Thursday, 26 May 2011

Tornadoes and houses fit for three little pigs

Tornados are a common weather phenomenon. However the destruction and death toll caused year after year, decade upon decade, by tornadoes in the US is totally unjustifiable.

The images of devastated cities illustrate the root of the problem: buildings with a reinforced concrete structure are left standing, with minor damage, but timber framed houses are totally smashed. Remember the straw and stick houses in the "three little pigs"? Sounds familiar?

The problem is that most housing is made of these fragile timber structures. This is a fraud that the construction industry has been perpetrating on America for a long time, convincing Americans to pay for wooden huts as if they were proper houses.

Why doesn't tornado coverage in the media ever ask, "why are houses destroyed"?
This destruction is not inevitable, measures can be taken. As most countries regulate construction in seismic zones, a similar approach must be take where there is a relevant tornado risk. This is in the public interest, even if it may not please the construction lobby.

Or can't America build houses that survive a little wind? Not enough civil engineers?

Tornadoes, wooden houses and concrete buildings

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Velcro flags

It is interesting to see how in the American Army Combat Uniform (ACU) the US flag is not sewn, but simply attached with velcro.

Why is it not permanent?

Are American soldiers going to remove it at some stage of the fighting and swap to a "flag of convenience"?

Maybe become Canadians instantly?

Other NATO armies use velcro only for the IR flags (infra-red), with the true colours properly sewn.

Chinese soldiers also have they flags proudly sewn on their left shoulders...

flags in US and Chinese army uniforms

Sunday, 8 May 2011

hats off to Ghaddafi!

Today Ghaddafi caught NATO's airforce (the de facto rebels' airforce) on the wrong foot:

Pesticide-spraying planes did a clean raid over Misurata, destroying the rebels´ fuel supplies.

A true David against Golias operation, improvised with the "resources of the land".

You've got to admire the man's nerve and his determination to survive against all odds. And considering his intelligence, the rumours that he is of Jewish origin are ever more credible!

montage - Jewish Muammar Gaddafi wearing a Keppah

As our SAS colleagues say: "who dares wins".

I guess a few people in DC, Paris and London are having second thoughts!

Misurata fuel tanks on fire - Libya civil war

Does anybody doubt that a full blown civil war will cause more instability, destruction and casualties than what would have been a simple and clean insurrection suppression? Haven't politicians bombing theoretically to avoid civilian casualties failed to notice the qualifying adjective "civil" in civil war?

Ghaddafi will probably eventually fall, but many now calling for his departure will probably in hindsight miss him. In the "democracies" established in "Hi"-raq and Egypt more people are killed than under their totalitarian predecessors, and life for Christians and other minorities became impossible.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Bin Laden - only idiots would kill him!

Given the chance of capturing Bin Laden, only idiots would kill him!

The man should be an endless source of information on the Islamist networks worldwide.

Finding him unarmed, given a chance of apprehending him alive, would any intelligent person kill him?

Of course Americans have a reputation of shooting first, and asking questions after, but there must be someone in the administration with an IQ above chicken level.

So, I would not be surprised if for the next few months Mr Laden would still be alive.
Probably locked in a cubicle somewhere, under daily torture, until he spills all the information.

Then one day, his mind properly drained, he will receive a merciful shot in the head and his body will be destroyed. Maybe even dumped at sea...

Of course the US would never bring the man to a court of law, where his career financed and propped by several American administrations would be publicly scrutinized. Americans cannot stomach that they created and nurtured Mr Laden.

Furthermore, any court process would end in the death penalty. An execution of Mr Laden would certainly bring back to the US some of the bad karma they have for long spread across the globe.

Bin Laden may well be alive, undergoing torture somewhere in the globe.