The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest

The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. Continue reading

Yellowstone Volcano Eruption: Scientists Proven Wrong About Supervolcano as Elk Flee Park?

 

A fairly large number of people believe that the Yellowstone volcano–also known as the supervolcano–might blow soon, signaled, they say, by animals appearing to flee the park.

First it was bison. Now some bloggers have been posting analysis on a video that they say shows a herd of elk sprinting out of the park, including over a fence.

“A massive herd of elk, sprinting and jumping the gate away from Yellowstone. This is huge,” said one blogger.

“Oh they’re going to their summer locations, we’re told. But wouldn’t they stay within the gate. They’re restricted to that gate, but still the herds run away. This is another huge sign of mass animal movements. Look at the size of the herd.” Continue reading

Energy as a Weapon

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The German Chancellor is suggesting that the EU should take a “new look at its energy policy” as a whole. As Angela Merkel confirmed last week, several EU countries are at least partially “very highly dependent” on “the supply of raw materials from Russia.” Spurred on by the Ukrainian crisis, Berlin and Brussels could, however, in the long run, seek to liberate themselves. Merkel made her remarks following talks with Canada’s Prime Minister, who is considering the diversification of his country’s energy exports and does not exclude exporting natural gas to Europe. This, along with gas, which is extracted in the USA by the controversial “fracking” technique and should be exportable soon, could shake Russia’s strong position on the European gas market. Massive price cuts could result, forcing Moscow to drastically cut its budget, according to US experts. Whether Putin could politically survive such measures is unknown. In Berlin the debate continues over the new perspective of transatlantic energy. Representatives from US-oriented sectors are in favor and those from energy companies doing business with Russia and from the SPD, are opposed. Continue reading

Putin a rival who is not welcome back to G7, says Harper as Russia looks to replace Visa with its own credit cards

The BRICs nations are forming an alternative internet with a new undersea cable. Asian nations are talking about militarily banding together to face China because the US is becoming more and more unreliable as a protectorate. China has also in the last three years threatened to use the ‘nuclear option’ on the Dollar as well. Middle East nations talk about replacing the Dollar to break America’s global hegemony. Add this to Russia saying it could reduce itself to zero dependency on America just a couple weeks ago, and now an alternative credit payment system. However, Visa and MasterCard replacement is no longer just talk and is actually underway (like the BRICs cable), which will have a sizeable effect.

Fact is, in the bigger scheme of things, the world is getting fed up with America’s now-corrupt leadership which is abusive and drunken off its own power, is looking to isolate it and send it back into the stone age. The sanctions were not very well thought out as there doesn’t seem to be an exit strategy, as some would argue with Bush’s wars in the Middle East. America is shooting itself in the foot as it playing checkers with Putin — on a Russian rubicon game board. It could’ve also very well been Russia’s long-range strategic plan since the 60′s and earlier to, over the years, integrate itself with the U.S. so much that it could gain economic leverage and destroy the economy overnight if it wished. Much like the CCP in China, the ruling Russian oligarchy doesn’t care about its citizens anyways, which makes it more plausible.

BERLIN — Prime Minister Stephen Harper and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say they are united in their view that Russia has grossly violated Ukrainian sovereignty by annexing the Crimean peninsula.

Following a meeting Thursday between the two G7 leaders, Harper also opined that chances are slim that Russian President Vladimir Putin could ever be welcomed back to the G8.

The G7 nations — the U.S., Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan — effectively booted Russia from the G8 earlier this week over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula following a pro-Western uprising. Continue reading

Is Vladimir Putin Coming for the North Pole Next?

Just three days before Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his plan to annex Ukraine’s peninsula, a U.N. commission gave him sovereignty over the Sea of Okhotsk, located off Russia’s southeastern coast near Japan. Those waters, it was decided, are part of Russia’s continental shelf.

Russia’s Environment Minister Sergey Donskoy called the 20,000 square miles of once-international waters a “real Ali Baba’s cave” because of its natural-resource reserves. “It took Russia many years to achieve this success,” he said, logic that rings true for the acquisition of Crimea.

