Posts Tagged ‘US’

via Financial Tyranny: ‘We the People’ Are the New Permanent Underclass in America

Posted By Luther Blissett 01/22/18 [https://desultoryheroics.com/2018/01/22/financial-tyranny-we-the-people-are-the-new-permanent-underclass-in-america/]

By John W. Whitehead-The Rutherford Institute

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” ― Frédéric Bastiat, French Economist

Americans can no longer afford to get sick and there’s a reason why.

That’s because a growing number of Americans are struggling to stretch their dollars far enough to pay their bills, get out of debt and ensure that if and when an illness arises, it doesn’t bankrupt them. [https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/medical-bills/530679/]

This is a reality that no amount of partisan political bickering can deny.

Many Americans can no longer afford health insurance, drug costs or hospital bills.

They can’t afford to pay rising healthcare premiums, out-of-pocket deductibles and prescription drug bills.

They can’t afford to live, and now they can’t afford to get sick or die, either.
[https://www.thenation.com/article/the-devastating-process-of-dying-in-america-without-insurance/]

To be clear, my definition of “affordable healthcare” is different from the government’s.

To the government, you can “afford” to pay for healthcare if your income falls above the poverty line.
That takes no account of rising taxes, the cost of living, the cost to clothe and feed a household, the cost of transportation and communication and education, or any of the other line items that add up to a life worth living.

As Helaine Olen points out in The Atlantic [https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/medical-bills/530679/]:

“Just because a person is insured, it doesn’t mean he or she can actually afford their doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical, and other medical bills. The point of insurance is to protect patients’ finances from the costs of everything from hospitalizations to prescription drugs, but out-of-pocket spending for people even with employer-provided health insurance has increased by more than 50 percent since 2010.”

For too many Americans, achieving any kind of quality of life has become a choice between putting food on the table and paying one’s bills or health care coverage.
It’s a gamble any way you look at it, and the medical community is not helping.

Healthcare costs are rising, driven by a medical, insurance and pharmaceutical industry that are getting rich off the sick and dying.
[https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/10/us/health-insurance-affordable-care-act.html]

Indeed, Americans currently pay $3.4 trillion a year for medical care.
[https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/23/heres-how-much-the-average-american-spends-on-health-care.html]

We spent more than $10,000 per person on health care in 2016.
[https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/23/heres-how-much-the-average-american-spends-on-health-care.html]

Those attempting to shop for health insurance coverage right now are understandably experiencing sticker shock with premiums set to rise 34% in 2018.
[https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/25/most-popular-obamacare-plans-cost-average-of-34-percent-more-for-2018.html]

It’s estimated that costs may rise as high as $15,000 by 2023.

As Bloomberg reports [https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-19/rising-health-insurance-costs-blunt-employees-paycheck-gains]:

“Rising health-care costs are eating up the wage gains won by American workers, who are being asked by their employers to pick up more of the heftier tab… The cost of buying health coverage at work has increased faster than wages and inflation for years, pressuring household budgets.”

Appallingly, Americans spend more than any developed country on healthcare and have less to show for it.
[https://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/08/us-health-care-spending-is-high-results-arenot-so-good.html]

We don’t live as long, we have higher infant mortality rates, we have fewer hospital and physician visits, and the quality of our healthcare is generally worse.

We also pay astronomical amounts for prescription drugs, compared to other countries.

Whether or not you’re insured through an employer, the healthcare marketplace, a government-subsidized program such as Medicare or Medicaid, or have no health coverage whatsoever, it’s still “we the consumers” who have to pay to subsidize the bill whenever anyone gets sick in this country.

And that bill is a whopper.

While Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) may have made health insurance more accessible to greater numbers of individuals, it has failed to make healthcare any more affordable.

Why?

As journalist Laurie Meisler concludes: “One big reason U.S. health care costs are so high: pharmaceutical spending. The U.S. spends more per capita on prescription medicines and over-the-counter products than any other country.” [https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-health-care-spending/]

One investigative journalist spent seven months analyzing hundreds of bills from hospitals, doctors, drug companies, and medical equipment manufacturers.

His findings confirmed what we’ve known all along: health care in America is just another way of making corporations rich at consumer expense. [https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/wildly-overinflated-hospital-costs/]

An examination of an itemized hospital bill (only available upon request) revealed an amazing amount of price gouging. [https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/wildly-overinflated-hospital-costs/]

Tylenol, which you can buy for less than $10 for a bottle, was charged to the patient at a rate of $15 per pill, for a total of $345 for a hospital stay.

$8 for a plastic bag to hold the patient’s personal items and another $8 for a box of Kleenex.

$23 for a single alcohol swab.

$53 per pair for non-sterile gloves (adding up to $5,141 for the entire hospital stay).

$10 for plastic cup in which to take one’s medicine.

$93 for the use of an overhead light during a surgical procedure.

$39 each time you want to hold your newborn baby.
[http://mbamedical.com/10-rediculously-overpriced-hospital-charges/]

And $800 for a sterile water IV bag that costs about a dollar to make.

This is clearly not a problem that can be remedied by partisan politics.

The so-called Affordable Care Act pushed through by the Obama administration is proving to be anything but affordable for anyone over the poverty line. [https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/09/feds-obamacare-site-does-biggest-business-yet-while-half-people-can-pay-0/847903001/]

And the Trump administration’s “fixes” promise to be no better.

Indeed, for too many Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and struggle just to get by, the tax penalty for not having health insurance will actually be cheaper than trying to find affordable coverage that actually pays for care. [https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/us/obamacare-affordable-care-act-tax-penalties.html]

This is how the middle classes, who fuel the nation’s economy and fund the government’s programs, get screwed repeatedly.

When almost 60% of Americans are so financially strapped that they don’t have even $500 in savings [http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/12/pf/americans-lack-of-savings/index.html] and nothing whatsoever put away for retirement, and yet they are being forced to pay for government programs that do little to enhance their lives, we’re not living the American dream. [https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/13/heres-how-many-americans-have-nothing-at-all-saved-for-retirement.html]

We’re living a financial nightmare.

We have no real say in how the government runs, or how our taxpayer funds are used, but that doesn’t prevent the government from fleecing us at every turn and forcing us to pay for endless wars that do more to fund the military industrial complex than protect us, pork barrel projects that produce little to nothing, and a police state that serves only to imprison us within its walls.

We have no real say, but we’re being forced to pay through the nose, anyhow.

George Harrison, who died 16 years ago this month, summed up this outrageous state of affairs in his song Taxman:

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me.

In other words, in the eyes of the government, “we the people, the voters, the consumers, and the taxpayers” are little more than indentured servants and sources of revenue.

If you have no choice, no voice, and no real options when it comes to the government’s claims on your property and your money, you’re not free.

Consider:

The government can seize your home and your car (which you’ve bought and paid for) over nonpayment of taxes.

