Thursday 27th of October 2016

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2016-10-26 16:48

Warships led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov are expected to take on fuel and supplies at the Spanish port of Ceuta after passing through the Straits of Gibraltar on Wednesday morning.

Spanish media reported that two Spanish vessels, the frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón and logistical ship Cantabria, were shadowing the warships as they passed through international waters, and that the Admiral Kuznetsov, along with other Russian vessels and submarines, would dock at Ceuta to restock after 10 days at sea.

Late on Tuesday night, El País reported that the Spanish ministry of foreign affairs was reviewing the permit issued to the Russian flotilla to stop at Ceuta. The ABC newspaper quoted the ministry as saying: “The stops requested by Russia in Ceuta … are being reviewed right now based on the information we are receiving from our allies and the Russian authorities.”

At a meeting of defence ministers in Paris, Spain’s representative, Pedro Morenés, said the government would seek clarification from Russia about “the purpose and destination” of the ships, which he confirmed had “prior authorisation” to stop at Ceuta.

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See toon at top...

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2016-10-26 16:43

Joe Hockey is charging taxpayers thousands of dollars for babysitters to watch his children while he wines and dines VIPs in Washington.

Despite already collecting an estimated $360,000 salary as US ambassador - and also double-dipping into his $90,000-a-year pension - Mr Hockey billed taxpayers almost $2500 for child minding during the five months in his new role.

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-10-25 14:20

Mark Dreyfus says George Brandis has behaved dishonourably and disgracefully and should be sacked for his treatment of the solicitor general, Justin Gleeson.

He has also criticised the Turnbull government for its treatment of Australia’s top public servants, saying it cannot bear criticism and attacks anyone who tries to speak truth to it.

Speaking to ABC radio on Tuesday, the shadow attorney general said Brandis had misled parliament “several times” about the circumstances leading to Gleeson’s resignation on Monday.

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by Gus Leonisky on Tue, 2016-10-25 14:13

The economic, political and security strategy that the United States has pursued for more than seven decades, under Democratic and Republican administrations alike, is today widely questioned by large segments of the American public and is under attack by leading political candidates in both parties. Many Americans no longer seem to value the liberal international order that the United States created after World War II and sustained throughout the Cold War and beyond. Or perhaps they take it for granted and have lost sight of the essential role the United States plays in supporting the international environment from which they benefit greatly. The unprecedented prosperity made possible by free and open markets and thriving international trade; the spread of democracy; and the avoidance of major conflict among great powers: All these remarkable accomplishments have depended on sustained U.S. engagement around the world. Yet politicians in both parties dangle before the public the vision of an America freed from the burdens of leadership.

What these politicians don’t say, perhaps because they don’t understand it themselves, is that the price of ending our engagement would far outweigh its costs.

With these last magic words, Robert Kagan reinforces the hubris that keeps the Empire alive

Kagan of course is the other half of the Project for A new American Century, now morphed into the glorious FPI (Foreign Policy Initiative) which is an aggressive think tank designed to encourage (advise) the US government make other nations tighten their butt in fear or in debt of the USA. If you don't salute, you will be economically destroyed or bombed. Europe, Iraq, and a host of minor Latin America countries have been targeted. Russia is on top of the list of targets and Ukraine is a big chunk of the former Eastern Block being slowly imported into the US Empire, with bribes, pats on the back and other corrupt incentives. Europe is being used to achieve the US aim against Russia through NATO and other crap.

The way the threats are made range from the very subtle including economic "gifts" or agreements such as dreadful TTiPs designed to favour Yamerika, to the not so subtle. The end argument is "we won't defend you against the Russians if you don't let us screw you". It's simple. Straight to the point. And look at our glorious Empire army doing manoeuvres in your flat country...

