Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Sucker Punch

with 3 comments

Well, what can I say?

We lost power.  And we not only lost power, but the new VP for Emergency Management at Connecticut Light and Power, or whatever he’s called, got up at press conferences and said all the same things the old president or CEO or whatever he was said last time, which did not make Governor Malloy happy and didn’t make any of the rest of us happy, either.

We can’t do anything about widespread power outages.  As soon as things are safe, we will assess the situation and get right to work.  It will take two or three days before the assessments are done.

A friend of mine said that this only sounded as if CL & P wasn’t doing anything but assessing for three days, and in fact he was right–we got our power back after about 12 hours. We didn’t even lose any food.

But I went back and looked at the stuff I had for last year, and I’d be willing to be that “didn’t do anything until the assessments were all finished three days later” was what we had then.  At least I can’t find any  indication that anything was getting fixed.

On the other hand, a lot of what went wrong last October went right this time–we had out of state crews in Connecticut as of Sunday night, ready and able to get started.  At least part of the reason for that was that no out of state crews had been left unpaid since the last disaster.

Yes, that’s what I said.  When the big winter storm hit here this time last year, some out of state crews were refusing to come because they still hadn’t been paid for the work they did during Hurricane Irene a few months earlier.

So there was that.  There was also a massive tree clearing effort that had been going on all year and went into gear to finish up by the time the storm was predicted to hit.

And all this helped.  Our power went out at around eleven Monday night and came back between ten and eleven the next morning.  We didn’t even lose any food, and Matt found that his decision to stay instead of trying to get back to Philadelphia actually made sense.

All that said, things are nasty enough.  The towns on the shore will in all likelihood be without power for at least a week, which will be the third time in fourteen months they have been stuck with that particular problem. 

And New York, of course, is a mess.  As is New Jersey.  I’ve got friends in Virginia and family in Maryland and they all seem to be all right, and not in the middle of a castrophic mess.

Of the people I know in New York, most thankfully live in Brooklyn, where the least damage seems to have been done. 

But my agent is without power or water, and the businesses I deal with all seem to be well before the 31st Street cut-off for “you really don’t want to be here.”

As to what else is going on–the predictable “this is all about global warming and climate change” stories have all started, and they continue to miss the point.  The issue–at least for me–has never been if climate change is happening but what we should do about it, coupled with my skepticism that a “global goverance” regime of top down controls is the way to go.

(Why is it that the people who constantly lecture me about how we’re all resistant to “change” don’t seem to be able to cope with actual change?)

But the big news on the political front is that this thing may have won Obama the election.

It matters how government officials respond to this sort of thing.  It is one of the very few times we can see them actually doing their jobs.  It’s what turned my–and a lot of other people’s–opinions about Rudy Giuliani from “jerk” to ‘class act.”

Obama has done well with this, so far.  He’s certainly got a better ear for  how to behave in public and what to say than W did after Katrina.

And he’s being helped immeasurably by a Romney campaign that–I don’t know what it is they think they’re doing.  The Romney campaign’s behavior in the middle of all this has been patently bizarre.

I’m also pleased with Chris Christie in New Jersey, who had the grace to thank the President for help instead of doing that thing where you try to say it’s all the other guy’s fault no matter what he does.

At any rate, it’s over.

Before Hurricane Irene in the summer of last year–what happened in the fall was a winter storm with snow–anyway, before that, the last time a hurricane  had hit Connecticut with any force was in 1938.

I have to go correct these papers.

Hurricanes may come and go, but English composition marches on.

Written by janeh

November 1st, 2012 at 8:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'Sucker Punch'

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  1. It depends on what problem you’re trying to solve. A straight carbon tax would reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, true. But can that compare with the campaign contributions, speaking fees, post-government jobs and such which go with a 4,500 page “cap and trade” bill, or with “investing” in green technology? There’s probably more money (for the governing class) in auto fuel efficiency standards alone than there would be in a straight tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

    There’s a despair.com poster saying “If you’re not part of the solution, there may be lots of money in prolonging the problem.” Some people think that’s cynical. I think it’s a course offered at the Kennedy School of Government.

    Glad you’re OK.


    1 Nov 12 at 11:31 am

  2. Robert, in case you haven’t already read them, can I recommend three books, which you might find interesting (or not as the case may be).

    First, I’d recommend Bjorn Lomborg’s “Cool It”, a few years old now but still relevant. It argues for adaptation rather than radical preventative measures which are, in any case, impracticable at any reasonable cost, if not physically impossible.

    Second, Donna Laframboise has a brilliant exposé of the IPCC and its principal characters in “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken For The World’s Top Clomate Expert”.

    Thirdly, Andrew Montford’s “The Hockey Stick Illusion” is a tour de force which describes the devastating statistical demolition of Professor Michael Mann’s notorious Hockey Stick by the Canadians Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.

    Anyone who has read just those three books will have all the evidence they need to discount the climate alarmism of the Al Gores of this world and their disciples.

    Finally, re Jane’s remark that Sandy seems to have pushed Obama over the line in the forthcoming election. I fear she might be right. Yet most of the damage seems to have occurred in states which (from this distance) seem over-whelmingly to be blue states in any case.

    Whatever, I think it would be a very gullible voter who switches to, or back, to Obama simply because he learnt from Bush’s “mistakes” with Katrina (as he has in pretty much everything from Guantanamo to the wars – at least to the slight extent that he has not adopted Bush’s policies in their entirety).

    Perhaps voters in the Red areas or swing states will have had the time and opportunity to pay proper attention to the concurrent Benghazi revelations about the White House’s attempts to cover up and obfuscate the failure of Obama, Clinton et al to respond to the frantic calls for help by the Ambassador and staff that were made within minutes of the fatal attack starting. The veritable flood of leaks from State and other involved agencies are saying unequivocally that forces capable of responding were ordered not to intervene and to stand down. (For one such account,see Diplomad’s “Magreb Madness: We Will Pay More for Obama’s Libyan Lies” here:


    If Obama gets over the line, the NYT and other MSM media will have done more to cause this to happen by their failure to report Obama’s failures than anything he has done since Hurricane Sandy. And they ought to be held complicit in what seems to me to be a scandalous dereliction of duty by the Commander-in-Chief, the like of which I can’t recall since the Bay of Pigs fiasco.


    1 Nov 12 at 9:24 pm

  3. Mique, can we do climate change some other time? I agree with you about the people involved–but it may not invalidate the phenomenon. The nice thing about a carbon tax as a solution is that it would “work” regardless, serving as a pretty good proxy for a consumption tax. (This assumes you trim other taxes to match, of course.) The main point was that whatever the specified problem, the preferred solution always seems to be a complex law and a large bureaucracy to enforce and interpret.

    If you don’t like climate change, try “equal opportunity” and I could make an excellent case there that the government is correcting a largely non-existent problem. The Labor Department found out years ago that average salary reflects education and years of experience. A BA in Elementary Education and five years of teaching–or a PhD in Biochemistry and 10 years of lab work–yield the same pay regardless of race or sex. Don’t wait up nights expecting the EO people to declare their job done and find honest work.

    As for the election, we’ll see. It’s very hard to unseat a presidential party at the four-year point, just as it’s very hard for the same party to win three times in a row. It’s even harder to change what we look for in a President and how we expect the government to function. What we need is something on the order of the elections of Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln or FDR–but that’s not what I expect to get even if Romney wins. He may buy us a few years. He won’t avert the collapse of the present system.


    2 Nov 12 at 6:11 am

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