Recently, I watched a very interesting series about the Cold War. Made by the BBC, it’s pretty long at 24 parts but it was really fascinating given I had grown up in the middle of those times. If any of you readers out there in Fritterland grew up during the 1950’s through 1980’s, you know all about it. For those youngun’s who grew up later or are still growing, the Cold War was a decades long standoff between the super powers of the United States and it’s allies, vs the Soviet Union (now mostly Russia) and it’s allies. Capitalism vs Communism. Good vs Evil. Freedom vs the Red Menace. At least according to the propaganda of the time, and there was a lot of propaganda on both sides.
Imagine a couple of school yard bullies trying to out do the other without actually coming to blows. One goes and gets a big stick and threatens the other. The other gets an even bigger stick and threatens back. Neither actually takes a swing but they come damn uncomfortably close. The only difference is in the Cold War, instead of sticks, they used nuclear weapons with the capability of ending all life on the planet if said weapons were unleashed. If you want to get a real feel for what it was like back then here is the infamous Atomic Cafe. The movies clips in this were real. Duck and cover. Fallout shelters. Conelrad alerts. Oh yes, it was good times.
Anyways, I came away from said series with a couple of realizations, none of which were good. One, the two superpowers came uncomfortably close on more occasions than anyone would like to admit to actually pushing the button and launching an all out nuclear war. And b, the leaders of these two superpowers were extremely flippant about what the effects of such a war would have on the planet. They would talk in superlatives, describing in cold detail how some major city would be destroyed or if some bomb was sufficiently large enough to take out a target. Phrases like, ‘acceptable casualties’ were bandied about like it was no big deal. 10 or 20 million dead was ok, as long as the war was won. Nuclear conflict was discussed with no more urgency than if one were planning a weekend at the beach. Given the proper motivation, these bastards had no problems with giving the orders which would kill millions of people and essentially make the planet uninhabitable. Fortunately, nuclear war has only happened once. Or unfortunately, if you were to ask Japan.
The Cold War essentially ended in the early 1990’s when the Soviet Union came apart. The commies couldn’t keep up with the arms races which destroyed their economy, and finally cooler heads prevailed. There were still nuclear weapons but at least the threat seemed to die down. Until now.
So here we are, in 2017, an advanced civilization with new and wonderful technologies. Life seemed pretty good for awhile. But then the election happened. Now all of sudden things are looking very cold warish again. Russia is poking us with their sticks. We are poking back. China is expanding it’s influence. And look who else is back in the game? It’s our old friends from the early 1950’s, North Korea. Yes, the North Koreans, mainly an afterthought for years, who have somehow managed to acquire nuclear weapons, and put a mindless, evil, egotistical dictator in charge, just like the U.S.A.
North Korea has always been one to brag about how they are going to attack basically everyone else on the planet with, ‘merciless strikes’. For some reason they seem to hate everyone. It’s become old hat, the same threats every year, but little or nothing comes of it, until now. Suddenly, it would seem, and thanks to the Trumpenführer and his innate ability to piss off every single other country in the world, North Korea may actually launch some sort of attack. A ‘Super Mighty’ attack according to the latest. Seriously, they need to find some more better copy editors or get a thesaurus. Anyways, this time it looks for real and everybody is nervous about what might happen.
South Korea is in the most danger as their northern neighbors have a large amount of artillery pointed at them. Chemical and biological weapons could come into play. From what can be deduced, the North Koreans don’t have the capability to launch a nuclear weapon any further than into the ocean but such technology is not too far off for them. Should they attain said capability, Japan, and points east are in danger. This includes the west coast of the U.S. and someplace I like to call, Hawaii.
Anyone with even a smattering of military knowledge, which pretty much excludes Cheetolini, who can’t even remember which country he bombed, understands the strategic importance of Hawaii. The first U.S. Navy officer who came to these islands immediately recognized Pearl Harbor to be a natural port to house a large fleet. Japan knew it too when they paid a visit in 1941. They who control Hawaii, controls most of the Pacific. So naturally, the islands are a target.
