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Page 5
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My View

By John Zutz

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It's time to duct-tape and cover. We've gone back to the good old days when we were told to hide under our desks to protect us from nuclear attack.

Our newly formed Department of Homeland Security has raised our terrorist alert status to "Code Orange," one step higher than "Code Yellow," but one below "Code Red."

Millions of Americans are wondering what this means to them. Luckily, our leaders have the answer. We need to be more alert. Notice anything unusual and report it to the authorities. Be sure to learn first aid.

We're told to buy plastic sheeting and duct tape, a first aid kit, batteries for the radio, and to stock up on food and water. Pre-cut the plastic to cover the doors and windows of an internal room. (Though I don't understand why an internal room would have windows.)

In case of a chemical or biological attack the doors and windows can quickly be covered with plastic held in place with duct tape to seal the room. Listen to the radio for instructions from the authorities.

The problem is the instructions will come from the same authorities that thought up the actions above. You can bet our leaders have government-supplied shelters for their families. And you can bet they'll be busily giving instructions. But plastic and duct tape is good enough for us riffraff.

Personally, my house is 100 years old, but all the windows are new, so all my drafts come through the walls. I'll need to cover the whole room in plastic sheeting, including the floor and ceiling. Hell, I might as well cover them in aluminum foil as well ? shiny side out to keep out the radiation from any dirty nukes.

The Department of Homeland Security employs 170,000 personnel and has an operating budget of $42 billion plus the budgets of the 22 agencies it absorbed. The best they can come up with is duct tape and plastic?

Is there anyone in the country who believes those steps will protect him or her from a chemical or biological attack? WAKE UP. The economy might get a boost from the extra spending, but these things are no more than psychological crutches, to make you feel like you're doing something.

After two minutes of study a few of us realized the steps recommended by the government were OK, but didn't go far enough. So rather than wait for further instructions, we got together and, with a liberal application of high proof spirits, devised a list of things Americans should do to be really, really prepared. We guarantee the recommendations found below will be every bit as effective as those from the government.

How to prepare for Code Orange:

1. Do your laundry. You don't want to be found by an emergency worker (or a morgue worker) in dirty underwear.

1(a). Throw the ragged underwear out. Holes are just as bad as skid marks.

2. Close the door. Were you born in a barn?

3. Stop making faces. Your face is going to freeze that way.

4. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

5. You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool mom.

6. Stop, look and listen at all railroad crossings.

How to prepare for Code Red:

1. Put your clean underwear on.

2. Place your head between your legs.

3. Kiss your ass goodbye.

John Zutz is a member of the Milwaukee chapter and a VVAW national coordinator.

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