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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:46 PM

Europeans Are Laughing At U.S.' Decaying & Antiquated Infrastructure, Utilities, Transportation

America’s Mid-20th-Century Infrastructure

Europeans visiting the Northeastern United States – and many parts of the East Coast — can show their children what Europe’s infrastructure looked like during the 1960s.

In New York, they can take taxis bumping over streets marked by potholes. European children might find it funny. They can descend into a dingy and grimy underground world to ride New York City’s quaint and screeching subway system, if they can figure out where trains go.

snip

Even more wondrous than the archaic subway and rail system and the potholes in the streets is the system of distributing electric power to households and factories in large parts of the Northeastern United States. Power is often still carried on lines that hang in graceful catenaries of various depths from poles that lean left or right randomly but rarely stand straight. And which are vulnerable to powerful storms, like Hurricane Sandy.

When a German high-school classmate visited me, we came upon the intersection below, less than a mile from the center of Princeton, N.J. My friend burst out laughing at the abundance of wires in every direction, something he had seen only on his travels to the developing world.



I spent half a day hunting for a store with flashlights in stock, because a storm had knocked out our power. In five decades in Germany I have never experienced a single power failure, because the power lines are usually underground and well maintained.




Imagine that – life without power failures! In much of the Northeastern United States – and perhaps in many other parts of the country as well – lengthy power disruptions are part of the American way of life. In Princeton, they occur somewhere in the township after almost every thunderstorm or snowstorm, as branches snap from trees and take down vulnerable power lines.


http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/americas-mid-20th-century-infrastructure/?ref=business

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Reply Europeans Are Laughing At U.S.' Decaying & Antiquated Infrastructure, Utilities, Transportation (Original post)
amborin Nov 2012 OP
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #1
MightyMopar Nov 2012 #2
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #3
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #10
HereSince1628 Nov 2012 #16
femrap Nov 2012 #63
CTyankee Nov 2012 #74
Doremus Nov 2012 #77
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #54
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #141
RC Nov 2012 #5
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #9
Sekhmets Daughter Nov 2012 #53
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #142
Lydia Leftcoast Nov 2012 #31
frylock Nov 2012 #76
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #4
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #28
jp11 Nov 2012 #46
CTyankee Nov 2012 #159
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #6
Gregorian Nov 2012 #7
tblue37 Nov 2012 #32
TreasonousBastard Nov 2012 #133
GCP Nov 2012 #154
CrispyQ Nov 2012 #145
Cali_Democrat Nov 2012 #8
tblue Nov 2012 #11
Kaleva Nov 2012 #12
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #15
Kaleva Nov 2012 #20
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #30
GetRidOfThem Nov 2012 #97
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #108
pampango Nov 2012 #147
MichaelMcGuire Nov 2012 #153
Laxman Nov 2012 #13
femrap Nov 2012 #70
kurtzapril4 Nov 2012 #96
femrap Nov 2012 #104
Flatulo Nov 2012 #99
demhottie Nov 2012 #14
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #21
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #23
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #39
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #41
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #44
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #55
Lydia Leftcoast Nov 2012 #33
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #42
ancianita Nov 2012 #50
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #57
GoneOffShore Nov 2012 #107
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #109
femrap Nov 2012 #73
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #98
femrap Nov 2012 #100
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #106
femrap Nov 2012 #129
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #135
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #85
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #103
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #24
frylock Nov 2012 #83
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #116
demhottie Nov 2012 #124
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #127
demhottie Nov 2012 #128
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #131
demhottie Nov 2012 #134
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #136
demhottie Nov 2012 #140
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #146
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #138
grasswire Nov 2012 #17
amborin Nov 2012 #26
NutmegYankee Nov 2012 #18
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #25
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HiPointDem Nov 2012 #45
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HiPointDem Nov 2012 #48
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HiPointDem Nov 2012 #51
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HiPointDem Nov 2012 #58
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HiPointDem Nov 2012 #65
NutmegYankee Nov 2012 #67
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #69
NutmegYankee Nov 2012 #71
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #62
NutmegYankee Nov 2012 #64
femrap Nov 2012 #78
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #19
amborin Nov 2012 #27
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #35
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #82
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #22
byeya Nov 2012 #36
Raine Nov 2012 #37
adieu Nov 2012 #40
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #43
fil62793skx Nov 2012 #122
ErikJ Nov 2012 #52
Lars77 Nov 2012 #86
Diclotican Nov 2012 #60
GiaGiovanni Nov 2012 #61
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #66
GiaGiovanni Nov 2012 #114
MisterJones Nov 2012 #68
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #72
sibelian Nov 2012 #75
CTyankee Nov 2012 #80
Lars77 Nov 2012 #87
davidthegnome Nov 2012 #88
Quantess Nov 2012 #143
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #84
Surya Gayatri Nov 2012 #115
pampango Nov 2012 #150
ErikJ Nov 2012 #79
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #95
ErikJ Nov 2012 #101
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #105
ErikJ Nov 2012 #110
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #111
ErikJ Nov 2012 #118
Sen. Walter Sobchak Nov 2012 #112
ErikJ Nov 2012 #120
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #117
amborin Nov 2012 #137
Junkdrawer Nov 2012 #81
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #119
Divine Discontent Nov 2012 #89
rightsideout Nov 2012 #90
johnq45 Nov 2012 #91
Lars77 Nov 2012 #92
davidthegnome Nov 2012 #94
Lars77 Nov 2012 #121
davidthegnome Nov 2012 #123
Lars77 Nov 2012 #126
Amaya Nov 2012 #93
aint_no_life_nowhere Nov 2012 #102
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #113
Harmony Blue Nov 2012 #125
KittyWampus Nov 2012 #130
Egalitarian Thug Nov 2012 #132
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #139
KittyWampus Nov 2012 #160
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #164
TeeYiYi Nov 2012 #144
KittyWampus Nov 2012 #161
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KittyWampus Nov 2012 #163
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #165
GCP Nov 2012 #156
ThoughtCriminal Nov 2012 #148
typeviic Nov 2012 #149
duhneece Nov 2012 #151
DreamGypsy Nov 2012 #152
elehhhhna Nov 2012 #155
AZ Progressive Nov 2012 #157
butterfly77 Nov 2012 #158

Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:49 PM

1. when austerity eats their ass, bring them back and let me hear them laugh.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:52 PM

2. They'll probably fix their problems before we fix ours because they believe in science

 

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Response to MightyMopar (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:54 PM

3. don't bet on that. Many european nations have histories

wherein empirical reality has been discarded for ideologies that abandon reality.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:00 PM

10. Oh, reeellly? Seerieslly? Pleez, tell us more! This is hugh!

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:07 PM

16. Ok...for starters Germany, Italy, USSR,

Poland,
Moldova
Bulgaria
Serbia
Albania

Great european minds notwithstanding, radicals have gained influence and taken these countries on 'odd' trajectories relying on ideology more than reality.

