Archive for corporate greed

Throbbing Headaches After Tea Party Excesses

Posted in culture, Government, history, lifestyle, politics, random, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , on December 30, 2010 by chouck017894

One of the great absurdities thrust into the recent 2010 elections across the US was the corporate-owned medias which persistently misinformed the public by referring to the Tea Party as a “populist” movement.  Real populists would never have climbed into bed with billion-dollar corporate powers as did the bumpkin crowd who indulged themselves in an orgy of self-destruct ideas rather than delve into real corruption tactics that had been allowed to bring the nation to the brink of economic collapse. 

Properly the word populist happens to be in U.S. political jargon today because agrarian and labor interests in the 1880-1890s timeframe had expanded to the point that it warranted the proclamation of a national political program.  Under the incentive of high living costs and low wages, the working people and farmers allied to become the Greenback-Labor Party, which by 1891 reorganized as the People’s Party whose members were known as populists, from the Latin populus, meaning “people.”

One of the Populists’ objectives was to lower transportation costs, which then directly and severely minimized any profits for agrarian and labor products.  Thus the People’s Party advocated the nationalization of the railroads rather than sanction the private ownership of them, which allowed owners to demand exorbitant charges.  (This provides an indication of the very real danger in right-wing attempts to privatize such things as Social Security today: it would not be to the benefit of the people.)  To  achieve a more equitable distribution of government costs in doing true fair-play control for all citizens the populists of that day sought the establishment of a graduated income tax.  (Certainly this is not an idea that appeals to the GOP today.)  And  it was the real populists who advocated the broadening of the electoral system to establish direct popular elections of U.S. Senators, which would thereby avoid the chance of the rich buying into government.  (This is not an idea that corporate shysters appreciate, nor, apparently the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice John G. Roberts either.*)  Another populist goal was establishment of the eight-hour workday.  No true nineteenth century populist would ever have endorsed the call to actually shrink the government or sanction the privatization of needed services and public welfare as ravenously pursued today by the Gluttonous Obstructionist Parasites (GOP).

In contrast, the elected Tea Party bumpkins now find themselves indebted to corporate bucks that seek to take over Medicare and Medicaid, kill Social Security, do away with regulatory reforms on Wall Street banks, eliminate a minimum wage, destroy labor unions, abolish pensions of public employees, eliminate education systems, and give Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, etc.  In short, the sordid one-night-stand that the Tea Party members indulged in with corporate interests occurred only because the corporate moguls wanted to enslave the tea party crowd for their own ends.  The corporate pimps are more turned on by the idea of installing the equivalent of the Dark Age feudal system in the US, a traitor’s paradise where only a few corporate bigwigs would possess any material advantages—but where social or technological wonders will cease to advance.

Sadly, the squalid affair of the Tea Party members with the corporation pimps has thrust some of the not-too-bright Tea Party crowd into the stew-pot called Congress where they will be obliged to perform whatever disreputable services are required by those who provided all the Tea Party favors.  All the alleged ideals and pretensions and clamoring of the Tea Party crowd will quickly wither into festering resentment in the syphilitic atmosphere of corporate insatiableness.  Sort of reminds one of a Mark Twain observation:  To paraphrase slightly, “Reader, suppose you were an idiot.  And suppose you were a (Tea Party) member of Congress.  But I repeat myself.”

*For Supreme Court attack upon citizens’ rights see: U. S. Supreme Court Set Trap for Democracy, Dec. 1.

U.S. Supreme Court Set Trap for Democracy

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, culture, freethought, Government, history, humanity, life, lifestyle, politics, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2010 by chouck017894

In the closing chapter of Time Frames and Taboo Data a speculative scenario of the future for democracy was ventured.  Forgive this intrusion of a book quote:  In the corporate empire that is being hard-pressed upon the world, the dispensing of “justice” would be a mockery, for the courts would do only what corporate bigwigs instructed.   Further on it continues: In a corporate (run) empire all major media would be owned or manipulated by corporate outfits, much as  it is in the US today, with the only “news” given prominence being the happenings that affected corporate investments (page 474).

