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Chris Hedges: The Post-Constitutional Era | Truthdig

The government, by ignoring the rights and needs of ordinary citizens, is jeopardizing its legitimacy. This is dangerous. When a citizenry no longer feels that it can find justice within the organs of power, when it feels that the organs of power are the enemies of freedom and economic advancement, it makes war on those organs. Those of us who are condemned as radicals, idealists and dreamers call for basic reforms that, if enacted, will make peaceful reform possible. But corporate capitalists, now unchecked by state power and dismissive of the popular will, do not see the fires they are igniting. The Supreme Court ruling on our challenge is one more signpost on the road to dystopia. 

It is capitalism, not government, that is the problem. The fusion of corporate and state power means that government is broken. It is little more than a protection racket for Wall Street. And it is our job to wrest government back. This will come only through the building of mass movements.

In light of the recent Supreme Court McCutcheon v. FEC decision, we need this effort now more than ever. America needs a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that declares that We the People have the authority to regulate election spending and that corporations shall not be endowed with the same rights and privileges as human beings.

Join us at the 28th Amendment National Roadshow Conference in Los Angeles on April 26. Click here to register.

dabnotu:

Looks like we have another shot at undermining Citizens United.

New Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Jo White is considering a rules change that would require corporations to disclose their political spending. The best part: this solution totally circumvents Congress, which is way too flooded with corporate money to take action.

Already ALEC, the Chamber of Commerce, and major oil companies have begun to freak out about the possible change. (Which is usually a good sign we’re doing something right.)

[…]

In the 2012 elections, corporations spent a record $6 billion on electoral spending, much of it funnelled through super-PACs designed to conceal their real source. The secretive nature of campaign spending allows CEOs and boards to spend company money with zero oversight from investors, customers, or the general public.

Forcing companies to disclose their political spending would make them answerable to investers, customers, and American citizens. It’s the first step toward saving our democracy from the influence of corporate money.

(via
So what punishment should the owners of the West Fertilizer Corporation receive? Should they be treated like other violators of anti-terrorism law? They killed far more people than the Tsarnaev brothers. Should they be charged with murder? Should they even serve prison time? It’s highly unlikely that even the latter will happen given the amount we excuse anti-social corporate behavior. Corporations now have free speech rights but they don’t have personal responsibility. Of course, the real question is how many other ticking time bombs are in communities around the nation? There are few industries with the potential for massive disaster of fertilizer, but between petroleum, chemicals, and mining, there are all sorts of communities suffering from enormous environmental and workplace safety problems. Grain elevators with poor safety standards litter much of the nation. Then there’s industries most of us don’t even think about, like fertilizer. Without a far more vigorous regulatory structure with real consequences for corporations, workers and communities will continue to bear avoidable burdens.

West Fertilizer Violated Federal Anti-Terror Regulations - Lawyers, Guns & Money (via dendroica)

And our Representatives and Senators that have pushed for austerity for 33 years have crippled the federal government’s oversight, and BTW have you noticed that the mainstream press is ignoring Texas’ culpability in this disaster?  Ignoring the fact that a state even one as big as Texas is much smaller than the entire US and should be able to keep better track  of their companies.  But, at the least even under the conditions we have today, they should be in charge of zoning with regards to a general system that hospitals, and apartments, and schools should not be within a zone of danger from  a company that will put it’s employees and its neighbor at risk.  If the state of Texas does not take the managers of that plant into custody by next week,  you know that they are going to let this pass and that will tell other dangerous businesses know that Texas is the place they can go and nothing will happen to them if they slaughter their neighbors.

A recall petition should be started against Governor Perry right now, or Texans are saying it’s okay for a business to kill them or their loved ones anytime its profitable, and believe me lots of businesses will find it profitable.

(via liberal-focus)

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