Another Form of Voter Repression

I’ll have to look into this more, but I’ve just caught an inkling of another way that could be used to limit voting to help keep Republicans in power.

If only Republicans would learn that repressing votes will only work for so long. It will end up biting them in the ass.

Steps to repress votes for Democratic candidates:

  1. Go to areas where people are likely to vote Democratic and register voters.
  2. Don’t file those registrations.

That’s it. It’s real simple.

I’ll update as I learn more.

Fortunately, we live in a country ruled by laws.

Unfortunately, people find ways to circumvent laws to their benefit and there are strong forces pushing back against laws that give people control over their lives. Such as not allowing confirmations of judges. Not just at the highest level, but also in lower courts.

Republicans have been not allowing votes to go forward for judges that have been  nominated by a Democratic administration. They are promising to continue that practice to stymie any progress under a Clinton administration.

I do wonder what would happen under a Sanders administration. There would be massive numbers of very enthusiastic voters to push for a progressive agenda. There would not be the angst that people are feeling right now. Can Donald Drumpf actually become the Commander in Chief of the most powerful nation in the world??? I believe that question wouldn’t be there if Bernie had won the nomination.

I’m not voting for Hillary. Her policies don’t meld with mine. Much of what the Democratic Party has promoted over the years does not meld with what I would choose.

Politics is personnel. Hillary’s choices demonstrate where she is wanting to go. The next president will make more than 4,000 political appointments to fill out the executive branch.

Prior to becoming the VP nomination, Tim Kaine was a strong advocate of giving free reign to the banks. He was forceful in his desire to eliminate restrictions under Dodd-Frank. He was also very vocal about pushing fracking and the TPP. Upon his nomination, those beliefs of his were quickly swept under the rug.

After changing her ‘public’ face to placate Bernie supporters by telling voters that she is NOW against the TPP and fracking, she chose former senator and Interior secretary Ken Salazar to head her transition team. Her choice to control who gets hired is a strong advocate for the TPP and fracking.

What odds do you want to give me that the TPP and fracking will somehow magically become the “gold standard” of economic growth?

The people chosen for posts are indicative of what policy will prevail.

What has either of the two main candidates said about the Dakota Access Pipeline and Standing Rock?

Is that not important to you? There are a number of issues with this that it should be. I’ve been itching to get harvest over with and drive out there to support the people at Standing Rock in whatever way I can.

Update: Illinois Conservative Group Denies Sitting On People’s Ballot Applications Another form of voter suppression.

Why I Joined the WTO Protest in 1999

In the early to late 90’s, trade agreements like NAFTA were being proposed. The agreements were being worked out in total secrecy. The players involved were mostly provided by corporate elites. Labor, human rights and environmental groups were not invited. This was no different from how today’s TPP was negotiated.

The WTO, which I gave the nickname – The World Trashed Organization, was very much a part of these global trade agreements. In 1995, the WTO replaced GATT- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. GATT was formed after WWII to help improve post war economies and foster trade.

GATT likely was started with the intention to benefit most people, and many economies did well. Large parts of the populations of many nations began to prosper. This was during an era where finance didn’t have as much control as it became to have. It was a time when people trusted each other because, in large part, people were honest, hard-working folk.

There were inequality issues, for sure, but in general, it was a prosperous time for many Americans. College was free for returning GI’s, and inexpensive for others. Large numbers of people became educated, which not only helped expand the economy, it also helped to expand awareness. Like the awareness that not everyone was receiving the benefits from a growing economy, nor being treated equally.

But that lasted only until greed took over.

From Investopedia, The WTO  “rules become a part of a country’s domestic legal system.” “…if a country is a member to the WTO, its local laws cannot contradict WTO rules and regulations, which currently govern approximately 97% of all world trade.”

If a country’s labor, human rights or environmental laws interfere with a corporations ability to make money, that corporation can sue the country, through the WTO, to either change the laws or pay them an often very large sum of money.

Countries lose their sovereignty because of the WTO and trade agreements. Corporations file suit against a country with the WTO and the process takes place, once again, in secrecy. Three corporate lawyers are chosen to hear the case and decide which side has the stronger case. On other days, these same lawyers often bring suits against countries on behalf of corporations.

Once a decision is made, there’s no appeal process. It’s a done deal.

These are some of the reasons I was proud to stand with thousands of citizens to let our distaste for what the WTO stands for be known.

I am encouraged that maybe enough people have finally woken up to the fact that this is a very important issue that we need to deal with.  An article in Financial Times, by one of Britain’s most influential economists alludes to this awakening. Capitalism and democracy: the strain is showing:

Meanwhile, those of us who wish to preserve both liberal democracy and global capitalism must confront serious questions. One is whether it makes sense to promote further international agreements that tightly constrain national regulatory discretion in the interests of existing corporations. My view increasingly echoes that of Prof Lawrence Summers of Harvard, who has argued that “international agreements [should] be judged not by how much is harmonised or by how many barriers are torn down but whether citizens are empowered”. Trade brings gains but cannot be pursued at all costs.
Both the Sanders and Trump campaigns have understood, to various degrees, the importance that trade issues resound for many American citizens. The Green Party has been at the forefront of this battle for a long time. Hillary realized that she needed to change her outward appearing stance to get elected. (More on this later)

Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS)

A BuzzFeed News investigation has a two part series on the Global Super Court addressing issues with the ISDS. Over 3,000 international trade treaties include some form of ISDS. The TPP will expand the ISDS process.

An article in The Huffington Post explains how investors are using the ISDS process to make huge sums at taxpayers expense. The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Super Court That We’re Not Talking About

Both are very worthwhile reads if you want to get an understanding about this very important part of trade agreements that many people around the world are pushing back against, and the trouble that ISDS has caused for many countries. Not to mention how it is being used to help widen the wealth gap.