After a month of posts covering issues surrounding the current proxy war in Ukraine, it's time to take a little break and think about what's really behind all the unpleasantness in the world.
"What is that?" you wonder. I'm glad you asked.
"That's a bit simplistic," you may retort. Well, sometimes keeping it simple gets right to the heart of the matter. Without billionaires desiring even more profits from fossil fuels such as natural gas, and from military armaments/equipment/training, we wouldn't have this current mess in eastern Europe. Without money being promised to politicians to do the bidding of these billionaires, we wouldn't have this current nightmare of being less than two minutes from midnight on the Nuclear War Countdown Clock.
"Money makes the world go round," the old saying goes. And it could very well end all life on this planet if we allow it to continue enthralling billionaires and Neo-Nazis alike.
"Money is not speech!" is a slogan shouted by Move to Amend supporters. By amending the US Constitution to counteract the damage done by the Citizens' United Supreme Court ruling since 2010 (when the justices declared that corporations could spend as much as they like to buy off politicians since it was "free speech"), it is hoped actual free speech and less wars and less profiteering off the poverty, health care, and student loan debts of the American public would occur.
This past week supporters of the Move to Amend met together in the Toledo, Ohio, City Council chambers to celebrate Democracy Day 2022. The pandemic had put it on hold for two years, so it was great to see old friends and face down the city officials in person as we once again presented our requests for building a world not based on money but free speech for human beings, not corporations.
Here's what I had to say:
|Single Payer Action Network tabling at Democracy Day.
Health Care Is A Human Right--Democracy Day 2022
by C. A. Matthews
Toledo City Council has bravely enacted Democracy Day and each year stands with Move to Amend members in boldly declaring, "Money is not speech!" and "Corporations are not people!"
But is this a complete and adequate response? If a corporation is not a person, then who qualifies as a person? Is a flesh and blood human being considered a "person" in a legal sense? If money is not considered "free speech" then why do wealthy individuals and corporations have more influence and wield more power over politicians and governmental policy than mere individual human beings?
To give a little background on this topic, corporations are not mentioned in the US Constitution. Not once. They are so-called "legal fictions" or creations of government, intended to provide useful goods and services. No voter, citizen, social movement or elected official has ever granted corporations constitutional rights – those were intended exclusively for human beings. Corporate entities have gained constitutional rights and "personhood" solely through the rulings of activist Supreme Court Justices. The 14th Amendment in particular has been reinterpreted to mean that corporations have the rights to free speech and personhood. It was argued that formerly enslaved persons--who were once thought of as merely "property" and not as human beings created in the Image of God--were to be granted rights under this amendment. They were given the right to be considered "people," in other words. And if "property" or former slaves could be considered as persons with the right of free speech, then why not corporations as well?
Nowadays, it can be argued that once again our Constitution is under attack and that those who once were considered "persons" by the fact that are flesh and blood human beings have lost the right to claim that status. Consider this all-too-common scenario: A person has an accident--he's hit by a car crossing the street let's say--and is rushed to a local hospital for treatment. Once there, it is discovered that this person doesn't have private health insurance, doesn't qualify for any kind of government health care, and has little or no money in the bank to cover necessary treatment. Unless someone or some organization comes to this person's rescue and pays all his medical bills, this person doesn't legally have the right to expect health care. There is no law saying that health care must be provided to him no matter how much he pleads to be treated for his injuries. His speech is "free" but it is not heard in this instance as he is sent home without treatment.
So the question again is raised, "Is a flesh and blood human being legally a person with all the rights of personhood?" Under our current health care system in the United States and in this scenario, it can be argued that this injured individual is not legally a person. Just as a slave master of the pre-Civil War period wasn't legally obligated to treat an injured slave--who was considered his property--our health care system has no obligations to help every individual who asks for medical assistance.
What good is to simply say, "Money is not speech!" and "Corporations aren't people!" if actual human beings have no free speech and aren't legally persons?
|Speaking to a handful of city council members (and the mayor).
If Toledo City Council really wants to make a bold statement, then it must add to that mantra, "Human beings are persons, and as persons, they have the human right to health care!"
It is a simple statement, but it packs quite a punch. According to the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- Article 25, Section 1:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services...
By stating that corporations are not people, but that human beings are most certainly people, City Council would be stating for the record that Toledo is a place where all its residents will enjoy the human right of "a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their families" which would include access to food, housing, medical care and necessary social services as stated in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
I believe by making this simple statement and reaffirming it yearly on Democracy Day, Toledo City Council will create a caring and compassionate community that will become noteworthy worldwide, creating an image that corporations will find attractive, encouraging them to locate their businesses within our city limits to everyone's benefit. After all, a population that is housed, fed, and has the certainty of access to health care, whatever their socio-economic status may be, makes for a strong and healthy workforce and a happy living and working space. More businesses and more employed Toledoans also means more property and sale taxes. It is the ultimate win-win scenario where human beings are free to speak and to grow and prosper in the assurance that their city government protects their human rights and wishes only the best for all persons--human beings and corporate alike--who dwell in Toledo.
Please support Medicare For All and together with all of us as persons--as human beings--proudly state, "Health care is a human right!"
