How ALEC is turning our Democracy into a Corporatocracy...

Our democracy is screwed. It’s been long speculated that Republican state lawmakers are taking their orders from the shadowy right-wing think tank funded by the Koch Brothers and known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – and now there’s proof. It was discovered in Florida – when Republican State Representative Rachel Burgin introduced legislation in the state House back in November that - oops - still included ALEC’s mission statement at the top of the bill, reading: “Whereas it is the mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council to advance Jeffersonian principles...”

ALEC gathers lawmakers and corporate interests together to draft model legislation, which is then sent back to state legislatures to be passed. But usually, the lawmakers remember to strip out the ALEC branding from it. Everything from stricter drug laws that help the private prison industry – to anti-EPA laws that help the big oil industry – to voter ID laws that help the Republican Party are produced by ALEC. It’s become increasingly clear what’s going on: we elect representatives – and they represent corporations.

That’s how ALEC is turning our Democracy into a Corporatocracy.

Comments

DRichards's picture
DRichards 8 years 3 weeks ago
#1

So much for change you can believe in

27 of 35 Bush Articles of Impeachment Apply to Obama

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/

President Obama has accumulated his own massive list of high crimes and misdemeanors that were unavailable for Bush’s list (thing’s like openly murdering U.S. citizens, launching massive drone wars, selectively and abusively prosecuting numerous whistleblowers as spies, holding Bradley Manning naked in isolation, attacking Libya without so much as bothering to lie to Congress, etc.)...

DRichards's picture
DRichards 8 years 3 weeks ago
#2

Geeky Science?

Sounds like a assassination tool, kind of like a miniture drone.

Sandia Labs Engineers Create ‘Self-Guided’ Bullet

http://techland.time.com/2012/02/02/sandia-labs-engineers-create-self-gu...

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Figuring out how to pack a processor and other sophisticated equipment into a machine gun bullet has been a challenge, but engineers at Sandia National Laboratories say the miniature guidance system they’ve developed is a breakthrough.

A bullet that directs itself like a tiny guided missile and can hit a target more than a mile away has the potential to change the battlefield for soldiers without costing too much, engineers said Wednesday.

Read more: http://techland.time.com/2012/02/02/sandia-labs-engineers-create-self-guided-bullet/#ixzz1lLF4tvNO

KingErroneous's picture
KingErroneous 8 years 3 weeks ago
#3

So it seems that a lone gunman traveled back in time to kill JFK.

muttleywags 8 years 3 weeks ago
#4

I can't shake the feeling that we are all screwed - with the Koch's and co pledging $100M to defeat Obama, Alec anti-worker, voter supression and other legislation permeating state legislatures - is the concept of representative government we all learned about in school just theatre of the absurd now? Having we progressives take over the democratic party like the teabaggers did the rethuglican party sounds good, but without the Koch brothers funding our candidates, what chance is there of getting progressives seated? I know despair is not an option, but I can't shake the feeling that the system has been so corrupted that handing back power to all the people, not just the 1% that bought the government, isn't very likely

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#5

Yeah! OOPs (no, not Object Orient Programming)! How about those secret Obama Memos that got out? Anybody heard of them? Nothing quite as sinister as ALEC, of course. But the fact is we are being played by both parties to the tune of the uber rich. You should have gotten a hint of this when Obama appointed all of those Republican criminals to office.

Of course, I wouldn't want to sound "hyperbolic" but that is easy to do...depending on who is listening and who is judging. To some people, "hyperbole" is anything that challenges their "head in the sand" myopia. I'm sure there were many Jews who said "Oh, don't be so hyperbolic" when they heard about the death camps and continued to get on the trains believing they were just going to "relocation or work camps". All they had to do, they thought, was to wait out the war until Hitler was defeated. Some people just didn't want to listen...refused to think in such "hyperbolic" ways.