Government agents can freeze and seize your bank accounts and other valuables if they merely “suspect” wrongdoing.

And the IRS insists on getting the first cut of your salary to pay for government programs over which you have no say.

It wasn’t always this way, of course.

Early Americans went to war over the inalienable rights described by philosopher John Locke as the natural rights of life, liberty and property. [https://fee.org/articles/john-locke-natural-rights-to-life-liberty-and-property/]

It didn’t take long, however—a hundred years, in fact—before the American government was laying claim to the citizenry’s property by levying taxes to pay for the Civil War.

As the New York Times reports, “Widespread resistance led to its repeal in 1872.” [https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/business/yourtaxes/irwin-schiff-fervent-opponent-of-federal-income-taxes-dies-at-87.html]

Determined to claim some of the citizenry’s wealth for its own uses, the government reinstituted the income tax in 1894.

Charles Pollock challenged the tax as unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

Pollock’s victory was relatively short-lived.

Members of Congress—united in their determination to tax the American people’s income—worked together to adopt a constitutional amendment to overrule the Pollock decision.

On the eve of World War I, in 1913, Congress instituted a permanent income tax by way of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution and the Revenue Act of 1913. [https://www.npr.org/2010/12/08/131913228/A-History-Of-Income-Tax]

Under the Revenue Act, individuals with income exceeding $3,000 could be taxed starting at 1% up to 7% for incomes exceeding $500,000.

It’s all gone downhill from there.

Unsurprisingly, the government has used its tax powers to advance its own imperialistic agendas and the courts have repeatedly upheld the government’s power to penalize or jail those who refused to pay their taxes.
[http://www.nytimes.com/1991/01/09/business/supreme-court-ruling-supports-tax-protester.html]

Irwin A. Schiff was one of the nation’s most vocal tax protesters.

He spent a good portion of his life arguing that the income tax was unconstitutional.

He paid the price for his resistance, too:

Schiff served three separate prison terms (more than 10 years in all) over his refusal to pay taxes.

He died at the age of 87 serving a 14-year prison term.

As constitutional activist Robert L. Schulz noted in Schiff’s obituary [https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/business/yourtaxes/irwin-schiff-fervent-opponent-of-federal-income-taxes-dies-at-87.html]:

“In a society where there is so much fear of government, and in particular of the I.R.S., [Schiff] was probably the most influential educator regarding the illegal and unconstitutional operation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code. It’s very hard to speak to power, but he did, and he paid a very heavy price.”

It’s still hard to speak to power, and those who do are still paying a very heavy price.

All the while the government continues to do whatever it likes—levy taxes, rack up debt, spend outrageously and irresponsibly—with little thought for the plight of its citizens.

The national debt is $20 trillion and growing.
[http://www.usdebtclock.org/]

The amount this country owes is now greater than its gross national product (all the products and services produced in one year by labor and property supplied by the citizens). [http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/17/5-facts-about-the-national-debt-what-you-should-know/]

We’re paying more than $270 billion just in interest on that debt annually. [http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/17/5-facts-about-the-national-debt-what-you-should-know/]

And the top two foreign countries who “own” our debt are China and Japan.

To top it all off, all of those wars the U.S. is so eager to fight abroad are being waged with borrowed funds.

As The Atlantic reports: [https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/09/cost-wars-iraq-afghanistan/499007/]:

“For 15 years now, the United States has been putting these wars on a credit card… U.S. leaders are essentially bankrolling the wars with debt, in the form of purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds by U.S.-based entities like pension funds and state and local governments, and by countries like China and Japan.”

If Americans managed their personal finances the way the government mismanages the nation’s finances, we’d all be in debtors’ prison by now.

Still, the government remains unrepentant, unfazed and undeterred in its money grabs.

While we’re struggling to get by, and making tough decisions about how to spend what little money actually makes it into our pockets after the federal, state and local governments take their share (this doesn’t include the stealth taxes imposed through tolls, fines and other fiscal penalties), the police state is spending our hard-earned tax dollars to further entrench its powers and entrap its citizens.

For instance, American taxpayers have been forced to shell out $5.6 trillion since 9/11 for the military industrial complex’s costly, endless so-called “war on terrorism.” [http://www.newsweek.com/how-many-trillions-war-has-cost-us-taxpayer-911-attacks-705041]

That translates to roughly $23,000 per taxpayer to wage wars abroad, occupy foreign countries, provide financial aid to foreign allies, and fill the pockets of defense contractors and grease the hands of corrupt foreign dignitaries.

Mind you, that staggering $6 trillion is only a portion of what the Pentagon spends on America’s military empire.

That price tag keeps growing, too. [http://www.futurity.org/post-911-costs-of-war-1602682/]

The 16-year war in Afghanistan, which now stands as the longest [http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/21/news/economy/war-costs-afghanistan/index.html]and one of the most expensive [https://theconversation.com/iraq-and-afghanistan-the-us-6-trillion-bill-for-americas-longest-war-is-unpaid-78241]wars in U.S. history, is about to get even longer and more costly, thanks to President Trump’s promise to send more troops over. [https://www.vox.com/world/2017/9/19/16227730/trump-afghanistan-3000-troops-mattis]

In this way, the military industrial complex will get even richer, and the American taxpayer will be forced to shell out even more funds for programs that do little to enhance our lives, ensure our happiness and well-being, or secure our freedoms.

As Dwight D. Eisenhower warned in a 1953 speech:
[http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/speeches/ike_chance_for_peace.html]:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense.
[http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/speeches/ike_chance_for_peace.html]

Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?

This is still no way of life.

Yet it’s not just the government’s endless wars that are bleeding us dry.

We’re also being forced to shell out money for surveillance systems to track our movements, money to further militarize our already militarized police, money to allow the government to raid our homes and bank accounts, money to fund schools where our kids learn nothing about freedom and everything about how to comply, and on and on.

Are you getting the picture yet?

The government isn’t taking our money to make our lives better.

Just take a look at the nation’s failing infrastructure, and you’ll see how little is being spent on programs that advance the common good.

We’re being robbed blind so the governmental elite can get richer.

This is nothing less than financial tyranny.

“We the people” have become the new, permanent underclass in America.

It’s tempting to say that there’s little we can do about it, except that’s not quite accurate.

There are a few things we can do (demand transparency, reject cronyism and graft, insist on fair pricing and honest accounting methods, call a halt to incentive-driven government programs that prioritize profits over people), but it will require that “we the people” stop playing politics and stand united against the politicians and corporate interests who have turned our government and economy into a pay-to-play exercise in fascism.

We’ve become so invested in identity politics that label us based on our political leanings that we’ve lost sight of the one label that unites us: we’re all Americans.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the powers-that-be want to pit us against one another. [https://www.amazon.com/Battlefield-America-War-American-People/dp/1590793099]

They want us to adopt an “us versus them” mindset that keeps us powerless and divided.

