Hawaii Missile Alert In Error

People in Hawaii got an alert over their mobile phones that turned out to be wrong.

It was also on tv, and there are reports of sirens going off.

But it turns out that it seems to have been, uh, a drill.

And then comes the commentary.


I’ll update when I’ve got reliable information on what went wrong. I’m seeing several possibilities on my Twitter stream.


Meanwhile, open thread!


154 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Happy drones, working towards the Führer, building the case for preventative war against North Korea.

    “Because next time it might not be a drill…”

    ETA Nice to see Tulsi Gabbard doing something useful for a change.

  2. 2
    Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    Somebody’s career is over today.

  3. 3
    No Drought No More says:

    My initial reaction is to hope it was a simple mistake but to also suspect it of being a black-psych operation, the type to which the Dick Cheney’s in the United States government are so wedded. That is to say, is IS meant to prepare us all for next war they intend to launch in our name.

  4. 4
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Aardvark Cheeselog: Except if they get promoted for it.

  5. 5
    Suzanne says:

    Holy shit. I cannot imagine.
    And because of the PO(tU)S, absolutely everyone believed it was real, I bet.

  6. 6
    germy says:

    I remember the “Child of the ’50s” comedy album. Robert Klein said he grew up hearing sirens every day at noon. Test drills. Then he wondered “what if the Russians bomb us at noon?” He imagined them saying “We’ll bomb them during lunch!”

    He and his classmates were issued dog tags. “In the event your bodies are burned beyond recognition,” was how it was explained to them.

  7. 7

  8. 8
    Another Scott says:

    It’s a good thing that Bradley P. Moss, Esq. is on top of things and knows everything about the emergency alert system in Hawaii and what happens when it’s activated. Having people like him overseeing our safety and security – people who have never made a mistake and have always been in a system that has never made a mistake – is such a comfort in these trying times.


    Who was it that said that Twitter turns everyone into an idiot?


    (Who is glad he has continued to successfully resist the temptation to sign up to Twitter.)

  9. 9

    Tulsi Gabbard has a low battery for 8am on a Saturday!

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    I took a nap and now it’s April 1.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    What if the President had been scrolling through Twitter and saw that?

    Technically, still a risk.

  12. 12
    SFBayAreaGal says:

    I have a friend who is temporarily working on the island of Oahu and she posted the alert on Facebook as well as this:

    “It took 38 mins for them to send out an alert that this was a false alarm. An error. We evacuated to a shelter. With no clue what was really going on. I’m still shaking. I need a drink.”

  13. 13
    Mike J says:

    When you have a drill, do not include the words, “this is not a drill” in case it leaks. In fact, maybe include the words, “this is a drill.”

    Everyone I know in radio has a story about some guy who grabbed the red EBS cart when they were supposed to run the test.

  14. 14

    This is just trump reminding us that he’s keeping us safe.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    At least we know the missile alert system works.

  16. 16
    Arclite says:

    Yeah, I was asleep in bed when I got that alert. Not fun. Then it took authorities an hour to send a second alert, canceling the first. I grew up across the river from the Groton sub base in CT, so I’m no stranger to the nuclear threat. There were no sirens going off or anything, so I figured it was a hack or something.

    That being said, I guess it would be a good idea to create a grab bag with some energy bars, water, and potassium iodide pills for this contingency. DPRK doesn’t have miniaturized nukes yet, but it’s just a matter of time before they get something they can stick on a missile.

  17. 17
    d58826 says:

    But see how easy a mistake could escalate in a tense situation like the 38th parallel. In 1983 nuclear war was averted because a Russian officer took the time to double check something. That also was a time of heightened tension due to Saint Ronulus the Unready and his loose talk about nuclear war.
    There was an incident in the 60’s when the BMEWS early warning radars first went on line. The radar lightup with incoming missiles and since it was the height of the cold war every one thought that this was IT. Fortunately some very cool/levelheaded field commanders realized that the computers were not resolving target locations. Someone also asked where was the soviet leadership. The answer was at the UN. They didn’t think that the USSR would start WWIII with the Soviet PM in New York. What they realized was the radar was so powerful it was returning echos from the raising moon.

    Given the NK power structure there might not be any one around Kim who would be brave (or suicidal) enough to double check before pushing the button. Unfortunately there might not be anyone in DC either.

  18. 18
    Ryan says:


    Of course that’s what we would expect to hear… from North Korean hackers!

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Mike J: This may or may not be a drill.

  20. 20
    raven says:

    Grab your cocks and pull up your socks, Charlie is in the wire!!!

  21. 21
    Arclite says:


    Holy shit. I cannot imagine.
    And because of the PO(tU)S, absolutely everyone believed it was real, I bet.

    Hawaii officials have been prepping for this over the past 6 months or so. That they are putting these alerts in place is a sign of good government, despite today’s mistake. And yes, Trump’s belligerence is partly spurring this action.

  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    Hawaiians have been paying close attention to all things North Korean the last couple years. For no discernible reason I’m on Hawaii state rep Gene Ward’s mailing list and received a Town Hall North Korea disaster preparedness invite back in November. I’m sure that was a fascinating conversation.

