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Taco John
07-26-2007, 11:08 PM
Rudy Giuliani Benefits From Sale Of U.S. Highways To Foreign Companies
Q&A With Pat Choate On Privatizing U.S. Highways & The NAFTA Superhighway



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BY RICHARD McCORMACK
richard@manufacturingnews.com
Manufacturing & Technology News

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The sell-off of American highways to private companies coupled with the controversial plan to build the "NAFTA Superhighway" has become an explosive political subject in many states. The influx of foreign companies involved in becoming owners of public assets has further enraged the public, as have details about their financial ties with some of the country's most well-known politicians.

One of the biggest whoppers in the whole debate about political patronage and the sell-off of public infrastructure concerns the $100-million buyout of the firm owned by Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani by Macquarie, the big Australian investment banking firm.

Macquarie Infrastructure has partnered with the Spanish firm Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte in the controversial purchase of the Indiana Toll Road. The two companies are also part of a major political uprising in Texas concerning the privatization of State Highway 121 outside of Dallas. A Macquarie division has spent $110 million buying up 42 local newspapers along the Trans-Texas Corridor (the NAFTA Superhighway corridor).

Pat Choate, who was Ross Perot's running mate on the 1996 presidential ticket, has spent the past year studying the NAFTA Superhighway and state and federal governments' desire to privatize America's highways. Choate is known as one of America's foremost economic experts on infrastructure. Twenty-five years ago, he wrote two influential books --"America in Ruins" and "Bad Roads." He alerted America that there was an "infrastructure crisis" coming. It is now squarely upon us.

President Reagan appointed Choate to his task force to develop the policy agenda for his second term. Choate wrote the infrastructure section.

Choate is a native Texan whose family has lived in Ellis County for more than 160 years. He is currently director of the Manufacturing Policy Project. He received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Oklahoma.

He sat down recently with Manufacturing & Technology News editor Richard McCormack to discuss the latest developments in the ongoing saga of privatizing America's infrastructure. He provided documentation for virtually everything he describes in the interview below.

Question: What are the latest developments in the debate over privatizing American highways?

Choate: Texas is the battleground for a major policy shift on who owns and operates America's public infrastructure, including highways. You have the U.S. Department of Transportation trying to get the states to lease public roads to private toll operators and allow these private operators to build new ones. In Texas, there is a budgetary shell game under way. The governor and the legislature beginning with George W. Bush, have diverted $15 billion out of the state highway department and put that money in the general budget. In Texas, they now have 85 percent of their highway transportation money going into maintaining their roads and only 15 percent going into new construction, compared to the national state average of 52 percent going into maintenance and 48 percent into construction.

The Texas legislature and governor have chosen to get big chunks of up-front money -- $2-billion to $3-billion per project on 13 projects around the state along with $6 billion or $7 billion on the 600-mile Trans Texas Corridor -- by turning public roads over to private interests.
Fundamentally what is happening is Gov. Perry wishes to finance his tax cuts by getting pre-payments on leasing public property. They are turning the public infrastructure over to private entities for 50 years.

Q: How is that playing out in Texas?
Choate: You have a handful of citizens -- people who are really extraordinary -- who said they're not going to put up with it. The first thing they did was actively participate in the Texas Department of Transportation environmental hearings. They got 14,000 people to show up at those meetings which TxDOT really intended to be perfunctory events.

There was a documentary filmmaker who made "Truth Be Told," which just won the Houston Film Award for best documentary. He filmed the public hearings -- it's terrific stuff. The witnesses were passionate and could not believe the governor and legislature intended to convert one of the state's major freeways into a privately-owned toll road.
When the legislature came back in session this year, they had heard from their constituents. They approved a piece of legislation [HB-1892] by a vote of 131-to-1 in the House and 27-to-4 in the Senate that mandated a two-year moratorium on privatization. Yet the governor vetoed it.

When the bill looked like it was going to pass, Perry rushed forward and signed a contract with [Spanish firm] Cintra to complete the privatization of Rt. 121 in Dallas.

