Sunday Reads: Missiles, Shuttles and Little Houses

That picture is for BB.

Good Morning

Don’t feel up for writing much this morning, so I apologize in advance.

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  My parents, living in Tampa at the time, tell tales of bomb drills…when you had to duck under your desk. As if that was really going to save you if the shit hit the fan.

Duck and Cover…

(Video at that link from South Park…third episode Volcano.)
Barbrady: Okay people, listen up. As we near the top of the mountain, the chances of our encountering some lava becomes great. Therefore, I have special ordered this training film to assist us in volcano safety. Mr Garrison, if you would, please?

[Garrison turns on the movie projector to watch a 1952 training video called Lava and You.]

Instructor: Hard bringers of sorrow, natural disasters can be the cause of troubling and undesirable stress – and a volcano is no exception. But what should you do if a volcano erupts near you or your family? Here, we see the Stevens family enjoying on their picnic. But suddenly, daughter hears a noise: it’s a volcano. Junior seems worried – but have no fear, Junior. Jane learned in school what to do when you hear a volcano erupt. [Jane uses a picnic blanket, covering her family] That’s right, Jane – duck and cover. [lava passes through blanket, leaving family unharmed] So what will you do when you hear a volcano erupting? That’s right, duck and cover. Looks like you got the idea. Duck and cover. Thank you and goodbye. [end of film]
Barbrady: Okay, any questions?
Chef: That has got to be the most ridiculous load of pig crap I have ever seen!
Barbrady: That’s enough outta you!

That is a spoof South Park did on this video:

And now….I’ve got some articles about the Cuban Missile Crisis from all over the world, even Cuba! So check these out:

From Cuba…October Missile Crisis Still an Issue Today – This link is pro Castro…just fyi.

From Scotland, Gerald Warner: Castro and Marxism won most from the Cuban missile crisis

Fidel Castro delivering a speech in October 1962 - the point 'Soviet ambitions were checked'Fidel Castro delivering a speech in October 1962 – the point ‘Soviet ambitions were checked’ARMAGEDDON, with the ­courtesy of four minutes’ warning: that was the prospect facing the world 50 years ago, as the Cuban missile crisis threatened thermonuclear war on a scale that experts today believe would have cost more than 200 million lives.With the passing of half a century and the declassification of many documents on both sides, certain perspectives have changed; but no new insight has discredited the notion that it was one of the most perilous moments in the Cold War.

From England: How Cuba won the missile crisis

President Kennedy On The Telephone

President John F Kennedy ‘never allowed the affair to escape from his capable hands’. Photograph: Art Rickerby/LIFE

Half a century ago, in October 1962, the world woke up to the Cuban missile crisis. The Russians were unloading nuclear missiles on Cuba, and the Americans were demanding they be withdrawn. For some people, perhaps for many, it seemed the moment to drag out the old evangelical poster: The End of the World is Nigh. One prominent anti-nuclear campaigner fled noisily to the west coast of Ireland, imagining mistakenly that there she might be safe. It was a frightening time. Even today I can remember the chill in the air, something not just the result of autumnal bad weather.

Video news story here: BBC News – Cuban missile crisis: The other, secret one

The Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 is generally accepted as the twentieth century’s moment of maximum peril.

On the 50th anniversary of the crisis, the BBC has had exclusive access to new information that paints an even more dangerous picture of how the crisis unfolded.

Papers to be published next week reveal that far from the crisis ending neatly with the deal struck by President Kennedy and Soviet leader Khrushchev at the end of October, there was a second secret stage to the crisis with staggering implications for the world.

Joe Matthews spoke to Dr Svetlana Savranskay, Director of Russia Programmes, National Security Archive in Washington DC, about her research and has this report.

Australia…down under: Fifty years since Soviets blinked over the Cuban missile crisis

Cuban missile crisis

John F. Kennedy chairs a US executive committee meeting during the Cuban missile crisis. Source: Supplied

There is a nifty graphic at this Associated Press link: AFP: Cuban missile crisis: when the world held its breath

Just a few more, looking at these photographs is something…many of you probably have vivid memories of this.

