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Science Friday: 7.0 Earthquake in Chile; 4 Day Old NY Times Article Warns of Building Stress | LA Long Overdue for Major Quake

Weird. I was actually working on a post on earthquakes using the Times article and the Science Daily article when news broke about the earthquake in Chile. And in the Times article they quote Stefano Lorito, a geophysicist with the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology in Rome who said that last years earthquake added to the stress on the fault rather than relieving it. Update: Now the USGS says it was 6.8

Quake With A Preliminary Magnitude Of 7.0 Strikes Chile

Stress of Sliding Plates Builds Near Chile

“I Wonder What the Emotionally Arrested Rich Are Doing Tonight?” (Thomas Frank’s Take)

Thomas Frank has an article in the February issue of Harper’s entitled "Servile Disobedience" well worth a read. I am sure Frank is not the only member of the non-elite class in America who at some point wistfully has envisioned the members of the privileged class breaking down and actually exhibiting empathy for us poor slobs struggling in the merciless economic quicksand they created for us. There is the rub.

Frank doesn’t mince words:

“The rich are different from you and me. They are ruder and less generous. They don’t get what others are thinking and apparently they don’t really care.

... People don’t craft poisonous collateralized debt obligations by calling on what they learned in Sunday school.”


“We let them build a system of bonuses and executive compensation on the theory that it would be good for everyone if the people on top got to take home much, much more. And when it turned out that the theory was wrong -- that in the most famous cases the rich chased bonuses not in the shareholders’ benefit but at their expense, why, we promptly bailed them out. We allowed them to step up to the Fed’s discount window and fill their pockets. We generously transferred their dumb investments to our balance sheet and we sent them off with little more than a request that they please do not do it again.”

Sacramento Museum Day, Saturday, February 5, 2011 (free admission!)

Sacramento Museum Day, Saturday, February 5, 2011 (free admission!)

    Twenty-six (26) greater Sacramento area museums will be offering free admission for the 13th Annual Sacramento Museum Day. This event is presented by the Sacramento Association of Museums (SAM), and proudly supported by Umpqua Bank. Sacramento Museum Day takes place Saturday February 5, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All participating museums close at 5 p.m. with the last guests admitted at 4 p.m.

    Museum Day, a Sacramento cultural tradition, invites all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife at numerous participating museums AT NO COST.


This Weekend - The Free University of San Francisco (all classes free)

Click the pic to enlarge

The Free University of San Francisco

With the tuition fees shooting through the roof at UC and State schools, wouldn’t it be nice if there were some way to get a free education? The new Free University of San Francisco aims to do just that, offering classes on all sorts of subjects that will be absolutely free. No charge. Gratis. On the house.

The classes are held at Virachocha, 998 Valencia at 21st, and the historic first teach-in is this Saturday! Matt Gonzalez will teach “Fundamentals of Law,” Alan Kaufman will lecture on “Jack Kerouac, Thelonious Monk and Jackson Pollock,” and Diane Di Prima will speak on “Vision and the Visionary Poet.” And that’s just the beginning! The whole day is packed full of fascinating people talking about fascinating stuff.


    First Teach-In

    All classes are free and take place at Viracocha, 998 Valencia Street@21st, the Mission District, SF, CA


    • Sat. 9:30-11:30 AM • “Criminal Procedure and Sentencing” • Instructor: MATT GONZALEZ

    • Sat. 11:30-1:30 • “Jack Kerouac, Thelonious Monk and Jackson Pollack” • Instructor: ALAN KAUFMAN

    • Sat. 2-4 PM • “Vision and the Visionary Poem” • Instructor: DIANE DI PRIMA

    • Sat. 2-4PM • “San Francisco Labor History and the Great Strike of 1934″ • Instructor: BOBBY COLEMAN

    SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2011

Science Friday: Decoding Pneumonia's Defenses | Mimic Octopus | Undersea Ridges Impact Climate Projection | 20 Language Answers

Decoding Pneumonia's Defenses

Researchers sequence more than 200 strains of the bug and find a catalog of ways they evade drugs and vaccines.

Friday, January 28, 2011 | Emily Singer

    An in-depth genetic analysis of closely related strains of streptococcus pneumoniae, the bacterium that causes pneumonia, has revealed how the microbe has continually escaped attempts to defeat it. The findings show that the bug can easily swap chunks of DNA with other strains, allowing it to rapidly evolve defenses against both antibiotics and vaccines. Researchers say the findings will help them design more effective preventive measures and treatments.

    "It shows just how astonishingly quickly this bug can reinvent itself," says William Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard and one of the study's authors. "I think the findings should renew our recognition of exactly how innovative we have to be in finding new ways to combat disease caused by this organism, which is readily capable of throwing off any intervention we direct against it."

