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Deliberate Spreading of Falsehood by National Research Council

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To Andra and Rick Ranous ... and others:

(1) You are saying that "It seems to me that you are looking for everyone to
blame (about earthquake problems) but yourself. Remember you chose to live
where you do. You must evaluate the risks you have presented ..." 

Comment: The example given in my previous post was a hypothetical example, not
applicable to my personal situation, but applicable to over 40% of property
owners in California. 

(2) You are saying that "the National Research Council is NOT duplicating the
work of fire departments" and that "the fire departments are not universally
charged with emergency preparedness." My comment: Numerically limited,
certified earthquake emergency staff including the National Research Council
does not have the access nor the financial resources for contact with general
population that would be comparable to the geographical reach of fire
departments. Therefore, in spite of the fact that it is not their principal
function, fire departments are, in fact, the primary and the most effective
disseminators of messages in regard to pre- and post-earthquake preparedness

By giving "stern warnings" directed at the inhabitants of earthquake-prone
areas, the National Research Council is very ineffectively duplicating the
work of fire departments. The "warnings" of NRC are, by far, numerically less
visible than those made by fire department stations which, geographically, are
efficiently dispersed throughout California. Ask any group of 100 people
walking along Wilshire Blvd., say, in Westwood (Los Angeles), at lunch time,
what is the National Research Council. You will find out that all 100 of them
don't even know that such an organization exists (and these 100 persons
questioned along the boulevard are, by far, better educated than the average
Californian). But all 100 of them know where their nearest fire station is.
They also know that the information in regard to earthquake preparedness can
be obtained at the fire station. 

In addition, in the past 20 years (or so), it was quite common to see firemen
driving their big fire-trucks visiting property owners at their personal
residences asking and answering questions as to people's knowledge of what to
do when the earthquake strikes.  I have personally experienced such a visit at
my house, so this is not secondhand information. I have never experienced a
visit from the earthquake emergency task force or other similar organization,
and I don't know of anyone who did receive such a visit. 

The fire departments are also very active in  making available special video
(film) presentations in regard to earthquakes to any employer (and his/her
employees) at the place of their employment, if requested. In the past 12
years, I attended two such presentations. They were very detailed and very
educational. The personnel of the fire departments go periodically through
"earthquake drills" so that the most up-to-date information is available to
each individual fireman. 

(3) To the best of my knowledge, the statistical information used by insurance
companies and by universities in California will tell you that the greatest
dollar amount ("per-unit-capita") after the Northridge earthquake was spent on
wood structures. If the statistical numbers on either side are incorrect --
what can I say?

(4) You are asking, "Why am I looking for everyone to blame but myself?" The
comment to the first (#1) position of this post answers your question. Your
question, however, should be, "Why does the government and other non-private
bureaucracies blame everyone else but themselves for the sad state of seismic
affairs (such as the Northridge event) ?"

Here are a few examples of statements authored and delivered by government
officials and members of organized "seismic" groups such as the National
Research Council in regard to "who is to blame" and what they think about
"design professionals."

(a) "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.5, Lesson 2: " .......government
and business leaders expressed great surprise that these professionals knew so
much about liquefaction, about unreinforced masonry buildings, about older
structures lacking adequate steel reinforcement, and about connection details,
but so little was done. There is the need for a communication program to close
the knowledge gap among researchers, practicing professionals, decision
makers, and the public." Comments: (1) This statement strongly insinuates that
professionals were withholding the information from authorities ON PURPOSE.
This is a very serious charge.  (2) Yes, there is a need for the "decision
makers" to learn the basics of structural engineering, seismology, geology,
soil engineering, etc., so they understand what is being discussed at their
"decision making" meeting. Also, it is sort of interesting, but I did not know
that there is a degreed profession called "a decision maker" in matters of
public safety which is taught in colleges and universities. 

(b)  "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.5, Lesson 2, Recommendations:
"Earthquake professionals must work harder to close the gap between what is
known and what is used ....." Comment: Darn it, I always suspected that
structural engineers are lazy and are not working hard enough. But I would
also like to suggest that instead of working "harder," the "decision makers"
should use their brains -- if they can -- and work "smarter." 

