Our True enemy To A Thriving Democracy Revealed . . .

Trans-Pacific Partnership: A New Wave of Colonialism

willfully blindPotential impacts of the giant trade treaty, under negotiation in Maui, are wide-ranging; rattling off a list sounds alarmist. Maybe it’s past time to sound the alarm.

JULY 24, 2015·By ANDREA BROWER
 

Negotiators of the Trans-Pacific Partnership began meeting on Maui today, where they are hoping to conclude a deal next week. The massive twelve-country treaty has been in the works for six years, secretive to the public but advised by 500 corporations.

Making no attempt to feign democracy, citizens have had to rely on leaked draft texts to get just a partial glimpse of what is in the extensive agreement. Once the negotiators have come to a deal, democratic deliberation will be further subverted by “fast-tracking” the TPP, putting it to Congress for a yes/no vote with no amendments and limited debate. Depending on what happens in Hawaii this week, a Congressional vote could happen as soon as Nov. 1.

The TPP is one of three major international treaties — also including the TTIP Atlantic-version and TISA services agreement — currently under negotiation. These treaties aim to lock-in policies that make it easier for the most dominant corporations and banks to rake in profits, and harder for people and democratic governments to decide their own fate. It amounts to more regulation and bureaucracy facilitating the profits and property rights of the mega-rich, and less protections for workers, indigenous rights, farmers, health, the environment, and smaller businesses.

Via Wikimedia Commons

TPP-Leaders

President Obama and other leaders of Trans Pacific Partnership agreement nations at a 2010 meeting.

Like NAFTA and other (misleadingly described) “free-trade agreements,” the TPP would pit workers of different countries against one another and drive down wages and living standards. Richard Trumka, President of AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States, recently told the Guardian that never before have unions been so unified in opposing something. Describing general effects on U.S. jobs and the economy, Trumka said:

“It doesn’t affect just people in manufacturing…It affects everybody, including people in services. When high wages are driven down in manufacturing and elsewhere, it affects everyone in the community. When a manufacturing plant moves out — and we’ve lost tens of thousands of them since 2000 — it affects everybody. It hurts the wage base and tax base.”

Leaked texts from the TPP indicate that not only does it extend the NAFTA-like regime, but it goes well beyond it. Investor rights provisions in the TPP empower corporations to bypass domestic courts and sue governments in international tribunals for imagined losses of “expected profits” — for example, over gold still in the ground. Currently these “investor-state” systems are being used by corporations to sue over denial of mining permits, pollution cleanup requirements, minimum wage law, climate regulations,cigarette health labels, and a long list of other public interest policies. Hundreds of cases have been launched in the past several years, and an entire industry has popped up around contriving potential lawsuits. With investors entitled to demand unlimited sumsof taxpayer money, it is a lucrative new frontier for stealing wealth from the 99.9 percent (and especially the world’s poorest).

For Hawaii, aspects of the TPP might be likened to an international level PLDC—on steroids. Corporate profit protections would be privileged over Hawaii’s unique protections for conservation lands and publicly managed resources. Development companies would acquire strengthened legal rights to maximize their private investments using public resources. These legal rights can create a “chilling effect,” whereby governments hesitate to pass regulations that might interrupt or irritate private investors.

All of this is of particular concern in regards to ongoing violations of Kānaka rights to manage and access resources and sacred places, and potentially of concern to unresolved seized Crown and Government land issues. Indigenous communities globally are calling the TPP / TTIP a new wave of colonization—treaties being made without their participation or consent, but with extensive impacts on their lands and the appropriation and privatization of their cultures and knowledges. It should not be ignored that TPP negotiations are being “hosted” by the U.S. in Hawaii, amidst de-colonial and de-occupation struggles.

Potential impacts of the TPP are wide-ranging, and rattling down a list risks sounding alarmist. But perhaps it is far past time to sound the alarm. Just a few of many additional points of concern include: widening inequality, rising cost of medicine, the undermining of local food production and security, exploitation of Oceania resources, the lowering of pesticide regulations, and suspended action on climate change. While seemingly disparate, these things are tied together by an underlying agenda to extend the profits, powers, privatization rights, markets and speculative capacities of the world’s largest corporations and banks, while shredding what remains of the social safety net and public protections.

