Seemorerocks - Robin Westenra

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Stephen Cohen blasts mainstream media lies

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 07:59
Stephen Cohen blasts mainstream media lies on Russia and Trump “collusion” (Video)Mainstream media is criminalizing better relations with Russia.

Scholar and Russia expert Stephen Cohen tells Tucker Carlson that media malpractice and an obsession alleged to a hysterical “Russia collusion scandal” has demonized any attempt by the United States to work with Russia.

Listen to Tucker call the Washington Post, “The Jeff Bezos Washington Post”…

Tales of the New Cold War: As Russiagate crumbles, Russia strengthens

Erdogan at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 07:51
Turkish President Erdogan Gives History Lesson On Israel At Emergency Meeting Of The OIC

Turkish President Erdogan hosted an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, known as the OIC, in Istanbul. The summit brought together leaders from the 57-member states and was in direct response to President Trump's recent announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. The Turkish president, along with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the OIC secretary general, delivered strong statements opposing the decision. Mr. Abbas said the U.S. was no longer an "honest broker of peace" because of this action. The Arabic name for Jerusalem, Al-Quds, was said throughout this 35-minute event.

Covert Intelligence Intercepts of Radical Islamic "Chatter" Calling for Attacks on CHURCHES and SHOPPING MALLS on Christmas Eve and day

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 07:35
ISIS has called for terror attacks on churches over Christmas

Sometimes I have to pinch myself these days and ask myself if I have joined the ranks of the Right.
Hopefully, the answer is a resounding NO, and is more a case that the faux-Left with its 'humanitarian' wars is no longer “progressive”
The “Left” tells us that there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism or even Islamic fundamentalism. In fact they are willing to shut you down double-quick if you even suggest as much.
The Right says all Islam is evil and the problems lie in a “clash of fundamentalisms” in which America is definitely the good guy (at last potentially.
My view, I think, is a realistic one and says that both sides are absolutely wrong.
What is the truth?
America and its allies have been actively bombing Muslim countries for almost 20 years (and destabilising them for much longer than that).
“What's our oil doing under their sand?
With each drone that kills an Afghan wedding party there are more converts for terror attacks against the West.
Western actions over a whole generation have created the karma of Islamic terrorism.
The liberal Left lives a Lie by denying both the cause of the problem as well as even the existence of Islamic terrorism. To mention it is to upset “moderate” Muslims which goes against the politically correct nonsense of multiculturalism.
A poison that has been created by the West has been perpetuated by the ongoing wars against Muslims and the denial of the very real problem.
So despite the obnoxious aspect many of the attitudes of the Right so much of what they are saying is correct – at least partially – relative to the Big Lie of the neo-cons and the liberal Left. As I have pointed out in the past a “Left” that is not anti-imperialist and in fact justifies war and instead throws out identity politics as a sop to the “progressives” is a fake Left.
What Hal Turner says could, of course,be fake (not knowingly so, in my humble opinion). But then, it could be a timely warning.
Only time will tell.

P.S. Having once produced the terrorists the western politically-correct attitude if pussyfooting around is nonsensical.

The only approach is that of Vladimir Putin.

This site was ATTACKED last night, offline for ten hours as I began to reveal Covert Intelligence Intercepts of Radical Islamic "Chatter" Calling for Attacks on CHURCHES and SHOPPING MALLS on Christmas Eve and day!
Hal Turner,13 December, 2017

Shortly after my weekly talk-radio show began airing last night at 9:00 PM eastern US time, I began to address covert intelligence gathered by my former colleagues in the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.  Almost immediately upon commencing that talk, my web site came under Distributed Denial of Service Attack, which took FIVE load-balanced servers offline.My tech guys began looking-into it about 9:45 PM last night and the attack was not mitigated until 8:06 AM this morning.  Below is a link to the audio archive of my radio show, which aired in its entirety despite the web site being taken offline.  It is FREE for all to hear, and there's plenty to listen to: Intercepted radical Islamic "chatter" is calling for armed attacks upon CHURCHES beginning Christmas Eve and continuing into Christmas day, in retaliation for President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Further, some of the "chatter" has come from people believed to be GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES such as Pakistan and Turkey - directly communicating attack instructions including against SHOPPING MALLS on the day after Christmas, when people are exchanging gifts!!!!!Worse: The "chatter" specifically includes talk of targeting "small to medium size towns" for such attacks because the thinking in the radical Islamic element is that smaller local police departments will become immediately overwhelmed and unable to stop what's being done!Intercepted communications included talk of mass shootings, suicide bombings and fire bombings of churches on Christmas Eve during Midnight Mass, continuing in other churches on Christmas day, and in shopping malls the day after Christmas.So incensed are these people that they are mobilizing all the crazed adherents they can for an apparent all-out assault against us here in the United States.Thinking inside our government is to keep this information compartmentalized and secret because revealing it may cause the public to panic.  I disagree.I say we in the public have a right to know if we're in danger so we can make mature, informed choices about how we go about our affairs. I also personally believe the reason my site was attacked when my show began to reveal this information was BECAUSE government wants it kept quiet.  Maybe I'm paranoid, but the attack was timed a little to conveniently given the subject matter.  This information is for you to make wise, mature, responsible choices, and NOT to go off, half-cocked, and do anything rash or unlawful to anyone or anything. Also, there is no need whatsoever to panic.  We have the means to defend ourselves and our way of life, and we are allowed to do so if we are attacked.   Remember, we're the Good Guys. (Continued below ad)
Here is the audio archive of my talk radio show from last night (Wednesday, December 13, 2017) as it aired on WBCQ 7490-AM worldwide shortwave.The show aired in its entirety and was not stopped by the attack against this web site.
Listen to podcast HERE

Islamic State Threatens U.S.: ‘We Will Burn You with the Flames of War’

Hal Turner,15 December, 2017
Islamic State terrorists have threatened to attack the United States with “showers of bullets and explosive vehicles” in a series of online propaganda posters depicting New York’s Police Commissioner James O’Neill as a prisoner in an orange outfit kneeling before a terrorist, among other mocked-up images.
In the poster showing O’Neill, ISIS warns, “We will do more ops in your land, until the final hour and we will burn you with the flames of war which you started in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria, and Afghan. Just you wait. We are waiting too.”ISIS’s image is titled, “A Message Signed in Blood to the Nation of the Cross.”The SITE Intelligence Group highlighted the poster after a failed New York City terrorist attack attempted by an ISIS-inspired alleged jihadist from Bangladesh, Akayed Ullah, who entered the United States in 2011 courtesy of chain migration.Another propaganda image, titled “ISIS in Manhattan,” shows a terrorist with his boot on Trump’s head with the caption, “Wait for us. The vanguards of the conquerors are coming to you with showers of bullets and fires of the explosive vehicles.”A third poster appears to have surfaced as a response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.“The recognition of your dog ‘Trump’ [of] Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, will make us recognize explosives as the capital of your country,” states the poster, which features a picture of a bomb and Times Square.'We will burn you with the flames of war': ISIS threatens to attack US with 'showers of bullets and explosive vehicles' in posters showing NYPD commissioner kneeling before jihadist
According to SITE, which monitors jihadi activity online, the posters are the latest in a wave of online threats issued against the United States in recent weeks.A pro-ISIS media outlet reportedly released the images.On Thursday, SITE reported, “Islamic State (IS) supporters continue to threaten holiday attacks in the West, with one using an image of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., to warn New York City.”

U.S. officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have warned that ISIS remains a significant threat despite the losses it has suffered in Iraq and Syria.Days before the attempted terrorist attack during morning rush hour in New York City on Monday, Robin Taylor, a top intelligence official at the DHS, told a Senate panel:We assess there is currently an elevated threat of HVE [homegrown violent extremist] lone offender attacks by ISIS sympathizers, which is especially concerning because mobilized lone offenders present law enforcement with limited opportunities to detect and disrupt their plots.
The alleged jihadist behind the failed NYC attack reportedly attended a terror-linked mosque in Brooklyn. Bangladesh authorities believe he was radicalized in New York.During a recent House panel hearing, DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke cautioned that there has already been an “uptick” in ISIS-linked attempts to carry out external operations against the United States stemming from the increased pressure American troops are placing on the jihadist group in Iraq and Syria.

