Sunday, November 4, 2012

Obama ecomomy failure means a one term presidency (video)

I have wondered why the Romney campaign hasn’t used President Obama’s own words against him.  So I will.  In an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer in June 2011 addressing the economy, Obama stated:

If I don’t have this done in three years, then there is going to be a one term proposition. 

Well said, Mr. President!  We will take you at your word.

Open video here.



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Did Shieffer zing Candy Crowley last night?

I think Bob Schieffer’s opening comments that he had not discussed his topics with either the candidates or their staffs was wholly appropriate after Candy Crowley’s obvious support for Obama in the previous debate. 

There has been suspicion in past debates of favored treatment and even coordination on the part of liberal moderators.  Crowley’s interjection of “You are right Mr. President” has no place coming from an unbiased moderator.  And it was especially inappropriate after being challenged by Obama to check the transcript, and she had that particular transcript.

It was important that Schieffer clear the cloud of coordination and bias from the debates and he did it well. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Biden’s deceptive remarks on Iran’s nuclear weapons program

Vice President Joe Biden in last night’s debate said that while Iran may have the capability to enrich uranium, it does not have a warhead and does not present a threat.  There are problems with his statement.

The first is it is likely the Iranians have already designed and tested major components of a warhead using substitute (non-nuclear) materials.  This was done under the direction of a Ukrainian scientist who had formerly worked at the Soviet/Russian nuclear facility Chelyabinsk-70.  The November 2011 IAEA report places this test at the Parchin, Iran military base. The IAEA has repeatedly been denied access to inspect the building where he test reportedly took place.  Commercial satellite photography early in 2012 documents efforts to sanitize the area.  Here is the quote from the IAEA report:

47. One necessary step in a nuclear weapon development programme is determining whether a theoretical design of an implosion device, the behaviour of which can be studied through computer simulations, will work in practice. To that end, high explosive tests referred to as “hydrodynamic experiments” are conducted in which fissile and nuclear components may be replaced with surrogate materials.41

48. Information which the Agency has been provided by Member States, some of which the Agency has been able to examine directly, indicates that Iran has manufactured simulated nuclear explosive components using high density materials such as tungsten. These components were said to have incorporated small central cavities suitable for the insertion of capsules such as those described in Section C.9 below. The end use of such components remains unclear, although they can be linked to other information received by the Agency concerning experiments involving the use of high speed diagnostic equipment, including flash X ray, to monitor the symmetry of the compressive shock of the simulated core of a nuclear device.

49. Other information which the Agency has been provided by Member States indicates that Iran constructed a large explosives containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments. The explosives vessel, or chamber, is said to have been put in place at Parchin in 2000. A building was constructed at that time around a large cylindrical object at a location at the Parchin military complex. A large earth berm was subsequently constructed between the building containing the cylinder and a neighbouring building, indicating the probable use of high explosives in the chamber. The Agency has obtained commercial satellite images that are consistent with this information. From independent evidence, including a publication by the foreign expert referred to in paragraph 44 above, the Agency has been able to confirm the date of construction of the cylinder and some of its design features (such as its dimensions), and that it was designed to contain the detonation of up to 70 kilograms of high explosives, which would be suitable for carrying out the type of experiments described in paragraph 43 above.

It may be that Biden is simply parsing words to convey a falsehood.  When he says Iran doesn’t have a warhead, he may be technically correct because they haven’t yet enriched the uranium to weapons grade (80 to 90%).  A warhead without the fissile fuel is not a warhead.  But if the remaining components are tested and ready, all that needs to be done is fabricate the two hemispheric shells of U-235 and assemble them into the warhead.

The other thing Biden misses is there is only a limited time of vulnerability for an attack to succeed.  Once the centrifuges have enriched the gaseous uranium hexafluoride to the weapons grade and it has been converted to metallic form, it can be hidden almost anywhere.  Only during the enrichment process, do we know here it is – most likely at Fodor, but possibly at Natanz.  Both are underground enrichment facilities. 

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a much firmer grasp of the realities.  The red line he refers to is when enrichment begins above the 20% level, warhead or no warhead. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fighting fire with fire … Holder’s stonewall is being pierced by Issa’s Congressional Immunity

Last Friday (June 29) House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa pulled one off on AG Eric Holder.  The lockup of Fast and Furious documents by the administration, many of which are under judicial seal, was shattered by his use of Congressional Immunity.  Mr. Issa has received a number of leaked documents from unnamed sources.  In particular he has copies of wiretap applications which put a lie to Holder’s contention that no senior officials at DOJ had knowledge that guns were allowed to walk into uncontrolled hands.  Issa has now opened a door that permits him get his leaked documents into the public domain legally and with impunity. 

