were not legally persons.

This is when the Supreme Court ruled on the case of Santa Clara County vs. The Union Pacific Railroad. It became the turning point for corporate personhood. Although the court did not rule on the Constitutional issues of the case, the court Recorder had inserted something crucial into his personal commentary of the case.

J. C. Bancroft Davis wrote that the Chief Justice had said all the Justices had agreed that corporations are persons. Chief Justice Waite specifically disavowed this later in writing. Davis happened to be a former president of a small railroad, and was thus the man to endow corporations with all the rights of living person. Now, along with more power than anyone in America could obtain, corporations would have all the rights and none of the responsibilities and limitations of an individual.

That’s where it all started kids, back in the Gilded Age of neo-feudalist Robber Barons. This is the America that the Right is talking about when they scream they, “want our country back”.

Sigh...

Now there you go again, mischaracterizing and drawing non-existent implications. maintaining that Citizens United does not have Constitutional Protection, and government can tell them when they can make films critical of politicians or supportive of others.”

No, I did not “maintain” that. Why do you need to be so dishonest? Moore’s films were under the same restrictions as CU’s film. The CU v FEC decision affects Michael Moore the same as CU.

Your handicap in honest debate is wearing thin.

Weaseldog said...

Free says, "Corporations aren't run by zombies or robots... they're run by people! From the CEO down to the janitor... all members of a group of people. And these groups are entitled to the same protections they've thrived under for 236 years at least the Supreme Court affirmed that's what it meant and so there it is."

Except that people in a corporation don't have a voice. the janitor at a 7-eleven does not have the write to draw on corporate funds to make campaign donations.

In theory the only people with a voice in a corporation are the shareholders.

In practice, the only people in a corporation with rights and free speech are board members and executive officers. The janitor has is told what he or she can and cannot say, to the public in regards to the corporate policies.

Next you'll probably make the same argument about the us military and how each soldier has complete and equal rights to make decisions and use military property for whatever purposes they wish to engage them in.

Weaseldog said...

A corporation is a legal entity, created from legal documents and bound by the laws that govern corporations.

They are not endowed with inalienable rights by the Creator.

Persons have inalienable rights granted by the creator.

Corporations only have the rights that are granted by law. They have no rights granted by the Creator.

The Heathen Republican said...

@Dave "If anyone... truly feels money and the power it buys does not corrupt, then I don’t have time to argue with them"
That's not quite a direct answer to my question. I would agree that money can corrupt. I wonder if you think all money is bribery or corrupting? Is any corporate money okay, or is it all bad? I think I hear you saying it's all bad (including union money, for which I applaud you).

So my remaining questions pick up where Free is going. If individuals have free speech and get to donate their money, when do groups of individuals lose their collective right to free speech and to donate money? Is it when they legally incorporate or unionize?

@Weaseldog "In practice, the only people in a corporation with rights and free speech are board members and executive officers."
Is it safe to say you are not a business owner? Assume for a moment that you are. Do you, as the owner, the person who has put all of your life savings into this business, delegate the use of those assets to your employees? You have sacrificed and risked, probably right alongside your board of directors and shareholders, and you now want to let your $12/hour janitor decide how to spend the profits that you've earned?

The thing is, I don't entirely disagree with you (nor do I entirely agree with you), but I'm struck at your perspective where you think a business should be run as some sort of collective. If I own a tanning salon, and the government is considering charging me a 10% surcharge as part of a health insurance reform bill, don't I and my two partners have the right to petition my government (through speech and dollars) to stop meddling in my business? Do I really want the girl who cleans my tanning bed to have a say in whether or not I lobby congress to not tax me more?

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
Your questions are interesting. Well, obviously they don’t lose their collective rights to money as “free speech”. As of now only a Constitutional Amendment can reverse this. Money as free speech destroys all fair representation and democracy, and concedes greater power and more rights to wealth than the vast majority of individuals. This aint freedom anymore. This is feudalism.

“Collective rights” are not mentioned in the Constitution. A person’s rights are. “We the people” implies all individual persons, not specific collectives. Again, along with those collective rights, where is the collective accountability? Hypothetically, suppose three separate offices of a company instruct employees individually, without knowledge of each other, to insert a word of a message to be shown on the screen of a union organizer meeting at a theatre. One word is “Flames”. One word is “in”. The other word is “lobby”. Injuries and deaths ensue. Yet no single person actually abused his free speech rights. This is how a corporation evades collective accountability for abuses of its rights of personhood. There are many real situations of corporate collective unaccountability. It is diffusion of accountability. Sort of like “plausible deniability”.

Your tanning guy has every right as an individual, like the rest of us, to make his case to politicians.

Just the Facts! said...

"What you're saying is that if the Saudi Prince that owns our local mall, doesn't get to cast votes for each employee that works for his corporation, then the employees then those employees lose their rights under the US Constitution?"

No that is not what Free is saying and I find it hard for you to believe he is.
Here's a litmus test for you, just replace Citizens United with Labor Union and see how your feel about the Supreme Court's ruling.
But here's the thing and DD touched on it, when he asked who had more money Unions or Corporations. Since Money is Free Speech and as 6% of the private work force is under Union contract, then it follows to reason that Corporations speak for more people because there are more people working without a Union Contract than with and therefore should be able to spend more Free Speech.
I believe that the reason Libs/Progressives and Unions are upset about the Citizens United ruling is it allows competition of ideas in the free market place of ideas. Liberalism fails in that market every time.
As long as lib/progressives/Unions control the market place of ideas, then it is not free, but regulated. They win in a regulated market place.
And finally, if what Libs/Progressives and Unions are saying in their Free Speech spending and Corporations are lying would it not seem that those who read and hear the different messages should be able to make up their own mind and vote in a manner that supports the Liberal/Progressive/Union agenda?
So what are you worried about?

T. Paine said...

So at what point does the business owner become part of the problem in your eyes, Dubya?

Is it only when 10,000 proprietors across the country that are members of the Tanning Salon Owners Association pool some of their assets to lobby their congressmen that their filthy monetary bribes become corrupt?

How about a small town chamber of commerce lobbying against city council because of some new business tax? How about the same with the United States Chamber of Commerce? Is the problem only a matter of size and not principle to you, sir?

free0352 said...

HR,

What decision would that be? The FEC to this day not only puts limits on corporate donations... it puts limits on private donations and that has been unchallenged to my knowledge.

Weasel

What you're saying is that if the Saudi Prince that owns our local mall, doesn't get to cast votes for each employee that works for his corporation, then the employees then those employees lose their rights under the US Constitution?

Please show me in my comments where I advocated foreign nationals right to vote? Corporations don't have the right to vote, never had the right to vote, and still don't have the right to vote. Further, foreign individuals never had the right to vote, and still don't have the right to vote. We're not talking about voting, we're talking about the right to air commercials for a movie 30 days from an election. We were talking about the Citizens United Decision, and I'm not sure what you're babbling about.

the janitor at a 7-eleven does not have the write to draw on corporate funds to make campaign donations.

He does if he gets promoted enough times.

Is that how it works where you work? The CEO of the corporation votes for the employees?

I work in the military, and we don't have a CEO, but no, he and his company do have the right to free speech. It says in the Constitution the first Amendment applies to THE PEOPLE. Clearly, the CEO and the share holders are people, and "legal entities" have as much right to free speech, property rights, rights to trial etc. as you do.

The Heathen Republican said...

Free, I'm not sure of the decision, but I'll take Dave's word for it that it was: "The Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 was the fateful decision that turned corporate money donated to political campaigns into protected “Free Speech”."

Tom Harper said...

About the public finally wising up to Big Money's influence on elections:

"Who knows when this expanding consciousness will finally enlighten enough of the people to realize that there is class war against them, and their democracy? It is good to have such a glimmer of real hope."

Don't worry -- when the horse gets stolen, we'll lock the barn door ASAP.

free0352 said...

Dubya,

When you were talking to HR, you said - Well, obviously they don’t lose their collective rights to money as “free speech”.

Those provisions of Citizens United weren't struck down. As I said earlier corporations and even private individuals still have limits as to how much money they can donate directly to a political candidate. The government can and does limit that, what it can't do is tell them or a network when they can air a TV comercial or run a movie.

This is feudalism.

Agreed there, but I'd say it was because of te welfare state and the dependence it fosters... not television commercials!

So you believe corporations have more rights than people

No, I just don't think government has the legal authority to regulate political speech in any way.

They never go to jail.

Ask the ENRON boys or Bernie Madoff if that's true or not... but why would you want to put someone in jail for making a political advertisement? My point is, making a TV commercial isn't a crime.

Lets look at a union or Citizens United. These are groups of people who have organized themselves specifically to enact political goals... and you're telling them they have no right to free speech. In effect, you're putting a muzzle on them with government power. What in the world is Democratic about limiting political speech? Isn't that why we have a First Amendment?

Rights must belong to individuals or they are not rights.

Not true at all. You can't steal from a store and get away with it, because they have property rights. A corporation can sue you in court, they have a right to trial. Corporations get sued every day... are you really saying they have no right for that case to be heard in court? They use their rights to due process every day. They have every right you do, always have... including the right to make TV commercials critical of Hillary Clinton whenever they want to. Government can't tell anyone what they can and can't say about Hillary Clinton... or say George Bush... ever. We have a right to free speech in this country. Government has no business trying to regulate the mean things people say about it.

As for the definition of a "Person," I'm not suggesting a corporation is a "person," I'm suggesting it's a "group," full of person(s). The definition of a group is - A number of people [EM] or things that are located close together or are considered or classed together.

Groups have rights too. You can't discriminate against a class of people- in this case unions, 501c corps or for profits corps, any more than you can any other group of people, say... blacks, or chruches.

No, I did not “maintain” that.

Sure sounds like you are, so you're really maintaining that Citizens United DID have a right to air commercials and the film Hilary less than 30 days before an election? I'm confused, it sounded like you were saying they had no right to because they weren't people and hence had no rights, and government has a duty to prevent them from taking part in the political process, specifically political advertising.

Why do you need to be so dishonest?

I'm not being dishonest, you said it, on more than just this post.

Moore’s films were under the same restrictions as CU’s film.

The FEC didn't pick on Moore... but that's besides the point. If you replaced Michael Moore and Miramax films with Citizens United in this court case it wouldn't change my stance here.

The The CU v FEC decision affects Michael Moore the same as CU.

Yes, you're right it does. It ensures he has the right to make his stupid, lying movies. And that's a good thing. Government shouldn't get to decide when people can speak out against it under any circumstances.

Dave Dubya said...

Just The FOX,
Since Money is Free Speech and as 6% of the private work force is under Union contract, then it follows to reason that Corporations speak for more people because there are more people working without a Union Contract than with and therefore should be able to spend more Free Speech.

No, it does not follow to reason. Logic is foreign to you, isn’t it?

Since when do corporations speak for their employees? Where's the employees' free speech? Their management works for their shareholders, not the employees.

How does this sound? Since 99.99 percent of the people are not CEO's, the people should have 99.99% more representation than CEO's.

But that would not be fair to you, would it? Those poor CEO's need to have 99.99% of all free speech and representation. You guys loathe representative democracy, don't you?

TP,

When anyone has 100 to 1000 times the right to "free speech" as individuals, and less accountability, then it is a problem, don't you think?

I didn't mention lobbying, did I? I want money out of elections. Your Mammonite masters would still have a much louder lobby voice than the public. I suppose that is not fair enough either?

Please read my post.

Is your antagonism towards democracy so deep you're fine with suppressing the majority of Americans' representation?

Why do you hate American democracy?

free0352 said...

HR,

Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld a federal law which set limits on campaign contributions, but ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech, and struck down portions of the law. The court also stated candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns. The Court sustained the Act's limits on individual contributions<, as well as the disclosure and reporting provisions and the public financing scheme. However, the limitations on campaign expenditures, on independent expenditures by individuals and groups, and on expenditures by a candidate from his personal funds were found to be constitutionally infirm in that they placed severe restrictions on protected expression and association. What that means is - the Court found that individuals, and groups of people like unions, not-for-profit groups and for profit corporations have a right to give money to political candidates, however it can place some limits on this through regulation - which the FEC does today.

Campaign Contributions aren't exactly covered by the US Constitution, they didn't do those so much in 1775 and obviously they didn't have those annoying political adds back then -those were the days I guess... However, the (liberal I might add) 76' Court said that individuals and groups like corporations (or churches, or unions) had a RIGHT to engage in the political process... with reasonable restrictions, mostly on amounts of money groups and individuals were able to give with the exception of the candidate themselves who could spend all they wanted. This was upheld in McConnell vs FEC, where in 2002 the Court upheld most of the McCain Feingold act... but later struck down the provision that corporations could not make TV commercials 30 days prior to a primary election, and 60 days prior to a general election, because it infringed on free speech.

free0352 said...

I want money out of elections

What money would that be? All of it? How would you run an election without it?

I instead of regulation, want voters to do their jobs as citizens, and elect good leaders. If they fail in this, they deserve what they get.

free0352 said...

Since when do corporations speak for their employees?

I'm positive in the case of Citizens United - a company whose sole goal is to produce Conservative films, that indeed the corporation spoke for each employee... I mean really, how many employees of Citizen's United to you speculate support Hilary Clinton? For that matter, how many employees of Michael Moore do you speculate support the Iraq War and George Bush?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

It must be understood that corporations do not have rights; they only have privileges -- privileges granted by the state (i.e., We the People) through charters. Just as you have no rights to a driver's license -- only the privilege to have one -- it's the same with a license ("charter") to start and operate a business. Just as the state grants this privilege, it can also revoke this same privilege (as was widely and commonly done in the infancy of our country).

The whole concept of corporate personhood commenced with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1886. The clerk's headnotes contained a reference to corporations having legal status as a person, whereas the court decision doesn't mention anything about this at all. Unfortunately, subsequent decisions that have used this case as legal precedent have been built upon a lie.

Granted, corporations are referred to, legally, as artificial persons. But it's a mistake to infer that the authors of our Constitution meant this to imply they were entitled to the same rights as human beings ("natural persons")

Read and watch this

S.W. Anderson said...

Free0352 wrote: "If corporations aren't composed of people, what are they composed of exactly?"

Corporations are legal constructs created by people for the purpose of spreading risk and making money. Each of the people involved has all their constitutionally guaranteed rights, except the ones abridged by the Patriot Act.

So, when corporations are denied the rights of persons, no actaul persons are denied their rights. (You might have to sit down and think that one over to get it, but it's worth the effort.)

