Leaked TPP Proposal Reveals That US Wants To Give Multinational Companies Tremendous Power

from the regulatory-capture dept

We've talked plenty about the shameful position of the USTR on transparency when it comes to negotiating agreements like ACTA and TPP. While USTR Ron Kirk keeps insisting that the feds are being more transparent with TPP than any previous trade agreement, that just shows a complete misunderstanding of what transparency means. He may be hearing from lots of people (and even that's a little questionable), but transparency really means revealing what you're working on -- something Kirk has refused to do. With ACTA there were regular leaks (mainly from folks in the EU who weren't happy with the document). We've heard that there are fewer leaks involving TPP because copies of the documents are being watermarked or otherwise marked, such that any leaked version can be traced back to the originator.

Still, you can't keep things secret forever, and it appears that more TPP proposals have been leaked. It's important to note that TPP covers a lot more than just intellectual property. We've mainly been focused on the IP chapter, but this leak covers other parts of the agreement. That doesn't make it any less troubling. As is being reported, the proposals appears to completely contradict President Obama's campaign promises, while also giving tremendous power to international companies.

It's been clear from the beginning that Kirk is in bed with corporate special interests. The fact that copyright maximalist companies have had regular access to information on the IP chapter of TPP has already been quite troubling, but this leak -- while not focusing on the intellectual property issues that we're most interested in -- seems to confirm that the USTR believes its main purpose is to make life easier for companies it already likes, while making things worse for everyone else.


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  1.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 4:09pm

    So...

    How long until we get Superman (or Deadpool or Punisher) to come to life to battle "Lex" here?

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Re:

    Ya know, Punisher is the only even remotely likely possibility.

    And while many of us would cheer Punisher for doing his thing--he probly wouldn't last long. Some TLA would suddenly get off their buttocks and do as much as was required to bring this person to "justice".

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Copyright does promote the artists, it promotes the scam artists.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    In the future could you expand on how it favors foreign companies so we don't have to read the links to get the summary?

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    In the same veins: You cannot blame the "creative industries" for having creative accounting.

     

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  6.  
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    mgscanner, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 5:38pm

    TPP

    My fiercely amazed brain is struggling to Follow the Money in this.

    Assuming that a sovereign nation such as, e.g., the U.S. -can- give up sovereignty (by becoming a voluntary colony?), why would it want to?

     

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  7.  
    icon
    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:08pm

    Money money money... FUCK POOR PEOPLE

    Check out HOW COSY Ron Kirk is, in bed........

    Positions held IN 2009 ... 15( in 2008 was 17 )

    Director Brinker International Corporation
    Co-Chairman COMPETE Coalition advocacy organization
    Member/Director Dallas Citizens Council Non-profit civic
    Director Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau Non-profit
    Chair/Trustee Dallas Education Foundation Non-profit educational
    Director Dean Foods Corporation
    Director Empress Hair Care Corporation
    Director Petsmart Inc Corporation
    Director Southwest Transplant Alliance Non-profit medical
    Director State Fair of Texas Non-profit
    Pres.-Elect Texas Exes Non-profit
    Director Trinity Commons Foundation Non-profit
    Trustee Trinity Trust Foundation Non-Profit
    Board Member University of Texas Development Board Non-profit
    Partner (Eq. Partner since 2008) Vinson & Elkins Law Firm