But there were some very brave Jews who knew, or suspected that it wasn't just "hyperbolic" rhetoric and did fight back. (And I cheered when "The Bear Jew" knocked off the head of that filthy piece of trash German Officer.) And aside from theatrics of a movie, I wasn't terribly upset when I read a book called "An Eye For An Eye" by John Sack (which tells of the Jewish revenge death camps they set up after the war to rape, torture, and kill Germans and suspected German sympathizers).... but found it most amusing that the "civilized world" never really knew anything about this very important history because it has been censored by many. Now why is that? Probably the same reason why they try to keep the atrocities that Israel commits against the Palestinians, and others, out of the news...except there are a lot of people who fight that kind of skewed manufacturing of history by powerful groups.

Just keep playing the same old game of going to the polls and voting for the "least odious" official...and "hope" for the best. Of course, we all know where "hope" gets us....at least some of us know....and especially the riggers of the game know...because they have designed the game to their liking....to what works for them....keep people, the superstitious and easily beguiled, "hopeful" so they don't take to the streets and really threaten the status quo. Give them the pretense that they have something to say about their lives through the fake democracy the wealthy powers have engineered. The tyranny of the two party system will continue to squeeze us dry.

Of course the Republicans believe that those who are for social programs are being "hyperbolic" when it is claimed that people are starving or dying from lack of nutrition or lack of shelter or lack of medical care. They believe that the liberals, or progressives, are "hyperbolic" for claiming that "global warming" or anything to do with taxes is being unfairly gamed by the rich or challenging their free hand at crony capitalism. And this could go on and on....

So we have a ruling elite with a gamed-system consisting of "owned" Republicans and Democrats who both fight each other for the pleasure of the ruling elite over who will rule the roost of clucking and voting chickens who are all brain-washed into believing that anyone who challenges that corrupt system uses "hyperbole" when they use such terms as "Fascism" which could easily be mistaken for "Nazism"....heaven forbid! We sure don't want to take away from the Jew's self-proclaimed exclusive right to exploit victim-hood do we? It might result in weakening their ability to hold psychological guilt and political control over our country. So, it seems, many of us are cowed into watching what we say.

There are a lot of victims in the world and a number of "holocausts". The US has murdered many, many people over the years and are still in the process of committing their modern-day holocaust and it could even be considered a kind of genocide.

I think the correlation between Nazi Germany and the US is not so far fetched. What is the difference from gassing and ovens on the ground to the mass destruction and millions of deaths rained down from high-tech weapons from above? And Israel has had, and has used, some of these high-tech weapons against the Palestinians. It is a lot less personal...isn't it?

In Vietnam, a pilot could run a sortie, kill hundreds or thousands of Vietnamese civilians, with napalm and other criminal death weapons, and be back for lunch...all without an iota of guilt or conscience.

In the Middle East...all they have to do is push a button in the US to murder innocent civilians in Iraq or Afghanistan, or other country in the region, and there is no more guilt than playing a computer game. Modern Holocaust weapons make it possible to kill easily, swiftly, and quietly without guilt by removing the attacker from the reality...the blood and guts...the smells..of what they have done. And armed, psychologically, with the myth of Jesus, as our troops are propagandized in, they can believe they are doing the work of God. Amen! Brainless automaton serial killers doing the work of God!

Wait till they perfect the death satellites...they won't even have to fly drones armed with missiles.

arky12's picture
arky12 8 years 3 weeks ago
#6

Wasn't there an offshoot of ALEC in Europe and they threw them out or something of the sort? They need to be outed in a very big way. I'd contribute to the cost of running an ad. Anybody else?

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 8 years 3 weeks ago
#7

There are a few things that can be done to curb corporate influence over our democracy. Where does the money go from political advetisement? Tax the corporate media at a higher rate with public tv exempt. Cororate lobbying is a business deduction. End the deduction. Enact a tax on net worth on the wealthy to pay for all wars. End the war on Americans who use cannabis. This is bankrupting our economy and crippling our society. Allow public funding for free speech,

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#8

But it is not just ALEC that is doing this...it is also the fake Democrats (including Obama) that is doing this. Obama along with a number of other "Democrats" are owned by the ruling elite. Michelle Obama would be a better president than her husband. She was FOR a lot of comprehensive coverage on the health care bill, against Rahm Emmanuel's advice, but Obama just did not push for any of it...he just wanted to sell out the millions of Americans in favor of the HealthScare industry. Instead of fortifying himself against the enemy he brought them in to be his advisers. Rahm Emmanuel was leading Obama by the nose and eventually crossed wires with Michelle on the Health Care Bill.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#9

DR: Yes I saw the photo of that "magic" bullet trace. Amazing! Isn't micro-electronics fantastic?

