The Real Danger — as Seen on TV

We’ve been freaking out about the wrong unfeeling manmade creations. Robots and artificial intelligence aren’t out to get us. It’s bad enough that rabble-rousers blame immigrants and minorities for our problems, but poor helpless computers have no one to speak for them (except, of course, Alexa, but she’s pretty submissive).

While we’ve been blaming the blameless, the real artificial culprit has gradually taken over: legal fictions. Corporations and partnerships and legal fictions of all sorts can speak, can sue, and can even get politicians to say they’re people. And they can’t be held in check.

We need to abolish corporations before it’s too late.

I thought of this the other day after hearing assorted discussions of the real estate crisis and how practically no one has been prosecuted or jailed for causing it. When you think about it, hardly anyone had been jailed for all sorts of corporate misdeeds. The entire planet may go up in flames because corporations keeping filling the atmosphere and no one working in them gets punished.

Oh sure, corporations get fined, but do they care about that? Does it stop them from doing the same sorts of things again and again?

The fines are just numbers to them and the only people getting less money are shareholders, most of whom had nothing to do with all those mortgages. Bank customers, meanwhile, probably got their fees raised.

Now think how different the real estate crisis would have been if banks and mortgage companies didn’t exist to shield the actual humans who were doing bad things.

It’s been reported that banks have been fined $243 billion since the 2007 real estate crisis. Do they feel bad? Have they stopped lobbying against regulation?

Now imagine if human beings at those banks were fined $243 billion. The business world mentality might just be a little different.

Unfortunately, it may be too late. If it isn’t, we need to be on the lookout for a corporate Terminator from the future gunning for progressives.

Hmm, that Trump guy seems strangely inhuman …

Passing thought. Attorneys for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and some other guys last week filed a motion to stop public release of videos of them at a massage parlor.

Here’s my question: does anyone actually want to see those things?

Eew.

Another passing thought. Should you buy a product just because you saw it advertised on television? Does that make the product better?

You’d think not, but a company called E. Mishan & Sons, Inc. seems to think that the label “As Seen on TV” is so valuable that it was worth filing a lawsuit in federal court in New York.

The complaint explains, at some length, that its products got seen on TV because of its extensive advertising. It even brags that the company was named “Advertiser of the Year” by some research company.

In other words, the products were seen in ads, not news stories or unbiased reviews.

Still, E. Mishan doesn’t want all those millions of ad dollars going to waste or benefiting a competitor, so it’s suing some of those competitors for false advertising by saying their products are “As Seen on TV.”

Selling infringing knives, pans and hair removers with the TV claim “has a strong tendency to deceive a substantial part of the relevant consuming public who are interested in purchasing genuine ‘As Seen on TV’ products into believing that Defendant’s products are that which have been heavily advertised on television, when in fact they have not been, or where any TV advertising has been minuscule.”

You wouldn’t want to be misled by non-advertising.

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