    Assets. $1,761,043 to $4,246,000

    Advisors Inner Circle Champlain Small Co $115,003 to $250,000
    American Funds Global Small Cap Fund $1,001 to $15,000
    American Funds Growth Fund of America $216,004 to $565,000
    American Funds Growth Income Fund $1,001 to $15,000
    American Funds Washington Mutual Fund $65,002 to $150,000
    Bank of America Account $250,001 to $500,000
    BlackRock Strategic Value Fund $1,001 to $15,000
    Brinker International $15,001 to $50,000
    CC Media Holdings $1,001 to $15,000
    Cisco Systems $1,001 to $15,000
    Citigroup Global Markets $0 to $1,000
    Davis New York Venture Fund $65,002 to $150,000
    Davis Venture Value Fund $1,001 to $15,000
    Dell Inc $1,001 to $15,000
    Empress Hair Care $15,001 to $50,000
    General Fund $0 to $1,000
    Heidrick & Struggles $15,001 to $50,000
    Henderson International Opportunities Fd $130,003 to $350,000
    Manulife Financial $15,001 to $50,000
    Met Life Insurance whole life policy $15,001 to $50,000
    Met/Artisan Mid Cap Value Portfolio $1,001 to $15,000
    MetLife Mid Cap Stock Index $1,001 to $15,000
    New England Financial Russell 2000 Index $1,001 to $15,000
    Northwestern Mutual (whole life) $50,001 to $100,000
    Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund $30,002 to $100,000
    Petsmart Inc $350,002 to $750,000
    Schwab Target 2020 Fund $0 to $1,000
    Seligman Communications & Info Fund $1,001 to $15,000
    Sterling Bank/Savings $1,001 to $15,000
    Tamarack Prime Money Market $50,001 to $100,000
    Treehouse Foods $1,001 to $15,000
    Unrented property/Austin, TX $250,001 to $500,000
    Vanguard Retirement Stable Value Fund $1,001 to $15,000
    Vinson & Elkins Capital Account $0 to $2,000
    Washington Mutual Investors Fund $100,001 to $250,000
    Washington Mutual/Checking-Savings $1,001 to $15,000
    Zix Corp $0 to $1,000


    Personal finance profiles of recent years. (scanned pdf)
    http://pfds.opensecrets.org/N99999933_2010.pdf
    http://pfds.opensecrets.org/N99999933_2009.pdf
    http://pfds.opensecrets.org/N99999933_2008.pdf



    The Sauce
    http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/CIDsummary.php?CID=N99999933&year=2009




    You should really check out that site. www.opensecrets.org


    Things like this.... show reality.

    Average Net worth of some politicians

    Darrell Issa (R-Calif) $448,125,017
    Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $380,411,527
    Jane Harman (D-Calif) $326,844,751
    John Kerry (D-Mass) $231,722,794
    Mark Warner (D-Va) $192,730,605
    Herb Kohl (D-Wis) $173,538,010
    Jared Polis (D-Colo) $143,218,562
    Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla) $136,152,641
    Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) $101,123,032
    Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) $99,057,011
    Alan Grayson (D-Fla) $93,896,519
    Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) $85,572,116
    Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) $73,151,590
    Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) $69,046,622
    Bob Corker (R-Tenn) $59,550,022
    James E. Risch (R-Idaho) $54,088,026
    Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) $49,340,275
    Gary Miller (R-Calif) $46,008,028
    Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) $42,900,594
    James B. Renacci (R-Ohio) $42,060,709
    Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) $41,210,018
    Mike Kelly (R-Pa) $34,612,518
    Trent Franks (R-Ariz) $33,925,002
    Richard A. Berg (R-ND) $33,562,590
    Diane Lynn Black (R-Tenn) $31,272,522


    AND SOME "JUST LOBBYING" STATS

    1998 $1,442,160,755 $1.44 Billion
    1999 $1,441,147,787 $1.44 Billion
    2000 $1,564,715,252 $1.56 Billion
    2001 $1,639,299,558 $1.64 Billion
    2002 $1,824,390,362 $1.82 Billion
    2003 $2,044,890,243 $2.04 Billion
    2004 $2,176,533,331 $2.18 Billion
    2005 $2,423,887,260 $2.42 Billion
    2006 $2,616,182,201 $2.62 Billion
    2007 $2,853,937,012 $2.85 Billion
    2008 $3,301,364,868 $3.30 Billion
    2009 $3,495,658,969 $3.50 Billion
    2010 $3,544,021,231 $3.54 Billion
    2011 $3,324,215,208 $3.32 Billion

     

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  8.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Money money money... FUCK POOR PEOPLE

    I'm in the wrong line of work.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:14pm

    We've talked plenty about the shameful position of the USTR on transparency when it comes to negotiating agreements like ACTA and TPP.