Sea ice volume in 2017 was record low - censored

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 06:21
CENSORED* | 2017 had less sea ice than 2012 and any year on record
Why Arctic sea ice has to be *censored*
Part one

Part two

For more than a year, global sea ice area has been extremely low.

Arctic Sea Ice daily ammo against Collapse Cultists & Climate Deniers.

Daily volume: 13,029 km³ (4th lowest for the date) Δ +119/day+1220/week, +3,846/month, +1855/year, +902/5year (+7.4%)–8,518 (–40% 80s), –7,103 (90s), –3,201 (00s), –109 (2010–16)
Daily extent: 11,366,169 km² (2nd lowest for the date) Δ +27k/day+578k/week, +2,192k/month, +273k/year, –59k/5year (–0.5%)
2017 volume maximum 20,756 km³ on April 18th (*lowest*)2017 volume minimum 4,539 km³ on September 11th (4th lowest)2017 extent maximum 13,878,287 km² on March 6th (*lowest*)2017 extent minimum 4,472,225 km² on September 9th (6th lowest)
However, the above daily numbers carry a taste of ��. If you don’t want to cherry–pick your data to make a point, you may want to look at the latest, updated, running annual average. The ice, after all, has to be out there and survive those waves 24/7, 365 days of the year.
Annual volume: 12,815 km³ (*record* low) Δ +5.1/day+35.1/week, +130/month, –891/year, –736/5year (–5.4%)Annual extent: 9,951,840 km² (2nd lowest) Δ +0.75k/day+8k/week, +53k/month, +221k/year, –16k/5year (–0.2%)

Source: JAXA / PIOMAS (app estimate) for December 15th 2017.

X22 Report on politics and geopolitics

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 06:10
The Move From The West To The East Is Almost Complete, Be Prepared For The Next Phase

X22 Report

Canada home values decline as household debt binge hits a new high, doesn’t look good.Initial jobless claims drop to there lowest level. US retail sales surge, the government just forgot to mention something very important.
The service industry declines. Janet Yellen believes the market is not overvalued and she sees no warning signs.
China has just completed its 4th dry run of the petro yuan. FCC votes to repeal net neutrality. Nikki Haley uses fake evidence to convince the world that Iran is behind the problem in Yemen.
Syria reopens border with Lebanon.US and Russian jets have a close incident which the media is spinning to make it seem like Russia was the cause.
Funding for the Syrian opposition has come to and end. Slowly but surely the support for all these groups in Syria is coming to an end. The cabal is ready and prepared to push their agenda, get ready for extreme chaos.

Outrage on the West Bank

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 06:06

South Front,15 December, 2017
Israeli officers dressed as Palestinians infiltrated a rally in the West Bank and then opened fire with pistols and through smoke grenades at the protesters.
On Wednesday, a Palestinian rally against the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital took place near the city of Ramallah in the West Bank. According to conflicting reports, between 150 and 400 people took place in the event.Palestinians were protesting near the Beit El military checkpoint when several men among them revealed them as members of Israeli forces.
They pulled out pistols, thrown smoke grenades and captured at least 3 Palestinian protesters that had been throwing stones at Israeli security forces.

6.5 quake in Indonesia

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 06:01
It's the third major quake in 48 hours and it's a near miss for active volcano Mount Agung in Indonesia as Pacific ring of fire remains very active
the Big Wobble,14 December,21017

It's the third major quake in less than 48 hours as a new coronal hole faced the Earth on the Sun's atmosphere two days ago, Big Wobble readers know how solar storms influence our planet.
Solar wind flowing from the indicated coronal hole, see below will reach Earth on Dec. 16th, meaning a major quake watch has been busy for the last couple of days, ( this is the third major quakes in the last two days and just as the other two, today's was expected, see here.
Today's major quake occurred once again along the Pacific Ring Of Fire and very close to the Mount Agung volcano on the tourist island of Bali which has been erupting since September.
As the solar wind impacts our planet tomorrow the major quake watch will end.
Today's quake was the 9th major quakes of a busy December and the year total to 110 which is easily the quietest year this century for major quakes.


A strong 6.5 magnitude earthquake rocked the Indonesian capital Jakarta and other cities on the country's most populous island of Java, killing an unknown number of people.
There were reports of collapsed buildings and authorities issued a tsunami warning for parts of Java's coastline after the quake struck.
People ran out of buildings in panic in many areas and Indonesian television showed heavy traffic on roads as people left coastal areas.
Deaths were reported, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the country's National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
He could not immediately provide details on how many had been killed.
There were also reports that buildings had collapsed in the city of Tasikmalaya in western Java and in several other districts.
Mr Nugroho said strong tremors were felt for about 20 seconds in the capital of Jakarta and in cities and villages in western and central Java.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.5 and was about 56 miles deep and located inland.
Indonesian authorities reported a quake of similar magnitude offshore of Java.
Indonesia sits on the "Pacific Ring of Fire" and has frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

ISIS' weapons: From conspiracy theory to conspiracy FACT

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 05:57

Weapons Went From The CIA To ISIS In Less Than Two Months

Zero Hedge,15 December, 2017

  • Mainstream media in 2013: "Conspiracy Theorists!" 
  • Mainstream media in 2017: "ISIS Got a Powerful Missile the CIA Bought!" 
Years late to the party, mainstream media outlets like USA Today, Reuters, and Buzzfeed are just out with "breaking" and "exclusive" stories detailing how a vast arsenal of weapons sent to Syria by the CIA in cooperation with US allies fuelled the rapid growth of ISIS. Buzzfeed's story entitled, Blowback: ISIS Got A Powerful Missile The CIA Secretly Bought In Bulgaria, begins by referencing "a new report on how ISIS built its arsenal highlights how the US purchased munitions, intended for Syrian rebels, that ended up in the hands of the terrorist group."

The original study that Buzzfeed and other media are referencing comes from a UK-based independent weapons research organization called Conflict Armament Research (CAR) which has had a team of weapons and munitions experts on the ground in the Middle East for years examining arms and equipment recovered from ISIS and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Using serial numbers, crate shipping markings, and all available forensics data, the CAR experts began finding that as early as 2013 to 2014 much of the Islamic State's advanced weapons systems as well as small arms were clearly sourced to the United States and the West.

“Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties - notably the United States and Saudi Arabia - have indirectly allowed IS to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armor ammunition,” states the CAR report. “These weapons include anti-tank guided weapons and several varieties of rocket with tandem warheads, which are designed to defeat modern reactive armor.”

Image source: 
Conflict Armament Research

A PG-9 missile modified to fit a Model 2 recoilless launcher system. Produced in 2016 in Romania, exported to the United States and documented in Mosul in September 2017. Source: Conflict Armament Research

The study further reveals that in one notable instance, a weapons shipment of advanced missile systems switched hands from US intelligence to "moderate" Syrian groups to ISIS in only a two month time period. Though the report is now evoking shock and confusion among pundits, the same weapons research group has actually published similar findings and conclusions going years back into the Syrian conflict. 

For example, a previous 2014 Conflict Armament Research report found that Balkan origin anti-tank rockets recovered from ISIS fighters appeared identical to those shipped in 2013 to Syrian rebel forces as part of a CIA program.

And CAR's damning publications presenting such inconvenient empirical data have been consistent for years, yet were largely ignored and suppressed by analysts and mainstream media who were too busy cheerleading US support for Syrian "rebels" cast as romantic revolutionaries in their struggle to topple Assad and his secular nationalist government. Of course, it's an old story if you've been reading Zero Hedge or the profusion of independent outlets that have long reported the truth about the covert "dirty war" in Syria since nearly the beginning. 