When Fast and Furious was conceived, it was the perfect crime.  Guns purchased by straw purchasers would be allowed to walk into the hands of Mexican drug cartels with the blessing of the DOJ, which developed and ran the operation.  There were no tracking devices (RFIDs) attached to the guns, the Mexican Government was not informed, and US law enforcement personnel were ordered not to interfere with movement of the weapons.  All actions that could have made this a legitimate operation were ignored or countermanded.  More likely it was an effort to generate publicity when the “walked” guns from the US turned up at violent cartel crime scenes. Then that publicity would be used create a ground swell of pressure to ban the sale of assault weapons. It was the perfect crime because Justice, which ran the operation, could stymie any investigation or prosecution should any glitches happen.   And Democrats controlled both houses of Congress so no investigation with subpoena powers would happen.  Just as with Justice, Congress would see no evil,

Things began to unravel at Justice with the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and when Republicans took the House in the November 2010 elections. Early the following year Issa began his investigation but soon much of the evidence was out of reach, placed under seal by the Inspector General at Justice.  It remains so and will remain so as long as the IG’s slow moving investigation continues.  And now President Obama has claimed executive privilege for documents published after the close down of the Fast and Furious operation.

In particular Issa has sought information through subpoena powers that senior Justice officials knew of the of the gun running operation.  He wanted the sealed wiretap applications which can only be authorized at the senior level at Justice.  That was denied. But it turns out Issa was in possession of several of these documents, leaked to him by persons unknown.  How Issa placed this information into the public domain is unique and legal, and no doubt has Holder and others in the administration squirming.

On Friday June 29 Issa referred on the floor to a letter he had written a month earlier to Elijah Cummings, the ranking (Democrat) member of Issa’s Oversight Committee.  The letter was a response to one Cummings had written him asserting there was no evidence to support the claim that senior Justice officials knew of guns being “walked” to straw purchasers.  Issa in is letter quotes information obtained in six leaked wiretap applications, documenting that they indeed were aware of the gun walking operation.  He then had his letter, containing portions of the sealed wiretap applications, read into the Congressional Record.  It is available here.  Members of Congress are constitutionally protected from libel suits and prosecution for statements made from the floor.  In practice they are protected when making statements in the course of their work, when Congress is in session.  Issa played it safe and did it all from the floor.  And it must have Holder and other Democrats fuming.

Undoubtedly, there is more to come.  Issa likely has more leaked documents from his mole.  And he now has a channel to place them before the public.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Obama’s motto “Forward” has the ring of Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”

Great Leap Forward Propoganda Poster 1958
Let’s hope nothing like it happens here.  China’s Great Leap Forward (1958-61) was Mao’s ill conceived effort to jump start China from a rural economy into an industrialized nation overnight.  Not only did it fail, but it was a disaster of epic proportions.  An estimated 30 million Chinese died of starvation in its aftermath.  Mao’s later Cultural Revolution, which received greater publicity, can’t compare.  That was a political purification program.  The Great Leap Forward was destructive communist socialism at its worst.  It should be a lesson.

Backyard Furnace
Mao in all his wisdom wanted to build an industrial economy by uprooting peasants from their traditional lands and forcing them into self-sufficient people’s communes.  Farming was collectivized, Soviet style.  But communes went beyond that.  They were meant to be part of the newly industrialized economy.  Steel production was begun in backyard furnaces diverting much needed labor from growing and harvesting crops.  Coal to make coke was unavailable so they used charcoal made from trees, denuding the local forests.  With no steelmaking expertise, the steel was of such poor quality it couldn’t be used.

Eliminating the Last Sparrow 1959
But the greatest damage was to agriculture.  Poorly planned planting procedures were mandated by party officials in Beijing.  As mentioned above, labor was in short supply because of steel making.  There was no fertilizer.  Typical of problems in a communist society the ownership of night soil, the common fertilizer of the era, came into dispute.  Party officials said it was state property, the peasants claimed their own waste for their garden plots.  The state won.  When locusts began destroying crops, China began a program of enlisting it’s hundreds of millions in the effort to kill and many as possible.  That effort also included birds that were devouring the harvested grain.  Unfortunately this ill advised program made a greater dent in the bird population than 0n insects.  The results were predictable.  Insects thrived without birds to control them.

Despite the agricultural shortages, grain was sent to the cities leaving rural China to starve.  And they did.

You would think we should have learned our lessons by now that command economies simply do not work. But this administration continues to run hell bent into ideologically driven projects.  It still promotes electric generation policies with costs double to quintuple existing methods.  It pushes electric cars the public refuses to buy and it forces us to buy oil from unreliable nations who maintain a pricing cartel to keep prices high.

But unlike China of Mao’s era and today’s, we still have the ability to vote these people out.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Obama worshipers fell all over themselves when he offered food to N Korea. Wonder how they feel now?

In researching Island Turtle’s article on the folly of President Obama’s agreement to buy the same horse twice (actually the third or fourth time is more accurate) with his 240 kilotons of food, for 8 months of good behavior (until the election)  I was bowled over by the obsequious praise of The One by NY Times readers. 

It took only two weeks for young Kim to announce he was breaking the deal and 6 weeks to launch the rocket which ended in failure.  And it now appears he will detonate a nuclear weapon to add an exclamation point to his defiance of Obama.  Young Kim is now a big cheese with his flock, showing he has no fear of The One.

Here are a few of the comments from the true believers. The Times’ article and complete comments are here, read them all if you can stand it. Yes there were some doubting Thomases who expressed concerns, but most were on the praise heaping side.  I wonder if they have second thoughts now.

