One of the most repugnant features of international trade agreements, from TPP to TTIP to CETA, is the "Investor State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) clause, which gives corporations the power to sue governments to repeal health, safety, and environmental laws if they interfere with the company's profits.
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It's been nearly a year since Trump killed the Trans Pacific Partnership by pulling the US out of it; last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada and the other TPP countries would sign the agreement without the USA -- an announcement timed to coincide with Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, presenting the TPP nations as a kind of coalition of the willing for political moderation and maturity.
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Derek Yach, president of The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, sent a letter to 344 public health researchers and groups inviting them to bid for grants from a $1b fund set up by tobacco giant -- the list was a roster of Yach's former colleagues from his stint at the World Health Organization.
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NAFTA 2.0, the return of the TPP, mobile phone surveillance, copyright term extension, class actions targeting movie downloads: Canadians' digital liberties have never been under more pressure than they are today. Digital liberties matter to Canadians. CIPPIC
, Canada's public interest tech law clinic, stands on guard for Canadians' digital liberties.
Timothy writes, "Diego Gómez is a Colombian conservation biologist. When he was a college student, he shared a single research paper online so that others could read and learn from it, just as he did. Diego was criminally prosecuted for copyright infringement, and faced up to 8 years in prison." Read the rest
Trump's FCC is shaping up to be a complete disaster: the new Chairman is dismantling privacy protections and broadband subsidies for low-income Americans, plans to allow the pending Time-Warner/AT&T merger, and, of course, he's planning to gut net neutrality. Read the rest
Governments have "official" unofficial leaking policies, releasing tons of confidential material to the press without any attribution or public acknowledgement: they leak stuff to maintain good press relations, to test out ideas, to hurt their in-government rivals, or to let information be generally known without having to answer difficult questions about it (for example, letting the press report on "secret" drone strike in Yemen without a press-conference where embarrassing questions about civilian casualties might come up). Read the rest
When Donald Trump killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a "trade deal" that had been negotiated by representatives of multinational corporations and government bureaucrats in utmost secrecy in order to give corporations the power to decide which labor, environmental and safety laws they'd obey, I started to hear from "progressives" who had suddenly discovered the deal, and decided that if Trump was against it, they should be for it. Read the rest
Margaret Thatcher's 1979 declaration that "there is no alternative" to neoliberal capitalism is more than a rallying cry: it's a straitjacket on our imaginations, constraining our ability to imagine what kinds of other worlds we might live in. But in science fiction, alternatives to market economies abound (and a surprising number of them are awarded prestigious awards by the Libertarian Futurist Society
!), and it is through these tales that sociologist Peter Frase asks us to think through four different ways things could go, in a slim, sprightly book called Four Futures
-- a book that assures us that there is no more business as usual, and an alternative must
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Ding dong! The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is dead. Most news articles say the cause of death was simple: the election of Donald Trump. But they've only got a tiny part of the story. Now more than ever, it's critical we share the real story: creative and strategic grassroots organizing can take on concentrated wealth and power and win. I've got an op-ed in The Guardian today with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and actress Evangeline Lilly (Lost, The Hobbit, etc) Check it out and please share!" Read the rest
On Naked Capitalism, Gaius Publius parses through Donald Trump's "100-day action plan" (just the public parts, not the parts leaked by the bumbler Trump wants to put in charge of the DHS), and calls out the few bright spots (killing TPP, improving NAFTA) and the terrifying remainder (accelerating climate change, deploying a national campaign of stop-and-frisk, all but destroying public education). Read the rest
No matter what apologists who would normalize the threat a Trump Administration represents may tell you, no one incidentally voted for the KKK's Presidential candidate because of his attractive economic policy. That story sounds good and helps quiet the fears of Americans who are suddenly discovering that we live in a racist, sexist, fundamentalist Christian cesspool, but T.R. Ramachandran washes the fiction away by simply showing us the data.
This tweet storm is quite long, but one of the best analysis I've seen of how we got here.
The following is an excerpt, I recommend starting at the beginning.
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Even though both parties' presidential candidates say they oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership -- the secretly negotiated "trade" deal that lets corporations sue governments to repeal their environmental, labor and safety laws if they hurt profits -- Obama's plan to ram through a vote before the election is alive and well. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "What do comedian Hari Kondabolu, Lost star Evangeline Lilly, a Navajo punk band, and one of the dudes from Chumbawamba have in common? They're all part of a nationwide tour to raise awareness about the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement: Rock Against the TPP." Read the rest