TTIP is a corporatist scam and not a real free trade deal, says Ukip’s Douglas Carswell

A proposed deal between the United States and European Union is a “corporatist scam”, Ukip’s MP has said.

Douglas Carswell said that TTIP, which stands for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, was not what its proponents made it out to be.

“Ukip [is] making clear we are the most staunchly free trade party in the UK,” he tweeted. “TTIP is not free trade. It’s a corporatist scam.”

Tellingly, the message was retweeted by Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, a leading contender for his party’s nomination for Mayor of London.

TTIP’s proponents say it is a free trade deal that would benefit both the United States and European Union.

One controversial aspect of drafts of the deal would be to establish a quasi-judicial trade court to which the two blocs would be subject.

This could allow large corporations to ‘sue’ national governments for enacting any policy that potentially harmed their profits. Critics say that this would erode democracy and increase corporate power.

The deal is also controversial because of the secret way in which it is been negotiated, with press and campaigners relying heavily on leaks to determine its direction.

A Ukip spokesperson told the Independent that the party feared the destruction of public services by the deal.

“Ukip is a party that believes that free trade between people is the surest way to greater prosperity,” he said.

“However the TTIP agreement is not a free trade deal, but one that favours big multinational corporates over the interests of smaller businesses, and most importantly the democratic right of people to set policy through elections.

“TTIP as it currently stands could hand the NHS lock, stock, and barrel to huge corporations against the wishes of the British people.”

Labour said at the election that it supports TTIP in principle but that it would seek exemptions for the NHS and other public services to ensure they were not privatised under new rules.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have expressed strong support for TTIP. Both parties dispute that the NHS would be affected.

The Green Party also opposes TTIP.

In recent weeks Ukip has stepped up campaigning against the deal. Earlier this month the party’s MEPs staged a protest in the European Parliament over the deal that saw the chamber descend into chaos.

At the European Parliament level the deal tends to be opposed by parties from the Left and Right, while centre-left and centre-right parties tend to be more positive about it.

The European Commission currently has a centre-right aligned president.

Why Don’t We Have Walk-in Clinics for People With Mental Illness?

We’ve all been there, we’ve all had some sort of medical ailment that plagues us so badly that, while non-life threatening, it still requires immediate medical attention.

Here in Canada we have walk-in clinics and urgent-care centres open seven days a week (some even 24 hours a day) to treat our immediate non-life threatening physical needs. Hospitals promote such clinics left, right and centre because wait times are less, they are still one-stop shop for patients, and it takes the burden off of emergency rooms so they can deal with more critically ill patients. Most urgent-care centres still have the ability to do x-rays and do blood work with results coming in almost immediately. What a concept!

But where’s such a centre or clinic for people living with mental illness? It’s 2017 and in Canada we, as a society, still haven’t come to the realization that people with mental illness can still have urgent and immediate psychiatric and psychological needs without it being deemed life-threatening. There are no decent services available to people who need immediate non-hospital psychiatric care.

If you’re in a mental health crisis and want immediate care you either need to call the police or present yourself to the emergency room. A friend of mine told me she is dismayed that she was told by her doctor the only way for her to get immediate help is if she is suicidal or homicidal. A friend of mine who is a child and youth worker and who used to work in a group home told me she used to coach clients to say they were suicidal or homicidal in order to access immediate psychiatric care.

There are a variety of reasons why a person may need to access immediate psychiatric care. I’m not a doctor and therefore can’t get into specifics as to why people need immediate psychiatric care but I can speak about why I’ve needed immediate psychiatric care in the past. It’s been any one or a combination of these factors: Job loss, immediate loss of income, ending a relationship or friendship, challenges at work/school, endless and ongoing panic attacks, strong feelings of isolation and loneliness, etc.

