Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blog #11B - Should the government tell us the truth?

Back in the 1950s, Americans practiced "Duck and Cover" drills when the threat of nuclear war became greater with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Films about Bert the Turtle would help America understand the necessity of hiding out the blasts.



These drills would save the children of America from the nuclear blast, apparently, and then we could come out afterwards as if it was a bad storm and rebuild. The government even downplayed the damage done during a nuclear war: in a 1955 film called "About Fallout", it says that "radiation is something that we live with everyday." While technically correct, high levels of toxic radiation left after a nuclear blast isn't what I think he's talking about. If you'd like, check out the film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dobys9s9f2w


Without proper shelter, the film says, millions will die from the fallout. 2 feet of earth, 5.5 feet of wood will help protect us. Time is also our ally, the film says. Within 2 weeks, mostly all the radiation is decayed. One thing I found odd was when it said (and I'm paraphrasing here):



that if radiation falls on your food, the food isn't harmed or made radioactive
b/c radiation damages living tissue. Simply remove the fallout particles
with regular everyday food preparation methods... if you accidentally swallow
fall out particles, they will do you no immediate harm (!) [at this point, it
shows a 1950s in an apron -with no gloves - rinsing off tomatoes in a
kitchen].

It seems laughable today, given the immense power of the nuclear bombs that simple drills like these could keep Americans safe. Someone must have known how bad these bombs were and how devastating they would have been had they hit American cities. They would have made the 9/11/01 attacks look tame by comparison in both death toll and destruction. This isn't to minimize those horrific terror attacks, but those airplanes weren't nuclear bombs. And most of the damage in New York was done, in my opinion, by the falling WTC buildings, not the airplanes.

Today, I get the same feeling that we aren't being told the complete and utter truth about how to defend ourselves against possible bio and chem weapons attack. In 2002, when we were told about plastic sheeting and duct tape, I thougt it laughable too, but in the back of my mind, I thought, "what if...?" and I went out and bought some anyway. SUCKER!
What else should I do? Go to an army surplus store and buy gas masks? Stock up on food supplies and water? Get a gun just in case? And whose job is it to protect us? Ourselves? Homeland security?
So, the questions are:
1. Should the government have told Americans the cold hard facts about nuclear war in the 1950s instead of shielding them from the truth? Why would the gov't. have concealed this info from us? How do you think the American people would have reacted when told? Why?
2. Is the gov't. doing all it can to help us prepare for the next terrorist attack - whatever, wherever, whenever it may be? If not, what needs to be done? If so, what have they done to help us in the Detroit area?
Due Wednesday, January 30 (200 words minimum).

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

2. Is the gov't. doing all it can to help us prepare for the next terrorist attack - whatever, wherever, whenever it may be? If not, what needs to be done? If so, what have they done to help us in the Detroit area?
I think that the government is doing too much of some things and too little of other things. I think that it is not right for the government to invade on people’s personal lives. In some of the articles we read, it even said that for the government to be doing all this, it violates the 4th Amendment. I think that that is ridiculous because the government is breaking the law.
But, I also think that the government could be doing more for the country. One thing could be to inform citizens how serious all this could potentially be. If we got in a nuclear war with another country because of terrorist attacks, most likely, everyone would die. So, I also think that we should have some kind of procedure of what to do in case there was another terrorist attack. For September 11th, everyone just sort of went crazy and didn’t know what to do because it was so unexpected. For any future encounters, I think we will be more prepared but not as much as we could be.
For the Detroit area, I think that the same procedures should apply. But I also think that we should be even more cautious, because Detroit could be a big target because it is such a large city with many factories and people.

