GPJA #494: Tony Benn RIP / What’s On / Best on the web NZ & world (15/3/14)

GLOBAL PEACE AND JUSTICE AUCKLAND NEWSLETTER No. 494, March 15, 2014

TONY BENN – RIP

"After the war people said, ‘If you can plan for war, why can’t you plan for peace?’ When I was 17, I had a letter from the government saying, ‘Dear Mr. Benn, will you turn up when you’re 17 1/2? We’ll give you free food, free clothes, free training, free accommodation, and two shillings, ten pence a day to just kill Germans.’ People said, well, if you can have full employment to kill people, why in God’s name couldn’t you have full employment and good schools, good hospitals, good houses?"

Tony Benn (1925-2014): – To a PBS documentary in 2000.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/int_tonybenn.html

Tony Benn: ‘a giant of 20th century politics’ – video Guardian writers Giles Fraser, Seumas Milne, Anne Perkins and Michael White pay tribute to Tony Benn who has died at the age of 88. A highly influential politician on the political left in Britain during the crises of the 1970s and 1980s, Benn left parliament in 2001 ‘to spend more time on politics’ http://www.theguardian.com/politics/video/2014/mar/14/tony-benn-a-giant-of-20th-century-politics-video

Tony Benn knew the rules but would not play the game: His lifelong belief in socialism inspired several generations of socialists and radicals, and infuriated the establishment http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/14/tony-benn-socialism-epitaph

Remembering British MP Tony Benn, a Lifelong Critic of War and Capitalism http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/14/remembering_british_mp_tony_benn_a

WHAT’S ON IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND

Thursday, March 20, 5-7pm, Sir Paul Reeves Building, WG809 – Level 8, City Campus, AUT University
Pacific Media Centre seminar: Climate change, conflict and global news: Critical issues facing Pacific micro states | David Robie and Taberannang Korauaba (Pacific Media Centre). Three key notions of a professional free media that emerged more than two centuries ago were that the press should be 1) watchdogs on political abuse of power, 2) provide accurate facts for citizens to make informed choices in general elections, and 3) provide a platform for critical and informed debate. These traditionally fundamental attributes of a free press with declining credibility have been under question in Western democracies for the past few decades (McChesney, 1999. McChesney & Pickard, 2011; Peters & Broersma, 2013), but nowhere has the legitimacy of the twin assumptions of ‘impartial reporting’ and ‘objectivity’ been more severely tested than with environmental journalism and evaluating risk. The new risks involve issues such as climate change, extraction industries degradation, depleted fisheries, genetically modified (GM) food and crops, nuclear waste and oil spills. Living in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the impact of climate change and the challenges of aid effectiveness and adaptation funding (Coates et al, 2012), South Pacific journalists are at a critical crossroads. In this seminar, PMC director Professor David Robie explores traditional journalism values and the Pacific profession’s own challenges of ‘adaptation’. ALSO: Doctoral candidate and Kiribati Independent editor Taberannang Korauaba will respond and give an overview of his research into climate change and the media in Micronesia.

Thursday, March 20, 5pm, Lecture Theatre: LgeChem (301-G050), The University of Auckland
"TEACH-IN": Students and Staff for a Living Wage University. “A living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. A living wage will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society”.
Speakers include:Jennifer Frost, History; Campbell Jones, Sociology; Edward Miller, Law;Strategic Advisor for FirstUnion; Annie Newman, Living Wage Aotearoa.
As the gap between rich and poor grows in New Zealand and poverty increases, more and more New Zealanders don’t get paid enough to meet their needs, enjoy their lives and participate in society.
The Living Wage campaign in Aotearoa New Zealand aims to unite communities together around the goal of achieving a living wage as a necessary step to reduce inequality and poverty.
Right here at the University of Auckland, many workers are paid well below the living wage. While the University offers a world class education for some, it is the site of thankless work and low pay for others.
Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon received a pay rise of $20,000 in the year to the end of June, to put his annual salary at between $650,000 – $660,000.[1] That’s while cleaners make $14.10 per hour.
The UoA Living Wage Network has been established to bring together concerned communities on campus to demand a living wage for all who work on our campuses. At $18.80 an hour, a living wage ensures that all workers can live with dignity and are offered the opportunity to meaningfully participate in our society.
At this ‘teach-in’ we’ll hear about the difficulties faced by workers at our university trying to support a family on less than a living wage; we’ll hear about the national Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand campaign and the arguments for the living wage; we’ll discuss how we can engage with the University’s administrators to ensure that the University of Auckland is a site where all workers are paid a living wage.

