#2 in our suggestions for new amendments to the Constitution:
Only individual biological humans, as described under the laws pertaining to citizenship or legal residency within this Constitution or its Amendments, and no other entities, specifically such entities as are created for the purpose of conducting commerce, shall participate in, conduct, financially support, or in any other way effectively influence, or attempt to influence, the functions of, or election of candidates or adoption of provisions or revisions to, the federal government or any and all its related agencies or processes.
Why not? It’s been awhile since we’ve made some adjustments to the US Constitution. We’ve seen where things are going with predatory capitalism and the corrupting influence of money on our politicians and institutions. Let’s at least discuss some changes that might make our society a bit more democratic, as was intended. So I’m going to put forward my ten amendments, a new Bill of Rights for our times, one at a time over the coming weeks. They are probably not worded in a constitutionally tight way, but what the heck. Let me know what you think.
#1: No exercise of money or wealth, or qualities related to these, shall be construed to be equivalent or positively related to speech, free speech, or the exercise thereof. Political speech shall not be garnered or rationed on the basis of money or wealth or qualities related to money or wealth.
Thought I’d take a break from politics to go on a hiking excursion.
I’ve been giving some thought as to why some kinds of walking and hiking may be more beneficial from a fitness standpoint than others. Why do I feel so much less invigorated from a flat hike/walk on paved trails than I do on hilly trails or more natural surfaces?
I’ve concluded that hiking on rough, uneven, or hilly trails encourages the body to make multiple, instantaneous adjustments. Some of these are muscular, but some are mental adjustments, both reflexive and deliberate. All these actions amount to a substantial, complex workout of body and mind. The trail or path doesn’t have to be hilly; it just should be diverse in its topography, perhaps with some rocks, dips, maybe some ice to negotiate, etc. If your trail or path is too uniform, than get off it and explore. (There may be a metaphor here, but I’ll leave it for a later time.
Compare this to flat, paved surfaces. The workout is much like a treadmill, with repetitive, limited action and needed mental processing. Diversity seems again to be a good thing.
So get your boots on the trail whenever you can, whatever the season. Maybe I’ll see you there.
I find it ironic that the same conservatives who bemoan “Happy Holidays” and other such generic signs of the season are the same folks who believe that marketplaces and businesses should be completely unregulated, free to make whatever marketing decisions they think will maximize their profits. And if conservatives also feel that corporations are people, where do they get off telling those virtual corporate humans what they can and can’t say during this season? A bit hypocritical, perhaps?
I agree with Time’s selection of the Protester as “Person of the Year” for 2011. Just as important might be to consider the differences in the way the mainstream media has reported on domestic protesters compared to international protesters.
When reporting on Arab Spring protesters, we saw headlines such as “State security forces clash with pro-democracy demonstrators”, “Scores of protesters reported beaten or injured” and ”Protesters demand democratic regime change.” Broadcast media repeatedly cited voices of international demonstrators, their spokespeople, and citizen video in their actions.
Compare this to reportage on domestic Occupy movements. Broadcast media continually focused upon and promoted official police pronouncements, usually issued as rationale leading up to enforcement actions. We saw headlines such as “Demonstrators clash with police” and “Several police officers slightly injured in Occupy clashes.” As to what was being demanded, generalized mention of the 99 vs the 1% was “balanced” with conservative attacks on the movement and their continuous parading out of wealthy progressives whom the right thought should be the focus of the protests.
In other words, media consumers were encouraged to view domestic protest as upsetting the status quo and from the perspective of law enforcement as the guardians of democracy in the US, while foreign citizens and their perspectives were depicted as representing democracy abroad.
I had thought it was just Fox News, but events in the past year have shown it to be more widespread: Many American media champion democracy when it’s a distant and academic practice overseas, but scoff and denigrate it when championed by fellow citizens at home.
Re: the now conclusive evidence that the industry’s “trade secret” cancer-causing fracking ingredients are polluting our groundwater supplies.
No wonder the Republicans try to attach kill-the-EPA riders to all appropriations bills before they’ll back them. Their oil and gas cronies would love to continue sickening our families and destroying our property values without questions being raised by such publicly-interested “big government” agencies. My only question is, why does the mainstream media continually focus on the non-citizen perspective, such as when the Denver Post highlighted Wyoming’s and the gas industry’s fears that any regulation might inhibit their business operations? Let’s get our priorities straight: citizens first, special and commercial interests later.