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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:35 AM

A malnurished child in a cash strapped family

Getting weaker, losing weight. There's isn't enough income to buy more food, so the solution is: Tell her to burn less calories. That is the Republican position. The other night I watched the CNN Special "The Coming Storms" about climate change and the increase in severe weather events. Sure, it was sobering, but grim as that special was it didn't surprise me with anything I didn't already know. Except in one small specific instance, a minor detail actually.

While covering Super Storm Sandy the vulnerability of our infra structure was raised, specifically the major transformer stations in the New York area that our power grid depends on. If I remember correctly there are about 150 such stations, all designed to last for 40 years. Their current actual average age? 42 years. Arguing that severe spending cuts will restore health to our economy is like saying a starving child will recover if she is taught to consume less calories.

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Reply A malnurished child in a cash strapped family (Original post)
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 OP
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #1
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #2
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #3
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #4
TheMadMonk Jan 2013 #6
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #9
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #13
In_The_Wind Jan 2013 #14
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #15
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #16
CrispyQ Jan 2013 #5
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #7
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #12
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #17
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #8
Tom Rinaldo Jan 2013 #11
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2013 #10

Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:49 AM

1. I agree with you, Tom Rinaldo.

The Republicans don't have the right answers.
The recent disaster in New York is warning to redirect funds into rebuilding the infrastructure of our cities. Clearly . . . we need to rethink our spending.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:58 AM

2. It boggles my mind

How can sentient beings think this way? We're not dealing with something difficult to grasp here. Design life is a pretty straight forward concept. Sure many things last longer than their design life, but some fail sooner also. In any case it doesn't take any mental leaps to realize that when your entire inventory of crucial installations on average is older than they are designed to last, something is seriously wrong - and spending less won't solve it.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:10 AM

3. Putting tape over a leak only slows down the inevitable.

If problems can be fixed correctly early on the cost should be less.
What we have now is a need to totally revamp essential services.
The victims of Hurricane Sandy are still without proper shelter and food.
I lived in Staten Island many years ago. It was difficult for me to feel joy as I sat down to a hot Thanksgiving and Christmas meal knowing that 100 miles south of me thousands were suffering.

On this mornings news, I saw that power had been restored to the barrier islands of New Jersey. People are still living without heat and running water. I can't believe help hasn't arrived.

How many deaths will be related to the aftermath of Sandy?

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:12 AM

4. The political austeruty mindset guarentees many more deaths, and debts also

Proverbs become proverbs for a reason; "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:24 AM

6. Because TPTB keep score in % points. Not absolute figures.

 

They don't care that spending now, will save $ later. They care that if things break, they're in a position to grab a greater proportion of a much smaller pie.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:50 AM

9. I don't think reality is always a partisan dichotomy

 

The recent disaster in New York is warning to redirect funds into rebuilding the infrastructure of our cities. Clearly . . . we need to rethink our spending.


That being, spend money to fuel production vs austerity. This is pre-climate change, 20th century thinking and our paradigm should be changing.

To me, when I look at climate change, I think we need not shed another ounce of carbon that is not in the name of making a post-carbon life as good as possible. This probably means we should not necessarily be rebuilding complex infrastructure that requires immense energy to maintain. We should rather be simplifying our infrastructure and society that our standard of living will rest upon, and building multiple levels of regional resilience in all communities.

This thread starts with a malnourished child. Is it lost on some people that at the peak of the industrial age, half the world's population is chronically deficient in some required nutrient? Its all downhill from here due to climate change, and making stronger or more high tech cities simply follows humankind's pattern of banging our head against the wall. Instead, the focus should be on how we will feed everyone when America will no longer be able to grow soy, wheat or corn in 40 years.

We are tool monkeys. We think we must always be doing "something". Now we suffer from an over production problem, and the only way some people want to address it is with further production. Are we going to really be able to produce our way out of an over production problem?

Its time to transition past this age of ostentatious waste, and that is going to require visionaries ready to tackle the real issues of the 21 century; likely, those visionaries will not be able to come from any existing parties that are growing increasing irrelevant as we head for famine and ruin.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:00 AM

13. You make good points

I'm running off to work so sorry this reply must be short. The investment we need for the future may not be to refurbish what we've done in the past - but that isn't the current mainstream debate. It's whether we can afford to invest anything anywhere in the public sector.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:18 AM

14. While we are involved in taking care of tomorrow, how do we solve today's problem?

Today ... older victims of Sandy can't handle malnutrition or the cold.
Tonight ... children will go to bed cold and hungry.

I'm not a tool monkey but my heart is breaking knowing that more can be done to stop today's suffering. How do you suggest a way that we can help today, tonight and tomorrow?

I don't believe it is a matter of ostentatious waste to simply feed the hungry today.

