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Not That Kind Of Nostalgia

There is so much that was better about life in the 1980s. It was mostly still a high trust society where kids played until it got too dark to see, where being outdoors was more entertaining than being indoors where we didn’t have the internet. The girls were hotter, the guys were more masculine. Entertainment was beginning to be subversive but still was amazing. 

One thing that I don’t miss? The looming threat of global thermonuclear war. 
The sword of Damocles hanging over us throughout my school-days was that the Cold War would turn hot, someone would do something dumb and we would have to stop our lessons, crawl under our desks and wait to be incinerated. There were plenty of movies about nuclear war in the 80s, from The Terminator where machines use our nukes to trigger a war with Russia to of course Wargames, based on the idea of a new automated system to prevent human’s from failing to “turn the key” that almost launches a global thermonuclear war as a game.

The most vivid part of that movie to me is in the very beginning where the one officer takes his hand off the launch key and the other officer pulls his revolver, cocks it and tells him “Turn your key sir”. Not great cinema but it shook me up as a kid. 
When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, the threat of nuclear war evaporated overnight. Russia was our friend now, experiencing all of the joys of unfettered globalist capitalism. Hooray! My children never lived under the low key terror of everything ending. To them nuclear war was something that made for an interesting universe for video games like the Fallout series, but it wasn’t anything they really expected to worry about. While we have had manufatcured scares like bogus WMDs in Iraq, a nuclear program in Iran and Rocket Man in North Korea shooting rockets into the Pacific, it wasn’t the life-ending calamity of a full scale exchange between the Russkies and the U.S. 
31 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and here we are again and worse, it is more real than at any point in my lifetime. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 has the world been this close to the edge, the edge of nuclear war. All because of a regional conflict that has taken on a life of it’s own.
Most Americans don’t really think about our nuclear arsenal. It is out of sight, out of mind for almost everyone. You don’t see the Ohio-class nuclear submarines prowling below the waves. Few of us live near the strategic air bases where B-52 Stratofortress and B-2 stealth bombers are stationed. Most of our land-based ICBMs are understandably located in thinly populated places like the Great Plains. My first job out of college was in Cheyenne, Wyoming which is home to the F.E. Warren Air Force base, one of the main hubs for our ICBM forces and the base for the 90th Missile Wing operating Minuteman III ICBMs. I had some young enlisted Air Force mechanics working for me part-time, one of their major duties was to be on-call when trucks were moving ICBMs around in case one broke down. Even still, most Americans have at the back of their mind the security of knowing that the nuclear arsenal is out there and still acting as a deterrent. I believe that absent the nuclear deterrent, there would have been a third World War in Europe last century that would have devastated Europe beyond repair. 
While the world’s nuclear arsenal is greatly diminished, it is still enormous.

That assumes that the nukes work of course, when you read articles like this: Inside the $100 Billion Mission to Modernize America’s Aging Nuclear Missiles, it makes you wonder if the birds would fly should the order come down from Pedo Joe. 
The entire ICBM fleet runs on less computational power than what’s now found inside the smartphone in your pocket….

….The order would appear on Moffett’s glitching trichromatic monitor via a computer program that still relies on floppy disks, initiating a series of steps to launch the missiles. A terminal countdown sequence would begin after a machine translated the digital signal from the command hub into an analog signal that the 50-year-old receiver inside a missile silo could recognize.
The pictures look a lot like what we saw in WarGames, and it certainly seems like most of the ICBMs anyway are operating on equipment older than me. Even still I assume that if the word came down, most of the birds would fly on both sides. What might that look like? Princeton did a simulation a few years back and the big exchange is pretty grim.

You can watch the whole thing here:
As a “prepper” of sorts, much as I dislike that term, a global thermonuclear war is the grand-daddy of them all. We all have a kind of spectrum in our heads from localized civil unrest all the way to nuclear war. Like the rest of my brethren who anticipate and are planning for TEOTWAWKI, my main goal is to survive along with my family so we can hopefully rebuild. But in the event of a nuclear war of that scale? Princeton estimates initial casualties to be pretty high, all in Europe, Russia and the U.S….

While we are not in a strategically valuable area, the scenario above includes “the countervalue plan” coming after the initial strategic strikes would target the 30 most populated areas and economic centers to “inhibit” recovery. Being in the industrial heartland is bad news and of the 30 largest U.S. cities, Indianapolis (15th) is two hours away (SW). Columbus, Ohio (14th) is about three hours away to the southeast. Chicago (3rd) is 3 1/2 hours away, slightly NW. Detroit (27th) and Louisville (28th) to the northeast and south respectively are three hours from us. In other words we are neatly bracketed by likely strikes.

So even though I ordered some potassium iodide tablets this morning, I am pretty sure that we won’t survive for long if there is a full-fledged nuclear war. Nor do I really want to. My wife and I talked about this last night, is there much of a point to “surviving” a nuclear war in order to be “not dead” until the cancer or radioactive zombies finally get you? What children are born will be at enormous risk of birth defects and cancer.
This is not the future we were promised. The end of the Cold War was supposed to mean an endless era of peace and prosperity. Instead we got a “global war on terror” abroad and an utter degradation of our culture domestically, accompanied by a cataclysmic slow moving genocide of Whites in Europe and America. To top it off we are careening toward the brink of a nuclear war. 
We get all of the bad stuff from the 1980s and none of the good. That isn’t the kind of nostalgia I was hoping for.