What's wrong about the Citizens United decision is that, as in Animal Farm, it makes some pigs more equal than others by giving those involved in corporations a double helping of, among other things, free-speech rights — as individuals apart from the corporation and again as parts of the corporation. That's true, at least, for those who agree with what the corporation wants.

Another thing wrong with that decision is that it awards rights without requiring responsibility and accountability. This is not only wrong from the standpoint of fairness, it's dangerous for people and democracy.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
OK, this is little more honest, “I'm confused, it sounded like you were saying they had no right to because they weren't people and hence had no rights, and government has a duty to prevent them from taking part in the political process, specifically political advertising.”

You’re learning.

I said corporations are not persons and should not have MORE rights, and less accountability, than the people. Is that clear?

Sure a couple Enron guys were jailed. Many, many more corporate crooks get away with it. And I still have not seen a corporation put in jail, have you?

What in the world is Democratic about limiting political speech? Nothing. It is the bastardization of money as free speech and the influence and representation it steals from the public that I’m going on about.

We know how corporate media works. A dozen teabaggers get more coverage than a hundred thousand pro-union demonstrators.

As far as TV news media, let them editorialize and broadcast candidates and supporters giving their views. I don’t care what movies are shown, as long as the media upholds its obligation to the public trust and give equal time to opposing views. Fair enough? I didn’t think so.

Same with the press, where political speech is traditionally found. Let them editorialize and print letters to the editor. It is a good thing. That is a free press.

I’m not discriminating against anyone. I’m alluding to the disproportionate power of money as free speech and the corrupting influence of campaign donations on elections and governance. If anyone’s free speech is “muzzled” it is the 99.99 percent of the rest of us. That sure as hell aint democracy.

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Rights must belong to individuals or they are not rights.” Not true at all. I was not talking about property rights. We are talking about the Bill of Rights, and those must belong to individuals or they are not rights. And they do not say “We the corporations or we the aristocrats, or we the select groups of wealthy individuals, etc.”

In fact, corporations are not even citizens, let alone tax paying citizens. They have no place in the government of a democratic republic. Democracy does not need their propaganda. They have the unlimited right of free speech in advertising as it is.

Looks like you need another history lesson.

Medieval Feudalism was power by “divine right of kings”. Neo-feudalism is power by “divine right of wealth”. Same thing, same result.

Your questions:
Campaign money can be replaced by public funding and media's responsibility to their broadcast license. Nobody is deprived of any rights.

Those are not the corporations I was referring to. See the JTF comment. Don’t go spinning out of context again.

Dave Dubya said...

JG,
Exactly. They have privileges. They also have the protection of law for damages to, and theft of, their property. They have almost unlimited access to our courts thanks to their free speech money as well.

This makes "equal protection under the law" rather a sick joke.

SW,
Each of the people involved has all their constitutionally guaranteed rights, except the ones abridged by the Patriot Act.

And thanks to the FISA amendment, corporations can scoop up our private communications, for the government or themselves, without accountability.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican says, "The thing is, I don't entirely disagree with you (nor do I entirely agree with you), but I'm struck at your perspective where you think a business should be run as some sort of collective."

I never made that argument.

Weaseldog said...

Just the Facts! said..., "No that is not what Free is saying and I find it hard for you to believe he is.
Here's a litmus test for you, just replace Citizens United with Labor Union and see how your feel about the Supreme Court's ruling.


I feel the same way. Corporations, collectives, unions, etc... were not endowed with alienable rights by the Creator.

They are not super humans. They aren't loved by God and Jesus over flesh and blood human beings. They are legal contracts.

And sure Free was making the argument that a corporate CEO should control a vast voting block for his own personal purposes. That's what this whole argument is about. Should one many have the power to outvote all Americans because he has dollars that can outbid their votes?

Free argues that because corporations are made of people, then the board of that corporation should be able to wield all of the political power amassed in the corporation.

I don't know anyone who is so stupid to think that any low level employee of a corporation can spend millions of dollars of the corporations money on any political campaign he or she wants to. There might be someone who does, but I don't believe they are participating on this blog.

Yet, that's the basis of the argument. The argument pretends that a corporation is communist collective. And therefore it does represents the will of each worker equally.

That's bullshit.

Weaseldog said...

Free says, "Lets look at a union or Citizens United. These are groups of people who have organized themselves specifically to enact political goals... and you're telling them they have no right to free speech. In effect, you're putting a muzzle on them with government power. What in the world is Democratic about limiting political speech? Isn't that why we have a First Amendment?"

Dave never said they have no right. He's arguing for rules.

Previously you argued that there should be no rules.

It seems you understand what Dave is saying, but he's not letting you score enough points, so you're creating Strawmen to argue with.

It would be cool if you and Heathen Republican would stick to what is written and not include the fantasies of what you want us to write. But that's just a dream of mine. I don't expect it to come true.

The Heathen Republican said...

Hey Weasel, of course you didn't say businesses should be run as a collective. That would sound silly. That's also why I rephrased what you said, so that you would see that it was silly.

You said, "Except that people in a corporation don't have a voice. the janitor at a 7-eleven does not have the write to draw on corporate funds to make campaign donations. In theory the only people with a voice in a corporation are the shareholders."

What seemed to be your clear implication was that the janitor should have a voice in how 7-Eleven spends its corporate dollars.

Perhaps I took too many liberties, for which I'll withdraw my statement. Surely you see how I could've made such a mistake based on what you did say.

Just the Facts! said...

Weasledog,

Just so I am sure what you are saying, you said that neither Unions or Corporations have the right to be treated as individuals in the eyes of the law, right? Then if I understand you correctly and if I'm wrong please correct me, the Supreme Court decision in the matter of Citizens United was wrong for two reason.
One they were wrong about Citizens United
and
Two they should have included Unions in their correct decision.
Interesting position if I am right in my understanding.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Unions were included in Citizens United.

free0352 said...

Jefferson Guardian

It must be understood that corporations do not have rights; they only have privileges

All I can say to this, is I and more importantly the Supreme Court pretty consistently since 1976 at the latest (You mentioned a case from the 1800s no less) disagree with this line of thought. That's pretty consistent law. I happen to think groups like Miramax and Citizens United have the right to make documentary films, as partisan as they are. Decent of government is as American as apple pie. Yes liberals, I'm saying Decent is may or may not be patriotic... but it is Constitutionally protected, no matter who is doing the dissenting.

So, when corporations are denied the rights of persons, no actual persons are denied their rights.

and from Dubya -

I said corporations are not persons and should not have MORE rights, and less accountability, than the people. Is that clear?

Except the folks at Citizens United, your boys at Media Matters or my guys at the NRA, theoretically John Stewart, Michael Moore (Comedy Central and Miramax) and any number of political pundits from Rush Limbaugh (EIB network) to Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)- or will you argue that self proclaimed "fake journalist" John Stewart and Rush Limbaugh are part of "the press." Not to mention... what about humble bloggers like us. I'm pretty sure Daily Kos registered as a 510c isn't he? Are these not people?

I said corporations are not persons and should not have MORE rights

They don't, and never did. The First Amendment is clear, we have freedom of speech... and there is no monopoly on speech. You dubya for example, can say what ever you want, and you do on this very blog. It's a potentially powerful tool you can use to potentially communicate with literally millions of people the same as anyone or any corporation. In fact, the existence of this blog proves my point. It sounds to me like you're complaining that corporations or unions have an unfair advantage in speech versus the individual because they can get their message out easier because they have more money. Well, too bad. The First Amendment doesn't guarantee equality of audience or resources, just the right to say whatever you want, when ever you want. Don't be a hater because they are better at it and have more resources than you (or me for that matter.)

Many, many more corporate crooks get away with it. And I still have not seen a corporation put in jail, have you?

I've seen members of the corporations go to jail plenty of times, literally thousands of times. It happens every day. Further, RICO applies to corporations. If the members of a company are part of a criminal conspiracy, the company can not only have it's assets sized by the government, but the profits the conspirators earned from illegal activity will also be taken and the conspirators put in jail. That's the law, and it does happen - literally every day.

free0352 said...

As far as TV news media, let them editorialize and broadcast candidates and supporters giving their views. I don’t care what movies are shown

The Federal Elections Commission (government) cared, and tried to ban some of these 30 days before the Democrat primary. The Supreme Court struck that down. If what you say above is true, it sounds like you actually agree with the Citizens United ruling, because the Court was basically saying exactly what you said above.

Medieval Feudalism was power by “divine right of kings”. Neo-feudalism is power by “divine right of wealth”. Same thing, same result.

Well I only have a degree in political science so what do I know about the history of government.. but I'm pretty sure Feudalism while sometimes related to the divine right of kings does not require it. Feudalism is defined as-

The dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which land granted by a lord to the nobility was in turn held by vassals and worked by peasants, with each group owing homage and service to that above it.

Feudalism is less about divine right (though admittedly in England it was)than trading service for goods and land, usually military service to benefit the owner of a fief granted for service or hereditary title.

Or in the case of America, trading a vote for a welfare check instead of a plot of land and protection from rival knights. Either way, in the inner city (or the trailer park) the situations have an eerie similarity.

And lastly to answer Weasel's question-

Previously you argued that there should be no rules.

Yes I did, and I hold to it. The government doesn't have the authority to tell anyone what or in this case when they can exercise that right.

free0352 said...

, as long as the media upholds its obligation to the public trust and give equal time to opposing views. Fair enough? I didn't think so.

Well, no I don't. First, I don't think "the media" has an obligation to anyone. Second I don't believe in a "fairness doctrine."

I don't think Comedy Central should be forced to give a show to the opposing views of John Stewart, Mirimax should have to produce a counter point to Bowling for Columbine, or MSMBC should have to put on a Conservative "ballence" to Rachel Maddow.

What a funny old world we live in, you can tell I'm a libertarian. I'm on here defending the rights of Michael Moore and Unions and you liberals are arguing they should shut up by force.

LOL, who'd-a thought?

Just the Facts! said...

JG, I'm asking if Weasledog thinks neither should have the right that both do now.

John Myste said...

Mr. Anderson made a specific point, that thus far has not been addressed. I would like to hear Free's answer, Paine's answer, and Heathen's answer. I am not siding with Mr. Anderson. However, agree or disagree, the point is very important, and I think is the fundamental question, even though he did not phrase it as a question. He said this:

Corporations are legal constructs created by people for the purpose of spreading risk and making money. Each of the people involved has all their constitutionally guaranteed rights, except the ones abridged by the Patriot Act.

So, when corporations are denied the rights of persons, no actual persons are denied their rights. (You might have to sit down and think that one over to get it, but it's worth the effort.)


Do you agree with this, or do you disagree with it? Why? Please do not dig up and quote historical "facts," that you can use to go back and forth. Give me your philosophical answer to how you think thinks should work, since this is a legal and philosophical question, and moreover, a question of democracy and how we want it to work (and some may say, how the founding fathers wanted it to work, although I think that question is of secondary importance).

free0352 said...

Do you agree with this,

No, I agree with the SCOTUS, who's been consistent since at least 1976... I thought I'd said that.

Basically, people can organize into groups under a corporate charter in order to do stuff, including making movies and what the law calls "Electioneering Broadcasts," and those things are protected by the First Amendment.

Reason for this opinoin? I like free speech.

John Myste said...

Excellent. Very clearly stated. Free likes free speech, even if said speech derails other aspects of the democratic process.

Politicians MUST answer to those who market them, or their careers end. We must allow those with the finances to market people to market the people of their choice, else we curtail their free speech. We also must allow them to organize in whatever fashion is the most persuasive, same reason.

Therefore, politicians MUST answer to large groups of people with money and commons interests and we MUST NOT allow the government to interfere with this business relationship.

This is free speech, and free speech in its ultimate form, Dave. If you don't like this and want to change it, then you want to curtail free speech. This is clear and indisputable.

Mr. Anderson would argue that the groups of rich people having the power to force politicians to bow to their will denies the ordinary citizen his right to have his voice heard. It does not. His voice is both heard and irrelevant in this case. He will never be as persuasive as those with large bankrolls. He can never have real influence in America.

The ultimate form of free speech denies the ordinary citizen the ability to have his voice make a difference in the majority of cases.

Some people don't like that because it turns democracy into an effective plutocracy in order to preserve the sanctity of free speech, a categorical imperative they are unwilling to risk.

Others think that since ultimate free speech forces a plutocratic system into existence, we should curtail it enough to avoid this. I agree, but let’s be honest about what our goal is:

We want to curtail free speech in order to preserve the gist of the democratic process. If we deny this in any fashion, we provide legitimate attack points for those who disagree with the approach. If we admit it, we can argue from a point of righteousness. We have a noble reason for our desires and those who do not agree with us, simply have different desires. It makes us less right, because a desire lives outside the context of being logically accurate or inaccurate. For the same reason, it makes us less wrong. The whole discussion between the right and left could change from each side accusing the other of being wrong, thinking wrongly and misunderstanding the relevant points. We could all agree on the truth is and how our opinions differ, and then make the argument about what really provokes us into disagreement. The real difference is a dispute over ideals. Which is more important to you, a non-plutocratic “democracy” that curtails free speech or a plutocracy that protects it fully?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

So, let me ask this: Is a corporation considered a person or property? (Keep in mind, I think it has already been established, and agreed upon here, that corporate charters are granted by the state, i.e., a corporation would not exist were it not for the allowance of the state -- similar to your driver's license.)

Again, I'll ask the question once again: Is a corporation a person? Or, is a corporation a legal construct (property)?

John Myste said...

Jefferson, I believe we have established that it a corporation is a legal construct that in practice has been granted personhood, identity, and extraordinarily unbalanced influence.

We have built a machine that has replaced us as the ruling authority and we are now powerless to re-program it. (or we think we are. See the moral of the story “A Bug’s Life” for more details).

It is the plot of a number of science fiction movies, only in those we construct the machine from computer chips, nuts, and bolts instead of thin air. As my fifth grade bible study said: “Their gods are made of wood and stone, but our god is intangible and real.”

The Heathen Republican said...

@John and @SW Anderson
Corporations are legal constructs created by people for the purpose of spreading risk and making money.
Basically accurate, slightly incomplete.

Each of the people involved has all their constitutionally guaranteed rights...
Agreed.

...except the ones abridged by the Patriot Act.
Disagree, but let's not go there.

So, when corporations are denied the rights of persons, no actual persons are denied their rights.
Agreed.

