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Wow. Germany is really a third-world country!

I was wondering when you were going to pick up on that. I was about to suggest it!


As many times as not, you and I tend to have different points on views on events. Again this is one of those times. This time however I am a bit more disappointed in you than usual. This time you truly failed to see the bigger picture. The bigger picture is about allies and saving the planet.

I think we might agree on several facts. These would be france is Germany’s most closest ally and normally follows where france leads; during the production of electric a by product of this process are green house gases, (known to all in euroland as the greatest danger the world faces); there has been some “social unrest” in france; finally it would seem now certain euroland will fail to meet the terms of the Kyoto Agreement which it champions.

I think the elites in Berlin would fully agree with the above facts too.

Now what better way to compensate the burning of 9,000 cars during this period of “social unrest” (a term used to describe these events by Dominique de Villepin, who by the way is a man, on CNN), which created a huge amount of greenhouse gases than to cut off power to the Germans? By doing this for a period of time, greenhouse gases produced in france are in fact being reduced in Germany by the curtailment of power production.

We both know given the overall superiority of the European social model and how big governments are both the norm and the acceptable answer to all problems in france and Germany, this can only be the logical answer or explanation as to why some citizens of Germany are in the dark literally. Things like this do not just happen in a nation such as Germany. Ask any German for an answer. They only happen in places like the US and some of the third world nations.

So one cannot view this as anything more than a demonstration of true German friendship toward the french and an act of social solidarity.

@Joe: Awesome. That was a spin worthy of the finest traditions of American MSM. Are you sure you're not a journalist?

Herr joe is on a roll......


That last comment was mine - the comments portion of the site changed after I rebooted - I notice other anonymous posts on another thread.....


According to my local paper, there is a big Kyoto meeting presently taking place in Montreal.

The American delegation is having quite a good time. The standing joke is that France must now buy Kyoto "credits," because the 4 week old Renault bonfire has caused France to excede its CO2 allotment for the year.

Also, the Euros and Canada can't understand how the U.S. has knocked down its CO2 production 14% while the rest of them have increased 25%. The market place caused many people to turn in their large SUVs for smaller vehicles.

Wow, the Germans really cannot deal with snow, can they? Especially their army. :-)

That snow storm...

I spoke with my dad (in Germany) a few days later, and we came to two important points regarding it, and German/US perceptions:

1. Just a laugh, skip this paragraph if you're in a hurry: It's often pointed out by Germans that all the power lines in US towns are above-ground (not buried like in Germany). In a lot of places this is true, and in a lot of places it's not. But it remains one of those "bad Amrican conditions" that needs pointing out - after all, these above-ground power lines are "often" snapped in snowstorms. (One could also point out that it's too expensive to bury them due to the longer distances the cables have to go in our spacious towns. Whatever.) I've spent less time with the power out due to these lines (once. some guy mowed down a power pole with his truck), than I hear about people in Germany ranting to my dad about US powerlines.

He and I decided that they should have practiced what they preached, and buried their long-distance power lines underground, too.

2. This really goes to the heart of German media lies (and hypocrisy, when compared to reporting from the US, as the article above does): I don't know about the whole of Germany, but at least near Cologne, drivers were stuck in the snow storm for hours, without plows ever showing up (before it was too late - can't plow a road full of cars, after all). Nowhere in the media was it pointed out afterwards that the snowstorm had been predicted for some time, and that plows should have been out and ready by the time it happened -- obviously a severe combination of incompentence and malice (there is a tendency in Gemarny these days to not solve traffic problems, in order to point out what a bad idea cars are).
My dad went to Cologne that day (choosing the one family car which already had winter tires installed, and happens to be jacked up a few inches). Not a plow to be seen. The snowstorm hit while he was there, on the way back out. Not a plow to be seen, with ever deepening snow. Back on a village road near home (never once plowed by this time), the snow got so deep he was pushing it with the front bumper. Next, the first reports of people stuck on the Autobahn in the snow, with nobody pointing out (Katrina-style or otherwise) the failure to their obvious job by the municipalities...

I think that Medienkritik should send some correspondents to Muenster to tell the story to the world.

Maybe you can photograph an elderly couple who have been without heat, bath or laundry for a week. You can label the picture "Germany's forgotten population - the face of poverty!"

"... and a nation marching single-file like geese through the darkness."

WTF is that supposed to mean? And isn't the phrase "marching single-file like geese" coming from a German journalist considered to be what psychologists call projection?

Hi Everyone,

As some of you noticed, we had a few technical difficulties with TypeKey. We believe that these issues have now been resolved. Please let us know if you experience any problems.

---Ray D.

(By the way, just to give credit where credit is due, this article is by David not me!)

Dunkel macht Frei.

Yes, I remember the power outage in the United States and Canada affecting 50 million people. It was in August. And it was 200 times larger in scale than the recent power outage in Germany, which, I dare say, would have gone unmentioned in the U.S. media even if it had occured in the United States during the summer slump. My suggested headline for the U.S. media: "Fastidious Germans ecstatic over run-of-the-mill power outage".

Not For Sale

Time for your John Kerry/Dominique De Villipin lesson in nuance.

