How We End the Corporate Corruption of Congress

Make History. Restore Democracy.

Today is the day to get involved in Wolf-Pac.com!  Please join your State’s Wolf Pack. Each State has it’s own Google+ group, by which one stays connected to other volunteers in the state,  gets information about actions, and follows the progress of the Resolution in that state. Aside from speaking to one’s own State Representatives and Legislators, the most active participation is in making phone calls to the voters (in your state, and helping do the same for other states); this involves each signing up for short periods of time (an hour or two), generally during the evening, to makes phone calls to the constituents (the voters) within a particular Legislator’s district. The purpose of doing this is inform voters of the Resolution, its purpose, and to seek their support for it. Those that agree with our efforts are then asked to contact their local Legislator to demand their support as well.  A script is provided, as are all the phone numbers you’ll be calling.

Experience has shown us that these calls truly do have a tremendous impact on the way a State Legislator votes. When a Legislator receives even a few calls (less than 10) about a particular agenda, they begin to pay more attention. But Legislators who receive 15, 20, more calls from their personal constituency have changed their vote from a No to a Yes, in direct correlation to those calls. This is because, on the State level, we still have some semblance of Democracy that remains; our Legislators are still beholden to the voters, rather than to the Koch Bros, or Big Oil donors, etc.  They can be swayed to vote according to our demands.  When they receive a few phone calls or emails from their voters, they know that there 100’s more who didn’t call, but want the same thing. And if they want to keep their jobs, they will act accordingly.

The Resolution itself is a statement: only People have the rights of “Personhood” (you know, those things called Human Rights?), NOT Corporations. Further, because our Congress is so thoroughly corrupt as a result of the the influence of “dark money” and other lucrative donations, each State’s Resolution must demand to engage in a Constitutional Convention of the States, as described by Article V of the Constitution.

The purpose of a Convention is for the States to override the powers of Congress. In the simplest of terms, Article V states that when our Congress becomes too corrupt, threatens our Democracy and endangers the Republic that is the United States, it is the duty of the People of each State to correct the problem, by holding a Convention of the States. A Convention of the States is, in effect, the States acting as Congress should, making the changes needed, and necessary, to our Constitution, in order to restore the Democratic process in our Government.  To do so, at least 34 States must pass similar/same Resolutions that propose participation in this Convention, and 36 (or 37? 38?) to Ratify it (to make it a Constitutional Right, and binding).

In this case, it is the powerful influence of money in DC that we must change, the all-encompassing power of money that currently holds sway over the voting patterns of our Legislators in DC.

We have got to remove the ability of the Corporate elite to pad the pockets of our Congressmen and Congresswomen –thus ensuring their compliance in creating laws and regulations that bow to the whims and desires of corporations– and by denying them such, we return to a Representative Democracy, in which the power of our government resides with the People, and is expressed on a ballot in a voting booth. Once we pass such a Resolution in a majority of our States, and add it to our Constitution, corporations will no longer have the power to use their financial influence in our government. They will no longer be able to simply buy the votes of our Congressmen and Congresswomen in DC. In other words, we will dismantle the current Oligarchical system of government in which we currently reside.

When the States act as Congress, it will be for the sole purpose of proposing this Amendment. The Amendment will solidify our Human Rights, and deny those Rights to the non-living Corporate entities. Only Human Beings will bear the the right to elect representative  leaders, without the overwhelming influence of Corporate elitist financing, or massive 1% “campaign contributions” (ie, bribes).

We are snipping the puppet’s strings, and returning the Power of our electoral process to the People.  With the Oligarchy defeated, we can restore Democracy to its rightful place: into the hands of the People.

This is HUGE! We now have 4 States committed to this effort. Dozens more are gaining traction.  But we need YOU to help. This is YOUR Democracy. YOU have to do your part. Please, do your part –participate, donate, and share. Start by clicking here:

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Battle For The Net

Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.

the internet's spinning wheel of death

the internet’s spinning wheel of death

Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?

On February 26th,  just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.

If you still don’t understand what Net Neutrality is all about,* Last Week Tonight comedian, John Oliver, explain:

If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here:

 Countdown for Net Neutrality tools

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown:

Join the Battle for Net Neutrality

Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net on February 26th!

via Battle For The Net.

*shared for educational purposes only

Bloodless Battles of (R)Evolution

I think one reason Democrats didn’t win the election on Nov 4th is because, in most states, there are so many other choices available for liberal, or left-leaning parties (Green party, Liberty Union,Progressive, Independent, etc) listed the ballots. All those choices allowed voters to vote with their conscience, rather than trying to choose “the lesser of two evils.” It can be a difficult choice to make, really; Is it “throwing away your vote”? Giving your vote to “the dark side” by default? We are taught that we have a Representative Democracy, and that we should vote for those candidates that better reflected our values, but it is often not possible with the current, limited, two party system.  The imbalance of political parties on either side of Liberal and Conservative detracts from the general Left/Right dichotomy presented to the voters.

