Earlier this week, Hawaii reportedly tested its system of nuclear sirens for the first time since the 1960s as the state’s governor warned that he was taking North Korea’s threats of nuclear annihilation extremely seriously. Today, the Telegraph is reporting that the paranoia has spread to Japan, where millions of Tokyo residents will participate in evacuation drills meant to simulate their response to North Korean nuclear strike. And Tokyo isn’t the first city to conduct these types of large scale drills: Towns facing the Korean Peninsula have conducted similar drills in recent months. The national and city governments are to carry out a series of exercises between January and March to prepare for a potential attack on Tokyo, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported, the first time that a major Japanese city will have carried out responses to a simulated attack. Towns facing the Korean Peninsula have in recent months conducted similar drills, with residents instructed to seek shelter in response to sirens warning of an imminent missile strike.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 7, 2017.
April Vizzo-Tackett, who has lived in Ventura her whole life, told me this is Hawaiian Village Apartments, a large apartment complex. It’s burning. Smoke billowing from the roof. #ThomasFire pic.twitter.com/ohiVEwR1Ar — Jaclyn Cosgrove (@jaclyncosgrove) December 5, 2017
About 27,000 people have been evacuated and 150 structures destroyed in another raging fire in California. The fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 31,000 acres so far. Of the 150 structures engulfed by the flames, was at least one large apartment complex. Engulfed in flames, the Hawaiian Village Apartments collapsed about 4 a.m., local time. Water gushed down North Laurel Street as firefighters worked to put out the flaming complex and residents watched with their cameras and cellphones out. Residents could hear the sound of propane tanks bursting. Many other buildings are threatened as the fire crept about a quarter-mile away from City Hall. Traffic jams were also reported as many fled their homes. The blaze started at about 6:25 p.m. Monday in the foothills near Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, a popular hiking destination. It grew quickly to more than 15 square miles in the hours that followed, consuming vegetation that hasn’t burned in decades, Ventura County Fire Sgt. Eric Buschow said.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 5th, 2017.
The previously retired air raid warning sirens from the Cold War era in Hawaii will be wailing again come December. Only this time, it’s due to the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea. Hawaii has long been a military defense outpost sparking fears that North Korea could target the island. ‘I suppose that’s necessary as a precaution,’ said Ted Tsukiyama, a Hawaiian resident, and WWII veteran. ‘But I don’t think North Korea is gonna attack,’ Tsukiyama said. ‘They’d be foolish to threaten South Korea or Japan or the United States.’ But the concerns are growing as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly threatened to drop a bomb over the Pacific Ocean, and President Donald Trump has threatened North Korea with ‘fire and fury’ and designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. In turn, North Korea has continually failed to abide by the United Nations sanctions placed on them, as they advance their weapons of mass destruction. Sirens were installed around Hawaii after the second world war started, according to Tsukiyama, and there would be periodic tests. ‘I remember hearing the sirens going off. The radio would give us a warning: ‘This is only a test, don’t get alarmed,” said Tsukiyama, who was born and raised in Hawaii.
This post was published at shtfplan on November 27th, 2017.
Natural disasters are coming fast and furious around the globe. About 6,000 people have been evacuated from the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu because of an erupting volcano. Although the Monaro volcano on Ambae island has been active since 2005, however, sudden activity on Saturday raised fears of a major eruption. The director of Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office Shadrack Welegtabit said on Tuesday that Vanuatu would declare an emergency on the island after the volcano’s activity measure was raised to Level Four for the first time over the weekend. Vanuatu is located about one-quarter of the way from Australia to Hawaii. It’s made up of 80 islands, about 65 of which are inhabited, and is home to around 280,000 people. The nation is considered one of the world’s most prone to natural disasters, with a half-dozen active volcanoes as well as regular cyclones and earthquakes. It rests on the Pacific’s ‘Ring of Fire,’ the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanoes are common. Welegtabit also said those villagers had been moved into schools and community halls in the island’s eastern and western regions and that authorities have already planned to send a ship to the island filled with water, food, and other supplies to help those people who had been displaced. That ship is due to arrive on Wednesday.
This post was published at shtfplan on September 26th, 2017.
Last Wednesday, U. S. President Donald Trump signed new sanctions into law against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The legislation was supported so overwhelmingly in Congress that President Trump’s ability to veto the legislation was rendered completely ineffective. Even anti-interventionist Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted in favor of the bill, once again proving that Republicans and Democrats always find common ground when it comes to beating the drums of war against sovereign nations who have taken very little unwarranted hostile action – if any – towards the United States. But these are just sanctions, not acts of war, right? There’s nothing wrong with economically bullying other countries into submission over non-compliance with the current global order, right? Not quite.
