Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pride and tears

I have had many proud moments in my life; watching the five kids becoming successful adults, watching grand-kids grow, graduating from UCD, getting my masters, and many more.  Looking back there was a time I am extremely proud of because I put personal gain and personal safety aside for the betterment of this nation and this world.  I stood on the outside of marches to protect the marchers.  I tried to provide first aid during police riots.  I got tear gassed.  I got attacked for my beliefs as I got off a city bus, but did not fight back.  I was part of a movement that made a difference.  Most of my effort was to end wars of aggression, and war in general.  (My sacrifice was small compared to others.)

Most of my work was in the anti-war movement with much less being involved in the Civil Rights Movement.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed 8 days before my 14th birthday and that year I worked for the election of President Johnson.  That included work on the effort to get out the vote.  I did support the movement throughout my teen years, and am proud of my contribution.

Some things are better now than they were.  My office is almost all white, but not all white.  My manager, Mr Bhakta is expecting their first daughter and they are curious what she will look like because of their interracial marriage.  Those that clean the restrooms are not all black and Hispanic.  Things are a little better, but there is still much to do.

We changed the world, but in so many ways we failed.  As a kid I used to hear the jets and wonder if that was the one that carried the end of human life.  Now that jet flies too high to hear.  We are still the world's aggressor creating wars at will.  But, until recently voter right was a victory I thought would last.  Obama might have already lost this election because of the rise of Jim Crow voting laws.  Let me explain.

Especially in swing state there has been a coordinated effort to purge the voter roles of people likely to vote Democratic.  Much of this has been coordination through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Repeatedly in swing state after swing state you will hear that they are trying to eliminate voter fraud, and creating laws that will make it more difficult or impossible for low income, minority, and student voters from voting.  (Under the law currently being blocked by the Justice Department a gun permit is valid ID to vote in Texas but a student ID is not!)  Yet there is no evidence of wide spread voter fraud.  Let me expand. 
* Typical evidence is like this (
** "Sundland Park, New Mexico, reported May 17, 2012 - multiple arrests, including the town mayor, on voting fraud charges ..." There were two arrests, the vote was close, and charges included extortion.  It is possible that this election was won because of fraud, but two is not wide spread fraud.  Two is two.
** "How about Troy, N.Y., on Dec. 21, 2011? Four men - all town officials or Democratic Party operatives - were convicted of voting fraud charges."  Population over 850,000 and 4 arrested.
* I even heard someone use the fact that people who were added to the voter rolls when they got the drivers license and took themselves off the rolls somehow proves that these people were voting.
The reason they don't use real statistics is that even when an investigation is done they can't find the fraud.  It isn't there.  President Bush tried.  120 were charged and 86 convicted.  The US population is 313,894,000 so 0.00003% of the population was convicted.

Enough legal voters may have already been purged from the rolls, or will be unable to vote due to restrictive laws to swing the vote.  In Pennsylvania 25% of blacks have no photo ID.  As much as 10% of the population of the state might be disenfranchised by the voter ID law.  These are real provable numbers.  The election may already have been stolen.

I am proud that I, and many others put aside personal gain to try and improve our nation.  No one can take that pride away.  But, I literally cry when I think about how much of what we did has been undone over the years.  I grieve for the lives lost in war.  I grieve for our young men and women who will live their lives with the visions of death in the brains.  I grieve for the martyrs who died to bring the vote to everyone.  I grieve for those who will lose their vote for no good reason.  I grieve for the life of democracy slipping away in front of our eyes.

I am 62 years old.  I don't know how long I have to live; almost certainly somewhere between 62 seconds and 62 years.  Will I spend the rest of my life proud of what I have done, but grieving for what we are losing?  I'm not doing enough to prevent this, but I am doing something.  For me, for you, for your descendants, and for our nation I ask you to do something.  Individually it might not be enough, but our collective effort just might be enough. 

And to the parents: Please teach your kids that democracy requires participation both in the voting booth and in the streets.  Please teach your kids that their freedom is in part because people were willing to break the law, to be violently attacked, and to put their lives on the line in non-violent action.  Please remember that if your child is old enough to understand what they are doing, they are old enough to make a difference. But please, if the situation could get them hurt or killed, make sure they fully understand that before you let them go.

Friday, March 30, 2012

"...let Facts be submitted to a candid world."

"When in the Course of human events,..."

In this posting I will be leading you blindly on a path of thought. I hope you are willing to follow along. I will start with a history lesson.

All quotes ('' ") are from our Declaration of Independence. Other quotes are in italics.

The institution of corporation became part of British life before the colonization of the Americas. It was these corporations that permitted the rapid colonization of much of the world. In 1587 it was a corporation of the crown that colonized Virginia. The colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island were each governed by a "Governor and Company," incorporated by charter from the English crown. Our original colonies were corporations of the English crown.

