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AdLib On March - 29 - 2010

It seemed best to keep the focus on HCR until it passed so I held off on posting the next step on organizing for GROW. Now that HCR has passed, addressing the corporate domination in our democracy and this nation seems even more pressing .

We all witnessed the lies, deceptions, hatred and madness that Corporate America whipped up to try and destroy health care reform. And they nearly won. Passing HCR was a rare victory for the people of this country over corporations but unfortunately, one that too many Americans see negatively because of the corporate propaganda that has infected them. Still, there is a momentum now for The People to take on the corporations.

Next up on the Congress’ and Pres. Obama’s agenda is regulation and reform of financial corporations. Combine those bills with the stimulus and the dynamics are quite clear. We have come to a tipping point for our economy, society and democracy. The U.S. will either tip over irretrievably to being a plutocracy, run to enrich corporations and the wealthy, to the disadvantage of 99% of Americans or this march towards permanent plutocracy will be halted and reversed.

There are so many critical issues needing attention at this point in our history and not all are directly related to corporations. However, the corporate agenda on each issue will always be enforced and hugely financed. Add to that, every issue is processed by and presented or ignored by the corporations that own the MSM. Corporations are a bottleneck through which most Americans receive their view of issues, the country and the world.

Fox News presents the most obvious example of how corporate power controls the discussion, the reality and the course of events in this nation. The pendulum has swung so far away from America being a country, of, for and by The People. It is indeed a time in our history where activism is continually needed to combat the unending campaign by corporations to further dominate this nation and exploit its people. They aren’t going to stop, we can’t afford to either.

Previously in American history, activism and taking responsibility for what happened in and to this country was seen as something that was part of one’s life as an American. The reality today is that most don’t seem to see this as an ongoing thing. Some folks show no social responsibility at all, just a focus on their individual lives. Others may be concerned and involved temporarily then disengage. Then there are those who feel that as an American, they have a duty to remain vested in what America is and will be.

The truth is that the proponents of greed, hatred, prejudice, plutocracy, theocracy, social injustice and many other not-so-pleasant things never take a break, they keep trying to move the country to conform to their selfish agendas.  They must be met at each turn by those representing the majority of Americans or these dedicated and fervent parties which represent a small minority of Americans, will eventually prevail.

Which brings me back to GROW.  I know it’s been a few weeks since the last post on GROW, as mentioned above, this was intentional so as not to split energies and focus from activism to push for the passage of HCR. My hope is that enthusiasm remains high for working collectively to continue making a difference in this country and standing up for returning this democracy to The People.

GROW’s Focus

In the last posts on GROW, the focus of the group was put up for discussion. A majority supported GROW starting out with a single, primary focus of addressing the SCOTUS ruling that gives corporations unlimited spending on elections, recognizing them as having the same rights as actual people. So, that will be the initial focus of GROW.

GROW’s Operation and Options

A number of operational issues received a consensus of agreement in the last post and appear below. Also, several suggestions were offered then and are also included:

1. Secondary issues that are connected to corporate dominance of our society can also be part of GROW’s efforts as it “grows”, including election finance reform, outlawing contributions by lobbyists, promoting voting to younger voters, spotlighting and countering corporate agendas being promoted by the MSM, identifying corporate-beholden politicians and possibly supporting primary and GE challengers to them.

2. GROW’s first protest will legitimize it as an actual entity so that needs to happen first.

3. Protests should be visual and humorous/satirical to be more attractive to the media for broadcasting and to encourage people to share with others in hopes of bringing more attention to the issue and GROW. They could be designed for both groups and individuals to perform simultaneously, wherever they are in the country, to give the appearance and impact of a national protest.

4. Prior to each protest, press releases should be sent out to local and national media, notices should be handed out and posted on walls, telephone poles, etc. at and around the location(s) where a protest is to occur.

5. After staging its first protest, GROW should actively pursue associations with other grass roots Progressive groups such as the Coffee Party, Move To Amend and individuals such as bloggers, organizers, political artists, etc., to support their efforts and sites and in turn seek their support on GROW’s protests and growth. It is hoped that various grass roots Progressive groups could be networked and coordinated on various initiatives. Facebook and Twitter should be actively used to promote GROW and its activities.

6. A YouTube channel should be set up for GROW to display videos of its protests and for videos created by members, this could include a video version of “Corporations Are People Too”. Links to the videos would be spread by members across the internet. Fliers featuring Dr. Suits or other amusing approaches to getting the message across, with tear offs of GROW’s URL could be circulated at colleges and elsewhere.

If you have any comments, criticisms or additions to the above, please don’t hesitate to add them in a comment below.

GROW Website

In response to the vote we held on the name of the website for GROW, I have retained the site, growdemocracy.org . It will take donations to finance web hosting for that site so in the meantime, I have set up an initial website for GROW at WordPress.com which is open and active now: http://growdemocracy.wordpress.com/.  You will need to sign up for a WordPress.com account to blog there but it is as quick and easy as signing up here. You may want to use the same email address you used here so the same Gravatar shows for you there too.

