By Rebecca Kemble on October 18, 2013

The Dane County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution this week condemning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a NAFTA-style agreement they say has been negotiated in secret over the last five years.

County Board Chair John Hendrick, Common Council President Chris Schmidt and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin jointly announced the resolution at a press conference on Wednesday.

Speaking to members of the press, Mayor Soglin warned that the treaty will lower accounting standards for corporations all over the world, creating lax oversight and allowing Enron-style methods to become "commonplace."

"The consequence of that is that Enrons will become commonplace and ordinary," he said. "Everything from what we see in real estate transactions to the protections of our pensions, our security, of our economy, will be threatened. For decades, there have been efforts to get American regulators to lower our accounting standards to this lowest common denominator. But they can't get it by going through the front door. They're going to attempt to get it by working their way through this treaty."

The TPP is being negotiated between the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, with the possibility of other Pacific Rim nations like Japan, China, Chile, Peru and Mexico joining later.

The press conference was organized by the South Central Federation of Labor and David Newby, former head of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and current President of the Wisconsin Fair Trade Coalition.

Here's David Newby explaining some of the details of the TPP, as well as the fast track process it may go through to be ratified by the U.S. government:

And here are local elected officials explaining how the TPP would hurt our communities:

The Dane County board passed the resolution Thursday night with one member abstaining and one member in opposition. None of the public comments supported the treaty. The Madison Common Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution at its meeting on October 29.

Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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