April 10: Corporate charter revoked

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Expanded quote:

“The time has not yet arrived when the created is greater than the creator, and it still remains the duty of the courts to perform their office in the enforcement of the laws, no matter how ingenious the pretexts for their violation may be, nor the power of the violators in the commercial world. In the present case the acts of the defendant have been persistent, defiant and flagrant, and no other course is left to the court than to enter a judgment of ouster and to appoint trustees to wind up the business of the concern.”

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REAL Democracy History Calendar: April 10 – 16

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https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/2017/04/10/real-democracy-history-calendar-april-10-16/

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MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR: April 9-15

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APRIL 9

1626 – DEATH OF SIR FRANCIS BACON, PHILOSOPHER, BRITISH LORD CHANCELLOR
“If money be not thy servant, it will be thy master.  The covetous man cannot so properly be said to possess wealth, as that may be said to possess him.”

APRIL 10

1816 – CHARTER APPROVED FOR INCORPORATING THE SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
As with the earlier Bank of the United States, the Second National Bank of the United States was private with many of the largest investors foreigners and those representing great wealth. Congress chartered (licensed) the bank for 20 years.  It’s worth remembering that corporate charters are democratic tools once used by sovereign people (that would be We the People) to control and define corporate actions. As a result of bank practices geared to serving the interests of banks/bankers, (including limiting the issuance of money into the economy – which triggered economic stagnation), President Jackson pledged that the bank would not be issued a new charter after its 20-year charter ended. Without a charter – which provides those forming corporations certain legal protections (then and now) – corporations cannot exist.

1858 – DEATH OF THOMAS BENTON, US SENATOR FROM MISSOURI
“I object to the renewal of the charter of the Bank of the United States, because I look upon the bank as an institution too great and powerful to be tolerated in a government of free and equal laws.  Its power is that of the purse, a power more potent than that of the sword; and this power it possesses to a degree and extent that will enable this bank to draw to itself too much of the political power of this Union and too much of the individual property of the citizens of these States.  The money power of the bank is both direct and indirect.” http://yamaguchy.com/library/benton/benton_187.html

APRIL 11

1932 – PECORA COMMISSION HEARINGS BEGIN – INVESTIGATE CAUSE OF US DEPRESSION
The investigation was launched by a majority-Republican Senate, under the Banking Committee’s chairman, Senator Peter Norbeck. Hearings began on April 11, 1932, but were criticized by Democratic Party members and their supporters as being little more than an attempt by the Republicans to appease the growing demands of an angry American public suffering through the Great Depression. Two chief counsels were fired for ineffectiveness, and a third resigned after the committee refused to give him broad subpoena power. Ferdinand Pecora, an assistant district attorney for New York County was hired to write the final report in January 1933. Discovering that the investigation was incomplete, Pecora requested permission to hold an additional month of hearings. His exposé of the National City Bank (now Citibank) made banner headlines and caused the bank’s president to resign. Democrats had won the majority in the Senate, and the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, urged the new Democratic chairman of the Banking Committee, Senator Duncan U. Fletcher, to let Pecora continue the probe. So actively did Pecora pursue the investigation that his name became publicly identified with it, rather than the committee’s chairman. Pecora not only documented a litany of abuses, but also paved the way for remedial legislation. The Securities Act of 1933, the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 — all addressed abuses exposed by Pecora. It was only poetic justice when Roosevelt tapped him as a commissioner of the newborn Securities and Exchange Commission.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecora_Commission

APRIL 12

1866 – CONGRESS PASSES THE CONTRACTION ACT
The Act authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to begin retiring Greenbacks (public debt-free money first issued by the Lincoln Administration) in circulation and to contract the money supply. By 1876, two-thirds of the nation’s money had been called in by the bankers. A contraction of the money supply when demand is high causes depressions, which is what happened from 1873-79.

1910 – DEATH OF WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, PROFESSOR, YALE UNIVERSITY, MONETARY THEORIST
“For as the currency question is of first importance and we cannot solve it or escape it by ignoring it.  We have got to face it and the best way to begin is not by wrangling about speculative opinions as to untried schemes but to go back to history and try to get hold of some firmly established principles.”

1945 – DEATH OF PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson … The country is going through a repetition of Jackson’s fight with the Bank of the United States – – only on a far bigger and broader basis.”

APRIL 13

1743 – BIRTH OF THOMAS JEFFERSON, THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“This institution (the Bank of England) is one of the most deadly hostility against the principles of our Constitution…suppose an emergency should occur…an institution like this…in a critical moment might overthrow the government.”
“And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
“Bank-paper must be suppressed, and the circulating medium must be restored to the nation to whom it belongs.”

APRIL 14

1948 – RETIREMENT OF MARRINER S. ECCLES AS CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD
“That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.”

APRIL 15

1865 – ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN
“The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.”
It was President Lincoln who advocated for and oversaw the creation and circulation of our nation’s last debt-free money, the Greenbacks. This was money not borrowed from banks, but created (as authorized in the US Constitution, Article 1, Sec 8) by the government to meet the nation’s needs.