I think the open questions are 1) if corporations CURRENTLY HAVE any rights of free speech or campaign spending and 2) if they SHOULD HAVE any rights of free speech or campaign spending.

I think the answer to #1 is that they DO currently have some rights. If the answer to #2 is NO, then 3) which rights should be removed and 4) is it constitutional to remove them.

The Heathen Republican said...

@Dave and @Free (or anyone else)
I don't know if this helps clarify your discussion, but it sounds like the issue of campaign donations and political speech are getting muddled together. I'm curious how you would each answer:
A) Should corporations be allowed to donate to politicians and campaigns?
B) Should corporations be allowed to pay for advertisements in favor of one issue or one politician over another?
C) Should corporations be allowed to pay a proxy to speak to a politician on their behalf and advocate for the corporation's interests (commonly referred to as lobbying)?

The Heathen Republican said...

@Dave
"There are many real situations of corporate collective unaccountability. It is diffusion of accountability... Your tanning guy has every right as an individual, like the rest of us, to make his case to politicians."

I think you're saying that corporations shouldn't donate to politicians. This should be easy enough to control; only allow donations from entities with a social security number and disallow all other types of tax IDs.

In that case, the corporation can't make donations, but every member of management, every shareholder, every employee individually could. In the tanning salon example, each partner can make an individual donation, but not a donation from the company itself.

That's donations, but what about speech? Or paid-for speech during a campaign? Can the owners of the tanning salon pay for an ad opposing legislation that raises their taxes? What about opposing a politician who supports it? Can they pay for an ad informing their customers that a bill will raise their price to tan?

Each example is in the interests of the business, so can those costs be paid for by the company, or would you consider that a corporate political "donation"?

Lastly, can five tanning salon owners pool their money to pay for the ads? Or could they hire one guy to drive to Washington D.C. and meet with legislators to lobby against the bill?

Just the Facts! said...

The Heathen and Free.

In your discussion I think you should include Unions as well as corporation. As JG pointed out the Citizens United decision included Unions.
Should the same regulations apply to them as do Corporations?

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "You said, "Except that people in a corporation don't have a voice. the janitor at a 7-eleven does not have the write to draw on corporate funds to make campaign donations. In theory the only people with a voice in a corporation are the shareholders."

What seemed to be your clear implication was that the janitor should have a voice in how 7-Eleven spends its corporate dollars."

You know I didn't mean that. I believe that you know I didn't mean that. I believe you're being snarky and obtuse. You seem to be able to read well enough.

But Free says that corporations need to be recognized as people with inalienable rights, because they are made of people who need equal rights in a corporation. As the argument is over whether money equals free speech, then this assumes that every person in the corporation must have equal access to the corporation's dollars.

If Free's argument is to hold, then Free needs to demonstrate that all employees in a corporation have equal access to the corporate funds.

If they don't, then under Free's argument, a corporation is repressive structure that denies people their constitutional rights. In this case, using Free's logic, corporations are engaging in felonious behavior.

My own view is that corporations are not persons. Corporations have a right to operate with a hierarchy of rights, within the boundaries of the law. Not everyone in a corporation has free speech in regards to the official position of the corporation. I reject Free's argument.

Weaseldog said...

Just the Facts! said... "Weasledog,

Just so I am sure what you are saying, you said that neither Unions or Corporations have the right to be treated as individuals in the eyes of the law, right? Then if I understand you correctly and if I'm wrong please correct me, the Supreme Court decision in the matter of Citizens United was wrong for two reason.
One they were wrong about Citizens United
and
Two they should have included Unions in their correct decision.
Interesting position if I am right in my understanding."


Both corporations and unions operate under charters and should be bound by laws which govern their activities. This comes under the commerce clause of the US Constitution. No innate or extraneous constitutional rights of privileges need to be granted or inferred to give these entities room to operate in a capitalistic environment.

Weaseldog said...

John Myste are you arguing that a corporation has the right to use their free speech to drown out and stifle the free speech of others, and that this elimination of free speech by third parties is protected by the US Constitution?

free0352 said...

We want to curtail free speech

Bottom line.

free0352 said...

If Free's argument is to hold, then Free needs to demonstrate that all employees in a corporation have equal access to the corporate funds.

So what you're saying is that every one at Mirimax has to agree with Michael Moore before they can air Ferienhight 9-11 30 days prior to a primary election? That's the stupiest thing I've ever heard. Like it or not guys, orginizations of people can speak collectively, and that speech is protected by law... more specifically that Amendment exists to proctect that speech FROM PEOPLE LIKE YOU. No wonder it pisses you off, it exists to stop you.

BTW, making a TV comercial isn't tantamount to a vote. It's simply speech. When a company makes an electioneering broadcast... if the employee doesn't agree with the company ownership/leadership they have the FREEDOM to quit. No one is forced to work for any company. They do get a say, they get the choice to work there or not.

free0352 said...

ut it sounds like the issue of campaign donations and political speech are getting muddled together.

It is, and this is maddening. Government can and does regulate how people spend money- to include campaign contributions. It can't regulate what you or anyone says, by law. Regulation of speech is flat unconstitutional.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

It seems John Myste has replied to my question ("Is a corporation a "person" or property?") and believes it to be person; Heathen Republican is noncommittal; Weaseldog believes them to be property only; Free0352 has yet to respond, although his previous discourse aligns him with personhood; and Just the Facts! is also noncommittal. Maybe he'll commit if I indicate we're also speaking about unions. Our host, Dave Dubya, believes them to be exclusively property, and last, but not least, S.W. Anderson has already affirmed that corporations are nothing more than property (tangible, real, intellectual, or otherwise).

The current score:

JM: Prop (I assume)
HR: No Commitment
WD: Prop
F0352: Personhood
JTF!: No Commitment
DD: Prop
SWA: Prop

Please revise and/or commit or comment.

John Myste said...

Weasledog,

John Myste are you arguing that a corporation has the right to use their free speech to drown out and stifle the free speech of others, and that this elimination of free speech by third parties is protected by the US Constitution?

No, Weasledog, I made a philosophical argument, sir, not a legal one. Therefore, I did not specify what the Constitution says, as it is very secondary concern. We need to know what is right, or what we want to happen first. Then we look to the Constitution to see what options we legally have available to us. I don’t care one flip what the founding fathers wanted, but I do realize that we have to abide by their legal document (no offense to the founders. I admire much of what Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine and perhaps other Thomas’s of that time period thought).

Additionally, I stated that I was in favor of curtailing the voice of the corporation, which is to say, of limiting the voice of a corporation so that is cannot easily become louder than that of any human competitors. I want to LIMIT this free speech in order to preserve the rest of democracy. If corporations have a voice, then mine will never be heard, and neither will yours. The mission of a corporation is to produce profit. It has no civic duty or dedication to justice. I do not want corporations to be able to punish disobedient politicians by ending their careers. If a huge chunk of the marketing a political candidate comes from the representation of corporations, then the candidate is their de facto employee, and he must honor their Machiavellian wishes or they will fire him. I am not alleging that it is wrong for corporations to be Machiavellian. It would be immoral for the leaders of corporations to be anything else. They are hired to represent the business interests of the corporation and they are beholden to the shareholders who pay them to fulfill this role to the best of their abilities.

So, to be very clear, I advocate curtailing a corporation’s free speech. This means that I am curtailing the ability of individuals to form and speak through a corporate entity. In other words, I think free speech is not an imperative sensible people would embrace. The point where you and I may part ways is if you deny that curtailing this form of free speech is curtailing free speech. It is. It is better to admit what we advocate and move forward from there. If we are unwilling to state our position plainly, and if we prefer to shroud our philosophy is specific examples from which we claim our position derives, then we must think our position is weak or shameful and in need of obfuscation in order to survive scrutiny. I am proud of my very logical stance in this matter and I feel no need to call it something other than what it is.

Some us present have a categorical imperative: never curtail free speech. Like all owners of truth with their categorical imperatives, they are very closed-minded and dangerous. That is my position.

The Heathen Republican said...

JG, I'll weigh in, but I was trying to steer the discussion to something that I thought was more useful. I think it's clear that corporations are not persons. The sky is also blue, if you're curious.

As Free said, corporations are groups of people. The core of the discussion seems to be around the rights of a corporation, not whether or not a corporation is a person.

John Myste said...

In case my last comment was too wordy, let me state my position again:

I want to curtail corporate free speech in order to preserve the rest of democracy. If corporations have a full voice, then politicians are their de facto employees and they must do as they are told. This is de facto plutocracy. I want to avoid an accidental plutocracy by limiting free speech enough to preserve democracy. I have no categorical imperatives that box me into a specific line of reasoning or that prevent me from examining this issue logically.

John Myste said...

Jefferson,

A corporation is not a person. It is a legal entity given some rights normally reserved for people. Those rights give this entity power to rule political candidates.

Political candidates must follow the money if they are to succeed. We need to take some of the power away from the corporation because it is being used in a way that was not intended by its builders.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

The Heathen Republican, you sarcastically replied...

"JG, I'll weigh in, but I was trying to steer the discussion to something that I thought was more useful. I think it's clear that corporations are not persons. The sky is also blue, if you're curious."

But that's just the point. That's exactly where you should have been steering the conversation. Why? Because the U.S. Constitution now grants corporations the legal fiction of personhood. Legally, they are seen as persons -- with many of the most important rights of human beings. They have 1st Amendment rights (which really came to public light after Citizens United), 4th Amendment rights, 5th Amendment rights, and consistently have leveraged the Commerce Clause to their benefit. There's extensive information on the web concerning this, along with many books that document the many cases and instances where corporations have used these "human" rights to further their agenda and reduce democratic processes.

By the way, the sky isn't blue on Mars. Smart ass.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

The Heathen Conservative, you also said...

"As Free said, corporations are groups of people. The core of the discussion seems to be around the rights of a corporation, not whether or not a corporation is a person."

Of course they're composed of groups of people. Who ever claimed they weren't? As already mentioned, those people retain their constitutional rights (although, more and more, their employers infringe on these). As far as rights of corporations, of course they have rights, just as any legal entity has rights. They have the right to sue and be sued, the right to redress wrongs in court, etc., etc.

The question as to whether a corporation is a person, or not, is at the heart of the whole discussion.

Weaseldog said...

Free, says, "So what you're saying is that every one at Mirimax has to agree with Michael Moore before they can air Ferienhight 9-11 30 days prior to a primary election? That's the stupiest thing I've ever heard. Like it or not guys, orginizations of people can speak collectively, and that speech is protected by law... more specifically that Amendment exists to proctect that speech FROM PEOPLE LIKE YOU. No wonder it pisses you off, it exists to stop you."

Free, I understand that you're a dyed in the wool Marxist, but it doesn't matter how many times you argue that corporations are collectives, they aren't.

It's clear that you're a communist and you see our system through the lens of communism, but that's not how our system works.

There is no collective in a corporation. Corporations are not Communist Collectives.

As you're a communist, you should be able to tell the difference between a Collective and the Corporate hierarchical structure that corporations are based upon.

Weaseldog said...

John Myste, it seems you and I are in some agreement.

I believe that on the free speech issue, there needs to be clear rules that level the playing field.

I see the same need in the market place, where businesses and individuals are bound to codes of ethical conduct.

I don't believe that for instance, that the current laws that prevent corporations from having board members of their rivals assassinated, destroys the marketplace. Nor do I believe that laws that define the limits of political speech, necessarily violate our free speech rights.

Weaseldog said...

John, as I see it, corporations can only have rights granted to them by law.

Corporations have no inalienable rights as laid out by the preamble.

what rights we grant them is a ripe topic for debate, but I see no debate in the notion that a charter licensed by a state government has inalienable rights granted by the Creator.

Consider further that more than 5,000 corporations are created every year, most with no real employees, simply designed to be a tax shelter, and I wonder how far we should take this personage issue.

Should we let each corporation vote in elections? If they are persons, shouldn't they be allowed to vote in Local, State, and Federal Elections? How many votes should they get?

And shouldn't corporations have the right to get married and adopt children? Some say they are persons, and persons do these things.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "The sky is also blue, if you're curious."

So the sky has a clear liberal bias?

The Heathen Republican said...

JG, why the hostility? We've all been doing a pretty good job of keeping the conversation civil among a large group of people who disagree. Don't blow that.

I found your question to be quite obvious, just as the color of the sky is obvious to those of us on Earth. I think it's obvious that corporations are groups of people and not people in and of themselves. Perhaps the answer wasn't as obvious to everyone else, so I apologize for the sarcasm.

If you're looking for a legal opinion, I can't offer one. But you highlight one other thing that's getting muddled here: some of us are talking philosophically while others are talking about current law and practice.

We have multiple conversations of ARE and SHOULD BE going on, and we all need to be fair in our responses to each other recognizing that fact. So let's cool down and keep the great discussion going.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

The Heathen Conservative...

"JG, why the hostility?"

Hostility? Not me -- just calling you out for your own. But your apology, although not required, is certainly accepted. You're the better man for it.

"If you're looking for a legal opinion..."

I'm not...here. I already realize that the legal opinion has been established, though legal precedent, and it erroneously originates, as I previously stated, with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad. The fallacy has only manifested itself over the last century-plus in last year's culminating Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

"We have multiple conversations of ARE and SHOULD BE going on, and we all need to be fair in our responses to each other recognizing that fact".

I agree, but I think it's also worth knowing some background about corporate personhood; the legal argument behind it, how it's intrinsically tied to the 14th Amendment, and how this legal fiction defines the corporate culture of today. To look at Citizens United as an isolated and stand-alone decision only leads to misinformation and personal opinions that have no validity. It's a topic that I've delved into extensively over the last ten years. It goes to the heart of why the Left places the preponderance of blame on the "corporate-state", instead of against "big government", alone (as the right does), and sees this sharing and co-mingling of corruption as the root cause of the eroding democratic values in this country. And interestingly, probably most on the Left don't totally realize this, and certainly nobody on the Right does.

You'll never hear the term "corporate personhood" mentioned by the mainstream media, let alone discussed. It's the Medusa to every reporter, editor, newspaper, and media conglomerate. To just utter the word would surely result in economic death.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
You left out kings in your definition of feudal hierarchy. Feudalism’s supreme authority derived from a divine right of kings. Only the Pope had a higher “divine right”.

I said corporations are not persons and should not have MORE rights than persons. You said, “They don't, and never did.” You contradict this immediately after with, “corporations or unions have an unfair advantage in speech versus the individual because they can get their message out easier because they have more money.”

