Anti-NAU warriors beginning to move the rock uphill!
By Tom DeWeese
Just a year ago most would have predicted there was no way to stop the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) which many believe will become a North American Union (NAU). The proponents are rich, powerful and determined. From the White House to huge, wealthy international corporations, these proponents of the SPP are used to getting their way. The little people back in their grassroots are just silly pawns to be manipulated or ignored.
But there are signs that the huge rock at the bottom of the hill that is the unmovable NAU is beginning to budge uphill as heroes are emerging in the fight. Some close to the movers and shakers are beginning to hint at a concern that they just might not be able to implement the SPP - that darned opposition just won't go away. At the same time, anti-NAU forces are beginning to see signs of progress as the movement is getting energized. Victory is certainly not in sight, but now there is hope.
One Man Wrecking Crew
Of course the Paul Revere of the anti-NAU forces is Jerome Corsi. Just over a year ago Corsi began to dig up details of an effort to "harmonize" the three nations of the North American continent. The more he found, the more concerned he became. Corsi began to write about his findings. The first articles appeared on the pages of Human Events and then the Internet news site World Net Daily picked up on the issue. That's when the news flashed across the Internet that the Bush Administration was putting together the beginnings of a North American Union.
To travel with Jerome Corsi, as I've had the privilege to do in recent months, is a revelation. The man is a human dynamo. He has been on more than 500 radio shows in just the last few months. He sometimes spends as much as 5 - 8 hours a day on the radio in interview after interview.
Last January, during the organizing meeting of the Coalition to Stop the North American Union, on Capitol Hill, I sat next to Corsi at the head table. Three times during that meeting Corsi left the room to do yet another radio interview. In August, while we were in Ottawa, Canada to protest the President's participation in yet another SPP Summit, Corsi couldn't even wait for the restaurant to prepare lunch. He was off to another interview. I had to bring it to him in his room as he talked on the phone. And most recently I witnessed the most remarkable feat. As he and I waited to board a plane for a meeting in Tulsa, Corsi received a call from a Gannet news reporter. As we passed by the ticket taker, he talked, attacking Bush for his treachery; as we walked out on the tarmac, his voice was nearly drowned out by the jet engines; ascending the stairs to the plane, I heard him quoting Greek philosophers mixed with American history as he made his point to the reporter. He kept talking until the flight crew shut the door of the plane and made him put the phone away.
In between interviews he conducts a furious schedule of speeches, while pouring out article after article on new details about the SPP. Each new article flashes around the Internet, fueling the grassroots with more ammunition.
Somewhere in the midst of all of this he found time to write a book about the whole issue, entitled "The Late Great USA." The book details how the NAU is being created, step-by-step. Despite the fact that there has been virtually no national media reporting on the NAU issue, Corsi's book has become an instant national best seller. It is now in its fourth printing. Americans are beginning to get the message. Corsi is a one man wrecking ball and the undisputed field general in the war to preserve American sovereignty and independence.
Exposing the Hand of TxDot
Some of the very best information on how the Trans Texas Corridor is being forced on the people of that state comes from an organization called Corridor Watch. Their revelations and early call to arms was instrumental in forcing the Texas Legislature to finally recognize there was really an effort to create a NAFTA Super Corridor straight through Texas.
Here are just a few of the details Corridor Watch has exposed on their web site www.corridorwatch.org:
The Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) will be a quarter of a mile wide. It will travel straight up the center of Texas. It will take by Eminent Domain more than 580 thousand acres of private land, much of it prime Texas farmland. It will displace more than one million Texans.
The full plan for the TTC by the Texas Transportation Commission (TxDot) outlines 4,000 miles of corridors that crisscross the state. The corridor is so wide that it will literally divide the state in two. There are very few plans for overpasses to cross it, yet it will be impossible to cross without them. The TxDOT has basically told local communities that if they want overpasses, then the communities will have to supply them - at an estimated cost of about $2.5 million each. Without the overpasses fire, police and ambulances will not be able to serve their communities. Property owners may find it cuts down the middle of their land. To get from one side to the other they may have to travel many miles to an overpass.
