While You Were Out...

Category:  BloggERy
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 9:58 AM
While You Were Out... by Jay Stevens

What better time to rush some bills through Congress that favor your corporate pals then when everybody's out protesting, focusing on pepper-spray cures and dodging tear-gas canisters?

Two weeks ago, Congress approved a free-trade agreement with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea, touting it as a boon to jobs and the economy:

"We don't do much around here that's bipartisan these days," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who was U.S. Trade Representative during the George W. Bush administration. "This is an example of where we can come together as Republicans and Democrats realizing that with 14 million Americans out of work, we need to do things to move our economy forward."

It's true there isn't much both parties agree on, but when they do, it's usually on something that benefits their benefactors. And I don't mean ordinary working Americans. To wit:

  • Free trade mavens have always wrongly predicted job and economic growth (pdf) before signing agreements -- using historical effects of free-trade agreements shows the U.S. is likely to losebetween 100,000 and 200,000 jobs by 2015 because of the Korea/Panama/Columbia trade deal.
     
  • US corporations are no doubt salivating over Panama's status as a pre-eminent tax haven; our free-trade agreement now removes many barriers to big businesses setting up "subsidiaries" in that country to avoid paying taxes in the United States, and almost any taxes at all.
     
  •  In Columbia, government-sponsored and corporate-abetted death squads kill labor leaders with impunity -- 15 labor organizers alone have been killed since the spring of this year.  No wonder corporations like GE, Catipiller, and Wal-Mart were salivating for an agreement that included Columbia.

?Whee!

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A Q&A with Author Chuck Palahniuk.

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While the majority of Please was written before his 2013 divorce, Sondre Lerche’s split from his then-wife can’t help but hang over the Norwegian singer/songwriter’s seventh full-length studio album.

The former rock god collaborates with a cadre of world instrumentalists to craft music as fresh as anything you will hear this year.

Alt-J strips things down, taking away a lot of the dark, twitchy grooves from songs like “Fitzpleasure” and settled for a more reserved sound on their sophomore follow-up.

IN THIS ISSUE

A Q&A with Author Chuck Palahniuk.

A collection of local heavies -- and some local misses.

While the majority of Please was written before his 2013 divorce, Sondre Lerche’s split from his then-wife can’t help but hang over the Norwegian singer/songwriter’s seventh full-length studio album.

The former rock god collaborates with a cadre of world instrumentalists to craft music as fresh as anything you will hear this year.

Alt-J strips things down, taking away a lot of the dark, twitchy grooves from songs like “Fitzpleasure” and settled for a more reserved sound on their sophomore follow-up.

You may want to include the resort's 27th annual Fall Fest--free of charge--to your calendar.

The Behrend Campus teamed up with University Park to initiate a program to use reusable containers throughout the PSU system. 

Jay Paterno pens book exploring the life and death of his father, Joe Paterno.

Four ways to improve Erie.

Of all the things in all the world, mainstream stream choose to become engulfed in a nude selfie hoax.