Daily Archives: January 14, 2014

‘Monsanto Mafia’: US court backs GMO giant on seed patents against farmers

RT

Published on Jan 14, 2014

The US Supreme Court upheld biotech giant Monsanto’s claims on genetically-engineered seed patents and the company’s ability to sue farmers whose fields are inadvertently contaminated with Monsanto materials. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/eph9nl

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters

Harvard & Slavery

http://www.harvardandslavery.com/

Harvard University was the first institution of higher learning in colonial America. Founded in 1636 as a training ground for aspiring ministers, it capitalized on this early start and became during the nineteenth century the nation’s most influential university, and by the middle of the twentieth century, arguably the world’s. Not surprisingly, then, Harvard’s four centuries’ long career is tightly connected to the history of New England, the United States and the Atlantic World on whose most dynamic eastern edge it was perched. Notwithstanding a deafening silence on the topic in most remembrances of this great university, Harvard’s history entails a whole range of connections to slavery.

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Slavery and Universities

http://slavery-and-universities.wikispaces.com/

This wiki is devoted to scholarly explorations of the historical relationship between slavery and institutions of higher education, in North America and elsewhere.

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Majority of US Congress are millionaires


Al Jazeera English

For the first time in US history, a majority of congress members are millionaires.And as Capitol Hill debates unemployment benefits.

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Noam Chomsky: Obama Trade Deal (TPP) A ‘Neoliberal Assault’ To Further Corporate ‘Domination’

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/noam-chomsky-obama-trans-pacific-partnership_n_4577495.html

Posted: 01/13/2014 7:30 am EST | Updated: 01/13/2014 11:05 am EST

The Obama administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is an “assault,” on working people intended to further corporate “domination,” according to author and activist Noam Chomsky.

“It’s designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity,” Chomsky said during an interview with HuffPost Live.

WATCH Chomsky’s comments in the video above.

The Obama administration has been negotiating the TPP pact with 11 other Pacific nations for years. While the deal has not been finalized and much of it has been classified, American corporate interest groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have already voiced strong support for the TPP, describing it as a free trade deal that will encourage economic growth. The Office of U.S. Trade Representative has also defended the talks, saying the TPP will include robust regulatory protections. But labor unions and a host of traditionally liberal interest groups, including environmentalists and public health advocates, have sharply criticized the deal.

Chomsky argues that much of the negotiations concern issues outside of what many consider trade, and are focused instead on limiting the activities governments can regulate, imposing new intellectual property standards abroad and boosting corporate political power.

“It’s called free trade, but that’s just a joke,” Chomsky said. “These are extreme, highly protectionist measures designed to undermine freedom of trade. In fact, much of what’s leaked about the TPP indicates that it’s not about trade at all, it’s about investor rights.”

The Obama administration is treating the precise terms of the deal as classified information, blocking many Congressional staffers from viewing the negotiation texts and limiting the information available to members of Congress themselves. The deal’s only publicly available negotiation documents have come to light through document leaks. Recent documents have been published by WikiLeaks and HuffPost.

According to these leaked documents, the TPP would empower corporations to directly challenge laws and regulations set by foreign nations before an international tribunal. The tribunal would be given the authority to not only overrule that nation’s legal standards but also impose economic penalties on it. Under World Trade Organization treaties, corporations must convince a sovereign nation to bring trade cases before an international court. Chomsky said the deal is an escalation of neoliberal political goals previously advanced by the WTO and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

…(read more).

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120

Noam Chomsky: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a “neoliberal assault” – Salon.co m

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/13/chomsky_tpp_is_a_neoliberal_assault/

The political theorist and linguist slams the agreement that has little to do with free trade

Noam Chomsky (Credit: AP/Adel Hana)

Critics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement — a purported free trade deal between 11 countries, including the U.S., Canada and Japan, which has been in negotiations for some years — have noted that the deal has little to do with free trade. Rather, the TPP is about limiting regulation, helping corporate interests and imposes fiercer standards of intellectual property (to, again, largely benefit corporate interests).

Noam Chomsky has joined the chorus decrying the TPP. On Monday he told HuffPost Live that the deal, which is not yet finalized, is “designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.”

Chomsky said it was “a joke” that the deal is designated a “free trade” agreement. “It’s called free trade, but that’s just a joke,” Chomsky said. “These are extreme, highly protectionist measures designed to undermine freedom of trade. In fact, much of what’s leaked about the TPP indicates that it’s not about trade at all, it’s about investor rights.”

The MIT professor also slammed the veil of secrecy that has surrounded TPP negotiations. Information on the deal available to Congress has even been highly limited. Were it not for a document leak published by WikiLeaks, the public would know almost nothing about the content of TPP negotiations. On reviewing the leaked draft TPP chapter, intellectual property law expert Dr. Matthew Rimmer called the deal, “a Christmas wish-list for major corporations.”

As Chomsky noted:

It’s very hard to make anything of the TPP because it’s been kept very secret. A half-secret, I should say. It’s not secret from the hundreds of corporate lawyers and lobbyists who are writing the legislation. To them, it’s perfectly public. They’re, in fact, writing it. It’s being kept secret from the population. Which of course raises obvious questions.

(read more)

Environmental Justice http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre145
Environment Ethics http://courses.dce.harvard.edu/~envre120