Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in the midst of an official visit to China.
To convince Beijing’s mandarins to buy Canada’s Alberta oil sands hydrocarbon production, now that Republican Congressional overreach has effectively sidelined the Keystone XL pipeline, designed to transit the oil to U.S. Gulf of Mexico refineries, for the foreseeable future.
Harper faces an uphill struggle, as China is questioning the delays in implementing the Northern Gateway pipeline, to transit Alberta’s oil to Canada’s western coast for transshipment to China.
Complicating the picture, Harper has a weak hand of cards, and both he and the Chinese know it.
Since 1967 oil sands have been under development in Alberta, and investments there now exceed $97 billion.
Where to go?
Not unreasonably, Ottawa looked southwards, as according to the U.S. Energy Administration Canada is now the leading exporter of oil to the United States, providing 2.6 million barrels per day (mbpd) of the 9.03 mbpd the U.S. imports every day.
With the Keystone XL pipeline offline for the foreseeable future, Canada hopes that China will pick up the slack, but the slow pace of development of the $5.5 billion, 730-mile Northern Gateway pipeline has raised concerns in Beijing.
Enbridge chief executive officer Pat Daniel, accompanying Harper on his visit to Beijing said, “They’re frustrated, as we are, in the length of time it takes. They’re very anxious to diversify their supply, they’re very dependent on the Middle East for crude. (Canada) seems like the perfect match that should last a long time, but if you don’t move it along, people do lose interest.
We don’t have forever. The fundamentals in the business can change and you must take advantage of opportunities if and when they present themselves.”
But Harper and Daniel are in a weak negotiating position, and they know it.
Consider geography for a moment.
Canada went full-bore on developing Alberta’s oil sands on the “Field of Dreams” principle of “build it, and they will come,” but in reality, from the outset there were only two realistic export options, south to the U.S. and westwards to potential second-string Asian market partners.
Eskimos and polar bears have yet to evince any interest.
Eastwards across Canada? A pipeline multiples more expensive to Canada’s Atlantic provinces to where… Europe?
So, with the U.S. export route blocked, at least temporarily by Republican Congressional opposition, that leaves… Asia.
Harper accordingly pursued his dog and pony show during his meetings with both Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, who is expected to succeed Wen this fall, by calling for more cooperation. Besides Daniel, Harper’s entourage includes five Canadian cabinet Ministers and three dozen industry leaders.
But Harper’s portfolio is heavy with annoying local concerns. Over the past few weeks, federal ministers have carried out a high-profile dispute with environmental groups over the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, with the government labelling protestors “radicals” and Harper has said he is working quickly to generate new legislation to ensure a more rapid review processes that can’t be “hijacked” by such groups.
But the news from Beijing is optimistic, as yesterday Li told an audience at a Canada-China business forum, “We need to carry out cooperation in energy trade and facilitate more large scale co-operation projects for oil and gas and mineral resources. We also need to expand our co-operation in nuclear energy and energy conservation clean energy and renewable energy.”
And the tea leaves note that China has already invested about $10 billion in Canada’s energy sector and, adding to the Harper team’s optimism is the fact that it hopes that Chinese investors are expected to seek only minority ownership stakes in Canadian oil and natural gas opportunities, as such a policy is seen as both more acceptable to Canadians and less likely to trigger wider review processes.
Canada holds further appeal for Chinese investors both for its relative proximity and as a stable democracy where supply can be guaranteed more easily than in conflict-ridden states currently supplying Chinese energy needs like Iraq, Iran and Sudan, both north and south.
Still, Harper and Daniels have their work cut out for them explaining those pesky Canadian environmentalists, with Daniels informing his hosts, “I tell them it’s the Canadian way. They say they would build it faster in China. But Canada is not China” before adding that both state-owned companies China National Petroleum Corp. (CPNC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
(CNOOC) are “very interested” in the Northern Gateway pipeline and have expressed “strong interest” in meetings on the project.
You want money? Canaccord Financial Chief Executive Paul Reynolds said that it is setting up a $1 billion fund with the Import Export Bank of China to invest in energy companies or projects in Canada.
And things on Harper’s visit are already going swimmingly, as Chinese state news agency Xinhua is reporting that “more than 20 commercial agreements were signed between enterprises of the two countries and that twenty Chinese and Canadian companies on 9 February signed cooperative deals worth about $3 billion on the sidelines of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s China visit.”
But Harper has undoubtedly received his marching orders in Beijing, to modify current federal legislation that governs new projects – the National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Ottawa’s two-year window allocated for hearings on the Northern Gateway project will have Harper explaining Canadian policies to his host.