Jack  Illinois
This is welcome and encouraging news. If this is the result of a new leader in North Korea I am glad that this could happen. Let's build on this development to stabilize the region and hopefully strengthen our ties to the Korean people.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 9:50 a.m.

Jb  ok
You mean that the war hawks aren't going to shriek and stomp and demand that "we" bomb and invade North Korea? With its nuclear program as far as it is?

Oh, I see. No oil.

Feb. 29, 2012 at 9:50 a.m.

Travis Bennett  New Hampshire
Good news! Peace!
Feb. 29, 2012 at 9:51 a.m

Lisa  NYC
Wow...imagine that, a diplomatic breakthrough which didn't involve going to war. Are you listening, Iran? I'd imagine that those in the US who are beating the drums for war with Iran are not going to like seeing this news because it demonstrates that diplomacy can work - even with whacko dictators at the helm.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:04 a.m

Newton Gregory  Miami
This is encouraging. Way to go Obama administration..Let's build bridges that break down barriers one step at a time and count each victory, even though small, as progress in the right direction.
This is a win win for USA and the world.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:04 a.m

Puristartist  Boulder, CO
God Bless Obama - seriously people, it does make a difference that's he's president.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:05 a.m

Donald Dal Maso  Manhattan
I want to congratulate HILARY CLINTON for her extraordinary work over the past three years. President Obama, you made a terrific choice by enlisting her in the work.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:07 a.m.

Lastcardjb  ct
This is a huge win for international diplomacy - to all those who say Obama doesn't have the chops- take a look at a surging auto industry, the justice brought to many terrorists, the opening of at least a small crack in the North Korean facade and many other small steps forward. Not perfect but damn good.

Also, NK insisting on tying the food to the disarmament, it saves face. They can spin it so their people don't perceive thee government as weak - good politics.
And the people win.

Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:31 a.m.

Mark T.  Henderson, NV
Another example of this government working quietly, professionally, behind the scenes, to make small improvements around the world. I'll never forget watching the "Correspondents' Dinner" and Obama's hilarious speech, and finding out the next day he knew all the while that we had just gotten bin Laden. And he never said a word. He must have been BURSTING to tell, but he didn't. Very professional. Never saw Bush do ANYTHING comparable.

Of course there's so much stuff going on behind the scenes we'll never know about, but that's just the world we live in. Good victory for Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.

Mehrdad Sahba  Sarasota, FL
This is triumph of diplomacy and sane thinking over sabre rattling which hopefully will add to promise of less nuclear weapons and a safer world for all humanity.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:32 a.m

Rene Joseph Louis Lefebvre  Montreal
We can praise President Obama and his administration for engaging North Koea in a way that lead to today's announcement that will open North Korea's nuclear facilities. China and Russia had much more leverage to engage this secretive nuclear country but it seems that their policies toward North Korea were only facilitating the late Kim Jung-il to increase his nuclear military arsenal while starving his people and depriving his country of much needed money and revenues used to buid and maintain his nuclear arsenal and facilities instead of making sure every North Korean citizen had enough food to survive.

I hope that Republicans are not going to use this opening and try to point at President Obama as being weak on defense and caving to North Korea's traditional threats and chest beating. It is in everybody's interest that this openeing, "although limited" be used to continue to engage Korea's new leader in a face saving and not try to humiliate him and his people by blocking food aids in order to get more demands and risk going back the terrible policies of the past. Russia and China should also send positive signs to encourage North Korea to continue in this deirection. They must show clearly to North Korea will benefit from taking further steps similar to the change of mind they just demonstrated. After blocking twice the UN's Security Counsel votes against Syria, Russia and China must demonstrate they are not only mentors for crual dictators.

Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.

James Hadley  Orleans, MA
How true! You can bet that the Republican candidates will denounce this as another enormous mistake by Obama. But at least no-one will have to explain to Herman Cain where N. Korea is located.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:34 a.m

Scott  Massachusetts
A step at a time. Good work by the Administration. Hillary Clinton is doing such a great job -- she is completely inspiring.
Feb. 29, 2012 at 10:38 a.m

Cedar  Colorado
The Republican candidates for all governmental offices can yap all day long about the social agenda they want to foist on the US, but nothing will overshadow the accomplishment of getting the worst rogue nuclear power in the world to stop its weapons development programs. Why? North Korea can blow up parts of Japan, South Korea, and the US, including large population centers, easily. If the new "dear leader" has the sense to take aid in exchange for peace and stick to the agreements, then real progress has been made. The trouble on our side has been the right wing ideological idiocy of Bush and others in refusing to meet, much less negotiate, with North Korea. The trouble on their side has been similar ideological volatility. Combine those two ideologies and you get only closer to danger.

I cannot see that any of the current crop of Republican blow hards would ever have been able to accomplish this since they are too knotted up in their own radical right wing ideas and threats against peace (or too focused on figuring out clever ways to deny basic health care to women, treat our veterans like garbage, discriminate against gays and reduce medical and educational benefits to the poor and needy all in the name of reduced taxes and "self sufficiency".)

