LETTERS | Week of March 6


We love ya, Tomorrow 

It’s time Tom Tomorrow got some fan mail. “This Modern World” is consistently hilarious. It’s one of the best political cartoons ever; Tomorrow deserves some kind of award.

Is “This Modern World” syndicated? I wonder how many Americans are missing out on this little treasure with which Boulder Weekly wisely opens each issue.

Paul Dougan/Lafayette

Editor’s note: Yes, “This Modern World” is syndicated and appears in about 80 publications around the country. Check out http://thismodernworld.com.

Lying neocon gasbag 

[Re: “Trader Joe’s opens,” Tidbites, Feb. 20.] Who writes the Tidbites section, Rush Limbaugh or some other lying neocon gasbag? President Obama has nothing to do with the fact that the Boulder Trader Joe’s doesn’t have a liquor license. Why was it necessary to sarcastically thank him for that? What’s next, blaming President Obama for rising gasoline prices, which is what the lying Rethugs did to Al Gore? Colorado liquor law allows a grocery chain to have only one liquor outlet in the state, and Trader Joe’s decided to put it elsewhere.

Fred Tomlin/via email

Editor’s note: That was a joke. Apparently some of our readers didn’t get it. Thanks, Obama.

Stop privatization of 36 

[Regarding U.S. 36 being] privatized for 50 years into the future, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) formed a group, High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), to make this hand-off to a private corporation. The corporation is a foreign entity called Plenary Roads.

Among the concerns that I have regarding the HPTE deal with Plenary Roads (subset of Plenary Group) is their international status. The road management profits will leave Colorado and the U.S. If the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes at the national level, Plenary will gain some rather unusual privileges that they may already have under NAFTA.

Although all the details of the TPP are not known, it seems likely that the relationships that foreign corporations have with host nations will be similar to those that began under NAFTA. Foreign corporations became privileged so that they could sue host nations for potential lost profits that local, state or national regulations could have caused. For example, this means that regulations relating to snowplow driver wages, environmental laws having to do with emissions or fuel economy could change the profits for Plenary and lead to suits for lost profits. The suits would be in a trade tribunal that supersedes all U.S. courts in power. The values considered are only “trade values,” not health, not safety, not environmental or other values. Tribunal deliberations are not public and decisions are uncontestable and final.

An example of what’s happened in the past due to trade deals: The Metalclad Corporation of California attempted to open a toxics dump in the city of Guadalcázar, Mexico. The government there said, “Oh no, this could pollute our local water supply.” Metalclad sued in a NAFTA tribunal. Metalclad won and Mexico was forced to pay millions to Metalclad for lost profits until such time as Guadalcázar lifted its ban or other arrangements were made.

Similar problems occurred with Methanex, a Canadian corporation that manufactured and exported the gasoline additive MTBE. MTBE was found getting into California water supplies. California forbade further imports of MTBE. Methanex sued for almost a billion dollars.

Dolphin Safe Tuna is no longer on our shelves because of decisions made in World Trade Organization tribunals. Because of trade deals like NAFTA and TPP, we can no longer protect dolphins or other species such as sharks that are netted along with tuna (www.corpwatch.org/article. php?id=570).

If TPP goes through, Plenary may be able to sue in trade courts for “losses” due to any laws and rules set in the next 50 years (2064). Because they are Canadian and Australian, they could use NAFTA courts or, if TPP passes, trade tribunals most favorable to their interests.

Contact your legislators and urge that they stop this outrageous agreement. Get contact info at: www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2014A/csl. nsf/DirectoryHou?openframese

Tom Moore/Boulder