Snowden

The Anti-Empire Report #124

Off the Keyboard of William Blum

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 Paris peace conference 1919

 

Published January 9, 2014 | By William Blum

“At last the world knows America as the savior of the world!”– President Woodrow Wilson, Paris Peace Conference, 1919

The horrors reported each day from Syria and Iraq are enough to make one cry; in particular, the atrocities carried out by the al-Qaeda types: floggings; beheadings; playing soccer with the heads; cutting open dead bodies to remove organs just for mockery; suicide bombers, car bombs, the ground littered with human body parts; countless young children traumatized for life; the imposition of sharia law, including bans on music … What century are we living in? What millennium? What world?

People occasionally write to me that my unwavering antagonism toward American foreign policy is misplaced; that as awful as Washington’s Museum of Horrors is, al-Qaeda is worse and the world needs the United States to combat the awful jihadists.

“Let me tell you about the very rich,” F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote. “They are different from you and me.”

And let me tell you about American leaders. In power, they don’t think the way you and I do. They don’t feel the way you and I do. They have supported “awful jihadists” and their moral equivalents for decades. Let’s begin in 1979 in Afghanistan, where the Moujahedeen (“holy warriors”) were in battle against a secular, progressive government supported by the Soviet Union; a “favorite tactic” of the Moujahedeen was “to torture victims [often Russians] by first cutting off their nose, ears, and genitals, then removing one slice of skin after another”, producing “a slow, very painful death”.

With America’s massive and indispensable military backing in the 1980s, Afghanistan’s last secular government (bringing women into the 20th century) was overthrown, and out of the victorious Moujahedeen arose al Qaeda.

During this same period the United States was supporting the infamous Khmer Rouge of Cambodia; yes, the same charming lads of Pol Pot and The Killing Fields.

President Carter’s National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, was a leading force behind the US support of both the Moujahedeen and the Khmer Rouge. What does that tell you about that American leader? Or Jimmy Carter – an inspiration out of office, but a rather different person in the White House? Or Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama, who chose Brzezinski as one of his advisers?

Another proud example of the United States fighting the awful jihadists is Kosovo, an overwhelmingly Muslim province of Serbia. The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) began an armed conflict with Belgrade in the early 1990s to split Kosovo from Serbia. The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA having contact with al-Qaeda, getting arms from them, having its militants trained in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against Serbia. But Washington’s imperialists, more concerned about dealing a blow to Serbia, “the last communist government in Europe”, supported the KLA.

The KLA have been known for their torture and trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic). The United States has naturally been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union.

More recently the US has supported awful jihadists in Libya and Syria, with awful consequences.

It would, moreover, be difficult to name a single brutal dictatorship of the second half of the 20th Century that was not supported by the United States; not only supported, but often put into power and kept in power against the wishes of the population. And in recent years as well, Washington has supported very repressive governments, such as Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Indonesia, Egypt, Colombia, Qatar, and Israel.

Not exactly the grand savior our sad old world is yearning for. (Oh, did I mention that Washington’s policies create a never-ending supply of terrorists?)

And what do American leaders think of their own record? Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was probably speaking for the whole private club when she wrote that in the pursuit of its national security the United States no longer needed to be guided by “notions of international law and norms” or “institutions like the United Nations” because America was “on the right side of history.”

If you’ve never done anything you wouldn’t want the government to know about, you should re-examine your life choices.

“The idea is to build an antiterrorist global environment,” a senior American defense official said in 2003, “so that in 20 to 30 years, terrorism will be like slave-trading, completely discredited.”

One must wonder: When will the dropping of bombs on innocent civilians by the United States, and invading and occupying their country become completely discredited? When will the use of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, CIA torture renditions, and round-the-world, round-the-clock surveillance become things that even men like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, and John Brennan will be too embarrassed to defend?

Last month, a former National Security Agency official told the Washington Post that the Agency’s workers are polishing up their résumés and asking that they be cleared – removing any material linked to classified programs – so they can be sent out to potential employers. He noted that one employee who processes the résumés said, “I’ve never seen so many résumés that people want to have cleared in my life.”

