Third Party & Independents Archives

Raging Rum Wars aka Drunken Corpocracy

Not much action on the next thread down relative to abolishing Corporate Personhood law. Perhaps yet more tautology is necessary to indulge the reader. Dan Eggen wrote an article in today’s Wash Post which draws a fine focus on Corporate Personhood and Money Is Free Speech laws. “The rum wars have come to Washington.

Eggen relates that the Virgin Islands (VI) is seeking to lure away the Captain Morgan rum distillery from Puerto Rico (PR). This is creating tension among Hispanic and African American lawmakers in Congress. VI, poor and majority black with about 120k people is prepared to dole out approx $3B in tax subsidies to Captain Morgan. The money will come from rum tax subsidies that will be given to VI. VI will use the rebates to help build a distillery and provide it cash payments for the next 30 years.

VI officials proclaim the deal is keeping companies in the US while creating hundreds of jobs and millions in rum tax revenue for roads, schools and other infrastructure. But PR, with 4M residents, which would lose $120M annually in rum tax revenue, is saying the deal is a US taxpayer bailout for Diageo, the London based conglomerate that also owns Dom Perignon, Johnnie Walker and other brands. PR says VI has created a bad precedent for the use of federal tax dollars. They say the revenue should be going to the territories, not to the distiller.

Several Congressional Hispanic Caucus members are sponsoring an amendment to kill the VI coup attempt Last month 18 members of the Congressional Black Caucus signed a letter opposing PR’s attempt to undo the agreement. Diageo and the owner of Cruzan, Illinois based Fortune Brands have spent more than $3M on Wash lobbying this year. Bicardi, a PR rum producer has spent about $1M in this same period, says the deal is an improper use of US tax dollars.

At the heart of the dispute is a 93 year old system of tax rebates. The Fed’s collect $13.50 in tax per gallon of rum sold in the US and returns $13.25 of that to the two territories. VI would see a tripling of revenue to $250M/yrly. Another $150M or so would go to subsidize Captain Morgan and Cruzan. A pretty good kick for an island of 120k folks.

The real story here is our broken system of government, in this case the tax code. Methodically put in place over time since 1913 to allow Congresspersons to create winners and losers for their political gain. Corporations, being humand entities, get to play in the game based on the amount of free speech ($$) they can bring to the table.

If you look at any issue where money is involved you can paint a similar picture. Broken government, unwilling and unable to reform. We need a flat, 17% tax system with the form on the front and instructions on the back. No deductibles, no corporate welfare and no room for politicians to make winners and losers. But, we know that a squeaky clean tax system, clean and free elections and such are anathema to the Corpocracy. We will need to weaken the Corpocracy through voting out incumbents every time, support Article V Convention as a way of reforming government through amendments to the Constitution and, support a 3rd party with a different political attitude. A party with a mission to abolish Corporate Personhood and Money Is Free Speech laws. A party established in rules that can’t be co-opted by the money influence. A party where members can focus the agenda by providing oversight for their elected/appointed members.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at June 22, 2010 8:56 PM
Comments
Comment #302580

Roy Ellis wrote; “The real story here is our broken system of government, in this case the tax code. Methodically put in place over time since 1913 to allow Congresspersons to create winners and losers for their political gain.”

Your comments refer to corporations only when in fact, the same broken system applies to congress picking winners and losers among individuals and certain segmentmented groups of our private population. I would never support an Article V Convention to achieve just the goals you outline.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 23, 2010 2:52 PM
Comment #302589

Royal Flush, IMO it is unrealistic to just latch on to an issue or two and expect a movement or change in the political mindset to support those issues and accomplish relative legislation. Seems we should identify and prioritize our political/government problems and work within the framework of some large movement to get the needed legislation enacted.

In so doing, I believe that real reform can only come through the strength of a new 3rd party. The duopoly has had a hundred or so years to put in place a system they can support. They will enforce the status quo to their last vote. Also, believe that abolishing Corporate Personhood and Money Is Free Speech laws should be at the top of the list relative to reform issues.

This can best be accomplished through a 3rd party. But, we have neither a strong 3rd party, with a different political atttude nor access to Article V Convention. I believe we should support both and hope to get at least one of the two. I see a 3rd party as a more flexible and efficient means to reform. I feel a 3rd party could bring focus to an agenda and operate on multiple issues simultaneously. Article V Convention is more single issue oriented and a lengthy process at best. However, a 3rd party or AVC would lead us to reform of government at some point.

IMO, until we remove the money influence from government we can’t expect real reform on any issue. Once the money influence if removed then real reform such as campaign finance reform, new tax system, etc is very possible.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 23, 2010 9:20 PM
Comment #302609

Right gergle, this internet neutrality thing will be worked out by the Corpocracy. As I stated in the article when an issue involves money any associated legislation will be biased by the Corpocracy, with the outcome largely dependent on who puts up the most free $peech.

A recent Wash Post article relates that one ironing board mfctr remains in the US. Remains because the company complained of China’s dumping ironing boards on the market and the US Gov placed a tariff on foreign ironing boards. This company had previously tried to team with a Chinese mfctr but the deal was never consumated. Workers make around $15/hr and work under near sweat shop conditions to keep the doors open. Work force has gone from 400 to 200. Some economists think the company should give up and let the public buy cheaper ironing boards from China.

