Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Support the Proposed Amendment that Would ABOLISH 'Corporate Personhood'

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

I fully support a movement to enact a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution that rejects and will undo the recent SCOTUS decision 'creating people' of 'legal abstractions', i.e, corporations. The idea that corporations are people is insidious, seditious; it endangers American Democracy. While 'real people' are held to the letter of the law and often imprisoned for wrong doing, corporations, as 'persons; will be, in practice, 'above the laws'.

In fact, these newly created 'people' i.e, corporations will be (if not already) placed'above the laws' that apply to mere folk! As has been said:
"I will believe that corporations are persons when Texas EXECUTES one of them!
A proposed amendment would reverse the decision of the high court with respect to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In a 5-to-4 vote, SCOTUS 'created' real people of mere corporations declaring that corporations have, among every Constitutional right, a right of 'free speech' under the First Amendment. It was declared that the government may not 'impose restrictions' on the political speech that corporations may indulge. But, not being persons in fact, corporations have no such right! That is a right our founders believed were inherent rights of people, REAL people!

As a result of this pernicious decision, corporations and other special interest groups are now given license to spend "unlimited amounts of money on elections." They may 'buy' an election openly whereas, in the past, it was necessary to hide the evil deed from public scrunity! A 'real' person cannot do this! Therefore, 'corporate personhood' is, on its face, a violation of the Fourth Amendment!

The decision is a green light to corporations: buy and/or support any candidate with as much money as you want to spend! The decision could not have been a bigger afront to Democracy, i.e, government of the people. Free speech is a right of people as affirmed by our founders. That corporations may now claim that right is simply fascism. It makes of our nation a 'fascist' state ---pure and simple!

The ORIGIN of 'corporate personhood' is found in an informal note from a CLERK: "The defendant Corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." To apply this to 'corporations' requires that one must first assume that the entity is a 'person'! That is called a 'circulus en probando' fallacy. In the vernacular, it's 'backward thinking'; it assumes facts not in evidence. It is a conclusion cited to support a premise.

And --no, Mitt --corporations are NOT people and you, sir, are NOT my friend!

The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."[1] Prior to this mere clerk's mere note, NO ONE had believed that the 14th amendment applied to anyone but real people. Nor does it now! Scalia's court blew it again! If Scalia had a last remaining vestige of conscience, he would confess that he:
  • BLEW IT;
  • ADMIT that he is a bought and paid for tool;

Corporations are NOT people! They are 'Conspiricies of Rich Men'

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Real persons are conceived biologically in a womb! There is a word for that process but this short note is not about sex. Corporations, by contrast, are pieces of paper filed with a Sec of State somewhere (probably Delaware). Ergo: a 'corporation' is not and never will be a person.

A 'corporation' has more in common with and is more accurately described/compared to a piece of paper than to real, living biological persons to whom John Locke and, later, the American founders, ascribed 'rights'. NO rights accrue to mere legal abstractions but the 'privileges' that are defined and described specifically in a corporate charter that is prepared in advance by REAL people. Corporations can be constrained, restrained and/or limited by law and several hundred years of precedent.

NO intelligent person believes a 'corporation' is a 'person'. Sir/St Thomas More --arguably the most brilliant confidant of King Henry VIII --most certainly did not believe 'corporations' were 'persons'. More believed, rather, that they were 'conspiracies' and 'conspiracies of crooked rich men' to boot:
"I can perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men procuring their own commodities under the name and title of the commonwealth.They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely, without fear of losing, that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labour of the poor for as little money as may be. These devices, when the rich men have decreed to be kept and observed for the commonwealth’s sake, that is to say for the wealth also of the poor people, then they be made laws. But these most wicked and vicious men, when they have by their insatiable covetousness divided among themselves all those things, which would have sufficed all men, yet how far be they from the wealth and felicity of the Utopian commonwealth? Out of the which, in that all the desire of money with the use of thereof is utterly secluded and banished, how great a heap of cares is cut away! How great an occasion of wickedness and mischief is plucked up by the roots!

