It’s Friday and time for our weekly (most of the time) shoot the shit. Yep, 2017 is behind us and boy what a year it was, but 2018 is looking pretty good. This is our first Shoot the Shit in the new year, so let’s have a little fun with this thing!
For the new readers, a shoot the shit is an event that you all can participate in, even if you know nothing about the topics being discussed. You can make unsupported statements, use uncensored profanity, insult anyone you wish or change the subject altogether. It’s a great chance to vent without paying a jackass who studied a behavioral “science” solely so they could understand themselves. The perfect support for my jackass assertion is the Yale Psychiatrist professor who pronounced President Trump as mentally unfit, in absentia. Never met the man and he’s unfit?
Shame on the American Psychological and American Psychiatric Associations. These organizations should do a much better job of self-policing and enforcing professional standards. It’s like Anderson’s theory of anonymous therapy; far too many of these folks are not just inept, they’re also morons and should be excreted from the profession. Terrible!
So, let’s get started!
President Trump is pulling both parties together to work on immigration legislation. During the course of a televised meeting held on 9 January 2018, the President dips into his deal making quiver pulling out the “Earmark” arrow. Those of you familiar with the legislative process, earmarks are interchangeably called pork. The way pork works is you provide funding, or other incentive, benefitting a member or members of Congress, as part of a bill to get passage. Most members of Congress have moved away from that practice but today’s mention of that was undoubtedly an aphrodisiac to the Democrats. I propose that we draw from the Height-Ashbury days to rebrand the concept and call it”Makin Bacon.”
Moving right along, one of our readers sent us a joke we thought was pretty good…
Co-joined twins walk into a bar in Canada and park
themselves on a bar stool.
One of them says to the bartender, “Don’t mind us; we’re joined at the hip.
I’m John, he’s Jim.
Two Molson Canadian beers, draft please.”
The bartender, feeling slightly awkward, tries to make polite
conversation while pouring the beers.
“Been on vacation yet, fellas?”
“Off to England next month,” says John. “We go to England every
year, rent a car, and drive for miles and miles, don’t we, Jim?” Jim nods.
“Ah, England!” says the bartender. “Wonderful country. ..the history,
the culture, and especially the beer.”
“Nah, we don’t like that British crap”, says John. “Hamburgers and
Molson’s beer, that’s for us, eh Jim? And we can’t stand the English
people, they’re so arrogant and rude.”
“So why keep going to England?” asks the bartender.
John replies: “Gives Jim a chance to drive…”
On to North Korea…
North Korea continues to be problematic, even with the NOKO / SOKO dialogue over the upcoming Olympics. It’s not my job, and I have total confidence in POTUS and his cabinet, but I worry about NOKO and where they are, currently, in the nuclear weapon and delivery system development. Dialogue with NOKO, reminds me of the hackneyed dating question “ Will you still respect me in the morning?”
The reality is that NOKO is holding SOKO hostage. The NOKO regime literally has a gun to SOKO’s head and any military action against NOKO could lead to thousands of SOKO lives lost. Think of what that number will look like if instead of artillery a nuclear tipped missile is involved. NOKO also understands that any attack on SOKO would result in the destruction of the NOKO regime. The classic Mexican Standoff! It’s important to understand that allowing NOKO to move forward with their development also places our ability to respond at risk.
To be effective, NOKO need only detonate a nuclear device 500km above the earth’s surface to impact the United States, coast-to-coast, with a High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse. The EMP would likely put out of commission commercial and military satellite earth stations as well as damage some of the lower layer space assets.
Our most important tool in dealing with NOKO and their nuclear weapon development is their own fear of regime change. It is a high risk game but if unaddressed it only gets worse.
For your reading enjoyment, I’ve provided an excerpt from “Threats to United States Space Capabilities” by Tom Wilson, Space Commission Staff Member.
“…The detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude (above 20-50 km)(26) will produce two devastating effects. The first is High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP), principally of concern to the satellite’s ground segment. Second would be a significant increase in the level of LEO ambient radiation, enough to severely damage nearby satellites and shorten the lifetimes of satellites in LEO from years to months or less.
The detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude (above 20-50 km)(26) will produce two devastating effects. The first is High Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP), principally of concern to the satellite’s ground segment. Second would be a significant increase in the level of LEO ambient radiation, enough to severely damage nearby satellites and shorten the lifetimes of satellites in LEO from years to months or less.
The HEMP signal from a high altitude nuclear burst propagates through the line of sight of the burst. The propagation manifests itself in the form of fairly large magnetic fields over very large areas. For example, detonating a multi-megaton thermonuclear weapon at 100 km over Omaha, Nebraska would cover a circular region with a diameter stretching from Kentucky to Colorado. If the altitude were increased to 500km, the entire continental U.S. would be covered by the HEMP electric field. The effect of the HEMP signal is to cause significant upset, degradation and permanent damage to electrical systems. The extent of the damage depends on weapon yield and design, burst altitude and the characteristics of the exposed electronic equipment. (27)
From the perspective of the ground segment, HEMP is the principal concern from a high altitude nuclear detonation. However, satellites in line-of-sight of the detonation will also feel some effects. Direct radiation can upset or damage satellite electronics and other components. This situation occurs when electrons produced by the nuclear explosion penetrate the interior of the satellite and deposit their charge, building up large electric fields on dielectrics, including printed circuit boards, solar cell cover slips and thermal control materials (paints, thermal blankets or second surface mirrors). These fields eventually may exceed the breakdown strength of the material and cause a discharge to occur. Energy from the discharge can couple directly into electronic components and cause upset or burnout.(28)”
Let’s Talk about Oprah!
You may have heard all the chatter coming out of the recent Golden Globe Awards; specifically, the idea that Oprah Winfrey was going to be running for President against Donald Trump in 2020. The media and entertainment industry salivary glands shifted into high speed, but here is what’s wrong with that concept.
As a Department head, one of the difficulties I had to deal with was the concept of banded, or tier, compensation schedules. In order for me to increase an employee’s salary, I had to promote them. The net effect of this guideline is that I ended elevating an exceptional technician into a poor supervisor or line manager. The same holds true for Oprah. She is an accomplished individual and a great philanthropist, why would you want to promote her to poor politician. the world needs more Oprah(s) as she is today!