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A Word To The Wise – “You’re A Mercenary If…”

September 3, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

The Burning Platform’s Jim Quinn notes that:

I have no idea if Major General Higginbotham actually penned this or not but it is a stark warning, one that I have maintained for years, that a civil war in North America (if it happens in the USA it will take Mexico and Canada along for the ride) will not be as cut and dry and as some folks would like.

 

There are no definable sides to our current predicament, no political organization to speak of, and as such a wide spread conflict would become chaos in short order. The continent would get very tribal very quickly. Political ideologues proceed with caution.

 

You won’t like what you are about to read.

Via Kunckledraggin.com,

“If you are paid $25.00 an hour to show up to a rally to “counter” the other party using physical force and violence, you are not a “counter protestor.” You are a mercenary.

There is no need for further debate on this. You were paid to attack someone you don’t know for reasons that you couldn’t care enough about to go there for free. You did your “job” and collected your check and your reimbursement of expenses. You’re a mercenary.

Not a Patriot. Not a Social Justice Warrior. Not a Defender of Freedom or Liberty. Not an upholder of Truth or Justice. None of those things you claim to be. You are a mercenary.

And mercenaries are not lawful combatants and deserve whatever comes their way at the hands of the people they are attacking.

You have no 1st Amendment rights when you’re a mercenary.

Doesn’t matter what side you’re on. Doesn’t matter what cause you’re showing up to disrupt. If you can’t express yourself peacefully through diplomatic means, then you better be prepared to meet your maker at the hands of someone who is only barely keeping their own violent tendencies at bay through a massive exercise of self-control.

I know it sounds romantic to attend these rallies and get shit started with the other side. And when you’re young and passionate, it’s really easy to get whipped up into a frenzy of raw emotions. There is a reason why young people are preferred when it comes to warfare. They are easy to manipulate and control and set off.

But I’m telling you all this right now. You’ve got no idea what road you are starting down. Romance and idealism wears off really fast when you’re laying in a pool of your own blood trying to stuff your intestines back into your torn abdomen.

I’ve been lucky enough to go forty-two years without having to put the skills I learned in the Marines to use. I continue to train and keep those skills up to date because I see the madness that is happening all across this country. I don’t train to attack others like you do. I train to defend others FROM you. I’m not alone either.

There are thousands of men and women in this country who have seen war and death and don’t want any more to do with it. They want to live in peace. They want to forget the things they’ve had to do in the service of their country. They want to raise their kids and have family BBQs and build tree houses and soap box derby cars and have tea parties.

They don’t want this shit that you’re selling.

You have the extremist left and the extremist right that are doing their best to get something started. To force us into a Civil War. Even in the 1860’s, the violence between the North and South was nowhere near what we see today. Nowhere. Even. Close.

And yet we still had a war of ideology that consumed hundreds of thousands of lives.

All you young and naive kids on both sides of this equation who think that having a Civil War will advance your agenda or restore your vision of what you think is America, just remember this… Those of us older generations aren’t having any of this shit. And if you jump off, you better be prepared to deal with US. We don’t care what color you’re wearing or what sign you’re holding if you come after us, our friends, our family, our co-workers, our neighbors, etc., WE will kill you.

So remember that when you’re thinking that it’s just Left vs Right, or Liberal vs Conservative, or Commie vs. Fascist. We are the variable you’re not considering.

That “Silent Majority” that you pretend does not exist is getting really sick and tired of your bullshit.

Geoffrey B. Higginbotham
Major General, USMC (Ret.)
-SS

 

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A “Super-Powerful” EMP Attack: North Korea’s Newest Weapon Against The U.S.

September 3, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

The dynamics of the standoff between the US and North Korea have shifted dramatically in the past week.

First, the North started with an unexpectedly sharp provocation – launching a missile over the Japanese island of Hokkaido – before following that up with its sixth nuclear test. Also, judging by the size the earthquake detected in the country’s mountainous North on Sunday morning, North Korea may have been telling the truth when it said it conducted what it described as its first hydrogen bomb test.

And while the North bragged about the weapon’s “great destructive power” in a TV broadcast, what caught analysts’ attention was a mention of a different tactic: detonating  an H-bomb at high altitude to create an electromagnetic pulse that could knock out parts of the US electrical grid.

Here’s WSJ:

“North Korea’s threats against the U.S. now include a tactic long discussed by some experts: an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, triggered by a nuclear weapon that would aim to shut down the U.S. electricity grid.