    You clearly don't understand the difference between legislation and diplomacy. Is there a trade agreement out there you'd like to cite as a shining example of transparency?

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:18pm

    Re: TPP

    Don't try to make sense. You're getting less than half of the story, and an unreliable one at that.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Money money money... FUCK POOR PEOPLE

    You and me both.

    Some people think I'm full of shit for researching things.
    Especially when it fucks up the view, that they made up.

    Anyway... we could always do an Inman, Get $1000 per day, $70,000 on a good day ?
    Sauce: http://mixergy.com/matthew-inman-oatmeal-interview/

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:31pm

    Re:

    Transparency is not talking to a few people or "consulting with"
    Go get a dictionary and look up the meaning of the word.

    BTW...
    Diplomacy is not the "right to opaqueness" for creating laws that "LORD OVER" the people.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re:

    I'll take that example now....

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    well..., Jun 18th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    Re: Re: TPP

    considering you brother kirk does not want to give the other side of the story *from the way he acts we can already tell* i guess your position means crap.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Re:

    Are you really angling for an "it's always been this bad" defense?

     

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  16.  
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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 7:48pm

    Re: Re:

    There are 300+ million people in the US. If only one in every ten thousand people threw on a Punisher t-shirt and grabbed half a dozen guns, the TLAs couldn't even remotely handle it. If one in one hundred did, the combined police forces of the nation couldn't handle it. If one in ten did, the US military couldn't handle it. Plus the Punisher t-shirt makers would get sick rich.

    The preceding was not me advocating violence. I am completely ambivalent about the idea of giving the corrupters of our political system a fatal case of lead poisoning. Me actually advocating violence would be in the form of a time-delayed post made after I'd already preformed quite a bit of it.

     

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  17.  
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    Chilly8, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 7:58pm

    Defeating the "watermark" in TPP documents, or any document, or that matter, is quite trival. Maybe those leaking TPP have finally figured it out. I won't say how it can be done, because some overbroad law might make it illegal to divulge how to do it , but I can say that is it quite easy to do, and someone has probably figured it out, as anyone who is tech saavy can do.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 8:02pm

    Re:

    This. I mean, it's not like anything has happened in the last two decades that has forever changed the capacity to distribute information and collaboration on a massive scale, or affected the public's expectation of information availability. Not at all. There's absolutely nothing to see here; just things being how they've always been.

     

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  19. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Numbnuts: the point is that there's a line between diplomacy and legislation. Look at the gridlock we have in Congress now. And that is just with economic stakeholders making noise in a single country with a (relatively) indistinguishable from each other, two party system. Now add in the entire world, or at least the nations party to the treaties and their fractious governments- then stir the pot and see what you get. Nothing. Greece is teetering on the brink of collapse and they can hardly form a functioning government. The Euro is on the precipice, yet the nations can't come together to implement a joint central bank regulatory and guarantee structure.

    We have a representative democracy. You don't get a vote on every treaty, law or policy. If you don't like the way you're represented, vote the guy out. But don't expect the nations of the world to turn your pet issue over to be decided by several hundred million poorly informed citizens to do the job of governments. Shit, I doubt any of you have even read ACTA. Same goes for SOPA and Protect IP. And I'm willing to bet that your opinions of TPP have been formed solely by Masnick's Chicken Little rhetoric. So not only is it wholly impractical to have a global town hall, most of the noisemakers are grossly uninformed and largely uninterested in devoting the time and effort necessary to fully understand the issue.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 8:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    How does this: We have a representative democracy. You don't get a vote on every treaty, law or policy. If you don't like the way you're represented, vote the guy out.

    Square with this: Greece is teetering on the brink of collapse and they can hardly form a functioning government. The Euro is on the precipice, yet the nations can't come together to implement a joint central bank regulatory and guarantee structure.

    Maybe they could use some help? From the public? No! That would be stupid!

