Category Archives: Congress

Congress Current Events Fast Track TPP Uncategorized

How Does Your Flag Outrage Feel Now

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tpp-mapWhile America was distracted by a the Confederate flag debacle, the U.S. Congress forfeited the entire economic future of the country by quietly passing so-called “fast-track authority” which will allow President Obama to approve the TPP “free trade” agreement.

The TPP, as you may have heard, outright surrenders U.S. sovereignty to multinational corporations, handing them total global monopolies over labor practices, immigration, Big Pharma drug pricing, GMO food labeling, criminalization of garden seeds and much more. In all, the TPP hands over control of 80% of the U.S. economyto global monopolists, and the TPP is set up to enable those corporations to engage in virtually unlimited toxic chemical pollution, medical monopolization, the gutting of labor safety laws and much more.

Plus, did I mention the TPP will displace millions of American works as corporations outsource jobs to foreign workers? While corporations rake in the profits from new global powers, everyday American workers will lose their livelihoods and their jobs (not to mention their pensions).

Essentially, America just got sold out by people like Marco Rubio.

While Amazon.com was frantically deleting Confederate flag products from its website and everybody was going bat-crap insane over the 1970’s comedy TV series Dukes of Hazzard and its use of the so-called Confederate flag on a hot rod car, Republicans and the President were busy committing outright treason at the highest levels: surrendering American sovereignty and economically enslaving all of America’s future children.

And that’s the tragic irony of all this: While the political left falsely believed it was denouncing slavery by pressuring every online retailer and government entity to ban the Confederate flag, the U.S. Congress was busy enacting a whole new level of total economic enslavement for everyone, regardless of their skin color.

While ignorant “activists” ran around in mass hysteria, thinking they were banishing a symbol of enslavement to the history books, they were actually providing the necessary public distraction for quiet passage of the TPP’s fast-track authority.

In other words, they played right into the hands of the real slave masters: the globalist, monopolist corporations and their fascist government puppets who betray the People at every opportunity.

Believe me: These corporations don’t care about the skin color of their slave workers. They gladly enslave everyone, including you and me, if we’re stupid enough to allow our own elected representatives to forfeit America’s future (which they just did).

Screw the Confederate flag issue, folks: All Americans are now the “property” of multinational monopolist corporations that have turned national governments against their own people. The Confederate flag flap was merely a useful distraction to trick the population using political sleight of hand to fool everyone about the real agenda being pursued in Washington.

America is now officially a nation of slave workers beholden to multinational corporate interests. How does your silly flag outrage feel now?

Source: AG News

Bills Congress Current Events Genetically Modified Foods Uncategorized

Fast Track legislation

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Secret-Meeting-Business-White-HouseThe U.S. Senate has paved the way for the passage of Fast Track legislation, to give the White House and the U.S. Trade Representative almost unilateral power to negotiate and finalize secret anti-user trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yesterday a “cloture” vote was held—this was a vote to end debate on Fast Track and break any possibility for a filibuster, and it passed by the minimum votes needed—60 to 37. Today, the Senate voted to pass the legislation itself. TPP proponents only needed 51 votes, a simple majority, to actually pass the bill, and they got it in a 60 to 38 vote. Following months and months of campaigning, Congress has ultimately caved to corporate demands to hand away its own constitutional mandate over trade, and the President is expected to the sign the bill into law as early as tonight or later this week.

Despite this defeat, our fight against undemocratic, corporate-driven trade agreements should not be counted as a failure.

This campaign has reaffirmed the power of Internet users to make lawmakers more accountable to the people. We effectively threw a wrench into the mechanics of Washington, proven yesterday by TPP supporters’ razor thin victory in the Senate cloture vote, not to mention the series of stops and starts that delayed the passage of this bill for so many months. We put the White House on the defensive like never before, as President Obama scrambled to win enough support for his trade agenda to pass the bill. All of our calls, emails, tweets, and visits to our lawmakers made a big difference.

Even more stunning is how we have managed to delay the official TPP talks. During the recent kerfuffle over Fast Track, negotiations over TPP have effectively been stalled. The United States’ trading partners were not willing to continue talks and concede to worse digital regulations as long as it seemed that the U.S. Congress had the opportunity to second-guess the agreed language later. Now that Fast Track will be passed, TPP negotiations will likely resume in the coming weeks.

