Archive for the ‘The Silent War – It’s Time To Fight Back!’ Category

Move To Amend Organization

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

We the People, Not We the Corporations

On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.

We Move to Amend.

“. . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”
~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010


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Ultimate Civics Organization

Our mission is to re-establish that only human beings are endowed with inalienable rights, thus creating a democratic republic in America that is genuinely accountable to the People.

Ultimate Civics started in May 2009 as a project of Earth Island Institute. Our mission was to coalesce a popular movement to support passage of a constitutional amendment abolishing the legal doctrine of “Corporate Personhood.” In October 2009, we co-founded Move to Amend, a national grassroots coalition to amend the U.S. Constitution – corporations are not persons, money is not speech – which now has community chapters in many states. Ultimate Civics niche within the larger movement focuses on three programs:

Energy & Democracy
Education & Democracy
Alaska Democracy Initiative

Although our mission sounds rather grandiose – especially for three people! – it has very simple beginnings. In Alaska, we each grew more and more frustrated with big money in politics and laws that failed to hold corporations accountable to the people. In Cordova, Riki was a plaintiff in The Exxon Valdez Case and dealing with real long-term social, economic and environmental impacts that Exxon denied even existed. Lisa Marie was working at the Cordova Legislative Information Office of the Alaska State Legislature and saw how big money influenced state policies. Meanwhile from Haines, Gershon was designing campaigns to stop big cruise ships from dumping raw sewage into coastal waterways.

After hearing Thomas Linzey speak at Bioneers in 2006, Gershon and Riki attended Linzey’s first Democracy School in Wasilla, Alaska then two more schools in other states over the next year. Riki included the story of the evolution of corporate personhood – “corporate persons” entitled to human rights – in the final chapter of Not One Drop, her second book on the oil spill. She launched on book tour with Lisa Marie as an assistant in September 2008 – right into the national economic meltdown.

The timing was perfect. Many Americans were reeling from job, home, and financial losses and could quickly connect the dots between their losses and giant corporations wielding human rights to amass financial capital and political clout – at the expense of the other 99 percent. Across America, Riki and Lisa Marie found that people supported the idea of amending the U.S. Constitution to affirm that corporations are not persons and money is not speech.

In May 2009 after book tour, Gershon, Riki, and Lisa Marie co-founded Ultimate Civics as a project of Earth Island Institute. Our goal was to coalesce a movement to amend the Constitution. In September 2009 in anticipation of a Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, Ultimate Civics co-founded Move To Amend, a national grassroots coalition to amend the Constitution. In January 2010, the Supreme Court delivered its most blatant statement that corporations are persons entitled to human rights to justify its decision to allow “corporate persons” to spend unlimited amounts of “speech” (money) to influence elections. With that, “corporate persons” suddenly became a national topic of discussion and MoveToAmend.org launched to build the movement.

There is one last twist to our story: how Ultimate Civics came to define its niche in the larger campaign through our three programs. In response to the April 2010 BP blowout in the Gulf, Riki flew to Louisiana to help fishermen deal with the mental, emotional, and physical health impacts of the disaster – and wound up staying for a year! In the process, she laid the foundation for Ultimate Civics’ Energy & Democracy Program: Riki and Lisa Marie work with “accidental activists”, people whose lives have been uprooted by fossil fuel-related disasters and who, like us, want to do something about it. We teach campaign skills through rights-based community organizing and recruit for the larger movement.

While teaching in schools and communities, especially after the Occupy Movement started, we all saw a need for education in the basic democratic arts of overcoming our differences, finding common ground, and working together to move dialogue into action. There was also an opportunity to introduce such lessons into community forums and school programs on sustainability, as sustainability is not attainable without basic democracy – people having control over their future at the local level. This became the work of our Education and Democracy Program.

Gershon builds the larger campaign through our Alaska Democracy Initiative, teaching in high schools and working with communities to pass local resolutions and support a statewide ballot initiative to affirm that only human beings are entitled to constitutional rights.

The Democracy Crisis

Please check out our programs!


