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posted by martyb on Friday January 26 2018, @01:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the better-read-this-VERY-quickly dept.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) has set the Doomsday Clock to "two minutes to midnight" to reflect fears of a nuclear confrontation with North Korea, as well as the failure of world leaders to address climate change and other factors. The clock is now set as close to doomsday as it was in 1953:

The team of scientists singled out a series of nuclear tests by North Korea. They dramatically escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula and led to a war of words between North Korea and the US.

The BAS also referred to a new US nuclear strategy that was expected to call for more funding to expand the role of the country's nuclear arsenal. Rising tension between Russia and the West was also a contributing factor.

The "weakening of institutions" around the world in dealing with major global threats - including climate change - was another major concern, the scientists said. They also mentioned US President Donald Trump's "unpredictability", pointing to his often controversial tweets and statements.

We're back, baby!


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday January 26 2018, @01:28PM (30 children)

    Ignorant grandstanding bullshit for political purposes.

    --
    "Buzzy, you're probably the dumbest person I've ever encountered. Well, there is aristarchus, so make it 2nd dumbest."
    • (Score: -1, Spam) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @01:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @01:39PM (#628250)

      The fetus was mocking me, from the safety of the womb. Little did it know, I tricked into such that replaced with pure feces. Now it's my time to rape! I'll turn this into a file cabinet fetus! Utilize like this! Utilize like this! Utilize like this! Utilize like this! Utilize like this!

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Friday January 26 2018, @02:27PM (23 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday January 26 2018, @02:27PM (#628264)

      I'm generally a mostly disinterested fan of the Doomsday Clock, and irreversible catastrophic climate change should certainly be acknowledged, but unless I've been grossly misinformed a nuclear war with North Korea shouldn't really register on it.

      Nuclear war with the Soviet Union was one thing - we both had huge arsenals and large webs of allies so that any missile exchange would was likely to trigger an almost immediate global exchange as everybody made sure the people who destroyed them wouldn't be any better off. North Korea though probably has only a few missiles, and no real allies. I suppose there's a chance China would get involved in a nuclear exchange, but it seems rather unlikely as they're a lot more friendly with us than NK, not to mention upwind.

      It would certainly suck for NK, but would probably be an acceptable outcome for China, who supposedly props them up mostly to avoid dealing with the refugees from a political collapse. And NK would be unlikely to land more than a few missiles in the US - which would suck for wherever it hit and have some fallout issues for a while, but unless they're using salted nukes it's a limited problem. Even with salted nukes the immediate problem would be confined to North America, and probably mostly the western US.

      So a really bad day, but hardly Doomsday.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Friday January 26 2018, @02:41PM (5 children)

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @02:41PM (#628268) Journal

        Nuclear war with the Soviet Union was one thing - we both had huge arsenals and large webs of allies so that any missile exchange would was likely to trigger an almost immediate global exchange as everybody made sure the people who destroyed them wouldn't be any better off.

        Why are you using the past tense? Those huge arsenals still exist. And are still on alert. And now think what happens if a system misinterprets a missile to NK as a missile to Russia …

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2, Disagree) by frojack on Friday January 26 2018, @05:57PM (3 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @05:57PM (#628367) Journal

          Why are you using the past tense?

          He's using the past tense because the US and Russia have both substantially reduced their nuclear arsenals from previous highs.
          Probably more than enough to make each country un-inhabitable, but no longer enough to end life on earth.

          https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Nuclearweaponswhohaswhat [armscontrol.org]

          The key figures are in the bottom most graphic. But the US and Russia have less than 2000 warheads deployed. The number stockpiled
          doesn't matter because neither side will survive long enough to use those.

          Expectations are that less than 1000 from each side would land due to some launchers being taken out before they could launch,
          failures to perform, delivery vehicle intercept, etc.
          Would suck to live in either country, but much of the world would survive, including most of europe, and the southern hemisphere.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @08:16PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @08:16PM (#628480)

            He's using the past tense because the US and Russia have both substantially reduced their nuclear arsenals from previous highs.
            Probably more than enough to make each country un-inhabitable, but no longer enough to end life on earth.

