Letters to the Editor

Threat to democracy

February 28, 2012


To the editor:

Historically in the U.S., corporations were forbidden from participating in politics for good reason: the correctly anticipated power of highly concentrated corporate wealth to severely undermine an otherwise increasingly representative and pluralistic democracy in the U.S. With a major break from tradition in interpreting constitutional law, the highly biased 2010 Supreme Court judicial-overreach decision regarding “Citizens United” has severely damaged our country’s democracy. We now have the “best democracy that corporate money and the wealthy can buy.”

It is time to overturn this horrendous decision, preferably with a congressional bill, which would meet less resistance than a constitutional amendment. Corporations, with inanimate charters and regulations, are not “people” as this very damaging, compromised-court decision would somehow have us believe. Global warming is approaching an irreversible “tipping-point” and, when combined with inadequate U.S. support of greater “fossil-fuel-threatening” energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and measures, the result may very well be global ecosystem collapses.

The ongoing policies of U.S. perpetual war-making — often for resources and profits — are taking us to the possible insane brink of nuclear war. We need our democracy back for many reasons — and we need it soon.


Brock Masters 3 years, 9 months ago

How, in light of the Supreme Court decision, would a law prohibiting corporate contributions not be deemed unconstitutional?

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

The left would urinate on the constitution to prevent speech they don't like.

As you note, any law forbidding speech which is not patently obscene or that encourages specific harm to another party should be swatted down. We know the various legislators will waste our money on such junk laws but it's unfortunate that our citizens so quickly beg for legislation that would, in the end, muzzle their own expression.

Mark Zwahl 3 years, 9 months ago

Money = Speech???? I think those days will be over soon.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

Money = money. Speech = speech. Having money that can buy air time doesn't remove your right to freedom of expression.

So now just admit you don't really care about the constitution as long as it's protecting a portion of society you hate. Be honest.

gudpoynt 3 years, 9 months ago

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Kirk Larson 3 years, 9 months ago

Liberals wrap themselves in the Constitution and burn the flag. Conservatives wrap themselves in the flag and burn the Constitution.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

That makes me a liberal. Ewwww!

The American flag is merely a symbol of the freedom to light it on fire. I think highly of our flag but more so of the freedom it represents.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

I stood up in 79 and took the oath at 17. Hopefully you waited to graduate college before going in. Better money.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 9 months ago

What are you talking about? Making stuff up may be your right, but how disappointing and inarticulate...

jaywalker 3 years, 9 months ago

Couldn't agree more with your stand against corporations as people. Read "Republic, Lost" by Lawrence Lessig for a complete and insightful understanding of what's transpired and how it's possible to fix. The digression to global warming and "brink of nuclear war" were shark jumpers though.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Given that $billions in corporate money are being spent explicitly to defend the military-industrial complex and to finance the anti-science campaign of denial over global warming, it was no digression at all.

jaywalker 3 years, 9 months ago

That's a fair point, my mistake. But 'the brink of nuclear war" hyperbole still stands.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

We certainly are at the brink of war over the hypocrisy over who gets to possess nuclear weapons.

And as long as there are tens of thousands of nuclear weapons stockpiled, we will always be on the brink of nuclear war.

jaywalker 3 years, 9 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

jaywalker 3 years, 9 months ago

Alex, are you kidding? "you're embarrassing yourself" is grounds for post removal?

Scott Drummond 3 years, 9 months ago

Today the Supreme Court holds oral argument in an interesting case involving holding corporations liable for the foreign atrocities they are involved in. It will be interesting to see how the pro-business justices twist and turn to preserve corporate personhood rights, but absolve corporations of their responsibility

grimpeur 3 years, 9 months ago

Excellent point. The court will find a way to privatize profits while outsourcing costs and risks to the public.

Scott Drummond 3 years, 9 months ago

No, but you be sure the fine folks running Exxo, HP or Monsanto have done some dirty deeds while hiding behind the protective cloak of corporate personhood.

