Saturday, November 12, 2011

(more) Things That Make My Head Hurt:

Bi-PartisanIf I hear that term once more, I think my head head will explode!
Are we ready for a biological terror attack?There is absolutely no way to defend against this type of terror attack, so get over it.

Blue- Ribbon PanelsHow’s that been working out?

Q.E.If I choose to ease into anything, I will not feel the need to quantify it.

1% -    Don’t get me started!

Governors from Texas‘nuff said?

Israel v. PalestineYou hit me first / did not / did so /did not…..

Useless trade agreementsI’m really impressed how well these agreements always work out for us.

Citizens who vehemently criticize our government -  but just can’t  seem to find the time to vote.

Executive bonusesWhatever happened to ‘an honest days pay for an  honest days work’?

I-phonesCan we think of more things to waste our time on?

E-CloudsI was always satisfied with Mother Nature on this one.

Face-TalkersBack off there Skippy. I don’t need a shower of your saliva.

E-SpeakI thought we already had a National language!

(Not So) Free Trade Agreements

"Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have proved to be one of the best ways to open up foreign markets to U.S. exporters. Trade Agreements reduce barriers to U.S. exports, and protect U.S. interests and enhance the rule of law in the FTA partner country. The reduction of trade barriers and the creation of a more stable and transparent trading and investment environment make it easier and cheaper for U.S. companies to export their products and services to trading partner markets. Forty-one percent of U.S. goods exports went to FTA partner countries in 2010, with exports to those countries growing at a faster rate than exports to the rest of the world from 2009 to 2010, 23% vs. 20%."
"With which countries does the United States have an FTA?
The United States has 12 FTAs in force with 17 countries. In addition, the United States has negotiated FTAs with Korea, Panama and Colombia, but these agreements have not yet entered into force. The United States is also in the process of negotiating a regional FTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam."

U.S. FTA Partner Countries:
·        Chile
DR-CAFTA: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras,   & Nicaragua
**NAFTA: Canada & Mexico **

·         1951 – Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide – (with U.S. qualifications)
·         1951 – Treaty of San Francisco – a peace treaty between the Allied powers and Japan; ends the Pacific conflict of World War II
·         1951 – Mutual Defense Treaty – between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America
·         1951 – Treaty of Security between the United States and Japan (updated 1960)
·         1952 – ANZUS Treaty – mutual defense alliance between Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.
·         1953 – Mutual Defense Treaty – Created an alliance with South Korea, and established the basis of South Korean adherence with U.S.
                                        Government consulations on North Korean policy
·         1954 – U.S. and Japan Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement
·         1954 – Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty – creates SEATO mutual defense organization
·         1954 - Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty
·         1955 – Central Treaty Organization AKA CENTO, the Middle East Treaty Organization (METO), Baghdad Pact – creates CENTO mutual
                                        defense organization
·         1955 – The Open Skies Treaty – allow access to other nations' military activities by means of aerial surveillance flights
·         1956 – Dutch-American Friendship Treaty
·         1957 – International Atomic Energy Treaty (US PL 85-177)
·         1958 – 1958 US-UK Mutual Defence Agreement – with United Kingdom
·         1960 – Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan – mutual defense treaty with Japan
·         1961 – Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (US PL 87-297)
·         1961 – Antarctic Treaty – governs international relations in Antarctica
·         1961 – Columbia River Treaty (ratified in 1964) – with Canada to manage water in the Columbia River valley
·         1961 – Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
·         1961 – Alliance for Progress
·         1961 – Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs
·         1962 – Nassau agreement – defense treaty with United Kingdom
·         1963 – Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
·         1963 – Partial Test Ban Treaty
·         1966 – U.S.–Thai Treaty of Amity – commercial treaty with the Kingdom of Thailand
·         1967 – Outer Space Treaty
·         1968 – Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
·         1969 – Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
·         1970 – Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
·         1970 – Boundary Treaty of 1970 – settles U.S. – Mexico border on Rio Grande
·         1971 – Convention on Psychotropic Substances
·         1972 – Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty AKA ABM Treaty (U.S. withdrew in 2002)
·         1972 – SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty)
·         1972 – Biological Weapons Convention
·         1972 – Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention) (implemented by
                                        U.S., but not signed)
·         1972 – Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement – regulates water quality along the U.S.-Canadian border
·         1973 – Paris Peace Accords – with North Vietnam ending the Vietnam War
·         1974 – Threshold Test Ban Treaty
·         1977 – Torrijos-Carter Treaties – transfer of Panama Canal to Panama
·         1978 – Camp David Accords – between Israel and Egypt; negotiated and signed in U.S.
·         1978 – Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (1978) – regulates water quality along the U.S.-Canadian border
·         1979 – SALT II (not ratified by U.S.
·         1985 – Plaza Accord – G-5 agreed to devalue the US dollar in relation to the Japanese yen and German Deutsche Mark by intervening in  
                                        currency markets
·         1988 – Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) – with U.S. and USSR
·         1988 – United Nations Convention Against Torture
·         1990 – Treaty on the Final Settlement With Respect to Germany – final World War II peace with Germany and Allies
·         1991 – Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe - Signed by all 16 NATO members and Warsaw Pact nations; ratified by all 16
                                        NATO states, the eight successor states to the USSR that have territory in Europe, and the six former Warsaw Pact nations
·         1991 – START I (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) – with US and USSR
·         1992 – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ratified with qualifications by U.S. Senate)
·         1993 – Oslo Accords – between PLO and Israel; negotiated with U.S. involvement
·         1993 – Chemical Weapons Convention
·         1993 – START II (ratified by U.S. and Russia)
·         1994 – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
·         1994 – Kremlin accords – US and USSR missile and nuclear weapons control
·         1994 – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea AKA Law of the Sea, LOS (not ratified by U.S.)
·         1994 – Colorado river dispute – with Mexico on water quality and quantity
·         1995 – Dayton Agreement – ends war and determines the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina; negotiated and signed in U.S.
·         1995 – General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
·         1996 – WIPO Copyright Treaty – protects computer programs and databases
·         1996 – WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
·         1996 – Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (signed but not ratified by U.S.)
·         1997 – Worldwide Chemical Weapons Convention
·         1998 – Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court ("unsigned" by the U.S.)


