Monday, 28 September 2015

08:39 – This morning, Barbara starts her last partial week at the law firm. Three more days.

Meanwhile, from the news reports it appears that Europe is in its last partial year of being European. Some pushback against the flood of muslim scum invaders has begun, but it’s going to be much too little, much too late. And Merkel and most of the other EU “leaders” are not just acquiescing with this invasion, but are actively encouraging it. The signs of what’s to come are already evident, with muslims protesting Oktoberfest and demanding that such celebrations cease, and attacking decent European people on the streets. The barbarians are indeed inside the gates. At least the eastern EU countries understand what’s going on and what’s at stake, but the other EU heads of government refuse to listen.

Perhaps the UK can save itself, but only perhaps. There won’t always be an England, I’m afraid.


10:02 – Email from a reader who’s been saving 2-liter soda bottles to use for long-term food storage, and has a good question. She says once they’re washed and rinsed with dilute bleach to sanitize them they’re fine for storing water, which she’s doing, but she’d like to use some of them for storing rice and other bulk staples. The problem is that just inverting them and leaving them to drain doesn’t get all of the water out. Depending on the relative humidity of your home and how much air circulation you have, it can take a week or two for them to dry out completely.

The solution is to use a food-grade drying agent to remove the last of the moisture. The drying agent we use is ordinary rice. You can dry it in the oven on low for half an hour or so if you want to, but it works fine straight out of the bag. Get the bottles as drying as you can by draining them inverted and then shaking out droplets. Then add a cup of ordinary rice to the bottle, cap it, and shake it to bring the rice grains into contact with the inner surface of the bottle. You can use that one cup of rice to dry several bottles. Each time, dump the rice back into the cup and bang the bottle to release any stuck grains. After you’ve done the last bottle, recover the rice and cook it for dinner. Problem solved.

65 thoughts on “Monday, 28 September 2015”

  1. Yep, Tom Kratman’s Caliphate is looking more real every day, at least for Europe. Let’s hope the dirty bombs that finally turn the US against them don’t happen. Even the rise of Trump looks alot like Kratman’s book.

    Some carnage in the financial world, seems to match the prophesy for Sept 28. I guess we’ll see.

    Chinese coal miner laying of 100,000 workers is bad news. Not indicative of a thriving economy. The Greenies should be ecstatic that less coal is being burned. Wonder if they’ll still be so smug if the world economy collapses. Not much room in the system for telephone handset sanitizers after all…

    nick

  2. What really ticks me off is the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal. The Britons who looked the other way and the rapists should both be given a free one way trip to the Tower of London.

  3. “The Britons who looked the other way and the rapists should both be given a free one way trip to the Tower of London.”

    Only as far as Tower Hill, where they all should be executed and the heads put on pikes. The English used to be good at that sort of thing.

    Then we need to emulate them here; a good start could be made down in Mordor-on-the-Potomac.

  4. That’s just one that was so egregious that even the British MSM mentioned it. Rape in Scandinavia was pretty much non-existent until the muslim scum invaded them. Now it’s commonplace, and essentially 100% of rapes are by muslims. They aren’t like us.

  5. I exchanged a lot of email with the late Bo Leuf about this. He lived in Malmö, Sweden, and watched the muslim scum invade and destroy his city and his country. They were and are responsible for nearly all violent crime. Think underclass scum on steroids.

  6. Dave, that same sh!t is happening here in Tx only it’s hispanic ‘immigrants’ and sex trafficked kids. Would Houston have a large problem with child sex trafficking if NOT for those young single hispanic men? NO it would not. It’s not white men lined up outside these places. Our large muslim population is a closed society too and I’m sure they have their own versions of this.

    Is it happening in other places? You can be sure of it. Minneapolis probably. Other large cities with huge unassimilated illegal or legal alien populations have the issue too. Unfortunately, those populations and cultures do not have any history of rule of law, or trustworthy officials. While we do have official corruption, it is orders of magnitude lower than the sh!tholes these people are from. So it stays within the community– until it spills out.

    nick

  7. I remember in Lucifer’s Hammer when Pournelle and Niven were introducing the 12-year-old girl who rode the stallion, and mentioned that no one worried about anyone bothering her. Every pickup had a gun rack in the back window, and everyone knew what to do with a guy who tried to molest a girl. I suspect it’s much the same in the areas we’re considering relocating to. There are a lot of hollows up there in the woods, and revenuers aren’t the only ones buried there. One of the reasons that violent crime and underclass scum aren’t a problem in those areas is that anyone who behaves that way has a very short life expectancy. Which is just fine with me.

  8. That the rapes in Rotherham happened is bad enough. The Britons who looked the other way are even more deserving of punishment than the rapists.

