TPP, TTIP, Bilderberg Fixers, And Human Evolution.

Posted on May 31, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“The basis of our political system  is the right of the people to make and alter their constitutions of government.”

– GEORGE WASHINGTON (1732-1799) 1st President of the United States

398-2-1If it weren’t for that doggone elephant-in-the-room Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) thing…

For men and women around the Earth opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) the verdict is unanimous: ISDS really, really sucks.

One need not have earned a degree in international relations/law, economics, or political science to understand that. First, governments (you know, elected representatives of the people) will be sued by corporations and their owners for any changes made/laws passed by those elected representatives which have become determined by corporate attorneys as having a negative effect on any particular corporation’s (owner’s) profits, potential or actual.

Imagine when the science catches up on Roundup and its dangerous consequences for the human body, then Monsanto suing a small nation signatory of either TPP or TTIP when, because the science is proven, that small nation bans the use of Roundup by passing a law with a final vote of, say, 126-3 (the only three left those who took Monsanto bribes). Now, this is just one possible scenario among an endless and seemingly infinite number of similar scenarios where a corporation and its owners would pull the ISDS trigger.

How about we attempt to nail down the real reasons for the Investor-State Dispute Settlement thing in TPP and TTIP?

There are a number of reasons, but perhaps the first and most relevant is that the world’s people are becoming extremely well-informed after turning off their televisions on a massive scale around the Earth. This is the reality which has compelled corporation owners to include the legalese-fine print of Investor-State Disputes in TPP and TTIP. Men and women know for certain that ISDS is one of the major topics in many discussions going on now at this year’s Bilderberg meeting in the Netherlands.

Looking at this in the broadest sense, humanity, at least the 99.9% who are not owners of negative-consequences corporations, has turned to the internet for truthful information – and away from television media corporations whose Boards of Directors include owners of negative-consequences firms, in what the author of “Media Monopoly” Ben Bagdikian termed “interlocking directorates.” These television news firms will not report on the negative consequences of any activities by firm(s) represented on its Board of Directors or who advertise and, because the world’s people are now completely aware of this and moving away from corporate news in droves, their credibility continues to drop like a rock.

What has occurred – and continues to increase in intensity and numbers – is what can safely be described as a world-changing phenomenon: humanity has become aware of what is really happening on the ground both for and against people’s health and well-being physically, economically, spiritually, and psychologically. Because of this world-changing truthful information revolution/evolution, people everywhere – in every nation on Earth – are demanding nothing less than complete transparency in actions which have a real effect on their lives.

As the phenomenon of greater awareness of the world’s people has progressed from its beginning, more and more actions which resulted in negative, deleterious effects for people, animals, and the environment have become identified. Once identified, men and women have joined together across national boundaries and over vast regions, and with that combined “people power” have taken action that addresses the negative results. When considering the broad implications of ISDS language in TPP and TTIP, the corporations and owners involved in negative-consequences corporate activities are the ones who pushed for the language.

Bottom line for TPP/TTIP debate(s) is the battle to successfully deal with negative-consequences business activities on Earth. Although attorneys, economists, political scientists/politicians, business CEOs, and others may offer complex and academic arguments in TPP/TTIP debates and discussions, the back and forth between pro and anti TPP/TTIP advocates boils down to simple philosophical tenets. The basic and most relevant point of ISDS language is that pro-ISDS language people want to continue their negative-consequences business activities without penalty, and anti-ISDS people want to prevent or stop business activities that negatively affect the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment.

The debate is all about choices resulting in varying levels of good and bad outcomes for humanity – now and into the future. Being a person who believes that states in America should establish their own banks following the highly successful publically-owned Bank of North Dakota model, would the private owners of banks transacting business with the State of California, if TTIP ISDS language remains in a potentially passed agreement, have the right to sue the State of California for “loss of profits” because California’s elected officials decided to create and run a public bank – a Bank of California?

If ISDS legalese is not removed from a potentially passed either TPP or TTIP trade agreement, the number of lawsuits against governments from – one can visualize – virtually every sector/market/product niche or monopoly status business group would be eligible to sue elected, representative governments who take actions small and large effecting business. Would a book-publishing company have grounds to sue a small city or country which took action to improve their citizens’ broadband access to the internet because the sale of real books would fall – resulting in “lost profits” for the publisher?

