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Why the F-35 Is a Lousy Idea - For Everyone

The Disaffected Lib - il y a 10 heures 21 min


Not for nothing has Lockheed's "joint strike fighter" been called America's "kick in the front door" weapon.  That's what it is designed to do, penetrate hostile airspace with sophisticated air defences and take down that air defence network.

That narrows the F-35's intended adversaries to Russia or China or key satellite states they're willing to go to war to defend. For the sake of this discussion let's leave it at Russia and China.

When you bleed your treasury to buy the F-35 what you're really after is the sizzle, not the steak. The stealth sizzle or whatever remains of it. Because, while it does have some intriguing electronic wizardry, stripped of the stealth factor its really a pretty mediocre light bomber. It gets about a C+/B- on standard strike fighter attributes such as range, speed, payload, agility, that sort of thing.

Let's not debate whether this warplane's stealth remains viable after its intended adversaries have had two decades to develop and refine countermeasures (and they have). Let's pretend it works as advertised. Let's pretend Russia and China are somehow stuck technologically in the 1990s.

Now let's create a scenario where the United States and its obedient allies, its aerial Foreign Legion, decide to attack China. Fortunately we have America's roadmap to such an attack in the 2012 dress rehearsal known as "Operation Chimichanga." Even though they had to use F-16s reprising the role of the then unavailable F-35s it was a roaring success. The F-35 force with F-22 Raptors flying cover went in and obliterated the critical air defence infrastructure, clearing the way for an armada of stealth and then conventional bombers to work their magic. Look at that, they're invincible.

Only this scenario leaves out what the other side might be doing at the same time. You see here's the problem. You can't mobilize an effort of this magnitude without attracting a lot of attention. That gives the other side time to assess the gathering threat and prepare both defences and possibly pre-emptive strategies.

If you want to attack China, you'll first have to deploy squadrons, perhaps even wings, of warplanes for the attack. They carry a lot of baggage - refueling tankers, electronic warfare aircraft (AWACS), electronic surveillance aircraft, and all the people and stuff they need on the ground for an air campaign.

You can't deploy these damned things without analysts being able to discern what you're about to do with them. To use them you have to place your entire military on high alert and that's all but impossible to conceal. You must prepare for everything from a pre-emptive strike against your forward bases by jittery defenders to a nuclear launch on detection of the 35's essential support aircraft nearing your airspace. They're not stealthy. You can't hide them.

For defenders it can trigger the "use'em or lose'em" mentality. Do you simply wait until the stealth attackers take down your air defences and leave your strategic weaponry vulnerable to destruction or do you prepare to launch your missiles, both land based and on your subs?

This reminds me of nothing so much as the strategic destabilization of the Cold War, first when the Americans toyed with the idea of adding the neutron bomb to their arsenal and then when both sides got into the Dr. Strangelove scenario of "launch on detect" nuclear tipped short and intermediate range missiles - one faulty circuit and the robots end the world.

There are still nuclear tripwires. You trigger one of them and we finally get to find out which of those theories of nuclear escalation is the most accurate. Only we may not survive for the debate afterwards.

Nuclear warfare is a confidence game. The more confidence you have that your adversary is not planning an attack the less bellicose you too become. That was the magic gift of so much of the espionage of the Cold War, building confidence between the Soviet Union and the U.S. They knew what we were up to, we knew what they were up to and it was pretty much, "okay, that's cool."

The F-35 undermines that essential confidence. The Americans don't talk about it much but the Lightning II is also a nuclear strike bomber. So when you see squadrons of those things massing in Kadena you might wonder if any of those will be coming your way with tactical nuclear weapons to take out your entire command and control system. A nuclear first-strike. Wouldn't you want to eliminate that threat preemptively? I sure would if I was responsible for the air defence of the People's Republic.

For so many good reasons, the F-35 is designed to fight battles we don't fight any more. For the air wars we do wage, we get by just fine with cheaper, more rudimentary and robust multi-role fighters. Using the F-35 to whack insurgents is like leaving the pickup in the garage and taking the Lamborghini to Home Depot to get a load of plywood. Now that might make a lot of sense to your 16-year old son with his raging hormones just as the F-35 makes a lot of sense to certain generals with their own raging martial hormones. Yet it's not difficult to figure out which one you would take.

