A good title for a movie, to be sure.
But this is reality, as perceived by a select group of scientists who believe humanity is only “100 seconds” away from the apocalypse.
The story begins 75 years ago when the “Doomsday Clock” was created by Albert Einstein and his contemporaries, concerned about the devastating effects of atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. They set the “clock,” as they conceived it, at 7 minutes to midnight—the midnight hour signifying a global catastrophe they believed inevitable as a consequence of having invented nuclear weapons.
If you do the arithmetic on this, their successor scientists now suggest humanity will cease to exist in just under 18 years.
That said, the minutes on this clock are sometimes, if things are looking a bit safer, set back. But this hasn’t happened since 2010 when it got reversed by a single minute.
First question: Who sets this odd clock?
Answer: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. More specifically (according The Bulletin’s own website): The horology behind this timekeeping is determined by a board “made up of scientists and other experts with deep knowledge of nuclear technology and climate science” in consultation “with their colleagues across a range of disciplines…” and also “the views of The Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel Laureates.”
Second question: Where exactly is this timepiece located?
Well, the Doomsday Clock is not a real tick-tock-ing clock but a metaphorical countdown toward the destruction that scientists believe will naturally occur if nuclear power is left unchecked. It is a graphic updated year-to-year as deemed necessary by The Bulletin, which is based at the University of Chicago.
Third question: So why a Doomsday Clock?
To remind us of how close humans are to self-annihilation.
It certainly does not bode well for humanity that the tendency among world leaders is to increase, not decrease, the quantity and power of nuclear weapons stored in many parts of the world, some ready to launch at a few moments’ notice.
Just look at Joe Biden’s upcoming “Nuclear Posture Review,” which pledges $634 billion to be spent this decade on nuclear weapons. And if this is the policy of a president who has constantly depicted himself to voters during political campaigns as a champion of nuclear arms control, can you imagine the money being spent by the dictators of China, Russia and North Korea to build out their own nuclear arsenals? (But that’s just Joe, blowing with the wind, a flatulent stance he’s taken going on 50 years.) Oh, and add Iran to the mix as its leaders endeavor like mad to become a nuclear power.
The race is on—and its participants are breaking speed records as never before.
At any given time, there are about 40 armed conflicts or wars going on around the globe while 9 nuclear powers simultaneously engage in strategic rivalry.
In addition to greater nuclear capabilities, these powers seek hypersonic missiles (that travel 3000 MPH), cyber and space weapons—and weaponry managed by Artificial Intelligence (the latter of which we addressed in last Sunday’s column).
Let’s start with the most obvious hotspot: A likely invasion—quite imminently, in fact—of the Ukraine, a sovereign state, by its neighbor, Russia, whose dictator, Vladimir Putin, is already well versed in the chipping away of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, having dispatched his armies to invade and annex Crimea 8 years ago.
This could prove to be the largest conflict in Europe since World War II and might conceivably expand to countries beyond the two former Soviet republics. Only 4 days ago, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that an invasion of his country would lead to a “full-scale war in Europe.”
And since Russia has reportedly deployed tactical nuclear missiles to the region, it could also conceivably lead to their use of them.
Know this: In the fog of war, mistakes are made and anything can happen.
And this: If Vladimir Putin finds the going tougher than expected, he may choose to launch a tactical nuclear missile at his adversary to turn things around and seal the deal to his advantage, the world community be damned, if only for his own personal survival. After all, as an international pariah, what might he have to lose? Quite a lot if he does not achieve victory.
Russia, in advance of an invasion, has already announced its intent to “take appropriate military-technical reciprocal measures” as a response to what they perceive as our own aggression (NATO forces nearby). Which translates to their intended placement of intermediate-range ballistic missiles closer to Europe.
While Vlad plays chess, Brandon plays marbles, which he appears to have lost.
100 seconds till midnight.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has already threatened Japan with a “full scale” nuclear response should it interfere with China’s attempts to invade Taiwan, which experts believe could happen soon after Beijing’s Winter Olympics. Mid-last year, on a television channel thought to be a mouthpiece for the CCP, a video was broadcast with this chilling message directed at the Japanese, who understand the consequences of nuclear bombs better than most: “We will use nuclear weapons continuously. We will do this until Japan declares unconditional surrender.”
100 seconds till midnight.
