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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 11,149

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RE: "Stopping the Biggest Corporate Power Grab in Years" (TPP)

This guy, Arthur Stamoulis, knows his shit when it comes to international trade deals such as the TPP: he's Director of Citizens Trade Campaign (CTC) ~ http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/ ~ CTC is a national coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, and human rights organizations working together to improve U.S. trade policy. Follow CTC on Twitter at @citizenstrade. In this article he lays out a compelling case for an immediate mobilization to "Stop the biggest Cororate Power Grab in Years".

Mr. Stamoulis is sounding a serious alarm here, calling for immediate mobilization to derail "fast-tracking" by exposing TPP's nefarious contents to the public. US Senator Bernie Sanders is pressing Obama and Congress to do just that: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026043682

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Stopping the Biggest Corporate Power Grab in Years
How fighting back against one arcane, Nixon-era trade negotiating procedure could put a stop to a global corporate coup.
By Arthur Stamoulis * January 6, 2015 * CommonDreams.com/Foreign Policy in Focus

When global justice groups wanted to halt expansion of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1999, they organized massive demonstrations in Seattle, where the official ministerial conference was being held. Tens of thousands of people filled the streets. Groups held rallies, marches, and teach-ins, conducted civil disobedience, and in many cases faced attacks by police. With delegates unable to even reach the convention hall, the opening ceremony was cancelled, and the talks eventually fell apart. The “Battle of Seattle” not only succeeded in derailing the Millennial Round of negotiations, it also turned opposition to corporate globalization into international headline news.


The TPP is a corporate power grab clearly worthy of Seattle-caliber mobilization. But the fight against this reprehensible deal requires different types of tactics. And the place to start is by derailing “Fast Track,” the mechanism that would allow TPP approval to rush through the U.S. Congress with little debate and no amendments.


Organizing Against the TPP Using The Anti-Fast Track Strategy


TPP boosters have said time-and-again that passing Fast Track is critical not only to getting a completed pact through Congress, but also to convincing foreign TPP negotiators to actually finish the pact. Just imagine other governments’ reasoning: Why bother giving in to Washington’s most draconian and politically risky demands when the White House can’t even get the pact through the U.S. Congress without more demands being tacked on?

TPP supporters and opponents alike both know that, with the U.S. presidential elections gearing up in the latter half of 2015, the window of opportunity for concluding the TPP is fast closing. Neither political party in the United States wants an unpopular trade debate on its hands while it’s trying to take the White House. And so, anti-TPP activists are both extremely close to victory and about to face another major pro-Fast Track onslaught.


The first months of the new year are the period when we’ll win or lose. If activists are able to escalate local expressions of opposition to Fast Track for the TPP over the coming months, and to continue communicating to their U.S. representatives that a Fast Track vote is something that they’ll remember forever, they will succeed in preventing the most harmful corporate sneak-attack since the 1990s.

PLEASE SEE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/06/stopping-biggest-corporate-power-grab-years

Darren Wilson grand juror suing prosecutor for botching the case and putting Mike Brown on trial

Darren Wilson grand juror suing prosecutor for botching the case and putting Mike Brown on trial
Tom Boggioni * 05 JAN 2015 * Raw Story

In an effort to freely speak out on what happened in the Darren Wilson grand jury deliberations involving the shooting of Michael Brown, a member of the jury is suing St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, saying he mischaracterized the proceedings after presenting a “muddled” case, reports St. Louis Public Radio.

In a lawsuit (pdf) filed Monday morning, the juror — described as “Grand Juror Doe” – claims McCulloch’s statements to the press following the announcement of no indictment against Wilson were inaccurate and that the juror would like to address those inaccuracies.

According to the lawsuit, “In ’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges. Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with ’s own.”


A Colorado NAACP Office Was Bombed Today

A Colorado NAACP Office Was Bombed Today
BY IAN MILLHISER * JANUARY 6, 2015 * Think Progress

In what appears to be an attack on a well-known civil rights organization, an “improvised explosive device” detonated on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Colorado Springs, Colorado NAACP, according to a statement by the FBI. No one was killed or injured in the explosion, and there was “only minimal surface charring to the exterior wall of the building,” which also includes a hair salon. The explosion could have been much worse, however, as the explosive device was placed next to a gasoline can in an apparent attempt to increase the force of the explosion. The gasoline did not ignite.

The FBI statement adds that a “potential person of interest in this investigation is a Caucasian male, approximately 40 years of age, and balding. He may be driving a 2000 or older model dirty, white pick-up truck with paneling, a dark colored bed liner, open tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate.”

Although the apparent bomber’s motives are not yet known, bombings were a common terrorist tactic during the Jim Crow era. The city of Birmingham, Alabama became known as “Bombingham” due to a rash of bombings targeting black homes and churches, including a 1963 church bombing that killed four girls. The aftermath of that bombing is depicted in the picture at the top of this post.


'Incomprehensible' Secrecy: Sanders Demands Release of 'secret' TPP Text - Woot! Go Bernie!