Hidden destruction include currency manipulations, secret offers of cash (Greece) and, discounts and goods devised to divided countries and break alliance of countries, such as the EU. Rome did the same, including the surface warfare. 



by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2016-10-20 20:25


CNN cuts Congressman off 3 seconds after he mentions Wikileaks

Poor CNN seem to be having more technical problems. Here we see Congressman Chris Collins having the satellite feed cut literally only three seconds after he says Wikileaks:

CNN have had trouble with their satellite feeds before, their temperamental equipment has cut off reporters who bring up Clinton’s past:

…and then prematurely ended interviews with African-American voters who endorse the “wrong” candidate:

And this isn’t the only problem CNN have had working around “the W word” recently. A clip of the same host – Chris Cuomo – recently went viral when he claimed it was illegal for members of the public to view the wikileaks files, but that it was “different for the media”.
Cuomo goes on to say:

Everything you learn about [wikileaks], you’re learning through us.”


Wikileaks said Tuesday that Secretary of State John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from publishing leaked emails that could disrupt peace negotiations with a guerrilla group in Colombia.

[WikiLeaks emails show influence of Univision chairman in Clinton campaign // Internet cutoff is just the latest trouble for WikiLeaks’ Assange]

Assange, who has been in refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than four years, saw his access to the internet cut over the weekend.




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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2016-10-20 20:06

Five years on from the murder of Muammer Gaddafi on October 20, 2011, Libya is a failed state. His murder, and Libya's descent into an abyss of lawlessness, sectarian violence and anarchy thereafter, marks another miserable chapter in western foreign policy.

The regime-change crew who dominate western governments have a long indictment sheet against their names. Since 9/11 they have wrought havoc and human misery on a grand scale in their determination to reshape and own a world that has never been theirs to own. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya — Syria currently embroiled in a pitiless conflict for its survival as a secular, non-sectarian state — this is the miserable legacy of nations which speak the language of democracy while practising the politics of domination. 

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See toon at top... 


See also:

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2016-10-20 18:23

Last month, German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer, the first Western journalist to be given access to Daesh (ISIS) controlled territory, conducted an explosive interview with a Nusra Front commander in Syria. Soon afterward, he was accused of 'fabricating' the interview. Speaking to Sputnik Deutschland, Todenhofer responded to his critics.

Late last month, an unnamed militant believed to be a senior Nusra Front commander told Todenhoffer in an interview that his group had received advanced weapons, including BGM TOW anti-tank missiles, from the United States. The sensational (and damning) interview soon spread around the world, and soon German media engaged in damage control began claiming that the interview was a fake. The detractors' main allegation focused on the territory where the interview was conducted; skeptics even suggested that the terrorist militant was actually a Syrian government plant. Speaking to Sputnik Deutschland about the now famous interview, Todenhofer explained that he never had any illusions that his journalistic effort, and its shocking revelations about the extent of Western support for Islamist terrorists, would cause a strong reaction, "both from terrorists and from those who support mainstream Western policy in the Middle East."


Russia Placed S-300 Missiles in Syria After Learning of US Plans to Bomb Airbases "I think that most of those who criticized me wanted to divert attention from two things, [first of all] from the issue of the supply of weapons to the Middle East, which is really indisputable. The US, France, Britain and Germany supply weapons to the Middle East. I believe that this is a very serious problem that needs to be discussed. And these weapons aren't there to shoot fireworks – they are there to conduct wars with." Secondly, Todenhofer noted, "they want to distract from the fact that my interview – and not just this one but my earlier statements as well, destroy the mainstream worldview. This worldview suggests that in Syria, there is supposedly only one side fighting – namely the Syrian government and the Russians.


If that were true, the war would have ended a long time ago. The truth is that there are two sides fighting a brutal war against one another." Commenting on the details of his interview with the Nusra Front commander, the journalist recalled that at first, it wasn't even clear whether the jihadist would agree to filming. "At first, there was a great deal of stress, because we were surrounded by gunmen in masks, and our driver feared that we had been trapped. But the conversation went smoothly. This commander is not a politician – not a Salafist, not a fanatic; he's just a mercenary, who managed to serve in the ranks of at least two rebel groups – a field commander with perhaps about 200 people under his command. And since he is not a politician, he spoke openly about the things he knows." Incidentally, for the sceptics out there, the journalist emphasized the commander did not actually say that his group received weapons 'directly from the Americans.' "He said 'we directly received American weapons'. He did not say whether this was from a country or organization serving as an intermediary, but there is no doubt [that this is going on]. Everyone knows that the US and other countries supply weapons to the rebels; they say that they supply them to the 'moderate opposition', but we all know that some of these weapons are then passed to radical rebels and terrorists."