Morale is “bad overall”, said another former official. “The news – the Snowden disclosures – it questions the integrity of the NSA workforce,” he said. “It’s become very public and very personal. Literally, neighbors are asking people, ‘Why are you spying on Grandma?’ And we aren’t. People are feeling bad, beaten down.”

President Obama was recently moved to declare that he would be proposing “some self-restraint on the NSA” and “some reforms that can give people more confidence.” He also said “In some ways, the technology and the budgets and the capacity [at NSA] have outstripped the constraints. And we’ve got to rebuild those in the same way that we’re having to do on a whole series of capacities … [such as] drone operations.”

Well, dear readers and comrades, we shall see. But if you’re looking for a glimmer of hope to begin a new year, you may as well try grabbing onto these little offerings. When the American Empire crumbles, abroad and at home, as one day it must, Edward Snowden’s courageous actions may well be seen as one of the key steps along that road. I’ve long maintained that only the American people have the power to stop The Imperial Machine – the monster that eats the world’s environment, screws up its economies, and spews violence on every continent. And for that to happen the American people have to lose their deep-seated, quasi-religious belief in “American Exceptionalism”. For many, what they’ve been forced to learn the past six months has undoubtedly worn deep holes into the protective armor that has surrounded their hearts and minds since childhood.

A surprising and exhilarating example of one of these holes in the armor is the New Year’s day editorial in the New York Times that is now well known. Entitled “Edward Snowden, Whistle-blower” – itself a legitimation of his actions – its key part says: “Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service.”

The president has been moved to appoint a committee to study NSA abuses. This of course is a standard bureaucratic maneuver to keep critics at bay. But the committee – Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies – did come up with a few unexpected recommendations in its report presented December 13, the most interesting of which perhaps are these two:

“Governments should not use surveillance to steal industry secrets to advantage their domestic industry.”

“Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems.”

The first recommendation refers to a practice, though certainly despicable, that is something the United States has been doing, and lying about, for decades. Just this past September, James Clapper, Director of US National Intelligence, declared: “What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies.”

Clapper is the same gentleman who told Congress in March that the NSA does not intentionally collect any kind of data on millions of Americans; and, when subsequently challenged on this remark, declared: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying ‘no’.”

The second recommendation had not been revealed before, in a Snowden document or from any other source.

“That was a strangely specific recommendation for something nobody was talking about,” observed the director of a government transparency group.

ABC News reported that “A spokesperson for the NSA declined to comment on the issue of bank account hacking, and a representative for U.S. Cyber Command did not immediately return an emailed request for comment.”

Manipulating bank records is about as petty and dishonorable as a superpower can behave, and could conceivably, eventually, lead to the end of the NSA as we’ve all come to know and love it. On the other hand, the Agency no doubt holds some very embarrassing information about anyone in a position to do them harm.

The bombing of Flight 103 – Case closed?

When the 25th anniversary of the 1988 bombing of PanAm Flight 103 occurred on December 21 I was fully expecting the usual repetitions of the false accusation against Libya and Moammar Gaddafi as being responsible for the act which took the lives of 270 people over and in Lockerbie, Scotland. But much to my surprise, mingled with such, there were a rash of comments skeptical of the official British-US version, made by various people in Scotland and elsewhere, including by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Libya.

In a joint statement the three governments said they were determined to unearth the truth behind the attack. “We want all those responsible for this brutal act of terrorism brought to justice, and to understand why it was committed”, they declared.

Remarkable. In 1991, the United States indicted a Libyan named Adelbaset al-Megrahi. He was eventually found guilty of being the sole perpetrator of the crime, kept in prison for many years, and finally released in 2009 when he had terminal cancer, allegedly for humanitarian reasons, although an acute smell of oil could be detected. And now they speak of bringing to justice “those responsible for this brutal act of terrorism”.

The 1988 crime was actually organized by Iran in retaliation for the American shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in July of the same year, which took the lives of 290 people. It was carried out by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC), a 1968 breakaway from a component of the Palestine Liberation Organization, with some help from Syria. And this version was very widely accepted in the Western world, in government and media circles. Until the US buildup to the Gulf War came along in 1990 and the support of Iran and Syria was needed. Then, suddenly, we were told that it was Libya behind the crime.

