There is a popular misconception that "Baby Boomers" got their name because they were born in the population explosion following the return of manly men from World War II. In reality, members of my generation are called "Baby Boomers" because we had it drilled into us that "boom" was the last freaking sound we'd ever hear after our eyeballs were melted and our skin was fried like bacon by a nuclear detonation that could happen at any moment.
Although it never happened, those lessons stuck with us - greatly reinforced by the Cuban Missile Crisis - and we've been in a state of anxiety ever since. This perhaps explains why we seem to be the only ones really worrying about the possibility of a nuclear war that could happen at any moment.
If anyone would like to make the argument that the world is a saner place now than back in the 50's, I'm willing to listen - but your odds of convincing me aren't peachy. So I'm pretty uncomfortable with Putin's escalating nuclear saber-rattling, even if he IS a pal of Barack "Tell Vlad I'll Be More Flexible" Obama.
Maybe it's just me, but there's just something in the air that feels like Putin is determined to put at least one nuke into play soon, which might immediately trigger the world's shortest and most final game of dominoes.
Fortunately for our national security, we've got Joe Biden at the helm...
Please, someone, explain to me what is the deal with Putin. I don’t understand why he’s doing what he’s doing. Is he senile, like our illustrious leader? Insane? Stilton, what is your take?
In October 1962, I was in Second Grade at Ft. Walton Beach (Florida) Elementary School. I distinctly remember doing "Duck and Cover" drills in class. We were instructed to hide under our desks. Even then, I thought, "This is ridiculous, we will all be incinerated by the nuclear blast."
All these years later, maybe that would have been a better choice than to see my financial retirement savings destroyed by Biden, Kamala, and Pelosi! It's like watching that nuclear explosion in slow motion!
Praying for you and our country every day!
CDR, USN (Ret)
Stilton, you sure have a great way to get your point across. We are in trouble!
I once read, many years after doing the "Duck And Cover" thing, that it was just supposed to help protect you from the flying debris that would get blown into the classroom by the bomb detonation. As a matter of fact, the way the drill was done in my schools in 1962, we went into the hallways and tucked up against the more solid walls where there would be no flying glass. I guess getting crushed by falling cinder-block walls was preferable to being cut to shreds by the glass.
My question these days is, who is more unbalanced and likely to unleash the holocaust, Gropey Joe (or his handlers) or Vlad?
Hey Stilt, I always wondered how effective "duck and cover" would be, especially hiding under those exact same style of desks back in my parochial school days... glad I never had to find out, but to this day am still scarred from those nuclear practice drills... the idea of Vlad setting off a few "tactical" nukes is unnerving. Let's home he has more sense (and restraint!) than Old President Poopy Pants does... Unfortunately we still have a couple more years of this idiot in the White House. I'm not interested in turning into a crispy critter on his watch! God help us all!!
Way back when, my brother-in-law was a B-47 pilot, he calmly informed us (I was about 7 then and fully schooled in the duck and cover) that the the Soviets intended to target the NY area with 5 H-Bombs from the center of NYC to the tip of Long Island. Sort of invalidated the whole concept since all of us would be in a glass crater.
In kindergarten ca. 1967, my teachers were savvy. For air-raid drills, we'd be taken to the basement of our elementary school (built in 1910 with foot thick walls) and gym mats were laid out in the old gym. Combination drill and afternoon nap... ;-)
And, of course, this classic from the past:
Office of Civilian Defense
Instructions to Patrons on Premises in Case of Nuclear Bomb Attack
Upon the First Warning:
1. Stay Clear of all Windows.
2. Keep Hands Free of Glass, Bottles, Cigarettes, Etc.
3. Stand Awar From Bar, Tables, Orchestra, Equipment and Furniture.
4. Loosen Necktie, Unbutton Coat And Any Other Restrictive Clothing.
5. Remove Glasses, Empty Pockets of all Sharp Objects such as Pens, Pencils, Etc.
6. Immediately Upon Seeing the Brilliant Flash of Nuclear Explosion, Bend Over and Place Your Head Firmly Between Your Legs.