The University of Auckland Living Wage Network

[1] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/222341/auckland-university-vice-chancellor-tops-public-sector-pay

Friday March 21st 2014, St Columba Centre, 40 Vermont Street, Ponsonby, Auckland
A personal invitation to you to the launch & blessing of BUT IS IT FAIR? Faith, Communities & Social Justice. Edited by Neil Darragh. A faith response to inequality in New Zealand! Guest speaker Rod Oram Leading NZ economic & political commentator. RSVP: by 14th March to info Phone: 0274300943 Books at the special launch price of $25. Looking forward to offering you refreshments and conversation

Friday, March 21, 7.30pm, St Lukes Community Centre, 130 Remuera Rd, HOPE …….. In 2001, the boat SIEV X sank on its way to Australia. Of the 400 asylum seekers on board, Amal was one of only 7 who survived. Amal’s courageous life as a survivor in Australia is sensitively and sincerely told by acclaimed documentary maker Steve Thomas, in collaboration with Amal, in the documentary ‘HOPE’ jwakim Or Post cheques with surname, number of tickets required & contact details to: The Treasurer ~ ARFT ~ PO Box 47008 ~ Ponsonby. Tickets will be available at the door. Tickets $25 (includes drinks & nibbles). PROCEEDS TO AUCKLAND REFUGEE FAMILY TRUST.

Saturday, March 22, 6pm, Kauaeranga Hall, Kauaeranga
Watchdog is holding a Thank-yoU! Party for Renee at the Kauaeranga Hall on March 22and from 6pm. Pot luck dinner and BYO drinks and instruments. We look to seeing you all there to celebrate the input of Renee and the evolution of Watchdog over the last 4 years.

National Day of Action on 29 March to Commemorate 4 years of TPPA negotiations and demand they pull the plug.

Wednesday, April 9, 4-7pm, 35 George St, Kingsland, Auckland
Living Wage Campaign Auckland network planning. It’s election year and we have a strategy to develop to put public pressure on politicians to make the Living Wage a reality. Join us at for our planning workshop.

Tuesday, April 15th, 7pm, The Wine Cellar, St Kevin’s Arcade, Auckland
Boots Riley of The Coup! Tickets $25 pre-sale or $30 on the door. Doors 7pm.

Boots will be doing a political discussion and q an a, followed by an acoustic performance. Since 1991, Boots Riley has been the dynamic lyricist behind hip hop group THE COUP, whose albums have been lauded by everyone from Rolling Stone to Village Voice, but most importantly, by the fans who have been inspired by the message and launched positive social change through such projects as The Young Comrades, and Guerilla Hip-Hop Concerts”. His collaborations have included the likes of Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine, Dead Prez, and E-40 and Spice-1.

http://www.undertheradar.co.nz/gig/38235/Boots-Riley.utr

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boots-Riley/109295882423679

Sunday, April 27, 2-4pm, Thorndon School Hall, Wellington
Memorial Service. Part of the Workers Memorial Day events. We are having three events – the forestry memorial service on 27 April and the collection and procession to Parliament on 28 April to remember all workers killed at work. Plans are shaping up well for the three events to mark workers memorial day but we need some assistance from affiliates to ensure that these Wellington events are great for members from all unions.

Monday, April 28, 2 noon, Midland Park to Parliament
Workers Memorial Day procession

GPJA Special Forum: Monday 5th May 7.30pm at Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road Grey Lynn.
Guest Speaker Murray Horton from the Christchurch-based CAFCA (Campaign against Foreign Control of Aotearoa) and the ABC (Anti Bases Campaign) Murray will be speaking on: “Who’s running the show and in whose interests?” and focusing on:

  • People’s Rights before Corporate Profit
  • Public service, not private profit
  • An independent foreign policy
  • No unjust secret treaties

Murray’s GPJA forum is part of a nationwide tour. We don’t see him often in Auckland so we welcome everyone to what will be an entertaining, amusing and politically important presentation.

Friday, May 9, 4-6pm, Room WG808 (Level 8), Sir Paul Reeves Building, AUT University
WHAT THE MEDIA DON’T TELL YOU: WHO’S RUNNING THE SHOW? AND IN WHOSE INTEREST? "We want an independent Aotearoa, based on policies of economic, military and political self-reliance, using Aotearoa’s resources for the benefit of the people of Aotearoa. "This country needs people power to let the world know that Aotearoa is not for sale." – Murray Horton, spokesperson for the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC)

Murray will speak on:

  • People’s rights before corporate profit
  • Public service not private profit
  • An independent foreign policy
  • No unjust secret treaties

Saturday, May 10, 7.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington.
DREAMS LIE DEEPER – A CONCERT COMMEMORATING MINERS EVERYWHERE. The Orpheus Choir of Wellington, the city’s much-acclaimed symphonic choir, has programmed a major concert entitled Dreams Lie Deeper, as a tribute to miners the world over. It brings together three premières of choral music dedicated to miners, inspired by historical events that recall the tragedies, the struggles and also the rejoicing when rescue from a mining disaster was achieved. The theme of the evening will be dedicated to mining communities and a commemoration of events that have irrevocably changed the course of their lives.

The major work in the programme is the New Zealand première of 17 Days, by young UK composer James McCarthy. He was commissioned to compose a piece by Crouch End Festival Chorus, dedicated to the dramatic rescue of the Chilean miners in 2010. The work was premiered in the Barbican Theatre London in 2011 and received a standing ovation; a second performance last year was received with the same acclamation. It is a very moving expression of the tremendous emotion the whole world felt during those 17 days when the miners were underground and no word had yet been heard from them.