  9. ” watched the muslim scum invade and destroy his city and his country. They were and are responsible for nearly all violent crime.”

    This was my observation in Norway as well. The weeks I was there, almost the only males I ever saw onshore, and certainly the only ones NOT working, were muslims hanging around a back alley mosque, smoking and eyeballing every passerby. That area was the only one I saw that was dirty and felt at all threatening.

    Norway is a country of only 4 million. ANY significant muslim presence will be a major shift in demographics.

    nick

  10. I had an interesting dream last night. It was 1940, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was negotiating with Winston Churchill about how many Wehrmacht and SS migrants the UK was willing to accept in Operation Sea Lion. Merkel argued that France and low countries had already accepted their share and now it was up to the UK to welcome as many German migrants as wanted to move there. It wasn’t a walk in the park, but eventually things turned out well for the UK and very badly for Germany. I’m afraid that this time it’s going to be the converse.

  11. Saw this elsewhere, I have not verified the numbers:

    http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=30675

    What Islam Isn’t By: Dr. Peter Hammond
    FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, April 21, 2008

    The following is adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:
    http://www.amazon.com/Slavery-Terrorism-Islam-Historical-Contemporary/dp/0958454981

    Islam is not a religion nor is it a cult. It is a complete system.

    Islam has religious, legal, political, economic and military components. The religious component is a beard for all the other components.

    Islamization occurs when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their so-called ‘religious rights.’

    When politically correct and culturally diverse societies agree to ‘the reasonable’ Muslim demands for their ‘religious rights,’ they also get the other components under the table. Here’s how it works (percentages source CIA: The World Fact Book (2007)).

    As long as the Muslim population remains around 1% of any given country they will be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to anyone. In fact, they may be featured in articles and films, stereotyped for their colorful uniqueness:

    United States — Muslim 1.0%
    Australia — Muslim 1.5%
    Canada — Muslim 1.9%
    China — Muslim 1%-2%
    Italy — Muslim 1.5%
    Norway — Muslim 1.8%

    At 2% and 3% they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs:

    Denmark — Muslim 2%
    Germany — Muslim 3.7%
    United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%
    Spain — Muslim 4%
    Thailand — Muslim 4.6%

    From 5% on they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population.

    They will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature it on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. ( United States ).

    France — Muslim 8%
    Philippines — Muslim 5%
    Sweden — Muslim 5%
    Switzerland — Muslim 4.3%
    The Netherlands — Muslim 5.5%
    Trinidad &Tobago — Muslim 5.8%

    At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islam is not to convert the world but to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

    When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris –car-burnings). Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats ( Amsterdam – Mohammed cartoons).

    Guyana — Muslim 10%
    India — Muslim 13.4%
    Israel — Muslim 16%
    Kenya — Muslim 10%
    Russia — Muslim 10-15%

    After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning:
    Ethiopia — Muslim 32.8%

    At 40% you will find widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks and ongoing militia warfare:

    Bosnia — Muslim 40%
    Chad — Muslim 53.1%
    Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%

    From 60% you may expect unfettered persecution of non-believers and other religions, sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels:

    Albania — Muslim 70%
    Malaysia — Muslim 60.4%
    Qatar — Muslim 77.5%
    Sudan — Muslim 70%

    After 80% expect State run ethnic cleansing and genocide:

    Bangladesh — Muslim 83%
    Egypt — Muslim 90%
    Gaza — Muslim 98.7%
    Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%
    Iran — Muslim 98%
    Iraq — Muslim 97%
    Jordan — Muslim 92%
    Morocco — Muslim 98.7%
    Pakistan — Muslim 97%
    Palestine — Muslim 99%
    Syria — Muslim 90%
    Tajikistan — Muslim 90%
    Turkey — Muslim 99.8%
    United Arab Emirates — Muslim 96%

    100% will usher in the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ — the Islamic House of Peace — there’s supposed to be peace because everybody is a Muslim:

    Afghanistan — Muslim 100%
    Saudi Arabia — Muslim 100%
    Somalia — Muslim 100%
    Yemen — Muslim 99.9%

    Of course, that’s not the case. To satisfy their blood lust, Muslims then start killing each other for a variety of reasons.

    ‘Before I was nine I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world and all of us against the infidel. – Leon Uris, ‘The Haj’

    It is good to remember that in many, many countries, such as France, the Muslim populations are centered around ghettos based on their ethnicity. Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. Therefore, they exercise more power than their national average would indicate.

  12. I got my webserver hacked over the weekend. Got an email from support while I was in church Sunday morning. Apparently they sent about a million spams through my webserver email before support shut it down.

