“Globalization is the result of powerful governments, especially that of the United States, pushing trade deals and other accords down the throats of the world’s people to make it easier for corporations and the wealthy to dominate the economies of nations around the world without having obligations to the peoples of those nations. Nowhere is the process more apparent than in the creation of the World Trade Organization in the early 1990s and, now, in the secret deliberations on behalf of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).”
Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
“Private Spies and Our Growing Surveillance State”
The fact that we know very little about how TrapWire operates—even though most of the company’s clients are taxpayer-funded organizations—cuts to the heart of the problem of outsourcing intelligence. Since private corporations are not subject to public records law, there are limited avenues by which we might learn more about what the firm’s technology is really capable of. That, like many other thorny issues TrapWire raises, is a problem that applies to all intelligence contractors. As more secrets are farmed out to private corporations, the public loses twice: we pay more for the privilege of being surveilled, and we lose crucial access to the very transparency mechanisms that are supposed to keep the intelligence agencies in check and operating within the rule of law.
From Kade Crockford’s excellent piece in The Nation.
This is extremely concerning. If you don’t know about the Trans-Pacific Partnership take a few moments to read about it. I find the trend by governments of ceding responsibility to act in representation of citizens interests to corporate and business concerns worrying, to say the least.
If passed the TPP would give corporate and business interests the ability to severely inhibit the ability of governments to regulating or have an effective degree of oversight into their activities. By positioning business above the power of government to act in pursuit of citizens interests this agreement parrots the standard neoliberal line: the best interest of the citizen is one and the same as that of business—examples of the fallacy of this argument are too apparent to bother mentioning here (government should be run as a business if perhaps the most evident and seen throughout the austerity agenda, proponents of this view generally forget to mention that the business model is not a mirror of the democratic model—its leaders are not elected).
It seems clear to me this is of great concern, not only to us but to our children and the world we leave them.
But enough of me blathering on, if this has already caught your interest enough said; if what I have said hasn’t caused an eyebrow or two to raise it’s unlikely any more from me will.
Obama Trade Document Leaked… (Huffington Post)
Food, Farmers and the TPP (Energy Bulletin)
There’s a campaign site where you can add your name to a petition expressing your concern here: Stop the Trap
Glenn Greenwald talks about the pervasive nature of surveillance in America, its growth in recent decades and why it is critical for movements to subvert surveillance so they can be successful in organizing.
A young humpback whale died of starvation while entangled in a ghost fishing net. It washed ashore near Vancouver, Canada a few days ago and locals held a funeral for the animal. Officials are trying to identify who owned the lost fishing net. You can see the tail ripped up by the net. Full story and video.
Meanwhile, Canada’s ultra-conservative government is destroying endangered species act and dozens of environmental laws nearly every week with sneaky, backdoor amendments and secret legislation.
How? Regulatory capture. Canadian officials have successfully been bought by oil companies. In exchange, politicians are gutting environmental laws to help oil companies drill more pollutive wells faster and deeper with little to no regulatory oversight.
Follow climate adaptation.
Is it possible be a pacifist, to support peace (or access to healthcare and education, adequate social security benefits, maintaining or lowering the retirement age, etc.) and pay taxes to the U.S. government?
I sometimes think of Canada as one of those science-fiction parallel universes — a world strikingly similar to but slightly different from our own. The differences can be illuminating.
In Ontario a controversy has been raging, as they say, involving legislation that would require schools to sponsor Gay-Straight Alliances, the anti-bullying clubs that some social conservatives see as Trojan horses for the “gay agenda.” (They’re right, if by gay agenda they mean recognition that gay and lesbian students exist and should feel good about themselves and their sexuality.)
The twist is that Roman Catholic schools in Ontario receive government funding.