Missile gets makeover on 50th anniversary of Cuban crisis

The Cold-War era Nike Missile Base is seen in Everglades National Park in this undated aerial view released to Reuters October 12, 2012. REUTERS-National Park Service-Handoout
Miami area high school students at the George T. Baker Aviation school prepare to attach ailerons to a 41-foot surface-to-air Nike Hercules missile as they restore it at the school in Miami, Florida October 10, 2012. REUTERS-Joe Skipper
Those are students at a Miami high school restoring one of the Nike Hercules missiles…the photo above it is the base in the Florida Everglades where the Nike missiles were based at.
There is a nice long read here at this link: Cuban Missile Crisis Beliefs Endure After 50 Years – ABC News
And new documents are being released, RFK documents on Cuban missile crisis to be released With the Soviet papers and new information coming forward, it should be an interesting thing to see.
You can always learn something new about old events, even heavily covered ones like the Cuban Missile Crisis.To that end, the National Archives on Thursday will release more than 2,700 pages of papers from its Robert F. Kennedy collection, many of them dealing with the Cuba crisis that became the most dangerous moment of the Cold War.”The National Archives is pleased to open these materials as the nation and the world mark the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis,” said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. “Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy played a crucial role in the peaceful resolution of the crisis, and researchers and the public are keenly interested in the information and insights contained in these documents.”
You can go online and view the documents…they are being posted at 8:30 am today.
This VOA article touches on Cuban Missile Crisis Lessons for Iran.
News reports from Pakistan on Sunday said that Malala Yousafzai has about a 50-50 chance of survival, maybe a little better, according to her doctors. She remains stable but unconsciousin an army hospital in Rawalpindi.Military doctors have reportedly consulted with two civilian Pakistani neurosurgeons who have recommended that Ms. Yousafzai be sent abroad for treatment. President Obama also has offered U.S. medical assistance to the Pakistani government, including a military air ambulance.Dr. Khalid Butt, a former army physician, in a letterto the Dawn newspaper, said “we may lose Malala Yousafzai if we do not send her to Dubai or the UK immediately,” adding that “armed forces doctors are not very proficient in complicated injury cases in peacetime.”He asked military leaders to stop “dilly-dallying” and not make it “a matter of ego and send Malala somewhere where she can be treated better.”
That is not very promising.
The Endeavour is taking longer to get to its new home.  Endeavour: Shuttle’s predicted arrival now later than 5 a.m. –
They are chopping trees down, and using iron steel plates to keep the road from buckling under the weight.

After a daylong series of delays stemming from trees bordering the street and a particularly narrow stretch of road, the space shuttle Endeavour is not expected to arrive at its final destination until after 5 a.m. Sunday.

The shuttle, now at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Leimert Park, will turn right onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard sometime before midnight. It will then creep along in the predawn darkness, never exceeding 1 mph, for the last leg of its final journey,

“It’s not the turning–the turning is easy. We can turn this thing 360 degrees in place if we have to,”  said Ken Carryion, project manager for Sarens, the company controlling the transporters on which Endeavour rests. “it’s limited visibility. Even though we have light, it’s not the same as daylight.”

There are some cool photos here: PHOTOS: Endeavour rolls through the streets of L.A.

The rest of today’s links will be in a link dump. It is 2:30 and my pillow is calling me.
Have a wonderful Sunday…and please share your memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis with us…

48 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Missiles, Shuttles and Little Houses”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for the interesting stuff on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Of course I remember it, because I’m older than dirt.

    • dakinikat says:

      All I remember is having constant duck and cover drills at school. I think i was in first grade. I only remember it because it was daily for that week.

      • dakinikat says:

        We were assigned the book to read later in high school. Then I put it together on why small town Iowa kids were spending hours cowering under desks and in the halls. We also watched the old news coverage. I think it was ap am hist in junior year. I know dad always watched huntley and brinkley nightly but my first real memories of that were the black civil rights marches. I happened to meet the NBC reporter doing that coverage later at a gig in the Quarter. I spent an evening listening to his background stories. He was a really nice old man.

    • You know BB…I love you!

    • ANonOMouse says:

      “Of course I remember it, because I’m older than dirt.”

      You, my dear, are not dirt, you are a woman of valuable experience and wisdom. A teacher and a damned good one.