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Response to In_The_Wind (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:28 AM

15. No one is taking care of tomorrow

 

We are kicking the can down the road. The only solutions being thought of are false; we are not looking for optimal survival, but rather, maintenance of our current standard of living and economic expansion. Ideas borne within civilization will not be opposed to the wrongheadedness of civilization, less they risk being disregarded by civilization. We don't want to merely survive if we cannot do it without our iPhones and McMansions, as the technophile Star Trek future of cornucopia is the only possible one people are attempting to build bridges to.

With that said, in terms of today's problems, Im not sure what a call to rebuild infrastructure has much to do with it. How does a starving child get helped by a new bridge? Dry towels & blankets and warm meals would probably be more appropriate.

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:30 PM

16. I was using a relevant metaphor with the malnourished child

In that sense the family was our society and malnourishment stood for all unsupported critical needs. But the metaphor is also literal. When we as a society cut back funding for school lunch programs it adds to childhood malnuitrition for just one example.

Many children who died in New Orleans during Katrina would still be alive today if the the flood management infra structure had not been allowed to crumble. That is a direct life and death example, but more pervasive are indirect negative effects that threaten our well being, children AND adults alike, if we refuse to invest in our future. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, everything crumbles with time. Things either must be maintained or replaced or new ways found to do without them in more sensible ways. The latter seems to be the focus of your comments, which is fine. Current ways are not always the best ways, but sticking to the current ways with deteriorating tools that become less effecient every year makes the least sense of all. And that is what we are doing when we drain money away from our collective future into the pockets of an increasingly affluent few.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:16 AM

5. Some cable station used to have a show called "America's Inspector."

They had a marathon one day & I watched three in a row. It was very sobering. One episode focused on the Seattle sea wall. I had no idea Seattle had a sea wall, much less what bad condition it's in. One episode covered a bridge that connected a small community to a bigger community. The bridge was basically their only connection to the livelihood of the bigger community. The comments were stunning. "Every time I'm on the bridge I just pray it holds till I get to the other end." "I alter the times I do things so that I'm not on the bridge during rush hour." I don't know if the show is still on, but I wouldn't be surprised if TPTB pulled it.

We will be going to toll roads & toll bridges. If you have money, you will be able to drive on safe streets & bridges. If you don't, tough shit. If your small community gets cut off from the bigger community it depends on, tough shit.

We have a dog-eat-dog, you're-on-your-own culture.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:27 AM

7. I never heard of that show before

I assume it's off the air now, but no doubt it was a real eye opener. Frightening stuff. Often when I see old runs of once grand places I am struck by how they were let to eitehr slowly fall to pieces and/or were not restored if theysuffered some type of accident. But history is littered with ruins of things that once were proud and useful and now are little more than basic debris. Sure some of that is due to obsolescence, but often not. Civilizations do crumble and often it happens in slow motion. From one year to the next not much changes, except the transformer station that was designed to last 40 years turns 39, then 40, and then 41...

You are right about the ongoing shift to tolls to pay for upkeep, except the way it works is tolls will be chareged for upkeep PLUS profit, since our infrastructure is being sold off for pennies on the dollar to plug gaps in government revenues. In the big picture though I think it is even worse than that. The super wealthy are highly mobile and have more in common now with their peer group than with any nationality. In large measure they will drain this country of competitiveness and then simply move on to greener pastures.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:59 AM

12. Seattle (Elliot Bay) seawall

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2012/11/landslide-supports-seawall-project.html?page=all

The city of Seattle is set to name a general contractor Friday to oversee the replacement of Seattle’s crumbling downtown seawall, a project that can now move forward without the cloud of uncertainty that hung over the plans before Tuesday's election.
That’s because voters in Seattle overwhelmingly approved a $290 million bond measure to fund the project.
Leading up to Tuesday’s general election tally, there was widespread agreement among business and political leaders in Seattle that the seawall is decrepit and has to be fixed. But city officials and proponents of replacement worried that the seawall measure might fail, partly due to voter fatigue over higher-profile issues such as the presidential race and several statewide issues including gay marriage and marijuana legalization.
But it turns out there was nothing to worry about. An overwhelming majority – 77 percent – voted to approve the measure. The seawall levy vote was closely watched by six companies involved in four bids to play a major role in construction of the new seawall along Seattle’s central waterfront — a several-block section between South Washington and Virginia streets that includes the most deteriorated sections of the seawall. Some parts of the seawall date back to the early 1900s.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:34 PM

17. "That’s because voters in Seattle overwhelmingly approved a $290 million bond measure ..."

"An overwhelming majority – 77 percent – voted to approve the measure."

And voters in California also voted to fund their schools. The public gets it by and large, the Republican Party doesn't want to hear it.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:35 AM

8. A stitch in time saves nine

Sometimes the old truths are still truths.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:55 AM

11. Yes. And if Republicans get their way

Our thread will get shipped to China

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:53 AM

10. The problem is investor-owned utilities.

Many places in the west get their service from public utility districts, which have a better maintenance record combined with lower rates because the managers are directly accountable to the public.

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