That means that we too must keep on fighting on. We’ll be laser-focused on building more momentum to defeat the TPP, as well as the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), which also contain harmful digital regulations. There’s one silver lining to the Fast Track legislation, which is that it will force the White House to release the final trade texts for 60 days before Congress votes to ratify the agreements. Those two months will be critical to convince our lawmakers not to ratify the TPP. At that point, we’ll have the official text to analyze and dissect, so we can better understand how the agreement will affect the Internet and demand that Congress reject the deal based on specific threats to users and innovators.

When the veil of secrecy is finally lifted, the President, the U.S. Trade Representative, and all other TPP proponents will no longer have anything to hide behind as they make sweeping claims about the deal’s benefit to the “free and open Internet.” We will then be able to show that international agreements negotiated in secret only lead to rotten digital policies.

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4th Amendment Civil Rights Congress Current Events Nullification Surveillance Uncategorized

Politicians are Lying to You on NSA Spying!

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nsa-action-1In their continuous efforts to create the impression that the government is doing something to keep Americans safe, politicians in Washington have misled and lied to the public. They have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution. They have created a false sense of security. And they have dispatched and re-dispatched 60,000 federal agents to intercept the telephone calls, text messages and emails of all Americans all the time.

In the process, while publicly claiming they only acquire identifying metadata — the time, date, location, duration, telephone numbers and email addresses of communications — they have in fact surreptitiously gained access to the content of these communications.

On June 1, one of the three claimed legal authorities for all this, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, expired, as Congress was unable to agree on either its reinstitution or the enactment of a substitute. At the time that Section 215 was about to expire, President Obama, Attorney General Lynch and FBI Director Comey warned that the NSA’s computers would go dark and the American public would be at the mercy of our enemies. Their warnings were nonsense.

The NSA is a military entity that utilizes the services of military computer experts and agents, employs civilians, and hires companies that provide thousands of outside contractors. After nearly 14 years of spying on us — all authorized by a secret court whose judges cannot keep records of what they have ordered or discuss openly what they know — the NSA now has computers and computer personnel physically located in the main switching offices of all telecom and Internet service providers in the United States. It has 24/7 access to the content of everyone’s telephone calls, emails and text messages.

The data amassed thereby is so vast that the government cannot sift through it quickly or effectively enough to stop such notorious events as the Boston Marathon bombings, the Ft. Hood massacre and the attempted massacre last month outside of Dallas. The Justice Department acknowledged this last month when it revealed that all this spying has not succeeded in stopping any terrorist plots and has not aided any federal prosecutions of terrorism.

Then why do it? Because the feds want to calm American nerves by giving the impression that they are doing something — even though we know that they know that what they are doing fails to keep us safe.

They are giving us a false impression. But they owe us the truth, not falsehoods designed to make themselves look like they are doing what they claim. Their spying has failed to enhance our safety.

It also has failed to protect our freedoms. The Constitution requires probable cause as a precondition for all search warrants. That is a level of evidence about the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized sufficient to induce a judge to conclude that a crime probably has been committed. Without this probable cause requirement, nothing would stop the government from searching and seizing whatever it wants. Yet that is where we are today. The NSA’s unconstitutional standard of “government need” reinstitutes the general warrants — search where you wish and seize what you find — which the Fourth Amendment was written to prohibit.

Both the Patriot Act and the Freedom Act, the substitute law enacted by Congress, do away with the probable cause requirement. Both of those laws permit the FISA court to issue general warrants based on the government’s needs, rather than probable cause. It is the government-need standard, which is no standard at all, that has resulted in spying on all persons all the time.

When Section 215 of the Patriot Act expired, the NSA’s legal (yet unconstitutional) authority to spy did not. The propaganda that its computers were shut down is false. Section 702 of the FISA law and President Bush’s October 2001 executive order were and are still valid, and both have been interpreted to unleash the NSA.

Section 702 permits warrantless surveillance of Americans who speak with foreigners, and the NSA has gotten FISA warrants to intercept the calls of the folks to whom those Americans speak, to the sixth degree. That alone encompasses all persons in the United States. Bush’s executive order was given to all military intelligence agencies — of which the NSA is but one. It instructed the military to intercept the calls and emails of whatever Americans it needs to listen in upon to enhance safety. That executive order still stands. This is why the hand wringing and false claims that the NSA computers went dark is untruthful. The computers violate our privacy and assault our liberty and fail to enhance our safety, but they are not dark.

Last week, one of the pro-spying politicians was clever, even cute, when he issued the one-liner: “You can’t enjoy civil liberties from a coffin.” His statement was a craven articulation of failure. The government’s job is to keep us free and safe. If it keeps us safe but not free, it has failed to do its job. Today it does neither. I suggest to him Patrick Henry on this: “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Which one-liner better embodies American values, history and traditions?

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