Does it strike you as odd that we haven't begun to discuss these issues - not in Canada, not in Britain, not even in the United States. Nobody in line to arm themselves with the F-35 is discussing what it would mean to use them for their intended purpose. That strikes me as more than a little curious.

For me, the F-35 is a lousy idea - for everyone.

Where Is The Outrage?

Politics and its Discontents - il y a 12 heures 46 min
Buy land, they're not making it anymore.
-Mark Twain

The above quote, attributed to Mark Twain, is self-evident. What doesn't appear to be self-evident is that the same applies to all the water that exists in the world. Water is not, as some seem to believe, a self-replenishing resource; it is merely one that gets shifted about, due to increasingly volatile storms, droughts, evaporation, etc. And yet the government of Ontario operates as if it were ignorant of these facts.

Consider its disdainful treatment of this precious resource.
In the middle of a severe drought in southern Ontario, the bottled water giant Nestle is buying up more groundwater sources and now has permits from the Ontario government to remove a total of over 20 million litres of water per day!To compound the ignominy of this flagrant commercialization of something that all citizens have a right to,
Ontario charges companies $3.71 for every million litres of water they extract- a total of less than $75 per day for their total permits of 20,000,000 litres of groundwater.That Nestle feels emboldened to continue with its depredations is not really the fault of the company. After all, it is doing what companies always do: maximizing its profits, consequences be damned. This imperative, of course, is made possible by the fact that governments do little to protect this resource, even in drought-stricken California.

And yet, as you will see in the following report from Global News, Nestle considers itself a responsible steward of the environment and a sterling corporate entity:



What bothers me about the above report is the insistence that, if governments charged more for the water, it could be classed as a commodity under NAFTA. While I am not a lawyer or trade specialist, my question would be that even in charging the paltry sums that governments currently do, isn't water already being treated as a commodity?

As well, despite the comparative statistic showing that Nestle only takes 1% of the water, its commercialization is distinct from the fact that almost all other permit holders in Ontario are municipalities drawing water for their citizens to drink. Hardly equivalent to what Nestle is doing.

In the best of all possible worlds, we could stop companies from taking our water by not purchasing their bottled water. Since that is never going to happen, the only thing concerned citizens (and we should all be concerned) can do is make their displeasure known to the provincial government. Kathleen Wynne already has her eye on the next election, and if this issue incites public discontent, as it well should, she is far less likely to take direction from our corporate overlords and start listening to those who ultimately hold her electoral fate in their hands.

Recommend this Post

Today's France

Dawg's Blawg - il y a 12 heures 50 min
There was, of course, a sub-text to the Paris murders of Charlie Hebdo staff and Jewish shoppers in a kosher supermarket all along. Vile crimes by any standard, these were the work of ISIS-supporting Islamists, and so the murders... Dr.Dawg http://drdawgsblawg.ca/

God Help Us

Northern Reflections - il y a 14 heures 47 min


In the wake of 911, it's increasingly clear that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is seminal to Canadian democracy. The latest example of the Charter's importance is illustrated by a request from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Nadar R.Hassan and Stephen Aylward write:

Last week, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police adopted a startling resolution calling for legislation that, on judicial authorization, would “compel the holder of an encryption key or password to reveal it to law enforcement.” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale invited public debate on the proposal.

