Thursday, March 15, 2018

David Hogg: "National School Walkout from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School"

Here is a David Hogg film: “National School Walkout from MSD” (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County, FL.  (30 min)

Video that he made during the actual shooting from inside a closet does not seem to be available.
A lot of his previous work (before the Valentine's Day event) on his YouTube channel, like the trip to L.A., is witty and interesting. 

Picture: Fort Lauderdale Beach (Broward County), my visit, Nov. 2017 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Siegfried Hecker reports on what he saw in North Korean nuclear weapons research (PBS short film)

This American scientist has seen North Korea’s nuclear program up close”, on PBS News. 

On PB, Miles O’Brien reports, Feb. 14, 2018.  The scientist is Siegfried Hecker. He was shown and allowed to hold a canister of warm, heavy plutonium ingots.  Then he was shown some of North Korea’s centrifuging facilities for separating out U-235, which had not been reported before. Hecker estimates between 20 and 40 fission bombs.

Intelligence analysts can look at North Korean procurement documents for the exact aluminum and steel components purchased before sanctions.
I can recall getting bizarre emails about four years ago about “jobs” overseeing Asian weapons component purchases.   Why were they sent to me?  I marked them as spam. 
By U.S. Department of Energy -, Public Domain, Link

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Vox: "What a War With North Korea Would Look Like"

A Vox video by Danush Parvaneh and others, “What a War With North Korea Would Look Like” (6 min).  
The animated presentation features Senator Tammy Duckworth, (D-IL) who lost both legs in combat in Iraq.
The film says that North Korea would be very likely to use chemical and biological weapons in South Korea very quickly and stated the horrific results that could result from one anthrax vial.
The film then got into the “use it or lose it” idea on nuclear weapons.
The video also hinted at the “decoupling” problem of Pentagon planning:  North Korea could some day decide that forceful conquest of the South is necessary to keep the Kim family in power.
Wikipedia attribution link for North Korean missile ranges, CCSA 3.0. Note that the KN-08 is now the H-15. 

Sunday, February 04, 2018

"North Korea's Nuclear Threat in 2018" by The Economist

The Economist offers a short film (Dec. 2017) “North Korea’s Nuclear Threat in 2018” from its “World in 2018” series

The video is commendable for its lack of inflammatory rhetoric and seems to predict that both Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un will avoid war and its catastrophic consequences.

The film documents “only” a credible nuclear threat to the West Coast of the United States, not to the entire mainland, despite the Nov. 28, 2017 “parabolic” H-15 test.
The film is surprising in not mentioning EMP. 

Saturday, January 06, 2018

"Why the Threat of North Korean EMP Weapon Is Overhyped" (by Defense Updates)

Defense Updates (sponsored by Patreon) provides a 7-minute short film “Why Threat of North Korean E.M.P. Weapon Is Overhyped?”

The film makes the threat of EMP damage quite alarming, although it doesn’t distinguish between E1 and E3.  It says the US military is well aware of the problem but refuses to talk about it publicly, and that commercial infrastructure is only partially prepared, and real hardening would be very expensive, after decades of stockholder driven cost cutting.  It is interesting that the film mentions specially designed EMP nukes as tactical nuclear weapons.

However, the political climate for Kim Jong Un makes a full nuclear attempt against the US more likely, the film argues, because any attack would result in an overwhelming nuclear retaliation from the U.S. anyway.  The film buys the argument that Kim only wants to stay in power as the third member of a family dynasty.  He got fat to fill it. But I do wonder about the dominoes. 
An E-3 EMP, if pulled off, could so cripple the US that Communist or radical Islamist groups could later land and rule by force.

It seems clear that North Korea has shown how dangerous asymmetry can be in the modern world.

It seems to me that there is a real risk that Kim uses EMP if he hasn't yet mastered the re-entry problem but has mastered exploding a device in flight before landing.  That could be the case already or soon, early in 2018.  That makes pre-emption right now dangerous for America directly as well as Korean peninsula.  Lindsey Graham is wrong in saying the war would stay in their backyard if we fought it now. 

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

"America Lights Out": Christian group expands on Ted Koppel's expose of EMP threat

There are a lot of YouTube videos ought there now predicting that North Korea can kill 90% of the US population with a thermonuclear EMP attack.   I do see some Fox vides at least six months old addressing North Korea’s possible EMP threat, so the recent article last week may not be as surprising.

VFNTv appears to be a conservative evangelical Christian media group. I won’t get into theology, but at least their 24 minute film put up in mid November makes “America Lights Out” does a respectable job of referencing Ted Koppel’s 2015 book “Lights Out” (Book reviews Nov. 10, 2015).

An E1 attack (which can be done with a smaller fission device or even non-nuclear microwave flux) sounds more likely than the thermonuclear E3. 

The US might be able to knock out a lot of North Korea’s missile capability with its own stealth microwave weapons, but the North Korean infrastructure seems to be largely hidden and underground (maybe with Faraday shields).
But we still don’t see the major “mainstream” news broadcasting channels (including CNN and Vox) quite ready to discuss this threat openly yet.  That needs to change. 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

"EMP Myths Debunked and your EMP Questions answered by Dr. Arthur T. Bradley", from Reluctant Preppers

Reluctant Preppers sponsors a 54-minute video interview by Dunagan Kaiser of NASA’s Dr. Arthur T.  Bradley ("Disaster Preparer") on the EMP threat.  Reluctant Preppers has ties to Patreon which also sponsors "Strange Mysteries". 

Bradley suggests that an attack could be more insidious than generally proposed.

Devices that are powered off may be less vulnerable than those in use.  Maybe 25% of cars would stall on the highway with some attacks (sounds like E1). But that could cause real mayhem. Because the attack would be unprecedented and irregular and hard to assess at first, a power like North Korea might be able to “get away with it” for a while.

He describes an “experiment” that occurred in Kazakhstan and caused a power plant go to on fire.
Solar systems might be partially susceptible to EMP.

He talks about the rather remote threat to heart pacemakers.

He explains the difference between a solar storm, which is largely E3, with a typical EMP which might be largely E1 unless thermonuclear weapons were used.

It is not likely that an effective EMP could be detonated from an airplane.

Bradley suggests that an enemy like North Korea could try more than one kind of attack in a short time period.
“The Survival Mom” on Facebook shared this video.