Thursday, 27 August 2015

The future of "demcoracy" - don't talk to the public

Tory candidates told to avoid debates, media during campaign
Conservatives running in the federal election have been advised not to attend all-candidates’ meetings or speak to reporters during the campaign, a party source says

Reporters are finding it almost impossible to reach Joe Daniel, the Conservative MP for Don Valley East, who is running in the new riding of Don Valley North.
STAR FILE PHOTO   Reporters are finding it almost impossible to reach Joe Daniel, the Conservative MP for Don Valley East, who is running in the new riding of Don Valley North.

26 November, 2014

Conservatives running in the federal election have been advised not to attend all-candidates’ meetings or speak to reporters during the campaign, a party source says.

A Conservative insider said Wednesday that most of Stephen Harper’s flag-bearers have “been told no debates and no media.”

The informal edict appears to affect Tory candidates across the country, which explains why so many press interviews are being rebuffed.

They’re getting pulled out of everything,” the source said, noting even some experienced cabinet ministers are being instructed to avoid candidates’ forums before the Oct. 19 election.

Locally, reporters are finding it almost impossible to reach Joe Daniel, the Conservative MP for Don Valley East, who is running in the new riding of Don Valley North.

He has his own priorities. Maybe the media might not be his priority as of today but in coming weeks, yes,” said a volunteer at Daniel’s office, who refused to identify himself, after chiding a Star reporter for calling three times to speak to the candidate or a media contact.

Just give him time. He will approach you,” said the volunteer
We don’t go by your deadlines, sir. We go by our deadlines and you don’t happen to accept that.”

Daniel’s campaign told the Ottawa Citizen last week the backbencher wouldn’t be doing any interviews until after the election.

In an email, Conservative spokeswoman Meagan Murdoch said: “Candidates are of course encouraged to talk to voters in their ridings about Prime Minister Harper’s low-tax plan to create jobs and economic growth.”

Andrew MacDougall, Harper’s director of communications from 2012 to 2013, said it’s a better use of Tory candidates’ time to be knocking on doors and talking to voters.

The number one job of a candidate is to meet voters and identify votes,” MacDougall said Wednesday from London, England.

Going to an all-candidates’ debate — I think people romanticize the kind of democratic notion of that experience. But it’s also a highly partisan experience where people pack the rooms and I don’t think Conservatives in particular think there are a lot of persuadables there,” he said.

The people who show up to these things are committed one way or another and are not open to persuasion, (whereas) somebody at the doorstep, with a candidate or a candidate’s canvassing team, would be open to that.”

As for dealing with the media, MacDougall said “it’s much more effective to get your message to a voter on their doorstep than through a filter.”

Take 45 minutes where you were going to do interviews and knock on 100 doors and find another 30 people who were going to vote for you,” he said.

That voter-focused strategy, noted MacDougall, has worked successfully for the Conservatives in the 2006, 2008 and 2011 elections.

They know who votes for them, know why they vote for them, and pull them to vote when the time comes. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that.”

Star columnist Tim Harper recently criss-crossed Canada, encountering roadblocks when trying to reach Conservative candidates.

In Edmonton-Mill Woods, Tim Uppal’s campaign told him the minister of state for multiculturalism was too busy to meet even though Harper first requested time with Uppal in June, before the election had been called.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, a one-time Progressive Conservative staffer on Parliament Hill and later a Liberal cabinet minister at Queen’s Park, had hoped to chat with nine area Conservative candidates Tuesday about the city’s priorities, but they declined the invitation at the last minute.

In a tweet later Tuesday, Watson said “just had a call from @PierrePoilievre - pleased that he has personally committed to attend (with colleagues) a briefing in the next 2 weeks.” Poilievre, the minister of employment and social development, is the Conservative candidate for Nepean-Carleton

World Ocean Heartbeat Fading - the Gulf Stream

Signs of Gulf Stream Slowdown — Sea Level More Than a Foot Higher off US East Coast

26 August, 2015

It’s the stuff that climate disaster movies are made of. But the events are all too real — happening now and not part of some dramatized script played out on the silver screen.

Signs abound that global ocean circulation is being profoundly altered by human-forced climate change. A pool of cold water has developed in the North Atlantic. England is getting slammed by anomalous winter-type rains and gales in August. 
And sea surface heights off the US East Coast are more than 30 centimeters (one foot) above the 1979 to 2015 average.
Sea level anomalies 30 cm off US east coast
(Global sea surface height anomalies off the US East Coast are more than a foot (30 cm) above the 1979 to 2015 average. A clear sign that the Gulf Stream is slowing down, perhaps by as much as 15-30 percent. Complete shut down of the Gulf Stream, though unlikely without extremely large melt outflows from Greenland, would result in a very dangerous 1 meter sea level rise. An impact that is primarily driven by ocean current change. Sea level rise by thermal expansion and glacial melt would, necessarily, pile on top of this bulge of backed up waters. Image source: NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.)