            No, just human life on earth. And if you think it would only affect 2 countries, you are insane. 2000 warheads is enough to kill billions.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 26 2018, @11:08PM (1 child)

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @11:08PM (#628608) Journal

              If all those billions were targeted perhaps. But there aren't a billion people in the US and Russia combined.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Saturday January 27 2018, @02:04PM

                by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 27 2018, @02:04PM (#628854) Journal

                One nuclear reactor goes bad (Chernobyl) and its effects were felt throughout Europe, affecting livestock, crops and milk production, polluting water supplies etc. 2000 warheads would probably affect the entire planet, although the worst affected areas would be those that had been targeted. Not the end of civilisation as we know it perhaps, but enough to cause the death of millions of people outside the participating countries.

                --
                It's always my fault...
        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday January 26 2018, @07:45PM

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @07:45PM (#628460)

          if a system misinterprets a missile

          Round two of "this ain't the USSR we're talking about" is the NK delivery vehicle is likely to be a ship of some sort perhaps pulling into Diego Garcia or some west coast port, and the USA delivery vehicle is likely to be a manned bomber.

          Neither side would be doing the cold war silo launch thing.

      • (Score: 2) by ledow on Friday January 26 2018, @03:47PM (3 children)

        by ledow (5567) on Friday January 26 2018, @03:47PM (#628294) Homepage

        US nukes NK.
        NK dies but gets off one last response.
        NK launches one missile towards all the countries that DIDN'T retaliate against the US, that it doesn't like or that happen to be close by.
        Their retaliations do the same if there's a single bit of confusion over "who shot first", where it came from, what the cause was, etc.
        Global thermonuclear war.

        P.S. to hit NK, you would have to NOT hit SK, China and Russia, i.e. dead-center and perfectly-calculated fallout.
        They won't take kindly to a huge irradiated cloud killing hundreds of thousands of their people.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Friday January 26 2018, @06:08PM (2 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @06:08PM (#628377) Journal

          NK launches one missile towards all the countries that DIDN'T retaliate against the US,

          Said single missile falls harmlessly into the sea or is shot down.

          Radiation cloud drifts to North America on prevailing winds. Slight excess in cancers is measured for a few years.
          The hopelessly pessimistic WHO predicted 4000 EVENTUAL deaths due to Chernobyl in 2005 within 20 years.
          13 years on, and this is NOT happening.

          5 SEPTEMBER 2005 | GENEVA - A total of up to 4000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) accident nearly 20 years ago, an international team of more than 100 scientists has concluded.
          As of mid-2005, however, fewer than 50 deaths had been directly attributed to radiation from the disaster, almost all being highly exposed rescue workers, many who died within months of the accident but others who died as late as 2004.

          http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/ [who.int]

          The US would not hit NK with a nuke, because of this very reason.
          The radiation deaths, while vastly over stated, would do more damage to the US than to NK. Especially crop damage (unsalable food supply).

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 27 2018, @08:27AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 27 2018, @08:27AM (#628764) Journal

            Of course "died because of" != "can be directly attributed to".

            For example, if someone got cancer because of the radiation. Good luck finding out the cause of that specific case of cancer.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Tuesday January 30 2018, @02:14PM

            by Wootery (2341) on Tuesday January 30 2018, @02:14PM (#630345)

            The US would not hit NK with a nuke, because of this very reason.

            You mean USA-launches-first? I think there are plenty of reasons to assume the USA wouldn't launch first, but I don't think such long-term consequences would deter a nuclear response if NK launched on the US. That's sorta the point of MAD, no?

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 26 2018, @04:15PM (2 children)

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 26 2018, @04:15PM (#628305) Homepage Journal

        If it was attacked first

        But if NK starts the war China said they'd be on their own

        --
        "Every time a bulbous dickhead helps the employers by running a job board for them, employers win." -- AC
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @10:32PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @10:32PM (#628593)

          ♫ would I lie to you baby would I lie to you baby ♪

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 26 2018, @11:39PM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @11:39PM (#628623) Journal

            Actually, I think China would be true to their word. China would make a lot of political and economic capital out of it, after the fact, but they probably wouldn't interfere with the rain of fire. They WOULD be ready with a counterstrike, if they happened to be hit, of course. That is, they wouldn't be caught unawares, nor would they sit idly by. Military retaliation would be off the table, unless, and until, our side fucked up.

            --
            #eatyourliver #WalkAway #CTRLLeft
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 26 2018, @04:31PM (8 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @04:31PM (#628313) Journal

        I'm generally a mostly disinterested fan of the Doomsday Clock, and irreversible catastrophic climate change should certainly be acknowledged, but unless I've been grossly misinformed a nuclear war with North Korea shouldn't really register on it.