Scott Drummond 3 years, 9 months ago

No, but you be sure the fine folks running Exxo, HP or Monsanto have done some dirty deeds while hiding behind the protective cloak of corporate personhood.

Scott Drummond 3 years, 9 months ago

Or the idiots at Motorola & Verizon that sell a phone that auto inserts helpful. autocorrections! That would be something for which I wish I had the ability to correct before a 2 year contract period.

Mike Ford 3 years, 9 months ago

hey math and change.....I gave the Koch Brothers truck going down Iowa the thumbs down twice because of citizens's united.....of course crooked things were being done before that ruling happened but citizens united made it possible for the adelsons, feeezes, and kochs to put money behind crazy thereby legitimizing crazy for the crazies....no offense to the good movie from Iowa with the same name though,,,,,

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

LOL. You gave a thumbs down to some poor schmuck trying to feed his kids by driving a truck. Fail.

Michael LoBurgio 3 years, 9 months ago

Rich People More Likely To Take Candy From Children: Real Report

People with a few extra bucks just aren't as nice as the rest of us, at least according to a new study.

Rich people are more likely to take candy from children, lie, cheat, endorse unethical behavior at work, and cut off pedestrians while driving, a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/27/rich-people-_n_1305008.html

Michael LoBurgio 3 years, 9 months ago

Koch Brothers, Allies Pledge $100 Million At Private Meeting To Beat Obama

WASHINGTON -- At a private three-day retreat in California last weekend, conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch and about 250 to 300 other individuals pledged approximately $100 million to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections.

A source who was in the room when the pledges were made told The Huffington Post that, specifically, Charles Koch pledged $40 million and David pledged $20 million.


Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

I think he's spamming for hits at aolhufpo.

nativeson 3 years, 9 months ago

The sentiment expressed is correct, but the facts need to be examined. I agree that SuperPAC money is dominating politics, and it represents specific interests disproportionally. If corporations are excluded, we should also include unions in that list.

The Center for Responsible Politics published a list of top all-time donors to political campaigns of all types. http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

Of the top 15 listed for contributions from 1989-2012, labor unions represent 9 of those organizations. For most of the PACs, 95%+ of their contributions come from donors that give $25,000 or more to the group. Whether it be corporations or unions, they have the access that is not available to the average American.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Prior to Citizens United, there were much greater restrictions on union political contributions.

But you really can't equate Union contributions with those from corporations. Unions represent millions of middle-class working people who share interests with the vast majority of Americans. Corporate contributions are controlled by a relative handful of wealthy people whose interests are in direct conflict with the interests of the average American.

That's not to say that there should be no restrictions on union political spending, but that spending isn't just the mirror image of the entrenched system of corporate bribery that largely controls our political processes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Is bald assertion of ideology really all you're capable of?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

There was nothing in your post to rebut because I don't feel compelled to respond to your straw man misinterpretations of what I have said.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Sadly, you seem to have fully embodied the Fox News model of intellectual vacuity.

nativeson 3 years, 9 months ago

I am not sure I agree abut representation. Remember, many of these unions have compulsary membership. So, many of those middle-class working people have no option or little option when funding their union.

I believe it would be naive to suggest that those in power at the top of any large union operate without considering their own self-interest.

nativeson 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. However, what percentage of the workers in the unions in question work in states that are not right to work? My speculation is that it is a high percentage. The states with the heaviest concentration of union workers tend to have closed shops.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"middle-class working people" "handful of wealthy people"

Are you the new arbiter of who makes too much money to have first amendment rights? Sickening.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 9 months ago

The two corporations that present the greatest threat to democracy are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. They behave much like corporations, other than the fact they produce no goods or services. If corporations are to be cut off from the political process, let those two be the first.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

The two major political parties have become little more than tools for corporate interests, but I don't believe that they themselves are corporations.

