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Forum Post: Get Our Government Back ... No Ammendment or Article V needed !

Posted 10 years ago on Dec. 16, 2011, 1:52 p.m. EST by Rico (3027)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

People who know me know my number one objective is to restore our Democracy; We Want Our Government Back !

Many declare the problem to be corporate 'personhood' and further suggest this problem emerged from the Citizens United case. Many also believe a Constitutional Amendment and/or an Article V Convention is required to get the money out. I disagree. The 'personhood' issue is not the barrier, nor can it be changed. Furthermore, I think we can get the money out without a Constitutional Amendment or Convention.

The law defining corporations as people is in US Code Section 1, Paragraph 1 which can be read at http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/01C1.txt . Note that 1948 - Act June 25, 1948, included "tense", "whoever", "signature", "subscription", "writing" and a broader definition of "person". A 'person' was defined by act of Congress in the 1948 amendment to "include corporations, companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and joint stock companies, as well as individuals." The language regarding corporations date back to the earliest days of the Republic when corporations were first founded, and they needed status as 'persons' under contract law in order to enter into contracts (and be sued). The legal foundation underlying the various definitions of 'person' relates to the right of unions, companies, and other willful associations to inherit the rights of the people choosing to associate. There's good background at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood .

The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case was a narrow decision regarding the ability of associations of people to engage in political speech around the time of an election. The summary of the court's ruling at http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/ca ... ommission/ states, "Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. While corporations or unions may not give money directly to campaigns, they may seek to persuade the voting public through other means, including ads, especially where these ads were not broadcast." The full opinion, available at http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/up ... pinion.pdf mentions we routinely allow media corporations such as MSNBC and Fox to talk about politics, endorse candidates, and so forth all day long then goes on to say they could see rationale to prevent another corporation from doing the same.

It is important to note that Citizen's United only removed the restriction on independent corporate or union speech occurring within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. Corporations and unions were free to spend all they want outside these time limits. If fact, there appears to be precedent for spending within the time limits if the corporation makes a profit; The Federal Election Commission ruled Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" film, associated trailers, and website represented bona fide commercial activity, not “contributions” or “expenditures” under the law.

It is equally important to appreciate the amount of money being spread around Washington from sources completely unrelated to associations of people inheriting the rights of the people associating. Per http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php , 9.5 billion dollars was spent by lobbying firms from 2008 to 2011. Per http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs ... 12&party=A , another 18.6 million dollars has already been distributed by PACs in relation to the 2012 election cycle. Finally, per http://www.opensecrets.org/527s/index.php , another 546 million dollars was spend in the 2010 cycle by the 523's, and the 2012 totals are now ramping up. This money being used to influence the votes of our candidates does far greater damage than political advertisements aimed at influencing our vote.

To summarize:

  • Corporate person-hood has been a round a long time. It is based on the same legal reasoning that allows all groups of individuals to inherit individual rights whether they be unions, corporations, or the Sierra Club. This is what allows such associations to enter in contracts including union labor agreements.
  • The Citizens United case only lifted the ban on independent expenditures on ads by associations of people with a few months of an election event. We already allow many associations of people to do so, and it appears any association that does it for a profit lives in a loophole.
  • The existing laws, wholly unrelated to the associations are people law, allow literally billions of corrupting dollars to flow to our elected officials. There is legal precedent establishing Congressional authority to limit the direct contribution of money to the campaign funds of elected officials.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that we don't won't be able to change the 'personhood' of people in association, and we don't need a constitutional amendment much less an Article V convention. We simply need to press Congress to further limit all the loopholes that exist in the PACs, 523's, and other vehicles by which money is funneled to our elected officials.

P.S. My views on the entire topic are captured over at themultitudes.org forum which is superior to this forum when thoughtful discourse is desired.



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[-] 2 points by CobyART5 (59) 10 years ago

Article 5 Convention NOW!

The picture is much bigger than this. If getting the money out of politics by virtue of making it so that corporations are not classified as persons, then m-a-y-b-e this would be enough. But it doesn't begin to cover the other problems such as the grave dissemination of our human and civil rights as of late, or keeping the corruption out of ALL political areas among other things. An Article 5 Convention with an amendment to allow for the "Greater Meaning of Free Speech" (GMFS) so that there can never again be the broad interpretation that purposely allowed for the loopholes of language that politicians have used against us for their own gain of power. An Article 5 Convention is our only hope of taking back our freedom and ensuring transparency of government.

I borrowed this from an Article 5 Convention poster here on OWS, ChristopherABrownART5.

This approach will gain wide support IF people are serious about seeing demands met and is the only possible strategy countering the potential co-opting of OWS by other interests perhaps sabotaging OWS's effectiveness. Then serving to justify things like mccain is involved with right now, SOPA, and the imprisonment issue of OHS origin. The leaderless non accountability of OWS while not overtly defending the constitution, when very clearly every single demand they have is caused by violations of the constitution by various divisions of the federal government over the last 100 years; AND protesters depend on the constitutional rights for doing what they are doing under the OWS banner, is rather offensive to my sense of common logic in our society.