Corporations then as now had certain human characteristic. They could buy and sell property. They could sue and be sued. The members of the corporation (stock holders) were separate, and could not be held libel for the dept of the corporation. Corporations were created with the blessing of the crown, and could be dissolved by the crown. Today in the U.S. incorporation is done at the state or federal level, and thus it could be said done with the blessing of that government.

Corporations then as now had to follow the dictates of the granting government. It was the corporate responsibility to uphold the dictates of the crown including taxation.

There was and is a legal separation between the corporations and the government, and a legal separation between the corporations and its members. But there was and is an interdependency between these three. Then as now the government grants the incorporation and is dependent upon the revenue. Then as now the corporations are funded by the members, and the members are dependent upon the profits.

" becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,..."

The power of England extended globally with corporations creating the expansion and governing over the new lands. The power was maintained though the military might of England. Thus when the colonies revolted they severed "the political bands" with England.

Today the global power of the Western World is dependent upon the corporate reach, but the government granting the corporation is no longer clear. I will use Shell Oil as an example.

Royal Dutch Shell is a corporation headquartered in the Hague, Netherlands. It is incorporated in London England. Under Royal Dutch Shell are these subsidiaries.

Shell Canada - headquarters are in Canada, but control is by Shell Energy North America. Shell Canada was created through a purchase done to gain access to unconventional resources such as tar sands oil.

Shell Gas & Power is the primary energy trading arm of Royal Dutch Shell doing business under Shell Trading and a subsidiary Coral Energy, LLC.

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company
Shell Nigeria Gas
Shell Nigeria Oil Products
Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas
The Nigerian government has executed protesters that have protested against Shell. Shell claims that they asked the government for clemency for these protesters though there is evidence to the contrary.

Shell Oil Company headquartered in Texas is a 50/50 partner with the Saudi Arabian government-owned oil company Saudi Aramco in Motiva Enterprises.

Other subsidiaries include Shell Australia, Shell Chemicals, and Shell Pakistan

There is no one government granting the international corporation the right to exists. Though not exclusively the might of one single government protecting this right, the U.S. military is the largest in the world, and has the greatest reach.

Up to this point I have used verifiable facts to lay the foundation. Our global reach is created and dependent upon international corporations, and the international corporations are dependent upon the U.S. and other governments to protect that reach. Governments and investors benefit from corporate existence but are shielded by law from the responsibility of their actions. This has been true for centuries, but with the corporations going international there is a level of ambiguity as to which government can gain the benefit of the incorporation along or the power to dissolve it.

In the Revolutionary War we defeated the government that was protecting the governing corporations. Of all the governments world wide the U.S. and our military are the equivalent to the the English military. When "Object evinces a design (by corporations or the U.S.) to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government." Our Declaration of Independence gives the people of all nations the right and duty to expel U.S. troops, and to overthrow their own government should that government refuse. Cuba is a prime example of a people doing exactly that.

"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism ..."

Until this point I have stayed with legal connections. There are moral connections. The investor holds a moral connection to the actions of the corporation, and the granting government also is moral tied to the actions of the corporation. Clearly the military actions of a government are moral decisions. And as citizens we are morally tied to the actions of our government. Because of the legal and moral connection between corporations and government I will be blurring the line.

I will try and show that our government and corporations are trying to reduce us to absolute despotism. I will show that the government and corporation colluded to destroy the middle class, that your every move is monitored, and that the powers will, if they desire, limit your movement, hurt you or kill you, all without trial.

Destruction of the middle class:

In February, 1987 Michael Moore reported on a meeting organized in part by the U.S. Commerce Department under President Reagan explaining to U.S. corporations how they could save money by moving their manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Reagan was instrumental in selling the idea of a free market economy, and every president since then has bought into it. The results? The below charts can be found at

Largest Maquila Employers in Mexico

1. Zenith18,000
2. GM13,000
3. GE8,000
4. RCA6,000
5. AC Nielson5,500
6. North American Phillips4,500
7. American Hospital3,500
Source: Hewlett Packard de Mexico

Maquiladora Hourly Wages v. Average Manufacturing Wages in Other Countries

1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981
5-day week
1.07 1.45 1.24 1.17 2.69 2.18
6-day week
.88 1.20 1.03 .96 2.22 1.80

United States
13.09 12.59 12.04 11.52 10.79
1.27 1.23 1.46 2.16 1.90
Hong Kong
1.78 1.60 1.52 1.67 1.55
6.64 6.35 6.13 5.70 6.18
1.38 1.36 1.30 1.25 1.17
1.68 1.70 1.46 1.40 1.35
-- 2.43 2.19 1.94 1.79
United Kingdom
6.06 5.85 6.26 6.76 7.13
7.69 7.42 7.92 8.01 8.15
West Germany
9.75 9.55 10.33 10.38 10.53
4.87 4.68 4.64 5.35 5.60
7.67 7.46 7.73 7.36 7.39
Source: COSTEP
Starting with President Reagan and continuing through every administration there has been a move toward a free market economy with the resultant decline in the wages of working Americans.