Then there’s that nasty thing called “eminent domain” where corporations have a government evict people from their homes for a factory or business complex.

I’m not being a “hater” stating the truth.

I don't think "the media" has an obligation to anyone.

They have a social contract, rules, a code of regulations along with their license:

FCC Regulation of Broadcast Radio and Television: The FCC allocates (that is, designates a portion of the broadcast spectrum to) new broadcast stations based upon both the relative needs of various communities for additional broadcast outlets and specified engineering standards designed to prevent interference among stations and to other communications users. As noted above, whenever we review an application – whether to build a new station, modify or renew a license or sell a station – we must determine if its grant would serve the public interest.

See? Public interest. Revolting as that term may be to you, it is real. But you understand the concept, as in the Emergency Alert System. And you betcha they have free speech restrictions. Children may be watching. Or sensitive religious types.

I feel this is more than ample grounds for Contitutional provisions for what I suggested.

My point is simply they are not persons, not citizens, often not even taxpaying entities. I say We the People will have better government without corporate intrusion and interference.

Yes, I know the SCOTUS supports corporate personhood, artificial as it may be. They are not the final authority. The Constitution is, which is why I say we need a Constitutional remedy.

I think Jefferson would agree with me.

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”


JG,
”You'll never hear the term "corporate personhood" mentioned by the mainstream media.

Bingo!

Dave Dubya said...

Wease,
Wonderful points!

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
Thank you for pointing out “campaign donations and political speech are getting muddled together.”

This is what happens when money is sanctified as free speech.

Is something free speech or propaganda? Free speech or provocation? Free speech or incitement? Free speech or slander? Free speech or hate speech? Free speech or threat? Free speech is a continuum.

Free speech isn’t, and shouldn’t be, absolute in any and all content, and political free speech should be for persons, as guaranteed in the First Amendment.

If money is free speech then it can also be restricted speech. Limiting money as free speech is as reasonable as the “fire shouted in the theatre” kind of limit. Corporate advertising should be about their products, services, accomplishments, etc. NOT about how they want us to vote. I think that crosses a line.

I think Jefferson and I would both agree on “no” as the answer to your questions.

Political films must be allowed as free speech. Documentaries could be presented under a journalistic premise. I think both CU and Michael Moore should have the right to be seen. The public interest clause in the FCC could have broadcasters show a balance of these films. This is not the same as the Fairness Doctrine, although some actual fairness and balance would be ideal. Anything would be better than all the ads that air now. At least with a film the viewer is watching by choice.

I would suggest the Constitutional power to regulate commerce could very well allow keeping corporations out of our government and elections.

free0352 said...

Free, I understand that you're a dyed in the wool Marxist

Get serious.

that the current laws that prevent corporations from having board members of their rivals assassinated, destroys the marketplace. Nor do I believe that laws that define the limits of political speech, necessarily violate our free speech rights.

Death by TV commercial? Never happened. Free speech ain't murder.

We've crossed in this debate into two separate threads. I'm talking about a specific line of legal thought revolving around a specific court case, that being Citizens United. You guys have decided to focus on "corporate personhood" and totally ignore the actual law, to talk about philosophy. It's a moot point, we don't govern wit philosophy, we govern by actual law - and the law is very, very clear. PEOPLE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, MORE OVER GOVERNMENT CANNOT REGULATE SPEECH FROM ANYONE. NOT A PERSON, NOT A CORPORATION, NO ONE, NO WHERE , EVER, AT ANY TIME. Government does not have that authority granted to it in it's charter, the Constitution. It's literally illegal to make any law regarding free speech, and that has been upheld over, and over again. You can't disrupt a court room, you can't yell fire in a crouded theater, and you can't make direct threats of violence... but that's about it for what government can tell you not to say. If a corporation isn't a person, it doesn't matter - government still can't regulate speech... period.

As for this question of corporate "person-hood?" NO, it isn't a person.. It's a piece of property. Property can't speak. It's owners, stockholders (or in the case of unions the membership)... are people and citizens and have a right to use their resources to speak. If that means the owners of a corporation or union leadership want to make a movie through the corporation or union - that's speech and government can't regulate it.

The government can and does regulate direct donations to political candidates... that too has been upheld... however when it comes to free speech, the government has no lawful authority nor can it ever have it unless the Constitution is amended to do that. Period.

You all seem to think that a group of people with great resources like controlling interest in a corporation or the president of a Union have an unfair advantage in getting their speech out. Probably yes, so what? Tough shit. No where in our laws does it say speech has to be heard. It just has to be free from interference from the government. Government can not use the power of the state to tell anyone, anywhere, at any time when or what to say with very, very little interference. That is there for a reason. I hate to break it to you, but when you tell the President of the Union or the board at Miramax when or what they can say, you open a can of worms that best remains nailed shut. You want to see Democracy die? Have government tell people what they can say... Totalitarianism is right around the corner. Pretty much take your freedoms and flush'em. History has proven that over and over again. Regulation of speech, especially political speech by government isn't just dangerous, it's practically suicidal.

free0352 said...

Is something free speech or propaganda?

Doesn't matter.

Free speech or provocation?

Doesn't matter.

Free speech or incitement?

You can't conspire to riot under the guise of free speech. Please use some common sense.

Free speech or slander?

Depends on if you cause damages or not.

Free speech or hate speech?

Doesn't matter. There is no protection in the Constitution from having your feelings hurt.

Free speech or threat?

Depends on what you're threatening.

Free speech is a continuum.

Yes, and political speech is absolute. Dude, I'm going to laugh in your little blog face from now on when you claim to be anti authoritarian. I can't think of a nice way to say this, you're a ridiculous hypocrite. Mr. Anti Authority arguing for government controls on political speech... The only thing you don't support government authority over it seems is when you want to smoke pot. You seem to me about as committed to personal freedom as Fidel Castro. You know, I'm trying not to throw bombs... but I have to call it as I see it... and what I see is a guy who wants to use the power of THE STATE to shut people up he doesn't like or threaten his (granted very limited) political power.

John Myste said...

Free thinks you are a hypocrite because you don't agree with him. I have seen his MO. He only gets this angry when he thinks he is losing.

Stop being mean to Free, damn it. He has enough problems without your free thought intruding on his rightness.

Just the Facts! said...

From what I have been able to gather in this discussion is there (A) are some of you who would limit the free speech of corporations and unions much more than currently limited. There (B) are others who would not impose any restrictions to any group I guess up to the point of a law suite for slander.
And here are the horns of the dilemma as I see it. As long as you use money as the real issue and not what is being said, you will over look that what is being is said is protected by the Constitution and the findings from the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court.

Now you can disagree and stomp your foot and vote for this guy or the next gal, but until if and when the SCOTUSA changes it's mind on the issue, it is what it is for now.

Since money has been declared the same as speech, then to argue one group should have the right and the other not allows politics to enter into the right of free speech. If you say money is not speech, then trying to control money for political use will near impossible. Remember, the people who write these laws in many cases are lawyers and politicians and the party who writes will know where the loop holes.

Ok, so like by now any one gives a dam what I think, but here is goes.
This is not the first time the SCOTUSA has read the Constitution different than I would have. Maybe the first time was when they found the "right to privacy" in the Constitution in the Roe v Wade case.
But the truth is, in our type of system (which is the best I can find, unless you want to make me King for life of the USA)you have to take the good with the bad. Sometimes you win other times you lose.
It's all about how you present your ideals in the free market place of ideas. To damn the SCOTUSA and then close up your tent and curse the darkness shows a lack of belief that you are right.

Personally, if I have to accept ROE v WADE as written, the I can accept Citizens United.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,

We've crossed in this debate into two separate threads. I'm talking about a specific line of legal thought revolving around a specific court case, that being Citizens United. You guys have decided to focus on "corporate personhood" and totally ignore the actual law, to talk about philosophy.

Not that there’s plenty to talk about, but CU v FEC is only one aspect of our broader philosophical discussion, and corporate personhood is exactly on topic. You would be restricting our subject. And I honestly don’t think we totally ignore the law.

unless the Constitution is amended to do that. Period.

Yes, now you’re getting back to the original topic of the post. Well done.

As for this question of corporate "person-hood?" NO, it isn't a person.. It's a piece of property. Property can't speak.

Excellent. Welcome back to our warm-blooded species. The effects of your Rand Brand Koolade appear to be subsiding.

I’ll try to finish your idea before the next gulp takes effect.

Property can’t speak...and it can’t vote. In fact, it can’t do much at all on its own. That’s why those with the most “property”, those who want more and more property, those who always want everything their way want all of us to think their property has the same rights as a person. They just can’t get enough of that property and free speech money. Lots and lots of free speech money is almost as good as all their property having the right to vote for their favorite politician, who also (coincidently, I’m sure) like lots and lots of free speech money.

More and more is better and better, but never, never enough. How’s that for an ideology? Pretty awesome, but maybe not the best for a civilized society.

that means the owners of a corporation or union leadership want to make a movie through the corporation or union - that's speech and government can't regulate it.

I do believe we are all in agreement on this. Peace in our time....

You can't disrupt a court room, you can't yell fire in a crowded theater, and you can't make direct threats of violence.

Yes. And above all, you can’t tell the cop, who pulled you over for no reason, he’s being a racist asshole, especially if he really is one. If verbal speech is restricted why can’t cash speech? It’s far more obscene.

political speech is absolute Ah, no dude. Political speech mentioning assassination is highly frowned on, and can be quite illegal.

BTW, thank you for answering my rhetorical questions to HR. And that was thoughtful of you, not trying to throw the hypocrite, pot, and Castro bombs. No hard feelings. Emotional outbursts seem to be a side effect of that fresh boost of koolade. We understand. We’re bleeding hearts, after all.

what I see is a guy who wants to use the power of THE STATE to shut people up he doesn't like

Oh, dear. Yes I see your blood-koolade level is now back up to normal levels.

If it helps, I’ll type this more s l o w l y...:

None of us want the state to shut people up. All of us hold dearly our First Amendment rights, and I’m pretty sure most of us want every American person to have those rights. Really. I would fight to defend them.

We the people don’t want non-persons, and especially multi-national, non-American non-persons, having a greater influence on our government than We the Persons. We think it is very bad for our well being, democracy and freedom.

USA! USA! USA!

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
This is a very good idea. only allow donations from entities with a social security number and disallow all other types of tax IDs.

Dave Dubya said...

JTF,
You bring up some good points.

I’m mostly anti-Right. I annoy many liberals with my general support of the Second Amendment. It’s about freedom.

MediaMatters is not trying to close any news network. And I don’t think they are even trying to close FOX(R). They have a right to free speech. Calling it “news” and “fair and balanced” pushes it to absurd levels sometimes though.

liberals beleive in freedom of speech as long as that speech does not go counter to or effect a positive outcome of a liberal cause.

Not true. I welcome all opinions and speech at this blog and anywhere else, as long as it is civil.

Liberalism cannot win in the open free market of ideas.

This is why I joked, “Just the FOX”. You see, that is not a fact. Look at what the majority of people think of campaign cash. Pretty liberal.

That is the cornerstone of Liberalism: Nobody can succeed without big govt unless they cheated or stole to become a success.Sad, very sad.

Wrong, very wrong. This is waaay more FOX than fact.

I was hoping you and Free would find out on your own where the FDR unemployment rates come from. Since Free doesn’t seem to want to read what he doesn’t like, you can look it up. They are from the best, and possibly only, source on labor statistics. Try the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You’re right. We are stuck with the rulings of the Supreme Court. And since the majority of the Justices are very friendly with corporate non-persons and their billionaire owners, they will continue to interpret our laws in favor of their friends as much as they can. Maybe you’ve heard of something like it. It’s called judicial activism.

This is why I say the only remedy for our democracy in decline is by Constitutional amendment. I won’t hold my breath waiting, though. You see, most politicians are also very, very friendly with all those corporate non-persons and their billionaire owners. Maybe all that free speech cash has something to do with it.

Oh, well. At least I can still use my actual Constitutional free speech, even though it does not count as much as corporate free speech.

Thomas Jefferson said, “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

What do you think he meant?

S.W. Anderson said...

John Myste wrote: "Mr. Anderson would argue that the groups of rich people having the power to force politicians to bow to their will denies the ordinary citizen his right to have his voice heard."

No, I wouldn't, and please don't presume to make arguments in my name. Such a thing could happen in the future, but only does now when groups or individuals do thing like buy up all the commercial broadcast air time ahead of an election.

S.W. Anderson said...

A point that's too easily muddled. A corporation is a collective entity. It isn't assigned the responsibilities of a person, e.g. serving in the military, and deserves no rights and privileges of a person.

The drive to secure personhood for corporations is motivated by a desire of corporate decision makers to leverage the power of money and economic clout to influence politics, multiplying their influence over and beyond what most individuals, even rich ones, can exert.

Weaseldog said...

I said, "Free, I understand that you're a dyed in the wool Marxist"

free0352 said... "Get serious."

I'm completely serious.

You're using Communist Talk when you start talking about Corporations as 'Collectives'.

That is the goal of communism, to treat all human enterprises as collectives. To treat all humans exactly equal. To reward them equally.

You're promoting communist concepts. you're using communist arguments.

If you're not a communist, why are you promoting communism?

T. Paine said...

First, my initial reaction to HR’s suggestion of only allowing CITIZENS with social security numbers to donate is favorable.

Of course donations from non-citizens such as foreign nationals has always been illegal, not that this stopped Bill Clinton from taking campaign contributions from Indonesian James Riady when he was in office, among untold others. I realize that the focus of the current debate is on corporations though.

Dubya states that, “Corporate advertising should be about their products, services, accomplishments, etc. NOT about how they want us to vote. I think that crosses a line.”

I could live with that up until some idiot government “representatives” started bad-mouthing a company or industry that negatively impacted their livelihood and those of its workers.

Case in point: I detest smoking, but it is a legal product. The government has spent untold billions demonizing and further restricting that industry because it is politically correct to do so. They hoped to get more taxable revenue for the government through such underhanded means. Doesn’t RJ Reynolds Corporation have a right to free speech to protect its company by offering explanations, advertising, and counter-points to the public in defending itself against such governmental interference?

The aforementioned tanning salon industry also comes to mind as an example. Why should Leviathan Tanning Inc. be penalized by new governmental taxes on the industry (just to help fund an un-Constitutional health care law) not have the right to lobby congress regarding the negative impact the government has created on the industry’s livelihood?

“I would suggest the Constitutional power to regulate commerce could very well allow keeping corporations out of our government and elections.”

