Monday, December 27, 2010

The Subway Sheeple Freeze

This is incredible. Over 400 people, last night, spent over 9 hours stuck on a NYC subway, on an elevated track, in freezing conditions.

According to WaPo, twice, passengers called 911 and the Fire Department of New York responded. Passengers begged the emergency responders to take them away, but they were told they had to stay put.

Are you kidding me? People who know me, know there is no way a firefighter is going to head back to a warm fire station and tell me there is nothing he can do.

More from WaPo:
Tensions in the car began to rise. No one was aggressive, but people were speaking forcefully to the conductor. Some demanded that city transit authorities bus them out. A mother with four children worried loudly that they had no water. Some worried about getting sick.

Men would walk onto the platforms connecting subway cars and urinate onto the tracks. Eventually, the train workers allowed passengers into the bathroom inside the train station. When it turned out that bathroom was heated, it caused a commotion.

"One woman came back and said, 'Oh my God, the bathroom is SO warm,'" Mullen said. She was very excited. But the station had no heated space where the passengers could wait out the storm.
 This is utterly amazing. Folks, with the inflation ahead and the debt crisis ahead, who knows how bad things are going to get. If you are going to depend for government to rescue you, based on their rules, you are going to end up like these sorry subway passengers.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 4 ways to get the city to get me off that train, pronto. It might be a good exercise for you to think about how you would handle such a situation, because some day, given the way things are going, you may have to use your wits in such a situation, maybe an even worse situation.

I can see, though, for most people the TSA obedience training is really working. It looks like most will stand for almost any kind of abuse.


  1. Now, now...could it be possible that the majority of these people were actually trying to get somewhere (hence their presence on the subway train), and that this "somewhere" for most of them was not that particular station?
    And that there wasn't any (private) taxi service available, because of, you know, snow deep enough that even buses couldn't get through?
    So there really wasn't any choice but to wait it out?

  2. @Anonymous Dec 27 10:53

    This is exactly my point. You better learn to start thinking out of the box, because these types of government failures are going to intensify. You need to be able to think of options to solve the problem for yourself, or find a way to get government moving for you.

  3. I don't understand. If they could get off the train and use the station bathroom, what was keeping them from walking out of the station? Were the "authorities" keeping them penned up in the train cars or preventing them from leaving the station? What the hell?

  4. I seriously doubt anyone was kept there.
    Let me bring my experience into it: I grew up in a cold climate.
    Imagine that the storm of the century is happening, snow is knee-deep, making any kind of walking extremely difficult, and enough to stop a train.
    You have to travel to a station 10 miles away. There is no taxi or bus service, because it is impossible to drive. The government has nothing to do with it. It is nature.

    Your choice: walk through the snow, which is a huge physical effort, in very cold windy weather for 5 hours (walking through this kind of snow is extremely slow) and risk dying of hypothermia or severe damage from frostbite, or sit in relative comfort (the key word being relative) until the train starts moving again.
    Yes, the train was unheated, but it was a sealed compartment with people inside, meaning it was significantly warmer than outside, and no wind blowing in your face.
    Staying put in the train was the logical and safe thing to do.
    Think of it this way: suppose you are on a highway in freezing weather and your car dies. The safe thing to do is to stay in the car, even if it is for a couple of days, until the weather improves and someone can help out. It's stupid to leave.

  5. I don't understand this at all. Were these people held against their will from leaving the train? At gunpoint? Something?

    Their legs were broken?

    A fifty foot snowdrift blocking the path?

    I don't get it.

    Seriously, they just stayed in the train?

    New York what happened to you.

  6. As the station was closed, I guess the gates to the outside were locked.

  7. I makes much more sense to stay on the train, near the existing station than to take off on a trek through weather that had dropped enough snow to stop the train in the first place.

    Somehow the woman with four kids taking off across the city - a city shut down by extreme cold, snowy, windy weather... would make one wonder about her sanity. I think she made the right choice to stay put.

    I would have to agree with the first Anonymous comment.

  8. They don't lock the one way exits at city subway stations.

  9. @Gray Lance

    You miss my point. Especially if I am the woman with four kids and EMERGENCY RESPONDERS HAVE RESPONDED TWICE, those reponders are getting me and my kids off the damn train.

  10. For those of you that don't believe that this could have happened, don't you remember the passengers on planes that have been made to wait with no food or water-one for 8 hours.

  11. They should have started a fire to stay warm. Throw a few 'emergency responders' on it to keep it going.

  12. @Robert
    We got your point. So the fire truck comes and sees 900 people on the train. One truck can maybe take 10 people. So are they are supposed to stop responding to everything else and send 90 trucks to provide a taxi service for everyone? Or are they just supposed to be a special taxi service for you and your kids?

  13. Your average American is a dumb and disgusting creature and deserves everything that he is going to get in the near future.

  14. I agree with Robert.. in fact I'll go so far as to say that I don't really care what happens to the other 900 people, those tax leeches are getting me and mine off this g-damn train. The proper response is to find a nearby facility with heat and evacuate the people into this facility. This is not brain surgery!

  15. "you are on a highway in freezing weather and your car dies. The safe thing to do is . . ."

    . . . get the fuck out of your carbon monoxide filled heat sink and build an insulated yet ventilated shelter you can heat with your multi-fuel stove while cooking your emergency rations.

    Should you be there long enough for the fuel and/or food to run out you can use one of your emergency flairs to set your spare tire on fire, which not only provides heat for hours, but sends up a smoke smudge visible for miles.

    Your precious car is not the only thing that loves and protects you. It is, in fact, the most dangerous thing you own.

  16. So you are going to MAKE an emergency responder take care of you? How exactly? By pulling out your gun and threatening him? By beating him up first?

    This is laughable on so many levels. Who is the sheep, anyway?

    If you don't like staying on a cold train, get off it and find a hotel lobby, a bar, or some other warm place. Don't depend on government to fix things for you. They don't give a damn about you.

  17. I was trapped sitting on a plane for a long time, so I understand the frustration of being somewhere and not knowing when you'll be able to leave.