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 Freedom Of Speech: How Quaint
127001 3k posts, incept 2008-05-21

replacing people with corporation is half the piece, replacing speech with money is the other half. How does you have the right to free speech turn into a corporation has the right to pay any amount of money to a politician to ensure they are more represented than others.

speech is not money as sure as corporations are not people.

I dont care if Goldman makes a commercial for Boxer, or if Colgate wants NAFTA and they make a big speech. But thats not what this is about. This is Exxon Mobile can now give Jeb Bush 5 billion to campaign on ensuring that third party candidates cannot compete and there is no restriction on it.
Uppity_peasant 4k posts, incept 2009-06-26

Thanks for the history lesson, Robls.

If it's true that "assault weapons" are "weapons of war" and don't belong on the streets of America, why do the police need them? Who are the police at war with?
Widgeon 13k posts, incept 2007-08-30

"Corporations" are not Freely Formed groups (I submit). They are groups that are largey comprised of people whose participation is (softly - sometimes) coerced by the requirement to participate in THEIR economy.

OK, I'm Done.

Steelhead23 2k posts, incept 2008-09-09

Democracy in the U.S. died a little yesterday. As regards the First Amendment, I wholeheartedly agree with it. I simply do not agree that an abstraction like a chartered corporation has the same inalienable rights as an individual. This ruling places us deeper into the Matrix.

"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws" Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild Benjamin BernankeFor-profit commercial banks are a menace and should
Cursive 15 posts, incept 2009-12-25


"When the corporation buys an amplifier it does so with the permission of the shareholders - implicitly or otherwise."

Agency theory writ large. Stock option grants to management effectively dilute the common shareholder. This amplifier is for the executive management team and labor elites, shareholders and members have very little voice.
Opusprime 1k posts, incept 2007-07-27

A corporation is simply a collection of individuals acting in concert to achieve some purpose.

Again, I'll respectfully disagree.

A corporation is a chartered institution with recognition as a 'separate legal entity', having its own rights, liabilities, and privileges DISTINCT from those of its members.

The individuals have all the rights they need under the Constitution, the corporation itself should have none.

Should a 'corporation' have the 'right' to bear arms? I do not believe so.

Great discussion.
Dmm219 324 posts, incept 2009-08-14

KD is right on this one. The problem I think, arises from the fact that we have a far to rosy and admirable view of our founding fathers. As great as they were, they were not perfect, and they did make some very serious errors in setting up this Government. One failing was their inability to see and predict the consequences that huge corporations will have on the general welfare of the country. Jefferson and Madison were really the only ones that "got it", while the rest of the founding fathers were all about making the government as corporate as possible.

According to spirit of the 1st amendment, the SCOTUS made the right decision. They did what they are SUPPOSED to do. The problem isn't with the SCOTUS, its with some fundamental flaws in the constitution. The only RIGHT way to continue to make a "more perfect union" is by adding or repealing constitutional amendments. Corporate personhood was probably one of the worst mistakes this country ever made, and has led us directly to where we are now.

As for the amplifier analogy, it is flawed. There will always be a significant amount of collateral interference of the voice of those around you when using an amplifier. Money should in no way, ever allow one's own voice to be more loud or less than somebody else. Again, an inherent flaw in our Government.
Striker754 692 posts, incept 2009-07-09

While we are on the topic, corporations need major overhauls. Stockholders have little say in matters. Boards are in with executives. I'll let you look up CHK and then tell me this is not out of whack. No one goes to jail. Something needs to change.
Mrobe10586 114 posts, incept 2008-12-30

If a corporation is a person, why should it have all the benefits of personhood and none of the consequences?

If a drug company produces and sells a product that kills people, why is the corporation not killed?

When Ford knowingly produces a car with a flaw that results in death to the owner, why is "the person known as Ford" not put to death or imprisoned for life?

Corporations are not punished as persons because they are not persons, except in the twisted logic of wholly owned and operated "supreme" jurists.
Otiswild 5k posts, incept 2009-03-09

I'm thinking the First Amendment was already shown to be non-absolute by Justices Potter Stewart and Oliver Wendell Holmes?

Basically, "shouting fire in a crowded theatre" and "I know it when I see it". Neither of those decisions are dependent on, say, the exigencies of war, but are prohibitions on free speech.

Not that I necessarily disagree with either, but they disprove the absolute right to free speech, at least as far as precedent goes.
Licorice 1k posts, incept 2009-01-06

Why stop at corporate speech rights? What about the rights of local and state governments? What about their speech? What about the federal government itself? I think Barack Obama should feel free to put out campaign ads all across America paid for by USA, Inc. endorsing all the candidates he - I mean, we - support.

Print the money and give it to the people.
Larsenebezzle 748 posts, incept 2009-05-05

A corporation is simply a collection of individuals acting in concert to achieve some EVIL purpose.

