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Who owns the North Pole part 70

A Russian military official told Russian media that the Kremlin was forming a new strategic military command to protect its interests in the Arctic. The formation of the new command follows a December 2013 order from Russian President Vladimir Putin to ramp up Russia's military presence in the Arctic. Putin said Russia was returning to the Arctic and "intensifying the development of this promising region" and that Russia needs to "have all the levers for the protection of its security and national interests."

"The new command will comprise the Northern Fleet, Arctic warfare brigades, air force and air defense units as well as additional administrative structures," a source in Russia's General Staff told RIA Novosti.

Russia created the Northern Fleet-Unified Strategic Command to protect oil and gas fields on the Arctic shelf.

 Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the United States — the five countries that have a border with the Arctic — have been…

The Environment's Enemies

A report cataloged the 2013 environmental and energy votes of the House in the 113th Congress, and found that in one year, the House voted in favor of anti-environment positions 109 times

The findings of the  report:

51: Number of times House members voted to “protect the interests of the oil and gas industry at the expense of the environment and human health,”
 Including voting multiple times to fast-track the approval process of the Keystone XL pipeline. The House also voted to ramp up drilling on public lands, including passing a bill that would have imposed a $5000 fee for citizens who wanted to protest a proposed drilling project and made it much easier for oil and gas companies to obtain permits for drilling on public lands.
20: Number of times House members voted to weaken the Clean Air Act,
 In August, for instance, the House took aim at the EPA’s ability to weigh the “social cost of carbon” when developing regulations, voting 234-178 for an amendment that would prevent the agen…

Trade Wars

The Pacific War against Japan was never a contest between democracy and fascism, as we have been taught. Neither the British nor the U.S. or the Dutch had ever entertained democracy for Asian peoples. Chiang Kai-shek remained a U.S. ally throughout the war and British historian Christopher Thorne has commented that, “if the term ‘fascist’ is to be employed in a non-European context for the 1930s, to no regime is it more appropriate to attach it than that of the Kuomintang in China.”

Leaving aside the conspiracy theory that the American government knew of the Pearl Harbor attack would take place and chose to allow it to happen, there is no question that an attack from Japan was probable. Contrary to U.S. political folklore, Japan’s subsequent attack was launched on a U.S. naval colony in Polynesia not U.S. territory (Hawaii only became a US state in 1959). And it cannot properly be described as a surprise.

In 1932, the Ottawa Conference cut off Japanese trade with the British Commonwea…

They never learn

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the fighters France is battling in northern Mali are some of the very same ones it helped arm in Libya.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he favored the idea of arming Syrian militants.

Some Poetry by Langston Hughes

Gods

The ivory gods,
And the ebony gods,
And the gods of diamonds and jade,
Sit silently on their temple shelves
While the people
Are afraid.
Yet the ivory gods.
And the ebony gods,
And the gods of diamond-jade,
Are only silly puppet gods
That the people themselves
Have made.

I Dream A World


I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom's way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!

A football working class hero

Organised sport was originally for the elite with its roots in the English public schools. But taking advantage of the free-time offered by the eight-hour day, workers began to democratize games like soccer and rugby. We enjoyed sport as passive spectators and as active participants. Who can blame someone for enjoying leisure on a day off?

Before long, major social democratic parties across Europe were using sporting clubs and festivals to construct working-class identity and promote solidarity. By 1928, German sports societies had more than two million members, most of whom were affiliated with the Social Democratic Party. These clubs offered escape and a sense of belonging to the masses. Thousands hiked and learned to swim, freeing themselves, however fleetingly, from the grinding indignity of wage slavery. In Austria, during the Red Vienna period (1918-1934), a new stadium was built to host a “Workers’ Olympiad,” which welcomed participants from across the world—a testament to the…

Three countries - same story

The annual assessment of hunger and homelessness conducted by the US Conference of Mayors reveals that the number of homeless people in 25 large cities has increased by seven percent since 2011. It also says that about 20 percent of the hungry do not get any help, and that social services are being forced to turn them away empty-handed. Half of those seeking food assistance are families and nine percent are homeless. The survey has also found that the lack of affordable housing, rising poverty and unemployment are the root causes of homelessness among families with children.

The British government’s new benefit cuts that will hit working-age people could be “devastating” and dramatically increase poverty, says leading British anti-poverty charity Oxfam.

“This Bill will effectively mean a permanent reduction of benefits, which could be devastating at a time when a proper safety net is desperately needed by millions of the most vulnerable people in Britain,”
said Oxfam UK poverty directo…

Facts of the Day

How many people know that out of 150 countries, the United States have the fourth-highest wealth disparity? Only Zimbabwe, Namibia and Switzerland are worse. 93% of financial wealth is owned by the richest 20% of Americans.

The richest 1% have doubled their share of America's income in 30 years. From 1980 to 2006, the richest 1% actually tripled their share of after-tax income.

Only 4% of those raised in the bottom fifth make it to the top fifth as adults. Only about 20 percent even make it to the top half. 80% of black children who started in or near the top half of U.S. income levels experienced downward mobility later in life.

