Friday, December 18, 2015

A Complete, Searchable PDF of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Agreement Is Now Available

 The Law of Unintended Consequences:
"Whether or not what you do has the effect you want, it will have three at least you never expected, and one those is usually unpleasant"* 

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement is the single largest and most complex trade agreement which our nation has ever tried to implement.  The possible negative repercussions and unintended consequences of this agreement are beyond comprehension; literally beyond comprehension.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP) was negotiated in secret.  Outside of a few leaks, the entire process was performed behind closed doors.  The entire 6405 page document was released on 4 NOV 2015 and is available on the website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (OUSTR).  But this "release" does little to assuage the very real concerns about the consequences of the TPP.  The "release" is a web page with 194 separate PDF documents that comprise the entire TPP.  (This is not counting the "Chapter Summaries" which are PDF's from the OUSTR explaining how good for America is that particular Chapter.)  A single, downloadable, searchable PDF of the TPP was nowhere to be found.  Certainly, the appearance is that there is little real intent to inform the public about the true scope of the TPP.

But.  Christopher is nothing if not tenacious and stubborn.  An afternoon and evening was spent downloading all 194 PDF's; all the Chapters, Annexes and Related Instruments.  Another evening was spent combining the PDF's into a single, searchable document and uploading it to Dropbox and it is available here.  (The size of the document is 339 MB, so be prepared if you download it.)

Christopher Dinnes
AMO Star Center
Dania Beach, FL

NOTE: The single PDF of the TPP which I am making available above, does not include the aforementioned "Chapter Summaries".  Also, the file is named with the year-month to clearly indicate its version/age.  I will endeavor to update it should/when changes occur. 

Disclaimer: While I am extremely anal about such tasks, we are talking about almost 200 files and over 6000 pages, (which I downloaded and combined manually without the aid of a script), so there may be a mix-up or missing file/page.  Confidence is very high that my offered file is accurate and complete.  However, if a problem or omission is discovered, please let me know so I can correct it.  

*The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Danger of Christians Seeking To Impose Sharia Law

Christians who want Sharia Law have become a significant threat to American Democracy.  Their desire to apply the Bible to secular/civil law is an affront to our shared values.

Stop.  There is no relevance in the difference between a Christian's view of God's laws and a Muslim's view.  As a non-Christian, non-Muslim, I can unequivocally say that they are exactly the same; they are laws of religions that are not mine.

We should all respect and support ANY religion's right to organize itself in a manner that it sees as true to God's law.  As a personal example, within the bounds of our Parish, my marriage to my wife is not recognized, (at least as far as Rome is concerned).  Yet, I attend Mass with my wife and value the experience.  Should Catholicism try to have secular/civil law reflect their religious law and thereby invalidate my marriage, the religion would, with extreme prejudice, lose my respect and support.

When a religion fills your Life, it can be easy to forget that that it is just YOUR Life.  While you should live your Life as an example of your religion, it is wrong to IMPOSE your religion's rules and laws onto someone else.  Our democracy is based on a principle that whatever are your personal beliefs; you have every right to have them and no right to impose them on anyone else.  Therefore, railing against the real or imagined imposition of Sharia Law, all the while seeking to impose a different set of religious laws, threatens the very foundation of our democracy.

And it is a stunning hypocrisy.

"In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced, and both by precept and example inculcated on mankind."
-Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists (1771)

Christopher Dinnes
Dania Beach, FL