I suspect that within a couple of years these city,county,state,federal,international governments are going to find that strong wages trump cheap ironing boards.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 24, 2010 12:14 PM
Comment #302673

Roy Ellis, Royal Flush, gergle,

What makes us look toward the government when we have a problem or an idea?

I’m going to put it in a nutshell for you.

The answer is; Convenience.

Isn’t this correct?

I went to my local lumberyard and asked for some walnut hardwood. There was none available because my local lumberyard catered to the construction business and stocked only construction material.

The salesman at my local lumberyard suggested I go to the local sawmills that populate the area and request the material I wanted. I chose to go to Lowes and I chose to purchase what Lowes had to offer, red oak and cedar, instead of walnut.

I could have gone to my local saw mill and got walnut if I took the time, but I didn’t. I modified my entire plan. I settled for red oak because it was available at Lowes all planed off and cut to length.

I made the choice to purchase my material at Lowes because it was convenient.

Do you guys support your local corpocracy this same way?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 25, 2010 11:09 PM
Comment #302675

I look forward to watermellons every spring. I love watermellons.

Do I grow watermellons and wait until fall to eat them?

No. It’s much more convienient to buy watermellons at the store. I don’t have to grow them and wait to eat them.

My watermellons show up at the store. I pay 5 dollars for a watermellon and continue to pay 5 dollars for each watermellon until there are no more watermellons in the store.

Why? Because it’s much more convienient to buy a watermellon that it is to grow a watermellon.

Do you guys support your corpocracy this way?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 25, 2010 11:43 PM
Comment #302677

I’d like to know where wallmart is getting all the beef they sell in their stores?

Do local meat packing plants support this corpocracy? Do local farmers support this corpocracy, or is it all coming from China?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 26, 2010 12:03 AM
Comment #302678

..or Brazil?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 26, 2010 12:17 AM
Comment #302679

Roy Ellis, Royal Flush, gergle, what do you think?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 26, 2010 12:23 AM
Comment #302680

Are we able to get along without the corpocracy?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 26, 2010 12:27 AM
Comment #302691

Weary, sorry I don’t get your analogies.

Posted by: gergle at June 26, 2010 10:37 AM
Comment #302694

Weary Willie. you say we can’t survive w/o the Corpocracy and I say we aren’t likely to survive with them. My reasoning: the Corpocracy has over run the laws of capitalism by buying the best government money can buy.

We can, by choosing to do nothing or going along to get along, allow the Corpocracy to turn the world into a fine tuned manufacturing and trade free market, globalized economy and all that. That would require one language, one tax system, one education system, one world government, and so on. Doable, if that’s what folks want. Would be a painful trip IMO. Probably be a number of great world recessions similar to what we have now. Already the Republic is subservient to the WTO and IMF.

IMO world trade should take a back seat to nationality, culture, and respect for the differences among nations.

Otherwise, I support capitalism and fair trade, not the corpocracy and ‘free’ trade. I support spreading the wealth and not centralizing the wealth. ie, put food processing systems around Africa and/or mining systems in South America. Base development on the needs of countries around the world and not on cheap labor markets.

If the Corpocracy is not able to turn the world economy positive within five years I believe that folks will be ready to toss NAFTA/Globalization and get on with rebuilding the Republic.

In anticipation, we will need a 3rd party with a diff political attiude. A party targetted at reform such as abolishing corporate personhood and money is free speech law and implementing real campaign finance law, etc.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 26, 2010 12:20 PM
Comment #302704

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/personhood/index.html#campaign

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 26, 2010 3:42 PM
Comment #302722

“Otherwise, I support capitalism and fair trade, not the corpocracy and ‘free’ trade. I support spreading the wealth and not centralizing the wealth.”

Supporting capitalism is the same as supporting corpocracy and “free trade” is it not Roy. Perhaps it is time to support representative democracy instead of capitalism. Capitalism has no heart nor conscience, it goes where it can to exploit whatever and whoever it needs to in order to profit from these endeavors. The reason corporate America has taken it’s factories to China is for profit, they do not care about the plight of the people of this country yet by supporting capitalism you support corporate America and it’s continuing assault on our country, IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 26, 2010 10:57 PM
Comment #302725


Way wrong, j2t2. Capitalism has proven to be the better economic engine. But, if left to control itself it will destruct rather quickly. We don’t want central planning but we do want some general bounds set for the corporate sandbox. What we have is an economic engine convoluted by corporations buying perks and legislation, commonly referred to as the best government money can buy.


As an example, here is a post from a couple of articles down, that relates to the problems created by the best government money can buy.

