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Dennis Kucinich Announces ‘Game Changing’ Constitutional Amendment to Publicly Finance Federal Elections.

January 24, 2012 6 comments
Dennis Kucinich, member of the U.S. House of R...

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My boy Dennis Kucinich is at it again. He has introduced to Congress H.J. Res. 100, which would be a constitutional amendment that requires all federal campaigns to be funded by public funds exclusively. There would be no more PACS, Super- PACS, or any other forms of corporate contributions that ensure a political candidate is bought and paid for by the likes of the Koch brothers.

Of course, a lofty idyllic bill such as this will probably not gain much traction in the greedy self interested political world. However, the amendment could gain traction if enough people put pressure on our federal law makers.

If you’re tired of corporations buying off our politicians, and forging federal laws and dictating national policy for their own profit, contact your representative or senator, and tell them that you support this bill. Tell them several times; it’s going to take a hell of a lot of public pressure to get this amendment to see the light of day.

Here’s Kucinich’s press release posted on kucinich.house.gov, introducing and explaining the proposed amendment:

PRESS RELEASE

Kucinich Announces ‘Game Changing’ Constitutional Amendment to Publicly Finance Federal Elections

Washington, Jan 19 – 2012

On the eve of the second anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United, which opened the floodgate of unlimited, shadowy corporate spending in public elections, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced H. J. Res. 100, a constitutional amendment to rescue American democracy from corporate money’s corrupting influence.

“Because of the decision by the Supreme Court majority in the Citizens United case, more money was spent on campaigns in the 2010 election than has ever been spent in a mid-term election.

“Because of the Citizens United case, more money will be spent in the 2012 elections than has ever been spent in an election in the history of our country.

“Because of the Citizens United case, American democracy has been put up on the auction block,” said Kucinich.

H.J. Res.100 would require that all federal campaigns –all campaigns for President, Vice-President, Senator and Representative – be financed exclusively with public funds and prohibit any expenditures from any other source, including the candidate. H. J. Res. 100 would also prohibit any expenditures in support of, or in opposition to, any federal candidate, so that interest groups will not be able to influence elections. It will maintain the First Amendment “freedom of the press” and preserve the traditional role that the media have played in our electoral process.

“We must rescue American democracy from unlimited corporate money. This is the most fundamental issue facing the future of our nation. With corporate, private financing we have officials working for the interest of corporations. With public financing we have officials working for the public. And public financing will actually save taxpayers’ money, by eliminating any incentive of public officials to reward campaign contributors with taxpayer subsidies.

“We must eliminate the influence of money on our elections and on our policy-making.  We must eliminate the influence of special interests on our elections and on our legislation.  We must eliminate the influence of multi-national corporations and foreign corporations on the government of our country. We cannot wait. We must fight for government of the people, by the people, for the people,” said Kucinich.

Posted from my piece of crap Blackberry

Disenfranchisement: The Real American Dream.

September 1, 2011 9 comments
"Shays's Rebellion." The portraits o...

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“I don’t want everybody to vote. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down” Conservative activist Paul Weyrich said this to a group of evangelical leaders in 1980.

Fast forward to 2011, and the Republican Party is adhering to this mission statement. With the help of the Weyrich founded and Koch brothers funded conservative advocacy group, The American Legislative Exchange Council, over 38 states have introduced legislation this year to impede voting every step of the way. Of those 38 states, 12 have been successful. Of course all of this has been masterminded under the guise of preventing voter fraud.

I call bullshit, as do many of you. Taking Democracy out of the hands of the “unwashed masses” is nothing new to this country. In the late 18th century, after the Revolutionary War, and before the Constitution was concocted and ratified, the states nearly put Democracy in the hands of the people in full force. Under the Articles of Confederation, many state legislatures were comprised of a single assembly, with a governor that had little to no power. In most states, as long as you were a citizen and paid taxes, you could vote. The national government had very little control over the states. Of course, women, native Americans, blacks both free and slave, and any white men who paid no taxes were completely fucked with no representation, or rights of any kind for that matter, but you get the picture of just how much direct representation there was. However, a Revolutionary War hero by the name of Daniel Shays was about to unwittingly change all that.

