Sunday, December 8, 2013

13-11-08 Elizabeth Warren against TPP!

===Elizabeth Warren against TPP!===

Elizabeth Warren to Congress: Don't renew "fast track" authority 

The White House and the U.S. Trade Representative are urging Congress to abdicate some of its power over approval of trade agreements by renewing "fast track" authority. Fast track would allow the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership to leapfrog customary legislative protocol and be put to a rapid "up or down" vote without a public hearing, floor debate, or amendments. Forcing Congress to vote on an agreement this complex without adequate time for open hearings, review, and public scrutiny, sets a dangerous precedent. Congress, we urge you: just say NO to fast track!


Partisan punditry/ trolling distractions aside...

The issue at hand is what is on the board, and what does the public know about it.

If the US public knows anything about their rights, bought and sold, in the current TPP proposal,  it is thanks to one Mr Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, hiding from US authorities, who have already threatened to kill him if they got him, in the Ecuadorian Embassy (a true one, not a Benghazi fake) in London, which the London Police threatened to invade to get him, but were held back in the last minute by a threat from the Organization of Latin American Nations.  And there is also a scene with two Swedish blondes, simultaneously pleasing the same rascal Assange.

This is not Thousand Nights and a Night, the movie remake, this is not the propaganda story for purging some US generals, this is real life in the 21st century...
Where exactly does it leave the US today in the realm of civilized societies? 

I would say dictatorial.

13-12-08 Hello world!

12/8 @ 4:08 : Mountain View, California, US
12/8 @ 3:08 : Tel Aviv, IL
12/8 @ 2:22 : Pinellas Park, Florida, US
12/8 @ 1:58 : Redmond, Washington, US
12/8 @ 11:58 : Israel, IL
12/8 @ 10:53 : Los Angeles, California, US
12/8 @ 9:05 : United Kingdom, GB
12/8 @ 6:54 : Floréal, MU
12/8 @ 5:49 : San Francisco, California, US
12/8 @ 2:39 : Berlin, DE

13-12-08 "War on Drugs" - Dutch style...

Why does it make so much sense?  And why can't the same be done for a variety of other substances, pot first?
One answer is clear: It would reduce prison population dramatically, while states are bound by contracts with private prison owners to keep them full... 

Amsterdam Has a Deal for Alcoholics: Work Paid in Beer

Jasper Juinen for The New York Times
A group of alcoholics in Amsterdam are given beer during breaks from their street-cleaning job.
World Twitter Logo. 

Connect With Us on Twitter 

Follow@nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines.
Jasper Juinen for The New York Times
Fred Schiphorst, 60, at left, making his rounds last week. “I’m not proud of being an alcoholic, but I am proud to have a job again.” Mr. Schiphorst used to be a construction worker.

Readers’ Comments

"I've seen these people (I live next to the park they talk about), and they are far from falling-in-the-street drunk. Just a bit more jovial than your average street cleaners."
Elysia, Amsterdam
“You have to look sharp,” said Mr. Schiphorst, 60, a former construction worker.
His workday begins unfailingly at 9 a.m. — with two cans of beer, a down payment on a salary paid mostly in alcohol. He gets two more cans at lunch and then another can or, if all goes smoothly, two to round off a productive day.
“I’m not proud of being an alcoholic, but I am proud to have a job again,” said Mr. Schiphorst, the grateful beneficiary of an unusual government-funded program to lure alcoholics off the streets by paying them in beer to pick up trash.
In addition to beer — the brand varies depending on which brewery offers the best price — each member of the cleaning team gets half a packet of rolling tobacco, free lunch and 10 euros a day, or about $13.55.
The program, started last year by the Rainbow Foundation , a private but mostly government-funded organization that helps the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics get back on their feet, is so popular that there is a long waiting list of chronic alcoholics eager to join the beer-fueled cleaning teams.
One of the project’s most enthusiastic supporters is Fatima Elatik, district mayor of eastern Amsterdam. As a practicing Muslim who wears a head scarf, Ms. Elatik personally disapproves of alcohol but says she believes that alcoholics “cannot be just ostracized” and told to shape up. It is better, she said, to give them something to do and restrict their drinking to a limited amount of beer with no hard alcohol.
Conservative members of the Amsterdam City Council have derided what they call the “beer project” as a waste of government money and a misguided extension of a culture of tolerance that has already made the city a mecca for marijuana users and spawned Europe’s best-known red-light district.
Hans Wijnands, the director of the Rainbow Foundation, dismissed such complaints as political grandstanding at a time when, even in the Netherlands, “it is becoming more fashionable to support repressive measures.” Alarmed by what it said was a rise in crime caused by liberal drug laws, the Dutch government announced a plan in 2010 to bar foreigners from buying cannabis in so-called coffee shops, which sell marijuana and hashish legally. Amsterdam’s mayor ordered city police to ignore the ban, which was supposed to go into effect nationwide this year.
The idea of providing alcoholics with beer in return for work, he said, was first tried in Canada. It took off in the Netherlands in part because the country has traditionally shunned “zero tolerance” in response to addiction. Amsterdam now has three districts running beer-for-work street cleaning programs, and a fourth discussing whether to follow suit. Other Dutch cities are looking into the idea, too.
The basic idea is to extend to alcoholics an approach first developed to help heroin addicts, who have for years been provided with free methadone, a less dangerous substitute, in a controlled environment that provides access to health workers and counselors.
“If you just say, ‘Stop drinking and we will help you,’ it doesn’t work,” said Mr. Wijnands, whose foundation gets 80 percent of its financing from the state and runs four drug consumption rooms with free needles for hardened addicts. “But if you say, ‘I will give you work for a few cans of beer during the day,’ they like it.”
To shield the government from criticism that it is subsidizing drinking, the Rainbow Foundation insists that it pays for the beer given to Mr. Schiphorst and his fellow alcoholics out of its own funds. “For the government, it is hard to say, ‘We buy beer for a particular group of people,’ because other people will say, ‘I would like some beer, too,’ ” Mr. Wijnands said.

13-12-08 BENGHAZI: Not fake diplomats any longer, only a fake teacher...

Although the cover story of a "Consulate", or even an "Embassy" in Benghazi was debunked, it is still circulating.
However, the latest cover for a slain CIA agent in Benghazi is a "teacher"...    In all such cases, people, who engage in covert, undeclared warfare are depicted as innocent victims of violence.
American shot in Benghazi is allegedly CIA agent - Libyan sources :
Sources within Libya, including intelligence sources within the Libyan Tribal system have reported that the American shot in Benghazi today Ronald Thomas Smith II was not a teacher as was widely reported. Tribal elders report that currently there are no foreign teachers employed in Libya and that Ronald Smith was in Tripoli meeting John McCain on Tuesday and Wednesday according to sources who were present during the meetings.