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Jack Rabbit

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Sacramento Valley, California
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 45,984

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Perhaps Bernie's candidacy will allow us to breathe again

We are going to hear an awful lot about Senator Sanders being an avowed socialist and out establishmentarian media is going to do everything it can to make him sound like the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin. Let me assure everyone, the two are easily distinguishable, but don't expect that to deter the Koch Kings from slipping media moguls some extra free $peech to pay no attention to the real Bernie Sanders and smear him as a Bolshevik. Of course, the Bernie Sanders you'll hear about on FoxNews will resemble the real Bernie Sanders about as much climate change denialism resembles science.

I am not a socialist. I would be very happy to return to the economic models that worked so well for America until the election of Ronald Reagan. At the same time, I am not at all anti-socialist. There is no such thing as a "moral" economic system, as claimed by the followers of Ayn Rand. An economic system is something that works well for everyone or is in need of repair, at least some tweaking, otherwise.

Evil does not come into the world from economics, the art of producing goods and services and resolving scarcity with people's needs, but from politics, the art of gaining and maintaining power, too often only for an elite class who spend too much time creating myths about how they're better than the rest of us in order to justify their privileged positions, which is almost always undeserved.

Capitalism or socialism is neither moral nor immoral. Government by coercion of the few for the benefit of the few over the many is at the expense of the many is immoral; democracy, government by free citizens where citizenship is equal, universal and unalienable, is the only moral system of government.

Socialism is not the greatest threat to mankind at this moment. Neither is Islamic terrorism, which can be easily contained with just governments and good police work. That's right, I'm talking about the Frat Boy the Big Dick, who told us it took a war to contain Islamic terrorism. No, it didn't. It took a war to steal Iraq's natural resources.

The greatest threat is to humanity today is neoliberalism. This is the doctrine that insists that unregulated capitalism, and nothing else, will meet all of humanity's need forever. Its adherents proclaim freedom, but its only freedom for the elite. The rest of us will toil for low wages, breathe carbon fumes, drink flammable water and be wary of getting sick. Politicians will be so bought and sold that they will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

No, I am not a socialist, but I will vote for a social democrat like Bernie Sanders before I vote for another neoliberal, especially one who tries to mask his (or her) neoliberalism in unconvincing populist rhetoric. Any politician supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership is doing a lousy job of hiding his (or her) neoliberalism.

For this reason, the candidacy of Bernie Sanders is a most welcome phenomenon.

Let me say this loudly and clearly

Regardless of President Obama's accomplishments, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will destroy American democracy, and, as far as I am concerned, that means it will destroy America. It will destroy many of these same accomplishments that the writer of the piece justifiably lauds.

That is how easily one dares to say it. It isn't very hard for those us us who believe in telling the truth to the best of one's ability. By the way, I am a Democrat and not at all ashamed to say that I oppose this agreement because it will destroy America.

The verbiage that accompanies the OP was not written by sheshe2. She simply copied the page off The Obama Diary website. It's simply cheer leading and sophistry, which wouldn't bother me if it hadn't attacked those who oppose the TPP, including Senator Warren and shamed them opposing the President's proposal. The sophist says that the TPP will not destroy America, but doesn't tell his readers what it will do to help America or why those who say it will are wrong.

So let me at least say how it will destroy America. The TPP establishes an Investeor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system that will be used by corporations concerned about costly regulations. A three member tribunal of corporate shysters will decide if the investors' case warrants sanctions against the state. The proceedings are secret, but the tribunal will have the authority to order the offending state to reimburse to corporation for unrealized profits due to the regulations passed by democratic governments. That can run into a pretty piece of change that the state's taxpayers will be providing.

If that hasn't sunk into you yet, let me summarize it this way: an unelected panel of corporate attorneys will meet in secret, hear evidence in secret and will be expected to give an unbiased (remember, when they're not on leave to do work on an ISDS tribunal, they're defending corporations in court) decision that could cost taxpayers billions. It is an end run around a democratically elected government.

All that stuff that the President has done that the sophist who wrote the the piece in The Obama Diary that finds it way to the OP claims is so great for the environment and his efforts to fight climate change is at risk under this arrangement. Likewise minimum wage increases. Likewise protections for labor unions. Likewise public health. Anything that any of out greedy, slimy corporations think costs them too much money can be challenged to the TPP's ISDS and stopped without any elected representative being able to do anything about it.

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also called Fast Track, will put an end to any discussion in Congress about the TPP. There will limited debate with members of the House and Senate unable to offer any amendment to the agreement. It all culminates in a straight up or down vote. Our founding fathers put more thought into writing the Constitution. If we're going to yield sovereign power to make our laws to an unelected tribunal of corporate shysters, then we should at least have good, hearty debate on the matter.

There is another troubling point about the TPP: the secrecy that shrouds the agreement. Our representatives in Congress are forbidden from discussing it in public. The secrecy is being directed at you and me, We, the People. This is wrong. The discussion that shouldn't be happening is discussion in Congress about scheduling a vote. There should be no vote at all on the TPP unless and until the agreement is made public. I can't imagine what is in a trade agreement that would require this level of secrecy. This, too, should ring the alarms.

It isn't our duty to support the President when he's pushing a bad, undemocratic trade deal whose provisions dismantle democracy and sell out our national sovereignty. We didn't support the last President when he prosecuted a ginned up war for oil and we're not going to support the TPP. Our duty is to oppose the trade agreement now, and to rip it to shreds with a campaign of mass civil disobedience if it passes.

Shame on anyone who says our duty to the leader and not to our nation.
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