At our concert, the award-winning Wellington Brass Band and Wellington Young Voices, a recently established children’s choir in the city, join us in this very powerful presentation.

The second première is If Blood Be the Price, a work by New Zealand composer Ross Harris, inspired by the 1912 Waihi Miners’ Strike, and is set to a poem by NZ Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan. The significance of the tragic consequence of the industrial action by those Waihi workers is indelibly written into mining history in this country, and the performance will be an evocative reminder of the working life of those who work under the ground.

The final focus of "Dreams Lie Deeper" will be on the tragedy that threw a whole community into turmoil and brought their plight into every New Zealand household overnight – the Pike River Mine disaster. The concert will showcase a new work by high profile and well-loved singer/songwriter, Dave Dobbyn, who has been commissioned to write both the lyrics and music for a tribute to the miners who lost their lives in the tragedy of 2011.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

NEW BOOK BY DAVID ROBIE

David Robie: Don’t Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific. Foreword by Kalafi Moala. Forthcoming title from Little Island Press http://littleisland.co.nz/store/view/id/34 Release date 25 April 2014. Available for pre-order now http://littleisland.co.nz/store/cart

http://littleisland.co.nz/store/view/id/34

A comprehensive "hidden stories of the Pacific" media and communication book about many of the region?s major issues of the past two decades such as the Fiji coups, Papua New Guinea?s Bougainville war and resource development crises, human rights in Timor-Leste and West Papua, nuclear testing and health challenges, environmental degradation and climate change. The author, Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie, writes with insight and personal experience of all the events covered.

It is the tenth book by the author and the first since his Mekim Nius: South Pacific Media, Politics and Education http://www.autshop.ac.nz/mekim-nius-south-pacific-media-politics-and-education/ (published at the University of the South Pacific, 2004).

http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/publications/dont-spoil-my-beautiful-face-media-mayhem-and-human-rights-pacific

SOME OF ABC’S COLLECTION OF HISTORIC VIDEOS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

Withdraw US Bases_Okinawa https://www.dropbox.com/s/p5ov4vsbdiosbnb/Withdraw%20US%20Bases_Okinawa.mov

PKG-ECHELON https://www.dropbox.com/s/jmgd7vg1abr22sd/PKG-ECHELON.mov

Echelon – Sunday ’99 https://www.dropbox.com/s/3tcmu21bi0bfru9/Echelon%20-%20Sunday%20%2799.mov

Anti-Bases Campaign, Box 2258, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.
abc
www.converge.org.nz/abc
www.facebook.com/AotearoaABC

FINAL NIGHT TONIGHT! SOCIAL SECURITY—THE MUSICAL

“What is our Labour Party, why was it formed?” asks 1930s Labour leader Michael Savage in Once We Built A Tower, opening at Bats on March 11.

In a stroke of brilliant timing the play opens a week or so after the sensational appointment of Matt McCarten, left-wing union organiser, as chief-of-staff to David Cunliffe.

Savage, our first Labour Prime Minister, was himself a union organiser, organising the brewery workers in Auckland.

Many have stood on Matt’s brilliantly organised low-pay pickets outside brothels and burger bars. Good luck to him. If he can weld together an effective coalition of forces to defeat National and then implement some change for good, excellent. Some may have doubts on both scores.

Once We Built A Tower shows us Labour of old, a party formed by union organisers, supported by the poor and the unemployed and with an important layer of concerned Christians. Its goal was the ending of poverty in New Zealand. Which is not today’s Labour Party. No one speaks for the poor anymore and the poor have given up voting.

There’s been a change in Labour’s character, and it’s an irrevocable change. You really couldn’t invent a more fitting metaphor for the modern Labour Party than that its leader represents New Lynn, a working class constituency, while himself living in Herne Bay, one of the most expensive areas of Auckland.

In the 1930s ordinary people organised to introduce the most comprehensive welfare legislation in the world. Here was a decade when a political leader could declare, “Malnutrition in a primary producing country? That is nothing short of a national scandal!” and people responded.

That really is the guts of the play, but it’s a play just as inspired by the title of the Irving Berlin song from the 1930s, “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” as it is by any Labour maifesto.

This is a show that faces the music—and dances. Like one of Matt’s pickets.

Once We Built a Tower

The construction of the Waitaki dam and the Welfare State, 1928-39

The Bacchanals

Bats Theatre, March 11-15

Once We Built a Tower, Bats theatre, Wellington, March 11-15.

GCSB RADIO PLAY – 3PM, SUNDAY, APRIL 6, NATIONAL RADIO

On February 10 of this year Prime Minister John Key revealed a small number of New Zealand citizens had joined rebel groups in Syria, “some of which have ties to Al Qaeda.” He said the Government had “pretty good” intelligence on rebel supporters in New Zealand.