    Sigh. This gets old in a hurry.

    BTW, my webserver runs FreeBSD. They managed to guess one of our email passwords.

  13. If you are worried about privacy, then you should permanently turn off your computer. And cable. And satellite TV. And don’t drive anywhere, because your license plates are scanned. And then there are all of those traffic/other cameras, so stay in your house. Don’t use electricity or water, since those usages are monitored. Move out to the country.Grow your own food. When you move, leave no forwarding address. Quit your job. Don’t use store loyalty cars. Use cash only, no plastic. Your family has to do this also.

    I’m not worried about any of this. I’ve turned off some of W-10 non-privacy settings. But, as I’ve read elsewhere:

    There is no such thing called privacy when it comes to the Internet. You share almost everything on the social networks. You blog about things and people know your thoughts. In effect, you are already in databases of not only marketing agencies but also of government related agencies. So what is wrong in providing Microsoft with data about how you use your copy of Windows 10 – since it will be aggregated and used collectively. As long as Microsoft servers are not hacked, you are safe. I doubt they will be storing data directly with name and address, etc. The company encrypts the data so that the data is safe even in case of a hacking attempt. Though people may access data, they cannot map it to you.

    Sure, there is tracking of stuff going on; it’s everywhere. But I’ll keep on installing all updates from MS and other software. Not even the least bit paranoid about any of this.

  14. Dunno what it depends on – maybe where, exactly, the immigrants come from. At 4.3%, Switzerland currently only has minor problems. Our muslim immigrants were mainly from Serbia/Croatia. They caused quite the problem when they arrived, but now are pretty well along the way to successful integration. There are still problems, mainly deriving from the “super-macho” culture the young males exhibit. However, those problems are massively fewer than 10 years ago. In another 10, they’ll be pretty much gone.

    That said, we certainly could not digest another lump that size, until the integration of the first batch is finished. Which is one of the reasons that the Swiss voted last year to end the open-border policy with the EU. That takes lots of political negotiations, but even EU countries have finally realized that completely open borders are, shall we say, unrealistic just now. I expect we will finally get out of the agreement in 2016 or early 2017. If need be, unilaterally.

    @Lynn: security is just a nightmare right now. Just as an example, I recently read that there is only one secure protocol left for https – all of the others have fallen, one by one. BSD itself is secure enough, but the things you run on top of it, like OpenSSL, Apache, etc. – lots of vulnerabilities found in recent times.

    SSL labs offers a free test of your web server. Seems to be pretty comprehensive and up-to-date. I run it every 3 months or so against our servers.

  15. @Rick,

    I don’t see any reason to make it EASY for them.

    The linked article was specifically talking about MS sneaking those features of win10 backwards into win7 and win8 in the guise of security updates, that in fact spill significant amounts of data, and make your personal information LESS secure.

    All without giving any notice or option to turn them off like win10.

    So yes of course you are always shedding metadata about your life, and some people are more aware of it than others. But some people DO take steps to limit it, by NOT using google mail, not using social media, not using store cards, or even credit cards.

    If I use gmail, I understand that they are keyword scanning in order to feed me ads.

    I don’t know that, wasn’t told that, and do not WANT that from my OS.

    nick

  16. Free flowing water on Mars. Wow. This ups the chances of indigenous life being found there quite a bit. I’ve been expecting this announcement for a while, based on the initial images that suggest its presence, but it’s still a pleasant surprise.

  17. Linux isn’t perfect, but it beats the hell out of Microsoft, which is just a gaping security hole masquerading as an operating system. Not to mention that Microsoft is evil, and intentionally compromises security on its software.

  18. “I don’t see any reason to make it EASY for them.”

    Beat me to it; ditto; there’s a happy medium. We don’t need to move to Antarctica and live off penguin steaks with no phone or innernet or vehicle, but we also don’t necessarily wanna lie back with our legs spread and enjoy it, either.

    “Linux isn’t perfect, but it beats the hell out of Microsoft…”

    Yup. If for no other reason is that it’s not as wide and constant an attack vector for the script kiddies and bad furrin actors to target, who probably mostly use Linux machines themselves to do their little capers.

    I’ve got only one M$ machine left here, and after wife’s two weeks of relying on the Santoku Linux netbook (I told her how to install LibreOffice on it) she’s less adamant about keeping any Windows boxes here.

    I’ve also got an OpenBSD 17″ HP Workstation laptop running for appreciably better security stuff, and Linux machines running Whonix Gateway and Workstation and Tor, and there is always Tails.

  19. Some Muslim factions have tried to get parts of Sharia law into the criminal code. In particular they want to have blasphemy (against the the prophet specifically) a criminal offense. They have been turned down flat. There probably are still a few old anti-blasphemy laws on the books but I doubt that they would survive a constitutional challenge.