And who in Canada will pay for the Northern Gateway? Alberta’s government is seeking a path for the oil sands through British Columbia by increasing the economic benefits for B.C. to support the project – including the option of Alberta paying to modernize and expand Canadian West Coast ports.
But British Columbia might not be bought off so easily – last month, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark bluntly told Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s that public opinion is against the pipeline in British Columbia, as Alberta gets the benefits while British Columbia carries the risks of environmental disaster.
And Harper’s mao tai toasts may yet carry a favor of home, as British Columbia’s Yinka Dene Alliance, a group of five First Nations that represent several thousand Aboriginals people in north-central British Columbia, have written to Chinese President Hu Jintao and to the Chinese media asking Hu to query Harper on Canada’s human rights record.
The Yinka Dene Alliance, a group of five First Nations that represents several thousand people in north-central British Columbia, has sent open letters to Chinese President Hu Jintao and to the Chinese media.
The high media ground, in the land of cuddly, photogenic pandas?
“An oil spill on the coast would destroy sources of seafood and fish, like crabs, for thousands of people,” it says. “It could destroy the extremely rare spirit bear – a bear with white fur that is as beautiful as the Chinese panda bear.”
What is Mandarin for “bringing home the high carbon content bacon while dealing with those pesky environmentalists?”
Will the “extremely rare spirit bear” win out over an orphaned $97 energy billion investment with nowhere to go?
Yesterday, President Barack Obama released his fiscal year 2013 budget outline. The budget calls for $3.8 trillion in spending for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2012. To help educate Americans about the President’s outline, and state of federal spending in general, Bankrupting America has released an informational Web video.
THESE ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS MIND SETS I HAVE ENCOUNTERED…
THE FENCE SITTER: REALLY? SO YOU SIT ON A FENCE POST ALL DAY LONG AND MAKE NO DECISIONS. THE ONLY DANGER IS THAT YOUR BUTT WILL HURT, SO YOU GET SPLINTERS, YOU FALL OFF YOUR PERCH AND GET COLD, WET AND SUN BURNED.
WALKING IN “THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD”: WOW! THAT’S A GREAT PLAN, JUST FOLLOW THAT WHITE LINE DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD AND TAKE NO SIDES. THE ONLY DANGER IS THAT YOU GET YOUR BUTT RUN OVER BY SOMEONE CHANGING LANES!
BURY YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND: SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THAT TO SOLVE ANY PROBLEM WE HAVE AS A NATION, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BEND OVER, STICK OUT YOUR BUTT AND BURY YOUR HEAD IN A HOLE AND GO BLIND, DEAF AND SILENT. THE DANGER IS AS YOU ASSUME THAT POSE, THE PROBLEM COMES FROM BEHIND YOU AS YOU STAND THERE AND KICKS YOU IN THE BUTT AND PUSHES YOU DOWN. GREAT PLAN.
MY FAVORITE ONE OF ALL DENIAL: SO YOU ENJOY SWIMMING IN THIS WIDE BUT SHALLOW RIVER HOPING THAT YOUR SELF-INTEREST AND DELUSTIONS DON’T GET SHATTERED BY REALITY. SOMEONE SPEAKING THE TRUTH CAN’T HAVE THAT – NOW THAT WOULD REALLY RUIN THAT COMFORT ZONE OF YOURS, WOULDN’T IT? WHEN 7 GENERATIONS OF PEOPLE HAVE WARNED YOU OF THE SAME THING ALL THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE, YOU REALLY THINK THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE CRAZY, OR ARE THEY TRYING TO PREPARE YOU AND EDUCATE YOU AS WELL?
THE DANGER IS THAT YOU GO DOWN DROWNING IN YOUR DENIAL, NEVER COMING BACK UP AND THAT YOU ARE LOST.
How many people reading this article have ever had a “debate-like” agreement with a Democrat, who when confronted with any fact the destroyed their position, would then respond by trying to talk over you, not letting a word in edgewise, thinking it would somehow make them right in the end?
This is exactly what President Barack Obama did today, as the expiration date on the payroll tax holiday and long term unemployment benefits looms at the end of the month.
Even though Republican’s, against their better judgment, are willing to grant the President virtually everything he wants, in another childish outburst to the populace, he called on Americans to apply pressure via Twitter and letters to Congress, suggesting a 2-point increase in the Social Security tax could damage the economy at a sensitive time, according to a FOXNews article today.
“No ideological sideshows to gum up the works, no self-inflicted wounds. Just pass this middle-class tax cut, pass the extension of unemployment insurance,” Obama said. “Do it before it’s too late, and I will sign it right away.”