It's important to remember that all of us on this planet who think we are different are essentially the same as all of the rest. We are THEM.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:25 PM

63. So all of those Germans

 

with solar power for their homes are just off on some radical trajectories????

And placing electric wires underground is more ideology than reality...of course, you can't see the electric wires anymore...so no reality!

Wow, who knew?

Hate to tell you but the debt of the US is worse than that of Greece...but we can print money, they can't.

I'd prefer living in Germany or France....but I doubt if they'd let me become a citizen due to age.

The US already has austerity. Have a big medical bill? You're bankrupt. That's pretty austere, don't you think?

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:46 PM

74. Sure, Eastern European countries that you list...but what about the Western European

countries, or the Nordic countries? Sweden has a very rich social safety net and is still enjoying a budget surplus!

France has the best health care in the world, according to the W.H.O.

And I don't see a rush to the U.S. for our health care system by people in Western Europe! Do you?



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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:48 PM

77. Ah yes, those odd trajectories. Like Germany's rise to 3rd largest exporter in the world

Not like the US, larger. Or their vacation law trajectory .... a minimum of 20 vacation days/yr with any unused time due to sickness transferrable to the following year. Not like the US, better. Or their life expectancy, higher, their universal health care, better, infant mortality rate, lower, etc., etc., etc.

If you're trying to equate the USA to today's Germany, there is really no comparison. I guess I must be missing the point.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:04 PM

54. gee there's a lot of that going around. most glaringly, the tendency to pursue

 

fictituous capital at the expense of real capital.

mostly confined to our own traitorous ruling class.

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Response to MightyMopar (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:07 PM

141. They also believe in taxing the rich - n/t

 

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:56 PM

5. Won't be able to afford to.

 

We are being sucked down the same drain and have been for quite some time. Our current arrogance at 'winning' an election won't allow us to recognize that for the time being.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:00 PM

9. You can hear me laughing at you right now.

 

We've become ignorant barbarians living in the crumbling ruins of a civilization that was hollowed out and looted decades ago while we plant ourselves and our children in front of mind control devices and fantasize.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:04 PM

53. Well said.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:10 PM

142. That is one hell of an indictment. But quite apt. - n/t

 

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:32 PM

31. So austerity is going to cause them to dig up their power lines and junk their trains for

Amtrak rejects?

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:47 PM

76. USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:56 PM

4. The American solution is the prune or remove the trees.

Those pesky trees.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:26 PM

28. The stuff of comedy routines...hilarious, if it weren't so dangerous.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:53 PM

46. Overgrown trees also fall on houses, people, etc.

I've seen far too many old trees that are too tall, too close to the road etc that driving through or near them was frightening when you could see the ones just behind them that fell over or were leaning on eachother or power lines.

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Response to jp11 (Reply #46)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:26 PM

159. We had one of those in my neighborhood a few days ago! In the middle of the morning (after the

storm, no bad weather) this tall oak tree just fell down, KA BOOM! You could hear it all down the street! It looked like some giant hand had yanked it out of the ground, with roots still connected to it! When I heard the sound I rushed to the window and saw the tree fall in the street. It took the city ALL day to cut the tree up, put it in the chipper and haul it away. There isn't even a stump left there...

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:56 PM

6. If Americans weren't so damn provincial they might get a clue that

 

the world has left us behind.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:56 PM

7. It's what you don't see that's critical.

In a series of engineering courses back in the late 80's, I had a professor who was traveling the US with the DOT, documenting corrosion in bridge structures. That was a long time ago. And some of those bridges are no doubt still corroding away. It was a pretty traumatic photo journal.

We put Bush's wars on credit cards. And our priorities are elsewhere. But this is one item that will make itself very evident, and won't be trivial.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:33 PM

32. Actually, that has already happened. A

bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007. Thirteen people died. many more were injured. A schoolbus with 63 kids in it ended up balancing precariously on a guardrail. (Fortunately, s quick thinking bus driver saved the kids.)

That looked like a major wake-up call--but nothing has been done since then to address our crumbling infrastructure, so I doubt that we can expect anything to be done in the future, either, as we continue to deteriorate to developing world status.

On Edit:
In 2010 Paul Krugman posted a piece about this issue:
Read the whole piece at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/opinion/09krugman.html?_r=0

It's an excellent column. You should read it all.

America Goes Dark
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: August 8, 2010

The lights are going out all over America — literally. Colorado Springs has made headlines with its desperate attempt to save money by turning off a third of its streetlights, but similar things are either happening or being contemplated across the nation, from Philadelphia to Fresno.

<SNIP>

In effect, a large part of our political class is showing its priorities: given the choice between asking the richest 2 percent or so of Americans to go back to paying the tax rates they paid during the Clinton-era boom, or allowing the nation’s foundations to crumble — literally in the case of roads, figuratively in the case of education — they’re choosing the latter.

<SNIP>

How did we get to this point? It’s the logical consequence of three decades of antigovernment rhetoric, rhetoric that has convinced many voters that a dollar collected in taxes is always a dollar wasted, that the public sector can’t do anything right.

The antigovernment campaign has always been phrased in terms of opposition to waste and fraud — to checks sent to welfare queens driving Cadillacs, to vast armies of bureaucrats uselessly pushing paper around. But those were myths, of course; there was never remotely as much waste and fraud as the right claimed. And now that the campaign has reached fruition, we’re seeing what was actually in the firing line: services that everyone except the very rich need, services that government must provide or nobody will, like lighted streets, drivable roads and decent schooling for the public as a whole.

<SNIP>

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:30 AM

133. I remember an article in Scientific American years ago where some hotshot in...

the Highway Department (state or federal I don't remember) was shooting his mouth off about how we had the best roads in the world.

Some group sent him to Germany and stuck him in a rental car for a week letting him cruise the Autobahn and the cobblestoned streets of Rothenberg. He came back shaking his head and never said another word.

The problem is that we bid backwards. We send out the specs and see who will be the cheapest contractor. The Europeans say "We'll pay X Euros per kilometer-- what will you give us for that." The the Europeans then actually check to see they're getting what was promised. We build 10 year roads because they're cheaper now, they build 50 year roads because they're cheaper overall.

A while back I-78 was extended from Bedminster NJ to parts unknown in PA. A year or so later it was carved up and replaced. I heard it had something to do with bad concrete, and the roadbed too shallow, but when I met a guy from the NJ highway dept. he told me it was because they didn't expect the truck traffic. "Never ever would a contractor cheat..."

"Didn't expect the truck traffic"? A primary route from the largest port on the east coast to the midwest and they didn't expect trucks? And besides, aren't interstates all to be built to minimum standards? Standards that include truck traffic?

