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Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015 Monday News

The situation is complex (of the proxy war in Yemen). There is the Bab el-Mandeb strait, which is a key area where oil is exported from the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world. Since Saudi Arabia is a strong American ally, the USA is siding with the Saudis in their fight against the Houthis. The Houthis are a group of people who existed during the era of the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. Also, it is important to note that the West wants geopolitical interests and that is why they (including Saudi Arabia and Egypt) want the puppet leader Hadi to return into Yemen. This military intervention in Yemen by the Gulf States and Egypt against Yemen has nothing to do with promoting "democracy."  According to Simon Tisdall of the Guardian, the Houthis evolved from a peaceful organization to a more reactionary, militant one after the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by the West. They were once suppressed by the Washington-backed Saleh dictatorship. U.S. drones and U.S. Special Forces attacks occurred regularly in Yemen to root out the rebels until these rebels grew their power. Now, U.S. forces have evacuated Yemen. Many Arabic nations have agreed (in late March 2015) to establish an unified military force as a way to battle the Shia Houthi forces in Yemen. The Western imperialists want Yemen to be a puppet state not because of advancing "democracy" (because the West supports authoritarian, anti-civil liberty nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt). The West wants specific geopolitical interests (of oil, political policies, etc.). The problems in Yemen do deal with poverty, unemployment, etc. It is interesting to note that Ghani of Afghanistan spent a long time out of Afghanistan prior to being the political leader of the country. He also was an official at the World Bank, so we know where his allegiances lay at. There is not only the actions of the Taliban that people have a right to discuss about, but there are rival warlords in the country too. Many neoconservative extremists want troops to permanently stay in Afghanistan. Long term, there can only be a political solution to the crisis or Afghanistan could very well be partitioned based on religious/ethnic lines.

The Civil War is part of American history. We can’t know about American history in a full fashion without understanding what the Civil War was all about. It was the bloodiest war in American soil and its ended overt slavery. The Union and the Confederate forces fought each other across states and it pit even relatives against each other. I am from Virginia, so I am reminded of the Civil War all of the time. Many Virginians and people globally know about the Civil War greatly. Museums, statues, etc. remind us about the Civil War all of the time. There were numerous factors that led into the Civil War like trade issues, political issues (like many Republicans seeking to expand free soil states while many Democrats wanting new states to embrace slavery), economic issues, sectarian disputes, and other factors. Yet, one primary factor on why the Civil War existed was the North and the South’s discussions on slavery. The Northern bankers wanted free labor while the Southern aristocracy wanted slavery to exist and their cotton crops to continue to grow. Black slaves were forced to grow cotton, while cotton resources exported into the North, Britain, etc. Since 1776, America was developed via numerous controversies. The First Amendment Revolution was not completed fully, because black people, women, the poor, and other minorities were readily deprived of their human rights (by an oppressive, capitalist oligarchy). Many Founders feared that he Southerners would not approve of the Constitution, so they compromised to the evil Southern aristocracy as a way for them to allow the Constitution to count slaves as three-fifths of person and to allow slaves to have no citizenship rights. The Bill of Rights was also established as a way for extend human rights. This injustice (of continuing legalized slavery and oppression) among others plagued America for decades. The invention of the cotton gin, the growth of American imperialism in North America (i.e. the Louisiana Purchase and the broken treaties with Native Americans were injustices), and the growth of the abolitionist movement (which made up of blacks and whites) caused the tensions in America to grow. Even Thomas Jefferson before he died knew that the nation was headed for a Civil War indirectly. Some of the Southerners wanted to expand territories into more areas beyond the Old South, but the Northerners rejected this action (since they viewed it as a way for the South to gain more political power in Congress). The newly formed Republican Party had members who didn’t oppose slavery per se, but they didn’t want new territories in the Union to adopt slavery (they wanted new territories to be made up of free labor). Many Republicans back then did oppose slavery though. The Missouri Compromise of 1850 didn't work to end tensions in America. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 allowed incoming settlers to decide for themselves on whether to permit slavery. This caused white racist terrorists to attack abolitionists, black people, etc. in Kansas. The evil Supreme Court decision from 1857 prevented Dred Scott (who was a slave) to have full human rights. In 1859, John Brown led an unsuccessful attempt to incite a slave uprising at Harpers Ferry. He was courageous and he worked with many black people. He died and he was a hero just like other heroes who include Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, etc. President Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. His original concern was maintaining the Union at all costs. Ideologically, Abraham Lincoln abhorred and hated slavery, but he didn't want the South to end slavery immediately. As time went on, Lincoln moved into the left and became more progressive on issues of slavery, race, and the Union. Therefore, the Abraham Lincoln of 1865 is a whole lot different from the Abraham Lincoln of 1860.

