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franknalco

join:2005-01-27
Littleton, CO

A Failure to Amend

Our Constitution is woefully inadaquate at protecting American's privacy in the 21st Century. Our inability to update the document has us falling far behind other nations in guaranteeing rights of its citizens. In fact, most other nations that are updating their constitutions no longer look to ours as a model, instead more closely copying those of Canada and the EU declaration of rights. Thomas Jefferson, in a 1789 letter to James Madison, wrote that every constitution “naturally expires at the end of 19 years” because “the earth belongs always to the living generation.” Our Constitution has recently been sarcastically compared to Windows 3.1, and their doesn't seem to be any impetus to make it applicable to todays world. We have judicial and executive acts that leave us less and less protected from big government and big business, both of whom are more than happy to plow through loopholes and on the fringes. I am going to go out on a limb here and predict that even if the NSA is doing what is said is being done, it is upheld.


Arty50
Premium
join:2003-10-04

Nonsense. There's very little wrong with our Constitution. The big problem is the fact that we've become complacent as voters and have abdicated our country to political parties that are largely controlled by corporate interests. Well, there's that and the fact that we've voted for a bunch of complete morons also.

The only major Amendment that's currently needed is one which declares once and for all that corporations are not people and money is not speech. This wouldn't even be necessary if we have voted in responsible people who had then made sound judicial appointments. Instead, the corporate monkeys have stacked the courts with justices that roll their way when these cases come up. In this case, it's been happening since the days of Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad. The founders were very wary of corporate influence and would never have considered corporations to have been people. Sadly, we've allowed our government to pervert the Constitution so that corporations now have personhood. If it weren't for this perverted interpretation of our Constitution, this Amendment wouldn't even be neccessary. Alas, it is. It's sad how little we as a people care about our government.


MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5

Are unions people? Does their money count as speech?

Looking for a little logical consistency here.



DazedAmerica

@sbcglobal.net
reply to Arty50

said by Arty50:

Nonsense. ... The big problem is the fact that we've become complacent as voters and have abdicated our country to political parties that are largely controlled by corporate interests.

I totally agree. That is why term limits are required for both Representatives and Senators.

said by Arty50:

The only major Amendment that's currently needed is one which declares once and for all that corporations are not people and money is not speech.

I don't totally agree. I am fine with corporations being "legal" persons, just not on par with "natural" persons. By this I mean that because corporations are "fictiticious" people, created by law by us, we can put any limits we want on them. We do not necessarily need to give them all rights that we as natural people have. I see nothing wrong with barring them from making campaign contributions, the use of lobbyists to help draft new laws, creation of political ads using corporate funds, etc.

I would also go further and address "free speech" rights like trying to call high fructose corn syrup a natural sugar. It might be derived from natural sugars but it is man-made. Nowhere in natural can you find it naturally. But then that opens the door to Monsanto or some other company genetically modifying crops to produce it. Oops, did I just give the shop away to corporate greed?

MyDogHsFleas
Premium
join:2007-08-15
Austin, TX
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Mediacom
reply to franknalco

I think it's important to understand the legal basis for the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC. Rather than trying to summarize the legal concept of corporate personhood here, I suggest you read at least the first 2 sections of the very good Wikipedia article.

It frankly makes someone look totally uninformed when they exclaim, "OMG! The Supreme Court just declared in 2010 that corporations are people! That's ridiculous, and unconstitituional! Let's amend the Constitution!"

The corporate person is a legal construct that has been a well understood precedent in our legal system for over 200 years. There is nothing in the Constitution about corporations. Nor is anyone (much less the Supreme Court) declaring that "corporations are people". Obviously, a corporation and a living person are two different things.

Furthermore, the corporate person legal construct has many aspects that no one would want to take away. For example, why can you sue a corporation? Because they are a legal entity called a "corporate person".

So if you were going to amend the Constitution around corporate contributions, you can't just say "Corporations are not people". That literally makes no sense. You'd have to say "Corporate persons have the following rights and duties under the Constitution, EXCEPT that they are not allowed to contribute to political campaigns."

I really wish people would understand the reality of this rather than the narrative that's put out there.

You have to follow the money to understand this one. And it's big, big money we're talking about.

The whole argument is really a cover for the political fact that Democrats want to have the upper hand in the money stream that flows into politics. They get the vast majority of union contributions today (and notice no one is screaming "Unions are not people!"). They get the majority of individual contributions. They only get about a 50-50 split of corporate contributions. That's not good enough for them.

So, they come up with this (in reality ridiculous) narrative that tries to short cut the whole thing by saying "Hey people! Get riled up! Corporations are not people!"

Logically, if you are going to ban corporate contributions, you should also ban union contributions, not to mention union "voter education" and "get out the vote" campaigns, which BTW are actually about 2x what unions spend on direct contributions.