"It's about time that governments feared the people instead of the other way around." - Henry Rollins

User login

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 30 guests online.

Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

Find iBrattleboro on:

 Twitter YouTube

Search the Archives

Ye Olde iBrattleboro Archive

Use the pulldown to choose desired number of results.


Search the first decade
of iBrattleboro archives
at Archive-It.org
Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Book Report! If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote...


This is a good book because it explains the problems with WTO and NAFTA.

Book Title: "If the Gods had meant us to vote, they would have given us candidates" Author: Jim Hightower

page 350 to 353:

Congress approved U.S. membership in the World Trade Organization in the fall of 1994.....under the corporate-skewed rules of the WTO,  any governmental action deemed to interfere in any way with a global corporation's sacred right to make and sell stuff where ever it wants, even when this does damage to others, is illegal....a special international tribunal of global trade bureaucrats, whose sole criterion for judging a case is whether the governmental action gets in the way of a corporation's profit making, regardless of whether the government was doing something right for the larger community, like protecting the environment, preventing worker exploitation, promoting the growth of small business, or providing a market lifeline for former colonies.  

These WTO tribunals are Star Chambers.  They meet in secret, usually in Geneva, and they are presided over by "Judges" who come from the corporate trade world and are in no way democratically chosen.   They  do not have to publish the reasons for their decisions, and there is no appeal of their rulings....they are an autocratic world court with a built-in corporate bias. 

...only governments can bring cases to the WTO.  

The Chiquita banana company did not want the European Union buying any bananas at all from the Caribbean nations.  No other crop is nearly as suitable to these islands as bananas.  Chiquita's top executive was one of President Clinton's ten biggest contributors for his 1996 re-election campaign. 

Despite the fact that the U.S. produces no bananas for export and had no national interest at stake, President Clinton's people filed a formal case with the WTO.  Then, the very next day, Chiquita banana's people funneled more than $500,000. to the Democratic Party committees in 2 dozen states.

Chiquita banana won the WTO case, and the Europeans can not buy bananas from the Caribbean nations.

The farmers in the Caribbean nations are not Corporations.  They have small family farms about 4 acres, and there were about 24,000 independent farm families at this time.  

The people working for Chiquita banana were propertyless laborers, paid poorly, and exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals in the fields and in their water.

Our U.S.A. membership in WTO should be immediately voided, rescinded, and annulled as unconscionable to the morals and ethics of the people of the United States of America.

Page 354 TO 359

NAFTA and the World Trade Organization strip us of our democratic right to self-government.  "investor rights" provisions in Chapter 11 of NAFTA were not even read by many or most members of U.S. Congress who voted for it.

NAFTA gives corporations rights that you and I don't have. NAFTA gives rights to corporations that they did not have before this trade agreement came into effect between Canada, the USA and Mexico.

The business of burying people, bereavement services, is an industry that was in the hands of local families mostly.  But  a Canadian Corporation swept into the markets all across the country and either bought many of  them out
or muscled many of them aside.   One local funeral parlor owner in Biloxi, Mississippi claimed that he was being muscled out by unlawful anti-competitive  maneuvers in a strategy designed to drive him out of business, monopolize the market in the Biloxi area, then jack up the price on funeral services for the local people.

In 1995, a Mississippi jury agreed, and came back with a verdict of millions of dollars in punitive damages.

The Canadian Corporation's lawyers, in 1998, sued the U.S. Government for money, claiming that the Mississippi Court system expropriated the assets of its investors and harmed their future profits. They claimed that the damages for driving the funeral parlor owner out of business and monopolizing the market took money from the Corporation in violation of their international investor rights under NAFTA.

NAFTA bestowed a legal right on foreign corporations that allows them to avoid the punishment our State Courts impose on them when they do wrong, allowing them to demand our national government pay for any  fines and financial losses the  Corporation incurred as a result of the guilty verdict.  So, it ends up being WE, THE PEOPLE, who pay taxes, who have to pay a foreign based Corporation FOR DOING WRONG!

A foreign corporation (Canada and Mexio are foreign to the U.S.A., they are entirely separate countries) can come into your state, attempt to monopolize your market illegally, get caught and convicted, agree to a cash settlement, then citing NAFTA, claim that the State Court has "expropriated" its investors' funds and that therefore American
taxpayers must pay the cost of the settlement plus other financial setback it claims the Court verdict caused. 

NAFTA also allows the foreign corporations to bypass the legal system of the country it is suing.  The case goes before one of two special corporate courts, international trade tribunals, designated by NAFTA.

One of them is ICSID, an arm of the World Bank, which is the most elitist, corporate biased, anti-democratic institution in the whole world. The ICSID tribunal is a court of Star Chamber, it is not responsive to any people, any nation, any government, any electorate, and it does not have any organic law, such as our Constitution, that limits the breadth of its powers.  It meets in secret, and it does not allow you to confront witnesses or cross-examine, and it does not have to publish its proceeding or findings. There is no appeal.

It is tyranny.  It violates the  United States Constitution and our  membership in NAFTA should be immediately revoked, voided,  rescinded, annulled.   Chapter 11 NAFTA cases can be filed, adjudicated by a tribunal, and paid out without you and me ever knowing they happened.  There is no requirement that either the corporation bringing the claim, or the government charged with the "investor-rights" violations, to make the case public.


Upcoming Events

iBrattleboro Poll

With my current income, I could probably afford a total (town + school) tax increase of about