Take this mid-term election as an evidential example of the flawed balance: In my state there were five Left-leaning candidate choices, including Democrat.  But, for the Conservative choices on the Right, there was only one: Republican. There wasn’t even a Libertarian, or declared Tea Party Republican choice! Only Republican. Suffice it say, it was an incredibly close call for the top position of Governor (the incumbent Dem was finally called). It does make sense, though. Liberals expand, while Conservatives, well, conserve.  Continue reading

Voter Lookup

There is a growing movement, comprised mainly of Millennials (the 20-somethings) who have become disenfranchised by voting manipulation and the corruption in Congress that has demolished our Democracy. The truth is, they’re right.

But to give up on voting right now, especially in this mid-term election, is the worst possible choice to make, IMHO, simply because it admits defeat, and adds another chain link to the yoke of oppression around our necks by the new Oligarchy –the 1%, the Corporatists… the Conservative Right Wingnuts who are hell-bent on bringing Fundamentalist -Ale Lay Loo Ya, Jayzus is Lord, Awl Mitey- Sharia style law down upon us. Given the chance, Corporations will have sovereignty over us all.

I refuse to bow before them. I will continue to fight them with every tool I still have. Voting is still viable. Weak, yes. Manipulated in many places, yes, but still powerful enough to keep our heads above water. USE IT, while we still can.

Then, continue taking the streets, Occupying parks, creating blockades around financial districts, and crowding our capital til the politicians can’t move without a social justice movement placard being waved in their faces. Inundate them with letters. (Hell, if it was possible, I’d do a  Citizens’ Arrests and charge ’em with Treason– because most of them have indeed committed Treason.)

If we can get a majority of Progressive candidates in, then we stand a chance of really weeding out the crooks.

And if you really want to restore our Democracy, then help empower our States to bypass Congress all together with an Article V Constitutional Convention of the States, to demand a 28th Amendment to the Constitution that states, unequivocally, that the Rights of “Personhood” belong ONLY to Human Beings…NOT Corporations. This will effectively overturn the disastrous SCOTUS ruling known as Citizens’ United, and other associated rulings that have given Corporations the power to control our lives and our Government.  More than 20 states are now in process of passing Resolutions demanding we do just that, and two have already done it!

Wanna know more? go to http://www.wolf-pac.com

And remember to VOTE in November. While we still can. Don’t let the Koch brothers own us.

of Money, Politics, Unions & You

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“Porkorate Paul” visits Fairpoint in Brattleboro Post Office

Meet “Porkorate Paul”, the enormous big pink pig seen squatting in the bed of a sign and slogan covered pick-up truck, puffing a cigar. He came to Brattleboro this Monday morning, October 20th, on one of his many stops throughout New England.  His purpose: to parade his pompous presumptions of wealthy entitlement over the lower echelon (that’s us). And like a boar, greedily tearing at the soil for every last morsel of truffle fungi, he is tearing and shredding the roots of Union strength–even at Democracy–with total disregard for the potential of our future economic health. “Porkorate Paul” represents the rapacious greed of Wall Street, draining Vermont (and the rest of the 17 states in which Fairpoint exists) of the few industries we have left that provide decent, living wages to its Union Member employees.

According to the Union-created website (see website at the end) of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communication Workers of America (CWA), less that two years after Fairpoint quintupled its size, by acquiring Verizon’s Northern New England service region, it filed for bankruptcy. In the process of reorganizing at last, a mere 191 wealthy creditors bought the “distressed” shares from the  previous half a million stockholders. Only five of those new creditors now control over 50% of the shares, (54.1%) and 4 of those 5 are hedge funds! Then, instead of creating another 675 new jobs as promised in Union talks, these shareholders cut 22% from the workforce –bringing total worker number of over 4,000 members to just over 3,100. In other words, a whole lot of bacon landed in a very few silk-lined pockets, while nearly 1,000 hard working people ended up on the unemployment line. Right now, those Union workers are on strike in protest of the broken promises from Fairpoint and it’s elitist shareholders.  

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communication Workers of America, on Strike from Fairpoint.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Communication Workers of America, on Strike from Fairpoint.

If you understand this concept, that a strong middle class is the long-term foundation of a healthy economy, then you also understand that manipulation of the “buy-low, sell-high” stock market games of Wall Street, combined with undermining Unions, cutting a skilled workforce and replacing it with less qualified workers, and outsourcing, serves only to destroy the already dwindling middle class and further devastating our economy as a whole. The only ones that “win,” in the short-term are those at the very top; they are the one that cash out quick with their riches, leaving behind a trail of bankruptcies, lost homes, and unemployed talent that will then depend on social safety net services (into which they once were contributors).