Article links about what money does to our free speech, how it endangers our world, or how health care is a human right:
UN General Assembly to Recognize the Right to a Healthy Environment https://www.abajournal.com/web/article/aba-encourages-un-general-assembly-to-recognize-right-to-healthy-environment
Poorest US Counties Suffered Twice the COVID Deaths of the Richest https://truthout.org/articles/poorest-us-counties-suffered-twice-the-covid-deaths-of-the-richest/
Facing An Attack From a For-Profit Health Super PAC https://jacobinmag.com/2022/03/pa-democratic-senate-primary-fetterman-lamb-pac
Medicare For All Is Not Enough https://popularresistance.org/medicare-for-all-is-not-enough/
This War Is Really About Central Banks and the Petrodollar (video) https://www.rokfin.com/post/80658
Meet the New Resource Based Global Reserve Currency https://popularresistance.org/meet-the-new-resource-based-global-reserve-currency/
Russia Invades Ukraine: A Timeline of Broken Promises https://www.breakthroughnews.org/post/russia-invades-ukraine-a-timeline-of-broken-promises
US Imperialism's Proxy War With Russia in Ukraine https://popularresistance.org/us-imperialisms-proxy-war-with-russia-in-ukraine/
If you need a dose of revolutionary optimism, check this video out: https://youtu.be/XO_FXkxJVj4
Seen on Twitter:
Food is profit-driven.— Lumpy Louise 🍎🥄 The US are the Baddies (@LumpyLouish) April 4, 2022
Housing is profit-driven.
Healthcare is profit-driven.
Water is even profit driven.
When people's basic needs are profit-driven, the most vulnerable among us die UNNECESSARILY.
Capitalism is a disease.
They didn't give you universal basic income during a pandemic. You actually think they care about fair wages? #Midterms2022— 𝐶𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑛𝑖𝑎𝑛⋆ (@undrcvrbrothr) April 4, 2022
BREAKING: The Center for Disease Control just announced it will end the racist Trump-era Title 42 policy –which weaponized the pandemic to expel millions of people seeking safety— by May 23.
For months we’ve been pressuring the CDC to end the draconian Title 42 policy. Today’s decision is a huge testament to our activism, calls, and emails, but it also calls us into action – because, of course, it’s not that simple.
Until Title 42 ends on May 23rd, the Department of Homeland Security will continue expedited removals, a devastating mass deportation system that sends people back into danger without due process. If we can open our borders to Ukrainian families escaping the horrors of war, we can do so for the Black and brown children, families, and adults who have been fleeing similar violence and waiting at the border for months, or years, because of this policy.
Every day that DHS Secretary Mayorkas allows these expulsions, we put children and families seeking safety at risk of kidnapping, rape, and murder. Will you join us in demanding Secretary Mayorkas end all expulsions now and welcome families with dignity?
In only two years, U.S. immigration officials have carried out over 1.7 million expulsions using Title 42 as an excuse, primarily against Black and brown asylum seekers at the border. Yet, when Ukrainians and Russians show up at the border, we have found a way to let them through, as all people should be.We have the capability to grant exceptions and let people fleeing violence through. We just refuse to use it for “certain” people. Title 42 has uplifted the inherent racism of our immigration system — another six weeks of expelling Black and brown families without a chance to go through a legal process is another six weeks of racism, unnecessary pain, and hardship. Today’s news shows us that our pressure is working, and we have to keep it up. We can’t allow DHS immigration officials to cherry-pick who gets to access asylum in this country based on race. Every day that the administration continues to allow Title 42 expulsions to continue is hypocrisy. Let’s make it clear that we won’t back down until we get a clear commitment from DHS to end all expulsions immediately.
Ukrainians to Afghans to Haitians to Venezuelans, people are forced to
flee their countries because they have no other choice. Everyone seeking
protection deserves a warm welcome here.
We can, and will, rise to the task of fixing our broken asylum system. Thank you for taking action, Erin Mazursky, Interim Managing Director
From Public Citizen:
Millions of Americans who suffer from these conditions (and others) can’t afford the medicine they need.
Because of sheer greed on the part of pharmaceutical companies.
- For the 20 top-selling drugs, Big Pharma made more in the U.S. than in every other country on Earth combined.
- That’s particularly outrageous given how much research and development is paid for by the American people. (The taxpayer-funded National Institutes of Health alone spends $40 billion a year on R&D.)
- In essence, we are paying through the nose not once but twice!
But We the People can fight Big Pharma’s immoral price gouging.
The federal government can overcome patent monopolies by authorizing generic competition — either for products it will pay for (like medicines purchased through Medicare) or for publicly-funded medications.
Generic competition is a game-changer: The FDA has found that the introduction of generics can lead to price reductions of 95%.
And, crucially, the federal government *already* has the power to do this — which would be transformative in making essential medicines affordable for millions of Americans.
To proceed, we don’t need Congress to do anything. The Biden administration can act on its own.
Tell the Biden Administration:
Use your existing authority to introduce generic competition for medicines. By doing so, you can lower drug prices, improve the lives of millions of Americans, make progress on confronting the epidemics of our time, and improve health equity.
Add your name now.
Thank you for taking action.
- Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen
In a near-future dystopian world, hope blossoms where mutual aid and democracy begins...
Zonta’s world is turned upside down when Jake arrives at the commune to investigate the disappearance of agents of the Authority. Can she persuade him to switch sides before the Protectors (antifascist fighters) take action?
Available now: https://www.extasybooks.com/Where-the-Bodies-Lie
A great tale of how love, cooperation, and socialism will ultimately save us all. -- Redd Phlagg
(Read and review Where The Bodies Lie and you'll get a mention on the blog.)