Posts Tagged ‘Earthquakes’

Aphorisms, April 2011.

April 28, 2011

 

No Greenhouse, The Tornadoes Blew It Up…

The USA is the country which contributes the most to the emission of CO2, either directly, or indirectly, through its factories in China, fed by the power of radioactive, mercury laced coal.

The most deleterious consequence of CO2 emissions is the acidification of the oceans, which are turned into carbonic acid, according to the exact same reaction which makes all carbonated drinks interesting.

Another consequence of the CO2 poisoning of the biosphere is the rise of atrociously bad weather, as the energy pumped into the atmosphere goes up. That makes the atmosphere, well, much more energetic.

North America and Eurasia are the only continents which spread appreciably from the polar regions to the tropics. The continents do not have the thermal inertia and conductivity of the oceans, so air masses passing over continents are not rendered mild, as they are above the oceans. However, Eurasia has gigantic mountain ranges enforcing a continuous separation between the glacial north and the hot south. Those ranges spread from the Pyrenées in the West to unknown ranges in Eastern Siberia. The polar and tropical air masses are thus segregated in Eurasia.

In the USA, mountain ranges are absent in the Middle West, so polar air can battle hot humid air from the gulf of Mexico. As the greenhouse gets worse, the death toll in the heartland of the USA keeps on climbing. More than 300 dead on the outbreak of April 27-28, 2011.

An aggravating  factor is that so many American citizens live in so called “mobile homes”, shacks which were once on wheels, and have no basement (to take shelter in). Only Gypsies live in such conditions in Europe. And even then, not really, that would be unlawful. so the Gypsies mobile homes are still mounted on wheels, ready to take off before the local authorities get really irked.

Thus, the socio-economic organization of the USA is directly  at fault in the tornado massacres: too much of a consumer, debt driven economy (bringing the CO2 up, and the infrastructure down), too much dire poverty (hey, we want the rich to boast of their “philanthropy”, with their 17% tax rates, and no taxes on inheritance).

What is the plutocracy going to do about it? Don’t hold your breath. Probably pay some Stanford or Harvard professors to go around the Main Stream Media, to claim that the rise of energy in the atmosphere has nothing to do with tornadoes.

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At War With China & Pakistan?

The Main Stream Media report that Pakistan has been urging Afghanistan to switch alliances from the USA led NATO to the holy alliance of the Taliban, Pakistan and China.

I have said all along that such was the real threat. But now it’s a problem, and it’s in the open.

What do these three have in common? Dictatorship. In other words forms of plutocracy which Lenin was not aware of when he was still healthy, and became suspicious of only when he was on his death bed, and (ex bank robber and terrorist) Stalin had taken control of the Soviets.

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Syria, Or Why Tyrants Love Tyrants:

Some have protested that the leading democracies attack the bloody Libyan dictatorship just for its oil, instead of the blood it spilled over the last 42 years.  

But not so. First Libya does not have that much oil. It should be enough to give all 8 million Libyans a good life, for a little while longer, but Libya is not Saudi Arabia. Libyan peak oil is soon, Saudi peak oil not before another 15 years or so, and at considerably higher rate of extraction.

Politically; the French succeeded to persuade China, Russia and Brazil to not stand in the way at the United nations. The French have important high technology transfer programs with them all (nuclear submarine with Brazil, nuclear power plants with China, aircraft carrier/command ship and high speed trains with Russia). Economic ties (gas, cars, steel) are also playing an important role (even with India). But now Britain, France, and the USA “shall not rest” until Gaddafi is out.

So the muscular regimes or dictatorships, or plutocracies who have no love for their own minorities, and want to keep on cracking down in all serenity, have now understood the danger of democracy spreading. They object strongly to threats against Assad and his dictatorial system, because they know they are next. So this time, whatever the French want, they will try to veto them at the UN on intervening in Syria.

But of course, by the time France decided to intervene  in Libya, Gaddafi had killed thousands already, and Assad is not yet there. Once he gets there, and he will, the West, and democrats in general, will be better able to distinguish friend from foe, and the cleverly righteous from the stupid cowards…

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Creeping Irrationality.