'Incomprehensible' Secrecy: Sanders Demands Release of Trade Agreement Text
Monday, January 05, 2015 * Common Dreams * by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

'It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while the elected officials of this country have little or no knowledge as to what is in it,' says senator Sanders.

With Congress on the verge of taking up the controversial, corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is demanding that the chief trade representative for the United States turn over the full text of the proposed trade agreement.

"It is incomprehensible to me that the leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP while, at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge as to what is in it," Sanders said in a letter (pdf) sent Monday to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman. "Members of Congress must have the opportunity to read what is in the TPP and closely analyze the potential impact this free trade agreement would have on the American people long before the Senate votes to give the President fast track trade promotion authority."

"Please also explain why you think it is appropriate that the representatives of the largest financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, media conglomerates, and other major corporate interests not only have access to some of these documents, but are also playing a major role in developing many of the key provisions in it."
—Bernie Sanders, US Senate
Proponents of the pact, which would encompass 12 nations that represent 40 percent of the global economy, are pushing for a fast-track process that would hand over negotiating authority to President Barack Obama, who supports the deal. Critics claim the TPP poses threats to civil liberties, workers rights, public health, food safety, and global financial stability.

Sanders asked Froman to respond to his letter by January 16, 2015. If his request is denied, the senator vowed to introduce legislation that would require that the contents of any trade agreement that the U.S. is negotiating would have to be made public at the request of any member of Congress.

In addition, if Sanders' request is turned down, he asked Froman to spell out the legal basis for the denial.

Another Wall St Insider Found Dead: Hedge fund founder Thomas Gilbert shot dead in NY

Wall St. CEOs have been falling like flies. Regardless of very suspicious circumstances in many cases, most of these deaths were immediately deemed "suicides", nothing to see her. This one not so much.

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Hedge fund founder Thomas Gilbert shot dead in NY
4 January 2015 * BBC

The founder of a $200m (£130m) hedge fund, Thomas Gilbert Sr, has been shot dead in his flat in New York's Manhattan, police say.

US media reported that Mr Gilbert had been involved in a domestic argument.

No-one has been arrested. Police want to speak to Mr Gilbert's son in connection with the incident. Mr Gilbert, 70, was the founder and president of Wainscott Capital Partners, having started the fund in 2011.

US media said the body was found at about 15:30 local time (20:30 GMT) in a bedroom in the flat in Beekman Place, and that a gun had been recovered from the room.

"Right now, we're looking to speak to his son, who was the last person to see him alive," police spokesman Lt John Grimpel said, without identifying the son.

Mr Gilbert was a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School. The hedge fund focuses on the biotech and health care industries.


Another Unarmed Citizen Shot Dead. 2 More Killer-cops get a PAID VACATION

Unarmed Kansas Man Shot and Killed By Police After a “Verbal Exchange”
By Mike Sawyer * January 4, 2015 * The Free Thought Project

Wichita, KS — Two Witchita police officers are on paid administrative leave following the shooting death of an unarmed 23-year-old man.

Interim Chief Nelson Mosley, with the Wichita Police Department, said in a press conference Sunday that police were called to a disturbance around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Two officers responded and reportedly found two men inside of an SUV. Police asked both men to get out of the vehicle.

According to their report, the 44-year-old driver complied with the verbal commands of police, but the 23-year-old began a verbal argument. Police Lt. James Espinoza said the 23-year-old man engaged in a “verbal exchange” with the officers when he was outside the vehicle.

The argument led to the back of the police cruiser at which point they repeatedly yelled at the 23-year-old to place his hands on the vehicle, which he did not do according to the report.

“Officer A then fired his taser,” said Mosley at the press conference. Officers claim that the man did not respond to the taser. At this point Officer B claimed to “see the suspect reach towards his waistband,” so she fired 2 shots into the man’s abdomen.

“Upon officers arriving and meeting the man until the shots were fired was 3 minutes,” said Mosley.

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/unarmed-kansas-man-shot-killed-police-argumentative/#7IPhxwUtKvUcYcuL.99

The Problem with Police "unions": Problem cop elected President of police union in LA

It would appear police unions have become nothing more than an organized white-wash scheme to protect cops guilty of using excessive force. This issue is touched on in this LA Times piece about Officer Lally, and several other articles are referenced and linked that illustrate the problem with police unions.

Recenty we've seen how this plays out, when there is a high-profile open & shut case of police brutality in Ferguson, and in NYC with Eric Garner. It's "the union to the rescue", every fucking time. IMHO this is a serious abuse of the whole notion of labor unions, which historically have championed justice, fairness, equality, etc. rather than covering the asses of murderers and bullies.

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From 'problem officer' to president, new police union leader takes over
By JOEL RUBIN * Dec, 31, 2014 * LA Times

Craig Lally, the incoming president of the union that represents Los Angeles police officers, has a framed newspaper article from 1992 haging on his office wall.

Far from a puff piece, the article named Lally as one of the Christopher Commissions’s infamous 44 "problem officers." The commission, a blue-ribbon panel that proposed reforms following the police beating of Rodney G. King in 1991, had flagged the officers for having several allegations of misconduct against them. The list, according to the commission, was meant to illustrate "the problem of excessive force in the LAPD."