Amanda Biondo
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

I think the government should not have told Americans the cold hard facts, but I think what the government told Americans should have been a little bit more realistic. I think if the government knew of anything that would really help save American lives if a bomb was dropped on them, then they should have told them actual helpful information. I don’t think the government was concealing any information, I think that they didn’t have any information to conceal, because in reality, no one knew of anything that would save lives in the event that a bomb was dropped. If the government told Americans how deadly the effects of a bomb would be, most Americans would freak out which could possibly lead to even worse things, because in the end no bomb was even dropped. I think many people would commit suicide, because they would think that would be better than dying from a bomb, or they could provoke the Soviet Union to actually drop a bomb.
I don’t think that government is doing everything they can to protect American citizens if there is another terrorist attack. The government hasn’t made enough changes to means of travel, you can still bring bombs or harmful things on trains or boats, and many other means of transportation. I think that it is very easy for people to “sneak” bombs of airplanes or hijack a plane. The government hasn’t made any changes to protecting schools if there is a bomber or even just public places. I think airport security only does random checks on Arab men, and a bomber isn’t always an Arab man. There is absolutely no security at train stations, or short boat rides. I think there is security on cruise liners, but it still isn’t enough. I think at schools we should have random i.d. checks (I don’t believe Groves has ever had one). I am not an expert on what has been done update airport security, but I am sure more can be done!
Megan 3rd

Anonymous said...

I think the government was right not to tell people that it was useless to hide under a desk or in a closet. I think that what they did promoted a sense of security among the people and helped keep them calm. People like to hear these kinds of things because it makes them feel as if they have control, even if it is very minimal, over their lives. If people knew they were going to die either way from a nuclear bomb, there would be mass hysteria and panic throughout the cities. I think that the government knew this and didn’t want the people of America panicking and going crazy, even though there were no nukes REALLY fired off.
No, I don’t think that the government is doing all it can to help US prepare for a terrorist attack. They are doing a decent job preventing the attacks, or at least, it looks that way. There is not much that we can do about it though. We do not know, as you said, where, when, or even what kind of attack it will be, so it would be hard to determine what should be done about it. I do think, though, that the government should tell us how to maybe crudely fly a plane (although I doubt that they will attack via airplane again), or how to prevent biochemical weapons from getting into your house (better than the duct tape). Many of these things sound ridiculous, but hey, you never know.

Patrick MacCallum

Anonymous said...

I think that the government should have told the American people the truth of the nuclear bomb. By telling the people the soft side of the truth it made the people think that atomic bomb was nothing. If they told the citizens the truth it might have scared the people and urged them to fight for stopping the Cold War. The government hide the cold hard facts from us because they didn't want to get us worried on how destructive the atomic bomb was. If the American people were told the real facts on the atomic bomb they would have freaked out and moved out of the major cities. If they did that then the companies would loose employes and go out of business.

I think that the government is doing all it can to prepare for a terrorist attack. What else can they do? They can't tell us to build a bunker in our back yard. The thing that they have done to help us in the Detroit area is plan a family meeting place. If your family is all over the city (at school, work, store) during the day, you should designate a family location to meet at in case of a terrorist attack.

Ryan Feist
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

1. I think the government should have told the cold hard facts about the war in the 1950s instead of shielding the people from the truth. This is because had a U.S. city been attacked, people would have realized that the government wasn’t telling Americans proper ways of protecting themselves. The government probably concealed this info from us because they didn’t want to start a panic in the country and thought it was best not to tell the whole truth. The American people would have panic because they would have been scared for themselves and their families.

2. I don’t think that the government is doing all it can to prepare us for a terrorist attack. Right now no one knows what they need to do to protect them. There should be a known plan of how to evacuate or seek shelter in the event of a terrorist attack. I think that if was a nuclear bomb dropped on a U.S. city people would panic and not know what to do. Nowadays we don’t see any cartoons showing people ways to save themselves during an attack. I haven’t seen anything the government has done in the Detroit area to prevent attacks, other than increased security.

Jeremy Kaplan
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

1.I think that the government should have told us exactly the danger of the atomic bomb and maybe give us the truth on what to do if anything was possible. Even if it may have been a smart idea to build a bomb shelter. I think the gov. concealed the information from us because they thought it was good for us to not know the honest truth cause sometimes its better to not know the truth because it can make people calmer and make them think they are totally safe. If we were told, the reaction would be alot of worrying, scared and possiby disasters, but its also possible for some people not to be to concerned because they will realize that they can only do so much and then the rest is out of there hands.