TPP has an underlying agenda to extend the profits, powers, privatization rights, markets and speculative capacities of the world’s largest corporations and banks, while shredding what remains of the social safety net and public protections.

These aren’t just matters of “corporate greed” (though that is part)—they are the drives of a system that is structured by compulsive commodification and profit maximization. In recent decades, neoliberal ideology has imposed extremes of this capitalist logic. While it comes cloaked in rhetoric of freedom, in truth all that comes “free” are the profits of those with the power to enclose the commons, speculate on non-existent abstractions (wreaking hunger and homelessness), and sue citizens for attempting to govern their own lives.

The decades-long corporate power grab and assault on people, democracy and earth also has a counter—the global movement of movements that is rising to make a fairer, more ecologically sane, and more cooperative and compassionate global future. What brings us together is our love for the planet, our respect for and responsibility to one another, and our belief that a better world is possible. While today many of us focus on stopping the TPP, these efforts are about the equality, democracy, human solidarity, justice, and true freedom that we seek to build.

Organizers and movements on Maui, in solidarity with people around the world, have called for a “convergence by land and sea to stop the TPP” on July 29 in Lahaina, where negotiations are taking place. Organizer Trinette Furtado says that all are invited that afternoon to a collective blowing of the conch shell: “The conch shell (or pū, in ‘ōlelo Hawai’i) was included because it calls for a cessation of time; of people. Because it demands attention and asks all to bear witness. We are sounding a call to attention; a call to stand and join together.”

For those that choose to visit the TPP negotiations, please be very respectful of place, take out everything you bring in, and use busses and parking shuttles if possible. Kamaʻaina of Lahaina did not invite the TPP negotiations, nor should they have to deal with any kind of pilikia or ʻōpala left behind.

In line with the Hawaiian wisdom “I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope” (the future is in the past), it is worth recalling that July 31 also marks Lā Hoʻihoʻi Ea, which was celebrated as Hawaiian national independence during much of the 19th century. On this “Restoration day” in 1843, after the islands were temporarily claimed by a rogue British captain, Hawaiian emissaries secured sovereignty and Kamehameha III famously proclaimed, “ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono”—“the sovereignty of the land continues through justice and proper acts” (translation by Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘opua in A Nation Rising).

Grounded in knowledge of histories past, we might ask what history is being made today, and how we will participate in shaping the future.

Andrea Brower

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The Projects

laundryThe Mellet Homes housing project was built smack dab in the middle of Ozzie and Harriet’s middle class America purposefully to house the influx of workers needed to man the local steel mills gone full bore into the war effort. Each building, containing six small apartments, was closely knit to others onto a thirty five acre tract of land.

It was a noisy place full of clotheslines, screaming kids, crying babies, and cars. We even had our own school for awhile because they wanted to keep us riff-raff segregated from Harriet’s little darlings.

I can only imagine how happy she was to see a slum arising in the midst of her beloved neighborhood, but what the hell, the war was on and everybody had to sacrifice for the cause. Ozzie went off to kill Germans while Harriet stayed home and tended her victory garden. And when the vegetables were ripe, project kids stole and ate them.

The project was a great place to grow up. We played Cowboys and Indians with enough kids to field two armies. We played War and Kick the Can well into the night without the thought of perverts or gunslingers. We played football, baseball, basketball. We fought bare knuckled when we were mad, boxed with the gloves on when we weren’t. We wrestled in the mud in the rain. We played doctor with the girls in the woods by day and used their cover by night as a staging area for our vandal raids onto Ozzie and Harriet’s turf. We lived under a pecking order where everybody knew their place. If we messed with the older kids we got beat up. All the adults looked out for us and didn’t mind giving us a slap when we deserved it either.

There were no knives, guns, drugs or any of that stuff. The men would occasionally get drunk and get into fist fights, but no one ever got killed. The women would get into shouting matches sometimes, but all that noise just added a minor chord to the living melody and made the tune all the more interesting.

