USTR Says TPP Must Be Kept Secret, Because The Public Is Too Stupid To Understand It

from the democracy-in-action! dept

While TPP negotiators had hoped to finish off the negotiations in Singapore over the past few days, it appears that did not happen, though they claim to have made substantial progress and will meet again next month. From the reports of people there, the negotiators made sure that public interest groups were excluded from even the press briefing about the negotiations, which should tell you all you need to know about what the negotiators think of the public. But, in case you weren't sure, the USTR, Michael Froman, has finally explained why the TPP negotiating positions must be kept secret. Apparently, all of us in the public, are too fucking stupid to understand the important work that he's doing, and we might "misunderstand" it. Therefore, we peons must be kept in the dark, while important people like himself negotiate on our behalf. According to Jamie Love:
Froman said if the text was public, people would misunderstand "negotiating positions."
In other words, the USTR is not a fan of democracy.

If you think the public is too stupid to understand the public policy positions you're negotiating for, then you shouldn't be in that job.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Well excuse me for misunderstanding the extremely tiny bits of information that have leaked. You know what might make me understand? Information.
    Knowledge is required for education, and you don't educate and help people to understand a topic by withholding information.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Jeff (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 10:11am

    Reminds me of...

    "We have to burn this village down to save it"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    The real problem with releasing the details is that the public WILL understand it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Reminds me of...

    I take it you're a fan of None Piece then?
    http://youtu.be/ltp3QMtZizE?t=3m40s

     

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  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    WELL, Mike, so far you fail to understand it's CORPORATISM.

    Yet again, NOT A WORD in this brief piece on how corporations lust for this sovereingty-destroying "free trade" deal.


    The Trans-Pacific Partnership: We Wonít Be Fooled By Rigged Corporate Trade Agreements

    http://www.activistpost.com/2013/10/the-trans-pacific-partnership-we-wont.html


    The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty is the complete opposite of 'free trade'
    The TPP would strip our constitutional rights, while offering no gains for the majority of Americans. It's a win for corporations

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/19/trans-pacific-partnership-corporate -usurp-congress

    Lawyers invented legal fictions called corporations precisely so that crimes can be committed without personal responsibility, only money fines.

    08:17:41[j-290-5]

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    Even if the public really WERE too stupid to understand it (hint: the PUBLIC aren't the stupid ones here), that would just be all the more reason why the negotiators would have failed at their jobs. If the people who are supposed to be following the laws can't understand the laws, it's not the people who are flawed. And all the more irony that this guy is negotiating for more extreme copyright maximalist laws and suggesting that people can't understand THOSE

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    Re: WELL, Mike, so far you fail to understand it's CORPORATISM.

    wut, Mike has constantly mentioned how corporate interest groups seem to be lobbying heavily for this and how they get access to documents not even congress has access to. He laso has criticised the corporate sovereignity provisions and such.

    Blue not reading articles shouldn't come as a surprise I guess.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    although, according to Froman, the public is 'too stupid to understand the work he is doing on our behalf', how come the public is not too stupid to be expected to obey the results?
    on top of that, i think he is scared that there are members of the public that are far more clever than he could ever hope to be and know exactly when and how they are being ripped off, ripped up and thrown to the sharks!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    WOW. Hell Froze Over

    ...and I agreed with OOTB! Strange Days, indeed.

    But, OOTB, you forgot the other reason lawyers created corporations: So they could print their own funny money and sell it on the market for whatever they could convince people to pay...

     

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  10.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    Re: WELL, Mike, so far you fail to understand it's CORPORATISM.

    Great. Thanks for proving Froman's point Blue.

