Wednesday, August 29, 2018

"You Jay Tee You"

Olympia SF and Olympus Pearlcorder L200
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Micro-28 Recorder and Aiwa Tape
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Universal Typewriter Co Slogans
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Post-Script: I didn't mention that I've been collecting Albertsons grocery store receipts. Because the backsides are clear of any adverts, making for "free" (ignoring the cost of groceries) narrow-column typing paper for poetry and prose alike, particularly with the new old-stock silk ribbon in Adobe Rose, the Royal QDL, whose elite font works well for the 3-1/8" wide thermal paper.

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Since this is a UJTU blog article, I should mention that I recently finished reading Daniel Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine. While he's well known for having released the Pentagon Papers, a cache of documents relating to the Vietnam conflict, his original intention was to release a vast trove of documents concerning nuclear preparedness. But in the aftermath of the Pentagon Papers scandal he buried, then lost, that trove of documents. This new book is both a personal history and about what he was able to retrieve, via FOIA documents and through his own personal recollection of having worked as a Rand Corporation contractor in the early 1960s, with access to the highest level of nuclear secrets by any civilian outside government.

What I found troubling was in the early 1960s theater commanders had been given, since Eisenhower's time, permission to initiate nuclear weapons release independent of the President. It was only later that permissive action links (PALs) were developed to, among other reasons, restore control of such weapons back into the hands of civilian leadership.

Ellsberg makes a convincing argument that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an inevitability, given that mass bombing of civilians was already an accepted reality, such as the massive fire bombings of Tokyo and other Japanese cities in the weeks and months previous. While he credits Britain with starting the policy of engaging civilians in wartime though aerial bombing, he ignores the German Zeppelin bombings of England in WWI, and the bombing of Guernica by Germany during the Spanish Civil War. There's also the long history of laying siege to cities and starving out whole civilian populations. War has never been nice, history shows.

His point is that what we came to know during the Cold War as nuclear terror was the result of policies intentionally created for the purpose of inflicting mass civilian casualties, already in effect since WWII prior to the nuclear age. The intention was already in place within the leadership of the Pentagon, he argues; what the reality of nuclear weapons did was enable that intention on a global scale. Certainly food for thought.

I suspect I already know what Ellsberg's critics will say, charging him with taking sides against his own country. However provocative his views, his is a revision to the conventional history of the nuclear age well worth considering.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Richard P said...

I'm impressed by your productivity — typing, videos, photography .... — The idea of all possible images smacks of Borges' "Library of Babel." — Great card from Universal Typewriter Co.! — As for the long-term survival of our blogs, I don't believe in it. They will be forgotten, Google will go belly-up, technical difficulties will intervene, and eventually the remaining blogs will be scraped and purged.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

Polt, you pessimist! :D
Our blogs will live forever, as soon as someone perfects some 3d optical storage solution that's cheap. FOREVER!!

7:40 PM  
Blogger DonN said...

Re: atomic warfare - just watched Dr. Strangelove whilst flying home from Germany. The premise of General Jack Ripper ordering a nuclear strike was expressly disavowed by the US Air Force at the beginning of the movie! I guess Kubrick knew better.

8:14 PM  

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