We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Power blackouts hit USA and Canada… now the good news

A cascade of power blackouts have hit the north eastern USA and parts of Canada, causing widespread chaos. It was also reported that due to the power cuts, the United Nations building in New York City has been closed.

So, not entirely bad news then.

The UN: a support system for murderers and theives

17 comments to Power blackouts hit USA and Canada… now the good news

  • S. Weasel

    Huh. The Canucks started it.

  • deirdre thompson

    20 million people hit and the best you come up with is a joke about the United Nations Building.
    Really unfunny.

  • S. Weasel

    Hit? It’s a blackout, not the Black Death.

  • Junior

    First it’s California with rolling blackouts, now it’s the North East and parts of Canada – is someone trying to tell these strongholds of socialism something?.

  • nelson

    I came here from instahack for this?

    jeez you rethugs need some new hack writers

  • S. Weasel

    Stick around. We do a matinée Saturday and Sunday.

  • What are ‘rethugs’?

  • snonk

    i thought it was funny. nelson is probably some humorless wingnut republican who loves that prick bloomberg

  • Katherine

    Wanna how how vulnerable the power grid is in the US?

    About 3 years ago, couple of guys doing routine maintenance (or was it routine upgrade) for PG&E hit the wrong key at one of the power stations, and entire northern part of the Peninsula, from Mountain View to San Francisco had a complete, 100% power outage for almost entire day. It was kind of interesting: one could not do practically anything, either at work, or at home, or even recreationally (say, biking was unaffected, unless you had to get the garage door open.) So unless these maintenance guys were extraordinarily lucky in their choice of a switch, it is THAT easy to turn the juice off for whole swaths of the country.

  • MayDay72

    What are ‘rethugs’? -David Carr

    …Something that left-wing statists [Democrats] call right-wing statists [Republicans] in this corner of the ‘Anglosphere’ [the United States]…Also: ‘Repukes’ [a favorite at ‘Democratic Underground’]…Right-wing statist prefer to use ‘DemocRAT’ or simply ‘RAT’ [a favorite at the ‘Free Republic’]…

  • I am a Brit (the ‘London’ bit on my by-line is rather a give away) and not even a Tory, let alone a Republican. Nelson is not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed it would seem.

  • Edmund Burke

    Cripes Perry

    Nelson could construe that as demeaning and degrading. Off to the re-education camp with you for the weekend.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    I was one of the folks affected by the power outage. (I live in the Catskill Mountains about two hours north of NYC.) To be honest, it wasn’t that big a deal. We got power back about five hours after it went out.

    If the admins want, I’d be more than willing to write a longer report, but the one thing I will add here is that as a shortwave listener, I was particularly disgusted by the BBC World Service’s sexed-up coverage of the blackout. In the first hour after the blackout began, I tuned into CBC North Quebec for a while, which was carrying an English-language CBC feed. They were detailing what was going on in Toronto and Ottawa, and it was what you could expect for any major city that had lost its power: Traffic went nuts for several minutes as people didn’t know how to handle the lack of traffic lights, the subway stopped, and so on. The same was true for New York City, from what I heard on local radio stations. Listening to the BBC later in the evening, after we got power, gave a different impression. Their newsreader kept using the word “chaos” to describe New York City, and after interviewing their correspondent in NYC, started talking about the blackout in Canada, trying to give the impression that things were completely different in Canada and that everything was being handled much more calmly (and by implication better). One line from the BBC particularly irritated me, when they mentioned that “many of the people in New York were taking the chaos in stride”. If they’re taking the situation in stride, then it’s not chaos!

  • S. Weasel

    trying to give the impression that things were completely different in Canada and that everything was being handled much more calmly (and by implication better).

    Interesting. News reports linked off Drudge last night (I don’t remember the specific source) said that looting was light and easily controlled in New York, but heavy in Ottowa.

    I found out about the blackout when someone called me from Britain. TV had been interrupted with a newsflash there; I’d been watching crappy sitcom reruns on my local Fox affiliate all evening with nary a scrolling banner or an interrupted commericial or anything. The eastern edge of the blackout was about an hour’s drive from me.

    I guess chaos is in the prejudices of the beholder, mmm?

  • EU Delenda Est

    That New Yorkers behaved in a calm and civilised manner must have driven the BBC mad. That they helped others by giving rides to people standing in impromptu orderly queues, that there were civilians directing traffic until the police could take over, that the police were soon flooding the streets and executing what were obviously well-prepared contingency plans, that people weren’t screaming and running amok or looting must have been almost more than the US-hating BBC could bear. It must be just awful to keep being deprived of your Schadenfreude.

  • Cobden Bright

    That’s where government restriction on market incentives gets you. If no one is allowed to make a market return by upgrading the transmission infrastructure, then it will eventually go kaput. Just like Britain’s rail infrastructure, or California’s power generating abilities.

    Regulators are about to relearn the truth that price controls increase prices.

  • crl

    I thought it was funny, and I live in NYC. I had to walk 4 hours to get home. Didn’t know I could do that. I am so impressed with myself right about now… 🙂

    The lights went out at 4:11 Thursday, and I got power back in my building by 8:00 the next morning. I’ve had worse experiences in smaller-scale blackouts near Washington D.C.

    Humor gets us through…

    By the way, there was no chaos. We walked out of the city. That’s it. People along the sides of the road gave us cold water. (some were even distributing it for free.) The only problems — it was really hot and took a really long time. But you knew that already. 🙂