Getaroom 3 years, 9 months ago

We haven't lived in a capitalist society since the 1886. Everyone must read "Wealth of A Nation" - Adam Smith

“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing. This concentration is seriously impairing the economic effectiveness of private enterprise as a way of providing employment for labor and capital and as a way of assuring a more equitable distribution of income and earnings among the people of the nation as a whole.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

Speaking of threats to democracy: "...A government watchdog organization, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), obtained hundreds of documents from DHS through the Freedom of Information Act and found details of the arrangement with General Dynamics. The company was contracted to monitor the Web for “reports that reflect adversely on DHS,” including sub-agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In testimony submitted to the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Ginger McCall, director of EPIC’s Open Government Project, stated that “the agency is monitoring constantly, under very broad search terms, and is not limiting that monitoring to events or activities related to natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or manmade disasters…. The DHS has no legal authority to engage in this monitoring.” McCall added: “This has a profound effect on free speech online if you feel like a government law enforcement agency—particularly the Department of Homeland Security, which is supposed to look for terrorists—is monitoring your criticism, your dissent, of the government.”..." http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2012/02/28/good-news-dhs-spending-11-million-scouring-web-for-criticism-of-its-policies/

BenDoubleCrossed 3 years, 9 months ago

If Super PACs want to circumvent campaign laws they should incorporate as news outlets.

From 1791 to 1886 1st Amendment freedoms applied only to citizens.

From 1886 to 1973 citizens and media corporations enjoyed equal freedoms.

In 1974 Congress set limits on contributions by individuals, political parties and PACs.

But they exempted the corporate media and created the State approved press: 2 USC 431 (9) (B) (i) The term "expenditure" does not include any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate;

"The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy." -Alex Carey, Australian social scientist who pioneered the investigation of corporate propaganda (see Taking the Risk Out Of Democracy, Univ of New South Wales, 1995)

A newspaper must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper's income... The press in this country is dominated by the wealthy few...that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people Shall have in order that they vote...in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and chicanery of the ruling and employing classes. (E.W. Scripps).

It is normal for all large businesses to make serious efforts to influence the news, to avoid embarrassing publicity, and to maximize sympathetic public opinion and government policies. Now they own most of the news media that they wish to influence. - Excerpt from The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian

"Section 431(9)(B)(i) makes a distinction where there is no real difference: the media is extremely powerful by any measure, a "special interest" by any definition, and heavily engaged in the "issue advocacy" and "independent expenditure" realms of political persuasion that most editorial boards find so objectionable when anyone other than a media outlet engages in it.

The press exemption is a restriction on participation by 99.9999% of the population and grants .0001% of the population immunity from campaign laws. I challenge the broadcast talking heads and print journalists to explain why their audiences should not enjoy the same exemption?

usnsnp 3 years, 9 months ago

If unlimited amout of money is going to be donated, there should be no secret from who this money comes from wether it goes to a Super Pac or a election group. This money should be reported weekley and printed in all local papers.Why should the citizens of the United States be kept in the dark about where this money comes from. The citizens of the United States should know who is influences the politicians. If you contribute $100 to a politician and somebody else contributes $1,000,000 who do you think will have more influence.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

The essential difference between a union and a corporation is that a union, by it's organizational model, is acting as a "collective voice" for the members.

Corporations, being organized as an economic entity, can't be correctly viewed in that manner, in my view.

Imagine the Lawrence Bridge Club, which meets weekly to play bridge, have snacks and chat. If I'm the president of the group, and my responsibilities include making sure we have a space to play, supplies, etc. does that give me the right to "speak" on behalf of the group on political matters, taking money from the kitty to run an ad in the newspaper about abortion (either side)?

I say no, unless I've discussed it beforehand with all of the members, and they all agree on the action and the content of the ad, which is quite unlikely to happen.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"collective voice"

I didn't realize speech was more protected if it was collective.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

It isn't.

It is, in fact, an extension of the individual right to speech when it applies to groups.

The point is that a group like a union, or the NRA are groups designed to function as that sort of voice, while a corporation is not.

Thus, a corporation cannot "speak" as a collective voice.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

So is the "collective" voice that exists merely to amplify speech more protected than the singular voice that exists for other reasons?