If the US and UK now wish to return to Iran, and perhaps Syria, as the culprits, they will have a lot of explaining to do about their previous lie. But these two governments always have a lot of explaining to do. They’re good at it. And the great bulk of their indoctrinated citizens, with little resistance, will accept the new/old party line, and their mainstream media will effortlessly switch back to the old/new official version, since Iran and Syria are at the top of the current list of Bad Guys. (The PFLP-GC has been quiescent for some time and may scarcely exist.)

If you’re confused by all this, I suggest that you start by reading my detailed article on the history of this case, written in 2001 but still very informative and relevant. You may be rather surprised.

The UK, US and Libyan governments have now announced that they will co-operate to reveal “the full facts” of the Lockerbie bombing. And Robert Mueller, the former head of the FBI, said he believes more people will be charged. This could be very interesting.

Free books of historical value

  1. The complete set, less one volume, of the 15 Church Committee (1975-6) volumes. Lacking only Final Report, book 6: “Congressional Research Service. Supplementary Reports on Intelligence Activities.”
  2. The complete set, less one volume, of the 6 Pike Committee volumes. Lacking only volume 6: “Committee Proceedings, part II”
  3. The Rockefeller Commission Report, one volume.
  4. Hearings on FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) before Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (same as Church Committee), one volume.

Total of 21 volumes, all from 1975-1976, all in good condition. Either pick them up in Washington, DC or send me $10 for postage.

Notes

  1. Washington Post May 11, 1979; New York Times, April 13 1979
  2. William Blum, “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” (2005), chapter 10
  3. RT TV (Russia Today, Moscow), May 4, 2012
  4. Associated Press, December 14, 2010
  5. Foreign Affairs (Council on Foreign Relations), January/February 2000 issue
  6. New York Times, January 17, 2003
  7. Washington Post, December 7, 2013
  8. Washington Post, December 18, 2013
  9. Washington Post, December 7, 2013
  10. “Liberty and Security in a Changing World”, p.221
  11. See Anti-Empire Report, #118, June 26, 2013, second part
  12. Statement by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper on Allegations of Economic Espionage, September 8, 2013
  13. NBC News, June 9, 2013
  14. Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, speaking to ABC News Radio, December 23, 2013
  15. ABC News Radio, December 23, 2013
  16. Reuters news agency, December 22, 2013

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

 

 

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others.

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a li

That Was The Week That Was in Doom June 16, 2013

From the Keyboard of Surly1

Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on June 16, 2013

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Discuss this article here in the Diner Forum.

This Father’s Day edition caps a week that moved the story of Edward Snowden, and a host of stories examining his bona fides, and speculation about the provenance of the story worthy of a convention hall full of conspiracy theorists. A week in which we saw the collective IQ of Virginia dip a dozen points as Republicans nominated for Lieutenant Governor a man  live and direct from the ninth century, a process enabled by the apathy of Virginians . . . and, on the subject of apathy, Sibel Edmonds placed the blame for the NSA whistleblower flap squarely where it belongs.  and others speculate on whether the CIA is punching a hole in the NSA… And while we sleep, the Trans-Pacific partnership continues to be negotiated behind closed doors, safely out of sight of  mere Muppets,  interested citizens, and  other annoyances such as elected representatives.

_________________________________________________________________________

E.W. Jackson runs for Lt. Governor in Virginia. 

Meet E.W. Jackson, the gift that just keeps on giving in Virginia politics:

 

E.W. Jackson burst on the national stage a couple of weeks ago when the republicans chose him to run as Lieutenant Governor in a secret seance held under Kate Obenshain’s skirts, and elected him in a burst of enthusiasm equivalent to when they load up the T-shirt cannon for the second time at a NASCAR event. It cleared out the entire trailer park. Given that only two states are choosing governors in an off year election, a disproportionate amount of attention will be paid to races in Virginia and New Jersey, so you’ll be hearing more from this quarter.. In Virginia, Koch Brothers franchisee Ken Cuccinelli is taking a break from harassing climate scientists, taking the part of natural gas drillers against Virginia citizens and defending himself and current Gov. Transvaginal Ultrasound from ethics charges to get this Teanderthal selected as candidate for LG. Let’s hear from the Rev. himself:

 

In a video posted to YouTube last September, the minister and activist urged black Christians to reject the “ridiculous lies” of the “Democrat Party.”

