Today, 9 December 2013, WikiLeaks has released two more secret TPP documents that show the state of negotiations as the twelve TPP countries began supposedly final negotiations at a trade ministers’ meeting in Singapore this week. One document describes deep divisions between the United States and other nations, and “great pressure” being exerted by the US negotiators to move other nations to their position. The other document lists, country-by-country, the many areas of disagreement remaining. It covers intellectual property and thirteen other chapters of the draft agreement. This suggests that the TPP negotiations can only be concluded if the Asia-Pacific countries back down on key national interest issues, otherwise the treaty will fail altogether. Here are some excerpts from the Salt Lake City documents
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.
Join us at the Capitol in DC on Tuesday December 10 – International Human Rights Day. We’re calling for major cuts (25 to 50%) in runaway military spending in order to meet dire needs at home – in human services, jobs, and the environment. We will hold a news conference at 10 AM at Congressman John Conyers’ office, 2426 Rayburn House Office Building. (Allow a half hour to get through security.) Peace, anti-poverty, environmental,and community activists will speak at the press conference, highlighting critical community needs that should be funded instead of dangerous and wasteful military spending. Please contact Mark Dunlea ([email protected]; 518 860-3725) if your organization is interested in speaking. There will also be a group photo op for those who’d like to participate, from 9:20 – 9:30 AM at the Capitol’s East Front, House Triangle, near Independence Ave. SE and New Jersey Ave.
There are subjects that break my heart and pull my pen toward them like gravity. The prison system is one of them. As a social protest novelist, I took my first novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, into the human impact of high incarceration rates and the policy effects of the private prison industry’s lobbying. Acknowledging the depth of suffering in the issues I explore in my novels alters the landscape of my soul. Learning about mountaintop removal, drone strikes, poverty, and prisons changes me irrevocably. After researching both the facts and the human truths, a pit remains inside me, a bombed out village, a mother crying over her child’s body, and millions of faces behind bars, watching me with burning eyes.
In our peaceful efforts to make a difference, although most base personnel have been respectful of our vigil and occasional civil disobedience, we have come under assault by a few base personnel entering the base during rush hour on several occasions. Last spring one of our military veterans, representing Veterans for Peace, was run into by a car which drove through a blockade of protesters. He ended up being lifted onto the hood of a car, and was fortunate to receive only a minor injury to his elbow. That same day there were other close calls where a car zoomed close to someone on the shoulder of the road.
Tonight the Santa Fe City Council passed a resolution respectfully requesting that President Obama deny the permit application by TransCanada to construct the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The resolution introduced on October 30, 2013 by Mayor David Coss and co-sponsored by Councilors Chris Calvert, Patti Bushee, Peter Ives, and Mayor pro tem Rebecca Wurzburger went to a vote this evening and passed. The Santa Fe City Council strongly supports public expression of resistance to approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, up to and including peaceful, nonviolent and dignified expressions of civil disobedience. “Climate change is happening, we see it with drought and forest fires,” said Mayor David Coss. “Santa Fe needs to be part of the solution and not part of the problem on climate change.”
Because we don’t understand the pathology of the rich. We’ve been saturated with cultural images and a kind of cultural deification of wealth and those who have wealth. We are being–you know, they present people of immense wealth as somehow leaders–oracles, even. And we don’t grasp internally what it is an oligarchic class is finally about or how venal and morally bankrupt they are. We need to recover the language of class warfare and grasp what is happening to us, and we need to shatter this self-delusion that somehow if, as Obama says, we work hard enough and study hard enough, we can be one of them. The fact is, the people who created the economic mess that we’re in were the best-educated people in the country–Larry Summers, a former president of Harvard, and others. The issue is not education. The issue is greed.
Meet Ben Greene. He’s a student turned entrepreneur from Raleigh, NC. His brain child, The Farmery, promises to bring a whole new way of life to urban locavores. “The Farmery is essentially a template to celebrate local foods,” Greene says. “There’s not really a grocery mall designed for urban communities. We make it available to different demographics.” The idea is relatively simple: bring vegetable production, harvest and distribution together in a single location, right in the middle of town. A modified farmer’s market, The Farmery eliminates the middle man and brings fresh-picked produce almost directly to the consumer’s doorstep. “The Farmery could be potentially much more financially successful (than other urban farms) and make its way into the mainstream of our economy,” claims Greene. “By growing and selling in the same place, you can get a much higher profit margin.” The Farmery is constructed primarily from repurposed shipping containers and greenhouse implements. Hanging from the outside of the containers, herbs, strawberries and greens are grown aquaponically. Aquaponics refers to the practice of raising fish in the water supply to provide nutrients and keep disease in check.
The following were the words spoken by Reverend Billy (in the video above) that might have gotten him up to a year in jail time, if we do not act. We are in the midst of a mass extinction at this time. I ask you to think of your own children. I am the father of a three year old and I’m worried about the kind of world that my daughter will inherit. Please protect life, protect the earth. Take your money out of J.P. Morgan Chase or work inside the bank to change the values system of this bank. It is the largest bank in the United States by assets, but it is also the top bank in the world for financing industrial projects which poison the atmosphere with co2 emissions. Who caused Hurricane Sandy? Chase bank did, if anybody did. Rise up against the corporations that are poisoning the atmosphere. It’s up to you and to me, only we can do it.
U.S. oil company Chevron has suspended exploration for shale gas in northeastern Romania after hundreds of anti-fracking protesters tore down fences. Chevron won approval to drill exploratory wells in the town of Pungesti, but halted work for a second time Saturday after residents blocked access to the site. Hundreds of riot police couldn’t prevent residents from demolishing fences and breaking into the site. Dozens were detained and 14 were charged with destruction of property and carrying knives. Chevron said it had suspended work “as a result of unsafe conditions” and informed police of destruction to its property.
While PNG law recognises their customary title, the local owners have been poorly compensated. They have faced violent displacement, their land has been devastated and their rivers poisoned by toxic mine waste. And when they enter the mine site to scavenge for scrap, they are treated like trespassers even though they are on their own land. In a damning 2011 report, Human Rights Watch noted that while the locals remain desperately poor, an estimated US$20 billion worth of gold had been extracted the mine operators between 1990 and 2010. Toronto-based Barrick Gold acquired majority ownership of the mine in 2006 from another Canadian company called Placer Dome. Barrick Gold now has 95% ownership, the rest being held by a local state-owned company.