  23. 23
    Mike J says:

    @Baud: Schrödinger’s drill.

  24. 24
    Baud says:


    And because of the PO(tU)S, absolutely everyone believed it was real, I bet.

    Because of Trump, there was a decent chance the missile was coming from the mainland.

  25. 25
    Arclite says:

    No sirens went off in Honolulu. I live less than a mile from the capitol.

  26. 26
    Mike J says:


    That being said, I guess it would be a good idea to create a grab bag with some energy bars, water, and potassium iodide pills for this contingency.

    Fill your bathtub, sinks, and every pot and pan with water. It’s easy to use literal tons of water. You cannot have too much of it stored if there’s a chance you might be without. If you’re near the beach maybe even consider having a solar still (or the stuff to throw one together). They’re slow and inefficient but don’t require anything other than seawater and sunshine.

  27. 27
    Davis X. Machina says:

    “I think you’ll all agree with me that this just underscores the necessity of doing something about North Korea, and soon — like before the mid-term elections.”

  28. 28
    Arclite says:

    My daughter had swim practice at Punahou school (yes, where Obama went). The coaches took precaution and sheltered the kids in the basement of the gym until the all clear.

    It’s good to see people responding properly to these alerts, even when they turn out to be false.

  29. 29
    John Revolta says:

    In 1959 in Chicago when the White Sox won the pennant, the Parks Commissioner thought it would be a good idea to set off all the air raid sirens all over town. At 11:30 PM. Hilarity ensued.

  30. 30
    Scott Alloway says:

    @Arclite: You a Whaler? I’m Class of 68.

  31. 31
    Arclite says:

    @Mike J:

    Fill your bathtub, sinks, and every pot and pan with water.

    I live in an apartment, and will have to shelter in the basement. After receiving the warning, I’ll have ten minutes to shelter, so there probably won’t be time for that.

  32. 32
    d58826 says:

    Well according to Twitter the bright side of all of this is Der Fuhrer was out on the golf course so his little hands weren’t close to his big button. Since it was an Obama admin. official tweeting it I suspect a strong snark factor was involved.

  33. 33
    Fair Economist says:

    @Mike J:

    When you have a drill, do not include the words, “this is not a drill” in case it leaks. In fact, maybe include the words, “this is a drill.”

    Seems obvious but…

  34. 34
    Arclite says:

    @Scott Alloway: I’m a Lancer. I lived in Quaker Hill near Conn College and the CG Academy, and went to Waterford High, ’87 grad. Then to UConn, ’92 grad.

  35. 35
    Chyron HR says:


    Fixed the typo.

  36. 36
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike J:

    Schrödinger’s drill.

    Is that when you simultaneously have a cavity have no cavity?

  37. 37
    d58826 says:

    I’m old enough to remember the duck and cover drills in school. They would show a film of what Hiroshima looked like after the a-bomb was dropped and then explained to us how hiding under our desks would keep us safe. Even at 10 years old that didn’t make a lot of sense.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    dmsilev says:

    Why would Trump care if some exotic foreign country like Hawaii was attacked?

  40. 40
    smedley the uncertain says:

    POTUS establishing himself as a war time president is a great way to perpetuate himself in office.
    Even to the extent of cancelling elections or invalidating other candidates. Just sayin…

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    That tune will change at some point.

  42. 42
    Emerald says:

    @d58826: I did lots of duck and cover drills under my desk. I even remember one practice evacuation, where we walked home from school all together (those of us going in the same direction).

    Entirely out in the open, of course.

  43. 43
    jimmiraybob says:

    MADACA! Make America Duck and Cover Again! (And just when I was worried that all my early childhood training in D & C was going to go to waste.)

  44. 44
    Mike J says:

    @debbie: Not if there was an actual drill going on. It has happened several times in the past. When you do a drill, you should practice exactly what you would do if it were real. So somebody did exactly what they would do and hit the alarm button instead of the test button.

  45. 45
    The Dangerman says:

    Trump: “All they talk about is my calling those horrible places shitholes; what can we do to change the topic?”

    Hawaii: “Hold my beer.”

  46. 46
    Suzanne says:

    I’m finally feeling like we’re great again! Woohoo!

  47. 47
    rikyrah says:

    this is crazy.


  48. 48
    CaseyL says:

    @Mike J: There should be a [Are You Sure?] message after they hit the alarm button, like ordinary computers do when you’re about to delete a document. Even if it isn’t a drill but a real attack. Because if you don’t have time for a confirmatory step, there’s no point in issuing the alarm anyway.

  49. 49
    Scott Alloway says:

    @Arclite: My brother’s three boys are Lancers. Two are still in WHS. I grew up in New London near the Sound Lab and across from EB. Still remember the missile crisis in 62 with the subs heading out. The fears of those days are returning with Trump’s actions.

  50. 50
    d58826 says:

    @Emerald: We lived right behind the volunteer fire company. It had the usual fire siren and of course the air raid siren. During the Cuban missile crisis, every time the siren went off we held our breath until we head the first fire engine heading out to the fire. Was uncharitable but was never so happy that someones house was on fire rather than……………..

