Friday, September 13, 2019

NC Republican Dirty Tricks via Dennis Van Berwyn?


Rep. Deb Butler (D) and her Democratic colleagues protest an unexpected vote in the NC House to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the budget. 
The verdict is now plain. North Carolina’s Republican legislative leaders — not actually leaders, but connivers — are beyond shame.
In a stunning display of contempt for democracy, House Speaker Tim Moore, a Cleveland County Republican, called a surprise vote to overturn Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget just after a session opened at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Democratic lawmakers and the media had been told by Republican leaders that there would be no vote in the morning.
Most Democrats were absent. Enough Republicans, aware of the secret plan, were there. When Rep. Jason Saine, a Lincolnton Republican, made the motion to reconsider the state budget, the handful of Democrats on hand objected strenuously.
“This is a travesty of the process and you know it,” said Rep. Deb Butler, D-New Hanover.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Max Blumenthal: Nicaragua beat US regime change, but sanctions and sabot...

Monday, August 26, 2019

1,700 Mile Crack Across the USA Discovered by Scientists, Here’s What You Need to Know

Fig 1. 1,700 mile to 2,200 mile "Crack Across America", "Crack Through America", and Midcontinental Rift (MCR)


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Is America at risk for Great earthquakes spanning across the full United States? “Cracks Across America”, in Rift zones, may conceal large fracture type faults where scientists may not be able to identify where these hidden fractures may unleash catastrophic earthquakes.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) – In Nov 1981, a study was published that rocked the scientific world, and sparked concern in FEMA circles, in which a 1,700 mile “Crack Across America” was discovered. Worse yet, this crack cuts through the New Madrid Seismic Zone, where in 1811 and 1812 three giant earthquakes devastatingly struck the center of America. Scientists have been struggling, since then, to answer the question of what risk this mega feature may pose to our heartland today. Recently, and less known, is a study from an independent geologic research set of work [2], that has identified a possible second “Crack Through America” that crosses into and through the same volatile New Madrid Seismic Zone.
The original 1,700 mile “Crack Across America” was found using modern day gravity mapping satellite data, and using computers, to process the measurements [1]. In 1981, Dr. Raymond E. Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis used data processing techniques where 600,000 discrete gravity measurements, from 20 years of scientific data gathering, to synthesize a map. The results revealed an astonishing ancient rift in the North American crust that extends some 1,700 miles from Idaho to the southern Appalachian Mountains. New discoveries, from more recent research, has extended this “Crack” anomaly in where it combines with a MegaShear [3] zone to the middle of Washington State and possibly with the Olympic-Wallowa Lineament (OWL) [2] – which reaches to the Pacific Ocean near Port Angeles Washington. Thus the total length may total nearly 2,200 miles.
This ancient rift, estimated to be a billion years old, was dubbed the “Missouri Gravity Low” in the eastern most section of the “Crack Across America”. Another rift, 60 miles by 30 miles, underlying the Mississippi river valley, called the “Reelfoot Rift”, was found to cross through the Missouri Gravity Low and head to the northeast/southwest. These two rift zones intersect at the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Over 4,000 small earthquakes have been mapped within these intersecting “rift” regions since 1974.
A maverick geologist, Jack Reed, performed a study in mapping the frequency and location of larger magnitude earthquakes trending along the northeast trending lineament of the “ReelFoot Rift”. The resulting data indicated another concerning revelation – that a possible second “Crack Through America” connects the Reelfoot Rift with the well known St. Lawrence rift zone in Canada. Just as the New Madrid Seismic zone revealed its active potential in its “rift zones”, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake, in 1663, struck near Charlevoix and revealed its power in the St. Lawrence rift zone.