  1. Anonymous

    Unless the nukes are salted with something like cobalt, most of the radioactivity would decay fairly rapidly. You'd want to keep fallout off of you garden space with a tarp. Also, sodium alginate, pectin, and green tea can help prevent poisoning from strontium 90.

  2. Anonymous

    Not sure if you're a fan of post-apocalyptic doom porn, but if you have any such inclinations, read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It is the most disturbing treatment I've ever come across.

  3. Arthur Sido

    I was reading after I posted it and it looks like that wouldn't be the case, on the other hand even after the isolated reactor issue at Chernobyl things are pretty poisoned in the near vicinity

  4. Anonymous

    I remeber duck and cover drills when I was young, by the time i was a teen we didnt do them anymore… suspect it was because i went to school on a target. When your school is on a base it kind of eliminates the chances of survival.

    The real trick is knowing when to start taking potassium iodine. Too soon and you run out… too late and you die.


  5. EasyCo.

    Chernobyl was NOT a nuclear explosion.

    Chernobyl was a explosion that had large & small chunks of radioactive rods(TONS) were toss around.

    A nuclear bomb uses a amount of uranium the size of your fist and is vaporized. Fallout is from normal stuff being pulverized and zapped with radiation that quickly fades. In 7 hours is has lost about half of its radioactivity. In 2 weeks around another 75%. Then a year basically nothing, other then ground zero.

    And most nuclear targets in the USA would be hit by a air burst, so very little fallout.

    Only harden military targets, ICBM Silos and such, would receive a ground burst.

    And even then most of the fallout will drop in the area of the blast zone.

    The 91 Million that will die, will be cause by the after effects: No power. clean water and on and on.

  6. Xzebek

    You are 100% correct that the girls were (way) hotter and the guys more masculine!
    And fortunately in the 80's I didn't have to interact with any certified "shooters"!

  7. Anonymous

    I don't think it is the sort of book you are supposed to "like". It was meant to shock, to disturb the reader in his insular, comfortable little world. It sure did that to me. It reminded me a bit of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, without the upbeat ending.

  8. Anonymous

    The women now are just as hot. What has changed is that the women the media promote as hot, the ones they tell us are beautiful, have gotten uglier. I have a lot of thoughts on this as to why, but in a nutshell, it's increased female presence in the media/casting directors, who anoint "beautiful" women who make them feel better about themselves.

  9. Anonymous

    Most nukes nowadays are air burst weapons. Don't produce a lot of fallout. That's the kind of nuke that would be used on a city (theoretically).

    Surface burst nukes produce the fallout. These are (again, theoretically) reserved for "hardened" targets, bunkers, underground things and such. Unless you live near one of these targets, you're probably not in much danger from fallout.

    What I'm getting at is, if you survive the initial nuke detonation without burns etc., odds are that you have survived the nuclear war. But for what… into what….

  10. Anonymous

    There are no nuclear bombs. There are devices. They do not explode. They initiate.

    The potassium iodide will not help you with any device fallout. It CAN be useful for reactor leakage, marginally.

    91 million? In the "Plan A" scenario as depicted, far more. The fine ash from burning cities will cut sunlight by a significant amount. See, Mount Pinatubo.

    Yeah, the '80s were better to be young than now. Although, I will killmuderfuckerize anyone who play "Pour Some Sugar on Me".

  11. Anonymous

    I ordered some potassium iodide tablets last December – they weren't terribly expensive and I figured what the hell. Never saw the point of buying gas masks and tyvek suits and all the rest. I readily admit to having little scientific knowledge of exactly how much fallout and where would determine what effects on whom – other than various TEOTWAWKI books (never read Cormac McCarthy).

    I am prepared to weather certain societal storms or varieties of decline. Something as cataclysmic as nuclear war . . . well, I guess I'd rather not stick around and see. Clown World is difficult and depressing enough.

  12. Anonymous

    I agree with an earlier commentor that the 80s were a much better time to be a kid than now. Thank God cell phones weren't around back then. I see way too many young folk who are cell phone zombies and addicts.

    As for the hotness factor of young women back then versus now, again, 80s chicks were far superior, for the reasons Arthur already mentioned.

    Are there attractive young women now? Sure, but way fewer. And, the ones who would be attractive, detract from their natural beauty with excessive tattoos, piercings and/or neon colored hair. Or they have weird personalities.

  13. Arthur Sido

    Girls in the 80s were still mostly expecting marriage and kids for their future, girls now? They are looking at a lifetime of loveless sexual encounters until they hit middle age and lose their appeal, to be followed by decades of living alone with their cat. No wonder they are so messed up.

  14. Yankee Terrrier

    Good discussion, add my vote on survivability of a nuclear exchange…don't live close downwind of high value hardened targets, that's where the fallout goes, stay away from ground zero for airburst targets( you can look them up) and prepare to survive the aftermath. You especially should be ok.

  15. Anonymous

    "The potassium iodide will not help you with any device fallout." Rubbish. Radioactive Iodine is a fission product, whether from a fission weapon or the fission initiator of a fusion weapon. Since thyroid cancer is generally fatal in males vs. females, we can count on you not surviving.

  16. Linda Fox

    Other than the opportunity to poison Lake Erie and the area around it, there really isn't a strategic value to nuking Detroit. It's practically uninhabited.
    Worse, that narrow strip along Lake Erie contains some of the richest farmland in the USA. That glacial till is rich in organic nutrients. Can't see the point of destroying the agricultural value.
    Better to focus on the cities that house much of the Progressive Elite. That could cripple the federal government, the banking system, and a lot of other industries.

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