Many of these things are what people without mental illness experience every day, which is why I argue we need around the clock resources available to everybody around the clock everyday. We all need assurances that we’re going to be OK. Sometimes we need to take that a step further by meeting with

Unfortunately, most people’s first contact with the mental health system comes in a time of crisis. We don’t actively promote services people can utilize to keep their mental health in check all the time or to prevent it from reaching a state of crisis, that’s because these services don’t really exist.

The health care system keeps telling us to keep our physical health in check because it promotes a happier and healthier lifestyle, it also keeps our health care costs low.

Isn’t it about time we do the same for mental health?

Zack Greinke: ‘I could play for the worst team if they paid the most’

Shortly after Zack Greinke signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers in December, he made a surprising admission: It came down to the money. The Dodgers deal will earn him as much as $159 million over the next six years. That’s why he signed with them.

Very often, when it comes to pro athletes and big contracts, either the player or his agent will say “It’s not about the money,” at some point during the process. Most of us recognize it as a lie — or at least a form of denial, a rationalization presented to protect the athlete from looking like a greedy bastard because he wants, or just signed for, more money than he will ever need.

Greinke, as we already kind of know, is different. And yet, he’s no different. In a report published Monday by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Greinke reinforced what he said in December.

Greinke reads everything, hears everything and seemingly knows everything. He wants the record straight, and he works at keeping it that way.

And money in free agency, to him, was no small thing.

“It’s obviously the No. 1 thing,” Greinke said. “I could play for the worst team if they paid the most … If the last place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I’m going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was.”

You hear that, Houston Astros?! OK, so that’s not exactly the situation presented to Greinke this winter.

The other leading contender for his services, the Texas Rangers, were prepared to spend well over $100 million to sign him. They’re one of the best teams — better than the Dodgers, probably. They just didn’t want to offer Greinke an opt-out clause after three years which, as Heyman points out, also is about the money.

Nobody came at Greinke with an offer of $10, of course, or even the major league minimum of $490,000 per year. So he undercut the first part of his own quote a little bit.

But do I believe him that he’d play for the Astros if they offered the most money? Well, yeah. The only other sticking point might have been Houston moving to the AL. No more pitchers batting, which Greinke has been looking forward to.

How often has anyone cut through the crap and just said, “Yeah, I wanted to play for this team because they were the highest bidder”? Not too often. But personalities such as Zack Greinke don’t come around too often. Yeah, he liked the idea of playing for a flagship franchise, and possibly living on a beach in southern California (if there could be helicopters), and that new Dodgers ownership would spend money until they won all the world championships! All of that quality of life stuff is nice.

But it’s not as nice as money.

NFL thwarts Manning in attempt to honor Unitas

Ravens QB Chris Redman did what Colts QB Peyton Manning wanted to do, but Redman’s black high-top cleats won’t cost him nearly as much as it would have Manning.

Redman probably faces a first-time uniform violation of $5,000 for wearing black high-tops in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in salute to Johnny Unitas, who died of a heart attack last week.

Manning was told by a club official — after speaking with a league authority — that he would face a fine of at least $25,000 if he defied the edict by wearing the black shoes. A league spokesman denied that a specific $25,000 fine was threatened, but conceded that the Colts were told that it would be a steeper fine than normal because Manning had been formally denied permission.

In other words, don’t ask.

Redman privately approached a Ravens official with his desire to honor Unitas. Instead of seeking league approval, the quarterback was told to “just do it” without saying anything. Manning went the route of protocol by seeking permission from the NFL. Once it became public with a rejection, the lines were drawn.

“That was the mistake — if (Manning) just wears the shoes without any fanfare, this is a different deal,” a league official said.

Manning was willing to pay any amount of fine, sources said, but felt the public controversy was a dishonor to Unitas.

The league’s uniform policy stipulates that a team must declare itself a “black shoe” team or “white shoe” team prior to the season. Both the Colts and the Ravens chose white shoes. Had they selected black shoes, there would have been no violation.

Both Redman and Manning had personal affection for Unitas. Redman, like Unitas, was a former Louisville quarterback and was counseled frequently by the former Colt great in recent years. Manning said Unitas was an influence on his father Archie, a onetime NFL great.