Trust me, the only “us versus them” that matters anymore is “we the people” against the police state.
We’re all in the same boat, folks, and there’s only one real life preserver: that’s the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution starts with those three powerful words:

“We the people.”
The message is this: there is power in our numbers.

That remains our greatest strength in the face of a governmental elite that continues to ride roughshod over the populace.

It remains our greatest defense against a government that has claimed for itself unlimited power over the purse (taxpayer funds) and the sword (military might).

As Patrick Henry declared in the last speech before his death:

“United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions … or … exhaust [our strength] in civil commotions and intestine wars.”

This holds true whether you’re talking about health care, war spending, or the American police state.

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via John Galt, Ayn Rand, mega-corporations, mega-government

[https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2018/01/17/john-galt-ayn-rand-mega-corporations-mega-government/] By Jon Rappoport 01/17/18

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.

Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.

Check your road and the nature of your battle.

The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.” (John Galt, Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand)

Ayn Rand, the most hated and adored novelist of the 20th century.

Her 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged, proposes a radical effort by inventor John Galt, and his assembled creative colleagues, to withdraw from society and take their inventions with them.

Civilization is already crumbling, owing to the federal government and its cronies installing a socialism based on top-down domination and the theft of material and intellectual private property.

Galt decides that a head-on struggle with the government would be futile.

Instead, he wants to apply the coup de grace: remove the authentic creators from the scene and let the system implode.

Here are key Galt quotes from the novel:

“You propose to establish a social order based on the following tenets: that you’re incompetent to run your own life, but competent to run the lives of others—that you’re unfit to exist in freedom, but fit to become an omnipotent ruler…”

“Why is it immoral to produce a value and keep it, but moral to give it away?”

“The doctrine that ‘human rights’ are superior to ‘property rights’ simply means that some human beings have the right to make property out of others…”

“You called it selfish and cruel that men should trade value for value—you have now established an unselfish society where they trade extortion for extortion.

Your system is a legal civil war, where men gang up on one another and struggle for possession of the law, which they use as a club over rivals, till another gang wrests it from their clutch and clubs them with it in their turn, all of them clamoring protestations of service to an unnamed public’s unspecified good…”

Galt is the inventor of a revolutionary engine that can provide energy to the whole planet.

He created the engine.

He owns it.

The government, on the verge of an economic collapse, wants to take Galt’s engine from him and use it for “the greater good.”

Galt refuses.

The engine is his.

He knows, of course, that the government could do unpredictable things with that engine—they could, in fact, put it in a vault and bury it.

On the other hand, he could maintain control over his invention and sell the abundant energy—not with the objective of becoming a king or an oligarch—at a price he sets. And eventually, the world would be swimming in energy.

Agents of the government (who resemble CIA types) kidnap him and prepare to torture him, MKULTRA style, to get their hands on his engine—but at the last minute his friends rescue him, and they vanish to Galt Gulch, a hidden valley, where they wait for the government to cave in, collapse, thereby ushering in, by necessity, a truly free market.

Rand focuses on the creative individual and his private property, his own inventions.

This is one reason why leaders of collectivism and their addled followers hate her and her work.

They scream that every good thing in this world must be given away, which means that every good thing will be taken over by men who hate life and freedom and the individual, while pretending to be messianic altruists.

Among the addled followers of collectivism are people who believe they themselves are unable to earn a living, and therefore insist that “everything should be free.”

For decades now, an operation has been underway to convince more and more people (especially the young) to see themselves as dependent. As if that status were righteous, as if that status were a badge of honor.

This is an intense rejection of the free and independent individual.

“You didn’t build that” and “we’re all in this together” and other such inanities are sparks shot by weapons of degraded thought.

They intend to encircle humanity in a wretched fume of pretended helplessness.

Indeed, there is no intention to raise up the individual. Instead, there is a goal of sinking to the lowest common denominator—as if at the bottom of a stagnant lake lies some magic clue to the resurrection of the human species.

There, at last, beyond desperation, is the “sharing and caring” everyone has been seeking.

This is the core of a Church of Failure.

Because at the bottom, there is nothing but sludge.

And in this case, the fishermen of souls are casting their nets for participants in a half-light dystopia of abject need.

Endless need, never to be satisfied—the ultimate spiritual drug.

In Atlas Shrugged, John Galt wins.

Rand wrote about the ultimate victory of the individual, and that is why she is a silver bullet aimed at vampires.

She is called an extreme fantasist, because now we know that society is composed of groups, and each group has special needs and demands, and government exists to satisfy them.

Now we know that the individual is a delusional construction, an outmoded prop in a drama that was played out a long time ago.

The bright new world is collective.

Yes, isn’t it pleasant?

The present-day oligarchs are actually messiahs, and they head up huge organizations.

They no longer wander in the desert.

They own castles.

They collude with each other to manufacture rainbows for the masses.

Behind their masks, they plot greater and greater control of the population.

They even finance and stage protests against…whom?

Against any power that isn’t their own.

Against any power that isn’t the machine of government.

Because the government, you see, is the bringer of help for all who are suffering.

How does that work?

It doesn’t.

It promotes the most profound dependence ever seen on the face of the planet.

Control through “satisfying needs.”

And it’s “free.”

In your dreams.

This “free” is where the individual goes to surrender.

And because she saw that and so much more, and because she wrote about it in incendiary novels, she was hated.

Ayn Rand, 1905-1982.

Atlas Shrugged; The Fountainhead.

And now, as a backgrounder, I want to describe a point that Rand didn’t make with any force—a prime reason for the collapse of the free market she championed.

Government power and corporate power—the false dichotomy

For decades, people on the Left and Right have been arguing about where the real power is.

Corporations?

Government?

Some of these people even cite President’s Eisenhower’s famous warning about the excesses of the “military-industrial complex.”

Well, let’s see. “Industrial” means corporations.

“Military” means government, since the last time I looked the Pentagon was part of the Executive Branch.

So Eisenhower was talking about an ongoing partnership between the public and private sectors.

The federal government isn’t the helpless victim of corporations.

And corporations aren’t wilting under the dominating government.

They’re in it together.

When people on the Left promote their programs for “a better world,” they invoke a convenient case of amnesia about central government and its chronic collusion with mega-corporations.

It is the government, these Lefties believe, that will carry us forward into a more equitable future.

Really?

The same government that has been willingly carving up the country with corporations at its side?

The same government which, for decades, has been signing Globalist treaties and looking the other way, as millions of jobs have gone overseas?

That is the kinder, gentler force that wants only good things for the American people?

Perhaps that means good things for expanding Welfare recipients—but not for Americans who are looking for work and want to work.

Here is just one example of collusion, which occurred under a president many people believed finally understood the “helper” and “better world” role of government.

Barack Obama.

Who makes the huge number of drones and bombs and planes and supplies them to the military (government)?

