Friday, March 29, 2013

Progress...And The Opposite



"It's ridiculous (this) is something we're having a conversation about in this day and age....I've known straight and gay people all my life. I can't tell the difference...But I'd never marry a guy I didn't like." – Willie Nelson


Like it or not, same sex marriage is winning over the public’s support.


It’s either a sign of significant social progress, with less intolerance and bigotry...or it’s a sure sign of the end times. 


For the extreme Right, I’m guessing they hope for the latter. But for a society that values equal rights and civility for all, the former seems to be indicated.

In 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a 57% to 35% margin.

Today, there is slightly more support for same-sex marriage than opposition to it, with 49% in favor and 44% opposed.

This is encouraging. Maybe the next national trend will be reversing the demonization, bigotry and prejudice against liberals, non-whites, immigrants, atheists and Muslims.

What’s that? Obama was re-elected? I’m not sure that means much more than the nation is fed up with Republican presidents. Well, that’s somewhat heartening, but he too is one of the corporate friendly politicians who only recently discovered his “evolving” stance on same-sex marriage.

A moderate is the best we can get for now.

The problem is Obama's all too willing to cut safety nets as a concession to the radical Right, while being far too unwilling to demand a small tax on stock market transactions. When will his stance “evolve” on corporate welfare, warrantless surveillance, drones over America, targeted executions without trial, the war on drugs and the military empire occupying the globe?

Who knows, maybe some day we might actually have a liberal president and congress...

Naww.. Who am I kidding? Ain’t happing soon.

Not with corporations being “persons” controlling the national media, and wielding billions of dollars in “free speech” and lobbying money.

Not with millions of Americans indoctrinated into believing corporate media is “liberal media”.

Not with millions of Americans indoctrinated into believing liberals are godless America-hating commies who have no “family values”.

Not with millions of Americans indoctrinated into believing suppressing voter registration rights and restricting poll access is needed to stop "Mickey Mouse" from committing voter fraud.

The other biggest problem for liberals is they have a disproportionately small voice in public policy and representation.

The House is controlled by Republicans through gerrymandering, despite the fact more Americans voted for Democratic representation in the House.

The Senate is even more unbalanced. The conservative voters of less populated states also have more representation per capita in the Senate than the liberals of large states and the rest of the country.

Couple these factors with the filtering of information by corporate media and the dominance of lobbying and "free speech" cash by Big Money interests, and we are left with a Right Wing government for a left leaning population.

The only hope for liberals is for them to be as motivated, united, and funded as the Right in mid-term elections.

But I don't think most liberals get it. Unlike the Right, they don't have their own corporate saturated radio and TV media. We don't have mega-media conglomerates urging the public to vote for the public good against the exclusive interests of the economic elites.

We don’t have national media that broadcasts and prints the basic fact that one party is largely, while the other is exclusively, in service to the interests of Big Money.

I wonder why...

85 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

"But I don't think most liberals get it. Unlike the Right, they don't have their own corporate saturated radio and TV media. We don't have mega-media conglomerates urging the public to vote for the public good against the exclusive interests of the economic elites."

Can you imagine what we could accomplish if we did?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Excellent piece, Dave. You've essentially condensed the total problem into a thousand words or less. Reducing down your fine essay even further, down to only one word, many categorize it all under the heading of: Corporatization.

Others, like myself, just refer to it as corruption.

free0352 said...

Real equality is a government that is not in charge of marriage.

okjimm said...

//A moderate is the best we can get for now.//

Not the best is correct, but considering the alternatives offered by the Republican Clown Posse, it is a sigh of relief.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Dave Dubya: "We don’t have national media that broadcasts and prints the basic fact that one party is largely, while the other is exclusively, in service to the interests of Big Money.

I wonder why...
"


I don't...and I know you don't either.

But Free0352, a loyalist to the Ayn Rand and Rand Paul "objectivism" that advocates laissez-faire ("let it be"), continues to defend the status quo of corporatism, oligopoly, and the systemic corruption of the military-industrial-security complex -- which is the true "nature of reality" at the moment.

With many people mistakenly blaming "big government" as the inherent evil that's dismantling the working- and middle-classes in this nation, they're only seeing a small part of the much more powerful (and largely "invisible") monstrosity of "the man behind the curtain" that's destroying the remaining vestiges of our democratic processes and civil liberties that we once took for granted.

One day the Rand crowd will smugly glory in their cherished objective of drowning government in a bathtub, while their house and their neighborhood continue to be swept away in the torrential and ravaging waters of undeterred corporatism.

free0352 said...

So Jeff, you're saying equality IS a government in charge of marriage?

Yes, because no one is more fair than government officials. I mean, the folks that came up with DOMA are going to be so much more fair than someone who wants you to give them your money in exchange for something you want totally by choice.

I can't think of any corporations who made laws prohibiting a marriage license to anyone of for that matter any laws at all.

I can think of a few Democrats ;) After all, DOMA was signed into law by Bill Clinton.

Jerry Critter said...

"... their cherished objective of drowning government in a bathtub,..."

Government will never be drowned in a bathtub because government is the means by which the oligarchy controls the people.

free0352 said...

Jerry Critter,

We're working as fast as we can.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "So Jeff, you're saying equality IS a government in charge of marriage?"

I wasn't even addressing your ridiculous comment, but since you bring it up, yes, government does have a role in authorizing (or not authorizing) marriage. After all, it is a contract.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

After all, it is a contract.

Since when do we have to get government permission to sign a contract? Did you have to ask the local commissar last time you signed on to a cell phone company? I'm simply suggesting we treat marriage as a contract. One where we don't have to go crawling to government for permission to sign.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "Since when do we have to get government permission to sign a contract?"

A "marriage contract"? Well...since as long as I can remember. I'm positive that a marriage license is currently required in all fifty states.

As far as other types of contracts that require government review before they're approved, the list is almost limitless. For example, it's almost obligatory whenever two airlines decide to merge.

I'm sure even you can think of several more examples.

okjimm said...

Jefferson:
Free is again being obtuse. Of course the Government, to protect citizens from usury loans and other fraud, regulates the validity of all contracts.

to Dave's point:
//We don’t have national media that broadcasts and prints the basic fact that one party is largely, while the other is exclusively, in service to the interests of Big Money.//

the dissemination of information, radio, TV, newspapers is now solely reliant on advertising for revenue; hence are reluctant to print or broadcast anything that may offend Advertisers, ie Big Money. The internet is perhaps the only venue available for totally free exchange of ideas and information, thus government efforts to regulate and control that medium for..... Big Moneied interests.

free0352 said...

As far as other types of contracts that require government review before they're approved, the list is almost limitless. For example, it's almost obligatory whenever two airlines decide to merge.

Then isn't that all government is doing with DOMA? If it can tell two companies it shouldn't merge, why not two people? If it has a right to arbitrarily control the one, then why not the other? If the government has that power, how can the Supreme Court strike DOMA down?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "If [the government] has a right to arbitrarily control the one, then why not the other? If the government has that power, how can the Supreme Court strike DOMA down?"

Because one denies basic human rights to a minority based solely on a genetic difference that's no fault of their own; the other one does not.

I'm probably being overly presumptuous, but I would think that even you could figure that out.

free0352 said...

Because one denies basic human rights to a minority based solely on a genetic difference that's no fault of their own; the other one does not.

Why not if government has that arbitrary power? After all, California's Prop 8 passed by popular ballot initiative. The people of California wanted to deny gays access to this particular contract. If that's all it is and government has total power over contracts between signatories, why can't they exclude gays? Why are gays special?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "The people of California wanted to deny gays access to this particular contract. If that's all it is and government has total power over contracts between signatories, why can't they exclude gays?"