Manning also was the winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation’s top collegiate quarterback in 1998. At the ceremonies, Manning presented Unitas with a pair of his Tennessee black high-tops (size 14).

Stephen A. Smith tops vote for most annoying person in sports media

ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith has made plenty of headlines lately, from threatening Kevin Durant to feuding with Glenn Robinson to flip-flopping on Greg (or is that James?) Hardy. Now he’s made another one for standing out from the crowd, but not in a good way; Smith was voted the most annoying person in sports media this week, capping off CollegeSpun’s 64-person bracket with a close 52 percent to 48 percent victory over Skip Bayless, his regular debate foil on First Take and a fellow 1 seed in this tournament.

What was Smith’s path to the championship? Well, he started off with a dominant win over 16 seed Cris Collinsworth, picking up 88.7 percent of the vote, then rolled with 82.9 percent in a second-round win over eight seed Mel Kiper Jr. and 82.7 percent in the Sweet 16 against five seed Curt Schilling. Second seed Mark May put up more of a fight in the Elite Eight, but Smith still picked up 69.7 per cent of the vote, and he then knocked off 11 seed Jemele Hill in the Final Four with 66.3 per cent of the vote. So, according to CollegeSpun’s voters, the only person in sports media anywhere close to as annoying as Smith appears to be Bayless. Good thing they have a show together, isn’t it?

Let them fidget! Squirming around helps children with ADHD focus

Children with ADHD are more likely to succeed in cognitive tasks when they are fidgeting. Rather than telling them to stop, is it time to let them squirm in class?

The results, from a small study of teens and pre-teens, add to growing evidence that movement may help children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder to think.

One of the theories about ADHD is that the brain is somehow under-aroused. Physical movements could help wake it up or maintain alertness, perhaps by stimulating the release of brain-signalling chemicals like dopamine or norepinephrine.

Fidget britches

In the latest study, Julie Schweitzer of the University of California, Davis, and her colleagues asked 44 children with ADHD and 29 kids without to describe an arrangement of arrows. The children with ADHD were more likely to focus on the task and answer correctly if the test coincided with them fidgeting, as tracked by an ankle monitor.

Intriguingly, Schwietzer found that it is the vigour of movements, rather than how often children make them, that seems to be related to improvements in test scores. This might mean, for example, that it helps children to swing their legs in longer arcs, but not to swing them faster.

“I think we need to consider that fidgeting is helpful,” says Schweitzer. “We need to find ways that children with ADHD can move without being disruptive to others.”

Dustin Sarver at the University of Mississippi, who recently found a link between fidgeting and improved working memory, agrees. “We should revisit the targets we want for these children, such as improving the work they complete and paying attention, rather than focusing on sitting still.” He suggests that movements that are not disruptive to other schoolchildren, such as squirming, bouncing and leg movements, as opposed to getting up in the middle of lessons, could be encouraged in classrooms.

Wakey wakey

“It might be interesting to think about developing treatments that work in the same way as physical activity, or perhaps think about combining exercise with medication to reduce the dose,” says Schweitzer. The ADHD drug Ritalin likely acts by having the same effect as physical movement, only more pronounced, Sarver says, serving to “wake up” the brain.

Not everyone is convinced. Of the study’s 44 children with ADHD, nearly half were girls, but in reality boys with ADHD outnumber girls with the condition by 3 to 1. “The sample of the study was small and somewhat unusual,” says James Swanson at the University of California, Irvine, who also notes that the effects detected, though significant, were subtle. “I am not sure this finding should be the basis for recommendations for the school or classroom setting,” he says.

Susan G. Komen Foundation Elbows Out Charities Over Use Of The Word ‘Cure’

In addition to raising millions of dollars a year for breast cancer research, fundraising giant Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a lesser-known mission that eats up donor funds: patrolling the waters for other charities and events around the country that use any variation of “for the cure” in their names.

