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A Lawless Land for the Few

Where? Everywhere the few live! But there is one land that is the most lawless ever in favor of the few from the beginning of time and evermore, the United States of America (US)! The few, of course, are the few thousand, the power elite of America’s corpocracy, its industry chieftains and subordinate poohbahs in […]

Where? Everywhere the few live! But there is one land that is the most lawless ever in favor of the few from the beginning of time and evermore, the United States of America (US)! The few, of course, are the few thousand, the power elite of America’s corpocracy, its industry chieftains and subordinate poohbahs in government.1 The miniscule few rule and ruin the world and are slowly taking the billions of human beings to extinction later this century, so predict over 30 experts.2 Let’s look at some evidence.

1. The US Constitution

The purportedly overriding law in the US is its Constitution. Bear in mind that it was written by and for the British oligarchs who, African slaves in tow, invaded the Native Americans’ land and proceeded quickly to slaughter the inhabitants and steal their land.

Let’s examine some segments of that lawless piece of document revered by deliberately snookered Americans who are in the vast majority of the population.

Consider the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, the Holy Grail of the National Rifle Association, and all other gun zealots. The Framers weren’t idiots. They knew what they were crafting, and they were scared of possible repercussions from the masses. They wanted to be sure that if the masses revolted against the Oligarch’s subjugation, the Oligarch’s could count on being protected by a well-armed militia that could be quickly summoned.

Now consider the disingenuously crafted Eight Amendment: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”  You don’t need to be a genius or a cryptographer to see that this Amendment is a “go pass jail card” for the original Oligarchs and their power elite progeny. “Hey, clan, the takings are yours for the wanting.”

2. Fake Anti-War Laws

Various laws exist that outlaw war. Parts of the U.S. Constitution outlaw war, but remember, that document was meant to be broken. International laws such as the 1928 Kellog-Briand Peace Pact outlaw war but what lusty war monger/profiteer cares if aware of such far-away laws?

What about the belated creation in 2002 of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Over 100 countries belong. The U.S. does not. The ICC is basically toothless and timid, going after war criminals only when they live in powerless states, and even in those cases, I don’t think any genocidal leader, for example, has yet to be brought to stand before the ICC court. Even so, the U.S. power elite are not about to take their chances, given the long and continuing history of US warring and plundering.

Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter stipulates that: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The UN? It is a worthless organization. Well, let’s modify that; Know many if any members of the U.S. power elite who pay attention to the UN?

Incredulously, if possible, are laws prohibiting wars conducted inhumanly! What are the inhumane methods of war? They include prohibition on exploding or expanding bullets (1868), expanding bullets (1899), poison and asphyxiating gases (1925), biological weapons (1972), chemical weapons (1993), munitions using undetectable fragments (1980), blinding laser weapons (1995), anti-personnel mines (1997), cluster munitions (2008). Sure, tell inhumanly or humanly war advocates that the late Albert Einstein once said “war is an act of murder.”

3. Meet People Corporations

Not corporate people, but corporate organizational charts that act like real people, talking, walking, and having emotions like gloating. These human qualities were bestowed on corporations by an infamous US Supreme Court ruling. The metamorphous gives corporations a huge advantage in getting by with lawless acts. For example, legal inspectors can no longer make a surprise visit to investigate illegal corporate acts. The inspectors must be given permission by the corporation for any on-site snooping, and you can guess how often that happens.

The chance of a personhood amendment even getting to the ratification stage is slim to none. So, expect to continue seeing corporate organizational charts walking the streets, chatting with other charts, driving, going to the movies, whatever!

4. License to Kill

Did you know that a corporation could get a license to kill? It all began with the corpocrats copying King George’s chartering of corporations to do his lascivious bidding. Greedy Delaware corpocrats were out of the gate first and the State quickly became every corporation’s darling. Eventually the other States awakened and followed suit. One, Virginia became the butt of a joke. The State may be the laxest, having allowed, for instance, a group of anti-tobacco activists to get a charter for their new tobacco company, “Licensed to Kill, Inc.,” even though it was clearly stated in the articles of incorporation that the company’s purpose would be to make and sell products that kill millions of people worldwide!3

5. Lap Dogs

Did you know that you are at the mercy of lap dogs? Junkyard dogs would protect your interests. The corpocrats clearly know that and use lap dogs instead. I briefly considered creating a catalogue “Beware of the Government’s Lap Dogs.” Sections in it could start like this: “Do you know what’s in the meat you eat? Meat inspectors don’t.” “Could this pacemaker stop your heart permanently? Don’t expect medical device inspectors to know.” “Could you get killed on this job? Don’t expect occupational health and safety inspectors to know.” “Could this drug prescription be toxic? Don’t expect the drug inspectors to know.” Would this be too risky an investment? Don’t expect the SEC to force rating agencies to rate honestly. Etc., etc.