Isn't it obvious -- even for you?

Here, let me help you. It's unconstitutional.


"Why are gays special?"

They're not...and the law (theoretically) doesn't allow anybody else to to be, either.

Being the legal scholar that you claim you are, I would have thought you'd already know this.

Jerry Critter said...

"Why not if government has that arbitrary power?"

The government does not have arbitrary power.

free0352 said...

I wish it weren't so.

Its so. Anything the government controls, it can regulate.

Stuff like marriage. So the voters of California say, can then gang up on gays are simply with one vote deny them a marriage license. You might bring up the 14th Amendment, but I think you might be looking at that too broadly. All it says is the law has to apply to everyone equally.

The argument (one that can very possibly win) is that because homosexuals can be married to members of the opposite sex the same as straight people can, and since heterosexuals can't be issued a marriage license to a member of the same sex... there law is applied equally. Not my interpretation of the law, but a very popular one. One shared by many members of the Supreme Court.

If the Supreme Court comes down on the side of Prop 8 and DOMA and rules against Windsor... well don't come crying to me. When you give government the very ARBITRARY power to make calls like that, sometimes you lose and they get it wrong. See the Dread Scott decision...

My way -no government involved in marriage- means no ability to make bad calls. People just live their lives, on their own accord. I say let people sign a binding document of their own free will and only when whatever it is needs enforcing should government -in that case the court system- get involved.

It all works out much better that way.

Jerry Critter said...

Free,
Since you say government should not be involved in marriage then you must be in favor of eliminating all legal benefits and responsibilities of marriage, like tax status, community property laws, rights of survivorship, inheritance laws, etc. Right?

free0352 said...

Since you say government should not be involved in marriage then you must be in favor of eliminating all legal benefits and responsibilities of marriage, like tax status, community property laws, rights of survivorship, inheritance laws, etc. Right?

Some of that yes, some of it no.

As for responsibilities, you are responsible to your children. Women are equal to men now. They can be responsible for themselves.

Tax status? You're right about what I think. I don't think people should pay more or less taxes just because they got hitched. And for that matter, more or less taxes because they had children.

Community property? Depends on if the property is held jointly or a premarital asset.

Inheritance? I think you should be able to leave whatever you want to whom ever you want. If you fail to do that in a will... your dead ass can be the woe to your offspring (or who ever) will suffer through the probate court because you are an idiot.

Now that I cleared that up. What I'm talking about, is the specific issuance of a marriage license. We don't go crawling for a license from government for a license to finance a car? Or sign on for internet service do we? We're expected to be grown ups and deal with it on our own. Of course if we -or "they"- violate the contract we can have the courts enforce it too.

So what I'm saying, isn't that courts stop enforcing contracts. Hell no. Thats the backbone of society. Simply what I'm saying is to sign a contract with someone... anyone! you shouldn't need a license to do it. Why not just get government out of the business of issuing marriage licenses and let government enforce the lawful contracts put before it!





free0352 said...

My fear with many gay rights advocates is that for THEM at least, this isn't so much about marriage but an attempt to ram acceptance of homosexuals down the throats of the anti-gays. Look, I'm all for civil rights, but part of that is being tolerant of other people... even people who really loath you.

I carry no anti-gay prejudices myself. But I used to live in Kansas okay. Many people do. You might get a law passed, it might even be the right law to pass. I might love that law. But you have to understand that some people will always just hate gays, and they aren't all religious fanatics. Gays will have to learn to tolerate those people just as anti-gays will have to learn to tolerate homosexuals. Tolerance doesn't mean acceptance.

I hope this is about civil rights for most, and not about acceptance. That lives in the mind, and it cannot be controlled.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "The people of California wanted to deny gays access to this particular contract. If that's all it is and government has total power over contracts between signatories, why can't they exclude gays?"

Because it's unconstitutional. Its exclusionary nature makes it illegal.


"Why are gays special?"

They're not...and neither is anyone else (theoretically) when it comes to the rule of law.


"When you give government the very ARBITRARY power to make calls like that, sometimes you lose and they get it wrong. See the Dread Scott decision..."

Or the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, or Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company, or all the other "corporations are people too" decisions sandwiched in between.


"Women are equal to men now. They can be responsible for themselves."

Is that why, based upon median annual earnings for full-time, year-round workers, women earn about 78% of what men earn?


"What I'm talking about, is the specific issuance of a marriage license. We don't go crawling for a license from government for a license to finance a car?"

No, not if the car is just going to sit in your garage, but it's a different matter if you intend to drive it.

okjimm said...

Free said..."this isn't so much about marriage but an attempt to ram acceptance of homosexuals down the throats of the anti-gays."

huh???? that makes no sense at all.
"Tolerance doesn't mean acceptance. "

So...if I don't want to accept something I dislike, I do not have to tolerate it.???????

free0352 said...

Okijim

Tolerance means you don't like something, but you put up with it. We tolerate kids screaming in restaurants because kids do that. But nobody likes it.

Acceptance would mean that you like it.

As for me, I'm indifferent to gays. They don't impact my life in any way that I can think of. I don't know many gay people. I could care less about a person's sexual orientation when I do encounter gays. As with most things that don't hurt anyone, if it doesn't impact me in a negative way, I just don't care one way or another. I figure live and let live. However just because I'm not emotionally invested in an issue, doesn't mean I don't have principles. Do I think laws like prop 8 or DOMA do a disservice? Well yeah, sure I do. But its about more than that. I had to go crawling to government to get a marriage license too. My wife and I basically had to pay tribute to make a life decision. I don't care if you're gay or straight, thats the wrong answer. I (and everybody else) should be able to make a binding agreement with pretty much any adult person whenever we want. Period.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "I'm indifferent to gays. They don't impact my life in any way that I can think of. I don't know many gay people."

You probably know more than you realize.

I've come to the conclusion that you tend to be blind to many things that are staring you in the face.

okjimm said...

Free...how disingenuous of of you to quibble semantics to hide your true bigotry.
....as well as evading the subject of the post. Diversion is not participating in a discussion.

free0352 said...

You probably know more than you realize.

Possibly. Who knows. Either way, I don't care. I person's sexual orientation is of little concern to me. I'm at a loss why anyone cares.

if you to quibble semantics to hide your true bigotry.

Yes, because its so out of character for me to argue government should not have a role in something.

It must really suck for you how many stereotypes I of yours I break. I know you wish I was a white redneck, religious fanatic - because that would jibe with your mental image of Republicans. But sorry to remind you, I'm as white as Barack Obama is, I'm an atheist, I'm not a Republican, and I was born in NYC and raised in Detroit.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "[A} person's sexual orientation is of little concern to me. I'm at a loss why anyone cares."

The is only the second point (there was another, awhile back, but honestly I don't recall what it was), out of literally thousands, where I can wholeheartedly agree with you.


"It must really suck for you how many stereotypes I of yours I break. I know you wish I was a white redneck, religious fanatic - because that would jibe with your mental image..."

I'm not answering for Okjimm, but I'll always view you as a tool of the power-structure. As previously mentioned, you're blind to the worst obstacles and impediments that are destroying our democratic processes and liberties -- even when they are staring you in the face. And when you're not oblivious to them, you're encouraging of them.

That's why you're a tool.

free0352 said...

As previously mentioned, you're blind to the worst obstacles and impediments that are destroying our democratic processes and liberties -- even when they are staring you in the face. And when you're not oblivious to them, you're encouraging of them.

Right back at'cha. Remember, its the Democrats in control. You people told us Obama would change everything.

He sure did. Now we have even more welfare for dead beats as we do for fortune 500 companies. Social Democratic Mixed Economic system! Yay!

