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TTIP Leaks (ttip-leaks.org)
752 points by Hjugo on May 2, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 251 comments

So business groups and lobbyists for companies like IBM, Apple, Google et al. are deeply involved in the US side of negotiations (far more than any public interest groups).

Then on the EU side, business groups and lobbyists for companies like IBM, Apple, Google et al. are deeply involved in negotiations to the detriment of all public groups.

So this is really lots of big US companies negotiating with themselves on how to screw over Europe.

This is a takeover attempt through the backdoor.

"So this is really lots of big US companies negotiating with themselves on how to screw over Europe."

Let me change this for you to something more accurate:

So this is really lots of big multinational corporations negotiating with themselves on how to screw over working people throughout the world.

When you start tuning this into "US companies screwing over Europe", you play right into their hands. As if there aren't dozens of European corporations screwing us all over right now. Until recently, I owned a diesel VW that spewed poison into the air every time I drove it, thanks to a bunch of German executives who valued profit over air quality. This goes beyond borders.

Its both. Americans appear to have either give up years ago or agree with their representatives actions. Divided and conquered by squabbling over dem/rep smoke screens.

Europeans have fought harder to win and keep better social conditions, work conditions, health conditions, consumer protections, monopoly protection (great internets), environmental protection laws.

If you and a western european work same job for same company then you get a seriously raw deal compared to euros wrt benefits and conditions. I see ttip as a means for these companies to screw euros into US style conditions.

On euro side there are plenty of corrupt people (business, politicians, everything) that would love to screw either side to make some extra cash. The european commission are strongly behind it because all they see are dollar signs. Individual member states are going the other way from the look of it for one reason or another. Germans really won't budge on GM foods and US imports standards.

I expect europeans to fight the good fight and reject TTiP. I don't expect americans to do anything.

In the same vein, it seems to me that TTP and TTIP are one thing just sliced up geographically to make it appear less big, less of a one-stop solution for screwing the world. When in reality, these two "agreements" are giving western (though mostly american) companies far more power than they could possibly handle sensibly, seeing as they are already fucking up left and right in terms of, dunno, human rights, maybe (or just some basic decency).

Every internal combustion engine in history has and will spew poison in to the air. You just thought it was slightly less than it actually was.

Ever considered that internal combustion engines actually also saved lives (and made life possible in places where it was not) ? Let's not paint the world black and white.

Yes, but that has nothing to do with diesel fuel vs. others, which was the point of the previous two comments.

Honestly, where has it made life possible where it was not? Most places have been inhabited for eons, or settled before the invention of the internal combustion engine.

Honestly, please report back with a plan that gets the USA from 30 million people in 1860 to 300+ million people today without using the internal combustion engine.

or freed (cumulatively) billions from backbreaking labor.

This is more important. Also, transporting people when they'd die/have horrible conditions otherwise.

I think it is a silly argument to say it helped people by helping them exist in the first place. It is a weird argument for a larger population, which probably isn't a great thing.

> larger population [...] probably isn't a great thing.

Julian Simon would have strongly disagreed and he put his money where his mouth was in his famous bets with Erlich: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Simon

Yes, but he actually got lucky. Given the average of any 10-year period in the last 100 years I believe Simon would have been wrong.

It might not have been Simon's good luck, because Erlich's luck when it comes to prediction has been consistently bad.

Can you show some data online to back that up? I'm genuinely curious.

Yes, I was talking about that. But if you want an answer, many of the first cars were electric, if they went with the electric engine instead things wouldn't be exactly the same, but would have allowed the US to increase to 300+ million no problem.

I'm sure the electric planes, tanks and aircraft carriers would've made for some interesting historical footnotes in 1939. Assuming we hadn't already all starved due to the lack of food being produced by the electric farm tractors.

You may have starved. Everyone else would have continued to rely on the steam tractors that were in use well into the 30s. I'm sure most aircraft carriers would be powered the same way nuclear subs are powered now.

Ah yes. Wake up a few extra hours before sunrise to load crisp, clean-burning coal into a furnace. Then fiddle with dials waiting for it to come up to pressure without exploding. Then drag a cast iron boiler and tons of water (!) on tiny wheels across muddy fields, generating 15 horsepower. Built to scale!

generating 15 horsepower

You don't need a lot of horsepower to replace a horse. Quite literally, one would be enough.

In the spring you have a specific number of weeks to prep and plant. The amount of food you can produce is directly tied to the horsepower you can apply. It's also the difference between spending 15 hours a day in the field versus 8.

Yeah, I know, more power means you can process a bigger swath of the field faster with one pass. But I've driven a ~15hp tractor, and it could still do a lot more than you'd think.

You're clearly a waste of time. They were already doing that. Why? Because the ICE's weren't up to snuff.

(replying to soperj's sibling post)

> Honestly, where has it made life possible where it was not?


But yeah, I think the parent was just making a point :P

Hard drugs make the pain go away but they also slowly kill you.

It wasn't "slightly less", it was many, many times less. And there was no reason for it; it was entirely possible to engineer the vehicles to use the proper amount of AdBlue to keep the emissions within spec, they just wouldn't have been able to go 10,000 miles between refills.

Sure they could, they just needed a larger tank.

Well yes, but the question is just how large. In a small car, there probably simply wasn't enough room without completely changing the chassis design. But really, WhyTF do you need a 10k mile service interval? No one expects to drive 10k miles without refilling the fuel tank. No one even expects to drive 10k miles without refilling the windshield washer fluid tank! Car companies don't expect people to drive 10k miles and then take their car to the dealership to put more windshield washer fluid in for them; any moron can refill that tank with a $1.50/gallon bottle from Walmart. But somehow people aren't competent to refill their AdBlue tank and need ridiculously-long service intervals? But they can be trusted to refill their fuel tanks with a highly-flammable and toxic substance (one with poisonous fumes, no less) every week or two?

> In a small car, there probably simply wasn't enough room without completely changing the chassis design.

I am not an expert, but based on my understanding, the issue was not chassis design, but cost. http://www.autoblog.com/2015/09/30/vw-diesel-fix-would-have-...

The reclaiming system would add to the cost of the vehicle, and operating it properly would also decrease fuel economy. Both would tend to decrease sales. So this was strictly about profit for VW.

> WhyTF do you need a 10k mile service interval

Because people want their cars to support their lifestyle, not vice versa.

> But somehow people aren't competent to refill their AdBlue tank and need ridiculously-long service intervals? But they can be trusted to refill their fuel tanks with a highly-flammable and toxic substance

The issue is not one of consumer trust. It's practicality. Gasoline filling stations are everywhere. Now: where can a consumer buy AdBlue or whatever the brand of urea is required by VW? No one wants a car that implies more complexity in their life.

Your link provides zero details and makes zero sense. What costs $300? They don't say.

The issue, according to everything I've read, is that they have an AdBlue system but they don't inject nearly enough of it to keep emissions down.

>The reclaiming system would add to the cost of the vehicle, and operating it properly would also decrease fuel economy.

They have a reclaiming system (DEF injection). It does not decrease fuel economy. DEF injects urea into the exhaust stream to catalyze NOx emissions into N2 and H2O.


>Because people want their cars to support their lifestyle, not vice versa.

Too bad. If they can be bothered to refuel their fuel and washer fluid tanks, they can be bothered to refuel a third tank too.

>The issue is not one of consumer trust. It's practicality. Gasoline filling stations are everywhere. Now: where can a consumer buy AdBlue or whatever the brand of urea is required by VW? No one wants a car that implies more complexity in their life.

BS. Go read the article. Lots of truck stops have AdBlue dispensers at the fuel pumps now. If consumers don't want to refill a second tank periodically, then they shouldn't buy a diesel vehicle.

> you just thought it was slightly less than it actually was.

(where "slightly" = 40x)

Thanks. This site seems to indicate it was "up to" "nearly" 40x.


An EU perspective (and EU rules) http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/21/all-top-sell... has results no where near 40x.

None of that of course is "slightly less", but that wasn't my point.