Involved in this rush deal on Rt. 121 in Dallas was a very prominent New York lawyer from a Texas firm named Bracewell & Giuliani who was paid very handsome amounts to put together the finance and legal work. In March, Macquarie Bank from Australia bought [Presidential hopeful Rudy] Giuliani's investment division, which had less than 100 people and lost $1.65 million last year. Macquarie paid $100 million for it. Giuliani personally gets $70 million.

Q: Why hasn't there been much reporting or attention paid to this sale, given its controversial nature?
Choate: There has literally been no coverage here, but in the Australian press you got all this reporting about the deal saying, "What is Macquarie doing? They are overpaying for this company."
Well, I can tell you exactly what they're doing. Macquarie can't put money into a presidential campaign, but Rudy Giuliani can. It's a back-door way to finance the Giuliani campaign for 20-million, 40-million, 50-million bucks. Macquarie wants to own a president who will do tolling all over America. It is phenomenal.

Macquarie is a very shrewd corporation. As the opposition to this highway deal heated up in Texas, Macquarie bought 42 little newspapers, virtually all of which are along the route and most of which opposed the deal editorially. Why not? They can take billions of dollars out of Texas if Gov. Perry gets his way.

Q: Why has Gov. Perry been so adamant in pursuing this?
Choate: He's diverting the highway funds to the state budget so he can cut taxes. This is how the no-new-tax guys are financing their stuff. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels got $3.8 billion from the sale of his toll road so that he can finance everything else. But when that money runs out his successor and the people of Indiana are stuck for 60 years with a foreign-based company controlling a major part of their development rights through the center of their state.

In Texas, Perry got the legislature to change the standards. Instead of awarding to the lowest price bidder it's now the best value. Talk about flexibility. So now Cintra wins all the contracts. He was rushing to do a contract with Cintra on a high-volume bypass road in Dallas that was two-thirds of the way finished and was built with public funds. Cintra would pay the state $2.3 billion and finish the road and have a 50-year lease on it. In the deal, the governor signed a no-compete clause for 10 miles on either side on the road -- you can do nothing for 50 years that will take traffic away from the toll road.

The other thing he did was have TxDOT set it up so that the North Texas Toll Authority (NTTA), a very experienced toll authority that has worked in the public interest for decades, could not bid on the project. People were furious.

A state senator named John Carona, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee asked NTTA to use the same assumptions that Cintra used and asked them what they would have bid. They would have bid $3.5-billion more. The outrage was so great that the governor backed off. But Cintra supporters got the Federal Highway Administration in Washington to send a letter which, in effect, threatens to cut off federal highway funds if they redo the bid because of the "integrity" of the bidding process. Give me a break.

[U.S. Sen.] Kay Bailey Hutchison [R-Texas] then sent a letter to [U.S. Department of Transportation] Secretary Mary Peters to get this out in the open. Peters comes back and says that's not what the letter meant. Then the Federal Highway Administration sent another letter, which said that is exactly what it means if you do it. There is a revolution going on over in DOT.

Then [U.S. House of Representatives] member Nick Lampson (D-Texas] had Sec. Mary Peters up before the Transportation Committee [on May 11]. He had all the letters concerning DOT's interference with the bill passed by the Texas legislature. Peters said to him: "We're not going to interfere. Texas can do what it wants if they can get a better deal on it."

Well, when you go into the DOT Web site, you'll find that DOT has "model" legislation for the states showing them how they can change their constitutions and laws so that they can sell off and lease their public roads to private entities. They call it PPP -- Public/Private Partnerships. It's unbelievable.

Mary Peters, a Republican, was transportation director for Arizona. Then she went to work for a large firm that helped states convert and build private roads. The person she brought with her as general counsel, a man named [David James] Gribbins, had worked as a field organizer for Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed for the Christian Coalition. Gribbins then goes to Koch Industries in Wichita where his job is to sell states and communities on PPPs. The Bush administration named him to be the chief counsel at the Federal Highway Administration where he worked with Gov. Mitch Daniels in Indiana doing these deals. He then left to work as the chief lobbyist in Washington, D.C., for Macquarie Bank, one of the largest of these operators in the world. In January, he got nominated to be chief counsel to the Department of Transportation. Macquarie and Cintra work together. It was Macquarie and Cintra that jointly did the Indiana Toll Road and they are doing other projects together. What you wind up with is privateers coming from these beneficiary companies now running the Department of Transportation.