So far, Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred of these Mom and Pop charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure—and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.

“It happened to my family,” said Roxanne Donovan, whose sister runs Kites for a Cure, a family kite-flying event that raises money for lung cancer research. “They came after us ferociously with a big law firm. They said they own ‘cure’ in a name and we had to stop using it, even though we were raising money for an entirely different cause.”

Donovan’s sister, Mary Ann Tighe, said the Komen foundation sent her a letter asking her to stop using the phrase “for a cure” in their title and to never use the color pink in conjunction with their fundraising. What bothered her most about the whole ordeal, she said, was that Komen forced her to spend money and time on legal fees and proceedings instead of raising funds for cancer.

“We were certainly taken aback by it,” she told HuffPost. “We have partners running these kite events around the country. What if one of them uses, say, magenta? Is that pink? I mean, where are we going with this? We just want to raise money for cancer. What we don’t want is to have our energy misplaced by having our charity partners trying to police the good work that we’re doing.”

Sue Prom, who started a small dog sledding fundraiser for breast cancer called “Mush for the Cure” in Grand Marais, Minn., said she was shocked to hear from Komen’s lawyers this summer asking that she change the name of her event or face legal proceedings.

“I had to call the trademark helpline, because I had no idea what I was doing,” said Prom, who runs the annual sled race with her husband and friend. “We pay for the expenses out of our pockets, and we’ve never personally made a dime from it. We have t-shirts, sweatshirts, domain names, posters, stationery, all with ‘Mush for the Cure’ on it. What do we do with all the materials now? How are we gonna defend ourselves? We’re not like Komen.”

Prom said she’s been running the event for six years, and the most she has raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation is $25,000. Before the NBCF could accept the money, they warned her to file for a trademark to protect her event legally against the Komen Foundation. But now that Komen has opposed Mush’s trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Prom is looking for a pro bono lawyer to help her figure out what to do next.

“I think it’s a shame,” she said. “It’s not okay. People don’t give their money to the Komen Foundation and they don’t do their races and events so that Komen can squash any other fundraising efforts by individuals. That’s not what it’s about.”

Komen’s general counsel, Jonathan Blum, told HuffPost that the fundraising powerhouse tries to be reasonable when dealing with small charities and nonprofits, but that it has a legal duty to protect its more than 200 registered trademarks.

“It’s never our goal to shut down a nonprofit,” he said, “and we try very hard to be reasonable, but it’s still our obligation to make sure that our trademarks are used appropriately so there’s no confusion in the marketplace over where people’s money is going.”

Blum told HuffPost that legal fees comprise a “very small part” of Komen’s budget, but according to Komen’s financial statements, such costs add up to almost a million dollars a year in donor funds.

“I think it’s important that charities protect their brand, but on the other hand, I don’t think the donors’ intent in giving their money was to fund a turf war,” said Sandra Minuitti, a spokesperson for Charity Navigator. “It’s very important that Komen treads carefully and is very transparent about how they’re spending money on these legal battles.”

Michael Mercanti, an intellectual property lawyer, said he is surprised by the large number of oppositions Komen has filed against other charities—a number he would expect from a company like Toys”R”Us or McDonalds, but not a charitable fundraising organization.

“They seem to be very aggressive in policing their mark, or what they’re claiming to be their mark,” he told HuffPost. “I guess there are a lot of ways to captain a ship, but it seems like there are ways they could protect and police their trademarks and also allow other charities to coexist.”

Mercanti said filing hundreds of oppositions is not only damaging to other charities, but could also be counterproductive for Komen’s brand.

“They could actually be seen as being a bully,” he said. “They’re going to alienate some donors who don’t appreciate them stepping on smaller, worthwhile charities.”

With the help of a team of pro bono lawyers, Kites for a Cure was able to reach a settlement with Komen: They agreed to only use the phrase “for a Cure” in conjunction with the words “lung cancer” to make the distinction clear. But Tighe said they reached a settlement only after many, many months of a free legal team working long hours each day.