World Ocean Heartbeat Fading

This past March, after observations of rising sea levels off the US East Coast, extreme positive sea surface temperature anomalies in the same region, and a critical slowing down of North Atlantic over-turning recorded throughout the 20th Century, Professor Stefan Rahmstorf published this earth-shattering paper in the scientific journal Nature.

The paper meticulously recorded a slow-down of bottom water formation in a region of the Atlantic Ocean south of Greenland. The period studied included all of the 20th Century and the first one and one half decades of the 21st Century. 

Rahmstorf concluded that Greenland ice sheet melt — starting around 1900 and spiking after 1975 — was having a profound impact. Cold, fresh water issuing out from Greenland was cutting off the flow of heavier, salty water transported northward by the Gulf Stream. It was preventing larger portions of that water from sinking. And it was slowing down the Gulf Stream together with a host of other ocean circulation driving currents.

A system vital to both the life and health of the world ocean and global weather stability was entering an arrest. In other words, the world ocean heartbeat was fading.

The Gulf Stream Train Wreck

Since the publication of Rahmstorf’s paper, evidence of a bottom water formation interruption and a subsequent Gulf Stream train wreck continued to pile up. Sea surface temperatures off the US East Coast, during summer time spiked to as high as 85 Fahrenheit (29.3 C) off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. And regions off Nantucket hit as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 C). That’s between 7-10 F (4-6 C) hotter than average for an already typically warm Gulf Stream.

(Left frame image shows Gulf Stream waters spiking to 29.3 C or 85 F off New York and New Jersey. Temperatures in the range of 7-10 F [4-6 C] above average. Right frame image shows cool pool development in the typical bottom water formation zone between Greenland, England and Newfoundland. Combined with the ocean current overlay, which shows widespread meandering, this hot south, cold north ocean surface dipole is an indication that the Gulf Stream is slowing down and that bottom water formation is weakening. Image source: Earth Nullschool.)

Further north, the opposite is happening. In the region east of the Grand Banks where the Gulf Stream currents typically flow strongly, there’s only a weak, meandering, confluence. The Gulf Stream appears to have hit a barrier. It has bottled up off the Northeastern US Coast. And it appears reluctant or unable to flow past mid-ocean.

As a result, a broad zone between England, the Southeastern Coast of Greenland and Newfoundland lack the warm, salty inflow of a strong Gulf Stream. Sea surface temperatures range from 2-7 F (1 to 4 C) below average. The northward progress of heat from the Gulf Stream is tapering off. And this cut off of heat flow from Equator to mid latitudes shows more and more as the development of an anomalous cool pool continues throughout.

Taking in the entire North Atlantic, what we see is a weather-destabilizing hot-cold dipole. The warm waters are backed up off the US East Coast. This is evidenced by both the very warm sea surface temperatures and by an extreme increase in sea surface heights by 1 foot over a broad region. And to the north, we have the climate change signature cool pool.

Anomalous Storms Strike England During Summer

This Gulf Stream train wreck and related cool pool development has already done a bit of a number on UK weather this summer. A series of gales and heavy rainstorms have slammed into the UK Coast — bringing heavy seas and torrential rains. One months worth of rainfall fell over parts of the UK during the past week alone. And with more storms on the way it appears that August of 2015 may be the wettest ever recorded.

It’s a changed climate state that Dr. James Hansen warned of in a recent paper. One that means more powerful storms for the North Atlantic as the Greenland Ice Sheet spews out greater and greater volumes of water and ice. Ever since 2012, we’ve seen a tendency for these kinds of anomalously powerful storms. And more rough weather is certainly on the way.

(During the winter of 2013 and 2014, storms reshaped the coastlines of the British Isles. But this was just the start. For the North Atlantic is now in the process of firing up an age of storms. Image source: AGU.)

The Fall forecast is calling for the strong gales that we’ve already seen to continue to intensify through at least October and November. Strong storms that will draw energy by the high differences in sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic, but also, possibly, from an El Nino-amplified storm track causing powerful troughs to begin to dig in off the US East Coast. A situation that could set up a kind of trans-Atlantic storm firing line.

The long term forecast, however, is even worse. With Greenland just beginning to shed more and more of its ice, the cool pool off England will tend to intensify even as the hot pool off the US East Coast and within the Gulf of Mexico heightens. A screaming, storm-generating temperature differential that such melt will worsen as the decades wear on and if human fossil fuel burning continues to add more heat fuel to this already developing dangerous situation.