“It is time to end the slavish devotion to the Democrat Party,” Jackson says in the clip. “They have insulted us, used us and manipulated us. They have saturated the black community with ridiculous lies… They think we are stupid and that these lies will hold us captive while they violate everything we believe as Christians.

He continues, “The Democrat Party has created an unholy alliance between certain so-called civil rights leaders and Planned Parenthood, which has killed unborn black babies by the tens of millions. Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was. And the Democrat Party and the black civil rights allies are partners in this genocide.”

In reviewing the bidding, we find that this likely successor to the leadership post vacated by Michele Bachmann asserts not only  that Planned Parenthood has killed more blacks that the KKK and that BHO has a “Muslim perspective” on world events, but also, as Ron Popeil might say, “There’s More!!”

Earlier this week, Jackson was criticized after a post for the National Review revealed that his book also suggests yoga could lead to satanic possession.

“When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana,” Jackson wrote in his book. “The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want.”

But his thoughts on yoga and evolution are merely some of Jackson’s more unconventional opinions. In the past, the candidate hasargued that recognition of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community “makes him feel ikky.”

So far, the candidate has refused to backtrack on any of his statements.

“I don’t have anything to rephrase or to apologize for,” Jackson said in May. “I would just say, people should not paint me as one-dimensional. I have a whole lot of concerns.”

 

 

A reasonable person might think that would have been enough for one week. But this is Virginia, and  reasonable people have left the building, witness Rev. Jackson’s candidacy. The good Rev. took it upon himself this Thursday to hold a rambling, barely coherent press conference in which he unburdened his soul and shared a host of youthful indiscretions, the better to inoculate himself against use by his political opponents or the “lame stream” press.

He referenced his bankruptcy proceedings, late payment of bills, drug use, employment irregularity and having taken classes at Harvard Divinity school, although Harvard has no record of that. His campaign advice goes, that is probably pretty good: inoculate yourself against the inevitable, attempt to disarm your opponents, and bury this information in a part of the electoral cycle where people not paying attention to statewide electoral races may likely forget come November. Effective advice, yet a bit cynical.   And as long as we’re being cynical, the selection of a black minister with extremely conservative views will certainly help to dilute the effectiveness of the black religious vote in the Commonwealth this November.

 

It remains to be seen what comes of this election, yet it is fair to say that the Cuccinelli–Jackson ticket is as extreme a Republican ticket as I have seen in my lifetime, and  Virginia is certainly capable of offering up some rare specimens indeed.  never forget that this is the state that houses “Pat” Robertson, who still continues to host a television program in which he offers up adventures from the land of Alzheimer’s, including suggesting that women who buy used clothing may be setting themselves up for demonic possession. We shit you not.

 

Do not sleep on this guy, as Charlie Pierce would say. Interestingly, if ominously, a favorability poll offered by local paper has people breaking about 50-50 for or against Rev. Jackson’s candidacy.  This again in Pat Robertson country. Early reports from the Monticello area have it that the body of Thomas Jefferson has spun dervishes enough to bore halfway to China.

_____________________________________________________________________

NSA Leakery Leakery Dock

Extreme-Surveillance

So much has been written about the Edward Snowden NSA whistleblower story, it is hard to know where to begin. The story moved last weekend. Since then, confusion has been sowed, strange bedfellows made, sides taken, and the narrative has switched from focus on the PRISM program to the bona fides of the leaker; is he a high school dropout, is he a traitor, why China as a destination, does he really eat the main course before his salad, and a continued effort by the mainstream media to reframe the issue and, in 43’s  inimitable phrase, “catapult the propaganda.”

Part of the real story of skewered by the fawning corporate press is that a half 1 million people, most of them private contractors, had the security clearances to be sifting through this information. And many of them work for foreign companies.

Washington’s Blog reports in 2008 that foreign companies have had key roles scooping up Americans’ communications for the NSA:

At least two foreign companies play key roles in processing the information.