As usual, the only sticking point is how to pay for it.
The payroll tax measure alone represents about $160 billion for a single year. Add in the unemployment benefits and Medicare “doc fix,” and it tips the scales at about $200 billion.
That is 20 percent of our projected annual budget deficit for 2013.
However, as both Social Security and Medicare benefits are “theoretically” paid out to recipients from two different “trust funds,” which are themselves funded by these payroll taxes, reducing the employee side of the tax, and thusly the funding for these two critical “trust funds”–does not add to the annual budget deficit.
But, it does accelerate both trust funds toward insolvency, as the only “assets” they hold are “IOUs” from the federal government, because past Congresses (both parties) have so heavily “borrowed” cash from them to balance federal budgets throughout the years.
Therefore, that is why Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, at $1.555 trillion, represent the largest percentage (38%) of the annual budget, which has run a trillion dollar-plus budget deficit ever since President Obama took office.
In fact, when you add in the $221 billion per year in [rising] interest payments, it represents nearly half of the $4.082 trillion annual budget–balanced against tax revenue of just $2.5 trillion.
Therefore, if past Congressmen and Congresswomen, aided by past Senators and Presidents, had not been allowed to “plunder” these trust funds, but instead, were forced to reform these entitlement programs to balance against incoming revenue, none of them would even be budget categories at all.
If that were the case, even in this deep recession, the U.S. would be operating at a $194 billion operating surplus.
President Obama devised the payroll tax holiday “carrot” for the populace, because it would not affect his already disastrous performance figures by adding another 20% per year to the budget deficit, creating another group of “dependents” for his socialist regime.
And, former Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was personally in command of the purse strings for Obama from 2009 to 2011, is right behind him in trying to camouflage what they are doing, no matter how incredibly vacuous it makes her appear, by declaring … “Democrats have always demanded that we extend the payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans without paying for it!”
Even though Republicans are financially, morally and intellectually on the high ground here, their voices of reason will be no doubt “drowned out,” by the Tweeting sounds of the ignorant populace, blindly following their “Pied Piper”–without realizing they will likely suffer most from his financial shenanigans.
Nice Deb Republished with thanks, by permission, from February, 3, 2012
Could Obama really be on the verge of making our worst conspiracy theory nightmares about a “new world order” come true, under the radar, while most people are focused on the primaries?
Dick Morris is sounding the alarm about four utterly heinous UN treaties that are currently under consideration by the Obama administration that would surrender our sovereignty, cede power to go to war to the UN, enact gun control, and tell us how to raise our children, if ratified by the Senate. These are treaties that the Bush administration and even Clinton administration would never have considered, but as the most radical administration in American history enters it’s last year, all stars are in alignment for it to happen.
In a series of articles (see here, here, and here, The New American revealed the campaign for the ICC as a colossal bait and switch scam. While proponents were selling the ICC as the institution that would haul the Hitlers and Stalins of the world before the bar of justice, what they were actually building is a global judicial monster that violates all the major principles of separation of powers, checks and balances, and accountability.
In spite of their incessant prattling about dedication to “transparency,” the globalists have been obdurately opaque about key features of the ICC, such as:
No right to a trial by a jury of one’s peers;
No right to habeas corpus;
No right to bail;
No right to a speedy trial;
No protection against indefinite pre-trial detention;
No protection against being transported to foreign lands
America’s top constitutional champions have rightly denounced the ICC. As we reported in 1998:
Dr. Charles Rice, professor of law at Notre Dame University, has termed the ICC “a monster,” both in concept and reality, noting that it effectively “repudiates the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence and cancels the 4th of July.” “In our system,” Professor Rice explains, “law is supposed to be a rule of reason which, in a sense, controls the state and compels the state to operate under the law.” But the superjurisdictional ICC, he points out, has no legitimate basis for its claimed authority, no protections against abuses, no accountability, and virtually no limits to its jurisdiction. “What are the limits on the ICC?” he asks, and then answers, “There are none. It’s insane!”
As news of this ICC criminal insanity became more widely known, the U.S. Congress was deluged with letters, e-mails, faxes, phone calls, and petitions opposing it. It was obvious that the Senate would not ratify the Rome Statute. The Clinton administration, which, only months previously had been so confident of ratification, did not even send the treaty to the Senate.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
Law of the Sea: UNCLOS—sometimes called the “Law of the Sea Treaty” (or LOST)—established a comprehensive legal regime for navigation and international management of oceanic resources, including the deep seabed.
