Corporations Are Robbing Us Of Our Right to a Fair Trial #civiliberties #CSR


AlterNet / By Jim Hightower

human_rights_first1_

If you’ve been gouged by your bank, discriminated against, sexually harassed, unfairly fired, you’ll most likely find that you’re barred from the courthouse door.
March 27, 2013 |

Being wronged by a corporation is painful enough, but just try getting your day in court. Most Americans don’t realize it, but our Seventh Amendment right to a fair jury trial against corporate wrongdoers has quietly been stripped from us. Instead, we are now shunted into a stacked-deck game called “Binding Mandatory Arbitration.” Proponents of the process hail it as superior to the courts — “faster, cheaper and more efficient!” they exclaim.

But does it deliver justice? It could, for the original concept of voluntary, face-to-face resolution of conflict by a neutral third party makes sense in many cases. But remember what Mae West said of her own virtue: “I used to be Snow White, then I drifted.” Today’s practice of arbitration has drifted far away from the purity of the concept.

All you really need to know about today’s process is that it’s the product of years of conceptual monkey-wrenching by corporate lobbyists, Congress, the Supreme Court and hired-gun lobbying firms looking to milk the system for steady profits. First and foremost, these fixers have turned a voluntary process into the exact opposite: mandatory. Let’s look at this mess.

— Unlike courts, arbitration is not a public system, but a private business.

— Far from being neutral, “the third-party” arbitration firms are — get this! — usually hand-picked by the corporation involved in the case, chosen specifically because they have proven records of favoring the corporation.

— The corporation also gets to choose the city or town where the case is heard, allowing it to make the case inconvenient, expensive and unfair to individuals bringing a complaint.

— Arbitrators are not required to know the law relevant to the cases they judge or follow legal precedents.

— Normal procedural rules for gathering and sharing evidence and safeguarding fairness to both parties do not apply in arbitration cases.

— Arbitration proceedings are closed to the media and the public.

— Arbitrators need not reveal the reasons for their decisions, so they are not legally accountable for errors, and the decisions set no legal precedents for guiding future corporate conduct.

— Even if an arbitrator’s decision is legally incorrect, it still is enforceable, carrying the full weight of the law.

— There is virtually no right to appeal an arbitrator’s ruling.

That adds up to a kangaroo court! Who would choose such a rigged system? No one. Which is why corporate America has resorted to brute force and skullduggery to drag you into their arbitration wringer.

By “force,” I mean practically every business relationship you have with a corporation (customer, employee, supplier, etc.) begins with you blindly signing away your right to go to court. Written in indecipherable legalese, these sneaky provisos are usually secluded in the tiny-type of pre-printed, take-it-or-leave-it, non-negotiable contracts.

By “you,” I mean everyone one of us who: takes a job, gets a credit card, subscribes to cable TV, buys an insurance policy, rents an apartment, purchases nearly any new product (from cellphone to house), has a home remodeled or car repaired, enters a nursing home, becomes a franchisee or corporate supplier or signs up with a landscaping service.

If you seek justice because you’ve been gouged by your bank, discriminated against, sexually harassed, unfairly fired, cheated on wages, sold a shoddy product, denied health care coverage or otherwise harmed by a corporation, you’ll most likely find that you’re barred from the courthouse door. That document you unwittingly signed has shackled you to the corporation’s own privatized court.

Since binding mandatory arbitration “agreements” are written by corporate lawyers, it’s no surprise that they stack the deck in favor of corporations. But — wow! — the percentage of rigged wins is disgusting.

For example, Public Citizen found that one giant firm, the National Arbitration Forum, heard over 34,000 consumer-versus-bank cases in California. It sided with financial giants 95 percent of the time. Even more astonishing, the city of San Francisco found that of the 18,045 cases brought by banks and other powers against overmatched California consumers, NAF’s private judges sided with the corporations 100 percent of the time.

 

#India #BreakingNews- #Mumbai Police Blocks FOX and Discovery channels on #digitalcable #Censorship #WTFnews


Nov1, 2012, 3.00pm

I love ‘ Fox Crime : Channel and Alfred Hitchock presents my favourite, so as I switched my  television today to watch my favourite show, this is what i saw

Cursing my remote I again  started surfing channels, then auto scanning channels , I switch my TV off and then on again

and here is what I got

I have a digital cable TV connnection, so while all hue and cry was going on for last few days, I was least bothered. Now after checking all technical glitches with my digital connection myself, Ii called my cable operator, and there came a robotic voice, ‘ Madam, fox channel na, haan woh police ne band karwa diya hai  ( Madam, the police has blocked  fox channel )?” I was like WHAT ???, Yes , madam discovery science bhi band karwar diya hai. ( They also blocked the discovery science channel )  I asked her if the Police gave them anything in writing. ‘ Kya, madam, police kya likh ke dega,  ( What Madam, What police will give in writing ? ( laughingly ) ,they have blocked the channels’.   WTF,  was my only reaction.  I treid the police phoen numbers but could never get through as usual.

