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Bernie Sanders Senate Speech: "A Corporation Is NOT A Person" : Constitutional Amendment

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posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 08:56 PM
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reply to post by kosmicjack
 





Better still - maybe JPZ should put his words into action and run for office himself as, apparently, he has such contempt for those who are actually trying to do something such as Congressman Sanders and such exasperation for those of us who clearly don't get it.


Excellent point. I don't hold many politicians in high regard....in fact, he's probably the only one. Anti-free trade, anti-corporate, pro middle class and poor, anti-war, defends Social Security and Medicare (and blames the faults of Medicare's problems on Medicare part D), is pro infrastructure.

Wish we had another 99 Senators like him. He always wins re-election because he actually listens and defends his constituents, his state is also one of the first that is headed toward a universal health care plan.

If he ran for President, I'd vote for him in a second...and I know millions in this country would as well if he ever got the backing...although it's hard for someone to do that without being on the take...which he isn't. Lobbyists don't bother going to his office anymore because they know they are wasting their time.




posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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An Amendment that takes away from the 1st Amendment is not a good idea.

Don't mess with free speech.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by Carseller4
 





An Amendment that takes away from the 1st Amendment is not a good idea. Don't mess with free speech.


It doesn't take away free speech, it takes the money equation out of it. I'm sure you agree that money is the cancer corrupting our politicians...is it not? I don't think it should matter what side of the aisle you are on.

It's the entire problem....money equals speech in this country. The more you have...the more sway you have in the political system. There fore, a poor man has fewer speech rights as someone in the middle class...who then has less than a millionaire....then billionaire, etc.

The whole point is take that that out of the equation. We truly need campaign finance reform. IMO....all campaigns should be partly publicly funded....but any individual can contribute to a campaign, but of course there would be a cap on what could be contributed.

Even the playing field....make votes truly truly matter. Right now it doens't seem to matter....over 90 percent of all campaigns are won by the guy who has the most campaign funds. Yes, you could say "well it's our fault it's this way, we keep voting them in." there is some truth to that, but how is someone to know of a candidate, a good one, if he simply has no funds to get his message out because he lacks the funds to buy tv/radio time?



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 09:40 PM
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reply to post by Raelsatu
 


You are right to a certain degree. Remember valiant George tried to pull greece out the hell they are in - he was kindly asked to leave and was replaced by a banker. The bankers wrote the rules we are governed by. If Bernie were on to something, he'd be asked to leave, they have too much invested to let go via that route. Remember, they set up that route for a reason.

The system in place is there to get you to give up, choose to give up, the truth of you. That truth of you, the thing folks are totally in denial of is that they are free will, they don't have it, they are it. As such, they are choosing to play this game, the game that, in a sense, means giving up your freewill for federal reserve notes.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 09:47 PM
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I have written Senator Sanders, below is that letter:

Dear Senator,

I am writing to you today upon the urging of other people who believe I have little right to criticize your most recent proposal for an Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United v FEC. I am deeply disturbed by your actions of which appear to be much political posturing and a willingness to continue to stoke the political fires of outrage over the greatly misunderstood Supreme Court ruling, definitions of corporate "person-hood", and indeed, of the very foundations of our great republic itself.

Your own website quotes you as stating: "Our democracy is in grave danger". Senator, I don't want to alarm you, but democracy has always been in grave danger under the principles of our Constitutional republic. Although it is a fact of law that the People are the holders of the inherent political power, even they cannot use this power to deny and/or disparage the unalienable rights of any individual.

Our Founders established a republic to prevent a tyranny of the majority, or even well oiled minorities such as corporations, from using democracy as a force to abrogate and/or derogate the unalienable rights of people.

One of those rights that all individuals possess is the right to speak freely. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights is not a grant of rights to People, it is an express prohibition upon Congress, and indeed, the first four words make this perfectly clear. This is why a portion of the Bipartisan Finance Reform Act was struck down as unconstitutional, because Congress blatantly ignored the express prohibition placed upon them, in terms of "chilling" speech, and in doing so expanded government even more.

The Supreme Court - split decision not withstanding - ruled correctly in the Citizens United ruling, and did what was necessary to remove an odious act of Congress from the books. Now you are taking full of advantage of the outrage over corporate "person-hood", as well as the mass confusion over why corporate person-hood even exists, and are either ignorant of certain facts, or more disturbingly, fully aware of certain facts that the majority of Americans seem to be ignorant of and you are using their ignorance as a way to politically posture and star in your own legislative dog and pony show.

