Friday, April 5, 2013

REBEL NEWS, 4/5/2013: Obama's Secret Trade Deal

Maverick Media’s Rebel News airs 9-10 a.m. (more or less) on Fridays on WOMM (105.9-FM/LP – The Radiator and live streaming). THIS WEEK: Obama’s secret deal, Labor amnesia, Fukushima fallout, America’s love affair with conspiracies, an attention deficit epidemic, guns in schools , college majors and unemployment, jails gone wild (shocking video from Maine!),  and local updates.  Here are highlights:

TOP STORY: Obama’s Secret Trade Deal

Out of public view the Obama administration is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a US-led free trade deal with several Pacific Rim countries. Six hundred US corporate advisers have had input, but so far the text hasn’t been shared with the public or media.
     The level of secrecy is unprecedented. During discussions paramilitary teams guard the premises, helicopters loom overhead, and there’s a near-total media blackout on the subject. US Senator Ron Wyden, who chairs the congressional committee with jurisdiction over TPP agreement, was denied access to the negotiation texts.
     In a floor statement to Congress Wyden said, “The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of US corporations — like Halliburton, Chevron, Comcast and the Motion Picture Association of America — are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement.”
     The deal would give multinational corporations unprecedented rights to demand taxpayer compensation for policies they think will undermine their expected future profits -- straight from the treasuries of participating nations. It would push Big Pharma’s agenda in the developing world -- longer monopoly controls on drugs, drastically limiting access to affordable generic meds that people need. The TPP would undermine food safety by limiting labeling and forcing countries like the US to import food that fails to meet its national safety standards,  and ban Buy America or Buy Local preferences.
     The proposed legislation on intellectual property will have enormous impacts, including Internet termination for households, businesses, and organizations as an accepted penalty for copyright infringement. Nations who sign on to the deal would essentially submit themselves to oppressive IP restrictions designed by Hollywood, severely limiting their ability to digitally exchange information on sites like YouTube, where streaming videos are considered copyrightable.
     “Broader copyright and intellectual property rights demands by the US would lock up the Internet, stifle research and increase education costs, by extending existing generous copyright from 70 years to 120 years, and even making it a criminal offense to temporarily store files on a computer without authorization. The US, a net exporter of digital information, would be the only party to benefit from this,” said Patricia Ranald, convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network. 

Reuters reports that the United States will soon send a missile defense system to Guam to defend it from North Korea. The U.S. military is adjusting to what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called a "real and clear danger" from Pyongyang. 

Rediscovering the legacy

Automation and globalization continue to create massive labor displacement as corporations advance their interest while attempting to restrict the rights of workers. Labor’s fall from grace is a case of collective amnesia. The true, largely ignored history of the labor movement tells a different story... Revisiting May Day & the First Red Scare.  (Radio drama segment)

The Fukushima Effect 
Thyroid problems for US kids

Some bad news from Common Dreams -- Infants on the West Coast are showing increased incidents of thyroid abnormalities and researchers attribute it to radiation released after the 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. According to a new study published in the Open Journal of Pediatrics, children born in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington between one week and 16 weeks after the meltdown began are 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism.
     The abnormalities result from a build up of radioactive iodine in the thyroid and can result in stunted growth, lowered intelligence, deafness, and neurological abnormalities—although some can be treated if detected early. Because their bodies are more vulnerable and their cells grow faster than adults', infants are the proverbial 'canary in the coal mine' for injurious environmental effects.
     Earlier this year, the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey found that more than 40 percent of the Japanese children studied showed evidence of thyroid abnormalities.

America Speaks: One quarter say Obama is the Anti-Christ

They aren’ t absolutely sure, but about a fourth of all Americans suspect that the President just might be the anti-christ. Of course, more than a third also believe that global warming is a hoax and more than half suspect that a secretive global elite is trying to set up a New World Order.
     The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling, asked a sample of voters about a number of conspiracy theories, phrasing the questions in eye-catching language. The study revealed that 13% of respondents thought Obama was "the antichrist", while another 13% were "not sure" – just open to the possibility that he might be. Some 73% were able to say unequivocally that they didn’t think Obama was "the antichrist".
     The survey also showed that 37% of Americans thought that global warming was a hoax, while 12% were not sure and a slim majority – 51% – agreed with the overwhelming majority view of the scientific establishment and thought that it wasn’t. It indicates that 28% of people believed in a sinister global New World Order conspiracy which is aimed at ruling the whole world through authoritarian government. Another 25% were "not sure," and only – 46% – thought such a theory wasn’t true.
     Some theories were dismissed by large majorities. For example, only 7% said the moon landing was faked, 14% believed in Bigfoot, and 4% accepted that "shape-shifting alien reptilian people control our world by taking on human form." 5% believed that Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by a double so the Beatles could continue their careers. Just 11% believe that the US government knowingly allowed the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 to take place. 