Specifically, an Israeli company called Narus processes all of the information tapped by AT &T (AT & T taps, and gives to the NSA, copies of all phone calls it processes), and an Israeli company called Verint processes information tapped by Verizon (Verizon also taps, and gives to the NSA, all of its calls).

Business Insider notes today:

The newest information regarding the NSA domestic spying scandalraises an important question: If America’s tech giants didn’t ‘participate knowingly’ in the dragnet of electronic communication, how does the NSA get all of their data?

One theory: the NSA hired two secretive Israeli companies to wiretap the U.S. telecommunications network.

In April 2012 Wired’s James Bamford — author of the book “The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America” — reported that two companies with extensive links to Israel’s intelligence service provided hardware and software the U.S. telecommunications network for the National Security Agency (NSA).

By doing so, this would imply, companies like Facebook and Google don’t have to explicitly provide the NSA with access to their servers because major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T and Verizon already allows the U.S. signals intelligence agency to eavesdrop on all of their data anyway.

Who knows how this will play out? What if anybody knows the bona fides of whistleblowers, Sibel Edmonds certainly does.

_____________________________________________________________________

America: A Deteriorating Nation of Denial & Apathy

One of the more thought provoking and sobering articles that sheds light and responsibility upon the political dimension of the problems we face, penned on the Boiling Frogs site by Sibel Edmonds. (A big tip o’ the Surly Crown of Thorns to Golden Oxen for posting it in the Forum.) The NSA whistleblower flap focuses the popular attention on the Eternal Security State, yet all that has been and will be done turns on policy. As does the imminent climate change/destruction we surely face, as our political institutions remain captive to the forces of capital and immune to public comment.

Most of us, especially the over-50 crowd, can see ourselves in Edmonds’ words:

Once upon a time, for over a decade, I was that relentless naïve sucker under the illusion of America the land of the pretty much free and the nation more-or-less governed by the Constitution.

Then I stopped-being that sucker.

That’s right. I stopped talking about that enemy sympathizer called the US Federal Courts. I ceased cheering for entities filing lawsuits, year after year, in pursuit of illusionary justice coming out of imaginary Halls of Justice.

Edmonds describes here quest for the real enemy. Here is what she found:

Sadly, the real answer is not what the bewildered and irate activists are willing to hear or acknowledge.

It is much easier to stare at the beasts in the forms of palaces and presidential mansions, carved majestic marble-granite courts, congresses or parliaments, media conglomerates.

.   .   .
I find myself standing alone when I now answer the questions directed at me following the endless atrocities and scandals. I am no longer the provider of the popular answer. My answer is one of the most unpopular, if not the most, in the eyes and ears of the public . . . there will be no hope of any meaningful action or changes so long as we stick with our national pride.

The enemy has been us; we the people. We the majority – in denial. Our national apathy. Our large majority’s denial, indifference; apathy. Apathy is a must ingredient for any police state, authoritarian regime, dictatorship, for abuses of power, for corruption, national atrocities, genocide … Some ingredients may be decreased, increased or substituted, but one key ingredient remains constant: Public Apathy.

Like a cat chasing its tail, like Don Quixote chasing the many windmills, we can target and point fingers at kings, presidents, statesmen, judges and media puppetries. In the end we’ll end up with our own tail, we’ll arrive at the windmill of our own. We will end up with us the people. And that is the ultimate enemy we must take on and out: Our very own denial and apathy.

surveillance-cameras

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Add Surveillance State

Regarding the unfolding NSA leak story, some informed insight: “We are dealing with a complex situation with fragmentary information being dribbled to us by the media out of context. Eventually we’ll presumably have a more complete understanding of the various facets involved.”

And this from AlterNet:

Americans may be upset about the latest revelations in the government’s ability to spy on citizens via their online lives, but no one should be surprised. We’ve underestimated and overlooked many key aspects of the government’s ability to track our lives for years.