Funny you would mention the totally blown out of proportions emissions scandal. According to TTIPleaks it just happens to be one of the major threats the US made: 'Give in or we bully your car manufacturers.'

>This is a takeover attempt through the backdoor.

In case it wasn't already immensely obvious, the third world war has been underway for some time. This one isn't a war fought with guns and bombs, it's a war fought with information, deals and economies.

See China's massive economy and ownership of the US, the massive drop in oil price and what that's done to the world economy etc.

The citizens of the world wouldn't tolerate full-scale war - they'd vote out their leaders, so this is what we get when countries still want to dominate each other.

>this is what we get when countries still want to dominate each other.

The most peaceful, prosperous, and healthy period known in human history?

You're repeating propaganda.

May be there's less violence, but the amount of suffering has skyrocketed over the years. A more than significant amount of people are dependent on tranquilizers and anti-depressants to make their life bearable, because for them it has become mundane and meaningless without.

Statistiscs may tell a story of less violence, and people getting older and having more material possessions, but these do not reflect the actual well-being of people, and also these numbers don't show how much exploitation and environmental damage our alleged 'prosperity' causes in other parts of the world.

What you're saying is "statistics might tell one story, but let me tell you, without citing sources or evidence, those statistics are wrong".

No, what he's saying is "your metrics are measuring the wrong things and so it does not matter what numbers pop out of them; they are completely meaningless when it comes to answering the question which is actually important".

But nobody can answer the important question except for themselves.

You can measure the amount of ability to choose and answer your own questions though. Also, this all very idealistic nonsense- until 300 years ago, we lived basically in tribal community, and people yearn for that, no matter how futuristic they dress up.

For one, suicide rates in the developed world are on the rise: http://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/

But this might be caused by all sorts of things. More people rejecting (or being more "moderate" in) religion, for instance. Or more people being able to get a more accurate view of the world. Or social acceptability changing.

Doesn't seem fair to look at overall statistics for peace and prosperity, then say "well that doesn't really count".

If there is a rise in the curve of suicides caused by more people having an accurate view of the world, a realisation that causes them to take their own lives, I'm sure the solution is not to try to get people to believe in something that is false.

Of course, but all these are manifestations of the same ideological system (that also brought "peace and prosperity").

You can have a quantifiable increase in quality of life without it being a meaningful increase in quality of life.

That seems incompleat. Could you continue?

Most quality of life reports include ratings that are some variation on "average monthly income", meaning this nowadays pretty arbitrary measure of wealth aka money that you have no control over is factored into how happy you're supposed to be. Money is not the primary condition for happiness for many people, and markets are a complex thing, meaning having more money does not automatically entail having a better life.

(just my understanding of parent's comment)

No, what he is saying is that you can make any argument appear valid if you cherry pick statistics.

There's less violence according to who? There are more people in prison today then any time in history. I'd argue that imprisoning someone is an act of violence. Violent coercion is also violence. Every time the government violates your rights, at the point of the gun, that's violence. That occurs hundreds of millions of times per day due to the actions of our police state.

Delusional people who talk about the rosy benefits of overpopulation always fail to mention that overpopulation is a direct cause of the 6th mass extinction, the saturation of the environment with chemical pollutants, the overfishing of the oceans, the destruction of tillable fields with nitrogen injection (which also leads to massive dead zones in waterways from runoff), and the list goes on.

Talking about how wonderful overpopulation is and how great we are getting along is like talking about how warm and comforting the fire on the life boat is while you burn your oars. It seems like a great idea until the oars are gone and not only are you cold, but you can no longer row.

"Never trust a statistic you haven't faked yourself".

Yeah, because the Opium Wars of 1800s never happened or something.


Your ignorance of history is outstanding and on display. Whatever the TTIP is, it is most certainly not a secret agreement to allow Opium into the Chinese economy to wreak the common people.

We are better and more civilized people today than we were back then. Period.


Afghanistan was always an awful place:


And there are certainly fewer outright rebellions like the Boxer Rebellion going on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxer_Rebellion

Of course, Imperialism doesn't actually happen anymore. We don't go to war on 100% false pretenses (yeah, WMDs were bad, but "Remember the Maine to Hell with Spain" was significantly worse)


The reasoning of the 1900s was that "War is good. Social Darwinism at its finest". Survival of the fittest, lets fight. World War 1 was fought not out of necessity, but out of curiosity. We had new weapons, and we wanted to use them on each other. It was finally time for the great Powers of the World to compete in the glory of War.

We are a hell of a lot more peaceful today. No country actually has the appetite for the amount of warrant-less killing that Imperialism creates. We actually are connected to every other country in the world and care about the citizens of other countries.

In the late 1800s, we didn't even give a damn about the natives of our own country, or Black people, or even Women. (See Jim Crow laws).

>>No country actually has the appetite for the amount of warrant-less killing that Imperialism creates

The US drone war has been killing hundreds and thousands of innocent people so I wonder if perhaps we do have an appetite for that sort of murder.

Right. You just keep ignoring the good parts of history.

You do realize that America opened up Concentration Camps inside of the Philippine-American War?

Americans retaliated against the Philippinos by creating such lovely orders like "Kill everyone over the age of 10".


> "I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better it will please me. I want all persons killed who are capable of bearing arms in actual hostilities against the United States," General Jacob H. Smith said.

America, F-yeah! And of course, the definition of "capable of bearing arms" is:

> "Persons of ten years and older are those designated as being capable of bearing arms"


But yeah, continue to pretend that modern war is worse than the past or something. Hundreds or thousands of innocent civilians? F-ing hell, we did 25,000 to 50,000 for s--- and giggles back then. In a single campaign, by a single general who was never punished.

I am responding to a post that claims that countries no longer engage in the sorts of atrocities found in history to claim that things are not that different. I think we actually spend more effort these days "justifying" the carnage whereas in the past it passed with less comment.

You seem to be tilting at windmills that you erected yourself.

Scorched Earth was a STRATEGY of war in the late 1800s / early 1900s.


Back then, the US was blowing up hospitals as an EXPLICIT strategy to gain an edge over our foes. (Much like how Russia / Assad seem to be doing in Syria right now).

In contrast, when the US accidentally blows up a hospital today, a massive investigation goes through and everyone basically apologizes for it.

You seriously can't compare the 1800s / early 1900s mentality with the mentality of war we have today.

This S--- doesn't happen anymore, not by American commanders anyway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Walk_of_the_Navajo


Strictly by the numbers, the Drone Strikes that the US uses are far more precise at targeting than previous "Scorched Earth" campaigns that the Imperialist US used to take.

Comparing the lol Drone Strikes to Imperialist US is... utterly ridiculous from a historical perspective. The heartlessness and cruelty from that era still haunts us today.

No. We have no appetite for the warmongering that Imperialism used to call for. For every example you bring up today, I'll show you a historical example that is strictly worse.

The baseline isn't even worse stuff, the baseline is decency.

I tend to be a bit more pragmatic.

The human race is composed of neither angels nor devils: but humans. Beings with flawed and incomplete morality. Its best if we judge ourselves by comparing against the actions of our fathers, otherwise we may lose ourselves in idealism.

The claim after all, is that the current time is the most prosperous and peaceful time of all of human existence. And as far as I can tell, actual history agrees with this fact.

Don't believe me? Go back to the root comment if you've forgotten the claim: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11610816

You may be worried about a few thousand innocent deaths here and there, but again, that number is much much MUCH much smaller than the historical norm. But in any case, your idealism is a good thing. It is only further proof that we as a race are beginning to forget the horrors of war, because peace has existed for so long.

(Of course, some humans still exist in war-torn areas. Syrian and Iraqi refugees. And I am peace-loving and idealistic enough that I believe we should open up our country to these people, despite the risks. )

> Its best if we judge ourselves by comparing against the actions of our fathers, otherwise we may lose ourselves in idealism.

Honesty and decency existed thousands of years ago, too, "our fathers" aren't a monolith, just like the present isn't. But more importantly, I say including 10 different versions of jQuery on one page to color 10 letters makes it load needlessly slow, and you say that's still faster than usenet in the 80s -- if you know what I mean? It is both technically true and completely besides the point.