Even though it's now suddenly acceptable and fashionable to admit - as does one recent BBC headline ("The Jihadis You Pay For") - that the US and Saudi covert program in Syria fuelled the rise of ISIS and various other al-Qaeda linked terror groups, it must be remembered that only a short time ago the mainstream media openly mocked analysts and writers who dared make the connection between the West's massive covert Syrian rebel aid programs and the al-Qaeda insurgents who so clearly benefited.

When news of the 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report  broke, which described what it called a "Salafist principality" or "an Islamic State" as a strategic asset or buffer in Syria that could be used by the Western coalition "in order to isolate the Syrian regime", American media outlets dismissed what was labelled a "conspiracy theory" at the time in spite of the hard evidence of a US military intelligence report being made available.

The Daily Beast for example mocked what it called "The ISIS Conspiracy Theory that Ate the Web" - describing those analyzing the Pentagon intelligence document as far-right and far-left loons. This occurred even as the document was taken very seriously and analyzed in-depth by some of the world's foremost Middle East experts and investigative journalists in foreign outlets like the London Review of BooksThe GuardianDer Spiegal , as well as RT and Al Jazeera.

Daily Beast fail from 2015

And yet now once again "conspiracy theory" has been confirmed as "conspiracy fact": Conflict Armament Research's new report out this week is the result of a three-year ground investigation which compiled findings from 40,000 military items recovered from ISIS between the years 2014 and 2017. Its conclusions are scientific, exhaustive, and irrefutable.

International weapon supplies to factions in the Syrian conflict have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to IS forces. Read more here.

FollowFollow @conflictarmMoreInternational weapon supplies to factions in the Syrian conflict have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to IS forces. Read more here
10:45 AM - 14 Dec 2017
?oThe extensive report confirms what former MI6 spy and British diplomat Alastair Crooke once stated - that the CIA established the basis of a “jihadi Wal-Mart” of sorts - to which ISIS had immediate and easy access. Crooke noted that the weapons program was set up with "plausible deniability" in mind, which would allow its American intelligence sponsors to be shielded from any potential future legal prosecution or public embarrassment. Crooke noted in a 2015 BBC interview that, “The West does not actually hand the weapons to al-Qaida, let alone to ISIS…, but the system they’ve constructed leads precisely to that end.”

This is what enables BuzzfeedUSA Today, and others to report the bombshell findings yet continue to soft peddle the significance by emphasizing things like "weaknesses in oversight and regulation" while also highlighting the "accidental" nature of US-supplied missiles "ending up" in the hands of ISIS terrorists. Buzzfeed's coverage of the CAR weapons report is summarized in the article introduction:

A guided anti-tank missile ended up in the hands of ISIS terrorists less than two months after the US government purchased it in late 2015 — highlighting weaknesses in the oversight and regulation of America’s covert arms programs, according to information published Thursday by an arms monitoring group called Conflict Armament Research (CAR).Though the report says the missile was purchased by the US Army using a contractor, BuzzFeed News has learned that the real customer appears to have been the CIA.It was part of the spy agency’s top secret operation to arm rebels in Syria to fight the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The missile ended up in the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq, according to the report.The CIA declined to comment on the Obama-era program to back Syrian rebels, which was canceled by President Trump in July. The Pentagon did not provide information in time for publication.The missile is one piece of a critical puzzle that is being solved only now, with ISIS on the run: How did the vast terror group arm its war machine? CAR spent three years tracking ISIS weapons as they were recovered by Iraqi, Syrian, and Kurdish forces — and found that what happened to the missile was no aberration. Indeed, the terror group managed to divert “substantial quantities of anti-armour ammunition” from weapons provided to Syrian opposition forces by the US or Saudi Arabia.

The anti-tank missile recovered from ISIS in February 2016. It originated with the US Army in December 2015. Image source: Conflicts Armament Research, "Weapons of the Islamic State" via Buzzfeed 

But some astute observers might notice the significance of the timeline related to the CIA purchase of one of the anti-tank missiles examined: "A guided anti-tank missile ended up in the hands of ISIS terrorists less than two months after the US government purchased it in late 2015." As highlighted previously, the CAR team of experts had already documented the trend of CIA weapons delivered to the Syrian battlefield going to ISIS fighters as early as September of 2014. 

Beyond this 2014 study, a seemingly endless stream of articles going back years published in independent and international media have underscored the reality of ISIS growing and thriving because of Western and Gulf state covert weapons shipments. 

This means that CIA and government analysts knew full well where the weapons were going in real time, yet continued with the program anyway. As former Pentagon intelligence chief Michael Flynn told Al Jazeera's Mehdi Hasan in a stunningly frank summer 2015 interview (significantly before Flynn was part of the Trump campaign), the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIS and al-Nusra/HTS) against the Syrian government was most certainly “a willful decision.”
Thus General Flynn in the summer of 2015, speaking as recently retired military intelligence officer, warned in no uncertain terms that US-supplied weapons in Syria were going to ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other jihadists. This was so well known at the time that it could be openly stated by a retired high ranking official an a major international program. Flynn also said something similar to both Seymour Hersh and the New York Times in 2015. 

But what did the CIA and allied intelligence agencies do? They continued arming the jihadist insurgency in Syria in their efforts to oust Assad. This was indeed "a willful decision" as Flynn affirmed and not mere "weaknesses in oversight and regulation" as Buzzfeed would have us believe.

Mohammed bin Salman on the losing side

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 05:36
Patrick Cockburn is one of the most dependable of MSM analysts
Mohammed bin Salman's ill-advised ventures have weakened Saudi Arabia’s position in the worldOther states in the Middle East are coming to recognise that there are winners and losers, and have no wish to be on the losing side
Patrick Cockburn

the Independent,15 December, 2017

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) of Saudi Arabia is the undoubted Middle East man of the year, but his great impact stems more from his failures than his successes. He is accused of being Machiavellian in clearing his way to the throne by the elimination of opponents inside and outside the royal family. But, when it comes to Saudi Arabia’s position in the world, his miscalculations remind one less of the cunning manoeuvres of Machiavelli and more of the pratfalls of Inspector Clouseau.
Again and again, the impulsive and mercurial young prince has embarked on ventures abroad that achieve the exact opposite of what he intended. When his father became king in early 2015, he gave support to a rebel offensive in Syria that achieved some success but provoked full-scale Russian military intervention, which in turn led to the victory of President Bashar al-Assad. At about the same time, MbS launched Saudi armed intervention, mostly through airstrikes, in the civil war in Yemen. The action was code-named Operation Decisive Storm, but two and a half years later the war is still going on, has killed 10,000 people and brought at least seven million Yemenis close to starvation.
The Crown Prince is focusing Saudi foreign policy on aggressive opposition to Iran and its regional allies, but the effect of his policies has been to increase Iranian influence. The feud with Qatar, in which Saudi Arabia and the UAE play the leading role, led to a blockade being imposed five months ago which is still going on. The offence of the Qataris was to have given support to al-Qaeda type movements – an accusation that was true enough but could be levelled equally at Saudi Arabia – and to having links with Iran. The net result of the anti-Qatari campaign has been to drive the small but fabulously wealthy state further into the Iranian embrace.
Saudi relations with other countries used to be cautious, conservative and aimed at preserving the status quo. But today its behaviour is zany, unpredictable and often counterproductive: witness the bizarre episode in November when the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was summoned to Riyadh, not allowed to depart and forced to resign his position. The objective of this ill-considered action on the part of Saudi Arabia was apparently to weaken Hezbollah and Iran in Lebanon, but has in practice empowered both of them.
What all these Saudi actions have in common is that they are based on a naïve presumption that “a best-case scenario” will inevitably be achieved. There is no “Plan B” and not much of a “Plan A”: Saudi Arabia is simply plugging into conflicts and confrontations it has no idea how to bring to an end.
MbS and his advisers may imagine that it does not matter what Yemenis, Qataris or Lebanese think because President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, are firmly in their corner. “I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing,” tweeted Trump in early November after the round up and confinement of some 200 members of the Saudi elite. “Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!” Earlier he had tweeted support for the attempt to isolate Qatar as a supporter of “terrorism”.
But Saudi Arabia is learning that support from the White House these days brings fewer advantages than in the past. The attention span of Donald Trump is notoriously short, and his preoccupation is with domestic US politics: his approval does not necessarily mean the approval of other parts of the US government. The State Department and the Pentagon may disapprove of the latest Trump tweet and seek to ignore or circumvent it. Despite his positive tweet, the US did not back the Saudi confrontation with Qatar or the attempt to get Mr Hariri to resign as prime minister of Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince: Country will return to ‘moderate, open Islam’For its part, the White House is finding out the limitations of Saudi power. MbS was not able to get the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to agree to a US-sponsored peace plan that would have given Israel very much and the Palestinians very little. The idea of a Saudi-Israeli covert alliance against Iran may sound attractive to some Washington think tanks, but does not make much sense on the ground. The assumption that Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the promise to move the US embassy there, would have no long-term effects on attitudes in the Middle East is beginning to look shaky.
It is Saudi Arabia – and not its rivals – that is becoming isolated. The political balance of power in the region changed to its disadvantage over the last two years. Some of this predates the elevation of MbS: by 2015 it was becoming clear that a combination of Sunni states led by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey was failing to carry out regime change in Damascus. This powerful grouping has fragmented, with Turkey and Qatar moving closer to the Russian-backed Iranian-led axis, which is the dominant power in the northern tier of the Middle East between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean.
If the US and Saudi Arabia wanted to do anything about this new alignment, they have left it too late. Other states in the Middle East are coming to recognise that there are winners and losers, and have no wish to be on the losing side. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called a meeting this week in Istanbul of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, to which 57 Muslim states belong, to reject and condemn the US decision on Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia only sent a junior representative to this normally moribund organisation. But other state leaders like Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, King Abdullah of Jordan and the emirs of Kuwait and Qatar, among many others, were present. They recognised East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and demanded the US reverse its decision.

