|PROGRESSIVE CALENDAR 11.10.15 TPP ISSUE /3||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 01:16:08 -0800 (PST)|
PROGRESSIVE CALENDAR 11.10.15 *1. Chris Hedges - The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in US History* *2. P C Roberts - The Re-enserfment of Western Peoples3. K J Noh - Why the TPP Must be Opposed at All Costs* *4. ed - - PP on the TPP - bumpersticker poem* --------1 of 4-------- The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History by Chris Hedges Published on Monday, November 09, 2015 by TruthDig The release Thursday of the 5,544-page text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership <http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/tpp-ptp/index.aspx?lang=eng>—a trade and investment agreement involving 12 countries comprising nearly 40 percent of global output—confirms what even its most apocalyptic critics feared. “The TPP, along with the WTO [World Trade Organization] and NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement], is the most brazen corporate power grab in American history,” Ralph Nader told me when I reached him by phone in Washington, D.C. “It allows corporations to bypass our three branches of government to impose enforceable sanctions by secret tribunals. These tribunals can declare our labor, consumer and environmental protections [to be] unlawful, non-tariff barriers subject to fines for noncompliance. The TPP establishes a transnational, autocratic system of enforceable governance in defiance of our domestic laws.” The TPP is part of a triad of trade agreements that includes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA, by calling for the privatization of all public services, is a mortal threat to the viability of the U.S. Postal Service, public education and other government-run enterprises and utilities; together these operations make up 80 percent of the U.S. economy. The TTIP and TiSA are still in the negotiation phase. They will follow on the heels of the TPP and are likely to go before Congress in 2017. These three agreements solidify the creeping corporate coup d’état along with the final evisceration of national sovereignty. Citizens will be forced to give up control of their destiny and will be stripped of the ability to protect themselves from corporate predators, safeguard the ecosystem and find redress and justice in our now anemic and often dysfunctional democratic institutions. The agreements—filled with jargon, convoluted technical, trade and financial terms, legalese, fine print and obtuse phrasing—can be summed up in two words: corporate enslavement. The TPP removes legislative authority from Congress and the White House on a range of issues. Judicial power is often surrendered to three-person trade tribunals in which *only* corporations are permitted to sue. Workers, environmental and advocacy groups and labor unions are blocked from seeking redress in the proposed tribunals. The rights of corporations become sacrosanct. The rights of citizens are abolished. The Sierra Club issued a statement after the release of the TPP text saying that the “deal is rife with polluter giveaways that would undermine decades of environmental progress, threaten our climate, and fail to adequately protect wildlife because big polluters helped write the deal.” If there is no sustained popular uprising to prevent the passage of the TPP in Congress this spring we will be shackled by corporate power. Wages will decline. Working conditions will deteriorate. Unemployment will rise. Our few remaining rights will be revoked. The assault on the ecosystem will be accelerated. Banks and global speculation will be beyond oversight or control. Food safety standards and regulations will be jettisoned. Public services ranging from Medicare and Medicaid to the post office and public education will be abolished or dramatically slashed and taken over by for-profit corporations. Prices for basic commodities, including pharmaceuticals, will skyrocket. Social assistance programs will be drastically scaled back or terminated. And countries that have public health care systems, such as Canada and Australia, that are in the agreement will probably see their public health systems collapse under corporate assault. Corporations will be empowered to hold a wide variety of patents, including over plants and animals, turning basic necessities and the natural world into marketable products. And, just to make sure corporations extract every pound of flesh, any public law interpreted by corporations as impeding *projected* profit, even a law designed to protect the environment or consumers, will be subject to challenge in an entity called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) section. The ISDS, bolstered and expanded under the TPP, will see corporations paid massive sums in compensation from offending governments for impeding their “right” to further swell their bank accounts. Corporate profit effectively will replace the common good. Given the bankruptcy of our political class—including amoral politicians such as Hillary Clinton, who is denouncing the TPP during the presidential campaign but whose unwavering service to corporate capitalism assures her fealty to her corporate backers—the trade agreement has a good chance of becoming law. And because the Obama administration won fast-track authority, a tactic designed by the Nixon administration to subvert democratic debate, President Obama will be able to sign the agreement before it goes to Congress. The TPP, because of fast track, bypasses the normal legislative process of public discussion and consideration by congressional committees. The House and the Senate, which have to vote on the TPP bill within 90 days of when it is sent to