As the Roman empire matured, degenerating ever more, irrationality gained. Ever more. The same process can be observed nowadays. Why so?

Our leaders, the plutocrats, and their sycophants, are uncommon. By definition. Anything having to do with the commons is antagonist to them. Common sense is not just their enemy, but thoroughly alien.

There they go, per the grace of their god. What should they fear? Revolution? There will be no revolution as long as the debate is not about the true problems. So, instead of talking about the corruption of the political system by high finance, and the feeding of high finance with common tax money, or the collusion of international plutocracy with the dictatorships, the propaganda makes it so that the Main Stream Media talks of other things: overstretched Medicare in the USA, overstretched peripheral economies in Europe.

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Is America Tribal? Or Just Rendered Stupid?

So Obama went on his knees, and produced the “long form” of his birth certificate. Trump, the plutocrat, proclaimed victory.

It is interesting how, 150 years after the Secession War, Americans are still basking in the glory of having a two track citizenship. There are real Americans, those, born in the USA, who can become president. And then there are second rate citizens, who can be deported, and are not good enough for the US presidency.

Let me be clear here: the worst problem is not with republicans. Most of these, in polls, did not believe that Obama was born in the USA. This showed, as usual, that most republicans have a diminished sense of reality. The worst problem was with the left wing media, which did not realize that, by being indignant about where Obama was born, they made the point of the racists, and the partisans of the “us versus them” mentality. Why? Because it OUGHT not to matter where Obama was born. And, moreover, on the letter of the law, it did not matter. So the left argued as an extreme right, while thinking of itself as, well, on the left!

So much for human rights, and equality! It is alarming to see that, 150 years after the Secession War, people still do not seem to understand that violating the neighbor’s rights violate their own, and that the tribalism of geographical origins is nothing to defend.

Let’s notice in passing that Sarkozy, the French president, himself the son of an immigrant from Hungary, suggested that naturalized citizens ought to have fewer judicial rights. But the outraged reaction of French public opinion, and of French democratic institutions, such as the Constitutional Court, made Sarkozy gave up completely on the idea. Having entertained it brought down Sarkozy in the polls, as low as a French president ever got. 

What is particularly grotesque is that millions of American parents have lived overseas, giving birth to American Untermenschen… Even if the families of each parent had been American for generations. And still most Americans and the Main Stream Media consider them to be a lower caste.

Oh, and what does the Constitution of the USA say?

The Constitution reads as follows: “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States

The US Constitution does not say you have to be born INSIDE the USA to be a natural born Citizen.  Actually John Mc Cain was born in Panama. True, the US Supreme Court messed up the “natural born” common law idea by deciding at some point that Native Americans were not Americans. (That was rescinded in 1924.)

Barack Obama’s mother was a citizen, a child of two natural born citizens who always lived in the USA. She lived in the USA for more than seventeen years before his birth. That made Barack Obama a natural born Citizen no matter where he was born. One would think.

Hence, Obama is a natural born citizen from two independent criteria. So why to talk about this non subject with so much enthusiasm for so long? Either the Main Stream Media is stupid, or wants people to be stupid, or both.

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How democracy Turns Plutocratic:

A democracy is as wealthy as the many who compose it. It is complicated to keep people individually well provided for. That is a seduction of plutocracy: only the wealth of the few matter matters, and they call that an economy. And how does plutocracy happen? By transferring wealth from the many, to the few. The few (oligoi) manage (nomos) the house (eco), and the many are left to live in the outhouse. There we go.

What we have now is more a politically driven phenomenon than an economic one. The fact that the presidents of the USA, for decades, have been immensely wealthy men, and similarly for most of the American Senate and Congress, has a lot to do with it. The extent of that corruption is different from that occurring in normally functioning democracies.

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Geological Realism Against Unreal Plutocracy:

The entire Pacific plate seems to be on the move. From archeogeological studies, we know that the 9 Richter Cascadia quake entails a San Andrea quake south.

And look at the geography of California: it sure appears as if the land West Of the San Andrea fault, a part of the Pacific Plate compacted by the American plate, periodically falls into the ocean. How nice a tsunami does that make?