    They have also tried to get Sharia law into the Ontario Family Law proceedings. Again they have been turned down.

    A reminder that in Canada, the criminal code is federal while things like family law, motor vehicle regulations/law are both federal and provincial but administered by the provinces.

    There have been many (too many) instances of honour killings where the principals have been astonished to have found themselves convicted of murder and are serving life sentences. And as much as I think that these sleaseballs deserve it, I remain opposed to peacetime capital punishment. I’d rather see them spending the rest of their life working in a pork packing plant.

    We are having a Federal Election this month and the issue of a woman wearing a niqab during the citizenship ceremony. The courts have ruled she can, the government has said that it will appeal and most of her support is coming from the woolly headed clowns on both the left and right. This should be entertaining.

    As things stand at the moment, the secular Muslims, who make up the majority here, are opposed to Sharia Law. It promises to be entertaining if nothing else.

  20. I’m just not that paranoid. Don’t really care if they use my personal info. I’ve got a good spam filter for my email, even if (because) it is gmail. And I ignore the ads or the cross-linking.

    I use a loyalty card at the stores so I can save money. Even use the WalMart Savings Catcher to save money (so far, a bit over $120).

    I have some privacy settings enabled in Windows 10 and other programs. Don’t think of them as ‘evil’, just another company out to make money. Have had no security problems on my Windows systems, because I use safe computing practices.

    Am prepared for some limited outages, but don’t think there are upcoming EOWAWKI’s events. That’s my personal outlook.

    Besides, I have lots of FLASHLIGHTS !!

  21. “This should be entertaining.”

    We’ll have us some entertaining chit over the next few years here in North Murka over stuff like this and worse, like some of the issues mentioned in Mr. Lynn’s linked piece, but I’m guessing they’ll only be accommodated in the urban and suburban libturd enclaves. Out in the much-loathed “flyover” country, inhabited by right-wing gun nuts and fanatics who cling “bitterly to their guns and religion”, however, I predict they’ll make little headway.

    “Besides, I have lots of FLASHLIGHTS !!”

    Thank goodness, too! Listen, if you ever have any technical questions or issues concerning them, this is the place to ask, I kid you not.

    Ima gon put relatively cheapo lights in the vehicles due to the fems operating them a lot, and amazingly, a lotta chit gets lost or broken accordingly. I keep the NICE units with me and/or on my person. I even had a Resqme gizmo on the driver’s side overhead flap of my car, and after getting the vehicle back from Princess the other day it was gone. Vanished. Utterly. Dunno if she tossed it, or it somehow fell off (improbable) or one of her granola-head commie/hippie friends just took it. I wanna put other gear in that vehicle, too, and I guess I’ll have to run padlocks and chains on it. And/or not let her have it anymore. She’s got her own damn cah now that we put a grand into for repairs and insurance. Arrrrggghhh!

  22. Besides, I have lots of FLASHLIGHTS !!

    You can never have enough.

    You can never have enough batteries.

    Fixed that for ya.

  23. like some of the issues mentioned in Mr. Lynn’s linked piece

    I saw that article on a survivalist board a week or so ago. I was amazed at how neatly the author progressed the good behavior of muslims to bad behavior as their population percentage increased. I do not see any faults in the article and it is eight years old!

  24. Ima gon put relatively cheapo lights in the vehicles due to the fems operating them a lot, and amazingly, a lotta chit gets lost or broken accordingly.

    TWEET! One micro-aggression for Mr. OFD!

  25. Eh? The snopes article says that the report is true, originating from a Dutch muslim.

  26. I have many FLASHLIGHTS, and many extra batteries. Also, three solar-charged FLASHLIGHTS. Plus a wind-up FLASHLIGHT.

    Some FLASHLIGHTS have one LED. Some have more. Some LEDs are brighter than the others. Some are bigger than the others. Some don’t have LEDs. Just in case the LEDs are damaged by the EMPs.

    Look at what I did there. Several different topics all in one FLASHLIGHT topic. That’s bright of me, eh?

  27. “Am prepared for some limited outages, but don’t think there are upcoming EOWAWKI’s events.”

    You’re prepared for level 1 but not level 100. OK, what about level 33 or level 64? There is a whole lot that can happen between storm damaged power lines and Carrington level event.

    My biggest fear is the smart terrorist. The news is full of the stupid ones who post their plans on some social media site. What about the ones who meet in secret, use encrypted messages and know what the weak spots are? It doesn’t take too much imagination to come up with a scenario that would massively disrupt all services to a region for weeks or months.