Perhaps a partial clue to what may link to the existence and nature of the “Crack Across America” and the “Crack Through America” is the Midcontinential Rift (MCR) System. Research has identified that a movement direction of the MCR, from tremendous intraplate pressure, forced a southern expansion of this large rift, where the southern edge traversed directly towards the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The Midcontinental Rift thus forms a horseshoe that straddles and reaches, by its tips, at or near the two major “Crack” lineaments. Intraplate pressure could be intensified into these intersecting lineaments, including the resulting pressure(s) at the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
Fig 1. 1,700 mile to 2,200 mile "Crack Across America", "Crack Through America", and Midcontinental Rift (MCR)
Fig 1. 1,700 mile to 2,200 mile “Crack Across America”, “Crack Through America”, and Midcontinental Rift (MCR)
What can make these – 70-90 mile wide and thousands of miles long – low gravity crack lineament features so dangerous is their hidden fractures, buried in the earth’s crust below. These low gravity areas are called “Rift zones” where the continental crust tried to pull itself apart, but failed. The thinning of the crust enabled lighter density young rock to intrude, thus resulting in the lower gravity characteristics in the rift zones. Other recent studies have suggested that the thinning of the crust may occur from the delamination of heavier crustal rock “falling” down into the earth’s mantle. However, in the case of linear features of these long distance “lineament rift zones”, the case of random delamination from “falling” into the mantle would not be able to explain these highly organized structures.
What is known, is that these linear rift zones have exhibited the ability to unleash very large earthquakes. This has been aptly demonstrated by the three 1811-1812 New Madrid M7-M8 earthquakes and the large 1663 M7.9 Charlevoix Earthquake. Since the regularity of such earthquakes are measured in centuries, scientists are unable to identify if any section of these linear rift zones may be at risk of a sudden large earthquake.
The bigger the length and depth of a buried fracture and its subsequent pressure induced release, the greater the chances for this rupture to unleash a giant earthquake. Indeed, the three 1811 to 1812 M7-M8 earthquakes had rupture release areas comparable to any single biggest locked segment of the San Andreas CA fault region could do – except in the New Madrid quakes, it did it all in the same location with each huge quake spaced only a month apart. With thousands of miles of possible buried fractures within these lineaments, it’s possible that changes in intraplate pressure may be all that is necessary to activate a segment. Another unanswered question is if Yellowstone Supervolcano is susceptible or interactive with this lineament. Indeed, in 2002, geologists observed distant triggering of earthquake swarming at Yellowstone from the M7.9 Denali Alaska earthquake [4]. As the Denali earthquake was 2,000 miles distant, what would happen if a large earthquake within a rift zone lineament was much closer to Yellowstone? Certainly it would be useful to know if there were any susceptible buried fractures in the nearby lineament that traverses near Yellowstone Supervolcano.
Fig 2. Reelfoot Rift zone image mapped via magnetometer data with overlay of thousands of small earthquakes (red dots). Map shows the northeast trending "Crack Through America" intersection at New Madrid Seismic Zone - follows line of earthquakes.
Fig 2. Reelfoot Rift zone image mapped via magnetometer data with overlay of thousands of small earthquakes (red dots). Map shows the northeast trending “Crack Through America” intersection at New Madrid Seismic Zone – follows line of earthquakes.
