Stoking the fears of nuclear war

Stoking the fears of nuclear war

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Stoking the fears of nuclear war

Residents of Hawaii woke up one morning last week to an alarming text message and emergency broadcast alerts warning of an impending ballistic missile attack and emphasizing “This is not a drill.” Many Hawaiian residents believed it might be the end of life and that nuclear holocaust was impending. It was a horrendous moment, that turned out to be “a mistake” from the Hawaiian Emergency Management Association.

By Ray Hanania

My daughter tried to call me Saturday, minutes after she received an email from the Hawaiian government to say goodbye.

She had received a text alert from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency that read, “Emergency Alerts: Emergency Alert. BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The sirens were going off and television emergency reports said people had 20 minutes to find shelter.

Text missile alert sent to Hawaiian residents

Text missile alert sent to Hawaiian residents

I couldn’t get the call Saturday because I am one of the idiots who bought into Steve Job’s lying propaganda about how Apple was going to shatter the image of “Big Brother.” My iPhone 6 which I bought only two years ago was crippled by Apple last July in order to force me to purchase a new iPhone that costs almost twice as much.

Two minutes before the 1.5 million citizens of Hawaii expected to be blown up in a fiery mushroom of nuclear holocaust, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent out a new message saying it was a “mistake.”

Eighteen minutes passed with people holding their loved ones fearing the worst, only to be shaken out of their fright by a correction.

My daughter was able to get me 35 minutes later – 19 minutes after the explosion was expected to level Hawaii into a burned out volcanic cinder and explain what had happened.

Thanks to Apple, I almost never got a chance to say goodbye to my daughter. Thanks to the incompetence of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, I didn’t have to say goodbye.

When I was a kid, in the 1950s and 1960s, schools conducted emergency alerts and had us line up and go into the hallways and tuck our heads underneath our arms as we squatted against the brightly painted cinder-block walls. Later, they had us crawl under our wooden desks. We were told that in the event of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union, which launched Sputnik into space in October 1957, the quick-thinking act would help protect us from the nuclear bomb.

That wasn’t true, of course. A nuclear bomb landing in Chicago would have wiped out all life in a 25-mile radius, creating a fireball so hot nothing would have survived, except maybe a few of the cinder blocks smoldering in the radiated atmosphere.

Come to think of it, maybe that would have been an act of mercy for Chicago, eliminating the pain and suffering people go through now fearing they will be robbed and murdered opening their doors at night.

The entire episode was disturbing. What if I couldn’t say goodbye to my daughter, son-in-law and two grand kids? What if it wasn’t a “mistake.”

But what if what Steve Jobs promised us had been really true. That technology would free us from fear and bondage?

I want to take my iPhone and through it through the window at the Apple Store at the Orland Park Mall where I went the other day to try and get it fixed. The poor employee had to listen to an old man rant and rave about how Apple intentionally was scamming customers to force us to spend more money.

Maybe there is no real good on this planet. Maybe we’re all corrupted by the bite of the Apple that Adam took in the Garden of Eden.

Maybe we have no future left.

So why are we wasting our time?


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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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