Thursday, July 12, 2012

London 2012 Olympic fascism

"A free man," said Hobbes, "is he not hindered to do what he has to do." Law is always a fetter, even if it protects you from being bound in chains that are heavier than those of the law, like some more repressive law or custom, or arbitrary despotism or chaos.

Still, we must be grateful that McDonald's does not make the law of the land, or they would prohibit all vendors of chips from serving chips, unless accompanied by fish.

That is the absurd menu limitation the Olympic sponsors have imposed upon all 800 food retailers at the 40 Games venues across Britain.

That isn't political coercion; it is enslavement.

Further, His Grace understands that the terms 'Olympic' and 'London 2012' are now subject to such draconian monitoring as would make Orwell blush. His Grace doesn't even know if he may use the terms in the title of the post.

This isn't sponsorhip; it is Olympic fascism. Imagine if Buckingham Palace had sought to control use of the words 'Diamond' and 'Jubilee' throughout the recent celebrations, reserving them solely for 'official sponsors'. The Olympics belong to the world: they are the people's games. To associate them with oppression, directly or indirectly, with or without the intention of doing so, is to deny freedom and negate the ideal.

And, apparently, Israeli President Shimon Peres has had to cancel his planned visit to the Olympic opening ceremony after the organisers failed to accommodate his desire not to travel by car on Shabbat.

One wonders if McDonald's will be serving up halal meat with their protected chips.

Thanks to The Spectator for the graphic (assuming their use of the Olympic rings is legal..) ©2012 Kyle T. Webster


Blogger Gnostic said...

That isn't political coercion; it is enslavement.

No, Your Grace, it isn't. It is authoritarianism gone mad. Slavery gives a person no choice. People attending the Olympics can chose not to waste money paying top dollar for plastic food and take a packed lunch instead.

12 July 2012 at 10:32  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Surely by now people realize that every sporting organization on the plantet - the IOC, FIFA, the FA, the Rugby Union, every single one of them, without qualification or exception is a private business trading for profit, is run by private business people trading for profit and is according run by the practices of businesses trading for profit. Does Cranmer seriously believe that Corintianism actually exists in sport? Does he really think that those who run the various sporting bodies even know what that word means? Right now, a new team in Scottish football called Rangers is about to appear in division one of that league, rather than division three, where the rules say new teams should start, because Sky Sports have decreed it shall be so, and Sky Sports have £80m to give to Scottish football if they (pardon the pun) play ball. The controlling bodies of athlethics operate a strict liability principle on athletes which sees them banned for taking cough sweets not because they are in the least concerned about "cleaning up" the sport, but because strict liability is much cheaper to run than proper due process, and thus does not cut into the business's bottom line. Personally, I can see no reson at all why business people/athletes should not dose themselves to the eyeballs if they wish; so long as everybody has access to the same drugs, the playing field is still level.

And then, of course, there are the "fans" - you know, the ones who threaten boycotts on their "local" clubs (and are there any actul Mancunians playing for either Manchester club?) when they put up the ticket price or issue the third "new" strip of the season, but who always turn up and hand over their money no matter what. I never got watching sport, simply don't understand why anyone would want to, but if somebody is stupid enough to pay to watch cynical commercial interests scoring profits off one another, then I say gut them like fish.

12 July 2012 at 11:30  
Blogger J G Pelham said...

Will they be allowed to take their sandwiches inside the stadium?

12 July 2012 at 12:40  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, the IOC enforces its right to the term Olympic at every single event in every city, it's nothing new.

As to the ban on the sale of chips, it seems the IOC have forgotten to ban freedom fries as well, a completely different product as communicants will be aware.

If freedom fries are ruled to be 'chips', by serving them with a complimentary fish finger it would seem possible to continue serving chips/fries to all and sundry.

12 July 2012 at 12:44  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

It seems the Olympic Organizers didn't quite think through the implications of their sponsorship agreement. However, this is really no different from the exclusive rights granted to other products. Coca-Cola (a decidedly inferior soft drink btw) purchases the exclusive right to be the 'Official Soft Drink of the Olympics' and everyone understands that the consumer will only be allowed to purchase Coke products. Even though Pepsi is a much better product, Coke has purchased exclusive market access. We live with it. But anyone can sell Coke. Not anyone can sell McD's french fries. Like I said. Someone didn't think through the implications of the sponsorship agreement. This won't happen again. And I wonder how much public good will this will cost McD's.