2. I think the government can do a little more to keep us aware of whats going on. I dont think enough people are concerned about what can actually happening because they think they are completely safe and nothing could ever happen to them. And i think the government should tell us a little more and keep us more informed about attacks what they are doing and what we can do.

Alexandra 3rd

Anonymous said...

1. Should the government have told Americans the cold hard facts about nuclear war in the 1950s instead of shielding them from the truth? Why would the gov't. have concealed this info from us? How do you think the American people would have reacted when told? Why?

I think the populace would have taken the news of the Soviets’ weaponry much harder had they known how much peril they were in. It has been said that the truth is always better, this is one exception, however. Had people been told the truth, the bleakness of the situation, the results would be disastrous for the government and others. Picture a rabid animal, in its cage, perfectly under control, but it is the cage that keeps it under control. Should the cage be taken away, anything can happen. The same is true for human beings and the mist that our government holds over our eyes. People would get angry, angry enough to protest, to riot, to kill in retaliation for being misled and used as they were.

ART IS RESISTANCE
Alex Lindsay

Anonymous said...

Yes I do think that the government should have told Americans the cold hard truth about the nuclear war of the 1950s. I know that as an American I would rather be aware of what is about to happen so that I could try and take the proper steps and do whatever I can to help myself and my family then for them just keep it as a secret and I find out about what is really going on when I am dead. I think that if they do something like that then they were not really fitted to be the leader of a country anyway. But I guess I can understand why they would keep it from us so that they would not go into a state of panic. I do think that if they would’ve told the Americans then we all would have went into a state of chaos and there would have been no order.

Andrew Knox
3rd hour

Gabe D said...

I think that the government should have told the cold hard facts about the nuclear war in the 1950’s instead of shielding American citizens from the truth, because it just creates a big lie. They make us think that were okay when we were really not, the denied us the right of American citizens to better protect ourselves. The American people would have been ore scared of nuclear war, but we would know how to protect ourselves. Everyone would have been more cautious and not eat radioactive food, or go in a nuclear shelter instead of ducking for cover. The government is not doing all it can do to prepare us for the next terrorist attack. All the code red and code yellow stuff does not help. They don’t know when terrorist are going to attack so how can they help us to protect ourselves. I think that trying to arrest terrorist before they commit a crime is a good idea, but the information that they way they receive their information has to be to a certain extent, an extent where the mildly take away our rights as American citizens. I really don’t know what the government has done to help the Detroit area in case of a terrorist attack. The government’s protection should not just be in major cities but everywhere.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the government did the right thing when they didn’t tell the people about how powerful nukes really are. American people probably would have gone crazy and started doing things that don’t even make sense like building that house we saw in the video with the indoor pool and all that. Also they probably would have tried to find ways to survive which won’t work at all. Another thing if they did tell us about how powerful nukes they really are then people might have moved out of big cities and quit their jobs or even worse they might have left the country and went to a place that didn’t have any threats so they wouldn’t get hit by nukes. I’m pretty sure that the government is putting everything it has into trying to stop the next terrorist attack. It is a hard thing to do though considering there are over 300 million people that live in the United States and there is a lot of land to cover. In Detroit they have added very through security at the airport. I believe we are safe from another attack. I wouldn’t know of anything else the government could do to stop a terrorist attack.

Pat Rooney

Anonymous said...

2. I think that the government is not equaly dispering the duties in all the areas, rather the government is helping in only a few areas and not so much in others. The government is nosy. I'm well aware that it's the government's job and place to investigate and if they don't violate any Americans personal life unless they have a warrant, they cannot tap their phone line, read their e-mails or in general get into personal related things. The government wants to get all the dirty dsih on everyday Americans, especially when they know someone about that person that could get them in federal trouble. In other ways, the government should be doing more for our country. Informing citizens on dangers, crimes, and world crisises that the U.S may be involved in. Every citizen, has the right to know what their countries doing and how their countries doing. The government should focus their attention towards what could happen and what we can do to prepare, if something were to go wrong, like another terrorist attack. America should be well aware of a the fact that if a nuclear bomb is dispersed amongst our country, how deadly our country could turn, and what that could mean for America. I think that the government should have manditory procedures or drills to prepare in case another terror attack occurs or anything dramatic towards our nation. I feel as if the government should work on that skill, in improving our country with being prepared for what is yet to come.

