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Archive for the ‘disasters’ Category

Jew-baiting in Europe was pervasive right from the time the powers- that- be found the Jews a convenient scapegoat. The rulers of principalities funded their wars with the money extorted from the Jews. Torquemada for example comes to mind. Jews were banished from the Catholic Spain. France was not free from this prejudice. That was then.
In the late 19th century France was rocked by a scandal. In its wake their deep seated fear of Jews came to the fore. I cite the collapse of the company that floated the Panama Canal project. In 1888 the company formed by Ferdinand de Lesseps went under with a loss to stockholders, most of them small bourgeois investors, of $300,000,000. From inquiries and trials that followed an endemic corruption in which several cabinet ministers, some 150 members of Parliament and nearly every important newspapers had been bribed off. The company wanted to avoid a crash and money spent at the right quarters allowed the company to stave off an immediate collapse. For the time being. Of these corrupt people only one was found guilty and prosecuted because his conscience prick made him confess! Now the question is how come anti-semitism suddenly became the news of the day? The politicians and corrupt law-givers wanted to save their hides,- and also face, one would think.
The Jews as a nation was a nation within the national life of Russia and as elsewhere, in France also.
There cannot be smoke without fire. In fact there were three Jews who on behalf of the company actually handled the bribing of influential people. In the mass hysteria surely l’affaire Dreyfus was waiting to happen. The man on the street as a result of corruption,divisions lost faith in the Third Republic and in those who ran the Republic. Of course politicians who used the Jews as smoke screen may have escaped immediate retribution but their actions would surely bring disaster. How else one can explain the utter fiasco under which France met the challenge of rising Nazism?
Within a span of six weeks during the balmy May-July days of 1940 the world’s second largest empire were utterly brought to their knees. France may have prided in her culture and civilized way of life but all these would give way to a Fascist dictatorship and an epitome of Totalitarian Political system. Who genuflected shamelessly before the Moloch but the father figure of the French Army, the one and only Philippe Petain?
It is poetic justice that Army caved in when the nation needed them most. The Army had long before their debacle lost their morale in the Dreyfus case.
In 1894 throwing Dreyfus to the wolves in order to protect the Army made the country split in the middle. The Left and Right veered to extreme positions. For the Army, the Catholic Church and the conservative majority it was not the question whether Dreyfus was guilty or not but that it were better that he suffered than sacrifice the prestige and honor of the French Army. With such persuasive argument France walked roughshod over the individual liberties of some individuals as though their lives didn’t count. On a flimsy charge that will never stand in a court of law Captain Dreyfus was publicly disgraced. La Libre Parole a paper noted for her anti-semitism commented next day: “It was not an individual who was degraded here for an individual crime. The shame of an entire race was bared in its nakedness.”
When a nation has sacrificed its moral force what morale can an army muster in case of emergency? When the House has developed a cleft down the middle what hope is left for the inmates? In the face of the national crisis the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris led the prayers and hoped as with the people for a miracle. It was of no use since the Army was sapped by dreams of glory and of the past than of the present.
2.
Curtailing individual liberties of even one person do carry its measure of seeds of poison. If the nation could make short shrift of one it stands to reason there shall be many more cases similarly repeated elsewhere. The accumulated poison shall spread through wind, water, rivers and oceans that in the end will create catastrophe.
benny

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I came across a news item that in the southern ocean sperm whales counteract with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Their feces do the job. Our carbon footprint on land somewhere along the line must deal with it: do we consider ourselves blessed that sperm whales out there have in them to keep our blue planet run on without much hiccup?
This makes me wonder: Here on land all religions consider a speck of dirt not to mention feces falling on the offerings taint them. Temple priests pour milk over idols and chant mantras for rains and many other things besides. Would they not consider their sacrifice or ceremony ruined if some speck of feces fall into it? In short man on the earth ignorant as always of Nature’s ways, deals with what he can not understand, treat Nature in an arbitrary fashion.
Man can understand the lure of gold or the sound of money. So he drills the sea and deceive all that he knows what he is doing. Only that when oil spill in the gulf goes on rampage and cause great destruction he shows he has been completely a damn fool to tinker with things that he has not foreseen. Only option for him is to play blame game. Does he even here pause for some sober reflection and change ways?
Money has completely screwed up his thinking set he would embark on another enterprise that gives him dividends.
benny

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Gulf Oil Spill

A blowout on April 20 led to huge fire and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

blowouts (explosions, followed by fire) are possible when wells are being drilled. The oil industry depends on technologically advanced equipments to deal with such eventualities. One way they do is to study with computer simulations. ‘If one tweaks one part of the equipment to make it stronger (to deal with the higher pressures, and greater temperature differential between the hot oil and the cold water), it can cause unforeseen problems with another system that interacts with it. In short technology is merely groping in the dark hoping the ground realities ever remain true to computer model.It is like a blind shooter who is the fastest draw may yet find his mark because of his speed. What we need to concern ourselves is that where one gets the problem licked it is more likely something else could go wrong from an area least expected.

The earliest oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico were in shallow waters near the coast. But as these wells have become depleted, it has been necessary to drill in ever-deeper waters. When one drills in deeper water, the challenges are greater–the pressures are greater, the temperature of the oil is higher, and the stresses on the metals involved are greater.

With such likely ‘environmental disaster scenario ‘one expects government agencies would be more vigilant to protect their green wealth,flora and fauna that could be wiped out by disasters.

In this case the government regulator downplayed environmental impact of spill.

In a 2007 the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service presented environmental impact statement for the Western and Central Planning Area Sales, which includes the Macondo Prospect where the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded In the document which covers oil drilling leases from 2007-2012

Offshore oil spills resulting from a proposed action are not expected to damage significantly any wetlands along the Gulf Coast… Overall, impacts to wetland habitats from an oil spill associated with activities related to a proposed action would be expected to be low and temporary.” (emphases are provided by the writer of the Huffington Post. Ack:The Huffington Post-May 3,The Oil Drum report of April 28,2010 by Gail the Actuary)

benny thomas



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