Will future military action be confined to relatively inexpensive drone strikes?
Indian official quoted in the Hindu: “If the American intelligence agencies and business corporations are hunting in pairs, we are bound to lose” According to a top secret document disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by The Hindu, the PRISM programme has been deployed by the American agency to gather key information from India by tapping directly into the servers of tech giants which provide services such as email, video sharing, file transfer and social networking services.
The document also records that NSA collected data about subjects ranging from oil to WTO to government policies from several Asian, African and Latin American countries, making it clear that the American spying was focused on commercial and business areas, and not on its stated objective of national security.
America uncovered – endangering food safety, access to medicines and national sovereignty?
A few days ago David Pilling and Shawn Donnan noted in the Financial Times that some suspect American goals are geopolitical as much as commercial. In an article focussing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, it was said that opponents see TPP as a “giant corporate power grab” that would endanger food safety, access to medicines and national sovereignty.
They record that China’s official media have said that the TPP process involves the US in “corralling Pacific nations against Beijing’s interests”, adding that Vali Nasr, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, argues that the US, through its parallel free-trade talks with Europe, “is trying to block off the two biggest areas of global gross domestic product from what Washington considers its main rival”.
Initiatives by the Masters of the World, groundwork done by their lobbyists
America has initiated an EU-US trade deal and both negotiations exclude the people of the states involved. As a comment on the FT article says: “Most of this has been negotiated behind closed doors, including excluding politicians from member states from participating in discussions, and by all accounts Obama wants to further restrict access and opportunity for politicians (who theoretically represent the people) from having input”.
According to Josh Wise, writing in Minnesota’s ‘Star Tribune, these “so-called “free-trade agreements” are going to continue to be a tool for multinational corporations to further deregulate themselves and hamstring local governments and communities in protecting their quality of life”.
He ends, ”Until we can break the corporate stranglehold on trade treaty negotiations, then regardless of who is in the White House or Congress, these deals are only going to continue the global race to the bottom for wages, the environment and consumers”.
The Hindu believes that the flattering rhetoric of close strategic partnerships has been ‘busted’ – will other nations ‘get wise’ and look at actions ‘on the ground’ and their consequences?
Sourceshttp://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nsa-targets-indian-politics-space-nprogrammes/article5161299.ece http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8c253c5c-2056-11e3-b8c6-00144feab7de.html#ixzz2fnADtwRK http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentaries/204582681.html?refer=y .
Tags: Access to medicines, Drone strikes, Edward Snowden, EU-US trade deal, Food safety, Masters of the World, National sovereignty, NSA, Star Tribune, The Financial Times, The Hindu, The PRISM programme, Trans-Pacific Partnership
The new chairman of the Reserve Bank of India calls for an end to his country’s version of ‘crony capitalism’
Raghuram Rajan, professor of finance at the University of Chicago, is the new Governor of the Reserve Bank of India. He has good credentials: a former Chief Economist at the IMF, he warned about the dangers of the US financial bubble as early as 2005. He also described the failings of India’s financial sector in 2008 and the country’s credit bubble in 2012.
The Financial Times reports that he has long called for an end to ‘cronyism’ and last year the NDTV website reproduced an article on this subject from the New York Times, describing “a brazen style of crony capitalism that has enabled politicians and their friends to reap huge profits by gaining control of vast swaths of the country’s natural resources . . . “. Sounds familiar . . .
Though acknowledging Mr Rajan’s record as a critic of cronyism, the Economist believes that he will “have his work cut out to prevent licences going to well-connected tycoons”.
Rampant also in Britain and the United States, there is little hope for a decent life for the ‘man in the street’ in these three countries unless people like Mr Rajan combine to eliminate this ‘brazen style of crony capitalism’.
Adapted from sister site: http://www.chs-sachetan.org/?p=2231
A Lancashire farmer: “We are ruled by an inner circle within a financially driven and ruthlessly competitive establishment.
GM food for the hoi polloi?
The Financial Times reports that though prime minister David Cameron supports Owen Paterson’s advocacy of GM crops, saying there was no evidence that they were inherently unsafe, Downing Street declined to say whether the prime minister would feed such foods to his family.
From the farming sector – said to be so eager to adopt this technology:
I went into my local ironmongers on Monday this week and was horrified to see displayed immediately inside the door a new stand promoting bottles of Roundup available for sale for a few pounds to any unsuspecting individuals when commercial users are regulated.
Yet another large, powerful and uncontrollable corporate body
It seems to me that like many of our social and environmental problems the root cause of this problem is yet another large, powerful and uncontrollable corporate body who acts publicly under cover of highly promoted yet misleading individual corporate responsibility and PR policies, while privately concerned only with maximising volume and numbers to increase personal profit and status disregarding the wider financial, social and environmental impact on others.
The inner circle at the top of corporate bodies and public departments within the establishment have been left largely to their own devices, largely unchecked by elected governing authorities while assisted by the complacent, the apathetic, the unsuspecting, the politically biased and the uninformed.
The unsuspecting, uninformed, and least powerful bear the risk & consequences
While all the risk and responsibility and consequence continues to be transferred, often through small print and disclaimers that may be lengthy and complicated, to the unsuspecting, the uninformed, and the least powerful.
Precious public resource is instead directed at easier more vulnerable targets like small business and individuals and covering issues of less risk or importance controlled through endless pointless or unhelpful regulations that are far easier to apply than tackling the more serious and complex issues within a system corrupted by large corporates on one hand, and top heavy public services on the other.
The lack of action over the extremely serious issue of glyphosate weedkiller – an integral part of Monsanto’s GM technology – is just part of the breakdown within an increasingly corrupt society where the weakest are manipulated and exploited by the propaganda of corporate authority, and the valuable deeds and opinions of the most responsible and conscientious individuals and front line workers count for very little when ruled by an inner circle within a financially driven and ruthlessly competitive establishment.