Enough! Compensate with understanding underlined with unity. You are the 99% and you are the leader. You have the authority to adopt any strategy that will work to meet demands and ruthlessly pursue that with reason, evidence and law. As a human of one nation under God you are permitted, indeed it is your genetic duty to express your instinctual compulsion to preserve the rule of natural law and assure survival IF you can. The US constitution happens to be the available tool for that.

Since it is fairly impossible to "overthrow the US government", you will end up simply apprehending the infiltrators and cease their treason under law by using article 5 of the US constitution, then restore constitutional government. Article 5 is your first and last constitutional right.

First thing, Occupy congress and provide formal notice that they are inviolation of the constituion, law and their oaths. We need to Occupy Congress and put them on notice with a petition of greivance. That starts the clock ticking on the 45 day contractual period of notice for them to begin to call state delegates for a convention to propose amendments.

This is a letter that actually cites the violations of law that congress is conducting at this moment having neglected, non feased and mal feased for so long we are seriously needing to engage remedy. This could be legitimately be used to Occupy Congress in constructive notice.


Then go to the states capitols. Find who understands that protests need to be organized upon states legislatures. Understand some legal aspects too. Here is a letter template, resolution form that can be sent to state legislatures asking them to work for an article V convention.


Article 5 is our first and last constitutional right. If we don't use it now, we will not have any rights. Freedom is not free. Unity is cheap compared to the demise of the nwo default with confused sheep, not free.

Educate yourselves about article V.

Lessig power point on article V http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gpbfY-atMk

Lots of facts here about Article V. Lawsuit filed against all members of congress, video. http://algoxy.com/poly/article_v_convention.html

Article V conference, Lawrence Lessig at harvard 9/25/11-other attendee video comments http://vimeo.com/31464745 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-7ikbvu0Y8

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

I was only addressing the very specific desire of getting the money out of politics so we can use our uncorrupted Democracy to address our other concerns.

I respect your position, but I think it's going to be very hard to get an Article V Convention, especially with the express intent of changing several things in the Constitution. When I read the history of Article V convention calls, I discovered why we have yet to have one, and none of the barriers faced in the past have changed. One barrier is the fear American's have in reopening the entire Constitution for debate.

In order of the effort required, the easiest path to change is the US Code, the second is the Constitutional Amendment, and the hardest is the Constitutional Convention. There have been no Constitutional Conventions. None, and there's a reason; it's very hard.

In my personal opinion, it is more realistic to revise the existing McCain-Feingold laws to ban all contributions and expand the Federal Election Campaign Fund we already have. Once we have our government back, we can use it to fix all the other ills imposed on us by the prior Congresses.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Sorry, making bribery and conflicts of interest, "illegal" will not uncorrupt DC's government, change it's purpose, or bring back the Rule of Law.

You're striking at the lofty branches.....


[-] 2 points by aahpat (1407) 10 years ago

Good analysis. Nicely thought out.

I would go you one further and say that we don't even need to distract ourselves or expend our limited collaborative resources on getting Congress, that today directly benefits from the current laws relating to PACs and 523's, to change the laws in ways that they would benefit from less. All we need to do is put our heads and hearts together to identify mechanisms that we can use, in the existing subverted state level ballot access process, to get around the big money to party compartmentalization of the democratic process.

Most people do not realize that all of the money that use used to subvert our democracy today only actually buys a small winning margin. It does not and cannot buy any entire election. Through hook and crook the two party status quo collaborators have 1. disenfranchised a few million votes, 2. created safe legislative districts with concentrations of criminally disenfranchised prison populations and 3. disaffected from the process many millions of Americans who want desperately to believe in democracy but have been burned by the cynical predators like Barack Obama.

Liberating American democracy from the effects of these subversive actions will take away from the elite their winning margin. This can be done with creative new ideas and existing resources. I am sure. It is simply a matter of getting enough people to realize that participating in this corrupt system is the only way to overcome the corruption.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Simpler would be restoring our 1791 Constitution, not caring what DC does with it's fecal and blood stained 1871 documents along with all it's treasonous fraud..... and then all attorneys and PHD's are out of the people's congress, all people are no longer incorporated or collateral, conflicts of interest amongst civil servants again becomes treason... an actual hanging offense. Those problems, and many more solved.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

Great political analysis and strategy. I agree.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

btw.... what would your response be if I were to asset that there have been no legal amendments to The Constitution for the United States of America since 1812?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

I am familiar with the arguments, and have reviewed the rulings, so I would disagree.

We, the OWS supporters, are fond of interpreting law according to our own preferences. The fact is, the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the right to interpret the Constitution, and they ruled the ratification of the amendments you're alluding to to be legal. Case closed.

It doesn't matter how you or I think the court should have ruled, they ruled, and their ruling is law according to the Constitution. That's why they are called the Supreme Court.

