Thursday, August 10, 2017
HBO and Vice News offer a short film, “How Japan Is Preparing for North Korean Threats”.
There is an elementary school drill, and then some demonstration of bunkers for sale for $200,000 each, which contain hand pumped air filters. The shelters would be good for two weeks.
Thursday, August 03, 2017
Vox has produced a short film (7:30) by Sam Elllis, “What Happens When ISIS Fails?”
The film does go into the issue of fighter (sometimes whole families) returning after ISIS loses all its territory that it had claimed as an unrecognized “state”. Many return with very radical views, and many were recruiting by slickly produced media on the Internet, and then processed subsequently on the Dark Web.
The video above on YouTube asks “What’s It Like to Fight for the Islamic State?”
Wikipedia attribution link for Qayyarah fighting near Mosul, by Chernov, CCSA 4.0.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
"Salvation" on CBS looks at the threat of a hidden asteroid, 6 months out, able to extinguish civilization
“Salvation”, a new CBS sci-fi series created by Elizabeth Kruger and Craig Shapiro, poses a rather “obvious” dilemma for an end-of-the-world scenario. The Pilot episode aired tonight (CBS link ).
Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe) is an appealing, clean-cut MIT teenage student working on a project to map all of space. One night, after a date and while in bed with a girl friend (maybe a first time) he gets a cell phone text that his project has discovered an asteroid due to hit Earth in 6 months.
Here is where there are too many coincidences. The government conveniently has a gravity deflection rocket that it wants to use against asteroids, but it wants to keep the knowledge of the asteroid classified. But the kid has found out, and might talk (or blog about it). The Pentagon already has a holographic simulation of the projected course.
Liam somewhat resembles the precocious college student Sal in my novel "Angel's Brother". But what does Sal know in my opening chapter? In my case, it's a meeting that sets up the dangerous knowledge for both lead characters, as a plot point.
The opening of the series is intriguing, as Liam is in a scene in a bar with the girl friend that reminds you of the opening of “The Social Network” (Thirsty Bernies), also in Cambridge. Neither show or film is concerned about drinking age of 21.
But how the world would deal with an asteroid is important, and we don’t know that there isn’t something like this out there. Is Trump ready for this?
“Space” discusses the physics of the project here. Comets would be less dense than asteroids.
Thursday, July 06, 2017
CNBC’s “Squawk Box” featured an interview with former CIA director James Woolsey July 5 on the idea that North Korea has the capability to detonate a small nuclear weapon from an orbiting satellite now, over the US, knocking out the power grid. So, for the sake of this blog, I’ll call this a “short film”.
Woolsey says that satellite technology is much easier to master than ICBM’s, and cites the Soviet Union’s Sputnik in 1957 as evidence.
Some reports say that this claim has been disputed.
But Woolsey repeated this assertion to Don Lemon on CNN on July 6.
But other than that, major media outlets have not picked up on this and the Trump administration has not yet acknowledged this particular risk.
Tony Cordesman has suggested that a limited military operation against DPRK could do a small (non-nuclear flux) EMP to take out their grids, but woukdn’t that trigger a retaliation if Woolsey is right?
Sunday, June 25, 2017
"Terror in the Library" in ABC's "In an Instant" series, 1994 event disturbing for singling out hostages
ABC’s “In an Instant”, a series of 2-hour documentary films sponsored by 20-20, aired
“Terror in the Library” (link) Saturday June 24, about an event March 5, 1994, when Clifford Lynn Draper took hostages and threatened to block himself and the hostages up if many demands related to his military service were not met.
The perpetrator was said to be a paranoid schizophrenic. He was finally shot by an off-duty policeman who used specific intelligence to decide when to act.
Incidents like this have happened (before 9/11), from non-islam-related causes more often that people realize. The most notorious was he kidnapping of Patty Hearst in 1974.
This is particularly disturbing to me, as I have outlined here.
The Salt Lake Tribune has a detailed story here.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
"What Is Happening Under Yellowstone Park in 2017?": Is a massive eruption about to destroy 1/3 of the U.S.
“What Is Happening Under Yellowstone Park in 2017?”, from News USA 2017, plays on the recent reports of earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park as a possible precursor to a massive eruption.
The video mentions the rumor that the US has contact four countries to ask for radical hospitality to house US homeowners made homeless by the eruption. A map in the video shows the predicted zones of destruction, which would encompass about one third of continental United States. There are reports that there is a 10% chance of a massive eruption by 2100. Eruption occurs about every 650000 years, but we are about due (but statistically any given year is unlikely).
The video then goes on to speculate about a secret network of underground bases all over most of the US, with many subterranean high speed lines already bit. It even speculates these bases could explain some UFO abductions.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Today, Saturday, June 17, 2017, the Weather Channel presented its own hour-long documentary “Tornado: Inside the Vortex”.