“Jlw, I don’t agree that utopianism is a forgone conclusion. It’s primarily the business sector driving that train. At some point people will develop enough backbone to reject WalMart, sweatshops, unregulated food supplies, etc. I’ve used the ‘poison pet food’ scenario as an analogy in previous posts. In “cornered”, by Barry Lynn, he relates that investigation determined that eh Chinese toothpaste makers were using diethylene glycol, a component of brake fluid and antifreeze, as a sweetener. Some Chinese toy makers had coated their products with lead-based paints. Some Chinese farmers had fed unapproved drugs to catfish bound for US plates. Some Chinese slaughterhouses had mixed ‘oversulfated chondroitin sulfate” into the pig intestines that were used as the raw material for the blood thinner heparin.
Getting to the pet food, China had captured the market on wheat glutin and the production of numerous other inputs into the pet food process. Then then it was found that the US pet food industry was dependent on a single supplier of canned and pouched pet food. Five of the top six US independent brands, including Colgate-Palmolive, Mars and Procter & Gamble, had hired Menu Foods, an Ontario based company to stuff pet food for them. So had, 17 of the top 20 US food retailers that sell ‘private label’ pet foods under their store brands, including Safeway, Krogers and WalMart. In total, the Menu Foods recall covered products that had been retailed under 150 different names. Equally disturbing was that the recall revealed that high-end, expensive brands like Iams and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Science Diet rolled off the same Menu Food packing lines as the cans that were labeled as Supervalu and Price Chopper.
Well, that should be enuff tautology to make my point. I would agree that we could clean up this kind of action in 500-1000 years or so. But, I prefer local markets and distribution. As Barry relates a decade earlier – “the big pet food brands largely operated their own factories, and packed their own cans, and they also actively managed their supply bases to avoid concentration”.
Monopolies now exist for most every product, tooth paste, beer, etc. Most every beer is mfctrd and distributed by Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors, including imports like Corona, Becks and Tsingtao, regional beers like Rolling Rock, once independent microbrews like Redhook and Old Dominion, and even “organic” beers like Stone Mill Pale Ale.
Just one facet of why utopia is not for fer me, jlw.
Today am hearing that Kellogg cereals is recalling cereals having bad odors. Wondering what that’s all about”?

So, j2t2, IMO in order to put capitalism on the right track we are going to have to correct some wrongs. We will need to remove the influence of money from politics/gov’t by abolishing corporate personhood and money is free speech law. Followed by real campaign finance reform so folks get a change to vote for non-corpocracy candidates, in public funded elections, free of the money influence. Then we could concentrate on invoking anti-trust law to create competition and jobs.
We did pretty well until the Regan era of ‘greed is good’ economics. Now, in a short 25 years, we are the world’s largest debtor nation. ‘We’ being our grandkids. Then there’s the quote about a nation that can’t feed, cloth, and provide war materials won’t be a nation very long.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 26, 2010 11:54 PM
Comment #302726

A misnomer in the above post. I meant to state ‘elections funded by individuals and bundled, accounted for, and distributed by the IRS and FEC’.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 12:00 AM
Comment #302728


“What we have is an economic engine convoluted by corporations buying perks and legislation, commonly referred to as the best government money can buy.”

Roy, that has been true for a majority of our existence as a nation. The history books are full of scandals involving politicians and businessmen or corporations. It is just on a grander scale since the days of Reagan.

When we say that corporations are buying government, we are actually saying that the shareholders are buying government. Today, the shareholders are also a very large voting block.

Corporations outsource jobs to other countries on behalf of their shareholders. Corporations promoted illegal immigration to drive down wages on behalf of their shareholders.

Many workers who lost their manufacturing job to China were 401K shareholders who helped finance the loss of their jobs.

Posted by: jlw at June 27, 2010 12:32 AM
Comment #302742

No agreement here, jlw. Shareholders are just along for the ride, in many cases not even knowing where they are invested.

You say corpocracy is on a grander scale these days. Agree, beginning with the Regan admin, ‘greed is good’, down with anti-trust law, merge them into monopolies so they will carry the force necessary to win in the globalized economy.

The G20 is determined to pursue globlization beyond the great world recession. The US has dumped a ton of $$ into the IMF to hold the EU together. Next five years is going to be an interesting period. Four more ‘pigs’ to work through, and several US states will need some kind of attention. Wonder how much globalization we can stand.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 9:55 AM
Comment #302745


“No agreement here, jlw. Shareholders are just along for the ride, in many cases not even knowing where they are invested.”

Roy, yes, I know. Voters are just along for the ride to, in many cases not knowing what they are voting for.

The people are just along for the ride, not knowing what the hell is going on.

Where all just along for the ride.

Just along for the ride is a very convenient excuse. The corpocracy wouldn’t want it any other way.

“The G20 is determined to pursue globalization beyond the great world recession.”

IMO, globalization is necessary to create a better society but, since everyone, including the peoples of the other G20 nations, are just along for the ride, it will be the corporations with their influence over the G20 governments that will determine the course of globalization.

Posted by: jlw at June 27, 2010 1:30 PM
Comment #302746

“Way wrong, j2t2. Capitalism has proven to be the better economic engine.”

But capitalism has also proven to be a terrible way to run a government Roy. You seem to take one brief period in the history of our nation and base your undying support for capitalism on that period. Certainly since the days of Reagan capitalism has reemerged as a predatory system, but prior to the great depression capitalism was also a predatory system. Why should we continue to try to tweak the system that has proven itself to continually eat itself and those around it.

Most people will say because it is better than any other economic system and that may well be true but most of us have been so indoctrinated into believing capitalism is the answer to all of the world’s problems, which is not the case. Most people believe it is enshrined into our constitution. Many believe it is a system of governing. But one thing for sure left to it’s own devices capitalism leads to authoritarianism, IMHO, and that is what we as a country are suffering through as we speak.