Police are responding to new challenges wrought by modern technology. Encryption renders data unintelligible without the user’s password. Even with a warrant to seize and search a cellphone or computer, police cannot gain access to the valuable information stored on those devices unless they can guess the password (or hack into the device, as the FBI recently did with a locked iPhone in the San Bernardino case).
Police worry criminals are “going dark”— i.e., using encryption to evade detection and prosecution. Compelling suspects to surrender their cellphone and computer passwords is an enticing solution to this problem. But it is one that ought to be unacceptable in a free and democratic society.
What is at stake is a basic principle of British Common Law:
The police chiefs’ proposal would lead to a radical erosion of our constitutional rights protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. When the state accuses us of a crime, we are entitled to say, “prove it.” The Supreme Court of Canada has said this right — the right against self-incrimination — is the organizing principle of our criminal justice system. An accused person is under no obligation to assist the state in her or his own prosecution, whether by answering questions about where she was the previous night or by revealing passcodes.
Canadian law jealously protects the right against self-incrimination for reasons that are both historical and principled. The right against self-incrimination has its roots in the revulsion towards the 17th century courts of the Star Chamber, which would detain supposed enemies of the state on mere suspicion, compel them to swear an oath, and then require them on pain of punishment to answer questions.
Our constitutional law protects the right against self-incrimination because we recognize there is a power imbalance in criminal prosecutions, which frequently pit a single (often marginalized) individual against the overwhelming power of the state. The right against self-incrimination is the great equalizer. It ensures an individual is put through the criminal process only once police have built a case. It also protects the dignity of the accused and limits the risk that state officials will abuse their power.
Since the 1970's, economic power has been concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. Since 911, there has been a push to concentrate judicial power in fewer and fewer hands. We've seen the effects of the so called economic revolution. God help us if a similar judicial revolution takes hold.
Image: tvoinnews.com

Libs falling off electoral reform bandwagon

Creekside - il y a 14 heures 50 min

Electoral Reform Committee member Liberal Sherry Romanado floated the idea of implementing "federal solutions" "without changing the voting system itself" at ERRE meeting #16 yesterday. She was pitching how to achieve at least some of the committee's mandate set in motion by Justin Trudeau's campaign promise to make 2015 the last election under FPtP.

This is one step further along from her more usual complaint that any version of proportional representation multi-member ridings would mean people would be confused as to who their MP is.

Liberal John Aldag asked “Is FPtP the only solution for Canada?”, while Liberal Ruby Sahota recommended giving voters the simplest voting system possible, presumably if not FPtP then its even worse majoritarian cousin, Alternative Vote. 

Liberal Chair Scarpaleggia wrapped up meeting #15 earlier with a nice paeon to the status quo, opining that a government's majority power under FPtP is not absolute - no, it is kept in check by "the courts, provinces, the media, and unions". 
You'll notice that other parties did not make his list. 
Scarpaleggia :
"Our system doesn't give absolute power to a party that has less than 50% of the vote, it just gives a stronger hand to one party to negotiate the obstacles in its way in trying to exercise national purpose."National purpose that does not include obstacles like proportional representation.

Between Libs falling off the electoral reform bandwagon, the Cons and Bloc still banging on about referendums and moving the whole issue forward to be voted on in the 2019 election, and the inordinate amount of time wasted discussing internet voting - which Elections Canada has said we will definitely not be getting for the next election - it really is not looking good for electoral reform at the Electoral Reform Committee at this point. 


Fun fact : From the e-voting proponent witness : "Estonia is the only country to deploy internet voting in a national election." 
I wonder why that is.
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Rona Ambrose and the Attempted Lynching of Jane Philpott

Montreal Simon - il y a 16 heures 32 min


It's not a pretty sight, but Rona Ambrose and her Con bullies are in a high state of excitation.

They think they've found another helpless target, and a massive scandal that will destroy the Liberal government.

And no, this time it isn't the nannies and the Trudeau children they are going after.

It's the Health Minister Jane Philpott.

Read more »

Tuesday Night Cat Blogging

accidentaldeliberations - mar, 08/23/2016 - 19:00
Feline affection.




Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up

The Disaffected Lib - mar, 08/23/2016 - 14:42


By now everyone is familiar with Donald Trump's use of Twitter to communicate with his supporters. Trumps tweets are a regular source of outrage among his opponents. They're a vehicle for spreading anger, bombast, threats, even racism.