Lallly, a nearly 35-year veteran of the department, said he keeps the article nearby “as a reminder not to let what happened to me happen to any other officer.” He takes over as head of the Police Protective League on Thursday after winning a vote by the union’s roughly 9,800 rank-and-file officers.

In many ways, Lally, 58, said the path that led him to the union’s top post began with his inclusion on the list of 44.

He was at the time a newly promoted sergeant who was well-regarded within the department. When The Times published the names of the 44 officers, Lally publicly contested the commission’s decision to include him on a ledger of the department’s worst offenders. Unlike many on the list, none of the accusations Lally faced had been sustained by department investigations.


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SPECIAL REPORT: Unions protect problem officers
Part 3: Florida's two police unions use their political clout to push for changes in disciplinary process

Police Unions Produce Rules That Protect Bad Actors, That’s How Public Unions Work

The Bad Kind of Unionism
When police unions have widened their gaze beyond issues like compensation and working conditions, it’s been almost exclusively to conservative ends.

On the Docket: The Top 4 SCOTUS Cases to Follow in 2015

Good write-up on upcoming SCOTUS cases in 2015. The article contains a brief summary of each
of the cases going (or likely going) before SCOTUS soon, including what's at stake.

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On the Docket: The Top 4 SCOTUS Cases to Follow in 2015
January 2, 2015 * by Brianna Kovan * Ms. Blog

The Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 term—which began on Oct. 6—will conclude near the end of June 2015. After a year of decisions that narrowed women’s reproductive and economic rights, the current term provides the justices ample opportunities to right their wrongs (that is, if they can see past their egregious “blind spot” for women’s rights).
Below, take a look at a list of cases already on the docket that could have a big impact for women.

On the Docket
(1) Pregnant Workers’ Rights and Employment Discrimination
(2) Free Speech vs. Threats
(3) Employer Discrimination Protocol
(4) Clarifying Police Right to Search or Seizure

Potential cases
(1) Marriage Equality
(2) Contraceptive Coverage
(3) TRAP Laws


Dear President Obama: If the TPP is so wonderful why the dark cloak of secrecy?

This one thing should repulse anyone who calls themselves a "Democrat" ...
What could be less democratic than an international agreement binding on the USA, an
agreement crafted in complete secrecy, save for a handful of Wall St. CEOs.

And then even after it's drafted, no one gets to know all of what's in the document?
Yet our democratically elected Congress-peeps are supposed to put on blindfolds and
vote for the damn thing anyway?

I don't think so.

Fuck that. Fuck the TPP. Fuck Wall St.

Despite the wide-ranging effects on the global population, the TPP is currently being negotiated in total secrecy by 12 countries. Few people, even within the negotiating countries’ governments, have access to the full text of the draft agreement and the public, who it will affect most, none at all. Large corporations, however, are able to see portions of the text, generating a powerful lobby to effect changes on behalf of these groups and bringing developing country members reduced force, while the public at large gets no say.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief, said:

The selective secrecy surrounding the TPP negotiations, which has let in a few cashed-up megacorps but excluded everyone else, reveals a telling fear of public scrutiny. By publishing this text we allow the public to engage in issues that will have such a fundamental impact on their lives.


Cops Hunt Down & Kill Man After He Makes A YouTube Video That Police Find "Threatening"

This guy clearly has (or I should say had) some major "issues" with authority, and was also arguably endangering the cops, but still ... he was unarmed ... they couldn't shoot out the tires? ... and why did they even feel a need to hunt him down in the first place, as a "terrorist"?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this guy was totally innocent, or that his video made any sense, or that his behavior while being chased down was appropriate at all ... he was acting out something with the cops and/or authority figures in general. He actually appears to have needed a good counselor or shrink. It's sad to me that cops act this way.

Why can't we have cops like they have in Sweden, where they've only killed ONE person in the entire history of their police force?

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Cops Hunt Down And Kill A Man After He Made A YouTube Video That Police Found Threatening
By John Vibes * December 31, 2014 * Free Thought Project

Police fired so many bullets that it sounded like “a fireworks grand finale”

Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania – A man was shot and killed by police in a Philadelphia suburb this Tuesday night, just days after he made inflammatory posts about police on YouTube.

A minimum of five police officers fired an unknown amount of shots at 52-year-old Joseph Anthony Pacini, claiming that he was attempting to run them over, all five of them at the same time, apparently.

In the eerie videos that he posted online earlier this month, he actually predicted his own death, saying that “Clearly these guys want me dead or in prison and there’s no way in hell I’m going back to prison.”

“The lose-lose scenario, you try to arrest me. Consequently, there will be serious and irreversible catastrophic consequences,” Pacini also said in one of the videos.

At that point it seems that police actually had no prior warrants against him and no reason to arrest him, but they were so upset by the videos that they decided to arrest him for making “terrorist threats.”

Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-hunt-kill-man-youtube-video-police-threatening/#KsOJxUzoGx2JBO7O.99
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