Thieves and idiots-- what could possibly go wrong.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #133)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:17 PM

154. I once saw a documentary about the autobahns

The road bed is built to about 3ft thick, whereas American interstates are around 1ft. No wonder they don't last especially when you factor in the extremes in temperatures found between summer and winter in the US.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:32 PM

145. There was a TV show called "America's Inspector" or something like that -

where an engineer inspects various bridges, seawalls, damns, etc.

Alarming is the word that comes to mind.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:58 PM

8. Those silly Europeans. What do they know? Damn Socialists!!!

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:00 PM

11. I find it pretty embarrassing

that we've let ourselves deteriorate to that state. I see it in the potholes in the streets of even my really tony little California town. I mean I live in a very expensive city that is a tourist destination and even IT is looking run down and neglected. (The rent is still high though.)

Where I grew up, in SoCal, looks like a third world country. That's what my kid and my nephews said when they were little, and that was 15 years ago, before the city went bankrupt. Today it is all closed businesses and tumbleweeds.

That's the trickle-down economics the Repubs in gov't champion. And they're so proud.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:01 PM

12. They ought to go to Russia which makes up a big part of Europe

Or to the Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, Poland, Serbia, Albania, and a few other places to see decaying and antiquated infrastructure.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:05 PM

15. I suspect the writer was speaking of Western Europe's infrastructure.

On the basis of that comparison, I'm afraid the US doesn't measure up very well.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:15 PM

20. And he probably wasn't thinking of Spain, Portugal and parts of Italy like Sicily.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #20)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:31 PM

30. I suspect that even the southern, historically more impoverished regions of those countries

would measure up very favorably against parts of rural Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, ad infinitum.

ETA: For example, Spain now has one of the fastest and most modern train networks in Southern Europe.

Sicily, as a rule, benefits from the same modern transport and health care systems as the rest of Italy.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:34 PM

97. Have you been to Albania? Or Serbia? Just to name a few....

I have. To both.

New roads being built.

European infrastructure being built everywhere, using European donor money.

It's not where you are, but where you are going. The fact is that many developing economies are on their way up in infrastructure, while we are going down.

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Response to GetRidOfThem (Reply #97)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:13 PM

108. Word! +1,000!

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Response to GetRidOfThem (Reply #97)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:07 PM

147. Great to hear that the rest of Europe is doing that for Serbia and Albania.

They certainly have the knowledge that 'we are all in this together'.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:17 PM

153. Some of the fastest internet on the planet is in eastern Europe, putting even the west to shame.

 

Only Stockholm and Hamburg are in the top 10.

http://bturn.com/4440/eastern-european-cities-have-the-fastest-internet

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:02 PM

13. Its the "Romneyization" of the utilities....

they are being managed for two things. Shareholder return and executive compensation. You can only do so much cost reduction with fuel costs and production so they cut re-investment, maintenance and employees. The result is the disaster we got after Sandy. When the guys from Michigan (good hard-working union men by the way) were fixing the lines in front of my house they were lamenting how antiquated our systems were. This is what we have wrought. No paying forward to future generations with any type of infrastructure investments. All to finance tax cuts, shareholder return and profits today. Only its starting to catch up with us.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:35 PM

70. This past 4th of

 

July, OH suffered a "Decho Storm." I had never heard of such a thing, but I did look at the radar online and it was like a big 'U' or 'V' shaped storm traveling across the state.

We had no electricity for nine days....and of course it was during a Heat Wave with temps of 100 degrees. Now our great American Electric Power is demanding that WE, THE CUSTOMERS pay for the work they had to do to get our electricity back on.

As far as I'm concerned if a Utility can't set aside money for STORMS, the CEO and all upper management deserves to be FIRED.

I miss John Kenneth Galbraith....he was a great economist and human being.

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Response to femrap (Reply #70)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:28 PM

96. They're called "derechos."

They're straight line winds that can cause as much damage as some tornadoes.

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Response to kurtzapril4 (Reply #96)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:00 PM

104. I left out the 'er'....

 

And I can't pronounce it either. I thought it was a 'derecho' because of its shape. Well, let me tell you....there was NO great amount of damage.

A few trees down, but nothing even close to a tornado. No roofs came off...maybe some shingles. It just doesn't take much of a storm to bring the electricity to a stop. We finally got a generator....well worth the investment just to keep the food that is in the freezer.

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Response to Laxman (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:54 PM

99. Wish I had a link, but am anecdote will have to suffice - 30,000 utility workers, mostly

union electricians and linemen, have been laid-off in the past 20 years. Of course the CEOs of the utilities are doing pretty well, as you can imagine.

A strong wind here in Massachusetts can knock out the power for a week.

Last year we lost the power for a week, and some places lost it for a month, because we had 4" of snow.

I'm saving my pennies for a generator, as I'm sick of it. Gas and electric total over $300/mo for my shittly little 1200 sq ft home, but they're just not reliable anymore. Even when it's 'working' we get surges and micro-brown outs that reset everything in the house with delicate electronics on board, which these days is everything.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:03 PM

14. Ha ha Americans are so dumb and it looks like a third world country!

Ah, nothing like a German making fun of other countries with infrastructure dating back to before WWII.

It's ridiculous to boast that Europe is more advanced and "we'll maintained" without acknowledging that it was pretty much rebuilt from scratch after WWII.

Maybe between fits of laughter, you can remind your friend that we didn't have the benefit of an invasion by his homeland Germany to necessitate a complete rebuild.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:18 PM

21. Europe's highspeed rail system did not exist in the postwar 1950s.

It has been designed and built within the last 30 years.

During that same time period, the US has systematically definanced and dismantled its own antiquated passenger rail system.

Broadband fiberglass internet connections? No contest--European broadband subscribers proportionally far outnumber US customers.

These are just two examples. I could name many others, but you can do the research on the web.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:20 PM

23. key word *systematically*. Because they're disinvesting in the US & sucking out

 

capital to move elsewhere.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #23)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:44 PM

39. Precisely, the US tax system is a disincentive

to invest in publicly owned infrastructure.

Privatization, privatization--the commons-destroying, myopic mantra of the investor class.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #39)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:45 PM

41. It also incentives the activities of vulture funds, according to david stockman. which means the

 

politicians are incentivizing the destruction.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:48 PM

44. And both political parties are equally guilty of the plunder.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #44)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:07 PM

55. no doubt at all. incentivizing the plunder.

 

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:34 PM

33. And when I was in Denmark, I saw ads for broadband fiberglass Internet for the equivalent of

$20 a month, and it wasn't the introductory rate. Broadband is also very inexpensive in Japan.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #33)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:46 PM

42. France, where I live, has been shown to have the best

broadband internet deals in Western Europe, if not in the world.

I find it incomrehensible that there are still Americans limping along with dial-up in this day and age.

ETA: Unlimited highspeed internet, unlimited telephone calling to more than 60 countries, television connection to 500+ channels (granted many of them are garbage, but still...), unlimited calling to all cell phones in mainland France...all for roughly 42 bucks a month (VAT included).

