Author Bob Gleason recalled his extensive research into post nuclear apocalypse and how current events are aligning to provide a very real possibility of a nuclear event in the United States. Gleason mentioned that almost anyone could smuggle small amounts of enriched uranium into the country and “build half a dozen bombs and set them off in half a dozen cities” and discussed his opinion that simply dropping one mass of uranium on another could set off a chain reaction if done correctly. He pointed out that North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un is not “crazy,” he is just doing what he thinks he needs to do to stay in power, at least in his mind. Gleason recalled that Kim’s father (the last dictator of North Korea) actually backed down when threatened with sanctions.
To address some of the issues surrounding nuclear terrorism, Gleason has fictionalized a story about a group of terrorists attack a nuclear plant 30 miles from New York City. He says it would actually be quite easy to do this by destroying or disabling the cooling system. If that happens, he said, the fuel rods would go critical and start a fire that couldn’t be put out and would render an area the size of Pennsylvania uninhabitable for thousands of years. Due to the waste produced by a nuclear fission plant (plutonium) Gleason believes that the plants are “like a starter kit” for atomic weapons. He said that one way to keep terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons and components from North Korea is to not paint Kim “into a corner” and offer him a way out of the situation “graciously,” or a least something that looked like he wasn’t on the losing end of an agreement.
In the second half, journalist, television commentator, and longtime Washington, D.C. insider Sally Quinn discussed how influential the paranormal has been in her life. Starting with her Scottish ancestry and how the family believed in the magic of stones and time travel to the ancestors she communicated with in the graveyards of Savannah, GA, as well as her home where she observed the domestic staff practicing voodoo. All of this was taken for granted in her household, which she referred to as “embedded religion,” by which she means that it was something she and her siblings grew up with and “sort of sticks with you” as one grows older. In college at an Ivy League school (where she says her nickname was “Witchy”) Quinn kept up her occult interests and practices. She says her mother put curses on various people who she says wronged her, and she claimed worked to the point where at least two people died.
Quinn believes she may have had the same abilities as her mother, because at various times in her life, she noticed bad fortune would befall those she wished. She related the story of a journalist who wrote a hit piece on her which she said was “full of lies.” The writer was fired from his job soon after and then developed throat cancer and died. Quinn said that “intellectually, I didn’t believe I was responsible” even though she had consciously placed a curse (or “hex” as she called it) on him. After seeing what she may have been doing, and on the advice of a friend, she says she stopped this activity over 40 years ago. Quinn also told a story of how she saved her mother’s life by calling just as an intruder was trying to drown her in the bathtub because Quinn felt as if she was in danger. She also discussed her romance and marriage to Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee.
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