    Maybe you expect real help from the government in such a case. I don’t. The feds would only help the very rich and the very poor. The very rich because they pay for it and the very poor to keep them from rampaging. The rest of us will mostly be on our own.

  28. Well, thankfully, most criminals are really stupid. Like the bank robber a couple of days ago who got away clean, then posted about his escapade on Facebook. My favorite teacher back in high school argued convincingly that intelligent criminals generally would never be caught. One of the main points is, of course, not drawing attention to themselves.

    In this sense, I’m not sure there is even such a thing as an “intelligent terrorist”, because the very point of an act of terrorism is to draw attention to the perpetrators. At best (or at worst), you might get intelligent planners, with idiots doing the legwork.

    That’s pretty much what happened with 9/11. Remember the guy enrolled in flight school, who didn’t want to bother learning how to take off or land? How big of a red flag did he have to wave, to get people’s attention?

    tl;dr: I don’t think you have to worry about intelligent terrorists, because that’s a contradiction in terms. Worry more about idiots getting lucky, but that’s a problem that’s impossible to predict or prevent.

  29. “Worry more about idiots getting lucky,

    Such as Obama.”

    I used to work with a guy who would ignore potential failure modes with a casual “what are the odds?” and say he’d deal with them when they happened, thinking it not worth the time. I spent a lot of time dealing with that kind of attitude, and I grew to dislike him a lot. He cost me a lot of time and effort.

    If the odds are not zero, the incident will happen. Terrorists _will_ get lucky. The question is whether we’ll let them win.

  30. Most people have never had any formal exposure to risk analysis. I tell people that it’s worth using a simplified RA technique to decide what to prep for. Simply multiply your SOP estimate of the probability of a bad event occurring by your SOP estimate in arbitrary units of the severity of the consequences if that event does occur.

    So, we might estimate the probability in any given year of an ice storm serious enough to take down power for several days at 0.3 and the severity of that event at 10 units. That means we can expect the total risk of such an event as 3.0/year.

    Then look at the risk of the power grid going down long-term. There are two possible causes of a LT grid-down event: an EMP attack, which I’ll SOP estimate at probability 0.03/year, and a Carrington-class CME that strikes earth, which I’ll SOP estimate (per NASA) at 0.012/year. Since either type of event would have similar consequences, the total probability is what matters, and it’s 0.042/year. Estimating severity is harder, but my SOP estimate of the consequences of either event is a severity factor of 400,000. That makes the total risk 16,800/year, or 5,600 times the risk from the ice storm. That’s a pretty big number, and one that 99.9% of the population ignores, either because they don’t know about it or they figure there’s no point to even trying to prepare for something that catastrophic.

    I’ve run similar calculations for other potential catastrophic events, doing my best to be neither optimistic or pessimistic about probabilities and severity factors. Other than total grid-down, the worst are a 1918-class pandemic, with my SOP total risk of about 10,000/year, and a full-out nuclear exchange, with a total risk of about 4,000/year.

  31. I don’t believe that being ideologically driven equals unintelligent. Ideology, whether religious or political (or both as in Islam) is separate from brain power. The fools definitely outnumber the smart guys, but the smart ones can have a disproportionate effect.

  32. Good point about the risk factors. The only thing I object to is the severity factor: I don’t see much of an objective basis for the numbers. You could as well have said the severity of a long-term power failure is 400, or 40,000, or 4,000,000. Since this is a rather important factor in subsequent decisions, I could wish for some way of objectively setting these factors.

    Here’s a suggestion: The severity factor is the number of days of your life will you lose to the event (either because it kills you, or because you have to totally devote your time to countering the effect of the event). The absolute maximum severity factor would then be a full human life span: 80 * 365. We might assign that to the Carrington event. That ice storm would be a nuisance, maybe occupying 1/3 of your attention for maybe 3 days, for a rating of 1.

    If you buy that line of reasoning, then we would have something like:

    Carrington event: 80 * 365 * 0.012 = 350
    EMP attack: 10 * 365 * 0.03 = 110
    Ice storm: 1 * 0.3 = 0.3

    We can argue about how exactly many days each event affects, but at least that is something concrete and objective that one can reasonably estimate.

  33. My severity factors are not entirely arbitrary. I use my best estimate of total deaths as a proxy for severity factor (including infrastructure damage), with scaling to account for the fact that 1,000,000,000 deaths does not affect me personally (assuming I or my group are not among those deaths) 1,000 times as much as 1,000,000 deaths would.

    Trust me, a continent-wide EMP attack or Carrington-class CME is orders of magnitude worse than 367 or 1167 times a severe winter storm.

  34. I’d rather see them spending the rest of their life working in a pork packing plant.

    I lol’d. 🙂

  35. So it seems you are accounting for the severity of the events and their impact on society as a whole as it affects your survival.

