Sunday, October 28, 2012

Good Night & Good Luck

The officials in the rolled-up sleeves are now going on TV to inform us that we may be off the grid for ten days or more. I suspect that this dire prediction is meant to make us idiotically grateful when they heroically restore our power in a mere week. We won't blame them like we did after Hurricane Irene. That debacle, you may recall, led to the resignation of more than one grossly overpaid utility CEO.

I have a friend who works for one of the utilities. Last year, he told me, they were too cheap to bring in extra crews. This go-round, they've got so many people in their control rooms that they forgot to get them enough chairs. They actually had utility trucks out aimlessly cruising the neighborhoods this afternoon, when the winds began howling at 5mph. It was Electric Company Theatre taking its cue from Homeland Security Theatre.

The only good thing I have to say about Hurricane Sandy is that he has one exquisite sense of direction. His priorities are straight. He is expected to directly unleash his wrath upon the sewer known as Wall Street. He will vomit saltwater all over Goldman Sachs and its fascist network of NYPD/Homeland Security fusion center spy cameras. The soakers shall become the soaked. The polluted financial swamp will become swamped with polluted river water. After the Stock Exchange bravely declared it would remain open and greedy throughout the storm, how it must have pained Mayor Forbes Shrillionaire Bloomberg to announce the evacuation of the entire Financial District and Club Cipriani Wall Street, home of the $25 hamburger. And what about those high-frequency computer trading vaults across the river in New Jersey? The Crawling Eye of the Storm is headed their way too. This is beginning to be almost bearable.

As far as this blog goes, I'll be back when I'm back. Unfortunately, I can't keep the comments open*, because lately I've been inundated with Spambots selling Uggs and Viagra. I did get spam from an actual person once. He picqued my interest by saying that he and his partner only discuss my subversive posts and those of Glenn Greenwald with their windows closed, for fear the government is eavesdropping on them. He included a link to his own blog. Turned out to be a commercial site for tinfoil hat software to prevent the National Security Agency from spying on malcontents. Oy vey.

For everybody in the path of Sandy, stay safe and dry and warm. Fill your bathtub with water so you can flush. If you forgot to buy designer water and batteries for your radio, you are probably out of luck. There are so many panic-stricken drivers out on the roads, looking for that last roll of toilet paper, that tonight's accident rate will probably exceed that of tomorrow and Tuesday.

* You can still write comments, but they may sit in limbo for awhile until they can be approved. As of 10:30 Monday I am still around to approve them -- we still have power, though for how long is the question. Winds are just starting to pick up here, about 20 mph w/higher gusts.


Amy said...

We live in Baltimore and some moron would-be looter just tried to steal firewood off of our porch. My husband and I ran out barefoot, shrieking, like Ma and Pa Kettle, and he dropped it and ran.

John in Lafayette said...

A small gasoline-powered generator can run a refrigerator, a one-room a/c or heating unit, and a few small lights for about six hours. Make sure to have plenty of gasoline. They are noisy, however, but still better than going without.

Zee said...

@Karen, @Amy and those of you also in the path of Hurricane Sandy--

Good Luck and God Bless! Stay safe!

Kat said...

Good luck everyone. I hope everyone stays safe and that they don't have to deal with any flooding.
And I do hope that there are enough crews to restore your electricity in a timely manner.

John in Lafayette said...

I meant to say the generator will work six hours on a single tank of gas. For hurricanes here in Lafayette I buy 20 or 30 gallons of gas and then just pour is off into my car if it's not needed for the generator.

Stay safe.

spreadoption said...

My son in eastern PA reports on the parking lot at his apartment complex. There's an area in it that always floods, even in normal rain. Most people have moved their cars to higher ground, but those that remain all sport "Romney for President" and "Defeat Obama" stickers.

Funny and interesting!

Anonymous said...

There's a way to fix this country, but it's counterintuitive. Letters to the editor in my Red Florida county are all up in arms about jihadists, while climate change, which threatens billions of dollars in damage this week alone, is ignored.

My theory is that a Romney victory will expedite the collapse of the plutocracy. When we finally run out of oil and have no alternatives, and money is worthless, everyone's an equal player.

Marx saw communism transitioning out of capitalism. I think he was wrong. Capitalism must first self-destruct. The only difference between Obama and Romney is that the former will co-opt the 99% a little longer, prolonging our agony. Ultimately he'll only delay the inevitable. Kicking the can down the road, if you will.

If neither candidate will utter "climate change" now, the only hope is to vote for the candidate who will expedite the capocalypse. Romney the vulture capitalist is the most-qualified candidate to enable the collapse of the plutocracy. If the Right wants to destroy the United States and take themselves down with it, let's give 'em a hand.

Amed Hamila said...

Hi Karen,
I'm a huge fan of your writing and political view. I found you first at the NYT comment section and when I could no longer find you there I googled you and found your blog and I sent it to my friends.