Defense contractors, otherwise known as corporations.

It’s a comfortable marriage.

Buckle up.

The leftist Guardian (1/9/17):

“In 2016 [under Obama], US special [military] operators could be found in 70% of the world’s nations, 138 countries – a staggering jump of 130% since the days of the Bush administration.”

“…in 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs.

This means that every day last year, the US military blasted combatants or civilians overseas with 72 bombs; that’s three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.”

“As drone-warrior-in-chief, he [Obama] spread the use of drones outside the declared battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, mainly to Pakistan and Yemen. Obama authorized over 10 times more drone strikes than George W Bush, and automatically painted all males of military age in these regions as combatants, making them fair game for remote controlled killing.”

Obama.

The champ of bombing.

But of course he was the prophet of a better world, a coming glorious revolution in which the downtrodden would be given their due, and past crimes and offenses would be healed.

Sure.

And if Trump had lost and Hillary had ascended to the Oval Office, we would be closer to that “good revolution.”

Hillary, who along with Obama, destroyed the nation of Libya and turned it into a hellhole of chaos.

The weapons of that mass killing were manufactured by corporations.

Vast profits ensued.

Let’s look at one more example of government-corporate collusion, under that same president who best personified “a prophet for a better world and a new age.”

“Let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.” (Barack Obama, 2007, on the campaign trail)

Really?

In the last eight years, the global outcry against toxic Monsanto and the other biotech giants has accelerated—but not a significant peep emerged from the Obama White House.

And then Obama signed the bill dubbed The Dark Act.

It made GMO labels on food an exclusively federal matter—and those labels will be confusing, weak, and therefore meaningless for the majority of Americans.

The Dark Act is basically a free pass for the Monsanto Corporation and the other biotech giants.

After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in GMO food/pesticide issues—the USDA and the FDA:

At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center.

As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto.

Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.

As commissioner of the USDA, Iowa governor, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack had set up a national group, the Governors’ Biotechnology Partnership, and had been given a Governor of the Year Award by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto.

As the Agriculture Trade Representative, who would push GMOs for export, Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist.

As the counsel for the USDA, Ramona Romero, who had been corporate counsel for another biotech giant, DuPont.

As the head of the USAID, Rajiv Shah, who had previously worked in key positions for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major funder of GMO agriculture.

We should also remember that Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, once worked for the Rose law firm.

That firm was counsel to Monsanto.

Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court. Kagan, as federal solicitor general, had previously argued for Monsanto in the Monsanto v. Geertson seed case before the Supreme Court.

The deck was stacked.

Obama hadn’t simply made honest mistakes.

Obama hadn’t just failed to exercise proper oversight in selecting appointees.

He was staking out territory on behalf of Monsanto and other GMO corporate giants.

And now let us look at what key Obama appointees have wrought for their true partners.

Let’s see what GMO crops walked through the open door of the Obama presidency.

* Monsanto GMO alfalfa.

* Monsanto GMO sugar beets.

* Monsanto GMO Bt soybean.

* Syngenta GMO corn for ethanol.

* Syngenta GMO stacked corn.

* Pioneer GMO soybean.

* Syngenta GMO Bt cotton.

* Bayer GMO cotton.

* ATryn, an anti-clotting agent from the milk of transgenic goats.

* A GMO papaya strain.

* Genetically engineered salmon.

This is an extraordinary parade.

Obama was, all along, a stealth operative working with Monsanto, biotech, GMOs, for corporate control of the future of agriculture.

He didn’t make that many key political appointments and allow that many new GMO crops to enter the food chain through a lack of oversight.

Nor is it coincidental that two of the Obama’s biggest supporters, Bill Gates and George Soros, purchased 900,000 and 500,000 shares of Monsanto, respectively, in 2010.

Obama had been a covert Monsanto partner since the beginning.

Imposter.

Charlatan.

These words fit Obama.

He doesn’t care that GMO food, with their rivers of toxic pesticides, are taking over the country and the world.

He obviously wants it to happen.

Government-corporate collusion and partnership.

Not one.

Not the other.

Both.

Together.

The dichotomy of government vs. mega-corporation is false.

Free market?

In your dreams.

Opening By Rex/Ric – Aug 12, 2017

I looked at my latest YouTube “Recommendations”, and they were littered with Mass Media Corporatist Crap I HAVE seldom watched – GONE, most of the Alternative News AND Independent Artist Media I Did.

I Have Cancelled YouTube Red, and as soon as another variant emerges, I’m done with it…and I suspect I’ll be FAR from the only one.

Google+ seems to be heading the same way.

I notice even the “sheeple” are starting to suspect a “fix is in” on the media they came to both places to see – not to mention the declining market shares of the MSM.

So, this begs the question:

Why “toe a line” for the Oligarchy, if everyone sees through it, and the reputation you once had for being a champion of free speech and expression is damaged beyond reclamation?

Why…you end as just another tool that will be discarded when it no longer serves it’s master’s purposes.

Look at CNN – its now labelled as “Fake News”.

Trump is buying up news stations right and left to brand as HE sees fit. [We can HARDLY wait…**snerk**]

Remember, Google[and YouTube], Freedom of Speech, Independent News, Media and Arts WAS WHAT Made you the “mecca” for so many of us to come to.

WE are the people you should care about, because as you started, WE cared about YOU, and helped fuel your growth because “We The People” thought we had found an ally against corporatist lies.

The Truth of the matter is – we are YOU, and YOU are US – NOT them.

The oligarchy?

As Michael Jackson eloquently stated in a song:
“They Don’t Care About Us” 

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1pqi8vjTLY

And now the Article:

YouTube is Now Purging Evidence of War Crimes—Labeling it as ‘Extremist’ Content

YouTube is now labeling videos that show the United States conducting airstrikes and committing war crimes in the Middle East as “extremist” content.

By Rachel Blevins – August 13, 2017 [http://thefreethoughtproject.com/youtube-removing-evidence-war-crimes]

Just one month after YouTube deleted a video of the United States air-dropping weapons to ISIS and claimed that it contained “violent or graphic content,” the video platform is now being criticized for implementing a new artificial intelligence program to monitor “extremist” content that is deleting videos that document U.S. war crimes.

The monitoring organization Airwars.org [https://airwars.org/] recently reported that its YouTube account had been targeted, just one week after YouTube published a new blog post announcing that it is “developing and implementing cutting-edge machine learning technology designed to help us identify and remove violent extremism and terrorism-related content in a scalable way.” [https://youtube.googleblog.com/2017/08/an-update-on-our-commitment-to-fight.html]

Airwars raised the issue on Twitter, noting that after approving hundreds of their videos documenting U.S. airstrikes, YouTube has suddenly blocked three videos out of nowhere.  

The newly blocked videos showed U.S. coalition airstrikes that were reportedly targeting ISIS, and their dates ranged from August 2015 to March 2016.

