politics


A Corporation Has No Inherent Right to Exist

Supreme_Court

A corporation is a legal entity organized through a set of arbitrary rules defined by people for the purpose of meeting some business aim. The concept of a corporation is a relatively recent one in human history and there is nothing about one of these organizations that should make it eligible for the protections that we ascribe to humans through laws like the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The people that comprise the organization that we call a company or corporation have those rights as individuals. Those people also have responsibilities that are part of the social contract that makes it possible for us all to coexist as a group.

The individuals that own, run or are employed by a corporation have the right to believe in whatever faith they want. Like an increasing percentage of the population, individuals are free to not believe. Those are personal choices that cannot and should not ever been imposed on anyone else.

The corporation on the other hand is nothing more than arbitrary legal and the people that run the company must follow the rules that apply to all companies. The organization has no right to impose the beliefs of its owners or managers on others.

This is not a question of freedom of (or from) religion. Every American has the right. If a business is going to take advantage of the privileges granted to it under the law, it must also respect the rights of employees and customers. If the business owner or manager cannot deal with this concept, the corporation should lose those privileges.

The US Supreme Court has been wrong about corporate personhood for nearly two centuries. We must not grant human rights to an arbitrary organization that can spring up or be dissolved on a whim. The corporatocracy is winning and rapidly consuming what is left of American democracy. It’s time to reverse course before it’s too late, although I’m afraid that time may have already passed us by.


The next time you hear an American politician bloviating on how much they support…

The next time you hear an American politician bloviating on how much they support the troops, ask them if they would give up their pension for a soldier

The vast majority of politicians, especially in congress are liars and hypocrites. Every member of congress is fully vested for a pension after just five years of "service." That means a senator wouldn't even have to complete a full term in order to start collecting a paycheck for life.

If on the other hand, someone opts to serve in the military, they would have to put in 20 years before being eligible for a pension. Members of the special forces including Navy SEALS and Army Green Berets put their lives on the line in some of the most dangerous situations, especially in wartime and yet if they are unable to last 20 years, they leave with nothing but a pat on the back. 

After 16 years, the man that put a bullet a brain of Osama bin Laden found that his body and brain simply couldn't take any more and opted to retire. Upon leaving the service, he had no pay, no health insurance for his wife and children and no real prospects for a career despite his proven leadership capabilities. 

Because of his particular assignments, this man cannot even reveal what he had done for the past 16 years without put his and his family's lives in danger. 

I've always felt that the whole "support the troops" rhetoric was totally disingenuous, and the fact that no one has done anything about taking care of ex-soldiers just proves it.

Print – The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden… Is Screwed – Esquire
The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden… Is Screwed. For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of …


Obnoxious drunk conservative abuses copyright and invokes the Streisand effect 1

Obnoxious drunk conservative abuses copyright and invokes the Streisand effect

From the let sleeping dogs lie department comes the story of Michigan College Republican leader Justin Zatkoff who was beaten up by a "friend" at a party several years ago for being such an obnoxious drunk.  In the process of taking advantage of the takedown provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, he has again reminded the world that he exists and that he once accused "liberal thugs" of being responsible for his beating. 

Instead of letting the world forget the incident ever happened, he decided to try to scrub the internet of evidence of his bad behavior and in the process he got my friend +Mark Maynard's blog taken down. Given my aversion to the DMCA and copyright abuse in general, I'd like to remind everyone that no matter what your political persuasion, don't be an asshole!

#copyrightabuse   #dmca  

My site was taken down in web-washing attempt by false “hate crime” victim Justin Zatkoff
I apologize for the interruption in service yesterday, but my site was taken down without my consent, at the request of a man by the name of

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A double-edged sword cuts both ways 2

During the hour or so on Tuesday night before the polls closed in California, the numbers seemed to be trending toward a narrow electoral college victory for Barack Obama and a narrow popular vote victory for Mitt Romney. That of course got those on the right-hand side of the spectrum up in arms that Obama would have no real mandate to push his policies forward. 

As the 9 million or so ballots from the Golden state were tallied, that argument quickly evaporated and the Donald Trumps head exploded (wishful thinking on that last part).

Nonetheless, Republicans still tried to maintain the lack of mandate argument based on the narrowed but still healthy majority they managed to win in the house of representatives. Unfortunately for John Boehner and his troops, a look past the surface reveals that even there, the GOP doesn't have a mandate to maintain the obstructionism of the past two years. 

