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Bloviating Zeppelin: INFRASTRUCTURE!

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, August 20, 2007


In my opinion, for the past 20+ years Americans have sacrificed infrastructure for social programs that have yielded little if any benefit -- except perhaps to create an entire "needy" class dependent on government and to eliminate males entirely from black families. And, of course, to ensure we keep the constant flow of worker drones (i.e., Mexican laborers) funneling into our country so as to continue the consistent underclass.

In that amount of time, however, we have done our level best to ensure that the necessary infrastructure to accommodate all the additional people has been seriously curtailed.

And we are just now beginning to see the toll that this lack of focus and priority is creating.

Ask yourself if the way I typify Sacramento, Fornicalia (the place where I work) is the way you would typify your local community:

I describe Sacramento as a series of burgeoning and exploding bedroom communities, strip malls and parking lots interlinked by single two-lane roadways.

Meaning: we build and we build but we consider infrastructure not.

What do I mean by infrastructure? That would be the logical essentials, such as:

  • Power generating stations;
  • Sources of water;
  • Adequate emergency response staffing (fire and police);
  • Hospitals;
  • Refineries for petroleum distillates;
  • Interconnecting surface roads with sufficient capacity;
  • Expanded freeways to accommodate future traffic needs;
  • Sufficient railbeds to accommodate future interstate rail traffic;
  • Airport expansion;
  • Sewer capacity, water treatment capacity;

And that's just the tip-o-the-iceberg; not being a civil engineer there are certainly other venues I am soon forgetting, clearly. Likely you will remind me of some.

The fall of the Minneapolis I-35W bridge is just a small taste of what's in store for us in the immediate future. This is just the beginning of what is known as a Cascading Event Chain. If you think your taxes have been going to the constant monitoring and assurance that your bridges and roadways and trestles and overpasses are safe -- well, think again. Just ask your local governmental civil engineers. Your tax dollars have been diverted to assuring that, at least in Fornicalia, with CDC, the male inmates desiring to so become women have been getting their penises surgically nipped in clean and sterile environments.

Commercial air traffic is at its worst since on-time and off-time statistics were first kept in 1987. Our controllers are working with equipment that is outdated, outmoded, and their hardware and software won't be fully upgraded until 2025.

Las Vegas, for example, may reach a crisis in terms of sufficient water in three meagre years. It's called "building a city in the desert," for Christ's sake.

The same for New Orleans. Rebuilding New Orleans is an excursion in stupidity and tilting at every possibly-ridiculous windmill known to Man.

We cannot sacrifice the many for the few. Even good Trekkies know that. Spock said, in "STII, The Wrath of Khan":

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."

And we, as Americans, have consistently gone out of our way to avoid this bit of common sense since the 60's. I said it ten years ago and I'll write it now: our country will only be better off when my generation, the Baby Boomers, the self-absorbed, completely die off. The sooner the better. Bill Clinton perfectly exemplified my generation, thank you -- which is what you shall get in his wife, should you elect her.

We HAVE sacrificed the many for the few exceptions -- and to our eternal detriment and, I submit, damnation.

We are only now beginning to realize the price we shall now pay for our shortsighted foolishness.

This is witness in our social programs, our HIPA act, our ADA, our classifying as "disabled" those parolees who tattooed their foreheads with offensive letters and graphics because they cannot get jobs.

In the meantime, what we really need -- serious infrastructure as listed above -- gets shunted aside for social programs that coddle puerile emotions but yield little benefit. We ARE sacrificing the many for the few!

  • Short on water? Build desalinization plants!
  • Short on electricity? Build power plants! Build nukes!
  • Short on distilled petroleum? Build refineries!
  • Short on freeways? Build more!
  • Short on connecting roadways? Build more and widen them!
  • Short on sewers? Dig down and install new piping! New plants!
  • Can't move enough freight? Build new rail lines or double and triple track main lines!

But no.

We'd rather argue about fairy shrimp or vernal pools or some such bullshit.

It's not because we CAN'T make these things happen; it's because we bow to the FEW who would have us return to, as Spock once again said, the age of "stone knives and bearskins."

We can sacrifice the many for the few;

Or we can take back Logic.



Blogger shoprat said...

We are the most spoiled generation in history, one that has achieved absolutely nothing, but the sad thing is, I see no sign that the next generation is any better.