As a country we must be vigilant and ready to meet any military threat, but must equally be ready to make peace. This is a great accomplishment for America and our current President, even if it is only an incremental step.

Feb. 29, 2012 at 12:06 p.m

Final comment by Island Turtle:  Eat your words liberals!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Did the administration and the media shoot itself in the foot in the Trayvon Martin controversy?

Gateway Pundit carries an interview of Janet Murgula, President of La Raza, on Keeping it Real with Reverend Al Sharpton (guest host Andre Eggelletion).   The gist of the conversation is Hispanics and blacks should join forces to address common “problems.”  It is curious why such a conversation is taking place at the height of the Trayvon Martin issue.

It seems the controversy is now driving a wedge between Hispanics and blacks.  Janet Murgula wouldn't have made her statement otherwise.  The friction has long been there.  Look at the street gangs of Los Angeles, look at the prison gangs.  They are primarily Hispanics vs. blacks.  Blacks blame Hispanics for their job losses and a host of other ills.  Hispanics think blacks are being dealt better cards in the way of racial preferences.

When the Trayvon Martin case exploded, it was in the interest of the Obama campaign to make it a case of white vs. black.  They wanted to gin up the base with the tried and true "the Klan is coming to git you" mentality.  But it has turned into a renewal of long simmering Hispanic/black tensions -- this despite the sycophant media’s best efforts to create anti-white animus by calling George Zimmerman a white Hispanic from a gated community and various other subterfuges.

Efforts by liberals, the media and black “leaders” for a rush to judgment no doubt has Hispanics worried that this is but one more example of favoring blacks over them.  Obama and the liberal media unintentionally walked into a trap, set by themselves for political advantage.  But it hasn’t worked out the way they hoped it would.  It has ensnared two of the Democrats’ key voting blocks into a renewed rivalry with each other.  And Democrats now want the story to go away.  The NY Times has been virtually silent on the issue for a week now and a White House spokesman has said it has spoken its last on it.  The focus groups and polling data must be terrible for them.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Obama’s deal with North Korea a disaster … His reaction, please don’t report on it

The Obama administration has just proven its utter failure in foreign policy.  It had negotiated an agreement with the North Korea that in exchange for food it would give up its uranium enrichment program, allow IAEA inspectors into the Yongbyong facilities, halt missile tests and cease nuclear weapons tests.  It is now 43 days since the agreement was inked and in that short period of time North Korea has announced plans to launch a satellite with missile based technology (a lightly veiled test of its long range Taepodong-2) and begun preparations for an underground nuclear detonation.  This sets the record for the shortest lived agreement yet.

The reaction from the White House?  Nothing.  Well, almost nothing.  It seems more concerned with negative press coverage than a rogue nation perfecting its long range ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads and threatening its neighbors.  This from the New York Times, datelined today.

The White House has urged media organizations not to overdo their coverage, saying it would give Pyongyang a propaganda victory. The satellite, one official said, was a “dishwasher wrapped in tinfoil.” But that has not stopped news organizations from sending correspondents to Pyongyang, where they have filed frequent reports on preparations.

The agreement was doomed to failure from the beginning and the administration knew it. Obama’s Defense Secretary Gates said in 2009, when asked about buying off North Korea with food, “We are tired of buying the same horse twice.”  But all Obama wanted was good behavior from Kim for 8 months until the election was over.  He reportedly attempted same thing with Netanyahu, when he pressured (unsuccessfully) the prime minister to make a commitment not to attack Iran before the election.  Short term palliatives don’t work. Kim knows that and he knows Obama won’t make tough decisive moves before the election. 

It is now open season for the rogue states of the world to misbehave.  And they are.  Aside from Kim thumbing his nose at Obama, Iran is playing a stalling game of go nowhere talks.  This does give the administration the opportunity to talk tough, really really, really tough.  But no one trusts the administration to back up its words with action, least of all the Israelis. 

Other notable foreign policy initiatives gone bad include Egypt where the administration is playing footsy with the military to keep a lid on, or at least delay until after our elections, a full Muslim Brotherhood takeover of all aspects of Egypt’s government. But instead, Khairat el-Shater’s has entered the presidential race, despite the Brotherhood’s insistence it wouldn’t field a candidate. Obama’s insistence on Mubarak’s ouster and the rise of a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Egypt has eerie parallels to Jimmy Carter’s treatment of the Shah in Iran.  And it will probably result in a theocratic regime, just as it did in Iran.  That’s not a pleasant prospect. And of course there is Afghanistan where Obama’s insistence on a “date certain” for withdrawal is the poison pill that guarantees failure.

Weakness does not win wars, nor does it lead to diplomatic victories.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why did Judge Smith lecture Obama? Because he simply ignored a court order the judge had approved.

Most lawyers trying a case abide by the maxim: Don’t piss off the judge. 

President Obama disregarded that when he lectured the Supreme Court not to overturn the health care law.  Indirectly the President was challenging the entire judiciary and it struck a raw nerve with Judge Jerry Smith, of the 5th Circuit Appeals Court.  Judge Smith had, less than two years earlier, rejected, in a 2 to 1 decision, the Interior Department request to stay a lower court order lifting the offshore drilling moratorium (Hornbeck Offshore Services LLC v. Salazar) – thus requiring the moratorium lifted. 