Keep up the great work and if you are in Houston and would like to see the Symphony let me know.

Take care

Jay - Ottawa said...

I join others in wishing the best to those in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

@ Anonymous (the 12:57 pm one)

Not sure whether you’ve gotten around to read the repeated suggestion from our moderator and a few commenters about identifying yourself more uniquely while at the same time keeping your anonymity intact.

Could be you can’t follow directions because you’re not a real person, just a geek’s clever program on autopilot to trick lefties into a vote for Mitt – but of course for all the good reasons, simultaneously progressive and nihilistic. Maybe you’re a real person but on the move and too busy hitting lefty sites in order to plant your Romney-to-Ruin-to-Reform scenario among disgruntled lefties. You might even be a sincere and reasonable person like the rest of us at Sardonicky, but see how your unresponsive anonymity feeds dark thoughts? What’s the harm of identifying yourself with a penname like Solomon-Anon or Anon-Mitt or Anona-Geddon?

A response to your post to follow shortly.

Jay - Ottawa said...


I once entertained your scenario. But isn’t a voter still confining herself to the same old Duopoly charade if she votes primarily against Obama by voting – secondarily, of course – for Romney?

You say that voting for Romney might hasten the crash of the Republican Party (as well the nation) while fast forwarding us all on the road to reform. Interesting, but…. maybe this scenario is just a cheap trick to get fools to boost the Romney vote.

Republicans are not the enemy. Republicans (and now Democrats) are for the most part soulless beings channelling corporatists. Focus. It’s the corporatists, stupid. The corporatists, the 1% and their supportive functionaries are the problem.

You and I, anon, can have it both ways and still not vote for one or the other of the Duopoly's pointmen. One need not give one's vote to Romney in order to punish Obama for his perfidy. Just vote for the best third party candidate on your state ballot. The more votes third parties get, the greater their capacity to force reform through the system.

And it’s not just because I want to say in the end, no matter what plays out: “My hands are clean!” Who gives a damn about clean hands?

Here’s the real deep chess. In the past it was always third parties that pushed reform on the two major parties. Third parties only had a lasting impact when they had a major portion of the electorate behind them. So I’m voting Third Party (Rocky Anderson was not on my ballot, so I voted for Jill Stein) to make them a real presence again.

Chris Hedges has a great essay today about the wisdom of supporting third parties. You should read it, if you’re not a blind M.I.T creation – or worse.

It doesn’t matter anymore whether the vote goes to Obama or Romney. What matters this time is the size of the third party vote, which will be the true measure of resistance to the corporatists. If the history of third party influence is any guide to us, then a significant shift of Democrats, Republicans and Independents to third parties will do more for reform in both the short run and the long run.

Here’s what to wish for on election night:
(1) Obama looses the popular vote big time. Simple justice for his four years of sellout.
(2) Romney wins, but only with a plurality.
(3) Third parties (all together) come in second in the popular vote.
(4) The chastened Democrats in Congress see the light and suddenly become more responsive to the 99% in order to save their own bacon.

Blue sky, you say? Even with the MSM ignoring them, third parties have received a great deal of attention this year. Energy is flowing their way. There’s a possibility of third parties – yes, the outsiders, not the insiders – giving the corporatists a jolt of reality on election day, with reform coming in the short term, not on a long-term neo-Marxist timetable.

A vote for either Obama or Romney can only further the designs of corporatists and their helpers. Choose not to be one of those helpers.

Choose a third party. Third parties have been the main source of reform throughout American history.

Zee said...


As Hurricane Sandy barrels toward major population centers, I feel guilty about even pursuing this point, but since YOU have raised it, I'll make a simple statement and then ask you a simple question.

First, as a scientist—though not a climatologist, I admit—I assert that is it is, quite simply, preposterous to attribute a single weather event—however strong—to global climate change as you appear to be doing with Hurricane Sandy.

However, and this is my question, let me know when you can cite even one detailed mathematical model associated with global warming—not just a statistical correlation or historical “guesstimate,” but a real, tested, mathematical model—that has directly predicted Hurricane Sandy or its like as a consequence of global warming.

Because that's what science does, produce models with predictive capablities, as you seem to be doing:

“The sciences do not try to explain, they hardly even try to interpret, they mainly make models. By a model is meant a mathematical construct which, with the addition of certain verbal interpretations describes observed phenomena. The justification of such a mathematical construct is solely and precisely that it is expected to work.” --John Von Neumann

So, where's the predictive model?

Get back to me after Sandy subsides.

Suzan said...

Hope you're okay, Karen!

I was worrying about you guys up north as I was blown about on the road last night.

Good luck to everyone against the forces of nature.

They seem to know who the enemy is.

After all, no is denying that.

Love ya,


Valerie said...

Great reply to (Counterintuitive Solution) Anon, @Jay-Ottawa! Thank you!