But what if only some of those tweets were really Trump's? According to a report in Scientific American, Trump has been using ghost-tweeters. An analysis has been able to distinguish the tweets that Trump has sent from those written by others using his account. The creepy part is that the really nasty tweets, the worst of the lot - they're Donald Trump's.

Earlier this month visual effects artist Todd Vaziri put forth the idea that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump likely shares his Twitter account with campaign ghostwriters. The assumption was based on the curious differences in tone and message of @realDonaldTrump on the social media platform. According to Vaziri, Trump most likely used his Samsung Galaxy Android smartphone to tap out the most inflammatory microblog messages whereas the more toned-down tweets came from his staff using their iPhones. Now a quantitative analysis has proved him correct.

Data scientist David Robinson saw Vaziri’s speculation, which was neither new nor terribly shocking, as the perfect opportunity to test new tools he had developed to analyze the emotions behind social media posts. After mining nearly 1,400 messages from @realDonaldTrump, Robinson confirmed that the account’s Android and iPhone tweets were from different people who posted at different times of the day and used hashtags, links and retweets in distinct ways. He also found that Trump’s Android tweets were for the most part angrier and more negative than his staff’s iPhone messages, which generally featured benign announcements and images. “My goal was to determine the difference between the iPhone and Android tweets—and to see whether the suspicion of Todd Vaziri and others could be backed up quantitatively,” says Robinson, who last year earned a PhD in quantitative and computational biology from Princeton University and now works for Stack Overflow, a question and answer site for computer programmers.

Robinson found that Trump himself uses nearly double the number of words related to disgust, sadness, fear, anger and other negative sentiments than tweets posted to his feed via iPhone. In addition, the iPhone tweets were 38 times more likely to contain either a picture or a link, which Robinson attributes to the campaign’s interest in calling attention to significant events and projecting some semblance of diplomacy, such as wishing the U.S. Olympic team good luck.

Our Federal Government is "Missing the Boat" on Climate Change

The Disaffected Lib - mar, 08/23/2016 - 10:37

It's fair to say that successive Canadian federal governments, Trudeau's included, and most of our provincial governments, Christy Clark's included, have failed their people on climate change. We're still a petro-state ruled by petro-pimps who show no sign of turning the page to usher in alternative, renewable, clean energy. You'll know when they do. That'll be the day they finally cut off support, estimated by the IMF at $34 billion a year, to Canada's fossil fuel producers.

Now the Canadian Medical Association is warning that our governments' lack of action on climate change is putting Canadians' health in jeopardy.

At the CMA's annual general counsel meeting, keynote speaker, Dr. James Orbinski spoke of climate change as "the greatest global threat to health of the 21st century." He said Canada "has missed the boat" on climate change.

“There are direct impacts of the effects of climate change on health,” said Dr. Orbinski, past president of Medécins sans Frontièrs and a leading scholar in global health, referencing the catastrophic impact of forest fires, flooding and drought, the increase in certain infectious diseases and the effects of air pollution.

You Can See It From Space

The Disaffected Lib - mar, 08/23/2016 - 09:56


The inland waters separating Vancouver Island from the mainland are beset by a massive algae bloom.  The image above was captured by a NASA satellite.

So far the bloom is not considered dangerous to human or marine life.

The scientist behind Vancouver Island University's harmful algae monitoring program, says coccolithophorids are the cause.

Haig says coccolithophorids bloom near B.C. during the summertime are normal but where it's blossomed this year, is notable.

"It's a group that blooms quite often off the west coast of [Vancouver] Island in June or July of most years, but we don't usually see it in the Strait of Georgia."

She says she doesn't think warmer ocean temperatures are the cause, but it could be related to increasing ocean acidification which signals climate change.

With the bloom ongoing, she says more time and research is needed to truly understand what is going on in the water.

"It could be a climate change story, but it could also be a once in 20 year or 50-year event," she said. "We're still trying to figure that out."

For those familiar with the dark emerald green waters of majestic Desolation Sound, here's what the place looks like today:



The Problem We Won't Admit Even Exists

The Disaffected Lib - mar, 08/23/2016 - 09:32

There's a security scandal underway concerning the French manufacturer of the stealth submarine, Scorpene. The Australians, who recently ordered similar boats, are particularly vexed. From The Australian:


There is almost no breach of ­national security more serious than the disclosure of the stealth secrets of a country’s submarine fleet.

