Democracy Day : 5 Minutes of Democracy

Free Speech Zone POLITICAL BUTTONToday is Democracy Day, mandated by a people’s resolution to Toledo City Council, spearheaded by Toledo Move To Amend, declaring that corporations are not people and money is not free speech.  Today’s forum in Toledo City Council chambers, albeit with only a small fraction of City Council members, gave voice to a sampling of Toledo’s own citizens.  Here is the satirical testimony that I delivered for my five sacred minutes:

Five Minutes of Democracy

Greetings rulers and subjects, the subject today is democracy.  My name is Dan Rutt.  Though, I am considering selling my naming rights to either Jeep or ProMedica, because seriously, who is Dan Rutt?!  Don't Explain Your Philosophy, Embody It POLITICAL BUTTONAnd, unfortunately, a shadowy group of local lobbyists secured the rights to “Krogering.”  So expect plenty more “Krogering”…but not from me.

Of course, plenty of naming rights are still in play.  In deference to those from that progressive demographic who love hyphenated names I might prefer selling my naming rights to Davis-Besse.  Plus, I could get a bonus for catering to the regional governance and nuclear family demographics.  But alas, Davis-Besse may very well be decommissioned.  Apparently, that whole “too cheap to meter” thing turned out to be a lie, after all these decades.  And in this era of tight budgets, there is only enough political capital to afford one last billion dollar bailout to bury this mistake.  But sleep tight fellow citizens and helpless ratepayers!  Rest assured that there will be a special glow for you and a thousand generations from the heart of this beloved nuclear reactor…But I digress…keep your eye on…well…pretty much anything else.

Welcome to Democracy Day — presided over by the finest government money can buy.  Of course, our fine government might be different than those “other” governments.  Today, I am asking that we keep an open mind that our government might not actually be the best that money can buy.

Democracy: Some Assembly Required - POLITICAL BUTTONSo, what does democracy look like?  I have a long view of democracy, that looks something like making decisions based on how it affects people seven generations from now, that noble concept brought to us by fine native peoples who we so conveniently committed genocide against to occupy this land.  But I have been charged to ask “What does five minutes of democracy look like?”  This brief view is something more of a commercial.  So, if any of you need to go to the bathroom or need a snack, now would be a good time for that.

Besides dreaming of bigger cages and longer chains, I have three proposals:

Proposal 1:  I am asking City Council to commission a study to determine how much money it would take to get money out of politics.

Might I suggest a consultant that is not too cheap, so as to appear unworthy of listening to, or a consultant that is too pricey, so as to appear extravagant.

What do we want?  Another study.  When do we want it?  When we can afford it.

Frankly, I am much more interested in the stuff we can’t afford not to do.

My second proposal is to establish a democracy museum, to preserve whatever vestiges of democracy that remain.  This could be a public-private partnership that would reflect the share of democracy that is controlled by the public and private sectors, say 10% public and 90% private.  To honor the vital 10% of democracy that is publicly controlled, we could have that reflected in the naming rights, which, of course, are necessary to fund such ventures.  For instance, we would not have the 5/3 Democracy Museum, but rather the 4.5/3 Democracy Museum to preserve that sacred public trust.

Democracy: Some Assembly Required--POLITICAL BUTTONThis democracy museum could offer many opportunities to safeguard our notion of democracy.  For instance, we could preserve uncounted provisional ballots, for the posterity that they are worth.  We could display the many rubber stamps used to approve the corporatist agenda.

Being the Glass City, I’d suggest another glass museum.  But, while we may be able to afford to do the same thing over and over again, I suspect that “democracy” might not be able to afford the transparency of a glass museum.  Either way, we should have lots of windows to accommodate all of those beloved window dressings of which our politicians are so fond.

Well, you get the picture…well, OK, in museums you can’t get the actual picture.  But…I trust that there will be a reasonable facsimile available for sale in the gift shop.  And remember, there are only 365 shopping days until next democracy day.  But be patient, very patient in this sick political system.

Oh victims of oligarchy, be patient, I have come to save the day!

Oh victims of corporatocracy, be patient, I have come to save the day!

Oh victims of plutocracy, be patient, I have come to save the day!

