Archive for the Security and Prosperity Partnership Category

NAFTA, “Free Trade” and the TPP: Fast-Track To Full Corporate Rule

Posted in activism, analysis, Canada, capitalism, Chomsky, civil liberties, class, collapse, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democracy, democratic deficit, disaster, ecological crisis, ecology, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, FTAA, geopolitics, globalism, globalization, imperialism, jobs, labour, Mexico, money, Mussolini, must-read, NAFTA, nation state, national democracies, NAU, peace, people's movements, police state, policy, political economy, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, sociology, sovereignty, SPP, sustainability, tipping point, trade, truth, U.S., war on democracy, WEF, World Economic Forum, WTO with tags , , , , on November 6, 2013 by jtoddring

The TPP In A Nutshell: Growing corporate power and the death of freedom

The FTA, NAFTA, the WTO, the WEF, the SPP, and now, the TPP – it is all a further drive for increasing global corporate power, and we should be very concerned. This should not need to be spelled out. The situation is becoming critical. Here is some background and context.

“Twenty years ago, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed into law. At the time, advocates painted a rosy picture of booming U.S. exports creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and economic development in Mexico, which would bring the struggling country in line with its wealthier northern neighbors. Two decades later, those promises have failed to materialize. U.S. trade deficits with both Canada and Mexico have surged, crippling domestic industries, prompting massive job displacement and the replacement of living wage union jobs with jobs in sectors with low pay, minimal benefits and no job security.”

– Expose the TPP

 

What have been called “free trade” agreements are more accurately called corporate rights agreements, as Chomsky and others have said. And these agreements have helped to de-industrialize the US and Canada while shifting production to Mexico and other cheap labour offshore locations, such as India and China, wiping out the bulk of the middle class at home in the process, while leaving the great majority around the world in poverty as well, and generally benefiting only a small elite. Continuing in this course would clearly be disastrous for the vast majority of the people world-wide.

NAFTA, CAFTA, the FTAA, the WTO, the WEF, the SPP, the ECB and the Fed, and now, the TPP – all of these are treaties and organizational structures which represent the enthronement of the global corporate elite as the de facto rulers of the world, as the London Financial Times itself has said. They represent, in essence, a set of treaties between big business and governments, in which governments yield and cede their power to the trans-national corporate elite who already dominate the global economy, the major media and the political process and governments of most nations in the world today.

What this represents is the merger of business and the state, which as Mussolini himself said, is the very definition of fascism. What we are seeing is the destruction of both democracy and freedom, as well as human rights, constitutional law and civil liberties, under a global corporatist rule of increasingly stark neo-feudalism.

And if that were not already bad enough, we should also recognize that the people do not even benefit economically. Such moves benefit the few at the top, while the middle class is eliminated, the sea of poverty grows as the great majority of the people are driven into a growing underclass, inequality skyrockets, and a police state is constructed to keep the increasingly discontent masses silent and obedient, suppressed, subjugated, and neutralized – meaning effectively, neutered.

This is not even mentioning the utterly disastrous effects that our new global empire of corporate feudalism is having on the environment and the prospects for any kind of future for human life on earth.

Say no to the TPP and corporate rule, or say hello to a new and hellish form of Babylon, and an accelerating race towards a collective suicide.

J. Todd Ring,
November 6, 2013

Built to crash: the coming economic tsunami

Posted in activism, alternative, alternatives, analysis, books, capitalism, Chomsky, class, climate change, collapse, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crash, deep integration, disaster, drought, ecological crisis, ecology, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, environment, Eric Fromm, fascism, fascist, Feudalism, geopolitics, global warming, globalism, globalization, must-read, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, police state, political economy, political philosophy, politics, politics of oil, post-carbon, reading, resources, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, sociology, SPP, sustainability, trade on June 7, 2011 by jtoddring

`Would you rather have a perfectly efficient system that, if hit by a pebble, would shatter? Or, would you rather have an adaptable system that may not give you the exact output you want, but can handle anything?  According to Barry Lynn of the New America Foundation, our economy and our entire domestic food supply are being set up to be shattered.`

Lynn`s work is truly a must-read…. Monopoly capitalism is a system built to crash. Wonderful to hear a lucid mind cut through the crap, even if the news is troubling. Build local economic self-reliance now if you are wise – the monopolists won`t let up until we have a collapse: and the comibination of a self-created and escalating ecological crisis with this extremely fragile monopolistic global economic system, pretty much guarantees a collapse is coming.

China Controls Our Food Supply: Barry Lynn on Radio Free Dylan | Dylan Ratigan

JTR,

June 7, 2011

See also:

A Brief History of Progress, Collapse, The Party`s Over, Power Down, Life After Debt, The Yes Men, The Corporation, Shock Doctrine, A Game As Old As Empire, Year 501, Necessary Illusions, The Ecology of Freedom, Escape from Freedom, Power to the People (in suits), The End of America, The Great Turning, relocalization, permaculture, organics, slow food, food revolution, Real News, InfoWars, Centre for Research on Globalization, Prajnaseek on Youtube and Twitter

Organic Agriculture’s Resilience Shows Untapped Potential

Growing a Better Future: Food justice in a resource-constrained world :: Oxfam GB

The System’s bust :: Oxfam GB

Fears of a corporate police state – David Sirota – Salon.com

Is American law enforcement colluding with Cisco? – David Sirota – Salon.com

Power to the People (In Suits) How a whole new kind of business lobby is a threat to democracy by Paul Bigioni

The Greatest Canadians Ever, Eh!

Posted in Canada, Canadian, Canadian politics, civil liberties, common ground, consciousness, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democracy, democratic deficit, empowerment, freedom, geopolitics, globalization, human rights, humor, humour, nation state, national democracies, nationalism, NAU, North American Union, political economy, political philosophy, political satire, political theory, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, social theory, SPP, Uncategorized, war on democracy on July 1, 2009 by jtoddring

Reflections on Canadian Nationalism

While I am not a fan of nationalism in the narrow sense of “us versus them” thinking, there is definitely something constructive and life-affirming about having a certain pride or basic dignity when it comes to one’s cultural heritage. If we can take pride in our own cultural heritage, while respecting the cultural heritage of others, then this seems to be something very positive, very helpful, and very empowering – mutually empowering in fact. Our errors and present challenges should be honestly acknowledged, and so too our strengths, talents, and true shining moments. Dignity, confidence and mutual respect are helpful attitudes to be cultivated and cherished. There are also other, equally important considerations on this day, Canada Day, and democracy is one of them.

Freedom requires self-determination, and self-determination requires some form of authentic participatory democracy, at the very least. If we value freedom or self-determination, as we should, then we should value democracy, and seek to preserve it at the least, if not to preserve it in order to evolve it further. Celebration, dignity, confidence and mutual respect are in order: so too is vigilance and awareness. We should dance, and we should also increase our awareness daily, and not only on this day.

