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If Disney creates Miley Cyrus does that make her a legitimate artist?

 

again, is someone being denied the right to vote or participate? I understand that you're saying just because the constitution provides for it doesn't make it so, but is someone complaining of being denied the right to vote or participate?

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Hey, it worked for the tobacco industry and the mortgage industry

 

People have known that smoking will kill them for the past 50 years. TV and radio advertising was banned in 1971 and we still have 20+% of the population smoking. Anyone who took out a mortgage on a house they couldn't afford is just... The nanny state isn't going to protect you from being stupid.

 

"There's a sucker born every minute" was never truer than it is today. People open themselves up to scams in many more ways than they did in the past what with the internet, twitter, texting, iPhone, online banking, credit cards, etc. There's a very simple creed that will protect you in life if you follow it religiously. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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again, is someone being denied the right to vote or participate? I understand that you're saying just because the constitution provides for it doesn't make it so, but is someone complaining of being denied the right to vote or participate?

I think the point being made in the sentence in it's entirety is that if the game is rigged, participation becomes an empty exercise.

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But if Disney left her alone, would she or would she not still be a legitimate artist?

If she spent a couple of years at the Chelsea Hotel, MAYBE.

 

People have known that smoking will kill them for the past 50 years. TV and radio advertising was banned in 1971 and we still have 20+% of the population smoking. Anyone who took out a mortgage on a house they couldn't afford is just... The nanny state isn't going to protect you from being stupid.

 

"There's a sucker born every minute" was never truer than it is today. People open themselves up to scams in many more ways than they did in the past what with the internet, twitter, texting, iPhone, online banking, credit cards, etc. There's a very simple creed that will protect you in life if you follow it religiously. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

I am not really in favor of a nanny state either, but I don't want it to be the enabling corporate rape state. Gotta be a happy medium in there somewhere.

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This part? and to have our votes and participation count

 

in the same vein that you asked the following:

 

If Disney creates Miley Cyrus does that make her a legitimate artist?

 

I would ask what inserting this into the Consitution:

 

the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.

 

actually does to effect the intent. Maybe we're just mixing wires on this--I'm trying to figure out what that site actually plans to do to MAKE people's votes and/or participation count, as opposed to simply stating that they count.

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actually does to effect the intent. Maybe we're just mixing wires on this--I'm trying to figure out what that site actually plans to do to MAKE people's votes and/or participation count, as opposed to simply stating that they count.

 

No, no. I see your issue with it. It's just important to me to insert as many metaphors as I can. :hmm I hope that there are people working on this who have a bit more clarity than those folks.

 

I think the site wants to garner signatures to encourage Congress to propose an amendment to the Constitution to deny corporations personhood. Or to perhaps clarify the 14th amendment. However hyperbolic the wording.

 

Personally I was hoping that you would go before the Supreme court and overturn Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad.

 

Do you not find the implications of this decision in the least bit worrying?

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Do you not find the implications of this decision in the least bit worrying?

 

I do. Unfortunately I think that what is going to have to happen is sufficient harm is going to have to result from corporate ad funding, prompting a new case with an actual record that that the justices will have to address, whereby a harm will be shown as compelling enough to curtail the corporate 1st amendment rights.

 

However much the potential of the ruling may concern me, I think the court should always err on the side of more speech, until a compelling interest convinces it to curtail the speech. This issue should be dealt with by congress, who I doubt will do jack shit about it.

 

The only silver lining I can see in the short term is that at least non-profits can take a stab at trying to counterbalance what is sure to be an onslaught by the for-profits. I know that seems david/goliath-ish, but I also think that it can be used to hurt candidates in campaigns "so and so is backed by all the big, evil corps, vote for the little guy"

 

Again, the Supremes need a case in which the underlying case establishes a distinct harm in the political process. Then it will be easier for them to curtail corporate speech.

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Guest Speed Racer

Very well said, Poongoogler (always a pleasure to say that :lol ), and I agree with your sentiments.

 

Arguably, people are going to be watching for the aforementioned sufficient harm like hawks, the upside being that it is either caught and dealt with pretty early on, or that there isn't any substantive harm.

 

Additionally, this ushers in the first era where we really might get to see the effect of low-cost, viral media and its impact in an election. Information is always readily available to be put out there, and I am always pleased with the people's ability to make quality, impactful media out of almost nothing.

 

Not that either of these observations is meant to imply that the ruling is a good thing, but there you have it.

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My homie had that problem too.

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I am not really in favor of a nanny state either, but I don't want it to be the enabling corporate rape state. Gotta be a happy medium in there somewhere.