Nobody got much for Christmas in the projects, (I remember Tommy Yoho getting only a pair of socks one year and how we laughed and teased him) so we would get up Christmas morning, see what we got and go around to all our friends places to barter and exchange until we ended up with something we wanted. ( I’m sure Tommy always kept his socks) Man, we had it all and were living the dream. We were happy because nobody ever told us how poor we were.

The projects was always a beehive of activity. I remember when the ice man would deliver large blocks of ice by hand to feed our refrigerator. I remember the rag man with his cart walking down the street yelling, “Rag man!…….Rag man!” and people would come to buy a clean one or drop their dirty rags in his cart. I remember when the milk man would come and deliver milk. Us kids would steal orange drink out of the ice bin in the back of his truck while he was gone. We’d ride our bikes alongside a pop truck on route 30 and help ourselves to a Coke when ever he stopped at the red light. The driver would yell and threaten, but he could never catch us and we knew it.

Nobody had a TV in those days so we used to listen to movies on the radio. Amos and Andy was my favorite, and who could forget The Shadow. When TV came out there was only one family in the whole projects who could afford one. Us kids would gather quietly around their living room window after dark and peek in while old man Bear and his wife sat on the couch on the inside watching our favorite show ‘Lights Out’. Wonder if they knew we were there? Can you imagine that happening today? We would have set off an alarm the minute we bent a blade of his fake grass in today’s world.

I think I was about nine when mom finally bought me a TV. I still remember coming home that evening from the YMCA (where I practically lived) and seeing Sgt. Preston of the Royal Canadian Police playing in my living room . . . WOW one of the happiest days in my life to that point.

In the projects the walls were so thin that if the guy next door sneezed you could hear it.We had these medicine cabinets in the bathroom with a slot in them where you dropped razor blades after they were used up. Well, if you looked into the slot and the person in the other apartment had their cabinet door open you could see into their bathroom. Robyn, my girlfriend, would accidentally on purpose leave her door open when she took a bath. I would turn out the light on my side and open the door to watch her. Really exciting voyeurism for a guy my age. Ha! I still remember that stuff . . . Robyn I will always love you, wherever you are!

I moved from the projects one cold, windy day in the winter of 1957 with tears streaming down my cheeks. I was forced to leave Berry Davis, the love of my life, and my many friends. I was a very unhappy camper when my mom got remarried and forced me to move. The one place where I could feel at home in those days was in the projects among my friends.

The projects were in existence until 1965 or so when they were torn down to make room for a shopping center and a parking lot. The new Wal-Mart now sits directly on top of the spot where I once lived, kinda poetic justice I suppose since I had practically made a career out of stealing from those kind of stores. (much smaller versions of course) In the end we all lose. I lost big time the day my mom made me leave the projects.

brics(BRICS = Russia-India-Brazil-China-South Africa for now)

If this movement gathers speed the dollar will ultimately be replaced on the world market and we instantly lose advantage in the financial markets.

My goal is not to frighten anybody, but to urge you to take consensus of your situation and prepare for the collapse of the dollar. It may well happen in the near future . . . prepare and don’t get caught with your pants down.

Putin Leads BRICS Uprising

There’s been a virtual blackout of news from this year’s seventh annual BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia.  None of the mainstream media organizations are covering the meetings or making any attempt to explain what’s going on.  As a result, the American people remain largely in the dark about a powerful coalition of nations that are putting in place an alternate system that will greatly reduce US influence in the world and end the current era of superpower rule.

Let’s cut to the chase: Leaders of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) realize that global security cannot be entrusted to a country that sees war as a acceptable means for achieving its geopolitical objectives.  They also realize that they won’t be able to achieve financial stability as long as Washington dictates the rules, issues the de facto “international” currency, and controls the main levers of global financial power. This is why the BRICS have decided to chart a different course, to gradually break free from the existing Bretton Woods system, and to create parallel system that better serves their own interests. Logically, they have focused on the foundation blocks which support the current US-led system, that is, the institutions from which the United States derives its extraordinary power; the dollar, the US Treasury market, and the IMF. Replace these, the thinking goes, and the indispensable nation becomes just another country struggling to get by.  This is from the Asia Times:

“Leaders of the BRICS… launched the  New Development Bank, which has taken three years of negotiations to bring to fruition. With about $50 billion in starting capital, the bank is expected to start issuing debt to fund infrastructure projects next year. They also launched a foreign-exchange currency fund of $100 billion.