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "You people told us Obama would change everything."

Interestingly, I have to continually remind you of this: I'm not a Democrat. I didn't vote for him.

I'm surprised you don't adore him -- considering your militaristic and corporatist tendencies.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352 "Social Democratic Mixed Economic system! Yay!"

I only wish that's what we had.

free0352 said...

I didn't vote for him.

In 2008?

Dave Dubya said...

Here’s a timely column that supports this post.

From:
E.J. Dionne
The end of majority rule ?

...Facts illustrate a deep structural tilt in our politics to the right.
Universal background checks are supported by 91 percent of Americans. Yet there is enormous resistance in Congress to passing a strong bill to keep arms out of the wrong hands. What does “rule of the people” mean if a 9-to-1 issue is having so much trouble gaining traction?
64 percent of Americans saying that job creation should be the top priority for elected officials. Only 33 percent said their focus should be on reducing the deficit....Yet politicians in our nation’s capital are so obsessed with the deficit you’d imagine they still haven’t heard how many Americans are unemployed or underemployed.
And our Constitution combines with the way we draw congressional districts to over-represent conservatives in both houses. The 100-member Senate is based on two senators per state regardless of size. This gives rural states far more power than population-based representation would. The filibuster makes matters worse. It’s theoretically possible for 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the population to block pretty much anything.
In the House, those gerrymanders helped Republicans keep control even though more Americans voted for Democrats in the 2012 congressional races.
But here is the problem: A substantial portion of the Republican Party’s core electorate is now influenced both by hatred of Obama and by the views of the ultra-right. Strange conspiracy theories are admitted to the mainstream conversation through the GOP’s back door — and amplified by another fight for market share among talk radio hosts and Fox News commentators.


The US is falling more and more under the tyranny of the minority, and well on its way to seeing the demise of what little democracy it has remaining.

free0352 said...

We don't have majority rule in this country. Never had majority rule in this country. If you have any sense, you don't want majority rule in this country.

A Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people can take away the rights of the other 49%.

--Thomas Jefferson

Dave Dubya said...


If you have any sense, you don't want majority rule in this country.

Every dictator in history agrees with you.

A majority had value in governing and used to mean more.

So how does rule by 1% work out better for most of us than than by 51%?

free0352 said...

A majority had value in governing and used to mean more.

You mean back when the states used to appoint their Senators?

As Thomas Jefferson told us, the tyranny of the majority is just as bad if not worse than the tyranny of the king. What sets our republic apart is the Constitution, which restrains government.

All tyranny comes from government in whatever its form. Thats why I want as little government as possible.

Dave Dubya said...

You mean back when the states used to appoint their Senators?

No, I don't mean that.

And while you're just as flippantly telling us what Jefferson meant, let's point something out:

“We currently have no evidence to confirm that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote, "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%" or any of its listed variations. We do not know the source of this statement's attribution to Thomas Jefferson.”

Perhaps you know something Monticello.org does not. Enlighten us please.

Even if he said that, it does not apply to us. We have a Constitution that restrains tyranny and protects the rights of the minority, or at least in theory. In our case we have the powerful few diminishing our rights by “free speech” money most of us will never have. Most Americans don’t want cuts in Social Security and Medicare, yet both parties of the elites are moving against their interests. The fact 90% of Americans are ignored on firearm background checks sends the same message. Again tyranny by the minority is how the GOP, the corpodems and their owners operate.

All tyranny comes from government in whatever its form.

So civil law, safety nets, and health care are tyranny? Are you saying there could be no tyranny if we had little or no government?

Once again, you issue a very absolutist, but highly debatable, pronouncement. Tyranny is imposed by the powerful unto the powerless, but it’s not limited to government. In some cases governments defended people from tyranny. Ask Europeans who remember WWII. And what would be the point of your “Iraqi Freedom” then?

Corporate power, gangsters, abusive husbands and parents, and thugs of all persuasions impose their own tyranny as well. Isn't that an alleged reason, though trivial by contrast, why you hate unions?

If majority consensus is wrong to you, what do you suggest? Would you eliminate elections? Would you eliminate requiring a majority of representatives’ votes for passing legislation? Would you eliminate requiring a majority of voters to pass ballot proposals? Would you eliminate all vestiges of democracy?

Do you have a thoughtful, or just another flippant, answer?

free0352 said...

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.”

--George Washington.

As for the Jefferson quote, its been WIDELY attributed to him. Did he say it? All I know is, whoever said it, they were right.

And that is why we do not, nor have we ever, lived in a "Democracy."

We live in a Republic that elects its representatives.

A Democracy is a mob. Pure and simple. The most perfect expression of a pure Democracy is a riot in progress. Our founders understood this. That is why they formed a Constitutional Republic that has endured while the French Revolution produced a bloodbath and France has had what? How many systems of government now?

Our government has one job. And it isn't medicine or checking backgrounds or deciding who gets to buy the most TV airtime.

Its job is to defend the Bill of Rights. That's its only job.

Are you saying there could be no tyranny if we had little or no government?

None from government. As Washington says in his quote, government is not your friend. It will eventually with enough power and money become a monster. Always. We can keep the law, but you can have your government so-called free "healthcare," or whatever goodies you would try to bribe me with.

There's always free cheese in a mouse trap. I'm better off on my own, and so is everyone else.

If majority consensus is wrong to you, what do you suggest?

A representative republic. The exact system we've had since the signing of the Constitution. A system that doesn't protect the majority, but is intended and for the most part does, protect the minority. You value the rights of the whole. I value the rights of the few. Its easy to protect the majority. Its hard to protect the minority, who are always the victims of a mob.











okjimm said...

//A Democracy is a mob.//

...and Free's diatribes resemble more and more a toe fungus that does not get treatment and will not go away.

Dave Dubya said...



"Democracy is mob rule". Perhaps this is as thoughtful as Free can be.

One’s conversation is restricted indeed with unilateral definition of terms limiting words’ meanings within a single skull. This explains the absolute certainty of his thinking as well.

Free and all tyrants may agree on his definition of democracy as “mob rule”. However, I haven’t found one dictionary that says this.

If Democracy is a mob, then what is an election?

Since Free admits, “We live in a Republic that elects its representatives”, then we must assume voting in elections is also mob rule, since the majority generally determines who wins

So Free’s philosophy tells us we live in a Republic that elects its representatives by mob rule.

Very illuminating. Well, then, there’s your democracy.

How do we fix that?

Buying politicians and controlling media are what the ruling elites have been doing. If there’s anything better than majority rule it’s dictatorship by the elites, right?

And since voting is nothing but unruly mobs imposing tyranny on the powerful elites, perhaps the best thing to do is suppress voting rights, require special ID’s, impose more restricts on voter registration and limit access to polls,

This is, of course, exactly what the forces against democracy are doing.

We are “free” to watch the interests of Big Money and the minority of Republican voters get more representation than the majority.

And that’s how “freedom” will be defined for us in such a “representative republic”.

Turns out you can have a “representative republic” without representation of the majority and without freedom. It’s not so easy in a democratic republic.

But fear not, Free’s definition of government’s job is “to defend the Bill of Rights. That's its only job.”

Yes, in his brain, that may be the case. But the Constitution designates the duties and procedures of government that far exceed Free’s limited understanding and definitions.

If one can’t accept definitions of terms there is no debate other than one party insisting it alone understands the terms. And that gets nowhere fast. It is propaganda and is the antithesis of communication.

If definitions are whatever we say they are, then my argument is this.

A “representative republic” is simply dictatorship by the minority of economic elites who can buy exclusive representation with “free speech” money they alone have. Their primary party is charged with suppressing voter registration and access to polls to achieve such tyranny.

