Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, July 31, 2005

CAFTA

The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) has been debated on various blogs and websites, and completely ignored by the media. Now that CAFTA has passed — by a margin of two votes in the House — the mainstream “media” have pulled off their blinders and earplugs and started reporting on it.

I posted on July 11th about the massive giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry that was buried in the fine print of the CAFTA agreement. The pharmaceutical companies — working hand in glove with international law and the World Trade Organization — will now be able to start banning herbal remedies and vitamin supplements. Eventually most of them will either be banned completely or be available only through a prescription.

There was never a peep out of the “media” about any of this. Apparently Katie Holmes and the missing-girl-of-the-week were too important to waste coverage on any real news that might actually affect all of us.

And now another CAFTA surprise: Harken Energy has been saying all along that if CAFTA passes, they’ll be able to sue the government of Costa Rica for $58 billion. This amount is almost twice as much as Costa Rica’s Gross National Product. This is the amount of money Harken says they’ve “lost” from not being able to drill for oil in a Costa Rican marine sanctuary.

This kind of lawsuit — corporations suing governments — will become much more common under CAFTA. What happened to all those rightwingers who are always blubbering about too many lawsuits, too much litigation? They’ve all gone strangely silent for some reason.

Like the saying goes, laws and sausages are the two things you shouldn’t watch being made, and our sleazy lowlifes in Congress have sure reinforced this. The CAFTA vote was taken in the middle of the night, and Republican “leaders” held up the vote for more than an hour. This gave them enough time for browbeating, arm-twisting and extorting the “correct” vote out of just barely enough hookers Congressmen for CAFTA to squeak by.

Interesting side note: George W. Bush was on the Board of Directors of Harken Energy during the late 1980s. He was suspected of being involved in some insider trading scandals with Harken. During the summer of 2002, reports of this scandal were starting to surface; these reports were getting lots of embarrassing press coverage. And then, with some convenient timing, Bush and Cheney started getting hysterical about Iraq‘s Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Harken fell off the front pages. Coincidence?

15 Comments:

Blogger Gun-Toting Liberal said...

There is almost TOO much far-right, fundie bullcrap being passed into law to keep up with anymore. I've never seen anything like this. It's like I'm in the Twilight Zone suddenly. Everything the Constitution gave us is now dead, with the sole exception of the 2nd Amendment (thank God for at least ONE of our civil liberties surviving).

Tom, it's a shitty feeling (sorry for cursing on your blog, but that's the only way to put it). I hope we can take America back again, because these people are FOOLS!

July 31, 2005 at 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Gun-Toting Liberal: Yeah, these far-reaching laws are getting passed quicker than we can keep up with. And it doesn't help that the "media" doesn't even report most of it, except maybe after the fact.

I've always been totally in-between about guns. I'm not interested in them at all but I've never thought tighter gun laws were a solution to anything. But if it starts looking like the Second Amendment is the only part of the Constitution that hasn't been yanked away, I may have to develop a new interest.

July 31, 2005 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Abby Taylor said...

Glad we're going to have Judge Roberts to help with a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

July 31, 2005 at 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Abby Taylor: Oh yeah, Judge Roberts. Just what the doctor ordered.

July 31, 2005 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

CAFTA....Arrrrgggghhhhhh! Is this a nightmare? Welcome to global corporatism.

When Americans ask, "Why Do They Hate Us?" answer CAFTA....

We will be taking what little the people in South America have. I forsee "suicide bombers" from our neighboring continent. We will be taking their land, livelihood, hope, and every other way of fighting away from them and giving them poverty in return. Sounds like a recipe for "suiciders" to me. SHAME ON THE U.S.A!

August 1, 2005 at 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Kitchen Window Woman: CAFTA sucks, that's for sure. It'll turn Latin America into a colony (like it wasn't already). And it won't be a picnic for us either.

Conservatives have been paranoid for decades about a World Government, about the UN taking control of America. But for some reason they don't have any problem with a monolithic global corporation taking control of our lives.

August 1, 2005 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I've got some real concerns about CAFTA, just as I did about NAFTA. There was alot of brow beating done to get this passed, mostly on Republican House members who had real, valid concerns about it.

On the other hand, the Democrats put alot of political capitol in to defeating this just for the sake of handing President Bush a defeat. Every time they do that, they lose. It would make more sense to talk about why they disagree with an issue instead of going back to "bash Bush" as the main reason for opposition.