(c)  "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.5, Lesson 2, Recommendations:
"There is a strong need for advocacy; narrowing the gap by enacting new policy
depends on earthquake professionals having a commitment to do so."  Comment:
Yes, I agree. Structural engineers are not committed to their work and they
don't care whether the building collapses or not. It is also regrettable that
they are expected by unreasonable codes to produce some spaced-out numbers
that don't mean anything to anyone, especially to "decision makers". 

(d)  "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.5, Lesson 2, Recommendations:
"Practicing professionals must ADEQUATELY inform policy makers of the risks
and the costs and benefits of various strategies." Comment: It appears that
engineering professionals produce various strategies for their own amusement.
The whole issue, as established and directed by glorified "earthquake decision
makers" is so much out of line with reality that it is more entertaining to
analyze the results of their own daytime work in the evening hours rather than
to watch the replays of the Johnny Carson Show. I also suspect that they do
not pass these NOT ADEQUATELY developed strategies to "decision makers" on
purpose, as structural engineers, as I heard through the grapevine, are
members of a world-wide conspiratorial secret society whose objective is to
destroy life on earth by earthquakes. 

(e)  "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.6, Earth Sciences, Lesson 6,
Recommendations: "Seismologists and geologists must increase their efforts to
understand and quantify the nature of strong ground shake ....  and engineers
must give special attention to the placement and design of structures in these
areas."  Comment: (1) If seismologists and geologists do not understand what
they are doing, then the entity responsible for their incompetency are the
universities that produced these "professionals". We should ask the
universities whether they feel responsible for the professional incompetency
of their graduates. I also hope the seismologists and geologists read the
above statement made by NRC so they also are aware of what "decision makers"
think of their abilities. (2) The engineers do not pay attention and do not
care how the structure is designed and they are incapable to give special
attention to anything only because everything they do is a "special attention"
case. (3) if an organization (governmentnal or otherwise) has enough courage
to deliberately and publicly offend the professions which, within the
limitations established by "the decision makers," are doing their utmost to
protect the safety of the public, then one should seriously investigate the
qualifications of "decision makers" in the positions in which they function. 

(f)  "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.8, Lesson 12: "With appropriate
application of existing knowledge and more attention to detail, practicing
professionals licensed to site, design, and retrofit buildings .. could
significantly reduce the loss of life and the damage resulting in loss of
function." Comment: see Comment 4(e). 

(g)  "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.9, Lesson 15:  Recommendation:
"The codes and most seismic strengthening of buildings are intended to protect
life and to minimize catastrophic damage." Comment: I might agree with the
above statement, except I don't know what measuring "yardstick" to use when
describing the damage as catastrophic. Is it a 10% of the assessed value of
the structure, or is it 30%, or maybe 50%, or even 90%?. It would be good to
know what we are talking about so that, as suggested by "decision makers," we
can communicate better. 

(h)  "Loma Prieta Earthquake" publication, p.9, Lesson 16: "There were
numerous structures ... that were seriously damaged ... because of design or
construction errors that should have been found during the building inspection
process. Local building departments rarely have the necessary resources to
accomplish this fundamental step in the construction process, and design
professionals often shy away from providing the needed oversight." Comment: I
fully agree that design professionals, as reported by governmental snoopers,
are habitually visiting local topless bars while on the field trip to inspect
the job instead of taking a good look at what is happening at their site.  

Now my question is: WHO IS BLAMING WHO ?????

Sincerely ....

P.S. The above example-statements were extracted from only ONE scientific
group report which was contextually formulated and approved by state and
federal government representatives participating in the Loma Prieta earthquake
symposium. Upon request I can post the textual content of other statements
made by a variety of state, federal, or institutional organizations
deliberately falsifying the degree and the nature of seismic safety problems
in California and blaming "the professionals" for the misfortunes of their
incompetency. (I worked for the state government for over 12 years -- I know
firsthand how government and other non-private bureaucracies function -- or
shall I say, dysfunction.)