Flash Gordon Left Me The Keys

The TEST OF ALL MOTHERS

Saturday, June 07, 2008

 





Let's have a Party


POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. - Ambrose BierceIt may come as a complete surprise to you that some people have been discussing government in Second Life. When I say “some” I basically mean “government discussions are falling from my kitchen cabinets like tribbles from a ventilation shaft.” So I say we talk about parties and don’t spare the assless pants!! HA! Fooled you! Not THAT kind of party! I was talking about political parties (with assless pants.)While nobody has really tried to define political parties in Second Life, I believe parties are emerging all by themselves. You can see people polarize over any issue, and it’s not uncommon to see the same groups of people standing shoulder to shoulder on a variety of issues. So with half a cup of chutzpah, two teaspoons of intestinal fortitude, and just a pinch of hubris, I’m going to define Second Life’s Political Parties!To start with, it seems politics in Second Life can be charted on the ever trusty “two axis graph.” One axis indicates whether Second Life is a country or a company. The other axis shows the degree to which a governing body in SL (whatever that may be) should intervene into the lives of players. Below I have charted where the different political interests fall on this graph and a brief description of these de facto political parties.








U.S. Strategic Interests and Missions in the Polar Regions
Scientific exploration of Antarctica began in earnest in the early 1950s when the 67 member nations of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) endorsed a proposal to conduct an International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-1958 and intensive, scientific exploration of Antarctica began on an international level.
1 The ICSU nations agreed that the IGY would focus especially on research in Antarctica and outer space. Twelve of the ICSU member countries (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union) met in July 1955 to commence planning the Antarctic science program. Up to this point, only a few permanent stations had been established in Antarctica. The first recorded ongoing settlement dates back to 1903 when the Scottish National expedition established a building on Laurie Island. The station was handed over to Argentina the following year and was later named Orcadas. It is the longest continuously operating station in Antarctica. During International Geophysical Year activities in 1957, more than 40 stations were established in Antarctica for the IGY at many points around the continent, including two on the Antarctic plateau: one at the South Pole by the United States and the other at the Pole of Inaccessibility (farthest points from the coasts) by the Soviet Union.
During the International Geophysical Year 1957-1958, the United States committed to a significant program of exploration and study of the Antarctic and has maintained an active presence in Antarctica ever since. The United States was instrumental in the development of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which was signed in Washington, D.C., on December 1, 1959, and entered into force on June 23, 1961. The Antarctic Treaty System includes a series of agreements that regulate relations among states in Antarctica. The original 12 signatories consisted of the seven countries with claims over parts of Antarctica—Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom— and five other countries with Antarctic activities, namely Belgium, Japan, South Africa, the Soviet Union, and the United States.
Today the Antarctic Treaty System
2 is embedded in a system of conventions, measures, and annexes that reflect changes in the world over nearly the last five decades. Evolution of the geopolitical framework that brought the original 12 founding nations together has resulted in correlative changes in U.S. influence and interests in Antarctica. The original 12 member nations have now grown to 45 countries that accede to the Antarctic Treaty (Table 2.1). These 45 countries represent two-thirds of the world’s population.
The Antarctic Treaty requires that governing countries

1
Much of the exploration of the Antarctic islands and coastal waters that occurred during the early nineteenth century was a by-product of commercial sealing and whaling activities. Occasionally discoveries in the peninsula region were accidental when vessels were blown off course through adverse weather conditions. As seal colonies were progressively depleted, commercial operators extended their exploration and mapped substantial areas of the Antarctic coast in their search for wildlife resources. In addition, a number of countries mounted national expeditions of exploration during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The fact that early ship-based exploration achieved so much in charting the hazardous and unknown regions of Antarctica is testament to the courage and seamanship of the early mariners. It is indeed remarkable that much of this work was undertaken using timber-hulled, sailing ships, which lacked the structural strength, power, and sophisticated navigation aids available today.

2
The Antarctic Treaty System has grown from the original treaty and now consists of the following three agreements in addition to the treaty itself: (1) the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS), signed in London on June 1, 1972; (2) the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), signed in Canberra on May 20, 1980; and (3) the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, signed in Madrid on October 4, 1991. In addition, there are some 300 measures adopted by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), which has met annually since 1994.

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