7. Then Kiss Your Ass Goodbye.
There is another conservative blogger I read who goes by the name of Cigar Skunk. He usually has some interesting theories about the state of the world, although I will disagree with him now and again. Regarding the pipeline "sabotage" and World War III, here is his article on why he thinks it won't happen:
And I put sabotage in quotes because his later article proposes an alternative scenario for simple incompetence:
I don't know if he has any theories on Putin's general nuclear sabre-rettling, though.
Stilton, may your Geiger counter in Festung Jarlsberg always read zero.
We had our duck and cover drill accentuated by the doomsday sirens that sounded at 6:00 pm sharp on Wednesday evening. We were ready, and anticipated our first day of walking on the glass that once was the beach nearby.
I watch the Putin situation with a wary eye, as he certainly seems more unhinged every day, and there are rumors of his failing health swirling around.
We watch from the sidelines as he starts a war based on what his generals tell him about how well trained, prepared, and equipped the Russian army is. We watch as he starts a second major offensive after the first one goes bad. We hear him threaten the world with nuclear destruction, which has got to be the craziest thing he could do.
So where are the generals now? Isn't it about time they give Mr. Putin the kind of retirement the KGB is famous for?
If any politician has passed his pull date, Vladimir Putin is the one.
From memory lane, Eisenhower built the Interstate system not as a boon to interstate commerce, though it certainly is, but as evacuation routes from the cities in the event of nuclear attack. Every X miles there had to be a straight, level section Y thousands of feet long so aircraft could land and takeoff. Like everything else, its purpose was obsolete before it was finished due to the introduction of the ICBM. The Pentagon realized as well that sounding the air raid alarms would cause more casualties than not sounding the alarm.
We had a newer version of those study desk-chairs a lot; but I especially remember the high school Study Hall (1963-1966) was wall-to-wall full of them. But just next door; the Library had nice large tables & regular chairs. The Librarian's most important rule was: HER library was a place ONLY for reading, writing & reference; Mathematics homework was strictly banned. She was on my case all the time and I often got busted back to those things in Study Hall. OK fine; but what at first was just irritating (then it became a game) were the loud, repeated, & personalized public lectures using my name out loud and implying what a dumb shit and/or juvenile delinquent I was for trying to do math in the "LI-barry". If I was known for much of anything in high school that may have been it. It's a good thing there was no grade for the LIBRARY because that might have destroyed an otherwise good GPA. But her strong Tennessee accent was so sweet and her daughter (a classmate) was cool. Memories. My God the 60's were weird. Great, but weird.
Damn, I had one you could have if that's the kind of safety you are looking for. Or did I get rid of it finally, can't remember anymore, lol. Did you go to grade school in Texas and they did the desk thing? I remember having to sit in the hallways and cover. Massive brick grade school.
Putin is scaring me way more than anyone else now, wish his buddies would off him so things could calm down. Though the Chinese and crazy Korean guy aren't better, they are just less overt, and maybe a smidge smarter. Don't nuke what you want to use, for goodness sake. It's also funny how many of the current crops of Russian men are "duck and covering", the oldest ones can't fight anymore and he's getting a little desperate. He so wants to be a Czar of something. Maybe he thinks he can't retire because he won't be useful anymore?
Ah, I remember during the Cuban missile crisis sitting in my radio jeep next to a C-130 waiting for the order to load up, fly to Cuba, and save the world from commie-rats. Then President Kennedy called the whole thing off and Castro lived happily ever after. I often wonder what would have happened if we did invade Cuba. The never ending question of the ages.
Stilton.... as a 77 year old BOOMER (!) I distinctly remember the nuke drills in our 4 room Indiana schoolhouse !!!! But this "time" is a lot scarier....with ol' sleepy Joe at the helm !!!!!!
God help us !!!!
Wayne in Indiana
"Fortunately for our national security, we've got Joe Biden at the helm..."
Uhh, that reminds me doubly of something I read and keep remembering:
"Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips." (Proverbs 14:7)
I remember the school drills, then going home to try and convince Dad we needed to build a bomb shelter. He brought me back to reality by explaining that we couldn't build a shelter deep enough to escape the blast that would inevitably come from the Ruskies bombing nearby missile silos (Cheyenne, WY). This scared the poop out of me, but in retrospect, getting vaporized would be far preferable to slowly dying from radiation, starvation, and lack of water.