To know biology, we all must know about DNA. DNA is short for Deoxyribonucleic acid. In essence, DNA is a molecule that encodes the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms and many viruses. For decades, scientists and researchers have researched DNA and find its unique qualities. DNA is like a code that determines the functions of living organisms, it can store genetic information, and it is very structured. So, DNA is a nucleic acid. It has proteins and carbohydrates. All nucleic acids compose the three macromolecules which are vital for all known forms of life. Most DNA molecules are made up of two biopolymer strands coiled around each other to form a double helix. The two DNA strands are called polynucleotides, because they are made up of simpler units called nucleotides. Each nucleotide is composed by a nitrogen-containing nucleobase (either guanine or G, adenine or A, thymine or T, and cytosine or C). There is also the monosaccharide sugar called deoxyribose and a phosphate group. The nucleotides are joined to one another in a chain by covalent bonds between the sugar of one nucleotide and the phosphate of the next, which results in an alternating sugar-phosphate backbone. According to base pairing rules (A with T and C with G), hydrogen bonds bind the nitrogenous bases of the two separate polynucleotide strands to make double-stranded DNA. DNA is heavily used for biological information storage. Biological information is replicated as the two stands are separated. A significant portion of DNA (more than 98% for humans) is non-coding, meaning that these sections do not serve as patterns for protein sequences. The two strands of DNA run in opposite directions to each other and are therefore anti-parallel. Attached to each sugar is one of four types of nucleobases (informally, bases). It is the sequence of these four nucleobases along the backbone that encodes biological information. Under the genetic code, RNA strands are translated to specify the sequence of amino acids within proteins. These RNA strands are initially created using DNA strands as a template in a process called transcription.

Alexander the Great died in 331 B.C. So, his empire was split among his generals. General Seleucus I Nicator tried to take control of Persia and later Mesopotamia, Syria, and Asia Minor. The ruling family of Seleucus became the Seleucid Dynasty. Seleucus was killed in 281 B.C. by Ptolemy Keraunos. In Iran, Greek language, philosophy, and art came with the colonists. This period was the Hellenistic age. During the Seleucid Dynasty throughout Alexander's former empire, Greek became the common tongue of diplomacy and literature. Massive trade and cultural exchanges existed too. Buddhism came into Iran from India. Zoroastrianism from Iran came to influence Judaism. There have been statues of the Buddha in classical Greek styles in Persia and Afghanistan. Greco-Buddhism existed too. The Parthian Empire existed by 248 B.C. This existed during the Arsacid dynasty that reunited and governed the Iranian plateau after conquering Parthia (and defeating the Greek Seleucid Empire). The Parthian Empire expanded into Eastern Arabia and Mesopotamia later on. Parthia was the Eastern arch enemy of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire never reached into Iran, because of the Parthian Empire (who had a heavily armed and armored cataphracts and lightly armed but highly mobilized mounted archers). The Romans couldn’t conquer them and vice versa. The last Parthian King was defeated by the new Sasanian Empire. It existed in 224 A.D. and lasted until 651 A.D. The first shah of the empire was Ardashir I. He reformed the nation economically and militarily. It was a huge empire that ruled from Egypt to Central Asia in its peak. They defeated the Romans in the Battle of Edessa in 260 A.D. and took the Roman Empire Valerian prisoner for the rest of his life. The Sasanians fought the Romano-Byzantine armies in Mesopotamia, Armenia, and Levant. Justinian I (of the Byzantine Empire) made an uneasy peace with payment of tribute to the Sassanians. The Roman-Persian wars exhausted the Persians. Then, Islam came about in ca. 632 A.D. The Muslims grew their Empire rapidly. They defeated the Iranians at the Battle of al-Qâdisiyah (632) in Hilla, (present day Iraq) to the invading forces of Islam. The Sassanian civilization had a strong culture and influenced European and Asiatic medieval art. Even Muslims were influenced by the Sassanian Persians. Iranian King Yazdegerd III was defeated by Islamic forces. The Umayyad Caliphate dominated Iran and the Saffarid Dynasty existed. Several dynasties existed and then Iran was controlled by the Mongol Empire. The Safavid Empire set the stage for Iran to be mostly Shia Muslim. By the 20th century, the nation of Iran would be changed forever.