I wonder, however, if there isn't room for maneuver. How much fish constitutes 'fish and chips?' Because that seems a loophole worthy of a truck. "Would you like some sausage and fish and chips? Hold the fish?" Fight sleazy marketing people with sleazy marketing people, I always say.


12 July 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Hi Your Grace,

Depending on where you are in the world- I've known people to call crisps, chips and chips fries and fries chips. Do they mean French Fries are English Chips?

No way!

English Chips are not French fries as they are smaller, but wider. (the French are long and thin).Where else in the world do you get proper fish n' chips but England, specially wrapped up in paper and those little wooden forks to eat a great chunk of fish (never mind the Mushy Peas!)?

Anyway banning one of England's national dishes- fish n' chips- originally an English/Jewish dish - is a racist slur, just like the treatment of Israel's President as his Grace notes in his last paragraph.

12 July 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger non mouse said...

Agreed ... with all.

Furthermore, silly games or not, I take my fish 'n chips with salt, vinegar, and wrapped in newspaper. That's all newspapers are fit for nowadays anyway, so I'm bringing my own, and if they want to arrest me, they can please themselves.

And since the newspaper costs so much, I refuse to pay any eurofines (I refuse to recognize their europower over me in any way) --- so they can stick me in one of their eurogaols. ]

Who cares. Their world isn't fit to be in anyway.

12 July 2012 at 16:22  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Another thought is the irony that a fast food giant is being allowed to sponsor these games..

12 July 2012 at 17:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

It sounds like Shimon Peres is not a Hobbesian free man if he allows religion to enslave him in that regard.

12 July 2012 at 17:42  
Blogger John Henson said...

Gnostic said...
... take a packed lunch instead

I think you'll find that you won't be allowed to take your own food onto an Olympic site.

This restriction is imposed at a lot of commercial locations - Legoland for example - but at least you're not subjected to a search when you enter Legoland.

12 July 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger John Henson said...

How about offering a bag of chips with one piece of whitebait? It would probably put the price of the bag of chips up by not more than 1p, and is certainly "fish & chips"

12 July 2012 at 18:49  
Blogger Tanfield said...

The London Olympic Games were and are a monument to Tony Blair's overweening ambition with no thought whatever to what they would eventually cost (about 3 times the original estimate) and will be something that we shall all be paying for for the rest of our lives.
This report reinforces my view to watch it as little as possible. I have refused to apply for any tickets, given the ridiculous ticket prices (and have noticed with amusement the problems that ensued)and consider that, in the present difficult financial climate (which Tony Blair well knew was coming) this is an extravagence way too far !

12 July 2012 at 18:53  
Blogger Berserker said...

Continuing from John Henson

My taste would be a bag of chips with a single sprat? Mind you, I love the little buggers and wonder why fish 'n chip shops don't have them on the menu.

Above all, wrap it in the Guardian! Grease meets grease!

12 July 2012 at 20:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

The Graudiad is claiming the ban was lifted yesterday after complaints. Hurrah!

12 July 2012 at 21:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

But just for catering staff. Booo!

12 July 2012 at 21:02  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Anna, McDonalds has been heavily involved in sponsoring athletics for some time. I remember competing in the McDonalds Athletics League back in the 90's as a teenager, where every competitor received a card valid for 6 months where you could get a free cheeseburger for every meal you bought.
It is very sad that the (modern) Olympics, originally created to showcase the talent of the amateur in sporting situations has become such a commercially dictated event. As someone living in the Olympic borough of Newham I can only hope that I won't get haranged for eating a pie with chips whilst wandering between my local chippie and home!

12 July 2012 at 21:21  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Hi Youthpasta,

It's strange the health police /pc bandwagon has gone all out to ban tobacco advertising, but not those who sell alcohol or junk food. Just saying...

I hope you don't get harranged. I'm fleeing the capital during the games.

Also, when genial foreigners (such as Carl Jacob's family) come to England, the last thing that they are going to want to have is a Mac cardboard.