> The claim after all, is that the current time is the most prosperous and peaceful time of all of human existence.

Nope. The claim was that this is because of countries wanting to dominate each other. I say it's despite of that.

> You may be worried about a few thousand innocent deaths here and there, but again, that number is much much MUCH much smaller than the historical norm.

It's also a rather simplicistic metric. We consider murder bad because it doesn't allow the murdered people to live their lives, right? To develop freely as a person, and whatnot? Well, there's a problem:

> "it's not possible to be fully human if you are being surveilled 24/7"

[ http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20130818120421175 ]

The same goes for other things. People are getting fucked in so many ways with it's not really the opposite of murder, but its sibling. And open murder evokes criticism and resistance, while "pumping every home full of sleeping gas" (to paraphrase the lyrics to Bullet In The Head by RATM) works much better.

> I am peace-loving and idealistic enough that I believe we should open up our country to these people, despite the risks.

Call me when you're willing to get war criminals arrested and tried, and I mean American/Western ones. And let's talk about how peaceful the world has become after the wars/genocides over oil and water are over. You know, the ones we do nothing serious to avoid steering into, because we're too busy dominating each other, building little fortresses and kicking away the ladder? The gap between rich and poor is growing, not shrinking. You can't say by the standards of 1900, people today are better off. Well you can, but I can't take it seriously. By the standards of 2016 -- the ones that matter -- many people are worse off. As Stephen Hawking wrote:

> If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

( https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/3nyn5i/science_ama... )

    Then the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone,
    All centuries but this, and every country but his own;
-- The Mikado (1885)

Go back just 150 years ago, and Slavery is legalized. 250 years ago, and slavery is widespread. IMO, its going to be rather difficult to be "fully human" when you are legally considered 3/5ths of a person.

Go back 250 years ago, and the entire concept of "privacy" and "security within your home" doesn't even exist (to free-men. Obviously not granted to slaves, who were raped and sold off by their owners. Don't forget that Thomas Jefferson was a slaver, despite being officially against it). The USA is one of the first countries in the world to formally recognize the right to privacy through the 4th Amendment.

Go back 1000 years ago, and you have people dying of the Plague, and divorce court being settled by TRIAL BY COMBAT, to the death! You aren't really a person unless you're from a noble house either.


But yeah, go complain about privacy rights. I raise you SLAVERY. Modern civil rights for all people is a concept that is only 50 years old or so, since the 1960s when the concept began to solidify.

Again, ignore history at your peril. Today is the most peaceful, prosperous time of history. And Pax Britannica (the period of peace in the 1800s, the time period when "The Mikado" was written) is also relatively peaceful compared to hundreds of years before that time.

But Pax Americana stands head-and-shoulders better than Pax Britannica. We have women's sufferage / women's rights. Gays aren't literally put to death (even smart gays, like Allan Turing, would be able to live in peace today). Jim Crow laws don't exist anymore, and the Ku Klux Klan aren't lynching randoms, at least out in the open, like they used to.

And of course, we aren't killing tens-of-thousands of innocent civilians at a time (because killing everybody is much easier when conquering a nation than trying to rule).


> Nope. The claim was that this is because of countries wanting to dominate each other. I say it's despite of that.

Imperialism is dead dude. Let it go and rejoice in the present.

On the other hand, if you're the kind of person that "The Mikado" is describing, perhaps you can't. Any century but this, any country but your own??

Yes, and? What makes you think I'm saying "everything gets worse all the time"? Are you saying those things are all because of "nations trying to dominate each other", or maybe simply because of humans thinking and inventing and reasoning and arguing and whatnot?

> But yeah, go complain about privacy rights. I raise you SLAVERY.

I love how you asked me to re-read the comment, and now continually talk about straw men yourself. That's quite rich.

> On the other hand, if you're the kind of person that "The Mikado" is describing, perhaps you can't. Any century but this, any country but your own??

Nope, and nothing I said would indicate so, either. With not one word did I say "things were better back then in X". And whether imperialism is dead or not (how that goes together with "Pax Americana") doesn't change that your responses address straw men. So I'll simply take it you are projecting when you implicitly muse whether I'm an idiot. Proof is in this string of comments, have a nice life.

> May be there's less violence, but the amount of suffering has skyrocketed over the years. A more than significant amount of people are dependent on tranquilizers and anti-depressants to make their life bearable, because for them it has become mundane and meaningless without.

Citation? I haven't heard of anyone who is dependent on tranquilizers or anti-depressants (well, apart from the Internet from people with clinical depression), so it can't be that common.

The first thing I found on duckduckgo: http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20111019/use-of-antidep...

"About 11% of Americans aged 12 or older take antidepressants" (2011)

"the rate of antidepressant use in the U.S. has increased nearly 400% since 1988."

Many people that are on anti-depressants won't tell you about it.

edit: Really? Downvote me just because I provided a source to the claim that more people are on antidepressants today?

I'm sure its high. I'm also sure we use more vaccines, bone marrow transplants and leukemia cures than before. Its not always a bad thing that folks aren't suffering as they used to historically.

Probably due to higher diagnosis and superior antidepressants (so patients are more likely to be prescribed).

Rate of antidepressant use isn't a good proxy for mental illnesses.

While the criticisms in parallel may be founded, I think a better comparison would be the relative trajectory over time and the comparable rates of prescription in other nations.

It could be that the US is still under diagnosed compared to nations that have national healthcare systems as part of their tax structure.

It could also be that even with the above the US receives more diagnosis for anti-depressants due to quality of life and interactions between the individual and the culture of a given area.

It is my hypothesis (but I've no idea what terms to use for the search) that the culture in the US is less supportive and less about inclusion and empowerment than it has been in the past or possibly than other cultures. However researching that is much more something that those in social sciences should be performing as part of their education and society's investment in to scientific experiments for the public good.

That doesn't necessarily people are more depressed now than they were in the past. It could also mean that people who would have been depressed either way are now finally getting treatment for it. Sounds pretty good to me.

It's very common in the US. Present to a medical professional with a bit of lethargy and doubt or confusion over the general direction of your life and these medications seem to be prescribed almost immediately. It's almost like they don't want people to analyze their lives and address their issues such that their life is bearable without the aid of pharmaceuticals.

Or maybe they'd prefer to make this option readily available to you so that you'll use these pharmaceuticals which have relatively minor side-effects, rather than you "self medicating" with alcohol or illegal narcotics as people generally did in the past (and still do today).

You tell me, which is better for someone under a lot of stress in life: should they take a Xanax one or two times a day, or should they drink themselves into a stupor every evening? Because the latter is the standard way of treating anxiety and depression, and has been for centuries.

The US has a very strong puritan streak that says suffering is generally the result of personal moral failure, good for people, and it's wrong to make it ‘too easy’ to alleviate.

What about neither? There are people who value sobriety.

That option is available too.

Having "more posessions", posessions at all, "getting older" and the least amount of violence (probably) since ever - constitutes what I'd call the most awesome time for humanity thus far.

What you call WW3, just shows how much capitalism has tamed even the biggest powers and helped make this world a more resilient civilization.

"May be there's less violence, but the amount of suffering has skyrocketed over the years. A more than significant amount of people are dependent on tranquilizers and anti-depressants to make their life bearable, because for them it has become mundane and meaningless without."

I don't think this is very accurate. People get hooked on painkillers usually because they had some sort of accident and need them for pain...and since opiates are extremely addictive, continue to take them after they no longer need them.

"also these numbers don't show how much exploitation and environmental damage our alleged 'prosperity' causes in other parts of the world."

You can't blame us for countries that decide to have no rules and ruin their environment. When you compare the environment of the US to pretty much anywhere in the world, it's one of the cleanest (if not the cleanest).

..and 'exploitation'? We built the middle class of China. Before we started going overseas to build factories, the majority of people in China were in complete and utter poverty.

Hardly what I call exploitation.

In contrast, Chinese people got hooked on Opium because the British was making so much money off of it.


The Treaty of Nanking was basically crafted so that British Merchants can continue to get China hopped up on Opium. Because it was so profitable.

