Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

Have you gone without electricity, air conditioning, and running water for several days in 100-degree temperatures lately? Less fortunate Americans and U.S. natural disaster victims often do, but these are, with rare exceptions, temporary experiences. When they occur, they remind us of just how fortunate and vulnerable modern American life has made us; but how would we cope if we were without these “necessities” for a long time? (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

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11 Responses

  1. Edward Schmitt says:

    What disturbed me was the lack of civil leadership in the aftermath, the “it can wait until after the holiday” mentality, despite the forecast for triple digit heat. A complete disregard for the well being of the old and infirm.

    Also, it is not the dependency on electricity that is alarming, rather, it is the inflexibility in thought process that prevents adapting to the situation that is alarming. People were unprepared for this type of situation both in terms of having supplies and in terms of what to do. This just should not be the case.

    Candles, batteries, bottled water, a knowledge of what to do (ie. leave the freezer closed), basic knowledge and the will to adapt, improvise and overcome. It isn’t rocket science, so adhere to the KISS principal, be prepared, but keep it simple.

  2. Tony says:

    Micro grids…developing micro grids will do at least two things. First, assuming that they will be developed under a completely new set of regulations that hold the supplier accountable for service, they will allow for infrastructure improvements that will allow venture capital to finance upstart companies and take the “power” (pun intended) away from the monoliths who horrifically mismanage the mega grids and pass every natural disaster and inefficiency on to the consumer. Second, they will create jobs in an industry that requires advanced technical skills to both create the grids and to operate them.

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Intelligence Community

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    Ed – Bang on! Last week Gingrich and Forstchen said pretty much the same thing: this is what an EMP attack will look like. Thanks to the miracle of technology we’ve achieved a society that flat-out stops if we lose internet and cell phone connectivity; throw in complete loss of power, air conditioning, water, fuel delivery and things get pretty sporting.

    Posted by Mark Morgan

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Defense Industry Network

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    Yeah, we’ve been spoiled. Everyone in this country should have to undergo one month jungle/desert survival school!!!!

    Posted by Dennis Clark

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Wartime Professionals™

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    In your article you spoke of “Everyone should maintain emergency food, water, and other supplies; that’s just common sense. More importantly, everyone needs to assess their personal situations before a crisis. Ask yourself what you and your family are capable of, how well your neighborhood functions as a group, or where you could go if the need arises. Mental preparedness is every bit as important as physical preparedness.”

    I see the point you are trying to make – But I believe that we take it for granted because we have all of these modern conveinces and are no longer required to “do” anything for ourselves. We are referred to as “less fortunate” if we “do” for ourselves or if we go without these modern conviences. I’ve gone without air conditioning for most of my life and so has my children – Yes we live in America and this is their first year with an air conditioner. Why? For one I’ve always opened my windows and used what air that Mother Nature chooses to provide, and second, I’ve used fans, and third I’ve done my best to choose to live in place with shade trees where I haven’t had to be forced to use an air conditioner – However due to the weather and my type of abode it’s a bit different, the heat is beyond my control, and I “have” to employ the use of an air conditioner for the saftey and wellbeing of my children and myself.

    It does a body good to sweat and you shouldn’t lower your body’s temp to such a degree that when you do venture outside that you are “shocked” by the heat and the again by your home’s “coldness”.
    It would seem that as Americans We believe that we are owed an “EASY” life for the simple fact that we are born as an American, and we justify that we should never be as those people or as those who are “less fortunate” who may ever have to “go without electricity, air conditioning, and running water even for a few days” because we are different and are better and “unlike” those others, who live in the countries where they have to live these unfornate, un-modern lives unlike We Americans – We take life for granted, and we think that everyone we come in contact with should live this American life of modern conviences – We are somehow less or “less fortunate” if we do not conform to the American ideal of life.
    These things that modern life has given us are great and they do indeed have their uses – but they shouldn’t disable us as they often do when we are unable to employ them. Many people are simply “unable to function without modern technology and those things make modern life Modern”.
    Have any of you taken a bath in a creek or a pond and considered yourselves clean? Would you? Would you wash your hair in rain water and consider it a done thing? Would you turn off your lights during the day and use the natural light that comes from the outside, rather than kick on a 40 to a 100 watt bulb in every room of your house for the simple fact that it’s the “American” thing to do and you can? Would we be able to use less, do for ourselves more and still be more? We take the American Ideal and Dream for granted every day because we have commerialized it as some kind of commodity. It is sold and bartered and traded. How can it not be taken for granted when everyone has an “American”?

    Posted by Dayna Marie Ward

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    Yes, we have and you are extremely right. We take our leisure American way of life for granted. The storm in the East gave us a wake up call which we normally take for granted. Hours and days without electricity was a challenge in the near 100 degree heat. You are right. It was temporary, nothing at all like what our Veterans have to contend with for months on end, when they are deployed to a foreign country to protect this country.