Hat tip to Spike

Smoke from Siberian fires

Fires in Siberia

This is Ulan Ude, south of Lake Baikal

Weaponsed drones legalised in North Dakota

I am simply without words to describe how I feel about this!

North Dakota Becomes First State To Legalize Drones Weaponized With Tasers, Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets & Sound Cannons

26 August, 2015

It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist.
With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with “less than lethal” weapons. House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way, but then a lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his hands on it.
From the Daily Beast article: First State Legalizes Taser Drones for Cops, Thanks to a Lobbyist

You could see the writing on the walls years ago. In an increasingly authoritarian, lawless, surveillance state like America, it was always inevitable that drones would be weaponized. In North Dakota, this is now a reality.

Although I haven’t written much about domestic drones as of late, I published many articles on the topic several years ago. In the 2012 piece, Drones in America? They are Already Here…I warned:

Like with any new technology, drones can be put to good use or to evil use.  Just like nuclear power can harness energy or destroy humanity altogether, drones could do a lot of good, but the problem is that the government is clearly moving more and more towards a surveillance state so we must be extra careful.  Stay vigilant.

Apparently, North Dakotans weren’t particularly vigilant, and now the state has become the first in the nation to legalize weaponized drones; not a distinction they should be proud of. What started out as a bill to require police using drones for surveillance obtain warrants, turned into a law that puts tasers and tear gas on them. Go ‘Mercia.

It is now legal for law enforcement in North Dakota to fly drones armed with everything from Tasers to tear gas thanks to a last-minute push by a pro-police lobbyist.
With all the concern over the militarization of police in the past year, no one noticed that the state became the first in the union to allow police to equip drones with “less than lethal” weapons. House Bill 1328 wasn’t drafted that way, but then a lobbyist representing law enforcement—tight with a booming drone industry—got his hands on it.
The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Rep. Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones.
Then Bruce Burkett of North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.
Even “less than lethal” weapons can kill though. At least 39 people have been killed by police Tasers in 2015 so far, according to The Guardian. 

And just in case you’re wondering why North Dakota rolled over so easily. The state is desperate for “economic growth,” even if that growth expands GDP via fascist panopticon surveillance.

Drones in North Dakota are a profitable enterprise in a state hit hard by the oil bust. Companies that market machines for agricultural and commercial use have been popping up in industrial parks on the outskirts of Grand Forks for the better part of the last three years. The university, one of the city’s largest employers, even offers a four-year degree in drones. The Air Force has partnered with the private sector to create a drone research and development park, too.
Drones are overwhelmingly seen as a good thing in North Dakota, which is perhaps why few noticed when HB 1328 passed with a clause allowing them to be armed with non-lethal weapons.

Because it’s imperative to national security that we make this, so much easier…

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 10.09.29 AM

Great work North Dakota. Let’s hope the rest of us aren’t so hopelessly stupid.

For prior articles on the drone topic back to 2012, see:

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

Dairy production: Threats and challenges to NZ rivers

There are 6.8 million cows in New Zealand. In terms of their ecological footprints this equates to a human population of 90 million.

Mike Joy on dairy production and the destruction of New Zealand’s environment

“Threats and challenges to our Rivers”

Dr. Mike Joy, lecturer in environmental sustainability an teacher of ecology and environmental management at Massey University spoke last night in Upper Hutt. I was unable to make the talk but my partner Pam was able to debrief me. Our conversation is below.

In this interview with BBC's Hard Talk PM John Key was deeply uncomfortable when confronted with the name of Mike Joy and the truth of the effects of dairy production on our waterways and the myth of NZ's "clean, green image"

Key grilled over NZ's clean, green image

Here is a 2013 talk given by Dr.Mike Joy  on the impact of dairy production on the environment

White Gold -- Dairy Production in New Zealand - Mike Joy

A 2011 articke from the New Zealand Herald

Has anyone noticed that "100 per cent pure New Zealand" has quietly been changed to "100 per cent pure you"?

Having been hung out to dry over their impacts on the environment, the exploiters, including Federated Farmers, have successfully lobbied to lower environmental expectations.

The irony is that overseas consumers' perception of New Zealand as clean and green will soon be our only marketing edge. The rest of the world will catch up and easily beat us on commodity prices, because their land and labour costs are so much cheaper.

We are delusional about how clean and green we are. Last year New Zealand honoured the United Nations Year of Biodiversity with the revelation that we are among the world's worst biodiversity losers....