Two weeks later Radio New Zealand recorded GCSB, a 60-min radio drama looking at a surveillance operation mounted by the Government Communications Security Bureau.

Chad Huber sits with Rory McGrath. “Syria’s on our agenda, Rory. We monitor everyone connected to it, everyone going to it, coming from it. People get—” Chad pauses, searching for the word “—radicalised by what’s going on there. Doesn’t mean anyone would seek out targets here, but it’s sensible to take precautions.”

A Syrian refugee, Yana Walid, has enrolled in Dr Rory McGrath’s course in security studies at Auckland University.

Why? Something to shove on the CV? Something more sinister?

An agent attached to the GCSB, Chad Huber, seeks out Rory for information.

Rory’s an old friend, a defender of the New Zealand intelligence network. He’s appeared before Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee and spoken in favour of the Government Communications Security Bureau Amendment Act, allowing for increased intelligence internet surveillance.

He’s happy to help Chad out.

He questions Yana, reports back to Chad that Yana’s family background is that of support for the regime there and she’s here simply as a refugee from a never-ending civil war.

Rory thinks that’s the end of the matter—until his teenage son tells him Rory’s computer is running slow. Why is it running slow? Because all Rory’s incoming internet and email data is being re-routed and copied elsewhere.

Rory is being monitored…
Two weeks after GCSB was recorded, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden claimed the United States’ spy agency helped find or create loopholes in New Zealand law to enable widespread spying.

GCSB, National Radio, 3pm, Sunday April 6.

MURRAY HORTON SPEAKING TOUR: MARCH 31-MAY 29, 2014 – WHO’S RUNNING THE SHOW? AND IN WHOSE INTERESTS?

Murray Horton is the long serving Organiser and spokesperson for two Christchurch-based groups, the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) and the Anti-Bases Campaign (ABC). He has been a political activist since the late 1960s and has a national profile as a campaigner, writer, speaker, organiser and researcher.

Between the end of March and the end of May he is undertaking an election year national speaking tour, from Dunedin to Kaitaia, and many places inbetween (he has been doing these election year tours for a couple of decades, most recently in 2011).

The full itinerary is at http://2014cafcatour.blogspot.co.nz/p/blog-page.html

Murray will be speaking on four broad topics, which are central to both CAFCA and ABC:

  • People’s Rights Before Corporate Profit
  • Public Service Not Private Profit
  • An Independent Foreign Policy
  • No Unjust Secret Treaties

These topics include subjects such: as transnational corporations’ tax avoidance; corporate welfare; asset sales; spying abuses by the GCSB/NSA; the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and Five Eyes, plus plenty more. The speech concentrates on the big picture and is accompanied by a wealth of corroborating material which provides the detail.

These are among the most important issues facing the country; they underlie everything else that the people of this country are concerned about. Any campaign, electoral or otherwise, that doesn’t include them is missing the point. CAFCA and ABC want an independent Aotearoa based on policies of economic, military and political self-reliance, using Aotearoa’s resources for the benefit of the people of Aotearoa. This country needs People Power to let the world know that Aotearoa is not for sale!

Jeremy Agar, Chairperson, CAFCA. Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa. Box 2258, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. cafca

www.cafca.org.nz Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/cafcafb Watchblog: http://tinyurl.com/watchblog twitter:@NZN4S

JOIN THIS YEAR’S AUSTRALIAN SOLIDARITY DELEGATION TO VENEZUELA DECEMBER 2 – 13, 2014
Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Registrations are now open for the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s 2014 solidarity tour to revolutionary Venezuela. http://links.org.au/node/3700

BEST ON THE WEB

NEW ZEALAND

Stand up for fairness in & for NZ – TPPA, March 29 http://thestandard.org.nz/stand-up-for-fairness-in-for-nz-tppa-march-29/

Bryce Edwards: Using restaurant dinners and other business activity to get around donation disclosure http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2014/03/using-restaurant-dinners-and-other-business-activity-to-get-around-donation-disclosure-.html

Aotearoa/New Zealand: Matt McCarten stuns friends and foes, joins Labour Party staff http://links.org.au/node/3746

David Williams: The cruel irony of a Maori land grab to build an expressway http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/kapiti/9827128/The-cruel-irony-of-a-Maori-land-grab-to-build-an-expressway

Māori Art exhibition labelled ‘racist’ by some Devonport locals http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/maori-art-exhibition-labelled-racist-some-devonport-locals

The Problem With Performance Pay for Teachers http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/03/08/the-problem-with-performance-pay-for-teachers/

Landmark court decision paves way for compo http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9812160/Landmark-court-decision-paves-way-for-compo

Miriam Pierard – Why I’m voting this election http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/03/13/guest-blog-miriam-pierard-why-im-voting-this-election/

Labour’s Digital Bill of Rights By Martyn Bradbury – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/03/10/labours-digital-bill-of-rights/#sthash.a3ZePVYW.dpuf

