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The W - Current Events & Politics - Hey, the world's laughing at us.
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gargs
Goetta








Since: 27.8.02
From: The OC

Since last post: 3972 days
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#1 Posted on
World Sympathy And Wisecracks for U.S. Blackout (story.news.yahoo.com)

By Jeremy Laurence

LONDON (Reuters) - Some people voiced admiration, others worried, and some could not help but poke fun at the world's self-confessed "superpower with a Third World grid."


"Now we understand why they (Americans) have been unable to get the electricity running in Baghdad," said 47-year-old engineer Ghassan Tombin in the Gulf Arab country of Dubai.


From Nairobi to Moscow and beyond, the world was aghast that New York and a swathe of other cities across the United States and Canada could be shut down by a blackout.


Many praised New Yorkers for their orderly response. "I'm sure everyone was fearful of another September 11, but they banded together and showed a great deal of camaraderie," said London taxi driver Steve Murray, 40.


As power gradually began returning after the biggest outage in North American history, people in other countries weighed whether such a large-scale breakdown could happen also to them.


While more than 50 million people battled to cope in America, tens of thousands of airline passengers were left stranded abroad, international business operations came to a standstill and phones jammed.


Former U.S. energy secretary Bill Richardson described the United States as a "superpower with a Third World grid."


Flights to Canada and the northeastern United States were cancelled around the world, frustrating some in departure lounges and frightening others already airborne.


Anatoly Chubais, chief executive of Russia's national power monopoly Unified Energy System (UES), called the blackout "the biggest accident in the history of world energy systems."


The world's newspapers splashed images of thousands of New Yorkers streaming across the Brooklyn Bridge onto front pages.


In Iraq (news - web sites), where the U.S. administration has been struggling to restore power since ousting Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) in early April, residents in the capital worried how high-tech Americans would ever restore electricity with such huge power problems at home.


"They have the best equipment and technology and a power shortage can make such a big fuss in the United States. Now I am sure it will take them years to fix the electricity in Iraq," said Ali Saghbal, a worker at a Baghdad power station.


DISPARAGING


In Nairobi, some residents were far from sympathetic, saying Americans were receiving a taste of what it was like to live in the world's poorer countries.


"America, welcome to Kenya, see what we go through," said Alex Mwaura, a logistics officer with an aid agency in Nairobi.


"I'm happy -- let them experience how bushmen live without power, even for just one minute," added Emma Nzau, a 28-year-old receptionist. "Americans are so used to electricity, they should be like the Chinese and ride bicycles to work."


For many the question was: could it happen to them?

Officials in some countries dismissed the possibility of a similar power outage, saying their networks could not compare in size and complexity to the U.S. grid.

Julian Jessup, senior international economist at Standard Chartered bank in London, said: "It is a reminder of how vulnerable the U.S. economy is to problems in the energy sector, and there are a lot of problems there."

Some said their systems were more advanced and they were better equipped to cope with such breakdowns.

"I would find it very difficult to believe that an outage of this scale where all of Tokyo suffers a power outage...would happen in Japan," said Koji Morita, general manager of the energy think-tank Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ).

Even in Russia, where small-scale blackouts are common, the system is better protected against such widescale disruptions, said UES's Chubais.

"But any power system anywhere in the world to some extent is vulnerable to multiple events," sympathised Paul Panther-Price, Australia's electricity market management company spokesman.

German services union Verdi said Germany was at risk of power outages also as fierce competition was forcing companies to take drastic cost-saving measures.

(With contributions from Moscow, Nairobi, Baghdad, Dubai, Sydney, Tokyo, Berlin)

edit: fixin' link

(edited by gargs on 15.8.03 1339)


Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Finally....the ROCK (realrock104.com) has come back to Youngstown.
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The Goon
Boudin blanc
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 9 days
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#2 Posted on
Good article-it goes to show you that the things we take for granted on this side of the world is not the case everywhere. I guess there's some schadenfreude from third world countries, but that's par for the course.
redsoxnation
Scrapple








Since: 24.7.02

Since last post: 507 days
Last activity: 507 days
#3 Posted on
Of course, he who laughs last, laughs best. And the best way to get the last laugh is to decide to upgrade the power grid by using the money we give Third World Countries in Foreign Aid (and to be fair, the first country I cut off from foreign aid would be Israel). Then we'll see who is laughing then.