Because the people in this country are so enthralled with capitalism, not only are we not critical enough of it but we allow it’s excess’s to prevail more often that not. I thought the time to turn a critical eye to capitalism has long since passed but because we haven’t I believe now is the time to get off our stupor inducing blind love of capitalism and give it a critical look.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 27, 2010 2:09 PM
Comment #302753

jlw, I feel like the guy with a guitar plunking the same note over and over. Asked why, the pluker responds that he’s found it and everybody else is looking for it.

jlw, ok, let’s toss out capitalism or whatever that is. Let’s adopt - what? - socialism, communism, statism, mercantilism? Do you believe that countries with those systems don’t have to deal with the money influence?

History has proven that too much democracy leads to socialism and socialism leads to a small minority controlling the large majority, evolving into anarchy. Why go there. No pure democracy has lasted more than 200 years. I say read about it and leave it alone.

Nothing wrong with capitalism so long as it’s well managed and devoid of the money influence. We should not expect fringe change to solve our economic problems. IMO, the REAL source of our problems is with the money influence in politics and gov’t. That requires abolishing corporate personhood and money is free speech law. followed by REAL campaign finance law where donations are from the individual, in any amount, to the IRS. The IRS accounts and bundles the donations and passes bulk funding to the FEC for planning and distribution to viable political candidates. Then we can elect ‘clean’ candidates who will invoke REAL legislation.

We need to be real clear that the problem lies with the money influence in politics and govt. The corpocracy will not shoot itself in the head. Will take a new 3rd party with a differnt political attitude - - -

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 6:10 PM
Comment #302754

Above response for jlw and j2t2.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 6:15 PM
Comment #302756

“let’s toss out capitalism or whatever that is. Let’s adopt - what? - socialism, communism, statism, mercantilism?”

Well Roy that always seems to be the deflective answer one hears when one criticizes capitalism. Why not recognize capitalism as it is practiced today for what it is?

“History has proven that too much democracy leads to socialism and socialism leads to a small minority controlling the large majority, evolving into anarchy.”

Where has that been proven Roy? I am willing to bet that this is a far right half truth being used by Beck or one of his ilk to keep the troops living in fear. Just because Karl Marx said it doesn’t mean it’s true.

“Nothing wrong with capitalism so long as it’s well managed and devoid of the money influence.”

Is this a Yogi Berra quote Roy. “Capitalism devoid of the money influence” sounds like something he would say. I agree with you in that we need public financing of elections and corporate personhood abolished Roy.
The problem is the degree to which we are hung up on capitalism in this country, as if capitalism is the political system we use to govern ourselves. We treat capitalism as a sacred cow Roy despite the fact that capitalism as it is designed leads to the few controlling the many, and fascism. Authoritarian fascism Roy is the political system that capitalism favors when capitalism is allowed to make the rules.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 27, 2010 7:06 PM
Comment #302760

For sure I’m not a die hard capitalist. I believe projects that involve a number of states, such as Interstates, TVA, electric grid are best carried out by the federal government. I don’t believe in government bailing out businesses when they fail. Now that the TVA is developed out I wouldn’t object to it being broken up and sold to competing businesses.

Our major problem, IMO, is that the voting public has been negligent in letting the corpocracy take over our system of government. The voter public is the only way to undo corpocracy. They will need to work through a new 3rd party to accomplish that.

I’ve given it my best shot j2t2. What would you propose for a solution to our gov/political problems?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 8:29 PM
Comment #302761

Here is an interesting thread on the oldest democracy. Also a good clue as to why we are in the situation we are. Read it and weeep!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/notesandqueries/query/0,,-80426,00.html

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 8:47 PM
Comment #302762


Roy, that’s where it is at, isn’t it. We can criticize corporations, the government, the government in bed with corporations but, we cannot criticize capitalism because contrary to popular belief, our religion is capitalism.

My concern with capitalism is that it is amoral, not concerned with morality at all. We here constantly, from the right that we must let the market rather than the people make the economic decisions. Well, we know exactly what criteria the market is going to use to make those decisions. It’s logic is quite simple, what is most profitable is what should be done.

Logically, we should have began to transition to alternative energy at least two decades ago. That is when we should have began to allocate moneys for research and development. The oilocracy is in a business that is going to just keep getting more profitable until the last drop of oil is gone and it has used it’s influence over our politicians to stymie any attempts to make logical plans about our future energy needs.

Oil is used for many things other than fuel. In the name of capitalism, the oilocracy is determined to have the people of the world burn up all the oil without a concern for their children’s, grandchildren’s, etc. possible need for oil in the future.

Pure and simple, capitalism is an engine of concentration of wealth into the hands of a few. It is greed which left to it’s own devices would destroy itself in no time at all unless it can use the authority of the state to suppress the people. Throughout the history of this country, capitalist have repeatedly ran our economy into recession or depression. Time and again, the people have been forced to give back the wealth they have earned to bailout the economy.

This is something I put up a while back.

The Panic of 1819—a three year recession.

The Panic of 1837—a four year recession—one third of the workforce was jobless—30 to 50% of the workforce had reductions in wages.

The Panic of 1857—a two year depression.

The Panic of 1873—the stock market closed for 10 days—a six year depression.

1893—a four year recession.

1907—another recession—Kill the Bankers was the national slogan—the Federal Reserve created.

1930—more than a decade of the Great Depression.

1957-58—recession.

1967—inflation 3%.