In the case of Detroit, I think that we should be very cautious. I strongly feel this way, because Detroit is a large, and greatly dependent upon the automotive industry and famouse buildings in the area. If Detroit were to be bombed or attacked in any way, I doubt that the city would be prepared, not just because the leader is in legal trouble, but mostly because the city isn't wealthy and most of the people are in poverty or below the poverty level. The city of Detroit would falter, at such an event, in my opinion, due to the lack of help and the set up of the economy, as one thing. Detroit is a very diverse city and I think that since it is very much populated with many races, and a variety of cultures, the city would be more of a target because of the cultural differences. There would be more attacks due to the cultural differences because some countries might have revenge of those living in the area and the other races, and it all could start from just that difference.

Mary Mc Keon
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

No, the government should have not told Americans the hard facts of nuclear war, it would cause widespread ciaos. The hard facts scare me even today, and with that people would try to attack the government which is the last thing we need in a cold war of that magnitude. The government concealed this information from us to keep us together as a country, this is the only way we could win. Since the government hid this information we did stay together long enough for the U.S.S.R to collapse. When the American people were told they did nothing as always because most Americans are ignorant. They were just cheated and lied to, and they really didn’t act in anyway to tell the government not to do that again.
No, the government is not doing anything to protect us from a terrorist attack. They are the worst country when it comes to protecting us from terrorism. All there doing is using terrorism as an excuse to bully other country’s and people. To get rid of terrorism you have to talk, there crazy and the only reason they want to attack us is because we started it. Terrorists don’t fight by the rules, you have to negotiate with them to see why they want to attack us and come with an agreement. If you still can’t come to an agreement you can’t arrest any Arab you have put pressure on the country’s that support terrorism to quit doing deals with them, and letting them expand.

Mostafa Bendali-Amor
3rd

Anonymous said...

I believe that the U.S government is not doing the best it can to prevent, stop or plan a good emergency plan in case a terrorist attacks is against America. First off many troops are over in Iraq trying to fight a war on "terrorism," which many think that we are wasting our money, time and efforts. The fact is that the U.S should just focus on the U.S, only if there is an attack on the U.S should there be action such as invading a different country and raising the taxes.

Collin Parson
3rd hour
Wikersham

Anonymous said...

1. I believe that the government should have told the cold hard facts about the nuclear war in the 1950’s instead of shielding them form the truth. I believe this because the people could have prepared themselves better and they would also know with what they would be dealing with. I think that the government concealed this from the American people to also protect them. There is really no way to prepare for this type of attack, so by not telling them, it let the people carry on there own lives. If the Americans found out the truth, I think that they would have panicked and breakdown. They would not know what to do.
2. I don’t believe that the government is doing all they can to help us prepare for the next terrorist attack. A few days ago I read an article on cnn about this topic. In Tampa bay international airport, a man put on a fake bomb and saw how close he could get to the plane. It turned out that he got through all the security and got on the plane. This proves that the government is not protecting the Americans enough. I believe that the government needs to go back to the security after 9/11. Then there would not be one chance of an attack happening.

Ron Wexler
3rd hour

chris elliott said...

1. Should the government have told Americans the cold hard facts about nuclear war in the 1950s instead of shielding them from the truth? Why would the gov't. have concealed this info from us? How do you think the American people would have reacted when told? Why?


I think that the government should have told the people the cold hard facts about the cold war. They were telling them a bunch of bull to calm down the people and make them think it wasn’t a big deal. I think that there would have been many problems if they told the people the cold hard facts. First, the people would not have been so supportive about going into the cold war and would not want all the bombs being made. They supported the war because they thought that it wasn’t a big deal if they were bombed. If they knew that they would be annihilated they wouldn’t want to mess with those kind of bombs. Another reason if they knew the true power of the bombs then they wouldn’t want to be testing and messing with that stuff. There would have been a lot more political activist stopping the research. I think that when the government shielded them from the truth they only wanted to keep the people safe and didn’t want to deal with all the people that would start controversy.