That being said, I strongly suspect Putin is unstable mentally, and drunk with power to boot. Not a good combination, especially considering we have President Dementia with the nuke codes.
Oh... and Stilton, thanks for posting!!
I really don't know what to think about the war in Europe.
Putin is an evil and murderous villain.
Ukraine is a cesspool of corruption where our crooked politicians launder their ill-gotten gains.
Zelensky is a ruler cut from the Justin Trudeau cloth.
Biden all but gave Putin the green light to invade in the lead-up to this mess.
The poor citizens of Ukraine are paying a horrible price for the stupid, evil and mendacious actions of the global elites.
if you wish to understand why putin is doing what he is doing...
it's called "rusky mir"
basically the the russians believe because they live closer to the earth than everyone else, they are destined to rule, and anyone who disagrees is a nazi.
it's completely separated from reality, but they believe it.
A classic Stilton's Place post. Good to see. Hope you're feeling better.
I vividly recall the eerie sound of the monthly tests of the air raid sirens at 10am of the last Friday of the month.
I'd like to believe that Vlad isn't crazy enough to start launching nukes, even if they're supposedly of the "low yield" tactical sort. But then again, I really didn't think that he'd actually launch the invasion of Ukraine in the first place. So my predictions of his moves have been big time wrong before. But that's the risk one takes with predicting what genuinely crazy people will do. And I do think he's crazy, and he's also sick and wounded. There's nothing more dangerous than sick & wounded animal, especially one seemingly with rabies.
What I would hope is that the officers who actually have to push the buttons to do so would refuse. True, they would run the risk of getting shot as traitors. But then again, they'd also face the reality of being shot as war criminals when this mess inevitably ends.
As time goes on, Vlad's supposedly sure thing and quick "annexation" has become less and less popular at home. Cheap oil sales to China notwithstanding, Russia's economy is in bad shape. Military-aged men are now fleeing the country before they're conscripted and sent to the front lines, which also represent a large chunk of their economy's workforce. I'm not sure how long the current state of affairs can last.
And now, even if the war were to end today, Europeans living the reality of their "green new deal" won't be able to access the natural gas they were hoping for at the conclusion of hostilities.
This does not bode well for anybody.
Zelensky: Funny that all of a sudden American Progressives admire toxic masculinity and a well-armed populace.
Pipeline Sabotage: My vote is with Russia. Russia's contracts with the rest of Europe to deliver natural gas via the pipelines almost certainly had provisions for financial penalties that Russia would have to pay for non-performance. The "Oh, it's broken and you won't send us parts to fix it" excuses were wearing thin. So Russia sabotages it and then invokes force majeure as an out.
Hi, Stilt. Glad to see you back, although the topic is a bit dark.
I attended a one-room wonder rural school in Nebraska (sans indoor pluming and, for the most part, heat). We never did the duck and cover thing, and I don't remember even hearing of it at the time. I guess they thought we were far enough from any targets (SAC HQ about 90 miles away), or not important enough to save.
We had the ink-well attached-in-a-row desks also.
As for Putin, I always thought he looks like a freak of nature, with those beady, close-set eyes and ferret face. He's done a lot of posturing to prove what a stud he is, but he comes across as a dwarfish little runt. At this point he's fighting only for his literal personal survival. When this invasion ultimately fails he'll be up against the wall.
Still haven't got the ChiCommCroup. Never had much in my neck of the woods and people having been pretty much ignoring it for the last year and a half.
And, speaking of things that go BOOM in the night, I'm glad that we live in the middle of nowhere. A nuke strike wouldn't kill more than 72 people, 46 cows, a few dogs, and several hundred squirrels. Of course, then there's the matter of radiation which will kill us slowly while we glow in the dark. What a choice.
It's amazing that the msm can tell that Putin is sick and ready to die , but think that pedo pete has no health of mental issues. I wonder why I don't believe them. Oh yeah, same people that said President Trump had issues.
For some reason this lyric from a Queen Song comes to mind: "For we who grew up tall and proud, in the shadow of the mushroom cloud......" We were petrified as little kids about the nuclear holocaust. Of course, the media then, as now, loves to strike terror in our hearts. It's what they do.
