Time Marches On, Free Trade Flies & the FBI Fumbles: Dec. 31, 2014

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Great Quotations on the Mysteries of Time by Milicent Cranor
As 2014 slides into 2015, we pause for a moment to ponder this mysterious thing called time. You can’t hold it in your hand. You can’t stop it, slow it down, or speed it up. You can’t see it any more than you can see the wind, but you can see its effects. Here, we present insights into the elusive nature of a moment, of time itself, as captured in words and images. We hope they entertain you, and maybe even inspire you to seize the day.

From all of us at WhoWhatWhy, we wish you a happy 2015. WhoWhatWhy Now will return on Jan. 2. 

WHO

Undaunted, Obama Trade Chief Pushes 12-Nation Deal
The NY Times examines the role of Michael Froman—Obama’s “chief evangelist for expanding global trade”—in pushing through the controversial and secretive Trans Pacific Partnership. The 12-nation deal is the “linchpin” of Obama’s “Pacific Pivot”, which has already seen an escalation of U.S. military deployments and power projection into the vast region. If passed, some believe the contentious deal will be “a boon to pharmaceutical companies, Hollywood and rich investors, but not particularly useful to workers at home or poor consumers abroad.” So, big corporate political players will reap big returns on a trade deal being negotiated away from the glare of public scrutiny. Read WhoWhatWhy’s insight into a bigger and equally secretive deal being struck between the U.S. and Europe.

Hired Guns: America’s Gun-Toting Guards Armed with Poor Training, Little Oversight
While America debate the rise in police killings and shortcomings in police training, this investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting examined America’s booming armed security guard industry, which “suffers from poor oversight and a lack of proper training, with violent consequences.”

Who is Alexei Navalny, and Why Does He Scare Putin So Much?
Vox profiles the Russian opposition leader just convicted of corruption and placed under house arrest. That conviction sparked a large protest in Moscow and many arrests.

WHAT

The Rigging Triangle Exposed: The JPMorgan-British Petroleum-Bank Of England Cartel Full Frontal
Zero Hedge unpacks the latest revelations in the foreign exchange/manipulation scandal uncovered by Bloomberg reporter Liam Vaughan in a story featured on yesterday’s newsletter: The Cartel: How BP Got Insider Tips Through a Secret Chat Room.

As Anthrax Case Crumbles, FBI Digs in on North Korea Claims 
Marcy Wheeler compares the FBI’s mishandling of the anthrax case against Dr. Bruce Ivins with the agency’s doubling-down on linking North Korea to the Sony Hack … despite a growing chorus of experts pointing to an inside job at Sony.

WHY

‘The Interview’ reinforces a negative view of US journalists
Why is ‘The Interview” such a dangerous movie? According to the Columbia Journalism Review, it’s because it depicts journalists as CIA spies. Is that a meme that hits too close to home?

CIA: Most UFO Sightings in 50’s, 60’s Were Our Planes
Folks at the George Bush Center for Intelligence just want to reassure you that all those aliens flying around during the dawn of the nuclear age were really just spooks.

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