We first introduced readers to the Dallas Police and Fire Pension (DPFP) crisis last summer in a post entitled “Dallas Cops’ Pension Fund Nears Insolvency In Wake Of Shady Real Estate Deals, FBI Raid.” For those who have managed to avoid this particular storyline for the past 15 months, here is a brief recap of how it all started from our original post on the topic: The Dallas Police & Fire Pension (DPFP), which covers nearly 10,000 police and firefighters, is on the verge of collapse as its board and the City of Dallas struggle to pitch benefit cuts to save the plan from complete failure. According the the National Real Estate Investor, DPFP was once applauded for it’s “diverse investment portfolio” but turns out it may have all been a fraud as the pension’s former real estate investment manager, CDK Realy Advisors, was raided by the FBI in April 2016 and the fund was subsequently forced to mark down their entire real estate book by 32%. Guess it’s pretty easy to generate good returns if you manage a book of illiquid assets that can be marked at your “discretion”. To provide a little background, per the Dallas Morning News, Richard Tettamant served as the DPFP’s administrator for a couple of decades right up until he was forced out in June 2014. Starting in 2005, Tettamant oversaw a plan to “diversify” the pension into “hard assets” and away from the “risky” stock market…because there’s no risk if you don’t have to mark your book every day. By the time the “diversification” was complete, Tettamant had invested half of the DPFP’s assets in, effectively, the housing bubble. Investments included a $200mm luxury apartment building in Dallas, luxury Hawaiian homes, a tract of undeveloped land in the Arizona desert, Uruguayan timber, the American Idol production company and a resort in Napa.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 8, 2017.
Within hours of President Donald Trump’s return to the US following his Bastille Day visit to Paris as a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron, the Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to block a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii that seeks to expand who can be let into the US under the narrower terms of the Trump travel ban. The ruling, filed by Honolulu-based US District Judge Derrick Watson on Thursday, found that the administration’s interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision to allow anyone with a “bona fide” relationship with US persons is too restrictive. Watson, an Obama appointee, is the same judge who blocked the administration’s second travel ban back in March, setting in motion a chain of events that led to the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow a “narrower” version of the ban to take effect until it has an opportunity to hear oral arguments on the order’s constitutionality when it reconvenes in October.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 15, 2017.
With President Donald Trump safely out of the country, joining French President Emmanuel Macron at a Bastille Day parade in Paris, A federal judge in Hawaii has ordered a temporary loosening of the Trump administration’s travel ban after finding that the administration’s strict interpretation of the Supreme Court’s decision isn’t justified. The ruling was issued by US District Judge Derrick Watson – a longtime Obama ally and the same judge who blocked the second ‘watered down’ Trump travel ban back in March. The Wall Street Journal described Watson’s decision as ‘a fresh legal blow for the president just two weeks after a Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to implement its travel ban against refugees and foreign nationals from six countries who have no connection to the US.’ Trump’s March 6 executive order banned travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, as well as all refugees for 120 days. The Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that a ‘narrower’ version of the Trump travel ban could take effect, but that anyone from the six countries with a “bona fide relationship” to a US person or entity could not be barred. The Supreme Court has promised to issue a final ruling on the ban in October. The Trump administration then limited a ‘bona fide’ relationship to spouses, parents, children, fiancs and siblings, barring grandparents and other family members – a measure that Trump said was necessary to prevent attacks.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2017.
A big island coffee farmer who was able to rally the Kona community has lost his battle with immigration authorities. The man has now said his final goodbyes to his family and had voluntarily deported himself back to Mexico. Andres Magana Ortiz, who is 43-years-old, called Hawaii home for 30 years. Hawaii’s Star Advertiser has said that Ortiz has come to symbolize some of the shortcomings of immigration law under presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Ortiz is a coffee farmer, and really a hero to all of the morning challenged Americans out there. But that didn’t stop the deportation back to his native land of Mexico. ‘We said our goodbyes at home,’ said Magana Ortiz’s 20-year-old daughter Victoria Magana Ledesma. ‘My dad decided it was better for my brother and my sister to not go all the way to the airport,’ she continued. Magana Ortiz is a father of three and married (his wife and children are all US citizens), but because he was illegally living in Hawaii, he voluntarily paid for his own deportation, trying to make this situation easier on his American family.
