January 21st, 2012

SuperPACs - Looking for opinions

So I have to admit I do understand the decision, at least in part, that the Supreme Court made in "Citizen's United". If I'm wealthy, perhaps I should have the right to spend what I want to express my opnion in a country that guarantees free speech. Yes there is a compelling argument that in a democracy everyone should have an equal voice, but that is not the point of this particular post. But I have two questions about the ruling:

1. Corporations and unions - If people look at the history the idea that "they are people too" is actually not as grounded in the law as you'd think. This idea was actually a throw in by a court reporter who may have misconstrued what was being said in the court one day. So do we really believe that corporations and unions are individuals? Can ExxonMobil or Nike show up at the polls and cast a vote?

2. Okay, so let's assume we accept #1 and say that they are individuals. It still seems that if I am a union member of a corporate shareholder that the union or corporation should not be allowed "like an individual" to use my money to express it's free speech without my permission, no?

Unfortunately, since one side of the aisle is benefiting more from the ruling than the other (and this is not to begrudge the GOP - either side would likely resist change when they have an advantage), we are unlikely to see anything change unless citizens as a whole force the issue. Anyway, I'm curious about opinions...

My blogs:

Uncovering what politicians won't talk about, or how they manipulate what they do say: Political Truth Serum

A site dedicated to promoting open and honest debate: A Collective Good

Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!

Whose Macedonia?

Kalimera! Dobra vecher! Good evening! I'm going to bother you with Greece, but this time not with the boring Greece debt crisis. This is going to be mostly about the Greek hysteria about the name of FYROMacedonia, which I think is only partially related to the revisionist propaganda that every Greek kid is being spoon-fed about the purported direct lineage from Alexander the Great all the way to every modern-day Greek. But the real, deeper reason for all the drama is a bit different.

See, there's a really weird argument going on in the south-eastern corner of Europe. Weird for anyone who's not from the Balkans, anyway. Greece wants to prevent Macedonia being officially named Macedonia at any cost, and is even threatening lawsuit at the International Court at the Hague. In their turn, the Macedonians also filed a complaint against Greece because the Greeks blocked their attempt to join NATO in 2008.

Sounds like a stupid quarrel, but believe me, for these two this is literally a question of life and death... of their egos. The reason for this mess is that the Greeks hate the idea of a Slavic country being named Macedonia. But the Hague court eventually took a devastating decision: 15 out of 16 judges decided in Macedonia's favor. In the Greek media this issue has pushed aside even the debt crisis these days. One of the right-wing parties which is part of the ruling coalition has threatened that if Macedonia gets recognized as "Macedonia", they'll leave the coalition and cause the government to collapse. In the meantime the prime-minister Papadimos is ranting about "provocations" from Macedonia. All in all, the situation is very inflammable.

But first, play this for atmosphere while reading the rest!

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