Preparing for the Worst Case Scenario in North Korea

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You wake up and nothing works.

No electricity.

No cell phone or land line.

No radio.

No electric tooth brush.

No internet or cable.

No laptop. No tablet.

Car: nothing.

What happened?

No, it’s not a scene from the Twilight Zone. It’s the aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse attack. EMP for short.

An EMP attack would look like this:

  • North Korea launches an ICBM toward North America
  • The warhead detonates 100 miles above Colorado
  • Waves of electromagnetic energy pulse down across the fruited plain
  • Every semiconductor and small wire in the United States burns out

No boats. No lights. No motor cars.

Not a single luxury.

Like Robinson Carusoe—as primitive as

Fox News: Millions of American lives could be at stake as North Korea threatens to attack power grid

Communication would be reduced to two kinds:

  • Face-to-face
  • Walkie talkie radio

For walkie talkies to work, people must have protected them. Protected them in a Faraday cage.

A Faraday cage is a device. It’s a device that protects what’s inside from electrical damage. Faraday cages work because they’re super-conductive. They give electricity the ultimate path of least resistance.  Why does resistance matter?

Electricity operates likes this: positive and negative poles. One seeks the other. When you release a large amount of positive electricity, it goes looking for negative electricity. It looks for grounding.

Electronics, like radios, are full of wires and stuff. Stuff that conducts electricity. So those protons in the atmosphere use that wiring to find a ground. To find their negative mates. That’s what fries out the electronics.

But a Faraday cage conducts electricity better than a radio. Or a cell phone. If your device is inside a Faraday cage, the electricity passes around the outside of the cage. Your electronic device inside is left unharmed.

So paranoid people who keep their radios and electronics inside Faraday cages will have electronic communications. The rest of won’t.

But there’s good news. You can protect your stuff.

You can buy anti-static zip lock bags. I like 10″ x 14″ bags. They hold a MacBook Air. Or an emergency radio. Or multi-band walkie talkies. Or cell phones.

You can keep your devices sealed in one of these bags overnight. You can carry a few in a back pack to work, in case you hear a civil defense warning in the middle of the day. A warning that North Korea has launched an ICBM. The ICBM evaded our missile defenses. You have about 20 minutes. Twenty minutes to prepare.

You grab your radios, your phone, and your laptop. You slide them into anti-static bags. You seal the bags. And you wait.

Wait for the boom.

Wait for the power to go out.

Wait to see cars stop in the middle of the highway.

And if the EMP attack never comes? Well, you’re out $10 for the anti-static bags.

Maybe Kim’s a lunatic. Maybe he’s a fox. Maybe he’s playing us all. The USA. China. The UN.

Or maybe he’s a genius. Maybe he sees a path to an end game. Maybe he’s thought ahead about how others will respond to various moves on his part. And maybe he has found his best move. Kim could think like this:

  • If I bomb Guam or Japan, the world will applaud the USA’s nuclear retaliation that wipes out my kingdom.
  • If I keep acting belligerent but do nothing, China will eventually get tired of my antics and cut trade ties with my kingdom.
  • If I hit the USA with an EMP, there’s no visible destruction, no mushroom cloud, no radiation burns, no Hiroshima-like aftermath. Their lights go out. If anyone dies, it’s because the USA is weak and unprepared and soft.
  • And if the USA tries to retaliate against my EMP with the full-on attack, the world will be on my side. They’ll see that the USA is over-reacting to a demonstration of power that directly killed nobody.

I have no idea if that’s how Kim thinks. I have an idea that, if he thinks that way, he’s somewhat right. The USA and our western allies are soft and weak. The American people, save for a few rugged places like Houston (and thereabouts) are soft and weak and desperate for comfort. People would trade their freedom for comfort. They do it all the time.

Would Chuck Schumer support retaliation for an EMP attack? Would Paul Ryan?

I honestly doubt it. I promise you the US Chamber of Commerce would oppose retaliation. For fear of stock market losses. Since Schumer and Ryan are both employed by the Chamber, they’ll oppose retaliation out of fiduciary duty. So will Code Pink. And Bernie “Stalin” Sanders. And Mitch McConnell. And Google and Mark Zuckerberg. And Apple. And Theresa May and that wimpy French president. And Angela Merkel.

