ALEC = Cash for Legislation

voter-id

ALEC is an acronym for the American Legislative Exchange Council and it is an exclusive membership organization of global corporations and local legislators that meet privately to draft “model bills” that effectively hijack our laws for the express purpose of increasing their revenues.

ALEC-approved “model bills” are passed along to cooperative politicians (read: paid off) eager to push the corporate agenda of the 1%.

ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these “model bills” introduced to Congress by legislative members each year with one in every five of them enacted into law.

Once legislators return to their state with corporate-sponsored ALEC legislation in hand, the legislators themselves become “super-lobbyists” for ALEC’s corporate agenda, effectively cutting out the middlemen (traditional lobbyists and voters).

Even so, ALEC enjoys a 501(c)(3) classification, which allows it to keep its tax-exempt status while accepting grants from foundations, corporations and other donors.

ALEC consists of 2,000 legislative members and 300 or more corporate members. The unelected corporate representatives (often registered lobbyists) sit as equals with our elected representatives on 9 task forces where they have a “voice and a vote” on model legislation.

It should come as no surprise that more than 98% of ALEC’s revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such as corporations, corporate trade groups and corporate foundations.

ALEC member corporations number into the thousands with an elite Corporate Board comprised of the largest corporations in the world including: Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, Kraft, UPS, Johnson & Johnson, Koch Industries, ExxonMobile, Pfizer and AT&T among others.

Here are some of the nifty bills they’ve recently introduced in my home state, Missouri:

MO House Bill 1104 – Changes the laws regarding elections by requiring a voter to provide photo identification. This is a clear case of voter suppresssion, which is fear-based on non-existent voter impersonation fraud.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, an estimated 250,000 legally registered Missouri voters don’t have a government-issued photo ID. The Missouri voter ID bill, in conjunct with HB 1147, which requires that driver’s license exams only be given in English, would effectively revoke non-English speakers’ right to vote regardless of their legal citizenship status.

MO Senate Bill 590 – Would require K-12 schools to verify the immigration status of all students, essentially turning already underfunded and overburdened school districts and police departments into immigration agents.

In a state where many districts are facing budget crises, SB 590 creates overwhelming requirements on administrators’ time and energy and it alienates Missouri’s hard working immigrant families.

These unnecessary provisions are already an expensive enforcement nightmare elsewhere (Alabama, Arizona) and are currently the subject of intense litigation efforts for repeal in those states.

MO Senate Bill 592 – Is a “simple” re-wording of a current anti-discrimination law that would effectively give employers a broader range of exemptions in terminating employees for questionable reasons.

The bill makes it substantially more difficult for employees to protect themselves against workplace discrimination based in their religion, race or sexual identitiy. SB 592 is yet another ALEC-sponsored bill intended to suppress the rights of the working class in Missouri.

Though only a small sample of “model bills,” these shed light upon the basic operations of ALEC.

NOW is the time to stand up and fight this corporate legislation without representation!!!

One thing that Missouri voters can do is to vote out the slimy bastards who are in bed with ALEC corporations. Here is a current list of offending politicians and their districts in Missouri:

House of Representatives

Walt Bivins (R-97) – Stanley Cox (R-118) – Ed Emery (R-126) – House Majority Leader Timothy Jones (R-89) – Rodney Schad (R-115) – Jason Smith (R-150) – Vicki Scneider (R- 17) – Steven Tilley (R-106) – Andrew Koenig (R-88) – Shane Schoeller (R-139) – Cole McNary (R-86) – Darrell L. Pollock (R-146) – Shelley Keeney (R-156) – Donna Lichtenegger (R-157) – Ellen Brandorr (R-160) – Eric Burlison (R-136) – Keith Frederick (R-149) – Sue Allen (R-92) – William White (R-120) – Jerry Nolte (R-33) – Scott D. Diekhaus (R-109) – Bill Lant (R-131) – Sandy Crawford (R-119) – Mike Kelley (R-126) – Barney Fisher (R-125) – Dave Hinson (R-198) – Sue Entlicher (R-133) – Tony Dugger (R-144) – Noel Torpey (R-55) – Paul R. Curtman (R-105) – John J. Diehl, Jr. (R-87) – Zachary Wyatt (R-2) – Therese Sander (R-22) – Doug Ervin (R-35) – Mike Colona (D-St. Louis)

Senate

Jack Goodman (R-29) – Brian D. Nieves (R-98) – Robert Mayer (R-25) – Jim Lembke (R-1) – Mike L. Parson (R-28) – John Griesheimer (R-26) – Jane D. Cunningham (R-7) – Ron Richard (R-129)

ALEC’s Missouri State “Chairmen”

Rep. Timothy Jones (R) – Rep. Jason Smith (R) – Rep. Jim Ellington (R) – Tom Krewson (Comcast) – Mary Scruggs (Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives)

Does it seem like there are an awful lot of Republicans on this list?

Click this link to learn more about ALEC from the ALECExposed.org website

Thoughts From Within – Woody Harrelson

Watch the video first. It’s narrated by Woody and conveys his message very well. If you want to slow down and dig deeper into what he’s written then check out the transcription below. It’s an amazing piece from a man of peace.

THOUGHTS FROM WITHIN by Woody Harrelson

I sometimes feel like an alien creature
for which there is no earthly explanation
Sure I have human form
walking erect and opposing digits,
but my mind is upside down.
I feel like a run-on sentence
in a punctuation crazy world.
and I see the world around me
like a mad collective dream.