And that somehow seems far more accurate than “Democracy is mob rule”.

Dave Dubya said...

So, here’s the deal. I’m done playing under Free’s unilateral definitions.

If we want to have a conversation, here are helpful definitions to clear up misunderstandings and assumptions.

===
Webster's College Dictionary

Republic

1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
2. a state in which the head of government is not a monarch and is usu. an elected or nominated president.
3. the form of government of such a state.
4. any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.

Democracy:

1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
2. a state having such a form of government.
3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4. political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5. the common people, esp. with respect to their political power.

--
American Heritage® Dictionary

Republic:

1.
a. A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president.
b. A nation that has such a political order.
2.
a. A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them.
b. A nation that has such a political order.
3. often Republic A specific republican government of a nation: the Fourth Republic of France
4. An autonomous or partially autonomous political and territorial unit belonging to a sovereign federation.

Democracy:

1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

free0352 said...

then we must assume voting in elections is also mob rule, since the majority generally determines who wins

Not at all. I'm talking about a vote where simple majority rule is the deciding factor. That's also what you folks were talking about. We don't have that in America as a Republic - and we never have. We have things like the electoral college, a Supreme Court that is NOT elected, and checks and balances to make damn sure a simple majority can't do whatever it damn well pleases. It was designed purposefully to make legislating hard, and slow - for the express purpose of limiting government power.

But the Constitution designates the duties and procedures of government that far exceed Free’s limited understanding and definitions.

Every duty outlined in the Constitution revolves around that goal. There is no medicare in the Constitution, no state parks, no social security. Not to say we can't do those things. There are powers enumerated. But any power exercised - even with a 51% majority - has to meet a Constitutional test. Even if a given law meets a 90-100% polling rate, if its unconstitutional it can't be done. For example, even if 100% of the people in your state vote to force you to shave your head, they can't. Its against the law. Your rights are protected. Mob rule for example, is when they can do that... when the rights of the majority exceed the rights of the individual.

Our government exists not to promote the desires of the majority, but to protect the rights of the individual. Its not there to help people do things, its there to tell government what they cannot do. And enforce that. So when Alabama decides not to admit blacks on account of race, even though it was popular there at the time to a point where local government refused to enforce the law - they still got the 82nd Airborne up their ass.

Because the rights of those minority blacks trumped the rights of the majority of Alabama.



Dave Dubya said...

First of all, our governing system is neither a democracy nor a republic. It was intended to be a democratic republic, but power and influence are being wielded more by wealth than the people. In a true democratic republic people are represented. In our corporatocracy, interests of wealth are represented over the people. Money talks. Money is represented. That is not a democratic republic. It is a corrupt corporatocracy.

Me: then we must assume voting in elections is also mob rule, since the majority generally determines who wins
You: “Not at all. I'm talking about a vote where simple majority rule is the deciding factor”.


And that is what elections are. That is what legislation by majority is too. You’re talking about mob rule, something that doesn’t exist. I’m talking about democratic process in government. That exists, albeit in an ever shrinking capacity. Why are you confused about this?

Our democracy is the extent to which people have power and choices in a government that protects minority rights, not mob rule. You and dictators seem to disagree with me, the population, and dictionaries. Such behavior is characteristic of tyrants. Their word also trumps law and consensus. This is why free thinkers always resist your simplistic bumper sticker anti-democratic propaganda.

the rights of those minority blacks trumped the rights of the majority of Alabama

The majority’s rights were not trumped. Their bigotry was...but that struggle continues. American bigots are still a loud bunch.

When will the right of representation for the majority of Americans trump the power of economic “free speech” of the elites?

What’s your bumper sticker say about that?

okjimm said...

//I'm talking about a vote where simple majority rule is the deciding factor.//

.....but you did not vote.

//Our government exists not to promote the desires of the majority,//

....you truly, truly do not know what yoou are talking about.

Jerry Critter said...

This discussion clearly shows that free has nothing of value to contribute. He lives is a different world.

free0352 said...

power and influence are being wielded more by wealth than the people

Ever stopped to ask yourself why? With the exception of the 2nd Amendment no one is at risk for losing any freedoms at this very moment. People can still vote, organize, fund-raise and lobby. They just don't. Because they don't care. Thats not an evil plot. They just don't care. Thats a problem with society, not government.

It is a corrupt corporatocracy.

Thats a cop-out. Nothing has really changed legally in the last 100+ years. People didn't care then, they don't care now. People get the government they deserve.

And that is what elections are

Not always. Our presidential election DOES NOT work like that for example. Nor should it.

That is what legislation by majority is too

We don't have that in this country. You were just lamenting that we don't. Its very hard to move the wheels of our government, thats a good thing.

That exists, albeit in an ever shrinking capacity

Nothing has changed. People have been bitching about Congress since about three days after it was founded. Its the same old complaints too.

Any poli-sci teacher would explain this simple shit to you. Its the basic stuff. Checks and balances. Its high school level stuff. Did you guys fall asleep in Civics?












Dave Dubya said...

Any poli-sci teacher would explain this simple shit to you. Its the basic stuff.

Like "Democracy is mob rule"?

You are hilarious. And pompous to boot, if you think you're "teaching" us anything.

free0352 said...

They will tell you, along with your history teacher, exactly why our founders set up the system they did.

It was to prevent the tyranny of the majority because thats just as bad as the tyranny of a king. Or as I call it, mob rule.

okjimm said...

Free=//tyranny of the majority//

Earlier in this thread

Free=//We don't have majority rule in this country. Never had majority rule in this country.//

Soooooo what is the problem, Free?

You really do sound like a convincing argument for mandatory background checks for gun ownership.

//he tyranny of a king. Or as I call it, mob rule.//

...boy, dem kings ran a really tight mob.

free0352 said...

Soooooo what is the problem, Free?


None. I like our government the way it is. I have no desire to change its fundamental system. I was responding to Dave's quote when it said-

The 100-member Senate is based on two senators per state regardless of size. This gives rural states far more power than population-based representation would. The filibuster makes matters worse. It’s theoretically possible for 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the population to block pretty much anything.

I like all those things the writer was complaining about. Our founders put them there for a very good reason. And I imagine you liked them too when George Bush was President with a Republican majority. Restraining government, either driven by one man or 300 million, is a very good thing. A government that doesn't do a lot, really can't hurt you. Thats why I want a government that does less, and less. Bare minimum. Maintain the Army, build some roads, negotiate some treaties, fight the wars when we have to... and then go away. I like government cheap, and small, and weak.

free0352 said...

You really do sound like a convincing argument for mandatory background checks for gun ownership.


Well, I've been through many of them. Passed every one ;)

In fact, I've been vetted way more than that. However, if there was ever a case for having to pass a civics exam prior to voting or serving on a jury... you make a good case Jeff.

Dave Dubya said...

I love it when Free gets his wheels spinning so fast they go in both directions. He loves contradicting so much he does it to himself. A true contrarian by the Urban Dictionary definition: “A person who disagrees with the mainstream or accepted view because he believes it makes him look good and feeds his ego, not because his argument is well thought-out or rational.”

This is why I enjoy he’s babbling.

This is the question he’s desperately dodging because it portrays the ridiculousness of his point.

If Democracy is a mob, then what is an election?

Me: then we must assume voting in elections is also mob rule, since the majority generally determines who wins
Free: “Not at all. I'm talking about a vote where simple majority rule is the deciding factor”.


So who could possibly know what he’s talking about at this point?

