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+ - Anti-Fracking activist in Texas disassembles Gas company propaganda->

Submitted by Walkingshark
Walkingshark (711886) writes "Adam Briggle, a key leader in the Texas anti-fracking movement, has been one of the pivotal figures in the historic total fracking ban proposed in the city of Denton. With the help of the rest of the leadership of Frack-Free Denton, a medium sized city in Texas stands to be one of the key battlegrounds in efforts to rebalance the property rights of mineral owners and home owners. Now that the petition is going to the voters in the fall, the Gas industry is opening up their pockets to flood the city with propaganda designed to misinform voters so that the referendum to ban fracking will fail. Briggle, on his Denton Drilling blog, has published an incredibly well reasoned and articulate takedown of their usual propaganda, a piece of writing that could end up serving as the template for how to completely demolish the poorly worded half truths often deployed by industry. Read it here and have a chuckle, Depantsing the Perryman Report about Denton’s Fracking Ban."
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Comment: I'm just going to re-quote this for emphasis: (Score 1) 222

by inode_buddha (#47294653) Attached to: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

I'm just going to re-quote this for emphasis:

The development of global finance rules under the guise of âtradeâ(TM) was the brainchild of senior executives of AIG, American Express, Citicorp and Merrill Lynch in the late 1970s. Their role, and subsequently a broader lobby called the Financial Leaders Group, is well documented. The former director of the WTOâ(TM)s services division himself acknowledged in 1997 that: âWithout the enormous pressure generated by the American financial services sector, particularly companies like American Express and Citicorp, there would have been no services agreementâ(TM).16

As the lobby evolved it was still led from Wall Street, but expanded to include the major insurance and banking institutions, investment banks and auxiliary financial services providers, from funds managers to credit-rating agencies and even the news agency Reuters. They were later joined by the e-finance and electronic payments industry, which includes credit, stored value and loyalty cards, ATM management, and payment systems operators like PayPal.

The industry lobbyists have also set the demands for financial services in TISA. The Chairman of the Board of the US Coalition of Service Industries is the Vice Chairman of the Institutional Clients Group at Citi. When the industryâ(TM)s demands, as expressed in the consultation on TISA conducted by the US Trade Representative in 2013, are matched against the leaked text it becomes clear that they stand to get most of what they asked for. Extracts from their submissions are listed at the end of this document.

Why is it OK for for private businesses to negotiate worldwide treaties, but not let citizens have any say in the treaty? They are both private entities, not the government. But somehow, the financial sector is given special privilege in this regard.


Comment: keeping the heat on (Score 4, Informative) 222

by inode_buddha (#47293943) Attached to: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

This thing is bad. It completely bypasses all the traditional controls of democracy. The people will have no say in it even tho its their money and lives. We need to keep the heat on this kind of thing just like SOPA only much, much more.... some good analysis and commentary over at Naked Capitalism these guys tell it like it is. Basically its looking like a global corporatocracy.

Comment: Re:remove Health Care from jobs and then labor cos (Score 1) 154

by inode_buddha (#47135145) Attached to: Google To Close Its American Moto X Factory

In the early 1990s, I remember the mass layoffs in that recession being blamed on "the lazy US worker" compared to the stereotypical [1] Japanese worker who was touted as someone who would give his or her life for the firm he worked for.

[1]: Yes, stereotypical.

I remember hearing the same thing during the Carter administration. Its nothing new. What *is* new is that we now realize that maybe the Japanese didn't wreck the US economy all by themselves - instead our own 1%-ers did. The Japs were just a handy scapegoat to deflect the blame - "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" -style of distraction.

Comment: Re:Brought to you by: (Score 1) 288

by inode_buddha (#47082577) Attached to: HP Makes More Money, Cuts 16,000 Jobs

What broke things is called "Free Trade" IMHO. You know, NAFTA, GATT, the TPP... and the list goes on. The USA does not have import restrictions like most other countries, and now its worrkers are being forced to compete with rather low global wages. We do not have reciprocal agreements. Notice how manufacturing has been almost completely killed in this country? Its no accident, it was done on purpose by those who hate paying for labor. Who do you think paid for the lobbyists behind these free trade agreements? Who got rich off the situation? Hint, it wasn't mom-n-pop and Main Street.

+ - MasterCard lobbying Congress against Bitcoin->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike (242293) writes "MasterCard is paying lobbyists to focus on the growing digital currency bitcoin, according to federal lobbying disclosure records.

In a quarterly report filed this month, lobbying firm Peck Madigan Jones said that five of its lobbyists were concentrating on “Bitcoin and mobile payments,” among more than a dozen other issues, on behalf of MasterCard.

The payment giant is the first company to officially lobby on the virtual currency, according to federal disclosure records.
In a statement sent to The Hill, MasterCard said that it was “gathering information in connection with recent congressional hearings to better understand the policy issues around virtual and anonymous currencies.”

The bitcoin company Xapo is working with banks on a bitcoin debit card that uses MasterCard and Visa networks, but MasterCard said on Tuesday said that it had no relationship with the company.

Bitcoins have been controversial on Capitol Hill, where some lawmakers have viewed them skeptically and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) even called for an outright ban. Still, others have been quicker to embrace them.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) bought $10 worth of bitcoins at a press event earlier this month, and committees in both chambers have held a slew of hearings on the potentials and perils of the currency.

Bitcoins only exist online and can be used relatively anonymously, which has invited drug dealers, money launders and other would-be criminals to see the money as a favorable way to hide their profits.

Defenders counter that the currency is no more risky than cash, but say it has the potential to revolutionize the way people pay for things. Backers say that bitcoins are safe and transactions are much cheaper for businesses than credit cards, which charge fees.

So far, Congress has been interested in learning about the money but has resisted passing legislation on its use or treatment. MasterCard’s lobbying could be a sign of new activity on Capitol Hill.

Other agencies, however, have begun to flex their oversight muscles on the issue.

The Federal Election Commission is currently eyeing whether to allow campaigns to accept bitcoin contributions, and the IRS recently declared that bitcoins should be treated like a property, not currency, when people pay their taxes."

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Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.