We made reference in our discussion to Fresh Water for Life, which aims to independently report on the freshwater situation in New Zealand.

We will provide information on NZ’s water quality and the main threats to good water quality and the life in our freshwater. Our goals are to safeguard and protect our freshwater, so present and future generations can enjoy what we all love.”

Go to the website HERE

The Financial Meltdown - Day Four - 08/26/2015

The Dow is up again, people will be feeling optimistic again. Here are the headlines of the day.

For a bit more realism on this we need to listen to Gerald Celente, Jim Sinclair and others.

The Dow leaps 619 points after two days of China woes

A currency trader at the foreign exchange dealing room of the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea

It was a long day of erratic trading in US markets today, with a rapid liftoff just after the bell and a close that marked biggest single-day gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 since 2011.

Federal Reserve policymaker William Dudley walked back hints that an interest rate hike was imminent, calling the increase a safer bet for October than September, as previously indicated by Janet Yellen.

Still no respite from the falloff in Shanghai: that market closed down 1.3% today, making it the fifth consecutive session down for the Shanghai Composite. Chinese police also arrested two traders today on charges of insider trading and faking documents.

The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all close up
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up more than 500 points
Fed’s Dudley says US rate hike unlikely in September
ECB might act to fight deflation
Shanghai stock market closed down 1.3%

Chinese police make arrests

This appeared today in King World News

Gerald Celente Just Warned This Is Not A Correction, It’s The Beginning Of A Total Market Meltdown And Global Collapse

Across the western world, financial fingers are pointing to China as the culprit for both sparking the global equity-market meltdown — and keeping it going

The first shot across the Dow — when it was trading some 2,000 points above Tuesday’s close — was blamed on the People’s Bank of China for cheapening its currency: “China risks clash with US as 1.9 percent devaluation surprises markets,” Financial Times, 12 August 2015.

U.S. Markets Trending Down Since Late July

Omitted from the headline blame game in FT and other business-news coverage was that US equity markets had been trending down since late July. Yet, as the global stock plunge accelerated over the next few weeks, and with the yuan devaluation story fading from the news, the business media blamed the selloff on China’s economic woes and how its slowing economy was impacting the global economy.

In fact, even Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump weighed in by warning that “China’s taking our jobs; they’re taking our money… they’ll bring us down… we have nobody that has a clue.”

Trump is wrong.

China is merely the canary in the collapsing global-equity mine.

Everything Is Collapsing Because The World Economy Is Imploding

Markets are tanking, currencies are collapsing and commodity prices, now at 16-year lows, are plummeting because the world is sinking deep into recession.

I Predicted A Global Stock Market Crash By Year End On King World News

And, not only do we have a “clue” regarding why markets are tanking, on 6 August, in our Trends in the News broadcast, before the market meltdown began, I forecast that global equity markets would crash by year’s end on King World News. And some two weeks before China devalued its currency, we predicted that action.

As we have noted, the formula is simple: When the US and Europe buy fewer consumer goods, China manufactures less of them. And the less China manufactures, the fewer raw materials and agriculture goods it imports from resource-rich nations. As resource-rich nations export fewer raw materials, their economies dramatically weaken, their currencies sink lower, inflation rises, unemployment rapidly grows… and out-of-work, cash-poor consumers consume less.

Indeed, it is not China’s economic woes or its currency devaluation that’s bringing down the markets.

As the famous slogan that was a centerpiece strategy in Bill Clinton’s 1992 race for the White House clearly summed up, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

And this time “it’s the global economy, stupid.”

This Is Much More Than A Correction, It’s A Global Market Meltdown

As we had forecast since Washington’s “too big to fail” bailout schemes, global central banks’ low interest-rate policies and massive quantitative-easing liquidity injections, these measures would merely relieve the symptoms of the Panic of ’08. They were not, however, the cure.

Now, that multi-trillion-dollar money-pumping bubble, which overinflated equity markets, is quickly deflating, so, too, are the economies and commodities pumped up with it. 

This is more than a market correction; it’s a global market meltdown. 

Here is Celente's wonderful rant on 'Black Monday'

Gerald Celente - Trends In The News - "Another Day, Another Diving Market" 

If you can filter out Jones this is actually quite a good discussion of the events from Tuesday

Here Charles Hugh Smith appears with Max and Stacy

Charles High Smith on the Keiser Report

Here is some more discussion - from Andy Hoffman (whom I don't know) and Jim Sinclair


Jim Sinclair-Silver Will Be Gold On Steroids In Coming Rally

While it is clear that China is not the cause, but the canary in the mine, here is some discussion from Paul Mason of Channel Four News

China stock market: Paul Mason explains