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9 / 9 (100%) of NJ Librarians Never heard of "TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership"

metamars's picture

Yesterday, and the day before, I interacted with librarians in Avon, NJ, regarding my anti-TPP-Ignorance flyer. Today I added 2 librarians in Belmar, NJ, 2 in Bradley Beach, NJ, and 3 in Wall, NJ to the list.

I didn't bring my tablet, so there's no video evidence of what I found out. If you don't want to take my word for it, that'd be a good thing if you grabbed your own tablet or cell phone, and did your own video survey where you live, and then posted the video and summarized your findings.

As per my title, not a single librarian I spoke to knew what the TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership is.

Last night, I heard about 45 minutes of the anti-TPP InterOccupy/Popular Resistance/ Green Party Shadow Conference call (I would have listened to more, but the connection seems to have failed), and there was still no concern voiced about quantitative metrics re educating the public about TPP......

In light of what I, and others, keep finding about the depths of TPP Ignorance amongst the public, is this any surprise? As we're fighting a kind of "war", shouldn't we have "operational awareness", such that we have a clue whether or not we're basically "preaching to the choir"? If "the choir" was, say, even 25% of the public, that might suffice, but "the choir" is probably more like 7-9% of the population - tops.

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On the plus side: While in the minority, some supermarkets and even post offices have bulletin boards that you can post to, without anybody censoring you, up front.

Also, it turns out you need a permit to pass out flyers, even on the sidewalk, in my town, but the fee is only $30. Not a lot of money, if you have a decent job.

Finally, I stopped at a barbershop, hoping to leave a couple of flyers by the waiting area, and the owner pro-actively suggested that I post to his window. I'm thinking barber shops and beauty parlors are great places to leave information. Even though they're privately owned, they're mostly Mom and Pop type of operations.

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UPDATE 6/15
Today I asked the TPP question to a bookseller at Barnes and Noble, while standing next to the information desk. (The bookseller guy was actually outside the desk, so I don't really know if he's the "go to" guy for questions.) He had not a clue as to TPP.

I next asked the reference librarian at the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury, NJ. She answered that she didn't know, though in our subsequent conversation, it turned out that she was aware that it had been covered on the Ed Schultz program on msnbc. We didn't get into how it was that she didn't recall any details, before I made way for the person who had gotten in line, behind me.

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Submitted by cg.eye on

In terms of finding our communities' commons, hair salons/shops are the last place people can, um, let their hair down -- by having idle time to read things, as well as be in a trusted place where yet just about anyone can walk in. Doctors' offices are too private; other places specifically prohibit solicitations or political speech.

It's why AIDS educators, anti-domestic violence initiatives and other social welfare programs focus there, especially in minority communities. Once you create a trusting relationship with the owners/operators, stick around and listen. We might not have the cracker barrel in the grocery, but this comes damn close.

metamars's picture
Submitted by metamars on

"It's why AIDS educators, anti-domestic violence initiatives and other social welfare programs focus there, especially in minority communities."

I've never noticed that about AIDS, or social welfare programs in general, but there WAS a flyer on the barber shop door soliciting donations for a local who needed medical treatment, which is in the same vein.

I was pleased to read recently that small business organizations were one of the forces pushing back against TPA. This accords with what I had previously anticipated. However, as I've complained about a few times, there is NO visible evidence of anti-TPP memes anywhere I've looked in NJ. (OK, now there's a few due to yours truly. I mean aside from thoses.)

So, I conclude that basically nodody is soliciting local small business to post flyers, insert flyers, train their cashiers to tell each customers (in a friendly way) that TPP threatens their democracy, their livelihood, and thus also their ability to shop at that location. That would cost businesses NOTHING.

Also, you have tiny speakers, nowadays, that you can plug into $100 tablets. Somebody can write a downloadable app that plays an anti-TPP public service message every X minutes (say X = 20, e.g.).

The "holy grail" of disruptive meme propagation is a service that takes over a TV, in real time, during commercials, and plays public service commercials that are distributed over the internet. I brainstormed that idea at least 8 years ago, but still don't see it out there.

Around the year 2000, the 50% mark was reached on corporate/chain ownership of restaurants. I don't know what the figure is, today, but I'll guess it's 40%. If we further guesstimate that 40% of retail outfits, in general, are privately owned, then we can see that there is still a huge 'market' for injecting anti-TPP memes into the public mind.

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Finally, I'll also repeat a couple of points that I've made many times, previously. In general, activists display very poor strategic smarts (at least those who fight the plutocracy, which can draw upon a larger, transpartisan base). It's dumb not to simultaneously recruit people into a longer-lasting, fight-the-systemic-rot, type of organizations.

There is recognition on breitbart on the need to primary Republicans over this, and on the part of unions to primary Democrats over this. However, there's no transpartisan organization that already exists (AFAIK), that allows people to assemble into negative (i.e., "vote the bastard out") voting blocs. Were such an organization/web site already in place, then we could simultaneously recruit people into such blocs at the same time as we educate about TPP/Fast Track.

There was an outfit called votizen.com that allow citizens to 'whip' their contacts into positive voting blocs, to support one candidate or another. Unfortunately, they got acquired by another outfit, and I think they've essentially been sold out by their new owner. Certainly, Jason Putorti, one of their "biggies", stopped communicating with me around the time they were acquired, and last I checked (some years ago), their potential was muted. I had pressed him to accommodate negative voting blocs.

One HUGE thing that votizen had accomplished was assembling a database of all registered Democrats and Republicans. That was exactly the most problematic piece required by my proposal for a modern day ostracism. (See my diary at dailykos - before they banned me - Time to start formally ostracizing Democrats and Republicans)

metamars's picture
Submitted by metamars on

UPDATE 6/15
Today I asked the TPP question to a bookseller at Barnes and Noble, while standing next to the information desk. (The bookseller guy was actually outside the desk, so I don't really know if he's the "go to" guy for questions.) He had not a clue as to TPP.

I next asked the reference librarian at the Monmouth County Library in Shrewsbury, NJ. She answered that she didn't know, though in our subsequent conversation, it turned out that she was aware that it had been covered on the Ed Schultz program on msnbc. We didn't get into how it was that she didn't recall any details, before I made way for the person who had gotten in line, behind me.

metamars's picture
Submitted by metamars on

Yesterday I spoke to yet another librarian. She claimed to have knowledge of TPP, but then went on to say it was a trade agreement involving some countries, including Brazil and Britain. When I told her I was taking an informal survey, she got annoyed, and said that she wasn't willing to participate.

So, I didn't ask her more questions, but on the face of things, she knows no damning details about TPP (this seems to be the rule, even among people who have heard of TPP).