The New York black-out lasted 24 hours. It occurred in the middle of the summer. It was caused by a squirrel which fried itself on a key switch. Squirrels are referred to in the U.S. as "tree rats." A squirrel in Germany is a protected species and would probably rate an obituary in the Spiegel and SDZ. Besides the squirrel, the only notable harm was probably an increase in admittance to the maternity wards nine months after the black-out.

The present German black-out has now lasted 5 days. It is in the dead of winter. I imagine that the 100,000 people that are effected have not bathed or ate warm food for the last 5 days. It would be what SPON likes to refer to as a "Desaster."

Here in the New England area, Baseball hero Curt Schilling opened up his $800,000 home to a family from New Orleans. On the other hand, Senators Kennedy and Kerry, who own several homes in the area, did not offer their homes to anyone. I wonder if ex Chancellor and ex Landesminister of NWR Schroeder will offer his home to one of the hungry, frozen people from Muenster? Any guesses on what Gerd will do?

In response to that opening paragraph from Spiegel all I can think to say is "Jealous much?".

What story about a common power black-out, or even a slightly uncommon one, needs two references to superpower status in the very first sentence. As far as I know, no one has repealed the laws of physics or human error.

Note to Spiegel: We get up in the morning, eat, read, sleep, crap, and live life just like everyone else. S--- happens, here and everywhere else in the world. It's hardly a reflection on our superpower status if a transformer blows. Also keep in mind that the electricity grid is not a government monopoly. So you can't even blame it on the "superpower" government. (I don't know who owns the powerlines in Germany.) It's just one of those things, like a big snowstorm in Germany that knocks out people's power for a period of time. It's not a reflection on your national character or ours, it's just an unfortunate weather event. Deal with it and try to learn a lesson about judging others when you are in no position to do so. Are you so lame that you couldn't see a similar situation happening in Germany at some point that would come back to bite you and make you look foolish? Yes, I guess you are that lame. Bush Derangement Syndrome will do that to people.

@kcom - It's worse than that, Germany was hit by floods, and the all-clear could be given just two days before hurricane Katrina hit land. It's not that the possibility of unfortunate weather events had been off the radar for a long time.

The oldest abbey in the homeland of the pope under water (pics)

" The present German black-out has now lasted 5 days. It is in the dead of winter. I imagine that the 100,000 people that are effected have not bathed or ate warm food for the last 5 days. It would be what SPON likes to refer to as a "Desaster."

A technical point of interest: In a common German how-stuff-works book for children that I read when I was little, hot-water-radiator heating (used nearly exclusely in German) was diagrammed in such a way that you got the impression that the heat of the water alone makes it circulate. I never saw anybody else's heater close up, so I was left with the impression that all you needed was oil in your tank and you're good to go. (My grandparents next door had a weird old gas-fired central heater from which hot air rose through the house actually by itself, which probably did not even use electricity for control. My parents had installed US-style forced-air gas-heat, so that they would be able to add air conditioning some day.) Then I moved to the southern US, and of course we had forced-air A/C. Only now, having moved to New England, do I have to deal with hot-water radiators. And I they require electricity not only for control (I could rig that to a battery...), but also to pump the hot water around! So despite a full oil tank, no power=no heat.

Question, then: Between this setup here, and people freezing in Germany for 5 days straight due to power outages (virtually nobody has fully electric heat there), I guess even German oil/water heaters need electricity to pump the water around?

Is this Germany's version of Hurricane Katrina---freeze in lieu of drowning?


I'm originally from Massachusetts and I have experienced similar power-outages back in the 70s now hitting Germany. Yes, even MA will suffer the wrath of god from time to time. Also, forget not the enormous power outages that Canada had in the Ice Storm of 1998, which was just simply considered a Natural Disaster - no blame on anyone. As you may already know, we here in the north just roll with punches.


Regarding your heating system, when we had a power outage in Mass, my dad was able to get the heat running anyways. We had natural gas, maybe that we the catch. But I do remember him saying that he had to throw a switch on water heater. I made no futher enquries as I was only 7 at the time. In any event, keep warm this Winter!

@George M

The 2003 blackout wasn't caused by a 'tree rat', it was caused by tension in wires where too many trees were overhanging.

Kerry traveled to New Orleans aboard a UPS Boeing 757 loaded with 5,000 bottles of baby formula, 5,000 pairs of sneakers and an array of cleaning supplies to New Orleans. It had taken forever to get these supplies, and so 'NewsMax' only listed it as 'Late' instead of goodhearted. Not that Kerry even has anything to do with this topic.

100,000 in the dead of winter? That's nothing (if even accurate). A MILLION folks right here in Columbus were out of power for SIX days in the dead of winter, just last Christmas. My family opened their presents in the candlelight.

The German Blackout angle is weak, just as the original article itself was.

@AgentArc: Why was Kerry aboard? Did he pay for the supplies? Did he raise the funds to procure them? Did he displace other supplies, or another person who would have actually been useful at the scene? Other than as a publicity stunt, why did he go at all? If he'd wanted to actually help, he could have donated one or two vehicles from his "family's" extensive collection of SUVs.

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