Head Games
One in five boys has ADHD

From Alternet  ...The number of young people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has increased remarkably over the past decade, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rise, reported in the New York Times, has led some to say that it is due to parent pressure on doctors and a loose definition of the disorder. The data says an estimated 6.4 million children aged 4 to 17 have received the diagnosis, a 16 percent increase from 2007 and a 53 percent rise over the last decade.
    The data says an estimated 6.4 million children aged 4 to 17 have received the diagnosis, a 16 percent increase from 2007 and a 53 percent rise over the last decade. Two-thirds of those diagnosed take meds like Ritalin and Adderall, which can lead to anxiety, addiction and potentially psychosis. Nearly one in five high school boys and 11 percent of all school-age children have ADHD, the data indicates.
     One Harvard professor of medicine said, “There’s a tremendous push where if the kid’s behavior is thought to be quote-unquote abnormal — if they’re not sitting quietly at their desk — that’s pathological, instead of just childhood.”

Indiana could be first state to require guns in schools 

The NRA released its long-awaited "National School Shield Report" last week.  It’s a lengthy document that recommends schools arm and train staff members to carry guns. A few hours earlier, Indiana's House Education Committee advanced a similar measure -- but one that takes the NRA's logic even further. The NRA's "model" legislation would lift restrictions on guns in schools and require training for school employees who carry guns. But the Indiana proposal would make the state the first to require all public schools to have an armed person with a loaded weapon in the building during school hours.
     But the Indiana proposal would make the state the first to require all public schools to have an armed person with a loaded weapon in the building during school hours.  After receiving a yet-to-be-determined training course, any school employee -- a teacher, principal, or janitor -- could become the school's guard, called "school protection officers." The amendment doesn't specify which firearms the "officers" must hold or whether the guns should be visible or concealed.
     The amendment's sponsor, Rep. Jim Lucas (R), thinks mass shootings like the one in Newtown could be prevented by more firearms. "The way they are right now, school is a gun-free zone. Tragically we see the tragic consequences of gun-free zones, defenseless zones like the Colorado theater, Columbine, and Virginia Tech," Lucas told The Huffington Post Wednesday. "We have to work to overcome the stigma that firearms are a bad thing."
     According to Marc Egan, a lobbyist for the National Education Association, 27 states are now considering various laws that would arm people in schools. "This is not the right approach," he said. "Parents do not want to see their kids' schools turned into fortresses."

RELATED NEWS: A new report finds a clear link between high levels of gun violence and weak state gun laws. The 10 states with the weakest gun laws collectively have an aggregate level of gun violence that is more than twice as high - 104 percent higher, in fact - than the 10 states with the strongest gun laws.

From CBS News… Here are the college majors with the highest unemployment rates. Top marks go to number 1. Clinical psychology, with 19.5% unemployment... 2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%... 3. US history 15.1%... 4. Library science 15.0%... 5. a tie between Military technologies and educational psychology 10.9%.
     The rest of the list isn’t good news for prospective psychologists and those interested in the arts. But there are a few surprises: 6. Architecture 10.6%; 7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%; 8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%; 9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%; 10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%.
     11. Engineering & industrial management 9.2%  (what’s up with this?) ;12. Social psychology 8.8%; 13. International business 8.5%; 14. Humanities 8.4%; 15. General social sciences 8.2%; 16. Commercial art & graphic design 8.1%; 17. Studio art 8.0%; 18. Pre-law & legal studies 7.9%; 19.  (tie) Materials engineering and materials science and composition & speech 7.7%; 20. Liberal arts 7.6%.
     21. (another tie) Fine arts and genetics 7.4%; 22. (tie) Film video & photography arts and cosmetology services & culinary arts 7.3%; 23. Philosophy & religious studies and neuroscience (tie) 7.2%; 24. Biochemical sciences 7.1%; 25. (tie) Journalism and sociology 7.0%.


Maine provides the latest example of corrections staff abusing restraints and pepper spray, at times with deadly results. Other examples include: Nick Christie died in 2006 after being pepper sprayed twelve times and spending six hours naked in a restraint chair. As in Maine, guards placed a spit hood over him, ensuring he would breathe the liquid as long as he wore it. The case was ruled a homicide. 
     In Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio discontinued the use of restraint chairs in 2006 after three wrongful death lawsuits. And Jesse Lee Williams, Jr. was restrained when guards sprayed an entire can of pepper spray into a hood before putting it over his mouth as part of a savage beating. He died two days later.
     And now Paul Schlosser, a former military medic who was receiving treatment in a Maine prison for bipolar disorder and depression. In the video, Schlosser is in a restraint chair while his face is coated at close range with pepper spray from a canister intended for use on large crowds from a distance of 20 feet. Schlosser chokes and fights for breath.
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