David Cobb Speaks in Pawtucket

Last night former Green Party candidate David Cobb spoke at the Pawtucket Public Library on the topic of corporate personhood. Mr.Cobb is an organizer for Move to Amend, a citizen’s response to the Citizen’s United decision that, in layman’s terms, says corporations are people just like you and me. Really big people. Who speak money as a first language.

Cobb is a lawyer, and did review the history and uses of corporations, pointing out that all of the 13 original colonies were corporations. He outlined the balances and regulations that would bind a corporation to the public good. Including an expiration date.

I like that, seeing as people have expiration dates it’s tough to compete with Immortal Persons.

I have to get to work, so more later. Here’s a Supreme dissent from Citizens United posted on the Move to Amend home page…

“. . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”

~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010

David Cobb warmly praised Occupy for bringing the issue of economic justice for ordinary citizens, the 99%, to the debate. He drew a Venn diagram showing that this issue unites the Occupation and the Tea Party. Having attended 3 Town Halls and heard considerable hostility toward the president, ‘illegals’ and the unemployed, I am not so optimistic about finding common ground. I tried to do this with people who saw accessible health care as not only expensive, but a moral threat. Still, it does not serve We the People to be fighting each other over crumbs when concentration of wealth and power allow a few to walk off with the whole cake.

Equal opportunity does not sprinkle down from an Invisible Hand. We have to defend the right to a basic, decent public life from private profiteers. Like pulling weeds, it never ends.

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4 responses

  1. I see you still put “illegals” in quotes,like it was a term of derision or a slur-it’s just the correct legal description.You want the world to change to your 1984 newspeak-it’s not gonna happen,although it’s sure being pushed in academia.You “progressives”hate and fear honesty in communication more than anything else.With every attempt to force speech codes you are subverting individual freedom in faavor of your treasured anthill society where the elitists exempt themselves from the rules.Maybe the corporatists want to use money to maintain power over the majority,but the progressives want to manipulate thinking from childhood onward,a much worse offense.

  2. BTW what exactly is wrong with having hostility toward the President?It was OK to feel that way toward Bush,but not this one?I didn’t vote for Obama and I have very hostile attitudes about him and his appointees.I still have that right which hopefully I will exercise in November via ballot.I don’t like Romney much,but he isn’t Obama.

  3. No, Romney isn’t Obama.

    Romney is someone who, in reality (as opposed to the fever-delusions of the RW commentariat) will work to destroy all vestiges of the New Deal and the Great Society.

    Social Security? Chuck it.

    Medicare? Starve it into uselessness.

    The Military? Feed It!!!

    Corporations? The wealthy? Give them MORE tax breaks so they can buy more government.

    Because the government they own now isn’t enough, and won’t be enough, until you and I and everyone we know will be pretty much permanently on the outside looking in.

    Corporations = People was one of the most bizarre creations of judicial activism ever. The justices were wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Robber Barons. They took an obscure case involving railroads and created, pretty much from nothing, the idea of corporate personhood. Then, they applied all the equal protection measures of the 14th Amendment to protect these persons. While systematically denying the same rights to the recently-freed slaves, whom the amendment was designed to protect.

    Look, this isn’t pro-Obama rhetoric. This is what happened. And Romney has promised to do everything I’ve said. It’s all there; he’s said it all. It’s what the RW has been fighting for since, well, since Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Era.

    How can I make this more clear?

    And against this, Obama will do…what? Take away your guns? What has he done so far, except try to fix the mess that Bush and the GOP created, and to try to give everyone the same access to health care that those of us lucky enough to have decent jobs have.

    How is that horrible? And he’s not coming after your guns. I know, Rush and the boys at the NRA say this is his secret plan for his next term. Anyone who actually believes this….

  4. Obama has tried to impose social engineering incrementally.That’s what.Take that to mean whatever you want to think.
    I really think you sound sort of unrealistic.
    Romney’s record in Massachusetts tends to go against your argument.
    Obama has been a failure because he really wasn’t up to the job-maybe if he hadn’t succeeded Bush and his insane war in Iraq he might have been more successful-who knows?Obama has always been an uber-liberal-I am much less disturbed by a tax increase on the very wealthy than I am by Obama’s tendency towards one worldism and his social stances.The gay marriage thing is not what I mean either-it’s his love for abortion and quite frankly,his cult of personality tendencies that make me concerned.
    His original plan for a “civilian seurity force”is quite simply horrifying-it’s a paramilitary.
    Aside from the Border Patrol,where I started out,the US doesn’t have such things.And the Border Patrol is a specialized,non political agency that has a limited function that affects few Americans(note:Americans).
    As far as gun control,I can only point to Eric Holder’s first statement as Attorney General-maybe you didn’t pay attention.He wants to reimpose the assault weapons ban,which in effect,outlaws many ordinary firearms.What the hell do you think “Fast and Furious”was about?I’d love to see you try being so glib with the family of Agent Terry or the ICE agent assassinated in Mexico as a result of Holder’s brainstorm.
    The “corporation as person”concept is troubling to some degree,but so is the insane decision on allowing government to use eminent domain to size private property for PRIVATE use.Kehlo vs.New London,I believe-imposed by a liberal majority on the Court.
    You sure like to listen to Rush Blowhard,hmmm?
    Truth be told,I like watching the three stooges,Chris Hayes,Alex Wagner,and Melissa Harris-Perry all trying to speak and gesture like Rachel Maddow on MSNBC-utterly bizarre.I think Hayes might be on speed or something or maybe he just has pinworms.
    I like seeing what those I despise have to say.
    Rachel Maddow does something you do too often-adopt a pedantic “I’m here to school you”tone.Being too clever by half isn’t effective-actually you’re not nearly that bad,but you’re an alarmist.
    I don’t think Congress has the balls to wipe out Social Security nor Medicare.
    Hey-the food stamp slam against Obama is wrong-properly used food stamps are good,as well as health care for children and many other social programs.
    I would also like to downsize the military and get OUT of Afghanistan and some other places.If Iran and Israel go to war,we need to stay out of it.
    I would however ,use the Army where it’s needed-on our southern border.
    I will now observe(not “celebrate”)Memorial Day by thinking of my friends who didn’t make it home or died later from you know what.
    4th of July is to celebrate.
    I wish Colin Powell had run in ’96.
    BTW can you now admit giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize on spec was crazy?

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