1973—inflation 9%

1974—inflation 12%.

The 1970’s—a decade of a new phenomena—inflation plus recession—stagflation.

1980’s—voodoo economics—The New Gilded Age.

1990 to 1992—recession.

2002—recession.

2007—going on four years of recession.

The reocurring theme in all of these recessions and depressions—capitalism—the banks—government corruption.

Each one of these recessions and depressions robbed the American people of wealth. Each recovery was followed by inflation and in many cases, higher taxes, further robbing the people of wealth. A reoccurring theme of wealth distribution to the top of the heap.

Another theme, if you noticed, is that these economic downturns are happening more frequently as the time spans between each are getting shorter.

Capitalism is far more than just a great engine for growth.

Posted by: jlw at June 27, 2010 9:00 PM
Comment #302763

Some good stuff out there re ‘democracy’
http://kudzumollymormon.blogspot.com/2010/02/republic-not-democracy-if-we-can-keep.html

The real scoop on democracy from nolancharts
http://www.nolanchart.com/article1026.html
An excerpt:
Democracy ” in its pure form is government rule by those being ruled. Jefferson described it this way. “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” He must have been thinking about the Greek origin with the roots of demos, “people,” “the mob, the many,” and kratos, “rule.” History traces democracy as far back as Mesopotamia but the best historical reference of democracy was found in Athens, Greece. To truly describe democracy now is like playing the game where you whisper in your neighbor’s ear and then your message is passed from person to person until the last person has a completely different message but they could still say it originated from you. Even the North Korean constitution claims democracy yet there is little doubt of the totalitarian dictatorship in control of that country.

Democracy is a majority rule philosophy of government. Within a democracy factions can rise to majority status and gain control over the minority. As Jefferson said, this can be as little as a 2% difference, 51% to 49% but in a democracy the 49% would have to follow the rules of the 51%. In a civil society of 100,000 citizens, organized under pure democracy, 49,000 may be quite unhappy while 51,000 tell them to suck it up. This simple fact led the Federalists to observe the following. “Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”6 Clearly, history had taught the founders if the United States was to survive in peace and prosperity, if inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was to have a chance the United States could not be founded as a democracy.

That being said, we humanoids like to rule over ourselves, the ideals of liberty and freedom rally our hearts and passions. This is why you can no longer clearly define democracy and this is why there are so very many variations on the theme today. This is also why you find it woven into the methods selected for electing representatives, although it was never to be the method of electing all representatives as we are so close to doing today in the United States.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 9:00 PM
Comment #302771


The alternative of democracy and rule by the majority is, in our case, a republic, rule by the minority, which is what we have. Instead of a majority telling the minority how it is going to be you have a minority telling a majority how it is going to be.

Someone or some party is going to rule. I would rather it be a majority rule.

The minority that has the power in this country will do everything possible to discourage democracy. Of course they will emphasize mob rule as democracy. But, no one is suggesting that we do away with elected representatives. There will always be a necessity for a buffer between complete democracy and policy decision.

Still, when there is a consensus in the country that the government is not following the will of the majority, the majority needs a better means that our current election process to make the government respond to the wishes of the majority. This is especially true when both political parties are aiding and abetting rule by a small minority.

With Glen Beck, Rupert Murdock added a new dimension in his support for rule by a small minority. He has used his media outlets to promote his far right conservative/libertarian philosophy. The popularity of Lou Dobbs populist message gave Rupert the idea of combining the conservative/libertarian with the populist message as a means of duping working class Americans into supporting rule by the minority. He found the right person for this new message, Glen Beck. He tried it first with Limbaugh, but Limbaugh couldn’t pull off the populist message effectively enough to compete with Dobbs.

Posted by: jlw at June 28, 2010 12:18 AM
Comment #302772


Correction, Limbaugh was considered but not selected.

Posted by: jlw at June 28, 2010 12:24 AM
Comment #302792

Roy,

The talking heads on FOXNEWS have proven to not be a successful way to get enough of the poor and middle class to vote against their own self interests.
They(Republicans) have bypassed trying to find enough idiots to vote Republican (pro-corporate) and are now having the US Supreme Court push through as many pro corporation laws as possible to ensure that the United States is ruled by a small wealthy segment of society.
Look at their most recent decisions.

Ex. Corporate money = free speach

Fraud laws too vague so we need to make it harder for Federal prosecutors to go after “white collar” criminals.

Don’t worry gun manufacturers we know you need love too and last but not least let’s just come out and tell americans that big tobacco is way more important than they are.

The Republicans are crushing us under their shoes using the USSC not Palin, Beck, Limbaugh etc.


Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at June 28, 2010 3:30 PM
Comment #302799

Andre, what can I say? I feel your pain. But, before we can expect any REAL reform of gov’t from the Corpocracy we will need to abolish Corporate Personhood and Money Is Free Speech laws. For that we will need a new 3rd party, populist/centrist, pushing a pure reform agenda. It comes down to the voting public. How much will they tolerate before being goaded into action?