Q: What's the backlash been in Indiana?
Choate: They doubled the toll on that road. If the state re-does the contract, it has to pay the company their lost profits for the balance of the contract. This is not about providing the best transportation at the least cost: it's about making the most amount of money. These companies are only there for the profit and they'll raise the rates even if volume drops until they maximize profit. They plot the curve.
This is a radical departure as to how this country has gone about building and operating roads for the last century. The question voters face is do they want to cut other state taxes and finance state operations by selling concessions to private companies for the operation of public facilities in exchange for a big up-front payment and perhaps some part of the revenues?

Q: What's happening with the NAFTA Superhighway?
Choate: The Trans Texas Corridor is on hold for two years. Seven people in Texas who mobilized the opposition have brought it to a stop. Most of the Mexican toll roads necessary for the long corridor from ports in Southwest Mexico are in place. The rail is in place. The issue is not that there is not going to be a route -- there is going to be a corridor, which is Rt. 35, the major north-south route that now exists. A super corridor has congressional approval and it's going to be built, but the question is this: Is it going to be a private or public road?

Rt. 35 was built 50 years ago with enough space to easily double it. It's a major artery and it's very busy. There are four major arteries north-south in the United States. All four are overcrowded. The truth is we need to expand those roads for our own purposes, but the last thing we need do is turn them over to the private operators. If the federal government allows states to toll these interstates, it's a guaranteed money maker. If the country is going to toll this national highway, it should be through a state public authority and the profits should be used to build feeders. Selling or leasing parts of our interstate system is not something that should be left to the governors or state legislatures. These roads are part of a national system, owned by all of us.

Reps. Jim Oberstar [D-Minn.], chairman of the House Transportation Committee and Peter DeFazio [D-Ore.], chairman of the subcommittee on highways and transit, sent a letter to all of the governors on May 10 telling them not to do any of these deals. They said: "We strongly discourage you from entering into public-private partnerships ("PPP") agreements that are not in the long-term public interest. Although Bush administration officials have lauded PPPs at every turn, the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the U.S. House of Representatives believes that many of the arrangements that have been proposed do not adequately protect the public interest." They said that the committee will work to "undo any state PPP agreements that do not fully protect the public interest."

Q: If there is so much public resentment over these deals, then why are they still happening?
Choate: What I think has happened is that "read-my-lips" George Bush Sr. couldn't figure a way to operate government without raising taxes. His son solved the problem by radically increasing the national debt, borrowing primarily from the central banks of other nations. Now, we have a new generation of Republicans who say I'll cut taxes, and I'll never raise taxes. They intend to finance their promise by selling off the public infrastructure. What the public doesn't understand and what the media is not explaining is that the private operations of our public infrastructure represents the highest tax you can possibly have because those investors are going to run up the prices they charge to the limit and under the binding contracts these "no-new-tax" governors are signing, we have no democratic alternative for dealing with these contracts.

The other thing that happens is that Perry has found a fantastic way to finance his political career. In his last race for governor, he got $2.5 million in donations from the sponsors of these deals. That is a lot of money. No wonder he is being talked about as a possible GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008. You have engineers, lawyers, investment bankers and construction companies who are happy to keep their champion in there. What other governor would look at the 131-to-1 vote against him and say I cannot be overridden in a veto?
This Texas fight is really important because you have a popular uprising. This was the number-one issue in the Texas legislature this year.

Q: What other private companies are involved?
Choate: Fluor, Bechtel, and Koch Industries, which is a $30-billion corporation. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Bank are willing to raise the money for these kinds of deals. If you are a governor and you need $3 billion, $4 billion or $5 billion to finance state government and you have a heavily trafficked route, these private companies will come in and pay the state the money and you're all of a sudden flush with cash. They will put together a package and their teams of lawyers will come in to work with you on what you need to do to change your state constitution and change your laws.

If you need to do a referendum, they will help you finance and run the referendum. They'll lobby the state legislature and the local media. To streamline all of this, the U.S. Department of Transportation is working with them state by state on privatizing public roads. The Department of Transportation is flacking for Wall Street and a couple of foreign corporations. This recent exchange of letters with the Federal Highway Administration, Congress and TxDOT shows how they are extorting the states that want to take a more responsible approach. Congress needs to do hearings and put some sunshine on this transfer of our public assets to private buccaneers.

http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/07/0615/art2.html

recxjake
07-26-2007, 11:17 PM
Welp that does it.

