Saturday, December 28, 2013

By the Rivers of Babylon - Guantanamo Bay Detention Center turns 12, January 11, 2014 - America, WTF?



 Reuters / Bob Strong



Rivers of Babylon


By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat down
Ye-eah, we wept
When we remembered Zion

By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat down
Ye-eah, we wept
When we remembered Zion

When the wicked carried us away in captivity
Required from us a song
Now, how shall we sing the Lord's song
In a strange land

When the wicked carried us away in captivity
Requiring of us a song
Now how shall we sing the Lord's song
In a strange land

Let the words of our mouth
And the meditation of our heart
Be acceptable in thy sight
Here tonight

Let the words of our mouth
And the meditation of our hearts
Be acceptable in thy sight
Here tonight

By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat down
Ye-eah, we wept
When we remembered Zion

By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat down
Ye-eah, we wept
When we remembered Zion

By the rivers of Babylon
(Dark tears of Babylon)
There we sat down
(You got to sing a song)
Ye-eah we wept
(Sing a song of love)
When we remembered Zion
(Yeah yeah yeah)

By the rivers of Babylon
(Rough bits of Babylon)
There we sat down
(You hear the people cry)
Ye-eah, we wept
(They need that all)
When we remembered Zion
(Ooh, have the power)

Original Version,"Rivers of Babylon" is a Rastafarian song written and recorded by Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton of the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians in 1970. Popularized by Boney M, 1978 Cover.
Lyrics © SONY/ATV Music Publishing LLC, EMI Music Publishing, Royalty Network, Universal Music Publishing Group
 




Another New Year and another 365 days for the men growing old and starving for our humanity, in Guantanamo...

Happy Birthday to Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and America's hubris nightmare realized...
The nightmare of man's inhumanity to men.

Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, speaks out on America and her War Crimes, in an interview for The Real News Network.

CCR has been on the ground and in the courts for years - they brought suits in FranceGermanySpain, , and other nations to help confine the former Bush Administration to the US with little ability to travel outside the US, unless they wanted to be met with the prosecution they deserve for crimes against humanity...
The court in France nearly got Rumsfeld  - police, with warrant, came in the front door to the auditorium at which Rummy had been scheduled to speak as Rummy was rushed out the back door and shuttled onto a plane....

More accountability than was ever attempted in the US.  More than even considered by the current administration who has followed along the Bush trail to war criminality - Bagram and GTMO continued; Kill List continued; Drone Murder expanded;  NDAA to Bush's Patriot Act; The Holder DOJ to Gonzales' DOJ - both using whatever means they can to prevent human rights for the prisoners of the "Noble Lie" called the "War On Terror" - to include the 158 men still languishing at Guantanamo Bay, 79 declared innocent under both Bush and Obama.


The interview:





The CCR has been out-spoken about America's continued crimes against humanity - as has Amnesty International and Human RightsWatch......



While America keeps the ear plugs in place. 


So, America, listen and weep - for innocent men tortured and held without hope of release for 12 years and the soul of a nation dying from lack use. 




Recorded and performed by Boney M ~ 1978



Monday, December 23, 2013

May the Light Within You Shine With-Out









The Kwan Yin...Blessed Mother, protector and holder of the lotus....
Kuan Yin, Quan'Am (Vietnam), Kannon (Japan), and Kanin (Bali), She is the embodiment of compassionate loving kindness. As the Bodhisattva of Compassion, She hears the cries of all beings. Quan Yin enjoys a strong resonance with the Christian Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Tibetan goddess Tara.


Born of a ray of pure white light............................

When I was a small child, I had vivid dreams.  Whenever I was ill, or scared or in need, I would dream imagery so powerful that it either made those feelings more horrific or soothed me to a calm. 

When I was a child - alienated and lost, I would dream of a hand that held a flower and from that flower a beautiful woman sat peacefully. 


That image stayed with me now for over 50 years and  has always, ALWAYS, been my image for peace and ease.  She protected me, taught me, led me - this being, I imagined, sitting on my head or on my heart or on my shoulder to speak to me and tell me the truth behind those with whom I interacted. 


When I was a child, I was honored to live and visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum and felt drawn, always, to the temple within and a statue of a woman sitting on a rock.  I would sit at her feet staring up at the mother, the priestess, the goddess with peace and beauty within. 

As I grew older and hung at Volker Fountain with the alienated of Kansas City, I would visit the statue whenever possible and sit at her feet - it was not until I was in my mid-teens that I read the words that held nothing of the beauty I saw, the peace I felt, but the name struck and stuck.....Guanyin .


Guanyin of the Southern Sea (Nanhai Guanyin), 11th-12th century Liao Dynasty (907-1125). Wood with multiple layers of paint. Height: 95 inches (241.3 cm). Purchase: Nelson Trust,
The Nelson-Atkins Museum

Guanyin (Chinese: 觀音; pinyin: guān yīn; Wade-Giles: kuan-yin) is the bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female. Guanyin is short for Guanshi'yin (觀世音, pinyin: guānshì yīn, Wade-Giles: kuan-shih yin) which means "Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World".