    An ice storm might be inconvenient for a few days, but the infrastructure will survive, and you’ll recover quickly.

    An EMP or CME would devastate infrastructure and society as a whole and would severely impact your ability to survive, as the infrastructure your routine depends upon is gone. Not only are you “inconvenienced” for a longer time, but the severity of the “inconvenience” is much higher. Hence the higher score.

    Is that about right?

  36. Yep.

    The severe winter storm is a local/regional event of short duration and limited consequences to those who are even basically prepared, and there would soon be help available on whatever scale was needed. The damage to infrastructure is trivial and easily repaired.

    The EMP/CME is a continental/worldwide event of at least months and probably years to even decades duration–a civilization ender–with catastrophic consequences even for those who are well prepared, and no help at all could be expected because there would be no help available. When 1% of the population needs help and the other 99% are able to help, that’s one thing. When those percentages are reversed, it’s another matter entirely. And the worst part would be the devastating damage to infrastructure. No more planes, trains, or motor vehicles. No more plants producing necessities, including food (and no way to transport them if they could produce them). Large farms basically come to complete halt. No more food, other than what can be produced locally, no more municipal water, no more communications, no more nothing.

    None of this is prepper alarmism. Read the US government documents about the effects of an EMP attack or catastrophic CME. Damages are estimated in the trillions of dollars (from economies that can no longer afford billions, let alone trillions), and worldwide deaths would be in at least the hundreds of millions and probably billions.

    The truly catastrophic events share one thing: immediate deaths are a relatively small percentage of total deaths, even in the case of a deadly pandemic. It’s the follow-on deaths that are the problem, and these result from the complete breakdown of the economy and markets.

  37. An ice storm here that knocks out power for a week or a month would kinda suck, but we’d manage OK.

    The Grid down and/or a pandemic and/or any kind of nuke exchange would suck a LOT worse and we’d have a lotta trouble managing, to the point we might not.

    Or somewhere in between those two extremes, which I feel is more likely in the long run.

  38. Actually, the really scary part is the relatively high probability of these catastrophic events occurring.

    The hardest to estimate probability for is a full-blown nuclear exchange. I think (hope) it’s pretty improbable, but on the other hand we came very, very close to a full nuclear war back around the time Barbara and I got married. One very brave Soviet soldier risked everything by not launching when all of the information available to him told him that the USSR was under full nuclear attack by the US. If this guy had done what he was supposed to do, we’d have had a full nuclear war.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislav_Petrov

    As to pandemic viruses, the last really bad one was the 1918 flu. Historically, pandemics like that occur about once a century. In 1918, we had no air travel, and very few traveled much outside their home area. Now, an infectious person can get on an airliner and infect others, who get on other airliners, and so forth. Within a couple of days, that one index case can have spread to expose most of the planet’s population, and within a week to expose essentially everyone on the planet. The real nightmare that epidemiologists have is that a new virus with high lethality and long latency will do just this. Literally billions of people could be exposed/infected before anyone realizes there’s any danger. Once again, that virus wouldn’t have to kill a high percentage of its victims to be a civilization ender. The follow-on effects would be hideous.

    As to EMP/CME, see here:

    http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/23jul_superstorm/

    The best estimate of probability of a catastrophic CME striking earth in the next decade is 0.12, or about 1 in 8.

  39. I suppose I would argue for the personal, rather than societal evaluation. Not that I am an especially selfish person, but still: whether I’m dead, or I’m dead along with a million others, makes no practical difference to me, because either way I’m not there to care about the wider consequences. Hence, that is the scale I would use in evaluating my individual options.

    If working together as a group, of course, the picture changes. At the upper end of the scale, the government should be planning on a societal scale, which should and will yield entirely different valuations.

  40. My biggest fear is the smart terrorist. The news is full of the stupid ones who post their plans on some social media site. What about the ones who meet in secret, use encrypted messages and know what the weak spots are? It doesn’t take too much imagination to come up with a scenario that would massively disrupt all services to a region for weeks or months.

    “Like Robin Hood … except no tights”
    http://www.gocomics.com/overthehedge/2015/09/29

  41. I worry about the smart … and funded … terrorist. Like the 19 guys of Sept 11. They were very well funded to the tune of several million dollars. There was some fairly good planners behind that event.

  42. Now that the third “straw” is open under Lake Mead, I have no worries or need for prepping of any kind. I have some prime farm land in Vegas for sale if anyone is interested. Also a uranium mine up north.

  43. Yes, but no man is an island. Direct effects on you are only part of the equation. How badly a catastrophe affects the rest of society determines how badly it affects you.