BucEyedPea
07-26-2007, 11:41 PM
This is disgusting.
I wouldn't be surprised if the leading Dems are for it too.
I hear Fred Thompson is for it as well including a North American Union.
I think Newt is for it too.

They should all be shot for treason.

noa
07-26-2007, 11:45 PM
They should all be shot for treason.

Don't go macaca

BucEyedPea
07-26-2007, 11:47 PM
:cuss:

Taco John
07-26-2007, 11:48 PM
I think it's clear that Rudy justs wants to gather as much power as he possibly can. Even if that means being on Hugo Chavez's payroll (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/03/14/2007-03-14_giuliani_firm_on_payroll_of_prez_chavez_.html). He's since cut that tie since he's running for president, but he'd tell you that lobbying for Chavez was good for the American people.

recxjake
07-26-2007, 11:51 PM
I think it's clear that Rudy justs wants to gather as much power as he possibly can. Even if that means being on Hugo Chavez's payroll (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2007/03/14/2007-03-14_giuliani_firm_on_payroll_of_prez_chavez_.html). He's since cut that tie since he's running for president, but he'd tell you that lobbying for Chavez was good for the American people.


Giuliani doesn't lobby, the firm says.

Patrick Oxford, a managing partner at Bracewell & Giuliani, said Giuliani has no dealings with the Venezuelan-owned oil company. "He has not seen hide nor hair of Citgo," Oxford said.

Giuliani's campaign released a statement that didn't address written questions asking whether he knew his firm did business with Citgo and whether he considered it appropriate.

The e-mailed statement discussed his views on Chavez and energy policy.

"Mayor Giuliani has been clear and consistent - Hugo Chavez is no friend of the United States," campaign spokeswoman Katie Levinson said in the statement. "Chief among the reasons Chavez has so much influence around the world is our ongoing dependence on foreign oil."

BucEyedPea
07-26-2007, 11:54 PM
I read Rudy was a lobbyist for Murdoch's corp that owns Fox news.
Could this be why Fox pumps him so much?

Pitt Gorilla
07-27-2007, 12:07 AM
That piece disgusts me. I suppose the privatization folks are giddy, but this just doesn't sound good.

Taco John
07-27-2007, 12:31 AM
"He has not seen hide nor hair of Citgo," Oxford said.




...except for when he checks his bank statements. Then he sees plenty of hides and hairs.

Taco John
07-27-2007, 12:35 AM
That piece disgusts me. I suppose the privatization folks are giddy, but this just doesn't sound good.



No, no, no...

Privitization of highways would be fine with me, but what people fail to understand about the Libertarian perspective is that the government has a role in protecting citizens. Especially in a situation where we are talking about public infrastructure that has been bought and paid for by our tax dollars to begin with. Taxpayers aren't being protected in this situation. They're being steam-rolled.

You're not going to find a Libertarian who is gung ho about turning over roads to international interests so that they can price gouge consumers and not maintain safe roads. As far as privatizing roads is concerned, the milk is pretty much spilt and it's not going back in the bottle.

keg in kc
07-27-2007, 12:39 AM
This is one of the reasons why I believe that Guiliani is Bush's hand-picked successor. If he's in office it'll be nothing more than an extension of the status quo established in the last 7 years.

(I don't mean hand-picked by Bush, I mean hand-picked by the interests behind Bush)

Taco John
07-27-2007, 12:43 AM
This is one of the reasons why I believe that Guiliani is Bush's hand-picked successor. If he's in office it'll be nothing more than an extension of the status quo established in the last 7 years.

(I don't mean hand-picked by Bush, I mean hand-picked by the interests behind Bush)



I don't think Hillary would be any different. I think these folks are all working for the same interests. They're all just putting on a show for us.

keg in kc
07-27-2007, 12:46 AM
I don't think the country is ready to elect Hillary yet, whether that's true or not. There's a significant segment of the voting public who believe women have a place in society, and it isn't the White House.

Same reason I don't think Obama can win. Racism isn't thriving anymore, but it isn't dead, either, and it's not just in the South.