 

North Korea’s state news agency made a rare reference to the tactic in a Sunday morning release in which the country said it was able to load a hydrogen bomb onto a long-range missile. The bomb, North Korea said, ‘is a multifunctional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack.’”

Unlike a conventional nuke, an EMP blast – think Oceans’ 11 – is not directly lethal, and serves mostly to knock out key infrastructure (useful when robbing a casino).

However, it would probably lead to an unknown number of indirect deaths as hospitals and essential infrastructure lose power.

“The idea of an EMP attack is to detonate a nuclear weapon tens or hundreds of miles above the earth with the aim of knocking out power in much of the U.S. Unlike the U.S. atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, such a weapon wouldn’t directly destroy buildings or kill people. Instead, electromagnetic waves from the nuclear explosion would generate pulses to overwhelm the electric grid and electronic devices in the same way a lightning surge can destroy equipment.”

In the worst possible scenario, regional power grids could be offline for months, potentially costing many deaths as people would eventually start running out of necessities like food and medicine. Lawmakers and the US military have been aware of the EMP threat for many years, according to WSJ. IN a 2008 report commissioned by Congress, the authors warned that an EMP attack would lead to “widespread and long-lasting disruption and damage to the critical infrastructures that underpin the fabric of US society.”

In a report published last month, the Hill noted that the North could choose to carry out an EMP attack on Japan or South Korea as a more politically acceptable act of aggression. Such an attack could help the North accomplish its three most-important political goals, the Hill said.

“North Korea has nuclear-armed missiles and satellites potentially capable of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. EMP is considered by many the most politically acceptable use of a nuclear weapon, because the high-altitude detonation (above 30 kilometers) produces no blast, thermal, or radioactive fallout effects harmful to people.

 

EMP itself is harmless to people, destroying only electronics. But by destroying electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures, the indirect effects of EMP can kill far more people in the long-run than nuclear blasting a city. In this scenario, North Korea makes an EMP attack on Japan and South Korea to achieve its three most important foreign policy goals: reunification with South Korea, revenge upon Japan for World War II, and recognition of North Korea as a world power.”

Scientists first discovered a hydrogen bomb’s ancillary EMP capabilities after testing one in the Pacific in the early 1960s.

“When the U.S. tested a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific in 1962, it resulted in lights burning out in Honolulu, nearly 1,000 miles from the test site. Naturally occurring electromagnetic events on the sun can also disrupt power systems.

 

A 1989 blackout in Quebec that came days after powerful explosions on the sun expelled a cloud of charged particles that struck earth’s magnetic field.”

Some experts who spoke with WSJ said it would be impossible to guarantee success during an EMP attack, since the weapon would need to detonate with near perfect accuracy.

“Skeptics generally acknowledge that an EMP attack would be possible in theory, but they say the danger is exaggerated because it would be difficult for an enemy such as North Korea to calibrate the attack to deliver maximum damage to the U.S. electrical grid. If it a North Korean bomb exploded away from its target location, it might knock out only a few devices or parts of the grid.”

The North Korea said its hydrogen bomb had explosive power of tens of kilotons to hundreds of kilotons – so of course if it landed to close, or the attack was mishandled in other ways, what was meant to be an EMP attack would result in a nuclear strike. At least one expert said using an EMP attack would make little sense when the North could cause much more destruction with a nuclear ground attack.

“Others say that even if North Korea had the technical capability to deliver a damaging electromagnetic pulse, it wouldn’t make strategic sense to use it because Pyongyang could wreak more destruction with a traditional nuclear attack directed at a large city.

 

A rogue state would prefer a “spectacular and direct ground burst in preference to a unreliable and uncertain EMP strike. A weapon of mass destruction is preferable to a weapon of mass disruption,” wrote physicist Yousaf M. Butt in a 2010 analysis.”

Luckily, if US military authorities truly fear an attack, there are some long-term steps the US could take to minimize the effectiveness of an electromagnetic pulse attack. Defenses could be bolstered inexpensively by designing electrical-grid components to withstand sudden pulses, just as the grid already is protected against lightning strikes. The US could also build backup systems that could step in for the principal electrical grids in an emergency.