2016 — TAX DAY
Federal and state tax returns are due on this day (but not until April 18 in 2017). Why are taxes so high? Why does it feel we aren’t getting back in programs and services what we put in? Part of the reason has to do with the hundreds of billions of dollars we spend every year paying interest on the national debt. That interest goes disproportionately to the very wealthy. And that interest would not exist if instead of borrowing that money (including from banking corporations), we created interest-free and inflation-free money as stipulated by Congress in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. Why be enslaved by debt when we could be liberated by democratic money?

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Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email monetarycalendar@yahoo.com
To see the calendar year-to-date, go to https://monetarycalendar.wordpress.com/
A second historical calendar, the REAL Democracy History Calendar, in many ways complements this calendar. For information, go to https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/about/

NEOhio AFSC April 7, 2017 Podcast

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Listen to podcast here

We summarize last week’s activities; share next week’s upcoming events; and comment on the US cruise missile attack on Syria, the pushback on Trump’s budget proposal to cut Great Lakes restoration funding, the state budget and a bill to increase public transit funding, and the growing populist messages against corporate influence and personhood. [Length: 34:26]

 

 

 

Rebuilding the infrastructure of democracy

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http://www.heightsobserver.org/read/2017/03/30/rebuilding-the-infrastructure-of-democracy

by Greg Coleridge

From the local to the global, the ability of people to govern ourselves has been under assault for many decades. We can expect this to intensify for multiple reasons, including:

• Business corporations seeking huge profits by converting what once had been “public” to “private” (called privatization, though a more descriptive term would be “corporatization”), including traditional public assets such as water and sewer systems, roads, police and fire protection, airports, hospitals and schools.
• Individuals looking to increase their power, status and/or privileges by concentrating decision-making from many (“We the People” and government) to a few (their own) hands.
• Continual legal and constitutional definitions that further restrict and redefine “public” arenas as other “p” words: private, property, proprietary, privileged—and thus [place them] beyond the reach of public planning, shaping and evaluation.
• A national government that uses the excuse of “terrorism” to stifle dissent, intimidate dissenters and interrupt efforts of self-determination, even at the local level.
• A culture that tells us public policies are too complicated for ordinary people to understand (thus restricting policymaking to “experts”); distracts public attention from self-determination, toward the trivial and inane; worships “the market” as the sole route to financial and economic salvation; defines economic arenas as outside the scope of public input; erases the memory of historical examples of citizen control and self-governance; denigrates anything that is “public” as inefficient, wasteful, outdated and dangerous; celebrates anything “private” as efficient, modern and safe; and encourages social isolation, keeping us from learning from each other and organizing to (re)assert meaningful changes.

There is another side to this—an existing democratic/self-determination culture or “infrastructure” that perhaps many of us seldom think about. Alternatives to corporations, corporate governance and elite control exist right now in our communities and states.

Scores of documents, policies, institutions, structures and groups reflecting inclusiveness, accountability and responsibility are commonplace—[and provide] examples [of] where those who are affected by decisions and policies have a legitimate role in the making of those decision—or could [have] if we made the effort. They are where “We the People” have a voice—or could if we merely flexed our self-determination muscles.

Examples of a democratic infrastructure abound right here in the Heights, including:

• A legacy of active citizen engagement over many decades, on many issues, through block or street groups and communitywide campaigns.
• Municipal charters (our local constitutions) defining the cities’ overarching governing rules, including provisions for charter amendments.
• Council elections, open and televised meetings, public records, and multiple boards and commissions composed of citizens who advise and assist our city councils.
• Public fire, police, water and other basic municipal services.
• Municipal courts and citizen juries.
• A public library system.
• Public schools with an elected school board, active engagement of parents and even a student union.
• Labor unions of city workers, teachers and others.
• This publication, the Heights Observer, a volunteer, not-for-profit hyper-local news source.
• P.E.A.C.E. Park and other public spaces where events that build community occur.
• Vibrant groups of residents, such as Noble Neighbors and the Cain Park Neighborhood Association, who have formed to fight foreclosures and revitalize their neighborhoods.
• Community gardens and the City Fresh community supported agricultural (CSA) program.
• Nearby community credit unions, which, unlike banks, are member-owned and governed.
• Active social action or change organizations, including Sustainable Heights Network, Heights Community Congress, the Heights Coalition for Public Education, Reaching Heights and FutureHeights.

It’s all too easy to take the above examples for granted, even if some are not (yet) perfect democratic expressions. When we fail to utilize or be involved in them, they will wither and die or will be manipulated, eliminated, replaced or co-opted by corporations, top-down government and/or the powerful few.

To really make the Heights the “Heights of Democracy” will require us all to be actively engaged in strengthening our democratic infrastructure.

Guest columnist Greg Coleridge, a Cleveland Heights resident, is coordinator of the Move to Amend Ohio Campaign and writer of the blog Create Real Democracy (https://createrealdemocracy.wordpress.com). He can be reached at gcoleridge1@gmail.com.