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If you don’t know what it is yet – that means it’s working. The secrecy, that is. But once Pandora’s Box is opened, there’s no putting anything back. It will go down in history as one of the worst, oppressive plagues to saturate the planet.
Like Spider Man trying to stop a train from going over with nothing but his strength and shooting threads; we are going to need all the Web we can get to stop the fast-tracking Trans-Pacific Partnership from running over us. Perhaps more aptly, it is a tangled web we’ll be left trapped in as prey if we do nothing.
Here’s a crash-course and the easiest approach – all guesswork removed. But first, here’s a sampling of what you can kiss goodbye if this mammoth piece of legislation goes through…
What’s left of our jobs, food safety, Internet freedom, natural medicine, small farming, choice in medicine, financial regulation, privacy and more. Basically, all your rights. It permeates every area of your life, it’s been ramrodded through the Senate, and the media is not saying anything. It grants the likes of Monsanto, Wall Street and other huge entities full reign with immunity.
Kiss any last American sovereignty goodbye and say hello to your new global crypto-corpocracy complete with international tribunals and the end of domestic law – from your newly refurbished prison cell, of course. After all, you clicked on the wrong Internet link! And your ISP was watching and reported you. In the near future, this article could be enough to jail me, ban my whole family from the Internet, have computers seized and delete the website. No more videos that piece other clips together, or anything that hints at “infringement,” no more fair use, so no more non-corporate news.
It’s been shrouded in secrecy, especially from the People and Congress, planned behind closed doors for years, and proponents are searching for sponsors to have the President push it through now that Congress is back from recess.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership n. 1. A “free trade” agreement that would set rules on non-trade matters such as food safety, internet freedom, medicine costs, financial regulation, and the environment. 2. A binding international governance system that would require the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and any other country that signs on to conform their domestic policies to its rules. 3. A secret trade negotiation that has included over 600 official corporate “trade advisors” while hiding the text from Members of Congress, governors, state legislators, the press, civil society, and the public.
Here’s your crash course link on the TPP. You’ll be ready for take-off in no time. They’ve made it that simple:
After being mind-blown and catching your breath, you can do the absolute easiest thing there is to do by using Twitter with the hashtag #NOFastTrackTPP (but wait, there’s more).
Don’t use social media? No problem, scroll down. For social media users, here are the easiest things you can do, besides sharing memes and links on Facebook. Share things to Reddit andStumbleUpon. Everyone should call their reps (below).
See the Twitter storm event – still going. Pull any memes – share. Only use this hashtag for social media: #NOFastTrackTPP. Using other hashtags and adding more will split the trends.
Next, Tweet your little heart out to your reps and others. Easily find them by clicking the “Discover” button and typing “congressman” in the search. All their Twitter names appear. Find celebrities, they often re-tweet. Example: @repfitzpatrick or @RepBera
@RepBera NO to Fast Track Authority and TPP, or we will not re-elect!! #NoFastTrackTPP
Here’s another: “Do NOT sponsor FastTrack! Vote NO on TPP! #NoFastTrackTPP”
Some reps have stood against the TPP, so first you might want to see this:
– OR –
Use a general message for everyone: “I will NEVER support the Trans-Pacific Partnership#NOFastTrackTPP”
Want to jump into the Twitter storm? Easy. Sign up at Twitter, it runs you through a few-second tour and you can figure out the rest, see Help, or ask friends. Use the hashtag #NOFastTrackTPP on Facebook statuses.
Non-Social Media Users:
Find all your representatives’ info/forms in one-click. Just click on your state:
Contacting the Congress
Or use this:
Call President Obama: 202-456-6213
Call your Representative: 202-225-3121
or Toll Free (877) 762-8762
(Breathe and talk slowly. You will do just fine. Be polite and confident.)
“Hi, this is (your full name). I am a constituent of Rep/Senator (name). I live in (name of city). I am calling to request that Rep/Sen (name) vote NO on Fast Track Authority. It is important to me that Congress follows the Constitutional directive to negotiate international trade and that all trade agreements are given full consideration, debate and amendments as needed.
Do you know Rep/Sen (name) position on Fast Track Authority? Will he/she vote Yes or No? (wait for an answer)
Do you know Rep/Sen (name) position on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement? Will he/she vote Yes or No? (wait for an answer)
(regardless of their response, just continue)
Once again, I am requesting that Rep/Sen (name) vote NO on Fast Track Authority and NO on the TPP! Please be sure he/she gets my message. Thank you.”
