The recent power failures in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco represent a wider failure of American power. This power is not just limited to the ability to keep the lights on, it includes an eerie silence about why the lights off which represents governmental power totally failing the public.
As previously discussed in The Duran, it is highly unlikely that the black-outs in the morning hours, in three cities which have no common power infrastructure, weather patterns or in some cases, even time zones in common, should be assumed as coincidental. The probability is that it was either a designed series of outages or it was a malicious attack. The latter would almost certainly imply some sort of either domestic or foreign terrorism.
But apart from various alternative media outlets questioning what has actually happened, a wider majority are apathetic about the whole strange and potentially dangerous incident to the point of making an un-intended but nevertheless very strong statement about the condition of modern America.
The average American used to be world-famous for the polite but stern complaint. The food, the air-con and the service needed to be just right and if it was, the proto-typical American would be deeply appreciative. Just ask anyone in the restaurant business in countries without a ‘tip culture’ how many US customers are both the most depending but also those most eager to show their satisfaction in the form of a large tip.
Has America really got to the stage where people are still willing to count the amount of pickles on the burger, but they’re not willing to ‘find the cost of freedom’ as the song goes?
The truth is that the black-outs were deeply inconveniencing, deeply bad for business, bad for efficiency and also a deeply embarrassing situation. A tourist stuck on a dark New York Subway platform, a stranded San Francisco BART metro train or in a darkened Los Angeles International Airport, won’t soon forget their ‘third world experience’. Donald Trump even warned of such things during his campaign.
As I stated yesterday, because of the lack of injuries in the event, it may well have been some sort of covert government safety drill. Information later emerged about something about to happen in the New York area called ‘Operation Gotham Shield’ in which various emergency services will simulate the after-effects of a nuclear attack.
If the black-outs were related to this drill, the public have a pragmatic and an ethical interest in knowing this. The panic and confusion among both locals and tourists is completely unacceptable in a country which calls itself civilised.
Whether part of a drill or an actual attack, the blackout should elicit transparency from all levels of government, including and perhaps especially The Federal Government.
In terms of geographical scope, yesterday’s event was more widespread than 9/11 and in terms of government transparency, it is far more duplicitous than 9/11 when at least the government attempted an explanation as to what happened, albeit one that most America’s find totally unsatisfactory.
The real power failure in the US is in the seat of power, in Washington D.C. One cannot literally and metaphorically keep people in the dark. It goes against every protocol and value of a free society. People have a right to be informed and people have a right to ask questions until they receive a satisfactory answer. If government wanted people to stop questioning their motives, a frank and open explanation is the best way to silence those critical of big government.
This ‘swampy’ attitude is even more devastating as it comes under the Presidency of Donald Trump who promised a more open and honest government culture. The proverbial swamp seems to be getting murkier, not drained.
People must hold their government to account. A real answer must be given and a thorough investigation must be held.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.