So I clearly stated: “And that is what elections are. That is what legislation by majority is too. You’re talking about mob rule, something that doesn’t exist. I’m talking about democratic process in government. That exists, albeit in an ever shrinking capacity. Why are you confused about this?”

Free the Contrarian said: ”Not always. Our presidential election DOES NOT work like that for example”

As if the rest of us are ignorant of the Electoral College... Never mind my point is true for every other elected official. Never mind my point is true for laws passed by congress.

So according to Free, democracy is mob rule, but not elections. Elections and legislation by majority vote are not democracy. Clear?

Me: That is what legislation by majority is too

Free: We don't have that in this country. You were just lamenting that we don't. Its very hard to move the wheels of our government, thats a good thing.


Perhaps Free was confusing or conflating the general public with legislators. That confusing or conflating happens a lot.

The question remains unanswered of course: If Democracy is a mob, then what is an election?

Its very hard to move the wheels of our government, thats a good thing

This is another misleading generalization, of course. The Bush tax cuts happened pretty fast, didn’t they? Look how easy it was for the Bush/Cheney war mongering to get its way. Not much time-consuming debate there. And about as much debate went into the Patriot Act too. Fast track all the way.

Turns out the wheels of government turn on a dime when the rich and powerful few want there way. Not so much for the majority of us. Ninety percent of us want firearm background checks. “Not so fast”, say the powerful few. Most Americans want legal cannabis. “Not so fast,” say the powerful few.

I’m sure everyone but our Contrarian can see my point.

Now let’s see the Contrarian turn on his own words.

Me: power and influence are being wielded more by wealth than the people

Free: Ever stopped to ask yourself why?


To answer, always. But such is a corrupt corporatocracy.

Me: It is a corrupt corporatocracy.

Free: “Thats a cop-out”


Not sure what I’m copping out of, but first he agrees then he disagrees....I think. We’ll see which way he goes soon enough....or not. Either way, or both ways.

Here’s my favorite:

Free: I like our government the way it is.

Contrarian Free: I like government cheap, and small, and weak.


Confused? Only if we take his words seriously.

Dave Dubya said...

If Democracy is a mob, then what is an election?

Before Free takes us off into fantasy land, I should first make clear one fact. Elections do not make a democracy. But democracy cannot exist without elections.

I'm talking about democracy needing open and free elections between viable opposition candidates who would represent people, not just wealth and power.

We all know sham elections are held in dictatorships, and corporatocracy offers elections that include corporate candidate A versus corporate candidate B. And far from being "mob rule" these are examples of the elite few ruling over the majority.

free0352 said...

I'm sorry that high school civics is boggling your mind Dave. I guess its been some years since you sat through that class.

Yes, we have elections in this country. But we don't have majority rule in this country. As your own quote pointed out-

The 100-member Senate is based on two senators per state regardless of size. This gives rural states far more power than population-based representation would. The filibuster makes matters worse. It’s theoretically possible for 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the population to block pretty much anything.

A state like say - Wyoming - has in the Senate as much say as New York does. In a majority rule nation, we'd be the United States of California, New York and Texas. Every other state would be along for the ride, living at the whim of the population centers. That seems to me, to be what you were supporting since you quoted a guy who clearly supports that. I hate that idea. I like the electoral college. I like an equal voice Senate. I like it that the Supreme Court is appointed. Thats not Direct Democracy dude, thats a Constitutional Republic. Do I like state ballot initiatives? Well, I think its a State's right to do that if they choose, but I'd end it in my state given the chance. I certainly wouldn't support it federally.

Free: I like our government the way it is.

Contrarian Free: I like government cheap, and small, and weak.


I had hoped you'd be perceptive enough to grasp the blueprint of our country - the Constitution- which I love, vs some practices of our government which I don't like. There are many laws I don't agree with, but how we make laws and enforce them I'm a big fan of. I don't object to our system of government, I object to how Democrats for the most part are managing it.






Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: [Did you vote for Obama] in 2008?

Sure! He said all the right things as a candidate! But as president, he's proven to be a corporatist, a militarist hawk, and a destroyer of our most basic rights.

I also voted for Ross Perot, along with Ralph Nadar on more than a few occasions. I guess, in your eyes, this makes me a Democrat?


"Our government has one job...Its job is to defend the Bill of Rights. That's its only job."

Is that why it mandates that corporations are equals to natural persons?

Actually, I thought, according to all the political science and civics class I took, its obligation is to defend the totality of the whole Constitution. No?


"With the exception of the 2nd Amendment no one is at risk for losing any freedoms at this very moment. People can still vote, organize, fund-raise and lobby. They just don't. Because they don't care."

Oh really? Is that why the 1st Amendment has been bastardized to include corporations as protected as equally as natural persons...actually more so?

Is that why, during political conventions for example, we were herded into "free speech zones" -- arrested if expressing this most basic right outside of the cages they built?

Is that why NSA and the CIA monitor and collect information on American's electronic and written correspondence?

Is this why we have the Patriot Act...or NDAA?

You're apparently -- and might I add amazingly -- ill-informed, if you think only your sacred 2nd Amendment is under attack.


"Thats a cop-out [in response to Dave's statement "it is a corrupt corporatocracy"]. Nothing has really changed legally in the last 100+ years."

You are kidding, right? Or, are you as willfully ignorant as you come across to be? There have been dozens of judicial decisions strengthening the power of corporate entities. They're now seen, legally, on a par with natural persons. Can't recall any provision for this in the Bill of Rights. You're obviously the self-appointed expert here in Constitutional law, so please point me in the right direction on this one.


"I don't object to our system of government, I object to how Democrats for the most part are managing it."

How about Republicans? Do you object to how they've managed it, also?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

"[Americans have become] distracted from the fact that the two mainstream parties are virtually identical in terms of issues of war, liberty, crony capitalism, bailouts, big oil and nuclear energy, genetically modified foods, and other core issues which affect our basic health, freedom and prosperity."

Generational sociologists William Strauss and Neil Howe indicate in The Fourth Turning, with their explanation of what the cycles of history predict for the future, that we're on the verge of massive social and economic upheaval in this country (and around the world). How we respond to this will determine whether we survive, intact, as a unified republican-democracy, or perish to the dustbin of history as so many previous empires have. It's as inevitable and predicable as the seasons -- only the exact circumstances are not.

As Strauss and Howe explain, it's our rendezvous with destiny.

Dave Dubya said...

Thats not Direct Democracy dude, thats a Constitutional Republic.

Your lecture is silly. We have definitions above you know. What would a "Constitutional Republic" be without democratic elections?

free0352 said...

Is that why it mandates that corporations are equals to natural persons?

It doesn't mention corporate law one way or another.

I guess, in your eyes, this makes me a Democrat?

Would voting for George Bush in your eyes make me a Republican?

its obligation is to defend the totality of the whole Constitution. No?

Yes. Its mission is to defend the Constitution in its totality.

Is that why the 1st Amendment has been bastardized to include corporations as protected as equally as natural persons...actually more so?

What specific freedoms to speak, assemble, petition or practice your religion have you lost? I haven't lost any speaking for myself. Nor have I seen anyone whose freedoms to do the above under attack since the early 1990s with the Democrat PMRC.

during political conventions for example, we were herded into "free speech zones"

Your freedom to swing your fist ends at someone else's nose. Disrupting a convention isn't free speech. Its harassment. You can't yell fire an a crowded theater either.

You're apparently -- and might I add amazingly -- ill-informed, if you think only your sacred 2nd Amendment is under attack.

The 4th Amendment has taken a beating lately. Its being bent, and at times the line has been crossed. As for the Patriot Act - honest question- do you know what's in it? Have you read it? Did you know domestic surveillance was happening prior not only to the Bush administration but the Reagan administration?

