Veritas News – SUPREME COURT INJUSTICE: AT&T vs. Concepcion

Veritas News Service Exclusive

Originally published 06/01/11

by: Sam Feliciano

SUPREME COURT INJUSTICE:

AT&T vs. Concepcion

Ladies and gentlemen, the group of judges we know as our current Supreme Court under Justice Roberts have dealt yet another devastating blow in their continuing decisions against our God given rights on Wednesday, the 27th of April, 2011. It was a 5 – 4 decision, divided cleanly along party lines (“Republican” majority), which is such a script they may as well be unanimous to me. These judges have effectively taken away any chances we may have at protecting ourselves legally from corporate and financial scams and negligence. As Roberts Court continues to make decisions which destroy our individual liberties, civil discourse, and personal rights, they prove that they were all lying when they took their oath to uphold the Constitution upon taking office.

The Arbitration ruling in the AT&T vs. Concepcion case was a continuation of the courts already established support in favor of the rights of a corporation over the individual rights of a human being. Decisions such as this create legal precedent that directly helps corporations in their legal plunder of our people by limiting liability and litigation. To be honest, it is just another case to be added to the already very long list of questionable decisions. As recently as last Thursday, May 26, 2011, US judge James Cacheris ruled against a 2010 case (Citizens United) which limited corporate third-party campaign contributions, claiming that corporations have the “right” to contribute to candidates directly. We will discuss later how this seemingly nonsensical decision has precedent.

ARBITRATION

There are a few different ways to pursue litigation. One way, and the most obvious, is a classic trial by your peers, which we are all familiar with. This involves a prosecution, a defendant, a judge, a jury, a courtroom, etc. This kind of case can be a criminal, civil, etc.

Another legal recourse is “arbitration”, where instead of having an actual trial, the two parties agree to write up their cases on paper, and send them in to a third party (judge) who makes a binding decision. Additionally, a defendant can only be pursued for the original face value of damages. This choice may save lawyer fees for both parties, but is very risky for obvious reasons. This was created in the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925, which has a “preemption” clause. A decision made in arbitration is NOT APPEALABLE.

As a result of the recent decisions made by the Supreme Court, injured customers or families can no longer bind lawsuits together with other victims into one major lawsuit. In addition to that, corporations can now force customers to pursue litigation as an individual arbitration, rather than even a civil lawsuit. To be clearer, if you and a million other people want to sue a given corporation for damages, said corporation can now force all of you into a million different (un-appealable!) arbitration cases, rather than a major lawsuit.

When combined with all the other corporate laws on the books, it appears that what this decision means, ladies and gentlemen, is that we now have no fair, legal recourse against a corporation for anything. If this decision stands, not only will future victims of food scares, for example, be unable to combine lawsuits together in order to compile a complete case, but they will probably have to write an arbitration themselves and cross their fingers. More tangibly, BP can never be sued effectively for ruining our coast. Or worse, this decision may compromise a potential lawsuit against the Federal Reserve.

America; we, the people have lost our freedom of choice; to choose to exercise our right to a fair and public trial by our peers. This decision and others like it amount to treason:

“Treason:

1.) a crime that undermines the offender’s government

2.) disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior

3.) Treachery: an act of deliberate betrayal”

(wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

THE AT&T CASE

In the AT&T vs. Concepcion case, the Concepcions had been charged a hidden $30.22 fee that they had not agreed to, and pursued AT&T for damages on it. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and they decided that AT&T was in the right, and in the future could force consumers into an arbitration, rather than suffer lengthy court and lawyer fees. Note that in arbitration, the consumer can only pursue damages for the actual amount accrued. In this case, the total amount of the fee: $30.22

As Justice Beyer (of the dissenting minority) put it:

“In general agreements that forbid the consolidation of claims can lead small dollar claimants to abandon their claims rather than to litigate. I suspect that it is true even here, for as the Court of Appeals recognized, AT&T can avoid the $7,500 payout (the payout that supposedly makes the Concepcions’ arbitration worthwhile) simply by paying the claim’s face value, such that “the maximum gain to a customer for the hassle of arbitrating a $30.22 dispute is still just $30.22.” What rational lawyer would have signed on to represent the Concepcions in litigation for the possibility of fees stemming from a $30.22 claim? In California’s perfectly rational view, non-class arbitration over such sums will also sometimes have the effect of depriving claimants of their claims (say, for example, where claiming the $30.22 were to involve filling out many forms that require technical legal knowledge or waiting at great length while a call is placed on hold). Discover Bank sets forth circumstances in which the California courts believe that the terms of consumer contracts can be manipulated to insulate an agreement’s author from liability for its own frauds by “deliberately cheat[ing] large numbers of consumers out of individually small sums of money.” Why is this kind of decision–weighing the pros and cons of all class proceedings alike–not California’s to make?” [3.]