Ok, so Ted Williams is decapitated now? What will his son do next, sell him to the Japanese dog food company that bought former Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand?
Nate The Snake
Liverwurst








Since: 9.1.02
From: Wichita, Ks

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#4 Posted on

    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Of course, he who laughs last, laughs best. And the best way to get the last laugh is to decide to upgrade the power grid by using the money we give Third World Countries in Foreign Aid (and to be fair, the first country I cut off from foreign aid would be Israel). Then we'll see who is laughing then.


Yeah! Then they'll just hate us. Hey, wait...



Kansas-born and deeply ashamed
The last living La Parka Marka

"They that can give up essential liberty to gain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
The Goon
Boudin blanc
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 9 days
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#5 Posted on
This is hilarious:

Iraqi tips to beat blackout heat

And no, it's not a Letterman list.
CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.65

    Originally posted by gargs
    Gulf Arab country of Dubai.
Technically, Dubai is an emirate, not a country.



CRZ™
-proletarian-
Chipolata








Since: 29.4.03

Since last post: 4084 days
Last activity: 4083 days
#7 Posted on

    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    Of course, he who laughs last, laughs best. And the best way to get the last laugh is to decide to upgrade the power grid by using the money we give Third World Countries in Foreign Aid (and to be fair, the first country I cut off from foreign aid would be Israel). Then we'll see who is laughing then.



Sounds good. And while we're at it why don't we skin some kittens and sodomize a few old ladies?

-sigh-
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 17 hours
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05

    Originally posted by -proletarian-

      Originally posted by redsoxnation
      Of course, he who laughs last, laughs best. And the best way to get the last laugh is to decide to upgrade the power grid by using the money we give Third World Countries in Foreign Aid (and to be fair, the first country I cut off from foreign aid would be Israel). Then we'll see who is laughing then.



    Sounds good. And while we're at it why don't we skin some kittens and sodomize a few old ladies?

    -sigh-



redsox does have a point. why are we giving out all this aid and support when our country needs it more? school systems are failing, our power grid is faulty, we need a decent health care/social security system.

I think we should take that foriegn aid, invest it in the USA and then when we've fixed our problems, we'll be in a better position to help others.






Almost finished my 2002-2003 College Football raitings. Watch this space!!!

oldschoolhero
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

Since last post: 2015 days
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#9 Posted on
"I think we should take that foriegn aid, invest it in the USA and then when we've fixed our problems, we'll be in a better position to help others."

OR-and here's a crazy thought-why not trim some fat off of military spending? And to pre-empt any smart-ass "leftie peacenik" comebacks, I'm not advocating eliminating the military budget and ploughing it all into schools. But let's face it, when compared to the spending on the issues listed above, the amount sunk into the armed forces and their peripherals is a wee bit excessive.



I Took The Father, I'll Take The Son

Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 3 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.54
You Americans need to elect Kevin Kline as your president...he'd solve everything.

"So we're spending all this money so Americans can feel better about cars they've already bought?"




Colin Mochrie


Which 'Whose Line is it Anyway?' actor are you!?
brought to you by Quizilla
-proletarian-
Chipolata








Since: 29.4.03

Since last post: 4084 days
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#11 Posted on

    Originally posted by rikidozan
    why are we giving out all this aid and support when our country needs it more?



Yeah you're probably right, I mean, who cares about people starving or dying of treatable diseases when the richest country on Earth could use a few more billion dolars out of an $11 trillion economy to pump into it's public sector?


You HAVE to be kidding.....or on crack. Or both.
Enojado Viento
Potato korv








Since: 12.3.02
From: Your Grocer's Freezer, NC

Since last post: 749 days
Last activity: 21 days
#12 Posted on

    Originally posted by Big Bad
    You Americans need to elect Kevin Kline as your president...he'd solve everything.

    "So we're spending all this money so Americans can feel better about cars they've already bought?"



Never happen. Kevin Kline was also in "Wild Wild West," and that's tantamount to a major political scandal.

Pretty certain that disqualifies him, "Dave" aside. If it doesn't, it ought to.




-LS

"ahhh...vague, mandatory knee-jerk cynicism. God Bless Internet Forums.."
PalpatineW
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Getting Rowdy

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00

    Originally posted by -proletarian-

      Originally posted by rikidozan
      why are we giving out all this aid and support when our country needs it more?