A new Politico-Morning Consult poll has found that six in 10 American voters now support the new travel ban on people from six predominantly Muslim countries. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, the research found that 37 percent of people strongly support the State Department’s guidelines while 23 percent somewhat support them. Only 14 percent are both opposed and strongly opposed to the legislation while 11 percent said they don’t know or have no opinion. Notably this comes after a US court denies Hawaii’s appeal against Trump’s travel ban… The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says it lacks jurisdiction to rule on the Trump administration’s enforcement of the travel ban a day after a Hawaii court also declined to weigh in on the president’s executive order. Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin sought clarification on the scope of the travel ban after the Supreme Court allowed partial implementation. On Wednesday, Hawaii lost its challenge in Honolulu district court. The federal appeals court in San Francisco says legal procedure prevents the panel from reviewing the Hawaii judge’s decision not to consider the state’s case. Three-judge panel says the state of Hawaii may return to the Honolulu court to ask for an injunction against the government’s enforcement of the Supreme Court’s order rather than to ‘clarify’ the court’s order.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 8, 2017.
There was something different – and symbolic – about last night’s North Korean ballistic missile launch which not coincidentally took place on US Independence Day, because shortly after the event, North Korea announced it would have an important announcement to make. This time it did not disappoint, when the country declared that it had successfully tested its first intermediate-range intercontinental ballistic missile which flew for a record time/altitude for the rogue state, and is seen as a “watershed moment” in its push to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the mainland United States. North Korea, it said, was now “a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world”. The ICBM would enable the country to “put an end to the US nuclear war threat and blackmail” and defend the Korean peninsula, it added. In a statement the North’s Academy of Defence Science, which developed the missile, said it reached an altitude of 2,802 kilometres and flew 933 kilometres, calling it the “final gate to rounding off the state nuclear force”. There are still doubts whether the North can miniaturise a nuclear weapon sufficiently to fit it onto a missile nose cone, or if it has mastered the technology needed for it to survive the difficult re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. As Citi said, “the move is highly provocative and it is difficult to imagine that the date chosen was in any way coincidental (NK did the same in 2006 and 2009)… the enormity of this latest crisis is, as yet, difficult to gauge.” Speaking to AFP, US experts said the device could reach Alaska, while the July 4 launch triggered a late evening Twitter outburst from President Trump who urged China to act to “end this nonsense once and for all” and asked on Twitter: “does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” David Wright, a physicist with the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists, told the BBC that if the reports are correct, this missile could “reach a maximum range of roughly 6,700km on a standard trajectory”. That range would allow it to reach Alaska, but not the large islands of Hawaii or the other 48 US states, he says. It is not just a missile that North Korea would need, our correspondent adds. It must also have the ability to protect a warhead as it re-enters the atmosphere, and it is not clear if North Korea can do that.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 4, 2017.
One of the few elected Democratic lawmakers with an extensive anti-war record, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has combined forces with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) to push legislation through both the House and the Senate that would bar federal agencies from using taxpayer-backed funds to provide weapons, training, intelligence, or any other type of support to terrorist cells such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other group that is associated with them in any way. The Stop Arming Terrorists Act is so unique that it’s also the only bill of its kind that would also bar the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries that support (directly or indirectly) terrorists such as Saudi Arabia. To our surprise – or should we say shame? – only 13 other lawmakers out of hundreds have co-sponsored Gabbard’s House bill. Paul’s Senate version of the bill, on the other hand, has zero co-sponsors. While both pieces of legislation were introduced in early 2017, no real action has been taken as of yet. This proves that Washington refuses to support bills that would actually provoke positive chain reactions not only abroad but also at home. Why? Well, let’s look at the groups that would lose a great deal in case this bill is signed into law.
One of the few elected Democratic lawmakers with an extensive anti-war record, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has combined forces with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) to push legislation through both the House and the Senate that would bar federal agencies from using taxpayer-backed funds to provide weapons, training, intelligence, or any other type of support to terrorist cells such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other group that is associated with them in any way. The Stop Arming Terrorists Act is so unique that it’s also the only bill of its kind that would also bar the government from funneling money and weapons through other countries that support (directly or indirectly) terrorists such as Saudi Arabia. To our surprise – or should we say shame? – only 13 other lawmakers out of hundreds have co-sponsored Gabbard’s House bill. Paul’s Senate version of the bill, on the other hand, has zero cosponsors. While both pieces of legislation were introduced in early 2017, no real action has been taken as of yet. This proves that Washington refuses to support bills that would actually provoke positive chain reactions not only abroad but also at home. Why? Well, let’s look at the groups that would lose a great deal in case this bill is signed into law.
The island state of Hawaii is on edge as Kim Jong-Un continues to test ballistic missiles on the Korean peninsula. Hawaii has now drawn up plans in the event of a nuclear attack on the islands. Hawaii’s airport alert levels recently went up after an international plot to attack America’s airlines was uncovered. But that is just one of many possible scenarios that could strike the Islands. Officials have produced a doomsday survival blueprint which reveals how seriously they are taking threats from tyrant Kim Jong-un about striking the US with a nuclear weapon. A nuclear strike commissioned by the rogue dictatorship of North Korea is now a likely scenario. However, this is something the state and military have been preparing for, for the past year, yet with the announcement of another ballistic test by Kim Jong-Un, the islands need to make sure their plans will work. The nuclear contingency plans are described as ‘formidable and critical to the survival of our 1.4 million residents and visitors in the unlikely event of a nuclear detonation.’ This includes ‘reviewing existing procedures for mass casualty and fatality management’ and reviewing nuclear fallout shelters, sirens, and other warning systems. The plans also include ‘conducting in-service training for key staff regarding weapons effects.’ Hawaii’s nuclear response plan had not been updated since the height of the cold war in 1985.
While Hawaiian officials are pushing to re-open fallout shelters, the people of another island (considerably closer, and well within range) are actively preparing for a worst case scenario from North Korea. As Reuters reports, sales of nuclear shelters and radiation-blocking air purifiers have surged in Japan in recent weeks as North Korea has pressed ahead with missile tests in defiance of U. N. sanctions. Japan is well within range of already-tested North Korean missiles…
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 25, 2017.
Vice President Mike Pence has cut short the final leg of his Asia trip to return back to Washington, where the Trump administration faces a critical week on tax reform and a funding plan to keep the government running, Reuters reported overnight. Pence, who has been traveling in Asia to reassure allies and partners about President Donald Trump’s commitment to the region, had originally planned to spend two nights in Honoluluat the end of a trip that took him to South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia. An aide to the vice president said Pence is cutting his trip short because of a series of issues in Washington this week. He pointed to topics including healthcare, tax reform and government funding. The vice president will no longer visit the USS Arizona memorial because of the shortened trip and will instead leave Hawaii on Monday. According to Reuters, Pence will now spend one night in Hawaii and is slated to be back in Washington on Tuesday morning, an aide told reporters before Air Force Two landed at Pago Pago in American Samoa for refueling. While he spoke with business leaders in each country, Pence’s trip was overshadowed by rising tensions in North Korea, where it is feared another nuclear test could be conducted soon in defiance of United Nations sanctions. Trump has a busy week ahead. Funding appropriated by Congress to run the government runs out on Friday, so he and lawmakers must agree on new legislation or the government will shut down on Saturday. Saturday is also Trump’s 100th day in office, a benchmark used by pundits to assess the initial accomplishments and shortfalls of his young presidency. Trump plans to outline principles for tax reform onWednesday, a top brief for Pence.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 24, 2017.
Hawaii lawmakers want state officials to update plans for coping with a nuclear attack as North Korea develops nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that can reach the islands. *** As AP reports, the state House Public Safety Committee unanimously passed a resolution Thursday (see below). Committee Vice Chairman Matt LoPresti says he’s not trying to spread fear. But he wants the public to know the government is taking steps to protect them in the worst case scenario. He’s aiming to get state funding to re-equip Cold War-era fallout shelters. “…nuclear arms experts recently said that North Korea already has, or may soon have, the ability to target Hawaii with a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile with possibly the same destructive force as the 15-kiloton and 20-kiloton bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, according to a Honolulu Star-Advertiser article;
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 17, 2017.
Top Democrats are not pleased that Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard pushed the U. S. to collect and release evidence from the scene of the chemical attack in Syria. Gabbard visited Syria and met with President Bashar al-Assad in January and has been consistently cautious about American involvement in the Middle Eastern county. The Hawaii congresswoman said in a statement that the airstrikes on Syria were ‘short-sighted and will lead to more dead civilians, more refugees, the strengthening of al-Qaida and other terrorists, and a possible nuclear war between the United States and Russia.’ She also said she has not seen enough evidence that Assad was behind the chemical attack that led to the death of dozens of civilians.
People of Hawaii's 2nd district – was it not enough for you that your rep met with a murderous dictator? Will this move you?1 — Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) April 7, 2017
Sporting a sweet new “Resist” picture on Twitter, Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress and author of numerous embarrassing email exchanges with John Podesta, called on Hawaiians to oust their Representative, Tulsi Gabbard, for having the audacity to question whether Assad was responsible for the recent chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Of course, we’re almost certain that Neera’s comments had nothing to do with the fact that Gabbard was one of the few House democrats to throw her support behind Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election rather than Tanden’s chosen candidate, Hillary. Nevertheless, here is Gabbard speaking with Wolf Blitzer of CNN who, like many of his colleagues in the MSM, seems to suddenly be very trusting of the Trump administration.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 10, 2017.