By the very definition of what's legal, nobody can say an act ruled legal by the Supreme Court is 'illegal.' They can only say they disagree and would not have ruled the same way.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

But when, before or after 1871? It matters, don't you think so? Before 1871 things were lawful or unlawful. Legal and illegal came about with the sanctioned jurisdiction of Article IV courts. Do you not agree?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

You're doing it again. The authority of the lower courts was ruled upon and deemed legal by the Supreme Court using the powers it derives directly from the Constitution. It's law. The opinions of you and I are irrelevant.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Do you not believe that another Constitution was written in place of the first in 1871, when Philadelphia ceased being our nation's capital and DC was chartered and became the capital of a reformed United States? Yanno, default on the Civil War financing? Still unpaid to this day, that one!

What I'm doing again is seeing if you are aware of our nation's realities.

You might be interested to know that The United States Supreme Court ruled that there are indeed both forms still in place, just all the seats on the earlier form are vacant. In which case it would the The Supreme Court of the United States doing the ruling. Or do I have that backwards?

I'll assume you completely disagree with my assertions.

By the way, did you check out the details of the 1992/93 case I posted?

I was hoping you would so we could discuss any weight it may bring to bear on your diatribe and then I could follow up with an even more interesting 1998 ruling.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

OK. Enough already. Yes, I have read the Men's Colony case, and it has no bearing on the topic of this thread. Neither does your incessent questioning of the legitimacy of our Consitutution or government.

I strongly encourage you to start a separate thread titled "The Illegitimacy of Our Government" and see how many people you can get to join you standing in front of Congress and the Supreme Court declaring their authority is illegitimate. You will achieve nothing.

I am seeking real change we can actually accomplish.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Well there you go again being a rude and pious ass.

I hate to tell you, I'm right and you're not.

Btw.... you didn't study that case closely enough, or refuse to see truth, as it certainly puts a twist in your 1948 rulings.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

Fine drop all the extraneous stuff, stick to the topic, and explain how you feel the Mens Colony case applies to my post.

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Have you read it, the part where SCOTUS discusses indigence, poverty and human conditions? I don't believe you have read it.

Did you read Paul Mitchell's Federal Zone? It's a wealth of factual and tested information specifically relevant to your faulty position.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

See my response at http://occupywallst.org/forum/get-our-government-back-no-ammendment-or-article-v/#comment-516995 .

I will also argue a prima facia case. If your position is accurate, then why are the rights of persons extended to corporations ? Remember, the rulings of the Supreme Court are law, and they have extended the rights of individuals to corporations time and time again. I argue that the present state of affairs supports my position and contradicts your own.

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Because it's like trying to teach a pig to sing, a waste of my time and annoying to the pig.

A pig doesn't realize that 1993 rulings bear far greater weight than those from 1948, and likely because the pig has never put anything of value on the line and run it up the Article IV judicial system's flagpole.

Don't sweat it, there are plenty of average people who will adore your useless rhetoric and never ask how if your smooth words have any foundation in real world experience, or actual education outside of being a systems annalist.

I'm not such an easy lay and don't care if you aren't sharp enough to know when you are dead wrong and in way over your depth, Rico.

I'll leave you to knob gobble your super inflated cock of an ineptly inflated ego.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

You have yet to present any factual case, you have only disagreed and claimed superior knowledge by assertion. I take your foul language, ad hominem attacks, and diversionary tactics as one of the clearest signs of defeat I have yet seen in these forums.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

I'd run with that if I were you.

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

And I did check the other "P.S. My views on the entire topic are captured over at themultitudes.org forum which is superior to this forum when thoughtful discourse is desired" and they spanked you gently, but, they still haven't nailed you down like I have, regardless if yo realize I'm right or not.



jump in at chapter 4 and see if that doesn't have you wanting to start at the preface.

learn something and then actually read that Rowland case with your mind open. If you can do that, I'll carry you a bit further, even if we disagree, but, just saying you read it and you disagree won't cut it.

Btw.... the guy in the link is for real, all records and rulings can be verified.


Here is his main page.

btw... Article IV courts have very limited constitutionality, if any.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

Far from being 'spanked' over at themultitudes.org, the only person who was opposing my interpretation said "The legal issues are as you stated: the Supreme Court has ruled the convention call is a political question (i.e. Congress gets to decide if/when to call)." See http://www.themultitude.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=499&start=195.

I have yet to see a response from you that refuses my original post in detail. The post is not about the validity of our government, it provides my thoughts on how we might get the money out without the rather cumbersome process of a Constitutional Amendment or Convention. Do you have something relevant to add?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 10 years ago

I do not believe that any ordinary legislation can override the concept of corporate personhood coupled with first amendment righs as determined by the supreme court.
That is why I am working in the Restore Democracy WG to overturn corporate personhood via constitutional amendment. There are already at least five amendments that have been PROPOSED IN CONGRESS.
join us

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

I too once supported the anti-corporate personhood movements, but then I did a bunch of reasearch into it's origins and the powers it conveys. It turns out that corporate personhood is not the cause of money flowing through Washington, and it is rooted in law that is unlikely to change. I know everyone will be disagreeing. Everyone except, perhaps, those that research the laws they propose to change.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

I've been telling people on this site from day one that the 2010 ruling will never be overturned as the problem is person corporatehood and the ruling boils down to saying that, 'a corporation is a corporation', without really rubbing the people's faces in it.