What about a signatory nation to TPP or TTIP when its government decides to significantly reduce spending on weapons, guns, bombs, military uniforms, or ammunition? Do the firms which previously supplied that nation with those items now have the right to sue for “lost profits” because the elected representatives of the nation agreed to redirect financial resources from military to, say, solar energy projects or university education for all or better agriculture sciences?

Then, would there be a tremendous increase in the number of Investor-State Dispute Settlement cases when a nation or nations belonging to TPP or TTIP make successful efforts at recovering taxes evaded by large transnational corporations and their owners stashed in one or more of the world’s more than 70 tax havens? Such successful efforts would decrease profits, right?

How would private-prison corporations react if a nation decided to nationalize their prison system after corrections experts came to conclude that private-prisons have been a failure? How would privately owned, giant health insurance companies react if a nation’s people voted for a national health care plan? Lost profits… Private drinking water companies would react how after the people’s elected government made water a God-given right for all people?

And on and on and on and on and on and on it goes…

Investor-State Dispute Settlement clauses in TPP and TTIP – if not completely removed – will surely place a straight-jacket on one magnificent human invention-idea called representative democracy and – most importantly – effectively place a roadblock in the way of humanity’s moral and ethical positive advancement, beneficial development, and evolutionary peaceful path.

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(Thank you to CEOwebtv @ YouTube)

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Who Are The World’s REAL ‘Dissidents’?

Posted January 22, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”

– Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)

A recent report from an organization named Oxfam went viral and was titled “85 wealthiest people hold the equivalent wealth of 3.5 billion”. If this is broken down we find that each of those 85 individuals has wealth equal to the combined wealth of 41, 176, 470 people. Perhaps the decades-long trend toward greater inequality has gone a tad too far, signaling an obvious, urgent need for major structural change on Earth.

The Oxfam Report coincided with the World Economic Forum 2014 in Davos, Switzerland, where 2,500 members of the top 1% of wealth-holders in the world came together to offer thoughts on how to reduce the gap between rich and poor. A French television news outfit interviewed a number of people about the Forum, with each person giving their thoughts on the Oxfam Report. One man was making the point that the wealthy attending the Forum were different from other wealthy people who hold no interest at all in reducing income/wealth inequality.

Another man thought that billionaires in developing nations had more in common with billionaires in the developed, advanced nations than with the citizens in their own nations. He thought that it is a big step from the abstract ideas surrounding inequality to understanding that it is a huge economic problem, and that higher taxation is the next logical step to eliminate conditions which are negative for societies. So, this man’s opinion is definitely that wealth inequality is a matter which must be reined in.

Another guest said he thought that there has been, in recent decades, a “third-worldization” of the planet, where nations are having to reduce levels of quality in education and health-care etc. through austerity measures, while at the same time increasing their levels of debt in ever-intensifying vicious downward cycles. He notes that, since 2007-8, 95% of newly created wealth has gone to the top 1%.

There have been negative societal consequences to rising inequality, including unemployment, mental illness, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, along with other problems which no man or woman wants to see increasing in society. As problems increased after 2007-8, financial transactions have increased 40%, including derivatives transactions – which were the major factor in the 2007-8 to present economic crisis. So, since 2008 the economy has been increasingly dominated by financial corporations making money from money from money, and in the process creating nothing of use to strengthen the real economy.

The people involved in money making money – those who add nothing to the real economy – have through recent decades gained a disproportionate influence in public spheres of government, using a number of effective tools to successfully lobby politicians to vote for their agendas. It is important to note that the top tax rate in the time of President Dwight D. Eisenhower was 95%. In contrast to the theory which says that higher public spending, taxation, and wealth redistribution leads to a higher level of civilization, recent decades have seen tax rates on the highest income brackets fall steadily, based on the discredited theory of “trickle down economics”.