The regulation of commerce and the restriction of free speech and defending a company’s right to continue to do unfettered legal business are two different things, Dubya.

Let’s give you another example, Dubya. Since only people should have free speech rights and the ability to make donations accordingly, that means that corporations, unions, PAC’s, and other special interest groups should not be allowed to lobby or influence our government, correct?

If such is your stance, then I am sure you will take this opportunity to reverse your past statements and disavow the various public employee unions trying to unduly influence Governor Scott Walker in his admirable and just cause to cut spending and save tax payers’ money in Wisconsin, right?

The fact that these same public unions are donating money in an effort to recall certain state Republicans should outrage you accordingly, Dubya. After all, aren’t these corporate/union/PAC-like entities having undue influence as a group on our democracy that they might not have as individual persons with their free speech rights otherwise?

Weasel, your calling Free a communist is so absurd as to be hillarious. And you call others obtuse and imply they are only saying things in order to garner a reaction. You do provide amusement though.

Weaseldog said...

Free says, "that's speech and government can't regulate it."

Let me get this straight you would, with all your heart and mind support the following scenario as free speech.

A sex toy manufacturer, produces a homosexual pornographic film with a message promoting gay marriage. They broadcast it on Nickelodeon on a Sunday Morning.

As a political message by a corporation, this would fit your definition of protected free speech and they would have the right to aire it.

Yes or no?

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine says, "If such is your stance, then I am sure you will take this opportunity to reverse your past statements and disavow the various public employee unions trying to unduly influence Governor Scott Walker in his admirable and just cause to cut spending and save tax payers’ money in Wisconsin, right?"

So you're saying that Walker was taking free speech bribes from unions?

That is big news if you can back it up.

If you start talking about collectivism being the basis for our corporate structures, then you'll be announcing to us all that you're a communist to.

S.W. Anderson calls them a Collective Entity. That has a slightly different meaning. A 'Collective' has strong communist connotations.

There is also socialist meaning to collective, but in that view a person's value to the collective, is determined by the sweat of his or her labors.

Free was clear in saying that each person in a corporation has an equal voice. This is the communist view.

Don't write like a communist and people won't think you're one.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine says, "The fact that these same public unions are donating money in an effort to recall certain state Republicans should outrage you accordingly, Dubya. After all, aren’t these corporate/union/PAC-like entities having undue influence as a group on our democracy that they might not have as individual persons with their free speech rights otherwise?"

Dave was clear that political speech from various groups should be regulated.

You should read what he writes. Then you'll know what he's writing.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
I detest smoking too. I’ve seen too many lives cut short by it. I have asthma and I believe a person’s right to smoke ends at my nose and would at least require a smoker to have the decency to ask if I minded.

Would reporting the risk of cancer really be interference and “bad mouthing a company”? At least the government doesn’t throw RJR into prison like they do pot growers, for something far, far less dangerous. RJR should be free to honestly defend their products, if such a thing is possible.

I see nothing wrong with taxing non-nutritional psychoactive products that contribute to public health problems. It’s a win/win. People are free to poison themselves and society gets something back.

Please note I have not advocated banning lobbying. I think that is the appropriate place for unions, corporations and other groups to be heard by politicians. That is not the same as non-persons giving cash to politicians and pitching propaganda over the public airwaves.

Scott Walker would probably not be in power to attack working Americans’ labor rights and violate contracts had he not been bought by the Koch brothers and corporate cronies. Please realize I’m advocating corporate, union and any non-person’s money be kept out of our elections. No person would be deprived of free speech. No person would have more free speech than others. Don’t you think that’s fair?

Corruption is a threat to our well being, freedom and democracy. What’s wrong with trying to eradicate it?

Weaseldog said...

The Federalist Papers
That Government is no more than a choice among evils, is acknowledged by the most intelligent among mankind, and has been a standing maxim for ages...Tis the fortune of a republic to be able to withstand the stormy ocean of human vicissitudes. I know of no danger awaiting us. Public and private security are to be found here in the highest degree. Sir, it is the fortune of a free people, not to be intimidated by imaginary dangers. Fear is the passion of slaves.

Patrick Henry, The Constitutional Convention Debates, June 7, 1788

S.W. Anderson said...

Weasledog wrote: "S.W. Anderson calls them a Collective Entity. That has a slightly different meaning. A 'Collective' has strong communist connotations."

A quarter century past the Soviet Union's demise, I think you're reaching into the dust bin of history to make a distinction without a difference.

Weaseldog said...

S.W. Anderson said... "Weasledog wrote: "S.W. Anderson calls them a Collective Entity. That has a slightly different meaning. A 'Collective' has strong communist connotations."

A quarter century past the Soviet Union's demise, I think you're reaching into the dust bin of history to make a distinction without a difference."


You make a good point. Many of the words with standardized dictionary definitions in 1980, don't mean anything at all anymore.

Most of the political words that are defined in books, are now defined in popular culture as, "Crap Glenn Beck doesn't like."

The meaning of socialism is "Crap Glenn Beck doesn't like."

The meaning of communism is "Crap Glenn Beck doesn't like."

The meaning of fascism is "Crap Glenn Beck doesn't like."

The meaning of collectivism is "Crap Glenn Beck doesn't like."

So, they do all have exactly the same meanings. they are interchangeable.

Hidden away in books are scholarly treatises by George Orwell that explains that if you want to engage in a political coup of a nation, you first wage war on words. you change their meanings and you take words that were once common and safe in the prior political environment to use, and you give them scary and frightening connotations.

The reason you do this, is because you want to make conversation regarding rival political groups, a minefield of fear and ideology.

When this is done well, then it becomes impossible to engage in a conversation about systems or ideas that are not present in the current political system.

Aldous Huxley in 1962, touches on this topic a bit in a talk he gave on research at the time, to find ways to make people accept servitude, and conditions they would otherwise resist if presented with the conditions without prior mental conditioning. He goes on to discuss the state of science at the time and the great strides it was making in understanding how to get people to not only accept their chains, but to get them to fight to keep them.

http://tinyurl.com/5tx45eg

Weaseldog said...

Oh and S.W. Anderson, the USSR was socialist in name only.

It was a state married to a corporate structure.

Socialism is a system where a man owns his own labor, and has the right to negotiate his own destiny. The USSR was the opposite of socialism. It was more akin to Fascism with the state machinery being in service of a few wealthy businessmen, who also operated in the top levels of government.

Governments and agencies are often intentionally mislabeled to fool the public. In the Texas we have a governing body called "The Texas Railroad Commission". By the name you'd think they regulated the railroads.

But they don't. They never did.

They regulate the oil and gas industry.

Dave Dubya said...

Wease,
Orwellian Newspeak is Republican policy.

And that is exactly why we have "fair and balanced" FOX(R) and "death taxes" and "death panels" all over the "liberal media".

free0352 said...

To answer your question in a word weasel, yes.

You know what I'm seeing here? The old liberal arguement for equality of results. Make a lot of money? Take it away and give it to someone else. Its not what "we" consider fair. No one likes our liberal ideas? Shut the compitition up, throw a muzzle on the other side in the name of fairness. We were unable to get our message out, so shut the other side up. Its not redistribution of wealth here, its redistribution of free speech from the know it all pointy headed progressive paternalists who never can seem to get their way by persuasion, only by forcing it on people throw government power. You libs sound like whiney kids demanding mommy give them another cookie cause little johnny got two and thowing the all too familiar limp wristed temper tantrum. Hank god there are amendments to protect us from your childish whims.

Jefferson's Guardian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, you said...

"We've crossed in this debate into two separate threads. I'm talking about a specific line of legal thought revolving around a specific court case, that being Citizens United. You guys have decided to focus on "corporate personhood" and totally ignore the actual law, to talk about philosophy."

As I thought I already made very clear when I responded to The Heathen Republican, this is exactly what this debate is about. It's impossible to talk about Citizens United without linking it to corporate personhood (which ultimately spawned from Santa Clara County). The decision in Citizens United would not have been remotely possible, were it not for the fallacy of Santa Clara County. The two are intrinsically tied.

"It's literally illegal to make any law regarding free speech, and that has been upheld over, and over again."

I hope you still feel this way after October 6th.

"As for this question of corporate 'person-hood?' NO, it isn't a person.. It's a piece of property. Property can't speak."

Good! Now we're getting somewhere!

"If a corporation isn't a person, it doesn't matter - government still can't regulate speech... period."

Damn it, you just contradicted yourself. If a corporation isn't a person (which you just admitted and agreed upon), it isn't protected by 1st Amendment rights -- period!

So, I go back to my original question: Is a corporation a "person"...or is it merely a piece of property, owned by a person (or group of persons)?

Would you like to respond again, with sincerity?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, I have a follow-up question for you (or for any other conservative, if you're so inclined to answer):

Is it possible you believe a corporation to be both a "person" and property?

Just the Facts! said...

JG,

It doesn't matter what the answer to your question "Is it possible you believe a corporation to be both a "person" and property?". The SCOTUSA have decided the way they did and that's that. Just as I stated earlier, Roe v Wade, the Constitution does not support that decision, but it is law now because of SCOTUSA.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Facts!, you said...

"...Roe v Wade, the Constitution does not support that decision..."

{{citation needed}}

free0352 said...

Firstly I'm not a Conservative, and have never been a Conservative. I'm a dues paying member of the Libertarian Party.

Damn it, you just contradicted yourself.

No I didn't. The language in the Constitution is quite clear. Its short and to the point. Here it is entirely. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And there it is in plain English. NO LAW is what it said. I didn't read anywhere in the above text, when talking about free speech where it said "Except corporations, Unions, Or Non-Profit Corporations," anywhere. In fact, the only place it mentions "the people" is for peaceable assembly. That's no accident. This amendment specifically is designed to take away government's power to regulate free speech in any way, for anyone. It doesn't have the authority to do what you all here are asking it to do. It would be unlawful.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,

Nobody is suggesting Congress make a law to abridge free speech. Did you think the founders' meant money to be free speech and corporations to be persons? I don't think so. In fact corporate free speech money abridges OUR free speech and runs contrary to the Constitutional provision for the general welfare. Yelling fire in the theater is not free speech. They made that law, didn't they?

This is why I wrote, advocate democracy-enhancing Constitutional Amendments to rescind corporate personhood and provide public funding for public elections

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dave Dubya, you stated and asked...

"Free,

Nobody is suggesting Congress make a law to abridge free speech. Did you think the founders' meant money to be free speech and corporations to be persons?
"

I think he does -- on both counts. Or, he's a fool.

Free0352, you erroneously and incorrectly said...

"I didn't read anywhere in the above text [referring to the First Amendment], when talking about free speech where it said "Except corporations, Unions, Or Non-Profit Corporations," anywhere. In fact, the only place it mentions "the people" is for peaceable assembly. That's no accident., [Emphasis my own]

{{citation needed}}

That's ludicrous! Especially, when it's unanimously agreed upon by constitutional scholars and experts in the field, that the U.S. Constitution was specially created as the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.

You're being ridiculous in your assertions, and you're not arguing in good faith. Either back off that crazy and moronic claim, or I'll make my own unreasonable suppositions based upon your incredible pretentiousness and false interpretation.

S.W. Anderson said...

Weaseldog, you make some interesting and very worthwhile points about politically manipulating the meaning of words. However, this whole thing has gone way off topic, and I see that without meaning too I facilitated the migration.

Free0352 wrote: "You know what I'm seeing here? The old liberal arguement for equality of results."

What I see you seeing here is an opening to yank this thread toward something you want to expound upon at length. IOW, hijack the conversation. Either that or you're just plain seeing things.

The only people I've heard bringing up equality of results in the past 20 years were conservative meme pushers. It's like the supposed campaign to destroy Christmas -- politically self-serving (supposedly) nonsense.

Meanwhile, this discussion was supposed to be about the Citizens United decision and supposedly apolitical judges advancing the causes of plutocracy and neofeudalism.

Just the Facts! said...

No, JG you show us where the Constitution supports the decision of Roe v Wade.

John Myste said...

Free, "Equality of results" if very much a conservative concept, and they are the ones who usually put it on the table for discussion. If they don't like the concept, they should not have invented it. If they want the concept to die, they should stop promoting it as a concept, since such things never cross liberal minds until conservatives bring it back to the table.

You and Heathen have both recommended this recently as a good topic for discussion. Most of the those who frequent this site are liberals, though, and we do not wish to discuss this conservative idea, since we think you guys are nuts for keeping it alive and you guys claim not to endorse it.

We believe in equality, which you often straw man into equality of results. The fact that you refuse to debate equality and instead debate this concept you invented implies to me that either you fear addressing the actual issues or you are just parroting FOX, avoiding the pesky task of reasoning altogether.

T. Paine said...

I suspect that conservatives did indeed invent the term "equality of results". One typically needs to invent a term to define an action if no vocabulary previously existed to denote the meaning of the action.

The fact of the matter is, whether the left wants to admit it or not, is that they don't like the outcomes often found in America and hence want to equalize the results.

That is the case whether it is in free speech, campaign contributions, or wealth redistribution. The equality of the end result is that for which the left seems to be aiming. If you all don't like the accurate term being used, what would you prefer we call it?

S.W. Anderson said...

"If you all don't like the accurate term being used, what would you prefer we call it?"

Off topic.

John Myste said...

Mr. Paine,

As I explained to Heathen before he should have conceded, the fact that conservatives think (or pretend to think) that equality of results is what social justice is all about shows a complete lack of understanding of the progressive position. Since they don't understand the progressive opinion, they have no right to question it. For so long as the discussion is over their heads, their opinion about is basically irrelevant.

A recent post Heathen wrote inspires me to express it to you this way: faith that one believes something is not a justification for blaming them for believing it. You are inventing a liberal position and then attacking it. Learn the real position, and then if you still disagree with it, we can go from there.

Heathen,

This is another example of faith-based opinions about the oppositions opinion, and in this case, it is not from your site!

Respectfully,
J

free0352 said...

Nobody is suggesting Congress make a law to abridge free speech

Problem: That's exactly what McCain Feingold did be it the intent or not, and that's why the judges overturned the provision that prevented Citizen's United from airing advertisements for their film Hilary 30 days prior to the Democrat primary. When the government tells you "You can't air your TV commercial promoting your movie when we say you can't" that is exactly an attack on free speech. That's government saying "you can talk when we say it's okay." That's frankly much more toxic to a free society than the influence of special interest.

with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.