However, scientists are placed at a disadvantage, in earthquake risk assessment, since any hidden fractures are buried deep in what is called the “Midcontinental Basement”. Without having any data to the size, length, and number of any hidden fractures, it renders any risk analysis “blind”. Only a paleogeologic assessment of past locations, patterns, frequency, and magnitude of earthquakes are scientists able to form a type of a risk assessment. Compounding any risk assessment is understanding the rupture process of these hidden fractures. Scientists refer to these as “Intraplate earthquakes” as the quake occurs within the interior of a tectonic plate. Pressure, within the buried fracture (i.e. “fault”), may instigate an earthquake. GPS, strain sensors, and even inSAR (interferometric Synthetic Aperature Radar) are of no use to proffering answers to these questions as these fractures are inaccessible since they are deep below – while the sediment or crust above hides any telltale sign of crustal creep or stress.
Fig 3. Estimates of the severe impact from a study commissioned by FEMA if a New Madrid Earthquake of M7.7 were to occur.
Fig 3. Estimates of the severe impact from a study commissioned by FEMA if a New Madrid Earthquake of M7.7 were to occur.
Because of risk assessment uncertainty, FEMA and other emergency agencies are left to estimating the risk to America’s infrastructure based on a worst case paleogeologic history (i.e. the maximum at any moment). Indeed, in 1999, FEMA listed as one of the major top four hazards in the United States, as “catastrophic”, would be a giant earthquake striking the central U.S.
Because scientists are unable to predict the timing nor the location of the next large earthquake in these Rift zones, there is a difference of viewpoints, regarding cost tradeoffs of implementation and/or upgrades of rigorous seismic building codes, between the scientific community and the emergency management organizations. Complicating this situation is that earthquakes, that occur in the central or eastern United States, affect much larger areas than similar magnitudes in the western United States. The FEMA guide references that the 1906 M7.8 San Francisco CA earthquake was felt 350 miles away in the middle of Nevada. In contrast, the 1811 New Madrid Earthquake was reported to have rung church bells in Boston, Massachusetts, 1,000 miles away. Differences in the geologic makeup of the earth’s crust east and west of the Rocky Mountains are noted to be the cause of this stronger conduction of the earthquake’s P-waves and S-waves creating the distant shaking contrast.
As the rate of earthquakes have been increasing in the New Madrid Seismic Zone and in other parts of the Central United States, such as in Oklahoma, there are concerns that intraplate tectonic pressure may be driving these trends. Other areas, such as the Wabash Valley and East Tennessee Seismic zones also produce earthquakes on a regular basis. Quoting from the CUSEC – “Depending on earthquake magnitude and location, each of these zones could impact multiple states, causing major physical, social and economic disruption in a region that is home to more than forty million people.”… “On April 18, 2008, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck near Mt. Carmel, Illinois. This relatively minor earthquake was felt in 28 states and Canada and was responsible for an estimated $3 million in non-structural damages and damaged at least 240 structures in Illinois alone. The Mt. Carmel earthquake shows the widespread impact a larger earthquake might have on the region”
Scientists now believe the Eastern U.S. could have a major quake of its own, and events like the New Madrid Great quakes may happen again, but there is no way to guess where or when.
Fig4-CrackInAmerica
Fig 5. Mid Continental Rift System (MCRS) rotation movement & direction towards the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The direction of the blue arrows show the historical intraplate pressure & movement from the southern edge of the Midcontinental Rift System (MCRS) towards the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The MCRS is estimated to be 1.1 Billion years old.
Fig 5. Mid Continental Rift System (MCRS) rotation movement & direction towards the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The direction of the blue arrows show the historical intraplate pressure & movement from the southern edge of the Midcontinental Rift System (MCRS) towards the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The MCRS is estimated to be 1.1 Billion years old.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is a lobbyist for Austal USA, the Mobile ship builder that is under federal investigation and has international financial woes, too

