Tag Archives | Corporations

Los Angeles Votes To End Corporate Personhood

losangelesThe municipal government of Los Angeles has passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to assert that corporations are not guaranteed the rights of people, and that spending money is not the same as free speech. Largely symbolic, but hopefully part of something bigger. The Los Angeles Times reports:

At a packed City Council meeting that included remarks from a man in a top hat with fake money tucked in the pocket of his suit, Los Angeles lawmakers Tuesday called for more regulations on how much corporations can spend on political campaigns.

The vote in support of state and federal legislation that would end so-called “corporate personhood” is largely symbolic. But anti-corporate activist Mary Beth Fielder, who spoke in favor of the resolution, called it “a symbol that’s going to be heard around the world.”

The council resolution includes support for a constitutional amendment that would assert that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, and that spending money is not a form of free speech.

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Bloomberg Exposes Koch Brothers

dataThe radical commies at Bloomberg have published a sweeping expose of the Tea Party-funding behemoth Koch Industries, claiming that standard practice at the company includes bribing government officials around the world, secretly selling technology to Iran, and general contempt for the legal and ethical constraints by which people normally operate:

In May 2008, a unit of Koch Industries Inc., one of the world’s largest privately held companies, sent Ludmila Egorova-Farines, its newly hired compliance officer and ethics manager, to investigate the management of a subsidiary in Arles in southern France. In less than a week, she discovered that the company had paid bribes to win contracts.

“I uncovered the practices within a few days,” Egorova- Farines says. “They were not hidden at all.”

She immediately notified her supervisors in the U.S. A week later, Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries dispatched an investigative team to look into her findings, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its November issue.

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The Mythology of Business Part 2: The Dark Side

MythThis is Part 2 of an excerpted series for Reality Sandwich from the anthology The Immanence of Myth published by Weaponized. Read Part 1 here.

Despite the exciting creative possibilities posed by new media in regard to myth, they do not come without a price. The danger presented by the presence of myth in modern media is paramount, and must be considered outside the mythic framework of industry, for instance, which reduces the material world to a matrix of profit and risk.

Though the propaganda of fascist mythologies such as those of Nazis or the USSR serve as the clearest example of these dangers, they exist in only slightly more subtle forms in the media produced by modern capitalist states. (Subtlety in this case not being an indicator of benevolence, necessarily.) After all, it was Mussolini who declared fascism to be the merger of state and corporate power.

Though media is ostensibly the watchdog of the government, both the government and media agencies of the capitalist state are beholden to international corporations and their interests.… Read the rest

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Elite Reptilian Overlords Like Eating Our Brains Cold

VTitle taken from the lyrics to Thee Aeon Falls (which makes a nice soundtrack for the following …)

The idea of reptilian aliens that rule the planet is of course on its face patently absurd, yet it is a myth that has driven a wide range of fictional media (V, Sitchen’s various novels, etc), as well as a surprising number of people who believe it quite literally, especially those that buy Icke’s implicitly anti-semitic model of reptilian aliens.

As I said in the Immanence of Myth:

Zecharia Sitchin has written several books about the “true” origin of Sumerian mythology: aliens. This, or the mythology of planet Niburu, is a wonderful modernization of ancient mythic elements, but considered as empirical fact, one may as well buy into the hollow Earth theory. The author David Icke takes it a step further: aliens, or reptilians, exist in the world today and control the world economy.

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The Myth of Work Vs. The Reality of Abuse

ProductionVia Modern Mythology: In the wake of yet another collosal political and social disappointment, I'd like to touch on an issue which, frankly, could be the topic of a book. And it's a book that, if it hasn't been written already, should be written. It needs to be written, and more importantly, it needs to be talked about. Every culture has myths about work. What is acceptable for an employee or employer, what the nature of that relationship should be. It is in the benefit of the employer to have myths throughout the workforce that tie their very identity and sense of self worth into how well they meet that employers demands, and if there aren't forces in place, either enforced through government oversight or the unionization of the workers in some configuration, these myths can run rampant. There is, after all, a word in Japanese for working one's self to death. (They also apparently have a word for eating one's self to ruin. But that's another story.)
(Matt Damon speaks out on the importance of teachers):
This process is not inherently good or bad. As I said in the chapter on initiation in The Immanence of Myth, the prescriptive nature of indoctrination may sound ominous, but many of us know what humans become when left to be feral creatures. They can hardly be called human, at all. However, this process can still break down in any number of ways...
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The Final Nail In The Supply Side Coffin

md_horizTaxes are low and corporate profits are high, but nothing is trickling down to the American worker.