That's right, including people who own a corporation or are president of a union.

that equality of results is what social justice is all about shows a complete lack of understanding of the progressive position

It doesn't help that Conservatives and Libertarians don't believe in the concept of social justice and reject it in it's entirety. We believe in law, which sometimes produces justice but whose primary function is to provide order, and in the case of the Bill of Rights provided a list of things government isn't allowed to do. One of those things, is regulate free speech.

And for you Anderson, we decided that we were going to switch topics from Citizens' United and go with the concept of "corporate person-hood" and weather government had authority to regulate speech. we broadened the conversation. You must have missed it. Makes sense, you just skim the conservative comments anyway and then spout verbal diarrhea anyway.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, you responded to my statement "...with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.", with...

"That's right, including people who own a corporation or are president of a union."

As has previously been acknowledged and agreed upon, by more than one and on several occasions, nobody has disagreed with you that corporations are owned by people, or that corporations employ people, or that these people retain their constitutional rights despite being associated with a corporation. That's not the point we're debating. (And deep down, I know you realize this.)

The question being debated is whether property (e.g., "corporations") has the same constitutional rights (as set forth in the Bill of Rights) as natural, or human, beings do.

As you're apparently not aware, the 1st Amendment included civil liberties pertaining to religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. These civil liberties apply only to natural, or human, beings -- not artificial beings. Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights. Again, these apply to human beings -- not those that are artificial (or figments of your imagination).

You're totally off the wall with your claims, and desperately grasping at straws. Nice try, though.

Dave Dubya said...

When their case is weak, Righties need to frame an issue, unilaterally define terms, and often change the subject. Reality contradicts their “liberal media”, “death taxes”, “death panels” etc. No wonder they need to be louder than us, whether by distraction, shouting, or by volume of money in the game.

Note how they want to distract from the reality of artificial corporate personhood, and the very real inequalities of free speech rights and representation, and frame the issue with their fantasy of "equality of results".

This is why my question goes unanswered.Did you think the founders meant money to be free speech and corporations to be persons?

They know arguing about “equality of results" would also be much easier than addressing a relevant point made by a founder.

Here it is again in case anyone "overlooked" it.

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

Anybody care to correct Jefferson’s liberal notion?

Anybody?

The Heathen Republican said...

Dave, you're trying to put those of us on the right into a position of defending corporations, but that misses our point.

I agree with the Jefferson quote you provided above. I have no particular love for corporations. Corporations are amoral and rarely try to do the right thing. The objective of a corporation is to make a profit.

I don't want my government run by corporations. I don't want our elected politicians in the pocket of corporations. I'll even take a leap of faith and say that my friends here on the right can agree to all of the same.

The difference between us here seems to be what rights a corporation should have. Does a corporation have a right to free speech? I think YES. Should corporations be allowed to publicly speak against politicians and laws that hurt their business or their customers? I think YES?

Should corporations be able to donate money to politicians and campaigns? I'm leaning towards NO because the individuals within the corporation are free to do so.

Should corporations be allowed to pay lobbyists to speak to politicians directly on behalf of their interests? I think YES, the right is clearly there, I just don't like the lobbying industry and wonder if something can be done to clean it up.

So Dave, don't setup false choices that make us have to defend corporations. I know you think the Republican Party is the party of business, in the pocket of business, and only makes decisions when its corporate masters say its okay. But the goal is not to defend business; it's to defend business against irrational attacks from the left.

I'll venture to say that, both left and right here, we agree on corporate influence in politics. So let's talk about the specifics and where we disagree.

The Heathen Republican said...

"Nobody is suggesting Congress make a law to abridge free speech."

Apparently everyone missed it when John said he wanted to curb free speech. "We want to curtail free speech in order to preserve the gist of the democratic process."

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
Thanks for acknowledging TJ’s words. If we don’t want our government run by corporations then we need legal mechanisms to prevent that. Corporate personhood and money as free speech guarantee their power and dominance. It would be nice if our friends on the Right agreed. I get the opposite impression though.

My argument against corporate/union/special interest money as free speech has been twisted into being anti-free speech. Not the same. I’m used to Righties framing my criticism of corporate influence as “anti-American hate” as well.

What I’ve been suggesting does not take away corporate or union or special interest rights to make their case to the public or to politicians. They have, and should have, the same recourse as the people to have their opinions printed and aired as editorials in news media. They would still have more influence than the individual person in lobbying. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable at all.

And again, no citizen would have his right to free speech abridged.

There are people who say they are conservative who agree with me. I don’t think this is a simple liberal v conservative issue. It is about the corruption of democracy v the responsibility of government to the people.

I know you think the Republican Party is the party of business, in the pocket of business, and only makes decisions when its corporate masters say its okay.

Is there any evidence to the contrary? I would include most of the Democratic Party as well. We have a rigged and corrupt system that undermines the essence of a representative democratic republic. The GOP defends business from irrational, and rational, attacks too. And neither party defends our civil liberties, although one party is abundantly clear in its hostility towards the ACLU.

I’m thinking John may have meant “curtail money as free speech”, since that is our subject.

Thank you for your efforts towards constructive dialogue. I really appreciate that.

free0352 said...

Note how they want to distract from the reality of artificial corporate personhood

How many times do we have to tell you, are you even reading our comments? We all admit a corporation isn't a person, it's property owned jointly by a group of people. Those owners have a right to free speech, and they have a right obviously to use their resources and property to engage in free speech.

I mean... really? What, do you think a lone person all by their lonesome is going to make a documentary film like Hillary as Citizen's United did? Obviously no matter how much money you make you can't make a film without help. That means people are going to have to form a 501c to do that. By banning the group participation or funding, you muzzle the speaker.

It's akin to me saying to you "Sure Dubya you've got free speech, but using your computer to do it gives you an unfair advantage. After all, lots of people don't have computers or the internet. You're robbing them of democracy because your resources are greater and it gives you undue influence over the electorate- after all their too stupid to make up their own minds. Therefore, you can not make any political posts 30 days prior to a Primarily election or 60 days before a general election. If you do, I'm fining you several hundred thousand dollars, and if you don't pay the fine you're going to jail for contempt of court and violations of the McCain Fiengold act."

That is exactly what the SCOTUS overturned in the Citizen's United Decision.

Is that hypothetical example free speech? Hell no, and I doubt you'd say so. That's government violating civil rights. How is that hypothetical situation any different from Citizen's United being told it can't air comercials for their movie 30 days before the 08' Democrat primary?

Bottom line, people have a right to use all their available resources in the exercise of their rights... to include their corporation. The government can't tell those people no. They lack the authority. Stop being so obtuse, while a corporation is owned property clearly PERSONS own that property. Corporations don't own themselves after all. For that matter, neither do unions.

So ask yourself this question. I've answered even yes/no questions in this debate several times - you can do it too.

Do you agree that government has a right to take away Citizen United's right to air a tv comercial 30 days prior to a general election because it provides aid to her political opponents?

Truth 101 said...

I don;t have time to go through all 117 comments so a pox on me if this has been gone over Dave.

The right has used the media to drive home it's message fasr better than the left. A big part of that is because the right's "message" is tailored to kick up emotions in the stupid, lazy and apathetic. And unfortunately for America, there are more stupid, lazy and apathetic people than caring people who want to get involved and do something that will make government work better.

There is lots of confusion as to how unions can get out their message. They have a much harder time of it than corporations because their rules regarding this are complex and despite white the righties say, say come under more government scrutiny for political work than corporations. The message gets diluted and many times is only sent to union members. Makes the guys that sent it feel good about their work but it's not much more than preaching to the choir.

Just the Facts! said...

"The right has used the media to drive home it's message fasr (far?)better than the left. A big part of that is because the right's "message" is tailored to kick up emotions in the stupid, lazy and apathetic. "

This reflects the Lefts true feelings towards anyone who disagrees with them. They are stupid, lazy and apathetic to not agree with the left's message. It never enters the lefts mind that maybe the message they send is not what American's want for their lives, not that the Right is better @ getting it's message out. I believe the majority of Americans understand the Lefts message and reject it on its own merit. The left wins when it acts as centrist moderates, never when it show it's true colors.
Plus there is the unbelievable arrogance that the Left has as shown in the quoted post that is the basis of the lefts belief in big government, that being people are stupid and need some one to take care of them.
I hope the Left really gets it true message out, and go down to defeat, like in Nov. 2010.

T. Paine said...

Heathen, your last long comment was excellent and I find myself in complete agreement with each and every point made therein.

I think what gets lost in the debate is these very specific details. Each side believes they are right and do not understand why the other side cannot see the logic of their argument accordingly. We end up clashing because each side believes passionately what they are saying.

That said, the "right" is called such because their positions are usually indeed right and correct! :)

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
”Those owners have a right to free speech.”

Yes, we all agree they do. Nobody is suggesting we take away that right. We just don’t think their property has the right to free speech.

By banning the group participation or funding, you muzzle the speaker. So a corporation’s off-shoring American jobs muzzle workers and deprive them of free speech money. Yes, I can see that.

Your computer speech analogy makes no sense. Only people with computers read what we write. Besides how many people have computers compared to those who have millions of “free speech” dollars? You don’t have to answer, it is rhetorical and understood.

How many times do we have to tell you, are you even reading our comments?

You took the words right out of my keyboard.

I believe I’ve repeatedly answered your question about those films.

Here:

Now there you go again, mischaracterizing and drawing non-existent implications. maintaining that Citizens United does not have Constitutional Protection, and government can tell them when they can make films critical of politicians or supportive of others.”

(No, I did not “maintain” that. Why do you need to be so dishonest? Moore’s films were under the same restrictions as CU’s film. The CU v FEC decision affects Michael Moore the same as CU.)

And here:

(I don’t care what movies are shown, as long as the media upholds its obligation to the public trust and give equal time to opposing views.)

Remember when I pointed out the FCC said you are wrong about media having no obligation to the public?

And here again:

(Political films must be allowed as free speech. Documentaries could be presented under a journalistic premise. I think both CU and Michael Moore should have the right to be seen. The public interest clause in the FCC could have broadcasters show a balance of these films. This is not the same as the Fairness Doctrine, although some actual fairness and balance would be ideal.)

Now I have to ask you again. Are you even reading our comments? Or are you just not comprehending what we write?

Dave Dubya said...

Truth,
You’re right, It should go without saying corporate media leans heavily towards the message of the Right. As JG pointed out, we never hear the words “corporate personhood” from them. And we see waaaay more coverage of a gathering of a couple dozen teabaggers than thousands of pro-workers.

I suspect you’d get a kicked up emotional response to that.

JTF,
That all depends. Are your emotions kicked up by Limbaugh, Beck and FOX(R)?

I believe the majority of Americans understand the Lefts message.

You believe you are in that majority who understand...except when you don’t understand.

liberals believe in freedom of speech as long as that speech does not go counter to or effect a positive outcome of a liberal cause.

(Not true. I welcome all opinions and speech at this blog and anywhere else, as long as it is civil.)

Liberalism cannot win in the open free market of ideas.

(Obama was elected by a majority, remember? And you guys call him liberal, not me. This is why I joked, “Just the FOX”. You see, that is not a fact. Look at what the majority of people think of campaign cash. Pretty liberal.)

That is the cornerstone of Liberalism: Nobody can succeed without big govt unless they cheated or stole to become a success.Sad, very sad.

(Wrong, very wrong. This is waaay more FOX than fact.)

TP,

I hope you noticed, most of what HR said in that comment is in agreement with what I’ve written.

You and I both agree with HR on several points.

A corporation is not a person. We agree with Jefferson’s point on corporations.

We all agree on:

Corporations are amoral and rarely try to do the right thing. The objective of a corporation is to make a profit.

I don't want my government run by corporations. I don't want our elected politicians in the pocket of corporations.

Should corporations be allowed to publicly speak against politicians and laws that hurt their business or their customers? I think YES?

Should corporations be able to donate money to politicians and campaigns? I'm leaning towards NO because the individuals within the corporation are free to do so.

Should corporations be allowed to pay lobbyists to speak to politicians directly on behalf of their interests? I think YES

I'll venture to say that, both left and right here, we agree on corporate influence in politics.


As I said, this is not one of those left/right, or a simple liberal v conservative issue. It is about the corruption of democracy v the responsibility of government to the people.

You see, I’m a uniter, not a divider. ;-)

Just the Facts! said...

"You believe you are in that majority who understand...except when you don’t understand."
HUH?

I believe that I and the majority of Americans fully understand the message of the Left and based on that knowledge reject it.

I know the left, due to it's own arrogance as exampled in Trues comment, cant believes this to be true.
Fox Cable News and conservative talk radio hosts have in total much smaller audience's that any one of the broadcast (ABC, NBC, CBS) networks news programs. Not everybody has cable and not every body who does relies Fox News for their information.
Example in 2009 Fox News (cable) was available in 102 million homes.
At the same time, any one of the broadcast networks was available in ALL American homes that had a TV.

So is the problem for the Left is it their messenger or their message?
As I said before, I hope the Left gets out their message and I will help them to do so, because when they do Americans reject it.

John Myste said...

I think there is as fine line between curtailing money as free speech and curtailing free speech. I do not have the categorical imperative against curtailing free speech, and neither do my liberal brothers. It is a hard thing to admit, and I suspect many of my brothers will disown me and continue to deny it, which is something I completely accept.

We all want to "curtail money as free speech," which is curtailing free speech.

Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt, Dave. It turns out I was not worthy :).

free0352 said...

. Nobody is suggesting we take away that right. We just don’t think their property has the right to free speech.

OMG, my mouth hung open for a minute when I read this, it's stupidity shocked me so badly.

Dude, you are aware that "corporations" are as you pointed out... a legal document right? It's not even alive. It's not that it lacks the right to speak, it lacks all ability. PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY SPECIES OF ANIMAL CAPABLE OF TALKING, LET ALONE WRITING.

TV adds aren't made by space aliens or Lord Voldemort or the Skynet Automated Defense System from Terminator... they're made by PEOPLE who are directed by the controlling interest in the corporation. By doing all the things you advocate here, you slap a muzzle on those people. You know that, why won't you just say it? Or did you

I believe I’ve repeatedly answered your question about those films.

So you support the SCOTUS ruling on the Citizen's United vs FEC case. Good, glad to have brought you around to Justice Alito and my way of thinking ;)

free0352 said...

So now I finally get it Dubya

Free speech is fine, so long as it's liberal speech. Campaign advertisements are fine, no matter when they air, so long as they support liberals.

