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The Continental Divide

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posted on Dec, 30 2016 @ 09:10 PM
a reply to: TheRedneck
You look a lot like a guy I used to date, way back in the day. His name was Jim. He wasn't a Redneck though. He was a naturalist and an outdoors man, but he was no hunter. He had no love for guns and had trouble killing a mosquito even if it was biting him. He was a really sweet guy, a complete nerd and an electronic genius. At the time I was a computer and electronic junkie, so it was a good match until it wasn't.

We lost track when we got stationed away from each other. I really hadn't thought about him for a long time. Now look what you went and done.

Now that I think about it, it was different kind of continental divide.

posted on Dec, 30 2016 @ 10:53 PM
a reply to: NightSkyeB4Dawn

It's amazing how much we have in common with each other, isn't it? I'm an electrical engineer, been described more than once as a 'redneck nerd,' and don't really care for hunting myself... too cold during open season. Mosquitos bite me at their own peril, though.

I think this thread has so far been a glorious success. I started it in the hope that we, the members of this awesome community called ATS, could find those similarities we have and use them to understand and accept our differences. I believe we are accomplishing that, and I hope it out lives 2016.

Our differences make us strong, but our similarities make us stronger.

A very very happy New Year to you and yours.


posted on Dec, 30 2016 @ 11:50 PM
I don't think our country will be the same. I think we will no longer have the world reserve currency due to strategic errors and our proclivity to screw things up.

posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 08:55 AM
a reply to: TheRedneck

Ok, it's 2017, and I promised to get back on this one

Citizens United

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is a U.S. constitutional law and corporate law case dealing with the regulation of campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on 21 January 2010 that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.

from Wikipedia

Justice Steven's dissent

In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters. The financial resources, legal structure, and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races.

It has been said that, while Republicans were pleased with the CU ruling, the "dark money" it created led to the Republican Party having so many candidates running this past election, which helped Trump to gain so much traction within the party.

More resources on effects of CU.

posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 09:09 AM
a reply to: banjobrain

That is a very, very real and frightening possibility. Americans might not understand what has happened to them until it is too late. We can look to blame Putin, and Republicans will blame Clinton and the Dems for "influencing the election" much like the guy on the riding lawnmower in the commercial, who pleads for someone to help him from his own actions. But the truth is, we did it to ourselves, we allowed this insanity to happen. The trap we blindly fell into was set up by fellow Americans. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:12 AM
a reply to: desert

Thank you for the information. You bring up a very complex issue.

Stevens is correct; corporations are not people. Corporations have many similar rights to people, necessary in order for them to operate in commerce, but these rights do not include the right to vote or to run for office.

But corporations are made of people who do have those rights. That is really all a corporation is: a group of people who have consolidated their resources in order to provide a service to society. 10,000 people donating $1000 each gives a capital pool of $10 million without any of them providing a massive personal investment, much easier to accomplish than expecting a single individual to risk that much alone. The corporate structure also allows investors a chance to use their financial resources for an income production without also requiring time directly involved in the corporation, and shields them personally from the legal aspects of what the corporation may do.

I would really like to see some changes made to the corporate structure to better reflect these realities. A sort of legal shield has developed for criminal activity as well. A corporate executive can in many cases (such as in the hiring of illegal immigrants) violate law and the worst that happens is the corporation gets fined. The tired old excuse of "I was just doing my job" needs to be rendered moot by enforcing law regardless of corporate structure. People make decisions, not corporations, and people should be held personally responsible for those decisions.

I would also like to see a 0% corporate tax rate, at least on capital disbursed to the shareholders. These shareholders will pay tax on their disbursements anyway, so why the double taxation? Finally, I believe a great number of the corporations in existence today are too large. One flaw inherent in capitalism is that too much power in the hands of one entity leads to undue and unfair market manipulation. Anti-trust laws served us well for almost two centuries, and we need to bring them back. "Too big to fail" = "Too big to exist."

When it comes to lobbying rights, the issue gets more complex. Theoretically, since corporations have no political rights, they should not be allowed to participate in elections in any way. However, corporations, in representing their stockholders interest, have a vested interest in political issues that affect them directly. Also, from a practical standpoint, can we prevent it? If a certain CEO has a strong political preference, what is to prevent him from using his influence to get others under him in the corporate structure to contribute funds? He can give out bonuses, corporate funds, to lower officers with the understanding that they will become individual contributions to campaigns. There is really no way to stop this, because those under him are typically eager to please the boss to further their careers, and nothing is 'official.' Is it better to knowingly allow this type of undercover behavior or to allow the corporation to contribute directly and therefore have it out in the open?

I can think of a very simple way to cut down on corporate contributions. When a medical ad appears on TV, the company is required to list potential side effects... this causes the commercials to spend much of the expensive air time with side effects plastered across the screen or to hire a speed-talking announcer. Why not do the same for political ads? Simply require that every political ad divulge in it, in a minimum specified font size and for a minimum time duration, a disclosure of the name of every entity that has contributed more than $10,000 to that candidate, and the employer if that entity is a person. That makes it crystal clear to viewers who is financially supporting that candidate, and increases the amount of air time for the same commercial, increasing the cost. The same could be required of billboards. Bernie Sanders would have loved such a law!

I think personal yard signs should be exempt.

This, in one fell swoop of legislation, would expose hidden corporate contributions, discourage candidates from accepting funds from overseas contributors, inform the public, discourage politicians from courting only high-level donors, and do so without any denial of any rights. It also wouldn't cost the government a dime; all that information is already disclosed in official documents.


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