Now to be sure, I call myself of no religion - I am no Christian or any other of the Book; I am no Hindu, no Buddhist, no Taoist...

For all those have become too rigid for my child-like being.  I tend to go with Universal Pantheist when asked though it does not begin to describe the light within that reflects the light of all the cosmos. 

The Kuan, Kwan, Quan is always within and with - out.  She has "got my back" and is "on my back" (usually when I lose my way)







My hope for all during this time of death to life, rebirth and renewal - the Solstice and Saturnalia, Samheim and every other name thrown on that time of year when we become so dark but, hopefully, move towards the light, is to touch that light within and bring it forth to shine - the brilliance of the Cosmos





Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Samheim and Saturnalia; Joyful Eve of Yalda or Shebe Yalda, Hogmanay, Mōdraniht as well as Diwali and Sacred Bhau-Beej, Glorious Chalica and Shab-e Chelleh; Merry festival of Dongzhi; Solemn and radiant Soyal adding Twelfth Night and Epiphany, Yule, Daft-Days and Return of Deela-Malkh
,

And Hope for the NEW Year


I bow to your true self and to the light of the Cosmos within and with-out us all....


Namaste



Reposted from the last turning of the days



Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Ending of 2013: There has to be a Revolution of Consciousness


Beware The Rabbit Hole


The end of 2013 in a continued spiral down the Rabbit Hole towards the blackness of the bottomless abyss..


Government spies, presidential lies, and fire from the skies – Due process, we don’t need no stinkin’ due process…The Kill List is our “justice.”

Guantanamo, no more than the monument to America’s Hubris, still holds innocent men dying for our humanity.



Government obstructed, Middle Class destructed, and the Oligarchy constructed – The people are of no consequence, only money is spoken here...


All eyes on the GDP at the expense of the people is the evil of corporate rule – The top ½ of the top 1% horde it all while millions fall destitute with deafening silence …




Torture out-source, War without remorse, and nations without recourse – Imperialism justified by post 9/11 might equals right mindset...

Exceptionalism and fear promoted by power-brokers whispering murderous death chants like an Iago in the ear of an evil lord.






Iraq lays in rubble, Afghanistan is dysfunction trouble, as we live in a neo-conned bubble -  Blood and gore  the color of the century, plastering the sands of time...

“Spreading Hope and Change” and “Spreading Democracy” become the battle cries to justify more destruction and oppression of the  planet.






Whistleblowers defected, truth is neglected, accountability rejected - "Plausible deniability" the NewSpeak by an Orwellian Ministry of Truth's daily MSM.



The whole world still watching ……….

Time to wake up………


With Special Thanks and Solidarity!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

9/11...9/11...9/11...Promoting the Militarization Mentality in a Militarized State: America, WTF?




America is great at refusing to let wounds heal..We rip open scabs and force scarring only to rip them open again...a never ending chant droning of "never forget" - as if anyone ever could.

9/11...9/11...9/11 is the war cry heard after every death in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Every bomb, every mass shooting...every time we want to justify the militarization of schools, police, government offices...

9/11...9/11...9/11 - screeched by politicians wanting to instill nationalism and war-mongers wanting to instill fear, all in the name of "National Security".

We arm untrained, and often unhinged, police and sheriff's deputies with military grade weaponry; excuse excessive force in bringing down suspects; support murder committed on foreign soil as "justice" as we deny "due process"; allow gun manufacturers to dictate policy; and enact laws that legalize assault, and murder, when someone claims he was "threatened"...

Logic, reason and peaceful co-existence have been replaced by bluster, imperialism and a "might equals right" mentality.


Truth-out released "America's Child Soldiers: JROTC and the Militarizing of America," a re-post from "TomDispatch.com," "Tomgram: Ann Jones, Suffer the Children," addressing the issue of the militarization of our youth:


"...Too bad for the young -- and the future -- of those countries. But look at it this way: Why should Washington help the children of Sudan or Yemen escape war when it spares no expense right here at home to press our own impressionable, idealistic, ambitious American kids into military 'service'?
It should be no secret that the United States has the biggest, most efficiently organized, most effective system for recruiting child soldiers in the world. With uncharacteristic modesty, however, the Pentagon doesn’t call it that. Its term is 'youth development program.'..."



America, WTF?

Bad enough that we have destroyed the hopes for peace in our time, do we have to shatter the dreams of our children too?


Friday, December 6, 2013

As if we needed more proof that the Koch Bros. own a large portion of government



David and Charles Koch own the 2nd largest privately held corporation in America..and the largest privately held oil company in America. They inherited it from their daddy.

Expanding into minerals of all types, then paper products and "cleaning" materials, they have raped and pillaged the planet from South to North, East to West and all around the globe.




http://carma.org/company/detail/11237
http://carma.org/company/detail/11237


In order to maintain their standing as one of the world's despotic controllers, they have poured millions of greenbacks into framing discussions, perpetuating myths and lying to everyone - from climate change denial ...