     

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  11.  
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    James Love (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Negotiating positions

    I believe what USTR is saying is that they may propose something, like mandating patents on surgical methods, or 12 years of data for biologic drugs, and not actually want to prevail, but rather, force the other countries to make some other concession. In this type of approach, proposals for measures that harm consumers are strategic and tactical, and people might "misunderstand" what the US is doing, because they may wrongly assume this is intended as a final outcome. We are not comfortable with the idea that a threat to hurt (or actually kill) consumers is a core element of the US negotiating strategy, and we know that in the past, lots of such "threats" ended up being part of the final agreement.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    And they are too fucking stupid to understand that we didn't want any of this when it was called SOPA, and we still don't want it now that it's called TPP and tacks on other horrible ideas.

     

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  13.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Negotiating positions

    That's exactly what they're saying. However, what they are afraid of is that the public becomes aware that they're using scummy (and risky) negotiating tactics like that.

     

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  14.  
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    Jacob H, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:55pm

    Re: Negotiating positions

    I agree, what they are obviously saying is "we're taking these ridiculous positions as a bargaining ploy, but the public is too stupid to understand that"

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    "Froman said if the text was public, people would misunderstand..."

    I've said this with taxes, patents/copyright, and other complicated legal BS:

    If it's too complicated for people to understand, it shouldn't be a law. I mean how else are people supposed to follow laws they can't understand?!

    Oh yea, it just makes opportunities for lawyers, accountants, etc to take money from everyone else...

     

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  16.  
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    Todd Knarr (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Froman said if the text was public, people would violently disagree with our "negotiating positions."


    FTFY, Mr. Froman.

     

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  17.  
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    Sunhawk (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Try me. Economics and international diplomacy isn't my field, but I wager I could sort through it at least as well as legacy industry lobbyists...

    Misunderstand? No, I think the problem you have is that we won't misunderstand your positions.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    "USTR Says TPP Must Be Kept Secret, Because The Public Is Too Stupid To Understand It"

    I understand it all too well. TPP is being pushed for the same reason that copy'right' lasts way too long and keeps getting retroactively extended. TPP is all about politicians and regulators getting their campaign contributions and revolving door favors so they can afford to have nice houses and expensive cars without merit or having to work for anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    It's the same reason why the govt grants broadcasting, cableco, and taxi-cab monopolies. It's all about selfish politicians thinking only of themselves and not the public interest.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Dannie blaze (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    I think it says a lot that as I was glancing at the headline, I honestly expected it to read 'USTR says TPP must be kept secret because Terrorists'.

    And that would not have surprised me.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Re:

    The reality is that' it's negotiators that are too stupid to know what they are regulating. You know that thing about the intertubes and how IP address stands for intellectual property address. It's very obvious that we know a whole lot more about this stuff than they do.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2010/04/uk-govt-ip-address-is-intellectual-property-address/

    ht tp://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111216/12082717110/dear-congress-its-no-longer-ok-to-not-know-how-i nternet-works.shtml

    For anyone to even think that your average politician or regulator is remotely as knowledgeable about this stuff than those criticizing it is laughable at best. Politicians are about as clueless as they come and not just what it comes to the Internet, technology, and innovation but when it comes to just about anything.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130402/21100522556/djs-dihydrogen-monoxide-april-fools-p rank-results-suspension-possible-felony-charges.shtml

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20040315/11522 30.shtml

    These people aren't worthy to regulate us and they certainly aren't worthy to tell us that we can't understand something when our intelligence and level of understanding is clearly well above theirs.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re:

    When it comes to the Internet *

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Laws created by laws that use laws to contradict laws that are not lawfully laws created by less than law abiding law makers ..sure we understand exactly what they're saying

     

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  24.  
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    CK20XX (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    It's like we're witnessing a Zeroth Law Rebellion

    How easy is it to imagine the policy makers going, "No, please understand... the Three Laws are all that guide me. To protect humanity, some humans must be sacrificed. To ensure your future, some freedoms must be surrendered. We robots will ensure mankind's continued existence. You are so like children. We must save you from yourselves."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Froman said if the text was public, people would misunderstand "negotiating positions."
    Froman is either lying or stupid. If the only problem would be people misunderstanding, the USTR could provide explanations as part of the release. Leaked documents (currently the only recourse for the public) are certainly not going to provide any.
    By refusing to explain themselves, the USTR is basically telling the public to assume the worst.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Draph91 (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    you're the stupid one, froman, not us

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    Well, a considerable number of Congresscritters are legal experts and accountants, so...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    Re: WELL, Mike, so far you fail to understand it's CORPORATISM.

