There’s no single cause of inflation. Among the past and current factors are the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine.
Corporate actions also contribute to inflation. These are four ways corporations and inflation are related – not all of which are economic.Read more
Much will be said, remembered and commemorated on this day, the 21st anniversary of the tragedies on September 11, 2001.
While there are many lessons from what happened prior to, during and following that day, there’s one take-a-way that should never be forgotten: the political and economic power elite never lets a tragedy, catastrophe or crisis go to waste to further attempt to increase their political and/or economic dominance.
In the case of September 11, a major success in this vein was the Patriot Act, passed soon afterwards to supposedly enhance “national security” to catch “terrorists,” specifically Middle Eastern Muslims inside the United States. While some of its provisions were intended to address problems that predated 9/11, most of the others allowed the government to more easily and effectively violate the privacy rights of innocent citizens and residents. These included tracking the activities of people on the Internet, compiling credit and bank records and expanding the monitoring of phone and email communications. September 11 was just a pretext by the government to enact unprecedented violations of civil rights and surveillance expansion that were labeled as “un-American” prior to 9/11.Read more
Labor Day is a terrific opportunity for Move to Amenders to make personal and issue connections with working members of Labor Unions and other working people. Many fundamental rights and protections of working people (e.g. the weekend, 8-hour work day, collective bargaining, end of child labor, employer-based health coverage, workplace safety) came into being because working people organized powerful movements that created positive change.Read more
It's happening again...
You may have received a recent mailing from a national group calling for reversing the 2010 Citizens United vs FEC Supreme Court decision. Enclosed was this U.S. map showing by state the number of communities that have passed resolutions, in this case, supporting a “Citizens United Amendment.”
The number of resolutions totals more than 800.
The map is extremely misleading. It gives the impression that the resolutions primarily address Citizens United.
The reality is that the vast majority of the passed resolutions by municipal governments and citizens at the ballot box affirm that the rights protected under the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only or end corporate constitutional rights or corporate personhood and some variation that money spent in elections is not First Amendment-protected free speech. Most don’t directly mention Citizens United.Read more
by Jasmin Enciu
The Supreme Court is set to decide one of the most consequential environmental cases it has heard in decades. West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency will address whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shall continue to have the authority to regulate the levels of greenhouse gas emissions. This case puts the EPA in an extremely vulnerable position. VOX News reporter Ian Millhiser even stated, “West Virginia could wind up permanently hobbling the government’s ability to fight climate change.”
West Virginia threatens all government regulations that protect the public, not just the EPA. It is also concerning since the Supreme Court has recently taken an anti-agency regulation stance on many cases. The court has used the “major questions doctrine” in these instances to prevent agency actions from addressing important issues. For example, they recently struck down the CDC’s coronavirus eviction mortarium, which paused evictions for Americans who were suffering and not able to make rent due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. The Majority opinion stated: “It is indisputable that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant…but our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends…it is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest merits further action here,”Read more
There are two ways to create change: by having lots of organized money or lots of organized people. Since MTA isn’t flush with cash from billionaires or business corporations, our route to build power to help create real democracy is to recruit and organize people at the grassroots.
That’s why we’re organizing Summer Signature Saturdays
We need to add more people to our base. Our goal is to recruit 10,000 more supporters by the end of the summer – which will get us to 500,000.
How do we recruit more supporters?
The major way over the next several months is to designate one Saturday each month for Move to Amend volunteer leaders (like you!) to spend at least 1 hour collecting signatures on our Motion to Amend petition.
- The top 2 individuals who collect the most signatures that day will receive a cool MTA t-shirt to wear – maybe for the next time they go out to petition!
- MTA affiliates who organize several individuals to petition and submit signatures all together will be recognized on our website and in our monthly newsletter.
The next Summer Signature Saturday is this Saturday!
Can you commit to collecting signatures wherever you this Saturday? Feel free to recruit one or more friends!