Oh victims of kleptocracy, be patient I have come to save the day!

I have come to save the day, I have come to save the day!

Buy saving this day, democracy day, each year for 365 years, we will have saved up enough democracy for a democracy year.  So, based on these patient patients of a sick political system, I offer my third proposal.  I ask City Council, to declare the year 2382, 365 years from now, as democracy year.  Surely, such completely incredible long-term vision will not go unrewarded!

Washington And Wall Street Have All The Money And Power, The Media, The Courts And The Police -- All We Have is 300 Million People -- Do The Math POLITICAL BUTTONBut alas, if there are any spare seconds from my five minutes of democracy, I could ask for a moment of silence, remembering that we have the right to be silent.  But, while we have the right to remain silent, I wouldn’t recommend it.  So, in that mean time, while we wait for our rulers to rule well, let us never forget: We are what democracy looks like  — an assembly of real people, not corporate “persons”.  Power to the people.  Power to real people. THANK YOU!

Exercise the First Amendment - Use It or Lose It - POLITICAL BUTTON

Main Street versus Wall Street

This evening, between 30 and 30,000 people gathered at Levis Square in downtown Toledo for Occupy Toledo‘s May Day Fest event, Main Street vs. Wall Street – MAIN STREET SPEAKS OUT!Greg Coleridge, pictured below, spoke about corporate personhood and money as free speech, and the Move to Amend movement.Greg ColeridgeDr. Johnathan Ross, “Toledo’s Doctor,” pictured below,spoke about universal healthcare and the need to achieve health with a capital H.Dr. Johnathon RossWith the threat of rain, Occupy Toledo movement party to Third Space, and heard from several more speakers, including Michael Leonardi, Joe DeMare (pictured below), and Greg Lyons.Joe DeMareWe ordered pizzas and listened to some great speakers.  A good time was had by all.

POEM: WELCOME To The Corporate Person Hood

WELCOME To The Corporate Person Hood!

Abolish Corporate PersonhoodTheirs an outside chance
Say 1%
Facing such a ghostly figure
That passes over
What sum
Say billions
Who could passably planet that way!
Ether way
The Almighty Logos
Taken it
To the Greek
Drug through history and currency
Only to Rustle a new Brand®
This is not where democracy comes from!
Where livestock and dead stock are just the same
Like making a buck that is deer to no one
They get it all
Backwards
As they are
Dyslexics
Every won of them
Amiss take
Immorality for immortality
And in morality plays
Where the real masses
Cry out
Author!  Author!
Only to fine themselves
Taxed
For a library of legal fictions
Worthless signatures
On countless dotted lyins
Part of the lessen plan
Buying and selling naming rights
With naught even a real bastard for the lineup
Only edifice complexes
From mother corporations
And fatherless spawn
Unendingly descendent
Fostering your loco shop lifter
As a parent
Such up-rearing is
Unconscionable
Never reaching scion
The promised
Land
A job
Putting on heirs
Like PR
Not even
Real state
Only wanting
Cold blooded lizards with personalities
To assure us
Real people need not apply
When animation pawns itself off
As real life syndication
When incorporeal “persons”
Claim the hood
More like a ski mask!
Robber barrens
Steal magnates
Attracting lowlifes
And burgle kings
Rifling through any goods
Is its dealing
Like some pharmaceutical pillage
Hearing only its own
Plunderous applause
The racket here
The William E. club (that’s Bully to you!)
Breaking a-head
Forging new bonds
Sharing penitentiaries only for prophet see
Conjuring con jobs
Open to all takers
Never no-ing an inside job
Sincere sinecures for counterfeiters
Who mint to say
Money speaks
So those without
Must shut the buck up
And weather a safe cracker in a penthouse
Or a black mailer selling us some interest
Re-morsel-ess tie-coons
Doing
Whatever
It takes
Getting busy-ness
Producing nothing
Yet reproducing!
Grafting itself
To any stock to be had
With no judgment
It Chases any merger
Acquiring any firm it may manage
With holding company
Only hoping its too big too fail
And to not get caught in the pokey
After a wile
Breaking up
Because its not hard to do
And its back up plan
Is too slinky down the back stairs
Making that booty
Quiet an undertaking
No witnesses
No hi Jack
Know Union Jack
Heisting the flag as cover
Left with just a big stick up
Jolly Roger that
Scoring more than a little snatch
Going where no man has gone before
The S.S. Enterprise
If it’s good for US, they banned it
Wee the people
Of the corporations
Buy the corporations
Fore the corporations
Their constitution
Is paper thin
Yet thick as thieves
They no no flesh
In bored rooms
Where they can’t be too rich or too thin!
Their currency (mostly DC) is rarefied
In corporation papers
Well suited
For what
They do do
Leaving US the tissue
Yet raising the stakes on these fly-by-knighted vampires
Is never enough
Thou dust never see them!
Merrily
In an Antoinettesque turn of a phrase
They take the cake
As we end up eating it
For seeing
The preoccupation
of Wall Street
Money
Verses
CITIZENS UNITED