Speech is either free or it is not. There is no picking and choosing who's expression is protected by the constitution. The "except for" clause is missing from the first amendment.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago


The point, again, is that a corporation cannot speak as a collective expression of 1st amendment rights, unless it speaks as an expression of the collective opinions of the people involved.

Unless, of course, one subscribes to the notion that a corporation is a separate, legal person, a notion which I find absurd.

The NRA can reasonably assert that it speaks as such a voice for its' members, who support the group in order to allow it to function that way.

Such an organizing principle doesn't exist for Target, which exists in order to provide goods and services for customers - there's no sort of political advocacy involved there.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

"Unless, of course, one subscribes to the notion that a corporation is a separate, legal person"

"Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech"

Where does it say anything about persons or collective voices? It doesn't. The "except for" clause simply doesn't exist.

"Such an organizing principle doesn't exist for Target,"

So can the government tell them they can't have ads delivered by mail? Censorship is censorship, whether it concerns 2 for 1 bananas or the corporation's preference in elections.

I'm surprised you are taking the stand you are. We all may hate big pseudo-robotic corporations (and I hate them as much as anyone), but I thought you were above selling out freedom on behalf of that hate. You aren't generally that petty.

I'm all for unions buying time to voice their opinions as well. I loathe unions and think they are an utter anathema to individual freedom simply by their collective nature. I think they destroyed this country's manufacturing base. And yet I'll defend their right to make their opinion's known.

Either we all can speak our mind, or any of us can be shut up on a whim. I know what side I'm on.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Well, it's a complicated and subtle argument.

My take is that speech is an individual attribute, thus a business doesn't possess the ability to speak, except as it functions as a collective voice for it's members, which is only the case if it's actually doing that.

We don't talk about clouds 1st amendment rights - it would be absurd, since they don't possess the ability to speak.

Corporations were declared "legal persons" sometime ago, but I think that was a wrong decision. So, a corporation could only be "speaking" if it functioned as a collective expression of it's members.

And, since it's organized, not as a group of people joining together to express themselves collectively, the likelihood that "corporate speech" would represent that is quite slim, especially the larger the corporation gets.

Of course they can advertise their services, that's part of their functioning as a business, and as they're designed to function.

What is the union's "opinion"? It is simply the expression of the opinion of the members, who can stop being members if they disagree with the way that's being expressed.

What is the "mind" of the corporation? Where is that found? Corporations don't have minds, just as they don't possess the ability to speak.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Let's take the example I mentioned elsewhere - let's say I'm the president of the Lawrence Bridge Club.

We get together weekly, play bridge, and have snacks and chat.

My responsibilities include making sure there's a space to play in, supplies, snacks, explaining the rules to new members, etc.

Can I take money from the kitty and take out an ad in the paper about abortion (either side), calling it the Lawrence Bridge Club's stand on that?

I say the answer is no, unless I've made sure that all of the members agree with that stand, which is quite unlikely.

So, I can't "speak" for the club unless I'm actually doing that.

It seems to me that this is exactly what corporations are doing when they are allowed to take out political ads - they're getting the right to "speak" for the participants without actually checking to make sure they're doing that.

Thanks for the compliment, by the way.

Brock Masters 3 years, 9 months ago

So Target isn't allowed to speak on political issues that directly affect their ability to provide goods and services?

And how do you know the unions represent their membership? Does the union take a poll and allow its members a say in the direction they go and who they support or don't support?

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

That's a good question - I'll have to think about it.

They exist to provide those at reasonable prices, and one might think it's reasonable to have them speak on political issues that involve/affect that.

But, at the same time, there are huge differences between how many Americans feel about the economy, and what would help/hurt it - there's no way to know that whatever Target says represents their participants.

For example, everybody wants a healthy economy, but we have two distinctly different views (at least) about how to get that.

Unions represent their membership by their organizing principles - it's what they're designed to do, and it's why people join and support their union. If they don't agree with the way the union's going about it, they can try to change the union's actions, and they can also easily stop being a member.

Those are the checks and balances on those sorts of organizations, which include advocacy ones like the NRA, ACLU, etc.