President Reagan Refused to Sign: President Ronald Reagan announced that he would not sign UNCLOS shortly after it was adopted in 1982. Reagan stated several objections to it, most of which dealt with its provisions on deep seabed mining. Reagan did, however, support the navigational provisions of UNCLOS, which reflected the customary international law of the sea.
The U.S. Has Much to Lose …
Another Unaccountable International Bureaucracy: UNCLOS establishes the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a new U.N.-style bureaucracy located in Kingston, Jamaica. As only one of more than 160 countries in the ISA, the U.S. would have limited authority over its decisions regarding the deep seabed. Just like the U.N. General Assembly, proceedings at the ISA would be dominated by anti-U.S. interests.
Redistribution of U.S. Wealth to the “Developing World”: The U.S. currently enjoys full sovereignty over its entire continental shelf. It can claim all its mineral resources (e.g., oil and gas) and can collect royalty revenue from oil and gas companies for exploitation. If the U.S. joined UNCLOS, Article 82 would require the U.S. to transfer a significant portion of any such royalties to the ISA for “redistribution” to the so-called developing world, including corrupt and despotic regimes.
Mandatory Dispute Resolution: Under Part XV, the U.S. would be required to engage in mandatory dispute resolution for any claim brought against it by another member of UNCLOS. This may open the U.S. to any number of specious allegations brought by opportunistic nations, including allegations of environmental degradation or polluting the ocean environment with carbon emissions or even from land-based sources.
U.S. Economic Interests at Risk: UNCLOS claims the deep seabed resources of the oceans as “the common heritage of mankind” and forbids mining unless permission is first received by the ISA, which, of course, takes into account the interests of “developing states” regarding the exploitation of those resources. UNCLOS encourages technology transfers from advanced mining companies to support the mining activities by developing states, which is likely to discourage U.S. companies from participating in such activities.
The Convention Was Not “Fixed” in 1994: During the early 1990s the deep seabed mining provisions of UNCLOS were renegotiated in the “1994 Agreement.” This addendum to the convention was signed by the Clinton Administration in July 1994. While the 1994 Agreement improved many provisions of the convention, it did not secure “veto” power for the U.S. over the decisions of the ISA.
While the terms have yet to be made public, if passed by the U.N. and ratified by our Senate, it will almost certainly force the U.S. to:
Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership.
Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by our government of course).
Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons (any that have magazines even though they still operate in the same one trigger pull – one single “bang” manner as revolvers, a simple fact the ant-gun media never seem to grasp).
Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.
In short, overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, providing license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights.
The UNCRC is an international treaty focused on promoting the rights of children and seeking to give children priority in the implementation of governmental measures. The Convention claims to offer a road map that will guide government officials in the improvement of laws and policies, by defining which rights the government should give to children.
A Veiled Threat
Since its introduction in 1989, the Convention has been ratified by every nation in the world except for the United States and Somalia. The CRC was signed by President Clinton in 1995, but early opposition in the Senate persuaded Clinton not to submit the treaty to the Senate for ratification.
The Senators who opposed the CRC in 1995 believed that the Convention marked a significant departure from the American concept of the relationship between state and child, and was incompatible with the right of parents to raise their children.
These concerns stem from the CRC’s repeated emphasis on two principles that should guide all decisions affecting children: consideration of the “best interests of the child” and the child’s “evolving capacities.” These two principles are the “umbrella principles underlining the exercise of all the rights in the Convention.”
The following sections explain why these two principles will, if implemented, jeopardize the vital role of parents within the American family.
What is Really “Best for the Child?”
The “Best Interests of the Child”
Article 3 of the CRC states that “in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” Thus, policies affecting children at all levels of society and government should have the child’s best interest as the primary concern.
The problem for families occurs when this principle surfaces as a guiding principle for parents. Article 18(1) of the CRC states that “Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.”
A Departure from American Law
But the Convention’s emphasis on the “best interests” principle is a sharp break from American law. In the 1993 case of Reno v. Flores, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “the ‘best interests of the child’ is not the legal standard that governs parents’ or guardians’ exercise of their custody.”
In the 2000 case of Troxel v. Granville, the Court struck down a grandparent visitation statute because decisions about the child were made “solely on the judge’s determination of the child’s best interests,” without regard to the wishes of the parent.
The Court’s decisions in Reno and Troxel reflect a fundamental tenet of American family law, which recognizes that parents typically act in the best interests of their children. Indeed, “United States case law is replete with examples of parents fighting for the best interests of their children,” ranging from a child’s right to an education to the right of personal injury compensation.