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #42)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:59 PM

50. It's the result of private sector 'free market' economies, instead of govt run economies of scale.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #50)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:12 PM

57. But, the initial investment in "deep" infrastructure, which

underpins and enables the subsequent "freemarket" initiatives, comes from public finance.

It's a choice. Europeans are generally OK to pay higher taxes than Americans over-all, because they know it's for the common good and that everybody will benefit sooner or later.
Social Democratic thinking, if you will.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:13 PM

107. Went all crickets on you right? n/t

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #107)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:22 PM

109. Still waiting! LOL!

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #42)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:45 PM

73. Would you be

 

so kind and adopt me? I'm old but definitely not stuck in my ways.

I visited Western Europe (twice) while in college in the mid-70's and I just loved it. And now that the US has dissolved into a financial derivative puddle, my desire to see France again has grown.

If an American has not been to Western Europe, they just don't know what they're missing. I loved the quality of life.

America is experiencing its decline. I don't know if this decline can stop.

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Response to femrap (Reply #73)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:45 PM

98. Femrap, I sympathize totally with your feelings about Western Europe...


I've been here for 30+ years and am now a senior citizen like yourself. In fact, I'm a naturalized dual-national.

Setting up in another country and culture isn't for everybody. Getting accustomed to different habits and a foreign language can be a source of great frustration and confusion. Believe me, in the early years, I questioned my choice many a time.

I've had to sacrifice certain "material" comforts (the outsized McMansion, the gas-guzzling SUV, Wallmart and the mall sub-culture, etc., etc.), but for me personally, the trade-off has been more than worth it.

What many untravelled Americans don't understand is that the "intangibles" have as much or more value than material possessions.

Good food and civil conversation, humanizing architecture and artisan craftsmanship have societal value beyond the mere fact of possessing them.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #98)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:55 PM

100. I've never

 

been a 'material' person. I prefer memories. Never wanted a fancy car or a big house...just have to maintain it, clean it, and insure it.

I am happy admiring Mother Nature and her creatures. Having a great home-cooked meal w/ friends. Dancing.

I've never really felt I was made for this country. But I did get to live in San Francisco for many years...and that was just wonderful.

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Response to femrap (Reply #100)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:10 PM

106. You sound like a lady after my own heart...I always

felt out of synch with the "American Dream" (as I described it up-thread) and always suspected I'd been born in the wrong time and place.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #106)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:41 AM

129. I caught the end of

 

the '60's and really enjoyed those days. I wish I had been born a few years earlier.

Looking back, I see that the US started its decline with Raygun....1980. I went to a New Year's Eve party...1979. I remember when it turned midnight that I felt a change, an eerie shift...as if something was dramatically changing and for the worse.

I was lucky to have been in San Fran so I had lots of good people around me during those horrid 12 years of Repugnants in office.

What era did you want to live? When did you move out of the US? Dual citizenship....that would be very nice. You are blessed.

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Response to femrap (Reply #129)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:30 AM

135. I left the US to live in Europe in the late 70s. A couple of years earlier,

when I visited Europe for the first time, I somehow felt that I'd "come home"--as if I belonged here. My sensibilities seemed to be more atuned to the European psyche.

I would've liked to experience life during the "Belle Epoch" or "Fin de Siècle" in Paris. But, then again, social conventions were pretty stifling back then, especially for women.

ETA: You're so right about San Fran. I've always said that if I ever returned to live in the States, it would have to be in San Fran, the most European of US cities (except for New Orleans). Wonderful place!

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #42)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:57 PM

85. Ah, to live in France! I've visited several times, and think it has everything!

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #85)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:59 PM

103. I understand why you loved it, WinkyDink. The quality

of daily life has a lot to recommend it.

That being said, many people who visit make the mistake of "romanticizing" or "idealizing" actually living here. We ex-pats sometimes joke that, if people really knew about the daily hassles and frustrations, their daydream would die a quick death.

You know, even potentially romantic moments, i.e. riding in a bus up the Champs Elysées, or walking across the Pont Neuf to the Left Bank, lose their magic if you're just running to get to a teaching job or trying to make it to a class on time. Sometimes, you forget to "see" the beauty around you.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:23 PM

24. That's OK, we have other ways. we just declare war on the people, with the same

 

results. ps: WW2 ended almost 70 years ago.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:55 PM

83. and who can forget Germany's huge solar energy initiative back in 1951?

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Response to demhottie (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:52 PM

116. Another contestant for the dumbest post of the year.

 

Isn't an episode of Housewives From Somewhere on now?

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #116)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:17 PM

124. Is this Sexist Pig Week?


John McCain might have been against MLK Day but instead designated this the week for asshole men to call women dumb ?

Fuck you, pal.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #124)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:46 PM

127. Got nothing to do with you being a woman, just your writing stupid things.

 

How would anyone know you are a woman anyway? You call yourself 'hottie' and then accuse others of being sexist?

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #127)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:02 AM

128. My point about US infrastructure being behind European infrastructure due to WWII


Isn't dumb. If you disagree or have an opposing point to make, do it, but there is no need to call me dumb, big shot.

And I would be willing to bet you don't call men dumb and refer to Real Housewives just because you disagree with a point they've made.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #128)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:08 AM

131. You seem to think that I was aware that you are a woman, I wasn't.

 

I rarely note usernames in advance of replying, except for the few that have made a specific impression. I don't think I've ever seen yours before.

I referred to Real Housewives because it is the only show that I believe is still on the air and (maybe?) popular. I haven't watched TV in over a decade so my knowledge of television is limited to what I read and hear other people talk about. I do know however, that television is the single greatest cause of our nation's atrophying mental capacity. Feel free to insert any other broadcast dreck that you consume.

And none of that alters or mitigates the fact that what you wrote is just plain dumb. In the time since we rebuilt Europe and Japan we have had more resources than the rest of the world combined and instead of using them to build and better our nation, we have expended them uselessly building a colossal military mechanism to fight nonexistent enemies in wars that were obsolete 60 years ago, and to fund a massive corporate welfare system that has bought our government, looted, and now abandoned this nation. And still the citizens of this ruin exist in a fantasy world where the U.S. is relevant and our problems are all the fault of somebody else.

We could and should have the best infrastructure on earth. We could and should be completely energy self-sufficient and using oil only to manufacture polymers, drugs, and whatever other technological wonders that we have created but are reserved for the exclusive use of the military. We could and should have the best educated, healthiest population on earth while busying ourselves exporting that boon to the rest of the world.

Which brings me back to what you wrote. The fact that Europe and large parts of Asia are so far ahead of us has nothing to do with the fact that we destroyed them over 60 years ago. It is because we have been too stupid to demand our due for four generations now. They are creating advanced societies, we've created billionaires and a war machine.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #131)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:24 AM

134. You called me dumb and said I should be watching the Real Housewives because you're a sexist pig


All of the points you're making have merit; I don't disagree with you in substance. I have lived and practiced law in both Europe and the United States and while its clear that Europe rebuilt and reimagined its entire infrastructure almost from scratch after WWII with almost unlimited US financing, we certainly could have caught up with and even surpassed Europe with a different set of priorities.