Instead they are going to want to try proper fine English cuisine like Fish N' Chips, Steak and Ale Pie, Cornish Pasties, goose, Chicken and Beef Roasts (with trimmings, like Yorkshire Pud),Game Pie, Fish Pie, Prawns, Stews, Pizza, Herefordshire Beef Burgers, chicken Curry, smoked haddock, salmon,trout, cream teas etc.

Not some processed meat which passes for beef!

12 July 2012 at 21:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 July 2012 at 22:25  
Blogger David B said...

@ gnostic

Or then again they can decide not to bother to watch a bunch of obsessives getting sweaty in the first place

David B

12 July 2012 at 22:47  
Blogger G. Tingey said...


Here (4km N of the areana) the games ar hated & feared.

Peaceful protest will get you jail as a "terrrrrrst".
The corruption (LOCOG /IOC) the Zil lanes, the whole thing at our expense without even asking.
The stitch-up between corrupt big FOREIGN compnies/corprations (Mac's / Heineken / Dow Chemical ...) the interference with people's free movement, the totally false assumption that eveyrone wants this ... we WERE NOT ASKED, and a survey (today's BBC news) shows only approx 35% of the sheeple are actually interested AT ALL.
Oh, and the torch-relay was originated for the 1936 Berlin games.
Says it all really.

Oh google the vile Coe's dead friend, Smaranch, too.

13 July 2012 at 08:24  
Blogger Gary said...

An American company is preventing English companies from selling English food? Shouldn't someone somewhere in authority tell them where to stick it?

13 July 2012 at 10:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl, when you are about. The US so despised the British for having an empire that it did everything it could to enable it’s dismantling. Official policy on the quiet, was it not…

Now, we have your economic empire over here and they are really getting above themselves. Rather than the Inspector suggesting a similar remedy as above, perhaps you would like to enlighten us with your views of a punitive nature on an organisation that is undermining ‘development of the natives’?

13 July 2012 at 15:09  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

That's the second time I'm in agreement with that unrepetentant atheist, Mr Tingey. Wot's up with that?

13 July 2012 at 18:00  
Blogger Unknown said...

You can take your own packed lunch to eg Wimbledon for the tennis but you can't take any water or liquid - however, they have kindly let you take an empty water bottle in to be filled 'the other side'.... we should raise a McDonald's boycott to protest except 'we' don't eat McDs anyway.....

13 July 2012 at 20:40  
Blogger wiggins said...

I think you will find that all the so called security bods on site, are there purely to check that no one is bringing in food or drinks into the stadium which might offend the sponsors. A similar practice has been going on in schools sponsored by certain people.

13 July 2012 at 21:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

You can take a horse to water, but you can't bring that dog in here mate...

13 July 2012 at 22:00  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


I drink more Coca Cola than I'm told I should and taste every cola make I can get my hands on. The best Cola drink I've had is the Czech "Kofola," which doesn't even use cola nuts or coca leaf extract, tastes more "citrusy" and packs less sugar and has no phosphates if you worry about such things. For years, when I was a kid there, Kofola and a German make and brand the commie gov't stole from the departing Germans, Afrikola, were the only ones available and we dreamed about the "real thing"(TM). Then when it appeared, at insane prices, I was disappointed with the "mediciney" flavour. I thought I was being sentimental about my memories, but turns out Kofola is recognized by other conoisseurs internationally and I hope some day someone will license its bottling in Canada.

And easy on the "marketing people," eh? I was a sinner in that field once, but I saw the light, battled an ulcer and took to the glories of the open road and the hum of 18 wheels.

14 July 2012 at 00:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I honestly don't have any idea what you are asking of me.


14 July 2012 at 02:56  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Pepsi is the Cola and all others are pretenders. Especially Coke. It should not be lost on you that the color of Coca Cola is Socialist Red while Pepsi bears Red, White, and Blue.

I rest my case.

So you were in marketing, huh? I am glad you repented of your ways. However, it does explain the herring and the affinity for something as undrinkable as whiskey. Some things leave permanent scars.


14 July 2012 at 03:04  
Blogger pjt said...

If you really have to serve fish with chips in London, I suggest you take the same strategy as we had in my country back in the old days of more regulated alcohol policy, when it was forbidden to sell beer in a restaurant without food.

