Thursday, June 14, 2012

The End of the Republic

I guess we should congratulate the Supreme Court for their success in doing what even the Civil War could not accomplish – successfully bringing down our democratic Republic, and not with a bang but a whimper. If anyone believes what the founding fathers had in mind was anything like what we currently have, you should lead them by the hand to the nearest Insane Asylum and sign them in. The apparently naïve idea of one person one vote has essentially vanished, and certainly the concept of by the people, of the people, and for the people no longer applies. We now have what is essentially a fascist plutocracy that is controlled by a few billionaires and other obscenely wealthy people, along with a few huge international corporations who are inseparable from them. They now have the means to control our government as well as the organization to make it possible.

I am speaking, of course, of Citizens United, virtually without question the worst decision by a Supreme Court ever (rivaled only, I think, by the Dred Scott decision). This abomination makes it possible for individuals and corporations to provide absolutely unlimited funds to candidates of their choice making it a virtual certainty they will be elected. Not only will they be elected they will be obliged to do whatever it is they are asked to do. Obviously those who can donate millions upon millions to certain individuals and causes do not do so out of the goodness of their hearts, and certainly not because they are interested in protecting our democracy. They have special interests and unlimited funds to see to it they will be achieved. In most cases these interests are clear and meant to increase the profits of whatever it is they are doing. They tend to want fewer regulations on industry, especially those that might protect the environment and thus impede their capacity to rape and pillage resources, but also those regulations designed to keep them relatively honest and fair. Others have particular issues in mind and are willing to spend more than merely liberally to get their way.

Perhaps the best example of this at the moment is the case of Sheldon Adelson, the casino mogul who is one of the richest men in the world, worth several billions of dollars. Adelson gave something like ten million dollars to more or less single-handedly finance the doomed Presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich. He was willing, according to reports, to spend up to one hundred million. Now he has contributed ten million to a Superpac supporting Mitt Romney and, again, said he is willing to spend virtually unlimited sums to see him elected. Put one way, he definitely does not want to see President Obama re-elected. I doubt this has anything to do with racial prejudice and I don’t believe it has much of anything to do with Obama’s anti-business practices (which, in fact, do not even exist). It could be, I suppose, just because he has so much money this is little more than a form of play for him. What I assume it has to do with is Israel. Adelson is a fervent supporter of Israel. He is a personal friend of Bibi’s (Netanyahu). I suspect he believes that Obama is not as dedicated a supporter of Israel as Adelson would like him to be, and no doubt believes that any Republican would be more likely to be an ardent supporter of that criminal state. I cannot say I know this to be true but I think that it probably is. Other billionaires have other fish to fry but prefer to keep a bit quieter about it.

Anyway, could there possibly be a more obvious example as to why Citizens United is becoming the complete disaster it is? If money represents speech, and corporations, people, it is obvious our traditional beliefs about democracy, fair play, honesty, upward mobility, one person one vote, and so on no longer apply. We have now entered upon a completely new (for us) form of government in which the vast majority of the population simply surrender to those with the dough, moolah, sheckels, green, simoleons, bucks, cabbage, or whatever you want to call it. This is not an absolutely done deal as yet but without some pretty immediate action it will be inevitable. Unfortunately, democracy is not noted for immediate actions. Of course Citizens United can be undone, but only after probably several years of trying when it will be too late to matter. So cheers, better get prepared for your black bread and gruel.

No one should be allowed to personally acquire that much money, corporations are not people, at least some members of the Supreme Court should be required to revisit this absolutely mindless travesty, and then impeached. Never before in our history have so few managed to steal so much from so many.

All the big corporations depreciate their possessions, and you can, too, provided you use them for business purposes. For example, if you subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, a business-related newspaper, you can deduct the cost of your house, because, in the words of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in a landmark 1979 tax decision: "Where else are you going to read the paper? Outside? What if it rains?"

Dave Barry

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