Congress, are prohibited by the fast-track provision from adding floor amendments or holding more than 20 hours of floor debate. Congress cannot raise concerns about the effects of the TPP on the environment. It can *only* vote yes or no. It is powerless to modify or change one word. There will be a mass mobilization <https://www.popularresistance.org/mass-mobilization-to-stop-the-tpp-announced-as-text-is-released/> Nov. 14 through 18 in Washington to begin the push to block the TPP. Rising up to stop the TPP is a far, far better investment of our time and energy than engaging in the empty political theater that passes for a presidential campaign. “The TPP creates a web of corporate laws that will dominate the global economy,” attorney Kevin Zeese of the group Popular Resistance <https://www.popularresistance.org/>, which has mounted a long fight against the trade agreement, told me from Baltimore by telephone. “It is a global corporate coup d’état. Corporations will become more powerful than countries. Corporations will force democratic systems to serve their interests. Civil courts around the world will be replaced with corporate courts or so-called trade tribunals. This is a massive expansion that builds on the worst of NAFTA rather than what Barack Obama promised, which was to get rid of the worst aspects of NAFTA.” The agreement is the product of six years of work by global capitalists from banks, insurance companies, Goldman Sachs, Monsanto and other corporations. “It was written by them [the corporations], it is for them and it will serve them,” Zeese said of the TPP. “It will hurt domestic businesses and small businesses. The buy-American provisions will disappear. Local communities will not be allowed to build buy-local campaigns. The thrust of the agreement is the privatization and commodification of everything. The agreement has built within it a deep antipathy to state-supported or state-owned enterprises. It gives away what is left of our democracy to the World Trade Organization <https://www.wto.org/>.” The economist David Rosnick, in a report on the TPP by the Center for Economic and Policy Research <http://www.cepr.net/> (CEPR), estimated that under the trade agreement only the top 10 percent of U.S. workers would see their wages increase. Rosnick wrote that the real wages of middle-income U.S. workers (from the 35th percentile to the 80th percentile) would decline under the TPP. NAFTA, contributing to a decline in manufacturing jobs (now only 9 percent of the economy), has forced workers into lower-paying service jobs and resulted in a decline in real wages of between 12 and 17 percent. The TPP would only accelerate this process, Rosnick concluded. “This is a continuation of the global race to the bottom,” Dr. Margaret Flowers, also from Popular Resistance and a candidate for the U.S. Senate <http://www.FlowersForSenate.org>, said from Baltimore in a telephone conversation with me. “Corporations are free to move to countries that have the lowest labor standards. This drives down high labor standards here. It means a decimation of industries and unions. It means an accelerated race to the bottom, which we must rise up to stop.” “In Malaysia one-third of tech workers are essentially slaves,” Zeese said. “In Vietnam the minimum wage is 35 cents an hour. Once these countries are part of the trade agreement U.S. workers are put in a very difficult position.” Fifty-one percent of working Americans now make less than $30,000 a year, a new study <http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/25/1-in-2-working-americans-make-less-than-30000-a-year/> by the Social Security Administration reported. Forty percent are making less than $20,000 a year. The federal government considers a family of four living on an income of less than $24,250 to be in poverty. “Half of American workers earn essentially the poverty level,” Zeese said. “This agreement only accelerates this trend. I don’t see how American workers are going to cope.” The assault on the American workforce by NAFTA—which was established under the Clinton administration in 1994 and which at the time promised creation of 200,000 net jobs a year in the United States—has been devastating. NAFTA has led to a $181 billion trade deficit with Mexico and Canada and the loss of at least 1 million U.S. jobs, according to a report by Public Citizen <http://www.citizen.org/documents/NAFTA-at-20.pdf>. The flooding of the Mexican market with cheap corn by U.S. agro-businesses drove down the price of Mexican corn and saw 1 million to 3 million poor Mexican farmers go bankrupt and lose their small farms. Many of them crossed the border into the United States in a desperate effort to find work. “Obama has misled the public throughout this process,” Dr. Flowers said. “He claimed that environmental groups were supportive of the agreement because it provided environmental protections, and this has now been proven false. He told us that it would create 650,000 jobs, and this has now been proven false. He calls this a 21st century trade agreement, but it actually rolls back progress made in Bush-era trade agreements. The most recent model of a 21st century trade agreement is the Korean free trade agreement. That was supposed to create 140,000 U.S. jobs. But what we saw within a couple years was a loss of about 70,000 jobs and a larger trade deficit with Korea. This agreement [the TPP] is sold to us with the same deceits that were used to sell us NAFTA and other trade agreements.” The agreement, in essence, becomes global law. Any agreements over carbon emissions by countries made through the United Nations are effectively rendered null and void by the TPP. “Trade agreements are binding,” Flowers said. “They supersede any of the