Gordon Campbell: This is why we don’t trust politicians http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/the-wellingtonian/9822564/This-is-why-we-don-t-trust-politicians

NZ ‘pressured’ to change spy laws http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/238558/nz-‘pressured’-to-change-spy-laws

Snowden: US helped create loopholes in NZ law http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11217797

Did the NSA write John Key’s spy bill? http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/did-nsa-write-john-keys-spy-bill.html

Did SkyCity make $1.4 million out of alleged money laundering? http://blog.greens.org.nz/2014/03/07/did-skycity-make-1-4-million-out-alleged-money-laundering/

Australia undermined nuclear disarmament bid http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11217199

Bullets in the feet attack Palestinian national identity By John Minto – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/03/10/bullets-in-the-feet-attack-palestinian-national-identity/#sthash.3P0yN9lA.dpuf

Peter Lyons: Market society breeding pushy parents http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11217883

Duncan Garner: Judith Collins Must Go http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Duncan-Garner-Judith-Collins-must-go/tabid/674/articleID/41142/Default.aspx

Gordon Campbell on Shane Jones reverting to type, and a reply to Richard Prebble http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2014/03/12/gordon-campbell-on-shane-jones-reverting-to-type-and-a-reply-to-richard-prebble/

POVERTY & INEQUALITY

Children badly affected by problem debt http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1403/S00126/children-badly-affected-by-problem-debt.htm Dr Dale’s paper on the impact of high-interest debt on children is available on the CPAG website.

CPAG: Children still missing out after quakes http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/un-doctored/2014/march-2014/07/children-still-missing-out-after-quakes.aspx

NZ – ECONOMY

CTU: Reasons for interest rate rise not convincing http://union.org.nz/news/2014/reasons-interest-rate-rise-not-convincing

CTU: Go slow on interest rate rises http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1403/S00115/go-slow-on-interest-rate-rises.htm

Greens: Reserve Bank research shows OCR rise to cost up to 30,000 jobs http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1403/S00216/reserve-bank-research-ocr-rise-to-cost-up-to-30000-jobs.htm

Stand up to the Corporate Boot http://snoopman.net.nz/2014/03/12/stand-up-to-the-corporate-boot/

Ideas Matter: Geoff Bertram Rattles the Neoliberal Cage By Chris Trotter – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/07/ideas-matter-geoff-bertram-rattles-the-neoliberal-cage/#sthash.9Jf1zt7S.dpuf

Matt McCarten and Labour http://iso.org.nz/2014/03/10/matt-mccarten-and-labour/

NZ – WORKRIGHTS

Huntly McDonald’s – from sauna to cool oasis http://unitenews.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/huntly-mcdonalds-from-sauna-to-cool-oasis/

Are unions a good deal for workers? http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9696643/Are-unions-a-good-deal-for-workers

Engineers and Servos Ponder Mega-Merger Union http://iso.org.nz/2014/02/06/engineers-and-servos-ponder-mega-merger-union/

Richard Wagstaff: Public servants entitled to have political rights http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11217885

Work equality eludes women say advocates http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9806084/Work-equality-eludes-women-say-advocates

STATS OF THE WEEK

  • The world’s “ultra high net worth” crowd — individuals worth at least $30 million — now number 167,669, says a new Knight Frank report. Their total wealth: $20.1 trillion in 2013, almost half as much as the combined net worth of the 4.2 billion global adults who hold less than $100,000 in wealth.

  • The top exec at private equity powerhouse Apollo Global, Leon Black, collected $369 million in dividends in 2013 from the Apollo stock he owns. Over the course of last year, notes Bloomberg News, Black took in from his dividends “every 21 minutes what a worker on the federal minimum wage earns in a year.”
  • From 2009 to 2012, America’s top 1 percent incomes grew by 31.4 percent. Bottom 99 percent incomes rose all of 0.4 percent.
  • From 2007’s fourth quarter to 2013’s third, the labor compensation share of national income declined from 64 to 61% percent. If this labor share of national income had remained at the 2007 level, American workers would have earned $520 billion more in 2013 than they actually did.
  • The U.S. economy is revolving ever more around consumption by the rich. In 2012 the top 5 percent of American income earners accounted for 38 percent of domestic consumption, up from 28 percent in 1995.
  • http://growth.newamerica.net/publications/policy/the_us_economy_after_the_great_recession

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

"The weight of evidence clearly indicates that sanctions caused massive human suffering among ordinary Iraqis, particularly children. We, the US and UK governments, were the primary engineers and offenders of sanctions and were well aware of the evidence at the time but we largely ignored it and blamed it on the Saddam government … effectively denying the entire population the means to live." Memorandum by Mr Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat[1] and former British diplomat http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200607/ldselect/ldeconaf/96/6071104.htm

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction”. Eric Fromm.