        I'm more concerned about the war than the mostly hypothetical climate change. We can always adapt to either, but there's a good chance with a nuclear war, even one that appears to start small with limited participation from the rest of the world, for things to balloon out of hand.

        For example, the First World War which is thought to have killed 15-20 million people started with an assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and ballooned greatly from there. A war which starts small may not stay small.

        It's not just a matter of crazy leaders who tweet too much too. For example, consider this paper [mitpressjournals.org] discussing the tactics of hitting North Korea nuclear weapons infrastructure with small, tactical nukes. Figure 3 shows the difference between hitting 5 hypothetical sites (they don't actually expect important infrastructure to be there, they made a supposedly educated guess for the simulation) with normal nukes (455 kton yield) and well-directed tactical nukes (0.3 kton yield). With the big weapons and a bad wind pattern, the fallout can cover South Korea and southern Japan, causing casualties in countries allied with the US.

        Meanwhile with the small tactical nukes (and a different wind pattern that conveniently keeps the colored irradiated regions in North Korea), the fallout regions are far smaller. While the paper may well be exaggerating the effectiveness of the second approach, it remains that there's a lot less fallout, real and political, from using this class of nuclear weapons than from the larger ones. This indicates that the game has changed.

        Rather than debate the motives of this particular paper (perhaps it's in good faith, perhaps it's cover for someone's plan to attack North Korea), let's consider the big message - namely, that it indicates that a small nuclear war has a much smaller initial cost to its use than it would have had a few decades ago with less efficient nuclear weapons, poorer targeting systems, and worse satellite intelligence. Eventually, someone will use them (such as a fight between a superpower and a small, nuclear-armed country).

        North Korea with its particularly loathsome and aggressive behavior may well be a transition to an era where nuclear weapon use has become normalized.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 26 2018, @06:18PM (4 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @06:18PM (#628382) Journal

          Meanwhile with the small tactical nukes (and a different wind pattern that conveniently keeps the colored irradiated regions in North Korea), the fallout regions are far smaller. While the paper may well be exaggerating the effectiveness of the second approach, it remains that there's a lot less fallout, real and political, from using this class of nuclear weapons than from the larger ones. This indicates that the game has changed.

          Exactly. Open that door and it becomes available to all nuke holders. Pakistan hits India. Iran hits Israel, (yes both sides have them - regardless of what they claim).

          Once anyone cedes the moral high ground, the tactical nuke will be the got-to-have weapon for every threatened state.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 26 2018, @06:40PM (3 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @06:40PM (#628401) Journal

            Once anyone cedes the moral high ground, the tactical nuke will be the got-to-have weapon for every threatened state.

            I'm more concerned about the counters to the tactical nuke. The tactical nuke is relatively nondestructive when it comes to nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. For example, North Korea has a counter to the use of nuclear weapons by the US or South Korea in the massed artillery pointed at Seoul.

            • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 26 2018, @11:18PM (2 children)

              by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @11:18PM (#628613) Journal

              North Korea has a counter to the use of nuclear weapons by the US or South Korea in the massed artillery pointed at Seoul.

              True, but that artillery is defeated within an hour or two at most. MOAB was made for this.
              But lacking that, any standard air support makes this an unlikely tactic.

              What you have to worry about is nuclear artillery.
              If the NK ever had any old Soviet versions, they could make their own easier than making rockets.

              At the end of the Cold War, Russia followed the United States lead and deactivated its nuclear artillery units in 1993. By 2000, Russia reported that nearly all nuclear artillery shells and missile warheads had been destroyed. But the Kim Family has been around a long time.

              --
              No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday January 27 2018, @02:54AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 27 2018, @02:54AM (#628678) Journal

                True, but that artillery is defeated within an hour or two at most.

                By what? Even tactical nukes and MOAB aren't that effective against hundreds or thousands of deeply dug in positions. You would need a bunch of them and something to deliver them. In Iraq both in the Gulf War and the Iraqi invasion, with much better visibility for air to ground combat, it took several days to obtain uncontested air superiority. That would be needed for the MOAB because MOAB can only be dropped by the B-52 which doesn't do well against relatively modern air defenses. Meanwhile the B-2 can only be flown out of specialized hangars. Apparently, Guam has those now, but that's still several hours between sortie.

                What you have to worry about is nuclear artillery.