The bottom line, which resonates most strongly among civil liberties advocates on the left and conservative libertarians on the right, is not just the loss of privacy but also the growing power of the state to target and oppress people who it judges to be critics and enemies. That list doesn’t just include foreign terrorists of the al-Qaeda mold, or even the Chinese government that has  stolen the most advanced U.S. weapon plans; it also includes domestic whistleblowers, protesters and journalists—all of whom have been  targeted by the Obama administration Justice Department.
See the incredibly sobering list here.

 

_____________________________________________________________________

HOW THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP WOULD IMPACT YOU

In a recent exchange on the Diner Forum, agelbert wrote:

Remember when Bush was in Iraq in secret and they announced all kinds of details of the Turkey dinner that Condolezza Rice was invited to at the RANCH just beforehand? I do. I went back and read how the Washington Post and the New York Times MADE SURE people read this inane bit of “”innocent” Thanksgiving food prattle. . .  Whenever something sounds like a non sequitur, they are confusing you to get your mind off something else. Just like the big flap about a “leak” now and Obama’s “endangered term” made me ask, WHAT ARE THEY HIDING? They are trying to hide the fact that the empire is LOSING in SYRIA by making as much noise as possible in an attempt to blackmail Obama to start the war. I checked the news within ONE day of this “leak” shit. Low and behold, Assad is wiping the death squad strongholds out. Panic time for the MATRIX. Bring out another “scandal”.

If more people did the critical thinking leg work to see how the game is played, less people would be taken in by it.

And I replied:

The only way to decode the MSM is the way you watch a magician: watch what he is doing with his off or away hand. Consider everything you arre seeing a distraction, if you want to understand how the trick works. Trouble in the middle east? Play the runaway bride story hard. And the Natalie Holloway story got the better part of a year of play…

In Virginia, the administration of Gov. Transvaginal Ultrasound and his AG made significant war on women last year, occasioning a lot of counter demonstration and activist effort. I counseled Contrary, “Wait for the other shoe to drop.” The other shoe (s) were plans to privatize road/tunnel construction projects and the Port of Virginia, plus the effort to end an existing ban on Uranium mining, essentially selling off the commons to commercial (and foreign) interests.

The politics of distraction.

The reason they do it, again and again, is because it works. While we are distracted with the NSA story, and the bona fides and Providence of Edward Snowden, a much bigger story is unfolded behind our backs, safely out of sight prying eyes or ears. And that is the Trans–Pacific partnership, now gestating in meeting rooms the same way an alien gestates inside an unsuspecting victim in a Ridley Scott movie.
It is currently being negotiated behind closed doors by officials from the United States and 10 other countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Japan is slated to join in July.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been under negotiation for 5 years.

Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not really mainly about trade.Of the TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only 5 deal with traditional trade issues. Most would set rules on non-trade matters that affect our daily lives: food safety, internet freedom, medicine costs, job off-shoring, financial regulation, and more.
Our domestic policies would be required to comply with the TPP rules.

Here’s another issue you probably wouldn’t want to sleep on. Here is a good general purpose website to acquaint us with the issues.
_____________________________________________________________________

These are the big issues for the week.  There are doubtless others, but sweet Jesus, enough is enough. Tracking this Snowden/NSA story is truly to walk through a hall of mirrors.

If you’ve read this far, you probably noticed that satire has outstripped reality. The foreign governments and press offices often mistake headlines from The Onion for the real thing. In a continuing effort to offer valuable public service, here’s a collection of stories Not from The Onion:

Until next week, then.

 

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QuoteThe FACT that the current incredibly STUPID e [...]

The mosque of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of [...]

Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigatio [...]

Quote from: K-Dog on Today at 01:26:02 AMQuote fro [...]

Scientists have unlocked the power of gold atoms b [...]

Quote from: azozeo on August 14, 2019, 10:41:33 AM [...]

Wisconsin Bill Would Remove Barrier to Using Gold, [...]

Under extreme conditions, gold rearranges its atom [...]

The cost of gold futures on the Comex exchange inc [...]

Time for another Bloody Mary!   RE [...]

Kicking off with the death of the Marlboro Man.RE[ [...]

Alternate Perspectives

  • Two Ice Floes
  • Jumping Jack Flash
  • From Filmers to Farmers

Politicians’ Privilege By Cognitive Dissonance     Imagine for a moment you work for a small or medi [...]