--Sir/St Thomas More (1478–1535), Utopia, Of the Religions in Utopia"
I suspect that the idea of 'corporate personhood' may have its origins in a misunderstanding, a mis-read of Hobbes'. But the Hobbes Leviathan refers to the 'state' --not to businesses that may be chartered in any way whatsoever by a state. In any case, not even the 'state' Leviathan is considered by Hobbes to have been a single person but, rather, the abstract sovereignty invested in the state by the people as a collective --NOT as a single entity as is the case with personhood. Nor have I found anything in Hobbes that asserts that the 'state' has the power to make 'people' of abstractions whose only raison d'etre is the making of money.

A herd is not a cow! A covey is not a quail. A stamp collection is not a stamp nor is a flock a single sheep. An ant is not a colony, but more to the point, a colony is NOT an ant.

Rick Santorum Attacks the Separation of Church and State

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

The ignorant (if not moronic) right wing is stirring up fears and spreading distortions about the First Amendment again. Rick Santorum, for example, has said that the separation of church and state is NOT absolute. I beg to differ and so would have Thomas Jefferson who described a WALL OF SEPERATION between Chruch and State. And I will venture that Jefferson was in a better position to know what he was talking about and that Jeffeson was infinitely more intelligent than Rick Santorum.

The following is the text of the letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association in the State of Connecticut, assembled October 7, 1801.

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Th Jefferson Jan. 1. 1802.
Rick Santorum is of an authoritarian mentality that asserts a "right" to believe claptrap i.e, "intelligent design" but at the same time DENY you the right to believe modern theories of evolution. These ignoramuses label their opposition with the word Darwinian --as if 'Darwinian' were a bad word. It's NOT! Of course, Darwin's theory is "Darwinian". It also happens to be, in the man, true and verifiable. It is not theory; it's fact!

Tragically --the right wing has a mental blind spot. They are utterly INCAPABLE of applying to themselves objective rules of logic and evidence. While most intelligent people today are comfortable with the fact that the laws of physics apply equally everywhere in the universe; they are discovered, described ONLY by observation and empirical methods. The "right wing" inclined have, obviously, never considered for a moment that their thinking processes are, in fact, reversed. Intelligent people will follow a premise logically to a conclusion. The right wing --rather --ASSUMES the truth of an ideology and work backward. Forcing everything into the mold. As a result of prejudice and mentally impaired rationalizations, the right wing will accept ONLY those conclusions conforming to their prejudices. An "pen mind" is anathema to them if not completely unheard of. By any definition, the American right wing is a "kooky cult"!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mitt is Either Wrong or Lying; Corporations are NOT People

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Mitt Romney seemed very precise: "Of course, corporations are people, my friend!" His argument is as follows: corporations were made up of people; ergo: they ARE persons themselves.

That's fallacious of course! It's also a very bad re-write of Thomas Hobbes who described a Leviathan --a 'state' comprised of the people in it. But not even Hobbes would have dared to say that the 'state' IS a person! Being 'comprised' of people is not the same thing as being a 'being' a person.

As a person, I am made up of millions of cells, each of which replicate my DNA to some degree. But to say that EACH cell IS "ME" is absurd. What if I should prick my finger and I lose some blood? Have several hundred thousand 'people' died? Of course not!

Romney seemed to be arguing that because money that "...gets into people's pockets" does so by way of companies, companies are therefore 'people'! Again --his argument is not only fallacious but non-sensical! That workers are paid by corporations does not make people of corporations.

What about those 'people' not employed by the corporations about which Romeny spoke? Are we to believe that they are NOT people? In Romney's view, one must work or be indentured to a 'corporation' in order to be a person! That's absurd on its face. Clearly:

  • Romney has never truly understood the issue and may be incapable of understanding it
  • He is ignorant of the implications
  • He needs to take remedial courses in elementary logic and biology
  • Corporations are NOT and will never be 'people'
Let's consider Mitt's analogy in this way: if it were true that every cell in my body is a 'person', anyone cutting off my finger is, at least, guilty of assault and battery and possibly the cold-blooded murder of millions of little, micropscopic 'ME's". 

