The EMP Threat From North Korea Is Real, and Terrifying By John R. Moore

Fifty-five years ago, the U.S. tested a nuclear weapon high above the atmosphere over the Pacific. At the time, my father — a nuclear weapons engineer — was listening on our ham radio.

When the device exploded, we heard nothing in Albuquerque. But, in Honolulu, 1000 miles from the detonation, the sky turned red as streetlights and telephones went out. EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) effects from the distant nuclear explosion had struck.

Today we hear concern that cities might be destroyed by North Korean nuclear tipped missiles, but Starfish Prime should alert us to a more imminent danger: EMP. North Korea can launch an EMP attack before it has developed nuclear missile technology, and EMP may be far more deadly.

An EMP disaster from a high-altitude blast seems like science fiction: There is a silent flash high in the sky, and everything using electricity just … stops. Cars stop, power goes out, the Internet dies, satellites quit working, landline and mobile phone systems go out, and computers are destroyed. In a moment, we are back to 1850, as was dramatized in William Forstchen’s 2009 novel One Second After.

While the total wipeout depicted in One Second After is probably exaggerated, the effects could knock out our power grid for months, and destroy critical communications and computer systems. As former CIA chief James Woolsey recently said:

If you look at the electric grid and what it’s susceptible to, we would be moving into a world with no food delivery, no water purification, no banking, no telecommunications, no medicine. All of these things depend on electricity in one way or another.

In such a situation, there simply is no way to rule out the possibility that hundreds of millions could die.

To nuke one of our cities, the North needs to master ICBM construction, nuclear weapons miniaturization, precision long-range guidance technology, atmospheric re-entry vehicles, and fusing to trigger detonation at the right time after the hazardous re-entry. In contrast, an EMP attack requires only a small, light nuclear weapon and the ability to launch it as a satellite. Once over the U.S., it is detonated.

Already, two satellites launched by North Korea cross the U.S. every day.

Do they contain nuclear weapons? Probably not, but how can we know? Nuclear weapons don’t emit much radiation until they go off, so they are hard to detect. I used to fly in a nuclear bomber with the weapon station just a few feet from my station with no shielding — no need.

Meanwhile, North Korea continues striving to miniaturize its nukes — and may have already succeeded. They have released pictures of a miniaturized bomb, although that may just be propaganda.

Starfish Prime used a thermonuclear weapon, a “hydrogen bomb,” which was very powerful but which the North is still striving to build — a difficult task. But only a fission weapon or “atomic bomb” is needed for an EMP, and North Korea has tested several. The yield would probably need to be increased over their latest test, but getting there is only a matter of time. Fusion boosting the weapon to higher yield is not a difficult step. The North recently restarted its Yongbyon reactor, which can produce the necessary tritium.

The EMP danger isn’t only from North Korea. Iran has the capability to launch missiles from ships at sea — the EMP attack depicted in Forstchen’s novel.

We currently have little defense against this threat. Our land based anti-ballistic missile systems are oriented towards warheads coming across the North Pacific, while North Korea launches satellites to the south, which later cross the U.S. from the south or north. The anti-satellite ability of the Navy’s AEGIS ships is unclear — one satellite in a very low orbit has been intercepted, and ships need to be positioned within range of the orbit. Shooting a satellite down before it reaches orbit is another possibility, but AEGIS has a very limited window for such a “boost phase” intercept. CONTINUE AT SITE

Riots Expected to Greet Ann Coulter at UC Berkeley Thursday By Debra Heine

As the Berkeley Police Department gears up for yet another showdown between First Amendment supporters and violent “anti-fascists,” questions have arisen regarding the mayor’s ties to a local anti-fascist group. Ann Coulter vowed to move ahead with a planned speaking engagement at the university on Thursday after her speech was canceled due to security concerns.

Law enforcement sources told Fox News there is a “99 percent” chance that the college will erupt in violence over the appearance — whether she shows up or not.

Charles “Sid” Heal, a retired commander from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department who met with Berkeley police on Monday, said that authorities are preparing for the worst because extremist groups from across the spectrum are heading to Berkeley, and because the past three protests that devolved into violence were met by a “lackluster” response from local police.

