In Road Kill: How Bertha Left the Surface-Street Option In the Dust, Ellis E. Conklin reports that “Powerful interests rallied around the tunnel and diverted then-Governor Gregoire from a less costly route.”
Specifically, “The downtown business interests, the Chamber of Commerce, Boeing, the unions, they all wanted a highway, period. Nothing was going to stop them.”
Washburn concedes that Boeing and Microsoft, in particular, pressed their case for the tunnel with Gov. Gregoire. “Certainly, they had an interest for obvious reasons, being able to move their product and their people.’ But Washburn stressed that any pressure that they, or the Chamber, exerted was no more aggressive than anyone else’s.
“No,” counters Moon [an opponent of the tunnel], “their voice was always louder than ours.”
So, these two immensely rich companies arrange to avoid paying state taxes, hire employees from overseas, and get you and me to subsidize their transportation needs.
See Corporate welfare for Microsoft, Boeing exempt from sales tax, Tax-subsidized Boeing Co. snubs state again, Microsoft Admits Keeping $92 Billion Offshore to Avoid Paying $29 Billion in US Taxes, Microsoft’s Staggering Tax Dodge Alone Would Fund the Entire State of Washington for Two Years .
Apparent source: Backbone Campaign
Stephanie Simon, writing for Reuters in the summer of 2012, captured the excitement of investors eager to pounce: “The investors gathered in a tony private club in Manhattan were eager to hear about the next big thing, and education consultant Rob Lytle was happy to oblige. Think about the upcoming rollout of new national academic standards for public schools, he urged the crowd. If they’re as rigorous as advertised, a huge number of schools will suddenly look really bad, their students testing way behind in reading and math. They’ll want help, quick. And private, for-profit vendors selling lesson plans, educational software and student assessments will be right there to provide it.”
Of the responses to my recent essay, “Why I Became a Socialist,” I received this one negative reaction. I believe my reply to Mr. Wynman will help clarify the questions. I believe we need a revolution, hopefully a peaceable one. Unfortunately, those in control, when they feel threatened, will cause the violence when people get upset enough to protest and even act with civil disobedience. I believe it has to eventually come to save our democracy from far right fascism.
J. Glenn Evans
With J. Glenn Evans’ 21 July, 2014
I doubt that whoever wrote this piece of junk was ever a capitalist or ever understood the free market. (S)he claims: “Then when I considered the injustice of the gross and growing inequality among people that is wrought by pure unregulated capitalism,”. We’ve never had “pure unregulated capitalism”.
Bob, I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to my essay, “Why I Became a Socialist.” There was a time in my life when I would have reacted with the same venom you have when you call my writing a piece of junk. This was the time when I spent over 20 years as a stockbroker and investment banker raising capital for small companies and making markets in their stock. During this time I served as a vice president of two brokerage firms and president of two others, first starting my own firm with $5,000 worth of junk securities and maybe a couple of thousand in cash shooting for ten million, reached three million in ten years, before I went bust from greed, over-expansion, too much success on a manual bookkeeping system and had my fill of bureaucrats so decided to go back to my earliest ambition to become a writer and publisher. Also during this brokerage time I operated an exploratory mining company and a movie company that financed and co-produced a full-length movie co-starring Slim Pickens with a five star rating. So I am hardly a wild-eyed idealist; I’ve had good grounding in the business world.
You are right; we have probably never had a totally unregulated capitalistic system. Main Street Capitalism when there was true competition, the customer’s freedom to choose with whom they would do business served as a check on the unscrupulous. On the state and national level when we had regulators who regulated for the best interest of the public, we prospered and the opportunity for folks to start a business and grow still had a chance. When I referred to unregulated capitalists, I was referring to what we have today, where the “supposedly regulated” are now with big money in control of Congress and the lobbyists for big uncontrollable corporations now write the laws for their benefit and playing musical chairs between government and business they have a tremendous effect on the regulators, and who and who not to go after. How many Banksters have gone to jail? So regulation is now reserved for the small exploratory mining company and a movie company that financed and co-produced a full-length movie co-starring Slim Pickens with a five star rating.