If the North’s latest nuclear test, conducted early Sunday, didn’t involve a hydrogen bomb, the weapon used was at least close to it according to US officials. It was the North’s first nuclear test since late last year, and also the first since tensions between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump began escalating shortly after his inauguration. China, Japan, South Korea and the US have already condemned the attack, with China and South Korea threatening to work with the Security Council to bring more onerous sanctions against the defiant North.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump in a series of tweets hinted that he was frustrated with diplomatic measures, which he referred to as “appeasement.” We imagine there are more than a few generals whispering in his ear about the potential success rate of a surgical strike.

* * *

Finally, here is a repost from July 2014, in which hedge fund legend Paul Singer, head of Elliott Management, said that “there is one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence” – an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).  Three years he may be proven correct.

From: “The “Most Significant Danger” According To Elliott’s Paul Singer

EMP: THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DANGER

 

While these pages are typically overflowing with scary or depressing scenarios, there is one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence. Even nuclear war is a relatively localized issue, except in its most extreme form. And the threat from asteroids can (possibly) be mitigated.

 

The risks associated with electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, represent another story entirely. It can occur naturally, from solar storms that send “coronal mass ejections,” which are massive energetic bursts of solar wind, tens of millions of miles in a mere few hours. Or it can be artificial, produced by a high-altitude (at least 15 miles) explosion of relatively low-yield (even Hiroshima-strength) nuclear weapons.

 

Different initiators of EMP have different pulses and different effects. But the bottom line is that EMP fries electronic devices, including parts of electric grids. In 1859, a particularly strong solar disturbance (the “Carrington Event”) caused disruption to the nascent telegraph network. It happened again with similar disruptions in 1921, before our modern power grid came into existence. A NASA study concluded these events have typically occurred around once per century. A repeat of the Carrington Event today would cause a massive disruption to the electric grid, possibly shutting it down entirely for months or longer, with unimaginable consequences.

 

Only two years ago, the sun let loose with a Carrington-magnitude burst, but the position of the earth at the time prevented the burst from hitting it. The chances of additional events of such magnitude may be far greater than most people think.

 

The artificial version of EMP, a kind of nuclear attack, would require between one and three high-altitude nuclear explosions to create its effect across all of North America. It would not cause any blast or radiation damage, but such an attack would have consequences even more catastrophic than a severe solar storm. It could not only bring down the grid, but also lay down a very intense, very fast pulse across the continent, damaging or destroying electronic switches, devices, computers and transformers across America.

 

There is no way to stop a naturally occurring EMP, and nuclear proliferation, combined with advances in weapons delivery systems, make the artificial version a distinct possibility, so the dangers are very real.

 

What can be done about this risk? Critical elements of the power grid and essential electronic devices can be hardened. Spare parts can be stockpiled for other, less critical hardware. Procedures can be developed as part of emergency preparedness so that the relevant government agencies and emergency response NGOs are ready to respond quickly and effectively to an episode large or small.

 

Why are we writing about EMP? Because in any analysis of societal risk, EMP stands all by itself. Congressional committees are studying this problem, and federal legislation is laboriously working its way through the process. We think that raising people’s consciousness about what should be an effort by both parties to make the country (and the world) safer from this kind of event is a good thing to do.

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Egypt authorities ban Sunday edition of pro-govt daily

September 3, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

The Egyptian authorities have banned publication of the Sunday edition of a pro-government newspaper for questioning the security apparatus’s failure to arrest a former government minister convicted of corruption. According to a statement released by private daily Al-Bawaba, publication of the paper’s Sunday edition was banned because it featured a news report on the failure of Egypt’s security apparatus to arrest Habib al-Adly, a former interior minister who served under autocratic President Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak was forced to step down as president following an 18-day popular uprising in early 2011. After having played a central role in Mubarak’s repressive regime from 1997 to 2011, Al-Adly was slapped with a seven-year jail sentence in April — along with millions of dollars […]

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Musharraf says will face Bhutto murder trial in Pakistan

September 3, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-09-03 17:22
ID: 
1504448860789517800