Corporations don't deserve rights to free speech because they have a lot of money, and can add a counter point to liberal speech. The second they provide a competitive view to liberals in the media, they've crossed an important line and are raping democracy. The safest way to protect democracy, is to shut these greedy corporations up, take away their money, and redistribute it to liberal voters.

That as we know, is true freedom.

The Citizen's United Decision would be great in your book... except it's fundamental flaw... it allows people like Citizen's United to say critical things about Hilary Clinton. Can't have that.

/ sarcasim

Weaseldog said...

This is going to be a good test to see if money really is protected free speech.

If as our far right Republican friends insist, that bribing officials, is protected as free speech, then we won't see any charges filed in the USA.

http://www.propublica.org/article/how-murdoch-reporters-bribes-to-british-cops-violate-us-law

T. Paine said...

Weasel, that is patently ridiculous. Companies bribing cops for information is hardly the same as donating to a a candidate who wants to roll back un-necessary and costly business regulations. You have a serious disconnect there, sir.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said... "Weasel, that is patently ridiculous. Companies bribing cops for information is hardly the same as donating to a a candidate who wants to roll back un-necessary and costly business regulations. You have a serious disconnect there, sir."

We're talking about bribes for politicians and government officials as being free speech, protected by the First Amendment.

A policeman is also a government official.

And in this case, you can toss in freedom of the press.

If donating $millions to a short lived charity run by the wife of a politician is protected free speech, then is different if the politician is running for the office of Sheriff?

Weaseldog said...

I get the idea that free speech bribery is like porn. Republicans can't explain hot to determine when it crosses the line, but they know it when they see it.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
Yes you finally get it...exactly they way YOU want to get it. I know it’s not easy having your belief system threatened by fairness, justice and reason, especially when nothing is more revolting than social justice and equal rights.

Only in the deluded mentality of a fanatic and stupid Rightist can an idea that allows both liberal and conservative films to be aired, allows corporations all the free speech they want in editorials in print and on the air, allows corporations to continue their free speech lock on the lobby cartel, and treats unions the same way, mind you,...only in the narrowest of rigid Rightist/corporatist mentality would this be "unfair" to their sacred and revered, yet, oh, so disadvantaged, downtrodden, and abused Big Money heroes.

Wah! It's not fair to make the rich have the same rights as everyone else. Wah! The mean liberals want to take ALL the money and rights away from the helpless, "America-First", job-offshoring, non-taxpaying, non-living corporate non-persons.

Wah! Commie liberals hate America.

Or...you're not a stupid and deluded fanatic, only dishonest and deliberate in mischaracterizing what I wrote.

Or, could it be the tea-flavored koolade?

Have another sip, bro. That foul concoction seems to have such a powerful kick that it blurs everything in your vision, if you can still read at all.

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
So you're happy letting corporations decide what's "necessary", while they write the laws, rules and regulations they would like to follow. What they do and the impact they have on health, environment, and workers' rights is none of the public's concern, right?

free0352 said...

Nah, it's simple Paine. This is a tool for these guys to shut up the eeeevvil corporations who dare to oppose their views. They'll tell you as they have here till they're blue in the face that they support free speech... and when it's some liberal activist group trying to get Scott Walker recalled or stop the Iraq war or legalize gay marriage they're all for it... but oh no! The minute a nasty, rich, corporate rethuglican Conservative (or anyone else who disagrees with the progressive agenda) DARE... DARE do the same we're taking old lady liberty, raping her face and setting the poor on fire. It's the classic liberal double standard. This isn't about free speech for them like it is for us... heck they claim to it's to protect all those pooooooor peeeeeople but it isn't that either. This is strait up liberals telling our side to shut up with government power. They do it with everything else... everything from what to eat, to if you can have a gun and defend yourself, to what kind of railings your company has to put on the stairs. In the end, liberals only want you to have two freedoms. The freedom to kill your fetus and marry another guy, beyond that do what THE STATE tells you - it's good for the collective after all.

Look at Dubya here, I asked him a simple, direct question and he can't answer it... because of the doublethink he's holding in his mind short circuits his brain. I've got him backed into a corner on this one and he knows it. He can't dare say that government has the right to force a person or company to not make a movie but on the same note he has to shut up the "bad guys" on the other side. I've said for a long time when it comes to liberals in politics it's good versus evil. They think we're evil, and they use that justification for all sorts of shananagans. For example, Citizen United is an EEEEEEVIL corporation... not a group of citizens, and don't deserve constitutional protections. They can't think of the folks at Citizen United as people, because they've dehumanized them in their minds, and this allows them to advocate all sorts of discriminatory policy against their precived enemies. I saw the Shia do the same to the Sunni for years, I guess it's human nature.

Weaseldog said...

Dave, you're clearly persecuting the downtrodden and weak and meek corporations, if you argue that liberals should be allowed to engage in Free Speech.

Unions are not corporations, so they are not persons. god didn't create them in the Garden of Eden, like he created Monsanto and Halliburton. So it would be wrong to allow them to have the same rights as corporations.

Anonymous said...

"If as our far right Republican friends insist, that bribing officials, is protected as free speech, then we won't see any charges filed in the USA."
So the Unions don't bribe officials with the money they give to them?
Kind of double standard don't you think?

Dave Dubya said...

John,
Every civil voice is worthy here.

Wease,

We can’t argue with the “divine right of wealth” for the corporate chosen ones, can we?

Meanwhile, poor Free.

Wow. I said have another sip, not chug the whole pitcher... He still thinks I want to “shut up” only corporations.

While I’m “backed into a corner” let’s count the off topic distractions Free is wildly throwing out in hopes something will stick.

Poor people, Scott Walker, the Iraq war, gay marriage, railings, (railings??) what to eat, your fetus, (I didn’t know TP had one.) and don’t forget those guns I own that he thinks I want Obama to take away from me.

And the blurred vision, or impaired reading, caused by the tea-flavored koolade prevents him from seeing I answered his questions at least three times. Sad. I guess he’ll never get an answer he likes.

We see the koolade has triggered the paranoia and hyper-defensiveness now. Out comes the victim card where they think we’re telling them to shut up, while he “freely” blows his dog whistle for TP. Cute.

And last, but not least, we see the old “They think we're evil” and the “evil corporation” memes. And oh, my goodness, somehow we “dehumanized” a corporate non-person. Terrible, just terrible. Oh, the inhumanity!

I see we have another reading-impaired koolade drinker. Well, that’s ok, even if they can’t read, they can still freely speak.

Weaseldog said...

Anonymous said... "So the Unions don't bribe officials with the money they give to them?
Kind of double standard don't you think?"

The only double standard I see is that Republicans want to see corporations bribing politicians, bureaucrats and policemen, while denying any organization that might be slightly liberal from doing the same.

It's not a double standard when both sides are crooked. It's when someone only wants their team to be crooks, that we have double standard.

free0352 said...

even if they can’t read, they can still freely speak.

Unless of course I own a corporation.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, you said...

"Unless of course I own a corporation."

Beating a dead horse, again, eh?

I truly thought that point was established -- that individuals have all the rights granted by the Bill of Rights. That still hasn't sunk in, apparently. Once more: Corporations, being a form of property permitted and licensed by the state ("We the People") to exist, do not retain these rights as you so adamantly claim.

But let me repeat myself, at the expense of sounding redundant: Individuals -- no matter their station or status of ownership within a corporation -- have all the rights as expressed in the Constitution's Bill of Rights. The corporations they work for, or own, do not.

You also said...

"In the end, liberals only want you to have two freedoms. The freedom to kill your fetus and marry another guy, beyond that do what THE STATE tells you..."

If I'm not mistaken, those two freedoms are also expressed by the latest Libertarian Party platform (1.3 and 1.4). That's a strange statement coming from "a dues paying member of the Libertarian Party", as you previously claimed.

Welcome aboard!

Anonymous said...

"It's when someone only wants their team to be crooks, that we have double standard."
So the anger against the Citizens United findings is due to the left wanting only their side (Unions) to bribe politicians,etc?
Now we ARE getting some where.

Weaseldog said...

Anonymous said... "So the anger against the Citizens United findings is due to the left wanting only their side (Unions) to bribe politicians,etc?"

Like I said, an even well regulated playing field. And I'll add, investigate and prosecute criminal activity.

I know this is hard to understand. People who lie all of the time, think that everyone is a liar. People who commit crimes believe that everyone commits crimes.

Because the Upper Crust Republican Party members earn a substantial living from bribes and graft, it's hard for the party members to believe that being a criminal is not normal.

And I understand you point of view Anonymous that being a criminal is a normal way to live. But I don't share your perspective.

I would like to see both corporate parties, held to same standards, and I would like those standards to be defined by laws bound by the US Constitution.

I know this is a radical idea for you folks. And you're going to get this wrong again.

After all this point of view is very clearly very foreign to most of you.

free0352 said...

Jefferson

You should have read the platform a little closer -

We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology[em}

Weaseldog said...

And let me be clear, the two headed Republican Democratic Party is over flowing with thieves and grifters and needs to be dissolved, after most of their leaders arrested tried and convicted of the multitude of crimes they commit every day.

The Heathen Republican said...

"Because the Upper Crust Republican Party members earn a substantial living from bribes and graft..."

I'm a little tired of the baseless accusations. Show your evidence of bribery and graft or stop leveling the charge.

free0352 said...

Basically, Libertarians chafe at the idea of government permitting things. We tend to think we permit them to do things.

But if we're going to go to Libertarians for sources, I think we should read these

The right to speak necessarily encompasses the right to pay for the speech, just as the right to counsel encompasses the right to hire a lawyer,

The left, however, once a staunch defender of civil liberties, has sacrificed even this principled streak to its populist, anti-business pandering.


And then of course there are the many articles leading Libertarian magazine "Reason" has published against McCain Feingold and in support of the Citizens United vs FEC finding.

Anybody out there still care to tell me Libertarians are for Free Speech stifling legislation like McCain Feingold or dislike the Citizens United vs FEC ruling?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

C'mon, Heathen Republican, isn't that exactly what lobbying is all about? To deny it's legalized bribery is naive at best.

Give me a break...

free0352 said...

I'm a little tired of the baseless accusations. Show your evidence of bribery and graft or stop leveling the charge.

After all they are rich. They must have stolen it you know... certainly they didn't earn it. How can you Republicans POSSIBLY support the evil, faceless, non-human, not composed of people, not owned by people, "CORPORATIONS" *spit* with their evil words paid for by their theft of democracy with their evil, stolen blood money they likely obtained by turning grandma into Soylent Green and clubbing baby seals for Jesus? Corporations as all good Progressives know, exist only to force unwed black mothers to have children they don't want as a result of rape, then deny the same black mother welfare and force her children into their evil war machine to further inrich the evil corporations who make all their money off war and poisoning the environment. It's a testament to our tollerance as Progressives we haven't put THEM -And who "they" are we really don't know because clearly corporations don't contain people - on the box car and shuffled THEM off to the gas chamber.

/ Sarcasm.

...See, I'd make a great liberal.

free0352 said...

isn't that exactly what lobbying is all about?

Nope. It's not. As my source said

The right to speak necessarily encompasses the right to pay for the speech, just as the right to counsel encompasses the right to hire a lawyer,

free0352 said...

after most of their leaders arrested tried and convicted of the multitude of crimes they commit every day.

Yes, the crime of opposing and disagreeing with liberals... yeah, yeah, we got how you feel about it.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, and as your source (The Cato Institute) also said...

"The proper answer to large expenditures for speech is either more speech or, if the existing system proves unworkable, a constitutional amendment."

I agree with the gentleman's last option.

The Heathen Republican said...

Jefferson, I don't agree that lobbying = bribery and graft. As I said above, I don't like the way the lobbyist industry works, but it is legal.

If you're going to equate them, then it should be pointed out that politicians of both parties are lobbied, so it's not the upper elite on the right. Weasel's statement was a lie and can't be supported with evidence. Your defense of his lie is... unfortunate.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Heathen Republican, you replied...

"As I said above, I don't like the way the lobbyist industry works, but it is legal."

Yes, it's legal bribery, as I previously noted.

You also stated...

"If you're going to equate them, then it should be pointed out that politicians of both parties are lobbied, so it's not the upper elite on the right."

Yes, I do agree, however it's my opinion that "the upper elite on the right" probably hold more influence than any other group. Just a hunch...

Jefferson's Guardian said...

...after all. The Supreme Court said money equals speech. That being the case, more money equals more speech -- and influence.

Dave Dubya said...

Wease,
I'm with you on making both republicans and democrats history.

If money as free speech and corporate personhood were also history, I'd even support a two party system, that is, if it must be a two party system, with Libertarians and Greens. I think we'd see more real persons represented by those than by the puppets we have now.

JG,

I was just about to post the Move To Amend link. Thank you.

Repeating what you say has no effect on Free. If he chose to miss it the first time, he will continue to miss it. I answered his movie question three times and he still hasn't seen it.

Free,

Nice to see you exercising a bit of humor, or at least sarcasm. I support your right to that speech too.

Thank you for your sources. I see JG has done you the kind courtesy of reading your suggestions. I too have read them. (I even read "The Virtue of Selfishness" when I was young. I felt the allure of your Goddess...until I learned to question all authority at age 18 when I had to register for the Vietnam War draft.)

While I totally agree with several of Robert Levy’s objections to SCOTUS cases in “The Dirty Dozen” on property seizure and indefinite detention without charges, I have several issues with his Primer on campaign finance reform. And since he is as likely to respond to my words as you are to read them, I will discuss them a bit.

Answer to your question: No. Whoever said Libertarians are for Free Speech stifling legislation like McCain Feingold or dislike the Citizens United vs FEC ruling in the first place?

Dave Dubya said...

About Levy’s little Primer on campaign finance reform:

I totally agree with several of Robert Levy’s objections to such cases in “The Dirty Dozen” on property seizure and indefinite detention without charges. I’m just as, or dare I say more, “libertarian” than you on these issues, Free

Campaign finance reformers endorse the quixotic idea that money and politics should not mix

This is where I do one of my extremely rare lol’s. Ever the sport, I caught my breath and read on.

Fourth, are there any campaign contributions or expenditures that should be illegal?
Yes:... Misuse of a government office by favoring donors who seek government contracts and services. That would breach an official's fiduciary responsibility to his constituents.

Hmm. I don’t suppose ol’ Halliburton Dick favored Halliburton in any way. How can anyone imagine such a preposterous thing! Impossible, I say! And Blackwater had no fondness for no-bid contracts or any interest in foreign policy that would “coincide” with the Shrub’s little war of choice.