      And I remember too! In fact we were given dog-tags with our parents or closest adult family members name on them and a serial #. I suppose it was for noitifying next-of-kin. When we weren’t crouched under our desks or in interior halls we were loaded onto buses and taken to fallout shelters. And we were having those drills even before the Cuban Missle crisis, it began during the Korean war, if memory serves correctly. I believe the Nuclear War fears began during the administration of Ike when the CIA, a fairly new agency at the time, realized that the USSR had achieved and did possess the ability to launch or drop a nuclear weapon on North America.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        We oldies are better described as flowers in full bloom. Dirt, not so much. 🙂 And I’m not embarassed to admit the I have house plants older than some of the commenters here. Being able to say that makes me proud, especially when we look at our life, retrospectively and see all of the challenges we’ve had to overcome to get HERE from THERE! FORWARD

      • bostonboomer says:

        Thanks, Mouse. I have a Jade plant that used to belong to my mother-in-law. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s 40 years old.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        BB…..I have a 47 year old philodendron in my home. It was a cut from my grandmothers philodendron. I never remember a time when my grandmother didn’t have the parent philodendron and neither do my aunts, so we’re likely looking at a plant that’s been around for over 100 years. Many of the older people in my family have a cut of the original plant and my children have a cut of mine, so we’re keeping the tradition alive.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Sorry to say I remember it as well when it appeared that we were close to blowing ourselves into smithereens waiting for somebody to “blink”.

    The the “beauty” of nuclear weapons.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    O/T but I just wanted to add that I would not like to be in Barack Obama’s shoes today. The expectations for Tuesday night must seem enormous coming from both sides.

    After Biden essentially eviscerated Ryan’s claims with a rather silly performance that included too many giggles, the Right is “outraged” at what they perceive as a show of “disrepect”. Never mind that he was lying his soul into hell, but that Biden treated him like a pesky fly that landed in his soup.

    Obama barely showed any interest in listening to Romney doing the same while this was perceived as a “win” for Mendacious Mitt that saw a surge in the polls regardless of the content of the issues at hand.

    So Obama is expected to either blast Romney by illustrating his lies by touting his own achievements or take him down a few pegs in pointing out his lack of specifics on domestic cuts that will surely effect most of the 47% he dismisses.

    I’ve come to believe that a majority of the public has ADD when it comes to current events. They “tune in” for the pleasure of judging who appears to have the edge at any moment in time and the issues themselves add up to “squat”. I give you two terms of George W. Bush as just one example.

    Should Obama falter it may be just enough to tip this election into the hands of the GOP. So many are hopeful to rid the WH of a black man that his demeanor may be the primary reason for chucking him out and delivering to the GOP a man so unworthy of credibility that it is breathtaking.

    What this campaign has shown is that it is possible to lie, cheat, flip flopping, and obsfucate to your heart’s content – even in the age of You Tube where every moment is captured forever – and it has little bearing on the outcome.

    I am very uncomfortable with this current shift in the polls if all it takes is Romney seizing the stage for another talk over, interrupting, refusal to follow the rules performance that many may view as “commanding” if Obama holds back.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think Biden should have laughed even more and harder than he did, and I think it will be great if Obama laughs every time Romney tells a lie on Tuesday night. Every time Romney or Ryan steps on a stage there should be laughter from the audience. They are nothing but clowns.

      At the debate on Tuesday night, someone needs to ask Romney which version of Mitt Romney he will be playing that night. And then the entire audience should laugh uproariously at his reply.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I’m not faulting Biden but if all it took for Bush to win – not once but twice – rested on “who would you rather have a beer with?” then voters seem to put more on demeanor than on the weight of the issues.

        Remember, when Gore’s “sighs” were picked up by the microphone a lot of people were turned off from just that alone. No matter how far better prepared, or how much smarter he was than that goofball, Bush was given the edge.

        It is the public perception I fear more than anything else since the issues, which have been argued and debated for the past year and a half, seem to have slipped away when the perception found a “positive” for Romney in the first debate.

        Romney’s lies seem to have been automatically erased while Joe’s reaction to Ryan’s lies and evasions seem to be the topic of discussion rather than the issues at hand.

        When the public is only “tuned in” for short periods of time the win is awarded to whoever comes across as more “likable” or who assumes the role of “victim” if the challenger makes a slip.

        Keep in mind that in this crowd are those who appreciate the likes of “Honey Boo Boo” and propelled the ratings for that show into the stratosphere. A show that features flatulence, scratching, burping, and barely literate characters that some critics found “charming”.

        My fear rests with their reaction that would produce a “win” come November based on little more than the same.

        But I admit to be in a very anxious reaction for what has been happening the last few weeks. Watching a “surge” toward Romney is producing angst on my end.