Sun Aug 19, 05:23:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Shoprat: that is SO clear, sir! I, however, see signs of change from the recuits who come before me in my various law enforcement classes. They are ready. They are empty heads.

They clearly NEED to be GUIDED!

And I shall GUIDE THEM.


Sun Aug 19, 05:41:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous gunz said...

There's a glimer of hope with more folks like you BZ that have the ability to help mold and shape young minds, however, I feel a lot like Shop Rat on this...

Sun Aug 19, 06:15:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...


Oddly enough, at my advanced age (pushing 60), I still have input into each and every academy class. My specific venue deals specifically with driver training. But purposely, more and more, I take my learning domain and expand it into the domains of ethics, honesty, veracity, truth, courage, integrity, logic and reality.


Sun Aug 19, 06:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Ranando said...

It's people like you that give me any hope.

Keep up the great work.

Sun Aug 19, 07:26:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Ranando: wow. Thanks.


Mon Aug 20, 01:12:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

Please let us not be so hard on our generation. I'm also of the generation of baby-boomers, and there are many of us - just like you, BZ, and the others here, who are trying our best to make a difference. We are not all spoiled, mindless, grown-up selfish brats, thank God. Too many of us are, but not all of us.

I do agree with you though that Americans have sacrificed infrastructure for some really stupid social programs. We taxpayers paying for criminals to have sex changes is actually insanity... it goes far beyond stupidity. And our taxpayer dollars should not be diverted from the programs they are meant for, like our infrastructure. The money being diverted away from highways and bridges for other programs should be illegal. That money doesn't belong to the government in the first place. It's our money and it's being foolishly wasted.

Off topic: I see you are a Star Trek fan. So can you do that sign that Spock makes with his hand? I can. :)

Mon Aug 20, 08:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Gayle: yes, you bet I can! That Vulcan Nerve Pinch still escapes me, however, darn it!


Mon Aug 20, 11:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

I think you should add oil wells to your list. We should have many wells off of the California and Gulf shores.

What really gets me is the rational that beach dwellers don't want to look at them. Other than some light on the night horizon, they are invisible from the shore.

Mon Aug 20, 11:53:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We should have many wells off of the California and Gulf shores."

Having looked at those eye-sores for almost 20 years (moved to Santa Barbara, CA in 1988), I do have to state that they are clearly visible day or night.

However, your call for more wells is being fulfilled. The best part is the eco-freaks are oblivious. Heh heh.

Mon Aug 20, 12:53:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Henry said...

Hey! Slogwhore didn't add my vitals to the above comment.

Mon Aug 20, 12:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Henry: and aren't there wells off Long Beach also?


Mon Aug 20, 03:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Henry said...

The bulk of off-shore platforms in California waters are inside the Santa Barbara Channel, but there are others, including Long Beach.

With a degree in Environmental Science, and being a Certified Commercial Diver, I've seen the full gamut of positions regarding the off-shore platforms.

Mon Aug 20, 05:54:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Henry: cool! I bet there's some very nice coin in commercial diving, albeit remarkably dangerous.


Tue Aug 21, 06:44:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Henry said...

"I bet there's some very nice coin in commercial diving"

You owe me a dollar.

Yeah, it would seem that such a dangerous and highly skilled profession would command high salaries, but I could make more working at In-and-Out Burger.

Long story short, five years ago, $7/hr to start out as a tender, and after spending 1-2 years, you might get to "break out" as a diver for $12/hr. If you can survive the industry long enough, you might make it to saturation diving at $15/hr.

Sure, there are the rare instances where the $$ is awesome (diving in contaminated water at a nuclear power plant for 30 minutes/day to repair leaks for $250/dive), but those are few and far between. Not to mention the testicle shrinkage and that funky, green glowing-in-the-dark thing.... LOL

After a short stint in the industry, I realized it's just not worth the risk.

Tue Aug 21, 10:49:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Henry: wow. That's the complete opposite of what I expected!


Tue Aug 21, 01:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Just like having a PhD in geology could get you a good job at McD's when I graduated. I would not put myself into debt for an *advanced degree* when the only chance for a decent job was with the Bachelor's I had and still have. Mind you the education system is *also* part of the infrastructure and is not measureably better than it was in 1958... all of the grand and glorious brandy-new teaching methods and things are not better and some sight worse than in 1958 when poor Johnny couldn't read. Guess what? All the money poured into that from the Federal coffers got you: nada. Be better off with what there was than what we *have*.