  51. 51
    Soprano2 says:

    My husband’s son in Hawaii called us about this and left a message; all I could hear was inbound nuclear missle to Hawaii. I googled fast and was relieved to find it was an error. I texted him about it. I hope he got it.

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    This is so sad.

    Almost 35 years ago, she let a stranger hold her newborn. It has haunted her ever since.
    By Paul Duggan January 12 at 2:06 PM

    The woman in the bus depot, the perpetrator, was amiable and chatty, Eleanor Williams tearfully told the police.

    This was long ago, after Williams, young and naive, had been tragically preyed upon, investigators said. Today, it’s a cold case.

    The woman, whose crime in the terminal that day shattered Williams’s psyche, was African American and appeared to be in her 20s, Williams recalled, speaking publicly for the first time in decades about a mystery that has perplexed D.C. police. Williams said the stranger’s perfidy left her so mired in guilt and shame that she later contemplated killing herself.

    The woman, about 5-foot-3 and slender, struck up a conversation with Williams in the passenger waiting area, cooing over Williams’s infant daughter. After a while, in the sweetest voice, she asked whether she could hold the child.

    Please? Just for a minute?

    She said her name was Latoya.

    Which might have been a lie. Who knows?

    She said she was headed “out west” — maybe also a lie.

    Williams was 18 then, on Dec. 2, 1983, a date that haunts her. She had grown up on a nine-acre farm in southeastern Virginia, and she still lived there. Before that morning, when she set out for Kansas by motor coach with her daughter, she had never ventured more than 30 miles from her home, she said.

    Her baby, April Nicole Williams, 3½ months old, was bundled in a pink-and-white snowsuit. The trip’s first leg, 200 miles, brought them to downtown Washington, to the old Trailways depot at 12th and I streets NW, which closed not long afterward.

    They were scheduled for a three-hour afternoon stop. Carrying April and her diaper bag, Williams, who had been awake since before dawn, trudged into the station and sat down wearily, with 1,200 miles of highway still ahead of her.

    Latoya, if that was really her name, “came over next to me at some point and just started talking to me,” Williams said recently at her Connecticut apartment, sobbing as she described the awful mistake she made 34 years ago. Latoya “was being friendly, asking me lots of questions. Like, ‘Where are you going?’ And, ‘How old is your baby?’ She was nice, you know? Then she was like, ‘Do you mind if I hold her?’ And I was sitting right next to her, right there, so I said okay, and I let her.”

    Until lately, Williams, 52, hadn’t spoken publicly about her firstborn child since the week in 1983 when her world fell apart. She kept the memories mostly to herself, buried under a weight of sorrow. In her apartment, she shared the story haltingly, pausing for long stretches to gather her composure.

    The woman, cradling April, said the baby needed a diaper change, Williams recalled.

    “She said: ‘Oh, I’ll take her to the bathroom. You look tired.’ And I was skeptical, like, “Well . . . okay, I guess.’ Because I was tired. And I thought about it, but I had already said okay, and she had already got up and taken her to the bathroom.

    “And then, I don’t know, about 10 minutes later, when she didn’t come back, I started getting nervous.”

    Williams struggles every day to live with this: She entrusted her infant daughter to a stranger in a bus station, some woman. Latoya was her name, or maybe not.

    “She went to change her,” Williams said, “and I never saw them again.”

    ‘I blame myself’
    One year ago yesterday a 3-month-old girl was kidnapped at the old Trailways bus terminal in downtown Washington, prompting one of the largest and longest manhunts in the city’s history. Today, while the chance of the baby’s return has decreased, the hope, it seems, has not. — The Washington Post, Dec. 3, 1984.

    There’s still hope, although very little.

    She weighed 11 pounds when she vanished.

    Assuming she is alive, she turned 34 last summer.

    “I’m pretty sure this is the only cold-case kidnapping we have, the only stranger kidnapping, where we still have a victim out,” Cmdr. Leslie Parsons, head of the D.C. police criminal investigations division, said recently. Parsons wouldn’t discuss details of the case, but apparently there isn’t much to say. “About the only thing we can do proactively at this point is put it out in the media,” he said. “Hopefully someone will see it, and they’ll call us.”

  53. 53
  54. 54
    jimmiraybob says:

    If this had been announced on Fox & Friends I assume that there would have been a massive retaliatory attack on someone somewhere. Probably Hillary. Maybe NK. Possibly the UK.

  55. 55
    Arclite says:

    @Scott Alloway:

    My brother’s three boys are Lancers. Two are still in WHS. I grew up in New London near the Sound Lab and across from EB. Still remember the missile crisis in 62 with the subs heading out. The fears of those days are returning with Trump’s actions.

    Yeah, I’d have dreams of the nuclear flash only to wake up with the sun streaming through my window and onto my face. My folks still live in Quaker Hill, although I live in Hawaii now, and my brother in Spain. Still, I love CT. Great people and a beautiful state.