    I thank each Veteran who has endured such hostel conditions. May many blessings for your sacrifice come forth to you and your families.

    Posted by Sondra Smith

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Conservatives of America

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    As a foreign born, naturalized U.S. citizen, perhaps no one knows better than people like me that the U.S. is the lone shining city on top of the hill. Americans, unfortunately, do not realize this and continue to take America for granted by electing those who display open animosity towards the principles we were founded on.

    May God help us because America has been undermined for a century and the foundation of the nation has been crumbling badly. The question remains, will a Reagan like inspirational leader be elected and inspire Americans once again to embrace their roots? I am not very hopeful. We have just gotten spoiled and the grass seems greener on the other side of the fence to many ignorant Americans.

    Posted by Kerem Oner

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: International Relations Professional Discussions

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    Oh please. I am sad to see that this blog, a mixture of fantasy, fright and fiction has now infected the IR Professional Discussions. There have been multiple Katrina size hurricanes during my lifetime; but in the scope of the U.S. economy and history, while they will be recorded, life is going on, repairs being made to lives and property, and yes people still choose to live below sea level in New Orleans (and in Bangladesh, and Amsterdam). The storm two weeks ago in Washington was but a fraction of the size of Katrina.

    I can only wonder if Mr. Ross has any concept of the difficulty in building, delivering, and detonating (at the correct altitude) an EMP weapon. Jeez, why stop there? How about the reservoirs, the sewage treatment, global virus, and ultimately an attack by aliens. I am but a single voice; but I think discussions like this belong in a different forum.

    Posted by Joe Lee Frank

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Department of Defense

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    If we were Americans first rather than democrats, republicans or tea partiers, we would be united in keeping America great. Dividing, no matter which side of the aisle does it, diminishes the sacrifices that our soldiers and their families have made over the history of America.

    Posted by Kandy Zabka

  10. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Department of Defense

    Discussion: DON’T TAKE AMERICA FOR GRANTED

    Interesting discussion… While it is easy to point to the President when things start going south with our Nation, we seem to forget that the cause and affect stems from money. Congress controls the purse strings with our Government. As we walk into FY13, the cuts that are going to hit the DOD will be unprecidented. $500B over 5 years, with the chance of another $500B kicking in. We can thank the Tea Party loyalists in the House of Representatives for this, as the war drums have been preaching spending cuts with no new taxes. Less Government, but no real willingness to take on Social Security or Medicare where the actual bulk of our country’s budget is allocated to. The result is that the DOD becomes an easy target, as the general public is tired of war, and Congress will receive public support (so they think) by cutting the DOD budget as we leave Iraq and soon, Afghanistan.

    The unfortunate truth is that our Capitalism is failing. Wall Street investors demand profits, which puts pressure on public companies to turn to cost cutting measures when sales dip. This has led to many jobs going overseas, and massive lay-offs here in the USA. Wall Street is posting record gains now, and share holders are getting rich again. Unemployment is at a record high, which negatively impacts local sales. Its a nasty paradox. In the past, the Government has bailed our economy out buy stepping up buying when the general public couldn’t. This stimulated jobs and kept companies profitable. Unfortunately, the Government had to borrow money to this, which has led to a large national debt. We can afford to do that anymore, so until investors on Wall Street are willing to accept a loss so that companies can stay open, unemployment is going to remain high, and Government services are going to shrink because we Americans don’t want anymore taxes.

    Posted by Jon Marcy

  11. Tony says:

    What is this EMP nonsense. I would expect more circumspect thinking and logic than to simply postulate that out of the blue, an EMP pulse would paralyze America. Who is capable of delivering the attack, and in a global economy who would be stupid enough to take down one of, if not the largest,of the world’s cash cows. “Come on man” get serious. The more interesting part of the piece correlates with other data that shows the most hated segment of the business arena is the public service sector in the power, water and sewer business. Their performance is abysmal when it comes to accountability. To paraphrase the Mayor of DC, they are always ready to improve their service after an incident, but are reluctant to proactively improve the way they manage infrastructure. As a consumer I would rather pay planned up front costs for better infrastructure and avoid the repetitive costs and substandard service because of poor infrastructure. The next interesting part of the article is the exposure of just how weak, we as a society, have become. So its hot outside. I was raised in Kentucky in the late forties and early fifties…no air conditioning, beastly hot and high humidity, oh there were elderly people then also. We simply coped and called it summer. No empathy here. We adjusted our cooking and eating habits, the time of day we did things and used shade as much as possible. Someone mentioned sweat, yup, the latent heat of evaporation worked then, I wonder why it stopped working in he 21st century?

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