[-] 1 points by statusquobuster (8) 10 years ago

This is one of the most ignorant, wrong statements I have ever read. Pathetic. If you want to get genuine reforms, then forget getting them from Congress. If you want money out of politics you need a constitutional amendment, and Congress will never propose that, only an Article V convention will do that. Many other reforms also require amendments. Can't imagine what kind of false Occupy supporter or just plain dumb person would still believe in Congress doing what is needed.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

First, thank you for starting your statement in such a polite fashion. You're really helping promote the reasoned and respectful discourse on which our Democracy relies.

Second, if you would spend a little time reading the law, you'd understand that we have to work through Congress to get an Article V Convention. There's no way around Congress. Read the Constitution.

Third, I fail to see why people think it's going to be easy to get all those state legislatures to agree to the conventions then get Congress to approve it. Those state legislatures are also comprised of politicians, and they get money from corporations just like those in Congress. Since you have to get Congress on board anyway we may as well just work them directly.

Finally, I think that having done the hard research to identify the pitfalls we face and putting in the effort to devise a practical approach for the consideration of the movement constitutes more constructive support than simply tossing around uninformed opinions and spewing insults.

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

You're wrong, read the 13th amendment to The Constitution FOR the United States of America. It's vastly different than DC's 1871 THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and it's 13th amendment.

In the original 1791 federal government, bribery was treason and attorneys and other such highly specialized esquires were prohibited from holding public office.

Originally, regular persons were intended to hold office and write laws in plain English. Our government was never supposed to operate beyond these limits and those within the comprehension and grasp of a reasonable person. Consult with lawyers, economists, financial and military experts, political and social scientist? Sure, and we should!

Have them writing 10,000 page laws laden with esoteric economist, financial and legal speak? Never again.

You'll note the term "reasonable man" mentioned many times in the 1791 Bankruptcy pact, known as The Constitution for the United States of America.

In the first 80 years, a person had to prove they were reasonable to vote, hold any government position or not be deemed to be those of whom government was for, but not by.

When did mere landownership qualify any person, other than women, to vote? Or did it also include women?


[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago


Explanation and history of Corporate person hood

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

I would say my best explanation of personhood from a response I provided elsewhere is...

The use of the term 'person' in regards associations of persons is nothing but a convenient way to express the simple fact that people don't lose their rights because they choose to associate and operate in unison. Recognizing this simple fact vastly simplifies the law regarding associations.

All the many owners of a corporation could sign a power of attorney granting the CEO the authority to sign contracts on their behalf. In the case of Apple or any other big corporation, that would require literally millions of signatures every time the CEO changed. In addition, a new power of attorney would have to be created and another retired every time a share changed hands, and all would have to be checked by anyone entering into contract with the company. It's simply easier to acknowledge all these powers of attorney could be written and make that power implicit to the act of incorporation. By contract law, only a person can enter into a contract, so the corporation just became a 'person' for all intents and purposes.

In a similar vein, one could list every single shareholder of Apple Computer or another large company on a civil lawsuit, but they would have to amend their lawsuit every time a share changed hands on the staock market. It's simply easier to acknowledge they could keep updating the names on their suit and let them sue the corporation instead. By law, only a person can be sued, so the corporation just became a 'person' for all intents and purposes.

'Personhood' is simply convenient, especially considering there are millions of people in the association and the membership is dynamic. There are, however, zero rights or responsibilities implied by the convenient use of the term 'person' that are not directly traceable to the rights and powers of the people choosing to associate. There is nothing a corporation can do that could not be done by the people who own it by exercise of their individual rights.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 10 years ago

I read it

could try breaking sentences apart

maybe define all pronouns

getting millions of sig is easy via internet

[-] 1 points by ZenDogTroll (13032) from South Burlington, VT 10 years ago

You said: One of the rights an association of people inherits is the 14th amendment right to equal protection,

The 14th amendment clearly states person or persons:

  • persons born or naturalized

  • nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process . . .

  • counting the whole number of persons

  • No person shall be a Senator or Representative

The 14th amendment cannot be construed to imply any collective rights held by organizations, unless one wants to attempt to use the following from Section 1:

  • No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the priveileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

You point out the possibility of a hostile Congress, and to address that possibility you advocate using identical language among 34 legislatures to call for a Constitutional convention.

If we can get 34 identical measures in individual states, we can get 38 identical measures in individual states.

I would suggest that if Congress is hostile to a call for Constitutional convention, then they may be just as hostile to attempting legislative reform of the campaign contribution process - especially since they have tried several times already, only to have the Supreme Court over rule the idea.

The fair and legal approach, in my opinion, is to ban all contributions from 'people' and use the people's money (taxes) to fund the people's political system. This does not require a constitutional amendment, it only requires action by Congress.

while the above approach might work, it leaves open the door to the possibility of endless wrangling between Congress and the Supreme Court with a net result of no implementation of change.

It is this last that gives me the greatest concern.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

The use of the term 'person' in regards associations of people is nothing but a convenient way to express the long standing fact that people don't lose their rights simply because they choose to associate and operate in unison.

