The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has left the sewer door open and the rats are getting bolder and bolder.
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It could only a matter of time before corporatist hubris reaches a point where corporations will feel entitled to require branding on human bodies.
Look at what's happening in Australia.
Sales of cigarettes in Australia were about $10.4 billion in 2009, Reuters reports
l, and they add, " Smoking-related illnesses kill more than 15,000 Australians each year and cost the economy A$31.5 billion in health costs, according to Australian government health authorities."
The Aussie government has passed a law that requires that most of the cigarette package be covered with warnings and ugly images of cancer, bulging eyes, the most unappealing green colors. The manufacturer's branding will be allowed only on a small part of the package, in smaller letters.
flickr image By foboat, with caption:
Philip Morris company has responded with a lawsuit, complaining that this will hurt the value of their trademarks and their profits and have suggested that the losses they sue for could be in the billions.
The Philip Morris company is basing its damage threats on Australia's bilateral investment treaty with Hong Kong. That treaty, similar to ones the US has signed, like the WTO, holds the Australian government responsible to protect Hong Kong investments in Australia.
To fight the legislation, Philip Morris run ads accusing the Australian government of being a "nanny state."
If they don't get satisfaction after three months, they will seek arbitration through the United Nations.
You have to wonder what will come next. Will Philip Morris go to the Supreme Court of the United States, and claiming rights of free speech that come with corporate personhood, ask the five corrupt, corpo-whores on the court to void laws prevent advertising of cigarettes on television?
The utter scum in the Supreme Court have proven themselves willing to give big corporations almost anything they ask for. What the hell. Clarence Thomas' wife will get paid. Scalia will accept trips and hunting excursion and speaking invitations that scream conflict of interest.
So maybe I'm over the top on the tattoos, but the idea of rolling back regulations of advertising of tobacco and other things banned from TV-- get used to it. We really should be changing the name of the nation to the CSA-- Corporate States of America.
Will the Democrats do anything about this CSA situation? Don't hold your breath waiting.
Will Obama do anything about it? My guess is he'll consult with his advisors. Oh, that's right. They're all corpo-whores. Good luck.
Here's a very partial list of some of the Brands Philip Morris Owns. A more complete list is here.
foods and beverages:
General Foods International Coffees
Philadelphia and Kraft Cheeses
Cream of Wheat
DiGiorno and Tombstone Pizzas
This is a small portion of the brands the own. the brands they are trying to stuff the branding of down the throats of the Australian people in spite of laws democratically elected officials have enacted.
international treaties should not be allowed to over-ride national or even state or provincial laws. Period.
They are designed to protect corporations before humans and that's just wrong.
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