...to misogyny and anti-feminism; from health care reform ....









...to energy reform...




......Oligarchal apology to Corporate whoredom, the Koch's are kings of the "Noble Lie" to perpetuate their continued obscenities...



As a member of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), they have led their friends along the primrose path of self-righteous hubris and into planetary decay.


$1 out of every $4 dollars darkly passed into the darkest of money machines influencing campaigns and elections - buying off politicians (willing to be bought) and the propositions, amendments and referenda placed in front of the voting public (or what was left of them after more money had been poured into denying voters, across the nation, their rights).


Robber Barons and hucksters have been pouring their ill-gotten gains into controlling our fate for decades - selling the soul of a nation for their Capitalist swindles. The Kochs are just making it into a demonic Dark Arts form.







Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving thanks to those who have gone before - From The Left




Yeah, my soul -driven, heart-exploding, awe-inspired bow to those pushy, obnoxious, loud and no-holds-barred  stardusted heroes…Leftists.

The dyed in the wool, Karl Marx appreciating, "Rise up Proletariat"  and smash the oligarchy to nothing, balls to the wall - screaming from the rooftops leftists..




Yippee, Hippie and dancing in the streets - Turn on..Tune in..Drop out of the paradigm and watch it go “kersplat” Leftists...

The anti-war movement of the 40's growing to the anti-nuke  Peace movement of the 50's becoming the anti-VietNam marchers of the 60's (Fucking raise that Pentagon, baby...)...Leftists


Beat-Gen became Folk-Gen became Psychedelia with a twist to the Left...Leftists


One worker says no then an entire Union takes hold - children's rights, miner's rights, Mill worker's rights, shirt worker's rights - out of slavery into the light…… Leftists


McCarthy tried to squash us, Disney tried to abuse us, Reagan tried to annihilate us - The HUAC Corruption told you all to fear us but we came roaring back....... Leftists.


Civil Rights, Voter's Rights, the Poor's rights - all brought in living technicolor in your face..... Leftists....


Disarmament, environment, enlightenment - we can scare the hell out of you but ignoring us ain't gonna happen.......Leftists...



Digging in your heels won’t help, we will drag you if we must... Out of the darkness, into the light…Leftists


Kick in the door, create a huge roar then watch the rest eventually tag along…….Leftists


So hold on tight, get out of the way or join us - we are here for the long haul and we are far from done… Leftists


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Protecting Wall Street: Obama's Neo-Liberal Genetics shining through in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement



Yesterday, the bane of Obama secrecy, Wikileaks, struck again. Wikileaks, and Julian Assange, released the  Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (draft) for the world to view..

Entitled:
"Secret TPP treaty: Advanced Intellectual 
Property chapter for all 12 nations with
negotiating positions
WikiLeaks release: November 13, 2013"


... (the PDF format version can be accessed "here"), the negotiations appear to be short on "free trade" and long on corporate protection, restrictions on internet freedom, and assurances of more junk tossed on the US market while killing jobs in the US and a perpetuation of outrageous increases in health care costs for everyone.

This is the second release of a chapter from the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Agreement in the past 18 months.  The first, released by Citizen's Trade Campaign, in the summer of 2012, brought members of Congress, from Darrell Issa to Sherrod Brown and Ron Wyden, together denouncing the TPP as the "NAFTA for Asia".

Yes, the  "transparent and accountable" president,  the "people's" president, the "liberal president" proves, once again, he is none of those things. In a press release published in conjunction with the documents, statement preceding the document, Julian Assange is quoted stating:

“If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

Sound like histrionics? Actually, not when one reads the text of the released chapter currently in negotiations and listens to politicians (Elizabeth Warren, Alan Grayson, and elected representatives from both sides of the aisle) and activists around the country (Ed Schultz,  Jim Schultz - The Democracy Center, Lori Wallach - director of the fair trade group Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, Thom Hartmann, ACLU and others) warning against the agreement . 

If passed, the "agreement," will impact the following countries:

".........the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia,
Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei Darussalam. The treaty is being
negotiated in secret by delegations from each of the 12 countries, who together account for 40% of global GDP. The chapter covers proposed international obligations and enforcement mechanisms for copyright, trademark and patent law, and includes the combined positions of all of the parties as they were by the end of August 2013. The document was produced and distributed to the Chief Negotiators on August 30, 2013, after the 19th Round of Negotiations at Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei."
"A secret draft proposal of a controversial trade agreement shows the Obama administration is trying to push through a corporate wish list that resembles a failed anti-piracy measure and would limit intellectual freedom and likely increase health care costs...."