MbS is in the tradition of leaders all over the world who show Machiavellian skills in securing power within their own countries. But their success domestically gives them an exaggerated sense of their own capacity in dealing with foreign affairs, and this can have calamitous consequences. Saddam Hussein was very acute in seizing power in Iraq but ruined his country by starting two wars he could not win.

Mistakes made by powerful leaders are often explained by their own egomania and ignorance, supplemented by flattering but misleading advice from their senior lieutenants. The first steps in foreign intervention are often alluring because a leader can present himself as a national standard bearer, justifying his monopoly of power at home. Such a patriotic posture is a shortcut to popularity, but there is always a political bill to pay if confrontations and wars end in frustration and defeat. MbS has unwisely decided that Saudi Arabia should play a more active and aggressive role at the very moment that its real political and economic strength is ebbing. He is overplaying his hand and making too many enemies

The 5 stages of grief in te face of abrupt climate change

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 05:28

Abrupt Climate Change-5 stages of grief and prepping for the future with Kevin and Sandy

Environmental Coffee House
Kevin Sandbloom guest hosts today in what we would like to be a monthly feature on Abrupt Climate Change and associated topics that naturally migrate together. Scientists we are not, but this quote by Joanna Macy fits quite well with what many of us are experiencing. "To continue doing our work, we must first feel the full pain of what is happening to our world. " (I wanted to cut the first 1.3 minutes when the audio was lagged because of my crappy connection, , but I just got the software :) )

Here is another commenter who is serious and doesnt call people “fucking morons”

SBG News 12.13.17 Warmer Arctic is the 'new normal'

Guy McPherson on American Freedom Radio

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 05:20

Dr. Guy McPherson, in this SPECIAL Carol Rosin Show, presents urgent, important, updated information with suggestions and solutions regarding facts and how each of us, including decision makers, can do to live, now, knowing we are experiencing our own human extinction, our own death and dying process.
It’s about facing the facts. It is about being ultra sensitive and conscious of this reality, of who we and other animals and life forms really are, and about being honest with ourselves about the fact that we are all soon going to leave these bodies and die. It’s the best summary ever about what’s really going on. It’s about how to relate to others now.
What to do! The truth! This is a deeply thoughtful, spiritual and heartfelt fact-based talk. It is based on this sad reality, that we humans and other animals will not be able to survive on this planet much longer, and how to deal with this knowing and the feelings, at all ages and in all cultures, that go with it.
With all the suffering and destruction, the abrupt climate changes, man-made and natural disasters, catastrophic events happening and that will happen, Guy discusses how we can live, think, act, especially as we each discover we really won’t be surviving in these bodies or on this planet much longer. As we move into 2018, with each of us knowing we now have a real day by day death sentence, in his unique manner, Guy presents vitally important information couched in a perspective that is actually motivational, uplifting, energizing and inspiring…and realistic.
But it’s not about having hope though because hope is not enough. It’s not about giving up, either. It is about emotional, mental and other stages each of us may experience, alone and in relationships, as we wake-up and learn about this whole reality.
Guy tells us about facts we have a need to know so we can live differently, be personally responsible for the different kinds of choices and decisions we’ll make now.
It is about thinking and feeling in terms of how to live when you are living with an irreversible personal and planetary death sentence, when you seriously have only a very short time to be here and now.
This is about each of us “moving into 2018,” a passionate conversation that will be worth your time to hear.

Dr. Guy McPherson on this particular presentation may just change your life.

The conspiracy theory of yesterday: the truth of the Maidan snipers comes out

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 05:14
Georgian Mercenary Snipers Skype In Shocking Testimony About Shootings in Maidan Square

The Maidan Massacre: US Army Orders: Sow Chaos,15 December, 2017
“Gunfire aimed at protesters on Kiev’s Independence Square, also known as the Maidan, was delivered in winter 2014 by the mercenaries who had arrived in Kiev for the purpose of organizing disorders,” lawyer Alexander Goroshinsky told 112.Ukraina channel on Tuesday, as reported in Tass on December 13h.

In a dramatic development in the trial in Kiev of several Berkut police officers accused of shooting civilians in the Maidan demonstrations in February 2014, the defence has produced two Georgians who confirm that the murders were committed by foreign snipers, at least 50 of them, operating in teams. The two Georgians, Alexander Revazishvili and Koba Nergadze have agreed to testify by video from Tbilisi, if permitted, as they feared for their lives if brought to Kiev.

The defence lawyer stated,The eyewitnesses said they had seen with their own eyes a group of people who had received weapons and cartridges and who would deliver fire afterwards from the building of the Conservatoire. Nergadze also saw snipers at the roof of Hotel Ukraine. They know the individuals personally. Besides, they know the organizers and clients and are ready to give their names, as well as the names of the perpetrators.”In all, about fifty mercenaries arrived in Kiev then and they were involved in the events on the Maidan afterwards and fired at the protesters on February 20,” Goroshinsky went on. “The mercenaries split into groups of ten men each and were dispatched to different spots where from they delivered fire.”Each of them [the mercenaries] received $5,000 for the job done,” he said. “In other words, these people had been brought [to Kiev] with a well-specified task to create a conflict.”This dramatic and explosive evidence was first brought to light by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin on November 16 in an article in the Italian journal Il Giornale and is again brought to the world’s attention by a lawyer with some courage picking up on that report and speaking with the witnesses himself. These witnesses stated to Gian Micalessin, even more explosively, that the American Army was directly involved in the murders.

The clear objective of the Maidan massacre in Kiev on February 20, 2014 was to sow chaos and reap the fall of the democratically elected, pro-Russian Yanukovych government. People were slaughtered for no other reason than to destroy a government the NATO powers, especially the United States and Germany, wanted removed because of its opposition to NATO, the EU, and their hegemonic drive to open Ukraine and Russia to American and German economic expansion. In other words, it was about money and the making of money.