But Russia’s appetite for territory does not end at its southern shores. The country is hungry for more control over the top of the globe, and has been for a long time. Continue reading

Russia cannot hope to match global might of America, says Barack Obama in warning to Vladimir Putin

As actions speak louder than words, the continious degredation, budget cuts and personnel purge within the U.S. Military trumps hollow talking points. The sanctions were a laughing stock, especially since one of the targets has no investments in the USA whatsoever, but only interests in Tupac Shakur and other forms of culture.

The US President, Barack Obama, has issued a warning to Russia’s Vladimir Putin to keep his troops out of Ukraine or face even tougher sanctions, calling Russia a “regional power” which would struggle to compete with America’s global influence.

So far, Washington and the European Union (EU) have responded to President Putin’s annexation of Crimea this month with sanctions on dozens of individuals, most of them directly linked to Mr Putin’s actions in Crimea after his ally Viktor Yanukovych was ousted by protesters in Kiev.

Continue reading

Fukushima radioactive cesium reaches Canada

Scientists say that very little traces of toxic cesium-134 and cesium-137 from Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected in Canada, Vancouver.

Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years, but cesium-134 has a half-life of just two years, indicating that the material detected in Vancouver is of recent vintage, and not a product of older nuclear waste, according to the international press. Continue reading

America’s Energy Edge: The Geopolitical Consequences of the Shale Revolution

Is America’s shale-based energy revolution having at least one expected effect? Yes, say Robert Blackwill and Meghan O’Sullivan. In the case of global energy production, it’s facilitating a gradual shift away from traditional suppliers in Eurasia and the Middle East.

Only five years ago, the world’s supply of oil appeared to be peaking, and as conventional gas production declined in the United States, it seemed that the country would become dependent on costly natural gas imports. But in the years since, those predictions have proved spectacularly wrong. Global energy production has begun to shift away from traditional suppliers in Eurasia and the Middle East, as producers tap unconventional gas and oil resources around the world, from the waters of Australia, Brazil, Africa, and the Mediterranean to the oil sands of Alberta. The greatest revolution, however, has taken place in the United States, where producers have taken advantage of two newly viable technologies to unlock resources once deemed commercially infeasible: horizontal drilling, which allows wells to penetrate bands of shale deep underground, and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses the injection of high-pressure fluid to release gas and oil from rock formations. Continue reading

John Ivison: Crimea crisis forcing Harper to rethink NATO, Arctic defence

For many Canadians, the events in Crimea constitute a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom they know nothing, to quote Neville Chamberlain on the 1938 Sudeten crisis.

But Russia is not that far away. It borders our Arctic frontier. It’s a country with which we have conflicting claims over sovereignty of the Arctic sea-bed and, perhaps, its waters. And it’s a country that has shown itself prepared to use military force to satisfy its territorial ambitions. Continue reading

U.S. scientists expect traces of ocean radiation from Fukushima soon

Scientists have crowdsourced a network of volunteers taking water samples at beaches along the U.S. West Coast in hopes of capturing a detailed look at low levels of radiation drifting across the ocean since the 2011 tsunami that devastated a nuclear power plant in Japan.

Federal agencies are not sampling at the beach. The state of Oregon is sampling, but looking for higher radiation levels closer to federal health standards, said state health physicist Daryl Leon. Washington stopped looking after early testing turned up nothing, said Washington Department of Health spokesman Donn Moyer. Continue reading

Angela Merkel: Russia ‘will not get away’ with annexation of Crimea

The German Chancellor’s tough message underlines how America and the EU have agreed a joint response to Ukraine crisis

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has promised that Russia will not “get away” with “annexing” Crimea as world powers agreed to impose targeted sanctions on senior figures close to the Kremlin.

Mrs Merkel told a meeting of her parliamentary party that Russia’s intervention in Ukraine violated the principles of post-war order in Europe.

Her stark message came as America and the European Union agreed a joint response to Russia’s de facto seizure of Crimea, backed by other countries including Canada and Japan. Continue reading

China’s Push Into ‘America’s Backyard’

The United States has been quite vocal about its “pivot to Asia,” but as Washington seeks to further its influence in the Asia-Pacific, China has been quietly upping its own importance to Central and Latin America. Now China is making a push to further its engagement with countries in the Western Hemisphere, as evidenced by the announcement of a new dialogue mechanism. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which met in Cuba from January 28 to 29, adopted a statement announcing the establishment of a China-CELAC Forum. Continue reading