All the many owners of a corporation could sign a power of attorney granting the CEO the authority to sign contracts on their behalf. In the case of Apple or any other big corporation, that would require literally millions of signatures every time the CEO changed. In addition, a new power of attorney would have to be created and another retired every time a share changed hands, and all would have to be checked by anyone entering into contract with the company. It's simply easier to acknowledge all these powers of attorney could be written and make that power implicit to the act of incorporation.

In a similar vein, one could list every single shareholder of Apple Computer or another large company on a civil lawsuit, but they would have to amend their lawsuit every time a share changed hands. it's simply easier to acknowledge they could keep updating the names on their suit and let them sue the corporation instead.

'Personhood' is simply convenient, especially considering there are millions of people in the association and the membership is dynamic. There are, however, zero rights or responsibilities implied by the convenient use of the term 'person' that are not directly traceable to the rights and powers of the people choosing to associate.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

You are wrong. See the Rowland Case decided 1993 and it references congress and Scotus all the way back to 1915.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

Quoting from Rowland v. California Men's Colony ( http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-1188.ZO.html ): "It is true that to file a suit in forma pauperis, not in the Council's name, as such, but under the title "X, Y, and Z, known as the Council v. Rowland," X, Y, and Z would each need to file an affidavit stating that he met the indigency requirements of § 1915. Nothing, however, in § 1915 suggests that the requirements would be less burdensome if the suit were titled "The Council v. Rowland"; even if we held that an association could proceed in forma pauperis, our prior discussion shows that a court could hardly ignore the assets of the association's members in making the indigency determination."

The language in Rowland v. California Men's Colony specifically states that the individuals of the association (prisoners in this case) could each file the required affidavit of indigency. The statement then goes to convenience in determining whether the rights of the individuals should be inherited by their loosely formed association and concludes in the negative. This one paragraph alone substantiates by statements regard both inheritance and convenience in regards treatment of associations as a person.

Moving on to the Rowland v. California Men's Colony finding, the issue was whether the association could receive free legal council under Title 28 Part V Chapter 123 § 1915 Proceedings in forma pauperis ( http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/28/1915.html ). Section (a)(1) of the code states, "... United States may authorize the commencement, prosecution or defense of any suit, action or proceeding, civil or criminal, or appeal therein, without prepayment of fees or security therefor, by a person who submits an affidavit that includes a statement of all assets such prisoner possesses that the person is unable to pay such fees or give security therefor." A key issue in the case revolved around the requirement for an affidavid, and the court ruled based on prior law saying an association may not file an affidavit. Per my comments elsewhere under this post, an association is not a person in the terms of criminal behavior as there is no physical entity to place behind bars (The board, officers, and employees can, however, be convicted of individual crimes, and any group of them can be convicted of criminal conspiracy). Since an association of persons cannot be imprisoned, the threat of such imprisonment that stands behind an affidavit is removed, so affidavits filed by associations are advisory only.

There were other issues noted regarding Roland's claim as well. Paragraph (a)(1) quoted above once said "citizen," but the language was later changed to 'person' with the specific written intent on including non-citizens such as illegal immigrants. Furthermore, all other language in the § 1915 paragraphs defining the requirement for free counsel uses the term 'prisoner' instead of 'person.'

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

It specifically addresses corporations, did you not read that. 'a corporation may be insolvent, but not impoverished' .... 'poverty is a human condition' .... sufficient is 'an affidavit stating one is unable to proceed and still provide the necessities of life'

You say it's very narrow, I disagree and so have many other lower courts as well as judges who wished they hadn't.

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Now when you move beyond legal tenderfoot, explain why this too seems to fly in the face of the 2010 ruling so many are bent over, yet, it clearly does not.

A hint, were the human litigants incorporated, via their own implied consent? What happened, in the final analysis, after all actions by the plaintiffs, were said and done?

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Yes it can imply such rights if they apply to all persons who have de facto been incorporated, as all have by DC.

DC's congress is de facto the trustee for the note holders of the 1871 United States bankruptcy.

Under their constitution, you have waived all rights and unknowingly given implied consent for THE STATE to dole whatever they care to all, as suspend-able and revokable privileges.

The 1791 Constitution was a bankruptcy pact between the independent colonies to pay off the nearly 150 million, (gold backed 1776 money) cost of the financed Revolutionary war.

The 1871 Constitution was a BK pact to pay off the still unpaid for Civil War, with very unsavory terms, especially when reorganized in 1933.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

Excellent post, Rico. In the wikipedia article, I thought this was interesting: ... Ralph Nader and others have argued that a strict originalist philosophy, such as that of Justice Antonin Scalia, should reject the doctrine of corporate personhood under the Fourteenth Amendment.[17] Indeed, Chief Justice William Rehnquist repeatedly criticized the Court's invention of corporate constitutional "rights," most famously in his dissenting opinion in the 1978 case First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.[18] Nonetheless, these justices' rulings have continued to affirm the assumption of corporate personhood, as the Waite court did, and Justice Rehnquist himself eventually endorsed overruling "Austin," dissenting in "McConnell v. FEC." ...