By the way, Tom. I added you to my blogroll. I don't often agree with you, but you've got a great site!

August 1, 2005 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

As always a great post Tom:)
I dont know which is worse, the corporate greed that could bankrupt(oh wait--they took that away from the poor earlier---my bad)a poor third world country, or the corporate greed that can take away MY RIGHT to buy supplements {natural or otherwise}to help improve my health or ease those pains(that I cant go see a doctor for due to the greed of the insurance and medical administration industry).
All tucked away and nestled in tight between things in a bill that our overpaid legislature probably didnt even take the time to read. Too bad someone doesnt make a law that says they have to READ those----oh---wait---they were trying that werent they--but no one is listening-or at least blocking those pesky emails from constituents-gads---I need a protien shake and chill pill now-lmao
Wonderful job Tom! Blog on my friend!

August 1, 2005 at 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Mark: You’re right; I’m sure politics played a role on both sides. Republicans voted for it because their leaders told them to, and Democrats voted against it for the same reason. And the bill was 2,400 pages long; I doubt if anyone in Congress even had any idea what they were voting on.

A Libertarian group (Downsize DC) is pushing for a law that would require lawmakers to read an entire bill before voting on it. It doesn’t have a chance of passage, but it’s what they should do.

Thanks for your compliments. I like your site too. I’m opinionated but I like to read all viewpoints. Nothing is written in stone.

Kevin: Thanks. Yeah, these corporate conglomerates want it all. No bankruptcy protection (except for them), they can sue whenever they don’t get their way (but they can’t be sued) and they want to ban the competition created by herbal supplements. Wasn’t there something about a “free market” they used to worship? When did that change?

That “Read The Bills Act” that Downsize DC is pushing for — that would be the solution (fat chance). I doubt if anyone in Congress even knew what they were voting on.

August 1, 2005 at 5:21 PM  
Blogger Jake Porter said...

These agreements take away free trade and are a slap in the face to George Washingtons idea of free trade.

"Conservatives have been paranoid for decades about a World Government, about the UN taking control of America. But for some reason they don't have any problem with a monolithic global corporation taking control of our lives."

I always thought it was the Democrats allowing this to happen. After the Republicans took over we have a more secret of a police, no gun laws have been overtured, and guess what our army is training with foreign troops. So much for the Republicans being for small government. And what has George Bush done to stop abortion? For the Republicans talking about it so much they should be disapointed.

August 2, 2005 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Jake: It seems like this current Republican administration has thrown out most of the Republican philosophy. I agree with some Republican and Libertarian views — smaller government (at least in some situations).

I think some powerful international groups are running things behind the scenes (and have been for a long time). Bush is just a figurehead; he rolled over for these groups more than past presidents have. Multinational corporations, the World Trade Organization, Project for a New American Century — these are some of the people who are pulling the strings. I hope we’ll get a president, of either party, who’ll have more of a spine and stand up to these groups.

August 2, 2005 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Jake Porter said...

Tom,

I agree with you on this, George Bush is just a figure head. He has acted immoraly by nominating John Bolten not unconstitutionaly but very immoral. The good thing about John Bolten is that he might get us kicked out of the U.N. and then we won't have to worry about it.

I will read that page you sent me at my blog, I have read some of it. It appears to be very interesting. I am still investigating 9/11 and want to relese a lot of inforation in one post. I don't know what happened but the offical story does not add up. I don't like conspiracy theories and only believe a few but the official story sounds more like a conspiracy theory than truth.

August 2, 2005 at 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Jake: Another good source for 9/11 investigation is The Bulldog Manifesto. The URL is:

http://bulldogpolitics.blogspot.com/

A lot of his posts are about 9/11 and they're all backed up with links. It's some excellent reading.

August 2, 2005 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Toad734 said...

Isn't Harken Bush's old company? I thought they were out of business. After all, Bush doesn't seem to understand the concept of a balanced budget.

August 3, 2005 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

Toad734: Yup, Bush was on their Board of Directors in the '80s. He was (allegedly) involved in an insider trading scandal that couldn't be proven.

In other words he was his slippery self ten years before anyone had even heard of him.

August 3, 2005 at 11:09 PM  

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