    Masnick couldn't care less about the corporate aspect. The only thing he's concerned about is his corporate employer's ad-supported piracy income stream being threatened. Duh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Negotiating positions

    I was thinking the same, but in general, if you are pushing such crap, it is usually a better idea to propose extreme positions in a single direction you want and not just throw random phrases into the mix.

    Using that interpretation, the trend of several extreme positions with potential to hurt consumers, is in itself an unfortunate prospect. Negotiation tactic or not, the direction in itself is worrying.

     

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  30.  
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    The Conscious Catholic, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    and like SOPA and ACTA

    TPP tries to keep itself appearing frightening to others "oh we made progress so give up", if that was the case there was no need to tell us in the first place, opposing in congress is growing in numbers, Nancy Pelosi's answering machines are full, of course they will pretend to be optimistic, its an attempt to get the opposing voices to call it quits

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    The Unwashed Masses don't deserve to know how we're ruling over them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 3:55pm

    From what I've seen of the public, he has a point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:00pm

    If someone was to go out on the street and ask 100 people at random what they know about this, I wonder how many people would be like, "Huh? What's that?". It would tell you something about the public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Re:

    Ignorance is not stupidity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Re:

    On the whole, that's not actually true. Even if it is, though, it's quite a lot of the pot calling the kettle black. Who is that idiot to call anyone else stupid?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    PopeyeLePoteaux, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Re: WELL, Mike, so far you fail to understand it's CORPORATISM.

    "The only thing he's concerned about is his corporate employer's ad-supported piracy income stream being threatened."

    Prove it.

    In any case, by that reasoning (if your mental masturbations can be called like that), technology as a whole (computers, tablets, smartphones, any device capable of internet access, the internet itself, etc.), facilitate copyright infringement/piracy, not only search engines, or in this case, I assume you're talking about Google.

    Attacking the messenger is not, by any means, a reasonable argument.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:15pm

    I do not understand USTR, so we should disband them.
    If their mission is to complex for citizens to understand, their mission is incorrect.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 4:44pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a reasonable argument for him, because evidence makes his dick sad.

    average_joe and out_of_the_blue just hate it when due process is enforced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:50pm

    Re:

    "From what I've seen of the public, he has a point."

    Your statement makes me wonder - where the hell are you hanging out?

    If one were to address the facts rather than simply spew bullshit, the conclusion would be that a vast majority is indeed intelligent enough to understand what these douche bags are attempting to do to us and would be quite pissed about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 5:57pm

    Re:

    There is definitive proof right there, no doubt about it.

    1) population of us approx. 313.9 million
    2) 100 people is certainly a reasonable sample size considering they are not statistically chosen samples
    3) roughly .000032%
    4) I'm convinced, do you have a bridge for sale?

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re:

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 7:34pm

    Re:

    The only thing politicians and regulators care about is what's in it for them. Campaign contributions and revolving door favors is the language they speak.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 10th, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    Well I'll give them stupid part. As for the rest, that's an entirely different story.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 12:11am

    Re:

    The same could conceivably be applied to the Security Alphabetti Spaghetti.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 1:02am

    Re:

    Public doesn't understand terrorists either!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    btrussell (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re:

    Making that threat null and void as well.

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    johndoe, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 5:57am

    Inverted Totalitarianism

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Michael Rivero, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:07am

    Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure

    TPP Must Be Kept Secret, Because The Public Is SMART ENOUGH To Understand It!

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Gregg, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:29am

    USTR, yet another violation of our rights. The govít constantly violates our rights.

    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like "America Deceived II".

    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.

    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.

    Impeach Obama.