Senator Sanders, are you aware that most people are upset that corporations are viewed by the government as "persons"? Are you aware that a corporatist main stream media is insistent upon continually putting out the canard that it was the Supreme Court who "ruled" that corporations were a person? Are you aware that long before Citizens United Congress had statutorily defined corporations as a "person" in both the United States Code, and the Uniform Commercial Code?

Senator, are you disingenuously using the unthinking rage of the masses to put on your little magic show of smoke and mirrors and misdirection, allowing ignorant masses to believe you are fighting for their rights, and allowing them to believe that this proposal for an Amendment will some how change the fact that both the USC and the UCC define corporations as a "person"?

Do you honestly think yourself that creating a Constitutional Amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling will somehow fix the problem most people see in corporations being defined as a person? I have been told by your admirers that you are a man of the People and truly want to champion the People, so forgive my skepticism as I watch you propose a Constitutional Amendment that has no chance in a thousand hells of ever withstanding Constitutional muster.

Senator, can you point to any other Amendment that actually overturned a Supreme Court ruling? Can you point to any portion of the Constitution itself that grants Congress the authority to overturn Supreme Court rulings? If Congress actually does have this authority perhaps you can explain to me why no one in Congress has ever showed any interest in overturning the most odious Dred Scott ruling?

Senator, there are people that are convinced that, at the very least, you are trying to solve a problem by introducing a proposal to create an Amendment to overturn Citizens United, but do you grasp that these people who think you are trying on their behalf think that you are endeavoring to end corporate "person-hood". Surely Senator, you must know that simply repealing Congress' own definition of corporations as a "person" will do the trick and that no Amendment is necessary in order to do so.



Continued....



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 09:47 PM
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Continued...

I am convinced Senator, that what you are doing is attempting to restore a power to Congress that Congress granted itself and is an end run around the First Amendment prohibitions on Congress to legislate in ways that - among other things - abridges the freedom of speech.

If I am wrong about this assumption, I would love to hear your arguments as to why you seemingly have no interest in just repealing certain definitions of corporate "person-hood", but some how believe that an Amendment to overturn a Supreme Court ruling will accomplish anything other than restoring an unconstitutional power to Congress.

Further, and on a personal note, if you ever were inclined to take up the mantle of repealing definitions of a "person", I would like to make the cogent point that individuals have also been defined by Congress as a "person". As a point of law and a matter of fact, the only way a corporation can be treated as a "person" is by granting them such status, but individuals - as in living breathing flesh and blood individuals - need no statutory grant of "person-hood" in order to enjoy all that comes with being a "person".

Repeal definitions of individuals being a "person" Senator, and have the courage of conviction to explain why you are doing this, which would be actions as a champion of the People, and have the strength of integrity to explain to the People that by Congress defining individuals as a "person" they have done what they intended to do by defining corporations as such, and that is to create a regulatory jurisdiction that otherwise just does not exist.

Senator, if you truly are the champion of the People that some are claiming you are, I urge you to consider my arguments now. I am arguing that the real problem has never been that corporations are defined as a "person" as this gives Congress - who has a compelling reason to do so - legislative authority to regulate corporations. The problem that is crippling the People today lies in the fact that Congress has most imprudently deigned to regulate individuals in the same way that corporations should be regulated.

This is what truly has so many up in arms, Senator. That corporations are being equated to People. Corporations cannot not, in any legal or lawful sense, have "more rights than any individual" and most assuredly cannot ever have unalienable rights. Any rights corporations enjoy are government granted rights as opposed to the individuals unalienable rights that preexist government.

The smoke and mirrors of attacking the Citizens United ruling is predicated on the belief that Citizens United should not have had any standing with the courts because they are not a "person". However, this is just another mistake of fact and gross misinterpretation of law. Government cannot impose regulatory schemes on any institution and then claim that institution has no legal standing to challenge the impositions.

Citizens United did not need any definition of "person-hood" in order to find standing with the courts. The First Amendment gave them standing. The First Amendment makes no distinction as to whom gets these rights, only that you as a Senator and the rest of Congress have no lawful authority to abridge speech in any form. This was the ruling, and this is what you are endeavoring to overturn.