By taking the money influence out of politics we can restore the balance of powers in gov’t, implement campaign finance reform, invoke a flat tax policy and other things that will restore the public trust in government.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 28, 2010 9:35 PM
Comment #302800

jlw, based on your suggestion of rule by more of a majority rather than rule by a minority and that we must have a political party would not the Republic Sentry Party be to your liking? This Party would start from the center and push a pure reform agenda, no hot button social issues. The mission/agenda would be to remove the money influence from politics/gov’t. You’d think that would attract dem’s and rep’s as well. The Party would be established in rules that would prevent the money influence from co-opting the Party over time. The way to do that is to have the members serve an oversight function for those members who become elected/appointed to office. If those officials don’t follow the party agenda they can be voted out of the Party, left to serve out their term of office and that’s it for them. That way you have the Party majority encouraging the politicians in their party to stay focused on the interest of the people (party members). If a politician wants to do a 180 that wouldn’t be a problem so long as they COMMUNICATE with the Party to get their blessing before moving forward with legislation. Also, the national party members would be allowed to vote for/against a congressperson of any state. That does away with that ‘everybody’s representative but mine needs to be fired’.

Take the partisanship out of it and give it some thought, jlw.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 28, 2010 9:53 PM
Comment #302886


Roy, I could be wrong but, I think it is impossible to separate the reforms from the hot button social issues. I think that the Republic Sentry Party will, if it makes the national scene, go the route of the Reform Party and it’s members will become divided by reform and social issues.

IMO, we would be better of to emulate other countries and have 3 or 4 additional parties. With several political parties, it will be much easier for individuals to choose a party that best fits their political philosophy; and it will be much harder for one party to claim a majority.

I like the idea of parties having to form coalitions to gain a majority. I also think that when a majority coalition is formed, the minority can object, but cannot prevent the majority from ruling, only the voters can do that through the election process. The minority should have the responsibility of convincing the voters that change is necessary.

I am predominately progressive/labor and I feel that the Democratic Party now has a major conflict of interest which precludes it from representing progressives or labor, and in fact ignores them for the most part. I would much prefer to have a Progressive Party or a Labor Party to represent my political views. It may be that the progressives are never in the majority or even part of a ruling coalition, but I would be happier than having to pretend that I am represented by the Democratic Party.

Posted by: jlw at June 30, 2010 4:45 PM
Comment #302892

Yes, I agree jlw. The two party system allows the party with a majority of ‘one’ to control the direction of government. If we had several strong parties that would tend to spread the wealth around somewhat. I am hopeful that if the Republic Sentry Party takes off it would force other parties to compete using some of the same principles; established in rules that keep the party from being co-opted, members oversight of their elected officials to keep the party focused on their agenda, national membership weighing in on a Congressperson of their perty, etc.

Also, with multiple strong parties it would near impossible to set up the current situation where one party blanket rejects proposals by the other party.

REcognizing that parties were established after the Constitution was written, if we don’t like the way parties influence politics/government we must work to change the party structure to deliver a desired output.

The whole process has become convuluted as the corpocracy forces change where that change may be unnecessary or even wrong but done to counter the Corpocracy. For instance, if the Corpocracy had not been able to get Corporate Personhood law enacted there may have been no need for a progressive movement. As I recall the Santa Clara Court Clerk was previously employed by the railroad industry.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 30, 2010 8:24 PM
Comment #302924

“I’ve given it my best shot j2t2. What would you propose for a solution to our gov/political problems?”
Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 27, 2010 08:29 PM

Roy although my comments were about the American people taking a much harder look at capitalism as practiced I will answer this question in a nutshell, sorry it took so long I have been busy this past few days.

I don’t think we will make much headway in trying to get campaign finance reform that is meaningful so whilst I agree that it is desperately needed I don’t hold out much hope. I think the best solution we have right now is to continue to highlight the corporate takeover of our government. Highlight the legislation that passes and how it benefits the multinational conglomerates at the expense of the American people. Perhaps it is not to late but I see us having to continue down the road of fascism until it hurts to much. Until such time as people can see where the conservative movement is taking us and then reject this path I don’t see a political answer to the problem

Posted by: j2t2 at July 1, 2010 11:37 AM
Comment #302950

To me that’s a pretty scary scenario - no political answer to the problem. At worst that approach would seem to lead to anarchy and at best we would be fighting a rear guard action as we are herded toward the cliff.

David just beat me up for being so pessimistic and here you are posting a ‘no hope for change’ in our political system.

Nay, there are ways to set things right. But, I do agree with you that it will take a lot more pain and misery to get people off the couch and into the voting booth.

Here is a gist of wht Barry Lynn in “Cornerd” says about reform; ‘They will preach free market fundamentalism and insist we dare not interfere with this magical mechanism.”
They will preach their capitalism and insist that their corporations and banks are private property. They will preach their libertarianism and attack public government to show they love freedom as much as we do. They will preach their globalism and insist we dare not interfere with global trade as we might start a war. They will preach intellectualism and insist they along are the best and brightest to understand capital, markets, trade and economics. They will preach consumerism and promise us more cheap tea for out liberty”. Barry says we have the numbers, history, right and common sense along with faith and wisdom to set things right. Says we must use our power to split and split again the institutions they use to magnify their power.

While I may be pessimistic about our economic future I am ‘fired up’ when it comes to reforming government so my grandkids will have a future in theis world. I recognize that real reform won’t/can’t be achieved through the duopoly. It will take a new 3rd party similar to Republic Sentry. And, with enough pain and misery people will vote for reform such as campaign finance reform. Of course we hade the ideologs but another major problem is the uneducated, uncaring couch potato public.