Chris 3rd

Anonymous said...

Michael Weiner
1/29/08
3rd hour
I think the government did what was right, which was make civilians feel safe even though they were not. I think it’s much better to have a plan, “Ducking and covering” under desks and such is much better than saying “If a bomb hits you’re screwed.” Saying that would cause chaos. Every bomb drill people would just go crazy and do whatever they wanted to. Like you got suckered into buying duct tape and plastic sheeting I’m sure the people at home during the Cold war also wanted a plan, so I’m sure many people had houses built with “2 feet of earth, 5.5 feet of wood will help protect us” basements just so they could have that false sense of security.

I really don’t think there is much that government can do to protect us from a Terrorist attack. Maybe they will tell us to go buy duct tape and plastic sheeting again…who knows. They are probably going to tell up something to give us a false sense of security but because there hasn’t been any major threat that we know of, they haven’t had to calm up down. I’m not sure how the terrorist would attack, but maybe reinforcing the bridge and tunnel to Canada might be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

1. I think that the United States government should have told the people the details about the Cold War. I really feel that the American people had the right to know what was going on. I feel that the American government wouldn't have told the people the details because if they did then I think that the American people would have freaked out. I think that there would have been mass chaos among the citizens. I also think that if the citizens knew what really was going on then there would have been more of a posibility that there would have been a nuclear war.

2. I don't think that the United States is doing all that it could to help the citizens prepare for a possible terrorist attack. For example if a terrorist were to attack Detroit, there are no evacuation plans for the city. If there are plans for the city, they are not very well known because I do not know them. There also are not any bomb shelters around town that are easy access. Also most people do not have emergency food or supplies at there house. At my house we have extra food, but it isn't designated for if there is a terrorist attack or for an emergency. I think that if the government wants every family to be prepared for a terrorist attack that the government should provide an emergency kit. The kit could have batteries, water, canned food, flashlights, etc. This all could be paid for with tax money.

Lauren Peterson
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

The choice of the government to not inform Americans the power of nukes is a bittersweet decision. Its understandable why the government thought it was a good idea to keep Americans ignorant, but telling people their lives can be saved by hiding under their desks, is not a way of survival, or good government tactics. People were putting t hemselves in situations that seemed reasonable in protecting themselves, but didn;t work all because the government didn't want Americans on edge. Some were well stocked and had bomb shelters to hide in, but there is only so much fear the government can instill. By that I mean, the government tried to feign the idea that the nucs weren't scary, and shouldn't bother your everyday life. Clearly Americans were ignorant when they started watching and living by the tips of videos like "Bert the Turtle". The preparations that were offered by the government to Americans were not good survival tips because the tactics would not work, and I think it was known, but given the time period and people characteristics, these tactics may have been an idea of common sense that the tips could help you whereever you were in an average day. It was seemingly realistic, but majorly unsuccessful. The information was concealed because the government didn't want retalliation for their bad ideas from Americans.

Julia Henning
3rd Hour

Anonymous said...

Ben Goddard
3rd Hour

I don't think the government should have told Americans the cold hard facts about nuclear war in the 1950s. Shielding them from the truth was definitely the right decision because no nuclear bombs were ever dropped in a major city, or dropped from another country. If they had told them the truth, people might have gone into riots, and made things even worse around the country. The simple "Duck and Cover" tactics made people have peace of mind, and not have to worry so much in case a nuclear bomb or other type of bomb was dropped in some major city anywhere in the country. I think the government concealed the information from us, because if they didn’t, then everyone would know the actual damage it would do, and how many people would die, or get radiation poisoning, and like me if I had known and were living back then, just moved out of the country abandoning their homes to try and not get hit by fallout if an attack ever did occur. People probably would have acted that way because they knew that their family and friends could get killed or hurt by the aftermath and probably wouldn’t want to be around to see that happen, or try and build a bomb shelter way below their house.

Anonymous said...