The TTC is not highway improvement for Texas. There are few exit ramps planned for the TTC. Car lanes will be in the center of the corridor. There will be few opportunities to get on and off the TTC. Communities that now depend on traffic from existing highways for such services as restaurants and gas stations will lose that business. Instead, the Spanish company Cintra, which has the 50-year lease to build and operate the TTC will establish facilities down the center of the corridor and control that business.
The key to the lease with Cintra is a legal document called a "Comprehensive Development Agreement" (CDA). These contracts often include equity guarantees, debt guarantees, exchange rate guarantees, subordinated loans, shadow toll payments, and minimum revenue guarantees. In other words, the state has signed a 50-year lease with Cintra, giving it absolute guarantees of a specific rate of return on its investment. TxDoT is turning over assets paid for by the taxpayers of Texas and guaranteeing that no highway will compete in any way with the TTC. To achieve these revenue guarantees, there is no way for the Texas government to control what Cintra charges for tolls and there will be no alternative route for drivers to take if the tolls are too high.
The TTC is being built for one reason and only one reason - massive profits for corporations who want the highway to run goods as cheaply as possible. Once built there will be no chance for anyone or any community in its path to obtain justice for taken property or reduce toll rates. Local courts will have no say in the matter. All disputes will be handled by an International court system either through NAFTA or the SPP.
These are just some of the facts Corridor Watch has been able to expose to the people of Texas. Revelation of these facts has caused an uproar in the grassroots and in the Texas Legislature.
Forcing the State to Deal with the People
Desperate people are forced to get creative when dealing with a government which refuses to protect people's rights or to even engage in dialog. Such has been the case in Texas, where Governor Rick Perry and his administration have not only vetoed any legislation aimed at slowing down the TTC process, but have refused to even discuss it.
However, Governor Perry and his legions hadn't counted on the creativity and determination of Attorney Fred Kelly Grant and his group Stewards of the Range. Grant, Stewards' president, has been a leader in the nation-wide property rights battle, using his extensive knowledge of the law, Grant has successfully developed a unique process to force State and Federal governments to deal with local communities. He teaches the process in seminars across the country. Now Grant has employed the technique against the TTC to stop the Corridor.
Here's a brief run down on how his system works. The process takes advantage of little known wording placed in federal and state land management policy which, in some states, gives locally-elected entities, like communities and school boards, the right to demand that federal and state agencies "coordinate" with them to assure local interests and property are protected.
The first step was to coordinate the mayors of four small cities in Texas to form a commission. These include the cities of Bartlett, Holland, Little River-Academy and Rogers, all located in Bell County, Texas. They have now been joined by two school board districts as well.
Under Texas state law, TxDoT will be required to work with the commission and coordinate their plans with the local group before any land is taken or any construction begins. Officially the commission is working through Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 391.
"TXDoT must coordinate with us before they can implement their plans (for the TTC) in our regions," said, Ronnie White, vice president of the commission and Mayor of Academy, Texas. "If not, they are in violation of the state statute and we are prepared to take them to court if necessary," said Mae Smith, president of the commission and Mayor of Holland, Texas.
The Mayors have created a legal entity which the State must deal with before any plans for the TTC can go through. It is much more effective than rallies, phone calls and petitions to uncaring state officials. For the first time, it is forcing their hand through possible court action. "TxDot has never asked us if we even wanted the quarter-mile highway through our area and they definitely never discussed the human, environmental, economic or cumulative effect it would have on our community, as required by state and federal law," said Smith. Now the state is scrambling to comply with the Mayors' commission.
Even more important, though laws do vary from state to state, the tactic Fred Kelly Grant has designed is basically available in every single state and may be employed in some manner by local communities over every inch of the planned NAFTA Superhighway from Texas to Minnesota. It's a vital new toll in the battle to retain Constitutional freedoms.