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The Silent War – It’s Time to Fight Back

The Silent War

Years from now, history will look upon this time as the dark ages of humanity. We lost our way and our ability to monitor their actions. They became careless as our culture focused on wealth and profits at all costs. They placed profit and money before life, before the generations to come. They struck out blindly, barely sensing the destruction of their collective actions as we focused on the target of wealth and accumulation. Wars were waged, but we lost sight of our most critical fight – The fight for the continuation of the human species. Our soldiers can’t fight the greatest war of our generation with weapons and ammunition. This war claims and alters millions of lives and is expected by the World Health Organization to claim a 45% increase in casualties by 2030. These casualties sometimes come after years of suffering from torturous acts by relentless assaults. Our armies are unable to fight these invaders. They are too numerous and unyielding. These invaders have no conscious and are sociopathic as they systematically invade to cause great suffering and death. They have no interest in the lives they claim or alter and target as many people as they can. Infants, young children, and even our weakest members of our species are not spared their torture. There is no care or concern for the victims. The most appalling aspect of this silent war is that some of our most notable humans in our society will stop at nothing to protect these invaders. Money and profits at all costs, even as these invaders claim the lives of our infants and most vulnerable. Humans made these invaders. They made them with little regard for the outcome of unleashing them into our lives. These are synthetic chemical invaders of human creation. They are microscopic but invade our bodies like parasites to cause harm. A war has been waged against us but this war is silent. It is an involuntary war brought about by synthetic chemicals by corporations whose only interest is profit with no regard for public health. The people running these corporations are fully aware of the impacts of their chemical creations but are blinded by profit and greed. Some of these chemical invaders have caused extinctions of species that have been around much longer than us. Humans are unlike many other species in that we do not produce many young and we produce very infrequently compared to other species. We are at an adaptation disadvantage. We have been under a chemical assault for many generations and can see the cumulative damage. Disease, infertility, and deaths of millions have already occurred but little attention has stirred from our mounting casualties. They attack many of our body’s critical internal regulatory systems. Synthetic chemicals are able to damage chromosomes and thereby cause genetic mutations. Some are able to bond so tightly to strands of our DNA that they have the power to alter our DNA. The chemical invader so attached is called a DNA adduct. Many chemicals also alter the enzyme-directed processes of metabolism (by which we break apart molecules to generate energy and synthesize new substances.) Synthetic chemicals categorized as endocrine disruptors even target our unborn to destroy critical development.

In the book, “Our Stolen Future,” the authors explain endocrine disruptor chemicals. “At levels typically found in the environment, hormone-disrupting chemicals do not kill cells as poisons nor do they attack DNA. Their target is hormones, the chemical messengers that move about constantly within the body’s communication network. Hormonally active synthetic chemicals are thugs on the biological information highway that sabotage vital communication. They mug the messengers or impersonate them. They jam signals. They scramble messages They sow disinformation. They wreck all manner of havoc. Because hormone messages orchestrate many critical aspects of development, from sexual differentiation to brain organization, hormone-disrupting chemicals pose a particular hazard before birth and early in life. The process that unfolds in the womb and creates a normal, healthy baby depends on getting the right hormones at the right hormone message to the fetus at the right time. The key concept in thinking about this kind of toxic assault is chemical messages…because hormone-disrupting chemicals act broadly and insidiously to sabotage fertility and development, they can jeopardize the survival of the entire species – perhaps in the long run, even humans. This might be hard to imagine in a world with facing soaring human numbers, but the sperm count studies suggest environmental contaminants are already having an impact on the human population as a whole, not just as individuals. In their assault on development, these chemicals have the power to erode human potential. In their assault on reproduction, they not only undermine the health and happiness of individuals suffering from infertility, they attack a fragile system that over billions of years of evolution has allowed life to miraculously recreate life.”

These harmful synthetic chemicals permeate every aspect of our lives in their invasive nature but these are involuntary acts unlike the individuals that will stop at nothing to protect them and their profits. These individuals act in the same manner as the synthetic chemicals that they protect. Many seek out government policy positions to obliterate the very regulations that protect us from harm and threaten their profits. It is also a systematic assault. These individuals behave in the same manner as the endocrine disruptor chemicals. They are thugs that sabotage vital communication through our media outlets by controlling dissemination of information. They mug the messengers or impersonate them. They jam signals and scramble messages by flooding our regulatory agencies with biased studies. They sow disinformation. They wreck all manner of havoc to protect the profits from the manufacture of these harmful toxic chemicals. The army protecting chemical invaders are well-financed and have funded political powers to provide further protection. They seek to destroy the regulations that protect we the people and threaten their profits. Capitalism is similar to our body in that it needs all of the regulatory systems to be functioning properly and effectively to keep all people in the system healthy. We as a nation need to understand that regulations are important to keep us healthy as a society and nation. Our government’s regulatory systems are just as critical as our body’s regulatory systems. When the systems are unable to function properly to keep our bodies healthy we suffer. Every body needs an effective regulatory system to monitor and provide a balance to stay healthy.

It’s Time To Fight Back.

