Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Supreme Court’s folly

Posted on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 4:00 AM

I appreciated Ray Ring’s depiction of those fictional, giant corporation-people with wealth that exceeds that of many nation states and, often, with the influence to match (see Range, May 24). It was good for a chuckle despite its dark side. The humanity he attributed to ExxonMobil (“Exx’Em”), Victoria’s Secret (likes to be called Vikki) and Nike instantly reforms these faceless and beguiling entities with no discernible mission except to further their own interests with little regard to their effects on others. They could almost have personalities.

But what about the even darker side of this rush to personhood? Such as Royal Dutch Shell? Or BP? How about vignettes of their actual, living lives as people, realizing it would be entirely possible to have these mammoth, foreign-based corporations easily drown out reason in our electoral process and get their way in Congress and, perhaps, the White House?

Or how about the Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum? Since China is the largest foreign holder of our IOUs, why shouldn’t their global corporate players be granted U.S. personhood and all the rights and privileges thereof? Maybe an opportunity to bid for control of our electoral system? What the hell, a permanent seat on the Supreme Court? An office in the West Wing? Why not naming rights? Forget about that long, clumsy “The United States of America.” No more rabid cries of “USA! USA! USA!” at the Nike/GE Olympic Games. Try on “Sinoamerica” for size. Has a certain lyrical ring, doesn’t it?

Ray Ring gets it right: The uprising in the West against the Supreme Court’s lunacy is beginning to resemble the Arab Spring. People are, indeed, rising up and declaring that corporations are not people and that their money—in fact, any money—is not speech. And that at least five members of our once respected Supreme Court are nuts.

The only way to shove this Supreme Court aside and nullify their bizarre Citizens United ruling is to organize and mobilize for the protracted battle to amend the U. S. Constitution, reaffirming the original intent of the authors of our founding document. Sorry, Victoria, your secret is safe with us, but you’re not a person. And no, Exx’Em, your money is not speech; not one penny of it.

Missoula is making its pitch in this effort. We’ve already passed, resoundingly, a referendum rejecting the Supreme Court’s folly and calling for such a constitutional amendment. Stand with Montanans is aggressively circulating a petition calling for the state of Montana to adopt, as its policy, the twin concepts that money is not speech and corporations, though useful, are not people. And we have formed Missoula Moves to Amend, a local action and education group to inform and involve citizens in this effort.

Want to help? Sign the Stand with Montanans petition. Contact at Missoula Moves to Amend and tell him you want to help. Spread the word. Talk it up. We’re right. The court is wrong.

Bruce Midgett


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