More important perhaps than cultural pride within a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect, is this consideration: despite its faults, the nation-state is the primary vehicle of democracy at this time, and therefore, we would be very unwise to attack, undermine or dismantle it, at least until we have something with which to replace it: and that something had better be at least as democratic, if not more so, than the nation-state, or we will be selling ourselves into slavery. What has been happening for some four decades is that the nation-state has been under attack, and it has been under attack for one primary reason, which is to destroy national democracies. We should have no illusions about this. The trend is real, and the trend is not accidental. It is highly conscious, and it is highly deliberate.

Who would wish for such a thing? Who has the greatest vested interest in destroying national democracies? The answer should be clear: the trans-national corporate elite wish to destroy democracy, which means they must destroy the nation-state, which is still the principle forum and bastion of democracy, so that they can do as they wish without having to worry about anyone getting in their way, without that nuisance of the democratic process, and so that they can effectively rule the earth, as the business press has itself said, as the “de facto world government.”

The trend toward the dissolution of the nation-state and national democracies began in earnest in the early 1970’s, with the unilateral cancellation of the Gold Standard by the US, the beginnings of the digital revolution in information and communications technologies, and the unparalleled global hegemony of the by then trans-national corporate elite. The trend can be called by many names: globalization, neoliberalism, neoconservatism, corporatism, globalism, corporatocracy, oligarchy, plutocracy, corporate neo-feudalism, corporate fascism, or most plainly, global corporate rule. Whatever we wish to call it, it is happening, has been happening for some four decades, is deliberate and highly conscious, and it amounts to the destruction of both freedom and democracy.

It would be wise for us to realize what is going on, that democracy is under attack, and that whatever more idealistic dreams we may hold, the nation-state still remains the principle vehicle or vessel of democracy at this time. Before we allow the nation-state to be dissolved, therefore, we should at least have something better in its place, or waiting in the wings, and this is not a world government of megalomanical elites and financial barons.

Democracy is, of course, power of the people, power to the people, and rule by the people. Democracy therefore becomes meaningless when the government is too far removed from the people; for when the government is far above and removed from the people, what we get is elite rule, or oligarchy, which in essence is a return to feudalism and the caste systems of the past, and not democracy in any meaningful sense of the word.

If democracy and therefore self-determination and freedom are to be presevered, then the minimum that must be done is to prevent the further concentration of powers at the trans-national or global level. This means that while we may further democratize the nation-state, we must not let this minimum of democracy as represented by national democracies be destroyed by allowing it to be castrated or effectively folded into unaccountable continental or global powers.

Democracy requires that power be closely connected to the people, as well as representative of the people. This means that power cannot be too centralized without democracy being destroyed. If we dissolve the nation state, or allow it to be dissolved, and do so without having or creating another forum of government that is closer to the people and the grassroots, then what we shall have is the evisceration of democracy, and the rule by an international elite.

What we will have is a kind of global corporate neo-feudalism unless we stand up to the assault on democracy; and we must begin by re-establishing the value and the functioning integrity of national democracies. Missing this point is living in a dream world.

It is important that we realize the value of national democracies now, and realize that where we are heading is not toward some kind of rosey world order, but toward a kind of Orwellian neo-feudal corporatism, in which democracy is no more, and freedom, human rights and dignity are destroyed, all under the guise of inevitability or the common good, to be sure. We must re-establish the integrity and independence of national democracies now. This is critical, and it is urgent. And of course, we should start at home.

So long as we avoid the “us versus them” thinking that often plagues nationalism, and realize that we are in fact interdependent, a certain pride or dignity is a very good thing. So too, are democracy and freedom worth preserving. For these reasons, we should generate confidence and a spirit of independence. In that spirit, let us celebrate the diverse cultural heritage that makes up this land we call Canada, and celebrtate the land as well, which is our home.

*

Before celebrating the rich heritage, and the present lands and cultures which make up this place we call Canada, a note on the ideology of greatness may be in order as well. Greatness has nothing to do with fame, power or wealth. Hitler was famous, powerful and commanded great economic resources, but he was not a great man – he was, of course, a madman. Wealth, power and fame cannot measure greatness, nor even virtue or talent. Many of the greatest of Canadians or individuals from any country have been and will remain unknown to all but a few friends, family and community members. This does not reduce their status. We tend to worship those who have fame, as if being known meant something in itself. Paris Hilton is famous, but is she any greater than anyone you would meet on the street? It is unlikely. King Midas was wealthy in the extreme, but that did not give him character, virtue, wisdom or even happiness, let alone greatness. Stalin had great power, but he was a paranoid egomaniac, and a mass murderer. Let us cease to worship fame, wealth and power, and instead, respect that which is worthy of respect, which is talent, character, and above all, the qualities of the heart. And from a deeper persepctive, we can say this: if you want greatness, look in the mirror: realize your true nature. This is the secret of all the world, the perennial wisdom that all the sages have discovered.

If we can find our own dignity and empowerment by recognizing the good qualities and the true successes or victories of others, then let us do that; but let us always remember that the greatness we see in others merely reflects that which we have yet to uncover in ourselves. Just as the errors or stumbling of others reflects our own potential to err and to stumble, the true successes, virtues and victories of others reflect the potential within us to realize our own greatness. Dignity, mutual respect, and mutual empowerment are worth pursuing, and are also worthy of celebration. This Canada Day, let us celebrate with a new awareness, and sow the seeds for a beautiful future for all. In fact, let this be our celebration daily, and everywhere, no matter where we live or where what country we call home.

*

On a lighter note, as the title indicates, I would nominate Bob and Doug MacKenzie as the greatest Canadians ever. Bring on the beer and back-bacon eh! A sense of humour is one of our finest assets here in the great white North. Bring it on. I recommend the film Strange Brew for all new and old, young and young-at-heart Canadians. A mixture of Hamlet, Star Wars, 1984, and hockey – with beer, naturally – it is a very funny movie, and very perceptive to boot: the Canadian version of Doctor Strangelove. Along with this low-brow/high-brow humour, the film Canadian Bacon, with Canadian funny man par excellence John Candy, would be a perfect combination.

What else do we have to be proud of here in this land called Canada today? The list is as long. Recently Canadians voted Tommy Douglas as the greatest Canadian in our – relatively short and still unfolding – history. I for one, would not disagree. Look him up, if you are not familiar with this truly great man. One other brave heart from this land I would like to mention only: Louis Joseph Papineau – a democrat before his time. There are of course many, many others worthy of great honour, both past and present, and there will be more in the future. As to a further list of names and accomplishments in the on-going history of this country, I will leave that to others.

The lands and the peoples of Canada deserve to be celebrated. And the famous are not the only ones we should remember, take note of, or respect. Mutual respect will help us all. After all, it is only enlightened self-interest, as well as a matter of virtue and basic kindness. Let us celebrate the good in all peoples, everywhere. Today, the focus happens to be on Canada, and that is not a bad thing at all, and very well deserved.

There is no country. Any country is a name only. A country is a mental concept, lines drawn on a map. What is real is the people and the land. Real also is our democracy – or so it is if we preserve it. Let us celebrate the land, the peoples, and the freedom and democracy of Canada. Imperfect as these may be, they are precious, and worthy of both respect and preservation.