Wednesday, January 30, 2019



Austal USA in Mobile, AL

Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley is the chief lobbyist for a Mobile ship-building company that federal investigators raided last week. Austal USA, with its international headquarters in Henderson, Western Australia long has been a pet project for Riley -- both while he was governor and since he left office.

Austal USA is one of Mobile's largest employers, with a workforce of about 4,000. It builds Littoral Combat Ships and Expeditionary Fast Transports for the U.S. Navy, and al.comreports it is competing in a selection process for a series of next-generation frigates.

The nature of the investigation remains unclear, but it appears to have grown from a financial probe in Australia. From a report at maritime-executive.com:

Australian ferry and defense shipbuilder Austal is cooperating with an Australian probe into market disclosures it made in 2015 regarding cost overruns on LCS-6, the Littoral Combat Ship USS Jackson. Austal builds one of the U.S. Navy's two LCS variants, the aluminum-hulled Independence-class ships.

In a filing released through the Australian Stock Exchange on Thursday, Austal confirmed that it is "assisting an investigation by ASIC (the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) into market announcements . . . with respect to earnings from its Littoral Combat Ship program." Its American division, Austal USA, confirmed Friday that it is also cooperating with the U.S. Navy in an unspecified investigation. Local media reported that officials from the Department of Defense, the NCIS and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service were spotted at the Austal USA yard in Mobile, Alabama.

report at usni.org provides additional details about the possible focus of the investigation and the U.S. agencies involved:

Federal agents visited Littoral Combat Ship manufacturer Austal USA in its Mobile, Ala., shipyard as part of an unspecified investigation involving the U.S. Navy, according to local media.

“Department of Defense, NCIS and [the Defense Criminal Investigative Service] have been seen on site,” according to NBC 15 in Mobile, Ala. “Investigators are expected to be on site for several hours.”

In a brief Thursday statement, Austal said the company was cooperating with authorities but gave no additional details as to the nature of the inquiry.

“Austal USA is working with the U.S. Navy on an open investigation,” reads the statement. “We are unable to provide additional details due to the nature of the investigation. We are continuing business as usual, executing our existing and recently awarded contracts.”

Here is more from usni.org about Austal's operations in south Alabama and the company's unstable financial picture:

The Mobile shipyard employs 4,000 workers and builds the Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport and Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship for the Navy. Austal USA is the American branch of Australian aluminum shipbuilder Austal. Earlier Thursday, Australian media reported Austal was under investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over market updates related to losses around the Independence-class LCS.

The Australian authorities are said to be focusing on statements issued by Austal regarding the blow out, or sudden increase in costs, associated with finishing USS Jackson (LCS-6)

Bob Riley
 On December 10, 2015, Austal announced it was experiencing “schedule and margin pressure on Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 6.”

Jackson was a challenging ship in two respects. First, it was the first ship Austal USA had built as the prime contractor, whereas USS Independence (LCS-2) and USS Coronado (LCS-4) were built at the Austal yard with General Dynamics serving as the prime contractor on the project. Second, Jackson was the first LCS to be built under a block buy contract from the Navy. Austal implemented a new manufacturing process for the block buy ships meant to reduce cost and schedule down the line through serial production, but Jackson being the first serial production ship still meant there were lessons to be learned and procedural kinks to be worked out.

Austal's finances have been shaky since 2015-16, according to usni.org:

Austal officials conceded in the Dec. 2015 statement that their ability to boost LCS earnings through these new production processes did not live up to expectations. Savings on the LCS-8 and LCS-10 production were also more limited than anticipated, Austal officials said in the Dec. 2015 statement.

“Austal’s ability to apply lessons learnt and productivity enhancements from LCS 6 to vessels in advanced construction, namely LCS 8 and LCS 10, has been more limited than anticipated,” the statement said.

“The LCS program is maturing more slowly than we had expected, however we are working hard to manage the risks and expect an improvement across the program after delivery of LCS 10,” Andrew Bellamy, who then served as Austal’s chief executive, said in the December 2015 release. “Austal has a strong balance sheet and is generating good cash flow, which is enabling further investment in the business during the 2016 financial year to best position the Company to win additional contracts and service work to build our order book, revenue, and earnings into the future.”

However, according to Austal’s Fiscal Year 2016 annual report, the company reported a loss of A$84.2 million, compared to a profit of A$53.2 million in 2015.

Could this develop into a full-blown scandal, with Bob Riley at the center of it? It's too early to tell, but Riley (often in conjunction with one or both of his oily children -- Rob Riley and Minda Riley Campbell) has been tied to corruption for years. So far, the Rileys have managed to mostly dodge accountability. But if they are found to be involved in an international financial scam, involving misuse of U.S. defense funds . . . that tune could change.