Not that, that makes it okay. Anyway, in the media and in government TODAY the 2nd Amendment is the particular freedom under vicious attack. And its not MY freedom, its yours too. Why don't you want to defend it?

They're now seen, legally, on a par with natural persons.

What are corporations made up of, if not people? You never answer that question.

How about Republicans? Do you object to how they've managed it, also?

What republicans? Oh the Congress? The 1/3 of the lawmaking entity? All they can do is block the President's agenda. And as Democrats are fond of howling, they do a pretty good job of it about half of the time. I support their efforts to stop this President from doing anything.

What would a "Constitutional Republic" be without democratic elections?

An Oligarchy. Sort of like China's. What would we be if we had majority rule, like if we abandoned the Electoral College and gave states a number of Senators per their populations like we do Congressmen? Fucked. That's what we'd be.
















Dave Dubya said...

Our government exists not to promote the desires of the majority, but to protect the rights of the individual.
And to:
“have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States...

And:

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;...

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,..


And:

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Maybe if it all fit on a bumper sticker you’d get that, since we know you’re an authority on “Bumper Sticker Civics”.
What are corporations made up of, if not people?
Money, along with land, real estate, buildings, property and a corporate charter, but not a certificate of live birth. Money being the key component.
Corporations are run by, and for, people with money. That’s a lot of right to “free speech” most of will never have. The more the power and influence wielded by Big Money “free speech” expands, the influence by most Americans diminishes. When Government represents money, the elite few with money will prevail. When a “representative republic” represents money over people, the people go unrepresented. All people have is their vote. This is why the Party of Big Money is actively suppressing the vote.
What would a "Constitutional Republic" be without democratic elections?
An Oligarchy. Sort of like China's.


Very good.

And what would a “constitutional republic” become with one corporatist party suppressing the vote, while it, and the other corporatist party hold a lock on elections and primarily represent the economic elites?

okjimm said...

“He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine, free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come. He could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre

All of Free's contradictions are true to himself as only he can perceive them. He has practiced self delusion beyond the point of self-delusion. Mental masturbation....without Kleenex.

free0352 said...

All of the things you mentioned Dave, are a means to an end. Not the end. The end is the protection of individual rights. Period. The founding father's didn't write the Constitution to start Medicare.

Money, along with land, real estate, buildings, property and a corporate charter

These things are all inanimate objects. None of them can make decisions. None of them can do anything without human beings. The above things are tools. Who or what do you think runs corporations? Who makes their decisions?

Its as if you've so dehumanized the board of directors, they aren't even people to you anymore. Perhaps this makes it easier in your mind, to trample their rights.

And what would a “constitutional republic” become with one corporatist party suppressing the vote, while it, and the other corporatist party hold a lock on elections and primarily represent the economic elites?

Corporatist is a word you just made up. It seems to me, its your label for anyone who isn't a socialist like you.





Jerry Critter said...

Free must think cars are people too. After all, who or what do you think runs them? Who makes their decisions?

free0352 said...

No one is suggesting cars have first amendment rights. Corporations are a group of people self organized and bound by law and corporate charter for a given purpose, which is generally commercial in nature. That's all.

Dave Dubya said...

The founding father's didn't write the Constitution to start Medicare

They didn't write the Constitution so a corporation would have a person’s rights either. I thought you were Mr. “Individual Rights”. A corporation isn't an individual.

You better lecture John Adams on the Constitution. In 1798 the 5th Congress passed, and Adams signed, "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seaman" into law. Thomas Jefferson was the President of the Senate during the 5th Congress while Jonathan Dayton, the youngest man to sign the United States Constitution, was the Speaker of the House.

The act provided for the Federal Government to build and run hospitals for sick and injured seamen. It was paid for by taxing the sailors. Let this sink in. Adams and other Founders instituted tax funded government run health care.

It survives to this day as the Public Health Service under the Surgeon General.

dehumanized the board of directors... trample their rights

LOL! Funniest wild accusations yet.

Yeah, those Wall Street swindlers are under my jackboot all right. Yuk yuk.

Corporatist is a word you just made up.

Aww. Another false accusation and distraction. Not an answer.

Neo-corporatism and state corporatism are already defined .
Now we have modern American Republcan/corpo-Dem corporatism and it’s big brother, global corporatism through the IMF and World Bank and other entities.
Ever wonder why so many legislators become lobbyists?

And speaking of unanswered questions, tell us this. Is an election a process of democracy? Or is it mob rule? Tell us the difference between democracy and mob rule if there is any difference at all.
We await your enlightenment.

Jerry Critter said...

A corporation is also an inanimate object and a business tool. It is used by people, it is not people. It should not have the rights of people, any more than a car should have the rights of people..

free0352 said...

A corporation isn't an individual

No, its a group of individuals.

In 1798 the 5th Congress passed, and Adams signed, "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seaman" into law.

So you're saying John Adams signed the Constitution to help disabled seamen? Try actually reading the federalist papers to get a clear picture of how John Adams wanted to run the government. As for Thomas Jefferson, he was initially an anti-federalist. As in he didn't support The Constitution. It took him quite some time to come around to it. He and John Adams definitely didn't see eye-to-eye on it. Ever.

Yeah, those Wall Street swindlers are under my jackboot all right.

It certainly sounds as if you wish they were.

Tell us the difference between democracy and mob rule if there is any difference at all.

Depends on how the Democracy is practiced. If constrained by law and not unlimited in power, its fine. Individual rights should always trump any collective claim.

Ever wonder why so many legislators become lobbyists?

I would go with millions of dollars. People like to bitch about other people's lobbyists. They always have great excuses for why the lobbyists they support are A-okay.

A corporation is also an inanimate object

So what are the board of directors? And if government control only covers individual people and not the property they use to... well do whatever... how can there be freedom. Thats like saying - sure we have freedom of the press. We've only banned typewriters. Typewriters have no rights. The author on the other hand is free to say anything - so we have freedom of speech. Only an inanimate object is banned, in this case his typewriter. Its like saying a football team is an inanimate object. It fails a basic logical test. Its like saying we aren't banning your religion when we outlaw or constrict the freedoms of say, the religion of Islam. Islam isn't a person, and the individuals who happen to be Muslim can still practice their religions on their own. They simply cannot use the organization of the Islamic faith to do that.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352: "No, [a corporation is] a group of individuals."

No, a corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. They are created by law, or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members. Got that? It would not exist if not for the state.

Jerry's analogy was perfect. When you drive a car, you're not the car. You're only the owner and the operator. You don't earn additional legal status -- or protections -- for owning and driving the car, and nor do those who may also be riding in the car with you. Additionally, you're bound by the laws and rules governing the highways, roads and byways of the state.

Certainly, corporations enjoy many of the rights and responsibilities that an individual possesses; that is, a corporation has the right to enter into contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets and pay taxes, but that's where their legal rights should cease to exist. They shouldn't have the power to influence government, provide support to political candidates or parties, or enter into any realms outside of the commercial reasons their charters defined. I'm absolutely positive that none of the charters of the Fortune 500 corporations mention anything in their business purpose related to these.

You said, "No one is suggesting cars have first amendment rights. Corporations are a group of people self organized and bound by law and corporate charter for a given purpose, which is generally commercial in nature. That's all."

I totally agree with your second sentence, but I disagree with your first. You are, in effect, suggesting that cars should have First Amendment rights -- if you're supportive of the same First Amendment protections for corporations.

Dave Dubya said...



Depends on how the Democracy is practiced. If constrained by law and not unlimited in power, its fine.

Ah. The enlightenment at last.. Democracy is not always "mob rule" after all. In fact it is essential to freedom in a constitutional democratic representative republic.