  56. 56
    PJ says:

    Well, Cole’s hero Chelsea Manning has decided to primary MD Senator Ben Cardin (D) this year. https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/chelsea-manning-files-to-run-for-u-s-senate-in-maryland.html . I’m sure that will end well.

  57. 57
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    There was that incident in 1984 were the Soviet early warning system was seeing false launches from the US at the Soviet Union. The only reason we are still alive today is the officers in charge didn’t trust their equipment.

  58. 58
  59. 59
    rikyrah says:

    I’ve said for awhile that the goal was to kill these American Citizens.

    Puerto Ricans Have Been Committing Suicide Nearly Every Day After Hurricane Maria, Report Shows

    Source: Newsweek Magazine


    BY MARIA PEREZ ON 1/13/18 AT 8:00 AM

    The rate of suicide increased to nearly a suicide a day in Puerto Rico in November, according to a recent report released by The Commission for the Prevention of Suicide. At least 227 people committed suicide on the island last year, a 16 percent increase compared to 2016, according to the report released Tuesday from the commission, which is part of the Department of Health of Puerto Rico.

    After Hurricane Maria, 26 people took their own lives in November, or nearly one person a day. The suicide report also found that 85 percent of suicides are committed by men, and 14 percent are committed by women. Many health specialists and doctors said the spike in suicides can be linked to the aftermath of the storm that struck the island on September 20 and the destruction of basic resources like food, water, electricity and housing.

    “If someone is in a position where they do not have any electricity, water or a roof over their head, you’re going to either break and sometimes break to the point of committing suicide,” said Alicia Schwartz, a home care nurse from New York City, who volunteered in Puerto Rico through the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union after Maria hit the island.“You can only live so much without the simple necessities of having a roof over your head.”

    Dr. Kenira Thompson, who is in charge of providing mental health services at the Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico, said she has seen a rise in patients since the storm. “A lot of patients are presenting severe mental health issues since the storm and the number of patients in our clinic has increased dramatically,” said Thompson. “Not one person that has lived through the storm can’t say they weren’t touched by what happened.”

  60. 60
    Baud says:

    @PJ: I blame Obama.

  61. 61
    rikyrah says:

    in moderation, please help

  62. 62
    JMG says:

    The problem with false alerts like this one, besides the big one of scaring people out of their wits for no reason, is that it will cause X number of people to distrust and hence ignore the alert system if it sounds for a much more likely natural disaster (tsunami in Hawaii’s case).

  63. 63
    Mary G says:

    My clearest memory of duck and cover is that they said if we were out on the playground girls should crouch and pull their dresses up over their heads. It caused an uproar with boys worried about catching cooties and girls fearing death by embarrassment. I just thought it was stupid because even at six it was obviously useless to think a yard of cotton would be any help at all.

  64. 64
    Timurid says:


    Inside the wire? He’s already in the White House…

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @Mary G: I…have never heard of that. How creepy.

  66. 66
    Mike J says:

    @Redshift: Earthquakes won’t have paid posters spreading disinfo the way a real attack would.

    We’ll have to get by with twitter’s standard amount of disinfo.

  67. 67
    Jager says:

    When I first got into radio, there were 3 scripts provided to radio and television stations in case of nuclear attack, the last was “attack is eminent”. All the stations recorded them, because, hey who the hell could go on the air and let people know missiles were on the way and life as we knew it was over. The news director did the recording for my first station, he did the attack eminent recording and signed it off, “this is_________ and thanks for listening.”

  68. 68
    Adria McDowell says:

    Holy fucking shit.

    @Chyron HR: I am fucking WEAK!! Lol!

  69. 69
    Adria McDowell says:

    @rikyrah: I will never forgive this administration or anyone associated with it.

    That story you posted about that baby girl….heartrending.

  70. 70
    germy says:

    Ben Cardin is considered one of the more liberal members of the Senate, generally siding with his party on all major issues.

    So I guess it’s time for him to go.

  71. 71
    Chyron HR says:


    Cardin spoke out against Russia, Russian tool primaries him. Not confusing.

  72. 72
    mike in dc says:

    @PJ: Ben Cardin, the author of the Russian interference that just got published? Hmm.

  73. 73
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @PJ: FInally a True Progressive™ candidate for us to vote for.

  74. 74
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Baud: Shroedinger’s airstrike.

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    @Mary G: I got in trouble because I questioned the entire routine. Yeah.. hiding under a desk is not gonna help.

  76. 76
    JPL says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Has Jane Hampshire moved to Maryland yet?

  77. 77
    Waldo says:

    @Arclite: I know the sub base in Groton really well. My father, a CPO, used to take us kids there all the time back in the 60s and 70s. It was like a little town within a town, with stores, doctor’s offices, baseball fields etc. I remember getting a tour of Dad’s old diesel submarine. It was all good fun until it dawned on me that the whole place would be vaporized almost immediately if WWIII broke out. Yeah, those were the days.

  78. 78
    Another Scott says:

    @PJ: Assuming she is actually running (and that filing isn’t some sort of publicity stunt), it would be interesting to see how much Putin-associated money pours into her campaign via the various SuperPACs. And interesting to know what her position on accepting PAC money is, and how serious she is about not accepting skeevy donations. Would be kinda interesting if Mueller’s team found even more links to Vlad and his cronies…


    I don’t think Cardin has anything to worry about, but I hope he understands the best way to address candidates like her. If she’s actually running.