nonbinding agreements made by the United Nations Climate Change Conference <http://unfccc.int/meetings/paris_nov_2015/meeting/8926.php> that might come out of Paris.” There is more than enough evidence from past trade agreements to indicate where the TPP—often called “NAFTA on steroids”—will lead. It is part of the inexorable march by corporations to wrest from us the ability to use government to defend the public and to build social and political organizations that promote the common good. Our corporate masters seek to turn the natural world and human beings into malleable commodities that will be used and exploited until exhaustion or collapse. Trade agreements are the tools being used to achieve this subjugation. The only response left is open, sustained and defiant popular revolt. © 2015 TruthDig <http://www.commondreams.org/author/chris-hedges> Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Truthdig.com <http://www.truthdig.com>. Hedges graduated from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning <http://www.amazon.com/dp/1400034639?tag=commondreams-20/ref=nosim>, What Every Person Should Know About War <http://www.amazon.com/dp/0743255127?tag=commondreams-20/ref=nosim>, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America. <http://www.amazon.com/dp/0743284437?tag=commondreams-20/ref=nosim> His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle <http://www.amazon.com/dp/1568584377?tag=commondreams-20/ref=nosim>. --------2 of x-------- The Re-enserfment of Western Peoples by Paul Craig Roberts / November 9th, 2015 Dissident Voice The re-enserfment of Western peoples is taking place on several levels. One about which I have been writing for more than a decade comes from the offshoring of jobs. Americans, for example, have a shrinking participation in the production of the goods and services that are marketed to them. On another level we are experiencing the financialization of the Western economy about which Michael Hudson is the leading expert (*Killing The Host*). Financialization is the process of removing any public presence in the economy and converting the economic surplus into interest payments to the financial sector. These two developments deprive people of economic prospects. A third development deprives them of political rights. The Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Partnerships eliminate political sovereignty and turn governance over to global corporations. These so called “trade partnerships” have nothing to do with trade. These agreements negotiated in secrecy grant immunity to corporations from the laws of the countries in which they do business. This is achieved by declaring any interference by existing and prospective laws and regulations on corporate profits as restraints on trade for which corporations can sue and fine “sovereign” governments. For example, the ban in France and other countries on GMO products would be negated by the Trans-Atlantic Partnership. Democracy is simply replaced by corporate rule. I have been meaning to write about this at length. However, others, such as Chris Hedges, are doing a good job of explaining <http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/The-Most-Brazen-Corporate-by-Chris-Hedges-American-Hypocrisy_Americans-For-Prosperity_Corporate-Citizenship_Corporate-Crime-151107-882.html> the power grab that eliminates representative government. The corporations are buying power cheaply. They bought <http://www.opednews.com/articles/Almost-200-Million-Donate-by-Paola-Casale-Banking_Congress_Control_Corporations-150620-523.html> the entire US House of Representatives for just under $200 million. This is what the corporations paid Congress to go along with “Fast Track,” which permits the corporations’ agent, the US Trade Representative, to negotiate in secret without congressional input or oversight. In other words, a US corporate agent deals with corporate agents in the countries that will comprise the “partnership,” and this handful of well-bribed people draw up an agreement that supplants law with the interests of corporations. No one negotiating the partnership represents the peoples’ or public’s interests. The governments of the partnership countries get to vote the deal up or down, and they will be well paid to vote for the agreement. Once these partnerships are in effect, government itself is privatized. There is no longer any point in legislatures, presidents, prime ministers, judges. Corporate tribunals decide law and court rulings. It is likely that these “partnerships” will have unintended consequences. For example, Russia and China are not part of the arrangements, and neither are Iran, Brazil, India, and South Africa, although separately the Indian government appears to have been purchased by American agribusiness and is in the process of destroying its self-sufficient food production system. These countries will be the repositories for national sovereignty and public control while freedom and democracy are extinguished in the West and the West’s Asian vassals. Violent revolution throughout the West and the complete elimination of the One Percent is another possible outcome. Once, for example, the French people discover that they have lost all control over their diet to Monsanto and American agribusiness, the members of the French government that delivered France into dietary bondage to toxic foods are likely to be killed in the streets. Events of this sort are possible throughout the West as peoples discover that they have lost all control over every aspect of their lives and that their only choice is revolution or death. Paul Craig Roberts is an American economist, author, columnist, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and former editor and columnist