My guess is, those two will together, by losing votes for the reasons I mentioned, keep the Democrats from really being able to compete, and Guiliani will end up winning.

But I may be too cynical.

In the end, you're probably right, and D or R, it's all basically a show.

Logical
07-27-2007, 12:58 AM
I don't think Hillary would be any different. I think these folks are all working for the same interests. They're all just putting on a show for us.

All though I agree with this, no one man can lead us out of this mess. It will take a major change in Congress to really cause change.

Taco John
07-27-2007, 01:07 AM
All though I agree with this, no one man can lead us out of this mess. It will take a major change in Congress to really cause change.



Yes, but it'll have to start with one man. That's the way these things get going, because without a leader, there is no cause.

Logical
07-27-2007, 01:42 AM
Yes, but it'll have to start with one man. That's the way these things get going, because without a leader, there is no cause.

TJ, what you say could be true, but the person doing the leading cannot come off as a clown to the two major parties (like Bush has) and frankly I am pretty sure that is how Ron Paul would be viewed. I just don't see him as a leader, a Don Quiote tilting at windmills, yes, but not a leader.

keg in kc
07-27-2007, 01:51 AM
Ron Paul's religious views will cost him my vote.

Not that that matters.

Taco John
07-27-2007, 01:54 AM
Ron Paul's religious views won't cost you a dime of freedom.

keg in kc
07-27-2007, 02:09 AM
Ron Paul's religious views won't cost you a dime of freedom.We'll see.

Actually, I don't think we will.

Taco John
07-27-2007, 04:01 AM
We'll see it at least until September 08 at the Republican National Convention. Ron Paul isn't going anywhere. There's going to be a third party this time around... Maybe even a fourth if Bloomberg gets involved. Republicans and Democrats are more exposed than ever. And the good news for Ron Paul fans is that he leads in the polls of of people who have heard him speak (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/haman1.html) He's not a media darling yet... But he will be.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 10:49 AM
This is disgusting.
I wouldn't be surprised if the leading Dems are for it too.
I hear Fred Thompson is for it as well including a North American Union.
I think Newt is for it too.

They should all be shot for treason.

Hmmm. I wonder if Virginians thought James Madison was committing treason when he was working toward a union of the 13 colonies.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 10:53 AM
We'll see it at least until September 08 at the Republican National Convention. Ron Paul isn't going anywhere. There's going to be a third party this time around... Maybe even a fourth if Bloomberg gets involved. Republicans and Democrats are more exposed than ever. And the good news for Ron Paul fans is that he leads in the polls of of people who have heard him speak (http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/haman1.html) He's not a media darling yet... But he will be.

I think Ron Paul could do well in the New Hampshire primary. But just like Pat Buchanan's victory there, it won't mean much in the end. (I don't think Paul will win it like Buchanan did though)

BTW, what's Ron Paul's position on privatizing roads? I know he opposes NAFTA, but I'd assume he'd be on the side of privatizing roads just like the Libertarians are.

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 11:05 AM
Hmmm. I wonder if Virginians thought James Madison was committing treason when he was working toward a union of the 13 colonies.
So you support this too?

I'm sure some did think he was guilty of treason since the anti-federalists have turned out to be correct. You do know John Paul Jones was against the Constitution?

Even though the original Constitutional Convention WAS a runaway convention,
written in secret, and the Constitution passed narrowly...yet, it was still eventually debated by the people in the light of day with ratification by the states.

Not what we have going on today.
So even if you can claim one element of similarity, there is a far greater difference.

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 11:16 AM
I think Ron Paul could do well in the New Hampshire primary. But just like Pat Buchanan's victory there, it won't mean much in the end. (I don't think Paul will win it like Buchanan did though)

BTW, what's Ron Paul's position on privatizing roads? I know he opposes NAFTA, but I'd assume he'd be on the side of privatizing roads just like the Libertarians are.
Ron Paul is a gradualist. One reason he supports the Fair Tax which funds the govt totally as it exists today. He also is "reluctant to cut social programs" ( his words) if we're going to be spending so much on foreign war and nation building.