Shaking the August Stick By Cognitive Dissonance     Sometime towards the end of the third or fourth [...]

Empire in Decline - Propaganda and the American Myth By Cognitive Dissonance     “Oh, what a tangled [...]

Meanderings By Cognitive Dissonance     Tis the Season Silly season is upon us. And I, for one, welc [...]

The Brainwashing of a Nation by Daniel Greenfield via Sultan Knish blog Image by ElisaRiva from Pixa [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-17http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-16http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-15http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-14http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

Event Update For 2019-11-13http://jumpingjackflashhypothesis.blogspot.com/2012/02/jumping-jack-flash-hypothesis-its-gas.html Th [...]

With fusion energy perpetually 20 years away we now also perpetually have [fill in the blank] years [...]

My mea culpa for having inadvertently neglected FF2F for so long, and an update on the upcoming post [...]

NYC plans to undertake the swindle of the civilisation by suing the companies that have enabled it t [...]

MbS, the personification of the age-old pre-revolutionary scenario in which an expiring regime attem [...]

Daily Doom Photo

man-watching-tv

Sustainability

  • Peak Surfer
  • SUN
  • Transition Voice

Waterboarding Flounder"Serious oxygen loss between 100 and 600-meter depths is expected to cover 59–80% of the ocean [...]

Of Warnings and their Ripple Effects"We need wooden ships, char-crete buildings, bamboo bicycles, moringa furniture, and hemp cloth [...]

"Restoring normal whale activity to the oceans would capture the CO2 equivalent of 2 billion tr [...]

Ukrainian Rhapsody"Our future will be more about artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and non-state actors tha [...]

LeBron’s Chinese Troll Mobs"In the 36 hours after James’ delete, a troll mob with bot support sent a flame tsunami at the [...]

The folks at Windward have been doing great work at living sustainably for many years now.  Part of [...]

 The Daily SUN☼ Building a Better Tomorrow by Sustaining Universal Needs April 3, 2017 Powering Down [...]

Off the keyboard of Bob Montgomery Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666 Friend us on Facebook Publishe [...]

Visit SUN on Facebook Here [...]

What extinction crisis? Believe it or not, there are still climate science deniers out there. And th [...]

My new book, Abolish Oil Now, will talk about why the climate movement has failed and what we can do [...]

A new climate protest movement out of the UK has taken Europe by storm and made governments sit down [...]

The success of Apollo 11 flipped the American public from skeptics to fans. The climate movement nee [...]

Today's movement to abolish fossil fuels can learn from two different paths that the British an [...]

Top Commentariats

  • Our Finite World
  • Economic Undertow

The self-organizing system seems to be able to figure out ways to keep the economy going. We see an [...]

thank you finite worlders for your words of wisdom and insight I truly appreciated them just finishe [...]

Yes indeed. I remember my student from Barcelona, such a difference between her and the women of Pen [...]

Ah yes: "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings, Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair" P [...]

This is a chart of US exports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products. In total, exports of Crude Oil an [...]

Here's an article: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-imo-shipping-factbox/factbox-imo-2020-a-m [...]

What is the shift away from bunker fuels? [...]

Yeah, when the water heater goes out the day after you just put new tires on one of the cars, etc... [...]

I join the chorus in welcoming you back. Any thoughts on how the shift away from bunker fuel on Janu [...]

@Front Range Mike "Most everyone I know is trying to figure out how to cut back and sell their [...]

RE Economics

Going Cashless

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Simplifying the Final Countdown

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Bond Market Collapse and the Banning of Cash

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Do Central Bankers Recognize there is NO GROWTH?

Discuss this article @ the ECONOMICS TABLE inside the...

Singularity of the Dollar

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Kurrency Kollapse: To Print or Not To Print?

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SWISSIE CAPITULATION!

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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Collapse Fiction

Useful Links

Technical Journals

The effect of urbanization on microclimatic conditions is known as “urban heat islands”. [...]

Forecasting extreme precipitations is one of the main priorities of hydrology in Latin America and t [...]

The objective of this work is the development of an automated and objective identification scheme of [...]