JTR,
Canada Day,
2009

Global Geopolitics: 2008 Update

Posted in 2008, 9/11, American politics, analysis, Brzezinski, Canada, Canadian politics, civil liberties, class, collapse, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, coup, crash, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, currency, debt, deep integration, democracy, dollar crisis, economic collapse, economics, economy, elite, empire, empowerment, end-game, fascism, freedom, geopolitics, Global War on Terrorism, globalism, globalization, Gulf of Tonkin, human rights, imperialism, Iran, Martial Law, Middle East, money, NACC, NAU, North American Union, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, oil, Operation Northwoods, peak oil, Pearl Harbor, pentagon, police state, political economy, politics, politics of oil, propaganda, Reichstag, Security and Prosperity Partnership, Sinking of the Maine, sovereignty, SPP, the world's other superpower, tipping point, Trilateral Commission, truth, U.S., Uncategorized, war, war crimes, war on democracy, War on Terror, WEF, World Economic Forum with tags , , , , on February 22, 2008 by jtoddring

“The future holds ominous portent, and signs of great hope. Which result ensues depends largely upon what we make of the opportunities.” – Noam Chomsky


A number of long-term trends are coming to a head in 2008, particularly within the United States, but also more broadly, affecting North America, the Western nations and the world as a whole. Among them are, to name a few of the most pivotal, in brief: a global crisis of legitimacy, stemming primarily from broad and deep popular opposition to the emerging framework of world order, which is most accurately described as global corporatism, or more starkly but appropriately, global feudal fascism; the unfolding and escalating war on democracy and attempted consolidation of domestic and global dominance by Western elites; rapidly deepening economic crisis; peak oil repercussions; escalating ecological fallout; escalating geopolitical maneuvers for maintaining imperial hegemony; the stealth coup of continental corporatism under the Security and Prosperity Partnership; and pretexts for fortification of existing powers in the heartland of the Western empire, with rapid and highly conscious movement from corporate dominated liberal democracy to full corporatist fascism, under an orchestrated state of emergency. These trends continue to unfold with increasing speed, while at the same time, there are also signs of great hope, as “the other superpower” – the people of the world – begin to awake.

While China, India, Russia and other powers rise rapidly as economic giants, and these BRIC alliance economies in particular, the global hegemony of the Western business elite is threatened, both from these rising external powers, along with rising popular opposition to neocolonial dominance abroad, and from within, by a growing and deep crisis of legitimacy, very much as former right hand man to French President Jacques Chirac, Jacques Attalie had predicted in his candid analysis, Millennium. Western elites believe the barbarians are at the gates, and worse, are in their midst – the masses becoming restless. In response, they grow increasingly desperate. A wounded predator is in its death throws, but as Chomsky has noted, a wounded predator is a dangerous animal. The following is an extremely concise overview of where we stand in light of global geopolitics, as of early 2008.

The Western political and business elite – particularly and most imminently with regard to the United States – face a severe and highly volatile crisis of legitimacy which is set to explode; in response, the elites want to lock-down their power while they have it. (See World Economic Forum global poll, 2002.) As international financier George Soros said recently, “We have to make major compromises now, or we will lose everything.” Clearly, the business elite do not wish to compromise, nor do they want to “lose everything”. The only alternative to these two options, therefore, is a power-grab: lock-down and consolidate while it is still possible. This is end-game. As Maude Barlow put it, it has come to a “global showdown” between the corporate elite and their empire of greed, and the people of the earth and democracy. The business elite may see a temporary victory, even though power lies ultimately with the vast majority, who in reality can only be ruled so long as we concede power and submit. In the not too distant future, the cooperation of the many with this unfolding corporate-fascist order will fall to critical levels, and the order will collapse. In the short term, a heightened and very ugly struggle between the forces of empire and those of democracy is likely – and is in fact, unfolding now at escalating speed.

Internal documents as well as public statements by the Western business and political elite show (corroborated by historical evidence of their actions, patterns, motives and methods) that a) they want global dominance secured in their hands; b) that this will require control over world oil supplies – primarily in the Middle-East and Canada; c) that imperial war, particularly for control over oil, will be necessary; d) that “catalyzing events” – aka false flag operations, such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident and others, as the Pentagon’s Operation Northwoods set out – will be necessary in order to provide a pretext for the imperial wars; e) that maintaining control over the homeland and heart of the empire during the present time of propaganda failure will require resort to force – ie: fascism; and f) that these considerations have been well thought out, and have been found acceptable to these same elites.

Western business elites seek control of world oil reserves as means of securing global dominance; are escalating and broadening the military and paramilitary operations across the oil rich Middle East for this purpose, along with others; are preparing for an attack on Iran sometime in the very near future; need, as Brzezinski also pointed out, another “Pearl Harbor type event” to provide cover for such operations; and will likely launch a “catalyzing event” to provide the justification and cover for their planned action – another 9/11.

The next 9/11 will provide a pretext for a) the attack on Iran to secure mid-east oil reserves, and b) the lock-down on power in the homeland, the heart of the empire – North America and Europe – via martial law and the full emergence of a police state.

The U.S.-led NATO forces that have been deployed to the Persian Gulf and eastern Mediterranean since late August 2006 indicate a military build-up of a scale that can only mean two things: war is planned for the near future; the scale of the planned war is much greater than Iran alone. It could be said that the size of the build up is a precaution, due to the foreknowledge that this is an extremely dangerous gambit: China and Russia are almost certain adversaries if the U.S. and NATO attack Iran. In either case, the time-frame is clear: such a massive deployment of military force – on the part of the U.S., with the involvement of French, German and British forces – is for a clear and imminent purpose. Military build-up as well as the usual preliminary saber rattling, statements by political officials, spin and PR deluge indicates a Western attack on Iran is not far off.

With Western elites set to attack Iran, the question is whether another false flag operation will be conducted to provide cover for the operation: ie: the “war on terrorism” propaganda stepped up by the artificial creation of another terrorist attack on “the Homeland” in order to squeak through one more imperial war before the lock-down on power is complete. And the indications are, yes. It is highly unlikely that the U.S. and Western powers would dare launch an extremely unpopular attack on Iran when the population of the world, including in Europe and the U.S., are deeply opposed to such an act, unless they first create a very strong pretext and justification for invasion. This is the need for another 9/11.

The next “terrorist attack” will destroy the constitutions of the Western world, and democracy, once and for all – or so it is hoped by the business and political elite who wish to rule unencumbered by “the masses.” As General Tommy Franks declared, the next attack will be the end of democracy. (It is hoped.) As 2008 unfolds, the war on democracy and the move toward fascism is becoming increasingly undeniable, particularly within the United States. What was unthinkable only a short time ago is now rapidly becoming a reality. It is furthermore becoming obvious that the attack on democracy is highly conscious. This is a power grab, a stealth coup. Another major terrorist attack would provide the rationalization for the full implementation of emergency powers and the suspension of all remaining civil liberties and democracy.