You are being watched:

In Utah there is construction of a million square foot National Security Administration building to collect and store close to your every communication and action. The following quote is from DemocracyNow!, March 21, 2012.

A new exposé in Wired Magazine reveals details about how the National Security Agency is quietly building the largest spy center in the country in Bluffdale, Utah, as part of a secret NSA surveillance program codenamed "Stellar Wind." We speak with investigative reporter James Bamford, who says the NSA has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. The Utah spy center will contain near-bottomless databases to store all forms of communication collected by the agency. This includes the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases and other digital "pocket litter." "The NSA has constantly denied that they’re doing things, and then it turns out they are doing these things," Bamford says in response to NSA Director General Keith Alexander’s denial yesterday that U.S. citizens’ phone calls and emails are being intercepted. "A few years ago, President Bush said before camera that the United States is not eavesdropping on anybody without a warrant, and then it turns out that we had this exposure to all the warrantless eavesdropping in the New York Times article. And so, you have this constant denial and parsing of words."

In Colorado Springs, CO there is a proposal to install security cameras to watch the public. When combined with face recognition software this could be used to track individual's movements.

Without a trial:
The government can, without trial restrict your movements. In 2008 the ACLU estimated that there were 1,000,000 names on the No Fly List, and growing. The process of limiting travel does not require a trial.

Corporations or our government will hurt or kill you at their will, and without trial. Anwar al-Awlaki was accused of being an official in a terrorist organization and was accused of being involved in the Fort Hood shooting as well as the attempted Christmas Day Bombing. There was never a trail yet he was assassinated by our government. There has been no evidence produced that his son had anything to do with these actions, but he too was assassinated.

Judi Bari was a Union Organizer and a environmental activist trying to save the old growth redwoods. In 1990 a motion activated pipe bomb exploded under her her seat. Both she and her passenger Darryl Cherney survived. Ms. Bari has since died of cancer.

Just 30 days prior the FBI held a bomb school on a Louisiana-Pacific Lumber Company clear-cut near Eureka CA, and two weeks later a bomb went off at a Louisiana-Pacific saw mill. Evidence shows that Judi Bari's car was bombed by the same person. When the car was bombed the first Oakland Police report stated that the car was booby trapped (set off by the car motion). Yet the first thing the FBI said to the hospitalized Darryl Cherney was:
This was your bomb, so why don’t you confess, make it easy on all of us, and get it over with?
The two sued the FBI and in 2002 a jury awarded the two victims $4.4 million after hearing "literally unbelievable testimony from the FBI and the Oakland police" (words of Mr. Cherney). Because the two pipe bombs were connected in construction, and because the one that exploded at the saw mill likely contains DNA evidence Mr. Cherney is taking legal action to have the the FBI turn over the evidence for independent testing. As of this writing the FBI is still fighting that request. In all appearances the FBI is protecting the know bomber.

"... it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

We are living in a country where our every action can be collected without warrant. We are living in a country where our movement can be limited without due process. We are living in a country where you can be kill with government involvement without due process.

We are living in a police state. " is (our) right, it is (our) duty, to throw off such Government ...". "To throw off" is not the same as to eliminate. It also includes replacing the power structure.

In the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission the supreme court continued a long history of slowly giving corporation more personhood rights, starting before the colonization of the Americas. There are many proposals to revoke corporate personhood. I believe that this is treating the symptom, not the problem. The problem is the interdependency of government, corporations, and members of the corporation, but each not libel for the actions of the other. With that in mind I propose this amendment to the Constitution.

No entity doing business in more than one state shall be created that shield its members from the liabilities of that entity. The governing body of a business entity shall be held accountable under the law for crimes committed by the business entity. Members of such business entity shall not be held libel or accountable for the action of other members unless expressly written in contract or law. Such business entity shall not be held criminally responsible or libel for the actions of members unless the crime was committed at the instruction of the business. For crimes committed by such a business resulting in the loss of many lives, after due process, any state or federal court can order an immediate revoke of license to do business with all assets of the business frozen to pay liabilities. In cases of fraud or criminal activity, if the state granting the business entity reasonable should have known about the activity and has not taken steps to stop the activity the state is libel for uncollected liabilities of the business entity up to 110% of the taxes and fees collected from that business for the last 15 years. Such business entities do not have constitutional rights except for those granted by congress.

The biggest claim made is that it will destroy our economy because people will no longer invest. What will they do with their money? If they invest in foreign corporations that do business here or in U.S. corporations that do business here the liability is the same. That said, I would be surprised if it didn't cause a short term downturn in our economy. But I believe that the recovery will be with businesses and governments more accountable for their actions, and that citizens will have a greater say in government.

I welcome comment.