The western media and leaders quickly blamed the Yanukovych government for the killings during the Maidan demonstrations, but more evidence has become available indicating that the massacre in Kiev of police and civilians – which led to the escalation of protests, leading to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government – was the work of snipers working on orders of government opponents and their NATO controllers using the protests as a cover for a coup.

One of the snipers already admitted to this in February 2015, thereby confirming what had become common knowledge just a few days after the massacre in Kiev and in a secretly recorded telephone call, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reported to the EU head of Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, in early March 2014, that there was widespread suspicion that “someone from the new coalition” in the Kiev government may have ordered the sniper murders. In February 2016, Maidan activist Ivan Bubenchik confessed that in the course of the massacre, he had shot Ukrainian police officers. Bubenchik confirmed this in a film that gained wide attention.

In the September 2015 issue of Oriental Review, Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, at the University of Ottawa, published a devastating paper on the Maidan killings setting out in extensive detail the conclusive evidence that it was a false flag operation and that members of the present Kiev regime, including Poroshenko himself were involved in the murders, not the government forces. His paper contains all you need to know and I highly recommend it. Here is a summary of his findings:

“The paper analyzes a large amount of evidence from different publicly available sources concerning this massacre and killings of specific protestors…“This academic investigation concludes that the massacre was a false flag operation, which was rationally planned and carried out with a goal of the overthrow of the government and seizure of power. It found various evidence of the involvement of an alliance of the far right organizations, specifically the Right Sector and Svoboda, and oligarchic parties, such as Fatherland. Concealed shooters and spotters were located in at least 20 Maidan-controlled buildings or areas. The various evidence that the protesters were killed from these locations include some 70 testimonies, primarily by Maidan protesters, several videos of “snipers” targeting protesters from these buildings, comparisons of positions of the specific protesters at the time of their killing and their entry wounds, and bullet impact signs. The study uncovered various videos and photos of armed Maidan “snipers” and spotters in many of these buildings.

Dr. Katchanovski makes a very pertinent point in his conclusion;

No reliable evidence about “third force” foreign snipers or organizers of the massacre has been found… Because of various evidence of US government backing of the Maidan opposition, its involvement in the Maidan government selection and policy decisions, and its past record of supporting or organizing regime change in other countries, additional research is needed toexamine if there was any involvement of the US government in the violent overthrow of the Ukrainian government. “

Well, now we have that evidence.

In the November 16 article in the Italian journal Il Giornale, and repeated on Italian TV Canale 5, journalist Gian Micalessin revealed that 3 Georgians, all trained army snipers, and with links to Mikheil Saakashvili and Georgian security forces were ordered to travel to Kiev from Tbilisi during the Maidan events. It is two of these men that are now being called to testify in Kiev.

On the 18th of February they were given weapons and two of them took up positions at the Hotel Ukraina overlooking Maidan Square while the third was positioned in the Conservatory. Other snipers were positioned in other buildings to fire into the square. Prior to that they met with, among other people, an American soldier in uniform, a claimed “former” member of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division, who gave them orders on what to do, which it turned out to be was to shoot into Maidan Square randomly targeting people, protestors and police alike, to create fear and confusion, to implicate the government forces as the shooters, to create the chaos necessary in order to undermine the government of President Yanukovych, who fled shortly after the event realising his own life was in danger. 

The name of the American soldier, or the alias he used, was Brian Christopher Boyenger. He showed up later as an adviser to the Ukrainian Georgian Legion. 
One of the snipers stated,

“Once, I guess around February 15, Mamulashvili personally visited our tent. There was another guy with him wearing a uniform. Mamulashvili introduced him to us and told us he was an American military guy and will be our instructor.”

Another stated,“This American was Brian Christopher Boyenger, a “former” soldier, a sniper, from the 101st Airborne Division.”

“He was the one who gave us orders.”

Questions naturally arise on how this “former” American soldier entered the country and took command of a murderous sniper unit and it is highly probable that the word “former” was used to give the Americans plausible deniability if their men were found out, as has now occurred. No one can seriously doubt that his presence was known to the US ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, who, according to then Vice President Joe Biden, was in hourly contact with Andriy Parubiy, the Ukrainian fascist who was in charge of “self defence units” made of heavily armed fascist thugs at Maidan. According to the Italian report, Parubiy was going in and out of the Hotel Ukraina from where many shots were fired and was aware of the presence of the American soldier so the American ambassador must have been aware and his government. The Americans have yet to explain Boyenger’s presence or what rank he held in the US Army. Parubiy’s role in the events has never been explained either but Poroshenko appointed this mass murderer as head of Ukraine security and intelligence forces after the coup and he now sits as President of Ukraine’s parliament since April 14, 2016, in which position he can use to give the Germans and Americans the cooperation they want.

The massacre at Maidan, therefore, is revealed to be a carefully planned military operation organised in detail, with teams of snipers brought in from various NATO allied countries, unknown to each other, but organised on arrival, given orders and assignments and each sniper team being assigned spotters to help in their deadly work. This is the tactic military sniper teams use so it has to be assumed that each of the sniper teams was controlled by the same people as the team the Italians talked to, that is by American soldiers trained in these techniques and who themselves operate in teams. This operation therefore had to be planned and organised on a high level by the American forces and allied NATO governments.

It is an extraordinary video to watch, as these men matter of factly talk about what they did, for whom they did it; to watch them pull back the veil so that we can see what callous brutality the NATO alliance is capable of. We have seen this of course in all their wars. They are deliberately brutal and always ruthless. But in the interviews with these men we are shown the capacity of US military machine-and here I mean the entire NATO alliance and all its allies and agents-to randomly murder ordinary people, to murder them as if they were stepping on ants, and with the same feeling of sadistic satisfaction.

The western media has so far ignored the Italian interviews, as they have Dr. Katachanovski’s detailed paper and all the other evidence that exists; as it must or face the prospect of the entire anti-Russian propaganda campaign from unravelling. For now it is clear that the entire justification of the Kiev regime for its existence, that it got rid of Yanukovych to get rid of killers, is now proved to be a cover for the fact that it is the very members of the present Kiev regime who were complicit in the killings and directed them.

But as these developments further evolve the international mafia known as NATO that is responsible for the Maidan Square massacre have not stopped slaughtering civilians. In Ukraine to this day the fascist riddled, NATO -backed Kiev regime continues it siege of the Donbass republics in violation of the laws of war and custom, in violation of all humanity, while the British and American intelligence services put out false stories about the shooting down of Flight MH17, using NATO connected websites like Bellingcat, which only serves to add to evidence that it is NATO and its Kiev allies that are responsible for that slaughter as well. For why make up stories except to cover yourself? The more they shift the blame the more it falls on them.

But the reality is that the new evidence reported by the Italian press will change nothing in the narrative of the general western media which will conspire to suppress or better, ignore this evidence. In fact no other media, anywhere, has included the crucial information of the presence of American soldiers in Maidan in their coverage of the Italian report, a fact which itself is more than curious.

The International Criminal Court should investigate this new evidence, lead where it may. They have jurisdiction. But we can expect nothing from the ICC even if a countervailing pressure is put on the prosecutor by the world public demanding that she act on this information. We know whose interests the ICC serves. No, justice for those murdered in Ukraine will have to wait for the return of true democracy in Ukraine, a Ukraine no longer under the control of the US, Germany and their allies, a Ukraine that is no longer a puppet state of the west, and no longer used as a pawn in the long war against Russia. For that is the ultimate objective, Russia.

Hybrid warfare, war without limits, is accelerating against her. Last week Russia was banished from the Olympics to damage her prestige, and the bizarre allegations about rigging the US elections continue. To add to the insults, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly voted a few days ago on a resolution condemning “violations of human rights in Crimea;” a resolution demanded by Petro Poroshenko, one of those implicated in the murders in Maidan Square. You have to give it to them. They’ve got a lot of nerve.