With the Western elites preparing for imminent attack on Iran, a pretext needed, and the “war on terror” fears needing to be stirred up to fever-pitch to allow for such an arrogant and extraordinarily dangerous, reckless and brazen move, the next “Pearl Harbor-type event” will likely be soon; and that event will usher in the fascist state: for all of the “North American Homeland” – as the Pentagon has declared the continent, echoing Nazi terminology – commencing with the United States, and soon after, for as much of the world as the Western elite can control, including, of course, Europe.

Also planned for 2007-2008 is the completion and implementation by stealth of the “regulatory framework” for the SPP/NAU: that is, the new government of North America is to be in place and fully functioning as a shadow government by 2007-2008. This is the unfolding of the “Security and Prosperity Partnership”, whereby Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are merged into one continental body, with one continent-wide corporatist regime, in what is being called the North American Union. That government is called the NACC: the North American Council on Competitiveness; and it is composed of 10 representatives from each of the three nations. This council of 30 which is the NACC, the new North American government, is already appointed – appointed by the business elite of North America; and it is composed of representatives from the biggest corporations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. (We already know their names, and which corporations they come from.) 30 CEO’s will govern the entire continent. “The Homeland” becomes a full-fledged corporate-fascist state.

At the same time, also to be expected from an attack on Iran – in fact, a guaranteed result, which is why the attack was likely delayed for some time until the financial elite had prepared their positions securely – is a huge spike in global oil prices. The effects on the destabilization of the U.S. and also the global economy will be very great.

Also at the same time, the U.S. dollar is already falling. Central banks the world over are pulling out. A run is about to commence. Capital flight will bring down the dollar, and the U.S. economy with it. Already the head of China’s central bank has said “We have enough [U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds].” The U.S. relies on $2.8 billion a day in foreign money coming into the U.S. system via the purchase of U.S. currency and Treasury Bonds, in order to off-set its $70 billion per month trade deficit. The main prop holding up the U.S. economy and U.S. dollar is the enormous inflow of money from China. Now China has said “We have enough.” The U.S. dollar is about to sink, and with it, the U.S. economy. In January of 2008 the S&P index of stocks of the 500 biggest corporations traded on Wall Street showed a 14.5% drop in value over the previous three months, showing a deepening of these trends.

When the U.S. dollar crashes, not only the U.S. economy follows with a crash, but the global economy as well. 66% of world currency reserves held by the central banks of the world’s nations are in U.S. dollars. With the crash of the U.S. dollar comes a global economic depression, if not system collapse. This is expected anytime over the near future by anyone who is paying attention.

As if all of that were not already enough crisis and turmoil for one very short period of time, to this we can add the reality of peak oil. In the fall of 2006 I predicted that, according to the best evidence available, and some of the best analysts on the subject, peak oil would hit between 2006 and 2008. When it does, oil prices will spike dramatically, and will continue to climb, likely quadrupling or more. As of February 2008, at the time of this writing, it is now being admited, not only that peak oil is a geolocial and economic reality, but that it occurred in 2007: peak oil is here. Oil prices did rise dramatically, going from US$50/barrel to US$100 a barrel in just over a year, following a slightly longer trend from $20 a barrel in 2004 to $100 a barrel at present, and rising – a five-fold increase in three years. As oil prices skyrocket, the cost of all shipping and transport becomes far more expensive. Virtually all consumer goods rise dramatically in price, including basics such as food. Costs for all businesses relying on transport or inputs or goods over long distances – most businesses now – go through the roof, and widespread bankruptcies, layoffs and unemployment ensues. In short, peak oil means global economic depression, and mass unemployment, poverty, homelessness and hunger. And this is hitting at approximately the same time as we are dealing with the new unfolding of a North American corporate-fascist state under the SPP and NAU/NACC, led by the business elite and their lobby groups, such as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, the Business Round Table and the Council on Foreign Relations.

To add further complexity, the U.S. government under Bush has snuck through a law that makes mandatory the holding of a “REAL ID” national identity card for all Americans by May 2008. Since by May 2008 Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will have ceased to exist as nations in any meaningful sense – having been stripped of both sovereignty and democracy, the NAU/SPP being in place in operation if not public announcement, and “regulatory harmonization” under the NACC also having been quietly implemented by accommodating executive branches and high level bureaucrats – the “smart card” micro-chip-based REAL ID will become continent-wide. “Papers please.” The stage is then set for the introduction of electronic currency, via the universal smart card, which will be offered as a solution to both security issues and currency crashes. No card, no food. And since all personal data is stored on central databanks, accessed by a swipe of the card, being dubbed an “enemy combatant” without notice or trial can mean having all means of sustenance cut, with a few strokes on a remote keyboard, or one mouse-click, somewhere in the netherworld of the surveillance state. Any who hold the wrong opinions – that is, opinions that do not correspond to those the corporate rulers want us to have – can be silenced without even having to dispose of them to the detention centres (which are also under construction).

All of this is within the context of the greatest challenge humanity has faced in recorded history: the ecological crisis which we have set in motion, and which is now bearing fruit in the form of increasing and compounding disasters, leading towards systems breakdown and collapse, as Jared Diamond, David Suzuki, Ronald Wright and many others have warned.

It would seem that it is critical for anyone who does not wish to become a slave, or simply to be submerged in the deepening and interwoven crises of the time, to start to come together, and quickly, to build alternative means of sustaining ourselves and one another during the present time of rapidly unfolding troubles. Most will be swept into poverty by the global depression, compounded by the effects of energy shortage and growing ecological disaster. The middle class will be essentially vaporized across the Western world. Government services will be gutted – far beyond the mere cut-backs of the past twenty years – as corporate rule takes hold in full. Hunger and homelessness will be widespread and epidemic as poverty becomes the norm, as Jacques Attalie and others predicted some time ago. Meanwhile, those who can buy or sell in the new economy will be able to do so only insofar as they are willing to be silent and obedient slaves: dissidents will be shut down electronically, via the symbiosis of the electronic currency system, the universal smart card/ID, and the global surveillance state which serves corporate rule.

To be free in the new economy will mean being economically independent – and that does not mean being an employee, or relying on the monetary system. It means we need to establish parallel economies, whereby human needs and human freedom come first, not service to giant corporate feudal lords. We will need to establish sustainable cooperative local economies based in creative problem solving and mutual aid and common sense, and which operate parallel to and largely outside of the new economy: an economy which will leave only poverty under fascism for the majority, and slavery with perks for the “lucky” few.

There is not much time to prepare for such an unthinkable, but unfortunately real unfolding of events. The time to act is now, both to resist, to prepare to survive this ordeal, and to build alternatives for this ugly feudal fascist system’s inevitable demise.

The popular opposition to global corporatism has already reached great breadth and depth – as the World Economic Forum’s 2002 global poll showed, as well as the collapse of the WTO talks, as further noted by Canadian philosopher and former Governor General John Ralston Saul – and continues to grow, despite the unsuprising lack of coverage of this phenomenon in the corporate dominated network media. It is precisely because of this crisis of legitimacy and failure of the propaganda system that the Western elite are now seeking to consolidate power while they still can: through the resort to increasing use of fear as a means of public control, and more directly, through the use of force and state terror. But the crisis of legitimacy indicates the end of their reign approaches, just as it did for the regime of the former Soviet Union, less than twenty years ago.