for corporate media publications. He is the author of *The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism <http://www.powells.com/partner/36683/biblio/0986036250?p_isbn>*. Read other articles by Paul <http://dissidentvoice.org/author/paulcraigroberts/>, or visit Paul's website <http://www.paulcraigroberts.org>. This article was posted on Monday, November 9th, 2015 at 7:09am and is filed under Classism <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/class/>, Corporate Globalization <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/corporate-globalization/>, Finance <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/finance/>, GMO <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/foodnutrition/gmo/>, Opinion <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/opinion/>, TPP <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/economics/tpp/>. --------3 of x-------- Why the TPP Must be Opposed at All Costs It’s Worse Than You Think by K.J. Noh November 8th, 2015 Dissident Voice The TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the corporate Mega-deal on “free trade” has been concluded between the partner states, and is now in the final stages of its ratification. This deal involves the US and 11 other countries (Canada, US, Mexico, Chile, Peru; Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, Japan) of the Pacific Rim, representing 40% of global economic activity. The text was secretly negotiated by hundreds of corporate lobbyists. It has now been released, and Congress will have 90 days to examine the 6000 page text before approving, which will allow the President to sign it in to law. For six years, this corporate-drafted legislation was a pig in a poke. Nobody knew what was in it–except the hundreds (550) of corporate lobbyists that had been drafting it for years in total secrecy. They wouldn’t say what was in it. They would only say it was good for you. They just wanted you to support it. Critics were told to shut up on the grounds that they knew nothing about it. But the outline that people had been able to discern through leaks were monstrous. The text <http://tpp.mfat.govt.nz/text> has been just released—by the orders of a New Zealand court–and it is, as anticipated, monstrous, explaining the Manhattan-Project-level secrecy. It’s a total corporate giveaway, and despite some pathetic attempts to put lipstick on it, it’s every bit as bad as we had anticipated, and a little bit worse. Here are some of the key issues: *Subversion of Democracy and Sovereignty:* ISDS refers to Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanism. Think of it really as an Intentional Subversion of Democracy and Sovereignty <http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/285>. This is the extrajudicial process written into the TPP (Chapter 28 <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/28.%20Dispute%20Settlement%20Chapter.pdf>), whereby governments can be dragged before tribunals by corporate lawyers if they think national (health, environmental, consumer protection, public policy) laws violate their TPP rights or limit future expected profits. This is a panel of bespoke-suited corporate lawyers deciding whether environmental laws, safety regulations, public policy, or labor laws get in the way of profit or not. Imagine how they will decide. Profits or people? The outcome, written into the very *raison d’être* of the TPP, is a foregone conclusion <http://www.ohchr.org/SP/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16650&LangID=E>. These results will be unaccountable and binding. No appeal is possible. It’s not an exaggeration to say that corporations want profit the way that sexual predators want sex: at any cost. Instead of moderating, controlling or preventing this, this agreement enshrines into transnational law a supranational corporate entitlement to profit, regardless of risk or danger to the state, democratic sovereignty, the people, or the planet. For that reason alone, the TPP should be opposed at all costs. But there’s more. *Global Immiseration* Job Loss and proletarianization will be the inevitable results of this agreement. Although the pitch from the White House has been that the TPP is “a high standard trade agreement that levels the playing field for American workers, and businesses, supporting more made in America exports and higher paying American jobs”, in fact the logic of neoliberal trade agreements like TPP drives jobs to wherever they are the cheapest, decimating labor rights and labor protections along their path. That implies the general immiseration of wage workers everywhere as they are forced into a race to the bottom, to compete with the hungriest and most desperate in the world. If you thought NAFTA was bad for jobs, imagine the Lance Armstrong of neoliberal trade deals: doped-up, ‘roid-flushed, viscous-blooded, deceitful, win-at-any-cost, brazen, in-your-face, winner-take-all, corrupt, corporate leviathan. This final, dolled-and-dressed-up version actually has a chapter on labor and labor rights (Chapter 19 <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/19.%20Labour%20Chapter.pdf>), but don’t let that mislead you. It amounts to a pitiful 13 pages of vapid, unenforceable boilerplate among 6000 pages of cold-blooded legalistic scheming. It’s clearly a threadbare, deceptive ruse appended after the fact to divert criticism. The chapter offers nothing substantive or meaningful <http://www.globalresearch.ca/tpp-ignores-global-warming-and-allows-murder-of-labor-union-organizers/5487148>, other than roadblocks to even minimal enforcement of worker’s rights, and mandated “cooperation” to diffuse adversarial relations. Threadbare in reasoning, substance, and ethics, it gives lip service to social values, with vapid phrases like “Signatories *commit* to *acknowledge* the existence of goals *surrounding *the *possibility *of workers’ rights”, then lards itself up with cosmetic boilerplate about consultation, cooperation, volunteerism, “recognition”, committees. It then finally bares its fangs with this: *No Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 28 (Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.* In other words, as a worker, you have no enforceable rights under this agreement. The minuscule chapter on “development <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/23.%20Development%20Chapter.pdf>” is even worse. It has 5 measly pages of the same lazy, woolly, vapid, rhetorical language on “voluntary measures”, “consultative processes”, and exhortations for “market-based approaches”, followed by the following ice-cold, brutal, one-two punch: * In the event of any inconsistency between this Chapter and another Chapter of this Agreement, the other Chapter shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.* * No Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 28 (Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.* There are other vanity chapters written about Capacity Building <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/21.%20Cooperation%20and%20Capacity%20Building%20Chapter.pdf>, Competitiveness <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/22.%20Competitiveness%20and%20Business%20Facilitation%20Chapter.pdf>, Regulatory Coherence <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/23.%20Development%20Chapter.pdf>, SME’s <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/24.%20Small%20and%20Medium-Sized%20Enterprises%20Chapter.pdf>. They are written on a similar template of boilerplate vapidity. It’s clear that these were added at the last minute for cosmetic purposes, because they all have the same aspirational rhetoric (about committees, consultation, cooperation), followed by what we know recognize as the kill-switch non-access/non-recourse mantra: *No Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 28 (Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.* To misquote the Zapatistas, it is, “For me, everything; for you, nothing.” *Finance Capital Unleashed* Envisage unleashing finance capital in a way that makes the financialized gang rape of the 2008 global meltdown seem like a genteel southern debutante ball. It’s clear the current system is precarious, scary, and unjust, but if existing minimal capital controls are dismantled, financial taxation prohibited, stabilizing tools undone, and local breakwaters on finance are removed or challenged, hot money and speculation will flow like lava from an unleashed volcano. This is what Chapters 9 <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/9.%20Investment%20Chapter.pdf>, 11 <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/11.%20Financial%20Services%20Chapter.pdf> facilitate, albeit in cloaked, deceptive, corporate-lawyerly ways: the capacity to undermine <https://theintercept.com/2015/11/06/ttp-trade-pact-would-give-wall-street-a-trump-card-to-block-regulations/?comments=1#comments> any financial control or reform. Look underneath the verbiage to the intent and design, and these chapters should give you cold sweats and panic attacks. *Privatization of the Intellectual and Cultural Commons* The chapter on IP (Intellectual Property; Chapter 18 <http://www.mfat.govt.nz/downloads/trade-agreement/transpacific/TPP-text/18.%20Intellectual%20Property%20Chapter.pdf>) was leaked beforehand to universal criticism, opprobrium, and derision. The final version, largely unchanged, amounts to a corporate middle finger to global humanitarian and social concerns. It is an unashamed enclosure, privatization, commodification of the global commons. The intellectual, cultural, artistic commons that form the global heritage of the world serve a crucial role in generating, sustaining, and innovating a world fit to live in. The plan of the TPP, in alignment with other FTAs, is for corporations to increase their control and possession of these commons, privatizing, enclosing, and monetizing them to the greatest degree possible. It’s clear that the internet and content on it will be increasingly privatized, enclosed, and surveilled. <https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp> The right to privacy, open communication, fair use, reporting, comment, news reporting, teaching, research will be curtailed: the most restrictive interpretations of US Copyright and Intellectual Property laws would become the global standard. Research, whistle-blowing, investigative journalism could also be criminalized. TPP also breathes new life into the corporate wish list of defeated or outrageous zombie legislation, sneaking them in through the back door and expanding them to the global commons. *Structural Violence and Environmental Destruction* The agreement will result in needless, unnecessary death, suffering, and risk to the poor, the vulnerable, and the sick. Millions will die because of reduced access to basic life-saving generic medicines, medical procedures, dismantled public health measures, or because medicines and medical services will be made unaffordable. Public Health systems can be challenged or privatized, Governments will be sued if they push back on drug prices or reimbursements. Anti-consumer measures are locked in, and safety, health, food regulations can be gutted, bypassed, or sued into the ground. Environmental protections and climate change policies could be bypassed or sued into obsolescence. Protections for health care, consumers’ rights will eventually become a dim, vague memory. In a brazen statement of exclusion, the chapter on the environment, does not even bother to mention the word “Climate Change”. This obscene gesture to everyone who cares about the environment, is clearly a high octane boost to the fossil fuel industry, in case the planet is just not warming fast enough for you. *Escalation to War with China* When more than 95% of our potential customers live outside our borders, we can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should make these rules. — President Barack Obama In its racist exceptionalism, the TPP is also a declaration of economic warfare, and not just of corporations against the people: it’s a concerted plan to challenge and undermine Chinese economic growth <https://gowans.