In one of the most blatant examples thumbing its nose at the courts, the administration simply ignored that order.  After the administration’s appeal was rejected, they rescinded the original moratorium order (ostensibly complying with the court), but almost immediately after, replaced it with another essentially identical order, affecting precisely the same rigs in the first order.  When the second moratorium was lifted in October, still no drilling permits had been issued.

The original judge of the 5th Circuit, Martin Feldman landed on the administration three and a half months later.  He issued a contempt citation against Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar citing a “determined disregard” of his order.  And he added to the insult by requiring Interior to pay Hornbeck’s legal fees.

Today Attorney General Eric Holder sent his single spaced, three page answer to Judge Smith on the Supreme Court’s ability to overturn legislation it has judged unconstitutional.  We don’t know what it said, but it should have included:

Don’t piss off the judge
Don’t piss off the judge
Don’t piss off the judge…

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goodbye Andrew Breitbart … your inspiration will live on.

Few conservatives have made such a profound impression on so many in such a short time as Andrew Breitbart, who died this morning at 43.  A lifelong liberal from Los Angeles, he eventually saw through the utter deceit of the liberal establishment and became a conservative.  Unlike ordinary human beings whose lives are spent like flickering votive candles, Andy’s was the blast of a Saturn rocket – short but powerful.  He left this world in a blaze of glory, but far too soon.

His central theme, above all, was exposing the unmitigated corruption of the legacy media.  They parroted false and exaggerated stories in unison to gain impact, the “big lie” technique.  And they withheld, in concert, news that damaged liberal causes.  In one of his most shining moments, the takedown of ACORN in September 2009, Andy with the help of two youthful videojournalists smoked out the corrupt media.  In his Washington Times article, shortly after the sting, Mr. Breitbart explains the trap he set.

Everything you needed to know about the unorthodox roll out of the now-notorious ACORN sting videos was hidden in plain sight in my Sept. 7 column, "Katie Couric, Look in the Mirror."

ACORN was not the only target of those videos
; so were Katie, Brian, Charlie and every other mainstream media pooh-bah. They were not going to report this blockbuster unless they were forced to. And they were. What's more, it ain't over yet. Not every hint I dropped in that piece about what was to come has played itself out yet. Stay tuned.

He continues:

Thus was born a multimedia, multiplatform strategy designed to force the reluctant hands of ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post. Videos of five different ACORN offices in five separate cities would be released on five consecutive weekdays over a full week - Baltimore, Washington, New York, San Bernadino and San Diego. By dripping the videos out, we exposed to anyone paying attention that ACORN was lying through its teeth and that the media would look imbecilic continuing to trot out their hapless spokespeople.

If the media, as expected, pretended that the story didn't exist, they'd have another debacle on their hands comparable to the failure to report the shocking views of the White House's "green jobs czar," Van Jones. If they invested in the story, I told Mr. O'Keefe, they would do ACORN's defense work. I told him the focus needed to be on the message, not the messenger. Otherwise, the mainstream media would attempt to direct attention away from the damaging video evidence.

The best example of this came from ABC's anchor, Charlie Gibson
. "I don't even know about it. So you've got me at a loss," he told WLS radio when asked about it. "But my goodness, if it's got everything, including sleaziness in it, we should talk about it in the morning." But he also said that what was seen on these videos was best left for the "cables."

Is this not malevolent arrogance?

There will never be another Andrew Breitbart.  But hopefully he has inspired others to follow in his footsteps.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The coming conflict with Iran … Part 2, The refusal to allow IAEA inspectors into Parchin

This is the second of several installments on Iran’s missile and nuclear programs.  The first is here.

Subject: Parchin Military Complex
Coordinates:   35° 31.915'N      51° 45.116'E

The Parchin Military Complex has been in the news lately because for the second time since the beginning the year, Iran has refused to allow IAEA inspectors to go there.  Parchin is important because the IAEA and intelligence agencies of several nations have evidence that it was used to conduct tests of a dummy implosion device.  These tests are important because they measure the accuracy and the degree of compression of the nuclear “pit”, the hollow spherical shell of fissionable material that is compressed to create a nuclear detonation.  These tests use non fissionable material to simulate “assembly” or compression of the fissile material.  Flash X-rays are used to measure the symmetry and compression.  Click here to see an actual experiment using flash X-rays from the 1944-1945 era.  There is no legitimate peaceful use for this technology. 

The November 2011 IAEA report is a damning indictment of Iran’s efforts to pursue and hide its nuclear weapons program.  It is long and dry and technical and written in soft sounding diplomatic legalese.  But it makes its point.  Download it and read it if you are serious about understanding what is happening.  On the Parchin problem it states:

47. One necessary step in a nuclear weapon development programme is determining whether a theoretical design of an implosion device, the behaviour of which can be studied through computer simulations, will work in practice. To that end, high explosive tests referred to as “hydrodynamic experiments” are conducted in which fissile and nuclear components may be replaced with surrogate materials.41

48. Information which the Agency has been provided by Member States, some of which the Agency has been able to examine directly, indicates that Iran has manufactured simulated nuclear explosive components using high density materials such as tungsten. These components were said to have incorporated small central cavities suitable for the insertion of capsules such as those described in Section C.9 below. The end use of such components remains unclear, although they can be linked to other information received by the Agency concerning experiments involving the use of high speed diagnostic equipment, including flash X ray, to monitor the symmetry of the compressive shock of the simulated core of a nuclear device.

