Sunday, March 31, 2013

"The Myth of China's Endless Coal Demand"

A new Greenpeace report questions the demand for coal from China:

"Assuming Chinese coal demand continues to weaken and that it sticks to its policies to curb coal use and increase renewable investment, the Chinese market for US coal exports may dry up before major new US coal shipments ever reach its ports."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: A new stage in the social counter-revolution in America

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Socialist Equality Party" <>
Date: Mar 30, 2013 8:52 AM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: A new stage in the social counter-revolution in America
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

The past several weeks have seen a sharp escalation of the American ruling class's offensive against jobs, wages, and social programs--including the appointment of an emergency manager in Detroit, the announcement of plans to close 61 schools in Chicago, and the permanent implementation of the "sequester" budget cuts.
Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.
Take up the fight for socialism! Join the Socialist Equality Party! For more information and to get involved, click here.


Stock markets and food stamps at record highs: The two sides of the US economic "recovery"

30 March 2013
News this past week focused attention on two economic indices in the US: record numbers of people on food stamps and a new high for the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. Their juxtaposition speaks to the reality of the economic "recovery," whose most basic feature is a widening of the social divide in America.
An article in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, which reported that food stamp usage in the US has increased by 70 percent since 2008, received scant attention. But the figures it presented are shocking. A record 47.8 million people were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as of December 2012.
The biggest driver of the explosive increase in SNAP is poverty. Almost 50 million Americans were living in poverty in 2011, according the US Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which factors in expenses for food, clothing, shelter, utilities, health care and other essentials.
In 2010, about 87 percent of food stamp recipients were at or below the poverty line, which is set at the ridiculously low level of about $25,000 for a family of three. Only 3.5 percent of recipients had household incomes over 130 percent of the poverty line. Half of current SNAP recipients are children, and half of these children--some 10 million--live in extreme poverty, meaning family income is less than half the official poverty level.
One in six Americans receives food stamps. Last year's average monthly benefit was a paltry $133 per person.

Fwd: How our Legislators voted

42nd District legislators will hold a Telephone Town Hall Tuesday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. Join the conversation by calling toll-free 1-877-229-8493 and then enter pin number 17803.
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Natalie McClendon
Some bills still alive in the Washington Legislature,
and how our Reps voted
March 13th was the last day to consider bills in the house of origin, and many, many bills died on that date, some good, some bad. Those that had been passed in one house of the Legislature now go on to the other house for consideration. They now have until April 17th to hold hearings and take action in committee and get them to the floor for a vote.
The big exception to these deadlines is any bill that impacts the budget. Any so-called "policy" bill can be resurrected later if it impacts the budget. And the budget is one giant policy bill made up of numbers. They have all been waiting for the economic forecast on state tax revenue, that came out March 20th, and now will be getting budget bills together. Here's an overview.
But let's not get distracted with the budget now — that's a rabbit hole from which we may never escape. I'll try to make some sense of it in a future post.
Meanwhile, below are some significant bills that have survived cut-off and will be moving through (or not) the other chamber. Continue reading →

Friday, March 29, 2013

Looks like we are in the clear...

Looks like Kim Jong-Un and his generals aren't targeting the Canadian border cities with nuclear ICBMs for now.

Kim Jong-Un gets testy. Screenshot  taken from

I just can't follow the Obama administration on this one.  Did you know this type of kid in your elementary school? A little strange, paranoid, secretive,  maybe abused even. Never really talked much to anyone, but became a complete psycho if someone actually decided to frack with him?  Hey, Mr. President, that's your profile for North Korea.  Maybe if we hadn't blown up their oil refineries and carpet bombed their nation 60 years ago in the first great cold war event of the last century... But then we didn't help matters when we called them part of the "axis of evil".  (Notice that two out of the three "axis of evil" nations - Iran, North Korea - are now developing nuclear ambitions.)  Just last week, we flew undetectable B-2 bombers over the Korean Pennisula and then bragged about it. All of a sudden, instead of a loner you've got a shooter, claiming to have nuclear ICBMs targeted on our cities.