Our greatest threat to our nation are the bombs placed inside us that have names like DDT, PCBs, dioxin, BPA, PBDEs, atrazine, and thousands more that are causing invisible damage in an attack on us all. These harmful synthetic chemicals continuously assault our bodies, food supplies, water, and consumer goods. They harm individuals and threaten our extinction. There are many of us trying to fight back. There are many organizations fighting individual battles within this war. Now is the time to unite as one.
One fighting power that speaks one voice. STOP! It needs to stop now! There are many disparate groups fighting for some of the smaller battles within this war. We need to all come together and fight back as one. We need to combine to create such a force that industries can no longer use their money and power to silence us any longer. We need to fight. We need to fight for immediate implementation of the Precautionary Principle. Our government needs to set the standards. We can no longer let industry set the standards. We cannot waste any further time. Now is the time. This is no longer about individuals, this is about the survival and health of the human species and our planet.

The discovery that we are living in a ’sea of toxins’ is dismaying and may lead to reactions of despair and defeatism. ‘Isn’t is a hopeless situation?’ is the common reaction. ‘Isn’t it impossible even to attempt to eliminate these harmful chemicals from our world? Wouldn’t it even be better not to waste time trying, but instead to put all our efforts into research to find cures? Silent Spring addressed this question to a pioneer in cancer research back in 1962. His wisdom still resonates to this day.

Dr. Hueper believes that our situation with regard to cancer today is very similar to that which faced mankind with regard to infectious diseases in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Medical men and even the general public were becoming aware that the human environment was inhabited by an enormous number of micro-organisms capable of causing disease, just as today carcinogens pervade our surroundings. Most infectious diseases have now been brought under a reasonable degree of control and some have been practically eliminated. This brilliant medical achievement came about by an attack that was twofold — that stressed prevention as well as cure. Despite the prominence that ‘magic bullets’ and ‘wonder drugs hold in the layman’s mind, most of the really decisive battles in the war against infectious disease consisted of measures to eliminate disease organisms from the environment. An example from history concerns the great outbreak of cholera in London more that a hundred years ago. London physician, John Snow, mapped occurrence of cases and found they originated in one area, all of the inhabitants drew their water from one pump located at Broad Street. In a swift decisive practice of preventative medicine, Dr. Snow removed the handle of the pump. The epidemic was thereby brought under control — not by a magic pill that killed the (then unknown) organism of cholera, but by eliminating the organism from the environment. Even therapeutic measures have the important result not of only curing the patient but of reducing the foci of infection.

Today we find our world filled with cancer-producing agents. An attack on cancer that is concentrated wholly or even largely on therapeutic measures (even assuming a ‘cure’ could be found) in Dr. Hueper’s opinion will fail because it leaves untouched the great reservoirs of carcinogenic agents which would continue to claim new victims faster than the as yet elusive ‘cure’ could allay the disease.

Why have we been slow to adopt this common-sense approach to this problem?

Today’s toxic chemicals contribute to not just cancer but infertility, birth defects, many diseases and conditions. Many toxicologists believe that the majority of diseases of our time are of toxic origin. Rick Irvin, a toxicologist at Texas A&M University made this comment, “Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to human health…The diseases we’re beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of this century and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin.” The main reason that we have not tried this common sense strategy is that powerful interests who benefit from this failing strategy prevent a new course from occurring. All of our medical training programs should incorporate toxicology but they do not. Chemistry students also are not required to take toxicology. One of the leading chemists in the synthetic chemical revolution made this revealing statement in Chasing Molecules.

I never had a class in toxicology or environmental hazards,” Dr. John Warner tells me and shows me a slide from a lecture he gives that reads from top to bottom in increasingly large type: “I have synthesized over 2,500 compounds! I have never been taught what makes a chemical toxic! I have no idea what makes a chemical an environmental hazard! I have synthesized over 2,500 compounds! I have no idea what makes a chemical toxic! We’ve been monkeys typing Shakespeare, he adds. The chemical synthesis toolbox is really full, and 90 percent of what’s in that toolbox is really nasty stuff.

How is it that those who create our products and synthetic chemicals are not required to learn about the toxic impacts of the very chemicals they invent or utilize in product development? The Precautionary Principle needs to be implemented at all levels of chemical development. All chemistry education providers must incorporate toxicology in their programs.

Our medical communities that are treating those affected by synthetic chemicals are treating their patients in darkness. We as a nation are swimming in a sea of synthetic chemicals and yet that key element is missing from all patients’ histories. Thomas Edison believed that, “The doctors of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” We need to remind the medical community of their oaths and their critical function in society. Detection and treatment alone as a healthcare strategy is failing our nation. We need all of our medical programs to incorporate toxicology in their training and we desperately need them to lead our nation to health. They are our first responders. We need them now and we need them prepared.

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