49. Other information which the Agency has been provided by Member States indicates that Iran constructed a large explosives containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments. The explosives vessel, or chamber, is said to have been put in place at Parchin in 2000. A building was constructed at that time around a large cylindrical object at a location at the Parchin military complex. A large earth berm was subsequently constructed between the building containing the cylinder and a neighbouring building, indicating the probable use of high explosives in the chamber. The Agency has obtained commercial satellite images that are consistent with this information. From independent evidence, including a publication by the foreign expert referred to in paragraph 44 above, the Agency has been able to confirm the date of construction of the cylinder and some of its design features (such as its dimensions), and that it was designed to contain the detonation of up to 70 kilograms of high explosives, which would be suitable for carrying out the type of experiments described in paragraph 43 above.

It appears this is the IAEA’s the final step to officially declare Iran out of compliance with Non Proliferation Treaty they signed.  And that will clear the way for further sanctions or actions by member nations.  This is the end of line for diplomacy other than some “peace missions” by willing fools.  Don’t count Jimmy Carter out.  After all he’s the one who got us into this mess in the first place

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The coming conflict with Iran … Part 1, Mysterious explosions near Teheran

Island Turtle will cover Iran’s nuclear and missile development programs in several installments.  It will present information and satellite imagery about Iran’s missile manufacturing facilities, test areas and nuclear development sites.  It will show an underground site, part of a vast military storage area, built into a side of a mountain that has yet to be reported by the media.  It will also report on mysterious explosions and offer guidance on what happened and who is likely behind it.  You will be surprised.  The intent is to help Turtle readers follow news events in Iran intelligently when and if they happen, with locations, coordinates and background facts. 

Subject:  Explosion at Shahab-3 missile site November 12, 2011

On Saturday November 12, in the middle of the day Teheran was shaken by two massive explosions, followed by smaller ones.  Western press reports said windows were broken in Teheran from the blasts 28 miles (45 km) away, near Malard. The first report had 27 killed, including Revolutionary Guard’s Major General Hassan Moghadam, the head of Iran’s missile programs.  Later ones lowered that to 17 Guards, including General Moghadam.  There was speculation from Israeli sources that 10 North Koreans died also, though that was never confirmed.  The Iranian state controlled press initially blamed it on an accident of transferring munitions at an ammunition storage area.  Eventually that changed to two Guard run military facilities several kilometers apart that had accidental explosions.  Press speculation, especially in Israel, claimed it was foreign sabotage.  Neither is correct.

On November 28, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) published satellite imagery from Digital Globe taken on November 22, 10 days after the blasts.  It showed utter devastation of the complex.  Every building suffered major damage and one simply ceased to exist.  What is most significant is there is no large crater.  That would be expected from such and explosion. The photography shows the damage came from a massive overpressure and also many small but well placed explosions.  It could not come from sabotage or an accident.  It was too widespread.  It could only have come from the air.

The production site in the Digital Globe/ISIS imagery is one of three facilities west of Malard that are involved with Iran’s missile program, most importantly the solid fuel Shahab-3, medium range missile (range 1200 miles, 2000 km).  The three facilities are within 3 miles (5 km) of each other.

Hq and R&D Facility              35° 39.088'N   50° 52.280'E   Probably also hit
Assembly & Propellant          35° 37.450'N   50° 52.422'E   Destroyed Nov. 12, 2011
Static Test area                         35° 36.464'N   50° 52.354'E

The sites have been in existence at least since 2003, but there was an accelerated effort to upgrade them, especially the assembly site, beginning in late 2009.  An unusual looking moveable building (on rails) was constructed to shelter the pits for loading solid fuel propellants.   And an enclosed tower was built, attached to an existing building that is resembles, on a smaller scale, NASA’s Space Shuttle Vertical Assembly Building.  It is most likely intended to align and calibrate the missile’s guidance systems in a vertical configuration.

What can we learn from the Digital Globe/USIS imagery?  First, the main problem is the quality of what they posted.   It is only 650x431 pixels, and that makes it difficult to do damage assessment of small structures.  But all is not lost.  Some things come through, especially if the sun angle gives good contrast or shadows.  The first impression is the breadth of the utter destruction.  The complex is just short of 300 yards in its widest dimension and every major building has significant damage.  As said earlier, roofs are simply flattened.  Building G is the classic example.  Normally you would see the shadow of the roof on the ground.  Here, it is the wall throwing the shadow, along with the row of windows that show through.  Buildings D and E show the same effect, only the walls have been turned into convoluted skeletons, stripped of their skins.  Such damage can only come from an airburst of a very large weapon.  