    Just as one example, the drought in California affects farmers directly, but doesn’t affect either of us directly, or the eastern US for that matter. But it does have a significant effect on food availability and prices because so much of our food is grown in California. Even you in far-away Switzerland will be indirectly affected by that. Say you like almonds. About 80% of the world’s almond supply is produced in California, and almonds require a LOT of water to produce. So say that California’s production is cut by 3/4 because of state-mandated cutbacks in water (a very real possibility, because this drought isn’t going away; it’s the new normal). California is now producing only 20% of world demand instead of 80% and the price of almonds suddenly skyrockets. Now extend that from something as trivial as almonds to something big like fruits and vegetables. Now extend that to something even bigger, like food in general.

    That NASA article talks about the world returning to 18th century technology. The problem is that that’s not around any more. We can’t just breed millions of draft animals overnight, nor do we all have wagons and harvesters sitting in our barns. Most of us don’t even have barns. We wouldn’t be regretfully returning to 18th century technology. We’d be fighting like hell to get it as good as they had it in the 18th century. That’s the threat.

  44. The real issue is the interdependence and fragility of so many systems that our civilization (and lives) depend on. If one part of that incredibly complex system fails, there are cascading failures that take down other parts.

    Scientists and engineers value elegance, in large part because reliability and efficiency follow from simplicity. Complexity breeds unreliability and inefficiency, and our existing supply chain mechanisms are incredibly complex.

    When I was in MBA school from 1983-1985, just-in-time inventory was getting very big. Everyone was singing the praises of its efficiency from an economic/financial perspective. I was sitting there listening to this praise, thinking to myself, “but what if JIT isn’t?” A lot of businesses later found to their sorrow just how fragile JIT was and how vulnerable it made them to supply chain disruptions. No one considered the risks and potential costs that would be incurred if their JIT inventory methods failed.

    A plant might be shut down and have to be restarted (expensively) because their JIT delivery of a $0.29 component didn’t arrive on time. They could have avoided that shutdown by stocking a week’s worth of that component instead of depending on daily deliveries. So over the last few decades, a lot of companies have realized that it made sense to keep getting the daily JIT deliveries, but to keep an extra few days’ worth of key components on-site as a buffer.

    And right now, basically our whole economy is much, much too dependent on JIT. Supermarkets, drugstores, and so on typically keep only a few days’ worth of food or drugs on the premises, because increasing inventory turns saves money. That’s fine until the day when JIT deliveries no longer arrive.

  45. ” They were very well funded to the tune of several million dollars. There was some fairly good planners behind that event.”

    Indeed, and that was just a psy-war caper. Imagine if the same funding and cleverness were applied to our Grid infrastructure nationwide. Or the food distro infrastructure and the water supply. Why not an escalation to bio-war? A goodly number of the young hadji males have advanced scientific, engineering and medical know-how at the college and grad school level; they’re not retards. I don’t find it any kind of stretch to imagine several teams of these guys funded by our good friends, per usual, the Saudis and the Pakistanis, working on such adventures for our near future. And our current regime here, you know, the one that’s existed since LONG before Obummer, would likely either turn a blind eye and deaf ear to it all, or actually facilitate it, as has been the accusation of more than one party in regard to Dick Cheney and his secret minions on 9/11.

    “We wouldn’t be regretfully returning to 18th century technology. We’d be fighting like hell to get it as good as they had it in the 18th century. That’s the threat.”

    Exactly. But we’d at least have a level of tech knowledge that they didn’t have then and some surviving infrastructure to build on; however, as you point out, food and water would be extremely critical. I see no way around mass die-offs, particularly in the urban and suburban regions, if it ever gets that bad.

    And our pitifully small back yard garden of a few tomatoes and pumpkins ain’t gonna help us very long. Also, if we acquire and use up six months or a year’s worth of food and the emergency is still going on or getting worse, what then? I think long before it gets to that point, our particular location would mandate getting some of this primo farmland going with food crops rather than just corn and livestock grazing that it supports now. Theoretically, as near as I can very roughly figure, it could support a pretty wide area up here; we’ve got 8k in the town, which surrounds the “city,” and another 8k in the “city.” Assuming maximum die-off, that would leave around 3k to subsist on many dozens of square miles of the best farmland in northern New England and upstate New York. Figure a third of those are children or elderly. We’d be lucky to come up with a company-sized mil-spec unit to defend it all.

    Thus necessitating alliances with neighboring regions. While also staying on top of intel and commo considerations and keeping the whole thing up and running.

    “We can’t just breed millions of draft animals overnight, nor do we all have wagons and harvesters sitting in our barns. Most of us don’t even have barns.”