“We’ve been told they’re going to come no matter whether Ann Coulter comes or not, and the next riot is not a standalone in isolation but a natural consequence of the lackluster approach of the past,” Heal said, adding that because protesters felt police didn’t protect them at the last riot many are pledging to defend themselves. “People are becoming vigilantes.”

According to Fox News, Heal and others are saying “there is deep discord between the Berkeley Police Department and the city government.” Mayor Jesse Arreguin, 32, has been accused of being in cahoots with the protesters because, as this reporter noted at PJ Media’s Hot Mic on Friday, he was a member of the Facebook group “By Any Means Necessary,” or BAMN, the violent anarchist group that has instigated riots in Berkeley and across the country. CONTINUE AT SITE

Academics Play the Global Warming Card By Norman Rogers

Philip Kitcher of Columbia and Evelyn Fox Keller of MIT are professors specializing in the philosophy and history of science. The philosophy and history of science is pretty boring, so people in that academic field try to write about controversial subjects so as to make their work less boring. The professors have written a book: The Seasons Alter, How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts.

The book is filled with scientific errors regarding climate science. Clearly the authors have a poor understanding of the main topic. They are apparently attracted to apocalyptic predictions of disaster that call for farsighted persons, such as themselves, to warn the world. Apparently that role is so enticing that the authors’ critical facilities have been put into hibernation.

Global warming has an establishment side and a dissenter side. The establishment receives vast amounts of government money because they claim that we face an imminent global warming disaster. Nobody would care about their field of science except for the predictions of disaster. Nor would they get much government money if they didn’t predict a looming disaster. Environmental groups are part of the establishment side. Looming disasters are stock in trade for environmental groups.

The global warming dissenters consist of people who say that the emperor has no clothes. The dissenters include climate scientists who are secure enough in their jobs that they can dissent, even though it makes their colleagues furious. Other dissenters are scientists from related fields, or even non-scientists who have taken an interest in the controversy. The existence of the Internet has made it possible for amateur scientists, in the sense of not receiving a paycheck from a university, to enter into the discussion. The Internet provides a path around the establishment gatekeepers that run the scientific journals. The amateur scientists have the advantage of being disinterested. They aren’t worried about where their next grant is coming from or about what their academic friends and enemies will think. Of course, some of the amateurs are crackpots, but others are excellent scientists. (Some tenured professors are crackpots too.)

The authors used the graph below, a version of what is known as the famous Hockey Stick graph. The graph purports to show that the Earth’s temperature was roughly constant until large quantities of CO2 were emitted into the atmosphere and as a consequence the temperature soared. The graph has been completely discredited as a work of science. (See here, here and here.) But as a work of propaganda it is a brilliant achievement. What’s wrong with the graph? It erases the medieval warm period that existed at the year 1000. The graph does not show the little ice age when it got very cold around the year 1600. These temperature fluctuations are well established and supported by historical records.

Flash robberies: The newest homeland threat By Robert Arvay

A recent incident on a train in Oakland, California offers a glimpse into how domestic terrorism may soon affect all of us, close up and personally. In that incident, a group of teenagers swarmed onto a train, robbed several passengers, beat two of them, then quickly escaped before police arrived. See here and here.

Flash mobs are nothing new, and in fact, many of them are actually good, as when a number of people in a shopping mall suddenly spring a pleasant surprise and perform a rehearsed, choreographed music routine.

Some flash mobs, by contrast, are criminal. Groups of criminals, in concert, have been known to swarm a retail store, quickly stealing as much as they can carry, and then making their escape before law enforcement can respond.

Criminals are inventive and resourceful, and now that the Oakland incident has made the news, there will be plenty more crews of robbers who are already taking notes and planning their own heist, perhaps on a larger scale.

It is only a matter of time before someone (actually, many) figures out that there is money to be made by inciting civil disorder. It would not take much “community organizing” to pull it off. The police cannot be everywhere, nor can they respond quickly enough to this kind of crime.

The next thought is to ask, when the risk escalates, is, what will we, the ordinary citizens, do when we fear to take a train or bus, or to go shopping? One possible remedy comes to mind, as follows.

The name Bernhard Goetz has largely been forgotten, but in 1984, nearly every American was familiar with what came to be known as the subway vigilante incident. During that era, before Rudolph Giuliani became mayor, crime on the New York subway system was infamous, and worse yet, the response by law enforcement was tepid and ineffective. It was in this context that Goetz took matters into his own hands. He pulled a gun and shot three teenagers, on a train, who already had criminal records, and who were intimidating him for money. One of the robbers was paralyzed for life.