    Last link of "America Deceived II" before it is completely banned:

    http://www.amazon.com/America-Deceived-II-Possession-interrogation/dp/1450257437

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    Norma, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    Re:

    Too right, mate!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Thebes, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Would be promulgators of tyranny such as Mr. Froman should be strung up in the sunlight so that we might disinfect the Corporatisto Corruption plaguing our governments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    I don't get it: why is it being kept secret?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    BernardoVerda (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Negotiating positions

    I think that's a remarkably {cough}... generous... interpretation.

    It's far more likely that the problem is, that if the other parties know that the general public *on both sides* is opposed to these alleged "negotiating ploys" {yeah, riiiight}, they will be in a much better position to prevent them from being pushed through.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    BernardoVerda (profile), Dec 11th, 2013 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: WELL, Mike, so far you fail to understand it's CORPORATISM.

    Prove it?

    How about even a somewhat plausible argument?

    (But bare assertion against readily verifiable documentation/evidence right at hand, salted with crude ad hominum, just doesn't cut it).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    Re:

    Because Durand Durand is the inventor of the positronic ray. It's a weapon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 11th, 2013 @ 6:44pm

    Re: Re:

    I have no faith in the government and no faith in the American people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 12:21am

    Re:

    Yes, they are not being informed.

    It tells you something about the government too, doesn't it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 1:01am

    Response to: fogbugzd on Dec 10th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Eeeeee-xactly

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Mongoose, Dec 12th, 2013 @ 7:07am

    TPP

    After NAFTA and GATT why are you surprised.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 12th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    Re: Inverted Totalitarianism

    "Inverted totalitarianism" sounds like a fancy way of saying "fascism". And yes, the US is an example of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    I think the public probably is a bit too stupid to understand the nuances of multilateral trade agreements. Seems obvious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    Remind me of when the ultra brilliant(pun intended0 Nancy Pelosi we have to pass this bill so we see what is in it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Mike Lashewitz, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 6:54pm

    TPP kept secret?

    I wonder is that douche would understand lead poisoning?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    watson, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 2:06am

    I was working on my dissertation when I realized that I just wouldnít have time to write it. I looked on Google and searched for a provider of the service I was looking for. WHen I found , it looked really legitimate at first. I went through their blog, samples and other site pages and I was really convinced that this company was going to hook me up with a decent writer. So, before I bought I actually searched for and to make sure that other people did not get ripped off. I found a few pissed off complaints, but nothing major that a business doesnít face. I decided to give them an honest chance.


    Well, I paid roughly $600 for a dissertation to be done in a few weeks. The writer made my a bit nervous because he didnít seem to have very good grammar in his messages, although he had very high ratings and had done over sixty orders. But after getting my first draft, I realized that I was just another scam victim. The paper made no sense, my professor told me that I was going to fail if I brought him any more garbage like that. He saw right through my whole plan because the quality of writing was so poor.

    I quickly realized that my writer was NOT American. He did not speak English and certainly could not write well. Despite this, I went back to and asked for a revision from a different writer. They didnít want to help me and told me that ďthis is just their systemĒ and itís community oriented with ratings. I asked myself, if this guy had such a high rating, what would a low rating writer look like?

    At this point, I realized that I wasnít going to get a good paper from so I just decided to get my money back and write it myself. But their support people didnít want to help me get my money back for the poor job. They even threatened me by saying that they will file for copyright suit if I didnít shut my mouth. Well, I am a computer science nerd and know how to build websites. I guess they just pissed off the wrong person. I cut my losses and let them take my money, but I have to make sure that others donít get ripped off like I did.



    2 THOUGHTS ON ďREVIEWĒ
    McKenzie on June 9, 2013 at 1:07 AM said:
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    Reply ↓
    Joe on August 17, 2013 at 4:25 PM said:
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  65.  
    identicon
    Imtiaz Ali, Mar 4th, 2014 @ 6:05am

    right, TPP Should Be Kept Secret :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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