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An ounce of prevention


Last Edited: September 5, 2005, 11:58 am


You younger blog aficionado-types probably don’t remember the DEW line…. Distant Early Warning. It was a series of radar stations up in the arctic circle in desolate places, each manned by a dozen or so going-stark-staring-at-radar-screens GIs. Places, those were, such as the Bering Strait islands, maybe the North Pole for all I know.

They were forever seeing waves of Russian Bear bombers and ICBMs coming over the frozen horizon, pushing the buttons to scramble the Strategic Air Command and getting our own missile silos cranking back the doors and lighting fuses so we could get them back before theirs destroyed us.

Those dots on the screens were usually weather phenomena, UFOs, crop circles on their way to somewhere, or just a lot of bored young men with nothing to do. But I’d imagine it caused severe puckering in the Kremlin every time they saw those B-52s taking to the air and all those silos gunning their engines waiting for the next mistake.

But the reason I’m writing this is to tell you New Mexico has something equally effective established along our coastlines. A distant early warning system to keep those Gulf of Mexico storms and Pacific typhoons in their places, should they venture up this way.


First, there’s the warning system, alerting us they’re coming.

Then, there’s a series of concise warnings to those storms, defining precisely what’s allowed within the State boundaries, and what isn’t.


That’s followed by a polite threat, telling them what’s likely to happen if they try to get rowdy despite the warnings. You’ll probably quickly figure out on your own that Carla refers to Hurricane Carla, back in ’62, ’63.

But even with all that, sometimes one gets past the whole system, same as Bear Bombers and Soviet MIRVs probably would have done if they’d launched them.

Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and wait.


Entry #250


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