    Yeah you're probably right, I mean, who cares about people starving or dying of treatable diseases when the richest country on Earth could use a few more billion dolars out of an $11 trillion economy to pump into it's public sector?


    You HAVE to be kidding.....or on crack. Or both.



If you're going to throw money at people who have done nothing to earn it, just to be nice, you might as well start by helping your own people. To put it in stupid analogy form, it's like your dad has cancer and your neighbor does too, so you help your dad first. Besides, wouldn't you be happier if imperialist America just minded her own business?



"Georgie Porgie, he might buy the whole league, but he doesn't have enough money to buy fear to put in my heart."
Pedro Martinez
-proletarian-
Chipolata








Since: 29.4.03

Since last post: 4084 days
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#14 Posted on

    Originally posted by PalpatineW

      Originally posted by -proletarian-

        Originally posted by rikidozan
        why are we giving out all this aid and support when our country needs it more?



      Yeah you're probably right, I mean, who cares about people starving or dying of treatable diseases when the richest country on Earth could use a few more billion dolars out of an $11 trillion economy to pump into it's public sector?


      You HAVE to be kidding.....or on crack. Or both.



    If you're going to throw money at people who have done nothing to earn it, just to be nice, you might as well start by helping your own people. To put it in stupid analogy form, it's like your dad has cancer and your neighbor does too, so you help your dad first. Besides, wouldn't you be happier if imperialist America just minded her own business?





To take your analogy and actually apply it to the topic at question, we could say that your father has a cold, while your neighbour has cancer. Who would be more deserving of help? Sure, America has problems, but compared to the problems faced by many countries they are minor. A few billion won't do much to fix what ails America, while those same few billion applied to the third world could innoculate a generation from disease, provide water for millions of people or avert famine.

You're trying to compare apples and oranges to prove your point. It doesn't work that way in the real world.

-"Besides, wouldn't you be happier if imperialist America just minded her own business?"

I'm not quite sure where THAT came from. You might want to take those pills your doctor gave you there, champ.
ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 72 days
Last activity: 1 day
#15 Posted on
Er, the guy who had cancer probably would NEED the most help, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the most "deserving", right?



Everything that is wrong in this world can be blamed on Freddie Prinze Jr.
PalpatineW
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Getting Rowdy

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AIM:  
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00

    Originally posted by -proletarian
    To take your analogy and actually apply it to the topic at question, we could say that your father has a cold, while your neighbour has cancer. Who would be more deserving of help? Sure, America has problems, but compared to the problems faced by many countries they are minor. A few billion won't do much to fix what ails America, while those same few billion applied to the third world could innoculate a generation from disease, provide water for millions of people or avert famine.

    You're trying to compare apples and oranges to prove your point. It doesn't work that way in the real world.

    -"Besides, wouldn't you be happier if imperialist America just minded her own business?"

    I'm not quite sure where THAT came from. You might want to take those pills your doctor gave you there, champ.




Or, alternatively, our foreign aid money could just fall into the hands of warlords and help consolidate their grip on power, as it has time and time again. Teach a man to fish, etc. And I just want some clarification on your opiunion of the US's role in the world. When we forcibly remove tyrants from power, presumably we're bad. When we send billions to other tyrant-run counties, I presume we're good?

As for those pills, I'll get right on it. Clearly I need some sort of mind-altering substance to understand your point of view.




"Georgie Porgie, he might buy the whole league, but he doesn't have enough money to buy fear to put in my heart."
Pedro Martinez
Freeway
Scrapple








Since: 3.1.02
From: Calgary

Since last post: 333 days
Last activity: 21 days
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.96
Here's something the great Hulk Hogan said back when he was considering running for President. I paraphrase:
"It'd be a lot better to spend money on problems in America, because once we fix things here, everything else will just fall into place"



Your winner and 3-time Stanley Cup Champion...the New Jersey Devils! Their title defense begins in 4 months!
-proletarian-
Chipolata








Since: 29.4.03

Since last post: 4084 days
Last activity: 4083 days
#18 Posted on

    Originally posted by PalpatineW

      Originally posted by -proletarian
      To take your analogy and actually apply it to the topic at question, we could say that your father has a cold, while your neighbour has cancer. Who would be more deserving of help? Sure, America has problems, but compared to the problems faced by many countries they are minor. A few billion won't do much to fix what ails America, while those same few billion applied to the third world could innoculate a generation from disease, provide water for millions of people or avert famine.