...When the air becomes uranious
We will all go simultaneous...
Whisky, from the Scots Gaelic word "usquebaugh," meaning "water of life." (cp. aqua vitae). So you're stocking up on the water of life. You're good.
Lotta geezers on here...I was 13 when Kennedy was killed; I remember my Dad campaigning for Kennedy For President (Kennedy in the White House, Nixon in the Trash Can!). And I remember the Bay of Pigs fiasco...
Oops...I just sneezed and some dust came out! :)
I was born 5 years after WWII.
We had the Korean War.
We had the Cold War.
We had the Civil Rights Movement.
We had the Cuban Missile Crisis.
We had 2 Kennedys gunned down before they could really change things.
I could go on...point is, things may seem bad now; however, my generation went through some horrendous times, anxiety-producing violent childhoods and all.
"Don't cry for me, Argentina" my ass. Evita had no idea ...
@Gee M When I realized I was born 9 years after the end of WWII I felt so old. Dad was in the Korean war (though he was in Panama), many, many friends in Vietnam etc. And everything you listed, plus what's going on now. I think I'll pull my dust a little closer now, lol, and take a nap. And we had the moon walk and many great and wonderful things even though they get over shadowed by all the horrible.
I was 20 months old when JFK was assassinated, so I have an alibi. Who knew I'd be one of the young punks here? :D
In the 3rd grade in 1953 we watched one of those great old 16mm black and white films about Civil Defense and of course "duck & cover" which included being outside and covering your eyes and curling up into a ball on the ground. Walking home that day was lots of fun with the kids yelling 'DUCK & COVER !' and being eight year old boys we would jump up in the air and fall down behind or into the bushes, we did that for almost a week, then we moved on to doing some other stupid crap. Those were the days and the threat lasted, SAC bases close by with planes in the air 24 hours a day, missile silos scattered around and at time alerts. Then I did my four years in the US Army, came home in 1970 from overseas and a neighbor friend four years older than me had come back to our town and he was a history teacher, he was convinced there was not way to avoid the inevitable nuclear destruction and a year later he was overwhelmed with sorrow and killed himself, he did not stay around to find out he was wrong. Some at the time were saying 'Better Red than Dead' and I think he was one of those, the lefties of 50 years ago.
I don't know if you can get in here: https://watchingthewatchers.locals.com/upost/2829457/oath-keepers-trial-new-scotus-term-featuring-harvard-republican-oversight-promises
But someone posted your latest. Thought you'd be interested.
@Howard Johnson: Pay to play only. C&P, please? :)
@Readers- Great comments above and yes, this is a geezer-rich website. Something about hewing to traditional, constitutional values and having a sense of responsibility seems to have that self-selecting effect.
I definitely did the "duck and cover" thing back in Indiana as a child, though our "hit the deck" practice doubled as tornado drills. And at home, we kids would sometimes dare our friends to listen to the terrifying album "If The Bomb Falls" while in a pitch-black room.
In our basement, we had a "survival corner" with sealed plastic trash cans holding food and water. Although even back then there was enough media for kids to know we'd still be screwed - our bodies and even canned foods radiated to toxicity. Good times!
As always, I read and appreciate all of your comments. And as usual, I only have the energy to respond to a few...
@Grumpy52- Yeah, 5 H-Bombs would be plenty to do that job.
@Anonymous- It certainly seems like someone (or some group) in Russia should take out Putin while they can.
@Rod- Busted for doing homework in the li-barry? I had no idea you were such a young scoundrel!
@mamafrog- Truth be told I don't need another school desk. I've got one up in the attic!
@Fred Ciampi- At the time, it sure felt like if we invaded Cuba then things would have gotten out of control very quickly.
@Wayne in Indiana- It's also scarier now because if I get down on the floor I'm not sure I can get back up anymore!
@Colby Muenster- Your dad's explanation reminds me of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid in which the fleeing felons are being pursued by bounty hunters ("Who ARE those guys?") and are trapped atop a cliff over a river. Sundance refuses to jump and admits because he can't swim. Butch laughs deeply and then points out that swimming won't be a problem because "the FALL will probably you!"