1. I think that in the 1950s the government was wrong to not tell the people how destructive the nuclear bombs really were. It’s never right for our government to lie to the people. I feel like later on the people would have been really mad that they hadn’t known the truth all along. However I can see why the government did brush off the intensity of the bomb to help the people. I think the government was trying to make the people seem more secure and after a world war I think that is important. Also if the government had told the people I think they would have responded in two different ways. Some people would be skeptical, and others would have panicked. Either way there would have been mass hysteria in the United States or that is not something that was needed in the 50s. The 50s were a very helpful time in which people were rebuilding their lives, and adjusting to post war life.
2. I don’t think that the government is preparing us for a next attack. Instead they are stripping us of our rights to put innocent people into jail. I think that the government needs to teach us how to react to an attack both physically and mentally. Also if there was an attack on Detroit I would like to know if it is possible at all to defend myself, or if there would be death and destruction. I think the people have the right to the truth.

Barbara Moore
3rd hour

Anonymous said...

I don’t believe that it is ever right for the government to lie or conceal from its own citizens. If American citizens have the right to put these political leaders in office, we should also have the right to know exactly what those leaders are doing when they get there. I believe that the interest of Americans should play a larger role in political decision-making. I can definitely understand the draw for the government to lie during the 1950’s. Nuclear weapons have the power to create holocausts within minutes. If the American people had known this, they probably would have been outraged. No one really wants to be responsible for the destruction of entire countries by such means.
Currently, I’m not really sure if our government is doing all it can to protect us from terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks are random and pretty unpredictable, so it is hard to have a single plan on what to do. Homeland Security recommends having a “disaster supplies kit” including first aid, a change of clothing, food, water, a sleeping bag, a radio, and copies of important family documents. This is a good idea but it won’t mean much if you have to evacuate, as a kit that large would be hard to carry. Homeland Security also advises having a family “disaster plan,” but this will only help people find their family during a disaster, not necessarily keep them alive.
Leslie Preston

Anonymous said...

1. The government should have told the American people in the 1950s the actual truth instead of shielding the truth because the people of the country deserved to know the truth especially if it could be under attack at any moment by the Soviets. The government made it look like a joke and if there was an attack a lot of people would have died because it was not taken seriously. The government might have concealed this information because they did not want the American people to freak out or go crazy in the streets and be very scared of what might happen to them. If the government had told the people I think they would go crazy and scream and run around because they would be scared of dying and getting hurt by the bomb.
2. I think the government is doing everything they can to prepare the nation for the next terrorist attack. All they do is tell us like the zones and stuff like red, yellow and orange but that doesn’t tell us what to do. It just lets us know the likeliness of the United States being attacked. The government needs to do a lot of things in order to prepare us for a terrorist attack on America. First of all they could tell us what they think we should do to attack like build shelters and to get out of the streets or something like that so that we are safe from terrorists.
BRANDON MILLER
3rd hour
1/29/08

Chris (ichigo) Giles said...

I believe that the U.S government is not doing the best it can to prevent, stop or plan a good emergency plan in case a terrorist attacks is against America. First off many troops are over in Iraq trying to fight a war on "terrorism," which many think that we are wasting our money, time and efforts. The fact is that the U.S should just focus on the U.S, only if there is an attack on the U.S should there be action such as invading a different country and raising the taxes.

Chris Giles
4th hour

Anonymous said...

I think the government should have definatly told Americans the cold hard facts about the nuclear war because if something REALLY did happen, then they would at least have some idea of what to do instead of dying, not only in an embarrassing way, but in some way that has no chance of saving your life. I think the reason that the government hid the truth from the people is that they were afraid that the people would freak and panic about. When people learn that their lives are at stake they will usually do anything in their power to stay alive (survival of the fittest). I think that the government is, and always will be, terrible at preparing us for anything. I think they really could give us some more information, instead of tracing phone calls and pissing themselves (Sorry about the language) every time they hear the word "Bomb". Personally I believe that they have ignored almost every city when it comes to preparing. The only city, it seems, that they are even bothering to keep prepared is Washington, to protect the president. The government should stop breaking the amendments and focus on things that could actually help us.

Dylan Scher
3rd Hour