    (“You showed you had very poor judgement in the past and paid a high price for it. Why not show us you’ve got better judgement now by serving on something like an elected school board first??”)

  79. 79
    Sab says:

    @JPL: My childhood FL bombdrills weren’t useful then, but they were useful when I moved to San Francisco with its earthquakes.

  80. 80
    PJ says:

    @mike in dc: @germy: If you scroll down to the bottom of this Washington Post article, https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/the-2018-midterms-are-fast-approaching-first-up-primary-fights-for-both-parties-future/2018/01/06/3b3d20fe-f1b0-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html?utm_term=.5e7174119fc0, you can read quotes from Corey Bliss, of the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is allied with Paul Ryan, indicating that they are planning to support far-left candidates in Democratic primaries.

    I don’t know what Manning’s actual motives are, or who, if anyone yet, is paying for her campaign, but having the only notable thing on your resume being a convicted felon for revealing state secrets to a known Russian operative (even if she was unaware of it at the time) is probably a decent indication that the best result of your campaign will be chaos for Democrats and a weakening of Democratic candidates in 2018 overall.

  81. 81
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Another Scott: It never ceases to amaze me that people like Glenn Greenwald and (potentially) Chelsea Manning will do Putin’s dirty work for him, considering how they would be treated in Russia by his regime.

    Self-hate is so very, very real.

  82. 82
    Kirk says:

    I seem to recall being told the duck and cover was for the people outside ground zero, where thrown debris and collapsing structures were greater threats than the radiation. It’s been a few years, though, and not my field of focus.

  83. 83
    Baud says:


    Corey Bliss, of the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is allied with Paul Ryan, indicating that they are planning to support far-left candidates in Democratic primaries.

    It would be malpractice for them not to.

    On the bright side, I’d prefer the left fully discredit themselves before 2020.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @Adria McDowell: Cash is also very real.

  85. 85
    Another Scott says:

    @Kirk: Kinda-sorta. But it was also to convince us (and by extension the Soviets) that our population and country would survive a nuclear war. If people are convinced that everything will be Ok if they crawl under their desks and cover their head, or if they build a bomb shelter and fill it with water and canned goods, then they won’t demand that the government stop buying weapons that would destroy the world if they were ever used.

    As it was atomic tests during the 1950s probably killed half a million Americans, but we didn’t hear about it…


  86. 86
    Sab says:

    @PJ: Chelsea Manning’s political sense is like my sense of direction. My husband can use it as a compass because I am always off by 180 degrees. I do think she is well-intentioned, unlike Greenwald, Snowden and Assange, but whenever she has a choice to make her choice is invariably horribly wrong.

    If they find Russian connections, then Reality Winner is even more screwed than she already is.

  87. 87
    Yutsano says:

    @PJ: Wait…is she 30? Is she even old enough to run for the Senate?

  88. 88
    Another Scott says:

    @Yutsano: Story says she just turned old enough to run.


  89. 89
    debbie says:


    They should save their bucks for their own loonies.

  90. 90
    cwmoss says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: There is absolutely no cannibalism in the Royal Navy.

  91. 91
    Baud says:

    @debbie: They have plenty of bucks.

  92. 92
    mike in dc says:

    @Baud: Acknowledgement of Russian interference and a pledge to get tough on Russia should be a litmus test for candidates in 2018 and 2020. To inoculate candidates against challenges from the left, they should endorse $15 minimum wage, real infrastructure spending, affordable college, criminal justice reform and medicare for all.

  93. 93
    Sab says:

    @Another Scott: I worked with a guy who grew up in southern Utah. His dad was an open pit miner. Every single member of his dad’s crew died of cancer in their forties, because they worked too close to the test sites.

  94. 94
    Baud says:

    @mike in dc:

    To inoculate candidates against challenges from the left,

    You are a dreamer.

  95. 95
    mike in dc says:

    @Baud: We’ll require them to engage in 4 hours of public self-criticism and then testify against the traitorous Comrade Greenwald.

  96. 96
    Aimai says:

    @rikyrah: heartbreaking.

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @PJ: This is not your fault, but the article is Democrats in disarray disguised as a both sides argument.

  98. 98
    japa21 says:

    @mike in dc: I wish people would stop acting as if medicare for all is some utopian thing and the only meaningful universal coverage mechanism. I would prefer something that provides better coverage than that.

  99. 99

    @Yutsano: Handsome Joe Biden ran for the Senate at 29, his term began after his 30th b-day.

    ETA: Between the time of his electoral victory and his term beginning his term; his wife was in a fatal auto accident that killed her and their daughter and injured their sons; Senator Biden was sworn in in the hospital.

  100. 100
    Baud says:

    @mike in dc:

    They’ll also need to swear to all that on Hillary’s book.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @japa21: Neoliberal.