But democracy is replaced by corporatocracy when corporations have more rights and representation than the majority of individuals.

Funny how democracy is seen as mob rule, and corporate political “free speech” money is not corruption. That view does little to support individual rights.

So you're saying John Adams signed the Constitution to help disabled seamen?

No, but you do need your straw men don’t you?

Oh, yes. How about another?

Thats like saying - sure we have freedom of the press. We've only banned typewriters.

It fails a basic logical test.

A corporation isn't an individual

No, its a group of individuals.


...with a lot of money. So are unions, by the way. But you hate their collective rights. A union is not a person. A corporation is not a person.

And therefore certain groups of wealthy individuals have more "free speech money" and right to representation than the vast majority of individuals.

But in your world:

I am "trampling the rights" and "dehumanizing" the poor board of directors because, as individuals they not only have the same rights as I do, but more "collective rights" to representation as corporate owners.

You hate unions working for collective bargaining and representation rights. But it’s fine for corporate money to have collective right to representation. We need to remove unions, but not corporations, from politics.

Yes, we see that trampling of rights and dehumanizing all right. And it ain't the little guy doing it to the elites.

Your case of "individual rights" is becoming more Orwellian. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

By being CEO's and board members, they become "more equal", don't they? It's called corruption.

free0352 said...

No, a corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners

And it has members. Those are people. I’ll get to that and how thinking the opposite can be applied in a minute.

created by law, or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members

Authority of law? That’s irrelevant. As individuals we're under authority of law too. Continuing existence? The New York Yankees have been in existence since... hell I don't even know when that ball club was founded. Are the NY Yankees not made up of people? If we ban baseball teams are the players still free to play baseball?

It would not exist if not for the state.

Nor would the Bill of Rights or the Constitution. Those rights are still real. As are the members of a corporation, or the NY Yankees.

But let’s play this tape all the way through. Let’s give you what you want. Corporations can't influence elections. Poof, I waved my wand. Let us pretend for a minute.

Now let’s also assume a nightmare for you guys. Sarah Palin is running for President in 2016, and I'm your election regulator. You are now fucked, because for this analogy we'll assume I think like you do. I'm not free0352; I'm a guy who thinks corporations who are not part of the press have no business influencing elections.

So first off, it’s currently illegal -can’t stress that enough- for a corporation or an individual to give more than a few thousand dollars to a candidate. If you doubt me simply try donating 100,000 dollars to a candidate of your choice. Don’t worry if you don’t have the money, because the campaign won’t accept the check anyway – that would be a violation of FEC regulations. What we're talking about... what you're talking about... is soft money. When an individual or other entity that could be a corporation, union, 501C or whatever; takes out advertising or other political activity that helps or hurts a given candidate. That’s what you mean when you say "Money is free speech." This is what McCain Feingold regulated - the law Citizens’ United vs FEC overturned.

free0352 said...

Now pretend I'm your regulator, and I have no morals. Look out.

First, can you imagine say - Bill Maher - during a Sarah Palin election? What do you think his jokes during his show would be like? Critical of Palin? Yeah, we know they would be.

Bad news. Bill Maher is a corporation now… under your thought process. He's not Bill, he's the Home Box Office network’s mouthpiece, which is owned by the Time Warner Network. A network that is funded largely through advertising from other corporations. Bill Maher by any reasonable standard is not a journalist and HBO is not a news network. Freedom of the press? Nope. Any mention of the press is nowhere in HBO's corporate charter. It’s just a corporation out for profit. Bill Maher cannot say anything negative about Sarah Palin during the election season, because he's no longer a person. He's an employee of a legal instrument. He works for an entity and HBO is not the press. He is not a journalist, he's a comedian, so his rights are moot. Sure he can say whatever on his own dime. He can’t use the Home Box Office’s dime. That’s election intervention by a non-press corporation. So now any show Maher airs critical of a candidate Palin during election season is in violation of election law because he's not airing it - HBO and Time Warner is. He's not fair, he's not balanced and he's clearly partisan non-reporter. So sorry bill, the corporation you work for might influence the election against Sarah Palin. If you air any nasty jokes about her or make a case against her, the corporation HBO is now influencing the election outcome. The money HBO spent on that show is as good as a corporate soft money campaign contribution to Palin's opposition. If you air it, you will face a fine and penalty of law.

It gets better. Michael Moore isn't a guy; he's an employee of Lion's Gate which is owned by Miramax. Nowhere in either company’s charter, is any hint of press affiliation. Miramax is in turn owned by the Disney Corporation... clearly not a news agency. The film Fahrenheit 9-11 was released during the 2004 election season and clearly designed to influence that election. Michael Moore isn't an individual your school of thought tells us, he's Miramax and fucking Disney. His film must be postponed till after election season or face penalty of law. Walt Disney cannot be allowed to swing a Presidential race.

John Stewart isn't just some comedian. He belongs to Comedy Central which is owned by Viacom. Nowhere in their corporate charters does it mention the press, and Stewart himself admits his show is "fake news," meant to be comedy.

If he's critical of our theoretical candidate Palin during our theoretical 2016 election cycle, his show is basically a soft-money contribution to Palin's opposition. He must hold that show till after election season, or face penalty of law.

free0352 said...

Think those things can't happen? After all, Moore's film sure did come out during the era of McCain/Feingold in 2004? Well, only because regulators gave him a pass. Citizen's United – a film company- attempted to make a film critical of Hillary Clinton in 2007 - and the Federal Elections Commission told them if they aired the film during election season they would face penalty of law. They sued and won the right to show the film.

If it can happen to Citizen's United, it can happen to freak'n Miramax. If it can happen to a movie company, it can happen to print media, or even this blog if it were incorporated. Like say, Huffington Post is.

You might say, well those scenarios won't happen, because government will wield its power ethically... well if you think that you are crazy. That’s the same as saying "Oh those warrantless wire taps are no big deal, because the government will wield that authority ethically."

It’s only a matter of time as you should know, before that power gets perverted. And if I was a politically minded President or regulator with no ethics, that's exactly how I'd use McCain Feingold to destroy at least three Democrat voices of the left. Lucky for me, while I disagree with Moore, Maher, and Stewart... I think they are more than the sum parts of their parent corporation and I don’t think those companies should be penalized for airing their films. I think just because those individuals work for big a company doesn’t mean they lose the right to free speech. And I would think you would too. But you don’t.

Free speech is not apportioned equally. You have the right to say whatever you want to. You don’t have the right to have everyone hear it. If you think the money that Disney or Comedy Central or Citizen’s United has gives them an unfair advantage… tough shit. Life and free speech isn’t fair. I certainly don’t have a voice as well heard as John Stewart – but I’m not suggesting he be muzzled because he does.

Jerry Critter said...

Free has jumped the shark.

Dave Dubya said...

Jerry,
Free has jumped the shark.

Free's a shark jumper. He’s needs to jump around because I disprove his assertions and accusations, like “Corporatist is a word you just made up,” and I “dehumanized the board of directors... trample their rights”.

He loves to build a big straw man and show us how smart he is.

This particular one was a classic rebuttal to our argument to silence FOX(R) and Right Wing talk radio... Or movies, or commentary on talk shows, or other individual political opinions on public airwaves.

But that was never our argument, of course.

Let's just examine his conclusion:

Life and free speech isn’t fair. I certainly don’t have a voice as well heard as John Stewart – but I’m not suggesting he be muzzled because he does.

Very noble, considering his voice is the NRA, and whatever the Koch’s say through their tea party and other corporate entities.

“Life and free speech isn’t fair:”

“Life is not fair” does not justify unfairness.