The USA has always been a mixed economy, part capitalist & part socialist & the socialist part has increased over the last 200 years as more & more “capitalists” climb into bed with the State bureaucrats and become part of the fascist State/corporate partnership that’s destroying our civilization.
I couldn’t agree with you more; we have become a fascist state, at least by Mussolini definition that Fascism is a marriage between business and government
The article doesn’t get any better; it’s filled with misrepresentations, untruths utter BS, such as “As a result of global capitalism and corruption, the socialist systems in Russia and China evolved into state capitalism with ruling coming from the top down”. “State Capitalism” is an oxymoronic label for fascism, with nothing in common with free market or capitalism.
Bob, I would recommend that you read John Perkins’s Confessions of An Economic Hit Man. He was on the inside and well aware of what our CIA and National Security outfit have been doing in the world, taking leaders out who do not take their bribes and do their will, how the World Bank, so set up to help third world countries has been used as a vehicle to get countries overextended debt-wise, doing projects that little benefit the people. When they cannot pay, then putting the squeeze on and having our corporations take control of their resources and impoverishing their citizens to pay back the interest and principal of a debt, they little benefited from. Only a few rich sycophants made out.
What started out as intended as Democratic Socialism, from the people up, in Russia and China, was taken over by bureaucracies ruled from the top down, with little input from the people for whom the productive resources were supposed to be owned. Since the state owned the productive assets or capital, I don’t know what you would call it other than State Capitalism. Fascism is a partnership between private business corporations and the government.
I don’t know of any free markets unless they are the local farmer’s markets. Above that it is a myth put out by subsidized special interests.
No one who ever understood the free market could ever write: “We also need progressive taxation and inheritance taxes above a certain level to prevent excessive inequality. ”. In a free society, we all have equal opportunity to become as unequal as we are capable of becoming.
Unfortunately the statement, “In a free society, we are all have equal opportunity to become as unequal as we are capable of becoming,” is also a myth. What if you are born black or poor and in a slum or handicapped or happen to be a woman? When I went to college, my semester tuition was $45. All I had to worry about was buying my books and earning food and shelter. By working summers and after school I was able to work and earn some more money. When I got out of college I did not own a big debt that our young folks are loaded up with today and most likely will be enslaved by such a debt for years. Some of our greatest people came from the working class. Look at Lincoln; look at Ben Franklin and thousands of others. Would we deny these people an opportunity to serve their community by cutting them short on an education, while rich people waste money on the likes of George Bush and with their money put him in high places where such people can do so much damage. Ask Iraq and Afghanistan what they think.
When I left the game of greed and took up my earlier ambition to be a poet and writer, where I have spent over 30 years and came to associate with people more concerned about the well being of their fellow citizens and others in the world in achieving economic, social and political justice for all, rather than gaining a lot of wealth and self-aggrandizement, I came to realize that resources of this world are here for all life, not for a few grabbers. Why should one person accumulate enough for a thousand lifetimes and a thousand family go hungry and unsheltered? Anyone earning over a million dollars a year does not earn it. It is made from speculation or exploiting money from those who work for them. In a world of diminishing resources hogged up by mega corporations owned by the 1%, progressive taxations and inheritance taxes are the main tools for maintaining an equitable balance.
We have all seen how great wealth in the hands of the few has destroyed our democracy in their takeover of our government. Without inheritance taxes what are we trying to do build up another aristocracy, with the Earls, Dukes and Barons just changing their names to Banksters, CEOs and Lobbyists? Capitalism has had its day of inequality and constant wars just like the feudal system and it is time for change. We must devise a new system of cooperate and share rather than compete and beat. Socialism may not have all the answers, but they are in the forefront of human rights issues and standing up for economic and political justice and it works. Look at the Scandinavian countries. We better do something quickly; otherwise in time we are headed toward another French like Revolution
I quit reading at the point the big lie was repeated: “There are certain functions too big for small companies, including transportation, public utilities and some industrial undertakings that would better serve the public by being community-owned. Banking, insurance, health care and education can better serve the citizens by being community-owned rather than filling the pockets of private capitalists that seem to turn into monopolies.” … and should have quit reading much sooner.