According to UNICEF, among industrialized countries only Romania has a higher child poverty rate than the United States. Just in the last 10 years the number of impoverished American children increased by 30%. While 12 percent of white children live in poverty, 35% of Hispanic children and 39% of black children start their lives below the poverty line.

 F…

Who owns the North Pole - Part 50

We have now reached a land-mark half-century of posts titled Who Owns the North Pole. Why bother? Because it raises questions of national sovereignty over a previously ecologically vulnerable region that will become increasingly exploited for its natural resources as a consequence of climate change. The issue of the arctic reveals the nature of capitalist expansion.

Dan Sullivan, a former state attorney general, is the commissioner of Alaska's Department of Natural Resources says that Alaska has about 40 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil and more than 200 trillion cubic feet of conventional gas.with some experts predicting that the United States could become the largest hydrocarbon producer in the word -- outstripping Saudi Arabia and Russia -- by 2020. Developing Arctic resources will promote our American interests in many ways: securing a politically stable, long-term supply of domestic energy; boosting U.S. economic growth and jobs; reducing the federal trade defi…

the Plight of the Native Americans

The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples.

Many of the country's estimated 2.7 million Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, and other social problems. Apart from social issues, US Native Americans are involved in near continuous disputes over sovereignty and land rights. Although they were given power over large areas, most of it in the west, their rights are repeatedly challenged by state governments. Most Americans have little contact with those living in the 500-plus tribal areas, except as tourists.

Anaya, a University of Arizona professor of human rights, is originally from New Mexico and is well versed in Native American issues.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/22/un-investigate-us-native-americans

Life begins before conception!

Arizona lawmakers gave final passage to an anti-abortion bill that declares life begins two weeks before conception. A sentence in the bill defines gestational age as "calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman," which would move the beginning of a pregnancy up two weeks prior to conception.

Representatives passed a bill to prohibit abortions after the 18th week of pregnancy. Arizona the earliest definition of late-term abortion in the country; most states use 20 weeks as a definition. Nationally, 1.5 percent of abortions in the U.S. occur after the 21st week and 3.8 percent occur between the 16th and 20th weeks.

The Food Stamp Nation

“I’ve got two children,” she says. “I’ve got to have food.”So do 46 million other Americans. In fact, if the Americans using food stamps constituted a country, they would be the 27th largest nation in the world.In the first minutes of each month, food stamp purchases at 24-hour Wal-Marts across the country surge as those relying upon food stamps drives through the dark to purchase sorely needed food.“Our sales for those first few hours on the first day of the month are substantially and significantly higher,” Wal-Mart CEO William S. Simon told a Goldman Sachs conference 18 months ago. “If you really think about it, the only reason somebody goes out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it — and they’ve been waiting for it.” Studies show that food stamps typically last only 17.5 daysLaunched under Kennedy , first as a pilot project and later permanently by Johnson as part of his “War on Poverty,” food stamps (technically known as the federal Supple…

Who owns the North Pole - Part 29

Greenland is an autonomous territory belonging to Denmark. But the U.S. believes Greenland is headed for independence, presenting “a unique opportunity” for American gas and oil companies to make money.

With Arctic ice receding due to global warming, American officials have been cozying up to Greenland, where future oil and mineral deposits may become available to exploration. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks reveal that the U.S. and other industrial nations are jockeying to “carve up” Arctic resources in the coming years. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates Greenland territory may sit atop oil reserves as large as those in the North Sea. The Arctic Circle could contain 90 billion barrels of oil, about 1,700 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of natural gas liquids. In addition to oil and natural gas, mining companies also have their eyes on aluminum, iron ore, gold and rubies.

One diplomatic dispatch states: “Our intensified outreach to the Greenla…

Who Owns the North Pole - Part 24

The Obama administration, like the Bush one before it, has identified the Arctic as an area of key strategic interest. The U.S. military anticipates the Arctic will become "ice-free" for several summer weeks by 2030, possibly as early as 2013. The U.S. Arctic is melting quickly because of accelerated climate change. The prospect of newly thawed sea lanes and a freshly accessible, resource-rich seabed has nations jockeying for position. And government and military officials are concerned the United States is not moving quickly enough to protect American interests in this vulnerable and fast-changing region. The Arctic is believed to hold nearly a quarter of the world's untapped natural resources and a new passage could shave as much as 40 percent of the time it takes for commercial shippers to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

"We're not doing OK," said Lt. Cmdr. Nahshon Almandmoss "We definitely don't have the infrastructure avai…

Who Owns the North Pole Part 4

Socialist Courier is keenly following the story of which nation state will ultimately own or control the North Pole and have reported here , here and here about it . Time magazine has now shown an interest in the new developments that are following climate change and global warming in the Arctic Circle region .

Late last month, Moscow signaled its intentions to annex the entire North Pole, an area twice the size of France with Belgium and Switzerland thrown in — except all of it under water. The ice-frozen North Pole is currently a no man's land supervised by a U.N. Commission. The five Polar countries — Russia, the U.S., Canada, Norway and Denmark — each control only a 200-mile economic zone along their coasts. And none of these economic zones reach the North Pole. Under the current U.N. Maritime convention, one country's zone can be extended only if it can prove that the continental shelf into which it wishes to expand is a natural extension of its own territory, by showing t…