But Russia is not alone. She has allies. When the Poroshenko resolution came up for a vote the EU and NATO allied countries obeyed orders and supported the resolution but 77 countries abstained and 25 voted against it including the BRICs and Iran, Syria, North Korea, Armenia, Belarus, Philippines, Venezuela, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Cuba, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nicaragua, Uganda, Sudan, Serbia, Uzbekistan, and Bolivia.

Russia is going to need these allies because the evidence, now coming in a flood, about what the NATO forces did in Kiev on February 20, 2014 show us that they are capable of anything, and will stop at nothing.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

The Russians tell the Americans to get out of Syria

Sat, 16/12/2017 - 05:05

MAJOR: Russia tells US to leave Syria "Pack your rucksacks and go!"

December 15th, 2017 - Fort Russ News - - Joaquin Flores, for FRN - GENEVA, Switzerland - In light of several nearly catastrophic incidents between Russian and US air-forces over Syrian skies, and now with ISIS defeated in Syria, Russia has begun the process of getting the US out of Syria. That the US so far is insisting upon staying in the sovereign country where they are uninvited, has been raising some serious concerns. TASS interviewed Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations at the Geneva office, Alexei Borodavkin who gave the following comments:"We believe that after the victory over ISIS there is no need for the US-led coalition to further remain in Syria, especially given that they had not been invited there ... So, we are calling on the Americans to pack their rucksacks and go.... But apparently, this is not part of their plans, and this arouses concerns," he said."Our military will remain in Hmeymim and Tartus. So, we will help Syrian partners in the fight against international terrorism, in particular, Jabhat al-Nusra, which is still active in Syria," the diplomat said.The potential of Syria's military created with Russia’s support is enough for fighting against terrorists, the diplomat noted. "In his speeches and, first of all, when he visited our military base in Hmeymin, President Putin made it clear that, following the wiping out of ISIS in Syria, the Syrian armed forces are now capable of independently repelling terror aggression on their territory," the diplomat said,"However, if a serious terror threat emerges in Syria again, then, as President Putin said, the Russian armed forces will carry out such strikes over terrorists which they can’t imagine ... The Russian military group is withdrawing from Syria, but our servicemen will remain at the air military base in Hmeymim and at the naval base in Tartus."

What of the Syrian Opposition? Will Assad Resign?

"It is necessary that the opposition clearly indicates in its documents that it sees no military solution to the conflict in Syria, but intends to work on a political settlement in that country," Borodavkin said.

"Moscow values the efforts that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has been making to find a political solution to the Syria issue, but not everything depends on him, or the UN", he underscored.

"But the matter is that we don’t see that the leaders of the opposition delegation formed in Riyadh are ready to discuss these issues," Borodavkin added. "On the contrary, they have been focusing on their unacceptable and categorical demand for Assad’s resignation, which is unreasonable under the current circumstances," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Climate change report held back until after elections

Fri, 15/12/2017 - 09:01
Even this extremely conservative report was suppressed by the previous Tory government National held back advice on 1.9m sea rise until after election while new developments built
By Martyn Bradbury
the Daily Blog,
13 December, 2017The National Government knew what the report said but held it going out before the election because it would demand they had an actual plan for climate change rather than the meaningless lip service they currently provide.
Let’s get this straight, the National Government held back a report showing no council should build near the sea because of a predicted 1.9m rise in sea levels and a new development got green lighted while they hid this report???
Drowning dreams: Billions at stake as Govt mulls sea level rules
Today, leading scientists recommend considering between double and quadruple that amount when planning new developments. The most up-to-date advice is codified in a new guide written by scientists and policy experts for the Ministry for the Environment.
That guide has no official status, but many councils know what it says, and the public learned of its contents when it was leaked earlier this year by the Green Party.
Based on the latest science, the guide says people should be planning for 1m of sea level rise for existing neighbourhoods, and 1.9m for “green-fields” developments or redevelopments that intensify land use in already built-up areas. The goal is to avoid adding lots of new housing to areas that might one day be flooded.
Yet, in the Coromandel alone, hundreds of new, permanent land titles have been created on low-lying coast in the past two years, after modelling at most 1m of sea level rise.
In 2015, Thames-Coromandel District Council approved a subdivision of 167 coastal sections after rejecting advice from flood experts at Waikato Regional Council to consider 2m higher seas. The district council factored in 1m, instead, noting in emails to the regional council that any updated government guidance wasn’t likely to arrive in time.
Two years later, the council allowed 72 new titles to be created along canals flowing from a harbour, again after modelling for a maximum of 1m higher seas.
These developments weren’t breaking any rules, or even going against best practice guidance, because the advice to factor in 1.9m higher seas was held back by the previous government until after the election.
The National Government knew what the report said but held it going out before the election because it would demand they had an actual plan for climate change rather than the meaningless lip service they currently provide.
That the National Government were prepared to damage so many peoples properties for such political gain is another ugly truth of the last 9 years under National.Climate change needs planning now, councils warned, as Govt report reveals NZ's sea levels may rise by almost a metre by 2060Local councils need to start planning now for dramatic sea level rise, a new report warns

TVNZ,15 December, 2017
The stark warning comes in Ministry for the Environment advice to local government on preparing for "coastal change", and it's coupled with an admission by Climate Minister James Shaw that New Zealand "currently lacks a coordinated plan on how to adapt to climate change."Auckland underwater - sea level rise simulation shows areas worst hit by climate change
This simulation shows which parts of Auckland would be underwater at high tide if the sea were to rise by three metres.
The report, which was available to the previous government in May, says New Zealand lacks a coordinated plan to weather the storms to come.
According to Environment officials' projections, in a worst case scenario, sea levels could rise by almost a metre by 2060. Within a century (2120), that could be by as much as 1.36m.
Just over 133,000 people in coastal areas could be affected.
ONE News used Google Earth data to generate a simulation of which areas would be affected by a three metre sea level rise – the areas shown are approximate.

More than 68,000 buildings are at risk - and the total cost of replacing them is $19b dollars. That includes 382 "critical facility" buildings, five airports, more than 1500 jetties and wharves, 46km of railway and more than 2000km of roads.
The hardest hit areas are in Canterbury and Hawkes Bay - with Waikato having the greatest length of roads exposed.
Wastewater treatment plants, potable water supplies and stormwater and overland drainage systems will all be affected.
"Ongoing sea-level rise will lead to irreversible impacts at the coast ... because many land-use planning and asset and infrastructure decisions made today have long lifetimes because of the permanency of development (eg, subdivision, buildings and infrastructure), planning for adaptation at the coast needs to start now," the report reads.
It continues: "Over time, however, communities will be left increasingly exposed, with vulnerable assets and a stock of private and public investment (eg, buildings, roads, utility services, sea walls) for which difficult decisions will be required - remove, relocate or demolish, or invest substantially to protect.
"The places and environments valued by people will also be exposed to increasing impacts, and vulnerable groups and those without the capacity to move will be particularly affected.
"The likely scale, extent and impact of the evolving increase in coastal risk will be unprecedented across New Zealand."
The report also says sea levels are expected to keep rising for several centuries, even if global gas emissions are reduced, and we can expect more dramatic weather events causing high tides.
If the sea level rises by between 0.3 and 0.4 metres - possibly by 2050 - we can expect rare storm tide inundations to happen at least once per year."In New Zealand, by 2050-2070, extreme coastal water levels that are currently expected to be reached or exceeded only once every 100 years (on average) will occur at least once per year or more."
Climate Change minister James Shaw says the report shows "the size of the task to build New Zealand's resilience to rising sea levels, a warmer climate, extreme weather and other impacts of climate change".
"It's important that New Zealanders have a clear picture of the potential impacts of climate change so that communities, local and central government, business and other sectors of our economy can make well-informed decisions about how we build resilience and adapt," he said.
Mr Shaw says the country is "in the early stages of planning" but that it currently lacks a coordinated plan on how to adapt to climate change.
The Government's Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group will report back with recommendations on adapting to the impacts of climate change in March.

