Supreme Court's 'Radical and Destructive' Decision Hands Over Democracy to the Corporations
By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. Posted January 21, 2010.
"The Supreme Court has just predicted the winners of the next November election," Sen. Chuck Schumer announced this morning. "It won't be Republicans. It won't be Democrats. It will be Corporate America."
Indeed, in a momentous 5 to 4 decision the New York Times called a "doctrinal earthquake," the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an unprecedented ruling today that gives new significance to the phrase "corporate personhood." In it, the Roberts court overturned the federal ban on corporate contributions to political campaigns, ruling that forbidding corporations from spending money to support or undermine political candidates amounts to censorship. Corporations, the court ruled, should enjoy the same First Amendment rights as individuals.
40 and 4
April 04, 2008
Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world.
-Martin Luther King, Jr. Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence
April 04, 1967
Martin Luther King, Jr, delivered his brilliant speech: Beyond Vietnam at the Riverside Church in NYC exactly one year before he was killed, 40 years ago on April 4, 1968, on that infamous balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. His most famous speech is the brilliant I Have a Dream that he delivered to the mass of people who gathered in front of the Lincoln Monument in DC for a Civil Rights' gathering in 1963. Dr. King's Beyond Vietnam speech, however, clearly makes the connections between poverty, racism and militarism and was very threatening to the out of control war machine that was waging a bloody, bloody catastrophe in Vietnam. Dr. King was an effective orator and great organizer, but when he gave his Beyond Vietnam speech, (which many of his colleagues begged him not to give) he became a threat to the pigs of war.
Hear No Evil, See No Evil
Americans’ ever-enduring, catatonic sleepwalk through the Empire’s vast array of bread and circus, as always produced by the Ministry of Truth and the Department of Propaganda, better known as the corporatist media, has succeeded in the creation of an ignorant, incurious and dumbed down populace completely bereft of knowledge of what is done in its name. With no concern for or understanding of geography, cultures, history, alien societies, the outside world and of the imperial aspirations of the Empire, Americans have proved easy targets to the manipulations and deceptions of the corporatist world. Seemingly unwilling to gain knowledge of anything outside American Idol or the weekly NASCAR rat race, the soldier ants and worker bees of the Empire are content to circumvent the horrors of war and the myriad crimes against humanity committed in their name in order to maintain their beautiful minds at peace.
Indeed, the corporatist media has triumphed in completely erasing America’s two disastrous occupations of Muslim lands from the peoples’ conscious and concern, in effect shifting the ongoing debacles away from the daily reality of Americans and towards the abyss of a most cavernous memory hole. Methodically and systematically, the quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan, with all their inconvenient truths, with all their disturbing realities, with all their corresponding death, suffering and destruction, have virtually vanished into a vacuum of nothingness, transported by the corporatist state into a clandestine and secretive reality, making of these disasters non-existent nightmares that vanish upon the waking of a new day.
An Absence of Will
Under constant manipulations, lies and propaganda, a nation of courage has become a nation of cowards. A nation that once questioned its leaders now falls lockstep behind them, blindly following criminality and corruption. A nation that once stood for protests, strikes, marches, sit-ins, challenging the government and seeking accountability now prefers sitting comfortably on couches or chairs, watching the world pass by through television sets or laptops, some becoming arm-chair activists, most simply rotting away their lives, preferring the life of a couch potato, passively ignoring the destruction of rights and freedoms, silently acquiescing to myriad number of crimes against humanity, and obediently shopping, purchasing and consuming according to the dictates of the corporatist world, their new god the Almighty Dollar commanding them to congregate at the Cathedrals of Consumerism, the Malls of Materialism, told to do their job and be good consumers, spending what little they have, even consuming with money that they do not have, and must therefore borrow.
Manifestations of Intent
Can you smell the smoked fumes of a discombobulated economic engine that has ceased to function, its synergy spitting and sputtering, its many parts thrashed by the claws, and vices, of neoliberal capitalism? Can you feel the dismantling of the economic spark plug, the American consumer, as our livelihoods are sacrificed to the greed, and incompetence, of the establishment and as the value of our lives is further enslaved to the Almighty Dollar and its puppet masters?
Can you hear the roar of authoritarian Machiavelli-types, of which many exist, cheering as the Constitution is discarded like yesterday’s trash, its principles and foundations burned inside the incinerator of fascism? Can you hear the searing of one of the greatest documents of governance ever created by man as it goes up in flames thanks to the kerosene thrown at it by American corporatists in power, its ashes slowly scattering into the realm of nothingness?
Burden on Those Yet to Come
Throughout human history certain patterns continue repeating themselves over and over again, becoming, if careful attention is paid to study them, a direct harbinger to what tomorrow’s cultures and societies will be like. The inevitability of what a future generation’s destiny will become is oftentimes discernable from the accumulated sins of the fathers that came before as well as those of the grandfathers that no longer exist, over years accruing and building upon each other until the future becomes the unstoppable rollercoaster birthed from the damage that was done in the past.
Operation Iraq Forever
by Manuel Valenzuela
The occupation of Iraq, still illegal and immoral by any sense of human understanding, has now run into its fourth bloody and horrific year, becoming a quagmire for America and a vast killing field for Iraqis. Indeed, for Iraqis, America’s invasion and subsequent occupation has been and will continue to be one massive war crime, an onslaught of criminality against humanity not seen since World War Two. It is they, the Iraqi people, who have undergone tremendous hardship, and it is they who will continue to suffer in horrific ways, due to the lunacy and delusions of America’s miscreant leaders. Indeed, hell on Earth has been imported into Iraq without so much as a care, concern or bother from the American people, without so much as a protest or two by the world entire.