Only when Giuliani became mayor (ten years later), and imposed what some considered draconian law enforcement measures, did the crime rate (including murder) in New York City dramatically decrease. Giuliani proved that by enforcing laws against even so-called “minor” infractions, the ripple effect is to increase respect for the law in general, thereby reducing more serious crime. Giuliani was well aware of the “broken windows” principle, and he used it to good effect.

U.S. public schools educating Mexicans living in Mexico By Ed Straker

I was reading an article about a Calexico, California, private school on the border with Mexico which has a lot of students who pay tuition and come across the border every day from Mexico, and this seemingly innocuous sentence caught my eye:

Every day, the students said, they stand in border lines made longer by Mexicali youths who are illegally attending free, public Calexico schools.

That’s right! Mexican children are crossing the border every day and getting a free public education in America, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. These are not legal residents of the U.S.; they are not even illegal residents of the U.S. These are people who currently live in Mexico, getting a free education in public schools in border towns.

Nearly three out of four students at Columbus Elementary, the school closest to the border, live in Palomas [Mexico] and were born to Mexican parents. The Palomas children are American because of a long-standing state and federal policy that allows Mexican women to deliver their babies at the nearest hospital, which happens to be 30 miles north of the border in Deming, N.M., the seat of Luna County.

In the 1950s, the Palomas children didn’t even have to be Americans to attend the Deming Public Schools. Twenty years later, the county began requiring U.S. citizenship, but students don’t need to live in Luna County, said Harvielee Moore, the school superintendent.

Do you want to bet that there are students who go to this school who are not U.S. citizens?

Children cross the border to attend school elsewhere along the sprawling U.S.-Mexico boundary, most notably in El Paso, across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juárez.

About 94 percent of the children at the school are living in poverty, and nearly all 570 students are considered English-language learners — classifications that entitle the school to extra federal dollars but create intense challenges in the classroom.

Last year, there was a flurry of students arrested as they tried to cross the border for school, including a 14-year-old boy who was found hiding a 14-pound brick of marijuana in his backpack, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It’s incredible that we pay for the public education of people who actually live in other countries. Our schools must be aware of it. The border agents who let the same kids through day after day must be aware of it. Where does it end?

Peter O’Brien How to Get Ahead as a Celebrity Scientist

There will be plenty of ABC seats and microphones awaiting US astrophysicist, fact-challenged warmist and tireless self-promoter Neil de Grasse Tyson when he tours Australia this year. That’s the way it works if you hold little respect for actual science and a lucrative contempt for those who do.
At first we had Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW). That was a pretty specific threat. It spelled out the crime, the perpetrator and the result. But when it started to become clear, after 20-odd years of research, that there wasn’t actually a great deal of warming, that the Earth was greening and worldwide crop production continued to increase, something had to be done. Changing the mantra to Beneficial Anthropogenic Global Warming wasn’t going to cut it for the trough-snouters at the IPCC, so we got Climate Change and, more recently, Climate Disruption.

These latter euphemisms for something that isn’t happening are much easier to defend when Mother Nature provides an inexhaustible supply of disasters to draw upon as proof of the coming apocalypse, notwithstanding that the evidence is that these events are not increasing in either frequency or strength. And now, as the highly contrived warming predictions that are the IPCC’s stock in trade deviate ever more from its lurid modeling, yet another fresh mantra has emerged.

Neil de Grasse Tyson, for those of you who don’t know of him, is a celebrity astrophysicist. Like his British counterpart Brian Cox, is a fervent believer in CAGW. Only, of course, he now doesn’t talk about CAGW or even Climate Change. He talks about — drum roll, please — “Science!” CAGW is now, er, science. What were formerly mere “climate change deniers” are now full-blown “science deniers”. What more evidence could you possibly need to conclude that those who question the extent of global warming are, at best, deluded fools or, at worst, Gaia’s eager rapists?