The Republican majority in the house is the direct result of gerrymandering and the highly politicized process of drawing district boundaries. by getting control of so many state legislatures in 2010, Republicans were able to control that process (something Democrats are just as guilty of in the past and even now in places where they are in command).

As a result we have boundaries that are are arbitrarily drawn in such a way that pockets of opposing support are heavily concentrated in fewer districts. The remaining districts are drawn to ensure just enough of a Republican majority to almost guarantee that they will maintain a majority in the house for the next decade (until after the next census and subsequent redistricting). Of course the same thing has been done on the other side in order to ensure the likelihood of some African Americans in congress so there is definitely plenty of blame to go around. 

The bottom line this year is that the latest round of Republican-led gerrymandering has resulted in a mandate-less majority where they have a 233-194 advantage despite the fact that Democratic candidates collectively got 54,301,095 votes while Republicans got 53,822,442. 

Going forward, we need to find a way to take district drawing away from partisan politicians and make the process neutral. 

House Democrats got more votes than House Republicans. Yet Boehner says he’s got a mandate?
Jobs · Real Estate · Rentals · Cars · Print Subscription · Today’s Paper · Discussions · Going Out Guide · Personal Post · Videos · Home · Politics · In Politics · Campaign 2012 · Congress · Court…

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Even if the electoral college were eliminated, it might not make much of a difference…

Even if the electoral college were eliminated, it might not make much of a difference in how campaign money is spent.

This is another great visual representation of how the campaigns focus their efforts on a small proportion of states where there is a distinct possibility of turning the election one way or the other. These are the regions where support for the two major parties is split relatively evenly and the popular vote margins tend to be slim in either direction. The rest of the states tend to go much more one direction of the other. 

For example in California, where Obama got 59.2% of the vote, he got nearly 2 million more votes than Romney. Prior to the west coast state results coming in on Tuesday, Obama was running slightly behind in the popular vote despite having an edge in electoral votes. Similarly in Texas, Romney got 57.2% and a 1.2 million vote edge. 

Even without the electoral college, those states along with New York, New Jersey and most of the Old South probably wouldn't get much attention although the distribution might flatten out a bit. The bulk of the effort would still be spent on the purple states. Of course as demographics change in the future, that whole calculation will have to adjust as well. 

Reshared post from +Jeff Jarvis

Really superb NPR visualization of campaign spending. It's also a magnificent demonstration of what I tell NPR people all the time: No, your value is not making great audio. It's explaining the world well. 

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The members of the electoral college don't even gather in Washington until December… 4

The members of the electoral college don't even gather in Washington until December 17 but the the 2016 campaign is already off and running.  The first poll of potential New Hampshire voters is out and Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton lead their respective party fields so far. Let the games begin!

Reshared post from +Talking Points Memo

Alright, politics junkies. 2012 is over. Let 2016 begin! Who are your top picks for 2016?

Clinton, Christie Lead First Polls Of 2016 N.H. Primaries
For much of the American electorate, the culmination of the 2012 campaign has provided a much-needed respite from politics. But for the prolific pollsters at Public Policy Polling? Let the 2016 race t…

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It's actually not that uncommon for dead candidates to win elections, including…

It's actually not that uncommon for dead candidates to win elections, including two local officials in Florida and Alabama this week. Former Missouri governor even when a US senate race in 2000 weeks after dying in a plain crash. However, when it happens they generally were alive during at least part of the campaign. 

Charles Darwin has been dead for 130 years and yet he still managed to garner 4,000 write-in votes in Athens-Clarke county Georgia against Rep. Paul C. Broun, R-Ga who ran unopposed. 

Darwin outperforms on ballot
Georgia voters protested an anti-science incumbent by writing-in the father of evolution

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Karl Rove has a lot of nerve accusing dems of suppressing the vote through negative… 1

Karl Rove has a lot of nerve accusing dems of suppressing the vote through negative ads.  GOP legislatures and governors all over the country have been actively working to suppress the vote through much more overt measures for years. 

Reshared post from +Talking Points Memo

Karl Rove says Obama won "by suppressing the vote"

Karl Rove: Obama Succeeded ‘By Suppressing The Vote’
Karl Rove told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on Thursday that President Obama won re-election “by suppressing the vote” with negative campaign ads that “turned off” potential voters, citing a victory that ca…

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I think it might be too late for such a strategy to work for the GOP :) 5

I think it might be too late for such a strategy to work for the GOP 🙂

Republicans Consider Welcoming People Who Believe in Math and Science
After disappointing results in Tuesday’s election, Mr. Priebus said that it was time for Republicans to become “more tolerant of those with a math and science lifestyle.”

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