Thus, except in cases where a parent has been proven to be “unfit,” American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent’s decision.
The Convention, in contrast, supplants this traditional presumption in favor of parents with a new presumption in favor of the state.
People need to start raising a ruckus over this or as Dick Morris noted, the United States may not be able to survive another ten months of this regime.
Rumors abound this week of secret negotiations, backdoor meetings and veiled threats aimed at halting Rep. Issa’s investigation of the Fast and Furious scandal. Regretfully, such rumors are all too credible given Speaker Boehner’s history of always seeking a compromise even when victory is in sight.
This is what passes for pragmatism in Republican leadership circles: They settle for crumbs from the table instead of the “half a loaf” of successful compromise.
The investigation by Rep. Darrel Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been uncovering lies and contradictions in the attorney general’s past testimony on the illegal Fast and Furious program that sent about 2,000 guns to Mexican drug cartels. Whether Holder masterminded and directed the illegal program is not clear, but what has become clear is that he knew about it practically from its inception and did nothing to curtail it. Then he lied about it to a committee of Congress.
Murdered Border Patrol OfficerBrian Terry
This is not a question of some minor bureaucratic misjudgment that can now be corrected. People died as a result of this insane and wholly illegal project. Two of the dead are Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata. Zapata was ambushed by cartel assassins deep inside Mexico while working with Mexican authorities. Both were killed with guns brought into Mexico by the Fast and Furious program.
Murdered Border Agent Jamie Zapata
Maybe the White House needs to be reminded, but some us remember that President Nixon was not impeached and removed for instigating the Watergate break-in of June 1972. He was impeached for his part in the cover up that followed the break-in. In essence, he made the mistake of lying about it, which is what Holder has done.
The interesting question is why Speaker Boehner and other Republicans in leadership positions in the House are trying to hamper and curtail the Issa investigation. If Holder is innocent of the allegations, won’t that become evident when all the evidence is made public? If he is innocent, why does the White House fear the investigation?
What’s going on here? Every time Issa’s committee holds a public hearing, new evidence comes to light. Why should the investigation be aborted? Why would Republicans want the investigation halted? What possible “deal” could the White House offer to Boehner to persuade him to end the investigation? The only compromise Republicans in Congress should accept in the case of Attorney General Holder is his early resignation instead of impeachment and removal.
Over 100 members of Congress – I think it is 112 at the latest count – have called for Holder’s resignation. That’s more than a quarter of all congressmen. And while it’s not just his role in the Fast and Furious scandal that has led them to that conclusion, it’s hard to imagine any of them calling for an end to the investigation.
The reported “deal” Boehner and Holder are discussing would let higher ups in the Department of Justice off the hook if they prosecute one or two individual ATF supervisors. Holder would then claim he “cleaned up the mess” and be free from any moral or political culpability. How does that sound, folks?
Rep. Issa must persevere in his investigation and seek the truth no matter where it leads. As for Speaker Boehner, if he has a problem with this, he should go into the hospital for a backbone transplant.
It is our distinct honor to now carry the commentaries and reports of Tom Tancredo, former Representative to Congress of the State of Colorado and 2008 candidate for U.S. President. His CongressmanTomTancredo.com regularly features his articles, as does WorldNetDaily.
Former Congressman Tancredo currently serves as chairman of Rocky Mountain Foundation, co-chairman of the anti-illegal immigration Team America PAC, and honorary chairman of Youth for Western Civilization. He speaks frequently on cable news, talk radio, and on college campuses – where his mere presence has led leftists to riot on multiple occasions. His book, In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security was published in 2006.
Occupy Wall Street and its hundreds of offshoots, cost the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars in a few short months. Cleanup costs, police overtime, lost and disrupted production and countless smaller issues hit cash strapped communities at a time they could least afford it.
If, as some (including myself) predict, the movement expands and becomes better organized and more violent next Spring and Summer, the costs could become astronomical.
If you were an enemy of the U.S., a hostile power intent on bringing America to its knees, would you like to see this movement grow? Maybe even help it along a little? There is some evidence that one country has been doing just that.
That country is Cuba.
The O.W.S. movement got more than a little attention at a recent Cuban sponsored convention of communist led labor unions in Tijuana, Mexico.
Speakers included several high ranking Cuban officials, including Heriberto González del Valle, a professor at the Lázaro Peña National School for Union Cadres in Havana, Dr. Raymundo Navarro Fernández, member of the Secretariat of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba and Cuban Gilda Chacón, representing the formerly Soviet controlled international communist front World Federation of Trade Unions.
