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 Freedom Of Speech: How Quaint
Tesla 15k posts, incept 2008-04-03

That's OK, the CONgresscritters will just hit up the unions instead.

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"Even a dog knows the difference between being stumbled over and being kicked." -Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Neither the wisest Constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and h
Anan7 2 posts, incept 2009-12-04

Our mainstream media is controlled by some of the largest companies in the world, and is hardly unbiased. To think that somehow the political system has been isolated from corporate and special interest influences is somewhat naive.
Kab 1k posts, incept 2009-04-02

I'm of the belief that attempts to legislate corporate American and money out of our politics is a fool's errand. All that ever ends up happening is it affects the rest of us in unintended (or maliciously intended) ways. No matter what law you come up with the money will make it into politics, the only way you'll stop it is by going so far as to infringe on our rights. They'll still find a way, or it won't matter as they won't need to since we legislated our rights out of existence.
Robertmc 68 posts, incept 2008-09-24

Bravo LakeShoreLady....well put!

"The stockholders own the corporation. The stockholders are people. The stockholders have rights. They include the right to band together to purchase an amplifier."

And if I, as a stockholder, disagree with the corporate position? Aren't they using their clout as a group even though I might disagree with their position?
Doesn't that violate my rights? If a group of individuals want to band together and speak as one that is fine with me just don't force that opinion upon me. I think corporations have proven without a doubt that they frequently do things that are NOT in the best interests of the stockholder or employee.

It all comes back to the clerical error of corporate personhood, which must be repealed. If the corporation can't be held accountable the same way a human being can then they are not a "person" and should have no special rights.

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Sweet Poison
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-....
Eleua 22k posts, incept 2007-07-05

Robertmc,

I agree with you, but as an individual stock holder you become part of the borg. Just as a union member also becomes part of the borg, you are similarly bound.

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Diversity + proximity = WAR

-They wanted camps; I want ropes.
Rantocanada 81 posts, incept 2009-12-06

Man! This thread sure do have legs! Which shows us that the issue strikes at the very core of what we believe in (but Genesis knew that, eh?).

Look, I ain't a Constitutional bookworm, burrowing into and digesting its every utterance as a source or nourishment. Hell, I ain't even a US citizen!

But I did read the document carefully many years ago. And also the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers, which is more than most Americans can say.

That said, I think something very much needs to be fixed, and this dialogue is great.

Keep it up!

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The Truth is right here... err, wait. Well, it WAS there just moments ago!
Ads215 7k posts, incept 2007-11-03


Is NO one going to comment on Banana's point about how this bullshit of corporate "personhood" even came into being? I just learned of this yesterday and was appalled. Anyone else?

Quote:

First of all you ALL need to read this:
http://athenwood.com/uphistory.shtml

it concerns the origins of Corporate "Personhood".
it concerns one JC Bancroft Davis, former president of Newburgh and New York Railway Company
In 1883 he'd become Reporter of Decisions for the Supreme Court....
Acting as court reporter in the 1886 Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case,

"Below is the letter from Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison Remick Waite to court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis informing Davis that it didn't much matter whether or not he included a comment about the arguments before the court that corporations were persons "as we avoided meeting the constitutional questions in the decision."

The decision did not rule that corporations are persons: Davis added it in the headnotes (commentary) on his own, and subsequent courts have incorrectly based decisions since 1886 on the headnotes and not the case. (Thanks to Michael Kinder, who found this in the J.C. Bancroft Davis collection of personal papers in the National Archives in Washington, DC, where they had been sitting, unnoticed, for over a century.)

The letter from Davis to Waite asking if he got the comments right precedes Waite's response. Davis writes, after quoting language stating that corporations are persons, "please let me know whether I correctly caught your comments and oblige [reply]."

In his reply to Davis, Waite writes: "I think your mem. in the California Rail Road tax cases expresses with sufficient accuracy what was said before the arguments began. I leave it with you to determine whether anything need be said about it in the report inasmuch as we avoided meeting the Constitutional question in the decision."

Official photo of Supreme Court Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite, 1886, falsely accused by history of giving human rights to corporations.

This may be the only photo in existence of John Chandler Bancroft Davis (1822-1907), son of Massachusetts Governor John Davis (1787-1804), and former president of the Newburgh & New York Railroad, Assistant Secretary of State, Minister to Germany, and Reporter of the U.S. Supreme Court (in which capacity he authored the headnotes to the Southern Pacific Railroad vs. Santa Clara County case which defined corporate personhood, and the Plessey vs. Ferguson case which defined the "separate but equal" doctrine of racial segregation).



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Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do - Voltaire
Eleua 22k posts, incept 2007-07-05

Here is a question:

If I write a book called, "How Lefties Hate the Bill of Rights and America," and author it by myself, that's protected free speech. Nobody disputes this.

