Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Thanks, But No Thanks

1-Fullscreen capture 1312017 72740 PM-001                         Click on picture for full story

On Sunday a mosque was attacked in Quebec City killing 6 people and injuring many more. While the attack was deemed an act of terror, it was pretty darn clear that any perpetrators would be from the right-wing scene, cause no Muslim would attack a place of prayer for Muslims. The attack happened only days after Trump had announced his controversial travel ban for Muslims coming from 7 different countries. As such it quickly became clear that the crime was committed by a right-wing Trump-inspired perpetrator.
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After the single person was arrested the suspicions were confirmed. The French-Canadian was a self-radicalized person who had developed his hate from Trump’s rhetoric aimed against Muslims.

As if that isn’t enough this presidential piece of sh*t announces through his press secretary that he would offer “complete” support to the people of Canada to curb terrorism.

Mr. Trump, you are a person non-grata in our country and we would like to ask you to keep your unqualified comments on a tragedy like the one in Quebec to yourself.

Of course, this Canadian tragedy is not and will not be neither the first nor the last act of right-wing terrorism. Just last week a Texas mosque fell victim to arson. Luckily nobody got hurt in the fire. And it happened to be perpetrated by….you guessed it, a right-wing nut.

So, following Trump’s own ideas, another travel ban must be put in place for Christians.

Or…maybe it would be better to get rid of …..the person with the bad rhetoric?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Love, Love, Love This Weather

Every day I get up in the morning I look out the window and put on a big smile. NO SNOW.  Hehe..the other day we got just a slight dusting – but gone 2 hours later. Ever since spending winters up north, which was 25 yrs. in Norway and about 7 winters in Canada, I have never seen such a mild and nice winter. I can go out and take pictures along the coast and it looks just like a day in April or October.
We have seen shrubs getting into budding mode and the trees have the sap rising already. Of course that may turn out to be a problem the day we get a hefty frost in February.
A huge flock of finches have been here feeding of our bird feeders. Canada geese have been seen several times and of course, not many water bodies have ice on it. But if you go up north to the city of Miramichi, New Brunswick, people are barely surviving. An ice storm brought down an entire row of power poles and people have been without power for over a week. Crews are working in the area but the workload is just overwhelming. 2 people have frozen to death, due to a lack of heating in their place.
1-DSC_1435  Nice hike along the coastal cliffs
Taking advantage of the nice outside conditions, I have been cutting down trees and producing firewood. A few hours every day keeps me moving.
While I was outside today Bea made some unbelievable nice poppy-seed rolls. Yummy, I tell you.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Difference

1-Fullscreen capture 1292017 71422 AMCANADA is welcoming political refugees from the USA!
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It sounds like a joke, but tragically, it isn’t. I would never have thought that this could become reality, but thanks to a rogue U.S. President and a decent Canadian Prime Minister, Canada is going to be the safe haven for persecuted people even from the USA.

What a shame that the U.S. has even been rejecting people with legally issued visas at ports of entry. Those affected are losing their livelihood. They are losing their jobs, they can’t even go back to their family.
This is what happens when Nazis and Supremacists are getting into government.

What a shame.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

While Yesterday's Video Was Hilarious, This One Is Not

When viewing this video pls. rethink what has recently happened at International Airports and U.S. ports of entry. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Yard-work And Roof Repair In January

Both occupations are not what we usually do in January, but winter is still very much absent. If this is Global warming, bring it on. In spite of several weather forecasts predicting snow, it’s just not happening. A very slight dusting a few days ago, disappeared the next day again. We do have frost at night, but I read that’s even happening at Q-site these days.
Storms, however, have been rushing across the island and have ripped a few shingles of roofs all around the neighbourhood, our own roof included.  While Bea was raking brush for a burn I had been doing some service work on our Buick this morning. When I got back inside the house to prepare lunch, I saw that there was a message on the phone. It was from one of our neighbours, a lady in her 70ies, and she had several shingles blown off her garage under the last storm-wind and rain would be pouring in through the roof. She was wondering whether I could help. Of course I could, but I had no tarpaper to nail over the damaged area. However, when I was just leaving our property, I saw a contractor on the other side of the road just leaving. I stopped him in his tracks and asked whether he would have some tarpaper in his work trailer. And BINGO….he had an almost full roll, which I could borrow from him. With that I reached our neighbour up the road and went about to fix her roof. 90 minutes later it was all done and I was rewarded with a wonderful full-size apple cake and a cup of hot tea.  Marvelous.