If it's a "closed shop" and union membership is involuntary, then that's a different story - I oppose that, and think that all unions should operate as voluntary organizations, if the people who don't want to join are willing to forgo any/all benefits of union membership.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Not at all.

You simply recognize that a corporation like Target can't possibly be "speaking for" all of the people involved, or even all of the shareholders, since we have a variety of political opinions in this country.

All of whom have the right and ability to speak for themselves and advocate for their political viewpoints.

And, of course, all of the individuals in management have that same right as well - they can speak for themselves, using their own resources.

There's just no need to create a separate right for the corporation to do so, since it's unworkable to do any of the things you mention so sarcastically.

By the way, your tone inspires a certain lack of respect, since you so often lack respect for others.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

You missed the rest of that post, which explained why that's not really workable.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

When unions are voluntary, they exist as advocacy organizations for the members.

As such, if members disagree with the advocacy of leadership, they can simply stop belonging.

In right to work states, it's even easier than that - they can continue to belong, but have a portion of their dues refunded that go towards political advocacy they disagree with, while simultaneously retaining the workplace advocacy they desire.

In closed shop situations, it's different, of course, and I would agree that unions in those states are not acting in the way I agree with, and shouldn't be considered in that way.

Some of this is pretty commonsense - if I join a group that exists to advocate politically, like the NRA, I only do so because I believe in their goals.

Such a group is quite different from a large multi-national corporation, which is organized quite differently.

I'm sorry to say this, but I've explained this enough to you, and I don't see why I should continue spending time re-hashing it.

If you don't understand the point, it's because you're not trying to do so.

Also, your continuing tone of sarcasm and derision is why I have requested that you stop responding to my posts, and if you continue with that tone, I'll stop responding entirely.

These conversations aren't that useful or interesting to me - I'm responding as a courtesy to you, but that courtesy only goes so far.

tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

It's funny. I hadn't read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged in a long time, but I'm amazed that conservatives would say on one hand they agree with this decision by the Supreme Court and call Rand a hero. Wasn't one of the problems in that book the fact that the corporate world had bought and paid for the government? They tried to stifle innovations like alternative forms of transport like trains. Seems to me that a lot of oil corporations control our government, and they stifle any innovations in alternative energies whenever possible, and make sure that anything other than big trucks and hummers are considered "uncool". It just seems like Rand was warning against what conservatives applaud.

And now Shell oil company doesn't want to be able to be sued as an individual. They want to be considered a corporation. Pay close attention to this statement when you read the article. "Unresolved, however, was who could be sued. The case the court ruled on involved a lawsuit against an individual. This case asks whether the victims of such crimes can sue corporations." I think the court has already ruled on this one. If they want the rights of an individual, then they have to take the down side too.


tomatogrower 3 years, 9 months ago

There is full disclosure. That's the difference. Lobby and donate money all you want, but say who you are. Tell your investors that is what you are doing.
And no group is allowed to put on commercials that lie. I'm tired of having to go to fact checks to see if what they are saying is true. Allow suits to be brought against the people who put up the ads. There is a difference between fact and opinion. You can say that you don't like what Obama does, but you have to state facts why you don't like him, not stupid lies.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to see some evidence that most union membership is not voluntary.

Katara 3 years, 9 months ago

That is incorrect.

Kansas & 22 other Right To Work states prohibit that.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

An assertion is not evidence.

I'd like to see evidence.

camper 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm becoming a little disillusioned with the Corporate world. Corporations are treated as legal entities (ie like people), and have limited liability. So when a corporation does something illegal, it is often the corporation that is fined, not the individuals. They also pass on externalities (ie pollution) to thrrd party and make them responsible for the cleanup. They more often look at short term profit rather than long-term concerns. The interest of shareholder is above all other interest including the stakeholder (ie employees, consumers, and external third parties....ie pollution). they restrict true competition by crowding out and undercutting the smaller business, they outsource jobs and functions overseas and often expoit foreign workforce. These arguments ironically are and pointed out by both liberals and conservative free market supporters.
For these reasons, as a consumer I always try to patronize the small corporation and smaller local business. Multi-National corporate way of life just does not seem to be a sustainable path. I sure hope future generations will forgive us.