View image on Twitter: [https://twitter.com/airwars/status/894833148403568640/photo/1]

Can you work out why @TeamYouTube has banned these three videos? We can’t. Of 100s we have archived since 2014, these 3 blocked this week. 4141 Replies – 427427 Retweets – 565565 likes

The 2nd is from March 2016, and is still on Pentagon’s media channel. A war act, though unclear how it breaches T&Cs https://t.co/CglVqcnDcA

3rd video also 2016. 

Again. unclear how this differs from 100s of military videos we’ve archived for public record https://t.co/zFVIkObiS6

Airwars later posted an update, which said that following the publicity around YouTube’s decision to block the videos, the platform had apparently chosen to remove the ban from the three videos, and it implemented an 18 years and over age restriction. 

“Adult-only war,” Airwars remarked, noting that “Archiving published Coalition videos creates permanent public record of conflict.”

Archiving published Coalition videos creates permanent public record of conflict (many vids since been removed by @CJTFOIR). Bans unhelpful.

Update: @YouTube appears to have lifted bans following today’s publicity – though has replaced with an age 18 restriction. Adult-only war.

Chris Woods, the head of Airwars, told Middle East Eye that he is still in negotiations with YouTube over a number of videos, but he sees this trend as one that risks “severely undermining work done by Syrian opposition activists.”

“I think what’s so troubling about this if we look at the Syrian accounts, this is video chronicling a six or seven-year war, and some of the most important parts of that war from the perspective of Syrians,”Woods said.

Middle East Eye also reported that it has had similar problems with YouTube after the platform removed a number of videos, “some of which were later given age restrictions, some of which remain removed.” [http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/youtube-criticised-after-middle-east-video-taken-down-over-extremist-content-1244893230]

“YouTube told MEE in an email that the video ‘Drone footage by Islamic State shows suicide car attacks on Iraqi forces inside Mosul’ was removed and that YouTube had ‘assigned a Community Guidelines strike, or temporary penalty’ to MEE’s account. 

The same occurred in the case of ‘Video appears to show Egyptian soldiers carrying out extra-judicial killings.’ 

MEE lodged an appeal with YouTube and received this response:

‘After further review of the content, we’ve determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision. We appreciate your understanding.’

Another video, documenting the destruction of Nimrud by IS, which is widely available across the internet, was removed from an MEE staff account, and all appeals were rejected.”

The report from Middle East Eye also claimed that Alexa O’Brien, an American journalist who covered the US prosecution of WikiLeaks’ whistleblower Chelsea Manning, reported on Twitter that the infamous videos released by Manning that showed the U.S. military blatantly committing war crimes were removed from YouTube. 

Her Twitter account is currently set to private. [https://twitter.com/carwinb?lang=en]

As The Free Thought Project has reported, alternative geopolitical analyst “Partisan Girl” revealed that YouTube removed her video showing the U.S. airdropping weapons to ISIS in July, claiming it contained “violent of graphic content” that violated the platform’s community guidelines. [http://thefreethoughtproject.com/youtube-censors-video-showing-us-airdropped-weapons-falling-into-isis-hands/]

“It documented US military airdrops falling into ISIS hands,” She wrote. “Truth is graphic content.”

View image on Twitter: [https://twitter.com/Partisangirl/status/884443773693865984/photo/1]

A video on my channel just got censored by @youtube It documented US military airdrops falling into #ISIS hands! Truth is graphic content. 138138 Replies – 993993 Retweets – 1,0631,063 likes

As YouTube continues to remove videos that document both the events of the Syrian War, and evidence of the United State committing war crimes, it is important to remember that the platform still hosts thousands of videos with millions of views that are disguised as child-friendly content, while they actually promote violence, sex and pedophilia. [http://thefreethoughtproject.com/public-service-announcement-parents-beware-pedophile-content-youtube/]

Disgusted yet, America?

URGENT  – READ & SHARE – IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH FOR SOME!! 

The Empire Strikes Back: DEA Quietly Announces “Schedule I” Status For CBD Extracts To Comply With United Nations Demands… CBD Prohibition? Hemp Industry Disputes – Dec 16, 2016 – By Mike Adams

[Ric/Rex Says: “When Did WE Vote For The DEA To Comply With ANYTHING That Globalist Shill Committee EVER Has To Say About Things SOVEREIGN To “WE THE PEOPLE”

The DEA Best Start Remembering WHO Pays Their BILLS – Anyone Else Tired Of The DYSFUNCTIONAL THRALL OUR Government SEEMS To Be Held In THRALL BY The U.N. & Their OLIGARCH Controllers?  

But This Affects Me & MANY Others Directly. 

I Have 4 Weeks To Gather Enough Money To Lay In A Supply Of CBD OIL Before I Can No Longer Buy It[Until The DEA Is STOPPED! 

My E-Mail: drrexdexter@gmail.com IS Also My PayPal I.D.

Send What You Can For Me-But Also Make Sure Those YOU Care For Aren’t Cut Off From This Life-Changing, Or As It IS In MY Case, LIFE-SAVING MEDICINE!”] 

In case you didn’t notice, the war against human freedom is now in full force across the entire establishment:

Big Media, Big Pharma, Big Government, Big Banks and Big Agriculture are assaulting our bodies and minds by the hour, it seems.

The latest salvo in that war happened just a day ago, as the DEA quietly added all cannabinoids (including CBD) to its “Schedule I” classification of controlled substances in a new ruling that goes into effect on January 13, 2017. 

(Be sure to also read the hemp industry’s response below, which confirms “The sky is not falling…”)

ACTION ITEM: Sign our petition that asks the incoming Trump administration to legalize CBD supplements nationwide: http://naturalnews.com/legalizecbd/

Via the Federal Register, Vol. 81, No. 240, published Wednesday, December 14, 2016, “Rules and Regulations” [https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-12-14/pdf/2016-29941.pdf]:

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Drug Enforcement Administration

21 CFR Part 1308

[Docket No. DEA–342]

RIN 1117–AB33

Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract

AGENCY: Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

ACTION: Final rule.

PART 1308 — SCHEDULES OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

The authority citation for part 1308 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 21 U.S.C. 811, 812, 871(b), unless otherwise noted.

Section 1308.11 is amended by adding paragraph (d)(58) to read as
follows: § 1308.11    Schedule I.

(d)

(58) Marihuana Extract—(7350)

Meaning an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.

In effect, the DEA has, completely outside any act of Congress, created an entirely new “Schedule I” controlled substance it calls “Marihuana Extract” (note the spelling with an “h” rather than a “j”). This “Marihuana Extract” is, according to the DEA, any extract containing “one or more cannabinoids…”

CBD is, of course, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It’s just one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in hemp extracts, which also include CBD-A, CBG, CBC, CBN and so on.