But hey, it is only January 26. It’s supposed to snow and be really cold and wintry. So being able doing this kind of work is definitely unusual. The picture below was taken on January 24 2016. Snow even on the beach. It does look quite different today.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The National Park Service Won't Be Silenced

NPS employees have a message for the Trump Administration.

Yosemite National Park. Credit: Diliff

Trump is in power, and one of his first acts has been to gag government agencies. After the National Park Service bruised his ego by retweeting a New York Times tweet showing Trump's inauguration numbers to be lower than President Obama's 2009 crowd, they were ordered to stop all tweets, including scheduled ones.

He then muzzled the EPA, not only prohibiting it from using social media, but also ordering it to remove a critical page on climate change from its website and put a freeze on awarding grants and contracts critical to our nation's environmental health. (In case you're in any doubt as to what a Trump presidency means for climate change and the environment, just consider that one of his first official acts after being sworn in was to announce he'd be eliminating The Climate Action Plan- legislation critical to combating anthropogenic global warming.)

The USDA went silent for several days, and an email ordering them to cease "news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content" until further notice. As of this writing, they have not tweeted since January 18th. The USDA's Agricultural Research Service account has only tweeted once.

Other agencies have gone silent or become considerably quieter.  It's eerily quiet on formerly chatty government social media accounts.

But the NPS refuses to be silenced. While their main official Twitter account has fallen into line, tweeting an apology for their inauguration retweets and sticking to innocuous fluff since, the Badlands National Park official account defiantly started tweeting about climate change:

On Tuesday, the Twitter account for South Dakota’s Badlands National Park—a subsidiary of the National Park Service—began tweeting out climate change facts, in apparent defiance of the gag order. Someone working for the national park’s social media team went rogue and started posting climate change facts from the National Wildlife Federation’s Web site in 140-character bursts. (Trump, who can generously be described as a climate change skeptic, has previously called called climate change a “hoax” engineered by the Chinese.)

The National Park’s tweets were retweeted thousands of times before they were suddenly deleted later Tuesday afternoon.

You can see screenshots of the rogue tweets at the above link.

Not long after Badlands was brought into line, anonymous employees of the NPS went rogue. They created the AltUSNatlParkService account and, after retweeting a particularly provocative image from the Badlands account along with some climate change data, announced their intent in no uncertain terms:

Screenshot of @AltNatParkSer tweets. From the bottom (earliest) to the top tweet, they are as follows: Tweet 1: "'The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm.'" Tweet 2: "Mr Trump, you may have taken us down officially. But with scientific evidence & the Internet our message will get out. Tweet 3: "Respect goes out to our brothers and sisters at the @BadlandsNPS. When they silence you, we will speak for you."

Screenshot of AltUSNatParkService tweets. Credit: Dana Hunter

These federal employees speaking out now understand that science is not subordinate to politics, that truth is essential, and transparency vital to a functioning democracy. They are risking their careers to ensure the public is kept informed. They're exercising their free speech rights to ensure we know the truth.

I have never been prouder of our National Park Service than I am now.

Please follow them on Twitter. Retweet their climate change data. Support their efforts. Get the word out. And support your National Parks by donating and volunteering. Tell your elected officials to support the NPS. Take a moment to thank NPS employees during your visits. They have never needed us more than now.

We will not be silenced.

US is no longer a full democracy, EIU warns

Nyshka Chandran | @nyshkac

US no longer considered a full democracy

The U.S. has been demoted from a full democracy to a flawed democracy for the first time, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Every year, the firm's Democracy Index provides a snapshot of global democracy by scoring countries on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Nations are then classified under four types of governments: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

America's score fell to 7.98 last year from 8.05 in 2015, below the 8.00 threshold for a full democracy, the EIU announced in a report on Wednesday. That put the world's largest economy on the same footing as Italy, a country known for its fractious politics.