  102. 102
    Another Scott says:

    @Sab: It was a huge, insidious, enterprise and shortened the lives of many, many people. There is a federal program to pay compensation to nuclear workers, but it’s very modest.


  103. 103
    Thomas Fuchtman says:

    I heard the news on the radio here on The Big Island, and then got the push alert on my phone, about 8:05 am. It was a surreal feeling, but not completely unbelievable, having watched Herr Drumpf antagonize Kim Jong Ill for months now. This is it – that’s what I thought. I went outside to find my lovely wife and tell her that it was time to come inside and prepare for a missile attack. She said I looked scared. We estimated we had about 15 or 20 minutes so we calmly shut the house down, made sure we brought all the bottled water in from the garage, filled a closet with bedding and photos of our children, phones and flashlights, and then sat down together to meet our fate. We were so thankful that we were together.
    After nothing happened in 20 minutes, we checked the internet, and Tulsi Gabbard had just issued the all-clear tweet. Still a little shaky.

  104. 104
    D Myer says:

    @Arclite: funny that it’s assumed if you live in a house so does everyone else

  105. 105
    Yarrow says:


    I do think she is well-intentioned, unlike Greenwald, Snowden and Assange,

    Intentions don’t matter. No one involved with Wikileaks has their hands clean.

  106. 106
    Sab says:

    @Another Scott: Old folks in Vegas tell me the newspaper would publish the times of the nuclear tests, and everyone would rush outside to watch the mushroom cloud on the horizon.

    Dina Titus as NV Sec of State even got a mushroom cloud on the license plates. I really wanted one but I had already left NV. All I had on my plate was a mountain goat.

  107. 107
    gene108 says:

    @mike in dc:

    To inoculate candidates against challenges from the left, they should endorse $15 minimum wage, real infrastructure spending, affordable college, criminal justice reform and medicare for all.

    The Left will just move the goal posts. They did that to Hillary, and Democrats, in 2016.

  108. 108
    NeenerNeener says:

    Twitter says Trey Gowdy just quit the House Ethics Committee.

  109. 109
    raven says:

    @Sab: I watched one when I was a kid.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    Sab says:

    @raven: Where was that?

  112. 112
    Yarrow says:

    @NeenerNeener: Just saw that. He was on the Trump transition team. Bet Mueller has all those emails. LOLOLOLOL.

  113. 113
    Mike J says:

    @Yarrow: Wolf has resigned from the committee for sheep safety. Fox has resigned from the henhouse.

  114. 114
    p.a. says:

    I don’t remember duck and cover, but I do remember being down in my elementary school’s fallout shelter (why? no recollection), and the 55gal drums of water and cases of crackers and cheese (IIRC) there.

  115. 115
    Yarrow says:

    @Mike J: Traitor thinks he can hide. Nope.

  116. 116
    Another Scott says:

    @gene108: Yup. There’s not enough Purity Symbolism in Mike’s list. It would have to include things like: (list of impossible things here).

    Idealism is great and it’s important to recognize the need to aspire to make things better than they are.

    But when idealism becomes set in stone and binary choices used to make incremental progress impossible (e.g. can’t vote for Hillary because she gave some speeches and because she said “superpredators” once 20 years ago), then those who advocate such an approach become enemies of governmental progress.


  117. 117
    NeenerNeener says:

    I guess Gowdy is going to head the House Oversight Committee now, and thinks himself spread too thin to head up both. I shudder to think of the mischief he’ll get up to at Oversight.

  118. 118
    raven says:

    @Sab: Crossing the desert in Nevada in the 50’s.

  119. 119
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: Oh please..

  120. 120
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @raven: I thought that started with: “Drop yer cocks and grab yer socks…”

    Though I do think it would have scared the shit outta charlie to see a mass of soldiers coming at them while holding their cocks and socks…lol!

  121. 121
    Sab says:

    @Yarrow: That was kind of my point, expressed badly. Good intentions with very bad results. And she is apparently continuing on that path.

    Adam Silverman pointed out a few threads back that if you want to whistleblow there are DC law firms that specialize in helping you.

    Kids: don’t try this at home, and don’t do it yourself. If you are smart enough to find the stuff, then you ought to be smart enough to pass it on to the right hands.

    And reporters are not the right hands unless you ate very sophisticated in DC politics.

  122. 122

    I see the news about Gowdy on Google, but it’s only on rightwing rags right now. Of course, it could be that he wanted his friends to know first.

  123. 123
    eclare says:

    @rikyrah: I know, I read that earlier. Hopefully this will get lots of attention and jog someone’s memory.

  124. 124
    eclare says:

    @mike in dc: Oh, that is interesting…

  125. 125
    laura says:

    @Sab: My dad was in the Marines and was sent to NV to stand in a trench during above ground tests.
    He didn’t say anything about it until about a year ago when he and I spent a day getting him qualified for VA benefits.
    I was floored and immediately called the brothers. None of us had any idea.

