democracynow – Senate Finance Committee leaders Republican Orrin Hatch and Democrat Ron Wyden are expected to introduce a “fast-track” trade promotion authority bill as early as this week that would give the president authority to negotiate the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and then present it to Congress for a yes-or-no vote, with no amendments allowed. On Wednesday, more than 1,000 labor union members rallied on Capitol Hill to call on Democrats to oppose “fast-track” authority. We speak with two people closely following the proposed legislation: Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, and Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat from Florida.
WikiLeaks releases today the “Investment Chapter” from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014).
Social critic and peace activist Noam Chomsky is the most cited public intellectual of today.
His works in linguistics, philosophy and cognitive science have earned him the title the “father of modern linguistics”. His critical publications on mass media, politics and globalization have put him on the forefront of civil activism starting as anti-war activist in the 1960s and now as supporter of the Occupy movement.
You’ve heard the refrain “we live in the information age.” We have fingertip access to the Internet, providing us with massive amounts of information. There are no longer any excuses for us to say we don’t have the information; it is there, but up to us to act on the information.
The Executive justifies its actions, like all authoritarian institutions, on the grounds that it is protecting us. We must reverse the tide.
“America no longer has a functioning democracy. This invasion of privacy has been excessive, so bringing it to public notice has probably been beneficial —President Jimmy Carter
Millions of Americans will face a basic question in the coming decade: how much loyalty do we owe a U.S. Executive Branch which extracts huge sums from us to spy upon and lie to us, on the false grounds that doing so is protecting us? Or do we owe our moral allegiance to the ideal of democracy, which requires us to fight the Executive which is its enemy?
President Barack Obama has been a major disappointment to a liberal community that rallied to his call for genuine change. His administration has made no attempt to investigate the crimes that were committed by the Bush administration, including torture and abuse, secret prisons and renditions. President Obama rescued Wall Street, but not Main Street. And he has expanded the self-destructive war in Afghanistan, where there is no end in sight. President Obama cannot be blamed for the failure to close Guantanamo, but he continues to favor preventive detention. But the president’s most inexplicable failure, in view of his Harvard Law School background and commitment to constitutional rights, is his unwillingness to name a statutory inspector general (IG) at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The new military space plane, called the X-37B, was launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral strapped to an Atlas V rocket. The X-37 will spend up to 270 days in space before landing at Vandenberg AFB in California. The space plane will mostly fly on “autopilot” since there is no human inside the craft.
Meanwhile yesterday at Vandenberg AFB, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) also test launched another space plane – the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, known as the Falcon.