Friday, July 31, 2015

SAR #15212

What sort of idiot would sign an important deal if the details of the deal were secret until the deal is signed? Especially if part of the details included being able to secretly change the deal after it is signed?

Pig/Poke: When enacted – and it will be enacted – the still-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership and its companions the Trade in Services Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, will complete the Inclosure Act and the final destruction of the commons, turning most of the globe's economic activity over to the corporations involved and freeing them from the annoying regulations and oversight governments once had over things like safety, health, environment, wages, and pollution. These “partnerships” will also eliminate the very concept of privacy, for any barrier to the free flow of information – even or especially information about the citizenry – is counter to modern capitalism. The US wants this deal so badly that it is willing to overlook the human trafficking and sex slavery practices in Malaysia and Thailand, for why should a few tens of thousands of lives stand in the way of pharmaceutical profits and 70 more years of copyright protection for Disney?

Easy Doesn't It: Goldman Sach's Lloyd Blankfein notes that there is “no question that low interest rates have exacerbated the wealth gap between the poor and the rich because the rich have assets." And he is quite concerned that “people” will find it quite jarring when the Fed puts on the brakes.. 
America's Team: It's official, Tom Brady and the Patriots cheat. So?

Kill Bill: Mitch McConnell is resurrecting the once-defeated (56 to 40) Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), because his masters really, really want the bill. Supposedly the bill would prevent cyber-crimes by requiring the private sector give all of your data and information to the government for safekeeping. There's a joke there, but it's not very funny – the government can't keep its own personnel files secret and even promises to distribute the information it gets under CISA to any and all law enforcement agencies, from the FBI to Barney Fife. The bill is simply another grab by the government in its ongoing war against privacy, this time specifically exempting its snooping from any FOIA requests.
Misplaced Loyalties: Globally the fossil fuel industry reaps $550 billion in government support, while they proceed to fry us. Renewable energy, which could be our salvation if only, gets just over $100 billion. Even so, the situation is not totally hopeless; Germany got 78% of its energy from renewable sources in May.

Me-Tooism: Not to be left out, after hackers embarrassed Chrysler, now it's GM's turn in the barrel as its OnStar system lets hackers unlock the car and start the engine.

Talking Turkey: After quietly watching Turkey's would-be dictator for life and current President Rejip Erdoğan slowly transform Turkey from a modern democracy to a quasi religious dictatorship, Washington has now agreed to look the other way as he launches an all-out war on Kurds – Turkish Kurds, Iraqi Kurds, Pesmerga fighters who have regularly bested ISIS, any and all Kurds. The US is even willing to overlook the evidence a Special Forces raid uncovered of Turkish financial support for ISIS, just as it has over looked the hospital that Ankara operates for wounded ISIS fighters in southern Turkey and the free passage it gives to fighters on their way to join ISIS in Syria. But don't worry, the US has begun training 60 Syrian rebels to overthrow Assad while crushing ISIS. And for only $36 million. So far.

Lost My Vote: Chris Christie says that folks in Colorado should smoke 'em if they got 'em because if he gets to be the president he'll put 'em out. 
Expediency: Documents released in the UK show that the US pressured the UK into releasing hundreds of Nazi officers because the US wanted to suborn them to ensure that Germany was on its side facing the Russians. The more things change, the more...

Race To The Bottom: President Obama has initiated the “National Strategic Computing Initiative” with the goal of building computers 30 times faster than today's supercomputers, because it would be a waste to collect all our phone calls and emails and not get to read them.

Overly Candid: There are so many Republicans running for president that we've lost count of 'em, but now there’s another one.

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