  126. 126
    Jager says:

    I grew up 16 miles from the 2nd largest Strategic Air Command Base in the country. Drive by on the highway and you could see B52s loaded with H-bombs sitting on the tarmac ready to go. My first girlfriend’s father was a LtC 52 pilot, his job was to fly up to the Fail Safe line over the Bering Sea and wait for orders to strike the USSR, if he didn’t get the order he’d fly home, A couple of days later off he’d go again. Annie and I never talked about it, nobody did.. I reconnected with her years and years later, she said he never talked about it at all or how he felt.. After her dad died, her mom told her she had lived in mortal fear for his life from WWII (he was a bomber pilot in the 8th Air Force) until he retired in the early 70’s. Ann’s dad was a really nice guy with one hell of a stressful job

  127. 127
    Sab says:

    @raven: That makes sense. I was surprised because I had thought you were always a Georgian.

  128. 128
  129. 129
    PJ says:

    @Sab: One of the biggest problems involved with people like Manning and Snowden is that, in normal circumstances, as someone who was mentally unstable and supremely unsuited for the military in the former case, and a high school dropout in the latter, they never should have had access to the classified material that they did. And, assuming the best of intentions for them (which I have serious doubts about with regard to Snowden), neither were mentally equipped to know what to do with the material they had access to, and assumed they could handle it themselves.

  130. 130
    raven says:

    @Sab: Sheet, I was born in Urbana, lived in Chicago until 57, moved back to Chicago in 61, went in the Army in 66, went back to Urbana in 69 and moved here in 84.

  131. 131
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: Are you doing any better?

  132. 132
    japa21 says:

    @Baud: My secret is out

  133. 133
    Another Scott says:

    @Sab: The stupid No Step on Snek flag seems to be the most popular vanity license plate around here in NoVA. I guess it’s useful to have them point themselves out to the rest of us, and it does cost them more every year than the regular plate, so there’s that. ;-)

    The timing of tests can be a handy way to distinguish them from earthquakes, also too. I can’t find it, but one of the more recent nuclear tests (in the last 20 years or so) was quickly suspected of being a test (rather than an earthquake) because it happened exactly on a minute/hour (indicating it was of human origin).

    (“Who, if he had to get a snake flag, would get the ‘join, or die’ one by Franklin.”

  134. 134
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    For the love of Cthulhu, it is 2018. We can send men to the moon (oh, wait…we can’t anymore..) but we can’t have safeguards in effect to prevent falsely sending a “this is not a drill” alert for incoming missiles?

  135. 135

    @Another Scott: In the mid-60’s we had the tests of the Saturn-V rocket engines about 15 miles east of us, and that really felt like an earthquake*(no, they didn’t let us know when they were going to happen).

    *Keep in mind, this was in Southern CA.

  136. 136
    Sab says:

    Don’t want to be maudlin, butI cannot think of anywhere I could go, online or elsewhere, that would have such a diverse bunch of people. Every job. Every location. Every background. Only limitation is the only RWNJs are foreign trolls, but I don’t see that as a negative.

  137. 137
    raven says:

    @Yarrow: Yea, I had another weird wheezer thang last night but, overall, yea.

  138. 138
    Sab says:

    @raven: Well live and learn . I was surprised earlier by the presence of Norwegian immigrants in early twentieth century Georgia, so that now makes sense to me.

  139. 139
    Another Scott says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I remember watching those launches on TV. Just astounding machines. It was neat how they slowly lumbered into the sky and just kept going and going and going, while the Shuttles just leaped into the sky by comparison.

    You might enjoy this (something I found searching around today): How to detect a secret nuclear test (3:47).


  140. 140
    Gravenstone says:

    @d58826: Trust me, it doesn’t make any more sense as you age.

  141. 141
    opiejeanne says:

    @Jager: So, you grew up in Riverside?

  142. 142
    eclare says:

    @Sab: How is your dog doing? (hoping for good news)

  143. 143
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: Glad to hear it. Hope last night was the last of it.

  144. 144
  145. 145
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: you’ve lived in Georgia longer than I have!

    (and you lived in Chicago longer than I did)

  146. 146
    The Moar You Know says:

    I argued here way back when that Manning deserved the death penalty for treason and was called an inhuman monster by almost everyone here. Then got to watch years of weeping over the supposed cruelty of her sentence and living conditions. Well, this is what quite a few of you wanted. Gotta day I’m kind of enjoying the buyer’s remorse.

  147. 147
    J R in WV says:


    His dad was an open pit miner. Every single member of his dad’s crew died of cancer in their forties, because they worked too close to the test sites.

    Might depend on what was being mined in the open pit – they mined a lot of low-grade uranium ore out of open pits out there. And with no more attention to employee health, they almost certainly didn’t pass out effective respirators to the crew.

    Fallout from Nevada test range, also too!! When you watch the nuclear bomb worldwide map, which shows every nuclear explosion from 1945 to 1998, it’s hard to believe anyone lived through it, and not hard to see why strange diseases have cropped up since then. Dementia, anyone?

  148. 148
    Steve in the ATL says:


    : I was surprised earlier by the presence of Norwegian immigrants in early twentieth century Georgia

    Not surprising if you live here: almost every restaurant has herring and grits in on the menu.