Here’s an excerpt dealing with mutli-vortex tornadoes.
The documentary also explained the SLIM system for anticipating tornadoes: S for Shear (speed and height), L for Lift, I for Instability, and M for Moisture. Both cold fronts and ordinary surface low pressure systems can produce big thunderstorm complexes.
The documentary also showed the spot in Moore OK crossed by both the 1999 and 2013 tornadoes.
Here is some discussion of NOAA's discussion of the categories of risk for severe thunderstorms: marginal, slight, enhanced, moderate, and high.
Wikipedia attribution link for 2013 Moore OK damage, p.d., FEMA.
Friday, June 09, 2017
“Can the US Defend Against a North Korean Missile Attack”, by Warthog Defense, explains the GMD (Ground Missile Defense) strategy against a low-volume nuclear attack that could happen before 2020.
GMD is predicated on destroying a missile as it re-entry with the kinetic energy of a collision.
The film confirms that Bush was concerned about the idea of an eventual North Korea attack as early as 2002.
A similar defense from NORAD should deflect any high altitude launch from a terror group from offshore intended to launch an EMP attack with a small high-altitude nuclear explosion or possibly flux device.
Check out Foreign Affairs (paywall), Jeffrey Lewis article, "Kin Kong Un's Quest for an ICBM, the State of North Korea's Missile Program", here.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
ABC Nightline made a mini-short where Richard Clarke, national security adviser, discusses his book “Warnings” and enumerates various catastrophes that could have been prevented, including 9/11 and the breaking of the levees at New Orleans. He mentioned asteroids and pandemics. He is called a Cassandra, as am I. Here is the best link.
Friday, May 19, 2017
I don’t think I can really call this a “film” in the sense of the blog title, but I wanted to mention News Channel 8 in Washington DC, under station WJLA and owner Sinclair Broadcasting in Baltimore. The show is “Government Matters”, most weeknights.
Thursday night’s discussion, around 8 PM, was interesting because a female panelist warned that a return to the draft (military conscription) could well become necessary in the future. There have been proposals in the Senate to require Selective Service registration by women. The commentator suggested that the US may not have enough “volunteers” for future conflicts, perhaps specifically with North Korea. She said we could not get enough “volunteers” for World War II, but didn’t specifically say that about Korea (1950-1953) and Vietnam (1965-1973).
It’s odd that this happens on a Sinclair station, inasmuch as Sinclair has been reported as pushing more conservative content on its own stations.
Tuesday, May 02, 2017
“FBI Translator Goes Rogue, Marries ISIS Fighter”, was an 8-minute report on CNN’s AC360 Monday night, May 1, 2017.
The terrorist was Denis Cuspert, who had developed a career as a rapper in Germany.
FBI translator Daniela Greene was assigned to tail him, but when she went to Germany, she fell in love, followed him to Syria through Turkey, and married him. This was no honeypot.
Cuspert would be “KIA”. Eventually she came to her senses and returned to the US and was immediately arrested. She has plead guilty and her sentence was kept to two years plus probation (or parole) for cooperating.
But this does play like a short film, a teaser for a Hollywood thriller.
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Aleppo in 1961 by Manfred Nuchter, CCSA 3.0.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
CNN's coverage of 9/11: it took several minutes for them to realize a second plane had hit; also "Soundtracks"
There is a lot of unauthorized video of the coverage of 9/11 from all the news services, so it’s good to find an original set of films owned by one of the networks. Here is CNN’s own link ("Inside 9/11: The Day that Never Ends"), which shows that at first, people inside the North Tower had no real idea of what had happened.
CNN’s original coverage is curious. It took about four minutes for the newscaster to realize a separate second plane had hit the South Tower. And for a little while there was speculation about a “navigation error” rather than acceptance of terrorism. Most other networks immediately said that a second plane attack implied terrorism.
Donald Trump’s own reaction on 9/11 is in this video.
I was in my apartment in Minneapolis for about 15 minutes during the aftermath and saw the South Tower fall on ABC.
Update: April 27
CNN tonight aired the one-hour "Soundtracks: The Songs that Defined History" about the music world after 9/11. Tribeca showed it (notes).
Saturday, April 08, 2017
“Return to Mosul”, a one-hour special on CNN, aired 9 PM EDT Saturday April 8, 2017, shows correspondent Arwa Damon returning to visit the family she had sheltered in place with two months before in 2016 in Mosul, Iraq. The subtitle is "Return to Hell: Finding the Mosul Family Who Sheltered Us.
I'm reminded immediately of the US Third Amendment about quartering soldiers (or maybe refugees).
Most of the soldiers were still there; one had lost an eye, another had recovered from leg wounds. But as she traveled around the city, she found it still very unsafe.