For fear of losses to the world’s elites, all the old allies would oppose US retaliation for what some would call “a sophisticated prank.”

Call me cynical. But I’m preparing (mildly) for an EMP attack. Just in case Kim Jong-un’s opinion of western world leaders is as low as mine.

War & Tariffs: What to do about North Korea

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If you think about geopolitics at all, you know North Korea poses many problems for its neighbors. And for the United States. And for the whole world.

If we take attack North Korea militarily, over a million South Koreans will die. Along with a lot of Americans on ships and on land over there. Nobody wants that. It might come to that, but nobody wants it.

Now, North Korea has ICBMs that can drop a nuke on Alaska. Or Hawaii. Soon they’ll be able to hit California.

Here is my two-pronged approach:

1. 500% Tariffs

Impose a 500% tariff on all imports from any country that maintains trade relations of any kind with North Korea.

Many countries, including China, continue to trade with North Korea. A blanket 500% tax on imports would hurt us, sure. But it would cripple China’s weak economy. China, and all other nations doing business with Kim, would have to sever ties immediately. And if they don’t, well, that giant sucking sound you hear will be manufacturing plants opening up all across the fruited plane.

China takes only one thing seriously: money. Threaten their money supply and Xi will finally man up and take down Li’l Kim.

But that tariff needs some spine. A spine that will put the fear of Trump into every world leader.

2. Declare War

Congress declares that a state of war exists between the Government of North Korea and the Government and the people of the United States of America.

Being in a state of declared war does not require combat. But if Congress passes a war declaration, the world knows the president can initiate combat any time the mood strikes. With a single tweet, he can order our armed forces to wipe North Korea off the face of the earth.

People will pay attention to that. Kim will know that his life is in the hands of Donald J. Trump’s next tweet. China will know. Japan will know. South Korea will know. And Russia will know.

In plain English, the declaration of war is justified as follows:

  • North Korea’s leaders have repeatedly said they intend to use nuclear weapons to blackmail or attack the people of United States.
  • North Korea’s leaders have violated every UN mandate intended to stop North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and intercontinental delivery abilities.
  • North Korea has now the means, the motive, and the opportunity to attack the people of the United States with nuclear weapons.
  • Therefore, it is our right as human beings and our duty as a government to adopt this unanimous declaration of war between North Korea and the United States.
  • This declaration will remain in effect until altered or abolished by Congress.
  • May God have mercy on their communist souls.

Get Serious

It’s time to get serious. Ever since Jimmy Carter flew to Pyongyang to bring Kim Il-sung a batch of Miss Lilly’s secret peanut brittle, the North Korea has marched relentlessly toward total war against the United States.

Through three administrations, the United States threatened, appeased, cajoled, and looked the other way.

As President Trump said, the time for strategic patience with North Korea is over. Nothing will be gained by waiting until Kim wipes out millions of Americans as they sleep in bed. Nor do we gain by giving into his terroristic blackmail.

On this Independence Day, it’s time to declare independence from the fear and intimidation that puts the entire world at risk. It’s time declare economic and military war against North Korea and her greedy enablers.

The two actions, taken in tandem, will likely prevent war. It’s a bold move, but it’s necessary. Millions of American lives depend on it.

Happy Fourth.

God bless the brave heroes of our armed forces, especially those serving with my sons in the Pacific Theater.

Democrats Ruin the World (f-bombs included!)

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Picture this.

Every time you leave your teenage kids home alone for a weekend, you come back to stink-eyes from your neighbors, a living room that’s a sea of empty beer cans, a yard filled with cigarette butts, and a pregnant cat.

Pretty soon, you’d stop leaving those kids to their own devices, wouldn’t you? If you had to leave town, you’d find a sitter. Maybe a retired Marine uncle. Or a friendly cop to send a car by the house every half hour during the dark hours. But you wouldn’t let the behavior continue.

Now, think about how Democrats fuck up the world every time they get into the White House.

  • Kennedy/Johnson left Vietnam for Nixon
  • Carter left the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, and Iran Hostage Crisis for Reagan
  • Clinton left North Korea and al Qaeda for Bush
  • Obama left a nuclear North Korea, Syria, Russia, China, Libya, Egypt, Ukraine, and a dozen other geopolitical nightmares for Trump

What’s worse is we elected those Republicans (excepting Nixon) largely to deal with problems at home. But each of those presidents had to spend his first term on foreign policy. Not because they wanted to. Because Democrats had actively fucked up the entire world while they were in charge.