  149. 149
    J R in WV says:


    And he’s still alive!! I knew that they did that, sent soldiers and marines to see how fit to fight they would be after experiencing a nuclear explosion. I guess it makes Strangelovian sense if you really expect to have to fight a nuclear war in the Fulda Gap near Poland. Really.

    Glad he made it!

  150. 150
    SC54HI says:

    Chiming in late here from Hawai’i Nei, but you won’t be surprised to know there were at least a few WTF, OMG moments this morning at our house this morning. Spouse & I were questioning the validity of the alert within a minute because there were NO sirens & local radio stations were all business as usual. We have no TV so would not have seen the nuclear attack broadcast that some reported seeing when the first alert text appeared. The most troubling thing is that it took the state over 30 minutes to send out a cancellation alert & it was 5-10 minutes before we could locate ANYTHING online to indicate what the hell was going on. The main newspaper’s website absolutely crashed. Finally found confirmation on Twitter from Tulsi Gabbard, probably the first thing she’s done that’s actually helpful.

    The alert text appears to be locally sourced, with a civil defense employee “pushing the wrong button” at shift change. No hacking, just incompetence.To say that people are furious is understatement. I just want to see a clear explanation (to the extent security requirements allow) and a clear description of how this will NEVER happen again. Like many, I have a ton of questions, not the least of which is how an alert could be triggered without (apparently) any confirmation or directive from USPACOM.

    Of course, the meta-problem here is that tRump et al. make such an alert all too believable.

  151. 151
    sharl says:

    Just some late stuff on this I found via twitter.

    Hawaii Emergency Management Agency statement on missile launch false alarm, January 13, 2018. #hawaiiema https://t.co/hqUiCbgCPK— Hawaii EMA (@Hawaii_EMA) January 14, 2018

    From the attached 2-page .pdf

    HONOLULU — The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) has confirmed that there was no ballistic missile and that there were no computer hacks to the HI-EMA system. The cause of the false alarm was human error. The following is a synopsis of what occurred:

    HI-EMA has already taken measures to ensure that an incident such as the one that occurred this morning does not happen again. HI-EMA has also started a review of cancellation procedures to inform the public immediately if a cancellation is warranted. We understand that false alarms such as this can erode public confidence in our emergency notification systems. We understand the
    serious nature of the warning alert systems and the need to get this right 100% of the time.

    “I know first-hand how today’s false alarm affected all of us here in Hawaii, and I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused. I, too, am extremely upset about this and am doing everything I can do to immediately improve our emergency management systems, procedures and staffing,” saidGov. David Ige.

    The following is a synopsis of what occurred:

    Approx. 8:05 a.m. – A routine internal test during a shift change was initiated. This was a test that
    involved the Emergency Alert System, the Wireless Emergency Alert, but no warning sirens.
    8:07 a.m. – A warning test was triggered statewide by the State Warning Point, HI-EMA.
    8:10 a.m. – State Adjutant Maj. Gen. Joe Logan, validated with the U.S. Pacific Command that there was no missile launch.
    Honolulu Police Department notified of the false alarm by HI-EMA.
    8:13 a.m. – State Warning Point issues a cancellation of the Civil Danger Warning Message. This would have prevented the initial alert from being rebroadcast to phones that may not have received it yet. For instance, if a phone was not on at 8:07 a.m., if someone was out of range and has since came into cell coverage (Hikers, Mariners, etc.) and/or people getting off a plane.
    8:20 a.m. – HI-EMA issues public notification of cancellation via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
    8:24 a.m. – Governor Ige retweets HI-EMA’s cancellation notice.
    8:30 a.m. – Governor posts cancellation notification to his Facebook page.
    8:45 a.m. – After getting authorization from FEMA Integral Public Alert and Warning System, HIEMA issued a “Civil Emergency Message” remotely

    There are a few paragraphs beyond that, explaining how HI-EMA propagated the subsequent ‘it was a false alarm, all is OK’ message, and how they intend to prevent this sort of fuck-up in the future.

    I’m no fan of Tulsi Gabbard, but she gets major props from me for taking the initiative on calming the public, despite the complaints from this “expert”

    For the record, Congresswoman Gabbard inserting herself into the process and tweeting out messages is NOT a good thing.— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) January 13, 2018

    skfalaska‏ @livelifealaska

    Replying to @MarkHertling @TulsiGabbard

    I’m sorry, but if you could have seen the tweets, fathers putting their children down manholes, people saying goodby to their families,…I’m in @TulsiGabbard’s corner on this one. #Hawaii #HawaiiMBB

  152. 152
    Ohio Mom says:

    @J R in WV: I watched the whole video and all I can say is Wow. I had no idea.

    2,000+ nuclear bombs “tested.” A euphemism if I ever heard one. They were detonated.

    It’s amazing we don’t all have active cancers.

  153. 153
    SC54HI says:


    I’m no fan of Tulsi Gabbard, but she gets major props from me for taking the initiative on calming the public, despite the complaints from this “expert”

    No fan here either but her timely tweet was greatly appreciated by many, including me.

  154. 154
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @The Moar You Know: It’s okay. You and Chelsea can both be wrong.

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