There were special sandwiches made to be delivered with beer. No one actually said it anywhere in writing, of course, but the idea was that beer is served with a sandwich (in a wrapper) so that the restaurant meets the legal requirement of only serving beer with food. You never ate this sandwich. It was returned with the empty beer glass, to be served with the next beer to next customer. At the end of the day, the recycle sandwiches were pig food (alas, no longer possible due to EU regulations).

Of course, every now and then a stupid foreigner would come and eat the sandwich (and possibly even complain about poor quality).

Now, you Englishmen, formerly free, can do the same. Just deliver a fish finger, wrapped in plastic, with every portion of chips. The happy customer can then return it to be used with the chips of the next customer.

This, or just serve Freedom Fries instead of chips.

14 July 2012 at 17:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. One just wondered if you have any thoughts regarding the Americanisation of the world, not through empires in the traditional sense, but through commercial enterprise. To such a degree that in it’s present sphere of influence, the 2012 UK Olympic games, an economic-imperial power as McD can dictate as to what may or may not be served in canteens associated with the event.

Or to put it another way, how would you feel if super bowl attendees were offered nothing to quench their thirst with other than British tea ? Assuming some British concern successfully bid for the official ‘thirst quenching’ concession ?

14 July 2012 at 19:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I don't this has anything to do with the US or economic empire. I think some too-clever-by-half marketing sleazoid for McD's thought it would be a good idea if only McD French Fries could to be sold at the Olympics. As if people say "I want some fries, so I think I will go buy a Big Mac." So Mr Marketing Sleazoid got his overfed attack dog ... uh ... corporate lawyer to sneak that term into the licensing agreement. It will cost McD's severely in public good will, and it should. In my opinion, you should pick up (metaphorical) pitchforks and torches and force them to back down. If you create enough public backlash they will relent.


14 July 2012 at 20:12  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


You're kicking a man when he's down when you mock the noble herring at a time like this. Our guys who usually prepare it for our synagogue at a nearby kosher restaurant are away this month and we've been having store-bought stuff which is rather limp, a bit too salty and with soggy onions that have been pickled for too long. The four bottles of 12-year scotch this Saturday did raise the spirits a bit, though. But then, we had a group of American visitors for a baby naming celebration and I noticed there was a bottle of Grey Goose and a pile of chilled Coors Lite in ice buckets, probably to signal growing American imperialistic ambitions. Coors Lite, in my synagogue, Carl. A hog on a leash singing the Horst Wessel Lied would have been more acceptable.

The Inspector asked, " would you feel if super bowl attendees were offered nothing to quench their thirst with other than British tea ?"

Bwa ha ha ha ha! O, the visuals for this one! Crowds of Americans hollering in the bleachers whilst skillfully balancing their tea-cups on saucers, sipping their chah with up-raised brows and pinky extended, daintily munching on cucumber sandwiches or crumpets.

15 July 2012 at 05:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. God’s finest creations after man…

Tea bush
Tobacco plant
Single Malt

All rather points to a divine attempt to create a heaven on earth, don’t you think ?

15 July 2012 at 12:02  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Almost in full agreement, Inspector, except that I'd replace cricket with the Silver of the North Seas...the noble herring who fed Europe through the hardest of times. Nothing against cricket in particular; I just don't connect to team sports and games.

A plate of salty kipper, the glow of an amber whisky, the ghostly tendrils of a satisfying rich Virginia tobacco smoke all punctuated with a well-steeped, sweet, hot cup of a strong Kenya and Ceylon custom blend. Get it all now before the ninnies and busybodies of the world ban it for us; creeping fascistas gnawing away at one bliss at a time. May buboes infest their armpits.

15 July 2012 at 15:12  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Cricket? What's a bug got to do with anything?


15 July 2012 at 15:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Right then Avi. The joys of life to continue…

Parma ham
Chicken wings

“These are just a few of my favourite things,
When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember
my favourite things
and then I don't feel so bad!”

15 July 2012 at 15:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. Marinate in whisky – delicious…

15 July 2012 at 15:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Off you go, Greg Tingey, you next, and Peter Northcote afterwards. (…I say old fruits, keep it clean…)

15 July 2012 at 15:54  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...


Sharp, aged, crumbly cheeses. Barrel-scented dark ale with slices of wine marinated, charcoal-roasted beef brisket with dark chunks of grainy rye bread and home-made mustards. Chicken wings as well, done up in the crispy, Louisiana hot sauce-soaked American Buffalo Wing style...the only time to enjoy their pale beers in an ice-frosted glass. You did, a while back, mention lamb tandoorie, which still haunts my dreams.