“We were very fortunate because we had strong support from knowledgeable pro bono counsel, but it did seem like a misdirection of a lot of people’s energy,” she told HuffPost. “I don’t know what smaller organizations do without free representation.”

Sue Prom said Tighe has already put her in touch with her pro bono legal team, and she is prepared to fight for the name of her sledding event in court. The ordeal has changed her opinion of Komen.

“I used to give money to Komen all the time, but now I’m just kind of wary of them,” she said. “I’m not buying Yoplait yogurt or anything that has the word ‘Komen’ on it. They seem to have forgotten what charity is about.”

Rothschild inherits Patent after 4 co-owners disappear on MH 370

The disappearance of four members of a patent semiconductor traveling on Malaysia Airlines MH370

The disappearance of four members of a patent semiconductor traveling on Malaysia Airlines MH370 makes the famous billionaire Jacob Rothschild the sole owner of a very important patent.

The mystery surrounding the Malaysian Airlines MH-370 is growing as each day passes with more mysterious silence shadowing the disappearance of the airline. More and more theories are beginning to emerge.

We have heard of black holes swallowing the airliner (likely the least intelligent thing ever said on TV), deranged pilots taking it over… But no media outlet has mentioned anything about who was on that plane.

Absolutely nothing! Well, for starters, the people who owned the patent to Freescale Semiconductor’s ARM microcontroller ‘KL-03′ which is a new improvised version of an older microcontroller KL-02 were on the MH-370 flight.

This report has caught legs across dozens of European based news outlets. Did Rothschild exploited the airlines to gain full Patent Rights of an incredible KL-03 micro-chip? According to the reports, Jacob Rothschild is dubbed as the “evil master plotter”.

A US technolofy company which had 20 senior staff on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had just launched a new electronic warfare gadget for military radar systems in the days before the Boeing 777 went missing.

Freescale Semiconductor has been developing microprocessors, sensors and other technology for the past 50 years. The technology it creates is commonly referred to as embedded processors, which according to the firm are “stand-alone semiconductors that perform dedicated computing functions in electronic systems”.

Why were so many Freescale employees traveling together? What were their jobs. Were they on a mission and if so what was this mission? Can these employees be the cause of the disappearance of this plane? Could the plane have been then hijacked and these people kidnapped?

Did these employees hold valuable information, did they have any valuable cargo with them? Did they know company and technological secrets? With all the might of technology why cant this plane be located? Where is this plane where are these people?”

The 20 Freescale employees, among 239 people on flight MH370, were mostly engineers and other experts working to make the company’s chip facilities in Tianjin, China, and Kuala Lumpur more efficient, said Mitch Haws, vice president, global communications and investor relations.

“These were people with a lot of experience and technical background and they were very important people,” Haws said. “It’s definitely a loss for the company.”

In Malaysia, Freescale’s modern operations facility that manufactures and tests integrated circuits (IC) is based in Petaling Jaya.
Based on information obtained from Freescale’s website, the facility began operations in 1972 covering an eight hectare site and is specifically designed for the manufacturing and testing of microprocessors, digital signal processors and integrated radio frequency circuits.
It also owns Freescale RF which is involved in creating solutions for Aerospace and Defence listed below.

1. Battlefield communication
2. Avionics
3. HF Radar – Band L- and S-
4. Missile Guidance
5. Electronic Warfare
6. Identification, friend or foe (IFF)

Freescale’s shareholders include the Carlyle Group of private equity investors whose past advisers have included ex-US president George Bush Sr and former British Prime Minister John Major.

Carlyle’s previous heavyweight clients include the Saudi Binladin Group, the construction firm owned by the family of Osama bin Laden.
The fact that Freescale had so many highly qualified staff on board the Boeing 777 had already prompted wild conspiracy theories about what might have happened.

The company says they were flying to China to improve its consumer products operations, but Freescale’s fresh links to electronic warfare technology is likely to trigger more speculation and deepen the mystery.

