Sunday, 22 January 2017

CrossTalk: Obama's Exit

Zionist, David Horowitz calls Peter Lavelle ‘a communist’

After eight years of Barack Obama how has the world changed? For better or worse? Was his foreign policy a success? And as he leaves office, what is America’s standing in the world as Donald Trump assumes the Oval Office?

CrossTalking with David Horowitz and Daniel Lazare.

The Saker on Trump's inaugural speech

Trump’s inaugural speech – 

promises, hopes and opportunities

Saker drawing from community

22 January, 2017

Just hours ago Donald Trump was finally sworn in as the President of the United States. Considering all the threats hanging over this event, this is good news because at least for the time being, the Neocons have lost their control over the Executive Branch and Trump is now finally in a position to take action. The other good news is Trump’s inauguration speech which included this historical promise “We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow”. Could that really mean that the USA has given up its role of World Hegemon? The mere fact of asking the question is already an immensely positive development as nobody would have asked it had Hillary Clinton been elected.
The other interesting feature of Trump’s speech is that it centered heavily on people power and on social justice. Again, the contrast with the ideological garbage from Clinton could not be greater. Still, this begs a much more puzzling question: how much can a multi-millionaire capitalist be trusted when he speaks of people power and social justice – not exactly what capitalists are known for, at least not amongst educated people. Furthermore, a Marxist reader would also remind us that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” and that it makes no sense to expect a capitalist to suddenly renounce imperialism.
But what was generally true in 1916 is not necessarily true in 2017.
For one thing, let’s begin by stressing that the Trump Presidency was only made possible by the immense financial, economic, political, military and social crisis facing the USA today. Eight years of Clinton, followed by eight years of Bush Jr and eight years of Obama have seen a massive and full-spectrum decline in the strength of the United States which were sacrificed for the sake of the AngloZionist Empire. This crisis is as much internal as it is external and the election of Trump is a direct consequence of this crisis. In fact, Trump is the first one to admit that it is the terrible situation in which the USA find themselves today which brought him to power with a mandate of the regular American people (Hillary’s “deplorables”) to “drain the DC swamp” and “make America”, as opposed to the American plutocracy, “great again”. This might be somethhing crucial: I cannot imagine Trump trying to simply do “more of the same” like his predecessors did or trying to blindly double-down like the Neocons always try to.
I am willing to bet that Trump really and sincerely believes that the USA is in a deep crisis and that a new, different, sets of policies must be urgently implemented. If that assumption of mine proves to be correct, then this is by definition very good news for the entire planet because whatever Trump ends up doing (or not doing), he will at least not push his country into a nuclear confrontation with Russia. And yes, I think that it is possible that Trump has come to the conclusion that imperialism has stopped working for the USA, that far from being the solution to the contradictions of capitalism, imperialism might well have become its most self-defeating feature.
Is it possible for an ideological system to dump one of its core component after learning from past mistakes? I think it is, and a good example of that is 21st Century Socialism, which has completely dumped the kind of militant atheism which was so central to the 20th century Socialist movement. In fact, modern 21st Century Socialism is very pro-Christian. Could 21st century capitalism dump imperialism? Maybe.
Furthermore, Trump inaugurational speech did, according to RT commentators, sound in many aspects like the kind of speech Bernie Sanders could have made. And I think that they are right. Trump did sound like a paleo-liberal, something which we did not hear from him during the campaign. You could also say that Trump sounded very much like Putin. The question is will he now also act like Putin too?
There will be a great deal of expectations in Russia about how Trump will go about fulfilling his campaign promises to deal with other countries. Today, when Trump pronounced the followings words “We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world – but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first” he told the Russians exactly what they wanted to hear: Trump does not pretend to be a “friend” of Russia and Trump openly and unapologetically promises to care about his own people first, and that is exactly what Putin has been saying and doing since he came to power in Russia: caring for the Russian people first. After all, caring for your own first hardly implies being hostile or even indifferent to others. All it means is that your loyalty and your service is first and foremost to those who elected you to office. This refreshing patriotic honesty, combined with the prospect of friendship and goodwill will sound like music to the Russian ears.
Then there are Trump’s words about “forming new alliances” and uniting “the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth”. They will also be received with a great deal of hope by the Russian people. If the USA is finally serious about fighting terrorism and if they really wants to eradicate the likes of Daesh, then Russia will offer her full support to this effort, including her military, intelligence, police and diplomatic resources. After all, Russia has been advocating for “completely eradicating Radical Islamic Terrorism from the face of the Earth” for decades.
There is no doubt in my mind at all that an alliance between Russia and the USA, even if limited only to specific areas of converging or mutual interests, would be immensely beneficial for the entire planet, and not for just these two countries: right now all the worst international crises are a direct result from the “tepid war” the USA and Russia have been waging against each other. And just like any other war, this war has been a fantastic waste of resources. Of course, this war was started by the USA and it was maintained and fed by the Neocon’s messianic ideology. Now that a realist like Trump has come to power, we can finally hope for this dangerous and wasteful dynamic to be stopped.
The good news is that neither Trump nor Putin can afford to fail. Trump, because he has made an alliance with Russia the cornerstone of his foreign policy during his campaign, and Putin because he realizes that it is in the objective interests of Russia for Trump to succeed, lest the Neocon crazies crawl back out from their basement. So both sides will enter into negotiations with a strong desire to get things done and a willingness to make compromises as long as they do not affect crucial national security objectives. I think that the number of issues on which the USA and Russia can agree upon is much, much longer than the number of issues where irreconcilable differences remain.
So yes, today I am hopeful. More than anything else, I want to hope that Trump is “for real”, and that he will have the wisdom and courage to take strong action against his internal enemies. Because from now on, this is one other thing which Putin and Trump will have in common: their internal enemies are far more dangerous than any external foe. When I see rabid maniacs like David Horowitz declaring himself a supporter of Donald Trump, I get very, very concerned and I ask myself “what does Horowitz know which I am missing?”. What is certain is that in the near future one of us will soon become very disappointed. I just hope that this shall not be me.
The Saker

