Leak Confirms TTIP a 'Serious Threat to
Democracy as We Know It'
2. Chelsea Manning: ‘Insider Threat’ Program Seeks to
Identify Next Government
3. February Didn't
Just Break Climate Change Records – It
Totally Obliterated Them
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, March 19,
crisis blog. It also is the weekend, and I couldn't find more than
three items I wish to review. So there are today just 3 items with 3 dotted links: Item 1 is about the TTIP (and I repeat myself); item 2
is about a program that the U.S. government said it bases on
characteristics it attributes to Manning, but which are so broad as to
cover everyone, and indeed it seems all government employees are or
will be researched in this way; and item 3 is about
the (apparent?) fact that the earth seems to be warming up much faster
than was foreseen in the Paris talks of 2015.
1. Latest Leak Confirms TTIP a
'Serious Threat to Democracy as We Know It'
first item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common
This starts as follows:
It so happened that I have explained several
times why I think these - still mostly secret (!) - "trade
deals" are not trade deals but are in fact best seen
EU member states and the European
Parliament will be "sidelined" in favor of big business and U.S.
interests should the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
(TTIP) go through, according
to a leaked document revealed Friday.
The leak, of the corporate-friendly trade deal's
draft chapter on "regulatory cooperation" between the EU and U.S., was
made public by The Independent and Brussels-based campaign
group Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO).
It exposes "a labyrinth of procedures
that could tie up any EU proposals that go against U.S. interests," as The
Independent put it, as well as "the extent to which major
corporations and industry groups will be able to influence the
development of regulatory cooperation."
as attempts by the very rich and their lawyers to kill all national
states, all effective national government, all national laws, by
effectively making these subject to the beliefs that the
CEOs of multi-national corporations have about the amounts of profits
that they should get: If it is not
enough, they can block each and any national law, each and any national
decision, and force all European states either to be like Texas or
Kansas, or else to pay hundreds of millions or several billions to the
CEOs of multi-national corporations.
In other words: It is an explicit fascistic project to give
almost all powers to the chiefs of the multi-national corporations,
and to take these powers away from the national governments,
national parliaments and national judiciaries, and thereby from
each and every inhabitant of every European nation.
That is what these secret "trade deals" are really
Shifting all these powers to the very few CEOs (and their
of the multi-national corporations, and making Europe as enlightened,
as free, as civilised, as moral and as rational as Texas or Kansas are
Here is one set of explanations by me, from January 2, 2016. You don't need
to believe me, but here is Kenneth Haar, who is a researcher fot the
Corporate Europe Observatory:
Lengthy procedures, including vetting by
business for possible economic impacts, are thus envisaged for new
regulations. Such measures have already been used informally to weaken
EU ambition on financial sector supervision in the years leading up to
the 2008 collapse, to offer a free pass to US companies on personal
data protection, and to delay or water down EU proposals on animal
testing and aviation emissions.
This leaked document from the
negotiations confirms fears that the Commission will be obliged to
consult with US authorities before adopting new legislative proposals
while EU Member States and the European Parliament are sidelined. The
leak also offers a glimpse at the proposed bureaucratic labyrinth of
impact assessments, dialogues, consultations and reviews that could tie
up any proposals that go against US business interests.
Again I note that the TTIP still is mostly
secret, though it seems to follow from the above two
paragraphs that it (or considerations like it) have been used already
prior to 2008 to force Europe to be more like the USA.
And there is also this:
In short, he said, "this document
shows how TTIP's regulatory cooperation will facilitate big business
influence—and U.S. influence—on lawmaking before a proposal is even
presented to parliaments."
Nick Dearden, executive director of
Global Justice Now, told The Independent: "The leak
absolutely confirms our fears about TTIP. It's all about giving big
business more power over a very wide range of laws and regulations."
As such, Haar added, the TTIP represents "a
serious threat to democracy as we know it."