    Despite antibiotics and a vaccine, the World Health Organization estimates that pneumonia-causing bacteria, known as pneumococcus, is responsible for about four million deaths per year, mostly among children from poor countries.

Has Obama Given Mubarak Green Light to Crush Revolt While He Works on PR? (Mike Whitney's Take)

If Mike Whitney is right about this, we better push back the disinformation Obama and the corporate full press will be shoving down our throats. Obama's "gutless" dithering which Robert Fisk decried earlier maybe isn't dithering at all. It is pretending he cares about the millions and then "fixing their wagons" for threatening to clamor for any leader who does not meet the power and control requirements of the US/Israel coalition. Obama is no moral leader, he is a gamesman. And the game has been on. With millions dead, maimed or displaced in Iraq and Afghanistan, why would the regime of what Chris Floyd calls the "Continuer-in-Chief" care about the people of Egypt? Just a little sound bite spin and let the death squads paid for with US tax dollars do their intimidation thing for the greater good, illegitimate Western control of an Arab country.

Mike Whitney: The Blood is on Obama's Hands

Thus, the Obama administration will continue to offer lip-service to democracy and human rights, while coordinating efforts with Mubarak to maintain Washington's stranglehold on power in Cairo.

The first step in this process, is to quash the rebellion with force.

Yesterday, after promising he would not use violence against the protesters, Mubarak deployed his goons to Tahrir Square where they attacked the the assembly with batons, rocks, and clubs. Men on horseback and camels charged into the crowd sending droves of protesters fleeing in panic. Al Jazeera reported that hundreds of people were injured in the melee. It's clear that the so-called "Mubarak supporters" were not civilians at all, but members of the feared Egyptian security forces in disguise. The Obama administration is aware of the clashes but has refused to condemn the perpetrators. Obama is now sticking to a script that was written by powerbrokers in Washington and Tel Aviv.

National White House Call-in Day to Support Bradley Manning, Thurs., Feb. 3-WH switchboard: 202-456-1414 (WH comments -456-1111)

From the Bradley Manning Support Network.

Call the White House Thursday to voice your support for accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower US Army PFC Bradley Manning, specifically that his human rights be respected by the Quantico, Virginia, brig authorities. Bradley has been held in solitary confinement-like conditions for over eight months, and his trial is still months away. This American citizen-soldier has been convicted of no crime, yet continues to endure inhumane conditions of pre-trial confinement like no other inmate at the Quantico brig. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs recently stated that the White House was not paying attention to Bradley Manning’s extreme confinement conditions, or the fact that recent pre-approved visitors of Bradley’s have been detained and interrogated by military police in order to block their scheduled visit. It is critical that we educate the White House of this ongoing injustice!

Recommended points to make:

"IF ONLY" re Egypt The U.S. Were Governed by An Honorable Man

A sign caught my eye from the crowds of protesters in Cairo on the TV screen earlier today. “WE CAN, TOO” it read. My throat caught. I felt sorry for the man carrying the sign who seemed to have an illusion of Obama and America that was undeserved. It is we who should be inspired by him and the 2 million others, willing to die for freedom. His passion, his moral and physical courage.

Obama’s “Yes, we can!” was rhetorical cotton candy, long gone. A hollow man delivered it. An actor. A salesman. An inside man for the oligarchy as Glen Ford of BAR asserted. Part of an amoral government that is impervious to the momentous teachable moments offered up from this Egyptian struggle for freedom.

As Egypt fights to assert its collective heart and soul, the Obama administration, as the Bush administration did, drains the passion from the heart, crushes the soul of America. There is no respect for morality and honor here. It is still about patriarchal gamesmanship. Might, whether financial or military, makes right. The humanity filling our screens this week is not a serious priority to the gamesmen and gameswomen of Washington. Cynical Washington players who are always so ready, willing, and able to throw people reaching for the promises of democracy, whether at home or abroad, under the bus, the tank, whatever, or let a crony proxy do it. Over 1 million Iraqis dead, nobody bothered counting Afghans. What did we expect?

The man on the Cairo street? President Obama along with the Pentagon and the gated community group-thinking neocons and neoliberals, hungry for power and control, have given full throttle support to the oppressor of this vulnerable man on the Egyptian street. The Obama administration, as the Bush administration, has provided the military weaponry and financing that may harm or kill him soon. Maybe he was killed or harmed tonight. 800 injured. 5 dead.

Egypt & America -- Connotations of Torture or Martha Stewart Sheets? Reality Check Time! (Marjorie Cohn’s Take)

Marjorie Cohn in her article "U.S. Chickens Come Home to Roost in Egypt" points out that the US has supported Egyptian Prez Mubarak with $1.3 billion annually, most of it in military aid. Egypt in return collaborates with Israel to blockade Gaza and offers “logistical support” to America for its wars.