Yes, indeed. And it IS California’s to make, isn’t it? Allegedly, the majority judges claimed that they were just upholding the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The language that allowed for Congress to create the FAA is in the Constitution, where Congress has jurisdiction over “inter-state commerce.” It would be nice if they would uphold the SPIRIT of the laws of the Constitution, from which their beloved FAA came. Specifically, let’s look at constitutional amendments 5, 6, and 7:

“Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

“Amendment 6 – Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontation of Witnesses. Ratified 12/15/1791.

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

“Amendment 7 – Trial by Jury in Civil Cases. Ratified 12/15/1791.

“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.”

Clearly, this corporate arbitration enforcement decision is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and thereby deserves no legitimacy. But they say it is a constitutional decision…

How could this happen? How can we be living in economic chains already? Daniel O’Connell once said,

“LET ME MAKE THE SONGS OF A NATION, AND I CARE NOT WHO MAKES ITS LAWS…”

Along the same lines, if you create a nations commerce, products, politicians, media, food, and the money of a nation, then who cares about the government at all?

CORPORATE PERSONS

Supposedly, this decision is a continuation of the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925. However, in truth, it is actually just another step in a whole series of unconstitutional decisions regarding corporations dating back almost a hundred and fifty years.

But what is a corporation? Is it a business? Is it a company? Is it a person, as the courts would have us believe? Perhaps, it is best to review the definitions:

“Corporation:

1.)  a business firm whose articles of incorporation have been approved in some state

2.)  an institution that is granted a charter recognizing it as a separate legal entity having its own privileges, and liabilities distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business.”

Corporations were created in the 17th century. In England, the only one who could control Commerce was the crown. In order to expand trade, certain government rights were granted as a privilege to key entities, creating trading corporations. These corporations were rarely infringed by England at all, although the crown had the right to revoke their contract at any time. The British East India Trading Company was one such corporation.

The corporations of Europe were notorious. On account that they had special powers, and only had to answer to England, corporations gained a reputation as tyrants, both economically, and actually. East India Trading even owned an army, for example.

In America, however, our history is rich with a vehement opposition to unaccountable corporations. Thomas Jefferson famously said:

“I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our Government to trial, and bid defiance to the laws of our country ” [1.]

This anti-corporate attitude was compromised, however, when the Bank of North America was created in 1781, and in 1787, corporate charters officially became more commonplace. Mainly, the issuing of charters was left to the states, although the Bank of North America was a federal charter. However, the attitude of the country toward corporations was very different then. A corporate charter from a State was considered a privilege, and restrictions were commonplace in all charters. Here are a few examples of some state restrictions placed on corporations:

“Limited Duration: Charters were granted only for a period of 10, 20 or 30 years after which the corporation had to be liquidated with the proceeds distributed among the shareholders.

“Limited Land Holdings: Many states imposed limitations on the amount of land a corporation could own. Most often the amount of land was limited to that required for the factory or mill site.

“Limited Capital Holdings: Once again many states limited the amount of money or financial assets a corporation could own. Some state banned corporations from owning other corporations or stock in them. Once a corporation exceeded the limit, it had to be either dissolved or split.

“Specific Purpose Charters: This was perhaps the most common of all restrictions in the early years of this country. Corporations were chartered only for a specific purpose such as the building of a canal or road. Once the stated purpose was completed the corporation was dissolved. Now, charters were issued that enabled a corporation to engage in any type of businesses.

“No Limitations on Liability: Directors, managers and shareholders were held to be fully liable for any debts or damages. In some cases the lender or injured party was entitled to double or triple the damages. Other states imposed extremely high interest rates until the debt was fully paid.

“Restrictive Shareholder Rights: The internal governance of corporations was much more restrictive than today. Shareholders had more rights. In case of mergers some states required a unanimous vote of shareholders.

“Restrictions on Pricing: Some states maintained the right to set prices on corporate products. Wisconsin for one gave the state legislature the power to set prices on products after reviewing the corporations expenses.

“Revocable Charters: States maintained the right to revoke or change a charter at the will of the it’s legislature. Almost all of the states adopted this clause after 1820.”[1.]

This sort of suspicious attitude maintained its stance for a time, but corporations were becoming more commonplace in the 1800’s, and naturally, more litigation followed.