      • NW Luna says:

        The Big Dawg’s comment:

        Clinton magic at work on campaign trail

        “I had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did,” Clinton told the crowd. “I thought, ‘Wow, here’s old moderate Mitt. Where ya been, boy?’ “

    • I am very uncomfortable with this current shift in the polls if all it takes is Romney seizing the stage for another talk over, interrupting, refusal to follow the rules performance that many may view as “commanding” if Obama holds back.

      Pat, I agree with you completely!

  4. bostonboomer says:

    The Philadelphia Enquirer endorses Barack Obama and slashes and burns the Romney “plans.”

    Like a carnival barker cajoling a mark into spending the last bills in his wallet, the Republican Party is counting on Americans’ not remembering that they’ve seen this trick before.

    GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney wants voters to forget their familiarity with the prize he’s dangling before their eyes – a return to the disastrous economic policies that preceded the recession. Given that context, Romney’s prize is no better than a fake pearl.

    Stop playing the blame game, the Republicans say to anyone who dares remind voters of what led to one of the worst economic collapses in U.S. history. They have kept former President George W. Bush under wraps lest he refresh voters’ memories.

    The GOP would prefer the nation repeat history rather than remember it. Instead, remember unemployment rates above 10 percent; automakers going bankrupt; the stock market losing half of its value; the net worth of U.S. households plummeting; the nation losing 500,000 jobs in one month; the Dow Jones average losing 800 points in one day; hundreds of thousands of homes in foreclosure because people bought houses that they and their lenders knew they couldn’t afford; banks collapsing because their debtors couldn’t repay their debts, and neither could they.

    • RalphB says:

      That was a powerful endorsement and very true. That editorial board is not fooled by the Etch-a-Sketch.

    • NW Luna says:

      Glad to see that plain-spoken editorial. Too many people have either no memory or are easily fooled, or both.

      I’m horrified that younger voters have apparently bought into the “entitlements” bullshit and the “Social Security is broke” myth.

      Already disproportionately suffering from a weak economy, young Americans say they’re not counting on post-retirement government help. And they are not surprised that the debate over the programs is being driven largely by older people who wouldn’t suffer under the most serious proposals under consideration anyway.

      If politicians did listen, they might be surprised: Recent survey data indicate that Americans ages 18-29, despite being overwhelmingly liberal, support some conservative ideas for changing the structure of entitlement programs. Roughly 86 percent of them favor allowing workers to put their Social Security taxes into a private account, as some Republicans have proposed, according to a November 2011 survey by the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Research Center. That’s much more than the 52 percent of seniors who support the idea.

      The Pew “Generation Gap and the 2012 election” study also found that 74 percent of millennials support allowing Medicare participants to “use benefits toward purchasing private insurance,” another GOP idea, which got backing from just 48 percent of those 65 and older.

      Have they lost their minds? Put SS into private accounts? Yeah, look how well that would have worked in recent years. (headpalm)

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    I grew up in Miami, pretty darn close to Cuba. I remember the drills of hiding under our desks, however I was nearly oblivious to the crisis. Neither my parents, teacher nor pastor talked about it. Those were the days of 3 TV stations & Douglas Edwards for 15 minutes in the late afternoon & Cronkite on CBS & Huntley/Brinkley on NBC. I can’t even remember who ABC’s anchor was. I can’t even remember if the local news had 15 or 30 minutes each night. I knew more about hurricane preparedness than a nuclear war.

  6. ecocatwoman says:

    MHP had a wonderful tribute to the courage of Malala Yousafzai & how she has inspired the women & girls of Pakistan. Video should be up later. Moyers was fantastic again – climate change & disappearing glaciers and how money is trying (and no doubt going to succeed) to control our judges/courts. However, Bill spoke to O’Reilly’s BS about NPR & Moyers in particular during his debate with Jon Stewart. Bill pointed out that he isn’t on nor does he work for NPR & that his show is fully funded by contributors & doesn’t get federal, local or CPB funds.

    The Koch Bros, Freedom Works (Dick Armey) and their foot soldiers, The Tea Party own our state & federal elected officials. Any Republican prez will be on their payroll as well. So, the last branch of government protecting the people from the corporatocracy – the courts – are the final monopoly property for them to buy. Dictatorship of America, here it comes. Revolution will be futile because the police & the military will wage war on any protesters. If for no other reason, this is why Obama must win the election – to appoint the justice or justices to the Supreme Court, and to federal courts. It just pi$$es me off that those who scream FREEDOM & LIBERTY the loudest are the ones most active in trying to take those away from everyone but the richest.