A flawed democracy is a country with free elections but weighed down by weak governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation, according to the EIU. Other flawed democracies in 2016 included Japan, France, Singapore, South Korea and India, the report said.

However, Washington can't point fingers at President Donald Trump for the nation's downgrade.

"The U.S. has been teetering on the brink of becoming a flawed democracy for several years, and even if there had been no presidential election in 2016, its score would have slipped below 8.00," the report explained. Instead, dwindling trust in government, elected representatives and political parties is to blame.

"Trust in political institutions is an essential component of well-functioning democracies. Yet surveys by Pew, Gallup and other polling agencies have confirmed that public confidence in government has slumped to historic lows in the U.S. This has had a corrosive effect on the quality of democracy," the report found

As other developed countries experience a similar trust deficit, contemporary democracy is undergoing a crisis, the EIU said.

The increasing role played by non-elected technocrats, increased voter abstention and curbs on civil liberties are among the main symptoms of this global malaise, the EIU said, noting that almost half of the 167 countries covered by its index registered a decline in overall scores between 2006 and 2016..

Countries that scored between 4 to 5.9 on the index were classified as hybrid regimes, i.e. nations whose elections possess several irregularities. Examples on the EIU's list included Turkey, Thailand, Myanmar and Morocco.

Norway topped the EIU's list of full democracies last year, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark; Canada and Ireland tied for sixth place. The U.K., which also experienced a volatile 2016 with its Brexit referendum, was ranked 16th amid a rise in popular engagement and membership of political parties.

Meanwhile, North Korea, Syria, Chad and the Central African Republic were among the EIU's authoritarian regimes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Tale Of Trumpelstilsken

When I grew up I was read the fairy tale of Rumpelstilzchen, which is a furious little troll who is dancing wildly around his fireplace whenever he doesn’t get his will and things go by the wayside. 

These days it looks like we have gotten an American version of it. They call him Trumpelstilsken and the troll has invaded the White House. Trumpelstilsken has been living there only a few days but he is already furious with everyone around him, especially his press secretary, whose lies haven’t been strong enough to convince the international community of his
“alternate facts” as Kellyanne Conway tried to put it.  Now, why is Trumpelstilsken so mad at everyone?  Well, he wants to be loved by his people and is now discovering that they are way too critical of his behaviour. When Trumpelstilsken ran across the country  and met the cheering mob which actually got him into the White House, he loved and enjoyed every moment of it. Their affection for him was sooo great that he was looking forward to every new day. But those days are gone. Instead, world-wide protests erupted against him being in the White House, and on top of that he has all these other nasty little trolls around him who refuse to listen to him. 

Here is what the Washington Post is writing about Trumpelstilsken:

The first days inside Trump’s White House: Fury, tumult and a reboot

President Trump had just returned to the White House on Saturday from his final inauguration event, a tranquil interfaith prayer service, when the flashes of anger began to build.

Trump turned on the television to see a jarring juxtaposition — massive demonstrations around the globe protesting his day-old presidency and footage of the sparser crowd at his inauguration, with large patches of white empty space on the Mall.

As his press secretary, Sean Spicer, was still unpacking boxes in his spacious new West Wing office, Trump grew increasingly and visibly enraged.

Pundits were dissing his turnout. The National Park Service had retweeted a photo unfavorably comparing the size of his inauguration crowd with the one that attended Barack Obama’s swearing-in ceremony in 2009. A journalist had misreported that Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. And celebrities at the protests were denouncing the new commander in chief — Madonna even referenced “blowing up the White House.”

Trump’s advisers suggested that he could push back in a simple tweet. Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a Trump confidant and the chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, offered to deliver a statement addressing the crowd size.

White House press secretary's inauguration claims, annotated

During a briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer accused members of the press on Saturday of “deliberately false” inaugural coverage. (Thomas Johnson/The Washington Post)

But Trump was adamant, aides said. Over the objections of his aides and advisers — who urged him to focus on policy and the broader goals of his presidency — the new president issued a decree: He wanted a fiery public response, and he wanted it to come from his press secretary.