How can police block channels, do they think that robbers  watch criminal minds and plan their robbery and  murderers  will watch Alfred Hitchcock presents to hatch their perfect murders, what crap.  So, if they are going on banning spree, why not Crime patrol  on Sony TV, Saavdhan India on Life OK channel. Although, censorship of any kind is problematic, but here uts the typical stereotype that western channels  are polluting the innocent desi minds argh.

The police had blocked channels in 2008,imposing section 19 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995, that governed the  cable operators,  as accoridng to the police the transmission of  of various clippings,  coverage of the actions take  by the police against the terrorists in South Mumbai were  causing impediment in the police action and  operational difficulties. Section 19 of the Cable TV Act empowers the authorised officers to prohibit transmission of certain programmes that are not in conformity of the programme code and is likely to disturb the public tranquility.

#Olympics: NBC Gives a Big Middle Finger to Over 100 Million Americans Without Cable TV


 

People all over the world are watching the Olympics online, but a lot of Americans are just out of luck.
July 29, 2012  |  Alternet.org

Comcast and NBC logos.

Comcast and NBC logos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every four years, much of the world comes together to compete in – and watch — the Olympic games. Everyone on earth can catch this year’s games online, with the exception of one group: Americans who don’t have a subscription to cable TV.

NBC, which holds the U.S. rights to the games, is giving an Olympic-sized middle finger to a lot of households by offering the games online, but only to those with cable. I am one among a growing number of Americans who have given up their boxy television and watch content on their computers using services like Netflix streaming, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video. According to Nielson, about 48 million households don’t have cable TV – that represents around 37 percent of the population. (This figure includes satellite TV subscribers, who are also out of luck when it comes to streaming the games. But it doesn’t factor in people with, say, both sattelite and an old-fashioned TV with an antenna laying around – that group can catch games on NBC, but not those carried on MSNBC.)

I would gladly pay for the privelege of watching the Olympics online. $9.95 would be a no-brainer, I’d almost certainly go $14.95, and might have even pulled the trigger at $19.95. So NBC isn’t just depriving a third of the population an opportunity to watch the games, it’s not only getting a lot of criticism – the hashtag #NBCFail is all over Twitter – but the company is also leaving tens of millions in revenues on the table.

According to TorrentFreak – a bit-torrent site – while limited access to the games is only going to send people looking for illegal streamers, “NBC and the IOC are fully prepared to act against Olympic pirates to protect their commercial interests.” It’s a bit odd when you think about it, given that NBC isn’t offering the service itself, other than to cable TV subscribers who would be crazy to choose a shaky Chinese mirror site over their cable TV. Again, like many, I’d pay for the service if I could.

What is NBC thinking? On its face, their strategy appears to be in keeping with a lot of content-providers’ apparent preference to treat their potential customers like thieves – fiercely “protecting” their intellectual property — rather than coming up with innovative ways to offer their stuff to the growing audience of online-only media consumers at a reasonable price. Corporate culture is weighed down heavily by short-term thinking.

But there’s more to it than that. Comcast, the country’s leading cable provider, is the majority shareholder in NBC Universal, NBC’s parent company. And Comcast has a problem: it’s hemorrhaging cable subscribers. According to Nielson, between 2010 and 2011, cable subscriptions declined by almost 8 percent, while households that get their video via satellite, online, or from their telco increased by about 7 percent. (Actually, Comcast has two problems, the other being that people hate the company – it consistently scores terribly on consumer satisfaction surveys.)

Despite the fact that NBC enjoys the use of airwaves that belong to the American people, Comcast fears that those 37 percent of households who don’t feel the need for company’s boxes anymore are a harbinger of the future, and it seems to be willing to cut us off from the Olympic games to protect its core business (which is extra annoying for those of us who still fork over money for its broadband services). Comcast has long viewed the Olympics as a means of making cable more attractive – in 2009, before it bought a majority share in NBC

 

People all over the world are watching the Olympics online, but a lot of Americans are just out of luck.Universal, Comcast upset the International Olympic Committee by announcing plans to launch a cable channel dedicated to the games (including off-year trials and world championship events). NBC also squawked, and it may be that holding the rights to the Olympics through 2012 was part of the broadcasters appeal for Comcast.

 

The irony is that Americans jonesing for this year’s games can get around Comcast’s blackout by doing what people in repressive countries whose governments censor the internet have long done: set up a mirroring service that makes it look as if their computer is located somewhere else, like London. These services cost $5-$10 per month, and allow users to catch all the games, in high definition and without tape-delay, on BBC.com.

An extra bonus is that the BBC apparently thinks that the games are dramatic enough on their own merit, and don’t go in for the cheap, contrived melodrama that NBC’s producers seem to adore. #NBCFail, indeed.

 

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He’s the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

 

 

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,228 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,843,438 hits

Archives

June 2021
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  
%d bloggers like this: