The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a global corporate noose around U.S. local, state, and national sovereignty – narrowly passed a major procedural hurdle in the Congress by gaining “fast track” status. … “fast track” is a euphemism for your members of Congress … handcuffing themselves, so as to prevent any amendments or adequate debate before the final vote … TPP is another euphemism that is used to avoid the word “treaty”, which would require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate.
The corporate-indentured politicians keep calling this gigantic treaty with thirty chapters, of which only five relate to traditional trade issues…. The other twenty-five chapters, if passed as they are, will have serious impacts on your livelihoods as workers and consumers, as well as your air, water, food, and medicines.
Only corporations … are entitled to sue the U.S. government for any alleged harm to their profits from health, safety or other regulations in secret tribunals that operate as offshore kangaroo courts, not in open courts. – Ralph Nader
Last week was a landmark week for President Obama and his administration. It was so important that last Friday’s PBS Washington Week program couldn’t find room for the slightest mention of what is arguably the most disastrous and most secretive anti-democracy, pro-corporate legislation since the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Acts were passed at the beginning of the late, lamented Cheney/Bush administration. Similarly – and astonishingly – nobody in the 2001 Congress actually read either of those bills (except for Ohio Democratic House member Dennis Kucinich); and, soberingly, the same is true of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s fast-track legislation. So congressional members are relying on what the lobbyists are telling them about TPP and again, shamefully voting on something that they haven’t read!
Washington Week only had space for the Supreme Court’s legalizing same-gender marriage, Obamacare, the massacre in Charleston and Obama’s powerful eulogy there.
As important and newsworthy as those items were, not a word was mentioned about what might have been the most important and onerous development in DC, the progress of the secretive, anti-democratic, pro-corporate legislation, the TPP.
Fair-minded, critical thinking, wide-awake persons who are capable of changing their minds when new information is revealed to them (AKA, resistance to cognitive dissonance) have come to understand that anything that happens in the ‘hallowed halls” of the Global Corporate Congress in DC is bad news for democracy, the middle class, the working class and the poor and good news for democracy’s amoral enemies in the multinational corporations, the Pentagon, the war industries and the national security state apparatus..
Any time that the “dirty trick” gridlock masters in the GOP (exemplified so well by the evil visages of Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and 1840s-era Senator John C. Calhoun) can get the equally co-opted, pro-corporate Democrats to agree to any major legislation (such as going to war), you will know that workers, consumers and democracy – are all going to get screwed.
The euphemistically-labeled TPP is a late Obama administration payback to investors (AKA “return on investment”). Obama’s campaigns were heavily funded by Wall Street, Big Banks, Big Pharma and multinational corporations, and it is now payback time.
The Cynics View of Corporate-controlled American Elections
Corporations fully expect that their campaign “contributions” (AKA “bribes”) will lead to some return on that investment. And, in order to hedge their bets, they willingly spend money on the campaigns of both NeoConservatives in the GOP and NeoLiberals in the Democratic Party that their lobbyists and shills (including the US Chamber of Commerce) have previously vetted/screened and then approved as fit candidates that will support the agendas of their paymasters. These anointed candidates – that only represent the far right wings or center-right wings of our One Party system – are the ones that we bamboozled voters will be fooled into voting for (usually against our best interests) when the next billion-dollar election cycle mercifully comes to an end.
The choices we voters are given when political campaigns come around have been getting more and more frustrating for thinking voters since the paranoid and hysterical pro-war, pseudo-patriotism emerged after 9/11/01.
That hysteria was orchestrated, in part, by the NeoConservative Bush administration insiders that were in the secretive Project for the New American Century (for more on the PNAC, see http://www.911hardfacts.com/report_04.htm).
It is obvious to many scholars and investigative journalists that the PNAC played a major role in orchestrating the catastrophic events of 9/11/01. The PNAC agenda was furthered – and actually cemented into place – by the anti-democratic Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act, not to mention the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision (see http://movetoamend.org/).
The TPP may be the End Game for the Global Corporate Elite
TPP, which has the bipartisan support of both the bribed pro-corporate Republicans and the bribed pro-corporate Democrats, probably represents the final solution to the global capitalist’s problem of providing stock market growth (and stability), the continuation of the privatization of public investments, the continued predatory lending system that destabilizes nation-states, the despoiling of the finite resources of our already corporate-poisoned planet, and the comforting march onward of the meaningless Dow-Jones Industrial Averages (only 30 companies involved).
The amoral and deceptive Wall Street and War Street hucksters will be laughing all the way to their off shore tax evading banks when TPP passes. Obama may not be fully aware of what he is a part of.
I can no longer trust anything that happens in the “hallowed halls” of the Global Corporate Congress which seems to have the blessings of both the “dirty trick” gridlock masters in the GOP and the often co-opted and the apparently well-meaning but sometimes naïve Democrats. The ruling elites, their amoral lobbyists, their non-human, sociopathic corporations and their bought-and-paid-for lapdog politicians operate as if they have no shame; they know who they are and it is our patriotic duty to identify them and put them out of office.