Yes, the "transparent and accountable" president is at it again.   A secret trade deal that will attempt to install the defeated SOPA and PIPA (defeated soundly by activists from all walks of life, demanding that the internet remain free) while instituting protections and guarantees that will give corporations (e.g., Monsanto, Disney, as well as drug companies, hospital and medical corporations and surgical supply manufacturers):


  • The ability to control and dominate the international market as they secure and protect international patents on genetics and control over production, planting and seeding.  That control will drive small farmers, around the world, out of business and control the food of the planet, as it assures Monsanto and other major agri-corps, control over their GMO seeds and the production of food.
  • The ability to control dominate the international market by large Pharmaceutical corporations - giving them free reign over patents on prescription drugs, extending their patents, removing them from a  "free" and "fair" marketplace - assuring high prices and limiting access to those who can afford them (the crony captialist version of eugenics) as it further increases the cost of medical care.
  • The ability to patent and copyright surgical and medical techniques and treatments that will increase the cost of these procedures and treatments forcing any physician, hospital or institution to pay to use those procedures and techniques or limit their use around the world. (corporate eugenics 2.0)
  • The ability to control  and limit the free exchange of ideas and the Internet by bringing  SOPA type regulations in through the backdoor -SOPA was defeated in a massive grassroots movement in January, 2012, but the TPP threatens to bring it all back hidden inside the trade agreement. 
  • The ability to quash civil protest and civilian participatory government,  in the US and abroad, through threat of law suit that allows corporations to obtain outrageous settlements against governments acting only to protect the people of their nation. In effect, these agreements create a power for corporations that supersedes the power and rights of sovereign states.  
  • The ability to perpetuate the "race to the bottom" with even more ability to pit nation against nation and worker against worker in bids for contracts thereby lowering wages even more and removing rights around the world.  These trade agreements don't fix that problem, they exacerbate it.

The people of "the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei Darussalam" have been told very little about the negotiations and the specifics of the proposed agreement.

In November, 2011, this is how the President Obama discussed the TPP :




"...I want to welcome, once again, all the leaders gathered around this table and their trade ministers to Hawaii.  Here in Hawaii, the United States wants to send a clear message:  We are a Pacific nation and we are deeply committee to shaping the future security and prosperity of the Trans-Pacific region, the fastest-growing region in the world. 
I’m very pleased to be here with my partners with whom we’re pursing a very ambitious new trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  I want to thank my fellow leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Chile and Peru.
We just had an excellent meeting, and I’m very pleased to announce that our nine nations have reached the broad outlines of an agreement.  There are still plenty of details to work out, but we are confident that we can do so.  So we've directed our teams to finalize this agreement in the coming year.  It is an ambitious goal, but we are optimistic that we can get it done.
The TPP will boost our economies, lowering barriers to trade and investment, increasing exports, and creating more jobs for our people, which is my number-one priority.  Along with our trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia, the TPP will also help achieve my goal of doubling U.S. exports, which support millions of American jobs.
Taken together, these eight economies would be America’s fifth-largest trading partner.  We already do more than $200 billion in trade with them every single year, and with nearly 500 million consumers between us, there's so much more that we can do together.
In a larger sense, the TPP has the potential to be a model not only for the Asia Pacific but for future trade agreements.  It addresses a whole range of issues not covered by past agreements, including market regulations and how we can make them more compatible, creating opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses in the growing global marketplace.  It will include high standards to protect workers’ rights and the environment.
And I want to thank my U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Kirk, and all our teams for doing tireless work to achieve the progress that we’ve made so far.  I want to thank all my fellow leaders for their partnership and their commitment to making the TPP a reality, which will be a win for all our countries.
So, again, I am confident that we can get this done.  Together we can boost exports, create more goods available for our consumers, create good jobs, and compete and win in the markets of the future."


And, in September, 2013, at Obama's "Business Roundtable,"  this was what Obama had to say about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement:

"We know that we can do even more when it comes to exports, which is why I’m out there negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership and now a Transatlantic Trade Partnership that will allow us to create a high standard, enforceable, meaningful trade agreement with essentially two-thirds of the world markets, which is going to be incredibly powerful for American companies who, up until this point, have often been locked out of those markets."



But in June, 2013, this report on the TPP on Democracy Now included Jim Schultz, executive director of the Democracy Center, ( The Center had just released a report entitled "Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar: How Corporations Use Global Investment Rules to Undermine a Sustainable Future") and  Celeste Drake, a trade policy specialist with the AFL-CIO, discussing the potential agreement:


