By Flush the TPP. On February 4, 2016, President Obama will sign the TransPacific Partnership (TPP). The signing ceremony will be held in Auckland, New Zealand. Following the signing, Congress will still have to pass implementing legislation before the TPP can be put into place. The Obama administration is currently writing that legislation and is expected to send it to Congress as soon as it anticipates having enough votes to pass it. That can happen any time after Obama signs the TPP. The TPP implementing legislation could be sent to Congress as early as February 5 and as late as after the elections in the fall. It all depends on when Obama and leadership believe they have the votes.
By PSE Healthy Energy. Oakland, California (January 27, 2016) – New analysis from PSE Healthy Energy and University of California at Berkeley finds that increased deployment of renewable energy is the best way to meet or even surpass Clean Power Plan targets, as recent scientific measurements of methane leaks from natural gas systems have found higher rates of leakage than those recorded in official inventories. States that plan to depend on switching their electricity generation from coal to natural gas under the Clean Power Plan risk failure to achieve meaningful greenhouse gas reductions.
By William T. Hathaway for Popular Resistance. As the viciousness of capitalism engulfs ever more of us, our yearnings for change are approaching desperation. The system's current leader, Barack Obama, has shown us that the only change we can believe in is what we ourselves create. To do that, we need to know what is possible in our times and what isn't. The bitter probability is that none of us will see a society in which we'd actually want to live. Even the youngest of us will most likely have to endure an increasingly unpleasant form of capitalism. Despite its recurring crises, this system is still too strong, too adaptable, and has too many supporters in all classes for it to be overthrown any time soon. We're probably not going to be the ones to create a new society.
By Ellen Brown for her blog. How can banking be made to serve the needs of the people and the economy, while preserving the more functional aspects of today’s highly sophisticated global banking system? Perhaps it is time to reconsider the proposals of the early populists. The direct approach to “occupying” the banks is to simply step into their shoes and make them public utilities. Insolvent megabanks can be nationalized – as they were before 2008. Making banks public utilities can happen on a local level as well. States and cities can establish publicly-owned depository banks on the highly profitable and efficient model of the Bank of North Dakota. Public banks can partner with community banks to direct credit where it is needed locally; and they can reduce the costs of government by recycling bank profits for public use, eliminating outsized Wall Street fees and obviating the need for derivatives to mitigate risk.
By Robert J. Burrowes for Popular Resistance. 'The Secure and the Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World' brings together a thoughtful collection of scholars, journalists and activists to explain the pre-eminence of the military and corporations in shaping the global response to the climate catastrophe as an 'opportunity'. The book examines how for the security/military-industrial complex 'climate change is just the latest in a long line of threats constructed in such a way as to consolidate its grip on power and public finance.' For corporations, the risk posed by climate change is an opportunity for profit as they promise us 'food security', 'water security', 'energy security' … even if it is at the expense of equity and justice and has 'disastrous implications for the security of human lives and dignity'. For the security industry, for example, it is an opportunity to offer governments an endless supply of resilience and disaster-related services that have little to do with human security, if your concern is ordinary people.
By Henoko Nonviolet Action. How amazingly a Nonviolent struggle in Henoko has been a success to close 2 days a week. People started to pile the concrete blocks in front of the gate for stopping the construction vehicles. How amazingly a Nonviolent struggle in Henoko has been a success to close 2 days a week. People started to pile the concrete blocks in front of the gate for stopping the construction vehicles. Henoko Block Protest 2 A friend from US arrived yesterday to join the Henoko sit-in. We appreciate people from outside of Japan come and join this struggle. We hope that more & more foreign friends come and join us. How amazingly a Nonviolent struggle in Henoko has been a success to close 2 days a week. People started to pile the concrete blocks in front of the gate for stopping the construction vehicles. Henoko Block Protest 2 A friend from US arrived yesterday to join the Henoko sit-in. We appreciate people from outside of Japan come and join this struggle. We hope that more & more foreign friends come and join us. Henoko Block Protest 3 Finally, Henoko is becoming an artistic. We started to paint on concrete blocks. Please come & paint a block for peace.
Reuters published inThe Guardian. A Greek second-tier league match was delayed on Friday when players staged a sit-down protest against the death toll of migrants trying to reach the Aegean islands. The gesture of solidarity took place before the game between AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos in the Thessalian city of Larissa. As the match kicked off all 22 players plus coaches and substitutes sat in silence for two minutes in a show of respect to the hundreds of refugees who have lost their lives trying to escape conflict or persecution in countries such as Syria and Iraq. An announcement over the club’s PA system stated: “The administration of AEL, the coaches and the players will observe two minutes of silence just after the start of the match in memory of the hundreds of children who continue to lose their lives every day in the Aegean due to the brutal indifference of the EU and Turkey.
