Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peace in our time: Iran presses ahead with uranium enrichment technology

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Thumbnail image for Rouhani2.jpg

This agreement just keeps looking better and better.

"Iran presses ahead with uranium enrichment technology," from Reuters, December 7:
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran is moving ahead with testing more efficient uranium enrichment technology, a spokesman for its atomic energy agency said on Saturday, in news that may concern world powers who last month agreed a deal to curb Tehran's atomic activities. 
Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying that initial testing on a new generation of more sophisticated centrifuges had been completed, underlining Iran's determination to keep refining uranium in what it says is work to make fuel for a planned network of nuclear power plants.
Although the development does not appear to contravene the interim agreement struck between world powers and Iran last month, it may concern the West nonetheless, as the material can also provide the fissile core of a nuclear bomb if enriched to a high degree.
"The new generation of centrifuges was produced with a higher capacity compared with the first generation machines and we have completed initial tests," Kamalvandi was quoted as saying.
"The production of a new generation of centrifuges is in line with the (Iranian atomic energy) agency's approach of upgrading the quality of enrichment machines and increasing the rate of production by using the maximum infrastructure facilities".
Kamalvandi said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been informed of the development.
Iran's development of a new generation of centrifuges - machines that spin at supersonic speed to increase the ratio of the fissile isotope - could enable it to refine uranium much faster....


Obama's National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, blatantly lied to Congress last Spring when in response to a question stated the NSA does not "not wittingly" collect information on Americans in bulk. The lie was revealed thanks to American hero and true patriot, Edward Snowden.

Proven a liar, Clapper now freely admits he gave the "least untruthful" answer he could without revealing classified information.

The Hill reports Patriot Act author says "Obama’s intel czar should be prosecuted"
Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the original author of the Patriot Act, says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper should be prosecuted for lying to Congress.

"Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it," the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with The Hill.

He said the Justice Department should prosecute Clapper for giving false testimony during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March.

During that hearing, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper whether the National Security Agency (NSA) collects data on millions of Americans. Clapper insisted that the NSA does not — or at least does "not wittingly" — collect information on Americans in bulk.

After documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA collects records on virtually all U.S. phone calls, Clapper apologized for the misleading comment.

The intelligence director said he tried to give the "least untruthful" answer he could without revealing classified information.

Sensenbrenner said that explanation doesn’t hold water and argued the courts and Congress depend on accurate testimony to do their jobs.

"The only way laws are effective is if they're enforced," Sensenbrenner said. "If it's a criminal offense — and I believe Mr. Clapper has committed a criminal offense — then the Justice Department ought to do its job."
Nothing Beyond the Octopus Reach

Infowars reports Spying Spooks Throw It In Americans’ Faces With New Octopus-Engulfing-World Logo
                   NRO Spy Satellite
Following this year’s further revelations on the NSA actively spying on Americans’ communications, along with the president’s promise to “reign in” the powers of US spooks, one would have expected that the government would be engaged in a damage control campaign going forward.

However, this is the criminally insane military industrial complex usurped government we’re referring to, so Instead they’re putting world-eating Octopus logos on the side of spy satellites and tweeting about it.

Here’s a photograph of the launch of NROL-39, the latest government spy satellite being overseen by The National Reconnaissance Office, which provides signals intelligence to the NSA, among other agencies. The NRO is considered one of the “big 5? spy agencies.            

Let's hone in on the logo.

The logo reads "nothing beyond our reach". 

Obviously that includes Merkel's phone, and anything else the NSA wants to spy on.

The NRO claims "The octopus, is a versatile, adaptable, and highly intelligent creature. Emblematically, enemies of the United States can be reached no matter where they choose to hide."

To me that sounds like the "least untruthful" response without admitting what the symbol really means and what they really intend to do: spy on literally everything.

Anti-Patriot Act

The Patriot Act was anything but. It should be scrapped. James Clapper should be prosecuted and spend the rest of his life in prison where he can think about the true meaning of patriotism.

Meanwhile, those looking for a true patriot ought to stand up and salute Edward Snowden. He risked his life, security, and personal freedom to protect the US constitution. What's more patriotic than that?