Inequality increases which have as their genesis transfers of wealth from so-called developing nations in the Southern hemisphere became a “convenient” way to re-colonize countries in the form of financial debt, or “low-intensity financial conflict”. Traditional means of extracting wealth from developing nations like direct military intervention became increasingly difficult as the world’s people strongly opposed this immoral action to obtain wealth and power. In 1997 the world’s first anti-debt campaigns began, with the largest financial institutions dragging their feet advising in ways like, “perhaps after trying another 6 years of austerity, we can discuss debt write-offs” etc.

Many nations face debt which can never be repaid, and find the people in their lands having to tighten their belts to meet interest payments. After many years of wealth extraction, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and other large lenders could easily absorb debt write-offs, but will stall and drag their feet because it means a loss of economic and political leverage. Finance ministers of various nations will expect to get some very interesting phone calls upon considering debt jubilees or similar debt reductions.

Continuing to force nations to repay money on debts which they will never be able to repay has seen an increase in a number of negative consequences. Higher prices for goods and services through privatization of publicly owned and operated entities, loss of potential sales for outside companies when the treasuries of debt-strapped nations are paying large amounts to northern banks, as well as lower earnings for export item producers because many other nations are in the same debt situations – producing the same competing products to earn money for their bank payments – driving export commodity prices down for everybody.

Forty-eight of the largest fifty transnational corporations are financial – banks, hedge funds, insurance, etc. – are of the kind which represent, because of their colossal size, what is known as “systemic risk”. In the five years since the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, no new laws were implemented to prevent a recurrence. The Glass-Steagall Act had protected against the speculation that led to the Great Depression and the 2008 crisis for over 60 years until it became struck down and repealed in 1999, while no politician has called for the act’s reauthorization – an obvious necessity. No financial sector executive has gone to jail, although millions of mortgage and derivatives frauds were carried out.

Ordinary citizens are having to pay for a crisis they are not responsible for, while those at the top of the wealth pyramid know exactly what they are doing. So-called “high net worth” individuals have never in history been both so numerous and so rich. These are people who can easily hire attorneys and accountants to hide their wealth in off-shore tax havens, unconcerned about paying for the infrastructure, public works, schools, parks, teachers, and public safety personnel their fellow citizens pay for – which allows them to transact business and generate income and profits in a decent society.

Democracy is in a very dangerous situation in 2014, with transnational corporations taking power away from elected representatives of the people through a variety of means, including secretive trade agreements, corruption in the financial sector carried out with impunity, writing of laws which favor them by lobbyists, and campaign contributions (bribes) – skyrocketing sums of money spent on elections after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Major consequence, secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) effectively bypass democracy and the people of the world’s elected representatives by locking in unbreakable rules and regulations, tilted heavily in favor of transnational corporations and the world’s wealthiest investors.

One of the persons on the French news program discussing the viral Oxfam Report on inequality in the world was Susan George. She has spent decades researching political, economic, financial and other fields of study important for democracy as it relates to the world’s 99%.

In the following film Susan George joins Professor of World Politics Teivo Teivainen at a recent university lecture in Helsinki, Finland. I believe you will greatly appreciate her timely message – shaped over decades of research into the most important issues of 2014. 

Dissident is defined as “adj. 1. refusing to agree or conform. – n. 2. dissident person”

Are the 99% dissidents for refusing to agree or conform with the .1%?

Or are the .1% dissidents for refusing to agree or conform with the 99%?

Who are the world’s REAL dissidents?  

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(Thank you to SorsaFoundation @ YouTube)

Evolving A World Of Peace, Fairness, And Justice.

Posted January 12, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“Incessant change, everlasting innovation, seem to be dictated by the true interests of mankind. But government is the perpetual enemy of change.”

– William Godwin (1756-1836)

ocean55One could say that the statement “the only thing you can be sure of is change” is truth. Depending on whether one leans toward always see the glass as “half-full” or “half-empty” will determine if one finds any particular change as a good thing or not. For men and women personal experience plays a large part in coming to a viewpoint and ways of interpreting world events, including one’s personal philosophy about the life process.