Yes, indeed. And the reasons are indicated
above: National democracies, national government, national
judiciaries, and national parliaments will all be made almost
All that matters are the - unappealable
(!) - decisions of the lawyers of the multi-national corporations who
act as judges in the special "courts", to which no one can
apply that does not represent a multi-national corporation;
and all that matters to these "courts" is whether or not the profits
of the multi- national corporations are as high as their CEOs expected.
And if not, the people of the
nations whose democratic decisions have been made almost totally
irrelevant will be made to pay many millions or
billions to support the profits of the multi-national corporations.
That is the schema, and it seems to
be approved by most of both the American and the European politicians.
I do not know for how much
money or power to them, for these things are generally kept secret,
like the TTIP, but I take it the sums have been quite
Here is how the TTIP will work:
Just last month, a report from
Global Justice Now and the Netherlands-headquartered Transnational
how the TTIP would undermine national sovereignty by hampering
governments' ability to enact effective and fair tax systems to finance
vital public services. Also last month, heavily redacted documents
obtained by the Guardian revealed
that European officials had assured ExxonMobil that the pending U.S.-EU
trade agreement would force the removal of regulatory "obstacles"
worldwide, thus opening up even more countries to exploitation by the
fossil fuel empire.
Why are nations not
free anymore to democratically elect their own taxes? Because this
might harm the expected profits of multi-national corporations.
Why will ExxonMobil get all it wants from 2017 onwards, if
there is TTIP then? Because all laws that could bind them will be
removed nearly everywhere by the TTP, the TTIP, the TiSA or the
And why will every European who is not a multi-millionaire be
effectively a slave of the multi-millioniares or billionaires who head
the multi-national corporations, if the TTIP is accepted?
Because their "European officials" have been bought to make
At least that is what I think,
which also makes me glad to have been born in 1950 and not considerably
Manning: ‘Insider Threat’ Program Seeks to Identify Next Government
is by Alexander Reed Kelly on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The U.S. government is
investigating thousands of its employees (whom it has placed under
permanent surveillance) for signs of “greed,” “ego,” money worries,
disgruntlement or other problems—all in the hope of preventing the next
big leak, a document obtained by whistleblower Chelsea Manning reveals.
Yes and no: Yes, the U.S. government is
investigating its employees, but no:
I think it would be quite naive to accept the statements the
U.S. government makes about its own actions:
It seems to me they are not so much out to find whistleblowers, though
that too is a consideration, as to control that each and everyone
of their employees behaves, and thinks, and feels
as the government desires them to behave, and think and feel.
It is a totalitarian
program, in other words, that goes far beyond finding
Here is a quote from Pilkington in The Guardian:
The extent of the government’s internal
surveillance system designed to prevent massive leaks of the sort
linked to WikiLeaks and the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is
revealed in the document, published here by the Guardian for the first
time. The US soldier, who is serving 35 years in military prison as the
source of the 2010 WikiLeaks disclosure of secret state documents,
requested her own intelligence file under freedom of information laws.
The file was compiled under the “Insider
Threat” program that was set up by President Obama in the wake of
Manning’s disclosures. The file shows that officials have been using
Manning’s story as a case study from which they have built a profile of
the modern official leaker in the hope of catching future disclosures
before they happen.
At the start of the 31-page file,
government officials list the eight characteristics that agents should
look for in employees as telltale signs that they might be tempted to
reveal state secrets. The character traits are called “Insider Threat
Speaking as a psychologist: This is utter
baloney. What the government did
was derive a set of - presumed, asserted - characteristics of Manning,
they - falsely, I think, and without any evidence I can see - declare
to be valid as markers for deviants that they do not want.