Hardly a big lie when you see big pharmaceutical monopolies feasting on the sick, health care and assisted living corporations bankrupting our citizens, our industrial corporations shipping our vital industries to other nations with the decimation of our own local communities, financial and banksters sucking money out of the nation for their speculations and cannibalizing and plundering their competition.
I-1329 failed to make it to the ballot. I can’t say that I am surprised or even disappointed.
It is certainly true that we need to undo the damage to democracy inflicted by dozens of Supreme Court decisions over the past hundred years or more, including recent decisions such as Citizens United and McCutcheon. MoveToAmend (MTA) has proposed a Constitutional Amendment that has been introduced in Congress as HJR 29. I wholeheartedly believe that this language is the best of all the proposals currently under consideration. David Cobb of MTA told me personally that he would not support any of the other proposed amendments, because they were all in some way flawed.
That’s why I am surprised that David Cobb and the rest of the folks at MoveToAmend decided to support an initiative in Washington State (I-1329) that purported, yet failed, to fully address the issues of corporate personhood and money as speech.
For example, HJR 29 states: “The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.”
I-1329 Section 3 stated: “The rights of people protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.” (Emphasis added.)
The language in I-1329 was flawed in the same way that the 14th Amendment is flawed, because lawyers could argue that corporations are people, so corporations have the rights of natural persons. The language in HJR 29 does not have this “circular logic” flaw which in the case of the 14th Amendment has been exploited by corporate lawyers for generations.
Regarding money as speech, HJR 29 states “The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.”
I-1329 did not contain this language in Section 3; therefore, it failed to address fully the issue of money as speech. The initiative danced around this issue in earlier sections, but just like a resolution, it doesn’t much matter what you say in the “whereas” clauses; it’s the “be it resolved” sentences that really matter, and in the case of I-1329, Section 3 is the “be it resolved” section.
So what, you may ask, did I-1329 resolve to do? It would have called for a Constitutional amendment allowing federal and state governments to place limits on campaign contributions and requiring disclosure thereof. Don’t get me wrong. I think this is a good idea. It would restore the constitutionality of limits on campaign contributions such as those imposed by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) as amended in 1974 and in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA, aka McCain-Feingold Act) of 2002. But really all this does is set the clock back a couple of decades. Do any of us really believe that money did not unduly influence politics in 1974, much less 2002?
The real core of the problem lies in the need to reverse a nearly 200 year history of the Supreme Court granting constitutional rights to artificial entities (such as corporations). The amendment suggested in I-1329 would not have addressed this problem any more effectively than current efforts in Congress to pass the similarly limited Udall Amendment (S.J. Res 19) and House companion, the Deutch Amendment (H.J. Res 119). Both of these proposals would allow limits to be imposed on campaign contributions without addressing the elephantine issue of corporate constitutional rights. Worse, such proposals, if passed, would be praised as “overturning Citizens United”, and greeted with banners proclaiming “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”, meanwhile killing any real chance of preventing plutocratic control of our republic, and spelling the end of the American experiment in representative democracy.
Interesting side-bar: MTA has called for S.J. Res 19 and H.J. Res 119 to be amended to state conclusively that corporate entities are not entitled to constitutional rights and to establish that spending money is not a protected form of speech. I find this strange since they did not call for I-1329 to include this essential language.
In conclusion, I would like to add that the efforts to get I-1329 on the ballot in Washington were doomed not because the bar is set too high for the number of signatures required, but because the organization leading the signature gathering efforts, known as WAmend, misunderstood the goals of the movement to end corporate personhood, misrepresented the proposed legislation as being something that it patently was not, and through oppressive behaviors alienated many who would otherwise have supported signature gathering efforts.