"September 25, 2011: An American team has developed software that enables an armed UAV to seek out, identify and attack (with a missile) targets, without any human intervention."

"The air force and the aviation industry in general, has already developed highly complex, and reliable software for operating aircraft. For example, there has been automatic landing software in use for over a decade. Flight control software handles many more mundane functions, like dealing with common in-flight problems. This kind of software makes it possible for difficult (impossible, in the case of the F-117) to fly military aircraft to be controlled by a pilot. Weapons guidance systems have long used target recognition systems that work with a pattern recognition library that enables many different targets to be identified, and certain ones to be attacked."

Yeah, like WTC towers and the Pentagon for example?

I had read of the capabilities that existed back right after the hijacking planes to Cuba back in the 70s had been popular. I read that they developed a way to remove control from the on-board piloting to ground control in the event of another hijacking. And using a target recognition system to guide the planes to their targets has been around for many decades now.

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/20110925.aspx

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#10

The Department Homeland Security is developing a system designed to apprehend you before you commit a crime. The Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST, is designed to analyze whether a person is likely to commit a crime, using a long list of factors. Some are akin to lie detection, such as breathing and heart rate, but the system also measures body movements, voice pitch changes, blink rate, breathing patterns, eye movements, body heat changes and prosody (changes in speech rhythm and intonation). The "prototype screening facility" is built to "detect cues indicative of mal-intent" using these algorithms. The system also analyzes factors like ethnicity, gender, age and profession.

The DHS has already conducted a FAST field test at an undisclosed location in the northeast. "It is not an airport, but it is a large venue that is a suitable substitute for an operational setting," says DHS spokesman John Verrico.

The department views FAST as a tool for airport security, but it has other potential uses as well. A DHS document suggests a mobile version "could be used at security checkpoints such as border crossings or at large public events such as sporting events or conventions."

The development of FAST has raised some eyebrows, including those of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. EPIC has obtained multiple documents, including one detailing the field test (PDF).

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-10/new-homeland-security-t...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#11

Title:
Guided bullet
United States Patent 5788178
Abstract:
A small caliber laser-guided bullet having a self-contained guidance system is disclosed including on-board laser sensors and navigational circuits capable of detecting a laser target signature, determining the deviation of the bullet from an optimum projectory along which the bullet would impact a hostile target, and generating an electrical signal to piezo electric steering control surfaces to effect a change in the course of the bullet. The guided bullet utilizes a plurality of symmetrically-arranged laser sensor elements which are positioned about a longitudinal axis of the bullet. The laser sensor elements function to transmit optical radiation from the laser target beam to photo detector elements housed within the bullet. The electrical signals from the photo detector elements are then amplified and processed by semiconductor logic circuits to produce the functions required by the steering control surfaces to translate the bullet to the optimum trajectory. Electrical power for the guidance system is provided by a miniature lithium-polymer battery which is interconnected with the navigational circuits to produce the functions of the system. The guided bullet is fired from a precision, smooth bore weapon using a conventional expanding gas cartridge and is effective at ranges up to 3,000 meters and beyond.

note: 3000 meters = 1.864 miles

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5788178.html

I wonder if an effective counter measure would be to have a device that would sense laser frequency from the bullet and then use a laser jamming device that would confuse or obscure the information that is returned to the bullet. Perhaps, if the counter measure was 31337 enough it could reprogram the bullet to return to sender. Wow! talk about a Ping of Death (POD for short ;-}) Now why didn't Harold think of that one?

Richard Pickering 8 years 3 weeks ago
#12

Term limits for all polliticians ,One in office and two in prison.

uncbros's picture
uncbros 8 years 3 weeks ago
#13

.