After the war, many soldiers who were not officers returned home to their farms in New England with none of the pay they were promised, and lots of debt. Creditors would only accept gold and silver for payment at that time, and since specie was available to only the wealthy, most debtors were fucked; they lost their farms and most likely went to jail. In Massachusetts, a large number of these men lead by Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck, decide to participate in a little direct democracy and put an end to this.
What these men did was intimidating, but non-violent: they would march into a town in western Massachusetts where debtor’s court was about to be held, and block the judges and sheriff’s entry to the courthouse. The judges, outnumbered, and obviously not stupid, would cancel the session. This action was repeated time after time, along with demands for creditors to begin accepting paper money or goods for repayment, or extend the loans until many of these debtors could get back on their feet. The plan was working; the Massachusetts assembly was about to concede to the group lead by Shays and Shattuck, and pass legislation that was debtor friendly, allowing them to keep their farms and stay out of prison. Democracy was actually working, until the Federalists stepped in.

The Federalists, who begat the Whigs, who begat the Republicans, were comprised of a group of merchant and planter elites who wanted most of the young republic’s power in the hands of the wealthy. Shay’s rebellion made them fear Democracy in its most simple form. They actually believed that the common man, as well as Native Americans, Women, and Blacks were not capable in deciding on what was best for the country. In their greedy little minds, only the wealthiest were capable of looking out for the common good. And by common good, I mean their own common good. Their answer was build strong central power, limit direct representation, and create a national bank in which the wealthy could profit from the national debt. Oh, and by the way, these Federalists also desired a large standing army in order to guarantee submission from the masses. These Federalists, driven by George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams did just that; they created the Constitution, which essentially took much of the democracy out of the hands of the people, and placed it into the back pocket of the elites. Voting was restricted to only the white property owners, and those few who could now vote could only directly elect in the House of Representatives. Until 1913, the Senate was chosen by the assembly, and even now the President is chosen by the bogus Electoral College, which, back then was chosen by congress. To dupe the common people into supporting the Constitution, the Bill of Rights was tacked on later, which can be largely ignored as the government sees fit.

What I’m getting at is this; Our country has a long established tradition of disenfranchisement, in order to secure the power that was placed in the hands of the wealthy ever since our ancestors set foot in Jamestown, Plymouth, and Salem. No matter how much the elites force feed the myth of liberty and democracy to us, it’s just that: a myth. The fact that 12 states have already, and 26 more states are attempting to disenfranchise millions is proof of that.

Thomas Jefferson once stated that direct democracy every now and then is not a bad thing; I like the way he thought, at least in that regard.

America the Pacified (via Carving Out a Voice)

August 31, 2011 2 comments

As most of you may know, I tend to write a little on the angry side 😉 I also love to read other works that lean to anger and outrage as well. My partner Michelle tends to write angry in her poetry (which I love by the way), and she does it better than anyone I know.

Without further adieu, I share with you America the Pacified.

By Michelle Beltano Curtis

Made dumb by reality television
numb by nightly news,
interpreting everything in a lens
of red, white and blue.
A contest of who killed who,
focusing only on minutiae,
views askance, never mind truth;
what’s not reported when focusing
on the robber down the street
or the prize awarded some pale boy
for doing what he already should?

Sheep for the slaughter
enthralled by credit cards.
Buy another cardigan to trash
long before the bill is gone.
America on credit, from the white house
to the white houses with their lying
little picket fences in assembly line
neighborhoods, SUV parked
beside a carcinogenic lawn
while the world chokes to death
on fossil fuels.

‘Cuz in America, we say fuck Mother Nature,
the only world we have to survive upon,
hoping for science fiction miracles.
We’ve lost the delineation
between fantasy and fact.
It’s all sponsored by Koch Industries
and the controlling one percent.

And while we’re at it fuck the future
of our children and exploit your mother, too.
Money is more enticing. Buying
more important than surviving.
And if that’s not enough,
chug down a brew, pick up a gram
of your favorite rescue compliments
of the Mexican mob we spend billions
of dollars on but can’t seem to dislodge.
It keeps us numb, the ninety-nine
percent left struggling along.