A submarine is only as effective as the secrets it keeps. If an enemy knows those secrets, the game is over. As the old wartime saying goes, “loose lips sink ships.”

That is why Australia should be deeply concerned by the Snowden-style leak of 22,400 secret documents written by the same French shipbuilder, DCNS, that will design Australia’s future submarine fleet.

The leaked DCNS documents describe in excruciating detail — line by line and bolt by bolt — the entire combat abilities of India’s new six-boat Scorpene submarine fleet. It has dealt a hammer blow to India’s national security and it begs the question; if it has happened to India, why couldn’t it happen to us?

Australia cannot afford to spend $50 billion on the biggest defence project in the nation’s history only to have it potentially compromised by sloppy security about confidential information.

Hmmm, sloppy security. Serious business. But not when it comes to another amazing bit of stealth warfighting gear, the Lockheed F-35 joint strike fighter.
Someone (everybody knows it's China) had a field day hacking Lockheed and British Aerospace computers downloading (stealing) massive amounts of data (secrets) and millions of lines of computer code (stealth operating system) of the F-35. Then Iran managed to hack a Lockheed RQ-170 super secret stealth drone, bringing it in for a crash landing. Chinese aerospace types didn't waste any time getting to Tehran. They scoured the drone for Lockheed's stealth secrets - shaping, materials, coatings and such and they went home with plenty of parting gifts, mainly the drone's electronic wizardry.
The hacks and the RQ-170 capture caused a big kerfuffle for a while but then the noise went silent and nobody has had much to say about it since. It's as though a blanket was thrown over it. After all the F-35, like American banks, is too big to fail.
The Australians are grappling with a legitimate security concern in the French sub leaks. It's a good thing, F-35 customers don't seem to care.

News Many Would Prefer Not To Know

Politics and its Discontents - mar, 08/23/2016 - 06:31


For anyone who knows anything about climate change, the news is not good. There is a large and growing crack in the fourth-largest Antarctic ice shelf, known as the Larsen C.
Larsen C, according to the British Antarctic Survey, is “slightly smaller than Scotland.” It’s called an ice “shelf” because the entirety of this country-sized area is covered by 350-meter-thick ice that is floating on top of deep ocean waters.

The crack in Larsen C grew around 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) in length between 2011 and 2015. And as it grew, also became wider — by 2015, yawning some 200 meters in length. Since then, growth has only continued — and now, a team of researchers monitoring Larsen C say that with the intense winter polar night over Antarctica coming to an end, they’ve been able to catch of glimpse of what happened to the crack during the time when it could not be observed by satellite.What they found is deeply disturbing:
The rift had grown another 22 kilometers (13.67 miles) since it was last observed in March 2016, and has widened to about 350 meters, ... The full length of the rift is now 130 km, or over 80 miles.This means that at some time, likely in the next few years, another major chunk of ice will be lost, and ultimately that will be bad news for rising sea levels:
Researchers have estimated that the loss of all the ice that the Larsen C ice shelf currently holds back would raise global sea levels by 10 centimeters, or just under 4 inches.At least equal in consequence is the loss of reflective surface area, meaning that more and more heat will be absorbed by the ocean, adding to an already warming planet, the release of methane, etc. An ugly feedback loop.