  7. dakinikat says:

    Truthout ‏@truthout
    Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate?

    • pdgrey says:

      Dak, that was really interesting. Can’t wait to sent it to my sister. She is a psychologist, and works with children. She was in school during the Behavior Modification Technique hay day. She talks to me all the time about a colleague of hers that dosen’t understand shame.

      “Behavior modification can also destroy our intrinsic desire for compassion, which is necessary for a democratic society. Kohn offers several studies showing “children whose parents believe in using rewards to motivate them are less cooperative and generous [children] than their peers.” Children of mothers who relied on tangible rewards were less likely than other children to care and share at home”

      This really jumped out at me because of everthing my sister has told me. Thanks.

    • RalphB says:

      Great article. Interesting that you can see examples of control techniques and/or brain washing all around us.

      • dakinikat says:

        I’m waiting to see what BB has to say about it

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m reading it right now, but I had to laugh at this:

        When Watson was in his early 40s, he quit university life and began a new career in advertising at J. Walter Thompson.

        Watson didn’t just up and quit. He was asked to resign his post because he was having an affair with his research assistant, a grad student young enough to be his daughter.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I loved that article! Behaviorism is only a small part of the story of human nature.

    • NW Luna says:

      In a review of the literature on the harmful effects of rewards, researcher Kenneth McGraw concluded that rewards will have a detrimental effect on performance under two conditions: “first, when the task is interesting enough for the subjects that the offer of incentives is a superfluous source of motivation; second, when the solution to the task is open-ended enough that the steps leading to a solution are not immediately obvious.”

      That’s why I’m furious at the idea of health-care “pay for performance” type “incentives.” Bribing clinicians to offer good care to patients? It’s also insulting. Not to mention that I can’t force meds or lifestyle changes on anyone. I can’t give all my patients safe, convenient exercise options, or jobs with good medical insurance. And the bean-counters don’t always pick logical performance indicators.

  8. pdgrey says: 🙂

    JJ, great post, and I remember the missile crisis and “duck and cover”.

  9. pdgrey says:

    Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter died Sunday morning.

  10. NW Luna says:

    Food sickens millions as for-profit inspection companies find it safe

    In 2011, the FDA inspected 6 percent of domestic food producers and 0.4 percent of importers. The FDA has had no rules for how often food producers must be inspected. …

    The food industry hires for-profit inspection companies — known as third-party auditors — who aren’t required by law to meet any federal standards and have no government supervision. Some of these monitors choose to follow guidelines from trade groups that include ConAgra Foods, Kraft Foods and Wal-Mart. ….

    The U.S. will import half of its food by 2030, up from 20 percent today.

    33 people died in 2011 from bacteria-contaminated cantaloupes that came from an “inspected” company with contaminated equipment. See what private business can do without those profit-crippling government regulations?

    • bostonboomer says:


    • ecocatwoman says:

      Robin Young interviewed the author of the piece from Bloomberg Markets on her Friday show:

      When the food industry or the individual processors pay the inspectors, what can we expect? And after the melamine in pet food several years ago that killed an untold number of cats & dogs one would think that thorough inspections of human food would have followed. Oh no, over regulation is a job killer. I guess poisoning people is one way to prevent paying out pensions & social security and/or medicaid/medicare.

      • NW Luna says:

        It’s pure luck that more haven’t died. The real numbers are likely far understated, since most people made sick by contaminated food don’t report it. Public health budgets have been slashed, too.

  11. dakinikat says:

    This is amazing! After endorsing Bush and McCain, Nebraska’s Lincoln Journal Star today endorse Obama

    Republican nominee Mitt Romney at times makes us optimistic that he would do a creditable job as president. But he changes positions on issues so frequently we’re uncertain what he actually would do in office.

    Obama has been tested and found equal to the task of being president. We think the country is in better shape than it was four years ago, and we think it will be in even better shape if he wins another term in office.

    You may have no idea how conservative this paper is …

  12. pdgrey says:

    This is sorta OT, but it goes to behavior. It’s long but worth reading.

  13. RalphB says:

    A new menaing to the term “trust me”. WTF?

    TPM: Lazy

    Ed Gillespie went on TV this morning and said Mitt Romney would only reveal the details of his tax plan after he’s sworn into office as President.