At the meeting, João Batista of the Central dos Trabalhadores e Trabalhadoras do Brasil stated that “that the Occupy movement has brilliantly shown the world that “U.S. imperialism” also affects the 99 percent at home.”
Where is the electrifying Occupy Wall Street movement headed?From capitalist media pundits to the Occupy Wall Street encampments struggling to hold public space in countless cities and towns across the U.S., this question is bubbling underneath the daily actions and police repression.
An opportunity to discuss the experience of other such movements will take place just across the U.S. border from San Diego in Tijuana, Mexico, on Dec. 2 to 4 at the 8th U.S./Cuba/Mexico/Latin America Labor Conference.
It will follow a three-day Workers’ School with instructors from the Lázaro Peña Cadre School in Havana, Cuba.
The “National School for Trade Union Cadres Lazaro Pena” is affiliated with the Cuban Workers Trade Union Central and works with the Cuban office of the World Federation of Trade unions to “train” Caribbean and Latin American labor officials, from its base in Havana.
It is an organ of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba, charged with spreading Castroite doctrine throughout the region, by way of the labor movement.
Occupy “city liason” Mario Brito also has a long Communist Party record, as do several others in the organization.
Mario Brito with Occupy LA protestors
Communist Party members have played leading roles in the “Occupy” movement well beyond Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, the Communist Party held a national teleconference to discuss the “Occupy Movement,” which by then had spread to 200 cities. Arturo Cambron, of the Communist Party and Occupy Los Angeles was the key speaker on the call:
Southern California Party leader Arturo Cambron will share how the CPUSA and Young Communist League (YCL) are working in “Occupy Los Angeles.”
This movement, also known as the “99% movement,” is being hailed across the country. Movements and organizations are reaching out in solidarity. The AFL-CIO is opening union halls and offering other material assistance. Ordinary people are donating food, money and materials.
A big challenge for the CPUSA and left, progressive movements is to link these demonstrations with the labor led all-people’s coalition and help deepen understanding that the path to progress must be through electoral and political action including defeating Republican Tea Party reaction in 2012.
We can also play a role in offering more advanced programmatic ideas like nationalizing the banks and socialism.To have a positive impact, the CPUSA and YCL must be a part of the “Occupy” movement, participating at every level and building greater local support for the actions among labor and progressive forces.
My name is Lisa Bergmann from the Young Communist League USA. On behalf of our organization I would like to thank WFDY and the JCP for hosting this inspiring, well-organized event and for ensuring that the YCLUSA could be here with all of you today. The Young Communist League USA stands firmly, as it always has, united with all of you against U.S. imperialism, greed, and war…
Inspired by the “Arab Spring” and other youth movements in Europe and Latin America, the Occupy Wall Street Movement began in the heart of the U.S. capitalist system, and has now spread to more than 300 cities in the United States. ..
The labor movement in the U.S. has been one of the strongest allies to the Occupy movement. Other participants in the Occupy movement include peace activist groups, veterans, elected officials, immigrant rights groups, and of course the Communist Party and the Young Communist League! The Young Communist League, even though we are in a re-building phase, has participated in Occupy in every city where we exist, and has even initiated the Occupy chapters in some cities. Leaders of the Young Communist League and leaders of the Communist party have been arrested in Chicago on two separate occasions during police raids on the Occupy movement.
Finally, I will speak briefly about the 2012 elections in the U.S. The election of Obama in 2008 was a tremendous victory for the people of the United States and indeed for people all over the world. ..
That said, the fight for jobs and for real solutions MUST include re-electing Obama in 2012. It is the role of the YCL to emphasize this wherever we go, and to try to push youth in the Occupy movement and elsewhere who do not want to work with any politicians to understand that being absent from the political process is only allowing the ultra-right wing to build power… Angela Davis, when visiting Occupy Wall Street on October 31st, said that “It is up to US to build a movement. And it is up to Obama to respond to that movement. But he cannot do it on his own.
The Worker’s World Party also plays a big role in Occupy Los Angeles and other movements across the country from Michigan to New York. W.W.P. member Mike Martinez, also a participant in the Tijuana Conference, explained his party’s strong role in Occupy Los Angeles in a November 2 article for Worker’s World:
Early in the occupation, many participants opposed an “End Police Brutality Committee” proposed by some people of color because at that time, it was argued, “there has not been any police brutality at Occupy L.A.” At one point Mejicano activists who argued against the police being considered part of the 99 percent were booed by other, mostly white participants.
