Reading 'em What Rights
- Attacking Immigrants, and the Constitution--CommonDreams.org
"Yesterday, a group of state legislators launched an attack on the fundamental American values in the U.S. Constitution by announcing their intent to target babies born in the United States. This attempt to deny American babies citizenship. . . "
- The Conservative Constitution of the United States--CommonDreams.org
David Cole's take on the Conservative's view of the Constitution
US vs Massey Energy?
- Documents Reveal Extensive Violations at Mine--NPR
"The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has released hundreds of pages of documents detailing its last three quarterly inspections of a Massey Energy Co.-owned mine in Montcoal, W.V. . . "
- Ex-Miners Say Massey Skirted Inspection Rules--NPR
"Former miners and federal inspectors say Massey Energy routinely games the safety inspection process. . . "
- Disabling Methane Monitors Was Common--NPR
"Miners who've worked in Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia say disabling methane monitors was relatively common. . ."
With Great Power. . .
comes great responsibility. So said Ben Parker, and these words would become the credo of his nephew's alter ego.
I was a bit surprised when the new House Republican majority decided to open the new Congressional Term by reading the Constitution. I understand that they stirred the "Tea Pot" with talk of restoring "constitutional sanity" to Government. Never mind that it's possible that our founding father's vision of America was not as populist as people think, but may be closer to the view of America that the corporate forces that are behind so much of Tea Party activity desire.
Of course, I have yet to see where in the Constitution that corporations are entitled to the same rights as people. The Supreme Court, however, determined that corporations do have the same rights to free speech as citizens. The recent elections showed how well corporations can use this new influence.
So if corporations are, in a sense, people, they should be held responsible in the same way. Some progressive members of the House or Senate should propose legislation to allow corporations to be sued in criminal court as opposed to civil court.
Some more radical people would salivate at the possibility of corporations being charged with murder when their product leads to a death, or something like the Deep Water Horizon or Big Branch Mine disaster occurs. But murder would be a hard case to make, you would need to prove that a corporation intended to harm or kill. Most likely the evidence against a corporation would lead to a negligence charge.
The corporation would likely hire a top-tier defense attorney, while the people would have a District Attorney to make their case. A plea would likely be offered, perhaps a deal along the lines of a class action suit. Very few of these cases would ever see trial, what drug company would want the public to know how a dangerous drug was rushed to market, or how a coal company cut corners on safety inspections.
But what would the cumulative effect be? What would the effect be on the company's stock? Would customers be less likely to buy from companies who are constantly being charged. And what would happen if one CEO was found guilty and had to serve the time?