Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

I am posting this because it is easter and I feel the need for something beautiful and somethng transcendent – also because attention is focussed on Russia and Ukraine.

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was rebuilt in the 1990's on the site where the original was blown up by Stalin in the 1930's and replaced by a swimming pool during Soviet times.

Easter service in Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow

Max and Stacy

It's a while since I've posted Max and Stacy

Keiser Report: Ukraine's Big Oil & Big Angst

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss American injustice in the age of the wealth gap and Weev's hedge fund trolling.

In the second half, Max interviews JP Sottile of about Big Oil and Big Ag in Ukraine. Sottile names the people and corporations hoping to exploit the Ukrainian agricultural sector.

Ukrainian update - 04/19/2014

5 reportedly killed in shootout at guard checkpoint in E.Ukraine

Kiev pledges not to attack separatists as Russia defends troop deployments

Ukraine promises to suspend 'active phase of anti-terrorist operation' as Kremlin defends buildup of troops at border

18 April, 2014

The Ukrainian government pledged on Saturday not to attack separatists in the eastern part of the country over Easter as the Russian government justified the buildup of its forces at the border.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry promised "the suspension of the active phase of the anti-terrorist operation" among a list of government initiatives to defuse the crisis. A spokeswoman for the SBU state security service said on Saturday the suspension was "linked to the implementation of the Geneva agreement and the Easter holidays".

In Moscow Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, said that an increase in troop levels near the border was caused by concern over instability in Ukraine.

"We … have forces in the region of the Ukrainian border. Some of these forces are based there permanently, others are there to reinforce, against the backdrop of what is happening in Ukraine itself," he told Rossiya 1 television.

"Forgive me but, [Ukraine] is a country where there has just been a military coup, so naturally any country is going to take particular precautionary measures in terms of ensuring its security."

He said as a sovereign state, Russia was free to deploy troops anywhere on its territory without restrictions. He denied allegations that the Russian military was interfering in events inside Ukraine. Peskov said such assertions were "completely wrong". Previously the Kremlin said its forces were on routine exercises. Meanwhile, Russia's foreign ministry said it would offer strong assistance to Ukraine to overcome its crisis, but emphasised that the ultimate responsibility for reducing tensions lies with Ukrainians, not outsiders.

The statement came two days after senior diplomats from Ukraine, Russia, the US and the European Union issued a statement calling for an array of actions to defuse tension, including the disarming of militant groups and the freeing of public buildings occupied by separatists.

Moscow said that the deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin, met Oleg Tsaryov, a pro-Russia candidate in the Ukrainian presidential election scheduled for 25 May.

"The Russian side noted that the questions of resolving the internal political crisis should be decided by Ukrainians themselves in close co-operation with a special monitoring mission" of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said a statement. "Russia is prepared to show the most wide support in this."

The news came as an opinion poll conducted in south-east Ukraine showed a large majority did not want to be ruled by Moscow but also considered the Kiev government as illegitimate.

Among the 3,200 respondents across Ukraine's entire mostly Russian-speaking south-east, the number of those opposed to Moscow taking control was 69.7%, according to the poll from Kiev's Institute for International Sociology published in the Russian-language Weekly Mirror newspaper on Saturday.

In the Donetsk region, where separatists have declared an independent republic and demanded a referendum on autonomy, 38.4% said they backed Kremlin demands to federalise Ukraine with 41% wanting some decentralisation of power.

Around 74% of respondents said they view the acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, to be illegitimate, the poll said

Unbearable Bears: Media's clichéd portrayal of Russia

This year Russia is once again gracing the world's glossiest covers. Featuring everything from bears, to red stars the magazine's are filling their pages with stereotypical images. RT's Gayane Chichakyan looks at the trend.

Sorting out the facts

On Persistent Jet Contrails ("chemtrails")

I received an email from a friend of mine today. He's the sort of guy that if it's a conspiracy theory it's alright - if it's not don't bother.

I 've seen this on the Web before but haven't bothered to delve into it. But I needed a distraction from my sombre mood so decided to give it 17 minutes of my time.

