Category Archives: Corporate Personhood

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“All politics is local.” — Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill

HAIL TO THE CHIEF

Admit it, the first time you heard or read the words Mitch Daniels and president this morning, your heart skipped a beat.

Once you caught your breath and realized he’s only going to become the big boss at Purdue University after his gubernatorial term concludes, you might have thought, Good, now we won’t have to worry about him running for Prez of the USA in 2016.

Ladies And Gentlemen, The President Of…

Not so fast, kiddies.

I direct you to your history books. A fellow named Dwight Eisenhower took the gig as president of Columbia University after he’d helped whack the Nazis in World War II. He held the job for a year, during which it was clear he was far more interested in using the post as a platform to position himself as a statesman than he was in running the university. Next thing people knew, he was being dragged into the 1952 Republican National Convention, saying Aw, shucks, and running for the White House.

Part of Ike’s reasoning for taking the Columbia job was, as he put it, to advance the cause of education in a democracy.

Follow me here, now. Mitch Daniels has taken his lumps as the governor who oversaw massive budget cuts for Indiana schools. Daniels’ rep as a benefactor of public schooling was shot all to hell.

Now, mirabile dictu, he’s going to lead one of the state’s two most high profile educational institutions after he leaves Indianapolis.

Sounds to me like a very nice strategy for a guy who wants to repair his image. In fact, he might hope to become known as a respected educator by the year 2016.

PLAYTIME

Click.

SMILE FOR BRIAN

Happy 70th birthday to Brian Wilson.

Brian Wilson

The leader of the Beach Boys was one of the musical geniuses of 20th Century America. The BB album “Pet Sounds” has been lauded as one of the five best discs in the history of the rock era.

The harmonies he arranged throughout the Beach Boys’ run verged on the spiritual at times.

If the very idea of Beach Boys’ music makes you smirk, I suggest you give some of their cuts a listen once again. Try to hear them as music rather than as cheesy cultural artifacts of the 60s. You’ll be surprised.

More Than This

THE CONSCIENCE OF A NATION

The Bloomington City Council is thinking of making a statement about a policy that’s anything but local once again.

Our elected municipal leaders want to make sure the world knows they disapprove of the US Supreme Court Citizens United ruling that essentially gave corporations and big organizations the same free speech rights as individuals. You know, the corporate personhood idea that the Reagan/Bush/Bush court so lovingly bestowed upon us.

Some Of Our Best Friends Are Corporations

It reminds me of the letter the council sent to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer a couple of years ago when she was fixing to sign that state’s draconian immigration bill.

My guess is Gov. Brewer tossed the letter into the circular file.

I mean, honestly, did our councilors really hope that Brewer might read the letter, take her glasses off, stare out her office window, and muse on the moral implications of the bill? Did they expect her to whisper to herself, “Golly gee, these people really make sense”?

Now That I Think About It…

Now the Council wants to proclaim itself in favor of a constitutional amendment to un-declare corporations as people.

My only hope is they didn’t spend too much time debating the point.

(And, just to clarify my position, the Citizens United decision was among the dumbest-assed things the US Supreme Court has done in decades.)

GOD ONLY KNOWS

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“Just when you thought there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you’re wrong.” — Molly Ivins

BUTT-HEAD MORALITY

Here’s all you need to know about the anti-abortion crowd. Last night, four of the devout men — emphasis on men, just in case it slipped your notice — running for the Republican nomination for president genuflected at the altar of the “pro-life” god in South Carolina.

That would be the god, I remind you, who frets obsessively over the safety of those blobs of cellular material the “pro-lifers” call “persons” and then promptly ignores once the blobs develop into what the rest of us would consider human.

Don’t these people know personhood begins the moment papers are filed to establish a corporation?

If This Is A CEO, Then It’s A Person

Anyway, Personhood USA gathered “pro-lifers” together so they could tell each other how righteous they are and to listen to Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Ricky-girl Santorum, and Rick Perry each claim to be holy.

Good to know that when our economy is teetering on a precipice, when the country seems to be in the throes of a seizure, when there’s not enough money to keep schools and libraries running properly, when climate change and nuclear proliferation threaten our very future, the pious folks of Personhood USA can keep their focus on women’s uteri.

Last night’s seminar was actually a dialectic musing over precisely when a human being comes into existence. Believe it or not, it’s a question that racks the brains of these folks. Not too long ago, they pushed for a law in Mississippi that would declare “personhood” begins at the moment the egg is fertilized.

So, in other words, if you snuff the life out of a fertilized egg, you’d be committing murder.

Now of course, the problem with that is many, if not most, forms of contraception entail killing the fertilized egg. Which would mean, say, birth control pill users would really be no different than Tucson shopping mall shooter Jared Loughner.

As Bad As One Of Those Birth Control Pill-Takers

A lovely bunch of thinkers, these “pro-lifers,” no?

The debate moderator (a guy) asked Rick Perry (ditto) when he thought life begins. Perry responded, “When the sperm and the egg come together….”

At which point — get this — many in the crowd started tittering.

Yeah, that’s right. Tittering.

Hilarious

As in, “Tehe, he said sperm.”

As in a couple of twelve year-olds sitting around giggling about sperm and dicks and vaginas.

As in Beavis and Butt-head.

Personhood USA.

Pro-life?

THE GAY DISEASE

Some members of the titterering set got together after a Texas confab last weekend and declared front-runner Mitt Romney to be suffering from the dread disease of “homophilia.”

I shudder to think of it. Romney’s office must be decorated with posters for Broadway musicals at the very least.

The First Symptom

“… [M]ost South Carolinians and I have a sane and healthy homophobia,” said the Rev. Huey Mills, some big-shot evangelical.

Sane?

Huey?

Anyway, some other big evangelical leader named Tony Perkins will make a personal appearance with the anointed one, Ricky-girl Santorum, today in South Carolina, two days before the state’s primary. Ricky-girl was tabbed by the Texas evangelical gang as their fave for president.

Endorsing Santorum?

GAY CAR PRIDE

The world hasn’t completely lost it mind — and least not just yet. The state of Indiana this week became the first in the nation to issue a “gay” license plate.

The proceeds from the $40 plate will go to the Indiana Youth Group, which helps gay teens.

Of course, people who have a “healthy and sane homophobia” probably are certain the IYG “helps” teens by luring unsuspecting adolescents into their nefarious clutches.

Because, you know, it’s as easy as Mom’s apple pie to convince a hormone-flooded 15-year-old high school jock he really prefers Clay Aiken to Megan Fox.

Typical Teen Boy: “Gee, Clay Aiken Or Megan Fox — I Can’t Decide!”

I would offer my sincerest congratulations to the great state o’Indiana but the decision to issue the gay plate was forced upon it by a Supreme Court ruling.

 

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