The melting Alps in Europe

Fri, 15/12/2017 - 08:16
The Big Melt
By Jeffrey Kluger | Photographs by Marco Zorzanello

13 December, 2017
It took a long time for the Earth to create the Alps—a lot longer than it’s taking humans to wreck them. The Alpine mountain range first rose an estimated 44 million years ago, when the great African plate began creeping northward, breaking and upthrusting the European plate. The newborn peaks did not stop growing until 9 million years ago, and it would be millions more years before the glaciers and snow that are their signature feature would be in place.Humans have needed barely a century to make a mess of it all. Green and brown, it appears, are the new white across the southern European peaks as climate change, which historically has done its most noticeable damage closer to sea level, now reaches higher.The northern town of Corvara during a recent winterFrom 1960 to 2017, the Alpine snow season shortened by 38 days—starting an average of 12 days later and ending 26 days earlier than normal. Europe experienced its warmest-ever winter in the 2015–16 season, with snow cover in the southern French Alps just 20% of its typical depth.Last December was the driest in 150 years of record keeping, and the flakes that did manage to fall didn’t stay around long. The snow line—the point on a slope at which it’s high enough and thus cold enough for snow to stick—is about 3,900 ft., which is a historic high in some areas. But worse lies ahead as scientists predict melt even at nearly 10,000 ft. by the end of the century.All this is doing terrible things not just to Alpine beauty but to Alpine businesses—especially ski resorts. Globally, the ski industry generates up to $70 billion per year, and 44% of all skiers—and their dollars—flock to the Alps.Imagine the Caribbean culture and economy without beaches and water; that’s the Alpine culture and economy without snow.Skiers ride a chairlift over snowless hillsIn the Dolomites, it takes 4,700 snow-blowers to keep trails covered for skiingThe difference is that you can’t make an artificial ocean, but you can make artificial snow, and ski resorts all over the world rely on it. Nowhere is that reliance more urgent than in the Alps, and nowhere in the Alps is it more poignant than on the slopes of the Dolomites, an Alpine range of 18 peaks in northern Italy. In 2009, the Dolomites were named a World Heritage Site by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for their beauty, their complex geomorphology and their scientific significance.But the Dolomites have changed—their snow quickly vanishing—and that transformation is what caught the eye of Italian photographer Marco Zorzanello. A onetime student of literature, he found himself growing less interested in the lit part of his education and more interested in the human part—particularly the damage humans as a whole are doing to ourselves and to our world through climate change.“I was interested in the ways the changing environment is changing the appearance of the planet,” Zorzanello says. “We see all of these images, and we just get used to them. It’s like the pictures become an anesthetic.”A trail on a denuded mountain leads down to a lodgePictures of the Dolomites, he hoped, could once again cause us to feel the pain, and the portfolio he brought back from two winters of shooting on the range’s peaks do just that. The ski seasons go on as they always have, but the trails look unhappily out of place—wide white avenues of snow cut across a landscape of dead grass, dead scrub and pebbled paths.The skiers themselves seem out of place too, ­relaxing in chaise longues on the dry ground beside the trails, or arriving at the slopes in ski pants and T-shirts, because why bundle up when the temperature is a balmy 50°F? “It was incredibly hot for that time of year,” says Zorzanello. “And this was 2,100 m [6,900 ft.] up the mountain.”Just as jarring are the images of trucks dumping fresh snow on the trails and of useless snowmobiles that would normally be busy set aside and covered by tarps. And everywhere, up and down the trails, are the snowmaking machines—a technology that’s gotten more refined as the need has gotten greater.A snowless entrance to a chairliftA tourist couple embraces on the edge of a slopeIt was in 1936 that Japanese physicist Ukichiro Nakaya created the first artificial snowflake in a sealed chamber in his laboratory at Hokkaido University. That was no small feat, since snow is much more than just frozen water falling from the sky. You could get that much from hail, which is nothing but wind-driven raindrops that combine and freeze at high altitudes.A snowflake forms when water vapor condenses into infinitesimal micro-droplets and the droplets then find a nucleus—typically an even smaller grain of atmospheric dust—to which they attach and crystallize. More vapor collects on the crystal, producing a larger flake, which eventually grows big enough and heavy enough to fall to the ground.Nakaya nucleated his first flakes on the fur of rabbits, inspired by a single flake he spotted on a single rabbit hair. One flake at a time, of course, is no way to make enough snow to cover a slope; what was needed was a way to manufacture the stuff in bulk.The first snowmaking machine was developed in the 1940s, entirely by accident, when Canadian researchers were studying the way ice forms on jet engines. As part of their research, the researchers sprayed water into a refrigerated wind tunnel—and got an artificial snow squall for their efforts. In the 1950s, one of the first purpose-built snow machines was patented in the U.S., based on the technique the Canadians had stumbled across.A tunnel offers protection from wind but is less needed for the coldA modern snowmaking machine combines the elegance of Hakaya’s work with the muscle of Connecticut-based Tey Manufacturing, which first brought the machines to market. The earliest iterations used microscopic dirt particles and, later, silver iodide as a nucleating agent. Increasingly,they use a protein extracted from a type of bacterium found on plant leaves. The protein causes water to crystallize at comparatively high wintertime temperatures, which is just what you want in the process of snowmaking.Scientists thus developed a way to irradiate and sterilize it, and it’s now used as the preferred nucleating agent in the water used in snow blowers. Pumped at high pressure through an array of nozzles and fans, the water blasts into the sky as a fine mist. There it crystallizes and drifts to the ground as a reasonable approximation of snow.The temperature in the Dolomites hovers near 50°F during winterWomen lounge near a slope with artificial snowA reasonable approximation, of course, will never replace authentic snow—not the feel of it, the look of it or the behavior of it. And it surely won’t replace the enchantment of it, falling in proper flakes from proper clouds, covering the ground in an unbroken blanket, rather than in engineered trails crisscrossing a bleak brown landscape.“The dream of skiing on Alpine snow is going to go away,” says Zorzanello. The loss of the beauty that once was the Alps is a just price for the damage wrought by humans—and might serve as a sufficient spur for us to begin to avoid doing more.Snow is laid with a truck in some areas to connect slopes

SoCal Thomas Fire update - 12/18/2017

Fri, 15/12/2017 - 08:11
Worsening Weather to Feed Monstrous Thomas Fire Through Sunday
Robertscribbler,14 December, 2017
It shouldn’t be happening in typically wetter, cooler December. But, due to human-forced climate change, it is.The Thomas Fire, at 242,000 acres, is now the fourth largest fire in California history. Alone, it has destroyed 900 structures — a decent town’s worth gone up in smoke. And today it threatens pretty much all of Santa Barbara’s 62,000 buildings. For future days promise conditions that could expand the monstrous blaze into the largest fire ever seen for the state.