My original point-- that there is irony in a German laughing at the state of US infrastructure in light if the historical context of Europe rebuilding-- is also valid.

But I did not respond to you to debate our actual points of view, I responded because your disrespectful sexist bullshit needed to be addressed. Yes it's the Internet and people can say what thy want, but as a woman and a human being I am telling you that your condescending sexist remark is not acceptable. Now, you may claim that you mysteriously didn't see my female avatar AND that you didn't notice my screen name either, but that's a lie and if you have to lie to defend your comments then you really are worthless.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #134)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:03 AM

136. If you are really an attorney then you know the difference between writing

 

that what you wrote is dumb and calling you dumb. I am sorry that you are determined to go this way, so fuck off.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #136)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:02 PM

140. Exactly what I thought



Your bitter little misogynist heart exposed

And yes, women can also be attorneys.

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Response to demhottie (Reply #140)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:19 PM

146. I'm so happy that you were not disappointed. If you go looking for offense,

 

it's a foregone conclusion that you will be accommodated.

"Life is hard, get as fucking helmet." - Dennis Leary

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Response to demhottie (Reply #128)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:44 AM

138. No, it's worse than that; it's shockingly ignorant

sorry, but European infrastructure isn't just due to postwar rebuilding; a significant percentage of American infrastructure (roads, highways, electrical grid, etc) is also postwar--how many of the current suburbs existed before WWII? Your point that "well Europe rebuilt everything 60 years ago" is just frankly moronic.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:08 PM

17. who owns utilities in German?

Are they nationalized?

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Response to grasswire (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:24 PM

26. mostly publicly owned eom

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:10 PM

18. Germany also benefitted from substantial rebuilding in the 50's.

Whereas the US cities didn't need to be rebuilt, and so the older infrastructure remains. And there's population density - far easier to bury cables underground in a smaller and denser country. Germany is about the size of Montana with 82 million residents. New England is about half that size, with only 14.5 million residents. If New England had 40 million residents, I'm sure the underground cables would be more economic.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:23 PM

25. the 50s were 60 years ago.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #25)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:30 PM

29. And the US Subways and bridges are even older.

Germany benefited from the chance to redesign and rebuild it's cities. If New York looks like a cobbled together mess, that's because it is. We've never had to rebuild it.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:35 PM

34. not where i live, they're not. nor in the country as a whole. the average age of a

 

US bridge is 42 years.

http://transportationnation.org/2011/03/30/report-one-in-nine-bridges-in-america-structurally-deficient-potentially-dangerous/

The study points to the age of America’s infrastructure: the average age of an American bridge is 42 years-old. Built in the 50s, 60s and 70s, along with most of the construction on the interstate highway system.

And it's not about age, necessarily -- it's about maintenance.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:42 PM

38. The article was discussing New York and the Northeast. nt

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:50 PM

45. "the average age of an American bridge is 42" -- where does it say "in ny & the NE"?

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #45)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:54 PM

47. It was in the first paragraph. Did you read the article?

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:55 PM

48. this is the first paragraph:

 

The transportation reform coalition study, The Fix We’re in For: The State of the Nation’s Bridges, found that “despite billions of dollars in annual federal, state and local funds directed toward the maintenance of existing bridges, 69,223 bridges – representing more than 11 percent of total highway bridges in the U.S. – are classified as “structurally deficient,” according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).”

on edit: you mean the op, i see.

according to NYC DOT, the average age of bridges in New york state = 46 years.

https://www.dot.ny.gov/conferences/acceleratebridge/background

you'll pardon me if i don't look up every state in the NE.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:57 PM

49. Wrong Article. I was discussing the OP's article. As is the rest of the thread. nt

On edit:

AVERAGE: Being intermediate between extremes, as on a scale. Admire the George Washington Bridge, built in 1927. Or the Brooklyn bridge.


My whole reply was about the old age of our cities and the never needing to just tear it up and start over, naturally with New York in mind. Also about power lines, which is a topic near and dear to me for obvious recent reasons.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #49)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:00 PM

51. I saw that & appended my post. average age of bridge in new york state, for example,

 

= 46 years = on average, built post-war.

why would that surprise anyone? the 50s and 60s were the biggest building boom in the history of the country.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #51)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:09 PM

56. I was thinking of the GW or Brooklyn bridges.

But my post was about the underground utilities, and the fact that the US has never needed to completely tear down and rebuild our cities. And also the fact that we are more spread out than western Europeans, making it far costlier to bury the power lines.

And trust me, I hate our power grid. I've lost power 8 times for more than 8 hours in the last 16 months.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #56)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:12 PM

58. nyc = not spread out. & little difference between nyc and say paris in that regard --

 

re utilities, etc.

paris wasn't bombed to smithereens in ww2, and neither were many major european cities.

my point is that being bombed isn't the reason they were able to build high-speed rail or telecom.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #58)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:13 PM

59. The OP article was comparing Germany to the Northeast.

NEW ENGLAND IS SPREAD OUT. And Paris isn't in Germany!

My original reply to the OP still stands correct.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:28 PM

65. Title: "Europeans Are Laughing At U.S."

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #65)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:29 PM

67. And the meat of the article discusses Germany vs. Northeast

Which is what my reply was focused on. And will stay focused on.

My main point of interest:

"Last fall, for example, after a brief storm dumped wet snow on trees, many parts of New Jersey, Princeton included, were without power for about a week. Parts of Connecticut were without power for more than two weeks."

I was there! Our power grid is third world, and what we need to do is turn it over to the public again. Corporations care about one thing, and it's not customer service!

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:34 PM

69. well, i agree with you there. but my post was to counter the idea that somehow

 

because europe/germany was bombed in ww2, that made it easier to have high-speed rail and broadband.

not the case.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #69)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:37 PM

71. I agree with you on rail and broadband.

I was focusing on power and underground utilities. Hell, most of the homes in my village don't have public water. They use wells for water and rely on heating oil deliveries for heat.

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Response to NutmegYankee (Reply #56)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:18 PM

62. "8 times for more than 8 hours in the last 16 months"!

Last edited Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:33 PM - Edit history (1)

Unbelievable and unacceptable. Even in the remotest, most backward regions of France, that would never be allowed to stand without a government level enquiry.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #62)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:27 PM

64. It's power lines on poles.

I live in a rural area and I have about a 5 mile run of electric wire from the substation to my house. 5 miles on those dinky 30 ft poles surrounded the entire way by lovely 100 foot trees. It sucks. Sure, the power could be restored faster - IF the corporate raider mindset had not taken over and power companies chose service over excessive profit.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #34)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:49 PM

78. What worries me

 

is water and sewer lines. I don't want to return to 'outhouses.' Or having to pump water. But if I had to, I would.

