Monday, 23 October 2017

James Hansen interviewed by Chris Hedges

Neither Chris Hedges nor Dr. James E. Hansen are truly fessing up to the severity of the crisis.


How far over the cliff do we have to be for them to accept the reality?
--Kevin Hester

Dr. Hansen is really repeating the same message I have been hearing for a quarter of a century when the reality on the ground has changed radically.

He is still talking about sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere when we have many irreversible positive feedbacks - one being the melting of Arctic sea ice (unmentioned), the methane monster (completely ignored) and information that has been in the headlines in recent days - that drought in the Amazon and wildfires has led to the 'lungs of the planet' becoming a source of CO2, rather than a carbon sink.

I have to ask me whether this is just a matter of conscience for a scientists of this calibre, or is it something more?

On Contact: Climate Crisis with James Hansen




Typhoon Lan hits Japan



Two dead as typhoon Lan’s heavy rains & wind hit Japan 



Two dead as typhoon Lan’s heavy rains & wind hit Japan (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
© Reuters


RT,
23 October, 2017

At least two people died as typhoon Lan struck the southern regions of Honshu, the largest and most populous island of Japan.

Lan, a “very large” storm with an eye 50 nautical miles wide and winds reaching speeds of 216 kilometers per hour, has passed through the southernmost point of Honshu and is moving north-east at a speed of 50 kilometers per hour, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

Jaw dropping view of Super Typhoon 's eye with detailed mesovortices swirling about the inner wall. Winds are 150mph gusting to 184mph.
The media could not be played.

The typhoon brought more than 400mm of rainfall in the 48 hours between Friday and Sunday in Wakayama, Mie and Kagoshima prefectures, while the city of Shingu located in the Wakamaya prefecture witnessed over 700 mm of rainfall over the same period, the Japan Times reports.

In the south-western city of Fukuoka, a man died as scaffolding collapsed at a construction site due to intense winds, according to the Japanese police. Another man, 70, died in western Japan after his boat’s engine failed and he dived into the sea in an attempt to grab the rope from another vessel in the view of the approaching storm.

In the areas affected by the typhoon, several small landslides occurred and rivers came close to bursting their banks. More than 70,000 households across Japan were advised to evacuate and more than 5,000 were ordered to do so, according to the Japanese NHK broadcaster.

The JMA also issued warnings for heavy rains and floods on the Pacific side of Japan, including the Tokyo metropolitan area. “The wind and rain will grow stronger as the night goes on, so take measures as needed as early as possible, preferably before it gets dark,” a JMA official told residents, as reported by Reuters.

The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere near Tokyo early on Monday. Train services are expected to be suspended early on Monday in several Japanese regions, including the Tokyo metropolitan area and central Japan, because of the storm.

The typhoon also led to cancellation of as many as 350 flights across Japan by the Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. only, a move that affected some 43,000 passengers, according to the Japan Times.

Toyota Motor Corporation also decided to suspend its operations at the car assembly plants located in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, Gifu, Shizuoka, Aichi, Mie and Fukuoka from Monday morning to evening, company officials said, as reported by the Japan Times.



Trump's preparations for war

How to stop worrying and love the bomb.

For The First Time In 26 Years, US To Put Nuclear Bombers On 24 Hour Alert


22 October, 2017


The unexpected decision by President Trump to amend an emergency Sept 11 order signed by George W Bush, allowing the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired air force pilots to address what the Pentagon has decribed as "an acute shortage of pilots" caught us by surprise. After all, this was the first time we have heard of this particular labor shortage - perhaps there was more to this executive order than meets the eye. Indeed, a just released report may help explain the reasoning behind this presidential decision.

According to Defense One, the US Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.







 That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of Barksdale Air Force Base's 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.

This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, told the publication in an interview during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other U.S. Air Force bases that support the nuclear mission. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

Quoted by Defense One, Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way in anticipation that it might come. That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM is in charge of defending North America.

Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces.


Goldfein, who is the Air Force’s top officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is asking his force to think about new ways that nuclear weapons could be used for deterrence, or even combat.

Quoted by Def One, he said that “the world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons. It’s no longer a bipolar world where it’s just us and the Soviet Union. We’ve got other players out there who have nuclear capability. It’s never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right.” During his trip across the country last week, Goldfein encouraged airmen to think beyond Cold War uses for ICBMs, bombers and nuclear cruise missiles.

I’ve challenged…Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about ‘What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?’ and ‘Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?’ and ‘What are the options?’” he said. “How do we think about it — how do we think about deterrence in that environment?”

