Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 8, 2009 / 19 Elul 5769

America's Achilles' heal is still vulnerable

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With hurricane season upon us once again, the recent anniversary of one of the most deadly and destructive in our nation's history - the mega-storm called Katrina - was an occasion for remembering what can happen if we are unprepared.  Unfortunately, what was arguably the most important lesson of that hurricane has still not been addressed: the truly catastrophic vulnerability of all of the infrastructures upon which our society critically depends to interruptions of the electrical grid.

Worse yet, there are both looming man-induced and far more devastating natural means of precipitating such interruptions that we have not begun to address.  Should these eventuate, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will look like, well, a day at the beach.  It is no exaggeration to say that the effect of one or the other of these assaults on our electrical grid could be to engender what Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called "a world without America."

As Katrina demonstrated, if the electricity goes off for any protracted period of time, there is a cascading ripple-effect which takes down the means by which we communicate, get food and water, access financial resources, receive medical services, dispose of sewage and move from one location to another.  The longer the time without electricity, the more difficult it is to bring such other infrastructures back on line.  As the news reports marking the occasion of Katrina's landfall have made clear, some of the areas that received the brunt of that storm are still not fully back to their pre-hurricane condition.

Should some of the roughly 300 transformers that are the backbone of our electrical grid be damaged or destroyed, the interruption to the electrical grid will not be brief.  Today, we have few back-ups in place.  These large and complex pieces of equipment are all produced overseas and it takes at least a year to take delivery of even one, let alone many.

Dr. William Graham, President Reagan's Science Advisor, estimates that, if the electricity is off in large sections of America (far more than the relatively small part of the country afflicted by Katrina) for as long as a year, the effect will not simply be on the quality of life here.  He says as many as nine out of ten of our men, women and children will die from starvation, disease and/or exposure.

Dr. Graham knows whereof he speaks.  He has served for years as the chairman of a congressionally empanelled commission made up of many of the most knowledgeable scientists in the United States.  Their job has been to examine in detail a phenomenon known as electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) that could be used by our enemies like Iran to effect such devastation.

The Graham panel has come to be known as the EMP Threat Commission and it has developed a particularly worrisome scenario.  A non-descript freighter off one of our coasts could launch with no warning a relatively short-range ballistic missile.  If that  missile were armed with even a relatively small and crude nuclear weapon and that warhead were detonated in space high over the United States, it would unleash large quantities of gamma rays. 

As those rays interact with the upper atmosphere, the effect would be to create an immense burst of electromagnetic energy.  Any electrical or electronic device - including the grid's transformers - not shielded against this pulse would be, at best, taken temporarily off-line.  More likely, they will be made permanently unusable.

It turns out, however, that other assaults on our grid might have a similar effect:

  • Radio-frequency weapons could be used to go after critical nodes of the electrical infrastructure in a more tactical way. 
  • Cyber-warfare has increasingly been waged against the computers that control the grid and other vital parts of our economy's electronic underbelly.  The perpetrators have not been positively identified, but those responsible for protecting against such cyber attacks suspect Chinese and Russian sources.
  • Then there is the mother of all threats to the electrical grid: a naturally occurring phenomenon known as geomagnetic solar events.  These intense solar flares were observed by a British scientist named Richard Carrington back in 1859 who correlated them as the cause of spontaneous combustion of telegraph wires and offices - the relatively tiny telecommunications infrastructure then-available to be disrupted. Scientists say we are overdue for another of these sorts of super solar storms.  The destruction they could cause to the world's unprotected grids could run to the trillions of dollars to repair and the loss of countless lives.

The good news is that there are things that can be done to make our electrical infrastructure less vulnerable to these sorts of Katrina-on-steroids assaults.  That is  especially true now, as the stimulus package enacted earlier this year this year makes billions of dollars available to effect long-overdue and much-needed upgrades in the U.S. grid.  The question is:  Will we take those steps in time, before hostile forces or further natural phenomena devastate this country?

This week a large number of Americans determined to take such preventive action now are convening in Niagara Falls, New York - a community that knows something about hydro-electric power and its importance for the country.  This meeting will be the first-of-its-kind on this subject, a large conference open to the public and aimed at educating the rest of us about these threats, and impelling the adoption of prophylactic measures. 

Presentations will be made by Newt Gingrich and several key serving legislators, as well as many of the country's most knowledgeable scientists, security policy experts and industry leaders.  Organized by a new group, EMPAct America (www.empactamerica.net), this meeting represents the best opportunity to date to translate the warnings of the EMP Threat Commission into action.

The time has come to do just that. 


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy in the Reagan Administration, heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.

Archives


BUY FRANK'S LATEST
"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"  

America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.

With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.

War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.

© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles