Tag Archives: Manhattan Project

Abraham Lincolncare – A realistic way to remember US Presidents

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I keep hearing about something called WossnameCare, which I don’t know what is and honestly don’t want to know.  Anything that names itself after a US president tends to arouse suspicion for me.  Strikes me as an attempt by someone who sees himself as the most powerful person in the world to inject his name into history books, along with a particular slant.  The fact an enormous lot of US citizens are opposed to is suggests it would be worthy of a lot of careful study before anyone formed an opinion.

But it also brings to mind something I believe is a flaw in the way we remember US presidents of the past, figuring out whether they did anything good, and remembering them for that.  The entire world and the citizenry of the US would probably be better served if we all remembered US presidents for the absolutely awful, terrible, long-range disasterous things they did and decisions they made.  An object lesson to anyone holding that office as a warning he’ll be remembered by history for his follies.

A few examples, in case I’m not expressing myself clearly.

Franklin Rooseveltcare might be a good place to begin.  Roosevelt gave us the Manhattan Project and the nuclear bomb.  Franklin Roosevelt can be said to be responsible for the Cold War Mutual Assured Destruction, that whole nest of horrors, as well as all that damned radiation contamination the Japanese are dumping into the sky and the Pacific Ocean.

Harry Trumancare.  The endless serious of undeclared presidential wars he began.

Lyndon Johnsoncare.  The Vietnam War legacy and more importantly, the welfare state.

Richard Nixoncare.  A Chinese toaster in every kitchen and a dead US toaster-making industry.

Ronald Reagancare.  Generations of an endless War on Drugs, a prison industry and the US becoming the country with more prisoners held in prisons than any other country in the world.

Bill Clintoncare.  The careful planting and nurturing of the US police state.

Father and Son Bushcare.  Endless wars and military adventures in the Middle East.

US presidents are in office because they are attracted to the thought of being the most powerful person in the world.  US presidents want their names in history books.  Naturally most of them are functionally illiterate and haven’t spent a lot of time reading history books.  They just have to ride along on gut feel and what they think previous presidents are praised for doing, remembered for doing.

And if US presidents are remembered for the ways they’ve managed to convert the United States to the country it has become, is still becoming, they might well take a deeper look at what they are about.  Give a few thoughts to consequences.

Old Jules

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Takes a licking and keeps on ticking

geiger counter

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Tom, the retired USAF colonel who occupied the office next to me in the bomb shelter of the old National Guard HQ in Santa Fe, NM, should have known a lot about radioactivity.   He spent the entire Cuban Missile Crisis camped under the wing of his B-47 bomber.  Had all kinds of tales about the flight maneuvers a pilot had to perform to drop a hydrogen bomb and come away in one piece.

The New Mexico Emergency Planning and Management Bureau [EMPAC] was all housed in that bomb shelter.  Most of the section chiefs were retired colonels, except my humble self, and Louis, head of Radiation Control.  When nothing was going on there’d always be a few of us gathered in one office or another telling and listening to interesting experiences in our varied pasts.

So when Tom found his travel schedule was going to coincide with the one-day-per-year the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was detonated allowed visitors, we all envied him.  He was gone a week travelling all over the State, and a few days after he returned several of us gathered in his office to hear all about it.

Naturally there’d been a nice dog and pony show at an old ranch house from the time a mile or so away, now converted to oversight center.  Then, off to ground zero.

Tom described how it was all bare sand and soil, how they’d scraped away all the green glass that used to cover the spot.  How visitors were warned not to pick up any of that green glass if they should find a piece. 

So when his glance downward showed him a piece of that green glass peeking out of the sand near his foot, of course he had to tie his shoe.  Slipped it into his pocket.  Gave us all a sly smile when he pulled it out and held it in his palm.

Wow!  A piece of green glass from the first nuclear detonation on earth!  We all wanted to hold it.  Passed it around, all except Louis.  Our Rad Control section head.  He stepped back a pace when his turn came to hold it.

I’d like to put an instrument on that.”  Louis had access to plenty of instruments, had more than a thousand of them spotted all over New Mexico.  Part of the mission of his section was going around changing the batteries on those Geiger Counters regularly.

He was out the door and back while the rest of us waited in mild curiosity.  The glass was back on Tom’s desk and Louis clicked the power switch.  Didn’t actually have to get too near with the probe to peg the needle.  Didn’t have to put on the headset to hear the buzz.  We all heard it.

Louis had a straight shot at the doorway and he was first out.  Followed closely by everyone but Tom.  He just sat staring at that piece of green glass.  Probably wondering what the hell to do with it.

I’ve always wanted to visit the Trinity Site, but I never got around to it.  Even when I was living several years just up the road from it.

Old Jules