I fixed it for you KD. According to some, all corporations are EVIL and serve no useful purpose, spreading nothing but EVIL throughout the land while the public employee unions, those noble public servants, working for the common good, give us nothing but rainbows and unicorns.


I am heavily positioned in lead and lead delivery systems.

"Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!" Earl Bassett
Sparticlebrane 287 posts, incept 2009-08-25

"Public employees - that is, politicians - should not be able to receive a campaign donation (in any form) from anyone except an actual constituent - that is, someone who is qualified and registered to vote in their district or state."

"But bar all public employees from receiving any campaign contribution from anyone other than a natural person who is registered to vote in the area represented by that particular politician, with violators subject to felony prosecution."


Why do you feel that citizens should be restricted from sending campaign donations to senators or representatives (or candidates for those positions) in other districts or states?

For example -- there are several people running for office in other states that I feel would be great in Congress. Even though they would not be representing "me", why would I be restricted from donating to their campaign?

I am of the opinion that sending money as a campaign donation IS "speech". I might not personally go buy a bullhorn and get out on a street corner for a candidate, but sending a donation is me saying "I support this candidate and want to help them get in office with a monetary donation". And barring a citizen from donating to anyone's campaign is restricting their freedom of speech.

Just because my senators or representatives are morons (and candidates for their positions are as well) doesn't mean I should be curtailed from donating to other people's campaigns just because I don't live in their district.

edit: Karl, I have been reading Market Ticker for a long while now, and I think this is honestly the first time I've seriously disagreed with anything you've said. But that's fine...I'm glad we are both able to voice opinions and is what makes the USA so great. :)

Tickerguy 200k posts, incept 2007-06-26

Why do you feel that citizens should be restricted from sending campaign donations to senators or representatives (or candidates for those positions) in other districts or states?

Because they don't represent you.
I am of the opinion that sending money as a campaign donation IS "speech".

Money is not speech nor is it necessarily going to be used for speech when provided to a candidate.

You are (and should be) free to speak all you want, and to coordinate with others to do so. Buy all the campaign ads you want - as an individual or group of individuals.

"Anyone wearing a mask will be presumed to be intending armed robbery and immediately shot in the face. Govern yourself accordingly."
Skg19 285 posts, incept 2008-06-30

My problem is the multi-national corporations.

The Constitution gives the freedom of speech to the people of America. Now whether or not you think corporations deserve the same protections under the constitution that the people do, I don't think that people or corporations that are foreign, deserve the right to free speech in America.

I suppose this goes back to Karl's "you must be a resident in the district"(paraphrase) thing, but I don't want wholly owned subsidiaries of corporations in different countries spending a dime on politics in America. I'm sorry but the Chinese don't deserve the right of free speech in America, nor does any other country. I also have issues with corporations that outsource to foreign countries, having unbridled free speech in America as they don't have America or its citizens best interest at heart.

"We the people of the UNITED STATES" have the right to free speech.

P.S. Isn't Dubai pulling the strings at Shitibank?

Wisc-xc 5k posts, incept 2007-07-14

This ruling should not apply to multi-nationals. Period.
Rantocanada 81 posts, incept 2009-12-06

Yep. This whole concept of "corporation as person" is, IMHO, deeply flawed. I base this on the practice of consequences. In the case of corporate malfeseance, adjudicated in a court of law and decided against the plaintiff, can the corporation be sent to prison? Perhaps fined, yes. Perhaps the principal participants, yes. But the "corporation?" No.

Also, is revolking the business' charter akin to the death sentence? Well, if so, did the crimes warrent thus?

And what about an instance where, as in Leheman's case, stock shorting chicanery led to its demise. Was this corporate "murder?" Was a murder investigation initiated?

I could go on and on to absurd lengths: the point is, what is a person?

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

The question isn't do you believe in free speech, but do you believe that corporate entities should be given the priveledges of citizenship (by we the PEOPLE) and therefore the right to free speech.

These entities are autocratic hierarchies. By their very nature, they have no reason to be friendly to democracy or republic.

Let reality be the arbiter of the debate - what actually happens when corporations have the rights accorded citizens?

They re-write the rules. Basically everything Karl has been arguing against for the past 2 years or so comes from large corporations.

Tout TV lying to and misleading people? ...hey, didn't corporations manage to remove the restrictions on how many radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers could be owned? And we didn't hear much information from the media about what was happening in the financial world during the last 8 years... oh hey but by then the entire media was owned by ginormous corporations.

Glass-Steagall getting repealed. A direct result of corporate muscle. You or I certainly could not have done it.

All the calls we made to stop the bailouts - 100 to 1 odds in our favor - that is, of actual people calling in - did not do it.