As the debate on police brutality grew, however, more and more of the occupiers began to reject the notion that police were friends of Occupy L.A., especially as Boston, Chicago and other city encampments suffered brutal police attacks. This opening cleared the way for the Oct. 12 Coalition Against Police Brutality to march from Occupy L.A. with a good number of supporters.A big program was held on the Pelican Bay Prison hunger strike.
Workers World Party activists participating in the events were able to call for a march in solidarity with the prisoners at the General Assembly, support for which passed by consensus just days before the striker’s demands were met and the strike called off. The WWP members also promoted a film about socialist Cuba, which was shown to all the occupation participants.
WWP members also helped organize another action at local bank offices.When they marched to Wells Fargo Bank just a few blocks away, security quickly scrambled to shut their doors and closed their lobby to the public with barricades. For the protesters, this amounted to a large victory, and they marched through L.A.’s financial district chanting, “Fight the banks, shut them down!”One marcher waved a large portrait of Lenin at the bankers. It was like waving a cross at a vampire. The next day there was also a Karl Marx portrait that read: “99%ers of the world unite!”
Ron Gochez, another Tijuana conference attendee, infamous in Los Angeles for his anti-police activism, created a stir at an occupy Los Angeles demonstration when he made the statement that “police are not part of the 99%.” His remarks were met with jeers from some of the crowd, who tried to shout him down. Later he said, “Although they (cops) might make the money of the 99%, they represent and defend the 1%.”
Martha Grevatt, a member of Detroit’s UAW Local 869 and a W.W.P. organizer, was also in Tijuana.
Grevatt says that considering the anemic job market, there is very little distinction between the labor and Occupy movements. She says autoworkers have responded accordingly. “I work on the auto shop floor, and working people really identify with the fact that people are standing up to the banks,” Grevatt said at a November 6 Detroit rally. “They’re standing up to the bosses, they’re saying no more cutbacks, no more givebacks. We demand jobs.”
Grevatt says union participation has graduated beyond pronouncements and vocal support. “It means everything that labor is involved. There are people who are union members and union leaders who have been camping out, who have been here every day.”
Perhaps the most influential and potentially destructive dangerous Tijuana conference attendee was Clarence Thomas, an ILWU Local 10 Executive Board member, an Oakland California identity and an affiliate of both the Communist Party and, more recently, the W.W.P.
Here is a video of Thomas addressing the Tijuana conference. Thomas invokes the memory of late Communist Party leader Harry Bridges and proudly lays out his plans for mass economic disruption to the assembled comrades.
Clarence Thomas has played a key role in cementing ties between the ultra radical Occupy Oakland movement and the Bay Area’s very strong labor union community.
Thomas was also heavily active in encouraging the November 2 Occupy led shutdown of the Port of Oakland and the December 12, partially successful attempt to shut down every major port on the West Coast, from Alaska to Southern California.
Clarence Thomas wrote an article, which was published in the W.W.P’s Worker’s World, Nov. 16, 2011, entitled “Longshore workers applaud Occupy Oakland’s port shutdown.”
The eyes of the world were on the city of Oakland and the massive people’s march to the nation’s fifth-largest container port on Nov. 2 for the General Strike and Day of Mass Action called by Occupy Oakland. Not only has the Occupy movement gone global, Occupy Oakland has become the focal point of the movement.
In fact, on Oct. 28, Egyptian pro-democracy protesters marched from Tahrir Square to the U.S. Embassy in support of Occupy Oakland and against police brutality witnessed in Oakland on Oct. 25, and commonly experienced in Egypt.
The resolution by the Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly states on its website www.occupyoakland.org the reason for shutting down the Port of Oakland:“We are doing this in order to blockade the flow of capital on the day of the General Strike, as well as to show our commitment to solidarity with Longshore workers in their struggle against EGT in Longview, Wash. .. The driving force behind EGT is Bunge LTD, a leading agribusiness and food company which reported $2.4 billion in profit in 2010; this company has strong ties to Wall Street. This is but one example of Wall Street’s corporate attack on workers.
The Oakland General Strike will demonstrate the wide-reaching implications of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The entire world is fed up with the huge disparity of wealth caused by the present system. Now is the time that the people are doing something about it. The Oakland General Strike is a warning shot to the 1% — their wealth only exists because the 99% creates it for them.”The importance of the Port of Oakland shutdown was that it linked up labor, the community and Occupy Oakland in a strategic action at the point of production. Not only was the Port of Oakland shutdown impacting the movement of cargo in the Pacific Rim, it also disrupted rail schedules, trucking scheduling and “just in time delivery” services for companies such as Wal-Mart, on Nov. 2.