Please Senator, explain to me how I might be wrong in my determinations that you are attempting to overturn a ruling that soundly upheld the First Amendment. Please explain to me precisely why you believe this Amendment proposal will do anything more than waste time and money.

I anxiously await your reply and sincerely thank you for reading my concerns and complaints.

Respectfully,

(Name withheld)

I will report any replies I may get, and if no reply is forthcoming within a few weeks, I will then report that.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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Here is the confirmation email I just received from Senator Sander's site:

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders Senator@sanders.senate.gov

ear Friend:

Thank you for taking the time to fill out my webform and share your thoughts. This note is to let you know that your message has been received.


For more information about issues I am working on in Congress, please be sure to visit my website at sanders.senate.gov.... Again, thank you for contacting my office.

Please do not respond to this email address, if you would like to contact my office please click here: sanders.senate.gov...

Sincerely,

Bernard Sanders
United States Senator
sanders.senate.gov...



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:07 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


He's definittely going to fiile that in either the "tl:dr" file or the "Disgruntled Non-Constituent" file.
edit on 9/12/2011 by kosmicjack because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:10 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I still need you to explain to me how you support the ideo of my having all the rights as a person as well as my corporation that I run having all those rights. I get two votes and that is ok with you?



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
Agreed. Even if I don't subscribe to their Objectivist ideology, at least the Pauls are honest, consistent and have not, to my knowledge, sold out their principles. Few in DC can say the same


So, if you readily acknowledge the integrity of the Pauls and a few others in Congress, then how can you join in on the condemnation of the corporations as the enemy? Why not choose to hold your Senators and Representative accountable, instead?

The true enemy is the elected official who sells himself/herself to the highest bidder. The true enemy is the elected official who makes it known, through whatever means, that he/she is willing to act at the behest of special interest ... for a price. Those who do so are quite simply extortionists. Those who do so are solely responsible for willfully violating the people's trust.

If you hint to a waitress that you'll sweeten her tip, in exchange for some free desserts, and she obliges... is it you who is wrong, for seeking special favor or is it she, for treating you differently than every other customer, for personal gain?



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by WTFover
If you hint to a waitress that you'll sweeten her tip, in exchange for some free desserts, and she obliges... is it you who is wrong, for seeking special favor or is it she, for treating you differently than every other customer, for personal gain?


Why must it be either or?

Both parties are acting in an unethical manner. Just as both Corporations and Congress at large are acting in their own monetary self-interest at the expense of the people and our Republic.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:24 PM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


He's definittely going to fiile that in either the "tl:dr" file or the "Disgruntled Non-Constituent" file.
edit on 9/12/2011 by kosmicjack because: (no reason given)


Hmmmm.....

My friend, I find it interesting that on this issue you seem annoyed with me for taking Sanders to task of whom you claim is "at least trying to do something" and then gleefully dismiss my efforts at trying to do something, and doing something that I was asked to do...or did you and others expect me to be someone other than JPZ when I confronted this Senator?



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by Algernonsmouse
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I still need you to explain to me how you support the ideo of my having all the rights as a person as well as my corporation that I run having all those rights. I get two votes and that is ok with you?


If you are going to create a strawman argument the very least you could do is make sense of what you are saying with that strawman.

Let me be clear here: I do not support the "idea" of you having rights, I am asserting that you do have rights whether I, or anyone else supports them or not. If you're paying attention, you would realize that I have firmly stated that the only way a corporation can have any rights is by grant of government, but you on the other hand, need no grant of government to have your rights. Why are you attempting to frame my arguments as being something else?



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by randomname
if a corporation is a person then they should be treated as one.

for one tax it like a person in that tax bracket. most corporations would be in the 35% range. instead these multi billion entities are taxed less than someone making $10,000 year.


Why are you not taking into consideration that each of the shareholders, as well as the management and board of directors who all receive the profits of the corporation do pay taxes?


second, when they commit a crime, prosecute them as a whole. that means all senior management is held accountable.


How can the entity, called the corporation, commit a crime? If an individual within the corporation or even in control of the corporation, commits a crime, he/she alone should be held responsible. How can you advocate holding anyone else responsible?