It came through beforeitsnews with the headline  - 

LeakerSpeaks Out At United Nations and You Wont Believe What She Said!!! Must See Video!  

and stated:

"By now everyone has witnessed streaks of white trailing across the sky, stretching from horizon to horizon, ultimately turning the skies into a murky haze. We can no longer ignore the fact that our skies are being heavily polluted with aluminum, barium, lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, selenium, and silver. All of which attribute to a host of health problems including: neurological effects, heart damage, eyesight issues, reproduction failures, immune system damage, gastrointestinal disorders, damaged kidney, damaged liver, hormonal problems, and more.

"The truth is the government is spraying deadly chemtrails in hopes of population reduction. Furthermore they have been known to use chemtrails as biological testing agents on the populace; all while claiming they are nothing more than mere vapor.

"We’ll now we have 100% undeniable evidence that chemtrails exist. ...."

Here is the video - 

I could see immediately that there was more to this the video and the "100% undeniable evidence"

It took me approximately 5 minutes to discover why.

The implication was that we have evidence from within the world government (after all it is a UN conference) that chemtrails are real and they are aimed at population reduction (proof - this is a UN conference)

First i asked myself who IS this Rosalind Peterson. Surely she must be talking from within the world government?

What was the nature of the gathering that she spoke to?

Rosalind Peterson, it turns out, is part of the Agriculture Defense Coalition, which "was formed in 2006, to protect agricultural from a wide variety of experimental weather and atmospheric testing programs"

In other words she is an activist, or at least, an advocate.

She does, however have good credentials:

In 1995, Rosalind, now retired, became a certified California United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Farm Service Agency Agriculture Crop Loss Adjustor.  She worked in more than ten counties throughout California. Many crop losses throughout the State can be attributed to weather related causes.  She worked for five years for the Mendocino County Department of Agriculture as an Agriculture Technologist before being hired by the USDA Farm Service Agency in California.

Rosalind has a BA degree from Sonoma State University in Environmental Studies & Planning (1991 ENSP), with emphasis on solar power, photosynthesis, agriculture, crop production, and the efficient use of energy in the future. Ms. Peterson has won several awards and recognition for her extensive efforts to protect drinking water supplies in Martinez, California, from toxic chemical contamination. She also writes articles for on many subjects including protection of the environment from ongoing, unregulated, atmospheric geoengineering experiments and weather modification programs. 

And what is this UN meeting that she is addressing as a guest speaker?

One 's suspicions might be aroused when one discovers that there is no reference to this on the internet.  The evidence has been removed (sic)!  

Of course there could be a more benign reason for this.  The meeting took place 7 years ago and if you look it is evident that she is not talking to high-powered members of the NWG (just have a look at the audience).

I'm sure (especially if the meeting took place in New York) that there are many meetings that are UN- sponsored.

Finally what is she saying?

Put at its most basic she is saying that there are private and government-sponsored programs to modify the weather using chemicals that are polluting the land with mixtures of cadmium, aluminium and ... - also that these programs are not subject to public scrutiny.

Nothing that she says comes anywhere close to the huge claims of the conspiracy community and their claims of a massive program designed to change the global climate to either mitigate or create warming (depending on who you are talking to) as part of a devilish plot to reduce the world's population.

In fact in another video that I found (admittedly purporting to "debunk" the whole theory) where she qualifies her findings and admits she doesn't have "direct proof that the jets are releasing anything but jet fuel emissions", but that she does have evidence of emissions of aluminium, barium etc..

She is in fact asking for a greater level of proof before taking this to court.

What she is saying, in short is well-supported by evidence and is verified. She stops well-short of some of the more lunatic claims that are made by people who generally don't have well-trained minds or are too intellectually- lazy to seek verifiable proof for their claims.

An article of her's is available HERE

I have little trouble in believing what Rosalind Peterson is saying and accepting that there is, indeed a program of spraying that is polluting farmlands, contributing to the die-off of trees and making people ill.

As one former friend said to me "all you need to do is look up at the sky" to see that there is is a phenomenon of persistent jet contrails (or 'chemtrails', if you prefer).

But it is drawing an extremely long bow to say this proves claims of "population reduction" "Agenda-21" or that weather modifications is causing climate change, much less that climate change (which has far more solid scientific evidence behind it than 'chemtrails') is s 'hoax'

Generally what I have found with most conspiracy theories that an intellectually lazy and dishonest method is use where there is a jump from a premise which is provable or at least rational to some conclusion that has no rational (or any other) link with the initial premise.  This is usually linked to another claim that was "proven" in a similar manner.