ISLAMABAD: Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf said he would return to Pakistan to face trial in the murder case of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
A Pakistani court on Thursday pronounced Musharraf a fugitive in the murder trial but acquitted five men accused of involvement in the 2007 assassination of Bhutto, the first female prime minister of a Muslim country.
In a statement issued to the media Sunday, Musharraf said the verdict of the Rawalpindi Anti Terrorism Court was not against him.
“I will certainly come back to Pakistan and face the trial, as and when I am medically fit,” he said.
“I have been framed in the Benazir Bhutto murder case by way of political victimization, while I had nothing to do with her untimely and tragic death,” he said.
“I have not been the beneficiary of prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder and the entire case as pitched against me is materially false, fictitious, fabricated and is a result of political intrigue,” the former army chief said.
The anti-terrorism court branded Musharraf as an absconder and ordered the confiscation of his property.
The verdicts are the first to be issued since Bhutto was killed in a gun and suicide bomb attack nearly a decade ago, sparking street violence and plunging Pakistan into months of political turmoil.
Former president and military ruler Musharraf is alleged to have been part of a broad conspiracy to have his political rival killed before elections. He has denied the allegation.
He was charged with murder, criminal conspiracy for murder, and facilitation for murder in 2013, in an unprecedented move against an ex-army chief, challenging beliefs the military is immune from prosecution.
But he has been in self-imposed exile in Dubai ever since a travel ban was lifted three years later.
Musharraf’s government blamed the assassination on Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who denied any involvement. He was killed in a US drone attack in 2009.
In 2010, the UN report accused Musharraf’s government of failing to give Bhutto adequate protection and said her death could have been prevented.

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Hedge Fund CIO: “Want To Make A Grown Nerd Cry? Run A 500% Rate Increase Through His Risk Model”

September 3, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

August is over, which means that Eric Peters, the CIO of One River Asset Management, is back to doing what he is so very good at: distilling the week’s events and latest financial and economic trends into pithy, one-paragraph aphorisms.  Without further ado, here is an anecdotal excerpt from his latest weekend notes.

* * *

Scary Movie

I love movies. Scary ones especially. Keep your happy endings, give me chainsaws. Meat hooks.

I’ll never forget ERM in 1992. That was my first real snuff flick as a Lehman prop trader. The Italians never stood a chance in the film, they never do. Show me an Italian who can resist a dark woodshed and I’ll show you a hero in a hockey mask.

At least the Swedes put up a fight in the flick. Their central bankers raised overnight rates to 500%. Want to make a grown nerd cry? Run that interest rate through his risk model. But of course, not a single propeller-head imagined such a monster.

Anyhow, my next scary movie was Orange County, 1994. The great bond massacre brought terrified traders to tears.

Mexico devalued too; Tequila Slammer. So many strings inextricably woven into that tangled tale.

These intricate plots build over years, unravel in months. Asian Flu was released in 1997, classic zombie apocalypse genre. Just when the virus seemed contained, along came a sequel; Russian Flu in 1998. A month later they released LTCM, a documentary about the dangers of mixing academics and money.

Wall Street is remaking that classic as we speak; a big budget Black Monday II. Revenge of the Sock Puppet was released in 2001, followed quickly by 9-11.

Then things went quiet for what seemed like forever. But 7yrs later Haunted House came out – scared the crap out of everyone, even hardened criminals flipping cribs from cellblocks.

European Debt Crisis was released in 2011, a real nail biter, until some Italian saved mankind with a printing press. It’s been happy endings ever since.

Chick flicks, corsets, period pieces. Utterly boring. But in my three decades of watching scary movies, on average there’s been a blockbuster surprise every three to four years. And it’s been six since 2011.

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UK PM May pushes for new sanctions on N. Korea after nuclear test

September 3, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Sun, 2017-09-03 17:06
ID: 
1504448520909495400

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday said the United Nations Security Council should urgently look at imposing new sanctions on North Korea and speed up implementation of existing ones.
Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test earlier on Sunday.
“This latest action by North Korea is reckless and poses an unacceptable further threat to the international community,” May said in an e-mailed statement.
“I discussed the serious and grave threat these dangerous and illegal actions present with President Abe in Japan this week and reiterate the call we jointly made for tougher action, including increasing the pace of implementation of existing sanctions and looking urgently in the UN Security Council at new measures.”

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US to prepare new draft sanctions on N.Korea: Treasury chief

September 3, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
AFP
Sun, 2017-09-03 16:29
ID: 
1504445898179307700

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department will prepare a package of sanctions that would “cut off North Korea economically” following the isolated regime’s latest nuclear test, the department chief said Sunday.
“I’m going to draft a sanctions package and send it to the president for his strong consideration so anybody (who) wants to do trade or business with them will be prevented from doing trade or business with us,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We will work with our allies. We will work with China. But people need to cut off North Korea economically, this is unacceptable behavior,” he said.

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