And people think today's trade deals are bad...

Nice. "You can't blame us for buying things from people who use slave labor and slaughter their slaves by the millions if they don't cooperate."

People weren't less depressed before Prozac, except if they were too busy starving or laboring.

Is this HN or /r/conspiracy lol.

You set a pretty low bar. We have had 200+ years of exponential growth in knowledge and technology. By all rights, we should be (all n billion of us) living in an earthly paradise, today.

But you are right, in context of the past n thousands years, we're doing OK.

"The best we have got" doesn't really mean so much if one considers how bad the preceding periods had been. I'm not saying the quality of life had been constantly improved through the history but, thanks to the improvements in a lot of areas (technology and human rights being some important ones), it is a generally upwards trend.

In summary, you can't tie quality of life so easily to a single criterion.

> > this is what we get when countries still want to dominate each other.

> The most peaceful, prosperous, and healthy period known in human history?

We don't have that because of war profiteers and other exploiters and murderers, but despite them. And there's no telling how much better it would be without all the ballast and poison.

Healthy, peaceful and prosperous for who? Is this supposed to be a joke? I guess if it doesn't happen in the west, it doesn't count. Simply disgusting that someone could actually believe this.

For those who dominate.

In case I didn't misunderstand your comment, no, the ongoing WW3 is not obvious.

The third world war part isn't obvious at all.

> China's massive economy

How is having a massive economy an act of aggression?

> The citizens of the world wouldn't tolerate full-scale war

We've never really been given a choice in the matter.

Try this for size: "the citizens of the world [can't yet] tolerate" the reality of a One World government and thus require generational guidance. "News" at ten.

How much of the US does China own?

1.2 trillion

Edit: I am answering a simple question. I am not offering any interpretation or comments. So I don't know why commentators are trying to drag me into a debate.

That's... not how US debt works. Countries use the dollar as a reserve currency through buying up treasury bonds. It's simply a safe place to park their money. The US 'owes' China 1.2 trillion in the same way your bank 'owes' you the balance of your checking account.

I own bank of america.

I don't see that as an answer to the question I asked. I did not ask how much US government debt was held by China.

If that is all OP meant, I would ask them why they think China owning US bonds is particularly meaningful for the US.

Probably as much as the Saudis do :)

What is with all the tinfoil hat conspiracies in here? Can we please resume to a rational discussion?

OK, let's go to the facts:

1. A treaty is negotiated between the two major markets in the world.

2. We know that when this kind of treaties are passed is almost impossible to go back.

3. We know that the most important input to those treaties come from corporations.

4. The conversations happen in secret.

5. The democratic representatives are not allowed to read the treaty except in a hurry and without legal help.

6. Free trade is already a reality but, somehow, a wider treaty that create new tribunals where corporations can sue states is necessary.

You are right. No need for tinfoil conspiracies.

Some further facts:

- the treaty tries to abolish market regulation differences between the two markets

- costumer protection regulations between the US and the EU are incompatible

- In the US often e.g. chemicals are allowed until proven hazardous, in the EU they are outlawed until proven harmless

- the tribunals will operate outside the normal juridical systems of the US and the EU

Resulting in:

- No differences, but

- US consumer protection (which is hardly any)

- US (bio)chemical regulations

- A non-conformative tribunal which is not elected, not governed, has no oversight and has no basis in any civil law (as you cannot appeal/trail as a civilian if you are disadvantaged by its rulings)

This "allowed until proven hazardous" vs "outlawed until proven harmless" is such a misrepresenting of the disagreement.

Okey, lets put this concept into practice. I will sell fungus as antibiotics, and I will stop once its proven if it work. This would of course not work, and we follow a "outlawed until proven harmless" when it comes to medicine. In the context of medicine, that is a good rule to have and both US and EU agree on this.

So, its not about "proven to be safe" vs "proven to be unsafe", but rather specific regulations in specific contexts where EU and US disagree which one is best. In medicine, both agree. With additive in food and pesticide residue laying around in crops, they disagree.

There could have been a public debate, but this treaty is not that. It even go as far as forbid laws that grants the consumer a legal right to know what substances they ingest.

> 4. The conversations happen in secret.

Not commenting on any other aspects of TTIP, but they happen in secret for a reason.[0][1][2] Most trade negotiations are secret too, and if the whole process was public there would be too much bikeshedding and pressure on the negotiators.

EDIT: forgot to include a TL;DR summary of why they are secret. Fixed NPR link

0 - http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2015/06/26/417851577/episo...

1 - http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/08/random-t...

2 - http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/08/random-t...

> and if the whole process was public there would be too much bikeshedding and pressure on the negotiators.

That's a feature, not a bug. Whence this argument that trade negotiations are somehow different from every single other aspect of good governance? For all other mechanisms of government, everyone agrees that transparency is a vital mechanism for preventing corruption, and that whatever inefficiencies it introduces into the system are a necessary evil. Yet somehow free trade agreements operate on a different set of rules; even though time after time it's been shown that this invites boatloads of the exact corruption that government transparency is meant to combat. [source: every TPP/TTIP leak thus far]

Literally having the exact same conversion on reddit. You are right, it is a feature not a bug.

I fucking hate these arguments, that "we need secrecy to negotiate effectively". The problem is, the negotiations are "effective" on behalf of corporations, not the public. Yes, they happen in secret for a reason, but that's not a reason we're bound to respect.

If only "in secret" really meant "only between diplomats" and not "hidden from the public but not corporations".

That might be true in theory. In fact, secrecy is used to hide a vast array of horrors and ram them through under the cover of "trade liberalization."

The first link doesn't even discuss secrecy, unless the implicit reason is, "because negotiator's lie".

Thanks, that was indeed the wrong NPR story. Fixed!

I don't think it's because of some conspiracy that EU leaders like Merkel favor TTIP. They probably think it's the right way to go, because TTIP will make EU's economy grow. (See for example http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/151787.htm)

And it is obvious that major internationals on both sides will be the ones that benefit most from the cuts in government regulations proposed by TTIP. So a substantial portion of the economic growth will go to them. Therefore I don't think you need to be in the tinfoil hat camp to support the believe that they are lobbying for TTIP.

The mistake that our EU leaders make, IMO, is that what's good for the EU's economy, is not necessarily always good for the majority of its citizens. Those government regulations were there for a reason, for instance to protect the environment, support area's who are economically behind etc.

That's the real problem. The term "economy" has been captured by big corporations. When I grew up in Germany the economy was supposed to be a benefit to all participants and a balance had to be achieved. Now the economy is supposed to be fine as long as big business is happy. The regular citizen doesn't count anymore.

TTIP is just the final expression of this. Whatever I hear only lobbyists have been involved. No other citizen organizations like unions, environmental organizations, politicians or wherever. Only big business.

I'd like to point out that German economy and by extension, regular Germans, heavily depend on exports to the US. So, reducing frictions in trade between US and Europe should make regular Germans better off not worse off. How do you suppose German economy works ?

The most likely outcome of this is that exports are sold at the price they are at now, not cheaper. The workers are paid the same as they are now, (which is the market rate). And the difference in what's normal and cost savings from TTIP will go to company bottom line. And the top officers at the company will collect a performance bonus.

The unlikely scenario is that the price comes down and more units are sold and/or the difference in export costs is divided between the workers to pay them above market rate.

And the company and the executives pay taxes from the bottom line Thus, according to your own logic, the state, which pays social security and benefits is better off and is more fiscally sound

"And the company and the executives pay taxes from the bottom line" ... this is sarcastic isn't it?

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Papers] [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxembourg_Leaks] [http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-05-22/google-joi...]

So by your logic, since some companies and individuals evade some taxes, it follows that no companies and no individuals pay taxes?

How about paying better salaries so the state doesn't have to do that much?

Seems the companies want to have it both ways. Not pay much and have the state provide assistance for underpaid workers (see Walmart) and then complain about taxes too high.

>taxes too high.

At 3%, while the majority of earnings goes to the company, the workers carry the tax bill @18%

Well that's the typical discussion at least in the US. "Look how much taxes the top 1% pay over those low income slackers."