Time to Design The First Protest!

As to where things are now, with everything else generally discussed, now it is finally time to discuss what the first protest should be. As we’ve discussed and there seems to be consensus, it should be a clever, amusing, visual protest. What would be great is to come up with a concept that can be done by groups as well as individuals so that those who are in the vicinity of other members could protest with them and those who are not could protest too. As mentioned above, this could give the impact of a national event (think how few teabaggers it took yelling at town halls to make that a massive story).

Once this is decided, all that will left to be decided is setting a date and with that protest, GROW will be a legitimate activist group!

So, let’s bat it around, what would be amusing and eye-catching (aka MSM-catching) ways to protest the SCOTUS ruling and promote the need for there to be hard limits on corporate spending on elections?

No idea is too silly so don’t hold back. Have fun with this and who knows, you may come up with the idea that launches GROW!

Categories: News & Politics

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

50 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. AdLib says:

    Where would be a good place to hold a protest?

    I’m thinking that in front of corporate offices for banks, oil companies, health care companies, Walmarts, etc. would be good.

  2. Chernynkaya says:

    we can make them anything! Box costume ideas we could adapt:

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  3. Chernynkaya says:

    Here’s my latest madcap idea for a SCOTUS protest:

    We can wear simple boxes that are ballot boxes, with the words, “Keep corporations out of elections.” Or “Keep Speech FREE-- not expensive!”

    Oh, you’ll think of something really clever!

    Here’s a fancy box costume to give you the idea:

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    • FrankenPC says:

      Heck…with Walmart the protest would be easy. Simply dress in the bibs the greeters dress in. That would be pretty subversive as the customers wouldn’t even know we didn’t work there.

    • Khirad says:

      Or, a Walmart box with rifles sticking out and stomping on censored CD’s?

    • AdLib says:

      Love the box costume idea! Wonder if they have ones that look like skyscrapers or something corporate-esque.

      I think dressing up as corporations would look more amusing, unique and make the issue immediately recognizable in a photograph or video.

      Then again, having a corporate “family” of McDonalds french fries, a BofA $100 bill and a baby barrel of Exxon oil could be bizarre enough to get a lot of attention.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        AdLib, we can cut anything out of cardboard! Buildings, dollar bills, anything. Add some foam (like these fries) and the possibilities are limitless!

        I wanted to think of something easy and inexpensive that most of us could make ourselves. I am pretty crafty and these would be easy for even those who are not. I was also trying to think of something that would stand out if there were only a couple of us standing around.

        Box costumes would be awesome with Bito’s paper amache heads too!

        • AdLib says:

          Great! That was my thought as well, keep it simple, inexpensive but with maximum visual impact.

          As you say, it should be something that is easily replicated by people, even those who may not have the time or crafts experience.

          A few questions I’d have on the Day of the Dead heads are purely practical ones, are they light and comfortable for people to protest in for a while? Can people be heard clearly speaking with them on? Would a smaller mask or headpiece be better for talking with any potential reporters that may be covering it? How hot do they get?

          Again, these are just questions on practicality, their appearance is very cool.

  4. Chernynkaya says:

    How about having Corporations as our kids? In strollers. I can see a baby (think of Planter’s Peanut guy) corp. that we treat as a person. I am trying to think of ways to illustrate how ridiculous to think of corps as persons. Can I marry a corp-- I mean, they’re RICH and my mom would approve?

    On another tack, maybe we can print up corporate dollars to represent how to donate to candidates the corporate way? We could send them to corporate candidates.

    • AdLib says:

      Riffing off of that, how about a Corporate nuclear “family”?

      Masks could be made of a corporation’s logo and worn along with a t-shirt with an image of Dr. Suits “Corporations Are People Too” or a high rise office building or the logo or name of a corporation.

      A “baby” could be fashioned out of that company’s product(s) or a baby doll could just be completely wrapped in sheets of paper with multiple images of a corporation’s logo.

      The protest could be as simple as this Corporate Family, (Mom and Dad holding their “baby”) protesting for the right to vote like other people can, or protesting for some other right that people have (to marry or get Social Security, etc.).

      What do you think?

      • bitohistory says:

        Anyone familiar with a celebration of “Day of the Dead” in Tucson? They make these over-sized paper mache heads. Any thoughts on using those? Perhaps Khirad or I could ind out some info on them.

        • AdLib says:

          Yes, I’m familiar with them. Love this idea too!

        • javaz says:

          Oh, and isn’t called something Muerta or something like that?

          When we lived in Paris, we went to the underground whereby there were all these bones, I forget what it’s called now but you pay like 3 bucks to go down there.

          Their cemeteries filled up, so they dug all the bones up and moved them down below the streets of Paris.

          What a trip -- and we did it on All Soul’s Day -- and it’s actually done with all due respect, but it is the creepiest thing to see all these human bones and skeletons and skulls.