@TrickyRicky- Is it just me, or does this seem like a good time to reconsider the importance of Hunter and Joe's illicit dealings with Ukraine? Are we being pulled toward war because Ukraine has dirt on Gropey Joe?
@John the Econ- Good analysis!
@Wayne Wilson- My trust in the media is nil these days, so I honestly don't know if Putin is sick or not. Nuts and weasel-like, yes, but dying of cancer? Who knows?
@Gee M- I think I was 11 when Kennedy was killed, and nothing was the same after that. And that laundry list of yours could go a lot longer with all of the gamechangers we've been through. Sigh...
@mamafrog- I look at these very real events in our life and then look around at the people who are infinitely pained because someone got their pronoun wrong and I just shake my head.
@OldTexan- That's a sad story about the teacher and a good reminder that none of us can foretell the future...even pessimists like me.
@Stilt -- speaking of pronouns, what good is it for someone to provide "their pronouns?"
They provide substitutes for third person singular pronouns (he, she, it). Third person pronouns are used to talk about some person or thing, not when speaking to that person or thing.
My pronouns are: strawberry, raspberry, cherry, orange, lemon and lime.
*checks notes again*
That's what I get for relying on Don Wilson.
@EOC: NOW CUT THAT OUT!!! ;)
A geezer too, I enjoy a "screen refresh" every so often, even now during my 76th year. Recall believing something, then having irrefutable evidence thrust under your nose that what you believed ain't really so!! You have a choice: Deny, deny, deny OR change your way of thinking about that thing.
Here's a couple gents who may succeed in convincing you that "nuclear bombs" of the gargantuan mushroom kind do not exist and never have existed.
This extends to the Dresden-like demolition of portions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Rest easy. Be at peace. The Power$ That Be have other, more stealthly, equally lethal (bio)weapons in their global arsenal. Maybe they won't spot us under our desks!
As to the duck and cover, if you aren't in the initial blast area or radiation death area (the area that over say 500 rads per hour) and could avoid the fallout you had a good chance of survival. As someone else said it was mainly to avoid the blast caused fast moving objects commonly referred to as shrapnel. It wasn't a great plan but the best they could do given at best you had roughly 30 minutes notice from launch and that was the command structure and not the general public. However way back when I was in the US Army NBC school in 86 they said where I lived (Chas Sc) the Russians were estimated to launch enough warheads to make Sc a glowing hole from Beaufort to Mrytle Beach and inland to Columbia because of the Navy and Air Force bases in Charleston, The Marine Corps base/Airwing at Paris Island and the Airforce base in Mrytle Beach not to mention the Shaw Air Force Base. Needless to say duck and cover for most of Sc was pretty irrelevant. At the time this was due to how accurate the Soviet weapons were or weren't. They would just saturate an area they wanted to go away. As to a "tactical" nuclear weapon you will only have about five maybe ten minutes notice if that. I know I'm full of sunshine, but nuclear weapons are bad and nasty weapons, but they are localized except for the fallout and that is only if they are a ground burst and they vaporize dirt, think the classic mushroom cloud. If you see a mushroom cloud go as fast as possible 90* from where its heading.
It's okay that this is a "geezer room". It just means that we've all seen enough history to know better.
We did the "duck-n-cover" thing at my grade school. However we lived in earthquake country, so it was done under that rubric. When I got old enough to comprehend the nuclear war aspect, it really didn't matter because we also lived in the epicenter of the defense industrial complex which meant that they'd be sending enough missiles to render any such effort pointless. If the first hit didn't kill us, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc, certainly would. And there wouldn't likely be any warning either as half of those missiles would be coming from subs just miles off the coast. I don't recall doing the duck-n-cover drills by the time I got to high school in the '70s.
@John the Econ now that you mention it I don't remember doing it after grade school either. I guess they figured we were indoctrinated enough.
I recall being in 1st grade and having to do D&C drills. Only problem was, our classroom had floor to ceiling sliding glass doors the length of the room that the glass shards would slice and dice kids like a veg-o-matic if any bomb went KABOOM in the courtyard.
I'm a few days late but thought I'd at least say, "Hello".