An endless stream of people
move like ants from the freeway
cell phones, pc’s, and digital displays
“In Money We Trust,”
we’ll find happiness
the prevailing attitude;
like a genetically modified irradiated Big Mac
is somehow symbolic of food.

Morality is legislated
prisons over-populated
religion is incorporated
the profit-motive has permeated all activity
we pay our government to let us park on the street
And war is the biggest money-maker of all
we all know missile envy only comes from being small.

Politicians and prostitutes
are comfortable together
I wonder if they talk about the strange change in the weather.
This government was founded by, of, and for the people
but everybody feels it
like a giant open sore
they don’t represent us anymore
And blaming the President for the country’s woes
is like yelling at a puppet
for the way it sings
Who’s the man behind the curtain pulling the strings?

A billion people sitting watching their TV
in the room that they call living
but as for me
I see living as loving
and since there is no loving room
I sit on the grass under a tree
dreaming of the way things used to be
Pre-Industrial Revolution
which of course is before the rivers and oceans, and skies were polluted

before Parkinson’s, and mad cows
and all the convoluted cacophony of bad ideas
like skyscrapers, and tree paper, and earth rapers
like Monsanto and Dupont had their way
as they continue to today.

This was Pre-us
back when the buffalo roamed
and the Indian’s home
was the forest, and God was nature
and heaven was here and now
Can you imagine clean water, food, and air
living in community with animals and people who care?

Do you dare to feel responsible for every dollar you lay down
are you going to make the rich man richer
or are you going to stand your ground
You say you want a revolution
a communal evolution
to be a part of the solution
maybe I’ll be seeing you around

What Petrochemical Companies Should Be Telling You About “Fracking”

future-generations

Dangers Of Fracking.com is an informational website that explains the “fracking” process in plain English.

It has an infographic style that makes each step of the fracking process easy to understand and it’s lean, non-cluttered layout helps focus attention on the real issues.

Rather than sift through mountains of mis-information supplied by the petroleum industry, take about 3 minutes to experience this site and gain a little clarity about what “fracking” is really all about.

As you progress through the site, notes about the process will pop up for you to read. Don’t just quickly scan them! Stop and re-read what they’re telling you and let it sink in. These facts demand careful consideration.

There will be opportunities to take action at the close of their presentation if you’re so inclined. Take me to the Dangers of Fracking website

Corporate Fear Rules Small Minds

Occupy Koch Town protest Feb. 18, 2012I recently had the pleasure of attending Occupy Koch Town in Wichita, Kansas on February 18, 2012. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness about the disastrous effects large corporations are having upon our society, our government, our environment and our general well-being.

Organized largely through a Facebook post made 3 weeks previously, the event was essentially an open invitation for all concerned citizens to march in front of Koch Industries’ headquarters and the Wichita Chamber of Commerce. Anyone was allowed to attend, to have a voice and to play a part if they wanted to.

It worked. People from as far away as South Dakota were there. In fact, more than half of the attendees weren’t from Wichita at all. This is a good sign.

Here are a few photos of my fellow protesters taken by Kansas City photographer Jerry Schmidt to help document our peaceful protest:


I’ve attended about a dozen of these events around the Midwest and one of the things that stands out over-and-over is the unusually broad-based support they achieve. No matter who you are or where you come from, you’ll likely see folks that resemble your friends, family or neighbors; all peaceful citizens exercising their civic duty to redress grievances through peaceful protest.

Unlike what gets reported in the media, these protesters are bona fide “regular” Americans, not satanic anarchists trying to steal your soul and brainwash your babies.

Why do you think there’s such a huge disparity between what actually goes on at these rallies and what gets reported? Could it be that somebody has a special interest in keeping the public fearful and ignorant?

Consider this movie trailer from Citizens United depicting their version of what the Occupy Wall Street movement is really all about:

This is no joke. Citizens United has actually produced this movie and intends to circulate it within echo chamber media outlets like Fox News and other mis-information sources that spread fear and ignorance to an under-informed and obedient audience.

In a little over 2 minutes they identify a dozen boogeymen on which to attach their fear and hatred:

  • Political humorist, Bill Maher
  • Former Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi
  • Documentary filmmaker, Michael Moore
  • Democratic leader, Harry Reid
  • President Obama (black Satan)
  • Internet powerhouse Anonymous
  • Calling Tea Partiers “radical” or “a manufactured party”
  • Drug use
  • Violence
  • Rape
  • Anarchy
  • Militant or war-like tendencies

What’s wrong with these people? Are they so afraid that their ideas can’t stand scrutiny that they feel like they must create an alternative reality for themselves where truth, knowledge and progress are unnecessary and unwelcome?

Compare what is represented in that ominous trailer to this cell phone video clip from our Occupy Koch Town event:

Clearly, there’s a disconnect.

The sad part is that many of those Fox network watching sheeple will believe the garbage they’re fed and continue to support the very people who keep them down.

They’ll continue believing that right-wing nut jobs and corporate banksters are somehow protecting them from these “imaginary threats.”   As long as they obediently watch and obey, it will only encourage more corporate-sponsored fear.

After all, it’s what motivates the sheep.

Children Are the New Adults – Politicians Should Stand Down

This grainy video was recorded at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. In it, 12 year old Severn Suzuki delivers a truth that is as relevant today as it was 20 years ago when she delivered it.

Why is it that so many kids, young adults, working class people and other “ordinary” citizens seem to understand quite poignantly what’s going on in the world and what needs to be done while the elite, ruling class remains oblivious?

Maybe it’s time  to adopt solutions as seen through the eyes of a child. Politicians should stand down.