Go to the Crash-Course site and print off PDFs to share. Actually, that whole website is designed to help you take action, online and off. You can still share the hashtag in any way you choose – it gets the point across fast.
If you can target these two reps, you could stop the fast-track today:
1) MIKE QUIGLY (IL-05)
District: (773) 267-5926
2) GREG MEEKS (NY-05)
D.C. (202) 225-3461
District: 347-230-4032 & 718-725-6000
Twitter: Gregory Meeks
Lastly, if you have done something, no matter how small to derail the TPP fast track – THANK YOU!!
Special thanks also to Andrew Pontbriand, Emily Laincz and Nick Bernabe for their tireless organizing, efforts and information – and to all those who joined them. Without them, this article wouldn’t be – nor will it with the TPP!
Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:
The federal government is staying quiet on reports it has caved to U.S. demands on intellectual property and copyright issues in a new Pacific trade deal currently under negotiation, saying only that talks are ongoing.
Citing a report from the Washington Trade Daily, the Council of Canadians saysCanada has backed off its resistance to “outrageous” new intellectual property rights the U.S. wants to see included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
WikiLeaks, which released a draft copy of the IP chapter of the deal last month, described it as having “far-reaching implications for individual rights and civil liberties.”
Critics of the deal say if the U.S. gets its way, the result could be the criminalization of small-scale copyright infringement and households being disconnected from the internet under laws that punish unauthorized downloading. Internet providers would be forced to do more monitoring of their subscribers, and it would be easier for governments to remove websites, critics say.
Additionally, proposed extensions to drug patents and copyright terms would mean more expensive drugs and other products, critics say.
“Australia, New Zealand and Canada, among others, dropped their objections to the high-standard disciplines in intellectual property and came on board by agreeing to the modified text,” the Council of Canadians quoted the Trade Daily as saying.
“Effectively, there is consensus on the intellectual property dossier except for one developing country.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade did not address the claims directly, but told HuffPost Canada that “the IP chapter is still under negotiation and Canada continues to advance its interests at the negotiating table.”
Canada “is committed to ensuring that its intellectual property regime balances the interests of both rightholders and users,” a DFAIT spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Documents released by WikiLeaks last month showed Canada had been in the majority of negotiating countries in resisting the IP provisions the U.S. wants. It’s unclear whether Canada’s reported change of stance, along with the shift by other countries, now gives the U.S. the muscle to make the IP provisions part of the final agreement. Negotiations continue under a veil of secrecy, with the latest round wrapping up in Singapore last week.
Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart Trew called on the federal government to release the proposed text of the TPP to the public.
“This is a transparent effort to find more profits for U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies by undermining other countries’ efforts to keep health costs down,” he said.
“People have a right to see what other ridiculous trade-offs are happening in the TPP negotiations. The Harper government, and all TPP countries, owe it to everyone to make the full text public now.”
Along with Canada and the U.S., the countries negotiating the TPP are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
A trade area among those countries would have a population of nearly 800 million and would represent more than 38 per cent of the world economy.
On the other side of the world today, a couple of gentlemen that few people have ever heard of signed an agreement that has massive consequences for the global financial system.
It was a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of the Singapore Exchange and Hong Kong Exchange. Their aim– to combine their forces in rolling out more financial products denominated in Chinese renminbi.
This is huge.
Hong Kong and Singapore are THE two dominant financial centers in Asia. For years they’ve been locked in competition with one another, much like New York and London. So their public partnership is a very big deal… indicative of the clear objective they have in front of them.
Bottom line– finance executives in Asia see the writing on the wall. They can see that the dollar is in a period of terminal decline, and it’s clear that the Chinese renminbi is going to take tremendous market share away from the dollar. They want a big piece of the action.
The renminbi has already surpassed the euro to become the #2 most-used currency in the world when it comes to trade settlement, according to a report released yesterday by the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).
Right now the renminbi has about an 8.6% share of the global market for trade settlement. Granted, the dollar has the lion’s share of trade settlement at more than 80%.
But just look at how quickly the renminbi has grown; in January 2012, its share of the global market was just 1.9%. So it’s grown by nearly a factor of 5x in less than two years.