If I get half a dozen co-conspirators to do THE EXACT SAME BOOK, and we call ourselves "The Committee for a Free America" and publish the book (among others), is that protected under the First Amendment?

If I get ESSEX to read the book verbatim into a microphone, and I publish an AUDIOBOOK on CD, is that "freedom of the press," or is that not protected because the Founders couldn't envision audiobooks?

If I make a documentary film of the EXACT SAME BOOK, is that protected "speech?"

If a bunch of us pool our money to make a documentary film of the EXACT SAME BOOK, is that protected speech?

If I buy advertising to pimp my book and state that candidate X doesn't like my book because I say naughty things about him, is that protected speech?

How about if a bunch of us pool our money to do the same?

I guess I want to know why the Lefties don't see this as the exact same thing, just different forms of media with different bylines.smiley

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Diversity + proximity = WAR

-They wanted camps; I want ropes.
Rantocanada 81 posts, incept 2009-12-06

Ads215:

Yes, I'll respond. No, it doesn't surprise me. Too many pivotal decisions in the United States have been made under subterfuge. I do know why this is, but can barely explain it, without being mocked and ridiculed for it.

Research helps. Look at defining moments in U.S. history, and the resultant actions. That might help a lot.

Critical thinking is paramount. Good luck. It's not a plesant journey.

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The Truth is right here... err, wait. Well, it WAS there just moments ago!
Rantocanada 81 posts, incept 2009-12-06

Pleasant, blah, blah...

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The Truth is right here... err, wait. Well, it WAS there just moments ago!
Eaglewwit 6k posts, incept 2007-11-30

El, I follow your logic, but along the same lines that group of citizens pooling their money should not also be entitled to special rights, independent of individual rights, as corporation are.

If a group of citizens wished to put their money together to promote and issue then go right ahead. However I don't believe is it right for the corp to do it in politics.
Ads215 7k posts, incept 2007-11-03


Thanks, Rantocanada. Glad to know someone thinks this has some relevance to the issue.

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Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do - Voltaire
Voltaic 14 posts, incept 2008-09-30

I believe that this ruling will completely bastardize an already broken process. Corporations are multinational beings and as a result you will have foreigners funding their interests instead of what may be beneficial to Americans. Japan's Toyota, China's ASUS, or Royal Dutch Shell can now buy politicians legally, since they have US outlets. Elections were becoming a farce already, but this ruling will make our so-called democracy a corpocracy in a short time. This will kill any kind of 3rd, or 4th party attempts in this country, since corporations will only fund the already corrupt Dems and Repubs will millions. The last thing this country needed was to give corporations a bigger role in government. The road to fascism is no longer in the distance, it is around the corner.

Sybdragon 412 posts, incept 2008-10-02

This is not good for Kentucky. It messes with KY's Constitution... We may just have to fight this here in KY. We'll see how it goes... smiley

I agree with Bear...... smiley Corporations are not people with rights like me. They do not breathe and have no brain.... If they are people, some companies deserve the death sentence for some of the things they have done, are doing and will do in the future because we didn't kill them now. smiley

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/2....

Ruling will affect Kentucky contribution law

By Joseph Gerth jgerth@courier-journal.com January 21, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing corporations and unions to spend money to support or oppose political candidates will invalidate state law in Kentucky, but not in Indiana.

Craig Dilger, chairman of the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, said the ruling conflicts with Kentucky's Constitution, which prohibits corporations from giving anything of value to a candidate for office. The registry may have to change its rules or seek legislation to comply with the ruling.

Dilger said the state needs to consider requiring corporations that engage in political activity to disclose their activity and determine if it can limit the amount of money that could be spent on behalf of a candidate.

Emily Dennis, general counsel for the registry, said the decision won't affect the state's prohibition on corporate contributions directly to campaigns.

Indiana imposes limits on corporate and labor contributions to campaigns and campaign committees, which are not affected by the court's decision. However, it does not restrict independent corporate expenditures on advertising during campaigns, though such commercials are rare.

Traditionally, corporations and labor groups have used affiliated organizations, including political action committees, to get their message out to voters.

But in many cases they have been required to advocate issues, rather than urging voters to support or oppose a particular candidate.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a longtime critic of federal restrictions on campaign spending who argues that money is speech, praised the court's decision.

For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process, McConnell said in a statement. With today's monumental decision, the Supreme Court took an important step in the direction of restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups by ruling that the Constitution protects their right to express themselves about political candidates and issues up until Election Day.