TPP Represents the Anti-democracy End-game of the Global Elite
It looks like the TPP is the economic end-game that the corporatists and corrupt capitalists have been played so cunningly, with behind the scenes support from their transnational corporate partners in the once-honorable
1) US Chamber of Commerce
2) the Koch brothers
3) the American Legislative Exchange Council
4) large majorities in America’s Global Corporate Congress and
5) most every brain-washed (or brain-dead) greedy private “free market” investor with a 401K.
The desperate little guy investor with his mutual fund-loaded stock portfolios and 401Ks can be justifiably accused of being accomplices in the corporate exploitation – and the inevitable despoiling – of the air, water, soil and food (AKA “man-made” climate change) and the militarization of the upper atmosphere by the Pentagon and the lethal weapons industries.
Of course, these investors, suppressing the ethics they learned in Sunday School, know that their portfolios may temporarily increase in value after TPP gets passed, but they may not know that they and their children will likely be permanently disadvantaged when their loved ones lose their jobs or see wages and benefits disappear in the race-to-the-bottom competition from exploitive foreign competitors – all for the long-term benefit of the cunning multinational TPP manipulators at the top.
The TPP vs the Emancipation Proclamation? Democracy Loses
And here is where the “un-mentioned” juxtapositions of last week’s major events come in.
Obama scored a lot of points with his pro-democracy, anti-racist, anti-discrimination rhetoric last week, but he should have lost many of those points by simultaneously pushing the bi-partisan and radically anti-democracy TPP. Time will tell. One wonders if his speechwriters saw the irony.
Obma’s speechwriters certainly haven’t pointed out the obviously evil Dick Cheney-style dark side of the TPP’s union-busting, anti-worker, anti-jobs, pro-corporate, pro-BigPharma, pro-Wall Street agenda. It is a virtual certainty that Obama has never read all of the secret 30 chapters in the treaty agreement. No one in Congress has been even allowed to adequately study all the secret provisions.
After considering all of the above, I realized that if the TPP had been the law of the land before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the tyrannical, apartheid-style (AKA, fascist) plantation slavery system in the South could have successfully sued the Lincoln administration and then fined the government hefty amounts of money for harming its economic bottom line and its future profits if it ever tried to end the highly lucrative business.
It would have been a no-brainer for the shyster lawyers (“shyster” is the term my father always used when referred to corporate lawyers) employed by any corporate-funded New World Order courts like the TPP, NAFTA or World Trade Organization to prove that the bottom lines of any slave holding (or sweat shop, or unionized) company would have been negatively affected if their profit-based system was outlawed. This would have been especially true if the proclamation had been issued by a despised, intellectual, educated, “liberal”, “nigger-loving”, uppity president who was also an eloquent speaker.
If the slaves were set free, allowed to vote or allowed to have their own churches, what would happen to the profits of pro-slavery, racist tyrants like South Carolina’s US Senator John C. Calhoun (see below)?
Any corporate-controlled court of law that was approved by the anti-democratic TPP rules would easily see that future profits of the plantation system would be severely and negatively impacted by the Emancipation Proclamation, and thus the humanitarian aims of president Lincoln would have been declared illegal and contrary to the treaty. The US government would have lost the case or more likely, the case would have been thrown out of court before the Star Chamber tribunal even reached for its gavel.
Dylann Storm Roof, Mother Emanuel, FOX NEWS and Us
And so, if TPP had been the law of the land, slavery would have been reinforced; black Christian churches like the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church would never have been built; and there would have been no need for a humiliated, unemployed, drugged-up, loner, white supremacist (believing that “the South will rise again”) like Dylann Roof to feel threatened enough to terrorize and murder innocent black folks who were in an innocuous bible study group (whose members – true to the gospel nonviolence teachings of Jesus and Martin Luther King – didn’t ask for retaliation and even offered forgiveness to the killer).
Ironically, 110 Calhoun Street is the street address of Mother Emanuel, where last week’s terroristic “lynchings” took place. This time a lynch mob was unnecessary. Pulling a trigger on a semiautomatic handgun is so much easier and quicker than using a hanging rope.
We can be certain that the unrepentant hard-liners in the CCC and KKK are saying thank you to the lobbying efforts of the NRA and the merchants of death in the weapons industries. And they are probably purchasing more weapons and ammo to boot.
John C. Calhoun and the 1920 Duluth Lynchings
Calhoun Street was named in honor of long-term pro-slavery politician John C. Calhoun (who also had a Minneapolis lake named after him, apparently because of Calhoun’s support for the legislation that created Fort Snelling).
Calhoun was a South Carolina US Senator, who was twice Vice President of the United States (first under John Quincey Adams and then under the notorious racist Andrew Jackson). He had been raised in a wealthy, slave-holding, Southern Presbyterian family and was acknowledged to be well-versed in conservative Christian theology (a theology that is still the norm in Southern Baptist circles, which infamously ignores the ethics of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount teachings – teachings upon which Martin Luther King based his theology, politics, social justice ideology and antiwar activism).