This is both a rejection of science itself as well as with methods of scientific inquiry.

Having listened to the arguments, regarding chemtrails as well as claims about the UN, Agenda- 21, the 'climate change hoax' have I ever found even a skerrick of evidence that stands up to scrutiny.

And now, addressing some of my friends, that does not mean that we should automatically dismiss evidence for the existance of 'chemtrails'

There is no one cause for anything (such as tree die-off).

Pollution caused by chemicals sprayed from airplanes might just have to be added to the long list of factors that are, along with abrupt climate change that are leading to the probable near-term extinction of a species that has had its time  along with (regrettably) most of the rest of God's creation.

Russian meteorite

Spectacular fireball from space explodes over Russian city

19 April, 2014

A suspected meteorite explosion has been recorded by citizens of the northern Russian city of Murmansk.

Multiple drivers with dashcams out on the streets of the 300,000-people city at 2.10am on Saturday noticed a bright blue trail speed across the night sky, then explode while still in the air.

Most observers identified the object as a meteorite, though officials have neither confirmed it nor said where the fragments are likely to have landed. Others speculated that the object may have been space debris, re-entering the atmosphere.

Emergency services say there were no injuries as a result of the astral event.

While tens of tons of cosmic dust reaches the Earth’s atmosphere each day, the number of meteorites that reach the surface may be about 500 a year, though most are small, and scientists do not have a precise calculation.

The most spectacular meteorite of recent years was over the Urals city of Chelyabinsk last year, when an astral body exploded in the sky with the strength of 40 Hiroshima bombs, temporarily blinding and deafening hundreds of people below.

MCR and New White Trash

From Mike's friend and band mate, Doug Lewis

Michael C. Ruppert – Memoriam.1
Doug Lewis

19 April, 2014

In September of 2012, shortly after Mike arrived here at Red Cloud Ranch in the great San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, and before we got busy recording Age Of Authority, we were visited by two men who pulled in along the long drive leading from Highway 17. The older, the driver, said he and his son were looking at property and did I know anything about the property in the distance, how to drive there, what it was like, etc.

I’m looking at these guys, thinking to myself, no way is this younger guy the son of the older. Meanwhile, Mike had come out of the house and made his way over. He stood behind me and to the side. Of course he was packing. Without introduction, he called out, “So, you guys government men?’

It was a tactic, a quick jab. And it worked. Caught off guard, the younger looked at the older who hesitated, fractionally speaking, and it became obvious how they were, in fact, government men.

Their recovery attempt was hilarious. The older said, “No, no, were longshoremen, we’ve come down from Denver.”

After a beat, I said, “You’re a long way from shore, men.” Mike chuckled behind me. The older added, “But we’re from Oakland.”

It was too late. They were had.

Mike chimed in with a broad sweep of his arm, indicating the vast lone prairie surrounding us, “This used to be an ocean, once. And Dougie used to be a longshoreman. Isn’t that right, D?”

As they retreated, Mike muttered, “Government men”, and walked away.

* * *

Mike Ruppert was a soul man. He could sing and he could dance. Of late, the vision I have of Mike Ruppert is one of him knocking on heaven’s door. After a brief disclosure, the doors open and in he goes.

I take great pleasure knowing how Mike reached those gates before Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, or any of that host of unholy others. Upon their arrival, I imagine Mike’s conversation with the Gods of High Noon going something like this…

The Gods to Mike: “Dick and Don are here. And they want to come in. It’s your call, how do you want to handle this?

Mike, who has already stood up, snubbed out his cigarette, and is headed down the gangplank to meet the ‘little men’, looks back with a wry smile and says, “Let’s see if they can dance.”

My advise to Dick, Don, George and the rest of that ill-conceived ilk is this – If you’re thinking of heading heaven’s way, and knocking on those doors, think twice. You’re going to have to get through Mike Ruppert to get there. And you’re going to have show him you can dance. Good luck with that.


Doug Lewis

The NZ bubble

The first mention of a NZ bubble in mainstream media. Plenty of denial in the comments section like -

The 'bubble' will burst as soon as we get a Labour / Greens government. As that ain't going to happen anytime soon Mr Field's opinion piece is no more than utter codswallop.”

NZ bubble 'going to burst'

New Zealand's economic boom is about to pop with dramatic results, the US business magazine Forbes reports today.