We need to fight fire with fire. There are just as many rich liberals on the left as there are conservatives on the right . It is time for the left to start educating the electorate by any means necessary . The new study out that shows low IQ and dumb equals more right leaning voters.This is not rocket science. it's a well informed, educated electorate. The only thing that will give America back to the working man.Learn from the phony right wing think tanks,Go out and educate and inform.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#14

But....there sure are a lot of left leaners who still think that voting for Obama is going to matter. Vote for Michelle...and show Barack who should wear the pants in that family. The President is wearing no clothes! He is quite transparent to those of us who can see through his facade. But, alas, it is not just Barack Obama...it is the corrupt system that needs to be corrected. I like RP's term limits proposal!

Jan Rowe 8 years 3 weeks ago
#15

What could help with outlawing ALEC would be tight conflict of interests so people could not go from industry to gov, often to reduce safety laws, and go back to industry. In Boston, as a mental health nurse mainly in state continuing care for 2 decades and have to abide by conflict of interest rules. I grew up along the Monongahela River flowing north from West Virginia to Pittsburgh to form the Ohio with the Allegheny. Fracking during a drought ended up causing the biggest threat thus far to the drinking water of nearly a million people as the immense quantity of waste water was discharged during the drought into old no longer worked coal mines restarting coal mine discharge into streams along 80 miles of the Monongahela destroying sewage treatment plants with heavy metal waste

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 8 years 3 weeks ago
#16

Wake up and smell ALEC. These characters are anti-democratic. They need to be eliminated by public outrage. The end game for these guys is a permanent plutocracy. I wonder what the Republicans will think if they get what they are working for. My Republican friends don't know about ALEC, they are unfamiliar with Grover Norquist, they do not know who the Koch brothers are. These are shadowy figures whose goals are to undermine democracy so that they can own everything.

johnsawyer's picture
johnsawyer 8 years 3 weeks ago
#17

Just to make it a little clearer how laser-guided munitions work: as I understand it, the bullet or bomb itself doesn't emit its own laser light--that would be pointless. Instead, they detect laser light reflecting from the target, which a nearby targeter "paints" onto the target to tell the munition "go here". In the past (and still maybe most of the time), the targeter has usually been a human, often flying in support aircraft nearby, but apparently the newish idea is to use automatic targeting sources of laser illumination, so that there isn't a soldier in the sky or on the ground who can be fired upon.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#18

So when Obama, in the State of the Union, bragged about America using technology to squeeze gas out of the rocks I thought...gee, Obama, thanks a whole Fracking lot! What a wonderful technology that will let many people light their water for warmth in the winter. Can't drink it but who needs to drink water when you can drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. Aren't those technologically inclined gas companies wonderful? Of course my gas bill keeps going up..no matter how much Fracking Frackin they do. Time to go solar and import our water from China. Although if you have ever seen what floats in the Yangtze you may decide just to go without water period. I hear death by dehydration is all the rage among people who have had enough. Wait till the gas companies want to charge people for the gas they get in their water. If Monsanto can go after farmers whose fields have been planted with patented seed, even if accidentally by wind, and sue them then why couldn't the gas companies claim the freeloaders are getting free gas in their water?

johnsawyer's picture
johnsawyer 8 years 3 weeks ago
#19

One thing we need to do, to counter ALEC, the Koch brothers, etc., is for progressives (no matter what party they identify with) to go to the polls in 2012, in droves never seen before, and vote for true progressive candidates instead of doing what so many progressive voters did in 2010: sitting at home either overly confident, or sulking, or voting for the candidate they like the least, as a phony way of "sending a message" about their displeasure with the Democrats in Washington.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#20

I thought that sounded like a lot of sophisticated electronics all packed inside a bullet...the patent does say laser "sensors" and not laser transmitters or sources. I have worked with optical image recognition systems in microphotolithographics but this is on the micron and sub-micron scale and not meters or even miles. I have worked with Piezo-electric as well and know that it wouldn't take much surface change to change the aerodynamics of a projectile.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#21

I thought Obama, when I voted for him the first time, was a "true progressive candidate". Surprise! Surprise! Fool me once....

Nope! I don't buy it! And there is no "sulking" about it....I find it quite humorous all of the phrases that people can use to get you to do what they want you to do.