Definition of Insanity: US & Europe Preparing Sanctions Against Russia for Fighting Terrorism in Syria


As for the intense scrutiny the interview eventually received, regarding everything from the commander's slippers to his apparent lack of a beard to his golden ring (all ostensibly meant to prove that the man wasn't who he said he was), Todenhofer suggested that in reality, "there was no critical analysis. People simply pushed absurd allegations." "For example, they say that Jebhat al-Nusra militants always go unshaven, while some of the ones I show have shaven faces." The reality is not so cartoonishly simple: "Some shave, some have a beard." "Then, [critics] say that Nusra fighters do not wear gold rings, even if they come from another organization. This is simply nonsense. In Syria, thousands of people wear gold jewelry – it's perfectly normal. This is a very weak argument that comes from those who take absolutely no account of life in Syria, and is a view that could be held only by those who have never been to wartorn Syria." "To all these people I can suggest only one thing: of course someone can do the interview better than I did, but let those who want to do it meet with al-Qaeda in East Aleppo in neutral territory and do it better. These are the same people who so fiercely criticized me when I spent ten days among the Daesh militants. Again – take the trip yourself, do it better, and then you can have a say." Having been accused of being biased in favor of Russia and the Syrian government, Todenhofer emphasized that he remains convinced that there is "no such thing as a decent war," since civilians always end up being the main victims.  Still, the journalist added, one can only go so far in one's lack of objectivity.


"In the western part of Aleppo, where government forces are based, several hundred people have been killed since the end of the truce – in 14 days. No one speaks about this. This means that the rebels have also been shooting, and this is a very simple proof that the two sides fight with equal ferocity."  But the mainstream media, according to Todenhofer, absolutely lacks any objectivity on the issue. "…The one-sided and simply dead-wrong coverage of the conflict itself is part of the scandal. If in this situation someone like myself goes to Syria, asks questions and get answers such as 'Yes, of course we get weapons from the Americans, in whatever way,' a lot of noise is generated around this; because the West does not want its image of the world – of 'good bombs' and 'bad bombs', to be disturbed."


Moscow Says 3,500 Syrian Servicemen Killed in Ceasefire Violations Since February


Ultimately, the journalist said that he will continue to travel to Syria. Part of the proceeds from his latest book have gone to creating 80 prosthetics, which he plans to deliver to Syrian children.  "I am against this war, because I do not believe in a decent war. But I must say — and this is very important for me, that the support that the rebels receive from the West is a violation of international law. It is akin to leading a war of aggression – it's a war crime. No one has a right to supply weapons to some insurgents operating on the territory of a sovereign state. It is prohibited – it is a crime. And when the people I blame for supplying weapons not only to rebels, but also to terrorists – even indirectly – when these people shout – that too is perfectly normal. It's what I intended."


"I want to touch on a sore point; I want to start a debate on this issue. I want people to think," Todenhofer emphasized. "What if there were rebels in Germany, and some foreign state supported them with arms? We would say that such a thing is out of the question! In Syria the situation is more complicated, because the government has also committed crimes. Both sides commit crimes; decent wars do not happen, and so we need to put an end to this war, instead of saying 'the supply of arms from our side is good, while what the other side does is bad.' This whole war is shit!"

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2016-10-20 18:08

Washington’s quest for perpetual world power is underwritten by systematic and perpetual propaganda wars. Every major and minor war has been preceded, accompanied and followed by unremitting government propaganda designed to secure public approval, exploit victims, slander critics, dehumanize targeted adversaries and justify its allies’ collaboration.

In this paper we will discuss the most common recent techniques used to support ongoing imperial wars.