I heard on FOX this morning that the NY times reported some time back that the Census takers were signing up 40% fradulent voters. Something like 400k at that time and they are just getting started. That being the case I will not vote for Nader this time (he wants to abolish corporate personhood) but will vote Republican.

I believe, that with a strong anti-incumbent vote for the next two election cycles, we could have a congress that would sanction Article V Convention. Again, it falls to public awarness and concern for the Republic. But, I have great certainty that we will prevail over time.

Otherwise - - -


Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 1, 2010 4:59 PM
Comment #302957

“David just beat me up for being so pessimistic and here you are posting a ‘no hope for change’ in our political system.”

Roy I am not trying to be pessimistic but instead realistic. AT this point in time it will take education to fix the problem not politics. As an example:

“I heard on FOX this morning that the NY times reported some time back that the Census takers were signing up 40% fradulent voters.”

Did Faux mention that this was in the year 1875?

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9F07EFDE153FE63BBC4A53DFB667838D669FDE

Anyway that is all I could find at the NYT if you have more info please share it. I do know that I was not signed up by the census taker nor was I asked to sign up for anything by the census taker. Please share this well… for lack of a better word conservative myth with us Roy, I think you will find this to be some extremist using half truths, misinformation and outright lies. Or please prove me wrong on this Roy.

“Something like 400k at that time and they are just getting started. That being the case I will not vote for Nader this time (he wants to abolish corporate personhood) but will vote Republican.”

So this is what I mean about education Roy. As smart as you are, as knowing as you are when it comes to corporacy you have already decided to change your vote based upon a Faux claim that you have not verified. That is why education is so desperately needed. SO many voters listen to Faux and believe what they are being told and go vote just like Murdoch wants them to. How do you fix things politically when the voters are so dumbed down?

Do me a favor Roy re read your quote from Barry Lynn and then make a determination of the facts surrounding this census takers thing and … well lets go from there later.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 1, 2010 8:02 PM
Comment #302969

j2t2, I looked on Fox and Google and couldn’t find a related article. Can’t imagine FOX referencing an NYT article on any topic and putting out erroneous information relative to that article. I suspect I will hear something further relating to the NYT article in the coming days.

However, your point is well taken. Still, I’ve got a couple of years to change my mind on Nader vs Republican. If much voter registration fraud is turned out I will be compelled to vote Repub this time around.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 1, 2010 10:27 PM
Comment #302971

“Can’t imagine FOX referencing an NYT article on any topic and putting out erroneous information relative to that article.”

Roy there are websites that watch and report Faux’s “unintentional” screw ups. Faux is famous for half truths misinformation and outright lies. But this is exactly why I say education is the only answer not politics. Despite the last few months of pointing out these Fauxism’s I find you don’t believe it, yet you yourself are quite knowledgeable on the methods the corporacy uses to gain it’s influence.

“If much voter registration fraud is turned out I will be compelled to vote Repub this time around”

Do you mean voter fraud perpetrated by census workers, Roy? That was what FAux said wasn’t it. Of course they did forget to mention it was in 1875. I would consider that to be misinformation based upon a half truth.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 1, 2010 10:54 PM
Comment #303001


At NPR World News, there is an article by Deborah Amos, on Iraqi TV.

“They are like Fox News, they give away their political leanings immediately.”

You have Shiite TV, Sunni TV, Kurdish TV, and state run Maliki TV.

“Other broadcasts are funded by ethnic political parties, political Islamists, Arab business interests and one multimillionaire, a former Baathist who ran the state broadcasting system for Saddam Hussein.”

Posted by: jlw at July 2, 2010 9:10 PM
Comment #303012

I have no idea where a person would go to get ‘unbiased’ news anymore. I like FOX best because they don’t get into the arts, culture, walking around in the oil sands like Anderson 360. I think Glen Beck ought to be bestowed a medal for his Founder’s Friday programs. Very interesting to learn about the Founder’s from original writings. A great national history classroom for an hour each Friday.

And, he’s done the country good by exposing the radical elements in the White House. I don’t recall anyone other than Beck exposing the radicals. Also, note that a good number of folks on the Trilateral Commission are serving in the administration as well. And, Beck did well outing the ACORN organization. Yup, deserving of a medal, IMO.

I hope the Judge Napolitano can pick up a nightly gig. I have not been able to catch his Saturday shows. Few media types can break bad on Constitutional violations like he can. And, I do miss Lou Dobbs. I expect he’s half way to becoming a politician by now.

I hope we don’t have any more ‘leaders’ from the Chicago political machine anymore. Takes about 30 secs of Blagovich to turn me off. Arrogance seems to run through it. Like Daly dissing the Supreme Court gun law, etc. The Burris guy seems to hold the moral highground in that crowd.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 2, 2010 11:01 PM
Comment #303017

Well Roy that is exactly why I said education is the answer not politics. You picked the most biased pro corporate network in the country and expect people to want to fight against corporate personhood, have you heard that issue on Faux? Has Faux been in the forefront on MIFS reform?

I’ve already been over Glenn Beck with you on several different occasions, so I suppose if you like getting your information filled with doses of misinformation half truths and outright lies then it becomes easy to see why politics isn’t the answer. Voting repub/conservative whilst claiming to favor abolishing corporate personhood and MIFS causes one to wonder,IMHO.

