Time waits for no one, least of all, the glands. Embrace infirmity.
You’ve heard it before, from the archives for Old White Coot.
Ask George Smith e-mail: webmaster at dick destiny
Time waits for no one, least of all, the glands. Embrace infirmity.
You’ve heard it before, from the archives for Old White Coot.
Gun nut, sexual athlete and ex-antivirus mogul John McAfee just went full electromagnetic pulse crazy. I suppose it had to happen although on the scale of all things McAfee, it’s not very original.
In a recent syndicated column (yes, someone gave him one), McAfee parrots what the extreme kook right and survivalists/preppers have been going on about for the last fifteen years, electromagnetic pulse doom:
My first thought upon hearing Obama’s proclamation [on the Roseburg massacre and gun violence) was that I was in the middle of an acid flashback and I had no benzodiazepines to mediate the trip. My second thought was: what possible single issue, in this complex society of ours, would merit a “single issue” status?
I assumed that the single issue would be the tragic issue of our national security. This issue would clearly be the rampant illiteracy of our elected leaders in the science of cyber security. Experts agree that an all out cyber attack, beginning with an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on our electronic infrastructure, would wipe out 90% of the human population of this country within two years of the attack. That means the death of 270 million people within 24 months after the attack.
Yet our leaders are nearly all ill prepared for this near certain, not-too-distant event. If I were forced to choose a single issue, this would obviously be the issue.
One of my favorite celebrity freaks, McAfee then flails around for a bit before offering up the statistic that “85 percent of all mass shootings have happened while Democrats were on watch.”
Of course. McAfee continues that this needs looking into.
And I’m happy to say that someone did look into it a couple years back, except not expressly from the angle of gun massacres, but from the slightly broader definition of domestic right wing terrorism. (I think we can agree Chris Harper Mercer was a right-wing gun nut (along with his mother), as well as a few other things.)
[The] report, entitled Challengers from the Sideline: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right, analyzed right wing domestic terrorism for contributing factors. The strongest correlator was the number of seats held in the House of Representatives by Republicans.
Simply, right wing violence escalates when their are more GOP Reps. The report reasoned this might be because those perpetrating right wing violence feel supported ideologically by Republicans in that body.
The other possibility, of course, is that the rhetoric emitted by the Republican Party in control of the House creates an environment in which some people feel empowered, or moved, to violence against the government.
The other contributing factor was legislation, specifically that having to do with gun control. The Brady Bill, or Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, signed into law in 1993 during the Clinton administrations, caused a spurt in militia growth and related right wing violence in that period …
And in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security got into hot water over a report on domestic terrorism that painted the right wing as fertile ground for radicalization. And that the specifics fueling the radicalism and violence were political issues, economic hardship and a couple other things (like the resentment of an African American president). But the most specific driver was the belief that the state was either planning to confiscate guns or enacting gun control legislation even when none of these were true.
And today we know that for the entire duration of the Obama administration, the National Rifle Association has mounted a concerted campaign that has little other purpose than to gin up paranoia and fear about gun confiscation by the same administration. Even though there has been absolutely (or virtually) no gun control laws of any kind enacted during the period.
So if we are to take Mr. McAfee at his word, yes, it certainly looks like most of the slaughters look like they take place when Democrats are in charge. And one of the drivers appears to be because white gun nuts have been repeatedly told Democrats are coming for their guns, among many other things.
The Homeland Security report was issued around the time of the massacre in Aurora and readers can see how that turned out.
The authors paid for that one with their careers. However, it proved a little harder to get at West Point.
In any case, often by intent and sometimes not, John McAfee has always had something of a comedic flair. This column being a good example, as well as his recent announcement that he’s running for President. Pat Paulsen lives!
As the paranoia of the gun crazy right wing in America rolls on newspapers continue to publish features on the local white guys who believe it’s all going to come crashing down from electromagnetic pulse attack. But they’re going to be ready with their off-the-grid homes, ammo, guns, gold bars and pemmican, ready to preserve their American way, if not democracy, in the inevitable ritual of purification.
Mark Rinke — a 32-year-old, married father of two in Olathe who worries about TEOTWAYKI (The End of the World As You Know It) — declined to be interviewed at his home for a strategic reason.
“OPSEC,” said Rinke, floating the military jargon for operations security.
In other words, should the United States ever fall into social chaos through war, economic collapse or some other calamity, Rinke would rather, for security’s sake, not reveal too much regarding the details of his stockpiled energy, arms, water and food.
“WHAT WE’VE SEEN IS NOT ONLY THE PROLIFERATION OF APOCALYPTIC IDEAS BY THE INTERNET, BUT THEIR PROLIFERATION IN POPULAR CULTURE IN ALL FORMS.”
— Michael Barkun, Syracuse University professor emeritus of political science
“I think it [electromagnetic pulse doom] is a pretty decent concern because it doesn’t necessarily take a country making a decision to do it,” Rinke said. “It can be a rogue thing with a homemade rocket. One day a guy pulls his contraption out of his garage and shoots it off. Our grid goes down.”