I'd assume he'd be a gradualist here like he is on the PO. Don't forget he is a Constitutionalist first. Whether or not something is the best policy after that, is another matter. So in the case of the PO, he takes a dual approach. The PO is Constutional, but Paul would allow others to compete against it breaking its monopoly status. I'd imagine he'd be the same regarding federal roads and other infrastructure.

The problem we have here is a conflict of interest by a candidate. That's unethical. It also shows Rudy's committment to open borders. It'll sink him. It'll sink Thompson too. It may just sink the GOP altogether.

I think today's political environment has changed since Buchanan too. People are much angrier on both sides of the political spectrum too. I'm not making a case for Paul winning, but things are different. ( Nope the media will see to that...and sink him if he did become president too ) But this thread is not about that.

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 11:23 AM
All though I agree with this, no one man can lead us out of this mess. It will take a major change in Congress to really cause change.
I agree Congress is very key. But look at them too. :cuss:

As the Founders said, it would be far easier for any vested interests to influence one man than a multitude.

That being said, it still good that more of those running for president who support this get exposed. That goes for those in the Senate and the House who may have similar leanings.

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 11:26 AM
Ron Paul's religious views will cost him my vote.

Not that that matters.
Why?

If he's a Constitutionalist and a libertarian, he will pass NO law pertaining to an establishment of religion. As a libertarian he'd be a "live and let live" type. I've met many devout Christians who were libertarian and they believe in leaving gays and others alone and oppose faith based initiatives.

I also know that as a libertarian Paul would take the view that faith based initiatives would actually ruin religious groups, because what the govt funds it eventually controls...so he'd be opposed to things like that. That's a key libertarian principle.

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 11:34 AM
That piece disgusts me. I suppose the privatization folks are giddy, but this just doesn't sound good.
I'm one of those privitazion folks and it disgusts me.
This is not the same thing I believe in when I read that article.
Privitization means allowing private interests to also build roads in competition with those govt ones.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 11:56 AM
So you support this too?

I'm sure some did think he was guilty of treason since the anti-federalists have turned out to be correct. You do know John Paul Jones was against the Constitution?

Even though the original Constitutional Convention WAS a runaway convention,
written in secret, and the Constitution passed narrowly...yet, it was still eventually debated by the people in the light of day with ratification by the states.

Not what we have going on today.
So even if you can claim one element of similarity, there is a far greater difference.

If Mexico and Canada became enough like the US, I'd welcome a union between the three. Right now though, our cultures, our standards of living, and our systems of government are too far apart to make it a good idea.

There will be no North American Union without the people having a chance to debate it and have their say. I think the similarities are substantial and I think the fact that Madison's union came to be turned out pretty good. I suspect it turned out significantly better than if the Virginians who opposed union had prevailed.

Fishpicker
07-27-2007, 12:18 PM
If Mexico and Canada became enough like the US, I'd welcome a union between the three. Right now though, our cultures, our standards of living, and our systems of government are too far apart to make it a good idea.

There will be no North American Union without the people having a chance to debate it and have their say. I think the similarities are substantial and I think the fact that Madison's union came to be turned out pretty good. I suspect it turned out significantly better than if the Virginians who opposed union had prevailed.

how can the SPP/Nafta Superhighway be debated when the MSM doesnt even acknowledge that it exists? In fact, most media outlets deny the SPP altogether. Cintra (and like companies) have been buying out newspapers in towns and cities along the corridor. How many reporters/journalists in the US are even aware of the SPP? two or three? Lou Dobbs reports on it quite a bit. Alex Jones :rolleyes: rails on the the SPP. Who else is there?

I doubt there will ever be a debate of any sort regarding the SPP. it really isnt neccessary to have a debate in order to bring about the NAU. The SPP is done, the highway is underway, and most people dont have a clue. If the dollar crashes hard, people will beg for the Amero currency. we could literally get a NAU overnight if the conditions were right.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 12:33 PM
how can the SPP/Nafta Superhighway be debated when the MSM doesnt even acknowledge that it exists? In fact, most media outlets deny the SPP altogether. Cintra (and like companies) have been buying out newspapers in towns and cities along the corridor. How many reporters/journalists in the US are even aware of the SPP? two or three? Lou Dobbs reports on it quite a bit. Alex Jones :rolleyes: rails on the the SPP. Who else is there?