Along with opposition to the present corporatist form of globalization, popular movements have for decades been busy experimenting with and developing working models of alternatives, in everything from green energy and transportation, organic farming and fair trade, to tools and models for authentic democracy and sustainable, just and peaceful communities. Everything we need to build a better world is here. We need only to act. And the time is ripe. Furthermore, there is no time to lose.

“In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but it is also likely to be the very last.”
– U.S. long-term strategic planner and Trilateral Commission founder Zbigniew Brzezinksi,
The Grand Chessboard

Not only will the U.S. be the last nation state superpower, the last of the nation state empires: the end of empires more broadly – including the present trans-national corporatist empire – is about to be witnessed by a thankful and newly empowered humanity. Sadly, it seems we must first live through a period of darkness before the age of empires can be closed.

Do not forget that the sun also rises. Let us work together now for a better world for all. A new dawn is already on the horizon. I can see it clearly. It’s birth may be painful, but its splendour will be magnificent.

J. Todd Ring,

February, 22, 2008

Links and references:

The death of democracy in America: Time for a re-awakening

Smedley Butler and the Business Plot

Powder Keg USA: US heading toward fascism and civil war

HR 1955: The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act

Fast-Track to Fascism: The SPP in a Nutshell

HEY YOU! Lefties, liberals and progressives – Listen up

My Buddy Obama

Money, Banks and Democracy

America: A Fork In the Road

On Libertarianism: Right & Left

Earth 101: Essential Reading

Preparations for an Attack on Iran:

The Next War: Public in the Dark about Government’s Plans for War in Iran – Daniel Ellsberg

* “Cold War Shivers”: War Preparations in the Middle East and Central Asia

Debating World Domination: Bilderberg Meets in Canada’s Capital

ZNet |Foreign Policy | We Had a Democracy Once, But You Crushed It


9/11:

False Flag: A “Pearl Harbor Type Event”

Bush Directive for a “Catastrophic Emergency” in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran?

Brzezinski warns of Pearl Harbor type event, a pretext for war on Iran

Ron Paul – Gulf of Tonkin

9/11: The “Perfect Opportunity” for North American Integration

Ex-Italian Prime Minister – ‘9/11 Carried Out By CIA and Mossad’ // Current

Former German Minister Says Building 7 Used To Run 9/11 Attack

9-11 Research: Insider Trading

More evidence of Pre-9/11 Inside Trading: Follow the Money? God forbid

911 Proof

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Question from 9/11 (pt.1) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.2) – video

911 Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11 (pt.3) – video

THE TRUTH & LIES OF 9/11 – Michael Ruppert – video

War and Globalization – The Truth Behind September 11 – Google Video

American Scholars Symposium

** Senior Military, Intelligence, and Government Officials Question 9/11 Commission Report

9/11 Statement Signed by Prominent Americans

Scholars for 9/11 Truth

ONE IN 3 AMERICANS SAY U.S. AIDED 9/11 By THOMAS HARGROVE and GUIDO H. STEMPEL III – New York Post Online Edition: News

* Scientific Poll: 84% Reject Official 9/11 Story

* Radio Poll: 85% Of Canadians Believe 9/11 Inside Job

* Over 80% supported the stance of Charlie Sheen

9/11: Why the Official Theory Has Collapsed (opinion)

* Alex Jones warns about attacks before 911

ABC News: U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba

National Security Archive – Pentagon Proposed Pretexts for Cuba Invasion in 1962

Venezuela’s Chavez says Bush planned 9/11 attacks – video

Reichstag Fire, Hitlers 9/11 Fake terror to grab control! : SF Indymedia – video

TerrorStorm Delxue High Quality (Alex Jones) – Google Video

The Pentagon’s “Second 911”

Dynasty of Death: Historical perspective on the Bush family

***Amazon.com: 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out: Books: David Ray Griffin,Peter Dale Scott

book – Day Of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor: Books: Robert Stinnett

9/11: Press for Truth – DVD Documentary

Celcius 9/11 – World Takeover and the War of Terror – CRG

9/11 Key Articles – Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)


The emergence of fascism in the West:

*** Habeas Corpus Your words are lies Sir – YouTube – olbermann 10-18-06

***Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

Habeas Corpus, R.I.P. (12/15 – 2006)

Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky video

The Return of Total Information Awareness – Bush Asserts Dictatorial “Inherent” Powers

Examples of the president’s signing statements – The Boston Globe

***The Secret Government – PBS – Google Video

Eisenhower warns us of the military industrial complex. – Video: 1961 Farewell Address

Power of Nightmares – BBC Documentary

Mind Control: America’s Secret War – History Channel Documentary

***Commission Finds President George W. Bush and His Administration Guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Bush’s 9/11 Reichstag Fire

9/11 – the American Reichstag Fire and the Fourth Reich

The Pentagon Declares War on America

The limits of liberty: We’re all suspects now

Are YOU the Enemy?

Maher Arar: The Horrors of ‘Extraordinary Rendition’

*** Torture Inc. – America’s Brutal Prisons – BBC Documentary

* National Yawn as Our Rights Evaporate | bushcommission.org

* A Constitutional Shredding — Rounding Up U.S. Citizens | bushcommission.org

The End of Habeas Corpus and the Belligerent Despot-in-Chief – Ralph Nader

Ambassador to Death Squads – Who is John Negroponte?

On the Rise of Fascism – “The Great Transformation” Revisited

LIBERTY V.S. SECURITY

Harsh law set to live on, unexplained

*CRG – Canada’s Anti-Terrorism Laws – Rocco Galati

FSTV video – Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq

Amazon.com: Blowback: America’s Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War: Books: Christopher Simpson

Amazon.com: The CIA’s Greatest Hits (The Real Story Series): Books: Mark Zepezauer

Amazon.com: Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press: Books: Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair

Amazon.com: Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion: Books: Gary Webb

Amazon.com: Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency: Books: James Bamford

* Amazon.com: Police State America: US Military ‘Civil Disturbance’ Planning: Books: Tom Burghardt, Tom (ed) Burghardt

Necessary Illusions; Thought Control in Democratic Societies – Chomsky, online text

Year 501: The Conquest Continues – Chomsky, online text

Amazon.com: Open Society and Its Enemies (Volume 1): Books: Karl Raimund Popper

Noam Chomsky on the Trilateral Commission – from The Carter Administration: Myth and Reality

Amazon.com: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management: Books: Holly Sklar

Amazon.com: Trilaterals Over America: Books: Antony C. Sutton

TC’s own manifesto – Amazon.com: The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission: Books: Michel Crozier,Samuel P. Huntington,Joji Watanuki

Amazon.com: Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time: Explore similar items

Skull and Bones K.O.’d – video

Zbigniew Brzezinski – The Grand Chessboard

***American Prison Camps Are on the Way

Rex 84: FEMA’s Blueprint for Martial Law in America

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

10-Year U.S. Strategic Plan For Detention Camps Revives Proposals From Oliver North

Fatal Vision: The Deeper Evil Behind the Detainee Bill

Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State

Notes on the Progress of the Counterrevolution

America: The Fourth Reich

How the Nazis Won the War – Chomsky Nazis Odonian

The Nazi Parallel – NSS & Fascism – NSS Churches US Fascism Herman

Trading with the Enemy The Nazi – American Money Plot 1933-1949

General Tommy Franks calls for Repeal of US Constitution

Air Force chief : Test weapons on testy US mobs – Sep 12 …

Noam Chomsky on Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest For Global Dominance – audio

War on Terrorism Watch: CAUT Resource Website – Home Page

The State of Democracy – counterSpin final edition

* Demolishing Democracy At Home and Abroad – Noam Chomsky, Freespeech TV

A Marxist Threat to Cola Sales?