A common technique, practiced by the imperial publicists, is to accuse the victims of the same crimes, which had been committed against them. The well documented, deliberate and sustained US-EU aerial bombardment of Syrian government soldiers, engaged in operations against ISIS-terrorist, resulted in the deaths and maiming of almost 200 Syrian troops and allowed ISIS-mercenaries to overrun their camp. In an attempt to deflect the Pentagon’s role in providing air cover for the very terrorists it claims to oppose, the propaganda organs cranked out lurid, but unsubstantiated, stories of an aerial attack on a UN humanitarian aid convoy, first blamed on the Syrian government and then on the Russians. The evidence that the attack was most likely a ground-based rocket attack by ISIS terrorists did not deter the propaganda mills. This technique would turn US and European attention away from the documented criminal attack by the imperial bombers and present the victimized Syrian troops and pilots as international human rights criminals.


Faced with world opprobrium for its wanton violation of an international ceasefire agreement in Syria, the imperial public spokespeople frequently resort to irrational outbursts at international meetings in order to intimidate wavering allies into silence and shut down any chance for reasonable debate resolving concrete issues among adversaries.

The current ‘US Ranter-in-Chief’ in the United Nations, is Ambassador Samantha Power, who launched a vitriolic diatribe against the Russians in order to sabotage a proposed General Assembly debate on the US deliberate violation (its criminal attack on Syrian troops) of the recent Syrian ceasefire. Instead of a reasonable debate among serious diplomats, the rant served to derail the proceedings.


Empire is commonly identified with the race, gender, religion and ethnicity of its practitioners. Imperial propagandists have frequently resorted to disarming and weakening anti-imperialist movements by co-opting and corrupting black, ethnic minority and women leaders and spokespeople. The use of such ‘symbolic’ tokens is based on the assumption that these are ‘representatives’ reflecting the true interests of so-called ‘marginalized minorities’ and can therefore presume to ‘speak for the oppressed peoples of the world’. The promotion of such compliant and respectable ‘minority members’ to the elite is then propagandized as a ‘revolutionary’, world liberating historical event – witness the ‘election’ of US President Barack Obama.

The rise of Obama to the presidency in 2008 illustrates how the imperial propagandists have used identity politics to undermine class and anti-imperialist struggles.

Under Obama’s historical black presidency, the US pursued seven wars against ‘people of color’ in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Over a million men and women of sub-Saharan black origin, whether Libyan citizens or contract workers for neighboring countries, were killed, dispossessed and driven into exile by US allies after the US-EU destroyed the Libyan state — in the name of humanitarian intervention. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs have been bombed in Yemen, Syria and Iraq under President Obama, the so-called ‘historic black’ president. Obama’s ‘predator drones’ have killed hundreds of Afghan and Pakistani villagers. Such is the power of ‘identity politics’ that ignominious Obama was awarded the ‘Nobel Peace Prize’.

Meanwhile, in the United States under Obama, racial inequalities between black and white workers (wages, unemployment, access to housing, health and educational services) have widened. Police violence against blacks intensified with total impunity for ‘killer cops’. Over two million immigrant Latino workers have been expelled – breaking up hundreds of thousands of families — and accompanied by a marked increase of repression compared to earlier administrations. Millions of black and white workers’ home mortgages were foreclosed while all of the corrupt banks were bailed out – at a greater rate than had occurred under white presidents.

This blatant, cynical manipulation of identity politics facilitated the continuation and deepening of imperial wars, class exploitation and racial exclusion. Symbolic representation undermined class struggles for genuine changes.


Imperial propagandists repeatedly evoke the victims and abuses of the past in order to justify their own aggressive imperial interventions and support for the ‘land grabs’ and ethnic cleansing committed by their colonial allies – like Israel, among others. The victims and crimes of the past are presented as a perpetual presence to justify ongoing brutalities against contemporary subject people.

