Posts tagged ‘Supreme Court’

US Supreme Court Backs Big Business…Again

The small handful of Internet Service Providers who handle the majority of American Internet traffic will not be subject to the FCC’s Net Neutrality regulations.  The big providers can now become gatekeepers of Web content. This is akin to a phone company determining which calls can be made on its network, or what type of call quality you’ll get.  The ISP could slow down certain traffic as to render it unusable. 

In other words, want to visit the site of one of their affiliates and all is great.  Want to visit their competition and speed/quality could drop.  Want to use Comcast’s VoIP service and quality is high.  Want to use Vonage or another competitor, and quality will drop to “encourage” you to switch to their service.  Traffic to smaller / less-established (less well-funded) sites and applications could be sent to the slow lane. 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36193558/ns/technology_and_science-security

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April 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

Supreme Court permits pollution by US businesses

More great work by the current conservative-led Supreme Court.  More great deregulation.  It worked out so well when we deregulated the financial systems.  Why not deregulate pollution? 

Some people ask why Congressional bills have to be 1,000 pages.  Here’s why: 

Thousands of the nation’s largest water polluters are now outside the Clean Water Act’s reach because the Supreme Court has left uncertain which waterways are protected by that law, according to interviews with regulators. 

As a result, some businesses are [happily] declaring that the law no longer applies to them [because they can go back to cheap process of dumping toxins into rivers]. And pollution rates are rising.

Companies that have spilled oil, carcinogens and dangerous bacteria into lakes, rivers and other waters are not being prosecuted, according to Environmental Protection Agency regulators working on those cases, who estimate that more than 1,500 major pollution investigations have been discontinued or shelved in the last four years.

The Clean Water Act (1972) was intended to end dangerous water pollution by regulating every major polluter. But today, regulators may be unable to prosecute as many as half of the nation’s largest known polluters because officials lack jurisdiction or because proving jurisdiction would be overwhelmingly difficult or time consuming, according to midlevel officials.

About 117 million Americans get their drinking water from sources fed by waters that are vulnerable to exclusion from the Clean Water Act, according to E.P.A. reports. And even in situations in which regulators believe they still have jurisdiction, [Corporate America] has delayed cases for years by arguing that the ambiguity precludes prosecution. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35639472/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times  

Yes, Corporations and Businesses always have the citizens best interest at heart…

March 1, 2010 at 7:38 pm Leave a comment

Idiocracy in Action, II

I don’t see how these 5 Supreme Court justices can face their family.  I don’t see how their friends can face them. 

Kennedy, Alito, Scalia, Roberts, Thomas – what a bunch of…conservatives.  That Corporations have the same rights as people?  Even a child would be able to distinguish such a thing.

This move certainly has the ability and the power to strike down rights and liberties across all races in the near future. It is the worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott case led by Chief Justice Roger Taney.

These conservative judges are gauling.   It’s a slap in the face to the common man.  Here is a Special Comment on the verdict:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/vp/34985508#34985508

January 26, 2010 at 12:25 am Leave a comment

Idiocracy in Action

In the highly under-rated movie Idiocracy, a private company buys the FDA and replaces the food pyramid with ads for its products. 

Recently the Supreme Court has decided to allow companies to spend whatever they want sponsoring political campaigns, giving big business “an enormous new foothold in U.S. politics,” said Howard Rubenstein, a public relations executive who has advised numerous large corporations over the past five decades and opposes the ruling. “We shouldn’t have a ‘For sale’ sign on these elections.”

 “The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics,” [President Obama] said. “It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”  

“The Supreme Court’s decision to loosen campaign finance restrictions on corporations means a tsunami of company cash is likely to flood through the political system, giving big firms and labor unions even more influence over candidates.

“That could have a chilling effect on candidates on the campaign trail, who may be less willing to take strong positions on issues for fear of drawing fire from well-funded corporate opponents, said Edwin Bender, executive director of the National Institute on Money in State Politics”, says John Schoen, Senior Producer at msnbc.com. 

If you’re running for office to represent the citizens in our republic, and your stance runs counter to the desires of a business, you could then see big business spending millions of dollars against you.  And it could be not just a single business, but an entire industry.  Take a stance on our banking system and you would face the entirety of Wall Street resources drowning you out.

It’s not just about today’s existing politicians.  As Schoen notes, “In the extreme, some companies might decide to endorse their own slate of candidates.”  Think Halliburton and Cheney…on steroids. 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34983042/ns/business-answer_desk

Throughout American history there are examples of corporate negligence harmful to society in the long term, examples of corporations running over the American citizen.  The United States government should be by the people, for the people, something the Supreme Court seems to have forgotten.  The government should help large corporations to the extent that it in turn helps the citizens – not just for the sake of helping the business. As an entity unto itself, the Business is not interested in the concerns of individuals or society.  The business does not have emotions or thoughts.  It does not have a conscience and it does not know guilt.  While the humans in charge possess these characteristics, they are most often overridden by greed.

The large corporation does not have the ability to speak.  The large corporation is more like a bullhorn.  Protecting the right of “free speech” of a bullhorn is farcical.  The right to free speech is an American (i.e., the ability to be a citizen) right.   The businesses themselves have no ability to speak, only the humans can do that.  Prior to today, those humans had a relatively similar ability to influence politics through their own individual voice.  This decision drastically alters that relative equality.  By protecting the bull horn’s “free speech”, you are simply allowing the voices of a few powerful American citizens to be greatly magnified…by an entity with a long history of running roughshod over citizens. 

And so the Idiocracy marches on.

January 22, 2010 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment


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