Face it: international relations is just too complicated a subject for a Democrat’s brain. They’re not equipped for the challenge.

Democrats handle geopolitics like a cat handles an iPad. Sure, they can stomp on the icons and make sound come out, but the cat thinks it’s stepping on bugs when it’s actually tweeting out your online banking password. But you get million YouTube views for the video, so it all evens out.

Maybe you don’t want to think about foreign policy. Maybe you don’t want to deal with the fact that we are closer to nuclear war than we’ve been . . . ever. Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter managed to help North Korea get nuclear weapons and ICBMs. Carter told Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-song, to do whatever he wants; we’ll bring the casserole.

Now, Il-song’s deranged, inbred grandson has nukes and a million bottles of inherited Hennessy. He’s murdered his wife and her band, his brother, uncles, and thousands of others. He holds 100s of thousands of people in concentration camps. And he has a hard-on for using those nukes Grandpappy Il-song left him.

Two of my kids are within range of Kim Jong-un’s weapons. One is on shore duty with the Navy on the island of Guam. The other serves in the Navy with a helo combat squadron assigned to the USS Nimitz. So, I have some skin in this game. But this isn’t about my fatherly worry. It’s about my responsibility as a voter. And yours.

As a voter, I’m kind of like the government’s parent. As a parent, I won’t leave Democrats home alone again. They’re irresponsible, immature, and kind of stupid. That’s why they’re drawn to safer careers like acting, journalism, and university professorships. Those are good jobs for irresponsible, stupid people.

Respect the planet. Don’t ever vote Democrat.

Happy Birthday, Jack Hennessy

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I don’t get into town to visit my dad often enough. That’s my loss.

JackHennessySTLPDJack Hennessy, my dad, epitomizes what we call The Greatest Generation.

He helped raise his younger brothers and sister after their mother passed away. Jack was ten. His youngest sibling, my uncle Jim, was a newborn.

Jack Hennessy answered the call of World War II. He was a Machinist’s Mate in the Navy. He answered, again, when North Korea crossed the 34th Parallel.

After service in two wars, Jack continued his life of service and protection on the Metropolitan St. Louis Police Department.  Later, he retired from Sunnen Products Company in Maplewood.

My dad is one of the wittiest men I’ve ever known. Of course, I didn’t always appreciate that wit. Like many  young men, I often wondered what all the other people found so funny. When my college buddies started asking if my dad could come out to the bars with us, I began to worry about my friends’ mental health.

On leave from my own stint in the Navy, though, I began to see what I’d been missing. God gave me the great privilege of living the first 21 years of my life in the home of a great man, one who devoted his life to his kids and their happiness. He’d served community and country proudly, selflessly, and honorably. He’s a devoted grandfather and husband surrounded by loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren, still in St. Louis City where he’s lived his whole life.

Today, Jack Hennessy does what he can to service the country and community he loves. He has his yard signs and bumper stickers, and he’s itching to vote “that bum” out of office.

I wish him a very happy birthday, and hope you will to. He doesn’t ask for much, but I know something he would love: a big win for Romney, Akin, and, especially, his friend Ed Martin Jr. And your No vote on Proposition A wouldn’t hurt, either.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

 

Obama’s Incompetence Leaves Americans At Risk

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It took almost three years of Jimmy Carter’s dangerously naive worldview before the world rushed in. By “rushed in,” I mean the Soviet Union rushed into Afghanistan, Iranian radicals rushed into the US Embassy in Tehran, and Cuban-backed communists rushed into every Central and South American country they could.

These aggressions resulted from a world perception that Jimmy Carter was unwilling to use America’s arsenal for good. Additionally, following Vietnam and observing American culture, the world surmised that:

a.  the US government could not be trusted to live up to defense commitments, and

b.  the American people had gone weak.

In 1980, the USA showed spine by electing Ronald Reagan and a Republican Senate. Reagan reversed Carter’s internationalist and conciliatory approach to the world, establishing America as the world’s law and order. That assertion ultimately ended the Cold War by ending the Soviet Union.

