Posts tagged Power
Anti-Protest Law Passes in Australia – Punishment Includes Fines and Imprisonment
The Australian state of Victoria has just passed an extremely anti-democractic law criminalizing protest (recall Japan and Spain moved to do the same late last year). For those of you unfamiliar with Australian geography, Victoria is one of Australia’s five states. It is the second most populous and includes the city of Melbourne (a city of four million), so this isn’t some parched piece of land near Ayers rock with more kangaroos than people.
It is very disturbing that this is happening in 2014 in a Western “democracy.” It demonstrates two interrelated social trends. That the “people” are waking up to elite corruption, and the power structure is terrified that their bullshit propaganda is no longer effective. The friendly mask of government is coming off…
The Victoria state government in Australia passed a law Tuesday that will give unprecedented amounts of power to police to suppress protests. The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill passed through the Victorian parliament despite heavy opposition within the general population. During the legislative proceedings alone, police arrested four protesters in the legislative chamber’s public viewing chamber for causing disturbances.
“Despite heavy opposition within the general population.” Silly serfs, you think what you want matters?
Under the new law, police can order protesters to disperse if they are blocking the entrance to a building, obstructing people or traffic, or most notably, if the police expect the protesters to turn violent. The penalty for violating orders to move ranges from a $720 fine to arrest and imprisonment. Under the new law, police would also be able to obtain exclusion orders banning protesters from certain public places for a period of 12 months; the violation of which carries a maximum jail sentence of two years.
Take note of the word “expect.” The police can simply “expect” than any protest they don’t want happening will turn violent. What a sad joke.
Follow Mike on Twitter.
Image courtesy of domdeen at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Dozens of lawmakers related to big time lobbyists – Billions of dollars in fees (Video)
“It’s not just about staying in office because you like the power. It’s about staying in office because it generates huge amounts of cash for your family.”
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
Congressmen Oppose Fast Track & Trans-Pacific Partnership
Last week, House Representative Tim Bishop met with union leaders, environmentalists and various activists to join forces against the fast track being debated in Congress concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
To the attendees, Bishop said: “I urge my colleagues in Congress to do something, to see to it that we help to create an economy that creates good, solid, middle-class jobs. This agreement takes us in the opposite direction.”
Bishop wrote a letter to President Obama stating that he and 150 other members of the House reject the fast track.
John Rizzo, chief economist for the Long Island Association (LIA) commented: “International trade fosters increased competition, and thus lowers prices for both consumers and businesses. However, he also said some companies wouldn’t be able to withstand greater competition and likely would lay off workers and in some cases, shut down. There are costs and benefits to free trade; it’s not a slam dunk.”
Leaked documents showing the second draft of the TPP highlight how nations differ on issues of intellectual property; specifically that the US is attempting to usurp control over intellectual property rights.
These differences extend to matters of law, rulemaking and the environment.
On one hand the US is pushing for climate change reforms, while opposing other environmental protections.
US negotiators are vying for the interests of:
• American based corporations
• Big tobacco
• Big pharma
• Silicon Valley
• Oil corporations
• Beef producers
• Corporate dairy farmers
• Rice producers
• Textile manufacturers
• Wall Street bankers
One point of the TPP is to ensure sovereignty among corporations which is why they have been integral in the creation of the drafts while schmoozing those they deem having power to sway the final document as in their best interests.
The TPP is shaping up to be a viable model for the future of subversive governance where corporate-backing and back-door deals are the only leverage to back decisions on Capitol Hill.
In other words, the TPP will cement corporatism as the new standard by which governments operate.
The opposition to the TPP is organized and ready to speak out against the secret negotiations that will change the course of trade across the globe.
Those partnering against the TPP include:
• Public Citizen
• Demand Progress
• Open Media International
• Progressive Democrats of America
• International Forum on Globalization
• GMO Free USA
• Organic Consumers Association
David Thomas, vice president of trade policy at the Business Roundtable (BR), explained that the TPP is simply just “another trade pact [like] the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, [and] will open markets with nearly 1 billion consumers for U.S. companies and workers.”
In February, negotiations regarding the TPP will resume .
Meeting at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister and Michael Froman, the US trade representative said that the US and Japan will work closely together during the conclusion of the TPP talks.
Media claims that “after years of sensitive multilateral talks, any congressional meddling would torpedo the agreement. Populists on the left and right fear trade agreements like these for a variety of overlapping reasons. The left fears a corporate takeover of the political sphere, the right fears the erosion of national sovereignty. Both fear the disappearance or weakening of certain national industries.”
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) call the TPP, “NAFTA on steroids.”
The National Farmers Union (NFU) opposes the fast track because this authoritarian power “would allow trade agreements to move through Congress with limited debate and without amendments.”
Image credit: http://www.occupycorporatism.com
About the author:
Get Konnected With The Kronies
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programing to bring you more of the same, but in a manner that you will enjoy better than the real thing. Get Konnected at http://www.thekronies.com.