With today’s agreement between Hong Kong’s and Singapore’s financial exchanges, that growth will likely accelerate.
As we’ve discussed before, the dollar is in a unique position simply because it is the world’s dominant reserve currency.
This means that when a rice distributor in Vietnam does business with a Brazilian merchant, they’ll close the deal by trading US dollars with each other… even though neither nation actually uses the dollar.
It’s been this way since World War II, simply because there has been such a long tradition of trust in the United States, and a steady supply of dollars throughout the world.
But this confidence is fading rapidly as merchants and banks around the world have been seeking alternatives, primarily the Chinese renminbi.
As the dollar’s market share in international trade decreases, it will mean the end of US financial privilege. No longer will the US be able to print money without repercussions.
And as so many other nations have learned the hard way, when you print money with wanton abandon and indebt your nation to the hilt, there are severe consequences to pay.
Today’s move between Hong Kong and Singapore gives us a glimpse into this future.
We’ll soon see more financial products– oil, gold, Fortune 500 corporate bonds, etc. denominated in renminbi and traded in Asia.
And as trade in these renminbi products grows, the dollar will be closer and closer to its reckoning day.
Years from now when this has played out, it’s going to seem so obvious.
Just like the post-Lehman crash in 2008, people will scratch their heads and wonder– ‘why didn’t I see that coming? Why didn’t I recognize that it was a bad idea to loan millions of dollars to unemployed / dead people?’
Duh. Same thing. People will look back in the future and wonder why they didn’t see the dollar collapse coming… why they didn’t recognize that it was a bad idea for the greatest debtor nation in the history of the world to simultaneously control the global reserve currency…
The warning signs are all in front of us. And today’s agreement between Hong Kong and Singapore is one of the strongest signs yet.
December 9, 2013
Mohamed Bouazizi. It’s not a name that means much to most people. But you’ll recall his story.
Frustrated with the absurd amount of regulation and corruption that prevented him from being able to put food on the table for his family, Bouazizi was the 26-year old Tunisian fruit merchant that set himself on fire in 2011.
In doing so, all the pent up frustration across the Middle East and North Africa erupted all at once; the entire region immediately plunged into multi-year revolution which became known as the Arab Spring that has since toppled a number of governments.
Like individual people, societies have their own breaking points. They build up anger and frustration for years… sometimes decades. Then all it takes is one spark. One catalyst. And it all becomes unglued.
Just yesterday, a 33-year old Indian man got hit by the proverbial bus in Singapore’s Little India neighborhood. That was the catalyst. What transpired for the next several hours was a full blown riot… the first of its kind since 1969.
Several hundred rioters stormed the streets. They started off smashing the up the bus that was still on the corner of Hampshire Road and Race Course Road. Then they started throwing objects at the ambulance staff who were unsuccessful in extracting the man in time to save his life.
By the end of the evening, an angry mob had lit five police vehicles on fire, plus the ambulance, leaving the streets in a towering inferno.
The government immediately went into damage control mode trying to explain what happened. But the explanation is really quite simple.
Singapore has had years of tensions building. The wealth gap is growing like crazy. Wealthy people are becoming ultra-wealthy, while the majority of folks see the cost of living rise at an alarming rate.
Strong ideological and ethnic differences are boiling over. And backlash against immigrants, especially from certain countries, is becoming an acute and obvious problem.
These issues are commonplace. Ideological differences. The wealth gap and economic uncertainty. Immigration challenges.
They’re the same issues, for example, that have plunged much of Europe into turmoil, including the rise of a blatantly fascist political party in Greece.
And these same issues exist, in abundance, in the Land of the Free… where a number of serious ideological divides are becoming obvious social chasms.
Printing money with wanton abandon. Racking up the greatest debt burden in the history of the world. Doling out wasteful and offensively incompetent social welfare programs at the expense of the middle class. Brazenly spying on your own citizens. These are not actions without consequences.
And if it can happen in Singapore– one of the safest, most stable countries on the planet, it can happen anywhere. Even in a sterile American suburb.
- Price Hike Will Lessen Fuel Smuggling: Finance Minister (thejakartaglobe.com)
- Facts & Figures: Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific (dineshpanday.wordpress.com)
- Why Indonesia Needs to Expand its Energy Diplomacy (sadebimantara.wordpress.com)