NYC is a very interesting case in point in infrastructure, since it needs to be continually upgraded and... well, lets put it this way, when the City outgrew its first aqueduct, it just put in two huge water tunnels to areas up north of the City. That was in the 1930's if I recall. The first aqueduct? Died a slow death as it was no longer bringing in enough water for anything. So here we are, 2007 and a brandy new water tunnel will go in because no one knows if the old ones can be *fixed*... you see no one ever bothered to do any maintenance on the old tunnels and they don't know if they can be shut off for cleaning and such. Or if the ancient valves in the waterstream can be opened again if shut.

So there is some part of this that does date back to pre-boomer period.

How about that lovely Eisenhower transportation system we have? Last bits are *still* getting put in... and now Texas is looking to see if an new mega-highway north-south should be put in. As if we really *need* that, given our problems with illegals, they would have a no-stop chance to anywhere in America. But if that was put in, what do you think will happen to the pre-existing 'superhighway'?

Take airports! Most put in during the 1930's out on *farmland*. Today they are in *cities* and can't expand. So now you have Denver that put up a brand new airport in the 1950's, putting a newer one up further out in the 1990's and tearing the old one down.

Sewers? Ever see Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe? Ever see the San Francisco one where they do, indeed, inspect sewers and then, after a quake, they find *older* ones that were *still* working that *no one* knew about? Guess what, every city has that problem. Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston... you name it, it has at least two levels if not three or four of old sewer systems still draining things that no one knows about. NYC has at least two unknown sets of subway tunnels going through most of the City... not reclaimed, just more or less bricked up and deserted.

Strip malls! I grew up in an area where you could go by multiple strip malls, and only about half the stores would be in use. The *malls* drew from them and then lower rent stuff went in and then the *galleria malls* went in draining off from the old malls and the low rent strip mall stuff went to them... then the *mega malls* and *factory outlets* got into the act. Ever see an abandoned *mall*? I have! Big building on acres of parking with weeds growing through the blacktop and *maybe* one or two stores and a few offices open inside, but the old theaters closed and just about everything else dark. Seen a few of those, actually... the strip malls are urban eyesores now.

At least when fiber optic cable goes in the old copper gets pulled out as it has some *value*. Powerlines last pretty long as they are relatively stable metal, well protected, and exactly how long is their coating good for? Uh-huh.

Fred Pohl didn't think that the 'suburbs' would actually last long and that folks would re-concentrate back to cities. Instead we now leapfrog from suburb to exurb to edge city and we can start to see 'suburban blight' of 50's tract homes going to seed... they do get torn down and re-developed! And put into the ancient sewer and water systems! Higher capacity homes, same old capacity infrastructure... hmmmm... not good!

Don't even get me started on the 1960's stuff that had to be torn down as it was making things worse, along with the culture of dependence. Turns out that if you don't own your living quarters you just let them go to hell. Get out the dynamite!

Now, here is a scary part: put in all the old criss-crossing infrastructure, old buildings, major transport systems, fuel pipelines and the rest of it that knit the Nation together, and put them over an old incipient fault zone. That is #3 on my fun with disasters post and it will be a doozy when it hits. Imagine knocking out the major East-West: powerlines, bridges, railroad bridges... and the North-South oil and gas pipelines. All at the same time. And have enough earthquakes for a few months that you *can't rebuild or repair* until they are finished. Maybe reverse the flow of the Mississippi a few times for an hour or so. Make some new lakes! Get rid of old ones! Randomly! Shift the Mississippi in its channel someplace! Ahhhh.... you want to see *ignoring* infrastructure by not making it earthquake resistant? Look no further than the Memphis to St. Louis area... count up all the major infrastructure through there and then knock it down. Plus every brick building that has not been steel reinforced. If we started *now* we might get done in 50 years... or the fault might let go in that period. Mind you, we could have been working on *that* since the 70's... but disco was more important.

As a just between Boomer and Gen X person, I can say I'm not much impressed with those two age cohorts. The first looks to eat up everything with Social Security and Medicair, the second doesn't want to do much about the infrastructure because their money is getting eaten by the Boomers...

Meanwhile our democracy is less viable and has less legitimacy than that of Germany in 1932-33. The Founding Generation warned of this and the outcomes to republics and democracies that have these conditions. Not that anyone will be interested in *that* until it is too late.

Tue Aug 21, 03:44:00 PM PDT  

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