 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now from domestic surveillance to secret trade deals. The Obama administration is facing increasing scrutiny for the extreme secrecy surrounding negotiations around a sweeping new trade deal that could rewrite the nation’s laws on everything from healthcare and Internet freedom to food safety and the financial markets. The latest negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, were recently held behind closed doors in Lima, Peru, but the Obama administration has rejected calls to release the current text. Even members of Congress have complained about being shut out of the negotiation process. Last year, a leaked chapter from the draft agreement outlined how the TPP would allow foreign corporations operating in the United States to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its rulings. Earlier leaks from the draft agreement exposed how it included rules that could increase the cost of medication and make participating countries adopt restrictive copyright measures. 
AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the TPP, we’re joined by two guests. Here in New York, Jim Shultz is with us, executive director of the Democracy Center. The organization just released a report called "Unfair, Unsustainable, and Under the Radar: How Corporations Use Global Investment Rules to Undermine a Sustainable Future." In Washington, we’re joined by Celeste Drake. She’s trade policy specialist with the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, testifying today at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on labor issues in Bangladesh. Jim, let’s begin with you. You’re just about to head off to the United Nations. You’re usually in Bolivia. 
JIM SHULTZ: Yeah. 
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about—I mean, most people have not even heard of what—what does TPP mean? 
JIM SHULTZ: Right. Well, it’s the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And this is part of this global web of trade agreements that are being negotiated, that have been negotiated over the last 30 years, that, you know, from the outsider, it could seem like it’s a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo, but really what’s at stake is democracy. The report that we just put out looked at a very troubling part of what these agreements involve, which are these special trade tribunals that are used by corporations to directly undermine the ability of citizen movements to influence their government. You know, the famous case, of course, is the one from Bolivia, where Bechtel from San Francisco came in, privatized—took over the privatized water system, raised people’s rates up by more than 50 percent, was kicked out by a popular rebellion, and turned around on a $1 million investment and sued Bolivia for $50 million. These cases—there’s almost 500 a year now of these cases being filed all over the world. Philip Morris, the tobacco giant, is suing Uruguay for the sin of putting health warnings on their cigarettes. In El Salvador— 
AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean? 
JIM SHULTZ: So, Uruguay decided to put stiffer health warnings on cigarette packages. And Philip Morris doesn’t like that, so Philip Morris uses a bilateral investment treaty between Uruguay and Switzerland—so, Philip Morris somehow puts on a Swiss hat and pretends it’s a Swiss company—and is suing Uruguay for hundreds of millions of dollars. This is—this is everywhere. I mean, one of the most egregious of the current cases is in El Salvador, where here’s the community of Las Cabañas that discovers that this Canadian mining firm is going to dump poisonous chemicals into their drinking water to suck gold out of the ground. And they do what citizens are supposed to do: They hammer on their government until they get the government to agree not to let the mining go forward. So what does the company do? The company turns around, under one of these trade agreements, and sues for $315 million. So what you have—it’s a win-win for the companies, because they either win huge amounts of money—I mean, this is 1 percent of GDP in El Salvador, the amounts of money are enormous—or, just as important, they have a chilling effect on the ability and the willingness of governments to protect their people. 
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And you’re saying there are as many as 500 lawsuits a year related to these kinds of trade infringements? 
JIM SHULTZ: Yeah, it’s grown like this. And it’s a new—it’s a new derivatives market. These companies that are bringing these cases will actually go to investors and say, "We will sell you, for a price, 30 percent of the cut if we win the case." I mean, it’s a marketplace. But the bottom line is, what it means is, if you are looking for the protection of your environment, watch out to be sued. And this is not just poor countries. Germany is getting sued, because after Fukushima, the citizen movements there were able to win a moratorium on nuclear power. And so, the Swedish company involved in their nuclear power industry is suing them for 700 million euro. And the TPP is just going to bring more of this. 
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But the other side of this— 
JIM SHULTZ: Yeah. 
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —is that obviously these corporations are reacting to an upsurge of citizen movements insisting on protecting their environments and protecting their resources. So, is your sense is that there’s been a huge spurt over the past decade or two, in terms of the citizen movements forcing their governments to try to protect their resources? 
JIM SHULTZ: Well, I think that’s certainly true if you look across Latin America, where citizen movements and more progressive governments have been able to take these kinds of actions. And, look, if you talk to a lawyer who makes $1,000 an hour representing these corporations, they’ll say, "Look, we need legal security. Companies need foreign investment. We need legal security. We’re just trying to protect against the possibility that someone comes in with soldiers and takes away our mine." But this is not just about them getting the $5 million they put in back. Under these bilateral investment treaties, and certainly it’s going to be the same under the TPP, these corporations can sue for the profits that they expected to earn and didn’t. That’s where you get these sums that are just off the charts.