She visits eastern Mosul, which is supposed to be more liberated.
In one place, she found ruins of a makeshift plane intended as a kamikaze. In another place, she encountered a family that had been recently forced to become human shields after an ISIS home invasion.
She visited a school that had recently opened, with male teachers trying to install something to live for, besides fundamentalism. She found wall art where images had been covered up by ISIS, Cell phones, banned by ISIS, were returning.
I worked with a woman who had relatives in Mosul back on 2002 in Minneapolis, so I am only on degree of separation removed from all this. Mosul has about the same population as Philadelphia.
About half of the buildings in the city looked flattened in to rubble.
Wikipedia attribution link for Voice of America picture of Eastern Mosul in 2016, p.d.
Saturday, April 01, 2017
"ISIS: Under the Mask" examines a Catholic-turned-Muslim who left Belgium to join the group and returned
Friday night, March 31, CNN broadcast “ISIS: Behind the Mask”, a special report with Clarissa Ward interviewing Michael Delefortrie, 28, now living in Belgium, who was raised as Catholic but left Belgium to go to Syria and fight with ISIS in his mid twenties and returned.
European authorities are very concerned about returned fighters. But except for a brief jail sentence, Michael has stayed out of trouble. He uses Europe's free speech to spread his ideas. He also happily excepts welfare from the state for income.
“I am not a Belgian, I am a Muslim”, he maintains.
He denied killing anyone while with ISIS and says he will not use violence at home.
However, he wants Europe and the U.S. and the entire world to be brought under Sharia law.
He did start using drugs and getting bad grades in school as a teen. Muslim laws seemed to give him an absolute sense of morality and a group to belong to.
He regards Osama bin Laden as a hero, and says historical figures should not be downgraded in judgement for killing people.
In general young men (and women) with some petty crime and drug use and a psychology of wanting to fit in to a warrior group sound more vulnerable to cult-like radicalization. Also relevant is a desire to see others have to follow the same rules of living that they think have been imposed on them, as this seems to make their lives (and potential marital relationships) more exciting and meaningful.
Micheal is married and wants his son to be a fighter. The documentary mentioned some domestic abuse. He is tall, slender, very "white", and wears a beard without mustache.
Michael spoke in absolute terms, that everything is for Allah and that Allah alone will judge whether the violent actions of people suit His purposed. He did not question why one source of scriptural authority (like the Koran) is more valid than another (the Bible). He showed no sense of epistemology.
Later the broadcast showed an experiment with recruiting online. CNN went undercover and got 223 strangers wanting to be “friends”, from Belgium and France. Several wanted to go underground with conversations on Telegram . Seeker has an article on this matter here.
There was discussion of “Sharia4Beligum”.
Wikipedia attribution link for Atomium in Brussels, under CCSA 3.0.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Anderson Cooper, tonight working as a correspondent with CBS 60 Minutes (for the first time?) reports on “The Attack in Garland” in May 2015.
The episode that an undercover FBI agent was at the “right place at the right time” to witness the aborted attack on a cartoon drawing contest sponsored by Pamela Geller.
The attackers had a huge cache of weapons and a massacre was averted by local police or sheriff.
But the FBI had tracked people associated with the attack on social media, and one had ties to extremis, as far back as 2006.
Why didn’t the FBI do more itself to stop the attack?
Monday, March 06, 2017
Lori Buelow has a filmstrip Youtube video “Heillish Nightmare: North Korea’s Satellite Launch EMP Attack”.
I guess the article title is in subjunctive mood. The attack didn’t happen (the video dates from Feb. 2016). But in late February 2017, former CIA director James Woolsey warned in the WSJ that North Korea could put a warhead on a satellite and launch an EMP attack from high altitude with a small nuclear weapon. It’s unclear how many transformers in a wide area it could wipe out. Woolsey discussed the article with Erin Burnett tonight on CNN (Monday, March 6, 2017). The satellite orbits at about 315 miles elevation.
NBC news reported this today.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
"Blindspot" episode on NBC highlights radioactivity dispersion device risk, even from domestic revolutionaries
I’m not a big fan of Blindspot, an NBC domestic spy series based on an unidentified tattooed woman (Jaimie Alexander) found in Times Square.
But an episode Wednesday night, “Borrow or Rob”, did hit a lot of major risks. A cabal based on a college fraternity seems to have developed a mathematical algorithm to calculate the best day to start world revolution.
The revolution apparently includes ruining the real estate values of much of America with dirty bombs. It’s an idea that sounds chillingly plausible. Donald Trump, given his real estate career centered on property rights and "air rights", would have more incentive to “keep us safe” from such an idea than anyone else. But this scheme seems to be domestic and based on 70s style terror, not foreign. Immigration bans would be irrelevant.