I don't really know what you mean to say here, but generally, 'low income slackers' pay 18% -24% on their income and the rich pay significantly less then that as a percentage of income. Are you implying this is not the case?

I don't think the goal is getting more money into the coffers of the state. But, if that's a big win for you I guess it makes sense.

Well, in Germany people get pensions and benefits from the state. So, if your goal is to not have to reduce those, then yes, getting money into the coffers of the state is partially the goal

Sure, so the company can pay pennies on the dollar for pensions for employees after a life time of service. What a great deal?

What actually ends up happening is the people who carry the tax burden ( workers ) end up paying their own pensions. Which is fine, as long as we aren't pretending that the pensions is a benefit of working.

I know Germany benefits big time from exports. But the benefits have stopped going to the workers. Like in the US wages are stagnating while the "economy" supposedly is doing well.

Really? How do you think Germany gets resources to pay for all the social benefits, pensions etc. if you think growth has stopped, then measures to raise it are a good thing

Growth has continued, net real wages haven't[0]. Although this seems to be changing[1].

[0] http://www.diw.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=diw_01.c.342374.de

[1] http://www.dw.com/en/germans-enjoy-highest-real-wage-rise-in...

There would be much less need for social benefits if the pay had kept up with growth. There is a whole generation of perpetual interns (Praktikant) because companies don't hire full-timers.

" should make regular Germans better off "

Please define a metric that we can use to establish this.

gdp per capita growth as well as sustainable financial situation so that German state can meet its social obligations without a fiscal crisis like in Greece

I live (now) in a country with a GDP per capita an order of magnitude less than the US.

Having just come come back from the US. I can say without doubt.

There is much less poverty here. The average citizens quality of life here is an order of magnitude better than the us.

Funnily enough. Money isn't everything. Stuff like personal freedoms. Social interaction. Inequity are much more important IMHO.

Which country ? If GDP per capita in your country is an order of magnitude less, I question your assertion

I don't think GDP/capita is enough, since it is taking an average of a highly skewed distribution. We really need something closer to a median: How about inflation-adjusted median income? Or perhaps inflation-adjusted median income after housing.

Thanks, just to be clear: I'm not an advocate for TTIP.

Not sure where you're from, but it's hard to imagine a rational basis for the European public to be an advocate of it.

My understanding of TTIP and TPP are that they're the US's last ditch attempt to standardise international trade along US lines before China overtakes and starts to set the tone.

On that basis they kinda make sense from a US perspective. From an EU perspective not so much.

(edit: not saying the US has a chance of staying ahead of China if TTIP/TPP are successful, just that standardised trade rules may soften China's negotiation position)

And in theory, this is actually a really good idea, and something the Western nations should be doing. China's human rights and environment records are abysmal. It would be to the advantage of western nations to be more unified for their common benefit, and force China to catch up. However the TTIP/TPP are going the wrong way: they're trying to water down or eliminate environmental and consumer protections in favor of large corporations' profits. In other words, they're trying to lower the bar rather than to raise it as they should be.

We really could use a standardized international trade treaty, but it has to be done in the open, and with input from more parties than just big corporations interested only in their profits, it needs input from environmental groups, workers' groups/unions, consumer rights advocates, food-safety organizations, etc.

Agreed, and it's unnerving that lobby groups seem to have a degree of access that neither the public nor many of our elected representitives seem to have.

My knowledge of history in this area clearly isn't strong enough; I have no idea how we got here.

> Not sure where you're from, but it's hard to imagine a rational basis for the European public to be an advocate of it.

Confindustria (the italian confederation of industrial companies) is strongly in favour of TTIP. Spirits exported to the US for example are heavily taxed, if they were not, we'd likely export more.

Or, if we get geographic denominations protection, we can get walmart to stop producing 40 things called "asiago" or "parmesan" (as it happened for german produced parmesan, or in reverse for the italian Tocai wine which clashed with hungarian Tokaji) and than it's a win for the producers of the real stuff.

Moreover in some things the US has _better_ legislation than europe, for example "bio" regulation is more strict, as are car safety rules, AFAIK.

I am not saying this will work out for the best, I am saying there are supporters of TTIP on the european side too.

Yeah, there's nothing conspiracy-like about a group of powerful people colluding in secret to produce laws, via illegal means, for nearly the entire planet. That's literally a superset of the definition of "conspiracy". Do you spend a lot of time looking into the sun?

If you call people stating facts and accurately describing the trade deal "tinfoil hat conspiracies" then you are arguing in bad faith and should stop. Even if you believe such a ridiculous thing the cheap insults and incendiary language doesn't help your cause.

You need to understand these deals as they are -- negotiated primarily by large corporate representatives, used as a back door to slam through legislation that would never pass domestic muster in its respective countries as a single up-or-down omnibus deal that legislators cannot reject. No conspiracy at all, rather, business as usual.

You can probably bet that the German government uses TTIP as leverage against future "irregularities" regarding automotive regulations.

The spin in Europe (at least in Germany) is that the EU is portrayed as being pro-consumer, which is basically a joke (ask any VW owner in Germany how they are being compensated).

The spin in Germany actually is that regulation GENERALLY in the EU is working differently and that few want to change to the US model (less regulation to bring products to the market, but costly court cases). You can study the effects of the differences in many areas.

That it is not working in some areas and that there is a lot industry lobbying is another topic.

The problem with the automotive industry is, that the top lobbyist in the EU for it is the German chancellor (which name soever he/she has).

No, the problem with industry general is that it is tightly interwoven with politics and naturally tries to find loopholes in any regulatory system. The question is, given that the regulatory approach is not perfect, which one has still more benefits for the consumer.

* a new pesticide enters the market. After three years we find out that it kills bees and would lead to the death of a species.

Germans usually would want that some independent upfront effort is done to determine that this product is potentially harmful and prevent it from entering the market. In real life, this leads to all kinds of practical problems. But that does not mean we should give up this approach, just because it is not perfect.

The problem will be, that with such treaties as TTIP, the worst of both systems will become the default.

So it is very likely, that the US will get the standards for air pollution (from automobiles) from the EU and the EU will get the food standards from the US.

Looks like the EU will only get the standards from the US:

"The US insisted on its request for the commission to “require” in its standardization request, CEN and CENELEC to involve US experts in its standards development process (with no guarantee of reciprocity) as a condition for referencing harmonized standards."


What is a joke is the disfunctional legal system of the US with its exorbitant fines, out of which a disproportionate amount flows into the pockets of reckless lawyers.

I don't know why anyone would be surprised. Victoria Nuland said it herself: "Fuck the EU".

The US wants to screw over the EU, not help them. The quicker the EU realizes this the better.

The corporations have hijacked the US government years ago it was always only the matter of time that they'll spread to EU.

What saddens me more is that the cucked EU will let them, forgetting all the achievements this continent has to offer.

I think the EU itself was simply the start of the "hijacking". After all it is mainly an economic union meant to liberalise trade within Europe.

What's interesting is that there is actually more Fortune 500 companies in the EU (though really just in western Europe) than in the US. However the difference, I believe is that till now political power is less concentrated in the EU than it is in the US so Shell has much less influence on most EU states than Chevron has on US states simply because it is harder for Shell to influence policy outside of the Netherlands and UK. But with the harmonisation of markets and EU policy and centralisation of political power this will all change.

I agree. I was not surprised that President Obama waded in on the British EU exit referendum. This issue is not of much importance to US citizens, but it is very important to the one world government movement. Off topic, but: I find it sad but amusing when my friends argue about democrats vs. republicans; both parties serve their 'people', the corporations.

I was surprised because it goes against the principle of divide et impera. Apparently a divided Europe makes it easier for the USA and China to do whatever they want, and Russia too. Unless the EU with a skeptical UK is worse off than without it.

But I see your point. It's not American interests against European ones. It's to prevent a secession in a geographical space more and more dominated by some corporations and financial institutions. A secession would make it a little bit harder for them, but not so much IMHO, unless it spreads and the EU shatters (maybe because of the migrants crisis.)

