Well, I’ll be Duct

I wonder if all the people rushing out to buy duct tape and plastic sheeting are the children and grandchildren of those folks who paid thousands of dollars to build bomb shelters in their backyards in the 50's.

As a former CBR officer trained in Fort McClellan, I think that trying to protect yourself from chemical or biological attacks with duct tape is one of the most ridiculous ideas I've heard lately, and there are plenty of ridiculous ideas coming out of Washington DC these days.

Do you think there could be any connection between the increased beating of war drums trying to generate enthusiasm for America's upcoming invasion of Iraq and the high alert the Bush administration has placed the nation on?

When people are scared enough that there is a run on plastic sheeting and duct tape, you know they're scared enough to want to go after Sadam and Bin Laden, don't you? What better way to drum up support for a war than to tell people that they're in imminent danger.

While it's probably prudent to always have an emergency kit available, I would argue that you are in less danger from a terrorist attack than you are from a possible chemical spill from an industrial plant, a derailed train, or an over-turned truck.

11 thoughts on “Well, I’ll be Duct

  1. What I’m not clear on is what conceivable good covering your windows is supposed to *do*. Other than possibly lowering your heating bills.

    The lion’s share of air exchange in your house is *not* through the windows. It’s through the soffits. I don’t hear anybody talking about blocking those.

    And if one *did* block the soffits somehow, one might find it getting mighty stuffy.

  2. Like you, I’ve questioned the coincidence in timing of the alert and the imminent launch of attacks on Iraq. I would hope that the leaders of our nation would not stoop to such cynical manipulations of the very people who elect them, but sadly, I can’t put it beyond the realm of possibility.

    More likely, it seems to me, is that the increased probability of an attack is an outcome of our own military belligerence. The Bush administration seems not to get the correlation. The more we threaten, the more likely we are to be threatened. To threaten to act preemptively is only to encourage others to do the same. If I were Saddam and had the capacity, I’d attempt to strike the first blow, preferably before all our forces are in place. If I had the means to do it on American soil, even better.

  3. As you probably know, I live in DC.

    I live in a leaky pre-War apartment building, which despite its total lack of insulation, is blissfully overheated by inefficient radiators.

    In case of chemical or biological attack, my plan is to open all the windows and breathe deeply.

    Words cannot express out profoundly pissed off I am about the “helpful suggestions” coming from my government.

    I mean, seriously: duct tape?! (At the risk of being hideously sexist, only MEN would suggest this.)

    When I first moved to DC I used to joke with friends about living at Ground Zero ~ and being grateful because should nuclear war actually break out, I probably didn’t want to live to experience the aftermath. I guess I feel pretty much the same way about escalating terrorism.

  4. Sainteros – it is well beyond the realm of possibility that the Bush administration doesn’t get the correlation – hell the CIA has pointed it out to them numerous times. The fact that they know and will proceed anyways only leaves some deeply troubling possibilities concerning the motives of the american government. I’m glad that I live (a) in Canada, and (b)the nearest conceivable target, for terrorists, is 150 miles downwind from here.

    As horrible a thought as it sounds and it revolts me to even contemplate it I am nevertheless beginning to believe that Bush, Cheney and in particular Ashcroft WANT to see another terrorst attack on US soil. It will greatly assist them in pushing forward their plan to, well basically, rule the world and continue their assault on the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    John Dean (yes that one, chief legal counsel to tricky dicky’s rule) laid out a scenario in a FindLaw article last year, articlehttp://writ.news.findlaw.com/dean/20020607.html, that showed how a constitutional dictatorship could come about in the US. The Bush administration appears to be using that article as a play book.

  5. I’m mad as hell, but I’m afraid I’ll have to take it some more. I’m not ready to leave this place quite yet, at least not until I get to actually meet some of these webloggers.

    Interestingly enough, Sainteros, the CCM article I mentioned tonight seems to suggest the same thing, at least when it comes to the varying treatment of Iraq and Korea by the admistration.

    Pascale, your comment reminds me of my mother’s comments about bomb shelters, as she noted that she didn’t want to live in our world devastated by a nuclear holocaust. I find it hard to argue with your perspective.

    Doug, I prefer to think that the adminstration is doing this out of “ignorance,” not out any mistaken desire to provoke another act of terrorism.

  6. Honestly, Loren, I find myself thinking about leaving. Thinking seriously. Three years (speaking in calendar time) to an MLS, and then… ?

    Surely they need librarians in Canada. Or Australia.

  7. Thoughtful comments, all. Actually the emmigration idea has been in my thoughts, as well. My wife lived for a year in Australia and maintains strong friendships there. We visited together about a year and half ago and I was quite taken. It’s helpful to remember, though, that the Aussies have their own problems with a conservative government, a history of genocide and racism, and were themselves targets of recent terrorist attacks.

    When my first wife and I were hunting for our first home, we visited a house that actually had a 50s era bomb shelter in the back yard. Overgrown, disused. I for one am not making the trip to Home Depot for duct tape. Especially since I already have a roll! Anyone care to make me an offer? Anyone?

  8. I wish it were just ‘ignorance,’ Loren…

    but i fear it’s far more sinister than that.

    You can forgive a mentally retarded person for their actions, even sympathize.

    Any administration that conceive of the Patriot Act…is well, beyond ignorant in my book…

  9. As you might remember, Dorothea, I’m too stubborn to leave. I’m not going to turn my country over to a bunch of old, conservative white guys who are terrified of any change that threaten their control of our world.

    And you’re right, Ray, that they are “intelligent” in the sense that they’re effectivel controlling the US and silencing those who might disagree with their world view.

    I still want to believe that they wouldn’t go so far as to actually provoke more terrorist activity to support those goals, though. I would like to believe that it’s their ignorance, and arrogance, that makes them so dangerous. They seem unable to see the long-term effects of their actions.

  10. The wonderful irony of reading this post tonight is knowing about the train derailment and the hazardous chemical spill in Illinois this week, and today a semi truck accident dumped a load of hydrochloric acid all over the freeway today closing it completely.

    Duct and cover, indeed.

    I won’t leave. Any time I walk one of the paths scattered about this country that’s still wild and unspoiled I’m reminded of why I have to stay and fight.

What do you think?