Change occurs in one’s life and in the collective lives of the world’s people, where once again people look out and see the changes as half-empty or half-full. In matters of global significance the exact interpretation of events has constraints for many, as few have the opportunity to become interested and study international relations or related fields. Persons who have to an extent developed a concept which holds that humanity is one – with historic illusionary separations constructed – are naturally interested in learning more about movements on Earth which have the potential to effect all people.

One of the most significant movements of global importance in recent years has been forming of the so-called BRICS Alliance, consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. If a person were looking at the Earth from a long distance out in space and thinking about BRICS, there could be a feeling that those nations represent the “new kid on the block”. Here one sees a block of people – 40% of the world’s population – joining together to create an alliance which will change the face of the Earth in the areas of economics, finance, and security.

The BRICS nations represent 25% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with Russia and China being permanent veto-holding members of the United Nations Security Council, and South Africa on the African continent, Brazil on the South American continent. So, this is a very large deal. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989 the United States stood as the world’s lone “superpower”, and since that time the situation on Earth has been unipolar – the United States along with its allies in Europe and elsewhere have held positions of dominance in the economic and military arenas.

Starting with the worldwide communications phenomenon called the internet, where people around the Earth began to talk and become friends with men and women from virtually every nation, and simultaneously occurring wars of aggression (Iraq 2003), major financial corruption on Wall Street and financial centers around the world leading to crisis in 2008 – combined highly consequential negative events and humanity’s ability to discuss/debate intensely have led to change in the form of BRICS.

BRICS, in the largest sense, is an institution which evolved to redress the grievances of so-called developing nations, more particularly nations which have been the victims of the negative events associated with colonization. The alliance could be seen as pushback, with the member states attempting to create an institution that allows them to conduct business without dealing with nations and groups which have plundered them in the past. A very simple analogy would be one where, after you kick a dog often enough, the dog will leave, never to return.

Now, one can understand how an organizational effort like BRICS comes about. First there is the example today provided by the recent reports of the United States population experiencing the great wealth inequality since before the Great Depression. Many citizens in America have a problem with that – the most extreme measure of wealth inequality has been the often-mentioned Walton family’s wealth consisting of 40% of the total wealth of America. Many nations around the world have experience of the same wealth inequality, so it is not surprising that BRICS came into existence.

Actions taken through history having to do with nations’ getting into deep debt and coming to find themselves unable to meet repayment, from loans taken from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve etc., have been a major factor in BRICS’ creation. Unfortunately many nations have become lured into “debt-traps” through the previous decades, through the work of economic mercenaries – “hitmen” – like John Perkins, who describes his experience in his essential book “Confessions Of An Economic Hitman”.

When corporate, banking, governmental, and military power becomes used to coerce the leaders of nations to accept loans at the threat of overthrow or assassination, loans which result in so-called “austerity measures” and hardships for the nations’ people worse than they have already been experiencing, sooner or later the kicks to the dogs results in their leaving. In the plainest terms: people come to the point where getting hit on the head with economic and military hammers makes them realize that those “hammers hurt”. People don’t want anything to do with – no association ever again with – those who were hammering them.

The BRICS nations are in the process of creating a development bank rivaling the IMF and World Bank, for the simple reason that they have an awareness of how sovereign nations have been financially manipulated, with the people in those nations suffering unnecessarily. The BRICS phenomenon is really that simple to explain. Men and women come to the point where, because of historic maltreatment, they find the will, be it political, spiritual, or however you want to phrase it, to create changes which offer a more peaceful, fair, and just way of living their lives.

It is well within the realm of possibility that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an effort by those who have “enjoyed” historical economic and financial dominance to block any influence from the BRICS alliance – of nations who are considering joining BRICS. Those who have some extent of awareness of TPP perhaps haven’t considered the BRICS angle/reason and how this explains the highly secretive manner in which the trade deal has become written, proposed, and pushed forward for approval, with lawmakers basically  “out-of-the-discussion/debate” through so-called “fast-track” passage.

Combining recent large increases in revelations of previously unknown secrets, including those of now famous whistleblowers and those learned by any man or woman who has access to the internet, and the increases in actions of worldwide social movements created through awareness of the previously unknown economic, financial, and military measures resulting in harm and suffering of average people, has led to a world that is surely changing in fundamental ways.