Experts have been baffled how a large passenger jet seems to have flown undetected and possibly beaten military radar systems for up to six hours even though today’s satellites can take a crystal clear picture of someone crossing a street. /

What is the scientific reason tomatoes should not be refrigerated?

Q. Can you explain the scientific reason that I should not store my fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator?


A. Tomatoes begin to lose their flavor after they’ve in the refrigerator for a few days – or even a few hours, so say some true aficionados. Their texture also gets grainy.

The culprit is an acid in tomatoes (lineolic acid) that turns to a compound (Z-3 hexenel) which gives tomatoes their taste. Cold hinders the process that the acid uses to turn into the compound. More cold = less transformation of lineolic acid to Z-3 = less tomatoey taste and smell.

One way to manage this is to remove tomatoes from the refrigerator about an hour or two before you plan to eat them. By setting them at room temperature you give any remaining lineolic acid the chance to turn into the compound, giving the tomato a final boost of flavor.

Try this experiment to test flavor for yourself:

  1. Pick 4 tomatoes – same variety, same ripeness.
  2. Taste one right away.
  3. Set one on the counter. Place two in the fridge.
  4. An hour later, remove one from the fridge.
    Taste the room-temperature, counter top tomato, the short-term fridge tomato, and the long-term fridge tomato against each other (remembering the flavor of the vine-eaten tomato).
  5. Decide for yourself!

Exclusive: Philadelphia will host WWE’s Royal Rumble in 2018

Philadelphia’s rich history of professional wrestling will get even richer in 2018: The city will host the WWE Royal Rumble at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 28.

The Royal Rumble is one of the WWE’s “big four” events, which also include WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and the Survivor Series.

Philadelphia hosted the Royal Rumble in 2015, which brought 17,164 fans to the Wells Fargo Center. But that was before the WWE changed its strategy: Now, it presents multiple events surrounding its “big four” extravaganzas, all at the same venue.

Auxiliary events Raw, Smackdown Live, and NXT — the company’s developmental program that has morphed into its own thriving brand — will also also take place at the Wells Fargo Center Jan. 27-30 next year.

On Jan. 27, 2018, WWE will present a live special from NXT called NXT Takeover. WWE’s main television programs, Raw and Smackdown Live, will be held at the Wells Fargo Center on Jan. 29 and Jan. 30, 2018.

Ticket information for all events will be announced soon.

“WWE has enjoyed a very special relationship with the city and its fans over decades, and that important heritage made Philadelphia a very natural choice to host this unprecedented four-night celebration,” John Saboor, WWE’s executive vice president of special events, said in an interview Wednesday. “Our decision to place next year’s Royal Rumble celebration in Philadelphia is truly another exciting and important step in the continued growth of WWE’s four largest annual events.”

Saboor said one of the reasons Philadelphia landed the Royal Rumble was that WWE has appreciated the city’s passion and pursuit in hosting major events, including its most notable event, WrestleMania, which the city has bid on in recent years.

Saboor also said the WWE would work with the city on other ancillary events to help celebrate the Royal Rumble, including community and charity activities.

When it came to clearing the dates for WWE, Wells Fargo Center president John Page said that it wasn’t an issue and that the venue jumped at the opportunity to host the Royal Rumble again.

“When you look at what WWE has been able to accomplish in terms of their live-event programming, to be able to bring four events to Philadelphia, it’s huge,” Page said.

“The wrestling community, there’s nothing quite like it from an entertainment value,” he added.

“When they presented us the opportunity to essentially put a bid together, we were very excited about it. Albeit, it was a little bit different from before, the attractive nature of it really showcased four successive nights, it’s something you don’t get the opportunity to do very often.”

He said it also meant a lot to Comcast Spectacor overall, as it owns NBC Universal, the television home of WWE.

This year is the 30th edition of the Royal Rumble, which will be held Sunday at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Fans here can watch the event live on the WWE Network starting at 5 p.m.