"If you don't vote...then you don't have room to complain!"
"If you don't like the way things are going in this country...then just move to some other country!"

I suppose one could also say: "if you are not out in the streets demonstrating or even actively rebelling against the system then you have no room to complain!"
Or: "if you think voting is the only way to change things then you have no room to sulk when, after your man wins, they take away all your freedoms, right to privacy, or any social program that keeps you alive...or if you are lucky enough...to be working 12 hour days in dangerous and exhausting conditions like they now do in China and barely enough compensation to feed your family.

Bottom line is that it really won't matter who you vote into office because the system is so corrupt that we are all screwed anyway. Voting is the smoke and mirrors that keeps the people thinking they have a choice. It's also a bait and switch....they bait you with promises and a facade of what you want to hear and see then they switch to who they really are after you vote them in.

Why do you think so many rich people are backing Obama? Obama is being backed 2 to 1 (Romney being the 1) by the ruling elite. They are putting on quite a show because the stakes are so high. They want you to believe that the ruling elite like the Koch Roach Bros are the bad old evil entities that we have to do everything in our power to fight. That's the delusion....not that they are evil...THEY ARE EVIL..but the delusion is that Obama is our only chance to fight them. They know that Americans are on the edge of a revolution and they have to keep the illusion of hope alive and are counting on Obama to keep us fooled just a little longer.

Obama has given the ruling elite practically everything they wanted anyway....including the original plan of keeping the people from actively rebelling against the Fascists that have a strangle hold on us. That stranglehold comes through a psychological ploy to keep us hopeful that there is a chance of change through the current corrupt, smoke and mirrors election system. We don't have a real democracy in America...it's a Plutocracy...a Corporatocracy that uses the illusion of the ballot box to keep people from rioting in the streets.

So don't go "sulking" at home after you vote for Obama and he wins just to continue as a lame duck President that owes those who bought him and who no longer has to pretend he is working for the actual people who voted for him. We got a taste of who Obama is when he appointed all of those right-wing Fascists. We got a taste of Obama when he constantly gave in to the Republicans. It will be worse the next time around.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 3 weeks ago
#22

I think that both the Democrats and the Republicans may feel threatened by the possibility that they'll both be out on their ears when someone else wins this time. If some other party manages to win, especially if it is someone who wasn't bought by the monied powers, then there may be real hope. The reason why so many people sat out in 2010 was that their only choice was to re-elect a scroungy blue-dog Democrat that deserved to lose their jobs anyway. No difference between a Republican and a scroungy blue dog Democrat...and the voters sent a message...that they would rather see the enemy head on than be fooled by a stab in the back Blue Dog Democrat.

There are a lot of worthless faux Democrats who deserve to lose their positions. So, from the ruling elite perspective, the theater has to be wrenched up so that voters are so frightened of the possible Republican President that they will vote for the guy that will continue to give in to the dictates of the ruling elite while, at the same time, keep people pacified by yet more worthless hope. It's nearly the same game that they play when they created the specter of a boogey man terrorist. They use fear to conquer and divide.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 8 years 3 weeks ago
#23

The GOP pest will be defeated in November and probably driven out of many states over the coming years. Because the Republicans are carrying their idiocy too far, so even rather uneducated Americans get it.

As Thom told us about a GOP pest already in the 1950s, American political generations have to learn this lesson again and again. Maybe in about 50 years we'll have to go this process through again.... The GOP hates the latest unemployment figures. That's part of the process.

**YAAAAAWN** How about another film? Something nice from the 30s!

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 8 years 3 weeks ago
#24

@those who type out their anger above me:

Yes humanity is rotten. TV screens are wonderfully energy-efficient*, so people actually could spare electricity, so we actually could switch off some power plants. But what do people do? They buy huge screens, because they want to feel like in their own movie house -- and they add bombastic cinema sound. The average American doesn't give a darn for a better world.

Those who always talk about fascism, must have a very fascist brain indeed. How often do you think and speak the word fascism over a day? Would be disturbing to track that down....

______________________________________

* Goes for other devices as well -- it's not just screens!