Not often one gets to hear the names Scalia and Nader in similar thinking.

Corporations have been left to the states to regulate, for the most part. And states were very restrictive and vigilant with regards to corporations until 1883:

... Corporate charters remained regulated by the states. Forming a corporation usually required an act of legislature. Investors generally had to be given an equal say in corporate governance, and corporations were required to comply with the purposes expressed in their charters. (Andrew Carnegie formed his steel operation as a limited partnership, and John D. Rockefeller set up Standard Oil as a trust). Eventually, state governments started to have more permissive corporate laws. New Jersey was the first state to adopt an "enabling" corporate law, with the goal of attracting more business to the state. Delaware’s first corporation law was enacted in 1883. ...

But within no time, all the states had followed suit. What this tells us is simply that what regulation on corporations may be necessary is best accomplished at the state level. Normally I'm for such a tenth amendment solution, but corporations would flee states who sought to ratchet down their influence and stature under the law.

Personally, I despise the concept of corporations as a way to limit personal liability. Romney has famously said, "Corporations are people, my friend." But so long as we seem to be unable to prosecute corporations like criminals, or the individuals who head up the ones who prove the most evil, it is only through an economic death penalty imposed by the market that these entities can be destroyed, but like rats from a sinking ship, those most responsible just seem to skate.

And now it's worse than ever, because the worst offenders have become "Too Big to Fail" which ends up being worse than pardoning a convicted murderer, because the fallout of the crimes are heaped upon the people, and the corporations not only keep their ill-gotten gains, but are rewarded with bailouts, that in part have gone to sustain and enrich the employment of the same criminals that brought the evil about.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

Officers of corporations aren't insulated from criminal liability, they are only insulated from civil liability. Am I wrong ?

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

May well be. I don't know the issues well enough. One way or the other, where are the prosecutions? I think those who WOULD act are afraid, perhaps of being Spitzerized or worse.

I fear that the regulatory agencies end up doing more harm than good when it comes to the sorts of crimes that have practically bankrupted us. They become a single point of failure in regulatory matters, and I'm not all that sure that even our courts are comfortable enough to go ahead.

I fear it's Godfather-type corruption within our system that ultimately prevents those who are supposed to be empowered to seek justice from doing so.

If I'm right or not, do you have any ideas about how to counter that sort of corruption?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

We just sent a hedge fund manager to prison for violating the law, and Bernie Madoff has already served a year. Heck, we even sent Martha Stewart to prison for insider trading ! These type convictions are actually a lot more common than people assume because they only hear about the really big and controversial ones.

What crimes have been committed that you think are not being prosecuted? It has to be an actual crime for anyone to do anything about it. It can't just be 'abhorrent behavior' according to your or my opinion. If we want to prosecute what we feel is 'abhorrent behavior,' we first need to pass a law making it a crime.

It's not a crime to sell a product to a person who wants to buy it, even if they can't afford it. The product has to be misrepresented for a crime to occur. When it comes to mortgages, if you've ever had one you might remember the Federal Truth In Lending Act form you signed. That form forces the lender to state plainly and clearly the terms of the loan so you can't be hoodwinked by fine print, and you might recall you cannot get a loan without reviewing and signing that form.

The law regarding transactions between large businesses such as those that were buying and selling the bended mortgage instruments is very lax because it is assumed large businesses and investors are sufficiently knowledgeable to understand the contracts they enter in to. A lot of them didn't perform due diligence and got burned, but no crime was committed.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

You are correct in all you've stated here.

I don't worry about hedge funds, because they fail all the time. Bernie is out of business, because his ruse failed to attract enough new money to keep his ponzi going, especially once folks started pulling their money.

What I am talking about is Fannie/Freddie, the vampire squid getting paid 100 cents on the dollar for their naked CDS's, while selling the same crap. Black makes the case that accounting control fraud is really the target we should be looking to hit, but when we are held hostage by suicide bankers who threaten to crash the system if bailouts do not commence, this is really going way beyond dinking around with relatively petty insider trading.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

I agree. What sane person thinks...

  • Congress should be allowed to run tax-payer backed mortgage companies ?

  • Congress should have been allowed to undo one of the key lessons learned from the Great Depression in the Glass–Steagall Act of 1932 so banks could grow "too big to fail" ?

  • Congress should have be allowed to undo the other key lesson learned from the Great Depression in the Banking Act of 1935 so they can control the nations money supply ?

Congress manipulated Fannie/Freddie for their own political ends, and Congress let banks get big in exchange for campaign contributions. Now Congress wants control over the money supply so they can get even more money from the banks and try to manipulate the economy for their own political ends.

Sheer madness, if you ask me, and we have a lot of people in OWS supporting that last one.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

Well, if I understand it correctly, those who rail against the private corporate control of the money supply is that as constituted, as Alan Greenspan so famously said, they are above the law. They also cite that the nature of fractional reserve lending allows banks to manipulate and distort the economy globally and unilaterally (Fed), or by a large enough cartel (TBTF) which can simply collapse the supply by refusing to issue credit. This is more effective especially after undue credit expansion (bubble). To leave these easy boom-bust controls in the hands of ANY central authority, I believe, is ultimately unsustainable, and always marred by boom/bust swings.

