Epidemic brings about the next American Revolution

Once again, I have identified the problem, and now on to the solution. The new American Revolution, will not need to be a bloody mess, nor do we need to wear masks. We simply need to pass local ordinances that [image-1]declare our right to self governance. This is the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, or CELDF, model for a peaceful revolution. It is a movement toward more lasting freedom for all American citizens. Like the Ant-Federalists, The Abolitionists, The Suffragists, The Populists and the Labor movements before it, this path will not be easy, but notice how all of these won their struggles to be "found" in the Constitution. How does it work? Each Municipality declares its rights for its residents, and can declare rights for the environment, and then removes rights from corporations. Currently corporations assert that they have the same rights as a person. This is where the trouble begins, and also where the revolution must begin.

Corporations are not mentioned in our Constitution, and yet they claim 1st, 4th, 5thand 14th amendment [image-2]rights. Allowing corporations to donate money to political campaigns has distorted and destroyed our right to representative government. When a corporation is guilty of a crime, you cannot hand cuff it, nor can you throw it in jail.

In October of 2008, I attended Daniel Pennock Democracy School. After a two day long intensive study, I become grossly aware of just how corporations have manipulated the regulatory agencies into regulating the activist, instead of the companies they were designed to regulate. For those of us who have been activists for many years, we know exactly what this means. Regulatory agencies like SWFWMD and the Army Corps are permit dispensers. And once they rubber stamp some corporate destruction of the wetlands they are said to protect, they think their work is done. Then come in the activists, who can prove that these destructions are illegal, irresponsible and irreversible. Next enter the attorneys for the corporation and the abiding agency, claiming they have a right to proceed, unless the activists can afford to hire the experts and attorneys it will take to fight them in court. The entire time, this scenario is being played out, what is often overlooked is the fact that the agency is actually being sued for not doing its job, not the company. Do you see the slight of hand here? The corporation never gets punished for lying and cheating, because they have this wonderful buffer in-between us and them: the regulatory agencies.

There are many examples of the Army Corps and South West Water Management Districts crimes against nature in their complicity with large corporations. [image-3]Many documented in a book I just purchased by St. Pete Times' Craig Pittman and Mathew Waite: Paving Paradise, Florida's Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss. But there are many other types of crimes committed by corporations that directly result in people's death.

The Democracy School is dedicated to the memory of Daniel Pennock, a 17-year-old boy from Berks County Pennsylvania, who died in 1995 after being exposed involuntarily to land applied sewage sludge. Daniel's parents have worked to end the practice of sludge disposal by which waste management corporations reap massive profits hauling and spreading sludge on farmland. Manslaughter by corporations is not something that we can simply try to regulate away. We already have seen how the regulatory agencies work to corporate advantage. So, are you ready for the next step? Check out Thomas Lindsey on Democracy now.

Let's observe the best example of our recent history, as I paraphrase Richard L. Grossman of Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy. It was not long ago that human beings in our country could be kept as slaves. The Abolitionist movement, did not for example, ask for a Slavery Protection Agency (SPA), similar to our EPA, in order to improve conditions for themselves. Nor did they ask the slave owners to enact a slave master's voluntary code of conduct. They also did not seek the authority for defenders of slaves to bring lawsuits on slaves' behalf. No, what they did do was form a movement, from 1820-1860 they defined their goal, outlined the problem and the solutions. They defined slavery as a fundamental denial of basic human rights. They accused the US Government and public officials of complicity in this denial of rights. They denounced the Constitution, and openly violated Federal and State laws by aiding runaway slaves. Slaves themselves revolted and escaped. Judges and juries openly supported the growing Abolitionists' defilement of the law of the land. By the time the Civil War offered the opportunity, they had built a political movement with the clout to get their three constitutional amendments enacted.

How appropriate it was that after attending the Democracy School in Oakland CA, I found myself at the [image-4]Inauguration of our Nation's first African American President. While there in DC for the week, I had made an appointment to meet with Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. I asked him to help me with my ideas regarding solar and wind municipal utility companies, in order to wean ourselves from dirty oil, coal and nuclear. I suggested the CELDF model. He actually seemed to like the concept, but said not to use it with this issue. He said this energy issue could be dealt with more efficiently and easily by not also challenging corporate rights simultaneously. I have since agreed for now to proceed against these energy monopolies without CELDF, only to discover, that they have been systematically stripping the peoples rights away from them. As I have mentioned in previous articles, the 1961 franchise agreement between the City of Tarpon and Progress Energy, allowed the City to buy back the grid, and also the periodic right to renegotiate. Those rights are gone in the current contract. This is happening around the State, and most likely around the Country. Perhaps this is one of the products of the energy policy think tank Vice President Dick Cheney arranged in his office, and then refused to disclose the attendees. Regardless, this issue is coming back to haunt me. I have discovered some ways out of this mess, but for those Cities trapped by an "all rights removed" contract, the options are slim. We may be forced to remove corporate rights, in order to regain ours.

For those of you who are thinking, it's too much work. Remember, there were those who said that to the woman who were fighting for their right to vote, yet they persisted to victory. To those who say, yes but it is the law, we can't do anything about it. It was once legal to own slaves and prevent woman from voting! Unjust laws must be changed! Stop pretending that you have no power. We are the power!

So, how much will it take? Will your son or daughter have to die needlessly at the hands of a corporation, like young Daniel Pennock, and so many others? Or will the excessive destruction of your air and drinking water be enough. Perhaps the outright theft of your hard earned cash, as in the example of CEO Jeffry Lyash's nuclear power plant and the proposed stadium, will be enough. When will you say enough is enough? How many deaths will it take? How many rights must be stripped? It took the final straw of William Wallace's wife being murdered to spark the revolution in Braveheart. It took the deaths of hundreds of thousands as well as the experimental torture to V in V for Vendetta. And yet, it only took the prevention of voting rights to spurn a revolution for women.

What is your last straw? When will you take a stand? When will we unite, and take back our power?

Perhaps you, like me have wondered what a revolution might look like in today's America. Would it be a blood bath, like something out of the movie Or perhaps a Guy Fawkes masked hero would present the path, like the film V for Vendetta?

Well, first we must talk about the epidemic. The impetus for drastic change, in Braveheart, was of course the cruel way Scotland's citizens were treated by the King of England. And in V for Vendetta, a literal epidemic was created with a virus sprayed on the citizens, and the ensuing panic and mayhem allowed the government to take dictatorial control of the country. The epidemic I am referring to in our current situation is not the swine flu, however. It is the corporate greed and corruption that has allowed our rights to be stripped away, and our planetary environment to be brought to the brink of disaster.


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