Being extraordinarily wealthy, in a nation where a majority is poor,doesn’t seem like a healthy business plan. Cutting a raw deal for the original half a million stockholders (who had originally bought into the company with a real commitment to its long-term stability), is so heinous an act it has the feel of criminality to it;  it certainly does not promote longevity or stability for the company, but does lend to the continued degradation and collapse of our entire nation. Further enriching the fewer-than-200 investors and hedge funds in a short term, get-richer-quicker endeavor, completely undermines– really it voids– the company’s history as being a high quality service provider, with guarantees of  “Customer Satisfaction” (unless the only customers counted are the current shareholders). Causing unemployment and poverty for thousands of competent and skilled Union, and other, employees –despite the demand for more to service the extended service area– can’t even be called a “business practice”, for what does it have to do with keeping the company strong? All it does is cause poverty for the many, while a few gain some morsels of mushrooms. That’s greed, plain and simple.

So the pig analogy continues…

Fairpoint now competes with the corporate giant, Comcast/Xfinity. It’s grew over the years to become one of few fiber-optic telecommunication service providers to reach the rural areas that Comcast couldn’t be bothered to service.  It created thousands of well-paying jobs for skilled, organized workers. It meant that small states, like Vermont, had a growing middle class. Having a solid middle class is key to economic stability overall. That’s what Fairpoint was a part of… but apparently, not any more. At this rate, it won’t be long ’til Fairpoint is paying the equivalent of Walmart’s wages.

Unions’ histories prominently include: aiding in the end of child labor in this country, creation of the 8-hour work day, increasing quality of work and higher wages, and ending so many other unfair business practices, all of which brought helped in giving us decades of American prosperity. Union members helped build and sustain a middle class, and, truly, helped in making the US a great nation. But with the new masters for companies like Fairpoint, who are completely, and blatantly, disregarding promises they made, refusing to come to the negotiation table, and continuing to thumb their snouts at strike.2.jpgcourt ordered judgments….as they wantonly go on digging for their truffles without care…we see yet more proof we are no longer operating in a Democratic society, but in an Oligarchy. We are being ruled by the decisions and whims of wealthy Corporatists; and all for their own benefit. Supporting this claim is a ground shaking study that was released last April by Princeton and Northwestern Universities, entitled: “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.”  In it, the researchers analysed over two decades of detailed policy and data,  and were able to prove beyond doubt that our government no longer represents the US populations. Rather, it represents corporate wealth.

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Ellen Schwartz, of the Vermont Workers’ Center, joins the Union Strikers in solidarity. Please visit the Vermont Worker’s Center and the Put People First movement http://www.workerscenter.org

Yes, it does look grim. Maybe it even looks hopeless. Despairing, however, serves no purpose. That’s an act of genuflection to the “Porkorate Paul” dynasty, allowing him to grunt at us all on the way to the soup lines and tent cities. No more enormously big pink pigs in front of post offices, please!  Making Pork Pie is meant to be a shared endeavor. So is making the Vegan Tofu Pot Pie, a Kosher Beef pie, or whatever other Pie there is. We bring sanity back to our Democracy by becoming active participants in it.   

 Getting a piece of Democracy in action can be as simple as bringing your Right to Vote out next month.

Of course, to really make a difference, it’s going to take even more than that. We start by standing up and getting out into the streets, supporting  Workers’ Rights and Unions. And we take away “personhood” power of Corporations that has run our Democratic process amuck.  We put “Porkorate Paul” back in his pen.

Bringing this pig analogy to its conclusion once and for all:  Please follow these links to learn more, and to get involved.

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In solidarity, VT Workers’ Center volunteer, Ellen Schwartz, stands in the rain with Strikers

 Information on the current Strike against Fairpoint by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communication Workers of America, including history, issues and ongoing actions:

  www.fairnessatfairpoint.com

Information about the Vermont Workers’ Center activities and membership in your area, and its work in collaboration with other Human Rights organizations throughout the state.www.workerscenter.org

Support the 28th Amendment. No Human Rights for Corporations.

Support the 28th Amendment. No Human Rights for Corporations. Be a part of the Wolf-Pac!  A national non-profit movement that is leading the the fight to overturn the US Supreme Court decision, Citizens’ United, with a singularly focussed  Article V Constitutional Convention of the States, calling for a 28th Amendment to Restore Democracy.

Leading the pack to end Corruption in Congress, Reclaim Democracy, and create a 28th Amendment to overturn Citizens’ United: No Human Rights for Corporations. Congress won’t do it, so it’s up to us. www.wolf-pac.com