Sign our petition at this link to ask the Trump administration to protect access to CBD products and keep the DEA’s hands off natural medicine from Cannabis. [http://naturalnews.com/legalizecbd/]

The sky is not falling! Hemp Industry Association responds…

From the Hemp Industry Association, here’s a thoughtful response on all this, which insists the DEA’s new classification is not a show-stopper [http://thehia.org/HIAhemppressreleases/4462247]:

Yesterday the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a Final Rule on the coding of marijuana extracts.

Unfortunately some misleading media stories and social media postings lead quite a few people to panic at reports that CBD was being banned under this new rule.

The Sky is NOT Falling.

The Final Rule published by DEA did not change the legal status of CBD.

This can only be done by a scheduling action which has NOT occurred.

HIA has carefully reviewed this with our legal advisors and discussed it with industry experts.

While there are some differing opinions on the effect of the rule, there is general agreement that yesterday’s ruling did not change the status of CBD. Here are some important facts to know:

1. Cannabidiol is not listed on the federal schedule of controlled substances
2. Sec. 7606 of the Farm Bill defines hemp as distinct from marijuana and does not treat it as a controlled substance when grown under a compliant state program
3. Despite these facts, DEA has stated that CBD is a controlled substance previously
4. HIA strongly disagrees with the DEA position and is ready to take action to defend should DEA take any action to block the production, processing or sale of hemp under Sec. 7606
5. The Final Rule published on December 14th was not a scheduling action but rather an administrative action related to record keeping
6. The code assigned to “marihuana extract” in the rule is “Administration Controlled Substances Code Number” for the purposes of identification of substances on registration forms
7. The rule was originally published as a proposed rule in 2011 BEFORE the Farm Bill and didn’t mention CBD or hemp
8. DEA confirmed to a reporter from the Denver Post that this was an administrative action and did not change the status of CBD in federal law

So what does this all mean?

We believe the DEA rule on “marihuana extracts” was not directed at hemp derived CBD products and has been in the works for 5 years.

We also believe there is no imminent change in DEA policy regarding hemp derived CBD products.

For now, we want to urge everyone to calm down and continue with your businesses.

We also hope that in future, reporters will take the time to get the facts before posting misleading stories about hemp and CBD.

DEA Is Obedient To United Nations Globalists 

[Ric/Rex Adds: This MUST The End For The DEA-It Is Must Be Abolished And Replaced By An Entity Loyal To It’s Oaths To The ConstitutionNOT TO Globalist Political CABALS!]

This was all done, says the DEA, to comply with “Under international drug control treaties administered by the United Nations.”

According to the registry entry, the DEA needed to create a new Schedule I classification for CBD in order to “better account for these materials in accordance with treaty obligations.”

In other words, the DEA is claiming they are beholden to globalist treaties as the reason they need to criminalize CBD as a Schedule I Controlled Substance.

The move is described as an effort to “bring the US into compliance with international drug-control treaties,” reports Leafly.com.

Such action is an admission that the federal government is really just an obedient lapdog of the United Nations. [https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/new-dea-rule-says-cbd-oil-really-truly-no-joke-illegal]

That same article confirms that the DEA considers CBD to be a Schedule I substance that’s illegal to possess:

In the DEA comment on the entry, Rosenberg directly addressed the question:

What if it’s only cannabidiol (CBD) and no other cannabinoids?

The agency’s response: “For practical purposes, all extracts that contain CBD will also contain at least small amounts of other cannabinoids.

However, if it were possible to produce from the cannabis plant an extract that contained only CBD and no other cannabinoids, such an extract would fall within the new drug code” and therefore remain federally illegal.

In other words:

The DEA is confident that it can find enough traces of other cannabinoids in your CBD oil to arrest and prosecute.

And if they can’t, they still have the option of arresting and prosecuting based on the CBD oil itself.

By this same definition, grocery store-bought hemp seeds would also be illegal to possess, by the way, because even hemp seeds contain trace amounts of CBD.

Big Pharma Behind The Scenes

The DEA’s new ruling openly admits it was strongly influenced by Big Pharma, which asked the DEA to classify all cannabinoids as Schedule I drugs, not just CBD or any other isolated compound.

From the Federal Register:

Another comment from a pharmaceutical firm currently involved in cannabinoid research and product development praised DEA’s efforts to establish a new drug code for marihuana extracts as a means to more accurately reflect the activities of scientific research and provide more consistent adherence to the requirements of the Single Convention.

However, the comment expressed concerns that the proposed definition for the new drug code (i.e. ‘‘meaning extracts that have been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis and which contain cannabinols and cannabidiols’’) is too narrow.

The comment suggested that the broader term ‘‘cannabinoids’’ be substituted for ‘‘cannabinols and cannabidiols.’’

The comment pointed out that other constituents of the marihuana plant may have therapeutic potential.

The comment further clarified that the broader term ‘‘cannabinoid’’ includes both cannabinol-type compounds and annabidiol-type compounds, as well as cannabichromene-type compounds, cannabigerol-type compounds, and other categories of compounds.

Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment Currently Protects CBD Consumers In 28 states… But It Could Vanish In April, 2017

Even under the DEA’s new Schedule I dictate, consumers of CBD products will enjoy state-level protections in at least 28 states thanks to the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, passed in 2014.

That law essentially prohibits federal DEA agents from going after CBD consumers in states where medical marijuana is already legal.

That amendment, however, must be renewed every year.

It was just renewed a week ago, on December 9, 2016, “as part of the continuing House resolution known as HR 2028, which funds the federal government through April 28, 2017,” reports Leafly.

“When that resolution expires next April, so does the protections afforded by Rohrabacher-Farr. Unless it’s renewed once again.”

What this means is that CBD protections for consumers in 28 states will likely expire in April of 2017.

CONSUMERS IN THE OTHER, NON-MEDICAL STATES HAVE LESS THAN 30 DAYS TO ACQUIRE CBD PRODUCTS BEFORE INTERSTATE SALES ARE SHUT DOWN NATIONWIDE. 

[RIC/REX ADDS: BIG PHARMA IS LOSING “CUSTOMERS” AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE GIVE UP ON THEIR “APPROVED” POISONS AND GET RELIEF AND COMPLETE CURES FROM THE CBD BASED PRODUCTS

AMERICA-ISN’T THIS ABOUT ENOUGH

AREN’T YOU TIRED OF BIG PHARMA PUTTING IT’S PROFITS AHEAD OF YOUR WELLNESS AND EVEN YOUR LIFE?]

The Industry Plans To Fight The Absurd DEA Classification With Lawsuits And Petitions

The CBD industry, naturally, is planning on waging a fierce battle to keep CBD products legal in all 50 states.

Via Leafly:

Robert Hoban, a Colorado cannabis attorney and adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver, raised the notion that the rule itself may not be lawful.

“This action is beyond the DEA’s authority,” Hoban told Leafly in an interview late this afternoon.

