The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) = Nationally Sanctioned Corporate Monopoly [#geekgirl]
As the above video outlines, the hyper-secret Free Trade Agreement being currently brokered by the Trans-Pacific Partnership has nothing to do with Free Trade and is, in actuality, the inverse of it. The 12 countries involved in the TPP (which include Australia, Brunei-Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam) are currently secretly negotiating to allow:
- Drug Companies to increase prices and extend the term of their patents (thereby increasing dramatically the time before generic versions of the patented pharmaceuticals can hit the market)
- Restrictions on buying local goods and services, with individual countries being denied the ability to implement systems that mandate support of locally based product(s)
- Making Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) labelling illegal
- Weakening of environmental regulations
- Severe restrictions on digital copying and electronic transfers, with significant interference with the basic functioning of the Internet
- Radical enforcement of a system that would make SOPA look weak by comparison
- Added secrecy to corporate and government alliances, including a deliberate lack of transparency regarding institutionalised information
- A substantial negative impact regarding the regulation of Financial Services
- The ruling out of Capital Controls
- Dampening of national law implementation in favour of Partnership rulings (as Yves Smith says: “The language in [the TPP Agreement]…goes something along the lines of ‘All signatories are required to make their laws and regulations conform to the standard of this agreement.’ They are literally required to make their nation-based laws subordinate to the laws of these agreements [with] liberalised capital flows and minimal restrictions…One of the things to extends…is the [idea of] special panels that companies can go to to get matters adjudicated if they believe that regulations have led them to lose profit. And it’s not even necessarily that they’ve currently lost profit, but it’s that they have potentially lost profit.“)
- The isolation of China
- Stigmatisation and removal of worker’s rights, labour agreements and employment protections/support (superannuation, pensions, retirement ages etc).
So if, like us, you’re preddy much shocked and appalled by the TPP and want to stop it dead in its tracks, watch the video below and take appropriate action.
!?!? [Or, Monsanto = Pure Evil] [#geekgirl]
[From an article published by Upriser here]: “Indiana farmer must pay Monsanto $84,000 for planting second-hand seeds from crops Monsanto hold patents on. That’s right. If you plant soybeans from a soybeans you bought at a grocery store, there’s a good chance you’ll be infringing one of Monsanto’s patents – just like the Indiana farmer did – because Monsanto has a patent on over 80% of all soybeans in existence.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of biotech giant Monsanto, ordering Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman, 76, to pay Monsanto more than $84,000 for patent infringement for using second generation Monsanto seeds purchased second hand—a ruling which will have broad implications for the ownership of ‘life’ and farmers’ rights in the future.
The sources of the seeds Bowman purchased were mixed and were not labeled. However, some were patented Monsanto seeds. Now this 75 year old man has to pay Monsanto a small fortune for just doing what farmers have been doing for thousands of years – planting seeds from last years crops.”
Australian Companies to Get Protection from Activists
[From The Australian] ‘CONSERVATION groups seeking boycotts of products linked to alleged poor environmental practices may soon be liable for prosecution under consumer law.
The move, which could severely hamper market-based campaigns by groups such as Markets for Change and GetUp!, is to be pursued by the Abbott government.
Parliamentary secretary for agriculture Richard Colbeck told The Australian the move would prevent green groups from holding companies to ransom in their markets.
“We’ll be looking at the way some of the environmental groups work because we are very concerned about some of the activities they conduct in the markets,” Senator Colbeck said. “They have exemptions for secondary boycott activities under the Consumer and Competition Act. We are going to have a complete review of the act.
“And one of the things I’d be looking at would be to bring a level playing field back so that environment groups are required to comply with the same requirements as business and industry.”The move has strong backing within the Liberal and Nationals parties, as well as among sections of the ALP, concerned about groups targeting the customers of timber and agricultural products in campaigns against old-growth logging and live-animal exports.”
“Tony Abbott’s first cabinet is the first in two decades to only include one woman…” [#geekgirl]
Tony Abbott’s first cabinet is the first in two decades to only include one woman: pic.twitter.com/98UW1mAMD6
— Lee Rhiannon (@leerhiannon) September 16, 2013
“Former Abu Ghraib Prisoners Ordered to Pay Contractor $14,000 After Losing Torture Suit” [#geekgirl]
[From Democracy Now] "A federal judge has ordered four Iraqis who were imprisoned at Abu Ghraib to pay nearly $14,000 in legal fees to the military contractor they unsuccessfully sued for their torture. In June, a federal judge dismissed a case brought by the former prisoners against CACI International which accused the company’s employees of directing their torture. One plaintiff said he was caged, beaten, threatened with dogs and given electric shocks. In dismissing the lawsuit, the judge did not directly address CACI’s role in the abuse, instead citing a recent Supreme Court decision restricting lawsuits against corporations for abuses on foreign soil. CACI then sued the former prisoners for legal fees, and a judge has ruled in the company’s favor. Lawyers for the Iraqis say they plan to appeal the lawsuit’s dismissal."