The “cult”, for what it was worth, with the pinko gowns, rather reminded me of the 1999 film “Eyes Wide Shut”.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
"End Day": a scientist creating a strangelet is taken through three other ways to end the world first
The BBC TV film “End Day” (2005, written and directed by Gareth Edwards), in 48 minutes, covers four ways civilization could come to an end.
A scientist (Bill McGuire) gets up in his London condo and heads for the airport to New York. Once he gets there, he will turn a key on a particle accelerator (it’s actually in Switzerland) that, it turns out, creates a strangelet that consumes the Earth and converts it to grey goo. The film does mention the idea of a microscopic black hole, which would evaporate (as Hawking radiation).
But the first three acts reenact three other possibilities: They’re all handled in pretty cornball fashion. In each case, the scientist tries to fly to NYC.
One is that the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands splits in half, with an underwater landslide that sends a 500-foot tsunami toward the East Coast. That’s high enough to topple the skyscrapers in New York, and it would go much farther than three miles inland.
A second scenario is that a huge asteroid hits Berlin, preceded by meteor storms. Attempts to blow it up with nuclear weapons fail (even with Trump as president). The disasters are narrated dispassionately by a BBC news anchor who shows no emotion.
The other idea is that a 1918-style bird flu suddenly spreads by air travel from the far East.
The film is available on Instant Play with Netflix subscription.
Wikipedia attribution link for Aceh 2004 Indonesia tsunami VCSA 2.0 unde CCSA 2.0 byr Aus AID.
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
AC360 tonight had a 10 minute report, “Passports in the Shadows”, involving massive fraud with Venezuelan passports issued in Iraq, which might have been used anywhere in Europe by terrorists.
Although the FBI office in Madrid was aware of this (the interview with the whistleblower was conducted in Spain), it seems that CNN uncovered this story. Donald Trump is so critical of the media, but this time CNN helped him out with a major terror bust.
Will Venezuela be placed under travel restrictions? How would Obama or Hillary Clinton react to this story (or how would Anderson Cooper himself were he president). Maybe the liberal Democrats know more about terror than Trump gives them credit for.
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Baghdad red zone. p.d. by Robert Smith.
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Milo Yiannopoulos gets interviewed by Tucker Carlson about the Berkeley Riots. His event was canceled by effectively a "heckler's veto".
There are many rumors. For example, the rioters were not students but outside agitators from a Symboniese-like Left.
Milo points out that university officials complained about Trump’s tweet threatening to cut off funding, but not about the rioting itself.
Here’s another Milo video explaining why Hillary lost
Saturday, February 04, 2017
Steve Bannon had plans for a film “Islamic States of America” as far back as 2004, and had written the screenplay in something like FinalDraft, according to a Washington Post story, front page, Saturday morning, by Matea Gold, link here.
Bannon seems to imagine a cultural laxness and lack of social cohesion and drop in resilience that allows an enemy to destroy society, probably more gradually than in many other accounts (such as witn WMD or EMP attacks).
Bannon seems obsessed with “the other” indeed.
Yet, at an individual level, his idea that capitalism should be tempered with some sort of faith, since pure individualistic intellect can rationalize anything, makes some moral sense. It’s the magical thinking, the invoking of holy wars and crusades and personification of Satan and the like that is scary. That gets way beyond individual personal responsibility and speaks to the durability of the group.
Steve Bannon has produced a lot of right-wing films, and directed some, such as “Occupy Unmasked”, which I have reviewed on Wordpress.
It sounds like Bannon thinks that writing an Executive Order is like writing a screenplay: in your imagination, you can hurt people (like in "The Town").
But Bannon’s influence on Trump is indeed alarming.
Sunday, January 08, 2017
"The Jihadis Next Door": British filmmaker interviews some of the UK's most notorious radical Islamists
In the Channel 4 short (46 documentary) “The Jihadis Next Door” (20160, British filmmaker Jamie Roberts interviews a fundamentalist radical preacher Abu Haleema, and bouncy castle salesman Abu Rumaysah now one of the world’s most wanted men. He also explores the possibility of similarity of one of the men’s voices to “Jihadi John” in the ISIS beheadings.
Both men (it’s hard to tell them apart) espouse the idea that Britain should live under Sharia law. They claim everyone will live well if obedient to Allah, but people who refuse will have their property and lives taken from them by force. The preacher is pretty blunt about this. He also claims civilians deserve to be treated as combatants, because individual Muslims in the Middle East are attacked by the British.
There is a major descriptive link for the film here.
Toward the end, the documentary shows a brief clip in Paris after the November 13, 2015 attacks.
You get the feeling that combativeness of radical Islam is driven in part by a desire not to deal with people “as they are”.
Update: June 5
New York Times connects this film to the perpetrators of the 6/3/2017 attack in London.