Who are the Global Terrorists, by Noam Chomsky

On the Long and Bloody History of U.S.-Sponsored Terrorism – Chomsky – audio

Amazon.com: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II-Updated Through 2003: Books: William Blum

America’s “War on Terrorism” – Chossudovsky

Amazon.com: The COINTELPRO Papers : Documents from the FBI’s Secret …

Ten Minutes to Midnight: The Emerging Police State – Z Store

Fascism watch


SPP/NAU/NACC: The new corporate fascist government of North America, 2007

* Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs and the Defense Establishment : Militarization and the Deconstruction of North America

CBC – Top secret: Banff security meeting attracted U.S., Mexico officials

* CNN Video: Lou Dobbs Slams CFR & North American Union

*** De Facto North American Government in the Making: “Canadians must take back Canada”

Deep Integration – The Council of Canadians

**CFR Task Force Report – Building a North American Community

* CRG – Continental Integration of Military Command Structures: A Threat to Canada’s Sovereignty

* Documenting the rush to globalism – The August Review

* North American Union/Testimony, Publications and Reports – SourceWatch

*** Paul Martin’s Big Texas Adventure


Politics of Oil:

Video – Robert Newman History of oil – Google Video

The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror – Google Video

“It’s the Crude, Dude” Linda McQuaig book launch


Peak Oil:

AlterNet: Will the End of Oil Be the End Of Food?

AlterNet: WireTap: Has the Long Peak – Oil Emergency Begun?

BBC NEWS | Business | ‘Peak oil’ enters mainstream debate

CNN – We Were Warned: Tomorrow’s Oil Crisis

Peak Oil alert – Houston Business Journal:

Peak Oil: The Energy Crisis of Oil Supply Depletion – full video

Re-Energizing America: Rescuing America from its Costly Fossil Fuel Addiction – Google Video

Mike Ruppert on Peak Oil – video

www.oilempire.us

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century: Books: James Howard Kunstler


U.S. Faces “Economic Armageddon”:

* The Dollar’s Full-System Meltdown

Economic ” Armageddon ” Predicted

Dollar Catching Asian Flu – Asia Times

Arab central banks sell dollar

As Dollar Plunges, Watch for US Government Bonds Sell -off – DEBKAfile –

The War To Save The U.S. Dollar – Trinicenter.com –

Fears for dollar as central banks sell US assets

BBC NEWS | Business | Is the global economy set for trouble?

Collapse of the Petrodollar Looming

Iranian Oil Bourse Opens for Business: A Final Step Toward US Dollar Collapse & Preemptive Nuclear Strike

An empire at twilight:

Superpower’s global dominance in question

50 Years After Suez, US Hegemony Ebbing Fast

“The United States is Terrified” – Noam Chomsky on Latin America’s Move Towards “Independence and Integration”

The Crumbling Empire: Latin America and Asia Breaking Free of Washington’s Grip – Noam Chomsky


The crisis of legitimacy:

Global corporate rule is now fragile

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky at the World Social Forum

The Global Crisis of Legitimacy of Liberal Democracy – Social and Economic Policy – Global Policy Forum


REAL ID: Universal ID Cards

US National ID Cards by May 2008

National nightmare – ACLU of Southern California Campaign: Stop The Abuse of Power

Globalization and the rise of corporate power:

The Corporation – video

Iraq for Sale

On Globalization – Noam Chomsky

On the New World Order – Chomsky

Rollback – Chomsky

* Thirdworldization of America

Chomsky: Global Economy – excerpts from The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many

Profit Over People – excerpts – Noam Chomsky

Emerging Framework of World Power – Chomsky – audio/video

Institutions vs. People: Will the Species Self-Destruct? – Chomsky – MIT video

150 CEOs rule Canada: Time to tame corporate power – Murray Dobbin

No Nonsense Guide to Globalization – book

Book Review – All You Can Eat: Greed, Lust, and the New Capitalism by Linda McQuaig – Alternative News Media on Democracy, Politics, Trade, Environment, Military and Money in Canada

The Globalization of Poverty – Chossudovsky


Alternatives:

Global Showdown: How the new activists are fighting global corporate rule – video

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky

Confronting the Empire – Chomsky – audio

Chomsky – Dismantling Empire, Building Democracy – audio – Chomsky

Taking Control of Our Lives: Freedom, Sovereignty, and Other Endangered Species, Noam Chomsky, 2/26/00

Another World: Alternative Ways to Globalization – audio/video

Noam Chomsky speaks at Binghamton University 3/4/06 – “Imminent Crises: Paths Toward Solutions” – on WSKG Radio

Dismantling empire – chomsky

Rise Up Against the Empire – Chavez speach to UN

International Project for a Participatory Society – Z net

Strategy/Vision – Z net

Peak Oil Primer/What Can Be Done? | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

The Relocalization Network

The Community Solution to Peak Oil

The Local Future Network

The Community Solution: The Solution to Peak Oil

Ruralisation: Integrating settlements and agriculture to provide sustainability – Dept. of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University

Cohousing Association of the United States

Global Ecovillage Network

Intentional Communities Web Site: Home Page

The Earth Charter

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil – order video

Making Sweden an OIL-FREE Society

Nordic Countries Design Sustainable Communities: The Natural Step for Eco-Villages

How to pass a peak oil resolution | EnergyBulletin.net | Peak Oil News Clearinghouse

LETSystems home page – http–www.gmlets.u-net.com-

LETS Groups around the world – LETS-Linkup International LETS Directory

Hometown Money Starter Kit & Video

Toronto Dollars

Transaction Net – How Currency Systems Work (a Money Map)

Reinventing Money.com

ZNet Parecon – Life After Capitalism – And Now Too

Parecon – ZNet

Amazon.com: Roads to Freedom: Books: B. Russell

Powers and Prospects – Chomsky

Mutual Aid A Factor of Evolution – Kropotkin – libcom.org library

Civil Disobedience – Henry David Thoreau – full text

The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy: Books: Murray Bookchin

The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future: Books: Riane Eisler

Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh: Books: Helena Norberg-Hodge

Good News for a Change: How Everyday People are Helping the Planet: Books: David T. Suzuki,Holly Dressel

Insurrection: Citizen Challenges to Corporate Power

* Amazon.com: The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community (BK Currents): Books: David C. Korten