You can divide people across class lines, religion, geography, political orientation etc. States are just one way but not the only one.

Well, yeah, until you lock them all into the same cage. Then who cares how many per cage there are.


The alt-right / white nationalist movement has been using 'cucked' for a few years now as some sort of reflexive utterance for anything they don't like. Convenient shorthand to figure out which people can be safely ignored.


Alt-right vs SPLC ranting is a debate that is not needed on HN.

Cuckolded, probably.


How else do you want to compete with Korea, China and Japan with there cheap workforce. There is no other than to dump down massively on social nets and wages.

Their work forces are increasing in cost. Savings are starting to shrink.


Tarriffs, the way nations have peacefully defended their citizens for centuries.

Huh? Japan's workforce is among the most expensive in the world. There's a reason Japanese automakers have opened assembly plants in the USA and Mexico: the labor's cheaper.

Korea isn't all that cheap either, probably roughly equivalent to the US.

Not just Europe. They are trying to achieve the corporate dream that is a prerequisite for every cyberpunk dystopia: a set of corporate laws that is placed in a jurisdiction superior to that of the state and that could even fine government that do not obey them.

We still can't agree that there should be an international jurisdiction over war crimes, but millions (billions?) are spent in this effort to create a universal right to profit over different nations.

What you say seems quite plausible and I wonder if this scheme wasn't used before against EU interests. US has the ability to spy basically any person in EU. That has serious implications.

You mean like ECHELON?

>So this is really lots of big US companies negotiating with themselves on how to screw over Europe.

What exactly do you mean by US companies? Corporations like Apple and Google are not sovereign to any nation, they are super-sovereign, hence their ability to do what you are saying.

They are american companies based in the US, with ties to US government (ie. susceptible to US secret courts, gag orders yadda yadda).

They operate internationally. ymmv.

Trump is probably our only chance at stopping this from becoming a reality.

I honestly cannot tell if that is serious, a joke or some kind of irony.

I'm not american so really not my business however narcissists do not make good social leaders. They make really terrible & dangerous social leaders.

All politicians are narcissists. Trump is just more extroverted.

I am and I'm disgusted that the only two people we deem worthy of putting to the forefront for our forthcoming election are Trump and Clinton.

Prepare for the Bill of Rights to be eroded further when either of these two idiots are elected.

I am a life time democrat but I actually find Hiliary Clinton to be even worse than Donald Trump. I base that on what I perceive as the chances of either getting us into a large war.

The US has such a large military budget that it acts like a war magnet. If there isn't a war once a decade there could be talk of reducing spending which would be harmful to all those special interests funding campaigns. So, basically an anti-war candidate is unelectable because they wouldn't get big money behind them. There are always anti-war candidates at the start, but they never make it to the final two because you need the right funding mix to get there.

Hey that's how the voting system to elect a president is supposed to work. More than two "real" candidates ends up wasting votes. If we have two liberal and one conservative president and the a voting split like this: 1. liberal 25%, 2. liberal %35 and conservative 40%

The conservative will win even though 60% voted liberal. You don't have this problem if there are only two choices.


> only two people we deem worthy

You aren't the one deeming them worthy, the democrat and republican establishments are.

Or at least, Republican party members were given the choice between Donald Trump and "I'll work with martians" Ted Cruz.

As long as first past the post is the voting system of the US actual democracy is impossible.

Pew has released research on the most narcissistic presidents of the United States. Some pretty widely-celebrated leaders are at the top of the narcissism charts [1].

In actuality, your statement in addition to Pew's research is unfounded and extremely fuzzy. Where do you and others get off on deriving a person's social leadership capabilities with their individual psychological leanings?

Funny to see FDR right near the top of the list, because it has always been a surprisingly unpopular view of his presidency that his Trump-like ability to manipulate the media to his advantage (his fireside chats and his rather quotable speeches) led to the American peoples' renewed confidence in the markets even though it took WWII to truly end the economic hardships more than a decade later. If do wish to wholly agree that narcissism does not make good social leadership, we must then question and re-align the most widely-held views of the 20th century in the US.

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/11/14/the-most-nar...

WTF are you talking about? Can you point to any modern political leaders who are not narcissists? And if you can find any who are genuinely not narcissistic, they're surely sociopathic.

It's nearly impossible to get anywhere in politics without one or both of these qualities. And people like you happily elect them. ("People like you" being a voter in a democratic republic. If you vote, you're most likely guilty of helping to elect narcissistic and/or sociopathic people to power. There's probably almost no one on this message forum who isn't guilty of this.)

Trump has spoken out against the TTIP and TPP on a number of occasions. The media just doesn't like to talk about that aspect of his campaign:


I'm not sure how much weight that has. Forget what people say to/in public settings and look at their current & previous actions.

If Trump were not in presidential race and putting on public face, how do you think he would treat TTiP based on his lifetime actions? I think he would support & exploit it every way he could, & i think thats what he will do in reality regardless of what he states publicly but that's just me.

Never trust what politicians say if all their actions run contrary.

As transient as his positions on social issues seem to be, his public statements on "free trade" appear to have been eerily consistent. Here is him talking in 1988, and if you substituted "China" for "Japan", it could be a speech from yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEPs17_AkTI

No idea whether this is consistent with his actions, though.

>I'm not sure how much weight that has. >think he would support & exploit it every way he could

I'm not going to claim to know Trump's ambitions but you're dismissing the source and countering with "that has no weight...I think..."?

The article yesterday about the uninformed vs the misinformed mentioned this: in a time where we are overwhelmed with information, people dismiss things that don't agree with their preconceived notions as "baseless", while seeking "news" that supports their biases. It's a problem.

I was really trying to stay out of debating the US presidential race (again, not american not my business, do not even know all the people up for election).

So I was trying to generally say 'Don't trust what politicians say, look at what they do'. That's it. I should have used somebody other than Trump as example, it was just a contrived example.

side note - I saw cruise/cruse/cruze (ted) introduce his running mate recently. She started singing some song.. I don't know either of them or their politics but it was the weirdest, most awkward creepy thing I've seen politicians on tv do.

It was seriously creepy and weird. That can't be hard to beat.

Since you're not American, where are you from? If it's Europe, this is pretty bad:

>side note - I saw cruise/cruse/cruze (ted) introduce his running mate recently.

"Cruise" is either a kind of ship or a reference to a nutty but highly successful actor. I don't know what "cruse" is. "Cruze" is a car by Chevrolet, an American company, and probably not a model sold in Europe.

"Cruz", however, is Lyin' Ted's name, and it's a pretty common Spanish surname as I understand. Spain is in Europe, and assuming you're European, as most non-US posters are, probably not that far from you. (And if you're not European, the main other likely region would be Latin America, where it's completely preposterous that you wouldn't be familiar with that common surname.)

I'm from the internet. Obviously.

In what ways would the TTIP effect his real estate empire? It seems to be much more relevant to other industries.

He puts a large enough emphasis on it and garners enough support from it. I doubt he's going to do a 180 if elected.

It's not quite like George Bush's offhand "we will not do nation building" or Obama's offhand "this will be the most transparent administration ever". The unfairness of US trade deals is fairly central to his campaign and his support base of working class whites in hollowed out ex-industrial America.

Then again, can't rule it out either.

Welcome to the donald [1]

1: https://www.reddit.com/r/the_donald

From Trump's mouth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8KXUThYjhs

"TPP is going to be worse... we can't let it happen... if I am president first day - boom - it's over... you know what it is 5,000 pages... that none of our people even read..."

Before Obama was elected, they said the same thing about him and spying on US citizen.

Edit: Seems, I said something right here -- hence the many downvotes!

For those not knowing: Obama was much criticizing the spying when he still was Senator.

But that was OK because he had the most transparent administration ever as promised.

So, it is OK, to violate the rights of the people in a "transparent" way?

Or are you just want to say, that it is an improvement that he at least kept one of his promises?

I'm pretty sure dexterdog is being sarcastic.

I'm pretty sure you got it.

Nice that only ever US citizens are considered.