I wrote this poem yesterday.  The first notions struck me before dawn.  I turned on the light and I sat up in my bed to jot down some ideas.  By the end of the day, the poem was finished.  YES, I may have too much time on my hands.  But, like they say, I may be underemployed but I have an OCCUPATION!  Long live Occupy Wall Street!

This poem is dedicated to all of the Wall Street occupiers and all of those dedicated to abolishing corporate personhood and money as free (sic) speech.

I usually comment on my shorter poems.  However, this poem is 145 lines,  just exceeding that which is gross (144, or corporate personhood, or money that speaks, if you are into metaphors).  To comment on this poem would take me most of another day, and like money, I will let this poem speak for itself!

Download a printable version of POEM: Welcome To The Corporate Person Hood!

View a larger print web version of POEM: Welcome To The Corporate Person Hood!

Move To Amend Protest in Toledo, Ohio

Move To Amend Protest in Toledo, Ohio

This afternoon, protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in Toledo Ohio as one of hundreds of protests Across the United States to bring awareness to the travesty of corporate personhood.  The nationwide protests were sponsored by MoveToAmend.org.  Move to Amend seeks a constitutional amendment which bans corporate personhood and reserves First Amendment rights for human beings.   Most of the Toledo protesters were from Occupy Toledo, which cosponsored the protest.  While the temperatures were in the teens, the protesters received warm responses from passersby in automobiles and trucks.  There was an explanation of the purposes of Move to Amend as well as Mic checks and singing.  Pictured below is me, the one and only Top Pun, holding my hand made signs — made by a human, not a corporation.Top Pun with "Abolish Corporate Personhood" sign in front of federal courhouse in Toledo, Ohio, at Move To Amend protest sponsored by Occupy Toledo

Top Pun in front of federal courhouse in Toledo, Ohio, at Move To Amend protest sponsored by Occupy Toledo

Below you can see a group of the protesters who braved the cold on a January Friday afternoon with a winter storm warning in effect.Move to Amend Protesters

Move to Amend Protesters

Please join us at Move to Amend Toledo or Occupy Toledo, or your own local or regional chapters of these groups, to bring an end to corporate personhood and reestablish humans as the appropriate and preeminent power in this nation.  Thanks!

 

 

Abolish Corporate Personhood – join MovetoAmend.org

Abolish Corporate Personhood – join MovetoAmend.org

End Corporate PersonhoodIt’s “We the People”, not “We the Corporations.”  Well, perhaps, for now, it’s “Wee the people!”  But hang on, the people are pissed off, and the meek are getting ready.  We are in fact the people we have been waiting for.  Corporations never have and never will be our saviors.  At best, they are tools… for people to use to better humanity as the people see fit, for the people’s benefit.

I am encouraging all the people of these United States to join in the effort to abolish corporate personhood through direct democracy.  One national organization helping lead the way in abolishing corporate personhood is MovetoAmend.org.  Here is a snippet from their website:

“On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. We Move to Amend.”

Here’s the Move to Amend amendment they propose:

 Move to Amend 28th Amendment

Section 1 [A corporation is not a person and can be regulated]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]

Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

Section 3

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

Let’s abolish corporate personhood and end of the reign of legal fictions over our political and social life in these great United States, great because of the strength of its people, and great because laws can serve people not people serving legal fictions.