People don't even think about the sewers and water treatment.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:11 PM

19. I LOVE Europe, BUT! There's money when you don't support a major military presence.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #19)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:25 PM

27. like the Billion+ we're spending in the middle east:

"A billion dollars from the federal government: that kind of money could go a long way toward revitalizing a country’s aging infrastructure. It could provide housing or better water and sewer systems. It could enhance a transportation network or develop an urban waterfront. It could provide local jobs. It could do any or all of these things. And, in fact, it did. It just happened to be in the Middle East, not the United States."


http://www.thenation.com/article/171283/secret-nation-building-boom-obama-years

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Response to amborin (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:36 PM

35. +1,000!

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Response to amborin (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:54 PM

82. Hey, don't look at me; I'm on your side! I was just sayin'!

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:19 PM

22. our infrastructure is decaying because the ruling class has been disinvesting in the

 

US for 30 years.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:39 PM

36. Ask New York City about their aquaducts that bring drinking water from the mountains upstate.

 

Unless it's been done recently, they haven't been inspected inside for decades - too dangerous and the fear is they would collapse.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:41 PM

37. They won't be laughing if on a visit here a bridge they are crossing collapses under them. It's no

laughing matter.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:44 PM

40. You'd think private industries would strive to make great products and services

but in reality, they want to make second-rate products and services, then market them as the bee's knees. Once you're hooked in, you have to keep paying the extra service fees to get the service back up. It's the new business model started sometime in the mid-1980s.

The companies learned it at the feet of the Defense Industry.

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Response to adieu (Reply #40)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 06:48 PM

43. for the same incomprehensible reasons that detroit continued making big honkers

 

when the market demand was for small cars.

seemingly incomprehensible at the time.

i have my own theory about that.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:04 PM

122. good post.

 

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:02 PM

52. Reminds me of Greece and Turkey

I spent 5 months travelling around Europe. The rail in northern Europe is electric, super efficient and on time to the minute. In Greece the rail was coal or diesel, decrepit and it broke down in the middle of no-where for hours. I didnt even bother with rail in Turkey. I took the bus or flew everywhere.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #52)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:58 PM

86. Turkey is hardly Europe. Except for the motorway west into Istanbul.. :)

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:13 PM

60. amborin

amborin

I have never seen that much wires in the air in my own space of the world. I think I have never really seen that much wires overhead - maybe when I was a little boy (before the age 4) It could have been some of the same, before it all was put in the grounds...

Diclotican

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:18 PM

61. Our tax money has gone to rebuilding and defending Europe since WWII

 

They can thank us before they laugh.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #61)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:29 PM

66. What is the US military defending Europe from in the here and now?

What is the specific conventional military threat the US is military defending Europe from in the here and now? How much of our tax dollars are being allocated to rebuilding Europe in the here and now?

If the answers are a) nothing and b) nothing, we have no one to blame for that laughter but our sense of vulture capitalism.

(By the way... the European did thank us. So yes, they can laugh...)

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #66)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:44 PM

114. Ask NATO

 

And keep in mind that the US isn't the only nation with long arms extending into other nations. Check out French activities in its former colonies some time.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #61)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:32 PM

68. DING DING DING DING!

Ungreatful Euros can laugh all they want. There is a reason they haven't gone back to killing each other in Western Europe and it isn't just enlightened thinking....

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Response to MisterJones (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:39 PM

72. I imagine it is rather more convenient to attribute

I imagine it is rather more convenient to attribute a responsible sense of national investment as "Ungreatful" (sic)

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Response to MisterJones (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:46 PM

75. Yeah... you don't know very much about Europe.


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Response to MisterJones (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:52 PM

80. Mister, you really have to keep up! You should get a passport and do some travel and really

find out what is going on in Europe at the present day.

If you can't get yourself educated about what the situation is today, you really shouldn't go online with ridiculous comments.

You just do not know what you are talking about.

Travel will help. I recommend it.

On edit: here's this from Europe: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=GBaHPND2QJg&feature=youtu.be

It is the anthem of the European Union, in case you didn't know...

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Response to MisterJones (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:59 PM

87. Care to guess why the EU got the Nobel peace prize?

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Response to MisterJones (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:03 PM

88. What exactly are you talking about?

Gone back to killing each other? Okay, let's compare the American murder rates with those of any Western European Nation - hell, with Europe as a whole. A simple google search would easily demonstrate that we're failing there, as well. Europe's "enlightened thinking" as you call it, has created systems of universal health care, public education that is far better funded than the American system. It has created public transportation that works, that is generally efficient.

Ungrateful? This idea that Europe should kiss our asses for "saving them" during world war two is absurd. Do you know how many were imprisoned, tortured and killed before the US really considered getting involved? Do you know how many Americans were not only sympathetic towards - but actually contributed financially to the Nazi regime? Quite a lot, our own Bush's Grandfather being one of them.

As much of an ass as Stalin was, without Russia standing in their way, the Germans might very well have seized control over all of Europe and then been in a position to launch a successful invasion of the United States. This was an "allied effort", America didn't just step in and rescue everyone like frigging Superman.

If you're going to be critical of other Nations, you should have valid reasons for doing so. Here, the Europeans most certainly do. This is well deserved criticism that our politicians need to hear. If we don't start taking our rebuilding efforts seriously, then our great Nation will continue to crumble until there is nothing left.

I don't know what the solution is, but I fear it will be too late in coming, if it comes at all.

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Response to MisterJones (Reply #68)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:19 PM

143. Europe is also cleaning up after the US-led invasions in the middle east.

Tiny countries are taking in more asylum seekers and refugees than the US is, which is something I have a hard time justifying.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #61)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:55 PM

84. "defending Europe"? Hardly. Protecting U.S. corporate interests? More likely.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #84)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:44 PM

115. +1,000!

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #61)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:28 PM

150. The Marshall Plan helped Europe from 1948 to 1952. They have done well since the end

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:51 PM

79. Suburban sprawl and inner city neglect/decay is main reason

White flight in the 50's set off the suburban sprawl movement which has drained the cities of their tax base and reason for modernizing.
This never happened in N. Europe and they cant afford to sprawl like America can. Their inner cities are vibrant and modern as a result.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:26 PM

95. "white flight" was engineered. just as "white return/gentrification" is being engineered.