In 1991, the United States asserted its ability to turn back aggression by lesser powers when it drove Iraq out of Kuwait in a week. President Bush made the terrible mistake of backing down instead of wiping out Saddam, but the mission was otherwise successful.

For the remainder of the 1990s, Americans were too pre-occupied with making more (paper) profits and buying larger houses. We thought that the world would run itself.  When terrorists bombed the World Trade Center, the USS Cole, and US Embassies in Africa, we yawned.

Our ambivalence toward Islamic terrorism during this period emboldened al Qaeda to up the ante by using civilian airliners as weapons on September 11, 2001. The subsequent war on terror, though, exposed many American tendencies that earlier gave rise to the problems seen in the 1970s. We became tired of the war and of sacrifice. Many Americans—including many who began as full-throated champions of war in 2003—turned against it.  Barack Obama’s entire foreign policy platform of 2008 came down to three planks: 1) get out of Iraq, 2) finish up Afghanistan, and 3) close Gitmo.

Once in office, Obama tried to implement those policies. But reality made his task difficult.  His promise to close the terrorist detention camp in Guantanamo Bay has yet to be realized. His promise to be out of Iraq in 16 months may still be viable, but he hasn’t told us when those 16 months start.  In Afghanistan, he took almost a year to make what should have been a 5-minute decision.

But our President has kept his promise to submit to the will of almost every foreign leader.  He has bowed to kings and sheiks.  One imagines he would kiss Kim Jong Il’s ring were the two ever in the same room.  Barack Obama seems to enjoy shrinking before foreign leaders.

Obama has diminished American prestige, influence, and security.

Walter Russell Mead, writing in Foreign Policy earlier this year, asked a series of questions about the results of Obama’s policies:

It is not only Americans who will challenge the new American foreign policy. Will Russia and Iran respond to Obama’s conciliatory approach with reciprocal concessions — or, emboldened by what they interpret as American weakness and faltering willpower, will they keep pushing forward? Will the president’s outreach to the moderate majority of Muslims around the world open an era of better understanding, or will the violent minority launch new attacks that undercut the president’s standing at home? Will the president’s inability to deliver all the Israeli concessions Arabs would like erode his credibility and contribute to even deeper levels of cynicism and alienation across the Middle East? Can the president execute an orderly reduction in the U.S. military stake in Iraq and Afghanistan without having hostile forces fill the power vacuum? Will Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez be so impressed with American restraint under Obama that he moderates his own course and ceases to make anti Yanquismo a pillar of his domestic and international policy? Will other countries heed the president’s call to assume more international responsibility as the United States reduces its commitments — or will they fail to fulfill their obligations as stakeholders in the international system?

While only time will tell, indicators are starting to point to a Carteresque end to the Obama era.

Mead points out that Obama continued to bow to Iran even as Iran’s regime tortured and raped protesters who asked only for American-style liberty. Obama has tried, repeatedly, to close Gitmo, but he has no answer to the question, “then what?”

In fact, that question seems to be the one he can never answer.  Both his domestic and foreign policy lack a conclusion—at least one he’s willing to make public.  His Katrina-like response to the Gulf oil spill, his vascilation over the surge in Afghanistan, his love-hate relationships with North Korea and Iran, his odd behavior toward Israel, and even his war against state governments all point to a man who never knew why he wanted to be president.

The bad news for Obama is that, while people sometimes underestimate strengths, they never miss spotting American weakness. Three events demonstrate that the world perceives Obama—and, thus, the United States—as weak and devoid of a strategy.

North Korea

Kim Jong Il apparently ordered the North Korean Navy to open fire upon a South Korean warship. The theory goes that Kim needed to show some manliness to ensure his son gets the throne when the elder dies.

North Korea would not have committed an overt act of war against South Korea unless Kim Jong Il was 99 percent certain that Obama would constrain South Korea from retaliation.

Kim was right.

The US took weeks to make a statement. When the US government released its assessment, it do so through the Department of Defense, not State.  And our retaliation?  Joint naval exercise with South Korea—as if we don’t do that every summer, anyway.

North Korea now knows two things about Obama: 1) his response to provocation will be late, and 2) his response will be weak.

China has taken note, refusing to condemn North Korea. There reports that China will use its veto in the UN General Assembly to block any action against their fellow communists.

