who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. New TTIP Leak Confirms EU Proposal Is Covert Attack
Against Basic Democratic
2. With 'Brave Tactic,' Sanders
Tries to Slam Brakes on Fast
3. As GOP Pushes Patriot Act Renewal, Critics Demand End
to Mass Surveillance Provision
4. Bad Guys Pushing THIS WEEK
to Promote Global Tyranny
Run By Corporations
5. A War Waged From German
Soil: US Ramstein Base Key
in Drone Attacks
This is a Nederlog of Thursday, April 23,
is a crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 dotted links:
Item 1 is about an article by Don Quijones
on the TTIP; item 2 is about an article by Sarah
Lazare that explains how Senator Sanders tries to force at least a
discussion about the TPP before it is blindly adopted; item
3 is about an article by Nadia Prupis that explains how the
Republicans try to force through a bill that renews the Patriot Act for
another 5 years; item 4 is about an article by
Washington's Blog that argues - quite well, I think - the horrors of
the TPP; and item 5 is a long article on Spiegel
International, that explains that yes, the U.S. is
making war from a base it has
on German soil that is necessary to its drone wars.
Also, today's NL was uploaded a bit early, because I have to do some
1. New TTIP Leak Confirms EU Proposal Is
Covert Attack Against Basic Democratic Values
item today is an article by Don Quijones on Raging Bull-Shit:
This starts as
This means that the
multinational corporations will rule supreme - more powerful
electorates, more powerful than parliaments, more powerful
governments, and more powerful than national laws and with only
two interests: To maximize their own
profits, and to make the top of their managements mega-rich.
According to a leaked
European Commission proposal in the ongoing EU-US Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations, EU member state
legislative initiatives will have to be vetted for potential impacts on
private business interests.
The proposal forms part
of a wider plan for so-called “regulatory cooperation”. Civil society
groups have already denounced earlier iterations of this plan as being
a tool to stop or roll back regulation intended to protect the public
interest. The new elements in the leaked proposal expand the problem,
according to civil society organisations.
Civil society groups have
condemned the “regulatory exchange” plan as an affront to parliamentary
democracy. “This is an insult to citizens, elected politicians and
democracy itself”, says Max Bank of Lobby Control.
The “regulatory exchange”
proposal will force laws drafted by democratically-elected politicians
through an extensive screening process. This process will occur
throughout the 78 States (50 U.S. states and 28 EU ones), not just in
Brussels and Washington DC. Laws will be evaluated on whether or not
they are compatible with the economic interests of major
companies. Responsibility for this screening will lie
with the Regulatory Cooperation Body, a permanent, undemocratic, and
unaccountable conclave of European and American technocrats.
There is more there, including some links, but that is it: Bye, bye
democracy! President Obama doesn't want it! It's not good for his
In case you doubt this (as you very well may): Check out item
2. With 'Brave Tactic,' Sanders Tries to Slam
Brakes on Fast Track
item is an article by Sarah Lazare on Common Dreams:
This starts as
And here is Sanders'
In what is being heralded
as a "brave tactic," Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday
temporarily blocked lawmakers from rushing through legislation that
would allow the Obama administration to "Fast Track" the controversial
and highly secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
Sanders forcibly delayed
the Senate Finance Committee from considering Fast Track legislation by
using a rarely invoked senate scheduling rule, effectively preventing
the panel from looking at the trade bill until at least 4:00 PM. The
committee was widely expected to endorse the legislation.
Although not technically
a filibuster, Sanders' maneuver is being compared to the delaying
tactic and is being met with vows
from Fast Track proponents to do whatever it takes to move the
reporter Zach Carter explained
Wednesday that the delay, nonetheless, is significant "because Senate
Democrats, including Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), have prepared dozens of
amendments to the fast-track bill, which will take several hours to
address in committee. If the panel can't finish its work Wednesday, or
just decides to call it a day early and resume its business tomorrow,
Sanders can raise the same objection again, potentially delaying the
process for several days."
Clearly Senator Sanders is
quite right. But most of the Senate and the House serve big business...
"It is absurd that a
trade agreement of such enormous consequence has had so little
transparency," said Sanders in a press statement released Wednesday.
"It is beyond belief that this agreement would let corporations sue
over laws to protect public health and the environment."
"This job-killing trade
deal has been negotiated in secret. It was drafted with input by
special interests and corporate lobbyists but not from the elected
representatives of the American people," Sanders continued. "Instead of
rubber stamping the agreement, Congress and the public deserve a fair
chance to learn what’s in the proposal."
3. As GOP Pushes Patriot Act Renewal,
Critics Demand End to Mass Surveillance Provision
item is an article by Nadia Prupis on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Here is Senator Patrick Leahy:
As Sen. Majority Leader
Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) introduced
a bill Tuesday night that would reauthorize through 2020 a
controversial Patriot Act provision allowing unwarranted government
surveillance, Democratic opponents and civil liberties advocates are
demanding an end to the NSA's expansive spying operations.