Amazon.ca: Another World Is Possible: Globalization and Anti-Capitalism: Books: David McNally

South End Press | Earth Democracy – Vandana Shiva

Looking Forward – Albert and Hahnel

No Nonsense Guide to Fair Trade – book

Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World: Books: Richard Heinberg

Amazon.ca: One Big Party: Books: Paul Hellyer

* Amazon.co.uk: Shambhala : The Sacred Path of the Warrior ( Shambhala …

Scientific American Mind: The Samaritan Paradox

Amazon.com: World as Lover , World as Self : Books: Joanna Macy


Continental Integration and the War on Democracy

Posted in Blogs for Democracy, Canada, Canadian politics, capitalism, corporate rule, corporatism, crisis of democracy, deep integration, democratic deficit, election, fascism, globalization, neoliberalism, North American Union, police state, Security and Prosperity Partnership, SPP, war on democracy on May 15, 2007 by jtoddring

I can think of no better starting place for discussion for Blogs for Democracy than the single most immediate threat to democracy in Canada: continental integration and the Security and Prosperity Partnership, signed by Paul Martin, George Bush and Vicente Fox in Waco Texas, March 2005.

The SPP is a corporate-led agenda to integrate the economies, military, security, laws and regulations of the three nations of North America. It is not a theory or a “what if?” but a big business plan that is already being implemented – quietly, and without public discussion or parliamentary debate. Meetings of the highest echelon of political representatives, the corporate sphere and the top military brass from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have held a number of meetings since Waco to further the program. The last meeting was held in Ottawa, this past February, with Michael Chertoff, Condoleeza Rice and Paul McKay in attendance.

What the SPP does is to transfer real political power out of the realm of parliament and democratic forums, where public involvement and oversight is at least possible, to a 30-member council which will create policy for all three nations, and later “brief” parliament and congress. This new defacto continental government has already been created.

The corporate lobby which initiated the deep integration agenda has appointed its own ruling forum, which is by all indications meant to be the real locus of power, and a thoroughly anti-democratic one at that, serving the interests of the corporate elite, and shutting out the public from all discussion or participation in the process of re-writing our laws and shaping our future. The new defacto government of what the big business lobby calls “Fortress North America” has been named the North American Council on Competitiveness (NACC). Meet your new masters. Unless we challenge and defeat the SPP, these 30 CEO’s will, in fact, be our new masters.

What the SPP is, in a nutshell, is the creation of a corporate ruled society, a power bloc that spans the continent of North America, and is meant to compete with the power blocs of Europe and Asia. What is seen by its architects as dispensible are things like democracy, individual rights and freedoms, public scrutiny and involvement, or accountability of the new ruling elite. It is an expansion of NAFTA – “NAFTA on steroids” it has been called – but it goes far beyond NAFTA in concentrating real social, economic and political power in the hands of the elite investment class.

As Toronto lawyer Paul Bigioni and others have aptly described, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and its unelected and anti-democratic continental governance body, the North American Council on Competitiveness, is the institutionalization of corporate rule. It is the natural, though by no means inevitable, unfolding of the corporate-dominated globalization process, which is gutting democracy, enshrining the rights and power of the global investment class, and creating the mechanisms for global corporatocracy – all in the pursuit of extractive, predatory and grossly unsustainable economics, ever higher quarterly profits for the few, and a new form of feudalism for the rest of us. It is the neoliberal globalist agenda writ large, and the natural, although deliberate, and again, by no means inevitable, continued concentration of real socio-political and economic power in the hands of the few: the new oligarchs.

The mass media, major political parties, and to an embarrassing extent, the alternative media and grassroots, are continuing to ignore the issue, while the substance of our democratic forums is quietly being eviscerated by the Canadian and American corporate lobby.

We need to pay attention to this. This should be a focal issue for Canadians. (In fact, the up-coming federal election will be a sad joke, a hollow sham, if this issue is not made central. But so far, no major party has seriously addressed the subject. If you are a member or supporter of one of the major political parties in Canada, please write, email, phone or visit your party’s leaders and activists, and ask them why they are not responding to this issue with the seriousness it merits. You could even be more blunt than that.) There are a number of citizen’s groups in Canada working to stop the SPP and the creation of “Fortress North America” – they need your support. The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives are among the few who have realized the urgency of the subject. Please get involved. If this is new to you, a number of excellent links and resources can be found in the following article: The SPP: Stealth Coup?.

J. Todd Ring

May 15, 2007

See also:

Power to the People (in Suits)


The SPP: Stealth Coup?

Posted in Canada, corporate fascism, corporate rule, fascism, NACC, NAU, neoliberalism, North American Union, police state, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, SPP, U.S. on April 11, 2007 by jtoddring

The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) is an issue that is heating up rapidly among grassroots popular movements as well as the general citizenry – ironically, on the right in the U.S. and on the left in Canada.

The SPP is an agreement signed in March, 2005 by then heads of government of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, George Bush, Paul Martin and Vicente Fox. According to the official U.S. government SPP website, the agreement is not a treaty or trade deal, but a “dialogue.”

Documents obtained from the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act state that the SPP is “a broad and ambitious” plan to create “full regulatory harmonization” and “deep integration” of the economies, military, intelligence, laws and regulations of the three nations.

A council of 30 CEOs – 10 to represent each nation – has already been created: the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC). The NACC will form policy and “brief” Congress and Parliament.

In the U.S. and Canada, citizens groups are beginning to take notice, and are appalled. The SPP is being viewed by critics, both on the right and the left of the political spectrum, as a serious threat to sovereignty and democracy. All evidence points in this direction. The fact that it is being carried out in very secretive ways, with no Congressional or Parliamentary debate or oversight, only adds to the perception that this is a deeply anti-democratic agenda.

J. Todd Ring

April 11, 2007

For more information on the SPP, here are a few of the best articles and resources available:

INTEGRATE THIS! A Citizen’s Guide to Fighting Deep Integration

* Secret Banff Meeting of CEOs and the Defense Establishment : Militarization and the Deconstruction of North America

*** ZNet |Economy | Power to the People (In Suits)

Fast-Track to Fascism: The SPP in a Nutshell

Towing the Line with the Mainstream Media

Posted in activism, alternatives, corporations, deep integration, detention centers, Jefferson, journalism, Media, North American Union, police state, politics, Security and Prosperity Partnership, SPP on April 10, 2007 by jtoddring

 

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”
Benjamin Franklin

The media serve the interests of state and corporate power, which are closely interlinked, framing their reporting and analysis in a manner supportive of established privilege and limiting debate and discussion accordingly.”

Noam Chomsky

 

As Chomsky accurately pointed out – merely stating what should be obvious – the major media set the boundaries of acceptable discussion. They serve the function, among others, of saying in effect, “Thus far, and no further.” To step outside these parameters is thus implicitly portrayed as stepping off the edge of the earth. Beyond these bounds we enter the irrational, lunatic fringe. However, as also should be obvious, the bounds of discussion are extraordinarily narrow. Five corporations control network media in the U.S., six in Canada. They share a common perspective and present an extremely narrow range of views. Major issues are framed within a common lens of spin, omission of certain critical, salient facts, and outright distortion. Other major issues are not covered at all, or buried on page 39, in a minor note, right next to a recipe for oatmeal porridge or some other riveting feature. It should go without saying that if we allow the corporate media to set the parameters of discussion, we are lost.