When Vice President Lyndon Johnson returned to Capitol Hill after his first White House meeting with the new team assembled by President John F. Kennedy, he rushed to talk with his mentor, House Speaker Sam Rayburn. LBJ told his fellow Texan how impressed he was with Kennedy’s “best and brightest.” He was especially taken with Defense Sec. Robert Strange McNamara, the ex-CEO of Ford Motor Company. Lyndon described that “feller with the sta-comb in his hair” as being the brightest of the brightest.

The bald-headed Texas politico, Rayburn, narrowed his eyes and looked at Johnson over his glass of Bourbon and branch water and said with some skepticism. “Maybe, Lyndon, but I’d feel a lot better if just one of them had ever run for sheriff.”

We know that John F. Kennedy made some of the earliest commitments of U.S. ground forces to South Vietnam, but their numbers were still quite small when Kennedy met his tragic death in a Dallas motorcade. Johnson became president and vowed not to order “American boys to do what Asian boys should be doing.” That was fighting Communist subversion in Southeast Asia.

Johnson carried that message into the 1964 election against conservative Sen. Barry Goldwater. In that campaign, Johnson staked out his position as the “peace” candidate and charged that Goldwater would get America into a nuclear war. Johnson’s campaign used its own version of a nuclear weapon on the hapless Goldwater campaign by running the infamous “Daisy” television ad. It was probably the most despicable attack ad in history. But it helped Johnson to win a 44-state landslide and bury Barry Goldwater.

Do anything just to win. That was the seeming message from the 1964 election. The very next year, 1965, President Johnson began his escalation of U.S. forces in South Vietnam. The number of troops, most of them draftees, would climb under Johnson to 525,000 men. LBJ was sending more than half a million American boys, it seemed, to do the task he said that Asian boys ought to do.

Thus opened up the yawning chasm of the Credibility Gap. Johnson’s presidency was consumed by the Vietnam War. And Johnson himself soon was reviled by his own party’s grassroots. In 1964, his huge picture had been displayed over speaker’s rostrum at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. That floor to ceiling banner was as large as many of those that were carried in May Day parades in Moscow’s Red Square.

Just four years later, President Johnson was driven from office by opposition among Democrats. And he dared not even show his face at his party’s 1968 convention, that riotous affair in Chicago.

All of this was brought to mind when President Obama promised to bring in “the best and the brightest” to fix his problem-plagued Heathcare.gov website. Liberals in the media had all read the famous David Halberstam book with its bitterly ironic title: The Best and the Brightest.


This extraordinary statement led even liberals to ask the pointed question: If you are only now bringing in your best and brightest, who did you hire to roll this thing out in the first place? Congress—especially the House—will have its work cut out for it in finding out who made the decisions to hire CGI and other failed contractors, who decided to go ahead with the rollout, or tumbleout, despite many warnings of trouble ahead.

Congress will also want to know what the administration did to assure enrollees that their most sensitive health and personal information—yielded up to the government under penalty of a fine—would be protected. Recent hard experience with the IRS does not give anyone confidence that patient confidentiality will be respected.

Will Edward Snowden be hired as an ObamaCare “Navigator”? Well, clearly not thatEdward Snowden, the NSA contract employee who skipped to Hong Kong and then to Moscow, hemorrhaging Top Secret information all the way. But what guarantee do we have that the Obama Navigators will undergo detailed and reliable background security checks to demonstrate loyalty and professional competence? How do we know they are not hiring tomorrow’s Edward Snowden?
Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan provides this picture of Team Obama’s “best and brightest” young White House aides.

For four years I have been told, by those who’ve worked in the administration and those who’ve visited it as volunteers or contractors, that the Obama White House isn’t organized.It’s just full of chatter. Meetings don’t begin on time, there’s no agenda, the list of those invited seems to expand and contract at somebody’s whim. There is a tendency to speak of how a problem will look and how its appearance should be handled, as opposed to what the problem is and should be done about it. People speak airily, without point. They scroll down, see a call that has to be returned, pop out and then in again.

Maybe the first community that our Community-Organizer-in-Chief should organize is his own White House staff.

We’re not at Vietnam-level dissent and protest yet. It’s still early. ObamaCare has only been bedeviling us since October. But wait. If we see new waves of insurance cancellations, if there are more complaints that the “back end” of the website is not fully functional, that it isnot providing assurance of insurance, if it turns out that the information we are forced by law to provide to Mr. Obama’s Navigators has not been protected, or worse, has even become “a hackers’ buffet,” then stand by for trouble.