If instead of empowering congress or the fed or an international banking cartel to decide when and how the next financial tsunami is to occur, I would rather the price of credit be determined by those who lend.

And once the banks knew the government would backstop the mortgage debt and the student loan debt, they began lending with little regard for whether the debt would be paid, garnering healthy front-side fees and interest to tide them over until they could package the crap up in AAA IED's, and sold off for more commission money, a portion which went to the rigged CDS bet that they would blow up, which happened once they juiced the gas prices to all-time highs, . . .on and on.

Too much power in the banking sector, and too much leverage, in every sense of that term.

At least with Congress we have some sort of recourse. I'm not saying it's a match made in heaven, but it does return the responsibility to the body that divested of its responsibility in 1913. So long as the Fed remains untouchable and opaque and privately held, there is little chance of reforming it. But I'm interested in your thoughts on how that might be accomplished.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

Well, we're just going to have to respectfully agree to disagree here.

I support the idea of an elastic money supply that's not tied to a specific commodity, and I think the Fed is reasonably well managed within the boundaries of human understanding and error. I have researched the history of the Fed and read through the effects of political interference by the Hoover administration in the Great Depression. I think the compromise formed in the Banking Act of 1935 whereby the members of the board are nominated by the president to staggered 14 year terms subject to approval by the Senate is a pretty reasonable way to maintain political control over their policies while depriving the politicians the ability to manipulate them in election year cycles. Not prefect, but I don't have anything better.

Congress, by the way, divested it's responsibility far before 1913 when they vested their authority 'coing money and regulate the value thereof" in the Secretary of the Treasury.

I think everything will be fine if we can get control of Fannie/Freddie and put Glass-Steagall back in place to eliminate the "too big to fail" problem.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

"Well, we're just going to have to respectfully agree to disagree here."

No kidding. Since you are in support of the status quo w/regard to the Fed, and honestly believe that private ownership and token appointments and mega-trillions is hunky dory, then we can't do anything but that.

The fact you think that what we really ought to do is "get control" of Fannie/Freddie, yet that with regards to the Fed, "divested responsibility" is A-OK. . . .man. I don't know.

I guess I'm just looking for what principles you are drawing these views from. To me, they seem lock-step with what got us here to begin with, and in no way indicative of your support for any reform whatever.

We can agree on Glass-Steagall, but that won't rid us of TBTF. The only thing that can rid us of that is ACTUAL failure. The TBTF are not representative of free markets, but an anathema to them. We've got to break the money trust, again, and again and again, until the people have a sound currency, and the vampire squids have met the sperm whale of justice.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

The Federal Reserve mechanizes the elastic money supply that I feel is essential. It does so with minimal political influence, and I think that's essential as well.

The Fed operates under authority vested by Congress's Constitutional authority to 'coin money and regulate the value thereof.' I can't find anything in the Constitution that suggests the government should be running the world's two largest mortgage banks, and they have been corrupted by direct political control. Frankly, I would feel a lot better about Fannie/Freddie if they were at least isolated from political control like the Federal Reserve.

To Big To Fail can be easily remedied using Glass Steagall or whatever legislation we decide is appropriate, and I do think we need to get this done.

I draw these principles from my own head based on my own research into the facts. I don't subscribe to popular opinion or sentiment unless the facts bear them out. I have found they seldom do, particularly in regards the Fed.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

The money supply indeed does need to change based on the underlying production in the economy. But where has all the GDP growth come from of late? The FIRE economy, which I would say does NOT equate to real production. Rather it is simply growth of paper and fiat make-believe, due to an unregulated derivatives market, fraudulent real estate valuations, QE, and evidently perpetual ZIRP. In an economy like this, how can their be real growth? How can a positive GDP print even be possible with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost a month? The answer is simply that it isn't growth for the 99%, and the Fed is the primary agent of this farce.

You are right about Fannie/Freddie. It was never a good idea, and there was never any authority.

And that congress has the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof is EXACTLY why the Fed is not only unconstitutional, but the biggest example of congress shirking their responsibility, selling out our monetary system to a private cartel.

Too big to fail is not addressed by Glass-Steagall. Reinstating it would put a firewall between investment banking and traditional banking, however. But unless we let insolvent banks fail, they have NO reason to believe they won't always be bailed out. And we know now that it wasn't $700Billion in TARP that did that, it was the $7.77 Trillion that the Fed sneaked out the back door.

The Fed is owned by the TBTF's. Don't you get that? They are the Primary Dealers. They are the owners of the regional Feds. They are the ones guaranteed 6%. How deep has your research taken you? Our government has ZERO control of the Fed, and only token oversight. Have you ever watched the Bernake testify? How is it that those who called the housing/derivatives bubble are still marginalized, while the same fools and crooks who were at the helm were put in places of power?

Frontline did some fantastic shows on what happened. Dr. Paul was warning us all along. The Austrians just get lucky, or what? Remember Brooksley Bourne? Larry Summers? Gramm-Leach-Bliley?