The other observation is the scorch marks, penetrations and small craters.  We see them in one form or another at most of the buildings that remain.  The pattern of these small explosions is awesome.  The two hits right along the centerline of building A attest to very accurate, well programmed guidance systems.  Different missile warheads have unique patterns of destruction.  The weapon most likely used here is the GBU-39 with the benign name of “Small Diameter Bomb” (SDB). It is a highly versatile weapon.  (Video here) It is a precision guided autonomous 250 pound weapon that carries a tiny 50 pound warhead.  It is designed to be highly lethal at close ranges while limiting collateral damage.  It does it by mixing ultra small pellets of tungsten into the explosive which when detonated, rapidly slow down from air drag.  It has wings that deploy when released and can glide for 60 nautical miles, making it a standoff weapon.  It can be fused for airburst, timed to detonate at a specified distance after impact or as an earth penetrator.  It was used by the Israelis in operation Cast Lead to collapse tunnels and buried weapons caches in Gaza.

Now the whodunit question.  Only two nations have the will and weaponry to pull this off, the US and Israel.  It is really a tossup but the edge goes to the US.  Here ‘s why:  Both nations have SDBs and both nations can make large bombs.  What the Israelis don’t have is ultra stealthy aircraft.  The F-22 Raptor is in a class by itself, so good we won’t sell it to our closest allies, Israel and Australia for security reasons.  And there is the heavy lifter,the B-2.  It  has been modified to carry two 35,000  pound weapons.  Nothing in Israel’s inventory can come close to that.

This was a raid conducted in broad daylight.  It was a “shock and awe” in your face strike designed to tell Iran’s mullahs you can be hit at any time, on any day and you can’t do anything about it.  Shock and awe is a trademark of the US Air Force.   Another tidbit that hints at US involvement – on December 1, just 19 days after the missile site explosions, and 3 days after similar series of explosions removed some buildings at a uranium processing site at Ishfahan Iran, President Obama made this statement to a group of Jewish contributors:

This administration – I try not to pat myself too much on the back – but this administration has done more in terms of the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration….

Was this just a coincidence?  You decide.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The corrupt media and a joke Rick Santorum did not tell.

For anyone who doubts the legacy media are the handmaidens or the Democratic Party and its propaganda arm, Media Matters, has only to follow the story of the aspirin joke.  In some convoluted logic, a joke told by a campaign contributor has become the responsibility of Rick Santorum.  In typical fashion the multiple voices of the three legacy networks and major papers including the New York Times and the Washington Post are parroting in unison the identical message.  It is shoddy journalism to the extreme.

The joke, poorly told by Foster Friess, is most decidedly not anti contraception.  Quite to the contrary the joke pokes fun at the ill conceived anti-birth control law in effect in New York in the 1930s and 40s.  This law prevented birth control devices from being sold and prohibited doctors from dispensing advice on the subject.  Here’s the joke as I heard it in the 1950s.

A lady goes into the doctor’s office as asks how to prevent pregnancy.  The doctor responds that he is not allowed to give such advice.  But he hesitates and says there is a way:  Aspirin.  The lady asks how it should be taken (the unstated choices presumably being orally or vaginally).  To which the doctor responds, hold it between your knees.

The joke was slightly off color for the 50s, but certainly not offensive in today’s more liberated atmosphere.  It is not anti-female.  It is, as I have said, a knock on the idiotic anti-contraception legislation at the time. 

But this is nothing new.  A year ago Sarah Palin was viciously attacked by Democrats and the media (is there a difference?) first as the murderer of Gabby Giffords, and then when she defended herself against these utter falsehoods, for using the term “blood libel” to depict how she herself had been libeled.  The term blood libel was used by Jews when they had been falsely accused of the murder of a Christian.  It was common practice in the Middle Ages for Christians to blame Jews for just about everything.  Just read Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. 

Ms. Palin didn’t accuse Jews of anything.  She simply painted herself in a similar situation by using that term.  But the media went full song in the same attack mode, accusing her of anti-Semitism.  They felt safe in assumption that an identical message many fronts would carry the day.  Even though Alan Dershowithz defended the use of the term, not enough came to her defense.

The networks, the New York Times and the Washington Post are correctly described as an arm of the Democratic Party.  Their utter bias disqualifies them from being considered legitimate media.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Angela Merkel, solve the Greek problem! No more loans, just buy Greece

No, I’m not suggesting she buy more Greek debt, I’m talking about buying the country of Greece.  Buy it lock, stock and barrel,  just like the Americans bought Alaska from the Russians in 1867.  Russia was hurting financially from the Crimean war and Czar Nicolas needed to replenish his coffers.  Alaska was a drag.  Russian hunters had pretty well wiped out the fur seals and nothing would grow in the far north soils because of smelly black stuff that oozed out of it.  So he dumped it for $7.2 million on those gullible Americans.

What would Germany and Greece get out of it?  Well, Germany would have its own Riviera where aging Germans could lounge in the sun wearing ill fitting thong bathing suits.  There would be an unlimited supply of ouzo to cloud their minds.  And German cities would see a ton of new, Greek run restaurants.  The Greeks would get Mercedes and Volkswagen assembly plants.  They, of course, would be manned by Germans so the Greeks, too, could enjoy the delights of ouzo without wasting time working. 