We should all pray the country doesn’t have to go through what we only barely survived in the 1960s. Barack Obama may have forgotten the violence and anti-Americanism of the radical left, but millions of Americans remember it with painful clarity.

The loudest opposition to LBJ and his false promises about Vietnam came from the left.

Conservatives did not go into the streets then, burning draft cards and American flags. We cannot expect that conservatives would ever engage in the kind of ugly disruptions that characterized the anti-war left and its massive demonstrations, bombings, torchings, and hateful rhetoric.

Still, the TEA Party is fully committed to opposing ObamaCare and its threats to American liberties. Their ranks may soon be joined by everyday Americans who were told over and over again: If you like your health care insurance plan, you can keep it.

TEA Party activists may soon tell voters in the run-up to the mid-term elections: If you like President Obama’s “best and brightest,” you can keep them. It is still the responsibility of citizens to hold leaders accountable. Perhaps Peggy Noonan is right: the real problem is“low information leadership.”
Record Numbers Are Renouncing U.S. Citizenship
Newsmax

So far this year, a record 2,369 people have either given up their American passports or surrendered their green cards after long-term residency in the United States.

That is a 33 percent increase from the previous record set in 2011, when the Treasury Department published the names of 1,781 people who had given up their citizenship or green cards, and this year's total is likely to rise before year's end.

The chief reason cited for Americans renouncing their citizenship: avoiding U.S. taxes.

Unlike many other nations, the United States taxes people based on citizenship, not on residency. So Americans who move out of the country still have to file with the IRS.

Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer in Connecticut, attributes the increasing numbers of expatriates to "the IRS cracking down on people with overseas accounts."

He told CNBC: "All this publicity has really made people more aware of these U.S. tax obligations and all the penalties that can go along with not filling out the forms," which can be large enough to bankrupt an overseas American.

Renouncing U.S. citizenship not only removes the obligation to file with the IRS and pay U.S. taxes, it also solves a common problem for Americans living overseas.

"They don't want to tell foreign banks that they're an American, because the banks often don't want American money in the bank," said Robert Wood, a San Francisco-based attorney.

That's because a law requires American taxpayers to report information about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets, according to CNBC. And it requires foreign banks to register with the IRS and report information about accounts held by American taxpayers.

There is a potential downside to renouncing American citizenship, however. Those who do must obtain a visa to come back to the United States, and there is a risk the U.S. government will not let them in.

The Reed Amendment, introduced by then-Rep. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and enacted in 1996, states: "Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is inadmissible."

But people are not required to state why they are renouncing their citizenship, and Mitchel said to his knowledge the law has never been enforced.
Huge Oil Find Called 'Death Knell for OPEC'
Newsmax

The discovery of massive oil deposits in Australia could shake up the world's energy industry and threaten OPEC's grip on oil markets.

Australia's Linc Energy has released reports, based on exploration near the remote town of Coober Pedy in South Australia, estimating the amount of oil in the untapped Arckaringa Basin could range to as high as 233 billion barrels.

That could turn Australia from an oil importer into a large-scale exporter.

Estimates of 233 billion barrels are just 30 billion fewer than the estimated reserves in Saudi Arabia, 263 billion barrels. They are more than in Venezuela (211 billion barrels), Canada (175 billion), Iran (137 billion), and Iraq (115 barrels), and could be worth more than $20 trillion.

The discovery isn't fresh news, however — reports about Coober Pedy's potential date back to January 2013. The news is that there hasn't been more news about the find, according to oil industry adviser Dr. Kent Moors, Ph.D., who thinks the discovery could be even larger than estimated.

"The find may land at 300 or 400 billion barrels, making it one of the greatest unconventional oil discoveries any of us will see in our lifetime," said Moors, a professor in the Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and founder and editor of the Oil & Energy Investor newsletter.

"It represents a bona-fide redrawing of the global energy map as we know it, and the mainstream media is completely ignoring it."

He calls the discovery "the death knell for OPEC" and a "death blow for Saudis," predicting that Australia could become "one of the world's biggest oil exporters."

Linc Energy managing director Peter Bond told Australia's Herald Sun that the company plans to drill up to six wells to confirm the estimates of shale oil deposits, adding that "it's one of the key prospective territories in the world at the moment."

Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC are already threatened by the shale oil boom in the United States, which has reduced America's dependence on foreign oil.