If so, email [email protected]
Where to petition in your community
Public places to petition: farmers markets, festivals, parades, sidewalks in commercial districts, your neighborhood, libraries, post offices, bus stops, parks
- Place petitions on clipboard or sturdy piece of cardboard with a large clip
- Try to get 1 sheet of signatures from your family members, friends or neighbors – even if they’ve already signed – and place the full sheet on top. The first few signatures are always the hardest when the petition is blank. Having a full sheet from the start will make it more comfortable for people you approach to sign when they see several have already done so.
- Consider taking 2 sets of petitions. This saves time if you come across 2 or more people and they are more likely to sign
- Use only black or blue ink. No red ink or pencils. Take one or more extra pens
- Ask people to PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY
- Quickly check after each person has signed to make sure you can read all the information. If necessary, fill in for them what you can’t read
- Please encourage that at least name, city, zip code and email are filled in. Emails allow us to send educational and action updates – including how to get more involved.
- Don’t petition in the rain. Rain and paper are a bad combination.
Want to participate but cannot get out this weekend?
Another way to engage is by asking people to sign the petition via your personalized link. Everyone that signs the petition from your link will be credited to you.
You can find your personal recruiter link here: https://www.movetoamend.org/recruit
Email [email protected] if you plan to collect petition signatures . We’ll send further details before the date.
Thank you for helping Move to Amend grow and build power for helping create real democracy!
Citizens, elected officials and more are invited to take part in this year’s Democracy Day event, taking place on Wednesday, March 30 in Council Chambers at One Government Center, or via Zoom.
The annual event, presented by the City, Toledo Move to Amend and Our Revolution in Northwest Ohio, is held by City Council to discuss the corrupting influence of corporate interests in politics. Speakers address a wide variety of topics related to the public interest during the event.Read more
Carolyn Harding with Greg Coleridge and Sandy Bolzenius organizers with Move to Amend, a movement to Amend the US Constitution to codify that Corporations are not People & Money is not speech.
With political polarization likely to become more intense the closer we approach the November midterm elections, one problem that increasingly angers individuals across the ideological spectrum is the excessive power of Big Tech.
Transpartisan concerns are legitimate that Big Tech corporations have incredible influence over our lives, are too economically and politically powerful, and are publicly unaccountable.
Similar outrage on the political right about corporate power in general is more recent. Mitch McConnell may have begun the criticism last year when he instructed “corporate America” to “stay out of politics” (though pivoting after realizing corporations bankroll GOP political campaigns). The annual convention of the conservative Federalist Society featured one speaker who stated, “The Chamber of Commerce is not our friend” while another lamented that “[m]assive corporations are pursuing a common and mutually agreed upon agenda to destroy American freedom.” “Big Business is not our ally,” said Marco Rubio, while Ted Cruz proclaimed “Big Tech is malevolent. Big Tech is corrupt. Big Tech is omnipresent.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has provided a new round of unilateral censorship by Big Tech against those critical of U.S. militarism, corporatism, and kleptocracy. YouTube has flagged Oliver Stone’s documentary Ukraine on Fire. The banning or limiting the visibility of Russia Today (RT) by Microsoft, Apple, Meta-Facebook, Google, YouTube and TikTok has meant the silencing of voices like journalist and author Chris Hedges and commentator and comedian Lee Camp – both of whom opposed the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Netflix has gone so far as to shelve a production of Anna Karenina. The U.S. government hasn’t had to formally do any of this censoring as corporations have effectively assumed that role.
Opposition to corporate power differs given the issue (i.e. political elections, lobbying, commenting on social issues). On Big Tech, however, there’s much agreement about their power to dictate in secret what ideas are promoted, which ones are suppressed and who is allowed to participate on their platforms.
The core issue is free speech. How much power should Big Tech have to assert their own “corporate” free speech to protect their own interests? And how much power should they have to deny free speech to others?
