Welcome to my bomb shelter

Reminder: Find out what Nevada candidates for U.S. House and Senate think about foreign policy 5:30 to 7 p.m. June 29 at the First United Methodist Church, West and First streets.

Can’t hurt to be prepared. If you are near the blast when it occurs, I tell my kids, follow the World Health Organization’s recommendations:

Turn away, and close and cover your eyes to prevent damage to your sight.

Drop to the ground, face down, and place your hands under your body.

Remain flat until the heat and two shock waves have passed.

Washoe County students should be learning how to act during a nuclear explosion—right along with “stop, drop and roll” and “just say no.”

It’s a strange new world, kids, where we spend billions on a preemptive war in Iraq only to discover no weapons of mass destruction. Then we ignore hostile nations who are openly planning nukes. Last week, news broke that North Korea’s preparing to test launch a missile of the sort that could reach “Hawaii, Los Angeles, even Denver,” according to one report.

As sudden as the news breaks, it disappears. A day later, CNN covers Bush’s trip to Budapest where he lauds freedom fighters who balked at Soviet communism. Bodies of kidnapped American servicemen have returned from Iraq. “We’ll look at how the steel remains of the World Trade Center can lead the war on terror,” says Perky McFluff, “and coming up, listening to your internal clock—why chronotherapy can be a lifesaver.”

At least, I think she said “chronotherapy.”

Break to commercial. Nothing on Taepodong-2 missiles, North Korea or its leader, Kim Jong Il.

Damn liberal media.

For better background, I suggest watching Team America, the prescient 2004 film by the makers of South Park. Sandwiched between hilarious foul-mouthed show tunes, there’s an underlying plea: Hey, look at this megalomaniac who really is creating weapons of mass destruction.

In the film, the Kim Jong caricature sings that he is “ronely” ("lonely” with a politically incorrect accent).

“I work very hard to make a great pran,” Jong sings, “but nobody ristens, no one understands. Seems rike no one takes me seriousry!”

OK, it’s an offensive ‘toon. But that the United States hasn’t done much—anything—to deal with North Korea (a country not controlling the world’s second largest oil supply) is starkly obvious.

Charles L. “Jack” Pritchard, who resigned in 2003 as special U.S. envoy for negotiations with North Korea, wrote about our nation’s inattention in the Washington Post last week.

“By not talking with North Korea we are failing to address missiles, human rights, illegal activities, conventional forces, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and anything else that matters to the American people,” Pritchard wrote. “Isn’t it about time we actually tried to solve the problem rather than let it fester until we blow it up?”

Change seems doubtful.

“U.S. won’t use direct talks with North Korea” was a headline in the Detroit Free Press.

“Missile interception test a success” in the Kauai News: “A Navy ship at sea off Kauai shot down a test missile in its final seconds of flight Thursday—a successful exercise that came just days after North Korea admitted intentions to launch a long-range missile.”

And “U.S. set to down Korean missile” in the Washington Times.

Hopefully, Bush’s homeland missile interception program will be better prepared for this than FEMA was for Hurricane Katrina. I’m not too worried. If this were really important, CNN and Fox News would be scaring me with coverage of “Cold War, the Sequel—Reheated!”

In the meantime, I’ve got my eyes on a patch of east Sparks desert that would be ideal for a bomb shelter.