Wild weather in North Island New Zealand

Summer storm brings snow, wild weather

22 January, 2017

Wild weather has caused a window to blow out in Wellington, and cut power to thousands of customers across the North Island.
Around 30cm of snow fell at Cardrona Ski Field.
Around 30cm of snow fell at Cardrona Ski Field. Photo: Facebook: Cardrona Ski Field
MetService meteorologist Erick Brenstrum said conditions had settled down in most places badly affected by heavy rain and winds over the past day.
More than 250mm of rain fell in parts of the Hill Country and Western Nelson, and a further 200mm on Mount Taranaki.
The Cardrona Skifield, near Queenstown, had about 30cm of snow fall.
Some flights out of Wellington were cancelled this afternoon, with winds gusting up to 140km/h.
A large group of students had to be evacuated from the Whiteria Performance Centre on Vivian Street in Wellington after strong winds blew out a pane of glass onto the road below.
No one was injured in the incident.
A section of Vivian Street from Taranaki Street to Cambridge Terrace will remain closed this evening, as a glazier was unable to repair the window in the strong winds.
Detours are in place.
A damaged window can be seen at Whitireia Performing Arts Centre.
A damaged window can be seen at Whitireia Performing Arts Centre. Photo: RNZ / Emile Donovan
Around 900 Powerco customers are still without power in the central North Island, with around 700 affected in Taranaki and 200 in Manawatu.
The company's service delivery manager, Dave Hammond, said crews would continue to work until 10pm, when it was expected power would be restored to most customers.
He said 5300 customers were initially without power, with Taranaki the worst hit area.
The strong winds brought down this large tree in Taumata Street, Sandringham.
The strong winds brought down this large tree in Taumata Street, Sandringham. Photo: RNZ / Rowan Quinn
Most of the 3000 households affected by power outages in Auckland are expected to have their power restored this evening.
Vector spokesperson Melanie Tuala said a car had hit a power pole in Maraetai and seven power poles needed to be replaced on Marsden Ave in Balmoral after a tree fell on them.
She said each power pole takes four to six hours to replace so it could be some time.
Areas affected spanned from Papakura to near Mangawhai and Kumeu to Flat Bush. Waiheke Island is also affected.
Around 15,000 households were without power early this morning.
A man in his forties was seriously injured when he was hit by a falling tree while driving on the Southern Motorway in Auckland.
He was taken to Middlemore Hospital and was in a stable condition this morning.
This NZ Steel sand extractor washed up on Ngamotu Beach, Port Taranaki, New Plymouth.
This NZ Steel sand extractor washed up on Ngamotu Beach, Port Taranaki, New Plymouth. Photo: RNZ / Robin Martin

