Monday, June 16, 2014
  WMD, always an 'Occasion of Idiocy'

Reading another Spokane history book. This one, 'Take Cover Spokane' by Lee O'Connor, is worth reading all the way through. Good mix of research and anecdotes.

Spokane's experience in the A-bomb era was typical. Federal agencies had correct information and correct plans for shelters, but weren't doing shit. Entrepreneurs filled in the demand gap with lots of incorrect info and inadequate wood shelters, along with some good culvert-based structures.

Finally a reference to this part of town! Some of those entrepreneurs set up a 'living shelter' exhibit in the new Shadle Center in 1961. They hired a family to occupy a shelter for a few days.

The WMD idea was just as idiotic then as now. Though the acronym wasn't common yet, politicians were already using the concept to instill pointless and counter-factual panic.

Scoop Jackson:
If the majority of families suddenly spent what would amount to billions of dollars on fallout shelters, Khrushchev would announce immediately that the Soviet Union is prepared to retaliate against any aggression with bacteriological or chemical warfare. Against this type of an attack, a fallout shelter would be no defense at all.

Raw nonsense. First of all, gas and bacteria have NEVER been threats for a widely distributed attack. Nerve gas was useful on a battlefield, where a fog-gun or sprayer plane could cover an acre or so.

Our air defenses were good in the '50s, so there's no way old Nikita could get a fleet of crop-sprayer planes into the country. If he could make that happen, it would mean he'd already conquered the territory, so he wouldn't need any further weapons.

Second, a correctly built fallout shelter, with filtered ventilation to block out fallout dust, would also block spores. An ordinary fucking house, with a little extra fucking ductape on doors, would do just as well.

And a gas mask would take care of both spores and gas. If we had distributed simple gas masks to everyone, we could have made ourselves invulnerable to these supposed threats. Vastly cheaper than fallout shelters. Of course we never did that, because "our" "government" has never wanted a confident public. Much better to keep everyone vulnerable, so "our" leaders can paralyze us at will.

= = = = =

And right now, Scoop's idiot descendants (teaspoons?) are doing just that.
Congressman Michael McCaul, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, said that sources familiar with the situation have described the success of ISIS as the greatest national security threat since 9/11. “Al-Qaeda owns more territory, more resources, and what's happening in Iraq now is really chaotic,” he told ABC news. .... Some US politicians believe that ISIS can cause violence throughout the globe, once it gets a foothold in Iraq.
Oh? How the fuck is that supposed to happen? How are these "terrorists" supposed to hit us? Not by boat, not by land, not through a time warp. The only way they could reach our territory is by airplane.

And if they do get here by airplane, it would be through the SPECIFIC AND INTENTIONAL COLLABORATION of "our" "government", which has been sponsoring and arming these dudes all along.

= = = = =

Sidenote: Mutually Assured Destruction is a perfectly valid principle. We apply it all the time in everyday life. We don't crash into other cars because we know we'll be hurt or killed; a bully can be stopped by consistent resistance; a shooter prefers Gun-Free Zones. But the peculiar inverse implementation of MAD that "our" Cold War strategists were selling, the implementation that led Scoop to disdain shelters, was pure fraud. Those strategists knew something that the ordinary public didn't know: Russia had GOOD shelters for everyone in cities. There's no point in using A-bombs on rural areas. Thus Russia could survive our attack. Conclusion: Those strategists were serving Russian interests by 'dissheltering' us. They were making us the only vulnerable side. Those strategists later continued to serve Soviet interests by disarming us without disarming Russia.


Proof: See This 1971 Civil Defense document in PDF form. It's a formerly classified study of shelter and evacuation options, and it explicitly cites Soviet shelters and plans as a 'gold standard'. So we knew good and goddamn well that we were providing less protection than the USSR.
 


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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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