Mike Field

19 April, 2014

In a study by economic analyst Jesse Colombo - who specialises in writing on economic bubbles - the magazine gives 12 reasons why New Zealand is facing an economic disaster and "heading for a crisis".

Colombo says the economic bubble will pop here as a result of rising interest rates, which will put pressure on the country's property and credit bubbles.

He says key interest rate rises are expected to continue while longer-term bond yields will also go up.

"The popping of Australia and China's bubbles are two other external factors that have a high probability of contributing to the popping of New Zealand's bubble," Forbes reports.

It says when the bubble truly pops the property bubble will also pop, banks will experience losses on their mortgage portfolios, "the country's credit boom will turn into a bust" and over-leveraged consumers will default on their debts.

Colombo says stock and bond prices will fall, the Kiwi dollar will weaken, economic growth will reverse and unemployment will rise.

In discussion on why the bubble formed, Forbes says New Zealand has the world's third most overvalued property market.

"The doubling of New Zealand's housing prices in the past decade far surpassed household income and rent growth, making the country's property market the third most overvalued in the world.

"New Zealand's home price-to-rent ratio is 77 percent above its historic average and its home price-to-income ratio is 26 percent above its historic average."

The housing bubble was creating a mortgage bubble with almost half of outstanding mortgages currently having floating interest rates.

"Though New Zealand is commonly thought to be an agriculture-based economy, this couldn't be further from the truth," the report says, noting agriculture accounts for 5.1 percent of New Zealand's GDP, while the finance, insurance and business services sector is the country's largest sector, contributing 28.8 percent to the GDP.

"Furthermore, banks account for 80 percent of the total assets of New Zealand's financial system.

"Not only is New Zealand's banking system dangerously exposed to the country's property and credit bubble, but so is the entire economy," Forbes reports.

MIke Ruppert - Tracker of Truth

THIS is exactly how Mike would want to be remembered, I'm sure. Thanks, Rice Farmer!

In Memoriam

Michael C. Ruppert: Detective

By Rice Farmer

18 April, 2014

I knew Mike was a troubled man, but doubted he would end his own life. I was wrong. But it’s not my intent here to dwell on the dark topic of his suicide, or speculate on what drove him to it. Here I want to say a few words about this man’s method and legacy, and how they affected me.

One time years ago I stumbled on a website called “From the Wilderness.” Most of you are at least familiar with the name. It is still archived here, and I encourage people to dig through the articles if you have time. Anyway, this discovery turned out to be a defining experience for me. I immediately became a fan and subscribed to the newsletter.

All journalism should be “investigative,” but as everyone here is aware, nearly all of what passes for news and commentary is pap and propaganda. Most journalists are willingly or not what Stephen Colbert called “stenographers” because they more or less take dictation from the government and corporations. So the first thing that attracted me to FTW was the gritty muckraking style. Also, there seemed to be no hesitation to take on dangerous topics (dangerous in the sense of hazardous to one’s health). But the most interesting feature was the “detective” approach, and I soon found out why when I read that Mike had been a detective with the LAPD. This approach infused his work, and indeed, those who have read his magnum opus Rubicon know that its major sections include “Motive,” “Means,” and “Opportunity,” while the final chapter is “Summation: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury.” He was always the detective, amassing his evidence and presenting it to us for our consideration and judgment. Further, he liked to build his case on verifiable facts rather than on speculative evidence that might easily be thrown out or refuted in a court of law (imagined or actual). He wanted to know who was where, when they were there, what they did and said there, and what documented connections they had to other people. And you can see that in his work, especially in Rubicon. In exchanges of emails with Mike I learned more about how his mind worked — how he picked through information to discard useless and bogus items, and focused on what appeared to be truly useful.

It was this style and approach that I found especially attractive and beneficial. I think we all need a “lens,” so to speak, through which to view the world and make things come into sharper focus. Needless to say, there is no one size that fits all, just as everyone’s glasses are different, and not everyone will benefit from this in the same way. But Mike’s “detective’s eye,” as I came to call his method (he seemed diffident about having the term applied to himself) turned out to be the lens that has proved most effective for me. And for that I am very grateful.