Published by The Kronies
The Kronies are in action…Mandating, Tarrify-ing, Inflating, and Boondoggling their way to profits powered by their special konnection to the G-Force. Watch Big-G and his team stomp out competition!
Video capture added to original post.
Bush and Obama have different flavors. But both are crony capitalists. Bush was the Republican version, Obama is the Democrat version. Both have sought to more closely link business and government, to expand the presidency and bureaucracy, and to reduce the inherent freedoms of the American people.
They both like power. They both (I believe anyway) see the Constitution as something to get around, not something to celebrate. Both have taken this country down a very dangerous path.
(From Real Clear Politics)
The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power in every single branch.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
The Battle for Power on the Internet: Bruce Schneier at TEDxCambridge 2013
Published by TEDxTalks
Bruce Schneier gives us a glimpse of the future of the internet, and shares some of the context we should keep in mind, and the insights we need to understand, as we prepare for it. Learn more about Bruce Schneier at https://www.schneier.com and TEDxCambridge at http://www.tedxcambridge.com.
Posted by Robert Wenzel
The Yin and Yang of Government Power
One of the areas where government would like to have absolute control is in the area of money creation. By having control of money creation, the government can, of course, control a monetary spigot that allows it to spend well beyond its ability to the raise funds via taxation and borrowing.
That said, it is instructive to understand the many ways the free market is attempting to circumvent government monopoly of money control. It is an object lesson in understanding that government is not all powerful and that there is a yin and yang to government power. At times, there can be a major jump in government power in a sector, but, over time, a counter response from the free market can occur that is difficult for the government to understand and defeat. Below is an important TED talk delivered by Paul Kemp-Robertson. He discusses the many points of free market responses to government money. He is a little weak in understanding completely how and why these currencies are emerging and doesn’t seem to understand their emergence in relation to Ludwig von Mises’ Regression Theorem, but it is a solid tour of the early-stage free market counter punch to government money.
Taken with a wide spectrum view, it is a great sign of hope that shows how free markets can emerge to counter government power.
Follow more of Robert’s posts here.
By CBC News
Big Brother’s power is building, warns George Orwell biographer
‘Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning. He felt that if someone didn’t sound the alarm loudly enough, eventually a lot of the freedoms he cherished would be lost.’
Earlier this month, the most talked about novelist in the English language wasn’t Dan Brown, Stephen King or George R. R. Martin and his Game of Thrones series. It was George Orwell, whose most famous novel, 1984, saw its sales spike by a reported 7,000 per cent.
Of course, this happened after Edward Snowden pulled back the curtain on a massive surveillance program in which the U.S. National Security Agency could scour the data on the cellphone and internet activity of U.S. citizens. Terms like Orwellian and Big Brother became ubiquitous in the media and everyday conversation.
- NSA surveillance leaker charged with espionage, theft
- Neil Macdonald: Obama’s whistleblower conundrum
- Why the U.S. hasn’t nabbed Edward Snowden yet
- Canadians react to U.S. surveillance program leak
That came as no surprise to Michael Shelden, a professor of English at Indiana State University and the author of Orwell: The Authorized Biography.
“People realize that this problem of Big Brother watching you is not going to go away,” professor Shelden told The Sunday Edition’s guest host, Kevin Sylvester.
“It’s an incredible phrase. I think we’ve taken it for granted for many years, but it probably is one of the most prophetic things said in a novel in the past hundred years.”
Orwell, professor Shelden pointed out, is still the reference point whenever stories emerge about surveillance of the public and increasing government controls over civilian populations.
“Orwell is the one who saw this. He’s the one who got it right. Orwell could see how the power would accumulate and would be imposed whether you wanted it imposed or not. There was a certain acquiescence, of course, but he once said, ‘The object of power is power.’”
But after the initial burst of outrage at the growing appetite of governments for surveillance and data on their citizens in the name of fighting terrorism, there’s also a sense that a lot of people are not all that upset. Many people still happily make their private lives very public on social media and pay little heed to the omnipresent security cameras in the public sphere.
And a survey by the Pew Research Centre found that a majority of Americans think that tracking phone records to investigate potential terror threats is more important than the right to privacy.
“We have a situation now where a lot of people take this kind of intrusion into our private lives increasingly for granted. I don’t think we should,” said professor Shelden.
“Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning. He felt that if someone didn’t sound the alarm loudly enough, eventually a lot of the freedoms he cherished would be lost, and people would wake up one day and wonder where they’d gone.”
You can hear Kevin Sylvester’s full interview with Michael Shelden about the vision and continued relevance of George Orwell on The Sunday Edition’s site, or through the link at the top-left of this story.
Copyright © CBC 2013
Republished with permission.
Listen to the interview
Even The New York Times editorial page turns on President Obama
The AP thing got their ears perked. Now with the recent NSA revelations even the Grey Lady, bastion of liberal statism, The New York Times, says the president has gone too far. It’s pretty hard for a liberal president to lose The Times but Obama seems to have done it, for at least this moment in time.
(From The New York Times)
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.
Nigel Farage speaks to François Hollande (Feb 2013)