Hmmm... Don't give the angry loner a reason to wipe us off the map, Mr. President.  You aren't making my family safer by pushing Kim Jong-Un panic buttons and spending billions on some shaky missile shield technology in Alaska.  I'd prefer you spend my tax dollars on foreign aid rather than missiles in this instance. Better yet, why don't you withdraw our troops, send in negotiation teams and try to help unify the Korean Peninsula. Then spend our money on improving math education instead of policing Asia; so our students here can at least catch up with students in South Korea.

Fwd: WP&JC April Newsletter and Calendar

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Whatcom Peace and Justice Center" <>
Date: Mar 29, 2013 2:02 PM
Subject: WP&JC April Newsletter and Calendar
To: <>

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Hubris: Selling the Iraq War."

MSNBC is showing "Hubris: Selling the Iraq War".  They have some great clips and speeches. Here is Lyndon Johnson's "Gulf of Tonkin" speech. "We still seek no wider war..."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Here is George Bush selling Saddam Hussein as a terrorist who could be working with Al Qaeda...

Here is President Obama saying, "The United States prefers to resolve this problem peacefully..."


Possible Iran War Start Dates

Stacking up by month and date some of  the start dates of "global economic shock" events for the past twelve years or so:

  • 1/12 Haiti Earthquake
  • 1/15 Libyan Civial War
  • 3/11 Japanese Tsunami; Fukushima meltdowns; 
  • 3/11 Madrid Bombings
  • 3/20 (start) Iraq -US War
  • 4/20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire
  • 7/7  London Subway Bombings
  • 7/7  BNP Paribas terminates hedge fund withdrawls
  • 7/12 Israeli-Lebanon War
  • 8/11 Georgia/Russia Conflict
  • 8/11 an unamed tropical wave shows convection in the Carribean, 2005
  • 9/11 Twin Towers collapse
  • 9/11 Benghazi attacks
  • 10/7 (start) Afghan-US War
  • 10/12 (2nd) Bali Bombing
  • 12/26 Sumatran Earthquake
Looks like May or June are wide open for the start of the Iranian War. I will stick with an 7,11, or 12 date based on the list. Let's go with 5/11/2013.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: The stock market bonanza and inequality in America

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Socialist Equality Party" <>
Date: Mar 9, 2013 9:52 AM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: The stock market bonanza and inequality in America
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Take up the fight for socialism! Join the Socialist Equality Party! For more information and to get involved, click here. Read the World Socialist Web Site. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here


The stock market bonanza

6 March 2013
Tuesday, four days after President Barack Obama signed the budget sequestration order unleashing brutal cuts in social programs, there was general jubilation in the media as the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashed through its previous high, dating from 2007.
The intervening period has been an unmitigated disaster for the vast bulk of humanity, including the broad mass of working people in the United States. The signs of social decay and suffering are everywhere. Unemployment remains at near-Depression levels. Poverty, hunger and homelessness continue to rise. Those workers with a job are working harder and longer than ever for lower wages and fewer benefits. The buying power of the wages of newly hired autoworkers is at or below the levels that prevailed in the 1930s.
Thousands of schools have been closed, hundreds of thousands of teachers laid off, and the public education syst em gutted to make way for for-profit charter schools.
Detroit, once a thriving metropolis and center of the world auto industry, has been turned into an impoverished and desolate city whose inhabitants face Third World conditions. It is about to be placed under a bankers' dictatorship and very likely thrown into bankruptcy.
On Tuesday, as the New York Stock Exchange was hitting new heights, New York's Coalition for the Homeless was reporting a different record. In January, an average of more than 50,000 people slept each night at a homeless shelter in the city, including over 21,000 children--more than 1 percent of the city's youth.
Now the US government, with the sequester cuts as the down payment, is preparing to dismantle the core social programs remaining from the reforms of the 1930s and 1960s--Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
This so cial counterrevolution was inaugurated by the Wall Street crash of September 2008--the result of financial fraud and criminality on a colossal scale. Yet, amidst the still steaming rubble of the social tsunami they unleashed, the lords of finance are today able to celebrate their biggest heist ever.
How is this to be explained?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Meeting Tonight! Cleanup Report for Whatcom Waterway

from ECY :

