More than two years on, it is hard to imagine there could be someone who is not sick of the pandemic. Although we can point to multiple reasons for the inability to bring Covid-19 under control, a prominent factor is corporate greed.
This week we take a look at the nefarious capitalist mechanism called free trade agreements, with a focus on world wide resistance to the TPP or Trans Pacific Partnership plus an update of anti-fascist resistance in Anaheim California.
In this episode of Days of Revolt, host Chris Hedges and organizer Kevin Zeese break down the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The two deconstruct how the TPP and other associated trade deals like TiSA and TTIP, if approved, will lead to the irreversible privatization of public services, the dismantling of people’s judiciary rights, and the further corporatization of pharmaceuticals, labor, and natural resources. Zeese highlights the importance of direct action in combating these injustices, specifically detailing upcoming demonstrations he has organized with PopularResistance.
It’s a disaster for people, the planet, democracy, and the future of the global economy.
That was the immediate assessment of informed critics as world governments, including the United States, on Thursday morning made the full text of the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) available to the public for the first time.
Obama’s secret trade deals greatly favors big banks. Brown says, “It looks to me the banking system is in control. That’s where all the big money comes from, and that’s where the two big parties got their money. It’s been this way ever since Rockefeller and Morgan back then in 1900—the Democrats and the Republicans. Brown goes on to say, “The goal here is “they” want to own everything and rent it back to us. So, law is no longer a way to protect the people. Law is now to protect the corporations and serve the corporations.”
`Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
`No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’
`Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!’
`Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
`I won’t!’ said Alice.
`Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. — Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. — Attributed to Henry Ford
In March 2014, the Bank of England let the cat out of the bag: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it. So wrote David Graeber in The Guardian the same month, referring to a BOE paper called “Money Creation in the Modern Economy.” The paper stated outright that most common assumptions of how banking works are simply wrong. The result, said Graeber, was to throw the entire theoretical basis for austerity out of the window.
Despite the Senate vote approving a measure to give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, opposition to the deal continues to mount ahead of this month’s House vote. Critics, including a number of Democratic lawmakers, oppose the TPP, saying it will fuel inequality, kill jobs, and undermine health, environmental and financial regulations. The negotiations have been secret, and the public has never seen most of the deal’s text. Well, this morning the whistleblowing group WikiLeaks launched a campaign to change that. The group is seeking to raise $100,000 to offer what they describe as a bounty for the leaking of the unseen chapters of the TPP. We speak to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Continue reading →
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government. — Article IV, Section 4, US Constitution
A republican form of government is one in which power resides in elected officials representing the citizens, and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison defined a republic as “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people… .”
democracynow – Senate Finance Committee leaders Republican Orrin Hatch and Democrat Ron Wyden are expected to introduce a “fast-track” trade promotion authority bill as early as this week that would give the president authority to negotiate the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and then present it to Congress for a yes-or-no vote, with no amendments allowed. On Wednesday, more than 1,000 labor union members rallied on Capitol Hill to call on Democrats to oppose “fast-track” authority. We speak with two people closely following the proposed legislation: Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida.
WikiLeaks releases today the “Investment Chapter” from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014).
democracynow – While the two parties have plenty to fight about in the new Republican Congress, Mitch McConnell, the possible next Senate majority leader, says he shares common ground with the president on international trade. What does this mean for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? We get analysis from Lori Wallach of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, who notes that while some analysts say GOP gains will accelerate the passage of fast-track legislation in Congress to enable an agreement on the TPP, “it is kind of hard for the Republicans to voluntarily delegate more authority to the guy they’ve been attacking as the imperial president who grabs power that’s not his.” The controversial so-called free trade deal involves 12 countries and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. Trade ministers from the 12 countries negotiating the trade deal are due to meet in Beijing ahead of the Asia-Pacific economic summit next week to continue negotiations.
Image by Mike Chickey via Stop FastTrack via Flickr
The U.S. military wants it, and so does Corporate America–which is why we should beware
BARACK OBAMA is headed to Asia for a four-country tour designed to revive diplomatic and economic attention on the region that Washington’s imperial strategists believe is crucial to the future.
Obama will travel to Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines, the U.S. government’s main allies in the region. But looming over each stop and every meeting will be a country that definitely isn’t on the presidential itinerary: China. Continue reading →
Congress is quietly considering legislation that would speed the passage of two mega trade agreements, and seeks to specifically eliminate government programs that favor “localization.” The bill would give the Obama Administration what is known as “fast track” authority—meaning Congress would surrender its constitutional authority to shape trade agreements negotiated by the president and instead can only vote up or down on the deal.