Friday, August 21, 2015

Gary Goff of “Brooklyn For Peace” spoke at a forum on the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday evening, August 20th in Park Slope.  Below is what Gary had to say on TPP……..

How will the TPP impact the world’s political and military situation? This is the question the anti-war movement must ask.

Like all free trade agreements, the TPP will create more inequality – both within and between nations. Only the very richest in the affected countries will actually benefit. The rest of us will lose financially and politically. The off-shoring of production will increase unemployment and under-employment at home. And as income becomes more concentrated at the top, so does political power.

More free trade = more inequality = less democracy

The TPP allows corporations to override local and national laws. Significantly, this includes environmental regulations. The climate crisis will worsen. We will lose arable land and potable water. Pollution will increase and climate change will accelerate. There will be more droughts, floods, and food shortages.

There is already a global refugee crisis – people fleeing their homelands to escape political, economic, and environmental chaos. The TPP will inevitably exacerbate this situation.

We cannot afford to think of the TPP as a discrete phenomenon. At the very least, we must think of it in relation to its twin, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement between the US and the European Union. All of the negative consequences of the TPP that we have discussed apply to the TTIP as well.

In terms of geopolitics, one of the main objectives of the TPP is containment of China. Similarly, the TTIP in intended to contain Russia.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the economic arm of the US’s Asia Pivot. We need to understand that the Asia Pivot is not simply a political and economic plan. It is military as well. At the same time the US is negotiating new treaties in the area, it is building additional army bases and opening new naval ports. And similarly, the US is expanding its military presence in Europe via NATO.

If we are to understand the TPP and the TTIP, we have to recognize that they are major aspects of American imperialism.  In the early 1950s, two economic historians, John Gallager and Ronald Robinson, published a paper called The Imperialism of Free Trade. In it they showed that imperialism is a continuous system of economic expansion. Its inner logic is the same whether it takes the form of fighting a war or negotiating a treaty.

We need to defeat the TPP and the TTIP. Because of all the reasons everyone else has mentioned – jobs and food security and so forth. But also because the world will be a safer, more peaceful, more livable place.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015

 "Cosplay 101"
event was held on
Sunday, August 9th
hosted by
NYC Friends of Tolkien

Monday, August 03, 2015

 More Entries from the
July Photo Challenge
"It Caught My Eye"

July 2nd, I had an appt with Dr Tan for acupuncture treatment, and then the BFP board meeting afterwards.

July 3rd to 6th, I visited the parents, plus my brother and his wife, in upstate NY for the long holiday weekend.  Did work around the house and yard, plus took the parents out to breakfast several times.  Weather was cool and wet on the 4th in upstate NY.

July 6th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at my apt.

July 7th, I had to purchase a new a/c unit, as my old one of 10 years died on me.

July 9th, I joined other EY FSO employees in heading up to Travers Island for the annual summer outing at the NY Athletes Club.  In the evening I joined my friends Gail and Rob in going to dinner at Jungle Café in our hood.  The food is delicious and fresh vegan goodies.

July 11th, I headed up to the upper Westside to visit with Cas and Lauren at their apt.  They were selling some of their vintage items and having a summer tea gathering.  It was enjoyable.  Afterwards I headed down to Wall Street to jump on the East River ferry boat back to my hood in Brooklyn.  Before heading home, once off the ferry, I had a tasty dinner at Jungle Café.  Then at 8pm I had my private yoga class with Fabrice at my apt.

July 12th, I joined my friend Margaret and her Mom for an afternoon outing to Ellis Island to see this history site regarding turn-of-the-century immigration [1880 to 1924] from around the world.  It was a warm, humid day, but being on the boat with the harbor air keeps one cool.  It was fascinating being on Ellis Island and seeing many sites, plus exhibits around the main building.  We had a late lunch out in the shaded picnic area, while admiring the views.  Took the 5:30pm boat back to Battery Park, were we strolled around checking many sites on display.  Both Margaret and I took lots of photos of a fun day.

July 14th, I attended the productive monthly BFP Fundraising committee meeting at Ken’s apt, and while there I had one of my “lung issue” episodes.  Fortunately, I had my meds on me to counter it, and I spoke with my lung doctor briefly on cellphone.

July 16th, I attended the monthly “NYC Friends of Tolkien” meetup this evening at the Rail Line Diner.  Few in attendance, but the discussion was lively on assorted topics.  The discussion was mostly about 5th season of “Game of Thrones” TV series.

July 17th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at my apt.

July 18th, after Dana cleaned my apt, I headed out to do assorted errands and chores.  Then back indoors for remainder of the day away from the humidity and enjoy the a/c.

July 19th, after a much needed acupuncture treatment with Dr Tan, I joined friends to see the see the new Sir Ian McKellen film called “Mr. Holmes”.  It was a good film, excellent acting and lovely scenery.  Afterwards we jumped into a taxi to head over to 8th Avenue for a delicious dinner at SongKran.  Tasty Thai food and our conversation was on assorted topics.

July 21st, I attended the productive monthly BFP A&C committee meeting.

July 24th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at my apt.

July 25th, I joined the Crunch gym in my hood  J

July 26th, I worked out at the gym for the first time in 3.5 years.  Also got a much needed manicure and pedicure  J

July 27th, I did volunteer work [ie: computer data] at the WCW national office.

July 28th, I took my friend Debbie out for belated birthday tea / dessert at the Cocoa Bar in Park Slope.

July 30th, I stopped by the Halloween shop near Union Square to see Wendy about starting work on a Steampunk style vest.  Chatted with TJ that evening about prep work for the August 9th Cosplay 101 event.

July 31st, I attended TGTSNBNs fun event at Professor Thom’s to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday.  Got to see and chat with friends and acquaintances I haven’t seen for some time.