Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Roundup, November 21-27, 2011

by Blueberry T

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Birth of Corporate Personhood

Nomad offers us a primer on the rise of the corporation in the United States. Given the Founding Fathers’ deep distrust of abuses of power by the East India Company and its connections to British politicians, it is especially ironic that the GOP continues to base many of its claims on the Founders, and even more ironic that the Citizens United decision undoubtedly has those same Founders turning over in their graves. Originally, corporations were formed to carry out strictly limited public functions, and were barred from making any political contributions. Once the corporate purpose was fulfilled, the corporation disbanded. This model drastically changed in the 19th Century, especially with the rise of the railroads from which the modern corporation evolved. The First Transcontinental Railroad amassed tremendous wealth and power, not the least because it gained rights to public lands and destroyed the Native American culture that stood in the way of the railroad. This corporation was also a case study in corruption, including speculation to manipulate stock market prices. Hmm, that sounds almost like current events in the oil industry.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Corporate Personhood, Part 2

Nomad continues his excellent report on the rise of corporations. The industrialization of America concentrated people, and poverty, in the Northern cities, with a huge disparity in wealth between workers and the railroad barons and bankers. At the same time, the South’s economy was dominated by cotton produced by slave labor – a huge competitive advantage – and included direct trade with Britain, leaving Northern manufacturers and merchants with limited access to this profitable enterprise. In the midst of growing tension, the Supreme Court issued one of the worst decisions in U.S. history, the Dred Scott decision, which foreclosed any possibility of a political settlement of the growing rift between North and South. The Civil War allowed for the rise of corporate financiers and its aftermath, with the destruction of the South, led to further consolidation of power among the Northern industrialists. This set the stage for further expansion of corporate influence in government.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Patrick put together quite an interesting potpourri for the U.S. holiday, starting with some amazing photos and video of polar bears playing with dogs! (I am thankful that this does not appear to be analogous to cats playing with mice…) More treats: Leonard Cohen’s new song, Kristan Cole’s new breast implants (now we know where the Dairygate $ went), a bizarre Thanksgiving missive from Sarah Palin, and some comraderie at OWS on Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Police Abuse vs. “You are free. You will live free. You will die free.”

After reading this post from guest Mike Czech, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The video clip of Danny Shine with his megaphone brilliantly shows how utterly ridiculous and hypocritical these police actions are that we are witnessing daily – he is really articulate and spot on. The quote that’s highlighted is inspiring, and he also points out the continual barrage of messages in favor of commercialism and stirring up fear. Then, of course, we witness more scenes of protesters in the U.S. being punched, shoved, pulled by their hair and otherwise assaulted – by the police. The police are our own worst enemies, and eventually they will find out that they are their own worst enemies, as well. Capping it off, based on its recent decision regarding police entry into private homes without a warrant, it sounds like three of the five justices on the Indiana Supreme Court failed their courses in constitutional law. Hopefully this decision was appealed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Occupy Anthem, Plus Emma Sullivan’s Right to Free Speech

This rollercoaster week continues, with inspiring music and video counterbalanced by yet another attack on free speech, this time by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s office. Chloe Cornelius is a new talent with a great voice, a great message and the savvy to put them together on youtube – very inspiring! The Brownback blowback will hopefully make him look like a petty fool, as his office tries to limit the free speech rights of a high school student. For those who thought the Republicans liked the First Amendment, they do when they are the ones speaking, but not so much for those who disagree. Patrick does a great rundown of key SCOTUS rulings on this topic. Let’s give Emma the support she’ll need to hold strong amid all the pressure she will undoubtedly feel in the coming days.

Some Comments and Links:

Leadfoot (on cancellation of Bristol’s “reality TV” show): Shocker. You mean nobody wants to watch a racist, homophobic, tragically plastic, teenage mother of 2 pretend to be normal on TV?

Sunnyjane shared this pearl of wisdom: If both of us were the same, one of us would be unnecessary.

[And this] I’ve created a new and exciting dish for your Thanksgiving menu.
Presidential Candidate Soufflé, GOP Style
Into two cups of Bachmann’s Chopped History and Wifely Submission, stir a generous tablespoon of Santorum Sauce (Google it if you have to) and sauté until translucent. Add half a cup of Romney’s Flip-Flop or Lie Seasoning and three tablespoons of Gingrich’s Family Values Special Sauce. Whisk vigorously until you’re ready to scream.
Toss together with two teaspoons of Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan & Sexual Harassment goop, three teaspoons of (no, use two…forget the third one) Perry’s Smaller Government Spices, a quarter cup of Paul’s Libertarian Logic (paying taxes is voluntary), and just a dash of Huntsman’s Common Sense (any more than that and the whole thing might explode).
Pour a generous amount of Failed Reaganomics into the whole thing and top it off with a healthy spritz of Lt. Pike’s Essentially a Food Product Pepper Spray.
Cook in a hot oven until you can no longer stand the stench, take it out and throw the whole thing in the trash. Warning: Do not pour it down the garbage disposal, as it has a tendency to corrode home plumbing.

JCos: Palin, who again mentions Tri-G's birth in her Thanksgiving message, as if it happened last week, fails to point out that in the hours prior to the announcement of Tri-G's birth, if you believe she gave birth at all, she did everything in her power to murder him. Pardon me, if I'm being too subtle.

Psalm023: It's a See-See-See the wonderfulness of me. Very disturbing and sad. Who keeps harping about what someone may or may not have said in regards to "he never should have been born". In all my life, I have never heard anyone say such a thing to any mom, ever. It appears that she is projecting her own feelings on to anonymous others.

NomadicView: Seems like she is trying to create a strawman thing. Nobody every said TriG shouldn't have been born- but a lot of people have said that TriG couldn't have been born the way Palin claims… The great tragedy, as far as I can see, is Sarah Palin is apparently surrounded by crowds of people who claim they love her, but not one them love her enough to tell her the truth that she need to find a therapist and commit to weekly sessions hashing whatever issues she has about needing attention.

Here is a good article picked up from Twitter:

The Last Word (with H/T to wooljunkie): Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen, leading the crowd singing “This Land is Your Land” at President Obama’s inauguration.

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