Dec 14 U.S. & Global Climate and Weather Report 1. High amplitude Jet Stream pattern continues for U.S. 2. Western ridge enhancing heat, drought, fire hazard. 3. Eastern trough bringing in Arctic air. 4. U.S. temps 0.37 C above average. 5. Global temps 0.6 C above average.8:51 AM - 14 Dec 2017
(Persistent western ridge formation is an expected upshot of sea ice retreat in the Arctic. A feature that will result in a drier, warmer, more fire prone California if the trend toward sea ice melt and global warming continues.)
Firefighters battling the blaze have faced insane odds to manage a herculean feat — achieving 35 percent containment as blowtorch like Santa Ana winds consistently billowed through the region over the past two weeks. These winds have been both abnormally strong and persistent. And they’re run over dry lands through a season that is typically known for its more prevalent rainfall — not the expanding drought we see today.
Given these presently very abnormal conditions, fire officials don’t expect to achieve full 100 percent containment for three more weeks. And that’s with over 8,144 firefighters on the ground assisted by 1,004 fire engines and 27 helicopters. FollowFollow @EricHolthausMoreIt's been more than 250 days since it rained in Southern California. The combination of extremely dry conditions, warm temps, strong winds, and lack of rain has produced an unprecedented potential for rapid fire growth in the middle of the rainy season. 11:07 AM - 14 Dec 2017(The 2012 to 2017 California drought was slaked by rains last winter. However, it appears to have returned in force with southern portions of the state again facing an extended dry period.)Present weather conditions for California are extraordinary. A persistent ridge of high pressure has hovered over the region. And this high has helped to spike local temperatures, speed a re-emergence of drought, and drive very powerful Santa Ana winds through the region. The high formed as sea ice advance in the Chukchi and Bering Seas far to the north lagged. Open water that is usually ice covered at this time of year radiated more heat into the local atmosphere — providing a slot of warmer air that assisted this drought, heat, and wind-promoting high pressure ridge in forming.The intensity of these highs, influenced by climate change, out west has consistently risen into the 1040+ hPa range. Highs that have been juxtapposed by a strong low further south near Mexico. And a steep pressure gradient between these two persistent weather systems has helped to drive the very strong, fire-fanning, Santa Ana winds through the region. As the Thomas Fire blossomed last week, fire conditions achieved extremes never before seen in state history as those hot, dry winds roared over hills and through valleys.(GFS model runs show the fire fanning Santa Ana winds strengthening through Sunday. Hat tip to Dan Leonard.)
Unfortunately, weather models for the next few days show this Santa Ana wind producing pressure gradient either persisting or strengthening. Today, this gradient is producing winds with gusts of up to 55 mph. By Sunday, the high over the Pacific is predicted to face off against a low over Northwestern Mexico. And the gradient between these two systems may further intensify these fire fanning winds. Wind speed and fire hazard are not expected to be as extreme as last week. But the re-intensifying winds will do firefighters no favors.
In addition, and perhaps more importantly to the long range picture, there is not even a hint of rain in the forecast through at least the next week. Dry, warmer than normal weather is expected to remain in place at least through that period. And hope for wetter, cooler weather has only begun to emerge in the longer range, less certain forecast.

Arctic Temperatures Are Rising So Fast Computers Don t Believe They re Real

Fri, 15/12/2017 - 08:03
SBG News 12.14.17 Arctic Temperatures Are Rising So Fast Computers Don t Believe They re Real

Trump Administration reportedly wiling to allow Assad to stay

Fri, 15/12/2017 - 08:00
U.S. Surrenders On Syria - Resistance Turns Eyes On Israel

Moon of Alabama,12 December, 2017

This New Yorker piece is notable for its arrogant headline, and several false assertions. Those may be necessary to divert from its real message - the U.S. surrender to the realities of Syria: Trump to Let Assad Stay Until 2021, as Putin Declares Victory in Syria[T]he Trump Administration is now prepared to accept President Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule until Syria’s next scheduled Presidential election, in 2021, according to U.S. and European officials. The decision reverses repeated U.S. statements that Assad must step down as part of a peace process.
The Trump Administration says it still wants a political process that holds the prospect of Assad’s departure. But it has concluded that it may take until 2021, when the next election is scheduled, to pull it off.
U.S. officials worry that Assad could win the 2021 Syrian election, one way or the other, and remain in power for years to come.The U.S. "lets Assad stay" because there is simply nothing else it can do without waging a large scale war. It has tried everything else - and lost. In 2012 it attempted to assassinate Assad, but he wasn't at the security meeting that the CIA blew up. It send 100,000 Takfiri fighters from all over the world to Syria and shipped in ten-thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition. The global anti-Syrian propaganda campaign in favor of the Takfiris was unprecedented. It tried to build a political opposition and sponsored it with hundreds of millions. It lastly invaded the country and tried to split it by force. It failed on all fronts.The U.S. decision reflects the Administration’s limited options, the military reality on the ground, and the success of Syria’s Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah allies in propping up the beleaguered Assad regime.
The Syrian opposition groups backed by the United States have been ineffectual. They have squabbled among themselves and split into factions.
Diplomatically, Washington has been marginalized by the powerful troika of Russia, Iran, and Turkey, which now dominates the peace process.In 2013 the author of the piece, Robin Wright, presented the Israeli dream of a split up Middle East.

It was a remake of the "Blood Borders" map peddled in 2006 by the neoconservatives Col. Ralph Peters. That gain was an updated version of a map of a "New Middle East" by Bernhard Lewis published in Foreign Affairs. Those maps went into the trash-bin when the U.S. had to leave Iraq. Wrigth's cartographic expression of imperial arrogance will end there too.Wright is heavily wired in Washington. She is part of the *borg* and held/holds positions at the U.S. Institute of Peace (which plans wars), the Wilson Center, Brookings and Carnegie Endowment. That she has now given up on her ludicrous map likely reflects the leading opinions within those institutions.One wonders if the military junta in the White House is on board with this. It continues to dream of keeping Syria and Iraq under its thumb:Col. John Thomas, spokesman for the US Central Command (CENTCOM), said that the international coalition forces would remain in Syria to support the operations of the Arab-Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” until the conclusion of negotiations on a political solution in Geneva.He added that the US forces would continue to fight terrorist organizations close to “al-Qaeda” in Syria, including al-Nusra Front, “regardless of ISIS presence.”Dream on.
Yesterday Putin visited Syria. He declared victory and announced that part of the Russian troops in Syria would return home. He made sure that everyone, the U.S., the Turks, the Saudis and the Israelis, understood that the troops would be back in no-time if they try to reignite the war:"If terrorists again raise head, we will deliver such strikes on them that they haven’t seen so far," Putin told the Russian military.Another member of the Syrian alliance, the Lebanese party Hizbullah, is now refocusing on Israel. Trump's hail-Mary pass of illegally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital came just in time to give new impetus to the resistance:Mr Nasrallah called on the “resistance axis” — a reference to Hizbollah and its Syrian and Iranian allies and patrons — to “devote all its power and time to the Palestinians. I call on all the resistance factions in the region to unite and put one common strategy and practical plan to face this threat,” he said.It was Israel that was behind (pdf) the campaign to dismantle Syria and Iraq. It utterly failed and the revenge will be harsh. Hizbullah is better armed and trained than ever. Battle experienced Iraqi and Iranian groups stand ready. The Syrian army is much better trained and equipped than before the war. The Iraqi resistance leader Qais Al Khazali recently visited south-Lebanon and took a look over the border into Israel. He was surveying the new battlefield.
Israel's great new alliance with Saudi Arabia has not helped its position. The Salman tyrant and his son are in an insecure position and their great relations with Trump have tanked, allegedly over the issue of Jerusalem.
The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo is under pressure at home. The corruption accusation accumulate and his time in office is now limited.
Who will replace him? What is the new plan the Zionists will come up with to react to the changed situation?

US National Security Strategy scheduled to be released next week

Fri, 15/12/2017 - 07:54
Trump To Release New US Strategy: Will Neocons Cheer?

Foreign affairs analyst Jim Jatras joins today's Liberty Report to discuss the new US National Security Strategy scheduled to be released next week. Big changes? New approach? We'll discuss...

Israel threatens Lebanon

Fri, 15/12/2017 - 07:52
Israeli minister threatens to destroy Lebanon

al- Masdar News,14 December, 2017
BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:35 A.M.) – The Israeli Intelligence Minister, Yisrael Katz, told a Saudi-owned news site on Wednesday that if Hezbollah starts another war with Israel, the latter will destroy Lebanon.
“This time all of Lebanon will be a target,” Katz told Elaph News.
“What happened in 2006 would be a picnic compared to what could happen… I say Lebanon will return to the stone age​,” he threatened.
Katz’s threats come just days after Hezbollah held a massive demonstration in southern Beirut to protest Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

During the demonstration, Hezbollah’s Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, told the large crowd that the resistance will triumph over the Israeli forces, regardless of the latter’s aggression.