“The DEA can only carry out the law, they cannot create it. Here they’re purporting to create an entirely new category called ‘marijuana extracts,’ and by doing so wrest control over all cannabinoids. They want to call all cannabinoids illegal. But they don’t have the authority to do that.”

The CBD industry, in fact, has been looking for an opportunity to challenge the DEA in court, and it looks like that time has arrived.

SIGN OUR PETITION at this link, asking the Trump administration to protect consumers’ access to CBD products: http://naturalnews.com/legalizecbd/

Consumers in many states may have just 30 days to acquire CBD products before sales are halted by many companies.

One large CBD extract producer told Natural News, “We’ve been advised by our attorney to halt CBD sales outside our home state in 30 days.”

That company plans to announce to its customers that they have 30 days to purchase their products, after which they plan to pull all sales except for inside their home state.

Other CBD producers are poised to fight the DEA regulation with federal lawsuits. With the DEA’s enforcement of its cannabis regulations up in the air — and with lawsuits from private industry on the horizon — 2017 looks to be a year of unexpected twists and turns for hemp extract producers and consumers.

Natural News will continue to cover the news on all this, including publishing on HempScience.news: http://hempscience.news/

My personal analysis, by the way, is that the DEA’s ruling will not stand for long. 

It will be either narrowed through clarification or rescinded.

But you never know for sure, especially when the DEA wants to wage a large power grab just in time for the new incoming administration which may be rather hostile to medical marijuana.

http://www.naturalnews.com/2016-12-16-dea-quietly-announces-schedule-i-status-for-cbd-extracts-prohibition-begins-january-13-2017.html

Post: https://randrewohge.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/the-empire-strikes-back-dea-quietly-announces-schedule-i-status-for-cbd-extracts-to-comply-with-united-nations-demands

Borderlex.eu in partnership with EurActiv

by Iana Dreyer (With Additional Commentary By R Andrew Ohge aka Rex Dexter) | 29 Sep 2015 

The Transpacific Partnership (TPP) involving the United States and eleven other Asia-Pacific countries might be concluded this week. 

So, here we have the Eu’s “House Organ” despairing about MAYBE being “too late to the party” to get on board with, as Euractive puts it- a Deal That Might BE CONCLUDED THIS WEEK!

WHAT were we DOING in ‘Murica this week?

1. Let’s see-we found out we might be able to get a salty drink of water on Mars-I’m sure some folks are lining up for that.

2. With some showy Lunar Eclipses we watched events for signs the “End Might Be Near/The NWO Might Be Starting/Etc.

3. We had a Potpourri of Popery at its finest-LOTS of hopeful words, but nothing of substance happened-we’d rather see Poverty ended, Small Business and Family Farms/Enterprises Boosted, Jobs Created, Education Made Free, etc in EVEN ONE SMALL PLACE, than all the promises with no activity, as yet, attached to them.

4. No Pot Smokers got out of prison-but many new ones went in.

5. The Cops were just as nasty as ever.

6. The Elite were just as EVIL AND GREEDY as ever.

7. The Government Is Threatened With A Shut-Down.

And NOW we find out this was being hammered into being behind the scenes…well hell, THANKS MSM, Congress and POTUS-Which Explains WHY ALL OF THE ABOVE held the headlines, I guess.

Trade pundits say now is the time for the EU to think big on its Asian market access strategy.

An eleventh hour decision was taken last week to hold a new round TPP talks in Atlanta, in order to conclude negotiations that have been ongoing for six years. 

Last week’s TPP move comes as an attempt to seal the deal, which negotiators say is very close to being wrapped up. 

Success is not guaranteed this week, but conclusion now only seems to be a matter of time, according to persons familiar with the talks.

The TPP was launched in 2009 by the Obama Administration as part of its so-called ‘pivot to Asia’, and as a means for maintain Washington to maintain its foothold in a region in which the economic and political rise of China is of increasing concern. 

With Japan having joined the talks in 2013, TPP is expected to cover about 40 percent of world trade. [They’re already shipping us HEAPS of Fukushima RADIOACTIVITY-Tuna, Anyone?]

The US is clearly securing preferential market access in a region that the Asian Development Bank thinks will produce more than half of the world’s output by 2050. 

China responded with its own regional trade integration initiative, RCEP, covering East and South East Asia, and potentially India.

“The TPP will change the competitive relation between European and American firms as far as access to the Asia-Pacific market is concerned,” scholars at the European Centre for International Political Economy warned in a brief published last year.

André Sapir, Senior Fellow at the Bruegel think tank, told Borderlex: 

“The more successful TPP will be in liberalizing trade among participating countries, the more likely will be the damage for EU trade with TPP countries, and the greater, therefore, the incentive for the EU to conclude bilateral trade deals with TPP members such as EU-ASEAN, EU-Japan and TTIP.”

The EU is already firmly engaged in the race for access to Asian markets. 

For instance, the EU is negotiating a free trade agreement with Japan, the world’s fourth largest economy. 

It concluded talks with Vietnam, a dynamic emerging market of 90 million people, in August this year. 

Three years ago, it sealed an FTA with Singapore, but has not yet ratified it. 

All three partners are part of TPP. 

The talk in Brussels is that bilateral free trade agreements will be sought with all TPP members in the coming years.

No strategy equivalent to TPP

But Brussels might be advancing too slowly.  

“While Europe negotiates bilaterally with some TPP countries, it has no strategy equivalent to the TPP, which could be continually employed to build a larger system for trade policy cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and to address global commercial problems,” the ECIPE paper argues.

Some think the EU needs to think and act bigger – and quickly – in response to TPP.

Patrick Messerlin, Emeritus Professor at Sciences Po told Borderlex that the biggest loss from TPP “will be the fact that EU exporters will be disadvantaged on the US and Japanese markets for all the products exported by the US, Japanese and other TPP exporters”.

In response to TPP, Messerlin believes that “the EU should accelerate the trade negotiations with Japan and amplify its regulatory cooperation with this country, develop a much more aggressive pivot to Asia, by examining seriously the option to join RCEP, and continue to negotiate TTIP”.

Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe, told Borderlex that after TPP, “opening talks quickly on an EU-ASEAN FTA becomes more strategically important. 

Step by step, the EU could be even more ambitious by exploring a possible EU-ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA. 

And why not reflect on a trade and investment deal as part of ASEM, the Asia Europe partnership”.

The Commission is expected publish a new trade strategy for the EU “very soon”, Cecilia Malmström, the EU’s trade Commissioner said on Friday (25 September). 

The document will indicate whether Brussels wants to be bold.

The parties to TPP are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.  

The TPP group accounts for one quarter of EU trade.

WHEN WILL WE EVER BE TOLD WHAT OUR ELECTED GOVERNMENT IS UP TO. MILLIONS have signed Petitions against this monster described as “NAFTA on steroids”, as well as a WELFARE HANDOUT to the Multi-Nationals”?

