Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

1/25 Show: TPP? That of which we are ignorant could bite us in the collective end.

   At Western High School I was what some today would call a "geek." Rather, I had geekish tendencies. This uses the word "geek" in a way different from its original meaning. The geek in a carnie was the person who would do such things as bite heads off chickens. Bob Dylan used the word in "Ballad of a Thin Man" and later the word was transformed. Still a noun today, its means a person "who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept." I only was socially inept, really, at asking girls out. My 5 ' 8" 120-pound frame and the acne that covered my face made me nervous.

   I was interested in several academic areas, but especially history, politics and literature. As evidence of this interest, I would point to the quote from Lincoln I had taped to the wall of my bedroom: "Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe." I think the sentiments in the quote are sound.

   The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement about which few people know. I have been disappointed in some aspects of President Obama's administration. I would have preferred the inevitable single payer option to Obamacare in which I shall give corporate heads more money for unearned bonuses; drones should be things used in plots for sci-fi books and movies, not as weapons to kill people by remote control; the budget could be better-managed if we axed a few aircraft carriers, abandoned our assumed job of cop of the World and devoted those funds instead to infrastructure such as highways and education; and the Navy coaling station at Guantanamo Bay should be given back to Cuba so that we normalize relations.  People should not mistake my disappointments for remorse over the vote cast. I do not see "President" McCain or "President" Romney as having performed more progressively. If anything, McCain might have had a heart attack after his Vice President's self-made fifth or sixth crisis---maybe she would have called for a war on Vermont as she invoked her powers as President of the United States Senate---and Romney? I shudder.

   The Obama Administration has pushed the TPP and kept it under a lot of the country's metaphorical radars. Few details of the trade agreement are known. Those few were released by Wikileaks. It has been announced TPP should be "fast-tracked" through Congress. To fast-track means Congress would have 60 days to consider legislation of 1,000? 1,500? pages before a vote is to be held.

   With few details known, it is difficult to debate the proposal---once it is in form to debate. This country lost a lot of jobs (700K according to the Economic Policy Institute) after NAFTA was passed (under a Democratic President, Clinton) and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (also according to EPI and that agreement also was under a Democratic Party President, Obama).

   On Saturday we shall stream live from JT's Grille & Bar, located at 2210 East 54th Street. That is about a block west of Keystone on 54th. We will discuss TPP and other supposed "free" trade agreements. Call-ins are welcome. If you listen to The Show, via FaceBook or on "Indiana Talks," you can catch the phone number.

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Comment by Paul K. Ogden on January 24, 2014 at 11:08am

NAFTA is the single best thing Clinton did during his administration, with help from Republicans in Congress.  Free trade has proven over and over again to be a boon to the economy and good for consumers.  Trade barriers harm our economy and American consumers.  I believe the left-wing EPI's numbers as much as I believe the supposed economic activity city leaders say is generated from hosting a Super Bowl.  They both are numbers generated by looking at a small part of the equation without looking at the entire equation.


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