Asked if placing B-52s back on alert — as they were for decades — would help with deterrence, Goldfein said it’s hard to say.







Really it depends on who, what kind of behavior are we talking about, and whether they’re paying attention to our readiness status,” he said.

Meanwhile, various improvements have already been made to prepare Barksdale — home to the 2d Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, which oversees the service’s nuclear forces — to return B-52s to an alert posture. Near the alert pads, an old concrete building — where B-52 crews during the Cold War would sleep, ready to run to their aircraft and take off at a moment’s notice — is being renovated.




Inside, beds are being installed for more than 100 crew members, more than enough room for the crews that would man bombers positioned on the nine alert pads outside. There’s a recreation room, with a pool table, TVs and a shuffleboard table. Large paintings of the patches for each squadron at Barksdale adorn the walls of a large stairway.
 One painting — a symbol of the Cold War — depicts a silhouette of a B-52 with the words “Peace The Old Fashioned Way,” written underneath. At the bottom of the stairwell, there is a Strategic Air Command logo, yet another reminder of the Cold War days when American B-52s sat at the ready on the runway outside.
 Those long-empty B-52 parking spaces will soon get visits by two nuclear command planes, the E-4B Nightwatch and E-6B Mercury, both which will occasionally sit alert there. During a nuclear war, the planes would become the flying command posts of the defense secretary and STRATCOM commander, respectively. If a strike order is given by the president, the planes would be used to transmit launch codes to bombers, ICBMs and submarines. At least one of the four nuclear-hardened E-4Bs — formally called the National Airborne Operations Center, but commonly known as the Doomsday Plane — is always on 24-hour alert.

Barksdale and other bases with nuclear bombers are preparing to build storage facilities for a new nuclear cruise missile that is under development. During his trip, Goldfein received updates on the preliminary work for a proposed replacement for the 400-plus Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the new long-range cruise missile.

Our job is options,” Goldfein told Defense One's Marcus Weisgerber. “We provide best military advice and options for the commander and chief and the secretary of defense. Should the STRATCOM commander require or the NORTHCOM commander require us to [be on] a higher state of readiness to defend the homeland, then we have to have a place to put those forces."

And now that the US is preparing for immediate nuclear war readiness, all it needs is a provocation, one which a world which has never been more on edge over a stray tweet, may have little difficulty in finding...


Air Force To Recall Up To 1,000 Retired Military Pilots After Trump Unexpectedly Revises Sept 11 Executive Order

22 October, 2017

In an unexpected development, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots to address what the Pentagon has decribed as "an acute shortage of pilots," Fox News reported.

The order, which Trump signed Friday, amends an emergency declaration signed by George W. Bush in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The Air Force is only allowed to recall up to 25 pilots under current law. The order signed by Trump temporarily removes that cap for all branches of the military.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said in a statement that the Air Force is currently "short approximately 1,500 pilots of its requirements." That number includes approximately 1,200 fighter pilots.







"We anticipate that the Secretary of Defense will delegate the authority to the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to 3 years," Ross said.
"The pilot supply shortage is a national level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come."


Currently, the Air Force has no plans to take advantage of the recall.


The Air Force does not currently intend to recall retired pilots to address the pilot shortage. We appreciate the authorities and flexibility delegated to us,” Ann Stefanek, an Air Force spokeswoman, told Fox News.

Now, the question is, will the order inspire some retired pilots to come out of retirement voluntarily, like this guy.


Read the full text of the order below:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and in furtherance of the objectives of Proclamation 7463 of September 14, 2001 (Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks), which declared a national emergency by reason of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York and Pennsylvania and against the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States, and in order to provide the Secretary of Defense additional authority to manage personnel requirements in a manner consistent with the authorization provided in Executive Order 13223 of September 14, 2001 (Ordering the Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty and Delegating Certain Authorities to the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Transportation), it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Amendment to Executive Order 13223. Section 1 of Executive Order 13223 is amended by adding at the end: "The authorities available for use during a national emergency under sections 688 and 690 of title 10, United States Code, are also invoked and made available, according to their terms, to the Secretary concerned, subject in the case of the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to the direction of the Secretary of Defense."
Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.




If the order comes, the B-52s will return to a ready-to-fly posture not seen since the Cold War.

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.

That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.

This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, said in an interview during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other U.S. Air Force bases that support the nuclear mission. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that the alert order had not been given, but that preparations were under way in anticipation that it might come. That decision would be made by Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, or Gen. Lori Robinson, the head of U.S. Northern Command. STRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and NORTHCOM is in charge of defending North America.