Tyson argues his case in a four minute video that, as we have come to expect from warmists, relies heavily on the strawman argument. At one point he states that, up until now, he “doesn’t remember any time when people were standing in denial of what science was” – whatever that means. To back up this rather vague proposition the video refers to anti-vaxxers, anti-GMers and then, of course, climate change deniers. Oh, and he also throws in a clip of now Vice President Mike Pence arguing that evolution should be taught as theory rather than fact. (To be fair to Pence, that’s not quite the point he made in the full address to Congress, arguing that Charles Darwin’s view is but one perspective, that evolutionary theory is subject to constant and ongoing tweaking and that, as a Christian, he prefers to believe mankind and all the world were brought to their current state by Divine guidance. In this he differs not much from the Jesuit paleontologist and theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, whom Pope Francis cited with approval in his recent dark-green plea for the planet, Laudato si, which, funnily enough, Tyson endorsed to the fullest. Then again, why take anything Tyson says without a grain of salt? A famous mis-quoter, he also has trouble recalling his own past. But enough of Tyson, at least until he arrives in Australia later this year for a series of lectures, when someone might ask him a few pointed questions.)

The interesting thing about this line-up of ‘denialism’ is that of the four examples chosen, three come down to individual choice – you can choose to vaccinate or not, you can choose to eschew GM foods and you can reject evolution if you think that it is incompatible with creationism. These are the views of fringe dwellers which have marginal impact on society. But CAGW affects everyone; you can’t opt in or out of the theory’s consequences, as evidenced by your latest electricity bill and the rent-seekers who make it o much larger than it should be. What Tyson is doing is an example of trying to impose guilt by association. According to Neil, science never gets anything wrong.

Peter Smith Islam’s Covergirls

One doesn’t expect too much from the latest iterations of Western feminist thought, least of all thought itself, and the defence of the male-imposed burka and hijab makes the point. With “friends” like that, perhaps it’s time for lawmakers to protect Muslim women from misogynist coercion.
The new citizenship test for intending migrants will probably be window dressing. Clearly it is aimed at Muslims, which is entirely appropriate. They are the ones who have problems fitting in; wherever they go in the West. But asking people to commit to certain values and eschew others is close to worthless, unless combined with a lie-detector test. And I doubt the ABC would agree to that, if you get my meaning.

Maybe it’s time to reconsider something tangible like dress standards. My club has them and they work well. You always have the choice of staying out. It’s a question of how the matter is approached.

To be clear, within the confines of prevailing standards of decency, people should have the freedom to dress as they wish in purely public places. But the key phrase is ‘as they wish’. Our values are not consistent with any group of women being forced to wear what they would not freely choose to wear. The intolerant cannot be tolerated when it bears down on a vulnerable group of our fellow citizens.

In this case it is plain that the face of intolerance puts many women in unattractive clothing they would not freely choose to wear. We know this by applying self-reflection. We personally, would find it intolerable to dress from head to toe in black serge (or in any other colour) when walking on a hot Australian summer’s day. We also know this from looking at pictures of the way women chose to dress in Egypt, or in Afghanistan, or in Iran in earlier times when free of Islamic religious strictures. Empathy and common observation tells the tale. (editor: the picture below is of Cairo University students in 1978. Not a hijab to be seen.)

cairo university 1978

It is an affront to our value of gender equality to acquiesce to a particular group of women being forced, pressured or cajoled into wearing dowdy coveralls. We owe it to Muslim women in Australia to do something about it.

White House Intervened to Toughen Letter on Iran Nuclear Deal President Donald Trump’s hard-line view on Iran was at odds with State Department diplomats By Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump told aides to toughen a State Department letter last week that declared Iran in compliance with a landmark nuclear deal, senior U.S. officials involved in a policy review said.

Top White House officials said the initial letter the State Department submitted was too soft because it ignored Tehran’s destabilizing activities in the Middle East and support for regional terrorist groups, these officials said.

Mr. Trump personally weighed in on the redrafting of the letter, which was sent to Congress on April 18, the officials said. The final version highlighted Iran’s threatening regional behavior and called into question the U.S.’s long-term support for the multinational accord.

Mr. Trump also told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to follow up the next day with a strident public message that the new administration was planning a shift on policy toward Iran, putting the nuclear deal in play, these officials said.

“An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and take the world along with it,” Mr. Tillerson said at the State Department on April 19.

The episode highlighted the divisions between Mr. Trump’s hard-line position on Iran and the approach taken by some career State Department diplomats and many European allies. State Department officials didn’t respond to a request for comment on Mr. Tillerson’s role in the exchange.

