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Dennis Rodman, Dr. Strangeglove & duck and cover

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POSTED August 10, 2017 1:43 a.m.

Remember Bert the Turtle?
He’s about to make a comeback.
In case you are too young to remember Bert, was all the rage through the 1950s with kids. He had a bigger following that Elmo and Barney ever thought of having.
And thanks to North Korea, Bert’s favorite move may return to the classroom.
Bert the Turtle promoted the quaint practice of “Duck and Cover” that every American school child throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s did as part of an ongoing school routine.
Bert starred in the Federal Civil Defense Association film produced in 1951 that was shown in classrooms across the country about the best line of action to possibly survive a nuclear attack. Students were told when they heard warning sirens go off or if they saw a massive blinding flash to duck under their desks, put their heads to the floor, and then use their hands tightly to clasp their heads.
If you think this is bizarre you obviously haven’t lived through the Cuban missile crisis.
Testing of a civil defense warning system for the expressed purpose of a nuclear attack is being revived.  Hawaii routinely conducts tests of its civil defense warming system for disasters such as tsunamis and hurricanes.  Come November flashing white lights and sirens will go off as well as activation of the Emergency Alert System over TV and radio frequencies as a test of the warning system for a nuclear attack.
The decision to do so was made more than a month ago after North Korea conducted a string of successful intercontinental ballistic missile tests.  That was before “experts” came to the conclusion that North Korea has already mastered the techniques needed to arm ICBMs with small nuclear warheads and before this week’s announcement that Kim Jong-un was weighing an attack on Guam and its concentration of U.S. military installations.
Hawaii is the third closest United States land to North Korea after Guam and Alaska with California right behind them.
We’ve had blustering and bluffing exchanges before between Jong-un and American presidents at various milestones on North Korea’s road to join the Atomic Bomb Club. What’s upped the ante isn’t the rhetoric on both sides but the apparent development of North Korea’s ability to help global warming along by turning Los Angeles into toast.
There’s a 1,001 rationale reasons why this isn’t likely to happen. That said, it can occur which is where the Civil Defense System comes into play.
They’re the people that drilled into the heads of a generation of families of the pressing need to be prepared with at least 14 days of food and water on hand. Today if you’re not prepared, no problem. You can place an order on Amazon Prime on your smartphone while crouching under a table to have a 14-day of food and water delivered by drones.
Not trying to make light of the situation, but the chances are a gad-zillion times greater by the end of the day that you will be wiped off the face of the earth by some self-absorbed driver using their smartphone than North Korea deciding to commit suicide.
 “Duck and Cover” is tied into advice to shelter in place for at least 14 days. The working theory is if you aren’t taken out in the initial blast, your chances of surviving the subsequent radiation fallout is significantly greater if you stay indoors in one place. That sounds reasonable but then again I really don’t want to find out if the government really knows what they are talking about.
My sense that the Civil Defense folks are flying in the dark when it comes to surviving a nuclear attack is due to visiting the designated fallout shelters in Lincoln in Placer County back in the early 1970s. Lincoln at the time was within 10 to 40 miles of key targets such as McClellan Air Force Base, Beale Air Force Base with its SR-71 spy planes and B-52 bomber wing and the state capitol.
Of course, it didn’t help that less than three miles from downtown Lincoln the Air Force had installed an underground missile silo. By the 1970s, the missile was long gone and the silo abandoned and sold. I can’t resist working in the fact the day the Atlas nuclear missile was installed and the project deemed completed, the govenrment gave the order to remove the missile and have the installation stripped of everything but the concrete and steel to build it. The reason was the Minuteman was replacing the Atlas. And instead of simply stopping work on a contract awarded more than two years early, the government required work be completed before they’d make final payment.
No, the abandoned missile site wasn’t Lincoln’s official fallout shelter. Even though it had water filling most of the silo just 10 feet or so from the surface, it still would of made more sense than the shelters that were designated at the time — the gigantic beehive kilns at Gladding, McBean & Co. where clay sewer pipes are fired. Temperatures in the kiln had to hit 575 plus degrees to start the transformation process. It took two weeks for them to cool down to 140 degrees so workers could access them. You basically had a choice. Get burned to a crisp outside or bake to a crisp inside.
With as nutty as things are getting, who knows? Maybe President Trump will appoint Dennis Rodman as special envoy to Pyongyang.

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