The labor movement must take a leading role in building a broad-based, working-class movement that challenges corporate rule and power by putting forward a people’s agendaThe Nov. 2 General Strike and Day of Mass Action in Oakland was more than just a day of protest against corporate rule, power and police repression. It was a day of resistance interrupting the flow of commerce, and the closure of banks and the Port. It sets the example for other Occupy movements throughout the country to follow.
Clarence Thomas explained all this to a cheering and clapping communist labor gathering in Tijuana, where he addressed the closing plenary on December 4.
When alerting the assembled Cuban, American and Latin American comrades to the proposed West Coast shutdown on December 12, Thomas warned that results would be unpredictable because “these are revolutionary mobilizations…”
Occupy Oakland marches on the port, Worker’s World Party flag, top right.
Today, Occupy activists from Vancouver, Canada, to San Diego, Calif., disrupted and shut down West Coast ports in solidarity with port workers. Specifically, they embraced the port truckers’ struggle for union recognition and efforts by the International Longshore Workers Union to fight union-busting in Longview, Wash.
They were also responding to federally coordinated attacks on the Occupy movement across the country.Once again, the largest protests were in Oakland, Calif. Despite continuous and well-publicized attempts by Oakland city officials and the Port of Oakland to discredit the port shutdown campaign, the all-day protest was massive. It started at 5 a.m. at the West Oakland Bay Area Rapid Transit station, in the shadow of the Port of Oakland.More than 2,500 Occupy activists, teachers, other union members, students and unemployed youth from all over northern California marched on the Port of Oakland to shut it down. The main two terminals scheduled for day-shift work were closed and the longshore workers sent home by 10:30 a.m.
The afternoon rally in Oakland featured fiery speeches directly targeting capitalism. Speakers pointed out how sexism, racism and anti-gay bigotry are all spawned by capitalist oppression and how it is the exploitation of labor that is the source of capitalist profits.
In Longview, Wash.,.., the port was shut down with the help of supporters from Portland and Seattle. Dan Coffman, president of ILWU Local 21 in Longview, thanked the Occupy rally by phone: “Without you this wouldn’t have been possible. You inspire us to keep on fighting. The ILWU is part of the 99 percent. You have the sleeping giant on [its] feet. … This is the rebirth of the labor movement.”
Some 1,000 demonstrators in Seattle marched from downtown to the port there and were able to completely shut down the night shift at two terminals.Occupy L.A. and Occupy supporters from the central coast of California successfully slowed operations at the Port of Long Beach and Port of Hueneme, respectively.Hundreds came — some media said 1,000 — to defend the right of truckers, mostly Latino/a drivers, to unionize, as well as in recognition of the ILWU in Longview, Wash., and the right of the Occupy Wall Street movement to continue without police repression and violence.
They came from Pasadena, Long Beach, Los Angeles and other areas with OWS activism — 55 from Riverside, Calif., alone — including Teamsters in their jackets and a hunger striker from San Diego in a wheelchair.Occupy4Jobs.org signs read: “Bust Goldman Sachs, not our unions.” The back-up of cars grew, waited and then turned around, but still no trucks.
Many police in a line pushed with batons against a wall of people determined to stop business as usual for capitalism for as long as they could on this day.
Workers World Party forum, New York, November 2011
The Worker’s World Party and the Communist Party USA are both heavily involved in the Ooccupy Movement, all over the U.S.
Both are tied to Cuba and both organizations had representatives at the December 2011 Tijuana conference.
Cuban state employees were involved in training conference attendees, many of whom are active leaders of the Occupy Movement. Therefore there is a clear link between the communist Cuban regime and U.S. activists, clearly intent on causing mass economic disruption.
Should the FBI investigate what could well be a Cuban backed plan to disrupt the U.S. economy?
The first is Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 6:30 PM at the Alamo Fiesta RV Park. It’s right on the interstate access road and is easy for people to find. Address is 33000 IH10 West, Boerne, TX (just northwest of San Antonio). Contact Michelle Horstman, [email protected].
March 1, a 9/12 group is hosting me at 7 PM at 9552 Hempstead, Houston, TX 77092. Contact Stephanie Cruz at [email protected].
There is also interest in a Dallas meeting, but nothing yet confirmed. Will keep you posted.
I have several yet to be announced engagements in the Northeast in early to mid-March, then I fly to Colorado for several talks in mid-March.
After yet to be confirmed dates in Arizona and Nevada, I spend April on the West Coast in Washington, Oregon and California.
If you’d like to hear me speak elsewhere, please contact me at [email protected] and we’ll try to make something happen either this trip or the next.
Looking forward to meeting heaps of friends and supporters on this trip.