It’s only a needle. People do it
every day, because we’re
Americans, home of the privileged few,
the remainder broken and decayed.
But nobody cares, so long as they
don’t take the X-boxes, cell phones;
all our favorite drugs, away.

© 2011. All rights reserved. Reprint with permission of the author only.

via Carving Out a Voice

A Limerick For John Boehner. (Last One, I Swear)

August 5, 2011 4 comments

A man named John is our speaker.
It’s clear he’s a Koch brothers tweeker.
He laps up their cash,
Lets our job market crash.
He wants us all milder and meeker.

The Koch Brothers: Promoting Higher Education, Or Hire Education?

June 30, 2011 8 comments
American Gold Eagle

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My thanks to Michelle Beltano Curtis at Carving Out a Voice. Her winning topic suggestion for Pick Your Topic Tuesday was that I write about the Koch brother’s motives behind trying to get involved in the hiring processes at institutions of higher learning. If you haven’t checked out Michelle’s blog yet, please do. Michelle covers a variety of topics including social issues, feminism, and education. She also publishes original short stories and poems on her blog from time to time, which are a real treat to read!

Without further adieu, I bring you:

The Koch Brothers: Promoting Higher Education, Or Hire Education?

*Clemson
*Florida State
*George Mason
*Utah State
*West Virginia

Do you know what these universities have in common? They all have the Koch brothers thumbs in their academic pies. Ranging from $700,000 for Utah State, to a whopping $31,000,000 to George Mason, the Koch brothers have taken to furthering their nefarious goals by making donor agreements with several universities and colleges across the country.

The mission statements of these grants are nearly the same at each university: Their goals and objectives are to support “research into the causes, measurements,impact, and appreciation of economic freedom.” Any faculty hired with these monies are expected to advance ” the understanding and practice of those free voluntary processes and principles that promote social progress, human well-being,individual freedom, opportunity, and prosperity based on the rule of law, constitutional government, private property and the laws, regulations, organizations, institutions, and social norms upon which they rely.”

Whew! That’s a lot of patriotic, capitalist gobblety goock! But what does it really mean? What it means is that the Koch brothers want to control faculty hirings in order to put into place ultra conservative teachers. Their agenda is to drill into student’s heads the Koch’s version of the American Way. To the Koch’s that means business with no financial and environmental regulations, no taxing of corporations, and a health care system that only the rich can buy into. They want to turn our youth into a bunch of automatons, whose sole purpose is to serve corporate America.

The presidents of these universities may deny that this is the case, but they’re lying. When the Faculty Senate at George Mason asked for copies of the donor agreements, the university referred them to the Koch Foundation, who in turn denied their request.

The bottom line is this: Colleges and universities have been selling their academic souls for years. Educational and Sports complexes now have the corporate sponsor’s names built into their titles. Many schools of higher education are even identified as “for profit” institutions. However, the Koch suckers have figured out a way to do it bigger and better. They have figured out how to buy their way into the academic hiring process.

I can picture it now: Graduation da y, there are throngs of proud parents in attendance to watch their sons and daughters march. The kids are anxious to get their degrees and commence to partying. The university president plods to the podium and announces “Welcome to the (your school name here) graduation ceremony.” Brought to you by the Koch Brothers!”

The Kochs are out to eliminate every Democratic process that still exists in this country. Now they’re taking a page from the Hitler play book by attempting to control our youth with minions disguised as “faculty.”

In Koch we trust my friends, in Koch we trust.

The Winner of Pick Your Topic Tuesday Is:

June 30, 2011 2 comments

Michelle Beltano Curtis at Carving Out a Voice, with her suggestion of writing about the Koch brothers, and how they’re buying their way into the decision making process at higher institutions of learning. I will have a 300 word minimum post on the topic by no later than Friday afternoon. It will come complete with all the tin foil trimmings, including credit for the post to Michelle.

Thanks for the great suggestions this week; we’ll have a new round next Tuesday!