The two new endeavors are statements that the five largest emerging markets are both looking out for each other and, simultaneously, moving away from the western financing institutions of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

“The BRICS states intend to actively use their own resources and internal resources for development,” Putin said, according to Reuters. “The New (Development) Bank will help finance joint, large-scale projects in transport and energy infrastructure, industrial development.”…..Birthing the two initiatives in Russia had been Putin’s top priorities.”

(“Russia’s Putin scores points at Ufa BRICS summit“, Asia Times)

Can you see what’s going on? Putin has figured out the empire’s vulnerabilities and he’s going straight for the jugular.  He’s saying: ‘We’re going to issue our own debt, we’re going to run our own system, we’re going to fund our own projects, and we’re going to do it all in our own currency. Kaboom. The only thing you’re going to be doing, is managing your own accelerating economic decline. Have a good day.’ Isn’t that the gist of what he’s saying?

So can you see, dear reader, why none of this is appearing on the pages of US newspapers or on US television.   Washington would rather you didn’t know how they’ve bungled everything by alienating the fastest growing countries in the world.

The Ufa conference is a watershed moment. While the Pentagon is rapidly moving troops and military hardware to Russia’s borders, and one bigwig after another is bloviating about the “Russian threat”; the BRICS have moved out of Washington’s orbit altogether.  They are following the leadership of men who, frankly speaking, are acting exactly like US leaders acted when the US was on the upswing. These are guys who “think big”; who want to connect continents with high-speed rail, lift living standards across the board, and transform themselves into manufacturing dynamos. What do America’s leaders dream about: Drone warfare? Balancing the budget? Banning the Confederate flag?

It’s a joke. No one in Washington has a plan for the future. It’s all just political opportunism and posturing.  Check this out from The Hindu:

“China and Russia have described BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) as the core of a new international order…

Russian President Vladimir Putin said… “There is no doubt — we have all necessary premises to expand the horizons of mutually beneficial cooperation, to join together our raw material resources, human capital and huge consumer markets for a powerful economic spurt.”

Russia’s Tass news agency also quoted Mr. Putin as saying that the Eurasian continent had vast transit potential. He pointed to “the construction of new efficient transport and logistics chains, in particular, the implementation of the initiative of the Silk Road economic belt and the development of transportation in the eastern part of Russia and Siberia. This may link the rapidly growing markets in Asia and Europe’s economies, mature, rich in industrial and technological achievements. At the same time, this will allow our countries to become more commercially viable in the competition for investors, for creating new jobs, for advanced enterprises,” he observed.”….

The summit also acknowledged “the potential for expanding the use of our national currencies in transactions between the BRICS countries.”   (“BRICS, SCO, EAEU can define new world order: China, Russia“, The Hindu)

The dollar is toast. The IMF is toast. The US debt market (US Treasuries) is toast.  The institutions that support US power are crumbling before our very eyes. The BRICS have had enough; enough war, enough Wall Street, enough meddling and hypocrisy and austerity and lecturing. This is farewell. Sure, it will take time, but Ufa marks a fundamental change in thinking, a fundamental change in approach, and a fundamental change in strategic orientation.

The BRICS are not coming back,  they’re gone for good, just as Washington’s “pivot to Asia” is gone for good. There’s just too much resistance. Washington has simply overplayed its hand, worn out its welcome. People are sick of us.

Can you blame them?

Nobody Seems To Notice . . . Nobody Seems To Care

magic eye

You can enlarge this by clicking on the picture

The illustration at the beginning of this essay is an art image called “Magic Eye”. Inside all those lines and colors there is seated a picture of a familiar, well known object . . . can you see and recognize it?

Well I’m guessing you can’t. I believe it is impossible to stare AT the painting and see anything more than the obvious wiggling lines and colors. My bet is, unless you are aware of how to manipulate your vision and decipher the painting, that is all you can see.