Flashback:  The founding fathers of the United States, after enduring the war for national independence, labored long and hard to set up a form of government that would be controllable by citizen majority consent.  As safeguards against abuse of citizen power, the organizing of the governing process was  wisely structured with three divisions to provide as much insurance of stability as possible for the citizens against future tyrannical assaults upon the concept of a democratic government.  Those three branches of democratic govern ment—the executive, the legislative, and the judicial—were also intentionally shielded from religious authoritarianism through cautionary provisions to keep church and state separate.  This avoidance of doubtful claims of supernatural “guidance” provided the foundation that made the United States the  most diverse, accommodating and powerful nation in history.  National strength was proven through succeeding centuries with those unique democratic principles working miracles, not from other-worldliness but achieved from the unity of diverse and liberal-minded individuals

Flash forward, early 21st century, USA:  Corporate greed has recently virtually emasculated true democracy in the United States, and religious fanatics continue to lust to downgrade democracy into a theocracy.  Using the Bible as a governing tool would open to them the means for a few to inflict biblical-approved inhumane treatment on any “unbelievers,” “infidels,” or non-believers which the in-crowd chose to believe was sanctioned by God.  We saw how far and how fast the consequences of that type of mentality could go during the god-inspired  GWB administration.  For an example of governing by some “revealed word” text, simply observe the divine condition of Iran today. 

On January 21, 2010, five of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices (John G. Roberts, Samuel A. Alito, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas) decided to overrule TWO long-standing central precedents about the First Amendment Rights and bestowed upon corporations the equivalent of citizen rights which the nation’s forefathers intended only for individuals.  Thus was opened the means for corporations to pour multibillion of dollars into voting advertisements!  Is it merely coincidence that each of the five favoring Justices, who are supposed to be guardians of the people’s rights, happened to be appointed through Republican recommendation?  Is it coincidence that all five also happen to be Catholic? This colossal imbalance certainly does not reflect the overall spiritual/financial composition of the nation’s citizens whom they are supposed to shield from abuse of power.  Whatever their personal beliefs may be, they each took an oath, hands upon a Bible, and swore the following:

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the  poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties  incumbent upon me as (a Supreme Court Justice) under the Constitution and laws of the United States.  So help me God.  

Giving corporations citizen rights is not democracy.  Corporations are not meant to have free speech rights.  Big Oil, big pharmacy, CIGNA, Merrill Lynch, insurance companies, AT&T, and all the rest of the for-pay conglomerates are not individual citizens and should never have been given the unconstitutional right to manipulate the democratic voting process.  In the elections of 2007-2008 the amount for all 468 congressional races and the presidential race combined totaled $5.2 BILLION.  As an example, even without the Supreme Court attack on citizens’ Constitutional rights,  AT&T alone contributed the legal maximum to both Bush-Cheney national election campaigns, and AT&T also contributed the legally permissible amount for John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid.  The grand prize that the US got for that multibillion dollar expenditure was the profound political intellect of Sarah Palin.

As another example of the inequity in this Supreme Court subversion of constitutional order, the corporation that is Exxon Oil could alone chalk off all that 5.2 billion dollars as a mere dribble in their  $85 billion profits for one year.  Clearly, the  five Republican-placed justices on the US Supreme Court who gave corporations free pass into national election processes were not concerned that the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights could not possibly apply to the multi-rich-for-profit corporations.  The decision was a sharp, vicious doctrinal shift of law interpretation.  As Justice John Paul Stevens wisely observed in his dissent, “The court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.”  Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor were in accord.  Even so, deliberate undermining of citizen rights seems to have been the intent of the five other justices. 

The only thing in the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights that may be legitimately extended to corporations has to do with the freedom of the press.  No persons that genuinely loves this democratic nation could have so deliberately spurned  the “We the People” principles upon which the United States was founded and upon which it grew to world power.

It is alarmingly clear that steps must be taken to correct the abuse of  power and the mockery of justice that was handed down by the third branch of government, the U.S. Supreme Court, that spurned distinction of what makes for individual rights.  The high Court’s overturning of longstanding individual rights amounts to an attack on everyone’s personal freedom and a denial of genuine justice.  Isn’t that ruling only a heartbeat away from treason?