Nelson region hit with heavy rain

Strong winds and heavy rain overnight swelled rivers in the Nelson and Tasman region 153mm of rain falling in the Waingaro Valley over five hours.
Waingaro River and the neighbouring Anatoki River reached 10-year flood levels, their third-highest since flow monitoring began in 1979.
Upper Takaka River reached levels only experienced eight times in the past 50 years. Road closure warnings were issued for the State Highway 63, and either side of Takaka Township.
Road closure signs were also placed at Ferntown on the road to Pakawau.
SH60 between Riwaka and Collingwood reopened but drivers were warned it could close again.

Donald Trump Frightens Me—The Work of Byron Katie Byron Katie Byron

Afraid of Donald Trump? Angry? 

This could be for you

Dixie is frightened by Donald Trump because she's afraid he will dismantle Obamacare and Social Security, ruin our economy, deport her immigrant neighbors, undermine the effort to combat global warming, abolish women's reproductive rights, put us at risk of nuclear war, risk planetary destruction, and take away her hope for our country.

A rant from Debbie, Sane Progressive

All the anger and upset is really people afraid of losing their sense of security

I am at a loss for words after all tje excitement of the US election and now the enthronement of Donald J Trump.

My impression has been of people who were until recently (or at least until 9/11/2001), quite reasonable people.

People are angry, people are upset, esentially at losing their privilege without really knowing why. and entitement.

Never mind those who have long lost their lives and liberty.

They were quite happy to have their liberties taken away from them, to have imperial (and unjust) wars fought on their behalf.

Their pretend world is falling apart rather quickly

So they react and hit out at what is in front of them. They believe preposterous stories of Russian hackers (today’s equivalent of ‘Reds in the bed’) and all the blame is directed at one person – the grotesque figure of Donald J Trump.

Now, I’ll leave it up to Debbie, Sane Progressive to lay things out and speak for me

Runaway warming in the Arctic

Many thanks to Cori Gunnells

January 21, 2017 ~ Runaway warming with no guardrails

Temperature Departure from Average

5-day Forecast Average

Climate change and food disruption

Paul Beckwith has been very busy making videos and cuts to the chase with this series about abrupt climate change and crop failures. This destruction of habitat is the very reason why, at the very least, human civilisation is headed for collapse.

Forget about making America great again!!

Food Disruption, Climate Change, and Ocean Sources of Food

Paul Beckwith

I tell the story of how our global food supply, derived from land and ocean, is being severely stressed by climate change caused extreme weather events, ocean warming, acidification and stratification. Destructive farming practices, overfishing and poor aquaculture practices are also exacerbating the problem.

Abrupt climate change cannot be dismissed any longer. We are in a global climate change emergency, and very soon it will severely stress large portions of our global food supply leading to global societal chaos. Please support my videos at; thanks!

Part one

Part two

Climate change and extreme weather in New Zealand - 01/22/2017

Climate change - Northland hotter, more droughts, floods and erosion

Northland has had four droughts in the past eight years, with another one likely if there's not significant rain soon.