Back in July, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal warned in a letter to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and others that "America and some Asian countries made big discoveries in shale gas extraction which will affect the oil industry around the world in general and Saudi Arabia in particular."

Op-ed:
Obama and the Constitution…like oil and water the two don't mix 
By: Diane Sori

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” 

And so those words were (unfortunately) sworn to by Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

We all know the ObamaCare roll out complete with its joke of a website was a nightmare in every way possible…and continues to be so as band-aide fixes NEVER work...for in this case it still leaves millions without health insurance due to cancellation, which in turn then forces them to buy much more expensive insurance...sometimes double or even triple what the policy holder was paying before being cancelled. And we all know that Obama has made unilateral changes to ObamaCare (the anything but Affordable Care Act) after it was voted on, adopted, and put into law. And that is a major no-no as according to the Constitution changes made to a law…any law…must go through Congress meaning NO president has the power to unilaterally change a law by their own volition.

In fact during recent hearings about ObamaCare, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) asked Professor Jonathan Turlet (a professor from the George Washington University Law School) the impacts of those unilateral changes Obama made to ObamaCare.

His reply:”The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid.”

And so, Obama’s in-your-face casting aside of our rule of law strikes deep into the very heart of our nation’s life blood…the US Constitution…for the Constitution says in Article II Section 3, the president has a “duty, not a discretionary power” to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” meaning the main responsibility of the President is to make sure laws passed are rightfully implemented. So when Obama tells all that he will NOT enforce ‘certain’ provisions and ‘certain’ provisions alone…as in the suspension of the employer mandate where ObamaCare is being delayed for one year for certain business entities…he is most assuredly violating the Constitution because he has NO right refusing the enforcement of a democratically voted upon, signed by him, and now enacted law…in this case Congressional Joint Resolution #45 (forever known as ObamaCare) passed in July 2010.

And we all know Obama’s tampering with this law is for political fodder alone…as his fear of having both big and small businesses turning against both him and the party with the mid-terms coming up in 11 months is all apparent…and as employers start sending out health insurance cancellation notices to employees during this upcoming year believe me they will start turning against him.

Bottom line…with the ObamaCare law as passed mandating that both individuals and businesses... meaning any business with 50 or more full-time employees…be in possession of health insurance for themselves and their dependents or face paying a penalty…Obama is taking unilateral action in the implementation of ObamaCare…as in NOT applying the law equally to both individuals and businesses.  And in doing so Barack HUSSEIN Obama is violating both his constitutional oath of office and his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the law. Remember, the Constitution authorizes the President to propose and veto legislation but does NOT authorize the President to change existing laws…and Obama’s action in 'selectively enforcing' this law puts him extremely close to being a dictator…or thinking that he is already one.

And by the way, even if Obama were to change and delay the individual mandate the same way he changed and delayed the employer mandate clause, that also would be a violation of the Constitution for again, that is NOT how the law was written and passed.

With that, Congress must demand in NO uncertain terms that Obama enforce Congressional Joint Resolution #45…his oh-so-wanted signature piece of legislation…as written and passed or use his refusal as grounds for impeachment…and then after he’s impeached repeal the whole damn thing.

The big question is…will they…but being the known gutless wonders that they are I would NOT hold my breath for it especially with Obama claiming the delay is a ‘sensible adjustment to phase-in enforcement, not a refusal to enforce’…a ‘course correction’ if you will.  And we all know Obama will probably talk his way out of this predicament as he's done with all the others he's faced, as he has a way of making those who oppose him back down in their opposition or to take the fall or him.

“I have the power and I will use it in defense of the middle class,” Obama has said on numerous occasions. “We’re going to do everything we can, wherever we can, with or without Congress.”

And with those words…fighting words actually…that is exactly what Barack HUSSEIN Obama is doing by changing the ObamaCare law as passed by Congress. Knowingly and with malice this most miserable of presidents…this most Constitution trampling of presidents…is making those in Congress both irrelevant and a laughing stock as he bulldozes over the very ones whose job it is to be the voice of ‘We the People’…a voice that this administration has for all intents and purposes silenced, for sadly we have a president who does NOT believe in our representative form of government...or in the Constitution itself.

And unfortunately, we also have a current Congress that looks away and continues to allow this to happen.

November 2014 cannot come fast enough.