Spicer’s resulting statement — delivered in an extended shout and brimming with falsehoods — underscores the extent to which the turbulence and competing factions that were a hallmark of Trump’s campaign have been transported to the White House.

The broader power struggles within the Trump operation have touched everything from the new administration’s communications shop to the expansive role of the president’s son-in-law to the formation of Trump’s political organization. At the center, as always, is Trump himself, whose ascent to the White House seems to have only heightened his acute sensitivity to criticism.

This account of Trump’s tumultuous first days in office comes from interviews with nearly a dozen senior White House officials and other Trump advisers and confidants, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations and moments.

By most standards, Spicer’s statement Saturday did not go well. He appeared tired and nervous in an ill-fitting gray pinstripe suit. He publicly gave faulty facts and figures — which he said were provided to him by the Presidential Inaugural Committee — that prompted a new round of media scrutiny.

Many critics thought Spicer went too far and compromised his integrity. But in Trump’s mind, Spicer’s attack on the news media was not forceful enough. The president was also bothered that the spokesman read, at times haltingly, from a printed statement.

Trump has been resentful, even furious, at what he views as the media’s failure to reflect the magnitude of his achievements, and he feels demoralized that the public’s perception of his presidency so far does not necessarily align with his own sense of accomplishment.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Strange And Twisted World of Trump

By now, the fact that Trump is a pathological  liar is widely known. But it appears that he is directing his staff to follow practice. After the inauguration, his press secretary  came with the following incredulous statement:

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period — both in person and around the globe,” Spicer said. “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”

Trump’s press secretary lashes out at media, calls crowd coverage ‘shameful’                                                            Spokesman Sean Spicer used his first media briefing to angrily berate the press, accusing reporters of deliberately seeking to minimize the “enormous” crowd at the swearing-in. He took no questions.

Everybody who has seen the crowds at Obama’s inauguration knows that only a fraction of those numbers showed up at Trump’s inauguration. When press secretary Spicer mentions the world-wide crowds, he must have gotten them mixed up with the protest marches happening around the world. What an idiot.

And btw. here is the comparing picture:

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   2009 crowd                                                             2017 crowd

To call media reporting shameful and wrong is plainly a lie and distortion of reality. This signals the style the American public will receive their twisted news from the new government. Below 2 more images with time taken.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

The World Has Never Seen Anything Like This. Mr. President, You Are Unpopular!

Never before in history has there erupted world-wide protests against a newly elected U.S. President. Today, we are seeing public protests and anti-Trump demonstrations all over the world. Whether we look to Europe, Australia or even Africa, people are on the streets to demonstrate against the rise of racism, and discrimination against women and minorities.
Trump’s inauguration address was a declaration of war specked with insults against U.S. Presidents of the last 30 years. But his insults didn’t stop there. He insulted all Washington residents as well. The International Community is reacting with disbelief and utter rejection of Trump and his horror-cabinet selection. January 20-2017 will mark the day when the clock got turned back 100 years.

(CNN)Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and around the world are joining marches Saturday to raise awareness of women's rights and other civil rights they fear could be under threat under Donald Trump's presidency.

The key focus of the day is the Women's March on Washington, which organizers say could attract a quarter of a million participants.

Women's March: Thousands to protest worldwide on Donald Trump's first day

Women's March live: Thousands worldwide protest Trump

But there are also more than 600 "sister marches" planned around the United States, with some of the biggest expected in Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

And women and men in cities around the world -- including Sydney, Berlin, London, Paris and Cape Town, South Africa -- are also marching in solidarity and in opposition to the values they think Trump represents.

Women of color on what's at stake under Trump

'Girl Power vs. Trump Tower'

Australia was the scene of the first major international march, with thousands joining an anti-Trump protest in downtown Sydney.

Thousands of protesters turn out Saturday in downtown Sydney.

Thousands of protesters turn out Saturday in downtown Sydney.

Organizers said up to 5,000 people attended the protest at Martin Place; police estimated the number was closer to 3,000.

Chants from the crowd included "women united will never be defeated" and "when women's rights are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back." Some carried banners with messages such as "Girl Power vs. Trump Tower" and "Dump the Trump."

