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Another Earthquake Hits Christchurch

TV New Zealand is posting Live updates: Christchurch quake.

The ABC report: Multiple deaths as quake strikes Christchurch

Multiple fatalities have been confirmed after a powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the New Zealand city of Christchurch, bringing down buildings and buckling roads.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck near the city at a shallow depth of just four kilometres shortly before 12:50pm (local time) with the city at its busiest.

Police said Central City was being evacuated, with multiple deaths reported at several locations, including two buses crushed by falling buildings.

  • Quake has caused multiple deaths
  • Second major quake to hit city in six months
  • Extensive damage in city, power cuts
  • City has run out of ambulances
  • 5.6-magnitude aftershocks recorded
  • A level 3 emergency has been declared


Christchurch was struck by a major 7.1-magnitude earthquake in September last year. That quake was felt through much of the South Island and caused widespread damage.

The region has been struck by thousands of aftershocks since the original quake.

New Zealand, which sits between the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates, records on average more than 14,000 earthquakes a year, of which about 20 would normally top magnitude 5.0.

This was a shallow earthquake that struck a city where the structures were already weakened by the previous quake, so some, like the Cathedral, just collapsed. It occurred during the middle of the day so there were more people concentrated near the epicenter, and in multi-story buildings.

February 21, 2011   Comments Off on Another Earthquake Hits Christchurch

The Most Important Human …

… you have probably never heard of, although you have seen his influence in the former Eastern Bloc countries, Burma, and are now watching it in North Africa and the Middle East. The BBC has a short piece on Gene Sharp: Author of the nonviolent revolution rulebook.

If you want a copy of the rulebook to play along at home, Mr. Sharp’s organization, The Albert Einstein Institution, has From Dictatorship to Democracy available for free download in 24 languages.

February 21, 2011   Comments Off on The Most Important Human …

The Worst Is Yet To Come

The BBC reports on the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon blowout: Gulf spill’s effects ‘may not be seen for a decade’

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill “devastated” life on and near the seafloor, a marine scientist has said.

Studies using a submersible found a layer, as much as 10cm thick in places, of dead animals and oil, said Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia.

Knocking these animals out of the food chain will, in time, affect species relevant to fisheries.

She disputed an assessment by BP’s compensation fund that the Gulf of Mexico will recover by the end of 2012.

Millions of barrels of oil spewed into the sea after a BP deepwater well ruptured in April 2010. Oil slick Assessments of the clean-up effort have focused on the surface oil, but much oil remains at depth

Professor Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington that it may be a decade before the full effects on the Gulf are apparent.

The oil is sitting on the bottom of the Gulf turning it into a lifeless oil bog. The organisms that should be there to provide food for the upper forms of sea life are dead. The effects of this will ripple upwards and kill off the tuna, shrimp, red snapper, etc. We still get tar balls on the beaches, and there is oil residue in our seafood. There has been widespread illness that doctors suspect is related to the use of dispersants.

Those of us on the Gulf Coast know that we are being lied to by BP and the US government. All of the other studies of the health of the Gulf were made without any inspections of the floor of Gulf, something that Dr. Joye actually did for her work.

February 21, 2011   9 Comments

That Explains It

Gin and Tacos reads long and boring budget bills, so you don’t have to.

The fact that buried in that bill is a provision that allows the Koch Industries vice president for Wisconsin, Scott Walker, to sell the publicly owned energy facilities on a no-bid basis to private industry pretty much shows the real purpose of this whole problem. Koch Industries, an energy company, wants to steal from the people of the state of Wisconsin, and the Republicans are rushing to help them.

The union busting was ancillary, but designed to cover the real purpose of the bill. Walker wants everyone focused on the attempt to screw over the workers, so they don’t notice that he intends to give away the assets of the state.

Here’s the official marked-up bill in PDF format. The relevant text is on page 24 identified as “16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state-owned heating, cooling, and power plant.” It is included as Section 44 of the bill, and is created, not an amendment of existing law. This is the real purpose of this mess, corporate theft of public property, there is no other reason for hiding this in the bill, and demanding quick passage without any debate over the bill. They wanted to rush it through before people found out.

February 21, 2011   12 Comments

It’s About Jobs

The Guardian is live-blogging the Arab and Middle East protests – as they happened, and they have set up a separate blog for Libya after protests flared in Tripoli.

Iran and China are also getting nervous about protests.

The crowd at First Draft are covering their home turf in Madison, Wisconsin, with Scout coming back to fill in.

As a public service here is the enemies of people list:

Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali – former first thief President of Tunisia

Hosni Mubarak – former first thief President of Egypt

Ali Abdullah Salen – current first thief President of Yemen

Muammar al-Gaddafi – current first thief Leader of Libya

Mohammed VI – current first thief King of Morocco

Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa – current first thief King of Bahrain

Scott Walker – current Koch Industries vice president for Governor of Wisconsin

This is all about the rich getting richer and everyone else starving. This is about stealing from the poor to give to the wealthy.

February 21, 2011   5 Comments