·         2000 – Patent Law Treaty (PLT) – (not ratified by U.S.)
·         2001 – Convention on Cybercrime – a highly controversial proposal (U.S. Senate ratified August 2006
·         2002 – SORT (Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty) AKA Moscow Treaty – limits the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the U.S.
·         2004 – International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture AKA "International Seed Treaty" – to assure farmers'  
                                        access to seeds of the world's food security crops (not ratified by U.S.)
·         2010 – New START (The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) U.S./Russia Treaty – limits the nuclear arsenal capabilities of Russia and    
                                        the U.S. while allowing for inspection

Got your atterntion, yet?

I have attempted to keep this offering within the post-WW II era, which includes the birth of the ‘atomic age’, the ‘age of aquarius ‘, and the ‘computer age’. If you look at just this period of time, you may get a warm, fuzzy feeling that the World is full of prosperity and peace. Unfortunately, we know different! What happened?

We do know that, during this time frame, the United States has been involved in 166 actions that required the presence and/or the use of guns and bullets. Of these 166 conflicts only two were formally authorize by Congress (declarations), and eight were joint U.N. resolutions. The remaining 158 ‘situations’ have been entered into via the “War Powers” act which allows the Executive branch free reign to deploy our Military anywhere in the World.  
As a regular, ordinary citizen, I see that on one hand we are trying to create peace and prosperity, and, simultaneously, on the other hand choosing to turn plowshares into bullets. This line of thought is consistent with the fact that our Nation is the World’s largest socio-economic power and, at the same time, the World’s largest, most sophisticated Military power. I am not totally convinced that we can have both at the same time without some sort of negative consequence. What seems to be simmering just below the surface is starting to become a bit of a problem for us.
As the Military-Industrial complex marches along to ever increasing heights, there is a cadre of very wealthy individuals who are content with the dismantling of our “Middle Class”, and the creation of a neo-feudalistic socio-economic structure. This will indeed destroy democracy as we have come to understand it. We will join with the majority of the World’s ‘Nations’ in a return to a tribal society. The  wheels of this transformation have already been turning, and I think there may be only a handful of people who realize this is the direction which we are headed in. I’m talking about the “1%”. If you are not already in the “1%” club, you are pre-determined to be part peasant, or serf, class; ie. the “99%”.  Indentured servitude will be the legacy we pass along to our children, and their children, and on, and on….
Unless, of course, We The Servants can successfully rebel, and reclaim the society and economy we have enjoyed up until now. The society and economy our parents worked so hard to pass along to us. To this end, all I can say is, “Let the games begin!”