I doubt there will ever be a debate of any sort regarding the SPP. it really isnt neccessary to have a debate in order to bring about the NAU. The SPP is done, the highway is underway, and most people dont have a clue. If the dollar crashes hard, people will beg for the Amero currency. we could literally get a NAU overnight if the conditions were right.

For one thing, I was talking about the creation of a union being debated not the building of a road. But the road will be and has been debated too, in our legislatures. Perhaps one reason why this road isn't big news is because it's boring. I have a hard time understanding how this road is any more controversial than NAFTA itself. Maybe it's because of all the scaremongering going on about an imminent NAU that isn't really imminent. :shrug:

Taco John
07-27-2007, 12:38 PM
There will be no North American Union without the people having a chance to debate it and have their say.


When exactly is this debate going to happen? After they've already got the infrastructure in place? This Superhighway is well on it's way, and there hasn't been *any* dialogue with the public about it. The actual "union" part of this thing is going to be the cherry on top of the cake. It's not like they're coming to us first and saying, "what do you think, should we do it?" They're doing it first and asking permission later.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 12:41 PM
When exactly is this debate going to happen? After they've already got the infrastructure in place? This Superhighway is well on it's way, and there hasn't been *any* dialogue with the public about it. The actual "union" part of this thing is going to be the cherry on top of the cake. It's not like they're coming to us first and saying, "what do you think, should we do it?" They're doing it first and asking permission later.

I'm having trouble understanding the connection between a road and the union. We've had roads running from Mexico to Canada for a long time.

Taco John
07-27-2007, 12:43 PM
I'm having trouble understanding the connection between a road and the union. We've had roads running from Mexico to Canada for a long time.



Do you have similar troubles making the connection between a load bearing wall and a house?

Taco John
07-27-2007, 12:51 PM
I'm having trouble understanding the connection between a road and the union. We've had roads running from Mexico to Canada for a long time.



I just want to clear up the dishonest vocabulary that you're using...

This is a road:

http://www.jbinteraction.com/sefaranu/one/honeymoon/images/road_to_Nowhere.JPG



This is not a "road":


http://www.ljlindhurst.com/images/highway.jpg



My problem isn't that a "road" is being built. My problem is that it is being built without even a discussion of its implications with the American public. Bush has mentioned this initiative exactly zero times in his SOTU speeches, though he's tried to ram amnesty bills to enable this process even further down our throats (see you at the signing).

I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend every move that the state makes, but I liked it a lot better when you were acting like a conservative. I'm not sure what it is you've turned into... But conservative isn't it.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 12:56 PM
Do you have similar troubles making the connection between a load bearing wall and a house?

No but I'm having trouble making the connection between your post and the thread topic.

Taco John
07-27-2007, 12:58 PM
No but I'm having trouble making the connection between your post and the thread topic.



I don't believe you're that daft. I think you understand the concept of infrastructure better than you're letting on.

Fishpicker
07-27-2007, 01:01 PM
the SPP, TTC, & NAU are all interlaced. it's naive to view a single component or aspect of the NAU and dismiss the rest out of hand.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 01:02 PM
I just want to clear up the dishonest vocabulary that you're using...

This is a road:

*image deleted*

This is not a "road":

*image deleted*

My problem isn't that a "road" is being built. My problem is that it is being built without even a discussion of its implications with the American public. Bush has mentioned this initiative exactly zero times in his SOTU speeches, though he's tried to ram amnesty bills to enable this process even further down our throats (see you at the signing).

I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend every move that the state makes, but I liked it a lot better when you were acting like a conservative. I'm not sure what it is you've turned into... But conservative isn't it.

I've never been the kind of conservative who opposed having good roads. What is it about this road that you don't like? Specifically, what are the implications that you don't think are being publicized/debated adequately?

BTW, since you're helping me with my terminology, do we stop calling it a road at 12 lanes or 6 or 4 or at some other point?

Fishpicker
07-27-2007, 01:06 PM
the # of lanes is irrevalent. the road already has the designation: Super-highway

a1na2
07-27-2007, 01:09 PM
...except for when he checks his bank statements. Then he sees plenty of hides and hairs.