A small group holds a pro-Trump rally Saturday in Australia's largest city.

A small group holds a pro-Trump rally Saturday in Australia's largest city.

A separate group of about 30 Trump supporters also held a rally in Sydney. The police restrained some of them, blocking them from entering the same area as the anti-Trump protest group.

Protest organizers in New Zealand's capital, Wellington, said about 700 people turned out there for a women's march. Marches were also held in Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter


Women's March NZ @WMNewZealand

So many great signs and banners today!

Protesters also joined together to march in Nairobi, Kenya -- the African nation that was the home country of former President Barack Obama's father.

Sisters' March Nairobi. So amazing to see the community to come together

Marchers in Cape Town carried banners with slogans such as "climate change is a women's issue" and "so over mediocre men running things."

Opinion: What's the state of sisterhood in the time of Trump?

Europe marches

Big crowds turned out Saturday in dozens of cities across Europe, with marchers including men, women and children.

Protesters who gathered outside one of Rome's most famous structures, the Pantheon, on Saturday morning carried signs such as "Yes we must" and "Women's rights are human rights."

Demonstrators also took to the streets of Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and other cities in Germany.

This Pussy Bites Back ! #solidarity #womensmarch #berlin

A photo posted by Katy Ray (@raykaty) on Jan 21, 2017 at 2:56am PST

Katy Rea, who was at the march in Berlin, told CNN: "There are around 1,000 people. Lots of families, children. Very friendly atmosphere. Some police are present, but it's tame and relaxed."

Marches were also planned in cities up and down the United Kingdom, from London to Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh.

In London, thousands were expected to join a 2-mile march starting outside the US Embassy and ending with a rally in the city's historic Trafalgar Square.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Lots of anti-Trump placards at Womens March in London today but some protesting #Brexit, Workers rights, nuclear weapons, LGBT rights & more

Marcher Victoria Dawson told CNN the atmosphere was "positive, inclusive, electric."

Women's rights weren't the only issue on the agenda, with placards also bearing slogans to do with Brexit, nuclear weapons, workers' rights and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan -- who before the US presidential election told CNN that Trump's views of Islam were "ignorant" -- posted a tweet encouraging Londoners to join the march and "show how much we value the rights every woman should have."

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

In Paris, demonstrators gathered near the iconic Eiffel Tower before marching through the streets waving flags and banners.

Other French cities including Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux were also holding events.

Protesters march in Marseille, France, in solidarity with women in Washington and around the world.

Protesters march in Marseille, France, in solidarity with women in Washington and around the world.

On Friday night, a crowd of predominantly female protesters gathered in Brussels, Belgium, to denounce sexism and protest against Trump.

'Sea of pink' planned

The Women's March on Washington, which was to begin at 10 a.m. ET near Capitol Hill, comes on the heels of a slew of protests there on Inauguration Day.

You'll see these 'pussyhats' at the march

You'll see these 'pussyhats' at the march 01:33

The march, which began with a modest Facebook call in the aftermath of the November election, has grown into what could be one of the larger political demonstrations ever seen in the US capital.

Many of those taking part are concerned about Trump's agenda, his past remarks that appeared to demean women and allegations against him of sexual misconduct -- which he has denied.

Thousands of people have also been busy making cat-eared knit hats to wear at the march, with the aim of creating a "sea of pink" on the National Mall.

Organizers of the so-called Pussyhat Project said they have received tens of thousands of handmade hats to distribute to marchers, with submissions flooding in from all 50 states and as far away as France and New Zealand.

Elizabeth England posted footage on Twitter showing scores of protesters, many in pink hats, gathered close to the Baltimore Penn Station on their way to the march. She told CNN: "Everyone is friendly and excited and hoping the trains start running more!"


Friday, January 20, 2017

What Happens If…. In The Seat Of Power

The following interview was given to the German magazine “Der Spiegel”.

