26 May 2003

Where does it say Corporation in the Constituiton?

Unsurprising, the Arizona Republic today chimes in on the Nike "free speech" Supreme Court case, siding with Nike (a large corporation just like Gannett, parent company of the AZ Republic) in arguing that commercial speech and corporations, an artificial non human entity, should be afforded the same rights as people. Playing the corporate shill, the editorial spins this issue about Nike's right to "defend itself" instead of what the gist of the case is - the sanctioning of a corporation to supercede consumer protection laws that require them to truthfully disclose how products are made.

In the past, the Supreme Court has extended all manner of constitutional protections to corporations. This despite the fact that the Constitution nowhere mentions the word "corporation." In an astounding act of legal prestidigitation, the Justices simply decreed that corporations are "persons" and thus entitled to all the safeguards of living, breathing humans. There has never been such a breathtaking fiction in American law since the legal system justified slavery in the nineteenth century by employing the myth that persons are property. For the Supreme Court to rule that property - i.e. corporations - are persons is equally extraordinary.

The true agenda of Nike and the legions of corporations supporting its Supreme Court case is to use the Constitution, especially the First Amendment, to subvert any attempts by the people and government to control corporate behavior. Corporate lawyers have already argued that the securities laws - the ones that require companies to report numbers truthfully to investors - also violate corporate First Amendment rights. Could there be a worse time in American history to argue that the Constitution protects corporations' ability to deceive workers, investors and consumers?

Sorry, but constitutionally protected human rights should be reserved for human beings -- and not the legal phantoms we call corporations...

More rights for corporations? How about more rights for human beings instead?
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17 May 2003

Has GW Bush Been an Effective Leader in the War on Terrorism?

Let's see, the Iraq war did the terrorists a favor, a respected non-partisan British think-tank with no anti-Bush bias declared Al Qaeda ""more insidious and just as dangerous" as it was before 9/11/01, the Bush administration refusal to pay for measures to secure ports and other sensitive facilities, the resurgence of warlords and comeback of the Taliban in Afghanistan, etc. ... But as Paul Krugman points out rather lucidly in his latest column, the Bush administration is all about the perception of matters, not addressing the real terrorism danger...

The administration's antiterror campaign makes me think of the way television studios really look. The fancy set usually sits in the middle of a shabby room, full of cardboard and duct tape. Networks take great care with what viewers see on their TV screens; they spend as little as possible on anything off camera.

And so it has been with the campaign against terrorism. Mr. Bush strikes heroic poses on TV, but his administration neglects anything that isn't photogenic.

I've written before about the Bush administration's amazing refusal to pay for even minimal measures to protect the nation against future attacks - measures that would secure ports, chemical plants, nuclear facilities and so on. (But the Department of Homeland Security isn't completely ineffectual: this week it helped Texas Republicans track down their Democratic colleagues, who had staged a walkout.)

What about the defeat of Saddam?
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9 May 2003

Bush Tax Cut = Handout to Rich

A chart illustrating how the benefits of Bush's proposed dividend tax cut flow overwhelmingly to the wealthy:
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8 May 2003

KFYI-AM drops Heidi and Heywood for Bruce Jacobs

I think the intelligence quotient in the local Valley talk radio host pool just took a big hit ...

Morning talk radio will be less chatty and more teeth-grinding starting today.

KFYI-AM (550) announced Wednesday that it is dropping Heidi and Heywood, the station's morning show for the past two years. Edgy talker Bruce Jacobs will take their place.

Heidi Foglesong will remain with KFYI in an on-air capacity, but Bill Heywood will not. KFYI programming director Laurie Cantillo said the change was made in response to the latest Arbitron ratings. Those numbers, released last week, put KFYI rival KTAR-AM (620) way out in front of KFYI in both the morning and afternoon drive times.

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