Because there is a point at which the size of the megaphone is, for all intents and purposes, infinitely bigger than any group of actual people you can put together. And the megaphone holder can pass or repeal laws as they please. AND the megaphone holder owns ALL the megaphones (the media)

So why start from the assumption that corporations should be given the rights of citizens on which the freedom of speech argument is based?

...considering that it is corporations that have created the greatest threat to our existence as a nation since the Civil War, probably a greater one. They don't ACT like citizens.

Can anyone demonstrate to me that incorporation was created with the intent of creating "entities" that could involve themselves in POLITICS? I would assume a widget company is supposed to benefit from incorporation in the sense of being able to do business as a widget company. Not so that it could influence elections, repeal laws, buy every available media outlet, etc.


Jstanley01 8k posts, incept 2008-07-30

"Money should in no way, ever allow one's own voice to be more loud or less than somebody else."

That's the stupidest thing I've read in a while. So the voice of a dumpster diver who thinks Obama is an alien should be just as loud as anyone else's?

Meanwhile in the real world, are the political bamboozlers really out to protect the electorate from the corporate bamboozlers? Please. It's all part of the Babylon on the Potomac shell game, to prevent common sense reforms such as the one KD has put forward.

The major roadblock to such reform being passed is the fact that there are always two parties to any bribe: the party who tenders and the party who accepts. And it's the party accepting the bribes that would have to legislate and sign onto the reform.

They assume an authority which is nowhere so dangerous as in the hands of those who have folly and presumption enough to fancy themselves fit to exercise it. --Adam Smith
Snowmizuh 2k posts, incept 2009-03-18

Gen, I feel your proposed restrictions are too restrictive and unacceptably limit my right to free speech. I have an apropos example to demonstrate.

I am just one man in Alabama, but I took time to send a modest amount of money to Scott Brown's campaign in MA about a week ago. Why was I motivated to do this? Because I could see how the election of one senator could affect the healthcare debate. Now, you say that I shouldn't be able to do this because I am not a citizen of MA, but as a Senator he I feel he in a sense represents the entire country. His election in particular was important to me because it has effectively killed something that I see as a significant threat to me and my family.

Now, you're saying I shouldn't be able to do this?

One other point, your proposal would require amending the Constitution to amend/repeal the 1st amendment. Congress does not have the power to say how/when I can send campaign contributions. Good luck with that.
Sparticlebrane 287 posts, incept 2009-08-25

Because they don't represent you.

They might not directly represent me, but they usually make decisions and vote on bills that affect all of us.

If only the people in an elected official's district or state were affected by that official's decision, I would have no issues with your ideas for campaign donations.

But as it is, representatives and senators from all 50 states make decisions that affect me, in North Carolina. I want the best people in office no matter who they represent, because those decisions affect everyone...not just those in their representative areas.
Patm15 166 posts, incept 2009-02-23

Sure heard the phrase "Money talks, BS walks", but in all my life I have never had a conversation with money, and it never with me.

I would freak out if a dollar bill started talking to me.

Strange law to me. I guess you can argue/rationalize anything.

Deejunk 715 posts, incept 2008-10-11

Drug cartel sets up a small private corporation (Hay 4 You Inc)- puts much of it's "agricultural" sales and legally nets out inventory cost (IRS Says inventory on illegal drugs is a legal offset) and pays appropriate taxes on it to avoid the tax man.

Now, the balance goes to political advertisements.... Money spent on something helpful to the business (but not deductible of course) and the money can't be clawed back from the FBI.

smiley I can't help it - I'm a tax strategist.

---------- - I'm seriously ready for inflation, deflation & TOTAL collapse of the US & Global economic & market systems..
1lumpsum 2k posts, incept 2008-02-01

Bear 6k posts, incept 2007-07-10

Complete fucking silliness arguing this.

In this argument, freedom of speech is only available to those who can afford to buy the loudest megaphone....Yeah, like that rings the freedom bell...smiley

Do you people REALLY think that this wont be gamed ?.... Jesus, this is the epitome of naivety....get over yourselves.

The SPIRIT of the Constitution is not always directly aligned with the letter of the law, NOBODY (especially 234 yrs ago) could have POSSIBLY written ANY document that could withstand a legal challenge of black letter law today.... That's why we also use COMMON SENSE to identify the SPIRIT and INTENT of the law.... So, to give parallel rights to an inanimate object, whether it be a fucking refrigerator or a mostly foreign held corporation is just fucking asinine.

The founding fathers would be ashamed of you people, just listen to yourselves freely admitting you have no more freedom of speech rights as a citizen and human being, than a fucking carburetor does......Wake the FUCK up clowns

Paying other people interest to borrow money from ourselves that we don't have...... Asimov

It is quite possible that ALL debt in FRB with fiat currency is insoluble
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