My one really big disappointment is that I never got to meet Mike in person. I feel a double loss because he’s gone, and also because I’ve been cheated out of that meeting. It suppose I could blame Mike for that lost opportunity, but try as you might, you can’t get into another person’s head, so I won’t even attempt to speculate on what dark forces took over his mind, and ultimately robbed me of that opportunity.

An associate remarked to me the other day that the best tribute I can give Mike is to continue scanning the news and producing a list as I do now. I guess he’s right. So for as long as I can, I’ll keep using that “detective’s eye” to filter the news and try to get a handle on what’s happening in the world.


Michael C. Ruppert’s Death and “Rags” the Dog

Note left with "Rags" in Michael C. Ruppert's car. IMAGE SOURCE: Jack Martin
Image Source: Jack Martin
19 April, 2014

As I mentioned, there were a total of four “notes” and a poem strategically left behind by Michael C. Rupport. One of those notes, involves Mike’s best pal, his dog “Rags”.
At some point after Mike finished his last The Lifeboat Hour radio show withCarolyn Baker at 7PM on Sunday, April 13, it is clear he spent some time with “Rags” . No one can tell you the exact amount of time or at what point in time after 7PM — and before Mike took his life, that he did this, but Mike made sure “Rags” was OK.

Where Was “Rags”?
Mike owned an old, barely-running white Lincoln. Before he took his life, he placed “Rags” in his car, he made sure there was air and said “good-bye” to his beloved dog, his pal, and companion. He left the above note inside of the car on the dashboard where it could be easily read by anyone approaching the vehicle.
One can only deduce this was probably the last thing Mike did with another living thing before he completed his last detail (yet to be shared) and took his life…
one can also only deduce, that in Mike’s wisdom, he did not want “Rags” to witness his death nor be left with his body and possibly — as an ex-LAPD Narc cop, he didn’t want “Rags” traipsing around the “crime scene” that he had carefully set-up and left for the authorities.
Meet Jack Martin

Jack Martin with “Rags”, Friday, April 18, 2014 IMAGE SOURCE: Jessica Wilhelm
Jack Martin, Mike’s close friend and the man on whose property Mike had lived — also the man who found Mike, had not really had a chance to bond with “Rags”. Mike had only been back in California and at Jack’s since late February and Jack doesn’t live on-site at the property himself where he would have had constant contact with the dog and a better, quicker opportunity to bond.
The day of Mike’s death, in the afternoon, Jack was out visiting with Mike at the property. The two spent time together talking and according to Jack, Mike did not seem to be anything other than how he always was. He says Mike wasn’t acting weird or angst ridden or anything like that and that in fact he seemed “peaceful” and “light”.
Jack told me Mike didn’t say or do anything to indicate what would happen a few hours later.
A Moment In Hindsight
Before Jack left the property, RAGS wandered right over to Jack. Jack stooped down to give him some attention. He and “Rags” were face-to-face, “Rags” had finally let down his guard and warmed-up to Jack that day.
Jack told me, he looked up to find Mike watching him with “Rags” intently with a very peaceful look on his face;  he said he and Mike made and held eye contact.
In hindsight, Jack, feels this was a much more meaningful and poignant moment then he’d known or could realize at the time. It is not likely a moment he will ever forget.
Jack believes it was that second of eye contact was when  Mike knew his “Rags” would be OK without him and would be loved and taken care of and that “Rags” would be OK with Jack.

Where Is “Rags” Now and Where Will “Rags” Go?

Mike literally and legally Willed “Rags” to the woman he loves, Jessy Re. Jessy Re is in another state so, for now, “Rags”, is with Jack and will remain with Jack and his family until Jessy Re can take him back to Colorado.
Both Jack and Mike’s last Attorney of Record, Wesley Miller (also a Mike’s close friend and business partner), have been in contact with Jessy Re several times.
Jack is more than happy to have “Rags” with him. He has a new best friend as you can see in the image above taken Friday, April 18 at Jack’s place.
Jack wanted me to tell all of you that “Rags” is doing just fine although a little forlorn. He also wanted you to know – as per Mike’s note, he is “protecting” him and that “Rags”, says “hello”.

*More coming soon…


Mike Ruppert -  Crumbs

I had not seen this, but watching this video brought up some pain remembering this period.  I can clearly see the pain in Mike in reaction to events at a time when it seriously looked like the US and Israel were going to going to go to war- and nuclear war was certainly not out of the question.

