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Corporate Fraud and Greed – End it Now! August 26, 2007

Posted by truthspew in atheism, broadband penetration, corporations, corruption, Error 10048, Grover Norquist, liberalism, neocons, people, politics, Progressive Politics, RIAA, Verizon.
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Rolling Stone has a very interesting article on the excesses of fraud and waste in the Iraq war.

What is happening to the United States is that corporations are looting the federal government. Grover Norquist eat your heart out, your fondest desire might actually be coming true but the consequences will be very bad for everyone. For corporations should never be in the business of providing government services. We’re seeing that push here in Rhode Island, our Republican governor who is also a Bush supporter wants to privatize just 1,000 state jobs. That’s the camel poking its nose into the tent.

How did corporations get so bold? It’s simple, under a fictional legal theory, little more than a comment inserted by a clerk who was paid by the Southern Pacific Railroad, corporations are under the mistaken notion that they have the same rights and privileges as a real person. They should have no such thing, for if they did not they wouldn’t be able to throw money to congress via PAC’s and other vehicles for corporate malfeasance like no bid contracts.

I interviewed with one firm mentioned in the article, Custer-Battles. First, I knew about the shell companies and had alarm bells ringing like crazy in my head. They had advertised the job as full time but when I had gotten to the car after the interview Battles calls and asks if I’d do contracting. I told him to kiss my ass. Turns out my alarm bells over Custer-Battles were correct but get this, even though they had a judgment against them, it was overturned by a Bush friendly jurist at the appellate level. How’s that for disgusting, I know they’re dirty, everyone knows but the courts that are supposed to protect us instead protect corporations that are defrauding the government and therefore the taxpayer for billions.

Consider the $544 Billion dollars spent in Iraq so far. Had we not gone there that $544 Billion might have helped victims of Katrina and maybe, just maybe, we could have a single payer health system in the United States.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it until it happens. We MUST change the 14th Amendment of the Constitution to specifically EXCLUDE corporations from the rights derived by that amendment.

How to do that is the conundrum. We cannot depend on our representatives since every single one of them has been bought and paid for many times over.

We’ve all seen how that works. We now have bankruptcy law that benefits the creditors rather than the debtors. We also have corporations like Verizon et al trying their damnedest to kill net neutrality, or the RIAA who won’t adapt to the times, instead they prefer to litigate their way through. Those are just three examples but I’m sure you can think of more, like maybe the oil and gas companies who reap obscene profits while we pay dearly at the pump. Just keep thinking about all the little ways corporations try to screw you and you should be getting very upset. Good, that’s precisely the kind of thing that moves our society forward.

We must lift ourselves into the fray and create a true opposition party that is funded by the people, and not by corporate interests. We have to start locally because constitutional amendments require ratification by the states, so start there and move onward. Howard Dean hit on this briefly when he had several million people chipping in $25 here and there to elect him as the Democratic President. It has to be grassroots and it will take time, I can only hope that it takes as short a time as possible to stop this craziness once and for all.

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Now playing: Earth Wind & Fire – Sun Goddess (Live)
via FoxyTunes

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Things you learn from Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me June 30, 2007

Posted by truthspew in Boston Tea Party, Burning of the Gaspee, Grover Norquist, history, hypnotism, Lee Arnold, Nathaniel Greene, npr, Project Management, reading list, telephone, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me.
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I get the podcast for Wait Wait… Don’t Tell me and listen to it on my way to work, or walking around, or just assuming horizontal position and laughing out loud at the funny bits, which is most of the show.

When listening to it on the way to work or walking around I’m prone to sudden bits of laughter. But today I actually learned something. Apparently in certain parts of Britain it is customary to kiss people full on the lips as greetings.

I didn’t know that but then it got me to thinking. Many parts of what is now the UK were once Roman outposts. And the kiss on the lips thing is definitely Roman in origin.

As I study the Italian language and more about the culture I’m constantly reminded of one common theme. Living life to the fullest is what it’s all about for most Italians. I see a strong streak of that in myself and I’m only half Italian. I love life, I love life, good food, good wine, good beer. I love the sunshine, I love absorbing all I can about a subject.

Speaking of that – I like to walk. I do so pretty much everywhere in the city and notice things that I hadn’t seen before. Today I was up where North Main St merges with Benefit St right near Olney St. Sitting on the corner of the University Heights complex is a fairly large tree and I’d never before noticed the plaque at the base of the tree.

That is the Liberty Tree, planted on July 25th, 1768. Yes, RI was out there on the liberty and independence thing a little less than eight years before the Declaration of Independence was signed by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Of course it isn’t the original tree – this one was planted to commemorate it in 1968. But still, it’s pretty cool to live in the birthplace of the modern Democratic movement. Sure, Massachusetts may have been the bigger star, but some pretty damned important stuff happened in Rhode Island too. For example, there was the Burning of the Gaspee which predated the Boston Tea Party. We also gave Nathaniel Greene to the country.

Sheesh – here I was thinking about the little history lesson Wait Wait had given me, and here I am giving one.