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The PJ Tatler

by
Glenn Reynolds

Bio

January 5, 2011 - 5:14 am

So I had a piece in The Atlantic yesterday on The Unexpected Return of ‘Duck and Cover.’ The summary is that in response to increased fears of a terrorist nuclear attack on a U.S. city — or, maybe, a North Korean or Iranian attack intended to look like a terrorist attack — the Obama Administration is rolling out plans that look a lot like something out of the Cold War 1950s.  Some people on the right — like this Investor’s Business Daily editorial — are crying foul, noting that when it was Republicans pushing this sort of thing they were decried as Strangelovian freaks.

The message was clear: The Reagan administration was as nuts as George C. Scott’s Gen. Buck Turgidson character in “Dr. Strangelove.” “I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed,” the general told President Merkin Muffley. “But I do say no more than 10 to 20 million killed, tops!”

All these years later, with the Cold War long over thanks to Reagan, a Democratic president is now telling the American people that with enough shovels, they can “absorb” a nuke.

Ed Driscoll makes a similar point here. But while those are fair criticisms of the usual Democratic chattering class snark, it remains the case that the Obama Administration is right on this one.  Here, for those with long attention spans, is the interagency planning document. And, just for fun, here’s the original Duck and Cover video.

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WHO IS GLENN REYNOLDS? I’m a law professor at the University of Tennessee. I write various law review articles, opeds, and other stuff. I’m a Contributing Editor at Popular Mechanics. I’m a columnist at The Washington Examiner. My most recent book is An Army of Davids : How Markets and Technology Empower Ordinary People to Beat Big Media, Big Government, and Other Goliaths. My next most recent book is The Appearance of Impropriety: How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business and Society, (The Free Press, 1997) coauthored with Peter W. Morgan. For something completely different, see Environmental Regulation of Nanotechnology: Some Preliminary Observations, from the April, 2001 Environmental Law Reporter. Some of my other law review writings can be found in PDF form here. I’ve also written for The Atlantic Monthly, URB, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. I’m interested in everything, but my chief interest is in the intersection between advanced technologies and individual liberty. The vast majority of my writing touches on this in one way or another.
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