If politicians are going to continue kowtowing to every whim of the rich, can they at least think of a new excuse? Via Salon:

The theory of supply-side economics tells us that if you cut taxes on rich people and corporations, the moguls and businessmen will take their windfall and invest it, creating jobs and accelerating the rate of economic growth. The benefits of a light hand on the upper class, therefore, will “trickle down” to the working man and woman.

Ever since Ronald Reagan first attempted to make supply-side economics a reality and proceeded to inaugurate an era of persistent government deficits and growing income inequality, it has become harder and harder to make the trickle-down argument with a straight face. But we’ve never seen anything quite like the disaster that’s playing out right now.

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Disney World’s Army Of Intern Burger-Flippers

disneyAt the world’s most beloved theme park, thousands of interns serve the fast food, operate the rides, and mop up children’s vomit in what is billed as an “educational experience.” Is this the economic model of the future? Via Guernica:

Like other employers, Disney has mastered how to rebrand ordinary jobs as exciting opportunities. “We’re not there to flip burgers or to give people food,” a fast food intern told the Associated Press. “We’re there to create magic.” Yet training and education are afterthoughts: the kids are brought in to work. Having traveled thousands of miles and barely breaking even financially, they find themselves cleaning hotel rooms, performing custodial work, and parking cars in the guise of an academic exercise.

Like many a corporate titan, Disney likes to give the impression it’s in the education business. Disney University, born in 1955 as the company’s training division, predated McDonald’s Hamburger University, Motorola University, and others, prefiguring what Andrew Ross has called “the quasi-convergence of the academy and the knowledge corporation.”

In its scale, the Disney program is unusual, if not unique.

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Is Myth Dead?

MythAn excerpt from the upcoming Immanence of Myth anthology:

It may seem that the word “myth” has lost its meaning to us as a psychological or spiritual term. No, the situation is more drastic than that. Myth has become the opposite of fact, something that is generally accepted but untrue; “it is a myth that reading by flashlight ruins your eyesight.” The popular television show on the Discovery Channel, Myth Busters, uses this definition, attempting to disprove “myths” with something vaguely resembling science. The myths of antiquity are looked upon as quaint stories, despite the fact that they have shaped our cultural history. It is neatly overlooked that myths remain at the center of the bloody stage of modern religious, national, economic or ideological dynamics, not to mention our personal and everyday lives.

The fact that the word “myth” has become synonymous with untruth belies an underlying shift in the Western epistemological focus over the past several thousand years.

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Subway Passes McDonald’s As Dominant Global Fast Food Empire

4391792054_68563dfe0aIn the grim future years to come, we will be mandated daily to eat not a McDonald’s burger, but a Subway sandwich. Some credit for Subway’s ascension goes to the chain’s willingness to expand fast food franchising to nontraditional locations such as schools, churches, and bodies of water. CNNMoney introduces our new corporate overlords:

Subway has surpassed McDonald’s to become the world’s largest restaurant chain in terms of units, the sandwich company confirmed Monday.

Subway had 33,749 restaurants around the globe at the end of 2010, said company spokesman Les Winograd. McDonald’s had 32,737 at year end, according to a February regulatory filing from the burger giant.

“Last year was actually pretty average for us, growth-wise,” Winograd said. “We aim to open between 1,000 and 2,000 locations globally each year.”

About half of the company’s unit growth is overseas, Winograd said. Subway now has more than 1,000 locations in Asia, and it just opened its first store in Vietnam.

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