The nuclear agreement, which was implemented in January 2016, constrained Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for the lifting of most international sanctions, including some unilateral penalties imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department. CONTINUE AT SITE

Israel’s Prime Minister Scraps Meeting With Germany’s Top Diplomat Cancellation was response to foreign minister’s decision to meet a group critical of Israel’s armed forces, Netanyahu’s spokesman says By Andrea Thomas in Berlin and Rory Jones in Tel Aviv

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel scrapped a meeting with Germany’s top diplomat hours before they were to meet on Tuesday, the latest sign of tension between Israel and one of its oldest Western allies.

A spokesman for Mr. Netanyahu said the decision came in response to the plan by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to meet representatives of Breaking the Silence, a nongovernmental organization critical of the conduct of Israeli armed forces in the Palestinian territories.

“Imagine if foreign diplomats visiting the United States or Britain met with NGOs that call American or British soldiers war criminals,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement. “Leaders of those countries would surely not accept this.”

Mr. Gabriel, who is vice chancellor in Germany’s government and was on his first official trip to Israel since his appointment as foreign minister this year, said the snub would have no lasting impact on bilateral relations but expressed surprise at the Israeli premier’s decision.

“Imagine we were to invite Mr. Netanyahu to Germany and he wanted to meet with NGOs that also exist here and we were to say, ‘If you do that we will abort the visit.’ People would call us crazy.”

Later in the day, Mr. Gabriel declined to take a telephone call from Mr. Netanyahu, an Israeli official said. In Berlin, the German Foreign Ministry said it couldn’t confirm that account.

Mr. Gabriel was expected to meet later Tuesday with representatives of Breaking the Silence, which collects testimony, often anonymously, from members of the Israeli military on its operations in the territories.

A spokesman for the organization couldn’t be reached for comment.

Postwar Germany has been among Israel’s most steadfast allies for decades. Chancellor Angela Merkel once described protecting the security of Israel as part of Germany’s “raison d’être.”

But the relationship has been put under strain recently, with Berlin becoming more critical of the lack of progress in efforts to reach a negotiated settlement in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Germany sharply criticized Israel’s retroactive legalization of thousands of settler dwellings in the West Bank in February. The Palestinians said all Israeli communities in the territory are illegal under international law.

That same month, Berlin postponed for a year a joint German-Israeli cabinet meeting planned for May in Jerusalem because of what it called “scheduling difficulties” caused by Germany’s presidency of the Group of 20 largest economies. CONTINUE AT SITE

Repeal Yale’s Trustee Gag Rule We asked candidates their views on free speech. The university told them they were obliged to shut up. By Lauren Noble and Richard West

Ms. Noble is founder and executive director of the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale. Mr. West is dean emeritus of New York University’s Stern School of Business and a board member of the Buckley Program.

With free speech under attack on campuses nationwide, university trustees have generally remained on the sidelines. Yale seems determined to keep them there. The William F. Buckley Jr. Program recently began an effort to encourage a more open process for electing alumni trustees, known as fellows. So far we’ve gotten nowhere.

Last year we invited the three candidates for alumni fellow to participate in a web forum on free speech and diversity of thought. To our surprise, not one responded. Then we received an email from Kimberly Goff-Crews, Yale’s vice president for student life, explaining it was “university practice that Alumni Fellow candidates do not campaign in any way” but “stand for election solely based on the biographical statements in the Alumni Fellow ballot.” This she described as “both a constraint placed on candidates, and a promise made to them in terms of the demands of the election process.”

This year we penned an open letter to the trustees asking them to encourage candidates to participate in our forum. More than 400 alumni have signed on. So far Ms. Goff-Crews hasn’t budged. In an interview with the Yale Daily News, she repeated, almost word for word, last year’s assertion that campaigning is forbidden. University administrators also canceled the Daily News’s scheduled interviews with the trustee candidates.

The executive director of the Association of Yale Alumni, Weili Cheng, defended the gag rule. The Daily News reports “she feared that campaigning might lead to conflict in the alumni community” and quoted her as saying: “Look what happened with the presidential campaign.”

But the current process is unfair to the candidates and the alumni. If university administrators will not provide the basis for both groups to help ensure an informed choice of trustees, what is the purpose of having an election? CONTINUE AT SITE