It is now a matter of public record that the U.S. government has contracted out to Haliburton subsidiary KBR to build detention centers in America. KBR itself announced this in their own press release, stating that the contract is “open-ended” in terms of time-frame and scale. This should be worrisome. We remember that detention centers have been built – and used – before. In the U.S. and Canada during the second world war, the Japanese detention centers left a horrible and grotesque legacy. And of course, we have the chilling memory of the Nazi prison camps. When the U.S. government, already moving rapidly in the direction of fascism, as any sane observer recognizes, starts building detention centers, we should take this as noteworthy. This is newsworthy, or nothing is. But if the major media don’t cover it, then we all feel it is unacceptable to talk about it.

It is now a matter of public record – not theory – that the executive branches of the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments, along with at least three extremely powerful corporate lobby groups, have begun, under the signed agreement called the Security and Prosperity Partnership, what is being called a “dialogue” to create “full regulatory harmonization” and “deep integration” within “Fortress North America” in “the new security environment.” This is a program that is far more broad and ambitious than NAFTA, CAFTA or the FTAA, yet it is being met with almost complete silence by the mainstream media. Are we to then accept that such a major program, which is being carried out without Congressional or Parliamentary oversight or debate, which will redefine the economies, military and security structures, laws, regulations, borders and political process of the three nations, is not fit for public discussion, is not a legitimate topic of debate or dialogue, is beyond the range of acceptable discourse? The answer is, of course – or should be – obvious.

If we concede to the major media setting the bounds of discussion, and thus accept that these are the limits to rational or legitimate dialogue, then we have conceded defeat. Must we accept such narrow and arbitrary terms on the bounds of sane and reasonable discourse? What are we, men and women, or cattle?

“Half the American population no longer reads
newspapers: plainly, they are the clever half.”
– Gore Vidal

“If words were invented to conceal thought,
newspapers are a great improvement of a bad invention.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“I find it so difficult to dispose of the few facts which to me are significant, that I hesitate to burden my attention with those which are insignificant. Such is, for the most part, the news in newspapers and conversation.” – Thoreau

 

“Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on a ukulele.” – Ben Bagdikian

“If you don’t want to work, become a reporter. That awful power, the public opinion of the nation, was created by a horde of self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditch and shoemaking and fetched up journalism on their way to poorhouse.” – Mark Twain

“Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.” – G B Shaw

“The average newspaper, especially of the better sort, has the intelligence of a hillbilly evangelist, the courage of a rat, the fairness of a prohibitionist boob-jumper, the information of a high school janitor, the taste of a designer of celluloid valentines, and the honor of a police-station lawyer.” – HL Mencken

“If you’re not careful the media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” – Malcolm X

“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers…[A despotic] government always [keeps] a king of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or what should look like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.”

– Thomas Jefferson, 1785

 

“I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time.” – Thomas Jefferson

 

“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he who’s mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.” – Thomas Jefferson

As my father used to say, if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you follow? Or more directly, if everyone else is content to eat shit sandwiches, do we have to do the same? Why do we tune into the corporate media at all? Surely we are more intelligent than this. I believe most are. And polls show that the great majority of people have a pretty clear sense of what’s going on; and further more, have a high degree of skepticism about the major media. Why then do we continue to tune in, to eat this stuff up, or to allow the mass media to define the parameters of debate and discussion? I have to guess, or conclude, that it is a matter of group think. Heaven forbid that we deviate from the herd.

“In matters of style, swim with the current;
in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

– Thomas Jefferson

As every intelligent observer knows, mainstream media in Canada and the U.S. are either corporate owned or corporate dominated, due to dependency on advertising revenues. As such, we cannot be surprised to find a very narrow range of perspective and a remarkable commonality of spin across the mass media, with disinformation, distortion and omission of vital information being the norm.

What I’d like to suggest is that we keep the obvious in mind at all times: if we are writers, bloggers, independent journalists or media workers, or for that matter, anyone who is involved with or interested in the actual goings on in our world, we must not allow the mainstream media to set the parameters of legitimate public discourse.

Nor can we allow the mainstream media – the corporate-dominated media – to set the tone. The tone in the mass media is tepid, timid, blasé, and not truly objective at all. The media gets itself worked up into a frenzy in order to vilify the proper enemies, or pronounce the corporate party line, but when it comes to reporting or commenting on the short-comings or failures of business as usual and the party line, the best they can muster is a valium stupor of spiritless, apathetic hand-wringing – and this only when the far more common response of rationalization, justification, spin and denial are not the reaction. Genocide in Africa, the race toward ecological self-destruction, risk of nuclear confrontation over Iran or other conflicts, the institutionalization of war crimes as defined by international law, the legalization and routine, systemic use of torture, the destruction of constitutional rights and liberties: these are just a few examples of subjects that demand more than a luke-warm response; at least, that is, if we are to retain our human decency, if we are to address ourselves to the issues in a sane or humane manner, or if we are to introduce into the debate and discussion any of these qualities.

Call it like it is. Euphemistic, wishy-washy reporting and commentary smacks of either intellectual timidity or simple laziness, as well as moral cowardice. The people I admire most in terms of writers are those who have a marked intelligence, or more simply, a basic clarity of mind, and far more importantly, a deep sense of compassion, combined with a willingness to frankly speak the truth, even when it is unpopular to do so. Chomsky, and even more so, Thoreau, come to mind along with others. What we need to hear more of is people speaking plainly and intelligently, with compassion, and also with spine. Journalism that sparks little more passionate response than three day old porridge is not what we need. The usual skirting of issues and bland hedging, is about as effectual at addressing the issues we face as is making love in a wet suit.

In either case, if we allow the mainstream media to set the parameters of debate, the framing of the issue, the bounds of discussion; or to set the tone of public discourse – then we are lost.

As should be self-evident, the relevant facts and evidence must be brought forth, even if this is outside the bounds of discussion as defined by the dominant corporate-controlled media; and the tone of our dialogue must be at least somewhat more impassioned than what is set as the norm of reasonable discussion by the same dominant media forces. To do otherwise is to lose before beginning.

Effective action, or even simple integrity, can be based only upon truth, and courage to speak the truth. It also requires a willingness to meet the issues of the day with more than a banal and blasé spiritlessness, pretending to objectivity, neutrality or “balance”. We need to break the barriers of the media monopolies, and firstly, within our own minds and discourse.

 

J. Todd Ring

April 10, 2007

 

Useful links:

Manufacturing Consent

Necessary Illusions

Thoreau’s “On Civil Disobedience”

Amazon.com: Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies: Books: Noam Chomsky

Democracy Now!

Free Speech TV

Big Picture TV

oneworld tv

Project Censored

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Who Owns The Media?”

Your Media: Preserve Freedom, Diversity, Independence