It was a bipartisan effort, and if you haven't figured it out yet, the banks always get their way, they get to keep their gains, and we always get stuck with both the bill, and the crashed economy. Corporations are sitting on a pile of cash right now because we can't get them to believe that the system is stable. That our dollar is sound.

Europe is likely going to go down first, and will usher in the age of the SDR, and every fiat currency on the planet will be at risk of some opaque commission of banksters.

And the fed's dual mandate, how's that working? Does the money supply fit the economy? What's M3 looking like? Oh yeah, the Fed doesn't publish M3 numbers anymore. How are those dark pools working out? Ask MF Global traders, whose accounts ended up in the City of London.

Is it Krugman that has you sold on the system of the 1%? Sorry I seem a bit exasperated here, but you're a smart dude, Rico, and I can't quite comprehend how you could have come to these conclusions.

Are you a Fedbot? lol

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I haven't read all of this yet, but I will. If this is true, that leads me to believe that the current amendment legislation in Congress are a whitewash or some kind of diversion. Or they just don't get it??

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

Not a whitewash. They are either pandering to the Occupy movement or they really do support us and simply don't have any good legal staff.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 10 years ago

I'm putting my money on pandering. I hate to be that cynical but there are thousands of legal people there. Hard to believe not one raised the question. If it's pandering then they really are not sincere in changing anything and hope this all goes away. And they can hide behind the fact that it will be very difficult and time consuming to get an amendment passed. Time is now on their side. This crazy mixed up movement will burn itself out by then. How convenient.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

I'm afraid it's pandering, and that disgusts me, because that only serves to undermine the movement by providing false hope.

I also really don't want to accuse Bernie Sanders of that, because I like Bernie a lot, and would consider that to be beneath him.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

Bernie knows better and you'd think he'd take a cue from Dr. Paul, like he finally did on the Fed Audit. Nothing wrong with the 2010 ruling, it's true and it's Corporate Constitutional. The ruling is not treasonous under it either.

An amendment is attacking this issue backwards and will not change or remedy citizens' person corporate-hood. Rico almost figured it out, but, is still fighting it hard.

[-] 0 points by bliptalk (0) 10 years ago

Vote for whom? They are all bred and raised by Mama Corp. We need to resurrect our constitutional rights and work toward adding a measure to the ballot. Don't worry about voting Democrat, Republican, Independent, or anything else. Let's vote to take budget approval out of government. The budget and it's appropriations should be approved by the voters. The buck stops with us. One person one vote let corporate America deal with that. Let the 1% outvote the rest of us. Then see who the politicians suddenly cater too. Let's control the money that they want to use for backroom deals with business. Let's control the fate of their of our own country. The responsibility for this mess is ours but we continue to let those we trusted with our money to play with it. How many deadlines have they used to bicker. How much have they ruined our reputation around the world and what have they done to our credit? The only thing the American people should vote for in the next election is an write in amendment to the constitution removing budget approval from our government. With today's technology we as a nation could vote and pass the budget faster than they ever could. Let true democracy control this republic run amok.

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 10 years ago

You're getting closer.

Look up Rowland Vs California Mens Colony.

Note in 1993 SCOTUS again differentiates between flesh and blood natural persons and fictitious entities. There is another interesting one in 1998 as well.

The problem is person-corporate hood under 1871 Constitution, DC's government and all the vile terms of which FDR signed off on in 1933.

Nice work, incomplete and closer to reality, but, nice just the same.


[-] -1 points by marga (82) 10 years ago

The American people owe no one a single dime, no one owes us. Let each country take their own loss. Its all just a poncy scheme to get you to full fill some mad mans fantasy

[-] -1 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 10 years ago

Get a new constitution. As simple as that.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 10 years ago

"Get a new constitution. As simple as that." LOL !
Where were you when the Confederate States needed you ?

[-] 1 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 10 years ago

Blame the Yankees ;-)

A new constitution is a straightforward idea. Get rid off the legacy. A multipartisan chamber and an election system with one vote per citizen.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

Write it up and let us have a look. I'd be more likely to support Fed 2.0 than Constitution 2.0, though.

But if we followed the one we had better, and those who take an oath to it would live up to their oaths, we would be nowhere near the troubles we have today, IMO.

[-] 1 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 10 years ago

You simply start an assembly of experts to draft it, not person can do it alone

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

Personally, I'm tired of the expert worship. I'd rather someone like you, who seems to not consider yourself an expert to have a go, and see if anyone wants to join in. Rico has been showing this sort of initiative, and I appreciate it tremendously. The OP is a great example.

[-] 1 points by ubercaput (175) from New York City, NY 10 years ago

Set up a wiki ;-)

Have a look at other constitutions, define the shortcomings of the current constitution you want to get solved.

[-] 1 points by FreedomIsFree (340) 10 years ago

Your idea. You don't want to go anywhere with it? I guess thanks anyway, but no thanks. Ours will serve in the meantime, if we can only figure out how to stick to it, which would be a problem with any such document, and the respect the Constitution has has been developed over centuries. A 2.0, I would guess, would have trouble even finding readers, let alone supporters or expert panels.