                Or chemical and biological weapons. They're not as effective as nuclear weapons for killing people in a targeted, but they are adequate for indiscriminate killing of civilians.

              • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Tuesday January 30 2018, @02:17PM

                by Wootery (2341) on Tuesday January 30 2018, @02:17PM (#630351)

                that artillery is defeated within an hour or two at most.

                Absolutely not. They have a huge volume of conventional artillery pieces, many of them concealed. There's no way on Earth you'd take them all out in good time with airstrikes. If it came to it, Seoul would be obliterated. There's no question about this.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Friday January 26 2018, @08:08PM (2 children)

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @08:08PM (#628477)

          For example, the First World War which is thought to have killed 15-20 million people started with an assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire

          Nah nah nothing to do with that. The root cause of WWI was the leadership, culture, political geography, and national boundaries of Europe were pre-industrial, but here's all this industrial era stuff rolling around like locomotive deployment of troops and machine guns and submarines and tanks and the Russians are industrializing and expanding.

          If you want a less "root" cause the pre-industrial era ottoman and austro-hungarian empires were dead men walking on the verge of collapse and disintegration and everybody wanted a piece of the corpse(s) and everyone figured the best way to get a piece of the action was to go in shooting, because, well, frankly that usually worked pretty well, pre-industrially anyway, mostly.

          ballooned greatly from there

          It wasn't an accident it was the whole purpose of the exercise. It was the old guard vs the new revolutionaries and millions on all sides begging for an excuse to start shooting.

          Thats the problem with the analogy. So... NK itchy trigger finger because for 50 years they've been extorting the region with tantrums and "sure would be a shame if war broke out, so how about you send a few train loads of food to us and we'll extort you next year?"

          There's nothing new or revolutionary or civilization wide going on. Just the usual extortion game thats getting old and too dangerous to keep playing.

          Watch what Trump does not what he says... we have examples of recent presidents party to assassination, think of Vince Foster, for example. Or maybe Seth Rich. There's bluster as a negotiating technique and then there's bloodthirsty psychopaths. Both have recently (currently) been in charge. I prefer Trump's bluster, personally. Someone like Clinton would have been more likely to politely cuck on TV, but nuke NK anyway. Trump ironically sounds scarier but is less likely to do something stupid and bloodthirsty based on past examples (like say decades of business activity, or a year of presidential behavior).

          Eventually, someone will use them (such as a fight between a superpower and a small, nuclear-armed country).

          Almost certainly the next nuclear war will be between India and Pakistan and its hard to call a country a superpower when most of its citizens are still street-shitting. With a side dish of maybe the middle east will fight first. But I'd take a bet on India/Paki nuclear war before middle east. Its too easy for superpowers to "Afghanistan" a small country, nuke or no. Or Soros-funded "color revolution"

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday January 27 2018, @04:38AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 27 2018, @04:38AM (#628717) Journal
            And that couldn't happen here? How about the US (and possibly Europe) taking on the role of the Ottoman and Astro-Hungarian empires. China and India taking up roles as the up and comers. I think you see where I'm going with this. It's not particular unstable right now, but right now isn't going to continue forever. And the future may well look like the lead up to the First World War.
            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Tuesday January 30 2018, @06:07PM

              by Immerman (3985) on Tuesday January 30 2018, @06:07PM (#630502)

              However, "wanting a slice of the pie" and "using nuclear weapons" are relatively incompatible. Nobody wants radioactive pie, so the only reason to nuke it is if your enemies have already claimed the pie and you don't see any realistic way to get any yourself. AND you are willing to risk your enemies nuking you in retaliation for spoiling their pie.

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday January 26 2018, @05:06PM

        by Freeman (732) on Friday January 26 2018, @05:06PM (#628337) Journal

        Assuming, NK launched a nuke at the USA and we didn't intercept, because nothing is ever perfect. Then, we actually responded with Nukes of our own and No One else decided to retaliate for spread of fallout, etc. from our Nukes and / or misinterpretation of our intentions and / or just wanted an excuse to launch on us. Sure, it wouldn't possibly come close to being a Doomsday scenario. We'd just nuke them and be done with it, but that's a very slippery slope. The USA is the only country to have actually used Nuclear Weapons against an enemy. It would definitely be in the World's best interest to have learned from our past mistakes with Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear Weapons are the closest we've come to literally being able to destroy the entire planet with the press of a button. Let's not use them anymore, please. I like breathing clean fresh air. The smell of everything burning with a side of radiation sickness isn't my idea of a good time.