By Staff for CBS 2. More than 1,000 longshoremen walked off the job at area ports Friday afternoon. During the walkout, which lasted several hours, overseas shipments stuck at ports in New York City, Elizabeth, Newark and Jersey City. The ports handle a total of 3.3 million containers a year, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported. The Port Authority closed the terminals to incoming trucks, causing heavy traffic backups. One truck driver was able to get into the Bayonne port, but then he wasn’t allowed out, Haskell reported. “The ILA and the New York Shipping Association – our employers, it’s not just the workers, but also the owners of the companies that generate the jobs and generates money for the economy, both sides have been fighting the Waterfront Commission, especially in the last five years, over the right to bring new workers on, the right to operate their ports the way they think they should be operated,” Jim McNamara of the International Longshoreman’s Association told 1010 WINS. “They’ve had enough, they told me they’re taking this action to demonstrate their displeasure.”
By Staff of Corporate Europe Observatory. The ongoing EU-US trade negotiations, TTIP, seek to bring rules on both sides of the Atlantic together by means of so-called regulatory cooperation. This part of the talks involves dismantling existing “regulatory barriers” and preventing new ones from emerging with public interest regulations having to go through lengthy procedures, including vetting by business for possible impacts on trade. It has sparked concerns that the trade deal will lead to attacks on environmental protections, safety at work regulations, and laws to defend public health and food safety– to name but a few. Our latest report finds that regulatory cooperation procedures have already been used to delay, water down and prevent legislation in the public interest. It thus confirms this critique.
By Daniel Lak for Al Jazerra. Afederal Human Rights Tribunal issued a stinging ruling. For decades, the tribunal found, children living on reserves - aboriginal communities mandated by historic treaties between Ottawa and tribal groups - have been denied support, services and funding that every other Canadian child can count on. It's no surprise. In almost every category imaginable, Canada's aboriginal people - defined as First Nations, mixed-race Metis and the Inuit of the Arctic - fare poorly against the rest of the population.n Here's where we find signs of hope. Consider that phrase "taking matters into their own hands". Many aboriginal Canadians are acting to make change happen themselves, faster than governments and much faster than non-aboriginal society.
By Amanda Starbuck for Center for Effective Government. The Center for Effective Government released a new report and interactive map to coincide with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. The report demonstrates that the struggle for social justice is far from over. Across the country people of color and the poor are disproportionately impacted by chemical facility hazards, and in many areas, the amount of inequality is profound. We mapped all 12,000+ facilities reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Program (RMP). These facilities use large enough amounts of extremely hazardous chemicals that they must submit risk and response plans to the EPA. Communities near these facilities face the greatest danger from a toxic chemical release or explosion and are often exposed to toxic emissions on a daily basis. We compared the demographics of people living within one mile of these dangerous facilities to the rest of the population. The results are stark.
By Lorraine Chow for EcoWatch. Seattle joins the growing list of cities in the American West that has slapped Monsanto with a PCB lawsuit. PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, is a highly toxic chemical that the company manufactured decades ago. The complaint, filed on Monday with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleges that Monsanto knew that the chemicals were polluting the environment and causing harm to people and wildlife, said Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes. Monsanto has faced a spate of PCB contamination lawsuits over the decades and several this year alone. In 2015, the cities of Spokane, San Diego, San Jose and Oakland also sued the company over PCB-contaminated sites. It has been reported that Monsanto allegedly knew that PCBs were toxic well before the 1979 ban but continued production of the profitable compound anyway. Think Progress reported: "In a 1970 internal memo, agrochemical giant Monsanto alerted its development committee to a problem: Polychlorinated Biphenyls—known as PCBs—had been shown to be a highly toxic pollutant."
By Derek Royden for Occupy - It was February of 1848 when what came to be called “The Spring of Nations” and “The Year of Revolution” began. The first revolt was in France, then the unrest spread to nearby countries and eventually as far afield as Latin America. The reasons for the uprisings varied, but an unaccountable aristocracy and increasing food shortages united the middle and lower classes in most of these places to demand change. When the smoke cleared, some progress had been made, but the alliance between the middle and lower classes soon broke in most areas as their interests diverged.
By William K. Black for New Economic Perspectives - I am writing to announce the formation of a new group and a policy initiative that we hope many of our readers will support and help publicize. Gary Aguirre, Bill Black, Richard Bowen, and Michael Winston are the founding members of the Bank Whistleblowers’ Group. We are all from the general field of finance and we are all whistleblowers who are unemployable in finance and financial regulation because we spoke truth to power and committed the one unforgivable sin of being repeatedly proved correct.