Calhoun was an early advocate for slave-holding states to secede from the Union. He obviously saw no contradiction in being a white supremacist and a Christian simultaneously, and neither did Dylann Roof, who, incidentally, is said to be on the roster of an ELCA Lutheran church in South Carolina.
Calhoun was a Chicken Hawk (a vigorously war hawk politician who never saw combat war, sort of like Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice and Ashcroft – and most of the PNAC).
Calhoun, despite his inexperience in war, served as President Monroe’s Secretary of War, and advocated for a large navy, a standing army and war with Britain.
If Calhoun was alive today, he would have been pursued by FOX NEWS as a commentator or at least a frequent interview guest, and the Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck shows would have applauded his politics. The pro-eugenics Adolf Hitler would have appreciated Calhoun’s racist, Aryan supremacist and militarist agendas.
In his 1937 “Slavery a Positive Good” speech, Calhoun said:
…the relation now existing in the slaveholding States is, instead of an evil, a good–a positive good. I feel myself called upon to speak freely upon the subject where the honor and interests of those I represent are involved. I hold then, that there never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other. Broad and general as is this assertion, it is fully borne out by history. …it would not be difficult to trace the various devices by which the wealth of all civilized communities has been so unequally divided, and to show by what means so small a share has been allotted to those by whose labor it was produced, and so large a share given to the non-producing classes.
Calhoun foreshadowed some of the radicalized agendas of America’s current religious opponents of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage. Some of them apparently are trying decide if they should leave America or if they should stay and fight to the death because of their “beliefs”. One talk show host even said that some radicalized conservative clergymen are seriously considering self-immolation as a sign of protest against same-gender marriage.
Calhoun said that “two peoples so different and hostile” could not “exist together in one common Union”. Dylann Roof resonated with those fighting words, as did the lynch mob in my hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, whose ignorance about race, politics and theology (like Roof) and whose susceptibility to unfounded rumors (like Roof) prompted the lynching of 3 young black male “suspects” in an “alleged” rape on June 20, 1920, exactly 95 years ago this month.
The poison of bigotry, brain-washing, blind hatred and discrimination against “the other” obviously has staying power.
Fooling Some of the People all of the Time
Sociologists understand how racism, homophobia and bigotry arise and thrive (partly through the misbegotten conservative religious beliefs in the now-disproven “biblical inerrancy”, repeated propaganda and poisonous parenting). Abraham Lincoln intuitively knew about the power of propaganda when he said: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Honest Abe was probably thinking of the misbegotten “true believers” in the ultraconservative, ignorant and unthinking anti-black racist crowd that have historically been so well represented in the Red states, the US Congress and by others in the flourishing homophobic crowd.
It has been very interesting to note that, in connection to the revelations about Dylann Roof and the AME church shootings, many Republican politicians have knowingly taken campaign “contributions” from Earl Holt, the head of the Council of Conservative Citizens (another one of the many iterations of the notorious KKK and the White Citizens Councils), whom Dylann Roof says, in his manifesto, inspired him to engage in the mass murder.
Holt is an admitted white supremacist, a self-proclaimed slumlord, and a frequent Republican Party campaign contributor. He has so appreciated the politics of many conservative Republican politicians that his organization has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to them.
The CCC/KKK money, suddenly politically toxic, has, unfortunately for the totally conservative Republican recipients, already been cashed, deposited and spent by the following short list, most of whom are pretending to be contrite by promising to ”return” the money..
Holt’s CCC even contributed to the campaigns of two prominent Minnesotans, retired Republican US Congressperson and failed ex-presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann and Republican state House member and ex-gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.
A short list of other prominent conservative GOP politicians receiving money from the CCC included Iowa US House member Steve King, Arkansas US Senator Tom Cotton, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Republican Senators and presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, the presidential candidacies of Republicans Mitt Romney, Rob Portman, Allen West and George W. Bush.
Other recipients include Arizona’s U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake; Utah’s Rep. Mia Love; Iowa’s Rep. Steve King, and former Missourian Rep. Todd Akin, Paul Ryan’s PAC, the Tea Party Express, George Allen and Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson.
This is just a short list of 50 or so Republican politicians that the white supremacist wanted to be elected. Obviously there was something in those candidate’s political views that resonated with the CCC. After Roof’s revelations about the CCC in his manifesto, some of the above politicians have lamely announced that they will “return” the money, despite the fact that the checks have been cashed and the money is no longer in their bank accounts.
The complete FEC list of Republican politicians that took CCC money is at: http://mic.com/articles/121121/ted-cruz-among-politicians-with-donations-from-white-supremacist-earl-holt
Dr Kohls writes a weekly column for the Reader Weekly, an alternative newsweekly published in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. Many of his columns are archived at http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn. Since approximately 9/11/01, Dr Kohls has been a (at first a spiritual but now an official) member of the Green Party of Minnesota.