Dr. Bruce Blair, born in 1947, is a security expert and expert on nuclear weapons at the University of Princeton. In the 1970s, Blair controlled the procedure for the possible shooting of nuclear weapons for the US Army. His job was to run the way from the President's prescription to the launch of the rockets virtually, and to ensure that all the trials went smoothly. Since his work for the US Army, Blair has been among the leading nuclear policy critics in the US. In the election campaign he appeared in a video of Hillary Clinton and warned earnestly against the election of Donald Trump.
From 6 pm German time Donald Trump is US President: What does the most powerful man in the world do with his power? How does he deal with the so-called nuclear case? With a single decision, Trump could ignite a nuclear war.

His statements are, as usual, not clear. So in April last year, he said in the election campaign that it was a "horror to use nuclear weapons". He would be the last to do this. But then he added, "But I will never rule it out."

The nuclear expert Bruce Blair expresses himself in the interview about Trumps Nuclear-omnipotence:

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Blair, Donald Trump will be sworn in on Friday, just like all the new presidents, he will receive the high-level briefing on the nuclear codes. What do we know about this briefing?

Bruce Blair: Several things. We know, for example, that the so-called nuclear case will be presented to him at the session. This is a kind of mobile command center that a president can use in the event of a crisis.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is in the suitcase?

Blair: The suitcase contains documents on America's secret nuclear weapons sites. Also in it is the Black Book with fixed targets for attack and various war options, from which a President can choose in an emergency. In addition to the suitcase, the new commander-in-chief is usually also given his personal nuclear codes. And someone who is well acquainted with it, explains to him how he uses it. The codes are extremely important. If he wants to command the use of nuclear weapons, he must first identify himself against the Pentagon. That is what they are meant for.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: On the morning of the inauguration, does the new president go through the details of an atomic war?

Blair: Usually not very intense. Shortly before inauguration, most of the agenda is likely to be very complex. A truly detailed explanation of the different options is already done during the transition phase. In the nuclear briefing it is more a rough description of the possibilities. Jimmy Carter, for example, was annoyed with the fact that the brochures in the suitcase were way too long. He has therefore commissioned a one-page version that resembles a comic. Option one, option two, option three. So in that way. This version is still there to my knowledge.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: In the election campaign, you have emphasized the great fear that Donald Trump is going to the White House. Have you been slightly less worried since his election victory?

Blair: No. Trumps fingers on the nuclear case makes me afraid. I have no confidence in Trump’s judgment on war and peace. He is impulsive. He is aggressive, poorly- or misinformed. He knows virtually nothing about nuclear weapons or international relations. He's a hot-head. He does not think. He does not want to learn. And most importantly, he has shown that he divides the world into winners and losers. Quite honestly, I'm afraid. I am afraid some time Trump makes a bad decision about nuclear weapons.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: But let's be honest: a push of a button and already the nuclear weapons fly towards enemy targets - how much of this concept is science fiction?

Blair: Not much, that's the problem. There is a clearly regulated procedure in the nuclear arsenal. It has been designed to react quickly and efficiently in case of doubt. It is incredible: the president has a decision-making power that can end civilization. Perfectly without hurdles.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How do you have to imagine that?

Blair: There is, for example, the emergency scenario of the telephone call in the middle of the night, when a president is informed by his security adviser of an impending attack on the US. He then has a maximum of six minutes to decide how to react. The protocol stipulates that the President must confer with his closest advisors, as well as the senior official of the command center in the Pentagon, the so-called "war room".

If the President orders the operation, the Pentagon official, who informs the nuclear weapons sites about the decision, must first clarify the question whether the President is really concerned. The codes are used here. According to what is known, this goes according to the usual "challenge response" procedure used in military circles. The Pentagon official reads a part of the string, the president must supply the appropriate equivalent. Then it's going to happen.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: A nightly call has not happened very often.

Blair: There is a second scenario: a longer confrontation with a state or an enemy, which does not have to be decidedly hectic and the president possibly has days or weeks. This may be different variants. But the point is: When a decision is made, everything goes very quickly. And the attack targets in the nuclear case are fixed.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where are the targets?