“we do not tolerate a system that says that because they are poor and hungry, they cannot learn.” Bill English NZ Minister of Finance

“I consider income inequality the most dangerous part of what’s going on in the United States. You can see the deteriorating impact of that on our current political system, and you cannot talk about politics without talking about its impact on the economy.” Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, Fiscal Times, February 25, 2014

“Do you recall a time in America when the income of a single school teacher or baker or salesman or mechanic was enough to buy a home, have two cars, and raise a family? I remember.” Robert Reich, former U.S. labor secretary, The Great U-Turn, March 6, 2014

FEATURES

The Spirit Level authors: why society is more unequal than ever – Five years after The Spirit Level, authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that research backs up their views on the iniquity of inequality http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/09/society-unequal-the-spirit-level

Chomsky: From Hiroshima to Fukushima, Vietnam to Fallujah, State Power Ignores Its Massive Harm http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/11/chomsky_from_hiroshima_to_fukushima_vietnam

Interview | Noam Chomsky: While Syria descends into suicide, Israel and the US are enjoying the spectacle http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/noam-chomsky-syria-descends-suicide-israel-enjoying-spectacle/

Interview | Christopher Davidson on ‘After the Sheikhs: The Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies’ http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/christopher-davidson/

The real meaning of International Women’s Day http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/the-real-meaning-of-international-womens-day/

War Workers: Vulnerable Foreign Laborers Swindled & Exploited to Toil on U.S. Bases in Afghanistan http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/10/war_workers_vulnerable_foreign_laborers_swindled

Scientists Reveal the First European Faces Were Not ‘White’ http://politicalblindspot.com/scientists-reveal-the-first-european-faces-were-not-white/

Birth of al-Qaida: University of Michigan History Professor Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World and Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East, talked about the birth of al-Qaida. http://www.c-span.org/video/?317281-1/birth-alqaida

Nick Turse, American Proxy Wars in Africa http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175818/tomgram%3A_nick_turse%2C_american_proxy_wars_in_africa/#more

Why do they hate Russia? The West is guilty of the same crimes it accuses Russia of committing. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/03/why-do-they-hate-russia-201435102838387692.html

WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS

The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills – The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has recently hosted an event with the Oxford academic David Stuckler, who presented the research underpinning his recent book The Body Economic: Eight economic experiments, form Iceland to Greece. Watch the full lecture of Dr Stuckler http://www.social-europe.eu/2014/03/body-economic-austerity-kills/

How Economic Inequality Kills http://www.thenation.com/blog/178708/how-economic-inequality-kills

The TTIP: How a New Secret ‘Trade’ Treaty Could Put the World’s Biggest Firms Beyond Government Control http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ttip-how-new-secret-trade-treaty-could-put-worlds-biggest-firms-beyond-government-control-1432405

LAND, LABOUR AND THE ENVIRONMENT

By the Way, Your Home Is On Fire: The Climate of Change and the Dangers of Stasis http://www.juancole.com/2014/03/climate-change-dangers.html

CULTURAL DISSENT

Ceasefire interviews Boots Riley, The Coup Sorry to Bother … https://www.youtube.com/v/AyOR35CJyKg

Baghdad Central – Book Review http://www.palestinechronicle.com/baghdad-central/#.Ux1EK_mSx8E

Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell) – A discussion with author and labour organizer Jane McAlevey. http://www.socialistproject.ca/leftstreamed/ls209.php

Socially Relevant Film Festival 2014 http://louisproyect.org/2014/03/11/socially-relevant-film-festival-2014/

How Benjamin Kunkel Went From Novelist to Marxist Public Intellectual http://www.vulture.com/2014/03/benjamin-kunkel-marxist-novel-utopia-or-bust.html

Another Chile is Possible: As a new documentary revisits Chile’s student uprisings of 2011, one of its producers, Samuel Grove, provides the context and background behind the film. http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/chile/

An A to Z of Theory | Walter Benjamin: Politics of Everyday Life http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/walter-benjamin-politics-everyday-life/

Podcast | Kiese Laymon on Language, Love and ‘Long Divsion’

Author Kiese Laymon talks to Ceasefire’s Hana Riaz and Rukayah Sarumi about his novel ‘Long Divison’ and using language as a tool of resistance and affirmation. http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/kiese-laymon-language-love-long-divsion/

BOSNIA

Bosnia rebellion: an interview http://www.leninology.com/2014/03/bosnia-rebellion-interview.html

CAMBODIA

Cambodia International Women’s Day March Blocked http://revolution-news.com/cambodia-womens-day-march-blocked/

CANADA

Minority rights and climate change are key issues in April 7 Quebec election http://www.rogerannis.com/minority-rights-and-climate-change-are-key-issues-in-april-7-quebec-election/

Ambassadors of the First Nations tar sands resistance http://ecosocialism.ca/2014/03/ambassadors-first-nations-tar-sands-resistance/

The Blossoming of Idle No More http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/949.php

CHILE

Chile’s Student Movement Leads the Way: Progressive Prospects for Michelle Bachelet’s Second Term http://upsidedownworld.org/main/chile-archives-34/4743-chiles-student-movement-leads-the-way-progressive-prospects-for-michelle-bachelets-second-term