        --
        "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 26 2018, @06:32PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 26 2018, @06:32PM (#628392) Journal

      Regardless of where you stand on the Doomsday clock you have to admit that a dick-measuring contest between Trump and Kim Jong-Un will leave nobody satisfied.

    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 26 2018, @11:20PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @11:20PM (#628614) Journal

      Yeah - my thoughts as well.

      WTF does N. Korea have, anyway? They have some shitty missiles, that mostly just fall into the ocean, if they don't blow up on launch. One of their tests has been claimed to be capable of intercontinental ballistic flight. I'm not so very sure of that. Warheads? Those people are doing something different with their warheads. I've read a few articles, indicating our side's surprise that N. Korea has done this, but has not done that, and the yields just aren't right - blah blah blah. All over my head, but I thought it was interesting. Basically, all we've ever seen or heard, are secret explosions deep underground. Can they even mount a nuke on a missile?

      So, shitty missiles, unproven warheads, and a very limited economy, what does that give us? At most, they can launch five or ten missiles at us? And, how many are really a threat?

      North Korea is most certainly NOT the USSR or the 1950's and '60's. The USSR was a credible threat to life on earth. North Korea, not so much. At most, they bloody our nose. Maybe give us a concussion. They can't kill us off.

      Doomsday clock needs to be tended by an acolyte of the Grim Reaper.

      --
      #eatyourliver #WalkAway #CTRLLeft
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @09:38AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @09:38AM (#628779)

      As someone who lived through the (plausible) false alarm in Hawaii, fuck you most sincerely, The Mighty (coward) Buzzard!

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday January 27 2018, @11:35AM

        Was that supposed to rile me up? You need to troll better. Calling a vet a coward is like calling the guy who nailed your mom last night gay. You just get looked at like you're an idiot.

        --
        "Buzzy, you're probably the dumbest person I've ever encountered. Well, there is aristarchus, so make it 2nd dumbest."
  • (Score: 2, Funny) by redbear762 on Friday January 26 2018, @01:32PM (4 children)

    by redbear762 (5576) on Friday January 26 2018, @01:32PM (#628249)

    UP THE IRONS!!!!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @01:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @01:56PM (#628254)

    It's the 21st century. Why not set up a date, which could lead to more dates, and thereby stall imminent self-destruction, by saying I've got plans

    The BAS could use a little optimism, and replace that smugness -- Apple has that covered. Is there an opt-out

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 26 2018, @02:09PM (6 children)

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 26 2018, @02:09PM (#628259) Homepage Journal

    Provided that I take all the necessary radiological health precautions, the 2nd Amendment guarantees me the right to possess nuclear weapons.

    --
    "Every time a bulbous dickhead helps the employers by running a job board for them, employers win." -- AC
    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday January 26 2018, @02:35PM (5 children)

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday January 26 2018, @02:35PM (#628267)

      Does it? Or does it only guarantee you the right to posses a bears forelimbs?

      Seriously though, I have heard that 4-inch cannons are supposed to be protected.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @04:56PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @04:56PM (#628333)

        the framers said in their letters that it meant arms "of current military and police use"[paraphrased from memory]. basically, the whole point of the 2nd amendment was that the people should have the same weapons as the government so that if the gov got out of control the people could overthrow them. hunting and whatnot was just expected.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Friday January 26 2018, @08:38PM (2 children)

          by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @08:38PM (#628502)

          There's a whole wikipedia article on the topic.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_keep_and_bear_arms_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

          Something to bear in mind is the law is not a math proof and is closer to a religious document such that if your religious founding document clearly states "no gays" there will none the less be people who want gay marriage who will stand on their head and cross their eyes and read it backward if necessary to accomplish wish fulfillment via extremely obscure interpretation. Just saying, the law as implemented historically or today doesn't have to make much sense internally self consistently. Its not a quantum field theory, for example, if it doesn't make sense that doesn't mean its going to be ignored, that just means its a shitty law.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Miller [wikipedia.org]

          Miller is a classic example of the above where the court (ironically technically incorrectly, which is kinda funny) decided a certain weapon was not really a militia/infantry weapon so it was unprotected, but its wishy washy and everyone on every side simultaneously quotes it as both a win AND as a loss so its a good example of reality not meaning very much.