The case of US-Israeli colonization of Palestine clearly illustrates how rabid criminality, pillage, ethnic cleansing and self-enrichment can be justified and glorified through the language of past victimization. Propagandists in the US and Israel have created ‘the cult of the Holocaust’, worshiping a near century-old Nazi crime against Jews (as well as captive Slavs, Roma and other minorities) in Europe, to justify the bloody conquest and theft of Arab lands and sovereignty and engage in systematic military assaults against Lebanon and Syria. Millions of Muslim and Christian Palestinians have been driven into perpetual exile. Elite, wealthy, well-organized and influential Zionist Jews, with primary fealty to Israel, have successfully sabotaged every contemporary struggle for peace in the Middle East and have created real barriers for social democracy in the US through their promotion of militarism and empire building. Those claiming to represent victims of the past have become among the most oppressive of contemporary elites. Using the language of ‘defense’, they promote aggressive forms of expansion and pillage. They claim their monopoly on historic ‘suffering’ has given them a ‘special dispensation’ from the rules of civilized conduct: their cult of the Holocaust allows them to inflict immense pain on others while silencing any criticism with the accusation of ‘anti-Semitism’ and relentlessly punishing critics. Their key role in imperial propaganda warfare is based on their claims of an exclusive franchise on suffering and immunity from the norms of justice.


Entertainment spectacles glorify militarism. Imperial propagandists link the public to unpopular wars promoted by otherwise discredited leaders. Sports events present soldiers dressed up as war heroes with deafening, emotional displays of ‘flag worship’ to celebrate the ongoing overseas wars of aggression. These mind-numbing extravaganzas with crude elements of religiosity demand choreographed expressions of national allegiance from the spectators as a cover for continued war crimes abroad and the destruction of citizens’ economic rights at home.

Much admired, multi-millionaire musicians and entertainers of all races and orientations, present war to the masses with a humanitarian facade. The entertainers smiling faces serve genocide just as powerfully as the President’s benign and friendly face accompanies his embrace of militarism. The propagandist message for the spectator is that ‘your favorite team or singer is there just for you… because our noble wars and valiant warriors have made you free and now they want you to be entertained.’

The old style of blatant bellicose appeals to the public is obsolete: the new propaganda conflates entertainment with militarism, allowing the ruling elite to secure tacit support for its wars without disturbing the spectators’ experience.


Do the Imperial Techniques of Propaganda Work?

How effective are the modern imperial propaganda techniques? The results seem to be mixed. In recent months, elite black athletes have begun protesting white racism by challenging the requirement for choreographed displays of flag worship… opening public controversy into the larger issues of police brutality and sustained marginalization. Identity politics, which led to the election of Obama, may be giving way to issues of class struggle, racial justice, anti-militarism and the impact of continued imperial wars. Hysterical rants may still secure international attention, but repeated performances begin to lose their impact and subject the ‘ranter’ to ridicule.

The cult of victimology has become less a rationale for the multi-billion dollar US-tribute to Israel, than the overwhelming political and economic influence and thuggery of billionaire Zionist fundraisers who demand US politicians’ support for the state of Israel.

Brandishing identify politics may have worked the first few times, but inevitably black, Latino, immigrant and all exploited workers, all underpaid and overworked women and mothers reject the empty symbolic gestures and demand substantive socio-economic changes – and here they find common links with the majority of exploited white workers.

In other words, the existing propaganda techniques are losing their edge – the corporate media news is seen as a sham. Who follows the actor-soldiers and flag-worshipers once the game has begun?

The propagandists of empire are desperate for a new line to grab public attention and obedience. Could the recent domestic terror bombings in New York and New Jersey provoke mass hysteria and more militarization? Could they serve as cover for more wars abroad …?

A recent survey, published in Military Times, reported that the vast majority of active US soldiers oppose more imperial wars. They are calling for defense at home and social justice. Soldiers and veterans have even formed groups to support the protesting black athletes who have refused to participate in flag worship while unarmed black men are being killed by police in the streets. Despite the multi-billion dollar electoral propaganda, over sixty percent of the electorate reject both major party candidates. The reality principle has finally started to undermine State propaganda!

James Petras is author of The End of the Republic and the Delusion of EmpireExtractive Imperialism in the Americas: Capitalism’s New Frontier (with Henry Veltmeyer), and The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East.  Visit James’s website


To this list of propaganda I would add Hollywood and most TV progammes with cops, soldiers and spies being glorified...

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2016-10-20 17:37

On October 8, a warplane from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia fired on the funeral of Yemeni interior minister Jalal al-Ruwaishan’s father. The attack killed 140 people and injured over 600. It was a gruesome strike. There was no military target there or nearby in the Sana’a neighbourhood of the funeral hall. The fighter came for blood and got it.

