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Australia Convict Labor early 20th century
Australia Forced Labour by Convicts, early 20th Century

While most Americans were pre-occupied with the Charleston, South Carolina massacre, the US House sneaked through Fast Track authorization by tacking it onto HR 2146 which dealt with pensions of federal law enforcement and firefighters. Most likely it will pass the Senate in the next day or two. Thus, the trade deals will simply have to be voted down in their entirety (which is probably the best thing anyway but requires a new, non-corrupt, Congress) “Amends Bill: H.R.2146 — Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 Sponsor: Sen. McConnell, Mitch [R-KY] (Submitted 06/18/2015, Proposed 06/18/2015) Cosponsors: 0 Latest Action: Amendment SA 2061 proposed by Senator McConnell to Amendment SA 2060. (06/18/2015)https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/hr2146/BILLS-114hr2146eah.pdf https://www.congress.gov/amendment/114th-congress/senate-amendment/2061

And, of course, someone might get criticized for voting against: “the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow Federal law enforcement officers, firefighters, and air traffic controllers to make penalty-free withdrawals from governmental plans after age 50, and for other purposes,” which is why the criminal Mitch McConnell did it – “Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Such_a_Parcel_of_Rogues_in_a_Nation

There is mention of “unjustified sanitary or phytosanitary restrictions, including restrictions not based on scientific principles in contravention of obligations in the Uruguay Round Agreements or bilateral or regional trade agreements;” This appears to mean that, at the very least, everyone will be forced to accept the sky-high WHO-FAO levels of radiation in food. This will mean the dumping of radioactive Japanese food on much of the world. It may also mean that Japan itself will have to bring its 100 Bq/kg of radiation “standard” up to the FAO 1000 Bq/kg of radiation in food. Most likely it means no testing at all. The FAO “standard” is based on many faulty mathematical and philosophical assumptions and rounding up. They assume that not disrupting trade is more important than health. They falsely assume that nuclear disasters only impact food for one year. They use inaccurate dose coefficients and underestimate food consumption. The FAO “standard” guarantees unacceptably high levels of cancer. The US “standard” is even worse, and allows 15 times more radiation in food than Japan. For McConnell, the statement probably means the right to export GMO food. It is likely the death of organic (bio) too, as this involves labeling. Japan organic (bio) jam was found to be radioactive, anyway. There will be no right to label the origin of the food. Fukushima rice will probably be headed to America, and Arkansas rice to Japan. It should come as no surprise that Japan has hired so many US lobbyists for the TPP deal, with a particular focus on agriculture, according to “The Hill“: “Japan launches major blitz on trade“, Apr 28, 2015. Japan owns automotive factories in America and much of the US nuclear industry. So, its intentions appear to involve dumping of radioactive food and importing labor to clean-up Fukushima. The first is facilitated by TPP and the second by TISA.

The entire handling of Fast Track and the related secretive trade bills (TPP; Trade in Services Agreement) puts in mind the selling of Scotland to London with the Act of Union in 1707. The Scottish population opposed it, so the parliamentarians had to sneak in a back door to sign off on it. The parliamentarians had made bad business investments and sold Scotland for a pittance to pay their debt. The Royal Bank of Scotland was to keep their bribes [1] (It is worth recalling that Japan currently holds more of America’s foreign debt than any other country. Bought and sold for Japanese gold?, such a parcel of rogues…)

What was in the Act of Union for London? Probably more important than controlling a better educated and more innovative competitor, it gave Scotland’s mining resources (e.g. gold, coal and now oil and gas) to London, along with human cannon fodder for its wars/empire building, and cheap or free labor/migrants for its colonial settler states in Ireland and the Americas. Geo-strategy considerations were there too. In short, similar objectives to today’s “trade” deals. The Scots weren’t simply run off the land to graze sheep. [2]

Those who have studied the trade deals say that they would undermine financial sector regulations, as well as environmental regulations. [3] So, one shouldn’t be too surprised at this chart of McConnell donors.
Mitch McConnell open secrets.org graph of donor sectors
Center for Responsive Politics, OpenSecrets.org
See much more here: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?type=C&cid=n00003389&newMem=N&cycle=2014

Yesterday, Fortune published an inane piece which clearly and ironically unveils the TPP-Fast agenda: “TPP and fast track: Why Congress should listen to the world’s richest economist” by Roger Lowenstein, June 22, 2015, 12:01 PM EDT. This Lowenstein man is apparently a notorious apologist for out of control Wall Street, and probably should be ignored.