CHINA

Pepsi workers across China go out on strike with trade union support http://www.clb.org.hk/en/content/pepsi-workers-across-china-go-out-strike-trade-union-support

Workers stand firm as IBM strike enters ninth day http://www.clb.org.hk/en/content/workers-stand-firm-ibm-strike-enters-ninth-day

EGYPT

Police in Egypt assault, deport Codepink’s Medea Benjamin as she leads solidarity delegation to Gaza http://www.rogerannis.com/police-in-egypt-assault-deport-codepinks-medea-benjamin-as-she-leads-solidarity-delegation-to-gaza/

Videos from Egypt prisons paint bleak picture

Leaked testimonies describe arbitrary arrests, forced confessions, torture and filthy conditions in overcrowded cells. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/03/videos-from-egypt-prisons-paint-bleak-picture-2014388433904126.html

EL SALVADOR

Salvadorean ex-rebel Sanchez Ceren wins vote – officials http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26556803

Leftist Ex-Rebel Holds Narrow Lead in El Salvador After Entering Race as Heavy Favorite http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/10/leftist_ex_rebel_holds_narrow_lead

FRANCE

Parti de Gauche leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon on Ukraine http://links.org.au/node/3759

ACCUSED: Govt exploit Pacific prisoners for political gain http://pacificguardians.org/2014/03/11/accused-govt-exploit-pacific-prisoners-for-political-gain/.html

INDONESIA

Feeble rule of law, rampant impunity underpins human rights abuses www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/indonesia-feeble-rule-law-rampant-impunity-underpins-human-rights-abuses-8494

IRAQ

John Pilger: The truth about the criminal bloodbath in Iraq can’t be ‘countered’ indefinitely – The media cover-up has been a weapon in the crimes of western states since the first world war. But a reckoning is coming for those paid to keep the record straight http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/07/west-criminal-bloodbath-iraq-media-cover-up?CMP=fb_gu

IRELAND

A scream of solidarity to my fellow women everywhere – International Women’s Day was the perfect occasion to deliver my speech to Stormont demanding society’s archaic, patriarchal constructs be torn down http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/10/solidarity-women-cara-park-international-womens-day

JAPAN

Ex-Japanese PM on How Fukushima Meltdown was Worse Than Chernobyl & Why He Now Opposes Nuclear Power http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/11/ex_japanese_pm_on_how_fukushima

LIBYA

Political Killings Still Plaguing Post-Qaddafi Libya http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/world/africa/political-killings-still-plaguing-post-qaddafi-libya.html

Libyans continue to be optimistic, for democracy – against use of force and unilateral regional autonomy http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/03/12/libyans-continue-to-be-optimistic-for-democracy-against-use-of-force-and-unilateral-regional-autonomy/#axzz2vnshRJzH

Oil-Rich Rebels Helped Depose Libya’s Prime Minister: Rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran’s victory over the incumbent government turned out to be a final humiliation for Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who was ousted in a no-confidence vote later that day before fleeing to Germany. http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/libya-stumbles-deeper-into-chaos-as-its-prime-minister-departs

NICARAGUA

Revisiting Nicaragua, This Time as a Tourist http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/travel/revisiting-nicaragua-this-time-as-a-tourist.html

PACIFIC

Good and bad aid in the Pacific: A tale of two universities http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/articles/good-and-bad-aid-pacific-tale-two-universities

West Papuan Leaders’ Group welcomes Vanuatu PM support http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/region-west-papuan-leaders-group-welcomes-vanuatu-pm-support-8508

VANUATU: PM blasts Indonesian human rights violations in West Papua http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/vanuatu-pm-blasts-indonesian-human-rights-violations-west-papua-8497

PALESTINE

Israel fights back as boycott movment gains strength http://www.smh.com.au/world/israel-fights-back-as-boycott-movment-gains-strength-20140207-326pw.html

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/israel-fights-back-as-boycott-movment-gains-strength-20140207-326pw.html#ixzz2shZrMO3V

Why the Boycott Movement Scares Israel by Omar Barghouti

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/opinion/sunday/why-the-boycott-movement-scares-israel.html?_r=1

Israeli Youth: ‘We Refuse to Serve in the Occupation Army’ http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/03/10-5

QATAR

A New Arab Cold War: Saudi Arabia Pressures Qatar on Muslim Brotherhood, American Think Tanks http://www.juancole.com/2014/03/pressures-brotherhood-american.html

S Arabia, UAE, Bahrain withdraw envoys from Qatar

SYRIA

Map: Syria’s Shifting Battle Lines http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/foreign-affairs-defense/syrias-second-front/map-syrias-shifting-battle-lines/

UK

Yes, there is still life for the left after Tony Benn and Bob Crow http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/14/left-after-tony-benn-bob-crow

Bob Crow Was the Very Best of Trade Unionism http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mark-serwotka/bob-crow-death_b_4942315.html

Figures show huge rise in zero-hours contracts http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/10/rise-zero-hours-contracts