Although the San Andrea is classified as a “transform” fault (sideways motion), clearly the entire West Coast is, overall, a massive subduction zone, a giant pile up (a plate is sinking below another, never to be seen again).

Indeed the American plate heads westward ever more, crushing and… subducting the Pacific plate. As proven by the volcanic range which extends from British Columbia to Mexico, including on the way the massive Long Valley Caldera.

So the fact that the Pacific plate one moves north westward does not make the overall subduction go away. Whatever geologists say. But of course, if the geologists assert that no subduction quakes can happen in California, they ingratiate themselves to the powers that be, and their departments will be well funded. Reciprocally, should their insinuations irritate the powers that be, they will be, at best, ignored. At worst, their departments will get de-funded.

Farfetched? Exaggerated? How many tsunamis do you need to be warned? Japan was hit by three massive tsunamis in 30 years prior to 2011. It was known that the Senai plain had been hit in 860 CE by a tsunami, which went four miles inland. How many miles do you need?

Geologist Shishikura and his colleagues told the government. The powerful Trade Ministry dismissed the evidence. Trading first, tsunamis cannot be traded. Nuclear power plants were left by the sea, defended only by sea walls corresponding to recent wave activity. Fukushima had a 5 meter wave, so they put a 5.5 meter wall. When the tsunami came, it was 15 meters.  

Thus, ultimately, expect a Richter 10 quake along the West North American coast someday (after all, there was a 9.6 Richter quake in Chili, in 1960, same plate, similar situation).

But 10 Richter quakes are not something plutocracy has to worry about (its recent, expensive homes being the most capable of resisting quakes). it has only to worry about geologists, engineers and construction types working hard. If they work so hard, who would pay for them? The plutocracy. And that is insufferable. The plutocracy does not need arrogant geologists and engineers with their science, and , contractors with their big muscles.

The plutocracy needs valet parking, servants, servers, valets, private security, goons, sycophants and paid escorts.

Thus West Coast media and politicians ignore the quake danger, they are paid to ignore the danger, however indirectly, another aspects of neglect and complacency which has its root in the class structures of the USA.

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Riling Against High Speed Rail Because Is Where The Money Is:

University professors play an important role in fabricating an ideology compatible with the plutocracy in power. Under the USSR, professors were generally in the pocket of power. When Sakharov, or Solzhenitsyn turned against their masters, they  were rare exceptions who proved the rule.

A week or so ago, a Stanford professor blasted High Speed trains in the USA, claiming that, worldwide, only two Very High Speed lines are profitable. One in France, the Paris-Lyon line, one in Japan, the Osaka-Tokyo line. I don’t know about Japan, but the statement is blatantly false about France.

This is subtle ideology transfer. The gross message: “High Speed Rail is bad”, is accompanied by disinformation, if not lies. Indeed  the definition of High Speed Rail is 300 km/h in France, but only 200 km/h in the USA. Most of the French main lines go at 200 km/h. Most are profitable (SNCF, a private company, being overall profitable, although most of its mileage is internally subsidized  small lines in the boondocks).

In truth, France’s very high speed lines are profitable. So much so, most use double deck trains. The Paris-Lyon-Marseilles, Paris-London, Paris-Brussels  lines are very profitable. New lines are established with a mixture of private and local state financing, and would not be engaged in, if not guaranteed profitable (the local city will not sink municipal funds into nothingness).

Electric trains fed by nuclear power have at most 3% of the CO2 production of other means of transportation. Something to keep in mind next time very warm air mixes with cold air in the neighborhood.

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Patrice Ayme

ONE WAY PLUTOCRACY KILLS.

July 29, 2008

MORALITY WITHOUT ECONOMY IS ONLY RUIN OF THE CITIES.
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Abstract: Those who believe in money-power (plutocracy) love to say that all and any excess of the “free market” will self correct. And thus such excess will stay self contained to the economy. Not so. We give one class of examples.
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Two very severe quakes occurred in urbanized Japan during the last month (7 to 7.5 Richter). Nearly nobody was killed, and there was little damage. These miracles occurred because of the tough earthquake code in Japan, and reconstruction according to it. In California, similar quakes, centered on cities, could kill up to 100,000 people, or more. They are expected soon.