The clearest example of this is the wrong-headed missive I received from WAmend announcing that they planned to start using paid signature gatherers and asking for donations to cover the cost–with donations to be matched by an outside, unnamed entity. In the days and weeks that followed, WAmend precipitously backed off from this position and ended the campaign by trumpeting the righteousness of a campaign that relied only on volunteers to collect signatures. Too bad they did not understand the people power aspect of the movement when they started the campaign. Perhaps, if they had, they would have been more successful.
|For Immediate Release:
Drawing on the revolutionary spirit of Independence Day, DemocracyMovement organizers arecalling for a week of creative, artful rebellion against the corrupting influence of money in politics. In the week of July 4th to July 12th activists around the country will stage rebellious actions to showcase a movement ready to overthrow corporate rule and reclaim the promise of government of, by, and for We the People.
“We are fighting for the very self-evident, endowed by creator, unalienable rights celebrated on this anniversary of the Declaration of Independence,” said Bill Moyer, Executive Director of the Backbone Campaign. “Those long ago affirmed rights and principles are incompatible with the corrosive ideas of corporate personhood and the subsequent rights being claimed for corporations, investors, and capital itself. The result isthat we are reducing everything and everybody else to commodities,including our planet, our democracy, and life itself. The RollingRebellion is calling for nothing less than a non-violent, second American Revolution against oligarchic power and the corporations that that oligarchy hide behind,” concluded Moyer.
Four years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United brought down the barriers to corporations buying American elections, a strong and broad based movement has emerged to challenge oligarchic rule. And as the influence of big money and corporate power grows, with April’s McCutcheon V. FEC ruling continuing to dismantle limits on campaign spending, the creativity, resolve and ranks of the Democracy Movement are growing as well.
The “Rolling Rebellion For Real Democracy” plans to use creative tactics like street theater,puppetry and light projection to showcase the breadth and diversity of this movement. From New Hampshire to Seattle activists are planning events to showcase the national movement and advance local campaigns.
“Our movement is diverse, but we all agree that a crisis of Democracy is atthe root of our problems and it’s time to solve it,” said Kevin Zeese,an organizer with Popular Resistance. “Inspired by America’s pre-revolutionary roots we recognize both the need to protest rule of the wealthy and to create real democratic alternatives from the ground up,” added Margaret Flowers, also with Popular Resistance.
In Denver, Colorado activists armed with prop torches and pitchforks will converge on the State Capitol to drive out “Corporate Persons” in a display of popular revolt.
Activists in Lexington Kentucky will march from the Estate of Henry Clay to the Estate of Mary Todd, giving public readings of the Declaration of Independence and Amendments to the U.S.Constitution, and holding a teach-in about efforts to Amend the constitution to declare that Corporations do not have the same rights as people.
Seattle, Washington activists will stage a street performance and procession featuring giant puppets of a “Corporoctopus” and Lady Liberty. Organized by WAmend, Washington’s Move to Amend Chapter, the event will kick off the next phase of the campaign to pass a ballot initiative directing the Washington Congressional Delegation to work towards a constitutional amendment declaring that Corporations do no thave the same rights as people.
According to in A List of the Republican “Democrats” Who Fight For Obama’s Secret Trade Deals, And For Wall Street, Washington State Democratic congressmen Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, and Denny Heck are among the “Democrats in the House who are not just Members of the NDC — the New Democrat Coalition — and are “owned by Wall Street.”
According to Walter Kloeforn, Suzan DelBene should be on the list too, since she supported TPP.
Black Box Voting forums, archives, documents shut down through denial of service attacks; also, see below for update on current indictments and law enforcement investigations pertaining to the voting machine industry and a tampered election.
OLD SITE HACKED
The vast, carefully-organized, and important ten-year work product at BlackBoxVoting.org was attacked by an unprecedented and relentless wave of denial of service attacks this month. At this time, the entire body of work has become inaccessible to the public except for a few articles on the new home page.
I had the body of the website redesigned and transferred it to a new hosting company, and I am in the process of transferring all archived material from the old site, using backup files, to a new location.
I ask for your special support with a donation: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/donate.html It would be a great shame to lose all the wonderful work submitted by so many dedicated election integrity advocates, and it will be a significant undertaking to rebuild the site.
