Posts tagged Politics
We demand an immediate meeting of the UN security council and a decision to impose a complete ceasefire with effective international protection for the Palestinian people, who have no way of matching the superpower of the mighty Israeli army. We call on the Palestinian leadership to stop its hesitation in establishing a unified Palestinian leadership and go straight to the international criminal court to hold Israel accountable. Without these measures, I fear worse may be to come.
The first woman has been appointed to command a United Nations peacekeeping force – a Norwegian general who has served in Lebanon, the first Gulf war, Bosnia and Afghanistan.
[Major General Kristin Lund] told the Associated Press she was proud to crack the glass ceiling in UN peacekeeping. “I think it’s time, and I think it’s important that other women see that it’s possible also in the UN system to get up in the military hierarchy to become a force commander.”
She said that was where she fell in love with the UN and learned that “maybe the most important weapon that you have is communication and to build relations”.
Photo: Xinhua /Landov/Barcroft Media
Text: AP at the Guardian
One of my Senators, Michael Bennet (CO), wrote me asking me to sign his petition to raise the minimum wage. As someone who supported themselves through their BAs and MA with student loans AND a minimum wage job, I appreciate Senator Bennet’s effort but wrote him to ask him to do more. I would encourage those of you engaged in this debate to write Senator Bennet and your own Congressional representatives to highlight the issue of elite control of American politics. I have formatted a template you can use to write to your Congresspeople. Please change what is in brackets to make your message more personal.
Dear [Senator [Bennet]],
[I have written you before, and to my satisfaction, you have always responded to my concerns. I am a Denver constituent living in the UK, completing my doctorate in politics. I hold BAs and a MA from the University of Colorado Denver in psychology and political science.]
I am writing in response to your petition to raise the minimum wage. While petitions have experienced some measure of success in political activism and political participation with the increased availability of the internet, I must express that a petition is no solution to the core issue preventing a liveable wage, a wage [I earned for my 8 years working on Colorado prior to my 2010 move to the UK.]
The core issue is that our Congress is bought, and [Senator Bennet], please know that I [have written you about this before and] mean, in no way, the slightest disrespect. I am concerned about the increasingly influence money has on our nation’s politics and political actors, most particularly in Congress.
[Senator Bennet], we, as a citizenry, are increasingly aware of the emerging oligarchy that controls American politics. I would also highlight Thomas Piketty’s recent contribution on the subject, which is changing the face of (political)economic thought in the US and all over the world.
If you seek to help us, which I believe you do, to earn a liveable wage, a petition will do little, although I have signed it. What we need is someone who will stand up against an emerging oligarchy in American ‘democracy’, and I beseech you to be our voice for what little say we, lower and middle classes, have in American democracy and help expose the systemic control by financial and political elites and corruption of basic democracy.
Your [(overseas)] constituent,
Have you watched this 20-minute interview of Paul Krugman on Bill Moyers yet? It’s about Thomas Piketty’s - of the Paris School of Economics - thesis on inequality, particularly in American and French contexts. Piketty’s hypothesis is that we are drifting back to oligarchy that was so hard fought against (democratisation).
What I felt Krugman neglected to focus on was the global context, which Moyers picked up a little on in his ‘final thought’ through an American-lens, of course, is the issue of tax havens. For American scholars the comparison is so convenient, to idealise the ‘European tradition’ of taxing the wealthy. However, what they neglect is exactly Piketty’s point: the wealthy are so wealthy, we don’t even realise the extent of their wealth; they are invisible. Yes, footballers in the UK have up to 40% of their earnings taxed, but footballers aren’t the 1%. The 1%, the inherited capital that Piketty is talking about, are more clever, and this is what makes inherited wealth and oligarchy so dangerous.
