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Duck and Cover Redux?

16 December 2010 16 Comments
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Three of our granddaughters spent the weekend with us recently. The twins are 13 and their younger sister is 10 years old. Rich regaled them with stories of his youth. One of them was about how when he was in elementary school during the Cold War (explanation necessary), there were practices of “duck and cover” in schools in the event of an attack or bomb from a foreign enemy. Get against a wall, under your desk, or a stairwell and cover yourself. Stay away from all windows. He also discussed bomb shelters which many families had built, especially after the Bay of Pigs. There were already Civil Defense shelters in every city. The girls looked at him in amazement, shock, and semi-disbelief. Reassurances were given. This was more of a history lesson than anything. But was it?

Today I found an article almost buried on page nine of our newspaper. It was written by William J. Broad of The New York Times. The story was entitled “Government Encouraging Preparation for Nuclear Attack.” Well, that headline caught my eye immediately.  Broad stated that in June the Obama administration released an “unclassified 130 page planning guide on how to respond to a nuclear attack.”  The article stated that while the Obama administration is working to educate the public, it is also trying to do so without alarming them. I am alarmed! I shouldn’t be, I know, given the rise of nuclear arms in the world today. It does seem rational that awareness be raised. But has something specific prompted this?

The administration is saying in these documents that “a nuclear attack is more survivable if you immediately shield yourself  from radiation that follows a blast.” They suggest that staying in your car or hunkering down in your basement would reduce the casualties by 50 percent. They want to eliminate a natural instinct to “run from danger, potentially exposing themselves to fatal doses of radiation.” William Broad went on to state in the article that “The Obama administration is preparing a separate, more detailed communications guide for state and local governments.”

What is between the lines, I ask myself. What do they know that we don’t? We know about terrorists; we know about Iran and North Korea. But has there been a slip in the cracks of negotiations? I already miss Richard Holbrooke.


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  • ProjectSavior said:

    Having grown up during the cold war I know exactly what to do in case of a nuclear attack. Head to the nearest school and hide under a desk because they are designed to survive a nuclear attack, but not a 10 year old bumping into them.
    The whole “Duck and Cover” campaign wasn’t made to help people survive an attack, it was shear propaganda to foster an us vs. outsiders mentality so we didn’t turn on each other as we are doing now.
    With the constant propaganda we were able to achieve great things, like going to the moon and building a national highway system in the name of defense. Now we can’t even get the first responders to 9/11 healthcare.

  • admin (author) said:

    Project Savior,
    Let’s face it. In the event of a nuclear attack, who wants to survive, given the aftermath? And your point about the 9/11 first responders not getting healthcare is a powerful reminder that there are things equally as bad as propaganda and real attacks. Beware the enemy within.

  • Judie said:

    Well, when we were kids, they used to tell us to get under our desks, like THAT was going to save us. Cher, you and I have both said in recent months that war is not about who is right, but who is left. In the event of a nuclear attack (or newkewler, as Bush used to say), I’m not sure I would want to be left!!

  • The Snee said:

    Hi Cher,

    MSN featured this story on their page this morning, and I bookmarked it immediately. It’s frightening to me to think that I’m being ‘protected’ by knowing next to nothing about the reality of our world. Come to think of it, I’m kind of surprised that Wikileaks hasn’t leaked something about it.
    The Sundance festival two years ago featured afantastic cartoon film called “Duct tape and Cover”….It ‘recommended’ using duct tape to protect yourself in case of the unthinkable attack. If you can find it….try to watch it. It’s satire at its best.

  • admin (author) said:

    I am with you, my sister. I would not want to see what is left of our ravaged country. Some things are too much for the heart to handle.

    BUSH: Bah Humbug!

  • admin (author) said:

    The Snee,
    You are so right. It’s what lies beneath that has me worried about this so-called protection. After reading about this over my morning coffee this morning I thought, PAGE 9!? What the…! I will happily look for “Duct Tape and Cover,” Snee. I sure could use a laugh. Thanks….

  • Judie said:

    I have a roll of BRIGHT RED duct tape. Do you think it will work as well as the silver? I don’t want to think any more about politics or war or the fact that people on Medicaid can no longer get organ transplants in Arizona, while criminals in our prisons still can.

    I want to clean my house, wrap the gifts, shop for Christmas dinner, then sit down and watch my favorite Christmas movies, Bad Santa, Love Actually, and Real Genius. No, wait, Real Genius ism’t a Christmas movie, but it is one of my favorites.

  • admin (author) said:

    I think bright red duct tape might work on John Boehner under the sniffletoe! :)

    Aside from that, I’m with you about finding sappy movies and putting out cookies that we eat before Santa taxes them. :) I tried to stop, Judie…really I did.

  • bluzdude said:

    I wouldn’t panic too much about the existence of an emergency plan. It’s just good policy to have one. It’s also the very reason I have a job. It’s called COB or Continuity of Business. It’s the reason we have fire drills and evacuation practices. (Evacuation of a building, not one’s bowels.) Businesses often have “hot sites”: buildings to which employees can go if something happens to their primary building, so that business may continue. (Especially if the economy is dependent on such businesses.)

    The Administration, like those that preceded it, knows that having emergency plans in place is much better than not having a plan.

    The Duck and Cover bit, though, reminds me of a favorite bit done by comic Lewis Black, who recalled participating in such drills. He questioned the practice though… (I’m quoting from memory so it might not be exact)… “So we’re under out little wooden desks, which protect us from the nuclear blast, after which we get out from under our desks, go outside… and MELT!”

  • admin (author) said:

    I do understand the necessity of contingency plans. This plan, however, specifically tells people to stay inside or in their cars and thereby reduce the rate of fatalities by 50%. Isn’t that swell! Loved your quote from Lewis Black. We will all melt! Yep, bankers and Wall Street may continue but there will only be strangers in a strange land withdrawing from dead accounts.

  • bluzdude said:

    Still sounds like good advice to me. Interesting idea though… Zombie Banking!

    BTW, I took this grain of an idea and whipped it into a post this afternoon, (I’m off today), complete with the Lewis Black clip. Obviously, I gave you credit for the jumping off point…


  • admin (author) said:

    What a hilarious post you did on this! I hope all our readers click on your link above. It’s worth the price of admission, which includes lots of laughs and a great clip of Lewis Black doing a comedy bit on this. Kudos to you, my friend. :)

  • Judie said:

    I read Bluz’a post, and it is hilarious!! I told him to please go and read my “Christmas Letter” that I accidentally posted a day early. Tell me what you think.

    Now I am going to hide under my blankets and pretend that I just heard the air raid siren!

  • admin (author) said:

    Loved, loved, your Christmas letter. Between you and Bluz, you are both keeping me merry. :) Now—out from those blankets, sister! Who knows how much time we have. I am planning to indulge in everything… ;)

  • Juliana said:

    Good Lord! Shall have to clean out the Anderson shelter!

    England is littered with old pill boxes, shelters and fortifications from WW2 still. Many are used as stores and chicken sheds…. just let those North Koreans disrupt my hen house….

  • admin (author) said:

    I think all our shelters have been turned into Walmarts! Aisle 3—-blankets and pillows; Aisle 4—emergency radios; Aisle 5—books, lots and lots of books; Aisle 6—SPAM (I don’t go to that one); Aisle 7—peanut butter and pretzels. Alrighty then! We’ll have a cheery old time! :)

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