Blair: Many details are secret. But, on the whole, it is known that 900 targets are stored in Russia, of which 100 are in Moscow. 500 are available in China, 60 in North Korea, 50 in Iran. The president can decide what he wants to attack. A goal, or simply all targets at the same time. There is no one who can prevent his decision. No one who can veto. By the way, not even the minister of defense, as some believe. If the president is OK, everything goes. The command center sends a short start command, which arrives at the respective rocket locations practically at the same time. Then the weapons are launched within a minute. That was my job for years.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Hopefully only in theory.

Blair: Yes, of course. We have, of course, only practiced the emergency in the nuclear weapons site where I have been working. Every day. Hundreds of times. Always use the same procedure: Command. Start instructions from the Pentagon. We open the safe. We get our sealed codes out and compare them with those codes that were sent to us. If these match, we start the atomic rocket on the simulator. Everything within a minute. This is the standard.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How many American nuclear missiles are currently deployed?

Blair: There are currently 430 atomic rockets under ground, which are always ready. In addition, some submarines with some 300 rockets are still floating in the Pacific and the Atlantic. From the command to the launch, it would take a bit longer - around 15 minutes.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Does each of these missiles have a target?

Blair: No, each rocket has many different targets in its computer. But part of the one-minute procedure is to set the rocket to the right attack option. Depending on the option, the missile will then fly to an appropriate destination. There are three different types of targets: the rockets could be used to destroy enemy nuclear weapons, destroy buildings of the political leadership of a country or the arms industry. This must be imagined as a menu option. The goal, the country, is going.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: After all, a Hiroshima scenario, with hundreds of thousands of people dying, can not simply be ordered by the President.

Blair: Not directly. But, of course, the sensitive buildings are often in densely populated areas. In cities. And it is also conceivable that the president selects a variant that is not preset. His personal variant, so to speak. Only a long-term plan is needed, which can not be imagined without intensive discussion at the highest political level.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Trump has expressed criticism on nuclear weapons many times, many years ago even said that he would like to see an international agreement on disarmament. Can it be that he surprises us all?

Blair: I do not believe it. We almost never know whether he means things seriously. Why should this be different in questions of nuclear weapons? His whole political understanding can have devastating consequences in this field. He holds nothing of diplomacy. He likes to escalate situations. Of course, I also hope that he makes his promise true and negotiates well in all fields. Completing a very big deal, which also includes disarmament, missile defense. But I believe that his temperament is completely unsuitable for the sensitive question of nuclear weapons.

PIEGEL ONLINE: It is said that he office of the president makes humble, it changes a politician.

Blair: Yes, and we have seen that in history. Ronald Reagan, after taking office, instructed his military to set up in such a way that it would be ready to fight in an atomic war at any time, and win the war. At some point he saw that this was an absurd basic assumption and the Soviet Union took this very seriously. Too serious for his taste. Reagan then changed his policy. The problem with Trump is: If there was a rival, he would want to win it.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Are the nuclear codes always in the nuclear case? Or can every President decide for himself where he keeps them?

Blair: There are presidents who keep the codes in the suitcase. I also believe that this is the safest option. The suitcase is always guarded by a military officer who accompanies the president around the clock. Nothing can be lost. But every president has the opportunity to wear it on his own body. This can be a risk. Former General Hugh Shelton has revealed in his memoirs that Bill Clinton had carried the codes in his wallet, where the credit cards were. When the codes were exchanged after a few months, as usual, they were gone. Under Carter, the codes landed in the laundry of the White House because he had forgotten them in his suit. And when Ronald Reagan was shot, he took off the jacket that contained the codes. They then landed in a plastic bag, of which nobody really knew who it belonged to. There are crazy stories.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

You May Be Sad Or Laugh At It All And Hope The Best

It’s the day BEFORE and the world is waiting. Some are excited, some are not, some are sad, some are laughing at it all.
Yesterday I watched President Obama’s last press conference. In his usual reflected way he answered questions of the press. Questions, many of the American Citizens want answers to. Like a soothing father speaks to his family when they are afraid he said “We will be OK”. 

But will we?

Will persecution and rounding up of special groups in society happen? Will long-standing trade agreements be abolished? Will 30 million Americans loose their healthcare? Will America be involved in a new war?
Will women’s rights be cut down?

Questions, so many questions…..

Nobody knows the answers yet.