If free speech is not fair to individuals, but is for corporations, then it is less a right for individuals, and more power and privilege for corporations and the wealthy elites.

This is why we have individual and minority rights in the first place. This is why we have the 13th Amendment. This is why we have the “Equal Protection” clause in the 14th Amendment.

This is why voting rights were expanded to blacks, women and the poor. Note the Right’s efforts to reverse that trend.

Rights are not rights unless they are equal rights. Individual rights are not rights, or are greatly diminished, when superseded by corporate rights.

And for contrast, my previous conclusion:

Your case of "individual rights" is becoming more Orwellian. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

By being CEO's and board members, they become "more equal", don't they? It's called corruption.

free0352 said...

But that was never our argument, of course.

Your argument is irrelevant Dave. Its what the law actually did that matters, not your good intentions.

And what it actually did was ban a movie company from making a movie. If that wasn't your intention, you should have been the first on in line to cheer the SCOTUS ruling on Citizens United.

Dave Dubya said...

And what it actually did was ban a movie company from making a movie.

This is news indeed.

free0352 said...

This is news indeed.

I'm so hoping this is sarcasm I'm missing.

Citizen's United: Hillary the Movie? It got banned because it was considered a soft money contribution. Have you ever read the Citizen's United SCOTUS decision? Ever? Its not long or hard to understand.

free0352 said...

We'll just make this easy. Here is the SCOTUS opinion that gave rise to this portion of this debate, among others. Simply read it, and highlight for me what portions of the opinion you actually disagree with. Because of your statements Dave, you would seem to be a big fan of it.

Dave Dubya said...


Then why don't you show us where "what it actually did was ban a movie company from making a movie"?

Is this how your understanding of postponing the broadcast of a film? "Banned from making a movie"?

As I've said many times, showing films, even “Hillary” is fine. Got that? I never opposed that and told you so repeatedly.

I have issues with the Court’s endowment of corporations with the rights of persons.

Apparently you also have disagreement with the court’s opinions.

Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy

They meant “Because speech is an essential mechanism of mob rule”, right?

Political speech is “indispensable to decision-making in a democracy, and this is no less true because the speech comes from a corporation.”

They meant, “Political speech is “indispensable to decision-making in mob rule”, right?

”Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints or to distinguish among different speakers, which may be a means to control content.

They ignore the existence of corporate power the founders never imagined.

Either way it is opinion. Now they’re away from “We the people” and are in the imaginary “we the corporations” part of the Constitution. When calibrated by wealth, rights of corporations shall always supersede the rights of individuals.

And talk about assumption.

this Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption. That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials are corrupt. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy.

Right. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

There’s more:

Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints.

But the sacred and pure corporate powers may spend all the “free speech” money they want “to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints”. That money is already smothering the scientific consensus of climate change. It appears corporations have more right to deceive than scientists have in reporting the evidence.

Well, then, there’s no reason for government at all. Let’s just turn all power over to the ever trustworthy and honest corporations who always have the public good in their interests.

Do you get it yet? Our individual right of free speech is diminished by corporate power of wealth combined with a status of super-personhood with greater rights than entire towns of people.

This decision is about more than that damn movie. It cements assumptions and opinions that a corporation is a person, or even more a citizen. Never mind it can only corrupt with money, and is never required to serve in a jury, vote, or be held accountable for wrongdoing by imprisonment or execution.

Only one non-person entity is allowed the free speech of individuals. That is the press.

Your case of "individual rights" is becoming more Orwellian. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

By being CEO's and board members, they become "more equal", don't they? It's called corruption.

free0352 said...

As I've said many times, showing films, even “Hillary” is fine. Got that?

What you want is one thing, what McCain Feingold did was totally different. We're dealing with the law, not Dave Dubya's utopian dream world.

I have issues with the Court’s endowment of corporations with the rights of persons.

What language in the opinion do you specifically object to?

Either way it is opinion

Yes, your opinion. What actually happened is fact. Fact is, Citizen's United was getting beat up by the FEC and had to sue to release their movie during an election season.

I understand you don't like soft money. Okay, fine. But how do you propose to regulate it without as the court put it "Chilling free speech?"

corporate powers may spend all the “free speech” money they want “to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints”.

Yes, they can. So can you for that matter. Its a free country. Your freedom is equal, its only your bank account that is not.

Let’s just turn all power over to the ever trustworthy and honest corporations

Thats your strawman argument. I happen to like it when government does its job and protects a little organization like Citizen's United from the big, bad FEC.

is never required to serve in a jury, vote, or be held accountable for wrongdoing by imprisonment or execution.

Thats laughable. People who own corporations serve on juries, vote, and just ask Bernie Maddoff if you can't be imprisoned for doing bad things with a corporation.

Only one non-person entity is allowed the free speech of individuals. That is the press.

And there you have the inequality. By naming "the press" you've created an elite with more rights than others. What happens to the speech of the non-press? I gave you some scenarios where this line of thinking leads to. John Stewart, Michael Moore, Bill Maher are all in the crosshairs because they work for Disney, Viacom and Time Warner. Those companies aren't the press. Do you want to risk their freedoms for your good intentions?















Dave Dubya said...

What language in the opinion do you specifically object to?

Are you seriously saying you don't know the quotes are from the link you posted?


Your case of "individual rights" is becoming more Orwellian. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

By being CEO's and board members, they become "more equal", don't they? It's called corruption.

free0352 said...

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others

I would think so. Saying, "You're the press. You have freedom of speech. Now you over there Mr. Board of Directors, now you don't." would seem to be a perfect example of that. That being one more equal than the other.

Hence the ruling.

Dave Dubya said...

Mr. Board of Directors has access to having his opinion printed in the press as an editorial.

Mr. Board of Directors has the money to hire a phalanx of lobbyists. Mr. Board of Directors can attend thousand dollar plate campaign lunches.

Mr. Board of Directors may even own the TV, radio, and print as well. Hello, Murdoch.

Mr. Board of Directors has all kinds of "free speech" that millions of Americans will never have.

Oh and Mr. Board of Directors can even vote, which is about all the free speech and influence most of us can afford.

Your case of "individual rights" is becoming more Orwellian. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

By being CEO's and board members, they become "more equal", don't they? It's called corruption.

Now why don't you go correct the court on what democracy really is.

free0352 said...

They don't become more of anything, accept limited by your frankly fascist system. Who decides just who the press is? Government. Who is too rich or too poor? Government. Who decides what is even speech? Government.

That's Orwell all right. Big Brother calling the shots. The inner party with its privilege. Under the laws you support we'd have to go crawling to the O'Brians of the world for permission to speak. Meanwhile guys like Moore, Stewart and Maher are going to have to shut up.

Dave Dubya said...

The inner party with its privilege

Gee, would that be li'l ol' me?

Couldn't be the Wall Street swindlers, and wealthy corporate elites who write legislation and lobby for corporate friendly trade agreements, tax breaks, sweetheart no-bid contracts and such?

Under the laws you support we'd have to go crawling to the O'Brians of the world for permission to speak.

More Drama Queen talk again.

“We'd have to..."

You’re talking about "we the corporations" not "we the people". And nobody’s talking about limiting their free speech to advertise their products.

Speaking of Big Brother, corporations profit from the surveillance state, don’t they? Corporations are becoming government's Big Brother. That puts them in power over we the people and our government.

You act like I would reduce any individual rights to less than what we the 99% have.

The law of humans over corporations, or the tyranny of corporations over humans. Take your pick. Guess which way we’re heading.

Your case of "individual rights" is becoming more Orwellian. "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".

By being CEO's and board members, they become "more equal", don't they? It's called corruption.