The best suggestion for the people of the United States, Europe, and their other allied developed nations would be to see the BRICS nations from the viewpoint of “half-full”.

And – depending on the amount of good intentions and will by humanity to create a peaceful, fair, and just world – maybe it is entirely possible to fill the glass to the brim.

Gandhi wrote a book “All Men Are Brothers”. Gandhi spoke truth. The following video is of a talk from India television, of two retired Indian military men, and one retired Indian diplomat. It is a good thing to increase understanding of what our brothers and sisters around the world are thinking and saying. Increased understanding among the world’s people leads to better communication and coöperation.

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(Thanks to Rajya Sahba TV @ YouTube)

Trans-Pacific Partnership Equals ‘Forked-Tongue’.

Posted January 6, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

whitekeys4-1Of the hundreds of treaties signed centuries ago between the Native Americans and the recently arrived white man, virtually every one was broken by the white man. As one who looks upon all men as brothers and all women as sisters, stating that fact has nothing to do with choosing one “side” or the other. There is in my view only one side, and that is humanity.

Many are familiar with the term “forked-tongue”, which is simply another way to describe someone who says one thing and means the opposite – may as well just get to the point: a liar. Whereas centuries ago treaties signed had language which one party knew would not be honored, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)contains specific language which the corporate lawyers who wrote it fully expect to “honor”.

Let’s get real and ask how the top-secret manner in which this extremely consequential treaty has come about reflects anything remotely related to a virtue called honor. If the treaty language reflects honorable traits, if it will after signing result in an improvement in the lives of all the people whose nations enter, then how does this square up with blockage of those who will vote up or down on it to even read it?

Comparing the treaties from hundreds of years ago to the TPP, there is no real difference but for the different steps to getting it signed. The intent is absolutely the same: bringing about an increase in wealth and power for the few at the expense of the many. There now seems to be a lot of pushback and anger over the ways used to get this massive agreement pushed through and approved. The men and women in nations who are potential participants in the TPP have come to a point where actions which allow a handful of people to take advantage of the majority are simply no longer acceptable.

In the case of the TPP the people who belong to the “forked-tongue” tribe have been called out before the treaty arrived for a vote, in contrast to centuries ago when Native Americans discovered the white man lied every time. It is unbelievable that the human race has not evolved in the hundreds of years since raw, raw deals were made and signed. It is not insignificant that those centuries-old treaties came to be agreed upon over the Peace Pipe – an action which Native Americans hold as solemn, sacred, and eternal.

The methods in which the TPP has become initiated, written, kept secret, and pushed forward unfortunately does not hold the spirit of solemnity, sacredness, or worthy of everlasting agreement in any way, shape, or manner. Such a massive agreement, which affects the lives of many millions of human beings, simply cannot be proposed, developed, and advocated in such an underhanded way. To put it bluntly, actions of those who produced the TPP are dishonorable and shameful.

The idea of pushing this agreement through on something called a “fast-track” further identifies the pact as something that is very concerning and worrisome, perhaps instead of fast-track the proper way to look at this can be summed up as powerful corporations’ wanting to pull a “fast ONE”.

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From earlier posts men and women are aware that I am a big fan of journalist/documentary filmmaker Bill Still. To put it this way, Mr. Still is an honest, thoughtful writer and producer, and many people are like me in that we find him truthful – a real straight-shooter. In the following 7-minute video he distills the pieces of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to its essentials, and particularly how the deal potentially affects the average citizen.

In essence he succinctly points out what passage of the TPP will mean for the majority of people in the nations who are possible signatories. The unfortunate bottom line, if TPP becomes passed and law, is that there will be a very significant, additional concentration of corporate power to the detriment of average men, women, and children. The most despicable aspect of TPP is the further erosion of any real freedom, democracy, and sovereignty that citizens of the world still cling to.

Bill Still, along with more and more people every day, are right to say that the Trans-Pacific Partnership must be stopped. And that is no “forked-tongue”.

(Thanks to Bill Still @ YouTube)