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Forum Post: Judge Rakoff and the 99% vs. the SEC and the 1% ??

Posted 11 years ago on Dec. 31, 2011, 12:33 p.m. EST by 5678 (0)
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The take-away from the case is that the public views Judge Rakoff as representing justice, transparency, accountability, and the public interest. And the SEC is fixated on technical legal wrangling that puts it in the opposite camp, and makes it seem in collusion with Citigroup, the very party it is charged with regulating. As a consequence, Judge Rakoff is aligned with the Occupy movement and the 99%, and the SEC is aligned with the narrow interests of the recidivist too-big-to-fail banks to subvert justice and accountability: the SEC appears to be aligned with the 1%. This case could become a symbol for the Occupy movement.

See the NYT article:




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[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 11 years ago

Thank you for posting this.
Did you know that this all started with a judge?

The libertarians are wrong
The anarchists are wrong
It is not the evil of wall street
It is not the evil of corporations
It is not the evil of government
It is not the evil of republicans
It is not the evil of democrats

It is the evil of GREED - the government controlled by the corporations,
and the republican and democratic co-conspirators –

Here’s how it started – or you wouldn’t be here – would you?

The Real History of 'Corporate Personhood': By Jeffrey Clements { slightly edited }

In 1971, Lewis Powell, a mild-mannered, courtly, and shrewd corporate lawyer in Richmond, Virginia, soon to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court, wrote a memorandum to his client, the United States Chamber of Commerce. He outlined a critique and a plan that changed America - “Attack on American Free Enterprise System.” He explained, “No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.. Corporations must organize and fund a drive to achieve political power through “united action.”
Powell emphasized the need for a sustained, multiyear corporate campaign to use an “activist-minded Supreme Court” to shape “social, economic and political change” to the advantage of corporations.

The story of Powell and the cigarette corporations and their response to public efforts to address addiction, smoking, and health is a big piece of the larger story of how corporate rights took such significant pieces of the Constitution and American democracy. As a director and an executive committee member of Philip Morris, Powell shared responsibility for the fraudulent attack on the conclusions of scientists and the surgeon general by the cigarette industry and for its false insistence for years that “no proof” showed cigarettes to be unhealthy. In one case in the late 1960s, Powell argued that any suggestion that cigarettes caused cancer and death was “not proved” and was “controversial.” Therefore, according to Powell, the Federal Communications Commission wrongly violated the First Amendment rights of cigarette corporations by refusing to require “equal time” for the corporations to respond to any announcement that discouraged cigarette smoking as a health hazard.

Powell helped shape a new court majority to serve the interest of corporations, but for years, the most vigorous dissents came from the conservative Justice William Rehnquist - in the fundamental proposition that our Bill of Rights sets out the rights of human beings, and corporations are not people. Huge corporations, including Powell’s Philip Morris, invested millions of dollars in the Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Litigation Center and many other legal foundations to bring litigation demanding new corporate rights - We should no longer think of corporations as useful but potentially insidious industrial economic tools. We should no longer be concerned that corporations might leverage massive economic power into massive political power or trample the public interest for the profit of the few. Instead, we should think of corporations as pillars of liberty, institutions that Americans can trust. They would protect our freedom for us. They would stand up to “bad” government for us.

The first major victory for the corporate rights advocates came in 1978, with a corporate attack on a Massachusetts law in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellott.- a lawsuit after the people of Massachusetts banned corporate political spending intended to influence a citizen referendum. Justice Lewis Powell cast the deciding vote and wrote the 5–4 decision wiping off the books the people’s law intended to keep corporate money out of citizen ballot questions. For the first time in American history, corporations had successfully claimed “speech” rights to attack laws regulating corporate money in our elections.

In the 1982 case of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation v. Public Service Corporation of New York, utility corporations and the array of corporate legal foundations all argued that a New York law prohibiting utility corporations from promoting energy consumption violated the corporations’ rights of free speech. The corporations won again, and again Justice Powell wrote this one of many decisions for the activist Supreme Court that he had imagined in his 1971 Chamber of Commerce memo. The corporate interest in promoting energy consumption for corporate profit trumped the people’s interest in energy conservation - transformed the people’s First Amendment speech freedom into a corporate right to challenge public oversight and corporate regulation.

Our elected representatives became increasingly disconnected from the will of the people. With the new, organized corporate radicalism, staggering amounts of corporate money flooded Washington and our political system. Between 1998 and 2010, the Chamber of Commerce spent $739 million on lobbying. Pharmaceutical and health care corporations spent more than $2 billion. Military contractors, Northrop, Lockheed, and Boeing, spent $400 million. GE Corporation ($237 million), AT&T ($162 million), the pharmaceutical corporate lobby PHRMA ($195 million), ExxonMobil ($151 million), Verizon ($149 million).

Democracy + Capitalism + Greed – People = America

So what’s next ? Some of us want to tear it down and start over.
If you can view our mess OBJECTIVLY – without anger – and with a serious understanding of history – you will see no perfect people –
but you will see some people in our capitalist system that did good things and
you will see some people in our political system that did good things.
And you will see the bridge of GREED between the two that really does need to be torn down.
There is no SANE path but peace!
Do you believe that we Americans cannot do today what Gandhi did? What MLK did? What Susan B. Anthony did? What Mandella did?

The enemy is not libertarians or anarchists or wall street or corporations or government or republicans or democrats

the enemy is the GREED that WE let drown our nation.