Alas, Babylon

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

There’s a reason the United States considers cyber warfare to be a weapon of mass destruction, same as nuclear weapons: because of the massive damage it can cause to modern civilization.

Mitch wrote recently about a grid-down scenario from EMP attack.  How about grid-down event caused by ramsomware?  How secure are the computers that serve the national electrical grid?

If the Twin Cities were without power to scan groceries, to accept debit cards, to pump gas, to run air conditioners and elevators, to listen to the news or surf the web or communicate on cell phones . . . how long would it be before hooligans started breaking windows and homeowners started loading shotguns to protect their families?

You do have a shotgun, don’t you?  And several weeks of food and water?  A medical kit.  Propane or charcoal for the grill.

Joe Doakes

My plan is to become a warlord.

19 thoughts on “Alas, Babylon

  1. JD,

    Having spent about two years in the IT security industry, I can tell you that there is a high level of risk to our grid. Power companies are using an outdated software to run it and attempts to ugdate and/or upgrade have caused system failure. The power industry is working on a replacement, but it’s not coming any time soon. Further, it is well known that there have been intrusions into the grid by entities outside of the country, including both China and Russia.

  2. Don’t forget the the power companies are publicly controlled private utilities. Nothing happens unless political appointees & elected officials hike their leg and grant permission on each and every proposal.

  3. You do have a shotgun, don’t you? And several weeks of food and water? A medical kit. Propane or charcoal for the grill.

    Doesn’t everyone? I probably go overboard in the lead and lead-thrower department (why one shotgun when 5 will do?), but I’ve also got 30K gallons in that swimming pool, a well, and probably 3 months of food sitting around not including the 0.5 acre garden that could be expanded easily enough.

    No power company spends much on security because they’re heavily regulated and spending money on things that are preventative is frowned upon as an “unnecessary expense” by regulators, especially if those risks are viewed by the technologically ignorant regulators as low probability.

  4. Speaking of shotguns, last night, I eyeballed Mossberg’s new 590 Shockwave. I’ll tell you people, that it is one bitchin home defense implement. Imagine, if you will, a 12 gauge, pistol grip shotgun with a 14″ barrel, with a total length of 26.32″, that’s legal.

  5. How many of you have shot a shotgun with a pistol grip?

    How many would do it again?

    How many have tried to rip off a half dozen at a good clip from a shotgun with a pistol grip?

    It takes a *lot* of practice to hit the broad side of a barn with a pistol grip shotgun, and a lot more practice and strength to rip off a series of shots with one. There’s a reason that even cops don’t use pistol grip shotguns. But then again, they shoot less often than I do.

  6. Nerd,

    Yep. The wrists take a nasty hit.

    My shotgun If I had a shotgun, it’d be a 18″ Remington 870 Wingmaster 2 3/4″. No pistol grip.

    But I dream.

  7. Utility executives are captured parasites of the state. They don’t give a damn if wind turbines and solar panels have to be subsidized by taxes, rate increases, and notorious zoning issues. Pleasing idiots like Kim Norton et. al. is how they get paid.

    And we can’t decentralize the grid because then all of their graft and power would evaporate.

    If legislating power grid security doesn’t get votes, well, Mad Max here we come.

  8. Why do people believe in government?

    Why is the (OVERSTATED) GDP 33% lower (GOING ON ***NINE***YEARS) than what is required for society’s capital stock replacement (much less growing it) and human flourishing?

  9. Well, I wasn’t saying that I was buying one. I was pointing it out, because of its short overall length. In the close quarters of a home, especially if one owns one of the older homes in either city, they wouldn’t be as hindered maneuvering for a shot.

    If you had a home defense shotgun, it would be loaded with buckshot and/or slugs, wouldn’t it? In those cases, how many shots do you think that you would need to rip off?

    Finally, although my favorite bird gun would be a Remington Wingmaster 870, my home defense shotgun would probably be a Mossberg 500A1 Tactical.

  10. Do you guys think a Taurus Judge .410 would be good for home defense? I am majorly intrigued by that weapon.

  11. TFS, the wisdom I heard about 20 years back, and which I hold to today, is that if one were to get a weapon for home defense, the best one is a simple pump action shotgun like the model 870. It’s easy to point at an intruder, easy to hit with due to the spread of the shot, is big and intimidating, and racking a shell in the chamber gives an unmistakeable sound that administers a quick IQ test for the intruder. Many tell stories of hearing quick steps out of the house after that telltale “ka-chunk, ka-chunk” is heard.

  12. I heard that long guns are a problem in close quarters without good training. Pistols are easier if you aren’t in a good defensive position.

    For the record, I know jack about guns, except that I find them incredibly interesting.

  13. TFS, long guns are mainly an issue if you’re on offense without training. For a defensive situation where you’re trying to defend a fixed position in your home (e.g. you’re guarding your bedroom, sweeping a hallway, etc) they’re easy to use with just a little practice. And most cops will tell you that the distinct sound a shotgun makes while loading is probably the best way to defuse the situation without violence there is. I’ve had them tell me that the best way to calm down a perp is to make him look down the barrel of a shotgun; it seems there’s something very calming about being faced with a large barrel opening pointed at you.

  14. How many of you have shot a shotgun with a pistol grip?

    Just get a folding stock for it, they are cheap. There, problem solved. You are welcome.

  15. Taurus .410. Best thing since sliced bread. First two rounds loaded are .410 to get the perp’s attention and to minimize damage to the house. Rest are .45LC if the perp does not get the idea.

  16. I would think you would be a more dependable shot under pressure with .410 Taurus.

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