Tag: Music

Gordon Campbell on Trump and the Madman Theory

Column – Gordon Campbell Years ago, Richard Nixon explained to his chief adviser Bob Haldeman what has since become known as the Madman Theory of foreign policy . Gordon Campbell on Trump and the Madman Theory Years ago, Richard Nixon explained to his chief adviser Bob Haldeman what has since become known as the “Madman Theory” of foreign policy. Basically, if America’s rivals could be reminded that Nixon was an unstable, rabid anti-Communist with his finger on the nuclear trigger, Nixon reasoned, then maybe they’d be less willing to challenge the US in the world’s hot spots. Don’t push him, ‘cause he’s close to the edge. “I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button” and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.” [1] Donald Trump looks like the latest incarnation of this theory. As President, would Trump be just ‘crazy nutty ‘or ‘crazy like a fox’? Hopefully, the world won’t be put in the position of finding out for sure. One of the problems with the Madman Theory (which BTW,...

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Why is the US TPPA ‘Implementation Team’ Meddling in NZ?

Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The US Trade Representative Michael Froman has revealed his office is sending teams of officials to the other the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) countries, including New Zealand, to vet their implementation of the intellectual property chapter …20 April 2016 For immediate release Why is the US TPPA ‘Implementation Team’ Meddling in NZ? The US Trade Representative Michael Froman has revealed his office is sending teams of officials to the other the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) countries, including New Zealand, to vet their implementation of the intellectual property chapter and other parts of the agreement.[1] ‘ “Implementation” is code for the US making sure it gets what it wants, backed by its power to veto the TPPA’s entry into force if it doesn’t’, said Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey. ‘This is an outrageous assault on the sovereign right of nations to decide their own laws without interference from other states.’ ‘The US is notorious for rewriting the script after negotiations are ‘concluded’ to secure their version of the text when other countries insist they have done what is required.[2] ‘This will come in two stages’, Professor Kelsey explained. ‘The first we are seeing now. The US says “we can’t possibly get this to the floor of Congress without these changes to what you are doing”.’ ‘If Congress votes in favour of its implementing...

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Gordon Campbell on (missing) US links to the Panama Papers

Column – Gordon Campbell Belatedly, US complicity in the global tax avoidance systems is now trickling out into daylight. To some, one of the suspicious aspects of the scandal to date has been how few firms and individuals from the US have featured in the document dump … Gordon Campbell on the (missing) US links to the Panama Papers, and Merle Haggard Belatedly, US complicity in the global tax avoidance systems is now trickling out into daylight. To some, one of the suspicious aspects of the scandal to date has been how few firms and individuals from the US have featured in the document dump from the Mossack Fonseca law firm. The Guardian did nothing to dispel the potential for paranoia about a Cold War agenda by making the scandal initially seem to be about Vladimir Putin and his cronies. Former British diplomat Craig Murray has come out strongly against the selective nature of the coverage to date. Calls have been made to release all of the Panama Papers documents – right now – assuming a suitable place is found to store what is said to be 2 terrabytes of data, or 11.5 million documents. (The entire Snowden trove by comparison amounted to only 60 gigabytes. Years later, we’re still getting news stories based on Snowden’s mine of information. The same will presumably apply in this case.) The Panama...

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Gordon Campbell on the Aussie banks

Column – Gordon Campbell If the New Zealand economy was a tennis player, it would be Maria Sharapova a player reportedly reliant on artificial stimulants, and corporate endorsements. In similar vein, our economy is seemingly dependent on artificial boosts to activity … Gordon Campbell on the Aussie banks, and patriotic death porn about the flag If the New Zealand economy was a tennis player, it would be Maria Sharapova – a player reportedly reliant on artificial stimulants, and corporate endorsements. In similar vein, our economy is seemingly dependent on artificial boosts to activity from (a) construction, driven by the Christchurch earthquake and the Auckland housing bubble (b) tourism, driven by our declining dollar and (c) a series of RBNZ interest rate cuts. None of which is a sustainable path to growth. Quite the contrary: the productive side of the economy remains in a depressed, deflated state. Yet on cue the bank economists continue to fulfil their rent-a-quote role by claiming that our GDP growth is still looking fine and is better than most; and so it is, yet only in a Sharapova sense. Sure, one can readily understand why bank economists would want to sing the praises of government policy settings that vastly enrich their employers. Last year, the four major banks raked off a massive $4.59 billion in profits from New Zealanders, thereby exceeding the rates of return...

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Consulting on TPP’s intellectual property implementation

Press Release – New Zealand Government Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith today released a consultation document showing how the Government proposes to implement the intellectual property changes required to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).Hon Minister Paul Goldsmith Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs 9 March 2016 Media Statement Consulting on TPP’s intellectual property implementation Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith today released a consultation document showing how the Government proposes to implement the intellectual property changes required to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). “TPP is New Zealand’s largest free trade agreement. The TPP economies are worth US$28 trillion and open New Zealand companies up to a customer base of 800 million people,” Mr Goldsmith says. “While most of the provisions are consistent with New Zealand’s existing intellectual property settings, some changes to our laws will be required before we can ratify the final agreement. “Releasing the consultation document shows how the changes could be implemented and allows for public comment and input before legislation is introduced to Parliament. “The changes include a revised regime for technological protection measures, or digital locks, patent term extensions in certain situations when there are unreasonable delays in examining the patent or getting regulatory approval, a more extensive performers’ rights regime and new powers for Customs to detain goods that infringe copyright or registered trademarks. “TPP has been the...

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