Condemnation of the Saudi strike came swiftly although this is not the first such mass attack on civilians. The richest Arab country – Saudi Arabia – has been bombing the poorest Arab country – Yemen – since March 2015. In the months that followed the first strike over 11,000 people – mostly Yemeni civilians – have been killed. Saudi aircraft have hit marriage parties and funeral halls, marketplaces and town squares. Massacres have been common, but unheralded. Three million Yemenis out of a population of 24 million have been displaced from their homes.

This entire war has gone by without much comment. In fact, the opposite has happened as Saudi Arabia’s depleted stores of munitions have been hastily replenished by Canada, the UK and the US. On average, the US sells $2 billion worth of weapons to the Saudi kingdom. These past months – despite evidence that these weapons have been used to massacre civilians – the US has continued to supply Saudi Arabia with arms.

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2016-10-20 17:31

And the problems are well known to the South Australian Government.

The state's Energy Minister, Tom Koutsantonis, acknowledged the high take-up of wind turbines and rooftop solar cells in his state was making electricity security "a complex matter", in a letter to the Energy Market Commission in July.

"Issues with managing the transition are already emerging in South Australia," the letter said.

Wind poses two engineering headaches.

The first is well understood, it is intermittent: if the wind does not blow, the power does not flow.

The second is more complex.

Electricity networks have to keep demand and supply near the perfect harmony of 50 cycles a second (50 hertz) every second of every day.

If the frequency gets out of tune, the system identifies a fault that trips the shutdown switch.

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Yes Chris... we all know that. Engineers know that and solutions are available.

A wind turbine is designed to produce power over a range of wind speeds. All wind turbines are designed for a maximum wind speed, called the survival speed, above which they will be damaged. The survival speed of commercial wind turbines is in the range of 40 m/s (144 km/h89 MPH) to 72 m/s (259 km/h161 MPH).

Most wind turbines can operate with strong winds up to 100 km/h. The maximum electric output from the wind turbines is reached with winds around 35 km/h. thereafter, the blades are feathered accordingly as not to exceed spin while still providing maximum output.

The problem in South Australia, did not come from wind turbines, nor wind farms output, but from the grid which has to take into account various output from wind farms, solar farms and gas fired power station. Nothing new. The grid engineering is available and should work, even in stormy conditions. Balancing output and consumption is not new.

There has been oodles of outages (see list supplied) around the world THAT DID NOT INVOLVED WIND TURBINES. Here with knowing that winds were going to exceed 100 km/h, and possibly go out of sync, the electricity supplier of South Australia could have fired mothballed gas turbines in anticipation or adjusted the coordiation.

What can happen during storms as well is that the electric cables from supply to consumers fall down, leading to a shut down of supply. Here with wind turbines, the blades would go idle. Gas turbines would shut down as well, should the distribution network be damaged.

In France, during a hot summer, some nuclear power stations had to shut down because the cooling water from the rivers were TOO WARM. In 2000, in that country about 70 percent of the cable grid went down in a mega storm. It took several months to rebuild the system and according to locals some thiefs also stole the copper wire on the ground to resell overseas...

Chris Uhlmann CARRIES on with his niggling analysis of a situation. Nothing to do with wind turbines, but the sudden drop of transmission of said power, possibly due to a fail-safe system which automatically shuts down when the various supply get out of phase as well.

In the north east part of America a few years back (no wind power in the grid) a small shut down led to a domino effect outage that left nearly 30 million people without electricity.

The engineers can solve the synchronisation problem without making a song and dance about it, in a couple of days.

Solutions of homogenising the various power supplies are available from wind turbine suppliers… No need to harp on it nor freak about wind power or solar panels.

Time for Chris Uhlmann to put a sock in it. The engineers would know what to do without him frothing at the mouth once more on the ABC. Actually he should laud the fact that wind power is cutting down CO2 emissions in South Australia, as well as in Germany which now exports its excess electricity from wind power, I've been advised by my German friends.... There is cash in the wind...