Katara 3 years, 9 months ago

I think you are just forgetting that there are many types of unions & that you seem to be talking about one specific type of trade union.

In other words, you are taking one sub-set of unions and generalizing it to most unions.

Katara 3 years, 9 months ago

mustrun80 comments about how unions work have been bugging me for awhile because there was something that wasn't quite right about them.

I re-read his comments and realized he is talking about Missouri. Missouri is an open shop state. This means that you are not required to join a union to get employment nor do you have to join a union to keep being employed.

What it does mean is that you are going to have union dues deducted from your paycheck whether or not you are a union member. Most people just go ahead and join because they are required to pay the dues anyway & might as well get the benefits from it.

However, the open shop states do require the unions refund any monies that are spent on political contributions, activities, etc. back to the non-union members if those non-members request it. There is a term for it but I don't recall what it is.

The union doesn't care whether employers hire non-union workers because they are going to get the dues from it regardless. It doesn't have a negative impact on the union at all.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I think requiring union dues seems a bit off to me, don't you?

If people are willing to forgo any/all benefits of unions, they shouldn't have to pay dues.

But, the fact that they refund those dues to non-union members strengthens my point that the unions are acting as a collective expression of the members.

Katara 3 years, 9 months ago


I agree with what you say about people who are willing to forgo the benefits.

However, in MO most employers give them the same pay & benefits even though they are not union members. I suspect this is more for the employers' benefit as it means less employment contract details to keep track off.

And remember, the part of the union dues that are refunded are only the ones that are used for political activities so they are not getting a full refund.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

I understand - it would be a bit of a hassle for employers to have a two-tiered system.

But, it would be better in a certain sense - I believe in voluntary associations, and that people can choose whether or not to join them.

Of course, many people seem to want to have the benefits without paying the dues, which is a pretty immature viewpoint.

Katara 3 years, 9 months ago

What you claim is common occurrence is illegal and has been so since 1947.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Then it should be easy to provide evidence of the claim, instead of simply repeating it.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

A right to work law outlaws compulsory union membership, and those who do not join cannot be fired for doing so.

See the Taft Hartley Act.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

It's amazing how people insult others when they have provided no evidence of their claims, and the others in the discussion have provided evidence that contradicts them.

John Hamm 3 years, 9 months ago

Ummmmmmm. Seems to me there's a lot of finger pointing at "Big Corporations" here but not one single word about the "media's" affect upon voters............. I'll put up with the "donations" - as long as I know from whence they came - but I'm sick and tired of how the media operates.

oldbaldguy 3 years, 9 months ago

Rollerball is where we are headed. Corporate governance. The James Caan version is a classic.

camper 3 years, 9 months ago

In both good ways and bad ways big business and corporations impact our lives.....as I look at someone on their Iphone (made in China) using the App of the day, I say to myself, "darn I'm going to have to get one of them god forsaken things or risk being left behind in a cloud of dust".

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

One answer to our political problems : CUT OFF special interest financing of elections! YES even at the local level.

Our government is always claiming the USA is about democracy. In that case allow the citizens to practice democracy by allowing citizens to vote on these issues in 2012:

Let's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the next ballot.

Let's have public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Bribery of elected officials and bribed officials = the most stinky of all bribery!

Day in and day out our elected officials spend hours each day campaigning for campaign dollars.

Liberty275 3 years, 9 months ago

Why did Obama forgo public financing in 2008? Is it only the other side that should have their crooks shoved out of the system?

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago


All of the money should be removed.

I would eliminate all campaign contributions, provide free and equal airtime for candidates, require in depth interviews and debates, which are immediately fact checked, and set a very minimal level of acceptable personal spending on campaigns.

In addition, I'd try to eliminate the cross-contamination between politics and business, which occurs when politicians leave politics and enter business (for whom they've advocated of course, while in power).