20 January, 2017

Climate change scientists have projected continued global greenhouse gas emissions would heat Northland heat up more than other regions - leadingto increased wild fires, flooding and coastal erosion, invasive pests and more drought by the end of the century.

In what reads like an apocalyptic fiction, the Climate Change Projections and Implications for Northland report warns that the region would also be hit with an increased risk of salmonella, dengue fever and Ross River virus and a threat to some crops, with some effects visible by 2050.

Commissioned by Northland Regional Council, Niwa climate scientist Petra Pearce and her team note that Northland's 25 annual days of recorded temperatures of more than 25C would increase to 100 days.

Niwa reported last week that Whangarei was the warmest NZ area in 2016, with a mean average temperature of 16.9C, making Northland the warmest region for the fifth year running.

The additional 75 hot days and a maximum average, annual temperature increase of 3.3C by 2090 would see Northland overtake Hawke's Bay and Canterbury as the hottest region overall with the largest temperature increase.

The localised report was calculated regionally from global data, taken from a number of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, using historical climate data from 1986.

It considered four scenarios from the removal of emissions to the extreme "business as usual" scenarios until 2040 and 2090, Pearce told the Advocate.

"What stood out as the major change in Northland, was the increase in temperature ... higher than all other regions," she said.

The report projected that by springtime 2090, there would be a temperature rise of up to 2.8C in Northland, with 1-12 per cent less rainfall in Kaitaia and 3-17 per cent less rainfall in Whangarei.
In summer, there would be a 0.7C to 3.3C temperature rise and 2-6 per cent more rainfall in Kaitaia and Whangarei, while autumn would bring a 0.7C to 3.2C temperature rise and 1-5 per cent more rainfall in Whangarei, with up to 4 per cent increase in Kaitaia rainfall.
Northland could see more floods and storm damage such as this at Lemons Hill  in 2014.Northland could see more floods and storm damage such as this at Lemons Hill in 2014.

However, winter would see a 0.7C to 3C temperature rise, 6 per cent less to 1 per cent more rainfall in Kaitaia and 1-9 per cent less rainfall in Whangarei.
Pearce said the projections depended on the uncertain future global emissions and were not be taken as definitive.
Stormy weather would increase in intensity with more thunderstorms and wind with ex-tropical cyclones likely be stronger and cause more damage as a result of heavy rain and strong winds.
An increase of 7 per cent in drought frequency was also projected from 2030 and 2050, and up 10 per cent from 2070 to 2090, compared to 1980-1999 levels.
Pearce said the region could also experience an increase in the occurrence of summer water-borne and food-borne diseases such as salmonella, with an increased risk from vector-borne diseases [transmitted by bites] such as dengue fever and the Ross River virus.
Climate change would also result in an increased biosecurity risk from invasive pests, which would impact pasture and horticultural crops. Existing pests were at risk of becoming serious problems with even a slight increase in temperature.
Could Whangarei's Hikurangi Swamp be flooded more often?

Could Whangarei's Hikurangi Swamp be flooded more often?

The production of some fruit, such as kiwifruit, would no longer be viable by 2050 because of a lack of winter chilling with warmer temperatures, a longer growing season and rare frosts would require new sub-tropical crops, such as persimmon or macadamia.
Kerikeri grower David Kelly said growers would find ways to thrive, in spite of climate change, thanks to the Zespri-funded breeding programmes at Plant and Food Research in Kerikeri.
"Under the Niwa timeframe, it is doable to produce plants in 15 to 20 years which would withstand temperature changes."
He added that there was room for more irrigation innovation.
Meanwhile, Northland's sea levels would reflect the national projection with New Zealand tide records showing an average rise in relative mean sea level of 1.7mm per year over the 20th century.
The report said coastal roads and infrastructure would face increased risk from coastal erosion and inundation, increased storminess and sea-level rise.

To read the full report, 
click here.

You can also read the Ministry for the Environment's summary here.