As non-US citizen, I consider also non-US citizen ;)

But Obamas voters where US citizen, of course.

(and I choose to take the most obvious problem for my statement)

And shutting down GB. Which goes to say it doesn't matter if they seem "nice" or not, they can still let you down - the important thing is how tied to the establishment they are.

Isn't every current presidential candidate against TPP and TTIP? Except maybe Kasich, I guess.

Trump and Clinton are the only remaining candidates, and Clinton is flip-flopping on the issue depending on who she's talking to.

She only recently did an anti-TPP U-turn - who knows what she stands for after being elected. Fortunately for us she won't be elected though!

Are you kidding? It's quite likely she'll be elected. Her unfavorability rating from polls is very high, but Trump's is even higher. I'm not sure how Cruz's compared, but it's way up there too. The only guy who has a low unfavorability rating is Bernie, and it looks pretty certain that he's not getting the nomination nor running as an independent.

What's going to happen with this election is anyone's guess IMO. It could be Trump vs. Clinton, in which case Clinton will likely win (lower unfavorability). Or it could be Cruz vs. Clinton, which again probably favors Clinton (IMO, Cruz is far more dangerous than Trump, but that's my opinion). Or, we could get a brokered GOP convention and Kasich could get the nomination, and in a Kasich vs. Clinton fight, Kasich will likely win. Or, Kasich could get the nomination, Trump could run as an independent splitting the ticket, and who knows who'll win, though likely it'll again be Hillary because Trump/Kasich will split the GOP voters. Or Bernie could change his mind and run as an independent since the DNC has screwed him over so much, making a 3-way or 4-way race with a completely unpredictable outcome (though it might end up with the House of Representatives making the decision).

I'm not kidding. Unfavourability ratings don't decide elections (look at some historical ratings of previous presidents).

Trump and Clinton have been tied in national polls recently (there was even an outlier showing +3 Trump) and this is before he has started attacking her and before any debates. She's going down.

If you believe that, you should probably bet against her. The oddmakers have her as a pretty significant favorite right now.

Ah yes, do you remember when Jeb! Bush was going to be the Republican nominee? Everyone was very certain about it.

Yeah, before a single vote was cast. The votes are almost entirely in right now, and Sanders would need a miracle.

> The votes are almost entirely in right now, and Sanders would need a miracle.

Its pretty unlikely that either candidate will have a sufficient number of pledged delegates. Hillary seems far ahead because of early statements of support from superdelegates, made at a time when her support numbers (both overall and within the party) were much higher, and here unfavorable ratings with the general election electorate much lower, when no one could imagine any other Democratic candidate garnering anywhere close to as much support through the primary and caucus process, and before she was roundly out fundraised by Sanders.

Now, while the media coverage of delegate counts has largely treated these superdelegate statements of support as equivalent to pledged delegates awarded through the primary and caucus process, they are not.

You can buy Bernie for 5c.


If you believe he has any reasonable shot, I encourage you to put your money where your mouth is. Should be a good investment.

Of course, I was actually talking about winning the presidency. I'm not arguing about her actual chances, nor whether I want her to win--simply stating that she's a big favorite to win it in the markets.

62% on predictit, where people are estimating with their money.

> Fortunately for us she won't be elected though!

What makes you think that?

At this point I don't see a way for her to lose, unfortunately.

This leak once again shows the importance of transparency in negotiations that will impact the lives of 800 million people (and the rest of the world indirectly).

If TTIP were ratified, it would be out of the control of any subsequently elected democratic governments as it would be part of international law.

Regardless what you think of TTIP it seems like the very least to ask is that a contract of such importance is discussed in the open where the public can have a voice in their own future.

What I'm now wondering is, can the WTO bully US and EU states in the way it can bully third world countries?

What if renegade states across both sides of the Atlantic decided to disregard the treaty and the fines that will follow immediately? What will the WTO do then? Sanction them?

This is not how it works. The US and the EU use the WTO for bullying others.

Those treaties are a way of creating a legal framework that can't be altered by national governments. This is not happening against the governments but it's done by the governments to their populations.

This is not US against EU but corporations against people. The idea is to be sure that national governments can't vote against the interest of international business.

I understand that completely. I was thinking, if by some miracle a populist was elected and he went renegade, would they actually dare sanction a western state?

I need help in argumenting: What's the difference between the EU-US WTO agreements and the TTIP, apart from the former being from the XXth century. Aren't we happier and wealthier since the WTO exists?

Please don't tell me about how a treaty should be voted on by the people, because I already agree about this part.

>Aren't we happier and wealthier since the WTO exists?

Not at all. The only time the WTO interacted with my native country it was to "gently" push for privitisation of state assets all of which have turned out to be disastrous deals for our country. Not even the economic liberals I know think highly of the WTO.

> What's the difference between the EU-US WTO agreements and the TTIP

WTO was about import tariffs.

TTIP seems to be mostly about de-regulation and legal harmonisation.

PR flaks are counting on the good will that people have towards free trade to allow them to squeeze through a treaty that surrenders democratic sovereignty to multi-national corporation stuffed courts and tribunals.

We may or may not get to vote on the treaty - I don't know. But I do know that if we vote yes then that will be one of the last meaningful things that we do vote on. Pretty much any law you might want to pass post-TTIP would be blocked by the TTIP ISDS process.

> Please don't tell me about how a treaty should be voted on by the people, because I already agree about this part.

Direct democracy in diplomacy and trade negotiation sounds like a really terrible idea. It would just be constant protectionism, xenophobia and probably ruin economic growth and everyone will be the worse of for it. Sometimes giving more people a voice does not result in positive outcomes.

That's the difference between signing and ratifying. There's a story that USA's Congress never ratified the end of the war with Europe. A lot of countries voted No to the European referendum. Most of them voted Yes. Ultimately, the citizen should decide when they give up power, and they must repeat it regularly.

That's a really depressing point of view. Especially, as trade seems to have been redefined to mean anything which might enable corporate profit...

The content is different? Especially with regards to the investor-state dispute settlement system, which currently does not apply to the EU.

( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investor-state_dispute_settlem... )

Aren't we happier and wealthier since the WTO exists?

1) If the consumption of mood-altering prescription drugs is any indicator, then indeed, we are not happier.

2) Correlation is not causation.

But it will be discussed in the public once it is finalized and IIRC the U.S. Congress has 60 days to pass it.

Changing an already finished agreement will be a major undertaking, bordering on the impossible. The Congress can either pass or not pass it, which biases the vote heavily. Having the opportunity to present a negotiated document implies the opportunity to anchor the discussions starting point.

At least that's more time than Congress got to think about bailing out Wall Street in 2008.

Instead of complaining into the echo chamber of comments, do something actionable and call your representatives, it takes 2 minutes. Cynics will say that calling has no value but they forget how we beat SOPA in 2012 and protected Net Neutrality in 2014

Call your Reps: http://TryVoices.com (it takes 2 minutes)

I hope somebody who speaks Lawyerish will create a human-readable, per-paragraph annotated version of this (rather than the sensationalist editorial things that the media will publish).

Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, on the documents:

> First of all, and contrary to what many seem to believe, so-called "consolidated texts" in a trade negotiation are not the same thing as an outcome. They reflect each side's negotiating position, nothing else. [...] In that sense, many of today's alarmist headlines are a storm in a teacup. [...] No EU trade agreement will ever lower our level of protection of consumers, or food safety, or of the environment. Trade agreements will not change our laws on GMOs, or how to produce safe beef, or how to protect the environment.


This is probably the most important takeaway

In most cases TTIP raised the level of consumer protection to the highest on whatever side of the pond was already best (for example Americans see European chicken as raised in shot basically do our chicken farmers will have to up the game (assuming battery hens is something we think is a high standard anyway)

As for beef, Germans think the US do beef like we do chickens. And so there will be a cost to the US cattle industry.

But consumers win

Are there parts of TTIP that are frankly dumb and will be damaging for years? Yes. Would that have been fixed by an open process. Meh.