Putting the B-52s back on alert is just one of many decisions facing the Air Force as the U.S. military responds to a changing geopolitical environment that includes North Korea’s rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, President Trump’s confrontational approach to Pyongyang, and Russia’s increasingly potent and active armed forces.

Goldfein, who is the Air Force’s top officer and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is asking his force to think about new ways that nuclear weapons could be used for deterrence, or even combat.

The world is a dangerous place and we’ve got folks that are talking openly about use of nuclear weapons,” he said. “It’s no longer a bipolar world where it’s just us and the Soviet Union. We’ve got other players out there who have nuclear capability. It’s never been more important to make sure that we get this mission right.”

During his trip across the country last week, Goldfein encouraged airmen to think beyond Cold War uses for ICBMs, bombers and nuclear cruise missiles.

Related: Despite Objections, Pentagon Takes Step Toward Buying New Nuclear Weapons

Related: US Military Eyes New Mini-Nukes for 21st-Century Deterrence

I’ve challenged…Air Force Global Strike Command to help lead the dialog, help with this discussion about ‘What does conventional conflict look like with a nuclear element?’ and ‘Do we respond as a global force if that were to occur?’ and ‘What are the options?’” he said. “How do we think about it — how do we think about deterrence in that environment?”

Asked if placing B-52s back on alert — as they were for decades — would help with deterrence, Goldfein said it’s hard to say.

Really it depends on who, what kind of behavior are we talking about, and whether they’re paying attention to our readiness status,” he said.

Already, various improvements have been made to prepare Barksdale — home to the 2d Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, which oversees the service’s nuclear forces — to return B-52s to an alert posture. Near the alert pads, an old concrete building — where B-52 crews during the Cold War would sleep, ready to run to their aircraft and take off at a moment’s notice — is being renovated.

Inside, beds are being installed for more than 100 crew members, more than enough room for the crews that would man bombers positioned on the nine alert pads outside. There’s a recreation room, with a pool table, TVs and a shuffleboard table. Large paintings of the patches for each squadron at Barksdale adorn the walls of a large stairway.

One painting — a symbol of the Cold War — depicts a silhouette of a B-52 with the words “Peace The Old Fashioned Way,” written underneath. At the bottom of the stairwell, there is a Strategic Air Command logo, yet another reminder of the Cold War days when American B-52s sat at the ready on the runway outside.

Those long-empty B-52 parking spaces will soon get visits by two nuclear command planes, the E-4B Nightwatch and E-6B Mercury, both which will occasionally sit alert there. During a nuclear war, the planes would become the flying command posts of the defense secretary and STRATCOM commander, respectively. If a strike order is given by the president, the planes would be used to transmit launch codes to bombers, ICBMs and submarines. At least one of the four nuclear-hardened E-4Bs — formally called the National Airborne Operations Center, but commonly known as the Doomsday Plane — is always on 24-hour alert.

Barksdale and other bases with nuclear bombers are preparing to build storage facilities for a new nuclear cruise missile that is under development. During his trip, Goldfein received updates on the preliminary work for a proposed replacement for the 400-plus Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the new long-range cruise missile.


Our job is options,” Goldfein said. “We provide best military advice and options for the commander in chief and the secretary of defense. Should the STRATCOM commander require or the NORTHCOM commander require us to [be on] a higher state of readiness to defend the homeland, then we have to have a place to put those forces.”

Sunday, 22 October 2017

NZ: The RIght will be planning their coup


My worst fears might be realised.

Fascism is live and well in this country and will be baying for revenge.

Kiwibloggers discuss assassination of “terrorist” Winston Peters


22 October, 2017

Right wing online forums are going to reach new levels of toxicity over the next 3 years. Someone really needs to monitor them. Yesterday Kiwibloggers were discussing and upticking the assassination of “terrorist” Winston Peters. There will be worse to come.

Extracts –



Some screen shots from Young Nats FB

The fictionalised world of Big Business, the military, banking and the Deep State


I would bet that the surveillance of the prime minister and others shown in this series is not so ludicrous.

Secret State - miniseries



Here is some weekend viewing.

The Secret State” takes us into the world of Big Business, the military, banking and the Deep State and shows the limits to power of even a prime minister who wants to make a difference in the interests of the people he has been voted to.

The imperialist “Guardian” rubbishes the series as badly-written “conspiracy theory “ (which I suppose is right because it is a work of fiction), largely because it targets the Deep State which it defends so dutifully


"Secret State is a 2012 British four-part political thriller, starring Gabriel Byrne, Charles Dance and Gina McKee, and inspired by Chris Mullin's novel A Very British Coup. It delves into the relationship between a democratically elected government, the military and big business.