Tariq Ali: Stuart Hall’s message to those who want change: think, debate – and get off your backside http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/10/stuart-hall-radical-thinker-thatcherism

Video: Tariq Ali presents the inaugural Hugo Chavez Memorial Lecture http://links.org.au/node/3753

Veteran left-winger Tariq Ali announces his support for Scottish independence http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/veteran-left-winger-tariq-ali-announces-3223014

Stephen Lawrence report: Theresa May orders public inquiry into police spies http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/06/stephen-lawrence-police-corruption-ellison-report

The Stephen Lawrence case: how it changed Britain http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/jan/03/how-stephen-lawrence-changed-britain

Police sins of surveillance go far beyond the Lawrences and must be exposed http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/09/lawrences-sins-of-surveillance-exposed-inquiry-undercover-policing

UKRAINE

A Glimpse Into Ukraine’s Future? Lviv: Ukraine’s Monument to Ethnic Cleansing http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/10/lviv-ukraines-monument-to-ethnic-cleansing/

The history of right-wing nationalism in Ukraine http://www.rogerannis.com/the-history-of-right-wing-nationalism-in-ukraine/

Ukraine and the west: hot air and hypocrisy http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/10/ukraine-and-west-hot-air-hypocrisy-crimea-russia

Ukraine Beyond Politics – Who Was in Kiev’s Independence Square? http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/07/who-was-in-kievs-independence-square/

Behind the Ukraine crisis: the West’s role in war threat https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/56028

Ukraine’s Longtime Divisions & NATO’s Eastern Expansion to Russian Border Lay Ground for Crimea Vote http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/10/ukraines_longtime_divisions_natos_eastern_expansion

Ukraine Between ‘Popular Uprising for Democracy’ (Canadian Government)

and ‘Fascist Putsch’ (Russian Government) by David Mandel http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/948.php

USA

Senate Investigation of Bush-Era Torture Erupts Into Constitutional Crisis http://www.thenation.com/blog/178792/senate-investigation-bush-era-torture-erupts-constitutional-crisis

"A Slow Genocide of the People": Uranium Mining Leaves Toxic Nuclear Legacy on Indigenous Land http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/14/a_slow_genocide_of_the_people

Hunger Strike at Tacoma ICE Detention Center http://prisonerhungerstrikesolidarity.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/hunger-strike-at-tacoma-ice-detention-center/

Millions of children go without essential items http://www.poverty.ac.uk/sites/default/files/attachments/

Debtor nation: Americans pay interest on $163 billion held by top tech firms overseas http://rt.com/usa/google-microsoft-debt-offshore-710/

"Obama Is Trying to Vanish Us": Immigrants Fight Record Deportations with Protests, Hunger Strikes http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/13/obama_is_trying_to_vanish_us

Obama: The Willing Executioner http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37948.htm

USA – WORKERS REVOLT

Highest Minimum-Wage State Washington Beats U.S. in Job Creation http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-05/washington-shows-highest-minimum-wage-state-beats-u-s-with-jobs.html

Permanently Temporary: The Truth About Temp Labor (Trailer)

Martin Sheen Calls Minimum Wage Increase ‘Far Less A Political Issue Than A Moral One’ (VIDEO) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/13/martin-sheen-minimum-wage_n_4959333.html

USA – SPYING SCANDAL

When it is Feinstein being Spied on, Suddenly she Squawks http://www.juancole.com/2014/03/feinstein-suddenly-squawks.html

"Giving Hypocrisy a Bad Name": NSA-Backing Senate Intel Chair Blasts CIA for Spying on Torture Probe http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/12/giving_hypocrisy_a_bad_name_nsa

White House refuses to hand over top-secret documents to Senate committee – Jay Carney confirms sensitive Bush-era material is being withheld from Senate investigation into CIA torture and rendition http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/13/white-house-cia-torture-top-secret-documents-senate

U.S. releases Guantanamo prisoner after 12 years http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/us-releases-guantanamo-prisoner-12-years/

VENEZUELA

A Personal Tribute – Hugo Chavez: a Giant Under the Moon http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/03/07/hugo-chavez-a-giant-under-the-moon/

Violence in Venezuela Caused by Opposition, Not Government by Steve Ellner http://www.socialistproject.ca/bullet/947.php

Christiane Amanpour Interviews Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro –

Video and Transcript: "Our people have public health guaranteed free of charge. Did you have that in the US?" http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37901.htm

Analysis | How the Western media is getting (almost) everything wrong about Venezuela http://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/western-media-almost-wrong-venezuela/

YEMEN

Obama’s Rules: US Drones in Yemen – ‘Psychological Torture’ from Above http://www.juancole.com/2014/03/obamas-psychological-torture.html

<a href="http://www.securitydegreehub.com/police-state/"><img src="http://www.securitydegreehub.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/police_state.jpg" alt="Police State" width="500" border="0" /></a><br />Source: <a href="http://www.securitydegreehub.com/">SecurityDegreeHub.com</a>

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