Occupy Wall Street could actually use a demand that is straight-forward and would have broad support. Accomplishing this would give the OWS movement credibility and moral connectivity. The demand should be one that is concrete and would advance the OWS agenda while morally isolating its opponents. The best demand for this purpose would be:
A constitutional amendment that would eliminate any of the benefits of the Bill of Rights from accruing to corporations, and simply state that the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights only accrue to natural born persons is exactly the kind of demand that OWS needs to make. It is a simple demand, and one that, if acted upon would dramatically change the political landscape by allowing all kinds of limits on corporations. Such an action is a precondition for dismantling incipient corporate fascism before it takes root.
Any one who opposed that would so clearly isolated themselves that they would be committing political suicide. Also, such an amendment would have concrete results, for example, overturning Citizens United.
I like the catchy name Demand Zero, too.
So much for power to the people. Seems like it is power to the biggest corporations:
Less than a week after her investiture ceremony, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell laid down a landmark verdict that will make it easy for copyright holders to send cash demands to people they suspect of copyright infringement. Many people called the decision into doubt, and the revelation that Judge Howell previously worked as an RIAA lobbyist and as the Managing Director of a pirate-chasing outfit hints at a conflict of interest.
Last week, the freshly appointed U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell gave copyright holders carte blanche to continue their profitable settlement schemes. This verdict weakens the position of thousands of alleged BitTorrent users, some of whom may be completely innocent.
Despite opposition from ISPs and consumer rights groups who described the tactics as “extortion,” Howell decided in favor of the copyright holders. An extremely unfortunate precedent to say the least, and this is confirmed by lawyer Robert Cashman who represents several defendants in similar cases.
I couldn’t have said it better myself, William Greider writing in The Nation::
The End of New Deal Liberalism
January 5, 2011
Political events of the past two years have delivered a more profound and devastating message: American democracy has been conclusively conquered by American capitalism. Government has been disabled or captured by the formidable powers of private enterprise and concentrated wealth. Self-governing rights that representative democracy conferred on citizens are now usurped by the overbearing demands of corporate and financial interests. Collectively, the corporate sector has its arms around both political parties, the financing of political careers, the production of the policy agendas and propaganda of influential think tanks, and control of most major media.
OK so US corporations are hiring the same firm that massacred civilians in Iraq. Apparently, Monsanto likes firms that kill unarmed civilians. Why is that?
Jeremy Scahill reports in the latest issue of The Nation that subsidiaries of the mercenary firm Blackwater were hired by biotech giant Monsanto spy on animal rights and environmental activists.
Documents uncovered by Scahill are a chilling reflection of the overlap between so-called “domestic terrorism” and “eco-terrorism” with the broader global political climate in which mercenary armies like Blackwater exist. It is also a reminder of of how the recent “eco-terrorism” intelligence bulletin in Pennsylvania is part of systemic problem.
One of the most incendiary details in the documents is that Blackwater, through Total Intelligence, sought to become the “intel arm” of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm…
Is it even legal for a private firm to infiltrate organizations that it doesn’t like? IANAL, but it seems like some laws were broken. If this is legal, than something is really, really messed up with the American legal system. The union-busting Pinkertons were eventually stopped, and Blackwater is a very dangerous organization, right up there with the Pinkertons in their heyday, and they need to be stopped, too.
Alternate title: “I really like commentators like Mitch Wagner.”
These are disturbing trends, convergence, again. One extremely important item to note is that corporations and governments both are synergistically creating the environment in which freedoms evaporate.
US government throwing free speech under the bus
What do these three, apparently unrelated stories, have in common? American attorneys general pressured Craigslist to block ads for adult services. The US is trying to extend draconian copyright protections worldwide. And politicians and corporate journalists are banding together to exclude Wikileaks from a proposed federal shield law protecting journalists. These actions are part of a trend limiting free speech to those with government and corporate protection, not the common people like thee and me.
And from the wikileaks blog, there’s a quick link to Glen Greenwald’s blog, with the text:”Obama’s ‘Putinization’ of America must be stopped. I don’t think that is quite right: America is exporting it ‘Putinization’ drive. Instead of heavy-handedly killing journalists a la Putin, it is engaging in a smear campaign, in Sweden.
This should make everyone very angry at BP. Hopefully not so angry that they would pick up a hammer and take it to the nearest BP station and knock a hole in their pumps, or burn down a BP station or anything revolutionary like that. Those actions would be wrong.
In any case, here is a news reporter being denied access to a beach because a BP hired security guard (not a policeman) thinks the press should be kept away from the beach:
Just so everyone knows, here’s a list (from Googlefinance) of who is at the helm at BP while it suppresses our constitutional rights:
Link to video regarding the murders in El Salvador, of those who have opposed Pacific Rim’s Gold Mine development in Cabañas. When the video was made, only one person had been killed. Now, three anti-mining activists have been killed, and it is very difficult to make a case that these deaths have been unrelated to the mining interest.
Hat Tip: Mining Monitor
Sign the Petition to have his death fully investigated.