Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Citizen Corporation

Montesquieu defined Political Virtue as the love of law and of one's country. And, that political virtue was arduous and hard to come by because to achieve it one had to move passed self interest to acting in the best public interest of all.

In the first case that the Supreme Court heard this year, in fact they came back early to hear it was a case concerning a corporation which is claiming that since corporations have the right of free speech, and that the FEC is trying to abridge this right (Citizens United v FEC). This standing of citizen is courtesy of a pre-oral argument made by the Chief Justice Waite in 1886 that the court was then of the opinion that the 14th amendment applied to corporations Citizens [ Santa Clara County v Southern Pacific Railroad (118US394, 1886)] that has become ingrained as precedent.

The interest of corporations is not equal to that of citizens--they have no vested interest in the state, in the community, in anything save turning a profit.

It is time that corporations either are held as citizens--and thus, must act not in their own self-interest (i.e., their own profit), but in the best interest of the public good--or they cease to exist.

The oral argument of Citizens United V FEC[Reargued].pdf

editorial with history of the impact of Ch.Justice Waite's pre-argument statement

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

51% need health care reform NOW!

And that is because 51% of the people living in the United States are women who are regularly denied by the current health care insurance for being victims of domestic abuse (can we say re-victimized?) or for having delivered a baby via C-section; who are charged more for maternity coverage; and women pay higher premiums than males (on top of average women earning substantially less than men).

This information is from a report by the National Women's Law Center.

We need a health care reform now!
At minimum, if we keep the private health care insurance companies they should be made provide equal coverage to women (without raising the cost to males to insure profits). For instance, New York State has a law that says that there can not be "gender-ratings" when figuring out premium costs. Women should not be penalized or re-victimized by health care insurance companies.

This report should open all our eyes to the bias in the profit driven health care insurance industry. This report should be mandatory reading for all our legislators.

We need single payer health insurance.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day 2009

Labor Day, a day which for most of us marks the unofficial end of summer, after picnicking or beaching it today one last time we put away our proverbial white shoes and bathing suits, and look forward to the fall and the new school year. We have forgotten that Labor Day was first started by the Labor Movement in the late 1800s to honor the workers --the first Labor Day celebrated was in NYC in 1882. Labor Day did not become a national holiday until 1894.
We should take a moment today to reflect on what the labor movement gave to us--the 40 hour work week, safe(r) working conditions, child labor laws, minimum wages.

Of course, in today's economic climate some people blame the labor movement for our economic woes. the high wages paid to the auto workers are often cited for the collapse of the American auto industry is instead of auto executives for having tin ears and lack of foresight to build energy efficient vehicles and being paid too much, even as their companies were failing.

So, on this Labor Day in the time of high unemployment, stagnating wages, foreclosures, let us give thanks to the labor movement for the benefits we all enjoy. If we have to put the blame for our economic condition anywhere, put it on those who were/are so greedy their only concern is with the bottom line, not humankind.

Read Robert Reich's article:


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Economy needs Health Care Reform!

The need for health care reform reaches passed the medical needs to the financial needs of those currently with and without health insurance. Nicholas Kristof reported that a study from the American Journal of Medicine found that 62% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were because of medical debts--an increase of 50% since 2001; and most shockingly, 78% of the people declaring bankruptcy had health insurance.
The are are also many people whose claims are denied for many reasons--the illness or procedure is not covered by the health insurance contract, it is a pre-existing condition, the procedure is considered by the company to be experimental. . .
This points to a major concern--that the health insurance industry is not in business to protect health, but for profit. (see video clip below).
We need a program that will insure a healthy America--in more ways than one.
IMHO, Medicare for all.

Kristof's Op-Ed piece in Sunday's NYT:

The study from the American Journal of Medicine:

video re: health care claims denied:

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