      You're trying to compare apples and oranges to prove your point. It doesn't work that way in the real world.

      -"Besides, wouldn't you be happier if imperialist America just minded her own business?"

      I'm not quite sure where THAT came from. You might want to take those pills your doctor gave you there, champ.




    Or, alternatively, our foreign aid money could just fall into the hands of warlords and help consolidate their grip on power, as it has time and time again. Teach a man to fish, etc. And I just want some clarification on your opiunion of the US's role in the world. When we forcibly remove tyrants from power, presumably we're bad. When we send billions to other tyrant-run counties, I presume we're good?

    As for those pills, I'll get right on it. Clearly I need some sort of mind-altering substance to understand your point of view.




-lol-

Touche.

True, foreign aid has been misappropriated through the years, that's why I support organizations like NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development) which seeks to funnel aid into countries that embrace democracy and respect the rule of law, and deny it to dictatorships which would just piss it away (which is all to common, agreed).

As to my views, you've got me pegged as a liberal and I'm sorry to disappoint you but I'm not. I supported the invasion of Iraq solely based upon the rationale that removing a tyranny is ALWAYS a good thing, especially in a region such as the middle east, where tyranny is all too common (just ask my father, he had to flee Syria after the first Assad took power. He missed an acid bath by mere hours). All that cooked-up crap about Saddam being close to possessing nukes and the infamous British claim that Iraq could strike the west with WMD on 45 minutes' notice only served to fuel opposition to the war, IMHO. Too many bad arguments for the war only gave those who opposed it an excuse to ignore all the good reasons for going in.

As for the pills comment, I apologize. I get a little high strung sometimes.
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1297 days
Last activity: 1094 days
#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    Originally posted by rikidozan
    our power grid is faulty

Here's something interesting from mullings.com:

The North American Energy Reliability Council which tracks such things has determined that, including last week, there have been seven grid failures since the big one on November 9, 1965.

None lasted for more than a day.

Let's go to the blackboard:

Mr. Mullings. Didn't we talk about this math and physics business last time?

Yes, but this is just long division, not quantum mechanics.
The number of days between November 8, 1965 and August 14, 2003 is 13,793.

The number of days in which some portion of the national power grid failed during that period is 7.

Dividing 13,793 by 7 we get 0.000507504

Moving the decimal two places to the right (and rounding up) we get a failure rate of 51 THOUSANTHS of one percent.

Stating it the other way, the power grid (which was described by former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson as being like one in a "third world country") has been up 99.949 percent of the time over the past 37 years.

Mr. Mullings? Is that a good number or a bad number?

When you get on a commercial airplane you expect to get off in the city your ticket suggests you should be going to, right? You know what the actual percentage of getting on a commercial airplane and getting off in your expected city is? No?

96.6 percent according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Where's the outrage? Where are the Congressional hearings? Where is the wall-to-wall coverage? Where is Ok, you get the idea.


(edited by Grimis on 18.8.03 0710)


"Each time I've met Huffington, I wondered if she was not somehow the long-lost daughter of Madame Nicolai Ceaucescu, or a genetic cross between Martha Stewart and Count Dracula. Had this Greek-born harpy lived in medieval times, she would have been sewn up in a bag with a rooster and two snakes and thrown into the nearest river."
-- Eric Margolis, Toronto Star
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 17 hours
Last activity: 1 hour
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
Most people would argue that it has been 7 outages too many. It's reasonable to expect that the power companies will keep the power coming in 24/7.

Granted, there are expections.

We will have to live dissapoinment when it's been in the mid 100s 3 days in a row and there has to be rolling brown outs, but that needs to be fixed, i.e maybe more plants so supply is greater than demand?

I can't be the only one who drives by yet a new housing development on the way to some where. Supply will be going up more and more and unless something happens, this blackout could happen again, and over a much greater area.

Question to pose.

I have heard that Europe (I'll have to actually do the research to comfirm this) has embraced nuclear power. Should we set-up more reactors across the nation to help our supply? Or would that leave us open to more terror attacks? (I dread to be around the fallout of a plane flying into a nuclear plant in my backyard *shudder*)





Almost finished my 2002-2003 College Football raitings. Watch this space!!!

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