Two atomic nations, China and India, encompassing 40 percent of the world’s population, face off to one another on their disputed Himalayan border—a region near Tibet called Aksai Chin, controlled by China if claimed by India. Armed clashes take place regularly—and this volatile situation is in danger of escalating. A geopolitical expert we know and trust told The Investigator: “Nukes can’t be ruled out if these Asian giants start playing with their atomic toys. A nuclear war in this region would be devastating.”
100 seconds till midnight.
With Iran perhaps only weeks away (says the US State Department) from possessing nuclear weapon-grade material, the Israeli air force earlier this week conducted a massive drill in which an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities was simulated. Israel has vowed, by whatever means necessary, to stop Iran from having a nuclear capability. And this certainly seems justified since, as our geopolitical expert put it, “Iran makes no secret of its intent to remove Israel from the face of the earth and the rhetoric from Iran’s leaders is unremitting in this respect. Given Iran’s unapologetic hatred of Israel, it would be no surprise to wake up on some fateful day to the news that Israel had removed Iran’s nuclear capabilities with a massive preemptive strike… and a nuclear attack could not be ruled out.”
100 seconds till midnight.
North Korea tested its first hypersonic missile on 11 January in what arms experts call a game-changer. That’s because, says our geopolitical expert, “North Korea is the greatest risk when it comes to nuclear weapons. And when the Hermit Kingdom, which lives and breathes paranoia, perfects its nuclear missile delivery system, the threat will grow exponentially, not least because North Korea, which is hungry and poverty-stricken, could be persuaded by China or Russia to launch proxy attacks in return for fuel and food.”
100 seconds till midnight.
THE PERILS OF PAUL PELOSI JR.
Two columns ago we touched on a Daily Mail investigation of Paul Pelosi, son of House Speaker Nancy, who, like a magnet, attracts fraudsters and convicted criminals into his orbit.
That newspaper has now unearthed documents tying Mr. Pelosi, 53, to a “fraud and bribery scheme.”
Cash for quashing building violations at a “squalid property” owned by Mr. Pelosi’s ex-girlfriend. (Mr. Pelosi signed documents claiming to be the building’s owner.)
Building inspector Rodrigo Santos stands accused of receiving bribes in exchange for building permits—including a permit applied for by Mr. Pelosi. (Mr. Santos was indicted in November for fraud and appeared in federal court last week.)
The building in question, best described as a flophouse, is located at 1312-14 Utah Street in San Francisco.
According to Mr. Pelosi’s ex-girlfriend, Nicole Bulick, the Speaker’s son has already been interviewed 3 times by the FBI
It is believed that Mr. Pelosi is the mysteriously-named “Client 9” who, at Mr. Santos’ request, wrote a check for $1,500 to a rugby club, in exchange for the quashing of building violations.
Odd that it takes a British news organization to bring these sordid affairs to our notice. What does this say about our own homegrown media?
The answer: Not much.
Most mainstream media in the USA today behaves like those three wise monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil (when it comes to the liberal left). And it seems awfully like they do not want we the people to know what is truly going down.
Shame on our once independent, now largely corporatized fourth estate.
We also reported 2 columns ago about the legal eagles around the United States—including 5 Santa Barbara law firms—that swooped down and scooped up free money from the U.S. Government—funds that were meant for helping the employees of small businesses to survive during oppressive and unnecessary lockdowns.
New research has uncovered that only about one-quarter of PPP funds (call it what it truly was—free money) reached those in need, due to slipshod (or nonexistent) government oversight.
Yup, business owners, not their employees, reaped most of these dividends.
David Autor and his team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ran a study to determineWhere Did the Money Go?
The results are in.
“Turns out,” says Dr. Autor, “it didn’ primarily go to the workers who would have lost their jobs. It went to business owners and their shareholders and their creditors.”
Echoes Michael Dalton of the Bureau of Labor Statistics: For every dollar in lost wages, $3.13 went elsewhere.
Dr. Autor found the answer: America’s top 20 percent earners ended up with 72 percent of the booty.
“The program was highly, highly regressive,” he says.
Understand, please, this is a fancy economic term that means the richest were favored.
One day we will look back on the draconian COVID lockdowns that deprived schoolchildren of their classrooms—along with the corruption of PPP loans—as a disgraceful chapter in American history.
That sad day may already be upon us: Because a Johns Hopkins University analysis of data from 24 separate studies just concluded that only 0.2 percent of COVID deaths were prevented by lockdowns.