You know I really don't like the use of the word 'rape' in this context as it cheapens the actual meaning which should never be done. It is particularly inappropriate in this case as the corporate entity needs a willing participant. And in this case both participants are lured by the same motive, greed. However I do agree a happy medium should be found that doesn't trample on the 1st Amendment.

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You know I really don't like the use of the word 'rape' in this context as it cheapens the actual meaning which should never be done.

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

 

THAT is what deregulation will lead to, and you're right - it's not rape. It's wholesale murder.

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You know I really don't like the use of the word 'rape' in this context as it cheapens the actual meaning which should never be done. It is particularly inappropriate in this case as the corporate entity needs a willing participant. And in this case both participants are lured by the same motive, greed. However I do agree a happy medium should be found that doesn't trample on the 1st Amendment.

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: 3rape

Function: noun

Date: 14th century

 

1 : an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force

2 : unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent — compare sexual assault, statutory rape

3 : an outrageous violation

 

Why isn't it appropriate in this case?

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What Should We Make of Obama's "Spending Freeze"

 

http://www.washingto...s-spending.html

 

 

The big news today is Obama's proposed "spending freeze". Fiscal liberals say this cuts spending at the exact time that we most need to increase it. See this and this. Fiscal conservatives say this doesn't go nearly far enough. See this, this and this. But I think there's a bigger issue that deserves some inquiry: is America being turned into a third world country?

 

As I wrote last June: When the International Monetary Fund or World Bank offer to lend money to a struggling third-world country (or "emerging market"), they demand "austerity measures".

 

As Wikipedia describes it:

 

In economics, austerity is when a national government reduces its spending in order to pay back creditors. Austerity is usually required when a government's fiscal deficit spending is felt to be unsustainable.

 

Development projects, welfare programs and other social spending are common areas of spending for cuts. In many countries, austerity measures have been associated with short-term standard of living declines until economic conditions improved once fiscal balance was achieved (such as in the United Kingdom under Margaret Thatcher, Canada under Jean Chrétien, and Spain under González).

 

Private banks, or institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), may require that a country pursues an 'austerity policy' if it wants to re-finance loans that are about to come due. The government may be asked to stop issuing subsidies or to otherwise reduce public spending. When the IMF requires such a policy, the terms are known as 'IMF conditionalities'.

 

Wikipedia goes on to point out:

 

Austerity programs are frequently controversial, as they impact the poorest segments of the population and often lead to a wider separation between the rich and poor. In many situations, austerity programs are imposed on countries that were previously under dictatorial regimes, leading to criticism that populations are forced to repay the debts of their oppressors.

 

What Does This Have to Do With the First World?

 

Since the IMF and World Bank lend to third world countries, you may reasonably assume that this has nothing to do with "first world" countries like the US and UK. But England's economy is in dire straight, and rumors have abounded that the UK might have to rely on a loan from the IMF.

 

And as former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker said : People seem to think the [American] government has money. The government doesn't have any money. Indeed, the IMF has already performed a complete audit of the whole US financial system, something which they have only previously done to broke third world nations.

 

Al Martin - former contributor to the Presidential Council of Economic Advisors and retired naval intelligence officer - observed in an April 2005 newsletter that the ratio of total U.S. debt to gross domestic product (GDP) rose from 78 percent in 2000 to 308 percent in April 2005. The International Monetary Fund considers a nation-state with a total debt-to-GDP ratio of 200 percent or more to be a "de-constructed Third World nation-state."

 

Martin explained: What "de-constructed" actually means is that a political regime in that country, or series of political regimes, have, through a long period of fraud, abuse, graft, corruption and mismanagement, effectively collapsed the economy of that country.

 

What Does It Mean?

 

Some have asked questions like, "Is the goal to force the US into the same kinds of IMF austerity programs that have caused riots in so many other nations?" Some predicted years ago that the "international bankers" would bring down the American economy. I used to think, frankly, that such kinds of talk were crazy-talk. I'm not so sure anymore.

Catherine Austin Fitts - former managing director of a Wall Street investment bank and Assistant Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President George Bush Sr. - calls what is happening to the economy "a criminal leveraged buyout of America," something she defines as "buying a country for cheap with its own money and then jacking up the rents and fees to steal the rest." She also calls it the "American Tapeworm" model, explaining:

 

[T]he American Tapeworm model is to simply finance the federal deficit through warfare, currency exports, Treasury and federal credit borrowing and cutbacks in domestic "discretionary" spending .... This will then place local municipalities and local leadership in a highly vulnerable position - one that will allow them to be persuaded with bogus but high-minded sounding arguments to further cut resources. Then, to "preserve bond ratings and the rights of creditors," our leaders can he persuaded to sell our water, natural resources and infrastructure assets at significant discounts of their true value to global investors .... This will be described as a plan to "save America" by recapitalizing it on a sound financial footing. In fact, this process will simply shift more capital continuously from America to other continents and from the lower and middle classes to elites.