The desks that we used were a little bit different. The desk of one seat was attached to the seat of the desk in front. There was little space to get under them but we tried. This usually meant that in the front of the classroom there were empty seats, folded up with no desk, facing the teacher.
I assume that this was done so that they could fit six rows of seven desks each into those old parochial schools classrooms.
And, speaking of atomic bombs and such, did you know that there was a man who was in Hiroshima when it was bombed, found his way to Nagasaki, was bombed again and once again survived? https://www.history.com/news/the-man-who-survived-two-atomic-bombs
I'll try to respond more quickly next time. In the meantime I'm wishing and praying for the best for you and Daughter J.
With respect and acknowledgement of your loss:
We could really use you back in the saddle. These are terrible and terrifying times. A good helping of Stilton Jarlsberg would offer some momentary relief right about now. And, as things stand, momentary is about all we can hope for.
Pray on it.
@Dan- That's a great point. Pronouns are mostly used when the person isn't around to hear it. That's why I'm told that one of my personal pronouns is "asshole."
@JustaJeepGuy- You just named all the voices in my head.
@EOCostello- A Jack Benny reference! I love it!
@M. Mitchell Marmel- Am I the only one here who just pursed his lips and lightly laid fingertips on the side of my chin?
@Alan Donelson- I have a hard time believing the A-bomb stuff, although I'll admit I barely know what the hell is real and what is a lie anymore. Although I've sure seen some convincing movies of nuclear explosions from a time when sophisticated special effects for film weren't around yet.
@John25mm- Interesting. I'm not aware of any high-value tactical targets too near me so maybe I'd better get back to practicing "duck and cover" after all.
@John the Econ- They didn't do duck and cover in high schools back then because teens frequently aren't cute enough to save anymore.
@mamafrog- We WERE indoctrinated enough! I'm STILL indoctrinated! Sometimes when I'm in bed and car headlights sweep across my window, I wonder if it's a nuke that went off in Dallas. If my house doesn't suddenly blow into splinters, I go back to sleep.
@Anonymous- Thanks for putting THAT disturbing image in my mind!
@Paul Donohue- I'm always delighted to see you here (not like the other riff-raff) (grin). I heard about that man who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I think his nickname was "Rucky." And yes, I'm going to hell for that.
Thank you for the prayers. You're in ours, too.
@Garet- I so wish that I could provide folks with more topical levity (and I try when I can) but I'm just not there yet. To make commentary about the news I'd have to pay attention to the news (which mostly isn't news anymore, but stories spun violently to create anxiety in listeners and viewers). And as you say, the impression one gets is that these are terrible and terrifying times. That's what media wants us to think right now.
But I feel a bit like a small bridge with a weight limit sign...and I'm already pretty close to the max load I can support while trying to rebuild a life. I'm like the OPEC of grief, with enough to supply the world if necessary and no need to import any more for myself.
But per today's post, I still want to have some fun and bring some pleasure and relief to folks. And I'm trying. And I'll continue to try. And in the meanwhile, I really appreciate your kind words.
Well said, Mr. Jarlsberg. I do understand more than you can know. Take your time--just not TOO much time. Just that old wooden desk lifted my spirits more than you could possibly know.
I am retired Senior Military. The chances of us coming through this mess unscathed are maybe 30% barring a genuine Jesus Miracle. We retired Out Here to The Great Quiet (a hundred miles from any big city) for this very reason and are completing our Preps for Duck and Cover.
We have gasoline, diesel, solar power, the Whole Megillah. What we are missing are smiles. That is your bailiwick. LTC's and above tend to be humor impared.
We need you when you can. No one may ask more.
Many prayers for you and for your daughter that HE might somehow fill that hole in both your hearts with His Love and her precious memories.
I can't help but wonder if some Russian General with his finger near "The Button" is wondering to himself: Why should we bomb New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, etc., and improve their overall situation?
I think we are our own deterrence, just by allowing Free Range Liberals to continue to live.
@Murphy(AZ), yeah, it's just a matter of which the Russian generals prefer: the quick and dirty nuclear destruction or the slow, painful method. The generals don't have to worry about nuclear retaliation with the slow method. I would think the lack of retaliation carries a lot of weight.
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