So if we the people don't like this, then we the people need to write our MPs and congres people and say "start a new WTO round and don't stop till you get something good - keep it open and don't let people like trump comment on it at all"

> This is probably the most important takeaway

although this is important, I can't see how you reach the conclusion that

> But consumers win

from that. you see, the EU negotiator also said :

> "In #TTIP, we will not agree on anything that will imply lowering of protection. Full stop."

also, we can conclude from the leaked documents (both these and older ones) that the US proposals in some fields differ wildly from the current EU regulations, and I can't see the US giving in to EU demands on all of these (like GMO's, chlorine chicken and less stringent environmental rules).

so, with these powers combined we can conclude that further negotiation is useless, and TTIP is dead. so why are we still negotiating ?

fear is that a compromise will be reached somehow, and the EU citizens draw the short straw (I say that as a concerned EU citizen)

It will probably lead to the abolishment of the precautionary principle in the EU, so less protection of the consumers.


Everything points toward the opposite - to the extent that TTIP happens at all (which seems unlikely).

At this point I'm most worried that this whole merry go round will just start up again in a couple of years under a new name.

The Multinationals can afford to be patient and keep plugging away at regulation until they've eliminated all of it.

Whatever she say, the opposite is probably the truth.

Not that it's still not all documents, and already out of date:

> The documents that Greenpeace Netherlands has released about half of the draft text as of April 2016, prior to the start of the 13th round of TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US (New York, 25-29 April 2016). As far as we know the final document will consist of 25 to 30 chapters and many extensive annexes. The EU Commission published an overview stating that they have now 17 consolidated texts. This means the documents released by Greenpeace netherlands encompass 3/4 of the existing consolidated texts. Consolidated texts are those where the EU and US positions on issues are shown side by side. This step in the negotiation process allows us to see the areas where the EU and US are close to agreement, and where compromises and concessions would still need to be made. Of the documents released by Greenpeace Netherlands, in total 248 pages, 13 chapters offer for the first time the position of the US.

So politics will probably pull the "your complaints are all addressed in the still secret parts / were changed after the leak, we pinky-swear" card.

> So politics will probably pull the "your complaints are all addressed in the still secret parts / were changed after the leak, we pinky-swear" card.

Maybe, but I deeply hope that the public reaction to that will be either:

"Yeeeaaah, sure ..."

Or, the more diplomatic variant:

"How do you plan to reestablish the trust needed to make your promise credible?"

there were 250k ppl on the street in berlin. marching against ttip.

the first thing spiegel.de did, while the ppl were marching, was releasing a polemic article basically saying "it's all nazis".

days later gabriel went public: "we don't care. we'll do it anyway."

now, nobody try telling me shit about public opinion's worthiness!

Will the public reaction be considered at all in this proposal? In line with current trends is it not more likely that public reaction will for the most part be ignored?

Here's the preview for relevant section for the TTRIP with regards to the Internet:


The actual preview function seems to be broken, it only opens in a tiny iframe.

First page: "Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed to: ... (b) require a Party to compel any enterprise exclusively engaged in the broadcast or cable distribution of radio or television programming to make available its broadcast or cable facilities as a public telecommunications network."

Which means, if your cable company is in monopoly somewhere, you cannot have any regulations to force sharing the network to foster competition. This is basically just going against what is making Internet great in most Europe. Just right on the first page. Ouch!

Update to be clearer: "public telecommunications network means telecommunications infrastructure used to provide public telecommunications services;"

Reply to myself, effectively I was wrong, page 11:

"[EU: 4. Each Party shall ensure that a major supplier in its territory grants access to its essential facilities, which may include, inter alia, network elements, associated facilities, and ancillary services, to suppliers of electronic communications services on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions (including in relation to rates, technical standards, specifications, quality and maintenance).]"

You have quite some anti-competitive safeguards so, this is not that bad. The general tone here is pretty libertarian. Note that it only concerns the telecommunication services, this section is not about IP etc..

>you cannot have any regulations to force sharing the network

>Nothing in this... shall... require a Party to compel

It says nothing about prohibiting regulations - that clause clearly just says no changes are required by the agreement. Way to start spreading the disinformation early.

It means that TTIP doesn't force such sharing. It doesn't mean that no other law can do it. I know laws are hard to parse, but sure the difference between "I don't want water" and "nobody ever gets any water" is accessible to the layman?

IANAL and the essence of that text escapes me even after several minutes of intelligent gazing over it. Could someone summarize it in non-legalese for the rest of us ? Thanks

Some of the documents are missing. Among them is the other documents that will be relevant to HN readers: e-commerce and the Copyright and Intellectual Property.

From the FAQ:

4. Are the documents complete?

All of the documents in possession of Greenpeace Netherlands are complete.

The documents represent a substantial part of the negotiating texts, 13 of 17 chapters believed to have reached the consolidation phase of negotiations.

Chapters believed to be in the consolidation phase, but not in possession of Greenpeace Netherlands, are those concerning __e-commerce__, financial services, rules of origin and trade remedies.

Chapters which are not yet believed to have reached the consolidation phase, also not in possession of Greenpeace Netherlands, are those covering: energy and raw materials, investment protection, __intellectual property__ rights, legal and institutional issues, subsidies, sustainable development, textiles and apparel, and other sectors.

I don't understand this FAQ:

> None of the chapters we have seen reference the General Exceptions rule. This nearly 70-year-old rule enshrined in the GATT agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO), allows nations to regulate trade “to protect human, animal and plant life or health" or for "the conservation of exhaustible natural resources" [1].

as point 2 in agriculture states

> In this regard, nothing in this Agreement will restrain the Parties from taking measures necessary to achieve legitimate policy objectives such as the protection of public health, safety, environment or public morals, social or consumer protection, or the promotion and protection of cultural diversity that each side deems appropriate.

The #2 and #3 stories are both links to ttip-leaks.org. The only difference b/w them seems to be the presence of a "www" in one case. Doesn't HN dupe detection handle something as basic?

Unless I'm mistaken, there isn't dupe protection.

edit: looks like I was wrong.

There is, but it is not coded cleverly intentionally.

There is little excuse[1] for such a website to not employ TSL encryption of all traffic.

I can't even imagine the size of the TLA database containing <"evil" page visited>: <ip of visitor> records at this point.

1. https://letsencrypt.org/

TLS does not hide your IP address or that of the hosting server. If the powers that be want to know if you've visitied ttip-leaks.org, they will know regardless of whether TLS was employed.

As an aside, many web servers also log details of GET and POST requests - e.g. the visitor's IP address and the page they visited.

I agree that TLS would be nice, but it doesn't hide the fact that you've visited www.ttip-leaks.org

"The original text has been typed again and obvious spelling and grammar errors, possibly put there deliberately as markers to identify the origin in case of a leak, have been removed. Other apparent textual or formatting-related markers were removed as well. None of these adjustments have altered the content of the text in any way."

This statement is leading me to rethink my conception of how steganography might be applied In The Real World.

Respect to Greenpeace for sourcing and distributing these. They tend to get a good amount of news coverage. The more organisations that get involved in this, the more pressure we can place on our respective governments.

The Europeans are socialists. In the sense that (anglo-saxons aside) they like to socialize access to justice, thus the codefied law system. Having to switch to abitral courts which decisions cascade into laws and juresprudence, comes in detrimental to european legal cultures. TTIP is thus even more disliked than the European Union itself is, with its regulations and directives.

i get the idea but it's not true. the tables enumerating the tariffs and such on different classes of products alone can take thousands of pages, and there generally isn't anything so malicious in there. they get incredibly specific. for example in the section of the TPP relating to Chile, there are three subcategories of "articles for Christmas festivities." Another example of how specific they get is a class "Endless transmission belts of trapezoidal cross-section, of an outside circumference exceeding 60cm but not exceeding 180cm"

edit: I should clarify that it's a tariff elimination schedule, so it's thousands of pages describing exactly how quickly the tariffs drop to 0. Most lines of the table are "Year 1: 0%." As to why some products have a more gradual decline over a few years, I don't know, probably some special interest influence, true. A small change in tariffs can mean life or death to certain businesses.

Can we make it clear that we will not reelect any politician who supports this?

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