 

Writer Mike Whitney wrote in CounterPunch in April 2005:

[T]he towering [u.S.] national debt coupled with the staggering trade deficits have put the nation on a precipice and a seismic shift in the fortunes of middle-class Americans is looking more likely all the time... The country has been intentionally plundered and will eventually wind up in the hands of its creditors This same Ponzi scheme has been carried out repeatedly by the IMF and World Bank throughout the world Bankruptcy is a fairly straightforward way of delivering valuable public assets and resources to collaborative industries, and of annihilating national sovereignty. After a nation is successfully driven to destitution, public policy decisions are made by creditors and not by representatives of the people .... The catastrophe that middle class Americans face is what these elites breezily refer to as "shock therapy"; a sudden jolt, followed by fundamental changes to the system. In the near future we can expect tax reform, fiscal discipline, deregulation, free capital flows, lowered tariffs, reduced public services, and privatization.

 

And given that experts on third world banana republics from the IMF and the Federal Reserve have said the U.S. has become a third world banana republic (and see this and this), maybe the process of turning first world into the third world is already complete.

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Experts On Third World Banana Republics: The U.S. has Become a Third World Banana Republic

 

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/03/experts-on-third-world-banana-republics.html

 

Who are the leading experts on third world banana republics?

 

Probably those at the International Monetary Fund with years of experience lending money to corrupt regimes after their excess became so out of hand that they needed emergency assistance. Today, two top IMF officials said that the U.S. has become a third world banana republic.

 

First, Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF, says recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform, and calls the U.S. a banana republic. In his essay "The Quiet Coup" (which includes sections like "Becoming a Banana Republic"), Johnson writes:

 

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise. . . .

 

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse....

 

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large. . . .

 

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). . . .But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive.The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

 

Second, Desmond Lachman - a long-time official with the IMF and former chief strategist for emerging markets at Salomon Smith Barney - agrees, writing in an essay entitled "Welcome to America, the World's Scariest Emerging Market":

 

The parallels between U.S. policymaking and what we see in emerging markets are clearest in how we've mishandled the banking crisis. We delude ourselves that our banks face liquidity problems, rather than deeper solvency problems, and we try to fix it all on the cheap just like any run-of-the-mill emerging market economy would try to do. And after years of lecturing Asian and Latin American leaders about the importance of consistency and transparency in sorting out financial crises, we fail on both counts....

 

In visits to Asian capitals during the region's financial crisis in the late 1990s, I often heard Asian reformers such as Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew or Japan's Eisuke Sakakibara complain about how the incestuous relationship between governments and large Asian corporate conglomerates stymied real economic change. How fortunate, I thought then, that the United States was not similarly plagued by crony capitalism! However, watching Goldman Sachs's seeming lock on high-level U.S. Treasury jobs as well as the way that Republicans and Democrats alike tiptoed around reforming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae -- among the largest campaign contributors to Congress -- made me wonder if the differences between the United States and the Asian economies were only a matter of degree....

 

If we insist on ... not facing our real problems, we might soon lose our status as a country to be emulated and join the ranks of those nations we have patronized for so long. While such statements are generally taboo among officials or bankers in the U.S., even the former Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserve agrees:

 

Gerald O'Driscoll, a former vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said he worried that the failure of the government to provide more information about its rescue spending could signal corruption. "Nontransparency in government programs is always associated with corruption in other countries, so I don't see why it wouldn't be here," he said.

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Alito mouths "not true" responding to Obama's claim in the SOTU that this ruling opens the floodgates for special interests. Did anyone catch this live?

 

I didn’t catch it as it happened, but Glenn Greenwald has blogged about its effect.

 

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/01/28/alito

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Alito mouths "not true" responding to Obama's claim in the SOTU that this ruling opens the floodgates for special interests. Did anyone catch this live?

 

the only way to resolve this is for Alito and Obama to duke it out here with links to blogs, quotes from dead writers and non sequitur essays on the new world order

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I didn’t catch it as it happened, but Glenn Greenwald has blogged about its effect.

 

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/01/28/alito

 

Justice Alito's flamboyantly insinuating himself into a pure political event, in a highly politicized manner, will only hasten that decline. On a night when both tradition and the Court's role dictate that he sit silent and inexpressive, he instead turned himself into a partisan sideshow

 

um, really?

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Guest Speed Racer

um, really?

 

Kind of. Either in the comments or later in the article, someone points out that only an idiot - an absolutely blind moron - couldn't deduce that the cameras would be on the Justices while Obama denounced their ruling. And he was either too politically-minded or too childish to restrain his emotions. And we're talking about it today, thus he has effectively become a sideshow.

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