6. The “Houdini” Lawyers

You are also at the mercy of the corpocrats’ “Houdini” Lawyers. Corpocrats’ escape hatches are often easy to find or create. They are out in the open just waiting to be used. Whenever they aren’t, corporations can turn to their hired Houdini’s, or lawyers, for help.Once they go to work finding or creating escape hatches the game is up-for justice that is. It’s Corporation 1, Justice 0, in almost every instance.

7. The Touts “Swimming Upstream”

We commoners don’t stand a chance for justice and real law when the touts (i.e., lobbyists) go “swimming upstream” on Connecticut Avenue to the Capitol Hill. When a tout walks through the door to the office of any member of Congress, the public’s interest goes out the window!

Here’s my doggerel about a real-life example of the touts’ clout when swimming up Connecticut Ave. on the way to Capitol Hill:

          Along the political sewer
          With far more touts than fewer
          With a putrid present and past
          With just one cast
          Look at what I caught!
          The biggest tout ever thought!

Can you guess that tout’s real name? It’s the pharmaceutical industry. Its touting expenses pay off handsomely in its return on investment! The Center for Public Integrity examined the Congress-Drug lobby track record of “Big Pharma” from 1980 until 2006. The Goliath giver and beggar got 20 some favors from the “drugged” Congress. Here’s but one e.g.: “government listing of preferred drugs prohibited.”4 When you open your medicine cabinet, what do you see? Big Pharma sneering at you?

8. The Burrowers

You undoubtedly know that a burrower is an animal digging a hole to live underground. But have you ever seen a human burrower or even know what it means? I’ll tell you. They come and go to Capitol Hill. They are appointees of the US president. Once the Prez leaves his (never a “her”) appointees burrow into civil servants, a guaranteed job probably even if the burrower accosts a female subordinate.

9. The Revolving Doors

Now you see them here. Now you see them there. Who are they and where are they coming and going? They don’t stay put like the political careerists do. They are the pick pockets coming and going, the shufflers back and forth through the so-called, perfectly named “revolving door.” There are actually three kinds of revolving doors.

One is for corporate officials and lobbyists who go through to appointments in key government posts to ensure corporate interests aren’t denied by the American people.

There’s the government-to-industry door through which public officials, having gotten experience and valuable contacts from the inside in keeping public interests at bay, go to industry and parlay their experience and contacts into furthering corporate interests in exchanges, usually private, with the government.

And finally, there’s the government-to-lobbyist door through which former legislators, their staffs, and executive-branch officials pass on the way to lucrative positions in lobbying firms to lobby their former colleagues.

Besides the revolving doors there are the “archways,” the metaphor author Naomi Klein uses for the passage of people who used to occupy top posts in the government, left for lucrative positions in the corporate world, then left it but stopped short of going through the revolving door.5 Instead they remained outside as influential advisors to top government officials and in so doing avoided conflict of interest rules (which have never stopped conflicts of interest among the revolving door people). She cites members of the Defense Policy Board as an example. Those folks helped pedal the Iraqi War.

Let’s put to rest right now the argument that appointing people from corporations and their allies to influential government positions helps make government do a better job of legislating, regulating, and enforcing measures to protect the American people from powerful corporate interests. I’m not stupid. I know what happens when foxes guard chicken houses!

10. Voting Hurdles

I don’t want everybody to vote.
Elections are not won by a majority
of the people. They never have been
from the beginning of our country.
They are not now. As a matter of
fact, our leverage in the elections
quite candidly goes up as the
voting populace goes down.