          I'll toss an idea into the ring that the 2nd permits normal individual infantry-type personally issued equipment aka bearing of militia arms, which is a pretty common interpretation historically as per the wiki article. Aside from historical anomalies like the Davey Crockett it would be highly unusual to issue a nuke to an E-1 private to use when and where as he sees fit; just following orders weapons like a B-2 or ICBM or a nuclear sub are legally quite a bit different than "here's your personal M16 use it wisely". In that way bringing it all the way back up to OPs original comment, it would be very normal for civilians to own a personal AR-15 but legally really bizarre for J random militia member to own a personal nuclear warhead. Another interesting way to look at it is this is the enabling legislation for state guard units; the feds usually don't give nat guard units nukes and until they do, private citizens are categorically excluded from nuclear warhead ownership.

          There are privately owned tanks and privately owned jet fighter aircraft, BTW, mostly historical or re-created relics of course, sometimes the law is internally consistent, its just not required to be self consistent.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 26 2018, @11:49PM

            by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 26 2018, @11:49PM (#628632) Homepage Journal

            -e.

            I read some guy's blog about his purchase, which he was quite pleased with.

            But he noted a small complication:

            One must pay in Ukrainian Rubles.

            --
            "Every time a bulbous dickhead helps the employers by running a job board for them, employers win." -- AC
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday January 27 2018, @04:45AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 27 2018, @04:45AM (#628719) Journal

            Something to bear in mind is the law is not a math proof and is closer to a religious document such that if your religious founding document clearly states "no gays" there will none the less be people who want gay marriage who will stand on their head and cross their eyes and read it backward if necessary to accomplish wish fulfillment via extremely obscure interpretation.

            And as you note, interpretation can be even further away from a math proof. We have plenty of examples just over the past few years of people who will claim anything in order to support their side.

        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday January 26 2018, @10:30PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 26 2018, @10:30PM (#628592)

          > the people should have the same weapons as the government

          In wiser places, they always do, structurally.
          Try it: All it takes is to remember that the military grunts wielding the government's weapons are actually part of The People. Any order to use those weapons against the people is therefore absurd.
          Of course, that requires not brainwashing your military into protecting the wrong things.

  • (Score: 4, Funny) by turgid on Friday January 26 2018, @02:21PM (6 children)

    by turgid (4318) on Friday January 26 2018, @02:21PM (#628262) Journal

    It's just as well the people of America didn't elect the warmonger as President...

    --
    Don't let Righty keep you down. #freearistarchus!!!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @02:27PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @02:27PM (#628263)

      You're right, we should have kept bullying Libya and Syria, they have no nuclear weapons.

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday January 26 2018, @02:34PM

        Naw, we should have gotten back hot and heavy with Russia. That could never lead to badness.

        --
        "Buzzy, you're probably the dumbest person I've ever encountered. Well, there is aristarchus, so make it 2nd dumbest."
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by lx on Friday January 26 2018, @04:30PM (3 children)

        by lx (1915) on Friday January 26 2018, @04:30PM (#628312)

        You stopped bullying? I didn't notice. [nytimes.com]

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Freeman on Friday January 26 2018, @05:31PM (2 children)

          by Freeman (732) on Friday January 26 2018, @05:31PM (#628351) Journal

          You know, perhaps, if they cleaned up their own backyard. We would leave them alone. The United States has been playing "peace keeper" for quite a long time. Europe was quite happy for our help in World War I and World War II. Well, with the exception of the Axis powers. Sure, you can say how horrible the USA is doing. But, how many innocent deaths has the United States prevented by taking out Hitler, Axis Japan, and all the other Actual Good the USA has done. Perhaps, you should stop whining about how the USA is a bully and get to the heart of the matter. There are extremely messed up groups of people out there, that need to be fought. The alternative is to turn a blind eye to the injustices of the world. People would complain, if we didn't Do Anything just as much as they do when we do something. ISIS is on par with Hitler's Nazis in my book.

          --
          "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @07:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @07:50PM (#628465)

            Riiight, cause "bad men doing bad things" is why the US invaded the middle east repeatedly. The 20 mil killed in Rwanda? Seems like that was a good opportunity to step in. You sure it is ISIS? I thought it was Al Qaeda. Or was it Saddam? All I can tell you is that I'm STILL scared of those very Mexican looking Libyan terrorists from Back to the Future.