The provision, Section
215, which gives the NSA legal justification to conduct bulk phone
records collection, is set to expire June 1.
leaders should be working across the aisle on legislation that protects
both our national security and Americans' privacy rights, but instead
they are trying to quietly pass a straight reauthorization of the
bulk-collection program that has been proven ineffective and
unnecessary," Leahy stated on Tuesday. "And more, they are attempting
to do so without the committee process that the majority leader has
promised for important legislation."
I am not amazed. There is
considerably more under the last dotted link.
Guys Pushing THIS WEEK to Promote Global Tyranny Run By Corporations
The next item is an article
by Washington's Blog on his blog:
starts as follows (colors in the original):
There is also this:
Here’s How to STOP Them
The powers-that-be are
pushing this week to fast track a horrible treaty which would destroy
The treaty is called the
Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The U.S. Trade
Representative – the federal agency responsible for negotiating trade
treaties – has said that the details of the TPP are classified due to “national security”.
Why’s the deal being kept
secret? Because it would be impossible
to pass if the public knew what was really in it:
Ron Kirk, until recently Mr. Obama’s top trade official, was
remarkably candid about why he opposed making the text public: doing
so, he suggested to Reuters, would raise such opposition that it could
make the deal impossible to sign.
Senator Elizabeth Warren notes:
Supporters of the deal
say to me, “They have to be secret, because if the American people knew
what was actually in them, they would be opposed.”
But it’s not only being
hidden from the American people … it’s being hidden even from most
U.S. Congress members.
A Congressman who has
seen the text of the treaty says:
There is no national
security purpose in keeping this text secret … this agreement hands the
sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests.
It would also allow
foreign corporations to challenge U.S. laws.
It will literally
override American law. As the New York Times headlines in Trans-Pacific Partnership
Seen as Door for Foreign Suits Against U.S.:
Companies and investors
would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government
actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before
tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.
While it’s falsely called
a “trade agreement”, only 5
out of 29 of TPP’s chapters have anything to do with
trade. And conservatives point
out that even the 5 chapters on trade do not promote free trade.
Bloomberg calls TPP a “corporatist power grab”, “as
transparent as a one-party state,” and shrouded in “Big Brother-like
TPP would increase
the cost of consumer loans, make
prescription drugs more expensive, destroy privacy, harm
food safety, let
Wall Street run amok, make it illegal
to favor local businesses, and – yes – literally
act to destroy the sovereignty of the U.S. and the other nations which sign the bill.
And there is
considerably more under the last dotted link.
5. A War Waged From German Soil: US
Ramstein Base Key in Drone Attacks
item today is an article by Spiegel Staff on Spiegel On Line
starts as follows, and can be seen as a follow-up of an article I
reviewed 5 days ago: Germany
is the Tell-Tale Heart of America’s Drone War that was by Jeremy Scahill,
who also contributed to the present article:
And there is this:
Knowledge is power.
Ignorance often means impotence. But sometimes ignorance can be
comfortable, if it protects from entanglements, conflicts and trouble.
This even applies to the German chancellor.
In the heart of Germany's
Palatinate region -- just a few kilometers from the city of
Kaiserslautern -- the United States maintains its largest military base
on foreign soil. The base is best known as a hub for American troops
making their way to the Middle East.
But another strategic
task of the headquarters of the United States Air Force in Europe
(USAFE) remained a national secret for years. Even the German
government claimed to know nothing when, two years ago, the base became
the subject of suspicion. It was alleged that Ramstein is also an
important center in President Barack Obama's drone war against Islamist
terror. A former pilot claimed that the data for all drone deployments
is routed through the military base.
And then there is this:
position, though, could soon be a thing of the past. Classified
documents that have been viewed by SPIEGEL and The Intercept provide the most detailed blueprint
seen to date of the architecture of Obama's "war on terror."
The documents, which
originate from US intelligence sources and are classified as "top
secret," date from July 2012. A diagram shows how the US government
structures the deployment of drones. Other documents provide
significant insight into how operations in places like Somalia,
Afghanistan, Pakistan or Yemen are carried out. And they show that a
central -- and controversial -- element of this warfare is played out
The graphics show that
Ramstein is involved in virtually every Air Force drone attack.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, the new evidence could be explosive. The air
base in southwestern Germany may resemble a piece of Americana with its
churches, movie theaters, baseball diamonds and park-like golf course,
but it is not an extra-territorial area like the US Embassy in Berlin.
The German government has contractually guaranteed the United States
use of the property, which is surrounded by barbed wire, but only under
the condition that the Americans do nothing there that violates German
There is a lot more in the
article, that is good.