The Blackout of 2003

When the Lights Go Out in the City . . .-- Journey

When the Eastern Seaboard of the United States goes dark because of a massive power failure, three things will automatically occur within minutes. First, the news media cable babies will panic with over self-indulgent coverage. Second, politicians will blame other people except themselves while they fall over each other for air time. Third, the average person will make do and cope with the situation.

Lights Out! Lights Out in (London) --- UFO

It is the images that make the Event. Thousands of people walking across the bridges. Thousands of people jammed at the bus terminal. Thousands of people walking up the subway stairs. Thousands of people jammed at the ferry station.

What were New Yorkers supposed to do? Panic? Riot in the streets?? After 9/11, we must give Americans their new found perspective on Life, Things that Matter, and Composure. There was no significant increase in crime in any of the major metro areas that lost power. Emergency service agencies reacted quickly and professionally. In the scheme of history, a major inconvenience will be a cultural footnote. However, many media pundits, while stating this was not an act of terrorism, in the same breath said that it could have been an act of terrorism. Ex-Clinton administration officials flocked to the airwaves to denounce the electrical grid as being Third World. Well, what was it two years ago? That question was never asked to them.

You Light Up My Life . . .-- Debbie Boone

There were other stories that fell by the wayside during the Blackout. The ratings for network newscasts is falling like a stone in a pond. It may be because the networks have this single minded focus on one national story. They will not let it go; it is like a shark taking hold and thrashing on a dead sperm whale. It gets mentally draining with anchor after anchor, reporter after reporting saying nothing but the obvious.

The Western Wildfires continue to blaze away, engulfing a large portion of the State of Montana. Unless Ted Turner's ranch is on fire, CNN apparently won't cover it. The weird storm pattern that has battered the Midwest and the south this summer, which has lead to tornados in Miami, and violent twenty minute waves of thunderstorms in the Midwest, remains mostly filler for events that can consume hours and hours of airtime, like the California recall election.

First thing, I did it today, time to get hip to the lights out way. Lights out! -- Mighty Mighty Bosstones

It will not be the last major power failure. Deregulation of the electric utility industry has lead to the solid, local energy providers to become national energy traders who have to meet Wall Street earnings expectations than provide reasonable, reliable electricity to their customers. Electric utilities were locally regulated monopolies. The dividends from those utilities paid for the retirements of just a generation ago. But not anymore. The first cutbacks in the search more profit and growth is capital expenditures. It is made easier because the special interests and politicians do not want new power plants to be built in their backyards. The only thing that could change that attitude is having the nation go dark right in the middle of the Super Bowl.

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