Projected environmental changes by 2090:

* 75 more 'hot days' a year
* Up to 3.3C hotter in summer
* Double the time spent in drought
* Increased flood risk
* Coastal erosion
* Risk of salmonella, dengue fever, Ross River virus
* Increased biosecurity threat from invasive pests
* Uneconomic crops, kiwifruit (by 2050)

People run out of water around Hastings as aquifer level drops

EXPERT: Michael Harris of Harris pumps has had to rebuild a water bore pump in Hastings to get down to the new deeper water table. PHOTO WARREN BUCKLAND

20 January, 2017

The low water level in the Heretaunga aquifer is making itself felt outside of Hastings.

Residents and businesses not connected to the town water supply are finding their bores and pumps unable to access the groundwater.

Harris Pumps & Filtration co-owner Michael Harris said he has had several callouts in the past week or so to the southern Riverslea, York, Tollemache and Maraekakaho Rd areas from people whose pump systems are struggling.

"It depends on their location, but for many there are pumps getting airlocked.

"The water is still there and may be dropping off by only a metre, but because a lot of those were original artesian pump systems designed around that, with the water table dropping, we are having to alter the pipework and in some cases put in different systems."

In addition, a lot of pumps were hooked on top of the well, which let in air and stopped the pump.

For some people the solution was to put an extra pipe down inside the bore to reach the water - others needed their pumps replaced.

He said problems started arising last week, and yesterday he took about 10 calls in the morning from residents whose houses had run out of water overnight.

"Most people are pretty understanding, although the people with businesses attached to that supply are a bit more stressed and we are trying to prioritise the work for them."

One person they had dealt with who had an irrigation bore had had to turn it off, he said.

He said his company had been in business about 50 years and this year's situation was unusual.

"We've had years in the past where the water level has dropped in a small location of houses - this is a whole different area of properties where the water levels have dropped further."

One business owner, Jimmy Macken, of Bareknuckle Backyard BBQ on Riverslea Rd, said he had to call for assistance when a pump developed an airlock.

"We got them to come urgently because we are a commercial operation. We had no staff working through the morning until the situation was sorted, we can't run a kitchen without water."

He said it was fortunate the water pump didn't burn out, as some others had, and all it needed was a pipe put down the well five metres deeper than it had been.

Apart from staff not coming in for part of the day he said the business wasn't affected.

"I have no issues with it, where we live it's part of the deal."

Hawke's Bay Regional Council environment officer Ian Lilburn said the water table was exceptionally low.

"We have had quite a number of bores we record showing record lows for the month of December.

"It comes down to a lack of rain to recharge the aquifer system."

He said the Heretaunga aquifer was mainly recharged by the Ngaruroro River and it was hoped rain in the hills in the next week or so would replenish it.

The dry weather also meant a lot of irrigators were working, but as long as they were complying with their consent conditions the regional council had no power to stop them, Mr Lilburn said.

The Ngaruroro River was running at 3200 litres per second, and a complete irrigation ban was not enforced until that had dropped to 2400 litres per second.

"If we do not get rain in the next seven to 10 days things are going to look quite serious as far as flows in the Ngaruroro River go.

"What's quite concerning is that these conditions are normally experienced in February so it's all a bit ahead of normal."

As of yesterday, MetService was predicting nothing more than a few showers through to next Saturday.

- Hawkes Bay Today

Yes, it's snowing in the middle of summer

It’s  summer but that hasn't stopped snow from falling across North Island mountain ranges.