I can see the extent to which Mike had lost his equanimity - to an extent that I have not seen over the whole time he was in Colorado.

For me personally, it was a time when I was involved with CollapseNet, drawing up a list of stories every day alongside Jenna Orkin and Rice Farmer. Mike had brought into the family because I was overwhelming his Facebook page (and presumably him) with stories.

Within a very few weeks of me being being there there was a crisis and Mike left CollapseNet to retire to practise permaculture in Sebastopol.

What I didn't know at the time was how close to suicide Mike was at that time and that, by his own admission, he had gone to Colorado 'to die'.

It is painful to see this video and I'm not sure I can see it through to the end, but am posting it to help us get another insight into Mike, his humanity and his torment.

One can never know what is going on in the innermost depths of someone else's soul - - so much less so if your communication is electronic.

I am fairly confident that during his time in Colorado by immersing himself in Dakota ways he came to know himself.

I have no problem in understanding the depth of the torment  caused by the circumstances of his life and the pressures of being a whistleblower and 'prophet' for 35+ years.

I struggled to understand his spirituality, but now, after his death, I am getting some insights and am beginning to understand how it helped him to make his (albeit violent) transition to the Deathless.


Apposite comments from Michael Green -

"As I see spirituality, Robin, it exists on every level, no exceptions whatsoever. The problem is that we often mix up levels. As Jung said, we also very frequently conflate transpersonal and collective energies with the personal. These energies are archetypal in nature. As such, they are said to be numinous, as well - rather like an acid trip - which , unless we're good at distinguishing levels, can fuel manic-like (mana-filled) behaviors or, in another kind of personality, cause the ego to identify with them, perhaps conferring a sense of infallible prophetic insight or that they themselves are Jesus Christ or God. The thing of importance is that there are levels of experience, and to conflate them is like rather trying to comb our hair with a pitchfork just because a pocket comb too has teeth.

"Ideally, the function of the ego is to assist in making these discriminations, but if the ego function is shaky - due to any number of things, including inherited disposition, poverty or serious loss (etc.) - these discriminations are not well-made. At that point, say the Jungians, the archetypal energy floods the ego with its own unique character. Jung said that at the collective level, this is happening all the time. We think we're in control but, really, we are acting out the archetypal constellations of our time that are pouring through the collective unconscious. I'm not thrilled with that term, and to tell the truth I am also less than thrilled with many, if not most, Jungians - they are often precious beyond belief, imagining they have deep intellectual insight when they're just intellectually constipated - but Jung himself, IMO, displayed quite a lot of insight in these matters.

"The objective of therapy, in his view, was not to channel the archetypes and to become their vessel, but rather to become more conscious of them and individuate from them, differentiating oneself from them while yet relating to what might be termed the centralizing archetype of the Self. Sadly, in our time, most "spirituality" seeks to do the exact opposite. It imagines that the "higher" we get, the more inflated we become with archetypal energies, the more we're channeling something of importance. It not only destroys the ego but, all too often, it also is soul-destroying as well.

"All this applies to MCR, just as it applies to everyone on the planet. But in this video, to be frank,. I don't see a lot of evidence of that. Moreover, I totally agree with everything he said, except for what I consider to be minor and mostly irrelevant details as to the timing of the Eschaton. At around 11:00, he begins to get pissed. The interviewer, however, has been baiting him. I totally get Michael's anger at that stage. No matter, the interviewer persists. More baiting. By 14:20, I myself want to punch the interviewer in the face. I think Mike does too, probably quite unconsciously, which accounts for his increasing agitation, frustration and anger. Michael, however, is much nicer than me. He may or may not have identified with a Christlike archetype toward the end - that too is speculative, however - but here, I see him as well-mannered and very, very lucid.

"Michael definitely had his moments but I do not see this as one of them - except, perhaps, for his tendency to go off at the mouth with Cassandra-like predictions that were often too specific. That, however, has to be deemed one of his more harmless traits. It's rather endearing, actually.

"For reasons I have just described, I see this as one of his best interviews. No shame. My hope is that he takes it to the underworld (where we're all going) with pride."