When Will LUX-LEAKS Get A FULL INVESTIGATION?

This SAME Issue Of Euractive Had THIS Story. As You Read It, Realize-If TPP AND TTIP Become Reality The Whole Issue Will Be Investigated UNDER THE AUTHORITY of the very same Multi-Nationals UP TO THEIR EARLOBES in this whole scandal…talk about hiring the FOX to watch the hen house!

The Story:

According to Der Spiegel, Jean-Claude Juncker KNEW about Luxembourg’s tax rulings as early as 1997, an accusation he denied to MEPs. La Tribune reports[http://www.euractiv.fr/sections/euro-finances/luxleaks-jean-claude-juncker-t-il-menti-aux-deputes-europeens-318056]:

Der Spiegel claimed on Monday (28 September) that Jean-Claude Juncker knew about a page that was removed from a 1997 economic report, allegedly concerning Luxembourg’s tax rulings practices.

Yet in a hearing in the European Parliament’s TAXE special committee on 17 September, Juncker told MEPs he had no such knowledge. 

So did Juncker lie to the European Parliament?

A report with one page missing…

The affair hinges on a report written by the Luxembourgish Christian Social MP Jeannot Krecké, who would later become Jean-Claude Juncker’s Minister for the Economy, between 2002 and 2012. 

The Krecké report on tax evasion in Luxembourg was presented to the government of the Grand Duchy in 1997, during Jean-Claude Juncker’s time as prime minister, between 1995 to 2013.

>> Read: Juncker breaks cover on Luxleaks: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/eu-elections-2014/juncker-provides-explanations-press-over-luxleaks-309949

But according to Jeannot Krecké, one page was missing from the published report. 

This page concerned tax rulings, the secret deals agreed between the government and businesses to attract them to Luxembourg with tax advantages. 

It was the revelation of these practices that caused the Luxleaks scandal last year.

Two men, one liar

Jeannot Krecké claims there are only three “original” versions of the report. 

He has one. 

Another is held by the Luxemburgish Social Democrat Lucien Lux, and the third is in the possession of Jean-Claude Juncker.

In an email to Der Spiegel, Krecké reaffirmed his version of the story. 

The President of the European Commission knew about the page omitted from the report. 

“I can confirm that in April 1997, I gave both the official version and a private version of my report to Mr. Juncker,” he wrote.

But on 17 September, Juncker told the European Parliament’s TAXE special committee that he had never had the original version of the report and that he was unaware of the existence of the missing page.

>>Read: Grumpy Juncker: ‘Call it EUleaks, not Luxleaks!’: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/euro-finance/grumpy-juncker-demands-call-it-euleaks-not-luxleaks-317743

The content of this page is still unknown. 

Jeannot Krecké refuses to reveal it, and insists it should be up to Jean-Claude Juncker to do so.

One thing seems certain: it was not Jean-Claude Juncker, but Jeannot Krecké who ordered the removal of the page from the published report. 

The aim could have been to cover up tax practices that continued up to 2010, while as early as 1997, the Grand Duchy was keen to appear to be tackling tax competition in the EU.

A not so harmless little lie

The potential consequences of this affair are huge. 

If Juncker knew about the missing page, he should also have known about the tax practices of his country, which he helped to cover up as prime minister by his silence and inaction.

This contradicts the Commission president’s current line of defense. 

As one German MEP said, Jean-Claude Juncker has “rejected all responsibility for tax administration” in Luxembourg.

>>Read: Luxembourg tax deals weigh on Juncker: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/competition/luxembourg-tax-deals-weigh-juncker-309805

Several members of the parliamentary special committee have already asked for another interview with the Commission chief, Der Spiegel reported. 

And the nagging doubt carries over into Juncker’s current actions. 

On 17 September, the president stressed his determination to fight tax optimization, an aim he had already highlighted in 1997 in his role as Luxemburgish premier.

Mired in doubt

Once again, this affair further clarifies the fact that the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg is not the ideal man to lead the EU’s campaign against tax competition. 

His good will and his actions will always be mired in doubt.

>> Read: Luxembourg drops legal challenge to EU request for tax info: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/euro-finance/luxembourg-drops-legal-challenge-eu-request-tax-info-310968

Yet this is a major issue. 

Without the distorting effect of tax rulings, member states’ budgets, and by extension their economic policies, would be very different. 

After his strange statements at a summit this summer, and his questionable attitude towards the Greek crisis, the European Commission’s first ‘elected’ head is not in the strongest of positions.

This article was originally published by EurActiv France.

BACKGROUND

On 12 February 2015, the European Parliament decided to launch a special committee for an initial period of six months, to investigate the sophisticated tax rulings of EU member states that became the center of a media storm earlier this year. [But NOT In THE U.S. Mainstream Media!]

With 45 members and the same number of substitutes, the TAXE Committee’s role is primarily to investigate the compatibility of tax rulings with the rules on state aid and tax law.

The special committee will then draft a report, including recommendations on how to improve transparency and cooperation between member states to the benefit of the internal market, European companies and citizens.

More than 300 companies, including PepsiCo Inc, AIG Inc and Deutsche Bank AG, secured secret deals from Luxembourg to slash their tax bills, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) reported on 5 November, quoting leaked documents. 

WATCH THIS VIDEO-YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/DTB90Ulu_5E

[THESE ARE ALL FOLKS WHO ARE REALLY PUSHING THE TPP ANd TTIP-DO YOU REALLY WONDER WHY?]

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who was prime minister of Luxembourg from 1995-2013, has so far declined to comment. 

These revelations have been nicknamed ‘Luxleaks’.

The companies appear to have channeled hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg and saved billions of dollars in taxes, the group of investigative journalists said, based on a review of nearly 28,000 pages of confidential documents.

Luxembourg has faced international criticism following the revelations. 

The leaks put pressure on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to explain his role in the country’s tax policies.

Juncker has defended the country’s tax practices, but is now promoting a plan for a common EU system to share tax information.

For More Background:

1. International Consortium of Investigative Journalism: Luxembourg leaks: Global companies’ secrets exposed: http://www.icij.org/project/luxembourg-leaks

2. Explore the Documents: Luxembourg Leaks Database. Search more than 350 global companies to see their secret tax agreements with Luxembourg: http://www.icij.org/project/luxembourg-leaks/explore-documents-luxembourg-leaks-database

3.  Leaked Documents Expose Global Companies’ Secret Tax Deals-Tiny European duchy a “magical fairyland” for corporations seeking to cut tax bills: http://www.icij.org/project/luxembourg-leaks/leaked-documents-expose-global-companies-secret-tax-deals-luxembourg

Read More: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/trade-society/tpp-nears-final-agreement-eu-needs-pivot-asia-experts-say-318064

And: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/euro-finance/luxleaks-did-jean-claude-juncker-lie-meps-318070