 

if you know what's going on, lots of money to be made in both directions.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #95)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:57 PM

101. Koch brothers trying to increase sprawl/ prevent gentrification return

The Koch brothers have lots of localized mini-think tanks all over the US to act on a local basis fighting any efforts for urban renewal/ gentrification. Here in Oregon they have been fighting electric light rail and laws to prevent further sprawl for 30 years. They want to keep Americaqns dependent on the car as much as possible which sprawl does. They act in alliance with sprawl developers. I am very glad to see the urban renewal accelerating here. The Kochs are losing.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #101)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:06 PM

105. gentrification = ethnic & class cleansing in the cities, ghettos in the suburbs.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #105)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:31 PM

110. Gentrification = urban renewal = good

Most urban renewal includes diversity of races and classes. Yes some poor go to the burbs but they will be closer to where the working class jobs are. The closer the white collars can get to downtown the better for all. It revitalizes the city, brings back the tax base to maintain the city and cuts way back on car commuting/ global warming.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #110)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:38 PM

111. no, it doesn't mean diversity, and you can prove it yourself by looking at the increased

 

whiteness of cities like NYC who are ahead of the curve.

urban renewal = moving the poor somewhere else, usually to where the yuppies moving in came from.

the real estate guys make money both on moving the poor & moving the yuppies & speculating on the real estate -- because they know the score before you do.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #111)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:09 PM

118. NYC is special. Most regular cities its great.

My city is gentrifying and it is still very diverse. It was all boarded up and hopeless before the gentrifying started. Now its the coolest place to be and there is a lot more diversity than before which was alll poor black.

Then the city has targeted old inner city warehouse areas as well that were mostly vacant. They divided the inner city into a dozen "urban renewal districts". The first one is right downtown and is a mix of rich and low income condos and apts. It has created so much property tax that they use the money for the other urban renewal zones one by one. They are attaching them all by street car lines and the whole plan is working brilliant. Our city has been saved from a long slow decline of urban decay and neglect and is now an example for the rest of the US. The Koch brothers HATE US!!

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:39 PM

112. Where in Europe is there NOT suburban sprawl?

Because I have spent a great deal of time in the suburban office parks of Western Europe.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #112)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:52 PM

120. Metro density much higher in Europe

The sprawl is not nearly as spread out as the US keeping the metro area more compact and dense.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #79)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:56 PM

117. No, spending over 50% of all our revenues on corporate welfare for the last 60 years

 

is the main reason.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #79)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:37 AM

137. it's not so much they can't afford to sprawl; they have urban planning policies against it, to prote

protect the countryside, etc...

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:53 PM

81. Not fair. They use Socialism. We only have "The Free Market"....

It's like laughing at a one armed man.

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Response to Junkdrawer (Reply #81)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:18 PM

119. Fair point. Instead of concentrating their wealth on creating billionaires through corporate welfare

 

like we do, they have foolishly squandered theirs on scientific advancement, infrastructure, education, health care. They don't even have Football, suckers!

Ha Ha

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:03 PM

89. where is the video of "laughing" Europeans? ha

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:04 PM

90. I have to agree about the infrastructure

I've been to the UK several times and their transit system is pretty nice. Britain seems like old country but in London the bus stops have digital signs that show when the next bus will arrive. The trains look new and modern. My relatives drop me off at the train station in the outskirts of London and I have never had a problem getting where I need to go.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:06 PM

91. Yep, we are a joke to the rest of the world!

 

America, land of the free and home of the brave!

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:07 PM

92. Americans: "Europe" is not a country!

I see people say well yeah but the infrastructure is really crap in Turkey and Greece!

Not shit, Greece was completely ravaged by world war 2 then was under a fascist dictatorship until 1975. Turkey is hardly in Europe, although it is a crossroads to the middle east and central Asia. Italy and Spain definately has better rail service than the American north east, which is really the only part of America that is comparable to Europe in terms of distance and population density in my opinion.

It all depends on where you go. I think the infrastructure is shit in England, but then again they lean more towards the American economic model..

All European countries are different. The article above obviously refers to Germany and western Europe in general, but most eastern countries are catching up rather quickly. Have a look at Croatias motorway system for example, and they are not even in the EU yet (2013).

Ironically Europeans love to drive in America. That has something to do with the American experience of moving across a large, impressive landscape. Europe is cramped, mostly hilly or densly forested.

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Response to Lars77 (Reply #92)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:18 PM

94. Okay... I think almost everyone knows that, seriously.

No, Europe isn't a Country, it's a Continent. Is there anything else (that is incredibly obvious) that you feel the need to point out to reveal your condescension toward dumb Americans? I agree with the body of your post, but I am an American - and we are not quite as dumb as some seem to believe, despite what the media may tell you, many of us actually know how to read and have glanced at a world map once or twice.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #94)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:02 PM

121. It was ment to be light hearted and humorous... Sorry

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Response to Lars77 (Reply #121)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:12 PM

123. It's okay

Maybe I take things too seriously some times. I'm just so used to hearing from European friends how dumb Americans are - some times I feel like the whole world sees us that way. Of course there's a reason, but it's rough on those of us who have to struggle with the high cost of higher education.

No, I'm sorry. I should have taken the title as what it was, a simple joke.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #123)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:30 PM

126. I have an MA in American studies and i've studied in west kentucky.

I understand you guys get that a lot, i guess i failed to include a bit of humour, i just typed it out quickly I think America has extremes of everything, moreso than Europe. I mean there's some really nutty people there but there's a lot of great people too. You have the University of Phoenix, but then you also have Harvard, Stanford and Yale and MIT.

It was pretty weird living in a dry county where a vast majority of people believe in creationism. But i never met anyone who were rude to me really.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:10 PM

93. I'm laughing too

Our infrastructure is a fucking JOKE! If you've ever been to Europe you know why.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:57 PM

102. I remember my Junior High Civics teacher laughing at Europeans

This was in 1964 and he was describing a trip to Germany, Britain, and France. He said the monuments were filthy dirty and the sewer systems would back up. He complained about telephone service being substandard, with long distance calls getting cut off. I remember him making fun of Europeans who lived in ancient buildings with no elevators or showers or tubs and the fact they didn't bathe very often. There were other things that I don't remember. I never spoke up, but if I had I would have mentioned the fact I was born in Germany (my dad was a U.S Serviceman stationed over there when I was born) and I remember the streets of Weisbaden lined with bombed out buildings still in the late 1950s. Europe took a long time to come around after the devastation to the economies and infrastructures of its cities.

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Response to aint_no_life_nowhere (Reply #102)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:40 PM

113. i very well remember that mentality and the absolute *stupidity* of americans

 

indoctrinated into it. they thought their wealth, and the country's, came from their personal virtues -- the "american know-how", etc.

who's laughing now, eh?

'know-how' and good ideas are a fart in the wind without capital. and the ruling class is draining the capital out of this country.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 11:24 PM

125. Greece is one of the more poorer countries in Europe

But with that said....







A lot like the Skyway Bridge in Florida.





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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:07 AM

130. So DU'ers just lap this shit up... There was a HUGE power outage in Europe in 06.

Yes our infrastructure needs updating but the OP is such bullshit.