Why are so many deaths coming to California soon? Because, only in the city of San Francisco (a tenth of the Bay Area’s population) dozen of thousands of buildings are ready to collapse if the expected quake(s) occurred (a 7 to 8 Richter earthquake in the central Bay is predicted, within 30 years). The city of San Francisco has realized there is a serious problem, and that is what it says. It advises real estate owners of “soft buildings” to fix them, but it will not make the fixes mandatory, nor will it address the case of “non ductile” concrete buildings (there are thousands in the Bay). In case of severe quake, those are expected to “pancake”.

Why no mandatory fix? Why not prevent “pancaking”? Because there are not enough engineers to inspect and find out what to do, building by building.

This problem has been long in evidence (after a deadly quake in the LA area, the LA city council tried to make quake fixes mandatory in 1995, but rich real estate owners stopped them). Instead of directing economic activity that way, by morally correct legislation, it was directed towards speculation (Internet bubble, credit bubble, real estate bubble). The speculation made a few people much richer, and they were the ones pulling all the strings.

Thus the present US financial crisis it is not just a question of self correcting excesses in the financial sector. The financial sector directs the whole economy. By going crazy, it made the economy crazy.

By controlling the electoral process the financial sector and its attached plutocracy led the whole country in the wrong direction. A good example was the refusal to limit frantic consumption, energy waste, etc… Result: Iraq was invaded, but the USA did not get ready for quakes. Just as there is only a finite number of building inspectors, there is only so much capital. If most of the disposable capital, human or financial, is spent on the military, and “nation building” on the other side of the planet, among the haters, there is none for infrastructure, material or otherwise, inside the USA.

Senator Obama’s economic plan proposes a tax loophole for Venture Capitalists, supposedly to stimulate the economy. This makes little sense. Most of the economy does not have to do with improving widgets, and making the hyper rich richer is the Reagan way to go at it. This has been proven to be a disaster. Moreover, all the hyper billionaires will turn into “Venture Capitalists” overnight, to benefit from the zero percent taxation. They will probably all invent “new” financial “instruments”. No wonder they are all in love.

The preceding shows that gigantic infrastructure spending is not just a question of creating a real economy, but of basic morality. There are no mostly military solutions to socioeconomic problems, be it in Afghanistan or in the USA. There are no efficient financial markets without efficient law and morality to guide them, either.
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Patrice Ayme,
Tyranosopher.
http://patriceayme.com/

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Technical addenda: 1) To make an old building earthquake safe is not obvious, and requires highly technical assessments, which vary from building to building. The cost can be anywhere between 5% and 70% of total replacement by a brand new building.

2) The “financial engineering” found in the USA in recent years is a tail banging the dog around. So much so, the dog has lost its mind. The word “engineering” in this context is an abuse of a glorious concept. The late “investment bank” Bear Stearns used a leverage about 30 (the expression “investment bank” meant it went around all international regulations that banks have to respect, by law). It mostly “invested” in financial “products” of a type so obscure that more than one TRILLION dollars worth of it cannot be sold at any price. Meanwhile China is building the Bay Bridge piece by piece, in China; real economy for real (Chinese) people. That crucial bridge was broken in 1979, in a preceding quake. Excuse us if it’s so slow: we are spending all our money invading other countries, to justify spending more on “defense” than the rest of the world combined. In 1941, the USA was a country of engineers. That’s why it won the war in three years. In 2008, the USA has become a country of puppet masters pulling financial strings to nowhere, except decay, death and destruction. That’s why, even with Chinese help, it can’t repair earthquake damage in 20 years.

3) Japan can be said to be three times more egalitarian than the USA (using the RP 10% measure). Japan is actually (as measured by the Gini index) one of the most egalitarian countries in the world. Uniquely among the most developed countries, inequality has been rising considerably in the USA. (since 1970, leading to a decay of health and education).

4) The entire west coast of the USA (just like the entirety of Japan) is very exposed to earthquakes. There are many faults next or below Los Angeles, massive ones around Seattle, and no less than three major ones in the San Francisco Bay Area. The frequency at which segments shake is known, hence the predictions above. Four massive quakes occurred in the SF Bay Area in the last 170 years.