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     A Thought

   A thought is a wonderful thing. Thought can cut through the denial and hypocrisy and show you the truth. Thought can take you places. It can free your mind and body of various ailments and injustices with the actions it dictates, and lead you to a new life.  Thought is a simple procedure, but it is discouraged.

How is thought discouraged??

    The answer is not so obvious if you don't think about it. All your life, particularly in the last few decades, you have been told what to think. Told by your school, your church, your government. The biggest culprits are the large PR firms that work behind the scenes. Not only do they tell you what to think, what to buy, how to be in, and what is acceptable in looks and in behavior, they do their best to see that you do not have the time to truly search for alternatives by keeping you so busy working, praying, buying, and thinking their thoughts.

    Your mind is a battlefield. On one side is what you truly think to be RIGHT. On the other is what somebody else wants you to think.

    This page is a place of contemplation. These are my thoughts, or thoughts that have been expressed to me that have made me think. Take a moment to browse about, and truly think about what you read. There is no time limit. If you wish to answer, please do so using the guest book.

A Rant

As I sit and ponder the state of affairs of the United States today, and the future of our republic on it’s present course I am no longer content to sit on the sidelines. No longer will I shirk my duty to my fellow Americans. And I say to you Remember Seattle. Remember the battle against the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the 45,000 strong protesters fighting for you, your family, and your future.

The economic benefits of fair trade are obvious to the trading nations. The economic benefits of free trade are limited to the corporations. Free trade is not fair trade. Free trade has never been proven to be of economic benefit to any nation or its citizens. The goal of the WTO is to remove all barriers to international trade, creating "free trade" among the nations. This is accomplished by the removal of the laws of sovereign nations that would restrict the import of any goods or materials from other member nations. Each nation has the right to file complaints/suits against other member nations whose sovereign policies effect the importing of their goods/materials. No law is permitted that would limit imports, even those that affect the employment, fiscal, or environmental concerns of the importing nation. This has created a corporate government that is not elected, is not representative of anyone or anything but corporations, and is not accountable for its actions.

The GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades) treaty that created the WTO is unconstitutional. It was not voted on as a treaty as required by the constitution, which would have required a 2/3rd majority in the Senate. Had it been voted on as defined by the constitution, it would have failed. It required entire sections of US sovereign law to be trashed and rewritten to conform to WTO standards.   Not only does the WTO affect the laws of the United States government, but also of every state and local law. The 50 individual states and all level of their individual government are affected by the trade agreement.

The WTO is not a democratic organization. There are no elections to this group that holds such power over every aspect of all the societies, and on the earth. The rules are written by and for the corporations with inside access to the proceedings. Public, health, environmental, human rights, labor, and consumer advocacy groups are ignored. Requests for information by these groups are denied. The proceedings are held in secret.

The decision is made by a WTO panel of three members.  The panel members are not screened for conflicts of interest. Only member nations of the WTO may attend panel proceedings. The public, including the reporters, are entirely shutout. If a law of a sovereign nation is found to form an unfair trade barrier, the WTO "recommends" the law be changed. If the sovereign nation refuses the recommendation, the WTO can impose sanctions against the sovereign nation to force the laws to be changed. The possibility of a challenge and sanctions is enough to force the derailment of implementation of laws by sovereign nations that would protect the health or environment of that sovereign nation.

The WTO has exceptions for the conservation of health and natural resources. Unfortunately, these exceptions are so conditional and loaded with prerequisites, it is nearly impossible for a sovereign nation, on which is the burden of proof, to prove these exceptions exist. Every law protecting the environment or health bought to the WTO for decision has been found to violate WTO agreements. Under the WTO, the sovereign nations cannot look out for the best interests of its citizens and its natural resources.

The WTO has ignored the impacts of free trade on labor rights. Countries that enforce labor rights are at a serious disadvantage to those who ignore the rights of the workers. The WTO has ruled that a sovereign nation may not ban the import of goods/materials from a company doing business with despotic dictatorships. The WTO has ruled a sovereign nation may not ban the import of goods/materials because of the way it is produced, such as child or slave labor. The WTO has increased the compensation inequality by striking down laws that prohibit foreign investment in developing countries, making it easier to relocate to areas where there is cheap labor and/or the environmental laws are lax. Under to WTO, the sovereign nations cannot look out for the best interests of its labor force.

A very small collection of WTO complaints and decisions

The US, a sovereign nation, has been forced to import Venezuelan/Brazilian gasoline, even though the higher concentrations of pollutants are in violation of the US EPA Clean Air act.
The US, a sovereign nation, has been forced to import shrimp from countries that do not use turtle excluder devices to protect sea turtles.  All member nations regard the sea turtle as an endangered species. Imports were banned as a violation of the US Endangered Species Act.
The US, a sovereign nation, has been forced to import tuna from Mexico that was previously banned because Mexico’s mile-long nets kill 100,000+ dolphins a year.
France, a sovereign nation, was forced to import beef from Great Britain, even though there are valid concerns over "Mad Cow Disease."
The countries within the European Union, all sovereign nations, have been forced to import beef treated with growth hormones because the burden of proof over the health issues could not be overcome.
Mexico and other developing member nations argue that any labor standard at all constitutes a violation of free trade against member nations that use cheap labor for their economic benefit.
The US government, on behalf of US pharmaceutical companies has threatened the sovereign nation of South Africa over laws that would lessen the economic and health impacts of treating AIDS. Over half of all new AIDS cases are in Africa. Approximately 25 percent of all the peoples of the continent of Africa are infected with HIV virus. The laws would encourage the use of generic drugs and allow for imports of drugs from countries that would provide the medication cheaper.

The WTO and its policies for globalization must be stopped. The companies that trade on a global basis must not be permitted to further dictate environmental, labor, and health laws to sovereign nations.

Remember Seattle. Remember the 45,000 protesters. Remember that the mainstream media, a corporate tool (and therefore a tool of the WTO,) gave you the names of groups involved, groups some call radical, to sway you from the numbers of individual protesters. Americans that went their to protect themselves and their fellow Americans from the actions of those who mean to undermine your elected officials and the constitution of the United States of America, and the republic for which it stands.

Remember Seattle.


Please note that the protesters are SITTING

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All material in this site is copyrighted. All rights reserved. No part of this page may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without written permission from myself, or a designated agent working on my behalf.   Material may be used for review purposes.

Last updated 01/23/00
Copyright 1997-2000 Joseph Mastromauro
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