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 8 years 3 weeks ago
#25

The corporatization of America and The Second Gilded Age are the results of bipartisan efforts. We have a representative corporatocracy. The large corps are like the husband who wants to kill his wife and the legislators are like the assassins who are paid to carry out the what the husband wants.

We need--Democracy, not corporatocracy.

DRichards's picture
DRichards 8 years 3 weeks ago
#26

Contrary to Government Claims of 243,000 Jobs Created, Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs Were Actually LOST In JanuaryPosted on February 3, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog I know, politicians never lie. Still, it's an interesting read as to what others are saying about the real, non seasonal adjusted numbers.

John Defalque's picture
John Defalque 8 years 3 weeks ago
#27

A third of us have either done or regularly use pot-to turn us all into criminals is ridiculous.To put pot on the same pedestal as chrystal meth is ludicrous.In a perfect world, no one would use drugs, I get it.I quit smoking pot at 24, when I got asthma.I have 18 yrs exposure to concrete dust too-why is it that a respirator isn't more mandatory than steel toed boots?I don't beleive that keeping the price of a drug high does anything to discourage it's use either.Much as I hate cigarettes and tobacco has always been anathema to my being, the price should be lower.In BC the govt is providing free nicotine drugs to get smokers to quit the habit.None of this works, I wish smokers would all switch to using vaporisors, we could let them smoke in all public places again.Harm reduction.I carry a handkerchief with me everywhere and watch for smokers.They should change their behaviour.

arky12's picture
arky12 8 years 2 weeks ago
#28

2/6/12 – Documentary – Hot Coffee

Subj: Tort reforms

Stella Liebeck Vs Mcdonalds over spilled very hot coffee

I actually remember this case since it got so much publicity after she was awarded $2.9 million. According to the documentary, it was not fully upheld and there was a private settlement with an unknown amount.

Pictures in the documentary showed the extent of her burns to the crotch and legs and it actually sickened me. I’ve been burned with hot coffee and it certainly didn’t produce burns like this. involving their coffee numbered 700. Their directive to stores was that it be kept between 180-190 deg.

The woman was not driving, contrary to what I’d heard at the time. Her son-in-law was and actually he had pulled over in the parking lot to allow her to add cream and sugar to her coffee. She held the cup between her knees and steadied it with one hand while trying to remove the lid and the coffee spilled backwards into her lap. Had this coffee been a normal hot temperature, she would have burned herself, but not to this degree.

Seeing the television and print ads calling her names and the list goes on, it was an all out campaign by business interests to make it all her fault. I’m ashamed now to say I too thought it was a frivolous lawsuit at the time and was even for tort reform in Colorado when it passed. If I knew then what I know now I would not be so happy about it.

The majority of people do not understand the word tort let alone what tort reform is. It was vastly misrepresented as a protection for business against frivolous lawsuits which cost us all in the end. Like tort reform for medical malpractice which would then cap the amount of damages awarded and that would hold down the costs of the doctors, hospitals, etc. on their malpractice insurance costs. Well, guess what, fooled again. A comparison against states with caps and those without the savings was no more then $1K.

There was an attempt to pass a tort reform law at the Federal level but Bill Clinton came out against it, so the states took it up and one by one passed one form or another of tort reforms. Some capped economic awards, which are for actual costs like lost wages, out of pocket costs and so forth. Others capped non economic awards, which would be pain and suffering, etc. Some 3 states capped both and some capped just economic or non economic. Only a few states did not set caps.

Seems money was behind stacking the courts with sympathetic judges, especially in the state’s Supreme Courts. Much of the money came from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Until now I had mistakenly thought this was a Federal agency, when it is actually made up of members from the business world and is a lobbyist. I must have confused it with the Small Business Administration. I’m probably not the only one to do this. Their name is very misleading.

Halliburton/KBR – A 19 year old woman who worked for Halliburton was sent to Iraq and promised a place of her own and instead was housed in a dormitory with a lot of men who drugged then gang raped her to the point that she required reconstructive surgery in her groin area. Halliburton did nothing nor did KBR. Seems that part of her employment contract called for mandatory arbitration of any disputes. Seems this is in a great many contracts unknow to most of us, such as cell phones and credit cards, for example. I’ll get into that later.