It’s win win for everyone.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

If you think our real estate bubble was bad, just wait for China to implode

Thomas Friedman, please take note.  China’s lack of political wrangling is not an asset, it’s what will drag it down.  Friedman’s and other liberals’ utopian dream of a benevolent dictator has never worked.  It fails because unrestrained dictators, with the best of intentions, make mistakes – often grandiose mistakes.  And when they are criticized and challenged, they fight to hold on to power.  And then they become the Stalins, the Pol Pots and the Kim Jong Ils of the world.

And China’s single party autocracy has made a grandiose mistake.  It has embarked on a building spree that according to Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) has resulted in 64 million unoccupied housing units.  Entire cities, designed to house millions, stand empty or nearly empty.  Video here  Yet the madness continues with construction continuing unabated, because China’s command economy demands it to sustain GDP growth.  Why do they sit empty?  Because most Chinese simply can’t afford them.  
Unoccupied development in Ordos.  Note the lack of cars

Speculators own many but it is unclear how many and how they can afford to sit on empty properties with no income.  The value of the unsold property is staggering.  Based on 64 million units at an estimated $50,000 each, the total is $3.2 trillion worth of unsold properties.  It is likely local and provincial governments, which do the actual building, are taking much of the hit.

Newspapers in China are reporting provincial government borrowers are being squeezed.   China Daily is reporting many of them are deferring loan payments and it goes far beyond just the real estate market.

China's biggest provincial borrowers are deferring payment on their loans just two months after the country's regulator said some local government companies would be allowed to do so.

Hunan Provincial Expressway Construction Group is delaying payment on 3.11 billion yuan ($490.5 million) in interest, documents governing the securities show this month. Guangdong Provincial Communications Group Co, the second-largest debtor, is following suit. So are two others among the biggest 11 debtors, for a total of 30.16 billion yuan ($4.757 billion – Ed.), according to bond prospectuses from 55 local authorities that have raised money in capital markets since the beginning of November.

As local governments delay payments for projects commissioned as part of the stimulus to ward off recession in 2009, less money is available for bank lending even as China is taking steps to inject more into the economy. The central bank has held interest rates at 6.56 percent since July to boost the economy, while the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan have kept benchmark rates near zero since 2008.

"When companies start to roll over debt they're not retiring debt, and banks aren't retrieving their capital, so you're crowding out new lending," Patrick Chovanec, a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said in a Dec 13 interview. "This is a problem that's going to start to bite next year."

Local governments had 10.7 trillion yuan ($1.7 trillion – Ed.) in debt at the end of last year, 79 percent due to banks, according to the country's first audit released in June. So-called local financing vehicles that meet collateral requirements can have a one-time extension on their loans, Zhou Mubing, vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said at a conference on Oct 24 organized by the Internet portal, according to a transcript of his comments on the website.

Guangdong Provincial Communications Group, Hunan Provincial Expressway Construction Group, Gansu Provincial Highway Aviation Tourism Investment Group Co and Sichuan Railway Investment Group Co owe more than 200 billion yuan ($31.5billion –Ed.)to banks, the data show. They plan to defer 34.4 billion yuan ($5.43 billion –Ed.) in interest payments, according to their bond prospectus.

At the heart of China’s problems is the central government’s emphasis on exports.  With the stagnation of Europe’s economy,  imports from China are in decline and that is slowing China’s growth threatening the nation’s highly leveraged economy.  Robert Samuelson in a recent article in Real Clear Politics addresses the problem:

There are warning signs. Economist Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute cites three. First, Europe's slump has weakened China's trade; Europe buys about a fifth of its exports. Second, housing is showing signs of a bubble and is deflating. Finally, China's government will have a harder time deploying a stimulus than during the 2008-09 financial crisis. Government debt rose from 26 percent of gross domestic product in 2007 to 43 percent of GDP in 2010.

He goes on:

Unfortunately, booms breed busts. Buyers ultimately recognize that rising prices reflect artificial demand. Purchases slow. Prices fall. New building declines. The process feeds on itself. With modest imbalances, the result is a correction. Otherwise, there's a crash.

…A popped real estate bubble could exert a big drag. Housing construction exceeds 10 percent of GDP. That's historically high, says Lardy. At a similar stage of economic development, Taiwan's housing investment was 4.3 percent of GDP. In the recent U.S. real estate boom, housing peaked at 6 percent of GDP. In China, housing stimulates much consumer spending (furniture, appliances) and accounts for 40 percent of steel production, notes Lardy. Land sales are also a big revenue source for local governments. All would suffer from a housing bust.

What does all of this mean for the US?  First it will mean a reluctance for China to purchase US debt, to better use its resources for itself.  That may be the reason for Treasury Secretary Geithner’s current trip to China.  With a reluctant China, interest rates to finance our debt will rise harming our efforts to keep rates low. 

But it could go beyond that. Just as the US was in denial that its overheated real estate market was in danger just before it collapsed, China’s could do so also.  An implosion in China would send shockwaves through all developed countries.  While its $3 trillion in foreign debt holdings ($1 trillion US) could be sold and used, any such attempt would ruin its value.