15 July 2012 at 16:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Yes, Lamb Madras. Food of the god’s…

Had some ‘Buffalo’ chicken wings for lunch a few weeks back, from a famous chain pub here. Think they overdid it on the spice though. They punched their way out of one in the small hours. Dreadful experience…

Everybody is watching the Tour de France round here in the lounge. Shooting down the Pyrenees at 75 mph.

“Exercise wrecks lives” is this man’s opinion of that appalling activity…

15 July 2012 at 16:18  
Blogger Anna Albion said...

Hi Guys,

As we are getting back onto the subject of food again...

I always think traditional family foods are the best - I can cook a mean Lamb Tagine, a Kubba Stew or a Baghdadi Tandori Chicken Curry as well as Beef stew and dumplings or Steak and Guinness pie.

15 July 2012 at 18:56  
Blogger Anna Albion said...


I thought Danjo said you were in Cumbria? Have you met Mr Oswin yet? Also I would have thought you'd be into doing lots of walking around those lakes and mountains Cumbria is so renowned for?

15 July 2012 at 18:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Anna. Our man Oswin is a Northumbrian, so the Inspector understands. Same number of sheep around though, and plenty of black and white collies named ‘Shep’. He wouldn’t know the difference.

Have done a few railway journeys this year. Very good value, for example the Cumbrian coast route, a full day’s entertainment and a couple of hundred miles, a mere £ 28. Had the Inspector been blessed with a family, not much more, with everyone coming with you…

Am visiting a nuclear power station tomorrow. They are the future, don’t you know…

15 July 2012 at 19:50  
Blogger Anna Albion said...

Hi Inspector,

Ow what a dunce I am! My geography isn't that good. I hope your enjoying the holiday, although visiting a nuclear power station wouldn't be my idea of a holiday (I've just come back from a couple of days in Cornwall, which was really good, except for a slight episode when a bloke tried to grope my sister's bum).

Re : Nuclear. Your are correct that nuclear Fusion, preferably a Deuterium-Helium 3 Fusion, rather than a Tritium-Deuterium reaction ( and not your tatty old nuclear Fission process .like the old Sellafield plant) is indeed the future.

15 July 2012 at 21:09  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...


Pie and chips will do for me, although I do like a good curry.

I always thought Nuclear power was not that clean and very radioactive ,dangerous and that it required Uranium?

15 July 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

To anyone who is interested, serious nuclear waste is enclosed in glass, like massive versions of the familiar paper weights, put in drums and sent below ground. Now, glass will decay, but only in line with the contents it surrounds, ie several hundred years. If you don’t believe the Inspector, have a close look at medieval glass next time you are in a cathedral.

The UK does this very well, and takes in other countries' waste. We ARE the best at it…

15 July 2012 at 23:36  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

The food thing again. Well, Inspector, all I can say is that the wings chain doesnt know what its doing. Sounds like you can handle your spice and heat, but wings aren't supposed to burn our mouth off.

Ah, Anna, sounds like you cover a wide Sephardi spectrum of dishes. Yum. I like the Moroccan ones, but the Iraqui is more in tune with my seasonings palate. I make Balkan Sephardic version, which are an odd mix of Ashkenazi, Spanish and Turkish styles. Lately I've been experimenting with Peruvian cuisine, which I think is one of the best in the world.

I too root for nuclear, Inspector and I must confess that a tour of a plant, even interesting old and new factories, is more interesting to me that staring at breath-taking landscapes. Nuclear is a dafe bet, since it's clear that thorium reactors work, and if they dont prove that economical, which is the issue now, a few converted Candus can burn nuclear waste rather efficiently and cheaply, eliminating the conniptions about storage. Whatever we do, we need to bring the price of energy down in a big way, our progress, even survival, depend on it.

16 July 2012 at 03:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hands up who wants a nuclear reactor sited next to their property?.

17 July 2012 at 09:22  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I'd have no problem with one, len. People buy houses next to them and probably get a bit of a deal. There's no radiation leakage from the plants that is detectable against the existing background radiation from the soil or rocks. When I go up with the family to the beautiful cottage country on the Canadian Shield, which is granite, we get more radiation than we would in a reactor control room. Id be more concerned having a wind turbine "farm" next door, what with their very low frequency sound emissions.