I'd like to see your proof on that one.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 01:15 PM
the SPP, TTC, & NAU are all interlaced. it's naive to view a single component or aspect of the NAU and dismiss the rest out of hand.

I may well be naive on this topic, but I think it's equally naive to believe that building a superhighway makes forming a union inevitable.

patteeu
07-27-2007, 01:18 PM
the # of lanes is irrevalent. the road already has the designation: Super-highway

You called it a "road". :p ;)

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 01:47 PM
If Mexico and Canada became enough like the US, I'd welcome a union between the three. Right now though, our cultures, our standards of living, and our systems of government are too far apart to make it a good idea.

There will be no North American Union without the people having a chance to debate it and have their say. I think the similarities are substantial and I think the fact that Madison's union came to be turned out pretty good. I suspect it turned out significantly better than if the Virginians who opposed union had prevailed.
So I was right, you are an internationalist, afterall.

You'd gladly do away with America for the sake of commercialism. It's no wonder you don't care about the immigration issue that much.

I hope you weren't one of the ones calling folks un-American or un-Patriotic for not supporting the war in Iraq too.

The differences are not substantial. It was Kennedy/Bush ( also a NCLB alliance) that tried to push some of this through with an undebated amendment tucked into the immigration bill. I posted the number here. Even the mainstream conservative publication Human Events says this is a reality being constituted within the Bush Commerce Department. Even one of your beloved newsites wnd has articles on it. It is an extension of Nafta.

At the state level, initiatives were defeated by the people who got wind of it only to see legislation reappear under a new name that wasn't as obvious. When brought to the attention of local reps, who went back and read the legislation ( they often don't) they saw it was true and defeated it again.

There are special interests, corporate interests that are pushing an agenda to benefit themselves at our expense. It is a reality that this is going on and being created.

keg in kc
07-27-2007, 01:56 PM
Why the hell should we be afraid of an international road system that won't have any customs check on any border, north or south, with only a centralized checking point in the heart of the country, our own KC?

Pshaw, I saw!

patteeu
07-27-2007, 02:08 PM
So I was right, you are an internationalist, afterall.

You mean like James Madison was?

You'd gladly do away with America for the sake of commercialism. It's no wonder you don't care about the immigration issue that much.

I hope you weren't one of the ones calling folks un-American or un-Patriotic for not supporting the war in Iraq too.

It's cute when you go off your rocker like this. I'm not for doing away with America at all, but I do recognize that commerce is important to our prosperity.

The differences are not substantial. It was Kennedy/Bush ( also a NCLB alliance) that tried to push some of this through with an undebated amendment tucked into the immigration bill. I posted the number here. Even the mainstream conservative publication Human Events says this is a reality being constituted within the Bush Commerce Department. Even one of your beloved newsites wnd has articles on it. It is an extension of Nafta.

At the state level, initiatives were defeated by the people who got wind of it only to see legislation reappear under a new name that wasn't as obvious. When brought to the attention of local reps, who went back and read the legislation ( they often don't) they saw it was true and defeated it again.

There are special interests, corporate interests that are pushing an agenda to benefit themselves at our expense. It is a reality that this is going on and being created.

If it's a bad idea, then opponents should shed some light on what's bad about it. A big road, er... excuse me, superhighway, from the southern border to the northern border sounds like an infrastructure improvement to me.

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 02:31 PM
Even though it hijacks the thread please enlighten me as to how Madison was an internationalist? The FFs were protectionists.

As to the highway, you need to read up on what's happening under Nafta. By that I mean the cases under it's tribunals. Human Events has done some good reporting on it. I posted a thread a while ago on how it not only erodes national sovereignty bypassing local laws on a gradual basis but actual cases decided by its tribunals that do not have the same due process protections or rights under our Constitution. Such as appealing to our own higher courts. Already American businesses have been unfairly penalized. The highway is just an extension of nafta which facilitates more of the same.

Commercial trade I'm fine on. Interdepence politically I am opposed to which is what is happening as we speak. There is no need to have this type of structure to have true free trade. IMO it's unAmerican to put commercial relations over United State's independence and sovereignty.

BucEyedPea
07-27-2007, 02:40 PM
The Founding Fathers were Protectionists (http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/1996/mar96/psrmar96.html)

Second main section on teh Founders.