Being a 'person' occurs by virtue of being born of two members of the species: homo sapien! That is not the case with a corporation, any corporation, a corporation of any type! A corporation is, by definition, a charter, filed with a Secretary of State (most often Delaware); the charter outlines the corporate structure, lists the major officers and describes the 'type' of 'incorporation in legal terms. It is a NOT a person but simply a contract listing the major stockholders, summarizing the management and delegating various responsibilities. Certain accounting conventions follow but, certainly, no procedure has the God-like power to create 'persons' with a ledger book! No such combination of debits and credits has ever breathed life into inanimate objects and, by doing so, make 'people' of them!

When a corporation is given birth to by a woman as a result of her doing what human beings (persons) have done for thousands of years, then I might concur that corporations are persons. That will happn when pigs fly. And pigs WILL fly when I vote for a moron like Mitt Romney.

In the meantime, I suggest Mitt...

  • go back to school
  • take a biology course
  • take two semesters of philosophy
  • take two semesters of symbolic logic and one INTRO to the "Philosophy of Logical Analysis".
And ---corporations are NOT and never will be "people'!

How to Resist Illegal Police Searches and Violations of the Fourth Amendment!

by Len Hart, the Existentialist Cowboy

Commit this to memory:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

--Fourth Amendment, U.S. Constitution
Bottom line ---unless the officer wanting to harass you, search your car, pester you or argue with you can PRODUCE a WARRANT issued by a judge that describes 'particularly' the article that you are suspected of possessing, you need not submit to any search whatsoever. You know that! The judge knows that! But 'hot dogs' cops either don't know it or don't care or both! It is bitter irony that many who have had the law on their side have become victims of those who either care nothing for the 'rule of law'. An alarming number of these nimrods resent the fact that you have rights; as many resent legal restraints upon their conduct. Almost as many are not in the least bit concerned about your rights as a law abiding citizen and tax payer. 

Before you can be arrested, police must present the 'probable cause' that you have committed a crime to a judge before a warrant for either search or arrest can be issued.

Police may not --legally --conduct fishing expeditions, blanket searches, harassment! Information is reliable if it shows that it's more likely than not that a crime has occurred and the evidence sought exists at the place named in the search warrant, or that the suspect named in the arrest warrant has committed a crime.

These restrictions on unreasonable searches and seizures effectively restrain those cops who may wish to take you into custody but cannot without a warrant. Producing probable cause is the responsibility of the police and it follows from the 'presumption of innocence'. That is not your problem! The fact is "unreasonable searches and seizures" are illegal. Any search is illegal if not authorized by a warrant and NO warrant shall be issued but upon 'probable cause'! Therefore, you are not required or expected to do the cops' job for them. And if they do not know what their job is or how to do it they should resign immediately accompanied by a big 'STFU'!

An example of what cops are capable of occurred in Houston some 20 years ago. Cops, responding to a disturbance, arrested an hispanic Viet Nam war hero who was accused of creating a row in a bar.

He was beaten so badly by the cops that the jailer refused to admit him; he ordered the cops to take him to a hospital. Instead, they took him to a dimly lit area on Buffalo Bayou between downtown and the city's River Oaks/Memorial area. There they beat the holy hell out of him while shackled. Then they leveraged him out over the bridge and DUMPED him into the inky dark waters of Buffalo Bayou some 20 ft (or more) below.

He drowned and the cops --to Houston's credit --were made to stand trial for murder! They were convicted! I covered the trial.

If you should get stopped by a cop who persists and despite not having a warrant FORCES a search upon you, get his badge number!

  • SUE him!
  • Demand that he be dismissed without pension!
  • FILE charges against him!
  • Sue either the city, the state, the district!
  • Sue the bastards!