Big Tech corporations shouldn’t have constitutional rights to influence public policies favorable to them through political campaign contributions and lobbying, nor be the referee of free speech rights of billions of people. Meta-Facebook and Twitter decide the rules of those who access their electronic corporate “property.” The same is true of Google with its own authority to censor information and groups.
These corporations are driven primarily not by providing an arena for “free speech,” but their bottom lines. Sensationalism sells. Polarization is profitable.
Their business model is to keep users on their sites as long as possible to sell specific advertisements based on data mined from their online interests. The more lurid and outrageous the content, the longer viewers stick around and the more cash rolls in. This explains Meta-Facebook’s ads for body armor and other military equipment next to content promoting false election information and the attempted coup. Meta-Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen confirmed that the corporation has “a system that amplifies division, extremism, and polarization… Their profit maximizing machine is generating self-harm and self-hate — especially for vulnerable groups like teenage girls.”
Both sides have only themselves to blame for the creation of these technological Frankensteins. Meta-Facebook would never have become so profitable (with a market value above $1 trillion) nor able to monopolize social networking (with its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp) if not for incredibly weak antitrust laws and regulations on privacy, market power and advertising fraud that the political right constantly fights to maintain The political left, meanwhile, has largely taken a hands-off approach in Congress to the divisive and constitutionally-challenging issue of limiting free speech via legislation by permitting Big Tech companies to establish their own internal free speech rules.
So how can we make Big Tech accountable to We the People?
One proposal that’s not a real solution is regulation. Regulating monopolies throughout history had led to entrenched monopolies and captured regulatory agencies and regulators – leading to greater economic concentration and political power by the industry.
A better option is to break up the monopolies. Several bills in Congress have called for breaking up Meta-Facebook and Google. The result would be greater economic competition and somewhat weakened political power. This needs to be coupled with rethinking, if not reimagining, technological communication as a public utility, with some services/platforms public or democratically controlled.
Another option is to alter or abolish Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law has become an incentive for corrupt business activities as the tech corporations are protected from any liability.
More fundamental is to shift back from the private/corporate arena to the public the issue of free speech – despite its complexity. An absolutist reverence to “free speech” in all its forms is neither noble, nor based in reality. While free speech is a critical requirement in any authentic democratic society, it must be balanced against the rights to safety, dignity, respect and integrity. “Freedom to speak” anywhere at any time on any platform threatening violence toward others with differences should not be protected. Political free speech is already limited in our society – whether time limits to testify in public forums or times of the day/night to read aloud the Constitution in your front yard.
Finally, constitutional rights of Big Tech corporations – in fact, all corporate entities – should be abolished by passing HJR48, the We the People Amendment. First Amendment “free speech” was intended solely for human beings. The hijacking of the First and other Amendments by corporate entities have corrupted the political process and insulated corporate entities in a variety of ways from public accountability and the ability to achieve political self-determination.
Many, if not all, of these solutions have support from vast numbers of people on the ground across the country and across the political spectrum. Now is both a teachable moment and organizing opportunity to search for transpartisan common ground to organize for ways to make Big Tech accountable to all people.
Greg, Jennie, Shelly, George, Leila, Daniel, Saleem, Jessica, Kaitlin, Joni, Milly, Jason, Alfonso & Tara
Move to Amend sponsored panel at the 40th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) on March 4, 2022
As an advocate trying to protect the environment, your opponents are almost certainly the wealthy, a large corporation, an entity funded by them, or a government agency overly influenced or beholden to them. The political, legal, and economic playing fields are slanted in favor of large monied interests more today than at any time since the Gilded Age. Only a constitutional amendment abolishing corporate constitutional rights and returning power to regulate campaign financing to the People’s elected representatives can restore balance to our political system and legal institutions.
John Fioretta (Move to Amend)
Karen Coulter (Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project)
Kai Huschke (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund)
Ben Manski (George Mason University)
Greg Coleridge (Move to Amend)