Tuesday, July 10, 2007

SPP? Don't worry; be happy .

Shorter John Ibbitson : If Maude Barlow of Council of Canadians and some right wing nutters in the US are both sending out alarms about North American integration, well then I guess we can call it a draw and forget the whole damn thing.

What a "fair and balanced" load of foxcrap.

"Political realities are no obstacle to conspiracy theorists", writes Ibbitson, juxtaposing these two examples:
"The North American Union will bury our America under more than 100 million, mostly poor Mexicans, and tens of millions of Canadians, used to their lavish social welfare benefits and socialized medicine unless we stop it," the News Journal of Mansfield, Ohio, gravely warned in a recent editorial.

While on the Canadian side, Ms. Barlow maintains that "deep integration," as she likes to call it, is "quite literally about eliminating Canada's ability to determine independent regulatory standards, environmental protections, energy security, foreign, military, immigration and other policies."

Right. See a single item on Barlow's list that isn't currently being violated? Need me to provide links to the downgrading of pesticide regs to match US ones, no water security under NAFTA, the NoFly list, CIA operations in Canada, Maher Arar? No? Tired of hearing about them?
Well then if these deeds are actually going on, it isn't much of a conspiracy theory, is it?
As opposed to the first example of being buried under spoiled brown welfare bums.

Ibbitson decides to provide us with a single concrete example of "lunatic not-so-fringe" thinking :

"The vast conspiracy to sell out the sovereignty of Canada, the United States and Mexico to a new North American Union would manage the flow of Canadian oil and water south to the thirsty United States and oversee the construction of the so-called NAFTA superhighway - a massive, 12-lane road, rail and oil-and-gas corridor that would snake from western Mexico, through the United States and into Canada, making it far easier and cheaper to import Chinese goods, thus completing the final destruction of the American and Canadian manufacturing sectors.
Of course there is no NAFTA superhighway, and no plans to build one, any more than there is any serious talk of a North American Union. "


Holy crap! This is going to come as a considerable shock to the U.S. Department of Transport, Federal Highway Administration, who have maps, and artist's renditions, and articles. From their website :
"The proposed system will be a network of transportation corridors (routes) incorporating separate lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, rail lines for high-speed passenger and freight rail, and a dedicated utility zone. Components in the system may incorporate existing and new highways, railways, and utility rights-of-way where practical. Up to 366 meters (1,200 feet) wide in some places, the corridor is designed to move people and freight faster...

"... a 2,570-kilometer (1,600-mile) national highway that, once completed, will connect Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Other States involved in the I-69 project include Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The planned location for I-69, designated by the U.S. Congress in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), was chosen because of the economic opportunities that could be created along the north-south corridor, specifically those related to increased trade resulting from NAFTA. "

Now who knows if this super-highway will get past the outraged ranchers unable to get assurances their land will not be expropriated, the environmentalists alarmed that the project is proceeding prior to their final reports, Governor Perry's three political opponents crying foul, and the public fury that the public-private partnership bid is going to a South American company which is going keep the toll profits for decades.

It sure sounds pretty lively for "no NAFTA superhighway and no plans to build one".

Mr Ibbitson rests his case on Peter MacKay :
Mr. MacKay dismissed the whole shebang when he spoke to reporters after the meeting Friday. "I don't think the SPP should be viewed in a conspiratorial way," he said. "It should be viewed for what it is. It's a way to enhance our collective interests in North America."

Enhance our collective interests in North America.?
Nice dodge, MacKay. You call that a rebuttal, Mr Ibbitson?

So. Mr Ibbitson. Here's what's got me pissed :
We already know that the rightwing from Lou Dobbs all the way to the John Birch Society view what they call the NAU as a super-secret probably Jewish cabal of international bankers and intellectuals intent on ruining America with brown people and Canadian commies.

Please do try to keep them separate in your head from Canadians who can see the incremental corporate-driven piece-meal harmonization of continental defence and agreements compelling countries to deregulate for the sole benefit of global investors.

That way you won't get caught up in some silly conspiracy to deny it.

6 comments:

Ian said...

Thought you might not have seen this. The White House "SPP Myth and Facts" page :

Myth: The U.S. Government, working though the SPP, has a secret plan to build a "NAFTA Super Highway."

Fact: The U.S. government is not planning a NAFTA Super Highway. The U.S. government does not have the authority to designate any highway as a NAFTA Super Highway, nor has it sought such authority, nor is it planning to seek such authority. There are private and state level interests planning highway projects which they themselves describe as "NAFTA Corridors," but these are not Federally-driven initiatives, and they are not a part of the SPP.

Except that you fund them.

Myth: The U.S. Government, through the Department of Transportation, is funding secretive highway projects to become part of a “NAFTA Super Highway”.

Fact: Many States in the American Midwest are proposing or undertaking highway projects to improve or build roads as Federal-aid and State or private sector revenue becomes available. All projects involving Federal-aid funds or approvals are subject to normal Federal-aid requirements, such as review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), including public involvement. This public involvement, the common thread among all these activities, makes them anything but “secret.” In addition, Congress directs Department of Transportation funding for specific highway projects.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will continue to cooperate with the State transportation departments as they build and upgrade highways to meet the needs of the 21st century. Rather than evidence of a secret plan to create a NAFTA Super Highway that would undermine our national sovereignty, the FHWA’s efforts are a routine part of cooperation with all the State transportation departments to improve the Nation’s highways.

Alison said...

Thanks, Ian, hadn't looked at that in a while.

So. There is no NAFTA highway, there's just a Federal Highways project 12 lanes wide running from Mexico to Canada that happens to be called that by the individual states involved.

This is separate from the NASCO people who are, don't ya know, bonkers. Winnipeg has a very enthusiastic local chapter.

West End Bound said...

The proposed system will be a network of transportation corridors (routes) incorporating separate lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, rail lines for high-speed passenger and freight rail, and a dedicated utility zone.

Sounds like this program needs to be managed by Senator ted stevens, r-AK. You know, the dweeb that described the "internets" as: "The Internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck. It's a series of tubes."

Surely this idiot is more than qualified to handle a super-highway with his grasp of the situation . . . .

scout said...

blinders work well for horses pulling carts.....that's about it.

the rev. said...

"But, but, but Peter McKay said this was all good for us, so what's the problem? If the word of Peter McKay is good enough for a Glib and Pale journamalist like me, John Ibbotson, it should be good enough for all of us! "

Christ on a moped, what is it with these fucking people? Did Condi bat her eyes at McKay and tell him if he played ball, he might get some sugar or what? Fuck them, the horse they rode in on and whoever raised the fucking horse! I want America to build an electified border fence NOW! Not to keep the foreigners out, but to keep the Americans in!

Alison said...

WEB : ;-)
Scout : Loved your Red Underwear Fridays!

Rev : You and I have quibbled over this before as to whether it's a sovereignty or a class issue, but either way it's definitely about whether security concerns or the drive for unregulated profits comes out on top here.

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