    They obviously know what they're doing.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:15pm

    As if our current plutocracy isn't bad enough already, these tyrant fascists want to pass more plutocratic laws behind closed doors.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:19pm

    I think those people live in deniel and will suffer for it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz_crisis
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourbillon

    The Swiss watch industry was decimated by cheap quartz watches that were more accurate and lower price and apparently are on the edge of a second crisis since the Chinese started manufacturing cheap Tourbillons that meet the demands to be considered a Swiss watch.

    http://www.tractionink.com/watch_wiki/index.php?title=Tourbillon#Current_Chinese_Developme nts

    The Swiss watch makers in the late 80's after suffering a lot, stopped crying foul and build something and that is what saved them, no amount of regulation will save an industry that doesn't adapt with the times, no amount of legislation will make it better if people go elsewhere.

    Now a lot of IP will actually hurt humanity.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:21pm

    Re:

    There are ways to mark documents in such a way that it's insanely difficult to leak the document without someone knowing where that document came from. You can vary some word(s) or letters or spelling from document to document, vary some punctuation marks (punctuation mark variation can be circumvented I suppose by implementing a generic punctuation standard? but that could obscure the expressed meaning at least partly defeating the purpose of the leak), defeat a simple photo by varying the font style (OCR needed), etc... Slight/Stenographic text variations can be implemented from copy to copy.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:23pm

    Re:

    Is there a trade agreement out there you'd like to cite as a shining example of good?

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Re:

    IOW, leaked documents is not a long term solution to the problem of these secretive meetings. We must have laws in place requiring transparency and we must protest to get the government to pass such laws.

    It's not acceptable that industry interests get to have years to write and review these documents yet, aside from official releases only occurring after leaked documents, the public officially gets a much shorter time frame to review these documents (maybe a few months if we're very lucky). It shows who is truly getting preferential treatment. That needs to change.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    are not *

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    years to negotiate *

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Instead of complaining about how everyone else is not informed, why don't you inform us? Oh, it's too much work for you. Oh, you can't be bothered to be informed yourself. Oh, everyone on here is obviously far more informed than you. Oh, you are wrong and you can't formulate a reasonable argument beyond calling your critics ignorant noisemakers. Oh, your entire post doesn't make a single point of contention or argument and it doesn't discuss the issues at all beyond calling everyone else ignorant. Your critics read the material and discuss the issues far more substantially and in depth than you do because they know the issues better than you. Don't expect anyone to take you seriously.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So your argument is that if all the other trade agreements are non-transparent then it's OK for them to be secretive?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We have a representative democracy. You don't get a vote on every treaty, law or policy. If you don't like the way you're represented, vote the guy out."

    Perhaps that's part of the purpose of these discussions, to better determine who we want to elect.

     

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  31.  
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    Atkray (profile), Jun 18th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thank you for such a concise explanation of why small government is better.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 10:00pm

    Re:

    Ron Kirk is a stupid jerk. The only thing he cares about himself. That he can pass laws that have such a broad impact just to serve his personal (campaign contribution and revolving door) interests is unacceptable.

    It's very sickening how he can go up there and outright lie about everything (ie: claiming that it's other countries that want these negotiations to be secretive, among other things). We should not tolerate such government dishonesty and secretive negotiations.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Re:

    is himself *

     

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  34.  
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    blakey, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 11:45pm

    'Foreign Tribunal Systems'

    I had a quick look at the link and it semed to be saying that the US was going to have to start having itself abroad - to accept the powers of foreign tribunals.
    If this means things like the Bhopal disaster get sorted and murdering US companies actually get fined then thats a good thing - isn't it?

     

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  35.  
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    drew (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 12:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ok, so have a look at how WIPO does things. Far greater transparency.
    But let's take your representative democracy point. The very committee that was set up (by the representatives) to oversee this process is being denied access.
    Now it could be the best treaty in the world ever, but as long as you have stuff like that happening it looks corrupt.
    As to the "it's difficult therefore there's no point in trying to improve it" argument, well, that doesn't seem like a particularly quick route to progress.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 12:36am

    Congress' role?

    The article mentioned that even congressional oversight committees were being prohibited from seeing these trade agreements. How is that possible -can't they enforce their role?

    Just on principle every member should object.