That covers several fallacies of generalization and is quite
unscientific. Also, here is the list of characteristics:
These may or may not be characteristics of
Manning, but in any case they are so broad as to
cover almost anyone, for anyone
has financial motives, has emotional motives like revenge or
anger, does have some ideology, will have some divided loyalties, is
probably vulnerable to blackmail (with everything known about one!),
does have an ego or self and a family, is a person, and may also be
(U) Insider Threat Motives
- Greed or financial difficulties
- Disgruntled or wants revenge
- Divided loyalties
- Vulnerable to blackmail
- Ego/Self Image
- Family/personal issues
And indeed Manning pointed this out:
Manning said that the use of subjective
labels in her file such as "greed", "disgruntlement" and "ideology"
meant that virtually every government employee could be targeted under
Threat Program. "The broad sweep of the program means officials have
been given a blank check for surveillance"
Precisely: They want everyone
to be surveilled as much as possible, both by the NSA (in
secret) and by all one's colleagues (also in secret), and they
want this in order to be abled to pick out anyone who does not
think, feel and desire as the government thinks they should.
Manning also wrote that the program
I think she is right about the real intent.
And according to lawyer Jocelyn Raddack Insider Threat is a form of
"works against innovation, creativity
and the prevention of institutional corruption. Perhaps this is the
real intent... to
instill fear and project dominance throughout the intelligence
community, the military and among government employees
and contractors at large.
"modern-day McCarthyism that has
friends and colleagues spy on and report each other. It effectively
stifles workplace free speech, dissent and is openly trying to deter
Yes. And it will make the U.S. government totalitarian,
if it isn't already.
3. February Didn't Just Break Climate Change Records – It
Totally Obliterated Them
The third and last item today is by James Dyke on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
And another one bites the dust. The year
2014 was the warmest
ever recorded by humans. Then 2015 was warmer
still. January 2016 broke
the record for the largest monthly temperature anomaly. Then came
February didn’t break climate change
records – it obliterated
them. Regions of the Arctic were were more than 16℃ warmer than
normal – whatever constitutes normal now. But what is really making
people stand up and notice is that the surface of the Earth north of
the equator was 2℃ warmer than pre-industrial temperatures. This was
meant to be a line that must not be crossed.
In fact, the "line
that must not be crossed"
dates back to ... December of last year (a bit over 3 months ago), when
I also reviewed the
"Landmark Climate Accord in Paris"
on the 13th of that month, and found absolutely nothing in it
worthy of belief.
Then again, I had not expected that it would be effectively
refuted within 3 months, although that now seems to be the case with
results as sensational (and as disquieting) as quoted above.
Of course, one might always react like a
GOP-senator, and insist "one doesn't believe in climate change" (which
is about as rational and as reasonable as insisting that "one
doesn't believe" that 1 is larger than 0, and about as rational
as insisting that one's untutored, unscientific and unfounded beliefs
in anything one hardly knows shit about, nevertheless are
rational and worthy of respect, which is just crap),
and one also may start questioning the 2 degrees C threshold, as James
Dyke does, who teaches complex systems at an English university:
The safe–unsafe threshold of 2℃
recognises the significant amount of uncertainty there is over where
dangerous warming really begins. It could be at more than 2℃. Hopefully
it is. But it’s not impossible that it
Perhaps. But it seems to me that this
threshold anyway was much more political than ecological
anyway, for in terms of the environment there are far
more things going on than a mere rise in temperature, and they have
been going on for a relatively long time, in human terms: Since the
1950ies or before, when Aldous Huxley
and Rachel Carson
put the environment on the public map, to an extent at least.
Then again, it seems that most men just are
not interested in the climate, the ecology, or the environment.
Thus, there are the political and legal
scientific ignorants with political power:
But what’s even scarier is the
political, economic and social reaction to these landmarks in climate
Have you heard any political speeches
referring to these recent climate change records? Not one of the major
Republican presidential candidates even “believes” in
human-produced climate change, let alone that it is something to worry
But if your own ignorance
allows you to upset a scientific treatment of a problem, your are a
dangerous idiot. But it is no news Republican presidential candidates
are all such dangerous idiots.
In any case: It seems as if the Paris talks were based on a norm - "Not
More Than 2 Degrees Celsius More!" - that after slightly more than
seems to have been too low.