This issue is wholly one of free speech.


edit on 9-12-2011 by WTFover because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:38 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


I'm in no way annoyed by your willingness to get involved but I do find the tone in which you addressed your fellow members and the Congressman a little tiring and, frankly a bit demoralizing and condescending.

Here is a person who seems very engaged with his constituents and has been very vocal in his support of people over profit and yet, when his efforts inspired passion and interest - something we sorely need from citizens right now - you chose to mire the issue down in beaurocratic-speak and legalese. Not unlike Washington DC

The time for rhetoric and ideological debate is qucikly ending. People grow tired of long-winded, semantic debates on the technicalities.. They know what is fundamentally fair and right and they just want action.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


He's definittely going to fiile that in either the "tl:dr" file or the "Disgruntled Non-Constituent" file.
edit on 9/12/2011 by kosmicjack because: (no reason given)


You know, I just realized what you meant by the "tl:dr" file. You are saying that a Senator likely didn't read my letter because it was "too long". My friend, that is far more a scathing attack on Senator Sanders than anything I have accused him of. I am accusing him of being disingenuous, you are suggesting he cannot even be bothered to read a simple letter because its "too long".

The tax code is a five volume set with millions of words in it, the Patriot act is over a thousand pages long. Is this what you are getting at, that Senators do not read the legislation they have enacted if it is "too long" to read?

Finally, and in response to your suggestion I run for office, wouldn't it be fair to say that in doing so I would just be seen as a "Disgruntled" un-American kook?

In the end, we get the government we deserve.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 10:51 PM
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reply to post by kosmicjack
 





Here is a person who seems very engaged with his constituents and has been very vocal in his support of people over profit and yet, when his efforts inspired passion and interest - something we sorely need from citizens right now - you chose to mire the issue down in beaurocratic-speak and legalese. Not unlike Washington DC


Right: God forbid anyone address the facts of law. Who needs that at this point, right? Who cares about law when our emotions are more than enough to carry the day? Carry that day where is what has me so concerned, but of course, I have the audacity to speak directly to the law and the purpose of law and in this day and age...well, we just don't have any room for such "ideological" "rhetoric". Let's just close our eyes and toss the darts and hope they stick onto something.

I assure you my friend, that I find the willing dismissal of law and those who argue passionately for it very much condescending and not just to me, but to everyone! I find it quite tiresome that ignorance of the law has become the cultural milieu of this nation, and that those who have endeavored to know the law counted as "disgruntled" and other pejoratives. In the end, your clarion call for an end to ideological debates and rhetoric is only undermined by your own ideology and rhetoric.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:30 PM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
Why must it be either or?

Both parties are acting in an unethical manner. Just as both Corporations and Congress at large are acting in their own monetary self-interest at the expense of the people and our Republic.


Because, you have the freedom to choose how to spend your money [freedom of expression] and the freedom to ask for anything [freedom of speech]. There is nothing wrong with offering to give something of value, in exchange for something else of value. That is not the same as holding a gun to someone's head and demanding they do something or give you something.

In my example, who actually had the power and controlled the situation? It was the waitress, who made the conscious decision to retrieve and deliver the desserts to you.



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:33 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


JP, epic, bold, and to the point. I applaud your effort. It took time for you to do this, and you did this knowing the likelihood of this guy even understanding what you wrote was nil - let alone acting on it.

Your contributions to this notion of earther humans being living, breathing, inherently free beings on this thread and the many others is not only welcome, it assists in ways you might not comprehend.

You are supported....



posted on Dec, 9 2011 @ 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by crankyoldman
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


JP, epic, bold, and to the point. I applaud your effort. It took time for you to do this, and you did this knowing the likelihood of this guy even understanding what you wrote was nil - let alone acting on it.

Your contributions to this notion of earther humans being living, breathing, inherently free beings on this thread and the many others is not only welcome, it assists in ways you might not comprehend.

You are supported....


Thank you my friend, I cling passionately to the belief that our efforts somehow do make a difference and that if we can just remain patient - even if we do come across as cranky old men - that step by step more and more People will come to not only understand their unalienable rights, but also understand the simplicity of law. Not the legalese I have been accused of using, but real actual law. All law is simple, true, universal, and absolute. Any complexities of legislation is only the first clue that such legislation is more than likely not law.



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