Not only are the 1%, as individuals, almost invisible to ‘normal people’ because of the scope of their wealth, but their wealth, ever extensive in its reach, is hidden from authorities that, even if willing to tax them at a rate of 40%, would not be able to identify the true scale of their wealth. Such that, the world’s 1%, using their unlimited resources, are invisible as both entities of power but also as taxable capital.
i still don’t understand how boko haram abducted 200 girls from a school
In recent weeks, an Islamic jihadist terrorist group has slaughtered innocent and hapless Nigerians.
My deskmate’s dad and wife have just left their home in Nigeria because the conflict is intensifying. We wonder how long the strongest GDP in Africa can withstand this pressure and fear the external security contractors that will likely be brought in to help ‘quell’ the conflict.
ifnotyouwhoelse Sweet baby unicorns … no.
Look, I’m against the TPP, but this is just inaccurate. Do.not.engage in fear-based learning.
Fast track is an executive power of the president of the USA to move trade deals through more quickly than if they were debated in Congress. By the time the TPP has reached his desk, corporations have already drafted the TPP, and they have been, for years now. Fast track is not the issue here; a lack of transparency in FTAs (free trade agreements - outside the WTO’s ‘transparency’ mechanisms) is the issue; yes corporate control is particularly disgusting in the TPP, particularly with regard to generic medicines and intellectual property rights, but this has NOTHING TO DO WITH FAST TRACK.
Fast track has been an executive power since the World Wars; this isn’t a new power. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about fast track; some argue fast track improves ratification (formalisation) of trade deals because it bypasses debate in Congress where lobbyists and special interest groups hijack the discussion, making it about their own interests, then the trade deal doesn’t pass, and international trade suffers. And I’m not JUST talking about ‘liberal’ economic trade; I’m talking about development in LDCs and NICs as well. Even the ‘logic’ of this narrative is faulty; if these 3 Senators are silencing dissent then how would opposing a power of the executive ‘solve’ this silencing? It wouldn’t because this person is clearly confused about what fast track is.
Tumblr, international trade is very complicated and intricate. I’m not saying you have no idea what you’re talking about, but in this case, you are, in fact, wrong - empirically. There are many reasons to oppose the TPP; pick up one of many of those and run with it. This isn’t it.
L J White, University of Manchester.
Of all women over 50 in work, average pay is £15,000 a year; for women over 60 it is £11,000. The gender pay gap is also higher than for any other decade of life, with average full-time hourly earnings for women 18.4% below those of men.
The TUC says this is because women are still being penalised, in terms of pay, for having children. “Women in their 50s are effectively still paying the price for having taken time out of the labour market and having worked part time. Many of these women now find themselves still juggling low-paid, part-time work with caring responsibilities – those that no longer have dependent children may be doing regular care for their grandchildren, elderly parents or a sick or disabled partner.”
The report adds: “Many returned to work after having children and struggled to combine work with childcare at a time when few employers offered flexible working. The fact that this generation of women earns a fifth less than their male counterparts and less than any other age group of women should set alarm bells ringing.”
The report finds that half of the women in work are part-timers, many of whom want to work longer hours.
Pussy Riot Getting Whipped in Sochi
VICE News was with Pussy Riot in Sochi when group of uniformed Cossacks attacked members of the protest group with pepper spray and horse whips. Just moments earlier, Nadya Tolokonnikova, Masha Alyokhina, and a handful of other members headed out of a cafe toward the Sochi seaport, where they prepared to perform. As they were putting on their neon ski masks, about a dozen Cossacks descended on the group, thrashing them with whips, throwing them to the ground and kicking them as police officers stood by. The police allowed the mini-pogrom to continue for about ten minutes.
Everything about this video is upsetting and insane, but the moment when a mascot in a giant dog costume accosts and then shames Pussy Riot is especially surreal.
Anyone can be Pussy Riot.
H/T: A Ní Mhurchú, University of Manchester
Feb. 20 2014
Dear International Editor:
Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.
What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.
Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.
What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.
After the major crackdown on the streets of major (and minor) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…