2 million Egyptians are now revolting against Mubarak and the US is being called out internationally for its own corruption and war criminality and war criminality enabling. We all know the US is eager to have a pro-US replacement for Mubarak, the best replacement US money (that US citizens desperately need) and weaponry (that humanity in general does not need) can buy.

The welfare of the Egyptian people themselves was no big priority clearly to the Mubarak regime nor to an America supporting it with this vast sum of money. Marjorie Cohn on the standard of living of the Egyptian citizenry:

Can Kucinich Drive A Stake Through the Zombie Heart of the Fed? (Part 1-Return to Jekyll Island)

Stop talking about Kucinich and the olive pit. Forget about the ride on Air Force One.

Kucinich has positioned himself to plunge a stake through the zombie heart of the arch enemy of American well being, The Federal Reserve Bank.

WE HAVE GOT TO HELP HIM AND PAY ATTENTION. The Bank Mafia of America has captured the minds, hearts and souls of almost all of our amoral leadership in the administration and Congress who have to a grotesque degree stopped watchdogging our rights and needs for a stunning amount of time now.

Abandon all hope that Obama or the legacy Democratic Party will rally to save Americans from economic terrorism. In fact, trust that they will rally to enable the economic terrorists.

We’ve got Dennis Kucinich. We’ve got Ron Paul. We’ve got the Green Party. We’ve got those citizens finally rising above the media-inflaming Blue v. Red, divide-up-and-conquer hype that is earnestly trying to distract America from its economic raping, from facing down the real enemy of Americans, the oligarchs.

I made up a riddle the other day. What’s the difference between a Republican and a Democratic politician? Answer: Whether the knife goes into your front or your back.

“Too Big To Fail/Too Big To Go To Jail” with Lotsa Media Help: Danny Schechter’s Take

The following are excerpts from Danny Schechter’s article, “We Can't Let the Banksters Walk Away from Their Crimes”:

Although the financial crisis that swept the world may have started on Wall Street, it has brought down governments and shredded economic security worldwide, resulting in the loss of millions of jobs and homes as businesses collapse, foreclosures grow, credit tightens and communities are devastated.

Estimates of the damage run into the trillions.

The Pew Economic Policy Group reports the average U.S. household lost $66,000 in stock holdings and $30,000 in real estate values from June 2008 through March 2009 due to the upheaval in world markets. This brings us close to $100,000 per family.


American Policy Follies or Time to Clean Up US & UK Ubiquitous Global Pet Poo: Yvonne Ridley's Take

Some compelling quotes from Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist and also the European President of the International Muslim Women's Union, in her article, “Sleeping Giant Wakes Up.”

The Arab world’s sleeping giant has finally woken from its slumber after years of being drugged and mugged by the West.

Having witnessed -- and experienced –- first-hand the brutality of the Egyptian and Tunisian police and their undercover stooges, I can tell you that the uprisings of the masses took real courage.

Over the years, dictator Hosni Mubarak has traded on their fear, using some of the foulest methods of intimidation imaginable.


Green's Hawkins: Cuomo Solution to $9 Billion NY State Deficit? Rich Get $5 Billion Tax Break, State Workers Get 10,000 Layoffs!

This email came from Howie Hawkins and the Green Party of New York:

Hawkins Opposes Cuomo's Proposals for Tax Cuts to the Rich, Job Cuts, Says Single Payer Health Care is the Solution to Medicaid

Howie Hawkins, the former Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that Cuomo's proposals to resolve the state's alleged $9 billion state budget deficit by giving a $5 billion tax cut for the wealthy and laying off more than 10,000 state workers was doomed to failure and would be rejected by state lawmakers.

Hawkins challenged Cuomo's claim of transparency, saying Cuomo's penchant for micromanaging was freezing out the public and was at least partially to blame for Cuomo's inability to attract qualified Commissioners and senior staff. Most of his Cabinet remains unfilled a month into his administration.

Science Friday: Galileo and Trick of Gravity | Copernican vs Tychonian POV | Hero before his Time | Climate Change Examples

The first video is a takeoff of Galileo's Leaning Tower of Pisa experiments, and the second is a variation that seems to be an exception, but it's not. Then, some really cool animations on what a Sun centered solar system (Copernican) looks like vs an Earth centered solar system (Tychonian). Then, a Hero (really his name) who was far, far, far ahead of his time in thought, theory, and inventions. Then, a polar bear recently swam for nine days in search of an ice flow, and the sinking islands of Dubai

How Is This Possible?