Tribute to Mike Ruppert

The Lifeboat Hour


at 9PM Eastern, 8 pm  Central, 7pm  Mountain, 6 pm  Pacific (1 pm NZT)

--- Carolyn Baker

Extreme weather in New Zealand

NZ: Greymouth takes stock after storm
The extent of the damage done to Greymouth by Thursday's big storm is becoming clearer

19 April, 2014

Grey District mayor, Tony Kokshoorn, says the town's municipal band building was destroyed by the high winds, which also tore the roof off a shop and flattened a Greymouth airport hangar.

A member of the Greymouth Aero Club, Merv Ashby, says one hangar was completely flattened, four microlights inside it were torn to pieces and three fixed-wing planes were damaged.

Mr Ashby says one man managed to save his aircraft by tying it to his car.
Mr Kokshoorn says the Lions Club has donated $10,000 to help the 60 or so families whose houses were badly damaged, with some losing their roofs.

Greymouth's chief fire officer, Lee Swinburn, says many buildings will have to be replaced.

"There is going to have to be a lot of work done, obviously a lot of buildings will have to come down."

Mr Swinburn says the wind travelled down the valley in a damaging funnel-like effect similar to June 2012 when the worst-hit areas, Greymouth Blaketown and Cobden, also suffered storm damage.

Meanwhile, it's emerged that sharemilkers in Westland took generators from farm to farm to get cows milked during the storm.

The general manager of operations at Westland Milk Products Bernard May, says that with road access cut off and power out in many places, a tremendous community spirit helped to greatly reduce the impact on some farms.

Mr May says a few farmers were forced to dump milk but most milk was collected.
Welcome relief for some

Federated Farmers says the storm that has passed over the country may have broken the drought affecting some areas of the North Island.

The federation's adverse events spokesperson, Katie Milne, says some areas had enough rain for a turnaround in fortunes, but others did not get enough to recover from the drought before winter.

She says the parts that did get rain will still need more in the next 10 days.
Ms Milne says it's best if rain comes gently over a day or two, so the soil can gradually absorb the water.

South Island's main roads open

All major roads in the South Island are open, but motorists are advised to drive with caution. Slips are causing delays in many places.

The Transport Agency says the Takaka Hill Road in Tasman is down to one lane as road crews clear a slip.

State Highway 1 between Blenheim and Kaikoura is also down to one lane with several slips around Seddon and Ward.

On the West Coast, all roads are now open.

Traffic is being let through intermittently at the Karangarua Bridge on State Highway 6 between Fox Glacier and Haast which is being repaired after wind damage on Thursday.

Little River on Banks Peninsula.
Photo: Neil Brown

But on Banks Peninsula, State Highway 75 from Little River to Akaroa is still closed by slips.

Mayor Winston Gray said phone communications are coming back on after heavy rain damaged underground fibre optic cables.

Landlines and mobile communications have been out across the district since Friday, making it difficult to establish the impact of the storm.

In the North Island, torrential rain in Whakatane flooded several properties including the fire station.

The rain began about 6pm and the Whakatane River burst its banks at high tide, at about 9pm.

The Fire Service sent crews to about 50 call-outs on Friday night, including to houses along Alexander Avenue that were flooded when a stream burst its banks.
Deputy fire officer Malcolm Rowson said there was also severe flooding in Ohope and an extra fire engine was sent from Whakatane to help.

He said lightning and wind uprooted several trees, but the roads were now clear.
Meanwhile, MetService is warning Bay of Plenty and Rotorua residents to be aware of localised thunderstorms that could lead to flash floods and slips.

Driving conditions will be hazardous with surface flooding and poor visibility.

No power

Further north, hundreds of people spent the night without power.

Powerco, which operates across the North Island, says about 300 customers still don't have power on Saturday morning, but it hopes to restore supply to everyone by the end of the day.

Operations manager Phil Marsh said more than 200 personnel are working on repairs.

Top Energy in the Far North said late on Friday that electricity was back on for all but 50 of the 6000 customers whose power was out.

Farm damage compared to Bola

Storm damage to South Island farms over the past two days is being compared to that from Cyclone Bola in March 1988.

Bola killed three people and cost about $200 million when it hit the east coast of the North Island.

Jeanette Walker, a former farmer and Labour Party candidate for Kaikoura, said she has seen similarly severe damage to farms around Ward and Clarence, where entire hillsides have collapsed and fencelines have been destroyed.

''Whole hillsides have comes down,'' she said.

Ms Walker said farmers will need long-term Government assistance to recover.