          — Paul Weyrich

Thank you “radical right strategist,” Paul Weyrich for your candid remark at a 1980 training session for 15,000 conservative preachers in Dallas (just imagine being cooped up with them; I should know, my father-in-law was a fundamentalist preacher).6

11. The Electoral College

This college doesn’t award diplomas. It disallows the results of the vote when a candidate wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College vote, a perfectly legitimate but terribly unfair outcome. I’m not going to get bogged down here in a discussion of half a dozen or so alternatives to the ridiculous Electoral College such as instant runoff voting, direct vote with plurality rule, etc. Truly fair voting may l never see the light of day.

12. Voting Hurdles

I doubt if even an Olympic hurdles jumper gold medalist could leap over voting hurdles.

Voting hurdles are mostly constructed in the form of regulatory, legislative and administrative skullduggery, although occasionally illegal tactics are used such as Republican operatives jamming a Democratic phone bank.7

Other noteworthy hurdles are unjust voter eligibility criteria that bar otherwise eligible voters from voting, vote tampering that corrupts honest votes, and understaffed and incompetent personnel at polling places that complicate or distort the voting.

The Supremely Corporatized Court, not long ago in a 6 to 3 vote upheld Indiana’s voter identification law, allegedly the strictest in the country. The majority said the law was not unconstitutional, would improve the election process, would deter fraud and shrugged off counter arguments that prosecuted fraud is rare to nil; and that an unjustified, nontrivial burden was being imposed “on people who are old, poor or members of minority groups and less likely to have driver’s licenses or other acceptable forms of identification.”8 I have no doubt that in conservative Indiana the real motivation for the law in the first place was to bar otherwise eligible voters from voting for the opposite party (alas, Indiana is my home state).

13. Powell’s “Howl”         

Before he was appointed by Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court, Lewis F. Powell, gave a “wake-up” call in 1971 to a moribund big business and to wealthy conservatives. Powell was at the time a successful tobacco industry lawyer who specialized in securities laws and who had also been president of the American Bar Association. A staunch advocate of keeping government out of the affairs of business he had become alarmed over what he perceived to be a pervasive assault on the free enterprise system from the gamut of public institutions and the liberal elements of the public itself.  Big business, he fretted, was taking the assault lying down.

So, he wrote a memorandum, eventually dubbed Powell’s “manifesto,” to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce proposing that it lead a counterattack.9 Business, he wrote, was “ill-equipped to conduct guerrilla warfare with those who propagandize against the system, seeking insidiously and constantly to sabotage it” and “have shown little stomach for hard-nose contest with their critics.” He went on to lay out what amounted to a “battle plan,” apparently to help business conduct “guerilla warfare.”

He suggested numerous strategies targeting four major American institutions: education, the media, the political arena, and the courts. The strategies were all very aggressive. A few on paper at least seem militant and even paranoid and Orwellian in nature, to wit: It is “a long road and not for the fainthearted.” “There should be no hesitation to attack [those] who openly seek destruction of the system.” “There must be “constant surveillance of textbooks” and “monitoring of national television networks.” Does that read like it’s coming right out of some Orwellian pages?

His manifesto triggered a tacit conspiracy of new conservative think tanks, conservatively activist legal centers and an awakened, alarmed, and determined corporate America that all worked together to revitalize America’s corpocracy. Powell demonstrated without a doubt the power of one. But the power grab could never have happened without a submissive government partner, the Carter administration and continuing with all successively submissive administrations to this day.

“Mr. Powell, wherever you are, free enterprise is nothing more than a crucible for enslaved and exploited customers!”

14. The Mind Readers

The corporatized court is a great friend of criminal corporations. The judicial doctrine of criminal intent is yet another good example of legal sophistry that says being motivated to commit a crime is immaterial, while intent to commit a crime is material. Now, I’m a psychologist who thinks the difference between motive and intent is gossamer thin if different at all and that both require the judiciary and the jury to be what neither they nor anyone else can possibly be, psychics who pretend to read minds.

15. A “Shore” Way to Escape Accountability

When corporate executives are wanted by foreign countries for corporate crimes committed on their soil, and our captive government refuses to allow their extradition, the criminals become fugitives but apparently only in the eyes of the plaintiff countries. Scofflaw corporations are also fugitives when they incorporate offshore.

16. “Phantom Substitutes”

Government will sometimes go to extreme lengths not to prosecute corporate criminals, as in cases of what I call “phantom substitutes.” Instead of having to give a “death sentence” mandated by its own harsh (on paper only) rule, the prosecution has a phantom or defunct unit of the criminal corporation plead guilty (I guess the phantom can write and talk) and gives it the death sentence. The “parent” criminal, meanwhile, continues to milk the cash cow.