Should that day arrive, Rinke feels confident he will be among the prepared.
Remember, no liberals in the bunker.
The Pulse — from the incomparable archives.
Fourteen years ago Osama bin Laden showed the world the United States had a glass jaw. After one very hard hit, the world superpower would appear to rise up, united only to see its people and leaders fail in spectacular fashion as they abandoned all principles they thought they stood for.
Fourteen years later, we’re subdued and fearful owners of a combination corporate dictatorship national security state equipped with an armored car-driving paramilitary police force and surveillance apparatus designed for the suppression of civilian participation. Add to that an embedded racial apartheid, one that puts African Americans and the poor in prison for profits, targets of extortion in the way of organized heists disguised as fines for petty infractions and legitimately resentful of their terrible officials.
The largest military and national security complex in world history was erected. And it’s only strategy, with the only exception being the recent agreement with Iran , is attacking much poorer nations with overwhelming force, selectively bombing impoverished regions of misery and lawlessness, launching pinprick military raids/assassinations and creating or exacerbating failed states.
A small example, yesterday, from Fox News and overseas sources (delivered by mercenaries probably on the US payroll, yet), reasonable evidence that ISIS can manufacture small amounts of mustard gas in Syria, for use in mortar shells and improvised bombs aimed at local militias opposed to them.
And who brought it about? We did when an illegitimate war was launched, one that destroyed Iraq and destabilized the entire region, a place where we’re still bombing people, making things worse, stirring the pot, training lousy local fighters who desert, and arming the same with weapons that eventually get turned over to even worse people.
One Kurdish soldier said that of 52 mortars ISIS launched at his team during one attack, three released yellow smoke that caused their skin to immediately water, discharge liquids, blister and create large wounds. Soldiers exposed to the gas vomited and experienced extreme abdominal pain and severe burning and itching eyes. Other mortars discharged a silver glittery substance that stuck to their skin like glue. The Kurdish soldiers said the Iraqi military also said ISIS used these chemical weapons on their forces.
The attached photos, if genuine, show wounds that appear to be caused by a blistering agent.
The nature of the story appears to show that only small amounts, militarily insignificant, are being produced and put into mortar shells, in and of itself a hazardous undertaking. The primary aim would appear to be to cause an additional measure of terror and demoralization.
The incident also appears to describe a failed improvised weapon, I’m guessing — something sticky and flammable — styrofoam or styrene dissolved in an organic solvent until thickened, to adhere. In this case, there was no ignition.
And what are we looking forward to in 2016?
More of the same, almost certainly.
Why, here’s the alleged leading candidate of the Democratic Party, being distasteful and awful, as it turned out, in making what she thinks is an off-camera joke about the killing of Moe Gadaffi.
Hilarious. Failed states and refugee crises.
Still the best song that applies. Shoulda been a contender.
Incidentally, it’s the only rock video to show anthrax mailer Bruce Ivins entertaining in a Maryland bar AND his vanity-pressing white label single, “Pass Me By.”
Ivins’ anthrax mailings touched off the biggest investment in bioterror defense in world history (we’re always number one in these dubious achievements), all to counter a threat, the predicted scope of which has never materialized.
The best and only bioterrorist minted during the war on terror? Our man! Paid for by the US taxpayer.
Also eyeball the video for the “puffer machine.” (We’ll check you now, for purity!) Designed for the detection of explosives at airports, many were bought. None of them worked and it was subsequently canned.
Whole Foods has two stores in Pasadena. One on the Arroyo and one on the east side of town at Foothill north of the highway. The Arroyo store announced a job fair on Monday on Facebook and a placard at the franchise on Foothill was seen on Sunday by a friend. You were to upload your resume to the corporate website and come by the store between 9 and 1 today.
The store was overwhelmed by job applicants. The three level parking garage was filled and job-seekers played musical cars in the lanes hoping for a lucky break. I got such a break and went into the store.
There was a line of at least 150 people. More were waiting outside. The store had to put up a sign. You would not be seen without an appointment. The drop by/walk-in plan was cancelled. I had no appointment.
The Whole Foods website advertised two openings at the Arroyo store, both for part-time work, one in the meat department and one as a dishwasher.
People milled around as staff tried to organize those in the crowd who did have appointments. As I drove out, a line of of cars snaked into the garage.
There is never that kind of crowd at Whole Foods before noon at the middle of the week.
It’s a good store. So is the one on the east side. It has always seemed a pleasant place to work. The employees have their own unorthodox cool that sets Whole Foods apart from most other places in Pasadena.
The only rival, Trader Joe’s, is equally good, although for a much more frugal job, a niche it fills perfectly.
Excuse please, my mind wanders.
If you like, you can throw a few coins in the misery jar.
Why, living under the perpetual smog column from the superhighway that bisects my beloved Pasadena!
And Thursday is the morning for four hours of apartment complex leaf blower action.
A new acquaintance recently visited Pasadena for a national convention of art museum librarians. The weather, as usual, was great and she remarked in a message to me that being very fair, she was going to put on sun block before hitting Colorado.