However, through ignorance or arrogance he unveils the Fast Track agenda. He wants the US Congress to listen to David Ricardo (1772 to 1823). Ricardo’s “most important legacy is his theory of comparative advantage, which suggests that a nation should concentrate its resources solely in industries where it is most internationally competitive and trade with other countries to obtain products no longer produced nationally.https://en.wikipedia.org/?title=David_Ricardo

And, what did that look like in Ricardo’s time? His was the time where the only rights were those of free, mostly white, male landowners.

What did “competitive advantage” specialization look like back then? Tobacco, Cotton, and Sugar plantations using slaves or other forced labor. Different colonies specialized in different products. [4] The small independent craftsmen (e.g. weavers) were being undermined by industrialization too. (E.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_loom)

So, Lowenstein is essentially unveiling the ideal of the elites – slavery. Who would guess that the race to the bottom for cheap labor could go as far as forced labor? But, it makes sense doesn’t it? It exists already. Barbara Boxer discussed at length, in a recent speech, the problem of low minimum wage, and no minimum wage, for the TPP, but not the problem of slavery-human trafficking: “Modern-day slavery rife in Malaysia’s electronics industry/ Report says a third of migrant workers in industry are trapped in debt bondage and have their passports illegally withheld http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/sep/17/modern-day-slavery-malaysia-electronics-industry [5] Malaysia is apparently a party to the TPP. See: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/us-sen-boxer-on-tpp-security-clearance-required-for-staffers-no-notes-race-to-the-bottom-for-wages-and-the-environment/

David Ricardo was reportedly an opponent of slavery, probably due to the influence of his Quaker wife. But, the money which made certain families in Britain rich was not only from the slave trade and not only from slave labor, but the slave owners were paid large amounts of money, in the period of abolition, for loss of slaves, shortly after David Ricardo’s death – money which was invested in railroads, industry, etc. These include ancestors of current UK PM David Cameron.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britains-colonial-shame-slaveowners-given-huge-payouts-after-abolition-8508358.html http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/27/britain-slave-trade

And, how David Ricardo got rich is nothing to be proud of either. He was one of 17 children of a wealthy Sephardic (Portuguese) Jewish stock broker, who had recently moved to London from the Dutch Republic. He worked with his father from age 14 to age 21, when he chose to marry a Quaker, became Christian, and his father disclaimed him – with 16 other kids the loss of one was surely no big deal.

With 7 years of experience, David Ricardo easily found another job as a broker Following his estrangement from his father he started a successful business as a broker with the support of Lubbocks and Forster, an eminent banking house. He made the bulk of his fortune as a result of speculation on the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo, using methods which today would result in prosecution for insider trading and market manipulation. Prior to the battle, Ricardo posted an observer to convey early results of the outcome, he then deliberately created the mistaken impression the French had won by openly selling British securities. A market panic ensued. Following this panic he moved to buy British securities at a steep discounthttps://en.wikipedia.org/?title=David_Ricardo (Emphasis our own).

Richard Eskow in “Wall Street: Guilty As Charged“, 05/16/2011, Updated: 07/16/2011 5:12 am EDT says of the Fortune proponent of David Ricardo: “In a piece called “Wall Street: Not Guilty,” financial columnist Roger Lowenstein attempts to defend Wall Street against allegations that it’s a viper’s nest of rampant criminality… Lowenstein’s piece is well worth reading, if only as a case study in the moral and cognitive blindness that’s reached epidemic proportions in influential Washington and Wall Street circles.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/wall-street-guilty-as-cha_b_862796.html

So, is it surprising that David Ricardo is just Lowenstein’s kind of guy?

But, what else can be learned from David Ricardo? Note that his fortune was made by speculating on war. While the new trade schemes allege to minimize the chance of war, the opposite appears true. Again and again one reads that the point of the TPP is to counter China’s power. Thus, it appears yet another division of the world into parts, which led to World War I, II, the Cold War and many earlier wars. Why not be friends with China? China still holds much of the US debt, though now Japan holds more.

Slave or forced labor is not only part of the race to the botton, it appears to be sine qua non for the nuclear industry-cleanup. Japan was already using up its elderly homeless a year and a half after the disaster. A year and a half ago Reuters reported: “Plight of homeless in Fukushima cleanup Posted: Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:15:00 -0500 Dec. 30 – Brokers recruit and sell homeless people as workers to clear the site of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant. Ruairidh Villar reports.http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USVideoMostWatched/~3/NqZLFWHi8KQ/plight-of-homeless-in-fukushima-cleanup

The closest that the current US administration has gotten to FDR’s New Deal WPA program, which created jobs by building basic infrastructure, was sending the unemployed to work at the Savannah River Nuclear site. Welfare to work programs appear another source of nuclear workers, if South Carolina is indicative. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/us-congress-funds-for-workers-who-lose-jobs-to-trade-deals-radioactive-welfare-to-work-us-debt-what-debt-did-they-forget/ Some workers went to clean-up Hanford too with the “stimulus” monies.