Department of Ecology News Release - February 26, 2013
Cleanup report for Whatcom Waterway in Bellingham ready for review - Report available online and at March 6 community meeting
BELLINGHAM – In an effort to clean up low levels of historic contamination in the Whatcom Waterway on Bellingham’s waterfront, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and Port of Bellingham are preparing for a $25 million cleanup this summer.
Before cleanup work begins, Ecology is making a draft engineering design report available for public review and comment through March 27.
The report provides engineering details for the first phase of construction to clean up mercury and other contaminants in and around the Whatcom Waterway.
Specific areas of cleanup in the waterway will be near the Bellingham Shipping TerminalLog Pond and Inner Waterway. Plans to clean up a wastewater basin known as an “aerated stabilization basin” are not included in this report. This will be part of a later phase of work expected to begin in 2016.
As part of the phase one cleanup, crews expect to:
  • Remove 159,000 cubic yards of contaminated marine sediment.
  • Open 4,300 square feet of shoreline and intertidal area by removing unused structures.
  • Place 126,600 cubic yards of clean material.
The cleanup work will have substantial environmental benefits, greatly improving the quality and quantity of aquatic habitat in Whatcom Waterway.
The draft report is available at Ecology’s website, the Bellingham Public Library, and Ecology offices in Bellingham and Bellevue. Comments can be submitted to Lucy McInerney at
Engineers from Ecology and the port will also be available to answer questions and provide details about the draft report at a community meeting on March 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Douglas G Smith conference room of the Technology and Development Center, 1000 F Street in Bellingham.
Once the public comment period ends, Ecology will respond to comments it has received and make necessary changes to the report.
The Whatcom Waterway site is one of 12 sites around Bellingham Bay that are part of a coordinated, bay-wide effort by federal, tribal, state and local governments to clean up contamination, control pollution sources and restore habitat. The pilot program, known as the Bellingham Bay Demonstration Pilot, plays a major role in the multi-agency effort toward restoring Puget Sound.
# # #
Media Contacts:Dustin Terpening, Ecology media relations, 360-715-5205 or Mike Hogan, Port of Bellingham environmental analyst, 360-676-2500 or 
For more information:
Pictures (
Whatcom Waterway website (
Ecology's social media (

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: 15 Years of the World Socialist Web Site

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Socialist Equality Party" <>
Date: Mar 2, 2013 1:00 PM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: 15 Years of the World Socialist Web Site
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below are a selection of recent articles published on the World Socialist Web Site. Read the WSWS every day at Take up the fight for socialism! Join the Socialist Equality Party! For more information and to get involved, click here.


WSWS 15th Anniversary Chronology: The Year in Review 2000

When the first issue of the World Socialist Web Site was posted on February 14, 1998, the corporate media was proclaiming the irreversible triumph of the capitalism and "the end of history." A new era of peace and prosperity had supposedly dawned. What followed, however, was the unending "war on terror," the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, a devastating collapse in working class living standards, unprecedented attacks on democratic rights, and, in the face of these events, profound cultural and intellectual disorientation.
The International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site is posting a year-by-year Chronology, selected from its archive of more than 45,000 articles, to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the critical events of years 1998 to 2013. We urge our readers to study the Chronology, and review how the great events, political issues, social processes, and cultural and intellectual controversies of the last 15 years were reported on and analyzed by the WSWS.
This week, the WSWS posted its third installment in Chronology. Read the full essay for 2000 and previous years here.
People around the world rang in New Year's Day 2000 with hopes that the new millennium would bring a better world, one with less violence and poverty. For their part, the ruling classes proclaimed that social convulsions and revolutions were a thing of the past and the next period would be one of triumphant capitalism.
The World Socialist Web Site took note of the ever-widening social and economic divisions within capitalism in the United States and internationally. We stressed that global financial instability and intensifying conflicts between rival nation-states presaged a new period of wars and political upheavals
In the course of the year, this assessment would be born out, first by the collapse of the dot-com bubble on the stock market, then by the greatest political crisis in more than a century in the United States--the 2000 presidential election. The outcome of the presidential election was in doubt for more than a month after the votes were cast. Finally, the Supreme Court intervened to halt vote-counting in Florida and award the state's electoral votes, and with it the White House, to George W. Bush.
While maintaining intransigent opposition to both corporate-controlled US parties, the Democrats and Republicans, the WSWS explained that the bitter struggle in Florida was of decisive importance to the working class because of what it revealed about the break with democratic norms by all sections of the US ruling class.
Read the full essay for 2000 and previous years here.