I told her not to worry much about sunburn. In twenty years, I’ve never been sunburned anywhere within a mile of the highway, at best, reddened a little. Can’t happen. In the middle of summer, average days, the mountain disappears. Reflective particulates, an invisibility cloak.
Now, Santa Barbara — on the other hand. Fifteen minutes anytime after 11:00 am, fried.
U.S. Web users are searching for information about North Korea with astounding, unprecedented frequency. Google searches for “North Korea,” currently seven times the previous peak during the country’s 2006 nuclear test, are dramatically outpacing those for Beyonce or even President Obama.
Last week, North Korea was the third most-popular term on Twitter, following only Easter and Good Friday. And these Web trends appear to reflect broader American views: Pew estimates that 36 percent of Americans are following the news “very closely” – that’s unusually high for an international news story – with 56 percent saying the U.S. should take the threats “very seriously.”
Oddly, that skyrocketing interest does not appear to have translated into a better understanding of the North Korean threat …
The same Pew poll found that 47 percent of Americans think that North Korea is capable of launching a nuclear missile that can hit the United States, which is false …
It’s not clear why Americans who pay more attention to news reports about North Korea are so ill-informed about its military capability …
Beware the revenging pummeling labonza-belting fists of the enraged New Serbians.
The regime’s next move could be to break into US computer networks to steal information and spread viruses, Jang Se-yul, who defected to the South in 2008, told the Observer. North Korea’s hackers are suspected of being behind recent cyberattacks that paralysed computer networks at several South Korean banks and broadcasters.
“It would demonstrate that North Korea is a strong cyberpower,” Jang said. “Their prime target is the US, and they’ve been preparing for something like this for years, including when I was there in the 1990s. I can’t say how successful they would be, but it’s a possibility.”
The barrage of threats have failed to unnerve people in Seoul …
The House Intelligence Committee is warning that “time is running out” before the next major cyberattack: The Russians, Iranians, Chinese and others are likely already on your computer.
“You have criminal organizations trying to get into your personal computer and steal your personal stuff. And by the way, the Chinese are probably on your computer, the Russians are probably on your personal computer, the Iranians are already there,” House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R.-MI). told Fox News.
The Revolutionary Guard on my computer?! Is it too late to remind everyone that I always thought the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was the greatest man, ever?
In demeanor, some similarities to WhiteManistan.
The Pentagon early Monday restored the U.S. Forces-Korea website, following a nearly weeklong outage.
Officials declined to say who or what prompted what they described as “a hardware failure” that crashed www.usfk.mil early last Tuesday morning …
Information security experts questioned why the site remained down for nearly seven days. George Smith, senior fellow with the think tank GlobalSecurity.org, said the length of the disruption could reflect a lack of resources or little consideration for the site, in general. He noted U.S. Forces-Korea’s Facebook page displays a photograph of a waterfall on an island where troops will be vacationing. Also, the command’s Twitter feed is outdated. “They don’t appear to care much about social media messaging. Maybe they don’t care about their website, either, really,” Smith said.
On the other hand, the Pentagon could have been taking time to investigate what went wrong, he said. “The last possibility is [a North Korean] cyberattack, which would be unsurprising, all things considered, but still childish,” Smith said.
This morning the Pasadena Star-News ran an opinion piece that started life as a blog post at Foreign Policy last week.
Entitled “North Korea’s threat to Guam is deadly serious,” I re-posted part of it last week here because of the appearance of John Pike.
Foreign Policy, like the rest of that part of the national security infrastructure establishment responsible for threat-seeking and writing memos of rationalization on who needs to be blasted, is useless.
For instance, I doubt there’s anyone in Pasadena, not Asian, under 50 who knows where or what Guam is.
In fact, I doubt there’s anyone in the entire chain of small newspapers to which the Star News belongs who ever reads Foreign Policy. Yet little crummy newspapers over the United States picked up the absurd thing, because it’s a classic troll piece.
Foreign Policy, like others in the national security metroplex, would like a war. Because the United States has no foreign policy other than conducting war, starting pre-emptive war or blowing up people in poor countries with drones.
Everyone would feel good because the mouthpieces at the old think tanks would be empowered to crank it into overdrive again.
The North Korean imbroglio plays like a cartoon.
And that’s because North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is a living cartoon character, an absurd-looking fool who wouldn’t last a minute in an American supermarket without being ushered out by security for doing something crazy and annoying, like spilling all the potatoes in the produce section onto the floor so everyone knew he had arrived. His only friend in the world is another person who is crazy and annoying, Dennis Rodman.
What happens if Kim Jong Un shoots a rocket at Guam, no one can tell what is in it, and like everything from North Korea, it’s substandard and breaks up or goes crooked and doesn’t hit anything?
Do we try to shoot it down? Go out to part of the ocean where we think it landed looking for stuff to see if we have to unleash Strategic Command to destroy North Korea? (I asked Pike these questions in a facetious e-mail, like this post, this morning. “Yup,” he answered.)
North Korea is Serbia in 1914.
We should look at the bright side. A world war might bring on necessary stimulus. At least until China opens up its nuclear arsenal.