17 July 2012 at 21:30  
Blogger Paul Twigg said...


Don't talk to me about wind farms! We have some on the rolling English countryside by our house and I see them every day. Foul thinks they are.

17 July 2012 at 22:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avi, we have wind farms nearby where I live they are unsightly but I would rather have them than a nuclear reactor.
What about the reactor in Fukushima?. All 50 of Japan's nuclear plants were shut after the meltdown at Fukushima, which was triggered by a tsunami and earthquake.Earthquakes are increasing in intensity.

17 July 2012 at 23:40  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Len and Paul, dont get me going on this stuff...o, no, too late.

The problem we'll be saddled with, Paul, is who is going to eventually dismantle those useseless, expensive wind turbine monsters and safely dispose of the problem components. Subsidies are running out in some localities in the US and the shut-down has begun. Most wind turbines crap-out long before they have even paid for part of their astronomical cost, much less brought any return on the investment. It'll soon happen in the UK too ...and here, in my Ontario... and we'll be spared their flapping, but we'll be stuck with the ugly, rusting hulks oozing all sorts of poisons.

Len, I'll agree with you that nuclear as it is, is not the long term solution because of its expense and relative inefficiency. Its biggest draw-back, though, is not the threat it poses (we don't run Chernobyl types and there were no deaths in Japan), but the public's fear and the NIMBY (not in my back yard) syndrome. I have my hopes for thorium reactors and shale gas, but both need significant technological breakthroughs to render them more economical. But here's the problem we face: Everyone is rejecting the cheapest and best solution for the time, "clean" coal, mostly on the insane and fraudulent premise that the trace amounts of CO2 that cannot be scubbed-out from the combustion process is a climate change driver. So, what are we going to do while waiting for fission, thorium and shale gas? We can't reduce or shut-down because the cost of expensive energy is cumulatively bigger than a whole bunch of nuclear reators meltig down and skies blackening with particle emissions. Expensive and unavailable energy destroys economies and societies and literally kills masses of people, especially among the poor. The worst part of this threat is that it's "invisible," as disruptions, suffering and deaths due to energy poverty can and are cleverly ascribed to other causes, such as "world hunger," wars and epidemics. We're back to the medieval mini-ice age prayer (pardon my poor Latin): A fame, et pestus a bella, libera nos Domine!

Regarding earthquakes, there is no evidence or a reasonable hypothesis that they are stronger today than before. The movement of the tectonic plates continues, as shelves push against other shelves, without a discernible change in direction or speed, and while sudden releases of megotons of energy will cause sudden spectacular disasters, they are normative in the larger time scale. Isostatic rebound, the slow rise of land masses which have been compressed by kilometers-high ice shields 11K years ago affect only certain parts of the world and cause minor quakes. The problem is largely perceptual; our population has grown and we build among eartquake zones and even along fault lines that have been predictably active for millenia. Furthermore, it's only recently that most people have been living in structurally fragile structures, such as brick and stone masonry and recently, steel and concrete. Single-storied, flexible wooden structures, mud-brick dwelling or wattle-and-daub construction with "soft" roofs of timber and light organic materials have been the norm for most and such structure handled quakes very well, and even if they failed, caused few deaths. We also have more sensitive and more widely distributed seismic sensors, not to mention instant reporting. We cannot stop continental plates from moving, of course, but we are making headway in materials and engineering solutions, some of which involve re-examining "folk architecture" using flexible building materials and suspension methods. But whatever we do about energy and even construction, we need to move ahead with viable technolgical and methodological solutions, not more restrictions, losses of freedoms, regulations and reductions in quality. Over and out.

18 July 2012 at 15:08  
Blogger Kyle T. Webster said...

I am the artist who created the illustration you are using on this blog. I own the copyright and I respectfully request that you either remove the image entirely or provide a link to my work with my full name: Kyle T. Webster - website is

This was originally commissioned by The Spectator and used as a cover. I was paid for that work, of course, but you are violating copyright law by reusing the image without permission or compensation. I would be satisfied with a link to my homepage and the credit byline with my full name, as mentioned above.

Thank you,
Kyle T. Webster

23 July 2012 at 02:19  

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