McConnell previously challenged campaign-finance restrictions in the McCain-Feingold law, but he was rebuffed by the Supreme Court in 2003. On Thursday the high court overturned part of its ruling in the McConnell case that upheld restrictions on independent corporate campaign expenditures.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, said he is concerned that the decision will be disastrous for our democracy. With so much special-interest money already flowing through our system, Americans rightly wonder whether Congress works for them or Wall Street banks, drug companies and deep-pocketed special interests.

Now, the Supreme Court has opened up the floodgates to even more corrupting money.

Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky AFL-CIO, said it's too early to tell if the ruling will be good or bad for Kentuckians. But he said it will do away with many of the issue ads and allow groups to simply tell a voter to back a candidate.

It may be beneficial to organizations like ours to advertise clearly and effectively our position, he said. But it also could potentially open the floodgates of corporate political money.

However, two large corporations with Kentucky ties said the ruling will not change how they operate.

We do not use corporate money for political purposes, and I don't know of any plans to do so, said Malcolm Berkley of Atlanta-based UPS, whose main air hub is in Louisville.

We do not see this ruling impacting Ashland's policies or practices, said Jim Vitak, spokesman for Covington-based Ashland Inc.

Kentucky Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said he doesn't believe the court ruling will make much difference, since corporations and labor unions have in the past been ignoring the law by using PACs and 527 groups, so named because they are organized under Section 527 of the federal tax code.

In Indiana, some expect the court's decision to open the door to major spending on Indiana's federal races, especially in Democrat Baron Hill's 9th Congressional district which has been hotly contested over the last decade. This year at least three Republicans, Including New Albany businessman Mike Sodrel, plan to seek the party's nomination to try to unseat Hill.

This absolutely changes the game, said former state Democratic Party Chairman Kip Tew, who was a co-chairman of Barack Obama's presidential campaign in Indiana. This would mean that Mike Sodrel's (trucking) company could now do whatever it wanted to help Sodrel get elected.

Former state Republican Chairman Mike McDaniel said the decision could change the congressional election because it allows companies and unions to get involved.

This is a positive step for freedom of expression, McDaniel said.

But Ed Feigenbaum, a campaign-finance expert who also publishes several Indiana policy and political newsletters, said that many corporations might take a pass on political advocacy.

Nobody's real sure what it means, Feigenbaum said.

Reporter Joseph Gerth can be reached at (502) 582-4702. Reporters James R. Carroll, Lesley Stedman Weidenbener and Patrick Howington contributed to this story.
Gibbie 989 posts, incept 2009-01-18

Now that corporations are treated as citizens would a corporation that aids an enemy (like standard oil in ww2) be given the death penalty? I'm serious.

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No amount of destruction others have done to us can rival what we have done to ourselves.
Joe-bob 2k posts, incept 2007-09-18

I'd make the distinction that if a corporation is PURELY media ie newspaper, television, radio, online news/blog, then it is The Press.

If however said tv station is owned by a ginormous multinational conglomerate, then it is not The Press.

So if Goldman Sachs BUYS a film making LLC and makes films supporting themselves, then that is not the press.

If employees OF Goldman Sachs create a seperate company that makes a film supporting Goldman Sachs using their own personal money, that is the press.

If employees of Goldman Sachs create a seperate company and find a way to funnel tons of money from Goldman Sachs into the film company or use Goldman Sachs in some way to promote the movie, then that is not the press.


Or for instance, if employees of Goldman Sachs wish to form a group of citizens involved in political action, then they need to form a seperate POLITICAl group using their own personal resources. The funds from the Goldman Sachs corporation, however, should not be allowed to be funneled into this organization, as political activity is not the purpose of incorporation privileges.

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Widgeon 13k posts, incept 2007-08-30

Good for you Joe-bob. I wasn't going to go into that distinction (a PURELY Press/Media Entity) and I'm glad someone else brought it up. Yep, lot's of interesting facets to this "problem" that we all just Take for Granted.

Rantocanada 81 posts, incept 2009-12-06

Joe-bob:

Way back in the mid-80's, as a journalism student in a California State school, the professor acknowledged the role of the editor as the "Gatekeeper" of what news got disseminated to the masses, and that a coterie of these editors got together daily via phone (at that time) and agreed as to what main stories would be published. This was conveyed to us as an example of how the journalism field fulfilled its duties as a responsible "watchdog" of the public, ensuring that important issues were communicated to all.

What if the editors don't have the public interest in mind?

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The Truth is right here... err, wait. Well, it WAS there just moments ago!
Joe-bob 2k posts, incept 2007-09-18

They may not have the public interest in mind. However, that doesn't mean the default OUGHT to be that editors have the interests of ginormous multinational conglomerates in mind.