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/why-the-trans-pacific-partnership-equals-a-u-s-aircraft-carrier/>, which has been clearly on an ascendant track, doing a big share of pulling along the world economy. China, in case anyone is unclear on the geography, is in the Asia pacific, but is unambiguously excluded from it (for spurious reasons). The TPP is a multi-nation economic aircraft carrier (or if you will, a slave galleon) set up to do battle against China, a neoliberal battering ram with all the stops pulled out. Functioning as the economic arm of the Pacific Pivot, the TPP creates a powerful economic bloc, press-ganging pacific rim economies to ally against China en masse, to force an eventual economic blockade, take down, and submission if necessary. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter alludes <http://www.defense.gov/News/Speeches/Speech-View/Article/606660/remarks-on-the-next-phase-of-the-us-rebalance-to-the-asia-pacific-mccain-instit> to this: “But TPP… is probably one of the most important parts of the rebalance [to Asia]… in terms of our rebalance… passing TPP is as important to me as another aircraft carrier… it would help us promote a global order that reflects… our interests”. This consists of a three-part strategy: the Pacific Pivot (with a doctrine of war (AirSea Battle), custom hardware (interoperable Ballistic Missile Defense systems, X-band radar, littoral combat ships, aircraft carriers), aggressive military encirclement (a necklace of up-armored Strategic Bases), combined with multi-lateral intelligence sharing, mutual defense agreements and war games) is part A, and the TPP is part B, the economic encirclement. Lest we forget, in war, it’s always the little people who suffer and die. Keep an eye out for the legal, cultural, and information warfare to escalate, part C. It’s acceptable to suspend judgment until the NY Times, the Gray Lady starts purring approval. Then like maggots appearing on carrion, you know it’s seriously putrid. The Gray Lady has been carrying water and running interference for this monstrosity from its inception. Keep an eye out for new feats of intellectual acrobatics and contortions as it tries to justify and spin the “good news” of the TPP. Here’s why every person of conscience needs to continue to oppose this. You fight the good fight, organize, mobilize, pick your battles, support the right causes, stand in solidarity and accompaniment to the oppressed and suffering in general. But every so often, a mega-coup happens that pulls the entire carpet out from under you, rendering all your local struggles useless. It’s as if you spend your whole time trying to prevent your house from being robbed, by fixing the locks on your windows and doors, while the thieves put your entire home on a flatbed truck cart the entire edifice away. *Citizen’s United* was one such coup. TPP is another one, easily one of the most devastating, certainly the most brazen, and it has the capacity to undo a half century’s worth of modest gains for labor, environment, peace, safety, public health, equality, justice in a single fell swoop. It will seal the deal on the global neoliberal project, end whatever fragments of democratic sovereignty are left, hammer shut the coffin on an alternate vision of the future, and lock in the alienated, hyper-commodified, hyper-capitalist corporate nightmare. With global warming on steroids. It hasn’t been ratified yet, but the deal is in the balance. Oppose it at all costs. Your children, and your children’s children will thank you. K.J. Noh is a long time activist, writer, and teacher. He is a member of Veterans for Peace and works on global justice issues. He can be reached at: k.j.noh48 [at] gmail.com. Read other articles by K.J. <http://dissidentvoice.org/author/kjnoh/>. This article was posted on Sunday, November 8th, 2015 at 8:51am and is filed under Aotearoa (New Zealand) <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/oceania/aotearoanew-zealand/>, China <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/asia/china/>, Corporate Globalization <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/corporate-globalization/>, Employment <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/labor/employmrent/>, Finance <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/finance/>, Neoliberalism <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/neoliberalism/>, Poverty <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/poverty/>, Privacy <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/privacy/>, Privatization <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/neoliberalism/privatization/>, Resistance <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/resistance/>, TPP <http://dissidentvoice.org/category/economics/tpp/> --------4 of x-------- *PP on the TPP * We 99.99% make a big tight circle around the .01% and PP down upon them endless golden showers --ed -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jove Shove Trove Grove
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