WikiLeaks has published the secret text to part of the biggest U.S. trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the past several years, the United States and 12 Pacific Rim nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on the sweeping agreement. A 95-page draft of a TPP chapter released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday details agreements relating to patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design — showing their wide-reaching implications for Internet services, civil liberties, publishing rights and medicine accessibility. Critics say the deal could rewrite U.S. laws on intellectual property rights, product safety and environmental regulations, while backers say it will help create jobs and boost the economy. President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman reportedly wish to finalize the TPP by the end of the year and are pushing Congress to expedite legislation that grants the president something called "fast-track authority." However, this week some 151 House Democrats and 23 Republicans wrote letters to the administration saying they are unwilling to give the president free rein to "diplomatically legislate." We host a debate on the TPP between Bill Watson, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: WikiLeaks is back in the news after it published Wednesday part of the secret text of a massive new trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. For the past several years, the United States and 12 Pacific Rim nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on the sweeping agreement. On Wednesday, WikiLeaks released a 95-page draft of a TPP chapter focusing on intellectual property rights. WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange appeared in a YouTube video Tuesday talking about the leak.
JULIAN ASSANGE: We released today the secret international—the secret intellectual property chapter, what they call intellectual property, but it’s actually all about how to extend the monopoly rights of companies like Monsanto, which has genetic patents over wheat and corn; extending the ability of Disney to criminally prosecute people for downloading films, prosecute Internet service providers; Japan introducing something they call a patent prosecution highway—Japan has. And so, we released all this, their secret negotiating positions for all 12 countries. 
AMY GOODMAN: The WikiLeaks release of the text comes a week before a TPP chief negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman reportedly wish to finalize the TPP by the end of the year and are pushing Congress to expedite legislation that grants the president what’s known as "fast-track authority." However, this week some 151 House Democrats and 23 Republicans wrote letters to the administration saying they’re unwilling to give the president free rein to, quote, "diplomatically legislate." Well, for more, we go to Washington, D.C., where we host a debate on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Bill Watson is trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. And Lori Wallach, the director of the fair trade group Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. ......

...
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Bill Watson, if we can, if we could bring in Lori Wallach to respond to some of your comments, especially in terms of the—we’ve had lots of publicity over pharmaceuticals and the huge disparities in prices of pharmaceuticals around the globe and how this might affect the—under the TPP agreement. Lori?
LORI WALLACH: Well, free trade is a pretty theory, but as yesterday’s WikiLeaks showed, the TPP has very little to do with free trade. So, only five of the 29 chapters of the agreement even have to do with trade at all. What’s in that intellectual property chapter? What the Cato Institute would call rent seeking—governments being lobbied by special interests to set up special rules that give them monopolies to charge higher prices. What does that mean for you and me? In that agreement, we now can see the United States is pushing for longer monopoly patents for medicines that would increase the prices here. They’re looking for patenting things like surgical procedures, making even higher medical costs. They’re looking to patent life forms and seeds. And with respect to copyright, the U.S. positions are actually even undermining U.S. law. So, for Internet freedom, if you didn’t like SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, the domestic law that Congress and amazing citizen activism killed last year when it was attempted to be pushed here domestically, huge chunks of SOPA are pushed through the backdoor of this intellectual property chapter.
Now, what the heck is that doing in a free trade agreement? I would imagine the Cato Institute is also wondering: Are Adam Smith and David Ricardo, the free trade philosophers, rolling in their graves? Because that is protectionism. This is patent monopolies. This is copyright extensions. This is actually exactly what Bill just talked about, which is powerful special interests—Big Pharma, Disney and the other big-content guys—undermining us as consumers—our access to the Internet, our access to affordable medicine—and they’re using their power to put that into an agreement that they’ve got misbranded as "free trade." That’s what’s the real TPP. So maybe, actually, we agree, between the consumer group Public Citizen and Cato, that what’s in TPP, whatever you think about free trade, ain’t so good for most of us.
BILL WATSON: This is a rare occasion where I do agree with Lori Wallach. I agree that what’s going on in the IP chapter is a special-interest free-for-all, a grab bag, that U.S. companies are pushing to get what they want in these agreements. And the problem, really, with that is that intellectual property is not a trade issue, and it shouldn’t be in the agreement. Originally, adding intellectual property into the agreement was a way to bring on more political support, to be able to bring in U.S. companies to counter other U.S. companies that would oppose the agreement. At this point, I think we’ve gotten to where the intellectual property chapters are so expansive that what you’re seeing is a domestic constituency, people concerned about copyright and patent reform, who are opposing the TPP, not because of anything having to do with trade, but just because it’s going to reform U.S. copyright and patent laws. So, the—what I would say is that we need to have a renewed focus within these trade agreements to be more about free trade and less about some of these other issues like intellectual property rights.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But, Bill Watson, why should we even have to depend on WikiLeaks to provide information on what’s in this proposed agreement? Isn’t the actual—just the super secrecy under which this agreement has been worked out, raise questions for ordinary citizens about why all the secrecy? 
BILL WATSON: You know, I’m certainly glad that WikiLeaks published this report. Personally, I like to be able to read it. It’s very interesting. I wish that they would publish the rest of it, to show us the rest of the draft text. I don’t think that it would be, at this point, particularly harmful to the agreement to let us know something about the countries’ negotiating positions.
But I really—I really disagree that the TPP negotiations are especially secret. There’s a lot that goes on in Congress that the public doesn’t know about. When Congress writes a law, we don’t know in advance what it’s going to be before it gets proposed. So, they’re still trying to figure out what the contents of the agreement will be. They don’t know yet; they’re working on it. So, eventually, we’ll see something. We’ll see it well in advance of when it becomes law, and Congress will have a chance to decide to vote yes or no on the agreement. 
AMY GOODMAN: Lori Wallach, what most surprised you about seeing the TPP agreement for the first time yesterday, you know, the WikiLeaks leak? 
LORI WALLACH: Well, first of all, this is extraordinarily secret. I’ve followed these negotiations since 1991 with NAFTA. And during NAFTA, any member of Congress could see any text. In fact, the whole agreement between negotiating rounds was put in the Capitol, accessible for them to look at. In 2001, the Bush administration published the entire Free Trade Area of the Americas text, when it was even in an earlier stage than TPP is right now, on government websites. They’ve even excluded members of Congress from observing the negotiations. I mean, this is extraordinary.
And so, to me, what was the most horrifying, I would say, is the ways in which the U.S. negotiators are using this agreement to try and rewrite U.S. law. I mean, I find it morally repugnant and outrageous that the U.S. negotiators be pushing Big Pharma’s agenda to raise medicine prices for the developing countries in the TPP. People in Vietnam, in all the developing countries that have HIV/AIDS, that have malaria, they need access to generic medicines, and this would cut it off. But they’re actually doing it also to us. So, to the extent, theoretically, they’re sort of supposed to be representing our interests, it would make cancer drugs in this country more expensive. Evergreening of patents, changing just a little tweaky thing, the six-hour versus 12-hour version of a medicine, you get 20 more years of monopoly. Also undermining our Internet freedom by rewriting U.S. law? There’s language in there where U.S. law says there’s an exception for liability for U.S. Internet service providers. The U.S. is the only country in that bracket that’s saying, "No, we shouldn’t allow that in TPP." It’s backdoor diplomatic legislating.
And that ties into that business with fast track. Why were—and it’s now 27 Republican members, because there was a second letter that came out of the Republicans, and 151 Democrats—why were they all saying together, in the last 36 hours, "No fast-track trade process. We don’t want to give away our constitutionally granted authority over trade policy"? And a big piece of the reason is, the left and right in Congress may disagree on what the policies should be, but they actually believe that, constitutionally, Congress gets to write our legislation. So the notion of this backdoor legislating, that we saw actually revealed in this WikiLeak, is precisely what is uniting, animating congressional outrage at the notion that after being left out of these negotiations uninformed, somehow they should volunteer to handcuff themselves so they can be thoroughly steamrollered and have even their legislating authority undermined through this so-called trade agreement. That’s really a backdoor coup d’état on domestic policymaking.......
For the Obama Administration - the administration that negotiated "Health Care Reform" through big Pharma and Big Insurance; negotiated "peace" through continued illegal detention and denial of due process for the prisoners of war held in Guantanamo and Bagram, the continuation and expansion of the infamous Cheney "Kill List," Drone slaughter from the sky, and the out-sourcing of torture; negotiated "transparency and accountability" through increased spying on everyone on the planet, secret negotions of "trade deals" and prosecution of whistleblowers (from Barrett Brown and Jeremy  Hammond; Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden) -  the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is more of the same.  More broken promises, more corporate whoring and more neo-liberalism on the backs of the real people of the planet.


Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..............



Friday, November 1, 2013

9/11...9/11...9/11: Using fear to set the justification for spying on America...Welcome to the NSA – “1984”





Jason Leopold, also known in government circles as the "FOIA Terrorist" (not fondly, I might add), due to his continued attempts to gain the release of important documents hidden under the cloak of "security", has just released his latest piece on the NSA.

His latest article for Al Jazeera, "Revealed: NSA pushed 9/11 as key 'sound bite' to justify surveillance: An internal document recommended that officials use fear of attack when pressed to explain agency's programs," adds to the mounting evidence of a government gone rogue through its "security" and "national defense" agencies...

Criminal conspiracy to justify spying through manipulation of fear...


We know Bush did it to set the people up for the war on Iraq... 

This is not such a stretch for the NSA...


Now Jason has the proof.



General Alexander




From the article:
..."Invoking the events of 9/11 to justify the controversial NSA programs, which have caused major diplomatic fallout around the world, was the top item on the talking points agency officials were encouraged to use. 
Under the sub-heading, 'Sound Bites that Resonate,' the document suggests the statement: 'I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.' 
NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander used a slightly different version of that statement when he testified before Congress June 18 in defense of the agency’s surveillance programs." 

Well General, you and Clapper have some explaining to do.

If the current president (and his DOJ) is really "of the people" then he would demand accountability...

I'm not holding my breath.

*******************

"The fact that other countries spy on their own people or spy on each other does not address the fact that the US is engaged in massive, bulk collection to the tune of 70.3 million telecommunications a month in France of perfectly innocent people. That has nothing to do with protecting the United States, and has nothing to do with really gathering any kind of meaningful intelligence on France. It is an overreach ... and I think the other countries are justifiably outraged .... As one of our founders said: Those who choose between liberty and security deserve neither."
~ Jesselyn Radack, the national security and human rights director of the Government Accountability Project, a whistleblower organization; and Gene Arthur Coyle, a professor at Indiana University and a former CIA agent 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obama promised to rebuild America's image abroad: So how's that NSA working out for ya?