"In the run up to a general election, a devastating industrial accident on Teesside leaves 19 people dead and raises questions about the safety procedures of a US petrochemical company, PetroFex. The British Prime Minister claims to have secured a compensation package from them, but on his return from PetroFex HQ, his plane crashes in the Atlantic under mysterious circumstances. Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) takes command, and during his quest to find the truth and justice for the victims, he uncovers a conspiracy at the heart of the political system"




Part one



Part two


Part three




Part four



Not so much a review but a hatchet job by the imperialist Guardian

'You could reverse an oil tanker into the gulf between what Secret State thinks it is (important, good) and what it actually is (cobblers with exploding CGI bells on)'


The country needs you, Tom," hisses reptilian chief whip John Hodder (Charles Dance), cufflinks oscillating with indignation. Doughty Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (Gabriel Byrne) is unconvinced. "I'm not a leader," he mumbles, peering gloomily out of his Downing Street window. "You give off stability," persists Hodder. "People are craving that. We need someone (voice rises, eyebrows scrunch)… WITH BALLS."


It's a rum old business, this modern politics lark, so thank Christ Secret State(Wednesday, 10pm, Channel 4) is here to sort everything out. A four-part conspiracy thriller ("inspired", the credits thunder, "by the novel A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin"), it arrives amid considerable hoopla. Its lavish trailer depicts a downtrodden Byrne gliding glumly through a deserted SW1A in which the blackened remains of a chemical refinery loom over the Houses of Parliament: corruption and politics and slightly wonky CGI chimneys entwined in a spluttering enormoblur of apocalyptic unpleasantness. Here, honks Channel 4, is a Big Drama with a Big Message: a modern thriller with the brass neck and trousers to address hot-potato global skulduggery while harking back to such brooding, labyrinthine classics as Edge Of Darkness, State Of Play and, indeed, A Very British Coup. "Britain is buggered," it bellows from a darkened doorway, "so let's crack open the all-butter Viennese biscuit assortment and watch Gabriel Byrne do Big Acting in a M&S wool-blend car cat."


The plot, then: a blast at the American-owned Petrofex chemical plant has left 19 people dead and the residents of Scarrow, Teeside, in high dudgeon. "A tragedy like this can act to bring us together," emotes a craggily concerned Dawkins to a bank of flashing cameras as rhubarbing salt-of-the-earth types in anoraks say things like "your word means nothing!" and "oi". While national and governmental disquiet grows, rumours of an international cover-up rumble. Then something Really Bad happens to the prime minister, and Dawkins – the sole glimmer of morality in this bastards' soup – finds himself in the thick of a corruption-shaped, petrochemical-scented brouhaha.


It takes approximately six minutes to realise you could reverse an oil tanker into the gulf between what Secret State thinks it is (important, good) and what it actually is (cobblers with exploding CGI bells on). It's difficult to convey just how splutteringly ludicrous the whole thing is. There is a phalanx of steeple-fingered, baddie-eyed American executives, a pair of monumentally irritating counter-intelligence flunkies and a ball-flattening home secretary with a penchant for bursting into the gents and snarling "fuck the polls" as startled frontbenchers attempt to wee. It's a Jacuzzi of obviousness. A journalist in a raincoat (Gina McKee) pops up every so often to deliver a plot development via whispered aside or cryptic text message ("WHOSE PLANE?"), then buggers off again. At one point, someone says "a military background like yours comes in handy at times like this, I suppose" and we duck for cover as another slab of exposition crashes from the rafters and lands on credulity's skull.


Meanwhile, in the middle of the woe, there is Gabriel Byrne, peering perpetually into the middle distance with the pained absentmindedness of a man with an undiagnosed urinary tract infection. As is the modern TV thriller way, Secret State refuses to let us breathe. It's all bang this and boom that. Pounding, panicky drums and Meaningful Glances are crammed into every frame, like a herd of bison into a broom cupboard. Everything is spelled out in 3,500pt Hope You're Getting All This At The Back font. At first you may find yourself pining for the silences and the realism of the 80s conspiracy dramas Secret State is so keen to emulate, along with the skull-fizzing thrill of a plot so ferociously complex you need a compass, crampons and slab of Kendal mint cake to make it past the title sequence. But then you watch Charles Dance snarling like a dog as he twiddles his cufflinks outside No 10 and remember the intense joy of unfettered TV stupidity. Secret State is Spooks with its head in a bucket of dumb. It's Tinker Tailor Soldier Sigh. Brains and depth are all very well and good but sometimes you just want something (voice rises, eyebrows scrunch) … WITH BALLS.