Power Failure in Germany Triggers Blackouts in Europe (Update1)
By Maria Sheahan and Francois de Beaupuy - November 5, 2006 12:09 EST

Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Power failure in a German electricity grid operated by E.ON AG caused blackouts across western Europe last night, depriving millions of homes of electricity, disrupting trains and risking outages to hospitals and airports.

About 5 million households in France went without power for as much as an hour in the nation's biggest outage since 1978, Andre Merlin, the director of Reseau de Transport d'Electricite, France's power-grid operator, told the press today.

Overall, some 10 million households across Belgium, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Eastern Europe may have been affected, Merlin said. The grid failure in Germany led to the biggest pan- European power collapse in at least 30 years through a domino effect that swept through Western and Eastern Europe, he said.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #130)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:24 AM

132. And how long did it take to restore power? n/t

 

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #130)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:50 AM

139. Power failure for one hour, six years ago

compared to cumulative outages of many hours, routinely every time there's a storm with lightning, high winds and heavy rain? Multiple times per year? Yeah, there's really a fair comparison to be made there.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #139)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:35 PM

160. LOL! You think that's the only power failure in Europe? It was the 1st on google

Here's the second thing that crops up on a quick glance:

13 October 2012 Last updated at 04:56 ET Share this pageEmailPrint
ShareFacebookTwitter
South West Trains hit by 'major power failure'

The power failure affected trains across the whole South West Trains network
Thousands of rail passengers had their journeys disrupted on Friday following a "major power failure" on South West Trains from London Waterloo.

All services were affected after the "wide-spread loss of signalling across the network".

BTW, I live on Long Island where LIPA charges some of the highest rates and is a miserable failure at keeping power on. It took a week for us to get restored after Sandy. Crews from other states were baffled at the ancient computer system and had to use PAPER MAPS. As I said in my initial post, the USA needs to upgrade infrastructure but the OP is bullshit... and of course DU'ers lap it up.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #160)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:16 PM

164. And yet the fact remains that American infrastructure sucks quite a bit more on average

than in any Western European country. And that there are fewer widespread blackouts that affect hundreds of thousands of people for periods of many hours or days (see: Snowstorms in New Jersey and Connecticut last winter that left thousands with no electricity for up to a week). In fact I don't think you can find a single instance in the past decade if not longer of a major power disruption that affected anywhere near as many people as are routinely affected by US winter storms and hurricanes, or for as long a period.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #130)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:38 PM

144. ONE hour, six years ago...

I think you're inadvertently making the OP's point.

TYY

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Response to TeeYiYi (Reply #144)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:37 PM

161. Okay, now I'll just post a bunch of other European power outages.... Denmark

since DU"ers seem to take the OP as gospel... and honestly think Europe NEVER has power outages.

ast Updated: Tuesday, 23 September, 2003, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK

E-mail this to a friend Printable version
Danish capital loses power

Thousands reached for their mobile phones as power went off
The Danish capital, Copenhagen, and parts of Sweden have been hit by massive power cuts.

Around four million homes and businesses lost supplies at around 1240 local time (1040GMT). Engineers restored most power by late afternoon, but the exact cause of the cuts remained unclear.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #161)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:38 PM

162. London

13 October 2012 Last updated at 04:56 ET Share this pageEmailPrint
ShareFacebookTwitter
South West Trains hit by 'major power failure'

The power failure affected trains across the whole South West Trains network
Thousands of rail passengers had their journeys disrupted on Friday following a "major power failure" on South West Trains from London Waterloo.

All services were affected after the "wide-spread loss of signalling across the network".

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #162)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:47 PM

163. Munich two days ago.

Munich’s Biggest Power Outage in Two Decades Brings City to Halt
By Stefan Nicola - Nov 15, 2012 11:42 AM ET

Munich is recovering from its biggest power failure in two decades, a blackout that affected at least 450,000 customers in Germany’s third-biggest city, halting underground trains and trapping people in elevators.
Stadtwerke Muenchen GmbH is investigating the cause of the outage that spread across Munich’s southwest, starting at 7 a.m., the utility said today in an e-mailed statement. The outage lasted from 10 minutes in some parts to more than three hours in the Aubing district, disrupting commutes in the city that is home to Siemens AG (SIE) and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), and causing an explosion at a transformer station in the Bogenhausen district.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #161)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:18 PM

165. No-one said Europe never has them

Western Europe never has any that affect tens or hundreds of thousands of people for days or weeks. Hasn't in quite a long time. They occur at least once a year somewhere in the US. (Which is yet another sign of the basically shitty infrastructure in the US; the length of time it takes to recover from an incident, and the length of downtime when something does happen.)

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #130)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:35 PM

156. Fail n/t

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:19 PM

148. Republicans hate infrastructure spending

creates jobs. Can't have that.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:25 PM

149. This important artice can be summed up in one sentence ;

 

You, the American people, MUST make do with less, so that the banks, big business, Israel, the military industrial complex, and Wall Street can have more.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:49 PM

151. This framing will do more to inspire change

Than all of our moralizing and persuading and explaining...kind of like how ridiculous it became to risk getting injured in a duel.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:06 PM

152. Message to Europe: America is fully prepared to litigate over the crumbling of our infra­structure!

I hate ... well, dislike anyway ... repeating myself, but here is the text of a previous infrastructure post:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1015363

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. An section of his latest book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier was recently excerpted in Natural History magazine.

http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/perspectives/012148/by-the-numbers

The article presents many interesting perspectives. Here is one brief section particularly germane to the topic of this thread:

What else do we know about China? It has nearly 1.5 billion people—one-fifth of the world’s population. Do you know how big a billion is? In China it means that if you’re one in a million, there are 1,500 other people just like you.

Not only that, the upper quartile of China—the smartest 25 percent—outnumbers the entire population of the United States. Lose sleep over that one. You’ve seen the numbers: China graduates about half a million scientists and engineers a year; we graduate about 70,000—much less than the ratio of our populations would indicate. A talk-show host in Salt Lake City recently asked me about those num­bers, and I said, “Well, we graduate half a million of something a year: lawyers.” So the guy asked me what that says about America, and I said, “It tells me we are going into the future fully prepared to litigate over the crumbling of our infra­structure.” That’s what the future of America will be.


I strongly recommend reading the whole article. Watch out for falling power lines.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:23 PM

155. We were busy building shit in Iraq

lol, good times.

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:45 PM

157. 30+ years of Reaganomics is why we are behind

The Conservative Revolution put a stop to much of American Infrastructure modernization. The money went instead to Defense Spending. Things are modern in America only if it helps a bottom line / promotes commerce nowadays. BTW, I have a feeling that the phone line audio quality might be better in some more industrialized nations than in the U.S. (it is on voip like Skype for instance)

BTW in the Western U.S. you don't see stop and go lights tied to lines suspended from the ground (at least I don't remember any that I've seen from California to New Mexico.)

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Response to amborin (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:12 PM

158. k&r

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