Black Box Voting depends needs, and tremendously appreciates your support: Black Box Voting: 330 SW 143rd St Suite K, PMB 547, Renton WA 98057
It has been 9 years since Black Box Voting was attacked to deny access to our material. Frankly, I’m surprised that it has happened again, amazed at the level of vigor and the evidence of wave after wave targeted specifically Black Box Voting files.
THE SILVER LINING
After some thought, I realized there is a silver lining in this. It provides an important opportunity to review and synthesize all the random material that has accumulated over the last 10 years at Black Box Voting, to make it easily understood, better organized, and more accessible. The body of work for each state, when transferred from my backup files to the new location, will now include a brief 1200-word summary with a drill-down menu linking to all other material.
I’d like for you to see an example. As of midnight tonight, as the New Year begins, I invite you to see what we are doing to help protect 2014 elections. Take a look at the first sample state here:
http://blackboxvoting.org/reports/wyoming2014/ I think you’ll agree that, together with the over 100 files from our extensive archive which support the analysis, it is a significant improvement over our previous information delivery.
Now, if you have information you feel is important for any state, please send it to me directly: email@example.com — The next state to go live at the new Black Box Voting will be Texas, followed by Florida and then Illinois. Each state features an identical format:
(a) Brief analysis synthesizing all available material for that location;
(b) Special areas of concern for 2014;
(c) Solutions and positive progress for that state;
(d) Past irregularities;
(e) Link to complete body of archived research for that location, drawn from backup files for the extensive Black Box Voting archives.
Every report now has drill-down links for vendors, key people by name, organizations, concepts, voting system types, costs, and so forth. A master index will soon help you find whatever you need. Timelines help provide visual representations of the erosion of transparency, as well as the courageous efforts by citizens to fight for these rights.
After Wyoming, Texas, Florida and Illinois, and based on the calendar of next upcoming elections, the analysis and full archive for your state will appear in the following order, based on upcoming primary election calendars:
District of Columbia; Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Nebraska, West Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, Utah, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, Tennessee, Hawaii, Connecticut, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Alaska, Arizona, Vermont, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island.
So please, if you have information you want to see included for your state, now is an excellent time to send it along!
WHO’S GETTING ARRESTED?
Well, Diebold, for one. Diebold has been charged with corruption and bribery.
Black Box Voting was approached a couple years ago by yet another Diebold whistleblower, this one an ex-employee with knowledge of false invoicing for voting machine procurement and training. So that you can recognize false invoicing schemes near you, if you see them, I have included more information on kickback laundering techniques here: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/money/
We’re not the cops. I provided the information to the Dept. of Justice through an intermediary, a former US DoJ investigator who I believed would carry more weight than I. At my urging, the whistleblower also provided the information to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the agency that doled out the funds, though I am skeptical whether that accomplished anything. What happened next? Diebold contacted the whistleblower with an offer to “help” him — my interpretation of that: pay him to shut up. I never heard from him again, but his information has been propagated to where it needs to go.
I am aware of another Dept. of Justice investigation now, specifically targeting invoice fraud for one of the major vendors. I am currently collecting documents to help investigators with that.
In a 2006 case, Black Box Voting reported on a cover-up in a murder investigation, combined with apparent election fraud for a county sheriff’s race. Black Box Voting worked with local citizens to improve election monitoring in that location, and the sheriff later won his election in 2010; I was on site for that election and assisted in training a team of election watchers. The “new sheriff in town” reopened the murder investigation in 2011 after taking office, bringing in a cold case specialist. The arrest for the now-10-year-old murder case took place this year, announced in October 2013. I hope to attend the trial, and when that happens, I will have the freedom to report more explicitly on this.
Why so vague with the details on law enforcement investigations? Because writing about it just helps the perp take evasive action. Both the Diebold case and the murder case are currently pending in criminal courts.
As you know, we are a very small, but important organization. I thank you for your support over the years and look forward to even more effective action throughout 2014.
I hope you will continue to support Black Box Voting.
Progressives unknowingly allied themselves with rich corporations on immigration reform.
High tech companies like Microsoft, google, Apple, and Amazon.com hire thousands of foreign engineers but generally refuse to pay taxes that would support educating local workers.