Although there are many cases during the early years that outline the rich history of corporate distrust in America, there is one ruling that was used from this era that had dramatic effects on our current situation. In Dartmouth vs. Woodward, Daniel Webster argued that a corporation had property rights. Justice Marshall upheld the sanctity of a written contract, but stopped short of granting property rights to a corporate entity:

“A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible and existing only in the contemplation of the law. It posses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it. The opinion of the Court after mature deliberation, is that this is a contract, the obligation of which cannot be impaired without violating the Constitution of the United States.”[1.]

As you can see, Marshall’s concern was the Constitution, and he clearly outlined the superiority of both the Constitution, and the individual over the “artificial” corporation. This attitude more or less remained, and state corporation laws remained more or less in that spirit. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that corporations began to use judicial activism to establish their control of the market, limit liability, and exist without concern.

Lincoln made this statement while in office:

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country…. corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” [1.]

It wasn’t until the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case of 1886, that corporations first enjoyed personhood. The fourteenth Amendment, which was passed in 1868 to free the slaves, was their standing:

“Amendment 14 – Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868

“1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws…

“3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

“4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

“5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

It is perhaps a terrible irony that the same amendment, which truly made us all equal under the Constitution, is also the very same amendment which has been abused in order to trample on all of our individual liberties. It is also worthy to note that this is the very same court that presided over Plessey vs. Ferguson, paving the way for the racist and unconstitutional Jim Crow laws. Chief Justice, Morrison R. Waite made this statement in his judgment of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad:

“The Court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a state to deny to any person the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does.”[1.]

Many laws and acts were passed in the years following that had major effects on the future for corporate existence in America. Firstly, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act restricting monopoly control of trade, which also defined corporations as persons. Heading into the 20th century, competition enticed future state laws to start relaxing their corporate restrictions as well. This culminated with Delaware’s General Corporation Law, which allowed corporations to write whatever charter they liked to, with any rules they would prefer to have. Many modern corporations incorporate in Delaware to this day.

During the 20th century, there were a few false starts to corporation reform, but they were each short bursts followed by even more definitively pro-corporate decisions. Most notably, the Buckley vs. Valeo decision of 1976 upheld freedom of speech for the corporate entity, allowing corporations the freedom to contribute to political parties and candidates. This was also the year that U.S. v. Martin Linen Supply Co ruled for the power of the 5th amendment right to remain silent against be granted to corporations.

Today, the corporation enjoys all the applicable human rights of the freest people in the World. Only difference between us and them is that the inanimate corporation can exercise those rights without any of the responsibility or accountability that goes along with them. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot, they are also actively taking away those rights from the rest of us, can’t forget that. The international corporations and their sister financial markets have been lobbying, buying,  and  even providing politicians for us in order to ensure that their complete economic dominion over the earth is able to act and exist without liability or infringement, and without having to answer to anyone. This corporate global hegemony is the looking more and more like totalitarian communism in its dealings with us every day.

FREE MARKET

The free market was promoted in the 80’s to facilitate the move from the first Bretton Woods agreement into the free-floating exchange rate. The economists claimed that the open market needed to flourish so that each country could compete, and increase the value of their currency. What actually happened was that the whole economic world became dependent on the speculation market as a foundation, and inflated to nothing.

The “free market” the global financial systems have described and legislated is NOT a free market at all. Complete de-regulation of the market, as they described it, is not a free market. It is anarchy. Additionally, the laws that were passed, both in America and abroad, intentionally weakened small business, and provided countless loopholes for big business to make (steal) millions of dollars from everyone overnight legally. The support of a theoretical collective entity and its officials over the rights of an individual human being is akin to communism. The international bankers, economists, teachers, and financiers all preached anarchy, yet they legislated fascism. What is the “synthesis”? Socialist capitalism.

I can already hear John Q. Economist singing’ the old tune now:

“What is the problem with a big corporation? It’s a free market! Anyone can invent a new product, or master a unique skill, or become a millionaire. At least with the proper footwork, anyone can make a living. It’s the American dream. Why should a limit be put on the success of a life long dream? We should all be so lucky to create a company and have it take off. Dissenters to the conglomerate are just jealous, and too lazy to win…”

Well, when it comes to the free market, I would emphatically agree with Mr. Economist. Our great nation was once called “the land of opportunity, the land of the free”. Anyone can make any kind of living they want, and have equal chance to be as successful as anyone else. Not to mention, in America, you can actually OWN things, like property.

My father used to tell me when I was a kid how in Russia the State “told you what to eat, what to wear, where you will work, where you will live, decides your portions, provides your music – everything is controlled by the Government.” Being so young, I barely understood what he was saying. Still, I was happy that we lived in the nation we did.