Roy do you wonder why Faux/Beck bring forth the trilateral commission now when they said nothing about George Bush and Dick Cheney serving on the trilateral commission during their administrations?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 3, 2010 12:17 AM
Comment #303019


Roy, if you choose to follow Fox News, Glen Beck and Judge Napolitano then you are saying that you are conservative/libertarian and we have nothing in common and I have no inclination to join with conservative/libertarians to try to accomplish any government reforms.

Beck talks about the progressive era, he would eliminate child labor laws, the right of workers to organize, etc. The only thing he needs to polish up his image is a black uniform with SS on the collar.

You mentioned the Supreme Court. Fox must be awful proud of those corporate free speech decisions.

We have the most polarized court in our history. A study of all the justices since 1937 says of the liberal judges on the court, none are in the top five liberal judges and only Ginsburg was in the top 10. On the other hand the 4 conservatives are 4 of the 5 most conservative judges and Kennedy is ranked 10Th.

The court is conservatives VS the moderates, but if you listen to Fox News, the non conservatives are wild eyed liberal socialists.

Roberts as chief justice, has resided over a court that has set a new record for 5 to 4 decisions. Twenty two percent of all the cases decided by a 5 to 4 vote. The previous record is held by the other conservative in the top five, chief justice Rehnquist at 21 percent.

5 to 4 decisions are the most likely decisions to be overturned by later courts.

Posted by: jlw at July 3, 2010 2:51 AM
Comment #303027

“I think Glen Beck ought to be bestowed a medal for his Founder’s Friday programs. Very interesting to learn about the Founder’s from original writings. A great national history classroom for an hour each Friday.”

Here is my vote for a medal for Beck-

http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/1239243396043345034LdoTnR

I wonder if this Founders Friday just a coincidence or the start of conservative’s revisionist history for the uninformed? I saw an advertisement for macaroni that had an indignant Thomas Jefferson claiming to have invented macaroni and cheese. It was a terrible ad that made no sense to me other than to make Jefferson sound like a buffoon. Wanna bet what Beck will say about Jefferson?

As the conservatives in Texas have chosen to rewrite text books to limit knowledge of Thomas Jefferson happened about the same time as Beck’s Founders Friday do you suppose the two are a concerted effort by the conservative movement to remove those founding fathers like Jefferson from the history pages?

Isn’t that how the corporacy operates Roy?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 3, 2010 1:07 PM
Comment #303028


Roy, the article on the SC is at Real Clear Politics.

Founders Friday, I bet that the great constitutional scholar Beck proves beyond any doubt that the Founding Fathers were all libertarians and that the Constitution is a libertarian document. That is why our Founding Fathers used the term : We The Individuals rather than WE The People.

That is why Lincoln, in his original version, the version not revised by the socialists, of the Gettysburg Address uttered these words-and that government of the individual, by the individual, for the individual shall not perish from the earth.

Posted by: jlw at July 3, 2010 2:09 PM
Comment #303034


Roy, If you want an inside to what Beck’s true agenda is:

Answers.com-progressive movement. Read for yourself, what the progressives were about, what they stood for, what they achieved. Compare the progressives to the modern day liberals.

When you talk, end corporate personhood, that is progressive talk.

When you say, eliminate the progressive legislation, you are saying, all power to the corporations. Wrap that message in populist paper, pretend you are a man of the people and you have Glen Beck.

Glen Beck’s America never existed. Picture Edison sitting at his work bench try experiment after experiment till eureka, on the 2000th attempt, he invents the light bulb. It never happened. Edison had a building full of experimenters working for him. These workers did the experiments. They could try many different substances each day until they found a filament. Edison’s contributions were monumental but, he didn’t do it alone. Organization, workers, and capital, same as it was before and after Edison.

Posted by: jlw at July 3, 2010 3:31 PM
Comment #303062

And, just today I find that Dolly Madison eeeeeee make that Betsy Ross, didn’t stitch up the flag Washington designed. That, predecessed by Edison not inventing the light bulb is enough to put a crimp in my Independence Day. Like I’m supposed to hop a train to DC and hit the national archives to discover the truth about Molly er Betsy, Progressives, Libertarians, history of the doodlebug, etc. I tell you it’s every man for himself when it comes to acquiring information on any subject/topic.

I tell you it doesn’t matter to me, a self-described populist/centrist, whether Glen Beck is libertarian, whether FDR founded the Progressive Party, whether Steele can hang in as Chief Republican, etc. I just stuck my head up, after working 40 years and sensed that something was wrong. Didn’t take me long to conclude that we have become a Corpocracy and to restore the Republic we need to right some wrongs - abolish corporate personhood and money is free speech law. Doesn’t matter what political bent you are, we need to create a movement, a 3rd party that can do the job.

Otherwise, won’t be long before we return to a lifestyle on beans and rice, making our own furniture, smoking tabacca, roof shingles, etc. Gas will be $50/gal and 10% of folks, those associated with the great industrials, will be zooming up and down the Interstates while you ride your best mule to town for a little flour and meal. I wonder if that’s how it really was? Maybe I can find an ‘original’ writing on that era, or an ‘unrevised’ something or other. I think in Georgia they rode Ox.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at July 4, 2010 5:46 PM
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