17. “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

I use this scripture to refer to criminal corporations being given amnesty. Telecom companies, for instance, were granted retroactive amnesty from massive prosecution for invasion of privacy in the administration’s surveillance operations seeking to ferret out possible terrorists. Amnesty is a central part of the US Department of InJustice’s “corporate leniency” policy.

18. The “Pamperers”

Yes, diapered politicians. Reminds me of this riddle: Why are politicians like diapers? Astute readers, you undoubtedly know the answer, but just in case: Because they have a load full and need to be changed often! They pamper, not prosecute and jail corporate criminals through such means as non-prosecution and deferred prosecution.

19. “Baseball” Thieves

Not named because baseballs are stolen, but because it’s “three strikes and you’re out” for petty thieves in the State of California who thieve pettily three times. Corporate criminals never strike out in any state.

20. “Culpability Score Card”

It is a provision in the corporate sentencing guidelines (eventually made advisory rather than mandatory of course by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling) that allows for fines and other penalties to be reduced up to 95% if the corporation’s gets a low “culpability score” by having adopted and begun implementing a compliance program prior to the offense. Now obviously the program failed or there wouldn’t have been an offense in the first place! And that isn’t surprising because compliance programs tend to be window dressing anyway. Moreover, having a compliance program tends to give corporations a sense of immunity and brazenness.

Pit Bull

If a pit bull approached you, you might rightly be petrified, but you would be well advised to proceed cautiously. So, it would also be wise to confront the few thousand power elite pit bulls very cautiously, wisely and strategically. A good way to do that would be to follow these steps:

1. Target the vulnerabilities of the power elite. There is a slew of them that I have detailed elsewhere.10

2. Identify all the dissident groups in America.  There are around 17 of them such as, for example, consumer groups, political dissidents, angry veterans, etc.

3. Ask a public opinion polling organization to poll the American people, asking them questions such as a) would you be willing to join at no cost a virtual organization, the “US Democracy Corps,” to carry out strategic objectives to topple peacefully the power elite’s vulnerabilities? b) could you name one or more public figures you think should lead the USDC? c) would you be willing to join at no cost the USDC’s “America’s Freedom Legionnaires” and affiliate with one or more alliances of people with concerns and experiences such as yours like public education, financial management, research, alliance coordination etc., etc.?

4. Recruit a public figure to be the USDC’s “field marshal” with responsibilities such as seeking funding from public figures whose wealth is not ill-begotten.

I am confident that if the above proposal were to materialize, the US corpocracy would eventually “dematerialize.”

Law vs Morals

A “Law Abiding America” may or may not be possible to achieve. A “Moral America” would be improbable if not impossible for law is the lower standard for civilized behavior whereas morality is the higher standard.

Michael Josephson, a brilliant lawyer turned brilliant ethicist (an unusual career change) searched far and wide throughout time and places looking for moral values that consistently showed up no matter where he looked. He found11 what I call the “universal moral values.” Here is a list of them in alphabetical order:

·            Accountability
·            Caring for Others
·            Excellence
·            Fairness
·            Honesty
·            Integrity
·            Justice
·            Loyalty
·            Promise Keeping
·            Respecting Others
·            Responsibility

Being curious to see how the corpocracy at work stacked up against those high moral standards, for several years I compiled news accounts of work incidents in these sectors: corporate America in general, the agriculture/chemical/food industries, the ammunition/gun/war industries, the communication/ entertainment industries, the financial industry, the health care industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the transportation industry, and government.12 In all, the compilation comprised over 160 depictions of work incidents. Guess what I found. Every incident violated every one of the moral values (e.g., “Markets a drug that is more expensive than alternative drugs and deadly among children.”) They represent not just immoral behavior but evildoing, for the Merriam Webster dictionary defines evil as “profound immorality.” Now, I will leave it to you to decide whether and how evil is the few thousand members of the US corpocracy’s power elite.

In Closing

Readers, please think about being “careful ancestors of the future,” especially if you have a progeny.

And please do not make these two “death wishes” for humanity:

1. Things must get worse before they get better.

2. There is nothing I can do about it.


This content originally appeared on Dissident Voice and was authored by Gary Brumback.

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