    Not an issue around here. But other problems arise, obviously.

  46. Regarding returning to 18th Century technology: it is time to make friends with some Amish and Quaker folks. In my area we have some of each. While the Quakers do use 20th Century technology, many also continue to keep draft horses and horse powered/drawn machinery. Oh, almost forgot, a fair number of steam engines which have a ready fuel source in the Tumble Weed that is all over (burns very hot).

    My Maternal Grandfather and his two brothers kept draft horses, horse powered/drawn machinery, and several steam engines (the used coal, there was an open deposit on their land, in both Illinois and Ohio). When they died (in the 60s) that equipment and the horses were sold at auction and brought the estates a lot of money. Today, I wish I had that land and “ol’ fashion equipment”. What they taught me about operating all that stuff is now locked deep in my mind and is only a shadow of memory.

  47. Well when the fuel for the tractors runs out we’ll just have to round up all those illegals undocumented dreamers and harness them to the plows.

  48. “Well when the fuel for the tractors runs out we’ll just have to round up all those illegals undocumented dreamers and harness them to the plows.”

    Well a version of this anyway. It always catches my attention in the PA novels that the folks involved are always the scrappy little band. Very few novels even mention, except as a boogieman, the possibility of large plantations worked by slaves, run by warlords. And you and me are on the list as potential slaves.

    Someone will surely be rounding people up. And the most likely people to be rounded up are the ones that survive long enough for the warlord to gain power. Who’s best suited to this? Think hispanic migrants, and hispanic drug gangs. Warlord, check. Hundreds of workers in virtual bondage to produce a crop, check. Hacienda system survives for hundreds of years, check. They certainly have a model to follow….

    nick

  49. Nah, we can make fuel, but the trade-off with the practical methods is fuel for food. Diesels can run on almost anything (the original used peanut oil). Gasoline engines are more of a problem, which is why I keep a culture of ABE bacteria.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetone%E2%80%93butanol%E2%80%93ethanol_fermentation

    The good news is that ABE fermentation produces a 6:3:1 mixture of n-butanol:acetone:ethanol, and n-butanol is a drop-in replacement for gasoline in any gasoline engine. The bad news is that ABE fermentation requires starch. Too bad it doesn’t work on cellulose, or we wouldn’t be burning petroleum at all.

  50. “… the possibility of large plantations worked by slaves, run by warlords. And you and me are on the list as potential slaves.”

    Our current prison-state industrial empire of such plantations, with a captive horde of slaves they would like to expand. Most incarcerated for non-violent offenses, too. And some guys who get out eventually will tell you that while they may have deserved their sentences, there are a LOT of OTHER peeps who don’t belong there.

    “Think hispanic migrants, and hispanic drug gangs.”

    More so down in your region, but we have hispanic migrant farm workers up here during the farming seasons, and no doubt narcotrafficantes be-bopping up and down the interstates. Most of the dope activity in this region, however, seems to be white underclass scum making and/or marketing crystal, and of course heroin and pills. Plus a fair amount of pot, which will likely be completely legalized here in the next few years anyway. And run by the Almighty State, of course.

  51. In 1918, we had no air travel, and very few traveled much outside their home area.

    WW I caused the spread of the flu and increased the severity. Also, the patent on aspirin had just expired, it became cheap, and high dosages were used in many areas.

  52. In this sense, I’m not sure there is even such a thing as an “intelligent terrorist”, because the very point of an act of terrorism is to draw attention to the perpetrators. At best (or at worst), you might get intelligent planners, with idiots doing the legwork.

    There are intelligent terrorists. As noted above, “religious” or “ideological” does not necessarily mean “unintelligent”. More dangerous than the intelligent ideologue is the mercenary terrorist.

  53. “… the mercenary terrorist.”

    Indeed. Because they know what they are about and how best to accomplish it while still surviving to collect their pay. And they are to be distinguished from mercenary assassins, such as the individual who tried to whack De Gaulle.

    Current examples of mercenary terrorists are the former police and special operations troops in Mexico who have gone over to los narcotrafficantes and they are mucho dangerous. Many of them were trained by us, in fact. Ain’t dat sweet?

  54. WW I caused the spread of the flu and increased the severity.

    Yes, which is why it was the first pandemic that was world-wide. It was the relative lack of movement of people locally/regionally that stopped it from being much worse than it was.

  55. In The Walking Dead episode at the CDC, the last CDC doctor says that they had detected the zombie virus way before it went global.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildfire_%28The_Walking_Dead%29

    “He says it is 194 days since “Wildfire” was declared (and 63 days since the disease went global), with no clinical progress. ”

    I wonder why they said that in the story line rather than a quicker moving virus?

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