#Rush of Adrenaline [#geekgirl]
“Twitter vs Female Protagonists in Video Games” [#geekgirl]
“#Skype with care – #Microsoft is reading everything you write” [#geekgirl]
The H Security reports that:
“A spokesman for the company confirmed that it scans messages to filter out spam and phishing websites. This explanation does not appear to fit the facts, however. Spam and phishing sites are not usually found on HTTPS pages. By contrast, Skype leaves the more commonly affected HTTP URLs, containing no information on ownership, untouched. Skype also sends head requests which merely fetches administrative information relating to the server. To check a site for spam or phishing, Skype would need to examine its content.
Back in January, civil rights groups sent an open letter to Microsoft questioning the security of Skype communication since the takeover. The groups behind the letter, which included the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Reporters without Borders expressed concern that the restructuring resulting from the takeover meant that Skype would have to comply with US laws on eavesdropping and would therefore have to permit government agencies and secret services to access Skype communications.
In summary, The H and heise Security believe that, having consented to Microsoft using all data transmitted over the service pretty much however it likes, all Skype users should assume that this will actually happen and that the company is not going to reveal what exactly it gets up to with this data.”
I, For One, *Do Not* Welcome Our New Zuckerberg Overlord [#geekgirl]
There’s new rumors swirling in various tech + political circles that Mark Zuckerberg is running his grey matter ragged by:
“…exploring the formation of a political advocacy group that would focus on topics such as immigration, the economy, education and scientific research funding, according to a person familiar with the matter. Zuckerberg is considering establishing the group with others in the technology community, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans haven’t been made public.”
Public or not, am I the only one to be substantially scared by such potential dabbling by the CEO of a social networking site in all manner of things political, socio-economic, and research-based [which is instead usually reserved for
incompetent and bumblingpoliticos]?
“Bills Seek End to Farm Animal Abuse Videos” [#geekgirl]
…yep, unfortunately you did read that title correctly. Only in ‘Murica would
potential advocates of animal torturecertain sectors of the agricultural and farming community seek to stop the *documentation* of animal abuse, not the abuse itself:
“…state legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases. Some bills make it illegal to take photographs at a farming operation. Others make it a crime for someone such as an animal welfare advocate to lie on an application to get a job at a plant.
Bills pending in California, Nebraska and Tennessee require that anyone collecting evidence of abuse turn it over to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours — which advocates say does not allow enough time to document illegal activity under federal humane handling and food safety laws….Patterson’s bill, sponsored by the California Cattlemen’s Association, would make failing to turn over video of abuse to law enforcement within 48 hours an infraction punishable by a fine.
Critics say the bills are an effort to deny consumers the ability to know how their food is produced.
“The meat industry’s mantra is always that these are isolated cases, but the purpose of these bills is to prevent any pattern of abuse from being documented,” said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society of the United States, which conducted the California and Vermont investigations.
In Indiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania it would be a crime to make videos at agricultural operations….Formal opposition to the California bill comes from the ASPCA, the Teamsters, the HSUS and dozens of others. They say these attempts by the agriculture industry to stop investigations are a part of a nationwide agenda set by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative think tank backed by business interests.”
Just how an institution like the American Legislative Exchange Council can justifiably label people who document extreme and unnecessary animal abuse as “terrorists” is anyone’s guess: “ALEC has labeled those who interfere with animal operations “terrorists,” though a spokesman said he wishes now that the organization had called its legislation the “Freedom to Farm Act” rather than the “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act.”
In this age of accessible whiz-bang-internet-info, I occasionally stumble across a news item [like the above] that makes it past my rigorous internal “do-not-simply-react-affectively-and-let-these-idiots-get-to-you” filter. This particular news item has me
broiling in my own anger juicesshaking my head in flabbergasted frustration. I’m also left confounded at just how the advocates of such Bills can see themselves as providing any type of reasonable moral compass when it comes to ethical issues: perhaps instead all they see are dollar signs.