The woman would not let it go and contacted her Congressman who took an interest then Senator Franken of MN got involved and held hearings, which I saw a clip of. Took her 4 years to get into a court.

Seems the problem with arbitration, such as that forced on employees by their employers is that they get to pick the arbitrator. Seems these arbitration companies want repeat business so you can guess how they’ll rule. Problem with an arbitration is that it is binding and a court will uphold it. I remember when arbitration could be a good thing, but it had to be mutually agreed on and a disinterested 3rd party was used to arbitrate. Guess that right went away. The more I got into this documentary the more I realized how many of our rights have been legislated away, most likely by legislators who were bought and paid for by special interests. I was aware for some time of some things that we’ve lost, but the list is growing and with it my apprehension over what rights we the people have left in this country. Most people go about their daily lives in ignorance. Like with the tort law, they interviewed a guy who filed suit in a state and after the jury awarded the verdict in his favor did he learn that the amount they awarded was capped by law, only after the trial was over by the judge. The jury was not informed of this cap. He was then told what the tort law was and was astounded to find that he had actually voted for it and commented that he hadn’t voted for that, that that was for frivolous lawsuits, not his. Seems we only learn the truth after the fact. So many lies that no one knows anything for sure anymore. Big money is distorting truth and shaping our thinking to the point when I personally don’t know if I’m coming or going.

Back to this mandatory arbitration that we sign for, without really knowing we’re signing away our rights to file suit against a company for any reason, even if they defraud us. Many times it’s in a contract for a cell service or credit cards. It may not be in the original contract we sign, but then later then amend it which from contracts like this that I’ve read, they always advise they can do that. Then they slip a piece it will say something like the next time you use your cell or credit card you are agreeing to these terms. So, read the stuff they send you. No mention of how I’d know this if I get an electronic bill? I believe there is supposed to be some legislation on this issue, but I’ll check it out. If there isn’t, there needs to be.

We have the best government and judicial system that money can buy.

x-Warrior's picture
x-Warrior 8 years 2 weeks ago
#29

Just what are the "Jeffersonian principles" that ALEC thinks it's advancing?

TheFullTruth's picture
TheFullTruth 8 years 2 weeks ago
#30

Part of the answer as to why the far right has political success is because of their choice of words compared to what the patriots say.

For example, during the Republican campaigns we see every night on TV, you repeatedly hear words like "freedom", "growth", "deregulation leads to job creation", "lower taxes", "blame Democrats for higher taxes", "tax and spend Democrats" etc.

Democrats never respond in kind because they are too timid (or perhaps too stupid to realize it) to do so. Health care reform leads to freedom from unwarranted deaths or bankruptcy that results when people lack insurance. They can easily say that RepubliCON care leads to the deaths of 45,000 Americans every year and bankruptcy. So why don't these idiots openly say so? Why are they so afraid of speaking the truth?

Deregulation that is favored by Republicans leads to defective food products that poison or kill children. So why don't Democrats point that out? Freedom from the death or illness to children is something I want to see. So why don't Democrats use the term "freedom" in such a manner???

All of this has been pointed out enough times by people who are a lot smarter than I am. Yet, Democrats contiually ignore these warnings. Somebody tell me why???

TheFullTruth's picture
TheFullTruth 8 years 2 weeks ago
#31

Thomas Jefferson Feared an Aristocracy of Corporations

http://www.thenation.com/blog/37038/thomas-jefferson-feared-aristocracy-...

"Jefferson might not have wanted a lot of government, but he wanted enough government to assert the sovereignty of citizens over corporations. To his view, nothing was more important to the health of the republic.

In the early years of the 19th century, as banks and corporations began to flex their political muscles, he announced that: “I hope we shall crush… in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

As I wrote above, Democrats can easily point this out in their daily campaigns or media appearances. But they lack the guts to say so and this is why the treasonous far right continues to win more votes.

Devlop some friggin balls some day, speak the TRUTH and the patriots will defeat the treasonous far right.

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From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
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