    Obama's lost the >35 yr vote. Now he seems doomed to go for loosing the rest. Things like this make it very difficult to defend him even knowing the other party would do the same thing but with less criticism and even less oversight. There is no choice. There is no democracy.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 1:11am

    Re: 'Foreign Tribunal Systems'

    It does not mean things like the Bhopal disaster get sorted. Why would a company being able to sue a government in a secret squirrel court sort that out?

    There is no provision for governments to sue the companies in this forum.

     

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  38.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 1:42am

    Re: Re: Re:

    With the direction governments are currently heading, huge roaming mobs wearing Guy Fawkes and Punisher masks creating havoc doesn't seem to far fetched.

     

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  39.  
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    techflaws (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hey numbnuts, all your fine points about represantative democracy DON'T explain why the industry gets to see what's being negotiated.

     

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  40.  
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    techflaws (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 1:54am

    Re: Re:

    Which all can be beaten with word correction and reading since it's all plain text.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 2:14am

    'that just shows a complete misunderstanding of what transparency means'

    should read 'a complete misleading statement over what transparency means'

    'the documents are being watermarked or otherwise marked, such that any leaked version can be traced back to the originator'

    that person, i assume, would then be excluded from further negotiations, but aren't representatives from other countries supposed to be representing those other countries and businesses, not those of the USA?

    'the proposals appears to completely contradict President Obama's campaign promises'

    well now, there is a surprise!

     

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  42.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    only if you mean small as in 'managing a small enough area that the governors are in reasonable reach of the governed, who can thus show their displeasure.'

    because every other 'small government' argument i've ever seen is actually 'pro control by the corporations', though usually due to ignorance rather than malice.

    way i figure it, if you need more than 200 representatives to properly represent your people, you're too damn big.

    if your representatives spend more time traveling or in your capital than they do in reach of their electors, well, you may not be too big, but you have a problem and size may be contributing.

    so....

    yeah, not so much 'small government' as 'small nation', really.

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 4:31am

    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling


    GO GO GO
    everyone of these petards of business post that same nfo so we know what NOT to buy to make him more poor ourselves

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 7:28am

    What?!

    "No party may require its investors to transfer, or penalize its investors that fail to transfer, the
    income, earnings, profits, or other amounts derived from, or attributable to, investments in
    the territory of another Party."

    Help me out here, isn't this a juicy one for off-shoring money?

    Assholes like Ron Kirk would benefit greatly from this one. No wonder he doesn't want anyone to see it.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Re: What?!

    Assholes like Ron Kirk would benefit greatly from this one. No wonder he doesn't want anyone to see it.

    How so? Americans are currently taxed on worldwide investment income. And offshore banking is already available to American citizens. So how do you think this personally benefits him?

     

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  46.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you don't like the way you're represented, vote the guy out.


    And vote who in? Our government is bought and sold by major corporations and the extremely wealthy. Nearly every electoral challenger is either working for them or is ineffective. The game is rigged.

    These problems cannot be solved by voting alone.

     

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  47.  
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    Watchit (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    it would be a sad day if it really came to that though.

     

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  48.  
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    Watchit (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 9:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Money money money... FUCK POOR PEOPLE

    man, and I thought I'd be set with an engineering degree, I won't get paid half as much as these chumps XD

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    Watchit (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    soooo, your saying it's OK to be secretive about a broad widely impacting laws ("diplomatic agreements" if that makes you feel better), because

    1. It's too hard to be transparent

    2. we'be always done it this way

    ...not very convincing

    The point behind a "Representative Democracy" is to vote for people who will represent you and act in your best interest. If they are not acting in your interest, and doing it secretly so as not to face any consequences, then they are failing.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    Watchit (profile), Jun 19th, 2012 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, governing large groups of people is hard. And hey, the whole senate thing didn't work out too well for Rome, I say we go back to emperors, it'll be easier that way!

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then you run for office. Or Masnick

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jun 19th, 2012 @ 7:21pm

    Re: Re: What?!

    Now they will point to this and say "Hey, you can't tax me on this because that is forcing me to transfer money".

     

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


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