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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

While We Fiddle With Entertainment, Democracy Is Burning

This is a good time of year if you are an American who has a comfortable income. After all, there is entertainment galore to keep one from paying attention to the outside world. The newest Star Wars movie has come out and now is the time to decide how many times one will see the movie while it is in theaters. Tonight, as I am typing this blogpost, the national championship game in college football is being played and we have just started the NFL playoffs. So if you have a comfortable income, life is good so long as you stay away from reading the Old Testament prophets.

But there has been, and continues to be, a disturbance in the Force. For there are two instances show that despite our elections and their outcome, Democracy is on the way out. Why say that? Well, in the old days, laws were discarded either through a democratic process or through our courts where the judges had to swear an oath to follow and protect The Constitution. That is no longer the case and when the TPP passes, the situation will become more dire. For the US is being financially pressured into changing its laws when it comes to dealing with corporations. For in one case, a Canadian pipeline company is suing the US government over President Obama's denial of the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It matters not here that the construction, use, and end result of the pipeline can and will further damage the environment (click here and there). What does matter is that the Canadian pipeline company in question will lose money because of Obama's decision. In the other case, the WTO threatened to issue sanctions against the US that could cost our country billions of dollars if our lawmakers did not repeal a law that informed customers the nation from which meat products came (click here). Our lawmakers caved in.

Now what we should note here is that the WTO finding that allowed the treat to be put in place and the lawsuit being filed over the construction of the pipeline was and will be, respectively speaking, determined in non-American trbunals. The lawsuit filed by the Canadian pipeline company will be heard by an ISDS tribunal. That tribunal is defined by NAFTA and thus the lawsuit will not be heard in the American court system. So though the lawsuit concerns whether Obama acted outside of his presidential powers, the use of the tribunal will ensure that The Constitution will not be the final standard for whether Obama acted inappropriately in denying the pipeline. In the other situation, again, a body of a trade organization made the final ruling on an American law that was passed democratically. 

What is next? Will we, as citizens, be allowed to have our representatives pass laws that protect us from the actual or potential harm that foreign or multinational corporations could inflict on us through their products and/or practices? And it appears that the answer is no and that no applies today. The end result is this: the findings of non-American tribunals can determine the validity of any laws we pass concerning the products and behaviors of foreign businesses. With that being the case, then for all practical purposes, each trade agreement and organization in which we participate now provides a working Bill Of Rights for foreign and multinational businesses and thus the findings of their tribunals will trump any Constitutional rights guaranteed to us. And the beneficiary of this practice will be those who love wealth. Such will remove the need for many corporations to buy our politicians because of the economic blackmail that will exist as these independent tribunals judge on whether the laws we want our representatives to pass hurt the profits of corporations from other nations.

That we have already become an oligarchy to the financial elites from our own nation has already been documented (click here). But with each new trade agreement and organization we enter into, we find that foreign financial elites will join our own elites in writing many of the laws of our nation. And the question is when will we turn off our TVs and stop going to the movies so that we can spend the time required to effectively tell our representatives to not just reject the current TPP agreement, but to pull out of the agreements we are already a part of. See, it isn't just our democracy that is at stake here, it is the existence of democracy throughout the world that is at risk. And our Constitution will eventually provide no protection for those who would speak out against corporate abuse of power. 

So the question we have to face is do we want to be ruled over by any wealthy group whose first love is wealth and profits? Before answering that question, we might want to ask ourselves this question: Who provides the entertainment that so distracts us from the real issues of today? The answer to that question tells us who is fattening the cattle before the slaughter.

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