Charleston South Carolina built its wealth not only on slave labor, but also through selling slaves, as part of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. South Carolina and the border areas of neighboring states seem to have disproportionate numbers of nuclear power stations – both old and under construction. While imposing austerity on renewables and the general public, the UK government appears hell-bent to build a highly subsidized French owned nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in England – not far from Bristol, which also profited from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. There appears some continuity in the combination of exploitation and lack of ethics.

While the TPP will allow Japan to export its radioactive food, unlabeled, so that people cannot avoid it, and easily import cleaner food, the other reason that Japan would be pushing for US Fast Track is access to cheap labor without allowing permanent migrants. This would come with the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), as released by Wikileaks. While Japanese can easily work in other countries, it is almost impossible for anyone to immigrate to Japan. Instead, they have a temporary worker program, which has recently been criticized. TISA would allow them to import more workers for the Fukushima nuclear site. All they would have to do is to set up, or use a pre-existing company, in a member country, hire workers, and return with them to Japan. Japanese or American companies can probably even take welfare to work Americans to work at Fukushima in this way, though they will probably start with closer, poorer, countries. And, there will be dizzying numbers of Americans, who will be unemployed due to these trade deals. Already, America has had little, or nothing, to offer its own citizens for 30 years. TISA will allow American and non-American companies alike to register in countries with low or no minimum wage, and bring them to America (or where-ever they want). There will be no free movement of people, but rather foreign recruitment and import of cheap labor. And, maybe they won’t even be paid at all.

Prime Minister Abe’s family ties to forced-slave labor should not go unnoticed. His maternal grandfather Nobusuke Kishi “entered the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 1920. In 1935, he became one of the top officials involved in the industrial development of Manchukuo, where he was later accused of exploiting Chinese forced labor. Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō, himself a veteran of the Manchurian campaign, appointed Kishi Minister of Munitions in 1941, and Kishi was also elected to the Lower House of the Diet of Japan in 1942. In 1944, Kishi made Tojo Cabinet resign in a body by making disagreements within the Cabinet./ As with other members of the former Japanese government, Kishi was held at Sugamo Prison as a “Class A” war crimes suspect by the order of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. Unlike Tōjō (and several other cabinet members), however, Kishi was released in 1948 and was never indicted or tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobusuke_Kishi

The US Congress should read about David Riccardo, yes indeed. But, they should learn from the very populists that Lowenstein holds in such disdain. 80 years after his assassination, the US Congress needs to learn from Huey Long. They could learn something from the UK’s late Bob Crowe too, who said that countries should be allowed to give first priority to hiring their own workers. And, where else will American workers go? Fukushima bound?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Royal_Bank_of_Scotland
[2] The Glencoe Massacre, where MacDonalds (aka McConnell) clansmen, were killed was a run-up. There have been outstanding McConnells (e.g. Bishop McConnell), but Mitch dirties the name.
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lori-wallach/free-trade-agreements_b_1367031.html
[4] Contrary to popular belief, Irish and Scots were enslaved, as well as sold as indentures. This is found in historical record, family lore and matrilineal genetics (O neg blood type). Most Irish, Scots, or English, put to work in the fields of Virginia and the Carolinas died within less than a year. Indentures cost less than slaves so less value was placed on their lives, as well. In the Caribbean, Irish and Scottish indentured (or enslaved) women had children with African slaves, and the children were enslaved. (In early America the child was considered the race of their mother.) People were deported not just for crimes, small and large, but kidnapped by slave traders within Ireland. Some educated ladies from another country were kidnapped from Ireland, and wrote home from the Caribbean to be freed. We need to start speaking more clearly of Creole culture and ethnicity for the southern US and the Caribbean. Phenotype does not tell us the genotype. And, this mixed culture is neither African, nor European, nor American Indian, but all of the above.
[5] People appear shocked that the first “African-America” president would not be sensitive to the Malaysia slavery issue. But, half African and half white American, raised by white Americans, does not an African American make! His father was from Kenya and his mother white middle American. His ancestors were not slaves. And, Kenya is east Africa, whereas most African Americans have roots in west Africa. It’s like saying that Spain and Russia are the same.

More info on the Australia picture can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfree_labour