H A P P Y N E W Y E A R F R I E N D S !
And then tell five of your friends to read it.
‘…not if, when.’
‘…in the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands.’
In this New York Times bestselling investigation, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.
‘Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.
It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.”
And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid. The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.
In the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the Mormon church, with its enormous storehouses, high-tech dairies, orchards, and proprietary trucking company – the fruits of a long tradition of anticipating the worst. But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary civilians survive?
With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.’
‘It’s not a problem if you prepare for it…’
‘Buffalo famously gets a lot of snow. Growing up there, though, no one really freaked out about it, because we had machines to get rid of it and the attitude that it was hardly a problem worth hyperventilating over.
Most problems are like that. When we prepare for them and get used to them, they’re not problems anymore. They’re merely the way it is.’
‘Balance is a perfectionist ideal, never to be found in actual life. Therefore, it is not a good image to keep in mind. Rather, the soul’s complexity is achieved over time, through error and extreme. …That, I believe, is as it should be. We are guided by our emotions, by pain, by the feeling of going wrong. The point is to enter the mysterious complexity of the soul’s polytheistic structures, and not to arrive at some static point of perfect balance.’
~ Thomas Moore,
‘If regrets about yesterday’s decisions and actions help you do better work today, then they’ve served a useful purpose.
“I wish I’d taken that job.”
“I should have been more careful before I shipped that out the door.”
“I could have been more kind.”
“I’ll do better next time.”
Most of the time, though, we use regrets to keep us from moving forward. They paralyze us in the face of possibility. We don’t want to do something if it reminds us of that black hole we have in our past.
It’s useful if you can forgive yourself, because the regrets you’re carrying around are keeping you from holding onto the possibility that you can contribute even more tomorrow.’
“Do you have hair dryers, or should I bring one?”
An estimated 4,500 Westerners have ditched home for the Islamic State or other Sunni jihadist groups in Syria or Iraq. Researchers at New America, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., collected data on 474 of these cases. They found in news reports an unprecedented number of radicalized women sneaking across borders.
They ask about hair dryers. They’re looking for romance. They’re fans of ISIS, like others are fans of pop stars.
Read full article: by Danielle Paquette https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/11/17/why-young-american-women-are-joining-isis/
“Women in the caliphate cannot leave their houses without their husband’s permission. Those who lose their spouses in battle are forced to quickly remarry.
Her creator has ruled that there was no responsibility greater for her than that of being a wife to her husband […] girls as young as 9 may marry.
The Post’s Kevin Sullivan recently visited a refugee camp in Jordan, where he met women who said they’d escaped the grasp of the Islamic State. His interviews support evidence that women in the caliphate are second-class citizens.”
COP21: The Paris climate change conference
The Washington Post
‘Congress’s long history of doing nothing on climate change, in 6 acts’
Congress must act if the United States wants to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, say climate activists such as the Environmental Defense Fund. But right now, those activists have basically no realistic hope for any such action.
The make-up of Congress — the fact that it’s Republican-controlled and the GOP is more concerned about the adverse economic impact of trying to mitigate climate change — would suggest why.
Republicans, who don’t have a clear way to block any agreement President Obama signs in international climate talks in Paris, are instead putting up a series of roadblocks and voting to roll back his plans to curb emissions back home.
Koch Brothers Considered Launching Anti-Trump Campaign
The Daily Beast
Billionaire industrialists Charles G. and David H. Koch allegedly considered forming an anti-Donald Trump campaign. According to a Tuesday report in The New York Times, the Kochs had “preliminary conversations” about using their respective financial networks to undermine the insult-spewing Republican’s candidacy. Hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer has reportedly also had similar discussions. Both parties, however, have balked at the idea out of reluctance to incur the infamously vicious Trump’s public wrath. “You have to deal with Trump berating you every day of the week,” an anonymous strategist linked to both groups explained to the Times.