But the Borowitz Report has a take on what’s going on.
Sad smileAfterwards you may laugh….if you understand it.



By Andy Borowitz
January 18, 2017

borowitz-movingvansarriveatwhitehousetoremovealltracesofcompetencedignityPHOTOGRAPH BY ALEX WONG / GETTY

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Moving vans arrived at the White House on Wednesday to remove all traces of competence and dignity.

Working around the clock, movers started clearing out the optimism and progress that had accumulated during the past eight years.

“Once we’ve packed up that stuff, we’ll start moving out the wisdom and maturity,” one of the movers said. “The guy who’s moving in wants all of that gone.”

After the movers complete their work, a cleaning crew will come in and scrub the White House of every last speck of compassion.

The movers are working under a strict deadline, since the White House needs to be totally stripped of decency by nine o’clock on Friday morning, the mover said.

“The new guy wants the place to be completely empty, ” he said. “He has a lot of crap.”

Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He writes the Borowitz Report for newyorker.com

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dry And High

When the sun shines on a Saturday I can’t sitt inside and watch it. And eve though the mercury showed pretty low temps today (-16C) I dressed appropriately and ventured out to the pile of wood I had produced yesterday. I was planning another “round stack”. So I went about it and even though it took a bit longer than the video below is showing, I got it all done within 2 1/2hrs. This way of stacking firewood has the advantage that the stack is self-supporting and stabile against the ever blowing winds. And since the wind can penetrate the stack the wood gets the best conditions for seasoning. Besides of all that, it is more fun to make these round stacks and they can easily be covered with tarps. Short video below.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Day In January

January on Campobello can be everything from snowy and cold to extremely mild and rainy, or any mix there off. What never fails is a prediction of strong winds. And sometimes the wind can reach devastating powers, toppling trees and peeling off of roof shingles.
When the winds get furious we like to take a trip around to experience the island weather.
Depending on which direction the wind is blowing from, the views can be spectacular.
While driving Rte. 774 towards Wilson’s Beach we came across a tree leaning across the road. The only thing holding it back was the power line. And the power went out as the tree hit the power line. Since the power company has no office on Campobello, they need to cross through the U.S. before they can start repairs. This time it took a total of 5 hrs before power was restored.

Down at Liberty Point, dramatic views offered themselves across the Bay of Fundy.

The wild waves drew long tails of foamy water behind. The noise of the wind and the crashing waves was impressive. Living on Campobello year-long is a never-ending adventure.
Weather has been the basic ingredient for how life has been going on for generations. Right now it is scallop season. Scores of fishing vessels are out on the bay – not the Fundy Bay today, but the more protected Passamaquoddy Bay. Being able to uphold fisheries is paramount to continued life on Campobello.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

From Russia With Love

A while back I read a novel about a U.S. President who was a Russian mole. Never in my wildest fantasies could I imagine that something similar would happen one day. We are now about to witness it, unless he’d be stopped in his tracks.
The full INTEL report: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html

The two most sensitive parts of it below.
1-Fullscreen capture 1112017 91805 AM1-Fullscreen capture 1112017 91835 AM   Congratulations America. You chose a pervert for president.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Toy Or Tool?

So you got yourself a new toy”, Bea said just when a big chunk of spruce cracked open. 
TOY?   This is a tool and comes in much handy, I thought  but said nothing.  I had to take a trip to St.Stephen today to pick up my “NUTCRACKER”, aka log-splitter.
1-20170110_1314471-20170110_144906 1-DSC_1112
I had been thinking of buying one quite often, but postponed it again and again. Now there was a good offer for this 5ton splitter and I went and got it.  It splits pieces up to 20 inch long and 12 inch diameter or even bigger if not too hard.
1-DSC_1116The thing is quite heavy but I got it on top of an old wooden table providing a good working height.  So will I retire my axe? No, I won’t.
The axe is still a faster tool for small and straight chunks, but I won’t have to gruel for taking on the bigger hard-to-split piece anymore.

And what else was going on today?
It was the start of the Scalloping season.
We counted 15 boats out on the bay today. And the weather was gorgeous for that. No wind and a sunny day.