Iran

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has played Obama the way Zamfir plays the pan-flute.  After Obama famously announced he would happily sit down with Ahmadinejad without pre-conditions to talk like civilized men, Ahmadinejad ordered the rape and torture of political enemies, reiterated his intention to nuke Israel, double his country’s illegal uranium enrichment program, and cut the tags off of hundreds of mattresses.

Afghanistan

It now appears that the Taliban or al Qaeda has upped the ante to WMDs against US forces in Afghanistan. Gateway Pundit reports that four or five American soldiers are being treated for respiratory illnesses brought on by chemical warfare agents. Earlier this month, the Department of Defense released a report detailing use of white phosphorous by Taliban fighters.

The Risk to America

The Obama administration is unraveling faster than anyone could have expected, and in ways that place the United States and the world in a dangerous position.

The world economy is on the brink of total collapse after two years of a miserable economy. Massive government debt has replaced massive private debt and threatens to explode all over the globe.

With a weak and indecisive American president who seems willing to let dictators run roughshod over the planet, the world will begin to look elsewhere for the safety and protection of strength and leadership.

But more important than American prestige, is the safety of American people. Barack Obama’s international apology tours have sent a signal that his country is fair game.  By siding with illegal invaders over the state of Arizona, Obama has signaled that border defense is no longer Washington’s responsiblity.  By kowtowing to brutal dictators, Obama has signaled an end to linkage between foreign policy of the US and internal policies of other nations.

Like it or not, we are stuck with Barack Obama until January 20, 2013.  While we take satisfaction in defeating his domestic agenda of collectivizing the US economy and controlling the American people, we do not celebrate his collapse on the world stage.  Obama’s inarticulate foreign policy, his absent strategy, and his bewildering apologies for American exceptionalism leave us all in a dangerous place.

It is up to us, the people, now, to assert America’s place in the world.  We can to that best by insisting that Barack Obama set his socialistic domestic agenda aside and deal with the world that is about to crash his little, selfish party.

UN Security Council Ignores Obama

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Jimmy Carter was the Rodney Dangerfield of international politics:  he got no respect from the people who counted.  The bad guys laughed at him.  

The bad guys must be rolling on the floor tonight.

Rogue Leaders Respect Nothing But Strength

Almost simultaneous with North Korea’s launching an ICBM in violation of international law and in defiance of US warnings, Barack Obama stood before the world and declared  his intention to disarm the arsenal for democracy. Using irony fit for Oscar Wilde, Obama asserted:  “I am not naive.” 

Mr. President, yes you are.

In truth, Obama’s vision of nuclear disarmament is like a fat guy’s vision of wearing a size 43 regular suit:  nice words, mere preference.  A “goal” that “might not be achieved in my lifetime,” is meaningless when coming from a man in his 40s and in good health.   

In international politics, though, the speech screamed weakness.  By talking about disarmament as North Korea thumbed its nuclear-tipped nose in our faces, Obama gave the unmistakable appearance of capitulation to a nuclear North Korea.  By default, this permissiveness extends to Iran.  

Our weakness was compounded by the US bungled handling of the missile threat.  The US leaked veiled threats of knocking down the missile in the weeks leading up to the launch.  When the missile was deployed, though, Secretary of Defense Gates indicated that the US had no intention of interfering with the missile’s flight.  Retreat is the ultimate form of weakness.

No Port in a Storm

After North Korea’s defiance and Obama’s disarmament speech, the US President expected his buddies in the UN Security Council to save him with strong sanctions.  That didn’t happen.  Instead, the UN Security Council simply walked away.  Fox News reports:

Council members met for three hours, seeking above all a unified response, but broke up for the night without issuing even a customary preliminary statement of condemnation. Diplomats privy to the closed-door talks say China, Russia, Libya and Vietnam were concerned about further alienating and destabilizing North Korea.

Jimmy Carter II
Those who remember the Carter Administration might feel some deja vu.  Carter repeatedly displayed weakness prior to a confrontation, demanded international condemnation after the event, then accepted the UN’s “leave us alone” response.  Eventually, Iran got brazen, took 80+ American hostages for 444 days and helped give us the greatest president of the 20th century.
Expect “international crisis” to quickly sweep “econonic crisis” off the front pages.  And let’s hope the economy recovers.  Obama is unqualified to handle a single challenge much less dual true crises.