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Bananamerican 854 posts, incept 2009-05-28

"The road to fascism is no longer in the distance, it is around the corner. "

it's funny you know, that once upon a bad SCOTUS decision, a human being, a Person, was defined as a thing. Now we have SCROTUS affirming (based on MISTAKEN precedence) yet again that a Thing is a Person.

you righties bitch about the Inkorporated State Of Amerika and yet applaud as the Zyklon B tablets are dropped into the echo chamber of public discourse.
You guys are HUGE for Irony.

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This is not capitalism. This is not American. This is crime.
"The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks." Lord Act
Lakeshorelady 5k posts, incept 2007-08-17

El wrote..
Here is a question:

If I write a book called, "How Lefties Hate the Bill of Rights and America," and author it by myself, that's protected free speech. Nobody disputes this.

If I get half a dozen co-conspirators to do THE EXACT SAME BOOK, and we call ourselves "The Committee for a Free America" and publish the book (among others), is that protected under the First Amendment?

If I get ESSEX to read the book verbatim into a microphone, and I publish an AUDIOBOOK on CD, is that "freedom of the press," or is that not protected because the Founders couldn't envision audiobooks?

If I make a documentary film of the EXACT SAME BOOK, is that protected "speech?"

If a bunch of us pool our money to make a documentary film of the EXACT SAME BOOK, is that protected speech?

If I buy advertising to pimp my book and state that candidate X doesn't like my book because I say naughty things about him, is that protected speech?

How about if a bunch of us pool our money to do the same?

I guess I want to know why the Lefties don't see this as the exact same thing, just different forms of media with different bylines.

First of all why does this have to be a partisan issue? It isn't. It is a consititutional issue that becomes clouded with self interests when people take sides.
To the particulars/questions
IMO all is cool (protected free speech) to do as long as you do not incorporate. Why do I draw the line upon the act of corporation? B/c if you do this all in a corporate shell, you are having your cake (the benefits of corporation, ie shield of accountability/liability as well as tax and both individual civil and legal protection) while eating it too (the benefits of being a constitutionally protected individual or group of individuals)

Also I have to say people trying to spin this with the "those people think all corporations are evil and therefore they must be socialists" IMO are not understanding the semantics/legalities of incorporation. It is an attempt to use false semantics, be somewhat intentionally misleading ignore and use the "guy on the street" definition of corporation rather than the legal one. I say this because they try to use the labor union example when labor unions are legally incorporated. Thus labor unions and any other profit or non-profit corporaion, including any PAC that incorporates to shield its members from individual liability/gain other corp advantages over the individual should fall under the same it is wrong to "pick and choose" what constitutional rights apply umbrella.
Individuals are individually accountable. Individuals vote. Individuals choose representation.
Corps do none of the above and thus should have no constitutional protection. None, nada, zippo

Wis/min 5k posts, incept 2009-08-14

Thank you BananaA, I'm sure Soros, Daily Kos and the Democratic underground are proud of you for doing your duty.

So GE who owns NBC has the right to spew leftist propaganda but their competitors can't present an alternate view?

Or how about NASA saying that Exxon is destroying the environment but Exxon must remain silent if it wants to support candidates that agree with its position?

Now just where is the real fascism, the hard left that is against free speech or the right that promotes it?
Eleua 22k posts, incept 2007-07-05

You guys are continuing to miss the entire point (and I'm starting to believe it's intentional).

This is about telling the .gov they can't regulate the source of free speech and news dissemination. The founding principle for the First Amendment was to make political speech as free and unfettered as humanly possible.

If the offending "speech" was in book form, it would not be banned.

This ended the practice of the .gov saying that unions, news corps, PIRGs, 527s, etc having exclusive exemptions to the ban on "non-human" free speech.

I swear we are freebasing stupid pills around here.


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Diversity + proximity = WAR

-They wanted camps; I want ropes.
Rantocanada 81 posts, incept 2009-12-06

Joe-bob:

"They may not have the public interest in mind. However, that doesn't mean the default OUGHT to be that editors have the interests of ginormous multinational conglomerates in mind."

Didn't say that. I said "what if?" Damn, I'm getting much to cynical :-)

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The Truth is right here... err, wait. Well, it WAS there just moments ago!
Rantocanada 81 posts, incept 2009-12-06

@Bananamerican:

Sir (or Ms.), I feel your pain. No, I'm not just being silly in this discourse. Points of view must be addressed.

But there's a certain "geist," or spirit of the times, I'm feeling about what's happening in this recent back and forth amongst participants here and elsewhere: an acknowledgement, an awareness that not only awareness is needed, but also action.

Stay on this station. It ain't divisive, not blue/red, left/right, lib/con. It's American. It's right against wrong, regardless of that silly thing called "party."


The small stuff we can take care of about later.

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The Truth is right here... err, wait. Well, it WAS there just moments ago!
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