In my view, campaigns should be about substantive discussion and debate.

Stephen Roberts 3 years, 9 months ago

That would be great. Also, make all politicians have to use public money - Obama said we would do it, then back off...

Also, let's go one step further.... if the President is out campaigning for his/her re-election or someone else, why should the US taxpayer have to foot the bill, why can't the campaigns pay for the costs?

One more.... No elected official who currently holds an office should be allowed to campaign for a higher office unless their term is expiring after the current election. I am tired of Congressmen running for higher national offices and not VOTING.

There should only be two options on voting on a bill. YES or NO. I am tired of hearing about how many times Obama VOTED PRESENT instead of Yes or NO.

Armstrong 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow I disagree 100% . We now have the “best democracy that corporate money and the wealthy can buy.” Not true, Obama is still in office.

But then I agree 100% It is time to overturn this horrendous decision, November the end of an error

Armstrong 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow I disagree 100% . We now have the “best democracy that corporate money and the wealthy can buy.” Not true, Obama is still in office.

But then I agree 100% It is time to overturn this horrendous decision, November the end of an error

Katara 3 years, 9 months ago

"WTF does traditional America mean anyway? "

Oh you know... A husband, a wife (stay-at-home, of course), 2 children (a boy and a girl) a dog and a house with a white picket fence.

kernal 3 years, 9 months ago

Until the dog gets hit by a car, the parents divorce and the mom becomes the sole bread winner for the kids as the father doesn't pay child support. Then she has to move in with her parents until she gets on her feet. And, if it was before ECOA, she has a hard time getting a mortgage without a male co-signor because she's still of child bearing age.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

With a very specific Christian religious belief as well.

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago

Not me.

Not that it's any of your business, of course.

Don't you hold that "traditional America" is composed of a certain kind of religious believer?

jafs 3 years, 9 months ago


It's your definition - we're just trying to clarify it.

And, I suspect that your definition is a bit narrower than that, and that you wouldn't respect many who believe in God, but do so a bit differently than you do.

I'm from NY - there are a lot of funny jokes about that - one of my favorites is "How do you ask somebody what time it is in NY?"

"Excuse me, do you have the time or should I just go f**k myself?"

Corey Williams 3 years, 9 months ago

Then show me your god. Prove that it exists.

tbaker 3 years, 9 months ago

"Global warming is approaching an irreversible “tipping-point” and, when combined with inadequate U.S. support of greater “fossil-fuel-threatening” energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and measures, the result may very well be global ecosystem collapses."

According to KU, about 15,000 years ago there was a glacier on top of my 20 acres in Leavenworth County and it had been there for about 50,000 years. Then one day it got warmer and melted. Several of these ice ages have happened in Earth history.

The same scientists who would have us now believe we are on the verge of a man-made environmental disaster cannot tell me why the Earth got warmer 15,000 years ago when no humans were involved. Why should I listen to them when they cannot even demonstrate they have the ability to conclusively answer that basic Earth climate question? They have no credibility and are motivated by polictical aims - not science.

Man-made global warming is a load of BS

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 9 months ago

Most of us are told from an early age that we should read everything carefully before we sign it because the devil is in the details. There is a reason why a lot of contracts are almost unreadable. It is not because we are stupid, it is because they are designed to be unreadable for a reason.

The political rhetoric is also designed that way, but if we listen very carefully, we may hear something that causes a chill in our bones. I think I heard that today.

Apparently, Romney is now saying that he wants to get rid of the "Death Tax" for good.

One of the protections we have as a nation to prevent the establishment of an elite, powerful and wealthy rulling class to replace our American Democracy is the "Inheritance Tax".

You can argue about what the percentage should be and how to fairly implement this tax, but to eliminate it completely would have a chilling effect on our Democracy and another indicator that there is a war being waged to transform our American culture in ways that will favor the very wealthy.

The very same people who seem to clamor the loudest about protecting freedom are in fact, interested in eliminating it for the sake of profit at the expense of individual liberty.

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