Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Sunday, August 07, 2016


'Who do you protect? Who do you serve?'

by Tom Sullivan

Former Henredon Furniture factory, Morganton, NC.

You're gonna love it. Believe me.

No, Donald Trump did not say that about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But that is essentially the message the public hears at coming-out parties for big trade deals. This is necessary. It will open up trade. It will create jobs. It will lower prices. On and on.

Nearly 100 miles of dead factories strung out along I-40 between here and Hickory, North Carolina say otherwise. Most of them used to make furniture. Some, textiles. We hear about tent cities for the homeless in Seattle or Sacramento or Washington, D.C. Hickory's barely made local news.

Now, Gaius Publius and Dave Johnson are far more versed in the particulars of TPP, so I'll get to why I even mention TPP in a minute.

One thing critics keep bringing up is how TPP is not really a "free trade" deal. Paul Krugman wrote:

One thing that should be totally obvious, however, is that it’s off-point and insulting to offer an off-the-shelf lecture on how trade is good because of comparative advantage, and protectionists are dumb. For this is not a trade agreement. It’s about intellectual property and dispute settlement; the big beneficiaries are likely to be pharma companies and firms that want to sue governments.
In one critique of the TPP, Johnson wrote:
Corporations get a special channel of their own for enforcement of rules written by their representatives at the negotiating table. Labor, environment and other stakeholders don’t get that in TPP. This is how TPP will increase corporate power over governments and working people.
Something I read somewhere the other day highlighted that in a way that stuck with me. Essentially, these are deals written solely from the perspective of corporations. They are treaties of, by, and for corporations. The needs, concerns, and fate of the average citizen in the global economy are not even an afterthought. Politicians and business magnates sell the deals to voters simmering like frogs in increasingly weakened democracies as a kind of transnational trickle-down. In the long run, this deal will be great for you. Trust us. "You're gonna love it. Believe me."

This raises a challenge usually heard at anti-police violence rallies: 'Who do you protect? Who do you serve?'

Perhaps that should replace the tiresome "Hey, hey, ho, ho" as the standard the rallying cry outside the White House and on Capitol Hill.

The transpartisan anger sweeping America is about a lot of things. But one component underlying it all is a sense in the collective unconscious that We, the People are no longer in control, that the post-war world of a strong, secure middle class is eroding, regressing towards something at once more medieval and more dystopian in the Blade Runner sense. Leading to, as Firesign Theater once quipped, “the complete and total degradation of... who? [*wine bottle opened] You – the little guy.”

A rare victory for the little guy is why the topic comes up this morning:
A piano tuner in Atlantic City has scored a rare victory turning back casino-industry forces far bigger than him to thwart their efforts to seize and demolish his home by eminent domain.

A court ruling saying he can keep the house with no fear of the bulldozers and the wrecking ball has marked the end of a four-year nightmare for 69-year-old Charlie Birnbaum, who in his time has tuned pianos in local casinos for Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and others.
But Birnbaum's three-story house sits on Oriental Avenue and Mr. Moneybags wants to build hotels on it. The ground floor is his piano tuning business and Birnbaum rents out the upper floors to tenants. Birnbaum and his wife live a few miles inland:
His attorney, Robert McNamara, called Friday's ruling a victory for common sense.

"The CRDA's position was that they could take Charlie's property for any reason or for no reason, just because they wanted it," McNamara said in a statement. "Today's ruling emphatically says otherwise."
At least for the time being, so long as the city's financial crisis and surrounding failed projects diminish the clout of the financiers who inspired Monopoly. One wonders if abdicating even more of U.S. citizens' constitutional protections and sovereignty to treaties such as the TPP won't soon and finally trump the Charlie Birnbaums because, you know, the Market wants.

The superior court judge in the case ruled that the attempt by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to condemn Birnbaum’s house is an abuse of eminent domain power. The Authority had wanted to raze the structure to make way for mixed housing and retail development. The structure sits one block back from the beach "in the shadow of the shimmering but currently defunct Revel Casino." The $2.4 billion casino complex declared declared bankruptcy in 2014.

Revel was "the third of four Atlantic City casinos to close in 2014." To be sure, the developers of the Revel Casino told their investors and the community going in, "You're gonna love it. Believe me."