Closer to home, there are these worrisome images of a world in the grips of dangerous, if not yet runaway, climate change:



Why do I continue to post such material? In many ways, considering who reads my blog, I am preaching to the converted. But on the other hand, perhaps someone will send a link to a skeptic, at least causing him or her a moment or two of introspection. If that is too far-fetched an aspiration, it at least provides, I hope, a little bit more information for those keen to understand how our world is being destroyed while our 'leaders' mouth platitudes and we blithely continue our indulgent, self-destructive and heedless ways.Recommend this Post

That's What Leadership Is About

Northern Reflections - mar, 08/23/2016 - 05:05

Elizabeth May has announced that she will stay on as leader of the Green Party. That will make Linda McQuaig happy. She had advised May to stay put. But she's also advising May not to walk away from the BDS resolution which the party passed at its recent convention:

Whether you agree with the boycott strategy or not, it is a peaceful way to protest a serious violation of human rights: the fact that millions of Palestinians have been living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza for almost 50 years, with Israel effectively annexing their land.
Some commentators have suggested that it’s OK to criticize Israel, but a boycott goes too far.
In the end, words will not change things. Action is required -- the kind of action which Brian Mulroney took against South Africa's apartheid regime: 
Back in the 1980s, it was divisive when Prime Minister Brian Mulroney imposed sanctions against the white-minority regime in South Africa.
Today, everyone agrees that Mulroney’s stance was laudable. But at the time it was highly controversial, with Mulroney acting in defiance of business leaders, members of his own cabinet and caucus, as well as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and U.S. President Ronald Reagan. 
Some are uncomfortable comparing Israel to South Africa. Not so Desmond Tutu:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu considers the comparison valid. In a 2010 letter to students urging the University of California to divest from Israel, Tutu wrote: “[D]espite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing…I have been in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”
May is in a difficult position. But that's what leadership is about. 
Image: Patrick Doyle/Canadian Press

Tuesday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - mar, 08/23/2016 - 04:59
This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Owen Jones discusses the importance of the labour movement in ensuring that workers can get ahead in life, rather than drowning in debt:
Nights spent staring at the ceiling as worries dance manically around the brain. Taking a deep breath before opening the gas bill. Sacrificing a hot meal so your children don’t need to. Living with personal debt can be draining and emotionally exhausting, and it is the everyday experience of all too many Britons. According to a new TUC report, 3.2m British households face problem debt, meaning they spend more than a quarter of their overall income repaying unsecured borrowings (ie, excluding mortgages). For 1.6m households in extreme debt, the picture is even bleaker: more than 40% of their income goes to creditors.

This is the lived experience of Britain’s working poor, those who keep the country ticking with their hard graft and are rewarded with poverty and insecurity. British workers have suffered the longest fall in wages since Queen Victoria sat on the throne. Between 2007 and 2015, real wages fell by an astonishing 10.4% - the worst fall in any advanced nation other than Greece. Growing personal debt is the price many British workers have paid for the disastrous economic failure of George Osborne and his colleagues – one of whom is now the nation’s prime minister.
...
In Nordic countries, it is the norm for workers to be unionised. Better living standards and more equality than we have in Britain are two of the byproducts. Jeremy Corbyn – near-certain to be re-elected Labour leader next month – has unveiled policies such as compulsory collective bargaining for companies with more than 250 workers. Such an approach would help lift the wages of workers, not only for their own good, but for the good of the British economy, too. But the positive case for trade unionism cannot just be left to politicians: it needs to be made by all of us. It needs to be put in a language that resonates with the millions of non-unionised workers, and particularly for younger people for whom the very notion of trade unionism seems culturally alien. Personal debt is a blight in modern Britain – and trade unionism is one of its cures. - And PressProgress highlights how Canada's youth are also facing an unprecedented combination of large debt and minimal employment opportunities.

- Tom Parkin notes that under the Trudeau Libs, Canada's real economy isn't keeping up with the "like economy" - and that we need strong government action to improve matters at all. And the New York Times' editorial board highlights the role an affordable child care system can play in improving outcomes for parents and children alike.

- Scott Santens surveys a UK review as to how means-testing can create fatal holes in a social safety net. But Noah Zon raises some important questions as to whether a basic income represents the best way to strengthen our social supports.

- Johnny SanPhillippo points out that poverty and precarity are important factors shaping individual well-being even in the areas (mostly suburbs) which are all too often considered to be immune.

- Finally, Brooke Harrington discusses the utter futility of expecting any positive social or economic outcomes from tax haven status. 

Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, and the Pension Pigs

Montreal Simon - mar, 08/23/2016 - 03:59


As we know Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney have been in the same leaky boat, or the same sweaty closet, from the day the Con regime was crushed and humiliated.

Still collecting their big fat MP pay cheques, while doing nothing to deserve them.

With Harper setting up his own business, and Kenney campaigning for another job in Alberta.

But now at last it seems they are finally about to summon up the courage to resign.

And it turns out it won't be THAT painful.
Read more »

Hamsterkaufe, Bitte

The Disaffected Lib - lun, 08/22/2016 - 21:53


Nobody is sure what this is about but the German government is urging residents to stockpile food and water - Hamsterkaufe - in the event of a national emergency.

Citizens are advised to store enough food to last them 10 days, because initially a disaster might put national emergency services beyond reach.

Five days' water - two litres (half a gallon) per person daily - is advised.

The German news website Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) said the new concept was set out in a 69-page German Interior Ministry document.

The document said "an attack on German territory, requiring conventional defence of the nation, is unlikely". But, it said, a major security threat to the nation in future could not be ruled out, so civil defence measures were necessary.

Stephane Dion Dropped from Environment Committee

The Disaffected Lib - lun, 08/22/2016 - 18:26

The Liberal who is probably most associated with environmentalism has been dumped from the Commons environment committee.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has removed Global Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion from the environment, climate change and energy committee which he chaired.

 Although he will continue to serve on some cabinet committees studying other issues, Dion's removal from the environment committee was notable. He is a renowned environmentalist and advocate for climate action, and was among the team of delegates who attended the Paris climate summit in 2015, during which Canada endorsed a 1.5 degree limit to global warming. As Liberal party leader in the 2008 federal election, he campaigned for a "green shift" carbon tax as part of a strategy to combat climate change. Dion was defeated by Stephen Harper who formed a minority government.


Maybe Uncle Steffie was seen as a potential problem to the government's bitumen-pimping policies.

May Stays

The Disaffected Lib - lun, 08/22/2016 - 11:28

Elizabeth May has chosen to remain leader of the Green Party. It's not entirely clear what that means to the party or Green members.

She said that while many well-intentioned groups (i.e. the United Church of Canada and the Quakers) have supported the BDS movement, it's no place for a "serious" federal political party. Ouch, wince.


Elizabeth May's Cop Out

Rusty Idols - lun, 08/22/2016 - 10:16
How come Elizabeth May isn't standing up for Canadians who disapprove of the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and abuses of Palestinian rights against the insulting and false accusation of antisemitism?

 Its a despicable slur, the definition of a blood libel.

She is deeply distressed that 'some people think' the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement is antisemitic. That's an opportunity to respect the democratic will of her members and use her public profile to educate people and push back against a despicable lying slander.  Instead she starts from the position of accepting the slur as fact and is clearly working behind the scenes to reverse the members votes in a way designed to keep them reversed.

BDS is a peaceful, legitimate attempt to hold a state that styles itself as a liberal democracy to the standards of behavior expected from a liberal democracy.

But she's more concerned with acting like a public drama queen and treating a democratic vote as somehow illegitimate because it gives her the sads.

The Green Party has always been a faux progressive joke, a way to blunt the power of the progressive vote and throw elections to the Liberals and with the panicked efforts to overturn a real progressive resolution by members who fell for the pose that just gets more blatant all the time.sdnxry5z7g

Was It Something I Said?

The Disaffected Lib - lun, 08/22/2016 - 09:07

This whole Ryan Lochte business really got under my skin. I haven't paid much attention to the aquatic buffoon until he got into a mess of his own making in Rio. Even as video emerged proving he'd lied, he refused to admit he'd lied - passing it off as a mere excess of exaggeration by another privileged Yank. Even Americans were infuriated with this bozo.

And so I read about Lochte's sponsorship deals. Apparently there was a valuable endorsement deal with Speedo - makes sense. That led me to fire off an indignant email to Speedo warning that if they didn't drop Lochte, his scandal would be their scandal.

Seems that email worked. Speedo has dumped Lochte.

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