"North Island mid-summer snow on the Tararua Ranges. Photo / Horowhenua ChronicleNorth Island mid-summer snow on the Tararua Ranges. Photo / Horowhenua Chronicle
20 January, 2017

Whakapapa ski field was this morning blanketed in a fresh coating of snow and even the Tararua Ranges behind Levin were white after an overnight dusting.
Much of the lower North Island was covered by cloud this morning, but forecasters say the temperatures dived low enough for snow flurries on the tops of the inland mountain range.
Horowhenua woke to picture postcard views of snow on the Tararua Ranges.
North Island mid-summer snow on the Tararua Ranges. Photo / Horowhenua ChronicleNorth Island mid-summer snow on the Tararua Ranges. Photo / Horowhenua Chronicle

Cheryl Johnstone said she had taken photos in December 2004 of snow on the hills, while Bex Bang said there had been snow in February a couple of years ago.
Pam Kearns remembered a time some years ago when she and her husband gave their sons a swimming pool for Christmas, with strict instructions that, despite it being installed beforehand, they could only have their first swim on Christmas day.
"There was snow on Christmas Day in the hills and it was freezing," she said.
"They still went in for their swim though."
While this year's snow has brought a chilly air to the Horowhenua, temperatures look set to improve, with Metservice forecasting highs of 20 and 21 degrees Celsius for the district early next week

Whakpapa Ski Area looks stunning covered in right now. Anyone up for a summer ?

Yesterday snow fell on the Southern Alps as a weather bomb unleashed its fury across southern and central New Zealand.
MetService forecaster Tuporo Marsters said the deep low had been followed by a cool southwesterly, which meant conditions were ripe to dump snow on higher parts of the country.
Marsters said it was unusual for snow to fall in the middle of January.
"It's amazing. It's definitely a novelty.
"If you've timed it right to go up the mountain it will be an added bonus."
Just a few weeks ago snow was down to 1300m in the Ruahine Ranges.
Marsters said the worst of the weather was clearing the country so the snow would not stick around very long.

Meantime in Australia...

SA weather: Thousands without power after wild storms cross state

Thousands of properties are without power in South Australia, with Adelaide being the hardest hit, after a storm front crossed the state last night.

Storm aftermath at Kensington Gardens

20 January, 2017

A line of thunderstorms moved across South Australia, dumping heavy rain including 58 millimetres at Leigh Creek, 49mm at Little Para Reservoir, 45mm at Edinburgh and 38mm at Wudinna.

Strong winds were also recorded, with a wind gust of 111 kilometres per hour at Adelaide Airport, while there were also 72 lightning strikes in two hours.

Some traffic lights in the city were not working this morning.

A tree falls on a house and car at Prospect.

Police were directing traffic at Glynde Corner as thousands of Tour Down Under Challenge riders tested their cardio skills, ahead of the professional race later today.

Trees have fallen on powerlines, cars and houses across the city. Some businesses have not opened because they are without power.

Last night 58,000 customers were in the dark and at 5:30am today, 33,000 properties were still without power.

SA Power Networks spokesman Paul Roberts said many people would be without power for an extended period.

He said the storm had caused widespread issues and crews were working frantically to restore supplies.

"We had 72,000 lightning strikes between 7:00pm and 9:00pm in South Australia, there's been a significant damage to the electricity network, particularly for metropolitan area customers," Mr Roberts said.

He said Adelaide was hardest hit but power had gone off across the Yorke and Eyre peninsulas and in the Mid North.

The storm has been one of many in recent months that has caused electricity issues.

"We're really getting unprecedented weather, people who have been working for 35 years in SA Power Networks say they've never seen this number of storms, this intensity of storms and this frequency of storms," Mr Roberts said.

"It's been crazy since July and I hope people understand it is weather related."

The State Emergency Service's Mike Baker said crews were kept busy after receiving 300 calls for help.

"Trees or tree branches falling onto roads and cars or you know, leaning against roofs, as well as a bit of water sort of damage," Mr Baker said.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Julie Guerin said the rain would make its way through the Riverland this morning and move into the eastern states.

"Conditions still fairly awful up the top of the hills," she said, just before 7:00am.

"I came down the freeway from Crafers and it was a bit of a pea soup up here ... visibility is very low, the roads very slippery, a lot of debris on the roads.

"So if you are driving through the hills and coming down from there take it very easy."

There is still a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of the North West Pastoral and North East Pastoral districts.