Predators and Politics

Posted in Atheist, culture, Government, history, life, politics, prehistory, random, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by chouck017894

Way back in pre-history, a ruler in the ancient land of Sumer found so much immoral activity being indulged in in his kingdom that he found it necessary to inject force into the kingdom’s state of affairs.  A public inscription was posted on a stele by order of the ruler named Urukagina (c.2600 BCE) which decreed adherence to and respect for personal freedom, equality, mutual respect and justice.  A few of the injustices that Urukagina addressed included the unfair use by supervisors of their power to take the best things for themselves; the abuse of one’s official position; and the practice of monopolistic groups to extort unbearable prices upon the vulnerable populace.  If this reminds you of corporate business practices indulged in throughout the world today—well, predatory traits in animal life persist.

Approximately 875 years later (c.1758 BCE) Hammurabi ascended the throne of Babylon, and he is most famous for his codification of contemporary Babylonian laws and edicts.  The extensive code which sought to protect the weak and the poor against injustices at the hands of the greedy and powerful was displayed on an engraved stele of black diorite nearly eight feet tall.  This codification is the earliest complete legal code known to history, and consisted of 282 paragraphs, which were alleged to have been issued directly to Hammurabi by the sun god Shamash.

Of interest to modern corporate-victimized societies, the code begins with direction for legal procedure and the statement of penalties for unjust claims, false testimony, and injustice done by judges.  Included with this were laws concerning property rights, loans, deposits, and debts, domestic property, and family rights.  Also of interest were the penalties imposed for injuries that patients sustained through unsuccessful operation; also payment for damages sustained by citizens through neglect in various trades were put in place.  The “conservatives” of today, at least in the USA, who have chipped away at all government fair-play restrictions will cringe at the code which fixed rates for various forms of service in most branches of trade and commerce.  And to the shock of the religious right of today who make every effort to inject their narrow  brand of “faith” into the government of widely diverse peoples, the Hammurabi code contained no law concerning religion.  In other words, the code was posed to protect the weak and the poor against injustices at the hand of the unscrupulous.

The weakness in the Code of Hammurabi is that many of the laws were based on the principle of equal retaliation—a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye type of justice.  This was also the concept of  justice in Hebrew-Judaic practice and is promoted in Old Testament tales.  That form of justice is strangely appealing today in light of the damages done by such outfits as British Petroleum, the let’s-start-a-war crowd, and the Wall Street shysters.

The majority of world governments today are at least moderately corrupt.  The prospect of ordinary citizens receiving just treatment in many of them is slim.  Once upon a time the USA was admired throughout the world as a nation that truly sought liberty, equality and justice for all, but greed has a way of sucking morality out of high ideals.  In the US the citizens have witnessed over the last few decades the slow and deliberate chipping away of regulatory laws so that corporations and big business could steal away more cash and political power.  So the government itself has been hijacked and is overrun with politicians contaminated with greed.  To illustrate, citizens in the US today actually pay over 40 different taxes to financially support what has been perverted into a notoriously unproductive bureaucratic government.  The so-called “representatives” of the citizens thus received at least twice the pay than what the genuinely productive private sector receives.  As if this was not evil enough, as of January 1, 2010 an enormous amount of new laws and regulations went into effect across the nation which give those unproductive bureaucrats even broader control over those of us who pay their salaries!  It is organized theft, pure and simple.  Worse, it is another step closer to destroying true democracy.

The injustices that Urukagina and Hammurabi found so dishonorable in their prehistory societies thousands of years ago have been far surpassed by today’s variety of predators.  Big Oil, Big Pharmacy, Big Finance, etc. all function as gangster operations.  Oil is a prime example, but until recently less known have been the tactics of large Wall Street investment banks.  Goldman Sachs, for example, pilots the idea of loaning cash-strapped states huge sums of money for leasing public highways from those states.  The catch—and it’s a doozie—the highways would then be converted into toll-ways, and travelers would have to shell out up to 75 cents a mile to use them.  Idle rumor?  The Texas state Republican governor, Perry, is a big supporter of the rip-off scheme.  And if this corrupt notion flies in Texas, bureaucrats in other states will soon be howling to jump on the gravy boat too. 

All this tends to prove that history does indeed repeat itself.  But history has shown also that runaway greed always winds up devouring itself.  Unfortunately, the immorality that the greedy ones perpetuate lives on after them.