As we now know, these illogical lockdowns caused not only untold economic damage and misery to hundreds of millions but also resulted in deaths of those who could not receive proper medical attention for more serious health issues (due to COVID restraints)—along with record-smashing suicide rates (mostly young people) due to isolation-oriented depression. Deaths that vastly outnumber (times-ten) those prevented by lockdowns.
When does shame finally set in among Dr. Fauci and his cohorts?
Montecito’s very own Harry and Meghan have joined pop legends Neil Young and Joni Mitchell (and now Crosby, Stills & Nash) in the fray against Spotify, which bestowed a $25 million deal upon the former royal couple, over Joe Rogan’s controversial COVID-19 podcast reports.
This brings back memories of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which, in 1969, got canned by CBS for mocking the establishment and a war in Vietnam that richly deserved to be mocked.
The Vietnam War was later discredited.
Remember President Johnson lecturing the American public on the so-called “domino effect”?
And how, if we didn’t a take stand in Vietnam the rest of Southeast Asia would fall like dominoes and Communist combatants would roll up on the shores of Hawaii?
And all the while LBJ’s cronies in Texas profited on armaments and war support services while millions of lives were destroyed.
Propaganda and profiteering. It almost sounds like…OMG… COVID!
Remember this too: It took a while but (a few years later, largely unnoticed) Tom and Dick Smothers won their breach of contract lawsuit against CBS. Much more important, history proved their satirical assessments accurate.
And our guess is that, back then, Neil and Joni, plus Crosby Stills & Nash, were rooting for the Smothers Brothers, not the Vietnam War.
What happened to the open-minded artistic idealists we so revered?
We ask because, apparently, they have forgotten the most important mantra of all: Question authority.
This doesn’t come easy; these minstrels are our heroes.
And that’s why it grieves us that their brains appear to be addled by mass hypnosis from an illogical narrative painted by the powers that (shouldn’t) be.
Turns out, BLM does not stand for “Black Lives Matter”—perhaps the most racist slogan ever devised—but “Bundles of Looted Money.”
Because total confusion now reigns over who exactly is running BLM or where they are even located. The Los Angeles address on their 2019 tax filing does not exist.
The charity’s co-founder, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, resigned last May amid controversy over how she could personally afford $3.2 million in real estate (four houses: three in and around LA, one in Georgia). And the two remaining board members—Shalomyah Bowers and Raymond Howard—aren’t talking, leaving donors to beg for information on what has become of $60 million in BLM coffers.
What is known is that $6.3 million in cash was sent to something called M4BJ, a non-profit entity in Canada run by Ms. Khan-Cullors’ wife, Janaya Khan, for the purchase of a mansion in Toronto.
NO APOLOGIES, NO KNEE-BENDING
I make no apologies for being a white male; no apologies for so-called “white privilege.”
No apologies, either, for being straight.
And no apologies for being into the third-third of my life. Old straight white guy? That’s me, proud as can be.
I make no apologies for saying the Pledge of Allegiance in grade school.
No apologies for saying Merry Christmas. (What it means to me is Happy Holidays, whatever you celebrate—but I’m sticking with Christmas.)
I’m not angry about anything. I have not hated, still don’t. Be what you want to be—fine with me. And baiting me with words like cracker and snowflake won’t work, not interested.
I am awakened, not woke; I don’t cancel anyone, whatever their views or opinions.
I arrived here, in this country, from the same kind of persecution those of darker skins suffered. My ancestors on both sides suffered bigotry and worse, having been victimized by attempted genocide and the Holocaust.
Armenian lives matter. Jewish lives matter. All lives matter.
My grandparents came to America for a better life and found one.
They came here. To America. Lawfully. Long after slavery was abolished.
Going down on one knee is just the kind of nonsense that pushed my grandparents to move from elsewhere, to America.
No, I don’t apologize for being white and straight and older.
I don’t “take a knee” to anyone. Never will.
All lives matter.
Black lives, white lives, brown lives.
And, in recognition of the dumbest slogan ever devised (“Defund the Police”), the lives of police officers (of any color) especially matter.
This column is dedicated in honor and memory of NYC police officer Wilbert Mora, a victim of the calamitous crime wave sweeping our country as DAs who missed their calling (they should be public defenders) set criminals free while our so-called leaders dismiss, as normal, off-the-chart murder rates and rampant crime across the country.