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RE: RE: Tangshen

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Frustrated is more like it. At least those who don't fasten their own
seat-belts are in control of their own destiny. The homeowner is really
unaware of the lack of safety or performance provisions.
I noticed with my own parents that the mind-set is to trust their doctors
and lawyers implicitly without question. My wife, who is a nurse, has an
entirely different slant on the profession - one based upon greed,
disinterest of patients as nothing more than funnels for income and abuse of
the insurance system. Not to paint all professionals in this bleak picture,
but for the most part, I believe my parents generation (now in their 80's)
to be misguided and behind the times. My point is that they, as the
homeowner, are unaware of the politics behind codes and become the victims
to what they otherwise feel is protection by rules that govern construction
in this country.
With all of the responsibilities for informed choices placed upon the
individual today - how is each person to afford the time to find out just
how unprotected they really are? The public spokesman is that "honest"
builder / contractor who can explain how safe their product really is
(without understanding how a load path is developed).
Possibly, I sound cynical and I most certainly am. My folks get very angry
when I jostle their faith in their blessed doctors. They really believe that
their doctor is concerned about their health when they are not present or
paying their bill. Forbid me to suggest disturbing their physician on call
when my Dad needs immediate attention.
The parallel is to show the mindset which is applied to government agencies
far removed from those who, even my parents don't trust - Politician's. How
disappointed they would be to learn that there is politics in everything we
I don't think I'm naive - I am idealistic, but would really crash into
obscurity if I lost this idealism without a valiant effort.
Then again, I'm frustrated too.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rhkratzse [mailto:Rhkratzse(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 1998 11:23 PM
To: seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: RE: Tangshen

In a message dated 5/24/98 11:03:29 PM, Dennis Wish wrote:
<<Even when life safety is the issue, codes are stonewalled from reaching

fruition because of the financial power coming from stronger lobbyist. Once

again, money rules over those without - even in life safety issues.

Dennis, you seem naively unaware that this is the land of the Golden Rule:
Those with the gold make the rules.  And it ain't gonna change, buddy.  But
do support your efforts to improve things, as doomed as they are (unless we
have a nice juicy 8.0 in a populated area, after which everyone will bitch
about how the engineering profession failed them, right?).

Keep in mind that half (my opinion) of the people in this great land refuse
properly use their legally-mandated seatbelts, at no cost, to improve their
own safety, and far fewer make the tiny little effort to turn on their
headlights in the daytime (per the signs) in "blood alleys" such as Hwy. 4
the Bay Area, again for their own good.  My own practice is primarily the
fraction of homeowners who care enough about their own eq. safety to
do something about it--like hiring an engineer.

Guess I'm in a bad mood.

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA USA