Either way, Alabamians should be keeping a close eye on this story. Riley and his successor as governor, Robert Bentley, dumped millions of taxpayer dollars into Austal USA. Right now, it looks like that could have been a bad bet -- with everyday Alabamians being left holding the bag.

Original post: https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2019/01/former-alabama-gov-bob-riley-is.html#links
(To be continued)

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Carol's recovery from a broken left shoulder, caused by a fainting spell in Missouri, is going well -- and X-rays show the healing process pretty much as it happens

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Carol Shuler X-ray No. 1

My wife, Carol, is recovering nicely from the broken left shoulder she sustained from a fainting spell at the Social Security Administration Building in Springfield, MO. In fact, her doctor stated on her most recent visit ( 1/9/19 ) that her range of motion in the joint is good enough that she does not need to continue with formal physical therapy. She will continue with at-home exercises, and her diligence with those probably helps explain her solid recovery.

Carol Shuler X-ray No. 2
That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that, having been cheated out of our jobs and health insurance in Alabama, we have limited ability to treat the underlying causes of Carol's fainting spell. Medical personnel from Cox South Medical Center stated that tests from her ER visit and hospital stay after the incident showed no clear medical issue that caused Carol to faint. They attributed it mainly to the financial and emotional stress we've experienced (which likely contributed to Carol's dehydration) since I was thrown in jail "for blogging" and we lost our home of almost 25 years in Alabama, only to move to Missouri and be targeted for an unlawful eviction that ended with deputies breaking Carol's arm just above the elbow -- a comminuted fracture that required roughly eight hours of trauma surgery.

Fortunately, we were covered by Medicaid to repair the thug-cops' handiwork. But the forced move, and one other move due to unhealthy living conditions at our residence, caused paperwork to not reach us in the mail -- and our Medicaid coverage lapsed. Social workers at Burrell Behavioral Health helped us get on Medicaid, but they have been unwilling or unable to help us with much of anything -- especially since we learned they were responsible for the bogus 911 call that caused cops to appear at our home in SWAT gear. Bottom line: We've been without health insurance for about 30 months.

Carol Shuler X-ray No. 3
Let's get back to the good news by examining the healing process revealed in recent X-rays of Carol's shoulder. X-ray No. 1 (top), taken the day of the break on 10/23/18, shows hardware in Carol's elbow was not effected by the second injury. You almost have to be a radiologist to see it, but the shoulder area includes a number of fracture lines. The injury was not nearly as obvious or severe as the elbow injury

X-ray No. 2 (left, above), taken on 11/17/18, shows fracture lines in the shoulder that are faint to the untrained eye.

X-ray No. 3 (right), dated 11/28/18, still shows faint fracture lines, but it also shows a white area on the outer shoulder, which is a sign of healing and new-bone development.

X-rays No. 4 and 5 (below), dated 1/9/18. are the most recent we have and show more signs of healing and new-bone development. Carol's doctor said she almost certainly will experience ongoing stiffness in the shoulder, so it never will be "good as new." But we are grateful for a solid recovery.


(NoteLegal Schnauzer needs your help. Loyal readers have sustained this blog for years, and support is urgently needed now that my wife, Carol, is recovering from a fainting spell, which led to a recent broken arm. The healing process has started for Carol, but statements from her doctors indicate this likely was fallout from political thugs cheating both of us out of our jobs [and health insurance] in Birmingham -- and the stress of dealing with financial wreckage that comes from being targeted for right-wing attacks.  If you are able to help along our journalism journey, please click on the yellow donate button in the upper right corner of the blog, under the "Support the Schnauzer" headline. We are deeply grateful for your support through the years.)



Carol Shuler X-ray No. 4


Carol Shuler X-ray No. 5
Original post: https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2019/01/carols-recovery-from-broken-left.html#links

R.D. Laing

R.D. Laing
Speaking on Autonomy