Patrice Lumumba was born on July 2, 1925. His father was named François Tolenga Otetshima.  François was a farmer. His wife was Julienne Wamato Lomendja. Patrice was born in Onalua in the Congo. He was part of the Tetela ethnic group. His birth name was Élias Okit'Asombo. His original surname means "heir of the cursed" and is derived from the Tetela words okitá/okitɔ́ ('heir, successor') and asombó ('cursed or bewitched people who will die quickly'). He had three brothers (Charles Lokolonga, Émile Kalema, and Louis Onema Pene Lumumba) and one half-brother (Tolenga Jean). Lumumba was raised in a Catholic family. He was educated at a Protestant primary school, a Catholic missionary school, and finally the government post office training school. He passed the one year course with distinction. He could also speak Tetela, French, Lingala, Swahili, and Tshiluba. Lumumba worked in Kinshasa it was called Leopoldville back then) and Kisangani (which was called Stanleyville back then) as a postal clerk and as a traveling beer salesman. In 1951, he married Pauline Opangu. By 1955, Lumumba became the regional head of the Cercles of Stanleyville. He soon joined the Liberty Party of Belgium where he worked on editing and distributing party literature. He studied in Belgium, but he was arrested in 1955 on charges of embezzlement, but he returned the funds. He was released in July 1956 with the helped of the Belgian lawyer named Jules Chrome. Naturally, Patrice Lumumba was always a political person. He helped to found the MNC or the Mouvement national Conglais in 1958. Lumumba and his team represented the MNC at the All-African Peoples’ Conference in Accra, Ghana during December 1958. Lumumba wanted to advance Pan-Africanist beliefs. Pan Africanism is the view that all of Africa should be unified socially, economically, and politically as one. The conference was hosted by Pan-African President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah influenced Lumumba, all Africans, black Americans, all members of the black African Diaspora, and all freedom loving peoples of the world. In late October 1959, Lumumba, as leader of the organization, was arrested for inciting an anti-colonial riot in Stanleyville where thirty people were killed; he was sentenced to 69 months in prison.  The trial’s start date was on January 18, 1960. This was the first day of a round table conference in Brussels to finalize the future of the Congo. Lumumba was in prison at this time, but the MNC won a huge majority in the December local elections in the Congo. Lumumba was released from jail because of strong pressure from the delegates. He attended the Brussels conference. The conference culminated on January 27 with a declaration of Congolese independence, setting June 30, 1960, as the independence date with national elections from May 11-25, 1960. Lumumba and the MNC won this election and the right to form a government, with the announcement on June 23, 1960 of 34-year-old Lumumba as Congo's first prime minister and Joseph Kasa-Vubu as its president. In accordance with the constitution, on June  24 the new government passed a vote of confidence and was ratified by the Congolese Chamber and Senate.

By Timothy

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