As I sit here today, however, the international corporate hegemony has turned us into a totalitarian state already. The so called “Mega-Corporations” and conglomerates make and sell most of the goods, own most of the land, run all of the media, grow most of the food, make most of the laws, print all of the money, run all of the banks, and they do so with absolutely zero opposition. Corporate armies even fight wars for us, such as Blackwater. The world we live in today is most akin to a totalitarian state; an economic fascism, run by a small group of people who all know each other, and help each other out.

SOCIOPATHIC PERSONS

Yes, it is clear that we have an issue. What blows me away, though, is how so many people think that the solution to the corporate hegemony is a government Hegemony. How can that be? The problem with mega-corporations, at least the way I see it, is inherently caused by the pyramid structure itself. The bigger a company gets, the less in touch it becomes with the ground forces. The concerns of the individual are pushed aside in favor for the concerns of the corporation. Often, the goals and ideals of even its founders or managers are lost in the pursuit of profit, or power.

The Supreme Court Injustices all currently claim that corporations are persons. If a corporation is a person, it can only be described as a sociopathic person.

“Sociopath: Antisocial-type personality, pleasure seeking, remorseless or emotionless; without empathy or connection”

The corporate entity has no feelings at all. A corporation has no empathy. A corporation has no compassion. A corporation cannot care if it lives or dies. Its only concern is survival, production, and profit, if it were to have concerns. Although individuals may have feelings about how the disbanding of a corporation may affect them or their loved ones, their individual cares do not constitute a feeling on the part of a corporation. Even if we banded all of the emotions of all the employees in a given corporation together, this still would not enough to sway the flat line emotions of the imaginary corporate entity.

A corporation is a group. Although groupings are an essential part of the human life, it is just a part of the bigger picture. The REALLY big picture is that there is a rock, and there are particles in that rock that make it up. Outside of that universe of a rock, there is water. The water makes waves, and it leads to the ocean, and there are fish in that ocean, and sky far above it. There is the whole, and there are also the parts. There everything in between, and everything in exempt. The same kind of linear thinking that the Globalists and the Socialists blame on the “Sovereign Citizen Extremist”, they themselves are culpable for in relationship to collectivism. There is more to life than just the collective.

Although we need to make a living, and we need to work together, this does not imply superiority on the part of the group. Any group consciousness is dependent upon the health and fitness of its parts. If my finger is broken, it doesn’t matter how healthy the rest of body is, that finger is going to compromise my overall performance somewhat.

Calvin Coolidge once said, “The business of America is Business.” And perhaps that is where we went wrong. We used to be a country of producers – now we are a country of consumers and controllers. As the Communist Manifesto clearly outlined, the destruction of the middle class and the family unit has created a class of proletariat slaves, and a class of bourgeoisie masters. It is only a matter of time before the hammer falls on us. But it will not be like the communism of yesteryear. It will be a mixed system: political socialism combined with economic illusions of a free market. Just take a look at China, or Russia.

The media portrays the matrix for the people, and the matrix pretends that the people are in control, in dependent, and free to do as they are told. What is democracy? Democracy is where the people of a country vote for their rulers and rules as if it makes a difference, when in reality they have no powers whatsoever anyway. Of course, the majority is often ignorant and easily manipulated, and tends to vote for whatever feels good. Not to mention, the minority is completely ignored, and must bend to the whims of the majority. This disease of the state is a losing situation, designed to control the minds of the population. By combining this system with economic methods of control, a state is able to keep the public satisfied, while operating business as usual. We, the people, are proudly a REPUBLIC, as guaranteed by our Constitution. We are not a “Democracy”.

If we do not at least try and call out the Supreme Court Justice panel now on their criminal trampling of our constitution, as they see more cases, we will continue to lose. If we don’t upset about this soon, you can bet we will all be seeing red sooner or later.

God, please save our Republic.

1.) http://www.spiritone.com/~gdy52150/corplaw.htm
2.) http://www.spiritone.com/~gdy52150/colawp2.html
3.) http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/04/no-class-the-supreme-courts-arbitration-ruling/237967/
4.) http://www.adr.org/sp.asp?id=29568
5.) http://www.lawmemo.com/arb/res/faa.htm
6.) http://www.dcemploymentlawupdate.com/2011/04/articles/arbitration/supreme-court-issues-proarbitration-decision/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WashingtonDcEmploymentLawUpdate+(Washington+D.C.+Employment+Law+Update)
7.) http://www.benzinga.com/11/04/1042430/the-fine-print-supreme-court-and-lawsuits-class-action
8.) http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am5
9.) http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart/main
10.) http://www.hourofthetime.com/wordpresstest/?p=4965
11.) http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=U86&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=define%3A+sociopath&btnG=Search
12.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Arbitration_Act

Original artikel:
http://www.hourofthetime.com/wordpresstest/?p=5344

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