World Internet Map
 

In 2008, Obama addressed the people of Berlin, stating his desire to rebuild America's relationship with Europe and his hope of rebuilding America's image around the world.

A hope that was echoed, in the response of the people, globally, when Obama won election in November, 2008...

Crowds gathered in nations across the planet, cheering for the new president....

 

   

A hope of understanding and communication leading to peace ...  

A lot has happened since 2008 but, unfortunately, many things have stayed the same, and others have gotten worse...

Barack Obama succeeded in drawing down the number of troops in Iraq; He succeeded in expanding the war on Afghanistan and on "terror" and fear; He has succeeded in denying even more human and civil rights to prisoners of war held in Guantanamo and Bagram; And he has succeeded in expanding the wars on privacy, free press and whistle-blowers. But what about that rebuilding America's image thing?

Angela Merkel is wondering about it too...

As reported, in "Huffington Post" (as well as "Der Spiegel" and "The Guardian"), Ms. Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, got the word that her cellphone plan may have a few new subscribers...as in the NSA.

She called the President to check on the unapproved subscribers and was met with a denial - the same kind of denial he gave French President Francois Hollande on Monday when it broke that the NSA had been learning conversational French by listening to the conversations of French citizens (oops. looks like he may need to make another call - the "Genie" is out of the bottle - They have been caught spying on French Diplomats as well); The same kind of denial he gave to the president of Mexico when it broke that the NSA hacked his email account; a denial he won't get a chance to give to President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, who has cancelled an up-coming trip to meet with President Obama..

In fact, the US has burned a lot of bridges through it's NSA, including many with the people in this nation; in the UK (along with their own GCHQ), in France, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Russia, China...Then we have the UN...

A failure in the promise to rebuild America's relationship with Europe and a failure in the promise of rebuilding America's image around the world.

Truth can come from anyone, anywhere and at any time.
Truth does not care about the sex, color, creed, occupation, political leanings, age, income, lifestyle, location or looks of the truthsayer...
And the truth is that this White House Administration has shot itself in both feet, took out a knee and possibly shot off one of its newly found balls....and, with the self-inflicted wounds, come more promises of more transparency; more accountability; more oversight. '

We can try to blame it on poor planning; or an NSA gone rogue with the use of so many private contractors to whom the Pentagon has out-sourced the security of the nation and opened the floodgates for abuse and over-reach (Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, anyone?)....

Or we can put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the administration swept into office under the promise to be "transparent and accountable".

What the information gathered and released about the NSA (and about US cover-up of the military slaughter of civilians and reporters; Kill Lists; Drones killing hundreds of civilians; out-sourced torture; spying on activists; protecting Monsanto; threatening journalists and prosecuting whistleblowers) does show, is that this administration has been neither "transparent" nor " accountable".

Friday, October 18, 2013

Huge PAC and Corporate Campaign Contributions are the root of evil in Congress - Was it the real reason for the Tea Party rebellion against John Boehner?



The New York Times reported on an interesting list of information about the "Stand Your Ground" (or "et tu, Tea Party") Tea Party Republicans that led the rebellion in the House of Representatives that created the shutdown of government over the past two weeks. In their article, October 1, 2013, "The Republicans Standing Their Ground", the article listed 20 members that pushed for the ACA Defunding and the shutdown, noting these members have been a constant thorn in John Boehner's side.



Well no wonder! According to OpenSecrets.org,October 3, 2013, article, "Dissidents Haven't Seen the $ Love from Boehner, Cantor":

"We analyzed how much money those 20 have received from the leadership PACs of top Republicans in the House and how much assistance they were given in the 2012 election by the National Republican Congressional Conference.

According to OpenSecrets.org data, there's been almost no money going to these 20 from top party leaders, and most were elected without any help from the NRCC. In other words, they don't owe party leadership much."

With all the campaign fundraising and money flowing, through both Boehner and Cantor, into the coffers of nearly every GOP member on the Floor of the House of Representatives, it appears the rebellious 20 were left out..They got little to none. In fact, most got no help in their elections from the NRCC (but the Kochs, I am sure, made up for that), almost none from John Boehner and just a little more from Eric Cantor.

1%'er Money talks through the US government and in this case, it appears money (or lack of campaign funds buying their fealty) may have led to rebellion of Tea Party children against Daddy Warbuck's money-changer, Boehner.

"May we live in interesting times" until we finally get a clue and kick the 1% out of the Halls of Congress and the Houses of Washington Politics.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Citizen's United 2.0 - Will there be more Corporatist manipulation by their proxy SCOTUS?

 "Citizens United 2.0? HELL NO! Join Move to Amend and pledge to resist #McCutcheon. Join us!
http://movetoamend.org/resist.
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