            So I just want you to realize that the patriotic notion of "Delivering Democracy" and whatnot is a lot of propaganda. The US military is used to further the economic goals of US corporations. Even the Korean and Cold Wars were about economics, but it was sold as fighting for democracy and freedom. Perhaps some bits further the cause of freedom incidentally, but that is about it.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @07:38AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @07:38AM (#628748)

            It is important to note that it was not the usa to win the wwii but the soviet union. The usa went in hastily to get a piece of the cake and mainly to prevent the red army from liberating all of europe. The usa in the meantime dropped two atom bombs on civilians in japan while the country was basically spent and destroyed and the war was to end soon anyways.
            Stop it already with finding justifications about past deeds back then and now. Maybe it is time you learned that whatever you think of being the morally superior folk who stretch your helpful hand to the needful, the world is not gotham city and you are not batman.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Friday January 26 2018, @02:43PM (2 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday January 26 2018, @02:43PM (#628269)

    It's over 30 years old now, but it never gets old.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by stormwyrm on Friday January 26 2018, @03:20PM (1 child)

      by stormwyrm (717) on Friday January 26 2018, @03:20PM (#628280) Journal

      ...as the madmen play on words and make us all dance to their song, to the tune of starving millions to make a better kind of gun.

      https://youtu.be/9qbRHY1l0vc [youtu.be]

      By the way, last time the Doomsday Clock was at two minutes to midnight was in 1953.

      --
      Regulam auream recordare: qui aurum habet, regulas facit.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @10:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @10:35PM (#628595)

        Duck and cover honey, everything will be just peachy, I promise!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @04:30PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @04:30PM (#628311)

    Doom sayers have plied their trade for a long time. What are the chances they are suddenly right?

  • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Friday January 26 2018, @08:34PM (4 children)

    by krishnoid (1156) on Friday January 26 2018, @08:34PM (#628500)

    They also mentioned US President Donald Trump's "unpredictability", pointing to his often controversial tweets and statements.

    I had heard he was extremely stable.

    Maybe he misspoke and was actually referring to a separate isotope?

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @08:38PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @08:38PM (#628503)

      Do you mean Trump-48? That's his daughter.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday January 26 2018, @08:51PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @08:51PM (#628515)

        Hilariously wrong on several counts, Ivanka would be Trump-46 not -48 (well, probably?) and Barron Trump is a member of generation Z (aka Gen Zyklon, the political polling of modern teens is looking very good for the right...) and would be more likely -48 or -50 or so.

        There's a lot of speculation Barron reads /pol/ on 4chan. I'm not sure if that's factual or meme (or better yet, both?)

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday January 26 2018, @08:47PM (1 child)

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @08:47PM (#628510)

      Its the Schrodinger's Cat thing where if you rely on his political enemies you don't really know if the cat is alive or dead, or in this case if the missiles are about to be launched or not. If you rely on legacy news in the USA to get the news, you're better off just looking in the sky for missile contrails because you're wasting time paying attention to the legacy news.

      Its also a multi-generational international-scale left wing slur to pathologize disagreement. The Soviets declared more sane political opponents insane than actual insane people; must have been an interesting group dynamic at the nuthouse, when like 75% of the residents are merely capitalists and only 25% are mentally ill. Trump is not really unpredictable or controversial, its just a traditional old slur used by the left against any opposition. By analogy its exactly like calling Obama a lazy n****r, it doesn't tell anyone anything actionable or factual about Obama and hilariously isn't even true in multiple interpretations, but it does tell you a lot about the politics of the guy saying (writing) it.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @10:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @10:38PM (#628596)

        Trump is not really unpredictable or controversial

        I knew you're kinda kooky but this takes the cake.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @08:47PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 26 2018, @08:47PM (#628511)

    North Korea is so focused on South Korea and fancy weapons.

    What if an invasion comes from the other direction? China has a really fucking huge gigantic army.

    Suppose the Chinese surprise the world. It starts with bombs over Pyongyang and machine guns at the border. With the border guards lying dead under splintered tree fragments, tanks and artillery are brought over the border river. Then the army just moves south. People who surrender are swiftly taken to prisons all over China, or to prison camps out in western China. The army just keeps going. Once the army reaches South Korea, the country of North Korea is gone. The official statement of the Chinese government is essentially "no comment". North Korean stuff gets sold to Chinese people who agree to live in what was North Korea. The captured North Koreans are never seen again.

    China has done similar stuff before. They grabbed Tibet. They just recently grabbed a chunk of Bhutan, which brought the Indian army into the conflict RIGHT NOW and that is a nuclear-armed foe. Don't put it past China to do some serious shit.

    • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday January 26 2018, @10:00PM (1 child)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @10:00PM (#628567) Journal

      Why would they do that? The entire POINT of NK is that they have a land buffer between themselves and a US-allied nation, that being South Korea.

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @03:12AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @03:12AM (#628683)

        Decades ago, back when Mao was running things and the Chinese were starving, a buffer was really useful. It kept Chinese people from leaving. Remember that back then, normal Chinese people were not permitted to leave the country.

        These days, China is busy trading with South Korea. Rail links would be nice.

        Also, the land itself is nice. China could just take it.

    • (Score: 2) by stormwyrm on Saturday January 27 2018, @02:15AM (3 children)

      by stormwyrm (717) on Saturday January 27 2018, @02:15AM (#628676) Journal

      Then Lil' Kim will just send a nuke to Beijing first of all, and then to as many other places as he can. It's only 809 km from Pyongyang to Beijing, pretty much in range of most of their missiles. I'm pretty sure that Xi Jinping knows this, that if Kim Jong-un and the DPRK leadership decide they have nothing to lose, no matter who puts them into that situation, they would turn several major cities, possibly some as far as the west coast of the United States depending on how effective their missiles really are, into radioactive mushroom clouds.

      The major difference between the DPRK and India is that the Indians are rational, and understand very well that they also have a lot to lose if they get into a nuclear war with China. They'll negotiate first before even thinking of pushing the button or making threats in that vein. It is no small thing in international diplomacy to say something to the effect of: "Our words are backed with NUCLEAR WEAPONS!" North Korea on the other hand has already got very little to lose, and their rationality has always been something highly open to question. With a Chinese army marching through their country from the north they will then really have nothing left to lose, and then they'll just decide to push that button.

      There is no simple solution to North Korea that does not involve millions of civilian casualties and a high probability of nuclear war.

      --
      Regulam auream recordare: qui aurum habet, regulas facit.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @03:20AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27 2018, @03:20AM (#628685)

        Launch preparations take days. Launch sites are known and can be bombed. The aiming sucks. Both the rockets and the nukes tend to fail, and they have never been tested together.

        Kim isn't crazy or dumb. He's trapped, possibly enjoying life although under stress, and unable to find a reasonable way out. He might prefer to be a wealthy retired person in South Korea, but he has no way to get there. He will negotiate for the best deal he thinks he can get.

        Want to avoid nuclear war? Hurry up and fight, before Kim gets his weapons into respectable condition.

        For serious nuke danger, you need somebody who thinks he will go to heaven and get 72 virgins if he kills a bunch of infidels.

        • (Score: 2) by stormwyrm on Saturday January 27 2018, @04:20AM

          by stormwyrm (717) on Saturday January 27 2018, @04:20AM (#628708) Journal

          The Cuban Missile Crisis is an instructive parallel. If Kennedy had invaded Cuba as he was being pressured to do by the Joint Chiefs, they would have been in for a nasty surprise, as subsequent information [armscontrol.org] that came to light after the collapse of the Soviet Union showed. The nukes were already in Cuba even before the quarantine line was established and if the US had bombed and invaded, they would have certainly been met by nuclear fire. Perhaps in the future after the DPRK is somehow no more, it will come out that their nuclear missile capability was nowhere near what it was thought to be, or it might come out that just as in Cuba, they had more effective weapons than estimated. Do you really want to find out the truth of the matter hard way, the way we very nearly did in 1962?

          The other thing is, whether their nukes work or not, the DPRK will order its artillery batteries at the border to bombard Seoul, which would kill many millions of South Korean citizens. The blame for this happening is definitely going to fall on the asshat who tried to invade them.

          --
          Regulam auream recordare: qui aurum habet, regulas facit.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28 2018, @02:28AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 28 2018, @02:28AM (#629289)

          So you're basically going to try to call North Korea's nuclear gambit a bluff, and on the table is every city in range of the nukes your intelligence doesn't know about. The last time there was a nuclear poker game like this was in 1962, and if back then Kennedy had tried to call a bluff on Khrushchev and Castro and tried to invade Cuba, probably none of us would be around today. I can only pray that there aren't too many people who think like you anywhere near Trump or Xi Jinping, willing to so blithely gamble the lives of millions and the fate of the planet on what essentially amounts to a dick measuring contest.

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