Fighting from Inside the Legislature
One state north of Texas, and the next stop on the TTC dragon is Oklahoma. Activists there led by a determined band called Oklahomans for Sovereignty and Free Enterprise (OKSAFE), are already organizing to assure the TTC does not come over their border. The group stands squarely against the NAFTA Superhighway and North American Union.
At a recent conference attended by 300 activists, news media and several Oklahoma state legislators, speakers included Jerome Corsi, Tom DeWeese and Dave Stall of Corridor Watch.
The conference received White House attention due to the remarks made by Oklahoma State Senator Randy Brogdon when he said, "The NAFTA Superhighway stops here."
Senator Brogdon has been a fierce opponent of the highway and the SPP. He has led several successful efforts to block the enactment of any enabling legislation that would allow efforts to begin in Oklahoma to build the TTC.
Brogdon was instrumental in stopping a bill brought before the Oklahoma legislature (HB1917) that would have pre-authorized the TTC north into Oklahoma. In fact, Brogdon discovered that the bill would have required the state to waive its 11th Amendment rights which protect states from foreign law suits.
Brogdon is now leading efforts to withdraw Oklahoma's membership in North America's SuperCorridor Coalition, Inc. (NASCO), saving the state a $25,000 annual membership fee. NASCO's mission statement says its goal is to create the world's first international, intermodal superhighway system. NASCO is the chief lobbying arm for implementation of the NAFTA Superhighway in state legislatures along the proposed corridor route. For Oklahoma to drop its NASCO membership would send shock waves throughout the nation and would certainly lead other states to follow leaving huge holes in NASCO's influence.
Meanwhile, as OKSAFE continues to organize its opposition efforts in Oklahoma, it is also reaching out to other states, helping them to prepare for the fight as well. Grassroots America is mobilizing.
Informing the Average Citizens
Not to be outdone, the American Policy Center has now mailed over 2.5 million copies of its North American Union Fact Sheet across the nation, with a full 2 million being "carpet bombed" to towns and neighborhoods all along the planned Super Highway route, from Texas to Minnesota. Included with the Fact Sheets is a survey which asks American citizens if they have heard of the Security and Prosperity Partnership and if they want a North American Union. Early returns indicate a strong opposition to the idea. The survey, results of which will be released shortly, clearly show a strong opposition when Americans are informed.
One Million Teamsters
Now add to the mix of growing opposition the million-member strong International Brotherhood of Teamsters. They have led the fight to stop the Mexican trucks from coming over the border. However, the Teamsters' opposition goes much deeper than just stopping competitive trucks.
"I think the Bush Administration has a master plan to erase all borders and to have a super-government in North America," said Teamster President James Hoffa. "I am convinced that the plan to create a North American Union is what is going on," he said. The Teamsters Union can hardly be labeled a right wing, fanatical fringe group. More importantly, other trucking associations and unions, such as the Longshoremen are beginning to express concern of the NAFTA Superhighway and North American Union.
We Can Win
These are just a few of the heroes who are beginning to emerge in the fight to stop the North American Union. No longer is this simply a skirmish with a few, unheralded individuals and groups over the Internet. War has broken out and it's being fought in the courts, in the state legislatures and across the nation in the grassroots. Without question the White House and its allies are starting to feel the heat as they exchange nervous glances, uncertain that they can now carry out their plans.
Slowly, but surely the rock is starting to move uphill as outraged Americans are beginning to push back against the forces who seek to eliminate our sovereign nation. When I spoke to the OKSAFE audience in Tulsa, I began by saying, "I'm here today because I'm an American and I want MY country." Let's make that our battle cry.
The fact is, we can stop the North American Union - if we all push together.
Tom DeWeese is the President of the American Policy Center and the Editor of The DeWeese Report.