The recent events and saber rattling off to the far west, or east, depending on which coast you live on, has been enough for the Hawaiian government to start looking at taking some precautions. They are thinking of upgrading and restocking fallout shelters across the islands. Should we residents be worried? Should everyone be worried? Duh. We are talking of the very real chance of a nuclear warhead being detonated on U.S. soil. If it happens, it will be way worse than the 9/11 attacks and this country will never be the same afterwards.
‘Never let a crisis go to waste’, is a favorite axiom of the government. When a crisis occurs, people panic and look to the government to do, ‘something’. Look at what happened immediately after 9/11. Suddenly we had the infamous Patriot Act and a new department with the Orwellian name of Homeland Security. Both these monstrosities appeared out of nowhere like they had already been planned and were just waiting for an excuse to be enacted. Now we have less freedoms than ever and it’s gonna get even worse when another attack happens on U.S. soil.
All the ingredients for yet another war seem to be falling into place. The enemy has been identified. Propaganda is filling the news. Panic, fear, and hysteria fill the headlines and sell advertising. Military moves are made, or not. Patriotism and anger will be stirred. Some will support all out war. The sane amongst us will not and be vilified for it. Eventually, something will trigger a move. A mistake here, a perceived threat there, or maybe either the Pillsbury Korean Dough boy or Trumpulskiltstin will decide their egos need some rubbing and fire the first shots. What happens then is anyone’s guess.
There is no doubt the U.S. can defeat North Korea. The question is, how much damage will North Korea do before it goes down, and how many millions will die. Should Russia and/or China get involved, it could really get ugly. No matter what, we all lose in this. Yet the games continue.
Wars are fought for three reasons. Power, property, and profit. Especially profit. War is big money to the arms dealers and those who supply the equipment and resources for the fight. And right now, our government is essentially a corporate dictatorship with nothing but profits in mind. To them, war is a good thing. It makes money, and as for the casualties and damage, just a cost of doing business. Even the IRS has a plan to continue to collect taxes in the aftermath of a nuclear war. There will be no food nor water across the irradiated wastelands, but you will still have to pay your taxes.
Remember this if you take nothing else away from this post. The government does not care one shit about you. They do not care if you live or die. If you lose everything in a war, so what. All you are to the government is a walking, breathing atm machine from which they will extract your money, your labor, and your life as cannon fodder. They will do whatever it takes to extend their power, property, and profits and if war is what it takes, so be it. To the government, war is a big goddam game and you are just pieces to be sacrificed for the profits.
Full scale nuclear war is probably not going to happen, we hope. But even a limited exchange or one nuclear device detonated here is going to have extremely bad effects on this country and our way of life. The country is ill prepared for such an event. A prolonged war in Korea will have a huge effect on the amount of trade coming out of the area and it won’t take long for the shelves at wallymart to go empty. Now, more than ever, is a good time to do as I said in the previous post. Get the hell out of debt and stay out.
If you are thinking about minimalism, now would be a good time to take action. Reduce your ability to lose things or not having them in the first place. I don’t mean go all prepper, load up on guns and ammo, and think you’ll be driving across the wasteland fighting zombies, aliens, or Tina Turner. But take a close look at your lifestyle and identify where you might be vulnerable should something happen. Get out of debt. Learn skills which you can utilize should your job vanish. How mobile are you? If something happened how easy or difficult would it be for you to pack up and go someplace else? How prepared are you in case of an emergency be it natural or manmade? Minimalism makes said preparation way more easier when the feces strikes the wind movement device.
If I have scared you with any of this, good. You need to wake up. This is not a game for us great unwashed. It is to the corporate dictators. But for us, it could have life changing effects and not the good kind. When a bomb goes off, somebody does not earn a gold star nor do they move up to the next level of difficulty. People die. People are hurt. Property is destroyed. These bastards who run things have no compunction about launching weapons which will kill millions in an instant and make large areas of the planet uninhabitable. All so they can profit. There are some big egos on each side right now and the playground is a lot smaller than it used to be. As long as these bullies keep swinging, sooner or later, somebody is going to land a blow and things will get interesting.
I hope to hell I am completely wrong about all of this. I hope you all can come back here someday down the road and tell me I was full of shit. I would like to think cooler heads will prevail and we will get through this bullshit without another war. But it ain’t looking too good at the moment. Get your own lives in place and don’t panic. But be prepared.