There is a trick and the main part of the trick is not to stare AT the picture at all, but stare THROUGH it as if you were looking behind the image in front of you. If you do that it soon pops into 3D view and you can’t believe you couldn’t see it all in the first place. You were tricked.

Now I used that as an example to show you what you see every night when you watch the evening news . . . media inspired trickery. The real story, or the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say, is rarely shown or talked about. Instead we are fed the same pablum over and over again. It’s so obvious once you learn to read behind the lines that it is laughable.

In todays news escaped prisoners and gay marriage is all anyone is talking about . . . and of course the usual terrorist warning, now it’s the lone wolf that’s gonna get us. Ever read the kid story about the boy who cried wolf so much that when the wolf finally did show up no one even listened to him?

This stuff is important I suppose and I’m glad the gays can marry, but come on, this is all second and third tier stuff in my opinion. I want to hear the truth about Fukushima . . . about war mongering in Ukraine . . . about the demonstrations against the Central Banks in Germany. I want to know many, many things that the US media is not talking about and all I see is, what? Chocolate covered bullshit.

Man, you’d think they were trying pull one over on us and trick us into believing all is well in America, when if you look behind the scenes you will see that global warming is upon us . . . US and Russia are almost at war . . . Fukushima is still constantly dumping tons of radioactive stuff into the Pacific every day, and that stuff is killing the ocean and making a beachhead on our western shore. . . birds/plants/fish/corral/large carnivores are all disappearing . . . as well as glaciers and ice shelves across the globe. West Virginia is being leveled by fossil fuel corporations that could care less. Fracking is gone viral across the land, and what about our water supply??

Nobody seems to notice . . . nobody seems to care, and the beat goes on . . . all the way to extinction.

PS . . . The answer to the image is that in the center the ying yang symbol will appear in 3d . . . 

Beware the Tick!

1377713519001-062711deer-tick(((Sharing a Post I found))) Use a lint roller right after being in the woods or on a brush walk.. for humans & pets: This could be the most important thing that you see me post! Ticks are an epidemic this year, and these things are as lethal as a venomous snake in the wrong scenario! Please not only read it, but share it! Make sure we get the word out about these tics and the disease they carry!

It’s summer! Time for camping, hiking and getting outside to play. Don’t let those pesky annoying ticks stop you. Here’s how with a simple homemade solution!

Repellent for your pets:

For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent).

To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, any of which will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent. Spray onto the pet’s dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day.

For you and your family:

In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks.

After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay, and examine your skin and hair when back inside to make sure no ticks are on the body.

If you have ever shared anything, please click share on this! WE must get the word spread about the dangers of Ticks and how to avoid them!

How Will We Live Without Electricity

Nikola_TeslaThis question was asked on a forum I frequent occassionally . . . this was the answer: “we would be living like people in the middle ages within a year.” – lol

My reply(and one I truly believe MUST be done)

I would argue that if were we to lose the means to generate electricity, which would basically be equivalent to starting over, we would still have the mental resources to forward us onto a different model using different means to live and survive on this planet.

The benefit to the planet would be enormous also as:

1. There would be a huge die off of the human species as the God force (we pretend to understand but don’t) brings us back into balance with the rest of the natural world.

2. Those who overcome and remain will be forced to give way to the industrial/technological/scientific rush-to-total-extinction path we are now on as we will be far more concerned about mere survival.

4. I see humanity finally being forced back onto the track for which it was created in the first place. . . the one we deserted in the metaphor of the Garden of Eden. We were lured away by the lust for knowledge before we evolved wise enough to utilize her in a productive way.

5. Finally, rather than going back to the middle ages,  I see a wizened up mankind adopting stuff like the Tesla theory of free electricity and forgetting the corporate (for profit) model all together, as well as all this other nationalistic (us vs. them) nonsense we live by . . .

I see one world . . . without church . . . without government . . . reigned in by a spiritual force we finally understand. . . .

OH they may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one . . . Imagine.

What our forefathers dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream. . . . T.K. Whipple

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