          They actually made art -- it’s hard to explain but they placed the bones and skulls into symbolic art and then there are famous quotes from writers and poets in both French and English, and it’s just creepy.

          They say that’s where Anne Rice got her ideas for her vampire Lestat and it’s just the creepiest thing to walk through the tunnels under Paris and see all these bones and skulls, but let me reiterate that it is done with the greatest of respect for the dead.

          YIKES.

          That’s why I’m choosing cremation!

          LMAO

          Maybe I’ve once again said too much.
          It does seem to be a very bad habit of mine!

          • Chernynkaya says:

            Yes, El Dia de Los Muertos. You can Google it for more info.

            • bitohistory says:

              Just wondering if those type of masks/heads would be of interest to you guys. They make them here in town.

            • Chernynkaya says:

              Sure. I love the idea of masks. Now we just need to think of what! :-)

            • javaz says:

              We live in Arizona, and regardless of Sheriff Joe, they cannot stop the Mexican influence on our community.

              I embrace Mexicans and their traditions, except for the criminal element, and I do not mean those who come here to work, but mean the Mexican Mafia, and that is something that we and Homeland Security must deal with with, because it’s a real problem.

              And it’s bigger than any militia from Michigan.

              It is a real threat.

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Yes Bito, it’s from the Day of the Dead as javaz said. It’s a religious tradition for Latinos, so, other than paper mache heads, I don’t think we should use the skeleton ones. Glad you are home safely!

        • javaz says:

          Hey B’ito!

          That’s a Mexican tradition -- Day of the Dead -- isn’t it?

          And it’s around Halloween, correct?

          I’m still waiting for dr’ to get home from the baseball game today.

          They had to do the bus and then the train in Phoenix to get to the A’s game -- like we never rode trains, subways and buses in Europe, but our friend Dick has never done any of them things, and now he’s going to learn the problems with that especially in Phoenix.

          That crap takes time, and especially in Phoenix, since it’s new.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        I love the idea of masks representing corps! And we might only need one Corporation per “family” eg, MacDonald dad, Big Mac Mom, and their small fry. Or Exxon Dad, Exxon Motor Oil Mom, and the little wells. But something occurred to me-- might we be sued by the corps we are lampooning?

        • AdLib says:

          Whoops, forgot that you think my thoughts before I do. :-)

          I wrote something similar above, personifying corps like McDonalds and Exxon as members of a family.

          This strikes me as ideal, people will “get” it immediately in a photo or video.

          No, corporations can’t legitimately sue for parody or satire of them. Of course, anyone can sue anyone else whether it’s legit or not but I can’t think of better PR then getting sued by a corp for attacking them politically for trying to dominate the American People. Then you’d see a flood of people joining and defending GROW.

    • javaz says:

      Or an Insurance Company delivering a baby and then denying it coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

    • javaz says:

      Wow, another great idea, Cher!

      A woman marrying a health insurance company would be a good one since every mother’s dream is for her daughter to marry a doctor, right? and an insurance company would be even better!

      Proctor and Gamble -- do they still exist? -- cleaning toilets, Kraft Foods making meals in the kitchen, whoever makes Pampers changing a baby, Gerber feeding a child, and a pharmaceutical taking the temperature of a child and giving them an aspirin.

  5. javaz says:

    Yae!

    GROW is on the move!

    I suggested this before, but will suggest it again for the heck of it.

    AdLib, you are a computer genius and natural humorist and you’ve already made a couple youtube type videos -- the Sarah Palin interview with Larry King for one.

    Would there be a way to grab actual photographs from the net of Wall Street and banks as a backdrop, and then have cartoonish characters following WTS’s drawing for Dr. Suits?

    Not sure how you do the voices, but there would be the child asking the questions -- can corporations jump rope -- then have the child jump rope and then stare at the dark foreboding and cold buildings as they loom in the background and then the mother answers the question.

    Perhaps the cartoon child could walk up to the dark, cold and foreboding buildings extending an ice-cream cone when he asks if corporations can eat ice-cream, and then ride his bike, swing on a swing, as the buildings loom behind him.

    The 5 court justices should have some visual surrounding them of floating money.

    Like I said before, I can visualize it, but cannot explain it well, and anyway, that’s my .02 cents again!

    • AdLib says:

      Your wonderful scenario did inspire me when you originally posted it. Without having an animator who would volunteer to design this as scripted, the visuals would be restricted to whatever was available by a free animation site.

      I did find another site where I could create a cartoon with a child and a Mom but it does limit what you can do. Still, it could be funny and effective.

      It will take a bit of time to create a video that way but it is on my to-do list!

  6. Chernynkaya says:

    OK, I’ll go first (gulp).

    With the midterms coming up, how about some kind of satire about each of our states’ candidates being a corporation instead of a person?

    Exxon Mobile for Senator of Texas

    LensCrafters as governor of Calif?


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