Fifth, doesn't the First Amendment relate to speech, not the expenditure of money?
True enough, the expenditure of money is not the same as speech. But if the expenditure is for the exclusive purpose of generating speech, it should be protected to the same extent as the speech itself. Exercising the right to speak almost always costs money, especially if the speaker intends to reach a large audience. The right to speak necessarily encompasses the right to pay for the speech, just as the right to counsel encompasses the right to hire a lawyer, and the right to free exercise of religion includes the right to contribute to a church of one's choice. In each of those cases, the expenditure of money is protected not because "money is speech" or "money is a lawyer," or "money is religion," but rather because spending money is integral to the right to speak, to have legal counsel, and to exercise religious freedom.

At first, this answer reads like it applies to a person’s right of speech. Then somehow “always costs money” and “large audience” come into the equation. Sure we get to hire a lawyer. And we get to choose our church. Hey, I didn’t know a corporation could be a religious person too. Whodathunk?? But we do know corporate owners want a huge audience. Note how a human individual’s right is morphed into an artificial entity’s rights.

T. Paine said...

"People who lie all of the time, think that everyone is a liar."

Assuming that Weasel's assertion is accurate, then this explains a few things.

Weaseldog, I would echo Heathen's request. Cite some evidence please, sir.

Dave Dubya said...

Prohibiting less affluent individuals from pooling resources is a recipe for tilting the playing field in favor of the rich. Currently, there are no limits on how much George Soros or Michael Bloomberg can spend of their own money on political speech. Why shouldn't a few thousand others be able to match them by joining forces through an entity such as a corporation that expresses their policy preferences?
Ah, we see the notion of fairness and a level playing field. The must be where rational thinking comes in. Yes this where corporate free speech comes in on the side of the little gut. How rational is that? And look, he went and called a corporation an “entity” just like I did. Except maybe his “entity” is more religious and God-fearing. I bet Corporate Hell is awful. No money down there. So “Why shouldn't a few thousand others be able to match them by joining forces”? Fair question, eh? What if thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or even millions do not have “forces”, aka money, to join? It the masses don’t have the money to rise up to the elite’s level of the playing field then they have no rights or they are most certainly abridged. That’s fair to some, but not many. Removing corporate personhood and free speech money would truly come closer to a level playing field. But we all know they don’t want a level playing field, don’t we?
Remember the first Amendment. The bottom line is corporate personhood and free speech money abridges our free speech.
The proper answer to large expenditures for speech is either more speech or, if the existing system proves unworkable, a constitutional amendment. As for money, it's just a symptom. We have a big money problem because we have a big government problem. By restraining the regulatory and redistributive powers of the state, we can minimize the influence of big money.

Yes, of course, why didn’t we think of it before? More money, er free speech, is the answer. Either we seriously redistribute a lot more money to the people, or corporations and the elites will end up with all the “more speech”. You see, we have a “big speech problem” because we have a big government problem. How rational is that? “Restraining the regulatory and redistributive powers of the state” does not minimize influence of big money; it IS the influence of big money.

Rarely has government been able to prove actual corruption from campaign expenditures. That's why, to justify its regulations, government has insisted that we must prevent, not just corruption, but the "appearance of corruption." That artifice will not work. Mere suspicions are no basis for ignoring the Constitution.


This we know, because politicians are always doing their absolute best to end corruption. Don’t you fret about that "appearance of corruption”. No siree. You see, because there IS an appearance of corruption, that really means it rarely happens. Yup. How rational is that?

free0352 said...

Whoever said Libertarians are for Free Speech stifling legislation like McCain Feingold or dislike the Citizens United vs FEC ruling in the first place?

Jefferson Guardian, was sort of alluding to libertarians support of McCain Feingold along with choice and gay marriage. I think he was butt hurt when I suggested the only freedoms Democrats want people to have is to marry a man and abort a baby. He was trying to make some sort of point I don't know my party platform. So I figured I'd just quote him the platform we've got on free speech. I suppose if he wants the platform on Choice, or gay marriage he'll have to look it up himself.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, you claimed...

"...was sort of alluding to libertarians support of McCain Feingold along with choice and gay marriage."

No, I didn't allude to McCain Feingold at all. Please cite where you believe I did.

and...

"I think he was butt hurt when I suggested the only freedoms Democrats want people to have is to marry a man and abort a baby."

I wasn't hurt at all. Just wanted to see your reaction to two positions The Libertarian Party takes and see whether it coincides with yours. Apparently, you're in agreement (being a card-carrying member, and all).

and also...

"I suppose if he wants the platform on Choice, or gay marriage he'll have to look it up himself."

I thought I already did! I guess you didn't read the link I provided. Gee, I'm hurt.

free0352 said...

Yeah, I just got the sene you were thinking I was some kind of stealth conservative, trying to cloak myself Libertarianism.

Not even. However those issues are quite an aside to this debate, and since we were talking about Libertarians, I figured we'd let a few of the more famous ones weigh in. I must admit, I really liked the lawyer quote as it hits the nail right on the head.

Weaseldog said...

People who can't use the Google can't find this stuff.

Here's ten seconds of searching.

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/07/18/271075/mchenry-predatory-payday/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7OyvwPPFeU

Weaseldog said...

I can't believe that I now have to prove that there are shady campaign contributions and further that lobbyists find other ways to fill lawmakers pockets.

Of course there are Democrats listed in the scandals that have currently been exposed. But they don't earn nearly the money for their votes that Republicans do. they suck at negotiating paydays too,

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/1202/p08s01-comv.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/28/AR2005112801827.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/jan/04/usa.topstories3

http://www.wealthvest.com/blog/wade-dokken/congressional-fundraisers-smell-like-bribes/

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1667009&page=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscam

http://www.defraudingamerica.com/congress_culture_of_bribes.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2092242/

http://northernlib.com/2010/12/lawmakers-seek-cash-during-key-votes/

http://presscore.ca/nbg/index.php?entry=entry090413-181328

There will be more. But now that many forms of bribery has been legalized, there is not point in investigating the practice of selling votes.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "Jefferson, I don't agree that lobbying = bribery and graft. As I said above, I don't like the way the lobbyist industry works, but it is legal."

Let's call it buying and selling votes then if you think that selling government services under the table for cash isn't the same as taking a bribe.

Just because bribery is legalized doesn't mean it that it's ended.

Weaseldog said...

"TV adds aren't made by space aliens or Lord Voldemort or the Skynet Automated Defense System from Terminator... they're made by PEOPLE who are directed by the controlling interest in the corporation. By doing all the things you advocate here, you slap a muzzle on those people. You know that, why won't you just say it? Or did you
"

The people in a corporation don't have free speech within the corporation.

You would have us believe that a janitor at FOX News has the same resources at News Corp as does Rupert Murdoch. They don't.

Or maybe you're saying that some people deserve to have a billion times the free speech power of a citizen because they run a corporation.

An Australian should be able shout over an American citizen if he has more money and the resources of a giant corporate empire at his disposal?

And of course Kuwaiti Princes should be able to use their corporate banking empires to move American politics? Because rich foreign born Muslims should have more influence in American politics?

Weaseldog said...

free0352 said... "Yes, the crime of opposing and disagreeing with liberals... yeah, yeah, we got how you feel about it."

I get it, you want the Democratic Party Leadership to continue to commit crimes. You're pro-crime in Washington. Your problem with Acorn isn't that some members committed crimes but that they were busted.

This explains your pro-bribery and pro-graft arguments.

As you clearly promoting criminal behavior in the Democratic and Republican Party , would you mind if I just started referring to you as a criminal?

Yes i love and respect the US Constitution and the Rule of Law and the Freedoms and Liberties that would flourish if this document hadn't been so thoroughly shredded by Republican and Democratic politicians.

Because of your ongoing tirade to support fascism, lawlessness and to undermine the US Constitution, I say, screw you, you damn traitor.

If supporting the US Constitution and the Rule of Law only gets me derision from your ilk, then so be it.

And I know you're winning. you're winning because every year, Congress passes more laws that undermine the Freedoms and Liberties guaranteed by the bill of rights. you're winning because every year the rot in Washington spreads. you're winning because foreign funded fascism has grown strong roots in American politics and because brave fascist warriors like yourself tirelessly undermine the ideals this nation once believed in. you're4 winning because the Fascist propaganda machine is well oiled and backed by decades of scientific study.

Free you and your ilk are winning the war to promote fascism in the USA. I will not congratulate you. You'll get enough of that as this nation circles the drain. But I recognize the inevitable.

Once we have a Republican back in the White House, we'll see a strong shift fascism, with more enemies of the State identified and stronger laws to restrict liberties. you're position well to join the movement. you have the right thinking to lead a citizens committee to root out wrong thinking Americans and segregate them for the protection of the government. You'll get extra ration cards for such work.

free0352 said...

Are some politicans corrput? Sure. That's nothing new! Heck, it was Mark Twain's favorite thing to write about. The point is, to "fix" that ongoing problem... you can't violate free speech. More over, you'll likely make probelms worse. Look at the McCain Feingold act? It was supposed to stop the lobbiests, but they spent more on the 08' election than any other in history... and all it did was take away the Constitutional rights of groups like Citizen's United without making so much as a dent in the problem government set out to solve.

In the end, it's up to VOTERS to police the government, it's never going to police it's self. One of the best tools for that is free speech. The FEC isn't going to protect you, in the end we have to run the government ourselves and think for ourselves.

Weaseldog said...

Free0352 said... "Are some politicans corrput?..."

This is the first time I've seen you make a clear stand against government corruption. without defending corruption in your favored party.

Thank you.

Or are you just humoring me?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, you said...

"However those issues are quite an aside to this debate, and since we were talking about Libertarians..."

You brought the issues up, otherwise I wouldn't have even gone there.

...and this...

"I must admit, I really liked the lawyer quote as it hits the nail right on the head.

Well, it possibly hits a nail on the head, but it's the wrong nail.

As previously mentioned, over and over and over again, corporations have no rights to free speech; only human beings do.

I'll leave it at that.

free0352 said...

Weasel,

I don't object that there is corruption in government, but we have a break on the difference between political activity and graft.

Jefferson,

Corporations are property, owned by people and can be used for politics the same as you can use your front yard for a campaign sign.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
I agree. Corporations can put campaign signs up in their yards too. It’s the personhood with money as free speech that is the issue. And since when has corporate money ever policed government corruption? It is far more an element of corruption than the cure.

free0352 said...

And since when has corporate money ever policed government corruption?

Ah, well Citizens United was trying to hang corruption arround Hilary Clinton's neck when the FEC told them they couldn't advertise their documentary film because those aligatons would aid her political rivals.

I think that directly relates to the Citizens United vs FEC don't you? I'm willing to bet the unions supporting Scott Walker's recall probably think they're fighting corruption by campaigning hard to oust him.

Those are two recent cases, how many examples do you want?

Now do you want to look at how encumbant politicians used McCain Feingold to stop challenges to thier office?

free0352 said...

I agree. Corporations can put campaign signs up in their yards too.

What about making Electioneering Broadcasts? Do you think they should be "allowed" to do that?

Just the Facts! said...

Weasel, Your quote "An Australian should be able shout over an American citizen if he has more money and the resources of a giant corporate empire at his disposal?"

The Constitution protects and guarantees freedom of speech, it does not provide or guarantee equal speech.
Maybe that's what you are confused about.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,

Electioneering Broadcasts? Sounds like political ads. Depends on what you mean, but it reeks of corporate personhood. Would they represent the public interest or corporate interest, or both? Do you mean films like CU's and Moore's? If so, we discussed that already.

I think editorials and lobbying are more than enough opportunities for political speech by non-persons.

Notice how this does not "shut up" or abridge any citizen's right of free speech.

free0352 said...

Sounds like political ads.

That's part of the definition absolutely, both TV and radio, but also for example internet adds, and those annoying phone calls.

Would they represent the public interest or corporate interest

What duty do they have to the public interest? For that matter, what duty do you or I have to the public interest? Why do they need to have it to make a TV comercial?

Do you mean films like CU's and Moore's?

In the specific case I mentioned yes, and if you mean by your mentioning it that you are affirmative of it... why do you disagree with the SCOTUS on Citizens United vs FEC when they were affirming this very position?

Notice how this does not "shut up" or abridge any citizen's right of free speech

Agreed, though I happen to think the board of directors at a company or union leadership can spend money on "Electioneering Broadcasts" as they wish.

But limits to speech that you say above you're against is what you're arguing for weather you know that or not when you're against the Citizens United SCOTUS ruling. You said you were against the Citizens United Decision, but it seems now you are backing away from that. Which is it - you can't be for both... you're know Bill Clinton LOL.

Was majority opinion author Justice Kennedy right or wrong in denying appellant's motion for a preliminary injunction in that case - I.E. let Citizens United run it's adds for it's documentary? It's a simple question.

free0352 said...

Sorry for MULTIPLE typos... damn blackburry autocorrect!

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
I don’t think democracy would suffer the least bit without political ads on the air. Informed citizens would vote on the words of the candidates themselves. Is there something wrong with that?

I already told you the FCC has a public interest clause in broadcast licensing. It’s real.

I told you I’m not opposed to the airing of films, or even ads specifically for the films. That is but a small aspect of the cumulative effects of CU v FEC, along with Santa Clara County vs. The Union Pacific Railroad and Buckley v. Valeo. Together they create corporate personhood and money as free speech, and this is why we need an amendment to the Constitution to undo the damage to democracy.

free0352 said...

Is there something wrong with that.

Yes.

I already told you the FCC has a public interest clause in broadcast licensing. It’s real.

The Supreme Court doesn't think so, and it wasn't even mentioned in McCain Feingold.

Constitution to undo the damage to democracy.

The only damage to democracy, would be your proposed censorship the SCOTUS made impossible for you to inflict on us.

free0352 said...

I already told you the FCC has a public interest clause in broadcast licensing.

I also have never heard this, but so long as we're talking hypotheticals if it were up to me I'd abolish the FCC, along with many other government agencies.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
The voice of the inhuman beast howls at the "censorship" of its cold hissing speech. It screeches at humans who dare call it a beast. The non-living monster screams of a pain it cannot feel.

And the mighty voice of the lifeless entity pleads as the suffering victim, whining about what a warm-blooded, living human being, a mere mortal would "Inflict on us".

Oh, really, Free? You? You and what corporations?

free0352 said...

It's always a sure sign of victory when the liberal resorts to bad poetry or the conservative starts quoting bible passages.